Activists Urge FHFA to End Conservatorships of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac

first_img Brian Honea’s writing and editing career spans nearly two decades across many forms of media. He served as sports editor for two suburban newspaper chains in the DFW area and has freelanced for such publications as the Yahoo! Contributor Network, Dallas Home Improvement magazine, and the Dallas Morning News. He has written four non-fiction sports books, the latest of which, The Life of Coach Chuck Curtis, was published by the TCU Press in December 2014. A lifelong Texan, Brian received his master’s degree from Amberton University in Garland. The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Share Save Conservatorships Fannie Mae FHFA Freddie Mac Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights National Council of La Raza 2015-11-20 Brian Honea Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Activists Urge FHFA to End Conservatorships of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac November 20, 2015 1,530 Views About Author: Brian Honea Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago in Daily Dose, Featured, News, Secondary Market A fair and affordable housing market is something that has been on the minds of many in the industry, but is the conservatorship between Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac weighing down homeownership?Members of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and the National Council of La Raza wrote a letter recently to Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) Director Melvin L. Watt. The letter questions the role that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will play in the housing market in the future in terms of promoting fair and affordable housing.The Leadership Conference and the National Council came to the consensus that “bringing the conservatorship to an end so that Fannie and Freddie may step up their role in promoting homeownership” will need to happen to push fair and affordable housing.The two organizations noted in the letter that homeownership is key to moving more Americans into the middle class, but much concern remains despite economical improvements since the 2008 financial crisis.Minority communities are not likely to experience financial benefits of homeownership benefits, as a 30.4 percent gap remains between black and white homeownership has only widened over the last ten years.”We must do all that we can to enact policies that will help reverse these disturbing trends,” the organizations wrote in the letter. “FHFA can lead on this, do it responsibly, and do it without putting taxpayers at risk.”The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and the National Council presented two factors in the letter that will help meet this goal: “First, particularly given the demise of GSE “overhaul” legislation on Capitol Hill, it is clear that any successful policy to promote affordable homeownership must involve strong leadership into the future by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. These entities will be vitally important to the continued growth of our nation’s housing market, and to the ability of consumers to continue obtaining affordable, 30-year, fixed-rate mortgages. The proposed bills in the 113th Congress to eliminate the GSEs would have been counterproductive, negatively impacting communities of color and young people, and impeding our ability to grow our nation’s middle class.””Second, the GSEs require capital if they are to serve their historic mission. As your agency proceeds with its decisions on affordable housing policies, those policies naturally must be balanced with FHFA’s statutory obligation as conservator to the safety and soundness of these enterprises. We applaud FHFA for its announcement last month on the expansion of lending to middle class borrowers, but we note that this expansion will require capital. We also note that some of the current proposals to raise g-fees and to impose new requirements on private mortgage insurers will increase the costs of borrowing, and would still fall short of building the capital needed to grow a robust and healthy housing market. This is especially true given the GSE’s status in what Rep. Maxine Waters (D-California) describes as seemingly “permanent conservatorship,” where they are unable to rebuild capital.”The organizations stated that the homeownership must be increased in the communities they represent, but in order for this to happen the conservatorship must end so the GSEs can rebuild their capital.”Both agencies have become profitable, and could remain so while still giving the taxpayers a large return on the government’s investment,” the letter stated. “We are not suggesting this be done without significant reforms to ensure that all markets are being served fairly, and without important taxpayer safeguards””We look forward to working with FHFA to formulate a plan that increases homeownership for more Americans while further reducing the liability of another catastrophic event on the backs of taxpayers. Exploring an end to the conservatorship and allowing the enterprises to build capital should be an important component of this effort,” the letter concluded.Click here to read the full letter.center_img The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Home / Daily Dose / Activists Urge FHFA to End Conservatorships of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Related Articles Previous: Why Are Agency Purchase Loans Becoming Even Riskier? Next: Mortgage Balances Surge, Fueling Rise in Household Debt  Print This Post Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago Tagged with: Conservatorships Fannie Mae FHFA Freddie Mac Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights National Council of La Raza Sign up for DS News Daily Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Subscribelast_img read more

