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  • Wed, Apr 1 2015
  • 4:33 PM » CFPB updates home buying information booklet
    Published Wed, Apr 01 2015 4:33 PM by
    Richard J. Andreano, Jr. The CFPB has issued an updated version of the home buying information booklet (also known as the special information or settlement cost booklet) required under RESPA and TILA. The new booklet is entitled “Your home loan toolkit: A step-by-step guide.” (The booklet it replaces is entitled “Shopping for Your Home Loan: Settlement Cost Booklet.”) The new booklet... More >
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 4:33 PM » Don't get too optimistic about the housing market
    Published Wed, Apr 01 2015 4:33 PM by CNBC
    The economy-and housing-have been heavily dependent on interest rates. Watch out when the training wheels come off, says Michael Farr.
  • 4:32 PM » Bank of America at center stage in U.S. top court bankruptcy case
    Published Wed, Apr 01 2015 4:32 PM by Reuters
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - As the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday considered the case of a Massachusetts homeowner battling his mortgage lender over a bankruptcy plan, several justices focused their attention on his unlikely ally: Bank of America Corp.
  • 4:32 PM » What do rising rates mean for online lenders?
    Published Wed, Apr 01 2015 4:32 PM by CNBC
    Online lenders have proliferated during six years of record low interest rates. With the Fed signaling rate hikes, they must navigate new terrain.
  • 2:39 PM » Don't rule out negative yields
    Published Wed, Apr 01 2015 2:39 PM by CNBC
    Guggenheim's Scott Minerd says that the overflow of negative bond yields in Europe could push U.S. Treasurys south.
  • 2:39 PM » Markets get anxious about growth
    Published Wed, Apr 01 2015 2:39 PM by CNBC
    Stocks slumped, bond yields fell and the dollar waffled on jitters that economic growth is even more sluggish than feared.
  • 2:39 PM » Why are interest rates so low, part 3: The Global Savings Glut
    Published Wed, Apr 01 2015 2:39 PM by
    My previous post  discussed Larry Summers’ secular stagnation hypothesis , the notion that monetary policy will be chronically unable to push interest rates low enough to achieve full employment. The only sure way to get closer to full employment, in this view, is through fiscal action. A shortcoming of the secular stagnation hypothesis is that it focuses only on factors affecting domestic capital formation and domestic household spending. But US households and firms can also invest abroad, where many of the factors cited by secular stagnationists (such as slowing population growth) may be less relevant. Currently, many major economies are in cyclically weak positions, so that foreign investment opportunities for US households and firms are limited. But unless the whole world is in the grip of secular stagnation, at some point attractive investment opportunities abroad will reappear. If that’s so, then any tendency to secular stagnation in the US alone should be mitigated or eliminated by foreign investment and trade. Profitable foreign investments generate capital income (and thus spending) at home; and the associated capital outflows should weaken the dollar, promoting exports. At least in principle, foreign investment and strong export performance can compensate for weak demand at home. Of course, there are barriers to the international flow of capital or goods that may prevent profitable foreign investments from being made. But if that’s so, then we should include the lowering or elimination of those barriers as a potentially useful antidote to secular stagnation in the US. Some years ago I discussed the macroeconomic implications of global flows of saving and investment under the rubric of the “global savings glut”. My conclusion was that a global excess of desired saving over desired investment, emanating in large part from China and other Asian emerging market economies and oil producers like Saudi Arabia...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 2:38 PM » Guess who's issuing slews of mortgages? Not your bank
    Published Wed, Apr 01 2015 2:38 PM by CNBC
    Nonbank mortgage lending rose to 37.5 percent of the market during 2014, up from 14 percent in 2011. Who are the players?
  • 12:18 PM » Fed's Lockhart Expects Economy to Pick Up in Second Quarter
    Published Wed, Apr 01 2015 12:18 PM by WSJ
    Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta president Dennis Lockhart said Wednesday he believes the U.S. economy will pick up in the second quarter, and the June to September window remains "quite feasible" for the central bank to start raising interest rates.
