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While Y'all Were Kvetching About the Controversy Du Jour...Most Important News of the Year Happened [View All]

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alcibiades_mystery Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Thu Jul-22-10 01:41 PM
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While Y'all Were Kvetching About the Controversy Du Jour...Most Important News of the Year Happened
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The Three Big Ratings Agencies (hereinafter, TBRA) are refusing to rate asset backed bonds due to the stepped up regulations of the financial reform package. This is ground-shattering news that already demonstrates the effectiveness of the new legislation. I'm going to tell you why.

Now, if you listen to CNBC or NPR's Marketplace, this is meant to be a Very Troubling Development. You see, according to existing securities regulations, you can't sell asset backed bonds without a ratings agency stamp on it that tells buyers the TBRA's "opinion" of their risk. That's a principle of transparency. You need an "objective" third party assessment of the risk for such bonds. If one of the TBRA doesn't rate the bond, you can't sell it. So, the bond market for asset backed bonds is at a dead stop: no ratings, no sales. Full stop.

So, what's the NEW problem? The financial legislation just signed into law makes the TBRA's liable for the opinion they give on a bond. If, for example, they give a bond a very strong rating (AAA, say), and the bond turns out to be junk, and it turns out that the ratings agency was negligent in its assessment, it can be sued by the bondholders. This has sent shockwaves through the financial set, but not only because it exposes the ratings agency and forces them to be honest in their assessment of the bonds. Rather, it pinpoints the precise pressure zone in the whole asset backed securities market and forces changes all the way down the line. They are screaming bloody murder and essentially blackmailing the government precisely because the new law cascades throughout the system. Here's how.

What is an asset backed security? Very simply, it is a bond that is collateralized with some other asset, usually loans on actual, concrete property. The most famous are, of course, mortgage backed securities, but any loan will do. I was once involved in an ABS deal in which the bond was backed with blocks of 1000 loans on Mack truck rigs. So, 1000 truckers pay their loan on their rig, and that loan is packaged in a deal that "secures" a bond. If the bondholders can't collect from the seller, they have recourse to those loans. Simple, yes? The financial crisis of 2007 can be traced to shenanigans with such bonds. Imagine, for instance, if I know that 750 of those truckers are behind on payments and likely to default. I still want to sell that bond, but I have to disclose this (theoretically), which means I will get less money for the bond, because the buyers will demand a higher interest rate. If nobody cares, I can use whatever shit loans I want. If somebody looks and cares, I lose money. Obviously, the buyer should be looking and caring, but this is really buttressed by the work of the ratings agency. So, what happens when the TBRA are on the hook legally for their ratings. This happens:

1) They give accurate ratings, rather than essentially "selling" good ratings to the issuer and underwriter.
2) The issuer and underwriter, knowing that the ratings agency will post an accurate rating, are incentivized to use only good loans in their bonds, or to sell their bonds with the accurate interest rate if many bad loans are included. Therefore, they will only buy/package good loans from the originator. No more 1000 block truck loans with 750 bad loans - or, we know that these will fetch a higher interest rate, and that the buyer will have priced in the risk. No more blind tranches.
3) Loan originators will no longer be incentivized to hand out bad loans and crazy loans to unfit borrowers, since they will have to eat the losses rather than selling them up the chain to the bond packagers. If you're unlikely to pay back your truck loan, I probably won't make it to you, since I won't be able to move that bad loan, and will therefore have to eat the loss on it.