Town Council should identify base for youth service – Lynch

first_imgNews Twitter Calls for maternity restrictions to be lifted at LUH Business Matters Ep 45 – Boyd Robinson, Annette Houston & Michael Margey A Letterkenny Town Councillor wants the local authority to secure funding a new home for the youth of the town.Councillor Jim Lynch says the Council already pays rent for the Donegal Youth Service, while the Letterkenny Youth Club is without a base and has very little funding.He acknowledges that a major capital project would not be a realistic aim, but he told Letterkenny Town Council this week that there may be existing buildings in public ownership which could fit the bill.Councillor Lynch says finding a premises for both organisations would be a win win situation:[podcast]http://www.highlandradio.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/07/lynchyouth.mp3[/podcast] Guidelines for reopening of hospitality sector published Twitter WhatsApp LUH system challenged by however, work to reduce risk to patients ongoing – Dr Hamilton Facebook Facebook Google+center_img Google+ WhatsApp Previous article‘Let Me be Me’ disillusioned and saddened as the HSE rejects special needs proposalsNext articleDallat “won’t be inhibited by death threat” as Twelfth violence hits Belfast News Highland RELATED ARTICLESMORE FROM AUTHOR Almost 10,000 appointments cancelled in Saolta Hospital Group this week By News Highland – July 13, 2013 Town Council should identify base for youth service – Lynch Pinterest Need for issues with Mica redress scheme to be addressed raised in Seanad also Pinterestlast_img read more

$1.9 billion pledged for global avian flu battle

first_imgJan 18, 2006 (CIDRAP News) – Governments and organizations at a conference in Beijing have pledged $1.9 billion for a global fund to fight avian influenza, well above the $1.2 billion to $1.5 billion that organizers had hoped for, according to news services.The 2-day conference yielded pledges for almost $1 billion in grants, mainly for poor countries in Southeast Asia, and about $900 million in loans, according to an Agence France-Presse (AFP) report.”It was a conference of commitment and pledging that really showed solidarity,” said David Nabarro, the United Nations coordinator for avian and pandemic influenza, as quoted by AFP.The United States led the list of donors with a $334 million pledge, saying the money would be mainly in the form of grants and technical assistance, according to a Reuters report.The European Union promised about $260 million, including $138 million directly from member states and the rest from the European Commission, AFP reported. Japan signed on for $159 million, and smaller sums were promised by Russia, Australia, and China.China, which hosted the conference along with the World Bank and the European Commission, pledged $10 million, according to Reuters.”We’ve got a fantastic set of pledges from poor countries as well as rich countries,” AFP quoted Nabarro as saying. “Even countries that cannot put money into the funding are saying we are going to commit our people and our governments to get the results.”Jim Adams, vice president of the World Bank, said more than half of the $1.9 billion represents new commitments not included in previous aid programs, according to Reuters.Adams said that between $100 million and $200 million of the pledged funds would go into a trust fund to be managed by the World Bank. Some of the remaining money will be managed bilaterally between donors and recipients, he said.In a speech prepared for the conference today, World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Lee Jong-wook said, “Money is not the answer to every question. But without it, little can be done.”Lee said the critical needs include reducing people’s exposure to the avian flu virus, strengthening early warning systems, enhancing “rapid containment operations,” building capacity to cope with a pandemic, and coordinating research and development.The AFP report said most of the pledged funds will be used to build public awareness, strengthen outbreak detection and response, slaughter and vaccinate poultry, and compensate farmers for poultry losses.In a video address today, UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan told the conferees, “The amount asked for is small compared to the cost of a pandemic we are not ready for,” according to the Reuters report.The World Bank has estimated that a year-long pandemic could cost the global economy up to $800 billion, the story said.In another speech at the conference today, a UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) official warned that the avian flu virus could become entrenched in the Black Sea, Caucasus and Near East regions and be spread further by migratory birds coming from Africa in the spring, according to the FAO.”FAO is concerned that with trade, the movement of people and animals and migratory birds, new countries could become infected,” said FAO Deputy Director-General David Harcharik, as quoted in an agency statement.”In Turkey, the virus has already reached the crossroads of Asia, Europe and Africa, and there is a real risk of further spread,” he added. “If it were to become rooted in the African countryside, the consequences for a continent already devastated by hunger and poverty could be truly catastrophic.”Harcharik said fighting avian flu in animals is the best way to reduce the risk of a human flu pandemic. The FAO said several hundred million dollars is needed for this purpose, but the agency had received only about $28 million so far.See also:Speech by Lee Jong-wook of WHOhttp://www.who.int/dg/lee/speeches/2006/flumeeting_beijing/en/index.htmlFAO report of Harcharik speechhttp://www.fao.org/newsroom/en/news/2006/1000215/index.htmllast_img read more

