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  • Tue, Oct 26 2010
  • 11:04 AM » Secondary Sources: Recovery Stalled, Deficit, Mortgage-Interest Deduction
    Published Tue, Oct 26 2010 11:04 AM by WSJ
    A roundup of economic news from around the Web.
  • 11:04 AM » A Look at Case-Shiller, by Metro Area (October Update)
    Published Tue, Oct 26 2010 11:04 AM by WSJ
    A broad gauge of U.S. home prices posted a 1.7% increase from 2009, but the gains decelerated sharply in the waning days of government tax credits and 12 of 20 cities posted year-over-year declines.
  • 8:14 AM » CoreLogic: House Prices Declined 1.2% in August
    Published Tue, Oct 26 2010 8:14 AM by Calculated Risk Blog
    Notes: CoreLogic reports the year-over-year change. The headline for this post is for the change from July 2010 to August 2010. The CoreLogic HPI is a three month weighted average of June, July and August, and is not seasonally adjusted (NSA). From CoreLogic: CoreLogic ... today released its Home Price Index (HPI) which shows that home prices in the U.S. declined for the first time this year. According to the CoreLogic HPI, national home prices, including distressed sales, declined 1.5 percent in August 2010 compared to August 2009 and increased by 0.6 percent in July 2010 compared to July 2009. Excluding distressed sales, year-over-year prices declined 0.4 percent in August 2010. ... “Price declines are geographically expanding as 78 out of the largest 100 metropolitan areas are experiencing declines, up from 58 just one month ago” said Mark Fleming, chief economist for CoreLogic. Click on graph for larger image in new window. This graph shows the national CoreLogic HPI data since 1976. January 2000 = 100. The index is down 1.5% over the last year, and off 28.2% from the peak. The index is 5.4% above the low set in March 2009, and I expect to see a new post-bubble low for this index later this year or early in 2011. As Fleming noted, prices are falling in most areas now (unusually for the summer months). Earlier posts on Existing Home sales:
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 8:14 AM » What Is MERS and What Role Does It Have in the Foreclosure Mess? (Hint: It Holds 60% of All Mortgages, But Has ZERO Employees)
    Published Tue, Oct 26 2010 8:14 AM by The Big Picture
    strives to provide real-time, well-researched and actionable information. George – the head writer at – is a busy professional and a former adjunct professor. ~~~ You’ve heard the name Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems or “MERS” mentioned in relation to the foreclosure problems in the residential real estate market. But what is MERS? It is the company by all of the big banks to process title to property in the U.S. Approximately 60% of the nation’s residential mortgages are recorded in the name of MERS. MERS is a shell corporation with no employees, but thousands of officers. As the treasurer and secretary of MERS in a deposition: Q Does MERS have any salaried employees? A No . Q Does MERS have any employees ? A Did they ever have any? I couldn’t hear you. Q Does MERS have any employees currently ? A No . Q In the last five years has MERS had any employees ? A No . Q To whom do the officers of MERS report? A The Board of Directors. * How many assistant secretaries have you appointed pursuant to the April 9, 1998 resolution; how many assistant secretaries of MERS have you appointed? A I don’t know that number. Q Approximately? A I wouldn’t even begin to be able to tell you right now. Q Is it in the thousands ? A Y es . Q Have you been doing this all around the country in every state in the country? A Yes. Q And all these officers I understand are unpaid officers of MERS ? A Yes . Q And there’s no live person who is an employee of MERS that they report to, is that correct, who is an employee? [Objection] A There are no employees of MERS . (page 70, line 1 through page 72, line 8) In another deposition, a legal assistant at a law firm initiating 4000 to 7000 foreclosures per month in Florida held herself out as “vice president” and “assistant secretary” of MERS. She : Q: The question was you have no job duties as an assistant secretary of MERS, correct? A: I do not have any job duties other than signing the assignments and mortgage. Does that help? Q: Yes. Here,...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: The Big Picture
  • 8:14 AM » Fannie Mae stops foreclosure work done by Florida firm: report
    Published Tue, Oct 26 2010 8:14 AM by Reuters
    (Reuters) - U.S. housing finance giant Fannie Mae has paused mortgage foreclosure work that was previously referred to a Florida law firm under investigation by state officials, the Wall Street...
  • 8:14 AM » Dudley: Fed Will Act To Help Economy Should Conditions Require It
    Published Tue, Oct 26 2010 8:14 AM by WSJ
    The Fed is still prepared to provide additional support to the economy if needed, and it is closely watching mortgage foreclosures to ensure the integrity of the process, a top central bank official said.
