Regulation

/Regulation

Regulation and Rule of Law

Things Get Ugly For Denton-Based Sally Beauty

Things just got ugly for Denton-based Sally Beauty supply. The international retailer and distributor of professional beauty supplies saw its stock plummet after Amazon announced its own professional beauty store. This is not exactly great news for one of Denton's largest businesses. Amazon is a virtually unregulated monopoly on multiple fronts with huge tax advantages to many of its competitors. Amazon Beauty customers will still need a license to purchase professional use products, but Amazon is playing by a different set of rules as regulators continue to turn a blind eye to Amazon's monopolistic business [...]

New Home Sales Jump 7 Percent In April But Momentum Is Fading

The Census Bureau reported new home sales in April which rose 7 percent compared to the same time a year ago. Sales (contract signings) for April posted at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 673,000 units. This was close to expectations, but interestingly the April figure represented a rather large 7 percent drop from revised March numbers. The sales numbers for the previous three months were revised higher. The median price of a new home rose in April to $342,200, while the average price of a new home contracted in April rose to $393700. This [...]

Shadow Bank Lending, Rising Debt To Income Ratios Fueling Denton County Home Price Growth

Shadow banks, or nonbanks as they are often called, continue to dominate the mortgage space in the real estate echo bubble. This is the case in Denton County Texas and all across the country. Since 2008 the share of mortgage originations by nonbanks has more than doubled, rising from 24% in 2008 to 54% in 0217. The share of mortgages issued by traditional large banks continue to decline. As home prices rose throughout Denton County, the quality of the mortgages originated during this boom began deteriorating. Last year the deterioration in mortgage quality was pronounced. [...]

10 Years After The Housing Crash, Dallas-Fort Worth Experiencing Consequences Of Policy Failures

10 years after the housing crash and the Great Recession that nearly brought the world economy to its knees, the adults in the room are still pretending that everything is normal. If you read the Dallas Morning News and the spin of many professional economists, the DFW real estate market has emerged from the wreckage 10 years ago relatively unscathed. With DFW home prices at record highs, most housing pundits are eager to suggest everything is awesome. Apparently the recent rise in home inventories is just blip in an otherwise normalization of the formerly red [...]

Fed Orders China Bank To Tighten Anti-Money Laundering Protections

The Federal Reserve on Tuesday faulted the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd for its weak anti-money laundering protections, ordering ICBC to tighten its screening of illicit money. Real estate money laundering from China into global property markets has been an ongoing theme for several years, and by all accounts the volumes of money being cleaned are still substantial. Last month the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) introduced new guidelines to replace its "Foreign Income Program". CIBC decided it should obtain income verification for foreign buyers gobbling up overpriced Canadian homes. Many of [...]

Why Is The Fed Protecting The Stock Market?

The $11 billion increase in the System Open Market Account Holdings report for February 14 has caught the attention of a number of intelligent market watchers for obvious reasons. The Federal Reserve is purportedly in the midst of a significant balance sheet normalization process whereby they are (and plan to to continue) selling large amounts of Treasuries and agency mortgage-backed securities. After amassing a portfolio of over $4.4 trillion, the Fed has used that massive hedge fund to artificially suppress interest rates and foster some serious asset inflation. The Fed was not alone in this [...]

Fed Unwinds $21 Billion, Markets Puke On Higher Yields

The Federal Reserve System Open Market Account Holdings (SOMA) report for January 31st finally revealed the balance sheet unwind in action. Since the Fed announced their balance sheet unwind last year, the actual process had been proceeding at a snails pace, particularly with the mortgage-backed securities portfolio. The MBS instruments can take 2-3 months to roll off, so the MBS unwind has been virtually invisible until this week. With a $21 billion drawdown in the latest week, including over $10 billion in agency MBS unwind, it becomes increasingly clear why the markets were puking all [...]

Another Fed “Senior Economist” Demonstrates Willful Ignorance

The Federal Reserve and its army of economists continue to demonstrate willful ignorance of their failed policies. This week it was the Kansas City Fed's Jordan Rappaport who penned another dose of misdirection on the housing market. Rappaport's piece, "Pent-Up Demand and Continuing Price Increases: The Outlook for Housing in 2018" is yet another example of how the Federal Reserve touts itself as a champion of real economy while they continue toe the line for Wall Street and wealthy investors. In the usual captured culture of Fed Mr. Rappaport lays out the theme of continued [...]

Better Dwelling Goes Off The Reservation Citing Tainted Paper

Canadian real estate site Better Dwelling covers some of the more interesting developments in the Canadian housing market, but their latest piece isn't one of their finest moments. While I generally like the BD site, the authors apparently jumped the reservation citing a new scapegoat for the U.S. (global) housing crisis. Citing a working paper on NBER, Credit Growth and the Financial Crisis: A New Narrative, BD goes with the theme that this working paper changes everything when it in fact changes nothing. Even worse, BD apparently falls for the ruse that mom & pop [...]

Financialization Of Housing And The Disturbing Gap In New Home Sales

The financialization of the U.S. housing market has led to a rather disturbing gap in new home sales relative to existing home sales. This is a subject I was referencing this week when I mentioned the problem builders are facing with the lack of affordable land to build new homes on. Today the Census Bureau reported new home sales for January came in at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 555,000. Previous months were also revised lower, with November taking a significant haircut. On a year-over-year basis January new home sales were up 5.5 percent. [...]