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Chicago Residents Fight To Reclaim Streets From Illicit Drug Dealings

Chicago Residents Fight To Reclaim Streets From Illicit Drug Dealings

Authored by Cara Ding via The Epoch Times,

Over the last four years,…



Chicago Residents Fight To Reclaim Streets From Illicit Drug Dealings

Authored by Cara Ding via The Epoch Times,

Over the last four years, Patricia Carrillo and her husband Hugo Limon have done everything they could to steer drug sellers away from their block.

They took pictures of illicit drug dealings and shared them with police, they mustered the guts to meet with drug crew bosses, and they went to court to plead with judges to lock them up.

Their initiative annoyed some sellers, who threatened to harm them should they continue fighting, yet they did not back off.

Hugo Limon (left), Hugo Limon Jr., and Patricia Carrillo stand on their block in the Humboldt Park neighborhood on the West Side of Chicago, Ill. on April 11, 2022. (Cara Ding/The Epoch Times)

Over time, neighbors began to pitch in, and things started to turn. Slowly, drug sellers dwindled in numbers and retreated to street corners.

“So many people told me that if I didn’t like it here, I should just move out. I was like, ‘No, this is my neighborhood, this is my home. Why should I move out, not those guys?’” Carrillo said.

Since Carrillo got married to Limon about 20 years ago, they have lived on the 1100 block of Monticello Avenue, in the West Humboldt Park neighborhood, on the West Side of Chicago.

The block used to be heavily African American. Now, eight out of ten residents are Hispanic.

Illicit drug dealings have always been an issue. At the worst point, sellers operated a drive-through right in front of their apartment, and Limon had to push his way through just to reach their gate.

Two sellers stand on the corner of Division Street and Monticello Avenue, the northern end of Carrillo’s block, on April 11, 2022. (Cara Ding/The Epoch Times)

When sellers concluded business for the day, they left behind garbage, urine, and feces. Occasionally, they left behind condoms, too.

There used to be a McDonald’s, a CVS store, and a Dunkin Donut store just around the corner, but one by one they closed or relocated.

“They were in the McDonald’s parking lot so customers could get meals and drugs at the same time. It was really really super bad,” Limon said.

But what bothered them most was that sellers consistently peddled weed to their two sons.

Their older son, Hugo Limon Jr., even got invitations to join the drug crew.

“It is obviously up to you if you want to be committed and addicted to that. If you choose to do that, then that is your fault, and that is you giving up essentially,” Limon Jr. said.

He said his parents helped him to tell right from wrong, but some of his friends were not so lucky. Their parents were mostly absent, or worse, abusive.

Six of his friends, all high schoolers, have joined gangs and sold drugs on the streets.

That is often a dead-end route, Limon Jr. said. He saw one of his friends shot multiple times after getting into an altercation with rival gang members.

Hugo Limon Jr. plays basketball on a mini court inside a community garden on his block in the West Humboldt Park neighborhood of Chicago, Ill. on April 11, 2022. The garden turns muddy after rain and he covers the ground with planks before playing. (Cara Ding/The Epoch Times)

For a long time, Carrillo and Limon had hoped the police would solve the problem. After all, by law, what these sellers were doing was illegal.

They called police at the 11th district station, attended community meetings to speak with beat officers, and they sent pictures of illicit drug dealings to a sergeant at the Narcotics Division.

But they said the answer they got was almost always, “Sorry, but there is nothing we can do.”

For these types of crimes, police must catch them in action, which was hard to do, they were told.

Or police could search a person based on reasonable suspicion that he has committed a crime—but many officers were wary of doing this for fear of potential civilian complaints or civil rights lawsuits, a police source told The Epoch Times.

A lot of times, police could only catch them with simple drug possession, not with the intent to distribute.

After all the hustles of arrest, paperwork, and jail booking, the cases would be quickly dismissed by prosecutors, or later tossed out by judges, police told them.

“Why bother doing all this if they will be out in hours?” police told them.

A Chicago police officer conducts a traffic stop at the corner of Division Street and Monticello Avenue in the West Humboldt Park neighborhood on the West Side of Chicago on April 11, 2022. (Cara Ding/The Epoch Times)

But Limon thinks there are still things that police can do better.

