In a housing market still struggling to regain strength, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have quickly become two of the nation's biggest landlords. By the end of March, the troubled mortgage finance companies had taken over 163,828 foreclosed houses. That's more homes than there are in Seattle.
Mario Batali decided last year to install a garden between his adjoining West Hollywood restaurants, Osteria Mozza and Pizzeria Mozza. But a plain old backyard patch wouldn't do. Batali wanted something more visually striking, something more ... vertical? So he turned to Jim Mumford, the owner of Good Earth Plant and Flower Company in San Diego.
In 2001, I came to Braddock, the poorest town in Western Pennsylvania, to serve the community's severely disenfranchised young people by starting an employment and GED program. Their lives were the embodiment of what happened to Braddock and this region: chaos through abandonment.
John Hantz is a wealthy money manager who lives in an older enclave of Detroit where all the houses are grand and not all of them are falling apart. Once a star stockbroker at American Express, he left 13 years ago to found his own firm. Today Hantz Financial Services has 20 offices in Michigan, Ohio, and Georgia, more than 500 employees, and $1.3 billion in assets under management.