PoliticsPresident Barack Obama

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To: Jim McMannis who wrote (107225)1/10/2012 11:21:56 PM
From: tejek
   of 149288
Wall Street votes mainly Democrat. But plays both sides. Not sure how the author wants to pin Wall Street to just Scott Brown.

I think I will stick with the facts. The bottom line Wall Street is coming out big for R.

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To: mindmeld who wrote (107220)1/10/2012 11:22:24 PM
From: tejek
   of 149288
The acorn and the tree?

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To: tejek who wrote (107230)1/11/2012 12:31:11 AM
From: Jim McMannis
   of 149288
Even if Lz Warren wins they will have made significant contributions to make her "their own".

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From: Sr K1/11/2012 12:52:52 AM
   of 149288
There were only 12 delegates at stake in NH.

Romney 7
Paul 3
Huntsman 2

so Romney 7, others 5.

The NH primary meant very little.

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From: bentway1/11/2012 2:01:38 AM
   of 149288
Eliot Spitzer: 2 Bold Ideas Obama Should Embrace to Stand Apart from Mitt Romney
By Eliot Spitzer, Slate
Posted on January 9, 2012, Printed on January 10, 2012

With Mitt Romney’s almost certain win in New Hampshire this week, the race for the White House has now resolved to what was predicted almost a year ago: Mitt vs. Barack. The more extreme and entirely irrational voices of the Republican Party have nearly burned out, and the Republicans will be offering up a rather bland and opportunistic middle-of-the-roader who nonetheless has a credible record in the big leagues of private equity and as a one-term governor of Massachusetts. Romney has successfully navigated a minefield of debates and attacks from the right without marginalizing himself so that he lost his capacity to appeal to the undecided voters who will determine the election in November. So let’s be clear: Democrats cannot easily dismiss Mitt Romney. This will be a tight race, and the economic data of the late spring and summer will help determine the emotional state of the electorate.

So how will Obama approach the contest? His good news: We are out of Iraq; Bin Laden is dead; DADT is gone; we avoided an economic cataclysm (often by doing the wrong thing) and kept the auto industry alive; the economy is beginning to create jobs (note the 200,000 private-sector jobs reported last week and an unemployment rate that has dropped to 8.5 percent); and health care reform was enacted.

Yet the crisis of the middle class continues unabated; the wages in new manufacturing jobs are far below what is needed to support middle-class living; the mortgage crisis continues, depressing the middle class; poverty is increasing; social mobility is down; and there are enough storm clouds on the horizon—a European recession in particular—that Americans are extremely anxious.

Put another way: We have addressed the crisis, but not the trend line. We dodged the worst immediate impacts of the converging multiple crises of the economy from 2008-09, but the longer term crises of declining middle-class income and increasing wealth disparity continue. So the president needs to confront these head on. He needs an agenda focused on two issues: equity and opportunity.

It is time to transition from repairing the enormous structural damage done by the cataclysm the president inherited to establishing policies to restore the American middle class, reduce inequality, and improve America’s competitiveness. Here are two ideas for him to consider.

First, an idea that will not only generate greater equity and simplicity in the tax code but also create a powerful ideological divide between the president and Romney. The president should propose treating capital gains as ordinary income. The preference given to capital gains—now taxed at a mere 15 percent even for those in the top income brackets—serves no economic purpose, and magnifies the inequity in the tax code. Why give any preference to income that results from the sale of an appreciated asset as opposed to income that is the product of work? There is no compelling answer to this question, and absolutely no credible evidence that investment will be hindered if the capital-gains preference is eliminated.

Indeed, the Bowles-Simpson report suggested the elimination of the capital-gains preference, and the Bipartisan Policy Center, which is chock-full of prominent government officials of both parties and private-sector executives, has also endorsed the idea. Bizarrely, the Republicans are going in just the opposite direction: They want to eliminate all taxation of dividends and capital gains, thus increasing inequity.

Second, the moment is ripe for investment in education. We all know that the era of competition based on intellectual capital is upon us, and the United States is at great risk of falling behind China, India, and Europe. One problem magnifying this is the burden of student debt, which is surging as entry-level jobs are either unavailable or exist only at wage levels insufficient to cover debt payoffs. The president should embrace an idea originally proposed by Milton Friedman and James Tobin, recently pushed by Robert Reich in his wonderful book Aftershock, as well as by me here in Slate two years ago. It’s simple: Have the government pay for college education for students in return for an agreed-upon repayment of a fixed percentage of post-graduate income. The beauty of this is that all barriers to education are eliminated. Everybody can go: No cash is needed up front. And the magnitude of your repayment is calibrated to what you earn, permitting freedom of choice with respect to jobs. Does this require those who earn more to pay more? Yes, but that is a fair transaction. Repayment is calibrated to the payback you get from the education. The numbers can be arranged such that the government is made entirely whole and educational opportunities are increased exponentially. And we would eliminate the problem of student debt that now crushes opportunity.

Eliot Spitzer is the former governor of the state of New York.

© 2012 Slate All rights reserved.

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From: bentway1/11/2012 2:44:42 AM
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Private Equity Readying a Run on Foreclosures

Published: Tuesday, 10 Jan 2012 | 2:00 PM ET

As the Obama administration and federal regulators work on a program to sell government-owned foreclosures in bulk to investors, those investors aren’t wasting any time stockpiling cash and buying foreclosed properties at auction and from the major banks.
Getty Images

Oakland, California-based Waypoint Real Estate Group, a major acquirer of so-called “REO to Rental” (Real Estate Owned) just announced a partnership with a private equity firm, Menlo Park, California-based GI Partners, to buy foreclosed properties.

