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  • The Federal Reserve Won't Taper: Commercial Banks In Worse Shape Than Thought [View article]

    I am not sure you can compare those periods - one had mark to market, the current period doesn't. The numbers are at the discretion of the banks today versus the actual market value prior to the suspension of the FASB rules.

    The lifting of the suspension would have some interesting consequences I suspect.
    Sep 18, 2013. 04:32 PM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Refinances jump 18% amid lower rates; holiday adjustment [View news story]

    You are correct this is a really noisy series. The best place to view the trend is on Bill McBride's Calculated Risk blog:
    "The refinance index bounced around the last two weeks due to the holiday week.

    But the key is the refinance index is down 65% since early May, we will probably see the refinance index back to 2000 levels soon.

    Mortgage Purchase Index The second graph shows the MBA mortgage purchase index.

    The 4-week average of the purchase index was generally been trending up over the last year (but down over the last few months), and the 4-week average of the purchase index is up about 3% from a year ago. "

    The easy money from Refi's seems to have gone now that rates are rising.
    Sep 18, 2013. 12:28 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • MBA Mortgage Application Composite Index +11.2% [View news story]
    This was an interesting press release from their website:

    Title: Applications for New Home Sales Decreased in August 2013
    Source: MBA
    Date: 9/17/2013
    WASHINGTON, D.C. (September 12, 2013) — MBA’s Builder Application Survey data for August 2013 showed that mortgage applications for new home purchases decreased by 14 percent relative to the previous month. This change did not include any adjustment for typical seasonal patterns.

    By product type, conventional loans composed 67.8 percent of loan applications, FHA loans composed 17.3 percent, RHS/USDA loans composed 1.0 percent and VA loans composed 13.9 percent. The average loan size of new homes decreased from $288,382 in July to $284,392 in August.

    Utilizing information from the BAS, as well as assumptions regarding market coverage and other factors, MBA estimates that sales of new single-family homes were running at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 424,000 in August 2013. On an unadjusted basis, the MBA estimates that there were 35,000 new home sales in August 2013.

    MBA’s Builder Application Survey tracks application volume from mortgage subsidiaries of home builders across the country. Utilizing this data, as well as data from other sources, MBA is able to provide an early estimate of new home sales volumes at the national, state, and metro level. This data also provides information regarding the types of loans used by new home buyers. Official new home sales estimates are conducted by the Census Bureau on a monthly basis. In that data, new home sales are recorded at contract signing, which is typically coincident with the mortgage application.
    Sep 18, 2013. 08:42 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Mortgage ETF Paying 15% Yield After Price Pullback [View article]
    This was a good discussion of REM from last year

    "The fund makes for an interesting exchange-traded fund in that it has one of the worst tracking errors in the business. The fund seeks to track the FTSE NAREIT All Mortgage Capped Index, but because the underlying index tends to be more concentrated than laws allow for exchange-traded funds, it should be viewed as an actively managed ETF. ETFs cannot hold more than 25% of their assets in a single security."

    Does REM actually own the underlying shares or trade the derivative of it?
    Sep 17, 2013. 12:28 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Stock futures soar as Summers pulls out of running for Fed chief [View news story]
    Markets move on fundamentals!


    Seriously if this "the reason" why futures are up then it really has become a crapshoot driven by the response of the algos to the latest "news".
    Sep 15, 2013. 10:16 PM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Weighing The Week Ahead: Will Bernanke Change Course? [View article]

    Do you follow the MBA weekly report on mortgages?

    Just curious as to your impression of the economic impact resulting from the collapse in refi's since the beginning of the year. The ability to refi has probably been the most useful impact of QE & ZIRP in that people have been able to greatly reduce their fixed costs and free up disposable income as a result. The rise in rates has basically destroyed this market.

    From Calculated Risk on this week's report:
    "The Refinance Index decreased 20 percent from the previous week. The Refinance Index has fallen 71 percent from its recent peak the week of May 3, 2013 and is at the lowest level since June 2009. The seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 3 percent from one week earlier."

