Morning Report: Homeownership rises

Vital Statistics:

 

  Last Change
S&P futures 3831 13.3
Oil (WTI) 55.37 0.74
10 year government bond yield   1.13%
30 year fixed rate mortgage   2.84%

Stocks are higher this morning as earnings continue to come in. Bonds and MBS are down.

 

The ADP Employment Report said that 174,000 jobs were created in January, which was above expectations. While the typical categories of professional services and healthcare added jobs, leisure and hospitality added 35,000 positions as well, which are desperately needed. “The labor market continues its slow recovery amid COVID-19 headwinds,” said Ahu Yildirmaz, vice president and co-head of the ADP Research Institute. “Although job losses were previously concentrated among small and midsized businesses, we are now seeing signs of the prolonged impact of the pandemic on large companies as well.”

 

Mortgage applications increased by 8.1% last week, according to the MBA. Refis increased by 10% while purchases were more or less flat. “After increasing for three consecutive weeks, the 30-year fixed mortgage rate dropped 3 basis points to 2.92 percent,” said Joel Kan, MBA Associate Vice President of Economic and Industry Forecasting. “The one-week reversal in the recent upswing in rates drove an increase in both conventional and government refinance activity, as borrowers continue to lock in these historically low rates.”

 

The homeownership rate increased 0.7% year-over-year to 65.8%, however it slipped compared to the third quarter of 2020. Rental vacancy rates were more or less unchanged at 6.4%. The huge jump in the homeownership rate during the second and third quarters is strange, and I am not sure what caused that.

 

 

59 Responses

    • Brent:

      The left wants a Reality Czar

      Yeah, but who in their right mind thinks that an Orwellian world is really too steep a price to pay to be done with Trump?

      #priorities!

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      • The thing about it is that the left is proving all of the right wing nut job conspiracy theorists correct.

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        • Very little that the left might propose can really come as a surprise to anyone that has been paying attention.

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        • There chutzpah is a little surprising. Not their desire but just how much they are doing in full public view. But I may just be naive.

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        • But muh Jewish space lasers!!!

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        • If only she had actually written that, I might get behind it, if only for the awesome technology!

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        • Well, she might not have ever written “Jewish Space Lasers”, but you know that’s what she was thinking. The press and the pundits and the Democrats are just “translating” it for us stupid people so we know what she really meant.

          They have to, you know, shape the narrative. So we understand how stupid she is. Nothing harder than making the stupid peasants the elites hate understand why they should also hate some other stupid uppity peasant!

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      • Scott, your arguments always elide the point that Trump helped to cause this through the backlash he generated, especially by his post election behavior.

        Both he and the leftists can both suck and be authoritarians. Trump was just totally incompetent at it.

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        • What attempts at authoritarianism did Trump try to make?

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        • Cause leads to effect.

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        • jnc:

          Scott, your arguments always elide the point that Trump helped to cause this through the backlash he generated…

          I don’t buy that. The left isn’t what it is, nor does it do what it does, because of Trump. He didn’t change its nature nor its goals. Trumpism is much more a product of the modern left (and an ineffectual opposition to it) than the modern left is a product of Trump. Trump may have provided an opportunity to the left, but only to more easily pursue what it seeks in any event. And frankly the opportunity he provide exists primarily because of the segment of the population who somehow calculated that the authoritarianism and insanity of the left is less of a concern than an obnoxious mean-tweeter.

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        • Trump’s biggest flaw was his inability to modulate his tone and make rational arguments for his positions. He could not persuade on policy or issues. He was a bad avatar for conservative populism.

          But Biden is not that much better an avatar for authoritarian leftism. So there is that.

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        • I always thought the media’s accusations of Trump being authoritarian were just so much gaslighting.

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        • But like a lot of gaslighting, believed with a hallucinatory religious conviction by the gaslighters.

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        • I did too until his post election behavior culminating in instigating his supporters at the rally he was holding to go down to the Capitol and try and disrupt the electoral ballot counting.

          I don’t think he necessarily intended for them to storm inside (as always, his opponents over reach with the conspiracy theories) but it was meant as an act of intimidation directed at Pence and the other Republicans.