He said the local police station once detailed a squad car to the station near the drug spots, in the hope to deter illicit drug activities. But he often saw a police officer dozing off or looking at the phone in the car.

“Nobody put a gun to your head for you to choose this job. So if you are going to do this career, at least do your best,” Limon said.

The Chicago Police Department told The Epoch Times in a statement that they do not discuss specifics of policing, including deployment and patrol strategies, out of an abundance of safety and caution.

Out of options, Limon and several neighbors arranged a meeting with one of the drug crew bosses.

They told the boss, “Stay away from my property, stay away from my kids.”

The boss replied, “I don’t really care. I want to work my [expletive] off and I don’t care.”

The West Side of Chicago has long been a drug epicenter. Addicts from across the metro area drive via highway I-290 to its open drug markets to get fixes.

Then the boss asked, “What else do you want me to do?”

Limon and neighbors told him to clean up the place after his sellers left for the day. So for a while, the boss hired someone to clean up the block every day.

A picture on the fence of the community garden shows the lot was littered with garbage before neighbors cleaned them up in 2019. (Cara Ding/The Epoch Times)

The boss also offered to pay $300 to rent a bouncy house for a block party, but Limon refused.

“If we accepted his money, he would think his sellers could stay here. So I said, ‘No, no, we don’t want your money, we want you to get out of here, and we are going to continue fighting’,” Limon said.

Some of the sellers got annoyed and told Limon to his face, “I know where you live. I know where your kids live. If you don’t stop, we are going to kill you.”

But Limon was undeterred. He said he talked to them just like a human being talks to another human being.

“They are people, though they are people doing really dumb things, and I don’t agree with it,” Limon said.

At the time, he was working two jobs, sometimes sleeping for only three hours a day. To help her husband, Carrillo gradually took over some work, including emailing pictures to police officers.

Carrillo, an immigrant from Mexico, spoke almost no English at the time. But the desire to better her block helped her overcome the language barrier and a shy character, she said.

Anna Quines, one of Carrillo’s neighbors, said on April 11, 2022, that the block had become better over the years because of Carrillo’s work. (Cara Ding/The Epoch Times)

n 2019, Carrillo was knocking on neighbors’ doors to get everyone on board.

“This is a bad neighborhood because we allow it. We need to stay together, we need to stay stronger,” Carrillo told them.

Some asked her to not bother them. Others told her, “This is West Side. What do you expect?”

Carrillo carried on.

She led committed neighbors to clean up a vacant lot where sellers often hung around. They turned it into a community garden, with a mini basketball court, Mexican-style ground oven, and sitting areas.

She also led regular clean-up efforts, so the block was nice and neat; she held regular safety walks with police officers, so they knew what was happening on the block; and she talked to police captains, superintendent David Brown, and Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot.

Gradually, more and more neighbors pitched in.

“The sellers were like, ‘Okay, now I had the whole block against me,” Limon said.

Slowly, they dwindled in numbers, and retreated to street corners, according to Carrillo.

It was not clear if other factors were also responsible for the ebb and flow of illicit drug dealings on her block.

While Carrillo was making all these changes, another set of changes was also taking place in the criminal justice system.

In January 2020, Illinois legalized marijuana. Though it is still illegal to sell marijuana on the street without a license, the law further disincentivizes police to arrest weed peddlers, Limon said.

Soon the pandemic hit, court capacity dropped, and Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx temporarily halted prosecutions of low-level drug offenses. Foxx said by doing that her staff could focus more on violent crime.

Until this day, Foxx has not officially suspended that policy. In other jurisdictions, such as Baltimore, similar pandemic non-prosecution policies were later made permanent.

These changes reflect a wider trend in the criminal justice system to decriminalize drug possessions and divert people to social service programs. Common theories driving the trend are that drug arrests fail to address the root problems and disproportionately hurt black people.

A recent investigative piece by Chicago SunTimes and Better Government Association argues that drug arrests caused people to lose jobs, housing, and family ties; they also cost taxpayers millions.

A Black Lives Matter mural next to Hugo Limon’s block in the West Humboldt Park neighborhood on the West Side of Chicago on April 11, 2022. (Cara Ding/The Epoch Times)

But Limon asked, what about the cost to me and my family?

