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In the world of finance, "structured finance" refers to a class of extremely complex financial instruments, designed to be sold to sophisticated institutional investors with complex financing or hedging needs (or perhaps more cynically put, outsize appetites for risk and reward), that use securitization to offer purchasers and sellers precisely targeted financial terms, risk profiles, investment returns, credit ratings, and maturity dates.

Since the early 1980s, structured finance has assumed a larger and larger role in the global financial system, and played a significant role in the worldwide financial crisis of 2007-2009.

Examples of structured financial products include asset-backed securities (ABS), collateralized bond obligations (CBO), collateralized debt obligations (CDO), collateralized fund obligations (CFO), credit default swaps (CDS), insurance-linked securities (ILS), and mortgage-backed securities (MBS).

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