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Jul 19, 2012

Exclusive: Ex-Goldman mortgage chief plans foreclosed home fund

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Former Goldman Sachs Group Inc. (GS.N: Quote, Profile, Research) executive Donald Mullen, one of the architects of the subprime mortgage trade, is trying to raise at least $500 million for a fund that will buy foreclosed homes with an eye toward renting them out.

Mullen, who until January was head of the credit and mortgage business inside Goldman’s securities division, began marketing his Fundamental REO Access fund in earnest about a month ago, said seven people familiar with the matter, but who did not want to be identified because they do not work for the upstart fund.

Jul 19, 2012

Ex-Goldman mortgage chief plans foreclosed home fund

NEW YORK, July 19 (Reuters) – Former Goldman Sachs Group
Inc. (GS.N: Quote, Profile, Research) executive Donald Mullen, one of the architects of
the subprime mortgage trade, is trying to raise at least $500
million for a fund that will buy foreclosed homes with an eye
toward renting them out.

Mullen, who until January was head of the credit and
mortgage business inside Goldman’s securities division, began
marketing his Fundamental REO Access fund in earnest about a
month ago, said seven people familiar with the matter, but who
did not want to be identified because they do not work for the
upstart fund.

Jul 19, 2012

Morgan Stanley expects 7 percent staff cut on weak outlook

By Lauren Tara LaCapra

(Reuters) – Morgan Stanley plans to cut more staff this year and expects headcount to fall by 7 percent, or 4,100, as it prepares for weak economic growth globally and low trading volume, the investment bank said on Thursday.

Morgan Stanley, reporting a 24 percent decline in second-quarter revenue, is the latest bank to sound gloomy notes about the economy. Banks have had to cope with companies’ reluctance to issue debt and equity, the European debt crisis, and slow stock and bond trading.

Jul 19, 2012

Morgan Stanley bond business hurt by Moody’s rating cut

July 19 (Reuters) – Morgan Stanley’s bond-trading
business suffered during the second quarter as clients fretted
that its credit ratings could be cut to just two steps above
junk, but that cloud has since lifted, the investment bank’s CFO
said on Thursday.

The downgrade came in late June and was not as bad as many
investors had feared – Moody’s Investors Service cut the bank’s
main rating to “Baa1,” three steps above junk.

Jul 19, 2012

Morgan Stanley posts $3.7 billion collateral since downgrade

By Lauren Tara LaCapra

(Reuters) – Morgan Stanley has posted $3.7 billion in collateral and other payments since Moody’s downgraded the investment bank’s credit ratings, though the pace of collateral calls has slowed, Chief Financial Officer Ruth Porat said in an interview.

Morgan Stanley said in its earnings report on Thursday that it posted $2.9 billion in collateral and other payments during the second quarter, out of a possible $6.3 billion.

Jul 19, 2012

Goldman’s golden egg turns leaden; bank plans cuts

By Lauren Tara LaCapra

(Reuters) – Goldman Sachs Group Inc’s quarterly profit fell 12 percent as investment income plunged, reflecting the pressure the bank faces as demand for its services remains tepid and regulators clamp down on bank risk-taking.

In an environment the investment bank characterized as “tough,” Goldman (GS.N: Quote, Profile, Research) said it was embarking on a new round of cost-cutting, which will include laying off some senior employees.

Jul 17, 2012

Goldman launches cost-cutting drive to stem profit fall

By Lauren Tara LaCapra

(Reuters) – Goldman Sachs Group Inc said quarterly earnings fell 12 percent as it lost money on an investment in a Chinese bank and other equities, spurring the bank to launch a new round of cost-cutting.

Investment banking revenue also dropped as equity underwriting and merger advisory activity slowed.

Jul 13, 2012

JPMorgan, Wells results boosted by mortgage business

By Rick Rothacker and Lauren Tara LaCapra

(Reuters) – JPMorgan Chase & Co and Wells Fargo & Co reported strong growth in their mortgage lending businesses and lower loan losses on Friday, offering signs of improvement in the U.S. economy.

The banking giants cited increases in mortgage originations and a strong pipeline of applications, spurred by low interest rates and a government program intended to spur refinancing.

Jul 5, 2012

Apartment rents rise at highest rate since 2007: Reis

By Lauren Tara LaCapra

(Reuters) – Renting an apartment in the U.S. became even more expensive during the second quarter, as vacancies set a new 10-year low and rents rose at a pace not seen since before the financial crisis, according to real estate research firm Reis Inc.

The average U.S. vacancy rate of 4.7 percent was the lowest since the fourth quarter of 2001, down 0.2 percentage points from the prior quarter, according to preliminary data Reis released on Thursday.

Jul 5, 2012

US apartment rents rise at highest rate since ’07 -Reis

July 5 (Reuters) – Renting an apartment in the U.S. became
even more expensive during the second quarter, as vacancies set
a new 10-year low and rents rose at a pace not seen since before
the financial crisis, according to real estate research firm
Reis Inc.

The average U.S. vacancy rate of 4.7 percent was the lowest
since the fourth quarter of 2001, down 0.2 percentage points
from the prior quarter, according to preliminary data Reis
released on Thursday.