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Call to Action: Long Opportunities

November 23, 2010
Phil Nussbaum

Uncertainty in the economic and political spheres continues to create new stresses and new opportunities. We highlighted one such new opportunity for bank portfolio managers on last week’s Level Playing Field® calls. Actually, we highlighted two opportunities on the call, one on the asset side and one the liability side. Each one, taken separately, has significant merit. However, it is the combination of these recent opportunities that presents such a unique risk/reward situation. In both cases, the opportunity is in long maturity instruments. Over the years, we have continually monitored opportunities to profitably fund assets with wholesale liabilities. In many market environments, there are few such opportunities. In some past market environments such opportunities have existed to various degrees. This is one of the strongest such opportunities we have seen in some time.

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The Mortgage Collateral Engine: It’s What’s Under the Hood That Counts

November 16, 2010
Tony DePalo

On December 21, 2009, the Wall Street Journal published the Treasury yield forecasts from the 18 primary dealers. The median forecast for the 10-Year Treasury—which was 3.674% at the time—was 4.125%. On November 10, 2010, the 10-Year Treasury was 2.670%. Once again, not only were they wrong on the magnitude of the interest rate move, but they did not even get the direction correct.

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CRA Securities: Customized and Quantified

November 4, 2010
Eric C. Brown, Rob Clare

One of the many “Life Lessons” that Rich Berg has discussed in talks over the past several years has been how important compliance with regulations has become. A desire to remain in compliance may very well cause us to execute a less than optimal strategy – either in our loan portfolio or in our investments. We have recently launched a concerted effort to facilitate your efforts to meet a particular regulatory objective: the creation of customized CRA eligible pools. We are currently working with a variety of Fannie/Freddie/Ginnie issuers to create customized CRA securities for those institutions looking to shore up their CRA profile via the “investment test.” Whether you are interested in acing your next CRA exam, making yourself more attractive as an acquisition, or looking to avoid “headline risk” in your community from vocal affordable housing activists, these securities can help you fulfill your CRA strategy.

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