Morning Report: Tough times in mortgage banking 8/6/18

Vital Statistics:

Last Change
S&P futures 2840 0.75
Eurostoxx index 388.33 -0.84
Oil (WTI) 69.29 0.8
10 Year Government Bond Yield 2.95%
30 Year fixed rate mortgage 4.58%

Stocks are flat this morning on no real news. Bonds and MBS are flat as well.

The week after the jobs report is invariably data-light and this week is no exception. We will get inflation data on Thursday and Friday and JOLTS data tomorrow and that is about it.

Everyone knows that 2018 has been an awful year for mortgage banking. How bad is it? Check out the graph below courtesy of Garrett Macauley:

The one thing that jumped out at me (aside from the -8 basis points this year) is how little the industry made during the bubble years. Is it as simple as saying the mortgage business lives and dies on the refinance business and even in great purchase markets (like 04-06) mortgage banking is a marginal activity at best?

If you are tired of hearing predictions of an inverted yield curve, check this out. Jamie Dimon thinks the 10 year bond yield should be 4% right now, and is saying that 5% is a possibility. “I think rates should be 4 percent today,” Dimon said from the gala, according to Bloomberg News. “You better be prepared to deal with rates 5 percent or higher – it’s a higher probability than most people think.” While it is impossible to rule that forecast out, take a look at the chart below: Interest rate cycles are long and during periods of low inflation they just don’t move around all that dramatically.  It took rates 20 years (1946 – 1966) to go from 2% to 5%. What was inflation in 1966? 5%. With the core CPI sitting at 2%, a 5 handle on inflation seems pretty unlikely. Not saying it is impossible – lots of differences between the mid 20th century and today – but….

Chinese buying has been supporting prices in some big West Coast markets, and it is drying up. While trade war concerns are probably playing a role, we are seeing declines in other global real estate markets, like London and Vancouver. This is a signal that the issue is probably internal to China, which has a real estate bubble of its own. The government has issued regulations limiting the purchase of foreign property, and seems worried about the currency. If the Chinese real estate bubble bursts, expect to see more selling in West Coast markets because that will be the only way for Chinese investors to raise cash.

11 Responses

  1. Coordinated dumping of Alex Jones. Nutcase conspiracy theorist, but….

    Guess what is next?

    The elimination of anyone who doesn’t subscribe to climate orthodoxy..


    • Probably. But the law of unintended consequences will manifest.

      I doubt FaceBook will ever go the way of MySpace, but it may have peaked, and the more censorious it gets, if it does, the more they will make room in the marketplace for new alternatives.


      • The thing is, these companies are priced for perfection in the stock market and their stocks will get slammed if they trigger a big drop in traffic after alienating half the US audience.

        While Zuck and Jack have all the money in the world, their employees are largely paid in stock, and when they discover that the pursuit of liberal activism is having tangible effects on their net worth, they may get pissed, especially if they don’t drink the SJW koolaid already.


        • Agreed. And even for the non-political, the more they control newsfeeds and timelines, and the more focused they are on satisfying a narrow band of whiners, the more opportunities more nimble companies, probably started by people who are the age Zuck was when he started Facebook, to just take marketshare.


        • Facebook is already for old people. The kids join so they can share their photos with Grandma.

          Twitter has a first mover advantage, but so did MySpace and

          Gab is already taking Twitter users who are sick of the partisan double standards. The left will stay with Twitter and the right will find their own sandbox.

          TWTR trades at $33 on a trailing 12 month EPS of two pennies a share. Long way down until it gets even remotely reasonably priced. The only reason I wouldn’t short it is because some idiot company like Microsoft (the geniuses who paid $1 billion for Minecraft at the height of its popularity) can buy it for pocket change in hopes they can become relevant again.

          Liked by 1 person

  2. You would think the press would be more interested in the fact that a ranking member of the Senate Intelligence Committee had a spy working for her…

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Quite the word salad when just saying virtue signalling would do..


    • My playfulness would surely have been mistaken for something more sinister.

      Sounds like apologism more than virtue signaling. It’s more “why our racism and bigotry is not just okay, it’s noble” from the left.


      What work is this usually (though not always) gentle and irony-steeped white-bashing actually performing?

      Gentle and irony-steeped? Jeong was not “gentle and irony-steeped”. I don’t care that she’s a huge racist, it has no effect on me really, but we should be able to call a bigot a bigot.

      Interesting piece. Where were these pieces when Roseanne got in trouble? Certainly, comparing one person to a character (played by a white woman) in Planet of the Apes deserves thoughtful think pieces on how it was playful and ironic.


    • Most people still use the rule that Andrew Sullivan cited:

      “Another indicator that these statements might be racist comes from replacing the word “white” with any other racial group.”

      The amount of spin and bad faith arguments that are deployed to try and distract from that is telling.

      Liked by 1 person

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