Financial derivatives - often seen as a big contributory factor to the global financial crisis -- were the target of fierce condemnation at the World Economic Forum on Wednesday.
The securities, which derive their value from the performance of another, were seen as a key reason why risk still remains in the global financial system. Paul Singer, CEO and co-chief investment officer at hedge fund Elliott Management, said that the leverage in the system - especially in derivatives - has to been meaningfully reduced.
"I don't believe (markets) are safer. I don't believe they are safe," Singer said at the panel discussion in Davos - chaired by Martin Wolf from the Financial Times.
Wolf added that only relatively modest improvements in metrics did not mean that markets were any safer or immune from another crisis. He added that leverage, using these derivatives, was higher at some institutions that it was before 2008.
Singer added that he "loved" trading derivatives but that they were a "net negative" to society. He added that if derivatives traded by institutions were correctly priced - even those traded by sovereigns - then the system would be safe.
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Anat Admati, professor of Finance and Economics at Stanford Graduate School of Business agreed, adding that derivative risk was still a problem in the system that needed to be solved.