Another casualty of The Fed’s tightening and reduction in M2 Money supply are … the mortgage and housing markets. The US mortgage rate has soared to 7.04% (highest since 2000) and mortgage DEMAND has fallen to the lowest level in recorded history.
Here is my chart from yesterday showing the inversion of the US Treasury 10yr-2yr curve and decline in the S&P 500 index as The Fed tightens.
And then we have this chart showing the most-extreme foreign Treasury outflow since March 2020.
At least The Fed is predicted to start cutting rates again in March 2020.
Yes, Biden and Powell have reenacted Kevin’s famous chili spill. And Ben Bernanke, the creator of QE from late 2008 was just award the Nobel Prize in economics for distorting financial markets.
(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.
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.
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.”
Pension funds hold large positions in US Treasuries and Agency Mortgage-backed Securities (MBS). As does America’s central bank, The Federal Reserve. All are suffering losses as The Fed fights inflation.
(Bloomberg) — Week by week, the bond-market crash just keeps getting worse and there’s no clear end in sight.
With central banks worldwide aggressively ratcheting up interest rates in the face of stubbornly high inflation, prices (created by The Fed, Biden’s Green Energy Follicies and reckless Federal spending) are tumbling as traders race to catch up. And with that has come a grim parade of superlatives on how bad it has become.
On Friday, the UK’s five-year bonds tumbled by the most since at least 1992 after the government rolled out a massive tax-cut plan that may only strengthen the Bank of England’s hand. Two-year US Treasuries are in the middle of the the longest losing streak since at least 1976, dropping for 12 straight days. Worldwide, Bank of America Corp. strategists said government bond markets are on course for the worst year since 1949, when Europe was rebuilding from the ruins of World War Two.
The escalating losses reflect how far the Federal Reserve and other central banks have shifted away from the monetary policies of the pandemic, when they held rates near zero to keep their economies going. The reversal has exerted a major drag on everything from stock prices to oil as investors brace for an economic slowdown.
And as The Fed tries to combat stubborn inflation (caused by The Fed, Biden’s Green Energy folly and reckless Federal spending), you can see the US government security liquidity is worsening.
At least inflation has produced one “positive.” REAL mortgage rates are NEGATIVE since Freddie Mac’s 30-year mortgage rate less headline inflation is currently -2.975%.
Then we have Agency MBS (example, FNCL 3% MBS) plunging like a paralyzed falcon as duration risk increases with Fed rate tightening.
Fed Funds Futures data points to tightening until May ’23, then a reversal of rate hikes.
Biden’s green energy policies (limiting supply) caused a tremendous surge in energy prices and food prices (one has to pay to get food shipped!). But in order for The Fed to cool inflation, they are in the process of tightening their loose monetary policy since late 2008.
One of the consequences (intended or unintended) is that as mortgage rose, homebuyer mortgage payments rose 45.5% YoY.
Of course, Friday was one of those “Black Fridays” for investors. And pension funds.
The Dow Jone Industrial Average fell -1008.38 points after Powell’s “Mr T” remarks on pain. That was a whopping -3%. The NASDAQ composite index fell almost -4%.
Equity markets struggled in Europe as well, particularly the German DAX index.
The UMich Buying conditions for houses rose slightly, but remains near the lowest level since 1982.
Clubber Powell, Federal Reserve Chairman.
The Case-Shiller house price numbers are due out Tuesday for June and it is expected that they will show a significant slowing in home prices. Biden and Clubber Powell could then take “credit” for slowing “inflation.”
The National Association of Realtors’ Homebuyer Affordability Index for fixed-rate mortgages is now at the lowest reading since 2006 and the peak of the 2005-2007 housing bubble that burst catastrophically.
The reason? The Federal Reserve, in their attempt to put out the inflation fire (caused by 1) excessive monetary stimulus since late 2008, 2) rampant Federal spending and 3) Biden’s green energy policies, driving up prices.
If we compare mortgage rates with the US Treasury 10Y-2Y yield curve, you can see that the yield curve remains inverted (historically a bad sign). This may signal an eventual loosening of monetary policy by March 2023.
The phrase “crossing the Rubicon” is an idiom that means that one is passing a point of no return. Its meaning comes from allusion to the crossing of the river Rubicon by Julius Caesar in early January 49 BC.
Indeed, the US crossed the FISCAL Rubicon in Q4 2012. That is when US Treasury Public Debt outstanding exceeded Real GDP. And the gap has been growing ever since.
In case you were wondering why M2 Money Velocity is so low, it is because the US is in constant crisis management mode as an excuse to spend trillions of dollars …. that generates progressively lower real GDP.
They built this nation on MMT (Modern Monetary Theory) which translates to the Federal government and Federal Reserve just wanting to spend trillions and trillions. Since 2005 (the peak of the housing bubble), the US Federal Reserve has increased the M2 Money stock more than real GDP growth in almost every quarter.
I remember when macroeconomists used to say “Everything is beautiful … as long as M2 Money growth is LESS than real GDP growth.” But we have apparently shifted to MMT when Everything is beautiful as long as there is a crisis and Congress can spend trillions.
Now Biden/Congress are spending billions in trying to reduce inflation (seriously, only in Washington DC would they think that massive spending bills would REDUCE inflation).