united states – Hudson Berkshire Experience http://hudsonberkshireexperience.com/ Tue, 29 Mar 2022 10:18:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://hudsonberkshireexperience.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/cropped-icon-32x32.png united states – Hudson Berkshire Experience http://hudsonberkshireexperience.com/ 32 32 It’s the riskiest housing market in America – 24/7 Wall St. https://hudsonberkshireexperience.com/its-the-riskiest-housing-market-in-america-24-7-wall-st/ Wed, 16 Mar 2022 23:00:16 +0000 https://hudsonberkshireexperience.com/its-the-riskiest-housing-market-in-america-24-7-wall-st/

America’s housing market hasn’t been this healthy in decades, if ever. The closely tracked S&P Case-Shiller House Price Index showed that house prices increased by nearly 19% in December, close to a record in the history of the index. In some cities, this figure was closer to 30%.

However, not all places in the United States enjoy a healthy housing market, and some have been negatively affected by the pandemic. The riskiest housing market in America is Sussex County, New Jersey.

Several factors have pushed home prices higher. One is extremely low mortgage rates, although rates have started to rise. Another is that middle- and upper-class incomes haven’t been affected much by the pandemic. Yet another is the new mobility of Americans, who want to move from expensive coastal cities to ones with a lower cost of living and better quality of life. In fact, the high cost of living, which includes housing costs, can increase the risk of a housing market. (These are the most expensive states to live in.)

Also, not all markets have seen strong house price increases. Despite the strength of the real estate market, there are still many counties where the housing market is at heightened risk from the impact of the pandemic, either directly or indirectly.

These areas have higher than average foreclosure rates and shares of homes with higher than average underwater mortgages, meaning the value of outstanding mortgage balances exceeds the total property value. Some of these markets are also much less affordable than average, with high ownership costs relative to local incomes.

Based on an index of these three measures – foreclosure rates (on all residential properties), share of underwater mortgages, and affordability (ownership costs as a percentage of average local wages) – at the county level, 24/ 7 Wall St. identified the most risky housing market. All data sourced from property and property data company ATTOM Data Solutions’ First Quarter 2021 Coronavirus Special Report. The data used is from the first quarter of 2021, except for the estimated market values ​​of the houses which are from the fourth quarter of 2020.

Many of the most at-risk counties are located in the eastern United States, stretching from Florida to the mid-Atlantic and New England. The pandemic has wrought above-average economic and public health havoc in some of those counties. (It is the most expensive city to buy a house in all the states.)

In Sussex County, which is in the New York-Newark-Jersey City metropolitan area, typical homeownership costs as a share of median income are 40.6%, while there are 7,646 homes with underwater mortgages, or 18.3% of houses with loans. .

Click here to see the riskiest housing market in America

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Stocks falter lower, crude climbs after US bans Russian oil | app https://hudsonberkshireexperience.com/stocks-falter-lower-crude-climbs-after-us-bans-russian-oil-app/ Tue, 08 Mar 2022 21:25:06 +0000 https://hudsonberkshireexperience.com/stocks-falter-lower-crude-climbs-after-us-bans-russian-oil-app/

NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks closed lower on Tuesday after another wobbly day of trading on Wall Street as oil prices soared after the United States banned imports from Russia.

The economic fallout from his invasion of Ukraine also rattled the nickel market, driving up its price so much that trading in the metal was shut down.

The S&P 500 fell 0.7% after hovering between a 1% loss and a 1.8% gain. Such swings have become common as investors struggle to guess how high oil prices will go and how much they will weigh on the economy. The benchmark lost 30.39 points to 4,170.70. It has fallen four days in a row and now stands 13.1% below its record set at the start of this year.

Oil surged on fears that global supply could be disrupted as Russia is one of the world’s largest energy producers. Following President Joe Biden’s announcement of the Russian oil ban, the price per barrel of US crude rose 3.6% to $123.70. Brent, the international standard, rose 3.9% to $127.98.

But oil prices did not climb as high as they had the day before, when concerns erupted over a possible ban and the price of U.S. oil hit $130.50. As oil pared its gains after Biden’s announcement, stocks also pared their losses.

The surprising reactions may have been the result of the big moves markets had already made a day earlier in anticipation of the announcement, said Nate Thooft, chief investment officer of multi-asset solutions at Manulife Investment Management.

“You’ve seen the sanctions escalate, but in the eyes of the market, that’s old news,” he said. “Now that it’s happened, and a lot of selling has already taken place, the market is asking, ‘sell?’ and you have people buying in the market.”

