So, we know who the criminals are. What happens now?
Janet McFarland, Globe and Mail
October 17, 2008
Canadian brokerage firms did little to review asset-backed commercial paper products before selling them to retail investors, according to a report by Canada’s brokerage industry regulator.
The Investment Industry Regulatory Organization of Canada (IIROC) reported yesterday on a year-long compliance sweep of firms involved in selling non-bank ABCP to Canadian investors, laying out new guidelines to change the way investment firms review products before selling them to clients.
“There was very little understanding, generally speaking, of what this product really was all about,” IIROC chief executive officer Susan Wolburgh Jenah said yesterday. She said brokerage firms reported they saw non-bank ABCP as little different from traditional commercial paper, even though IIROC concluded there were major risk differences.
The review concluded 76 per cent of the assets underlying non-bank ABCP were complex financial derivatives like synthetic collateralized debt obligations, whereas bank-sponsored ABCP had only three per cent of those types of derivatives and had 97 per cent traditional commercial paper assets like credit-card receivables. “The name asset-backed commercial paper was a misnomer. They were liability-backed,” Ms. Wolburgh Jenah said.