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

Does Angelo Mozilo belong in the Hall of Fame?

I don’t know if Angelo Mozilo knows the difference between a curve ball and a split-finger, but given that his 40-year reign as the head of Countrywide Financial is coming to an end, it seems appropriate to reflect on his career as well as his legacy. While the Mortgage Banker’s Association doesn’t have a Hall of Fame for lenders, two years ago, Mozilo would have been a shoe-in as a first-round inductee if such a distinction existed.
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Confessions of a subprime lender

Our very own Richard Bitner -- managing director here at HW Publishing, and now, a burgeoning author, too -- saw his memoir, Confessions of a Subprime Lender, get some big-time ink today over at the Wall Street Journal.
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When $60 billion just isn't enough

Well, that didn't take long. It's not even been a month since the $60 billion bailout/refinancing effort was completed for Residential Capital LLC, the ailing mortgage lending arm tied to GMAC LLC, and already questions are being whispered over the company's future. Bloomberg gives those whispers some ink:
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The CRE crunch is here

We've noted indicators of pending softness in CRE from time to time in the past here at HW, but today a feature at Bloomberg underscores just how soft the commercial RE sector really is: Workers building the $3.5 billion Cosmopolitan Resort & Casino on the Las Vegas strip are getting used to their financiers from Deutsche Bank AG ...
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The NPA numbers game

The WSJ takes on alleged improprieties at banks, which isn't exactly a novel topic these days. The story zeroes in on the games played with non-performing assets -- a subject near and dear to HW's own editorial heart these days, given that we've been suggesting that many banks are under-reserving relative to the level of reported NPAs on the books. But when is an NPA not an NPA? Answer -- when you get to pick the definition:
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