Feed aggregator

Big drop in properties seriously underwater in 3Q

National Mortgage News - 18 min 54 sec ago
There were 1.4 million fewer properties seriously underwater in the third quarter, marking the largest year-over-year drop since the second quarter of 2015, according to Attom Data Solutions.

Who will be next CFPB director?

National Mortgage News - 18 min 54 sec ago
It’s a seat the Trump administration has long wanted vacated, and now it gets a chance to fill it — and change the direction of an agency that’s been a thorn in Republicans’ side. Following are the top candidates.

Radical changes ahead for CFPB after Cordray departure

National Mortgage News - 18 min 54 sec ago
The resignation of CFPB Director Richard Cordray gives President Trump the chance to name a director who could roll back agency rules and supervisory policies.

De Blasio releases plan to build, preserve 300,000 affordable New York City homes

National Mortgage News - 18 min 54 sec ago
The plan is up from the previously announced 200,000 homes.

Are banks ready for an uptick in HELOC applications?

National Mortgage News - 18 min 54 sec ago
Recent research into customer preferences regarding home equity lending reveals that banks need to better engage with their customers to understand their needs and expectations, and then guide them to optimized HELOC product offerings that precisely meet their needs.

How Corporate Zombies Are Threatening The Eurozone Economy

IEHI News feed - 4 hours 2 min ago
``The Bank for International Settlements, the Basel-based central bank for central banks, defines a zombie as any firm which is at least 10 years old, publicly traded and has interest expenses that exceed the company's earnings before interest and taxes. Other organizations use different criteria. About 10% of the companies in six eurozone countries, including France, Germany, Italy and Spain are zombies, according to the central bank's latest data. The percentage is up sharply from 5.5% in 2007. In Italy and Spain, the percentage of zombie companies has tripled since 2007, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development estimated in January. Italy's zombies employed about 10% of all workers and gobbled up nearly 20% of all the capital invested in 2013, the latest year for which figures are available.''

The WSJ explains how the ECB's negative interest rate policy and corporate bond buying are keeping a chunk of the corporate sector, especially in southern Europe on life support. In some cases, even the life support of low rates and debt restructuring is not preventing further deterioration in their metrics. These are the true "Zombie" companies who will probably never come back from being "undead"...

How racist official housing policies supercharged today's US wealth gap

IEHI News feed - 4 hours 34 min ago
In the postwar period, white Americans were given attractive, government-subsidized mortgages to move to all-white suburbs, the best known of which was New York's Levittown, that were not accessible to blacks and other minority groups. That helped white families that benefited from those mortgages to build housing wealth.

The Federal Housing Administration at the time not only "refused to insure mortgages in predominantly African American neighborhoods" but also actively subsidized "the movement of white families out of cities into single-family homes in the suburbs," Rothstein said.

Racial segregation was built into public-housing policy. Contracts in suburban subdivisions were made with an FHA subsidy that explicitly required that no blacks be allowed to move in, either initially or through future sales.

All those policy decisions led directly to the race gaps we see now. "Without federal government policy of this kind we would not have the kind of segregation in any metropolitan area today," Rothstein said.

How racist official housing policies supercharged today's US wealth gap

Implode Explode - 4 hours 34 min ago
In the postwar period, white Americans were given attractive, government-subsidized mortgages to move to all-white suburbs, the best known of which was New York's Levittown, that were not accessible to blacks and other minority groups. That helped white families that benefited from those mortgages to build housing wealth.

The Federal Housing Administration at the time not only "refused to insure mortgages in predominantly African American neighborhoods" but also actively subsidized "the movement of white families out of cities into single-family homes in the suburbs," Rothstein said.

Racial segregation was built into public-housing policy. Contracts in suburban subdivisions were made with an FHA subsidy that explicitly required that no blacks be allowed to move in, either initially or through future sales.

All those policy decisions led directly to the race gaps we see now. "Without federal government policy of this kind we would not have the kind of segregation in any metropolitan area today," Rothstein said.

Fed Hints During Next Recession It Will Roll Out Income Targeting, NIRP

IEHI News feed - 4 hours 39 min ago
On Thursday afternoon, in a stark warning of what's to come, San Francisco Fed President John Williams confirmed our suspicions when he said that to fight the next recession, global central bankers will be forced to come up with a whole new toolkit of "solutions", as simply cutting interest rates won't well, cut it anymore, and in addition to more QE and forward guidance - both of which were used widely in the last recession - the Fed may have to use negative interest rates, as well as untried tools including so-called price-level targeting or nominal-income targeting.

[This] is a tacit admission that as a result of the aging workforce and the dramatic slack which still remains in the labor force, the US central bank will have to take drastic steps to preserve social order and cohesion.

According to Williams', Reuters reports, central bankers should take this moment of "relative economic calm" to rethink their approach to monetary policy. Others have echoed Williams' implicit admission that as a result of 9 years of Fed attempts to stimulate the economy - yet merely ending up with the biggest asset bubble in history - the US finds itself in a dead economic end, such as Chicago Fed Bank President Charles Evans, who recently urged a strategy review at the Fed, but Williams' call for a worldwide review is considerably more ambitious.

...Meanwhile, the idea of Fed targeting, or funding, "income" is hardly new: back in July, Deutsche Bank was the first institution to admit that the Fed has created "universal basic income for the rich"...

