Email Address* Message* Tags Lenders are being stingy about granting home equity lines of credit. (iStock)Remember the financial crisis? Banks do.Lenders are being stingy about granting home equity lines of credit even as home values have soared, the Wall Street Journal reported.Blame the pandemic and memories of the late 2000s, when millions of homes went into foreclosure.Citibank stopped accepting new applications for home equity lines of credit, or helocs, on March 3, because of “market conditions,” according to the Journal.J.P. Morgan Chase and Wells Fargo halted helocs a year ago as the U.S. economy shut down for Covid. Wells Fargo cited “market risks and prudent balance-sheet management.”ADVERTISEMENTBank of America did continue extending home equity lines of credit, although it tightened standards briefly during the pandemic.Unlike cash-out refinancing, which amends an original mortgage loan, helocs constitute a second mortgage, payable only after the first mortgage is satisfied — if enough equity is left over. Lines of credit are also different from home equity loans, in which a single chunk of cash is borrowed against a home’s value.Home values have skyrocketed in the past year, but the scars of the financial crisis and Great Recession run deep among lenders and homeowners.“Homeowner psychology has changed a bit,” said Mike Fratantoni, chief economist of the Mortgage Bankers Association. “Customers seem a little more hesitant about tapping their home equity.”Contact Orion Jones Share on FacebookShare on TwitterShare on LinkedinShare via Email Share via Shortlink Full Name* Share via Shortlink Bank of AmericaHome EquityHome PricesJP Morgan ChaseMortgageswells fargo
A United Nations report earlier this year found that Musharraf’s government failed to provide former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto with adequate security on her return to Pakistan, and that elements within the military establishment may even have played a role in her death in December 2007.Kanishka Narayan, President of IRSoc, said that Musharraf was the most important guest in the society’s history. “He’s controversial but I don’t see that as a reason for denying his significance. Musharraf is a very significant figure in Pakistani politics. He will have a massive impact in the upcoming future and it’s important people get to hear him.“I received no complaints about the invitation; we did, however, receive congratulatory notes and more requests for attendance than could be entertained, despite the venue being one of the largest in Oxford.”Narayan stressed that although some questions were submitted in advance, there was no vetting of difficult or controversial issues. He told student Ata Rahman before the talk, “We will be selecting questions we think are the best and most interesting, not the ones we feel President Musharraf wishes us to choose.”However Rahman felt that the manner in which the event was organised amounted to censorship. He said, “I think the IRSoc committee has to accept responsibility for the fact that they allowed Musharraf to completely evade the most controversial aspects of his career thanks to the pre-screening of questions.”Ticket-holders were required to sign up in advance and state their nationality. Questions for the question and answer session also had to be submitted in advance, although Musharraf did take an additional number of impromptu questions from the floor.Guests were requested to bring only their ticket and Bod Card and no bags, phones, cameras or metal objects were allowed inside the Town Hall.Ghazald Mirza, a British citizen of Pakistani descent, said that she believed that the full venue indicated the seriousness with which Musharraf was taken. She said, “The dynamics of Pakistan have changed so much that if he runs for re-election it’s very important to see if he has changed too.”Musharraf’s talk gave a history of Pakistan’s involvement on the world stage from World War Two to the present day, with much focus on extremism in Afghanistan and Pakistan’s troubled relationship with India.He is not the only political speaker to have attracted controversy this year. The visit of the Israeli deputy Foreign Minister Danny Ayalon in Hilary term was marked by protests and interruptions such as “You are a racist” and “You are a war criminal” from members of the audience. The visit of the former President of Pakistan, Perez Musharraf, to Oxford last Friday caused several students to voice concern over freedom of speech and censorship issues.Musharraf gave a speech in the Town Hall on ‘The state of the Pakistani state: national and international implications’, an event organised by the Oxford University International Relations Society.At the start of the question and answer session Musharraf removed his jacket, joking, “jacket off, I’m ready for a fight.”An audience member soon challenged Musharraf over his plans to return to power. He told the former general, “You seem remarkably fresh for a man on the run, involved in the death of the Prime Minister, treason, and subverting the constitution.”This opened a dialogue in which Musharraf lost his temper, dismissing the efforts of Pakistan’s other political parties as “damaging to the state”. Some of the exchange was conducted in Urdu.When the student left the room shortly afterwards, Musharraf called out after him, “Thank you for going!”Aranyani Bhargav, a student at Wolfson college, was displeased with Musharraf’s conduct. She said, “I accept that it was not a particularly comfortable question, but that was unacceptable and unprofessional behaviour.It’s just not something you would expect from a former head of state”.During the event Musharraf repeatedly stressed a desire for peace. He claimed “Pakistan is not a military state”, although he also said that “the military is the only organisation holding Pakistan together”, calling it the country’s “centre of gravity”. He stated that “military rulers have done better for Pakistan, there is no doubt”, a comment which was met with applause from some members of the audience.Musharraf answered all of the audience’s questions, including sensitive subjects such as US and Indian relations.The former general seized power in Pakistan in a military coup in 1999. He was forced to resign in 2008 following an impeachment over his declaration of a state of emergency in 2007, which postponed a general election and placed high court judges and their families under house arrest.
