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Posts Tagged ‘President Obama’

Business Optimism Rises with Trump’s Ascendancy, as Energy Issues take Center Stage

December 13th, 2016 Comments off

President-elect Trump  Daniel Acker/Bloomberg

The National Federation of Independent Businesses’ (NFIB) small business optimism index rose from 94.9 to 98.4 in the wake of president-elect Donald Trump’s victory in the U. S. elections, marking the largest increase since 2009.

Bill Dunkelberg Smallbusinessadvocate

 

This month we bifurcated the data

to measure the results before and after the election,” explained Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg, noted here. “The November index was basically unchanged from October’s reading up to the point of the election and then rose dramatically after the results of the election were known.”                                                               

The balance of opinion on sales expectations surged by 10 percentage points to +11, while the same gauge when applied to expectations for business to improve shot up from -6 to +38, a huge jump, according to Bloomberg.

Small businesses like unified Republican government,” said Neil Dutta, head of U. S. economics at Renaissance Macro Research LLC. Dutta reported that the NFIB index rose in 2004 after George W. Bush won a second term, but dropped when President Obama was re-elected in 2012.

Dunkelberg also noted that Trump’s plan to cut corporate taxes will benefit domestic firms, especially when coupled with his nomination of Linda McMahon to head the Small Business Administration (SBA) and thereby roll back regulation and attempt to repeal the Affordable Care Act.

Rex Tillerson Newyorker

Meanwhile, as Lifezette informs MHProNews, Trump has fired several shots across the bow indicating that energy will be in the forefront of his administration: His choice of Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson as his Secretary of State, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt to head the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and former Governor of Texas Rick Perry to (possibly) head the Department of Energy signals a focus on energy development unlike any recent administration. Tillerson has business interests all across the globe, Pruitt fought Obama’s focus on “green energy” at every turn, and you cannot be governor of Texas without an interest in the West Texas oil deposits as an economic force.

The Impact of Energy Development on Manufactured and Modular Housing

Oil pumps Watford City, ND Tom Haines/theatlantic

As MHProNews has reported here dozens of times, the Marcellus Shale deposits in eastern Ohio and western Pennsylvania, and the Bakken oil fields in North Dakota–in addition to West Texas–have led to an unprecedented surge in demand for affordable housing, modular and manufactured, for the oil field workers and support services. In short, under a Trump administration, Lifezette reports “Energy will be key to America’s economic growth and revival.”

While President Obama and other world leaders have had more of a focus on “clean and green energy,” especially in light of the Paris Agreement, “Trump is signaling a commitment to an economy powered well and cheaply by abundant supplies of oil, gasoline and electricity.”

The Paris agreement, while not having any enforcement mechanism, requires nations to “come together every five years to set more ambitious targets as required by science,” and to “report to each other and the public on how well they are doing to implement their targets.”

New York Times columnist Thomas Friedman notes what might happen if Trump tries to withdraw from the Paris accord. “You mess with this issue, you abandon Paris, you will see a backlash that will make Greenpeace look like a knitting circle,” said Friedman, pointing his finger. “They will go after his golf courses … They are really playing with fire.”

Trump may or may not be able to withdraw from Paris, but he is sure to go after Obama’s Clean Power Plan, perhaps by refusing to defend it in upcoming court battles. Marlo Lewis, senior fellow in energy and environment at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, said, “This regulation was transparently designed to kill the future of [coal plants]. That is the centerpiece of the EPA’s war on coal, or war on affordable energy.” ##

(Photo credits as shown above.)

Article submitted by Matthew J Silver to Daily Business News on MHProNews.

Hensarling files Financial CHOICE Act to replace Dodd-Frank

September 13th, 2016 Comments off
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Financial Services Committee logo.

Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) recently introduced the Financial CHOICE Act, which would serve as a Republican alternative to the Dodd-Frank Act.

This move was made because it’s believed the Democratic-backed Dodd-Frank Act has had a negative impact on the country’s economic recovery; a recovery the Financial Services Committee chair says is the weakest and slowest since at least World War II.

The goal of the Financial CHOICE Act is to put the brakes on taxpayer-funded bailouts of large financial institutions and believe banks have fallen victim to regulations that are believed to not only slow the economy, but also harm consumers. The act will also pose harsher penalties on people who commit financial fraud and hold Washington Regulators more accountable.

Since Democrats passed Dodd-Frank, Americans on Main Street have been struggling with stagnant wages, struggling to get small business loans and struggling to save for the future,” Hensarling said in a statement, which was provided to MHProNews.

