Doris "Tanta" Dungey and the Calculated Risk blog

I always feel a little regret when I discover a writer or artist after their death, and this is one of those unfortunate cases. The New York Times has an obituary for Doris Dungey, who blogged at Calculated Risk under the pseudonym Tanta. Her co-bloggers are assembling an index of all of her posts on the mortgage industry for which she once worked.

This is my least favorite way to discover a writer, but I’m glad I discovered her writing all the same. She covers a difficult topic with humor and a sense of humanity. Rest in peace.

Here are a couple of her articles I enjoyed:
Tanta makes a confession
Reverse mortgages: an UberNerditorial
A walk down the subprime memory lane (emphasis mine):

One unforeseen difficulty was that it became possible for certain participants who had always lived in the prime world to compare the profit margins on good old Fannie Mae fixed rates (maybe 50 bps if you were good at it) to those subprime deals (easily 150-200 bps if you were fair-to-middlinÂ’ fastidious). Increased subprime lending could even improve those prime margins: as more and more of your weakest loans fell out of the bottom tier of your GSE loans [Government-Sanctioned Entity, such as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac -LJ] and into the top tier of your subprime loans, you got paid better by the GSEs in the form of improved guarantee fees (since your average credit quality was so much better) and by your subprime investors (since your average credit quality was so much better). There was, in short, a moral hazard in play: in the shift from non-price to price rationing, more borrowers got mortgages, but it wasnÂ’t always clear that they got the cheapest mortgage they should have gotten.

Those of us who were there at the time that the story about how ”subprime is a way of serving the poor” got written do, then, tend to be somewhat more skeptical of this claim than others. The fact that many participants did not start out with the intention of preying on borrowers doesn’t change the fact that predation became widespread, or that a form of lending that had once been reserved for people with a lot of equity became associated just a few years later almost exclusively with people who had no money at all.

We can certainly debate the extent to which price-rationed lending provides true benefit to the historically credit-constrained. IÂ’m game. I just think that market participants with short institutional memories are a menace. To all of us.

POSH & FLICKS; Amazing spending sprees of footy millionaires Beckhams building pounds 600k 50-seater CINEMA at home.(News)

The People (London, England) November 20, 2005 Byline: BY MELANIE SWAN MOVIE-mad Posh and Becks are having a pounds 600,000 CINEMA built at their mansion.

The amazing private flicks will have 50 plush leather and velvet seats, giant screen and latest sound system.

Pals say Victoria, 31, persuaded David they should fork out on the latest extravagant addition to Beckingham Palace because of her growing interest in Hollywood.

A source close to the couple – pals of movie idol Tom Cruise and his fiancee Katie Holmes – said: “Victoria is desperate to have somewhere at her home where she can relax and watch movies with their friends.” Posh’s dad Tony Adams is masterminding construction of two new 1,000 square foot floors above the swimming pool at their pounds 2.5million home in Hertfordshire. Building work alone will cost pounds 400,000. Victoria and her England skipper hubby, 30, have also ordered pounds 100,000 of high-tech equipment for the cinema on the top floor. go to web site black swan movie

The audience will have their own volume and 3D activating controls. Another pounds 100,000 will go on sound-proof, triple-glazed stained glass walls.The floor below the cinema is a new playroom for the couple’s sons Brooklyn, six, Romeo, three, and eight-month- old Cruz. this web site black swan movie

The source said: “Victoria can’t wait for work to finish. She’s convinced the cinema will be a worthy addition.

“She has been developing an interest in Hollywood, especially since she and David became close to Tom Cruise.

“Victoria is always running over her ideas for improvements with David. But the cinema is one of her most extravagant changes yet.” The couple have already had a church built in the grounds. But at least they won’t have to hire a cinema again – as they did for Brooklyn’s birthday in 2003.

5 Beckham blockbusters1 Bed It Like Beckham 2 On Goldenballs Pond 3 The Lord of the Blings 4 Every Which Way But Loos 5 It Came From Outer Spice CAPTION(S):

FILM FANS: David and Victoria; DREAM SCREEN: Beckhams’ cinema is being built above pool at their home

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