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  • Mon, Mar 3 2014
  • 11:09 PM » Investor Fairholme presses for change at Fannie, Freddie
    Published Mon, Mar 03 2014 11:09 PM by Reuters
    March 3 (Reuters) – Mutual fund manager Bruce Berkowitz, founder of Fairholme Capital Management, is pressing the boards of the mortgage-finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to let investors have a bigger say in how the companies are run. Berkowitz, whose firm filed a lawsuit against the U.S. government last July over changes made [...]
  • 4:58 PM » JPMorgan pays $400 million to settle with Syncora over toxic loans
    Published Mon, Mar 03 2014 4:58 PM by Reuters
    NEW YORK (Reuters) - JPMorgan Chase & Co will pay $400 million to settle lawsuits brought by bond insurer Syncora Guarantee Inc over toxic mortgage-backed securities, according to the insurer.
  • 4:58 PM » Why Were Some Emerging-Market Countries Hit Harder by Taper Talk?
    Published Mon, Mar 03 2014 4:58 PM by WSJ
    Emerging-market nations that fared worst during 2013's so-called "Taper Tantrum" were those whose financial houses were in some level of disorder, a new paper from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco argues.
  • 4:58 PM » What is a Pre-Sale Condo Anyway?
    Published Mon, Mar 03 2014 4:58 PM by
    We're all familiar with the idea of pre-ordering books, movies, video games and devices. You pay for an item before it comes out, ensuring you'll get one of the hottest new gadgets or game consoles. There's a similar process when it comes to buying a condominium, but it's one you're probably less familiar with: the... Read More The post What is a Pre-Sale Condo Anyway? appeared first on Redfin Real Estate Blog .
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 4:57 PM » What Ukraine Means for the Markets
    Published Mon, Mar 03 2014 4:57 PM by
    Global markets have been falling on worries over conflict in the Ukraine. Is this the end of the multi-year bull market that has taken stocks to record highs recently? In a word no, but there are some important economic impacts that will be lasting; below, my top three market takeaways: Oil prices will stay higher than they should be based on demand. There's been a lot of talk in recent months about the impact of the shale oil and gas revolution in the U.S. We've got so much more energy coming online at home, surely it will mean lower prices, especially when you consider that big emerging markets like China are slowing and buying less oil, right? Wrong. The lesson from the Ukraine is that geopolitical risk matters a lot in oil markets - prices were already over $100 thanks to worries over conflict in Syria and general turmoil in the Mid-east. They are now being pushed up further as the situation in the Crimea heats up, even though other commodities have been falling because of slow demand. The world has enough energy - but just the perception that some of it may be cut off is enough to keep prices higher than they should be. High oil and gas prices will allow Russia to play petro-politics with Europe, making effective sanctions difficult to implement. The U.S. isn't dependent on Russian gas, but Europe gets about 40 percent of its supply from Russia, much of it via pipelines that flow through the Ukraine. Germany and the Netherlands in particular will be affected, in part because of bad energy policies that have already pushed up prices in those markets. German banks also have large investments in Russia, so Europe may not be able to play tough on sanctions. Why can't the U.S. just export some of its gas to Europe if Russia plays hardball? Because unlike oil, gas is a localized market - and the first American LNG export terminal won't be completed until next year. U.S. blue chips will likely
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 2:46 PM » Obamacare Effects Account for Most of Income, Spending Increases
    Published Mon, Mar 03 2014 2:46 PM by WSJ
    The Affordable Care Act, President Barack Barack Obama's signature health law, is already boosting household income and spending.
  • 1:03 PM » What is out of whack with housing? (Not the snow)
    Published Mon, Mar 03 2014 1:03 PM by CNBC
    Some analysts believe sluggish home sales are because of seasonal adjustments that are distorted by other factors than the weather.
  • 11:38 AM » Why housing needs a bigger boat for federal funding
    Published Mon, Mar 03 2014 11:38 AM by National Housing Conference
    What we're building by Ethan Handelman, National Housing Conference  If we look at federal appropriations for affordable housing, it's clear that we need to fight for higher overall funding, not just advocate for specific programs. The hole created by unrelenting housing need is too big for a piecemeal approach. Just like in Jaws , let's agree that we need a bigger boat. Looking at the numbers makes this very clear: Most of HUD's funding renews housing assistance to current recipients . That's public housing, project-based Section 8, and current voucher holders. In recent years, just those renewals have consumed 80% to 85% of HUD's budget, and even they have been squeezed. Public housing has not had sufficient capital funds for many years, project-based contracts have started doing some less-than-full-year renewals, and voucher portfolios shrank significantly under sequestration.   When funding drops, everything else gets squeezed, especially HOME and CDBG . The remainder of HUD's budget is mostly the block grants: HOME Investment Partnerships (HOME) and Community Development Block Grants (CDBG). All other HUD programs are small in comparison. Over the last several years, HOME has dropped to just $1 billion, about half of what it was at its height, and CDBG is 16% below what it was in 2001 (yes, more than a decade ago). So if something has to give, it's block grant funding. This waterfall-from existing recipients to block grants and everything else-comes from harsh political reality. No member of Congress wants a headline saying they've cut funding and kicked someone out of their home. Headlines about not funding new properties, shelters, or families are simply easier to handle. So, we need a bigger boat, a larger allocation to the appropriations subcommittee that handles both housing and transportation, so that they can fund existing recipients and new assistance. The only way to accomplish that is with a big coalition...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: National Housing Conference
  • 10:29 AM » January construction spending rises 0.1%
    Published Mon, Mar 03 2014 10:29 AM by Market Watch
    WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- Outlays for U.S. construction projects rose 0.1% in January to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $943.1 billion, led by private projects, the U.S. Commerce Department reported Monday. Economists polled by MarketWatch had expected a 0.4% decrease in January. Private-construction spending rose 0.5% in January, with a 1.1% increase for residential projects and a 0.2% decline for nonresidential projects. Meanwhile, public-construction spending fell 0.8% in January.
  • 10:29 AM » U.S. manufacturing growth accelerates in February - ISM
    Published Mon, Mar 03 2014 10:29 AM by Reuters
    NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. manufacturing growth rebounded off an eight-month low in February, helped by a recovery in new orders, an industry report showed on Monday.
  • 10:26 AM » PNC subpoenaed over mortgage lending practices
    Published Mon, Mar 03 2014 10:26 AM by Reuters
    (Reuters) - PNC Financial Services Group Inc said it received federal subpoenas about its lending practices in relation to certain federally backed mortgage loans.
  • 9:35 AM » U.S. Consumer Spending Rebounds in February
    Published Mon, Mar 03 2014 9:35 AM by
    Americans' self-reported daily spending rebounded in February to an average $87, after a sharp post-holiday decline to $78 in January.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 9:29 AM » U.S. consumer spending rises in January
    Published Mon, Mar 03 2014 9:29 AM by Reuters
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. consumer spending rose more than expected in January, likely as chilly weather boosted demand for heating.
  • 9:27 AM » Investor Fairholme wants governance actions at Fannie, Freddie
    Published Mon, Mar 03 2014 9:27 AM by Reuters
    (Reuters) - Fairholme Capital Management has sent letters to the boards of U.S. government-controlled Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac seeking corporate governance actions, in a push to let investors have a bigger say in how the companies are run.
  • 9:21 AM » US Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index at 57.1 vs. 56.6 estimate
    Published Mon, Mar 03 2014 9:21 AM by CNBC
    This is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.. Financial data firm Markit said the final read of its rose to U.S. Manufacturing Purchasing Managers Index rose to 57.1 in February, above both the preliminary read of 56.7 and expectations for a read of 56.6..
  • 7:59 AM » TARP Funds Demolish Homes in Detroit to Lift Prices: Mortgages
    Published Mon, Mar 03 2014 7:59 AM by Bloomberg
    TARP Funds Demolish Homes in Detroit to Lift Prices: Mortgages Bloomberg In Flint, once a thriving auto-industry hub, excavators with long metal arms and shovels have begun tearing down 1,500 dilapidated homes in an attempt to lift the housing market. The demolitions in this Michigan city of about 100,000 people are part of the  ...
  • 7:55 AM » PNC Says It Was Served Subpoena on From DOJ, CFPB - Bloomberg
    Published Mon, Mar 03 2014 7:55 AM by Bloomberg
    PNC Says It Was Served Subpoena on From DOJ, CFPB Bloomberg PNC Financial Services Group Inc. (PNC) received a subpoena regarding the return rate for its payment-processor clients from the U.S. Department of Justice and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, according to a filing today. The authorities are "seeking  ...
  • 7:54 AM » Statements: Philip A. Laskawy, Chairman, Fannie Mae
    Published Mon, Mar 03 2014 7:54 AM by Fannie Mae
    Fairholme Capital Management sent a letter dated February 28 to Fannie Mae's Board of Directors calling on the Board to take a number of actions related ...
  • 7:52 AM » US bonds rise on 'safe haven' bid
    Published Mon, Mar 03 2014 7:52 AM by CNBC
    U.S. bonds traded higher on Monday, as ongoing turmoil in Ukraine boosted investors' bid for "safe haven assets".
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  • Jumbo 30 Year Fixed 4.80%
MBS Prices:
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  • 30YR FNMA 5.0 105-18 (0-07)
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Recent Housing Data:
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  • Refinance Index -12.75%
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  • Purchase Index -4.75%