Interesting Housing News Links (April 06, 2009)

* It’s a small world, after all (Frida Ghitis, Sacramento Bee)

In the days after 9/11, Americans rediscovered the world. The need to understand an act that seemed incomprehensible became visceral even among people who had never given much thought to what goes on beyond the U.S. borders.

* Regulators struggle to contain foreclosure fraud (John W. Schoen, Newsweek)

The government is struggling to hold back a wave of foreclosure “rescue scams arising from the growing number of homeowners facing the loss of their homes. It may be fighting a losing battle.

* Some South Florida Brazilians feel ‘stain’ from Castroneves’ tax trial (Alexia Campbell, S. Florida Sun-Sentinel)

As the trial of Brazilian race car driver Helio Castroneves draws to a close in Miami, Brazilians in South Florida wonder whether their national idol has given them a bad rap in their new home.

* A global effort to avert economic disaster (Michael Boskin, San Diego Union-Tribune)

With the global economy mired in recession and financial crisis, policy-makers everywhere have launched a series of monetary, financial and fiscal responses. Nevertheless, economies continue to contract, unemployment to rise and wealth to decline.

* Mortgage refinancing surge expected (Tom Ramstack, Washington Times)

Homeowners are being tempted to refinance their mortgages as the nation’s struggling economy produces the lowest interest rates in nearly a half-century.

* Australia cuts interest rates to lowest in almost 50 years (Bonnie Malk, Telegraph)

The Reserve Bank of Australia (RBA) has reduced interest rates each month since September, pausing just once last month to assess the impact of the cuts. After Tuesday’s quarter point cut, the bank’s key rate now stands at 3pc, down from 7.25pc in September.

* Irrelevant Rand (Patrick Durusau, Covington News)

Sales of “Atlas Shrugged,” Ayn Rand’s vision of a utopia based on “rational self-interest” have been brisk during the recent economic downturn. The fictional nature of that vision was conceded by Alan Greenspan, the former chair of the Federal Reserve, when he testified before Congress that he was mistaken in thinking that “rational self-interest” would protect the markets.

* Recession exit strategies carry high risk (John Thornhill, The Financial Times)

The good news is that even some of the worlds most enthusiastic economic pessimists, such as Nouriel Roubini of New York University, are beginning to discuss exit strategies from the worst global recession in generations. The bad news is that many of these exit strategies appear as toxic as a bunch of subprime mortgage assets.

* Tracker Mania and other Ailments (Anm Blog, The London Evening Standard)

tell the victims of tracker mania. I know. I’m one of them. The symptoms manifest themselves early each month: on the dot of noon.

* Nervous in Newcastle is now decisive in Dunfermline (Andrew Hill, The Financial Times)

The ignominious collapse of the Dunfermline Building Society is more of a nuisance than a heart-stopping moment in UK finance. And maybe everyone is a little jaded by bail-out Mondays. Still, the lack of detail from the government is striking.

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