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  • Tue, Apr 28 2009
  • 2:14 PM » The CRA and Subprime Lending: Discerning the Difference
    Published Tue, Apr 28 2009 2:14 PM by
    The Community Reinvestment Act (CRA) has been under much scrutiny amid the subprime lending bust. Critics of the CRA contend that the law pushed banking institutions to undertake high-risk mortgage lending. A Federal Reserve Board staff analysis finds that the CRA was neither a source nor driver of the housing market's collapse. In this issue of Banking and Community Perspectives, we examine the CRA and its role in the mortgage market and distinguish it from causes of the subprime failure.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 2:14 PM » New Fed plan will help with 2nd mortgages, home equity loans
    Published Tue, Apr 28 2009 2:14 PM by Google News
    . Under this program, the government will pay mortgage servicers $500 upfront and $250 a year for three years if they successfully modify a second mortgage, such as a home equity loan. The Treasury Department says second mortgages are a major problem for at risk and foreclosed properties. These mortgages have created significant challenges for borrowers avoid foreclosure. This is because borrowers trying to get their primary mortgage modified also need the permission of the company holding the second mortgage. According to the AP: Under the new plan: Lenders will get $500 upfront for each modified loan, plus $250 a year for three years as long as the borrower doesn’t default. Borrowers could get up to $1,000 applied to the principal balance of their primary mortgage over five years. , The government would pick up part of investors’ costs as well. Lenders would be given the ability to remove second mortgages entirely in exchange for larger government payouts. A senior administration official told Reuters: See also: is a veteran business journalist and social media consultant. He write the blog , a satirical look at marketing and business.
  • 2:14 PM » 90,000 NYC Apartments At Risk of Foreclosure
    Published Tue, Apr 28 2009 2:14 PM by
    Up to 90,000 apartment units in New York City face the prospect of going into foreclosure, according to remarks from the commissioner of the Department of Housing Preservation Development. Commissioner Rafael Cestero told the City Council Community Development Committee yesterday that 2.6 percent of the city’s apartments, up to 90,000 units, are in danger of foreclosure [...]
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 1:26 PM » Details of Obama Administration's Second Lien Modification Program
    Published Tue, Apr 28 2009 1:26 PM by US Treasury
    The Obama Administration today announced details of new efforts to help bring relief to responsible homeowners under the Making Home Affordable Program, including an effort to achieve greater affordability for homeowners by lowering payments on their second mortgages as well as a set of measures to help underwater borrowers stay in their homes.
  • 11:46 AM » Money market rates continue to fall
    Published Tue, Apr 28 2009 11:46 AM by
    Money market rates have fallen sharply since the start of April month amid increasing signs that banks are starting to lend to each other. Three-month sterling interbank rates, for example, have fallen for 44 days in a row
  • 11:23 AM » Help on Second Mortgages to Be Unveiled by US
    Published Tue, Apr 28 2009 11:23 AM by CNBC
    Posted By: The Obama administration is expected to unveil measures to help homeowners and businesses modify second mortgages as well as primary ones. Topics: | | | | | | | Sectors: | MEDIA:
  • 11:23 AM » In Dubai, Defaults Hit Developers
    Published Tue, Apr 28 2009 11:23 AM by WSJ
    Developers in Dubai are scrambling to prevent a wave of investor defaults as they struggle to survive the city-state's real-estate bust.
  • 11:23 AM » WSJ: Regulators urge BofA, Citi to boost capital
    Published Tue, Apr 28 2009 11:23 AM by Washington Post
    WASHINGTON -- Bank of America Corp. and Citigroup Inc., which have each received $45 billion in government bailout funds, have been told by regulators that "stress test" results show they may need to raise additional capital, The Wall Street Journal said Tuesday.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Washington Post
  • 10:59 AM » Treasury has new mortgage incentives: official
    Published Tue, Apr 28 2009 10:59 AM by Reuters
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Treasury Department will on Tuesday tap a $50 billion housing rescue fund to pay off mortgage investors and reduce monthly payments for millions of borrowers, said a senior administration official.
