Industry NewsMarkets & Economy

Beware undertones in Fed-speak

Commentary: FHA a scapegoat in 'moral treasure hunt'

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Long-term rates are again approaching four-month lows, with 10-year T-notes just above the magic 3.28 percent level; break that and low-fee mortgages will cross just under 5 percent. If that blessed moment should arrive, do not wait for lower or expect sub-5 percent to last more than a few hours: Surviving mortgage lenders will yell "Now!" to a few million boat-missing refinance candidates, and that renewed demand must be worked off before any deeper drop. The moment will be a blessing for us, but caused by bad news for the economy. The "V"-shaped-recovery "Green Shooters" lost a lot of ground to the "L"-shaped non-recoverists this week, the few growth items offset by flatteners and an unsettling statement from the Fed. The good stuff: New claims for unemployment insurance fell to a cycle-low 530,000 last week, still double a healthy level and not a confirmed trend, but crawling down 25,000 or so every couple of months. August figures p...