What a difference a year makes. This is clearly shown by the significant drop in securitization volume in 4Q07 compared with 4Q06. Industry totals for 4Q07 public ABS transactions only reached $82 billion, according to the ASR Scorecards database. This is less than half of fourth quarter 2006's $188.8 billion total.

And even though real estate as an asset class still dominated in the last quarter of 2007, commercial MBS accounted for the overwhelming bulk of the activity, which garnered $29.8 billion throughout the quarter. Residential mortgage-backeds only amounted to a paltry $8.8 billion. Combined issuance in these sectors totaled only $38.6 billion. By contrast, real estate totals in 4Q06 reached $130 billion, going against the negative headlines that already surrounded the sector then.

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