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  • Mon, Mar 23 2009
  • 9:00 AM » World markets surge ahead of US bank crisis plan
    Published Mon, Mar 23 2009 9:00 AM by Washington Post
    HONG KONG -- World stock markets soared Monday ahead of a U.S. announcement to purge as much as $1 trillion in toxic bank assets and as Japan signaled more stimulus measures to resuscitate the world's second-largest economy.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Washington Post
  • 9:00 AM » Obama To Tap Mortgage Exec Stevens To Head FHA: Reports
    Published Mon, Mar 23 2009 9:00 AM by
    TEL AVIV -- David Stevens, a veteran of the mortgage industry, will be appointed to lead the Federal Housing Administration within the Department of Housing and Urban Development, media reports say. The FHA insures mortgage lenders against home-mortgage defaults and provides loans to homebuyers who can't afford substantial down payments. In the current housing climate, private mortgage insurers have raised prices and refused to cover riskier deals, The Wall Street Journal reported. Thus the FHA is taking on more risk within the mortgage market, the Journal reported. Stevens is president and chief operating officer of Long & Foster Cos., the Chantilly, Va., real-estate brokerage. He is also a former executive vice president for Wells Fargo & Co.'s home-mortgage unit and a former senior vice president at Freddie Mac, the Journal reported. Copyright © 2009 MarketWatch, Inc.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • Fri, Mar 20 2009
  • 2:07 PM » Bernanke Urges Community Banks to Keep Lending
    Published Fri, Mar 20 2009 2:07 PM by Washington Post
    The nation's community banks could play a key role in spurring an economic recovery, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said today, as he encouraged them to make loans so long as they can do so prudently and "not to let fear drive" their decisions.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Washington Post
  • 2:07 PM » Indymac Federal Becomes OneWest Bank Group
    Published Fri, Mar 20 2009 2:07 PM by
    The FDIC completed its sale of Indymac Federal Bank yesterday to OneWest Bank Group LLC, a newly formed federal savings bank headquartered in Pasadena, CA. Beginning today, 33 branches of Indymac Federal will reopen as OneWest bank branches, and depositors of Indymac will automatically be a part of the new, privately-held thrift. The regional bank said it [...]
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 1:04 PM » Bernanke defends big bank bailouts
    Published Fri, Mar 20 2009 1:04 PM by CNN
    Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke responded to ongoing criticism of the government's efforts to keep alive institutions it has deemed "too big to fail," saying that this is an "enormous problem" that needs to be addressed.
  • 1:04 PM » AIG Sues Countrywide for Misrepresenting Mortgage Quality
    Published Fri, Mar 20 2009 1:04 PM by
    If in doubt, sue Countrywide…that’s what battered down AIG just did. United Guaranty Mortgage Indemnity Co., a unit of insurance company AIG, filed a lawsuit against the now defunct mortgage lender, accusing the company of misrepresenting the quality of the loans the company insured, according to a Bloomberg report. The insurance unit said Countrywide sought insurance for [...]
