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  • Thu, Apr 23 2009
  • 7:56 AM » Credit Suisse Posts Quarterly Profit of $1.72 Billion
    Published Thu, Apr 23 2009 7:56 AM by NY Times
    The better-than-expected results follow a turnaround in the bank’s investment banking unit, which had been hit hard by the credit crunch.
  • 7:56 AM » SunTrust Banks has big first-quarter loss
    Published Thu, Apr 23 2009 7:56 AM by Reuters
    NEW YORK (Reuters) - SunTrust Banks Inc posted its second straight quarterly loss on Thursday, hurt by charges related to the collapsing real estate market.
  • 7:35 AM » Stress Test: Capital Needs May be Disclosed
    Published Thu, Apr 23 2009 7:35 AM by Calculated Risk Blog
    From Bloomberg: The Obama administration may direct banks that are judged to be short of capital after stress tests to disclose how they are going to get additional funds when the government reveals the results on May 4, according to a person familiar with the matter. The government would release a bank-by-bank assessment, while the lenders would say how they plan to shore up their finances ... Regulators conducting the stress tests are increasingly focusing on the quality of loans banks made after finding wide variations in underwriting standards... It only makes sense for banks short of capital to explain how they will raise the additional funds. The answer will probably be more money from the TARP! On the variations in quality of loans, just look at the DataQuick delinquency earlier today - even when you account for subprime vs. prime lenders, there was a clearly a wide disparity in underwriting standards. Hopefully this wasn't a surprise to the regulators.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 7:35 AM » Housing Market Dip Forces Americans to Stay Put
    Published Thu, Apr 23 2009 7:35 AM by CNBC
    Posted By: Sam Roberts The number of people who changed residences declined to 35.2 million from March 2007 to March 2008, the lowest number since 1962, when the nation had 120 million fewer people. Topics: | | | | MEDIA:
  • Wed, Apr 22 2009
  • 11:29 AM » Wells Fargo has record profit, tops in mortgages
    Published Wed, Apr 22 2009 11:29 AM by Reuters
    NEW YORK (Reuters) - Wells Fargo & Co posted a record first-quarter profit of $3.05 billion as a surge in mortgage refinancings helped it displace Bank of America Corp as the nation's largest home lender.
  • 11:29 AM » Banks to get stress test results Friday: report
    Published Wed, Apr 22 2009 11:29 AM by Reuters
    (Reuters) - U.S. banks will be briefed by regulators as early as Friday on how they performed in government "stress tests," before the results are made public later, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing government officials.
  • 10:36 AM » FHFA Reports US Monthly House Price Index Increases Estimated 0.7%
    Published Wed, Apr 22 2009 10:36 AM by FHFA
    U.S. home prices rose 0.7 percent on a seasonally-adjusted basis from January to February, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s monthly ouse Price Index. January’s previously reported 1.7 percent increase was revised to a 1.0 percent increase. For the 12 months ending in February, U.S. prices fell 6.5 percent. The U.S. index is 9.5 percent below its April 2007 peak.
  • 9:37 AM » Spotlight: Texas Subprime Mortgages
    Published Wed, Apr 22 2009 9:37 AM by
    The Dallas-Fort Worth area leads Texas' major metros in exposure to subprime mortgages.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 9:37 AM » Wells Fargo posts $3.05 billion profit
    Published Wed, Apr 22 2009 9:37 AM by Reuters
    NEW YORK (Reuters) - Wells Fargo & Co on Wednesday posted a $3.05 billion first-quarter profit, in line with its prior forecast, as a surge in mortgage banking as well as benefits from the purchase of Wachovia Corp offset rising credit losses.
  • 9:37 AM » U.S. banks to get stress test results Friday: report
    Published Wed, Apr 22 2009 9:37 AM by Reuters
    (Reuters) - U.S. banks will be briefed by regulators as early as Friday on how they performed in government "stress tests," before the results are made public later, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing government officials.
  • 9:22 AM » PIMCO's El-Erian on Stress Tests
    Published Wed, Apr 22 2009 9:22 AM by Calculated Risk Blog
    Form the Financial Times: (ht MrM) [T]he tests suggested a concrete way to differentiate between the solid institutions that can raise private capital, and those that will (and must) feel a heavy government hand. ... First, transparency is key. Whether the government likes it or not, hundreds of analysts around the world will reverse engineer the stress tests. The government would be well advised to assist the process through clarity ... Second, the results of the stress tests must be part of a comprehensive, forward-looking package to resolve problems at banks. Out-performing banks should be provided with exit mechanisms from the exceptional government support that they have been receiving and, presumably, no longer need. At the other end, there must be clarity as to how capital-deficient banks that no longer have access to private capital will be handled. There is more, but I think these are the two key points: Transparency is key. And the results should be announced as part of a comprehensive plan.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 9:21 AM » Top bailed-out firms have money for lobbying?
