Industry NewsMortgage

Credit crunch is worsening

Future-Proof: Navigate Threats, Seize Opportunities at ICNY 2018 | Jan 22-26 at the Marriott Marquis, Times Square, New York

We saw the first low-fee 30-year mortgage trades this week with a "5" in front (fleeting 5.875 percent), but carry this thought foremost: the low for mortgages will be at the moment of greatest fear, possibly right now. The moment the authorities engage effectively in stopping the worst credit crisis since the 1930s, mortgage rates will bottom -- no matter how far the Fed cuts its cost of money in the months ahead. The Fed and Treasury are miles from success, but this week for the first time show understanding that the credit crunch is worsening, and that new approaches are necessary (see tough-minded Lawrence Summers' "Wake Up to Deepening Crisis" on, November 25). I believe that we are in a public-policy transition between a financial matter lost by error and delay since August to a political matter (read: "bailout"). The economic data are grim: November layoffs are up 40,000 weekly from mid-year; orders for durable goods fell 0.7 percent in October; and home prices fell m...