In terms of identifying a point of pressure and pushing on it to achieve systemic cascade effects, that's a pretty impressive piece of the legislation. And you know it's good for the People precisely because the TBRAs are going ballistic over it, and the propaganda is flowing free and thick from the business class. This is system changing stuff we see at work here, as anyone who has ever worked in finance and on ABS knows damn well. And yes, this is the kind of change I voted for. :-)
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  -While Y'all Were Kvetching About the Controversy Du Jour...Most Important News of the Year Happened alcibiades_mystery  Jul-22-10 01:41 PM   #0 
  - Thank you for this important lesson....  BrklynLiberal   Jul-22-10 01:43 PM   #1 
  - Let's keep our fingers crossed that some bad press about this  truedelphi   Jul-22-10 01:43 PM   #2 
  - and how did out cracker jack media miss this Little tid bit....  WCGreen   Jul-22-10 01:46 PM   #3 
  - Because it reflects negatively on all who have been involved...  JuniperLea   Jul-22-10 01:51 PM   #11 
  - because it's complicated  deacon_sephiroth   Jul-22-10 07:43 PM   #79 
  - So what you are saying is that it is only a matter of time before the administration starts ........  Exilednight   Jul-22-10 01:46 PM   #4 
  - I'm not sure how you extrapolated that bit of fiction from the OP...  JuniperLea   Jul-22-10 01:50 PM   #9 
  - ...  BrklynLiberal   Jul-22-10 01:57 PM   #15 
  - all 3 of my thumbs up for your post, JuniperLea.  Whisp   Jul-22-10 03:34 PM   #37 
  - While I have not seen any signs that the administration is backpedalling  customerserviceguy   Jul-23-10 07:40 AM   #119 
  - To the extent that people pay taxes on interest income (and they do),  JDPriestly   Jul-23-10 11:03 AM   #141 
     - High interest rates will hurt  customerserviceguy   Jul-23-10 09:19 PM   #155 
  - I thought that this provision did not make it into the bill.  JDPriestly   Jul-23-10 09:52 AM   #133 
  - Jumping to conclusions based on.....absolutely nothing...  Spazito   Jul-22-10 02:11 PM   #18 
  - I am basing my conclusion with the known facts .............  Exilednight   Jul-22-10 04:10 PM   #43 
     - "Trust me, they will unfreeze it..." does NOT equate to facts whatsoever...  Spazito   Jul-22-10 05:03 PM   #48 
     - If you'd been paying attention for the past 20 years or so..  girl gone mad   Jul-22-10 05:28 PM   #52 
        - LOL, still not facts in response to my question to the previous poster...  Spazito   Jul-22-10 05:40 PM   #57 
           - Scroll down.  girl gone mad   Jul-22-10 08:27 PM   #82 
              - LOL, wrong again...  Spazito   Jul-23-10 11:17 AM   #143 
     - I see your point, and have thought similar things in the past.  tbyg52   Jul-22-10 05:28 PM   #53 
     - Blink? WHo cares who blinks.  MedicalAdmin   Jul-22-10 06:29 PM   #63 
        - There is no "blink" in any case  alcibiades_mystery   Jul-22-10 07:04 PM   #66 
        - Girl gone mad?  Exilednight   Jul-22-10 07:22 PM   #69 
        - I was referring to  alcibiades_mystery   Jul-22-10 07:33 PM   #71 
        - 60 will not be enough  bluescribbler   Jul-23-10 09:18 AM   #129 
        - Blinking didnt take too long : (  EJSTES2005   Jul-22-10 07:35 PM   #74 
        - I could say I told you so, but I'm not that kind of person.  Exilednight   Jul-22-10 07:37 PM   #75 
        - more..  EJSTES2005   Jul-22-10 07:37 PM   #76 
        - Translation: the law stands, ratings agencies will be on the hook, and we are NOT permenently  alcibiades_mystery   Jul-22-10 07:40 PM   #78 
           - The OP fails. Six months now, let's wait six months and see what happens then ..........  Exilednight   Jul-22-10 09:14 PM   #93 
              - The law stands  alcibiades_mystery   Jul-22-10 09:38 PM   #94 
