Morning Report: Pending Home Sales fall

Vital Statistics:

 LastChange
S&P futures4,7857.2
Oil (WTI)75.570.38
10 year government bond yield 1.52%
30 year fixed rate mortgage 3.35%

Stocks are marginally higher this morning in thin holiday trading. Bonds and MBS are down.

Pending Home sales fell 2.2% in November, according to NAR. “There was less pending home sales action this time around, which I would ascribe to low housing supply, but also to buyers being hesitant about home prices,” said Lawrence Yun, NAR’s chief economist. “While I expect neither a price reduction, nor another year of record-pace price gains, the market will see more inventory in 2022 and that will help some consumers with affordability. Buyer competition alone is unrelenting, but home seekers have also had to contend with the negative impacts of supply chain disruptions and labor shortages this year,” he said. “These aspects, along with the exorbitant prices and a lack of available homes, have created a much tougher buying season.”

It looks like Biden will choose Sarah Raskin as the Federal Reserve head of banking regulation. After his disastrous experiment with Saule Omarova as head of the OCC, the worry was that he would nominate some other academic oddball to the Federal Reserve. Raskin has been a Fed governor in the past, so she at least has some relevant experience. She is also a sop to Biden’s progressive flank who didn’t want to see Jerome Powell get re-nominated.

56 Responses

    • He knows he’ll be photographed and wants to be seen wearing a mask.

      I don’t think it’s a good idea, but it’s all part of “staying on message”.

      And of course he’s wearing a cloth mask instead of an N95 one.

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      • Ok, what does he think the value is? What message is he trying to send?

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        • That people need to keep wearing masks to help fight the pandemic. He’s assuming that any nuance about indoors vs outdoors would be lost in the media filter.

          Or if you are cynical , that he’s on the side of the righteous. That he’s part of the elect.

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        • Ok, then why isn’t his wife wearing a mask in the same pictures? What message are they trying to convey with that?

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        • I didn’t say they were effective at it, merely that’s my best guess as to why he would be doing it.

          Or of course it could be straight senility. Or he could be COVID positive.

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        • So, final question then, do you think that Biden’s handlers believe these photos are effective messages to the public? I’m
          Not trying to out you on the spot and I’m normally relatively quick on the uptake, it’s just that I find the photos stupefying and I cannot, for the life of me, figure out the message.

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        • I think it’s more about avoiding having to explain why he wasn’t wearing one.

          Yes, it makes no sense for him to be doing so based on the actual science, but that has little bearing on politicians behavior.

          Apparently Veep was closer to reality than most other political shows.

          And like I said, this is all supposition on my part.

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    • Of course they have to include this disclaimer:

      ““Tom’s German,” Yorke said, referring to the ethnic origin of Hoenig’s name. “He’s strict. There’s rules.””

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      • The thing I find so fascinating is the utter inability of the left to understand the link between money printing and asset inflation. If you care about inequality, you should totally be against asset bubbles, since assets disproportionately affect the rich.

        This inflation is probably the first time in 50 years where wages are driving it. Which is a good thing IMO

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        • Taibbi made the same point back in 2011:

          Rick Perry vs. Ben Bernanke: Round One
          August 16, 2011 12:58PM ET

          “For those who don’t remember QE, this is a magical money-printing program the Fed has been using two years in a row to artificially prop up the economy (well, parts of it, anyway). “Helicopter Ben” Bernanke has printed a couple of trillion dollars, just waved a wand and invented them, then used those funds to buy things like mortgages and t-bills.

          That this is a terrible idea ought to be self-evident. The irritating thing is that this ought naturally to be a campaign issue for progressives, because the most direct consequence of QE is to magnify the income inequality problem, as this study of the British version of QE (decried by our witty friends at Zero Hedge as the winner of the “real men of captain obvious genius award”) concluded. The study by Dhaval Joseph of BCA research concluded that QE might have been a factor leading to the British riots.

          The reason QE is “good for the rich and bad for the poor” is obvious: by pouring trillions in jet-fuel cash into the inequity engine that is the banking sector, we’ve seen massive increases in share prices and corporate profits, without any resulting increases in wages. As the Joseph study concludes:

          Real wages – adjusted for inflation – have fallen in both the US and UK, where QE has been a key tool for boosting growth. In Germany, meanwhile, where there has been no quantitative easing, real wages have risen.

