Monday, March 4, 2013

Did the US securitization lobby just collapse?

Bloomberg reports that the American Securitization Forum is in disarray and on the brink of collapse after most of its Board of Directors quit.

Regular readers know that ASF is a sell-side dominated lobbying firm (it use to be a "subsidiary" of the sell-side's leading lobbying firm the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association (SIFMA)).  This is confirmed when one reads the list of members that quit the Board.

The fact that these members quit is a sign that ASF has outlived its usefulness and is now seen even by the financial regulators like the SEC as speaking only for the sell-side.

It is not surprising that the sell-side no longer feels the need to control this lobbying firm.

The few recent structured finance securities that have been sold have been done on terms that make them even more toxic to investors than the opaque, toxic sub-prime mortgage-backed securities at the heart of the financial crisis.

At the same time, a number of sell-side dominated data warehouse initiatives have come on line.  As a result, the sell-side can maintain opacity across the structured finance securities while wrapping themselves in the mantle of providing transparency.

The American Securitization Forum, the leading trade association for the securitization industry, fell into turmoil last week when most of the board resigned ....
The exodus puts the future of the trade group in question, said the people, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the dispute isn’t public. 
Members that quit include Bank of America Corp., JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM), Deutsche Bank AG, Citigroup Inc. (C) and law firm Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft LLP, the people said....
Note: not a buy-side firm or firm beholden to the buy-side on the list.

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