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  • I’m an investment banker! I buy a ton of subprime mortgages and other kinds of debt - credit card, student loan, you name it.
  • I package all of these up into financial products called Collateralized Debt Obligations. We slice and dice all kinds of risky investments and turn them into nice little parcels.
  • This process is called securitization. We, the investment banks, then sell these CDOs to our investors.
  • We portray CDOs as savvy, low-interest, stable investment opportunities because come on! Who doesn’t pay their mortgage? But, the folks who see the glass half empty hate us for profiting off what they call "predatory" lending. 
  • Now, instead of paying the lender directly, the homeowner is paying back their mortgage to the investor!
  • The thing is, we know these bad mortgages make bad CDOs, but they also make us TONS of money! A higher risk of default means we get the CDOs at cheaper prices and can sell them at higher markups to investors. 
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