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  • Mon, Sep 15 2008
  • 4:14 AM » The U.S. on the Precipice
    Published Mon, Sep 15 2008 4:14 AM by Seeking Alpha
    James Quinn submits: September 7, 2008, the 10 th anniversary of the Federal Reserve arranged bailout of the infamous hedge fund Long-Term Capital, is now a more infamous date. This is the day that our government chose socialism over free market capitalism. Our elected leaders increased the national debt from $9.6 trillion to $15 trillion, a 56% increase in one weekend. Hank Paulson, the U.S. Treasury Secretary, seems to have a penchant for committing U.S. taxpayer dollars on weekends. He previously arranged for the bailout of Bear Stearns (BSC) on a weekend and convinced Congress and the President on a weekend to give him a blank check regarding the future of Fannie Mae (FNM) and Freddie Mac (FRE). He spearheaded the takeover of two of the worst run financial institutions on the planet. They hold or guarantee $5.4 trillion of mortgages. James Grant, a keen financial mind, described what we are experiencing today, back in early 2007. “Capitalism without financial failure is not capitalism at all, but a kind of socialism for the rich.”
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Seeking Alpha
  • 2:55 AM » Why I Sold Norbord: Confessions of a Value Investor
    Published Mon, Sep 15 2008 2:55 AM by Seeking Alpha
    submits: As a value investor, I confess to swallowing a tough pill as I sold out of my entire position in Norbord () [TSE:NBD] last week, after exactly 24 months of holding these shares. When I originally bought Norbord, I was a fairly green value investor and consumed at that time with reading everything I could get my hands on about other value investors, their holdings, philosophies and disciplines. Norbord at that time was a value favorite of Irwin Michael of ABC Funds, and one through my own research that I felt offered decent value at its then valuation of $8.50 per share. The stock was a low-cost producer of OSB and had been hit hard in sympathy with lower sales linked to the declining housing market in the US despite a strong European presence.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Seeking Alpha
  • 1:17 AM » AIG, facing liquidity crisis, seeks Fed lifeline
    Published Mon, Sep 15 2008 1:17 AM by Reuters
    NEW YORK (Reuters) - Insurer American International Group Inc, working to stave off rating downgrades and shore up the capital of its holding company, has made an unprecedented approach to the Federal Reserve seeking $40 billion in short-term financing, the New York Times said.
  • 1:16 AM » Ten banks commit to $70 billion borrowing facility
    Published Mon, Sep 15 2008 1:16 AM by Reuters
    NEW YORK (Reuters) - Ten of the world's biggest banks on Sunday committed to establish a $70 billion borrowing facility to bolster worldwide liquidity and reduce volatility in what they called an "extraordinary market environment."
  • 1:15 AM » Bank of America buys Merrill Lynch
    Published Mon, Sep 15 2008 1:15 AM by Reuters
    WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Bank of America Corp has agreed to acquire Merrill Lynch & Co Inc, according to people briefed on the matter, in a deal that will give the U.S. bank the world's largest brokerage.
  • 1:14 AM » Derivatives market trades on Sunday to cut Lehman risk
    Published Mon, Sep 15 2008 1:14 AM by Reuters
    NEW YORK (Reuters) - Major players in the $455 trillion global derivatives market rushed Sunday to scale back exposure to a potential bankruptcy filing by investment bank Lehman Brothers in a rare emergency trading session.
  • 1:13 AM » Fed braces markets for likely Lehman collapse
    Published Mon, Sep 15 2008 1:13 AM by Reuters
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Reserve on Sunday launched a series of emergency measures to calm financial markets and ease any trading disruptions that could arise from a collapse of investment bank Lehman Brothers.
  • 1:13 AM » Oil falls below $100 as all eyes on Ike and Wall Street banks
    Published Mon, Sep 15 2008 1:13 AM by Reuters
    PERTH (Reuters) - Oil tumbled below $100 a barrel to a six-month low on early signs that Hurricane Ike may have spared key Gulf Coast infrastructure, although traders were cautious on Monday as they awaited status reports on more Texas refineries.
