The Compleat ÜberNerd: a fascinating series of blog entries detailing the nitty-gritty behind the mortgage industry by Calculated Risk's "Tanta." If you're curious about automated underwriting systems or the ins and outs of mortgage servicing or if you just enjoy some Mortgage Pig Excel art, Tanta was the blogger for you. Tanta, otherwise known as Doris Dungey, passed away on Sunday morning (NYT obit, CR obit).
Carl Icahn's Time Warner efforts find a powerful ally in "white-shoe" investment bank Lazard. Wall Street M&A advisors have been hesitant to support efforts by Icahn and his hedge fund brethren in their share-holder activist efforts for fear of alienating fee-paying corporate clients (investment banking, legal and registration fees on the Time Warner/AOL deal were approximately $300 million). By hiring Lazard, which is led by banking legend Bruce Wasserstein (1,2,3), Icahn is surely raising the intensity of his campaign against Time Warner management. Icahn has been successful in previous shareholder activist campaigns, most notably against Blockbuster (1,2), and talks a pretty mean game. Wall Street will be watching this closely - hedge fund activism is becoming a very real fear for company management/directors: Circuit City/Highfields Capital, Wendy's/Pershing, Bally's Fitness/Pardus Capital & Liberation Investment Group, Axciom/ValueAct Capital, MSC Software/ValueAct Capital (reg. required), Beazer Homes/Tontine Capital (second story on page) and more.