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  • Tue, Mar 21 2017
  • 4:11 PM » Markets fret as Trump agenda shows signs of cracks
    Published Tue, Mar 21 2017 4:11 PM by Reuters
    NEW YORK (Reuters) - The steepest pullback in stocks since the U.S. presidential election reveals investor angst about President Donald Trump's ability to push through major reforms, leaving stocks vulnerable to a long-anticipated correction.
  • 2:34 PM » Can the Country Survive Without a Strong Middle Class?
    Published Tue, Mar 21 2017 2:34 PM by The Atlantic
    The U.S. Constitution, it is fair to say, is normally thought of as a political document. It lays out the American system of government and the relationships among the various institutions. But in a powerful new book The Crisis of the Middle-Class Constitution , the Vanderbilt legal scholar Ganesh Sitaraman argues that the Constitution doesn't merely require a particular political system but also a particular economic one, one characterized by a strong middle class and relatively mild inequality. A strong middle class, Sitaraman writes, inspires a sense of shared purpose and shared fate, without which the system of government will fall apart. I spoke with Sitaraman about his book last week at The Atlantic 's offices in Washington, D.C. A transcript of our conversation, edited for clarity, follows. Rebecca J. Rosen: Your new book, The Crisis of the Middle-Class Constitution , is premised on the idea that the American Constitution is what you call a middle-class constitution. What does that mean? Ganesh Sitaraman: The idea of the middle-class constitution is that it's a constitutional system that requires and is conditioned on the assumption that there is a large middle class, and no big differences between rich and poor in a society. Prior to the American Constitution, most countries and most people who thought about designing governments were very concerned about the problem of inequality, and the fear was that, in a society that was deeply unequal, the rich would oppress the poor and the poor would revolt and confiscate the wealth of the rich. The answer to this problem, the way to create stability out of what would have been revolution and strife, was to build economic class right into the structure of government. In England, you have the House of Lords for the wealthy, the House of Commons for everyone else. Our Constitution isn't like that. We don't have a House of Lords, we don't have a House of Commons, we don't have a tribune of the...
  • 2:32 PM » Mnuchin pal in line to head key banking agency; Fed post also could be filled: Sources
    Published Tue, Mar 21 2017 2:32 PM by CNBC
    The White House is expected to name former OneWest executive Joseph Otting as comptroller of the currency and Thomas Vartanian to be a key bank regulator.
  • 12:14 PM » World stocks seen as most overvalued in 17 years: BAML survey
    Published Tue, Mar 21 2017 12:14 PM by Reuters
    World stocks are their most expensive in 17 years, but bond yields will need to be much higher than they are currently to trigger an equity bear market, a monthly fund manager survey showed on Tuesday. Bank of America Merrill Lynch's (BAML) poll of investors managing $592 billion worldwide was conducted from March 10-16, a period that saw Wall Street's recent string of record highs fizzle out and the Federal Reserve raise U.S. interest rates.
  • 12:11 PM » S&P 500's selloff on track for biggest 4-day decline since before the election
    Published Tue, Mar 21 2017 12:11 PM by Market Watch
    The S&P 500 slumped 0.8% in morning trade, putting the large-cap benchmark index on track for its biggest one-day point and percentage decline so far this year, with 393 of 505 components losing ground. The index was also headed for a fourth-straight loss, matching the four-session losing streak ending Jan. 31. The S&P 500 has lost 30.57 points, or 1.28%, during its current streak, which would be the biggest four-day point and percentage loss since before the election, when it lost 40.97 points, or 1.93%, over the four sessions ending Nov. 4. Tuesday's selloff is also in danger of snapping a 109-session streak without a 1% decline.
  • 12:09 PM » Financial ETFs tumble as stock market pivots lower, led by Goldman, financials
    Published Tue, Mar 21 2017 12:09 PM by Market Watch
    Exchange-traded funds that track financials on Tuesday were helping to drag the stock market firmly lower in late-morning trade, with the three main benchmarks shaking off early opening gains. The Financial Select Sector SPDR ETF was off 1.5%, led by nearly losses of at least 3% from Bank of America Corp. , KeyCorp , and Fifth Third Bancorp . The exchange-traded SPDR S&P Bank ETF, which tracks smaller banks, was off nearly 3%, topped by a nearly 5% slide in shares of SVB Financial Group and Bank of the Ozarks Inc. . A 2% tumble in shares of Goldman Sachs Group was cutting more than 30 points from the Dow Jones Industrial Average , which was off about 128 points. Meanwhile, the S&P 500 index was down 0.6% at 2,358 led by financials losses. The Nasdaq Composite Index was down 0.8% at 5,854. The slide came as the yield in the 10-year Treasury note [BX:TMUBMUSD10Y] were at 2.44%. Bond prices and yields move in opposite directions. Lower yields tend to be bad news for banks because it the money they can make from borrowing short-term and lending on a long-term basis.
