22 марта, 20:11

Treasury Secretary Lew's Exit Memo: Eight Years of Progress at Treasury and a Look to the Future of American Financial Prosperity

  WASHINGTON –U.S. Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew has authored a departure memorandum that recounts the progress and work of the U.S. Department of the Treasury over the last eight years. The memo then outlines Secretary Lew’s visions and goals for the future of the Treasury Department. The Secretary closes his departure memorandum with personal reflections on the importance of bipartisan cooperation, his optimism about America’s future, and his hope that future policymakers will take careful stock of the successes of this Administration as they consider the next steps forward.   Please see the memo attached. Treasury Exit Memo.pdf   The full text of the memo is below:         Department of the Treasury Exit Memo     Secretary Jacob J. Lew   Cabinet Exit Memo │January 5, 2017 Introduction   The Department of the Treasury (Treasury) is the executive agency responsible for promoting economic prosperity and ensuring the financial security of the United States.  This role encompasses a broad range of activities, such as advising the President on economic and financial issues, encouraging sustainable economic growth, and fostering improved governance in financial institutions.    Treasury’s mission was challenged like few times before in our nation’s history during the 2008 financial crisis.  As few of us can forget, signs of trouble first emerged in the housing market, which set off a cascade of shocks in 2007 and 2008, including the collapse of Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers, the freezing of credit markets, and the loss of trillions of dollars of wealth held by Americans in their homes, other assets, and businesses.  By the time President Obama took office, the United States was in the midst of the worst recession since the Great Depression.  The economy was shrinking at its fastest rate in 50 years and shedding more than 800,000 private-sector jobs per month.  Unemployment peaked at 10 percent in 2009, a level not seen in over 25 years.  The auto industry, an embodiment of American ingenuity and economic strength, was teetering on the edge of collapse; the deficit had hit a post-World War II high; and homes in neighborhoods across the United States faced foreclosure.    Though the financial crisis was perhaps the most pressing challenge the country faced in 2008, it was far from the only one.  Health care spending was on an unsustainable path, and millions of Americans lived in fear of facing a significant medical problem without insurance.  Middle-class and working family incomes had stagnated for much of the previous three decades.  Wealth disparities had grown to levels not seen since the 1920s.  And after two major wars in the Middle East and strained relationships in many parts of the world, the standing of the United States around the world was in need of significant repair.   We have come a long way as a country since 2008.  In the following pages, I will recount the Administration’s record of progress, with a specific focus on the role Treasury has played.  I will also articulate a vision for the future, and recommend steps to be taken in the coming years to make progress towards that vision.  Finally, I will end with some personal reflections.   Eight Years of Progress Economic Recovery Over the eight years since President Obama took office amidst the worst financial crisis of our lifetimes, we have seen a sustained economic recovery and a significant decline in the federal budget deficit.  We have cut the unemployment rate in half.  Our economy is more than 10 percent larger than its pre-recession peak.  U.S. businesses have added a total of 15.6 million jobs since private-sector job growth turned positive in early 2010.  Household incomes are rising, with 2015 seeing the fastest one-year growth since the Census Bureau began reporting on household income in 1967.  And our financial system is more stable, safe, and resilient, providing the critical underpinnings for broad-based, inclusive, long-term growth.  There are many factors that explain why the United States was able to bounce back so strongly from the recession.  First and foremost, I credit the resilience of the American people.  In addition, our policy response to the crisis was immediate and robust.  Led by my predecessor, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner, policymakers put in place a wide-ranging strategy to restore economic growth, unlock credit, and return private capital to the financial system, thereby providing broad and vital support to the economy.  In February 2009, just 28 days after taking office, President Obama signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, which provided powerful fiscal stimulus that resulted in a less severe recession and stronger recovery than we otherwise would have seen. Investments made through our Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) provided stability to our financial system, and the Automotive Industry Financing Program helped prevent the collapse of the U.S. auto industry.  TARP also included housing initiatives that helped millions of struggling homeowners avoid foreclosure and lower their monthly payments.  These efforts bolstered the housing market and strengthened consumer finances more broadly.  And funds expended under TARP have been repaid in full, at a profit to taxpayers: in total, TARP invested $412 billion in financial institutions, large and small, during the financial crisis, and as of October 2016, these investments have returned $442 billion total cash back to taxpayers.    Critically, we also acted quickly to reform our financial system, working with Congress to enact the most far-reaching and comprehensive set of financial reforms since the Great Depression: the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act.  Wall Street Reform transformed the way the financial system operates, and Treasury and the financial regulators have continued to work together since its passage to implement important reforms such as the Volcker Rule, risk retention, and resolution planning for large, complex financial institutions.  Because of these efforts, our system today is more stable, more transparent, and more consumer-focused.  Wall Street Reform also created the Financial Stability Oversight Council, a body that looks across the entire financial system to identify future threats to financial stability, and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a watchdog agency that is working hard to protect Americans from unfair, deceptive, or abusive financial practices.   The progress we have made on implementing reform has resulted in a safer, stronger, and more stable American financial system—one better positioned to support growth rather than work against it, more likely for consumers to get fair treatment in their interactions with financial institutions, and less prone to major failures of financial firms that can harm Americans on Main Street.  This progress must be sustained through continued follow-through, to avoid allowing a return to the recklessness and abuse that predated the worst global financial crisis of the last 80 years. A More Inclusive Economy  Beyond working to bring our economy back from the brink and to spur growth, we also undertook efforts to ensure that more citizens have a fair shot at sharing in our nation’s prosperity.  One of the Administration’s most significant achievements was the 2010 passage of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which extended health insurance to millions of Americans who had not previously had it, allowed young adults to stay on the health plans of their parents, barred insurance companies from denying coverage to people with preexisting conditions, and strengthened Medicare’s solvency.  Once the legislation was signed into law, Treasury implemented the law’s many new tax provisions.  Beyond the ACA, the Administration made a number of other key changes to the tax code that has made our tax system significantly fairer and more equitable.   Through programs like the Community Development Financial Institution Fund and myRA, and through extensive stakeholder engagement, Treasury has worked to promote access to the financial system for underserved and vulnerable populations.  We also successfully worked with Congress to pass bipartisan legislation to enable Puerto Rico to undergo a financial restructuring.  With continued commitment from policymakers in both the Commonwealth and the United States, this legislation will begin to put Puerto Rico on a fiscally sustainable path so that the 3.5 million Americans living there are not denied essential services and economic opportunity.  Leading in the Global Economy As we put into place the financial regulatory framework to prevent future crises in the United States, we also led the international response to the crisis.  We worked through the G-20 to help mobilize $5 trillion in fiscal stimulus, expand the resources of the international financial institutions by $1 trillion, and establish new institutions like the Financial Stability Board to prevent future crises.  Our approach elevated the G-20 as the premier platform for international economic cooperation and put in place a demonstrated mechanism for international response.   Following the financial crisis, many countries turned to policies of fiscal austerity, and Treasury vigorously advocated for a more balanced use of policy levers.  Over the next several years, Treasury engaged closely with our partners and through the G-20 and other multilateral bodies to emphasize the need for short-term growth and longer-term structural reforms to put the global economy on stronger footing.  Through our sustained engagement, we achieved a number of commitments from the G-20, including moving away from austerity-only fiscal policy and avoiding competitive currency devaluation.    We have used the G-20 to advance a global growth agenda, and the U.S.-China Strategic & Economic Dialogue to foster increased bilateral economic coordination and engagement with China.  