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.
Follow Diana Olick on Twitter
I’m reporting a story on Lennar today. The sixth largest public homebuilder in the nation sent out an interesting letter to its contractors a few months ago offering them two choices: (A) Reduce your unpaid invoices as of 1-26-07 by a minimum of X [many have reported up to 20%]… or (B) Not reduce your unpaid invoices and be excluded from bidding future work for a minimum of 6 months. Those companies who choose to participate in this request and/or can exhibit the best price possible will continue to have every opportunity for future business with Lennar.
I’m not going to talk about mortgages today. I’m not tired of the topic; I just want to remind myself that there are other stories playing out in the real estate market. Lest we forget, people are still buying and selling homes, legally and responsibly, and I want to focus on that for a minute.
Ok, I want to take a little space here to respond to a number of complaints you readers have been sending to the RealtyCheck mailbox. Don’t get me wrong, I love it that you’re riled up, I love it that you disagree, most of all I just love it that you read all this stuff, so here goes:
I’m working on this story today about the ripple effects of the subprime crisis on the wider mortgage markets, specifically something called an Alt-A loan. What’s an Alt-A? Well, I did a little net-search and found a wide variety of definitions:
Housing starts in February jumped 9% from a month ago but were still down 28.5% from a year ago, the Commerce Department reported. The February increase was the biggest since January of last year and followed a 14% drop the previous month.
With anxiety over the subprime mortgage market, calls for tighter lending standards, continued high inventory of unsold homes and home prices dropping from coast to coast, to call Tuesday’s housing starts number curious is an understatement. The U.S. Department of Commerce reports housing starts in February jumped 9% from a month ago but are still 28.5% below February 2006. This is the biggest jump since January of last year and comes off a 14% drop in starts in February.
Anxiety over trouble in the subprime mortgage market has home builders changing their vision of a recovery in the housing market. After a slow and steady rise from a low in September, the monthly survey of home builder confidence from the National Association of Home Builders slipped three points in March.
Continuing in the blame game … today we took a look at all the potential litigation, which will inevitably be the next bit of ooze in all this subprime seepage. Yesterday lawmakers on Capitol Hill were pointing fingers, then today, in New York City, Attorney General Andrew Cuomo, asked about the subprime market, jumps on the bandwagon, “We’re looking at that market as well.” Then in DC, at about the same time, Sen. Hillary Clinton says, “This market is clearly broken, and if we don’t fix it, it could threaten our entire housing market which in turn would threaten our entire economy.”