A big week ahead will bring the best chance to touch mortgage lows just under 5 percent, and also the best chance for chaos during the last 20-months' falling-apart. On Monday, Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner will tell us what sort of financial system we may look forward to, if any. The details are secret, hence no idea how markets will react. On Tuesday, Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke will begin two-day testimony to Congress. (I don't know who I would least like to be: Bernanke, a senator, or out here watching.) On Thursday, Treasury will complete the three-day sale of $67 billion in new bonds, and spasms like that are often followed by a modest rate decline. To set the stage: Today's job data were awful, unemployment to 7.6 percent, but very uneven regionally -- the worst in the "bubble" zones (California may have hit 10 percent). Press reports emphasize the number of jobs lost compared to the worst post-war recessions, but stick with percentages: The...
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