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Jeb Hensarling Financial Services, credit, House.gov

House Republicans have a better way forward. It’s called the Financial CHOICE Act and it stands for Creating Hope and Opportunity for Investors, Consumers and Entrepreneurs,” held Hensarling.

The Daily Business News (DBN) recently reported on how Dodd-Frank-inspired regulations have actually done more harm than good for consumers, as true costs equate to $112 and $310 per household. Most manufactured housing (MH) professionals have expressed that Dodd-Frank has harmed their business, and has harmed industry home owners and prospective MH consumers too.

Despite reports of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) reports more than $11 billion in relief for 27 million Americans, Dodd-Frank regulations have lead to a 14.5% decrease in revolving credit, per the DBN post linked here.

The Financial CHOICE Act Vision

Hensarling’s vision for the Financial CHOICE Act sees it as an opportunity to put an end to taxpayer-funded bailouts once and for all, prevent the well-connected and powerful from taking advantage of the current system and pull the “red tape” that’s intended for the big banks on Wall Street, off smaller, local banks on Main Street.

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Photo credit, Wall Street Journal, PopVox.

“(The Act) requires banks to be well capitalized to prevent another financial crisis and puts in place the toughest penalties in history to protect consumers from fraud and deception,” Hensarling said in his prepared statement. “It will help grow the economy for all Americans; not just those at the top.”

The Financial CHOICE Act is also looked at as an opportunity to create jobs to level the playing field so every American Citizen has an opportunity to gain financial independence, regardless of where their starting line is in life.

That’s our plan and it’s a better way to revitalize America,” Hensarling continued.

The Financial CHOICE Act’s first details were released in June. The committee plans to meet Sept 13 to begin the debate the of proposal, consider possible amendments and vote on legislation. Appealing to the majority of the nation that feels the system is rigged, Chairman Hensarling also stated that the act “…stops the cronyism that allows the powerful and well-connected to game our system.”

If passed and signed into law, the Financial CHOICE Act would make the MHI backed and MH industry sought Preserving Access to Manufactured Housing Act (HR 650-S682) unnecessary.

Preserving Access passed the House last spring, but is stalled in the Senate. President Obama signaled he would veto the bill if it hit his desk.

Secretary Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee for president, has pledged to continue Dodd-Frank. Clinton has the support of powerful industry figures like Warren Buffett and prior MHI Chairman Nathan Smith. Meanwhile, GOP nominee Donald Trump has promised to repeal Dodd-Frank, asserting that it was harming business and the economy. ##

(Image credits as shown)

Joe_Dyton_DailyBusinessNews-MHProNews125x125-

Joe Dyton, for the Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Submitted by Joe Dyton, Daily Business News, MHProNews.

Left, Right Agree – President Obama’s mark is on powerful U.S. Appeals Courts

August 31st, 2016 Comments off
CarrieSeverinoPOTUSObamaElizabethWydra-DailyBusinessNewsMHProNews-

NOTE: if you hear sounds coming on, scroll down to the FEMA manufactured housing report, and push PAUSE on the video. Sorry, but that video only offered an autoplay function. MHProNews produced videos do not do that…Top image – Carrie Servino credit, Judicial Crisis Center, President Obama photo credit, BlackHistory, Elizabeth Wydra Constiutional Accountability Center, AJA. Photo collage arranged by MHProNews.

Elizabeth Wydra is the president of the Constitutional Accountability Center, which Wikipedia describes as a conservative judicial group.

Carrie Severino, is the chief counsel and policy director at the Judicial Crisis Network, which Wikipedia says an action center, think tank and public interest law firm that believes in an inherently progressive view of the Constitution.

With Wydra on the right, Severino on the left – both agree that President Obama’s mark has been made on the powerful U.S. Appeals Courts – as the video with legal journalist Shannon Bream from FoxNews reports, with clips from both sides of the political aisle.

While the Supreme Court may decide 70 to 80 cases a year, the appeals courts rule on hundreds, many of which never make it to the highest court, which gives them tremendous power.

When Obama took office, only three appellate courts had more Democrat-appointed judges than Republican-appointed judges. Now, nine of the 13 circuits do,” states Bream.

So while a considerable level of discussion has taken place during the current election cycle about a potential for Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump to make 2, 3 or perhaps 4 Supreme Court picks, the impact of these appeals court judges is not to be overlooked.  Many business related cases are and will be decided by the courts.

So left and right agree on this; the judicial impact on the lives of professionals and all Americans is going to have a lasting impact, based upon the results of the November 8 elections. ##

(Image credits are as shown.)

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L. A. ‘Tony’ Kovach is the publisher of MHProNews.com and MHLivingNews.com.

(Editor’s Note: Matthew Silver is taking some much needed and well-earned time off, and L. A. “Tony” Kovach will be helping fill the Daily Business News role in the interim.)

Article submitted by L. A. “Tony” Kovach, to Daily Business News for MHProNews.

Attempt to Block Funding of Federal Housing Program Fails

May 21st, 2016 Comments off

mike_lee_senator_Utah__repub__AP_Photo_Susan_WalshIn an attempt to encourage communities to be more diverse, the Obama administration is tying federal community grants to the demographic make-up of communities, according to what washingtonexaminer is telling MHProNews.

An amendment from Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) would have defunded President Obama’s “The Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Rule,” but the Senate, despite having a Republican majority, voted it down 60-37. Sen. Lee said he wanted to prevent the federal government from becoming a national zoning authority by requiring federal grant recipients to abide by government issued diversity rules.

Instead, the Senate voted 87-9 in favor of an amendment from Susan Collins (R-ME) to prevent HUD from mandating local housing and zoning regulations.

Sen. Richard Shelby (R-Ala) said, “HUD does not intend to direct any special zoning requirements. It does, however, intend to significantly influence local zoning decisions by withholding approval of local plans until they meet HUD’s central goals.”

Conservatives have criticized Obama’s housing rule since it was unveiled in July as more unnecessary regulation from Washington. ##

(Photo credit: AP Photo/Susan Walsh–Sen. Mike Lee)

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-comArticle submitted by Matthew J. Silver to Daily Business News-MHProNews.

Dodd-Frank Act is Harming the Economy, says Donald Trump

May 18th, 2016 Comments off

Donald_trump__newsmax_mediaIn an interview with Reuters, presidential candidate Donald Trump stated financial reforms implemented under President Obama, specifically the Dodd-Frank Act, and the ensuing Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), are stifling the economy and he would ditch most all of their provisions.

Dodd-Frank has made it impossible for bankers to function,” he said. “It makes it very hard for bankers to loan money for people to create jobs, for people with businesses to create jobs. And that has to stop.”

In about two weeks he will release a plan for overhauling Dodd-Frank, which would be tantamount to dismantling of the legislation, prompting Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton to say that is a “reckless idea” which would “leave middle-class families out to dry.”

Dodd-Frank was passed in the aftermath of the Great Recession to make banks less vulnerable in times of crisis, but it also had the unintended consequence of making it more difficult for consumers to purchase manufactured homes, something the CFPB’s Director Richard Cordray could change with the stroke of a pen, as MHProNews understands.

Congressional Republicans have tried to ease the burden of the new regulations on small and medium-sized banks, and have called for the replacement of the sole CFPB director with a commission, as well as bringing the agency under Congressional oversight. Some have said the CFPB needs to be shelved altogether.

Banks and other lenders have spent six years and millions of dollars in attempting to comply with the law, according to newsmax.

John Hall, of the American Bankers Association (ABA), said, “Every law can be improved, and Dodd-Frank is no exception. Sometimes there are drafting errors. Sometimes a good idea in theory turns out to be unworkable after a closer look in the light of day.”

Representative Jeb Hensarling (R-TX), the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, who has endorsed Mr. Trump, intends to release his own financial reform package in several weeks.

However, Dennis Kelleher of Better Markets said Trump’s plan would be “a slap in the face to the American people who have suffered so much from the 2008 crash.”

While Trump has not discussed specifics of his plan, he suggested that financial institutions should separate commercial banking activities from investment banking.

He did praise Fed Chair Janet Yellen for keeping interest rates low, but when her term expires he would replace her with a Republican.

For more information on an MH related topic, click here. ##

(Photo credit: newsmax–presidential candidate Donald Trump)

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-comArticle submitted by Matthew J. Silver to Daily Business News-MHProNews.

Judge Garland has Ruled against Small Employers in the Past

March 31st, 2016 Comments off

Merrick_Garland,_Judge__town_hall___creditTom Scott, the California Executive Director of the National Federation for Independent Business (NFIB), writing in ocregister, says President Obama’s choice for the Supreme Court, Merrick Garland, has a history of ruling against small business, siding overwhelmingly with regulators, labor unions, trial lawyers and environmental activists.

