US Mortgage Rates Rise To Over 7% As Fed Tightens Monetary Noose (Is Powell Chanelling Volcker?)

Yesterday’s inflation report (in the form on skyrocketing labor costs) helped lead Bankrate’s 30-year mortgage rate to over 7% … again.

Here is yesterday’s horrible unit labor costs YoY chart showing the fastest growth in labor costs since 1982 and Fed Chair Paul Volcker. Jerome Powell, the current Fed Chair is trying to reduce the Bernanke/Yellen/Powell monetary stimulypto (with an extra dose of “sugar” from the Covid outbreak).

The good news is that the 10-year Treasury yield is down -7.3 basis points this morning.

Here is The Fed’s Open Market Committee (FOMC) trying to summon Paul Volcker to help them figure out how they got inflation so wrong.

‘Soft Landing’ Narrative Nuked As US Industrial Production Plunges In December And New York Biz Leaders Survey Crashes To -21.4 (US Treasury 10Y Yield Drops -14.1 Basis Points)

Soft landing for the US economy? It is looking less and less likely. The bond market (10-year Treasury yield) just shed -14.1 basis points. As I always told my investments students, any 10 basis point shift in the 10-year Treasury yield is significant.

Let’s start wit the US business leaders survey of current conditions. It just crashed to -21.4

Then we have US industrial production, down -0.7% in December. And is up only 1.65% year-over-year as M2 Money growth stalls.

Capacity Utilization plunged more than expected to 78.7% (79.5% exp).

Biden claiming the US economy is strong is pure Fantasy Island.

Today, Jean Pierre annouced that Biden’s economic plans are working.

US November Pending Home Sales Crash (-38.6% YoY) As Fed Tightens And M2 Money Growth Grinds To A Near Halt

US existing home sales in November collapsed by -38.6% YoY as M2 Money growth runs out of gas.

The above chart is similar to yesterday’s “Ski Slope” chart of US home prices YoY.

Unfortunately, pending home sales YoY are the worst in recorded history.

What will President Biden do about this dire situation? Our “Vacationer in Chief” is off on yet another vacation to St. Croix in the US Virgin Islands, so probably nothing. Now that Biden is sunbathing, what will his Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen do?

US Real GDP Growth Forecast To Be Dismal 0.50% In 2023, Personal Savings Rate -67.9% YoY In October, US Mortgage Rates Headed Down (Economic Lights On But Nobody’s Home)

Albert Collins said it best about the US economy under Joe Biden: “Lights Are On But Nobody’s Home”.

The Federal Reserve forecast for the US economy is a dismal 0.50% YoY. Do I detect a trend?

The FOMC forecast for 2023 and 2024. Core PCE YoY (inflation) is forecast to drop to 3.50%, still considerably higher than The Fed’s target rate of inflation of 2%. And unemployment is forecast to be 4.60%.

To cope with Bidenflation, US personal savings rate as of October is -67.9% YoY. The “good” news is that rents YoY are crashing. But food prices under Inflation Joe remain very high. But most everything is slowing down, not due to Biden’s policies, but a global and US economic slowdown.

With a big slowdown coming our way, you can understand why The Fed’s December Dot Plot is showing declining Fed Funds Target rate starts declining in 2024.

Even US mortgage rates are headed down.

Speaking of going down, cryptos are down across the board with Cardano leading the decline at -6.91%.

All aboard the SS Biden!

Pre-Fed Status: 100% Probability Of US Recession In 2023, Mortgage Rate Steady (US Yield Curve Now Inverted For 116 Straight Days, Implied Rate Hike Of +50 BPS To 4.50%)

Fun week ahead. US inflation numbers are out on Tuesday (forecast? CPI YoY = 7.3%, Core CPI YoY = 6.1%) and The Federal Reserve’s Open Market Committee (FOMC) rate decision is on Wendesday.

So, where are we sitting on Monday?

First, the US Treasury 10Y-2Y yield curve has been inverted (a precursor to recession) for 116 straight days). Second, the likelihood of recession in 2023 is 100%. Third, with the forecast of core inflation at a still numbing 6.1%, The Fed seems dead set on raising their target rate by 50 basis points to 4.50% on Wednesday.


So, as The Fed debates recession versus fighting inflation (partly caused by The Fed), we have Kevin Malone from The Office debating Angela versus double-fudge brownies:

“I hear Angela’s party will have double fudge brownies. But it will also have Angela. Double fudge.. Angela.. double fudge….. Angela. Hmm..” I am betting on risking a recession by raising the Fed’s target rate by 50 basis points.

