FIG Topics of Interest

 

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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08/11/17

The White House plans to release a brief document in early- to mid-September outlining a framework for overhauling the U.S. tax code, according to three sources familiar with the matter.

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08/08/17

The share of U.S. small business owners with plans to add to payrolls in July exceeded those planning to cut jobs by 19 percentage points on a seasonally adjusted basis, NFIB data showed. That is a 4-point increase from June and the strongest reading since December 1999.
Moreover, 60 percent of owners said they were hiring or trying to hire, a 6-point increase from June.

 

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08/07/17

In most Manhattan neighborhoods, at least 25 percent of homes on the market in the second quarter had their prices cut. The share was smaller only at the borough’s northernmost tip, in Inwood and Marble Hill. In prime areas such as the West Village and Chelsea, about half of listings had their prices trimmed.

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08/04/17

The vast majority of S&P 500 companies don’t have enough money set aside to meet all their obligations to current and future retirees. There’s a total gap of at least $375 billion for the 200 largest plans. This is how they got here.

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08/03/17

The CoStar Commercial Repeat-Sale Index (CCRSI) reached midyear 2017 with pricing trends continuing to rise steadily across all U.S. regions and types of properties. The equal-weighted U.S. Composite Index rose by 1.4% in June, contributing to a second-quarter gain of 5%, while the value-weighted U.S. Composite Index advanced by a similar 1.3% for the month and by 4.1% for the quarter. 

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08/02/17

The only real wild card in the U.S. car market is the replacement rate, which is to say how often cars and trucks make their way to the junkyard. This is perhaps where auto executives should have seen the slowdown coming. In the past two decades, about 13 million vehicles were dropping out of the U.S. fleet every year, far less than the number of new vehicles sold over the past five years. Customers keen to upgrade kept the market running hot for awhile, but that imbalance finally caught up with automakers. As more vehicles stayed in the driveway, fewer came off the lot.

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08/01/17

Senator Orrin Hatch, Republican chairman of the tax-writing Senate Finance Committee, told Reuters on Monday that bipartisanship may be necessary to ensure that tax reform succeeds but blamed Democrats for slowing down the legislative process.
In Tuesday's letter, Democrats said bipartisan tax reform should offer no relief for the wealthy, citing Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin's assertion last November that there would be no absolute tax cut for the upper class.

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07/31/17

"The deleveraging campaign now is focused on curbing shadow banks, and the shadow banks help the smaller companies most," said Shen Jianguang, chief Asia economist at Mizuho Securities Asia Ltd. in Hong Kong. "Conditions for them will be even harder next year, when regulators are even more serious about cracking down on risks."

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