Morning Report: 2019 best year since 2006?

Vital Statistics:

 

Last Change
S&P futures 3033 12.25
Oil (WTI) 56.61 0.04
10 year government bond yield 1.84%
30 year fixed rate mortgage 4.00%

 

There is definitely a risk-on feel to the tape as strong earnings continue to come in, and some positive trade developments over the weekend. Bonds and MBS are down after the UK was granted an extension to achieve an orderly Brexit.

 

We have a big week ahead, with a lot of important data and the Fed meeting. We will get the advance estimate for Q3 GDP on Wednesday, the FOMC decision on Wed afternoon, the jobs report on Friday, along with construction spending and the manufacturing ISM. We will also get Case-Shiller and pending home sales on Tuesday, and personal income / spending on Thursday. So definitely, a big week.

 

In other economic data, the Chicago Fed National Activity Index fell to -.45 on weakness in the manufacturing sector. Retail inventories rose 0.3%, while wholesale inventories fell 0.3%. Not sure how the inventory numbers will affect Q3 GDP, but it can be sensitive to inventory builds and liquidations. The forecasts for Q3 GDP seem to be in a range of +1.5% to +1.9%.

 

What a difference a year makes. Lenders extended $700 billion in mortgage loans in the second quarter as falling rates improved refinance activity. This was the highest quarter since the bubble years, and 2019 could be the best year since 2006. I think many people imagined 2019 was going to be good, but not that good. Note that HELOCs have lagged.

 

mortgage originations

 

Ellie Mae has agreed to acquire Capsilon, which makes AI-powered automation software. “With the delivery of our next generation lending platform, we are accelerating our mission to automate everything automatable for the residential mortgage market. This includes making strategic acquisitions of best-in-class solutions to bring more value to the platform and the ecosystem faster,” said Jonathan Corr, president and CEO of Ellie Mae. “This is a significant day for the mortgage industry, as with the acquisition of Capsilon we are bringing together two market-leading companies and adding to our platform the pioneer of AI-powered intelligent automation leveraged by some of the largest lenders and servicers in the industry. As lenders and servicers continue to shift toward data-driven automation, we are excited to provide automated document recognition, classification and data extraction to further drive down costs and time of loan origination, acquisition and servicing.”

14 Responses

  1. Fascinating DailyKos post on the Cali wildfires and PG&E. Apparantly, they’re under-regulated and should be state owned.

    Also, a lot of mystery as to why Cali’s infrastructure sucks.

    Bonus, it’s Climate Change’s fault.

    https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2019/10/28/1895593/-California-wildfires-force-mass-evacuations-burn-dozens-of-homes-and-threaten-far-worse#comments

    Like

  2. Interesting observation on how the trans movement originated:

    “After the U.S. Supreme Court legalized gay marriage nationwide in the landmark 2015 decision Obergefell v. Hodges, many believed the fight for gay rights would begin to wind down. Yet that didn’t happen. Instead, the LGBT-advocacy sector simply redirected its available staff, fundraising and rhetoric to other projects.”

    https://quillette.com/2019/10/26/its-time-for-lgb-and-t-to-go-their-separate-ways/

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    • Instead, the LGBT-advocacy sector simply redirected its available staff, fundraising and rhetoric to other projects.

      I literally just got home from a talk by Douglas Murray in which he spoke of exactly this phenomenon.

      Like

    • jnc:

      I think the author’s larger point is absolutely correct, but to nitpick a little:

      But the original form of this demand was based on the far more reasonable idea that gender is a social construct distinct from biological sex.

      I don’t think the idea that gender is a “social construct” distinct from biological sex is a “reasonable idea” at all. In fact I think it is incoherent. And I mean that not as a casual insult of the idea, but rather in a literal sense. There is no “thing” that is in fact distinct from biological sex that the word/concept “gender” is or could be referring to. This is why the whole transgender lens/worldview is inexplicable and self-contradictory.

      I have repeatedly asked people to identify what the word “gender” actually refers to, if it is not simply a synonym for biological sex. I have yet to hear a coherent answer.

      Also, one other nitpick:

      My sexual attraction, likewise, is based on hard-wired factors beyond my control.

      Douglas Murray (who is himself gay) points out in his book that, although gay-rights activists are loathe to admit it, we actually have no idea whether or not this is true, and most of the science tends to suggest that it is not.

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      • For point number one, I think you could substitute “gender roles” or maybe even “gender identity” (though I’m loathe to use that term) and it would make the argument better, but I may be being too generous in my reading. The following sentence seems to confirm it though: “It was not disputed that a transgender woman is a biologically male human who identifies with the social norms traditionally associated with woman.”

        My definition of transsexual and gender dysphoria is that you think you are a different gender than what your actual sex is (and no, it’s not “assigned” to you by anyone. The quip about the Hogwarts sorting hat was hilarious.) The fight for the trans community is to convince everyone else that the mind is what matters and the body is wrong, otherwise it is correctly diagnosed as a form of mental illness. I.e., we aren’t crazy, it’s you guys who are crazy. And bigots for saying we are crazy.

        For point number two, since the author is speaking for himself I tend to defer to his take. Eventually genetic research will show if that’s true or not.

        Like

        • jnc:

          For point number one, I think you could substitute “gender roles” and it would make the argument better, but I may be being too generous in my reading.