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 8:30 AM » Obama on Leno: Backs Geithner, Pledges Pooch
    Published Fri, Mar 20 2009 8:30 AM by CNBC
  • Thu, Mar 19 2009
  • 2:47 PM » FDIC's Bair: 'too big to fail' strategy must end
    Published Thu, Mar 19 2009 2:47 PM by Washington Post
    WASHINGTON -- The head of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. said Thursday that the government's strategy in the financial crisis of bailing out huge institutions deemed "too big to fail" must be replaced by a new model.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Washington Post
  • 12:57 PM » 13 Recipients of TARP Funds Owe $220 Million in Back Taxes
    Published Thu, Mar 19 2009 12:57 PM by Washington Post
    A House panel looking into a federal bailout program has found that 13 recipients of government funds owe more than $220 million in unpaid federal taxes, a lawmaker said today.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Washington Post
  • 10:37 AM » Moody's may Downgrade $241 Billion in Prime Jumbo Securities
    Published Thu, Mar 19 2009 10:37 AM by Calculated Risk Blog
    From Reuters: ... reflecting widening stress in the U.S. housing market, Moody's Investors Service on Thursday said it may downgrade $240.7 billion of securities backed by prime-quality "jumbo" U.S. residential mortgages because defaults will be higher than they expected. ... It said 70 percent of the 2005 senior securities will likely remain investment-grade, with the rest falling to "junk." Securities issued later may suffer deeper downgrades. Moody's also said subordinated securities from 2006, 2007 and 2008 transactions "will likely be completely written down." Defaults continue to increase in higher priced areas ...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 10:37 AM » 'Zero Payment Defaults' Are on the Rise at FHA
    Published Thu, Mar 19 2009 10:37 AM by
    The FHA is experiencing "a large number of zero payment defaults" in which borrowers fail to make even one payment on their new government-insured mortgages, a Department of Housing and Urban Development official said at the Mortgage Bankers Association's annual National Fraud Issues Conference in Las Vegas. The trend, which Lisa Gore, the assistant special agent in charge of the criminal investigation division in HUD's inspector general's office, called "a huge red flag" that some type of fraud has been committed, is similar to the one experienced in the 1999-2001 housing market turndown... [The Washington Post's] analysis of FHA data found that more than 9,200 loans insured by the agency in the past two years have gone delinquent with either one payment or no payments being made. The analysis found that the pace of what the Post called "instant defaults" has tripled in the last year, and more than two dozen loans are defaulting in this manner every week, the newspaper reported...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 9:21 AM » Economists React: ‘Huge Step Forward’
    Published Thu, Mar 19 2009 9:21 AM by WSJ
    Economists and others weigh in on . This is a huge step forward , which we have thought inevitable for some time but did not expect to see in the statement today… The point here is to drive new marginal capital flows out of Treasurys, by making them relatively unattractive, and into riskier assets. We aren’t sure $300 billion is enough, but this is a good start. –Ian Shepherdson, High Frequency Economics The largest benefit may come in the form of lower mortgage rates, which have fallen as a spread to Treasuries this year but remain about unchanged year-to-date in level terms. Mortgage refinancing activity is likely to be quite strong in the coming weeks. –Nomura Global Economics Even with energy prices having flattened The Fed’s Treasury purchases will absorb a very significant portion of the amount of gross issuance that we anticipate to occur over the next six months… The Fed’s announcement signals a clear intent to continue to drive mortgage rates lower and we expect them to meet this objective. This could represent a powerful source of stimulus for the household sector of the economy. In 2008, the average mortgage rate on the outstanding stock of loans was about 6.50%. So, if the Fed brings 30-yr fixed rate mortgages down to 4.50% and all homeowners are able refi, the aggregate permanent cash flow savings would be on the order of $200 billion per year. –David Greenlaw, Morgan Stanley Plans to step up purchases of mortgage-backed securities and agency debt are clearly aimed at restoring the housing market. Low mortgage rates have already led to a surge in refinancing activity, without doing much for home sales. It remains to be seen whether the expansion of Fed purchases of mortgage-backed securities will change this, at least until some semblance of stability has been restored to the labor market and consumer confidence begins to improve. Moreover, with the declines in house prices already in the books and the probability that house prices will register further...
  • 9:20 AM » Economic Report: Continuing jobless claims jump by 185,000 to record 5.47 million
    Published Thu, Mar 19 2009 9:20 AM by Market Watch
    The number of people collecting state unemployment benefits jumped by 185,000 to a record seasonally adjusted 5.47 million in the week ending March 7, while new claims dipped by 12,000 to 646,000 in the week ending March 14, the Labor Department reports.
