Morning Report – Who is paying for homeowner relief? 7/23/14

Stocks are higher this morning as second quarter earnings are generally better than expected. Bonds and MBS are flat

Mortgage Applications rose 2.4% last week, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. Purchases rose.3%, while refis rose 4.1%. The MBA backs up the data we have seen from Bankrate- as the 10 year (and TBAs) have rallied over the past month, mortgage rates are flat, except for jumbos, which have dropped 7 bps over the past month. I suspect it is evidence that riskier loans are being done.

When the government settled with the big banks and demanded debt relief, most of the relief came from portfolio loans, but some did not. About 39% of Bank of America’s relief came from loans that were investor-owned – in other words, the money came from someone else’s pocket, not Bank of America’s. It looks like the number at JP Morgan was even higher – 44%. In other words, these banks got fined, but the investors (pension funds, 401ks, mortgage REITs) ended up paying the fine. Of course the best one was Ocwen, who provided $2 billion in relief. The catch? Ocwen is a servicer and simply passes on payments from borrowers to investors. They paid their fine with other people’s money. The Association of Mortgage Investors (AMI) is rightly calling foul. The government is not commenting, although it is stuff like this that partially explains why the private label market hasn’t come back yet. Once bitten, twice shy.

Split decision yesterday on Obamacare. Looks like this one might have to be settled at the Supreme Court. Separately, the IRS destroyed hard drives in the targeting probe. Lots of partisan bickering to pedal into campaign donations before midterm elections. Democrats and Republicans pretty much despise each other at this point. Such is the political climate as Congress goes on break.

15 Responses

  1. Frist

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    • On the fed subsidy cases – chances are better than 50/50 that the DC Circuit, en banc, reverses its panel.

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  2. Yes, some columns were noting that the full panel includes three Obama nominees that Reid got confirmed after getting rid of the judicial filibuster.

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    • jnc/mark:

      Doesn’t the fact that we can predict with better than even odds the outcome of a politically contentious case based on who appointed the judges hearing it suggest a thoroughly politicized judiciary?

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  3. Heh.

    Sad but true.

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  4. “ScottC, on July 23, 2014 at 12:22 pm said:

    jnc/mark:

    Doesn’t the fact that we can predict with better than even odds the outcome of a politically contentious case based on who appointed the judges hearing it suggest a thoroughly politicized judiciary?”

    Of course, as is always identifying the judge by who appointed them.

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    • Every judge would say “no”.

      However, there are always two or more possible outcomes to a contested case or it would not indeed survive to the appellate level. There are two lines of cases here on statutory interpretation/admin discretion that support two different outcomes so we CAN predict that judges will split, and that they are likely to split based on their preferred outcomes based on previous rulings in statutory interpretation/admin discretion cases, which, btw, may not line up with who appointed them in any particular case. We have to be careful about suggesting that, as well.

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      • mark:

        Every judge would say “no”.

        Of course, but would you believe them? I wouldn’t.

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      • mark:

        that they are likely to split based on their preferred outcomes based on previous rulings in statutory interpretation/admin discretion cases, which, btw, may not line up with who appointed them in any particular case.

        I think it would be an interesting study to see if, in fact, opinions in politically contentious cases are indeed more highly correlated to previous rulings made by the judge than with who appointed the judge making the ruling. I’d bet it isn’t.

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        • More highly correlated to politics on the Supremes but FAR more likely to follow a preferred line of precedent supported thinking on all inferior courts.

          KW, you could look at background and get some idea on many of them. Breyer was a champion of deregulation as a lawyer and was opposed for the bench by liberals. Roberts was an appellate lawyer – the best, I think – who regularly argued any side of any case and who still appreciates a well briefed and well argued case. He views his job as CJ as one that requires building consensus where possible.

          Go read about the background of each of them and you will get a better clue as to how they will approach a case. If the POTUS who picked the Justice did this, then he would have a clue, too, and the rest would follow, that is, you could often shorthand politicized decisions based on the appointing POTUS.

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        • Mark:

          but FAR more likely to follow a preferred line of precedent supported thinking on all inferior courts.

          What preferred line of precedent by the DC Circuit majority suggests to you that it is a better than 50-50 chance to be reversed?

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        • Mark/QB:

          The Wall Street Journal is saying that the litigator in the 4th Circuit case should petition the Supremes to expedite his appeal, thus making any en banc reversal from the DC Circuit moot. What are the chances the court does fast-track the appeal from the 4th?

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  5. I may be wrong, but it seems Democrats pick more liberal judges and the Republicans pick more conservative judges. It also seems to me that the conservative judges become less so in their rulings or become independent thinkers or bench mavericks while on the high court more often that Democrat nominees (although Democrats will, from time to time, wander off the liberal plantation . . . except for Ginsberg, I don’t think she ever leaves).

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  6. Heh.

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