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  • Mon, Apr 6 2009
  • 10:26 AM » TARP Watchdog Calls for Bank Management Changes
    Published Mon, Apr 06 2009 10:26 AM by Calculated Risk Blog
    From The Obersver: (ht several!) Elizabeth Warren, chief watchdog of America's $700bn (£472bn) bank bailout plan, will this week call for the removal of top executives from Citigroup, AIG and other institutions ... "The very notion that anyone would infuse money into a financially troubled entity without demanding changes in management is preposterous." The report will also look at how earlier crises were overcome - the Swedish and Japanese problems of the 1990s, the US savings and loan crisis of the 1980s and the 30s Depression. "Three things had to happen," Warren said. "Firstly, the banks must have confidence that the valuation of the troubled assets in question is accurate; then the management of the institutions receiving subsidies from the government must be replaced; and thirdly, the equity investors are always wiped out."
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • Sat, Apr 4 2009
  • 6:37 PM » Lawmaker sees Fannie, Freddie bonus "insult"
    Published Sat, Apr 04 2009 6:37 PM by Reuters
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Continuing bonuses paid to employees at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are offensive since taxpayers are helping keep the mortgage-finance companies afloat, a leading Senate Republican said on Friday.
  • Fri, Apr 3 2009
  • 4:35 PM » Texas Instruments sues banks over $524 million debt
    Published Fri, Apr 03 2009 4:35 PM by Reuters
    NEW YORK (Reuters) - Texas Instruments Inc has sued Citigroup Inc , Morgan Stanley and Bank of New York Mellon Corp , accusing the banks of misleading the chipmaker into buying $524 million of auction-rate securities that have become illiquid.
  • 4:34 PM » Fannie, Freddie regulator stands behind bonuses
    Published Fri, Apr 03 2009 4:34 PM by Reuters
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) -Ongoing bonuses paid to employees at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are offensive since taxpayers are helping keep the mortgage-finance companies afloat, a leading Senate Republican said on Friday.
  • 4:34 PM » Bair pitches hedge funds on bank plan
    Published Fri, Apr 03 2009 4:34 PM by Reuters
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Sheila Bair, chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp, is in New York on Friday to meet with hedge funds, private equity funds and pension groups to promote the government's plan to cleanse banks' balance sheets of toxic assets, a source familiar with the meeting said on Friday.
  • 4:34 PM » Fed 'extremely uncomfortable' about bailouts
    Published Fri, Apr 03 2009 4:34 PM by Washington Post
    CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- While acknowledging that the Federal Reserve was "extremely uncomfortable" about last year's bailouts of big financial companies, Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke said Friday the central bank's strategy to ease the financial crisis is working.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Washington Post
  • 2:59 PM » Bernanke, The Federal Reserve's Balance Sheet
    Published Fri, Apr 03 2009 2:59 PM by Federal Reserve
    Speech at the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond 2009 Credit Markets Symposium, Charlotte, North Carolina
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Federal Reserve
  • 2:59 PM » New York Fed purchases $2.672 billion in agency coupons
    Published Fri, Apr 03 2009 2:59 PM by NY Fed
    New York Fed purchases $2.672 billion in agency coupons
  • 10:34 AM » U.S. Office Vacancies Hit 15.2% -- and Rising
    Published Fri, Apr 03 2009 10:34 AM by WSJ
    The office vacancy rate nationwide rose to 15.2% in the first quarter and likely will surpass 19.3% over the next year, a tracking firm said.
  • 10:34 AM » Property Bust Threatens Condo 'Death Spiral'
    Published Fri, Apr 03 2009 10:34 AM by CNBC
    Posted By: Reuters Florida's condominium and homeowners' associations are facing what experts call a trickle-down disaster from the property crisis. Dozens and perhaps hundreds of condo buildings have budget shortfalls as thousands of owners, under water on their mortgages or in foreclosure, stop paying monthly fees. Topics: | | | | MEDIA:
  • 9:54 AM » The Radicalization of Ben Bernanke
    Published Fri, Apr 03 2009 9:54 AM by Washington Post
    Bernanke has become the country's economist in chief, the banker for the United States and perhaps the world, and has employed every weapon in the Federal Reserve's arsenal. He has overseen the broadest use of the Fed's powers since World War II, and the regulation proposals working their way through Congress seem likely to empower the institution even further. Although his actions may be justified under today's circumstances, Bernanke's willingness to pump money into the economy risks unleashing the most serious bout of U.S. inflation since the early 1980s, in a nation already battered by rising unemployment and negative growth.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Washington Post
  • 9:51 AM » Mark-to-Market Rule Gives More Clarity, Not Less: John M. Berry
    Published Fri, Apr 03 2009 9:51 AM by Bloomberg
    Mark-to-market accounting rules are being brought a little closer to economic reality -- accompanied by misplaced howls of outrage. True, the ostensibly independent Financial Accounting Standards Board yesterday agreed to alter a portion of the rules only under extreme pressure from Congress, and that’s unfortunate. Still, the standards have forced many financial institutions to overstate losses on trillions of dollars worth of assets, intensifying the global financial crisis.
