The week in financial markets: No sugarcoating it

What's happening with interest rates, global business and the stock market

Faster. Better. Together.
Inman Connect San Francisco, Jul 16-20, 2018

Tough week, tough day, and no way to sugar-coat. Long-term rates have broken out the top of five years of all-time-low rates, and only the stock market in free-fall has limited the rate damage. Mortgage rates today are 4.50% and may wander here temporarily before rising toward 5.00%, soon. The speed of change in markets now is beyond usual measurement, and more important is a shock to civilians. Freddie Mac has surveyed mortgage rates weekly for almost 50 years, and its reports get top billing by the media. The survey weakness: Freddie collects data early each week and releases on Thursdays -- yesterday’s finding of “4.22%” is a Jurassic Park classic, obsolete by a quarter-percent. Not only the speed of change, but a complete foundational reversal from the mental conditioning of the last fifteen years. It has been almost that long since the Fed embarked on a tightening cycle, also that long since market professionals worried that the Fed was too slow, too late, and catch...