“Kim Foxx can go as far as she wants, but she doesn’t live here for 20 years. You can’t live here for 20 years and then you told me that you are going to go low on these guys,” Limon said.

Carrillo requested a meeting with Foxx but has not heard back from her office yet.

The Epoch Times did not receive a comment from Cook County State’s Attorneys’ Office by press time.

In recent months, Limon and Carrillo notice more sellers have moved back onto the corners of their block. The sellers also travel through their block more often. One night, Carrillo heard multiple rounds of shootings from her apartment.

A seller walks on Patricia Carrillo’s block in the West Humboldt Park neighborhood in Chicago, Ill. on April 11, 2022. (Cara Ding/The Epoch Times)

Limon and Carrillo said they would not stop fighting. Recently, they became court advocates, going to court and talking to judges about the harm these sellers have caused to their neighborhoods.

First, they would get a list of cases from the Cook County State’s Attorneys’ Office. After that, they have a way to identify defendants who sold drugs on their block. Then, they attend related court hearings to plead with judges to lock them up or put them away longer.

“I said, ‘Look, judge, he got a gun case, he got a robbery, his rap sheet is so long, perhaps this time you should let him do some time,” he said.

But ultimately, it is up to judges to decide.

They also plan to ask judges to issue restraining orders against some sellers, essentially banning them from selling drugs on their block.

Hugo Limon holds his court advocate card while sitting in the community garden on his block on April 11, 2022. (Cara Ding/The Epoch Times)

Some states’ attorneys warned Limon and Carrillo about coming to court. The defendants or their associates might retaliate against you or your family, they told the couple.

“I am not afraid,” Limon said.

“We are in the block fighting, and now we are in the court fighting.”

Tyler Durden Wed, 04/20/2022 - 18:30

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Delivering a Real-time Genomics OS to Healthcare

When the opportunity arose to work with population genomics company Helix on a large genomic screening program, Judge was incredibly enthusiastic. With…



Daniel Judge, MD
Director of the Cardiovascular Genetics Program and Fellowship Director for Cardiovascular Disease
The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC)

When Daniel Judge, MD, director of the Cardiovascular Genetics program and fellowship director for cardiovascular disease at The Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC), moved over from John Hopkins a bit over five years ago, the use of genetics in clinical practice was absent in South Carolina.

“When you ask a clinician what genetics means, it’s often infants with phenylketonuria (PKU) or inherited disorders of metabolism,” Judge told Inside Precision Medicine. “But for adults with cardiovascular, pulmonary, or renal disease, not everyone uses genetics routinely in practice.”

So when the opportunity arose to work with population genomics company Helix on a large genomic screening program, Judge was incredibly enthusiastic.

“Here’s an opportunity for us and MUSC to stand apart from the large for-profit hospital centers that operate around the state, and for us to provide an academic and improved healthcare approach to things,” said Judge. “This was the opportunity for clinicians who have been doing good clinical work to bring genetics into their practice.”

In 2021, MUSC launched “In Our DNA, SC,” a first-of-its-kind genomics program to drive preventive, precision health care for South Carolinians. The statewide initiative has set out to enroll 100,000 patients in genetic testing over the next four years at no cost to the patients.

Walking the walk

Excluding COVID-19, the top cause of death in South Carolina is heart disease, followed by cancer. In the time that In Our DNA SC has been up and running, the cancer and heart disease rates haven’t yet begun to go down, but that’s the goal. Judge estimates that the program has detected about 175 positive results, which are split across breast cancer, colon cancer, and hyperlipidemia.

“Many of those patients with those results were quite surprised because they don’t have a family history of cancer or heart disease,” said Judge. “It’s nice to diagnose it because we’re seeing the ability to prescribe medications on the clinical side that are available more readily for people with familial hyperlipidemia or hypercholesterolemia.”

Judge is excited about the opportunity to provide an academic and improved healthcare approach. “It’s an opportunity for clinicians who have been doing great clinical work but haven’t integrated genetics into their primary care, or whatever that practice might be,” he said. “I think the use of genetics in clinical practice…is entering that mainstream. The patient benefits, and the family benefits.”

