One Voice Less

Terrible news to start Monday. The community of those of us that write about the mortgage industry is small to begin with, and the community of those considered “mortgage bloggers” is even smaller than that. Which makes news today of the passing of Doris Dungey — Tanta to those who read her work over at Calculated Risk — a very sad day, indeed, and a reminder that there are larger issues than the nation’s housing crisis at work. It’s also a reminder that the mortgage banking community has lost an influential voice, one that will not soon be replaced. Via the New York Times:

The blogger Tanta, an influential voice on the mortgage collapse, died Sunday morning in Columbus, Ohio. Tanta, who wrote for Calculated Risk, a finance and economics blog, was a pseudonym for Doris Dungey, 47, who until recently had lived in Upper Marlboro, Md. The cause of death was ovarian cancer, her sister, Cathy Stickelmaier, said. Thanks in large part to Tanta’s contributions, Calculated Risk became a crucial source of prescient analysis as the housing market at first faltered, then collapsed and finally spawned a full-blown credit crisis. Tanta used her extensive knowledge of the loan industry to comment, castigate and above all instruct. Her fans ranged from the Nobel laureate Paul Krugman, an Op-Ed columnist for The New York Times who cited her in his blog, to analysts at the Federal Reserve, who cited her in a paper on “Understanding the Securitization of Subprime Mortgage Credit.”

I had the good fortune of corresponding somewhat regularly with Tanta over the course of the past year, sharing inside jokes and discussing what life has been like as an industry insider covering the demise of a landscape that had provided much of our livelihoods. Her knowledge of the industry was unmatched; she actually helped behind the scenes to craft numerous opinion pieces HW readers have seen on this site in the past 12 months; she never wanted credit for her help, either. The world is better off for having had her in it; and it has lost something by having her pass on, as well. My best wishes to her family and her friends, and to Bill, who worked so closely with her at his blog in the past few years. You can read Bill’s send-off to Tanta here.

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