Icelandic film Rams wins Cannes Un Certain Regard prize

first_img Top Stories How men can have a healthy 2019 4 sleep positions for men and what they mean New Year’s resolution: don’t spend another year in a kitchen you don’t like Milstead says best way to stop wrong-way incidents is driving sober Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility FILE – In this Friday, May 15, 2015 file photo, actor Theodor Juliusson, left, director Grimur Hakonarson, center, and Sigurdur Sigurjonsson pose for photographers during a photo call for the film Hrutar (Rams), at the 68th international film festival, Cannes, southern France. “Rams,” a film about the relationship between farmers and sheep in a remote Icelandic valley, won the Cannes Film Festival’s Un Certain Regard competition Saturday, May 23, 2015. (AP Photo/Thibault Camus, File) Sponsored Stories center_img Former Arizona Rep. Don Shooter shows health improvement New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies CANNES, France (AP) — “Rams,” a drama set among farmers and their sheep in a remote Icelandic valley, won the Cannes Film Festival’s Un Certain Regard competition on Saturday.Jury president Isabella Rossellini said Grimur Hakonarson’s film was being honored for “treating in a masterful, tragicomic way the undeniable bond that links all humans to animals.”There were 19 films in the Un Certain Regard competition, which honors new directors and more offbeat films than those up for Cannes’ main Palme d’Or prize. Comments   Share   ErrorOK ErrorOK The second-place Jury Prize went to Croatian director Dalibor Matanic for “Zvizdan” (“The High Sun”), which explores love and ethnic hatred in the Balkans. Matanic dedicated the prize to his producer, his wife and his soon-to-be-born daughter.“I hope she will live in a better and far more tolerant world,” he said.The jury bestowed the directing prize on Kiyoshi Kurosawa for “Journey to the Shore,” and also gave awards to “Treasure,” by Romania’s Corneliu Porumboiu, “Nahid” by Iranian director Ida Panahandeh and “Masaan” by India’s Neeraj Ghaywan.Actress-director Rossellini said serving on the jury had been “like taking a flight over the planet and seeing all its inhabitants and their emotions.”“I think we are the envy of every anthropologist,” she said.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.last_img read more

Iraq Bombings kill 18 in and around Baghdad

first_imgBAGHDAD (AP) — A series of bombings targeting public places and Iraqi security forces killed 18 people in and around Baghdad on Tuesday, officials said.The deadliest attack took place on Tuesday night, when a car bomb went off near restaurants and shop in Palestine Street in eastern Baghdad, killing eight people and wounding 20 there, police officials said.Several shops and cars were burned in the attack and police sealed off the blast area. Earlier in the day, a roadside bomb struck an army patrol in Youssifiyah, just south of the Iraqi capital, killing three soldiers and one civilian. At least eight people were wounded in that attack, the officials said.And two separate explosions near a vegetable market and on a commercial street killed six people and wounded 21 in western Baghdad.Medical officials in nearby hospitals confirmed the casualties. All officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak to the media.Nobody immediately claimed responsibility for the attacks.Baghdad and outlying areas see near-daily bombings, and many of them are later claimed by the Islamic State group, which seized large parts of the country during a stunning blitz last year.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. 4 sleep positions for men and what they mean Top Stories Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Comments   Share   5 people who need to visit the Ultrastar Multi-tainment Center New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Sponsored Stories Patients with chronic pain give advicelast_img read more

China Uighurs deported from Thailand wanted to join jihad

first_img Comments   Share   Sponsored Stories New Valley school lets students pick career-path academies Ex-FBI agent details raid on Phoenix body donation facility Top Stories Meanwhile, Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying on Saturday voiced China’s “strong dissatisfaction with and opposition to” remarks by the U.S. State Department that it was deeply concerned about the protection of asylum-seekers in Thailand because of the case.Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed. Check your body, save your life China’s official Xinhua News Agency said late Saturday that the 109 illegal immigrants had been on their way “to join jihad,” and that 13 of them had fled China after being implicated in terrorist activities. Another two had escaped detention, Xinhua said, citing the Ministry of Public Security.Xinhua’s report also claimed that a Chinese police investigation had uncovered several gangs recruiting people for jihad, and that Turkish diplomats in some Southeast Asian countries had facilitated the illegal movement of people.The Uighurs (pronounced WEE-gurs) are a Turkic-speaking Muslim minority in China’s far western region of Xinjiang. The group has complained of harsh cultural and religious suppression as well as economic marginalization under Chinese rule.Beijing has accused Uighur separatists of terrorism in Xinjiang, where ethnic violence has left hundreds of people dead.Many of the 109 had been radicalized by materials released by the World Uyghur Congress and the East Turkestan Islamic Movement, Xinhua said. The former is a Munich-based Uighur rights group, and China has designated the latter a terrorist organization.In response to the report, Dilxat Raxit, World Uyghur Congress spokesman, said Sunday: “China is defending itself and shirking responsibility for Uighurs fleeing because of its policy of suppression. The so-called radicals are those who hope to flee China and live a stable and dignified life in a safe and free country.” Here’s how to repair and patch damaged drywall Mesa family survives lightning strike to home Get a lawn your neighbor will be jealous of BEIJING (AP) — China’s official news agency said that 109 ethnic Uighurs who Thailand deported to China amid international criticism that the refugees could face persecution had been on their way to Turkey, Syria or Iraq to help wage holy war.On Thursday, Thai authorities sent back the Uighurs, who had been in Thailand for over a year and claimed to be Turkish, after determining they were Chinese. The repatriations were criticized by the U.N. refugee agency as “a flagrant violation of international law.” Rights groups expressed fears that they could face torture. In Turkey’s capital, Istanbul, protesters ransacked the Thai consulate to denounce the decision. 4 sleep positions for men and what they meanlast_img read more