He expects the dizzying hour-to-hour swings to continue. Uncertainty is still high and many investors are still keen to trade quickly. “For me, for the traditional investor,” he said, “it’s one of those situations where you buy into weakness and turn a blind eye.”

The Nasdaq composite fell 35.41 points, or 0.3%, to 12,795.55. On Monday, it closed 20% below its record high. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell 184.74 points, or 0.6%, to 32,632.64. It went from a loss of 238 points to a gain of 585 earlier.

Small company stocks held up better than the broader market. The Russell 2000 rose 11.68 points, or 0.6%, to 1,963.01.

Already high oil prices have pushed the average price of a gallon of gasoline in the country to a record high. Biden said he hoped to limit Americans’ pain, but he acknowledged the ban would raise gas prices.

“Defending freedom is also going to cost us dearly,” he said.

Biden also said he understands many European allies may not be able to take similar steps because they are much more dependent on Russian energy supplies. European nations have said they plan to reduce their dependence on Russia for their energy needs, but filling the void without crippling their economies will likely take some time.

“The markets just need time to digest things and they were presumably shocked when (the invasion) happened,” said Kristina Hooper, chief global market strategist at Invesco. “It’s no surprise that the EU disagrees with the US on this, and that’s certainly positive for oil, but we also have to recognize that this is changing quite rapidly.”

The US ban on Russian oil imports is the latest move by governments and companies around the world to squeeze Russia’s finances in the wake of its attack on Ukraine. All of the penalties raise questions about how prices will go not just for oil but also for natural gas, wheat and other commodities where the region is a major producer. This in turn adds more pressure to the already high inflation that is sweeping the world, tightening its grip on the global economy.

It also makes an already difficult path for the Federal Reserve and other central banks around the world even more treacherous. They hoped to raise interest rates enough to bring down high inflation, but not enough to cause a recession.

“That geopolitical risk has essentially reduced some of the Fed’s political risk and they’re much less likely to make a policy mistake this year,” Hooper said. “The Fed recognizes this risk to US policy and will act more cautiously.”

All the uncertainty has led to a particularly wild commodity trade, where supply challenges collide with strengthening demand as the global economy recovers from its coronavirus-caused shutdown.

Nickel trading was suspended on the London Metal Exchange on Tuesday after prices doubled to an all-time high of $100,000 per metric ton.

Nickel is primarily used to produce stainless steel and some alloys, but is increasingly being used in batteries, particularly electric vehicle batteries.

Russia is the world’s third largest nickel producer. And Russian mining company Nornickel is a major supplier of high-grade nickel used in electric vehicles.

The yield on the 10-year Treasury note, which is used to fix interest rates on mortgages and many other types of loans, rose to 1.84% from 1.75% on Monday evening.


AP Business Writers Damian J. Troise, Yuri Kageyama, and Alex Veiga contributed.

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Russians face the sanctions and anxieties of a costly war https://hudsonberkshireexperience.com/russians-face-the-sanctions-and-anxieties-of-a-costly-war/ Mon, 28 Feb 2022 21:37:34 +0000 https://hudsonberkshireexperience.com/russians-face-the-sanctions-and-anxieties-of-a-costly-war/

Stanislav Usaty, owner of a marketing agency in St. Petersburg, said he expected to lose many of his clients to the higher exchange rate, especially businesses selling imports; he said he would probably need to lay off staff. Aleksandra Gridina, owner of a travel agency in the city, said she would have to raise prices for international tours her customers had already booked.

“It’s a disaster for our business,” she said.

Yet while there was confusion at subway turnstiles and lines formed at ATMs and banks, there was no full-fledged financial panic among the general public. And it was far from clear if the sanctions would help turn more Russians against the war – or if they would only increase their resentment towards the West, confirming the Kremlin’s narrative that the United States and the Europe were determined to dismantle their country.

“Times are changing, a lot has happened, but one thing has not changed,” a reporter from the official Rossiya 24 news channel said on Sunday. “When a united Europe tried to destroy Russia , it has always led to the opposite result.”

The backbone of Mr. Putin’s power are security officials who rarely leave Russia and stand to gain from increased state control over the economy. In the general public, he draws his essential support from retirees and state employees, who are less sensitive to economic volatility than those in the private sector.

Shopping in Moscow on Monday, Valentina V. Petrova, 85, who said she worked on Russia’s Proton space rockets, said economic troubles had not fazed her.

“I think the president did everything right,” she said.

Mr. Petrov, the engineer who flew to Egypt, said his parents also supported the war. And older Russians, he noted, had had their share of ups and downs.

