Calabasas, Calif.-based Countrywide Securities Corp., from about as far from Wall Street as you can get, was the leading underwriter of new-issue ABS at the halfway mark of the year - the first time a captive broker-dealer underwriter has been top-ranked in the modern era of ABS. In a not-so-surprising twist, its lending unit, Countrywide Home Loans, is the leading issuer as well.

Bolstered by more than $35 billion in self-led supply, the specialty underwriter placed more than $37 billion of ABS in the first six months of the year. More than half of this supply - $20 billion plus - came in the second quarter alone, thrusting CSC past Citigroup Global Markets to the top seat. The firm has controlled 9.8% of the market so far this year.

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