What's Next, Securitized Bridge Tolls?

Almost any risk can be securitized--but quality may be iffy

What do credit cards, security-alarm contracts, student loans, mutual-fund fees, and delinquent child-support payments have in common? The answer: securitization, one of those ugly words that investment bankers come up with. Through the wonders of this red-hot financing technique, companies--and even local governments--are creating marketable securities out of just about anything but the kitchen sink, as long as it's sitting on a balance sheet.

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