One injured in Ripley County crash

first_imgOne person was injured Sunday evening in a Ripley County crash.A report from the Ripley County Sheriff’s Department says around 11 Tiffany Scruggs, 26, of Osgood, was northbound on U.S. 421 slowing to turn onto Michigan Road when she was struck from behind by a car driven by Racheal Pierce, 22, of Michigan. Scruggs was transported to a local hospital with minor injuries.The Ripley County Sheriff’s Department, Indiana State police, Rescue 69, New Marion Fire Department, Versailles Fire Department and Ripley County Medic all responded to the scene.last_img

Baxter Canadian golf tees off at Sandals

first_imgOCHO RIOS: The 21st annual Baxter Travel Golf Tournament teed off yesterday at the Sandals Golf and Country Club, with over 80 Canadian travel agents and tour operators taking part. The two-day tournament, the third major international staged at the venue in recent times, is expected to deliver a shot in the arm for Jamaica as a golfing destination and also the nation’s tourism industry, as the agents and tour operators are heavily promoting the island. The United States and Latin American travel agents completed their events last month. “Jamaica stands to benefit significantly from hosting these influential travel agents,” said Maureen Barnes-Smith, director of sales and marketing, Unique Vacations, Canada. “Not only will they be here as part of the Sandals tournament, but they will tour the island, experience what Jamaica has to offer and when they go back promote and sell Jamaica,” Barnes-Smith added. She pointed to the significance of the Canadian market which has experienced growth in the past several years and is of vital importance to the island. Organisers were pleased with the large number of entries to the Baxter Event and since its inception each year has always been well attended. Eighteen four-man teams teed off in the scramble format. Yesterday, the 18-hole event was spiced up with the ‘Longest Drive’ and ‘Closest to the Pin’ contests. Tee off is slated for 8:30 a.m. for today’s second and final day, while the awards ceremony at the Sandals Ochi Beach Resort will begin at 6:30 p.m. with cocktails, to be followed an hour later by dinner. “Traditionally we have always had some fun and also riveting action on the golf course and this year promises to be no less impressive,” noted Miguel Arthurs, general manager, Sandals Golf & Country Club.last_img read more