Judge’s experience in clinical genetics started about twenty years ago, and “I’ve always seen this pattern: once people see a successful use of something like this, they want to do more of it,” he said. “I think our clinicians will witness success with their patients and will want to see more.”

Making genomics part of real-time care

James Lu
James Lu, MD, PhD
Founder, Helix

Behind the scenes of the In Our DNA SC initiative is a population genomics company called Helix that strives to accelerate the integration of genomic data into patient care and public health decision-making. Founder James Lu, MD, PhD, has dreamt of a world where genetic testing will provide a real-time response versus one that takes weeks. He set his sights on offering top-tier provider and patient experiences by making genomics a part of the healthcare fabric.

Lu thinks the best way to deliver genomics as a data stream or operating system within healthcare is to work with health systems. “Most of our partnerships are with large-scale health systems and are focused on large-scale, population-level programs,” said Lu. “Typically, a hundred thousand people plus, where they inevitably believe that this is going to become the standard of care over time.”

Lu believes that health systems will want to do this because it allows them to identify patients who are clearly at risk and are hiding in plain sight, such as carriers of well-established deleterious DNA variants. Helix went the route of whole exome sequencing (WES) rather than looking at an entire genome, as Lu believes that the coding regions contain almost all the relevant genomic data for clinical decision-making.

With its genomics data, Helix is currently narrowly focused on the diseases that are part of the CDC Tier 1 genomic application toolkit. This set addresses the nearly two million people in the United States who are at increased risk for adverse health outcomes because they have genetic mutations that predispose them to one of three conditions: hereditary breast and ovarian cancer syndrome (HBOC), Lynch syndrome (LS), or familial hypercholesterolemia (FH). The healthcare system currently has a poor understanding of these conditions, and many affected people and their families are unaware that they are at risk; however, early detection and intervention could significantly lower morbidity and mortality.

The type of work that Helix is doing enables health systems to create fresh population health and value-based care algorithms to manage the health of larger populations. Over time, health systems want to drive the cost of care down while improving the quality of patient experiences.

From sea to shining sea

In addition to In Our DNA, SC, Helix currently has five other major programs running across the country that represent over 100,000 people in total, representing potentially one of the largest-scale programs across America’s health systems.

Leslie Dockan
Leslie Dockan
VP of primary care, clinic operations, and laboratories HealthPartners

In addition to South Carolina, Helix is located in Minnesota, where it is working with HealthPartners on a program called “myGenetics.” This large-scale community health research program, which launched in May 2022, is a first of its kind in Minnesota. Implementing this requires knowing what information to analyze, interpret, and communicate to patients, which Leslie Dockan, VP of primary care, clinic operations, and laboratories at HealthPartners, said aligns nicely with its and Helix’s core principle of providing clinicians with clear decision support.

The myGenetics program is free to the patient, given that it is a research project and the goal is to further biomedical understanding. “We wanted to create workflows that were easy for patients and weren’t disruptive to patient visits in the clinic, because our primary care clinicians have so many responsibilities and so many things that are happening,” said Dockan. This required HealthPartners to work closely with its electronic medical group and Helix to create a seamless workflow.

Multigenerational Group Hug
Credit: DisobeyArt / iStock / Getty Images Plus

A day in the myGenetics life

After signing up and consenting electronically, the patient gets an automatic email to schedule their lab appointment at a pace that suits them. “They can take their time, ask questions, and review the information at a time when they’re comfortable, not feeling pressured to move into this,” said Dockan.

Once the appointment is scheduled, the patient gives a blood sample and receives clear information on what to expect, including how long sample processing takes and the information researchers will be looking for. From the results, HealthPartners shares information with the patient about the genes that it has screened for and what the results mean, in addition to facts about the patient’s ancestry and other genetic insights.

While this is happening, the clinical results for the CDC Tier 1 Genomic Applications Toolkit gets fed into the patient’s clinical record for any positive results. In the case of such a result, a nurse calls the patient and notifies them of the result, and offers a no obligation appointment with a genetic counselor to talk about their risk, what their results mean, and any additional testing that might be needed. Direct referrals get set up with a specialist. “If you need an oncology, cardiac, or a gastroenterology referral, we do that work for them, put the referral in, order any follow-up labs that may be needed, and set them on a clear clinical pathway,” said Dockan.

