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  • Thu, Jan 29 2009
  • 4:43 PM » Got a Mortgage or Credit Card? Don't Pay Them
    Published Thu, Jan 29 2009 4:43 PM by
    "Finally something that we can all get behind: Don't pay your bills. It's not my idea, although it has appeal. It's the Fed's and it's the cornerstone of the new Homeownership Preservation Policy. To qualify for aid, the homeowner must be at least 60 days past due on his or her mortgage payments. (This program is for mortgages acquired from Bear Stearns and AIG rescues. Another program begun in December 2008 required that the homeowner be 90 days late.) At the same time, the mortgagee must be able to make a reduced monthly payment, therefore, must have some income, presumably a job. The having a job part might be tough; the missing two payments part, easy."
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 2:53 PM » Hope Now Reports Record Numbers as Foreclosures Rise
    Published Thu, Jan 29 2009 2:53 PM by
    Is anyone else sick of Hope Now referring to loan workouts as “foreclosure preventions?” I say this because the re-default on loan modifications is staggeringly high, so it seems a bit of a stretch to say the foreclosure has actually been prevented just because the borrower got new terms on their mortgage. Perhaps a better phrase would [...]
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 2:53 PM » FHA Lending Projected to Be Big in 2009
    Published Thu, Jan 29 2009 2:53 PM by
    Market research company iEmergent expects the FHA to be a major player in the mortgage market this year, according to their 2009 forecast released today. The company currently forecasts 1.4 million owner-occupied FHA purchase loans in 2009, representing total purchase volume of $245.9 billion. When you factor in refinance transactions, that number could be as high as [...]
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 1:19 PM » Cincinnati Mall Sells on the Cheap - $20 Sq. Ft.
    Published Thu, Jan 29 2009 1:19 PM by WSJ
    Simon Property sold a 1.4 million-square-foot mall for an estimated $9.2 million. The property is valued at less than $20 a square foot, a fraction of the average national rate of $134.
  • 12:15 PM » US Mortgage Modifications Rose to Record in December
    Published Thu, Jan 29 2009 12:15 PM by CNBC
    Posted By: Reuters U.S. mortgage companies increased their use of loan modifications in foreclosure prevention efforts to a record level in December, an industry group said on Thursday. Topics: | | | |
  • 11:45 AM » Bailout Rate of Return: -1,096%
    Published Thu, Jan 29 2009 11:45 AM by The Big Picture
    magazine looks at the TARP, and does some quick number crunching. Since the Tarp was jammed through in October, Treasury has invested $165 billion into the nation’s eight largest banks. Those same financial firms are now worth $418 billion less than they were four months ago. CBO calculates the taxpayer’s preferred shares are worth $20 billion less . The government’s annualized rate of return on its investment in the nation’s largest banks is -1,096%. As Time snarkily notes, even Bernie Madoff only lost 100%! > Source : Stephen Gandel Time, Jan. 29, 2009,8599,1874702,00.html
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: The Big Picture
  • 11:44 AM » Roubini and Shiller on Bloomberg
    Published Thu, Jan 29 2009 11:44 AM by
    From Davos, Switzerland, Nouriel Roubini and Robert Shiller were on Bloomberg this morning talking about the outlook for the U.S. banking system and the global economy. Click to play in a new window After reiterating his view that most of the U.S. banking system is insolvent, Nouriel suggests we proceed directly to nationalizing what's left and Shiller mostly agrees. Then an ambulance goes by and Bloomberg's Erik Schatzker wonders whether that's another bank being taken the hospital (that's the still you see above - both having a good gallows humor chuckle). What's kind of remarkable about this interview is that Roubini and Shiller, both early seeers of the financial troubles we are now in the midst of, think that we should be able to just fix the banks, stop the foreclosures, provide even more massive stimulus, and then carry on with basically the same system in