„The financial crisis has put a spotlight on the obscure world of credit default swaps – which trade in a vast, unregulated market that most people haven’t heard of and even fewer understand. Will this be the next disaster?“
CDS sind Kreditderivate, mit denen Banken und Finanzinvestoren mit Ausfallrisiken von Krediten handeln. Sie stellen die wachstumsstärkste Variante aller Finanzderivate dar. Seit 2001 hat sich ihr Volumen von Jahr zu Jahr nahezu verdoppelt und derzeit den gigantischen Wert von ca. 55 Billionen US$ erreicht. Das entspricht etwa dem weltweiten Bruttosozialprodukt eines Jahres.
„Terror at the potential for a financial Ebola virus radiating out from a failing institution and infecting dozens or hundreds of other companies – all linked to one another by CDS and other instruments – was a major reason that regulators stepped in to bail out Bear Stearns and buy out AIG, whose calamitous descent itself was triggered by losses on its CDS contracts.“
„Two fundamental aspects of the CDS market – that it is unregulated, and that almost nothing is disclosed publicly – may be about to change. (…) „The big problem is that here are all these public companies – banks and corporations – and no one really knows what exposure they’ve got from the CDS contracts,“ says Frank Partnoy, a law professor at the University of San Diego (…) who has been writing about the dangers of CDS and their ilk for a decade. „The really scary part is that we don’t have a clue.“ Chris Wolf, a co-manager of Cogo Wolf, a hedge fund of funds, compares them to one of the great mysteries of astrophysics: „This has become essentially the dark matter of the financial universe.“
7. Okt. 2008: Die Kreditversicherungsfalle – Sehr guter Artikel und Filmbericht (Video) von Plusminus (WDR) zu Swaps
„Lehman Brothers, the bust investment bank, triggered one of the biggest corporate debt defaults in history yesterday as it emerged that the US Federal Reserve is harbouring grave concerns about whether Washington’s $700 billion (£413 billion) bailout fund will avert a financial meltdown.
An auction of Lehman’s bonds yesterday determined that the bank’s borrowings were worth only 8.625 cents on the dollar. The valuation leaves the insurers of the debt a bill of about $365 billion. It is not clear whether the insurers, which are required to settle the bill in the next two weeks, will be able to pay – a development that could further undermine increasingly stressed capital markets.“
Warren Buffet habe Credit Default Swaps (CDS) vor Jahren als “finanzielle Massenvernichtungswaffen” bezeichnet. Analyse + Aktion weist zudem auf einen sehr instruktiven „Zeit“-Artikel zu CDS hin.