The Path for Housing Is Dangerous

By: Thursday September 13, 2012 12:59 pm

The other channel of a potential economic recovery would be housing. This was the channel that got Paul Krugman so jazzed last week. I should note that the Federal Reserve’s economic projections show basically no difference from their last ones in June, and Bernanke said specifically that housing is “a piston that has not fired” [...]

Principal Reduction Tax Time Bomb Generates More Discussion

By: Tuesday September 11, 2012 10:21 am

About a month ago, I wrote in Salon about a potential time-bomb embedded in the efforts to increase debt relief for mortgages, the expiration of the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act. Finally, some mainstream sources have gotten around to reporting on this, in basically the same way and with even many of the same principals [...]

First Foreclosure Fraud Settlement Report Shows Preponderance of Mortgage Relief from Already-Popular Short Sales

By: Wednesday August 29, 2012 8:40 am

The Office of Mortgage Settlement Oversight has released their initial assessment of the foreclosure fraud settlement. And what they’re finding is that banks are “paying off” their portion of the settlement by engaging in short sales with their borrowers. Which is something they were already doing in greater numbers prior to the settlement. The report [...]

A Look at the Housing Plank of the GOP Platform

By: Wednesday August 29, 2012 7:06 am

The GOP platform was approved and released last night, in that order. There have already been so many reports about parts of the platform, I don’t really feel the need to repeat everyone else. However, few words have been formed about the housing plank of the platform. So let me make my stand there. The [...]

Nobody Offering the Solutions Needed on Housing

By: Friday August 24, 2012 12:15 pm

The New York Times editorial board is sellling the hype over the housing recovery. They stress that even with the recovery we’re seeing in home prices and sales, we are pretty far from what would be considered a normal market. In addition, the structural problems with the housing market persist. High unemployment, poor jobs, stagnating [...]

Short Sales Would Be Subject to Taxation, Too, If Congress Doesn’t Act

By: Thursday August 23, 2012 1:52 pm

The Federal Housing Finance Agency, overseer of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, announced new short sale guidelines that would go into effect November 1. These guidelines are designed to eliminate red tape and encourage short sales as a way for underwater borrowers to get out of their home without going through the foreclosure process. In [...]

Housing Advocates Start Campaign Organizing Underwater Homeowners

By: Thursday August 23, 2012 10:19 am

We’re supposed to turn away from some of the underlying problems in the housing market, because the fundamentals are strong, and a combination of private equity house-flipping and deliberate blight will bring the market back into positive territory. But the truth is that there are still between 11 and 16 million underwater homeowners in America. [...]

Looking at Responses to the Failure of Administration Housing Policy

By: Tuesday August 21, 2012 8:15 am

The response to Binyamin Applebaum’s front-pager on Administration housing policy, which left out the part where the Obama Administration purposefully did as little as possible out of an oversized concern for bank balance sheets, elicited several notable responses. Ezra Klein basically bought the argument that this was a policy failing on the part of the [...]

Treasury Could Force Principal Reductions at the GSEs

By: Thursday August 9, 2012 9:35 am

Last week, when Ed DeMarco rejected principal reductions on Fannie and Freddie loans, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner pronounced himself disappointed. Housing advocates called for DeMarco to be fired; I explained why that won’t happen. And here’s another reason, courtesy Joseph Cotterill. The truth is that the Treasury Department has all the tools it needs to [...]

Why Taxing Olympic Awards Makes Sense

By: Wednesday August 8, 2012 8:55 am

Matt Yglesias writes about the contretemps over “taxing Olympic medals,” which the White House has sadly signed onto in an effort to run away from a wedge issue. First of all, the whole thing shows a poor definition in terms. It’s not the medals themselves that get taxed, it’s the cash rewards handed out by [...]

Why the Administration Won’t Fire Ed DeMarco, Cont’d

By: Monday August 6, 2012 11:00 am

I went through last week why I don’t think Ed DeMarco will be fired. Now Neil BArofsky, who has a passing knowledge of the individuals involved, entered this debate. Last week the acting director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Ed DeMarco, made a familiar argument. He announced that he would not approve the Obama [...]

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