Philadelphia Reflections

The musings of a physician who has served the community for over six decades

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Banking Panic 2007-2009 (1)
Mankind hasn't learned how to control sudden wealth, whether in families, third-world countries, or the richest nation in history. The world banking crisis of 2007 is the biggest example yet.

What's a Tranche?

Tranche is a French word, referring to a slice of something. In the bond market, a bundle of bonds can be divided into tranches according to the date of issue or the duration to maturity. In recent years, the term has suddenly become synonymous with segmentation of securitized mortgages according to the probable risk of default. More briefly, the tranches refer to quality ratings by independent rating agencies, like Moody's or Standard and Poor.

Originally published: Thursday, February 14, 2008; most-recently modified: Monday, June 04, 2012