Swissôtel celebrates milestone achievement in style

first_imgSwissôtel Hotels & Resorts had a lot to celebrate last night at their Sydney hotel Presidential Suite, bringing industry friends together to mark their 30th global Anniversary, the launch of their first hotel in India and a new culinary team at the Swissôtel Sydney.To mark the milestone 30th anniversary, the hotel group launched a 30 per cent discount on the best overnight rate for bookings 30 days in advance across all of their international hotels, which has now been lifted to 29 after adding Kolkata this month. Executive Chef Justin Zammit with a sampling of the desserts Swissôtel Sydney’s Renee Bou-Samra, Samantha Noble & Swissôtel Singapore, Carolyn Tay The new five star deluxe hotel is part of Kolkata’s second City Centre shopping mall, and features 147 rooms, three restaurants, lobby and rooftop poolside bars, as well as conference facilities and banquet spaces.  However, it was the new culinary team at the Swissôtel Sydney that stole the show last night, offering guests a sampling of their new menu, which included a twist to a traditional Bellini, mouthwatering canapés and delectable desserts.    The team is helmed by Executive Chef Justin Zammit and F&B Manager Brook Sargeant, together bringing years of domestic and international experience, and have revamped the entire food and beverage options at the Swissôtel Sydney and in particular the hotel’s signature restaurant, Jpb.For more information on any Swissôtel property, visit www.swissotel.comcenter_img Swissôtel Sydney General Manager, Wayne Horbach, Dir Media Relations, Carolyn Tay, Executive Chef Justin Zammit & F&B Manager, Brook Sargeant Source = e-Travel Blackboard: D.Mlast_img read more

The Spa at Coworth Park voted Best UK Hotel Spa

first_imgThe Spa at Coworth Park has been named top UK Hotel Spa, ranking it 5th best in the world, by readers of Condé Nast Traveller who also listed The Dorchester Spa eighth in the UK.Following Condé Nast Traveller’s annual Readers’ Spa Awards last night, Coworth Park, Dorchester Collection’s country house hotel and spa, is delighted to announce that The Spa at Coworth Park was voted Best Hotel Spa UK 2012. The Dorchester Spa was voted No.8 within the same category which included 10 spa nominations from around the UK. The Spa at Coworth Park was also ranked 5th in Condé Nast Traveller’s World’s Top 30 spas, the first UK spa to be listed within the round-up.Every year Condé Nast Traveller asks their readers to vote for the best spas from around the world. Using rating criteria such as ambience, design, treatments, cuisine, and service and staff, the results are collated and then audited by an independent market research company. The Spa at Coworth Park was particularly rated for its ‘accommodation’ and ‘service/staff’.Commenting on the win, Zoe Jenkins, General Manager at Coworth Park, said: ‘We are thrilled to receive such recognition from the readers of Condé Nast Traveller. The Spa at Coworth Park is a fantastic element within the hotel’s offering and we can only congratulate and thank Spa Manager, Ann Costelloe and her team for their continuous dedication to provide only the best service, treatments and facilities to our guests at Coworth Park.’The Spa at Coworth Park is flooded with natural daylight and offers stunning views across the hotel’s polo fields and wildflower meadow.  It is the first UK hotel spa, and the first hotel spa outside the USA, to offer 100% organic Dr Alkaitis treatments, alongside three of the award-winning product ranges currently offered at The Dorchester Spa; namely Carol Joy London, Aromatherapy Associates and Kerstin Florian.  The spa features eight treatment rooms including two doubles, a manicure and pedicure suite, relaxation room, The Spatisserie, gym, indoor pool and an outdoor sun terrace where guests can recline on sun loungers and relax within the spa’s contemporary eco-luxury setting.  Source = Coworth Parklast_img read more

Regal iClub Hotel Awarded Top 25 Trendiest Hotels in China by TripAdvi

first_imgRegal iClub Hotel was recently awarded “Top 25 Trendiest Hotels in China’’ of 2012 Travelers’ Choice Awards by TripAdvisor. This award recognizes the outstanding performance of the Hotel and offers trusted advice to worldwide travellers to choose Regal iClub Hotel. TripAdvisor is the world’s largest travel website. Its annual TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice awards honor the world’s best hotels, earning their distinction from their real travellers. The award for Regal iClub Hotel is based on millions of valuable reviews and opinions from travellers around the world. This award only goes to a very select and distinguished group of hotels. Regal iClub Hotel is the first Carbon Neutral Hotel in Hong Kong. With a total of 99 chic and trendy guestrooms and suites, the Hotel boasts a balance of modern simplicity and sophistication. Designed to offer style and comfort to tech-savvy business travellers, the Regal iClub Hotel features a revolutionary array of interactive services and innovative facilities.The Hotel is committed to providing high quality service and facilities to its customers. Source = Regal Hotels Internationallast_img read more

