All U.S. interest rates have broken lower. The mortgage-defining 10-year T-note is trading at 4.4 percent, down from 4.7 percent last week, but mortgages will be slow to follow. Even agency loans are stuck in credit fear, but are likely to approach 6 percent soon. Fed-defining short-term rates have dived almost a half-percent, a sure sign of renewed credit panic. A Fed cut on Halloween, doubtful on Monday, is now a sure thing. What the hell happened so fast? (As I recite developing misery, a note on morale to people near real estate markets, civilians and pros: Bad news is the only way for us to get the lower rates that our markets need. As Mom said, keep your eye on the doughnut, not the hole.) The market sea-change has been driven by a change in awareness, not data. A one-week pop in new claims for unemployment insurance may turn into a trend, but is not yet; and anyone surprised by the new report of plunging in sales of new homes has been vacationing on another planet. Since the Aug...
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