  • 8:14 AM » Earth To Builders: Talk Up Those Titles
    Published Tue, Oct 26 2010 8:14 AM by Google News
    Are the home builders' marketing machines missing a golden opportunity in the foreclosure debacle?
  • 8:14 AM » WSJ Survey: Housing Inventories up in 19 of 28 Markets Year-over-Year
    Published Tue, Oct 26 2010 8:14 AM by Calculated Risk Blog
    From Nick Timiraos at the WSJ: The growing pessimism is attributed partly to rising inventory in many markets ... The Wall Street Journal's latest quarterly survey ... in 28 major metropolitan areas found inventories of unsold homes were up in 19 markets ... compared with a year ago ... "We'll see some additional price declines," said David Berson, chief economist at PMI Group Inc ... "The gains we've seen can't be sustained given the current supply situation." I highlighted the in the NAR report - a strong indicator of more house price declines to come, especially with the already high level of supply. This survey from the WSJ shows that the inventory increases are fairly widespread. And that suggests that price declines will probably be widespread too. This morning CoreLogic noted that house prices declined in 78 out of the largest 100 metropolitan areas in their . Tomorrow Case-Shiller will report on August house prices, and the expectations are for a slight decline in prices - and it will be interesting to see how many of the 20 Case-Shiller cities are showing price declines.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 8:14 AM » Fed’s Deflation Terror to Spur Easing, Inflation, El-Erian Says
    Published Tue, Oct 26 2010 8:14 AM by Business Week
    Federal Reserve Treasury purchases will likely spur global inflation while failing to lower U.S. unemployment, according to Mohamed A. El-Erian, chief executive officer at Pacific Investment Management Co.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Business Week
  • 8:14 AM » Florida Foreclosures Put Off as Banks Restart Home Seizures
    Published Tue, Oct 26 2010 8:14 AM by Business Week
    Banks called off about half of their foreclosure hearings in three Florida cities this week and more than 60 percent of their auctions set for yesterday in one county, according to court records and personnel.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Business Week
  • 8:13 AM » Yield on inflation-protected Treasurys dips below zero
    Published Tue, Oct 26 2010 8:13 AM by Washington Post
    The Treasury sold $10 billion of five-year Treasury Inflation Protected Securities at a negative yield for the first time at a U.S. debt auction Monday as investors bet that the Federal Reserve will succeed in its bid to jump-start the faltering economy.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Washington Post
  • 8:12 AM » New York Fed and bond investors gear up for a battle on MBS
    Published Tue, Oct 26 2010 8:12 AM by www.smartbrief.com
    The Federal Reserve Bank of New York, BlackRock and other bond investors have hired Kathy D. --
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: www.smartbrief.com
  • 8:11 AM » How Treasury Cooks the Books on Toxic Mortgages
    Published Tue, Oct 26 2010 8:11 AM by CNBC
    How Treasury Cooks the Books on Toxic Mortgages
  • 8:11 AM » FHFA Issues Consent Order for Seattle FHLB
    Published Tue, Oct 26 2010 8:11 AM by FHFA
    October 25, 2010: FHFA Issues Consent Order for Seattle FHLB
  • 8:11 AM » A Responsible Market for Rental Housing Finance
    Published Tue, Oct 26 2010 8:11 AM by www.americanprogress.org
    (pdf) (pdf) This report was prepared by the Mortgage Finance Working Group’s Multifamily Subcommittee, sponsored by the Center for American Progress, chaired by CAP Senior Fellow David Abromowitz. Americans rent. Ninety-two million people in America live in rental housing, nearly one-third of our country. Renters on average earn less than homeowners, yet renters spend more on housing each month as a percentage of income than do homeowners. And those who rent their homes are often core members of our communities—our police officers, firefighters, teachers, and other municipal workers among public-sector employees, and our blue-collar workforce in the private sector. All of them perform myriad jobs critical to our economy. It is hardly surprising that this segment of the housing market has come to be known to property professionals as the workforce rental marketplace. Alas, renters in our economy likely face an expensive future. Our rental housing market today is in trouble. The sharp drop over the past few years in construction of multifamily rental residences—defined as buildings with five or more rental apartment units—because of the larger financial and housing crises means there will be fewer new places to rent over the next few years. This contraction of supply will happen just as the total number of renters will likely rise by some 3.8 million to 5.0 million between 2011 and 2020, depending largely on immigration scenarios, according to Joint Center for Housing Studies at Harvard University estimates. There are several components to rising demand for rental housing. The so-called “echo boom” generation enters the housing market as first-time (and for many becoming long-time) renters. These roughly 16-to-28-year-olds are likely to enter the housing market variously as roommates or as couples, form families or join extended families—many in multifamily rental housing. In addition, with millions of foreclosed homes coming onto the market, former homeowners with impaired...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: www.americanprogress.org
  • 8:11 AM » FHA's Rehabilitation Program
    Published Tue, Oct 26 2010 8:11 AM by Google News
    If you have your sights set on a home, but fear being able to get financing because it requires a little work, then have no fear. The FHA offers a program that could help you purchase the home and rehab the property.
