Morning Report 9/13/12

Vital Statistics:

  Last Change Percent
S&P Futures  1437.0 -2.5 -0.17%
Eurostoxx Index 2546.8 -18.0 -0.70%
Oil (WTI) 97.32 0.3 0.32%
LIBOR 0.389 -0.006 -1.40%
US Dollar Index (DXY) 79.67 -0.071 -0.09%
10 Year Govt Bond Yield 1.73% -0.02%  
RPX Composite Real Estate Index 193.4 0.3  

Markets are lower this morning after initial jobless claims ticked up to 382k and the Producer Price Index showed inflation in check. All eyes turn to the FOMC decision scheduled for 12:30 est. Here is the summary of what to look for. Bonds and MBS are both stronger.

Fannie Mae’s latest issue of Housing Insights does a deep dive into the latest employment statistics. While average weekly earnings have rebounded from the recession, aggregate weekly earnings have not. What did Keynes say about “sticky wages?”  What this means is that wages have recovered for the people that have jobs, but is you add up everyone’s salaries, that number has not. Which pretty much tells us what we already know – wages are flattish and unemployment is high. They blame the construction sector for the weakness.  As I have said before, we have under-built housing for the past 10 years. Tight credit and temporarily depressed housing formation has masked the effect on housing demand. That won’t last forever.

Census points out that median income fell 1.5% in the last two years. Interestingly 2010 was the peak of average or median wages and they have been falling ever since. The two reports do disagree somewhat – Fannie has average wages up about 2% since the recession began, while census shows them 8.1% lower. Both adjust for inflation, and I cannot imagine the difference between median and average would be that great, so I am not sure what is going on there.  Census also notes the income gap is widening, so expect the study to be political fodder.

Rob Chrisman dissects the recent G-fee increase and its effect on the mortgage market. RTWT.

Is the rental boom reaching the end of the line? Maybe in Manhattan.

Happy Anniversary, ATiM

Today is ATiM’s first anniversary, and I think a hearty congratulations are in order, both for the site and for everyone involved in making it the success it has become.

Success, of course, was (and, if we are honest, remains) not assured. Bringing together strong personalities with passionate opinions from as wide a range of ideologies and perspectives as we have here to discuss political issues was always a risky prospect. And while many blogs survive and thrive on the combustible energy and oftentimes unpleasant atmosphere created by such a diverse mix of opinions, from the beginning All Things in Moderation was, as the name implies, intended to be something different. As I wrote in What ATiM is All About, “we created ATiM as a place where political discussion and debate can take place in the absence of the kind of unproductive vitriol that has come to characterize much of blog commentary these days.”

Naturally, we’ve (and especially I’ve) not always succeeded. We lost a few early invitees almost immediately, and a couple more along the way. We’ve had our share of sharp and pissed off exchanges, and a couple of times it seemed, to me at least, like the whole enterprise was going to collapse. But here we still are, going strong, and a lot more positive than negative to show for it.

On a personal level, I truly appreciate ATiM. I have long been a political blog junkie and have been posting on comment boards since I first discovered them over 15 years ago. I’ve jumped from place to place, and had spent the two years prior to ATiM’s inception posting at Greg Sargent’s Plum Line. It had become an extremely unpleasant place to be, but I hung around primarily because of some of the relationships I had developed while there, notably with QB, McWing, and lms. ATiM has allowed me to maintain those relationships, and develop others I never would have, outside of the cesspool that is the Plum Line. I know many of you still participate there, but I for one am thankful that I have no more reason to visit there anymore.

I want to send out a couple of personal thank you’s on this first anniversary. First, to Brent, who’s Morning Report has been crucial to ATiM’s continued existence. I truly believe that without his daily efforts ATiM probably would have died more than once over the last year. He is the unsung hero of ATiM. Also to Mark and Kevin for their efforts at getting ATiM started, Mark behind the scenes recruiting and Kevin for being the technical genius at actually creating the site itself. (I also miss Kevin’s daily Bits n Pieces). And finally, a big thanks to lms. She was the catalyst that got ATiM off the ground. If I am not mistaken, lms and I were debating each other at the Plum Line for longer than anyone else here (except for possibly QB), and given the tone of some of those debates (one early one resulted in lms literally telling me she hated me), she could easily have chosen to leave me out. But she didn’t and for that I am eternally grateful. Here’s to hoping for a lot more debates in the future, lms.

Happy anniversary, ATiM.


(Please feel free to add your own anniversary thoughts to the bottom of this post, if you don’t want to make your own new post.)

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