Gavel Gamut By Jim Redwinewww.jamesmredwine.comMY WAY OR THE HIGHWAYAfter writing this column for twenty-seven years I can easily delude myself into believing that the reason no one writes in with complaints is because people agree with my opinions. Of course, I am fully aware a more likely reason is because no one reads them.Be that as it may, should you have read “Gavel Gamut” recently you know the general topic has been the state of discourse and discussion in America. More to the point, why do so many people seem so angry with people whose only sin is to voice an opinion with which others disagree?While even every day conversations among friends now sometimes turn into shouting matches and hurt feelings, the worst practitioners of “My way or the highway” are the cable television news anchors and the editorial writers of large newspapers. These pundits with public pulpits who are purveyors of pusillanimous perfidy often take it upon themselves to state as a fact that some statement by some public figure is false. Frequently no foundation is laid and no leeway is given for a statement being a mistake.Usually the public figure who is maligned as mendacious, not misguided, has no opportunity to respond. An attack is launched and in our contemporary world of instant Internet access by millions of ill informed users the attack becomes the reality.An electorate that forms its opinions on such marshy grounds might support government actions which are anathema to our nation’s welfare. Also, a steady diet of such diatribes could result in a backlash against the First Amendment. That would truly lead to a national disaster.I know calling for self-policing by the media could morph into a call for government policing of the media. So what alternatives do we have? There are many, of course, but I would like to suggest we encourage the application of a few self-imposed procedures that might help make our current hostile environment more positive.These procedures are neither secret nor complicated and have been slowly and carefully crafted over many years. Well, maybe next week.For more Gavel Gamut articles go to:www.jamesmredwine.com FacebookTwitterCopy LinkEmail
Kristin Chenoweth’s vocal talents (not to mention comedic chops), Peter Gallagher’s plotting and Andy Karl’s arm curls continue to lure in audiences to On the Twentieth Century; the Tony nominated revival made the frontrunners list for capacity this week on the Great White Way. More good news for Tony nominee An American in Paris, which further cemented its position as one of the top five grossing shows, bringing in $1,280,111; the tuner was joined by perennial favorites The Lion King, Wicked, Mormon and Aladdin. Meanwhile, It Shoulda Been You and Gigi will be hoping for a boost after their Broadway.com Audience Choice Award wins, struggling this week with grosses and capacity, respectively, as they have been for some weeks now. And perhaps unsurprisingly, since it announced it would close a week early, Airline Highway, despite good initial buzz suggesting the show would take flight, was the lowest grossing production of the week.Here’s a look at who was on top—and who was not—for the week ending May 17:FRONTRUNNERS (By Gross)1.The Lion King ($1,966,567)2. Wicked ($1,601,725)3.The Book of Mormon ($1,534,408)4. Aladdin ($1,467,090)5. An American in Paris ($1,280,111)UNDERDOGS (By Gross)5. Hedwig and the Angry Inch ($448,280)*4. Hand to God ($427,117)3. It Shoulda Been You ($418,416)2. The Visit ($211,430)1. Airline Highway($180,476)FRONTRUNNERS (By Capacity)1. The Book of Mormon (102.52%)2. Fun Home (102.48%)3. Fish in the Dark (101.57%)4. The Audience (101.24%)*5. On the Twentieth Century (100.31%)UNDERDOGS (By Capacity)5. Jersey Boys (71.23%)4. Gigi (65.94%)3. On the Town (65.07%)2. Wolf Hall Parts One & Two (60.66%)1. The Visit (55.23%)* Number based on seven regular performancesSource: The Broadway League View Comments Star Files Kristin Chenoweth
By Mike IsbellUniversity of Georgia”Come in here and look at my room,” my oldest daughter yelleddown the hallway.I wasn’t really sure what I was going to see when I got toLindsay’s room. It already looked like the night sky with all theglow-in-the-dark stars on the ceiling.Had my 18-year-old put up more stars? Or had she just put morestars on the ceiling fan? Were the crickets she feeds her pettarantula loose and jumping all around her room?Thank goodness. The crickets and tarantula were where they weresupposed to be.Hey, wow!I was pleasantly surprised to see she had organized her room. Andnot only that, but she had tossed out a lot of junk she hadcollected over the years. It really looked good.That’s when I noticed the foliage plant in a tiny pot sitting onthe night stand by her bed. I hadn’t seen it before. “Are youwatering this?” I asked.”No, I haven’t yet,” Lindsay answered.”Well, do you see these dried out and brown tips on theseleaves?” I asked her. “That’s telling you there’s something wrongwith the plant. Now the trick is finding out what the problem is.”What is it?Brown and dried-out leaf tips can be caused by several things:humidity too low, temperatures too high, not enough water. Any ofthose three can make the leaves give off too much water, causingthe leaf tips to dry out and become brown and crinkly.And it could be a combination of all three.The plant in Lindsay’s room is a Dracaena. This plant can developbrown leaf tips rather easily if it’s not given proper care.Lindsay said she hasn’t watered the plant, and that might be allthat’s wrong with it.But Lindsay’s bad about turning up the temperature in the house,too. I keep turning it back down — I’m considering putting alocking box on the thermostat control.I just don’t think temperature is the problem with the plant.A possibilityNow, low humidity could be a possible problem. Plants require ahumidity of 50 percent to 60 percent. In most centrally heatedand cooled homes the humidity runs about 10 percent to 30percent. So increasing the humidity around the plant wouldcertainly help.How can she do that?There are several ways. But the easiest might be just to put theplant in the terrarium with the tarantula. She has to make surethe spider has water and has to mist water inside the terrarium.That should make the humidity in the terrarium higher, whichwould be great for the plant.Let’s see — she’s got a tarantula, crickets, a little pool ofwater, a plant and stars overhead. Man, it’s like a jungle in herroom.(Mike Isbell is the Heard County Extension coordinator withthe University of Georgia College of Agricultural andEnvironmental Sciences.)
