Jamie Dimon, CEO of J.P. Morgan:

Rising defaults in some of the riskiest home loans offered by J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. signal a recession may be looming. “Home equity is subject to deterioration” from a recession

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Wachovia Corp. recently shut down its EquiBanc Mortgage Corp. unit, following “an intensive strategic review of its mortgage business which has altered the company’s approach to the origination of non-conforming loans,” according to a message on EquiBanc’s Web site. Countrywide Financial Corp., the nation’s largest mortgage lender, offered a gloomy forecast when it announced fourth-quarter results Tuesday, citing continued credit deterioration in the entire mortgage industry. And a number of small subprime lenders have gone out of business, while others have sold themselves to Wall Street firms.

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