          It should be obvious to anyone that printing two trillion new dollars and handing it to the corrupt financial sector to play with will not result in higher wages for ordinary people. This ought to be an issue for the left/progressives, but thanks to Barack Obama’s ownership of the program, it’s now turning into a campaign issue for Republicans.”

          https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-news/rick-perry-vs-ben-bernanke-round-one-99389/

          I sent him an E-mail suggesting he review the book mentioned in the Politico piece you linked above.

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  1. Sarbanes-Oxley is being used to go after the 1/6 rioters

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/to-prosecute-jan-6-capitol-rioters-government-tests-novel-legal-strategy-11640786405?mod=hp_lead_pos11

    Shouldn’t this mean the SEC should be conducting the investigation?

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  2. I’d be curious to know what Mark thinks of this.

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    • The left has had it with Glen Greenwald.

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      • Of course and at some point he’ll be abandoned by the Right and (re) embraced by the Left.

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        • I doubt it. Single issue folks who disagree with Greenwald’s anti-Zionism aren’t ever going to love him on the right but … if his hard-pro-Palestine position doesn’t win over the left now I don’t think they are going to take him back.

          But Greenwald is a progressive, just his priority is truth … and as long as mainstream progressives value narrative or power over truth and facts they are never going to re-embrace Greenwald or Taibbi.

          Which is not that they are avatars for perfect journalism just that they don’t conform to the narrative, and a progressive left for whom “doing your own research” is a mortal sin … those folks will not re-embrace Greenwald.

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        • More on this because you are describing a real past phenomenon but it’s moving towards a point where the right (most of them) will embrace you if you’re right about 50% or more of issues while the left is moving to total conformity. The only thing allowable is that you may maintain the label of conservative or Republican but you must 100% embrace the progressive narrative of the moment (see: Bill Kristol/Jen Rubin/Max Boot).

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    • This shit here is exactly by Bitcoin exists and scares the crap out of government.

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  3. I thought borders that keep people out or in we’re bad?

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  4. They just figured this out.

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  5. It’s always interesting to see the throwaway lines in media reports these days to see what the standard reporting template is:

    “A ‘perfect storm’ of factors led to fatal police shooting of a 14-year-old girl, experts say

    By María Luisa Paúl, Lateshia Beachum and Alex Horton

    Yesterday at 9:21 p.m. EST

    Officials have not yet revealed the race and identity of the officer who fired the shots last week. He has been placed on paid leave pending a review.”

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2021/12/29/burlington-police-shooting-orellana-peralta/

    Because of course race is the lens through which they filter everything now.

    Also, the race of the officer isn’t a mystery if you watch the attached body cam footage. It’s absurd that they are trying to obfuscate it with the disclaimer about it not having been released officially because the facts undermine their narrative.

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  6. So I watched the new two part South Park COVID special and it’s pretty funny. However, a key plot point revolved around the sale of NFT’s and I thought it was exaggerated.

    Then I read this:

    https://slate.com/technology/2021/12/nfts-celebrities-climate-gross.html

    We are all doomed. The Onion is reality now:

    “Perhaps the new bubble could have something to do with watching movies on cell phones,” said investment banker Greg Carlisle of the New York firm Carlisle, Shaloe & Graves. “Or, say, medicine, or shipping. Or clouds. The manner of bubble isn’t important—just as long as it creates a hugely overvalued market based on nothing more than whimsical fantasy and saddled with the potential for a long-term accrual of debts that will never be paid back, thereby unleashing a ripple effect that will take nearly a decade to correct.”

    https://www.theonion.com/recession-plagued-nation-demands-new-bubble-to-invest-i-1819569940

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    • Aren’t these more or less the same thing as “collectible” coins or Elvis plates?

      But it is clear the left despises crypto and environmentalism is going to be the avenue through which they attack it.

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  7. Serious question, what is everyone’s limit on boosters per year? As in, how many shots are each of us willing to endure per year for Covid.

    I have been vaxxed and I’m not getting anymore shots, period. I’m done.

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    • Just stick it into the normal flu shot. If you want it, get it.

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      • So, for you personally you’re only willing to get one shot a year? No wrong answer, just curious on everyone’s tolerance.