  • 12:15 PM » On secular stagnation: Larry Summers responds to Ben Bernanke
    Published Wed, Apr 01 2015 12:15 PM by
    Larry Summers has responded to Ben Bernanke's post about secular stagnation : Ben Bernanke has inaugurated his blog with a set of thoughtful observations on the determinants of real interest rates (see his post here ) and the secular stagnation hypothesis that I have invoked in an effort to understand recent macroeconomic developments. I agree with much of what Ben writes and would highlight in particular his recognition that the Fed is in a sense a follower rather than a leader with respect to real interest rates - since they are determined by broad factors bearing on the supply and demand for capital - and his recognition that equilibrium real rates appear to have been trending downward for quite some time. His challenges to the secular stagnation hypothesis have helped me clarify my thinking and provide an opportunity to address a number of points where I think there has been some confusion in the public debate. Is Secular Stagnation all about the Zero Lower Bound on Nominal Interest Rates? The essence of secular stagnation is a chronic excess of saving over investment. The natural question for an economist to ask is how can such a chronic excess exist in flexible markets? In particular, shouldn’t interest rates adjust to equate saving and investment at full employment? The most obvious answer is that short term interest rates can’t fall below zero (or some bound close to zero) and this inhibits full adjustment. Ben is skeptical of the importance of this factor, noting that with a 2 percent inflation target real interest rates can fall to -2 percent. True enough. But, it is at least an open question whether central banks can always be credible in claiming they will hit their inflation targets. Market measures of expected inflation suggest that throughout the industrial world inflation may well fall short of 2 percent for a decade or more. Separately, it is worth noting that there may be other reasons why interest rate adjustment to equate saving...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 10:56 AM » U.S. Vacation-Home Sales Set Record as Economy Improves
    Published Wed, Apr 01 2015 10:56 AM by Bloomberg
    U.S. Vacation-Home Sales Set Record as Economy Improves Bloomberg (Bloomberg) -- Even before the remnants of eastern Massachusetts' snowiest winter have melted, second-home buyers flocking to Cape Cod's beach towns have helped Steve Clay's team of agents break their sales record. Clay, an agent with Keller Williams ...
  • 10:55 AM » The CFPB's contemplated payday/title/high-cost lending proposals: our initial reactions
    Published Wed, Apr 01 2015 10:55 AM by
    Jeremy T. Rosenblum Last Friday, we posted a summary of the contemplated CFPB proposals taking aim at payday (and other small-dollar, high-rate) loans ("Covered Loans"). In this blog post, we share our thoughts on the CFPB’s grounds for the proposals. Over the next few days, we will be publishing several additional blog posts to share our reactions to... More >
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 10:05 AM » March ISM manufacturing 51.5 vs. 52.9 in Feb
    Published Wed, Apr 01 2015 10:05 AM by CNBC
    This is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.. Analysts polled by Reuters forecast the ISM manufacturing index to dip slightly to 52.5 for the month of March.
  • 10:05 AM » Feb. US construction spending dips 0.1%; Jan revised down
    Published Wed, Apr 01 2015 10:05 AM by CNBC
    This is a breaking news story. Please check back for updates.. Analysts polled by Thomson Reuters expected construction spending to drop 0.1 percent in February versus a 1.1 percent drop in the previous month.
  • 8:34 AM » Mortgage applications surge on spring demand
    Published Wed, Apr 01 2015 8:34 AM by CNBC
    Despite volatility in interest rates, mortgage applications moved decidedly higher last week, continuing their strong stride into spring.
  • 8:33 AM » No Joke, U.S. Treasuries Tend to Rally in the Month of April
    Published Wed, Apr 01 2015 8:33 AM by Bloomberg
    Treasuries tend to rally in the month of April. U.S. government securities have advanced in the period every year from 2010 to 2014, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. One theory for the gain is that Japanese investors begin their fiscal year on April 1. Even though it's April Fool's Day, the five-year run is no gimmick. Kei Katayama at Daiwa SB Investments in Tokyo said it's driven by higher yields than those available in Japan.
  • 8:30 AM » Job growth takes step backward in March
    Published Wed, Apr 01 2015 8:30 AM by CNBC
    Private business job creation decelerated in March as an economic slowdown put a dent in activity.
  • 1:19 AM » News Release - Fannie Mae Releases February 2015 ...
    Published Wed, Apr 01 2015 1:19 AM by Fannie Mae
    The monthly summary report contains information about Fannie Mae's monthly and year-to-date activities for our gross mortgage portfolio.
