Another Typical Day At GM? JPM Not Welcome To Miami and Building Good Sentiment

What’s old is new again…

Image courtesy of Paul/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Paul/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

On Wednesday, GM CEO Mary Barra heads to Washington DC to face yet another congressional grilling  – this time over how her company plans to fix the lax corporate culture that led to faulty ignition switches, 54 crashes and thirteen deaths. She’ll also be grilled on how GM plans to the compensate the victims of its lax corporate culture that fostered “negligence.” GM is in the midst of fixing its faulty ignition switches in 2.6 million vehicles. However, it’s only gotten around to about 7% of them, which amounts to about 177,000 cars, since the recall was announced four months ago. But the auto maker better step on it since 3.2 million more recalls were just announced on vehicles from 2000-2014. GM hopes, as we all do, that all the vehicles will be fixed by October.

Miami heat on JPM…

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Miami is not shining bright on JP Morgan Chase these days. The city, yes the entire city, is suing the bank for discriminatory lending. Miami is one of the country’s leaders in “zombie” properties and foreclosures. It blames the mega bank for much of this claiming the bank issued loans that made it harder for minorities to pay them back which ultimately led to tens of thousands of foreclosures in the region. Miami alleges JPM violated the federal Fair Housing Act and wants all sorts of legal damages awarded to it for things like reduced property taxes and municipal services because of foreclosures. Providence, Rhode Island and Los Angeles have also filed lawsuits against banks for similar reasons. Bank of America has been sued for “red-lining” no-loan zones even when minorities qualified for better loans. Of course, a JPM spokesperson called the claims “baseless.”

Not the best of sentiments…

Image courtesy of Supertrooper/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Supertrooper/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Homebuilders are feeling a little bit more confident as far as the new house market is concerned. According to the National Association of Home Builders/Wells Fargo sentiment index, that sentiment rose to 49. Which is almost good news. When that sentiment is above 50, then we can all breathe a collective sigh of relief. But there hasn’t been any relief sighing since before January. Yes, winter was bit of a culprit there. But that number, even if it is a bit shy of where we’d like it to be, still shows that the home-buying matket is on its way to stabilizing, albeit slower than we’d like. New home sales are still at half the rate of what they should be in an otherwise healthy market that is currently down 4% from what it was a year earlier.

 

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