Ghana’s bamboo bicycle revolution

first_img28 October 2016Bernice Dapaah is the chief executive of the Ghana Bamboo Bikes Initiative (GBBI), a project that farms bamboo plantations in her hometown of Kumasi, southern Ghana, to manufacture cost-effective, robust and environmentally friendly bicycles.Dapaah began the company in 2008 and manufactures bicycles for farm workers and schoolchildren. The company also exports more than 1,000 units to Europe and North America.Along the way, she is helping to empower Ghanaian youth by creating employment opportunities in farming bamboo and manufacturing the end product. The company currently employs 40 young people to construct its flagship product, the Eco Ride, a bicycle consisting of 75% bamboo.The Eco Ride is not only affordable to most Ghanaians, but Dapaah hopes that as bicycles become more popular, they will boost rural transport and help to cut the country’s carbon pollution. The company’s small-scale farming initiative also makes sure that 10 bamboos are planted to replace each one used for manufacture.Almost Done! #GhanaBambooBikes pic.twitter.com/W42qE6iRSk— Ghana Bamboo Bikes (@GhanaBambooBike) January 27, 2016According to Dapaah, the strength of bamboo, a grass that is five times stronger than steel, as well as its pliability, mean the bike can be made easily and that it is robust enough for all road conditions.The process #GhanaBambooBikes pic.twitter.com/M49O0swbjs— Ghana Bamboo Bikes (@GhanaBambooBike) January 27, 2016The Eco Ride is used by farm workers for their daily commute to work, and is especially useful for children to get to school. The company donates a number of bicycles to schools in the Kumasi area.Bamboo bikes, a sustainable solution to climate issues in Ghana: https://t.co/TZKDBrs8sD pic.twitter.com/6uhav2Wxlm— EcoNigeria (@EcoNigeria) August 26, 2016The bikes are also used to deliver medical supplies to hospitals and rural clinics.Happening Now:Prez Kufuor Launches Trade Mark for @GhanaBambooBike pic.twitter.com/b3X2ndiJap— Ghana Bamboo Bikes (@GhanaBambooBike) September 27, 2016The company’s trademark was officially launched in Accra, Ghana’s capital, in September. At the launch, Dapaah – with the help of former president JA Kufuor – asked the government to enact by-laws to help create a culture where those “who prefer to use these bicycles can ride them safely everywhere”.“Such by-laws will help promote the use of bicycles in our communities,” Kufuor said, “and also encourage those who sit in the comfort of four-wheel drives to exercise our muscles.”Kufuor, who is the UN Special Envoy for Climate Change, congratulated Dapaah on the success of her company and her efforts to transform rural transport.“Dapaah has shown initiative, innovation and leadership to transform our society. She is doing this not for the high end of the market but for a product that is affordable to our society, whether rich or poor,” he said.“The raw materials (have been here for thousands of years) and her persistence and perseverance have found a meaningful way to use it commercially and for the good of the people of Ghana.”As demand for the Eco Ride in Ghana and abroad increases, the company is expanding its bike manufacturing operations with the help of the country’s Newmont Development Foundation. It will open another factory at Ntotroso in Brong Ahafo in 2017. Dapaah also hopes to diversify into other bamboo products, including handicrafts and fuel/bio-energy generation.Together with American non-governmental organisation the African Bicycle Contribution Foundation, GBBI hopes to increase the number of bicycles for rural schoolchildren in Ghana and the rest of West Africa.“My favourite part of (this company),” Dapaah says, “is when I go to the workshop to see the youths and know they are able to earn a living. I feel so happy when I see we have been able to create a bit of laughter for them.”Source: Graphic Online (Ghana)SouthAfrica.info reporterWould you like to use this article in your publication or on your website? See: Using SouthAfrica.info materiallast_img read more

Drydown in corn: What to expect?

