Morning Report – Fannie Mae is being sued for discrimination 5/12/13

Stocks and bonds are lower as the bloodbath in European bonds continues. The German Bund is trading at 67 basis points. The reversal in Eurobonds has been nothing short of astounding.

Small business optimism bounced back in April, according to the NFIB. That said, optimism still has not fully recovered from Q1’s weakness. Labor markets continue to improve slowly but surely.

Job openings fell in March from 5.14 million to 5 million. The quits rate is steadily increasing (from 1.8% last year to 2.0% this year, which is a good sign.

Completed foreclosures fell to 41,000 in March, according to CoreLogic. Foreclosure inventory is still the highest in the judicial states of New York, New Jersey and Florida. The national seriously delinquent rate fell to 3.9%.

More evidence the first time homebuyer is coming back. The NAR is forecasting prices will increase 5.9% this year, more than last year’s 5.7%. They are forecasting the average 30 year mortgage rate will come in around 3.9% for the year

The National Fair Housing Alliance is suing Fannie Mae for racial discrimination in lending. “Fannie Mae fails to perform basic maintenance and marketing tasks for foreclosed homes it owns in African

American and Latino neighborhoods, while consistently maintaining its foreclosed properties in white neighborhoods.” I wonder how much of this is due to the fact that in some places like Toledo OH, Detroit MI, and Camden NJ, there simply isn’t a bid for these properties given their stripped state and unpaid back taxes.

43 Responses

  1. It’s 1:15 pm and I’m frist?!?

    Shameful!

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  2. The responses are hilarious.

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    • jnc:

      This is rather amusing:

      It’s beneath the dignity of the Presidency to so aggressively paint opponents as not just wrong on the facts, but hiding the truth on purpose.

      Funny on so many levels, not least because deliberately obscuring the truth is indeed one of Elizabeth Warren’s primary political strategies.

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  3. hawt blue on blue action

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  4. She’s the Matt Taibbi of the Senate

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  5. I’m ambivalent about trade deals to the extent that trade should have any restrictions on it whatsoever. It’s interesting to watch the the Senates Democrats react to the shifting ground. Comparable to Senate Republicans and immigration.

    http://thehill.com/homenews/senate/241699-liberal-opposition-imperils-trade-bill

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  6. “Funny on so many levels, not least because deliberately obscuring the truth is indeed one of Elizabeth Warren’s primary political strategies.”

    Watching the two of them level accusations at each other is true justice.

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  7. Obama’s always been very thin skinned.

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  8. @brentnyitray and @jnc4p:

    This is what I meant about context for Michelle Obama’s comment about being proud. It isn’t just the moment at which the comment is made, but the speaker’s context of life experience. Mr Cohen explained it far better than I’ve been able to:

    Sometimes I think that Rush Limbaugh is the dumbest man in America. This happens whenever I take him at face value and forget that he is basically an entertainer with contempt for his audience. He will tell them anything. Last week, as if to validate my opinion of him, he went after Michelle Obama for playing the “race card” at the dedication of a museum in New York City. He described her as angry and complaining. The word he should have used was “right.”

    I would even have settled for “interesting.” After all, when the first lady of the United States suggests that something’s wrong when black and other minority children feel alienated from an institution like the Whitney Museum of American Art, maybe she has reason for saying so. In fact, she was talking out of ­experience.

    “I guarantee you that right now, there are kids living less than a mile from here who would never in a million years dream that they would be welcome in this museum,” she said. “And growing up on the South Side of Chicago, I was one of those kids myself. So I know the feeling of not belonging in a place like this.”

    Limbaugh was hearing none of it. The way he looks at it, Obama is not entitled to her experiences, certainly not to talk about it. “I mean, even if you’re a committed liberal, you don’t want to hear this stuff all the time,” he said. “You’re here at a museum dedication and you want to hear an angry first lady stand up and start complaining about stuff like this?” Well, yes, Rush, I do.

    This is hardly the first time Michelle Obama has come under attack from white critics who infer — think about it — that she has no right being black. Sarah Palin did not like it when Obama celebrated her husband’s early success in the 2008 primaries by saying, “For the first time in my adult lifetime, I am really proud of my country.” Sarah Palin, as far as I know, did not have a great-great-grandfather who was a slave. It makes a difference.

