At a conference held by Fitch last week in New York, the ratings agency revealed preliminary details of a comprehensive study on default rates and performance history of structured finance securities, including asset-backed securities, mortgage-backed securities, and commercial mortgage-backed securities.

According to Fitch, this study is unlike existing research, which is sometimes misleading. Fitch is including bonds where ratings have been withdrawn, and is also considering certain bonds as defaults that haven't technically defaulted though have stopped making payments, and will default at final maturity.

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