    Published Wed, Apr 22 2009 9:21 AM by
    The top 10 recipients of the government's $700 billion financial bailout spent about $9.5 million on federal lobbying during the first three months of the year. The biggest spender was bailed-out automaker General Motors Corp ., which devoted $2.8 million to lobbying in the first quarter of 2009. It has received $13.4 billion in government loans and could get $5 billion more, according to a government report released Tuesday.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 9:08 AM » Freddie Mac official found dead in apparent suicide
    Published Wed, Apr 22 2009 9:08 AM by
    David Kellermann, the acting chief financial officer of mortgage giant Freddie Mac , was found dead at his home Wednesday morning in what police said was an apparent suicide.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • Tue, Apr 21 2009
  • 9:40 PM » Citigroup says will pay back U.S.; directors elected
    Published Tue, Apr 21 2009 9:40 PM by Reuters
    NEW YORK (Reuters) - Citigroup Inc Chief Executive Vikram Pandit pledged to repay "every dollar" the third-largest U.S. bank owes to the government, which has pumped $45 billion of capital into the bank.
  • 8:27 PM » Did You Know: Where Home Buyers Found Their Homes
    Published Tue, Apr 21 2009 8:27 PM by Google News
    Did you know that 34 percent of recent buyers found the home they purchased through their real estate agent in 2008?
  • 8:26 PM » Economists' Commentary: Wealth Gain for Homeowners
    Published Tue, Apr 21 2009 8:26 PM by Google News
    Homeowners store wealth in a variety of places, but chief among the options is their primary residence.
  • 8:26 PM » Economic Scene: For Housing Crisis, the End Probably Isn’t Near
    Published Tue, Apr 21 2009 8:26 PM by NY Times
    Two auctions, one in Washington and one in Miami, suggest that real estate prices have not bottomed out.
  • 8:26 PM » Of course bank lending is stalling; home equity lines of credit pose a risk to consumer spending
    Published Tue, Apr 21 2009 8:26 PM by Google News
    The ran a story about reduced bank lending originating from those banks that received . Frankly, I don't know what kind of response the WSJ was going for, but I know what mine was: of course bank lending is stalling. Amid the precipitous economic decline, loan origination would likely be much worse had the banks not received capital injections. And in looking at the data, I noticed that another shoe might drop on consumer spending: home equity lines of credit are surging. The credit crunch is now very evident in the data.
  • 8:26 PM » A Report Card on Obomanomics, Approaching One Hundred Days
    Published Tue, Apr 21 2009 8:26 PM by Google News
    The Administration is coming up to that magical 100-day mark, at which point measures are taken of how a new president is doing. As a university professor I'm accustomed to giving grades. So here's my report card on Obamanomics so far: The 10-year budget gets an A. It's an extraordinary vision of what America can and should become, including universal health insurance and environmental protections against climate change. And the budget takes a little bit more from the rich and gives a little bit more back to the poor and lower middle class, which seems appropriate given that the income gap is wider than it's been since the 1920s. I'd give the budget an A plus except for its far-too-rosy economic projections. The stimulus package gets a B. Good as far as it goes but doesn't go nearly far enough. $787 billion over two years sounds like a lot of stimulus. But the economy is operating at about a trillion and a half dollars below its capacity this year alone. And considering that the states are cutting services and increasing taxes to the tune of $350 billion over this year and next, the stimulus is even smaller. The last grade is for the bank bailouts. I give them an F. I'm a big fan of this administration, but I've got to be honest. The bailouts are failing. So far American taxpayers have shoveled out almost $600 billion. Yet the banks are lending less money than they did five months ago. Bank executives are still taking home princely sums, their toxic assets and non-performing loans are growing, and the banks are still cooking their books. And now the Treasury is talking about converting taxpayer dollars into bank equity, which exposes taxpayers to even greater losses. So that's the report card. An A on the budget, B on the stimulus, and F on the bailout. On the whole (given how I weigh grades) that gives Obamanomics a C-plus. Not bad given the magnitude of the problems Obama inherited. But by the same token, not nearly good enough....
