Subprime: Let the finger-pointing begin!

The crisis brought on by worries about shaky subprime mortgages continues to rattle Wall Street. Even as the storm rages, the blame game has begun.

Mortgage brokers
Mortgage brokers
To get these loans they couldn't afford, many borrowers turned to mortgage brokers, who were especially good at enabling borderline borrowers to get their dough. "The brokers have always been a disproportionately large part of subprime origination, so they were well positioned to help fuel the boom in subprime lending," says Guy Cecala, publisher of the newsletter Inside Mortgage Finance.

And let's face it, with their nonstop marketing on the radio and the Internet, they're easy to scorn. They made millions, and as pure middlemen, they will feel relatively little in the way of consequences - aside from a sharp dropoff in business.
The borrowers Mortgage brokers Appraisers Mortgage lenders Wall Street Rating agencies The Federal Reserve
Danger: Steep drop ahead Even if the credit crunch passes without a major catastrophe, the prices of stocks, bonds and real estate have a long way to fall. (more)
Subprime on the Rhine Fortune's Peter Gumbel investigates how Germany's IKB Bank became the biggest international victim of America's subprime-mortgage crisis. (more)
Mortgage mayhem Home-loan default rates across the U.S. have nearly tripled since 2006, especially for subprime loans. And with $850 billion in adjustable-rate loans scheduled to reset by 2008, defaults are likely to rise even higher. (more)