By Matthew Goldstein
In some ways, the story of Green Mountain Coffee Roasters is one of those quirky only in Vermont business stories, with a founder who made a small fortune in the 1970s selling rolling papers to potheads and a board member who helped invent the sports bra. Yet at the same time, Green Mountain is very much a Wall Street saga, with all the requisite highs and lows for its stock and questions about where the fast-growing company is going.
And right now, with shares of Green Mountain trading around $20–down sharply from the all-time high of $115 reached last September–it’s the Wall Street story that matters most.
By Matthew Goldstein
It didn’t take long for the powerful voices on Wall Street to rise up in protest over an intriguing and controversial idea to condemn distressed mortgages through local government’s power of eminent domain.
Two weeks after Jenn Ablan and I first reported that officials in San Bernardino County, Calif. were giving serious consideration to the novel idea being pushed by financier-backed Mortgage Resolution Partners, 18 financial trade groups are voicing strong objections. The groups, led by the Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, are concerned that if local governments can seize underwater mortgages it might discourage bank lending. Why? The argument is that if it can happen now, who knows when local governments might move to condemn mortgages again–crisis or not.
(Reuters) – Some of the most powerful mortgage investors in the United States are lining up against a plan by several California local governments to forcibly purchase distressed mortgages to keep struggling residents in their homes.
Eighteen investment trade groups – including the Association of Mortgage Investors, Securities Industry and Financial Markets Association, American Bankers Association and the Investment Company Institute – sent a letter late Thursday warning the plan could prove counterproductive by scaring away future mortgage financing in those areas.
By Matthew Goldstein
A controversial idea of using the power of eminent domain to seize underwater mortgages may hurt some of the nation’s biggest banks more than investors in mortgage-backed securities.
The reason is the process of condemning a mortgage in which a borrower owes more money than their homes are worth will likely result in a seizure of any home equity loan–or second lien–on that property as well. And that could spell trouble for many U.S. banks, which at the end of the first quarter had $700 billion in second liens on their books, according to SNL Financial.
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.
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:
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.
* 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
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
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.
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.
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.