September 06, 2007

The United States housing market has crashed.

Take us out Luciano... The greatest of all time...


k.w. - southern ca. said...

Such passion - absolutely beautiful!

Anonymous said...

Sounds like Bob Toll has been reading your blog!

Anonymous said...

Adult 25-54 Viewers to cable news networks, Tuesday September 4, 2007 versus Tuesday September 5, 2006:
O’Reilly: -5%
Olbermann: + 54%

On illegal aliens:

6PM Lou Dobbs/CNN: + 34%

All other Fox Propaganda:

5PM Gibson/FOX: -53%
6PM Hume/FOX: -42%
7PM Shepherd Smith/FOX: -47%
9PM Hannity & Combs/FOX: -32%
10PM Greta/FOX: -21%

For more stats, see:

Tanker said...

A housing bubble requiem! Spectacular!

Anonymous said...

The great Puccini died before he finished Turandot. Nessun Dorma was his final masterpeice, among many. It is now the last performance I will hear from the incomparable Luciano. Thank you for posting this here, Keith.

Anonymous said...

This is only from brokers but it is a sure indication of a credit crunch now taking hold.

Survey Finds High Level of Loan Failure
Wednesday September 5, 5:27 pm ET
By Alan Zibel, AP Business Writer
Mortgage Broker Survey Finds 33 Percent of Home Loans Failed to Close Last Month

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A third of home loans originated by mortgage brokers failed to close in August as investors shied away from riskier borrowers, a new survey says.
The survey of 1,700 mortgage brokers sponsored by trade publication Inside Mortgage Finance comes as numerous lenders that catered to subprime borrowers with weak credit close down and lenders back away from riskier lending practices common in recent years.

That has led to many borrowers being stuck without a loan as they prepare to settle.

"There's a problem with funding commitments not being honored," by lenders, said Thomas Popik, who designed the survey for Washington-based research firm Campbell Communications.

Three years ago, Popik said, a survey of real estate agents found that only 4 percent of transactions failed to close on average.

The survey also found that some homebuyers backed away from deals last month. Some may be waiting to see if market improves, while some sales may fall apart because sellers are unable to get financing for their new home, Popik said, noting that sales agreements often are contingent on buyers selling their current home.

The survey also found that nearly half of borrowers with adjustable rate mortgages were not able to refinance their loans. That's a major concern of policymakers as an estimated that 2.5 million mortgages given to borrowers with weak credit will reset at higher rates by the end of next year, according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.

Mortgage brokers account for about one-third of total mortgage originations, and have originated a larger share of loans to riskier borrowers, so the percentage of failed loans in the entire market may be smaller.

Nevertheless, the results provide another indication of how the housing market's troubles are continuing.

Total subprime lending was down more than 50 percent in the first half of the year as lenders pulled back from risky loans. Countrywide Financial Corp. was the top subprime lender, followed by Citigroup Inc., HSBC Holdings PLC, Merrill Lynch & Co. subsidiary First Franklin Financial Corp. and Wells Fargo & Co, according to Inside Mortgage Finance.

Anonymous said...

The Federal Reserve added 31.25 billion dollars in temporary reserves to the US money markets Thursday in three different operations, the latest move to keep credit markets from drying up.

The New York Fed added 7.0 billion dollars in 14-day repurchase agreements, 16 billion in seven-day repurchase agreements and 8.25 billion in one-day repos.

The Fed has injected some 200 billion dollars into the financial system since August 9 in a bid to boost credit flows which have seized up due to problems linked to the distressed US mortgage market.

The US central bank typically buys billions of dollars worth of securities from major banks, pumping extra cash into the banking system, which the banks are obliged to repurchase at a later date.

Anonymous said...

Countrywide shares fell as low as $17.95 in morning trading. By mid-afternoon, they were down 40 cents at $18.41 on the New York Stock Exchange. They began the year at $42.45.

Howells said the shares are unlikely to drop much further, but for the time being, "Bank of America can collect the coupon payment, which is pretty attractive."

Anonymous said...

And here, we all agree, a loss of one of our finest singers....
Luciano will be sincerely missed.

Clint8200 said...

too early Keith, we haven't even seen the 'credit crunch' show up in the econ data...give it another quarter and you'll agree.

james said...

So are these the loans that they're accepting sub prime paper as collateral on? And is this the paper thats marked to model instead of market?

"Oh, me, oh my, im not going to be able to pay of that 150 billion Mr. Gubmint. You'll just have to ...SOB...keep my bad mortgages...sob..theyre worth bajillions, according to my figures. IM LOSING MY SHIRT!!!"

Anonymous said...

the voice is very sick......he will never sing again, i predict......i think he will be dead in a couple of weeks. very sad , actually....what a gift from God....what a voice......for over 40 years he graced the world stage and did his thing....and we are better for it......i think perhaps he is and was the greatest tenor in modern memory........and some say he didn't even know how to read music....oh well......does it matter? he did what he did and he did it good and for this, I am grateful....

breakthrough_moment_in_DC said...

This is bizarro world. I am finding cheap forclosures in places like Charlotte, NC and very few in places like DC.

Does this make any sense?!?

