IndyMac Chief Complains of ‘Panicked’ Market

Michael Perry [CEO of IndyMac] called the markets for mortgage securities “panicked and illiquid” in a letter to employees Thursday.

He said the lender has “very strong liquidity, a good amount of excess capital,” and added that “there are no realistic scenarios that I can foresee that would impair IndyMac’s viability.”

He goes on to say that IndyMac, a large Alt-A lender, will continue to “widen its pricing and tighten product and underwriting guidelines to ensure that a much greater percentage of our production qualifies for sale.”

Quote above from August 2, 2007, TheStreet.com (IndyMac stock closed at $21.05 on August 2, 2007).

Update on July 14, 2008: IndyMac was shut down by federal regulators over the weekend.

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Foreign central banks own 60% of Fannie & Freddie Debt

I think that this will collapse the bond market regardless of whether they actually put it on the books. The implied guarantee is too well understood by the financial community. The government can always change its obligations on SS and Medicare. Those are not contractual.  They are legislative, and more importantly, they are not owed to Wall Street, its friends, and even more, to foreign central banks. FCBs hold 60% of the debt of Fannie and Freddie.  Wall Street expects the government to stand behind Fannie and Freddie, and it is beginning to believe, rightly I think, that this will break the finances of the US government. In fact they are already broken, and the point of recognition is here and now. I look for interest rates on US government securities to be much higher a year from now, perhaps unimaginably so.

Jetlag, Jul 12 2008, 05:35 AM