US Mortgage Rates Fall A Fourth Week, Longest Stretch Since 2019 (Mortgage Applications Rise, But Refi Apps Remain Low -86% YoY And Purchase Apps Are Down -40% YoY)

The US mortgage market is like Mussgorsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition. Where are the paintings are bad.

US mortgage rates fell for a fourth week in a row, the longest such stretch of declines since May 2019.

The contract rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage eased 8 basis points to 6.41% in the week ended Dec. 2, still the lowest since mid-September, according to Mortgage Bankers Association data released Wednesday.

Rates have retreated for the past month as the Federal Reserve has signaled it will soon slow down the pace of interest-rate hikes, likely at next week’s policy meeting. 

Even so, MBA’s mortgage purchase index fell 3%, the first drop in five weeks, underscoring how demand remains fickle and driving a decline in the overall measure of mortgage applications. On the other hand, refinancing activity rose last week, but remains near the lowest level in two decades.

Here is a chart of mortgage applications from the Mortgage Bankers Association showing the decline in US mortgage rates, and increases in mortgage purchases and refi applications. The Refinance Index increased 5 percent from the previous week and was 86 percent lower than the same week one year ago. The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 31 percent compared with the previous week and was 40 percent lower than the same week one year ago.

The MBA survey, which has been conducted weekly since 1990, uses responses from mortgage bankers, commercial banks and thrifts. The data cover more than 75% of all retail residential mortgage applications in the US.

Rent Crisis! 41% in U.S. Couldn’t Pay Rent November (Bank MBS Holdings Collapse With Fed Tightening)

Interesting story on Alignable.

Due to high inflation, reduced consumer spending, higher rents and other economic pressures, U.S.-based small business owners’ rent problems just escalated to new heights nationally this month, based on Alignable’s November Rent Poll of 6,326 small business owners taken from 11/19/22 to 11/22/22.

Unfortunately, 41% of U.S.-based small business owners report that they could not pay their rent in full and on time in November, a new record for 2022. Making matters worse, this occurred during a quarter when more money should be coming in and rent delinquency rates should be decreasing. But so far this quarter, the opposite has been true.

Last month, rent delinquency rates increased seven percentage points from 30% in September to 37% in October. And now, in November, that rate is another four percentage points higher, reaching a new high across a variety of industries.

All told in Q4 so far, the rent delinquency rate continues to increase at a significant pace, up 11 percentage points from where it was just two months ago.

Well, this is not good.

And on the mortgage front, not all is quiet.

Commercial bank holding of Agency mortgage-backed securities (MBS) has collapsed with Fed tightening and mortgage rate increases.

Ain’t that a lot of bad news for real estate and the mortgage market.

Going Down! November’s UMich Buying Conditions For Houses Plunges To Lowest Reading In History (The Fed Giveth And The Fed Taketh Away)

We’re going down!

November’s consumer sentiment survey from University of Michigan is one for the books. It printed at 33.0, the lowest in the history of the survey that goes back to 1977.

This chart shows how The Fed and Federal government threw trillions at the Covid economic shutdowns and the aftermath (green line).

BTW, the great blues tune “Going Down” was written by Don Nix of Alabama State Troupers fame.

US Treasury Yield Curve Slips Into Darkness (Implied Yield On 3M T-Bills In 18 Months – 3M T-Bill Yield Inverts) Slippin’ Into Darkness

The US economy is Slippin’ Into Darkness.

The Fed’s favorite yield curve measure, the implied yield on 3-month T-Bills in 18 months less the 3-month T-bill yield has inverted. Note that this curve inverts prior to a recession.

The new face of reckless Fed policy and Federal spending. 19 straight months of negative REAL earnings growth as America re-elects the same irresponsible fools that are turning the US into Venezuela.

Fed Is NOT Unwinding MBS, 30yr Mortgage Rate Falls To Under 7% (Will The Fed ACTUALLY Unwind Its Balance Sheet??)

Now that the midterm elections are over (except for counting of million of mail-in ballots, a massive moral hazard risk), President Biden has proclaimed that he isn’t changing any of his horrid policies. And apparently, neither is The Federal Reserve.

Despite the headlines that The Federal Reserve is rapidly downsizing its massive balance sheet of assets, The Fed is just letting their enormous holdings of mortgage-backed securities (MBS) run off. That is, just letting MBS mature. So, The Fed’s System Open Market Holdings of Agency MBS has barely declined.

Here is the table of MBS run-off. The mass of MBS doesn’t start to mature until … 2039. It is Treasuries that are maturing.

So, The Fed is raising its target rate rapidly, although that is likely to reverse course in the first half of 2022.

Meanwhile, mortgage applications fall to lowest level since 1997 with Fed tightening.

“So Mr Bond…let me tell you my plan for global domination.”