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DS News December 2020

DSNews delivers stories, ideas, links, companies, people, events, and videos impacting the mortgage default servicing industry.

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Page 69 of 100

68 "In essence, we're headed toward a perfect storm." —Brian A. Marks, J.D., Ph.D., Senior Lecturer, University of New Haven e COVID-19 pandemic and the related economic downturn have left the country in a state of great uncertainty. As the last quarter of 2020 ends, professionals across all industries are left wondering what the next year may look like in terms of economic recovery and potential changes in federal government policies. Although the housing and mortgage industries have not suffered as much economic loss as other industries have during this year's economic upheaval, the question remains: how will housing be impacted by ongoing COVID-19 responses and government policies? Brian A. Marks, J.D., Ph.D., is Senior Lecturer in the Economics and Business Analytics Department of Pompea College of Business and Executive Director of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program at the University of New Haven. Marks recently spoke with DS News, tapping into his expertise in economics and politics to provide some insight into what the near future could look like as the country attempts economic recovery—and what this could mean for the housing and mortgage sectors. DO YOU ANTICIPATE FURTHER ECONOMIC RELIEF BEING PASSED BY CONGRESS? Unfortunately, I'm not optimistic that we are going to see an economic relief package before the end of the calendar year. e implications are quite disconcerting for the economy in general, and for the housing market, mortgages, and financial markets. If we look at some context, this is certainly a healthcare crisis—a public health crisis that led to an economic crisis. While we are no longer in an economic recession, we are in a fragile situation, given the resurgence of COVID-19 and absent a congressional relief package. Chairman Powell of the Federal Reserve, in his most recent statements, confirms what I am saying. e Fed has done almost all it can do under its charter: lowering interest rates to, in essence, 0%, providing special-purpose vehicles for loans. such as the main street lending program, which has been considered not particularly successful, given the amount of money allocated for such program and the amount of money yet to be lent out under the program. Equally problematic is Treasury Secretary Mnunchin's attempt to claw back approximately $455B from the Fed. Chairman Powell called for the use of fiscal policy, which is in the domain of Congress and the president. Because we have potentially a second wave, and the lack of a vaccine widely available anytime soon, there is potential for new stay-at-home orders. So, what does this mean? Well, the numbers suggest weaknesses. e latest national unemployment numbers put us at approximately 6.9% unemployment with a misclassification error of approximately 0.43%. e good news—the unemployment rate has come down and the extent of the misclassification has reduced. In April, we were at 14.7% with a 5% misclassification error. So, things have been improving. e August report from the Council of Economic Advisors at the White House noted the benefits of the economic package, the CARES Act, and how it averted a complete disaster. e CARES Act shored up aspects of the economy with the individual stimulus checks, the payroll protection program, the The Exchange By: Five Star Staff

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