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Thursday, January 10, 2008

Mortgage Lenders: The Pain Deepens

January 10 2007
On Wednesday, Countrywide Financial Corp., the nation's largest mortgage lender, said the percentage of borrowers who missed payments on home loans rose in December, signaling worsening trouble for the entire mortgage sector and causing stock prices across the industry to fall. Earlier in the week, Countrywide denied rumors that it would soon file for bankruptcy. Citigroup Inc. and Merrill Lynch & Co., the No. 1 U.S. bank and largest brokerage house, are facing potentially $25 billion worth of losses when they report earnings results next week. Both companies -- led by new CEOs eager to make their mark -- are expected to turn overseas for another injection of capital. Merill Lynch previously secured a $4.4 billion investment from Singapore's state-run Temasek Holdings.

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