Morning Report: Tesla buyout ends 8/27/18

Vital Statistics:

Last Change
S&P futures 2888 11
Eurostoxx index 385 0
Oil (WTI) 68.79 0.02
10 Year Government Bond Yield 2.82%
30 Year fixed rate mortgage 4.58%

Stocks are higher this morning on news that the US and Mexico might strike a deal on NAFTA. Bonds and MBS are flat.

We should have a quiet week heading into the Labor Day weekend. We will get GDP on Wednesday and Personal Incomes / Personal spending on Thursday and those are probably the only potential market-moving reports.

Mohammed El-Arian believes there is a 60% chance that Trump’s hard line on trade will result in a better deal for the US. There is a 15% chance that Trump’s stance could result in a beakthrough with China (similar to Reagan’s approach with the USSR during the Cold War), and another 25% chance that we go into a full blown trade war. He stressed that the US’s role as the world’s biggest consumer matters: “I’ve said from day one, it’s just a matter of time until other countries realize that their best approach is to collaborate with the U.S. and fix things that are broken,” El-Erian said.

Moody’s downgraded Chase’s jumbo underwriting rating to “above average” from “strong” based on concerns over the percentage of loans that come from its delegated correspondent channel. Moody’s also dinged them over their proprietary LOS (licensed from Quicken), disliking the look and feel of it. Chase obviously disputes the downgrade, and defended their underwriting. “We respectfully disagree with the rating and feel it’s based on insufficient information. While we provide select correspondent lenders with delegated underwriting authority, we also then conduct individual underwriting reviews on roughly half of those loans. These are high-quality loans that perform well,” Amy Bonitatibus, chief marketing and communications officer of Chase Home Mortgage, said in an email.

Elon Musk ended his proposed buyout of Tesla late last week. The Street never took it seriously to begin with, and was highly skeptical of his claim that funding for the deal was secured. The SEC is investigating the “funding secured” comment, which sounds like it was based largely on the existence of a pitch book, not any sort of letter from an investment bank (not even a “highly confident” letter).

Layoffs continue in the mortgage biz. Wells let go 600 people, mainly in servicing and retail fulfillment. Lower volumes and margins contributed to a 33% drop in mortgage banking income for Wells in the second quarter.

Economic activity decelerated in July, according to the Chicago Fed National Activity Index, which is a meta-index of 85 economic indicators. Production-related indicators decelerated, while employment-related indicators improved. The 3 month moving average fell as well.

17 Responses

  1. Another sign that the apocalypse is upon us:

    There are, of course, plenty of people—including many women—who have no problem being addressed as “guys,” think the word has evolved to be entirely gender-neutral, and don’t see a reason to change their usage. But others aren’t so sure. “I think there’s a really serious and welcome reconception of gender lines and relationships between sex and gender going on,” says John McWhorter, who teaches linguistics at Columbia University and has written several books about language. He says “something has crested in particular over about the past 10 years”—something that has people examining their everyday communications.

    In my reporting I heard from several people who said that the word is particularly troubling for trans and gender-nonconforming people. “As a transgender woman, I consciously began trying to stop using guys some years ago,” says Brad Ward, a college counselor at a high school in Atherton, California. She added, “When I’m included with a group that is called guys, there’s some pain, since it takes me back to my male days in a way that I’d rather not go.”

    I also heard that guys could grate on women working at male-heavy companies. In tech in particular, some told me they saw the word as yet another symptom of a female-minimizing industry. “There are a lot of guys in tech and ‘guys’ is used all the time in my work and social environments by both men and women, but since it doesn’t resonate with me anymore, I do feel like I’m not part of the group,” says Amy Chong, a 29-year-old user-experience researcher in San Francisco.


    • Growing up in the midwest, “guys” (and “you guys”) was our version of “y’all”. I also was addressed as “sir” for most of my time in the military, since I was in extraordinarily male-dominated units.

      I think that worrying about being called guys when you don’t have a penis is a sign of not having enough actual problems to worry about. If told that it offended someone I would try to not use that term, but it’s not something that is going to keep me awake at night.

      Unlike transgender individuals who want to be called “they” when there’s only one of them. . .

      Liked by 1 person

      • the singular they is an abomination.

        Liked by 2 people

        • I just learned what y’all are talking about!

          Agreed. There are effective singular pronouns. Think “this person” or “that human” for strained politeness, “he” or “she” or “one” for standard usage, “guy” for light banter, or to accept a preposition,”him”, “her”, or “it”. It might be impolite, but one could use the formerly insulting “heshe”, although that was properly restricted to trannies, IIRC.

          There might be an occasional sentence in which “they” provides clarity or doesn’t obscure, while speaking about the multiple personalities of a psychotic.


      • I’m of the same mind, whatever you prefer, if I know it and can remember it. No reason to make that a battle.I guess it has to be more confusing in Spanish than it is in English, so I count myself lucky.

        If that’s all you talk about as a person, however, I’m pretty sure I’ll find you a bore. Pronouns are not that interesting at the end of the day.

        I have my own opinion about attempting to muddy the waters of what it means to be biologically men and women. That’s a different area for me. Or to suggest that biological sex is somehow “assigned” at birth. Also the term “cisgender” sticks in my craw, but that’s probably because I’m old.


        • i refuse to use the term cisgender unironically. Straight is normal.


        • Brent:

          i refuse to use the term cisgender unironically. Straight is normal.

          I don’t think the term has ever crossed my lips in any way at all, because I think it is a nonsense term referring to a nonsense concept. That being said, I don’t think it is meant to have anything to do with being “straight”. A gay man who knows himself to be a man would be, I think, classified by those who use the word as “cisgendered”. “Cisgender” is contrasted with “transgender”, not homosexual.


    • “something has crested in particular over about the past 10 years”—something that has people examining their everyday communications.”

      yeah. the potential for ritual public humiliation if you step on linguistic landmines that are laid for the sole purposes of keeping you quiet.

      Liked by 1 person


    Kev, why were firefighters’ comms throttled in the first place? Does anyone know?


    • Mark:

      Kev, why were firefighters’ comms throttled in the first place? Does anyone know?

      I think it is standard practice, especially at Verizon, to slow down data access on “unlimited” plans once those plans hit a certain data usage amount in a month. So if they were using individual data plans to communicate with each other, I would guess that it just automatically happened.

      Liked by 1 person

      • There’s no unlimited plan for first responders (an oversight they should remedy), and no prioritization of data for any group in part to be on their best behavior to reduce the risk of net neutrality (lots of data providers try to be egalitarian with data, so don’t prioritize one source or receiver over another).. So they get nailed the same way everybody else does.


        • And I mean actually unlimited. All unlimited plans have throttling caps, which is really to catch super-offenders and prevent a handful of bad actors from consuming all the networks bandwidth.


        • Thanks, Kev and Scott. Silly I just assumed firefighters had their own dedicated unlimited BW, or something like that. I guess First Responder cross communication is still inefficient, as well?


        • It’s a market opportunity for someone to offer true unlimited for firepersons and EMT personnel.


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