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Sunday, October 18, 2009

Weekend Summary

by Calculated Risk on 10/18/2009 09:23:00 PM

Some long posts earlier, so here is a summary:

  • A guest post from albrt. He reviews the Massachusetts court ruling: U.S. Bank v. Ibanez. This ruling will slow down the process in Massachusetts, but as albrt noted: "Judge Long invalidated the foreclosures, not the mortgages. In all likelihood, the holders of the mortgages will be able to go back and foreclose eventually, but they will spend some additional time and money doing it."

  • A look at Q3 GDP: Inventory Restocking and Q3 GDP. For other views on Q3, see: Econbrowser's No L and Krugman's A smidgen of optimism

  • From Roger Vincent at the LA Times: Southern California's vast desolation indoors
    ... Almost 51 million square feet of office space in Los Angeles County, Orange County and the Inland Empire is now empty -- more than 17% of the total.
  • And the Telegraph reports on the end of stated income loans in the U.K.: Era of cheap mortgages is over, British homeowners warned
    [T]he Financial Services Authority ... plans to tighten up regulation and crack down on risky lending ...

    The FSA's Mortgage Market Review, published tomorrow, will focus on the third of the market considered "higher risk". ... Among the report's proposals, the financial regulator is expected to call for an end to self-certification mortgages and rule that responsibility for income verification be transferred from mortgage brokers to lenders.
  • The HUD Inspector General issued a report the FHA single-family lender approval process. The report found the "FHA's lender application process not adequate to ensure that all of its lender approval requirements were met" (here is the report).

  • The Problem Bank List (Unofficial) increased significantly last week to 479 banks, with $319 billion in assets. Only one bank failed -San Joaquin Bank, Bakersfield, California - bringing the total FDIC insured bank failures to 99 in 2009.

  • Here are the stats for LA Area Port Traffic in September. Loaded inbound traffic was 17.4% below September 2008, but loaded outbound traffic was only 8.6% below September 2008. Exports are doing better than imports.

    This will be another busy week with two key housing reports: Housing starts on Tuesday, and Existing home sales on Friday. I expect single family starts to be about the same as last month (the number to watch), and existing home sales to be higher than last month (based on regional reports).