'Wait and see' crisis management

Commentary: Fannie, Freddie purchases will buy time for mortgatge rates

A good-news week in the credit patch — an exceedingly odd mix, but good.

Weakness in Europe, authorities in China tightening into a bubble, a softening data-pattern here, an add to mortgage supply and a woozy stock market conspired to hold lowest-fee mortgages to 5.25 percent, the post-August high. That despite Treasury auctions of $81 billion in long-term paper. Bond ghouls love lousy news.

The National Federation of Independent Business survey (www.nfib.com, "SBET") in January found no meaningful improvement in a small-business "L" non-recovery, and overall retail sales poked along at a 0.4 percent gain.