In 2002, the asset-backed commercial paper market has experienced its first slowdown in growth since inception, though it continues becoming a more substantial proportion of the entire CP market. In August, ABCP outstandings increased for the first time in several months, totalling $709 billion. The ABCP market currently makes up approximately 65.32% of the total commercial paper market up from 52.65% in July.
By far, the most pressing issue facing the ABCP universe - and what many consider to be the driving factor in the slowdown of ABCP issuance - is the uncertainty associated with the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) consolidation project. Should the final guidelines closely resemble the draft, participants in ABCP, both sponsors and sellers, could be made to consolidate assets previously moved off balance sheet.