Stearns Lending announced recently it will acquire a stake of Certainty Home Loans. The independent mortgage bank has entered into an agreement to acquire an equity interest in Certainty, an independent mortgage lender based in Plano, Texas. Certainty President Jim Clapp and Executive Vice President, National Production Manager Doug Casbon will continue to lead Certainty, which will retain its name. Certainty’s executive team will maintain their position as the largest stakeholders. Last year, Certainty originated $1.4 billion in residential loans, including purchase, refinance, reverse mortgage and renovation loans. Formerly Starkey Mortgage, the company rebranded in October 2017. Stearns Lending offers lending services in wholesale, retail through strategic partnerships in 49 states. “Certainty has a long track record of success and has a retail profile that is a strong complement to the existing Stearns retail platform,” said Stearns CEO David Schneider. “We believe that combining the retail platform of Certainty with Stearns’ industry-leading technology, direct access to capital markets expertise and operational excellence will produce tremendous synergies that benefit both companies. This structure leverages the experience Stearns has with its current joint venture business model, which currently operates under 10 different brands across the country.” The specific terms of the deal, which is expected to close at the end of August, were not released.
Trump says second phase of tax cuts will target middle class ‘even more’
President Trump says his next round of tax cuts will help the middle class.
The Trump administration is working on a second phase of tax cuts, President Trump claims, and it could involve a further reduction in the US corporate tax rate and more stimulus for the middle class. “This will be even more aimed at the middle class,” Trump said. “One of the things I’m thinking about is bringing the 21% [corporate tax rate] down to 20% and for the most part, the rest of it will go right to the middle class. It’s a great stimulus.” The president said the administration would “be doing” the new tax package in the fall, in October or possibly sooner. During a roundtable earlier this year, the president said the second phase of tax cuts would be aimed at both the middle class and helping US companies. National Economic Director Larry Kudlow said in March that part of the second round of reforms could involve making individual tax cuts, and other provisions, permanent. The new package could also include measures aimed at helping Americans save for retirement. House Ways and Means Committee Chair Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, told FOX Business last month that the administration wants to get families “in that savings mode earlier.” Opens a New Window. Brady also said the second round of cuts could be completed before the November midterm elections. The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act was signed into law in December.
the economy is already beginning to slow down, according to the economics team at Goldman Sachs, the good news in the explanation to clients below, is that housing investment is actually improving. GDP growth was revised down in the third estimate of Q1 to +2.0% (qoq ar) from +2.2% in the second estimate, and the year-over-year rate was unchanged on a rounded basis at +2.8%. The downward revision reflected a diminished contribution from consumer spending (+0.9% qoq ar vs. +1.0% in the second estimate), net trade, and inventories, each of which contributed -0.1pp to the headline revision. This was partially offset by a faster pace of business fixed investment (+10.4% vs. 9.2%) and housing investment (-1.1% vs, -2.0%). Real Gross Domestic Income (GDI)—an alternative measure of aggregate output derived from different source data—expanded at a solid +3.6% annualized pace in Q1, consistent with a firmer underlying pace of growth in the first quarter. Inflation and jobless numbers remain relatively stable, for now, the Goldman economists added. And where is all this housing investment coming from? Well, a small part of it may start coming from the building of tiny houses (Best. Transition. Ever.), if two legislators out of New Jersey get their way. A new bill proposing a pilot program to house homeless veterans is making its way through the New Jersey Senate and is sponsored by Senators Brian Stack, D-Hudson, and Troy Singleton, D-Burlington, according to this article on NJ.com by Bill Duhart. “They hope the new effort can be a prototype for helping homeless veterans and the indigent to find shelter and help municipalities meet legal obligations to provide affordable housing,” Duhart explains. From the article: “The three-year program would be administered by the New Jersey Housing and Mortgage Finance Agency (HMFA) and cost $5 million. Stack and Singleton expect federal funds to pay for the pilot program. The HMFA would pick which towns participate in three regions of the state. Towns that participate would receive grants for the housing and two-for-one credits towards their affordable housing obligations.”
Tesla’s worker push helps hit Model 3 production goals, stock jumps
Electric automaker Tesla produced three times more Model 3 sedans in the second quarter compared to the first, meeting a key production target as the company recorded its most productive quarter ever. This comes after CEO Elon Musk pulled out all the stops to ramp up productivity in recent days. Shares jumped on the news after Tesla said in a press release on Monday that, for the first time, Model 3 production surpassed combined Model S and X production. More than 18,400 Model 3 vehicles were manufactured, thanks in part to “a significant increase in production towards the end of the quarter.” The electric automaker said a new general assembly line, referred to as GA4, was responsible for about one-fifth of the Model 3 sedans produced last week. The company increased its production targets for the Model 3 to 6,000 per week by late next month, reaffirming expectations for positive net income and cash flow in the coming two quarters. At the start of the second quarter, Tesla was producing just 2,000 Model 3 sedans per week. Last week, Japanese electronics giant Panasonic – which is the exclusive battery partner for the electric automaker’s vehicles – said a “sharp improvement in production” at the automaker was causing occasional battery cell shortages. The carmaker produced a total of 53,339 vehicles in the second quarter. In June, Tesla announced it would cut 9% of its workforce as part of an organizational restructuring aimed at reducing costs and boosting profits. Throughout its nearly 15 years of existence, the company has never made a profit, which Musk cited as a “fair criticism” of the company. He added that while Tesla has never been driven by profit-making incentives, the company will never achieve its goals unless it can demonstrate “sustainable profitability.” Tesla shares have gained 10% this year, exceeding gains in both the Nasdaq Composite and the S&P 500.