September 11, 2018 561 Views Lenders Get Bearish on Profit Margins Share Mortgage lenders have reported a net negative profit margin outlook for the eighth consecutive quarter according to Fannie Mae’s Q3 2018 Mortgage Lender Sentiment Survey. As mortgage demand erodes further, lenders’ profit outlook this quarter was worse than the outlooks reported last quarter and one year ago.”Lenders continued their bearish trend this quarter, as they note ongoing anemic refinance activity and the worst purchase mortgage demand for a third quarter in the survey’s history,” said Doug Duncan, SVP and Chief Economist at Fannie Mae. “The profit outlook remains negative, with those lenders expecting decreased profit margins outweighing those anticipating increases for the eighth consecutive quarter.According to the Survey, lenders cite competition from other lenders as the primary cause of the continued margin compression. Consumer demand was cited as the second most important reason for the decreased profit margin outlook, a survey high.Fannie Mae found that less mortgage lenders have been reporting growth across all loan types, including GSE-eligible, non-GSE eligible, and government. Additionally, expectations of growth for the next three months has reached Q3 reading of any Q3 since the survey’s inception five years ago.”For the first time this year, consumer demand was one of the top two reasons for the downbeat profit outlook, cited by more than one-third of lenders—a record high,” Duncan said. “Meanwhile, the pace at which lenders are easing credit standards has slowed. The net shares of lenders reporting easing credit standards for GSE-eligible and government loans are less than half the peak shares reached at the end of last year. This may suggest the realization among lenders that combatting declining affordability by making it easier to obtain mortgages might not be the answer – or simply that there is little room for additional easing going forward.”Additionally, Fannie Mae notes that demand for refinance mortgages remained negative but stable. Despite the decreased mortgage demand and increased competition that lenders have reported, fewer lenders reported easing credit standards in the Q3.Find the report from Fannie Mae here. Affordability Lenders profit Reports 2018-09-11 Seth Welborn in Daily Dose, Data, News
14May House GOP unveils roads plan Categories: News The Michigan House Republicans today announced a long-term, straightforward plan to fix the state’s deteriorating roads by allocating more than an additional $1 billion annually within the next four years.“This is a no-nonsense plan that simplifies exactly what needs to be changed in order to reverse our crumbling infrastructure,” said state Rep. Patrick Somerville, R-New Boston. “I’m glad to see that our caucus has listened to the people, taken their thoughts into account and produced a plan that appeals to them.”The plan—unveiled Wednesday by House Speaker Kevin Cotter—focuses on four pillars to ensure that Michigan’s roads and bridges are repaired and maintained: dedicating General Fund dollars, reprioritizing restricted funds, applying fair fuel taxes and ensuring quality work.“This long-term investment plan makes clear the priority that roads will never become an issue again,” Rep. Somerville said. “I look forward to the discussions and tough decisions that we will need to make so that a plan that works for Michiganders is enacted.”Committee discussion on the package will begin as soon as possible.###
Categories: News,Theis News Tags: #SB, bookmark, Summer Reading, Theis 02Jun Rep. Theis announces Summer Reading Contest for local students Lawmaker offers winning contestant chance to be a ‘Legislator for a Day’State Rep. Lana Theis, R-Brighton, is encouraging students to continue to read this summer after school gets out by hosting a local summer reading program.“This is a great opportunity to get students of all ages involved in the community and doing something positive with their time,” said Rep. Theis. “It is also another way for families and parents to get involved with their child’s education by enjoying some quality time reading a book together or recalling interesting facts that can broaden their topics of discussion.“The inner workings of state government are fascinating and there are so many different facets involved with the legislative process that this opportunity can really open a young person’s mind and influence their life goals positively.”The Summer Reading Contest guidelines for House District 42 are included in Rep. Theis’s customized bookmark, which can be picked up at your local library or school, and is available digitally on Rep. Theis’s website at www.RepLanaTheis.com.One lucky student and their family will beinvited as special guests to accompany Rep. Theis at the State Capitol to experience life as a state lawmaker.Students in grades first through fifth are eligible to participate by reading ten or more books and filling in the necessary information on Rep. Theis’s Summer Bookmark. Each completed bookmark must be submitted and dropped in the designated contest box at your local library or local school on or before Tuesday, Sept. 1 in order to be considered for entry into the contest.Various schools and libraries throughout House District 42 will be notified of the contest to monitor the progress and assist in any way possible. Please contact your local library following the last day of school to obtain more information.Good luck to all students!#####
