EIC/Wall Street investigations
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Jun 18, 2012
via Unstructured Finance

Exchange traded derivatives could mean low Treasury yields for years

By Matthew Goldstein and Jennifer Ablan

Fears of rising interest rates  may be overstated, especially if federal regulators push ahead with plans to have a good chunk of derivatives traded through organized clearing houses.

Todd Petzel, chief investment officer for Offit Capital, which manages $6 billion for wealthy investors, argues that the need for traders to post collateral for derivatives contracts traded with clearing houses could provide a new buyer for all the Treasuries the Fed will print to fund the U.S. government deficit and help spur the economy.

Jun 16, 2012
via Unstructured Finance

UF Weekend Reads

So there’s this election this Sunday in Greece and everyone–who follows the markets–is all excited. But at the end of the day, the main reason people in the markets are all up in arms is because they want to know who will get paid, in what order and most important–how much. Sadly, there’s too little focus on whether the right people/institutions are getting paid; let alone issues of social dignity and the quality of human existence. Guess that’s what the markets are all about, right?

But don’t let any of that stop you from saying thanks to your dad tomorrow. And for all of you dads out there—A Happy Father’s Day. Here then is Sam Forgione’s weekend reads:

Jun 12, 2012
via Unstructured Finance

Mr. Geithner and the politics of condemnation

Matthew Goldstein and Jennifer Ablan

The idea of using eminent domain to help out homeowners who are underwater on their mortgages isn’t necessarily a new one.

Two years ago, a group of congressional leaders led by Rep. Brad Miller of North Carolina wrote to Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner recommending that the federal government consider buying underwater mortgages to stem the flood of home foreclosures. The Democratic congressman got two dozen of his colleagues to sign onto the proposal, which Geithner gave a pretty cool response to.

Jun 11, 2012

RPTInvestors tout controversial ‘condemnation’ for housing fix

* Mortgage firm is pushing private-funded emiment domain

* Mortgage Resolution Partners targets underwater mortgages

* Firm is working with Evercore, Westwood Capital

* San Bernardino County first to seriously consider proposal

By Matthew Goldstein and Jennifer Ablan

NEW YORK June 8(Reuters) – Here’s a controversial but
intriguing approach to the U.S. housing crisis: keep
cash-strapped residents in their homes by condemning their
mortgages.

A mortgage firm backed by a number of prominent West Coast
financiers is pushing local politicians in California and a
handful of other states hardest hit by the housing crisis to use
eminent domain to restructure mortgages that borrowers owe more
money on than their homes are actually worth.

Jun 8, 2012

Exclusive: Investors tout controversial “condemnation” for housing fix

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Here’s a controversial but intriguing approach to the U.S. housing crisis: keep cash-strapped residents in their homes by condemning their mortgages.

A mortgage firm backed by a number of prominent West Coast financiers is pushing local politicians in California and a handful of other states hardest hit by the housing crisis to use eminent domain to restructure mortgages that borrowers owe more money on than their homes are actually worth.

Jun 6, 2012

Green Mountain short seller says founder should go

NEW YORK (Reuters) – An investor who is betting on a continuing slide in shares of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (GMCR.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) is suggesting it may be time for the coffee manufacturer’s founder, Robert Stiller, to leave the board of the Vermont-based company.

Investor Daniel Yu raised the idea of Stiller stepping down in a June 6 letter to management reviewed by Reuters.

Jun 6, 2012
via Unstructured Finance

Pension wallflowers at the Chesapeake dance

By Matthew Goldstein and Jennifer Ablan

You gotta give credit to O. Mason Hawkins and Carl Icahn, the unlikely partnership that managed to get some important concessions from Chesapeake Energy Corp., the embattled natural gas company. But when it comes to public pensions that also own stock in Chesapeake, it’s a far different story.

The head of Southeastern Asset Management and the billionaire activist trader came together to get Chesapeake to agree to shake-up its board and allow the pair to name four new independent directors on the company’s nine-member board. And for the most part, Hawkins and Icahn managed to wrest that change from Chesapeake without much help from public pensions that own shares in the Oklahoma-based company.

May 31, 2012
via Unstructured Finance

And the winner is….

By Matthew Goldstein

Four months ago, the regulator for Fannie Mae announced with much fanfare that it would accept bids for 2,500 single-family homes owned by Fannie Mae. The process has drawn a lot of interest from hedge funds, private equity firms and other big money players, but it’s been a slow one.

However, it appears the Federal Housing Finance Agency has finally come up with a date for qualified bidders to submit bids for the deal. And that date is, (drum roll) June 7, say people familiar with the situation.

May 29, 2012
via Unstructured Finance

Wall Street gold rush in foreclosed homes heads north

By Matthew Goldstein and Jennifer Ablan

The state of Alaska is looking to cash in on the growing demand for renting out foreclosed single-family homes.

A spokeswoman for the $40 billion Alaska Permanent Fund recently approved a $400 million investment with a California-based company that specializes in buying foreclosed homes and renting them out. Laura Achee said the fund is still negotiating the terms of the deal with American Homes 4 Rent LLC.

May 22, 2012

Exclusive: Housing chief leaves Morgan to launch buy-to-rent fund

By Jennifer Ablan and Matthew Goldstein

(Reuters) – Oliver Chang, head of U.S. housing strategy at Morgan Stanley, who has written more about foreclosed homes as an investment opportunity than any other Wall Street analyst, is leaving his firm to start his own buy-to-rent housing fund.

Chang announced his decision on Monday in a resignation letter he submitted to Morgan Stanley obtained by Reuters.