Industry NewsMortgage

Panic misses Main Street

Commentary: Don't expect fast action on rescue package

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Mortgage rates are stuck just above 6 percent, but at least they're not blowing up or shut down along with the rest of the credit world. We and our peers are operating normally. Passage of the rescue bill has pushed up long-term Treasury rates, as markets anticipate large sales of new Treasury bonds to raise bailout cash. The stock market has stopped nauseating freefalls twice this week. These moves also reflect hopes for coordinated global central bank rate cuts over the weekend and a Euro-zone version of our rescue package. New economic data are awful, with GDP obviously contracting in September. Auto sales fell below 1 million last month, 26 percent below last year. The always-reliable purchasing managers' "ISM" manufacturing index plunged from an expected 50 reading to 43.5 (50 is a breakeven economy, 44 is recession). New claims for unemployment insurance are running a sustained half-million each week, double the rate in a healthy economy. Today's crusher: ...