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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As foreclosures continue to rise, there's been a lot of talk lately about how well-capitalized the FHA is to handle defaults on all the loans it backs. The FHA, which doesn't make loans itself, estimates it will insure over $400 billion in loans just this year.
Acting FHFA director Edward Demarco seems, at face value, to be a quiet, intelligent, unassuming guy. He prefers to be called Ed, and this morning he did his first live television interview with me on CNBC. But don't let the demeanor fool you.
Mortgage rates are kept low by Fed intervention, which is due to end soon. So unless that program is extended, mortgage rates will start rising again.
It's careful, it's complicated, it's got a catchy name, and it's first. At face value, that's what I see in the Mortgage Bankers Association's proposal to formulate a new, government-guaranteed, mortgage backed securities market to take the place of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Following up on the spirited discussion that followed yesterday's blog on what banks are doing with foreclosed properties, our reporter encounters a frustrating story.
There have been a lot of accusations on the blogs and on the air that banks are holding on to REO (bank-owned) foreclosed properties because they don't want to put them on the market and push home prices ever lower. In digging into this, I got a few interesting answers.
Yesterday, at one of the morning staff meetings, a CNBC producer told of how his son had an adjustable rate mortgage that actually, thanks to today's low interest rates, adjusted down, saving him hundreds of dollars on his monthly payment. Well all of a sudden everyone wanted to know if this would mean a shot in the arm to the economy, with all these supposedly troubled adjustable rate mortgages adjusting down instead of up.
As usual, by the middle of the day, I get bored with talking about the headline housing number du jour, and I start pondering some of the numbers that never make it into the general news stream. Today I'm looking at P.4 of the Commerce Dept.'s report on "New Home Sales in July." I'm wondering why sales of homes "Not started" (i.e. still empty lots) rose 33 percent month to month, while sales of "Completed" homes fell 6 percent.
Some really startling numbers today from Fitch Ratings on delinquency "cure rates." That's the percentage of delinquent loans returning to a current payment status each month. "Cure rates have declined from an average of 45 percent during 2000-2006 to the currently level of 6.6 percent," according to today's report titled, "Delinquency Cure Rates Worsening for U.S. Prime RMBS."