JPMorgan and 9 Other Banks Repay TARP Money
The New York Times
JPMorgan Chase and nine other big banks said Wednesday that they had repaid the federal assistance money that they had received in the fall during the height of the financial crisis.
JPMorgan said it had returned $25 billion, with interest, to the government — money that the bank’s chief executive, Jamie Dimon, has said it never needed in the first place.
Obama Sets Tone for Financial Regulatory Reforms
The Wall Street Journal
WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama on Wednesday proposed sweeping changes to the way the U.S. government oversees financial markets and will push Congress to grant new powers to the Federal Reserve to oversee the economy.
Mr. Obama detailed the reform proposals the White House says are necessary to avoid another financial crisis. The president blamed the turmoil on "a culture of irresponsibility" that he said had taken root from Wall Street to Washington. He attributed much of the country's current problem to "a cascade of mistakes and missed opportunities" that occurred over decades
Condos Vie for the Good House-Lending Seal of Approval
The Wall Street Journal
A nationwide glut of new condominiums has prompted developers to use new marketing ploys to sell their units. One increasingly popular move: get a government stamp of approval for the entire building.
The approval, from the Federal Housing Administration, means potential buyers can more easily qualify for a low-down-payment mortgage backed by the FHA -- a highly coveted amenity in this era of tight credit.
U.S. Taking Steps Toward Recovery, Data Show
The Washington Post
The nation is slowly limping its way out of the recession, according to new economic data, as the housing market stabilizes, the industrial sector continues to struggle and inflation appears contained.
A Commerce Department report released yesterday showed that construction of single-family homes rose more than expected in May, as did building permits, which are used to gauge future building activity. Analysts saw the increase in construction, which hit a record low in April, as an early sign that the three-year-old housing slump is getting closer to bottoming out, although home prices are likely to keep falling for some time
UFA: Riskiest Mortgages Are Behind Us
How bad can the rate of mortgage defaults get? Ann Arbor, Michigan-based University Financial Associates, LLC (UFA) says it has simulated “worst case” market scenarios to help lenders' risk managers and the industry better understand what to expect when it comes to future defaults on loans being made today, and the company has good news – it says the worst is already behind us.
In UFA’s most recent report, the company's worst-case scenario assumes the gross domestic product (GDP) will decline five percent for two years, followed by two more years of positive one percent growth before returning to trend growth. The GDP is used by economists as a basic measure of an economy's performance, and UFA explains that the worst-case snapshot used in its analysis is much more severe than any of the post-war recessions, however, it's far rosier than the economic situation of the Great Depression in the 1930s.