  • 9:50 AM » Failure Rate Rises on Mortgages Revised in Late 2008, U.S. Says
    Published Fri, Apr 03 2009 9:50 AM by Bloomberg
    Mortgages modified in the third quarter failed at a faster pace than those revised in the first, and the delinquency rate on the least risky loans doubled, signs of deteriorating credit quality, U.S. regulators said. Loans modified in the first quarter to help borrowers keep their homes fell delinquent 41 percent of the time after eight months, and second-quarter loans had a 46 percent default rate, the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and Office of Thrift Supervision said in a report today. Third-quarter trends “are worsening,” the agencies said.
  • 9:49 AM » Fed Struggling to Win Over Investors Wary of ‘Sharks’ in TALF
    Published Fri, Apr 03 2009 9:49 AM by Bloomberg
    The Federal Reserve’s $1 trillion effort to restart the market for securities backed by loans is encountering resistance from investors, undermining Chairman Ben S. Bernanke’s attempt to further drive down borrowing costs. The Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility may next week fail to see a big rise from its $8.3 billion first round of investor commitments in March, said Reed Auerbach, co-chief executive officer of law firm McKee Nelson LLP in New York. Hedge funds and other investors are balking because of visa restrictions on workers and possible efforts to tax earnings.
  • 9:47 AM » Kohn, Policies to Bring Us Out of the Financial Crisis and Recession
    Published Fri, Apr 03 2009 9:47 AM by Federal Reserve
    Speech at the Forum on Great Decisions in the Economic Crisis, College of Wooster, Wooster, Ohio
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Federal Reserve
  • 9:47 AM » The Full Picture: Broader Unemployment Hits 15.6%
    Published Fri, Apr 03 2009 9:47 AM by WSJ
    Americans are giving up on their job searches at a faster pace. The nation’s official unemployment rate jumped to 8.5% in March from 8.1%, putting U.S. joblessness at its highest since November 1983. But the Labor Department ’s most comprehensive gauge of unemployment surpassed even its early 1980s levels. The government’s broader measure, known as the “U-6″ for its data classification, hit 15.6% in March — a big leap from 14.8% in February. The comprehensive measure of labor underutilization accounts for people who have stopped looking for work or who can’t find full-time jobs. The March figure is the highest since the Labor Department started this particular data series in 1994. It’s also above a discontinued and even broader measure that hit 15% in late 1982, when the official unemployment rate was 10.8%. (That data series goes back to the 1970s.) The 8.5% unemployment rate is calculated based on people who are without jobs, who are available to work and who have actively sought work in the prior four weeks. The “actively looking for work” definition is fairly broad, including people who contacted an employer, employment agency, job center or friends; sent out resumes or filled out applications; or answered or placed ads, among other things. The U-6 figure includes everyone in the official rate plus “marginally attached workers” — those who are neither working nor looking for work, but say they want a job and have looked for work recently; and people who are employed part-time for economic reasons, meaning they want full-time work but took a part-time schedule instead because that’s all they could find. Many forecasters expect the official unemployment rate to top 10% by early next year. If the path of the broader unemployment rate continues, it’s likely to top 18%. For people in this group, comparisons to the Great Depression (when 25% of Americans were out of work) may not look so wild even if overall economic activity is holding up better.
