Read it here first: Implode-O-Meter Hits the NYT

This may be a record  l o n g  time elapse between us posting on some interesting but obscure site, and the MSM eventually finding them:  The Mortgage Lender Implode-O-Meter.

Way back in January 2007, we mentioned the Implode guys in a linkfest (here and at the  They told me I was the first site to link to them — and today, they got the full NYT treatment:

The misery in the housing market is registering on the Implode-O-Meter. As millions of homeowners fall behind on their mortgages, a fledging Web site called the Mortgage Lender Implode-O-Meter is gleefully tallying the number of lenders that run into trouble too. On Monday, the count was 265 — and rising.

With its tongue-in-cheek tone and running lists of the “imploded” and the merely “ailing,” the Implode-O-Meter has become a sort of Gawker of the subprime world. At a recent Mortgage Bankers Association conference, a speaker addressed what has become a hot topic among lenders: how to keep your company’s name off the site.

“No one wants to be number 266,”  [BR: Too late!] said Jim Reichbach, a vice chairman and leader of Deloitte’s banking and securities team. “This is a death toll that is equivalent to the casualty ticker of the Vietnam War.”

The Implode-O-Meter is the brainchild of Aaron Krowne, a former researcher at Emory University in Atlanta. A computer scientist and mathematician, Mr. Krowne, 28, started the site in 2007, believing that the troubles in the housing market, and by extension the mortgage industry, would worsen.

He was right — and the Implode-O-Meter took off. Traffic on the site soared, reaching as many as 100,000 regular visitors, and advertising dollars rolled in. Mr. Krowne quit his day job and hired 10 people for his company, Implode-Explode Heavy Industries.

“The crisis has come in waves,” Mr. Krowne said. “It just keeps coming.”

Congrats guys — a job well done!




Linkfest 2007 (January 07, 2007)

The Mortgage Lender Implode-O-Meter

Loan Pains Turned Site Into a Hit
NYT, July 8, 2008


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What's been said:

Discussions found on the web:
  1. 12th Percentile commented on Jul 8

    So he has hired 10 employees? Sounds like a typical dot com. Is there an ETF yet to short him?

    UltraShort ProShares Implode – Symbol UPimp?

  2. Juhuti commented on Jul 8

    I think with all of the jawboning today that the list is about to get quite a bit longer.

  3. Chris Noyes commented on Jul 8

    I found your site from that site. The first time I saw MI it was @ 27. Glad I did currently up hugh just naked shorting . Mostly Lehman , Suntrust , Pnc , ANF , Merril , MS , and Town . Everytime it drops I short it more with the profits on completly margin. I sold a rental property and put it all in the markets .Since April 08 I’ve turn 441k into 1.15m after todays beating.Tomarrow when I get my weekly margin call I tell them the same thing “It’s a bank they never hold a rally together” . If I’m force to cover some I do . Any idea on how to figure out who tanks nexts ? I’m trying to get them in order . Thanks Barry for a great blog

  4. Ironman commented on Jul 8

    You know what they say – if you want to find out what’s really going on in the world today, you don’t start with the New York Times.

    Still, it’s nice when they do finally find some of the real gems out there!

  5. HCF commented on Jul 8

    We need a Kudlow & Co. Implode-o-meter (TM), where various guests are so intellectually trounced on a consistent basis that their respective heads implode. Nominees for the first to go include Don Luskin, Dennis Kneale, and Jerry Bowyer…. =)

  6. Philippe commented on Jul 8

    Would this reading be not pleading for the recognition of a new and more efficient US Fed, managing silently a financial systemic risk left by the predecessor?

  7. Mike in NoLA commented on Jul 8

    I also believe I found TBP a few months ago through that site. Both are now in my RSS reader and I check for new articles here, there, and at FT Alphaville, first thing every day. I do check TBP first, though :)

  8. AndrewBW commented on Jul 8

    I’m all for a Kudlow & Co. Implode-O-Meter. except that the first head to be imploded ought to be Kudlow himself. (After that they can just call it “& Co.”)

  9. johnnyvee commented on Jul 8

    The Implode-O-Meter kicks ass.

  10. jan commented on Jul 9

    Is this run by the same people/person whose been doing the Hedge Fund Implode-O-Meter? Have been reading that one for a while…


  11. marcello commented on Jul 9

    Jan: YES

    they started in late 2006. I checked in starting in December ’06, when the count was single digits. The site was a hot topic of conversation around the lunchroom. It was the canary in the coal mine for me. But now that things Krowne predicted have come to pass, I’ve stopped visiting it – we now know how bad things are, and the meter has lost its gravitas.

    great sites though. he deserves all the kudos (and ‘scudos $ :-) he is getting

  12. eh commented on Jul 9

    Obscure to whom? I think the Implode site(s) is(are) pretty well known to people who follow finance news etc on the internet. And who else could be expected to know?

  13. Aaron commented on Jul 9

    I got downsized from my mortgage related IT job when the implode-o-meter read only 19. Now I’m programming in Amsterdam for this summer in something that has nothing to do with mortgages.

  14. Jim Haygood commented on Jul 9

    ” … a fledging Web site called the Mortgage Lender Implode-O-Meter …” — NYT

    Fledgling? It’s been around a couple of years, which is a long time in the virtual world.

    This phrase drips with the MSM bias that news is not validated until it’s reported in the dead gray pages of the NYT. To conceal the fact that Krowne’s ML-Implode scooped them at the beginning of the housing crash — when the NYT was still touting condos and co-ops and second homes — the Times stenographer has to denigrate the site as “fledgling.”

    Sad. The Revolution will not be televised, nor will it reported in the braindead MSM.

  15. PaulO commented on Jul 9

    So according to your beloved magazine indicator, this must mean the crisis is over!!

    Thank heaven!

  16. jimcos42 commented on Jul 9

    PaulO @9:46 nailed it. Now that “everybody knows it”, is it worth knowing?

  17. VJ commented on Jul 9

    Speaking of being late to the game:

    SEC: Credit Rating Agencies had “conflicts of interest”

    The agency’s staff conducted examinations of Fitch Ratings Ltd., Moody’s Investor Services Inc., and Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services to evaluate whether they are adhering to their published methodologies for determining ratings and managing conflicts of interest.

    The SEC staff’s examinations found that rating agencies struggled significantly with the increase in the number and complexity of subprime residential mortgage-backed securities (RMBS) and collateralized debt obligations (CDO) deals since 2002. The examinations uncovered that none of the rating agencies examined had specific written comprehensive procedures for rating RMBS and CDOs. Furthermore, significant aspects of the rating process were not always disclosed or even documented by the firms, and conflicts of interest were not always managed appropriately.



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