  • 10:59 AM » Deutsche Bank back in black
    Published Tue, Apr 28 2009 10:59 AM by
    Better trading for many of the German bank's most important debt businesses helped it lift first-quarter net income to €1.2bn, above analysts' expectations
  • 10:59 AM » US Regulators Tell Citi, BofA to Increase Capital
    Published Tue, Apr 28 2009 10:59 AM by CNBC
  • Mon, Apr 27 2009
  • 7:49 PM » What the Fed is considering at this week's meeting
    Published Mon, Apr 27 2009 7:49 PM by Reuters
    CHICAGO (Reuters) - The Federal Reserve meets this week at a time when the U.S. economy has shown some signs of improvement, and the central bank is likely to restate its support for boosting the economy through both conventional and unorthodox means.
  • 5:26 PM » When Countries Go to Zero
    Published Mon, Apr 27 2009 5:26 PM by Seeking Alpha
    submits: I just had coffee with Mohamed El-Erian, who pointed out to me that he didn’t actually push the PPIP plan, as I he did. He just said that the government needed a plan to deal with toxic assets, and that some plans made a lot more sense than others. On the subject of PPIP, though, I did ask El-Erian about how much value there is in clipping tails. If the government promises to absorb all losses beyond the first 15 cents on the dollar, how much does that raise the amount of money you’re willing to pay for any given asset? I was trying, in effect, to come at a value for the FDIC guarantee in the PPIP plan, but I didn’t get very far.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Seeking Alpha
  • 5:26 PM » Statement for Treasury Borrowing Advisory Committee
    Published Mon, Apr 27 2009 5:26 PM by US Treasury
    April 27, 2009 TG-105 Director of the Office of Macroeconomic Analysis Ralph M. Monaco Statement for the Treasury Borrowing Advisory Committee of the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association April 27, 2009 U.S.economic activity contracted sharply again at the start of 2009, more than a year after the economy slipped into recession. The housing correction entered its third year, financial market volatility persisted, and credit markets, though improved from the last quarter of 2008, remained impaired. Labor market conditions worsened notably. Over 2 million jobs were lost in the first quarter alone and the unemployment rate climbed to a 26-year high of 8.5 percent in March. The economy is still expected to contract through mid-year as the housing sector continues to adjust and imbalances in financial and credit markets dissipate, but there have been tentative signs that the pace of deterioration is slowing. Most economists see some growth in the second half of 2009, boosted by fiscal stimulus provided by the American Reinvestment and Recovery Act (ARRA) of 2009. Data for growth in the first quarter will not be available until April 29, but economic indicators released thus far suggest that real GDP declined sharply again in the first three months of 2009. In the fourth quarter of 2008, real GDP fell by 6.3 percent at an annual rate – the largest quarterly loss since early 1982. That followed a 0.5 percent decline in the third quarter. Private forecasters are looking for about a 5 percent decline in the first quarter. A sharp drop in consumer spending during the second half of 2008 was largely responsible for the downturn in economic activity. In both the third and fourth quarters, falling real personal consumption expenditures (PCE) accounted for close to 3 percentage points of the decline in real GDP. Consumer spending stabilized early in the first quarter, according to data available through February, and appears to be on track to make a modest positive...
