SECURITISATION, the bundling and repackaging of income streams as tradable securities, goes in and out of fashion. America is still dealing with the fallout from the disaster in one part of the market—sub-prime mortgages—in 2008-09 (see article). In Europe, the swings in popularity have been just as marked. During the crisis, European securitised assets were hit by only small losses but the market suffered from guilt by association. It has since enjoyed a limited renaissance.

Leading the revival, oddly, are European regulators. They have sought not just to rehabilitate, but indeed actively to promote such “structured” finance. As early as 2013 the European Central Bank (ECB) was effusive not only about securitisation’s ability to spread risks, but also about its ability to channel funding to the economy, including small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). The ECB and the Bank of England even published a rare joint paper in 2014 making the case for a “better-functioning…Continue reading