Interesting Housing News Links (April 07, 2009)

* 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.

* 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.

* ‘We Will Find You’: Feds on Housing Scams (Matt Jaffe, ABC News)

The Obama administration has already unveiled its plan to stem the rising home foreclosure rate , but with foreclosure scams also increasing, the administration today announced a multi-agency effort to crack down on scams that prey on struggling homeowners.

* Dad says James Duncan is a crook (Leslie Berkman, Press-Enterprise)

Who would defraud his own father? Dow Duncan, who faces criminal charges for making false statements on a mortgage application, contends that is just what his son, James B. Duncan, did.

* Escape from the Twittering masses (Robert X. Cringely, Infoworld)

I’m thinking maybe this whole social media thing has gone too far. Maybe we don’t really need to know what everyone we’ve ever encountered is doing every single moment of their lives in 140 characters or less. It’s starting to distort our collective notion of reality.

* Beware of refinancing schemes (Mario Roldan, WCNC)

The Better Business Bureau of Southern Piedmont welcomes Mondays announcement by the federal government that it will crack down of fraudulent mortgage schemes.

* Citigroup chairman: bankers being ‘vilified’ (Jaymes Song, San Diego Union-Tribune)

Citigroup Inc.’s new board chairman, Richard Parsons, said financial institutions are being targeted for creating the nation’s financial crisis, but they aren’t the only ones responsible.

* The appraisers are back – and with a vengeance (Scott Van Voorhis, Boston Globe)

Back during the boom there were few if any barriers between you and the home or condo you wanted to buy.


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