  • 8:11 AM » Bankers Address New Regulations
    Published Tue, Oct 26 2010 8:11 AM by Google News
    Issues of application volume, as well as the new mortgage disclosure and fee requirements, were hot topics of discussion at the Mortgage Bankers Association's annual conference in Atlanta.
  • Mon, Oct 25 2010
  • 6:08 PM » MBA Announces New Members and Leadership of Residential Board of Governors and Residential Committee Chairs
    Published Mon, Oct 25 2010 6:08 PM by www.mortgagebankers.org
    The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) today announced Henry V. (Hank) Cunningham, Jr., CMB, President of Cunningham & Company, Greensboro, NC, as Chairman of its Residential Board of Governors (RESBOG) and Garry Cipponeri, Senior Vice President of Chase in Iselin, NJ as Vice Chair of RESBOG at the association's 97th Annual Convention & Expo.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: www.mortgagebankers.org
  • 2:37 PM » NAHB Welcomes New Appraisal Guidance from Federal Reserve
    Published Mon, Oct 25 2010 2:37 PM by NAHB
    Press Release
  • 2:23 PM » Chicago Fed: Economic activity slowed further in September
    Published Mon, Oct 25 2010 2:23 PM by Calculated Risk Blog
    Note: This is a composite index based on a number of economic releases. From the Chicago Fed: Led by declines in production-related indicators, the Chicago Fed National Activity Index decreased to –0.58 in September from –0.49 in August. ... The index’s three-month moving average, CFNAI-MA3, ticked down to –0.33 in September from –0.32 in August. September’s CFNAI-MA3 suggests that growth in national economic activity was below its historical trend. With regard to inflation, the amount of economic slack reflected in the CFNAI-MA3 suggests subdued inflationary pressure from economic activity over the coming year. Click on graph for larger image in new window. This graph shows the Chicago Fed National Activity Index (three month moving average) since 1967. According to the Chicago Fed: A zero value for the index indicates that the national economy is expanding at its historical trend rate of growth; negative values indicate below-average growth; and positive values indicate above-average growth.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 2:23 PM » Markets Put Low Odds on Deflation
    Published Mon, Oct 25 2010 2:23 PM by WSJ
    Deflation anxieties may be about to spur the Fed to do more to help the economy, but for bond traders, fears of a downward spiral in prices appear to be pretty low.
  • 2:22 PM » Economists React: Foreclosures Cloud Housing Picture
    Published Mon, Oct 25 2010 2:22 PM by WSJ
    Economists and others weigh in on the increase in existing home sales.
  • 2:21 PM » The Subprime Debacle, Act II Part II
    Published Mon, Oct 25 2010 2:21 PM by Seeking Alpha
    submits: At the end of last week's letter on the whole mortgage foreclosure mess, I wrote: "All those subprime and Alt-A mortgages written in the middle of the last decade? They were packaged and sold in securities. They have had huge losses. But those securities had representations and warranties about what was in them. And guess what, the investment banks may have stretched credibility about those warranties. There is the real probability that the investment banks that sold them are going to have to buy them back. We are talking the potential for multiple hundreds of billions of dollars in losses that will have to be eaten by the large investment banks. We will get into details, but it could create the potential for some banks to have real problems."