Our sustained engagement with China has allowed us to exert positive pressure on Chinese exchange rate policy—whereas China once intervened in foreign exchange markets to drive down the value of its currency, in the past year, we have seen China intervene to prevent a rapid depreciation in the renminbi, which would have had negative consequences for the Chinese and global economies.  Treasury also worked to solidify U.S. leadership by modernizing the international economic architecture to ensure that it would remain relevant in a changing world.  In particular, securing the passage of International Monetary Fund (IMF) quota reform sustained U.S. leadership on the global stage.  Our leadership in the IMF in turn enabled us to work through it to promote policies that supported U.S. economic and security objectives, such as economic stability in Ukraine and Greece. Promoting a Safer World Treasury has also continued to use its unique financial capabilities to address a variety of national security and foreign policy threats posed by terrorists, criminals and other bad actors.  To address the changing threat posed by terrorism, including the threat posed by ISIL, we have worked with our international partners to deny terrorist financiers, fundraisers, and facilitators access to the international financial system with financial measures and targeted actions.    Treasury’s sanctions against Iran played a critical role in forcing Iran to the table to negotiate a deal that cuts off the country’s pathways to a nuclear weapon.  To hold Russia accountable for its aggression in eastern Ukraine and its occupation and attempted annexation of Crimea, we imposed sanctions that led to tighter financial conditions, weaker confidence, and lower investment in Russia.  We also secured new domestic and multilateral sanctions measures against North Korea in the face of Pyongyang’s continued provocative behavior with regard to nuclear weapons and weapons of mass destruction.  All the while, we have worked to craft a cohesive vision for the use of sanctions, in which sanctions are informed by financial intelligence, strategically designed, and implemented with our public and private partners to focus pressure on bad actors and create clear incentives to end malign behavior, while limiting collateral impact.   In the face of emerging cyber threats, we have also made significant progress in coordinating cybersecurity efforts among financial regulators and the private sector, both domestically and internationally, to improve the financial sector’s resilience and to establish best practices for industry and government.        A Vision for the Future     Looking across the next five years, 10 years, and beyond, I see four major goals that mirror the progress above.  Treasury should focus on: (i) continuing to promote more inclusive growth; (ii) moving from recovery to long-term fiscal health, (iii) remaining a leader in the global economy; and (iv) adjusting to the new threats in our world.  Each of these goals brings with it major challenges that we must collectively overcome in order to reach them.   Continuing to Promote Inclusive Growth Through the work of this Administration, the U.S. economy is growing again.  But working families have not shared fully in the benefits of economic growth over the past decade, and there is evidence that our society has undergone structural changes that have fundamentally altered the basic social compact.  It is crucial that the next Administration builds on the work already done to ensure that our prosperity is broadly shared.  There are many aspects to inclusive growth, including: investing in infrastructure to create good middle-class jobs and lay the foundation for future growth, giving workers a stronger voice, enacting progressive tax policies, making quality education more available and affordable, and investing in retraining programs for those who have lost their jobs.  One component most directly within Treasury’s purview is increasing access to the financial system; currently, many low-income and minority families are effectively locked out, operating without a credit card or banking history.  Finding creative ways to increase access to the financial system—such as fostering new technologies—will help individuals and families transfer money and make payments safely and affordably.  Financial inclusion allows people to manage life’s unexpected financial shocks, build long-term financial security, and take advantage of economic opportunities, like starting a business.  Our inclusive growth agenda should not, however, be limited to domestic issues: more than 2.6 billion people live in poverty around the world, and more than two billion people rely solely on cash transactions.  Moving underserved populations from a cash economy to formal banking not only increases their economic opportunity but also strengthens our ability to combat illicit and dangerous finance.   Moving from Recovery to Long Term Fiscal Health The actions of this Administration, and the economic recovery those actions helped support, have sharply reduced deficits since 2009.  However, both the Administration and the Congressional Budget Office project that, absent any changes in policy, the deficit will rise steadily over the next decade and beyond.  Thus, while the actions of this Administration have put the country on a solid fiscal footing today, we must also focus on the long-term fiscal health of our nation.   In recent years, the Administration has proposed a combination of smart investments and policy reforms that would keep the deficit under three percent of GDP for the next 10 years and nearly eliminate the fiscal gap over the next 25 years.  Tax reform to curb inefficient tax breaks for the wealthy, close loopholes, and reform the taxation of capital income and financial institutions would make the tax system fairer and lower the deficit.  Comprehensive immigration reform would boost labor force participation, productivity, and ultimately growth, directly addressing key fiscal challenges.  Continued focus on health policy to further improve health care quality and control cost growth remains critical.  This policy vision shows that investments in growth and opportunity are fully compatible with putting the nation’s finances on a strong and sustainable path.  It also shows that responsible deficit reduction can be achieved without endangering vital support to poor Americans or undermining commitments to seniors and workers.   Under President Obama’s leadership, there has been substantial economic and fiscal progress, showing what is possible when strategic investment to grow the economy is paired with smart reforms that address the true drivers of long-term fiscal challenges.  While there is some scope for additional borrowing to finance smart investments in the next few years, ever-increasing borrowing is not sustainable as a long-run strategy, particularly when used to finance spending that does not generate higher growth or improvements for the middle class and in the case of deficit-increasing tax cuts, which deepen income and wealth disparities that are already a serious concern.  Instead, the long-term fiscal health of the nation depends on smart investments in the middle class, tax reforms that close loopholes for the wealthy and ensure that everyone plays by the same set of rules, comprehensive immigration reform, and health reforms that build on our progress to date without sacrificing coverage or quality.   Remaining a Leader in the Global Economy The United States must continue its long history of international economic leadership.  Such leadership benefits American workers and families and enables the United States to project its values abroad to achieve its larger foreign policy objectives.  Of course, the world has changed since the creation of our international financial architecture after World War II, and we must change with it.  Perhaps somewhat counterintuitively, our influence internationally will increase if we share the benefits, as well as the responsibilities, of managing the global economic and financial system with emerging economies, such as China.  Our influence, however, cannot be sustained if we either back away or insist on protecting the status quo.   But we face a host of challenges.  Our relationship with China is one of the most important in the world.  While we have made much progress over the past eight years, the degree to which China is willing to takes the steps necessary to follow through on commitments to reorient its economy toward more sustainable growth, open up to foreign businesses, and be a partner in global governance, remains to be seen.  As we saw from the example of Chinese exchange rate policy, engagement between the United States and China is an important means of maintaining pressure for China to implement policies that are necessary for China’s own medium and long-term economic health and to create a level playing field for the world economy.   The UK’s decision to leave the European Union sent shockwaves through Europe and the world, and we must closely monitor the situation and continue to argue for the benefits of continued integration post-Brexit.  Japan’s economy faces the ongoing challenges of an aging population and high public debt hampering the government’s ability to foster growth.  We must also keep a watchful eye on emerging economies and the unique challenges they face.  In particular, in recent years, we have made progress in our relations with Latin America, particularly with Mexico and Argentina, and we should build on that progress.   Adjusting to the New Threats in Our World With the rise of state-sponsored and lone wolf terrorism, rogue nations, and international strongmen, we must address the reality that we live in a dangerous world.  Making it safer means using every tool available—including the financial tools available to Treasury—to defeat and degrade terrorist organizations like ISIL.  We must continue to leverage our ability to impose crippling sanctions on states and individuals to change behavior.  We must seek to eliminate the proliferation of nuclear weapons.  