Despite a banner year so far for volume and demand in the asset-backed securities market, certain structural aspects, particularly those associated with accounting standards (or lack thereof), have weathered a "confluence of elements coming together to create something no one expected... a perfect storm," said Jason Kravitt, partner at Mayer Brown Rowe & Maw, a speaker at a seminar hosted last week by the American Securitization Forum in New York.

It's old news by now, no doubt, but most of the industry's woes are being attributed to the fallout and abuses of SPE's by Enron Corp. that were revealed last fall, followed by events such as a group of law professors lobbying against the securitization-friendly safe harbor provision that was to be written into the bankruptcy reform act. Most currently, the market is waiting for the Financial Accounting Standards Board's final rules on the consolidation of SPEs.

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