In keeping with the Term ABS Loan Facility's (TALF) and thePublic-Private Investment Program's (PPIP) prominent roles in the current securitization market, the Information Management Network (IMN) has aptly made these programs the focus of its upcoming 15th AnnualABS Eastgathering.
The conference, which features prominent government officials, is set for Oct. 25-27 at Fontainebleau Resort in Miami Beach, Florida.
IMN's lineup includes featured participants heavily involved in both these government initiatives.
The keynote speakers, for instance, are Susan Stiehm, the markets officer and TALF manager at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, as well as Bruce Richards, CEO and president of Marathon Asset Management, one of the PPIP fund managers named by the Department of the Treasury.
Matthew Bass, who serves as program director for the Legacy Securities PPIP at the Treasury, and Michael Krimminger, special advisor for policy to the chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (FDIC), will also be among the speakers at ABS East.
According to Jade Friedensohn, ABS East event producer, IMN's chief goal for ABS East 2009 is implicit in its tagline: "Navigating a Path to Recovery."
"Our aim is to provide a convenient forum that is ripe for dialogue among the key constituencies - regulators, investors and issuers and service providers who are keen to sow a comeback for securitization," she said.
The IMN expects 2000 to attend, which includes more than 600 confirmed investors and issuers. Friedensohn added that, "with the support of all the major Wall Street investment banking firms, and senior-level regulators presenting, we feel we have successfully set the stage for our goal to be met."
While at the conference, regulators are expected to discuss their current view of the ABS market as well as their respective agencies' plans to help in securitization reform.
FDIC's Krimminger said, for instance, that they at the FDIC have been talking with various market participants regarding the new accounting rules from the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB).
"We are talking with the industry to get their views on how to apply the FDIC's regulation after the accounting changes," Krimminger said.
"We at the FDIC supported the FASB's decision regarding the accounting rules," he said, adding that there was far too much leverage in securitization and accounting recognition risk transfers without real risk dispersion.
"We should look into companies' balance sheets to determine whether a true transfer of risk was made for accounting and other purposes," Krimminger said. "The actions of the past are what led to FASB's decision on the accounting rules."
Aside from the accounting rules, Krimminger would like to focus on FDIC's views on securitization market reforms, specifically greater deal transparency.
"There needs to be due diligence at initiation and going forward so that performance can be analyzed at a granular level," he said. "The capital structure should become flatter, there should be limits to leverage and the multiplicity of securitization tranching should be limited."
He added that it's important that compensation supports the originated asset throughout its life rather than "just for the next deal being done."
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