  • 9:20 AM » London shares rally on hopes for US
    Published Thu, Mar 19 2009 9:20 AM by
    London equity markets bounced stongly on Thursday, mirroring moves overnight on Wall Street after the US Federal Reserve set out plans for its own programme of quantitative easing
  • 9:05 AM » Bankers’ Convention Puts ‘Squeeze’ on Bernanke
    Published Thu, Mar 19 2009 9:05 AM by WSJ
    It didn’t take long for the mood to set in at the Independent Community Bankers of America annual convention in Phoenix, Ariz. on Wednesday. At a big cocktail party, vendors were handing out small, rubber Ben Bernanke figurines next to a sign that says “Stressed Out? Give Ben a squeeze.” An hour later, as hundreds of bankers filed into a dinner buffet, a band played a particularly melancholy version of a famous Green Day song, and the words seemed to almost hang in the air…”I hope you had the time of your life.” –Damian Paletta
  • Wed, Mar 18 2009
  • 8:17 PM » Bernanke: Buy a House
    Published Wed, Mar 18 2009 8:17 PM by CNBC
    Posted By: Well, the Federal Reserve chairman didn’t say that exactly. But the central bank’s announcement Wednesday sure seemed to imply it. Topics: | | | | | | Companies: | | | | | |
  • 3:55 PM » FOMC statement
    Published Wed, Mar 18 2009 3:55 PM by Federal Reserve
    FOMC statement
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Federal Reserve
  • 3:39 PM » Fed Commits to Buying Treasurys
    Published Wed, Mar 18 2009 3:39 PM by WSJ
    The Fed said it will buy up to $300 billion in longer-term Treasurys and raise the size of lending programs already aimed at reducing mortgage rates by another $750 billion. (Statement)
  • 3:39 PM » MarketWatch First Take: Fed acts boldly, won't be distracted by bonus circus
    Published Wed, Mar 18 2009 3:39 PM by Market Watch
    The grownups in Washington aren't about to let the latest political and media circus over ill-gotten bonuses distracted them from saving this economy. The Federal Open Market Committee acted very boldly Wednesday, promising to crank up the money supply until the economy starts breathing on its own again.
  • 3:39 PM » To TALF, or not to TALF
    Published Wed, Mar 18 2009 3:39 PM by CNN
    The government's efforts to tame the credit crisis faces one of its biggest tests yet as the Federal Reserve finally launches a $1 trillion program aimed at reviving lending for both consumers and business.
  • 2:14 PM » Embattled AIG puts headquarters on sales block
    Published Wed, Mar 18 2009 2:14 PM by Washington Post
    NEW YORK -- AIG said Wednesday it's putting its downtown Manhattan headquarters and a nearby office building on the sales block.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Washington Post
  • 2:14 PM » Fannie Mae: Refinancing Volume Tripled in February
    Published Wed, Mar 18 2009 2:14 PM by CNBC
    Posted By: Reuters Fannie Mae the government-controlled home funding company, on Wednesday said its February refinancing volume nearly tripled from January to more than $41 billion. Topics: | | | | Sectors: Companies: | MEDIA:
  • 11:07 AM » Class Action Lawsuit Filed Against You Walk Away
    Published Wed, Mar 18 2009 11:07 AM by
    Distressed Homeowners Sue Carlsbad-based “Foreclosure Consultant” YOU WALK AWAY, LLC for Violations of California State Law - “$995 for foreclosure advice? Why not pay for actually doing something... I have a REAL spell caster that can cast a wicked protection spell on those evil bankers so they leave you alone. - Reader Comment The perfect storm for underwater real estate is reaching the tsunami boiling point and for companies that help homeowners ditch their homes and jump into a home saving raft like You Walk Away, business is absolutely BOOMING!
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 10:21 AM » U.S. construction index ticks up in February: AIA
    Published Wed, Mar 18 2009 10:21 AM by
    NEW YORK (Reuters) - A leading indicator of U.S. nonresidential construction activity rose slightly in February from a record low the previous month, an architects' trade group said on Wednesday.
  • 10:06 AM » Bank of America CEO says could repay TARP in '09: report
    Published Wed, Mar 18 2009 10:06 AM by Reuters
    NEW YORK (Reuters) - Bank of America Corp Chairman and Chief Executive Kenneth Lewis said the largest U.S. bank could repay the $45 billion of government capital it has taken by late 2009 or early 2010, depending on the economy, according to an interview published in the Charlotte Observer.
  • 10:05 AM » Mortgage applications spike
    Published Wed, Mar 18 2009 10:05 AM by CNN
    Read full story for latest details.
  • 10:05 AM » S&P Cuts $16.16 Billion of Alt-A Securities
    Published Wed, Mar 18 2009 10:05 AM by WSJ
    S&P cut its ratings on $16.16 billion of residential mortgage-backed securities backed by U.S. Alt-A mortgages issued in 2006 and 2007 following last month's increase on loss assumptions.
