Facilitating Student Understanding of the Sub-Prime Mortgage Crisis: Systematic risk, CDO, and Contagion



Date of this version


Document Type



systematic risk, contagion, residential and commercial mortgage backed securities, RMBS, CMBS, collateralized debt obligation, CDO, credit default swaps, CDS


This paper provides instructor resource to facilitate student understanding of the defining features of what is the sub-prime mortgage crisis, empowering the student to connect theory to practice. Successfully implemented in the classroom (Jaiswal-Dale, Lundsten 2009), the four modules of the paper can be used independently or sequentially, adapted as lecture, readings or assignments. They cover the theory of systematic risk; its management via derivative contracts and structured securities (CDO and CDS); shortcomings of the application of theory to practice, the ensuing contagion, and global financial institutions in crisis; and reflections on the consequences of the crisis, ethical and economic. Answers to why the crisis has occurred, lessons learnt, how to redress it are documented, among others, in Rajan (2009, 2010).

Published in

Journal of International Business Education

Citation/Other Information

Vol 5 pg 117-144

Presented at Opus College of Business, University of St. Thomas, Summer Grant 2010 Research Seminar Series.