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.
The global economic slowdown has one nice unintended consequence: as the 10-year Treasury yield softens, mortgage rates decline.
US mortgage rates retreated sharply for a second week, hitting a two-month low and providing a bit of traction for the beleaguered housing market.
The contract rate on a 30-year fixed mortgage decreased 23 basis points to 6.67% in the week ended Nov. 18, according to Mortgage Bankers Association data released Wednesday.
Rates have plunged nearly a half percentage point in the past two weeks, the most since 2008, as recession concerns mount, inflation shows signs of cooling and a number of Federal Reserve officials say it may soon be appropriate to slow the pace of monetary tightening.
The slide in borrowing costs helped stir demand as the group’s index of applications to buy a home climbed 2.8%. That marked the third-straight increase since the gauge stumbled to the weakest level since 2015.
The pickup in demand allowed the overall measure of mortgage applications, which includes refinancing, to rise for a second week, but it still remains depressed. The index of refinancing activity edged up from a 22-year low.
The Refinance Index increased 2 percent from the previous week and was 86 percent lower than the same week one year ago.The unadjusted Purchase Index increased 9 percent compared with the previous week and was 41 percent lower than the same week one year ago.
But you need an electron microscope to see the increase in both purchase and refi apps.
One indicator of a slowing global economy is the decline of FANG (Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, Google) with declining liquidity.
As of today, the US Treasury 10yr-2yr yield curve is the most inverted since 1981 at -70 basis points.
Meanwhile, equity put/call ratio from CBOE spiked yesterday to highest since 1997.
I am disappointed that The New York Times cancelled their $2,400 event to listen to Sam The Sham Bankman-Fried, Vlad “Show my your money!” Zelensky, Larry “The Big Fink” Fink and Janet “We never saw it coming” Yellen. I would have loved to do the New York Times job for them and ask hard questions to Sam The Sham and Zelensky about money laundering.
Today, the PPI Final Demand YoY index printed for October was it was still agonizingly high at 8% YoY (The Fed likes to see 2% for inflation).
True, PPI Final Demand YoY is down from its recent peak of 11.7% YoY in March. But notice that M2 Money YoY (liquidity) has collapsed following the Covid surge (green line).
Then I have this update on Sam Bankman-Fried of FTX and Alameda Research notoriety.
As Sam Bankman-Fried’s crypto empire imploded last week, costing him effectively all of his $15.6 billion fortune, other digital-asset billionaires sought to make clear that their steep losses in 2022 wouldn’t be similarly fatal.
Cameron Winklevoss, 41, who along with his twin brother Tyler founded cryptocurrency exchange Gemini, posted an 11-part series of tweets emphasizing that Gemini “has no exposure to FTT tokens or Alameda and no material exposure to FTX,” referring to Bankman-Fried’s trading house and crypto exchange.
And despite Spam Bankman-Fried’s disaster for his investors like Tom Brady, Steph Curry and the Democrat party, the crytpo market has done some recovery with most cryptos this morning.
What do Bernie Madoff and Sam Bankman-Fried have in common? Greedy investors who apparently didn’t bother to monitor what was going on.
Yes, had they monitored FTX, Bankman-Fried’s company, they would have noticed that FTX held less than $1bn in liquid assets against $9bn in liabilities.
Generally, with buyer beware, the onus falls on investors to monitor what is going on. But The Fed’s completely dropped the ball on Bernie Madoff where investors didn’t seem at all curious about earning supercharged returns. The same is the case for FTX.
FTX had partnered with Ukraine to process donations to their war efforts within days of Joe Biden pledging billions of American taxpayer dollars to the country. Ukraine invested into FTX as the Biden administration funneled funds to the invaded nation, and FTX then made massive donations to Democrats in the US.
The SEC’s Gary Gensler blew it again. After his agency failed to warn investors about Terra and Celsius—whose collapses this spring sparked a trillion-dollar investor wipeout—the Securities and Exchange Commission chair allowed an even bigger debacle to unfold right under his nose. I’m talking, of course, about the revelation this week that the $30 billion FTX empire was a house of cards and that its golden boy founder, Sam Bankman-Fried, is the crypto equivalent of Theranos’s Elizabeth Holmes (Stanford University is where Holmes was an MBA student and Stanford Law School is where both SBF’s parents are professor).
To be fair, Gensler was not the only one suckered by SBF. Nearly everyone else fell for the narrative that SBF, with his cute afro and aw-shucks demeanor, was exactly the savior crypto needed to shake off its dodgy reputation and emerge as part of the mainstream financial system. The problem is that cop-on-the-beat Gensler not only failed to spot the crime—he appeared set to go along with a legislative strategy that would have given SBF a regulatory moat and made him king of the U.S. crypto market.
While it is easy to blame Gensler, the onus still falls on investors (and their managers) to MONITOR. Buyer beware.
What will happen to Sam? Likely nothing. He is a golden child of Democrats and was the second biggest donor to Biden and the Democrats after America-hating George Soros. Just like Biden’s son Hunter will never pay for his many inappropriate antics, I doubt that Merrick “Double Standard” Garland will do much to Sam.
Steph Curry, Shaq and Tom Brady should fire their investment advisors and possibly sue then for failure to monitor. No one noticed $1bn in assets against $9bn in liabilities??