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The past couple of years have not garnered much public enthusiasm for financial mechanisms, and disagreement over the necessary or meddling behavior of the federal government is riding high. Within the more extreme political zeitgeist, there is an opinion that Europe can provide no satisfactory solutions to US problems, however, a covered bonds market forged in a European mold could provide unique solutions to perpetually unanswered questions of CMBS, the GSEs and federal competition.

The question of a US covered-bonds market developed in the past cycle as investors noticed issuers heading back to the well, offering securities on the same pool. The result, notes Paul Hinton, vice president, NERA Economic Consulting, was that credit spreads were being pushed up and tapping out issuers on particular exposures. There was an “untapped pool of investors in the European covered bonds market.” and the US essentially lost out on them. Covered bond markets in varying forms have been big for years in countries like Germany, Spain and Sweden with the European Union even establishing a standard set of regulations to which covered bond pools had to adhere.

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