For the first time, last week's Information Management Network Spring ABS 2007 conference was the right place for emerging market junkies to get a fix, and for those not yet hooked, to decide if this was an asset class they'd like to try.

It goes without saying that the barrel-chested countries drew the most oohs and ahhs. Russia, all pumped up with existing assets, was there, flexing the kind of growth figures that you can't find anywhere else. As if doubling volumes of residential mortgages every year weren't enough, speakers reminded us that Russia also offers tremendous pent-up demand for consumer assets. Meanwhile, commercial real estate construction is through the roof, and CMBS hasn't even made its debut.

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