Overnight Finance

On The Money — Is the housing recession upon us?

Economists say the U.S. housing market is in a recession and the broader economy will soon follow. We’ll also look at the bipartisan effort to get Sam Bankman-Fried to testify and more on Sen. Joe Manchin’s (D-W.Va.) permitting push. 

But first, see why the GOP is gearing up to dump Trump. 

Welcome to On The Money, your nightly guide to everything affecting your bills, bank account and bottom line. For The Hill, we’re Sylvan LaneAris Folley and Karl Evers-Hillstrom. Someone forward you this newsletter? Sign up here or in the box below.

Economists: Housing recession has already arrived

This has been a year of watershed moments in real estate — and not the good kind.  

The Housing Market Index, a closely watched industry metric that gauges the outlook for home sales, declined to 33 in November on a hundred-point scale, its lowest level in a decade, save for the first dystopian month of the pandemic. Anything less than 50 spells trouble.  

  • Interest rates have fallen from their high of around 7 percent, which is a good thing for buyers, but experts say it’s mostly because a forecasted recession is weighing on rates. 
  • The housing market is already in recession and has been since midsummer, according to the National Association of Home Builders, which publishes the Housing Market Index.    
  • Where the housing market goes, the broader economy typically follows.  

“The housing market leads the U.S. into recession, and it’s likely to pull it out,” said Michael Fratantoni, chief economist at the Mortgage Bankers Association, with recovery arriving around the middle of next year. 

Daniel De Visé has the story here.

The Hill’s Top Lobbyists 2022

Lobbyists played a key role in shaping an avalanche of legislation in 2022, including Democrats’ Inflation Reduction Act and several bipartisan bills — ranging from the CHIPS and Science Act to the Respect for Marriage Act — that brought sharply divided lawmakers together. 

The Hill on Wednesday released its list of top lobbyists for 2022. This list honors the corporate lobbyists, hired guns, association leaders and grassroots activists who leveraged their expertise and connections to make a difference in the nation’s capital this year.

Some of this year’s top lobbyists: 

Corporate

Gina Adams and Lance Mangum (FedEx Corp), Terri Fariello (United Airlines), Sohini Gupta (Global Medical Response), Ziad Ojakli (Boeing).

Associations

Craig Albright, BSA (The Software Alliance), Quardricos Driskell (Autoimmune Association), Linda Lipsen (American Association for Justice), Jeff Tassey (Electronic Payments Coalition).

Hired Guns

Dean Aguillen (Ogilvy Government Relations), Kimberley Fritts (Cogent Strategies), Jennifer LaTourette and Steve Palmer (Van Scoyoc Associates), Sloane Salzburg (Horizon Government Affairs)

Grassroots

Chelsea Barnes (Appalachian Voices), Ryan Greenstein (Global Health Advocacy Incubator), Tom Rodgers (Global Indigenous Council), Rosie Torres (Burn Pits 360).

For the full list, click here.

VIRTUAL EVENT INVITE

The Hill’s A More Perfect Union 2022 — Dec. 7-9 — Daily programming starts at
1 p.m. ET/10 a.m. PT

The Hill’s second annual multi-day festival explores and celebrates America’s best big ideas through the lens of American Reinvention. We will convene political leaders, entrepreneurs, policy innovators and disruptors, and thought provocateurs to debate and discuss some of the most urgent, challenging issues of our time. No Labels chief strategist Ryan Clancyformer Rep. David Jolly (R-Fla.)former New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd WhitmanForward Party co-chair Andrew YangAmerican Enterprise Institute CEO Robert Doar and more will join. RSVP now.

WILL HE TESTIFY?

House panel wants answers from Bankman-Fried on FTX collapse 

House lawmakers have dozens of questions for former FTX CEO Sam Bankman-Fried, whose cryptocurrency empire went bankrupt last month amid allegations of fraud.  

The first one is whether he’ll actually show up to answer them.  

  • The leaders of the House Financial Services Committee are pushing Bankman-Fried to testify at a Dec. 13 hearing about the FTX collapse and speak to his role in the company’s decline. 
  • In a series of coordinated tweets, Chairwoman Maxine Waters (D-Calif.) and ranking member Patrick McHenry (R-N.C.) have urged Bankman-Fried to bring his international apology tour to the Capitol — either in person or remote from his abode in the Bahamas. 
  • But Bankman-Fried has suggested he won’t be there, arguing he needs more time to understand how FTX imploded, despite frequently discussing the issue on Twitter and with journalists. 

Sylvan has the details here.

TOUGH ROAD AHEAD

Manchin pitches permitting reform as NDAA amendment 

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is not giving up his fight to reform the nation’s energy approval policies after they were not included in the annual defense spending bill.  

Manchin’s office released a statement on Wednesday in which the senator calls for his energy project permitting reform push to be included in the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) as an amendment.  

  • Manchin tried to pass the provisions in a stopgap funding measure early this year, but the effort flopped amid opposition from both Republicans and progressives. 
  • He has been working to build support in recent weeks, but it’s not clear whether the newest iteration will be able to garner the support necessary to make it across the finish line. 

The Hill’s Rachel Frazin digs into this here. 

HOPE SPRINGS ETERNAL

Advocates hopeful about getting expanded child tax credit over lame-duck finish line 

Advocates say they’re making inroads with Republican senators on a beefed-up version of the child tax credit (CTC), which has become a top priority for Democrats during the lame-duck session. 

“Senator [Bill] Cassidy and Senator [Shelley] Moore Capito both have openness to something,” Adam Ruben, campaigns director of the progressive advocacy group Economic Security Project, said on the sidelines of a rally for the CTC held outside the Capitol on Wednesday. 

  • Democrats are pitching an exchange between an expanded CTC and a business tax credit for research and development costs favored by Republicans. But Republicans have raised eyebrows about such a quid pro quo since Democrats have supported the research credit themselves in the past. 
  • Other tax credits that could sweeten the deal for Republicans include the deductibility of interest costs and a renewed rule that allows capital expenditures like machinery costs to be written in the year that they’re purchased as opposed to over a period of years. 

The Hill’s Toby Burns has more on this here

Good to Know

An activist investment firm is calling on BlackRock’s chief executive to resign over his “apparent hypocrisy” in the use of sustainability goals. 

The chief investment officers of United Kingdom-based Bluebell Capital Partners accused CEO Larry Fink on Tuesday of repeatedly failing to live up to his stated sustainability commitments. 

Other items we’re keeping an eye on: 

That’s it for today. Thanks for reading and check out The Hill’s Finance page for the latest news and coverage. We’ll see you tomorrow. 

Tags Child Tax Credit housing market joe manchin Joe Manchin Patrick McHenry
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