Wrestling Fannie and Freddie

Author: | Published: 1 Jul 2009

Simon Crompton

For the derivatives market, one of the most interesting and controversial events of the credit crunch occurred in the week of September 7 2008, when US mortgage lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were bailed out. The rescue triggered a credit event for many different types and tranches of bonds, but the storm around one particular bond led to an unprecedented move by industry association Isda.

David Geen, general counsel at the International Swaps and Derivatives Association, was at the heart of the storm. As the head of Isda's seven-man legal team in the UK, US and Asia, he has to coordinate the legal response to issues brought to Isda by its members around the world. And during those weeks there was a deluge of requests.

"We were flooded with questions – largely straightforward ones, but which required a lot of coordination to answer and keep on top...