place. Shiller says, "the fundamental problem is, unless we restore confidence, we're going to be in a situation where, when you stop the fiscal stimulus, we come right back down." It's as if it doesn't really matter that the most massive financial bubble in the history of the world has just met its pin. Instead of rethinking what got us to this point and whether now would be a good time to consider the bigger picture (e.g., the nature of our monetary and credit system, what passes for "sound economic" growth, etc.), it's all about bigger shovels to extricate ourselves from the hole we've dug. Amazing ... a form of cognitive dissonance for even the smartest economists. Here's a related and the video is below: 00:00 Roubini: most U.S. banks "insolvent," losses 00:58 Roubini: nationalization, "near depression" 01:28 Shiller: credit market, favors "Bridge Banks" 03:06 Shiller, Roubini: U.S. economic policy, risks 04:31 Shiller: banking regulation, agency control 05:31 Roubini: cooperation on regulation, change 06:37 Roubini...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 11:44 AM » ‘Bad Bank’ Will Not Boost Lending, Oppenheimer’s Whitney Says
    Published Thu, Jan 29 2009 11:44 AM by
    "“Simply removing ‘toxic’ assets from bank balance sheets will not directly cause banks to increase lending,” Whitney wrote in a note today. The banks likely will not participate in selling assets to a “bad bank” if the Obama administration wants to pay fair market value for the assets “as capital hits would be too dear,” Whitney said."
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 11:43 AM » Morgan Stanley level 3 assets rose 17% in fiscal '08
    Published Thu, Jan 29 2009 11:43 AM by Market Watch
    Morgan Stanley said Thursday that its hard-to-value, or level 3, assets rose 17%, to $86.2 billion at the end of its fourth quarter from $73.7 billion a year earlier. In its annual report with the Securities and Exchange Commission, the financial-services company said the level 3 assets represented 27% of assets measured at fair value. Also, Morgan Stanley said it reclassified about $17.3 billion in debt - including residential and commercial mortgage-backed securities - to level 3 from level 2 in fiscal 2008.
  • 8:36 AM » Geithner Discusses Nationalization In $2 Trillion Bailout Proposal
    Published Thu, Jan 29 2009 8:36 AM by
    Barney Frank once again is leading the way in a mad rush to do something, even though his track record in such cases is a perfect zero. Please consider Top U.S. House and Senate Democrats are taking a wait-and-see approach to the Obama administration's potential plan to create a "bad bank" to buy up toxic assets, though there remains a sense of urgency for policy makers to put something in place fast. "It has to be done quickly," said House Financial Services Chairman Barney Frank (D., Mass.), when asked Wednesday about the concept. "There are a variety of ideas, and this is something they should focus on." There has been increasing chatter in Washington that policy makers plan to dedicate some portion of the roughly $350 billion remaining from the TARP to buying up troubled assets. The approach could be twofold: allowing the government to purchase the assets through a "bad bank" and then guaranteeing the assets against further losses. The bad-bank portion of the program could involve the government creating an entity to purchase the assets from financial institutions, while raising money by selling government-backed securities. Shares of banks and other financial companies jumped in response to the reports of the plan. Wells Fargo & Co. shares were up more than 25% in afternoon trading. Shares of two banks that have required two bailouts from the government, Citigroup Inc. and Bank of America Corp., were up more than 15% and 10%, respectively. The rescues of Citigroup and Bank of America could provide a partial model for policy makers. In both cases the government, and by extension taxpayers, are on the hook for billions of dollars of potential losses after the banks take the first hit. The Citigroup rescue alone included protection for more than $300 billion in assets. Mr. Frank said one benefit of creating an entity to buy up the assets would be that the government could be more aggressive in dealing with foreclosures...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 8:35 AM » Housing Inventories Offer Positive News