  • 1:16 AM » Ex-Fannie Mae CEO testifies in $1 billion mortgage trial of Nomura, RBS
    Published Wed, Apr 01 2015 1:16 AM by Reuters
    NEW YORK (Reuters) - Former Fannie Mae CEO Daniel Mudd testified on Tuesday in a $1 billion civil trial over losses the company suffered on mortgage-backed securities and said it did not predict the severe decline in U.S. housing prices during the financial crisis.
  • 1:16 AM » Wednesday: Auto Sales, ADP Employment, ISM Mfg, Construction Spending and more
    Published Wed, Apr 01 2015 1:16 AM by Calculated Risk Blog
    Wednesday: • 7:00 AM ET, the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) will release the results for the mortgage purchase applications index . • At 8:15 AM, the ADP Employment Report for March . This report is for private payrolls only (no government). The consensus is for 225,000 payroll jobs added in March, up from 212,000 in February. • At 8:15 AM, the ISM Manufacturing Index for March . The consensus is for a decrease to 52.5 from 52.9 in February. The ISM manufacturing index indicated expansion in February at 52.9%. The employment index was at 51.4%, and the new orders index was at 52.5%. • At 10:00 AM, Construction Spending for February . The consensus is for a 0.2% increase in construction spending. • Early: Reis Q1 2015 Office Survey of rents and vacancy rates. • All day: Light vehicle sales for March . The consensus is for light vehicle sales to increase to 16.8 million SAAR in March from 16.2 million in February (Seasonally Adjusted Annual Rate).
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 1:14 AM » New York court dismisses foreclosure lawsuit against HSBC
    Published Wed, Apr 01 2015 1:14 AM by Reuters
    (Reuters) - A court in Buffalo, New York, dismissed a petition on Monday filed by New York state, alleging that HSBC Holdings Plc ignored a law designed to protect homeowners from being thrown into foreclosure without getting a chance to renegotiate their mortgages.
  • 1:10 AM » Europe seen lower as Greek reforms rejected
    Published Wed, Apr 01 2015 1:10 AM by CNBC
    European equities are expected to open lower on Wednesday as a list of reforms from Greece submitted to lenders was rejected.
  • Tue, Mar 31 2015
  • 4:26 PM » Bernanke Blog Part 2: Why are interest rates so low?
    Published Tue, Mar 31 2015 4:26 PM by
    Three of the most important objectives for economic policy are: Achieving full employment Keeping inflation low and stable Maintaining financial stability Larry Summers’ secular stagnation hypothesis holds that achieving these three goals simultaneously may prove very difficult. (See Larry’s statement of the case and a collection of short pieces on the subject by prominent economists .) The term “secular stagnation” was coined by Alvin Hansen in his 1938 American Economic Association presidential address, “Economic Progress and Declining Population Growth.” Writing in the latter stages of the Great Depression, Hansen argued that, because of apparent slowdowns in population growth and the pace of technological advance, firms were unlikely to see much reason to invest in new capital goods. He concluded that tepid investment spending, together with subdued consumption by households, would likely prevent the attainment of full employment for many years. Hansen proved quite wrong, of course, failing to anticipate the postwar economic boom (including both strong population growth—the baby boom—and rapid technological progress). However, Summers thinks that Hansen’s prediction was not wrong, just premature. For a number of reasons—including the contemporary decline in population growth, the reduced capital intensity of our leading industries (think Facebook versus steel-making), and the falling relative prices of capital goods—Larry sees Hansen’s prediction of limited investment in new capital goods and an economy that chronically fails to reach full employment as relevant today. If the returns to capital today are very low, then the real interest rate needed to achieve full employment (the equilibrium real interest rate) will likely also be very low, possibly negative. The recent pattern of slow economic growth, low inflation, and low real interest rates...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 4:25 PM » Treasury Repo Rates Surge to 2012 High Amid Quarter-End Pressure
    Published Tue, Mar 31 2015 4:25 PM by Bloomberg
    Treasury Repo Rates Surge to 2012 High Amid Quarter-End Pressure Bloomberg (Bloomberg) -- The rate for borrowing and lending Treasuries surged as banks reined in collateral lending to shore up balance sheets and those needing financing at quarter-end were forced to pay higher prices. The peak level Tuesday for financing ... and more »
  • 2:56 PM » QE4? It's down to the US consumer
    Published Tue, Mar 31 2015 2:56 PM by CNBC
    Nomura's Janjuah believes that any rate hike could be postponed and that more aggressive easing could be on the way.
