A Networked Anatomy of the Collateralized Debt Obligation Bubble
Wednesday, March 30
Social & Behavioral Sciences Gateway, Room 1517
Manchester Business School
University of Manchester
This talk presents analysis conducted jointly with Adam Leaver of the emerging collateralized debt obligation (CDO) market prior to 2008 using a network approach. Previous debates of the crisis within the context of “bubble” have often rightly focused on demand issues, in particular on the “manic” or “irrationally exuberant” behavior of traders and investors. Responding to this, our network analysis adds a supply-side explanation of the CDO bubble by exploring the changes in the structural and relational characteristics of the market as emerging. Network analysis, both as method and theory, has already been used to explore the interconnectedness of markets—for example to model intersecting ownership of assets, risk concentration, and financial flows between financial intermediaries, underlining the for network analysis tools to be employed in these contexts. Our analysis is based on data of 372 CDOs issued between 2001 and 2007. The analysis features both longitudinal and static analysis. Findings highlight a surge in the number of suppliers after 2004, not only fueling demand, but also creating a more complex, less transparent network of actors seeking to benefit from the boom in CDOs.