Morning Report: Forbearances fall

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30 year fixed rate mortgage   2.89%

Stocks are lower this morning after yesterday’s furious rally. Bonds and MBS are down.


Yesterday was a “hip to be square” day in the market, for those of us old enough to remember the early 1980s. Basically, every stock that has been hated for months had its day in the sun. Investors snapped up mall stocks, apartment REITs, retailers, lodging companies, cruise lines and sold off the big COVID momentum names. Mortgage originators got thrown overboard on fears that rates are going to rise and squash the refi boom.


Mortgage Backed securities are lagging the move in Treasuries, which means mortgage rates aren’t moving up as fast as the 10-year. This is typical, however remember the Fed is the 800 pound gorilla in the MBS market, so it can support rates wherever it wants.


JP Morgan is “going on the offensive” in the home lending business, reducing credit constraints.


Small business optimism was steady in October, at a historically high reading. “Leading up to the presidential election, small businesses continued to focus on stabilizing their businesses but were uncertain about the future economic conditions due to COVID-19 government regulations on all levels,” said NFIB Chief Economist Bill Dunkelberg. “We see solid momentum going into the 4th quarter, and another good quarter could get the GDP back to its 2019 closing levels.”


Loans in forbearance decreased 16 basis points to 5.67% last week, according to the MBA. “With declines in the share of loans in forbearance across the board, the data this week align well with the positive news from October’s jobs report, which showed a gain of more than 900,000 private sector jobs and a 1 percentage point decrease in the unemployment rate,” said MBA Senior Vice President and Chief Economist Mike Fratantoni. “A recovering job market, coupled with a strong housing market, is providing the support needed for many homeowners to get back on their feet.”


82 Responses

  1. The decline in forbearances is a good indicator – is it considered trailing or leading? I am thinking it is trailing. If it is trailing, while good news, it does not presage the next few months.


    • Hard to tell. It turns out that a lot of the forebearance requests early on were precautionary. Many borrowers were worried about their jobs, took out forbearance but kept paying their mortgages.


  2. Here’s a piece re election fraud from someone who claims to be a conservative. I’ve never heard of him so no clue if he really is or not. He does a decent job of de-bunking some of the more public claims I think.

    But weren’t there a number of highly-suspicious and unusual “ballot dumps” that altered the numbers? Again, no. Here’s our fact check team responding to two of the most prominent claims—first that there was an irregular recording of more than 23,000 votes, “all for Biden”:

    Aaron Bycoffe, a computational journalist for FiveThirtyEight, told The Dispatch Fact Check that it’s not unusual to see an update that includes votes for only one candidate. “Election officials and vote tabulators occasionally enter results one candidate at a time, and it looks like that’s what happened here,” said Bycoffe. “That would explain why Trump had zero votes in this one update. His votes would have been added in a subsequent update.”

    Bycoffe said that the following update was “considerably more Trump-leaning than others from around that time,” suggesting that it contained the Trump ballots that had not been included in the previous update.

    And second, that Michigan magically found more than 130,000 votes, again for Biden:

    What happened … was this: Decision Desk HQ [a non-partisan election news and analysis site] imported into their model a piece of county-level data that had one extra zero in the Biden column, giving Biden an apparent huge boost in his Michigan numbers. When the error was discovered, it was edited out, and Biden’s numbers dropped back into the correct place.

    As some Twitter users pointed out, this means that the side-by-side screenshots of the Decision Desk HQ data used to suggest that Biden had rocketed up while other candidates stayed in place are actually reversed. In the first screenshot Biden has 1,992,356 votes and in the second screenshot he has 2,130,695 votes, making it seem like there was a quick jump of 138,339 ballots in Biden’s favor. In reality, once Decision Desk HQ updated the Shiawassee County number, Biden’s numbers decreased 138,339 votes: 2,130,695 down to 1,992,356.

    It’s important to stress, too, that all this was purely clerical—a data entry hiccup, not in ballot counting itself. No new ballots were “found.”

    (It’s also worth noting that Pennsylvania ballots that have arrived after election day have been segregated pending the resolution of active litigation, and their count is not included in the official total.)


    • I really couldn’t care less what leftist fact-checkers think. This is going to litigation and lets see what turns up in discovery.


