Markets have entered a panicky freefall, the common precursor to at least a temporary rebound. Mortgages reached 5.75 percent, approaching the 5.25 percent all-time lows of '02-'04 from which rates vee'd up every time. Of course rates could go lower, even set a new record, but this is a bird-in-hand moment for refinancing. This adventure began in August with the onset of The Crunch. Through September the markets were aware of a modest crisis, one of those odd, transient, Fed-bank-plumbing things. Only credit market insiders were worried, staggered by the magnitude of potential loss. By October even the Fed had relaxed. Concern renewed and spread on news of defaults and losses in November and consumer weakness in December, but financial market opinion, especially in stocks, was st...
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