Feb 8, 2012 22:35 UTC

Renters need to flex muscle in U.S. housing debate

Photo

By Agnes T. Crane
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are her own.

Though America’s mortgage system subsidizes homebuyers, its dysfunction has cost all taxpayers dearly. Few constituencies with much clout are pushing for change. But the nation’s 39 million rental households – often an afterthought in the housing debate – ought to be up in arms. They might find unlikely allies, too.

COMMENT

It certainly is understandable that renters would be less organized than the Real Estate Industrial Complex made up of brokers, agents, owners, banks, etc… Unfortunately, their control of the legislative process and policy in this realm is as strong as it gets. Renters get a break every now and then when market forces convulse under horrible policy – but policy makers get right back to punishing renters.

Posted by CWF | Report as abusive
Feb 8, 2012 15:45 UTC

Still a long slog ahead for U.S. jobs

Photo

By Daniel Indiviglio and Richard Beales

The authors are Reuters Breakingviews columnists. The opinions expressed are their own.

There’s still a long slog ahead for the unemployed in America. Jobs growth has started picking up. But even at a rate of 250,000 a month, a hair above January’s figure, full employment may not be reached until 2020. A new Breakingviews calculator shows how a faster or slower rate of job creation changes that picture.

Jan 31, 2012 20:12 UTC

Gingrich makes Goldman 4-letter word – to no avail

Photo

By Daniel Indiviglio

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

The Florida Republican primary’s big winner tonight may be Wall Street’s most infamous bank. Front-runners Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney are trying to connect one another to the financial crisis. Gingrich paints his rival as an agent of the giant vampire squid, while Romney criticizes his opponent for being paid handsomely for advising Freddie Mac to inflate the housing bubble. But in a state still in pain from the bust, Romney’s line is winning.

Jan 27, 2012 20:45 UTC

U.S. private sector emerges from government shadow

Photo

By Martin Hutchinson

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

The U.S. private sector is emerging from government’s shadow. Headline annualized GDP growth of 2.8 percent in Friday’s fourth-quarter data looks more anemic when inventory growth is netted out. But overall in 2011, as government has retreated private enterprise has regained strength.

Jan 26, 2012 16:08 UTC

Uninvited guest, Mr 99 Percent, crashes Davos

Photo

By Rob Cox 

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

The most difficult guest to avoid bumping into at the World Economic Forum this year has no badge. He was not invited to the annual gathering in Davos, but he haunts the panels, hallway conversations and politicians’ speeches. He is Mr. 99 Percent, the specter of the unemployed and disenfranchised.

COMMENT

What, like blood flow, capitalism cannot stand is constriction. Put a rubber band around your finger and watch it fall off. Blood pressure is all important as any doctor can tell you. tourniquets are counter-indicated when the problem is dehydration. A transfusion, a massage; more like it.

Posted by cruzmolly | Report as abusive
Jan 25, 2012 22:37 UTC

Fed doubles risk of being whipsawed by market

Photo

By Martin Hutchinson

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

The U.S. Federal Reserve could be setting itself up for an uncomfortable surprise. It extended its commitment to keep interest rates near zero from about 18 months to three years on Wednesday. Job creation, the departure of Chairman Ben Bernanke or rising inflation could force a damaging reversal before then – or lead the Fed to drag its feet to avoid one.

Jan 20, 2012 18:46 UTC

Latest U.S. bank stock surge could prove fickle

Photo

By Antony Currie

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

The latest bull run in U.S. bank stocks may prove fickle. The big six, including Goldman Sachs and Bank of America, have added $100 billion of market value since mid-December, a 23 percent jump, despite meager fourth-quarter earnings. Receding fears over Europe have helped better align bank valuations with balance sheet and income realities. But no further rally is warranted with more ugly surprises likely.

Jan 19, 2012 21:49 UTC

Alluring subprime debt can still poison investors

Photo

By Agnes T. Crane

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are her own.

Subprime mortgage debt has got its mojo back. A growing number of investors reckon there’s life yet in the mortgage market’s toxic sludge from the crisis – and that now’s the time to buy. But buyers should tread carefully.

Jan 17, 2012 11:04 UTC

Stalling German motor is Europe’s other difficulty

Photo

By Ian Campbell
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

There’s no downgrading Germany. Standard and Poor’s spared the country in its Friday attack on European sovereigns. No wonder – the German fiscal deficit came in at just 1 percent of GDP in 2011. But Germany is a big problem in another way. Its motor has just stalled again. The euro zone needs growth. Germany, its power plant, can’t even propel itself.

Jan 12, 2012 11:24 UTC

Predictions 2012: Upside down and inside out

Photo

By Robert Cole

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Planet finance has a propensity to turn itself upside down and inside out. It’s up to its old tricks again. A new collection of commentaries from Breakingviews sets the financial agenda for the next 12 months.