      • LOL Brent. It’s pretty obvious that you could actually care less about anything I might post or respond to here. No worries though, I’ll keep plugging away.


        • Just reserving judgement. And, FWIW I don’t even care if Trump wins or not. It is probably better if he doesn’t.

          I just want to establish that voter fraud is real, and that the left uses it as a core strategy in the urban areas.

          Liked by 1 person

        • I know that was once true. Do you have any evidence to back that up now? I really think it has been very difficult to do in this era of positive ID being an almost universal requirement.

          Addendum: Corked by Lulu.

          Liked by 1 person

        • And I’m just curious about how you hope to establish that it is real. Where is your proof or Trump’s?


        • No proof (yet), but certainly evidence from the differences in biden% between mail-in and day-of voting.

          I read testimony about backdating ballots in Detroit.

          And finding proof is the point of discovery..


        • differences in biden% between mail-in and day-of voting.

          These were expected everywhere because Trump campaigned against mail in voting and Ds were for it – the whole mask controversy as politics redux.


        • Mark there is no voter ID requirement in NY, and i suspect no blue states have them.

          Second, how would voter ID prevent a massive mailing of fraudulent ballots?


        • there is no voter ID requirement in NY

          Well, shit. That is a problem.

          But in Texas we have to sign our envelopes and the sigs are compared to our voter IDs. Same as if we went to the polls. I thought that was how it is everywhere. Utah has done this for years and the Rs there claim it works well. How does NY know who voted at the polls?


        • Brent:

          Mark there is no voter ID requirement in NY, and i suspect no blue states have them.

          Let’s list out the states without voter ID laws:

          New Mexico
          North Carolina
          Pennsylvania (!)
          New Jersey
          New York

          So near universal ID laws in the same sense that Trump got near universal support from the electorate.

          Funny, that, almost all blue states. Who would have thunk it? Actually, it’s not surprising, I suppose, given that the left has been claiming for years that Voter ID laws are “racist”. (Dems apparently think that black people are too incompetent to get themselves an ID. But R’s are the racists!).


        • How do any of these states know who voted? There must be some mechanism.

          I just looked up NY. Gotta have ID first time you register but once registered you are in.

          Not good enough, IMHO. Many years ago Jim Baker and Jimmy Carter together proposed standard voter ID laws and Carter said what many states have is insufficient. I thought it had pretty much changed.

          Now educamated, I see that virtually every presidential election that is close in any direction is suspect unless you blindly accept good faith.

          Still, considering the Senate, House, and local votes, in this election it would be difficult to see a D conspiracy unless you think they are so smart or so dumb that they could get dummy ballots to vote for JB and then vote R down ticket.


        • Mark:

          How do any of these states know who voted? There must be some mechanism.

          People rock up to the polling station, say “I’m Mark in Austin”, and the polling worker looks at their list of registered voters. If Mark in Austin is on it, they give him a ballot and check off his name. In some places they probably have to state an address, too.

          You still think voting fraud is a thing of the past?


        • See what I added to my comment. I see that fraud is a real concern. But not from mail as opposed to in person. Just from the lax ID mechanisms.


        • Mark:

          But not from mail as opposed to in person.

          Wait…you think it is easier to commit voter fraud in person without an ID than by mail without an ID?


        • Absolutely the same risk. According to your example.


        • Mark:

          Absolutely the same risk.

          The Heritage Foundation has a database of convictions for voter fraud going back to the 1980s. It lists 16 times as many convictions for fraudulent use of an absentee ballot as for impersonation fraud at the polls.

          Now, to be fair the database claims only to contain a “sampling” of convictions, so it is not comprehensive. And I suppose one could conclude in the abstract that fewer convictions for in-person fraud suggests that it is easier to get away with it than mail-in fraud. But come on. As a matter of common sense it is obviously easier to, for example, falsely fill out 10 absentee ballots and mail them in than to go to a polling station 10 times on election day and falsely claim to be 10 different people. What are you thinking?

          Liked by 1 person

        • I think this is the more relevant correlation:

          In every modern election, including this one right now, far more absentee ballots are flagged as provisional for not appearing to have legit sigs then in person ballots for ID or sig issues. For example, in AZ as we discuss this, thousands of provisional absentee voters were given a chance until a couple of nights ago to come in and verify their ballots. Those who do not come in get their ballots tossed, and in some cases there are prosecutions. When a series of sigs in a precinct look suspicious, that invitation may lead directly to prosecution – I know it has here in TX. The additional scrutiny given in at least the states that have a history of mail in voting leads to many more prosecutions.

