More Panic on the CMBX Indices

Last week it was Hank Paulson's announcement that sent spreads on the CMBX indices skyrocketing. This week the news that two big commercial mortgages are in default is making things worse.

"It's pretty unheard-of for two large loans to go bad this early on," said Richard Parkus, head of CMBS research at Deutsche Bank Securities Inc. "This has shaken up the market" for CMBS, he said. The analyst report pushed the index that tracks these securities, the Markit CMBX, to record levels compared with Treasurys.

The news comes as defaults on commercial mortgages are starting to rise. According to a Citigroup Inc. report, the overall number of commercial mortgages packaged into securities that are 30 days or more past due rose to 0.64% in October from 0.39% at the end of last year, with most of the increase coming in October. The latest figure, though low by historic standards, marked the highest delinquency rate in two years.

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