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        • jnc:

          I did too until his post election behavior culminating in instigating his supporters at the rally he was holding to go down to the Capitol and try and disrupt the electoral ballot counting.

          So after 4 years as President, it isn’t any policy or acts of governance that makes him an authoritarian. It is a speech in which he encouraged his supporters to make their objections heard. I don’t think you and I have the same understanding of the word “authoritarian”.

          I don’t think he necessarily intended for them to storm inside (as always, his opponents over reach with the conspiracy theories) but it was meant as an act of intimidation directed at Pence and the other Republicans.

          Every mass-gathering protest is an act of intimidation. That is precisely the point of gathering large numbers of people together, especially at a place where what is being objected to is going on. It is an explicit show of mass force.

          When pro-abortion activists gather at the Supreme Court while abortion cases are being heard, and Senators encourage them by saying things like “I want to tell you, Gorsuch, I want to tell you, Kavanaugh, you have released the whirlwind, and you will pay the price. You won’t know what hit you if you go forward with these awful decisions,”, it is an act of intimidation.

          When a crowd protesting the confirmation of Brett Kavanaugh broke through police barricades and pounded on the door of the Supreme Court, it was an act of intimidation.

          When BLM protestors shut down and took over blocks of city streets, it was an act of intimidation.

          When activists are encouraged to ““Go to the Hill today. Get up and, please, get up in the face of some congresspeople,” it is intended as an act of intimidation.

          When protestors invade and occupy the Senate building, and confront and harrass Senators in elevators, during the confirmation hearings of a Supreme Court Justice, it is an act of intimidation.

          The primary difference between all of these – along with hundreds of other examples – and Trump supporters gathering to intimidate congress is the reaction to it. The breathless reporting and pearl-clutching over Jan 6 is just another example of the double standard to which Trump has been held for 4 years.

          And, to get back to the original point of this thread, had Trump or anyone on the right proposed a “Reality Czar” in the wake of the BLM/antifa riots, or the Kavanaugh protestors occupation of the Senate building, in an attempt to cancel or silence his political opposition, no one, including you, would be blaming the left for “causing such a backlash”. That kind of “Baby, why you make me hit you?” reaction seems reserved strictly for Trump.

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        • “ than an obnoxious mean-tweeter.”

          As Scott Adams would say, we are watching two different movies.

          To the extent that Trump was held to just sending out mean Tweets at the end, it’s only because he was restrained by other institutions and his own incompetence.

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        • jnc:

          As Scott Adams would say, we are watching two different movies.

          Indeed, that does seem the case.

          To the extent that Trump was held to just sending out mean Tweets at the end, it’s only because he was restrained by other institutions and his own incompetence.

          Even if that were true, I still prefer an authoritarianism that is restrained by other institutions and incompetence to an authoritarianism that is restrained by neither. There is nothing Trump has done in the last 4 years, much less the last 3 months, that even approaches the level of damage done to the Constitution, the culture, and society that has been – and quite predictably will be – wrought by the left. The fact that, after 4 years of making policy as president, your big example of the danger of Trump is a speech he gave after being voted out of office just reinforces my judgement.

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        • jnc:

          As Scott Adams would say, we are watching two different movies.

          The more I think about it, I suspect that we disagree less over Trump than we do over the nature of the left. I think that your assessment of the left is probably significantly more benign than mine is. If memory serves me correctly, you have voted for the D presidential candidate in 3 of the last 4 elections, and in the one that you didn’t vote for the D, you still didn’t vote for the R, but instead when for an unelectable 3rd party candidate. That, to me, is an indication that you do not rate the left as being a particularly notable danger to our political and cultural well-being. I, on the other hand, rate it as the single biggest danger. And that, more than anything about Trump (or Romney or McCain) is probably driving the differences in our relative evaluation of one versus the other.

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        • I may disagree with the left being the causal factor, as I suspect any ideological dominance to be a problem (not unlike man of our founders)—and expect many leftists are leftists exclusively because that is where the power is. The power being more attractive and desirable than the ideology.

