The Federal Bureau of Investigation has opened a criminal investigation into 14 companies/firms who have played a role in the recent mortgage crisis.
The companies/firms have not been identified. However officials did disclose that those on the list include not only mortgage brokers and lenders, but Wall Street banks that packaged and sold investments tied to subprime mortgages.
The losses being reported by both Wall Street and Main Street as a result of the subprime meltdown are staggering. While the huge write-downs by Wall Street firms are almost daily news, the losses by individual investors have been less reported. That is not to say that individual investors have not suffered significant losses as well.
The write-downs from the likes of Merrill Lynch, Citibank and others reflect, in part, the investment products that those firms were not able to sell off to investors and therefore continued to hold on their books. It goes without saying that the investors who were sold and held these products have (and will) experience losses.
While the retired couple who lost $100,000 may not be as headline catching as the multi-billion dollar losses being reported by Wall Street, they are no less shocking. We expect to see more and more individual investors coming to realize that they too have been victimized by the mortgage crisis in the coming weeks and months.