BILL NEAL:10—I am not gonna lie to you…I mean I have in the past so I am not above doing it…But not this time. Yes, I was at my spot, and the spot was cold. But I-DID-NOT-CALL-THIS-ONE! Well, for that matter, who did? Nobody thought the boys were coming back from that first half butt kickin’…No-body! But this is Steelers Country and those six shining stars over at the South Side didn’t get there by accident. Here we go Steelers, here we go!!!:09—Let’s see if Kevin Cameron calls now. Oh yea, he’ll ring-a-ding when the Quipps win. But where is he when the mighty Aliquippa wagon bites the dust?
- Miami-Dade resumes pre-pandemic evictions after unannounced February break
Miami-Dade Mayor Daniella Levine Cava (Getty, iStock)Miami-Dade County resumed executing writs of possessions for residential eviction cases filed before the pandemic, following an unannounced month-long break.The police execute writs of possession, evicting residents or businesses from their properties. The move follows a final judgment in a court case.Homeowners with federally backed mortgages are protected from eviction until at least March 31, per a federal moratorium from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.On Nov. 13, former Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez directed the police department to begin enforcing writs of possession for all cases filed on or before March 12, when the mayor declared a state of emergency. The policy continued under incumbent Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, who took office days after Gimenez’s order.But by early February, Miami-Dade Police paused the service of writs of possession as the mayor’s office looked to clarify the policy, according to a spokesperson. That temporary change in policy was not announced in writing. The break ended on Thursday, the spokesperson confirmed.In a court filing dated Feb. 2 for a foreclosure case dating back to 2015, the lender cited an “oral directive” from the mayor that led to the police refusing to execute a writ of possession. That residential borrower, who was foreclosed on, was evicted on Thursday, according to her attorney, David Winker.In a memo issued on Thursday, the mayor re-stated her policy on evictions. Miami-Dade Police will also remove non-tenants who are identified as squatters.Earlier this month, the Miami-Dade County Commission approved Levine Cava’s $60 million relief program for residential landlords with pending writs of possession for tenants facing eviction. The program offers landlords back rent of up to $3,000 per month. At that press conference, Michael Liu, Miami-Dade’s public housing director, said the courts had issued up to 1,700 writs of possession which would be prioritized.According to Miami-Dade Police, the department executed two commercial and nine residential writs of possession on Thursday. From Nov. 12 until Thursday, 324 writs of possession have been executed.Contact Katherine Kallergis This content is for subscribers only.Subscribe Now Message* Email Address* Full Name*
- Bernanke’s telescope gives a distorted view
In the wake of the Fed rate cut, worried voices could be heard saying that Bernanke was putting at risk the central bank’s anti-inflation credentials. The dollar began to sink again, much to the consternation of European policymakers and businessmen who saw the euro move upwards to record levels. This, they fear, could threaten EU export growth. Signs of an erosion of Fed credibility make it more likely that aggressive rate cutting by the Fed à la 2001-03 would trigger a disorderly dollar crash, the last thing needed in the middle of an international banking crisis. So the Fed’s freedom of manoeuvre to head off the looming economic slowdown is not what it was six years ago, to put it mildly. The same is true for the White House and the Congress. Fiscal irresponsibility will also be punished now that the rest of the world is becoming unwilling to finance America’s excessive consumption on terms that Americans are happy with.Last week (20 September) the stock market of Dubai announced that it had bought a 19.99 % stake in Nasdaq, a US stock exchange, a move which in turn gave it a 28% stake in the London Stock Exchange (LSE). Hours later the Qatar Investment Authority, a sovereign investment fund, said it had bought a 20% stake in the LSE too, but that was a separate issue. The news of the Dubai move had hardly broken before President George W. Bush let it be known that he was planning a national security investigation into the deal. The moves by Dubai and Qatar illustrate the forces of change being unleashed as the balance of the world economy shifts. China and the oil-rich states of the world are fed up with investing their trade and oil surpluses in low-yielding US Treasury bills. They want – partly through their new specialist, sovereign investment funds – to buy more real assets. Washington is not alone in its uneasy reaction to new forms of foreign direct investment. The EU is also, quite rightly, uneasy at Chinese, Middle Eastern and Russian sovereign investment funds buying big blocks of ‘strategic’ European companies. There is, governments say, a political dimension to these new sovereign funds which makes them a qualitatively different sort of investor from, say, a Japanese private sector life assurance company that is diversifying its share-holdings internationally. In principle the US and the EU are strong enough to push back against the power of Russian, Chinese or Middle Eastern money. But, because of its dependence on foreign capital, the US is less well placed to do this than the EU. Morgan Stanley estimates that the assets held within sovereign funds could rise to $17,500 billion in the next ten years from $2,600bn.Hopefully, Bush’s decision to raise the national security flag over Nasdaq was intended to take control of the issue and defuse it. A knee-jerk protectionist reaction to foreign direct investment as the US economy slows is the last thing Europe needs. Rebalancing the US economy would then require higher interest rates, an even lower dollar and a sharper US slowdown. Some far-reaching adjustments to the way that the global economy has been functioning in the past decade are now under way. A protracted economic slowdown, probably a recession, is brewing in America. The US is ceasing to be the global “consumer of last resort”, importing in huge volumes some of the goods it needs and so keeping the world (especially the Chinese) economy primed. This time round, economic policy-makers in the US are not going to be able to pull off the same trick to which they resorted in 2001-03 after the dot com bust. Back then, the US central bank, the Federal Reserve, slashed interest rates to 1% (in 2003) while the White House and the Congress cut taxes and went on a deficit-financed spending binge. Last week (18 September) Ben Bernanke, the chairman of the Fed, did indeed cut the policy rate by half a percentage point to 4.75% and hinted at more cuts to come. But interest rates in the inflation-sensitive longer-term bond market actually moved higher in response. Like Nelson at Copenhagen, Bernanke is standing on the bridge with his telescope to his bad eye. “I see no inflation,” he cries, as oil prices hit record levels, food prices soar, raw materials prices continue to hover at peaks not seen for a generation and the price of gold, the safe haven par excellence for many investors, surges. Even China has resorted to (probably ineffectual) price controls on staples to curb its 6% inflation rate. Stewart Fleming is a freelance journalist based in Brussels.