  • 11:14 AM » It's do-or-die time on health care for Trump and GOP
    Published Tue, Mar 21 2017 11:14 AM by CNBC
    Amid investigations by the FBI on his ties to Russia, President Trump needs to sell Americans on the GOP's health care bill, NBC News reports.
  • 11:10 AM » Lennar Earnings Beat Estimates on Renewed Economic Optimism
    Published Tue, Mar 21 2017 11:10 AM by Bloomberg
    Lennar Earnings Beat Estimates on Renewed Economic Optimism Bloomberg Lennar Corp., the second-largest U.S. homebuilder, reported fiscal first-quarter earnings that beat analysts' estimates and said new orders increased, signaling the start to a strong spring selling season. Your cheat sheet on life, in one weekly email ... and more »
  • 11:10 AM » Rental Apartment Absorption Flat While Condominium Absorption Jumps
    Published Tue, Mar 21 2017 11:10 AM by
    The US Census Bureau, in collaboration with the US Department of Housing and Urban Development, releases data on completions and absorption rates for multifamily buildings with at least 5 apartments. The most recent release shows that completions of nonsubsidized, unfurnished, rental apartments amounted to 73,800 in the third quarter of 2016. This is 11,700 more than the second quarter of 2016, but... Read More ›
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 9:30 AM » Why bonds are still a good bet in a rising rate environment
    Published Tue, Mar 21 2017 9:30 AM by CNBC
    It is typically a mistake to sell bonds when rates rise, says the director of credit at asset manager AllianceBernstein.
  • 9:30 AM » How this real estate mogul picks the perfect location to buy a home
    Published Tue, Mar 21 2017 9:30 AM by CNBC
    You have find the "sweet spot" between the hot spot and the fringe.
  • 9:30 AM » Russian Interest in New York Real Estate Up Big in 2016
    Published Tue, Mar 21 2017 9:30 AM by
    The never-ending quest for the perfect apartment in New York City could be getting that much tougher, new data suggests.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 9:30 AM » Interest Rates After Inflation May Be a Real Bubble
    Published Tue, Mar 21 2017 9:30 AM by Bloomberg
    Interest Rates After Inflation May Be a Real Bubble Bloomberg U.S. equity and debt markets have ridden a reflationary wave this year, thanks to optimism over the momentum of the U.S. economy. However, one key gauge for growth sits awkwardly with this narrative: negative nominal yields adjusted for the price ... and more »
  • 9:28 AM » Fed's Dudley Says Wells Fargo Shows Bank Culture Needs Improving - Bloomberg
    Published Tue, Mar 21 2017 9:28 AM by Bloomberg
    Fed's Dudley Says Wells Fargo Shows Bank Culture Needs Improving Bloomberg The scandal involving Wells Fargo & Co. that surfaced last year shows the U.S. banking industry still has work to do on improving its culture, Federal Reserve Bank of New York President William Dudley said. "Like mortgage brokers in the early 2000s, ... and more »
  • 9:28 AM » CoreLogic US Housing Credit Index Shows A Decrease In Mortgage Credit Risk
    Published Tue, Mar 21 2017 9:28 AM by
    —In Q4 2016 Access to Mortgage Credit Remained Tighter Than One Year Ago— CoreLogic ® (NYSE: CLGX), a leading global property information, analytics and data-enabled solutions provider, today released its Q4 2016 CoreLogic Housing Credit Index (HCI ™ ) that measures variations in home mortgage credit risk attributes over time, including borrower credit score, debt-to-income ratio (DTI) and loan-to-value ratio (LTV). A rising HCI indicates that new single-family loans have more credit risk than during the prior period, while a declining HCI means that new originations have less credit risk. The current HCI shows mortgage loans originated in Q4 2016 continued to exhibit low credit risk consistent with the previous quarter and tighter than in Q4 2015. In terms of credit risk, Q4 2016 loans are among the highest-quality home loans originated since 2001. “Mortgage loans closed during the final three months of 2016 had characteristics that contribute to relatively low levels of default risk,” said Dr. Frank Nothaft, chief economist for CoreLogic. “While our index indicates somewhat less risk than both a quarter and a year earlier, this partly reflects the large refinance share of fourth-quarter originations. Refinance borrowers typically have a lower LTV and DTI than purchase borrowers.” Nothaft observed that mortgage rates have moved higher since November and are anticipated to rise even further during 2017. “Refinance volume will decline with higher mortgage rates, and lenders generally will respond by applying the flexibility in underwriting guidelines to make loans to harder-to-qualify borrowers. As this occurs, we should observe our index signaling a gradual increase in default risk. The evolution to a more purchase-dominated lending mix is also likely to increase fraud risk.”  HCI Highlights as of Q4 2016 (Figures 2-3): Credit Score: The average credit score for...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • Mon, Mar 20 2017
  • 3:49 PM » Wells Fargo reports decrease in retail banking activity for February
    Published Mon, Mar 20 2017 3:49 PM by CNBC
    The bank reports a 55 percent drop in new credit card applications and 43 percent drop in new checking account openings, year over year.