Cyber attacks on our financial system represent a real threat to our economic and national security, and maintaining vigilant and coordinated efforts to keep pace with and respond to these threats has been and will remain a crucial piece of Treasury’s work.  And we must recognize global climate change for the economic and existential threat that it is and band together with the rest of the world to avert catastrophe.    How to Make Our Vision a Reality How do we accomplish the goals laid out above?  To be sure, there are a host of paths policymakers might take to do so, but I believe the following steps, which range from specific policy prescriptions to more general advice, are the most immediate.  Infrastructure Spending Moving forward, we must redouble our efforts to make investments in our country’s transportation infrastructure, which help create middle-class jobs in the short term and drive broad-based economic growth in the long term.  Indeed, by fixing our aging roads, bridges, and ports, we will help lay a foundation for widely shared economic expansion.  The President’s business tax reform framework, discussed in more detail below, would generate substantial one-time revenues to fund new infrastructure investments.  Paying for these investments by taxing overseas business profits would both be fiscally responsible and would help fix the perception that our tax system is not a level playing field.   Continuing to come up with fresh, new ways to deploy capital will help the country achieve these goals.  Effective partnerships between government and the private sector can play an important role in developing innovative solutions that efficiently leverage resources.  And taking advantage of historically low interest rates to fund high-return public investments is simply smart fiscal policy.  This Administration has long advocated for the creation of a national infrastructure bank, which would provide critical financing and technical support to foster public-private partnerships in U.S. infrastructure and establish a predictable source of long-term financing that would allow U.S. infrastructure to be consistently improved. Business Tax Reform Over the last eight years, Congress and the Administration have taken important steps to make the tax code fairer, support working families, and roll back unnecessary and unaffordable tax cuts for high-income families.  In addition, using its administrative tools, the Administration has made substantial progress over the past eight years in combatting abusive tax practices.  However, our business tax system remains in need of reform.  As I have emphasized repeatedly throughout my time as Treasury Secretary, only Congress can enact business tax reform, which is necessary to remove incentives for businesses to relocate overseas, raise one-time revenues to promote infrastructure spending, and simplify tax compliance for smaller businesses.   President Obama’s proposed plan for business tax reform sets out a framework for modernizing our business tax system.  Among other elements, it would prevent companies from using excessive leverage in the United States to reduce their tax burden, impose a minimum tax abroad to help fight the global race to the bottom, impose a one-time tax on unrepatriated foreign profits, and reform the taxation of financial and insurance industry products.  It also would close loopholes and special credits and deductions to lower rates without shifting the tax burden to individuals.  Enacting such a plan would enhance our competitiveness and create an environment in which business rather than tax considerations drive decision-making.  The President’s framework is also fiscally responsible, ensuring that business tax reform does not add to deficits over the long-term.  I am hopeful that this framework will help to equip the new Congress to take responsible action on business tax reform.   Housing Finance Reform Fixing our housing finance system remains the major unfinished work of post-financial crisis reform.  Though the housing market has made significant strides thanks to efforts on the part of the Administration to help struggling homeowners, stabilize the housing finance system, and restore broader economic growth, many homeowners and neighborhoods continue to struggle.  Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac remain in conservatorship and continue to rely on taxpayer support.  Only legislation can comprehensively address the ongoing shortcomings of the housing finance system.  A starting point for such legislation should be the principles President Obama laid out in 2013, which stressed a clearly-defined role for the government to promote broad access to consumer-friendly mortgages in good times and bad.  While private capital should bear the majority of the risks in mortgage lending, reform also must provide more American households with greater and more sustainable access to affordable homes to rent or own.  Global Economic Integration Global economic integration, including high-standards trade, leads to better economic outcomes than isolation and protectionism.  High-standard trade agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership can expand U.S. economic growth, open markets for American exports, and strengthen labor and environmental safeguards so that American workers can compete on a level playing field.  But economic uncertainty, both domestically and abroad, threatens this framework.  Whether driven by trade, technological advances, or the changing structure of the markets for labor and capital, these anxieties are real and deeply felt.  In order to continue to enjoy the benefits of an integrated world, we need to focus on policies that address the real issues of inequality, such as slowing wage growth and increasing disparities in pay, to ensure that the benefits of trade are broadly felt.      Strengthening the rules, alone, is not enough.  To preserve this important engine of economic growth and international integration the United States and other advanced economies must also design and implement policies—including fiscal and tax policies—that advance the cause of inclusive, sustainable, and broad-based growth.  Not all countries have the fiscal space sufficient to meet these needs, but after years of urging by the United States, policies of austerity are one-by-one giving way to policies designed to grow demand and improve incomes.  The United States must continue to be an active voice in the global discussion of these issues.    The United States must also maintain its leadership in the international financial architecture and ensure that the U.S.-led international financial system is adapting to best preserve U.S. interest in a changing world.  This includes continued governance reforms of the IMF and multilateral development banks to reflect a changing world.  Clear global rules create opportunities and incentives for innovation, invest, and work, which are critical to the United States and drive economic progress in other regions of the world. Continued Engagement with Challenging Partners  Just as global economic integration has fueled economic growth, that integration—and our economic strength—provides us with additional tools to advance our priorities on the international stage.  We should continue to use these tools judiciously to maintain pressure on those countries that take aggressive and destabilizing actions, such as Russia and North Korea, and provide sanctions relief when the targeted malign behavior changes, as with Iran and Burma.  And, as we chart new courses with other countries, such as Cuba, we should be mindful of how we can use our economic tools to create the conditions for a changed relationship.    We must always take care to avoid the overuse of sanctions, particularly our most unilateral tools like secondary sanctions that extend to non-U.S. persons.  If we overuse these powerful tools, we risk lessening their impact when they are most needed and ultimately threaten our central role in the global financial system.  Looking Forward with Optimism We have learned the hard way that deadlock does not produce good results—government shutdowns and near default on our debt cost the United States both economically and in standing around the world.  It did not work in the 1990s, and it did not work over these past eight years. What has worked is finding opportunities in the sometimes quiet periods when bipartisan cooperation can lead to honorable compromise.  In recent years, we have seen that targeted budget agreements could pave the way for more orderly and economically beneficial outcomes.  We have seen that, on issues like creating a path forward for Puerto Rico and multi-year funding for our surface transportation programs, bipartisan compromise is still possible. But there is much more that requires this kind of progress.  Treasury plays a critical role in finding areas where bipartisan solutions are possible.  In a period when many thought little could be accomplished legislatively, we reached agreement on IMF Quota Reform, an approach to deal with Puerto Rico, and a permanent extension of expansions to the earned income tax credit and child tax credits that will reduce the extent or severity of poverty for millions of families with children.  We have also used our existing authorities to limit corporate tax inversions, shed greater light on beneficial ownership to limit tax avoidance, realize tax parity for same-sex spouses, and opened relations with Cuba.  And we have used our sanctions authorities to bring Iran to the negotiating table and limit the resources available to terrorist regimes and groups. I am proud of the record we have built over the past eight years.  But during calmer economic times, policy makers are often tempted to roll back regulations, weaken reforms, and reduce oversight.  I hope that future policymakers will take careful stock of the successes of this Administration as they consider the next steps forward.  I remain an optimist about America’s future and wish the next team entrusted with responsibility for governing much success as it tackles the many challenges that remain and the new challenges that will present themselves over the coming years.  Margaret Mulkerrin is the Press Assistant at the U.S. Department of Treasury.     ###  

