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  • Tue, Dec 10 2013
  • 7:57 PM » Time for bond market to put down bets on Fed taper
    Published Tue, Dec 10 2013 7:57 PM by CNBC
    It's time for bond traders to place their bets on whether the Fed is ready to begin tapering its bond buying program.
  • 7:24 PM » Wonkblog: The Senate finally confirmed the most powerful man in housing. Here's what he might do.
    Published Tue, Dec 10 2013 7:24 PM by Washington Post
    In something of an anticlimax, the Senate on Tuesday took a procedural vote that paves the way for Rep. Mel Watt (D-N.C.) to head the Federal Housing Finance Agency. Watt's nomination had been among a handful that Republicans had held up prior to Senate Majority Leader Harry M. Reid (D-Nev.) using the nuclear option to alter the Senate rules on filibusters on presidential nominations. Read full article >>        
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Washington Post
  • 7:22 PM » Realtors® Applaud Confirmation of Watt as FHFA Director
    Published Tue, Dec 10 2013 7:22 PM by Google News
    WASHINGTON (December 10, 2013) – The following is a statement by National Association of Realtors® President Steve Brown: “NAR commends the U.S. Senate today for approving the nomination of Rep. Melvin Watt for the position of Federal Housing Finance Agency director. “During his two-decade tenure in Congress, Watt served on the U.S. House Financial Services Committee and was an outspoken advocate for homeownership. His leadership on the Subcommittee on Housing and Community Opportunity and the Subcommittee on Capital Markets, Insurance and... Read More
  • 7:20 PM » Chairman Hensarling Statement on Mel Watt's Confirmation
    Published Tue, Dec 10 2013 7:20 PM by House Financial Services
    Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling (R-TX) made the following statement after Rep. Mel Watt was confirmed today by the United States Senate as the Director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency.  "I congratulate my colleague Mel Watt on his confirmation.  As a senior member of the Financial Services Committee, he has been thoughtful and well-respected during his tenure.  My soon-to- be former colleague has big shoes to fill in replacing Acting Director DeMarco and I hope and challenge him to carry on Mr. DeMarco's policies.  "I want to praise Ed DeMarco for the commendable job he has done as FHFA's acting director. Mr. DeMarco put the interest of hardworking taxpayers first, standing strong against intense political pressure in Washington to do the opposite.  He furthered reform by establishing the Conservatorship Strategic Plan Scorecard, with the three defined goals of building a new securitization infrastructure, contracting the GSEs' dominant presence in the marketplace, and maintaining foreclosure prevention activities.  "It is also my hope that with a new FHFA Director, the Obama administration will work with us on the need to create a sustainable housing finance system for our nation.  "Since February 2011, the administration's " White Paper " on housing finance reform has essentially been collecting dust on some shelf in the basement.  It was 30 months later before President Obama bothered to turn his attention to the issue again with a speech - but just a speech, not a plan. Congress can't negotiate or pass a speech. "It's been five years since the financial crisis, which was caused in large part by federal policies that incented, mandated, and browbeat financial institutions to loan money to people to buy homes they ultimately could not afford.  It's been three years since the administration's...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: House Financial Services
  • 7:14 PM » Budget deal reached amid conservative opposition
    Published Tue, Dec 10 2013 7:14 PM by Reuters
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Budget negotiators in the Congress have reached an agreement on Tuesday that, if approved by the House and Senate, could restore some order to the nation's chaotic budget process and avoid another government shutdown on January 15.
  • 5:12 PM » Budget Deal Isn't Guaranteed to Pass the House - Bloomberg
    Published Tue, Dec 10 2013 5:12 PM by Bloomberg
    Budget Deal Isn't Guaranteed to Pass the House Bloomberg The budget deal that Representative Paul Ryan and Senator Patty Murray are almost certain to reach today or tomorrow will be a tough sell in the House of Representatives. The leaders of the two congressional budget committees are on the verge of a  ... and more »
  • 4:07 PM » Is Job Market Stronger Than Fed Thinks?
    Published Tue, Dec 10 2013 4:07 PM by WSJ
    Is the labor market better than Federal Reserve officials think? Two reports released Tuesday confirm the demand for labor is picking up at least for this quarter.