Indias biggest ever inbound travel show a hit

first_imgGujarat Travel Mart hosted a record number of buyers and exhibitors. Called the ‘biggest ever inbound travel event’ in India, the Gujarat Travel Mart (GTM) has been and gone for another year – but not before hosting a record number of buyers and exhibitors from around the country.Held at the Mahatma Mandir Convention & Exhibition Centre in the Gujarati capital Gandhi Nagar, GTM succeeded in bringing together some150 exhibitors from 20 tourism sectors across India with more than 250 buyers from over 30 countries.Around 25 percent more buyers and 40 percent more exhibitors attended this year’s event, which hopes to build on recent tourism growth to the state – at 16 percent, double that of the national average last year.Talking at the GTM inauguration, Gujarat chief minister Shri Narendra Modi said he was looking forward to using feedback from trade visitors to help develop Gujarat’s tourism potential “to the maximum”.“I was told that you’ll be spending two days in Gujarat – if you have any suggestions for our existing tourism locations – or any other unexplored tourism sites – please bring to our notice,” Mr Modi told guests of the event, candidly.“Secondly, if any changes in policies are needed or other good policies from around the world, please bring to our attention and we’ll try our very best to implement it.”Welcoming visitors to the “this great land of Mahatma Gandhi”, a land “known for its hospitality” and “unique tourist locations”, the prime ministerial candidate then took a walk through the tradeshow floor, where he was mobbed by press and onlookers.e-Travel Blackboard was in the thick of the action at GTM. Check out more news from the event here.Source = e-Travel Blackboard: M. H.last_img read more

New Zealands business events showcase starts in Auckland

first_imgConventions and Incentives New Zealand’s (CINZ) annual showcase, MEETINGS 2015 kicked off with a welcome event for 650 people at Hilton Auckland last night.   CINZ Chief Executive Sue Sullivan says the event is New Zealand’s leading platform for connecting influential domestic, Australian and international buyers with key regions, meeting facilities, accommodation, off-site venues and activities.  “Our welcome at the Hilton Auckland showcased the sparkling waterfront, where multi-talented entertainer Jackie Clarke set the tone for an exciting event.” Spectacular stand designs for the two-day show, which opened this morning, bring experiences from 18 regions of New Zealand under one roof at ASB Showgrounds.   Exhibitors and buyers are paired together for 5,600 appointments, while masterclasses for professional conference organisers, a celebrity speaker showcase, mentorship programme add to the networking aspects of the show.  “We are seeing strong interest in New Zealand as a place to host great conferences, incentives and events. The feedback from 60 Australian event organisers who toured our regions this week has been tremendous,” Sue Sullivan says.  “New Zealand buyers have travelled from all over the country to join us for the two days, together with a significant number of local Auckland event organisers coming in each day.” CINZ MEETINGS 2015 is open to anyone who organises business events, meetings, conferences, exhibitions and incentive travel.    Air New Zealand is principal sponsor of MEETINGS 2015, and major sponsors are ASB Showgrounds, Peek Exhibition and Centium Software.Source = CINZ Meetings 2015last_img read more

Docklands first fivestar hotel opens with strong demand

first_imgSource = Capital Alliance Mohan Du and Jeremy Nordkamp outside Peppers M DocklandsDocklands’ first five star hotel, Peppers, has opened today almost fully booked, providing confidence in the precinct’s tourism potential to stakeholders and investors.Located in Melbourne developer Capital Alliance’s mixed apartment and hotel project M Docklands, 90 percent of Peppers’ 87 hotel rooms were booked months in advance ahead of Melbourne’s summer sporting season which includes the Australian Open and cricket.Learn more about Capital Alliance in ETB Travel News’ recent Face of Travel feature with Mohan Du.M DocklandsOperated by Mantra Group, it is the first Peppers hotel to open in the city and will join 12 Mantra-branded apartment hotels in Melbourne CBD and the airport.Peppers general manager Jeremy Nordkamp said it was positive to see such strong early demand for the hotel in Docklands.“We’re thrilled to be opening Peppers Docklands today, bringing premium five star accommodation to the precinct and drawing local and international tourists to the area,” Mr Nordkamp said.“With Melbourne’s sporting events peaking over summer, including the Australian Open and cricket season, it’s no surprise we’ve reached 90 per cent capacity upon opening to the public.”Capital Alliance founder and CEO Mohan Du, who led negotiations to bring the five-star hotel to Docklands, said its opening signified the beginning of mixed-use developments reinvigorating the Docklands precinct.“With the opening of Peppers we expect not only an increase in tourists to the area but a new vibrancy to emerge in Docklands,” Mr Du said.“Mixed-use developments that encourage foot traffic 24 hours a day from tourists and residents alike are key to invigorating Docklands and ensuring its success. Without them the area is active only during work hours and commute times – M Docklands will change that.”Designed by Elenberg Fraser, M Docklands also features 186 sold-out residential apartments, which will commence settlement in February.“We are proud to be bringing luxury accommodation to Docklands, further enhancing its charm and transforming it into a 24 hour activated tourism and residential area,” Mr Du said. Peppers Docklandslast_img read more

