Inflation Threatens and Evictions Loom

Two major issues dominated the news in late July: Inflation – whether it is, is not a problem or is likely to be one; and the prospect that millions of renters would be evicted from their homes as a federal moratorium barring evictions for nonpayment of rent expired. 

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Financial industry lobbyists fighting (not very successfully thus far) to block mortgage cram-down authority for bankruptcy judges will not be pleased with this news. 

For years, if not decades, economists have been wringing their hands over the nation’s anemic, and sometimes negative, savings rate.

The new credit card regulations finalized last month have brought bankers an early, bracing blast of the frostier regulatory climate they are expecting with Democrats once again controlling the White House and holding majorities in both the House and Senate. 

Any sighs of relief following the announcement of a contingency government rescue plan for Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were premature. After easing initially, market pressures on the government services enterprises (GSEs), cornerstones of the secondary mortgage market, have intensified again, fueling speculation that Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson may have to provide the direct government assistance he proposed in the hope that offering the aid would ensure that it would not be needed.