                 - The RA's claim they were caught off guard...  girl gone mad   Jul-22-10 10:47 PM   #103 
                    - They were screaming about this when the SEC requested comments  alcibiades_mystery   Jul-22-10 11:01 PM   #105 
                       - I don't think anything will be dramatically different in 6 months.  girl gone mad   Jul-23-10 07:39 AM   #118 
                          - You say  alcibiades_mystery   Jul-23-10 08:14 AM   #122 
        - Blinking, schminking  alcibiades_mystery   Jul-22-10 07:39 PM   #77 
        - Extension?  unlawflcombatnt   Jul-26-10 06:46 PM   #156 
        - Yeah, and I can decide whether I want to buy an unrated bond or not.  NBachers   Jul-22-10 09:56 PM   #98 
        - Huh?  girl gone mad   Jul-22-10 08:37 PM   #85 
           - The repeal is NOT gone: 436(g) is still dead and buried for ratings agencies  alcibiades_mystery   Jul-22-10 08:47 PM   #87 
              - The SEC could certainly undo the intent of the repeal.  girl gone mad   Jul-22-10 10:58 PM   #104 
                 - Come on  alcibiades_mystery   Jul-22-10 11:04 PM   #106 
        - "The question is do the DEMS have the cojones to go the distance?"  paulkienitz   Jul-22-10 09:08 PM   #91 
           - They already did  alcibiades_mystery   Jul-22-10 09:40 PM   #95 
  - Fucking poppycock  HughMoran   Jul-23-10 09:09 AM   #126 
  - CNBC, the ESPN of the financial world  liberal N proud   Jul-22-10 01:46 PM   #5 
  - They sound like they are selling Sham-Wows!  JuniperLea   Jul-22-10 01:52 PM   #12 
     - !  vaberella   Jul-22-10 02:16 PM   #20 
  - Methinks they doth protest too much. In the same manner that there are supposed to be  T Wolf   Jul-22-10 01:46 PM   #6 
  - That was an awesome explanation!  JustAnotherGen   Jul-22-10 01:47 PM   #7 
  - I wonder if Kudlow will cover this....LOL...n/t  monmouth   Jul-22-10 01:49 PM   #8 
  - You should be a teacher, honestly, I absolutely understand everything  monmouth   Jul-22-10 01:50 PM   #10 
  - If You Were Standing in Front of Me, I Would Kiss You Full on The Lips  Yavin4   Jul-22-10 01:55 PM   #13 
  - Two reasons they did that..1) great big fees from the bond sellers 2) they really didn't understand.  truebrit71   Jul-22-10 04:33 PM   #45 
  - Sadly ...  Kweli4Real   Jul-22-10 06:59 PM   #65 
  - Thanks so much for that clear explanation.  Kdillard   Jul-22-10 01:56 PM   #14 
  - I think you are overly optimistic  zipplewrath   Jul-22-10 02:05 PM   #16 
  - If that's true  creeksneakers2   Jul-23-10 12:41 PM   #151 
  - Excellent OP!  Spazito   Jul-22-10 02:08 PM   #17 
  - Yup  Beetwasher   Jul-22-10 02:14 PM   #19 
  - Good stuff. Yet this (meaning financial reform) was bashed to no end. n/t  vaberella   Jul-22-10 02:17 PM   #21 
  - And it's still being bashed here on DU...  JuniperLea   Jul-22-10 02:55 PM   #27 
  - what, Obama did something good?? Can't be! Isn't he the Antichrist?  Aramchek   Jul-22-10 02:18 PM   #22 
  - The Antichrist isn't muslim!  meowomon   Jul-23-10 09:47 AM   #131 
  - Insightful post about real world effects, thank you  Uzybone   Jul-22-10 02:34 PM   #23 
  - Wonderful OP.  great white snark   Jul-22-10 02:41 PM   #24 
  - Kick  pinto   Jul-22-10 02:48 PM   #25 
  - Kayandarr! eom  boppers   Jul-22-10 02:50 PM   #26 
  - A pretty worthless piece  izquierdista   Jul-22-10 02:56 PM   #28 
  - Take your arrogance and shove it.  Hosnon   Jul-22-10 02:57 PM   #29 
  - Huh?  alcibiades_mystery   Jul-22-10 03:04 PM   #32 
  - Joke...  Hosnon   Jul-22-10 03:10 PM   #33 
  - Yes - there are MORE IMPORTANT THINGS.  MedicalAdmin   Jul-22-10 06:32 PM   #64 
     - 'Zactly. nt.  Hosnon   Jul-22-10 09:10 PM   #92 
  - What is to stop the issuer from going to a smaller rating agency?  Freddie Stubbs   Jul-22-10 02:58 PM   #30 
  - Nothing  alcibiades_mystery   Jul-22-10 03:04 PM   #31 
