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Retribution is swift

17 January, 2012 (12:29) | Capital markets, Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, GSEs, Regulation, US News |

By:David A. Smith   Barely a week ago, Congress and the Administration teamed up to do a stupendously short-sighted thing, and it gives me great schadenfreude to report how quickly may come the anticipated punishment for their collective sloppy thinking.  As reported with barely disguised relish in BusinessWeek, retribution may not be certain but its […]

Santa’s temporary eRVes

13 January, 2012 (09:03) | Amazon, Housing, Markets, Mobile homes, Mobility, Rental, Supply, US News |

By David Smith Economies flex, and when they do, the jobs they create need somewhere temporary – so that requires temporary housing, and who needs more temporary housing than our Santa-in-a-box?    Earlier this month, the Desert Rose RV Park in Fernley, Nev., was a temporary home for seasonal employees of the online-retailing giant.   […]

The emperor’s risk rating: Part 2, but no risk for me

12 January, 2012 (10:39) | Banks, Basel rules, Capital, Capital markets, Global news, Mortgages, Regulation, Securitization, Theory |

[Continued from yesterday’s Part 1.]   By: David A. Smith   In both explicating and quarreling with Peter Wallison‘s most recent Wall Street Journal op-ed piece on the perils of regulation, particularly the Basel accords, we spent yesterday explaining the risk-weighting requirements and observing the perverse consequences of weighting pools of mortgage-backed securities (MBS’s) as […]

The emperor’s risk rating: Part 1, risk for thee

11 January, 2012 (10:56) | Banks, Basel rules, Capital, Capital markets, Global news, Mortgages, Regulation, Securitization, Theory |

By: David A. Smith   Is there truly a risk-free security?  One for which no reserve is required?   Not worth the pixels it’s not printed with?   For more than a decade, Peter Wallison of the American Enterprise Institute has been crusading against government involvement in financial markets, particularly mortgage markets, so when he […]

Can you say ‘Pruitt-Igoe’ in Chinese? Part 2, why they’re doing it wrong

10 January, 2012 (10:37) | China, Construction, Economics, Global news, Housing, Pruitt-Igoe, Public housing, Recession, Urbanization |

[Continued from yesterday’s Part 1.]   By:David A. Smith   Judging from a recent Wall Street Journal (December 31, 2011) article, China’s political leadership has turned to affordable housing production as the cure for what may ail its stalling economy:   Two women examining unfinished high-rises, Chongqing   The slowdown in China’s growth is becoming […]