Until the SEC spells out the impact of the Volcker Rule on asset-backed commercial paper (ABCP) conduits, the volume of paper outstanding is likely to remain flat or drop slightly, according to a recent report by Standard & Poor’s.

As of mid January, ABCP outstanding was $309 billion. The agency sees the number falling to between $230 billion and $250 billion by the end of the year if the SEC determines that the Volcker Rule is fully applicable to ABCP conduits. Part of Dodd-Franck, the Volcker Rule seeks to restrict investments by banks that are deemed speculative.

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