Economists: Housing Costs to Remain Elevated for Foreseeable Future

Home Sales

Americans looking to buy a home may have to wait as housing costs are expected to remain elevated until 2026 or later, according to a note from Bank of America (BofA) economists published Monday.

Homebuyers are facing elevated interest rates due to sky-high inflation under President Joe Biden and a housing shortage exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic that has led Americans to be hesitant to move, according to BofA. As a result, economists at the bank expect home prices to rise a total of 4.5% throughout the course of 2024 and another 5.0% throughout 2025, before easing slightly in 2026.

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Biden Wants Companies to Disclose Climate Risks, Pilot Program Unreliable

Six major American financial institutions struggled to accurately assess the extent of their exposure to climate change and related risks, according to the Federal Reserve.

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More Investors Bet Inflation Is Here to Stay amid Disappointing Price Data

Investor at Work

More investors are projecting a “no landing” scenario where inflation remains elevated but economic growth continues at its current levels following a disappointing inflation report on Tuesday, according to Reuters.

Nearly one out of five fund managers polled by Bank of America predicted a “no landing” scenario as the most likely outcome in the next year, with concerns about such a scenario being intensified by a poor inflation reading that sent U.S. markets into a frenzy on Tuesday, according to Reuters. Tuesday’s consumer price index (CPI) report showed inflation decelerated in January to 3.1% year-over-year from 3.4% in the preceding month, higher than expectations of 2.9%.

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GOP-Led States Demand Major Firms Stop Backing Efforts to ‘De-Bank’ Conservatives

Nearly two dozen state attorneys general signed onto a letter Wednesday demanding major firms that provide voting advice to corporate shareholders stop backing efforts to “debank” conservatives.

Republican Iowa Attorney General Brenna Bird led 22 other state attorneys general in sending a letter to the two companies that control 97 percent of the proxy advisory services market, Institutional Shareholder Service (ISS) and Glass Lewis, whose advice they say shapes “the choices and activity of businesses and ultimately the United States’ and global economy.” The letter warns them against opposing shareholder resolutions to hold financial institutions accountable for restricting services based on clients’ religious and political beliefs, noting that viewpoint discrimination comes with “legal liabilities.”

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Jim Jordan Subpoenas Bank of America over Sharing Customer Data with FBI

Jim Jordan and Bank of America

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jim Jordan on Thursday served Bank of America with a subpoena, seeking information related to the firm’s voluntary sharing of customer data with the FBI to aid its Jan. 6 investigations.

“In 2021, BoA provided the FBI—voluntarily and without any legal process—with a list of individuals who made transactions in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area using a BoA credit or debit card between January 5 and January 7, 2021,” the Judiciary Committee stated in a press release. “When that information was brought to the attention of Steven Jensen, the FBI’s then-Section Chief of the Domestic Terrorism Operations Section, he acted to ‘pull’ the BoA information from FBI systems because ‘the leads lacked allegations of federal criminal conduct.'”

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U.S. Government Debt Projected to Surpass $50 Trillion by 2033: Report

The U.S. government’s debt is projected to pass $50 trillion in a decade, growing $5.2 billion every day, according to an analysis from the Bank of America. 

 The U.S. public debt currently is more than $33.6 trillion and is expected to reach $54 trillion by 2033 amid “fiscal excess in the 2020s,” Bank of America investment strategist Michael Hartnett said, according to Business Insider.

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Goldman Sachs Quietly Scrubs Race-Based Eligibility Criteria From Diversity Program After Legal Experts Raise Concerns

Goldman Sachs quietly scrubbed references to race from its eligibility criteria for a two-day “diversity symposium” after legal experts told the Daily Caller News Foundation the program could run into problems with federal civil rights laws.

The eligibility criteria for Goldman Sachs’ 2023 MBA Diversity Symposium previously restricted the program to students “that identify as Black, Hispanic/Latinx, Native American, or women,” according to a web archive from Sept. 13. The eligibility requirements no longer include race or gender, the current webpage shows, a change that follows a Saturday DCNF report on race and gender-restricted opportunities for college students offered by top Wall Street investment banking firms.

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From January 6 Informants to FISA Abuses, FBI Boss Had Few Answers to Congress’ Most Pressing Questions

FBI Director Christopher Wray declined to answer direct questions from lawmakers on several hot-button issues at a House Judiciary Committee oversight hearing.

The performance on Wednesday generated frustration on both sides of the political aisle, and a rebuke from FBI alumni.

