Boom Bust and Blame

Crisis A-Z


NNAHB – National Association of Home Builders:
Based in Washington D.C., NAHB is a trade association with the goal of promoting policies toward the improvement of housing in the United States. NAHB is one of the biggest representatives of the building industry with more than 800 affiliated associations.

Founded in 1942, NAHB is currently led by Gerald M. Howard, its President and Chief Executive Officer since 2001.

NAR – National Association of Realtors:
As the United States' largest trade association, NAR is a strong representative of the real state industry. Founded in 1908, the National Association of Realtors is a self-regulatory entity in the real state business. Membership of the association is made up of people directly involved with the business such as brokers, salespeople, and managers who follow the same code of ethics and guidelines.

Charles McMillan, who serves as president, heads the National Association of Realtors. NAR is composed of more that 1500 real state associations.

Narvik, Norway:
Featured on CNBC's "House of Cards" documentary, Narvik is a clear example of how far the credit crisis extended. Narvik is a town above the Artic Circle of a little over 18,000 people. Officials of the town invested in Wall Street, mainly in Collateralized Debt Obligations, mistakenly believing it to be a safe investment. After the investment collapsed, the town's leaders were forced to close a school and cut services for senior citizens.

NASDAQ – National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations:
The NASDAQ was developed in 1971 as the first electronic stock exchange in the world. It was created as a means to increase the trading of Over-the-Counter (OTC) stocks, those that were unable to meet listing requirements for larger exchanges. 2,500 OTC stocks were traded on the NASDAQ's first trading day, February 8, 1971.

The division between the NASDAQ National Market and the NASDAQ Small-Cap Market developed from 1982 to 1986, as the larger companies separated themselves from the smaller ones. In 1994 the NASDAQ beat the NYSE in annual shares traded for the first time. In 1998, the NASDAQ merged with the American Stock Exchange, which mostly traded options and derivatives, creating the NASDAQ-AMEX Market Group. The combined company still operates as two separate exchanges.

Negative Amortization:
Also known as NegAm, it's the process of increasing the amount of a mortgage debt gradually. It takes place when the monthly payment of the mortgage fails to cover the interest due and the balance of the debt keeps rising.

No Neg Loan:
Adjustable loans with no negative amortization provisions, meaning the loan amount can never grow for any reason. Payment caps are typically higher than with Neg Am Loans. But since fully amortized payment on a Neg Am Loan can fluctuate as much as 12%, borrowers typically pay far less in interest with a No Neg Loan.

New Century:
The demise of New Century marked the start of the housing crisis in the United States. Founded in 1995 by Bob Cole, Brad Morrice and Ed Gotschall, the Irvine, California-based company made its first loan in 1996 and went public one year later. By 1998, the company had grown to 1,151 employees, had 111 offices, originated $2 billion in mortgages and made $17.7 million in net profit. By 2006, it was the nation's second-largest provider of home loans to people with poor credit histories. But across the nation, the rapid pace of home price appreciation was reaching an end. By year's end, the percentage of subprime loans in default began to rise and investor appetite for subprime securities dried up. In April 2007, New Century filed for Chapter 11 protection in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Delaware because it could no longer raise capital to fund new loans or sell its mortgages to investors. Other subprime mortgage lenders followed with a flood of similar warnings of financial trouble amid widespread customer defaults. In May 2007, hedge fund Carrington Capital Management LLC won an auction to buy New Century's loan servicing unit for $188 million. That was $49 million, or 35 percent, more than Carrington originally offered. New Century failed to find a buyer for its lending unit, which had stopped making loans, and as a result fired 2,000 people. The company fired 3,200 people when it filed for Chapter 11 protection, and fired CEO Brad Morrice in June 2007.

New Home Sales:
The U.S. Census Bureau and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) collect and report these figures at 10:00 AM ET around the 25th of the month. New-home sales typically comprise 15 percent of housing transactions. Data on new-home sales by the U.S. Census Bureau did not begin until 1963 and the National Association of Realtors did not begin data collection on existing-home sales until 1968. And since the Census Bureau did not start collecting data on single-family housing starts until 1959, national figures on housing sales that could be compared to those available for the modern housing market do not exist for the period of the Great Depression.

New Home Starts:
This supply-side indicator is reflected in the number of housing units begun, which specifically means foundations started or building permits issued. The U.S. Census Bureau and HUD provide these figures in a monthly report at 8:30 AM ET around the 17th of the month.

No-doc Loans:
Loans created for people who wish to not disclose assets, employment or income. Such loans are designed for people who don't have a clear source of income, such as self-employed individuals. Potential borrowers who qualify for No-doc loans are people with good credit ratings who don't want to go through the usual loan documentation process.

Non-conforming Loans:
Loans that do not conform to guidelines set up by the large national stock market, aka the Secondary Market. Typically, non-conforming loans are for larger loan amounts and are called Jumbo Loans and are sold in Secondary Market pools without government insurance. Interest rates on non-conforming loans are generally higher than conforming loans.

NYSE – New York Stock Exchange:
The New York Stock Exchange at 18 Broad Street, at the corner of Wall Street in New York City, New York, traces its origins to an agreement made a block away at 68 Wall Street, under a buttonwood tree. A group of 24 New York City stockbrokers and merchants signed the Buttonwood Agreement, on May 17th, 1792. Originally, there were five securities traded in New York City with the first listed company on the NYSE being the Bank of New York. Originally called the "curb market" because its brokers traded outdoors in the street, in all kinds of weather, whether it be rain or snow, or summer heat. On October 1, 1934, the NYSE registered as a national securities exchange with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The Governing Committee ran the exchange until 1938, at which time the committee hired its first paid president and created a 33-member board of governors.
In 1971, the exchange was incorporated as a not-for-profit corporation and the next year the members voted to replace the board of governors with a 25-member board of directors, consisting of 12 representatives of the public, a chairman and CEO representing public interest, and 12 representatives of the securities industry.

Up until 1996, the NYSE was the biggest in the world until its trading volume was exceeded by that of National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations (NASDAQ).

The NYSE is now a for-profit business. The transformation into a for-profit organization occurred when the fully electronic stock exchange Archipelago merged with NYSE in late April of 2005.