In late 2006, Goldman shrewdly began backing away from the residential mortgage market. With little fanfare, the firm began aggressively hedging its exposure to home loans, in particular mortgages to borrowers with shaky credit histories.
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.
With headlines like this and that, it’s hard to get too excited about green shoots flowering into a full-fledged recovery. Option-ARM resets are still looming – though lower short-term rates could make the pain more manageable for some – while ballooning payments in the commercial mortgage market could mean big losses for CMBS investors.
A.I.G.’s headquarters, that is. Preservatationists have written to the New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission asking that American International Group’s Art Deco tower on 70 Pine Street in lower Manhattan be designated a city landmark, the New York Post reports. A.I.G. is trying to sell the tower, as well as a connecting building at 72 Wall Street, and the preservationists are worried that a new owner may ruin the period details that make the building so distinctive.