Industry NewsMarkets & Economy

Don’t count on a double-dip recession

Commentary: U.S. economic picture unchanged despite European crisis

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Maintain a sense of humor. Most of the following could not be made up. Freddie Mac yesterday announced the lowest mortgage rates ever found in its 40-year survey: 3.94 percent with a 0.8 percent origination fee. National media today trumpet that result. Freddie Mac takes its horse-and-buggy survey early each week and releases it on Thursdays; in a financial world that has operated fully in real time for 20 years, consensus rates available at a keystroke, Freddie reports 3-day-old trash. Clueless. In real time, rates rose all week long, today at about 4.25 percent, completing a second, perfect two-week cycle: the 10-year Treasury note broke below 2 percent to 1.72 percent Sept. 22, taking mortgages below 4 percent for the best borrowers (only). That lasted two days. By Sept. 28, the 10-year was back to 1.99 percent, mortgages to 4.125 percent. Over the last weekend, 10-year Treasurys fell to 1.75 percent and mortgages to 3.875 percent. Today, the 10-year is at 2.1 percent. Th...