Two Extremely Talented Young America's
donating their time and talent to add value to the American K-12 educational system.
Salman Khan (Sal) founded the Khan Academy with the hope of using technology to foster new learning models. He is currently working at a hedge fund based in Menlo Park, CA. Prior to this, Sal was one of the initial employees at MVC Venture Capital. He has also worked as a Technical Architect at Scient Corporation and as a Senior Product Manager at Oracle Corporation.
Sal received his MBA from Harvard Business School where he was president of the student body. He also holds a Masters in electrical engineering and computer science, a BS in electrical engineering and computer science, and a BS in mathematics from MIT where he was president of the the Class of 1998. While at MIT, Sal was the recipient of the Eloranta Fellowship which he used to develop web-based math software for children with ADHD. He was also an MCAT instructor for the Princeton Review and volunteered teaching gifted 4th and 7th graders at the Devotion School in Brookline, MA.
Jonathan Goldman is an Analytics Scientist at Linkedin.com where he uses mathematical models to help improve user experience. He has always loved learning math and applying these skills to interesting problems. He has taught courses at Stanford in the physics department and has been tutoring students at different levels (middle school through university) since high school. He sees great opportunity in improving the learning tools available to students of all ages.
Jonathan received a PhD in physics from Stanford University in 2005 and a BS in physics from MIT in 1998.
Credit default swaps (CDS) are insurance-like contracts that promise to cover losses on certain securities in the event of a default. They typically apply to municipal bonds, corporate debt and mortgage securities and are sold by banks, hedge funds and others. The buyer of the credit default insurance pays premiums over a period of time in return for peace of mind, knowing that losses will be covered if a default happens. It's supposed to work similarly to someone taking out home insurance to protect against losses from fire and theft.
Mortgage-backed securities (MBS) are debt obligations that represent claims to the cash flows from pools of mortgage loans, most commonly on residential property. Mortgage loans are purchased from banks, mortgage companies, and other originators and then assembled into pools by a governmental, quasi-governmental, or private entity. The entity then issues securities that represent claims on the principal and interest payments made by borrowers on the loans in the pool, a process known as securitization.
Most MBSs are issued by the Government National Mortgage Association (Ginnie Mae), a U.S. government agency, or the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac), U.S. government-sponsored enterprises. Ginnie Mae, backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government, guarantees that investors receive timely payments. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac also provide certain guarantees and, while not backed by the full faith and credit of the U.S. government, have special authority to borrow from the U.S. Treasury.
Some private institutions, such as brokerage firms, banks, and homebuilders, also securitize mortgages, known as "private-label" mortgage securities.
Mortgage-backed securities exhibit a variety of structures. The most basic types are pass-through participation certificates, which entitle the holder to a pro-rata share of all principal and interest payments made on the pool of loan assets.
More complicated MBSs, known as collaterized mortgage obligations or mortgage derivatives, may be designed to protect investors from or expose investors to various types of risk. An important risk with regard to residential mortgages involves prepayments, typically because homeowners refinance when interest rates fall. Absent protection, such prepayments would return principal to investors precisely when their options for reinvesting those funds may be relatively unattractive.
Collateralized debt obligations(CDOs) are an unregulated type of asset-backed security and structured credit product. CDOs are constructed from a portfolio of fixed-income assets.
These assets are divided by the ratings firms that assess their value into different tranches: senior tranches (rated AAA), mezzanine tranches (AA to BB), and equity tranches (unrated). Losses are applied in reverse order of seniority and so junior tranches offer higher coupons (interest rates) to compensate for the added default risk.
Since 1987, CDOs have become an important funding vehicle for fixed-income assets.
Some news and media commentary blame the financial woes of the 2007-2008 credit crunch on the complexity of CDO products, and the failure of risk and recovery models used by credit rating agencies to value these products. Some institutions buying CDOs lacked the competency to monitor credit performance and/or estimate expected cash flows. On the other hand, some academics maintain that because the products are not priced by an open market, the risk associated with the securities is not priced into its cost and is not indicative of the extent of the risk to potential purchasers.
As many CDO products are held on a mark-to-market basis, the paralysis in the credit markets and the collapse of liquidity in these products led to substantial write-downs in 2007. Major loss of confidence occurred in the validity of the process used by ratings agencies to assign credit ratings to CDO tranches and this loss of confidence persists into 2008.