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Hull: Options, Futures, and Other Derivatives, Ninth Edition

Chapter 8: Securitization and the Credit Crisis of 2007


Multiple Choice Test Bank: Questions with Answers
1. Which of the following tends to lead to an increase in house prices?
A. An increase in interest rates
B. Regulators specifying a maximum level for the loan-to-value ratio on
mortgages
C. Banks reducing the minimum FICO score that borrowers are required to
have
D. An increase in foreclosures
Answer: C
An increase in interest rates tends to lower house prices because buyers
have higher financing costs. Limiting the loan-to-value ratio means that
some potential buyers cannot get the mortgages they require and there is
less demand for houses with the result that prices tend to decline. An
increase in foreclosures increases supply and this also lowers prices.
However, if banks relax their lending standards (e.g. by reducing the
minimum FICO scores they require) demand should increase because
more people can get mortgages. As a result prices will increase.
2. Which of the following is true of a non-recourse mortgage?
A. The house buyer, if unable to make payments, can lose all his or her
possessions
B. The house buyer has an American-style put option on the house
C. The house buyer has a European-style put option on the house
D. The lender is less likely to lose money on the mortgage
Answer: B
In a non-recourse mortgage a lender cannot seize other assets of the
borrower besides the house in order to be repaid. This means that if the
price of the house declines below the balance outstanding on the
mortgage the borrower can in principle give the house to the lender in
return for tearing up the mortgage. The borrower therefore has an
American style put option to sell the house for the amount outstanding on
the mortgage.
3. Which of the following is NOT true
A. The bonus structure at banks can lead to short-term horizons for
decision making
B. Securitization involves the transfer of risk
C. The term agency costs describes the situation where the incentives
of two parties in a business relationship are not perfectly aligned
D. Correlations decrease in stressed market conditions
Answer: D

A, B, and C are true. D is not because correlations tend to increase, not


decrease, in stressed markets,
4. Suppose that ABSs are created from portfolios of subprime mortgages with
the following allocation of the principal to tranches: senior 80%, mezzanine
10%, and equity 10%. (The portfolios of subprime mortgages have the same
default rates.) An ABS CDO is then created from the mezzanine tranches with
the same allocation of principal. Losses on the mortgage portfolio prove to be
16%. What, as a percent of tranche principal, are losses on the mezzanine
tranche of the ABS
A. 50%
B. 60%
C. 80%
D. 100%
Answer: B
10% out of the 16% loss is absorbed by the equity tranche. The remaining 6%
is absorbed by the mezzanine tranche. The total size of the mezzanine
tranche is 10%. It is therefore 60% wiped out.
5. Suppose that ABSs are created from portfolios of subprime mortgages with
the following allocation of the principal to tranches: senior 80%, mezzanine
10%, and equity 10%. (The portfolios of subprime mortgages have the same
default rates.) An ABS CDO is then created from the mezzanine tranches with
the same allocation of principal. Losses on the mortgage portfolio prove to be
16%. What, as a percent of tranche principal, are losses on the mezzanine
tranche of the ABS CDO
A. 50%
B. 60%
C. 80%
D. 100%
Answer: D
As the answer to the previous question shows, the mezzanine tranches are
60% wiped out. The first 10% out of this 60% is absorbed by the equity
tranche of the ABS CDO. The next 10% is absorbed by the mezzanine tranche
of the ABS CDO. The remaining 40% is absorbed by the senior tranche of the
ABS CDO. The mezzanine tranche of the ABS CDO is therefore 100% wiped out
6. Suppose that ABSs are created from portfolios of subprime mortgages with
the following allocation of the principal to tranches: senior 80%, mezzanine
10%, and equity 10%. (The portfolios of subprime mortgages have the same
default rates.) An ABS CDO is then created from the mezzanine tranches with
the same allocation of principal. Losses on the mortgage portfolio prove to be
16%. What, as a percent of tranche principal, are losses on the senior tranche
of the ABS CDO
A. 50%

B. 60%
C. 80%
D. 100%
Answer: A
As the answer to the previous question shows the senior tranche of the ABS
CDO absorbs 40% losses. It is therefore 40%/80% or 50% wiped out.
7. AIG lost money because
A. It bought tranches created from mortgages
B. It invested heavily in real estate
C. It invested heavily in the stock market
D. It insured AAA tranches of ABS CDOs
Answer: D
AIG insured the AAA tranches of ABS CDOs.
8. Which of the following survived the crisis without declaring bankruptcy or
being taken over by another financial institution?
A. Bear Stearns
B. Morgan Stanley
C. Lehman Brothers
D. Merrill Lynch
Answer: B
Morgan Stanley survived. Bear Stearns was taken over by JPMorgan and
Merrill Lynch was taken over by Bank of America. Lehman Brothers of course
declared bankruptcy.
9. What are teaser rates
A. Interest rates that appear lower than they are
B. Interest rates that depend on LIBOR
C. Interest rates on mortgages with a very long amortization period
D. Interest rates that apply only for the first two or three years
Answer: D
Teaser rates are low interest rates that apply for the first two or three years of
a mortgage. Some house purchasers felt that they could afford mortgage
payments based on teaser rates and it was hoped by both borrower and
lender that refinancing would be possible at the end of the teaser rate period.
10.Which of the following describes the waterfall typically used for mortgages
pre-crisis?
A. A distribution of cash flows to tranches with priority given to tranche