Born to Run Author Christopher McDougall talks about his new book, resistance fighters, and the Five Fingers fallout.In his bestselling book Born to Run, Christopher McDougall shadowed the indigenous Tarahumara and a wily ex-boxer named Caballo Blanco to uncover the secrets of distance running. (Matthew McConaughey is starring in the upcoming feature film as Caballo Blanco.) Now, in his new book Natural Born Heroes, McDougall follows in the footsteps of resistance fighters in World War II who plot the daring abduction of a general during the peak of the Nazi occupation. McDougall retraces their steps in the razor-sharp mountains of Crete, experiencing firsthand the extreme physical challenges they face. Along the way, he discovers surprising truths about fitness and heroism—truths that can change the way we move and live.What inspired you to take the ideas of Born to Run beyond the running community?CM: The minimalist running movement was already underway when I wrote Born to Run. I was just the dude sitting on the surfboard when the wave came. Similarly, the natural fitness revolution is already happening. Look at the explosion in obstacle course racing, Crossfit, mud runs—anything where people are getting outside and doing something unpredictable.Like Born to Run, your new book is both a fitness revolution and an adventure story. Where does your latest adventure unfold?CM: On Crete, the birthplace of the classical Greek heroism that spawned the likes of Heracles and Odysseus, I followed in the footsteps of World War II resistance fighters during Nazi occupation. How did they hike for hundreds of miles on a starvation diet and maintain the strength to defeat their enemies? That question drove this book. These particular heroes were a small band of misfits trying to recapture the island of Crete during World War II. But you don’t need war—or even a marathon—to be a hero. Our problem today is that we have artificially inflated heroes into superheroes. The truth is: all of us can be heroic.What are the tools of natural fitness?CM: Natural movement, extraordinary endurance, and efficient nutrition.You don’t need anything but your brain and body. Too often, if someone can sell something that makes it easier, we buy it. We’re constantly pushed to purchase things that do the work for us. As a result, we live in a largely sedentary environment with high obesity rates, and fitness is not fun.But a lot of folks like their workout routines and the reliability of the gym—especially in bad weather.CM: We’ve given gyms a fair shot, and how well have they worked for us? Most folks who get their gym memberships in January have stopped showing up by March. We think we like routine and repetition, but really we don’t. Routines are boring and they don’t engage our whole selves.There’s nothing wrong with getting wet in the rain. There’s nothing wrong with falling down. It’s okay to get hurt sometimes. Getting hurt shows you what your limits are. Our culture seems to fear knee scrapes and bruises, but we do even more harm sheltering ourselves from them.Can city dwellers realistically adapt natural fitness into their training?CM: Natural fitness is all about adapting to your surroundings and making use of what’s available. Over half of the world’s population now lives in cities. Parkour—running, jumping, and climbing over obstacles—is just one example of natural fitness adapting to an urban environment.How has natural fitness changed the way you train personally?CM: My fitness is a lot more randomized and playful. I recently went running with natural fitness guru Erwan LeCorre, and in the middle of the run, he suddenly veered right up and began scrambling up a steep slope. It seemed strange at the time, but I followed him, crawling on all fours up the cliff. It was unpredictable, and I was dialed in completely to the moment. That’s the beauty of uncertainty. Randomized fitness unlocks the power and immediacy of the experience.Any specific challenges you like to do most?CM: My favorite workouts are always out in nature. Personally, there is nothing better than chopping wood and hauling hay. I still love my running trails, but I also have a climbing rope outside my office and a wheelbarrow nearby.Play doesn’t necessarily need purpose. It’s unstructured and meant to be fun and exploratory. At the same time, there are useful skills being learned through play. Play often comes from mimicking adults. Kids are often building blocks and stacking stuff when they’re younger, and later, they’re developing running and climbing skills on the playground.What’s your reaction to the fallout from the Five Fingers lawsuit?CM: It’s deflating that the conversation is always about the product. Vibram made promises about the shoes that they probably really believed were true, but they couldn’t prove them scientifically. In that sense, they really stepped on the rake. Unfortunately, a lot of people interpreted the lawsuit as saying minimalist shoes are bad. Born to Run wasn’t about shoes. It was about rediscovering natural running form and reconnecting with our running heritage.
After months of pressure from local landowners and environmental groups, the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) announced yesterday that it will require both the Atlantic Coast Pipeline and the Mountain Valley Pipeline to undergo individual 401 water quality certifications. These certifications assess whether or not the pipelines are adhering to state and federal water quality standards in all areas affected by the construction of these pipelines.While a welcome development in the war against the pipelines, the fight continues on. Once the DEQ has released its in-depth water quality reviews, public hearings on the draft certifications will be open for commenting. Mike Tidewell, Director of the Chesapeake Climate Action Network, said in a press release yesterday that a thorough investigation of the pipeline’s impacts on water quality will unveil the immense opposition to the pipelines.“We are confident that a full-fledged review of the projects will show that there is no way they can be built and operated without harming water quality,” Tidewell says.Though Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe is an avid proponent for the pipelines, Virginia’s residents are concerned about their many negative repercussions such as pipeline blowouts, landslides, decreased property value, and groundwater contamination. Outdoor enthusiasts are especially concerned about the future of the region’s public lands, in particular, the George Washington National Forest, the Monongahela National Forest, the Blue Ridge Parkway, and the Appalachian Trail. Both pipelines will intersect these special places, which not only serve as critical habitat for sensitive species but also generate millions of tourism dollars in the region every year.We’ll be keeping a close eye on the pipeline developments, but you can also stay up-to-date on these water quality certifications by signing up for email alerts from the Chesapeake Climate Action Network.
