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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Housing/Subprime/Credit Roundup — July 16, 2008

Items of Interest:

tensions run high at Indy Mac branches in CALA Daily News:
Cops to IndyMac customers: Remain calm or face arrest -- Police ordered angry customers lined up outside an IndyMac Bank branch to remain calm or face arrest Tuesday as they tried to pull their money on the second day of the failed institution's federal takeover.

At least three police squad cars showed up early Tuesday as tensions rose outside the San Fernando Valley branch of Pasadena-based IndyMac...

Customers became infuriated, and police told them they could be arrested if they didn't remain calm...

The Modern Stealth Depression -- Chaos and fear never sleep. This morning the first news story I read was a piece from the Los Angeles Daily News about police threatening to beat down and arrest any "disorderlies" trying to get their money out of a failed IndyMac (IMB) bank branch in Pasadena ...

Yes, it's here. Welcome to the Depression. No, don't drop whatever it is you're doing. Don't get up. It's not going anywhere. It will wait. It's just going to sit over here in the corner and read a magazine while you do whatever it is you need to do.

A Depression doesn't run hot and fierce like some crazed meth burner. A Depression is methodical, purposeful, patient. It will build a shelter out of tree branches and newspaper, light a small, well-contained campfire and wait you out, brother. While you feed on the empty calories of denial and popcorn, it will quietly gather shards of broken dreams and fashion them into a terrible weapon of blunt force reality.

It's a hell of a thing to call this day and age the next Depression. It's dangerous tinfoil hat territory inhabited mostly by screeching lunatics and volatile nutjobs. But by the time they get squeezed out by reputable folks the whole gig will be up, the circus will have left town...

Despite the seeming enormity of it in retrospect, the stock market crash of 1929 barely even registered for most Americans. Today, it is some kind of weird obsession...
Report says FBI probing IndyMac for possible fraud -- IndyMac IDMC.PK is under investigation by the FBI for possible fraud involving home loans made to risky borrowers, The Associated Press reported on Wednesday, citing an unnamed law enforcement official.

The report said it was not immediately clear how long the FBI's probe of the bank has been ongoing but the probe is focused on the company and not individuals who ran the thrift institution.

U.S. banking regulators seized mortgage lender IndyMac on Friday after withdrawals by panicked depositors led to the third largest banking failure in U.S. history...
Big Picture:
Housing Market Index (HMI) Falls to New Lows -- The July National Assoc of Homebuilders index fell to a record low of 16, down 2 from June and vs the expectations of an unchanged reading.

Present conditions and future expectations both fell and the Prospective Buyers Traffic went to a new low, falling 4 points.

Buyers traffic did rise in the Northeast but fell sharply in the Midwest. The South and West also had declines. Aside from the reduction in the access to credit and drop in confidence, the weakening jobs market is now having its impact too...

The NAHB/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index Components for June 2008----

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