22 марта, 17:30

Цены на жилье в США в январе выросли сильнее прогнозов

Цены на жилье в США в январе выросли на 0,8 процента по сравнению с предыдущим месяцем, согласно данным Федерального агентства по жилищному финансированию (FHFA), рассчитывающего с поправкой на сезонность индекс цен на жилье (HPI). Ранее сообщаемое повышение на 0,3 процента в декабре было пересмотрено до 0,4 процента. FHFA ежемесячно рассчитывает HPI с использованием информации о ценах на продажу жилья по ипотечным кредитам, проданных или гарантированных Fannie Mae и Freddie Mac. С января 2017 года по январь 2018 года цены на жилье выросли на 7,3 процента. Для девяти подразделений переписи скорректированные с учетом сезонных изменений цены с декабря 2017 года по январь 2018 года колебались от -0,7 процента в Западно-Южном Центральном дивизионе до +1,2 процента в подразделениях Новой Англии и Тихого океана. 12-месячные изменения были положительными: от +5,1 процента в Западно-Южном Центральном дивизионе до +10,0 процента в Горном дивизионе. Информационно-аналитический отдел TeleTradeИсточник: FxTeam

22 марта, 14:47

February Home Sales Rebound: 4 Stock to Buy Despite Fed Hike

Solid sales data, homebuilders' strong confidence level and the upcoming spring season are major tailwinds for the industry. Adding a few housing stocks seems to be a smart move.