“You know taxes are illegal, right? It’s just modern day slavery,” the young man earnestly told his dad, as I eavesdropped from my neighboring booth in a local diner on Saturday morning.Fifty years ago, in a similar political conversation, this young man would have groused about fascist war pigs and the establishment. Youthful distrust of the government is nothing new, but these days, it’s not just young Americans who feel the need to stick it to The Man.Say what you will about Donald Trump, but that man understands marketing. While other Republican presidential hopefuls trotted out the same old outdated messages, Trump recognized attitudes among the working class, the backbone of the Republican party, had changed. Factory and farm jobs have disappeared, and many who have attempted upward mobility through higher education have come up dry.Economic inequality has been a reality for minorities throughout America’s history, but for working class whites, the struggle is relatively new. And according to them, there’s no hope in sight.CNN conducted an extensive survey of white working class Americans in an attempt to better understand Trump’s supporters. The results aren’t surprising, but they are among the first to quantify the reasons behind Trump’s political success.Sure, some Trump supporters are racist, and those idiots are on full display on social media. However, racism hasn’t fueled Trump’s momentum. Dismissing it as such is short sighted, and the CNN survey confirms that. Sixty-two percent of those surveyed blamed the federal government for their economic problems. Sixty-two percent also said it’s harder to get ahead financially than it used to be, and 67% said it’s harder to find good jobs.Working whites were significantly more pessimistic than working class minorities about the government, the economy and the future. Plenty of news articles have asserted those perceptions are wrong, and the U.S. is actually stronger than ever, but tell that to the factory worker laid off in Ohio, the unemployed ag worker in Alabama, the Kansas school librarian whose position was eliminated or the cocktail waitress whose casino closed in New Jersey. These folks don’t want a government handout, they want jobs. They want to work hard, and at the end of the day, receive enough money to pay their bills.As a political outsider, Trump can distance himself from the blame, but can he deliver a solution? Even Trump supporters aren’t entirely sure. The fact that he’s touting Kansas Governor Sam Brownback as his economic adviser is a bad sign. However, enough Americans are so desperate, they’re willing to take the risk with a wildcard.Where do credit unions fit into this mess? For starters, they’ve been affected by these job losses. Once upon a time, those blue collar jobs represented credit union legacy sponsors. Community charters weren’t just a fad, credit unions had to expand beyond the factory to grow. Low-income designations aren’t just a way to skirt the member business lending cap; there’s a real need to serve poor populations in communities all across America, particularly in regions that were once prosperous.For years, credit unions have marketed themselves as having the same products, services and conveniences as banks, but at a lower price point. The cooperative nature of the institution was a marketing afterthought, if addressed at all.The Trump narrative changes that. Banks are part of the distrusted establishment.The father and son I overheard at the diner also discussed loans. The father suggested his son refinance his mortgage to a 15-year term or make twice monthly payments.“You don’t want to pay on that for the rest of your life,” the father advised.“They wouldn’t let me do that,” the son countered. “Why would they when it would mean they make less money?”The father assured his son that to keep his business, the bank would refinance the loan into a shorter term or with more frequent payments.I listened closely. There was no mention of a credit union option. For all I know, the son’s loan is at a credit union and they don’t know the difference.November 5 marks the five-year anniversary of Bank Transfer Day. Credit unions saw a huge swell in membership thanks to one angry consumer and her Facebook page, yet the community hasn’t since leveraged anti-bank sentiment to replicate that success since. The recent Wells Fargo scandal was much worse than Bank of America’s decision in 2011 to charge a $5 monthly debit card fee, and yet most credit unions say they won’t capitalize on the Wells Fargo scandal to market credit unions.Americans are as fed up with banks as they are career politicians. Credit unions should take Donald Trump’s lead and aggressively court working class bank customers by positioning themselves as alternative to Wells Fargo. Of course, this can be accomplished with more class than Trump has displayed, but it will require a more direct approach than the usual baby ducks and rainbows credit union marketing strategies.Credit unions need to get fed up with banks, too. Their trade association is suing the NCUA over its MBL rule. Remember the embarrassing banker campaign that questioned CUNA’s Bank Transfer Day membership numbers? And then there’s the constant banker lobbying on Capitol Hill to tax credit unions.It’s time credit unions stick it to banks. Working class Americans and their financial cooperatives deserve better. 79SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Heather Anderson Heather Anderson is co-founder of OmniChannel Communications, a marketing company that serves fintech and asset/liability management firms. Previously, she was executive editor of Credit Union Times. She has more … Web: www.omnichannelcommunications.com Details
CUNA Senior Economist Jordan van Rijn discusses the latest on the pandemic’s economic impact, as well as the effects next year of an incoming Biden administration in CUNA’s latest Economic Update video. As van Rijn notes at the start, the pandemic continues to be the most important thing in the economy.“With any economic forecast we have to make a few assumptions, and with all of this uncertainty we’re going to assume basically the next few months will be the worst of the pandemic,” he said. “The combination of upward trends of the virus, the colder winters months when people are inside, COVID fatigue, all of this is going to lead to more business closures, restrictions, school closures and all will have a negative effect on the economy.”van Rijn said he expects some kind of stimulus bill with relief targeted to families and businesses to be enacted early in the new administration, though on a smaller scale than in 2020.“We do expect that to help the economy somewhat starting next year,” he said. This is placeholder text continue reading » This post is currently collecting data… ShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr
No hard feelings. Kaitlyn Bristowe knows Carrie Ann Inaba‘s tough judging on Dancing With the Stars is coming from a good place — even though she doesn’t completely agree with it.The former Bachelorette, 35, and the choreographer, 52, haven’t seen eye to eye throughout season 29 of the ABC dance competition, which kicked off in September. During the November 2 episode, Bristowe and Artem Chigvintsev gave their routine their all, but it still wasn’t enough for Inaba. While fans have quickly come to Bristowe’s defense, she encouraged them to reign it in.- Advertisement – Listen to Watch With Us to hear more about your favorite shows and for the latest TV news! “I know that Carrie Ann was getting heat on social media for being hard on me and I’m like, ‘Make it stop!’ Because this is a TV show, right?” the Canada native said on a recent episode of her “Off the Vine” podcast. “Carrie Ann is totally allowed her opinions. I’m allowed to not agree with them or feel hurt by them, but it doesn’t mean people need to go and bully on her. I heard that she feels bullied and that makes me feel so terrible because I’ve been bullied so hard online … Don’t go bullying her because she’s being hard on me. That’s her decision and she’s a judge. That’s why she’s paid the big bucks to be a judge on that show, right?”Kaitlyn Bristowe and Carrie Ann Inaba. ABC/Eric McCandless (2)After the last episode of DWTS, viewers took to social media to discuss the differences in Bristowe’s scores and those of her fellow competitors. Some fans even wondered if Inaba was harder on Chigvintsev, 38, because of their past romance. After seeing some of the backlash online, the Hawaii native took aim at those who chose to attack her professional opinions.“I still get bullied. … I can’t believe it still happens as adults,” she said during the November 3 episode of The Talk. “I want to tell people who bully: It doesn’t make me change the way I judge. I’m not about to change because you try to bully me. It only makes me stand stronger in my convictions and what I believe in.”- Advertisement – Following their recent disappointing scores, Bristowe and the Russian ballroom pro admitted to Entertainment Tonight that Inaba’s judging was starting to feel “a little personal.” Despite her questions about the feedback she’s received, the former spin instructor doesn’t think Inaba deserves to be trolled.“I want everybody to not be mean to Carrie Ann even if she’s harsh on me,” Bristowe said on her podcast, adding that it makes her “sick” to see negative comments about the DWTS judge. “You can ask why. You can wonder why or be like, ‘Why are you doing this?’ But don’t be mean. That’s all I have to say.”Dancing With the Stars airs on ABC Mondays at 8 p.m. ET.- Advertisement – – Advertisement –