Economic News Week: June 6, 2011

By Tony Stevenson/SWBC Mortgage

Stocks fell for a fifth time in as many weeks as the DOW ended this past  Friday at 12151.  Unemployment concerns and concerns over  European debt were the main culprits for the decline.  Moody’s Investor Service is talking about lowering the U.S.’  triple AAA rating if we don’t increase our debt limit.  Keep in mind though that Moody also gave triple AAA ratings for  certain mortgage backed securities during the housing bubble only just a few years ago.   So,  I don’t know how serious their ratings would be taken in the first place.  That being said, Congress really needs to raise the debt limit-if anything-to keep global concerns from spiraling further.  Most economists agree that we are in a “temporary” economic downturn.  The U.S. unemployment rate increased  slightly to 9.1% as the private sector gain 54,000 jobs for the month.  Which is still better than  the 750k job losses we were digesting  just two and a half years ago.  Other causes for the global economic slowdown are the Japanese tsunamis (down 30% car production in San Ant0onio alone), home price declines and foreclosures, the situation in  Libya, and tornados and flooding in N. eastern and southern U.S. states.  It may be time  U.S. corporations to take the bull by the horns and start spending some of their huge earnings  and start re-investing and hiring instead of waiting for the government to intervene again.

 

Local Economic News

Gov. Perry has ordered our state Congress back in special session to resolve issues not answered during regular session.  Education funding being at the top of the agenda. Let’s hope they don’t put our children’s future at the bottom of the list. Most economists agree that any economic turnaround includes a well-educated community.

 

Oil did drop 10 percent in May which helped Memorial Day weekend travelers.  The Texas Hill Country was well traveled as river bound floaters and other tourists spent their weekend traveling the Texas highways stopping for short visits along the way.

 

Bankruptcy filings in South-Central Texas continue to slide.  A 26% drop in filings from just a year ago, May 2010.  Even though our state is finding itself in the throngs of penny-pinching and trying to find cuts- even among the elderly, our state has still been the shining star for the nation.  And I’m not talking about the Texaco Star.  We are being admired for our job growth.  The Eagle Ford Shale has come to the rescue as jobs are being filled daily as  the oil and gas boom in South Texas continues to share its wealth.

Real Estate and Mortgage Industry News

Home prices fell  4.2% in the first quarter to 2002 levels. This provides for an even  better buyer’s market.  Mortgage rates fell again too!  The 30 year fixed rate index fell to 4.55% from 4.60% just a week ago.  Great housing selection, low prices, and low mortgage rates, what else could potential home buyers be waiting for?  It shouldn’t be for lack of money as Mortgage lenders are loaning money.  You just have to have good credit and the ability to pay-along with a minimal down payments-for now.  This can all change at the drop of a hat.  When inflation does eventually raise its ugly head, folks will have wished they bought now-than later.

 

Personal Note:

SWBC Mortgage welcomes Tamara Tapman as  our Texas Vet/VA Liaison.  Tamara brings  a wealth of knowledge to our staff regarding Texas Vet and VA type loans. Tamara was previously employed by the Veterans  Land Board in San Antonio for 21 years. So, if you know of anyone needing a Texas Vet and/or VA  loan, please keep me in mind.   I promise to make it an even easier process for our Texas Veterans and Military personnel.

Economic Data Due this week: Wednesday: Fed Beige Book=information released for current economic conditions here in the U.S. from all the Fed’s covered regions.   Thursday: International Trade Balance=  this is a report regarding imports vs. exports of U.S. products.  Thursday: Weekly jobless claims.  Thursday: Freddie Mac releases weekly mortgage rates.

 

Quote of the week!

Bless your past for the best that has happened

and forget the rest.

— —Brian Buffini

 

Stupid Joke of the week!

A farmer was quoted in the town newspaper as having “2008 pigs”.

He showed up the next morning to declare to the editor,  “That’s a

misprint!” He continued, “I  never said I have 2008 pigs. I told your reporter that I had 2 sows and 8 pigs.”

 

Please remember Karen Franz and I with any mortgage referrals you can send us!

Texas REALTORS® urge lawmakers to protect homeowners

Apr. 13, 2011

More than 2,000 Texas REALTORS® converged on Austin yesterday to visit with state lawmakers on issues affecting Texas homeowners.  I was one of them!

“Texas withstood the real estate bubble that ravaged the rest of the country, largely because state leaders made private-property rights a priority in recent sessions,” says Dwight Hale, chairman of the Texas Association of REALTORS®. “We are focused on maintaining those policies so homeownership remains affordable in Texas.”

