"The property bubble is everything to this economy and the country’s citizens, whether they know it or not, are 'all in'." Those who so to speak 'live inside the bubble' are no longer aware of its dangers. The mentality of Australians is generally well aligned with the country’s great weather – their outlook usually tends to be 'happy-go-lucky' and optimistic; but Australia’s citizens have far greater exposure to the bubble than is immediately obvious.
Don't look now, but the chickens may be coming home to roost in subprime auto, a space we've been warning on for years. As lenders continue to lower their underwriting standards in order to feed Wall Street's securitization machine, more and more dodgy loans have found their way into ABS collateral pools. Now, the delinquencies are piling up.
Despite the biggest annual jump in existing home sales since July 2013, even the NAR's perpetually cheerful Larry Yun is starting to get worried about the bubbly nature of the existing housing market: "The spring buying season is right around the corner and current supply levels aren't even close to what's needed to accommodate the subsequent growth in housing demand," says Yun. "Home prices ascending near or above double-digit appreciation aren't healthy – especially considering the fact that household income and wages are barely rising."
The biggest question on all traders' minds will be whether the bear market short squeeze that sent the S&P higher by 130 points in 6 days, is finally over - with most global market rolling over and with US equity futures unable to find their solid early morning footing, it may finally be time to cash out of the bear market rally which so many predicted, and which GSBank yesterday may have top-ticked with perfection.
In what looks like a spiteful move designed to undercut the FHA, Bank of America has partnered with Freddie Mac on a new mortgage scheme that will allow borrowers to make down payments as low as 3%. Because that's just what taxpayers need. Fannie and Freddie making more bad loans.
“The most serious risk and the one that has the most potential for escalating in the future is the enterprises’ lack of capital," Fannie's top regulator, Mel Watt says. The GSEs' capital buffer is being steadily depleted as the government sweeps the entirety of the businesses' profits, putting taxpayers in the absurd position of having to bail out two entities they've already bailed out due to the constraints imposed in an effort to recoup the first bailout.
Three wees ago, we mocked Canadian Bill Ring who said "I don’t want to invest in stocks because they’re crazy and real estate is a solid, safe investment." We mocked Bill. Little did we know that Bill would have the last laugh less than three weeks later...
“Hi Americans! Donald Trump may become the President of your country! If that happens, and you decide to get the hell out of there, might I suggest moving to Cape Breton Island!”
TIMING AN EXIT is folly.
As you might have noticed, the Fed made a policy mistake in December. We could delve deeply into the specifics, but quite frankly it all boils down to this: Yellen hiked right into a recession. With the pressure mounting, and with Janet Yellen having failed (miserably) to reassure the market with her testimony on Capitol Hill earlier this month, what’s in the cards for the Fed if the situation (both in financial markets and in the real economy) continues to deteriorate?
- Futures rise as oil gains hold steady (Reuters)
- China promises economic stability as G20, parliament loom (Reuters)
- Obama scolds Senate Republicans for Supreme Court threat (Reuters)
- China Deploys Missiles on Disputed South China Sea Island (WSJ)
- China Ramps Up Rhetoric, Plans New Steps to Juice Up Economy (BBG)
- China Loses Control of the Economic Story Line (WSJ)
It has been a morning session of two halves. In Asia, the mood was somber, and stocks fell with the Shanghai Composite (+1.1%) outperforming on another late session binge-fest by the National Team. The European session on the other hand surged higher and did not look back when the USDJPY proceeded to soar 100 pips from overnight lows, and push the Stoxx 600 +1.7% and US equity futures up with it, with the ES trading above 1900 as of this posting, adding to the best 2-day rally in the S&P in five months.
It's a tale of two cities in Canada where Vancouver's home prices in Vancouver are literally off the charts, while condos sales in beleaguered Calgary fell by 38% last year, the largest decline since the crisis.
One day after markets saw a violent return of optimism, which sent stocks around the globe and US equity futures soaring (the US was closed for President's Day) driven by terrible Japanese and Chinese economic data which in turn hinted at more central bank easing, animal spirits have cooled off despite some truly unprecedented Chinese credit numbers.
One place that provides some glimpse into true price discovery was the just completed government tender, in which a parcel of land sold by the government in the New Territories went for nearly 70% less per square foot than a similar transaction in September.