Morning Report: Jamie Dimon throws cold water on the mortgage banking business

Vital Statistics:


Last Change
S&P futures 2898.75 -1.5
Eurostoxx index 390.41 0.82
Oil (WTI) 63.91 0.15
10 year government bond yield 2.56%
30 year fixed rate mortgage 4.32%


Stocks are lower as we await the Mueller report. Bonds and MBS are up on weak European data.


Initial Jobless claims fell to 192,000, yet another sub-200,000 print.


Retail sales came in better than expected, rising 1.6% MOM, ahead of the 0.9% Street expectation. Ex autos, they rose 1.2% and ex autos and gas, they rose 0.9%. The economy may well be re-accelerating as we finish the first quarter and enter the second.


Special Counsel Robert Mueller will hold a press conference this morning and release a redacted version of the report to Congress before noon. At this point, everyone’s mind is already made up, so this is just a formality. I don’t expect this to be market moving.


Bonds will close early today and the markets will be closed tomorrow in observance of Good Friday.


Jamie Dimon sounded pessimistic on the mortgage business and blamed regulators during the JP Morgan earnings call.:

“In the early 2000s, bad mortgage laws helped create the Great Recession of 2008. Today, bad mortgage rules are hindering the healthy growth of the U.S. economy. Because there are so many regulators involved in crafting the new rules, coupled with political intervention that isn’t always helpful, it is hard to achieve the much-needed mortgage reform. This has become a critical issue and one reason why banks have been moving away from significant parts of the mortgage business.”

Because of post-crisis capital rules, “owning mortgages becomes hugely unprofitable,” Dimon lamented later in his note. On a call with analysts, he called mortgage servicing – the bookkeeping for regular customer payments – hard. “You got to look at that and ask a lot of questions about whether banks should even be in it,” Dimon said.

If not banks, then, who should be “in it”? “Non-banks are becoming competitors,” Dimon told analysts.

FWIW, Wells Fargo was a bit more constructive on the mortgage banking business, but since they are currently in Elizabeth Warren’s doghouse, it probably makes more sense for them to not poke the bear.


Independent mortgage banks and subsidiaries of chartered banks made an average profit of $367 per loan in 2018, down from the $711 they made in 2917, according to the MBA. “Despite a healthy economy in 2018, the mortgage market suffered, as rate hikes hurt refinancing volume and low housing inventories priced some potential homebuyers out of the purchase market,” said Marina Walsh, MBA Vice President of Industry Analysis. “For mortgage companies, there was the perfect storm of lower production revenues combined with rising expenses, which together contributed to the lowest net production income per loan since 2008.” Expenses rose to a study high of $8,278 per loan. Servicing helped pull some firms into the black, as those that retain servicing were more profitable than those that did not. That said, there is probably a size bias at work there as well.


Herman Cain might not have the votes in the Senate to get confirmed to the Fed.

58 Responses

    • it is what they do

      Liked by 1 person

    • PL loses it again.

      Liked by 1 person

      • idiots. running around for 2 years that trump’s a russian agent and we’re all going to die any minute in a nuclear holocaust.

        and if that doesn’t happen? double down on it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • they are not taking this well


        • The comments I read seemed pretty upbeat. The Mueller report means there will be hearings and then Trump goes to jail and Obama gets a 3rd term immediately. Because magic.


      • 1.2k thousand comments on the Mueller article Waldman posted. Didn’t even check Sargent’s.

        Comments like this are fascinating: Like we need to waste time on a loser who doesn’t realize that Trump took a lethal blow today.

        Really? Hasn’t he been taking “lethal” blows since 2016? I mean, like him or hate him, the idea that the release of the mueller report has dealt some sort of lethal blow to Trump is just dumb.

        I don’t see how they can avoid hearings now that this is out there. The report raises a lot more questions.

        Hearings? HEARINGS? Say it’s not so!

        Interesting the obsession with this, and all the quasi-fictional hyperbole around Trump and Russian collusion, etc. The stuff they spend so much time talking about has no impact on anything. A million other things to focus on if the goal was actually to advance an agenda.


  1. This is great:

    “Beto O’Rourke, other Democrats see the downside of releasing tax returns

    By Jenna Johnson and Michael Kranish
    April 17 at 8:27 PM”

    O’Rourke’s answer to why he didn’t donate more to charity, “My personal sacrifice for public service is charity” is the height of bullshit and arrogance.

    Liked by 1 person

    • he should have just lied and said I don’t claim the deducting and give anonymously.

      Liked by 1 person

      • He tried that but also had itemized contributions down to $16 each listed so that doesn’t pass the BS test.

        Read the piece, he really is that bad.


