June 06, 2007

Where is everyone?

Sir, Roger Merritt the Managing Director of Credit Policy of Fitch Ratings, one of the three and only credit rating agencies, now tells us that “Hedge fund behaviour in credit markets is untested” June 6, even though he knows that when you for instance rate the adequacy and safety of a boat you must do that in reference to the waters where it is suppose to navigate. Merritt, in response to a report in FT, now mumbles about some new paradigms in the global credit markets and then goes on to explain some century old facts that we all know and that he should have known. Where are the regulators willing to regulate when we need them?

What is new though, perhaps only because it is so shocking we did not even want to think about it, is that this diversify-your-risk driven market and that I prefer to call the hide-the-risk market has now developed some financial products, formally traded among formal participants, that create a vested interest (which means they profit) in the default of mortgages. What is this? A financial coliseum? Although I do no profess to understand it all (who can) I am no stranger to the fact that this type of derivatives could help people to get easier access to mortgages but now try to explain to someone being evicted that you cannot help him because someone has a legitimate profit motive that stops you from doing so. Where are our leaders when we need them?