An important element of the Payment Cards Center’s mission is to support dialogue that leads to new insights into critical industry issues. Toward that end, the Center’s agenda includes an active program of conferences and forums that bring together representatives from industry, academia, and the policy community to consider topics of current import. This special conference edition of our newsletter, Update, provides highlights from one such recent event.
In December 2003, the Payment Cards Center sponsored the conference "Asset-Backed Securities and Credit Cards" to focus attention on this increasingly important financial market and to explore emerging risks and challenges. Providing a wide range of perspectives, an invited audience of some 75 professionals participated in the event. Indeed, it was in large part the participation of this diverse mix of credit card issuers, rating agency and securities analysts, investment bankers, attorneys, economists, and regulators that contributed to the high quality of the dialogue that ensued.
While the conference benefited from this broad participation, the discussion moderators played critical organizational roles. Karen Weaver from Deutsche Securities, Mark Adelson from Nomura Securities, Bill Lang from the Philadelphia Fed, and Kathy Dick from the OCC were all helpful in defining the right questions and in assembling knowledgeable subject matter experts for their panels. The guidance and counsel of Vernon Wright from MBNA also enhanced the quality of this event. Vernon not only set an effective tone for the conference with his keynote address, but he also provided valuable contacts through his leadership role in the American Securitization Forum. The collaborative relationships that helped to structure this event are central to the Center's broader goal of developing programs and activities that are informed by those closest to the markets.
What follows are highlights from the conference proceedings, including summaries of the keynote address from Vernon Wright and opening remarks from the Bank’s president, Tony Santomero.
Payment Cards Center at the Federal Reserve Bank of Philadelphia has just completed its third year of activities. As always, I welcome your thoughts and suggestions as to how we can better serve the needs of market participants and others interested in this dynamic financial sector.