Industry NewsMarkets & Economy

Housing really is turning

Future-Proof: Navigate Threats, Seize Opportunities at ICNY 2018 | Jan 22-26 at the Marriott Marquis, Times Square, New York

In the absence of meaningful U.S. data, European Central Bank rattling of the printing press has taken away some of the fearful bidding for Treasurys (10-year T-note in four days from 1.49 percent to 1.72 percent), and mortgage rates have risen a little as well. For us to return to interest rate lows or set new ones requires Armageddon over there or recession here. Instead, odds have risen for a new European can-kick, held for the moment by a new standoff: Spain and Italy need a lot of money, but those with the money will not offer it until asked. Spain and Italy will not ask until they know what strings will be attached. (No, I am not making this up.) Italy is the less weak of the two, and thus expects its promises alone will do, no strings. Spain already has strings: to cut its 8.5 percent of GDP budget deficit to 6.5 percent this year, to 4.5 percent next year, and to 2.8 percent in 2014. It's chances are about even with a six-legged, eight-eyed critter snapping an I...