  • 9:47 AM » CBO: TARP May Be More Costly Than First Thought
    Published Fri, Apr 03 2009 9:47 AM by WSJ
    The Congressional Budget Office has quietly altered its estimate of the ultimate cost to taxpayers of the $700 billion Troubled Asset Relief Program — and now figures it’ll be much more expensive in the long run than it previously figured. Some TARP outlays eventually will be returned to the government as banks return capital that the Treasury has invested in them or as the government sells loans or securities that it acquires as part of the financial rescue. In January, CBO put the ultimate cost to taxpayers of the $700-billion TARP at $189 billion. When it issued revised numbers in late March in its “” it revised that up to $356 billion with little comment, a change that drew little attention. The larger estimate reflects, among other things, the Treasury’s move to use the TARP to help avoid foreclosures as well as the changing details of its aid to American International Group and the deterioration of financial conditions and of banks in which the Treasury has invested TARP money. CBO estimates the ultimate cost of TARP using techniques similar to those generally applied to federal loans and loan guarantees and adjusts for market risk. More precisely, it puts the net cost to taxpayers at the difference between what Treasury pays for investments or lends to firms and “the present value, adjusted for market risk of any future earnings from holding purchased assets and the proceeds from their eventual sale.” The White House budget office doesn’t use the present-value technique in booking the cost of the TARP. Instead, it records the outflows of cash now, and says it’ll record inflows of cash in the future. But in his 2010 budget, President Barack Obama estimated that if Congress approved another $750 billion for the banks, the government eventually would get about $500 billion of that back for a net cost of $250 billion. CBO’s new figures suggest that its estimate of the ultimate cost to taxpayers of coming up with $750 billion for financial institutions would be closer...
  • Thu, Apr 2 2009
  • 7:01 PM » Wells Fargo Plans Foray Into Warehouse Lending
    Published Thu, Apr 02 2009 7:01 PM by
    San Francisco-based bank and mortgage lender Wells Fargo is reportedly looking to venture into warehouse lending, according to Bloomberg. The paper, which cited two people familiar with the matter, said the business would be based out of Atlanta, and headed by Kenneth Lognan, who was acquired via the Wachovia merger. Back in February, Wells chief John Stumpf [...]
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 5:28 PM » Top Jumbo Mortgage Lenders in Fourth Quarter 2008
    Published Thu, Apr 02 2009 5:28 PM by
    Most mortgage rates we see advertised are for conforming mortgages, which for sake of simplicity, are good for loan amounts up to $729,750. But what about those of us looking for larger loans, otherwise known as jumbo mortgages? Who’s offering them and at what price? Well, as I recently noted in an article, Return of the Jumbo, [...]
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 3:55 PM » ABA Statement On House Financial Services Committee Markup Of H.R. 627
    Published Thu, Apr 02 2009 3:55 PM by American Bankers Assoc.
    Washington April 2, 2009 "The American Bankers Association continues to have concerns about H.R. 627, the 'Credit Cardholders' Bill of Rights.'
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: American Bankers Assoc.
  • 3:50 PM » ABA: Consumer Delinquencies Continue Rise as Recession Intensifies
    Published Thu, Apr 02 2009 3:50 PM by American Bankers Assoc.
    Job losses continued taking their toll on consumer finances during the fourth quarter of 2008 as evidenced by rising delinquencies in almost every loan category, according to the American Bankers Association's Consumer Credit Delinquency Bulletin. The composite ratio, which tracks eight closed-end installment loan categories, rose 32 basis points to a record 3.22 percent of accounts (seasonally adjusted). ABA has tracked the composite ratio since the mid 1970's. ABA Chief Economist James Chessen said the figures are the latest sign that the U.S. economy is experiencing the worst recession since the mid 1970's.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: American Bankers Assoc.
  • 3:48 PM » ABA: FDIC Special Assessment Would Impede Banks Role in Recovery
    Published Thu, Apr 02 2009 3:48 PM by American Bankers Assoc.
    When considering a significantly burdensome assessment to the industry, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation should strike the right balance to assure there are enough funds to meet its obligations without impairing banks' ability to meet the needs of their local communities, according to the American Bankers Association. "The special assessment is completely at odds with banks efforts to help communities rebuild from this economic downturn," said Edward L. Yingling, ABA president and CEO in a letter to the FDIC. "This assessment makes the cost of raising new deposits much higher, and therefore, acts as a disincentive to raise new deposits. Fewer deposits will hinder banks' ability to lend."
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: American Bankers Assoc.
