Essays on Collateralized Debt Obligation Coursework

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The paper "Collateralized Debt Obligation " is a perfect example of a finance and accounting coursework. Collateralized debt obligation (CDO) is security supported by an expanded pool of debt mechanisms which are fixed together the base being the underlying credit risks of every constituent of the debt. Incase the CDO only holds the loans it is referred to as collateralized loan obligation and when it holds just bonds it is referred to as collateralized bond obligation. CDO operates in that it is managed by a certain organization that sponsors it. Such an organization launches a unique purpose vehicle like maybe a trust which is responsible for holding the guarantee and consequently issuing the necessary securities (Douglas 2003).

The sponsor of CDO comprises of banks, investment administrators or even other monetary institutions. Normally, operating costs related to operating the SPV are subtracted from the cash flows remunerated to investors. Often, the sponsoring organization maintains the nearly all subsidiary equity tranche of a CDO. The SPV gets mortgages from a mortgage inventor. These mortgages are then packaged and granted like mortgaged back securities (MBSs).

Such arrangement is called ‘ pass-through because mortgages are the lone asset of the trust and are retained on trust for those holding the bonds in the CDO; those investing in the mortgages are doing so through the trust. For this procedure, the initial step is the bank packaging collectively and selling loans on its balance sheet to a particular purpose vehicle. In turn, the special vehicle securitizes such loans. Consequently, the credit risk is split into triple-A, double AA or triple B and many others and then sold to the ones holding the shares (Henry 2004).

Such arrangement is referred to as cash flow CDO when used on bond and not mortgages. This is the original CDO form and is also the simplest. CDO structures have advanced into the more popular form known as synthetic CDO structure. In the CDO synthetic form, when it comes to owing the loans, there is no lawful or economic transfer (Tavakoli 2001). As a substitute, the bank that desires to lessen its balance sheet risk will procure a credit default exchange from the one issuing the CDO. Chief credit rating agencies like Standard or Moody’ s rate Senior and mezzanine tranches of the CDO.

Basically, the senior tranches of a certain debt normally get ratings from A to AAA and on the other hand mezzanine tranches are rated from B to BBB. Generally, equity tranches do not get rated. The purpose of the rating is to show the credit quality of the underlying security and also to illustrate how much security a specific tranche is afforded by tranches that are subsidiary to it. For example, in case the tranches are four, the initial tranche is the equity tranche or first-loss tranche.

Then there are second-loss notes referred to as the subordinated mezzanine, the third-loss tranche called senior mezzanine and the most superior notes are merely known as senior notes (Tavakoli 2001). What this illustrates is that if a default occurs, equity tranches experience the losses first and thus they definitely take up the whole impact of the losses incurred before the second class tranches get the loss impact and the same applies to the other tranches as consecutively up to the most senior tranche.

This means that the senior notes will experience the loss last and also it will take the minimal impact of the loss impact. The returns which are salaried to the investors in a certain CDO normally indicate a range of risk exposures. Those investing in first loss tranches basically get the highest returns since they ought to bare the uppermost risk.


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Douglas, J., 2003, Collateralized Debt Obligations: Structures and Analysis, Annenberg Washington Program: Washington.

Henry A., 2004, Infrastructure Finance: Trends and Techniques, Stanford University: Stanford.

Janet, H., 2003, Collateralized Debt Obligations and Structured Finance: New Developments in Cash and Synthetic Securitization, Wiley: New York.

Frank, J., 2006, Introduction to Structured Finance, Wiley: USA.

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