  • Sun, Sep 14 2008
  • 11:54 PM » Stunned here at HW
    Published Sun, Sep 14 2008 11:54 PM by feeds.feedburner.com
    Fannie, Freddie, Lehman, Merill, AIG decimated within a span of merely seven days. And two other investment banks rumored to be next in a matter of days. Wow.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: feeds.feedburner.com
  • 11:38 PM » AIG on the Brink, Too
    Published Sun, Sep 14 2008 11:38 PM by feeds.feedburner.com
    Pending doom for Lehman Brothers Holdings Corp. (LEH: 3.65 -13.51%) garnered plenty of headlines Sunday and heading into Monday, but it’s another possible failure that could send larger waves through financial markets: The American International Group (AIG: 12.14 -30.83%) is said to have appealed to the Federal Reserve for a $40 billion bridge loan to [...]
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: feeds.feedburner.com
  • 11:05 PM » Merrill Sells to Bank of America; Who’s Next?
    Published Sun, Sep 14 2008 11:05 PM by feeds.feedburner.com
    Is it time to start wondering about the future of Wall Street’s independent investment banks? It’s almost unthinkable to think, but news broke Sunday evening that Merrill Lynch & Co. (MER: 17.05 -12.25%) had agreed to sell itself to Bank of America Corp. (BAC: 33.74 +2.06%) as the U.S. financial markets went through one of [...]
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: feeds.feedburner.com
  • 4:41 PM » GSE Bailout Unlikely to Help with Housing Crisis
    Published Sun, Sep 14 2008 4:41 PM by Seeking Alpha
    submits: I’ve been swamped with MBA work, so I haven’t had much time to post to my blog. But with recent awe-inspiring market fireworks, I view a divergence from statistics and finance as a welcomed event. By now you’ve all heard the news: the US government took control of Fannie Mae (FNM) and Freddie Mac (FRE). Miraculously, just a few days after Bill Gross, Director at PIMCO, pleaded for a housing bailout in his , Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson colluded with Wall Street moguls to formulate a government take over. The deal was finalized over the first weekend in September.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Seeking Alpha
  • 8:19 AM » Brookings Panel on Economic Activity Conference: Housing Market and Fed Activity
    Published Sun, Sep 14 2008 8:19 AM by Seeking Alpha
    submits: Dani Rodrik (2008), "The Real Exchange Rate and Economic Growth." Some notes: A. Undervaluation does two things. It shifts your employment and production toward export and import-competing tradeables-producing industries. It also gives you lousy terms of trade. Dani wants to argue that the first is good--that there are powerful wedges which make emerging-markets countries, especially, prone to have too small a share of employment and production in those export and import-competing tradeables-producing industries. But the second has to be bad for growth.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Seeking Alpha
  • 8:18 AM » The Fannie/Freddie Heist
    Published Sun, Sep 14 2008 8:18 AM by Seeking Alpha
    submits: It's alarming to think the Feds can swing this big baseball bat called 'our tax dollars' so freely. With a seemingly open checkbook, Treasury effectively took the reins of the GSE's, guaranteeing home mortgages with US taxpayer money. It's not as if our country could afford this. The national debt just doubled overnight, what with the guarantee of nearly 6 trillion in home mortgages. Now, I've heard the fear-mongering...from Paulson, Bernanke and others...that a much more serious problem would have occurred without some intervention. How do they know this? Have we been in this mess before? I believe free markets should be left alone to settle, and if there are failures along the way...so be it. This entire mess will not be fixed with the stroke of a pen. More Write-offs, More Pain
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Seeking Alpha
  • 7:31 AM » Case/Shiller Index: Are We Close to a Bottom?
    Published Sun, Sep 14 2008 7:31 AM by Seeking Alpha
    submits: Karl E. Case, one of the economists that developed the 20 MSA methodology, a widely used subset by Standard & Poor’s in the S&P/Case Shiller Home Price Index, thinks that the housing market may be near a bottom. According to , in a paper presented this week before the Brookings Institution in Washington, Mr. Case argued that the relationship between incomes and home prices has neared a level seen at the end of past housing slumps. He also noted that of the 20 metropolitan areas covered by the Case/Shiller index, nine have shown prices slightly improving in recent months.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Seeking Alpha
  • 7:16 AM » How Much Have our Real Estate Assets Gone Down?
