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  • Thu, Jan 16 2014
  • 10:43 PM » Federal Reserve Independence in the Aftermath of the Financial Crisis: Should We Be Worried?
    Published Thu, Jan 16 2014 10:43 PM by webfeeds.brookings.edu
    In “Federal Reserve Independence in the Aftermath of the Financial Crisis: Should We Be Worried?” former Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Donald Kohn writes that Federal Reserve independence is at risk, thanks to the dramatic actions that it had to take during and after the global financial crisis. Kohn says keeping the central bank independent from elected politicians is crucial: Across time and across countries, there’s plenty of evidence that less independence leads to more inflation. Kohn lists four risks to the Fed’s independence: Political polarization has “not proven conducive to reasonable discussion of monetary policy and the pros and cons of independence.”  The Dodd-Frank financial reform law trimmed some of the Fed’s powers, an indication of the erosion of trust in and deference to the central bank.  The Fed will likely be prone to political pressure once it begins raising interest rates.  The Fed has been given added responsibilities to restrain the financial system in order to avoid another financial crisis, which could require it to institute unpopular rules such as discouraging certain mortgages. Downloads Federal Reserve Independence in the Aftermath of the Financial Crisis Authors Donald Kohn Publication: The Hutchins Center on Fiscal & Monetary Policy
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: webfeeds.brookings.edu
  • 10:43 PM » Monetary Policy at the Zero Lower bound: Putting Theory into Practice
    Published Thu, Jan 16 2014 10:43 PM by webfeeds.brookings.edu
    In “Monetary Policy at the Zero Lower Bound” author Williams, who has been president of the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco since March 2011, wrote that the Federal Reserve should prepare for possibility that interest rates will hit zero again sometime in the future. Central bankers should not assume that episodes in which short-term interest rates go to zero – the “zero lower bound” – will be infrequent or short-lived. Williams observed that the depth and duration of the recent recession appear extraordinary compared to the U.S. economy’s postwar experience, but a broader look at economic history around the world shows that such deep and long-lasting downturns aren’t all that rare. Williams highlighted the pre-crisis research on such episodes that guided the Fed during the crisis and the unexpectedly prolonged period of zero rates, including explicit public statements by the Fed about the course of future interest rates (known as “forward guidance”) and the Fed’s large-scale asset purchases (often called “quantitative easing”). He details the early difficulties the Fed had in persuading markets and the public that it intended to hold short-term rates low for a long time, although ultimately he believes the guidance proved “highly effective.” Reviewing academic evaluations of large-scale asset purchases, Williams finds a consensus that they have “sizeable effects” on reducing long-term interest rates on U.S. Treasury debt and mortgages, but that there “remains a great deal of uncertainty about the magnitude of these effects and their impact on the overall economy.” He further identifies three key unresolved issues related to the zero lower bound: Should central banks target something other than the inflation rate, such as the price level or nominal Gross Domestic Product...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: webfeeds.brookings.edu
  • 10:41 PM » Treasuries Are Beating Stocks in January After 2013's Drubbing - Bloomberg
    Published Thu, Jan 16 2014 10:41 PM by Bloomberg
    Treasuries Are Beating Stocks in January After 2013's Drubbing Bloomberg Treasuries are beating stocks for the first month since August before data today economists said will show housing starts fell and industrial production slowed. Securities in the Bloomberg U.S. Treasury Bond Index (BUSY) have returned 0.8 percent on  ... and more »
  • 10:41 PM » Bond trading stings Goldman, Citi in fourth quarter
    Published Thu, Jan 16 2014 10:41 PM by Reuters
    (Reuters) - Goldman Sachs Group Inc and Citigroup Inc suffered a steep drop in bond trading revenue in the fourth quarter, a stinging blow for two banks long seen as stalwarts of fixed income markets.
  • 7:35 PM » With Senate's OK, $1.1 Trillion Spending Bill Heads To Obama
    Published Thu, Jan 16 2014 7:35 PM by www.npr.org
    The wide-ranging federal spending bill will prevent any gaps in government funding as well as take some of the sting out of automatic spending cuts. The House approved it Wednesday.
  • 7:35 PM » Treasury sells shares of Ally Financial as the lending giant remakes itself
    Published Thu, Jan 16 2014 7:35 PM by Washington Post
    The fortunes of the once-beleaguered auto lender Ally Financial have risen with the rebirth of the car industry. Booming demand for auto financing has helped the firm regain its footing after the economic crisis brought it to the brink of collapse. Read full article >>        
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Washington Post
  • 4:55 PM » CFPB settles RESPA referral fee charges against mortgage lender based on rent payments
    Published Thu, Jan 16 2014 4:55 PM by www.cfpbmonitor.com
    Richard J. Andreano, Jr., The CFPB has announced that it has issued a Consent Order to settle charges that a mortgage lender and its principal violated RESPA Section 8 by paying illegal kickbacks to a bank in exchange for mortgage loan referrals. According to the Consent Order, the lender had entered into an agreement with a bank in which the... More >
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: www.cfpbmonitor.com
  • 4:51 PM » Realtors® Rate Exterior Replacement Projects Among Most Valuable Home Improvements
    Published Thu, Jan 16 2014 4:51 PM by Google News
    WASHINGTON (January 16, 2014) – A home’s curb appeal is crucial because it can be the first thing buyers notice about a home. That’s why Realtors® rated exterior projects among the most valuable home improvement projects in the 2014 Remodeling Cost vs. Value Report . “With many factors to consider such as cost and time, deciding what remodeling projects to undertake can be a difficult decision for homeowners,” said National Association of Realtors® President Steve Brown, co-owner of Irongate, Inc., Realtors® in Dayton, Ohio. “... Read More
  • 2:44 PM » Fed's Williams Questions Whether QE Should Remain in Toolkit
    Published Thu, Jan 16 2014 2:44 PM by WSJ
    San Francisco Fed President Williams said that researchers should continue to explore whether massive bond purchases should be part of the central bank toolkit when short-term interest rates are zero but the economy still needs support.
  • 2:44 PM » Americans' Satisfaction With Economy Sours Most Since 2001
    Published Thu, Jan 16 2014 2:44 PM by www.gallup.com
    More Americans today are satisfied with where the nation stands on acceptance of gays and lesbians, federal taxes, and healthcare availability than were satisfied in 2001. But Americans' satisfaction with the economy has declined.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: www.gallup.com
  • 2:43 PM » Housing crash hit minority communities hardest, study shows
    Published Thu, Jan 16 2014 2:43 PM by Reuters
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The rise and fall of U.S. home values during the housing bubble and bust disproportionately affected black and Hispanic homeowners, real estate website Zillow said in a study released on Thursday. Hispanic communities were hit hardest by the collapse of the real estate market, with home values in those neighborhoods falling an [...]
  • 2:41 PM » News Release - Fannie Mae Multifamily Issues $28.5 Billion of ...
    Published Thu, Jan 16 2014 2:41 PM by Fannie Mae
    Fannie Mae announced today that it issued approximately $28.5 billion of multifamily MBS in 2013, ending the year with multifamily MBS issuance of ...
  • 2:40 PM » Economists Give Bernanke a B for Final Grade, Expect QE3 to End This Year
    Published Thu, Jan 16 2014 2:40 PM by WSJ
    The Fed will wind down its monthly bond-buying program this year as the economy gradually picks up steam, according to most of the economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal. A plurality of the economists, 45%, gave Bernanke a low "B" for his crisis-ridden eight-year tenure.
  • 2:40 PM » Wells Fargo Plans $1.5 Billion Bond Offering; Credit Swaps Rise - Bloomberg
    Published Thu, Jan 16 2014 2:40 PM by Bloomberg
    Wells Fargo Plans $1.5 Billion Bond Offering; Credit Swaps Rise Bloomberg Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC) is planning to sell $1.5 billion of seven-year bonds after posting record fourth-quarter profit. A gauge of U.S. corporate credit risk snapped a two-day decline. The biggest U.S. home lender may issue the notes as soon as today to yield  ...
  • 12:21 PM » Bernanke cracks wise: The best QE joke ever!
    Published Thu, Jan 16 2014 12:21 PM by CNBC
    As a comedian Ben Bernanke makes a heck of a central banker.
  • 12:20 PM » Taking the Temperature of the Market
    Published Thu, Jan 16 2014 12:20 PM by freddiemac.mwnewsroom.com
    Taking the Temperature of the Market
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: freddiemac.mwnewsroom.com
  • 10:50 AM » Dwindling Inventory Drove Atypical December Price Growth
    Published Thu, Jan 16 2014 10:50 AM by blog.redfin.com
    While home inventory was high on buyers' wish list in December, Santa didn't come through. As 2013 came to a close, the total number of homes for sale slipped 14.2 percent across 19 Redfin markets, sustaining buyer frustrations about their limited choices. The increasing scarcity of homes combined with rising sales triggered an unseasonable boost in December prices of 0.8 percent. Read More The post Dwindling Inventory Drove Atypical December Price Growth appeared first on Redfin Real Estate Blog .
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: blog.redfin.com
  • 10:28 AM » Freddie Mac: Fixed Mortgage Rates Move Lower on Economic Data
    Published Thu, Jan 16 2014 10:28 AM by freddiemac.mwnewsroom.com
    Fixed Mortgage Rates Move Lower on Economic Data
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: freddiemac.mwnewsroom.com
  • 10:28 AM » OCC Proposes Formal Guidelines for Its Heightened Expectations for Large Banks
    Published Thu, Jan 16 2014 10:28 AM by OCC
    The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) today released a proposal setting forth new standards, based on the agency's heightened expectations program, for large national banks and federal savings associations that would be enforceable under part 30 of its regulations.
  • 10:28 AM » Freddie Mac Multifamily Research Highlights Borrower Default Behavior
    Published Thu, Jan 16 2014 10:28 AM by freddiemac.mwnewsroom.com
    Freddie Mac Multifamily Research Highlights Borrower Default Behavior
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: freddiemac.mwnewsroom.com
  • 10:27 AM » Builder sentiment falls slightly in January
    Published Thu, Jan 16 2014 10:27 AM by CNBC
    Home builder confidence dipped in January as rising construction costs and inaccurate appraisals hurt some home sales.
  • 10:27 AM » Volcker rule changes bring relief to small banks
    Published Thu, Jan 16 2014 10:27 AM by CNBC
    A provision prohibiting banks from keeping investments in CDOs backed by hybrid securities called trust preferreds ignited a controversy.
  • 9:09 AM » Flagstar Announces Organizational Restructuring to Reduce Costs and Enhance Profitability
    Published Thu, Jan 16 2014 9:09 AM by Flagstar
    Initiative Expected to Ensure Long-Term Sustainability of Earnings TROY, Mich., Jan. 16, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Flagstar Bancorp, Inc. (NYSE: FBC) ("Flagstar" or the "Company") today announced that it has implemented an organizational restructuring to reduce expenses in light of the current operating environment and consistent with its previously communicated strategy of optimizing its cost structure across all business lines. "In 2013 we made important progress in resolving certain legacy issues, and we are now focused on further strengthening our financial and operational foundation," said Alessandro (Sandro) DiNello, Flagstar's President and Chief Executive Officer. "We are committe...
  • 9:06 AM » The Wall Street Journal: Citigroup earnings rise but fall short of expectations
    Published Thu, Jan 16 2014 9:06 AM by Market Watch
    Citigroup's fourth-quarter profit more than doubles from a year earlier as the bank reined in expenses and bounced back from a 2012 quarter weighed down by heavy charges.
  • 9:05 AM » Fed's Williams: Nagging concerns over QE impact
    Published Thu, Jan 16 2014 9:05 AM by Market Watch
    WASHINGTON (MarketWatch)-- The Federal Reserve's asset purchase programs have proven "a potent but blunt tool" that still unsettles policy makers, said John Williams, president of the San Francisco Federal Reserve Bank, on Thursday. "There are nagging concerns that large-scale asset purchases carry with them particular risks to the economy or the health of the financial system that we still don't fully understand," Williams said in a paper delivered at a Brookings Institution seminar on U.S. monetary policy. The Fed seems on a steady path to taper its bond purchases this year in part because uncertainty over the program. Williams called for a "new flurry of research" by academics on asset purchases and the central bank's overall response to the financial crisis. Williams said academics should ponder whether central banks might have to raise their inflation targets above 2% to provide a sufficient cushion above the zero-bound. Another issue is whether the Fed should target the path of GDP adjusted for inflation instead of a simpler inflation target. The central bank's new forward guidance tool seems "overly simplified and prone to misinterpretation," he said.
  • 9:05 AM » Jobless claims fall for second consecutive week
    Published Thu, Jan 16 2014 9:05 AM by Reuters
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits fell for a second week last week, suggesting a sharp slowdown in job growth in December was likely to be temporary.
  • 9:05 AM » Consumer prices post largest gain in six months
    Published Thu, Jan 16 2014 9:05 AM by Reuters
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. consumer prices recorded their largest increase in six months in December as gasoline prices rebounded, but there was little to suggest a broader pick-up in prices with underlying inflation muted.
  • 8:21 AM » Foreclosures Fall to Lowest Since '07 as Housing Rebounds - Bloomberg
    Published Thu, Jan 16 2014 8:21 AM by Bloomberg
    Foreclosures Fall to Lowest Since '07 as Housing Rebounds Bloomberg Foreclosure filings fell last month, capping a year in which the number of homes in the repossession process dropped to the lowest level since 2007 amid rebounding U.S. property prices. Default, auction and repossession notices in December fell 1 percent  ... and more »
  • 8:18 AM » What's hot in the real estate market
    Published Thu, Jan 16 2014 8:18 AM by CNBC
    Investors are jumping back into the real estate market and reaping big payoffs in distressed properties, home rentals and multi-apartment dwellings.
  • 8:17 AM » Citigroup posts earnings of 82 cents a share vs. 95 cents estimate
    Published Thu, Jan 16 2014 8:17 AM by CNBC
    This is a breaking news article. Analysts had expected Citigroup to report earnings on a fully reported basis of 95 cents a share on $18.18 billion in revenue, according to a consensus estimate from Thomson Reuters. What is Citigroup stock doing now?
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