Morning Report: Further stimulus probably not forthcoming

Vital Statistics:

 

Last Change
S&P futures 2800 -20.1
Oil (WTI) 19.17 -0.79
10 year government bond yield 0.61%
30 year fixed rate mortgage 3.43%

 

Stocks are lower this morning on no real news. Bonds and MBS are down small.

 

The big economic event this week will be the jobs report on Friday. The street is looking for a loss of 21.3 million jobs and a 16% unemployment rate.

 

Meanwhile about half the states are beginning to open. Note that most of the world has begun to relax restrictions as well. New York States has closed schools for the year, and will probably be the last place to emerge from the bunker.

 

The running joke is that the use of the word “unprecedented” is unprecedented. The dire predictions of the virus never panned out (no millions of deaths). I expect the predictions of lasting economic implications (Great Depression II!!!!) of this are probably going to be just as wrong.

 

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin is cautious on the need for more Coronavirus aid. As states re-open it may turn out that more aid is not needed. Note that lawsuit relief and vote-by-mail will be two partisan issues that both sides will push. The door might be closed for further relief.

 

Fannie and Freddie are preparing to cover advances after 4 months, according to the FHFA. “To provide servicers with stability and clarity regarding their payment obligations and to align our servicer advance requirement with Freddie Mac, FHFA’s instructions require that, effective August 2020, we cease requiring servicers to advance missed scheduled principal and interest payments after four months of missed borrower payments on a loan,” Fannie Mae said in its 10-Q filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission. Many consumers believe that the missed payments will just get tacked on to the end of the mortgage. Given Fannie’s cash position and equity that might not be possible without further government support. That will drive the whole request for balloon payments at the end of forbearance. I suspect the government is going to have to make some tough decisions in August. Especially if forbearance doubles.

 

HELOCs are disappearing quickly. Wells and Chase have already suspended these products, and other lenders will probably follow. Homeowners who are looking for liquidity should think about getting one while the getting is good.

 

 

59 Responses

  1. NYT editorial or Babylon Bee?

    In 2018, this board advocated strongly for a vigorous inquiry into accusations of sexual misconduct raised against Brett Kavanaugh when he was nominated to a seat on the Supreme Court. Mr. Biden’s pursuit of the presidency requires no less. His campaign, and his party, have a duty to assure the public that the accusations are being taken seriously. The Democratic National Committee should move to investigate the matter swiftly and thoroughly, with the full cooperation of the Biden campaign.

    Yes, the NYT has now made itself a bigger joke than a satirical news site.

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  2. it juvenile, but dunking on the PL stooges who are defending Biden is more fun than it should be.

    now, all of a sudden, there’s nuance in these things.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Teen Vogue is all about identifying the white supremacism of wanting the lockdown to be over.

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  4. “In 2014, the Obama administration issued another guidance for colleges which expanded what “sexual violence” could include, citing “a range of behaviors that are unwanted by the recipient and include remarks about physical appearance; persistent sexual advances that are undesired by the recipient; unwanted touching; and unwanted oral, anal, or vaginal penetration or attempted penetration.” By that standard, ignoring the Reade allegation entirely, Joe Biden has been practicing “sexual violence” for decades: constantly touching women without their prior consent, ruffling and smelling their hair, making comments about their attractiveness, coming up from behind to touch their back or neck. You can see him do it on tape, on countless occasions. He did not stop in 2014, to abide by the standards he was all too willing to impose on college kids. A vice-president could do these things with impunity; a college sophomore could have his life ruined for an inept remark.”

    https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2020/05/andrew-sullivan-by-bidens-own-standards-he-is-guilty.html

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    • *This* is where the MSM is completely abandoning the journalistic ethics they don’t really have anyway. IMO.

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    • Yep, Biden is too freaking old and way too touchy for 2020. And I think setting traps for unwary college males is a bit of governmental overreach, in which JB may have participated in creating? Or was he just there at the same time?

      I understand a general “unwanted touching” rule. I have a friend who in HS would turn and hit anyone who touched him from behind automatically – and once he did it to an assistant coach and got into some trouble. But he still had an appointment to West Point offered to him but played a year at UCLA instead. I don’t like it either but am not tough or crazy enough to swing on anyone who surprise touches me. I just think there ought to be leeway for a person to say “no” and be listened to before the unwanted touching not on a genital area turns into a sexual offense.

      Liked by 1 person

      • “And I think setting traps for unwary college males is a bit of governmental overreach, in which JB may have participated in creating? Or was he just there at the same time?”

        He was significantly involved and a public advocate for the revised Title IX rules. Andrew Sullivan goes into the details in the linked piece.

        It includes great quotes like this:

        “In a speech at the University of Pittsburgh in 2016, for example, Biden righteously claimed that it was an outrage that any woman claiming sexual assault should have to answer questions like “Were you drinking?” or “What did you say?” “These are questions that angered me then and anger me now.” He went on: “No one, particularly a court of law, has a right to ask any of those questions.””

