Spin Cycle

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spin cycle

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 [...]

Dallas Morning News Circulation Decline Might Reflect Quality Of Content

The circulation decline at the Dallas Morning News during the last few years might have something to do with the quality of the content. This is just the opinion of your humble blogger. According to Statista, the circulation of the DMN dropped in each of last three years for both daily and Sunday papers. Circulation of Dallas' largest paper still edges out the Houston Chronicle, but that's not saying much. While the number of readers of both papers is significantly higher, it appears fewer people are paying for the old print newspaper. Looking a the [...]

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 [...]

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 [...]

Dallas TX Employment Engine Sheds 59,000 Jobs In January Turnover

The Dallas TX employment engine was misfiring as we headed into 2018. Recently revised figures from the Texas Workforce Commission show the Dallas-Fort Worth-Arlington MSA shedding 59,000 jobs in January. While it is typical for the January numbers to decline after the holiday turnover, the 59,000 jobs lost in January represents the highest seasonal turnover loss in several years. Employment levels were already declining with the December numbers, so this is a development that could be worth watching. We'll know more in a few weeks when we get the February employment data. What is particularly [...]

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 [...]

Federal Reserve Sowed The Seeds Of The Next Housing Downturn

The Federal Reserve is poised to cause yet another housing downturn in the U.S. I'm not talking about a spectacular Lehman style apocalypse mind you, but an honest downturn that will be unavoidable. Today's S&P Case-Shiller home price index showed another rise in Dallas home prices in November. This is essentially lagged data confirming what most prospective DFW home buyers already knew, namely that Dallas area home prices are pretty damn high. The national index showed that U.S. home prices were up 6.2 percent, or roughly three times average U.S. hourly income growth. The BEA [...]

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 [...]

The Truth About DFW Housing Demand

The Dallas Morning News real estate desk just floated an interesting piece on housing demand in the DFW real estate market. According to the regurgitated Zillow source, almost 40 percent of Dallas area homes sold for more than asking price last year, and the median amount buyers paid over asking price was 5.7 percent or $12,023. Fortunately we have data from the North Texas Real Estate Information System to do a quick fact-check on this story. As it turns out Zillow's story doesn't hold water. Looking at the source of the Zillow story showing buyers chomping [...]