A senior Federal Reserve official has warned the US cannot afford a “boom and bust cycle” in the housing market that would threaten financial stability, in a sign of growing concern over rising property prices at the central bank.
“It’s very important for us to get back to our 2 per cent inflation target but the goal is for that to be sustainable,” Eric Rosengren, the president of the Boston Fed, told the Financial Times. “And for that to be sustainable, we can’t have a boom and bust cycle in something like real estate.
“I’m not predicting that we’ll necessarily have a bust. But I do think it’s worth paying close attention to what’s happening in the housing market,” he said.
He was speaking after data released by the National Association of Realtors last week showed the median price for sales of existing homes was up 23.6 per cent year-on-year in May, topping $350,000 for the first time.
1. US launches air strikes on Iran-backed militia targets At least three people were killed in the strikes, militias said, on the facilities of two Iran-backed groups on the border between Syria and Iraq. The attacks risk stoking tensions in the region just over a week after Ebrahim Raisi, a hardliner, won Iran’s presidential election.
2. Death toll rises to 9 from collapsed Florida tower block The death toll from the collapse of a 12-storey apartment tower north of Miami rose to nine on Sunday as search-and-rescue teams continued to pick through the rubble for a fourth day in the hope of finding survivors. The collapse of the Champlain Towers South building has also left 152 people unaccounted for.
3. Sweden’s prime minister resigns Stefan Lofven, the prime minister of Sweden’s centre-left government, resigned on Monday. He declined to call snap elections, saying he would try to form a new coalition to break a parliamentary gridlock caused by the rise of the Sweden Democrats nationalist party. Elsewhere in Europe, Marine Le Pen’s far-right Rassemblement National failed to break through in the second round of voting in France’s regional elections.
4. Trump looks to 2022 with comeback rally Donald Trump on Saturday night held his first rally since leaving the White House, addressing thousands of supporters in a freewheeling speech in Ohio that the former US president billed as the “first rally of the 2022 election”. His return to the political stage has Republicans jostling.
5. UK watchdog bans crypto exchange Binance The Financial Conduct Authority over the weekend ordered Binance, one of the world’s biggest cryptocurrency exchanges, to stop all regulated activities in Britain. The intervention is one of the most significant moves by any global regulator against Binance, a sprawling digital asset firm with subsidiaries around the world.
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Wimbledon opens The tennis championship returns today after being cancelled last year because of the pandemic. But in other tennis news, four-time Olympic gold medallist Serena Williams has confirmed she will not play in this summer’s delayed Tokyo Olympics. (FT, BBC)
Outgoing Israel president at the White House Reuven Rivlin will meet US President Joe Biden, ahead of the end of the Israeli president’s term next month. Israel has expressed reservations about the indirect talks in Vienna over the Iran nuclear deal. (Reuters)
America and the EU are stronger together At bottom, Europeans are deeply sceptical about whether the Biden administration is just a way station on route to another bout of toxic populism. Meanwhile, Americans are frustrated with Europeans for hedging their bets between a tighter transatlantic alliance or a closer relationship with China. It doesn’t have to be this way, writes Rana Foroohar.
Mexico’s president is undeterred by bruising midterms Within days of the recent midterm elections, Andrés Manuel López Obrador vowed to pursue constitutional reforms in the areas of energy, elections and security, despite having lost the two-thirds majority needed for such changes in congress. Mexico City’s mayor told the FT in an interview that there was no need for the president “to change direction” despite losing seats in the recent elections.
A jihadi gold rush The central Sahel has become the heart of a surge in jihadi activity as armed groups vie for control of lucrative mines and trade, killing thousands, displacing millions and rendering wide swaths of territory ungoverned. The wave of violence threatens to destabilise the region.
Is Xi Jinping’s China on the right track? As the Chinese Communist party turns 100 this week, some fret that Xi’s empowerment — epitomised by his assertion that “north, south, east, west and centre, the party is leader of all” — could hasten the party’s destruction, as top-down ossification engenders apathy and cynicism among its 92m members.
Britney Spears, trapped in a web of injustice There are many villains in the story of the pop star: the paparazzi, ex-boyfriends, hangers-on and us, the demanding fans. Unlike some celebrities, who were surrounded by yes-men, Spears is surrounded by no-men. As a result, her story is more universal, writes Henry Mance.
About half of graduates feel Covid-19 has set back their early career prospects, according to an FT survey. There are growing signs that employees around the world want a change after 15 turbulent months of upended working life, writes Pilita Clark. Over the past year, business leaders made bold promises on workplace equality — what were the results? And what will the new work culture mean for the New York workplace? Developers are rethinking the office after coronavirus.