    Emphasis mine.

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    • Mich:

      Ms O said:

      I guarantee you that right now, there are kids living less than a mile from here who would never in a million years dream that they would be welcome in this museum

      If that is true, the people who are to blame for that misconception are the adults in those kids lives. Not the museum. She should lecture them.

      Cohen said:

      This is hardly the first time Michelle Obama has come under attack from white critics who infer — think about it — that she has no right being black. Sarah Palin did not like it when Obama celebrated her husband’s early success in the 2008 primaries by saying, “For the first time in my adult lifetime, I am really proud of my country.”

      Absurd. The criticism had nothing whatsoever to do with MO’s “right” to be anything. The point of the criticism was to question whether someone with such a lack of pride in her country ought to be living in the White House. A reasonable question in my mind, regardless of the race of the person.

      And what does “the right to be black” even mean, anyway? The only way that Cohen’s characterization can be even remotely coherent is to understand “the right to be black” to mean “the right to think black thoughts” which itself implies that to be black in the US is to necessarily have no pride in America (at least until Obama got nominated, anyway). Who is pasty white Cohen to be dictating to blacks that they shouldn’t have had pride in the US?

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  9. It’s gotta be a bitch being the Obama’s in this country, what with all the opportunities being denied them. No wonder they’ve never achieved anything.

    Every door is slammed in their face.

    Shame. On. Us.

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  10. @Michigoose:

    “This is hardly the first time Michelle Obama has come under attack from white critics who infer — think about it — that she has no right being black. ”

    I don’t think anyone is saying she doesn’t have a right to be black. I think people are saying they are bored with being lectured on race. As a child of the 70s, the civil rights movement was new and discussed constantly. Suffice it to say, my entire educational experience was steeped in consciousness-raising, political correctness, racism awareness etc. etc.

    And the idea that a black kid wouldn’t be welcome at a NYC museum is completely ludicrous.

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  11. Brent:

    I don’t know–I’ve never been black. I do know that, even today, it is possible to live a completely segregated life. I’ve been floored by the number of students who’ve told me that I’m the first white person they’ve had an actual conversation with. I’m going to assume that her life experience is as true for her as mine has been for me; and that it has been quite different from mine.

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  12. How does a museum become inviting to blacks?

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  13. I took that part of her comment to be aimed not so much at blacks as the socioeconomic divide that exists in big cities. Here there are parts of town where it is literally block-to-block. A friend who’s a cop was explaining to me why you’ll never see riots in a “good” part of town–there’s a psychological barrier to crossing some lines. I can see where a museum would fall into the same kind of black hole for kids in poor neighborhoods.

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  14. Weird how artists and their supporters are so right-wing and uninviting to black children. Ditto the elected officials of big cities.

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  15. Michi, my issue is that anyone who criticizes her or President Obama over their speeches gets categorized as racist by all the idiots over at PL, some of whom also post here.

    You can be perfectly critical of her comments on not being proud of her country until Obama was nominated without being racist and ditto for her speech.

    The net result for me is to view “racist” as pretty much a meaningless term at this point, given how broadly it’s used.

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  16. “And what does “the right to be black” even mean, anyway?”

    It means that as someone who isn’t black (presumably) you are expected to defer to Michelle Obama’s opinion on all matters race related.

    Charles Pierce makes the point explicitly:

    “The same dynamic prevails when Congressman John Lewis of Georgia talks to you about voting rights. Nobody knows more than he does about their value because nobody knows more than he does about what they’ve cost. He was beaten nearly to death in the struggle for them. John Lewis tells you something about voting rights and you say, yes, sir, and you shut the fk up.”

    http://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/a15690/conventions-2012-12454702/

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    • jnc:

      It means that as someone who isn’t black (presumably) you are expected to defer to Michelle Obama’s opinion on all matters race related.

      Well presumably not just MO’s, but anyone who is black. What, then, to do when 2 black people (say MO and Clarence Thomas or Thomas Sowell or Ben Carson) express different opinions on a race related matter? I suspect that for those who buy into this absurd notion of a “right to be black”, real blacks are only allowed to have one opinion (the progressive one, naturally).

      But we’re the racists, right?

