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Open Access. Powered by Scholars. Published by Universities.®

Columbia Law School

2012

Financial regulation

Business Organizations Law

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Fragmentation Nodes: A Study In Financial Innovation, Complexity, And Systemic Risk, Kathryn Judge Jan 2012

Fragmentation Nodes: A Study In Financial Innovation, Complexity, And Systemic Risk, Kathryn Judge

Faculty Scholarship

This Article resents a case study in how complexity arising from the evolution and proliferation of a financial innovation can increase systemic risk. The subject of the case study is the securitization of home loans, an innovation which played a critical and still not fully understood role in the 2007-2009 financial crisis. The Article introduces the term "fragmentation node" for these transaction structures, and it shows how specific sources of complexity inherent in fragmentation nodes limited transparency and flexibility in ways that undermined the stability of the financial system. In addition to shedding new light on the processes through which ...