[...] What tends to happen in financial markets is, bad things happen when you really divorce the people who take the risk from the people who understand the risk. What happened is that that distance in the subprime market just increased and increased and increased. I mean, it started out that you had mortgage companies that would keep some of the stuff on their own books. Subprime lenders, it wasn’t a big business, it was a small business, and it was specialty lenders, and they made risky loans, and they would keep a lot of it on their books.
But then these guys were like, “You know, there are hedge fund buyers for pools that we put together,” and then the hedge fund buyers say, “You know what? We need to fund, we need to leverage this, so how can we leverage this? Oh, I have an idea, let’s create a CDO and issue paper against it to fund ourselves,” and then you get buyers of that paper. The buyers of that paper, they’re more ratings-sensitive than fundamentals-sensitive, so they’re quite divorced from the details. Then it got even more extended in the sense that vehicles were set up that had a mandate to kind of robotically buy that paper and fund themselves through issuing paper in the market.
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