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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I spent the morning listening to a hearing of the House Financial Services Committee about, what else, mortgage issues (I know, I’ve really got to get out more). After riveting testimony from the Treasury’s Under Secretary for Domestic Finance (sorry, but even he looked bored), regarding the department’s new “Hope Now” alliance, I eagerly awaited the next panel.
I know a lot of you don’t like the foreclosure reports offered by RealtyTrac because of the methodology involved. RealtyTrac counts “foreclosure filings,” which include default notices, auction sale notices and bank repossessions, so one property could ostensibly get several hits.
Since it’s Halloween, I thought I’d lay off scaring you all with housing data today (got a great foreclosure report to make you scream tomorrow), and share a couple of fun-house housing tidbits that came across some news wires this week:
I’m not surprised consumer confidence is down, given the fact that home prices are falling fast. I know a lot of you out there in the blog-o-sphere don’t like it when I talk about these monthly price, sales or foreclosure reports, but it’s the bread and butter of the business, so humor me, if you will, especially because this one is a doosey.
So I’m still grappling with Countrywide’s announcement that it’s going to refi or modify $16 billion worth of loans, and especially its agreement with NACA (Neighborhood Assistance Corporation of America), the biggest homeowner community activist around. I’m skeptical to say the least.
Is it possible to be bleary-eared? I’ve just hung up from a two-hour conference call with Countrywide’s top dogs and all the top analysts that cover the company. I can’t say I learned anything new, except that CEO Angelo Mozilo admitted openly that the SEC is investigating his stock trades. We knew that already, but that was the first time he said it.
If you think your car is an environmental monster, then be afraid, very afraid, of your house. I was covering a major home building conference last February when I heard an incredible factoid: your house leaves a bigger carbon footprint than your car. Why? Because, unlike your car, it is ALWAYS running.
So I'm sure many of you are scratching your heads trying to figure out how, amid the now constant din of the housing crisis, we suddenly get this report from the Commerce Dept. that new home sales and prices bumped up in September?? Well before everyone starts hailing the home builders and calling a big bad bottom to the market, a couple of key points:
I could say, “What took you so long,” but that would be rude. Today, just three days before the nation’s largest mortgage lender announces its quarterly earnings, Countrywide Financial Corp. sent out a press release announcing a “comprehensive home preservation program to reach out to borrowers at risk of default.” Let’s boil it down: