Monday, November 26, 2007

(Mortgage Sector) $300 Billion in Write-Offs Is Predicted

We are playing catch-up with stories from last week.

From the New York Times:

Losses in the distressed mortgage sector of the United States could reach $300 billion, only a portion of which has so far been accounted for by write-offs at major banks, according to a study released on Thursday by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development.

Major financial institutions, including Citigroup, Merrill Lynch and Swiss Re, have estimated losses of about $50 billion, but the O.E.C.D. cautioned that a rougher period may yet await financial markets, which have swooned in recent days as traders try to calculate the impact of mortgage-sector losses on the overall economy.

The O.E.C.D., based in Paris, is an international organization that helps governments with economic, social and governance issues. In particular, mortgage resets — the point at which the interest rate on a loan shifts upward to reflect current borrowing costs — have not peaked, but will probably do so next May, the organization said in the report.

“We still have not hit the worst point in resets, delinquencies and ultimate losses on mortgages,” it said....MORE