Texas REALTORS® are urging passage of legislation to strengthen property owners’ rights against eminent domain abuses and eliminate private transfer fees … a scam in which a hidden fee must be paid by the homebuyer anytime a property is sold, for up to 99 years.

Texas REALTORS® also oppose legislation that would weaken home-equity lending protections Texas homeowners have enjoyed since 1998 … protections the Texas Association of REALTORS® pushed for back in the 1997 session. “This kind of protection doesn’t exist in other states, and many homeowners have found themselves upside down on their loans as a result,” Hale says. Read the news release on PR Newswire

The Feds are suing Arizona.

The Feds are suing Arizona.  The height of stupidity.  All the federal government has to do is run the presses a little longer to pay for their expenses.  Arizona doesn’t have that luxury.

What can you do?  Well, we now have an opportunity to put our money where our mouth is.  Arizona has set up a web site enabling us to donate to their Border Security and Immigration Legal Defense fund.  They take all the standard credit cards.

https://az.gov/app/keepazsafe/donation_information.xhtml

There is also a Facebook link

http://www.facebook.com/l.php?u=http%3A%2F%2Fbit.ly%2FbkQzZc&h=c4344eaXa7PesE0gbCgUFHnmegg

Texas version of the SAFE Act

Five transactions/12 months back for now in Texas – SAFE Act on hold.

Well here in Texas it is again the same as before until the legislative changes during the coming months can make other changes..  We were told that June 1st, no owner financing, now we are back again to what Texas originally had. The Texas Department of Savings and Mortgage Lending has taken significant steps to allow Texas property owners to continue to seller finance up to five (5) transactions in a  12 month period.  The commissioner has delayed the implementation of the SAFE Act requirement for liscensure in seller-financed transactions in Texas until August31, 2010.  Well we will see what happens.

Seller-financing license requirements delayed


The federal Secure and Fair Enforcement for Mortgage Licensing (SAFE) Act requires most property owners who wish to seller-finance to be licensed as residential mortgage loan originators (RMLO). The Texas Department of Savings and Mortgage Lending, responsible for the act’s implementation in Texas, announced last week that it’s delaying the licensing deadline from May 31 to Aug. 31.

This delay is the first step toward reinstating the de minimis rule, which allows a seller to finance the sale of up to five properties within 12 months without a license. The Texas Finance Commission will consider a rule change reinstating the de minimus rule at its August meeting. This is good news for private-property owners and Texas REALTORS®.

Learn more about the SAFE Act and what these changes could mean for your transactions by listening to Texas REALTOR® Update Episode 77.

Protect your home and land from abusive eminant domain

Dear Fellow Texans,

In Texas, a family’s home is their castle and there was a time when we protected our home and property with our lives. In 1836, Texans stood together in defiance of an oppressive government, one that was attempting to trample their rights as citizens. Unfortunately, rural and urban Texans today face a very similar problem in the form of eminent domain.

Last November, Texans took the first step toward strengthening private property rights against abusive eminent domain by passing Proposition 11 with an overwhelming 81% of the vote. While passage of Proposition 11 was a good first step, true eminent domain reform will only happen when additional protections are passed into law.

Now the legislature needs to complete eminent domain reform by also passing additional reforms that establish stricter penalties for not negotiating in good faith; demand adequate compensation for loss of access; provide a 10-year buy back provision for land that isn’t used; and clarify that eminent domain must only be exercised for public use.

The 14th Amendment to the U. S. Constitution says in part: “No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law.” This is one of the founding principles our country was built on, and I need your help to ensure the Texas Legislature finishes the job.

A fair and equitable solution exists to this problem, and it begins with you. Will you exercise your rights and help protect Texas? Please click here to read and sign my petition and send the message: “In Texas, a family’s home is their castle” and it will be protected from injustice of any kind.

May God Bless Texas,

P.S. Every Texas homeowner, neighborhood association and landowner needs to unite against abusive eminent domain.

2nd verse of the Star Spangled Banner

This was sent from one of my friends and clients.  PLEASE listen to it! and pass this link on!

Herman Cain lead a Q&A session at the Douglas County Tea Party when a young woman asked him about the attack by the Left on our Judeo-Christian heritage in America…He addressed her question, then went to the last question of the night, and the crowd was not expecting what happened next..

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f9_bP219ehQ

Arizona–here we come

I got this email sent to me… This may be the most important email I have ever read! I think there is more truth than we realize here. So I had to post it here.  Hope it gets lots of reads.

