The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. issued guidelines last week to banks on precautions they can take to avoid investing in asset-backed securities that are backed by predatory loans, throwing itself into the heated predatory versus subprime lending debate.

"A way to break the money chain' that supports predatory loans is to be able to distinguish between securities backed by loans that are responsibly underwritten and priced and those that include loans with abusive or predatory features," said Donna Tanoue, chairwoman of the FDIC at a speech last month.

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