Tobermory: Light houses

Added on by Bill.

Like any coastline, one can expect to find many lighthouses. Most have been retired and replaced by automated beacons. With GPS it's hard to imagine that any such systems would be required much into the future. Yes some of the buildings remain, if not only as a host for the automation, some are museums like this one.

Toxic Assets continue to smolder

Added on by Bill.

In an article published in the Wall Street Journal, "Why Toxic Assets Are So Hard to Clean Up" Kenneth Scott and John Taylor cite complexity resulting from a lack of transparency as a key inhibitor in resolving the toxic asset problem.

To better understand the magnitude of the problem and to find solutions, we examined the details of several CDOs using data obtained from SecondMarket, a firm specializing in illiquid assets. One example is a $1 billion CDO2 (tranches of the CDOs could then be combined with other CDOs, resulting in CDO2) created by a large bank in 2005. It had 173 investments in tranches issued by other pools: 130 CDOs, and also 43 CLOs each composed of hundreds of corporate loans. It issued $975 million of four AAA tranches, and three subordinate tranches of $55 million. The AAA tranches were bought by banks and the subordinate tranches mostly by hedge funds.
Two of the 173 investments held by this CDO2 were in tranches from another billion-dollar CDO -- created by another bank earlier in 2005 -- which was composed mainly of 155 MBS tranches and 40 CDOs. Two of these 155 MBS tranches were from a $1 billion RMBS pool created in 2004 by a large investment bank, composed of almost 7,000 mortgage loans (90% subprime). That RMBS issued $865 million of AAA notes, about half of which were purchased by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the rest by a variety of banks, insurance companies, pension funds and money managers. About 1,800 of the 7,000 mortgages still remain in the pool, with a current delinquency rate of about 20%.

Now I understand. It's a shell game.