Oaks Resort Spa Hervey Bay welcomes first guests

first_imgSource = Oaks Hotels & Resorts Oaks Resort & Spa Hervey BayOaks Resort & Spa Hervey Bay welcomes first guestsLeading accommodation provider Oaks Hotels & Resorts, a division of Minor Hotels, has officially completed the acquisition of its newest property, Oaks Resort & Spa Hervey Bay on Queensland’s magnificent Fraser Coast.In a deal brokered by leading accommodation specialist Resort Brokers, Oaks Hotels & Resorts now holds the hotel management rights of the iconic property (formerly Oceans Resort & Spa Hervey Bay), which has enjoyed a rich history as one of the region’s premier and most sought after resorts in this destination.Local industry heavyweights have been quick to pledge their support and embrace the acquisition, commenting that the backing of an established international hotel operator will be a ‘major shot in the arm’ for the Resort and greater Fraser Coast district in terms of tourism growth.General Manager of Fraser Coast Tourism & Events, Martin Simons, said, “The former-Oceans property has been a pace-setter in the local region. Its acquisition by a prominent industry authority such as Oaks Hotels & Resorts – with a portfolio of over 50 properties across Australia and overseas – will deliver major benefits to the Fraser Coast in terms of networking and marketing opportunities.”Broker Glenn Millar, who handled the management rights sale, said Resort Brokers had worked closely with Oaks Hotels & Resorts and Minor Hotels over a number of years, sourcing quality properties in key locations to support the group’s growth plans.“It is especially pleasing to see this premium property acquired by such a top-flight operator with Australia-wide and global marketing power,” Mr Millar said.His sentiments are shared by local community members and current unit owners, who agree the confidence demonstrated by Oaks Hotels & Resorts in the region will be immensely beneficial.“Following a successful business transformation by outgoing hotel managers Chris and Olivia Taylor, the Resort is on an upward trajectory to continue its strong performance into the future. Underpinned by booming tourism numbers to the area, the transition under Oaks Hotels & Resorts is certainly exciting,” said Mr Leigh Bennett, current unit owner and former body corporate representative.Located on Charlton Esplanade in the charming coastal township, Oaks Resort & Spa Hervey Bay commands a prime beachfront position, with uninterrupted views across the Bay and out towards the World Heritage-listed Fraser Island.Featuring 130 guest rooms in a combination of one, two and three bedroom self-contained suites, plus a selection of split-level three bedroom penthouses, the Resort is perfectly suited to travelling families, groups and couples seeking a central location with the luxury of space in the renowned seaside holiday hub.Typical of the Oaks Hotels & Resorts brand, guest rooms are generously sized and open-plan, and feature full kitchens, separate laundries, spacious living and dining areas, king-size beds, and ocean or pool-facing balconies.Resort facilities include two central lagoon-style pools (one of which is heated), a timber leisure deck, children’s ‘splash’ zone, communal barbequing facilities, a well-equipped gymnasium, and onsite day spa featuring six treatment rooms.Guests will relish the convenience of the Resort’s two onsite restaurants, Bayswater Bistro & Bar and Salt Café, offering delicious all-day dining options in a relaxed, waterfront setting.The Resort also lends itself to weddings, conferences and events, with three multipurpose function venues located onsite. The grand Ballroom caters for up to 180 guests sit-down style, while the Fraser and Bryce Boardrooms present as the ideal space for more intimate occasions.Commenting on the acquisition, outgoing General Manager and Director of Oceans Resort & Spa, Chris Taylor, said the property is now primed to operate as a thriving tourism asset.“We are very proud of what we have achieved in building our business into what it is today for the good of the owners and investors, our valuable employees, and the whole of the Fraser Coast,” said Mr Taylor.“The Resort has grown into a community and welcome place for tens of thousands of tourists from all over the world every year. Oaks Hotels & Resorts is poised to take this property to the next level of growth, and have immense international and local resources to achieve this.”To celebrate its debut on the Fraser Coast, Oaks Resort & Spa Hervey Bay is offering an ‘Opening Special’ package for travellers, starting from $169 per night* and including a complimentary bottle of wine and box of chocolates on arrival. Travellers who also enter the ‘MYOAKS’ promo code at the time of booking will unlock a host of exclusive member only benefits.For more information please visit: https://www.oakshotels.com/oaks-resort-and-spa-hervey-bay/offers/opening-speciallast_img read more

Severn Promotes Senior Leader to CFO

first_img February 29, 2012 439 Views Community financial institution “”Severn Savings Bank””:http://www.severnbank.com/ has named a new chief financial officer. The Maryland-based bank recently promoted Stephen W. Lilly to the leadership role.[IMAGE]Prior to his appointment at CFO, Lilly performed as Severn’s senior vice president. Lilly joined the bank in November of last year. Lilly is well prepared for his new role with Severn, having previously served as CFO for “”Bay-Vanguard””:http://www.bayvanguard.com/ Federal Savings[COLUMN_BREAK] Bank in Baltimore, Maryland. Additionally, he boasts extensive industry experience in diverse banking sectors for a variety of financial institutions across the eastern United States.Lilly, a certified public accountant, has acted in financial officer positions for banks throughout Maryland and the District of Columbia. The “”University of Maryland””:http://www.umd.edu/ graduate began his career in public accounting, before moving on to roles in banking.Severn’s executive vice president and chief operating officer, Thomas G. Bevivino, said of Lilly’s promotion to CFO, “”We are pleased to have Steve as a key player on our team.””Bevivino went on to add, “”His experience, depth of knowledge and integrity are a perfect complement to Severn’s management team already in place.””Severn, which is a subsidiary of Severn Bancorp Inc., functions as a full-service community bank and offers a wide range of personal and commercial banking products, as well as residential and commercial mortgage loans. Currently, Severn has four branches located in Annapolis, Edgewater, and Glen Burnie, Maryland. Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Investors Lenders & Servicers Movers & Shakers Processing Service Providers 2012-02-29 Abby Gregory in Data, Government, Origination, Secondary Market, Servicing, Technologycenter_img Severn Promotes Senior Leader to CFO Sharelast_img read more

