Tales of challenging pricing for home equity loan deals continued to circulate last week, as yet another subprime lender filed for bankruptcy and market participants were left questioning which securities were safe.

Not surprisingly, HEL issuance is down this year from last year's levels, with new issues in the current environment being described as "feast or famine" depending on how recently the collateral backing them was originated, according to Deutsche Bank Securities traders. But while some buy-and-hold investors may be backing away from subprime for now, others, like bargain shoppers, are eager to find value among the discounts. As Barclays Capital analysts - parroting the oft-used industry phrase - wrote last week, "there are no bad bonds, only bad prices."

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