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  • Wed, Apr 1 2009
  • 9:25 AM » Commercial Real Estate Limbo; Lenders Ignore Defaults
    Published Wed, Apr 01 2009 9:25 AM by Google News
    There is a new twist in commercial real estate action today. Lenders are ignoring defaults of $billions on commercial real estate as if nothing happened, praying that credit conditions will improve. Please consider . General Growth Properties Inc., struggling under a mountain of debt, said Monday that its latest effort to win a reprieve from bondholders had fallen short. Under normal circumstances a company with as much past-due debt as General Growth would have been forced into Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection by now. Creditors so far have been willing to let deadlines pass because they believe there is little to be gained and much to be lost through a bankruptcy. "This is really rare," said Kevin Starke, an analyst at CRT Capital Group LLC, a research company that tracks distressed securities. "It is corporate-bond limbo like I've never seen before." Many creditors say that General Growth's management is doing a good job running the company. Its 200 U.S. malls, a portfolio second in size only to Simon Property Group Inc., generate enough cash to cover interest on the debt. But its properties are overleveraged and it lacks the borrowing capacity to retire those debts as their principal comes due. "There's no question that General Growth is a liquidity issue," said Jeff Spector, an analyst with UBS AG. "The properties, for the most part, aren't broken." My Comment : Jeff Spector, UBS AG analyst is dead wrong. This is not a liquidity issue. This is solvency issue. The properties are indeed broken. They are broken by debt. There is more debt on those properties than can possibly be paid back. No one will possibly buy them for the amount owed. And every day that passes the value of those commercial properties sinks. Bondholders are only delaying the inevitable. General Growth, based in Chicago, isn't the only real-estate borrower that is getting a reprieve from its lenders these days. Hundreds of property owners...
  • 9:25 AM » Protestors, Politicians Descend on London
    Published Wed, Apr 01 2009 9:25 AM by WSJ
    Getty Images London’s off and running in what’s going to be an eventful day of politicians and protestors. President Barack Obama met with Prime Minister Gordon Brown , then Mr. Brown left for the House of Commons. There, opposition leader David Cameron attacked Mr. Brown’s recent world tour, noting that back at home, Bank of England governor Mervyn King essentially had declined Mr. Brown’s credit card. French President Nicolas Sarkozy , looking to be a summit spoiler, meets with the press at 4:30 p.m. A lot of the morning has been taken up with the protestors who gathered en masse at the Bank of England — Mr. King’s office when he’s rejecting Mr. Brown’s stimulus requests. Two helicopters flew overhead, but so far, there only have been a few minor incidents at the establishment known as the “Old Lady of Threadneedle Street.” About 1,000 people had converged on the Bank of England by noon. Some protestors exchanged harsh words with police. A brass band, adorned in funeral suits, played Dixieland music on the Bank of England steps. Protestors passed around a black coffin and a mannequin of a banker in a noose. Others carried antibanker signs. Some wore black scarves and hooded sweatshirts to hide their faces from police who photographed and filmed the crowd. “I really hope it gets across to G-20 leaders that we mean business,” said Amelia Parker , a 20 year-old from London. “It’s going to be a big, peaceful protest. I hate it when the police talk it up. We’re good people and want to try to get change.” – Jennifer Martinez
  • 9:17 AM » Fed, Treasury Issue Joint Statement on Financial, Monetary Stability
    Published Wed, Apr 01 2009 9:17 AM by www.frbatlanta.org
    The Federal Reserve and the U.S. Treasury recently addressed their joint role in preserving financial and monetary stability in the United States. In a late March statement, the agencies stressed the importance of maintaining the Fed's independence and their intention to gradually remove the central bank from programs that could jeopardize taxpayer money.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: www.frbatlanta.org
  • 9:14 AM » FED: Tips on Avoiding Mortgage Scams
    Published Wed, Apr 01 2009 9:14 AM by www.frbatlanta.org
    Reports of mortgage foreclosure scams are on the rise, and the Federal Reserve Board has compiled some tips to help protect consumers from becoming victims of foreclosure avoidance scams. It's important for consumers to know that housing counselors and other resources are available at no or low cost to assist homeowners who have fallen behind on their mortgage payments.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: www.frbatlanta.org
  • Tue, Mar 31 2009
  • 10:22 PM » Banks to Receive More Leeway on Asset Values
    Published Tue, Mar 31 2009 10:22 PM by dealbook.blogs.nytimes.com
    Under intense political pressure, the board that sets accounting rules in the United States will meet on Thursday to complete changes in accounting rules that are aimed at reducing the losses banks have been forced to report as the values of their mortgage-backed securities crumbled, The New York Times's Floyd Norris reports. The changes, proposed two [...]
