Question of credibility

PUBLISHED : Friday, 19 August, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 19 August, 2011, 12:00am


At a time when global markets are facing new uncertainties every few days, it is important we look at the facts carefully. One of the biggest news is Standard & Poor's downgrade of the United States credit rating, but experts feel there is a lot of over-reaction. Among others, Nobel economics laureate Paul Krugman has warned the agency does not have credibility, and its ratings should not be taken seriously. He reminds us of the agency's track record: AAA for mortgage-backed assets which duly became worthless. More recently, the agency admitted to miscalculating future US debt projections by about US$2 trillion. That's how much credibility we are taking about.

But there is a side effect to the rating downgrade, which is that interest rates are expected to remain low for even longer. The Federal Reserve says the present interest rate of near zero per cent will remain at least until 2013. It means low mortgage rates will stay for at least the medium term.

In this issue of LuxeHomes, we take a look at properties known for their rental yield: the 'hip' luxury properties in traditional districts, while our special report on interior design will give you ideas on how to make your home more comfortable, and green.