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.

JOLT! US Job Openings Plunge To Covid-Lockdown Levels (Will The Fed Notice??)

Ain’t this a kick in the head!

US job openings in August plunged to the grim days of the Covid lockdown. According to the JOLTs numbers, US job openings fell by -1,117.

But will The Fed notice? Or continue their inflation fight??

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.”

Livin’ In Biden’s Paradise! Percentage Of NYSE Stocks Closing Above 200 Day Moving Average Collapses To 13.48% (Bollinger Band, Fibonacci, Elliott Wave, Ichimoku)

My 401k is Livin’ in Biden’s Paradise.

The percentage of NYSE stocks closing above the 200 day moving average has collapsed to 13.48% as The Fed tightens to fight Bidenflation.

Bollinger Bands? The lower band is near breaking.

Fibonacci retracement? NOT retracing.

Elliott Wave? I feel like I am at the bottom at Nazare, Portugal.

Ichimoku cloud? The NYA index is so far below the cloud it has landed.

Yes, I feel like my 401k is surfing at Nazare, Portugal.

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.

UMich Buying Conditions For Houses Remain Depressed As Fed Tightens (Fed’s Brainard Calls For Fed To Keep Tightening!)

Bidenflation and The Fed’s counter-attack has caused considerable damage to the housing and mortgage markets.

Today, the University of Michigan consumer sentiment indices were released for September. Of note, buying conditions for houses remained in the tank.

Meanwhile, Fed Vice Chair Lael “Brainless” Brainard is calling for The Fed to NOT stop tightening money and raising interest rates.

As The Fed tightens, the entire range of Agency MBS TBA (to be announced) are under $100.

For example, the FNCL 2.5% TBA is now 84-17. And falling like a paralyzed falcon.

Here is Brainard with Fed Chair Jerome “Foul Owl” Powell, the dynamic duo of crashing markets.

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!

Wipe Out! $32 TRILLION In Stock Value Wiped Out (US Core Deflator Rises To 4.9% Prompting Taylor Rule Fed Target Rate Of 9.65%, We Are Currently At 3.25%)

Wipe out!

$32 TRILLION of global stock value has been wiped out since December 2021.

Today’s core PCE deflator reading of 4.9% YoY shows that the inflation surge is not over. With a core PCE deflator of 4.9%, the Taylor Rule suggests that The Fed Funds Target Rate should be at 9.65%, far below its current level of 3.25%. So, IFF The Fed is following any sort of rule, rates should continue to soar.

And if we use headline inflation of 8.30% YoY, the Taylor Rule suggests hiking the target rate to 14.75%.

After yesterday’s dismal Q2 report of -0.6%, I fully anticipate a recession. Ain’t this a kick in the … head.