Financial markets size up new Fed chief

Interest rates, inflation become hot button

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Rates rose last week, the 10-year T-note reaching 4.6 percent at one point, taking low-fee mortgages to 6.25 percent. (Friday’s newspaper headlines, “Mortgages To New High”, refer to Freddie Mac’s lagged-survey discovery of 6.15 percent more than a week ago.)

I assume that mortgages will continue to rise during the Fed’s coming progression: another .25 percent on Tuesday (to a 4 percent overnight cost of money, 7 percent prime), another .25 percent on Dec. 13, and another on Feb. 1 – unless the economy croaks in the meantime.