  • 8:11 PM » Agencies propose clarifications to credit card rules
    Published Tue, Apr 21 2009 8:11 PM by Federal Reserve
    Agencies propose clarifications to credit card rules
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Federal Reserve
  • 8:11 PM » Treasury Secretary to Speak at Economic Club of Washington
    Published Tue, Apr 21 2009 8:11 PM by US Treasury
    April 21, 2009 TG-96 Treasury Secretary to Speak at Economic Club of Washington To Provide Update on Administration's Comprehensive Actions to Combat Global Recession in Advance of G7 and G20 Finance Meetings WASHINGTON – U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner will speak at a breakfast meeting before the Economic Club of Washington at 8:45am on WEDNESDAY, April 22, 2009 and offer an update on the ongoing efforts the Obama Administration is taking to address the global recession in advance of the G7 and G20 finance ministers meeting later this week. Following brief remarks, Secretary Geithner will participate in a brief question and answer session with the audience. WHO: U.S. Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner WHERE: Economic Club of Washington, DC Renaissance Hotel Renaissance Ballroom 999 9th Street, N.W. Washington, DC WHEN: Wednesday, April 22, 2009 Camera Set-Up Time: 8:15a.m. Press Registration: 8:00 a.m. Event Time: 8:45 a.m. PLEASE NOTE: MEDIA PRE REGISTRATION IS REQUIRED to Judi Irastorza, Economic Club of Washington at or 703-765-6881. ###
  • 1:26 PM » Fed Purchases $7 billion in Treasury Coupons Today
    Published Tue, Apr 21 2009 1:26 PM 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).
  • 1:18 PM » Citigroup CEO says "I intend to see this through"
    Published Tue, Apr 21 2009 1:18 PM by Reuters
    NEW YORK (Reuters) - Citigroup Inc Chief Executive Vikram Pandit said he expects the No. 3 U.S. bank to rebound from its current woes and pledged that it would repay "ever dollar" it owes to the U.S. government.
  • 1:18 PM » Geithner: I’ve Never Been a Banker
    Published Tue, Apr 21 2009 1:18 PM by WSJ
    Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner appeared this morning. And while sparring with AFL-CIO General Counsel Damon Silvers over the public’s downside risks in the plan to buy troubled assets, there was some confusion over the secretary’s resume. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner speaks before the Congressional Oversight Panel on Tuesday. (Getty Images) “I’m a lawyer and you’re a banker,” Silvers said at one point during a disagreement over the way the public’s exposure to risk was being presented in a chart. Geithner interrupted: “I’ve always been in public service,” he said. Silvers went on, “But you were a banker.” “I’ve never been a banker,” Geithner said. The secretary has worked in the public sector for just about all of his career, serving in the Treasury Department across three administrations, working for the IMF and his most recent job as head of the Federal Reserve Bank of New York . Perhaps Silvers meant that Geithner had been a central banker? Silvers’ time for questioning had run out as the issue was being resolved. But former Sen. John Sununu took it up as his time began. “I’d never confuse you for an investment banker,” Sununu said. Geithner responded: “I don’t think you meant that as a compliment, but I’ll take it that way.”
  • 10:25 AM » Not All Large Institutions Are Too Big to Fail
    Published Tue, Apr 21 2009 10:25 AM by WSJ
    Certain firms are not too big to fail and must be allowed to do so to help the U.S. economy and financial markets heal, Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City President Thomas Hoenig said Tuesday. Hoenig Hoenig said that protecting the country’s largest institutions from failure risks prolonging the current crisis and increasing its cost. Of particular concern, he said, is that financial support provided to these firms gives them a competitive advantage over other firms and subsidizes their growth and profit with taxpayer funds. “The United States currently faces economic turmoil related directly to a loss of confidence in our largest financial institutions because policymakers accepted the idea that some firms are just “too big to fail,’” the central banker said. “I do not.” The central banker was delivering a before the Joint Economic Committee of the U.S. Congress. Also appearing at the hearing were former IMF chief economist and Nobel laureate . Hoenig is currently a nonvoting member of the interest-rate setting Federal Open Market Committee . Hoenig said that pouring more money into large firms in hope of a turnaround may be tempting, but despite record levels of spending, confidence and transparency have not returned to financial markets. Key for a full economic recovery is restored confidence, Hoenig said. Hoenig added that in “the rush to find stability,” no clear process was used to allocate TARP funds among the largest firms. That created further uncertainty, he said, and is impeding a recovery. The central banker said that systemically important financial firms should be triaged based on their current condition. Well-capitalized firms should be left as is. Viable firms that need more capital should privately raise the capital or seek government assistance, with the taxpayer put in the senior position and the government determining the circumstances of the senior managers and directors. Nonviable institutions should be allowed to fail. Nonviable institutions could...
