Are exchange traded notes (ETNs) the new exchange traded fund (ETF)?

Lauren Young for Business Week points out that new ETF issues are down so far this year, but filings for ETNs are gathering steam. They’ve accounted for about one in every two launches in 2008.

At the end of December 2006, there were 359 ETFs. By February 2007, that number had grown to 432. Compare that with December 2007, when there were 629 ETFs. At the end of February, the total sat at 634.

But ETNs are moving and growing.