The Wall Street Journal reports:

The synthetic CDO, a villain of the global financial crisis, is back….In the U.S., the CDO market sunk steadily in the years after the financial crisis but has been fairly flat since 2014. In Europe, the total size of market is now rising again—up 5.6% annually in the first quarter of the year and 14.4% in the last quarter of 2016, according to the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association.

I’d normally be all over this kind of thing. This is how it starts. Pretty soon, the Wall Street boys will be breaking out the bottles of Cristal again. And it is worth keeping an eye on. But I decided to redraw the chart from the Journal, and I have to admit it’s a little hard to get too bent out of shape:

If you squint, you can see a tiny blip upward at the far right end of the chart. Granted, the scale of the chart makes it look really small. Still, after soaring 600x during the housing bubble, it’s soared…1.3x since last year.

So, yes, let’s keep an eye on this. But even I find it hard to get too worried yet.

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TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

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That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

And if you can help us out with a donation right now, all online gifts will be matched thanks to an incredibly generous matching gift pledge.

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