  • 4:20 PM » U.S. Homeownership by Age Group
    Published Mon, Apr 27 2009 4:20 PM by Calculated Risk Blog
    The on the homeownership rate prompted several questions about what happens when the boomers retire? Click on graph for larger image in new window. This graph shows the homeownership by age group for three different time periods: 1985, 2000, and 2007. Back in 1985, the homeownership rate declined significantly after people turned 70. However, more recently, the homeownership rate has stayed above 80% for those in the 70 to 75 cohort, and close to 80% for people over 75. I expect the homeownership rate to remain high for the boomer generation too. Although there will probably be a geographic shift as the boomer generation retires (towards the sun states) and some downsizing, I don't think the aging of the boomer generation will negatively impact the homeownership rate for 15 years or more. And that reminds me of an animation I made several years ago showing the U.S. population distribution by age from 1920 to 2000 (plus 2005). Animation updates every 2 seconds. The graphs for 1900 and 1910 have a similar shape as 1920. With the medical advances of the 20th Century, we would expect the shape of the distribution to become flatter as fewer people die of illnesses in the prime of their lives. There are a couple of things to watch for: The original baby bust. Although 1930 has the general shape of the previous decades, the first evidence of the Baby Bust is apparent. Although 1929 is usually considered the start of the Depression, there was a large segment of America that was struggling economically several years earlier. This shows up in the drop in births. With tough economic times, it is not surprising that many families postponed having children. Next comes the Baby Boom. The baby boom peaked in the mid-50s, and the 'Pig through a python' shape shows up in all the graphs. And finally a mini-baby bust. This followed the baby boom, but is nothing compared to the baby bust of the Depression.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 4:20 PM » Biggest Types of Personal Debt in the US
    Published Mon, Apr 27 2009 4:20 PM by CNBC
  • 3:16 PM » Treasury Announces Marketable Borrowing Estimates for 2Q
    Published Mon, Apr 27 2009 3:16 PM by US Treasury
    The U.S. Department of the Treasury today announced its current estimates of marketable borrowing for the April - June 2009 and July – September 2009 quarters...
  • 3:02 PM » FDIC Chief’s Speech Could Put Bankers, Regulators on Notice
    Published Mon, Apr 27 2009 3:02 PM by WSJ
    Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Chairman Sheila Bair Monday that might ruffle the feathers of other regulators and top executives at big banks, as she suggested her agency would be best suited to handle broad new powers being considered by Capitol Hill. Bair Her comments in a speech to the Economic Club of New York related to new regulatory regime that would allow the government to take over and break down large, systemically-significant financial institutions. How would this work? One idea she floated was the creation of a “good bank-bad bank model.” “Under this scenario, you’d take over the troubled firm, imposing losses on stockholders and unsecured creditors,” she said. “Viable portions of the firm would be placed into the ‘good bank’ using a structure similar to the FDIC’s bridge bank. The nonviable or troubled portions of the firms would remain behind in a ‘bad bank,’ and would be unwound or sold over time.” “The cost of the bad bank would be partially paid for by the losses imposed on the stockholders and unsecured creditors,” she added. “Any additional costs would be borne by assessments on other systemically risky firms. This has the benefit of quickly recognizing the losses in the firm and beginning the process of cleaning up the mess.” “The stockholders and managers of some big banks might not like this process,” she said. “They might prefer a too-big-to-fail subsidy or investment from the government. (And some regulators might fear it because it would give an independent body the ability to close institutions for which they are responsible.)” Ms. Bair also said her agency would be best-positioned to run — or at least help use — any new authority. “I don’t think we need another government bureaucracy or program,” she said. “This is cyclical work. We have a lot of agencies already. I’m not sure it makes much sense to create another one that would need to be staffed up and ready to go. But the FDIC is up to the task, and whether alone or in conjunction with...
  • 3:02 PM » Personal Finance Daily: You can't get income rewards without taking risks
    Published Mon, Apr 27 2009 3:02 PM by Market Watch
    If you want safety for your money, don't expect to get much in return for your deposits other than a secure vault. The average 30-day yield on retail money-market funds that invest in Treasurys -- the safest of the safe -- are hovering around 0.05%. You can call that next to nothing.
  • 3:02 PM » Don't forget the Fed
    Published Mon, Apr 27 2009 3:02 PM by CNN
    If the Federal Reserve holds a policy meeting but the market isn't interested, will chairman Ben Bernanke still make a sound?
  • 3:02 PM » FAA: Low-Flying N.Y. Plane a 'Photo Op'
    Published Mon, Apr 27 2009 3:02 PM by WSJ
    The FAA said a Boeing 747 circling Lower Manhattan was part of a coordinated "photo op."
