10 Wednesday AM Reads

Mid-week already? My morning train reads: • What issue in the world of finance isn’t getting enough attention? (Peter Lazaroff) • Ignorance of The Future (Irrelevant Investor) see also My Investing Pet Peeves (A Wealth of Common Sense) • We went to China’s Silicon Valley to see the front lines of the robot wars (The Verge) • Trump’s America: Switching political…

Read More

The post 10 Wednesday AM Reads appeared first on The Big Picture.

MBA: Mortgage Applications Increase in Latest Weekly Survey

From the MBA: Mortgage Applications Increase in Latest MBA Weekly Survey
Mortgage applications increased 0.8 percent from one week earlier, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association’s (MBA) Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending January 13, 2017. The previous week’s results included an adjustment for the New Year’s holiday.

... The Refinance Index increased 7 percent from the previous week. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 5 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 25 percent compared with the previous week and was 1 percent lower than the same week one year ago.
...
The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages with conforming loan balances ($424,000 or less) decreased to its lowest level since December 2016, 4.27 percent, from 4.32 percent, with points decreasing to 0.39 from 0.41 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value ratio (LTV) loans.
emphasis added
Mortgage Refinance Index Click on graph for larger image.


The first graph shows the refinance index since 1990.

It would take a substantial decrease in mortgage rates to see a significant increase in refinance activity - although we might see more cash-out refis.


Mortgage Purchase IndexThe second graph shows the MBA mortgage purchase index.

Even with the increase in mortgage rates, purchase activity is still holding up.  However refinance activity has declined significantly.

How Experts Enable Corruption: The Role of Conflicted Lawyers at CalPERS and Other Public Pension Funds

As Trump is about to be sworn in, the press and pundits are agog about his and his fellow Cabinet members’ deep and extensive conflicts of interest, and how dangerous they is for democracy.1 But the hue and cry about conflicts of interest is late in coming. They’ve been tolerated more and more over time […]

Trump, Policy, Markets

Trump, Policy, Markets David R. Kotok Cumberland, January 17, 2017       As Don Rissmiller of Strategas Research Partners succinctly points out: “There are four types of government policy that can be used to steer the economy: 1) monetary policy, 2) fiscal policy, 3) regulatory policy, and 4) trade policy.” We will use Don’s…

Read More

The post Trump, Policy, Markets appeared first on The Big Picture.

Biden “We Have No Freakin’ Idea What Trump’s Gonna Do”; Biden Announces 2020 Presidential Campaign

In the sappiest of sappy interviews, outgoing vice president Joe Biden looks back, and forward. ‘I Wish to Hell I’d Just Kept Saying the Exact Same Thing’ says Biden in a New York Times interview.

The title is cryptic but it pertains to a speech Biden gave in July that he wishes he repeated more often instead of attacking Trump.
(more…)

1 2 3 4 9.208