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Friday, March 7, 2008

Housing/Subprime Roundup — March 7, 2008

Items of interest:

Infectious Greed:
Subprime: One of Those Classic Photos - I'm sure there will be better photo versions of this moment soon, but this sure felt like instant history. We have financial services CEOs Chuck Prince (Citi), Stan O'Neal (Merrill), Angelo Mozilo (Countrywide), and others all swearing to tell the truth before the House Oversight Committee as the mortgage market pile-on is underway.

Henry Waxman is a Clueless Nitwit - Infectious Greed
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MarketWatch:
US Mortgage Market Needs $1 Trillion -- Why are interest rates on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages rising even as the Federal Reserve slashes interest rates and yields on Treasury bonds fall?

The answer is that the mortgage market is short of roughly $1 trillion in capital, according to Paul Miller, an analyst at Friedman, Billings, Ramsey.

The modern mortgage market works with lots of leverage, or borrowed money. Investors, including hedge funds and mortgage real estate investment trusts, buy mortgage securities, but finance a lot of their purchases with this leverage.

FBR's Miller estimates that $11 trillion of outstanding U.S. mortgage debt is supported with roughly $587 billion of equity. That's a leverage ratio of 19 to one. [...]
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Calculated Risk

MishTalk - Mike Shedlock

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