Credit Default Swaps Under Fire

Guiding Financial Institutions and Investors Through the Credit Derivatives Crisis

Lessons Learned From Lehman Brothers, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and AIG

Recording of a 90-minute premium CLE webinar with Q&A

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Conducted on Thursday, December 4, 2008

Course Materials


On September 23, 2008, the SEC asked Congress to immediately pass laws regulating credit default swap derivatives amid concerns that the instruments are driving the financial crisis. Many link problems in the credit default swaps market with the Lehman Brothers and American International Group crises.

Over the past decade, the credit default swaps market has grown from $180 billion in 1996 to $62 trillion in 2008.

It is critical that legal advisors to financial services firms understand how credit default swaps could have contributed to the failure of banks, investment banks and insurance companies; the future of credit default swaps market; and steps all parties should take to maximize recovery.

Listen as our panel of financial services attorneys reviews the impact of credit default swaps on the global financial crisis, describes current SEC enforcement efforts, examines the legal risks related to credit derivatives and offers their strategies to minimize those risks.



  1. Overview — Credit default swaps as “fuel” for financial crisis
  2. Current SEC efforts to regulate credit default swaps
  3. Lessons learned about credit default swaps during the crisis
  4. Strategies for minimizing loss and maximizing recovery


The panel will review these and other key questions:

  • How has the use of credit default swap derivatives contributed to the current financial crisis?
  • What steps are the SEC and New York state taking to regulate the use of credit default swaps?
  • How should legal advisors counsel financial institutions and investors to minimize legal risks and losses from credit default swaps?


Willa Cohen Bruckner
Willa Cohen Bruckner

Alston & Bird

She concentrates on derivatives, structured products, and alternative investments and has over 35 years of experience...  |  Read More

James P. Wehner
James P. Wehner
Of Counsel
Caplin & Drysdale

His principal practice area is complex civil litigation, with a focus on bankruptcy and creditors' rights litigation....  |  Read More

Jonathan Sablone
Jonathan Sablone
Nixon Peabody

He chairs the firm's Alternative Investment Litigation Team, representing limited partnerships, investors and partners...  |  Read More

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