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Gender: Female
Current location: Florida
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 15,577

Journal Archives

Stiglitz Says Stalling Euro Area Shows Dismal Failure

By Patrick Donahue and Jonathan Ferro Aug 20, 2014

Euro-area austerity policies to tackle the region’s debt crisis have been a “dismal failure” as economic growth grinds to a halt, Nobel laureate Joseph Stiglitz said.

The Columbia University professor, speaking on the sidelines of a conference in the southern German city of Lindau, said that high unemployment (UMRTEMU) and sluggish growth underscore the shortcomings of the response to the turbulence that swept the currency bloc.

“Now we see the enormous price that Europe is paying,” Stiglitz said in an interview with Bloomberg Television. “Hopefully the reality of this failed policy will strike.”


College tuition costs

Despite industry spin, mortgage lending standards are not tight

August 20, 2014

Real estate industry lobbyists foster the false impression mortgage lending standards are tight. They are not.

Real estate industry lobbyists appeal to lawmakers for policies the real estate industry believes will promote more transactions at higher prices. Most often this lobbying is short sighted and causes unintended long-term detrimental impacts on the housing market.mortgage-docs_free_money

For example, real estate industry lobbyists continually support relaxed lending standards. In 2004 they watched all of their dreams come true as all mortgage standards were abandoned causing a large boost in transaction volume and much higher home prices. Rather than being the panacea they envisioned, the abandonment of lending standards inflated a massive housing bubble that pulled forward demand, caused a deep house price crash, lowered home ownership rates to 20-year lows, and caused an 80% reduction in new home construction — a condition the industry has not recovered from.

Rather than learn an important lesson from this disaster, real estate lobbyists continue to pepper the press with complaints about how tight mortgage standards are today with hopes that policymakers will lower standards at the FHA and GSEs to promote more transactions by making bad loans to people who won’t repay them. In short, they learned nothing; lobbyists still promote short-term goals at the expense of long-term stability. And the worst part is they are completely wrong about mortgage standards being tight today.

Source: http://ochousingnews.com/blog/despite-industry-spin-mortgage-lending-standards-tight/#ixzz3AyQu33zX

South Florida housing recovery anemic for the poor, just fine for the rich

In south Florida it is easy to see the widening gap forming between the haves and the have nots. Just look at the anemic housing recovery for the poor and middle class compared to the rich.

Miami’s housing recovery is heavily lopsided. Many former home owners have to rent these days. Others who are still managing to hang on to their house are still underwater from the housing crisis. But yet the housing comeback in south Florida is being touted as ‘remarkable’.

The reason has to do with the success of the very rich. In comparison to the modest improvement of the poorer neighborhoods, the affluent neighborhoods were hurt less by the housing collapse and have improved faster and more robustly.


Countrywide’s Mozilo Said to Face U.S. Suit Over Loans

August 20, 2014

By Keri Geiger, Tom Schoenberg and Greg Farrell

Countrywide Financial Corp. co-founder Angelo Mozilo hasn’t escaped the wrath of prosecutors for his company’s role in inflating the U.S housing bubble that preceded the financial crisis.

More than 12 months after a deadline passed to file criminal charges, the U.S. attorney’s office in Los Angeles is preparing a civil lawsuit against Mozilo and as many as 10 other former Countrywide employees, according to two people with knowledge of the matter.

The government is making a last ditch-effort to hold him accountable for the excesses of the past decade’s subprime-mortgage boom, using a 25-year-old law that has helped the Justice Department win billions of dollars from Wall Street banks, said the people, who weren’t authorized to discuss the case publicly.


Hi RebelOne

You had your surgery in March and I was in the middle of April then May, 2 weeks apart too. Yes indeed those eye drops are expensive and so was my Toric lenses, my insurance didn't cover those, I did out of pocket.

The price was worth it ridding me of my astigmatism.

Hi trof

It's scary when you don't know what to expect but ease your fears my friend.

Be prepared for all the eye drops before surgery and then a schedule of eye drops for weeks in each eye.

I was awake for my cataract surgery, my first one was the right eye, no pain and it was amazing I could see right away. My right eye had two different cataracts,one aggressive one that took my sight quickly.

Leaving my left with the regular cataract with blurry vision, straining to see.I had a bad infection for weeks with the left and I think it wasn't quite cleared with the surgery so that one wasn't has comfortable like the right one being done. And I didn't see until a few hours later.

My brother had cataract surgery a few years back and in his words, a piece a cake. He just recently had laser surgery cleaning his artificial lens to see again. And the good thing it only has to be done once and no more, a treatment of cleaning your windows you could say.

You'll do just fine.

Message posted yesterday from Robert Reich on facebook

I’m not predicting an imminent collapse of the stock market but I am sounding an alarm. Consider: Retail sale are flat, median real wages are flat, nearly half the revenues of large U.S. companies come from foreign sales but markets abroad are going nowhere, and the ratio of stock prices to company earnings is higher than it's been since before the 2008 crash.

The only reason stock prices continue to advance is they’re being pumped up temporarily by (1) corporate stock buy-backs and mergers, (2) anticipated tax reductions through “inversions” (companies planning to desert the U.S.), (3) low bond yields that continue to drive pension funds and other institutions into stocks, and (4) capital flows from the rest of the world, for which the U.S. stock market is a safe haven compared to tumult and uncertainty abroad. But this can’t go on much longer. Watch your wallets.


That covers it well Demeter~here's today's cartoon

Dr Housing Bubble 08/18/14

Will the young buy homes? Student loans holding some young buyers back and household formation remains weak in the face of stagnant incomes.

Household formation is an important indicator of future housing demand. One of the big reasons why home builders have been tepid about building homes in the face of a growing population and rising prices is that first time home buyers are a small portion of the housing market. The reality is, you need household formation to justify bigger developments instead of investors looking for deals to flip or rent out. Home builders have been busy building multi-family units but these are clearly slated for rentals (the number of growing renting households would justify this). The odd dynamics in the current market have forced millions to live at home. In California 2.3 million adults live at home because of financial reasons, not because it is the new hip thing to do. In San Francisco, even well paid tech workers double or even triple up in apartments or homes to make the high rent affordable. What is probably more troubling in the data is that this trend is holding steady across the nation. Quality employment growth absolutely matters in the face of household formation. In the past, a boom in employment led to natural demand for housing. Today, you would have some believe that juiced up real estate and investor lust is somehow going to be the drawing force that lures cash strapped young buyers into the market. So far, those figures are not materializing.

Nationwide household formation requires quality employment

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