  • 2:29 PM » Private-label mortgage bonds are rising from the grave
    Published Mon, Mar 20 2017 2:29 PM by CNBC
    Remember the sliced and diced mortgage-backed bonds that brought down the U.S. economy? They're back - but possibly evolved.
  • 1:17 PM » House subcommittee to hold hearing tomorrow on CFPB's constitutionality
    Published Mon, Mar 20 2017 1:17 PM by
    Alan S. Kaplinsky The Subcommittee on Oversight and Investigations of the House Committee on Financial Services has scheduled a hearing for tomorrow entitled "The Bureau of Consumer Financial Protection's Unconstitutional Design." The memo from the Committee's Majority Staff to Committee Members states that "the earing will examine whether the structure of the Bureau violates the Constitution as well... More >
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 10:59 AM » Housing: Upside and Downside Risks
    Published Mon, Mar 20 2017 10:59 AM by Calculated Risk Blog
    In a note today, Merrill Lynch economist Michelle Meyer notes a few upside and downside risks for housing. A few excerpts: The housing market is being hit by several cross currents. On the upside, the warmer than-normal weather in the winter likely boosted housing activity over the past few months. The risk, however, is that this could be pulling activity forward from the spring. In addition, the general improvement in the economy and gain in consumer confidence could be underpinning housing activity. The NAHB homebuilder confidence index has climbed higher, reaching a new cyclical high of 71 in March. Clearly builders are optimistic. However, on the downside , interest rates have increased which weighs on affordability . There are also a variety of potential policy changes which can impact the outlook for the housing market. High on the list is financial market deregulation and its impact on the flow of credit. In addition, there seems to be renewed focus on reforming the mortgage finance system and bringing Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac out of conservatorship . In addition, immigration reform could have significant impacts on the housing market over the medium term . emphasis added CR note: If, later this year, the Fed starts to reduce their balance sheet, that might push up longer rates (and pushing up mortgage rates a little more). Another downside risk for housing is reduced foreign buying due to the strong dollar, U.S. political concerns, and capital controls in China.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 9:37 AM » Fed's Kashkari, the lone dissenter, opposed the latest rate hike due to lack of inflation
    Published Mon, Mar 20 2017 9:37 AM by CNBC
    Inflation has a lot of room to rise to target and even a little above without creating worries about an overheated economy, Minneapolis Fed President Neel Kashkari tells CNBC.
  • 9:36 AM » Fed on track to raise rates twice more this year: Evans
    Published Mon, Mar 20 2017 9:36 AM by Reuters
    NEW YORK (Reuters) - The Federal Reserve is on track to raise rates twice more this year after a policy tightening last week, and it could be more or less aggressive depending on fiscal policies and other effects on the economy, a voter on Fed policy said on Monday.