  • 10:25 AM » FED: Kohn, The Economic Outlook
    Published Tue, Apr 21 2009 10:25 AM by Federal Reserve
    Speech at the Hutchinson Lecture, Newark, Delaware
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Federal Reserve
  • 10:10 AM » Treasury doesn't need more bailout money: Geithner
    Published Tue, Apr 21 2009 10:10 AM by Reuters
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Treasury still has about $134.6 billion available in its coffers from last fall's bank bailout package and that should be enough for it to avoid asking Congress for more money, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner said on Tuesday.
  • 9:47 AM » Geithner's TARP Testimony
    Published Tue, Apr 21 2009 9:47 AM by
    Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner discusses the use of TARP Funds before the Congressional Oversight Panel
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • Mon, Apr 20 2009
  • 9:08 PM » Bank of America net up, shares sink on bad loans
    Published Mon, Apr 20 2009 9:08 PM by Reuters
    NEW YORK (Reuters) - A surge of troubled loans overshadowed better-than-expected earnings at Bank of America Corp, and the largest U.S. bank said it expects the credit situation to worsen, driving its shares down 24.3 percent.
  • 2:20 PM » JPMorgan: Banks Face Another $215 Billion in Mortgage Losses
    Published Mon, Apr 20 2009 2:20 PM by
    It seems like we’re back in a negative spiral, after enjoying a few weeks of optimism and related stock market goodness. The latest sliver of bad news comes from JPMorgan Chase mortgage-bond analyst Matthew Jozoff, who wrote in a report that banks are expected to lose another $400 billion related to bad loans, mainly those tied [...]
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 1:33 PM » Bank of America Funds $85 Billion in First Mortgages, Ups Loans Losses
    Published Mon, Apr 20 2009 1:33 PM by
    Bank of America said it funded a whopping $85 billion in first mortgages during the first quarter, though existing loans continued to sour. The Charlotte-based bank and mortgage lender said it helped 382,000 borrowers either purchase a home or refinance their existing mortgage, with about 25 percent actually going to home purchases. Additionally, the company said it [...]
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 11:28 AM » And that’s how I met Sam… I mean Ashmi… or Assme… to help with my "Loone Mode"
    Published Mon, Apr 20 2009 11:28 AM by
    Anyway, Sam was very interested in helping me with my “loone mode,” was what I think he called it. He couldn’t tell me whether I qualified or not, or what the process would entail, but he was certain that my president had created something very wonderful and was quite taken with Mr. Obama. He asked me if I know when President Obama might be visiting India and I told him that I wasn’t sure, but would check and get back to him.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 11:27 AM » BBT Reports Better than Expected Earnings
    Published Mon, Apr 20 2009 11:27 AM by Seeking Alpha
    submits: BB&T Corp. (BBT) reported its 1Q09on Friday. Operating earnings for the quarter came in at $187 million or $0.33 per diluted share, two pennies ahead of consensus. Though the company had a decent growth in loans and deposits and increased production in mortgage banking operations, credit quality worsened sharply, mainly due to deterioration in its housing loan portfolio in Florida, Atlanta and Metro D.C. areas. BBT joined the group of banks, including Goldman Sachs (GS) and JP Morgan (JPM) waiting to be de-TARP-ed, as soon as possible. During the conference call, the CEO said that the bank would pay back TARP funds as soon they get government approval to do so, (presumably after the stress tests are completed), as he considers it to be "destructive."
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Seeking Alpha
  • 10:00 AM » Stress Test Results LEAKED?
    Published Mon, Apr 20 2009 10:00 AM by
    The Turner Radio Network claims to have obtained the stress test results for the top 19 banks in the US, which are said to be “very bad.”
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 9:22 AM » Bank of America profit rises, credit quality sours
    Published Mon, Apr 20 2009 9:22 AM by Reuters
    NEW YORK (Reuters) - Bank of America Corp on Monday disappointed investors by reporting a big increase in troubled loans, even as its purchase of Merrill Lynch & Co helped first-quarter profit more than double.