          Ergo, I do not pine for a world where the right has the left’s control of entertainment, the media, and academia, but a world where power is much more “equitably” divided. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely—this is true of cultural sides as much as people.

          That being said I feel like in most cases it will always be the left capturing power in wealthy societies. Lots of reasons for that, but clearly it does.

          On the plus side we don’t actually have to worry about a right wing dictatorship here until the economy and culture is completely destroyed, and by that time we’ll probably be a vassal state of the CCP anyway.

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        • Trump in 2020 is the first R presidential vote I’ve cast since voting for Palin in 2008. If she hadn’t been on the ticket I would not have voted R then. If the Republicans give us Jeb Bush or similar in 2024 I’m unlikely to vote R then. I did vote for Dubya both times but now I kind of regret that although a president Kerry—shudder.

          Skipped Dole Clinton entirely, otherwise I’ve voted 3rd party.

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        • Also worth noting Trump’s speech was tame compared to speeches by elected Democrats during the previous four years so the standard is clearly not evenly applied.

          Agree on a restrained authoritarian—much preferred to a government run by fellow travelers, all of whom are on the same page as to how to benevolently rule the peasantry.

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        • “The more I think about it, I suspect that we disagree less over Trump than we do over the nature of the left. I think that your assessment of the left is probably significantly more benign than mine is.”

          That’s true. I also draw a distinction between corporatist Democrats like Biden and the actual socialist left.

          I also prefer divided government. Things would be considerably better if the Republicans still had a majority in the Senate. For which I think a chunk of the blame can be laid at the feet of Trump regarding his post election behavior.

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        • jnc:

          I also draw a distinction between corporatist Democrats like Biden and the actual socialist left.

          How do they differ when it comes to, say, appointing Supreme Court justices? Or with regard to, say, the Second Amendment? Or with regard to intersectionality? Or with regard to the enforcement of Title IX?

          I also prefer divided government

          Unfortunately that is not an option on any ballot. You have to vote for individual offices, not a preferred allocation of them by party.

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        • Yeah, that’s why.

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        • Well it’s all connected. Biden won. Capitol Hill Riot. Military occupation of DC and the appearances of a nascent quasi-police state. Oh and the media abandoning all pretense of being anything but a propaganda arm for the corporate/neocon left.

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        • Vote for the Republican with the Democrats are in charge of vice versa.

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        • KW:

          Vote for the Republican with the Democrats are in charge of vice versa.

          Trouble is you don’t know who will be charge of what until after the election is over. As the most recent election shows.

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      • This transcends Trump. The left’s drive to rewrite history and suppress wrongthink has been ongoing since forever.

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        • To me the left is trying to exhume Mao’s Cultural Revolution, and much of the social media dragging of heretics is nothing more than the old struggle session wine in a new bottle

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        • Brent:

          I think the Cultural Revolution is the perfect analogy.

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        • Indeed. I also thought of something recently in terms of the patterns of things–the McCarthy Era reigned after the technological and communications revolutions of television. There were other things around that time, but that’s a big one. Sort of the social media of the day. And thus we had the HUAC and blacklists and struggle sessions and bullying amongst the actual communists and so on and so forth.

          Now we’re getting a new McCarthyism (and the much more tepid but still kind of naming-of-heretics and struggle sessions on the right–towards people not sufficiently right wing enough). Seems very similar to me, with the roles reversed a bit.

          New technology always introduces significant but sometimes not obvious cultural changes. I think it’s something causal to major upheavals in other categories (politics, culture) that is often missed or is considered but not given it’s full causal due.

          Telegram was invented in 1844. Civil war started in 1861.

          Just saying.

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  1. The vote for this will be an awesome spectacle and very clarifying event for Republicans. I can’t wait!

    https://thefederalist.com/2021/02/03/if-democrats-expel-marjorie-taylor-greene-it-will-set-a-dangerous-precedent/

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    • From Slate:

      Three-quarters of Biden voters cited character or personality traits as reasons for their voting decisions, and the reasons they gave were “mostly anti-Trump”

      Particularly during an era in which executive power has grown to such unprecedented levels and rule by Executive Order rather than law has become standard, it is entirely baffling to me that anyone would value personality over policy in a president.

