News Alerts, Aug. 24, 2013, Morning Edition: Real Estate +

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  1. 5 Best Practices of Business Improvement Districts 5 Best Practices of Business Improvement Districts

    Multi-Family Apartments (5+ units) are considered commercial properties and businesses, so those owners/managers might want to get in on the BID (Business Improvement District) act too.

    Business improvement districts (BIDs) are public/private partnerships that aim to revitalize their communities. While they are busy making their communities more aesthetically pleasing, they’re also improving business conditions. These two factors combined are responsible for BID success. All of this sounds a lot easier than it actually is, so below is a list of the five best practices of a BID – benchmarks to hit to ensure that the BID accomplishes its goals.

    The article lists basic goals and discusses them in brief. Have a look.

    Read the source article … http://www.contigly.net/5-best-practices -of-business-improvement-districts/


  2. Wells Fargo Said to Eliminate 2,300 Mortgage Jobs – Bloomberg

    This is big news if the number of sites posting it is any indication.

    Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC), the biggest U.S. home lender, will eliminate 2,300 jobs in mortgage production because demand for refinancings has slumped and probably will drop more as interest rates rise.

    Other smaller cuts were made in the past few weeks around the country, said people with knowledge of the matter, who asked for anonymity because the changes haven’t been publicly disclosed. The reductions would equal about 20 percent of the firm’s 11,406 mortgage loan officers employed as of March 31.

    Wells Fargo has said mortgage lending will slow for the rest of this year as higher interest rates make refinancing less attractive. Those loans, which made up 70 percent of the mortgage market during the first half, slid to about 50 percent of applications recently and could fall further in coming months, Franklin Codel, head of mortgage production for the San Francisco-based bank, said in a memo to staff yesterday.

    Read the source article … http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-08-21  /wells-fargo-said-to-eliminate-2-300-mo rtgage-jobs.html


  3. The Eurozone’s Misplaced Orthodoxies by Yannos Papantoniou – Project Syndicate

    What happens to the EU economy matters globally. Is the following the right thinking to fix it?

    Austerity must be counted among those failures, for it led to a much deeper recession than was forecast – resulting in persistently large fiscal deficits and high debt/GDP ratios – and made it increasingly difficult for governments to convince citizens that current sacrifice would ensure a better future. And, while privatization, market liberalization, the opening of closed professions, and government downsizing inevitably invite conflict with powerful vested interests – such as protected industries, public-sector trade unions, and professional lobbies – economic hard times raise the stakes and prolong the fight.

    Against this background, a return to growth is imperative. Eurozone leaders should pursue a five-pronged strategy that integrates the current emphasis on reform into a wider context.

    Read the source article … http://www.project-syndicate.org/comment ary/a-middle-ground-reform-strategy-for- the-eurozone-by-yannos-papantoniou


  4. Office Market in the Greater Paris Region Q2 2013. Jones Lang Lasalle

    Paris not so gay:

    At the end of the first half of the year, only 832,900 sq m of offices had been leased in the Greater Paris Region, i.e. a 19% market downturn. This is the lowest quarterly figure recorded since 2009.

    At present this market segment is standing still.

    Read the source article … http://www.joneslanglasalle.fr/France/EN -GB/Pages/ResearchDetails.aspx?TopicName =&ItemID=11842&ResearchTitle=Office


  5. This is no Asian Crisis redux, argues one former IMF staffer. – Real Time Economics – WSJ

    This is also a hugely watched story. This post is the best we've seen on it yet. We especially liked this part:

    Here are several ways 2013 is different from 1997:

    1. Floating exchange rates. Unlike 1997, economies in Asia for the most part don’t maintain currency pegs, which are hard to defend against speculators. So when the rupee or baht or rupiah drops 10%, it might hurts [sic] investors and unnerve businesses in the short term. But in the medium term, it can be a relief valve for the economy, making goods more competitive on the world market and encouraging local consumers to import less. It also lets central banks preserve their foreign exchange reserves to pay for imports and foreign debt.

    The remaining points are well worth considering too.

    Read the source article … http://blogs.wsj.com/economics/2013/08/2 2/asia-1997-vs-asia-2013/


  6. The financial unraveling of southeast Asia

    This one is quite gloomy relative to the WSJ post above:

    It is now well underway. The stock market is Indonesia had several big loss days in a row, with some daily drops over five percent, and their credit-driven economic expansion seems to be over. Weaknesses in commodity markets will hurt them and they did not use their boom to invest sufficiently in future productive capacity, instead preferring to ride upon the glories of higher resource prices and growing credit. The central bank is burning reserves and starting to worry about an eventual crisis scenario.

    I don’t expect these crises to have serious “knock on” problems for the developed nations, but hundreds of millions of vulnerable individuals now face a much worse economic future, at least in the short to medium term.

    It's good to end on a note of compassion.

    Read the source article … http://marginalrevolution.com/marginalre volution/2013/08/the-financial-unravelin g-of-southeast-asia.html


  7. HUD Explains Wait And See Approach To Eminent Domain Plans | BuckleySandler LLP – JDSupra

    HUD also recognizes the “inherent and often indispensable tool” that eminent domain can be for local government to implement public policy. HUD suggests that disputes over this novel proposed use of eminent domain may be a question for the courts and states that, pending further legal and other developments, it does not know whether any new mortgage created out of a seizure would qualify for FHA insurance and cannot currently assess the impact of the seizure of mortgages on the FHA and the broader mortgage market.

    Read the source article … http://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/hud-exp lains-wait-and-see-approach-to-em-15581/


  8. FRB: FOMC Minutes, July 30-31, 2013

    According to the Fed:

    The minutes for each regularly scheduled meeting of the Committee ordinarily are made available three weeks after the day of the policy decision and subsequently are published in the Board's Annual Report. The descriptions of economic and financial conditions contained in these minutes are based solely on the information that was available to the Committee at the time of the meeting.

    FOMC Minutes

    A meeting of the Federal Open Market Committee was held in the offices of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System in Washington, D.C., on Tuesday, July 30, 2013, at 2:00 p.m. and continued on Wednesday, July 31, 2013, at 9:00 a.m.

    Click through for the full Minutes.

    Read the source article … http://www.federalreserve.gov/monetarypo licy/fomcminutes20130731.htm


  9. Economist Debates: The BRIC economies: Statements

    Ryan Avent

    Ruchir Sharma

    Kishore Mahbubani

    A fascinating debate:

    This economic hiccup [emerging market downturn] is prompting intense debate. Some worry it may be a permanent change: the end to a remarkable era of rapid growth that won’t be repeated. The tailwinds that pushed forward the recent boom are dying down, they reckon. Growth owed much to rapid expansion in China, but a richer China in need of economic rebalancing can no longer tow the emerging world along in its wake. The reforming spirit in places like India and Brazil seems to have petered out prematurely, leaving such economies with less room for growth than many once imagined. Soaring commodity prices are plateauing as supply grows and rich-world demand drops, turning a source of strength for commodity producers in Africa and Latin America into a drag. And rich economies are no longer interested in borrowing to gobble up imports from upstart economies, preferring instead to work on raising the competitiveness of their own labour forces. Though many emerging markets may still grow faster than rich-world ones, their performance is likely to disappoint relative to the recent past.

    Others are less sure that the best days are behind the emerging world. Rapid growth in places like China and India was possible thanks to a century of poor economic performance, in which less-developed economies failed to take advantage of new technologies. In 1890 an average American was about six times better off than an average Chinese or Indian. By the early 1990 s the American was doing 25 times better. Relatively minor policy improvements allowed big but poor economies to close the gap quickly.

    Yet plenty of room for catch-up remains. Real output per person in India, for example, is still only 8% of that in America. Other big economies, like Nigeria, are even farther behind. Meanwhile, large emerging markets have taken advantage of some of the gains of the recent boom to lay the groundwork for future growth. China has made enormous infrastructure investments, and educational attainment around the emerging world is rising rapidly.

    To thrash these matters out we are pleased to welcome Ruchir Sharma, head of emerging markets and global macro at Morgan Stanley Investment Management, and Kishore Mahbubani, dean and professor at the National University of Singapore’s Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy.

    China’s leaders seem to realise that the old cheap-labour, export-driven model may no longer work. Also, many in China believe that the last decade was a wasted decade of no reform. Now China’s leaders want to change direction.

    Will they have changed in time? Will they have done enough?

    Read the source article … http://www.economist.com/debate/days/vie w/1001


  10. Mortgage Rates Climbing After More QE3 Hints From The Fed

    This is a very good overview by Dan Green of what is happening with mortgage rates and why.

    One week after reaching their widest spread in history, the 15-year fixed rate mortgage and the 30-year fixed rate mortgage are both worsening. However, the reasons aren't economic — they're psychological.

    Wednesday, the Federal Reserve released the minutes from its most recent meeting. The report gives few hints about the removal of the Fed's market stimulus programs. Wall Street was hoping for more direction.

    In the absence of new information, mortgage rates are rising.

    It is psychological. It's an attempt to anticipate/time the market — understandable but likely premature and harmful to the market. We trust the majority on the Fed's Board will see that and not taper too soon or too much. We need jobs.

    Frankly, we think the 6.5% is too high. 5% would make more sense, and the jobs need to be weighed for the number of hours per week worked and the wage rate paid. We can't fully recover very well at 30 hours or less per week and at minimum wages.

    Read the source article … http://themortgagereports.com/13393/u-s- mortgage-rates-changing-after-july-feder al-reserve-minutes


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