Things were rosier at last week's ABS East gathering. For one, attendance was up 33% versus last year, according to Information Management Network figures.

More importantly, the fighting spirit was back. In contrast to last year's downtrodden mood, attendees at this year's event - as Nora Colomer details in her cover story - were optimistic about securitization's place in the financial universe. A number of panelists defended securitization as a funding tool that's not only economical but irreplaceable.

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