Why Wilbur Ross Likes Subprime

The master of distress talks about the risks and rewards of scooping up ailing portfolios after his American Home deal

It seemed an obvious match: distressed-company investor Wilbur Ross Jr. and the imploding subprime mortgage lenders. In what well could be the first of many moves, Ross' private equity firm, W.L. Ross & Co., agreed Aug. 6 to put $50 million into American Home Mortgage Investment during its bankruptcy reorganization. American Home, which stopped taking mortgage applications on Aug. 1 and fired most of its staff two days later, has been one of the first of this class of lender to hit bottom.

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