July 7, 2009

Strangling "Financial Innovation"

Tighter Regulation = Less “Innovation”? Thirty years ago credit cards were exceedingly simple. They charged high annual fees just to own them (often $40-$50), high fixed interest rates (approaching 20%), and offered no cash rebates. Today credit cards are more complex, but they are also better. They offer no annual fees for no-frills cards, flexible...
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Post-July 4 Lull

Slow Day for Broker Tour It’s not very scientific, but a quick way to gauge how busy the local housing market is any particular week is to pick up the list of homes on Broker tour each Tuesday (sort of like the thickness of newspapers and magazines used to indicate how strong advertising was —...
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Great Legs: Taibbi on Goldman Sachs

Taibbi’s Article: Great ‘Legs’ If online articles were ranked the same way as newly-released (music) singles, Matt Taibbi’s scathing attack on Goldman Sachs in the current issue of Rolling Stone (yup, Rolling Stone) would be number one — with a bullet. If it were a new movie, you’d say Taibbi’s article has ‘legs.’ If you...
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Property Tax Appeals

‘Shrunk to Fit’: Tax Values in a Declining Market Homeowners across the country are challenging their property tax bills in droves as the value of their homes drop, threatening local governments with another big drain on their budgets –Jack Healy, “Tax Bill Appeals Take Rising Toll on Governments“; The New York Times (7/4/09). Which would...
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RE’s Most Confusing Terms

“Who’s on First?” — RE Edition It’s not quite as confusing as Abbott and Costello’s “Who’s on First?” routine . . . but it’s not exactly clear either. Hopefully, the following definitions shed a little light on real estate’s most confusing terms. “Buyer’s Agent”: the agent who represents the Buyer. “Listing Agent”: the agent who...
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