first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest By Peter Thomison, Ohio State University ExtensionMany corn growers may encounter slower than normal drydown this fall due to late crop development associated with June planting dates. Much of Ohio’s late-planted corn may not achieve black layer until mid-October or later when drying conditions are less favorable for drydown. Once corn achieves physiological maturity (when kernels have obtained maximum dry weight and black layer has formed), it will normally dry approximately 3/4% to 1% per day during favorable drying weather (sunny and breezy) during the early warmer part of the harvest season from mid‑September through late September. By early to mid‑October, dry-down rates will usually drop to ½% to 3/4% per day. By late October to early November, field dry‑down rates will usually drop to 1/4% to 1/2% per day and by mid-November, probably zero to 1/4% per day. By late November, drying rates will be negligible.Estimating dry‑down rates can also be considered in terms of Growing Degree Days (GDDs). Generally, it takes about 30 GDDs to lower grain moisture each point from 30% down to 25%. Drying from 25 to 20 percent requires about 45 GDDs per point of moisture. In October, we typically accumulate about 5 to 10 GDDs per day. However, note that the above estimates are based on generalizations, and it is likely that some hybrids may vary from this pattern of drydown. Some seed companies indicate considerably lower GDDs for grain moisture loss, i.e. 15 to 20 GDDs to lower grain moisture each point from 30% down to 25% and 20 to 30 GDDs per point from 25% to 20%.Past Ohio research evaluating corn drydown provides insight on effects of weather conditions on grain drying. During a warm, dry fall, grain moisture loss per day ranged from 0.76% to 0.92%. During a cool, wet fall, grain moisture loss per day ranged from 0.32% to 0.35%. Grain moisture losses based on GDDs ranged from 24 to 29 GDDs per percentage point of moisture (i.e., a loss of one percentage point of grain moisture per 24 to 29 GDDs) under warm dry fall conditions, whereas under cool wet fall conditions, moisture loss ranged from 20 to 22 GDDs. The number of GDDs associated with grain moisture loss was lower under cool, wet conditions than under warm, dry conditions.Weather related crop stress may affect drydown this year. Bob Nielsen at Purdue University notes, “When areas of fields die prematurely due to stresses like drought, spatial variability for grain moisture at harvest can be dramatic and often creates challenges with the management of the grain dryer operation. This is especially true early in the harvest season when grain moistures of healthier areas of the field are in the low 20s. The spatial variability for grain moisture decreases later in the harvest season as grain moistures throughout the field settle to an equilibrium level (15% or less).”Agronomists generally recommend that harvesting corn for dry grain storage should begin at about 24% to 25% grain moisture. Allowing corn to field dry below 20% risks yield losses from stalk lodging, ear drop, ear rots, insect feeding damage and wildlife damage.last_img read more

API of the Week: Quora Extension API

first_img7 Types of Video that will Make a Massive Impac… Tags:#hack#Tools klint finley Related Posts Growing Phone Scams: 5 Tips To Avoidcenter_img By popular demand, Quora released a minimal, JSON-based API for browser extension developers last week. Quora’s Charlie Cheever had previously written, on Quora no less, that the company was holding off on releasing an API for a number of reasons.However, following two third-party browser extensions for Quora, the company has decided to release an official API in alpha to support those efforts. The new API will provide basic information for the currently logged users, including notifications and unread message count.Cheever wrote in December 2009:When there are enough users and content on Quora that an API would be really useful, we’ll almost certainly add one.For right now, we’ll probably focus on the web interface since that’s how we think most people will use the product, at least to start. Another reason we probably won’t do an API for a little while is that the interface into the product is changing frequently in big ways right now (ex. We added “thanks” a few days ago and we’re not sure if we’ll keep that or not,) and APIs that aren’t stable are hard to use effectively.The release of Andrew Brown‘s Chrome extension and Jason Wiener‘s Firefox extension seems to have pushed Quora into finally releasing an API, albiet a simple one.The API can access a logged-in users inbox, followers, following and notifications. Why You Love Online Quizzes How to Write a Welcome Email to New Employees?last_img read more

Box CEO Aaron Levie On The Uncertain Landscape Of Enterprise Software [Video]

first_imgCognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of… Tags:#Aaron Levie#Box#cloud storage#ReadWrite Mix#ReadWrite Mix#startups nick statt Related Posts IT + Project Management: A Love Affaircenter_img 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Now Last Wednesday, ReadWrite Editor-in-in-Chief Dan Lyons sat down with 27-year-old Box CEO Aaron Levie to discuss the complex market of enterprise cloud technology in the third ReadWrite Mix event in San Francisco.Lyons and Levie touched on a wide array of subjects, from sly stabs at Microsoft to how Box grew from a dorm room project to the forefront of cloud storage and collaboration. Levie also shared some of his wisdom on how to outmaneuver the competition, understand the early mover conundrum and keep delivering better technology. This 2:48 video touches on the uncertainties facing enterprise software companies like Box, as well as the opportunities that lay ahead in a market where, as Levie says, it’s not clear where one service starts and another service stops.  Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo…last_img read more