Categories: LaFave News,News 26Jan LaFave will help lead key House committee for natural resources State Rep. Beau LaFave, of Iron Mountain, will help lead a key House committee safeguarding Michigan’s natural resources, Speaker Tom Leonard announced today.LaFave will be vice chair of the House Natural Resources Committee during the 2017-18 session of the Legislature. He also will serve as a member of House committees for Energy Policy, Insurance and the Judiciary.“I’m a lifelong resident of the Upper Peninsula, and Michigan’s natural resources are our treasures,” LaFave said. “Michigan’s outdoors are where I grew up, hunting and fishing. I’m excited to have a voice for residents of the 108th District, with respect for the most beautiful land on God’s green earth.”LaFave is serving his first term in the Michigan House.“All of these committees are important, because it’s where a lot of the work of government gets done,” LaFave said. “I can’t wait to get started.”###
Categories: Vaupel News State Rep. Hank Vaupel of Handy Township will host office hours in Fowlerville, Hartland and Howell on Friday, May 19.Rep. Vaupel will meet with residents at the following locations:Fowlerville: 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. at Fowlerville Farms, 941 S. Grand Ave.;Hartland: 4 to 5 p.m. at Kahuna Coffee, 1836 Old U.S. Highway 23; andHowell: 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. at All Star Coney Island, 934 S. Michigan Ave.“Accessibility is key to having good representation,” Rep. Vaupel said. “If anyone has questions, comments or ideas about state government, I encourage them to attend.”Rep. Vaupel hosts district office hours on the third Friday of every month. Residents who are unable to attend, but would like to voice concerns or ideas, may contact Rep. Vaupel’s office by phone at (517) 373-8835 or by email at HankVaupel@house.mi.gov. 10May Rep. Vaupel to host in-district office hours on May 19
Categories: Schroeder News 12Mar Rep. Schroeder’s transparency plan clears House panel during Sunshine Week State Rep. Andrea Schroeder’s plan to make state government more accountable to the people of Michigan was approved today by the House Government Operations Committee.Schroeder, of Independence Township, said the committee’s approval coincided with Sunshine Week, a national initiative celebrating the important role transparency plays in our system of government.“This package of bills adds a layer of transparency and accountability to our state government that is currently missing,” Schroeder said. “The people of Michigan elect the governor, state representatives and state senators to represent their interests, and they deserve to have access to our records.”Michigan is one of just two states that still exempts its governor, lieutenant governor and the Legislature from sunshine laws. Schroeder’s legislation is part of a bipartisan plan to end these exemptions and increase transparency in state government.The proposal will subject the governor and lieutenant governor to FOIA and hold state representatives and senators to the same high standard by creating a new law called the Legislative Open Records Act (LORA).While LORA mirrors FOIA in many ways, there are exemptions for constituent inquiries to ensure that personal information is protected and kept private. Other communications legislators have with state departments and lobbyists would not be exempt.House Bills 4007-4016 now advance to the full House for consideration.###
State Rep. Hank Vaupel this week testified before the House Families, Children, and Seniors Committee in support of a plan to help with health care access for children in Michigan.Vaupel’s plan allows parents involved in certain court proceedings to meet legal requirements by having their children enrolled in affordable public health care coverage programs.Current Michigan law requires parents involved in child custody or divorce cases to provide their children with health care coverage through employment or private coverage. Vaupel’s plan would allow enrollment in public health care plans to satisfy court requirements.“This plan meets federal requirements and helps parents get affordable and accessible health care programs for their children,” said Vaupel, of Fowlerville. “Bringing the parents in compliance with these guidelines will ensure Michigan children are getting the coverage they need to live a healthy life.”House Bills 4304-05 remain under consideration by the House Families, Children, and Seniors Committee.### Categories: Vaupel News 11Apr Rep. Vaupel’s plan protects Michigan children
06May Rep. Hall: Working toward a real solution for Michigan’s roads This article ran in the May 4, 2019 edition of the Marshall Advisor & Chronicle. You may view it here. Categories: Hall News,News (Rep. Matt Hall represents the 63rd District in the Michigan House.) There is one topic I hear more about than any other when I talk with residents of Kalamazoo and Calhoun counties: Gov. Gretchen Whitmer’s misguided proposal to raise the gasoline tax by 45 cents per gallon.Residents are rightfully upset. As your representative in the Michigan House, I’m upset too.People always tell me they want a government that is more efficient, effective and accountable. But the governor’s proposed gas tax increase is none of those things. It’s irresponsible and lazy.This article ran in the May 4, 2019 edition of the Marshall Advisor & Chronicle. First, it’s important to note the state already raised the gasoline tax and vehicle registration fees to put more money toward