New York Times

Sunday, July 3, 2011

2 Big Banks Slash Principal on Thousands of Mortgages

Posted By on Sun, Jul 3, 2011 at 11:53 AM

The New York Times reported today that Bank of America and JPMorgan Chase have started modifying tens of thousands of mortgages that have been labeled "especially risky," even if the borrowers haven't been asked.

The Times said, in some cases, banks are slashing the amount borrowers owe. In one example, a Florida woman's principal was cut in half. The Times said BOA and Chase are targeting holders of "pay option adjustable-rate mortages." Option ARM loans were seen as especially high risk in the wake of the financial crisis. The Times had not received any official comment from either bank.

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Friday, October 22, 2010

New York Times Reports on Mega-load Controversy

Posted By on Fri, Oct 22, 2010 at 8:39 AM

It was just a matter of time...or maybe we should say in New York Times. The paper that trumpets "all the news that's fit to print" profiles the controversy over proposed mega-loads on Idaho's U.S. Highway 12 in Friday's edition.

The business feature by Tom Zeller Jr. introduces Times readers to a number of the players in the real-life drama, players that BW readers are now pretty familiar with: Lin Laughy and his wife Borg Hendrickson of Kooskia, who launched legal action against the Idaho Transportation Dept. for trying to permit ConocoPhillips' efforts to ship huge pieces of equipment across the highway.

"We're really very nice people," Laughy told the Times. "Unless you're a big oil company."

You can read the full article here.

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Monday, January 26, 2009

Is Caldwell an exurb?

Posted By on Mon, Jan 26, 2009 at 9:58 PM

In his lead to the recent New York Times story on boise's smog problem, William Yardley refers to Caldwell, in relation to Boise, as, "this high-desert capital and its outermost exurb."

Exurbia is a term that has come of vogue in recent years, earning mentions on NPR, dropped into magazine articles and about to be Twittered by citydesk. Our layman's understanding of "exurban" is that it is an area to which suburbanites might flee as the city encroaches on their once-tranquil white picket existence.

We have looked it up before, but that was our rough understanding until now. Needless to say, we have not used the term in print, since we don't really know what it means.

But Yardley's usage threw us for a loop: How could Caldwell be an exurb, if there is a barely an urb here? 

A recent Brookings Institution report on exurbia appears to agree with our instincts, mapping zero exurbia in the state of Idaho and little to no exurbs in the Mountain West.
It defines exurbs as: "communities located on the urban fringe that have at least 20 percent of their workers commuting to jobs in an urbanized area, exhibit low housing density, and have relatively high population growth."

Some of this fits Caldwell and Boise's other western outskirts as well; lots of commuters, sprawl and influx of new residents. So the New York Times is not completely off base. 
Brookings continues: "Not yet full fledged suburbs, but no longer wholly rural in nature, these exurban areas are reportedly undergoing rapid change in population, land use, and economic function."

But the Brookings breakdown breaks down at the size of Boise Metropolitan Statistical Area in that it's less than 500,000 people. So nowhere in Idaho, Wyoming or Montana can be considered exurban.

While Canyon County certainly has some exurban characteristics, it seems a bit presumptuous to characterize it that way. But maybe we should write an article about it to find out what exurbia really means before up and blogging about it.

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