Kieran McShane has left Moodys Investors Service to take a position in the investor relations department at FSA. He had been at Moody's for four years where he was a vice president at the product marketing group.

The American Securitization Forum announced the appointment of Thomas Deutsch as associate director. Deutsch reports to ASF Executive Director George Miller and will help in implementing the organization's advocacy initiatives in the securitization market. Deutsch was formerly an associate in the capital markets department of Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft, where he was involved in structured finance transactions in a number of asset classes including mortgages and credit cards. Before Cadwalader, he served as an associate at McKee Nelson, where he focused on RMBS.

JPMorgan Chase announced that it had combined the Chase Credit Card Master Trust platform with the Bank One Issuance Trust platform it acquired as part of the Bank One Corp. buyout. The new trust will be called Chase Credit Card Issuance Trust, or CHAIT for short.

The Metris Companies announced in its September master trust data last Wednesday that defaults fell $10 million sequentially, and that excluding default-related attrition, its portfolio grew by $20 million from August. Additionally, the default rate declined by 100 basis points, to 16.29%. Metris, a likely acquisition target according to published reports, saw its lowest default rate in percentages since July 2002.

SG Corporate & Investment Banking last week announced that it is setting up an Italian derivatives institutional sales platform that brings together its equity and interest rates and credit derivatives capabilities. David Armstrong, previously head of the equity derivatives institutional sales team, will head the newly formed group. The Milan-based, 20-member team will provide Italian financial institutions, such as institutional investors and hedge funds, an array of derivatives products including credit derivatives and credit structured products, interest rate derivatives and interest rate structured products, structured products on equities and indices, structured products on alternative investments, warrants and exchange traded funds, and vanilla options on equities and indices.

In the publication Consumer Lending Alert, Thacher Proffitt & Wood last week summarized the important provisions of Massachusetts House Bill 4880. Signed by Governor Mitt Romney Aug. 9, the new legislation enacts the Massachusetts Predatory Home Loan Practices Act, which replaced regulations in the state governing high cost home mortgages. The new rules apply to all loans closed on or after Nov. 7.Thacher reported that the Act is different from prior regulations in a number of ways. Among other changes, it alters the scope of several prohibitions imposed under previous regulations such as curbing lending without regard to repayment ability and provisions on financing points and fees.

Cendant Corp. and its subsidiary PHH Corp. announced last week that the parent company intends to distribute PHH's mortgage and fleet operations to Cendant shareholders. The spin-off, which will be structured as a tax-free distribution of PHH Corp. common stock, is expected to be completed in the first quarter of next year. Meanwhile, the relocation and fuel card businesses will remain a part of Cendant. The transaction reflects Cendant's strategy of focusing on travel and residential real estate businesses. Cendant's mortgage and fleet operations represent about 85% of the carrying value of PHH assets as of June 30.

Fitch Ratings last week released a special report on the rating agency's updated one- and six-month Libor stresses for U.S. RMBS. The report highlights the stresses by rating category and the analysis done to derive the new stresses, effective for all deals closing on or after Nov. 1. Fitch's analysis covers 20 years of historical Libor movements and environments and showed that there was no predictive relationship between actual historical movements and Libor forward curves. These stresses will be incorporated into the analysis for sizing of transactions backed by subprime home-equity, NIMs, Alt-A mortgages, manufactured housing, specialty mortgages such as scratch-and-dent' and high LTV loans that utilize excess spread for loss protection or for monetization.

Lewtan Technologies last week introduced ABS Discloser, which is the company's proprietary application providing ABS issuers improved deal transparency and marketability. Previously called Issuer Web Solutions, the product was re-branded to more accurately reflect its value for both the issuer and investor communities. ABS Discloser is part of Lewtan's growing product mix, which includes surveillance database ABSNet and Issuer Suite, which serves as a tool for managing all aspects of a securitization program. ABS Discloser sites use web-based technology and provide greater insight to ABS investors by offering timely and accurate data.

The Bond Market Association announced its 12th annual Fixed-Income and Securities Options Conference would be held Nov. 4 -6 at the PGA National Resort and Spa in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida.

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