    Published Thu, Jan 29 2009 8:35 AM by Seeking Alpha
    submits: I have been maintaining for a long time (particularly in the ), that the key to the bottoming process in the economy is and the key to housing prices is inventory. While housing prices continue to fall, Tuesday offered the first glimpse of hope on the inventory front in a long time. In the graphic below ( click to enlarge ), I have captured the months of supply of housing inventory since 1963. Note that the December data show the biggest drop in housing inventories in 28 years.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Seeking Alpha
  • 8:34 AM » Genworth Tightens Mortgage Insurance Guidelines
    Published Thu, Jan 29 2009 8:34 AM by Calculated Risk Blog
    Genworth sent out a notice of tighter guidelines for mortgage insurance today effective Monday February 2nd. Some of the changes are pretty significant. As an example, loans over $417K in California are ineligible for MI. Period. The same with attached housing in Florida - ineligible. Here are some of the rules: Underwriting Guideline Changes – Effective February 2, 2009 • Minimum Credit Score = 680 • Maximum Debt to Income (DTI) = 41% regardless of AUS or Submission Channel • High Cost Loans (> $417,000) Minimum Credit Score = 740 o Loan amounts > $417,000 in CA – Ineligible • Cash Out Refinance – Ineligible • Second Homes – Ineligible • Manufactured Homes – Ineligible • Construction to Permanent – Ineligible Declining/Distressed Markets Changes – Effective February 2, 2009 • Minimum Credit Score = 700 o AZ, CA, FL, NV = 720 (as per existing guidelines) • Maximum Debt-to-Income = 41% regardless of AUS or submission channel • Additions to our Declining/Distressed Markets List o 17 states added in their entirety o 69 MSA/CBSA added o Please see Attachment A for a complete list of new markets You can see the old rules and guidelines . You can type in your zip code and "discover if the property is in a Declining/Distressed Market". (I think this is the old rules and will change on Monday) Here is the of distressed markets. This included the following entire states: Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Michigan, Nevada, and New Jersey. The mailing today added many more MSAs and the following additional entire states: Colorado, Maine, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Wisconsin, Hawaii, Maryland, New Mexico, Utah, Idaho, Massachusetts, Ohio, Vermont, Kansas, Minnesota, Oregon, Washington. Just more tightening ...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 8:33 AM » JP Morgan says has "plenty of capital"
    Published Thu, Jan 29 2009 8:33 AM by Reuters
    DAVOS, Switzerland (Reuters) - JPMorgan Chase & Co has "plenty of capital" and wants governments to stop talking about nationalizing banks, its CEO said on Thursday.
  • 8:33 AM » Homebuyers get a bonus in the stimulus bill
    Published Thu, Jan 29 2009 8:33 AM by CNN
    If you're thinking of buying a home, there could be a big bonus for you in the economic stimulus bill that's now before Congress.
  • 8:33 AM » Property Owners' Predicament
    Published Thu, Jan 29 2009 8:33 AM by Washington Post
    A third of the loans used to finance Washington area commercial buildings and then sold to Wall Street are coming due in the next five years, leaving investors scrambling to find new funding.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Washington Post
  • Wed, Jan 28 2009
  • 11:09 PM » Pa. joins mortgage-aid settlement with Countrywide
    Published Wed, Jan 28 2009 11:09 PM by Washington Post
    HARRISBURG, Pa. -- Pennsylvania has joined a settlement with Countrywide Financial Corp. that makes available as much as $155 million to help keep thousands of state residents in their homes.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Washington Post
  • 11:09 PM » BofA vows to track and report loan activity
    Published Wed, Jan 28 2009 11:09 PM by CNN
    Bank of America chief executive officer Ken Lewis and top Democrats in Washington are in agreement on one point: Americans need to know what their banks are doing with taxpayer funds.