  • 10:05 AM » Hedge Funds May Benefit from AIG Bailout: Report
    Published Wed, Mar 18 2009 10:05 AM by CNBC
    Posted By: Reuters Some of the billions of dollars the U.S. government paid to bail out American International Group stand to benefit hedge funds that bet on a falling housing market, the Wall Street Journal said, citing people familiar with the matter and reviewed documents. Topics: | | | | | | | Sectors: | | Companies: | |
  • 12:18 AM » World Bank Cuts China's 2009 GDP Forecast to 6.5%
    Published Wed, Mar 18 2009 12:18 AM by CNBC
  • 12:17 AM » Housing: Two Bottoms
    Published Wed, Mar 18 2009 12:17 AM by Calculated Risk Blog
    Note: I've added a "ShareThis" button to the posts, and I'm now on . In my previous post I discussed the question: We don't know the answer yet. But some readers are confusing a bottom in housing starts with a bottom in pricing. It doesn't works that way! There will be two distinct bottoms for housing: 1) First single-family housing starts and new home sales will bottom. and then followed some time later ... 2) Prices for existing homes will bottom. Just about every housing bust follows this pattern. The bottom in prices could be a year, or two, or more away. It is way too early to try to call the bottom in prices. House prices will almost certainly fall all year and probably next year too. Prices will continue to fall. Prices are not at the bottom. Sorry for repeating myself. Also, it is theoretically possible that single-family housing starts (off 80% from peak) and new home sales (off 78% from peak) could go to zero - but unlikely. Sometime this year housing starts and new home sales will probably bottom, but that doesn't indicate a bottom for house prices.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 12:17 AM » U.K. Prepares Regulatory Overhaul
    Published Wed, Mar 18 2009 12:17 AM by WSJ
    The U.K. financial-services regulator is expected to roll out a blueprint for the most radical rethink of the U.K.'s financial rules in more than a decade.
  • Tue, Mar 17 2009
  • 5:59 PM » Bring finance out of the shadows
    Published Tue, Mar 17 2009 5:59 PM by
    It is not surprising to see calls for the Glass-Steagall Act to be resuscitated. While better financial regulation is necessary, however, the dichotomy at the core of Glass-Steagall is better left at rest
  • 3:19 PM » 73 AIG employees got at least $1 million, Cuomo says
    Published Tue, Mar 17 2009 3:19 PM by Market Watch
    Failed insurance giant American International Group Inc. "retention" bonuses of more than $1 million to 73 employees, including 11 who no longer work at the company, New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo says as political and public anger over the bonuses mounts.
  • 3:18 PM » Frank hopes to draft financial overhaul bill soon
    Published Tue, Mar 17 2009 3:18 PM by Washington Post
    WASHINGTON -- The chairman of the House Financial Services Committee said Tuesday he hoped to begin writing legislation by early May on overhauling how the federal government regulates the nation's financial system.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Washington Post
  • 3:18 PM » Lack of Warehouse Funding Hurts Reverse Mortgage Sector
    Published Tue, Mar 17 2009 3:18 PM by Google News
    Growth in the reverse mortgage sector requires warehouse funding, which has gone virtually AWOL during the past 15 months of worldwide economic contraction. Warehouse lenders provide liquidity by allowing lenders to temporarily fund mortgages at the closing table. But, estimates indicate a severe drop in the number of warehouse lines - down from nearly 115 at its peak in 2005 to less than 30. “Two years ago there were warehouse lenders galore and now there are very few,” laments Michael Wallace, branch manager, Upstate Capital, East Syracuse, N.Y. “The [providers] that are out there are either cutting back on their lines or requiring very large minimums,” according to Wallace, who says he is “going out to local banks and trying to educate them on the reverse mortgage so they can provide [this] funding.” Wallace - whose company wrote 700 reverse loans last year and is averaging about 80/month this year - said he wants part of the federal economic stimulus package to be directed to providing this warehouse funding. “Congress should say to HUD and Fannie Mae ‘start providing these lines’ to guys like us who want to become a Full Eagle.” Even established reverse mortgage lenders like have had problems with its warehouse providers. Due to capacity “issues”, the 2nd largest wholesale reverse mortgage lender was forced to suspend new submissions from brokers in February. The company started from certain customers but wouldn’t comment on when things would be back to normal. Looking to address the problem, last week the Mortgage Bankers Association came out in favor of federal “steps to help maintain existing lines of warehouse credit and creating new warehouse lending by providing a short-term federal guarantee of warehouse lines that are collateralized by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, FHA, VA and RHS [Rural Housing Services]-eligible mortgages.” Neil J. Morse has been a communications professional working in the mortgage finance industry for more than a decade, currently specializing...