EVERYBODY, HANG ON FOR DEAR LIFE…………………

We know Dick Lamm as the former Governor of Colorado .. In that context his thoughts are particularly poignant. Last week there was an immigration overpopulation conference in Washington , DC , filled to capacity by many of America ‘s finest minds and leaders. A brilliant college professor by the name of Victor Hansen Davis talked about his latest book, ‘Mexifornia,’ explaining how immigration – both legal and illegal was destroying the entire state of California . He said it would march across the country until it destroyed all vestiges of The American Dream.

Moments later, former Colorado Governor Richard D. Lamm stood up and gave a stunning speech on how to destroy America

The audience sat spellbound as he described eight methods for the destruction of the United States . He said, ‘If you believe that America is too smug, too self-satisfied, too rich, then let’s destroy America . It is not that hard to do. No nation in history has survived the ravages of time. Arnold Toynbee observed that all great civilizations rise and fall and that ‘An autopsy of history would show that all great nations commit suicide.”

‘Here is how they do it,’ Lamm said:

‘First, to destroy America , turn America into a bilingual or multi-lingual and bicultural country… History shows that no nation can survive the tension, conflict, and antagonism
of two or more competing languages and cultures. It is a blessing for an individual to be bilingual; however, it is a curse for a society to be bilingual. The historical scholar, Seymour Lipset, put it this way: ‘The histories of bilingual and bicultural societies that do not assimilate are histories of turmoil, tension, and tragedy.’ Canada , Belgium , Malaysia, and Lebanon all face crises of national existence
in which minorities press for autonomy , if not independence. Pakistan and Cyprus have divided. Nigeria suppressed an ethnic rebellion. France faces difficulties with Basques, Bretons, Corsicans and Muslims.’

Lamm went on:

‘Second, to destroy America , invent ‘multiculturalism’ and encourage immigrants to maintain their culture. Make it an article of belief that all cultures are equal; that there are no cultural differences. Make it an article of faith that the Black and Hispanic dropout rates are due solely to prejudice and discriminationby the majority. Every other explanation is out of bounds.

‘Third, we could make the United States an ‘Hispanic Quebec ‘ without much effort. The key is to celebrate diversity rather than unity. As Benjamin Schwarz said in the Atlantic Monthly recently: ‘The apparent success of our
own multi-ethnic and multicultural experiment might have been achieved not by tolerance but by hegemony. Without the dominance that once dictated ethnocentricy and what it meant to be an American, we are left with only tolerance and pluralism to hold us together.’ Lamm said, ‘I would encourage all immigrants to keep their own language and
culture. I would replace the melting pot metaphor with the salad bowl metaphor. It is important to ensure that we have various cultural subgroups living in America enforcing their differences rather than as Americans, emphasizing their similarities.’

‘Fourth, I would make our fastest growing demographic group the least educated. I would add a second underclass, unassimilated, undereducated, and antagonistic to our population. I would have this second underclass have a 50% dropout rate from high school.’

‘My fifth point for destroying America would be to get big foundations and business to give these efforts lots of money. I would invest in ethnic identity, and I would establish the cult of ‘Victimology…’ I would get all minorities to think that their lack of success was the fault of the majority. I would start a grievance industry blaming all minority failure on the majority plation.’

‘My sixth plan for America ‘s downfall would include dual citizenship, and promote divided loyalties. I would celebrate diversity over unity. I would stress differences rather than similarities. Diverse people worldwide are mostly engaged in hating each other – that is, when they are not killing each other. A diverse, peaceful, or stable society is against most historical precept. People undervalue the unity it takes to keep a nation together. Look at the ancient Greeks. The Greeks believed that they belonged to the same race; they possessed a common language and literature; and they worshipped the same gods. All Greece took part in the Olympic games.. A common enemy, Persia , threatened their liberty. Yet all these bonds were not strong enough to overcome two factors: local patriotism and geographical conditions that nurtured political divisions. Greece fell. ‘E. Pluribus Unum’ — From many, one. In that historical reality, if we put the emphasis on the ‘pluribus’ instead of the ‘Unum,’ we will ‘Balkanize’ America as surely as Kosovo.’

‘Next to last, I would place all subjects off limits. Make it taboo to talk about anything against the cult of ‘diversity.’ I would find a word similar to ‘heretic’ in the 16th century – that stopped discussion and paralyzed thinking. Words like ‘racist’ or ‘xenophobe’ halt discussion and debate. Having made America a bilingual/bicultural country, having established multi-cultum, having the large foundations fund the doctrine of ‘Victimology,’ I would next make it impossible to enforce our immigration laws. I would develop a mantra: That because immigration has been good for America , it must always be good. I would make every individual immigrant symmetric and ignore the cumulative impact of millions of them.’