I am suspecting lots of people moved there without a job. (I know of one who is back in NOVA and trying to sell in Charlotte because the pay was not what she expected.) The declines in the banking industry can't help much.

I am scared to leave my secure, technocratic DC desk job for greener pastures. Maybe I am too negative about the US workplace in the global economy(; maybe I am too negative about my own ability to overcome.) If I was a simple nurse, I would find oppurtunity everwhere. But where are we REALLY headed?

How long can I wait to buy in DC? It still costs 600K for a nice place around here. I am a traditionalist who would love to have kids, now my wife must work. And what of saving money when every penny goes to interest for some bank.

Or should I do like Sequoia and just retire to my own destiny, far away from the bubble.

Anonymous said...

The credit markets are frozen. Central Banks are taking the worst sh*t as collateral. Just wait until in massive bailouts, central banks have to step forward and monetize untold trillions of derivatives.

Anonymous said...

well i stand corrected. the voice died about a hour ago. its a sad day for music....

Shakster said...


Anonymous said...

A true gift to humanity!

Everytime we lose someone like Pavarotti we die a little!

Thank you Luciano, and God Bless!

Anonymous said...



Lehman Brothers to Cut 850 More Jobs in Mortgage Unit (Update4)

By Yalman Onaran

Sept. 6 (Bloomberg) -- Lehman Brothers Holdings Inc., the brokerage that shut its subprime mortgage business last month, is cutting 850 more jobs, mostly at a U.S. subsidiary catering to borrowers with better credit scores, as the nation's faltering housing market takes its toll on Wall Street.

Lehman, the biggest underwriter of U.S. mortgage bonds, is also closing its Korean home loan business, the New York-based firm said in a statement today. The bulk of the firing will be at Aurora Loan Services LLC, the U.S. unit that makes so-called Alt- A loans to borrowers whose credit ratings fall just short of standards for regular prime mortgages.

National City Corp., Ohio's largest bank, said today that it too would sever 800 employees and take a $200 million pretax charge in the third-quarter because of losses in its mortgage business.

``As the outlook in these parts of the mortgage market remain negative, it makes sense to cut down capacity,'' said Brad Hintz, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. in New York, referring to Lehman's announcement. ``This is good, solid management doing what it should be doing.''

Home loans to borrowers with poor credit histories and heavy debt loads are coming back to haunt securities firms and banks, after helping fuel the U.S. housing boom this decade. Brokerages including Lehman and Bear Stearns Cos. profited by packaging the loans into highly rated bonds. Now investors are shunning the securities, after late payments rose during the first quarter to the highest level in more than four years.

`Sized Correctly'

During the next three months, the number of Americans at risk of losing their homes to foreclosure reached a record, as late payments by subprime borrowers surged to one out of every seven loans, the Mortgage Bankers Association said today.

In August, Lehman said it would close its U.S. subprime- mortgage unit, resulting in 1,200 job losses and $54 million in costs.

``We now have a business that is sized correctly for the current environment,'' said Ted Janulis, global head of mortgages at Lehman, in the company's statement. ``We will continue to look at other origination opportunities in global markets.''

Lehman said the job cuts announced today and the shut-down of the Korea unit will cost less than $20 million. Lehman shares, which have lost 31 percent this year, fell 52 cents, or 1 percent, to $53.83 in New York Stock Exchange composite trading.

National City, based in Cleveland, dropped 66 cents, or 2.4 percent, to $26.67. The shares have declined 27 percent this year.

To contact the reporter on this story: Yalman Onaran in New York at .

Last Updated: September 6, 2007 17:43 EDT

Anonymous said...

Thank goodness we have Snoop dog, fity cent and Britney Spears to take up the slack!

Anonymous said...

“Crashed” is passed tense. Enjoy the ride down.

Anonymous said...

Actually, the greatest of all time was probably Pav's idol, Mario Lanza, whose voice, Pav described: "He had a fantastic voice - not just wonderful - a fantastic voice." By the early 1990s Pav had viewd Lanza's film "The Great Caruso" more than 50 times. Elvis, Domingo, and Carreras also idolized Lanza and Maria Callas called him "Caruso's successor." Too bad that his early death and the fortunes he made in the movies and concerts prevented a professional opera career. Check

results of bush regime said...

There remains a steady loss of jobs. And I mean steady, as in never-ending since bush took over DC and the media.

This is NOT good. If bush and cheney are not fired soon, then I must say that something is VERY, VERY WRONG in America.

And that's NOT good. The times are sad.

Anonymous said...

since bush took over DC and the media.

does that mean keith olbermann and the ny times crew are lapdogs of bush?

please, put down the crackpipe at least 24 hours before posting.

Stuck in So Pa said...

"Nessun Dorma" no less!
My favorite, I cried!
Thanks Keith.

Anonymous said...


Greater now more than ever!

A gift that will never die!

His voice!


concerned said...

Arriverdeci Luciano.....

kitchenstove said...

I'm so sorry he's gone. He had one of those voices that could chill a person to the bone, but in a wonderful way. I'm happy he shared his talents with us for so many years. His passing seemed to happen so suddenly, though I know he was ill for awhile.

Anonymous said...

With a tear in his voice ....