  • 4:06 PM » Watt nears U.S. Senate confirmation as housing regulator
    Published Tue, Dec 10 2013 4:06 PM by Reuters
    WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Democratic Representative Mel Watt’s nomination to lead the agency that regulates taxpayer-owned mortgage financiers Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac looked set for final approval on Tuesday after clearing a hurdle in the U.S. Senate. President Barack Obama nominated Watt in May to head the Federal Housing Finance Agency, but Republicans worried he [...]
  • 3:07 PM » SIFMA Comments on the Volcker Rule
    Published Tue, Dec 10 2013 3:07 PM by SIFMA
    SIFMA Comments on the Volcker Rule<br/>http://www.sifma.org/newsroom/2013/sifma-comments-on-the-volcker-rule/
  • 1:40 PM » Everything You Need to Know About the Volcker Rule
    Published Tue, Dec 10 2013 1:40 PM by business.time.com
    You’ve probably heard the term “Volcker Rule” thrown around a lot, especially as five separate financial regulators vote on whether to approve the final rule Tuesday. Here’s everything you need to know about about this central piece of the 2010 Dodd-Frank financial reform bill. Who is the Volcker behind the Volcker Rule? The rule was named for Paul Volcker, the chair of the Federal Reserve from 1979-1987. What does the rule do? The original intent of the rule was to ban banks who accept federally insured deposits (like your savings account) from making speculative bets with that money. Banks should be able to make home loans, for instance, but speculating on stock prices would be banned. As Volcker himself wrote last year: "The basic public policy set out by the Dodd-Frank legislation is clear: the continuing explicit and implicit support by the Federal government of commercial banking organizations can be justified only to the extent those institutions provide essential financial services." That seems pretty straight forward. Why did it take so much time to implement the rule? Because banks make a lot of money from activities that would be banned under this rule, and because a lot of legitimate activity might have been banned by a rule as simple as the one Volcker described, the financial industry fought its implementation tooth and nail. Many banks, for instance, make money simply by buying and selling securities for their customers. This business, called market making, involves keeping an inventory of financial instruments on your books and adjusting that inventory to meet demand. Another legitimate activity banks undertake is buying and selling derivatives in order to hedge risks associated with “providing essential financial services.” A mortgage-lending bank, for instance, will want to buy certain derivates designed to hedge against rising or falling interest rates. For the...
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: business.time.com
  • 1:33 PM » The new mortgage landscape: What you need to know
    Published Tue, Dec 10 2013 1:33 PM by CNBC
    The spring could bring a new surge in home sales, but buyer demand will be hit head-on by changes unfolding in the mortgage business. Learn more.
  • 12:39 PM » Las Vegas Real Estate in November: Year-over-year Non-contingent Inventory up 77.4%
    Published Tue, Dec 10 2013 12:39 PM by Calculated Risk Blog
    This is a key distressed market to follow since Las Vegas has seen the largest price decline of any of the Case-Shiller composite 20 cities. The Greater Las Vegas Association of Realtors reported GLVAR reports home prices, sales, supply dip heading into holidays
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Calculated Risk Blog
  • 11:26 AM » Federal government shutdown created drag on D.C. area housing market
    Published Tue, Dec 10 2013 11:26 AM by Washington Post
    The Washington area housing market felt the effects of the government shutdown last month, according to data released Tuesday by RealEstate Business Intelligence , a subsidiary of MRIS. The 16-day partial shutdown of the federal government in early October created a drag on the Washington area housing market, causing home sales to plummet, purchase contracts to dwindle and the number of properties for sale to wane. Read full article >>        
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: Washington Post
  • 11:25 AM » Job openings up in October
    Published Tue, Dec 10 2013 11:25 AM by CNBC
    The number of open jobs rose in October, the Labor Department said, adding another data point to the coming Federal Reserve taper decision.
