BOCA RATON, FLA. - In the spirit of ABS conferences past, the opening panel discussion at Information Management Network's ABS East had some heat and tension to it. Perhaps the panel climaxed when John Devaney of United Capital Markets suggested that investors buy into already distressed positions for the educational experience. This elicited a lashing from Dan Stachel, a principal at State Street Global Advisors, who compared that logic to crashing a vehicle in order to test the integrity of the emergency room.

The analogy of the car was carried throughout the panel. At one point, Mark Adelson of Nomura Securities said his focus is on the automatic breaking system (ABS) and mechanical features of the car. Stachel's response to that was, "The problem is that the car doesn't work, and the people who sold me the bonds told me it did."

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