  • 2:26 PM » The Center for Disease Control on Swine Flu
    Published Mon, Apr 27 2009 2:26 PM by
    Human cases of swine influenza A (H1N1) virus infection have been identified in the United States. Human cases of swine influenza A (H1N1) virus infection also have been identified internationally. The current U.S. case count is provided below.
  • 11:56 AM » Federal Reserve Purchases $7.025 billion in Treasury Coupons
    Published Mon, Apr 27 2009 11:56 AM by NY Fed
    The purchase or sale of Treasury securities on an outright basis adds or drains reserves available in the banking system. Such transactions are arranged on a routine basis to offset other changes in the Federal Reserve’s balance sheet in conjunction with efforts to maintain conditions in the market for reserves consistent with the federal funds target rate set by the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC).
  • 11:06 AM » Standard & Poor's Puts Additional Losses on U.S. RMBS at $260-$375B
    Published Mon, Apr 27 2009 11:06 AM by Seeking Alpha
    submits: Total additional losses from legacy US Residential Mortgage-backed Securities are expected to reach $260 billion: $165 billion from subprime, $90 billion from Alt-A, and $5 billion from prime RMBS, according to Standard & Poor’s Market, Credit, and Risk Strategies group ((MCRS)). In a worst-case economic scenario, total losses could reach $375 billion: $235 billion from subprime, $132 billion from Alt-A, and $10 billion from prime.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Seeking Alpha
  • 10:05 AM » GM to cut jobs, offers $27 bln stock-for-debt deal
    Published Mon, Apr 27 2009 10:05 AM by Market Watch
    General Motors Corp. says Monday it will seek to exchange common stock for more than $27 billion in public debt as part of a restructuring plan.
  • 10:04 AM » G.M.’s Plan Includes More Aid and Debt Exchange
    Published Mon, Apr 27 2009 10:04 AM by NY Times
    General Motors, which said it needed $11.4 billion more in government loans, offered bondholders 225 shares for every $1,000 they hold.
  • 10:04 AM » Standard & Poors Puts Additional Losses on U.S. RMBS at $260-$375B
    Published Mon, Apr 27 2009 10:04 AM by Seeking Alpha
    submits: Total additional losses from legacy US Residential Mortgage-backed Securities are expected to reach $260 billion: $165 billion from subprime, $90 billion from Alt-A, and $5 billion from prime RMBS, according to Standard & Poor’s Market, Credit, and Risk Strategies group ((MCRS)). In a worst-case economic scenario, total losses could reach $375 billion: $235 billion from subprime, $132 billion from Alt-A, and $10 billion from prime.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Seeking Alpha
  • 9:17 AM » New Condo Loan Rules Put More Scrutiny on Neighbors
    Published Mon, Apr 27 2009 9:17 AM by Washington Post
    Benjamin Chiang nearly lost the chance to refinance his condominium when his lender discovered that many other people in the building were behind on their condo dues.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Washington Post
  • 9:16 AM » GM Confirms Plans to Cut Jobs, Eliminate Pontiac
    Published Mon, Apr 27 2009 9:16 AM by CNBC
  • 9:15 AM » Treasurys advance on swine flu jitters
    Published Mon, Apr 27 2009 9:15 AM by CNN
    Treasurys rose Monday morning as investors worried about the possible economic impacts of the outbreak of swine flu and braced for another big influx of supply.
  • 9:14 AM » OPEC chief says oil prices are too low
    Published Mon, Apr 27 2009 9:14 AM by CNN
    Read full story for latest details.
  • 9:14 AM » Geithner urges quick action to lift global growth
    Published Mon, Apr 27 2009 9:14 AM by CNN
    Read full story for latest details.
  • 9:14 AM » Stock futures fall more than 1 percent on swine flu jitters
    Published Mon, Apr 27 2009 9:14 AM by Reuters
    NEW YORK (Reuters) - Stock futures pointed to a more than 1 percent drop at the open on Monday as investors worried that a possible global flu outbreak could throw a wrench into the economy's ability to climb out of a recession.
