#AceFinanceNews – WASHINGTON:Dec.17 – The $1.1 trillion spending bill to keep the government running through FY2015, signed into law by President Obama this week, contained an important provision preventing the federal government from supporting state and local efforts to use eminent domain to acquire mortgages.
Here is the full text of the provision :
“None of the funds made available in this Act shall be used by the Federal Housing Administration, the Government National Mortgage Administration, or the Department of Housing and Urban Development to insure, securitize, or establish a Federal guarantee of any mortgage or mortgage backed security that refinances or otherwise replaces a mortgage that has been subject to eminent domain condemnation or seizure, by a state, municipality, or any other political subdivision of a state.”
Upon passage of this law, SIFMA president and CEO Ken Bentsen made the following statement:
“SIFMA applauds Congress and the Administration for wisely stepping into the eminent domain debate and preventing the misuse of an important federal backstop by private parties to facilitate an unconstitutional taking of personal property for private gain. Today’s action should go a long way in improving investor confidence in the housing finance system and installs one more obstacle to this reckless proposal. SIFMA and its members welcome this development and encourage communities considering this form of eminent domain to reconsider and work to find alternatives that help homeowners and protect taxpayers and investors.”
Bill | SIFMA Press Release
#AceFinanceNews – BRUSSELS:Dec.17 – The European Parliament is poised to vote Yes on a non-binding motion on Palestine recognition after three of its top groups agreed a draft text EUobserver reported.
The draft, seen by EUobserver, says the EU assembly “supports in principle recognition of Palestinian statehood and the two-state solution, and believes these should go hand in hand with the development of peace talks, which should be advanced”.
Negotiators from the centre-right EPP, the centre-left S&D, and the Liberal Alde group finalised the joint text on Wednesday (16 December) ahead of the vote on Thursday.
They hold 488 out of 751 seats between them.
But some MEPs are likely to vote against the group line due to the nature of the dossier.
“It’s such a delicate issue that nothing is over until it’s over … people tend to vote on national lines as well as political lines, so the divisions are much bigger”, an EPP spokeswoman said.
#AceFinanceNews – WASHINGTON:Dec.17 – At least 2.5 million people have bought health insurance plans on the ObamaCare exchanges as of Friday — a robust enrolment tally that does not include sign-ups from this week or an "extremely busy" weekend, according to Andy Slavitt, deputy administrator for the Centres for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).
About 1 million of those plans were picked in just one week, according to the data, which includes 37 states using the federal marketplace.
The figures offer an important snapshot ahead of Monday, which was the last day to buy coverage for the beginning of the year.
Due to the surge in traffic, some users were diverted to the website’s "waiting rooms" for the first time, though Slavitt said the website "did not run into capacity constraints."
"We are able to handle even more volume in the months ahead," Slavitt said.
Read more here.
#AceFinanceNews – WASHINGTON:Dec.17 – The Federal Reserve signalled Wednesday that it could raise near-zero short-term interest rates within months amid an accelerating economy despite low inflation that has been subdued by falling oil prices.
But it hedged its intentions amid conflicting economic indicators, sending a mix of signals to financial markets.
The Dow Jones industrial average was up more than 260 points minutes after the release.
#AceFinanceNews – USA:Dec.17 – The United States will grant as much as $10 billion as financial support to Ukraine, Vice President Joe Biden told Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko.
Biden pledged the aid during a telephone conversation with Poroshenko on Monday, according to a statement from the White House.
The US along with partners, including the International Monetary Fund, will try “to ensure that Ukraine will have the macroeconomic support it needs as it implements its reform program,” Biden told the Ukrainian president.
At least, $10 billion is needed in order for Ukraine to avoid a default as its economy is deteriorating due to spending cuts and the ongoing crisis.
#AceFinanceNews – USA:Dec.17 – The United States paid for and controlled the coup in Ukraine to oust former Ukrainian president Viktor Yanukovych, says American investigative historian Eric Zuesse.
The bloody coup “occurred on February 22nd and an investigation by the European Union confirmed on February 25th that the coup was basically operated out of Washington, and that the overthrow of the previous president Yanukovych was done by our side,” Zuesse told Press TV on Monday.
#AceFinanceNews – WASHINGTON:Dec.17 – The Senate cleared a $41.6 billion package of tax breaks on Tuesday, sending the legislation to President Obama in one of the last substantive moves of this Congress.
By a 76 to 16 vote, the Senate passed a measure that would extend more than four dozen tax breaks for both businesses and individuals just through 2014.
#AceFinanceNews – BRUSSELS:Dec.17 – The European Union will widen its ban on investment in Crimea to target Russian Black Sea oil and gas exploration, EU officials said on Wednesday, tightening sanctions first imposed over Moscow’s annexation of the region.
At a summit on Thursday and Friday in Brussels, EU leaders meeting in the European Council will announce the punitive measures that are also expected to be coordinated with similar steps by the United States, officials have told Reuters.
The investment ban, the latest in a series of measures since July, is also designed to show that despite a dive in the Russian ruble’s value, there will be no lifting of sanctions unless Moscow drops its support for rebels in eastern Ukraine.
"This is being done in time for the European Council," one EU official said following a political decision to go ahead with the Crimea measures late on Tuesday.
"There are consequences for violating international law," said a second official on condition of anonymity.
#AceFinanceNews – CHINA:Dec.17 – China has approved a third airport for the capital, Beijing, to reduce congestion and chronic delays, AP said. The massive new airport will be built 46km south of the city centre and take five years to build, according to a China Daily report.
It is expected to handle 72 million passengers per year and will take the pressure off Beijing Capital International Airport in the northeast.
This world’s second-busiest airport handled more than 83 million passengers last year.
#AceFinanceNews – CHINA:Dec.17 – Chinese factory output fell for a second straight month in December, adding to concerns about slowing activity in the world’s second-largest economy following a string of underwhelming data.
HSBC’s flash manufacturing purchasing managers’ index slipped to 49.5 in December from a final reading of 50 in November CNBC reported in news flash.