FHFA August Marks 19 Months of Home Price Gains

first_img Marking 19 consecutive months of appreciation, the “”Federal Housing Finance Agency’s (FHFA) House Price Index””:http://www.fhfa.gov/webfiles/25626/MonthlyHPIAug102313F.pdf rose 0.3 percent on a seasonally adjusted monthly basis in August. On a yearly basis, the index is up 8.5 percent. [IMAGE]Prices are now 9.4 percent below their April 2007 peak, according to FHFA. [COLUMN_BREAK]Of the nine census divisions, FHFA detected the greatest monthly price increase in the Mountain division, where prices increased 1.3 percent in August. The greatest monthly decrease took place in the South Atlantic division, where prices declined 0.5 percent. On a yearly basis, prices in all nine divisions were up, with the greatest increase taking place in the Pacific region, where prices rose 18.2 percent over the year. The Pacific division was followed by the Mountain division–the only other region to report a double-digit gain over the year–at 13.8 percent. Price appreciation was lowest in the Middle Atlantic and New England regions, where prices increased 4 percent and 4.2 percent, respectively. The FHFA relies on price data from homes sold to or guaranteed by the GSEs for its House Price Index each month. price,FHFA: August Marks 19 Months of Home Price Gains Agents & Brokers Attorneys & Title Companies Fannie Mae FHFA Freddie Mac Home Prices Investors Lenders & Servicers Service Providers 2013-10-23 Krista Franks Brock October 23, 2013 420 Views center_img in Origination Sharelast_img read more

Goldman Sachs to Pay Australian Bank 100 Million

first_imgGoldman Sachs to Pay Australian Bank $100 Million Goldman Sachs has been ordered by arbitrators to pay approximately $100 million to National Australia Bank (NAB) for a “conflict of interest” regarding mortgage-backed securities sales in the run-up to the mortgage meltdown, according to media reports.NAB filed a claim against Goldman Sachs for $230 million in December 2012, alleging that the New York-based investment banking firm had violated industry practices regarding its sales of mortgage-backed securities. According to the Wall Street Journal, NAB was seeking $80 million in compensatory damages, $60 million in interest, and punitive damages.Arbitrators from the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority (FINRA) awarded the $80 million compensatory request to NAB plus interest amounting to approximately $20 million, according to reports, bringing the total amount Goldman was ordered to pay up to approximately $100 million.”We are happy with the result because the $100 million award compensates NAB for its losses with interest and also sends the clear message that it is not okay to conceal conflicts of interest from clients,” said attorney Jonathan Pickhardt from Quinn Emanuel, representing NAB in the case, in a statement when contacted by DS News.A spokesperson from Goldman Sachs did not immediately respond to a request for comment.Quinn Emanuel said that NAB invested $80 million in a collateralized-debt obligation (CDO) named Hudson Mezzanine Funding 2006-1 in 2006. Five years later in 2011, the U.S. Senate reported that Goldman did not disclose that it was betting against the value of the Hudson CDO pool while it was trying to convince investors to bet for it. NAB’s attorneys said the bank lost its $80 million investment in the Hudson pool while Goldman collected a profit. The panel of arbitrators said Goldman had engaged in “a significant conflict of interest” by failing to disclose to investors that it had was betting against the Hudson CDO pool.It has been a tough week for Goldman Sachs in the legal department. Last week, the New York State Court of Appeals revived a $120 million lawsuit originally filed by ACA Financial Guaranty Corp accusing Goldman of CDO fraud. The suit had been dismissed by the Appellate Division of the New York Supreme Court two years ago.Goldman agreed to a settlement worth $550 million in 2010 with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission over claims of defrauding Abacus investors. As part of the settlement, Goldman did not admit any wrongdoing. May 12, 2015 475 Views in Daily Dose, Headlines, News, Servicingcenter_img Financial Industry Regulatory Authority Goldman Sachs Mortgage-Backed Securities National Australia Bank 2015-05-12 Seth Welborn Sharelast_img read more