  • Sun, Apr 19 2009
  • 11:13 AM » Fed’s Lockhart: Commercial Real Estate Trouble Risk to Economy
    Published Sun, Apr 19 2009 11:13 AM by WSJ
    NASHVILLE –The latest big threat to economic recovery in the U.S., the commercial property market, could be the next target of an expanded special lending program from the central bank, Dennis Lockhart , president of the Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank, said Saturday. “On our watch list this year as a risk to the [economic] outlook is continuing worsening in the commercial real estate sector,” Mr. Lockhart said. The central banker was speaking at a conference on financial policy hosted by Vanderbilt University’s Owen Graduate School of Management to honor former Fed Governor Dewey Daane. Fed policymakers are still considering whether to include sponsorship for commercial property loans under its Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility, or TALF, Mr. Lockhart said, adding that there’s been no official decision. “The details haven’t been fully worked out,” he said. Lockhart is currently a voting member on the Fed committee that deliberates the bank’s policy actions. At the last meeting, March 18, the committee announced a new plan to buy $300 billion in longer-term Treasurys and expand by $750 billion the size of lending programs aimed at reducing mortgage rates. The TALF program, which can accommodate around $1 trillion of support for the asset-backed markets that support consumer and business lending, has only just gotten underway, to a tepid reception from investors. The commercial real estate market has suffered on a variety of fronts, from rising unemployment in the corporate sector to a drop in business travel that’s depriving hotels of guests. As a result, Mr. Lockhart said, there’s a real risk of a spike in delinquencies and failure to refinance the roughly $400 billion of commercial real estate loans coming due this year. –Emily Barrett
  • 11:13 AM » Stress Over Stress Test
    Published Sun, Apr 19 2009 11:13 AM by Google News
    Stress is building over the stress test as . The U.S. Treasury and financial regulators are clashing with each other over how to disclose results from the stress tests of 19 U.S. banks, with some officials concerned at potential damage to weaker institutions. With a May 4 deadline approaching, there is no set plan for how much information to release, how to categorize the results or who should make the announcements, people familiar with the matter said. While the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and other regulators want few details about the assessments to be publicized, the Treasury is pushing for broader disclosure. The disarray highlights what threatens to be a lose-lose situation for Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner: If all the banks pass, the tests’ credibility will be questioned, and if some banks get failing grades and are forced to accept more government capital and oversight, they may be punished by investors and customers. Fed officials have pushed for the release of a white paper laying out the methodology of the assessments in an effort to bolster their credibility. The central bank has been leery of inserting politics into the examination process, two people familiar with the matter said. A statement on the methods is scheduled for release April 24. The Fed, the nation’s primary regulator of bank holding companies, is leading the tests. The 19 companies may get preliminary results as soon as April 24, a person briefed on the matter said. My Comment : Excuse me but shouldn't the white paper on what the stress test was supposed to accomplish and how it would work have come out before, not after the stress test was conducted? Geithner has said he crafted the stress test program in an effort to provide more transparency about the health of banks’ balance sheets. He and Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke have also noted that most of the 19 banks are currently well capitalized and that not all of them would need new capital. My Comment : No one in...
  • Fri, Apr 17 2009
  • 8:22 AM » Report: One-Third of REOs Seriously Damaged
    Published Fri, Apr 17 2009 8:22 AM by Calculated Risk Blog
    From CNN: "About a third of all of the foreclosed properties nationwide have been so damaged, either by the previous owners or by criminal gangs coming in after the foreclosure, that they no longer qualify for standard mortgage financing," [researcher] Thomas Popik told CNN. "So there is going to be all kinds of government programs to help, but if they don't qualify for standard mortgage financing, there's no one to buy these properties." Popik says responses from thousands of real estate agents nationwide to the questionnaires he sends out quarterly indicate that badly damaged foreclosed homes ... are a much bigger element of the national housing picture than officials in Washington have acknowledged. "In many cases, it costs so much to rehabilitate these houses, it's just not cost-effective," he told CNN. "And the properties are eventually going to be bulldozed." This probably explains some of the "shadow" inventory.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 8:22 AM » Fed Balance Sheet Update
    Published Fri, Apr 17 2009 8:22 AM by WSJ
    The U.S. Federal Reserve’s balance sheet in the latest week with asset holdings growing to $2.19 trillion Wednesday from $2.09 trillion a week earlier as reduced use of traditional lending facilities was again offset by a rise in the central bank’s holdings of mortgage-backed securities. Our updated graphic is below. You need to upgrade your Flash Player
  • 8:06 AM » Citigroup posts better-than-expected results
    Published Fri, Apr 17 2009 8:06 AM by Washington Post
    NEW YORK -- Citigroup's problems are far from over, but it had its best quarter since late 2007.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Washington Post
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