Nomi Prins was an investment banker for Bear Stearns and Goldman Sachs, then quit and became a muckraking reporter. (I like to imagine that she met the Devil at a crossroads to buy back her soul.) Prins’s banking career accounts for the strengths and the weaknesses of her book, “It Takes a Pillage,” an explanation» Read more
Job growth in April was better than expected, yet the unemployment rate went up. The April job report’s effect on mortgage rates will be hard to assess because yesterday’s market turmoil distorts everything.» Read more
Don’t apply for new credit between the time you apply for a home loan and the day the mortgage closes. The price of ignoring this advice: You could be turned down for the loan while you’re sitting at the closing table.» Read more
Three companies underwrite 3 in 5 mortgages. Such bank concentration won’t benefit consumers in the long run.
According to Mortgagestats.com, three institutions accounted for 58.5 percent of mortgage volume in the final quarter of 2009. The three are Wells Fargo, Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase.
Whenever a cartel forms, you have an example of a market failure that eventually harms consumers. In my lifetime, I’ve seen companies form (or try to form) cartels in oil, silver, and lysine, to name a few. None of those ended well. Will we fight a mortgage cartel next?» Read more
The month’s most important economic report comes Friday morning, when the Labor Department releases employment data for April. That’s the top item on this week’s economic calendar.» Read more
Mortgage companies have to deliver accurate fee estimates under strengthened consumer protections that will be enforced starting May 1.» Read more
The 30-year fixed declined 1 basis point in this week’s Bankrate.com survey, to 5.21 percent.» Read more
Congress extended the tax credit in November, and it expires Friday night. Yet, three days before expiration, the Realtors are airing an ad saying that the tax credit has been extended.» Read more
“It is too early to say that the housing market is recovering,” says David M. Blitzer of Standard & Poors. That’s the bottom line.» Read more
I’m reminded of SUVs when I read President Barack Obama’s speech today at Cooper Union, in which he argues for financial reform.» Read more