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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So it’s only a few hours after I blogged about C-Bass and American Home Mortgage is providing a crystal ball. Shares of AHM are down 87% after the company said it just can’ fund all those home loans and may have to liquidate its assets. It’s the margin calls, same as C-Bass.
What’s the worst business to be in nowadays? No, not Lindsay Lohan’s PR agent. Try a company that buys troubled subprime mortgages, improves collection rates and then sells them at a profit as packages of debt to hungry investors. That might have been a fun business last year; not so much this year.
I was looking for some information this morning on just how much more it will cost you to get a loan today than it did just a year ago today, and I came upon a survey from the Federal Reserve that is really indicative of just how much the playing field has changed. For several decades the Fed has been doing a Loan Officer Survey, asking a slew of senior bank guys if they’re tightening their standards on residential mortgages.
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Bad news in the housing market this week was enough to rock the stock market right off its foundations. Existing home sales, new home sales, homebuilder earnings reports, no one expected them to be bright, but the numbers cast a heavy shadow on any optimism for a quick recovery in housing.
I have to say that given the earnings of the major public homebuilders that I’ve been reporting all week, Hovnanian CEO Ara Hovnanian’s comments on CNBC this morning made me wonder if his rose-colored glasses weren’t perhaps impairing his vision entirely. No offense at all to the CEO, who, I’m happy to say, is one of very few of his ilk right now that will actually agree to go on TV and speak his mind. The rest have been turning down our requests, several even telling me that I personally make them look foolish.
Hi everyone. We've had a bit of a technical problem with the Realty Check blog email account that we're fixing as quickly as possible. For right now, hold off on your emails. As soon as we get the problem resolved, I'll let you know on the blog. Shouldn't be too long. Thanks.
How are some home builder CEOs reacting to the current housing market? Donald R. Horton, CEO D.R. Horton: “Market conditions in the homebuilding industry continue to be challenging as inventory levels of both new and existing homes remain at historically high levels. Increased use of sales incentives continues to put pressure on profit margins. In addition, home price appreciation over the past few years, higher interest rates and tightened credit standards in the mortgage industry are all negatively impacting affordability.”
So there I was at the National Association of Realtors headquarters this morning, ready for the usual press conference on the monthly existing home sales numbers, but before the 'spiel' and the charts, the PR team passed out two interesting papers: “Fact Sheet” they each blared across the top in bold print.
The CEO of the nation’s largest lender says, “We expect difficult housing and mortgage market conditions to persist.” That as Countrywide Financial disappoints the street and lowers its forecast for the rest of the year, the second time it’s done that in as many quarters. “Credit quality in the bank deteriorated sharply,” Morgan Stanley analyst Kenneth Posner writes in his note on Countrywide today.