FIG Topics of Interest

 

09/06/17

Leading U.S. lawmakers said on Tuesday they were preparing to swiftly approve disaster relief for victims of Hurricane Harvey and two other must-pass priorities: preventing a default on U.S. government debt and avoiding a government shutdown.

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09/05/17

Congress must also raise the federal debt ceiling by the end of September or early October to stave off an unprecedented U.S. government debt default, which would shake global markets.
The debt ceiling caps how much money the U.S. government can borrow, and some conservatives are loath to raise it without spending reforms. U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Sunday said Congress should act quickly to increase the debt limit, or else relief funding for hurricane-ravaged areas of Texas might be delayed."Without raising the debt limit, I am not comfortable that we will get money to Texas this month to rebuild," Mnuchin said on Fox News Sunday. 

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09/01/17

Companies are working to assess the safety and potential damage of assets they’re able to access, according to Christi Craddick, chair of the Railroad Commission of Texas, which has regulatory authority over the state’s oil and gas industry. But in the coastal areas where Harvey did its worst, flooding is preventing operators from even being able to inspect some sites, she said."Until the water goes down and we can really go in make an assessment, I don’t think anybody knows yet what assets look like" in the areas hardest hit by Harvey, Craddick said in a telephone interview. "We don’t have a time line at this point."

 

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08/29/17

Insurance experts say only a small fraction of homeowners in Harvey's path of destruction have flood insurance. That means families with flooded basements, soaked furniture and water-damaged walls will have to dig deep into their pockets or take on more debt to fix up their homes. Some may be forced to sell, if they can, and leave their communities. 
With Harvey, only two of 10 homeowners have coverage, Hunter estimates.

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08/28/17

Hurricane Harvey shut the second-largest U.S. port, Houston, and the sixth, Corpus Christi. Combined, they handled 319 million tons of goods, or about 14 percent of shipping that passed through the nation’s ports in 2014, according to data from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics.

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08/25/17

“We are expecting catastrophic, life-threatening flooding in Southeastern Texas,” said Carl Erickson, a senior meteorologist for AccuWeather. “The weather goes downhill as the day goes on Friday.”
Harvey may dump as much as 35 inches of rain on areas of Texas over the next week. The Federal Emergency Management Agency is sending staff and food and water supplies to the region.
Texas Governor Greg Abbott declared a state of disaster for 30 counties and evacuations have begun.

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08/18/17

Full-year 2016 cash flow numbers are in for about 75% of loans securitized in CMBS deals with most borrowers reporting higher than the historical growth average for most property types, however the pace of growth is down slightly from record growth in 2015. 

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08/17/17

The Las Vegas metropolitan area, which led the nation with the biggest share of seriously underwater homes after the housing crash, has been overtaken by Cleveland.

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08/16/17

More than 900,000 jobs have been certified by the U.S. government as lost to trade with Mexico and Canada since Nafta came into effect, according to Public Citizen, an advocacy group that tracks an adjustment program for workers hurt by trade. The total job losses are probably several times larger, since that figure only covers jobs reported to the government, said Lori Wallach, global trade watch director at Public Citizen.
“The biggest losers are U.S. workers without a college degree,” she said. “Who have been the winners? The executives and owners of really big multinational companies.”

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08/14/17

The National Association of Realtors issued an "August Recess Talking Points" circular imploring members to remind lawmakers that "Homeowners must be treated fairly in tax reform" to avoid "another housing crash."
The group cited a report it commissioned from PwC that estimated home values could quickly dive more than 10 percent if the tax plan becomes law.
To simplify the tax code, Republicans have proposed eliminating nearly all tax write-offs including those for state and local taxes, then doubling the standard deduction. This would eliminate the incentive to itemize and should drastically reduce the number of taxpayers who do so.

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