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Nouriel Roubini Predicts Another $1 Trillion in Housing Losses

Mr. Roubini said he was particularly focused on a recent study by Laurie Goodman, a senior managing director of Amherst Securities and a former co-head of fixed income research for UBS. In her October report, “The Housing Crisis — Sizing the Problem, Proposing Solutions,” Ms. Goodman comes to the dark conclusion that more than 11 million borrowers are in danger of losing their homes, or roughly one out of five borrowers. “That’s a scary number because the previous estimates I saw were in the three to four million range for the next four years” Mr. Roubini said. “Some say these numbers are too pessimistic, but I’ve spoken to experts in the mortgage industry who say these numbers are quite realistic.” According to Ms. Goodman, loan modification programs have somewhat masked the problems. After a bank modifies a troubled mortgage, the loan is then reclassified as “current” on the books — even if the homeowner still hasn’t made a payment. Scores of mortgages, she wrote, will go bad, adding to the wave of foreclosures and short sales. For example, Goodman estimates some 70% of borrowers—those who previously defaulted on their loans but are now current—will run into trouble, again.

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