Economy ‘Ready to Take Off’ in 2021

first_img The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago Economy ‘Ready to Take Off’ in 2021 Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago in Daily Dose, Featured, News The Best Markets For Residential Property Investors 2 days ago The Week Ahead: Nearing the Forbearance Exit 2 days ago Share Save Fannie Mae’s Economic and Strategic Research (ESR) Group expects the U.S. economy to grow 5.3% in 2021, an upgraded forecast from the 4.5% reported last December. The GSE also issued an improved projection for 2022 at 3.6% growth from 3.2%.Fannie’s dense “Economic & Housing Outlook” report indicates that economic output likely flatlined or even pulled back during the last two months of 2020. But Fannie Mae’s experts expect a reversal of recent softness starting in late spring when growth typically accelerates. Thus, Fannie reported a downgrade to negative 2.7% for forecasted GDP growth as it pushes more recovery further into 2021.”Expanding vaccination efforts, the emergence of warmer weather, and the passing of greater than previously expected fiscal stimulus point to an economy ready to take off once COVID-19-related effects begin to subside,” note the report’s authors (Doug Duncan, SVP and Chief Economist; Mark Palim, VP and Deputy Chief Economist; Eric Brescia, Economist; Nick Embrey, Economist; Rebecca Meeker, Financial Economist, and Richard Goyette, Business Analyst).A successful rollout of the COVID-19 vaccine will accelerate recovery, the researchers said.”COVID-19 remains the dominant force altering the path of the economy through the behaviors of people, businesses, and policymakers,” Duncan said in a press release. “Therefore, the best policy for economic recovery is the broad distribution of an effective vaccine, which is underway. The sooner this can be successfully accomplished the sooner growth can accelerate, and our thought is that by mid-year vaccine distribution efforts will be well-established, allowing for a strong second half.”While the ESR group expects home sales to rise 3.8% in 2021, the monthly pace is likely to slow through much of the year.House price appreciation is expected to slow along a similar timeline.Purchase mortgage originations are expected to rise in 2021 to $1.8 trillion from 2020’s projected $1.6 trillion, while refinance origination activity is forecast at $2.2 trillion in 2021, down from the projected all-time high of $2.8 trillion in 2020. With mortgage rates near historic lows, the authors estimate that 67% of outstanding mortgages have at least a half-percentage point incentive to refinance.The report indicates the housing market will “shift down a gear” after driving the initial phase of economic recovery in latter 2020.”While we forecast that housing demand will continue to be strong, based on an improving labor market and favorable demographic factors, we believe the pace of activity will likely slow over time toward its underlying trend,” the researchers said. “We do not expect mortgage rates to decline further, and inventories of homes for sale remain extremely tight.”The full report is available at FannieMae.com. About Author: Christina Hughes Babb Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Demand Propels Home Prices Upward 2 days ago Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Related Articlescenter_img Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago Home / Daily Dose / Economy ‘Ready to Take Off’ in 2021 2021-01-18 Christina Hughes Babb Governmental Measures Target Expanded Access to Affordable Housing 2 days ago Previous: California Housing Market Ends 2020 on a High Note Next: Tracking Homeowners’ Desire to Relocate Servicers Navigate the Post-Pandemic World 2 days ago  Print This Post Data Provider Black Knight to Acquire Top of Mind 2 days ago January 18, 2021 1,271 Views Christina Hughes Babb is a reporter for DS News and MReport. A graduate of Southern Methodist University, she has been a reporter, editor, and publisher in the Dallas area for more than 15 years. During her 10 years at Advocate Media and Dallas Magazine, she published thousands of articles covering local politics, real estate, development, crime, the arts, entertainment, and human interest, among other topics. She has won two national Mayborn School of Journalism Ten Spurs awards for nonfiction, and has penned pieces for Texas Monthly, Salon.com, Dallas Observer, Edible, and the Dallas Morning News, among others. Sign up for DS News Daily Subscribelast_img read more