        And as noted by citing the Ezra Klein article, these consequences aren’t unintended, but rather a concerted attempt to change the culture.

        Of course the same people making this argument are also the same ones who are outraged when men adopt something like the Pence Rule in response. But once you combine zero tolerance with a guilty until proven innocent evidentiary standard, the only rational response is to be above reproach by providing an affirmative defense.

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        • They want to have their cake and eat it, too. And also eat your cake. But also have it.

          The Pence Rule is the rational response to zero tolerance and a guilty-until-proven-innocent approach to sexual harassment that assumes guilt in the absence of exculpatory evidence.

          You’d be crazy to every put yourself in a situation where any assertion of sexual harassment or worse could ever be made that you couldn’t affirmatively disprove.

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      • I see that the new college rules are mandatory, rather than a “suggestion”. So much for thinking they were reducing the executive power footprint over small shit. Because the Federal Register was again ignored this will be another Trump regulation that bites the dust. BHO had first place on violating The Administrative Procedure Act, but I think he has been Trumped.

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        • Mark:

          I see that the new college rules are mandatory, rather than a “suggestion”.

          At what point was Title IX ever just a “suggestion” and not mandatory?

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        • It’s all a suggestion in the manner that if you don’t take the suggestion, you don’t get federal money, right?

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        • KW:

          It’s all a suggestion in the manner that if you don’t take the suggestion, you don’t get federal money, right?

          Fair point…in which case, nothing has changed.

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        • Is that how it worked? I don’t think it played out that way. I think there was pressure applied, but very little in the way of withheld funds, if any.

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        • jnc:

          Actually it wasn’t. DeVos did it correctly. That’s why it has taken so long.

          It would be interesting to see Trump’s record on this vs Obama’s.

          Of course, the very existence of the regulatory bureaucracy is an illegitimate expansion of the executive footprint, but that is an entirely different story.

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        • At some point, I would think we would need something to perform the functions of a regulatory bureaucracy. And while hardly ideal, it can sometimes be the case where professionals in a regulatory bureaucracy have a better idea of what they need to be doing than congress.

          I don’t think the form of ours is good. I’m just wondering what a more functional regulatory bureaucracy would look like. Congress/executive branch establishes agencies like the EPA and OSHA, and they are governed by a representative board that is directly elected by the public, or led by a candidate elected by state governors, or . . . ?

          Or a process where regulations can be challenged or voted on–and if the public wills it, the regulation must be written into law by congress or eliminated?

          All seems very complicated.

          Another option would be a regulatory bureaucracy staffed like juries are selected, at least in terms of governance. So they might all be run by a board of people–all paid reasonably well–that are selected at random from voter rolls.

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        • The proposal led to an outcry among survivors and their advocates: Because it would allow direct cross-examination of people who report sexual assault, many feared the changes would stop survivors from ever coming forward.

          What about the reverse–that no cross-examination or accountability might results in more false claims that could be extremely damaging to the accused?

          “The addition of direct confrontation is both unnecessary, potentially traumatic and without any meaningful addition in a truth-seeking function,” said Josh Richards, an attorney with Saul Ewing Arnstein & Lehr in Philadelphia, who represents dozens of universities.

          So the ability to confront your accuser has no value? Is the accused going to be interrogated or examined? How does that add meaningful truth-seeking, but confronting the accuser and cross-examining them does not?

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        • Thanks, Joe, I really thought otherwise.

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        • jncp:

          Gorsuch is on it.

          It moved, Jerry.

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        • Non-delegation would put regulation completely back in the Cabinet as opposed to sub agencies created by a joint process between the Executive and the Legislative. So the FDA would not make the regulations, the USDA would directly. The FDA would be disbanded but its staff would be USDA staff. After the dust cleared, it would be pretty much the same as it is now, and I assume the Administrative Procedure Act would still be in place for the vetting and challenging of regulations.

          Joe, what do you think I am missing?

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        • Apparently the colleges can pick their evidentiary standard. So that’s something.

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        • “Is that how it worked? I don’t think it played out that way. I think there was pressure applied, but very little in the way of withheld funds, if any.”

          It is. The “Dear Colleague” letter that the Obama sent out “clarified” that their interpretation of the law was the correct one and that if the colleges didn’t comply then they could be found in violation of Title IX and lose federal funding. I think the original letter stated that explicitly.

          Basically it put the colleges on notice of how the administration would be reading the law and enforcing it henceforth.

          The too cute by half part was pretending that this wasn’t actually a rule change, but simply guidance and clarification of what the existing law had said all along, which everyone knew was bullshit from the get go.

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        • “Joe, what do you think I am missing?”

          I don’t think the EPA could just add CO2 to a list of pollutants without an actual statute change under non-delegation, but I may be wrong.

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        • Thanks for the responses. So BHO was sneaky with the “suggestion”. You know about the Baylor cases, right? I thought if they did not get sanctioned nobody did.

