Argument for unwinding all the credit default swaps and closing the market.
There are three possible defences for treating the CDS market as a going concern: its support for capital raising, its utility for price discovery and its role as a risk-management tool. All have melted like so many Lehman deal cubes in waste incinerators.
Consider capital raising. Writers of protection in the CDS market must now hold increasing amounts of cash as margin against the probability of default for the "reference entities" or borrowers they bet on. This has led to the sale of tens of billions, if not hundreds of billions, of dollars, euros and pounds worth of securities to raise that cash.
That leads to the value of such swaps for price discovery. Bad joke. Price discovery is a useful economic function; that is the rationale for commodities markets. But CDS are derivative instruments, whose price is "discovered" these days as a function of equity volatility, since buying equity puts is one way to dynamically hedge the illiquid legacy books.
Risk management with CDS was largely about what the bankers called "reg cap arb" (regulatory capital arbitrage), or making big spreads and bonuses by scamming the regulators whose employers, the taxpayers, now have the bill.