FHFA Reports that Guarantee Fees Have More Than Doubled Since 2009

first_img June 30, 2015 475 Views in Daily Dose, Featured, Government, News Under the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 (HERA) requirements, the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA) is obligated to submit an annual report to Congress concerning Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s guarantee fees. The report titled “Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Single-Family Guarantee Fees in 2014” is an analysis of the GSEs of fees by product type, risk class, and the volume of a lender’s business. The report also reviews the costs of providing the guarantee in comparison to the prior year.According to the FHFA report, the average level of guarantee fees charged has increased since 2009, when the report began. The guarantee fees are now two-and-a-half times their previous level from 2009 to 2014. The average fees increased from 22 basis points to 58 basis points from 2009 to 2014. From 2013 to 2014, average fees increased from 51 basis points to 58 basis points.The report also noted that gaps on 30-year fixed rate loans were more negative and gaps on 15-year loans were more positive in 2014 than in 2013. This is mostly because of changes in the models the Enterprises use to estimate the capital necessary to support their mortgage guarantee business. The gap on 30-year fixed rate loans was negative in relation to targeted return on capital, the returns on capital were positive.The percentage of loans that the Enterprises purchased from small lenders increased significantly in 2014, while pricing differences between small sellers and large sellers remained small, the report said.The Agency also said that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac acquire single-family loans from lenders and securitize them in the form of mortgage-backed securities (MBS). Even though the GSEs have some MBS on their balance sheets, most are held by private investors. The GSEs guarantee an on-time payment of principal and interest for investor-held MBS. In exchange for providing this guarantee, the GSEs charge lenders guarantee fees.“Although the Enterprises are always the ultimate guarantors, they may choose to retain the credit risk on their own balance sheets or, as part of their credit risk-transfer programs, pay private entities to bear some of the credit risk,” the FHFA said.There are three types of costs that the Enterprises expect to incur by providing their guarantee, the report says. First, the cost of borrowers not making their payments. Second, the costs of holding economic capital to protect against potentially much larger, unexpected losses as a result of failure of borrowers to make their payments. Third, general and administrative expenses.The FHFA also revealed that there are two types of guarantee fees: ongoing and upfront. Ongoing fees are collected each month over the life of a loan, while upfront fees are one-time payments made by lenders when a loan is acquired by an Enterprise.“Fannie Mae refers to upfront fees as loan level pricing adjustments, and Freddie Mac refers to them as delivery fees,” the report said. “Both ongoing and upfront fees compensate the Enterprises for providing credit guarantees. To date, the Enterprises have relied primarily on upfront fees to reflect differences in risk across loans as opposed to ongoing fees.”Recent improvements in the housing market, the FHFA has decided to removed the 25 basis point upfront Adverse Market Charge instituted in 2008 for all states effective with September 2015 loan deliveries. They plan to replace this revenue by making targeted increases to a subset of loans, including some higher risk loan segments and those with both high credit scores and low loan-to-value (LTV) ratios.”In April 2015, FHFA completed a comprehensive review of the agency’s policy for guarantee fees charged by the Enterprises to lenders,” the FHFA said. “FHFA decided not to change the general level of fees. However, FHFA made certain minor and targeted fee adjustments. Overall, the set of modest changes to guarantee fees is roughly revenue neutral and will result in little or no change for most borrowers.”Main risk characteristics that determine the estimated cost of guaranteeing a single-family mortgage:Borrower credit historyDebt-to-income ratioLoan-to-value (LTV) ratioMortgage insurance coverageLoan purpose (purchase, rate-term refinance, cash-out refinance)Occupancy status (primary home, investor)Property type (single-family, condominium, 2-4 unit, manufactured housing)Product type (fixed, adjustable rate, maturity term)Mortgage interest rateClick here to view the FHFA’s Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac Single-Family Guarantee Fees in 2014 report.  Fannie Mae Federal Housing Finance Agency Freddie Mac Guarantee Fees Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 2015-06-30 Staff Writercenter_img FHFA Reports that Guarantee Fees Have More Than Doubled Since 2009 Sharelast_img read more

What States Offer the Most Ideal Lifestyle

first_img August 15, 2016 475 Views Share Median Housing Price 2016-08-15 Seth Welborn What States Offer the Most Ideal Lifestyle?center_img in Daily Dose, Data, Headlines, News If families wanted to find the places with the most affordable housing, safest neighborhoods, most affordable child care, best job security, highest income, and the best education opportunities, where would they go?Analysis from GoBankingRates of all 50 states plus the District of Columbia ranked each one according to 12 factors in order to determine where families can enjoy the best lifestyle. The factors spanned the categories of jobs and income (median household income and state’s unemployment rate), housing (median home listing price and state property tax), lifestyle (state sales tax, child care cost, cost of groceries, and school district grades), healthcare (average cost of healthcare premium and how much the employer contributes to employee health insurance), and safety (violent crime and property crime rates).The study found that New Hampshire topped the list of best places to live due to its low crime rates, highly rated schools, low child care costs, and zero sales tax. North Dakota, Delaware, Montana, and Wyoming rounded out the top five.Source: GOBankingRatesWashington, D.C., ranked last on the list because of its high unemployment rate (fourth in the nation), high median home price ($549,900, second in the nation), high child care costs ($40,000 a year, more than double the national average), high cost of groceries, and high crime rate.“There really is no ‘one size fits all’ formula for those trying to decide the best place to raise their families today,” said Kristen Bonner, lead researcher on the GOBankingRates study. “Our study examined some of the main concerns families have during this process and found that it is possible to live in states where the cost of living won’t drain your bank account and your children can still attend good schools in a safe environment.”The two states with the lowest median home price (about $140,000), Ohio and Indiana, ranked 24th and 28th on the list, respectively. Maryland had the highest median household income at approximately $74,000 per year (more than $20,000 higher than the national average) but ranked only 25th on the list because of its higher-than-average crime rate, health insurance premium, and median home price.Click here to view the entire list to see where each state ranks.last_img read more

