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Open commentary on everything impacting the U.S. housing economy. The opinions expressed here represent the author's alone.

Brokeback Lehman

We can't stop laughing here in the HW newsroom, and with a fist pound to DealBreaker for the title of this post, off we the two guys in the upper right hand corner behind the journalist reporting on Lehman's collapse. Live TV at its most vulnerable.
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Stunned here at HW

Fannie, Freddie, Lehman, Merrill, AIG decimated within a span of merely seven days. And rumors of more to follow this week. Wow. Our newsroom has been busy Sunday afternoon, and will be working overtime throughout the night, most likely. Below, some links to tide readers over until Monday hits: The Mother of All Mondays (WSJ) Wake-Up Call: Lehman's Mortgage Marks (WSJ)
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Hedge Fund USA

In HW's initial coverage of the Fannie/Freddie bailout, we wrote that the move essentially made the Treasury into the world's largest hedge fund: The Treasury said it will appoint two independent asset managers as financial agents of the U.S. government to manage the a government portfolio of MBS with the goal of “promoting stabiliity and protecting taxpayers.”
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Yours Truly, Hank

Via Long or Short Capital: Dear US Taxpayer, I would like to congratulate you on your recent purchase. I am glad I was able to convince you that now is the ideal time to offer an uncapped backstop on a $5.2 trillion book of mortgages. We here at the Treasury Dept (along with our sisters over at the Fed), appreciate your repeat business. I am confident that this acquisition will be a profitable one; perhaps even more profitable than your recent purchase of JPMorgan’s Bear Stearns’ liabilities!
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The politics of a government power play

A telling story Tuesday in the New York Times suggests that Congressional Democrats knew they'd been taken for a ride after this weekend -- that the current administration was able to pull it off is somewhat stunning:
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Poor, poor Manhattan

Via the New York Times, news today that the nation's foreclosure mess is starting to creep into the hallowed ground of New York's Manhattan: ... in recent months, mortgage lenders, real estate brokers and financial counselors have noticed that more apartment owners in Manhattan are missing payments, putting their apartments up for sale to avoid losing them to foreclosure and seeking advice about keeping up with payments.
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GMAC's Bluster?

HW reported yesterday that GMAC/ResCap had decided to shutdown its wholesale and retail mortgage origination channels, a move that will cost 5,000 employees their jobs; but GMAC officials told National Mortgage News Thursday that the move wouldn't likely impact production. Much.
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Guest writing at CR this week

This week, I'm helping my friends at Calculated Risk -- which means much of the content that might have appeared as a BuzzPost will likely end up over there. Take this post on FHASecure, for example. The CR blog is one of the economic area's best, and I'm glad to help a friend out. Feel free to read liberally, if reading blogs is your thing.
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Wachovia joins the club

Joining the ranks of other Wall Street investment banks -- many of whom have already cut their Q3 earnings estimates for their colleagues -- analysts at Wachovia Capital Markets decided to join the party, too, according to Reuters: "Seasonal slow markets, reluctant investors, declining valuations in both fixed income and equity, and more marks will highlight a challenging third quarter for the industry," analyst Douglas Sipkin wrote in a note to clients.
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