Bites and Pieces: The Book

Hi all,

I was searching through some old comment threads to track down a particular response of Scott’s awhile ago. In the course of doing that, I saw a lot of interesting Bites & Pieces posts. Some of which I’d completely forgotten about.

I was thinking about going through them and compiling the Bites & Pieces into one record for ATiMers, past and present. Perhaps an exercise for when I’m in Sequesterville. We are forbidden by law from doing anything work related while on furlough, so I may as well make some use of my time.


Morning Report – Life after Fan and Fred 02/25/13

Vital Statistics:

  Last Change Percent
S&P Futures  1521.4 6.8 0.45%
Eurostoxx Index 2688.7 58.6 2.23%
Oil (WTI) 94.04 0.9 0.98%
LIBOR 0.287 -0.002 -0.52%
US Dollar Index (DXY) 81.11 -0.368 -0.45%
10 Year Govt Bond Yield 1.98% 0.02%  
RPX Composite Real Estate Index 194.5 0.2  

Markets have a risk on feel this morning on no real news.  Elections are being held in Italy, with Bersani on track to win. Italian sovereign yields have tightened 20 basis points in response. Bonds and MBS are down.

Sequester week. Bob Woodward had a column over the weekend that said, WH protestations aside, that the sequester was Obama and Lew’s idea in the first place. The WH is releasing all sorts of gloom and doom scenarios about what will happen if sequestration happens. Republicans seem to be content to allow the cuts to happen. FWIW, I do not believe the markets care one way or the other about the impending sequester. 

The Chicago Fed National Activity Index showed growth moderated in January, falling to -.32 from a revised +.25 the previous month. Production related indicators explain most of the weakness, although employment and consumption also were negative contributors. The 3 month moving average is still in positive territory, indicating that economic growth continues to be moderately above trend.

The Bernank will be testifying in front of Congress this week. These things tend to be partisan dog-and-pony shows where the questioners are more interested in getting the Fed Chairman to validate their worldview than they are in seeking actual answers.  Democrats will undoubtedly be pushing for Bernake to say that sequestration will be an economic nightmare, while Republicans will be pushing for him to say that spending and the debt pose a problem. Democrats will also be looking for support for raising the minimum wage. Republicans will probably want to drill down a bit on the end of QE. 

The Bipartisan Policy Center has released a report on the future of housing and the GSEs. With the government guaranteeing 90% of all mortgages these days, there is a push in Washington to get the private sector more involved. They envision phasing out Fan and Fred and replacing them with a “public guarantor,” who has a re-insurance role, stepping in only when private insurers are unable to make good on the loan. They also propose that the government get involved with providing affordable rental housing. 

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