  • 11:09 PM » Fed Adopts "Throw The Kitchen Sink" Policy
    Published Wed, Jan 28 2009 11:09 PM by
    The Fed is using all the tools it has available including a to break the downward spiral of the economy. The Federal Open Market Committee kept its interest rate target in a range of zero to 0.25%, as expected. Rates will need to stay close to zero for "some time," the statement said. The lack of action on interest rates was expected, as was the FOMC's statement that rates were likely to stay low for a considerable length of time. All of the action in the statement was related to the Fed's continuing efforts to flood the financial system with money. The Fed has adopted a "throw the kitchen sink" approach to combating the downturn, which is being fueled in part by weak banks. "The Fed stands ready to buy anything that anyone suggests might help. The sky is the limit," said Mike Englund, chief economist at Action Economics. Buying longer-term Treasurys would be a new tool in the Fed's arsenal to repair financial markets. Some economists worry that buying Treasurys would cause foreign investors to lose their appetite for the securities. "If the Fed commits itself to a policy of artificially depressing the returns on Treasury securities for an extended period, it will force investment committees around the world to reconsider their portfolio allocations to the U.S. Treasury market as an asset class," wrote Lou Crandall, chief economist at Wrightson ICAP in a note to clients. The Fed said was "prepared" to buy Treasurys "if evolving circumstances indicate that such transactions would be particularly effective in improving conditions in private credit markets." Full Text of FOMC Statement Interested parties may wish to read the as listed below. The Federal Open Market Committee decided today to keep its target range for the federal funds rate at 0 to 1/4 percent. The Committee continues to anticipate that economic conditions are likely to warrant exceptionally low levels of the federal funds rate for some...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 5:26 PM » Geithner: Focused on hiking transparency of banks
    Published Wed, Jan 28 2009 5:26 PM by Market Watch
    Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner introduces policy to post details about government transactions with financial institutions on the agency's website within five to ten business days of the deal.
  • 3:37 PM » IRS Misinformation on Reverse Mortgages
    Published Wed, Jan 28 2009 3:37 PM by
    Add the IRS to the latest organization that has muddied the reverse mortgage “waters.” Many times the IRS is unreasonably, unjustifiably, and unfairly blamed for tax provisions it must enforce even though Congress and in most cases the President created them — whether the IRS supported their creation or not. This is NOT one of those cases. In updating the latest edition of IRS , “Tax Guide for Seniors”, someone within the IRS decided to add one paragraph on Page 17 summarizing some of the tax rules . Although it appears that the underlying intent was to help seniors, it does just the opposite. The following sentence is the clearest example of the incorrect information contained in the Reverse Mortgage paragraph in the 2008 edition of IRS Publication 554: Any interest (including original issue discount) accrued on a reverse mortgage is not deductible until the loan is paid in full .(Bold italics added.) This is utter nonsense. Unfortunately like all other IRS Publications, the legal documents and reasoning behind the stated positions are not included in Publication 554. Fortunately in 1980, the IRS issued , a well written, reasoned, and documented position on two issues affecting reverse mortgages, one related to lenders and the other, borrowers. The Revenue Ruling starts off by asking: Q. “When is interest on a ‘reverse mortgage loan’ … deductible by a borrower …?” And then after analyzing the applicable law and regulations, the Revenue Ruling holds: A. “The interest is … deductible by the borrower when it is actually paid by the borrower .” (Bold italics added.) In the hierarchy of federal income tax law, Revenue Rulings have a much higher position than IRS Publications. Generally (unless the conflicting information in the Revenue Ruling is outdated or revoked) this means that when a Revenue Ruling and an IRS Publication are in conflict, the Revenue Ruling will prevail. It seems the Publication 554 author either mistakenly overlooked the Revenue Ruling or intentionally...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 2:46 PM » Mortgage Activity Surging at Wells Fargo
    Published Wed, Jan 28 2009 2:46 PM by
    Wells Fargo saw its shares pop today after reporting a $2.55 billion fourth-quarter loss as it took significant “de-risking” measures and Wachovia merger-related hits. For all of 2008, the company reported net income of $2.84 billion on record revenue of $42.23 billion, a seven percent increase from 2007. In an effort to “de-risk,” Wells Fargo took $37.2 [...]
