Regulators have said they still hope to sell whatever remains of IndyMac within several months.
When the mortgage defaults and housing turmoil will subside is a matter of intense debate. Median housing prices have declined for 22 straight months, according to the National Assn. of Realtors. Meanwhile, a report released last week by Wachovia Corp. predicted that the bottom wouldn't come until mid-2009 at the earliest. By then, it said, prices will have fallen as much as 29% from their peak, or nearly three times the 11% slide to date.
"The current housing slump is without precedent, both in terms of breadth and magnitude," wrote Mark Vitner, senior economist at Wachovia.
Given such dire assessments, it's unclear how well the broader economy, including consumer spending and employment, will hold up. The U.S. economy has lost nearly 440,000 jobs this year, according to the Department of Labor, and the number of unemployed people rose to 8.5 million in June from 7 million a year earlier.