I came to Orlando expecting balmy weather and fierce debate on the future of the mortgage securitization market.
I got neither.
It was barely fifty degrees when I got to the American Securitization Forum's conference this morning, and while I overheard plenty of conversations over coffee about distressed loans, the business going on here is all in other securitizations.
"I think the takeaway is you need to start building your platform, but building a platform really for 2012, not for 2011," notes ASF Executive Director Tom Deutsch. "But there are a lot of other areas within the securitization marketplace where these people are very active, particularly on the auto side, the credit card side, the student loan side, where those areas are seeing extraordinary vibrancy."
In the meantime, several speakers at the forum said several scary things about housing and foreclosures. Mark Zandi of Moody's Economy.com is looking for a hybrid version of Fannie and Freddie, or a mortgage market more privatized but with government backing. He said that if the mortgage market were fully privatized, mortgage rates would go up at least one percentage point and home prices would drop ten percent.