with the highest rating


B. A distribution of cash flows to tranches in proportion to their
outstanding principals
C. A distribution of losses to tranches so that tranches bear losses in
proportion to their outstanding principals
D. None of the above
Answer: A
The effect of the waterfall was usually that repayments went first to the most
senior (highest rated) tranche, then to the next-most-senior tranche, and so
on
11.In 2008 the TED spread reached a high of
A. About 150 basis points
B. About 250 basis points
C. About 450 basis points
D. About 550 basis points
Answer: C
The TED spread is the spread between the three-month LIBOR rate and the
three-month
Treasury rate. It reached about 450 basis points.
12.Which
2007
A.
B.
C.
D.

of the following were introduced before the credit crisis that started in
Basel II
Dodd-Frank
Basel III
Requirements for living wills

Answer: A
Basel II was first proposed in 1999 and implemented in most parts of the
world in about 2007. The others were introduced after the crisis had started.
13.Which of the following is true as the correlation between mortgage defaults
increases?
A. Equity tranches are almost certain to incur losses
B. Senior tranches become more likely to incur losses
C. The expected number of defaults increases
D. Equity tranches are unaffected
Answer: B
If the correlation between mortgage defaults is very low the senior
tranche is safe, but as the correlation increases it becomes more likely
that it will experience losses. Suppose that the default probability is 2%.
When correlation is zero, we expect roughly 2% of mortgages to default

each year and there is virtually no chance of the senior tranche bearing
losses. In the limit when default correlation between mortgages is perfect,
the senior tranche has a 2% chance of bearing losses in any given year.
14.Which
A.
B.
C.
D.

of the following describes the S&P/Case-Shiller index?


A stock market index
An index of interest rates on mortgages
An index of house prices
An index showing the dollar amount of mortgages granted each month

Answer: C
The S&P/Case-Shiller index is an index of house prices
15.Suppose that ABSs are created from portfolios of subprime mortgages with
the following allocation of the principal to tranches: senior 85%, mezzanine
10%, and equity 5%. (The portfolios of subprime mortgages have the same
default rates.) An ABS CDO is then created from the mezzanine tranches with
the same allocation of principal. How high can losses on the mortgages be
before the mezzanine tranche of the ABD CDO bears losses?
A. 5.0%
B. 5.5%
C. 6.0%
D. 6.5%
Answer: B
If losses are 5.5%, the mezzanine tranches of ABSs lose 0.5/10 or 5% of
their principal. The mezzanine tranche of the ABS CDO is then safe (just).
16.Suppose that ABSs are created from portfolios of subprime mortgages with
the following allocation of the principal to tranches: senior 85%, mezzanine
10%, and equity 5%. (The portfolios of subprime mortgages have the same
default rates.) An ABS CDO is then created from the mezzanine tranches with
the same allocation of principal. How high can losses on the mortgages be
before the senior tranche of the ABS CDO bears losses?
A. 5.5%
B. 6.0%
C. 6.5%
D. 7.0%
Answer: C
If losses are 6.5%, the mezzanine tranches of ABSs lose 1.5/10 or 15% of
their principal. The senior tranches of the ABS CDO is then safe (just).
17.Suppose that ABSs are created from portfolios of subprime mortgages with
the following allocation of the principal to tranches: senior 94.5% (rated
AAA), mezzanine 0.1% (rated BBB), and equity 5% (rated C) . The portfolios

of subprime mortgages have the same default rates. An ABS CDO is then
created from the mezzanine tranches. Which of the following is true?
A. The ABS CDO tranches should have ratings ranging from AAA to C
B. The ABS CDO tranches should all be rated BBB
C. The ABS CDO tranches should all be rated C
D. The ABS CDO tranches are almost worthless because the mezzanine
tranches are so thin
Answer: B
Because they are so thin, the mezzanine tranches of the ABS are either all
safe or all wiped out.
The tranches created from them are therefore essentially
the same.
18.Which of the following describes regulatory arbitrage?
A. Finding a way of reducing capital requirements without changing the
risks being taken
B. Buying products that are not subject to regulation
C. Shorting products that are not subject to regulation
D. Trading with the government
Answer: A
Regulatory arbitrage involves organizing trading and accounting so that
regulatory capital is reduced without the risks being taken changing.
19.Which
A.
B.
C.
D.

of the following describes a subprime mortgage?


The rate of interest is less than the prime rate of interest
The loan-to-value ratio is below average
The life of the mortgage is less than 25 years
The credit risk is high

Answer: D
There is no precise definition of a subprime mortgage. But one thing we
can be sure of is that it has more credit risk than a normal mortgage.
20.Which of the following would be described by the term liar loan?
A. A situation where the lender concealed information from the borrower
B. A situation where the lender lied to the borrower about the interest
rate
C. A situation where the borrower lied about the his or her income
D. None of the above
Answer: C
A liar loan is a loan where the borrower lied in some way on the application
form.