          I think if you look at the history, that distinction is in fact that starting point for all of this semantic nonsense. It was the feminist movement that first claimed that traditional “gender roles” were nothing but social constructs, for example there was no reason other than mere social convention for the fact that raising the kids was traditionally a women’s job, and earning a living to support the family was traditionally a man’s job. Whatever the merits of that claim the word “gender” in the term “gender roles” was still being used as simply a synonym for “biological sex”, which was/is perfectly coherent.

          Transgender ideology has come along and embraced this idea of “gender roles” as a social construct, but then played a little semantic game of equivocation with the word “gender”, eliding the fact that “gender” in this sense is just an adjective modifying the noun (“roles”) that is actually a social construct, and pretending that the idea of a social construct was being applied to “gender” as a noun, ie an actual thing. This, in turn, meant that gender had to refer to something other than biological sex, because biological sex is quite obviously a physical reality, not a social construct. But this is all just a semantic game. They hadn’t identified some new thing or concept, and labelled it with the term “gender”. Which is why, when asked what they mean by the word “gender”, all you get is circular references and a bunch of word salad about “gender identity” and “gender roles”, terms which only have meaning if one understands “gender” to mean biological sex. There is no actual thing beyond sex to which the word is referring.

          The word “gender” can only be understood to refer to biological sex. Any attempt to identify some extant thing called “gender” as distinct from sex is doomed to failure. Which means that the whole edifice of trans ideology is built upon nothing but semantic sophistry.

          Like

        • It was the feminist movement that first claimed that traditional “gender roles” were nothing but social constructs

          Why human being can never deal with facts–especially the perpetually offended and victimized–amazes me. Gender roles came about because, biologically, that configuration was one of the few that could possibly lead to individual and societal survival. Having men tend to newborn infants while sending women out to hunt would have been the end of the tribe. It was the product of being the path of least resistance to survival.

          By the time feminism became a thing the human culture was rich enough to afford, they had a very valid point: maintaining the status quo was simply unnecessary. There was no reason men couldn’t stay home and raise kids, and no reason why women couldn’t work or do almost any labor a man can. Biological difference may still lead to different choices, but there’s no reason to restrict outliers–a woman wants to be a welder and a guy wants to be a stay-at-home dad, why the hell no?

          But, no. The arrangement was something evil men did to hurt women because of evil.

          Most human being have never, and may never, get beyond superstitious concepts of everything that happens they don’t like being some for of Evil moving across the land.

          That being said, I’m pretty sure gender is going to come to encompass sexual preference and a variety of person fetishes regarding how people present themselves or think about themselves sexually. Incoherent or not.

          Like

      • But the original form of this demand was based on the far more reasonable idea that gender is a social construct distinct from biological sex.

        Gender and biological sex were, at one point in time, definitely the same thing. However, I don’t have a problem with language changing and for “gender” to come to represent sexual preference (or personal representation of sex preference, or whatever). It just means something different than what it did, and it’s easy enough to refer to “biological sex” to talk about what sex someone is born as. And in general, “man” and “woman” will continue to serve us in 98% of situations long into the future.

        But the further that “gender” comes to represent something that is not biological sex, the more important it becomes not to confuse xer’s xender with the actual physical equipment and hormone soup they were born with.

        The big problem, as the author points out, is trying to define biological sex away. That’s just stupid. And destructive.

        My sexual attraction, likewise, is based on hard-wired factors beyond my control.

        We don’t know for sure, but I’m like 100% sure that it is most of the time. Cultural and environment may make one more open to same-sex beauty or affection, just as I suspect drug use has produced a number of “bisexual” males who turn out, at the end of the day, to be pretty heterosexual in their choices. But I’m fairly sure it’s biological and mostly hard-wired, with environmental impact thrown in but it certainly isn’t a reasoned decision. It’s how all the pieces end up assembling.

        I suspect things influence it, but the argument it’s primarily a choice or primarily the result of outside influences seems unlikely to me. I expect homosexuality and heterosexuality are close enough that abuse or intense environmental trauma could potentially flip you in your preferences, but in a normal Western life I think most people just manifest what’s hardwired in their DNA.

        If I had a choice, all my sex drive would be 100% rerouted to productive work output. Writing. Housework. Something meaningful. I’d be a productivitysexual. I’d be deeply attracted to getting more stuff done.

        Alas, I got married and had kids and I’m 100% sure that was not a rational decision made with careful consideration of the benefits to myself, or with an eye to intellectual self-actualization.

        Like

        • KW:

          However, I don’t have a problem with language changing and for “gender” to come to represent sexual preference (or personal representation of sex preference, or whatever).

          That’s the problem. The closest you’ve come to capturing what they actually do mean by gender is “whatever”, and that, obviously is meaningless. As I said, they do not use the word to identify some actual thing other than biological sex, even as they deny that that is what they mean.

          Like

        • KW:

          We don’t know for sure, but I’m like 100% sure that it is (hard-wired) most of the time.

          This is Murray’s take:

          I think, as it happens, homosexuality is more likely to be significantly hardware than mainly software. But it may have been leant on a bit too heavily, this claim of entirely hardware. And actually, the largest study of homosexuality, which has come out since my book was actually at the printers, and I’m very happy to say entirely vindicates what I say in my chapter about that: which is there is no one cause. There’s no gay gene. But there may well be certain genetic aspects which together could predispose somebody, and then there could be some environmental factors, et cetera, et cetera.

          https://www.nationalreview.com/2019/10/douglas-murray-book-the-madness-of-crowds-gender-race-and-identity/

          Like

  3. Dayum.

    Like

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