Home / Tag Archives: Fiscal cliff (page 2)

Tag Archives: Fiscal cliff

Commentary: From Fiscal Cliff to Fiscal Mudslide

It may not have been a fiscal cliff, but how about a fiscal mudslide? The deal reached by Vice President Joe Biden and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell and forced down the throats of House Republicans (without involving their leader, Speaker John Boehner) wound up to be a glorified version of kicking the can down the road--a short road, as the next ""crisis"" comes in just two months, when the nation runs up against the debt ceiling. Too many words have already been written about the crises manufactured by setting arbitrary deadlines.

Read More »

Commentary: Addressing the Right Problem

Negotiators in Washington face a dismal weekend leading up to -- and perhaps including -- New Year's Eve, made worse because they're trying to solve the wrong problem. They're wrangling over how to avoid the fiscal cliff when a series of laws aimed at or contributing to the nation's deficit are set to expire, complicated by Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner's pronouncement the nation is approaching its debt ceiling.

Read More »

First-Time Jobless Claims Drop to 350k, Near Low for Year

First time claims for unemployment insurance dropped 12,000 to 350,000 for the week ended December 22, the third lowest level of the year, the Labor Department reported Thursday. Economists expected claims to increase to 365,000. The previous week’s report was revised upward to 362,000 from the originally reported 361,000.

Read More »

Industry Argues in Defense of the Mortgage Interest Tax Deduction

As Washington engages in a standoff over budgetary proposals to avert the fiscal cliff, several industry professionals and associations are calling upon lawmakers to avoid slaughtering what was once thought to be a sacred cow: the mortgage interest tax deduction (MID). While many housing professionals view the deduction as a break for homeowners and an incentive for others to purchase their own homes, critics call the MID a ""subsidization of the real estate industry."" Now that the MID is on the bargaining table, a number of people are speaking up in defense of it.

Read More »

Five Star Economist: Housing in 2013 Depends on Many Moving Parts

No matter how foggy the haze is, economists typically dust off their crystal balls in December. However economic forecasts too often involve driving by looking in a rear-view mirror. Anticipating what might happen in the housing markets, with so many moving parts involved, can be the trickiest of all forecasts. Because housing is a unique expenditure--combining elements of investment and a service--it depends on a variety of elements: employment, income, interest rates, the regulatory environment, and even the weather.

Read More »

GDP Up 3.1% in Q3; Banks Lead Corporate Profit Surge

Real GDP growth for the third quarter was revised up again, the Bureau of Economic Analysis reported Thursday, reaching a 3.1 percent annualized growth rate. It was only the third time in the last five years the quarterly growth rate topped 3.0 percent. Economists had forecast a 2.8 percent growth.

Read More »

Fixed Rates See Slight Changes, Hover Near Record Lows

Fixed mortgage rates made small movements this week as fiscal cliff negotiations seemed to stall. According to Freddie Mac's Primary Mortgage Market Survey, the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage(FRM) interest rate averaged 3.32 percent (0.7 point) for the week ending December 13, down slightly from 3.34 percent the previous week. The 15-year FRM this week averaged 2.66 percent (0.6 point), down week-to-week from 2.67 percent.

Read More »

FOMC Ties Fed Funds Rate to Unemployment

Despite recent improvements in the unemployment rate and housing, the Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) Wednesday voted to continue its program of purchasing $40 million a month of mortgage backed securities and to maintain the target Fed Funds rate at 0 to 0.25 percent. The FOMC vote was 11-1 with only Richmond Fed President Jeffery M. Lacker dissenting.

Read More »

REO Sales Diminish to Under 20% of Overall Home Sales: Clear Capital

Clear Capital released a new market report Tuesday, tracking home prices through the end of November. Nationally, quarterly price gains were cut by more than half compared to readings from the month before. For November, home prices edged up just 1 percent. Even with fewer fair market sellers listing their homes, Clear Capital says REO sales held steady at 18.4 percent of total sales--a level that will put minimial pressure on home prices should it hold through the winter months.

Read More »

House Approves Bill Raising GSEs’ G-Fees to Fund Immigration Reform

A controversial bill that would extend an increase on guarantee fees (g-fees) on mortgages backed by the GSEs or the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) has passed in the House of Representatives. The bill, H.R. 6429 proposes reforms for visas offered to immigrants who possess advanced training in science, technology, engineering, or mathematics.

Read More »

Your Daily Dose of DS News

Get the news you need, when you need it. Subscribe to the Daily Dose of DS News to receive each day’s most important default servicing news and market information, absolutely free of charge.