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  • Mon, Sep 26 2011
  • 5:17 PM » Realtors await jobs pickup
    Published Mon, Sep 26 2011 5:17 PM by House Financial Services
    Paul Wyche The Journal Gazette Recessions come and recessions go, but the one constant economic rejuvenator has remained housing. That is the mantra of Rick Davidson, president and CEO of Century 21 Real Estate, who was in Fort Wayne on Tuesday to attend the grand opening of Century 21 Bradley Realty Inc.’s new branch at the Dupont Place strip mall, 2928 E. Dupont Road. “Nationally, the industry is still in a market downturn,” Davidson said. “The subprime mortgage crisis and other factors have exacerbated the situation. First, we need job creation, and we also need to eliminate all the uncertainty in Washington regarding the jobs bill. It doesn’t matter what side of the aisle you’re on. The bipartisan fighting needs to stop.” An increase in new housing will eventually follow an infusion of jobs to the economy, Davidson said. Based in Parsippany, N.J., Century 21 Real Estate bills itself as franchiser of the world’s largest residential real estate sales organization. The business has about 8,000 independently owned and operated franchised broker offices and 121,000 agents in 73 countries and territories worldwide. Davidson said he is trying to stay optimistic about President Obama’s jobs bill proposal but said the commander-in-chief’s comments this week are cause for concern. “The president talked about more taxes for Americans who make $1 million or more a year,” but that would penalize many small-business owners if their operations are counted as income. “Most of the job creation is going to come from small business,” Davidson said. “There’s a difference between a company’s income and an individual’s income.” Davidson said that kind of legislation would hurt business owners like Jim Bradley, who is spending up to $1 million at his new leased location that spans 8,500 square feet and includes several technology features, including virtual tours of homes for sale. “We had been in Georgetown Square for 30 years, and I had been waiting and waiting,” said Bradley, who has...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: House Financial Services
  • 2:54 PM » Interest Rates Have Responded to the Feds New Language
    Published Mon, Sep 26 2011 2:54 PM by
    At its August policy meeting, the Federal Reserve took the unprecedented step of establishing a specific future date for policy action given current economic conditions. The intention was to clearly communicate to the public that, in light of what is currently known about the economic outlook, the Federal Reserve expects to keep interest rates extremely low for longer than the public previously believed. A quick look at some of the market reaction to the August (FOMC) statement shows that the change in statement language was successful in altering public expectations of future interest rates and, in turn, current interest rates.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 2:54 PM » Join a conversation with PNC Bank’s Gordon Cameron and FICO CEO Mark Greene
    Published Mon, Sep 26 2011 2:54 PM by FICO
    What are the approaches that banks are taking to create growth in a weak economy with greater regulation? Join a discussion about this next week with FICO CEO Mark Greene and PNC Bank SVP and Credit Executive Gordon Cameron. This special will take place on Friday, October 7, at 6:00 p.m. GMT / 2:00 p.m. EDT / 11:00 a.m. PDT. In conversation with Mark Greene, Gordon Cameron will discuss his upcoming keynote address at , on Revitalizing Growth in the Reset Economy. He will talk about how new regulations and changing customer behaviors have made it imperative for banks to find new approaches to lending. Cameron will also share his views on how analytics need to change to facilitate banking growth, and how banks need to evolve their credit strategies and systems to adapt to rapid change. Greene and Cameron will take questions during the webinar, so and join the discussion. Or , which runs November 1-4 in New York.
  • 12:16 PM » Why Do Women Pay More for Mortgages?
