Post Tagged with: "mortgages"

Some incomplete comments on the current US economic environment

Some incomplete comments on the current US economic environment

This is going to be a quick hit post to get some thoughts down on paper because a few threads are coalescing for me that I want to give some coherence to. The essence of the threads revolves around the tension at the Fed between normalizing policy and the ability of the economy to withstand it. My view has been upbeat about the US economy – and that’s been without a trace of recession worry for the last several months. But there are some negative factors coming together that give me pause. And it begins with housing.

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Central banks, interest rates, house prices and resource allocation

Central banks, interest rates, house prices and resource allocation

A couple of weeks ago I told you about two properties in London that I was familiar with as background for my post on house price inflation in the UK. What was clear from those two examples and dozens of others I found is that rental yields are extremely low in London, such that rents do not cover mortgage costs […]

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Economic and Market Themes: 2014-10-27 US, Europe and China

Economic and Market Themes: 2014-10-27 US, Europe and China

I have a lot of threads to cover today. So let’s get right into it. New home sales. I want to start in the US first because the macro data backdrop is good. The first piece of data here is actually a bit soft and says that residential investment will not be a key lift to GDP numbers coming out […]

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Banks, Japanese trade, the currency wars and deflation

Banks, Japanese trade, the currency wars and deflation

There are no big themes dominating the news today. So it is a perfect time to hit a couple of themes with an economic and market theme approach. Let’s talk banks, Japanese trade, the currency wars and deflation.

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Private credit overhangs and the business cycle

Private credit overhangs and the business cycle

Back in 2012, three economists published a paper via the San Francisco Fed that looked at nearly every advanced economy business cycle from 1870 forward with the object of understanding the role of credit in the business cycle. Matthew Klein at the Financial Times alerted me of the paper.Now, what the economists found, not surprisingly, was that “financial-crisis recessions are more costly than normal recessions in terms of lost output; and for both types of recession, more credit-intensive expansions tend to be followed by deeper recessions and slower recoveries”. I want to discuss this both in terms of endogenous money and in terms of its implications for the present recovery and proposed recovery solutions. What follows is pretty wonky but very important as a thought piece for framing the economic environment.

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Is the ECB doing QE?

Is the ECB doing QE?

Last week, the ECB announced that it would begin purchasing securities backed by bank lending to households and firms. Whereas markets and the media have generally greeted this announcement with enthusiasm, this column identifies reasons for caution. Other central banks’ quantitative easing programmes have involved purchasing fixed amounts of securities according to a published schedule. In contrast, the ECB’s new policy is demand-driven, and will only be effective if it breaks the vicious circle of recession and negative credit growth.

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Report on Europe and US credit froth despite poor wage growth

Report on Europe and US credit froth despite poor wage growth

Today’s post is a potpourri of events I am seeing from around the world that impinge on macro. Europe. As expected, European consumer price inflation came in at 0.5% following the unexpected dip in German inflation. I believe the ECB will act on this, but not just via an interest rate cut but also with some other non-traditional form of […]

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Economic and market themes: 2014-04-25 US, Russia, Argentina

Economic and market themes: 2014-04-25 US, Russia, Argentina

Topics for today: Tail risk from Ukraine is increasing, giving rise to investment opportunity Argentina is still a basket case US housing will not add appreciably to a US growth acceleration I think the big news in the markets is still Ukraine. When I last wrote about the situation in Ukraine, I warned that, “It looks like we will get […]

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Jumbos still cheaper than conforming mortgages

Jumbos still cheaper than conforming mortgages

For years mortgage rates on “jumbo” loans have been higher than for traditional (conforming) mortgages. Since jumbo loans were larger than the upper limit permitted to be packaged and sold to Fannie and Freddie, banks would typically charge a premium for “illiquidity” on these products. But starting last year conforming mortgages became more expensive for borrowers than jumbo loans.

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On the Canadian housing market

On the Canadian housing market

Fitch, the ratings agency, has reversed itself on Canada. It now believes that the housing market there is poised for only modest declines at worst. Previously, Fitch had said that Canada’s housing market was well overpriced and that a major correction was a serious risk. I believe the combination of high prices and high household debt means the risk of a major correction is still there.

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US deleveraging ending, outlook upbeat, tapering coming

US deleveraging ending, outlook upbeat, tapering coming

The latest flow of funds data from the US Federal Reserve show that the great American household deleveraging may be over. This should add a credit accelerator to the US economy which maintains growth. Meanwhile analysts are increasingly optimistic about US and global economic fortunes. Data points and analysis follow.

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The Fed’s dominance of the MBS market

The Fed’s dominance of the MBS market

At its current pace the Fed is taking about half a trillion of MBS securities out of the market. In fact the Fed is now removing more than 100% of the paper that is being issued.

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