Investor's wiki

Collateralized Debt Obligation (CDO)

Collateralized Debt Obligation (CDO)

CDOs are a sort of asset-backed security, holding a pool of collateralized debt, (for example, mortgages and vehicle loans) that might be partitioned into different tranches (addressing various levels of risk). These securities were brought into the world during the 1980s, however became popular (or, more to the point, scandalous) during the housing bust of 2007.


  • However risky and not for all investors, CDOs are a feasible device for shifting risk and opening up capital.
  • These underlying assets act as collateral in the event that the loan goes into default.
  • A collateralized debt obligation is a complex organized finance product that is backed by a pool of loans and different assets.


How Are Collateralized Debt Obligations (CDO) Created?

To make a collateralized debt obligation (CDO), investment banks gather cash stream generating assets — like mortgages, bonds, and different types of debt — and repackage them into discrete classes, or tranches in view of the level of credit risk assumed by the investor. These tranches of securities become the last investment products, bonds, whose names can mirror their specific underlying assets.

What Should the Different CDO Tranches Tell an Investor?

The tranches of a CDO mirror their risk profiles. For instance, senior debt would have a higher credit rating than mezzanine and junior debt. Assuming the loan defaults, the senior bondholders get compensated first from the collateralized pool of assets, trailed by bondholders in different tranches as per their credit ratings with the least appraised credit paid last. The senior tranches are generally most secure in light of the fact that they have the principal claim on the collateral.

What Is a Synthetic CDO?

A synthetic CDO is a type of collateralized debt obligation (CDO) that invests in noncash assets that can offer very high respects investors. Notwithstanding, they contrast from traditional CDOs, which commonly invest in customary debt products like bonds, mortgages, and loans, in that they create income by investing in noncash derivatives, for example, credit default swaps (CDSs), options, and different contracts. Synthetic CDOs are commonly isolated into credit tranches in light of the level of credit risk assumed by the investor.