Monday Morning Cup of Coffee takes a look at news coming across the HousingWire weekend desk, with more coverage on bigger issues.
For years, an anonymous blogger has written about nonpublic details surrounding celebrity home sales, their identity a mystery that has plagued Los Angeles real estate circles.
But now, the author of the blog, previously known only as Yolanda’s Little Black Book, has been revealed.
From a Los Angeles Times article:
By gleefully revealing tightly guarded details of the latest multimillion-dollar celebrity housing transactions, the gossipy anonymous blog has wreaked havoc among the city’s elite real estate agents and their wealthy clients. But who is behind the website, whose writer goes by such aliases as Yolanda Yakketyyak, the Real Estate Yenta and Donald Frump?
As it turns out, a record search by the LA Times found that the registrant and administrator of the blog is a recent finance manager for brokerage firm Compass, Jim McClain.
From the article:
“This evening we discovered evidence suggesting that we were the victim of a malicious former employee, James McClain,” [Compass] spokeswoman Julie Binder said. “We will prosecute this individual to the fullest extent of the law.”
Two of President Donald Trump’s departments are going head-to-head in a legal battle over who is responsible for overseeing student loan companies.
Last year, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau began a case against student loan company Navient, claiming the company caused borrowers to struggle unnecessarily by steering them to repayment plans that weren’t in their best interest, according to an article by Jillian Berman for MarketWatch.
But as it turns out, not all government agencies are on the same side. Earlier this week, the CFPB submitted a letter to the judge saying Navient isn’t producing essential documents because the company doesn’t have permission from the Department of Education.
From the article:
Though it seems like a wonky regulatory battle, the letter is the latest sign of the tussle between the Department of Education, state lawmakers and the CFPB over whether student loan companies’ relationship with the Department of Education shields them from other legal challenges.
Friday, Navient filed its own letter, asking the judge to hold an in-person conference to give the Department of Education a chance to be heard.
TBD what happens next, and who wins this latest power struggle.
The World Cup is over (Congratulations France, first win since 1998!) so several key events happening in Congress this week should have less competition for viewership.
First off, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell is set to give his semi-annual congressional testimony. He will testify before the Senate on Tuesday, then before the House on Wednesday.
This will be Powell’s first semi-annual testimony since taking over for former Fed Chair Janet Yellen earlier this year.
He is expected to touch on topics such as the impact of tariffs, rising inflation, and the flattening yield curve, according to Capital Economics Chief Economist Paul Ashworth.
“The politically-savvy Powell will temper his criticism of Trump and his tariffs,” Ashworth said. “As he noted in an interview this week, ‘when we don’t make policy, we don’t praise it; we don’t criticize it.’ But Powell went on to warn that, 'you can imagine situations which would be very challenging, where inflation is going up and the economy is weakening.’”
Currently, Trump’s trade war continues to progress. Earlier this week, the president announced his next step – tariffs on $200 billion in Chinese imports.
One expert previously explained that trade war uncertainties could continue to keep mortgage rates lower, but a recent report from Capital Economics showed the tariffs could actually push the Federal Reserve to continue raising rates.
Powell’s testimony could provide more answers on how the Fed views the trade war, current economic conditions, and what it means for interest rates.
But Powell isn’t the only one appearing before Congress this week. On Thursday, Trump’s pick for CFPB director, Kathy Kraninger will make her first appearance before the Senate as they consider her nomination.
Already the Senate has been gearing up to question Kraninger. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., announced in June that she will freeze out Kraninger until she has more answers on the potential director’s role in the current border immigration policy.
However, there’s a major catch to Warren’s hold up of the nomination: It might be just what the administration wants.
Already, several groups have begun to comment that Kraninger's nomination is simply a ploy to keep current Acting Director Mick Mulvaney at the helm for a while longer.
But while Kraninger’s nomination is uncertain, what is sure is Thursday’s hearing is set to hold no small amount of controversy. Don’t worry if you don’t have time to watch it, you can check HousingWire’s coverage for all the important bits.
And with that, have a good week!