US

(Atlanta)

There have been a lot of conflicting signs out of the real estate market lately. There is some indication that inventories, especially at the high end, have grown bloated at the same time as sales are slowing. However, price gains have been strong, and now more data: houses are spending their shortest time on the market since the stat began to be tracked (2011). The median number of days on the market for a US home in April was just 29 days, beating the previous record of 32 days. The total amount of homes for sale in the US was 9% lower this April than in April 2016.


FINSUM: All the current demand seems to be at the lower and medium end, which is keeping that segment hot.

Source: National Association of Realtors

(Washington)

Trump is away for the week, traveling to meet with leaders of other countries. However, when he returns home, he will ask Congress to approve $3.6 tn of spending cuts as part of his proposed budget. Military, social security, and Medicare will be sheltered from the budget guillotine, but anti-poverty programs will be gutted. The proposals are facing resistance on both sides, with Democrats thoroughly opposed and even Republicans disliking the cuts to diplomacy and foreign aid. Trump’s hopes the plan will eliminate the federal deficit within a decade, but economists doubt his baseline 3% growth rate assumption.


FINSUM: To say this is a big ask of Congress is the understatement of the century. However, the tactic is classic Trump—ask for the world at the beginning and then give ground. We think some toned down package will eventually get through.

Source: Financial Times

(Washington)

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a name hated by Republicans, loved by Democrats, and tolerated by banks, may be set to die a prolonged death. The agency, which was created by the Obama administration, has held almost limitless power to create and enforce new financial regulation, all created by hardline anti-financier Elizabeth Warren. Now, a courtroom battle over one of the punishments it set out may lead to its ultimate demise. The agency already lost some power when a court ruled that the CFPB did have too much freedom, but it decided against dismantling it altogether.


FINSUM: The big battle here is over Trump’s ability to fire the head of the CFPB, which he currently does not have the ability to do unless it is “for cause”. Once that power comes to Trump, the whole situation changes.

Source: Bloomberg

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