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  17. Are we sure Absolute Moral Authority carries the weight it used to? Cindy Sheehan didn’t get elected to Congress even though she has it.

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  18. Heh.

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  19. Double heh.

    Shot:

    Chaser:

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  20. The net result for me is to view “racist” as pretty much a meaningless term at this point, given how broadly it’s used.

    Oh, I’ve felt that way for a long time. There are two trolls at PL who I’ve got on IL partly because I think they’re racist. I don’t think anybody else is, and it does tend to get a broad brush treatment.

    OTOH, not being a Southerner, but having lived in the South, I can tell you that the per capita number of racists is higher in the South than it is in the North or Intermountain West.

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  21. troll, that is hilarious…

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  22. @Michigoose: “OTOH, not being a Southerner, but having lived in the South, I can tell you that the per capita number of racists is higher in the South than it is in the North or Intermountain West.””

    Eh, it is, and it’s not. It is, because the African American population in the south is larger, thus there’s more intermingling of the races. Easy to be free of any racist taint when you live in Vermont. It also is because biased people (especially of northerners, no offense to Yankees) have that expectation, and thus confirmation bias is in operation. Having lived here all my life, and run into more than a few condescending northerners (especially the Canadians; sheesh, those people) I’ve seen a number of behaviors that would be immediately identified as racist if coming from a redneck, but are judged as enlightened because they are happening for the right reasons (appropriating culture, condescension, patronizing behaviors, assuming African Americans are not capable of intelligence or awareness at the levels of enlightened white liberals, because of bigotry and historical oppression; especially galling was when said African Americans weren’t interested in being enlightened by lily white Canadian liberals). But I haven’t spent enough time in the North (or even in many parts of the south) to make any kind of statistical judgement.

    In the south, and having a daughter and running into many of her friends, it’s interesting to observe racial attitudes. While there is racial awareness and racial judgement, much of it seems to come from popular media more than being passed on from parents to children. I’ve discussed before the casual use of the “n” word amongst both races when speaking to each other, to where it’s become a millennial synonym for “dude”. Certainly more of a melting pot than ever, if interracial dating is any sign. In Memphis, it is extremely common. And, of course, I know far more interracial adult couples than I remember from growing up. I recall exactly one interracial couple from my childhood, and they were from the UK.

    That being said, I’ve found, especially on the Interwebz, “racist” usually means “person who disagrees with me about something” more that someone who discriminates based on ethnic background.

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  23. @troll: “If it was being decided on the merits of the case, everyone would be betting that it would be upheld 9-0.”

    Which makes the insane assumption that 9 individuals objectively judging a law (or anything) strictly on the merits, as they saw them, would agree. The narcissism (nay, solipsism) of people is breathtaking to behold.

    “If they were being good and true and pure and intelligent, they would all agree with me!”

    I wonder we’d have that particular Op-Ed if the court was packed with liberals.

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  24. I’m feels nag microaggressed there Kevin.

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  25. @ScottC1: ” I suspect that for those who buy into this absurd notion of a “right to be black”, real blacks are only allowed to have one opinion (the progressive one, naturally).”

    Naturally. As rapper Ice Cube said in his seminal poetic work, “[Show Extreme Disrespect to] tha Police”:

    But don’t let it be a black and a white one
    Cause they’ll slam ya down to the street top
    Black police showing out for the white cop

    They are race traitors.

    Blackish had a good episode not so long ago where the father was trying to show is son what it was to be black and oppressed, and kept trying to create situations where the man would keep them down, and stereotypical characters (the white cop, the redneck store keep) kept refusing to be racist. I’m amazed that show is on mainstream media.

    Tangent: anyone else suspect polarizing racial incidents between the police and minorities put the focus on race and bigotry, with the focus might should be on the militarization of the police? < /conspiracy> >

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  26. Re: Blackish.

    And I loved the MLK episode (referenced above) where when the mother refers to Dr. King, she does air quotes when she says “Doctor”.

    If you were to have a heart attack, he would give a great speech and I would keep you alive. I just don’t understand why we’re called the same thing.

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  27. @Troll: Apologies, I was trying to institutionally oppress you. It’s harder to get right than you’d think.

