‘ US Fixed Mortgage Rates Down Slightly ‘


From Freddie Mac: Fixed Mortgage Rates Down Slightly

Freddie Mac today released the results of its Primary Mortgage Market Survey® (PMMS®), showing average fixed mortgage rates reversing course and moving slightly lower for the week.

30-year fixed-rate mortgage (FRM) averaged 4.17 percent with an average 0.6 point for the week ending June 19, 2014, down from last week when it averaged 4.20 percent. A year ago at this time, the 30-year FRM averaged 3.93 percent.

Freddie Mac PMMS mortgage ratesClick on graph for larger image.

Here is a graph of 30 year fixed mortgage rates – according to the PMMS® – for 2013 (blue) and 2014 (red).

Mortgage rates jumped to 4.46% in late June 2013, and it is possible that rates will be lower year-over-year soon (currently 4.17%).

Note: Looking at daily rates from Mortgage News Daily, it is likely mortgage rates will be down year-over-year tomorrow.

The MND data is based on actual lender rate sheets, and is mostly "the average no-point, no-origination rate for top-tier borrowers with flawless scenarios". (this tracks the Freddie Mac series very well).89fWNS3nuN4?utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=email

Courtesy of Calculated Risk News


‘ Argentina Threatens to Default on its Debt ‘

#AceFinanceNews – ARGENTINA (Buenos Aires) – June 19 – Argentina threatened to default on its debt on Wednesday when the government said it was “impossible” to pay a bond payment due June 30, Reuters reported.

On Monday, the US Supreme Court declined to hear an appeal by Argentina in its battle against hedge funds that refused to take part in debt restructuring offered in 2005 and 2010.

The long, drawn-out debt battle in US courts has prevented Argentina from accessing international capital markets.


‘ Corruption and Money-Laundering on the Rise in Saudi Arabia ‘

#AceFinanceNews – SAUDI ARABIA – June 19 – A new report shows that financial corruption and money laundering have been on the rise in Saudi Arabia over the past years.

​According to a recent report by the London-based Al-Hayatnewspaper, nearly 500 cases of money laundering and corruption have been reported in Saudi Arabia in the past two years.

The report said the Saudi Interior Ministry had investigated more than 180 of such cases this year and over 300 others in 2013.

In May, a poll carried out by the Saudi National Anti-Corruption Commission disclosed that 67.8 percent of the respondents said the level of financial and state corruption is on the rise in Saudi Arabia. The results also showed that some 92 percent of Saudi nationals hold nepotism responsible for the spread of corruption in their country.

In a letter to the head of the anti-corruption organization earlier this year, Prince al-Waleed bin Talal Al Saud said his country is suffering from rampant corruption in state organizations, the scope of which is gradually being revealed to the public.

Last August, exiled Saudi Prince Khalid Bin Farhan Al Saud criticized the United States for ignoring corruption in Saudi Arabia due to long-term interests.

​Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA)

Back in 2013 (SaudiGazette) Reported that a source at the Saudi Arabian Monetary Agency (SAMA) said there has been an increase in money laundering cases in the Kingdom, Al-Eqtisadiah newspaper reported.

The source said bank employees do not usually have the privilege to review clients’ account history.

The source said drug crimes were the main source of money laundering in the Kingdom, accounting for 80 percent of all cases.

He added that around 33,000 suspicious money laundering cases were reported to SAMA by banks in one month but the cases were filtered by SAMA’s money laundering unit and were reduced to only 1,500 cases.

These were then referred to the monetary investigation unit of the Ministry of Interior and its findings confirmed suspicions against 3 percent of the cases.

The source added that only 350 money laundering cases a year are referred to the courts.

“If investigations confirm the suspicions, those involved in money laundering face penalties of up to SR70 million in fines and between 5 to 15 years in prison. This is in addition to confiscating the funds in question,” he said.

​Bureau of Investigation and Public Prosecution (BIP)

He said SAMA provides the evidence to the Ministry of Interior for investigations, which then refers the case to the Bureau of Investigation and Public Prosecution (BIP).

Ace Related News:

1. PTV



‘ EU Suspends Agreement for Closer Economic Ties with Thailand ‘

#AceFinanceNews – THAILAND (Bangkok) – June 19 – The EU has suspended an agreement for closer political and economic ties with Thailand following a military take-over of the government, reports Reuters.