This information also goes to the primary care physician as part of the patient’s medical record, which impacts their future health maintenance, namely, how often screening occurs. “If they have a genetic variant, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they have the disease or will get the disease,” said Dockan. “So, we follow them closely and then have that as a part of their ongoing health maintenance and preventative care.”

Dockan said that genomics will be brought into everyday care, such as with pharmacogenomics. “Physicians will be able to see that there are drug-gene interactions,” said Dockan. “If your physician starts to order a drug that’s not going to be compatible with your genetic makeup and how you metabolize drugs, then we want to be able to alert your clinician at the time of order and have them be able to give you an alternative. Today, we have many people on drugs that just don’t work for them, and no one knows why.”

Outreach in every corner

As of June 2023, myGenetics has had 25,000 people consent, which is about the annual number its organizers are shooting for. “We’re starting to see positive results and have more people who are benefiting from this work in a positive way and learning things about themselves,” said Dockan. “We just identified our first early cancer—someone who was underage and not yet even at screening age came back positive for BRCA2. We ended up doing follow-up screening and an MRI, and we found cancer. She’s crediting the program with potentially saving her life.”

Scientist pipetting sample into a vial for DNA testing
Credit: Cavan Images / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Dockan would like to see the next step of the program’s outreach be to everyone who’s due for their annual physical or a preventative exam. “We want to offer it with all of our mammography screenings,” said Dockan. “We have amazing screening rates for mammography, and this is just another layer that takes it even further.”

Dockan also wants to make sure that myGenetics is reaching underserved communities. She tells a story about a black woman in her fifties who has a long history of breast cancer in her family and found out that she was positive for one of the gene variants that put her at higher risk. Dockan thinks that this story can have a major influence on the communities of black women in Minnesota. Not only is there a benefit in getting the word out so that people get better immediate treatment, but the myGenetics team knows that patients of color are underrepresented in a lot of research databases and wants to help fuel new therapies and other ways of fighting disease in local underserved populations.

Judge laments that the program wasn’t in place several years earlier so that it could have worked in time for a famous South Carolina resident, Chadwick Bozeman. The actor developed metastatic colon cancer in his late thirties, well before colon cancer screening was done. Part of the plan for In Our DNA SC is to become one of the top-enrolled genomic screening programs for non-white participants. “We are in the southeast U.S., and while we are in the 15–16% range, we want to be like 30% of our participants who are non-white, predominantly black, representing our state,” said Judge. “When we look at what our goal is for inclusion in this program, we want the demographics in our publications to look like the state of South Carolina. We’re not there yet.”


Jonathan D. Grinstein’s wonder for the human mind and body led him to an undergraduate education in Neural Science and Philosophy and a doctorate in Biomedical science. He has 10 years of experience in experimental and computational research, during which he was a co-author on research articles in journals such as Nature and Cell. Since then, Jonathan hung up his lab coat and has explored positions in science writing and editing. Jonathan’s science writing work has been featured in Scientific American, Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News (GEN), and NEO.LIFE.

The post Delivering a Real-time Genomics OS to Healthcare appeared first on Inside Precision Medicine.

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As Mortgage Rates Hit 8%, US Housing Affordability At Lowest Level Since The ’80s

As Mortgage Rates Hit 8%, US Housing Affordability At Lowest Level Since The ’80s

Update (1320ET): The average rate on the popular 30-year…



As Mortgage Rates Hit 8%, US Housing Affordability At Lowest Level Since The '80s

Update (1320ET): The average rate on the popular 30-year fixed mortgage rate hit 8% Wednesday morning, according to Mortgage News Daily. 

That is the highest level since mid-2000.

“Here’s another milestone that seemed extreme several short months ago,” said Matthew Graham, chief operating officer of Mortgage News Daily.

“The fact is that many borrowers have already seen rates over 8%. That said, many borrowers are still seeing rates in the 7s due to buydowns and discount points.”

As CNBC reports, to put it in perspective, a buyer purchasing a $400,000 home with a 20% down payment would have a monthly payment today of nearly $1,000 more than it would have been two years ago.

