The factors would appear to be in place. The Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act's Volcker Rule places new restrictions on the big Wall Street banks' bond inventories that, along with new Basel III capital rules, should increasingly push trading of fixed-income, including ABS, to electronic markets.

None of those requirements have been finalized, but the prospect of their arrival has already resulted in major changes among Wall Street's biggest market makers. Data compiled by the New York Federal Reserve Bank showed primary dealers' corporate bond holdings plummeting to approximately $40 billion today from $250 billion in 2008.

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