Mortgage rates bottomed at 6 percent early in the week, down 0.75 percent in four days, and are back to 6.25 percent now (lowest fees). Five-something loans will have to wait for stabilization in global credit or effective federal intervention.

The depth of the recession ahead will depend on the job market, and the newest data shows surprising resilience: New claims for unemployment insurance are still inside the 60-day range, just under a half-million weekly. Since the onset of credit collapse on Sept. 15, the real economy has resembled the adversary of the great swordsman,

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