Unstructured Finance

The nine lives of the eminent domain for mortgages debate

November 21, 2013

By Matthew Goldstein and Jennifer Ablan

Law professor Bob Hockett, widely credited with popularizing the idea of using eminent domain to restructure underwater mortgages, says he continues to be approached by yield-hungry angel investors looking for a way to help out struggling homeowners and make money at the same time.

Carl Icahn in his own words

By Jennifer Ablan
November 20, 2013

Icahn’s Big Year in investing and activism

By Jennifer Ablan and Matthew Goldstein

We held an hour-long discussion with Carl Icahn on Monday as part of our Reuters Global Investment Outlook Summit, going over everything from his spectacular year of performance to his thoughts on the excessive media coverage of activists like himself who push and prod corporate managers to return cash to investors. We also talked about the legacy he wants to leave.

This summer, it’s the John Paulson show

July 19, 2013

Hedge fund manager John Paulson has shunned the limelight in recent years but in recent weeks it’s a different story, with the 57-year-old manager not only giving his first ever TV interview, he’s also set to take the stand in one of the most closely-watched trials in the country – the civil case against former Goldman Sachs trader Fabrice Tourre.

The housing proposal that won’t die

By Jennifer Ablan
June 20, 2013

One of the biggest economic stories this year has been the recovery in U.S. home prices. But for the more than 11 million homeowners stuck with a mortgage that’s worth more than the value of their home, it has felt more like being Bill Murray in the movie Groundhog Day.

Spinning single-family home investments into mortgage-backed securities

May 6, 2013

It’s generally been thought the main exit strategy for Wall Street-backed firms that are buying distressed homes to rent them out, is to convert to a REIT and file for an IPO. That attempt to cash-out on the single-family home trade has obvious benefits for the big institutional buyers but risks for retail investors as the math behind the buy-to-rent model becomes increasingly suspect.

The retailization of the single family home rental play

March 4, 2013

By Matthew Goldstein

It started slowly but the push by Wall Street into the single family rental market is fast becoming a Main Street play as well.

One more try at the Great Refi

February 12, 2013

By Matthew Goldstein

Don’t be surprised if President Obama includes a line or two in his State of Union address this evening about the need for a plan to allow millions of struggling homeowners whose mortgages are packaged into so-called private label mortgage-backed securities to get a chance to either refinance their loans or restructure them.

Hedge fund scorecard 2012: Mortgage masters win, Paulson on bottom again

January 28, 2013

Mortgage funds roared home with returns of almost 19 percent last year, trouncing all other hedge fund strategies and beating the S&P 500 stock index, which rose 13 percent.

The gold rush in foreclosed homes picks up steam as mad money flows freely

January 10, 2013

By Matthew Goldstein

Institutional money keeps rushing into the market for foreclosed homes, with some big players snapping up homes at breakneck speed. But the question is whether the big buyers are throwing money around indiscriminately and Wall Street’s big housing long will come up a bit short.

UF Weekend Reads

September 14, 2012

So it appears Uncle Ben a/k/a Fed Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke finally gets it:  to fix the U.S. economy, you need to fix housing. The trouble is the Fed’s remedy of buying $40 billion worth of mortgage backed securities each month may  not do the trick.