What the Housing Market Actually Looks Like

By: Thursday December 20, 2012 8:30 am

This week brought more good statistical news for the housing market. Existing home sales rose at a decent clip in November, nearing post-bubble highs not seen since the artificial spike from the homebuyer’s tax credit (I’ve noted that the end of the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act could be giving the same spike). Inventory fell [...]

Banks Rake In Profits – Largely From Government Supports

By: Wednesday December 5, 2012 3:37 pm

It goes without saying that you should not weep for the banking industry. In the years following a Great Recession they caused, they still manage to churn out record profits. This is the 13th straight quarterly rise in profits for financial institutions. The industry’s third-quarter earnings jumped 6.6% from the same period in 2011, to [...]

White House Makes Aggressive Opening Bid in Fiscal Slope Negotiations

By: Thursday November 29, 2012 3:54 pm

In the context of doing a deficit reduction deal at all, this is an extremely strong bid that Tim Geithner delivered to John Boehner today. Now we know why Boehner whined and cried all afternoon. Let’s walk through it. House Republicans said on Thursday that Treasury Secretary Timothy F. Geithner presented the House speaker, John [...]

Household Formation Starts to Climb

By: Thursday November 8, 2012 1:03 pm

Hurricane Sandy, and now the nor’easter storm that’s blown through the Northeast, has obviously caused a lot of devastation from an economic standpoint. That extends to the housing market. The 90-day moratorium on foreclosures will dry up a lot of inventory for speculators. And it’s already cutting into the mortgage application index. “Last week’s storm [...]

More Noises About Administration Firing Ed DeMarco After the Election

By: Friday November 2, 2012 1:00 pm

Zach Carter find yet another indicator that, after the election, Barack Obama plans to fire Federal Housing Finance Agency Administrator Ed DeMarco. But this claim has even less meat on its bones than the previous pledge. It comes from Bank of America analyst Ralph Axel, who argues that the Administration plans to use housing policy [...]

Freddie Mac Resisted Mass Refinancing Programs

By: Monday October 29, 2012 12:27 pm

I’m glad Jesse Eisinger went back and examined why one of the GSEs failed to offer mass refinancing for years, until the federal government basically insisted. But I think this is a story that attempts to set up a binary ideological dynamic where Occam’s razor suggests a lot of bipartisanship in neglecting homeowners. To start, [...]

Romney Campaign Advisor Pinned Down on Housing Policies

By: Monday October 22, 2012 10:51 am

Mike Konczal decided to do some sorely missed actual reporting at last week’s debate, seeking out Glenn Hubbard, one of Mitt Romney’s key economic advisers, for a discussion on housing policy.

Puncturing the Housing Optimism Bubble

By: Tuesday October 16, 2012 10:06 am

The housing bulls have really started to run wild now. One of them planted this rose-colored story in Bloomberg arguing that consumer deleveraging points to happy times ahead for the economy. The only problem is that the deleveraging comes from defaults rather than any paying down of debts. And these defaults are destructive for an [...]

Housing Has “Turned the Corner” – For Banks

By: Friday October 12, 2012 7:45 am

JPMorgan Chase, feeling little ill effects from the federal attempts at investigation of their business practices, announced a major earnings jump of 34%. Part of this comes from the fact that the previous earnings report included most of the losses from the Fail Whale trades (which have increased to $6.25 billion, as per this earnings [...]

Banks Take Advantage of HARP Refinancing, Generate Huge Profits

By: Friday October 5, 2012 8:15 am

New data out this week shows that refinancing has taken off, though I’m not necessarily with Matt Zeitlin in saying that this shows HARP 2.0 to be working. Previous data has shown mortgage refinance applications rising and falling specifically with the changes in the interest rate, not HARP availability. And the data on faster prepayment [...]

Largest Banks Reap Greatest Calendar-Year Profits Since 2006

By: Wednesday October 3, 2012 12:19 pm

A new analysis from Bloomberg shows that, despite all their work-the-ref whining, bank executives are in the midst of their biggest payday in profits since the height of the housing bubble. Four years ago today, President George W. Bush signed into law the biggest corporate rescue in American history. Even as U.S. unemployment has remained [...]

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