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      • They don’t know what the policy is. Or don’t care. Most are only vaguely aware of it as being nice sounding things like a higher minimum wage and not being mean to immigrants. Not hating on gay people. Most voters aren’t all that aware of the specifics.

        Even if they wanted to be the Democrat Party Platform this year has the word Trump in it more than any other word—almost every plank was slathered in how bad Trump was. Hard to figure out what they wanted other than Trump out, and policy specifics were often more “not like Trump” or vague “we will do magic and make everything better”. Who doesn’t want the president to magically make everything better?

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  2. Honest question, what is everyone’s opinion on what today’s actual counter-culture is? What does it represent and how is it manifested.

    What does the left think counter culture is today, versus what the right thinks it is?

    Finally, what is the difference between subversive and counter culture?

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    • McWing:

      Honest question, what is everyone’s opinion on what today’s actual counter-culture is?

      I think traditional Judeo-Christian religious culture is today’s counter-culture.

      What does the left think counter culture is today, versus what the right thinks it is?

      The left thinks it is still the counter-culture.

      what is the difference between subversive and counter culture?

      I never really thought about the difference, but if there is one, I would say that the counter-culture seeks primarily to be left to its own devices, while a subversive culture seeks to overthrow the reigning culture and become dominant.

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      • The left thinks it is still the counter-culture.

        The left has zero, absolutely zero, self-awareness. It controls Hollywood, entertainment, advertising agencies, Corporate HR and marketing departments, social media, information, academia, elementary and secondary education, and every media outlet except for a handful.

        These dipshits wouldn’t recognize a hegemon if you spotted them the “h,” “e,” “g,” “m,” and “n” plus let them buy a vowel.

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        • Brent:

          These dipshits wouldn’t recognize a hegemon if you spotted them the “h,” “e,” “g,” “m,” and “n” plus let them buy a vowel.

          I genuinely did laugh out loud at that. I remember once years ago when Obama…President Obama…referred to himself as “speaking truth to power”. Clueless.

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        • Lots of powerful politicians complain they don’t have more power, especially presidents. Often while at other times gloating about being the most powerful man in the world. Obama did it. Clinton did it. There’s a lot of aggravation that becoming president doesn’t make them effectively king.

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        • The left has zero, absolutely zero, self-awareness. It controls Hollywood …

          This is insanely true in contemporary woke content. Handsmaid Tale, while a dystopian near-future take on an old novel, is an excellent example of this–it’s starts with the precept where there is an imminent existential threat in the present data that ultra-Conservative Christians will take over the country by force and, well, that will just happen and THEN all their time will be spent in the oppression of every other person and when lefties talk about it, it’s often a kind of “we’re just one election or one wrong move away from this happening”.

          Netflix shows, of which I’ve been watching a larger number, are full of white-supremacists, white supremacist hate crimes, anti-gay hate crimes, gay people getting harangued and abused, gay teens going into conversion therapy, pronouns being intentionally disrespected and trans-people deadnamed with wild abandon. Yet at the same time I don’t think there’s a show I’ve watched recently that doesn’t imply that at least 50% of the population is gay or transexual. Yet there’s no irony present in cranking out plotline after plotline of homophobic Christians spending all their energy and time harassing gay people.

          So much of Hollywood entertainment depicts the ficitonal world they live in. I think a lot of it is the perpetual immaturity of the culture (which is also why leftism has gotten such a foothold, because so many people born after WWII are kinda spoiled)–when I was very young, I considered myself very enlightened and liberal. I also had the habit of looking at wrongs done to me and, when relaying them or depicting them in some creative form, vastly exaggerating them.

          I find it interesting that, for example, at Lucasfilm there is a pitched battle between Favreau and Filoni and KK and the Woke Story Group. While the Star Wars sequel trilogy made a lot of money, the box office receipts decreased with each film as long-time fans checked out. More importantly, Galaxy’s Edge at the park (themed around the new characters) didn’t increase attendance, and merchandising for the new stuff tanked. Star Wars merch was selling better before the sequel trilogy.

