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Caleb Lawrence – KPIG-KPYG Radio – Share the Wealth – February 24, 2017

Despite more or less as expected data the major averages opened lower and entered the final hour with small losses. Since Tuesday the Standard and Poors 500 index is essentially unchanged while the NASDAQ has lost 24 points or .4%.

New Home Sales increased a less than expected 3.7% in January to 555,000 units annualized. Month’s supply was unchanged at 5.7, the median price advanced 2% to $318,900 for the month, on a year ago basis prices gained 7.6%. Strength was seen in the Northeast and Midwest, the Western region slipped a little. So far higher interest rates have failed to negatively impact real estate sales but it’s still a little early based on escrow and closing periods to say for certain.

As it turns out Iceland isn’t the only country granting significant jail terms to bank executives. The Spanish have joined the party sentencing a former International Monetary Fund Chairman and former CEO of Bankia Rodrigo Rato to 4.5 years, Miguel Blesa former CEO of Caja Madrid got 6 years. Dozens of closely related executives received terms ranging from 3-6 years as well for fraud and misappropriation of funds. Perhaps the next crisis will see some banksters sent to prison here as that is the only thing that is going to make them stand up and pay attention. 10’s of billions in fines certainly hasn’t nor has repeated warnings from the regulators. If ever there was a staggering failure of justice it was a bank that paid 10 Billion plus in fines and yet no one went to jail despite repeated, flagrant, and continuous violations over many years and numerous hollow promises to clean up their acts in the process. If memory serves the average bank robbery nets some $4,300 and if caught prison sentences start at about 5-years and that’s for a one time first offense.

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