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Bankshot A blue wave is coming. Banks need to get ready

The final votes for a House special election in Ohio are still being tallied, but the broader takeaway is clear: A blue wave is coming.

Whether or not the Democratic surge proves big enough to win back the House (let alone the Senate, a much tougher battle) remains to be seen, but Tuesday’s results suggest that the party is galvanized. Flipping the House would upend Republican control in Congress, complicating efforts to pursue additional bank regulatory relief and to overhaul Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in coming years.

Although nothing is guaranteed at this point, bankers should be preparing themselves for the possibility.

Tuesday's results "fell right in line with expectations based on all the of the other data we have," said Geoffrey Skelley, associate editor at Crystal Ball, a political analysis website hosted by the University of Virginia's Center for Politics. "The range of outcomes is mostly favorable to Democrats — and if Republicans do retain the House, it will be by an extremely narrow margin.

Vet realtor pulls alarm on plan to fund 'blue water' Navy bill

The House Veterans’ Affairs Committee’s plan to pay for a bill to extend Agent Orange disability benefits to 90,000 “blue water” Navy veterans of the Vietnam War — by raising funding fees under the Department of Veterans Affairs guaranty home loan program — will not continue to shield all disabled veterans from a funding fee, as the committee claimed last month as it cleared the bill for consideration of the full House.

The charge is made by “G2” Varrato II, a Phoenix Realtor, Air Force retiree, and director of the Veterans Association for Real Estate Professionals (VAREP) for the state of Arizona. The committee does not dispute Varrato’s argument that veterans with disabilities rated below 100 percent would see their waiver of a VA loan funding fee disappear if they use their benefit on mortgages that exceed the Freddie Mac conforming loan limit, a program expansion the committee bill allows.

Every major veteran service organization publicly endorsed the committee’s amended version of the Blue Water Navy Vietnam Veterans Act (HR 299), which includes a new strategy to cover the bill’s $1 billion estimated cost for expanding Agent Orange-related benefits by charging slightly higher VA home loan funding fees and making other changes to the VA loan program.

Considering the hordes of Christmas shoppers, is it fair to say that SOME people have never had it so good?

I decided to visit 3 shopping centres over the weekend - Westfield, Brent Cross and Blue Water, all in London.


Oddly enough, I answered another question in pretty much a similar way to how you put your questions, and I was tarred and feathered for "not knowing what it is like for real people out there" (am I a figment of someone's imagination?