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Who Benefits From the Subprime Crisis?

The parties who are suffering from the subprime crisis are vast and varied, as well as in the newspapers every day. One reason the crisis has gotten so much attention, in fact, is because these parties are so vast and varied. The typical financial crisis has one or two big villains (think Enron) and a vague coterie of victims (think the S&L scandal). In this case, there are many villains, from the local to the global level, and, similarly, the victims range from homeowners losing their homes to high-level bankers whose propped-up investments fell down.

But for all the suffering, someone’s got to be benefiting from the crisis, right? That is the nature of the market game.

Consider, for instance:

1. The software company Autonomy, jointly based in Cambridge (U.K.) and San Francisco, whose stock price and profits are climbing because “most of the world’s leading banks were considering using its software to prepare for lawsuits related to the U.S. subprime mortgage crisis.”

2. The attorneys who will be participating in those suits.

3. Prime borrowers who have seen mortgage rates fall to the lowest rates since 2005, and especially borrowers who may see the ceiling for “jumbo” rates rise by more than $300,000. Also, of course, first-time home buyers who have been waiting for prices to fall.

4. People who have spent the past 5 or 10 years stocking up on gold.

I’m sure these parties represent just the tip of a big iceberg. So for those of you out there with more information, please let us know who else stands to benefit from the continuing subprime mess.