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On Our Radar

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

The Wall Street Journal: Recession Risk Is Rising, Economists Say

The Wall Street Journal, April 10, 2022, Recession Risk Is Rising, Economists Say Economists surveyed by The Wall Street Journal this month on average put the probability of the economy being in recession sometime in the next 12 months at 28%, up from 18% in January and just 13% a year ago. “Risk of a …

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Seeking Alpha: FHFA Is Working With Fannie/Freddie To Help End Conservatorships

Seeking Alpha, April 8, 2022, FHFA Is Working With Fannie/Freddie To Help End Conservatorships The Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) was created by law in 2008 to oversee and regulate Fannie Mae (OTCQB:FNMA) and Freddie Mac (OTCQB:FMCC). FHFA immediately placed them into conservatorship and they’ve been there ever since. From 2008-2010, FHFA used its discretionary …

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Los Angeles Times: Black Tesla employees describe a culture of racism: ‘I was at my breaking point’

Los Angeles Times, March 25, 2022, Black Tesla employees describe a culture of racism: ‘I was at my breaking point’ In interviews with The Times, three Black former employees described how jobs at the pioneering automaker devolved into personal nightmares due to a pattern of rampant racism and harassment at Tesla’s Fremont, Calif., factory. Their …

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American Banker: Credit unions’ tax-subsidized bank purchases harm consumers

American Banker, April 8, 2022, Credit unions’ tax-subsidized bank purchases harm consumers While credit union lobbyists plead innocence due to branch closures—most of which, by the way, are occurring at the largest banks—credit unions are in fact exacerbating consolidation among locally based community banks. The ugly truth is that this phenomenon involves larger credit unions …

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NPR: Mortgage rates just hit 5%. Here’s how much more expensive that makes home ownership

NPR, April 8, 2022, Mortgage rates just hit 5%. Here’s how much more expensive that makes home ownership “It’s pretty insane,” says Nick Cacciatore, who’s looking to buy a house in Tampa, Fla. “It’s very demoralizing.” Back when Cacciatore was looking last summer, mortgage rates were under 3%. This week they’ve risen to over 5%. …

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MarketWatch: Disney’s latest Florida attraction: Affordable housing

MarketWatch, April 6, 2022, Disney’s latest Florida attraction: Affordable housing Walt Disney World is setting aside roughly 80 acres on its property for a new affordable-housing development. The resort expects that the development will include more than 1,300 housing units, and it will be constructed by a third-party developer.

American Banker: Banks change their tack in navigating the culture war

American Banker, April 5, 2022, Banks change their tack in navigating the culture war  After years of mounting concern over the politicization of American finance, the banking industry appears to be making a quiet retreat from the culture war trenches. Not historically known for their social activism, prominent bankers had grown more comfortable taking political …

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American Banker: Federal Home Loan banks’ purpose called into question as advances drop

American Banker, April 4, 2022, Federal Home Loan banks’ purpose called into question as advances drop As banks rack up record levels of deposits, the Federal Home Loan banks’ core business of providing liquidity to member institutions is drying up, leading some critics to question the institutions’ long-term viability. The lifeblood of the Home Loan …

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The Charlotte Observer: Fannie Mae picks Charlotte for new program expanding housing access

The Charlotte Observer, April 4, 2022, Fannie Mae picks Charlotte for new program expanding housing access Charlotte is one of three cities chosen by Fannie Mae for a new program to increase voucher acceptance in rental housing, the government-backed mortgage institution announced Monday. Fannie Mae will offer lower loan financing costs to owners of apartment buildings if …

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Washington Examiner: Banks brace for CFPB to take aim at credit card late fees

Washington Examiner, April 3, 2022, Banks brace for CFPB to take aim at credit card late fees Banks expect the federal government to crack down on credit card late fees following a highly critical report from the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau highlighting the effects of the penalties on households. The report, published this past week, emphasized that the $12 billion in …

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Business Insider: A student-loan company just got hit with a $1 million penalty for ‘breaking the law’ by lying to borrowers about loan forgiveness, Biden’s top consumer watchdog says

Business Insider, March 30, 2022, A student-loan company just got hit with a $1 million penalty for ‘breaking the law’ by lying to borrowers about loan forgiveness, Biden’s top consumer watchdog says On Wednesday, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) sanctioned Edfinancial Services for “making deceptive statements to student loan borrowers and misrepresenting their forgiveness and repayment …

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American Banker: How Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google are infiltrating financial services

American Banker, March 29, 2022, How Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google are infiltrating financial services “One of the biggest fears of banking executives is that the four large tech titans — Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google — will move into banking and come after their clients,” wrote Alyson Clarke, a principal analyst at Forrester, in a …

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The Washington Post: Corporate landlords are gobbling up U.S. suburbs. These homeowners are fighting back.

The Washington Post, March 31, 2022, Corporate landlords are gobbling up U.S. suburbs. These homeowners are fighting back. The rise of investor purchases has spawned complaints that the companies, flush with Wall Street money, are pricing out first-time home buyers and renting to tenants who have not been properly screened. In Potters Glen, one house …

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The Regulatory Review: How Ending Forced Arbitration Advances Economic Justice

The Regulatory Review, March 28, 2022, How ending forced arbitration advances economic justice The harms of forced arbitration are widely noted. Several reports indicate that 81 of the 100 largest U.S. companies use arbitration in their dealings with consumers and more than two-thirds of top selling products include a forced arbitration clause as a term …

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Washington Post: Biden signs bill making lynching a federal hate crime

Washington Post, March 29, 2022, Biden signs bill making lynching a federal hate crime The new law amends the U.S. Code to designate lynching a hate crime punishable by up to 30 years in prison. More than 4,000 people, mostly African Americans, were reported lynched in the United States from 1882 to 1968, in all …

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