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Economic News

Mortgage Drama, Real Estate Bubble, Tech Crash, Dotcom Disaster



From wikipedia:

The self-fulfilling prophecy is, in the beginning, a false definition of the situation evoking a new behavior which makes the original false conception come ‘true’ This specious validity of the self-fulfilling prophecy perpetuates a reign of error. For the prophet will cite the actual course of events as proof that he was right from the very beginning.”[1]

The more things are fine where I am, they aren’t where you are, I get that. You want me to fear what you feel, but I cannot touch what you see. I find it insane at how the phenomenon works really. One lady walks into the office hating her life, she can’t close a home to save her life this month, the mortgage is due and she’s stressed. Like a virus, her mood and attitude sets off a chain reaction to all that surround her- she passes on her worries, stress, and fears. Before you know, everyone needs a stiff drink and begins feeling her pressure even though they’re just fine.

As some (including myself) try to remain positive around the blog-o-whatever about the mortgage industry, there are already those who cannot stop warning and passing along their own fears. It is already preordained that we will have a mortgage meltdown because the virus of words is already spreading.

Rather than being responsible, acknowledging there is a problem, many would rather run around yelling fire as opposed to simply grabbing a fire extinguisher of solution and spreading it around to quench the fears of those trapped inside. I can see some pundints want me to go along and jump on board the sorrow, but my fear is that perpetuating the maddness might just feed a perfectly fine owner into believing his rate is awful, the home is no longer worth what he paid- “I guess it’s time to cut our losses,” he says, not realizing that he was never in a crisis in the first place. But that guy on the blog, and on TV said he was.

I know it’s coming, not because it had to, but because you keep insisting it already has.

Thomas Theorem said:

“If men define situations as real, they are real in their consequences.”

So now that we know it’s coming, what shall we all do about it? I’m doing a few things like; creating a shortsale team to assist sellers, offering move-down programs to those who aren’t so much in a bad way-yet, talking about it with sellers that call, offering advise on when to get out, and when to stay, talking to lenders about refinance options for those who might not need to move if we can do something now before they begin missing payments (not charging for that by the way, just guiding), calling past clients to see how they are, and that they’re okay. Anyone have more suggestions? Feel free to let me know…

Benn Rosales is the Founder and CEO of The American Genius (AG), national news network for tech and entrepreneurs, proudly celebrating 10 years in publishing, recently ranked as the #5 startup in Austin. Before founding AG, he founded one of the first digital media strategy firms in the nation and also acquired several other firms. His resume prior includes roles at Apple and Kroger Foods, specializing in marketing, communications, and technology integration. He is a recipient of the Statesman Texas Social Media Award and is an Inman Innovator Award winner. He has consulted for numerous startups (both early- and late-stage), has built partnerships and bridges between tech recruiters and the best tech talent in the industry, and is well known for organizing the digital community through popular monthly networking events. Benn does not venture into the spotlight often, rather believes his biggest accomplishments are the talent he recruits, develops, and gives all credit to those he's empowered.

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  1. jp moses

    August 11, 2007 at 9:41 pm

    I’d also suggest you add to your list to create a short list of trustworthy real estate investors – folks who are interested in buying preforeclosure, who can treat the transaction with integrity, close quickly with cash, and help the clients your short sale team works with to make their exit sooner rather than later. Seems like a great compliment to the short sale strategy.


  2. Michael Cook

    August 13, 2007 at 8:06 am

    I think this is an interesting theory on the surface. Unfortunately, many “bubbles” are caused by real valuation issues that exist in the market. The tech was obvious and I think the mortgage issues have been long overdue. I think a better theory might be to examine the event that triggers rationality. As prices get more and more out of whack, the likelihood of a trigger event becomes very high. This could be a bad economic report or a slow down in growth, that then tailspins.

    To say that there is no problem or that there is an easy fix to a problem that has been growing for years is a bit too simplistic.

  3. B. R.

    August 13, 2007 at 10:16 am

    I responded with a new post by Ben Stein. Fear is a very real thing and drives people to do very insane things.

    You and I are talking on two totally different levels. You’re yelling for the lenders, I’m simple telling you what it’s like here on the ground in residential. Obviously if you’re heavilly invested in subprime, you’re maybe ready to jump off of a building, but the overall hit the markets will take is still a drop in the bucket by almost all accounts of folks in the know. But the minute I see what you see down here, I’ll let you know.

  4. Erik Hersman

    August 13, 2007 at 11:41 am

    Ben, this was one of my favorite posts in a long time, not just for this week’s carnival.

  5. B. R.

    August 13, 2007 at 12:10 pm

    That means a lot, thanks so much.

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Economic News

Is the real estate industry endorsing Carson’s nomination to HUD?

(BUSINESS NEWS) Ben Carson’s initial appointment to HUD was controversial given his lack of experience in housing, but what is the pulse now?



NAR strongly backs Dr. Carson’s nomination

When President-Elect Donald Trump put forth Dr. Ben Carson’s name as the nominee for Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, NAR President William E. Brown said, “While we’ve made great strides in recent years, far more can be done to put the dream of homeownership in reach for more Americans.”

At the time of nomination, the National Association of Realtors (the largest trade organization in the nation) offered a positive tone regarding Dr. Carson and said the industry looks forward to working with him. But does that hold true today?

The confirmation hearings yesterday were far less controversial than one would expect, especially in light of how many initially reacted to his nomination. Given his lack of experience in housing, questions seemed to often center around protecting the LGBT community and veterans, both of which he pledged to support.

In fact, Dr. Carson said the Fair Housing Act is “one of the best pieces of legislation we’ve ever had in this country,” promising to issue a “world-class plan” for housing upon his confirmation…

>>>>>Click to continue reading…<<<<<


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Economic News

Job openings hit 14-year high, signaling economic improvement

The volume of job openings is improving, but not across all industries. The overall economy is improving, but not evenly across all career paths.



young executives

job openings

Job openings hit a high point

To understand the overall business climate, the U.S. Labor Department studies employment, today releasing data specific to job vacancies. According to the department’s Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey (JOLT) for April, job openings rose to 5.38 million, the highest seen since December 2000, and a significant jump from March’s 5.11 million vacancies. Although a lagging indicator, it shows strength in the labor market.

The Labor Department reports that the number of hires in April fell to 5 million, which indicates a weak point in the strong report, and although the volume remains near recent highs, this indicates a talent gap and highlights the number of people who have left the labor market and given up on looking for a job.

Good news, bad news, depending on your profession

That said, another recent Department report notes that employers added 221,000 jobs in April and 280,000 in May, but the additions are not evenly spread across industries. Construction jobs rose in April, but dipped in professional and business services, hospitality, trade, and transportation utilities. In other words, white collar jobs are down, blue collar jobs are up, which is good or bad news depending on your profession.

Additionally, the volume of people quitting their jobs was 2.7 million in April compared to the seven-year high of 2.8 million in March. Economists follow this number as a metric for gauging employee confidence in finding their next job.

What’s next

If you’re in the market for a job, there are an increasing number of openings, so your chance of getting hired is improving, but there is a caveat – not all industries are enjoying improvement.

If you’re hiring talent, you’ll still get endless resumes, but there appears to be a growing talent gap for non-labor jobs, so you’re not alone in struggling to find the right candidate.

Economists suspect the jobs market will continue to improve as a whole, but this data does not pertain to every industry.


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Economic News

Gas prices are down, so are gas taxes about to go up?

Do low gas prices mean higher gas taxes are on the way? Budgeting for 2015 just got a bit more complicated, if some politicians have their way.



gas tax


Gas taxes and your bottom line

Many industries rely heavily on time in their vehicle, not just truck drivers and delivery trucks. Sales professionals hop in their vehicles throughout the day, as do many other types of professionals (service providers like plumbers, and so forth). For that reason, gas prices and taxes are a relevant line item that must be budgeted for 2015, but with politicians making the rounds to push for higher gas taxes, budgeting becomes more complicated.

Gas prices are down roughly 50 cents per gallon compared to a year ago, which some analysts say have contributed to more money in consumers’ pockets. Some believe that this will improve holiday sales, but others believe the timing is just right to increase federal taxes on gas. The current tax on gas is 18.40 cents per gallon, and on diesel are 24.40 cents per gallon.


Supporters and opponents are polar opposites

Supporters argue as follows: gas prices are low, so it won’t hurt to increase federal gas taxes, in fact, those funds must go toward improving our infrastructure, which in the long run, saves Americans money because smoother roads mean better gas mileage and less congestion.

Gas taxes have long been a polarizing concept, and despite lowered gas prices, the controversial nature of the taxes have not diminished.

While some are pushing for complete abolition of federal gas taxes, others, like former Pennsylvania Governor, Ed Rendell (D) tell CNBC, “Say that cost the average driver $130 a year. They would get a return on that investment” in safer roads and increased quality of life, he added.

The Washington Post‘s Chris Mooney points out that federal gas taxes have been “stuck” at 18 cents for over 20 years, last raised when gas was barely a dollar a gallon and that the tax must increase not only to improve the infrastructure, but to “green” our behavior, and help our nation find tax reform compromise.

Is a gas tax politically plausible?

Mooney writes, “So, this is not an argument that a gas tax raise is politically plausible — any more than a economically efficient tax on carbon would be. It’s merely a suggestion that — ignoring politics — it might be a pretty good idea.”

Rendell noted, “The World Economic Forum, 10 years ago, rated us the best infrastructure in the world,” adding that we “need to do something for our infrastructure, not in a one or two year period, but over a decade.”

Others would note that this rating has not crumbled in just a few years, that despite many bridges and roads in need of repair, our infrastructure is still superior to even the most civilized nations.

Regardless of the reasons, most believe that Congress won’t touch this issue with a ten-foot pole, especially leading up to another Presidential campaign season starting next year.

“I think it’s too toxic and continues to be too toxic,” Steve LaTourette (the former Republican congressman best known for his close friendship with his fellow Ohioan, Speaker John Boehner) tells The Atlantic. “I see no political will to get this done.”

Whether the time is fortuitous or not, and regardless of the positive side effects, many point to a fear of voters’ retaliation against any politician siding with a gas hike, so this matter going any further than the proposal stage is unlikely.

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