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

Even Krugman Can Be Right, Occassionally

The NY Times' Paul Krugman isn't always wrong: "Why has a crisis that began with loans to a limited group of home buyers ended up disrupting so much of the financial system? Because, ultimately, it's more than a subprime crisis; indeed, it's more than a housing crisis. It's a crisis of faith."
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Hedge Funds Fisking Banks?

Here's a turnaround most might not have seen coming; rather than the banks worrying about hedge funds going rogue, it's now the hedge funds that are engaging in due diligence on the banks they work with. The concern is not a hedge-fund blow up, but rather a greater concern over bank stability.
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It's About Time

Rob Chrisman reports that Citigroup is set to -- finally -- eliminated stated-income lending, including so-called SISA and SIVA programs. Our question: really? Citi went into 2008 still making those loans?
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They Like Us! They Really Like Us!

Housing Wire gets a nod from Marek Fuchs this weekend at for our statistical prowess (that PhD that publisher Paul Jackson spent years pursuing wasn't, apparently, for nothing). It's just the sort of kudos, however that lends street cred to that "getting beyond the numbers" thing we like to push here at HW. Thanks, Marek!
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Toxic Kool-Aid and the Amazing Oracle of Omaha

Warren Buffett on the market woes befalling many in the financial sector, and particularly in the mortgage-led secondary market, per Reuters: "It's sort of a little poetic justice, in that the people that brewed this toxic Kool-Aid found themselves drinking a lot of it in the end."
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Can Courts Force Retroactive Price Protection?

We have to ask -- in light of today's news that both KB Home and Ryland are planning to roll out nationwide price protection guarantees -- can anyone else without a guarantee sue to get one? We at HW could see plenty of pissed-off borrowers who bought and weren't offered price protection.
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Commentary: More on Bankruptcy Cram-Downs

The MBA has claimed that allowing cram-downs in Ch. 13 bankruptcy proceedings could add as much as two points to mortgage rates. Adam Levitin, an associate professor of law at Georgetown, and Joshua Goodman, an economics doctoral candidate at Columbia, have authored a study that they claim proves that allowing modifications in Ch.13 bankruptcy proceedings would not result in an interest rate spike.
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Q: How do you spell recession? A: ISM

U.S. service industries contracted at a recessionary pace in January, taking what most analysts described as a "stunning fall." ISM's non-manufacturing index dropped to 41.9, from 54.4 in December. (Cue a massive drop in stocks).
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