Morning Report: Bank earnings come in

Vital Statistics:


Last Change
S&P futures 2915 6.25
Eurostoxx index 388.92 0.82
Oil (WTI) 63.31 -0.09
10 year government bond yield 2.57%
30 year fixed rate mortgage 4.23%


Stocks are higher as bank earnings come in. Bonds and MBS are down.


Earnings season has begun, and the banks are all reporting.


Wells Fargo reported earnings that disappointed, although there was a bright spot on the mortgage origination side, where margins increased from 89 basis points to 105 basis points on “improving secondary market conditions.” That said, the bank expects Q2 margins to retrace a bit of that improvement. Originations were down 23% YOY to $33 billion, and correspondent as a percentage dropped from 63% to 55%.


JP Morgan reported that mortgage originations fell 18% in the first quarter compared to a year ago. The numbers were better than expected.


Bank of America reported better-than-expected earnings as well, and they saw a big jump in mortgage origination: $11.5 billion of first lien mortgages in the first quarter compared to $9.4 billion a year ago. In their credit card business, charge-offs are increasing a bit, which could be a warnings sign about the overall economy.


The Empire State Manufacturing Survey reported that business conditions improved modestly, however things are still “fairly subdued.” Optimism is waning, however firms continue to add workers. Inflation is declining as both prices paid and prices received fell.


Charles Evans suggested that the Fed could maintain the current level of interest rates into “late 2020.” Goldman Sachs is echoing the same sentiment. As a general rule, the Fed tries to not make any moves heading into an election for fear of appearing that they support one candidate or the other.


The Fed funds futures market is becoming a touch more hawkish, with the futures implying a 61% probability of no further moves this year and a 39% chance of a rate cut.


fed funds futures


After waiting for better times, home sellers in Greenwich are throwing in the towel. Many sellers are fed up with selling the old-fashioned way and are auctioning off properties. How bad are things? The median home price in Greenwich fell by 17% in the fourth quarter. The luxury end was even worse, falling 19% and it appears that it is down 25% in the first quarter. After a long, long wait the market is finally beginning to clear.

30 Responses

  1. Brent, check this out:

    As always, gas is nearly cheapest in Okla and Texas but most expensive in HI and CA. But CA is 50 cents a gallon higher than HI!

    Apparently six of the ten refineries in CA are shut down and CA doesn’t get much [or any? IDK] gasoline piped in for two reasons: mountain ranges and refining standards for CA fuel.


  2. Some years ago we had a conversation about immigration here where I think George argued for open borders, but he may have been playing devil’s advocate. I was probably the strongest proponent of border and port security and I think we are still just messing around with political talking points on all sides. That is probably because real border/port security is expensive and takes both lots of high tech and lots of manpower while being opposed by various special interests with different agendas than national security. It doesn’t take walling off the whole Rio Grande in Texas, it takes having drones, copters, manpower, and detention facilities. It also takes that on the Canadian border. And it takes plenty of port facilities we do not have. And it might take a lot more to handle expired visa overstays in communities like Boston and San Francisco.

    Taking immigration as a two pronged issue – general immigration on the one hand and refugees on the other – I have thought general immigration should be based on what America needs in terms of youth, energy, and talent, not “extended family reunification”. Taking refugee status on the other hand, any set number and any set of rules are arbitrary, but Congress could make a range of decisions about this that would be reasonable under the circumstances, despite the fact that no matter what they do they will be sniped at by some special interest.

    Finally, E-verify and national ID cards would be pretty much essential tools for dealing with illegal aliens working in the USA, and too many special interests don’t want either.

    I get pretty tired of phony debates about this because no one will do what is plain to anyone who has any familiarity with the problem. Trump’s ridiculous focus on refugee applicants from south of the border trying to apply for entrance at ports of entry by effectively closing access to ports of entry and building a big fence while disregarding everything else involved in border security and rational immigration policy invites the left and special interests to go off on their own stupid rants.

    Wake me when its over.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I was advocating for legal open borders and instant citizenship.

      As far as Trump is concerned, he advocates for more than a wall, and in relationship to the wall, he doesn’t advocate for one that goes from Tijuana to Matamoras, but a wall that can be used to funnel illegals so they’re more easily apprehended.

      In terms of refugees, Trump is advocating to a change in the law so non-Mexican illegals can be turned back regardless of their national origin, just like Mexican illegals are treated.

      Part of the media narrative is to portray Trump’s immigration policies as one dimensional when they are not. Neil Monroe at Breitbart is a good person to read about immigration issues from a Trump perspective.


  3. Mcwing, et al:

    So after seeing the reference “Bro-Fo” Omar for the last few weeks, I finally decided to look into what the hell it was all about. I had no idea about the story that she had married her brother. I’ve read several articles about it, and it seems to be a pretty compelling theory. Does anyone know if it has ever been seriously debunked?


    • From Snopes:

      Basically, they say no.

