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Monday, July 16, 2007

US subprime fallout

Credit rating agencies seem on the brink of downgrading CDOs, according to last week's New York Times; GE has dumped its subprime portfolio, accepting $160 million losses; the Wall Street Journal reports on the exposure of mutual funds to subprime lending; Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are getting choosier; official guidance is being issued to brokers; borrowers are starting to sue lenders; the dollar is dropping against the Euro, in advance of expected bad figures on consumer spending and borrowing; builders are quitting, going to law or offering special financing deals.

Among loan arrangers, 15,000 of 500,000 jobs (3%) have gone; Guardian Loan Company has escaped collapse by the skin of its teeth, because eager new firms were squeezing it out of the niche market and back towards standard mortgages - but like General MacArthur, chief executive Stuart Schultz promises a return: "If I were a rich man, I would buy the largest subprime business in the country, because it will be back."

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