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How Ukrainians raise funds in cryptocurrency https://hudsonberkshireexperience.com/how-ukrainians-raise-funds-in-cryptocurrency/ Sat, 26 Feb 2022 20:29:04 +0000 https://hudsonberkshireexperience.com/how-ukrainians-raise-funds-in-cryptocurrency/

More than $9.9 million in cryptocurrency has been donated to Ukrainian groups since Russia attacked the country on Feb. 24, according to research firm Elliptic. Decentralized Autonomous Organizations (DAOs) have been formed to support Ukrainians. NFTs were sold to raise funds for the Ukrainian people and army. The country’s official Twitter account stated that it accepts Bitcoin, Ether, and Tether.

Donations like these are usually made the old-fashioned way: through banks. In tech-savvy Ukraine, crypto has become a quick and easy way to manage that money. It’s not just money coming into the country either – the stablecoin Tether is supposed to be pegged to the US dollar. But demand in Ukraine is so high that it has broken its peg and is trading above the dollar – at $1.10, at the time of this writing.

“Coming from Ukraine, it’s completely normal to have stacks of dollars in physical proximity,” says Illia Polosukhin, Ukrainian co-founder of Ethereum competitor NEAR Protocol. He has family in Kharkiv, which was bombed as we spoke. “You don’t trust the local currency and besides, you don’t trust the banks.” This makes Ukraine a natural location for cryptocurrency adoption.

Ukraine is known for its technological talent, with more than 200,000 tech workers, and its IT export business achieved a volume of $6.8 billion last year. It also officially legitimized Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies last year, in a law regulating digital financial assets and offering fraud protection to Ukrainians. (Previously, crypto existed in a gray area where people could transact, but companies and exchanges that did so attracted the attention of law enforcement.)

The country ranked fourth on Chainalysis’ Global Crypto Adoption Index, behind Vietnam, India, and Pakistan, and around $8 billion worth of cryptocurrency passes through the country every year. “The big idea is to become one of the world’s leading jurisdictions for crypto businesses,” said Alexander Bornyakov, deputy minister of Ukraine’s Ministry of Digital Transformation. The New York Times Last year.

When Polosukhin was in Ukraine last year, he was surprised to see that crypto had proliferated widely, even among people who weren’t working on crypto projects. He noted that Tether is particularly popular, in part because so many Ukrainians were used to working with the dollar as their reserve currency. There was another factor: the relative scarcity of investment options. Other than the real estate market, “the only other opportunity to invest is actually in crypto.”

This may explain why so many cryptocurrency and Web3 supporters have flocked to the country since the February 24 invasion. Although there are concerns that Russian companies are also using cryptocurrency to evade sanctions, the Bank of Russia has been pushing for a ban on cryptocurrencies. (Instead, it favors the digital ruble.) So when Ukraine’s central bank suspended digital money transfers and limited cash withdrawals, crypto – alongside the dollar, gold and cash – has become a viable option for transacting.

Generally, the international crypto community reacted with messages of support for Ukraine. Vitalik Buterin, the creator of Ethereum, tweeted that the invasion was “a crime” against Ukrainians and Russians, adding “Glory to Ukraine”. Later, Buterin retweeted an announcement from Unchain.fund, aimed at humanitarian aid. Nine people must sign for the funds to be distributed; Polosukhin of NEAR is one of the signatories. After we talked, Polosukhin sent me a document with ways to donate.

It’s not just Polosukhin. A member of the Russian performance art group Pussy Riot created UkraineDAO, to use “the power of web3 technology and the community to raise funds”. There’s also RELI3F, “a humanitarian aid initiative founded by NFT/web3 artists collaborating to support the people of Ukraine.” On Twitter, the CEO of the FTX cryptocurrency exchange announced that the company “just gave $25 to every Ukrainian on FTX. Do what you have to do.”

Yev Muchnik, a Ukrainian-born lawyer who has lived in the United States since 1988, works on Ukraine United DAO with PieFi developers. “Everyone is coming together to find ways to help,” she told me. “It really gives you confidence in how people, community and technology can do so much.” Among the DAO’s goals: to create peer-to-peer mesh networks to preserve Internet connectivity, even if centralized Internet service providers fail.

“The missing link is trying to understand what the people on the ground need,” says Muchnik. She believes blockchain technology will make it easier to ensure that funds raised for Ukrainians actually go where they are supposed to. According to what she now understands from people on the ground in Ukraine, people are withdrawing money from their bank accounts and trying to find other ways to transact.

The collective coordination effort shows how crypto can be used as a public good, Muchnik says. She coordinates with people in Ukraine and Poland to verify and authenticate organizations that pop up. The blockchain also means that the flow of funds is traceable; anything unused can be returned.

