Is securitization like a financial terrorist attack?


A recent editorial in the Wall Street Journal makes it clear that securitization -- the packaging of thousands of loans into securities -- has all the features of a successful terrorist attack. How so? It entered the financial system without attracting any negative notice at all, found its way into the heart of the global financial markets and, once ensconced there, proceeded to destroy the system (and is continuing to do so now).

In fact, securitization is proving to be more costly from a financial standpoint than everything that al Qaeda has cooked up against us. So far, the financial rescue has cost $12.8 trillion and that figure could reach as high as $23.7 trillion. The wars in Iraq and Afghanistan cost only $3 trillion at most. (To be fair, though, securitization has taken a far smaller human toll than al Qaeda.)