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 2:46 PM » LendingTree Enters The Reverse Mortgage Business
    Published Wed, Jan 28 2009 2:46 PM by
    recently announced that it launched a reverse mortgage service for senior homeowners looking to talk with lenders. The Charlotte, NC based company started providing brokers leads in 1998 through its lead exchange and grew into one of the largest lead providers in the country. As its business contracted, it shouldn’t be any huge surprise they’re getting into the reverse business. "With baby boomers nearing and entering retirement age, a larger population than ever before is now eligible for reverse mortgages and LendingTree, as always, is here to help,” said Keith Moore, Senior Vice President of Emerging Businesses for A company spokesperson wouldn’t comment on the cost of its reverse mortgage leads, but did say they’re interested in hearing from lender partners and will make tweaks to pricing as necessary. To learn more about buying leads from lending tree, check out the link below. Technorati Tags: ,,,,,,
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 1:37 PM » Emerging Markets Report: Capital flows to emerging markets seen falling sharply in 2009
    Published Wed, Jan 28 2009 1:37 PM by Market Watch
    The recession and financial crisis plaguing the developed world will likely cause a sharp decline in net private capital flows to emerging markets this year, according to the Institute of International Finance.
  • 1:37 PM » Layoffs by State
    Published Wed, Jan 28 2009 1:37 PM by The Big Picture
    click for interactive map > Source: JEFF BATER WSJ, JANUARY 27, 2009, 5:24 P.M. ET See also:
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: The Big Picture
  • 1:22 PM » House GOP Blocks DTV-Delay Bill
    Published Wed, Jan 28 2009 1:22 PM by WSJ
    House Republicans derailed an effort to delay until June the date when television stations must broadcast in all-digital format.
  • 1:22 PM » Report: FBI saw Mortgage Fraud, Lacked Resources
    Published Wed, Jan 28 2009 1:22 PM by Calculated Risk Blog
    From Paul Shukovsky at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer: (hat tip John) It is clear that we had good intelligence on the mortgage-fraud schemes, the corrupt attorneys, the corrupt appraisers, the insider schemes," said a recently retired, high FBI official. Another retired top FBI official confirmed that such intelligence went back to 2002. The problem, according to the two FBI retirees and several other current and former bureau colleagues, is that the bureau was stretched so thin that no one noticed when those lenders began packaging bad mortgages into bad securities. "We knew that the mortgage-brokerage industry was corrupt," the first of the retired FBI officials told the Seattle P-I. "Where we would have gotten a sense of what was really going on was the point where the mortgage was sold knowing that it was a piece of dung and it would be turned into a security. But the agents with the expertise had been diverted to counterterrorism." So apparently the FBI missed the point where the "piece of dung" became a marketable "security".
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 12:34 PM » WSJ on Jumbo Loans
    Published Wed, Jan 28 2009 12:34 PM by Calculated Risk Blog
    This article has a couple of scary charts on delinquent jumbo loans. The situation is especially grim in Florida with close to 17% of jumbo loans delinquent. From the WSJ: (hat tip ShortCourage) About 6.9% of prime "jumbo" loans were at least 90 days delinquent in December, according to LPS Applied Analytics, a mortgage-data research firm. The rate was up sharply from 2.6% a year earlier. In comparison, delinquencies of non-jumbo prime loans that qualify for backing by government agencies climbed to 2.1% from 0.8% in December 2007. ... Conforming-loan limits top out at $625,000 in the highest-cost housing markets. To buy a more expensive home, buyers must put up larger down payments -- between 30% and 40% -- and pay higher mortgage rates. Rates on 30-year fixed jumbo mortgages stood at 6.87% last week, compared to 5.34% for conforming mortgages, a difference of 1.53 percentage points, according to HSH Associates, a financial publisher. I'm sure I'll receive a number of emails from mortgage brokers telling me they have a better deal (please no!), but it's no wonder sales of expensive homes have slowed significantly.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 11:06 AM » Financial shares jump on bank aid, Wells Fargo
    Published Wed, Jan 28 2009 11:06 AM by Reuters
    NEW YORK (Reuters) - Shares of major U.S. banks soared after the market open on Wednesday, boosted by optimism that President Barack Obama's administration was moving quickly to stabilize the banking sector and as lawmakers get ready to vote on a stimulus package to boost the recession-hit economy.