Oleksii Stoiko runs a popular Telegram channel in Ukraine on cryptocurrency, which he created after being inspired by Bankless, a crypto-focused media organization. He exploded in popularity about a year and a half ago, he told me from his home in the west of the country. It does not surprise him that Ukrainians have turned to crypto. “Ukrainians are natural when it comes to coordination,” he says.

On February 24, Stoiko felt too scared to leave his house, even though there were no Russian troops nearby. “It’s quite, quite scary, actually,” he said. Just before he and I spoke, he was reinforcing the windows of his apartment with duct tape.

When we spoke on the 25th, things in the Stoiko area were mundane except for empty shelves in large supermarkets – the most popular foods have all disappeared – and lots of people running around with suitcases. But raising awareness in the cryptocurrency community has helped him feel less alone. “It really warms my heart to read all these kind words and support for me personally and for all Ukrainians,” he says.

Polosukhin’s goal right now is to ensure that those in need are supported, whether in cryptocurrency or not. It’s easy to send crypto, he notes, but it’s not necessarily easy for people to receive it if the internet or electricity is down. When we spoke, the only thing working in Kharkiv was the mobile phone providers, and Polosukhin didn’t know when they would fail either. For those who had it, money was always the best strategy.

Correction 1:30 p.m. ET on February 26: Elliptic made an error in its calculations: 9.9 million dollars were donated to Ukrainian groups. The article has been updated to reflect their corrected figure.

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Trump praises Putin, leaving Republicans at an impasse https://hudsonberkshireexperience.com/trump-praises-putin-leaving-republicans-at-an-impasse/ Fri, 25 Feb 2022 00:51:46 +0000 https://hudsonberkshireexperience.com/trump-praises-putin-leaving-republicans-at-an-impasse/

“We are always in favor of peace,” he insisted.

Andrew S. Weiss, Russian expert at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, said the Kremlin had sought for a decade to win over allies from the American right, in part by denouncing gay rights, highlighting Russian support for social norms curators and inviting visits. prominent evangelical figures like Franklin Graham.

“It worked wonderfully,” Mr. Weiss said.

Stephen K. Bannon, a former adviser to Mr. Trump who hosts a popular conservative podcast, hinted this week at the success of those efforts. “Putin is not awake – he is anti-awakening,” Bannon said approvingly on Wednesday. He was interviewing Erik Prince, the private security contractor and member of a prominent family of evangelical Christians and Republican donors, who joined Mr. Bannon in praising Russia for its opposition to transgender rights.

On Thursday, Mr. Bannon argued that Congress should impeach Mr. Biden for “inciting this war in Ukraine”.

“There is no appetite in Europe to defend themselves, okay?” Mr. Bannon said. “Now you’ve come in and stirred up a hornet’s nest.”

Hal Brands, a historian at Johns Hopkins University’s School of Advanced International Studies and resident fellow at the conservative American Enterprise Institute, compared apparent sympathy for Russia among some on the right to earlier periods when political fringe groups embraced foreign rivals as foils. for domestic opponents.

In the years before the United States entered World War II, for example, a handful of lawmakers praised Adolf Hitler and Benito Mussolini for their strong leadership. During the early years of the Cold War, he noted, some on the far left spoke approvingly of the Soviet Union as an alternative to unfettered capitalism.

“Russia is a surrogate for the anti-reawakening,” he said.

But the “current fascination with Putin” among some on the right, he added, “is also tied to the post-Trump draw.”

“You see a lot of emulation among politicians who may or may not be genuinely Trumpian but who nevertheless want to claim that part of the party base for their own political ambitions.”

Nicholas Confessore contributed reporting.

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Governor Charlie Baker announces $75 million in relief for small businesses | News https://hudsonberkshireexperience.com/governor-charlie-baker-announces-75-million-in-relief-for-small-businesses-news/ Wed, 23 Feb 2022 22:41:00 +0000 https://hudsonberkshireexperience.com/governor-charlie-baker-announces-75-million-in-relief-for-small-businesses-news/

BROCKTON – Amelia Goncalves came to the United States from Angola in 1996, and by the start of the next decade she and her family had opened a restaurant in Brockton serving the kinds of West African dishes she grew up on.

Like any restaurant, Luanda Restaurant and Lounge has had its ups and downs with the economy over the years. But the COVID-19 pandemic that arrived at the start of 2020 really put a strain on the business.

When Governor Charlie Baker’s administration introduced a $668 million small grants program for small businesses in late 2020, the Goncalves family applied for and received $75,000, the maximum grant available.

“It has helped us pay a lot of bills and keep our business going,” Goncalves said Wednesday as she welcomed Baker and other heads of state to announce the availability of a new round of funding, albeit from a smaller sum, for small businesses still in difficulty. of the pandemic.

