SEC Proposes New Rules on Asset-Backed Securities

ABC's Matthew Jaffe reports from Washington:

The Securities & Exchange Commission today proposed new rules for Wall Street firms dealing in asset-backed securities.

In the build-up to the financial crisis , firms took mortgage loans, credit card loans, and auto loans, packaged the loans into bundles, and sold them off to investors, leading to many firms caring less about the quality of the loans and more about their ability to sell them in the market. Loan quality deteriorated, transparency vanished, and firms ended up with massive amounts of toxic assets on their balance sheets.

In a 5-0 vote this morning the SEC proposed that firms trading asset-backed securities now be mandated to hold at least five percent of the loans on their books.

In remarks at the SEC’s open meeting today, SEC chairman Mary Schapiro said, “The proposed rules are intended to better protect investors in the securitization market by giving them more detailed information about pooled assets, more time to make their investment decisions, and the benefits of better alignment of the interests of issuers and investors through a retention or ‘skin in the game’ requirement. Finally, the rules would bring greater transparency to the private market as well.”

More info can be found on the SEC website HERE .

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