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: dealbook.blogs.nytimes.com
  • 10:22 PM » American banks: It takes two to tango
    Published Tue, Mar 31 2009 10:22 PM by www.economist.com
    Are America’s banks prepared to sell their toxic assets? AMERICA’S government is a willing buyer of bad assets, but are its banks willing sellers? If a lender flogs a loan or security for less than the value at which it is booked on its balance-sheet, it suffers a loss, depleting its capital. It follows that if banks’ carrying values are still above those that state-sponsored bidders want to pay, they will not sell voluntarily. Just how optimistic are banks’ books? Two-thirds of the Treasury scheme’s purchasing power will be directed towards legacy loans. America’s ten biggest banks had plenty of these—$3.6 trillion at the end of 2008, or about a third of their assets. However by global convention loans are not marked to market, but carried at cost and impaired gradually. Some categories of risky loans, for example to private-equity firms, have been written down. But the vast majority of loans have not. In aggregate the carrying value of the top-ten banks’ loan books was 3% above the market price in December. That gap may not seem much, but it amounts to over $110 billion; if it were crystallised, it would wipe out a quarter of these banks’ tangible common equity, their purest form of capital. The loss is also likely to be concentrated on the dodgiest loans, making them hard to sell. ...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: www.economist.com
  • 10:07 PM » REIT Rally Turned to a Rout
    Published Tue, Mar 31 2009 10:07 PM by WSJ
    The rout in public real-estate stocks continued unabated in the first three months of 2009.
  • 2:52 PM » Woman Has Mortgage Approved After Complaining on Twitter
    Published Tue, Mar 31 2009 2:52 PM by www.thetruthaboutmortgage.com
    If in doubt, tweet. That’s what one woman did after waiting for her delayed mortgage application to be approved, according to a story in The Telegraph. Tweeting, if you’re not aware, is the act of getting a message out on Twitter, a social networking tool that allows you to share your current status with the rest [...]
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: www.thetruthaboutmortgage.com
  • 2:52 PM » Lennar Offering 3.625 Percent Fixed Mortgage Rate
    Published Tue, Mar 31 2009 2:52 PM by www.thetruthaboutmortgage.com
    The battle to offer the lowest mortgage rate is in full swing, with homebuilders decidedly leading the way. Struggling homebuilder Lennar, which is looking to dump its excess inventory, is offering a 3.625 percent (4.22% APR) “fixed “for life” mortgage on select homes, likely those in the hardest-hit areas of the country. The offer is only good [...]
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: www.thetruthaboutmortgage.com
  • 2:36 PM » Speech: Improving Financial Stability
    Published Tue, Mar 31 2009 2:36 PM by www.philadelphiafed.org
    March 31, 2009 — Philadelphia Fed President Charles I. Plosser outlines key principles for sound and effective central banking. He discusses how these principles provide guidance for some of the regulatory and supervisory challenges facing the Fed.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: www.philadelphiafed.org
  • 2:36 PM » Break Up the Banks
    Published Tue, Mar 31 2009 2:36 PM by Business Week
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Business Week
  • 2:36 PM » Community Banks — Awakening a Sleeping Giant
    Published Tue, Mar 31 2009 2:36 PM by www.icba.org
    We have now come to the point where the “systemically unimportant” banks of Main Street must, along with the nation’s taxpayers, bail out the “systemically important” Wall Street firms. Not only are a handful of Wall Street CEOs holding a gun to the taxpayers’ heads, they have the banks of Main Street America looking down the barrel as well.
