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What We Read Today 29 January 2014

Econintersect: Every day our editors collect the most interesting things they find from around the internet and present a summary "reading list" which will include very brief summaries of why each item has gotten our attention. Suggestions from readers for "reading list" items are gratefully reviewed, although sometimes space limits the number accepted.

Today we continue our focus on the U.S. and global housing markets.

After years of quantitative easing, with the Fed starting to slow the third great wave, officials are breaking their facade of confidence to admit what many of us have long said. They do not know how QE works, or the effects of ending it.
  • Stephen Hawking's new theory offers black hole escape (Jacob Aron, New Scientist) In the general theory of relativity and in quantum mechanics physicists find conflicting descriptions of black holes. Physicists have been arguing about the nature of black holes within this context for decades. Stephen Hawking has published a new note which, while it doesn't resolve the conflict, does provide an change in a position that he has held in debate. And when Hawking changes his mind it is an occassion of note. Click here for the complete note, "Information Preservation and Weather Forecasting for Black Holes". Scientific American author Zeeya Merali writes that Stephen Hawking says: "There are no black holes". Econintersect thinks that is an overstatement; Hawking says black holes may have properties different from traditional interpretations.

There are eleven articles on housing following.

Click on graph for larger image.



  • FHFA Home Price Index (Warren Mosler, Mosler Economics) "Just my imagination or have the price increases been decelerating?"


According to the Black Knight (formerly LPS) First Look report for December, the percent of loans delinquent increased seasonally in December compared to November, and declined about 9.9% year-over-year.


  • The Tale of a House, and an Entire Market (Shaila Dewan and Catherine Rampell, The New York Times) This article tracks multiple sales of six individual houses in six metro markets. Three markets were relatively satble over th past ten years (Atlanta, Denver and Raleigh) while three saw major price fluctuations (Phoenix, San Diego and Washington, DC).
  • Existing Home Sales Soaring Highs Deceptive (Robert Oak, The Economic Populist) In spite of headlines about a booming housing market existing home sales have been below year-ago levels the last two months (November and December).


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