Posts Tagged ‘housing’

Notes From Underground: Is Housing a Cash For Clunkers Redux?

May 7, 2014

In today’s testimony to the Joint Economic Committee, Chair Yellen voiced concerns about the recent softness in the housing recovery. Her concern should be measured from two perspectives: One, the failure of wages to keep pace with returns on capital, or, as it is fashionable to say, R>G (the new rage inspired by Thoma Piketty). Financial markets have generated far more gains than GDP resulting in the middle-income groups not generating enough income to ignite home purchases. When Yellen worries about housing she is alluding to wage growth, especially as bank regulations have made it more difficult for buyers to secure loans. Two, last year the airwaves were filled with real estate agents raving about how the supply of homes was diminishing and therefore prices had to go higher. The problem with the rosy view from the Zillow crowd is that much of the demand was generated from foreign buyers with cash and large hedge funds and private equity groups buying large packages of distressed properties.

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Notes From Underground: What Do Greece and the Federal Reserve Have in Common?

February 15, 2012

As rumors about Greece run rampant, it is apparent that Greek FINANCE MINISTER VENIZELOS has stepped to the fore to try to influence his hand as the leader of Greece. THE COURT-APPOINTED LUCAS PAPADEMOS HAS BEEN QUIET OF LATE AND IT IS VENIZELOS LASHING OUT AT GREECE’S EUROPEAN “BENEFACTORS.” The fact is that there are so many microphones in EUROPE in search of an expert that all the media reports prove to be worthless. Timelines of action are void as soon as they are presented yet the markets continue to be affected by random noise.

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Notes From Underground: FOMC MINUTES … Is This a Balance Sheet Recession?

August 30, 2011

The¬†August 9 FOMC¬†minutes from were released today and there was a great deal of discussion about the issue of leaving rates at the present level for the next two years. It seems that one of the dissenters opposed the measure for he didn’t want the FED to be locked in to a decision and thought the measure should be subject to newly released data. There was much discussion about European banks and the efforts by the ECB to calm the storm and prevent a bank run. The FED did acknowledge that the biggest drag on U.S. growth was the “efforts to rebuild balance sheets and caution on the part of households facing an uncertain economic environment.”

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