IndyMac CEO: Private Secondary Markets ‘Panicked and Illiquid’

From the IMB Report blog — IndyMac Bank’s official company blog — comes a copy of an email sent by company CEO Michael Perry to employees yesterday:

Unfortunately, the private secondary markets (excluding the GSEs and Ginnie Mae) continue to remain very panicked and illiquid. By way of example, it is currently difficult, at present, to trade even the AAA bond on any private MBS transaction. In addition, to give you an idea as to how unprecedented this market has become…I received a call from U.S. Senator Dodd this morning who seeking an understanding of “what is really going on and how can I and Congress help?â€? … Unlike past private secondary mortgage market disruptions, which have lasted a few weeks or so…our industry and Indymac have to be prudent and assume that this present disruption, which appears broader and more serious, might take longer to correct itself. As a result, we have seen just since yesterday, many major mortgage lenders announce additional product cutbacks…some leaving subprime, Alt-a, and other products altogether or restricting some products to only their own retail channel (and possibly wholesale) and significant, additional price widening.

Perry also noted that IndyMac, like nearly every Alt-A lender, is essentially retreating to higher ground at this point, further tightening its underwriting guidelines to rely as much as possible on agency-backed loan products.

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