Friday, April 1, 2011

Housing News Digest, April 1

Foreign Banks Tapped Fed’s Secret Lifeline Most at Crisis Peak
U.S. Federal Reserve Chairman Ben S. Bernanke’s two-year fight to shield crisis-squeezed banks from the stigma of revealing their public loans protected a lender to local governments in Belgium, a Japanese fishing-cooperative financier and a company part-owned by the Central Bank of Libya.

Bosses at bailed-out Fannie, Freddie were paid millions
Regulators have approved generous executive compensation at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the taxpayer-backed mortgage finance giants, with little scrutiny or analysis, according to a report published Thursday by the inspector general of the Federal Housing Finance Agency.
The companies, whose fates are to be decided by Congress this year, paid a combined $17 million to their chief executives in 2009 and 2010, the two full years when Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were wards of the state, the report found.

Fed Official Sees Rates Inching Up This Year
In a interview, Narayana Kocherlakota said he expected "a big upward movement" in core inflation—inflation excluding volatile food and energy prices—from about 0.8% late last year to about 1.3% by year-end.

U.S. February Construction Spending Report
The U.S. Census Bureau of the Department of Commerce announced today that construction spending during February 2011 was estimated at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of $760.6 billion, 1.4 percent (+/-1.4%)* below the revised January estimate of $771.0 billion. The February figure is 6.8 percent (+/-1.6%) below the February 2010 estimate of $815.8 billion.

Robo-Signing Settlement Disputes Continue After Wednesday's Meeting
Though both parties have submitted their own version of what they believe a settlement should look like, Wednesday’s meeting was the first in what will likely be a long period of negotiations.
And though this was the first formal meeting, there has been commentary from both sides on the proposed terms in the settlement released by Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller.