Markets are lower this morning on overseas weakness. Bonds and MBS are up.
Third quarter earnings season starts tonight with the traditional report out of Alcoa.
Initial Jobless Claims fell to 263k last week, the lowest since July.
The minutes from the September FOMC meeting will be out at 2:00 pm EST. Be aware of possible bond market volatility as the market digests it.
The Bloomberg Consumer Comfort Index rose to 44.8 from 43 last week.
Fannie Mae is announcing further reps and warranties guidance for loans starting Jan 1. It will include new alternatives to repurchase if the loan has a defect. The government is sick and tired of tight credit, especially at the lower end of the credit spectrum. These are intended to ease credit by giving lenders more certainty. The government is clearly worried given that the big banks like JP Morgan are backing away from FHA originations.
A case for allowing student loan debt to be discharged in bankruptcy is winding its way through the courts. There is about $1.2 trillion in student loan debt outstanding.
It looks like a strike at Fiat-Chrysler has been avoided. It sounds like the union got some of what they wanted so we could start seeing the beginnings of increasing wages.
Larry Summers makes the case for going big on expansionary fiscal policy. His argument is that China’s slowdown threatens to drag the global economy into a secular stagnation similar to what Japan has been going through. He argues that monetary policy is pretty much played out: rates are at zero, and the stimulative effect of additional QE with the 10 year at 2% would be de minimus. He argues for a new “New Deal” where the government deficit spends on infrastructure spending. Of course this isn’t a new idea in the modern age: Japan has been doing precisely that for 25 years and has nothing to show for it except for a debt to GDP ratio of 2.3x. That would be like the US spending $40 trillion over 25 years. Before we advocate spending that kind of money, we should figure out why it hasn’t worked in Japan.. And if over 1 quadrillion yen is not enough, then what is? We need a better answer than the un-falsifiable “More Cowbell.” If the Rx only works in theory, then maybe the answer is to just slug it out until the economy corrects on its own.
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