How The Shutdown Is Hurting The Housing Market

by Alan Greenblatt; October 09, 201312:15 PM

If interest rates go up due to the fear or reality of a debt default that would have major consequences for real estate sales.If interest rates go up due to the fear or reality of a debt default that would have major consequences for real estate sales.

Steven Senne/AP

As with so many other types of economic activity, the government shutdown is causing more fear than actual harm in the housing market thus far.

But that doesn’t mean things won’t start going wrong in the very near future.

Various federal agencies play greater or lesser roles in real estate transactions. With most of them sidelined, simple matters such as closing on mortgages are becoming more complicated.

“It’s going to add up pretty quickly, because loans can’t be closed in many cases,” says Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Analytics, a financial research organization. “The damage is going to start to mount and in a few days it’s going to be a significant problem for the housing market.” Continue reading “How The Shutdown Is Hurting The Housing Market”

Government shutdown worst-case scenario realized: Salmonella outbreak

Government shutdown worst-case scenario realized: Salmonella outbreak
By: Tarini Parti and Helena Bottemiller Evich
October 8, 2013 07:58 PM EDT

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention building is pictured. | AP Photo

A multi-state Salmonella outbreak is exactly the scenario food safety advocates and lawmakers warned about when the federal government was forced to shutdown last week.

Now that nightmare has come true, though the federal agencies charged with arresting foodborne illnesses are scrambling to make due.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which is operating with about one-third of its staff on the job during the shutdown, confirmed Tuesday that it has now brought back 30 furloughed employees in its foodborne division to help handle the outbreak, which has sickened 278 people in 18 states. Continue reading “Government shutdown worst-case scenario realized: Salmonella outbreak”

Analysis: Sequestration May Be a Bad Idea Whose Time Has Come

Analysis: Sequestration May Be a Bad Idea Whose Time Has Come

Early last June, I was having coffee with a longtime friend, a former Republican member of Congress widely considered one of the most astute watchers of Washington and the political process. This friend said he thought that budget sequestration was very likely to happen, that it was almost inevitable given the players and dynamics that were in place. Keep in mind that this was long before the outcome of the November 2012 election was known.

My friend wasn’t arguing that he was in favor of sequestration. In fact, he stated matter-of-factly that he didn’t want to see it happen. He speculated that it would bring pain and hardship and quite possibly tip us into a recession, albeit probably a brief one. He finished his point by making the case that as much as he would hate to see it happen, that once it did happen, once the economy emerged out of the other side of the horrible and mindless process, that the nation’s budget numbers would look much better. He predicted that in the long haul, even factoring in the pain, we might be better off than if it had not occurred. Continue reading “Analysis: Sequestration May Be a Bad Idea Whose Time Has Come”