  • 2:07 PM » Fed purchases $3.223 billion in Agency Coupons
    Published Tue, Mar 31 2009 2:07 PM by NY Fed
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  • 11:03 AM » Fannie Mae Announces Eligibility for 2009 High-Balance Mortgage Loans
    Published Tue, Mar 31 2009 11:03 AM by view.exacttarget.com
    Effective May 1, 2009, Fannie Mae will accept for delivery loans originated in 2009 using the higher of the current permanent high-cost loan limits, or the temporary loan limits that were in place for loans originated in 2008 that were applicable to jumbo-conforming mortgage loans.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: view.exacttarget.com
  • 9:55 AM » U.S. January home prices drop record 19 percent
    Published Tue, Mar 31 2009 9:55 AM by Reuters
    NEW YORK (Reuters) - Prices of U.S. single-family homes in January plunged a record 19.0 percent from a year earlier, indicative of a U.S. housing market that is still in the throes of a deep recession, according to a Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller report on Tuesday.
  • 9:55 AM » Fed's Mortgage Plan May Backfire On Market
    Published Tue, Mar 31 2009 9:55 AM by CNBC
    Posted By: The Federal Reserve’s latest moves to push down mortgage rates quickly raised expectations about helping the housing recovery, but it may be months before the impact is entirely apparent and the effects may not all be positive, say people in the real estate and housing industries. Topics: | | | | | | | | | Sectors: MEDIA:
  • 9:55 AM » US Needs 'Resolution Authority' For Big Firms: Frank
    Published Tue, Mar 31 2009 9:55 AM by CNBC
    Posted By: House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank (D-Mass.) says the drastic steps the Obama administration is taking in dealing with the nation's struggling automakers further underscores the need for the government to have so-called resolution authority to take over and unwind the businesses of big non-bank companies. Topics: | | | | | | | | | Sectors: Companies: MEDIA: |
  • 9:39 AM » Duke, A Framework for Analyzing Bank Lending
    Published Tue, Mar 31 2009 9:39 AM by Federal Reserve
    Speech at the 13th Annual University of North Carolina Banking Institute, Charlotte, North Carolina
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Federal Reserve
  • 9:39 AM » FED: A Framework for Analyzing Bank Lending
    Published Tue, Mar 31 2009 9:39 AM by Federal Reserve
    In August 2008 I joined the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System, leaving behind a 30-year career as a commercial banker to become a central banker. My time as a commercial banker spanned numerous business cycles. It also encompassed at least one severe financial system crisis, in the late 1980s through the early 1990s, albeit one that was not as severe as the current one. From my time as a commercial banker, I already understood the factors considered by bankers in the initial lending decision as well as those in loss mitigation when collecting those same loans. As a central banker, I have come to appreciate even more fully the role of credit in our economic well-being. So I thought it would be appropriate for me to provide my perspective on credit conditions in our economy and the current crisis.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Federal Reserve
  • Mon, Mar 30 2009
  • 1:18 PM » Update: Summers Now Slated to Address ABA Summit
    Published Mon, Mar 30 2009 1:18 PM by American Bankers Assoc.
    WASHINGTON, March 30 -- The American Bankers Association will host Washington's largest gathering of bankers on March 31 - April 1 at the Marriott Renaissance hotel to hear from key government officials on banking issues.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: American Bankers Assoc.
  • 1:18 PM » Fannie And Freddie Get In The Warehouse Game?