Baker traveled to Brockton on Wednesday to relaunch a small grants program for small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, visiting the West African restaurant Les Golcalves to mark the opening of the application window which will end with $75 million to support businesses like Luanda Restaurant and Salon.

The program is funded by money from the American Rescue Plan Act and last year’s state budget surplus, and succeeds a $668 million Baker Small Business Relief Fund created in late 2020. which also relied heavily on federal funds. The Legislature recapitalized the program as part of the $4 billion ARPA relief bill passed late last year.

“This program has proven to be a lifeline and a game changer for so many businesses here in the Commonwealth,” Baker said.

The ARPA Surplus Bill has made $50 million in grants available to small businesses impacted by COVID-19, with priority given to businesses that serve socially and economically disadvantaged communities and those owned and operated by minorities, women, veterans, members of the LGBTQ community and people with disabilities.

The remaining $25 million in grants is earmarked for companies that did not previously qualify for relief funding under the original program. The application period opened at noon Wednesday, and businesses will have five weeks to apply for grants of up to $75,000 that can be used on everything from payroll, mortgages and rent to COVID safety supplies. -19 or outdoor restaurant upgrades.

Massachusetts Growth Capital Corporation President Larry Andrews, who will administer the grants, said his goal is to start giving out funds by late April or early May. Andrews said the timing of the awards will depend, in part, on the volume of applications received, and he expects the program to be oversubscribed.

“To the small business owners who may be watching this right now, your resilience and optimism is infectious and truly inspiring. We thank you and want to support you further,” Andrews said.

Jaysen Goncalves, Amelia’s son, said the grant his family received last year helped the restaurant build an outdoor dining area, which they had always wanted, and stay afloat when d other businesses were failing. But restaurants still face supply chain issues, inflation and rising ingredient prices.

“It’s been very helpful during a very tumultuous time. But the effects of the pandemic are still being felt, especially for many small businesses like ours,” Jaysen Goncalves said.

Jon Hurst, president of the Massachusetts Retailers Association of Massachusetts, expressed support for state and local governments to direct more federal dollars toward supporting small businesses, but said the size of this new program subsidies barely scratches the surface of need.

“You have to wonder what local and state governments are waiting for to spend more of their ARPA funds,” Hurst said. “Are they expecting darker window displays? Are they waiting for COVID to be totally in the rearview mirror so they can spend it on unrelated purposes?

The state still has about $2.3 billion in uncommitted ARPA funds, and Democratic leaders have yet to set a timeline for when they might consider spending that money. Cities and towns also received their own pots of money from the federal relief bill.

“Those who believe small business failures are over don’t understand that you can’t survive indefinitely on both lower sales and much higher costs,” Hurst said.

Lieutenant Governor Karyn Polito said “it’s up to us” to support local businesses by shopping and dining at local establishments.

“Make a plan to hang out with your friends and family and really support the small businesses that are the fabric of our republic,” Polito said.

Baker lamented that the event took place in the morning, not the evening, when he could have ordered takeout food. After promising to be back with his wife and friends for dinner, Jaysen Goncalves told him that delivery to State House was an option.

“Do you really deliver to the State House?” Boulanger asked. “Great. I’m done with that.”

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House hunting in Spain: a restored two-bedroom apartment in central Barcelona https://hudsonberkshireexperience.com/house-hunting-in-spain-a-restored-two-bedroom-apartment-in-central-barcelona/ Wed, 23 Feb 2022 14:30:14 +0000 https://hudsonberkshireexperience.com/house-hunting-in-spain-a-restored-two-bedroom-apartment-in-central-barcelona/

This two-bedroom apartment, in Barcelona’s Sant Antoni neighborhood, has an updated interior lit by multiple outdoor spaces, including a 40-square-meter terrace – a rarity in the city center – with dedicated dining areas , sunbathing and doing laundry.

Carlos Cossio, senior consultant at Engel & Völkers, which holds the listing, noted the house’s “stately, plastered and preserved ceilings”, as well as how its mix of textures and colors “reinforces the original elements of home and at the same time provides a new approach to design.

The apartment of approximately 1500 square feet, on the second floor of a 1900 building, is accessible by elevator. Past the hall, glass doors to the left open into a lounge with muted dusty green walls, ornate plasterwork and two sets of French doors opening onto a balcony that runs the length of the room. To the right is a large modern kitchen and dining room with doors leading out to a patio. The kitchen’s original tiles were retained and rearranged during a comprehensive refurbishment in 2018 and 2019 which also restored the iron radiators and double-glazed windows, and added central air conditioning.