          This does not in any way reject the notion that it may be easier to attempt mail in fraud, but it sure is easier in states like NM, AZ, and Utah and OR that do this for millions in each election to catch fraud. And I think it has been easier in TX, even with our history of limited mail in voting.


        • Mark:

          This does not in any way reject the notion that it may be easier to attempt mail in fraud, but it sure is easier in states like NM, AZ, and Utah and OR that do this for millions in each election to catch fraud.

          That may well be true….if the authorities are interested in catching it.

          In any event, the idea that a mass mail-in voting scheme was opening up elections to increased risk of voter fraud was a well understood and perfectly bi-partisan concern, prior to Trump. The NYT warened about in 2012, and there was even a Federal Commission headed by Jimmy Carter in 2005 on this very issue that warned about the risks of increasing the scope of mail-in voting. It was only when Trump started pointing it out (and the Dems decided it would increase their chances of defeating him) that it suddenly became crazy partisan talk to think that mass mail-in voting schemes would increase the chances of voter fraud problems.


        • If you missed it, I cited the Carter-Baker reforms below and wholly agree with them.


        • When President Barack Obama was reelected, Trump said that the election was a “total sham” and a “travesty,” while also making the claim that the United States is “not a democracy” after Obama secured his victory.

          Trump said he did not lose the Iowa caucuses in 2016 to then candidate Sen. Ted Cruz, because he “stole it.”

          “Ted Cruz didn’t win Iowa, he stole it. That is why all of the polls were so wrong and why he got far more votes than anticipated. Bad!”

          “The election is absolutely being rigged by the dishonest and distorted media pushing Crooked Hillary – but also at many polling places – SAD,”

          “In addition to winning the Electoral College in a landslide, I won the popular vote if you deduct the millions of people who voted illegally,”

          “The only way we’re going to lose this election is if the election is rigged”


          Boy cries wolf.


        • Hawaii:

          All registered Hawaii voters will automatically receive a mail ballot before each election.

          A copy of your ID is not required when you vote by mail, but the signature on your mail-in ballot must match your signature on file with the state.

          If you choose to vote in person, you may be asked to provide current ID or recite personal information. See the page below for more details.

          Is out-of-state ID accepted?

          You can use an ID issued by any state.

          Is student ID accepted?

          You cannot use a student ID.

          Is an expired ID accepted?

          You cannot use an expired ID.

          That is probably enough better than nothing to be minimally effective. I don’t have time to look up every state but I would go back to that Baker-Carter initiative for setting a standard.


          Liked by 1 person

        • There are numerous affidavits from poll workers asserting that signatures were forged or didn’t match. MAny evelopes were opened outside of observers and the envelopes thrown away.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Here’s one.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Mark:

          Now educamated, I see that virtually every presidential election that is close in any direction is suspect unless you blindly accept good faith.

          And do you think it is easier to commit voter fraud in person or via a mail-in ballot? If you think the latter, perhaps you might also start to wonder that perhaps the D’s had motives beyond the ridiculous covid excuse for promoting mass mail-in ballots.

          Liked by 1 person

        • How do any of these states know who voted?

          I suspect that is a feature, not a bug.

          Liked by 1 person

        • I know you’re too old for me Mark (haha), but I kind of love you right now for doing the hard work and calling it as you see it!

          Nothing left to say here except “put up or shut up”.

          Liked by 1 person

        • Read the lawsuits, evidence a plenty is presented there.

          Liked by 1 person

        • lms:

          I know you’re too old for me Mark (haha), but I kind of love you right now for doing the hard work and calling it as you see it!

          lol…I guess this means the rest of us are not calling it as we see it? I suspect that your appreciation of Mark derives primarily from the fact that he is calling it as you see it.

          Liked by 1 person

        • I just want to establish that voter fraud is real, and that the left uses it as a core strategy in the urban areas.

          Fraud is real but more importantly the systems being used are clearly flawed (compared to say Florida) and susceptible to fraud of gross incompetence or both. The Dominion software clearly has major problems and requires a full forensic audit. So on and so forth.

