AgentIndustry News

Low rates: Good news, bad news

Commentary: Pent-up housing demand not enough

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Long-term interest rates have fallen in dramatic fashion in the last 24 hours, the 10-year Treasury-note to 3.51 percent and low-fee mortgages to 5.25 percent. Inflation freaks and dollar bears caved in, as no data supported their theories. "Green shooters" were confounded by a rise in new claims for unemployment insurance to 627,000, halfway back to the April peak, and their hopes do not square with Warren Buffet's description of the economy as "a wreck." The most important catalyst for the bond rally: The European Central Bank loaned half a trillion euros in one whack to Euro-zone banks, at a cost of 1 percent for one year -- unmistakable commitment to low rates for a long time. That ECB action gave context to our Fed's "extended period" language, and blew up the silly talk of a Fed rate hike. Low rates are good news, but they are low because we're still in trouble. Public commentary on "housing bottom" is still detached from realit...