          Then Jon Favreau comes along, gives the fans just a little of what they want, and it’s a hit. They are getting lots of new Disney+ subscribers AND the merchandising for both the OT and Mandolarian stuff is doing gangbusters.

          Even despite this obvious success of “not going woke”, nobody in this billion dollar company is stepping in to get rid of the side that actively hates and chases away the customers. Despite the clear financial evidence presented by the performance of literally everything Star Wars post-sequel trilogy (including the Solo movie) and definitely including the Star Wars Lego Christmas Special tanking–except the Mandalorian–they are still trying to pump out a lot of woke Star Wars stuff done by activists who actually hate all the fans that made the property worth 4 billion to Disney in the first place.

          The evidence is clear. But Hollywood is in such a bubble they can’t believe the evidence of their own wallets.

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        • Should also mention merch for a brand being higher before the release of new flagship product (such as major motion pictures that bring back the original cast, even if only to kill them off and subvert them) is unprecedented. They were literally making more money before in merch before the released the new movies. And still, the lesson drawn was: we need more Star Wars novels with gay and transgender lead characters.

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        • Your point about entertainment is why i haven’t watched a TV series since Hill Street Blues, and have seen under 5 movies in a theater since Top Gun.

          I detest Hollywood’s preaching and from what I can see I am missing nothing.

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        • You’re not. I sometimes like go to the theater. I enjoyed seeing most of Dr. Sleep in the theater, and also I saw Terminator: Woke Fate at the theater. The movie was woke (but more importantly, terrible) but I enjoyed being at the theater.

          I have sworn off Star Wars. I’m done giving them theater money. Or any other kind of movie that doesn’t come from getting a Disney+ sub for a month.

          I recently binged all of Supernatural, having never watched it, and I got into it. I really enjoyed it, all the way through the end, but any show that runs so long you can see shifts. And that series definitely got woker as time progressed, especially the last 3 or 4 seasons.

          I’ve watched so much TV. There is literally nothing where I’d say: oh my god you need to watch this. Most of the movies I want to watch again, I’ve got on DVD and have for awhile. First John Wick was pretty good. I’m a fan of the first Captain America movie. Winter Soldier was also a good film. They still make ’em. Just less so recently.

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        • If I didn’t have a wife, I wouldn’t own a TV

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    • I’m in the middle of Dave Rubin’s “Don’t Burn This Book” and he thinks libertarianism is the new counterculture

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      • Interesting. I think it is an amorphous term that means what the writer wants it to mean.

        If I am the writer, I think it is mob anarchists, regardless of their announced “reasons” for violence. I think the mainstream of American culture are people who would just as soon live and let live, and keep arguments civil, regardless of their politics and religion or lack of either. Most people I know get pissed at rioters whether they are attacking police stations or the capitol, and think of those mobs as counter to anything one might call culture.

        It makes media types a living calling anyone who disagrees with them something “other”. But actual culture is a very big term and in America it has always included every subculture [from Amish to tacos, at least] except lawless anarchy. Or so I think.

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        • except lawless anarchy

          I actually think that there is a long history of lawless anarchy going back to at least the 1880’s in the country, it’s the vanguard of the left.

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        • Mark:

          I think the term “counter culture” originated in the ’60s and had a pretty specific meaning. It referred to communities of people who lived in ways contrary to prevailing norms and values, most notably (at the time) the hippie community. I think the term “subversives” was more likely to be used for those engaged in mob violence, like anarchists.

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        • Your history is correct but it emphasizes that the word was originally used to identify a perceived other. What the media called the counter culture in the 60s revolved around potheads, dropouts, and hippies.

          Defense attorneys called them the client pool.

          I think the evolution of the use of the term by just about everyone to describe someone else and by some to describe themselves with perverse pride [like crystal worshipping moderately wealthy middle aged women who make pilgrimages to Sonoma, AZ to find the congruence] has obliterated the history.

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      • Centrism is the new counter culture.

        Like

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