A thrift executive was attending a conference on credit scoring here this week with a single purpose: to find out whether his institution could pool loans with high credit scores into securities that would be inviting to investors.

He reasoned that, given investor acceptance, his thrift could get a higher price than by selling to Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. And that extra margin - perhaps 10 basis points - could make a huge difference in the thrift's profitability.

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