Asset-backed security (Ofer Abarbanel Online Library)

An asset-backed security (ABS) is a security whose income payments and hence value are derived from and collateralized (or “backed”) by a specified pool of underlying assets.  The pool of assets is typically a group of small and illiquid assets which are unable to be sold individually. Pooling the assets into financial instruments allows them to be sold to general investors, a process called securitization, and allows the risk of investing in the underlying assets to be diversified because each security will represent a fraction of the total value of the diverse pool of underlying assets. The pools of underlying assets can include common payments from credit cards, auto loans, and mortgage loans, to esoteric cash flows from aircraft leases, royalty payments and movie revenues.

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