Commentaries

On MBS, Fed needs to point to the exit

September 21, 2009

When the medication is flowing, it’s hard to see straight.

Amid the giddiness in the markets and the cheers for the end of the recession, what often gets ignored is the fact that government stimulus is still fueling the reflation of financial markets.

Santander’s debt buy-back not necessarily a flop

September 9, 2009

Santander’s attempt to buy back 16.5 billion euros of asset-backed debt looks, at first glance like a bit of a flop: in the end investors only sold about 600 million euros of bonds by face value to the bank.

Russia says “Da” to asset-backed debt

September 3, 2009

It’s interesting to see Russia proposing a new law to encourage a domestic securitisation market for consumer debt. Russia is still a novice when it comes to asset-backed debt but seems to have cottoned on to something that not all western regulators have fully grasped — securitisation may have helped get us into the current crisis, but we are also going to need it to get us out of it.

Calling a bottom in Spain

August 24, 2009

Is the worst over for Spanish mortgage defaults? That’s one way to interpret Santander’s offer to buy back up to 16.5 billion euros of its outstanding asset-backed debt.

The subprime to prime mortgage handoff

August 20, 2009

Data released by the Mortgage Bankers Association confirms the trend that prime borrowers are the ones to worry about.

Yep, the banks really are gouging their customers

August 11, 2009

Michael Saunders will get no thanks from his employers at Citicorp for pointing out how UK interest rates have swung dramatically against the borrower over the last two years.

The Fannie Mae sinkhole

August 6, 2009

Fannie Mae has reported the a $14.8 billion loss in the second quarter and is going hat in hand to the Treasury for another $10.7 billion to pull its net worth out of deficit. The release is here.

It’s August. Do you know where Fannie and Freddie are?

August 5, 2009

Fannie and Freddie’s regulator-in-chief James Lockhart is stepping down to spend more time with his family, Reuters reports. Can’t say I blame him. He’s been at the helm of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, formerly known as OFHEO, for three years, saw through an unprecedented de facto nationalization of the companies, and still the future of the housing finance giants remains nearly as uncertain as it did a year ago.

The Citi dump

July 17, 2009

City landfills aren’t pretty places. Much the same can be said for Citi Holdings, the newly formed dumping ground for Citigroup’s most ailing and malodorous assets.

L-shaped housing market?

July 16, 2009

Economists seem willing to celebrate even the most tepid economic release these days. The National Association of Homebuilders’ Housing Market Index nudged up slightly to 17 in July, up from 15. Most economists had expected 16, so this is what passes for good news.