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Investments

Redwood Trust shifts away from Fannie, Freddie conforming loans

Ending purchases of GSE loans; also ceases commercial loan originations for CMBS
Seeking to rid itself of two business segments that are dragging on the REIT’s bottom line, Redwood Trust announced recently that it will be discontinuing the acquisition and aggregation of conforming loans for sale to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, and will also discontinue commercial loan originations for distribution in commercial mortgage-backed securities.
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Morgan Stanley settles for $3.2 billion over 'deceptive' mortgage bond practices

Internal e-mail: We are running under the radar and do not want to document this
Morgan Stanley will hand out hundreds of millions of dollars in consumer relief and fork over hundreds of millions more to state governments as part of $3.2 billion settlement over its “deceptive” mortgage bond practices in the run-up to the financial crisis, the New York Attorney General’s Office said Thursday.
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Can the Fed reverse interest rate hikes, impose negative rates?

Fed Chair Yellen testifies before House Financial Services Committee
The hot topic for questioning during Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen’s hearing before the House Financial Services Committee Wednesday morning centered around the feasibility of negative Fed rates. The Fed announced in December that it was officially raising the federal funds rate for the first time since June 2006. Is this all about to change?
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Los Angeles Rams owner Stan Kroenke purchases massive Texas ranch listed for $725M

It’s larger than New York City and Los Angeles combined
Stan Kroenke, the owner of the Los Angeles Rams, made headlines recently when the NFL agreed to allow Kroenke to move the team from St. Louis to Los Angeles. But the 60 acres that Kroenke owns in Inglewood, California where the team's new stadium will be built pales in comparison to his latest purchase.
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Is San Francisco in a housing bubble?

Fitch Ratings suggests Bay Area home prices are at 'unsupportable' level
San Francisco often ranks among the "hottest" housing markets due to its rapidly rising housing prices. But how hot is too hot? A new report from Fitch Ratings suggests that San Francisco is reaching that point, with the dreaded "b" word being thrown around now.
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SMS Assist expands into single-family rental property management

Adds Mike Travalini as president of residential service team
SMS Assist, a mobile and cloud-based multisite property management company, announced its expansion into residential real estate with the creation of its residential service team. According to a release from the company, SMS Assist is launching its residential division with "major clients" already on board, including Colony Starwood Homes, Home Partners of America and others.
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Computershare continues mortgage growth, acquires Capital Markets Cooperative

Follows another acquisition last week
Computershare, an Australian tech company that expanded into the U.S. mortgage market in 2011 when it acquired Specialized Loan Servicing for $113.6 million, announced last week that it was further growing its U.S. mortgage business with the acquisition of Altavera Mortgage Services. But that move appears to be just the first step in a larger expansion.
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