Countrywide’s friends in high places
Daniel Golden of Portfolio.com rounds up the list of government officials making the news for having received loans from Countrywide Financial on special terms: U.S. Sens. Chris Dodd, D-Conn., and Kent Conrad, D-N.D.; former UN Ambassador Richard Holbrooke; former Secretary of Health and Human Services Donna Shalala; former HUD Secretary Alphonso Jackson; and former Barack Obama advisor and ex-Fannie Mae CEO James Johnson. All but Jackson are Democrats. Two other prominent Democrats — former California Treasurer Kathleen Brown and Bill Clinton’s Secretary of Housing, Henry Cisneros — have resigned their positions on Countrywide’s board (see Inman Blog).
Most sales in Sacramento are REOs
About 66 percent of the homes sold by Realtors last month in California’s capital city of Sacramento were foreclosed properties that had become bank-owned or REO properties, a Wall Street Journal blog reports. "Sacramento may be leading the nation in the sheer percentage of lender sales," though "It’s difficult to know for sure because many Realtor groups don’t report the number of REO sales," according to the post at the "Developments" blog.
—Wall Street Journal Developments
Is your Web site a tortoise or a hare?
Slow Web site load speeds can frustrate Web surfers and hurt your traffic, Sellsius blog’s Joseph Ferrara says, pointing readers to an application that tests your site’s load speed at iWebTool. A Sellsius reader recommends a similar tool at Pingdom.
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