Rebuilding the Secondary Market

Mortgage Banking

April 2008


Temporarily higher loan limits for Fannie, Freddie and FHA, plus a lifting of portfolio caps and a reduction in the surplus capital requirement, pave the way for the GSE’s and FHA to gain market share and expand overall lending. At the same time, the Fed has taken extraordinary steps to improve liquidity. Still, a full recovery of the mortgage market depends on a revival of the non-agency market. As of early spring, that was nowhere in sight.


Read more: Rebuilding the Secondary Market

The Origins of a Housing Credit Bubble

Mortgage Banking

September 2008


Monday-morning quarterbacks are finding plenty to blame for the creation of a housing credit bubble that has dramatically burst. While there's a growing laundry list of causes, there appears to be emerging consensus on some primary drivers, such as monetary policy and the unchecked expansion of mortgage credit by non-banks. This two-part series examines the details.



Read more: The Origins of a Housing Credit Bubble

The Mounting Toll

Mortgage Banking

January 2008

Estimates keep rising for total losses expected from higher defaults and markdowns on mortgage assets and related derivatives held by financial institutions worldwide. The bottom line isn't pretty, and it's not even over yet.

Read more: The Mounting Toll

The Big Scramble

Mortgage Banking

December 2007

 Mortgage lenders have moved quickly to adjust their product offerings and business strategies in the wake of the liquidity crisis. The shutdown of major funding sources, combined with mounting defaults for certain products, has prompted quick adjustments in business models. There's at least one silver lining: The exit of many competitors is bringing new pricing strength for surviving lenders.

Read more: The Big Scramble

Q&A with Chairman Frank

Mortgage Banking

December 2007


The House Financial Services Committee has been very active this session on many issues of importance to the mortgage industry. Committee Chairman Barney Frank recently introduced his own anti-predatory-lending bill, and we sat down to talk to him about it.


Read more: Q&A with Chairman Frank

A Hard Landing in California

Mortgage Banking

March 2008 


Last year the air rushed out of California's housing bubble. Housing sales and new-home construction have nose-dived. Home prices have fallen. The real estate and housing finance industries are scouting the horizon for a recovery in sales. Meanwhile, a turnaround in home prices and construction could take years.


Read more: A Hard Landing in California

The Cloud Over the Economy

Mortgage Banking 

November 2007 


The mortgage meltdown is deepening, and prolonging the housing recession. A weak housing sector has ripple effects for the rest of the U.S. economy. Financial markets remain vulnerable to renewed turmoil from hidden exposures to subprime mortgages and related derivatives.

Read more: The Cloud Over the Economy

The Issue of Risk Containment

Mortgage Banking

April 2003  


A new report from the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO) explores the attendant risks posed by the growing retained loan portfolios of the government-- sponsored enterprises (GSEs). Fannie and Freddie hedge those risks expansively, but even the scope of the hedging efforts raises its own questions.  

Read more: The Issue of Risk Containment

The Boomer Boost

Mortgage Banking 

April 2005 


It has been said that demography is destiny. That is to say, significant changes in birth rates, longevity, immigration and other changes in the size and age structure of the population of a nation will reshape its society and determine its future. Nowadays some observers are saying demography is also destiny for the housing sector of the economy.


Read more: The Boomer Boost

The rise of a private label

Mortgage Banking

October 2006


Innovative mortgage products, enthusiastic investor support and consumer demand for new affordable loans have all come together to give extraordinary new power to the private mortgage-backed securities market. This has left the private sector setting the rules once largely dictated by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac and FHA.


Read more: The rise of a private label

Anatomy of a Meltdown

Mortgage Banking

October 2007

The subprime meltdown spilled over into other financial markets over the summer. Investors fled the private-label residential mortgage-backed securities market, shutting it down in early August. Facing margin calls, falling asset values, no buyers for non-agency bonds and no buyers for mortgages originated for the private-label market, mortgage companies large and small scrambled to survive.

Read more: Anatomy of a Meltdown



Robert Stowe England is an author and financial journalist who has specialized in writing about financial institutions, financial markets, retirement income issues, and the financial impact of population aging.

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