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  • Thu, May 22 2014
  • 11:12 PM » How Warren Buffett Would Cash In On Mobile Home Deregulation
    Published Thu, May 22 2014 11:12 PM by The Huffington Post
    WASHINGTON -- Warren Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway conglomerate owns the two dominant lenders in the mobile home business -- 21st Mortgage Corp., and Vanderbilt Mortgage and Finance Co. Buffett's companies on Thursday manhandled the House Financial Services Committee, securing bipartisan passage of a bill to let them charge borrowers higher fees and interest rates on loans for manufactured housing. The bill passed along with other deregulation measures that would eliminate many investor protections and allow lenders to charge higher fees on mortgages. Democrats overwhelmingly opposed seven of the bills that would punch loopholes in Securities and Exchange Commission rules requiring firms to disclose business information to their investors. Two more modest measures -- one changing the definition of investment advisors, another requiring an SEC study -- garnered unanimous support. But the mobile home bill and separate legislation to increase title insurance fees passed with substantial Democratic backing, despite objections from consumer protection advocates and progressive members, including Rep. Keith Ellison (D-Minn.). The extent of bipartisan support for the consumer bills is unclear, since both passed via voice vote -- meaning there was no official tally of lawmaker positions, giving cover to Democrats who don't want to go on record supporting the bill as it stands. The most prominent Democratic supporter of the mobile home deregulation, Rep. Terri Sewell of Alabama, is working to lower the sky-high interest rates proposed under the version that passed Thursday. Loans for manufactured housing are tricky for consumer advocates. Traditional mortgages offer buyers of traditional homes the ability to own an asset that may increase in value. That's not the case for the vast majority of manufactured homes, which lose value as soon as they are purchased, much like automobiles. More than 22 million Americans live in manufactured homes, and about 8 million loans...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: The Huffington Post
  • 11:11 PM » Fed's Williams: Expected ‘Much Stronger Tailwind' from Housing
    Published Thu, May 22 2014 11:11 PM by WSJ
    Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco President John Williams said that in an economy that's clearly on the mend, he's been caught off guard by weakness in the housing sector.
  • 11:11 PM » High & Low Finance: The Financial Crisis, Already Forgotten
    Published Thu, May 22 2014 11:11 PM by rss.nytimes.com
    Amnesia seemed to be in force as the House Financial Services Committee met this week for a hearing on "the dangers" of financial regulation.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: rss.nytimes.com
  • 10:57 PM » Fannie Sees Flaws in Group's Black Mortgage-Denial Claims - Bloomberg
    Published Thu, May 22 2014 10:57 PM by Bloomberg
    Fannie Sees Flaws in Group's Black Mortgage-Denial Claims Bloomberg Fannie Mae (FNMA) said it sees "serious flaws" with a figure for the denial rate of black mortgage applicants cited by the president of the home-loan industry's largest trade group. Mortgage Bankers Association President David Stevens said this week that ... and more »
  • 3:21 PM » The Central Contradiction of Capitalism that Piketty Overlooked
    Published Thu, May 22 2014 3:21 PM by The Huffington Post
    It is instructive to observe the reaction to the Piketty phenomenon -- a 700-page treatise on political economy that became an overnight Amazon bestseller deserving, according to Larry Summers , of a Nobel Prize. It is similarly instructive to note the spectacle of the viral Russell Brand interview with the BBC's Jeremy Paxman in which Brand pretty much shreds Paxman and calls for revolution. I can't claim to have actually read Piketty's tome, but I've read a lot of the reviews, and I have watched the Russell Brand video. Regardless of where you come down on their arguments, the response to Piketty's book and the wide appeal of Brand's rant taken together tell us that trouble is brewing. However, the trouble is far deeper than what the media is currently hyping. While it is true that the long-term dynamics of unequal wealth distribution are indeed unsustainable and unconscionable as Piketty highlights in Capital in the 21st Century , a reality much less obvious, and yet more "terrifying" (to use a Piketty expression) is buried in the data of those 700 pages. In the concluding section of his book, Piketty calls r > g g the "central contradiction of capitalism," where r is the return on capital invested and g is the economy's growth rate. The latter, Piketty suggests, is what determines wage growth rates. The central contradiction, he elaborates, is that since returns to capital exceed returns to labor is hard-wired into the system, so too is rising inequality, absent wars or depressions. I for one fail to see how this is the "central contradiction of capitalism." Piketty's discovery, out of his exhaustive search and analysis of the data, is that Nobel Prize-winning economist Simon Kuznets and his hypothesis of a "Kuznets Curve" was wrong. Income inequality does not, Piketty asserts, first increase as a country develops, and then reverse course and decline along some inverted U-shaped curve...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: The Huffington Post
  • 3:17 PM » Employment Scars of the Housing Bust
    Published Thu, May 22 2014 3:17 PM by Calculated Risk Blog
    More insight from Atif Mian and Amir Sufi at House of Debt: Employment Scars of the Housing Bust One way to see the scars of the housing bust is to look at the unemployment rate today in counties that saw the biggest decline in house prices. As we argue in the book, such an approach actually significantly underestimates the impact of the house price-driven spending collapse. This is because even people living in areas that were not hit by housing lost their jobs when people living in areas where house prices crashed stopped buying goods.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 2:25 PM » This is a ticking time bomb for banks
    Published Thu, May 22 2014 2:25 PM by CNBC
    Five years after the economic crisis, banks have a huge problem that could start extracting a significant toll on their bottom lines.
  • 2:23 PM » The Racist Housing Policy That Made Your Neighborhood
    Published Thu, May 22 2014 2:23 PM by The Atlantic
    The freewheeling opportunity associated with 20th-century California was not available to black residents, and that exclusion reverberates in our neighborhoods and communities today.
  • 2:16 PM » Blackstone Pays Up to Sell Almost $1 Billion of Rental Bonds - Bloomberg
    Published Thu, May 22 2014 2:16 PM by Bloomberg
    Blackstone Pays Up to Sell Almost $1 Billion of Rental Bonds Bloomberg Investors demanded mostly higher relative yields to buy securities tied to rental houses managed by Blackstone Group LP (BX)'s Invitation Homes as the largest single-family landlord completed the new market's biggest deal. A $108.5 million portion of the ...
  • 12:19 PM » Condo sales surge ahead of single-family homes
    Published Thu, May 22 2014 12:19 PM by CNBC
    Condo sales surged 7 percent in April, part of trend of people looking to streamline their finances and their way of living.
  • 11:31 AM » Wells CEO: American Dream will die, unless...
    Published Thu, May 22 2014 11:31 AM by CNBC
    The U.S. may become a nation of renters because of constraints on lenders, said ex-Wells Fargo boss Richard Kovacevich.
  • 10:53 AM » Why Housing Isn't As Cheap as It Looks
    Published Thu, May 22 2014 10:53 AM by WSJ
    An analysis from Goldman Sachs shows that houses aren't affordable for marginal buyers, including entry-level buyers, than broad indexes suggest.
  • 10:30 AM » Existing home sales rebound, inventory increases
    Published Thu, May 22 2014 10:30 AM by CNBC
    Home resales rose in April and the supply of properties on the market increased, suggesting the housing market was regaining its footing.
  • 10:29 AM » Fixed Mortgage Rates Near Seven Month Low Heading Into Memorial Day Weekend
    Published Thu, May 22 2014 10:29 AM by freddiemac.mwnewsroom.com
    Fixed Mortgage Rates Near Seven Month Low Heading Into Memorial Day Weekend
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: freddiemac.mwnewsroom.com
  • 9:59 AM » Why Overhauling Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Needs Congress
    Published Thu, May 22 2014 9:59 AM by WSJ
    A former top housing adviser in the Obama White House lays out the case for why only Congress can overhaul mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
  • 9:58 AM » Black Knight Financial Services' "First Look" at April 2014 Mortgage Data
    Published Thu, May 22 2014 9:58 AM by LPS
    Black Knight Financial Services' "First Look" at April 2014 Mortgage Data<br/>http://www.lpsvcs.com/LPSCorporateInformation/NewsRoom/Pages/20140522.aspx
  • 9:05 AM » Treasurys cut losses after jobless claims
    Published Thu, May 22 2014 9:05 AM by Market Watch
    NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- Treasurys prices cut losses Thursday after data showed the number of people applying for unemployment benefits rose by more than Wall Street expected. Jobless claims jumped by 28,000 last week to 326,000, above the 315,000 expected by MarketWatch-polled economists. After the data, the 10-year note yield was up half a basis point at 2.539%. The 30-year bond yield fell half a basis point to 3.410%, and the 5-year note yield rose 1.5 basis points to 1.538%. Investors will look to data on existing home sales at 10 a.m. Eastern, and an auction of 10-year Treasury inflation-protected securities at 1 p.m.
  • 9:04 AM » Jobless claims rise; still close to pre-recession level
    Published Thu, May 22 2014 9:04 AM by Reuters
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The number of Americans filing new claims for unemployment benefits rose last week but stayed close to a seven-year low and pointed to ongoing healing in the labor market.
  • 8:27 AM » Real Estate and the Recovery: Rent or Buy? The Math Is Changing
    Published Thu, May 22 2014 8:27 AM by rss.nytimes.com
    In expensive places like California and the Northeast, buying a home again looks like a perilous investment.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: rss.nytimes.com
  • 8:24 AM » Wall Street to eye initial claims, home sales
    Published Thu, May 22 2014 8:24 AM by CNBC
    U.S. stock index futures pointed to a higher open on Wall Street on Thursday, with initial jobless claims data and home sales reports in focus.
  • 8:23 AM » US bonds decline after Fed reassures on rate hike
    Published Thu, May 22 2014 8:23 AM by CNBC
    U.S. Treasury bonds continued to decline on Thursday, after minutes from the Federal Reserve's latest meeting indicated no plans to hike interest rates soon.
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