October 3, 2011
‘The sub-prime mortgage crisis was more symptom than cause,’ Mr Lewis wrote. ‘Deeper social and economic problems that gave rise to it remained.’
This made Mr Bass believe another bigger economic crisis was brewing – and he started to buy ‘credit default swaps’ on European countries, according to the book serialisation in The Sunday Times.
These let him bet against a bond’s price without owning it – like ‘default insurance on another person’s investments’.
He believes Greece, Portugal, Ireland, Switzerland, Italy and Spain are the countries least likely to be able to pay off their debts.
He bought Greek default insurance for 11 basis points – meaning insuring $1m of bonds would cost $1,100 dollars a year.
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