    The accompanying chart shows the "cliff-like drop" and that's no exaggeration.

    Truthfully I am clueless as to whether this is an important story or just one more bit of interesting but ultimately useless data.

    Is there a source for quantifying the impact of the refi's and how they have translated to consumption?

    Do you have an opinion?

    Sep 15, 2013. 12:07 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla: The $64 Billion Question [View article]
    Exactly the level of intelligent and informed argument you would expect from someone named Gumby.

    Sep 12, 2013. 04:16 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla: The $64 Billion Question [View article]

    If you look above there is a post from JP on the issue.

    "With due respect your battery cost estimates are insanely low. One of my frequent commenters is a PhD lithium-ion battery researcher at a leading US company and he pegs the material cost in the Panasonic cells at roughly $200 per kWh.

    Tesla's Crushing Battery Supply Constraints

    When you go from cell level costs to pack level costs, you generally have to add at least 50% of the cell costs for the pack.

    The most common estimates from a wide variety of sources ranging from the DOE to leading analysts like Lux Research peg pack level battery costs in the $500 per kWh range. "
    Sep 12, 2013. 03:16 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Initial jobless claims dives to 292K [View news story]

    Good link. Almost comical. These are the people who are the definitive sources of data? Where they counting on their toes previously?

    "Jobless claims in the U.S. declined last week to the lowest level since April 2006 as upgrades to computer systems in two states caused those employment agencies to report fewer applications.
    An agency spokesman said that the upgrades played a major role in the drop in claims. ."
    Sep 12, 2013. 08:56 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Initial jobless claims dives to 292K [View news story]
    That's a huge improvement in terms of direction in the last few months, yet somehow job creation was revised down from prior months. Something is not quite adding up!
    Sep 12, 2013. 08:45 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla: The $64 Billion Question [View article]
    So much of the discussion on this stock seems to verge on the religious as in "How many angels can dance on the head of a pin?"

    Sep 12, 2013. 08:34 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Reading Rates: MBA Application Survey - Sept. 11, 2013 [View article]
    It would seem that the refi-boom was the most significant positive result of the low interest-rate regime in that it probably freed up a lot of disposable income for those that could take advantage of it.

    Curious if the burst in this metric will have an impact upon future consumption patterns.
    Sep 11, 2013. 03:16 PM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Trend Toward Part-Time Employment: A Closer Look [View article]
    For those of you who might have missed this story, I nearly gagged when I read it:
    "Left behind: Stories from Obamacare’s 31 million uninsured

    By Sarah Kliff and Lena H. Sun, Published: September 8 at 7:26 pm
    The Affordable Care Act, the most sweeping health care program created in a half century, is expected to extend coverage to 25 million Americans over the next decade, according to the most recent government estimates. But that will still leave a projected 31 million people without insurance by 2023. Those left out include undocumented workers and poor people living in the 21 states, such as Virginia, that have so far declined to expand Medicaid under the statute, commonly called Obamacare."

    So what was the point of doing Obamacare in the first place? Does anyone remember?
    Sep 10, 2013. 10:12 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Kerry: International support growing for action against Syria [View news story]

    So you are a supporter of a war against Syria?

    Were you a supporter in the war against Iraq where we know for a fact not a guess that he used chemical weapons against his people and the people of Iraq?

    People who are clearly hypocrites should not accuse those of us who think this is a disaster in the making from being one as well.

    Be objective. If it was Bush pushing this strategy you would not support it.

    Have a nice day.
    Sep 8, 2013. 06:26 PM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Kerry: International support growing for action against Syria [View news story]

    Considering the well thought and reasoned response you provided this is hilarious:

    "Do you ever think or just repeat what your puppet masters on Fox Spew for you? "

    Do you actually think they attacked the "embassy" because of that video?

    Did you miss all that congressional testimony on the issue?

    Did you support the war against Saddam Hussein for using chemical weapons on his people and the people of Iran?

    What are you a war monger?
    Sep 8, 2013. 06:22 PM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment