Morning Report: Irma does less damage than expected 9/11/17

Vital Statistics:

Last Change
S&P Futures 2472.5 11.5
Eurostoxx Index 379.0 3.5
Oil (WTI) 47.7 0.2
US dollar index 84.8 0.3
10 Year Govt Bond Yield 2.10%
Current Coupon Fannie Mae TBA 103.33
Current Coupon Ginnie Mae TBA 104.21
30 Year Fixed Rate Mortgage 3.73

Stocks are higher this morning after Hurricane Irma does less damage than predicted. Bonds and MBS are down.

The week should be relatively quiet for the bond market: there isn’t much in the way of market-moving data, and there won’t be any Fed-Speak as we have entered the quiet period before next week’s FOMC meeting.

Hurricane Irma did less damage than expected, and is weakening as it heads northward. Damage estimates have been cut by as much as $150 billion.

Equifax’s hacking has some people livid. The hack potentially affected 143 million people compromising social security numbers, addresses, drivers’ licenses, birthdays and more. Equifax’s initial site to check if you were affected had issues as well, which added insult to injury. If you have been affected by this hack, Equifax is offering a free year of credit monitoring (TrustedID), however if you accept the deal, you waive your right to sue. Equifax claims the arbitration waiver would only affect damages from TrustedID, not the cybersecurity incident. A class action lawsuit was filed on Thursday. Note several executives sold $1.8 million worth of stock after the hack (they supposedly didn’t know yet). Here is what you need to know.

The NAHB took a look at where the building activity was in 2016. Unsurprisingly, the activity was concentrated in the South and West, while the Northeast lagged. Between New York, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania there were less than 38,000 units started in 2016. This is less than a third of what Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana, and Oklahoma did.

Rising rates have taken a bite out of refinancing volume, which hit a 16 year low in the second quarter. Overall, volumes were up 20% from Q1 to Q2, to $467 billion, but were down 16% on a YOY basis. Purchases have been driving the increase, however they remain 30% below pre-crisis levels (and this doesn’t even take into account population growth and home price inflation). To give you an idea of how much credit standards have tightened, 720+ FICOs accounted for 3/4 of all loans in Q2. Pre-crisis, they were under half. Delinquencies did tick up 2.8% in the second quarter, to 3.9% of all mortgages. Hurricane Harvey could push up DQs by 300k.

51 Responses

  1. Someone made this observation and I think it is spot on. What is the difference between the SJW Millennial generation and those older? 9/11. They were too young when it happened for it to have made an impact. Just like Vietnam was the touchstone for the Baby Boomers, and was not for my generation.

    Someone also observed that they probably learned more about politics from Harry Potter than real life.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. While this would have been my parents’ 79th anniversary it is the 16th anniversary of Something Else and one that my sister and I doubly hate for it.

    On this day I now always have tension in my gut. I hope we all get through it safely once again.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Irma came ashore at Marco Island which is a very affluent refuge for retirees. It’s a myth that old people live in St. Petersburg. Old people live in Fort Myers. Their parents live in St. Petersburg. >>ba-dum<< I'll be here all week. Tip your waitress.

    From there the hurricane managed to track directly up the lightly populated rural no-man's land between Tampa and Orlando going directly over Plant City, home of the Strawberry Festival every February.

    It came very close to my old stomping grounds of Brandon where I know lots of former classmates on Facebook. One woman did manage to evacuate her and her three children to her ex-husband's house in North Carolina via private jet. Everyone seems to have successfully sheltered in place.

    My parents who live on the shore of Lake Tarpon were on the very edge of the hurricane zone. They refused to evacuate despite direct warnings from the police to do so. Their only damage was lawn debris and exacerbation of a pre-existing roof leak.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Glad they are safe, YJ.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Their only damage was lawn debris and exacerbation of a pre-existing roof leak.

      Good news! You never do know with severe weather.

      Glad everyone is reasonably safe. With Harvey, nothing but a little rain made it up to Tennessee and it looks like Irma will be the same. My wife is always wistful when we visit the beach, and wishes we could buy a beach house. Which sounds nice, in theory, but I’ve lived in the Memphis area all my life (48 years) and have never had to evacuate once.

      Of course, we have had extreme weather events for which there was almost no warning. And if the 200-300 year super-earthquake strikes, apparently everything will sink into the ground. That would suck. But . . . knock on wood!


  4. Don’t know if I linked this already, but Michael Moore could be prescient again:

    ““So, you know, I’ve really debated whether or not, how to answer your question, if I want to answer it honestly,” he says. “Because if I’m completely honest, I’m not one to want to bring despair to people’s minds. I am an optimist, I’m not a cynic. I do believe that most people are good at their core and will do the right thing. And I believe the world has gotten better, that it takes a while, two steps forward, one step back, but generally the progression of history has been toward the light, not toward darkness. With major exceptions. But I think it’s better to be completely honest and to deal with what I believe is the reality in front of us, because if we are willing to accept just how bad the news is, we might hunker down and find ways to protect as many people as possible during this dark time. So. Think about how old you are right now. Now, think about how old you’re going to be in 2025, which is eight years from now. Add eight years on your age. That’s how old you’re going to be when Donald J. Trump is still your president in January of 2025. That’s how much of your life is going to be taken up with him as your president.”

    Naturally, in trying to think about this, I bring up the idea that They, the Smart People, think there’s some chance he might be removed. Moore, under his baseball cap, lets out a tiny sigh. Like: Why must he do this alone?

    “It’s delusional,” he says. For him, the only hope is activating a real movement directed at the polls. “That’s why I’m on that stage every night.” But even that seems like a long shot: “Impeachment,” he says, “people don’t even know what that means. Or there’s that clause in the 25th Amendment where if the president goes insane, a majority of the Cabinet can remove him, or at least turn the powers over to the vice-president. People talk about that like it’s a real thing. Like they’re really going to do that. By now, most Republicans — because they’re only a year away from their election in the House, and a third of the Senate — they have done polling in their districts, and they have learned that being associated with Trump or having Trump as the standard-bearer of their party will not cost them their seat next year. They’ve done such an excellent job of gerrymandering their districts that even though people may not like Trump that much by this time next year, it will not affect them. It will affect a few, in some of the purple districts. Democrats will pick up a few seats, that’s just true historically, but … He just has to win his Electoral College states, and he doesn’t need to win all the ones he had, because what did he have, 304? And you need 270? He’s not going to lose 35 electoral votes.

    “You know everybody’s saying, ‘Russia, Russia, that’s going to do it!’ Here’s what’s going to happen: People like Paul Manafort are probably going to be indicted. Don Jr. might be indicted. But it’s all going to be people around him. It’s not going to be him. This man has always made sure he’s never in the wrong. He doesn’t drink. He’s very careful. It doesn’t look like it, but on the things where he needs to be, he’s careful. With all of the shenanigans we have read over the years about Trump and the different things he has done to abuse workers, to skid past regulations, the man has never been indicted. He has never spent the night in jail. Anybody who is thinking he is going down on any of this Russian stuff clearly hasn’t paid attention to the adventures of Donald J. Trump over the last three or four decades. I’m not saying those things didn’t happen, but I can guarantee you he always made sure he wasn’t there and there was no witness to him being there. That’s why he waited for everyone to leave the room before he had that conversation with Comey. He’ll never be indicted for that, because it’s one person’s word against the other. There’s no witness, and there’s no tape. Because he is an evil genius. And he’s such a malignant narcissist that he’ll never resign or take the fall for his kids or his close friends or associates.

    “So I don’t think Trump’s going anywhere. Not next week, not next month, and not next year. It’s like, you can hope and dream, or you can deal with the reality of it. It’s a wonderful thing to have, but, I mean, at some point, you have to wake up. Right?”

    Of course, he could always be wrong.


    • Related to that, the comments section on Greg’s piece about Coates’ piece (and that in itself says something about the level of dialog in the progressive bubble) along with the reaction on Twitter shows exactly how Trump is going to win reelection if he does so.

      The hard core left identitarians (I don’t think that even progressive is a good fit anymore, nor is liberal) have made it a purity test that only racism and misogyny are acceptable explanations for Trump. Any deviation from that, even in the process of opposing Trump, is tantamount to being a racist and a white supremacist by enabling them. Thus no one will be allowed in the club house until they cop to that. This makes building an effective opposition difficult when all the energy is directed at policing the supporters for heresy instead of actually building a large coalition. The only remaining step is for the misogyny firsters to turn on the racism firsters.


      • The only remaining step is for the misogyny firsters to turn on the racism firsters.

        I proudly cop to being both. The only question is what am I more of, a racist or misogynist?

        Liked by 1 person

      • This makes building an effective opposition difficult when all the energy is directed at policing the supporters for heresy instead of actually building a large coalition.

        They apparently believe the opposite. Historically, the results of this strategy are, ultimately, not good.


      • The level of dialog in the progressive bubble:

        A racist and white nationalist is sitting in the White House. The deportations continue apace. The Muslim ban may survive. Jeff Sessions is gutting civil rights protections. A national crackdown on voting rights looms. The force and value of Coates’ broader case is undeniable.

        Which I guess is trying to establish that he thinks Trump is a legit Nazi, in case somebody didn’t already know?

        holds that liberal Democrats have moved too far to the left on immigration and race. Intoxicated by their moral superiority and overconfidence that the culture is moving their way, liberal Dems have not reckoned with the latent desire of many Americans to organize solidarity around something other than a commitment to ideals of equality and inclusive liberal democracy.

        … Indeed, they want to organize around silencing dissidents, setting things on fire, and beating people with bike locks. Like the doublethink on the word “inclusive” the left has going these days, BTW. Purity tests are not the behavior of “inclusive” groups.

        Yes, Trump won, and that speaks for itself in all its barbarity.

        And if someone had said that about Obama, the reaction would have been . . . ?

        Anyhoo, the comments are precious. The majority left identitarians arguing to hear themselves argue with the minority right identitarians.


    • How is Moore’s view of Trump different than his view of any other elected Republican POTUS in the past? Or any elected Republican for that matter?

      Liked by 1 person

      • They are more nuanced? I remember his stuff about G.W. Bush as being entirely more unhinged.


      • This isn’t conventional wisdom on the left:

        ““Repeat after me,” he instructs the audience at one point during the show. “Donald Trump outsmarted us all.”

        “One of the reasons people feel absolutely awful is, how did that happen? By just dismissing him as a dumb idiot, that’s in part how it happened,” Moore says. “I think that liberals and Democrats have completely misread him. Everybody thinks he is so easily distracted by the shiny keys and he just jumps at whatever the latest bait is. The truth is he is the one holding the shiny keys. He’s an evil genius.””


        • jnc (from Moore):

          The truth is he is the one holding the shiny keys. He’s an evil genius.

          As ever, the left can only ever conceive of their opposition as one of two things: stupid or evil. I don’t think Moore is providing anything particularly insightful by bucking the current trend and going with the evil genius theory.

          Liked by 1 person

        • I don’t think Moore is providing anything particularly insightful by bucking the current trend and going with the evil genius theory.

          Well, he’s definitely not an evil genius. And he’s not an idiot, any more than GWB or RR were idiots (or evil geniuses). But that’s the tendency to perceive the opposition: you either have to be evil or stupid, or obviously you would otherwise agree with me. Eh, a logical fallacy from Moore. What are the odds?

          At least he’s smart enough to realize Trump is not going to be impeached, and not going to be ejected from office procedurally. The number of people on the left who really believe this is going to happen . . . it can shake one’s faith in humanity. 😉


        • you might say this misunderestmated him.

          so they’ve done that twice now in recent years.

          Fool me once, shame on…shame on you. Fool me — you can’t get fooled again

          Liked by 1 person

        • Probably true in the grand scheme of things. I’ve probably read so much impeachment/25th amendment crap over at PL that any deviation from that by someone identifying as left of center seems to be a revelation.

          Liked by 1 person

        • “Well, he’s definitely not an evil genius.”

          I think he has a good instinct for where his electorate is and how to play the media, at least when they are covering an election. This hasn’t translated into governing so far, but how he adjusts remains to be seen.

          I can easily see him cutting deals with Democrats at the expense of the Republican establishment to benefit himself at the latter’s expense. That doesn’t mean that Democrats will ever support him, but do it enough and the “Trump is Hitler” argument becomes harder to maintain.

          The mid-terms will be interesting to see.

          Liked by 1 person

        • NoVA, finally hit Charlie Palmer. The chef’s tasting menu with wine pairings is a good deal.


        • excellent. glad you enjoyed. it’s been awhile since i’ve been over there. doing regulatory work has been a change of pace.

          Liked by 1 person

    • He’s not going to lose 35 electoral votes.

      This I disagree with. I think it’s entirely possible for him to lose 35 electoral votes. Not guaranteed, but 100% possible. If he doesn’t, frankly, it will be a testament as to how good progressives and “hard left identitarians” have been at terrifying the general public about what might happen if they gain power. Give me a choice between Trump and being beat with a bike lock until I confess that gender is a construct and my skin color makes me a racist sinner, I’ll take Trump.

      Which is not the choice they think they are offering . . . but is actually the choice they are offering.

      Moore is serious about making progress. Most of his fellow lefties simply aren’t.


    • Jesus, this broad is stupid.

      The election results had an additional traumatic sexual impact for Rebecca. In July, she went to get an IUD for fear of losing access to birth control due to Trump’s policy threats. The procedure “didn’t work” and ended up being “incredibly painful and traumatic” for her. “I basically wouldn’t have done that or felt the rush to do it if I wasn’t thinking about [Trump’s] administration and feeling intense fear about it.”


    • The author fails to mention that college is priced on a sliding scale. The upper middle class and the rich get 529 plans. The middle and lower class get need-based scholarships…

      Liked by 1 person

    • So what he’s saying is that the American Dream = money.

      Hmmm. I guess.


    • Ha. Good catch. but don’t care call it that!
      I was honestly shocked (and that’s saying something) that the idea the the left views the economy as zero-sum was somehow a new concept to those guys at the PL.

      “Do you know how hard it is to make ends meet by the time I’ve saved for my kids’ college, paid their private school fees, paid my massive mortgage — thanks for the [mortgage deduction] tax break; still it’s lots of money — I’ve got a skiing holiday, school trip gets more expensive, I’m barely making even here . . . I’m working really hard. I’m part of the 99 percent.”


      Liked by 1 person

  5. I read this story very differently than was intended.

    I did find this revealing.

    After Trump’s surprise victory in November, Baker landed Trump’s first post-election interview. And he wrote a column in the Spectator, the conservative British magazine, deriding US publications for pro-Hillary Clinton bias, accusing them of having “lovingly compiled their historic ‘first woman president’ editions.”

    As is this one.

    In early January 2017, Baker upped the ante, publicly expressing reluctance to accuse Trump of “lying” amid a bout of national media soul-searching over how to cover the incoming president’s false statements, and lashing out at critics in a column mocking a “fit of Trump-induced pearl-clutching among the journalistic elite”.


    The full transcript also showed that the Journal’s White House reporters were sidelined during the interview by Baker, who dominated the questioning, speaking familiarly with Ivanka Trump about their children and a party they had both attended in the Hamptons in New York.

    Anchors never sideline the network’s White House reporters when it comes to interviewing POTUS!

    Again, this is very revealing.

    Last month, another series of emails were leaked, to the Journal’s top competitor, the New York Times. In them, Baker again chastised his staff for the language they used to describe Trump, in this case in coverage of the president’s erratic rally in Phoenix, Arizona, at the height of controversy over his remarks equating neo-Nazis with protesters opposing them.

    “Sorry. This is commentary dressed up as news reporting,” Baker wrote in a late-night email to staff about the draft story. “Could we please just stick to reporting what he said rather than packaging it in exegesis and selective criticism?”

    Jesus, horrible! I mean, who doesn’t hate be complimented by the boss?

    “In a business where preening self-regard is in abundance, it’s always been one of our most appealing qualities that we don’t spend a lot of time celebrating our virtues,” Baker begins in his email dated 2 June. “But we shouldn’t let this becoming modesty blind us completely to the brilliance of much of our reporting. Our daily output does truly comprise a remarkable collection of some of the best journalism in the English-speaking world and I want to do a better job of acknowledging that.”

    Holy Shit, BURN THE HERETICS!! (And also revealing the point of the “article”.

    “The Times and the Post have decided we’re in a unique historical moment, and a different tone or stance are required,” a current Journal staffer told the Guardian. “The Journal is not adopting that attitude.”

    Hunh. Weird.

    Indeed, a YouGov/Economist survey this summer found the Journal to be the most trusted outlet of the American news organizations surveyed.

    But many staffers aren’t satisfied to be the best media voice in the Trump echo chamber,

    Yeah, obviously. I mean, New York media is the very definition of the Trump echo chamber.

    This is a doozy

    “I agree with the principle that media needs to be careful and wary of going too far,” a source said. “But that’s not what we’re doing.”

    Why the bitching if their not going to far?

    Once again, the mask slips.

    Soon, a staff letter to Baker was assembled. “There was a lot of concern about the instant normalizing of Trump

    The most unforgivable sin.

    But the meeting did nothing to stop the normalizing of Trump at the Journal, then or in the months since.

    So, the problem is that their reporters are cowards?

    Baker’s influence is often not direct, current and former employees say. Instead, his preferences are internalized by reporters who avoid pitching stories they expect he won’t like or who tone down language in their copy before turning it in.


    • OMG. They tone down the copy before they turn it in? Instead of vomitting out a turgid and florid opinion piece disguised as news? Truly, this is an American tragedy.

      Do your f****ing jobs, a**wipes.


  6. Mark:

    Not sure if you saw, but Posner has retired from the bench. The NYT has an “exit interview” with him.

    “I pay very little attention to legal rules, statutes, constitutional provisions,” Judge Posner said. “A case is just a dispute. The first thing you do is ask yourself — forget about the law — what is a sensible resolution of this dispute?”

    The next thing, he said, was to see if a recent Supreme Court precedent or some other legal obstacle stood in the way of ruling in favor of that sensible resolution. “And the answer is that’s actually rarely the case,” he said. “When you have a Supreme Court case or something similar, they’re often extremely easy to get around.”

    Good riddance.


  7. @scottc1: “The first thing you do is ask yourself — forget about the law — what is a sensible resolution of this dispute?”

    Fabulous. Sensible resolution of this dispute is: what do I personally want to happen in this situation? Forget about the law, of course, because the primary reason judges are supposed to follow the law, and there’s law and precedent for them to follow, is so you don’t have a judicial aristocracy individually deciding cases based on their personal preferences.


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