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Tag Archives: Barack Obama

Rising Home Values Bring Equity to Highest Level Since 2008

Rising home values in September brought homeowner equity to its highest level since the third quarter of 2008, according to the Obama administration's latest Housing Scorecard. According to the report, homeowner equity increased $406 billion, or 5.9 percent, to $7.3 trillion in the second quarter of 2012. After experiencing a turnaround into growth in the year's first quarter, total equity has grown $863 billion, or 13.5 percent, since the end of 2011.

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Markets, Commentators React to Unemployment Drop

Experts across the country wasted no time in responding to Friday's unemployment report, and the responses ranged from celebration to healthy skepticism. As pundits waged a war over the significance of the report, Capital Economics focused its view less on politics and more on its own breakdown of the data, noting that while the growth was modest, the overall report was encouraging. Wall Street also reacted, with banks and construction firms seeing stock upticks.

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Unemployment Slips Below 8% for First Time Since 2009

The nation's unemployment rate fell to 7.8 percent in September--the lowest level since January 2009--as the economy added a below-average 114,000 jobs, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported Friday. The 0.3 percentage point improvement in the unemployment rate is the largest since January 2011, when the unemployment rate dropped from 9.4 percent to 9.1 percent.

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Obama, Romney Spar over Dodd-Frank at First Debate

Neither Barack Obama nor Mitt Romney has seemed particularly enthusiastic about discussing housing on the national stage, but Wednesday's debates saw a brief skirmish between the two candidates about regulation for the mortgage industry. The fleeting exchange on banking and mortgage regulation comes at an apt time, as New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman filed a lawsuit earlier in the week against JPMorgan Chase over mortgage securities fraud committed by a former Bear Stearns unit.

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Romney Campaign Releases Housing Paper Amid Roundabout

With gaffes and down polls embroiling his campaign, Republican presidential nominee and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney unveiled a housing white paper on Friday to reposition his message and salvage his campaign. The document, titled ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├àÔÇ£Securing the American Dream and the Future of Housing,├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├é┬Ø prescribes several conservative policy must-haves. For starters, there├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós much ado about the return of private capital to the secondary mortgage market and devolution for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Oh, and jobs. Twelve million to be exact.

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Should Officials Do Away With Mortgage Interest Deduction?

Talking heads call the mortgage interest-rate deduction a sacrosanct giveaway for the tax code, a loophole as sacred for Americans as, say, Social Security or Medicare - and just as electric to politicians. But a new survey out from Zillow suggests that may not be the case anymore. According to Zillow - which notably conducted the survey with economists and real-estate experts instead of your average homeowners - 10 percent believe the mortgage interest-rate deduction should be thrown out as soon as possible, while 50 percent believe it ought to be phased out over time.

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While Candidates Avoid Housing, Five Star Speakers Engage It

Taking the stage on Thursday, speakers at the ninth annual Five Star Conference, currently underway at the Hilton Anatole in Dallas, tackled the issue most politicians evade: When and where should government intervene in the housing market? Not often, according to speakers like Jack Konyk, executive director of government affairs with Weiner Brodsky Sidman Kider, and Edward Kramer, EVP of regulatory affairs with Wolters Kluwer Financial Services. The Dodd-Frank Act took center-stage during the debate, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau along with it.

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Obama: Road to Recovery Is Paved with Refis

As the housing market and the overall economy crawl languidly toward an elusive recovery many believe will still take years to achieve, President Barack Obama suggests the key to progress is a broad housing refinance plan. Obama endorses a bill that would allow underwater homeowners to refinance at current interest rates, which continue to wallow near historic lows. A few senators have proposed bills recently to allow more homeowners to refinance their mortgages.

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Two Years in Review for the CFPB and Dodd-Frank

Financial reform advocates have two birthdays to celebrate on Saturday. This weekend marks the one-year anniversary of the watchdog Consumer Financial Protection Bureau and the two-year anniversary of the Dodd-Frank Act, the sweeping financial reform law that spawned it. Their stories run parallel to each other ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô and rightly so. The consumer bureau squeaked past partisan gridlock this time last year, just one year after Democrats, then in the majority of both houses of Congress, cleared Dodd-Frank for the president├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔÇ×┬ós signature.

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Bank, Groups Go After CFPB to Declare It Unconstitutional

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau faces a new legal challenge as a Texas community bank and two conservative groups launch a lawsuit to undo it and the financial reform law that created it two years ago. The Big Spring, Texas-based State National Bank recently paired with the Competitive Enterprise Institute and 60 Plus Association to sue the embattled consumer bureau in federal court. The suit challenges the constitutionality of the CFPB and Dodd-Frank Act, as well as Richard Cordray's appointment.

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