The Lede

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Housing Industry to FHFA: Go Slow on GSE Reform
HousingWire, Mar. 6, 2019--Kelsey RamirezTalk of housing reform is heating up, and now several members of the housing industry (including the Mortgage Bankers Association) are encouraging the Federal Housing Finance Agency not to go too fast, and to make sure affordable housing remains a priority throughout the process.
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Weekly Mortgage Applications Fall, But Hint at Who is Buying Homes Today
CNBC, Mar. 6, 2019--Diana OlickTotal application volume fell 2.5 percent week to week, according to a seasonally adjusted index from the Mortgage Bankers Association. Volume was 2 percent lower compared with the same week one year ago.
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Will Amazon Create Prime Competition for Mortgage Lenders?
National Mortgage News, Mar. 6, 2019--Brad Finkelstein (subscription)The bogeyman that many in the mortgage industry fear may be closer than ever to making its appearance. Supposedly, big technology companies like Amazon and Google want to be in the real estate finance business.
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House Democrats Target CFPB Politicos, Other Mulvaney Changes in New Bill
American Banker, Mar. 6, 2019--Neil Haggerty (subscription)A day before Consumer Financial Protection Bureau Director Kathy Kraninger is set to testify to the House Financial Services Committee, House Democrats introduced legislation to undo efforts to weaken the agency by her predecessor, former acting Director Mick Mulvaney.
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Inclusion, Demographics and MBA’s Role
Mortgage Media, Mar. 6, 2019--S.A. IbrahimMarcia Davies read "Women in the Workplace," a comprehensive study of the state of women in corporate America, with some concern. Davies, chief operating officer of the Mortgage Bankers Association, knows gender and race inequality is not specific to the mortgage industry and is found across corporate America. Changing it is going to take a mindful, focused and purposeful approach at all levels, but especially from leadership.
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The 2019 Capital Issue, Mar. 7, 2019--Sule AygorenIn the U.S., commercial property sales volumes were 11% higher during the first three quarters of 2018 than during the same period in 2017, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association.
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Ocwen Planning to Lay Off More than 2,000 Mortgage Employees
HousingWire, Mar. 6, 2019--Ben LaneOcwen Financial plans to reduce its overall workforce by more than 2,000 employees over the course of this year, as the nonbank moves to reduce its costs after its $360 million acquisition of PHH.
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Regulators Move to Ease Crisis-Era Levers Over Financial Firms
Wall Street Journal, Mar. 6, 2019--Andrew Ackerman, Liz Hoffman, Gabriel T. Rubin (subscription)Regulators dialed back a practice of publicly shaming the nation's biggest banks through "stress test" exams, taking one of the biggest steps yet to ease scrutiny put in place after the 2008 crisis.
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Florida Officials Used Hardest Hit Mortgage Rellief for Luxury Hotel Stays
Tampa Bay Times, Mar. 7, 2019--Susan Taylor MartinFlorida officials used a federal fund designed to help struggling homeowners as a "deep pocket'' for travel and stays in high-end hotels, a new report says. Between 2011 and 2016, officials of the Florida Housing Finance Corp. charged the Hardest Hit Fund all or part of the cost of attending conferences in San Diego, Orlando, Miami, Boston and Nashville, Tenn.
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Hudson Yards Bets $2 Billion a New Manhattan Mall Can Succeed
Bloomberg, Mar. 7, 2019--Lily Katz, Kim BhasinThe Shops at Hudson Yards, opening to the public March 15, has been given the herculean task of luring consumers to what was once a commercial desert-a section of Manhattan's West Side hemmed in by a commuter rail yard and the massive Jacob Javits Convention Center.
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