People

First Union Securities hired five consumer auto loan securitization professionals for its ABS group. The professionals are former Banc of America Securities employees.

They include Curt Sidden and Steve Ellis, who join First Union as directors, and Chad Kobos, who enters as a vice president. They report to Bennett Cole, managing director of the firm's ABS finance division.

Sidden, a six-year veteran of Bank of America, and his team previously handled auto loan securitisation activities for the independent auto finance sector at Bank of America.

At First Union, Sidden will manage the newly combined consumer team. The new hires are to bring two analysts with them, according to First Union.

News

Rumors are floating through the market that Argentina is pondering a possible government bond swap from long-term debt to short-term paper in order to alleviate the existing pressure on the Argentine government to pay it's debt.

Credit Suisse First Boston and J.P. Morgan Chase are expected to lead the swap transaction. The country is said to owe $19.7 billion to investors, banks and multilaterals.

The bonds that are currently due would be exchanged for bonds of the same principal value with maturities for five, 10 or 20 years. The affect on Argentine banks, and the market as a whole are unclear to date, however, stocks and bonds rose in light of the rumors.

Moody's Investors Service has announced its opinion on the outcome of the LTV Steel bankruptcy trial. Moody's said that while the case has little value as legal precedent, the debate on the true sale of the two securitizations highlights the facts and circumstances that are relevant in assessing a structured transaction's degree of bankruptcy remoteness.

Moody's Investors Service has released a ratings transition study on the CDO market. The study showed that ratings on CDO notes are less volatile than those on corporate bonds. However, year-to-date downgrades appear to indicate a more severe rating environment than historical rates.

Of the four segments of the CDO market, market value deals have experienced the greatest rating stability followed by balance sheet, then arbitrage cash flow and lastly emerging market CDOs, Moody's said.

Calendar

May 15-18: Paris, France-The Strategic Research Institute will hold The Fourth Annual Global Securitization Symposium. For more information, visit www.srinstitute.com or call 888-666-8514.

June 4-5: New York, NY-The Strategic Research Institute will sponsor the Fourth Annual Forum on Collateralized Debt Obligations: CBOs/CLOs on the Go! The forum will take place at the Martinique on Broadway. For more information, visit www.srinstitute.com or call 888-666-8514.

June 11-12: Chicago, IL-The Strategic Research Institute presents the second annual forum on Equiptment Finance and Lease Securitization. For more information, visit www.srinstitute.com/ca262 or call 888-666-85-14.

June 20-23: Barcelona, Spain-Frank Fabozzi, Inc. presents the fifth annual Global Asset Securitization. For more information visit www.imn.org.

June 25-26: New York, NY-The Institute for International Research will host The CDO Summit. For more information call 888-670-8200 or visit www.iir-ny.com.

Sept. 30-Oct.3: Southhampton Princess, Bermuda-The Strategic Research Institute presents The Bermuda ABS 2001 Symposium. For more information, visit www.srinstitute.com or call 888-666-8514.

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