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Alarm Grows over Whistleblower Claims That FBI Scooped Up Americans’ Bank Records Without Subpoena

Legal experts are criticizing the FBI for allegedly obtaining the financial records of U.S. customers with Bank of America “without any legal process” following the January 6, 2021, Capitol riot.

They spoke Thursday hours after several FBI whistleblowers made the allegations in testimony before the House Judiciary Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government.

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Bank of America Worked with Feds to Target Gun Owners, Whistleblower Confirms

Bank of America (BOA) worked with the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) to investigate customers who made purchases with BOA credit and debit cards on and around Jan. 6, and pushed those who had made gun purchases to the top of the list, according to whistleblower testimony obtained by the Daily Caller News Foundation.

The whistleblower, George Hill, a retired FBI supervisory intelligence analyst, testified to the House Judiciary Committee In February that BOA gave the FBI’s Washington Field Office (WFO) a list of individuals who made transactions in the D.C., Maryland and Virginia area between Jan. 5 and Jan. 7, saying the company did so of its own volition and without any known legal process, according to testimony made to the House Judiciary Committee in February. The list of individuals, later distributed to FBI field offices across the country, included BOA customers that purchased any product between those dates, while customers who had bought firearms were prioritized.

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Big Banks Predict Significant Economic Downturn in 2023: POLL

Of the 23 major financial institutions that work directly with the Federal Reserve, 16 anticipate a recession within the next 12 months, with two anticipating one the year after, according to a survey published by The Wall Street Journal Monday.

These institutions, which range from Bank of America to UBS, note that Americans are spending their savings, banks are heightening lending standards and the housing market is in a decline, all classic warning signs that a recession is impending, the WSJ reported. All of this is being exacerbated, the banks say, by the Fed’s historically aggressive pace of interest rate hikes, designed to blunt stubbornly persistent inflation.

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Skrmetti and 18 Other State Attorneys General Probe Major Banks over ESG Policies

Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt (R) on Wednesday announced he is leading a coalition of 19 states in a probe of six major banks over environmental, social and governance (ESG) investing policies and involvement with the United Nations’ Net-Zero Banking Alliance.

The states are investigating Bank of America, Citigroup, Goldman Sachs, JP Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley and Wells Fargo, all of which are Net-Zero Banking Alliance members and are required to set emissions reductions targets to net zero by 2050.

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Expect Layoffs and a Recession If Fed Doesn’t Let Up, Bank of America Exec Warns

If the U.S. Federal Reserve continues its policy of aggressive interest rate hikes, the U.S. could lose hundreds of thousands of jobs, spiking unemployment, according to a Bank of America analysis, CNN reported.

Bank of America’s Chief U.S. Economist Michael Gapen expects roughly six months of relatively high unemployment and a”mild recession,” as the Fed’s aggressive interest rate hikes blunt consumer demand, he told CNN Monday. However, Gapen also noted that the typical bounceback seen after a recession might be delayed if the Fed, which has been incredibly hawkish on interest rates, refuses to reduce rates.

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New Initiative Seeks to Counter ‘Woke’ Corporate Policies

The Boardroom Initiative, a new joint project from the Job Creators Network Foundation (JCNF), Free Enterprise Project, and Second Vote, aims to counter “woke” policies in corporate America.

The group will be led by former president and CEO of McDonald’s Ed Rensi and hopes to focus corporations on their business goals, rather than political policies.

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Federally Funded Non-Profits Are Running Illegal Immigrant Processing Centers in Nice Hotels, Helping Migrants Avoid Arrest

The Biden administration has deputized non-profit groups to move illegal migrants across the nation, allowing the charities to put them up in nice hotels and give them instructions on how to avoid capture.

Rep. Lance Gooden (R-Texas) said Monday that a whistleblower told him about an ongoing operation in San Diego, and decided to go there to see for himself what is going on.

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U.S. Adds 531,000 Jobs in October, Exceeding Expectations

The U..S. economy recorded an increase of 531,000 jobs in October, and unemployment fell by 0.2% as the labor market recovers from the summer lows, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).

The number of unemployed people fell to 7.4 million, down from 7.7 million in September, according to the BLS report released Friday. Economists surveyed by Dow Jones projected 450,000 jobs would be added in October.

While unemployment claims continue to fall, the country still struggles with labor shortages, supply chain issues and growing inflation.  Job growth was widespread throughout the economy in October, with leisure and hospitality adding 164,000 jobs, professional and business adding 100,000 and manufacturing adding 60,000 jobs, according to the BLS report.

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