Fannie Mae

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The Bush Family Goes "All In" For Number Three (With The Help Of Its Bankers)





It’s happening. As expected, dynastic politics is prevailing in campaign 2016. After a tease about as long as Hillary’s, Jeb Bush (aka Jeb!) officially announced his presidential bid last week. Ultimately, the two of them will fight it out for the White House, while the nation’s wealthiest influencers will back their ludicrously expensive gambit. And here’s a hint: don’t bet on Jeb not to make it through the Republican gauntlet of 12 candidates (so far). After all, the really big money’s behind him.

 
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Geopolitics Will Trump Economics In Greece





Whatever the eventual financial costs to EU taxpayers of a Greek default, the political costs of a Greek exit are likely to be seen as unacceptable. Most likely the EU will allow a covert Greek default, disguised for the time being by extended repayment schedules, bogus refinancing formulae and possible delayed haircuts as bonds mature. They may insist that such moves are not a technical default. Despite that absurdity, our obedient press corps may even concur with such a characterization, and investors may be so thrilled that a relief rally occurs in stocks and bonds. Extend and pretend will once again be the only acceptable manner to confront our intractable problems.

 
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Frontrunning: June 17





  • Greek central bank issues 'Grexit' warning if aid talks fail (Reuters)
  • Kerry says 'patience wearing thin' on Syria's Assad (Reuters)
  • Juncker accuses Athens of misleading Greek people (FT)
  • Al Qaeda kills two Saudis accused of spying for America (Reuters)
  • Hedge-Fund Bet Hits Pensions (WSJ)
  • ‘Flash Crash’ Trader Navinder Sarao Worked With Fund Network Now Under Investigation (WSJ)
  • 'Me? Rich?' U.S. presidential hopefuls play middle-class card (Reuters)
  • You’ve Been Warned: Central Bankers Turning Less Market-Friendly (BBG)
 
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Why Do We Celebrate Rising Home Prices?





In recent years, home price indices have seemed to proliferate. Measuring home prices has taken on an urgency beyond the real estate industry because for many, home price growth has become something of an indicator of the economy as a whole. If home prices are going up, it is assumed, “the economy” must be doing well. Indeed, we are encouraged to relax when home prices are increasing or holding steady, and we’re supposed to become concerned if home prices are going down. This is a rather odd way of looking at the price of a basic necessity.

 
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20 Years Later, Bill Clinton's Home Ownership Dream For America Is Dead





20 years ago this month, Bill Clinton unveiled the National Home Ownership Strategy, a 100-point plan designed to drive the home ownership rate in America to all-time highs. The plan succeeded — and now it has unraveled completely.

 
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Another Bubble Alert: Home Down Payments Hit Three-Year Low





New rules at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in conjunction with lower FHA premiums helped to drive down payments on single family homes to their lowest level since Q1 2012 in the first quarter.

 
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Six Political Issues to Watch This Summer





The next several weeks are likely to be relatively eventful in Washington...

 
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How Jamie Dimon Became A Billionaire





Two years ago, bank analyst Mike Mayo asked JPM chief Jamie Dimon a simple question: why should affluent customers not pick UBS over JPM due to a mismatch in capital ratios, to which Dimon's response was even simpler: "that's why I'm richer than you." To which we then added: "No logic, no rationale: all about the bottom line, which to Jamie at least is all that matters. The bottom line was indeed all, because as Bloomberg calculated overnight, over the past several years, Jamie Dimon quietly became not just "richer than you", but "much" richer: his net worth is now well over $1 billion!

 
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Housing Recovery - Real Or Memorex





The rising risk to the housing recovery story lies in the Fed's ability to continue to keep interest rates suppressed. It is important to remember that individuals "buy payments" rather than houses. With each tick higher in mortgage rates so goes the monthly mortgage payment. With wages remaining suppressed, 1 out of 3 Americans no longer counted as part of the work force or drawing on a Federal subsidy, the pool of potential buyers remains tightly constrained. While there are many hopes pinned on the housing recovery as a "driver" of economic growth in 2015 and beyond - the lack of recovery in the home ownership data suggests otherwise.

 
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Frontrunning: May 12





  • Bonds Extend Global Rout as Europe Stocks Slide, Dollar Weakens (BBG)
  • Verizon Communications to Buy AOL for $4.4 Billion (BBG)
  • Fresh Nepal earthquake kills dozens, triggers panic (Reuters)
  • Sen. Shelby to Unveil Legislation Heightening Fed Scrutiny (WSJ)
  • Bill Gross: The Amount of Money I'll Give Away 'Is Staggering, Even to Me' (BBG)
  • U.S. rejects notion that Gulf rulers snubbing Obama summit (Reuters)... what about AIIB?
  • In Asia, Debt Market Gets Tougher (WSJ)
  • Iran’s Mahan airline defies sanctions in shadowy aircraft deal (FT)
 
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Government Using Subprime Mortgages To Pump Housing Recovery - Taxpayers Will Pay Again





To paraphrase H.L. Mencken, anyone who wants the government and Federal Reserve to create a housing recovery, deserves to get it good and hard, like a four by four to the side of their head. Subprime mortgages, subprime auto loans, and subprime student loans driven by preposterously low interest rates are the liquefying foundation of this fake economic recovery. Most rational people would agree that loaning money to people who will eventually default is not a good idea. But it is the underpinning of everything the Fed and government apparatchiks have done to keep this farce going a little while longer. It will not end well – Again.

 
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Punk Q1 GDP Wasn't Surprising: It Extends A 60-Year Trend Of Exploding Money And Imploding Growth





During the heyday of post-war prosperity between 1953 and 1971, real final sales - a better measure of economic growth than GDP because it filters out inventory fluctuations - grew at a 3.6%  annual rate. That is exactly double the 1.8% CAGR recorded for 2000-2014. The long and short of it, therefore, is that there has been a dramatic downshift in the trend rate of economic growth during an era in which central bank intervention and stimulus has been immeasurably enlarged. How exactly is the Fed helping when the trend rate of real growth has withered dramatically?

 
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