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Posts published in “Day: December 10, 2007”

Open strategy

Tip to politicians: If you're going to have a sensitive discussion on political strategy with a consultant, you might want to do it behind closed doors.

As opposed to the Daily Cafe in central Portland, where Multnomah County Commissioner Maria Rojo de Steffey apparently did. Sitting next to a reporter from the Portland Mercury.

Nothing terribly shocking here. But still.

The layoff indicator

What looks like a real economic indicator: The just-announced layoff of 3,000 people by Washington Mutual.

As you think about the home buying market, consider the details in the corporate release on this:

WaMu remains committed to providing mortgage products to its customers. However, the mortgage market is undergoing a fundamental shift due to credit dislocation and a prolonged period of reduced capital markets liquidity. As a result, WaMu expects national mortgage originations to shrink to $1.5 trillion in 2008, down about 40 percent from an estimated $2.4 trillion this year.

To reflect the changes in this market, WaMu will substantially adjust and resize its Home Loans business and also reduce corporate support expense.

WaMu will:

-- Discontinue all remaining lending through its subprime mortgage channel;
-- Close approximately 190 of 336 home loan centers and sales offices;
-- Close nine Home Loans processing and call centers;
-- Eliminate approximately 2,600 Home Loans positions, or about 22 percent of its Home Loans staff;
-- Eliminate approximately 550 corporate and other support positions; and
-- Close WaMu Capital Corp., its institutional broker-dealer business, as well as its mortgage banker finance warehouse lending operation.