Financial markets have quieted, more from exhaustion than resolution of the underlying credit panic. Agency mortgages never made it below 6.5 percent and are rising slightly now, and vanilla jumbos are still above 7 percent but easily available. Economy-watching is frozen by time lag. We won't get the first August data for another 10 days, and it's hard to believe that credit-crunch damage will show in employment data so quickly. August home-sales are closing on contracts written June-July, and a substantial decline in activity won't appear until September sales are reported in October. Given calm markets, and absent a weak-side surprise in August data, the Fed won't do any rate-cutting before its Sept. 18 meeting. The discount-window circus has been embarrassing. Federal Reserve ...
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