The buzz about another possible bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac doesn't make any sense, says Dick Bove. Here's why.» Read More
Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson both dropped some of their resistance to expanding the role of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and said the companies could help restore funding for the largest home loans, which has dried up.
There's a lot of talk on the Hill today about raising the conforming loan limit for Fannie and Freddie from its current $417,000. Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said, "There is little question that allowing the GSEs to securitize jumbo mortgages would give a short term lift, which would be helpful to a segment of the housing market that has shown some recent improvement but is not functioning as normal."
Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the biggest sources of U.S. housing finance, can buy $20 billion more in subprime mortgages under rules unveiled Wednesday to help revive a market hindered by tighter lending standards.
Federal Reserve Board chairman Ben Bernanke told a key House leader this week that any move to raise the limit on the value of mortgages that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac can buy should only be temporary.
Countrywide Chairman and CEO Angelo Mozilo delivered a bullish outlook Tuesday for his company as it grapples with the ongoing housing downturn. However, he called on the government to do more to ease the credit crunch and help borrowers in distress avoid foreclosure.
Shares of Impac plunged more than 13% in trading on the New York Stock Exchange on news of layoffs and closing of its Alt-A division.
National City said on Monday it expects a third-quarter mortgage banking loss of around $160 million, the high end of its forecast, hurt by slumping housing demand and tighter capital markets.
Ongoing weakness in the housing market will push the national economy to the brink of recession, but growth in other areas should put the country back on a slow road to recovery by 2009, according to an economic forecast released Wednesday.
Bush administration officials Friday sought to ease fears the U.S. was tipping into recession after a government report showed the economy shed jobs for the first time in four years last month.
Mortgage-related loans by the Federal Home Loan Bank system to members surged 17 percent in August as "extraordinary events" upset credit markets, the FHLB's office of finance said on Tuesday.
After watching for weeks as the mortgage meltdown roiled the markets and squeezed homeowners, President Bush inserted himself directly into the matter today. It remain unclear how much his intervention will help investors, lenders or homeowners. But there's no mystery about why he did it.
Stocks closed mostly lower after a day of choppy trading as investors worried whether Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke would signal a possible interest rate cut during a speech Friday morning. Volume was very light but without extreme volatility," said Scott Fullman, director of investment strategy, for IA Englander.
Freddie Mac, the nation's second-largest buyer and guarantor of home mortgages, said Thursday its second-quarter profit fell 45% as it had to record larger provisions on its books for bad loans.
Now that the market has settled a bit, Cramer went back to his normal Game Plan strategies. Here are his takes on Dollar Tree, Freddie Mac, H&R Block, Dell and Sears Holdings.Investing can be confusing. Luckily, Cramer has mapped out some road rules for all you Home Gamers trying to navigate the jungle that is Wall Street. Think of it as "Mad Money 101" –- some fundamental advice to keep in mind as you play the market. Whether you're a first time investor or a seasoned financier, it's always good to remember the basics.
The hot topic on the Street is the probability of a recession. Robert Albertson, chief strategist at Sandler O'Neill, and this morning Angelo Mozillo, CEO of Countrywide both voiced fears that a recession was coming. Opinions are sharply divided on this. David Bianco, UBS' Equity Strategist, said earlier this month that the S&P seems to be signaling a "financial sector recession" (i.e. that a recession is expected to mostly affect financial sector profits).
Countrywide Financial provided further details on the $11.5 billion it drew down to improve its liquidity, a Friday regulatory filing showed.
The federal regulator for Fannie Mae Friday denied the mortgage finance company's request to grow its investment portfolio, but did not close the door on the possibility of lifting the cap in the future.
The government on Friday said it will not ease investment limits on home-loan finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac but didn't rule out an eventual increase.
Wall Street is bracing for a sharply lower open as fears of a global liquidity crisis pound stock markets worldwide. Central banks around the globe stepped in to inject funds into the banking system and pump confidence back into markets, wary of the continued ripple effect of the U.S. subprime mortgage fallout.
Daniel Mudd, chief executive of mortgage lender Fannie Mae, told CNBC that the housing slump won't hit bottom for another year and that the current credit crunch will spread “all across the housing market.”