roads. This plan – approved in 2015 – will be not be fully phased in until 2021.The governor’s additional proposed increase would make Michigan’s gasoline tax the highest in the country – by far. Her increase alone would add nearly $7 to the price of every fill-up. Yet, the governor failed to propose any reforms or accountability measures to ensure that Michiganders receive better value for their tax dollars spent on roads and bridges.The governor’s proposal would steer new tax dollars toward Michigan’s “most heavily traveled” roads. Based on available information, this means the higher taxes would be overwhelming weighted toward repairing roads in Metro Detroit.Every person in Michigan deserves better roads, not just the residents of Metro Detroit.Our elected leaders must work together on a plan to fix our local and county roads – in Calhoun and Kalamazoo counties, and elsewhere. We should not be pitting rural communities against cities. We are one state, and we need a solution that benefits all Michigan communities.Another important issue: Gov. Whitmer’s proposed tax increase goes beyond roads. The proposal would take another $2.5 billion of your money in taxes, but only $1.9 billion would go to roads and bridges. She wants to spend the remaining $600 million on growing other government programs that don’t have anything to do with roads.Michiganders already pay a tax at the pump that doesn’t go toward roads – the state’s 6 percent sales tax. It’s just common sense that all of the money collected in taxes at the pump – every single penny – should go to fixing our roads and bridges. If gasoline were priced at $2.50 per gallon, taking the sales tax and applying it directly to roads would put 15 cents more per gallon toward repairs – without raising taxes.I am willing to work with Gov. Whitmer and other legislators to fix the roads, but I need to see a real plan first. Raising the gasoline tax by 45 cents a gallon is not a real plan. It would hurt Michigan families and seniors who are already paying higher taxes and vehicle registration fees without all of the money going to fix roads and bridges.That’s why I am opposed to her proposal, and I am working to find a better solution for the Kalamazoo-Calhoun county region and all of Michigan.
Share4Tweet4Share1Email9 SharesJuly 28, 2016; AtlanticA new analysis from the Brookings Institution may show that, contrary to longstanding interpretations of America’s public university systems, use of state funds to support indirect subsidies from public universities benefits lower-income students more than higher-income students.Indirect subsidies fund the gap between public universities’ tuition and the actual cost of education. While these dollars, coming from state, local, and other sources, account for a huge (and rising) amount of educational aid in the U.S., their effects aren’t particularly well understood. The outcomes of direct subsidies, such as grants and scholarships given directly to students, are tied to their recipients; the impacts of indirect subsidies, which may fund university-wide programming or maintenance, are much more convoluted.Brookings’ analysis of data from four-year public universities challenges the convention that indirect subsidies favor high-income students. The belief in the wealthy-but-well-subsidized student stems from studies of per-student expenditures at elite public universities: More selective schools receive more state appropriations and spend more per student. Lower-income students disproportionately attend less selective schools, which receive smaller appropriations and spend less. However, Brookings measured two datasets (the National Postsecondary Student Aid Study and the Integrated Postsecondary Education Data System, for those interested in some light surfing) to create a different measurement.Instead of measuring per-student spending, Brookings defined an indirect subsidy as the difference between a student’s tuition and what the university spends on education. The authors of the analysis point out dividing a university’s total state appropriations by its total number of students offers a very incomplete picture of the money educating each student, as total university spending may include research, athletics, hospitals and other non-educational expenditures.Under this definition, among in-state students, indirect subsidies are actually shared equally among students of all incomes. When state residency is not a factor, low-income students actually receive a higher proportion of the subsidy. More selective universities do, indeed, receive more indirect subsidy per student, and enroll students with higher average family incomes. However, those high-income students pay more tuition, more than offsetting the higher expenditures of the competitive schools. And, at every level of selectivity, low-income students pay significantly less than high-income students.Another surprising finding is that low-income students were represented in more-selective schools at a higher rate than researchers expected. Students with a family income below $30,000 made up 25.1 percent of students in very selective schools and 30 percent of students in selective schools.So, what should be the policy implications of this study? Its authors are unsure, and the knowledge that high-income students do not disproportionately benefit from indirect subsidies may not placate those who believe that low-income students should receive more benefits, based on higher need.—Lauren KarchShare4Tweet4Share1Email9 Shares
