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Opinion

The unravelling of structured investment vehicles: Memory like a SIV?

One of the latest books to be added to the library of publications aimed at dissecting the causes of the financial crisis is "The unravelling of structured investment vehicles: how liquidity leaked through SIVs" by Dr Henry Tabe of Sequoia Investment Management.

The well-received book has been variously described as "very direct and well-grounded", "thoroughly researched" and "very useful to central bankers, regulators, academics, senior management, risk managers and investors". What the author may also be hoping is that it will have greater longevity than another piece of research that he is rather better known for: SIVs: An oasis of calm in the sub-prime maelstrom, published by Moody’s in July 2007 – just before the entire sector imploded. Tabe does ‘fess up to the work in the background blurb to his new book, saying that both his and another S&P article at the time "came to represent what some critics considered as the inertia of rating agencies and other capital markets professionals in recognizing some of the illusions underlying the functioning of the financial markets over the last quarter-century". Refreshingly honest, he must be hoping that his new work will go some way to erasing it from the market’s collective memory.

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