Creators of Credit Crisis Revel in Las Vegas
By Vikas Bajaj
In a gilded ballroom at the Venetian, the revelers sipped cabernet, dined on surf and turf and crowed as the Blue Man Group put on a private show. The partygoers had traveled to Sin City this week for an event that before the current credit squeeze might have been called the Predators’ Ball of this era.
This time, with mortgage securities replacing the junk bonds of the 1980s, the gathering felt more like group therapy. The occasion was, officially, the 5th annual conference of the American Securitization Forum, a celebration of the financial wizardry that supposedly turns risky mortgages and other loans into gilt-edged securities...
The four-day event at the Venetian drew more than 6,500 financial professionals from across the country. Many came in search of ways to ride out — or better yet, to profit from — the mortgage mess their industry helped to create.
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