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>Emails Implicate Fannie/Freddie Bosses

>WASHINGTON — Executives at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac clashed over the adequacy of risk controls for several years as the two giant mortgage companies increased their purchases of dicey loans, according to emails released Tuesday at a congressional hearing.
The emails show that the two government-backed mortgage companies were aware they were taking on more risk as the housing bubble peaked. But the companies pressed ahead with efforts to regain market share they had lost to Wall Street investment banks. They did so by buying loans and securities that increased their exposure to subprime mortgages, for people with weak credit records, and Alt-A mortgages, which typically spare borrowers from having to document their income and assets.

[Former Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac executives testified Tuesday on the companies' roles in the financial crisis. From left, ex-Fannie chief Daniel Mudd, ex-Freddie chief Leland Brendsel and ex-Fannie chief Franklin Raines.] Getty Images

Former Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac executives testified Tuesday on the companies’ roles in the financial crisis. From left, ex-Fannie chief Daniel Mudd, ex-Freddie chief Leland Brendsel and ex-Fannie chief Franklin Raines.

Fannie “has one of the weakest control processes I ever witness (sic) in my career,” Enrico Dallavecchia, then chief risk officer of the company, wrote in a July 2007 email to Michael Williams, chief operating officer. See the complete WSJ story. . .

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>Latest Housing News From Wall Street Journal

>Construction is proceeding on the Charlotte tower that was to have become Wachovia’s new headquarters, shown in a rendering. The bank’s sale raises many questions.

October 16, 2008 — 9:14 a.m. EDT

Fan-Fred Targeted in Mortgage Mess

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have become prime suspects in the political debate over who caused the mortgage meltdown.

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Living the High Life

Perched on high, penthouses offer breathtaking skyline views and often provide more privacy and space than units on lower levels. See three on the market today — in Boston, New York and Miami.

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Mall Shares Slide on Retail Fears

Stocks of mall owners slid by 14% as the sharp drop in retail sales stoked fears of higher vacancy rates and declining rental rates for landlords.

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Jersey City’s Boom Is Set Back

After years of speculative building, public-relations campaigns and plenty of dreams, Jersey City, N.J., is starting to resemble New York City’s sixth borough.

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No Quick Fix for Housing Prices

The rescue plan for the U.S. financial industry doesn’t directly address the root cause of the crisis: falling home prices.

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Housing Bubble Bursts in London

The financial crisis is taking a heavy toll on London’s once-thriving property market.

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With Wachovia’s Fall, BofA Stands Alone

Charlotte office-building owners may need to brace for demand to soften and office rents to decline as this banking center’s property market feels the impact of the financial crisis.

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Corus’s Condo Crater

Corus Bankshares has taken ownership of a 765-unit development in Panama City Beach, Fla., for which it lent $146 million.

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U.K. Property Firms Retrench

Commercial-property companies in the U.K. are selling assets and putting developments on hold.

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Merrill Targets Asian Real Estate

Merrill Lynch raised $2.65 billion for an Asian real-estate fund in a sign that investors see opportunities in the region’s weakened property markets.

>Obama’s Glibness is Despicable

>
“That glib and oily art, to speak and purpose not…”

By Don White


The above is spoken by Cordelia in Shakespeare’s King Lear. There is something that bothers me about the man the Democrats would have become president. It is his way with words coupled with his forgetfulness in doing what he should. He fails to walk the talk. His words are both glib and oily.

It’s a matter of trust. Case in point, the many times he has presented himself before the Senate for a big vote and voted “present.” Instead of being an advocate of one thing or the other, he is merely “present.” Where’s his mind? Obama is not a man of conviction.

Another point: He doesn’t mean a word he says when he talks taxes. He says he won’t raise taxes on anyone who makes $250,000 or less but he doesn’t mean it. He says he will solve problems, but he doesn’t say how and which ones. He is silent when it comes to anything but generalities. He takes credit when no credit is due. Example: his taking credit for tightening up the Wall Street bailout bill that Congress is poised to pass.