    Published Sun, Sep 14 2008 7:16 AM by Seeking Alpha
    submits: The ways of Wall Street are a mystery to many of those on the outside. For insiders, this is not necessarily a bad thing. They can use their superior knowledge and understanding to take advantage of those who haven't been properly schooled in what things mean and how they work. Regardless, even those who might not be able to grasp certain concepts and perspectives that have not been spelled out in clear and convincing detail can look at an eye-catching chart pattern and get the gist of what it means. In the Paper Economy blog offers up a great example.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Seeking Alpha
  • 5:41 AM » Payback Period is Upon Us
    Published Sun, Sep 14 2008 5:41 AM by Seeking Alpha
    Mike Stathis submits: Despite attempts made by Greenspan and Bernanke, there is no way to avert the payback period that has been building for over two decades. Over this stretch, America has consumed much more than it has produced. As a result, both consumer and federal debt have ballooned to record levels. And now, the payback period is upon us. The bailout buffet won’t end with Fannie (FNM) and Freddie (FRE). There’s a lot more where that came from because the “Fed’s food court” remains open, as does that of the U.S. Treasury. In fact, the autos are in the process of being bailed out with $50 billion in “loans.” I expect the airlines to also receive some form of a bailout as well.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Seeking Alpha
  • 5:41 AM » Is the High Home Ownership Rate Hurting Michigan?
    Published Sun, Sep 14 2008 5:41 AM by Seeking Alpha
    submits: From a : Homeownership impedes the economy’s readjustment by tying people down. From a social point of view, it’s beneficial that homeownership encourages commitment to a given town or city. But, from an economic point of view, it’s good for people to be able to leave places where there’s less work and move to places where there’s more. Homeowners are much less likely to move than renters, especially during a downturn, when they aren’t willing (or can’t afford) to sell at market prices. As a result, they often stay in towns even after the jobs leave. And reluctance to move not only keeps unemployment high in struggling areas but makes it hard for businesses elsewhere to attract the workers they need to grow.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Seeking Alpha
  • 5:10 AM » How Long Until Housing Prices Stabilize?
    Published Sun, Sep 14 2008 5:10 AM by Seeking Alpha
    submits: Most economists agree that the key to ending the current downturn is for home prices to stop falling. When exactly that'll happen is the great unknown. Mark Zandi of Moody's Economy.com and Robert Shiller of Yale University and housing derivatives fame think it will take until at least 2010.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Seeking Alpha
  • 3:20 AM » Last Gasp of a Doomed Currency
    Published Sun, Sep 14 2008 3:20 AM by Seeking Alpha
    submits: In the latest example of financial market madness, the recent government “bailout” of Freddie Mac (FRE) and Fannie Mae (FNM) has perversely resulted in a sharp rise in the value of the U.S. dollar. If the markets were functioning rationally, the transference of staggering new liabilities to the U.S. Treasury would have been immediately seen as catastrophic for the dollar. Instead the markets have ignored the obviously negative long-term implications and have remained fixated on the more immediate effects. However, rather than solving the problems, the government’s actions merely confirm my worst fears, and increase the chances for a hyper-inflationary outcome.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Seeking Alpha
  • 2:49 AM » More on the Fannie/Freddie Heist
    Published Sun, Sep 14 2008 2:49 AM by Seeking Alpha
    submits: It's alarming to think the feds can swing this big baseball bat called 'our tax dollars' so freely. With a seemingly open checkbook, the Treasury effectively took the reins of the GSEs, guaranteeing home mortgages with US taxpayer money. It's not as if our country could afford this. The national debt just doubled overnight, what with the guarantee of nearly 6 trillion in home mortgages. Now, I've heard the fear-mongering -.from Paulson, Bernanke and others - that a much more serious problem would have occurred without some intervention. How do they know this? Have we been in this mess before? I believe free markets should be left alone to settle, and if there are failures along the way, so be it. This entire mess will not be fixed with the stroke of a pen.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Seeking Alpha
  • Sat, Sep 13 2008
  • 8:33 AM » Some Housing Schadenfreude
    Published Sat, Sep 13 2008 8:33 AM by Seeking Alpha
    submits: I was in the Calgary airport a few weeks ago on my way to the west coast when I wandered into a bookstore and picked up Garth Turner's book , a critique of the current Canadian housing market. A little ironic, I thought, given that the bookstore looked out onto the open rolling hills at the edge of one of Canada's hottest real estate markets, unencumbered by any natural barriers which might put a halt to the ever-expanding building. Turner is a Member of the Canadian Parliament and noted author and commentator on financial issues. This is a timely book, given that the real estate market may already be peaking in Canada.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Seeking Alpha
  • 12:08 AM » Foreclosure Filings Up in August, But Pace Slowing
    Published Sat, Sep 13 2008 12:08 AM by www.thetruthaboutmortgage.com
    Foreclosure activity increased 12 percent last month from July and 27 percent from the same period a year ago, but the annual rate of increase has slowed significantly, according to RealtyTrac. Defaults notices, auction sales notices, and bank repossessions were reported on 303,879 properties during the month, the highest total in any month since the company [...]
