Do you want to trust a government/industrial complex that was experimenting in gain-of-function projects with the People’s Liberation Army of China?
Experts recommend the shutdown of AI due to a lack of failsafe controls
Time was the latest of a series of publications distributing warnings over the continued dalliences with Artificial Intelligence and its capacity to replace human functionality.
An open letter published today calls for “all AI labs to immediately pause for at least 6 months the training of AI systems more powerful than GPT-4.”
This 6-month moratorium would be better than no moratorium. I have respect for everyone who stepped up and signed it. It’s an improvement on the margin.
I refrained from signing because I think the letter is understating the seriousness of the situation and asking for too little to solve it.
The key issue is not “human-competitive” intelligence (as the open letter puts it); it’s what happens after AI gets to smarter-than-human intelligence. Key thresholds there may not be obvious, we definitely can’t calculate in advance what happens when, and it currently seems imaginable that a research lab would cross critical lines without noticing.
Many researchers steeped in these issues, including myself, expect that the most likely result of building a superhumanly smart AI, under anything remotely like the current circumstances, is that literally everyone on Earth will die. Not as in “maybe possibly some remote chance,” but as in “that is the obvious thing that would happen.” It’s not that you can’t, in principle, survive creating something much smarter than you; it’s that it would require precision and preparation and new scientific insights, and probably not having AI systems composed of giant inscrutable arrays of fractional numbers.
(Read more at Time)
The failsafes in our current government must be resurrected, much to the chagrin of Democrats
We need to start with the reigning in the power of the federal government. A government big enough to give you everything, …
Actually, a government that is big enough to give you everything will soon prove so bloated that it won’t fund Social Security due to Biden‘s current war on energy.
Going into the mortgage disaster of 2008, we were told that mortgage companies were racist if they didn’t open to everyone
Easing mortgage access: what could possibly go wrong?
UBS looks into the health of the real estate market by digging into the Democrat-driven perks that may push us over the cliff.
The recent reduction of mortgage insurance premiums by the FHA increases the potential for riskier mortgage loans to be made. The UBS Chief Investment Office (CIO) explains why we all need to remain vigilant of the potential unintended consequences of policy decisions, particularly those made with nationwide elections not far off in the future.
On 22 February 2023, the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced that the mortgage insurance premium (MIP) on FHA endorsed loans would be reduced by 30 bps to 0.55% from 0.85%. HUD estimates that this reduction will reduce the annual borrowing cost for the average FHA borrower by USD 800. According to HUD “the 30 basis point annual MIP reduction will apply to almost all Single Family Title II forward mortgages insured by FHA. Further, the reduction applies to all eligible property types, including single family homes, condominiums, and manufactured homes, all eligible loan-to-value ratios and all eligible base loan amounts.” The annual MIP reductions are effective for all mortgages endorsed by FHA on or after 23 March 2023. HUD estimates the year one cost of the program to be about USD 678MM. Source: HUD
One of the key differences of the current housing cycle as compared to the housing bubble period that preceded the 2008/2009 global financial crisis (GC) is the substantially higher quality of mortgage underwriting post the GFC. Largely gone are the no doc/low doc, stated income and NINJA loans (no income, no job no assets) as well as loans at exceptionally low loan-to-value ratios (LTV) to low credit quality borrowers. This is not to say that there is no risk in the mortgage system. However, by and large mortgage underwriting standards and credit quality has been substantially better over the past decade.
A significant portion of FHA loans are made to borrowers with very low, subprime or just above subprime status with high LTVs and elevated debt-to-income (DTI) ratios. One positive is that LTVs for borrowers with FICO scores # 619 have declined over the past several quarters, although they still remain above 90%.
Historically there has been a strong relationship between lower credit quality borrowers, particularly those with high LTVs and DTIs and increased delinquency, default and ultimately foreclosure rates. One of the key contributors to the plethora of “strategic defaults” during the great financial crisis (GFC) was the little skin in the game many homeowners had in their homes—that is extremely high LTVs or very little equity.
We wish to emphasize that we are not calling for another mortgage market collapse similar to that witnessed during the GFC. That said, one of the key contributors to the pre-GFC housing bubble was the plethora of higher risk mortgages.
We believe a key impetus for HUD in lowering the MIP was to make housing more affordable for lower credit quality borrowers. While this may be a laudable goal, as we have stated in prior written reports, best-intentioned policies often lead to unintended consequences. In January 2015, HUD reduced the FHA MIP by 50bps to 85pbs. In HUD’s own words in a report published on 29 September 2016, “We find that lowering the annual MIP in 2015 substantially increased the number of loans to lower credit score, high-LTV borrowers—who as a group heavily rely on FHA insurance.”
There was a noticeable pickup in HUD market share pursuant to the January 2015 MIP reduction. Although this clearly benefited a group of borrowers who might otherwise have been unable to access the mortgage market, the question ultimately becomes, was overall affordability improved? Both new and existing home prices continued their strong upward trend in 2015 and beyond. We do not mean to imply that the lowering of the MIP was the key driver of this. Rather that home price affordability was more negatively impacted by rapidly rising prices rather than advantaged by a lower MIP. In our view all that was done was to enable lower credit quality, high LTV and DTI buyers to buy homes.