16 марта, 18:00

США: закладки новых домов упали больше, чем ожидалось в феврале

Строительство жилья в США упало больше, чем ожидалось, в феврале, так как падение строительства многоквартирных жилых домов нивелировало второй ежемесячный рост односемейных проектов. Закладки новых домов снизились на 7,0 процента до сезонно скорректированного годового показателя в 1,236 миллиона единиц, сообщило в пятницу Министерство торговли. Данные за январь были незначительно пересмотрены, и отразили рост до 1,329 млн. единиц, вместо ранее зарегистрированных 1,326 млн. единиц. Экономисты прогнозировали, что в прошлом месяце закладки новых домов упадут до 1,290 млн. единиц. Разрешения на строительство жилья уменьшились на 5,7 процента до 1,298 млн. единиц в феврале. В то время как волатильный сегмент многоквартирного жилья вызвал спад в жилищном строительстве в прошлом месяце, более широкий рынок жилья, похоже, замедляется. Продажи как новых, так и ранее принадлежащих домов упали в последние месяцы, так как нехватка предложения на рынке подтолкнула цены вверх и сдержала некоторых первичных покупателей жилья. В декабре рост цен на жилье превысил 6,0%. По данным агентства по ипотечному финансированию Freddie Mac, ставки по ипотечным кредитам также выросли, и 30-летняя фиксированная ставка в среднем составляет 4,44 процента, что не слишком далеко от четырехлетнего максимума в 4,46 процента. Но рынок жилья остается подкрепленным надежным рынком труда. Растет оптимизм в том, что ужесточение условий на рынке труда приведет к более быстрому росту заработной платы во второй половине этого года. Годовой рост заработной платы удерживается ниже 3,0 процента, даже когда уровень безработицы снизился до 17-летнего минимума в 4,1 процента. Строительство домов для одной семьи, на долю которого приходится наибольшая доля рынка жилья, в феврале увеличилось на 2,9 процента и составило 902 000 единиц. Односемейное жилищное строительство выросло на Северо-востоке, Юге и Западе, но упало на Среднем Западе. Разрешения на строительство домов на одну семью снизились на 0,6 процента в феврале до 872 000 единиц. С учетом того, что разрешения предваряют закладки, строительство домов на одну семью может замедлится в ближайшие месяцы. Опрос в четверг показал, что уверенность среди домостроителей ослабла в марте, но осталась на сильном уровне. Строители были менее оптимистичны в отношении продаж и трафика покупателей в течение следующих шести месяцев. В феврале закладки волатильной категории многоквартирных домов упали на 26,1 процента и составили 334 000 единиц, что является самым низким показателем с сентября 2017 года. Разрешения на строительство многоквартирных домов снизились на 14,8 процента до 426 000 единиц. Поставки жилья в феврале увеличились на 7,8 процента и составили 1,319 миллиона единиц. Это был самый высокий уровень с января 2008 года. Количество домов для одной семьи, выставленных на продажу в прошлом месяце, было самым высоким с марта 2008 года. В феврале было построено 501 000 единиц жилья на одну семью, что больше всего с июня 2008 года. Это должно помочь смягчить некоторые недостатки предложения жилья, и, вероятно, замедлить инфляцию цен на жилье. Информационно-аналитический отдел TeleTradeИсточник: FxTeam

15 марта, 17:15

Жилье в США дорожает 6 лет подряд

Рост цен на жилье эксперты связывают с дефицитом предложения и ростом ипотечных ставок.

13 марта, 10:36

Уроки рынка: как мгновенно потерять $12,2 млрд

Месяц назад многие задавались вопросом, что за чистка происходит на фондовом рынке? За последние 30 дней фондовый рынок дал множество неверных ответов. А мы все еще ждем правильного и понятного суждения.

13 марта, 10:36

Уроки рынка: как мгновенного потерять $12,2 млрд

Месяц назад многие задавались вопросом: "Что за чистка происходит на фондовом рынке?". За последние 30 дней фондовый рынок дал множество неверных ответов. А мы все еще ждем правильного и понятного суждения.

13 марта, 02:09

Senate banking bill rewards Equifax despite privacy breaches

Newly released provisions would allow the company and its industry peers to enter the mortgage market while shielding them from consumer lawsuits.

12 марта, 10:46

Freddie Mac: ставки по ипотеке в США растут

Ставки ипотечного кредитования в США поднялись до максимального с января 2014 г. уровня, отмечено в еженедельном обзоре американской государственной ипотечной корпорации Freddie Mac (FM).

12 марта, 10:46

Freddie Mac: ставки по ипотеке в США растут

Ставки ипотечного кредитования в США поднялись до максимального с января 2014 г. уровня, отмечено в еженедельном обзоре американской государственной ипотечной корпорации Freddie Mac (FM).