*  *  *

As Andrew Moran detailed earlier via The Epoch Times, the U.S. housing market has witnessed a slowdown in activity this year due to tighter supply, says Thomas Barkin, the president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond.

Speaking at a Real Estate Roundtable event in Washington, D.C., Mr. Barkin explained that home prices have remained strong in an environment of higher interest rates and slowing sales volumes.

But the industry has been pining for lower rates, he noted.

"You may know that the last time the Fed tackled high inflation, in the ’80s, homebuilders sent Paul Volcker two-by-fours inscribed with the message: Lower interest rates," he said.

In a letter to Fed Chair Jerome Powell by the National Association of Home Builders, the Mortgage Bankers Association, and the National Association of Realtors, the central bank was urged not to pull the trigger on more rate hikes.

"Further rate increases and a persistently wide spread pose broader risks to economic growth, heightening the likelihood and magnitude of a recession," the letter stated.

A treasure trove of data and research shows that further Fed tightening could exacerbate current conditions in the real estate sector, especially regarding affordability.

Housing Affordability Challenges

With supply failing to keep up with demand and mortgage rates marching toward 8 percent, housing affordability deteriorated to a fresh all-time low in August, new industry data show.

The NAR Housing Affordability Index clocked in at 91.7 in August, down from 93.9 in July - anything below 100 indicates a household with a median income does not earn enough to be approved for a mortgage on a median-priced home. This was the lowest reading since at least the early 1980s.

NAR figures highlighted that the typical family needed to earn $107,232 in August to qualify for a mortgage, based on a 20 percent downpayment. It was the third consecutive month of a six-figure headline number.

Meanwhile, the organization reported that the average family spent more than one-quarter (27 percent) of their income on annual mortgage payments.

Housing inventories have worsened over the past year. Existing home sales have declined in 13 of the last 15 months, including a 0.7 percent drop in August.

The challenge faced by the U.S. real estate market today is that homeowners are not erecting for-sale signs on their front lawns.

When the Federal Reserve slashed interest rates to nearly zero during the coronavirus pandemic, mortgage rates crashed to their lowest levels on record.

According to the Freddie Mac Primary Mortgage Market Survey (PMMS), the 30-year fixed-rate mortgage collapsed to 2.77 percent in August 2021. For the week ending Oct. 12, 2023, it is close to a 23-year high of 7.6 percent.

Home prices have also surged since the public health crisis, rising nearly 30 percent to a median sales price of $416,100.

The mix of high mortgages and prices has prevented the new generation of homebuyers from achieving the American dream of homeownership. However, anyone who purchased a home before the U.S. central bank launched its quantitative tightening cycle is in good shape: a 2 to 4 percent 30-year mortgage rate and a residential property that has accumulated plenty of equity.

This past summer, a Redfin analysis revealed that 92 percent of homeowners enjoyed a mortgage rate below 6 percent, offering minimal incentive for owners to sell their properties and move to another home with a higher rate. Nearly one-quarter (24 percent) maintain a rate below 3 percent, close to a record high achieved in the first quarter of 2022.

Ultimately, it could be a tale of two housing market participants.

Andy Walden, the ICE vice president of enterprise research, warned that incomes would have to spike 55 percent or home prices would have to collapse 35 percent to restore affordability.

"Those are massive movements we're talking about, and none of them are going to happen in a vacuum, and none of those one single factors are going to make the move," Mr. Walden told CNBC earlier this month.

Mortgage Rates Now and Beyond

The National Association of Home Builders (NAHB)/Wells Fargo Housing Market Index (HMI) found that builder confidence in the real estate market for newly constructed single-family homes slumped for the third consecutive month in October. They are seeing lower levels of buyer traffic as some buyers, including the younger families, are "priced out of the market because of higher interest rates," says NAHB Chairman Alicia Huey, a custom home builder and developer.

"Higher rates are also increasing the cost and availability of builder development and construction loans, which harms supply and contributes to lower housing affordability," Ms. Huey added.

A construction worker carries materials as he works on a home under construction at a housing development in Petaluma, Calif., on March 23, 2022. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

NAHB Chief Economist Robert Dietz noted that one of the primary tools available to solve the housing affordability crisis is contributing "attainable, affordably supply."

