Abacus and the credit crisis

Just a quick note on one of the reasons the Goldman-Abacus case is so interesting.  The Abacus program definitely plays at least a small role in the credit crisis.

(i) Goldman itself notes that IKB was a notable Abacus counterparty  (See Part I here).

(ii) One of the first SIVs to fail was IKB’s Rhineland funding.  According to Acharya Schnabl and Suarez, Rhineland funding specialized in financing CDOs.

(iii)  In August 2007, when Rhineland couldn’t role over it’s commercial paper, IKB was the guarantor of the commercial paper.  This caused IKB to be one of the first banks to fail due to the subprime crisis.  In short, IKB was one of the banks that set off the asset backed commercial paper collapse of 2007 — a market that ended up requiring extraordinary accommodation from the Fed.

So there’s no question that IKB was right there at the heart of the credit crisis when it started.

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