  • 10:05 AM » To Cosign or Not to Cosign
    Published Wed, Jan 28 2009 10:05 AM by Washington Post
    Two years ago, cosigned mortgage loans were rarities. These days, though, cash-strapped and credit-challenged home buyers are turning to cosigners, usually relatives willing to vouch for the mortgage payment in order to seal the deal with a lender.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Washington Post
  • 10:04 AM » Wells Fargo swings to $2.6 billion loss on credit write-downs
    Published Wed, Jan 28 2009 10:04 AM by Market Watch
    Wells Fargo & Co. on Wednesday reports a quarterly loss of about $2.6 billion as the banking giant is hit by credit write-downs and losses at Wachovia, which it recently acquired.
  • 10:03 AM » The Fed: Life after zero
    Published Wed, Jan 28 2009 10:03 AM by CNN
    The Federal Reserve wraps up its two-day meeting about what to do with interest rates Wednesday afternoon. But that's probably two more days than the central bank needed.
  • 10:03 AM » Credit Weakness Spreads from Subprime to Alt A to Jumbo
    Published Wed, Jan 28 2009 10:03 AM by The Big Picture
    Today’s WSJ: “Rising defaults by affluent homeowners are raising the specter of another cloud over banks and investors, which could get stuck with thousands of expensive homes. About 6.9% of prime “jumbo” loans were at least 90 days delinquent in December, according to LPS Applied Analytics, a mortgage-data research firm. The rate was up sharply from 2.6% a year earlier. In comparison, delinquencies of non-jumbo prime loans that qualify for backing by government agencies climbed to 2.1% from 0.8% in December 2007. Jumbo mortgages average about $750,000 and can run as high as $5 million or more. More borrowers with such loans are being hit by layoffs that are spreading through practically every sector and pay level of the U.S. economy.” This is reflective of two things: The abdication of lending standards during the 2002-07 period, and the ongoing economic contraction. Check out all the jumbo loans going bad in Florida! Much worse than the rest of the nation — what sort of lending standards were going on amongst all of those builder-financed condos along the inter-coastal? Geez, what junk! > > Source : NICK TIMIRAOS WSJ, JANUARY 28, 2009
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: The Big Picture
  • 10:03 AM » Bankers' Worst Nightmare Materialize
    Published Wed, Jan 28 2009 10:03 AM by
    Amidst soaring chargeoffs and ever increasing job layoff announcement, . Bankers' worst nightmare is the unemployment rate climbing toward 10%, a level at which credit losses could balloon unpredictably because of high defaults among people with previously strong credit histories. Right now, bank balance sheets don't appear in a position to deal with unemployment moving sharply higher from its current 7.2% rate. Building up bad-loan reserves to deal with a 9% to 10% rate could produce enormous losses and pulverize capital when banks are trying to preserve the thin cushions they have. And fear of rising unemployment could deter lending when the government wants banks to expand credit. True, the Obama administration's stimulus plan could reduce unemployment expectations. But right now, banks are hoisting their joblessness forecasts. Last week, consumer lender Capital One Financial increased its unemployment forecast to 8.7% by the end of 2009, from its previous expectation of 7% by midyear. And Capital One added that it is building more-severe unemployment scenarios into lending decisions. Also last week, Kelly King, chief executive of regional bank BB&T, said unemployment of 8% to 8.5% is "kind of manageable," but 9% to 10% would "have a dramatic impact on our scenarios." Why the trepidation of going above 9%? Take a regular credit-card book. Past data show that a percentage-point increase in unemployment leads to roughly a percentage-point rise in the charge-off rate, the amount of defaulted loans written off at a loss. But as unemployment exceeds 9%, bankers think charge-offs will start to increase by more than the increase in unemployment. The reason? A high rate could cause an unprecedented wave of defaults among prime borrowers, who tend to have bigger loan balances. "The situation is so extreme and beyond what we've seen in past cycles that management teams are becoming reluctant to predict the relationship between unemployment...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 7:57 AM » Mortgage applications dropped 38.8% last week: MBA
    Published Wed, Jan 28 2009 7:57 AM by Market Watch
    Mortgage applications fall a seasonally adjusted 38.8% in the week ended Jan. 23 compared with the prior week, Mortgage Bankers Association data show, as interest rates charged on fixed-rate mortgages decline slightly.
