Recognizing that 2007 was an unusual year, and that highlighting individual transactions would not convey the ethos of a tumultuous year, the ASR staff has decided to veer away from our usual practice of naming notable deals. Aside from the comparatively scarce deal flow in 2H07, 2007 was notable not because of innovative transactions, but it will go down in history as a year of reckoning for all industry participants.

Yes, those specifically involved with the subprime RMBS sector were duly humbled, and their actions were widely characterized as obdurate. More importantly, the events of 2007 emboldened the whole securitization market to question previously undisputed notions. Is a triple-A security absolutely secure? Are rating agencies industry watchdogs or do they merely cater to the issuers that pay their salaries? Are subordination levels enough to protect investors? Do bond insurers have enough capital to back their investments?

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