Thursday, June 14, 2007

How Much of This?

I haven't really read all that much big picture analysis of potential threats to the financial industry due to the imploding subprime mortgage market.

une 14 (Bloomberg) -- Bear Stearns Cos., the second-biggest U.S. underwriter of mortgage bonds, is liquidating holdings from one of its hedge funds after making money-losing bets on subprime mortgage bonds, said three people with knowledge of the decision.

Bear Stearns sought bids today from prospective buyers for about $3.8 billion of mortgage securities from the fund, said the people, who declined to be identified because the plan isn't public. The 10-month-old Bear Stearns High-Grade Structured Credit Strategies Enhanced Leverage Fund, which is down about 20 percent this year, had about $600 million of investors' money and borrowed to increase its buying power, one of the people said.

As delinquencies rise on loans made to homebuyers with poor credit or heavy debt loads, bondholders stand to lose as much as $75 billion on securities backed by the mortgages, according to an estimate in April from Pacific Investment Management Co., manager of the world's largest bond fund. Bear Stearns's fund is among the first to start liquidating because of the subprime crisis, which already has forced lenders such as New Century Financial Corp. and ResMae Mortgage Corp. into bankruptcy.