Mortgage rates popped up today, but not far. A 1 percent origination fee still buys a "four" in front. The rise came partly in normal protective selling in advance of a four-day weekend, including MLK and inauguration. However, other upward pressures may be more durable. Refinance demand is overwhelming. Also, flight-to-quality buying of bonds abated when the stock market reinforced its November low, and upon signs of effective banking-system rescue by the "Obamanauts." U.S. rates are down here at 225-year lows because we're in trouble; when trouble recedes, rates will rise. The handoff of executive authority from Bush to Obama began in disorderly fashion weeks ago, as the exhausted administration ceased to function. The dead end came last night, as President Bush expressed pride in "making the tough decisions." You can train a pigeon to make decisions. "Deciding" has no content; only quality counts. A few holdovers and unconfirmed...
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