"All this gives us one way to understand the Lannister zeal for power in King's Landing. In effect, Tywin is attempting to execute a debt-for-equity swap since his debts aren't actually recoverable. But that simply underscores the extent to which the loans to the Iron Throne are, themselves, worthless as financial assets."
Economics of Ice & Fire, Part I
and Part II (minor dialogue spoilers for S03E03) [more inside]
posted by Chipmazing
on Apr 19, 2013 -
First the Bubble. Then the Short. Now the Long.
Some neighborhoods in Oakland are as devastated as any of the worst hit regions across America — Atlanta, Las Vegas, Phoenix. Now the morphing of the housing bust and foreclosure epidemic into a lucrative multi-billion dollar opportunity for major investors is also uncannily centered upon Oakland and the greater Bay Area, where companies flush with hedge fund cash are buying up homes by the thousands.
The entire sweep of the US housing bubble, financial crisis, and foreclosure wave can therefore be told by looking at persons and companies with intimate links to Oakland and the Bay Area. What follows is one account.
posted by the man of twists and turns
on Dec 11, 2012 -
Wajahat Ali, a solo practitioner from California, takes on Wells Fargo in an attempt to get his clients' home loan modified. Lots of ball dropping and passing of the buck ensues. He describes
the Kafka-esque nature of the experience.
posted by reenum
on Jun 20, 2010 -
Betting Against the American Dream
. In 2005, just as Wall Street started to get cold feet about the housing market, the Magnetar
hedge fund helped create a new wave of billion-dollar mortgage-backed securities, pushed bankers to include riskier sub-prime mortgages, and then shorted the securities, making millions when the bubble finally burst. Traders on both sides of the deals pocketed enormous fees even if their banks went under when the securities failed. Pulitzer Prize-winning ProPublica
, This American Life
, and NPR's Planet Money
track down some of the big winners in the housing/financial crisis. No time to read or listen? It seemed so much like a scheme from The Producers
, they even recorded a show tune to explain it all
posted by straight
on Apr 15, 2010 -
A lot of people figure things out, but it takes a special talent or maybe personality to figure it our and do something about it. Previously
, we heard about the man who wrote the software that blew up the economy. Now we find out whom
that software was written. [more inside]
posted by JohnnyGunn
on Mar 15, 2010 -
Bank Accused of Pushing Mortgage Deals on Blacks
: "They referred to subprime loans made in minority communities as ghetto loans and minority customers as 'those people have bad credit', 'those people don't pay their bills' and 'mud people,' " [a Wells Fargo subprime loan officer] said in his affidavit, filed in the NAACP's lawsuit (pdf)
against 13 mortgage lenders. "The company put 'bounties' on minority borrowers. By this I mean that loan officers received cash incentives to aggressively market subprime loans in minority communities."
posted by hayvac
on Jun 8, 2009 -
Standard & Poor’s changed the UK's credit outlook from stable to negative
a few days ago, and warned that there is a chance the UK could lose its AAA rating. Meanwhile, Moodys, another of the big 3
rating agencies, has warned that the US might also eventually lose its AAA rating
. The UK announcement caused sterling to drop by 1% and the FTSE by 2%
. However, many blame
the same rating agencies for their part in triggering
the subprime crisis. The irony of this is not lost on the Wall Street Journal
, who note that "After all, those governments are jacking up spending, in part, to bail out the financial firms who gobbled up those 'AAA' asset backed securities duly blessed by the credit ratings firms." [more inside]
posted by memebake
on May 26, 2009 -
The End of the Wall Street Era.
“We always asked the same question,” says Eisman. “Where are the rating agencies in all of this? And I’d always get the same reaction. It was a smirk.” He called Standard & Poor’s and asked what would happen to default rates if real estate prices fell. The man at S&P couldn’t say; its model for home prices had no ability to accept a negative number.
The author of Liar's Poker
on the collapse of the subprime industry.
posted by bitmage
on Nov 11, 2008 -
Retiring hedge fund manager Andrew Lahde
: "All of this behavior supporting the Aristocracy, only ended up making it easier for me to find people stupid enough to take the other side of my trades. God bless America.
posted by finite
on Oct 17, 2008 -
More subprime collateral damage. Iceland's now getting a $5B bailout
from Russia. What does Russia want in return
? Access to shipping lanes? The old US base? via
posted by blahblah
on Oct 7, 2008 -
The financial turmoil of 2007-?: a preliminary assessment and some policy considerations
(pdf) "All episodes of financial distress of a systemic nature, with potentially significant implications for the real economy, arguably have at their root an overextension in risk-taking and in balance sheets in good times, masked by the veneer of a vibrant economy. This overextension generates financial vulnerabilities that are clearly revealed only once the economic environment becomes less benign, in turn contributing to its further deterioration."
A scholarly, sane, relatively brief, accessible-to-the-layperson, and mostly apolitical look at the current turmoil.
posted by Kwantsar
on Apr 23, 2008 -
"I had no idea how my open-handedness could be made to look,
after the fact. At the time I bought the subprime portfolio I thought: This is sort of like my way of giving something back. I didn't expect a profile in Philanthropy Today or anything like that. I mean, I bought at a discount. But I thought people would admire the Wall Street big shot who found a way to help the little guy. Sort of like a money doctor helping a sick person. Then the little guy wheels around and gives me this financial enema. And I'm the one who gets crap in the papers!" -- Michael Lewis
on the subprime meltdown
posted by GrammarMoses
on Sep 8, 2007 -