Major outpouring of support for University in legal battle over admissions approach

first_imgTo further campus diversity, in 2016 Faust also tasked a new Presidential Task Force on Inclusion and Belonging with identifying ways to help the University ensure it was a place where everyone felt they belonged. Harvard President Larry Bacow has continued those efforts, supporting the creation of the University’s new Office for Diversity and Inclusion, as well as surveying all students, faculty, and staff last spring to assess the culture of inclusion and belonging across the community. The newly created Diversity, Inclusion, and Belonging Leadership Council — made up of leaders from all Harvard’s Schools and major units — is developing responses to the survey. And the University also created the Harvard Culture Lab Innovation Fund to serve as “an incubator for innovative ideas that seek to advance diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging across Harvard.”Sally Chen ’19, one of the many Harvard alumni supporting the College, joined an amicus brief submitted by the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and Asian Americans Advancing Justice, which represents a wide range of students and alumni. Chen, who got involved with the case while she was a junior at the College, said her decision to do so was informed by her support of equal opportunity “and the related policies that view a whole person in context.”In her College application personal essay, Chen, a first-generation Asian American, first- generation college graduate, wrote about how her efforts to advocate for her family “really shaped who I am today” and informed the work she hoped to pursue.“I would not have been able to fully convey my strength or my potential contribution to the College and beyond,” added Chen, who serves as economic justice program manager for the nonprofit Chinese for Affirmative Action in San Francisco, “without talking about my race.”The appeal will be heard by a three-judge appellate court panel, but many legal experts see the case ultimately being decided by the nation’s highest court. In a statement following Burroughs’ October ruling, SFFA founder Blum said he would appeal the decision, “if necessary to the U.S. Supreme Court.” In its own appellate brief submitted on May 14, Harvard defended its victory, reiterated its compliance with Supreme Court precedent, and argued that Burroughs’ decision should be affirmed. “After conducting a three-week bench trial, hearing testimony from twenty-five witnesses, and reviewing hundreds of exhibits, the district court issued a 130-page decision, encompassing more than 80 pages of factual findings, that carefully considered and rejected all of SFFA’s claims,” reads the Harvard brief.“Harvard’s interest in student body diversity is substantial and compelling,” said Peter McDonough, vice president and general counsel for the American Council on Education, which filed a brief on behalf of 41 organizations of higher learning. “Our higher education institutions have emphasized time and again that campus diversity is a necessary ingredient of their ability to prepare students to compete and thrive in an increasingly diverse country and global economy.”A brief submitted on behalf of 15 higher education institutions in support of Harvard stated: “In light of the momentous interests at stake, Amici urge the court to affirm the right of educational institutions to structure admissions programs that appropriately consider race and ethnicity within the context of an individualized and holistic review.”“Harvard’s whole-person review treats each individual as an individual, not merely as a member of a racial group with presumed qualities and characteristics,” read a brief representing more than 670 social scientists from colleges and universities across the country. “That approach is well-grounded in social science research and benefits Asian American applicants. The district court correctly rejected Plaintiff’s arguments to the contrary.”Harvard has long championed a diverse learning environment and the development of a student body filled with individuals who bring a range of different backgrounds and perspectives to campus. For decades, Harvard College’s Admissions and Financial Aid Office has sought out talented students from all communities and encouraged them to apply. For decades, a range of programs and scholarships have helped those with strong academic credentials but limited means gain access to a Harvard education.In 2004, University President Lawrence H. Summers helped spearhead the expansion of Harvard’s financial aid, essentially making attendance free for low-income students. Three years later, his successor as Harvard president, Drew Faust, announced a new initiative designed to ensure greater affordability for middle-income families through major enhancements to grant aid, the elimination of student loans, and the removal of home equity from financial aid calculations. In March 2020, Harvard announced plans to expand its program again by eliminating the summer work expectation for students