Morning Report: Trump calls for negative interest rates

Vital Statistics:


Last Change
S&P futures 2983.5 5.25
Oil (WTI) 57.96 0.44
10 year government bond yield 1.73%
30 year fixed rate mortgage 3.85%


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


We saw a big uptick in rates yesterday, with not much of a catalyst. It could just be position-squaring ahead of the expected stimulus announcements tomorrow from the ECB, although some pointed to the government bond auction. Regardless, these things happen. While the path of least resistance for interest rates clearly seems to be down, there will be inevitable retracements along the way – markets don’t go straight up or straight down.


Mortgage applications increased 2% last week as purchases rose 5% and refis increased about half a percent. “Mortgages rates continued to decline over the holiday-shortened week, with the 30-year fixed rate decreasing five basis points and remaining near three-year lows,” said Joel Kan, MBA Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. “Refinances were essentially unchanged, up just 0.4 percent, but August overall was the strongest month of activity so far in 2019.”


Steve Mnuchin, Mark Calabria, and Ben Carson appeared before the Senate yesterday to discuss GSE reform. The discussion fell predictably along partisan lines, with the left fretting about affordable housing while the right wanted to reduce the government’s footprint and risk in the system.


Meanwhile, Trump called on the “boneheads” at the Fed to cut interest rates, even below 0% if necessary. Trump is arguing that we should lower rates considerably in order to refinance our government debt into longer term loans, say 50 or 100 years. Note that cutting interest rates to 0% will wreak havoc on the banking system, as Europe is finding out. Check out the chart of Deutsche Bank, which has been annihilated by negative interest rates.


Deutsche Bank


Mortgage fraud decreased in the second quarter, according to CoreLogic.

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