At the intersection of real estate and urban economics

Nov 1st, 2014 Posted in Economic | No Comments »

Albert Saiz uses big data to understand real estate dynamics. As a professor in the Department of Urban Studies and Planning and director of MIT’s Center for Real Estate, his work is at the confluence of urban policy and city-making and the factors that drive real estate markets. An urban economist and director of the MIT Urban Economics Lab, Saiz studies the industrial composition of cities with an eye toward understanding what makes cities successful. He also creates and studies incredibly-detailed information about housing markets and how urban growth impacts real estate markets.

Immigration explains half of city growth

Saiz’s focus is primarily on housing markets,...

Education Department Investigation Clears Student Loan Companies, Sources …

Nov 1st, 2014 Posted in Education Loans | No Comments »

WASHINGTON, DC – MAY 13: US Attorney General Eric Holder (R) and Education Secretary Arne Duncan hold a news conference at the Justice Department May 13, 2014 in Washington, DC. Holder announced that the Justice Department has reached a $60 million settlement with Sallie Mae after it was discovered the student load giant charged roughly 60,000 military service members excessive interest rates on their education loans. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images) | Chip Somodevilla via Getty Images

Student-Loan Refinancing Requires Steady Income, Credit Score

Oct 31st, 2014 Posted in Education Loans | Comments Off

It was a monster they could manage, this six-figure debt. Two years ago, the Salvias, both lawyers in the Harrisburg, Pa., area, bought a two-story home with a fenced backyard for their purebred boxer, Mani. Theyâ??re putting finishing touches on a nursery for their first child, a girl, due this winter.

And theyâ??re paying off law school: about $300,000 in combined student loans.

â??Itâ??s just one of those things that come off the top,â? said Ralph Salvia, 35. â??Weâ??re fortunate to make enough money.â?

Salvia and his wife, Trisha, represent a sliver of student-loan borrowers who have found a way to refinance. Unlike many struggling student borrowers nationwide,...

Navient Q3 Earnings Beat, Acquires $1.4B in Student Loans – Analyst Blog

Oct 31st, 2014 Posted in Education Loans | Comments Off

Navient Corporations (

) third-quarter 2014 core earnings came in at 52 cents per share,
marginally beating the Zacks Consensus Estimate. However, the
figure compared unfavorably with 58 cents per share earned in the
year-ago quarter.

Core earnings exclude the impact of the financial results of the
consumer banking business for periods prior to the spin off as well
as the spin-off related restructuring and reorganization expenses.
It also excludes the impact of certain other one time items –
unrealized, mark-to-market gains/losses on derivatives, and
goodwill and acquired intangible asset amortization and impairment.


U.S. Agencies Approve Relaxed Mortgage-Lending Rules

Oct 30th, 2014 Posted in Get Home Loans | Comments Off

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., Office of the Comptroller of the Currency and Federal Housing Finance Agency
dropped a requirement that borrowers make a 20% down payment to get a so-called qualified residential mortgage amid
concerns such an approach would hamper the ability of consumers to get home loans. Instead, banks will simply have to
document a borrowers ability to repay their loans and ensure they only have a certain level of debt compared with their

The long-expected regulation wraps up a key unfinished piece of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial overhaul law but is far
from the rule regulators initially set out to enact. In the wake of the crisis,...

Malloy vs Foley: Let’s talk economics.

Oct 30th, 2014 Posted in Economic | Comments Off

Dont take my word for it; hear the word of University of Connecticut Finance and Economics Professor Fred Carstensen. If Tom Foley had been elected governor in 2010 instead of Dan Malloy we would have experienced a much longer recession, higher unemployment and significantly more debt. The Foley prescription has not changed in four years so we can conclude that his policies will be no better now than they would have been then.

The reason for this is that Republican economics at the national and state levels have turned against proven macroeconomics and have instead adopted what I would call the anti-Keynes. Its sad to see. Instead of embracing the idea of fiscal stimulus in a downturn,...

In defence of Economics 101

Oct 29th, 2014 Posted in Economic | Comments Off

Economics professors are often accused of filling our students’ heads with oversimplified assumptions, obsessing with the mathematics of theoretical models, and failing to teach them about economic phenomena in the real world.

Like any discipline trying to explain a complex world, economics faces plenty of challenges. Our models and theories are designed to organize our thinking, focus our attention on the key aspects of the issue, and provide order and reason to the complexity we seek to explain. For most of us, this process starts with Economics 101.

Cory Doctorow & Jen Wang Dissect Gender, Economics & Gaming In Real Life

Oct 28th, 2014 Posted in Economic | Comments Off

Ten years ago, Boing Boing editor and technology advocate Cory Doctorow wrote a novella for Salon called Andas Game. Focusing on MMORPGs (massively multiplayer online roleplaying games the fictionalized Coarsegold Online in this case), the story followed the journey of the titular girl Anda as she learned how to game and found strength within herself from the medium. It also dealt with the complicated economic and labor issues that the new gaming ecosystems fostered in micro-transactions, such as the ability for players to buy upgrades and in-game funds with real money, due to the efforts of gold farmers willing to do the grunt work.

In the ensuing years, the issues Doctorow...

Study: Most published results in financial economics are wrong

Oct 28th, 2014 Posted in Economic | Comments Off

What they studied

Harvey says he was inspired by a 2005 study that shook the medical community when it proclaimed that more than half of all medical study findings are wrong. He wanted to know if that was true in the area of finance as well.

He and his co-authors studied 315 papers that examine different factors that might predict returns on stocks. Those papers propose all sorts of different potentially predictive variables, like leverage and price-to-earning ratios.

He uses genetic testing as a way of explaining. Scientists...

Savick touts record in House while seeking her 2nd term

Oct 27th, 2014 Posted in Education Loans | Comments Off

Wells resident Shannon Savick is drawing on her successes in office as she campaigns toward a second term in the Minnesota House of Representatives.

Shannon Savick

Savick, 74, will face off against challengers Peggy Bennett, R-Albert Lea, 56, and Tom Price, IP-Alden, 56, in the Nov. 4 general election.

Savick has lived in Wells for about eight years, previously living in Indianola, Iowa. She has family in the Kiester area.

The former mayor of Wells in 2009 and 2010, Savick served on the Wells City Council for two years prior. She said she lived in the city...