Morning Report: James Bullard floats idea of skipping Dec. hike

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Last Change
S&P futures 2628 -8
Eurostoxx index 343.16 -2.31
Oil (WTI) 51.87 -0.74
10 year government bond yield 2.85%
30 year fixed rate mortgage 4.72%


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


St. Louis Fed President James Bullard surprised markets on Friday by suggesting that the Fed could take a break at the December FOMC meeting. He argued that interest rates were already somewhat restrictive (at least that is what the yield curve is telling us), and the neutral Fed Funds rate is around 2%. (the current target rate is between 2% and 2.25%). He also noted that while unemployment is around 3.7%, the relationship between inflation and unemployment (aka the Phillips Curve) has been breaking down for decades, to where the statistical relationship is close to zero. The Fed Funds futures are handicapping an 80% chance of a hike, but the reaction from the market if they don’t hike may end up being worse than the reaction if they do.


The Fed Funds futures have been forecasting a hike in December, and then one more in 2019. So regardless of the timing, this tightening cycle is pretty much over.


The Fannie Mae Home Purchase Sentiment Index rose slightly in November, driven by increasing incomes. There has been a push-pull effect happening in the index, as increasing personal financials are being offset by deteriorating housing affordability. “The HPSI has moved within a tight range over the past five months, as positive sentiment regarding the overall economy continued to offset cooling housing sentiment,” said Doug Duncan, senior vice president and chief economist at Fannie Mae. “Consumers’ perceptions of growth in their household income reached a survey high this month, helping to absorb some of the impact of increasing mortgage rates on housing market activity. Meanwhile, the net share of consumers expecting home prices to increase over the next 12 months continues to moderate, dropping by 13 percentage points since this time last year.”


Roughly 46,000 homes were flipped in the third quarter, which is the lowest number in 3 1/2 years. The number of sub-3 year mortgages (used for the fix and flip crowd) dropped 11% last quarter. A combination of rich home prices and higher financing costs have made it tougher to earn a decent return in the business. At some point, the investors who did well in the REO-to-rental trade will probably look to ring the register and move on to better opportunities.

10 Responses

    • I was struck by this reply to Hart:

      Too little, too late Kevin, SO GLAD you stepped down.. you are not worthy and will never can apologize as much as you want, but I don’t think a man changes his belief so quickly.. NOW you will always be remembered as a homophobe and that’s how you should be remembered

      These people are frackin’ psychotic and are horrible for society.

      Hopefully, Kevin Hart can find some comfort in his millions of dollars.

      Hopefully, those with career aspirations have learned a lesson. They all need to treat twitter like a hot stove, where everything they have ever said will be dug up and inspected for any evidence of violating the New Moral Code of the puritan left.


  1. middle aged woke female comediennes are the royalty of the Democratic Party.

    rules don’t apply to them.


    • Right now. The ease with which progressives embrace informing on their neighbors and getting into More Progressive than Thou competitions put them at risk.

      There is a balance, where your Intrinsic Moral Qualities are weighed against your Bad Behaviors. For a while, being black and generally liberal insulated Hart from such approbation. Indeed, that was the case when he first wrote those tweets.

      Right now, Any Schumer may find her good qualities–being a woman, overweight, drug-addicted, and unattractive–outweigh her potentially homophobic and racist comments (that is, homophobic and racist by the standards of the New Puritanism, not by, say, 1980s comedy clubs). Sarah Silverman is not overweight and doesn’t embody millenial hippie loser-ism nearly as much as Amy, so she may be more at risk. But she’s still a woman, and–right now–there is a lot of insulating power in that.

      But the whole impetus of the #MeToo movement was one of moving the status quo. Those guys did what they did because they could do it, they could get away with it, and by the standards of the day they knew they could get away with it. Might not have worked for most people, but for them, it was fine. Everybody was going to protect them. So they followed their abusive muses.

      Their behavior didn’t suddenly get worse or different; the culture changed, the rules changed, and abruptly they were no longer protected. Its difficult to predict when it will happen, but as long as changing-the-rules and then mining-the-past-for-sins-based-on-the-new-rules is the activity of the day, none of them are ultimately safe. Hart should have been safe.

      He was not. Schumer and Silverman may be passed over . . . but they may not. There is no guarantee, and it seems like homosexual and transexual issues may trump women’s issues any minute now.


  2. This is fucking awesome!


    • I think this (and everything like it) is evidence that human beings are genetically racist. Not only that, but as a species there has to be large pockets of overt and super-obvious racism–and super egregious racism–that are considered a cultural norm.

      There is literally no difference to me (because I believe there is literally no difference) between 19th and early 20th century “scientific” and cultural “analysis” of non-white races and their inferiority and contemporary “white studies” that are essentially about the intrinsic badness and moral inferiority of white people.

      You could create an entire white studies course by taking 19th century monographs on the intrinsic moral turpitude and mental inferiority of African-Americans, mongols, and other aboriginal or native races and do a search-and-replace to change them to being about white people. And the course would be considered scholarly and be well-received, at least in academia and by the left.

      I expect you could reverse the phrenology arguments of Broca and find a place in contemporary academia with “scientific” arguments of how caucasian brains are undersized and the moral and spiritual centers of them are markedly underdeveloped.


  3. The Fed Funds futures are handicapping an 80% chance of a hike, but the reaction from the market if they don’t hike may end up being worse than the reaction if they do.


    That Costa Rica retreat for black women is also a “no guys needed” kinda deal, right?


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