      • Exactly. OR anything other than “I’m donating my brilliant mind to the advancement of you peons, so I don’t need to give my money to ‘charity’ when I prefer to fund my jet-setting lifestyle” . . . that response was the worst possible response he could give.

        And they rail on Trump for foot-in-mouth disease.


  2. I would love to hear a reported explain to me the differences between AG Barr and AG Holder.


  3. Will the “walls be closing in on Trump” today or is this “the beginning of the end” for him?


    • I feel very much that this is the beginning of the end of the walls closing in on him.

      Because he colluded with the Russians to hack our democracy.

      That people can be paid to assert those kinds of things–over and over–makes me think I went into the wrong line of work.


  4. so muller time. less filling. doesn’t taste that great.


  5. All the lulz


  6. Worth a read:

    “Our Dangerous Dog-Sled and Reindeer Gaps!
    Matt Bivens”

    View at

    I had no idea about this either:

    “Trump laments military spending by U.S., China and Russia, floats deal idea”


    • “As you know China is spending a lot of money on military, so are we, so is Russia and those three countries I think can come together and stop the spending and spend on things that maybe are more productive toward long-term peace,” Trump said.

      “It think it’s much better if we all got together and we didn’t make these weapons,” he said.

      The man is a monster. Impeach! Impeach!


  7. Whew, that front page a Kos is a barn burner.


    • “Just a guess that Mueller is champing at the bit to clear up the record on his findings after Attorney General William Barr bastardized them.”

      When this doesn’t happen, it will be amusing to see the fury of the left turn on Mueller as a Trump stooge.


  8. Started reading the Mueller Report. So far the most interesting to me [at the nuts and bolts level] is the discussion of what was to be done with Russian proffers of help. Three issues kept the acceptance of offers from being indictable. First and most obvious was the valuation issue – what was the value of the help offered? Would a hypothetical jury think it even reached misdemeanor leveltheshhold at $2K? And surely no one would think it reached felony level at $250K. Big No Go as none of it was really of much political value and it was offered freely. Two other issues – did the recipients have guilty minds? No reason to think so in the context – they were not making the first contacts seeking out info. And finally no case had ever valued freely offered information from a foreign agent. There was no benchmark for it.

    To me, this was a good example of probable cause to investigate but insufficient evidence to charge.


    • If Congress was serious about foreign influence in US elections, it would look at all of it including China in the 1990’s and Ukraine in 2016. And examine the US’s own activities in foreign countries and how that might provoke a response.

      Also, where do Op-Ed’s by foreign leaders in US papers fall on the scale?

      This continues to be excuse making for the Clinton supporters who can’t accept the results of the election.


      • But this is almost universal. It’s just worse in the media this time because they were *so* sure Hillary was definitely going to win that they just can’t stop talking about it.

        Bush stole the election not only in 2000 but 2004, as I recall. Every close election is “stolen”, according to somebody.

        Of course Hillary and her supporters, after winning the “popular” (i.e: California) vote was going to assert it was stolen. The implausible but somehow oddly viral assertion that Russia’s offers of non-information and a few $100k in Facebook ads, primarily targeted at people already guaranteed to vote for Trump, is just icing on the cake.


    • Mark:

      Three issues kept the acceptance of offers from being indictable.

      I have not read the report. What offers of help were accepted? And is it campaign finance laws that prohibit such an acceptance?

      To me, this was a good example of probable cause to investigate…

      When you say “this”, what exactly are you referring to, the acceptance of proffered help? And was “this” in fact the predicate for the investigation, or was “this” discovered as the result of an investigation predicated on something entirely different?


      • You should read it. I haven’t read the rest of the report so I don’t want to speculate. But for the sake of discussion I will. The bulk of the report is as you have suggested, about the intel matters relating to general Russian intrusion into the 2016 election. The approaches by unregistered foreign agents to the Trump campaign seems [to me] to have been peripheral [and covered under the catch-all part of the appointment], and a very small part of the Report. Those approaches gave probable cause to investigate, and the ones that were accepted had to be analyzed as foreign contributions to a campaign. My editorial note here is that foreign contributions to campaigns have been previously “punished” by forcing the campaigns to donate an amount equal to the illicit contributions back to the Treasury at some later date, and enforcement has been by the FEC and never by a criminal proceeding against a member of a campaign. So I can imagine that the Mueller lawyers made short work of it and properly rated the contributions as likely de minimus for criminal purposes.

        Perhaps I will change my tune about this when I have read all or it. Joe has pointed up how little Congress has generally cared about this problem.

        Nadler can go on about this because of the primary illegality, but mountains from molehills are nothing new in this area; see Clinton Impeachment.