GI Partners has approximately $6 billion of capital under management, according to its website.

“Our approach to buying distressed single-family houses, renovating them, and leasing to residents who are committed to a path to future home ownership is a viable solution to our nation’s housing crisis,” said Colin Wiel, managing director and co-founder of Waypoint in a press release. “Our partnership with GI Partners ensures we can take the next step in our company’s evolution.”

GI is taking an increasingly popular bet on distressed real estate, closing on a $400 million fund with Waypoint, which has plans to purchase $1 billion in distressed real estate assets over the next two years, according to its release. Waypoint already owns nearly 900 single family rental homes in California.

This deal is clearly a sign of things to come, as millions of distressed properties will likely come to market over the next few years. As reported yesterday on CNBC and on this Realty Check page, the conservator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is working with the Obama administration on a plan to sell not just the quarter of a million foreclosed properties already owned by the GSE’s, but hundreds of thousands more in the pipeline heading to foreclosure.

Waypoint is likely positioning itself to be a player in a government bulk REO program. When the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) last August put out a request for information regarding what to do with all the foreclosed properties on the GSEs’ books, Waypoint filed a response. Those responses are so far not public.

Other private equity firms, such as Greenwich, Connecticut-based Carrington Mortgage Services, are working on deals with major banks to buy foreclosures in bulk. Carrington says it is planning to invest nearly $1 billion in foreclosed single-family homes and turn them into rental housing.

“The market is going to move down this path with or without the FHFA program. We’re seeing movement on the part of some of the larger lenders, and we’re ready to go out and buy properties,” says Carrington executive vice president, Rick Sharga.

This emerging industry of investors in distressed real estate face large management issues, as unlike multi-family apartment buildings, the investors have to deal with many properties spread over wide areas.

“One of the biggest problems investors have executing these programs is that they will underestimate the difficulties of deploying property management on a local level across the country,” says Sharga.

That’s one of the advantages Carrington has, since it already manages several thousand Fannie Mae properties across the country under the mortgage giant’s “Tenants in Place” program and its deed-for-lease properties. Carrington uses its own staff and contract employees for property management as well as a proprietary software system that lets them monitor properties from a central location.

Waypoint is also well-positioned to take advantage of this new market, having acquired 900 properties already and putting many of them up for rent. After buying the properties, Waypoint renovates them and then offers a “lease rewards” program, which they say helps to put families on a path to future home ownership and keep families connected with their communities.

“We believe Waypoint has the potential to thrive given the current market dislocation in single family housing and the sustained tenant demand for rental property,” said Rick Magnuson, executive managing director of GI Partners in the release.

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To: bentway who wrote (107235)1/11/2012 4:18:26 AM
From: Road Walker
   of 149288
Private Equity Readying a Run on Foreclosures

Interesting. Could help turn around house values.

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To: koan who wrote (107227)1/11/2012 9:32:43 AM
From: J.B.C.
   of 149288
Wow, you thought that was soooo [sic] good you posted it on two different threads!

Message 27874018

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From: koan1/11/2012 10:24:20 AM
   of 149288
"If you want to quickly get up to date on climate change and its consequences,
I recommend
With Speed and Violence: Why Scientists Fear Tipping Points in Climate Change.

If you can read only one book on climate change, this is it." -

Lester Brown, president, Earth Policy Institute

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From: Road Walker1/11/2012 10:35:07 AM
   of 149288
Obama to offer tax ideas to spur investment

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama, under pressure in an election year to boost the economy and reduce high unemployment, will unveil tax proposals aimed at encouraging U.S. firms to keep jobs at home, the White House said on Wednesday.

"In the coming weeks, the president will put forward new tax proposals to reward companies that choose to invest or bring back jobs to the United States, and to eliminate tax advantages for companies moving jobs overseas," the White House said in a statement.

Obama was hosting a forum with executives on Wednesday on "Insourcing American Jobs" at which he will call on companies to invest and hire in the United States instead of moving jobs abroad.

The emphasis on keeping U.S. jobs at home is in line with a populist economic message championed by Obama that could play well with unionized workers, whose support the Democratic president will need to win re-election in November.

The practice of U.S. companies moving jobs to foreign countries such as India and China, where labor is cheaper, is a source of concern to many U.S. workers and resonates strongly in Midwest industrial states such as Ohio and Michigan that are expected to be battlegrounds in this year's election.

At the business forum, Obama will urge companies investing overseas "to take this opportunity to get the American people back to work," the White House said.

"That's how we'll rebuild an economy where hard work pays off and responsibility is rewarded - and a nation where those values live on," Obama will say, according to an excerpt from his prepared remarks.

For the past several years, Obama has proposed closing what he calls tax loopholes used by multinational firms, including those restricting the use of foreign tax credits, and preventing companies from deferring taxes on income earned abroad.

Although these ideas have the support of some Democrats, they generally landed with a thump in Congress, where most lawmakers want to tackle reforms to the voluminous U.S. tax code in one fell swoop.

The Obama administration had been drafting revisions to just the corporate side of the tax code but largely abandoned the effort over the past year after complaints that the tax code needs a massive overhaul and that many businesses file as individuals.

(Reporting By Caren Bohan and Kim Dixon; Editing by John O'Callaghan)

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