The Big Short

1293 Words Apr 14th, 2012 6 Pages
“The Big Short” Report

One of the topics I found most interesting in this book was the differences between the stock market and the bond market that Michael Lewis to some extent explains in the beginning of chapter three. While the stock market was intensely regulated and mostly transparent, the bond market consisted of primarily large institutions and escaped serious regulation. This lack of legislative control played a great part in allowing the credit default swaps on subprime mortgage bonds, CDO’s, and the eventual collapse of the subprime market. Following the subprime mortgage crisis, the Department of the Treasury released a new regulatory plan, The Department of the Treasury Blueprint for a Modernized Financial Regulatory
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Although the Paulson Plan held off a major financial crisis and attempted to address many of the issues that were the cause of the crisis, improvements could have been made that would have a more lasting positive effect on the American financial system. According to an article in the Wall Street Journal, the plan needed to achieve at three objectives. It needed to prevent a deep and prolonged recession, achieve that first objective at the lowest possible costs to the U.S. taxpayer, and it should not bail out the existing investors. As stated in the article, “the Treasury plan addresses only the first objective, and only indirectly.” While the article gave many suggestions for improving the plan, perhaps the most useful was the recommendation to require all regulated financial institutions to raise 2% of their assets in additional capital to preserve the stability of the financial system. This mandate should ensure that no individual bank sends an adverse signal to the market, which should cause investors to not lose confidence in the banks. Another key event described in “The Big Short,” was when American International Group found a way to insure subprime mortgage loans while being able to bury these risks on its balance sheet. This was made possible by the fact that AIG was a triple-A-rated corporation with an enormous
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