Chain Gang! US Mortgage Rates Rise for Seventh Week to Highest in 16 Years (Basic Mortgage Applications Fall To May 1997 Levels, Refi Apps DOWN 86% YoY, Purchase Apps DOWN 37% YoY)

In addition to creating the highest inflation rate in 40 years, we are now seeing the highest mortgage rate in 16 years. I feel like we are all on a chain gang.

(Bloomberg) — US mortgage rates jumped to a 16-year high of 6.75%, marking the seventh-straight weekly increase and spurring the worst slump in home loan applications since the depths of the pandemic.

In fact, mortgage application just fell to the lowest level since May 1997.

The contract rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage rose nearly a quarter percentage point in the last week of September, according to Mortgage Bankers Association data released Wednesday. The steady string of increases in mortgage rates resulted in a more than 14% slump last week in applications to purchase or refinance a home.

Over the past seven weeks, mortgage rates have soared 1.30 percentage points, the largest surge over a comparable period since 2003 and illustrating the abrupt upswing in borrowing costs as the Federal Reserve intensifies its inflation fight. 

The effective 30-year fixed rate, which includes the effects of compounding, topped 7% in the period ended Sept. 30, also the highest since 2006.

The Refinance Index decreased 18 percent from the previous week and was 86 percent lower than the same week one year ago. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 13 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 13 percent compared with the previous week and was 37 percent lower than the same week one year ago.

Here is today’s table of MBA mortgage applications and its ugly.

Meanwhile, the politicians in Washington DC are twisting the night away while the rest of the nation suffers.

Unfortunately for the US chain gang, gasoline prices are rising again as the US drains its petroleum reserve. Because, that’s the way … uh-huh … they like.

America! US 30yr Mortgage Rates Declines To 6.85% As US Home Prices Retreat From Highs (Will The Fed Pivot To Increase M2 Money Again?)

I was confused when President Biden claimed ‘I was sort of raised in the Puerto Rican community’ in Delaware.” Here are Joe and Jill Biden singing “America.” Apparently, Biden was in the Sharks gang and Trump’s MAGA supporters are the Jets.

On the real estate side, Bankrate’s 30-year mortgage rate dropped to 6.85% as the 10-year US Treasury yield drops.

On the home price front, according to the Black Knight Home Price Index (HPI), median home prices fell 0.98% in August, only marginally better than July’s upwardly revised 1.05% monthly decline July. August 2022 marked the largest single-month price declines seen since January 2009 and rank among the eight largest on record. The monthly rate of home price decline is now rivaling that seen during the Great Recession – the question is how long it will continue to do so, and how far off peaks prices will fall.

Now, will The Fed pivot to correct the plunging M2 Money growth?

Here is Joe Biden’s memory of a Maga rumble from Wilmington Delaware. I assume Trump is Riff and Biden is Bernado. But where is Corn Pop??

Great Reset?? US Treasury 10yr Yield Tanks -20 Basis Points (UK 10yr Tanks -24.1 BPS)

As I frequently told my investment and fixed-income securities students at Chicago, Ohio State and George Mason University, any 10 basis point change in the US Treasury 10-year yield is significant.

But how about today’s 20 basis point decline in the US Treasury 10-year yield?

The UK’s 10-year yield is down even more at -24.1 basis points. Germany is down -18 bps and France is down -10.3 bps.

Speaking of credit default swaps, Credit Suisse is back to financial crisis levels while UBS and Deutsche Bank are not … yet.

And gold jumped $28.5 dollars today as POP goes the yield.

With all the turbulence in markets thanks to the war in Ukraine and Biden’s green energy mandates and spending (not to mention Statists like Klaus Schwab screaming about a Great Reset), I was reminiscing about more simple times.

Lehman Debacle 2? Credit Suisse Market Turmoil Deepens After CEO Memo Backfires (Credit Suisse’s CDS Now Higher Than During 2008-2009 Financial Crisis)

  • New CEO Koerner sought to reassure employees in Friday memo
  • Shares fall to a fresh record low, gauge of credit risk rises

It is like the Lehman Brothers debacle in 2008 all over again.

(Bloomberg) — Credit Suisse Group AG was plunged into fresh market turmoil after Chief Executive Officer Ulrich Koerner’s attempts to reassure employees and investors backfired, adding to uncertainty surrounding the bank.

The stock, which had already more than halved this year before Monday’s sell-off, fell as much as 12% in Zurich trading to a record low that values the firm at less than $10 billion. That was accompanied by a spike in the cost to insure the bank’s debt against default, which jumped to its highest ever.

Koerner, for the second time in as many weeks, had sought to calm employees and the markets with a memo late Friday stressing the bank’s liquidity and capital strength. Instead, it focused attention on the dramatic recent moves in the firm’s stock price and credit spreads, and investors rushed for the exit when trading reopened after the weekend.

One notable difference between 2008 and today is that Credit Suisse’s equity was flying high in June 2007 then crashed a the global banking crisis went into full motion. We then saw Credit Suisse’s credit default swaps soar in early 2009. But today Credit Suisse’s equity is a pale imitation of its former self, but its credit default swap is now higher than it was at its peak in early 2009.

Credit Suisse is now trading lower than its European rival Deutsche Bank (aka, The Teutonic Titanic).

Yes, this brings back sickening memories of the 2008-2009 global financial crisis. Let’s see how The Federal Reserve, ECB and Bank of Switzerland handle this debacle, particularly with M2 Money growth so low.

It appears that we are in another Lehman debacle. Or should I say “Lemur Bros.”

