Last Friday, members of the American Securitization Forum sat before Congress to present the "Securitization Institute," a newly developed educational outreach program that the industry group will use as one of its lobbying tools.

Tom Dunn, executive vice president at MBNA Corp., gave the issuer's perspective in securitization, while Stephen Geis, a managing partner at i3 Capital Partners, provided the investor's perspective. Thacher Profitt & Wood's Richard Simonds and Morgan Stanley's Doug Van Ness were also part of the presentation.

The foursome gave a securitization primer to 22 members of the House Finance Services Committee staff. The one-and-a-half hour "module" was arranged through the Washington office of the Bond Market Association. The ASF aimed to educate the House on the scope of the sometimes poorly understood market. For this module, which was basically an introduction to securitization, the ASF tallied up the social benefits and boon of liquidity the market churns through to consumers, said Executive Director Dwight Jenkins. From the investor side, the group pointed out at that least 90% of the non-government triple-A investment universe is generated through securitization,

The ASF will naturally target the U.S. Senate with a similar module, said Jenkins, and proceed to offer up a course for the junior members of the Securities & Exchange Commission, for example, as well as the different agencies making up the Federal Financial Institutions Examination Council (the regulators).

The Securitization Institute falls under the Communication and Education Subcommittee of the ASF, chaired by Diane Wold of GMAC-RFC. The ASF is planning to offer a more advanced module of the Securitization Institute during the first day of its winter conference in January.

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