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  28. @troll: “Feminists are now apparently outraged that men aren’t more interested in their inexhaustible lists of complaints about them”

    That sounds to me like outrage that liberal men aren’t more interested in their inexhaustible lists of complaints about them. They expect conservative neanderthals to be sexist, but good liberal men? They should take the abuse and ask for more. Politely. Without expectation. While groveling and humbling themselves.

    “he followed almost all the same people I did but NO WOMEN”

    So, I’m left to guess he was following a lot of liberal and lefty twitter folks, but no feminists (as I’m sure she’s not talking about Kim Kardashian, or women who post pictures of themselves in bathing suits). “Passive sexism” seems to be the term to describe liberal men who, despite being good liberals, don’t want to devote a lot of energy to reading about how horrible he is because he was born with a penis. Rather than acknowledge that contemporary feminism is deep into the process of alienating all of its historical allies, they’ll just start accusing all those allies of sexism and misogyny. That should work well.

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  29. @Scottc1: “I guarantee you that right now, there are kids living less than a mile from here who would never in a million years dream that they would be welcome in this museum
    If that is true, the people who are to blame for that misconception are the adults in those kids lives. Not the museum. She should lecture them.”

    That is crazy. Or New York is a lot less enlightened in Memphis. Here, there aren’t any kids who feel they wouldn’t be welcome at any museum in the city. There are parents who never dream of taking their children to a museum, or care if they show up at school, etc, but that’s a very different problem.

    I don’t believe any public museum in New York wouldn’t welcome any child, or has done anything in the last forty years to suggest that people wearing a shirt and shoes and pants would not be welcome. As you say, if any do have that impression, they’ve gotten it from the self-appointed crusaders for social justice.

    If she meant to say that there are kids living less than a mile from the museum who would have no interesting in going to the museum, and would view it as punishment, then . . . that would be accurate.

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  30. @Michigoose: “Sarah Palin, as far as I know, did not have a great-great-grandfather who was a slave.”

    She might have had one that was an indentured servant. It’s astonishing how many white folks in America actually have a great-great-grandparent (or great-great-great) who was essentially Chinese slave labor for the railroads. Only way to know is genealogies, and they are often tough (a lot of name changes with the children of mixed parentage where one was Chinese back in the 1800s).

    Add indentured servants and dirt poor (and reviled) Irish and Italian immigrants, or Jews (less recently slaves, but still) . . . whatever. This is America, and if you have a mouth, you have a right to talk about it. Whether or not you had a great-great-great-grandparent who was a slave or not.

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  31. @Troll: “Gun to your head (pull the trigger, 3rd party and not voting aren’t options), who you got….Hillary or Jeb?”

    Jeb. But 3rd party is an option, so that’s probably where my vote will go, as I am 100% certain Tennessee will go Republican. If I weren’t, then maybe I’d vote for Jeb, but I’d probably still vote 3rd party, unless Jeb or Hillary does something to make me fall in love with them.

    Hillary comes out for the decriminalization of drugs, I’d vote for her. Chances of that? .00001%.

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  32. For me, meh. Same same betwixt the two. They believe their version of government is unerring. I’m challenging the rational for control so I’m not seeing the difference between them.

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  33. @troll: “How does a museum become inviting to blacks?”

    In Memphis, we have the Civil Rights Museum. In a city with a 60% African American population.

    Even so, more caucasians go to that museum than African Americans if you subtract out bussed in students (more majority black schools have field trips more often to the museum than majority-other-ethnicity schools).

    From what I’ve read, every other civil rights/slavery related museum has larger white attendance than African American attendance. Do not know if they include school children in their demographics, but probably. How are you going to get those folks interested in museums filled with the paintings and sculptures of dead white Europeans or Americans, all of whom probably benefitted all their days from institutional racism?

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  34. @Troll: “I’m challenging the rational for control so I’m not seeing the difference between them.”

    Jeb never advanced anything like the Clinton Healthcare Plan, the most Nixonesque legislation since wage and price controls. That’s about all I got. Also, “Jeb” is easier to say than “Hillary”.

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  35. Jeb hasn’t been in a position (POTUS) to advance it. His brother expanded Medicare with his Part D lunacy. No rational person thinks he’d make any effort to roll back any part of government.

    I say that about any of the R’s running as well.

    In that sense, D’s are much more honest about their belief in Government than are Republicans.

    Like

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