Share8Tweet1Share15Email24 Shares“Listen.” Credit: kyApril 24, 2017; BethesdaWhen community-based nonprofits organize their stakeholders and clients, they can put pressure on government policymakers and protect their public funding. That’s what happened in a suburb of Washington, D.C.Bethesda Magazine reports that over a hundred employees and supporters of local nonprofits descended upon the Rockville council office building in Montgomery County, Maryland to oppose a proposed $600,000 budget cut in health-related grants to nonprofits offering after-school programs to at-risk kids, community meals for the hungry, and workforce training—a cut of one percent of the grant program’s annual budget.“So many people were trying to enter [the building] for a Monday morning rally that it was difficult to get through the main entrance,” the article lead says. Many of the rally participants were clients of the nonprofits facing cuts, all with compelling stories to tell.The county executive had proposed the cuts in his fiscal 2018 budget, but council members told the rally participants that they planned to reject the cuts and even slightly increase the program’s funding. Seven of the nine council members promised to restore the funding.It’s not quite what the nonprofits’ supporters were asking for—a three percent increase in total grant funding. But two council members told Bethesda Magazine that they were looking for ways to keep the funding at a consistent level in future budget years, as well.—Larry KaplanCorrection: This article has been changed from its initial form. Rockville, Maryland, is in Montgomery County, not Rockville County. This was an editorial goof, and NPQ regrets the error.Share8Tweet1Share15Email24 Shares
Interactive social TV applications need to be based on simple-to-understand concepts and deliver an immediate reward, according to Josh Atkins, senior design director, Soho Productions, part of Microsoft Studios, speaking at the MIPCube event in Cannes at the end of last week.Atkins was part of the team that developed a new interactive concept for Sesame Street, Kinect Sesame Street TV. Kinect provides a camera that can see in 3D and can provide voice and facial recognition. Animated shows can be programmed to react to human movements recorded by the Kinect camera. It can also show viewers in picture-in-picture on the screen. In the example shown at MIPCube by Atkins, two children’s reflection was shown in a mirror on TV held up by an animated character from Sesame Street, the Cookie Monster, giving the children instructions on what to do in order to see themselves in the ‘morror’.According to Atkins, participation on the part of viewers needs to be optional, instructions on interaction need to be simple and the reward needs to be instantaneous and fun.Atkins said that the same interactions could be applied to exercise shows for adults as well as kids animation. Kinect has had over 200 children through its lab over the last 11 months testing concepts .“The future of TV is inherently interactive,” said Atkins, who has a games background. “Useability is absolutely required for it.”Atkins said Soho had developed other applications that could appeal to older kids, such as a game where they had to find a hidden object on screen.
BSkyB has updated the Sky Plus app for iPhone and iPod Touch devices to enabled them to be used as a remote control. Similar features were introduced on the Sky Plus iPad app earlier in the year.The app allows people to use their iPhones to change channels as well as pause, play and rewind TV with swipe or tap of their finger. The app also now offers full access to viewers’ Sky Plus planners through the iPhone, allowing them to browse, set up and delete recordings.
Liberty Global-owned satellite pay TV provider UPC DTH has added sports channel Sport2 HD to its freeSAT programming line-up in the Czech Republic and Slovakia.UPC DTH said the move was in line with its aim of enhancing its position as a leading operator with a wide variety of HD content.“We are pleased that we could strengthen our freeSAT HD line-up with another high quality channel,” said Jiri Kraval, director of marketing and sales, Czech and Slovakia for UPC DTH. “The addition of Sport2 HD channel provides a diverse top quality HD line-up with 14 HD channels including sport, documentary and local programming for the highest quality experience. This great channel joins Animal Planet HD which was added to our line-up at the end of 2012.”
Dubai-based My-HD Media has signed a deal with satellite operator Arabsat that it says will expand the reach of its pay TV channels to more than 170 million viewers in the Middle East and Africa.The long-term partnership agreement will allow My-HD’s pay TV offering to reach 80 countries in the region and will be used by the firm to expand its offering, which currently includes more than 25 HD channels via satellite including all eight MBC HD channels in MENA.“We aim to build a diversified bouquet of 40 HD family entertainment channels and we are confident that our association with Arabsat will be a long term profitable collaboration that will add significant value to both parties but most importantly to the end consumer,” said Cliff Nelson, CEO of My-HD Media.Khalid Balkheyour, president and CEO of Arabsat, added that the objective of the deal was to provide a “commercially viable, mass market ready, end-to-end distribution platform to the broadcasters on Arabsat. My-HD Media will allow broadcasters to capture additional HD business across MENA.”
