CDS Disclosure

Posted by on Mar 12, 2012 in Uncategorized | No Comments

Stock analysts have to disclose whether they own a stock or not, whether they do invest banking for the company they talk about, etc.   What would be really helpful if everyone who wrote or spoke about CDS could provide some basic disclosure:

1) I, or an employee I was responsible for, actually ever had a CDS position or sat within 50 yards of someone who had a CDS position at the time I was remotely in their proximity.

2) I not only have the ISDA document, I have read it, and actually periodically search it before writing about CDS.

CDS is complicated enough as it is, but the number of people who opine on it, with incredibly limited knowledge seems off the chart.  When you wonder why CDS has remained purely OTC and so little progress on clearing and transparency has been made, it is because too many of the most vocal anti-CDS voices have virtually no knowledge.

Their arguments are easily defeated by the street, because they are just plain wrong.  Everyone can have differing opinions, and the more complex a subject, the more likely those opinions are to differ and have logical and coherent arguments that support either side.  That is great, but when factual errors are made it is hard to have an opinion worth paying attention to.

So this is only a rant, but I have traded CDS, probably around a trillion dollars lifetime, and do read the document – as painful as it is – and still make mistakes, but at least there is a basis for the arguments and rants.

Rational discussion from informed participants in the CDS market would go a long way to actually creating a workable solution.  Maybe seeing the CDS disclosure would help people understand the product better (which would be good for the market as a whole) and investors could skip the articles based purely on hype that do nothing to help make informed decisions.