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RECenter A&M Economists Still Wasting Texas Realtors’ Money

RECenter at A&M economists and data junkies are still wasting the dues of Texas Realtors that pay a good chunk of their salaries. It seems the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M economists are phase-locked in a myopic pursuit to somehow rationalize or justify the status quo situation with Texas housing. "Intellectual Phase-Locking is a condition that results when dogmatic 'scientific' assumptions inhibit further inquiry." Rupert Sheldrake Last year I wrote about some of the interesting details on the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M and their funding. I have also clued readers in on the [...]

All Roads Still Point Toward Yield Curve Inversion

With the Federal Reserve's balance sheet normalization process set to kick into a higher gear next month, all roads still point toward a yield curve inversion. While govt officials and the Fed's pie-in-the-sky economists continue to was about a robust economy with unemployment levels hovering near cycle lows, there are some widening cracks appearing in the global QE Ponzi scheme. Yesterday the Fed found some "widespread and critical deficiencies" in Deutsche Bank's capital planning controls. You don't say! The stock of Germany's largest bank, a toxic time bomb of opaque derivatives, continues to plumb news [...]

Autopsy Report For Affordable Housing In Dallas Fort Worth

An autopsy report for affordable homes in Dallas-Fort Worth reveals the steady evaporation of affordable housing inventory in the DFW area. Recent data show that housing prices in the U.S. are currently at their least affordable levels since the financial crisis. The latest numbers on existing home sales showed that the median price of a home hit a new all-time high. So how did this all happen? Was it an accident? Is it due to our smashingly great economy? Let's find out. As investors and speculators have gobbled up lower-priced homes across the country to [...]

April Existing Home Sales Soften 2.5%

The National Association of Realtors reported a 2.5 percent slide in existing home sales for April. That translates to a 1.4 percent decline compared to last year. According to NAR the median price of an existing home sold in April was $257,900, a rise  of 5.3 percent compared to last year. The average price of an existing home was $297,300, an increase of 3.3 percent compared to last year. NAR chief economist, Lawrence Yun, blamed low inventory for the sluggish April sales... “The root cause of the underperforming sales activity in much of the country [...]

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 [...]

Markets Wobbling As Fed Normalization Hits $30 Billion Per Month In Q2

The markets were wobbling again this week, but regardless, the Fed normalization will hit $30 billion per month in April. I must confess that I get a good laugh when I hear market apologists and real estate pundits talk up the magnificent economy and housing market we are blessed with in Texas. Yes, things are pretty good here in the Lone Star State, and the DFW housing market still seems to have legs. Unfortunately the real economy is not nearly as robust as many talking heads and sell-side practitioners would have you believe. The March employment [...]

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 [...]

DC’s Fiscal Lunacy, Fed’s Unwind Creating Waves For Housing Market

The fiscal lunacy in Washington and the Federal Reserve's balance sheet unwind are creating waves for the housing market. 2018 was starting off on the right foot with a noticeable, yet moderate rise in bond yields. As we received more concrete evidence that the Federal Reserve was actually unwinding some of that gigantic balance sheet, volatility erupted pretty quickly. After a 12oo point plunge in the Dow, some savvy mortgage borrowers probably took advantage of the temporary fear in the market to score a decent mortgage rate. It was a small window of opportunity, because [...]

Fed Unwinds $21 Billion, Markets Puke On Higher Yields

The Federal Reserve System Open Market Account Holdings (SOMA) report for January 31st finally revealed the balance sheet unwind in action. Since the Fed announced their balance sheet unwind last year, the actual process had been proceeding at a snails pace, particularly with the mortgage-backed securities portfolio. The MBS instruments can take 2-3 months to roll off, so the MBS unwind has been virtually invisible until this week. With a $21 billion drawdown in the latest week, including over $10 billion in agency MBS unwind, it becomes increasingly clear why the markets were puking all [...]

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 [...]