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Credit Default Swaps: Exploring the Controversy--Market Forces, Litigation, Regulation, Accounting & Tax

December 11, 2008 • New York, NY


Credit Default Swaps have been blamed as cause and claimed as victims of the financial crisis. Crowell & Moring are hosting a series of presentations that will explore the litigation, tax, accounting and regulatory aspects of these controversial products. Leading thinkers and practitioners will explain credit derivatives, discuss how the controversy arose over them, and where they are headed in the future. 

Download Agenda [PDF]

Scroll down to view participants and available audio downloads. Click here to jump to a full listing of seminar audio downloads.

Welcome Remarks

Keynote Address

  • Robert Pickel, Executive Director and Chief Executive Officer of International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA)
    Audio Keynote Address

Panel 1 - Credit Default Swaps: How Did We Get Here?

Panelists discussed topics including the development of the market and the current environment; fair valuation issues in the current market environment; value hierarchy under FAS 157; and counterparty risk considerations for derivatives.

Moderator

  • Viva Hammer, Tax Partner, Crowell & Moring; Former Associate Tax Legislative Counsel, Office of Tax Policy, Department of Treasury, overseeing issuance of regulations on taxation of swaps, including credit derivatives
    Audio Panel 1a; Audio Panel 1b

Panelists

  • Anthony Saunders, Ph.D., John M. Schiff Professor of Finance and Chairman, Department of Finance, Stern School of Business, New York University
    Audio Panel 1b
  • Justin Burchett, Ph.D., Economic Advisory Services, Grant Thornton LLP; formerly managing director at Structured Credit Holdings, responsible for asset origination of credit derivatives and structured finance securities
    Audio Panel 1c
  • William M. O'Connor, Financial Services Partner, Crowell & Moring; represented various classes of creditors in connection with unwinding or resolving derivative, including CDS, obligations relating to restructuring or bankruptcies of corporate or institutional debtors

Panel 2 - Credit Default Swaps: Where Are We Now?

Panelists discussed topics including the limited scope of the current accounting and reporting rules; real examples of how CDS and TRS are used to create synthetic assets, liability and equity, as well as conversion of liability into equity; financial innovation; and the new Chapter 11.

Moderator

William J. McSherry, Jr., Litigation Partner, Crowell & Moring; litigated several cases involving derivatives; co-authored chapter of book entitled Derivatives: Risk and Responsibility; recently involved in litigation involving the accounting and financial underpinnings of the structured finance vehicles employed by Enron and Citigroup, which mostly involved credit default swaps and other derivatives
Audio Panel 2a; Audio Panel 2h

Panelists

  • Stephan R. Kuppenheimer, Founder and Chief Executive Officer, FSI Capital
    Audio Panel 2a
  • Bala Dharan, Ph.D., CPA, Visiting Professor of Accounting, Harvard Law School; Vice President in the financial accounting and valuation practice, CRA International, Inc.
    Audio Panel 2b
  • John Ray, Managing Director, Avidity Partners, LLC; Chairman, Enron Creditors Recovery Corporation
    Audio Panel 2c; Audio Panel 2f
  • Douglas G. Baird, Harry A. Bigelow Distinguished Service Professor of Law; former Dean of Law School, University of Chicago
    Audio Panel 2d
  • Hon. Robert E. Grossman, Bankruptcy Judge, United States Bankruptcy Court for the Eastern District of New York
    Audio Panel 2e; Audio Panel 2f
  • Thomas A. Hanusik, White Collar & Securities Litigation Partner; Current matters include government investigations involving credit default swaps and other subprime investment vehicles
    Audio Panel 2g

Panel 3 - Credit Default Swaps: Where Are We Going?

Panelists addressed topics including the benefits of CDS; the costs and benefits of CDS policy proposals; CDS systematic risk characteristics; the use of accounting for derivatives; and what to anticipate in terms of financial statement and litigation issues in the future.

Moderator

  • Nilam R. Sharma, Insurance/Reinsurance Partner, Crowell & Moring; represents financial institutions on their insurance/reinsurance exposures relating to financial instruments including credit default swaps and collateralized debt obligation products
    Audio Panel 3a; Audio Panel 3f

Panelists

  • Steven Halterman, National Office Director, PricewaterhouseCoopers and former Director of Derivatives and Financial Instruments, Metropolitan Life Insurance Company
    Audio Panel 3b
  • Chester S. Spatt, Ph.D., Kenneth B. and Pamela R. Dunn Professor of Finance and Director, Center for Financial Markets, Tepper School of Business, Carnegie Mellon University and former Chief Economist and Director, Office of Economic Analysis, U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission
    Audio Panel 3c; Audio Panel 3e
  • William C. O'Neill, Insurance/Reinsurance Partner, Crowell & Moring; represents insurers and reinsurers which trade in credit default swaps
    Audio Panel 3d; Audio Panel 3e
  • William M. O'Connor, Financial Services Partner, Crowell & Moring; represented various classes of creditors in connection with unwinding or resolving derivative, including CDS, obligations relating to restructuring or bankruptcies of corporate or institutional debtors
    Audio Panel 3e

Closing Remarks

Full Seminar Audio List

Official Event Site

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Crowell & Moring Participant(s)