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peter's bookmarks on real estate and new york city in the media
Friday, February 13, 2009 | - Bloomberg.com

Summers Says Obama Mortgage Plan to Focus on Reducing Payments

The White House is willing to spend more than the $50 billion already pledged to stem home foreclosures and intends to focus its efforts on reducing monthly mortgage payments, not principal, said Lawrence Summers, the president’s top economic adviser.

Friday, February 13, 2009 | - The New York Observer

Stimulus Could Kick-Start Hudson Tunnels Plan

While the bulk of federal stimulus money for transportation and infrastructure will likely go toward repair and renovation projects, one gigantic new construction project will also reap the rewards: New Jersey Transit’s $8.7 billion planned set of new rail tunnels under the Hudson River called Access to the Region's Core (ARC).

Friday, February 13, 2009 | - NYTimes.com

Stimulus Plan Receives Final Approval in Congress

The package of tax breaks and federal spending on public works projects, health care, energy and other areas cleared the Senate with 60 “yes” votes, the minimum needed to keep the bill’s opponents from using the chamber’s arcane procedural rules to block the measure. There were 38 “no” votes.

Friday, February 13, 2009 | - NYTimes.com

Stimulus Plan Sets New Limits on Executive Pay

A provision buried deep inside the $787 billion economic stimulus bill would impose restrictions on executive bonuses at financial institutions that are much tougher than those proposed 10 days ago by the Treasury Department. The provision, inserted by Senate Democrats over the objections of the Obama administration, is aimed at companies that have received financial bailout funds.

Thursday, February 12, 2009 | - NYTimes.com

Frank Gehry’s Software Keeps Buildings on Budget

Frank Gehry, known for using curved shapes in his architecture, also offers modeling software to compute the cost of building those designs. "Digital Project" works by modeling, in three dimensions, every odd shape an architect envisions and then letting engineers and architects reconcile the shape with a building’s site, ductwork and other features. It shows how one change to a building’s ingredients changes all the others.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009 | - NYTimes.com

Cuomo Cites Big Bonuses for Many at Merrill

Merrill Lynch paid out bonuses of more than $1 million each to 696 people last year, according to Attorney General Andrew M. Cuomo of New York.

Monday, February 9, 2009 | - New York Magazine

Why Studio Apartments Aren't Faring As Badly As Bigger Ones

Though sales are definitely looking frail right now, the starter-apartment segment of the Manhattan market appears to have the strongest pulse.

Saturday, February 7, 2009 | - Newsday.com

Schumer hails Senate stimulus plan as good for state

Hours after the Senate came to a last-minute agreement on President Barack Obama's stimulus package, Sen. Charles Schumer hailed the plan as one that will bring more money and jobs to New York State.

Monday, February 2, 2009 | - Economix Blog - NYTimes.com

Housing Affordability at Record High

One of the upsides of a crashing-and-burning housing market...is that buying a home becomes more affordable. And indeed, according to an index released by the National Association of Realtors, housing affordability was at an all-time high in December.

Monday, February 2, 2009 | Op-Ed - NYTimes.com

Money for Nothing

Merril Lynch lost $27 billion last year, and yet still managed to rush through $4 billion worth of year-end bonuses in the days before it was taken over by Bank of America... both companies have been the beneficiaries of the Treasury’s Troubled Asset Relief Program... This is shocking, of course, but what’s been missed in these discussions is how completely the culture of executive compensation has permeated the financial industry.

Monday, February 2, 2009 | -Letters - NYTimes.com

Wall St. Bonuses - Enough Is Enough

The Times ran some thoughtful reader's reactions to it's Op-Ed "Money for nothing"one said; "'Without the most significant of financial rewards, how will we attract the very best to occupy these lofty positions?' ¶ The implicit assumption of this statement is that society’s very best can perceive no higher value than the dollar."

Monday, February 2, 2009 | - Bloomberg.com

Obama to Require Banks Receiving Aid to Boost Lending

President Barack Obama will require banks to boost lending to consumers and companies in return for taxpayer aid from the $700 billion bailout fund, in a departure from Bush administration policy.

Monday, February 2, 2009 | - CNN Money

Senators push for more housing help in stimulus

As the economic stimulus package moves to the Senate, the drumbeat is growing louder for new provisions that directly address the housing crisis. Lower mortgage rates, a foreclosure moratorium and more attractive tax credits to spur home buying are among possible amendments to recovery bill.

Monday, February 2, 2009 | - Washington Post

What Does It Take to Get Buyers Off the Fence?

This is an excellent article about the mindset of buyers today. It asks; "If you would love to purchase a new house but you're sitting on the fence, what exactly would it take to get you to buy?"

Monday, February 2, 2009 | - NYTimes.com

For Rescue Plan, Risks Are Vast in Revaluing Tainted Assets

As the Obama administration prepares its strategy to rescue the nation’s banks by buying or guaranteeing troubled assets on their books, it confronts one central problem: How should they be valued?

Monday, February 2, 2009 | - NYTimes.com

A Month Free? Rents Are Falling Fast

In this painful economic climate of layoffs and shrinking investments, there is a sliver of positive news: it’s a good time to be a renter in New York City. Prices are falling, primarily in Manhattan, and concessions like a month of free rent are widespread.

Friday, January 23, 2009 | - Inman News

An economic Manhattan Project

The Federal Housing Finance Agency this week announced that by the end of this year, every home loan will be permanently tagged with the identity of the individual originating banker and employing company, and the name of the field and supervisory appraisers, together with the licensing status of all players. Individual histories will be tracked.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009 | - Bloomberg.com: Economy

Obama Team Pushes to Complete Financial Rescue Plan

President Barack Obama’s economic team is pushing to complete a bank-rescue plan that can be twinned with the $825 billion stimulus package being negotiated with Congress to alleviate the rapidly deepening financial crisis.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009 | - NYTimes.com

Obama Has No Quick Fix for Banks

Even before they have settled into their new jobs, President Obama’s economic team faces an acute crisis in the nation’s banking system that has no easy answers and that they are not yet prepared to address.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009 | - Globe Street

Citi Splits Itself in Two

Having already sold a 51% stake in its Smith Barney brokerage unit to Morgan Stanley earlier this week, Citi on Friday announced it will reorganize into two operating units--Citicorp and Citi Holdings. The intent is to focus on its core businesses, including corporate and investment banking, while winding down some of the less profitable ones. The new structure was announced on the same day that Citi reported a net loss of $8.3 billion for Q4 2008, the banking company’s fifth consecutive quarterly loss. The company also announced definitive agreements with the federal government on the $301-billion TARP bailout.

Monday, January 19, 2009 | - NYTimes.com

For the Brave, the Moment Is Now

An emerging group of buyers is brave enough to look the Cyclops of uncertainty in the eye and begin shopping and even sign purchase contracts. Many of these buyers have never received a fat bonus check, so they don’t miss it now. They did not suffer huge stock market losses, because they didn’t have huge stock market investments. They have jobs and good credit ratings, and they are looking to buy.

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