mortgage backed securities

Should We Get Rid of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac?

What if Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-owned housing agencies that backstop so many of the nation's mortgages, ceased to exist? A new report from an influential bipartisan think tank says that's what should happen.

Guess What Wall Street's Doing With Foreclosed Homes?

Despite the new housing construction boom, there are still lots of empty foreclosures out there, which banks have been trying to rent. But now, Wall Street wants to bundle those rental properties into securities and sell them to investors. Does this sound disturbingly familiar?

5 Ways QE3 Will Affect Your Wallet

Quantitative easing is when the Fed buys securities in the hope of driving down interest rates -- ideally spurring more borrowing and spending. And this time, the Fed says it'll do it until the economy is back on track. But there are side effects to Dr. Bernanke's medicine.

US Court Revives Mortgage Debt Class-Action vs. Goldman

Thursday's decision by the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York could subject banks to a wider array of claims by mortgage securities investors, by letting them sue over securities in which they did not specifically invest themselves.

Penn Badgley: Investing Is 'Greek to Me'

The actor who stars in "Margin Call," a film about high finance confesses that he doesn't believe in investing, confesses his ignorance about "the system" and explains why he's taking up the Occupy Wall Street cause.

Why You Should Care
About the Volcker Rule

This week, the government took a big first step toward shutting down the Can't Lose Room in the Wall Street Casino. It's now one comment period away from enacting the Volcker Rule, which limits the kinds of risky investments banks can make with money insured by the U.S. taxpayer.

As Foreclosures Rise, Consumer Spending Will Fall

Foreclosure activity picked up by 4% in June, and economic problems which include unemployment and falling homes prices will drive it relentlessly higher. That's bad news for homeowners, but the ripple effect from foreclosures goes beyond their immediate problems, and it will get much worse.

Why Is the Fed Letting Big Banks Boost Dividends?

The Fed's decision to allow big banks to pay sharply higher dividends makes no sense, and not just because the results of the so-called "stress tests" are secret. Based on facts that are public knowledge, the banks are actually insolvent, and in danger of sinking much further.

Foreclosure Mess Settlement Proposal Is No Fix at All

State attorneys general and federal regulators are rushing to settle the robo-signing foreclosure mess created by the banks and get the real estate market back on its feet. But their proposals don't fully address the one of the fundamental problems of the crisis: Who really owns all those homes?

Citigroup: The Most-Shorted Stock in America

Citigroup is the most-shorted stock on any major U.S. exchange. Its position at the top of the pack is due to the bank's stock price and ongoing concern about its balance sheets and mortgage foreclosure practices.

Why Countrywide's Fraudster-in-Chief Isn't Going to Prison

Angelo Mozilo, the former head of Countrywide Financial, isn't going to jail. In fact, he won't even face a trial. Wondering how the most convictable CEO among the titans who brought down the financial system is getting off so easy? The answer lies in the revolving door between Wall Street and its "regulators."

Lawyers' Carelessness Was Key to the Mortgage Mess

As multiple lawsuits and SEC actions progress in relation to the nation's mortgage mess, it's becoming clear that the misbehaviors of the lawyers involved at all stages were not isolated incidents: The misconduct was systemic, and it's time to start holding those lawyers accountable.

Did Bear Stearns Know These Securities Were a House of Cards?

JPMorgan Chase may come to regret buying Bear Stearns. Suits by Wells Fargo and bond insurer Ambac claim that Bear entirely disregarded loan quality to appease its trading desk's ever-growing demand for mortgages to securitize. Now, those parties are suing to get their money back, and they might get it.