  • Fri, Apr 24 2009
  • 5:10 PM » Secondary Sources: Geithner, Animal Spirits, Recovery Path
    Published Fri, Apr 24 2009 5:10 PM by WSJ
    A roundup of economic news from around the Web. The Economist looks at Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner ’s first three months in office. “Resolving the current crisis would test even the most battle-hardened politician’s skills. That is largely because fixing the financial system means putting public money into the same banks and other financial institutions that the public blames for causing the crisis. The cost is obvious, while the main benefit — avoiding a catastrophic downward cycle of contracting credit and recession — is, mercifully, hypothetical, no matter how plausible. If the bail-outs work, it will be hard to prove conclusively that they were needed. This means that Mr. Geithner has had to come up with solutions that may sacrifice economic effect for political legitimacy. To relieve the banking system of dud loans, Mr. Geithner considered, then rejected, a government-run “bad bank”, as Sweden and South Korea had previously used, because it was vulnerable to accusations of overpaying for assets. His solution, a “public-private investment program”, or PPIP, relies on investors to negotiate a price with banks, although they will be subsidized by government-backed loans.” Separately, Geithner writes in today’s ahead of G7 meetings about the need for global financial reform. George Akerlof and Robert Shiller followup on their latest book with an op-ed in the Journal about animal spirits. “An understanding of animal spirits — the human psychology and culture at the heart of economic activity — confirms the need for restoring the role of regulators as guiding hands in a healthy, productive free-enterprise system. History — including recent history — shows that without regulation, animal spirits will drive economic activity to extremes.” James K. Galbraith lays out some key points about a coming economic expansion. “It seems to me that there are four essential points to make about the expansion to come. It will surely be very slow to restore employment… As a result...
  • 4:38 PM » Fed Watch: TALF Disappointment and the Fed's Balance Sheet
    Published Fri, Apr 24 2009 4:38 PM by Google News
    Tim Duy says the Fed is likely to step up its purchases of long-term sucurities: : Mark Thoma article detailing the slow start-up of the Federal Reserve's much discussed but little used TALF program. At this juncture, a critical constraint appears to be counterparty risk - no one trusts the US government to hold parties to their contractual obligations: Sources involved in the program said private investors have been reluctant to work with the government, which they view as an unreliable business partner. ... There are restrictions on the business activities of participants in the program. ... But perhaps more significant ... is a fear that the government could retroactively change the terms, exacting new limits on what investors can pay their executives, for example, or trying to claw back profits that firms make in the program. ...
  • 2:12 PM » Fed White Paper Describing the Process and Methodologies Employed by the Federal Banking Supervisory Agencies
    Published Fri, Apr 24 2009 2:12 PM by Federal Reserve
    The white paper is intended to assist analysts and other interested members of the public in understanding the results of the Supervisory Capital Assessment Program, expected to be released in early May. All U.S. bank holding companies with year-end 2008 assets exceeding $100 billion were required to participate in the assessment, which began February 25. These institutions collectively hold two-thirds of the assets and more than half the loans in the U.S. banking system.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Federal Reserve
  • 2:02 PM » General Motors to Get Another $2 Billion From Treasury
    Published Fri, Apr 24 2009 2:02 PM by CNBC
  • 2:02 PM » Former Chief Will Help Freddie Mac
    Published Fri, Apr 24 2009 2:02 PM by NY Times
    David Moffett, the former chief executive officer at Freddie Mac who stepped down last month, will return to help the company after the chief financial officer’s sudden death.
  • 12:26 PM » China reveals big rise in gold reserves
    Published Fri, Apr 24 2009 12:26 PM by
    China has nearly doubled its gold reserves in the last five years as it diversified its foreign exchange reserves away from US dollar assets, the head of the country's secretive foreign exchange administration said
  • 11:55 AM » Freddie Mac Portfolio Grows, Delinquencies Rise
    Published Fri, Apr 24 2009 11:55 AM by CNBC
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