  • 2:55 PM » Wells Fargo gets U.S. approval to use internal models for capital
    Published Tue, Mar 31 2015 2:55 PM by Reuters
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Wells Fargo won regulatory approval on Tuesday from federal banking regulators to use its own tailored risk models for determining its capital requirements.
  • 12:44 PM » Why Ben Bernanke Isn't Buying the Secular Stagnation Thesis
    Published Tue, Mar 31 2015 12:44 PM by WSJ
    Former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke has his doubts about secular stagnation.
  • 11:50 AM » A Comment on House Prices: Real Prices and Price-to-Rent Ratio in January
    Published Tue, Mar 31 2015 11:50 AM by Calculated Risk Blog
    The expected slowdown in year-over-year price increases has occurred. In October 2013, the National index was up 10.9% year-over-year (YoY). In January 2015, the index was up 4.5% YoY.  However the YoY change has only declined slightly over the last five months. Looking forward, I expect the YoY increases for the indexes to move more sideways (as opposed to down).   Two points: 1) I don't expect (as some) for the indexes to turn negative YoY (in 2015) , and 2) I think most of the slowdown on a YoY basis is now behind us. This slowdown in price increases was expected by several key analysts, and I think it was good news for housing and the economy. In the earlier post , I graphed nominal house prices, but it is also important to look at prices in real terms (inflation adjusted).  Case-Shiller, CoreLogic and others report nominal house prices.  As an example, if a house price was $200,000 in January 2000, the price would be close to $275,000 today adjusted for inflation (38%).  That is why the second graph below is important - this shows "real" prices (adjusted for inflation). It has been almost ten years since the bubble peak.  In the Case-Shiller release this morning, the National Index was reported as being 7.9% below the bubble peak.    However, in real terms, the National index is still about 21% below the bubble peak. Nominal House Prices The first graph shows the monthly Case-Shiller National Index SA, the monthly Case-Shiller Composite 20 SA, and the CoreLogic House Price Indexes (through January) in nominal terms as reported. In nominal terms, the Case-Shiller National index (SA) is back to May 2005 levels, and the Case-Shiller Composite 20 Index (SA) is back to December 2004 levels, and the CoreLogic index (NSA) is back to February 2005. Real House Prices The second graph shows the same three indexes in real terms (adjusted for inflation using CPI less Shelter). Note...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 11:49 AM » Blackstone Is Said to Raise $14.5 Billion for Real Estate Fund
    Published Tue, Mar 31 2015 11:49 AM by Bloomberg
    Blackstone Is Said to Raise $14.5 Billion for Real Estate Fund Bloomberg (Bloomberg) -- Blackstone Group LP has gathered $14.5 billion from institutions for a global real estate fund and plans to collect an extra $1.3 billion from individuals, a person with knowledge of the matter said. The world's biggest alternative-asset manager ... and more »
  • 10:35 AM » First-time home buyer is back
    Published Tue, Mar 31 2015 10:35 AM by CNBC
    The first time home buyer is coming back big this spring as mortgage rates fall and rents increase, according to Wall Street research.
  • 10:23 AM » Treasuries Post Longest Quarterly Streak of Gains Since 1998
    Published Tue, Mar 31 2015 10:23 AM by Bloomberg
    Treasuries Post Longest Quarterly Streak of Gains Since 1998 Bloomberg (Bloomberg) -- Treasuries are posting the longest stretch of quarterly gains since 1998, buoyed by a drop in inflation forecasts and the Federal Reserve's signal that policy makers won't rush to raise interest rates. Benchmark 10-year yields are down for the ... and more »
  • 8:37 AM » This New Indicator Shows There's No Bubble Forming in U.S. Housing
    Published Tue, Mar 31 2015 8:37 AM by Bloomberg
    Bloomberg This New Indicator Shows There's No Bubble Forming in U.S. Housing Bloomberg When a parking space in Manhattan costs $136,000 and only 15 percent of San Francisco's homes are affordable for the middle class, it's easy to worry that another housing bubble is around the corner. The vast majority of American homeowners have little to ...
