Housing Policy

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housing policy

The Fed Has Successfully Destroyed The U.S. Housing Market

A few days ago a friend of mine sent me a link to some "insight" on the coming economic developments that we should be preparing for in terms of debts and deficits. The company providing this research piece has over a $trillion in assets under management. Since I have a healthy skepticism of anything the financial "services" industry is selling I decided to give it a read. It was very informative, partly due to a complete fundamental ignorance of basic economics, but also because of an obvious contradiction with the author's stated assumptions. As I [...]

Fed Orders China Bank To Tighten Anti-Money Laundering Protections

The Federal Reserve on Tuesday faulted the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China Ltd for its weak anti-money laundering protections, ordering ICBC to tighten its screening of illicit money. Real estate money laundering from China into global property markets has been an ongoing theme for several years, and by all accounts the volumes of money being cleaned are still substantial. Last month the Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CIBC) introduced new guidelines to replace its "Foreign Income Program". CIBC decided it should obtain income verification for foreign buyers gobbling up overpriced Canadian homes. Many of [...]

Why Is The Fed Protecting The Stock Market?

The $11 billion increase in the System Open Market Account Holdings report for February 14 has caught the attention of a number of intelligent market watchers for obvious reasons. The Federal Reserve is purportedly in the midst of a significant balance sheet normalization process whereby they are (and plan to to continue) selling large amounts of Treasuries and agency mortgage-backed securities. After amassing a portfolio of over $4.4 trillion, the Fed has used that massive hedge fund to artificially suppress interest rates and foster some serious asset inflation. The Fed was not alone in this [...]

Fed Adds $705 Million Agency MBS With Un-Unwind

The Federal Reserve's balance sheet unwind was MIA again this week as agency MBS increased with latest System Open Market Account Account Holdings report. SOMA January 24 holdings reflected a magical $705 million INCREASE in agency mortgage-backed securities. This is rather strange behavior indeed for what was advertised as a balance sheet "unwind". It's looking more like the un-unwind, at least for the past two weeks. Much like the crony capitalist elite dining in Davos, the fine purveyors of bogus economic theory inhabiting the halls of the Marriner Eccles building are probably a tad bit [...]

Balance Sheet Unwind Hits Reverse As Interest Paid To Banks Soars

True to form, the Federal Reserve is taking a rather cautious approach to their balance sheet unwind with this week's System Open Market Account (SOMA) report showing an INCREASE of a $million in the Fed's bloated account holdings. So much for unwinding!  If you were wondering how equity markets could be marching to new highs every week in the face of tepid organic economic growth, you have your answer. Today's inflation numbers show that the Federal Reserve still can't seem to generate any inflation in the economy, with core inflation rising only 1.8% year-over-year. Home [...]

Another Fed “Senior Economist” Demonstrates Willful Ignorance

The Federal Reserve and its army of economists continue to demonstrate willful ignorance of their failed policies. This week it was the Kansas City Fed's Jordan Rappaport who penned another dose of misdirection on the housing market. Rappaport's piece, "Pent-Up Demand and Continuing Price Increases: The Outlook for Housing in 2018" is yet another example of how the Federal Reserve touts itself as a champion of real economy while they continue toe the line for Wall Street and wealthy investors. In the usual captured culture of Fed Mr. Rappaport lays out the theme of continued [...]

December Jobs Growth Misses, Wage Growth Still Weak

Yesterday I was musing about the expected rise in inflation and bond yields that so many professional pundits and talking heads are expecting in 2018. That's the story being bantered about on various mainstream cable news puppet shows. Today we received another reality check on that "pent up demand" and overheating labor market story as the December Jobs Report painted a rather lackluster finish to 2017. The BLS Employment Situation showed an increase of 148,000 jobs in December. That's the good news from the establishment survey. The Household survey (Table A) showed an increase of [...]

Misguided Expectations For Inflation And Bond Yields In 2018

The Federal Reserve has proven they are devoid of credibility when it comes to their advertised mandates of full employment and price stability. What the Fed is good at is the same thing it has always been good at...blowing bubbles and serving the interests of Wall Street banks. Thus it should come as no surprise that many of the clueless PhD economists working for the Federal Reserve are calling for an uptick in inflation in 2018. You know, because the labor market is so "tight" and current inflation is still tepid. The Fed of course [...]

Fed Balance Sheet Unwind Proceeding At Snails Pace

The balance sheet unwind for the Federal Reserve is proceeding at a snails pace. After a rather large jump in the securities holdings last week, we should have seen a resumption in the balance sheet shrinkage. Interestingly the Fed's holdings of Treasury and mortgage securities only fell by $4.8 billion this past week. A look at the weekly System Open Market Account Holdings shows there is a lot of work to do in the last week of the year if the Fed is going to stick to it's stated unwind schedule. While the Fed has [...]

Tax “Reform” Makes Denton County Property Taxes Even Less Appealing

The Tax Cuts And Jobs Act was signed into law this week, and a significant portion of your Denton County property taxes may no longer be deductible under the new law in 2018. Aside from being one of the worst researched and most ill-conceived pieces of legislation in modern history, the new tax bill is very favorable to corporate America. Unfortunately the new tax "reform" is not exactly friendly to home ownership. It remains to be seen how the new tax law will affect DFW area home prices, but the new rules certainly don't favor [...]