Actually, for John McCain this is good. He can claim all the credit if he wants. It’s a bad bill. I’m with those who believe giving warrants to the taxpayers are empty promises. Those that need help will not survive to pay anything back, it’s as simple as that. In five years, when the money is supposed to come back to the U.S. Treasury Congress will be set upon to bail out the housing agencies again and they will do it again if Democrats are still the majority party because they can’t live without those “slush funds” coming from the likes of Fannie and Freddie.

If still not convinced, read a Townhall book review if you want a further eye opener . The book is The Case Against Barack Obama and the review is by James C. Humes. Here are some of the comments about this book.

Here are a few of the comments submitted by our readers. Click to view all

AWESOME READ!!! I recommend this book to everyone who wants to know the TRUTH!

The footnotes are incredible! You can verify EVERYTHING that the author states, unbelievably accurate!

Aug 11, 2008 @ 03:50 AM
pitbull, NYC

Report Abusive PostThis book should be read by any THINKING person, not just wanting to be an automated OBAMATRON robot, along with the new book out “OBAMA NATION”, already #1 bestseller in New York. Obama is NOT who everyone thinks he is. Wake up, people.
Aug 11, 2008 @ 08:35 AM
thinker, Florida

Report Abusive PostThe ones voting for BHO are in sympathy with his Marxist views.

Nothing else matters.

Aug 11, 2008 @ 09:45 AM
TxConfederate, Tx

Report Abusive PostCan’t wait to read this one myself. I’ve been getting an uptick in the number of readers who are miffed at my writings against Senator Obama. Lets all get together and turn up the heat!! Hell, I even found a way to make sport of the liberals and their beloved Obama bumperstickers!!! Bumpersticker Cognitive Therapy, I aptly named the article..
Aug 11, 2008 @ 10:11 AM
noleftturnz.com, st louis

Report Abusive PostThe Summers Great Surprises: Dick Morris’s “Fleeced” Dr. Jerome Corsi’s “Obama Nation”and now Freddoso’s “The Case Against Barack Obama.” This is equivalent to all of the Watergate chronicles emerging at the same time, but not with nearly the fan fare.

At times I feel that these books are just for the choir only. But then again we do have some choir members who have strayed of late. Nevertheless, it brings tremendous solace to those of us who have sensed or have known what type of plastic Ms. Hussein is made of for some time.

These exposés vindicate the thinking crowd’s pronouncements that our rag head in waiting is a phony and a charlatan wrapped in meekness clothing. And it has also occurred to me that the vast majority of the American people are not stupid enough to wander aimlessly bumping into dirt walls while trying to decide the heavy question of the next President of the US. Only Germans, French, Italians, British and, of course, our lost cause liberals will continue to walk around blind with their hands out and vote with their libido.

Great reading though, those new books. I would recommend them to everyone. Even Nancy Pelosi can certainly take a lot of time out to read these books, in between the two customers that will stop by Barnes and Noble today.

Aug 11, 2008 @ 12:53 PM
Telescoping You , Red America

Aug 11, 2008 @ 01:47 PM
Jim Nance, Las Vegas

Report Abusive PostHaving met the guy (just once) and being from Illinois, my read on him is he is a calculating and exceptionally bright and ambitious man, who believes he should be on the pedestal he was placed by his sainted mother. He is happy to ride the surfboard of history to the beach, and he will gladly work to transfer wealth to the downtrodden in the interest of change and the homogenization of the world. The liberals in my suburban neighborhood are to him the “useful idiots” of our day and age. Who needs Marx when national socialism (Cf. his ads: “American industry shall make solar panels” and “There shall be 5 million new jobs for workers”) is available and a more patriotic way to go? Let’s face it, the man has never held a job that had anything to do with any approach to the world other than talking his way through. There is no way to know what he really thinks, only what he wants you to think.
Aug 11, 2008 @ 05:05 PM
Fearless Bear, Chicago

Report Abusive PostBarack Obama saw fit to play politics with his life. He distorted his influence and his connections in both of his books; in his own voice you can hear him rattle of the distortions with nary a stutter.I guess the script was telepromtped for him. He told us all about his past, or so we thought, but the past has an ugly of catching up to you. It seems that Barry has a birth certificate problem. He says he is being smeared-he says his privacy is being attacked. Certainly there is a growing interest in this matter and thus ths scandle I refer to has arrived. For more check out texasdarlin This website gives you all the information on Obama’s birth certificate problem.
Aug 12, 2008 @ 07:40 PM
Karen, Fla

Report Abusive PostREAD THIS BOOK! Then if you have time, you MUST read Men In Black by Mark Levin.

These two books will give you a very clear picture of what this country will look like if the “annointed one” EVER gets the keys to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.

Any additional ‘activist judges’ on our Supreme Court and we will find that our Constitution will become a “living document” which it is NOT.

To Fearless Bear,

Kudos to you. I have been wondering where the free thinking people of Illinois have been. It is outrageous to me to think that everyone in the state could be blindly following this fraud through his campaign.

Thanks!!!

Sep 28, 2008 @ 10:04 AM
Jim Rice, NY

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>THE TRUTH ABOUT FANNIE AND FREEDIE

>What really happened Last Week In Real Estate News?

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September 10, 2008

Jim Stewart of the Wall Street Journal wrote an intelligent article entitled “Bailout Is No Quick Fix For Housing-Market Woes.”

MY WARNING TO POLITICIANS: Quit promising to pay for everthing under the moon with my pocketbook!!!

What else could Stewart say? What can anyone say about Secretary Hank Paulson’s action in taking down two corrupt companies last week? When I say corrupt, sure they had a lot of good things going for them too. Freddie and Fannie for years were able to prop up our nation’s housing industry.

Stewart says you can’t please everyone. Some actions are just necessary and sometimes you have to stop worrying who you’re going to step on and who will be helped. That was the kind of thing going through the secretary’s head, I’m sure. Sure it was! There are too many conflicting constituencies out there. But the only real constituent is the American taxpayer and this group was left to fend for themselves and will end up paying for this nationalization of two businesses which were led to believe that the government would protect them and everyone at all costs.

When will people learn that the government is we the people. The money to do anything of this nature must come from somewhere and it sure doesn’t come out of the personal pockets of the managers and directors of two almost defunct companies. Though I must say, these companies’ stockholders have lost millions of dollars because of mismanagement. It’s a scene of corruption all up and down the line and needs to be put in perspective.

First, the stockholders who were led to believe that they could invest in Fannie and Freddie almost with impunity. That is, that it was a sure thing, and why wouldn’t it be a great play? Put your money to work in an industry that hasn’t lost money forever. Plus the government ensures the viability of these two firms. I was almost tempted when I saw their stocks had plummeted clear down to a buck a share.

But the secretary did not go far enough. I don’t think he has communicated very well his intentions. He intends to break up these companies into several parts–allowing private enterprise–real private enterprise this time–to take on the risks the taxpayer bore before and future bailouts of stupid management. Isn’t it ironic. We the taxpayers bear all the risk of two failing companies, but we never once got paid one cent of stock dividends. Why does this bailout remind me of illegal patromony?

RISE UP AND PROTEST, TAXPAYERS. There’s no written law stating that we must cough it up each time some president and his secretary tells us do do so!!!!!!!!!!!! This is the most confiscatory idea ever and it’s got to stop!!!!!!!!!!

I’m pretty liberal with my criticism of Freddie and Fannie because they got sucked up in this housing boom of the 2005s and 2004s where everything was rosy, house prices escalating, nothing to worry about in the sub-prime arena. Next time under new management they who take over the reigns of buying housing loans in America should know this: The government will not bail you out if you run your companies into the ground. I repeat: No more bailouts at taxpayer expense.

Confine your purchases of paper to A-grade stuff, and leave the sub-prime market entirely alone to fend for itself until there isn’t a sub-prime market.

We the taxpayer do not owe the blessing of home ownership to those who can’t afford housing. That is my view and the view of most Republicans. Unbeknown to most voters is the fact that this is not Obama’s view. He will “cling” to his mantra that the government should continue to insure all Americans’ housing decisions, good or bad. He’s a socialist and he intends to run our private enterprise system into the ground.

But I say if the deals aren’t golden, if you vote for Obama you are voting for more of this crap. Pardon the French. Obama will continue to bail out the banks, mortgage companies, and, yes, even the Freddies and Fannies that backsytop the whole mess. He will stand on his forceful and fluent expression, his eloquent soap box, railing that we should not abandon the sub-prime people. EVER!

Well, the truth this one last time we have no choice. We will all get stuck for bailing out the system. But in the future we must abandon all sub-prime notions. Americans just can’t keep on guaranting dishonesty in housing, and that’s what it is when a person signs an agreement that he doens’t intend to, or cannot, perform.

When I said Freddie and Fannie managers were corrupt I meant it. It was they who funded all those Democrat slush funds, money all of us paid for in taxes, and now will pay for again. Money that should have been available for Freddie and Fannie to bail themselves out. Shame on you Obama. Shame on you Biden. You’re part of the problem, not the solution!

These bailouts, starting with Bear Sterns and on and on, are driving retirees like me to the poor house. And it’s really the sub-prime people who abandoned us with their decision to take on more debt than they were capable of handling?

Stewart said “I wish I felt like joining the party that sent the Dow Jones Industrial Average up nearly 300 points on Monday on news of the Treasury plan to put mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac into a “conservatorship.” I say I’m glad I didn’t!

Maybe the only good coming out of Secretary Paulson’s action is for a constituency we don’t often think about. It’s good news only in contrast to letting the companies flounder and setting off a global financial crisis. That’s the constituency of people throughout the world, world opinion, foreign countries that depend on America, and so forth.

I like one part of Paulson’s announcement. He said the companies will no longer be managed as though they had a fiduciary duty to shareholders.

So in whose interests will they be managed? Not those of the taxpayers, who are on the hook for billions in losses?

Is it in the banks’ interest–those who need Fannie and Freddie to keep buying mortgage securities?

Or is it in the interest of the real-estate agents and home builders, who want the companies to prop up real-estate values?

It is certainly in the interest of the affordable-housing advocates, who want easier lending and underwriting policies so more people can own homes.

The truth is this: Fannie and Freddie were operated unprofitably, and that’s why they had to be placed into conservatorship. But if that’s true, so were the banks and mortgage companies. Yes, and we’re seeing the fallout of that with banks and mortgage firms like Wachovia, Washington Mutual, and others ready to topple and investment banker Lehman Brothers in like trouble. The whole system was one big mess. And don’t discount the people who thought they were buying good-deal houses whose values would continue to rise into infinity. Dream on, American public. But now come back to reality because those kinds of fairy tales are only told in Disneyland.

One good thing: The housing recession can’t last forever. Alan Greenspan--where have we heard that name before?–predicts that late this year or early next year housing prices will stabilize. Then, maybe then, as with all things that come down maybe the prices will gradually–in a sane manner–inch upward so that people who want to sell their houses can do so and still make enough to pay their closing costs, agent’s commission, and make buck in addition…or maybe not.


>Mortgage News Tops Them All

>Political Disconnect chose to lead today’s stories with the blockbuster one on Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac getting gobbled up by the Feds.

Apparently, the best journalistic minds in America agreed with me. Slate highlights all the big papers and they’re right in line with my blog. “The New York Times, Washington Post, and Los Angeles Times lead with the news the papers have been previewing all weekend as the U.S. government officially took control of mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac yesterday.”

We asked in the blog a lot of questions. But one that jumps out and doesn’t need explanation is this: The government now has control over the companies that fund around two-thirds of all new home mortgages. Or, as the LAT succinctly summarizes: “Washington’s move means the federal government will directly back the great majority of the nation’s home mortgages.”

And if the magnitude of that fact is still not clear, the papers all make sure to emphasize that this is A Big Deal. The NYT calls it “a seismic event” and the Wall Street Journal characterizes it as the “most dramatic market intervention in years.”

Maybe I should have bought some of that $1.00 stock.

>Government Takes Over Mortgage Companies–Does That Mean Government Takes Over The Market?

>September 8, 2008

Orlando–Secretary of Finance Henry Paulson has some tall explaining to do. The American taxpayer demands it. He recently took over Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, ousted their president and CEO and assumed management of two very poorly financed and managed companies.

First, President Bush and Paulson should come on national television and explain these actions. In a free country with a market-driven economy what the administration did is tantamount to something you hear about in dictatorships, not in America. Here’s what they could say:

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac are so large and so interwoven in our financial system that a failure of either of them would cause great turmoil . . . at home and around the globe.” That’s actually what Treasury Secretary Henry M. Paulson said in announcing the government’s actions.

“A failure would affect the ability of Americans to get home loans, auto loans and other consumer credit and business finance. And a failure would be harmful to economic growth and job creation,” he said. We’ll we know that, but why wasn’t action taken sooner?

Question One: Explain in simple language why these firms are so important to the American economy. Why not a simple bailout like Bear Sterns and let them go on their way? It’s obvious, their leadership was inept or dishonest. Give Americans the full facts about what went on, even if it hurts the Bush Administration. Don’t gloss over it. Tell us what’s coming up next. We’re about fed up with bailouts at our expense. It weakens the dollar and makes it harder to put meat and potatoes on the table. Inflation is already really hurting us. Why play so high and loose with our money?

Question Two: If things are so bad, why didn’t you see it coming? Why did you wait so long to take such drastic action? Is someone in Washington falling asleep. Why weren’t the Democrats calling for Bush to do something before now? Or maybe they were. If readers have some information, please comment.

Question Three: How much? How much is this going to cost you and me, Mr. and Mrs. American taxpayer? Why doesn’t anyone have a handle on the costs? Or is it so bad you can’t face us with the facts? Come on, George Bush, you owe a full accounting, and not next week but right now. Someone knows precisely how bad things got. Someone also knows how much it may cost the U.S. taxpayers…

Question Four: Mr. Paulson, what makes you sure you can manage mortgage companies any better than their predecessors? True, you were previously the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Goldman Sachs, one of the world’s largest and most successful investment banks. The firm acts as a financial advisor and money manager for corporations, governments, and wealthy families around the world. Goldman offers its clients mergers & acquisitions advice, underwriting services, asset management, and engages in proprietary trading, and private equity deals. It is a primary dealer in the U.S. Treasury securities market.

Good so far. What else do we know about you? Since the President refuses to give us owners of Fannie and Freddie the full scoop, I’ll fill you in on Paulson. Oh, by the way, it does seem odd that we are only owners in bailout situations? If we want full ownership we have to pay a buck a share. What’s with that?

Like Al Gore, he’s a global warming nut. But to offset that, he earned his Eagle Scout award in the Boy Scouts of America and got his Bachelor of Arts in English from Dartmouth College in 1968. We don’t know his GPA, but he spent his fall afternoons butting heads on the gridiron, earning honorable mention All American as an offensive lineman. All of that is good for running America’s mortgage system? And after all of that he still believes in global warming? Actually, most of us do. What we don’t believe in is that running our cars is warming the atmosphere. Neither does Al Gore. He runs an airplane, a bigger house than yours, and a huge SUV.

President Ford (and Justice Byron “Whizzer” White) was also a football player, wasn’t he, and it didn’t ruin his thinking patterns…not much? He just couldn’t swing a golf club without hitting people.

Paulson was born in Palm Beach, Florida, to Marianna Gallaeur and Henry Merritt Paulson, a wholesale jeweler, but was raised in Barrington Hills, Illinois. I’m glad his parents took him away from the rich kids in Palm Beach to train him right up north. He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and dummies don’t get in that exclusive club. The ideal ΦBK has demonstrated intellectual integrity, tolerance for other views, and a broad range of academic interests. Each year, about one college senior in a hundred, nationwide, is invited to join Phi Beta Kappa. He was also president of his Christian organization on campus.

He met his wife Wendy during his senior year. The couple have two adult children, Henry Merritt III and Amanda Clark, and became grandparents in June 2007. They maintain homes in Washington, DC and Barrington Hills, Illinois. None of that Palm Beach stuff.

