S&P Downgrades Mount

Standard & Poor's Ratings Services has downgraded 3,787 classes from U.S. residential mortgage-backed securities that are collateralized by first-lien subprime mortgage loans rated between January 2006 and June 2007.

S&P also said that 2,602 classes of comparable subprime RMBS have been placed on CreditWatch with negative implications.

The rating agency also placed 1,953 classes from 572 global collateralized debt obligations of asset-backed securities and CDO of CDO transactions on CreditWatch negative.

The affected U.S. RMBS classes represent $270.1 billion of securities, or approximately 47% of the par amount of U.S. RMBS backed by first-lien subprime mortgage loans rated by S&P during 2006 and the first half of 2007.

S&P said the largest global financial institutions are not likely to be significantly affected by the huge number of subprime downgrades, but opined that the downgrades could boost losses among "smaller players."

The rating agency said it believes that the total losses for financial institutions will eventually reach more than $265 billion.

"In our opinion, the downgrades of mortgage securities could lead to the realization of these losses, especially among some of the smaller players that have yet to feel the full extent of the value impairments on securities held in their available-for-sale securities portfolios," S&P said. (c) 2008 Mortgage Servicing News and SourceMedia, Inc. All Rights Reserved. http://www.mortgageservicingnews.com/ http://www.sourcemedia.com/