Wednesday, February 03, 2010
The Federal Housing Administration used to be a little-known government agency before the housing meltdown. But when Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac collapsed, the FHA started backing more and more loans to homeowners. Now, a growing number of borrowers are defaulting on loans backed by the FHA — and some are wondering if the FHA itself might soon need a bailout.
We find out how the agency is trying to weather the storm created by increased lending. We also get a first-hand look at how the housing crisis is affecting Cleveland, Ohio.
Thursday, December 24, 2009
You might have heard of collateralized debt obligations (CDOs) and the role they played in the housing crisis, but have you heard of a 'synthetic CDO?' Gretchen Morgensen and Louise Story report in today's New York Times, ("Banks Bundled Bad Debt, Bet Against It and Won,") on how banks used this special category of bundled debt to bet against the housing market, and win. Sometimes it meant the banks profited while their clients lost out.
Louise Story joins us to explain synthetic CDOs and the three government investigations that are already underway about the practice. The government wants to know if investment firms may have exacerbated the housing crisis as they tried to hedge their vulnerable mortage positions. We also speak with Sylvain Raynes, a structured finance consultant, to give us details on how firms used synthetic CDOs and how they pitched them to clients.
Wednesday, December 16, 2009
So you want to get in the real estate game while rates are low and affordable property is abundant? Before you hop on the gravy train, be wary of the fine print. As part of our weeklong series on Life in Fine Print, we talk with Dan Green, loan officer at Waterstone Mortgage and author of themortgagereports.com. He explains why all those ads promising low APRs and fantastic terms might be concealing a slightly more complicated truth.
Monday, December 14, 2009
- Sports Takeout: Now that Tiger Woods has announced his "indefinite" break from golf to tend to his deteriorating family troubles, we ask, what will golf be without Tiger? Our sports contributor, Ibrahim Abdul-Matin, talks us through what the fairway phenom has done for his sport.
- Money Takeout: Mortgage rates are at historic lows, but relatively few homeowners are refinancing. It's not because homeowners don't want to borrow: Louise Story of The New York Times tells us why banks are turning away potential lenders.
- Listener Takeout: Takeaway listeners had a few things to say about corporate 'greenwashing' after the first week of the Copenhagen Climate Summit, as well as the lack of South African actors in 'Invictus.'
Monday, November 30, 2009
The Obama administration will go on the offensive this week, pressuring banks to help more U.S. homeowners bring down their mortgage payments. The Home Affordable Modification Program (HAMP) is intended to help homeowners cut the amount of interest they are paying on their mortgages. But consumers face two big hurdles. First, many homeowners are having difficulty gaining access to the HAMP program. One such homeowner is Takeaway listener Julie Gonzales, who joins us from Royal Oak, Mich. She applied for HAMP and was turned down. Second, those who are able to enter the trial modification program are finding it difficult to make their modifications permanent. Louise Story, finance reporter for our partner The New York Times, says that while the Obama administration says banks aren't doing a good enough job helping homeowners, the banks are fighting back. They say the government's plan is flawed, and that most consumers need a lot more then just reduced interest payments.
Friday, November 20, 2009
There are more than 6.7 million U.S. households with mortgages that are behind on their payments or are in the foreclosure process. It may look like we're a long way from the house-flipping that helped create the housing bubble, but there's a new breed of flipping that's started in places like Florida. We talk to Michael Braga, investigative reporter for The Sarasota Herald Tribune, along with Larry Furman, who is a home owner facing a reset on his adustable rate mortgage.
Friday, October 09, 2009
When lenders Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac collapsed, the little-known Federal Housing Agency stepped in to fill the void for lenders. But now the FHA is facing a financial crisis of its own, and that has some analysts wondering if the FHA will soon need its own bailout. The Takeway talks to finance reporter Louise Story to find out more.
Monday, August 31, 2009
Just a year ago, the government stepped in and took over struggling mortgage and loan security giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. They were the first major companies deemed "too big to fail," although they would not be the last. One year after the takeover, both Fannie and Freddie are reporting huge profits. The times, to paraphrase Bob Dylan, might just be a-changin'.
Joining us to tell us where these gains are coming from and what we've learned in our year of nationalized mortgage lending is Louise Story, Wall Street and finance reporter for the New York Times.
Friday, June 05, 2009
Thursday, May 14, 2009
By Ailsa Chang
We’ve heard a lot of stories about predatory lenders and unscrupulous practices in the real estate business. But amid all these stories, one company stands out: it’s called United Homes. They’ve boasted they’ve sold thousands of homes in the poorest sections of New York City in the past 15 ...
Friday, April 17, 2009
To help us parse the numbers we turned to two experts: Behrooz Shahidi, a realtor in New Jersey, and Michael Corkery, housing reporter for The Wall Street Journal.
—Wall Street Journal writer Michael Corkery on housing changes
Thursday, April 02, 2009
For more, read Michael Osinski's article, My Manhattan Project: How I helped build the bomb that blew up Wall Street in this week's New York Magazine.
See Osinki at his new job as an oyster farmer in the video below.
Wednesday, March 11, 2009
Monday, March 09, 2009
— Marcus Mabry of the New York Times on what President Obama has in store for this week
Thursday, March 05, 2009
Click here for Part One
Wednesday, March 04, 2009
Wednesday, February 04, 2009