Sink The Bismarck! German 10yr REAL Yield Plunges To -7.89% (US REAL 10yr Yield At -4.43%)

Sink The Bismarck! Or at least sink the German economy.

Between going green and the war in Ukraine, Germany is seeing economic distress (high inflation) and a -7.89% Real 10yr yield. At least the US is seeing “only” a -4.43% REAL 10yr Treasury yield.

Like the US, I wonder who in Germany studied game theory? That is, going green leaves nations vulnerable to foreign nations oil and natural gas supplies. Like Russian natural gas.

The Nash equilibrium is a decision-making theorem within game theory that states a player can achieve the desired outcome by not deviating from their initial strategy. In the Nash equilibrium, each player’s strategy is optimal when considering the decisions of other players.

Unfortunately, the US and Germany have deviated from the initial strategy are are paying dearly with skyrocketing energy prices. Particularly as we enter the winter season.

So, who blew up the Nordstream natural gas pipeline going from Russia to Germany?

I can take a guess.

Wipe Out 2! Bitcoin And Ethereum Plunge As Fed Tightens And US Dollar Soars

Wipe Out 2!

In addition to global equities taking a massive hit, cryptocurrencies Bitcoin and Ethereum have fallen -72% since November 2021 as The Fed (aka, The Sugar Shack) tightens interest rates.

Torquay!

Escape From LA! US Home Prices “Cool” To 15.77% YoY In July As Fed Tightens (Miami And Tampa FL Only Metro Areas Over 30% YoY) 12 Of 20 Metro Areas Experienced NEGATIVE Growth From June To July

Welcome to DeSantisville! Miami and Tampa Florida are the only metro areas in the nation (at least of the top 20 metro areas) growing at >30% growth in home prices.

But at the national level, the Case-Shiller National home price index “cooled” to 15.77% growth YoY as The Fed continues to tighten.

My former home, Phoenix AZ, finally is no longer the fastest growing metro area in terms of home prices, relinquishing the crown to Miami and Tampa FL.

It almost seems that people are trying to escape the mess Gavin Newsome made in California and are escaping to Arizona, Nevada, Florida and Texas. But note that all 20 metro areas are positive in growth YoY, but 12 of the top 20 metro areas experienced NEGATIVE growth from June to July.

Any questions as to whether The Fed is killing the housing and mortgage markets??

On a different note, we see all hell breaking out in Great Britain. Like the US, Great Britain’s inflation is off the charts and the Bank of England is scared about the Pound getting pounded with BofE tightening.

Is FLA governor Ron DeSantis actually Snake Pliskin??

Why Is Everything I Consume Going Up By >10% When The Inflation Rate Is “Only” 6.3% YoY? (Under Biden, Gasoline Is UP 55%, Foodstuffs UP 47%, Electricity UP 957%, Rents UP 12.5% YoY)

According to the BLS, US core inflation is 6.3% and headline inflation is 8.3% YoY. But everything I consume seems to be going up at a much faster rate?

Under Biden, regular gasoline price is UP 55%, CRB Foodstuffs UP 47%, rents UP 12.5% YoY and electricity is UP 957%.

And as The Fed continues to signal monetary tightening, the spread between 30Y FNCL Par Coupon and the 10-year Treasury yield keeps growing.

In case you watched the Buffalo Bills play the Miami Dolphins yesterday, you may remember this punt by the Dolphins. It almost perfectly represents what The Federal Reserve and Biden Administration are doing to the American middle class and low-wage workers.

The Great Recession, Part Deux? Evidence From the S&P 500, Treasury Bonds, Mortgage-backed Securities And The Unemployment Rate (Doesn’t Look Good)

Are we looking at The Great Recession, Part Deux?

First, let’s look at the S&P 500 index since August 24, 2020 (white line) and compare that to just before The Great Recession 04/15/06 – 05/17/08. They look pretty similar.

Second, let’s look at returns on long-term US Treasuries (10yr+, white line) and US mortgage-backed securities (gold line) since The Fed undertook “Operation Crush Inflation!” (green line).

I saw The President’s press secretary fielding questions about the declining stock returns and impending recession. She responded “But the labor market is strong!” Well, Ms. Karine Jean-Pierre, I am sure President’s Biden economic advisor Jared Bernstein told you unemployment was at a very low level just prior to 1) The Great Recession and 2) The Great Covid-shutdown Recession). So, claiming that the US employment market is strong economy ignores that unemployment will surge if the economy slows … which is what The Fed is trying to do.

There is a rush to hedge the downside with The Fed tightening the monetary noose.

Unfortunately, KJP’s feeble answers to the shriveling economy remind me of The Office episode when Dunder-Mifflin’s CEO said that “Dunder-Mifflin is still a strong economy.”

Here is a photo of Joe Biden with his press secretary explaining that the US economy is still strong.

Goodnight Irene! 2yr US Treasury Rate Rise Over 4%, Mortgage Rates At 6.55% (UP 116.2% Since Last Year)

Goodnight Irene!

Rampant inflation is really hurting American households (even Fed Chair Powell admitted as much yesterday), but because of inflation, The Fed’s counter-punch has resulted in 1) declining equity prices, declining bond prices and increase mortgage rates. In fact, over the past 12 months, the 2-year US Treasury yield is up over 15 times (0.262% to 4.226%), Bankrate’s 30-year mortgage survey rate up 116.2%.

The S&P 500 index has been generally falling as The Fed tightens their monetary policy.

Another day, another bad day on Wall Street. The NASDAQ is down 2%.

And here is a chart from Redfin. Luxury home sales sink most on record.