Markets & Economy

The recovery depends on housing, and housing depends on mortgage credit

Commentary: Give thanks daily for the Fed and Fannie Mae

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The Shutdown has opened, but has been replaced by Stuck. Interest rates are stuck, the 10-year Treasury wandering north of 2.5 percent, and mortgages wandering south of 4.5 percent. Delayed September data is slow-side: factory production up 0.1 percent, retail sales ex-autos no gain at all, core CPI up 0.1 percent, and only 1.2 percent year-over-year. In the first glimpse of October the manufacturing ISM pink-cheeked to 56.4, up 0.2 from September, but given the Shutdown no telling its validity. "Obamacare" is stuck. Hoo-ee, baby. Any big-website rollout will have trouble, and techies tell me the expected failure rate is 50 percent. However, those not experienced in running large organizations have management confused with flipping switches. This executive branch has even less management experience than its predecessor, these the two least experienced since Harding. In an irony of the stuck, we won't be able to tell if "Obamacare" will work until it starts to. The Fed...