In 1970 Paulson received a Master of Business Administration degree from Harvard Business School.

Career highlights

Paulson was Staff Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of Defense at The Pentagon from 1970 to 1972. He then worked for the administration of U.S. President Richard Nixon, serving as assistant to John Ehrlichman from 1972 to 1973. He came out untainted, and that’s a credit to his integrity.

He joined Goldman Sachs in 1974, working in the firm’s Chicago office. He became a partner in 1982. From 1983 until 1988, Paulson led the Investment Banking group for the Midwest Region, and became managing partner of the Chicago office in 1988. From 1990 to November 1994, he was co-head of Investment Banking, then, Chief Operating Officer from December 1994 to June 1998; eventually succeeding Jon Corzine (now Democrat Governor of New Jersey) as its chief executive. His compensation package, according to reports, was US$37 million in 2005, and US$16.4 million 2006. His net worth has been estimated at over $700 million. I’m wondering if he bought some houses during the 2005 mortgage value runup and got a government bailout?

Paulson has personally built close relations with China during his career. In July 2008 it was reported by The Daily Telegraph that: “Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson has intimate relations with the Chinese elite, dating from his days at Goldman Sachs when he visited the country over 70 times.”

Civic activities

Paulson has been described as an avid nature lover. Most Eagle Scouts Are. He has been a member of The Nature Conservancy for decades and was the organization’s board chairman and co-chair of its AsiaPacific Council. In that capacity, Paulson worked with former President of the People’s Republic of China Jiang Zemin to preserve the Tiger Leaping Gorge in Yunnan province.

Paulson is also on the Board of Directors of the Peregrine Fund; was the founding Chairman of the Advisory Board of the School of Economics and Management of Tsinghua University in Beijing; and, previously served as chairman of the influential trade group, the Financial Services Forum.

Notable among the members of Bush’s cabinet, Paulson has said he is a strong believer in the effect of human activity on global warming and advocates immediate action to decrease this effect. That “human activity” is a nice way of saying you cars caused global warming of which I disagree.

Out With It Now! Or get out of the way and let us private citizens hire an ombudsman who can hire independent CPAs to figure it out if it still boggles your mind.

I’m really surprised Congress isn’t asking for an investigation–this thing is that big. And I don’t say that because of party affiliation.

I’m a Republican. Let’s be done with Washington politics. We’re all fed up with it. Let the chips fall where they may.

We’re the kind of country that really looks down on government taking over anything, let alone the mortgage companies–Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
I honestly believe Washington is broke and can’t manage anything, let alone the entire mortgage industry.

American citizens and Wall Street are wondering what this is going to cost us the taxpayers. They were saying over CNBC this morning that Fanny Mae had lost more than 90 percent of its value over the past year. That was before the ticker tape started up. Frankly, there is much we don’t know. How much are the Fed regulators going to have to speak up for these companies to get the market going again?

Wall Street is open: Wall street is reacting positively this morning. Secretary of Finance Hank Paulson’s action was greeted positively. People vote with the pocketbook on Wall Street. Among other companies that are up today, Washington Mutual is up 17.5 percent. Of course, they just fired their leader.

In other important news: Oil prices are up $3 at $118 per barrel due to hurricane Ike heading for the Gulf.

Apparently Fannie and Freddie are open–as I write–Fannie Mae is down 83 percent, Freddie is down 80 percent. Each is selling for only a dollar a share. Is that a good buy or should you be wary before investing. Be wary! But remember, it’s the Federal Government you’re investing in. How bad can it get?

Cuba is in the depths of Ike’s storm. More than 900,000 people have fled to higher ground. Winds are 125 mph, with Ike moving westerly 14 mph. Outer bands only extend about 50 miles, so it won’t hit Miami. It may develop into a weak category one. Between Thursday and Saturday morning it could reach Louisiana and could strengthen into a category two or three.

This one appears to be headed more toward Houston than New Orleans. Homeowners in each area are scurrying. There will likely be mandatory evacuations, depending on the severity of the winds at landfall.