Morning Report: FOMC meeting begins

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Last Change
S&P futures 2940 -2.9
Eurostoxx index 390.26 -0.72
Oil (WTI) 64.46 1.2
10 year government bond yield 2.53%
30 year fixed rate mortgage 4.18%


Stocks are lower this morning after Google missed earnings last night. Bonds and MBS are down.


The FOMC begins its 2 day meeting this morning. The result should be announced tomorrow at 2:00 pm. No changes are expected in policy.


The employment cost index rose 0.7% in Q1, driven by a 0.7% increase in wages and a 0.7% increase in benefit costs. On an annualized basis wages and salaries increased 2.9% and benefits increased 2.6%.


Home Price Appreciation continues to slow, according to the Case-Shiller Home Price index. The index increased 4% YOY, compared to 4.2% in the previous month. “The pace of increases for home prices continues to slow,” says David M. Blitzer, Managing Director
and Chairman of the Index Committee at S&P Dow Jones Indices. “Homes began their climb in 2012 and accelerated until late 2013 when annual increases reached double digits. Subsequently, increases slowed until now when the National Index is up 4% in the last 12 months. Sales of existing single family homes have recovered since 2010 and reached their peak one year ago in February 2018. Home sales drifted down over the last year except for a one-month pop in February 2019. Sales of new homes, housing starts, and residential investment had similar weak trajectories over the last year. Mortgage
rates are down one-half to three-quarters of a percentage point since late 2018.


“The largest year-over-year price increase is 9.7% in Las Vegas; last year, the largest gain was 12.7% in Seattle. Regional patterns are shifting. The three California cities of Los Angeles, San Francisco and San Diego have the three slowest price increases over the last year. Chicago, New York and Cleveland saw only slightly larger prices increases than California. Prices generally rose faster in inland cities than on either the coasts or the Great Lakes. Aside from Las Vegas, Phoenix, and Tampa, which saw the fastest gains, Atlanta, Denver, and Minneapolis all saw prices rise more than 4% — twice the rate of



8 Responses

    • Others have wondered about the truthfulness of Karen Mathews Davis – she married and moved to Lodi several years ago – since she was arrested in October 2015 on suspicion of fabricating death threats to herself during an ill-fated run for Congress in late 2013 and early 2014.

      It was bullshit. It’s why you can’t frackin’ send anybody to jail on these kind of stories without hard evidence or massive corroboration.

      The biggest problem, Waterman said, was how Steiner could have assaulted Mathews around 8:10 p.m. and driven 845 miles to show up for work in Oregon early the next morning.

      Ya think?

      Goudie-Clarot said she tried back then to share her doubts – including suspicions of self-inflicted wounds – with federal agents, but they didn’t want to hear it.

      Yeah, that speaks to a whole ‘nuther level of problems.

      She had kept that part of the story to herself after the attack, explaining in her book that she had been ashamed, a reaction common to sexual abuse victims. I knew somehow that if I told, everything would change – they’d look at me differently, she wrote in the book.

      The red flags were huge and obvious.

      Twenty years ago, U.S. District Judge Oliver Wanger disallowed questions about her mental health when Mathews testified. He also blocked evidence that Steiner had passed a polygraph about the garage ambush, administered by authorities in Oregon.


      “In the final analysis,” the judge said then, “the jury found Ms. Mathews to be a credible witness.”

      Because of some veneer of being a known authority figure, versus random shifty stranger. Justice!

      … But the evidence supporting Jussie Smollet is Rock. Fucking. Solid.



      • “When stepping off the bench Judge Wanger observed that his time of service had left him with few friends.”

        He was an attorney whose only experience in criminal law was as a prosecutor. It is not always true, but judges who previously only tried one side of matters may find it difficult not to take the side they learned through practice. This is more true in criminal practice than in civil. Only the defendant can appeal a criminal verdict, but the government has the huge investigative advantage. These inherent imbalances are supposed to, along with the presumption of innocence, offset. Some judges are predisposed to tamper with the supposed balancing act. Wanger sure did.

        Few friends, indeed.


  1. This should be interesting.

    Democratic congressional leaders say President Trump has agreed to a $2 trillion infrastructure plan. But — and it’s a big but — there was no agreement on how to pay for such a wide-ranging and expensive proposal.

    Will be interested to see how that turns out.

    Koch brothers not happy.

    I don’t object to infrastructure spending in principle (I tend to suspect that our highways, interstates, and many other infrastructure projects have provided the foundation of a great deal of wealth and improved quality of life, which is government spending I, personally, am in favor of). My only concern is that such spending in 2020+ will not be deployed judiciously, or without tremendous waste, and will likely get shell-gamed into a variety of hugely expensive pet projects that accomplish nothing. But maybe not.

    Also, would we consider a border wall infrastructure?


    • The left’s problem is that most of the infrastructure spending is in blue states, and it is a tough sell to get someone in Alabama to care about the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway or another rail tunnel to New Jersey.


    • My only concern is that such spending in 2020+ will not be deployed judiciously, or without tremendous waste, and will likely get shell-gamed into a variety of hugely expensive pet projects that accomplish nothing. But maybe not.

      The process you have described was not unknown. In fact, it was the essence of the pork barrel politics McCain fought against by targeting earmarks. I was with him on that. Of course, we were w-w-wrong.

      Without earmarks, the reason for NY to support Alabama and vice versa disappeared -POOF! And worse, power got consolidated in two persons: the Senate Majority Leader and the Speaker of the House. Members who are not in the “leadership” and their states and CDs are mainly screwed.

      The shell game would have sort of evened out under the old system but is at the discretion of two persons, now.


  2. Imagine believing this.


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