Mortgage rates are in the process of crossing above 6.5 percent in panicky trading, and new economic reports are not the cause. Rates are going up because the Fed is pushing them up in unison with the Bank of Japan and the European Central Bank, which raises three questions: why are they going higher, how far are they going, and when are they going to do visible damage to the (global) economy? The 10-year T-note, immobile below 4.5 percent during the first 13 quarter-point Fed hikes from summer 2004 through last December, began to move tick-for-tick with the Fed's overnight cost of money in January. Fed to 4.5 percent on Feb. 1, bonds to 4.5 percent; as this week's Fed meeting approached, 4.75 percent a certainty, bonds went to 4.75 percent. The Fed next meets on May 10, and bonds aren't ...
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