Sunday, July 13, 2008

I want my IndyMac, IndyMac, IndyMac

You may have heard that the Feds are in the process of bailing out mortgage lender IndyMac.

California-based IndyMac, which specialized in a type of mortgage that often required minimal documents from borrowers, became the fifth U.S. bank to fail this year as a housing bust and credit crunch strain financial institutions.
This, along with the current woes of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, does not bode well for the housing market and the economy in general. Overall, financial stocks have been hammered in 2008.
"IndyMac is a company that was pretty much 100 percent invested in mortgage assets, and we're in a bad mortgage market, and it had no capital. It's not complicated," said Adam Compton, co-head of global financial stock research at RCM in San Francisco, which manages about $150 billion.
While we all get to chip in to cover their missteps, some of the larger account holders will certainly not be happy in the morning...
At the time of closing, IndyMac had about $1 billion of potentially uninsured deposits held by about 10,000 depositors. The FDIC said it would pay those depositors an advance dividend equal to 50 percent of the uninsured amount.
And while IndyMac is the third largest bank to ever be taken over by the FDIC, they won't be the last. Ominous clouds still loom on the horizon.

Four small banks have already been closed this year and the FDIC is hiring more staff in preparation for more failures. The agency has boosted its list of troubled banks to 90 and has said an increasing number of banks face high exposure to deteriorating conditions in commercial real estate and construction lending. Last year, just three banks failed.

"IndyMac's takeover by the FDIC is one of many to come," predicted Daniel Alpert, an investment banker at Westwood Capital in New York.

Where is Jimmy Stewart when you need him?

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