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European ABS researcher Ganesh Rajendra has left Merrill Lynch's London office. Rajendra moved over to Deutsche Bank.

Peter Collins was hired as vice president and senior analyst in the asset-backed commercial paper group at Moody's Investors Service. Collins comes from Citibank Capital Markets, where he worked on swap-based CLO commercial paper programs.

Chom Rectanus, formerly of Lincoln Investment Management, was recently named director of alternative finance in the treasury department at Allied Worldwide. While there's no immediate plans, it's feasible that Allied will establish some sort of securitization effort down the line, given Rectanus' background (and new title).

Allied Worldwide is affiliated with Allied Van Lines.

Prepayment analyst Warren Xia, formerly of Banc of America Securities' New York office, now heads up the prepayment modeling team at Bloomberg. After his two-year employment agreement at BofA expired, the programming support needed to maintain the prepayment analyst position at BofA was not available, sources said. Xia now manages a team of four at Bloomberg. There is currently no dedicated prepayment analyst at BofA, though the bank still issues internal prepayment commentary.

News

Pedestal Inc., a business-to-business online mortgage trading platform, plans to cut staff - but isn't saying, yet, how many people it will let go. Pedestal, which is being funded by Reuters, says it plans to "de-emphasize" its mortgage pool trading business and concentrate instead on "flow" trading of loans and its Mortgage Partnership Finance program joint venture. The spokesman said it is cutting "one or two people" in different departments. It currently employs about 60 full-timers. The spokesman said Reuters "is still committed to the business," adding: "We've had interest from other investors."

Freddie Mac has announced that it may engage in trading of agency debt futures for hedging purposes. The GSE said it has refrained to date from using agency debt futures in order to allow the nascent market to mature and develop liquidity. Freddie Mac officials now believe that agency debt futures contracts have developed sufficiently to support limited participation for hedging purposes, the GSE said. Freddie Mac said it will limit its aggregate position to 10% of the open interest in any contract in which it trades, or any applicable position limits established by the relevant exchange, whichever is less. The Chicago Board of Trade established its futures market for Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae agency debt earlier this year, and prior to that other parties had created futures contracts based on agency debt. Over the past year, the amount of agency debt outstanding has grown as both Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac expand their portfolios of mortgage holdings. Louise Herrle, vice president and treasurer at Freddie Mac, said the development of agency debt futures "is another sign of the liquid and efficient secondary market in agency debt."

Two Federal Home Loan Banks are very close to filing their capital plans with the Federal Housing Finance Board. Although the official deadline is not until Oct. 29, FHFB Chairman Allan Mendelowitz said a couple of banks could file their plans within the next four weeks. "I am delighted to be the regulator of the Federal Home Loan Banks when I see how seriously and expeditiously they are developing their capital plans," he said. The 12 FHLBanks are converting to a risk-based capital system that also allows a new class of stock to be issued. Several FHLBanks have been sharing their capital plans informally with Finance Board staff, and Mendelowitz said this has been very helpful because it "gives us an early look." He also noted that the Finance Board is finalizing guidance on what information needs to be presented in a capital plan, including supporting documentation. "We are trying to give them insight into questions we are going to be asking in evaluating the plans," he said.

Miscellaneous

A U.S. leverage buyout firm is considering creating a mezzanine debt fund to be packaged into a CDO transaction, company sources said. The firm asked not to have its name printed.

Meanwhile, Capital Dynamics of Switzerland, a private equity firm, is well underway with a market value CDO secured by its mezzanine debt. Deutsche Bank is underwriter on the deal.

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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