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

Then versus now

Via Peter Viles at the Los Angeles Times, a visual history of then and now. Then: waiting in line to buy a house in Simi Vallley, circa 2003....   Now: waiting in line to claim at least some deposited funds from failed Indymac Bank, circa 2008....
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IndyMac foreclosures halted by the FDIC

Reuters reports: The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp has temporarily halted any foreclosures on the $15 billion of bank-owned mortgage loans found in IndyMac's portfolio, FDIC Chairman Sheila Bair said on Monday. Bair said in an interview on CNBC television that IndyMac, which the FDIC took over after it failed on Friday, had a $200 billion mortgage servicing portfolio.
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The conundrum that is John Devaney

I have to admit that I have some degree of admiration for John Devaney -- the brash fund manager from United Capital Markets Holding rode the housing boom to unprecedented heights, only to watch his castle turn out to be made of sand as the market imploded. The New York Times carried a story on Devaney's (deserved? unfortunate?) fate Thursday morning, and it appears that his well-known Horizon Strategies fund is finally done and gone:
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Bottom fishing in this market? Good luck to you.

Tuesday's New York Post carried a blunt reminder of just how painful trying to bottom-fish in a roiled financial market can be. The case study in this instance is none other than private equity giant Warburg Pincus, which was last seen six months ago pumping $800 million into troubled monoline bond insurer MBIA Inc. Let's just say things haven't worked out all that well since that time:
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At the WaPo, a deconstruction of the news

It isn't often that you see one of the major media deconstructing the news, but Dana Milbank at the Washington Post fisks assistant Treasury secretary's Phillip Swagel's recent news conference discussing a dismal jobs report. From the story: Think you're worried about the economy? Phillip Swagel is a wreck ...
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One ex-banker's journey is worth noting

Last week, The NYT's DealBook blog highlighted a guy that we here at HW can't help but root for: his name? Joshua Persky, a former i-banker for Houlihan Lokey -- the New York-based investment bank was named "Firm of the Year" last month by trade publication The M&A Advisor, but like others has been shedding staff. From the NYT:
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Barclays gets downright bearish

The UK daily Telegraph last week carried coverage of Barclays Capital warning to "batten down the hatches" ahead of what the bank expects to be a nasty stretch of global financial turmoil as we head into summer: Barclays Capital has advised clients to batten down the hatches for a worldwide financial storm, warning that the US Federal Reserve has allowed the inflation genie out of the bottle and let its credibility fall "below zero".
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Across the pond, a housing mess redux

Here at HW, we focus on what's taking place in residential real estate and single-family mortgages within the States; but it's worth noting that what's happening here is being repeated in primary and secondary markets worldwide. Yesterday, the UK press was up in arms over their very own housing crash. Via MarketWatch:
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In the OC, a flood of foreclosures

A former resident of Orange County, Calif., I always pay attention to my hometown -- and what's taking place in housing behind the proverbial "Orange Curtain" in southern California underscores the reality in many housing markets nationwide. In a word: foreclosures. The Orange County Register's Jon Lansner posted some data on the local housing market Monday afternoon, courtesy of local real estate agent Steve Thomas:
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