  • 7:57 AM » Snag a great deal on a short sale
    Published Wed, Jan 28 2009 7:57 AM by CNN
    When Brian Gavitt, a physician, and his wife Gayleen, a stay-at-home mom, started to eye homes in Sacramento last winter, they knew they were looking in the hardest-hit areas of the housing bust. So the couple, who were relocating from Lansing, figured they could land a fantastic bargain in no time at all.
  • 7:57 AM » Take bad assets out of banks: Obama adviser
    Published Wed, Jan 28 2009 7:57 AM by Reuters
    DAVOS, Switzerland (Reuters) - Repairing financial markets and revitalizing lending will require governments to remove bad assets from banks and recapitalize them, Laura Tyson, an economic adviser to the Obama administration, said on Wednesday.
  • 12:10 AM » Mortgage Demand Hurting Wells Fargo?
    Published Wed, Jan 28 2009 12:10 AM by
    Here’s an interesting tidbit. Apparently Wells Fargo hasn’t been able to lower interest rates as much as they’d like because the company can’t keep up with the demand and related costs of originating all the new loans. Wells Fargo Home Mortgage co-president Cara Heiden told Bloomberg in a telephone interview that lenders are increasingly uncertain about how [...]
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 12:10 AM » SL Green: Manhattan Office Vacancy Rate to Hit 12%
    Published Wed, Jan 28 2009 12:10 AM by Calculated Risk Blog
    From Bloomberg: Manhattan office vacancies may rise to 12 percent within 24 months, SL Green Realty Corp. Chief Executive Officer Marc Holliday said today on a conference call. SL Green, New York’s biggest office landlord with 23.2 million square feet ... From the SL Green conference call (hat tip Brian): “Clearly this is a market where we are relooking at the ways we lease and do business with tenants. We are more cautious today. We have increased our security deposit requirements for tenants that are less than obviously credit worthy and this is something that we have done in other bad markets. It's paid off for us. It's kept our credit losses to a minimum in good and bad market. We are also doing more net effective deals where we put out less capital and pay less commission on slightly lower rents but rents that still provide for uptick relative to prior escalated rents. The market however is certainly feeling the pressure of job losses, Financial Services contraction, sublet space and a limited but growing number of business failures. We can't help but expect that vacancy rate in midtown is going to rise beyond where we had originally forecasted those vacancy rates to be at around ten to 12%. At the moment those rates seem to be at around eight to 9% vacant currently, maybe even 10% if you take into account whatever space we think will be coming available directly or indirectly online in 2009. And we think that that vacancy rate could easily now hit 12% or more over the next 24 months. emphasis added Mayor Bloomberg on the NY City economy in early November. Here is a graph of their projected vacancy rate and rents (close to the SL Green projections): Click on graph for larger image in new window. This graph shows the actual and projected (by the NYC OMB) rents and office vacancy rate for NYC Class A buildings. The vacancy rate is expected to rise from about 7.5% to 13%, and rents are expect to decline by 20% or more from the peak.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • Tue, Jan 27 2009
  • 11:10 PM » Bofa CEO Lewis likely to face unhappy board
    Published Tue, Jan 27 2009 11:10 PM by Washington Post
    CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- A crucial quarterly board meeting Wednesday could increase pressure on Bank of America Corp. Chief Executive Ken Lewis to make sure his acquisition of Merrill Lynch & Co. works.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Washington Post
  • 11:09 PM » Meltdown 101: What it means to nationalize a bank
    Published Tue, Jan 27 2009 11:09 PM by Washington Post
    NEW YORK -- Buying stakes in troubled banks. Taking control of toxic assets.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Washington Post
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More From MND

Mortgage Rates:
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