American Home on the Free Range Horse Nugget Manufacturing Pulsar
This year, as borrowers with adjustable-rate mortgages saw their monthly payments rise, more and more of them had trouble coping with the bills.
The first group affected were borrowers with low credit scores who received subprime loans from companies such as Countrywide Financial.
Buuuuuuuuut soon, even borrowers with higher credit scores -- American Home's Alt-A borrowers -- started showing signs of strain. *
Ah, yes, the Alt-A's. What are Alt-A's?
Alt-A loans are issued to people with high credit scores, but the loans are considered riskier than prime loans because they require less documentation of income.
One might think a lender would wish to document income rather than just go on the word of the borrower and his/her credit rating agency. Yet apparently it's entirely otherwise: Because some people have high credit scores, they submit less documentation.
...or is it,
Some people have high credit scores because they've lied to credit rating agencies (submitting less, or false, documentation), therefore American Homers assume more risk, and demand less documentation?
Some people have high credit scores because credit raters are under pressure to rate people upwards regardless, therefore we need no steenkin documentation?
We lenders will happily believe whatever tumid turds borrowers give us because Alt-A loans will cost them more than Primes, so more money for us?
The gap between the bureaucratic measuring process of credit rating (tracking one's past record of timely debt payments) and the promise of power to maintain that rating (credible guarantee of future income) is the barn door that allows enthusiastic USian Bullshit free range. Borrower, credit-rater, lender are just different parts of the same Intestinal organ. As conditions deteriorate, the energy to squeeze out ever more baroque arabesques of steaming piles has no choice but to rachet:
American Home's business model worked well when the housing market was booming. But when falling home prices led to record-high defaults and delinquencies on Alt-A loans, a company like American Home would feel pressure to continue increasing its loan volumes to maintain its standing with creditors, analysts said...
Kind of like Iraq -- the bigger the disaster, the more resources you need to fund the full faith and credit of your credibility.
"The market conditions in both the secondary mortgage market as well as the national real estate market have deteriorated to the point that we have no realistic alternative," said American Home Mortgage's chief executive Michael Strauss.
"The company employee base will be reduced from over 7,000 to approximately 750."
The market volunteered its own credit rating: