News Alerts. Sept. 28, 2013. Morning Edition. #RealEstate

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  1. Three ideas to solve Seattle's affordable housing shortage | Opinion Northwest | Seattle Times

    This is an interesting and not unimportant article. It's a public discussion that ought to be had. Affordable housing is severely lacking, which pushes more individuals and families out onto the streets and into tent villages and such.

    Frankly, what's wrong with the old-fashioned boardinghouse idea? With modern updates, couldn't they work just fine for plenty of people?

    If rent continues to eat up a greater portion of paychecks, though, the working poor and young adults will soon be priced out of the city's urban core. Allowing that to happen will make Seattle less diverse and exacerbate traffic problems by forcing more people to live farther out and drive to work. Also, the more people spend on housing, they [sic] less they save or spend on food and the local economy.

    Read the source article … http://blogs.seattletimes.com/opinionnw/ 2013/09/26/seattle-rent-housing-sightlin e-alan-durning/


  2. Kocherlakota Says Fed Must Do 'Whatever It Takes' for Growth – Businessweek

    Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis President Narayana Kocherlakota, a voter on policy next year, said the Fed must do "whatever it takes" to strengthen a job market that is healing too slowly.

    The Fed should be "willing to use any of its congressionally authorized tools to achieve the goal of higher employment, no matter how unconventional those tools might be," Kocherlakota said….

    "Doing whatever it takes will mean keeping a historically unusual amount of monetary stimulus in place — and possibly providing more stimulus — even as" the medium-term inflation outlook temporarily rises above the Fed's 2 percent goal and asset prices reach "unusually high levels," he said.

    "There's a number of tools still at the Fed's disposal," including lowering the interest on excess reserves, he said. The symbolism of such a move "could be relatively powerful" because it would provide evidence of the central bank's resolve to support the economy, he said.

    Read the source article … http://www.businessweek.com/news/2013-09 -26/kocherlakota-says-fed-must-do-whatev er-it-takes-to-spur-growth


  3. mainly macro: The scandal of the austerity deception

    By Simon Wren-Lewis … "In the end, you are either a big-state person, or a small-state person, and what big-state people hate about austerity is that its primary purpose is to shrink the size of government spending."

    Cuts in government spending are being justified by the need to reduce debt and not because of the virtues of a small state.

    Had you ever seen it juxtaposed that way before? Had you been aware of the deception before?

    It's good in our eyes that a small-state/macro economist revealed it because now it can't be said that a fiscal dove is just being ideological in opposing austerity right now during a recovery, the worse time to cut government spending.

    Read the source article … http://mainlymacro.blogspot.com/2013/09/ the-scandal-of-austerity-deception.html


  4. Bruegel | Is there a path to political union?

    Perhaps you'll be surprised to learn that in Europe, the South trusts the EU government as much or more than their own national governments.

    …despite the big loss of trust and confidence, European institutions remain more trusted than national institutions. This is especially the case in those countries that have been experiencing the "toughest face" of Europe, i.e. programme countries as well as Italy and Spain. Before the crisis, trust in European institutions was the highest across Southern countries, and the confidence gap between European and national institutions, was very large. Four dreadful years later, Southern Europeans still trust the European institutions more than their national ones. Trust in the national institutions[5] has literally collapsed in the South during the crisis, signalling a broader crisis of leadership, of confidence in the elites and in domestic political institutions more generally, rather than sole a loss of confidence in Europe and EU institutions. Figures on trust in political parties are not included here, but if they were, the numbers would look even more appalling for national institutions. Northern Europeans, on the other hand, used to trust European and National institution more or less equally, before the crisis, with a slight advantage for European institutions that went lost with the intensification of the crisis in 2011-12. What is striking here is that confidence in European institutions remains relatively high but now falls behind that in national institutions. Essentially, Northern European citizens seems to feel vindicated both by their economic and political models, which are gaining in terms of trust with respect to the European institutions. This is potentially very meaningful for the appetite for closer political integration in this part of Europe.

    In Germany…while confiden ce in European institutions is relatively low but stable, trust in the federal government is rising and trust in the national government has recently surpassed trust in the Commission. This could potentially explain the recent discussion about repatriating powers from the EU and increasing direct cooperation between Member States. All in all, between a France that is not fundamentally less confident in the EU but clearly less confident in its own political institutions and a Germany that is increasingly turning national, there seems to be little hope for the traditional Franco-German engine to drive the European discussion on political union.

    Read the source article … http://www.bruegel.org/nc/blog/detail/ar ticle/1153-is-there-a-path-to-political- union/


  5. Sober Look: BOJ's aggressive QE finally brought down JGB yields

    The Bank of Japan was able to lower Japanese government bond yields after an unexpected spike earlier this year (see post). The 10yr JGB is now yielding around 70bp, corresponding to about minus one percent of real yield.

    The effectiveness of this program however is yet to be demonstrated.

    It's early yet.

    Read the source article … http://soberlook.com/2013/09/bojs-aggres sive-qe-brings-down-jgb.html


  6. Would You Rather Pay Your Rent to a Bum Landlord or a Wall Street Investor? – Emily Badger – The Atlantic Cities

    William D. Cohan has a very interesting piece in the October issue of The Atlantic on Wall Street's renewed enthusiasm for real estate — this time not for the lure of mortgage-backed securities, but for the seemingly less exotic promise of rental properties.

    Five years after the housing crash, Cohan writes, "the fast money has returned to the housing market, but in a more tangible way: big, institutional investors are buying up thousands of single-family houses out of foreclosure, renovating them if needed, and renting them out to people who can no longer afford to buy them."

    The catch here is that these investors aren't merely trying to flip these foreclosed homes, selling them once their value has gone up. They're trying to pioneer a new business model by "professionally" managing them as rental properties in a climate where homeownership is broadly on the wane.

    Well, that's pretty old news now, but the title of the article piqued our interest with "Bum Landlord." The thing is that while there are bad small landlords, there are also excellent ones. Also, many people have had bad experiences dealing with extremely large organizations, not that Blackstone will necessarily do a bad job managing its portfolio.

    Read the source article … http://m.theatlanticcities.com/jobs-and- economy/2013/09/would-you-rather-pay-you r-rent-bum-landlord-or-wall-street-inves tor/6985/


  7. Soros to Goldman Poised to Win on Crisis-Era Housing Bet [Against the FHA] – Bloomberg

    Cui bono?

    Goldman Sachs Group Inc., JPMorgan Chase & Co. and billionaire George Soros are poised for gains from a housing bet placed in the depths of the financial crisis.

    The industry can grow by taking business from the government, Ibrahim said. U.S. programs, led by the Federal Housing Administration, accounted for about a quarter of the market in 2005 through 2007, according to data from Inside Mortgage Finance.

    As private companies retreated in the crisis, the proportion of insured loans backed by the FHA and Department of Veterans Affairs reached almost 85 percent in 2009. The figure fell to 63 percent in the three months ended June 30.

    "Everybody has an opportunity to get bigger because the whole size of the pie will get bigger with the FHA pullback," Ibrahim said.

    Read the source article … http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-09-24  /soros-to-goldman-poised-to-win-on-cris is-era-housing-bet.html


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