Susan Wachter, Professor of Real Estate and Finance at the University of Pennsylvania, explains the 'new normal' in the housing market:
Lizzie O'Leary: “What do you think about the kind of lending standards we have seen post-crisis? Because there’s arguments to be made that lending standards were really lax before the crisis, but then at the same time that now credit is so hard to get for a lot of people. Is there a median point that the economy should try to hit?
Susan Wachter: “Lenders have tightened up. Standards have tightened up. Way beyond where they were in the period before the crisis. As well they should. But they’ve gone beyond that. So, if you compare credit standards today to where they were in 2001, which was a period way before the crisis, where we had earlier decades of lending that [was] reasonable, responsible, sustainable, we’re not there yet. Standards have eased up slightly over this past year, but they’re far tighter than historically were their norm. So, why is that? In part it’s because of the experience of lenders, that if they make a mistake on the loan that loan is coming back to them. Reps and warranties are going to prevail. So they’re being extremely careful. We need a solution to that problem and we’re not there yet, but the solution that we have right now, which is keeping hundreds of thousands of people in renter-ship who would sustainably be able to be home owners- that solution is where we should be pushing towards.”
O'Leary: “Warren Buffet gave an interview a while back in which he said ‘Listen, I don’t think the economy is really going to recover until housing does.’ I know you’re probably not going to like me trying to put a time frame on this, but when could you see housing really come back?”
Wachter: “Well I think housing is going to come back in the new normal frame within a year to two years. That’s not the difficult question. The question of when will housing come back so it brings us to a traditional role in wealth building, in home ownership for families as they begin their family formation period, that’s a much larger issue, and one that I don’t have an answer to.”
Where have the insurance marketplaces created by the Affordable Care Act struggled the most? The answer lies in commerce, not politics.
There was a moment, a few years ago, that Michael Harris felt digitally overloaded.
So Harris quit his job and went offline.
Harris explores this experience in his new book “The End of Absence: Reclaiming What We’ve Lost in a World of Constant Connection”.
“Soon enough, nobody will remember life before the Internet. What does this unavoidable fact mean?
For future generations, it won’t mean anything very obvious. They will be so immersed in online life that questions about the Internet’s basic purpose or meaning will vanish.
But those of us who have lived both with and without the crowded connectivity of online life have a rare opportunity. We can still recognize the difference between 'Before and After.' We catch ourselves idly reaching for our phones at the bus stop. Or we notice how, mid-conversation, a fumbling friend dives into the perfect recall of Google.”
In the new exhibit "Genesis," the noted photographer Sebastiao Salgado shares his vision of "a kind of state of humanity of the planet," from Amazon tribes to frozen Siberia.
Jody Rice fell in love with needlework as a child. After an unfulfilling series of jobs in film, Rice decided to quit her 9-5 life.
Her online business of digital patterns may sound modern, but Jody feels her colorful, geometric graphics actually get back to where cross-stitch started, thousands of years ago. Jody lives off her business full time, and connects to an entire community who appreciate her reinterpretation of this ancient form of decoration.
Click play above to hear her story
In unveiling the "It's On Us" campaign aimed at preventing attacks on college campuses, President Obama said such violence is "an affront to our basic humanity."
There’s no two ways about it.
Jack Ma is a quirky guy.
From dressing up like Lady Gaga, to belting out the "Lion King" theme song, to revealing on CNBC that his hero is, the decidedly fictional, Forrest Gump.
Jack Ma is Jack Ma.
And Jack Ma is not the buttoned up (or turtle-necked up) CEO that we’re accustomed to.
But don’t let his antics fool you.
"Everyone seems to underestimate Jack Ma," says Porter Erisman, former Alibaba VP and director of the documentary 'Crocodile in in the Yangtze.'
He calls Jack Ma "incredibly innovative, very visionary."
Ma is also ambitious. And to achieve his goal of reaching an audience outside of China, some think he'll need to tone his antics down a bit.
"The particular quirky flamboyance that he has historically displayed seems to sell very well there," says Max Wolff, an economist at Manhattan Venture Partners, which helped institutional investors get Alibaba shares. "It won't sell quite as well for a global audience."
But Ma’s flash doesn't seem to be scaring off investors today. Even though the company is set up in such a way that Ma will be in control, not shareholders.
Shares of the Chinese e-commerce giant opened at $92.70 a share on the New York Stock Exchange today, making it the biggest initial public offering in U.S. history. They were priced at $68 a share.