  - Good post, thank you! k/r  CakeGrrl   Jul-22-10 03:19 PM   #34 
  - Substance? In GD?  JNelson6563   Jul-22-10 03:22 PM   #35 
  - thank you very much, a_m  Whisp   Jul-22-10 03:32 PM   #36 
  - Thanks for the clear, concise explanation! n/t  morillon   Jul-22-10 03:48 PM   #38 
  - i believe they are also requiring these bond bundles  mopinko   Jul-22-10 03:53 PM   #39 
  - thank you! nt  Clio the Leo   Jul-22-10 03:56 PM   #40 
  - I think they've already found ways around it, and regulators will soon cave anyhow.  girl gone mad   Jul-22-10 04:06 PM   #41 
  - Let them, it's their last resort  ProSense   Jul-22-10 04:36 PM   #46 
  - The regulators have already blinked.  girl gone mad   Jul-22-10 05:14 PM   #49 
     - It's not a rumor, it's  ProSense   Jul-22-10 05:27 PM   #51 
        - Call it what you like.  girl gone mad   Jul-22-10 05:33 PM   #54 
           - What happens after the compliance period?  ProSense   Jul-22-10 05:39 PM   #55 
              - You are assuming that the change will withstand 6 months of industry pressure.  girl gone mad   Jul-22-10 05:40 PM   #58 
                 - Right, because all their lobbying pressure succeeded in removing it from the bill?  ProSense   Jul-22-10 05:43 PM   #60 
                    - "It's not going away."  girl gone mad   Jul-22-10 08:31 PM   #84 
                       - No it hasn't  alcibiades_mystery   Jul-22-10 08:48 PM   #88 
                          - For all intents and purposes, the regulators have backed down..  girl gone mad   Jul-22-10 10:15 PM   #100 
                             - "For all intents and purposes..."  alcibiades_mystery   Jul-22-10 10:22 PM   #102 
                                - Well, let's just give the entire industry a six month reprieve on FinReg..  girl gone mad   Jul-23-10 07:51 AM   #120 
                                   - Actually, there are numerous other new provisions for the ratings agencies  alcibiades_mystery   Jul-23-10 08:12 AM   #121 
  - I have to go cook dinner for my fam, but I'll explain to you afterwards  alcibiades_mystery   Jul-22-10 05:03 PM   #47 
  - It doesn't really matter.  girl gone mad   Jul-22-10 05:19 PM   #50 
     - This is actually good news  alcibiades_mystery   Jul-22-10 06:13 PM   #62 
        - I think you've got some coke-bottle thick rose colored glasses on today.  girl gone mad   Jul-22-10 08:47 PM   #86 
           - Six months is reasonable time for  alcibiades_mystery   Jul-22-10 08:50 PM   #89 
              - "vague imaginings, general pessimism, and very little knowledge of the issues"  HughMoran   Jul-23-10 09:15 AM   #128 
                 - Who Need s Facts When You Can Trust Your GUT About What's REALLY Gonna Happen!!!  Beetwasher   Jul-23-10 10:32 AM   #138 
  - Really? It's certain Obama would veto such a repeal--How can they claim  librechik   Jul-23-10 12:34 PM   #150 
  - Thanks for posting this. You made something that normally glazes my eyes over understandable.  SalviaBlue   Jul-22-10 04:10 PM   #42 
  - How dare you post about meaningful success on this website, heathen.  Starbucks Anarchist   Jul-22-10 04:26 PM   #44 
  - SEC Grants Delay on Ratings for Asset-Backed Debt  girl gone mad   Jul-22-10 05:39 PM   #56 
  - At least investors won't have a false sense of security anymore. n/t  rucky   Jul-22-10 05:42 PM   #59 
  - Shame on you for posting this here  impik   Jul-22-10 05:54 PM   #61 
  - kick to mark to read all later. thx. n/t  RainDog   Jul-22-10 07:11 PM   #67 
  - Thanks for the post! nt  valerief   Jul-22-10 07:20 PM   #68 
  - I hope that this works  Shireling   Jul-22-10 07:28 PM   #70 
  - Together with the other mechanisms, of course  alcibiades_mystery   Jul-22-10 07:35 PM   #73 
     - iirc, the ratings agencies were really where accountability faltered  RainDog   Jul-22-10 10:21 PM   #101 