          I don’t think Trump wins this way or that it would be good for the country if he did. But something needs to be done about the clear flaws in these states systems—irrespective of how eagerly the press, which I consider less a reliable source of accurate reportage than Pravda in the 70s, wants to insist “there’s nothing to see here”.

          I’ll take Biden happily if the voting shenanigans is these critical states (and preferably all of them) can be set to rights.


    • … and their count is not included in the official total.)

      This last is not completely accurate. Allegheny County [Pittsburgh] did include the segregated ballot count in its running total, but Philly did not. I heard the election clerks for each of those two counties say that on TV. So I am guessing the inclusion/exclusion in the count of the segregated ballots is hit or miss. What is apparently true is that they all were segregated.


    • 538 is a partisan Democrat polling group. Based on their history and their tweeting in the past. The Dispatch is a conglomeration of small ‘c’ conservatives and evangelical liberals (David French) who hate Donald Trump with an irrational fervor.

      I like their “fact check”. “Crazy Trumpistas say this thing that we’ve never heard of before and sounds sketchy as hell and DOESN’T happen in any number of other states is totally normal, and the reason why it is normal is they say it is.” No examples. No supporting evidence. No good explanation as to why the tallying would be conducted in multiple ways, one of them looking incompetent and error-prone at best and fraudulent at worse.

      That said I think Trump lost and will have to concede. But I’m all for focusing a white-hot spotlight on all these states who can’t get their shit together for an election like this.


  3. And the hypocrisy continues.

    Before the election Democrats were bragging about how they had their legal teams ready to go in and challenge results, with the appropriately fawning coverage from the New York Times.

    And presumably this is a Logan Act violation too:

    “Obama Official Ben Rhodes Admits Biden Camp is Already Working With Foreign Leaders: Exactly What Flynn Did

    In late 2016, the FBI investigated Gen. Michael Flynn when he was a transition official for the possible “crime” of talking to Russia about foreign policy. Why can Biden do this?

    Glenn Greenwald”

    I still think Trump lost and it was perfectly fine for members of an incoming administration to talk to their foreign counterparts.

    But the argument that if Trump does it then it’s Treason, but if the Democrats do it then it’s fine is BS.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. The other ironic thing is that I think by dragging this out, Trump helps Democrats, especially in the Georgia runoff elections.

    He’s keeping the focus on himself and keeping Democratic voter anti-Trump enthusiasm up.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve wondered about that too jnc. I read this morning that the 2 R Senate hopefuls have asked for the resignation of the R Sec of State in GA as well. Not sure that helps their cause either. I guess we won’t know until Jan how this all plays out.


      • Agreed. Especially when R SecState says he wanted DJT to win but he would never break the law.

        If I was Senator Perdue, I’d be irritated I was in a runoff. And both Senators and I are all unhappy with the potential outcome for our President. But I am the duly elected Secretary of State. One of my duties involves helping to run elections for all Georgia voters. I have taken that oath, and I will execute that duty and follow Georgia law.”


        • I was unaware Trump asked the guy to break the law. Obviously a huge deal.


        • I was unaware of that as well. Where did you hear that?


        • I thought you were implying it re the GA sec/st saying that he wouldn’t break the law even though he supported Trump. The assumption being he wouldn’t say that unless Trump asked him to break the law. Common sense dictates that people understand that sec states are partisan elected positions but that elected officials wouldn’t break the law to help their own party so to say that means someone asked them to.


        • I feel like there’s a right tight-rope to walk here. If there’s a perception the election is being stolen and Trump doesn’t fight, that’s demotivating for a lot of the base. I suspect there’s a pro-Trump continent in their base as important as the anti-Trump contingent on the left.


    • Agreed.


    • Does Trump care? No. Does the negative attention focused on some these places bode for better election systems in those states? One hopes.


  5. Wow, this is unexpected if it holds.

    WASHINGTON — The bulk of the Affordable Care Act, the sprawling 2010 health care law that is President Barack Obama’s defining domestic legacy, appeared likely to survive its latest encounter with the Supreme Court in arguments on Tuesday.

    It was not clear whether the court would strike down the so-called individual mandate, which was rendered toothless in 2017 after Congress zeroed out the penalty for failing to obtain insurance.

    But at least five justices, including two members of the court’s conservative majority, indicated that they were not inclined to strike down the balance of the law. In legal terms, they said the mandate was severable from the rest of the law.