  • 11:25 AM » Bank of America CEO: Volcker won't change anything
    Published Tue, Dec 10 2013 11:25 AM by Market Watch
    NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- Bank of America Corp. CEO Brian Moynihan says the Volcker rule will not dramatically change anything at the firm, speaking at the Goldman Sachs Financial Services conference. The rule, that is part of the Dodd-Frank law, was to be voted on by regulators on Tuesday and was released during his speech. Moynihan said changes have "already been made," at the firm to accommodate the new regulations, including curbing proprietary trading and private equity. On the firm's ongoing litigation troubles stemming from the financial crisis, the firm has paid out $43 billion in the last four years. The firm is still facing $9 billion in litigation expenses and have $14 billion in reserves, the CEO confirmed in his comments. He said the big pieces left in terms of securities litigation impacting the firm have to do with American International Group Inc. and the Federal Housing Finance Agency. "We continue to work though this and we have made a lot of processes," said Moynihan.
  • 11:24 AM » Should D.C.'s Poor Get to Keep Their Housing Windfall? - Bloomberg
    Published Tue, Dec 10 2013 11:24 AM by Bloomberg
    Should D.C.'s Poor Get to Keep Their Housing Windfall? Bloomberg Washington, D.C., like many cities, has affordable housing programs aimed at promoting home-ownership among its lower-income citizens. And like many cities, Washington is experiencing rising home prices. This has left it with a bit of a conundrum, writes  ...
  • 9:17 AM » In the U.S., Economic Confidence Continues Its Recovery
    Published Tue, Dec 10 2013 9:17 AM by www.gallup.com
    Americans' confidence in the economy is still slowly recovering from its government shutdown-induced plunge. Gallup's Economic Confidence Index averaged -22 last week, up from -39 in mid-October, but below the -15 from mid-September.
    Click Here to Read the Full Article

    Source: www.gallup.com
  • 9:16 AM » Why Is Everybody Sitting on Huge Piles of Cash? - Bloomberg
    Published Tue, Dec 10 2013 9:16 AM by Bloomberg
    Why Is Everybody Sitting on Huge Piles of Cash? Bloomberg Consider this interesting divergence: Despite a plethora of bubble talk, chatter about high cyclically adjusted price-earnings valuations and market tops, investors have been carrying an awful lot of cash. This is not a new phenomenon, but rather, has been a  ...
  • 9:11 AM » Wells Fargo Plans Two-Year Ethics Review as Banks Face Scrutiny - Bloomberg
    Published Tue, Dec 10 2013 9:11 AM by Bloomberg
    Wells Fargo Plans Two-Year Ethics Review as Banks Face Scrutiny Bloomberg Wells Fargo & Co. (WFC), which has set aside the least money for legal costs among the four biggest U.S. banks, will conduct an internal review of its ethics as the industry grapples with a surge in probes and lawsuits. The analysis led by Christine Meuers,  ... and more »
  • 8:04 AM » Toll Earnings Beat Estimates as Luxury-Home Prices Climb
    Published Tue, Dec 10 2013 8:04 AM by Bloomberg
    Toll Earnings Beat Estimates as Luxury-Home Prices Climb Bloomberg Toll Brothers Inc. (TOL), the largest U.S. luxury-home builder, reported fiscal fourth-quarter earnings that beat analyst estimates as prices for its houses climbed. Net income for the three months through October was $94.9 million, or 54 cents a share, the  ...
  • 8:02 AM » US bonds edge higher ahead of JOLTS report
    Published Tue, Dec 10 2013 8:02 AM by CNBC
    U.S. Treasury bonds crept higher on Tuesday, ahead of the publication of the JOLTS jobs openings report.
  • 8:01 AM » Back on top: How a troubled bank returned to life
    Published Tue, Dec 10 2013 8:01 AM by CNBC
    BankUnited, which failed in Florida during the financial crisis, is opening branches in New York. A look at who's behind its big turnaround.
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Mortgage Rates:
  • 30 Yr FRM 3.86%
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  • 15 Yr FRM 3.12%
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  • Jumbo 30 Year Fixed 3.73%
MBS Prices:
  • 30YR FNMA 4.5 108-12 (0-01)
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  • 30YR FNMA 5.0 110-12 (0-02)
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  • 30YR FNMA 5.5 111-25 (0-00)
Recent Housing Data:
  • Mortgage Apps 4.93%
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  • Refinance Index 0.90%
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  • FHFA Home Price Index 0.67%