  - K&R  DeSwiss   Jul-22-10 07:34 PM   #72 
  - K&R  Little Star   Jul-22-10 08:11 PM   #80 
  - SOME good news n/t  ejbr   Jul-22-10 08:27 PM   #81 
  - Good news if there is a positive outcome of this bill...  liberation   Jul-22-10 08:29 PM   #83 
  - glad to hear some good news for a change  paulkienitz   Jul-22-10 09:06 PM   #90 
  - This is very helpful indeed. Still--  eridani   Jul-22-10 09:52 PM   #96 
  - Could this be the reason US bonds are being bought by the truckload now? TIA  uponit7771   Jul-22-10 09:55 PM   #97 
  - Thank you so much  laylah   Jul-22-10 09:56 PM   #99 
  - Yes. This is the kind of change I voted for too.  JDPriestly   Jul-22-10 11:09 PM   #107 
  - I'm sure we can count on left pundits to tout this accomplishment for Obama!  Radical Activist   Jul-22-10 11:21 PM   #108 
  - "What's your credit score?" --- it's a total scam that reaches clear down to the consumers.  Major Hogwash   Jul-22-10 11:23 PM   #109 
  - Anyone want to start a bond rating agency? We gotta find a couple  jtuck004   Jul-22-10 11:29 PM   #110 
  - LOL..count me in.  EmeraldCityGrl   Jul-23-10 03:36 AM   #113 
     - My wife told me that we don't have enough experience.  jtuck004   Jul-23-10 10:40 AM   #139 
  - K & R  Scurrilous   Jul-23-10 12:01 AM   #111 
  - Nice post and I would take it as good news  waronbanks   Jul-23-10 03:31 AM   #112 
  - KnR  Hekate   Jul-23-10 05:03 AM   #114 
  - Yes. This is good news. The law should also separate ratings houses  geckosfeet   Jul-23-10 06:54 AM   #115 
  - Excellent!.. I did not know this was in FinReg..  DCBob   Jul-23-10 07:11 AM   #116 
  - Good explanation. Unfortunately, this is still capitalism.  erfmasn   Jul-23-10 07:22 AM   #117 
  - I don't disagree with you  alcibiades_mystery   Jul-23-10 08:16 AM   #123 
  - After the phrase "asset backed bonds" all I read was "blah blah blah".  meowomon   Jul-23-10 08:19 AM   #124 
  - You can lead a horse to water, I guess  alcibiades_mystery   Jul-23-10 08:31 AM   #125 
  - I am sure you have other abilities, don't worry. But the financial news is good. nt  thereismore   Jul-23-10 09:39 AM   #130 
     - Thank you for the translation  meowomon   Jul-23-10 09:49 AM   #132 
  - K&R  Wednesdays   Jul-23-10 09:14 AM   #127 
  - K&R  wryter2000   Jul-23-10 09:55 AM   #134 
  - Sure, all about you. What about the rest of us?  russspeakeasy   Jul-23-10 10:12 AM   #135 
  - The Law never inhibited Arthur Andersen  sulphurdunn   Jul-23-10 10:18 AM   #136 
  - You can say that about any law  alcibiades_mystery   Jul-23-10 10:24 AM   #137 
     - Good laws that don't put bad  sulphurdunn   Jul-23-10 10:50 AM   #140 
  - Thank you for pointing this out. I admit I would have gone unaware of this significant victory.  leeroysphitz   Jul-23-10 11:11 AM   #142 
  - Thank you for taking the time to inform us "little" people what it REALLY means! Hurray!! n/t  1776Forever   Jul-23-10 11:25 AM   #144 
  - Huh?  alcibiades_mystery   Jul-23-10 11:38 AM   #145 
     - Thanks! Just wanted to say thank you for the time. I have no idea what this was all about until I  1776Forever   Jul-23-10 11:39 AM   #146 
  - You could have told us that without the sneer.  aquart   Jul-23-10 11:41 AM   #147 
  - Can you say "Due Diligence", or else?  on point   Jul-23-10 11:48 AM   #148 
  - I saw that and was intrigued.  Overseas   Jul-23-10 12:20 PM   #149 
  - Anyone still believe Breitbart's hit job was coincidence?  Moostache   Jul-23-10 12:43 PM   #152 
  - that's great news indeed. I never understood though why some people feel the need to gain focus on  Divine Discontent   Jul-23-10 12:45 PM   #153 
     - I don't see how I belittled anyone  alcibiades_mystery   Jul-23-10 03:30 PM   #154 

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