Unstructured Finance

UF Weekend Reads

September 7, 2012

Two weeks of speechifying by the Dems and Reps has come to an end. Well not really–but the conventions are over. And for all the talk, there is one issue that got short-shrift–a solution to the nation’s still unfolding housing crisis.

Will FHFA opposition to principal reductions boost eminent domain efforts?

August 1, 2012

By Matthew Goldstein and Jennifer Ablan

There’s nothing surprising about FHFA head Ed DeMarco’s decision to nix the idea of writing down some of the debt owed by cash-strapped homeowners on mortgages guaranteed by Fannie and Freddie. DeMarco, whose agency regulates Fannie and Freddie, has been a consistent opponent of principal reductions–something we pointed out last October in our story on the need for a “great haircut” on consumer loans and including student and mortgage debt to stimulate the economy.

Eminent Domain reader

July 15, 2012

Jenn Ablan and I have done a lot reporting on Mortgage Resolution Partners’ plan to get county governments and cities to use eminent domain to seize and restructure underwater mortgages. As we’ve reported, it’s an intriguing solution to the seemingly intractable problem of too much mortgage debt holding back the U.S. economy. But it’s also a controversial one that threatens to rewrite basic contractual rights and the whole notion of how we view mortgages in this country.

Eminent domain for underwater mortgages could have biggest impact on banks

June 19, 2012

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.

Mr. Geithner and the politics of condemnation

June 12, 2012

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.

Phil Angelides gives up his “secret formula”

February 13, 2012

By Matthew Goldstein and Jennifer Ablan

Phil Angelides, the former chairman of the commission set up by Congress to look into the causes of the financial crisis, is no longer part of a group seeking to turn a profit by investing in distressed mortgages.

When (and where) the 1% talk about 99%

By Jennifer Ablan
January 13, 2012

By Jennifer Ablan and Matthew Goldstein

The last place you’d think a group of Wall Street financiers and ex-politicians would convene to come up with a master plan for fixing the housing crisis is a luxury lodge overlooking the Golden Gate Bridge. But in November, during the height of the Occupy Wall Street protests, that’s where 30 rich and powerful people assembled to “do a good thing” for America.

Bad data II

December 13, 2011

By Matthew Goldstein

Bad data continues to confound the U.S. government in its measurement of the economy, with the Federal Reserve Bank of New York noting it too has been a victim.

At the intersection of Wall and Main

November 18, 2011

By Jennifer Ablan and Matthew Goldstein

Whether you agree with it or not, the Occupy Wall Street protests that began two months ago in New York have ignited a debate over income inequality and the political clout of the nation’s banks.

Debts no honest man could pay

October 4, 2011

By Matthew Goldstein

For months now we’ve been hearing a lot about the $14 trillion in debt owed by the U.S. government. But there’s been far too little talk about the almost equally high debt tab owed by U.S. consumers.