Noting Judge Garland would defer to regulators as a Supreme Court Justice, Scott said on the circuit court Judge Garland has ruled in many cases involving the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). In two cases he has ruled if employers are guilty of violations, their personal assets as well as their business assets should be penalized.

In Rancho Viejo, LLC v. Norton, in 2003, he ruled the federal government can regulate private property. In a Calif. case involving protecting a unique toad, he ruled the Constitution’s Commerce Clause has precedence over the property, even though the Commerce Clause deals with interstate commerce, of which the toad was not a part. Scott says Garland “twisted the Commerce Clause into a pretzel in order to rationalize federal regulation.”

The NFIB is a plaintiff in a case challenging the EPA Waters of the U. S. rule which mandates that small businesses must obtain federal approval to improve property that is near a body of water.

In another case involving the NFIB, the EPA Power Plan forces states to switch away from coal as a power source to another source of electricity, a move that will likely be very costly.

After examining his record, it’s a fair assumption that Judge Garland would readily side with the government in both of these major cases. Small business knows where he stands. NFIB is firmly opposed to this nominee,” says Scott.

As MHProNews understands, however, if the new president is a Democrat, and Democrats retake the Senate, the choice for the Supreme Court could be more liberal. ##

(Photo credit: townhall–Judge Merrick Garland)

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-comArticle submitted by Matthew J. Silver to Daily Business News-MHProNews.

House Committee Seeks to Repeal Volcker Rule and CFPB

February 25th, 2016 Comments off

house_financial_services_committee__facebook creditJeb_Hensarling wikipediaAccording to atr.org, Republicans on the House Financial Services Committee have set their sights for 2016 on repealing the Volcker Rule and the perpetually funded Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB).

The Volcker Rule is named after Paul Volcker, the former Federal Reserve Chairman who was appointed by President Obama to oversee the economic recovery following the housing meltdown in 2008. Volcker said, “for banks to engage in high-risk speculation created an unacceptable level of systemic risk,” and could jeopardize the entire financial system, according to wikipedia.

Republican members of the Financial Services Committee said it reduces the liquidity of fixed income assets, and restricts the amount of capital available in the market. Further, they say the CFPB has too much power for an unelected regulatory body. The agency “has been granted a great deal of power over the financial institutions of the nation. They have the ability to cry foul on any consumer-credit product and then outlaw it completely,” says atr.

Also, the CFPB is not subject to congressional appropriations but instead is under the auspices of the Federal Reserve, and while it has been collecting personal information including credit histories, age and gender of mortgage applicants, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) tells MHProNews the “CFPB lacks written procedures…for a number of processes, including data intake and information security risk assessments.” ##

(Photo credit: wikipediacommons–Rep. Jeb Hensarling, Chairman, House Financial Services Committee)

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-comArticle submitted by Matthew J. Silver to Daily Business News-MHProNews.

MHC Owner Carlyle Group has Deep Washington Ties

February 15th, 2016 Comments off

carlyle_group__the__credit_to_arabianbusiness_comAccording to financialspots, President Obama has appointed Carlyle Group partner Jerome Powell to serve on the Federal Reserve Board of Governors. Powell was undersecretary for finance under the George H. W. Bush presidency.

One of the largest defense contractors in the world, Carlyle includes among its ranks some of the most influential Washington, D. C. policymakers and shakers culled from the last five administrations: both Bush presidents, ex-Sec. of State James Baker III, ex-Sec. of Defense Frank Carlucci, former Clinton Chief of Staff Mack McLarty, and one time SEC Chairman Arthur Levitt.

Other investors of note are the bin Laden family and the Saudi Arabia royal family. In 2007, Mubadala, a wholly owned investment arm of the Abu Dhabi government, bought a 7.5 percent share of the Carlyle Group.

As MHProNews posted Oct. 15, 2013, the Carlyle Group entered the manufactured housing community (MHC) business by acquiring two communities in Florida from Shamrock Holdings LLC of Arizona for $30.8 million.

More recently, Carlyle acquired Sunnyvale, California’s Plaza del Rey MHC, a 722 home site for an estimated $180 million. As MHProNews reported Feb. 11, 2016, Carlyle, one of the largest private equity firms in the world with some $190 billion assets under management, invested $42 million in Pacific Skies Estates MHC overlooking the Pacific Ocean. The firm intends to upgrade the 93 home site community with all new MH that will then be rented. ##

(Image credit: arabianbusiness)

matthew-silver-daily-business-news-mhpronews-comArticle submitted by Matthew J. Silver to Daily Business News-MHProNews.