    Published Mon, Mar 30 2009 1:18 PM by CNBC
    Posted By: As I reported about a week ago, warehouse lending is drying up at a fast clip. This is the money desperately needed by small mortgage banks in order to offer you a mortgage. Topics: | | Sectors: | Companies: | MEDIA:
  • 10:11 AM » Fannie Mae Pares Mortgage Holdings in February
    Published Mon, Mar 30 2009 10:11 AM by CNBC
    Posted By: Reuters Fannie Mae, the largest provider of U.S. home funding, on Monday said it shrank its gross mortgage portfolio in February while increasing its mortgage bond issuance mainly due to home loan refinancings. Topics: | | | Companies: MEDIA:
  • 10:10 AM » General Growth Says Still Working With Bond Holders
    Published Mon, Mar 30 2009 10:10 AM by feeds.foxbusiness.com
    BOSTON -- Real estate company General Growth Properties Inc. , which is fighting to avoid bankruptcy and is behind on its debt and payment deadlines, on Monday said it is continuing discussions with holders of the Rouse "TRCLP" unsecured notes. General Growth said the group of bond holders did not achieve the minimum acceptance levels for the previously announced consent solicitation, which expired on March 27. Some of General Growth's lenders have already moved to foreclose on the company's mall properties. Copyright © 2009 MarketWatch, Inc.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: feeds.foxbusiness.com
  • 10:10 AM » Investment banking league table
    Published Mon, Mar 30 2009 10:10 AM by www.ft.com
    See how the world's leading investment banks are fearing during the credit crunch
  • 10:10 AM » Defaults Rise on FHA-Insured Mortgages: Report
    Published Mon, Mar 30 2009 10:10 AM by CNBC
    Posted By: CNBC.com Defaults on mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) rose in February from a year ago, the Wall Street Journal reported, quoting a FHA spokesman. Topics: | | | | Sectors:
  • Fri, Mar 27 2009
  • 11:43 AM » Excerpts from "Comments on the Current Financial Crisis" Speech by Richard W. Fisher
    Published Fri, Mar 27 2009 11:43 AM by dallasfed.org
    "Here is a take-home quote from Charles Mackay's classic tome Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds, written in 1841: 'Men think in herds... [and] they go mad in herds.' Just as the astute investor should have resisted joining the thundering herd's mad euphoria, I suggest you resist joining in the current stampede of despair."
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: dallasfed.org
  • 11:43 AM » NY FED: Purchases $7.541 billion in Treasury securities
    Published Fri, Mar 27 2009 11:43 AM by NY Fed
    New York Fed purchases $7.541 billion in Treasury securities
  • 8:21 AM » Obama seeks input of bank CEOs on recovery plans
    Published Fri, Mar 27 2009 8:21 AM by Washington Post
    WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama wants to hear from the chief executives of some of the country's biggest banks as he caps a week in which he clarified his overall plan for stabilizing the financial system.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Washington Post
  • Thu, Mar 26 2009
  • 6:01 PM » The Twelve Responsible for the Financial Crisis
    Published Thu, Mar 26 2009 6:01 PM by www.rollingstone.com
    Meet the bankers and brokers responsible for the financial crisis - and the officials who let them get away with it, according to the Rolling Stone.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: www.rollingstone.com
  • 5:58 PM » ABA: FRANK, BAIR AND DUGAN TO ADDRESS ABA SUMMIT
    Published Thu, Mar 26 2009 5:58 PM by American Bankers Assoc.