One of the key issues plaguing the US housing market is the dearth of available inventory. Although there has been some retrenchment of median home prices from extremely elevated levels we believe the ongoing shortage of homes for purchase, combined with elevated mortgage rates, will keep affordability very challenged, particularly for first time buyers.
Is HUD truly making housing more affordable or is policy being utilized to push less qualified buyers into purchasing a home when they lack the financial wherewithal for the rigors of homeownership?
(Read much, much more at UBS)
If you remember the disaster of Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, the lie of having to give mortgages to those who couldn’t afford them killed a market
It looks like, in the name of Diversity Inclusion and Equity (DIE), we are committing the same fatal mistakes as those committed by the Democrats of less than 20 years ago.
In the recent past, people would comment on how Stalin might be laughing from his grave. Now, it is obvious that Maxine Waters (architect of much of the collapse of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac) has not had to die to get her sardonic chuckles.
For the past two years, Biden and Yellen have said inflation is “transitory.” – Do you trust them now they say we won’t see recession?
Experts warn that a rental market bust may be just around the corner
The Epoch Times backs up the report by UBS as both point out the weakness of the rental market.
The collapse of the U.S. rental market is just around the corner, some real estate experts warn.
Rental prices finally dropped to pre-pandemic levels last month after millions of Americans struggled to keep up with skyrocketing housing costs since the start of the pandemic.
In a series of recent tweets, Nick Gerli, the CEO & Founder of Reventure Consulting, predicted that the rental apartment market may face a downturn.
One of the primary reasons for a potential bust is the increase in the supply of rental properties is due to a recent surge in construction, which has led to a greater supply for renters.
The housing shortages caused by the pandemic, combined with fewer affordable homes to purchase, pushed many Americans into the rental market, leading builders to go on a multi-family unit housing boom.
“Apartment builders are going crazy right now. 1.1 Million apartment units currently in construction/permitting. 60% higher than pre-pandemic. Double peak set in 2007 Bubble. Bad news for Real Estate Investors. Means lower rents are coming,” wrote Gerli.
Meanwhile, RealPage Market Analytics reported that approximately 917,000 apartments were being developed nationwide in 2022, which will eventually increase the existing apartment base by 4.9 percent.
The construction boom is the largest since the early 1970s and has pressured landlords to keep their rent prices competitive to attract new tenants.
“Even if demand continues to strengthen, a robust supply of new inventory hitting the market this year should keep rent prices in check,” said Apartment List, which expects this year to be one of “modest positive rent growth.”
The pandemic also was a factor in the decline in rent prices, as economic uncertainty caused tenants to downsize or find more affordable housing, said the real estate website.
The American Housing Survey estimated that about half of rental households spent $1,000 or more monthly on rent in 2021.
Monthly payments for apartments rose slightly in March, up only up 2.6 percent from the same month last year, CNBC reported.
Apartment List reported that this was the smallest annual increase since April 2021, with housing price growth falling below the pre-pandemic average of 2.8 percent after reaching historically high levels last year.
The recent surge in available apartments may further expose the market to the vulnerability of a real estate bubble, said Gerli, as the increase in the construction of rentals has caused prices to fall nationwide.
“What’s especially concerning for real estate investors is that they’re already dealing with lots of empty apartments. Take Phoenix, for example. Data from Apartmentlist shows the vacancy rate has surged up to 7.2%. Highest level in at least six years.”
“Las Vegas is another. Vacancy Rate has more than tripled from 2.5% to 8.3% in less than two years. Rents have already started to go down in these markets,” he noted.
Another reason for the increase in rental vacancy rates is that the pandemic era halts on tenant evictions and the end of COVID monetary aid packages, have caused those unable to pay their rents to be forced out in ever-increasing numbers.
“Lots of metros in America have now surpassed their pre-pandemic eviction levels. Take Jacksonville, for example. Turns out the moratoriums/free money was just a band aid,” explained Gerli.
“So you combine evictions, with lots of building, with a Recession or near Recession, and you have problems brewing in the Rental Market. Which will invariably spill over in to the Housing Market. Because declining rents will eventually translate into declining prices,” he said.
Moody’s Analytics predicted that market growth will taper off in the second half of 2023, as home financing costs decline, due to the expectation that the Fed will move away from continued borrowing rate hikes if inflation starts to come down, taking some pressure off the mortgage market.
(Read of specifics on market trends at The Epoch Times)
Biden has beat down our energy sector and our overall economy
Now, it seems, Biden is ready to put us into a depression. He could not be happy with the “Great Recession” of the Obama years (and while Obama did not cause it, he also did not cure it — rather, he let the cause plod along in the form of the Fed). Now he has to depress our ability to make a living and bow to the Chinese and Russians who pay him.
All while the people in the press look the other way.
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