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As credit quality plunged in the second half of 2008, Microsoft realized that it had people attentively tracking credit risk and aggressively managing it from separate silos. One group watched the investment portfolio. Another watched accounts receivable. A third watched counterparties in derivatives transactions. Yet another kept a close eye on depository banks. What the company needed and swiftly invented was a “360-degree view,” something that pulled together all its credit risks into one holistic view, explains Jared Bean, quantitative manager.

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