Six puzzles of the Turkish economy

I have been burning a lot of brain cells of late on six puzzles of the Turkish economy. I have already made some way into solving some of them, while I am still baffled by others. I will simply state them today, with the hope of sharing my answers over the course of the next […]

Is the Soft Housing Starts Data for June a Warning or a Sign of a Maturing Recovery?

Housing starts were surprisingly weak in June, the Census Bureau reports. The consensus forecast was looking for a modest gain to a 1.026 million annualized rate. Instead, the actual number dipped to 893,000—the lowest since last September. Newly issued permits for housing construction suffered a similar setback. In fact, housing has been a weak spot in the […]

Join the Protest Against Hometheft

It has been a while since I blogged about MERS–the banking industry’s creation to streamline the theft of homes. MERS is the “electronic registry” system that was created to subvert 500 years of Western property law. The bankers would destroy the written records of who owned what and who owed what to whom. That way […]

Strategic Briefing: U.S. Existing Home Sales

Existing-Home Sales Heat Up in May, Inventory Levels Continue to Improve National Assoc. of Realtors | June 23 Existing-home sales rose strongly in May and inventory gains continued to help moderate price growth, according to the National Association of Realtors. All four regions of the country experienced sales gains compared to a month earlier…. “Home […]

Closing Dinner Remarks — The Hyman P. Minsky Summer Seminar — June 21, 2014

Closing Dinner Remarks The Hyman P. Minsky Summer Seminar June 21, 2014 Daniel Alpert The Levy Economics Institute of Bard College Annandale-on-Hudson, New York This past weekend I was very honored to give the closing dinners remarks at the Levy Economic Institute’s Hyman P. Minsky Summer Seminar, which talk is set forth below.  The Summer […]

Monitoring Risk in the Housing Market

Housing is the weak link in an otherwise upbeat trend for the US economy. Deciding if this is a temporary soft patch for real estate or the start of something darker is still a work in progress. The potential for trouble is certainly lurking, as the recent run of weak data in residential sales and construction […]

Will the Weak Housing Market Pinch the Economy?

The latest batch of housing numbers offer a mixed view at best for this key sector. The March data for new housing starts and residential building permits are above their recent lows, but the gains are sluggish compared to the rates of increase from 2011 through early 2013. And that’s the good news vs. home […]

Fannie and Freddie Reform Is Necessary, but Not at Expense of Private-Sector Investment

Private investors and the government don’t always make easy bedfellows and nothing exemplifies this more than the case of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. After verging on collapse in 2008, the government-backed mortgage groups are now turning significant profits, but investors are not happy. Since their inception, the structure of Fannie and Freddie has been […]

Housing Starts Tumbled in January

It’s not a crash, but it sort of smells like one. Housing starts and newly issued residential building permits dropped sharply in January, the Census Bureaureported this morning. The declines, which came in well below expectations, follow a pattern of late: disappointing economic news for the US. But once again there’s also the routine of analysts […]

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