London’s Cable & Wireless moving to South Florida - Business - MiamiHerald.com: "Cable & Wireless Communications, the London-based telecom company that dates back to the British Empire, is moving its global headquarters to South Florida. . . . Cable & Wireless Communications offers mobile services, land lines, internet and TV throughout the Caribbean, in Panama and Monaco. Its shares trade on the London Stock Exchange . . ."
To Rescue Local Economies, Cities Seize Underwater Mortgages Through Eminent Domain | The Nation: "Faced with this quagmire, a growing number of cities—with the support of community groups and unions—are taking things into their own hands. Thanks to a legal strategy initially formulated by Cornell University law professor Robert Hockett, city officials have discovered that they can use their eminent domain power—which they routinely use to purchase property for sidewalks, infrastructure, school construction and other projects—to buy underwater mortgages at their current market value and resell them to homeowners at reduced price and mortgage payments. . . . . " (read more at link above)
The looming threat to the housing recovery - Brett Arends's ROI - MarketWatch: "In January, an American family who wanted to buy a median home would have paid $170,600, according to the National Association of Realtors. (There are seasonal factors making winter purchases cheaper). Assume they borrowed 80% of the price at prevailing mortgage rates then, which according to the Fed were 3.4%, they would have faced an annual interest cost of about $4,600. Today, a family hoping to buy a median home will pay $208,000, and 4.6% interest. Annual interest on an 80% mortgage: $7,600. In other words, the effective cost of buying the median home in the U.S., when measured in terms of the actual cost of the mortgage per month or year, has risen by more than 50% in just a few months." (read more at link above)
Mish's Global Economic Trend Analysis: "China Urbanization Growth Fallacy"; Trouble with Ponzi Schemes; Stopped Clock Syndrome; Wrong vs. Early: " . . . the economy is addicted to unsustainable increases in debt, and while Beijing can flail away at individual problems areas, it cannot resolve the underlying debt problem without a sharp slowdown in growth. Most analysts have lowered their forecasts substantially in the past two years, and especially in the past month, but they are still deluding themselves about longer-term growth prospects. I just don’t see how we can grow at 7-8% without running the risk of a serious debt crisis before the end of the period. As it is we are having a hard enough time understanding what current growth rates really are. Power consumption, for example, simply doesn’t suggest that growth rates have been able to hold up. . . ."
Warren Buffett: More myth than legend - MarketWatch: " . . . . In those 15 years, an investment of $10,000 would have grown to $21,698 in Berkshire Hathaway stock. The same money would have grown to $24,307 in the three Vanguard value funds or $37,958 in five DFA value funds. Warren Buffett does recommend index funds, but he usually specifies only the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index SPX +0.08% , which compounded at only 4.2% over the past 15 years. I don't know why he doesn’t recommend value index funds. . . ."
Will the Feds Kill SAC Capital? : The New Yorker: " . . . . Ultimately, the government has the most leverage. If it announces a racketeering indictment, SAC will probably be out of business before a trial even gets started. But is Bharara willing to go that far, or is he just bluffing? In the next few weeks, we should find out." (read more at link above)
Stasis Is Not An Economic State: " . . . .While it appears instead to be in stasis, this economy is really just falling into disrepair that will get recognized (including the unfortunately necessary downward revisions to nearly every economic data series) once the artificial illusion is lifted. There is no growth, only the forces of economic nature overwhelming monetary ideology. For $85 billion per month (on top of MBS reinvestments) the Fed is literally getting nothing for its “money” except stalling real growth potential."
Affiliate Marketers Need to Be Aware of the CFTC | Jeff Ifrah - JDSupra: " . . . binary options means “two options.” The system offers traders a simple choice whether an asset will close above a certain price (a “call option”) or below (a “put option”) at the end of the day. Lately, there seems to be a great deal of confusion regarding the legality of binary options trading in the United States. The question is not so much whether binary options are legal in the United States but whether the firms offering them are listed on a proper U.S. exchange and are properly registered with and regulated by the Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). Nadex, for example, is a regulated U.S. exchange, which is designated by the CFTC and permitted to accept U.S. residents as members. In a recent lawsuit, the CFTC charged the Ireland-based “Intrade The Prediction Market Limited” and “Trade Exchange Network Limited” with offering commodity option contracts to U.S. customers for trading, including option contracts on whether certain U.S. economic numbers or the prices of gold and currencies would reach a certain level by a certain future date, all in violation of the CFTC’s ban on off-exchange options trading. . . ." (read more at link above)
Corelogic’s report on the huge share of homes under water in South Florida helps explain the dearth of inventory of homes on the market in the region: Most homeowners are loath to put their house up for sale if it means having to pay out cash at the closing table to make up for the negative equity. (source infra)