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Structured finance market round up: Ugly numbers

The once-unthinkable news that super-senior CDO risk could be vulnerable to downgrade has been very bad news for the monoline guarantors as well as the banks. Most vulnerable to write-downs as a result of wrapping these tranches is Ambac, with $29.2 billion exposure to US ABS CDOs. MBIA has $19.3 billion and XLCA $16.1 billion. However, Moody’s reckons that the likelihood of any of these firms facing a capital shortfall is unlikely (MBIA) or moderate (Ambac and XLCA). The rating agencies deem Natixis-owned CIFG to be at the greatest risk of facing a capital shortfall. The firm has a $4 billion exposure to the CDO market. Of the big four firms, FSA is the most comfortably positioned, with a mere $364 million exposure to US ABS CDOs.

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