• HELOC Help

    For the week ending 3/18/20, home equity loans outstanding rose $2.3 billion to $317.2 billion. Outside of an increase during the last government closure, this was the first increase in home equity loans since the week ending 2/1/12, when they rose $4.7 billion to $553 billion. This is identical to … [Read More...]

  • Frequent Flicks

    The Friday File: 8% of American who were recently surveyed considered “binge-watching” to consist of watching two straight episodes of a show. 27% thought three back-to-back episodes qualified as binge-watching, and 22% thought four episodes is what is needed. 13% thought it was five episodes, 5% … [Read More...]

  • Mortgage Money

    While interest rates on Treasuries have hit all-time lows, mortgage rates have fallen, but not as much. There are at least three reasons. First, if rates keep falling, prepayments will increase, hurting mortgage investors. Second, lower rates suggest the economy is weakening and that can boost … [Read More...]

  • Overwhelming Ovechkin

    The Friday File: Last Saturday, 34-year old Alexander Ovechkin of the Washington Capitals scored his 700th NHL goal, placing him 8th on the all-time list. More amazingly, he is currently 3rd in goal scoring this year, and at his current pace (and he shows no signs of slowing), in four years he’ll … [Read More...]

  • Generation Gap

    In 1990, when the Baby Boomers median age was 35, they owned 21% of the nation’s wealth. In 2008, when Generation Xers median age was 35, they owned 9% of the nation’s wealth. While Millennials median age will not hit 35 until 2023, their share of the nation’s wealth will have to triple from its … [Read More...]


Developing Destruction

Developing nations are being hit hard due to indirect effects of Sars-Cov-2. Monies sent home from those working in developed nations has plummeted, tourism revenues have evaporated, and collapsing commodity prices have reduced export earnings. Additionally, the strong US dollar has made paying US … [Read more...]


Awesome Anniversary

The Friday File: Tomorrow’s our 244th birthday! In 1776, there were 2.5 million residents of the world’s newest nation, today there are 329.9 million. The state with the longest name, the State of Rhode Island and Providence Plantations. The place with the highest per capita income, DC at $200,000, … [Read more...]


Exceptional Employment

Net job gains in June were an eyepopping 4.8 million, up from 2.7 million in May! The corrected unemployment rate is down to a still painfully high 12.1% from 16.3% last month. However, new Covid-19 cases are skyrocketing and at 50,000/day are squeezing restaurants/hotels/bars/gyms/retail and … [Read more...]


Divided Dwellings

May existing home sales fell 26.6% Y-o-Y to 3.91 million, the lowest level of annualized activity since 10/10. Conversely, May new home sales rose 12.7% Y-o-Y to 676,000. May new home sales reflect May signed contracts. May existing sales reflect contracts signed in March and April. As a result, … [Read more...]


Credit Conundrum

As part of the CARES Act, lenders that allow borrowers to defer debt payments may not report those payments as late to credit-reporting firms. As such, borrower FICO scores are no longer as good at separating good borrowers from bad. As a consequence, many lenders are compensating by tightening … [Read more...]


Vital Virology

New CDC estimates suggest more than 20 million persons living in the US have contracted Covid-19, roughly 10 times the official count. This means even with all the interventions aimed at reducing Sars-Cov-2 illnesses, the death rate is about 0.6%, six times greater than the annual flu. As for herd … [Read more...]


Seat Sale

The Friday File: The inflation-adjusted cost of the Mercury space program was $140 million/seat/flight. The Gemini program that followed was $120 million/seat/flight and the Apollo missions were a hefty $400 million/seat/flight. The reusable, and cheaper, Space Shuttle came in at $170 … [Read more...]


Covid-19 Complications

While first-time unemployment claims fell 60,000 last week to 1.48 million, they’re barely down from 1.54 million two weeks ago and 1.57 million three weeks ago. Prior to Covid-19, the record high was 695,000! Contemporaneously, the number of unemployed fell by 767,000 to 19.6 million. First-time … [Read more...]


Suburban Strength

In 2010/11, US cities grew 1.07% while suburbs grew 0.91%, a difference of 0.16 percentage points. That gap peaked at 0.25 in 2011/12 when cities grew 1.17% and suburbs 0.92%. The growth gap persisted for three more years but narrowed. By 2014/15, cities grew 1.03% while suburbs expanded by 0.95%. … [Read more...]


Possible Probabilities

While US equities continue recovering lost ground, markets may be discounting two key risks. The first, a powerful fall Covid-19 wave, let alone the current rise in new case counts in AZ, CA, FL, TX and elsewhere. Second, markets appear to be ignoring polls suggesting Democrats will almost certainly … [Read more...]