An economic Manhattan Project

Commentary: Conventional weapons can't fix financial mess

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Long-term rates rose this week, mortgages up to 5.25 percent even with a 1 percent origination fee. Refinance demand, fear of massive sales of Treasury bonds ahead, and a new banking freeze combined to do the damage.

Refinance demand is big, but not comparable to 2003. Yes, the industry is 75 percent smaller, but this time only the very best applicants have access to good rates.