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Showing posts from October, 2017

Brown Signs Bills Aiming To Fix California Housing Crunch

SAN FRANCISCO — Lawmakers and housing advocates cheered Gov. Jerry Brown’s signature Friday of a package of bills aimed at tackling the growing affordable housing crisis in California, which lacks an estimated 1.5 million affordable rentals compared to demand.

But with the skyline of one of the nation’s most expensive cities as the backdrop, they acknowledged the state’s housing crunch is far from solved.

“We cannot move past today and just check the box, say we’ve done housing and move onto something else,” said Sen. Scott Wiener, a San Francisco Democrat. “When you spend 50 years driving your car into a ditch that means it’s a really deep ditch.”

Brown signed 15 bills outside a San Francisco affordable housing complex. The bills include more money to build affordable housing and policies to speed up construction stalled by regulations.
But it will be several years before affordable housing units start popping up across the state and, when they do, they won't cover California…

A Boom in Credit Cards: Great News for Banks, Less So Consumers

A Boom in Credit Cards: Great News for Banks, Less So Consumers
Image Udean Murray, from Brooklyn, struggles each month to make the minimum payments for the credit cards she relies on. Her only income is Social Security.CreditAndrew Seng for The New York TimesBy and    Oct. 19, 2017
Udean Murray, a 62-year-old retired telephone operator in Brooklyn, relies on more than a dozen credit cards to make ends meet. Her prescription medication often goes on a Capital One card. She pays for groceries with one from Discover Financial Services
That’s a risky financial strategy for Ms. Murray, whose only income is Social Security and who struggles each month to make the minimum payments on all her cards.
But it has been a boon for the nation’s biggest banks, which are earning millions of dollars a month on their credit card customers. The four top American banks — Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Citigroup and Wells Fargo — together made more than $4 billion in pre…

More Investors Turn To Farmland, Debt Strategies 10-16-17

More investors turn to farmland, debt strategies
By · October 16, 2017Jack Gay said some investors are looking at commercial mortgage investments as a supplement to their equity portfolios.Gary Sayers Two relatively small corners of real estate manager portfolios grew the most in the year ended June 30, reflecting a focus on sectors that could help investors insulate portfolios against a downturn. While the sectors remain a relatively tiny slice of managers' total assets under management, farmland and real estate debt strategies all rose in the year ended June 30.

Real estate debt sectors tracked by Pensions & Investments include hybrid debt, mezzanine, loans and mortgages.

Worldwide mezzanine assets were up nearly 29% to about $16 billion; and mortgages were up 8% to $292 billion. Also, worldwide farmland assets grew by 10.2%, and worldwide timber assets were up 1.3% to $31.8 billion. U.S. institutional tax-exempt investments for farmland was …