Thursday, 9 July 2009

AAA to A3 check, 2/3 A3 to AAA mate

Sorry, I couldn't resist the bastard cross of chess and bond ratings. Let me explain. Once upon a time there was a leveraged loan CDO arranged by Goldman called Greywolf. Greywolf, which sounds like a monster who wants to gobble up your money, was in fact a monster who wanted to gobble up your money. In the fullness of time, the AAA tranche was downgraded to A-, or A3 in Moody's speak. Now, according to Bloomberg, Morgan Stanley is doing the Re-REMIC (aka CDO-squared) trick on the Greywolf AAAs. That is, they are buying the AAAs into a SPV and issuing two tranches of notes on the other side, a CDO-squared structure. Bloomberg suggests the tranching is roughly two of AAA to one of Baa2.

My only question, really, is if these new bonds are downgraded too, will someone else step in and ReRe-Remic them?

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