    The American Bankers Association will host Washington’s largest gathering of bankers on March 31 – April 1 at the Marriott Renaissance hotel to hear from key government officials on banking issues. More than 750 bankers from across the country will attend ABA’s annual Government Relations Summit and carry ABA’s priority legislative issues to Capitol Hill. Featured speakers for Tuesday, March 31 include: Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), chairman of the House Financial Services Committee (9:00 – 9:30 a.m.) Scott Polakoff , Acting Director of the Office of Thrift Supervision (9:35 – 10:00 a.m.) John Dugan , Comptroller of the Currency (10:00 – 10:45 a.m.) Featured speakers for Wednesday, April 1 include: Sen. Jon Kyl (R-Ariz.), member of the Senate Judiciary Committee (8:30 -9:00 a.m.) Sheila Bair , FDIC Chairman (9:30 – 10:00 a.m.) Members of the press are invited to attend the portion of the summit during which government speakers will deliver their addresses. The Marriott Renaissance is located at 999 9th Street, NW. NOTE: Cameras must be set up by 8:00 a.m. on both days. Mult-box will be available.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: American Bankers Assoc.
  • 3:56 PM » Cuomo to subpoena AIG on credit default swaps
    Published Thu, Mar 26 2009 3:56 PM by Reuters
    NEW YORK (Reuters) - New York state's top legal officer will issue subpoenas on Thursday to American International Group Inc over credit default swaps (CDS) contracts, a source familiar with the matter said.
  • 3:42 PM » NY FED: Purchases $33 Billion in Agency MBS
    Published Thu, Mar 26 2009 3:42 PM by NY Fed
    New York Fed purchases $33 billion net ($47 billion gross) in agency mortgage-backed securities.
  • 2:25 PM » FREDDIE MAC: PMMS Survey Shows Mortgage Rates Setting Another Record Low
    Published Thu, Mar 26 2009 2:25 PM by Freddie Mac
    McLean, VA - Freddie Mac (NYSE:FRE) today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®) in which the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.85 percent with an average 0.7 point for the week ending March 26, 2009, down from last week when it averaged 4.98 percent. Last year at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 5.85 percent. The 30-year FRM has not been lower in the life of Freddie Mac’s weekly survey, which dates back to 1971 for the 30-year FRM.
  • 2:18 PM » TREASURY: Outlines Framework For Regulatory Reform
    Published Thu, Mar 26 2009 2:18 PM by US Treasury
    March 26, 2009 tg-72 Treasury Outlines Framework For Regulatory Reform Provides new Rules of the Road, focuses first on containing systemic risk The crisis of the past 18 months has exposed critical gaps and weaknesses in our financial regulatory system. As risks built up, internal risk management systems, rating agencies and regulators simply did not understand or address critical behaviors until they had already resulted in catastrophic losses. These failures have caused a dramatic loss of confidence in our financial institutions and have contributed to severe recession. Our financial system failed to serve its historical purpose of helping families finance homes and college educations for their children or of providing affordable capital for entrepreneurs and innovators – enabling them to turn new ideas into jobs and growth that raise our living standards. The President's comprehensive regulatory reform is aimed at reforming and modernizing our financial regulatory system for the 21st century, providing stronger tools to prevent and manage future crises, and rebuilding confidence in the basic integrity of our financial system – for sophisticated investors and working families with 401(k)s alike. As Secretary Geithner stated in his testimony today, "To address these failures will require comprehensive reform -- not modest repairs at the margin, but new rules of the road. The new rules must be simpler and more effectively enforced and produce a more stable system, that protects consumers and investors, that rewards innovation and that is able to adapt and evolve with changes in the financial market." Four Broad Components of Comprehensive Regulatory Reform: Addressing Systemic Risk : This crisis – and the cases of firms like Lehman Brothers and AIG – has made clear that certain large, interconnected firms and markets need to be under a more consistent and more conservative regulatory regime. It is not enough to address the potential...
  • 1:00 PM » ABA: Statement on Treasury's Proposal to Change Financial Oversight
    Published Thu, Mar 26 2009 1:00 PM by American Bankers Assoc.
    "There is much to like in the Treasury's proposal, and ABA has previously testified before Congress in favor of the creation of a systemic regulator, a mechanism for resolving troubled non-bank firms that pose systemic risk and closing gaps in our regulatory system. However, several specific items raise serious concerns and merit careful deliberation.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: American Bankers Assoc.
