Journal of Financial and Quantitative Analysis

Research Articles

Loss Allocation in Securitization Transactions

Günter Frankea1, Markus Herrmanna2 and Thomas Webera3

a1, University of Konstanz, Department of Economics, POB 147, D-78457 Konstanz, Germany

a2, Landesbank Baden-Württemberg, Am Hauptbahnhof 2, D-70173 Stuttgart, Germany

a3, Axpo Holding AG, Parkstrasse 23, 5401 Baden, Switzerland


This paper analyzes the loss allocation to first, second, and third loss positions in European collateralized debt obligation transactions. The quality of the underlying asset pool plays a predominant role for the loss allocation. A lower asset pool quality induces the originator to take a higher first loss position, but, in a synthetic transaction, a smaller third loss position. The share of expected default losses, borne by the first loss position, is largely independent of asset pool quality but lower in securitizations of corporate loans than in those of corporate bonds. Originators with a good rating and low Tobin’s Q prefer synthetic transactions.