More than once in this space, I’ve said that derivative financial products set up a perverse incentive where investors have more to gain from the failure of companies and homeowners than their success. If you haven’t seen it yet, take a look at the longer version of my description of the causes and consequences of the current crisis to understand how failed financial innovations, like credit default swaps, contributed to the meltdown of 2008. I wrote that article back in November.
Once again, only Bloomberg.com is out front on this story. More hedge funds are catching onto the casino-like qualities of betting against America’s economic success. Reporters Salas, Harrington and Paulden could have quoted my NewGeography writings directly: “companies [have] more credit-default swaps outstanding than the bonds the contracts protected…” and, referring to Clear Channel Communications, “some of its creditors stand to profit from its failure.”
Told ya’ so!