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        • idk, i normally get a flu shot, so if they wanted to combine it, fine.

          would i get pissed if they decided to conflate not having the latest booster with unvaxxed?” yes.

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        • If it made sense and there was data to support necessity and efficacy if get a shot every month.

          I have not seen necessity or efficacy established. I got one J&J and I think I’m done until I see something compelling in the data. Still not down with the mRNA so will avoid unless I’ve got no choice.

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    • I got effectively re-vaccinated before they were authorizing booster shots because the data indicated that the J&J vaccine wasn’t as effective against the Delta variant. I had to travel on an airplane to Florida in September, so I just walked into CVS and asked to be vaccinated with Moderna and they didn’t bother to check or ask if I had been vaccinated before so I got a full two dose vaccination on top of the J&J one shot I had received in March.

      I think it’s paid off because I’ve been around people who have contracted the Omicron variant and I’ve managed to avoid catching it thus far. I’m fine with getting boosters (voluntarily) every 6 months or so if it means I avoid catching the virus and also get to dodge mask mandates, etc. Everyone I know who has gotten it says that the long term fatigue effects are real, even after you are fully recovered and they suck.

      I had the full round of childhood vaccines in the 1970’s with no issue, and when I’ve traveled abroad to some foreign countries I went and got Hep A, Tdap, Typhoid, and H1N1 vaccines. That was done through a company called Passport Health that specializes in them.

      https://www.passporthealthusa.com/

      No major ill effects for me. I even got the yellow WHO/CDC booklet to record them all.

      Even though I dislike the politics of the mandatory vaccine crowd, I try not to let that cloud my judgement about the merits of the vaccines themselves and my own personal health decisions.

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      • Thanks! Is there a number of boosters per year where you’d draw the line? I think in the Netherlands they’re looking at 5 or 6 shots a year to be considered fully vaccinated. Is that something you could commit to over several years?

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        • Depends on if I think it actually has merit in terms of not getting sick vs being arbitrary and also what the side effects are.

          So far, the impact on me from getting the vaccines and boosters has been pretty minimal.

          On the other had, I typically skip the annual flu shot so I can’t really say I’m consistent here.

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    • McWing:

      Serious question, what is everyone’s limit on boosters per year?

      My limit on mandated boosters to be classified as “fully vaccinated” for government purposes is zero. I don’t think the government should be making such classifications.

      I don’t have a limit on the number of boosters I’d take personally in order to protect myself. I’d assess it as and when it arises.

      For the record, I got the two original Pfizers plus the booster while I was in the UK. On the other hand, I have only ever gotten the flu vaccine once in my life, about 15 years ago when I moved back to the US after my first stint in London. The day after I got it I got sicker than I have ever been for about 4 days, so have avoided it since. I say this just to show that I don’t have a hard and fast rule about this kind of thing. I just make the decision that seems reasonable to me at the time.

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    • I was Pfizer 2x. then i got COVID.
      then i got Pfizer booster about a month after that.
      no long term effects from my illness. i had the flu-like thing for a day — no fever, but muscle aches, etc. maybe fatigue for about a week after that.

      re: future boosters — i’ll go annually if needed.
      but i’m not worrying about this variant vs. that case count number anymore.

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      • So, just 1 annual booster for you then? What did you think when you got Covid after getting the two shots?

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        • initally .. was mad about it.

          but, seeing that it was a non-event as far as actual illness, more relieved.
          i have an EMT friend who spent months in a rehab facility and was on a vent for weeks.
          other friend still hasn’t recoved sense of taste.
          so as far as “infection prevention” i guess they’re not delivering as advertised.
          as far as illness prevention, can’t complain about that.

          re: future. i get a flu shot every year. no problem getting one for this.

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    • On a related note, I received my first COVID exposure notification via the iPhone app after Christmas. It helpfully informed me that I may have been exposed ten days prior to the notification.

      If this is typical of how timely the notifications and contact tracing are, then it was never going to work.

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  8. Worth noting:

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  9. Anybody who has not gotten Covid?

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  10. This is a long but really interesting 4-part series on vaccine hesitancy.

    https://www.tabletmag.com/sections/science/articles/needle-points-vaccinations-chapter-one

    Like

  11. It’s 1/6 all the way down.

    Like

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