Q&A: Stephen Rosenberg, Founder and CEO of Greystone

Stephen Rosenberg (Francesco Sapienza/Commercial Observer).

When other developers and lenders say a particular market is no good, Stephen Rosenberg wonders where the overlooked opportunity is. Most of the Greystone CEO’s success, after all, has come from not following the herd.

Mr. Rosenberg spoke with Commercial Observer at Greystone’s Midtown headquarters overlooking Central Park and the Hudson River. The 59-year-old CEO, who started the firm with a focus on distressed debt, spoke about the company’s continual expansion into new areas of business, getting his M.B.A. while attending dental school and a pioneering project in the Bronx. Read More

Mortgage Observer

FHA and HUD to Undergo Further Revamp, Fannie Mae Unfazed

Fannie Mae Headquarters.

It’s business as usual for Fannie Mae—despite ongoing talks of an agency phase out—while the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and its Federal Housing Administration are in the process of making serious changes, according to industry sources.

At the MBA CREF 2015 conference in San Diego, Fannie announced annual multifamily originations of $28.9 billion in 2014, up slightly from $28.8 billion in 2013. Read More

Mortgage Observer

What Happens if J.P. Morgan Shuns the FHA?

Jamie Dimon, chairman and CEO of J.P. Morgan

Earlier this week, straight-talking J.P. Morgan chairman and CEO Jamie Dimon vented his frustration on an earnings call, threatening to stop doing all mortgage business with the Federal Housing Administration, which insures many loans originated and securitized by his bank.

Mr. Dimon expressed his reticence—asking rhetorically “should [J.P. Morgan] be in the FHA business at all?”—following $600 million in fines recently levied against his firm for making defective loans. That punitive fine invoked so-called triple damages, wherein the bank owes three times as much as the value of the bad loans.  Read More

Mortgage Observer

Challenges at the Federal Housing Administration Were Forseen

With few exceptions, news on the housing front has been overwhelmingly positive in recent months. In spite of weak employment trends, historically low mortgage rates and the plodding but inexorable rebalancing of supply and demand have combined to lift sales volumes, prices and perceptions of a housing recovery.

But a rising tide does not relegate housing to a lower rung on the policy ladder. As conditions improve, policymakers will be obliged to address the long-term role of government in promoting specific housing outcomes. Since the government embarked on the conservatorship of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac more than four years ago, the immediate goal of resuscitating the housing market has taken precedence over the larger question of how policy goals have supported—and undermined—the sustainability of the sector. Read More