Is the US Becoming a 'Rentership' Society?
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Hundreds of thousands of foreclosed homes look like a good investment — not for re-sale, but for rentals on a massive scale. Will George W. Bush's "ownership society" morph into a "rentership society?" Also, President Obama signs the JOBS Act, and the Greek "Island of the Blind."
Banner image: The front door with a lock is seen in a foreclosed house in the lower Naugatuck Valley in Connecticut. Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images
President Obama Signs the JOBS Act ()
It's called the JOBS Act, but it's not what it sounds. "JOBS" stands for "Jump Start Our Business Startups." Majority Leader Harry Reid had to beg Senate Democrats to vote for it, so President Obama could sign it today. Jamie Tarabay is White House Managing Editor for the National Journal.
Is a 'Rentership Society' the Next Phase in the Housing Crisis? ()
Major investors with lots of cash are scooping up foreclosed homes and converting them into rental properties. In Riverside, California — an area hard hit by the housing crisis — one company is buying up five to seven foreclosed homes every day. Warren Buffett says rentals are much more profitable than stocks, and he'd like to buy up "a couple hundred thousand homes." Prices are way down, mortgage credit is hard to get and the time is right to out-bid individual families. Will traditional, first-time home-buyers have a chance against private equity funds? Will home ownership be possible for fewer and fewer Americans?
This story was informed in part from sources in the Public Insight Network. To find out more, see our website, http://www.kcrw.com/insight.
- Motoko Rich: New York Times, @motokorich
- Barry Zigas: Consumer Federation of America, @zigassoc
- Sharon Kinlaw: Fair Housing Council of the San Fernando Valley
- Rick Sharga: Carrington Holdings, @ricksharga
- Cheryl Russell: New Strategist Publications, @TrendCop
Corruption Crackdown in Greece ()
The financial crisis in Greece now ranges from the tragic to the ridiculous. Austerity measures in that country took a sad toll today when an elderly man whose pension had been reduced shot himself to death in front of the parliament house in Athens. His suicide note said he wanted to die with dignity before he had to search for food in the trash. But another side to the story is rampant corruption. Consider Zakynthos, now known as "the Island of the Blind," as we hear from James Angelos, reporting for the Wall Street Journal.
- James Angelos: freelance journalist
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