TINs and what POTUS Obama’s immigration executive action means for Lenders, manufactured housing

November 24th, 2014 Comments off

julian-castro-housing-urban-development-hud-secretary-posted-daily-business-news-mhpronews-com-Manufactured housing (MH) retail, community and lending professionals know the Hispanic market has long been a strong and growing target audience for the industry. So when National Mortgage News (NMN) gives their 411 on what the president’s controversial executive action last Thursday might mean for housing lenders, MHProNews listened.

NMN‘s Evan Nemeroff stated, “…giving roughly 5 million immigrants at least temporary relief from deportation could conceivably ease lenders’ and borrowers’ qualms about mortgages to undocumented workers who qualify with individual taxpayer identification numbers, or TINs.

Nemoff points to HUD’s recently appointed Secretary Julian Castro – whose clear ties to Hispanics can’t be missed – saying the president’s Thursday announcement is “an important step toward fixing our broken immigration system.”

Even before this immigration reform was announced, nearly 11 million undocumented immigrants were eligible to qualify for mortgages using an individual taxpayer identification number,” Nemoff said, “which is assigned to them by the Internal Revenue Service for tax-filing purposes. However, very few lenders offered this product.

Citibank and Venta Financial Group are among housing lenders who have made loans using TINs. Some in MH finance have done so too.

Republican leaders have vowed to battle the president’s immigration move as a naked power grab, since there is no legislation behind it, as was the case with allegedly similar orders by Presidents Reagan and Bush 41.

The announcements and arguments by pro-Obama Administration sources fits the pattern of seeking to carve out supporters for their move, by offering enticements: in this case, the possible promise of more home loans and sales to Latinos.

Censure by Republicans – who control both House and Senate in 2015 – budget carve outs, holding up the Obama Administration’s judicial and other appointments are among the tools mentioned to foil the hotly questioned executive immigration action.

With the president no longer facing re-election, low poll numbers for him, anemic support among the population at large – even below 50% among Hispanics for the announced amnesty for 5 million illegals in the U.S. – seems of little concern to the president and many top Democrats.

Nor does it seem to be troubling to those favoring the amnesty move that the president himself repeatedly argued since 2009 that he doesn’t posses the authority under the Constitution he now claims to have.  Such statements are captured in the video shown above.

Time will tell if housing lenders – including those in MH – will bite on using TINs more to make more loans for such currently deemed ‘illegal immigrants,’ but Bloomberg and NMN suggest the perceived risks are now lower for those opting to do so. ##

HUD, finance, GSE reform and FHA related story on Julian Castro, linked here.

(Photo Credit: Julian Castro, HUD)

 

House to Sue President Obama, as Supreme Court Denies Birth Control Provision of ACA

June 30th, 2014 Comments off

U. S. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner (R-OH) plans to introduce legislation that will allow the House to sue President Obama for unconstitutional overreach, according to nytimes.com. Allowing the House to sue through the House general counsel, the bill is in response to the president’s executive actions, including preventing the deportation of young illegal immigrants who came to the U. S. as children, rising the minimum wage for employees of federal contractors and allowing the curbing of carbon emissions from coal plants. Rep. Boehner says these issues are the responsibility of Congress to consider. “I believe the House must act as an institution to defend the constitutional principles at stake and to protect our system of government and our economy from continued executive abuse,” he said in the letter. “The president has an obligation to faithfully execute the laws of our country.” MHProNews understands courts are generally reluctant to intervene in cases involving the executive and legislative branches of government.

Meanwhile, the Supreme Court has decided by a 5-4 vote that Hobby Lobby may opt out of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) on religious grounds that requires them to provide contraceptives to female employees, as MHProNews has learned.

In addition, Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) says the Obama administration suffered their 12th defeat at the hands of the Supreme Court over the so-called recess appointments that were made when Congress was not actually in recess. Sen. Lee, quoted in nationalreview.com, says it is just the “tip of the iceberg” because there are other cases of President Obama exceeding his executive authority that have not made it to the Supreme Court yet. Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) says, “This marks the 12th time since January 2012 that the Supreme Court has unanimously rejected the Obama administration’s calls for greater federal executive power,” he pointed out after the release of the recess-appointments ruling. He had previously said in April 2013, “When President Obama’s own Supreme Court nominees join their colleagues in unanimously rejecting the administration’s call for broader federal power nine times in 18 months, the inescapable conclusion is that the Obama administration’s view of federal power knows virtually no bounds.” ##

(Image credit: photographersdirect.com)