Thursday, June 11, 2009
You live by the CDS, you die by it?
A canny trade by a small brokerage firm in two markets at the heart of the financial crisis has left some of the biggest players on Wall Street crying foul. The trade, by Amherst Holdings of Austin, Texas, was particularly galling to the big banks because it turned what they believed was a sure-fire profit into a loss. The burned banks include J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC and Bank of America Corp. Some banks have reached out to two industry trade groups about Amherst's actions, and the groups are reviewing the transaction, according to people familiar with their thinking. "It's all-out warfare" between the banks and Amherst, said a senior banker at one firm that lost money.