"Official visits to and from Thailand have been suspended," says an internal EU document.

Trade between the two amounted to €32bn in 2013.


‘ EU’s Fraud Anti-Fraud Office ‘ OLAF ‘ will have to Ask Permission to Enter Office’s of Elected and Appointed Members of the EU Institution’s Under New Proposals’

#AceFinanceNews – BRUSSELS – June 19 – The EU’s anti-fraud office Olaf will have to ask permission to enter the offices of elected and appointed members of the EU institutions under proposals by the European Commission.

  • Olaf investigators will need special permission to probe a commissioner’s office under new rules (Photo: kukkurovaca)

“For all the other staff, Olaf will continue to work as it has up to now,” European Commission spokesperson Emer Traynor told this website on Wednesday (18 June).

The proposal tabled earlier this month by the Brussels executive aims to set up a new post to make sure Olaf investigators follow procedural rules.

The commission wants to create a so-called Controller of Procedural Guarantees.

Olaf investigators will first have to ask the Controller’s permission before entering the office of a European Commissioner, an MEP, or a minister at the EU Council.

Everyone else, including staff and personnel, are not protected under the additional safeguard.

The number of corruption probes into staff at the EU institutions is on the rise, according to the EU anti-fraud office Olaf.

“Over the last two years, we’ve increased the number of disciplinary recommendations, this refers only to staff of the EU institutions,” EU anti-fraud chief at Giovanni Kessler told reporters in Brussels on Tuesday (29 April).

​(OLAF Anti-Fraud Team of Investigators)

Olaf issued 24 so-called disciplinary recommendations last year. Its 2013 annual report, released Tuesday, also noted 46 ongoing cases against EU personnel.

Kessler, for his part, refused to break down the 46 cases by institutions, citing confidentiality issues.

“Most of these investigations start from the institutions themselves on their own staff,” he said.

Euro-deputies, while not technically staff, would not be excluded from the 46 figure, said Olaf’s spokesperson.

Results of OLAF’s work

As a result of the 3 500 investigations OLAF has completed since it was set up in 1999:

  • 335 individuals have received prison sentences totalling 900 years
  • over €1.1 billion of EU money has been recovered (excluding financial penalties)
  • on average OLAF has recovered €100 million a year.

Results for 2012:

  • €94.5 million recovered for the EU budget
  • EU Member State courts issued a cumulative 511 years of prison sentences – not including an additional 70 years of suspended sentences .

How much does OLAF cost EU tax payers?

  • OLAF’s running costs for 2012 amount to €57.4 million
  • OLAF is also providing €21.5 million in grants and project funding to help authorities and organisations fight fraud both inside and outside the EU.

How many people are involved in fighting fraud in the EU?

  • EU countries manage 80% of EU funds and have primary responsibility for fighting fraud. They employ most of those involved in this fight for example 500 000 police officers.
  • OLAF has 435 staff – of which more than two-thirds work on fraud investigations.

What is OLAF’s case load?

  • OLAF had 716 ongoing cases at the end of 2012, out of which 515 were investigation cases and 201 were coordination cases.
  • OLAF opened 718 new cases and closed 465 cases in 2012.
  • Average length of an investigation was 17.3 months in 2012.
  • Average length of the selection of cases was 1.4 months in 2012.

How much fraud is committed in the EU?

EU countries reported:


  • irregularities reported as fraudulent costing €315 million (0.25% of total EU expenditure) in 2012 – compared with €295 million (0.21%) in 2011
  • irregularities not reported as fraudulent costing €2.6 billion (2.06% of total EU expenditure) in 2012 – compared with €1.2 billion (0.86% of total EU expenditure) in 2011


  • irregularities reported as fraudulent involving €77.6 million (0.42% of the gross amount of traditional own resources collected) for 2012 compared with €109 million (1.24%) for 2011
  • irregularities not reported as fraudulent involving €370 million (1.69% of the gross amount of traditional own resources collected) for 2012 compared with €278 million (1.24%) for 2011

Financial corrections and recovery

  • Financial corrections for more than €3.7 billion and recoveries for €678 million were implemented in 2012 compared with €1.1 billion and €733 million respectively in 2011.