500 a day to hire a structured credit professional

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For structured credit professionals who are out of the market, full time employment is mostly still a little too much to hope for. Fortunately, however, they can always put their skills to use in short bursts.

Some of these bursts involve working for the very banks that have been busy letting structured credit people go.

"I know one CDO guy who was hired back temporarily by the bank that fired him," says a structured finance professional now working at a hedge fund. "After he'd left, they realized they had no clue how to restructure the CDO debt they still had on their balance sheet."

Another former CDO banker says contract roles are out there, but can be short lived. "It's a week here, a week there. People tend to do it on a daily rate," he says. "The money is reasonable - anything from 600-800 a day and if you stay for longer in a place you may be able to get a performance-related component."

Hedge funds are also hiring structured financiers on a contract basis. They too have CDOs that need restructuring, as well as leveraged loans that need renegotiating.

"Most senior ABS bankers have gone in-house as contractors helping clients clear up their distressed assets," says Ted Tracey at search firm Clifden Partners. "They get paid good performance related bonuses and if they do well they may even get a full time job."