Poor payrolls in May, another weak Case-Shiller home-price report, and a big deceleration in manufacturing have pushed down hopes, stocks, bond yields and mortgages, now near 4.5 percent. However, the data do not support a return to recession: the ISM service-sector index actually improved to 54.6 in May from 52.8 in April.

Today’s greatest frustration among mortgage people — worse than all the new and self-defeating rules, worse than volume too low to make a living, worse than turning away good applicants — is to watch the White House, Congress and financial "experts" of all stripes discuss mortgage-market history, and attempt reinvention.

The Soviets did a more honest job with textbooks. Creationists have a better grasp of evolution. Little kids do better repeating a sentence down a long line of classmates. Daniel Patrick Moynihan: "You’re entitled to your own opinion, but not your own facts."

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