Back to the Future: 900 Years of Securitization

Journal of Risk Finance (Forthcoming)

Posted: 18 Oct 2014

See all articles by Bonnie Buchanan

Bonnie Buchanan

Surrey Business School, University of Surrey

Date Written: October 16, 2014


Before the 2007 financial crisis, securitized products accounted for half the credit market. Once regarded as one of the biggest financial innovations of the last century, securitization is now viewed as a contributory factor to the crisis. Until recently research has focused on the post-1970s mortgage securitization market. In this paper, I trace the earlier origins of securitization, from the 12th century Genoese compera through to early 20th century efforts. The historical examples highlight unifying themes on risk allocation and complexity. As the future securitization market remains uncertain, it is important to consider lessons to be learned from these historical episodes.

Keywords: Securitization; financial crises; financial history; asset-backed securities

JEL Classification: G01, N20

Suggested Citation

Buchanan, Bonnie, Back to the Future: 900 Years of Securitization (October 16, 2014). Journal of Risk Finance (Forthcoming) , Available at SSRN:

Bonnie Buchanan (Contact Author)

Surrey Business School, University of Surrey ( email )

Guildford, Surrey GU2 5XH
United Kingdom

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