  • 9:35 AM » Chicago Fed "Economic Growth Increased in February"
    Published Mon, Mar 20 2017 9:35 AM by Calculated Risk Blog
    From the Chicago Fed: Economic Growth Increased in February Led by improvements in employment-related indicators, the Chicago Fed National Activity Index (CFNAI) increased to +0.34 in February from -0.02 in January. All four broad categories of indicators that make up the index increased from January, and only one of the four categories made a negative contribution to the index in February. The index's three-month moving average, CFNAI-MA3, improved to +0.25 in February from +0.07 in January, reaching its highest level since December 2014 . February's CFNAI-MA3 suggests that growth in national economic activity was somewhat above its historical trend. The economic growth reflected in this level of the CFNAI-MA3 suggests limited inflationary pressure from economic activity over the coming year. emphasis added This graph shows the Chicago Fed National Activity Index (three month moving average) since 1967. Click on graph for larger image. This suggests economic activity was somewhat above the historical trend in February (using the three-month average). According to the Chicago Fed: What is the National Activity Index? The index is a weighted average of 85 indicators of national economic activity drawn from four broad categories of data: 1) production and income; 2) employment, unemployment, and hours; 3) personal consumption and housing; and 4) sales, orders, and inventories. A zero value for the index indicates that the national economy is expanding at its historical trend rate of growth; negative values indicate below-average growth; and positive values indicate above-average growth.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 8:39 AM » Post-Fed Calm in Treasuries Masks a Raging Bulls-Bears Debate
    Published Mon, Mar 20 2017 8:39 AM by Bloomberg
    Bloomberg Post-Fed Calm in Treasuries Masks a Raging Bulls-Bears Debate Bloomberg The Federal Reserve's rate hike is in the rear view mirror, Treasuries volatility is tumbling and the consensus on Wall Street is for 10-year yields to tread water through June. Yet beneath that apparent calm, the range of forecasts in the latest ... and more »
  • 8:38 AM » Bond Market Calm Is Threatened by Fed's $1.75 Trillion MBS Shift
    Published Mon, Mar 20 2017 8:38 AM by Bloomberg
    Bloomberg Bond Market Calm Is Threatened by Fed's $1.75 Trillion MBS Shift Bloomberg Even as the central bank amassed trillions of dollars of debt to prop up the economy following the financial crisis, it didn't hedge its holdings or worry about gains and losses that might keep ordinary investors up at night. This extreme buy-and-hold ... and more »
  • Fri, Mar 17 2017
  • 2:42 PM » Shopping for a home? You better act fast
    Published Fri, Mar 17 2017 2:42 PM by CNBC
    It's cold outside, but hot indoors, as housing experts say this might be the best time to sell (and a good time to buy).
  • 1:28 PM » As Yellen Complains of 'Noisy' GDP, the Fed Makes a Racket
    Published Fri, Mar 17 2017 1:28 PM by Bloomberg
    Bloomberg As Yellen Complains of 'Noisy' GDP, the Fed Makes a Racket Bloomberg Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen grumbled this week that gross domestic product is a "noisy" number. Lately the source of the racket has been within her central bank. First-quarter GDP estimates from regional Fed banks show widely different views of ... and more »
  • 1:27 PM » Freddie Mac Sells $667 Million NPLs
    Published Fri, Mar 17 2017 1:27 PM by
    Freddie Mac Sells $667 Million NPLs
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 10:54 AM » Digging deep into who struggles to afford housing in your region
    Published Fri, Mar 17 2017 10:54 AM by National Housing Conference
    by Janet Viveiros Most Americans know that there are serious gaps between what housing costs and what people can afford in many communities across the country. Many know this first hand from their struggles to make their rent or mortgage payment each month, others know it secondhand from watching friends and families struggle and others simply hear the periodic news stories about how housing costs in New York City or San Francisco have reached new highs. Despite a general and widespread acknowledgement that affordable housing challenges exist for some, most policymakers and members of the public are not aware of how dramatic the gaps are between what people earn and what they're able to afford, particularly outside of high-cost regions. NHC's recent webinar,"Paycheck to Paycheck: More than Housing ," explored these housing affordability gaps. Few people think about low-cost Midwestern metro areas like Gary, Indiana, or Detroit, Michigan, as being places where workers face serious housing affordability challenges, yet for many, they are. The webinar also shared these key findings from NHC's recent supplement to the data tool, " More than Housing :" Housing costs comprise a significantly higher percentage of income for lower-income households compared to higher-income households. Low-income renters spend relatively more of their income on housing than low-income homeowners.   Both renters and owners are more likely to encounter major housing affordability challenges in and around major cities along the East and West Coasts. As discussed during the webinar, the housing affordability picture changes when you look at typical earnings and housing costs in the context of other household costs. Many working households are not able to make ends meet when you add up all their expenses.  For example, a Colorado family of four with a combined monthly income of $4,749 could fall short of paying for necessary household expenses by...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: National Housing Conference
  • 10:07 AM » Consumer sentiment hits 97.6 in March, vs. 97 estimate
    Published Fri, Mar 17 2017 10:07 AM by CNBC
    Economists expected the University of Michigan's Consumer Sentiment Index to hit 97 in March, according to Thomson Reuters.
