Morning Report: Judy Shelton heads to the Fed

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S&P futures 3614 32.6
Oil (WTI) 41.73 0.41
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30 year fixed rate mortgage   2.9%

Stocks are higher this morning on positive economic news out of China. Bonds and MBS are down.

The upcoming week doesn’t have much in the way of market-moving news, however we will get a lot of housing news, with housing starts, NAHB housing market index, and existing home sales.

The Biden transition team will focus heavily on what they see as systemic racism in the financial sector. Expect to see a flurry of fair lending suits once the new CFPB leadership is in place. The government will also focus like a laser on forbearance servicing.

Better Mortgage, a digital platform which connect homebuyers with lenders just raised capital which values the company at $4 billion. This is about the market cap of Lending Tree.

The CEO of Freddie Mac just stepped down. I am not sure what that means with housing reform, but my guess is that nothing will change for the time being. While we won’t know which party will control the Senate until the Georgia runoff election, chances are that Republicans will hold the chamber and we will be looking at divided government. True housing reform will have to be accomplished legislatively, and with COVID front and center it probably won’t have the urgency to get considered, at least in the near future. Given the new administration’s focus on perceived systemic racism in lending, the government will want to keep F&F on a short leash in order to push affordable housing goals.

Judy Shelton looks like she will be joining the Fed, assuming a vote on her this week. The left absolutely despises her for the apparent thoughtcrime of having positive things to say about the gold standard. Ron Wyden of Oregon said: “Her ideas are so wacky and outdated, giving her authority over the dollar would be like putting a medieval barber in charge of the CDC.”

Note to Senator Wyden: The Fed doesn’t have any authority over the dollar, that would be Treasury. Regardless, with global central banks in the midst of the most ambitious experiment in financial engineering, groupthink is a risk.

28 Responses

  1. Worth a read:

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Some useful transition perspective from Texas:

    “The Texas governor who refused to concede after losing a bitter election

    By Gillian Brockell
    November 16, 2020 at 7:00 a.m. EST

    The incumbent refused to concede. He had lost reelection, by a lot, but he claimed it was only because of election fraud. He appealed his case to the courts and called on militias to defend him.”

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’m feeling like there weren’t a lot of stories like this coming up when Gore refused to concede to Bush.


      • Just read a Tweet from Greenwald noting that Pelosi and a bunch of other Democrats voted not to certify the Ohio electors in 2004 because they were arguing the vote was fraudulent.

        But that’s different.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I wish they would just admit that so much of this stuff is because it’s about their side winning, and expect it when the other side does it. I guess they can’t but it seems transparently obvious from the outside. The Senate confirmed ACB because they could. They denied Garland a vote because they could.

          Everything else is just yada yada yada.


  3. Shelton. Her one vote should not make much difference.

    But I assume a that woman who favors a commodity based money supply would have difficulty with electronic manipulation of the money supply. Or does she think the money supply is unrelated to central banking?

    I guess I am suffering from Wydenism about her.


    • I don’t know if she was arguing that we should return to the gold standard or simply that the gold standard had features that were worthwhile.

      Regardless, i don’t know that the Fed needs yet another Yellen clone/


  4. Assuming Biden wins, and liberal judges manage to shut down any voting fraud lawsuits, can the Senate do a full inquiry into what went on?


  5. if you’re interested in media trends and the reactions, this is worth a read.


    • I read today that Obama is the first president since Wilson (and perhaps the only one other than Wilson?) to make his home in DC after leaving office. Does anyone know if this is true?

      If so, I find that very interesting, although in retrospect not entirely surprising.


      • He is, but it was so his kids could finish school.

        Liked by 1 person

        • I figured. Wonder if they will move after his kids are out of school? Or are they already?


        • Not sure. His interview and excerpt in the Atlantic reminded me how insufferable he can be at times:

          This in particular annoyed me:

          “The folks we celebrate at Normandy, including my Uncle Charlie, who was a member of one of the units that liberated parts of Buchenwald, those were men who, whatever their limits, whatever their constraints in terms of their emotions because of what they were told they could and couldn’t feel and be as men, however their relationship with women was skewed by all this—they sacrificed for others. And they never bragged, and certainly they would never make cheating others or taking advantage of them a calling card.”

          The idea that you have to somehow qualify the men who landed in Normandy and liberated Buchenwald as being worthy of admiration despite “constraints in terms of their emotions” I find disgusting.

          I’d take the Greatest Generation over the Woke Generation any day.


        • Agreed. A lot of that comes under “stuff you don’t need to talk about”. Not that there is no truth in it, but it’s irrelevant and so not the point.

          That could also easily to be couched in the reverse: that the cost of being able to get in touch with your emotions and fully express your sexual preferences or fetishes or other socially unacceptable (at the time) quirks is the ability to defend freedom, identify evil, and make real sacrifices for the actual good of humanity.

          That being said, I object to most generational talk, anyway. I’m sure there were some real dirtbags storming the beaches in Normandy and some brave and devoted people who stayed home, 4f. Individuals tend to exhibit the praiseworthy traits we attribute to whole generations. There are some fine Millenials and Gen Z types out there, just as there are excellent Gen Xers and Boomers. Just perhaps not as many as there were in the Greatest Generation.



    • nova:

      From the piece you linked:

      Most are white and male; several are conservative. Matt Taibbi, Andrew Sullivan, and most recently, Glenn Greenwald—who offer similar screeds about the dangers of cancel culture and the left—all land in the top ten.

