Daily Archives: August 11, 2015

From running with ‘The Wolf of Wall Street’ to homeless

It was the 1980s, greed was good, and William “Preston” King was on top of the world.

The stockbroker — who was pals with “Wolf of Wall Street” Jordan Belfort — raked in the dough from plum jobs with Merrill Lynch and Oppenheimer & Co., living large in a Soho loft and driving around in a BMW.

But the tall, blue-eyed-and-blond regular at downtown dance clubs partied too hard — sucking down Rémy Martin and Cokes and snorting mountains of cocaine.

The good times turned into a downward spiral that lasted three decades — and led him to a life on the streets, sleeping on empty pizza boxes on a Greenwich Village sidewalk, his family says.

Read on.

The Other Ferguson Story: The Foreclosure Crisis

While the city of Ferguson, Mo. continues to dominate the news with violent clashes between protesters and the police, there is another news story in Ferguson that is not being viewed with the same level of media scrutiny: An abnormally high number of foreclosures.

According to data released by RealtyTrac, the number of residential properties in Ferguson that were seriously underwater in the second quarter was more than three times higher than the national percentage and more than twice the level for the entire state of Missouri. During the second quarter, 42.9 percent of all Ferguson properties with a mortgage were seriously underwater. In comparison, the national level was 13.3 percent and the Missouri state level was 17.5 percent.

Read on.

Bill Clinton: No Evidence Glass-Steagall Repeal Led to Crisis

“There’s not a single, solitary example that it had anything to do with the financial crash,” former President Bill Clinton tells Inc. regarding 1999 repeal of Glass-Steagall.

  • “In fact, a study done afterward said that the unified banks were actually slightly less likely to fail than either the commercial banks that overloaded on subprime mortgages, or the investment banks, like Bear Stearns, Lehman Brothers, and others”: Clinton
  • NOTE: Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton won’t propose reinstating Glass-Steagall, adviser Alan Blinder told Reuters last month
  • NOTE: Clinton’s rivals for the 2016 Democratic nomination, Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Md. Gov. Martin O’Malley, have called to break up the biggest U.S. banks

Source: Bloomberg

Read more on Inc. Click here.

Meet the New King of Subprime Lending

Wesley Edens still rues his decision not to bet against subprime mortgages before the financial crisis. That left Fortress Investment Group LLC, the private-equity and hedge-fund firm where he is co-founder and co-chairman, exposed to big losses that sank its stock price below $1.

On Wall Street, the best way to get over a losing trade is to bounce back with a winner. Mr. Edens is enjoying a surprising whopper: subprime loans.

A resurgence in loans to Americans with scuffed or limited credit is giving Fortress one of the largest financial windfalls in the history of the private-equity industry.

Read on.

Ocwen finally out of National Mortgage Settlement crosshairs?

Ocwen Financial (OCN) is almost out of the clear with theNational Mortgage Settlement after more than a year of scrutiny due to problems with the servicer’s Internal Review Group (IRG).

“After a review of the issues I found with Ocwen’s IRG’s integrity and subsequent review of its work to address these problems, I have reported to the Court that I now have a measure of assurance that the issues with Ocwen’s IRG’s independence, competency and capacity have been sufficiently addressed,” said Joseph Smith, Jr., Monitor of the National Mortgage Settlement.

Read on.

Presidential hopeful Scott Walker financial disclosure: A Barclay credit card debt with a 27.24% APR

Scott Walker


Gov. Scott Walker has a credit card debt problem.

The Wisconsin governor and GOP presidential candidate has between $20,000 and $30,000 in combined credit card debt on two separate cards, according to his recentpublic financial disclosure. On one card, in fact, he’s enduring a particularly onerous 27.24% APR.


State of Affairs

First, the facts: Walker says he has $10,000 to $15,000 worth of debt on two separate cards, with a 27.24% APR on his Barclaycard and and 11.99% on a piece of Bank of America plastic. The astronomical Barclaycard APR is a particular problem, say experts.

How bad is it? If “Walker were to only make minimum payments on his bill every month, it would take him approximately 142 years to pay off his Barclaycard debt completely,” says consumer financial site ValuePenguin.com’s Robert Harrow.

On a side note: He took out a government student loan for his dependent children in 2012 at an interest rate of 7.21%! The debt? $100,001-$250,000.

Blackstone mortgage venture set to become largest nonbank lender?


Finance of America Holdings, a Blackstone (BX) portfolio company, revealed that it snatched up several major lenders, a move likely destined to make it one of the nation’s largest nonbank originators, if all goes as planned.

Blackstone is a full-service, private-equity funded investment bank based out of New York. It recently touted the strength of the housing market and helped make the REO-to-rental market a bona fide asset class. And it’s recent mortgage-lending ventures show a rapid push into the markets, allowable from the deep pockets at Blackstone.

The significant list of acquisitions now includes Gateway Funding Diversified Mortgage Services, Pinnacle Capital Mortgage and certain assets and operations of PMAC Lending Services. Finance of America Holdings also ownsUrban Financial of America.