  • 9:54 AM » US factory production rose for 6th straight month
    Published Fri, Mar 17 2017 9:54 AM by CNBC
    U.S. factories cranked out more autos, steel and computers in February, the sixth straight monthly increase in manufacturing output.
  • 9:53 AM » Fed's Kashkari wants plan on balance sheet before any more rate hikes
    Published Fri, Mar 17 2017 9:53 AM by Reuters
    (Reuters) - Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank President Neel Kashkari, the lone dissenter against the U.S. central bank's decision this week to raise interest rates, said on Friday the U.S. economy is still falling short on employment and inflation.
  • 9:53 AM » Op-Ed: Why the bond market sell-off is over
    Published Fri, Mar 17 2017 9:53 AM by CNBC
    The Trump trade is creating these opportunities for bonds, says UBS's Mark Haefele.
  • 9:53 AM » Why Eliminating Government Agencies Is A Lot Easier Said Than Done
    Published Fri, Mar 17 2017 9:53 AM by
    President Trump's budget blueprint isn't the administration's only effort to downsize and reorganize the government. It's something many presidents have tried before him.
  • 8:03 AM » Job Surge Fuels Bidding Wars for Record-Low Supply of US Homes
    Published Fri, Mar 17 2017 8:03 AM by Bloomberg
    Job Surge Fuels Bidding Wars for Record-Low Supply of US Homes Bloomberg The winning bidder of a Grand Rapids, Michigan, house has been offered almost $20,000 to hand his purchase contract to another buyer. An agent in Nashville, Tennessee, got a property for his client by cold-calling local homeowners. Near Columbus, Ohio ... and more »
  • Thu, Mar 16 2017
  • 10:17 PM » Lawmaker seeks CFPB fair lending investigation of fintech small business lenders
    Published Thu, Mar 16 2017 10:17 PM by
    Barbara S. Mishkin A Democratic congressman has raised concerns about potentially discriminatory lending practices used by fintech companies that extend credit to small businesses, calling on the CFPB “to vigorously investigate whether [such fintech companies] are complying with all anti-discrimination laws, including the Equal Credit Opportunity Act.” In a letter to Director Cordray dated March 15, 2017, Representative... More >
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 10:15 PM » Trump Proposes $6.2B HUD Cut. What Impact Will It Have on U.S. Cities?
    Published Thu, Mar 16 2017 10:15 PM by
    Housing experts and advocates fear that the $6.2 billion proposed cut to HUD's budget could hurt the poorest Americans and increase homelessness. The post Trump Proposes $6.2B HUD Cut. What Impact Will It Have on U.S. Cities? appeared first on Real Estate News & Advice |® .
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 4:57 PM » HUD Sec Ben Carson champions program Trump budget aims to kill
    Published Thu, Mar 16 2017 4:57 PM by CNBC
    Ben Carson on Thursday touted a program that President Donald Trump's budget aims to obliterate.
  • 3:34 PM » Yellen Faces a New Conundrum as Financial Conditions Defy Hike
    Published Thu, Mar 16 2017 3:34 PM by Bloomberg
    Bloomberg Yellen Faces a New Conundrum as Financial Conditions Defy Hike Bloomberg While the Federal Reserve chair raised interest rates by 25 basis points as expected Wednesday, the outlook was less hawkish than market participants foresaw, with projections for the medium-term tightening cycle largely unchanged. That propelled ... and more »
  • 2:19 PM » The Fed will lead markets, not follow them, says Mohamed El-Erian
    Published Thu, Mar 16 2017 2:19 PM by CNBC
    "There is an ongoing transition in Fed policy. This is a more confident Fed," Mohamed El-Erian tells CNBC.
  • 12:33 PM » Where Millennials Are Looking for Mortgages
    Published Thu, Mar 16 2017 12:33 PM by
    Pittsburgh, D.C., Des Moines lead the list.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

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