The Garrett, Watts Report (February 27, 2008)

February 27th, 2008 · No Comments


To Our Clients, Colleagues and Friends:   

· How’s the job search going?  Not well?  Look, we just saw that the FDIC has about 4,600 employees today, down from 15,000 in 1992 when banks were failing left and right.  Well, they’re running ads looking for people, obviously or presumably because they fear that a new wave of bank failures could be around the corner. They pay well, too, with salaries as high as $180,000.  Well, what are you waiting for?

· Did anyone notice last week that three Indy Mac Board members and the CEO bought stock in the company? 

· Let’s see now. About 34% of all homes are owned free and clear, most of these being owned by seniors.  And less than 1% of all seniors have a reverse mortgage,  Could you explain again why you’re not doing reverse mortgages yet?

· Today is the 34th anniversary of People Magazine, first published in February of 1974.  Just think how boring it would be to stand in line at the supermarket without a copy of People to look at.  The same with dentist’s offices.  And here’s an existential question for you: Would Britney Spears even exist if it weren’t for this magazine?

· We were just reading some data on Wachovia and their World Savings portfolio.  It looks like a pretty consistent 66-67% of all borrowers pay the minimum amount on their Pick-a-Pay option Arm loan.  The interesting part to us is that 33-34% pay more than the minimum.

· Does anyone remember the 1967 Trips Festival in San Francisco ?  We just saw a wonderful documentary on the event. We attended it as high school seniors, thinking it was actually going to be a Battle of the Bands, but boy, were we surprised. You can order the DVD at  

· Did you see that the Royal Bank of Canada just bought Alabama National Bank, a holding company that owns ten banks in Alabama , Florida , and Georgia ?  Could this acquisition have anything to do with a weak dollar and a strong Canadian currency?

· If you like high school movies, drop everything and go see Charlie Bartlett.  It’s kind of what Ferris Bueller’s Day Off  might look like were it made today, and funnier than Fast Times at Ridgemont High.

· A number of people wrote us about Boy Scouts and Cub Scouts, and one reader reminded us of the 12 Scout Laws.  “A Scout is trustworthy, loyal, helpful, friendly, courteous, kind, obedient, cheerful, thrifty, brave, clean & reverent.”  Gee, maybe Congress could just substitute this list for new mortgage broker licensing requirements.   “A mortgage broker by law must be trustworthy, loyal, helpful….”

· “The golden-age of risk-free run-ups in home prices is gone.”   If you saw t