    Published Mon, Sep 26 2011 12:16 PM by National Association of Realtors
    In a recent research paper in the Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, three researchers examined whether women on average pay more for mortgages than men. The analysis found that the disparity in the rates charged to men and women cannot only be explained by the traditional measures, such as mortgage features, borrower characteristics, and market conditions. The authors offer another explanation suggesting that women pay higher rates because they are more likely to choose lenders by recommendation while men tend to search for the lowest rate. Research analysis confirms that search effort is rewarded in marketplace, and suggests that gender disparity in mortgage rates may be addressed by policies aimed at improving women’s financial literacy and search skills. For more information on the research analysis: Source: Cheng, P., Z. Lin and Y. Liu, “Do Women Pay More for Mortgages?” Journal of Real Estate Finance and Economics, Vol. 43, No. 4, 2011.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: National Association of Realtors
  • 12:16 PM » The Foreclosure Lawsuits Show Why Everybody Hates Bailouts
    Published Mon, Sep 26 2011 12:16 PM by
    The Obama administration will have a tough time keeping the banking system stable without angering the Americans people For politicians in Washington, doing the right thing can be hard: sometimes it isn't even clear what is meant by "the right thing." Although elected representatives are put in power to carry out what their constituents want, what happens if policymakers know that the action being called for will result in more harm than good? Right now, the Obama administration finds itself in such a pickle. Will it choose anger to Americans and go easy on the banks despite their foreclosure misdeeds for the sake of financial stability? The Foreclosuregate Dilemma As you probably know, the state attorneys general in conjunction with the Justice Department have sued a number of big banks in conjunction with their allegedly flawed foreclosure practices. This case must end in a settlement, because it's a logistical nightmare to deal with each mortgage lawsuit separately. To create a settlement, however, the states, the federal government, and the banks all have to come to an agreement. That is proving to be a challenge. At this point, the banks can be pretty sure they'll end up having to pay something. Obviously, they want to keep the amount of damages as small as possible. But perhaps more importantly, they want to ensure that their as a part of the settlement: they don't want to face additional lawsuits in connection with these botched foreclosures. But several state attorneys general are and don't want to extend this courtesy to banks. They believe banks have harmed a large number of people through flawed procedures and want the banks to pay for their mistakes. Many Americans agree. The Obama administration may agree too. Unfortunately, its decision to go after the banks isn't as simple as it sounds: a painful settlement for banks could . So does the administration push for an aggressive settlement or go easy for the sake of the U.S...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 9:26 AM » 73 insured banks closed so far
    Published Mon, Sep 26 2011 9:26 AM by NAFCU
    The FDIC announced two insured-bank failures Friday that are expected to cost the Deposit Insurance Fund a combined $305.5 million.
  • 9:25 AM » Dudley: Financial Stability and Economic Growth
    Published Mon, Sep 26 2011 9:25 AM by NY Fed
    Remarks at the 2011 Bretton Woods Committee International Council Meeting
  • 9:24 AM » Europe on Their Minds
    Published Mon, Sep 26 2011 9:24 AM by WSJ
    A sampling of what economic officials from around the world said during the Washington meetings of the International Monetary Fund, World Bank and Group of 20 finance ministers and central bankers over the weekend. Michael Noonan, the Irish finance minister: “It’s a very small world now. We’re like mountain climbers. We’re all roped together and we want to make sure the rope is strong.” Timothy Geithner, U.S. Treasury secretary: “The threat of cascading default, bank runs, and catastrophic risk must be taken off the table, as otherwise it will undermine all other efforts, both within Europe and globally.” Gao Xiqing, president, China Investment Corp.: “We can’t just go save someone. We’re not saviors. We have to save ourselves.” Evangelos Venizelos, Greek finance minister: “No Greek bond will ever go uncovered. Greece will always cover its obligations.” James Flaherty, Canadian finance minister: “This problem in Europe needs to be overwhelmed, as the Americans overwhelmed their problem in late 2008 and early 2009. The sooner the better. Uncertainty and delay are the enemies.” Olivier Blanchard, chief IMF economist: “Clearly the danger is in Europe. First, you have to make clear that the other countries are not like Greece.” Lorenzo Bini Smaghi, European Central Bank executive board member: “Politicians think they know better…. But in the decision-making process they have not understood how markets work. They have created a mechanism that the rest of the world doesn’t understand. This has led markets to think that countries are more likely to default.” Christine Lagarde, IMF managing director: “The bad news is that there are downside risks on the horizon, and they are piling up.” Lawrence Summers, former U.S. Treasury secretary: “If a generous sovereign from Mars paid off Greek debt, the fundamentals of Europe in crisis would not be altered.” Ernesto Zedillo, former president of Mexico: “If something doesn’t happen there that will move us forward, there will be a lot...