  • 8:35 AM » Fed's Lacker: ‘Strong Case' to Be Made for June Rate Increase
    Published Tue, Mar 31 2015 8:35 AM by WSJ
    Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond President Jeffrey Lacker said Tuesday there is a "strong case" for the Fed to begin raising short-term interest rates at its June policy meeting. Mr. Lacker said improvements in labor market conditions and strong business investment should contribute to economic growth this year, despite the slow housing-market recovery and the challenge to exports from the stronger U.S. dollar.
  • 8:34 AM » No End in Sight for Bond Rally as ECB Spigot Spills Across Globe
    Published Tue, Mar 31 2015 8:34 AM by Bloomberg
    No End in Sight for Bond Rally as ECB Spigot Spills Across Globe Bloomberg (Bloomberg) -- Eventually, analysts who keep forecasting an end to the bond market's bull run will be correct. For now, they're still wrong. Just when it seemed bond yields that averaged 1.6 percent at year-end couldn't get any lower, Mario Draghi and the ...
  • 12:20 AM » Quarter ends, but volatility will not
    Published Tue, Mar 31 2015 12:20 AM by CNBC
    The second quarter is likely to start off just as volatile as the first, with the upcoming earnings season a key.
  • 12:19 AM » CFPB issues FDCPA 2015 report
    Published Tue, Mar 31 2015 12:19 AM by
    Barbara S. Mishkin The CFPB has issued its fourth annual FDCPA report covering the CFPB’s activities in 2014. The section of the report that reviews consumer complaints about debt collection received by the CFPB in 2014 recycles information contained in the CFPB’s latest Consumer Response Annual Report. In the section of the report about the CFPB’s supervision of... More >
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

  • 12:19 AM » Fischer suggests shadow bank regulations
    Published Tue, Mar 31 2015 12:19 AM by CNBC
    A top Fed official suggested regulations to reduce non-bank lending sector risks, while saying it is hard for the Fed to impose restrictions.
  • 12:16 AM » Treasuries Poised to Beat Stocks in March on Economic Outlook
    Published Tue, Mar 31 2015 12:16 AM by Bloomberg
    Treasuries Poised to Beat Stocks in March on Economic Outlook Bloomberg (Bloomberg) -- Treasuries were poised to outperform U.S. shares this month -- even after the Dow Jones Industrial Average rallied to a record. U.S. government securities have returned 0.5 percent through Monday, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
  • 12:15 AM » Kuroda Bond-Buying Stimulus Seen Nearing Limit as Market Shrinks
    Published Tue, Mar 31 2015 12:15 AM by Bloomberg
    Bloomberg Kuroda Bond-Buying Stimulus Seen Nearing Limit as Market Shrinks Bloomberg Haruhiko Kuroda, governor of the Bank of Japan, said the BOJ aimed to achieve the 2 percent inflation target in about two years when he took office in March 2013. Photographer: Yuriko Nakao/Bloomberg ... and more »
  • 12:15 AM » Tuesday: Case-Shiller House Prices, Chicago PMI
    Published Tue, Mar 31 2015 12:15 AM by Calculated Risk Blog
    From the WSJ: Fed's Fischer Floats Ideas for Regulating Shadow Banks The Federal Reserve's No. 2 official floated a series of ideas for regulating nonbank financial companies, the latest indication that top U.S. policy makers are focusing on risks in the so-called shadow banking sector. "While there has been progress on the financial reform front, we should not be complacent about the stability of the financial system," said Fed Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer in remarks prepared for a conference here hosted by the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. He noted existing rules create an incentive for risky activities to move into less-regulated financial firms and said "we should expect that further reforms will certainly be needed down the road." Tuesday: • 9:00 AM ET, the S&P/Case-Shiller House Price Index for January. Although this is the January report, it is really a 3 month average of November, December and January prices. The consensus is for a 4.6% year-over-year increase in the National Index for January. The Zillow forecast is for the National Index to increase 4.6% year-over-year in January, and for prices to increase 0.5% month-to-month seasonally adjusted. • At 9:45 AM, the Chicago Purchasing Managers Index for March. The consensus is for a reading of 50.2, up from 45.8 in February.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
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