News Alerts, Sept. 2, 2013, Afternoon Edition, 5 New Articles, Real Estate +, Don’t Miss Them

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  1. Top 10 Smart Building Myths—Busted: JLL Debunks Misperceptions- Jones Lang LaSalle

    By Margy Sweeney & Jennifer Harris

    CHICAGO, Aug. 28, 2013—Smart buildings have been proven to save energy, streamline facilities management and prevent expensive equipment failures. Yet, to many property owners and investors, the value of smart buildings remains a mystery. Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL)’s smart building experts debunk the top 10 misconceptions they encounter through their experience helping clients improve company performance around the world.

    “In most buildings, we can demonstrate a strong business case for strategic investments in smart building systems and management technologies,” says Leo O’Loughlin, Senior Vice President of Jones Lang LaSalle’s Energy and Sustainability Services business. “Not everyone is aware that the tremendous advantages of today’s affordable smart building management technologies easily justify the cost.”

    Smart buildings appear to have a great deal going for them. What are the drawbacks if any?

    Read the source article …

  2. Rupee Jumps Most Since 2009 on RBI Support; Bonds, Stocks Rally – Bloomberg

    This story is moving so quickly and there is so much other news going on that it is difficult for us to keep up and to post only the latest news on it. We posted on the rupee’s mini-crash, so we are including this as a tardy update even though FX (Foreign Exchange minute-by-minute) is not our main area of concern but only secondary and as it pertains to current real estate and insurance.

    We may have to post more news items in each News Alert if this keeps up.

    By Adi Narayan, Jeanette Rodrigues & Shikhar Balwani – Aug 28, 2013 10:19 PM GMT-0700

    India’s rupee surged the most since 2009, rebounding from a record low, on speculation a central bank plan to supply dollars to top oil importers will cool demand for foreign exchange. Bonds and stocks rallied.

    The Reserve Bank of India will provide foreign currency to state-run Indian Oil Corp., Bharat Petroleum Corp. and Hindustan Petroleum Corp., which the authority will repurchase after a specified period, according to a statement on its website late yesterday. The rupee plunged the most in 20 years yesterday on concern a surge in oil prices amid political tension over Syria will worsen India’s current account and push the economy toward its biggest crisis since 1991.

    Read the source article …

  3. Emerging market currencies: Reserve judgment | The Economist

    Very complicated to predict with much accuracy, but important to stay abreast of what’s going on:

    Aug 29th 2013, 9:41 by R.A.

    Direct foreign-exchange market intervention depletes reserves; between April and July Indian reserves dropped 5% while Indonesia’s hoard shrank 14%. If reserves are exhausted, affected economies lose the ability to ease their currencies’ declines or support domestic firms. … …use of reserves to support private firms could be trouble if economic conditions deteriorate. In that case bad bank loans, say, would end up on sovereign balance sheets, and the governments would once again find themselves holding a big chunk of foreign-currency denominated debt.

    Read the source article …

  4. David Dayen: Regulatory Apparatus To Provide Full Employment For Chroniclers of Future Bailouts, as Useless Mortgage Origination Rules Introduced – naked capitalism

    Scathing commentary against weakening lending regulators:

    Thursday, August 29, 2013

    By David Dayen

    There’s really been only one line of argument on the side of the mortgage industry, which enabled them to decisively win this round. That’s the claim that forcing a 5% risk retention would “contract credit for first time home buyers and borrowers without large down payments, and prevented [sic] private capital from entering the market.” As James Kwak points out, this is precisely the rationale for the last housing bubble, that actually putting regulations on the go-go mortgage market would disrupt credit, and you just don’t want to do that. We’ve seen decisively that whatever economic benefits come from the disposition of runaway credit are far outweighed by the risks.

    Cheerleaders have touted a housing recovery that will usher in a full economic comeback. The watering down of these origination rules shows the darker side of that happy talk, and all the dangers inherent with the idea that housing can lead a turnaround again. That puts weak-kneed regulators in the situation where they don’t want to take away the punch bowl, and they write rules that back away from any consumer protections for home loan borrowers. We’re not far away from the same kind of lending proposals that proliferated during the crisis. It’s just a matter of time that exemptions get carved out for, say, interest-only or negative amortization loans.

    If David is correct, renting will remain mandatory for home buyers who get in over their heads and lose their homes and equity due to shoddy lending standards and their own ignorance or greed.

    Residential landlords who provide affordable housing under solid management and strong financial backing will continue to profit.

    Read the source article … -origination-rules-introduced.html

  5. Sober Look: Credit growth remains the weakest link in Eurozone’s recovery News Alerts, Sept. 2, 2013, Afternoon Edition, 5 New Articles, Real Estate +, Don't Miss Them

    Tough times still ahead for Spain and much of the EU:

    Wednesday, August 28, 2013

    … a great deal of this weakness in mortgages is generated by Spain (chart below) and Italy to some extent. The collapse in mortgage growth from the peak of 27% per year during the pre-financial crisis years demonstrates the massive housing bubble that Spain is still unwinding.

    Read the source article …