Maryland closed the fiscal year on a high note with comptroller Peter Franchot announcing Friday that the state’s general fund revenues totaled about $16.7 billion in fiscal year 2017, which is over $90 million above estimates.
However, it appears that state leaders aren’t exactly going on a spending spree with the extra money — Franchot “emphasized the need for fiscal caution during these uncertain economic times.” Continue reading “Maryland general fund revenues top $16.7 billion for FY 2017” »
Last night I decided to look at home prices while half-watching a bad reality show.
I wasn’t just looking at houses here in Dallas — I wanted to see what the markets in other cities were like.
One thing that struck me when I randomly decided to look up Detroit real estate was how many dirt-cheap houses there are.
A look at Detroit home prices.
Sure, many of the homes appeared to be in not-so-safe neighborhoods, but the cut-rate prices were amazing. Continue reading “The dangers of cheap foreclosures” »
Yesterday, I mentioned how some art auction houses have become highly attractive to money launderers for anonymous sales and lax lending policies. This is part of a global trend called “shadow banking” which poses significant systemic risks to markets in the U.S. and abroad.
What is it?
Shadow banking is a catch-all phrase for financial services that occur outside of the regular banking and investment system (and typically outside of regulatory control.) It can take many forms including risky financial products, loan-shark operations, off-the-books lending, or auction-house financing by art dealers. Continue reading “Shadow Banking” »
It’s arts month here in Dallas, which means that art collectors and investors from all over the world are in town.
Although art collectors will pay hefty sums for aesthetic reasons, high art prices and secretive auction sales have also become a prime money laundering vehicle.
Money laundering in the high-end art world happens in two primary ways: Continue reading “Art and Money Laundering” »