Risky Business

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social life preferences, similar to those that followed the Great Depression. A different attitude toward wealth followed the downturn of the '30s, such that children of the depression—even 70 years later and after they had become financially secure in their own right—would walk an extra block to save a nickel on a pound of butter and, even more, knew offhand the price of a pound of butter. Not to put analysts or institutional economists out of work, but very often the explanation for market movements is the obvious and doesn't require a lot of digging. "Sometimes," as Freud said, "a cigar is just a cigar." The Story: Conversation Starters Industry professionals and market watchers alike joined in the discussion by posting and tweeting these top four stories from this month. The Story: The Story: "Norcom Introduces New Mortgage Consultant" "Reports Reject Claims of Possible Housing Bubble" The Scoop: The Internet gave a solid cheer for Norcom's newest mortgage consultant, Lynn LaPierre. She brings more than 12 years of industry experience to the company. LaPierre joins the team from Village Mortgage, where she operated as a loan officer for the company's Collinsville branch. "Norcom is the most efficient, organized company I've ever had the opportunity to be a part of. It's amazing to be part of a team which focuses on each of their client's best interests first," LaPierre said of her role. The Scoop: The news that economic indicators are improving has slowly given consumers confidence to enter the housing market and purchase or refinance, sparking a conversation surrounding the sustainability of the recovery. Skeptics decry the sustainability and have even gone so far as to suggest that the current market conditions will lead to a bubble, but a recent report advises against such thinking. "[T]here are several reasons to think that emerging concerns about the next bubble in U.S. housing are premature," economist Ed Stansfield wrote in a Capital Economics report. The Story: "No News Is …" The Scoop: Social media was abuzz with Mark Lieberman's report on the Case-Shiller home price index and the real reasons why there is no reason for market watchers to feel one way or the other about it. In his analysis, Lieberman notes to be sure, builders have already felt the impact. Residential construction has tilted to multifamily and away from single family as builders pick up on changing attitudes and "FICO Survey: Banker Optimism in Housing at 3-Year High" The Scoop: Lenders are still bullish on the housing recovery, according to a quarterly FICO survey of bank risk professionals. "The survey results, combined with data that indicates the real estate market is improving in many regions, paint a positive picture for a sector of the economy that has been slow to join the recovery," said Dr. Andrew Jennings, chief analytics officer at FICO and head of FICO Labs. "Mortgage lenders have been understandably guarded over the past five years. The improvement in their sentiment should be welcome news, and I wouldn't be surprised to see lenders cautiously expanding their mortgage and home equity lending businesses." According to FICO, banker optimism extended beyond mortgage lending last quarter: Large majorities of survey respondents believe that consumer credit health is improving across most types of loans. Respondents were most confident in home equity lines of credit, with 81 percent expecting delinquencies to remain steady or decrease in the next six months. The M Report | 15

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