FHFA Hires Lawyers, Homeownership Illusion, On FHA, Flipper’s Paradise, Dow in Gold, Census Housing Data, D-F Helps JPM, Multi Unit Rents Rise, Refis Drain Duration, S.& P. E-Mails, Judge Rakoff and Flagstar Put-Backs

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(FHFA hires private lawyers to get the job done) FHFA to Congress: Quinn, Kasowitz better than Justice for bank cases – By Nate Raymond – … The seven-page letter, signed by the general counsel of the agency that oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, was not flattering in its assessment of the Justice Department’s prosecution of MBS cases. Alfred Pollard, the general counsel, wrote that “few government attorneys possess expertise in mortgage-backed securities.”  … – Alison Frankel’s ON THE CASE 
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Actual homeownership becomes an illusory dreamHousingwire Ticker – … but data posted on the Cato Institute’s website suggests the dream of owning one’s home outright has become an illusory dream for most Americans. … “The primary impact of U.S. homeownership policy has not been to increase homeownership, but to increase debt along with driving up housing prices.” … 
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(interesting arguments – read all) FHA: Housing Market Friend or Foe? – BY: KRISTA FRANKS BROCK – The M Report 
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Flippers’ Paradise: The massive jump in list prices for Culver City. Median list price up almost 100 percent from two years ago. Record low inventory. Distressed properties 3 times the amount of MLS listed homes.Dr. Housing Bubble
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(Dow in Gold) Chart of the Day - For some perspective on the long-term performance of the stock market, today’s chart presents the Dow priced in another global currency — gold (i.e. the Dow / gold ratio). For example, it currently takes less than a mere 8.5 ounces of gold to ‘buy the Dow’ which is considerably less than the 44.8 ounces it took back in 1999. Priced in gold, the Dow has been in a massive 13-year bear market.

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Housing Data from U.S. Census summaryEconmagic.com – hattip to Patrick.net

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(surprise – it’s not housing) Name the largest credit market in the USSober Look Blog

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Surprise! Dodd-Frank Helps JPMorgan Chase – By: John Carney, Senior Editor,  CNBC.com

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Rent Gains Soften as More Multiunit Buildings Enter Market: Trulia - BY: ESTHER CHO – Rents continued to rise in January, but at a slower pace as more newly-constructed multifamily units hit the market, according to a report from Trulia. National rents rose 4.1 percent in January, down from the 4.7 percent increase seen earlier in the year in July, data from Trulia revealed. – DS News
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Recent Refis Reduced Interest Rates by Record Amount – BY: KRISTA FRANKS BROCK – Homeowners who refinanced their mortgage loans in the fourth quarter of 2012 reduced their interest rates by an average of 33 percent, a record savings not seen in 27 years of observance, according to Freddie Mac. – DS News

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S.& P. E-Mails on Mortgage Crisis Show Alarm and Gallows Humor - BY MARY WILLIAMS WALSH AND RON NIXON - The executive at Standard & Poor’s was clear: “This market is a wildly spinning top which is going to end badly.” That sober assessment of certain mortgage-related investments, delivered to colleagues in a confidential memo in December 2006, is now part of a trove of internal e-mails and documents that have come to light in a federal suit against S.& P., the nation’s largest credit ratings agency. … – NY Times Dealbook
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Judge Rakoff Delivers Big Blow to Bank of America and JP Morgan in Flagstar Mortgage Putback Ruling – Yves Smith – Wow, one of my big assumptions about mortgage putback cases has been turned on its ear, much to the detriment of Bank of America and JP Morgan. If you thought there were pitched legal battles on this front, a key ruling by Judge Jed Rakoff means you ain’t seen nothing yet. – Naked Capitalism

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