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Tag Archives: MBS

Judge Reverses Dismissal of Chase Securities Suit

U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff went back on a previous decision to dismiss most of Dexia's claims against JPMorgan Chase in a $774 million suit. In reversing his decision, Rakoff noted that he didn't have the jurisdiction to grant a dismissal in the first place, citing an appeals court decision in a similar case involving American International Group (AIG) and Bank of America. Dexia filed suit in January 2012, alleging it was fraudulently convinced to purchase more than $1.6 billion of securities that went bad.

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Flagstar to Pay $110M to Settle MBIA Securities Suit

Flagstar Bancorp, Inc., and MBIA Inc. announced a settlement between the two companies related to transactions on securities that flopped during the housing crisis. Under the terms of the agreement, Flagstar will pay MBIA $110.0 million, an amount ""consistent with [MBIA's] recovery expectations,"" CEO Jay Brown said. Flagstar does not expect any significant financial impact as a result. According to a statement from the company, MBIA will use the cash received to pay a portion of its secured loan from National Public Finance Guarantee Corp.

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FOMC Continues Interest Rate, Investment Policies

With an upbeat assessment of the economy, the Federal Open Market Committee voted 11-1 Wednesday to leave interest rates unchanged and to continue its program of purchasing agency mortgage backed securities and longer term Treasury securities ""to maintain downward pressure on longer-term interest rates, support mortgage markets, and help to make broader financial conditions more accommodative.""

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FHFA OIG: GSEs Face Significant Loss from Interest Rate Risks

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are at risk of losing billions as a result of fluctuations in interest rates, according to a white paper from the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Office of Inspector General (OIG). According to the OIG's paper, an increase of just 1 percentage point in interest rates could cause the GSEs to lose nearly $2 billion in the fair value of their assets. To protect against interest rate risks, the OIG outlined its own suggestions, one of which included the use of derivatives.

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Fitch: Prepayment Rates Elevated on Newer Loans

Mortgages originated from 2010 and into early 2012 are seeing elevated prepayment rates as low mortgage rates continue to encourage refinance activity, Fitch Ratings explained in a recent report. Despite the high levels of prepayment activity, the rating agency suggested ""the credit implications have been modest to date due to the high overall credit quality of the original pools."" According to Fitch, prime RMBS mortgage pools issued since 2010 had an average conditional prepayment rate (CPR) of about 42 percent.

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Fitch: GSEs’ Key Role in Recovery Limits Motivation for Reform

As the private sector struggles with regulatory uncertainty, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will continue to maintain their dominant role in the housing market, according to a report from Fitch Ratings. Since the GSEs act as key players in the market's fragile recovery, political motivation for far-reaching GSE reform has been limited, the rating agency explained. Although regulators and politicians have emphasized the need for the private sector capital to enter the mortgage market, Fitch said ""results have been disappointing.""

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Bernanke Highlights Benefits, Risks of Fed Stimulus in Testimony

Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke underscored benefits of the Fed's quantitative easing policy while also pointing to associated costs and risks in his written testimony to Senators Tuesday. According to Bernanke, the benefits of the purchase and policy accommodation are clear. ""Monetary policy is providing important support to the recovery while keeping inflation close to the FOMC's 2 percent objective. Notably, keeping longer-term interest rates low has helped spark recovery in the housing market and led to increased sales and production of automobiles and other durable goods,"" he said.

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Justice Department Sues S&P, Alleging Ratings Were Inflated

The Justice Department (DoJ) and Standard Poor's are at odds with others over civil fraud charges stemming from an alleged scheme to defraud investors in the lead-up to 2008's financial meltdown. The DoJ filed a civil lawsuit against S&P and its parent company, McGraw-Hill, Monday, alleging that S&P ""knowingly [issued] inflated credit ratings"" for collateralized debt obligations in the years before the crash, misrepresenting their creditworthiness and understating their risks.

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Study: Securitization Elicits Risky Lending Practices

The act of securitizing mortgage loans can lead to riskier lending, and ultimately more defaults, according to a study posted by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. About 60 percent of outstanding mortgage debt in the United States is traded in the mortgage-backed securities (MBS) market, ""making the U.S. secondary mortgage market the largest fixed-income market in the world,"" according to Fed researchers. While admitting the MBS market ""is an important innovation and has several merits,"" the study finds a darker side to the market.

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