The first quarter of 2008 brought a slew of grim announcements for the financial guarantor industry, including a decision by some to put new business on hold altogether. But despite market troubles, the monolines held on in the beginning of 2008, even if only by a thread.

In the first quarter, both Ambac Financial Group and MBIA declared a six-month moratorium on insuring any new structured finance business, while FGIC and XL Capital Assurance (XLCA) said they would no longer be writing any new business for an undisclosed period of time. Spokespeople for FGIC and XLCA were not able to provide additional details on the time frame of the suspension or whether certain lines of the business were to be abandoned altogether.

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