beginning in the 2020‒21 academic year. Related Hundreds of social scientists, Nobel Prize-winning economists, corporate executives, higher-education experts, attorneys general from 15 states, 15 colleges and universities, as well as 26 Harvard alumni and student organizations representing thousands of Asian American, black, Latinx, Native American, and white Harvard community members expressed their support for Harvard’s pro-diversity approach to admissions this week in a series of legal filings that were part of a federal appeals process. In September a federal judge upheld Harvard’s admissions policy following a three-week trial.The filing of these “friend of the court” briefs Thursday with the First Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston is the latest development in an ongoing legal challenge to Harvard’s admissions practices. Supporters called for the judges to adhere to Supreme Court precedent and uphold the lower court’s ruling that Harvard may continue to consider race as one among many factors when admitting students.Among the briefs was a document representing 14 of the nation’s leading businesses, including tech giants Apple Inc., Microsoft Corp., and Twitter. In their filing, the companies argued that diversity in higher education is essential to ensure that future generations of talented workers will be able to successfully compete in a global economy.“To find the next superb employee, amici depend on universities admitting talented students from all backgrounds, and helping each student learn how to thrive in a diverse and inclusive setting,” the companies argued. “And as the Supreme Court has repeatedly recognized and approved, amici agree that a university may well conclude that meeting such a crucial goal, even today, requires a race-conscious, holistic university admissions program.”They also agreed that, “[i]n the absence of workable race-neutral alternatives — as the district court concluded is the case … universities such as Harvard must be able to employ race-conscious, holistic admissions practices to create the best recruiting classes for businesses.”The attorneys general signed on to a brief outlining the importance of diversity in higher education and beyond and urging the appellate court to affirm U.S. District Court Judge Allison D. Burroughs’ ruling. “[We] share a compelling interest in ensuring that students at colleges and universities receive the educational benefits that flow from diversity of all kinds amongst their peers — including racial diversity,” they wrote. “By ensuring that our students go forth into their adult lives with these educational benefits, we also strengthen our society, our democracy, and our economy.”In 2014, Harvard was sued by Students for Fair Admissions Inc. (SFFA), an organization founded by Edward Blum, the architect of a range of attacks on civil rights protections for members of underrepresented minority groups in recent years. The lawsuit claimed the College intentionally discriminated against Asian American applicants and that its use of race in the undergraduate admissions process was unlawful. Last September, Burroughs ruled against SFFA on all counts, determining that Harvard does not discriminate on the basis of race, engage in racial balancing or the use of quotas, or place an outsized emphasis on race when considering an applicant’s admissions file. She also held that “no workable and available race-neutral alternatives” could achieve Harvard’s interest in diversity, which the U.S. Supreme Court has repeatedly ruled a legitimate educational objective. “Our higher education institutions have emphasized time and again that campus diversity is a necessary ingredient of their ability to prepare students to compete and thrive in an increasingly diverse country and global economy.” — Peter McDonough, American Council on Education Relief and vindicationcenter_img Judge upholds Harvard’s admissions policy Ruling finds that College does not discriminate Members of Harvard and the higher education community react to the ruling in the admission lawsuit last_img read more

Grand Marshal of the Daytona 500 2020: President Donald J. Trump

first_imgPresident Trump and the first lady will arrive at PBIA around 6:35 this evening to spend the President’s day weekend at Mar-a-Lago and will be the Grand Marshal of “The Great American Race” in Daytona on Sunday.The first family will attend Sunday’s Daytona 500 and the #47 car has a Trump Pence 2020 paint job. As the Grand Marshal, Trump will issue the order “gentlemen start your engines.” While the honor has recently gone to a variety of actors and former NASCAR stars, Trump will be the first sitting president to serve as grand marshal since George W. Bush in 2004. Yesterday, officials said Dale Earnhardt Jr. was the Grand Marshall.Joey Logano and William Byron won the dual qualifying races last night which sets the field for Sunday’s Daytona 500. The duo will start in row two. Starting in row one will be pole winner Ricky Stenhouse Jr. and teammate Alex Bowman, who earned the front row spot in time trials.last_img read more