As any attendee at either of this year's fall conferences would confirm, the asset-backed market has gone through several loud changes in the past year - facing tests hardly anticipated, such as regulatory risk, accounting uncertainty, fraud, terrorism and more.

Meanwhile, a subtler but equally important realization has trickled into the market: Investors can no longer rely on structure to fully mitigate credit risk, management risk and sub-par underwriting. In fact, were this any other year, issuer integrity would be public enemy No. 1.

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