  • 3:45 PM » ABA: Welcomes FASB Guidance on Mark-to-Market Accounting
    Published Thu, Apr 02 2009 3:45 PM by American Bankers Assoc.
    The American Bankers Association commends the Financial Accounting Standards Board today for finally offering new guidance on mark-to-market accounting and impairment. ABA expressed concern however, that FASB has not done enough to fully repair the accounting rules for securities classified as "held to maturity." The FASB voted this morning to approve new guidance that will provide much needed clarification in estimating market values in illiquid markets. This guidance will allow banks and their auditors to use judgment when valuing illiquid assets that are required to be marked down to market prices under current accounting rules.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: American Bankers Assoc.
  • 3:44 PM » HUD: Announces Plans to Reduce Fraud and Risk in FHA
    Published Thu, Apr 02 2009 3:44 PM by
    U.S. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan told a Senate appropriations subcommittee today that the Federal Housing Administration needs additional resources to ensure FHA can continue to meet the needs of underserved borrowers during the current mortgage crisis. Donovan also testified that he recently reactivated a program to dispatch teams of investigators to conduct on-site reviews of lenders, especially those whose refinance portfolios are showing signs of distress and abnormally high default rates.
  • 3:28 PM » Fed purchases $32.9 billion Agency MBS
    Published Thu, Apr 02 2009 3:28 PM by NY Fed
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  • 3:24 PM » G20 eyes global regulator for hedge funds, credit rating agencies
    Published Thu, Apr 02 2009 3:24 PM by Market Watch
    Hedge funds that are large enough to pose a potential threat to the world’s financial system should be regulated in a similar way to other systemically important institutions, say leaders of the Group of 20 nations.
  • 3:20 PM » NY Fed: A Look at Upstate New York’s Subprime Mortgages in Foreclosure
    Published Thu, Apr 02 2009 3:20 PM by NY Fed
    The Federal Reserve Bank of New York today released , the latest article in the Bank's series, Community Affairs Forum: Facts & Trends . An examination of upstate New York's owner-occupied subprime mortgages reveals that the region has fewer subprime mortgages per 1,000 housing units than New York State as a whole or the United States. Additionally, subprime loans analyzed in the study were performing better than those in the state and the country. The share of subprime mortgages in foreclosure in upstate New York is 7 percent—considerably less than 14 percent for New York State and 12 percent for the nation.
  • 1:49 PM » G20 Leaders Statement
    Published Thu, Apr 02 2009 1:49 PM by
    We face the greatest challenge to the world economy in modern times; a crisis which has deepened since we last met, which affects the lives of women, men, and children in every country, and which all countries must join together to resolve. A global crisis requires a global solution.
  • 1:41 PM » New York Fed Announces April 3 Outright Agency Coupon Purchase
    Published Thu, Apr 02 2009 1:41 PM by NY Fed
    New York Fed Announces April 3 Outright Agency Coupon Purchase
  • 12:54 PM » US Regulators Bracing for Bank Stress Test Battle
    Published Thu, Apr 02 2009 12:54 PM by Reuters
    U.S. regulators have reached the closing phase of "stress tests" to gauge the health of the nation's top banks, and are bracing for a battle to get those firms to accept tough appraisals. Officials realize it may be hard to keep the assessments under wraps, and they are looking for ways the banks could disclose some details without causing havoc in the markets, regulatory sources say. If a bank needs more capital, any disclosures would likely come in concert with a recovery plan that could include government aid and private assistance.
  • 9:57 AM » Bank of America CEO Lewis says economy to bottom in 2009
    Published Thu, Apr 02 2009 9:57 AM by Market Watch
    While he’s seeing mixed signals, Bank of America CEO tells CNBC that he expects the U.S. economy to bottom in the second half of this year, and he does not anticipate that the government will ask that the company to raise more capital.
  • 9:57 AM » Mark-to-market rule set to lose a few teeth
    Published Thu, Apr 02 2009 9:57 AM by Reuters
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. accounting rulemakers are set to crumple on Thursday in the face of ultimatums from lawmakers, liberalizing rules that will give banks leeway to report smaller losses and asset writedowns.
