The Subprime Shakeout-
The Principal – Agent Problem: Part I – RMBS Data Integrity
Back near the dawn of time when I was in business school, and the faculty was hard-pressed to find topics to fill up the curriculum, they introduced the Principal – Agent Problem. As future corporate managers and agents of the stockholders, I suppose they wanted to explain to us that our economic interests were not identical to those of the owners. This wasn’t exactly the most shocking news we had ever received, but that was all that was said about the issue, back then.
Of course, there is considerably more to this multi-faceted problem. According to Wikipedia, “The principal–agent problem arises when a principal compensates an agent for performing certain acts that are useful to the principal and costly to the agent, and where there are elements of the performance that are costly to observe,” primarily due to asymmetric information, uncertainty and risk.
Let’s look at the relationship between the RMBS bondholder…