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Monday, March 24, 2008

Housing/Subprime Roundup — March 24, 2008

Items of Interest:

NY Times:
What Created This Monster? -- LIKE Noah building his ark as thunderheads gathered, Bill Gross has spent the last two years anticipating the flood that swamped Bear Stearns about 10 days ago. As manager of the world’s biggest bond fund and custodian of nearly a trillion dollars in assets, Mr. Gross amassed a cash hoard of $50 billion in case trading partners suddenly demanded payment from his firm, Pimco. And every day for the last three weeks he has convened meetings in a war room in Pimco’s headquarters in Newport Beach, Calif., “to make sure the ark doesn’t have any leaks,” Mr. Gross said. “We come in every day at 3:30 a.m. and leave at 6 p.m. I’m not used to setting my alarm for 2:45 a.m., but these are extraordinary times.” Even though Mr. Gross, 63, is a market veteran who has lived through the collapse of other banks and brokerage firms, the 1987 stock market crash, and the near meltdown of the Long-Term Capital Management hedge fund a decade ago, he says the current crisis feels different — in both size and significance. . .

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MSNBC:
Mortgage relief proposals advance -- The Fed's offer to help rescue Bear Stearns has intensified debate over whether the government should do more to prevent homeowners from losing their homes. . .
Stricter Regulation Gains Favor - WSJ
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NY Times:
JPMorgan in Negotiations to Raise Bear Stearns Bid -- JPMorgan Chase was in talks for a deal that would quintuple its offer for Bear Stearns in an effort to pacify Bear shareholders, according to people involved in the discussions. . .
J.P. Morgan May Raise Bear Bid - WSJ
The Price of Saving the Bear - Editorial, National Post
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MSNBC
Wary banks revert to strict lending standards -- Banks and mortgage insurers, which have lost billions because of bad bets made during the housing boom, are now reverting to strict lending standards not seen in nearly 20 years.
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zero hedge

Calculated Risk

Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis

Paul Krugman - NY Times

The Big Picture - Barry Ritholtz

naked capitalism - Yves Smith

Pragmatic Capitalism

Washington's Blog

Safe Haven

Paper Economy

The Daily Reckoning - Australia