        If you run through the 400+ pages just looking at redactions it seems as if most of them are related to ongoing investigations. If these are criminal investigations I don’t think they will see daylight before indictments. If they are intel investigations they shouldn’t see daylight but I think the intel committee chairs and ranking members can see them. I am not sure about that.


        • Mark:

          You should read it.

          I’ve started to. It is pretty eye-glazing.

          Those approaches gave probable cause to investigate…

          To investigate who, though, and for what?

          …and the ones that were accepted had to be analyzed as foreign contributions to a campaign.

          Were any accepted? Your original post suggested that at least some of them had been, which is why I asked, because I am not aware that anyone did indeed accept anything that could be construed to have been a foreign campaign contribution. Does what you have read of the report identify any offers that were accepted?


  9. Not going down well at all.

    catkey94 April 18 · 03:57:53 PM

    Trump re-election is more certain by the hour as he consolidates his autocracy with help from Hoyer, Manchin, Nunes, McConnell, and hundreds of other Trump pillars.
    Please log in or sign up to continue.
    e2247 April 18 · 04:34:25 PM


  10. What a dumb c*nt.


    • Why did Barr spend two weeks spinning, spinning, spinning? Because the report is about as bad as it could possibly be.

      Which side is acting that the report is as bad as it could be?


    • Makes sense they would go with the straightforward “the report validates everything we have been saying” approach. Nobody is going to read it in the first place, and nobody in the media is going to call them out for saying it because they are in on the propaganda as well.


      • Brent:

        Makes sense they would go with the straightforward “the report validates everything we have been saying” approach.

        Gaslighting it the left’s go-to on virtually everything.


  11. This is pretty good:

    “Long before they won back control of the House last year, impeachment-wary Democrats had settled on a mantra for evading questions about whether President Trump deserved to be impeached: “Let’s wait for the Mueller report.”

    This was an unsatisfying dodge for many reasons. A great deal of Trump’s impeachable conduct has had nothing to do with the Russia investigation. Much of it has had nothing to do with the criminal law at all, and even if that is the standard these Democrats meant to invoke, Trump has been an unindicted coconspirator in a completely unrelated criminal conspiracy for many months.

    But if the point was to buy time, and nothing else, you’d think Democrats would have readied themselves with a party line position about what should come next. The basic shape of the Mueller report has been clear to close observers for weeks. Trump’s corrupt relationship with Russia and his efforts to spoil the investigation have played out on live television. In a clumsy effort to conceal the report, the Justice Department gave Democrats almost a month between the end of the investigation and its publication, and with all that time to put their caucus on message…they just didn’t.”


  12. Like

    • The NYT begins a CYA operation over its “collusion” coverage by quietly pointing out what it (along with almost all other Trump-haters) has been studiously ignoring for the last 2 years:

      Another possibility — one that Mr. Steele has not ruled out — could be Russian disinformation. That would mean that in addition to carrying out an effective attack on the Clinton campaign, Russian spymasters hedged their bets and placed a few land mines under Mr. Trump’s presidency as well.

      It is, however, only a modified limited hangout of its coverage failures. For example, while trying to convince its readers of the great pains that the FBI allegedly went through in attempting – and failing – to substantiate Steele’s information, the NYT is remarkably (yet not surprisingly) incurious about how this unverified – and apparently unverifiable – information came to be the basis for a FISA application to spy on the Trump campaign, a fact that the NYT completely fails to mention.


      • Ace had a post on this yesterday and in it he highlighted something from one of his commenters that the Steele Dossier isn’t necessarily a Russian disinformation campaign but a made to order propaganda booklet created by, essentially, the US intelligence agencies. Recall that Flynn has been under investigation since well before Trump secured the nomination and FBI assets were being run at Papadopoulos and Page after Trump became the defacto nominee but prior to the official opening of the investigation (in the spring of ‘16 versus the official start in late July of ‘16).


        • McWing:

          Ace had a post on this yesterday and in it he highlighted something from one of his commenters that the Steele Dossier isn’t necessarily a Russian disinformation campaign but a made to order propaganda booklet created by, essentially, the US intelligence agencies.

          Entirely possible, and perhaps something that even Barr suspects, given his testimony that he is concerned about what the intelligence agencies, not necessarily the FBI, had to do with prompting the spying on Trump’s campaign. In any event, I think that the NYT’s spin of Steele going to the FBI with his HRC oppo research because “what he was hearing posed a grave danger to the United States” is laughable. If that were true, he wouldn’t have been at the very same time desperately trying to get it into the media prior to the election.


        • Relevant.


  13. This wasn’t written as sarcasm or ironically.

    This idiot broad believes this.

    Guess where she works…



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