This innovative book analyses the role played by real estate markets in global financial stability and examines the fragile link between the two. Through what transmission channels do housing market cycles influence broader economic systems? How has the Global Financial Crisis shifted our view and understanding of these linkages? This detailed book answers these questions in an international comparative perspective. Specific topics covered include macroeconomic transmission channels of the housing cycle, the role of housing in the finance system, construction financing as a cycle amplifier, and various related public policy issues such as the policy remedies needed to deal with housing and mortgage-driven crises. Eminent scholars in the field provide insightful and original contributions, which will appeal to academics in the areas of macroeconomics, policy analysis and financial regulation. Practitioners involved in real estate and the mortgage market will also find it to be of interest.
September 15, 2008 was one of the most important days in American financial market history. Lehman Brothers, one of the oldest and most respected investment banks on Wall Street, filed for bankruptcy, sending a shock through the financial system to a degree not seen since the Great Depression. Massive layoffs from businesses and defaults by households ensued. Several years and trillions of dollars of money supplied by the Federal Reserve later, most Americans still feel as if the economic recovery has never commenced. So today, five years after the collapse of Lehman Brothers, what is the state of the U.S. economy? Stock markets have risen to all-time highs, yet employment is still well below pre-crisis levels, and most Americans still feel as if the economy is still in recession. So why have stock markets and general economic consensus decoupled? Jonathan H. Todd combs through economic data and financial research to try to parse out exactly why the disconnect between the job and investment markets exists, and where the economy should head from here. Things may seem dire to most Americans today, with a huge pool the unemployed, a massive debt accumulated by the U.S. government, and as uncertain a global economic outlook as ever. The Financial Crisis resulted in a devastating and lasting impact from coast to coast, spawning mass mortgage defaults, and draining the savings assets and 401k accounts of many ordinary Americans. Taking a 40,000 foot view of the economy, the case for optimism and the case for pessimism are laid out, in an attempt to understand how the American economy is likely to perform after five years of poor growth. While there are still many reasons to be worried about the future of our country, there are many reasons to be optimistic as well. The equity markets have recovered, but the real economy - where Americans work, spend, and live - may feel that same strong growth in the near future.
The life insurance industry is one of the last examples of unrestricted capitalism in this country. Despite some regulation by various government agencies, life insurance remains a largely uncontrolled financial giant. It is the life insurance plan, how it works, that shields this industry. The Mortality Mortgage, the source of the Barnes Standard is an explanation of life insurance pricing, and a call for full financial disclosure through regulation of the industry. It is intended for financial consultants, tax attorneys, CPA's, life insurance agents, and other groups who advise consumers on financial matters. Insurance buyers supply this industry with millions of dollars in premiums each year. Consumers deserve a truth in lending law and an appraisal process for this financial service. Life insurance is not a product, it is financing. Four factors denote financial quality: price or principal, rate, term and closing costs. Consumers understand these financial elements for homes and bonds, but they do not equate the fundamentals of financial quality with life insurance. The life insurance industry, through marketing and advertising, has taught the public to focus on premiums, death benefits, and cash values; financial elements are ignored. The Mortality Mortgage compares and contrasts three financial models: the home mortgage, the bond or debt security, and life insurance. Additionally, it provides the formulas necessary for appraisal of a life insurance plan. With an appraisal, a comparison of insurance policies is possible. Once pricing is understood, consumers will demand full financial disclosure through regulation of the life insurance industry.
This volume presents a radical reinterpretation of the European Community or Union as a neo-liberal construction. It was neo-liberal rather than classically liberal because it was designed and used as an external instrument to weaken the interventionist welfare state that protected working people and strengthened the hand of labor. It was founded on the vision of a free market untrammelled by public intervention and worked to ensure competition, sound money and profitability against the inflationary force of workers and unions and the welfare state. Monetary union in particular restored profitability but produced slow growth, mass unemployment, and insecurity and came under challenge, most dramatically in France, by working people from below. This view is substantiated by an economically based study of member-state performance and complemented by a series of national studies on the monetarist turn by leading scholars.