      It isn’t said explicitly, but it this woman seriously implying that Taibbi, Sullivan and Greenwald are conservatives?


      • i believe so.
        but, she used to write for splinter, so her perspective is warped.


        • I’d say her desire to have Substack censor Sullivan, is the mainstream position in the MSM these days.

          That’s why they had to go to Substack in the first place, but they can’t be allowed to thrive there.

          All knees must bend.


        • My favorite UT basketball analyst is on Substack. I hope he does not get censored. He is very funny, even sober.

          His pen name is BitterWhiteGuy.


        • I imagine he’ll be fine, unless Twitter buys them or something. Eventually the money may be more appealing than the principal of “no strings attached journalism” to the owners of Substack. But if that happens and the censorship starts, there will be another, I expect.


        • But she really doesn’t tackle that head on. She just does a little pussyfooting around the main issue–that these folks left for Substack because of censorship, and there being a venue for such people to escape the Ministry of Truth’s oversight is the real problem with Substack. She just “mentions” Andrew Sullivan quotes from The Bell Curve (an entirely legitimate thing to do: to discuss ideas, extrapolated from actual data, that may be wrong or offensive but you should be able to talk about them). Which might explain the author’s choice, come to think of it.


      • Well, they are white. That alone disqualifies them.

        That being said, maybe they don’t like the fact that The Dispatch–a pretty much NeverTrumper application that primarily fact-checks conservatives and prominently features David French, who is as best an evangelical liberal–is top dog. Even though “mostly conservative-ish” might be a better description for their output.

        But Matt Taibbi and Glenn Greenwald sound exactly like most conservatives when they talk about the present state of the media, Russiagate, the lies about Donald Trump, etc. So I could see why they would suggest they are conservative because things like “accuracy in reporting” and “researching your subject” and “not lying to achieve desirable political goals” are now “conservative” concepts, at least in media.

        In the case of Substack, The Atlantic’s Kaitlyn Tiffany has argued that tech bros are monetizing an existing form of media—newsletters—that had long been used, especially by women, to foster communities that were “non-remunerative” and “artistically strange.”

        Ugh. “You don’t get to do newsletters, that belongs to THIS identity group.”

        But often, adherence to neutrality only enforces existing power structures.

        So many implications to that kind of statement. The main one being: you have a new power structure that you would like higher in the pecking order, so you want an unfair playing field that advantages your side specifically.

        When Sullivan joined Substack, over the summer, he put the company’s positioning to the test: infamous for publishing excerpts from The Bell Curve, a book that promotes bigoted race “science,” Sullivan would now produce the Weekly Dish, a political newsletter.

        That’s their bullet point for Sullivan’s career. Seriously. THIS kind of shit is why there is a Substack. Not because of Venture capitalists making Vox do clickbait (although that doesn’t help).

        And this:

        If “be your own boss” is a nice slogan in the abstract, it ignores the fact that power dynamics always exist, even where they’re not formalized. As time went on, Peck came up against the limits of what she could do alone. “It’s great I don’t have to go to anybody for approving stories or things I want to cover,” she said. “But I think it’s always beneficial having other professional journalists to work with and bounce ideas off of and get feedback from.”

        The quote is not about the limits of “what she can do alone” but an observation on the price of that kind of freedom (and the implicit limitations–the price of–a larger support structure).

        “I got into journalism because I wanted to write stories about and for the Black community,” she said. “There’s not a lot of places where you can do that and get paid a decent amount and have benefits. It varies, but I don’t think a lot of Black journalists have a ton of options outside of creating their own things for themselves.”

        Like everybody who ever created a media product and needed to find a market originally.

        As a freelancer, it seemed more likely than not that one day I would start a Substack, or something similar. What choice did I have?

        Omg life is so hard I only have more options that all of humanity had for thousand and thousands of years its so unfair.


        Noticeable that no real mention of why Taibbi, Greenwald and others are on Substack really–that the “editorial support” of mainstream publications is becoming unambiguously censorious and is profoundly biased, to the point of becoming more fiction than fact.


        • “But often, adherence to neutrality only enforces existing power structures.

          So many implications to that kind of statement. The main one being: you have a new power structure that you would like higher in the pecking order, so you want an unfair playing field that advantages your side specifically. “

          The main one actually is that judging things by their impact on “power structures” is the relevant metric in the first place.

          It’s a primary concern only for the woke intersectional people.


        • The main one actually is that judging things by their impact on “power structures” is the relevant metric in the first place.

          That is a very good point.

          It’s a primary concern only for the woke intersectional people.

          Said from my position of privilege, I have to ask: why, exactly? Why is that such a prime thing? Because what they imagine power to be, and they want the power they imagine? A lot of people are assigned to membership in power structures that seem pretty powerless from my vantage points, yet are described as having huge, ancient system power.

          Is it about who gets to tell other people what to do, but never be told what to do? That’s kind of how it comes off to me. But, as you say, it’s an odd metric.

          And how to do you measure it? What is the bad powerstructure that benefits from neutrality, honestly, individual freedom, and transparency?

          Ultimately I’m talking myself into thinking that “power structures” being the relevant metric comes down (back?) to my assertion that it’s about aggregating and elevating their own power, or diminishing the power of others. That’s the metric they use to measure their success in taking power for themselves and removing it from others, but also a tool to do the same. I think.


    • The economic model is interesting, with the ability to get front money to get started.

      Liked by 1 person

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