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: www.thetruthaboutmortgage.com
  • Fri, Sep 12 2008
  • 9:34 PM » Paulson: No Federal Money for Lehman
    Published Fri, Sep 12 2008 9:34 PM by feeds.feedburner.com
    Looking to cut off speculation that any sale of floundering Lehman Brothers Holdings Corp. (LEH: 3.65 -13.51%) might need to involve federal dollars, Treasury secretary Henry Paulson on Friday was reportedly adamant that any effort to sell the Wall Street investment bank not use government funds. HW reported on the latest round of troubles and potential [...]
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: feeds.feedburner.com
  • 5:04 PM » Mortgage REIT Insider: Agencies Gain on GSE Bailout
    Published Fri, Sep 12 2008 5:04 PM by feeds.feedburner.com
    The bull market may be back for the agency mREITs. Credit Suisse bumped Annaly Capital (NLY: 15.95 +0.06%) and Anworth Mortgage (ANH: 7.47 +1.22%) to outperform, citing the removal of “GSE overhang,” and removal of supply/demand imbalances in the MBS market. Bose George over at Keefe Bruyette also chimed in earlier this week, reiterating his [...]
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: feeds.feedburner.com
  • 4:13 PM » Foreclosures Actually Dropped (If You Don't Count Five States)
    Published Fri, Sep 12 2008 4:13 PM by Seeking Alpha
    submits: – RealtyTrac, the leading online marketplace for foreclosure properties, today released its August 2008 U.S. Foreclosure Market Report, which shows foreclosure filings — default notices, auction sale notices and bank repossessions — were reported on 303,879 U.S. properties during the month, a 12% increase from the previous month and a 27% increase from August 2007.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Seeking Alpha
  • 3:29 PM » No Sale: A Bad Agent, or a Lousy Market?
    Published Fri, Sep 12 2008 3:29 PM by WSJ
    Real estate agents, as well as sellers, can get into a blue funk these days about the real estate market. That's understandable, but not forgivable. June Fletcher offers tips on how to tell whether your agent is suffering from market malaise.
  • 2:32 PM » American Banker: Chase WaMu Merger Talks Serious
    Published Fri, Sep 12 2008 2:32 PM by www.thetruthaboutmortgage.com
    JP Morgan Chase is in “advanced talks” to purchase struggling thrift Washington Mutual, according to a report published today in the American Banker. The publication said talks are “ongoing at the highest levels,” but stressed that no deal had been reached, and things could still fall through. Washington Mutual has seen its share price fall more than [...]