Videography Tips: What to Look for in a Good Shoulder Mount

first_imgA good shoulder mount is a cinematographer’s best friend. So what should you consider when looking for one?When I first started out in film and video production, it felt like all my projects were either handheld or on a tripod. This, of course, meant that every shot was either incredibly shaky (and very distracting), or it was simply static and uninteresting. The world changed for me when I discovered shoulder mounts.For my small, run-and-gun productions, this really opened doors in terms of composing shots and adjusting by simply moving my body, rather than picking up a tripod. It also added more complex camera moves like pans, tilts, and all types of motion in a way that looked much more steady and professional.These days, camera mounts come in all sorts of shapes. Professional Steadicam setups are commonplace, and most audiences expect to see a good blend of smoothness with other types movement.When choosing a good shoulder mount, whether for the first time or the hundredth, there are some key elements to keep in mind.Comfort and Ease-of-UseImage via gnepphoto.The first thing I’ve always looked for is comfort. How does your shoulder mount feel? If it’s heavy or pokes you awkwardly, that’s not a good sign. Many options these days come with built-in padding (which you can also add yourself, but it’s much more reliable when it’s part of the original design).The second thing I look for is ease of use. When you first pick up a shoulder mount, does it feel intuitive? Once you have it on your shoulder (or against your chest, or wherever), see how easy it is to make both small movements and long ones. If you’re lucky enough to live near a large camera store, you may be able to try out several in a row — in which case you’ll know instantly which one feels the best.AdjustabilityImage via Sundays Photography.But don’t let a first impression be everything. It’s hard to find a shoulder mount these days that isn’t at least somewhat adjustable. Many shoulder mounts let you adjust almost every part of their setups. From working with camera mount plates to elements like length and counter weights, everything will need some degree of tinkering if you’re serious about creating an ideal shoulder mount.In this case, if you get a chance to take one home, or buy one online to try out, take a few days to really see how adjustable it is and how much you can customize it for your body type and shooting style.Freedom of MovementUnless you’re working with a major cinema camera on a larger production with multiple people on a camera team, you’re probably not going to be strapping yourself into a Steadicam suit for every shot. Unlike, say, a free-standing gimbal with a complete range of motion, shoulder mounts are limited in some ways — especially if you need to keep pressure on a point of contact.However, for a shoulder mount to be perfect, in my experience, it’s best to find one that allows you a good mix of freedom of movement, both when standing still and when walking. However, it also needs to feel like a solid tripod when you’re stationary and need support.Could You Make One Yourself?Video via Film Riot.The final question before you invest in a shoulder mount is Could you make one yourself? The first shoulder mount I ever made was with my dad. We found a tutorial online then built one out of PVC pipe. It was pretty simple but also a lot of fun. To give it more cushion, we wrapped the entire shoulder mount with layers of electrical tape until it had a good deal of give.All told, it probably cost $15 and took just a few hours to build. Yet it worked for years and saved me a couple hundred dollars. While DIY projects aren’t for everyone, it’s worth considering when making your decision — or when working with shoulder mounts for the very first time.Cover image by gnepphoto.Looking for more video gear tips? Check out these articles.Buyer’s Guide: Shoulder Rigs From Cheapest to Most ExpensiveGear Hacks: DIY Camera Stabilizers and Rigs for Under $25The Best Camera Cages to Maximize Your RigGrip Tricks: Creating Do-It-Yourself Camera RigsVideo Tutorial: Build Your Own $50 Car-Side Camera Mountlast_img read more