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Seeking Alpha
  • 2:21 PM » How Foreclosure Mess Could Create a Downward Spiral
    Published Mon, Oct 25 2010 2:21 PM by CNBC
    How Foreclosure Mess Could Create a Downward Spiral
  • 2:21 PM » Federal Reserve releases new publication: "Addressing the Impact of the Foreclosure Crisis"
    Published Mon, Oct 25 2010 2:21 PM by Federal Reserve
    Federal Reserve releases new publication: "Addressing the Impact of the Foreclosure Crisis"
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Federal Reserve
  • 2:21 PM » Correcting Myths About Federal Pay
    Published Mon, Oct 25 2010 2:21 PM by www.americanprogress.org
    More than half of Americans mistakenly believe that federal workers are overpaid, and a third also wrongly think they are underqualified, according to a recent . The truth is federal workers earn 22 percent less than their counterparts in the private sector, according to the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. The public’s misperception of federal employees as overfed bureaucrats underscores the recent success of conservative commentators at perpetuating false stereotypes about public servants, co-opting even USA Today, America’s second-largest newspaper, which recently published a of public and private sector pay levels. These myths fuel antigovernment resentment and buttress right-wing talking points on this topic on the campaign trail. One of many cases in point: House Minority leader John Boehner (R-OH) says that taxpayers "fattened salaries and pensions of federal bureaucrats who are out there right now making it harder to create private sector jobs." In fact, the federal workforce today as a proportion of the total U.S. workforce is about half what it was in 1970. This downsizing has come as the government’s responsibilities have increased in size and complexity. Yes, it’s true—according to unadjusted numbers from the Bureau of Economic Analysis—that the average government salary was $123,049 in 2009, and that the private sector worker’s average was $61,051, as USA Today reported in August. That does not mean federal workers are paid more than their private sector counterparts. The newspaper made the elementary mistake of comparing apples to oranges. It didn’t compare similar job types, educational level, time on the job, or geographic location. So in the newspaper’s analysis, the salary of a McDonalds’ cook and that of a federal prosecutor are given equal weight in the average. USA Today did acknowledge this weakness in its August article, but attributes criticism of its approach to “public employee unions,” as if it were a political point rather than...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: www.americanprogress.org
  • 9:36 AM » The Price of a ‘No-Cost’ Loan — Mortgages
    Published Mon, Oct 25 2010 9:36 AM by www.nytimes.com
    A type of loan that requires no cash outlay at the closing, but require paying a higher interest rate.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: www.nytimes.com
  • 9:36 AM » A good time for price-level targeting?
    Published Mon, Oct 25 2010 9:36 AM by www.frbatlanta.org
    A new macroblog post examines the notion of price targeting and its implications for monetary policymaking. Would adopting this approach work better for the short term or as an ongoing policy?
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: www.frbatlanta.org
  • 9:36 AM » Southeast housing update: Recent Atlanta Fed polls show home sales remain weak
    Published Mon, Oct 25 2010 9:36 AM by www.frbatlanta.org
    The Atlanta Fed's monthly survey of regional residential real estate brokers and homebuilders demonstrates ongoing weakness in September. Additionally, Florida brokers note that the moratorium on foreclosure sales has stalled sales there.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: www.frbatlanta.org
  • 9:27 AM » Owners Seek to Sell at Loss as Banks Push Foreclosure
    Published Mon, Oct 25 2010 9:27 AM by CNBC
    Owners Seek to Sell at Loss as Banks Push Foreclosure
  • 9:26 AM » Bank of America Finds Foreclosure Mistakes: Report
    Published Mon, Oct 25 2010 9:26 AM by CNBC
    Bank of America Finds Foreclosure Mistakes: Report
  • 9:25 AM » Freddie Mac Says Foreclosure Pipeline Is Slowing
    Published Mon, Oct 25 2010 9:25 AM by CNBC
    Freddie Mac Says Foreclosure Pipeline Is Slowing
  • 9:24 AM » 15 Inviolable Rules for Dealing with Wall Street
    Published Mon, Oct 25 2010 9:24 AM by The Big Picture
    The never ending parade of stock scandals seems to continue unabated, the being only the most recent. As history has shown us — from Mexico to Orange County to analyst banking crisis to Derivatives to etc., when the Street comes aknockin , best for you to hide your wallets. For reasons we are all too familiar with, many of you rubes have no choice but to deal with the sharpies from the finance division of America. Whether its floating a bond issue to build a new bridge or hospital, managing a pension fund, or simply handling cash flow, for county, city and state execs, non-profit organizations, and private companies, you will eventually “ get serviced ” by Wall Street. Those of you who have to interact with the sharks should learn the following rules: 15 Inviolable Rules for Dealing with Wall Street 1. Reward is ALWAYS relative to Risk : If any product or investment sounds like it has lots of upside, it also has lots of risk. (If you can disprove this, there is a Nobel waiting for you). 2. Overly Optimistic Assumptions : Imagine the worst case scenario. How bad is it? Now multiply it by 3X, 5X 10X, 100X. Due to your own flawed wetware, cognitive preferences, and inherent biases, you have a strong disinclination – even an inability — to consider the true, Armageddon-like worst case scenario. 3. Legal Docs protect the preparer (and its firm), not you : Ask yourself this question: How often in the history of modern finance has any huge legal document gone against its drafters? PPMs, Sales agreement, arbitration clauses — these are their to protect the firms, not your organization. Any investment that requires a 50-100 legal document means that eventual claims will have the legal rights of the big houses enunciated, and not you, the investor. Hard stop, next subject. 4. Asymmetrical Information : In all negotiated sales, one party has far more information, knowledge and data about the product being bought and sold. One party knows its undisclosed warts and risks better than...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: The Big Picture
  • 9:23 AM » NABE: Business Conditions Improve, Boosting Hiring Hopes
    Published Mon, Oct 25 2010 9:23 AM by WSJ
    U.S. business conditions improved in the third quarter compared to the April-June period amid higher profits and increased sales abroad, according to a survey of business economists.