  • 9:23 AM » No Rogue Traders, Only Rogue Banks
    Published Mon, Sep 26 2011 9:23 AM by The Big Picture
    > My Sunday Business Washington Post column is out. This morning, we look at the question of who the real rogue is, the eejit trader, or the bank that allows massive losses to occur? My answer is captured in the headline: . Here’s an excerpt from the column: “Thus, firms that highly leverage their capital to put it into the hands of a few thousand employee speculators have a crucial job: They must ensure that capital is being precisely and properly managed. They must make sure that risk levels are tolerable, that proper controls are in place, that their IT systems and internal technology can track what is happening, in as near to real time as possible. This is not easy. It is a complex set of processes that requires constant vigilance. It must be reflected in the corporate culture from the top down. And it becomes more and more complex as the size of the organization grows. The assumption must be that every employee is a potential rogue trader. Banks are supposed to have expertise in preserving capital and managing risk. If they cannot discharge those simple duties, then perhaps they should not be in the business of finance. Most of all, they should not be engaging in behavior that puts taxpayer money at risk. Anyone who runs a shop that has a proprietary trading desk is obligated to do everything in his power to prevent that single employee from bringing down the company. It’s not too hard to see that anyone who earns a bonus by risking the firm’s capital is a potential disaster.” I am pleased I am able to get this into a mainstream paper like the Post, especially considering who their readership is . . . > click for ginormous version of print edition > One minor correction: Somehow in the editing process, my slam on Ace Greenberg, the paperclip recycling CEO of Bear Stearns had his name changed to Hank Greenberg, the CEO of AIG. I’ll have that corrected in the online edition, but the print version is already out there. > Source : Barry Ritholtz Washington...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: The Big Picture
  • 9:22 AM » Meltdown: Secret History of the Global Financial Collapse
    Published Mon, Sep 26 2011 9:22 AM by The Big Picture
    I haven’t seen this yet, but some people have call this a “great documentary” that explains the FINANCIAL MELTDOWN. Part I Parts II, III and IV after the jump Part II Part III Part IV
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: The Big Picture
  • 9:21 AM » Bank Failures per Week in 2011
    Published Mon, Sep 26 2011 9:21 AM by Calculated Risk Blog
    I haven't updated this graph for some time ... There have been 395 bank failures in this cycle (starting in 2007): FDIC Bank Failures by Year 2007 3 2008 25 2009 140 2010 157 2011 1 73 Total 395 1 Through Sept 23, 2011. This graph shows the cumulative bank failures by week in 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011. The FDIC has slowed down recently, and it appears the FDIC will close around 100 banks this year. There are still quite a few problem banks, so there are probably quite a few banks failures to come.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 9:21 AM » Will the Fed's New Policies Revitalize the Housing Market?
    Published Mon, Sep 26 2011 9:21 AM by
    New refinancing activity and additional sales could help to strengthen the economic recovery Congress is gridlocked, consumers are pessimistic, and firms are barely hiring. To speed this recovery up -- or to prevent a double dip -- it might be up to the Federal Reserve. Last week it announced its to revitalize the economy. Its chief target appears to be the still anemic housing market. Will the new policies work? The Fed's Plan The central bank will take two different actions meant to jumpstart the economy. First, there's "Operation Twist." The Fed will attempt to push down long-term interest rates by purchasing $400 billion in Treasury securities with six to 30 year terms. The program will last for nine months -- through June 2012. But here's the clever part: the Fed will sell shorter-dated Treasuries in exchange for bank reserves. This will prevent the Fed from having to expand its balance sheet to purchase longer-term Treasury securities. The relative increase in short term rates should be small, since short-term Treasuries are in high demand and the Fed is keeping other short-term rates low through its other policies. The Fed announced another policy change as well. It has been reinvesting its maturing principal in additional Treasury securities. The central bank will refine that approach by investing maturing principal from its agency bonds and mortgage-backed securities in additional agency mortgage-backed securities. In this way, it will keep the size of its mortgage securities exposure level. But more importantly, this action will also increase the demand for mortgage-backed securities, which should push down mortgage interest rates. The Medicine the Housing Market Needs? In fact, the major target for all of the Fed's new action appears to be the U.S. housing market. Both Operation Twist and the new MBS reinvestment policy should help to push down mortgage interest rates. And they're low already: this week Freddie Mac reports the...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 9:21 AM » BofA may sell mortgage unit to Fortress: report - Reuters
    Published Mon, Sep 26 2011 9:21 AM by Reuters
    Reuters N) is in talks to sell its correspondent mortgage lending unit to a division of Fortress Investment Group LLC, the Wall Street Journal reported on Friday. The largest US bank by assets, which has been saddled by losses and litigation related to its ...
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