new REwired blog header

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

Predatory borrowing, and recidivism

We're probably not going to make a lot of friends on the consumer side with this, but more than a few analysts have asked us here at HW when we're going to take up the issue of "predatory borrowing," since the cards have pretty much been dealt on predatory servicing and predatory lending. How about now?
Read More

Across the pond, they're raising money too

MarketWatch covers the trials and trevails of HBOS, the UK's largest mortgage lender: HBOS ... said Tuesday that it plans to raise 4 billion pounds ($7.95 billion) through the sale of stock to existing shareholders as it battles against rising write-downs and tighter lending margins.
Read More

Taking Bernanke to task

The editors at the Wall Street Journal let their hair down over the weekend and probably had a bit too much absinthe, to boot. That's the only explanation we can think of to explain the Times New Roman-text lashing thrown in the general direction of Ben Bernanke and the Federal Reserve. The lede:
Read More

Hot now: stocks? Really?

The WaPo ran an interesting column this past week, suggesting that as housing quickly falls out of favor with investors, many are running headlong back into equities. Which may or may not explain some of the irrational movement we've seen in major stock indexes to start this year. From the story:
Read More

NAR considers rules on short-sale listings

Inman News covers a interesting topic taking up plenty of discussion among the realtor crowd these days: just how to quantify short-sales within a multiple listing service. As the housing mess has rolled on, the NAR has been having quiet discussions with MLS participants about how to set standards on listing a short sale.
Read More

Question: what do boxing and ResCap have in common?

Answer: we have no idea. But we do know that Josh Weintraub -- the Bear Stearns expat recently appointed to the board of directors at troubled lender Residential Capital LLC -- has one hell of a right hook. Apparently, at some point in the past, Weintraub got in the ring (for charity, natch) with Shane Kinahan at Goldman Sachs. And Weintraub kicked some serious Goldman tail, to some strong profanity and chants of "Bear Stearns" from the raucous crowd.
Read More

The silver lining of the housing mess

Housing sucks. We get it. But the ongoing correction in the U.S. housing market is doing the one thing that market pundits have suggested for years was needed: making homes more affordable. Via the WSJ's James Hagerty on Thursday: And now for the heartwarming side of the housing bust: It's helping some people buy homes that they couldn't afford a couple of years ago.
Read More

Ambac shocked to find fraud

HW's publisher Paul Jackson penned a viewpoint piece that ran Wednesday, and the message in it was one that we think will become much clearer in the next 12 months -- that fraud is a HUGE problem that has yet to be recognized in the current mortgage mess.
Read More

Dugan on 1990 and bank failures

In an exclusive interview with the Financial Times yesterday, OCC head John Dugan said that the agency sees a wave of bank failures in the not-too-distant future, particularly as the credit and mortgage crunch begins to work its way to regional and community banks most vulnerable to failure. From the story:
Read More