10 марта, 20:00

How To Blow $12.2 Billion In No Time Flat

Authored by MN Gordon via EconomicPrism.com, One month ago we asked: What kind of stock market purge is this?  Over the last 30 days the stock market’s offered plenty of fake responses.  Yet we’re still waiting for a clear answer. The stock market, like the President, knows the art of ballyhoo.  Day after day, stocks behave in shocking and unpredictable ways.  They bluster and then recoil with the inconsistent elegance of a President Trump twitter tirade. Wild multi-hundred-point swings on the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) have become the norm.  Up 300 points one day.  Down 300 points the next.  Do you hear anything? All we hear from the stock market is a giant racket.  There’s much noise being made.  But there’s nothing of substance behind it. Certainly, after a nine year bull market there’s risk of a massive sell off.  That much is abundantly clear.  Perhaps it could be another 50 percent bloodbath like what happened in 2008-09.  But when will the next great panic hit? Is all this volatility of late coinciding with the actual market top?  At this point, the verdict is still out.  Remember, market tops are unknown until well after they pass.  Market tops are also a process; not a single event.  What to make of it? Two Short-Term Data Points Any old halfwit can venture an endless supply of guesses as to why the market is doomed for a massive panic attack.  What follows is a running list: Rising interest rates.  Diminishing liquidity.  A new Fed Chairman.  Quantitative tightening.  Rate hikes.  Trump trade tariffs and a new trade war.  A new fighting war.  The 115th U.S. Congress.  Kim Kardashian.  Extreme valuations.  A market that is overripe for rot.  An economy that may be weaker than advertised.  Inflation.  Deflation.  And much, Much More! You name it.  Any one of these prospects sound like a valid reason for an imminent market crash.  Make of them what you will.  Here at the Economic Prism we like to keep things real simple.  Hence, we’ll offer two other short-term data points to be on the lookout for… The DJIA hit an all-time high on January 26 of 26,616. Then, after an explosive decline, the DJIA hit an interim bottom of 23,360 on February 9.  Since then, the DJIA has bounced around within this range, fluctuating wildly on a day-to-day basis. What is important to watch for is if the DJIA first breaks out above the January 26 high or if it first drops below the February 9 interim low.  Should the market first drop below the February 9 interim low, it could continue down for another step or two lower.  Moreover, it increases the likelihood that the bull market’s days are numbered. One Fight Too Many Over the last nine years those who followed the mantra ‘buy the dip’ were rewarded for their mindless optimism.  However, at some point one of these dips will not be the dip to buy.  Rather, the subsequent bounce will be the bounce to sell. The stock market has a way of humbling even the most successful investors.  A body of work built up over decades can be rapidly wrecked by a bear market.  Sometimes there’s no coming back. Boxing champions always seem to hang around for one fight too many.  Time has a way of sneaking up on even the greatest fighters without them knowing it – or being willing to recognize it.  Money and glory often cloud their decisions. Some champion boxers lose their desire.  Some lose their physical edge.  Some lose both at the precise moment they’re in the ring, functioning as a human punching bag. Muhammad Ali should have passed on his 1980 fight with Larry Holmes.  He was near 40-years-old.  He’d taken a lot of punches.  He’d lost his edge. But he fought anyway.  He needed the money.  Boxing writer Richie Giachetti called it “…the worst sports event I ever had to cover.” Ali should have quit while he was ahead.  Now may be a good time for investors to quit while they’re ahead too.  Otherwise, they could be setting themselves up for something ugly… Achieving the Impossible Bill Miller knew he was smarter than the stock market.  He knew this not because he believed it was so.  He knew he was smarter than the stock market because he had the track record – data – to prove it. As fund manager of the Legg Mason Value Trust fund, Miller outsmarted the stock market for 15 consecutive years.  From 1991 to 2005, Miller beat the stock market every year.  No other fund manager we know of matched this near impossible achievement. Was it innate intelligence?  Was it luck?  Did he guess the correct coin flip 15 times in a row? Most likely it was a combination of hard work, shrewd acumen, an attuned gut, and dumb luck.  Indeed, Miller could do no wrong. On New Year’s Day 2006, Miller should’ve hung it up.  He had nothing to prove.  He should’ve quit while he was ahead, and taken to wood whittling or restoring old cars. Like an aging fight champ, Miller had lost his edge.  He just didn’t know it yet.  The market had changed.  He hadn’t.  In short, he’d become a disaster waiting to happen. How to Blow $12.2 Billion in No Time Flat When the stock market peaked out in mid-2007, in the early days leading up to the 2008-09 crash, Miller knew exactly what to do.  Like now, it was unclear in the fall of 2007 if the moderate decline that had occurred was merely the market coiling for the next spring upward or if it was rolling over for a more advanced decline. Miller held his licked finger up to the air and felt an amiable warm breeze blowing across the land.  So, like what he’d always done, he seized the moment, and began Martingale betting the market.  What we mean is he was buying the dip with ever increasing bets.  Business Insider, in a December 10, 2008 article titled, The Fall of Bill Miller, offered the gory particulars: “Mr. Miller was in his element a year ago when troubles in the housing market began infecting financial markets.  Working from his well-worn playbook, he snapped up American International Group Inc., Wachovia Corp., Bear Stearns Cos. and Freddie Mac.  As the shares continued to fall, he argued that investors were overreacting.  He kept buying. “What he saw as an opportunity turned into the biggest market crash since the Great Depression.  Many Value Trust holdings were more or less wiped out.   After 15 years of placing savvy bets against the herd, Mr. Miller had been trampled by it…” Between late-2007 and late-2008 the Legg Mason Value Trust fund collapsed nearly 60 percent, wiping out the gains that had been accrued in the funds lengthy market beating win streak.  Fund assets under management collapsed from $16.5 billion to $4.3 billion. There are many fun and interesting ways to blow $12.2 billion in no time flat.  Some people buy professional sports teams.  Others buy expensive hotels and private tropical islands with outdoor air conditioning.  Some build indoor ski resorts in the desert.  Others start businesses that consume massive amounts of capital producing electric cars.  Some even get mixed up with questionable women with names like Stormy Daniels. Miller, no doubt, was lacking in creativity.  For Miller did none of these things.  He merely flushed $12.2 billion – which represented the hard work, hopes and dreams of countless fund investors – down the toilet.  What a waste. “Every decision to buy anything has been wrong,” said Miller following his disastrous performance. There are dips to buy and dips not to buy.  The stock market dip that occurred between mid-2007 and mid-2008 was a dip not to buy.  Most likely the next stock market dip will be a dip not to buy too.

10 марта, 00:02

Нам мало не покажется! Экономист о том, когда ждать нового мирового кризиса

Февральский обвал индексов на мировых биржах ряд экспертов назвали прелюдией глобального кризиса.

09 марта, 16:55

Mortgage Rates Hit 4-Year High: Will it Foil Housing?

The 30-year rate increases 3 bps to 4.46%, marking the highest point since 2014. This may hit the housing industry which already faces acute shortage of homes and higher material costs.

Выбор редакции
07 марта, 13:20

По западному пути: как будет работать банк для девелоперов

В России появился специализированный банк для строителей. Чем он будет полезен застройщикам и покупателям жилья?

06 марта, 20:59

A Glimpse at Life Without the 30-Year Fixed-Rate Mortgage

Policymakers are considering changing the mortgage guarantee as part of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac reform. Here's a look at what that might mean for monthly payments.