A Look Back at Hensarlings Financial Positions

first_imgA Look Back at Hensarling’s Financial Positions in Daily Dose, Featured, Government Hensarling HOUSING mortgage 2017-10-31 Nicole Casperson U.S. Rep. Jeb Hensarling (R-Texas), who currently chairs the Financial Services Committee, announced Tuesday that he will not seek re-election in 2018.”Today I am announcing that I will not seek re-election to the US Congress in 2018. Although service in Congress remains the greatest privilege of my life, I never intended to make it a lifetime commitment, and I have already stayed far longer than I had originally planned,” Hensarling wrote in a statement on Tuesday, according to the Dallas Morning News.Despite his retirement announcement, Hensarling expressed how more work remains at the House Financial Services Committee in the areas of housing finance reform, regulatory relief, cybersecurity, and capital formation. “Furthermore, important work remains in the Congress as a whole—especially pro-growth tax reform. I look forward to continuing this work on behalf of the people of the 5th District of Texas and all Americans,” Hensarling wrote.Looking back at Hensarling’s financial positions, what could this announcement mean for the housing industry?Hensarling has long advocated replacing Dodd-Frank, the reform package designed to limit the high-risk practices that triggered the financial crisis, and has often been at odds with Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Director Richard Cordray.MReport has been following Hensarling vs. Cordray throughout the year, reporting Hensarling’s displeasure towards the bureau.Additionally, Hensarling once called it, “the most powerful and least accountable Washington bureaucracy in history.”To defend himself and the bureau, Cordray responded at the time, “Years of uneven federal oversight on behalf of consumers allowed a lot of bad behavior to go unchecked. As the independent consumer watchdog, we are solely focused on the job Congress gave us of assuring that these markets are fair, transparent, and competitive and consumers have access to sound financial products and services.”However, on June 8, 2017, the House of Representatives passed the Financial CHOICE Act, originally introduced by Hensarling, as it significantly amending the 2010 Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, MReport reported.In mid-April, Republicans introduced the bill, arguing that Dodd-Frank and the subsequent regulation that ensued harms economic growth and ultimately, the American consumer. According to the proposal, Dodd-Frank’s particular brand of regulatory complexity and government micromanagement made basic financial services less accessible to small businesses and lower-income Americans.Hensarling has continuously fought for what he is passionate about during his time in office and although his time is coming to a close, he assures the public that he will continue to press for what he believes is best for the financial services of the American people.”Although I will not be running for re-election, there are 14 months left in my congressional term to continue the fight for individual liberty, free enterprise, and limited constitutional government—the causes for which I remain passionate,” Hensarling wrote.The industry will have to wait and see how the rest of Hensarling’s term pans out to determine the type of impact the end of his tenure will truly have.Hensarling has represented Congressional District 5 in the Dallas area since he was elected in November 2002.Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas) said in a statement that throughout his time in Congress, Hensarling has always been a conservative, principled leader, Dallas Morning News reported. “I want to thank him for his service to our country, the Texas delegation, and to our conference as Financial Services Chairman,” Sessions said. “I am proud to call Jeb not only my colleague but my dear friend.”center_img October 31, 2017 545 Views Sharelast_img read more

First American Launches equiRisk

first_img First American Mortgage Solutions have announced the launch of equiRisk for home equity originations. According to First American, this “unique and user-friendly” data information report optimizes First American’s proprietary data assets to help lenders reduce risk, stay compliant, and accelerate closing to improve the borrower experience.equiRisk combines ownership, real estate tax, open voluntary and involuntary lien data and vesting deed documents. Unlike traditional property reports, equiRisk also pulls from multiple proprietary and third-party data sources to create a comprehensive borrower profile and risk assessment within a single, consolidated structure to create process efficiencies and reduce origination costs. This innovative offering is part of the company’s equiSolutions suite of products covering the home equity mortgage lifecycle, from prospecting and origination to post-closing and portfolio management.“By levering the most complete and accurate information, underpinned by First American’s unmatched data, equiRisk enables lenders to maximize business opportunities and minimize risk like no property report can,” said Kevin Wall, President of First American Mortgage Solutions.quiRisk offers an at-a-glance analysis summary that calls out potential higher risk data and provides hyperlinks directly to the report section for deeper review. The report presents information associated with a borrower, including property type, listing status, homeowner association data, other owned properties, identity/SSN discrepancies, and Watchlist and FEMA checks, alleviating the need for additional research or inquiries to the borrower and helping lenders reach quicker decisions.First American Mortgage Solutions, together with First American’s broader capabilities, serves as a single source for title and settlement, data and analytics, fraud and verification, regulatory compliance, valuation and collateral risk, quality control, fulfillment services, and default services. More information about First American Mortgage Solutions can be found at https://www.firstam.com/mortgagesolutions. September 24, 2018 536 Views First American Launches equiRisk in Newscenter_img First American 2018-09-24 Seth Welborn Sharelast_img read more

Home Prices Smallest Annual Gain Since 2012

first_img Dr. Daryl Fairweather Home Prices Homebuyers Redfin 2019-03-18 Donna Joseph in Daily Dose, Featured, Market Studies, News March 18, 2019 696 Views Sharecenter_img According to a Redfin report, home Prices in February recorded the smallest year-over-year gain since March 2012 at 0.6 percent and a median of $287,400. The prices fell more than 8percent  in San Francisco and San Jose. Newark, Milwaukee, and Buffalo saw prices rise more than 10 percent, the report found. “When home prices are going up quickly, buyers feel like they are forced to move fast and purchase a home before prices rise even more. Now that home prices are growing slower than inflation (prices for consumer goods were up 1.5 percent annually in February), there really isn’t much downside to taking your time,” said Daryl Fairweather, Chief Economist at Redfin. “And now that mortgage rates are no longer going up every week, buyers in many markets have the luxury of knowing that whether they buy now or later they will pay about the same for a home.”The report noted that home prices fell in 10 of the 85 largest metro areas tracked by Redfin, with the largest year-over-year declines in Bridgeport, Connecticut (-15.2percent), San Jose, California (-11.3percent) and San Francisco (-7.9 percent). Newark (12.2 percent), Milwaukee (11.8 percent) and Buffalo, NY (11.7 percent) were the metros with the biggest increases in home prices from last year. Completed home sales recorded an increase nationally for the first time in seven months and only the third time in the past 12 months in February, up 1.9 percent from the prior year. Redfin data indicated that the overall trend in home sales has been falling since late 2016. February may be the start of a reversal in this trend as home sales fell in 41 of the 85 largest metro areas that Redfin tracks. The report stated that the number of homes for sale at the end of the month was up 2.9 percent from a year earlier in February. The number of homes newly listed for sale fell from February 2018 (-4.8 percent).Home-selling speeds, previously at 35 days on market last May, slowed year-over-year again in February. The typical home that sold in February went under contract in a median of 59 days, two days longer than a year earlier.”Because homes are sitting on the market longer and the market is less competitive than last year, first-time homebuyers now have a better chance of winning a home,” said Fairweather. “That could mean more potential buyers in the spring. Home sales are already rebounding this month, and that trend may continue now that the market is more balanced,” Fairweather said. Read the full report here. Home Prices: Smallest Annual Gain Since 2012last_img read more