  • 9:22 AM » Economix: Rich Mom, Poor Mom
    Published Mon, Oct 25 2010 9:22 AM by NY Times
    Mothers with lower earnings pay a bigger economic penalty when they have a baby than wealthier women, an economist writes.
  • 9:21 AM » Short Sales Resisted as Foreclosures Are Revived
    Published Mon, Oct 25 2010 9:21 AM by NY Times
    Homeowners could face pressure from lenders’ reluctance to allow sales for less than what remains on the mortgage.
  • 9:20 AM » Future of U.S. Malls: Redevelopment, Outlets, Gambling on Restaurants
    Published Mon, Oct 25 2010 9:20 AM by Google News
    Whither the American shopping mall? That was the question pondered Sunday by a panel of three leading Wall Street analysts, moderated by this story’s author, at the International Council of Shopping Centers’ Pathway to the Future conference in Orlando. The panelists – UBS’ Ross Nussbaum, Morgan Stanley’s Paul Morgan and Citigroup’s Deborah Weinswig – envisioned a future with little near-term retail development other than outlet centers. Grocers and discount retailers like Costco Wholesale Corp. will become a primary option for landlords seeking to fill vacant department stores, they said. A sustained recovery will depend on job growth. Redevelopment, rather than new development, will be the retail-property industry’s focus. “The action is much more in repositioning existing space than (developing) ground-up,” Mr. Morgan said.
  • 9:20 AM » Bernanke Says Regulators ‘Intensively’ Reviewing Foreclosures
    Published Mon, Oct 25 2010 9:20 AM by Business Week
    Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke said the central bank and other regulators are “intensively” examining financial firms’ home-foreclosure practices and expect preliminary findings next month.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Business Week
  • 9:20 AM » Fannie and Freddie work to put foreclosures back on track
    Published Mon, Oct 25 2010 9:20 AM by www.smartbrief.com
    Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are working with title insurers and mortgage servicers to put an end to foreclosure issues that ha --
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: www.smartbrief.com
  • Fri, Oct 22 2010
  • 5:19 PM » Succinct Summation of the Week’s Events
    Published Fri, Oct 22 2010 5:19 PM by The Big Picture
    Here is this week’s succinct summation Positives 1) Solid start for Q3 earnings vs expectations 2) Philly Fed 6 mo outlook rises to highest since Apr 3) Home builder sentiment up to 4 mo high 4) Housing starts rise, good for GDP, permits drop, good as we don’t need new homes 5) German IFO at highest since May ’07 and Euro Zone mfr’g index up even with rise in Euro 6) Solid Q3 Chinese GDP growth, PBOC hikes rates, goldilocks 7) Brazil unemployment rate falls to 6.2%, lowest in a long time vs 9% in Mar ’09 and 13.1% in ’03 Negatives 1) Philly mfr’g lackluster 2) Jobless Claims remain too high 3) MBA says purchases fall to 2 mo low and refi’s fall after last week’s 21% jump 4) Housing permits fall to lowest since Apr ’09, slows GDP, Starts rise, we don’t need new homes 5) IP falls for 1st time since June ’09 6) China inflation needs to be tamed 7) II and AAII showing rising bullishness 8)Euro Zone services index falls
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: The Big Picture
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Mortgage Rates:
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MBS Prices:
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Recent Housing Data:
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