Mortgage

Time to redesign our system of mortgage lending

The Fed has been it since 2008, and now owns $1.7 trillion in home loans

Long-term rates have stabilized, mortgages just under 4.5 percent, but markets are rattled and it’s hard to tell exactly who or what is doing the shaking. The Fed has everybody uneasy, simultaneously saying it may raise the cost of money faster than markets think, but is not in a hurry, but will do something next year, which draws ever-closer. Lou Barnes expands on some of the ideas discussed in this column. The stock market hit a li’l air pocket, but it’s very difficult for stocks to "correct" deeply, as so many have forecast. If you sell, where will you go? Cash pays nothing and bonds are vulnerable. Bill Gross, greatest bond trader of all time, has left Pimco for far-smaller Janus, apparently one sunrise ahead of a firing squad. Age is kind to some of us, not to others. The bond market fears that Pimco will dump Gross’ bloated holdings. Economic data are OK, but for the umpteenth month not accelerating. Housing is flat, sales of existing homes not increasi...