  • 11:50 AM » FREDDIE MAC: To Offer Reverse REMIC Giant PC Securities
    Published Thu, Mar 26 2009 11:50 AM by Freddie Mac
    Freddie Mac (NYSE: FRE) announced today that beginning with March 2009 REMIC settlements, the company will offer Reverse REMIC Giant PC securities, a new mortgage-related security intended to provide liquidity to the U.S. residential mortgage market and new options for investors.
  • 11:46 AM » HUD: President Obama Nominates Helen R. Kanovsky for HUD General Counsel
    Published Thu, Mar 26 2009 11:46 AM by www.hud.gov
    Helen R. Kanovsky is currently the chief Operating Officer of the AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust. She has been with the Trust nearly 13 years. The Trust is a $3.4 billion registered investment company which invests in housing securities for its institutional investors, who are union and public pension plans. The AFL-CIO Housing Investment Trust has provided over $5.25 billion to finance 86,000 units of multifamily housing creating over 58,000 union jobs in the construction industry. Kanovsky previously served as Chief of Staff to U.S. Senator John Kerry. She was Executive Vice President and General Counsel of GE Capital Asset Management and its predecessor, Skyline Financial Services Corporation. She was a partner and associate at Dickstein, Shapiro and Morin. She served as Special Assistant to Secretary Patricia Roberts Harris at HUD, HEW and HHS. For the past three years she has been the Chair of the National Housing Conference and she is a member of the Boards of the Center for Housing Policy and the Special Olympics of the District of Columbia, as well as a Trustee of the National Labor College. She holds an A.B. cum laude from Cornell University where she was Phi Beta Kappa and a J.D. cum laude from Harvard Law School. Kanovsky has two children, Dr. Jennifer Dorfman, a resident in emergency medicine; and Emily Dorfman, union organizer.
  • 11:43 AM » FHFA: Reports Mortgage Interest Rates
    Published Thu, Mar 26 2009 11:43 AM by FHFA
    Washington, DC – The Federal Housing Finance Agency today reported that the average interest rate on conventional 30-year, fixed-rate, mortgage loans of $417,000 or less decreased 6 basis points to 5.03 percent in February. The average interest rate on 15-year, fixed-rate loans of $417,000 or less decreased 19 basis points to 4.92 percent in February. These rates are calculated from the FHFA’s Monthly Interest Rate Survey (MIRS) of purchase-money mortgages. These results reflect loans closed during theFebruary 23-28 period. Typically, the interest rate is determined 30 to 45 days before the loan is closed. Thus, the reported rates depict market conditions prevailing in mid- to late January.
  • 11:15 AM » PHILLY FED: Analysis of Housing Data
    Published Thu, Mar 26 2009 11:15 AM by www.philadelphiafed.org
    March 26, 2009 — The Philadelphia Fed today posted an analysis of data on regional housing permits for February.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: www.philadelphiafed.org
  • 8:23 AM » How Banks Use TARP Money
    Published Thu, Mar 26 2009 8:23 AM by Seeking Alpha
    submits: The TARP money, which in case anyone has forgotten is a taxpayer subsidy to the largest banks, was supposed to help recapitalize the banks so that they would lend money. For people with even a tiny knowledge of accounting, like me, this was never a credible idea. Money, after all, is fungible. In other words, if you give Citi (C) $30B and it lends $30B there is no way to know how much it would have lent without a the subsidy. The Treasury Secretary knows this, but many members of Congress and other lay people do not which is why, on the one hand, they ask the banks to produce nonsensical reports about "how the money is spent", while on the other complain about the fact that they spend money to compensate their employees.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Seeking Alpha
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More From MND

Mortgage Rates:
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  • 15 Yr FRM 4.48%
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  • Jumbo 30 Year Fixed 4.43%
MBS Prices:
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  • 30YR FNMA 5.0 104-12 (0-05)
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Recent Housing Data:
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  • Refinance Index -0.10%
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  • Purchase Index 0.12%