To no one’s surprise, the credit crisis and underlying housing and subprime issues dominated the attention of Research Recap readers in the third quarter. Of the top ten posts, all but one were related to the market meltdown.
The most widely read post was Fitch Ratings’ July warning that US Mortgage Insurers’ Troubles May Worsen. This report proved to be an early warning, as Moody’s put several of these insurers on watch for possible downgrade earlier this month.
The next most read post was NERA Economic Consulting's July report Subprime-Related Litigation on the Rise, which was buttressed by a Stanford Law School analysis showing that subprime lawsuits were running at double last year's pace.
In all, eight of the top ten posts and four of the top five focused on the ongoing fallout from the credit crunch, including posts on hedge funds, housing, junk bonds, and credit default swaps. Other topics piquing the interest of Research Recap readers were oil production and clean technology. In a testament to the staying power of good research, one post, based on an International Monetary Fund examination of the role of hedge funds in the subprime crisis, remained in the top ten several months after publication in December 2007.
The top ten posts for the quarter were:
1. US Mortgage Insurer's Troubles May Worsen (Fitch Ratings)
2. Subprime Related Litigation On The Rise (NERA Economic Consulting)
3. US Oil Production Flat Over Past 4 Years (Ernst & Young)
4. Role of Hedge Funds in Subprime Crisis Examined (Int'l Monetary Fund)
5. Speculation Does Not Explain Apparent Housing Overvaluation (Oxford Analytica)
6. Global Junk Bond Default Rate Doubled in First Five Months (Moody's)
7. Lehman Failure's Impact on European Banks (Standard & Poor's)
8. Credit Default Swaps Adding Rather Than Mitigating Risk? (Audit Integrity)
9. Guide To Interpreting Mark-to-Market Losses of Monolines (Moody's)
10. Greentech Expected to Lead Resurgence of IPOs in 2010 (KPMG)
Interestingly, this quarter, Moody's Investor Service was the only content provider to have two posts among the top 10, as readers sought a diverse set of voices to help understand critical market events. The one post not related to the credit crunch was KPMG's post looking forward to "greener pastures" in 2010.
Research Recap readership has steadily increased during the year since its launch. According to editor Angus Robertson, “readers have found its coverage provides explanation and analysis of topics that once were once considered obscure, but have been our bread and butter for more than a year."