In the last minute of his speech, Governor Lamm wiped his brow. Profound silence followed. Finally he said, ‘Lastly, I would censor Victor Hanson Davis’s book ‘Mexifornia.’ His book is dangerous. It exposes the plan to destroy America .. If you feel America deserves to be destroyed, don’t read that book.’

There was no applause. A chilling fear quietly rose like an ominous cloud above every attendee at the conference. Every American in that room knew that everything Lamm enumerated was proceeding methodically, quietly, darkly, yet pervasively across the United States today. Discussion is being suppressed. Over 100 languages are ripping the foundation of our educational system and national cohesiveness. Even barbaric cultures that practice female genital mutilation are growing as we celebrate ‘diversity.’ American jobs are vanishing into the Third World as corporations create a Third World in America Take note of California and other states. To date, ten million illegal aliens and growing fast. It is reminiscent of George Orwell’s book ‘1984.’ In that story, three slogans are engraved in the Ministry of Truth building: ‘War is peace,’ ‘Freedom is slavery,’ and ‘Ignorance is strength.’

Governor Lamm walked back to his seat. It dawned on everyone at the conference that our nation and the future of this great democracy is deeply in trouble and worsening fast. If we don’t get this immigration monster stopped within three years, it will rage like a California wildfire and destroy everything in its path, especially The American Dream.

If you care for and love our country as I do, take the time to pass this on just as I did for you.

NOTHING is going to happen if you don’t!
email send by Philip Don Gates

+++++++
I lived in Canada most of My adult life and the challenges that go between the “english speaking” and the “french speaking” sides is crazy. Many people in Quebec don’t speak nor will speak English. All of the signs are in French, including those that are designed for the people that don’t live there.

When Quebec was going to separate and they voted 49.5% in favor, I would of rallied the people to make it 51% so that Canada would not continue this burden of stupid, ignorant and demanding “bilingual (FRENCH)” issue. Bilingual is 2 languages and I think that to speak multiple languages is absolutely fantastic. I think we should all know at least 2 languages. It makes all of us more understanding of others, but that does not mean that it has to be rammed and bullied onto you. This should be choice.

IF all people went to another country that they did not understand their culture, and language and were forced to be there for 1 month, I think the whole world would be a better place. The grass is NOT greener on the other side, it is different and we should make a choice of where we want to live because of what the area has to offer, not make the place we live where we came from. Why would I move from one place I did not like to another place just to bring my baggage with me..

Love where you live, or go where that place is.
By Andrea
++++

YouCut

Introducing ‘YouCut’

YouCut – a first-of-its-kind project – is designed to defeat the permissive culture of runaway spending in Congress. It allows you to vote, both online and on your cell phone, on spending cuts that you want to see the House enact. Vote on this page today for your priorities and together we can begin to change Washington’s culture of spending into a culture of savings.  You can do this on your phone or on the internet!

Wait for the video!

Here is the website that you need to participate in!

Apathetic-USA.com

I found a great website!!!   http://apathetic-usa.com/

….

1 . To awaken the American public to THE THREAT of Radical Islam, its purpose and its goals. If you are of the opinion that Islam is a peaceful religion, you have not read the Qu’ran as it plainly states to kill the infidel if he does not submit or convert. I refer you to the web site Prophet of Doom, which addresses Muhammad’s own words. He states, in so many words, that if you are Muslim and you are peace-loving and seek peaceful coexistence with Christians and Jews, you are a traitor and a hypocrite. Muslims may appear peaceful in a public forum, but they speak a different language and show a complete different face when inside their mosque retreats.

2. To address the IMMIGRATION CRISIS we are experiencing in this country. If we do not set limits on who can enter, control our existing borders, and start enforcing our current immigration laws, this country is going to start experiencing the same problems Europe is facing today. If you doubt this, please do some research on what is happening today in Germany, France, and has already happened in Spain. If the immigration chart/graph in the immigration section does not alarm you, you either have your head buried in the sand or you did not do well in high school math and do not understand graphs.

3. To address the concept of THE FOUR INSTRUMENTS OF NATIONAL POWER and how terrorism is using these instruments to create havoc within our society, and to attain their ultimate goal of destroying America. This concept was an assimilation of ideas and concepts learned by S. R. Gable, Col USAF, Ret during his war College years. This is presented in the flash movie “America Wake Up.