The Garrett, Watts Report (December 15, 2007)

December 15th, 2007 · No Comments


To Our Clients, Colleagues and Friends:

Washington Mutual has about $23-24 billion of capital. They also own $58 billion of Pay Option Arms, $19 billion of sub-prime loans originated by Long Beach , $40 billion of credit card receivables, and $62 billion of HELOCs. So despite their having raised $2.5 billion of new capital this week, we have to ask: Is $2.5 billion enough? What do you think?

Who has the most ATM’s? First is the BofA with 18,633 ATMs, followed by JP Morgan Chase with 8,943, and then in 3rd place is Wells Fargo with 6,841. And how do you like those envelope-free ATMS? We think they’re pretty cool.

A Northwest client asked us to look into why it was taking so long for their HUD mini-Eagle approval. We called someone we know at HUD and were told “Look, these people call us constantly, and off the record, we got fed up and just put them at the bottom of the pile.” Be forewarned.

Americans no longer lead the way with ownership of debit or credit cards. Here is the average number of credit or debit cards per person in various countries.

3.1 Taiwan
0.5 Malaysia
2.6 United States
0.3 Central Europe
1.8 Hong Kong
0.3 Russia
1,2 Western Europe
0.2 China
1.0 Singapore
0.1 India

We often hear mortgage companies tell us they would like to do FHA loans, but don’t want to spend $5-8,000 for an audit. First, that’s silly. You’ll earn that back with the first 2-3 loans you close. Second, we hear some say they want to see if HUD will drop the audit requirement and substitute a requirement for a surety bond. Here’s how we see it: given the potential risk a bonding company would be responsible for, isn’t it possible that a bonding company would have tougher net worth requirements than HUD? And isn’t it possible that cost of a bond would exceed the cost of an audit? If you want to do FHA loans, start the process now.

We have seen far too many companies burn through all their capital and end up in bankruptcy. We did a Risk Assessment on a company that had $39 million of capital at the start of 2006. With 2007 not even over, the company lost every penny of net worth, is out of business, and in bankruptcy. This Southwest company had a single shareholder. Two years ago he owned a company w