Grasping Reality with Both Hands 2017-01-18 00:44:28

Live from Massively Dysfunctional California Hall: I can think of nothing worse for alumni relations, development, and fund-raising in the long run than this kind of disruptive nickel-and-diming of students.

Harvard finally realized this: it got rid of the infamous "red dot". Berkeley has not. You don't have to have been dropped from your courses and be unable to get them back for this to matter. All you have to have is a roommate or a friend who was. And all of a sudden you are not in a long-term gift-exchange relationship with Berkeley any more...

In my inbox right now:

The CalCentral system dropped 145 students last night at midnight for nonpayment of fees. They were dropped from all of their classes. And if the class had a waitlist (as many of ours do), their seat was immediately given away to someone on the waitlist.

I've talked with 3 students already.... In two of the three cases, it was a CalCentral glitch, not a true non-payment of fees.... Please be sympathetic and help these students re-enroll in your course.

Wednesday: CPI, Industrial Production, Homebuilder Survey, Beige Book, Yellen Speech

From Matthew Graham at Mortgage News Daily: Mortgage Rates Back Near 2-Month Lows
Mortgage rates moved lower today, generally recovering the losses seen last Friday. This brings many lenders back in line with the lowest levels since November 17th, although last Wednesday (Jan 11) was slightly better on average. There hasn't been enough volatility to unseat 4.125% as the most prevalent 30yr fixed "note rate" on top tier scenarios. As such, today's improvement is limited to "effective rates" (which take closing costs into consideration)..
emphasis added
• At 7:00 AM ET, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) will release the results for the mortgage purchase applications index.

• 8:30 AM, the Consumer Price Index for December from the BLS. The consensus is for 0.3% increase in CPI, and a 0.2% increase in core CPI.

• At 9:15 AM: The Fed will release Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization for December. The consensus is for a 0.6% increase in Industrial Production, and for Capacity Utilization to increase to 75.4%.

• At 10:00 AM, The January NAHB homebuilder survey. The consensus is for a reading of  69, down from 70 in December. Any number above 50 indicates that more builders view sales conditions as good than poor.

• During the day, The AIA's Architecture Billings Index for December (a leading indicator for commercial real estate).

• At 2:00 PM, the Federal Reserve Beige Book, an informal review by the Federal Reserve Banks of current economic conditions in their Districts.

• At 3:00 PM, Speech, Fed Chair Janet Yellen, The Goals of Monetary Policy and How We Pursue Them, At the Commonwealth Club, San Francisco, California

Phil Mattingly on Twitter: „Asked Senate HELP Chair Lamar Alexander if he’d spoken to Trump or his team about the president-elect’s healthcare plan: „I have not.““

*Live from the Cage of the Orange-Haired Baboon: Phil Mattingly *: On Twitter: "Asked Senate HELP Chair Lamar Alexander if he'd spoken to Trump or his team about the president-elect's healthcare plan: 'I have not.'" Grasping Reality with Both Hands 2017-01-17 23:46:39

Live from Planet Gutenberg: The day's book haul. These both look very good. Unfortunately, the first day of classes is absolutely the last day you want your book showing up in my mailbox in the form of a review copy...

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James Kwak (2016): Economism: Bad Economics and the Rise of Inequality (New York: Pantheon: 1101871199)

Daniel Wolff: Grown-Up Anger: The Connected Mysteries of Bob Dylan, Woody Guthrie, and the Calumet Massacre of 1913 (New York: Harper: 0062451693)

Clear, Concise Brexit Idea From Theresa May: “No Deal Better Than Bad Deal”

The British pound surged nearly 3% today after UK Prime minister Theresa May added clarity to the Brexit decision. “No deal for Britain is better than a bad deal for Britain,” sad May.

Currency traders were convinced a hard Brexit would kill the pound, instead it rallied. And the decline in the US dollar index, widely attributed to Trump statements, has at least as much to do with May statements.

Regardless, the UK is striking the right tone at last.

MIB: Brett Steenbarger, Professional Coach for Traders

This week, I speak with Dr. Brett Steenbarger, a clinical psychologist who has published numerous articles and books on trading psychology. He is a clinical associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral sciences, and works as a trading coach with such storied forms as Tudor Investments. He blogs at TraderFeed. He earned his bachelors degree at Duke in…

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