Industry NewsMarkets & Economy

Low rates won’t fix economy

Commentary: Declines in mortgage, Treasury rates don't change underlying fundamentals

Before markets reversed in short-covering and profit-taking, 10-year T-notes fell to 3.09 percent and mortgages briefly to 4.75 percent. Typical of "flights to quality," Treasurys fell further than mortgages and reversed harder, now 3.33 percent and 4.875 percent, respectively. Nothing has changed in the fundamentals behind the rate decline, certainly not in Europe. U.S. manufacturing has enjoyed temporary inventory rebuilding and export sales (April orders for durable goods soared 2.9 percent), but the overall economy is more "L" than "U."  April personal spending was flat, and weekly claims for unemployment insurance have now failed to improve for five straight months. April and May housing numbers reflect the crowding to beat the tax credit expiration. However, housing reality lies in the first-quarter FHFA appraisal-based report: Of 301 metropolitan statistical areas, all but 10 lost value year-over-year. Not even record-low ...