Speculation mounts over Dole corporate office move

first_img Speculation mounts over Dole corporate office move … Total Produce’s 2018 revenues rise 18% on back of … Dole trucks attacked in Honduras as protests build … Dole Food Company’s Fresh Vegetables division has entered into a new partnership that will expand the company’s product line to include new ideas in fresh fruits and vegetables.Partnering with New Jersey-based Safeway Fresh Foods, a leader in innovative fresh concepts, the two companies will co-develop new products for consumers looking for healthy and fresh food options.Dole’s Fresh Vegetables division is a North American leader in value-added salads and the market leader in salad kits.“Through our collaboration, Dole Fresh Vegetables will expand our portfolio of offerings to include items such as a full line of ready-to-eat salads, snacks, fresh-cut platters, value-added vegetables and many other possibilities,” said Dole Fresh Vegetables president Michael Solomon. October 10 , 2018 center_img You might also be interested in U.S.: Dole inks deal for executive office in uptow … “Safeway brings a tremendous strength in production that greatly complements Dole’s innovation strategy and product sales and marketing. There is a great synergy between our companies which will ultimately benefit our customers and consumers with new products that are being developed to satisfy needs not being met by current products in the marketplace.”Safeway Group CEO Frank Tedesco said the two companies have “a great history, working together for many years on one-off projects.””This partnership allows us to consistently tap each other’s resources, and leverage each other’s strengths in the co-development of new product ideas,” he said.Dole said it plans to also work closely with customers in both produce and deli to develop and offer these new product lines to stores during 2019.last_img read more

Top Stories

first_img Top Stories Les Miles, who is the head football coach at Louisiana State University, cared about Tyrann Mathieu.Yet, before the 2012 season could kickoff, he dismissed him from the team.As Miles told Arizona Sports 620’s Doug and Wolf Tuesday, nothing Mathieu did negatively impacted the team on the field, in the locker room, or socially. However, at some point the decision to dismiss Mathieu from the team had to be made, as the player’s issues with drugs became too much. The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo So the hope — really, the expectation — is that Mathieu’s past is just that, and he’s ready to get a once-promising career back on track now that he’s in the NFL. The player’s problem, his former coach said, is that he’s “a pleaser.” “He’s one of those guys that when somebody asks him to come, he feels obligated,” he said. “But is he malicious? Absolutely not.“You will find that he will adhere to team policy and team rules; he was always a tremendous contributor to our team.”In two college seasons, Mathieu tallied 133 total tackles, four interceptions and six fumble recoveries. He averaged 17.2 yards per return on 25 punts, two of which he returned for touchdowns. But again, the 5-foot-9, 186-pound player who the Cardinals plan to play at safety has had few troubles when standing between the white lines.“His issue was off the field, and his issue was the same way that he wants to please his teammates and make plays and compete, and compete with great heart and a lion’s mentality,” Miles said. “In the same way, if he goes to the social life, he wants to help those guys and be with friends and really has a difficult time discerning the difference.” Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires The Cardinals, though, are betting that they can help Mathieu with just that. Mathieu will turn 21 on May 13, meaning though he’s had some troubles, his entire life is still ahead of him. And, as of right now, it could include a great career in football.“I think he realizes this is a great opportunity, Arizona and Coach Arians have taken and made for him,” the coach said. “Now it’s time for him to realize his dream and play for years.”And for what it’s worth, Miles is confident Mathieu will do exactly that.“I think there’s a need to surround him with the right structure and the right style of guys, but I would bet on him,” he said. “I’ve seen his want and I see who he is being more important than whatever issues could be on the perimeter.” Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and sellingcenter_img LISTEN: Les Miles, LSU Head Football Coach “He was the one who took most of the negativity and the detriment,” he said. “The loss was to the team and the loss was certainly felt. “Not something that we wanted to sustain and certainly not something that the team needed.”But, Miles added, “This guy is a special person and I’ve got to root for him.”Miles and Arizona Cardinals fans both, now that the team chose him in the third round of the NFL Draft last week. “He will be a tremendous contributor,” Miles said. Mathieu, who did not play for anybody in 2012, was a consensus All-American, First-Team All-SEC, the SEC Defensive Player of the Year and a Heisman Trophy finalist in 2011. “He’s a guy who really was meant to play football,” Miles said. “He’s a guy that really just loves it and looks for those opportunities to make Tyrann Mathieu-style of plays. “Now, the key to Ty is just to make sure he keeps his focus on those things that are important to him,” the coach said. “As long as he doesn’t allow a social life to draw him into things, he’ll be a tremendous player for Arizona for years.”And therein lies the rub with regards to Mathieu. He’s as talented as any player in the draft, and can be a real weapon for the Cardinals on the field. That would have been true while the player was at LSU, yet Mathieu’s off the field issues could not be overcome while he was in college. Comments   Share   Your browser does not support the audio element. Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactlast_img read more