      Also there’s this:

      In response to the rumor, Omar issued a statement in 2016 describing the issue as one based on “a difficult part of my personal history that I did not consider relevant in the context of a political campaign,” and she labeled accusations that her former husband was also her brother “absurd and offensive.”

      Which totally sounds like she married her brother in order to commit immigration fraud, but that won’t hold up in court.

      Generally, it seems unlikely. But in the partisan and identarian battles, bad enough is never enough–which I see a lot with Omar, railing vaguely anti-semitic comments as being extremely anti-semitic, using language that people on the right have objected (rightly, in my opinion) having been applied to them. And is still applied to folks on the right, Trump being an obvious example, all the time. And the bro-fo thing is another example of unnecessary piling on (but I get the joke, so, you know, there’s that).

      But she really doesn’t seem to like America, Americans or non-Muslims (despite, apparently, being a secular Muslim with very little familiarity with the Koran) and has at least as much trouble with the facts as Trump does. So I have a hard time feeling sorry for her.


      • KW:

        Basically, they say no.

        I checked snopes too, and it said “undetermined”, although it did seem that they didn’t want to believe it.

        Which totally sounds like she married her brother in order to commit immigration fraud

        That’s exactly what it sounds like to me, too. And you know that if she had an R after her name, it would be front page news in both the NYT and WaPo.


  4. Impressive. It looks like Democrats hate Sanders so much they would rather split and have Trump reelected.

    The schemes against Sanders are going to backfire against the Democratic establishment the same way the mainstream Republican ones helped Trump.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Same thing with the NeverTrumpers, who would have rather HRC been elected than Trump. They just didn’t get there way, and didn’t dominate the GOP side.

      Given the choices on the Dem side presently, I think he’s got a good chance of getting the nomination.


    • This comment is exquisite.

      dididadadidit elwiorApril 16 · 03:21:25 PM
      This one is far worse than Nixon. For starters, both are guilty of the same two crimes, burglarizing Democratic offices and then trying to cover it up. Nixon hired AMERICAN plumbers while il Douchbag hired RUSSIAN intelligence agents for Christ sake.

      That was the extent of Tricky Dick’s crimes in office (other than extension of that stupid war for four more years). Il Douchbag goes way beyond that, playing second fiddle to Putin, just as il Duce did with Hitler. Nixon wasn’t nearly the thief Douchbag is, witness the use of the federal government foreign policy to extort 900 MILLION FUCKING DOLLARS from Qatar for his son in-law on that devils tower 666 Wall Street. Qatar was asked to make the loan, refused, then pressure was applied with sanctions and the threat of war brought on Qatar by their neighbors at US urging. Qatar was asked again and this time granted the “LOAN!”

      Current resident has nearly two more years to surpass Nixon on the war stupidity and with nuclear football in his hands, that is a constant worry to me, I never feared Nixon would pull that trigger.

      Nixon got the EPA going and expanded medicare whereas asshole adolt twittler would cheerfully burn the planet down for a few more years oil/coal profits and looks to end “Obama care” with nothing to replace it except empty promises. We know what his promises are worth.

      Also, Nixon had the decency to resign. Don’t hold your breath on il Douchbag EVER doing the right thing.

      No Cheers today



      • This comment tells the previous comment to hold my beer.

        kamarvt tallen387April 16 · 01:05:21 PM
        It definitely includes the other half.

        Voting is NOT too much trouble. it’s a low priority.

        ask ten non voters about Game of Thrones or some other TV show. Check how often they update their social media accounts.

        People are NOT too busy to vote once every two or four years; they just don’t give a damn.

        If I’m understanding this right the commenter wants booger-eating morons with no clue to vote.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yes. It also brings the implicit assumption that non-voters would all–or in a vast majority–vote the way the commentor believes they should vote. It’s an idea that somehow there are far more non-voters on their side than the other, and that some system to make everybody show up and vote would somehow magically benefit them.

          Which is nonsense.


      • If you could somehow make it so Nixon was president now and Trump had been the president in 1972, and they could somehow have done everything else exactly the same, the argument would be the reverse. “At least Trump only tried to line his pockets and exort money from Qatar! This Nixon guy has been LYING–get this, LYING–about EVERYTHING that happened in Vietnam! Nixon is the worse president ever–because he’s the president NOW!”

        With Republican presidents the current president is always the worst ever, in every conceivable way.

        And so much is wrong with that. Nixon resigning only to avoid impeachment and likely removal from office being one of those things. Nixon wasn’t “doing it to do the right thing”.

        The risk of Trump deploying nukes seems less to me than Nixon, not more.

        EPA and expanded medicare–yeah, Nixon’s critics on the left were all about the EPA and Medicare about in the early 70s.


      • Been reading the comments. Amazing how many of them *also* hate the media, and see them as being too right wing or beholder to their corporate masters (which prevents them reporting THE TRUTH about Drumpf!).

        I love this characterization of themselves, tho:

        It was like KOS is now: lots of independent voices and lots of careful criticism of whatever each of us diaries or comments, verifying or checking facts, presenting alternative views and arguments, and engaging in spirited discussion.