"Boosting housing production would help reduce the shelter inflation component that was responsible for more than half of the overall Consumer Price Index increase in September and aid the Fed’s mission to bring inflation back down to 2%," he said. "However, uncertainty regarding monetary policy is contributing to affordability challenges in the market.”

The September consumer price index (CPI) shelter index is up 7.2 percent compared to a year ago.

While the futures market is pricing in the Fed, keeping rates unchanged at the November and December Federal Open Market Committee (FOMC) policy meetings, the central bank’s Summary of Economic Projections suggests officials are planning one more rate hike this year.

In addition, Treasury yields have been accelerating, with the 2-, 10-, and 30-year yields touching their highest levels in 16 years. The volatility in the bond market has played a critical role in the housing market because mortgage lenders tie their interest rates closely to Treasury bond rates.

As a result, Fannie Mae projects that mortgage rates will hover in the 7 percent range for most of next year before sliding to 6.7 percent by the end of 2024.

"In many ways, the housing market experienced four years of business in a two-year period between mid-2020 and mid-2022," said Doug Duncan, Fannie Mae Senior Vice President and Chief Economist.

"With ongoing affordability constraints and rising mortgage rates, much of that activity has essentially been given back. We expect the higher mortgage rate environment to continue to dampen housing activity and further complicate housing affordability into 2024."

The FOMC will hold its next two-day policy meeting on Oct. 31 and Nov. 1.

Tyler Durden Wed, 10/18/2023 - 13:40

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Backlash forces Goldman Sachs CEO to give up side gig he absolutely loves

It was the day the music died at Goldman Sachs as the CEO reportedly packs in his side hustle.



Hey, Mr D.J.--get back to work!

Everyone knows that party can't get started until the DJ shows up. 

Weddings, private parties, holiday bashes, you need somebody to spin records, get people dancing and to make sure that nobody's car is blocking the driveway.

Related: Elon Musk takes a shot at Tesla's most prominent U.S. electric vehicle rival

Just think of some the legendary DJs, such as Grandmaster Flash, Frankie Knuckles, David Guetta, and, of course, DJ D-Sol.

Goldman CEO David Solomon drops the beat.

Craig Barritt/Getty Images for Casamigos

Wait, what? Who was that last guy?

Proceeds go to charities 

DJ D-Sol is the nom de disc of David Solomon, whose day job is chairman and CEO of Goldman Sachs  (GS) - Get Free Report.

Solomon, 61, has performed a variety of high-profile gigs in recent years, including a performance last summer at the Lollapalooza music festival in Chicago.

However, the top executive has changed his tune and pulled the plug on his musical side hustle, according to the Financial Times.

His hobby reportedly hit a sour note in some circles within the company, who felt that his DJ schtick created a distraction from his work leading the Wall Street firm, the publication reported, citing people with knowledge of the decision. 

Some folks were uneasy about his decision in 2019 to perform at Tomorrowland, a Belgian music festival known for heavy drug taking.

Solomon, who was  named chief executive in 2018, also apologized to Goldman’s board in 2020 after he DJed at a 2020 event in the Hamptons resort area of New York that was criticized for blowing off social distancing rules during the Covid-19 pandemic. 

His interest in DJing started more than a decade ago when he was working on a financing deal for a Las Vegas casino. He has said that proceeds from his performance have gone towards charities combating addiction.

'Music not a distraction'

Few colleagues remarked on his hobby before he became CEO, but his decision to keep it up after taking over the top spot was controversial for some employees who felt it brought unwelcome attention. 

Amid all this, Solomon has been under fire from some investors over the bank's lackluster profits.

In the second quarter, Goldman posted its lowest quarterly profit in three years, as a costly retreat from consumer banking was compounded by the industry-wide slowdown in deals and trading

The investment bank posted better-than-expected third quarter earnings on Oct. 17, but booked more than $800 million in write downs linked to its real estate and home improvement lending divisions.

Goldman Sachs maintains that any controversy about Solomon's deejaying is just so much chin music.

"This is not news," spokesman Tony Fratto told the Financial Times. "David hasn’t publicly DJed an event in well over a year, which we have confirmed multiple times in the past."

"Music was not a distraction from David’s work," Fratto added. "The media attention became a distraction."

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