Oh, No! Disclosure is Going to Mess Up Housing Sales!

Starting Saturday, the real-estate industry will be subject to new disclosure rules, courtesy of the Dodd-Frank law and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. Lenders will be required to make transparent and complete disclosure of the terms of mortgages — including all costs and fees.

This information was sorely lacking during the boom in the 2000s. Residential real estate peaked in the U.S. in 2006, and the housing bust that followed exposed the worst practices of the era. Common-sense disclosure could have curbed many of the more egregious and preventable abuses.

The new regs (details at theCFPB) also require a three-day grace period between the disclosure and the actual mortgage signing. In the past, closings were characterized by a flurry of signatures and initials — and it’s safe to say that most home buyers had no idea what they are signing, even after the cursory explanatory from their real estate attorney.

The rules were finalized two years ago and were initially scheduled to take effect in August. In response to industry concerns that the change could cause confusion in the height of the summer selling season, the agency postponed implementation until Oct. 3.

We should remember why these rules became necessary: During the housing boom, mortgage underwriting became a mass-produced, nondisclosed, poorly originated free-for-all. Unqualified buyers purchased mortgages that, in many cases, they did not know they could not afford. Many people believed they had inexpensive fixed-rate mortgages only to be surprised when these reset two years later.

Stories of abuse were rampant.

Continues here: Crocodile Tears From Mortgage Lenders

Category: Credit, Real Estate, Regulation

Private Equity Buying Troubled Home Mortgages

Source: Dealbook

Category: Real Estate

Curly Joins Moe & Larry on Seattle Min Wage

@TBPInvictus Moe and Larry on Seattle’s minimum wage are now joined by Curly, a fellow by the name of Mike Patton, whose recent screed on the topic can be found here. To demonstrate the deliterious effects of Seattle’s new law, Patton provides us the following chart: (Let’s disregard the fact that what Patton cites as 3.7%…Read More

Category: Current Affairs, Data Analysis, Economy, Employment, Wages & Income

10 Wednesday AM Reads

Our locally sourced, artisanal, hand curated morning train reads: • Are Stocks Overpriced? (Servo) see also Global Rally Shows Relief at End of $11 Trillion Stocks Meltdown (Bloomberg) • Is Your Financial Adviser Making Money Off Your Bad Investments? (NYT) • What it means to be great (Asymco) see also iPhones are great and people love them so Apple clearly needs…Read More

Category: Financial Press

Most Competitive Countries in the World

113 indicators from the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report 2015-16 (via  Bloomberg) leads to a not at all Lettermanesque top 10 list of most competitive countries in the world.  Here’s a look at this year’s top 10: Switzerland Singapore United States Germany Netherlands Japan Hong Kong Finland Sweden United Kingdom Fascinating list . . ….Read More

Category: Corporate Management, Economy, Taxes and Policy

Medicare Part D pays needlessly high brand-name drug prices

Category: Taxes and Policy, Think Tank

Lowering Medicare Part D Prices

Of all of the many poor domestic tax decisions that came out of the Bush Administration, the massive corporate giveaway that is Medicaid Part D was one of the most offensive. A new study has found that this is a very expensive mistake. Its title: “Medicare Part D pays needlessly high brand-name drug prices compared with other…Read More

Category: Corporate Management, Really, really bad calls, Taxes and Policy

Art Samberg: Investing as a Form of Engineering/Problem-Solving

This week in our Masters in Business interview, we speak with with Art Samberg of Pequot Partners. When Samberg began his first fund in 1986, there were less than 100 hedge funds. By 2000, with George Soros and Julian Robertson retired, the Wall Street Journal reported that Pequot Capital Management had became the largest hedge fund in the world. The…Read More

Category: Podcast

Carl Icahn: Key Ideas for America

Carl Icahn is one of the greatest investors of his generation, if not of all time. In a recent video, he makes a variety of political points, many of which i find myself in agreement about . . . U.S. lawmakers need to end their fiscal inertia. CEOs are taking advantage of the system — as…Read More

Category: Markets

10 Tuesday AM Reads

Our two-fer-Tuesday, free range morning train reads: • This Is Why Public and Private Market Valuations Are Completely Different (Mahesh VC) see also Silicon Valley Raises $75B in Venture Capital (Chief Investment Officer) • White House report says Internet is a ‘core utility’ just like electricity (CS Monitor) • Seven reasons Volkswagen is worse than Enron (FT) see also A Mucky Business: Systematic…Read More

Category: Financial Press