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: www.thetruthaboutmortgage.com
  • 1:22 PM » Take this weekend off, Hank
    Published Fri, Sep 12 2008 1:22 PM by The Big Picture
    Today's MSM article worth reviewing is a pair of opinion pieces from across the pond: The first is the delightfully titled : "I do not know what plans Hank Paulson, the US Treasury secretary, has for the weekend. Bird-watching, perhaps. Whatever they are, may I suggest that he sticks to them? Mr Paulson is a keen ornithologist but he is also an energetic intervener in financial markets and, when he has worked on weekends recently, the US taxpayer has paid dearly. In March, it was a line of funding to steer Bear Stearns, the investment bank, into the hands of JPMorgan Chase. On Sunday, it was the bail-out of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the quasi-public mortgage lenders, which could cost the US government $200bn (€143bn, £114bn) or more. It is only Thursday and, already, others seem to be preparing to interrupt his days of rest again." The entire article is similarly snarky. The next bit of Brit opinion worthy of your attention is the Times' : "Their failure has been so obvious, that even the most capitalist administration ever, in the world's most capitalist country, had decided to wipe out the private owners of its biggest and most important financial companies and replace them with state-appointed bureaucrats. The reasons for these failures - related, ironically, to the dogmatic belief among regulators, politicians and financiers that “the market is always right” - have been much discussed. Much less widely considered have been the consequences of this justifiable disillusionment with market forces. Even more than the mind-boggling $5,500 billion size of the two US mortgage companies, it was the political significance of their nationalisation that marked it out as an historic turning point. This was, after all, the biggest expropriation of private property undertaken by a government outside the former communist world, yet there was absolutely no protest, nor even discussion, about the terms imposed by the US Treasury. Viewed from across the...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: The Big Picture
  • 1:21 PM » Paulson: Congress Has No Authority Here
    Published Fri, Sep 12 2008 1:21 PM by The Big Picture
    "As with any contract, the parties to the agreement may modify the covenants by mutual agreement only.'' - > Hank Paulson's God Complex just got bigger. The Director of Government Bailouts, and head of the Socialism Departmant at Treasury has informed Congress to back off his turf. "All your legislation belongs to us!" Now, last I checked, it was Congress that had the power of authorization disbursements, and that Treasury does not have the authority to spend 5.3 trillion dollars. Comrade Paulson does not seem to understand the way the different branches of government work in the United states, and is apparently unfamiliar with a little parchment called the Constitution. Perhaps we can get Ron Paul to explain how these things work to our friend from the People's Republic of Goldman. Bill King: "Hank is trying to euchre the market into believing that if Congress tries to change the law, the executive branch would then sue Congress for breach of contract. Good luck with that at the Supreme Court." Nice try, comrade, but no such luck. The issue here is authorization. I cannot write a contract to sell you home, car, etc to a third party, without your authorization. Otherwise, its fraud. The party with the legal title and ability to convey those goods or services on the one side, or indebtedness or money on the other side of the transaction requires authorization. The original Bazooka legislation did not give Treasury a blank check to do whatever they want. A decision, for example, to add Fannie and Freddie to the budget "wouldn't automatically translate into explicit government backing for the companies' combined $1.7 trillion in unsecured debt and $3.5 trillion of mortgage guarantees." To do so requires Congressional legislation to change the companies' legal status. That's where any of the changes -- like reducing the absurd pay packages for the current idiots running Fannie/Freddie -- would come in...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: The Big Picture
  • 1:20 PM » The End of Lehman
    Published Fri, Sep 12 2008 1:20 PM by www.portfolio.com
    After 158 years, the days of as an independent investment house are rapidly dwindling. Federal officials are pressing Lehman to sell itself before Asian markets open for trading on Sunday night. The Washington Post regulators "have been in touch with Lehman on an almost hourly basis in recent days." LEHMAN'S STRUGGLES: The C.E.O. played his last card. The hedge fund manager who raised questions . Wall Street's year of pain. The team that helped engineer the rescue of Bear Stearns—Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson, Timothy Geithner, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York, Ben Bernanke, the Fed chairman, and Christopher Cox, the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission—have been discussing options for Lehman, reports say. Bank of America and Barclays of Britain are cited as the most likely buyers of Lehman. BofA could certainly afford Lehman, but it is a surprising suitor given that BofA is already engaged in the process of integrating another troubled financial firm, mortgage lender Countrywide Financial, and Ken Lewis, the bank's C.E.O., last talked about the investment-banking business in the same way that people politely make reference to the fact that sewage has flooded their basement. But Richard Bove, the influential bank analyst, said that an acquisition would finally give BofA a world-class investment-banking business and a powerful fixed-income trading desk. "I believe that Bank of America will win the auction for Lehman Brothers," Bove said in a note today. "There is a natural fit between the two companies." Lehman would also be a great fit for Barclays, which was foiled last year in its bid to acquire ABN Amro, but Bob Diamond, the president of the Barclays investment-banking unit, said this summer that the bank was more interested in acquiring a wealth manager. HSBC of Britain is also thought to be a possible bidder. The big Japanese banks have huge cash war chests, but having been...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: www.portfolio.com
