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Tag Archives: Investment

HUD Scorecard Delivers Mixed Results for Housing

An October scorecard released Thursday by the Obama administration portrayed the housing market as one beset by mixed circumstances over September and the months before. A still-heavy foreclosure glut matched with declining home values and prices left the market slightly worse for the wear in some areas. The report measured up home prices, home sales, and refinance originations, finding declines for some and stabilization for others. A positive portrayal of efforts by the Obama administration also met with less favorable consumer sentiment.

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Policymakers See GSE-Free Future as Freddie Asks for $6B

The head of the agency that regulates the GSEs addressed one lawmaker's recent proposal to eliminate the federal lifeline for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Thursday even as the latter filed staggering third-quarter losses and requested another $6 billion in taxpayer funds. Federal Housing Finance Agency Acting Director Edward DeMarco and several others testified before the House Subcommittee on Capital Markets, which heard the chief regulator describe why the federal government needs to slowly phase out taxpayer support for the GSEs.

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Bernanke: No New Action, but Fed May Still ‘Deploy Tools’

Fed

The Federal Reserve restrained itself from announcing any new monetary or fiscal stimulus measures, deciding instead that it will continue to reinvest principal payments for agency debt in mortgage-backed securities while it keeps a heel on historically low interest rates. Continuing a public relations tour at a time of increasing unpopularity on both the right and left, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke addressed reporters from behind a desk.

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BB&T Scoops Up BankAtlantic, Scrimps on Bad Assets

BB&T looked southward to acquire Florida-based BankAtlantic Tuesday, assuming $3.3 billion in low-cost deposits and picking up 78 branches from the retail lender in the process, according to statements released by the companies. The move ranks BB&T ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô one of the largest U.S. banks by assets ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô the sixth largest franchise in the Miami market. The North Carolina-based acquirer will pay $301 million above the premium price for the deposits and branches, plus $2.1 billion in performing loans. The acquisition is also another move up for the bank.

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CoreLogic: HARP 2.0 Will Help GSEs, Homeowners

Modifications in line for the Home Affordable Refinance Program from the Obama administration will buoy homeowners with negative equity and origination markets, but field few other benefits for investors in mortgage-backed securities, according to a new outlook. Analytics provider CoreLogic released a statement Monday demarcating HARP├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós benefits and problem areas, skewering assertions that the program will alleviate a chronic lack of demand and showing that economic troubles may persist despite government assistance.

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Bank Shares Plunge as Euro Bonds Infect MF Global

Multiple news reports faulted MF Global with fallout for stocks and shares among major lenders Monday as the New York Federal Reserve delisted the embattled securities firm. The Dow Jones industrial average spun into a 276-point tailspin to hit 11,955 points by end of day, taking with it the shares for several mortgage lenders that lifted last week when European leaders announced a bailout package for debt-ridden Greece. At least one news outlet said the downfall of MF Global lent credibility to the Volcker Rule.

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Major Mortgage Insurers See Margins Slip: MICA Report

In bad news for mortgage insurers, the big four U.S. companies saw their profit margins shrink year-over-year by more than a quarter in September, according to the Mortgage Insurance Companies of America. Insurers underwrote $4.9 billion in risk for mortgage lenders last month, substantially down from $6.9 billion in profit recorded by the trade group in September last year. The uptick in reported profit and underwritten policies reflects a series of ongoing problems for the industry at large.

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Big Four Release Earnings, Citing Economy, Litigation

Litigation fees, bold restructuring moves, and new regulation helped shape earnings figures over the third quarter for the nation's largest lenders and financial institutions in October. Along with numerous other banking holding companies and investment firms, Bank of America, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase, and Wells Fargo released their reports to the media and investors over the past two weeks. The results: more mortgage lenders continue to exit the business, while financial institutions stepped up the public debate against onerous regulations.

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Hearing Portrays a Public Divided Over Dodd-Frank

As debate heats up about whether to repeal the Dodd-Frank Act, witnesses testifying before the House Financial Services Committee Monday appeared as divided over the issue as the general public, with some criticizing the law and others praising it. The leaders of banks and credit unions largely panned the financial regulatory overhaul, highlighting the demand for more resources and manpower in compliance issues even as regulators themselves continue to scrutinize new loans. Others said that Dodd-Frank benefited the recovery.

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OCC: Volcker Rule Will Cost Banks $1B to Comply

The recently proposed Volcker Rule will sap nearly $1 billion in revenue from the nation's banks as lenders spend more time, resources, and manpower complying with regulations, according to a recent government study. The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency estimated that the rule as drafted by the FDIC, Federal Reserve, and other federal authorities will result in expenditures totaling $100 million for state, local, and other governments. The rule continues to stir controversy following its proposal earlier this month.

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