Tuesday, July 29, 2014

General Economics

Bloomberg | Million-Dollar U.S. Housing Loans Surge to Record Level
Banks are handing out mortgages of as much as $10 million to the wealthy in record numbers while first-time homebuyers struggle to get loans.
CNN Money | Home price increases continue at slower pace
The S&P/Case-Shiller home price index, a closely watched measure of home values. posted a 9.3% annual increase in its May reading, down from the 10.8% rate in April. The rate of increase was as high as 13.7% in November before slowing every month since.
Bloomberg | Consumer Confidence in U.S. Jumps to Highest Since 2007
Confidence among U.S. consumers soared in July to the highest level in almost seven years as Americans grew more upbeat about the labor market and the outlook for the economy.

Econ Comments & Analysis                                                                                            
Investors | Mortgage Rule Shows Lenders Not Joking About 'Witch Hunt'
In a proposed new mortgage rule, the Obama administration in effect confesses it never had enough credit data to charge dozens of mortgage lenders with racial bias. It's a 573-page admission of guilt.
Washington Times | Thinking outside nanny-state box with Paul Ryan
Rep. Paul Ryan of Wisconsin is perhaps the smartest conservative in Congress. Unusual for a politician, the former vice presidential nominee actually spends time thinking about problems and coming up with solutions. He is one conservative who believes Republicans will never prosper simply by denouncing liberal solutions to societal problems, unworkable as they may be, but must in addition come up with their own.
Market Watch | U.S. productivity ... and how to improve it
The surprising drop in first-quarter productivity has set economists scrambling to figure out ways to boost it.

WSJ | Is the Private Mortgage-Bond Market Dead or Dormant?
It’s been nearly seven years since the market for so-called private-label mortgage bonds, or those that aren’t backed by government-related entities, dried up. For years, government policy makers and financiers have speculated over when those markets might meaningfully revive.