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.

Appraisers
Appraisers
Let's not forget the brokers' handmaidens, the real estate appraisers, who too often buckled under pressure from lenders to overvalue houses.

Paul Demos, a Chicago-based appraiser, accepts some culpability for his trade. "Lenders would tell appraisers, 'This is the value we need for the loan to work,'" he says. "And appraisers would do it." That's kind of the opposite of how they're supposed to work. But, hey, whatever. It's a judgment call, right? Except nobody is exercising any judgment. In comparison with the other participants, though, the appraisers come across as bit players.
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)
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Market indexes are shown in real time, except for the DJIA, which is delayed by two minutes. All times are ET. Disclaimer LIBOR Warning: Neither BBA Enterprises Limited, nor the BBA LIBOR Contributor Banks, nor Reuters, can be held liable for any irregularity or inaccuracy of BBA LIBOR. Disclaimer. Morningstar: © 2014 Morningstar, Inc. All Rights Reserved. Disclaimer The Dow Jones IndexesSM are proprietary to and distributed by Dow Jones & Company, Inc. and have been licensed for use. All content of the Dow Jones IndexesSM © 2014 is proprietary to Dow Jones & Company, Inc. Chicago Mercantile Association. The market data is the property of Chicago Mercantile Exchange Inc. and its licensors. All rights reserved. FactSet Research Systems Inc. 2014. All rights reserved. Most stock quote data provided by BATS.