Written by Joy Wiltermuth for International Financing Review on February 28, 2019.
In February, SFIG hosted the world’s largest capital markets conference, their annual ABS, at the Aria Resort & Casino in Las Vegas. The conference saw record attendance, with over 8,000 attendees and 7,500 initial registrants. Michael Lewis, author of best-seller The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine, delivered the keynote address, applauding attendees for their commitment to market stability and consumer protections. Former Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen helped mitigate concerns around diminishing growth. “I’m not worried,” she told a standing-room audience, “. . . households are in good shape.”
Michael Bright, new SFIG CEO and President, outlined his vision for future securitization. “I don’t think a financial crisis is coming,” he told a lunchtime presser, “but I’d love to be a part of making sure that it never does come.” SFIG promoted their message of accountability and transparency, advocating for an active dialogue between industry practitioners, policymakers, and the general public. Addressing an upbeat audience, Bright encouraged risk management and communication. The organization maintained its support for consumer protections in the face of burgeoning risk.
S&P chief economist Beth Ann Bovino hosted a Q&A, addressing concerns around the likelihood of impending recession. S&P predicts only a 20% chance of US recession in the next twelve months, and just a single rate hike from the Federal Reserve. Though some concerns around corporate debt linger, conference experts provoked confidence in market prospects and the future of securitization.
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