Subprime fallout continues in 2012

It was the summer of 2007. We waited for mortgage lending to explode (or implode). If you recall, Bear Sterns had problems that shocked everyone, HSBC announced the first subprime mortgage losses, and Lehman Brothers said Lehman was not associated or affiliated with subprime borrowers.

Bear Sterns is gone, Lehman had egg on their face, and HSBC has exited as much of America as they can.

In 2012 problems continue for some. Six former top executives at the housing giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac misled investors about the subprime-loan risks they faced, the Securities and Exchange Commission alleged in a civil fraud lawsuit.

Four days before Christmas the Justice Department on Wednesday announced the largest residential fair-lending settlement in history, saying that Bank of America had agreed to pay $335 million to settle allegations that its Countrywide Financial unit discriminated against black and Hispanic borrowers during the housing boom.

Finra is slapping Barclays with a $3 million fine for posting inaccurate information about the quality of subprime mortgage securities sold to investors.

Daniel Mudd, the embattled former chief executive of mortgage financing company Fannie Mae, is taking a leave of absence from his current job. He is facing civil charges.

Most of the action we see today ignores HSBC. The bank was one of the top subprime lenders in 2006 and 2007. Most of what we see today is regulatory action. It seems to us that regulators are simply reminding Americans that they are still awake. Unlike 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008.