Bowie a financial pioneer

The world has lost a true talent and creative genius with the death of David Bowie. While I would not call myself a fan and was too young to attend his Serious Moonlight Tour concert when he performed in Singapore in 1983, I have listened to enough of his songs while growing up, notably This Is Not America and Let's Dance.

Not many in Singapore will know that Bowie pioneered a class of esoteric, asset-backed securities on Wall Street. Unlike conventional asset-backed securities, such as collateralised debt obligations whose underlying assets were mortgages and other forms of debt, Bowie's were collateralised against his intangible assets such as his intellectual property rights.

Never made publicly available, these "Bowie Bonds" as they came to be known, were fully snapped up by Prudential Insurance Company of America.


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Goodbye, Thin White Duke.

Woon Wee Min

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on January 16, 2016, with the headline 'Bowie a financial pioneer'. Print Edition | Subscribe