        It’s true. They run the gamut from hard left to extreme-crazy-alien-worshipping-Stalinist left. All the sides are covered.


        • The limits of identitarianism: it is also a matter of race.

          The statistics are grim. The vast majority of executives are male, and the vast majority are white. The representatives of non-white people are minuscule, with one survey indicated only 25% of news organizations had a non-white person as a top editor.

          Trump was elected to maximize white privilege for the next generation. As white people have most of the wealth, and it the rest of the people who need high taxes to pay for services and education so they might advance, tax policy that protect existing wealth is most critical. We all recall the Reagan made this case so elegantly when he blamed the deficit and high taxes on welfare mothers.

          The second prong here are the judges and policies that minimize the changes to the laws that will prevent the white man from having to b civilized. Given that newsrooms are white men, they have a vested interest in reporting the news in such a way that these policies are not seen in an overtly negative manner. For example, the idea that the Senate is just playing the same of game of appointing judges that are sympathetic to the controlling party.

          The interesting thing here is that Trump may intimately be expendable. The media, overall, is trying to insure that the white-centric policies are in place, not necessarily protecting Trump. Same for Barr. He is delaying the inevitable to maximize the white-centric policies, but i am sure he knows that the jig will up at some point in the not too distance future.

          What everyone knows, and what the powerful are counting on, is that even if Trump in jail, white power will be protected for another generation.

          The most logical assumption–that TV networks want ratings and advertising revenues, and most people are always looking to make things better for themselves and their family and friends, not an entire race of people, in reality–isn’t touched on.

          Also, quantitatively there are more caucasians on welfare than minorities, so . . . when do they get their white power?


    • “His testimony raises profound concern that the attorney general is doing what we urge emerging democracies not to do, and that is, seek to prosecute your political opponents after you win an election,” California Rep. Adam B. Schiff, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee, told the Washington Post’s Greg Sargent.

      Did the Democrats run on a pledge to prosecute/impeach Trump immediately if they won? Aren’t they kind of doing that? Wasn’t the original Russian probe all about (and certainly, to dedicate progressives, all about) using the legal system to “get Trump”?

      Ah, hypocrisy and double-standards. The idenitarian devotional.

      Note that when the Trump administration refused to comply with a lawful congressional demand that Trump turn over his tax returns to the House Ways and Means Committee

      Was it lawful? Was it unlawful for Trump to say no?


  5. Stuart Stevens is running the campaign? Holy shit, how can he lose?

    Luckily Weld does not have a history of asking people not to vote for him.

    Stuart knows that Weld’s in it to win it!


    • I’d guess Weld is in to hopefully act as a spoiler? It’s rare that the incumbent loses, and especially rare that the incumbent president that just took the Whitehouse back from the other party loses. If you’re party has only been in power in the WH for 4 years, you’re almost sure to win re-election.

      Statistically, the worst thing that can happen to an incumbent in Trump’s position is a primary challenge. Weld won’t get the nod, just like Kennedy didn’t get it in ’80 or Buchanan in ’92, but in both cases it was their party that lost, despite incumbency, to the other party. That and a direct 3rd party challenger to Trump’s voters. We might see that, too, if they are really covering all the bases.

      I have a hard time believing Weld is in this to win.


      • “I’d guess Weld is in to hopefully act as a spoiler?”

        No, because unlike last time he’s not running as a third party candidate.

        He’s there to give Republican Never Trumpers an opportunity to cast a protest vote that doesn’t involve voting for a Democrat.

        Liked by 1 person

    • … because the lesson to take from Trump’s election is that the Republican and swing-voting electorate was thirsty for a malleable milquetoast as their standard-bearer in Washington.


  6. White makes right.

    Liked by 1 person

    • It’s crazy how much time librarians spend debating this shit. I actually know a couple and this is not a misrepresentation. Half their professional development is seminars about combating racism and white supremacy.

      Meanwhile, the internet renders them less and less relevant by the day.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Is it because they have nothing better to do, or because they honestly think the KKK will be marching in the streets if they aren’t vigilant?

        Liked by 1 person

      • Interesting that the argument is so much about race, rather than class–given that libraries tend to be indulgences (at least the days) of the upper-class.

        Generally, when you see the lower socio-economic classes in the library, they are either using the restroom, sleeping, or accessing the Internet/using the computers. It doesn’t matter what they change about the actual books. At this point they could purge them of everything ever written by a white male and it would have no effect on any minority group, white people, or the domestic caste system.


    • Goddamn white people and their…

      *spins the wheel of privilege*



      • This has got to be a symptom of the entitled luxury and utter lack of responsibility these people live in. Having never been truly oppressed or under existential threat, narratives must be constructed that make everything a tool of victimization and oppression.

        When everything is a tool of oppression, their depression and lack of fulfillment in life is easily explained as the fault of everyone and everything else.


  7. What is this, the 3rd time Snopes has fact-checked the Babylon Bee?


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