Monthly Archives: August 2016

consideration to serve as Trump HUD secretary

With future Commander-in-Chief Donald Trump set to take office in January, there are 15 seats on the president’s cabinet to start speculating about. And the one that’s closest to housing, the secretary of Housing and Urban Development, could possibly go to someone who was recently featured on the cover of HousingWire Magazine and recognized as a Women of Influence in 2013.

Pam Patenaude is currently the president of the J. Ronald Terwilliger Foundation for Housing America’s Families, but could soon be the next HUD secretary, according to a POLITICO piece.

The piece speculated that Patenaude, a former adviser to Presidents Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush, has emerged as a candidate to lead HUD.

During the George W. Bush administration, she served as HUD assistant secretary for community, planning and development.

Patenaude is also the former director of housing policy at the Bipartisan Policy Center and has more than 25 years of experience in housing, community economic development, real estate and public policy.

The J. Ronald Terwilliger Foundation for Housing America’s Families is hosting a bipartisan national Housing Forum at the George W. Bush Institute in Dallas, Texas, on Nov. 18 — which HousingWire is a media sponsor.

The forum features speakers including Matthew Desmond, author of Evicted, Carol Galante, former assistant HUD secretary and FHA Commissioner, Laurie Goodman from the Urban Institute and others from academia, government and industry trade groups.

The Housing Forum’s goal is to ensure that housing is front-and-center as the 115th Congress and the new administration begin to formulate their respective policy agendas for 2017.

This is especially important since it hasn’t been a big issue during the election season.

If selected, Patenaude would replace HUD Secretary Julián Castro.

Plan to dismantle Dodd Frank Act

Now that the dust is starting to settle from the election, a clearer picture is beginning to emerge of what types of actions President-elect Donald Trump will pursue once the “-elect” is removed from his title.

Chief among those planned actions appears to a plan to “dismantle” the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform Act.

Trump’s plans for the first days of his term as president are being revealed on a website launched by his transition team.

Under a section titled “Make America Great Again,” the website lists the three main tenets of Trump’s plan: Making America Secure Again; Getting America Back To Work Again; and Government for the People Again.

Each of those main sections has several subsections, and those in the financial services industry should pay close attention to the “Getting America Back To Work Again,” as it contains much of Trump’s plan for the economy.

“Financial markets are vital to the American economy. Capital markets bring investors together with creators to fund new ideas and fuel economic growth,” the website reads under a subsection entitled “Financial Services.”

“Banks and other lenders provide funding to small businesses and mortgage borrowers to help fund the American Dream,” the website continues. “Federal policy should focus on free enterprise, while protecting consumers by policing markets for force and fraud. Both Wall Street and Washington should be held accountable.”

The Trump website then goes on to discuss the impact of the Dodd-Frank Act, and how the Trump administration will work to replace it.

The website calls Dodd-Frank a “sprawling and complex piece of legislation that has unleashed hundreds of new rules and several new bureaucratic agencies,” including the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.

“The proponents of Dodd-Frank promised that it would lift our economy. Yet now, six years later, the American people remain stuck in the slowest, weakest, most tepid recovery since the Great Depression,” the website states.

“Paychecks have been stagnant. Savings are being depleted, millions are unemployed or underemployed, and millions more have dropped out of the workforce altogether,” the website continues. “Economic growth remains below 2%, about half the historic average. The big banks got bigger while community financial institutions have disappeared at a rate of one per day, and taxpayers remain on the hook for bailing out financial firms deemed ‘too big to fail.’”

In the words of the Trump transition team, Dodd-Frank and the economy it fostered “does not work” for America.

“Bureaucratic red tape and Washington mandates are not the answer,” the website states. “The Financial Services Policy Implementation team will be working to dismantle the Dodd-Frank Act and replace it with new policies to encourage economic growth and job creation.”

One of the main issues that many have with Dodd-Frank is the amount of regulations that the law place on the financial services industry.

Trump’s website doesn’t provide any additional details on how President Trump will go about dismantling Dodd-Frank, but the website does also contain a separate section entitled “Regulatory Reform,” which is called a “cornerstone” of the Trump Administration.

According to the website, Trump’s regulatory reform effort, which he spoke about often on the campaign trail, includes: “a temporary moratorium on all new regulation, canceling overarching executive orders and a thorough review to identify and eliminate unnecessary regulations that kill jobs and bloat government.”

Americans feeling about economy

unduhan-76Consumer’s optimism towards the economy decreased yet again as they faced more uncertainty in October, according to the latest Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index.

The index decreased 1.1 points from last month to 81.7 in October, marking the third consecutive decrease. This is a decrease of 1.5 points from last year.

The index reflects consumers’ current views and forward-looking expectations of housing market conditions.

Other measures of the consumer’s confidence in the economy are also decreasing.

The Index of Consumer Sentiment dropped to 87.2 in October, the same low recorded last September and the lowest level since October 2014, according to the Survey of Consumers conducted by the University of Michigan.

While all signs show that consumers are growing more unsettled about the state of the economy, experts from the Survey of Consumers are still not sure if this is simply a temporary drop due to the uncertainty surrounding the election.

“The HPSI fell in October for the third straight month from its record high in July, reaching the lowest level since March,” said Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae senior vice president and chief economist. “Recent erosion in sentiment likely reflects, in part, enhanced uncertainty facing consumers today.”

The largest drop came in consumers who reported a significantly higher income over the past year. These consumers decreased by eight percentage points to 8% in October to its lowest point in three years.

“Since July, more consumers, on net, have steadily expected mortgage rates to rise and home price appreciation to moderate,” Duncan said.

Those who expect home prices to continue to rise fell by three percentage points to 31% and those who say mortgage rates will drop decreased by one percentage point to 45%. Likewise, those who are confident about keeping their job also fell by one percentage point to 69%.

On the other hand, more consumers said now is a good time to buy and sell a home, which increased by two and four percentage points to 31% and 19% respectively.

“Furthermore, consumers’ perception of their income over the past year deteriorated sharply in October to the worst showing since early 2013, weighing on the index,” Duncan said.

“However, this component of the HPSI is volatile from month to month, and the firming trend in wage gains from the October jobs report, if sustained, may foreshadow an improving view in the near future,” he said.