The European Central Bank (ECB) is gearing up to buy "simple, transparent, and real" asset-backed debt. The success of its bid to breathe life into the market will depend on how regulators from Basel to Brussels define those terms.

President Mario Draghi said last month that ECB purchases of asset-backed securities (ABS) "would lead to a reconstruction of a market that has disappeared with the crisis," and that's why they will focus on products that are easy to price. The ECB, whose Governing Council meets this week, may start buying ABS as part of a quantitative-easing (QE) program aimed at shoring up a euro-area economy that's edging closer to deflation.

As the ECB's push to revive the European Union's 1.4 trillion-euro (US$1.8 trillion) ABS market builds momentum, EU and international standard-setters are working on as many as 19 measures that could affect demand for securitized debt, according to a draft EU document obtained by Bloomberg News. Many will be rolled out in the next year.

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