August 4, 2008 |
California home prices reached astonishing levels in 2005, but getting a loan was a snap at lenders offering low initial payments. At FirstFed Financial Corp., for example, the vast majority of borrowers weren't required to produce pay stubs or tax returns to prove they earned as much as they claimed. FirstFed executives say they started worrying as the year wore on. Rivals were giving "piggyback" second mortgages to stated-income borrowers, in effect wiping out down-payment requirements.
May 1, 2008 |
Jared Lanning, struggling to pay a home loan on which he owed more than his house was worth, was thinking he might just let the lender take back the property. Then he got a call one evening from an Orange County investor who had bought his mortgage. "I want out of your loan," said the investor, Evan Gentry, chief executive of G8 Capital of Ladera Ranch, who offered to lower the balance and the interest rate. Lanning, a crane operator in Englewood, Colo., was skeptical. A phone pitch, after all, had led to his getting the unaffordable loan in the first place.
October 3, 2009 |
FirstFed Financial Corp., battered by losses on its portfolio of risky mortgages, is pursuing a plan to sell stock to the public in a last-ditch bid to avert a government takeover of the Los Angeles-based savings and loan operator. The proposed stock offering by the parent of First Federal Bank of California comes as bottom-fishing investors, betting the economy is improving, are showing interest in troubled lenders. But few banks have endured a year as bad as that suffered by FirstFed, the second-largest California-based thrift.
September 27, 2008 |
Jittery depositors found business being conducted as usual at Washington Mutual Bank on Friday, a day after it was seized by the government and sold to JPMorgan Chase & Co. But investors, fearing more sudden consolidations and failures, pounded the stocks of other banks that specialized in the type of risky mortgages that brought down WaMu. Shares of the parent companies of Downey Savings and First Federal Bank, two Southern California savings and loans, fell 48% and 45%, respectively.
May 9, 2006 |
Wachovia Corp.'s $24.2-billion purchase of Oakland's Golden West Financial Corp. is the latest in a string of California acquisitions by big banks hoping to tap into the state's growing population and vibrant entrepreneurial economy. Wells Fargo & Co.'s stagecoach dates to the Gold Rush era, but the San Francisco bank has been driven by executives from the Midwest since 1998, when Minneapolis-based Norwest Corp. took it over, keeping the iconic name and logo.
April 28, 1992
Companies listed alphabetically with their rankings on The Times 100, Sales 100, Market Value 100 and Growth 100 lists, and the counties in which they are headquartered. Market Times Sales Value Growth Company County 100 100 100 100 20th Century Industries Los Angeles 22 77 ASK Cos. Santa Clara 12 AST Research Inc. Orange 9 99 82 23 Acuson Corp. Santa Clara 18 70 82 Adac Laboratories Santa Clara 38 Adaptec Inc. Santa Clara 72 Adia Services Inc. San Mateo 92 Adobe Systems Inc.
March 17, 1991 |
D. P. Kennedy has become a veteran of the recession front. Orders slowed dramatically late last year at First American Financial Corp., the Santa Ana-based title insurance company that Kennedy heads. Layoffs have claimed 10% of the company's 7,000-employee work force nationwide. Expenses have been slashed. "It's tough. You bet it's tough," Kennedy said. But a funny thing happened on the way to doomsday.
March 21, 2007 |
Steve Nguyen bought his first home, a three-bedroom ranch house in Lakewood, three years ago with a no-interest sub-prime mortgage. Since then, the sub-prime market has virtually collapsed, leaving many nervous about the housing market and the national economy. But Nguyen, 31, is feeling confident. Though he figures his home's value fell at least $40,000 during the last year, he gained $200,000 in equity during the five-year boom.
October 15, 2008 |
By flooding the U.S. banking system with hundreds of billions of dollars in cheap capital, the government could find itself funding the most dramatic change in the nation's financial landscape since the deregulation drive of the 1980s. That's because the Treasury secretary and bank regulators will decide which banks get an infusion of government money, and which will be denied.
May 28, 1990 |
When Marion Sandler was starting out on Wall Street 34 years ago, she told her boss that she eventually wanted to become a partner. "They laughed," she said. "In those days, there was no beating around the bush. It was very clear a woman couldn't become a partner." Sandler, at least, has come a long way. She's now co-chief executive of Golden West Financial Corp. in Oakland, a company she and her husband built up after acquiring it in 1963.