03 марта, 01:29

Fed's QE Unwind Marches Forward Relentlessly

Authored by Wolf Richter via WolfStreet.com, During the sell-off, it ignored the whiners on Wall Street. The fifth month of the QE-Unwind came to a completion with the release this afternoon of the Fed’s balance sheet for the week ending February 28. The QE-Unwind is progressing like clockwork. Even during the sell-off in early February, the QE-Unwind never missed a beat. During QE, the Fed acquired Treasury securities and mortgage-backed securities (MBS) guaranteed by Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac, and Ginnie Mae. During the QE-Unwind, the Fed is shedding those securities. According to its plan, announced last September, the Fed would reduce its holdings of Treasuries and MBS by no more than: $10 billion a month in Q3 2017. $20 billion a month in Q1 2018 $30 billion a month in Q2 2018 $40 billion a month in Q3 2018 $50 billion a month in Q4 2018 and continue at this pace. This would shrink the balance of Treasuries and MBS by up to $420 billion in 2018, by up to an additional $600 billion in 2019 and every year going forward until the Fed decides that the balance sheet has been “normalized” enough — or until something big breaks. For February, the plan called for shedding up to $20 billion in securities: $12 billion in Treasuries and $8 billion in MBS. The easy part first: Treasury Securities On its January 31 balance sheet, the Fed had $2,436 billion of Treasuries; on today’s balance sheet, $2,424 billion: a $12 billion drop for February. On target! In total, since the beginning of the QE Unwind, the balance of Treasuries has dropped by $42 billion, to hit the lowest level since August 6, 2014: In the chart above, the stair-step down movement is a result of the mechanics with which the Fed sheds securities. It does not sell Treauries but allows them to “roll off” when they mature: mid-month and at the end of the month. On February 15, $16.6 billion in Treasuries on the Fed’s balance sheet matured; on February 28, $32.1 billion matured. In total, $48.7 billion in Treasuries matured. The Fed replaced $36.7 billion of them with new Treasuries via the special arrangement it has with the Treasury Department. This cuts out the middlemen on Wall Street. So these $36.7 billion in securities were “rolled over.” But the Fed did not replace the remaining $12 billion of Treasuries that matured. Instead, the Treasury Department redeemed them at face value (paid the Fed for them). In the jargon, these securities were allowed to “roll off.” The blue arrow in the chart above shows this February move. MBS are a jagged animal. For February, the plan calls for allowing $8 billion in MBS to roll off. So how did it go? Residential MBS differ from regular bonds. The MBS holder receives principal payments continuously as the underlying mortgages are paid down or paid off, and the principal shrinks until the maturity date, when the remainder is paid off. To keep the MBS balance steady, the New York Fed’s Open Market Operations (OMO) continually buys MBS. Settlement occurs two to three months later. This timing difference causes large weekly fluctuations in MBS on the Fed’s balance sheet. It also delays the day when MBS that have been allowed to “roll off” actually disappear from the balance sheet [I explained this in greater detail a month ago here]. As a result, to determine if the QE Unwind is taking place with MBS, we’re looking for lower highs and lower lows on a very jagged line. Also today’s movements reflect MBS that rolled off two to three months ago, so November and December, when about $4 billion in MBS were supposed to roll off per month. The chart below shows that jagged line. Note the lower highs and lower lows over the past few months. Given the delay of two to three months, the first roll-offs would have shown up in early December at the earliest. At the low in early November, the Fed held $1,770.1 billion in MBS. On today’s balance sheet, also the low point in the chart, the Fed shows $1,759.9 billion. From low to low, the balance dropped by $10.2 billion, reflecting trades in November and December: And the overall balance sheet? Total assets on the Fed’s balance sheet dropped from $4,460 billion at the outset of the QE Unwind in early October to $4,393 billion on today’s balance sheet, the lowest since July 9, 2014. A $67-billion drop: The balance sheet shows the effects not only of QE but also of the Fed’s other roles that impact its assets and liabilities. The most significant among these roles is that the Fed is also the official bank of the US government. And the Treasury Department’s huge and volatile cash balances are kept on deposit at the Fed. The Fed also holds “Foreign Official Deposits” by other central banks and government entities. But these activities have nothing to do with QE or the QE-Unwind. There have been suggestions that the Fed “backed off” or “reversed” the QE-Unwind during the recent sell-off to prop up the markets. This was deducted from a single bounce in the overall balance sheet in week ending February 14. But this bounce was just part of the typical ups and downs and perfectly within range. I have to disappoint these folks: based on what has happened in February with the Fed’s Treasury securities and MBS – the only two accounts that matter for the QE Unwind: The Fed didn’t miss a beat. The QE-Unwind proceeded as planned throughout the sell-off. And I expect this to continue. This Fed isn’t going to try to bail out every whiner on Wall Street. It has been clear about that. It won’t take Wall-Street whining seriously until credit starts freezing up – and the credit markets are far away from that. The housing market shudders. Could it be the new tax law and sky-high home prices? Read…  I Didn’t Think it Would Go This Fast: Mortgage Rates Blamed for 3-Year Low in Pending Home Sales

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02 марта, 22:40

США: индекс цен на дома FHFA в декабре повысился на 0.3%

По данным Федерального агентства по финансированию жилья (FHFA) индекс цен на дома в США, покупка которых осуществлялась с участием контролируемых государством ипотечных агентств Fannie Mae и Freddie Mac, в декабре повысился в месячном исчислении на 0.3% при ожидавшихся 0.4%. Повышение индекса в ноябре пересмотрено с 0.4% до 0.5%.

Выбор редакции
02 марта, 22:39

США: индекс цен на дома FHFA в декабре повысился на 0.3%

По данным Федерального агентства по финансированию жилья (FHFA) индекс цен на дома в США, покупка которых осуществлялась с участием контролируемых государством ипотечных агентств Fannie Mae и Freddie Mac, в декабре повысился в месячном исчислении на 0.3% при ожидавшихся 0.4%. Повышение индекса в ноябре пересмотрено с 0.4% до 0.5%.

02 марта, 11:00

Почему кризис неизбежен?

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Hera Research с удовольствием представляет отрезвляющее интервью с Нилом Барофски (Neil Barofsky), старшим научным сотрудником и адъюнкт-профессором юриспруденции юридического факультета Нью-Йоркского университета. С декабря 2008 по март 2011 года г-н Барофски работал в качестве специального генерального инспектора по госпомощи на сумму $700 млрд в рамках Программы выкупа проблемных активов (Troubled Asset Relief Program, TARP), которая […]

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14 января 2014, 07:56

Профицит бюджета США в декабре достиг рекорда

Профицит бюджета США в декабре стал рекордным на фоне более высоких налогов на заработную плату, выплат со стороны Fannie Mae и Freddie Mac, а также снижения уровня безработицы.

