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Four Bank Failures in 2019

There were four bank failures in 2019. This was up from zero in 2018. The median number of failures since the FDIC was established in 1933 was 7 – so 4 failures in 2019 was well below the median. The great recession / housing bust / financial crisis related failures have been behind us for […]

Estate Planning

Estate Planning Strategies to Utilize Before the End of the Year

With the end of the year quickly approaching, it is a good time to make some important estate planning decisions before 2020 rolls around. This article reviews some of the often overlooked but particularly powerful estate planning strategies that you might consider putting into practice. Convert Traditional IRAs into Roth IRAs Several years ago,  converting […]

Estate Planning

Options if You Disagree with Estate Distribution: Lessons from In Re: Estate of Krasinski

The Pennsylvania Supreme Court recently issues a noteworthy decision in the case of In Re: Estate of Krasinski. The case involved the estate of Sophia Krasinski, who passed away in 2006. The primary assets of Krasinski’s estate were three real estate parcels. One of Krasinski’s four children was appointed to act as an executor under […]

Stock

Houston Real Estate in December: Sales up 14.7% YoY, Inventory Up 3.6%, Record Sales Year

From the HAR: The Houston Housing Market Charges Across the Finish Line for a Record 2019 Low mortgage interest rates, healthy employment growth and a stable supply of homes created fertile ground for the Houston real estate market, which blossomed to record levels in 2019. Single-family home sales for the full year surpassed 2018’s record […]

Stock

Seattle Real Estate in December: Sales up 18.7% YoY, Inventory down 24.6% YoY

The Northwest Multiple Listing Service reported Eager home buyers were plentiful in December but their choices were meager “The buyers are out there and are showing up at open houses and making multiple offers on new listings,” was how one industry leader summarized December’s housing activity involving members of the Northwest Multiple Listing Service.…Newly-released figures […]

Stock

ADP: Private Employment increased 202,000 in December

From ADP: Private sector employment increased by 202,000 jobs from November to December according to the December ADP National Employment Report®. … The report, which is derived from ADP’s actual payroll data, measures the change in total nonfarm private employment each month on a seasonally-adjusted basis.…“As 2019 came to a close, we saw expanded payrolls […]

Stock

MBA: Mortgage Applications Decreased Over Last Two Weeks in Latest Weekly Survey

From the MBA: Mortgage Applications Decreased Over Two Week Period in Latest MBA Weekly Survey Mortgage applications decreased 1.5 percent from two weeks earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending January 3, 2020. The results include adjustments to account for the holidays. … The […]

Tax

The Loan Charge: a principles based discussion

A commentator on the blog asked a question in the light of my criticism of HMRC’s management of the loan charge, posted yesterday. Zacchaeus asked: I’m intrigued, though: how would you draw the line between circumstance where there was – in substance and/or under Ramsey – an “employer”, and where there was not? The payments […]

Tax

Long-Bailey’s pointless struggle

I wrote yesterday suggesting that Rebecca Long-Bailey got her approach to the Green New Deal right when launching her bid to be Labour leader in Tribune magazine. I am now writing to suggest that she got almost everything else wrong. The reason is quite straightforward. What is apparent is that Long-Bailey has no clue about […]

Tax

Central banking is not the answer

The FT has an interview with Mark Carney, who is now in his valedictory period at the Bank of England before leaving in two months. As they note: The global economy is heading towards a “liquidity trap” that would undermine central banks’ efforts to avoid a future recession, according to Mark Carney, governor of the […]

Stock

Wednesday: ADP Employment

Wednesday:• At 7:00 AM ET, The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) will release the results for the mortgage purchase applications index. • At 8:15 AM, The ADP Employment Report for December. This report is for private payrolls only (no government). The consensus is for 156,000 payroll jobs added in December, up from 67,000 added in November.