A significantly smaller number of players are headed to the European Securitization Forum (ESF) and Information Management Network (IMN) Global ABS 2008 to be held in Cannes next week.

Both the ESF and IMN said they had 3000 industry players registered for the conference that was previously held in Barcelona. Ironically, the gathering’s move to Cannes was intended to accommodate a bigger crowd.

Over the conference's four-day period, the industry will have a chance to review itself and find out who are in it for the long haul and who would likely survive the fallout.

It will be an ideal opportunity for the industry to discuss the direction it should take. Investors will take on a more serious attitude and be sterner than they have been in the past because they believe that the securitization industry is still in need of serious fixing, sources said

"There will be a lot of investors going to Cannes still looking for answers and it's probably not the best approach," a sell-side source said. "Instead of wondering what happened, investors should be looking for what is going to happen."

While the mood is still very much uncertain, some signs of recovery are beginning to surface. On the regulatory front, initiatives to improve transparency in the market continue to unfold and industry players have shown a real willingness to make this side of structured finance.

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