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On Our Radar

A curated collection of links to news, analysis, trends, ideas and views from elsewhere.

Public Books: The Big Picture: America’s real estate developer in chief

A native of Queens, Donald Trump was the son and heir to Fred Trump, a scrappy and ruthless developer of housing for New York’s white working and middle class. An outer-borough nativist and one-time Klan supporter, the senior Trump profited mightily from the federal government’s massive intervention in the real estate industry, which began in the Great Depression. His fortune was premised on strict racial segregation, a process whose legacies still shape the geography of urban and suburban America.

LA Times: Completely unnecessary spat over CFPB leaves consumers out in the cold

Los Angeles Times, Nov. 27, 2017: Completely unnecessary spat over CFPB leaves consumers out in the cold For his part, Trump tweeted over the weekend that the CFPB “has been a total disaster” that has left financial firms “devastated and unable to properly serve the public.” That, of course, is total nonsense. The CFPB has …

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The Economist: Blue-collar wages are surging. Can it last?

Has Mr Trump kept his promise to revive American manufacturing, mining and the like? A more probable explanation is that he came to office just as America began to run out of willing workers to fill all of its job vacancies. As unemployment has fallen, from over 6% in mid-2014 to 4.1% today, wage growth has gradually picked up.

The Intercept: Wall Street Wants to Kill the Agency Protecting Americans From Financial Scams

The CFPB has emerged as that rare beast — a fast-moving agency that actually chalks up wins for average Americans. Industry’s answer has been a multimillion dollar, multi-front battle to discredit and defang the bureau, a war declared even before the enemy officially existed. Attacking the CFPB has become a growth industry in Washington. Hyperbolic, relentless, often scorchingly personal — it’s a campaign that more often than not resembles a street fight. Now the agency is vulnerable and soon to be in the hands of a Trump appointee.

Low interest rate fuels rise of home loans to military veterans

A record number of veterans and service members are buying homes with loans financed by the Department of Veterans Affairs. About 80 percent of VA Loan borrowers do not put down money when buying a house. But less than 1 percent of VA loans were in foreclosure as of June, according to the Mortgage Bankers …

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