Credit Default Swaps (CDS) influence how bonds and loans trade and the relative value between bonds and loans. CDS can be the best way to hedge the risk of a corporate debt position and can also be a valuable investment tool in its own right. CDS has a multitude of nuances to it, from how its structured to how it is priced to how it is traded. If you are going to do analysis of corporate debt, especially in the leveraged finance market, you need to understand CDS. This booklet walks you through the basics of how CDS works, gives some perspective on how it has changed since the 2008 crisis and gives practical examples of how CDS is used and analyzed for corporate issuers. It is a valuable summary for anyone looking to do corporate credit analysis.
Robert S. Kricheff, Managing Director and Head of the Americas High Yield Sector Strategy for Credit Suisse, has more than 20 years of experience in credit analysis. He has followed industries including media, cable, satellite, telecom, gaming, entertainment, healthcare, and energy; worked with emerging market corporates; and performed both strategy and portfolio analysis. His work has covered investment vehicles including bonds, converts, loans, preferred stocks, and credit default swaps. He holds a BA from NYU in Economics, and an MSc from the University of London SOAS in Financial Economics. Joel S. Kent is Managing Director of Credit Suisse in the Investment Banking division, based in New York. He is Head of U.S. Investment Grade CDS trading. He joined Credit Suisse in July 2011 from Barclays Capital (Lehman Brothers), where he spent ten years in various roles, including Senior Market Economist and Arbitrage Trader. Most recently, he was the senior Telecom, Media and Technology CDS trader. He graduated with an MBA from Harvard Business School and an AB in Business Economics from Brown University.