Diana Olick is an Emmy Award-winning journalist, currently serving as CNBC's real estate correspondent as well as the author of the Realty Check section on CNBC.com. She also contributes her real estate expertise to NBC's "Today" and "NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams."
Prior to joining CNBC in 2002, Olick spent seven years as a correspondent for CBS News.
Olick began her career as a local news reporter at WABI-TV in Bangor, Maine; WZZM-TV in Grand Rapids, Mich.; and KIRO-TV in Seattle. She joined CBS in 1994 as a New York-based correspondent for the "CBS Evening News with Dan Rather" and "The Early Show." She also contributed pieces to "48 Hours" and "Sunday Morning." During that time, she covered such stories as the World Trade Center conspiracy trial and the Boston abortion clinic shooting.
In 1995, Olick was assigned to cover the Midwest as a Dallas bureau correspondent. In the three years she was there, she covered all forms of natural disaster, including the crash of TWA Flight 800, the JonBenet Ramsey murder mystery and was the exclusive correspondent for the trial of Oklahoma City bomber Terry Nichols. During that time, she also took a temporary assignment in CBS' Moscow bureau, where she chronicled the brief presidential campaign of Mikhail Gorbachev.
In 1998, Olick was reassigned to the New York bureau and then immediately posted to Bahrain for the buildup to a possible second Gulf War. A year later, she went to Albania to cover the U.S. military buildup during the conflict in Kosovo.
Upon her return, Olick was reassigned to CBS' Washington bureau and the Capitol Hill beat. During Campaign 2000, Olick covered the Senate campaign of First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton and later joined the Bush campaign as a special correspondent for "The Early Show." That fall, she was named Supreme Court correspondent; her first case was Bush v. Gore.
Olick has a B.A. in comparative literature with a minor in soviet studies from Columbia College in New York and a master's degree in journalism from Northwestern's Medill School of Journalism.
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A while back I debated the pros and cons of a proposal to allow bankruptcy judges to modify troubled loans. The President-elect included it as one of the four tenets of his housing plan during the campaign, so one can only surmise that it’s still high on his list.
I’ve got to give it to Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson; he’s not going out without fightin’ words over Fannie and Freddie. Today Paulson used his now very temporary podium to offer advice to the new Congress and the Administration on the future of the GSE’s.
I’m not exactly sure why jumbos seem to be in the news this week. Two different articles, one in the Washington Post and one in the Boston Globe, show seeming surprise at the fact that jumbo loans are far more expensive than conforming loans.
A little bird told me that the home builders will be on Capitol Hill next week, pushing for a home buying stimulus. Now before everyone goes crying “Big Builder Bailout,” just listen to the proposal, which is only for owner occupants, and the thought process that goes behind it.
A week away from the housing market has given me a slightly new perspective, and not a better one. I was beginning to buy the argument that a drastically lower mortgage interest rate would be the jumpstart the market needs. The initial readings don’t seem to support that theory.
I'll be heading off on vacation next week, so no new posts, unless of course my travels compel me to note something housing-worthy that I see along the way. And regarding my posts: I want to thank all of you who have written in to the blog. ... I do try to reply to the most urgent questions. Some of you have expressed concern that I'm not being an impartial journalist on the blog — and you're right, I'm not. That's not what a blog is about...
The fact is, modification programs won't work unless the principal on the loan is written down, giving the homeowner at least some financial stake in the house. But we all know how willing lenders are to write down principal.
Mortgage brokers I talked to this morning said the floodgates are open, and it’s mostly refis. In fact, the Mortgage Bankers Association’s weekly applications survey showed that last week, with rates historically low, 77 percent of applications were for refis, not new purchases.
In Las Vegas, which boasts 30,000 foreclosures in 2008, two out of three home sales are foreclosed properties. In California, foreclosure sales are pushing up total existing home sales like never before.