A flawed structure

Mortgage lenders active in the US subprime market have suffered a major reversal of fortune. Once considered the hottest sector of the mortgage market, sharply rising default rates in recent months have caused some of the largest names in the subprime area to write off losses and even file for bankruptcy. Just under 30 mortgage subprime lenders have been forced to close shop since January 2006 - and more are likely to follow.

New Century Financial, a California-based real estate investment tr