10 мая 2013, 06:16

Про MBS и ипотечные кредиты

Мы совсем как то эту тему забросили, а зря. Все же на этот рынок много завязано. О каких суммах идет речь? Объем ипотечных кредитов (для жилой недвижимости, коммерческой, сельскохозяйственной) составляет 13.1 трлн долл на конец 2012 года. Из этих 13.1 трлн более 9.4 трлн записано на домохозяйства. Под эти кредиты выпускали тоннами всякого MBS’осного шлака, процесс полностью остановился в 2008 году. Сейчас совокупный объем MBS составляет 7.54 трлн, т.е. почти 58% всех ипотечных кредитов было секьюритизировано. На пике зверства было под 70%. Из 7.54 трлн около 80% эмитировано Government-sponsored enterprises (GSE) всякие там fannie mae и freddie mac, остальное остальное на частные структуры. Причем стоит обратить внимание на то, что в 2009 году более 4.4 трлн дефолтных бумаг (!) было изъято из частных структур в пользу государственных. Не будь этого, то все рухнуло. Программа TARP, кредитование ФРС и QE здесь не учитываются.Как это было...Чтобы оценить тенденции и масштабы, то лучше всего на графике.Как видно, процесс сокращения ипотечных кредитов продолжается. Низкие процентные ставки не помогают, кредиты не берут. А выкуп MBS не помогает тем более, т.к. сам процесс выкупа не имеет ни малейшего отношения к способностям и желаниям заемщиков получать кредит. Все, к чему имеет отношение ФРС - это стимуляция дальнейшей активности бангстеров по секьюритизации ипотечных кредитов, но если нет роста кредитов, то и чисто теоретически не может быть никакого роста активности в MBS. Поэтому проблема не в предложении кредитов, т.е не в банках, а в спросе (заемщиках). Нет спроса на кредиты, а банки бы рады опять шарманку запустить.Максимум, что может получиться из этой безумной затеи ФРС - так это провоцирование отрыва башни у бангстеров . С тем, чтобы условия получения займов были столь простыми, что получить займ мог бы любой, кто имеет в активах хотя бы один чупа чупс и половину недопитой банки коки. Возврат к тому, от чего пришли. Ничего этих людей не исправит.Кто держит весь этот мусор?Разумеется больше всех у ФРС – 1 трлн на конец 2012 и 1.15 трлн в настоящий момент. Ни одна структура единолично столько не держит. Это 15% рынка на 2012, к концу 2013 будет держать все 20% рынка. Тем самым это означает, что ценообразование на этом рынке под полным контролем ФРС и дилеров. Проще говоря, вторичного рынка больше не существует.Почти 4.5 трлн у финансовых структур (1.6 трлн коммерческие банки, 350 млрд ипотечные трасты, 347 млрд страховые фонды, 223 млрд пенсионные фонды, 170 млрд у брокеров и так далее).Частный сектор (домохозяйства и корпорации) сократили вложения почти в ноль. Причем домохозяйства по каким то загадочным причинам начали скупать MBS тогда, когда они наиболее активно падали в цене. На тот момент (2007-2008) они были самым крупным покупателем на рынке, нарастив всего за 1.5 года объем MBS на 500 млрд до 1.02 трлн, а потом в период с 2009 по 2010 все продали, когда ФРС запустил QE1Я раньше вам говорил, но повторю. Эта операция была похожа на хорошо спланированный инсайд. Группа лиц инсайдеров и аффилированных лиц с ФРС примерно в конце 2007-середине 2008 знала, что будет неизбежный выкуп MBS со стороны ФРС для поддержания рынка и примерно тогда готовился план по банкротству Лемана. Учитывая, что бумаги продавались с дисконтом, то предположительно через частные счета и некоммерческие организации был проведен выкуп на 300-400 млрд бумаг, которые по рыночной цене не стоили и половину от номинала. А потом продавали по номиналу ФРС, заработав сотни процентов чистой прибыли. Также поступали и дилеры, но в отличие от юридических лиц, физиков и НКО никто проверять не будет, т.к. об этом никто даже не догадывается. Т.е. более, чем вероятно, что на инсайде смогли отмыть через мошеннические схемы более 150 млрд чистой прибыли.Основные выводы1. Роста кредитования нет.2. Эмиссии MBS нет, т.к. нет роста кредитования.3. Рынок MBS под полным контролем ФРС и дилеров. Еще никогда в истории одна структура не держала такую долю рынка. 15% на 2012 и 20% на конец 2013. Вторичного рынка больше не существует в свободном формате. Цены регулируются ФРС.4. ФРС частная лавочка бангстеров и инсайдеров, которая действует прежде всего в интересах бангстеров и инсайдеров.5. По множеству косвенных и прямых признаков, инсайд о вероятном запуске QE1 был еще в начале 2008 года. Много подозрительных теневых операций по переброски средств в НКО. Откуда у НКО пол триллиона баксов, которые выкупали это говно в момент острой паники и краха. По моим оценка отмыли не менее 150 млрд чистой прибыли.6. Когда MBS в объеме не увеличиваются, а ФРС выкупает под 40 млрд в месяц + когда ФРС монетизирует гос.долг США, то избыточная ликвидность абсорбируется на рынке акций. Реципиентом являются дилеры – те, кто работает с ФРС и получает ликвидность от ФРС. НЕ нужно питать иллюзий, что рост фондового рынка чем то фундаментально обоснован. Очередная гнусная операция по перекачки ликвидности и поддержанию рентабельности фин.сектора в условиях, когда активность клиентов спала на рекордно низкий уровень. Не будет QE = не будет роста рынка.7. Единственной хорошей новостью является то, что этот бардак выходит на финишную прямую. Когда они сосредоточили в руках почти всю возможную власть и активы, то прорыв этого чуда-юда неизбежен. Учитывая то, насколько все ухудшилось за последний год, то ждать осталось не так и долго. Еще никогда контроль над активыми не был столь тотальным и всеобъемлющим.Более детальная таблица держателей MBS

25 сентября 2012, 13:50

ФРС может расширить список выкупаемых активов

Федеральная резервная система может увеличить объемы и расширить список активов, выкупаемых в рамках проведения третей программы количественного смягчения. Об этом заявил президент Федерального резервного банка Сан-Франциско Джон Уильямс.Такие действия возможны в ответ на слабую реакцию экономики США на текущий формат стимулирования экономики."В отличие от наших прошлых программ по выкупу активов у этой нет заранее определенной даты завершения. Вместо этого она напрямую привязана к тому, что происходит с экономикой. Мы можем даже расширить наши покупки, с тем чтобы включить в них другие активы", - заявил Уильямс.Уильямс также отметил, что хоть и согласно мандату ФРС список бумаг, который может быть на балансе регулятора, ограничен, однако все еще есть возможность выкупа казначейских облигаций всех сроков обращения, долговых обязательств ипотечных агентств Freddie Mac и Fannie Mae.Помимо этого, Уильямс также ожидает продления сроков программы "Твист". "Я ожидаю, что мы продолжим эту программу в 2013 году, и я также думаю, что существуют сильные предпосылки для увеличения объемов или продолжения выкупа других активов в 2013 году, включая Treasuries с более длительными сроками обращения", - отметил Уильямс.По прогнозам представителя регулятора, ФРС удастся добиться снижения безработицы до 7,25% уже в 2014 г., поэтому программа выкупа активов будет завершена до конца 2014 г.