  • 12:26 AM » Wells Fargo May Eliminate Foreign Workers
    Published Thu, Apr 02 2009 12:26 AM by
    We received an email from a former IndyMac Bank staffer who writes: "My whole staff at IMB was on visas... Humorous headline - not in actual article. "Dear H-1b visa holders, Due to the fact that we are accepting TARP funds, we can no longer pretend that you are not displacing U.S. workers. We are going to have to let you go. Love, Wells Fargo" The sender referenced an article from MarketWatch today: "When the stimulus bill became law in February, it included rules that made it more difficult for TARP recipients to hire foreign workers on so-called H-1B visas. The H-1B program allows temporary employment of people from overseas who have specialized skills and education. Technology companies use it a lot, but the 12 biggest banks that took TARP money requested visas for more than 21,800 foreign workers in the past six years, according to the Associated Press."
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 12:11 AM » More Ugly Details Emerge On "Geithner's Heist America Plan"
    Published Thu, Apr 02 2009 12:11 AM by Google News
    The Wall Street Journal has more details on Geithner's Heist America Plan (GHAP). Please consider . The Obama Administration insists it wants to "partner" with private investors for its new toxic-asset purchase plan. But the more details that emerge, the more it seems Treasury wants to work with only a select few companies. This is no way to conduct a bank clean-up. The investment community was already suspicious last week when Secretary Timothy Geithner unveiled his plan, announcing that Treasury would select four or five companies as "fund managers" to purchase toxic securities. Given that the whole idea is to create a liquid market for these assets, we'd have thought Treasury would encourage as many players as possible. But the bigger shock was when Treasury released its application to become a fund manager, a main rule of which is that only firms that already have a minimum of $10 billion in toxic securities under management can apply. Few hedge funds, private equity players or sovereign wealth funds come near this number. The hurdle would bar many who specialize in the very distressed assets that the Obama Administration is trying to offload from banks. Hedge Fund Intelligence recently estimated total assets under management at Avenue Capital Group at $16.4 billion, King Street Capital at $15.8 billion, Fortress Investment Group at $13.7 billion, and Elliott Associates at $12.8 billion. Presumably, the portion of these portfolios devoted to toxic assets is significantly smaller. "It's difficult to imagine why most firms would even bother to apply now," one hedge fund manager told us. Treasury rules also say the $10 billion limit must be comprised of commercial and residential mortgage-backed securities that are "secured directly by the actual mortgage loans, leases or other assets and not other securities." This is another way of saying that they must be "first tier" assets, for instance collateralized...
  • Wed, Apr 1 2009
  • 9:05 PM » Lenders Struggle to Find Cash to Quench Growing Demand for Refinancing
    Published Wed, Apr 01 2009 9:05 PM by Washington Post
    Now that mortgage refinancing is popular again, one big concern is that there won't be enough money to keep up with the demand.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Washington Post
  • 9:05 PM » G20: 'Banking secrecy is over'
    Published Wed, Apr 01 2009 9:05 PM by CNN
    Read full story for latest details.
    Published Wed, Apr 01 2009 7:28 PM by
    The title of this Outlook , “The Future of Investing,” is a theme that will take the evolving years to resolve, let alone the next few days.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 3:17 PM »  New York Fed Announces Tentative Outright Treasury Operation Schedule
    Published Wed, Apr 01 2009 3:17 PM by NY Fed
    Tentative Outright Treasury Operation Schedule
  • 2:22 PM » U.S. urges requirement to keep mortgage records
    Published Wed, Apr 01 2009 2:22 PM by Reuters
    The U.S. Justice Department urged Congress on Wednesday to require mortgage companies to retain records for 10 years to make it easier to prosecute fraud. Rita Glavin, acting head of the department's criminal division, told a hearing of the House of Representatives Judiciary Committee that mortgage settlement statements and other loan documents are critical to investigating or prosecuting fraud.
  • 11:58 AM » Permanent OMO: Fed purchases $6.008 billion in treasury coupons Today
    Published Wed, Apr 01 2009 11:58 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).
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More From MND

Mortgage Rates:
  • 30 Yr FRM 3.70%
  • |
  • 15 Yr FRM 3.30%
  • |
  • Jumbo 30 Year Fixed 3.78%
MBS Prices:
  • 30YR FNMA 4.5 105-23 (0-01)
  • |
  • 30YR FNMA 5.0 107-01 (0-03)
  • |
  • 30YR FNMA 5.5 107-22 (-0-03)
Recent Housing Data:
  • Mortgage Apps -2.18%
  • |
  • Refinance Index -7.75%
  • |
  • Purchase Index 0%