  • 1:19 PM » AP Source: Fidelity to settle auction-rate probe
    Published Fri, Sep 12 2008 1:19 PM by Washington Post
    NEW YORK -- Fidelity Investments was close to settling an investigation led by New York Attorney General Andrew Cuomo into the company's sales of auction-rate securities, a person close to the talks said Friday.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Washington Post
  • 1:18 PM » Moody's Cuts WaMu Senior Debt to Junk; Bank May Sell Branches, Deposits
    Published Fri, Sep 12 2008 1:18 PM by feeds.feedburner.com
    Washington Mutual, which has long looked wobbly, is moving beyond the point where it can survive in its current form (cynics might say in any form). Moody's lowered the bank's rating on its deteriorating financial condition and the difficulty of raising sufficient capital on viable terms. From : Washington Mutual Inc. was downgraded to below investment-grade status by Moody's Investors Service, after the largest U.S. savings and loan projected a $4.5 billion third-quarter increase in reserves for bad loans but said it has more than enough capital. Moody's cut the Seattle-based thrift's senior unsecured debt rating two notches to "Ba2," its second-highest "junk" grade, from "Baa3," with a "negative" outlook. It also lowered its rating for the banking unit to "Baa3" from "Baa2." "Washington Mutual's access to the debt and equity markets remains severely constrained," Craig Emrick, a Moody's senior credit officer, said in an interview.... Washington Mutual said it expected the third-quarter increase in loss reserves to decline from $5.9 billion in the second quarter, when its overall net loss was $3.33 billion. It also said it expects net charge-offs, or loans it does not expect to be paid back, to be roughly $2.7 billion in the third quarter, up from the second quarter's $2.17 billion.... Fitch Ratings on Thursday cut its credit rating to "BBB-minus," the same level as Standard & Poor's, and those agencies' lowest investment grades. The thrift expects to report full results on October 22. About $3.4 billion of the reserve increase is expected to come from residential mortgages. Credit card reserves would rise by $600 million from the second quarter as the thrift moves securitizations back onto its balance sheet, not because credit quality is deteriorating, a spokesman said... Investors remain worried about the thrift's capital even after Washington...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: feeds.feedburner.com
  • 1:18 PM » WaMu may have to sell branches to stay afloat
    Published Fri, Sep 12 2008 1:18 PM by feeds.feedburner.com
    In addition to Lehman Brothers, . Looking at massive losses, a credit downgrade, and a plunging stock price, the company may need to sell its main asset - the retail branches - to raise cash to survive. The company’s tanking stock price makes raising capital almost impossible, and a last-ditch effort to sell the branches might be it’s only option. Not that it was hard to see this coming, huge quarterly losses, a phony profit stream based off deferred interest from neg-am loans, and the smallest loan loss reserve of any major bank made them easy targets for a swift and stunning demise. I imagine it won’t be long before we see the lines out the door at WaMu’s across the country. Not so much of a “Woo hoo!” moment. From Bloomberg: , facing up to $19 billion in bad home loans and slammed by a 34 percent drop in its stock this week, may sell parts of a nationwide 2,300- branch network to raise capital. “The only real asset they have that’s worth anything to other banks is the deposit base, because of their branches,” said L. , chairman of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. from 1985 to 1991. Seattle-based WaMu can probably sell branches in New York and Chicago, said , president of Ely & Co. Inc., a bank consulting firm based in Alexandria, Virginia. , WaMu’s new chief executive officer, may have to shed branches that hold $143 billion in deposits. The biggest U.S. savings and loan is headed for its fourth straight quarterly loss. Suitors have walked away because of potential damage to their earnings and WaMu’s chief regulator, the Office of Thrift Supervision, has told it to boost risk management and compliance.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: feeds.feedburner.com
  • 1:18 PM » Government Line: This Isn't as Bad as S&L Crisis
    Published Fri, Sep 12 2008 1:18 PM by Seeking Alpha
    submits: The party line inside the Bush Administration about the current financial crisis seems to be that it's not as bad as the S&L Crisis was. Check the following transcript of a this morning with his economic policy minions (speaker is White House spokesperson Tony Fratto): Q You have another major financial firm on the brink, and several other banks have failed in the last few weeks, almost one a week at this rate. Washington Mutual (WM) is in a lot of trouble. What does the White House think about this and the state of Wall Street at this period?