Vdio, the video rental service for movies and TV shows from Skype co-founder Janus Friis, has shut down after less than a year.The video site said in a statement that it had discontinued the service as it was “not able to deliver the differentiated customer experience we had hoped for.”Vdio added that it was unable to deliver a “business model which was attractive to shareholders.”The site shut down on December 27, with site users unable to access their account information from that date. Vdio said that customers who had purchased videos or had unused rentals will be offered Amazon gift cards in an amount equal to the total cost of their transactions on the site.Vdio launched in the UK and US in April and moved into Canada in August.The service was developed by the same team behind the 2010-launched music subscription service Rdio, and was designed to let users buy, rent and share content with friends on a pay-per view basis.News of the shut-down comes less than a month after Amazon’s global head of digital video Anthony Bay moved to Rdio to take up the CEO role.He took over from Drew Larner was previously CEO of both Rdio and Vdio, prior to which he worked at firms including Twentieth Century Fox.
Transmission provider Antenna Hungária is adding RTL II to its MinDig Extra TV premium digital TV offering, and will be available from next week. Antenna Hungária said that the network would be available free of charge for two weeks to viewers of its MinDig digital-terrestrial service before being added to its premium channel line-up.
UK connected TV platform YouView is to launch a major recruitment drive that it says will expand its technology team by over 50%.The platform, which is backed by the UK’s major free-to-air broadcasters, transmission services provider Arqiva and telecom service providers BT and TalkTalk, is to add over 50 developers, test engineers and project managers over the next 12 months in a drive to “spearhead the next stages of pioneering connected TV development”, YouView said.According to YouView, new staff will work on technlogies including HTML5 and cloud-based services.YouView’s recruitment drive is kicking off this weekend at the Silicon Milkroundabout, a technology recruitment fair running on May 10-11 in East London.YouView is now present in over one million UK homes, the vast majority subscribing to services from BT and TalkTalk.“YouView is a young, ambitious company creating products that are used by millions of customers. We’re looking for talented people who can bring new ideas to our tech teams and help create the consumer devices, mobile apps and highly scalable network services that will continue to move YouView forward,” said Piers Lomax, head of engineering, YouView.
Vivendi’s supervisory board has named the chairman and CEO of the Bolloré Group, Vincent Bolloré, as chairman in a string of management board appointments at a meeting yesterday. The supervisory board also appointed Vivendi director Pierre Rodocanachi as vice-chairman and Jean-René Fourtou, who has chaired the group since 2002, as honorary chairman.Daniel Camus becomes chairman of the audit committee and Philippe Bénacin chairman of the corporate governance, nominations and remuneration committee.Three new members of the management board were also appointed: Vivendi CFO Hervé Philippe; Vivendi senior executive vice-president Stéphane Roussel; and Arnaud de Puyfontaine, the senior executive vice president in charge of Vivendi’s media and content activities, who becomes chairman, replacing Jean-François Dubos.
Sky Deutschland is rolling out its Sky Go multiscreen service to Android tablets and smartphones. Starting today, Sky Go will be available on Google Nexus 5, Nexus 7 and selected Samsung Galaxy tablets and smartphones – including the Galaxy S5 and the Galaxy Note 10.1 – with more Android devices to follow.The service is free for all Sky Deutschland customers starting from the Sky Welt or Sky Starter package.Viewers will be able to access live sports – including the Sky Fußball Bundesliga and Sky Sport channels – from the app, as well movies and TV series.From within the Sky Go app, customers will also have access to Sky Deutschland’s Snap programming catalogue, making it easier for subscribers of both Snap and Sky Go to find content.“We are pleased that we are expanding the range of devices on which customers can use Sky Go. To begin with, we are making our premium content available – live and on demand – on nine of the most popular Android smartphones and tablets. We plan to bring Germany’s best online television to even more Android devices in future,” said Euan Smith, executive vice president, product and operations at Sky Deutschland.Earlier this week, Sky Deutschland also made Sky Online and Snap available on the Microsoft Xbox One game console platform.
Orange has launched an accelerator startup programme in Spain following its acquisition of Spanish telco Jazztel.The Orange Fab accelerator programme for the Spanish market was launched in Madrid by Gervais Pellissier, CEO Delegate and Executive Director in charge of Europe for the Group, and Jean-Marc Vignolles, Chief Executive Officer of Orange Spain, in the presence of attendees including Victor Calvo-Sotelo, Telecom Deputy Minister, Jaime Garcia-Legaz, Spanish Secretary of State for Trade, and French Minister of Economy, Emmanuel Macron.Start-ups will be hosted for three months by Orange Spain and benefit from mentoring, a workspace and access to Orange’s network of contacts nationally and internationally.The programme will focus on the Internet of Things and Near Filed Communications.“We hope that the Orange Fab programme can develop and spread to the whole of Spain with support and collaboration from the government. The Spanish economy is beginning to recover and Orange, which has supported economic growth in Spain for over fifteen years, wishes to continue its commitments to the country,” said Vignolles.