          Assuming there would be no EPA the functions would go to one or more Cabinet offices. Say, DOT for car and airplane emissions, DOE for refinery, mining, and power plant emissions, and Commerce for greenhouse gasses and such. Probably doesn’t make life easier for businesses trying to keep abreast, and in some Admins one of those departments would say the statute allows it to control CO2 and the Supreme Court would have to face the same issue again.

          I actually had to deal with directly conflicting regs from different agencries and the whipsaw effect. I think that is what I would like to see eliminated or minimized and I don’t think this will do it.

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  5. anyone else catch the ending of the clone wars cartoon?

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    • Yes. Some of the best Star Wars ever done. Makes the sequel trilogy look even worse by comparison. I finally watched Rise of Skywalker after seeing the end of Clone Wars and was shocked at how bad it really was in comparison.

      Phantom Apprentice is almost perfect writing. I originally didn’t like bringing Maul back from the dead instead of coming up with a new villain, but the writing and voice acting for him both in Clone Wars and Rebels has been head and shoulders above the original Phantom Menace character. And I loved that they brought Ray Park back to do the motion capture for Maul’s fight scenes. One of the best takes I’ve seen is that watching those final four episodes makes Revenge of the Sith a much better movie when you see it again.

      I will be interested to see how Rosario Dawson portrays Ashoka Tano in Mandalorian Season 2. I think I actually like Clone Wars Mandalorians better. Less of this “This is the Way” stuff.

      The one thing I wish they had done for the last season of Clone Wars was to either have a long enough season to have included the Asaj Ventress final story arc that was supposed to be in it originally, or have cut some of the other earlier episodes to include it.

      https://www.denofgeek.com/tv/star-wars-the-clone-wars-quinlan-vos-asajj-ventress-ending-spoilers/

      Asaj Ventress and Ashoka Tano were the two characters I most cared to see how they ended up.

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      • agreed. watching the Shattered episode last week, i had to go back, because i was just mad about how good RoTS could have been.

        I read the Ashoka novel — bought it for my 10-year-old, who is just devouring this stuff. its YA, but fun if you want to know more about Tano.

        maybe the story is just better on TV. or the abrams sequel got bogged down by not having a direction.

        i’m not sure what the first 4 episodes with the defective clones were supposed to be about. other than to show the clones we’re all the same?

        Liked by 1 person

        • I think it was just scripts that they had already finished and to show the clones loyalty to each other.

          I think the Ventress story arc would have been a much better use of the screen time.

          But what I really take away is that only Dave Filoni should be allowed to make any Star Wars related creative decisions for Disney going forward.

          Liked by 1 person

        • But what I really take away is that only Dave Filoni should be allowed to make any Star Wars related created decisions for Disney going forward

          At present I would be okay with Jon Favreau making decisions. I think the Mandalorian was handled well, and light years better than any of the sequel trilogy. But I’m not going to be particular excited about any Star Wars (unless everybody like you guys says it’s awesome) until KK and the Lucasfilm story group is cleared out.

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    • No. I’ve mostly checked out of Star Wars after The Last Jedi. Was it any good? And with KK still in there and feminist Star Wars projects moving forward . . . still not excited about it as a property anymore.

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      • Watch Clone Wars and Star Wars Rebels.

        If you want to skip to just the main Darth Maul plot lines, you can watch just the last four episodes of Clone Wars and then “Twilight of the Apprentice” S2:21 & S2:22 and “Twin Suns” S3:20 on Rebels.

        Liked by 1 person

        • it’s not maul related, but Ahsoka vs. Vader in rebels is just fantastic.

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        • “Twilight of the Apprentice” which had the Vader Ahsoka fight, revolved around Maul.

          The followup episode, “A World Between Worlds” S4:13 didn’t show him, but it was the same fight.

          Liked by 1 person

        • i’ll have to revisit that one.

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        • rewatched those two episodes .. totally forgot how/why they were there for the vader confrontation.

          but they’re excellent episodes.

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        • Yep. And they still work just fine even after the new episodes of Clone Wars. No retconning needed.

          I like that Maul was trying to do the same “Let’s team up” game with Ezra that he was with Ashoka.

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    • NoVA, you read the Heir to the Empire trilogy by Timothy Zahn? That should have been Episodes VII, VIII & IX.

      Liked by 1 person

      • yes, but it’s been years.
        but seeing Thrawn on the big screen would be great.

        the new thrawn series is okay. it’s a little too. obstacles, quickly resolved, obstacle, next chapter it’s dealt with.

        Liked by 1 person

        • Yeah they reused the character, but not to the best effect as before.

          But compared to the cloned Palatine in IX, 10,000 times better as the head villain.

          I knew how bad IX was when I actually found myself thinking that Adam Driver’s acting for Kylo Ren was a highlight of the movie.

          Liked by 1 person

    • Good review, although I would never consider Rose Tico from the sequel series to be a ” a beloved new character”.

      https://slate.com/culture/2020/05/star-wars-clone-wars-finale-review-prequels.html

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