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Opinion

Global ABS outgrows Barcelona

Forget Sarkozy versus Royal, forget Brown versus Miliband, forget even Barclays versus RBS/Santander/Fortis. There is only one current standoff that matters: Cannes versus Paris.

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Yes indeed, the unthinkable has actually happened and the curtain will finally fall on the annual gathering of the structured finance community in Barcelona after this year. After having hosted the conference for a decade (bar one year), the Hotel Arts on Barcelona’s beachfront will bid farewell to the event with a tear in its eye. A victim of its own success, the Global ABS meeting has simply outgrown the venue, with between 4,000 and 6,000 registered and unregistered attendees cramming its corridors and bars each year. Tired and emotional structured financiers have also been known to spill out into the bars and clubs of the surrounding area until the wee small hours debating the merits of spread convexity with local residents. News that an "ABS Industry Band" plans to perform at the final gathering will presumably make the departure of the event from its shores easier for the populace to bear.

The collaboration between the European Securitization Forum and conference organizer IMN announced last year marked (according to the blurb) "the dawn of a new era" for Global ABS. On April 2 the industry was invited to decide between two new venues: the Palais des Festivals et des Congrès in Cannes and the Carrousel du Louvre in Paris.


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