    “It does seem fairly clear that the proper remedy would be to sever the mandate provision and leave the rest of the law in place,” said Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Glenn Greenwald is a lonely voice of reason again:

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Scott – Glenn Greenwald another one for you reconsider:

    “Once the new documents were released earlier this year showing that even FBI agents had doubts that Flynn was lying and that the interrogation seemed designed to entrap him, the DOJ moved to dismiss the criminal case, infuriating law-and-order liberals who are morally outraged that a citizen would fail to obediently confess non-existent crimes to the FBI. As a result of the release of those new documents, I produced a 90-minute video program exploring all the reasons why the Flynn prosecution is such a profound abuse of power and sham.

    One of the primary arguments I made there was that there should never have been an FBI interrogation of Flynn about his completely proper call with the Russian ambassador in the first place:

    There was no valid reason for the FBI to have interrogated Flynn about his conversations with Kislyak in the first place. There is nothing remotely untoward or unusual — let alone criminal — about an incoming senior national security official, three weeks away from taking over, reaching out to a counterpart in a foreign government to try to tamp down tensions.

    That was always the most shocking part of this abusive prosecution by a radically politicized FBI: the blatantly improper attempt to convert a normal conversation by a transition official into a form of treason.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • jnc:

      Scott – Glenn Greenwald another one for you reconsider:

      Yeah, you are right. I have been following him for several weeks now, and I have to admit he has been very principled. He too deserves more respect than I once would have given him.

      Liked by 1 person

      • He seems to be even more incised by the Flynn prosecution than you are. As far as I know, you haven’t produced a 90 minute video program on it.

        Of course, he’s paid to actually do it.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. Pieces that can be published now that they can’t be construed as helping Trump:

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Good Andrew Sullivan take:

    He, Greenwald & Taibbi should have a discount for signing up for all three of their substacks.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. The deep state is worried about trump declassifying everything.. Brennan shouldn’t worry, Pravda will carry his water.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. So I guess the left’s new strategy is to sandbag the Trump lawsuits


  12. BTW Scott, I’ve tried several times to send you the info to take over the domain name but my emails never go through.

    If we plan to honor our bet ($50) and a transfer of power here (lol) maybe you should email me first?


  13. Good read:

    This is what censorship looks like in 21st-century America. It isn’t the government sending police to your home. It’s Silicon Valley oligopolists implementing blackouts and appeasing social-justice mobs, while sending disfavored ideas down memory holes. And the forces of censorship are winning. Not only because their efforts to censor leave almost no trace. They are winning because, thus far, most Americans have been content to surrender virtually every liberty in exchange for the luxury of having products delivered to their door. Most would happily submit to the rule of Big Tech, so long as their Netflix isn’t disrupted.

    At some point, it will cross each of our minds to question an item on the ever-growing list of unsayables. We will find ourselves smeared, or blocked, or the target of a woke campaign. And we will look for support from those with only a dim recollection of why they once cared about free speech. Those who will note tyranny’s advance with the pitiless smile of a low-level bureaucrat already anticipating the door-delivered Cherry Garcia and hours of uninterrupted streaming: “You brought this on yourself, didn’t you?”


  14. For anyone trying to keep track, this seems like a good site:

    2020 Election Litigation Tracker


  15. Just imagine the howls from the MSM if Trump or any other R openly announced plans to commit voter fraud. Well known Dems though? Yawn.


  16. Here’s a question: If you vote by mail or absentee ballot, but then die before election day, is your vote valid? Has this ever been litigated?


    • Scott, there was a Republican election official on the news this morning (didn’t catch his name) who discussed this very thing. He’s on the ground in Philly at the counting facility and has been there since day 1 he said. He reads some of the claims on social media just to see what is circulating and one of the claims was that dead people were voting in the election. Apparently the social media claim included the names of these supposedly dead voters so he did his own investigation. The list was fairly long I think and he checked everyone of their voting histories and found that none of them had voted in this election.

      He seemed very upset about all the lies people believe regarding the election and called it the most transparent election in Philly’s history. He and his poll/counting workers are also receiving death threats.

      Anecdotal I suppose as he’s only one official in one huge counting facility.


  17. To be honest this seems like a nutty plan, but apparently Scott Adams is all in on it:


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