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Seeking Alpha
  • 12:28 PM » Treasury: GSE Debt Guarantees Good Past 2009
    Published Fri, Sep 12 2008 12:28 PM by feeds.feedburner.com
    In a statement yesterday designed to clarify the government takeover of both Fannie Mae (FNM: 0.7299 -6.42%) and Freddie Mac (FRE: 0.4954 -16.03%), the government managed to provide tidebits of information many might have missed when the original bailout was announced. Chief among them? The fact that senior and subordinated debt holders, as well as [...]
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: feeds.feedburner.com
  • 10:38 AM » WaMu Hit With Downgrades as it Tries to Reassure Investors
    Published Fri, Sep 12 2008 10:38 AM by feeds.feedburner.com
    In trouble? Preannounce earnings — it’s an age-old Wall Street strategy designed to shock investors out of a (usually downward) funk. Troubled thrift Washington Mutual (WM: 2.97 +4.95%) dialed up the play out of its financial playbook late Thursday, updating investors on third quarter performance in an attempt to slow investor concern over a quickly [...]
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: feeds.feedburner.com
  • 10:36 AM » Foreclosure Filings Up in August, But Pace Slowing
    Published Fri, Sep 12 2008 10:36 AM by www.thetruthaboutmortgage.com
    Foreclosure activity increased 12 percent last month from July and 27 percent from the same period a year ago, but the annual rate of increase has slowed significantly, according to RealtyTrac. Defaults notices, auction sales notices, and bank repossessions were reported on 303,879 properties during the month, the highest total in any month since the company [...]
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: www.thetruthaboutmortgage.com
  • 9:48 AM » Home Equity Line Of Credit PUT Play
    Published Fri, Sep 12 2008 9:48 AM by feeds.feedburner.com
    Minyan "KT" Writes: Mish, One of my co-workers told me he received a letter from Wells Fargo (WFC) this week that his Home equity line of credit has been effectively reduced immediately. He was upset about this and the fact that reduction was immediate. My co-worker said he would have taken the maximum loan had it not been immediate. I was perplexed. Do people like to borrow money if their collateral doesn't cover the loan? KT Philosophical Question? Inquiring minds might be wondering if that's a philosophical question of some sort with no real answer. The answer is it is a very legitimate question with answers that vary by circumstance. Let's consider a few hypothetical possibilities. Case #1 : Consider someone who has an extremely large equity position in their house. Such a person probably would not be upset in the least. Case #2 : Consider someone who has a HELOC just because it came with the mortgage loan at no cost. I had one of those at one point. It did not cost anything, and it had no annual fee. Although I have a huge equity position, it was a free option so I took it. Why not? I never used it and never intended to. If I was offered $200 to close the HELOC as did National City (NCC) (See ) I would have taken the $200 gladly. Then again, I never would have entered into the arrangement in the first place if it had a $350 exit fee as did NCC. Case #3 : Now consider the plight of someone worried about the loss of a job or someone with possible large unknown expenses (medical tests coming up), or someone worried about college education expenses or whatever. Furthermore, suppose that person did not have a lot of equity in the house. For the sake of argument, assume that person had equity ranging from $10,000 to $50,000 depending on the appraiser. Let's make one more assumption: Assume that person has a $50,000 line of credit. That line of credit, while open, for someone who just might be predisposed to walk away from the house if times got...
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    Source: feeds.feedburner.com
  • 9:48 AM » Willem Dafoe Lists Rubber-Clad House
    Published Fri, Sep 12 2008 9:48 AM by WSJ
    Actor Willem Dafoe is seeking $850,000 for his rubber-clad New York house.
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