Wall St. traders secretly used chat rooms to rig Treasury bond prices: suit

IEHI News feed - 4 hours 42 min ago
The new accusations, leveled by several pension funds and wealthy individual investors, are contained in an expanded class-action suit originally filed in July 2015 -- and include an unusual twist: Some of the evidence came from confidential informants and one of the banks sued in the earlier action.

...

The funds, representing retirees and public workers, also claim the banks conspired to rig the secondary Treasury markets beginning in the 1990s through tightly controlled electronic platforms that inhibited more competitive trading -- a new allegation that wasn't in the original suit but mirrors similar complaints filed against banks in other markets, like stock loans.

The amended suit tightens its focus on a select number of banks, naming Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, the Royal Bank of Scotland, BNP Paribas, and UBS, among others, as the firms behind the rigging, which they allege occurred from Jan. 1, 2007, to mid-2015.

Saudi Arabia Offers Arrested Royals A Deal: Your Freedom For Lots Of Cash

IEHI News feed - 4 hours 45 min ago
Saudi authorities are negotiating settlements with princes and businessmen held over allegations of corruption, offering deals for the detainees to pay for their freedom, people briefed on the discussions say.

 

In some cases the government is seeking to appropriate as much as 70 per cent of suspects' wealth, two of the people said, in a bid to channel hundreds of billions of dollars into depleted state coffers.

 

The arrangements, which have already seen some assets and funds handed over to the state, provide an insight into the strategy behind Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's dramatic corruption purge.

...

Regular Saudis, who've seen their benefits cut and some of their jobs taken away, support MbS's decision. "Why should the poor take all the pain of austerity," said one Saudi academic. "The rich need to pay their way too."

In Saudi Arabia, they are about to do just that.

Taxpayers have paid dearly for 720-mln-euro ‘social dividend' (Greece)

IEHI News feed - 4 hours 49 min ago
``In total, 6.2 million taxpayers were forced to pay an average of 410 euros each for the government to distribute an average handout of 180 euros branded the "social dividend" to fewer taxpayers (almost 4 million). The relevant bill that was tabled in Parliament on Tuesday does not specify how the handout will be distributed... the rest goes toward covering government obligations.''

EU handling of Greek bailouts only partial success, say EU auditors

IEHI News feed - 4 hours 51 min ago
The ECA [European Court of Auditors] report, which focused on the work of the European Commission, said the programs "only helped Greece to recover to a limited extent."

The European Central Bank, which together with eurozone states and the International Monetary Fund contributed to the programs, was not assessed because it declined to provide data, questioning the auditors' mandate to ask for it, ECA said.

...

"... the Commission did not comprehensively consider Greece's implementation capacity in the design process and thus did not adapt the scope and timing accordingly," [the ECA] said.

Blackstone refinancing pair of luxury hotels in CMBS market

National Mortgage News - 6 hours 23 min ago
The private equity firm obtained a $540 million loan on the JW Marriott Grande Lakes and the Ritz-Carlton Grande Lakes, which are situated on 500 acres at the headwaters of the Everglades, from Barclays and Wells Fargo.

Colorado Springs' foreclosure rate continues to dwindle

National Mortgage News - 6 hours 23 min ago
As the Colorado Springs economy and housing market improve, the city's foreclosure woes continue to diminish.

Trump Organization worth one tenth of value previously reported

Implode Explode - 7 hours 15 min ago
The Trump Organization in New York is reportedly worth one tenth of the value it previously claimed. 

Donald Trump's family business had previously ranked near the top of Crain's New York Business' list of largest privately held companies.

But this year it has fallen from number three to number 40 after the President disclosed the organisation's revenue to federal regulators. 

While the Trump Organization claimed $9.5bn (£7.2bn) in sales last year, Mr Trump's public filings suggest revenues of less than a tenth of that amount, between $600m (£450m) and $700m (£530m).

...

"It was obviously important to Donald to have his company at the top of the list and I don't know why he felt that way but the numbers that he presented are just flagrantly untrue," Aaron Elstein said.

Trump Organization worth one tenth of value previously reported

IEHI News feed - 7 hours 15 min ago
The Trump Organization in New York is reportedly worth one tenth of the value it previously claimed. 

Donald Trump's family business had previously ranked near the top of Crain's New York Business' list of largest privately held companies.

But this year it has fallen from number three to number 40 after the President disclosed the organisation's revenue to federal regulators. 

While the Trump Organization claimed $9.5bn (£7.2bn) in sales last year, Mr Trump's public filings suggest revenues of less than a tenth of that amount, between $600m (£450m) and $700m (£530m).

...

"It was obviously important to Donald to have his company at the top of the list and I don't know why he felt that way but the numbers that he presented are just flagrantly untrue," Aaron Elstein said.

As FHA reserves dwindle, so do odds of premium cut

National Mortgage News - 9 hours 25 min ago
The Federal Housing Administration was battered by losses this year from reverse mortgages, casting doubt on whether the agency will adopt an Obama-era proposal to reduce mortgage insurance premiums.

Zombie houses plague neighborhoods and leave families heartbroken

National Mortgage News - 9 hours 25 min ago
Karen Stratton doesn't cry often. But the Spokane, Wash., councilwoman teared up last week as she looked out on the High Drive Conservation Area from her late aunt's home on South Maple Boulevard.

Operator Of Fraudulent Predatory Lending Scheme Found Guilty

IEHI News feed - 10 hours 40 min ago
Richard Moseley Extended More Than $220 Million In Predatory Lending Scheme To 620,000 Struggling Americans.