  • 3:18 PM » Wells Fargo Top Mortgage Lender in January as Industry Volume Jumps
    Published Tue, Mar 17 2009 3:18 PM by
    Mortgage origination volume jumped in January among some of the largest banking institutions receiving TARP funds, according to a new survey from the Treasury Department. The survey, which covers the top 21 recipients of government investment via the Capital Purchase Program (CPP), found consumer lending originations increased at most institutions between December and January. “Mortgage origination volume [...]
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 1:29 PM » Top mortgage lender mulls bankruptcy
    Published Tue, Mar 17 2009 1:29 PM by CNN
    Read full story for latest details.
  • 10:51 AM » Lehman puts two bank units on market: source
    Published Tue, Mar 17 2009 10:51 AM by Washington Post
    NEW YORK (Reuters) - Bankrupt Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc <LEHMQ.PK> is auctioning a thrift and an industrial bank it owns, and the process is in the early stages, a source familiar with the matter said on Monday.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Washington Post
  • 8:31 AM » The Future of Green Building
    Published Tue, Mar 17 2009 8:31 AM by Business Week
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Business Week
  • 8:31 AM » Credit Card Defaults Hit 20 Year High
    Published Tue, Mar 17 2009 8:31 AM by Google News
    Credit card defaults are soaring. In response, lenders are hiking rates and slashing credit lines. Meanwhile Obama wants to throw money at the problem by increasing small business loans. Let's take a look at how the above facts interrelate starting with . U.S. credit card defaults rose in February to their highest level in at least 20 years, with losses particularly severe at American Express Co(AXP) and Citigroup(C) amid a deepening recession. AmEx, the largest U.S. charge card operator by sales volume, said its net charge-off rate -- debts companies believe they will never be able to collect -- rose to 8.70 percent in February from 8.30 percent in January. In addition, Citigroup -- one of the largest issuers of MasterCard cards -- disappointed analysts as its default rate soared to 9.33 percent in February, from 6.95 percent a month earlier, according to a report based on trusts representing a portion of securitized credit card debt. Analysts estimate credit card chargeoffs could climb to between 9 and 10 percent this year from 6 to 7 percent at the end of 2008. In that scenario, such losses could total $70 billion to $75 billion in 2009. "People underestimated the severity of the downturn we are experiencing and I wouldn't be surprised to see them north of 10 percent," said Todd, who added American Express was most exposed to higher credit card losses, given its sole reliance on the industry. Credit card lenders are trying to protect themselves by tightening credit limits, rising standards, and closing accounts. They have also been slashing rewards, raising interest rates and increasing fees to cushion further losses. Meredith Whitney, one of Wall Street's best known and most bearish bank analysts, estimates that Americans' credit card lines will be cut by $2.7 trillion, or 50 percent, by the end of 2010 -- and fewer Americans will be offered new cards. Business Owners Tear Up Cards Bloomberg is reporting . Susan Woodward isn’t renewing the...
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More From MND

Mortgage Rates:
  • 30 Yr FRM 3.61%
  • |
  • 15 Yr FRM 3.22%
  • |
  • Jumbo 30 Year Fixed 3.69%
MBS Prices:
  • 30YR FNMA 4.5 105-26 (0-01)
  • |
  • 30YR FNMA 5.0 107-04 (0-06)
  • |
  • 30YR FNMA 5.5 107-21 (-0-04)
Recent Housing Data:
  • Mortgage Apps -1.21%
  • |
  • Refinance Index -1.77%
  • |
  • Purchase Index -2.01%