Happy New Year.
May You Have a Prosperous 2010. It's twenty ten.
BTW, look at the Blue Moon Tonight. They only occur once every 19 years.
Below is from Dr. Oz via www.huffingtonpost.com:
article link here.
article link here.
Wed, 2009-12-23 10:39 — NationalMortgag...
The Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA) has released its Weekly Mortgage Applications Survey for the week ending Dec. 18, 2009. The Market Composite Index, a measure of mortgage loan application volume decreased 10.7 percent on a seasonally adjusted basis from one week earlier. On an unadjusted basis, the Index decreased 10.9 percent compared with the previous week.
The Refinance Index decreased 10.1 percent from the previous week and the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index decreased 11.6 percent from one week earlier. The unadjusted Purchase Index decreased 13.4 percent compared with the previous week and was 32.7 percent lower than the same week one year ago.
The four week moving average for the seasonally adjusted Market Index is down 0.2 percent. The four week moving average is down 1.0 percent for the seasonally adjusted Purchase Index, while this average is up 0.6 percent for the Refinance Index.
The refinance share of mortgage activity increased to 75.9 percent of total applications from 75.2 percent the previous week. The adjustable-rate mortgage (ARM) share of activity decreased to 3.8 percent from 4.1 percent of total applications the previous week. The average contract interest rate for 30-year fixed-rate mortgages remained flat at 4.92 percent, with points increasing to 1.23 from 1.08 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent loan-to-value (LTV) ratio loans. The average contract interest rate for 15-year fixed-rate mortgages increased to 4.34 percent from 4.33 percent, with points increasing to 1.03 from 0.91 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans.
The average contract interest rate for one-year ARMs remained flat at 6.52 percent, with points remaining unchanged at 0.39 (including the origination fee) for 80 percent LTV loans.
For more information, visit www.mortgagebankers.org.
Moody's Investors Service has revised its loss projections for US prime jumbo residential mortgage backed securities (RMBS) issued between 2005 and 2008. On average, Moody's is now projecting cumulative losses of 3.8% for 2005 securitizations, 8.0% for 2006 securitizations, 10.9% for 2007 securitizations and 12.3% for 2008 securitizations, reported as a percentage of original balance. As a result of the revision, Moody's has now placed 4474 tranches of jumbo RMBS with an original balance of $234 billion and current outstanding balance of $143 billion, on review for possible downgrade.
To estimate losses, Moody's first projected delinquencies through the second half of 2010. Moody's estimated that the proportion of contractually current or 30-day delinquent loans today that will become seriously delinquent by the second half of 2010 will be 3.7%, 7.0%, 8.4%, and 9.4% for the 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008 vintages, respectively.
from the FT.
How the IRS sort-of-saved CitiPosted by Tracy Alloway on Dec 17 13:35.Who says the IRS isn’t, umm, understanding?
The US tax authority exempted the Citigroup, and some other bailed-out companies, from rules which would otherwise have led to the troubled bank losing $38bn worth of tax credits.
Citi had planned to repay the US government’s Tarp stake, and under IRS regulation, companies that encounter a change in ownership lose these tax credits. The rule is designed, according to the IRS, to prevent profitable companies from buying loss-making ones to evade taxes.
The rule-change has nevertheless raised eyebrows. From the Washington Post on Wednesday:
The federal government quietly agreed to forgo billions of dollars in potential tax payments from Citigroup as part of the deal announced this week to wean the company from the massive taxpayer bailout that helped it survive the financial crisis.
The Internal Revenue Service on Friday issued an exception to long-standing tax rules for the benefit of Citigroup and a few other companies partially owned by the government. As a result, Citigroup will be allowed to retain billions of dollars worth of tax breaks that otherwise would decline in value when the government sells its stake to private investors.
So Bernanke refinanced into a loan with a higher interest rate and with a larger mortgage payment for the security of a fixed rate. This suggests he thinks fixed mortgage rates have bottomed (otherwise he could have paid less on his mortgage, at a 3.75% interest rate, and then refinanced next year). He did not "have to do it".
From TIME Magazine: Person of the Year 2009 Extended Interview
TIME: Do you have a mortgage?
Bernanke: Oh, yes, we refinanced.
TIME: Oh, perfect. When?
Bernanke: About 5%. A couple of months ago.
TIME: Good time.
Bernanke: Yes. We had to do it because we had an adjustable rate mortgage and it exploded, so we had to.
TIME: So, did you get a fixed rate at 5%? I think this might be the most valuable piece of information. (Laughter.)
Bernanke: Thirty years fixed rate at a little over 5%.
“Mortgage rates in the United States have dropped to their lowest levels since the 1940s, thanks to a trillion-dollar intervention by the federal government. Yet the banks that once handed out home loans freely are imposing such stringent requirements that many homeowners who might want to refinance are effectively locked out.Sure, jumbo mortgage refinancing could save home-owners lotsof money they could then plow back into the economy — or even avoid foreclosure. But not if bank lending standards are too tight.
The scarcity of credit not only hurts homeowners but also has broad economic repercussions at a time when consumer spending and employment are showing modest signs of improvement, hinting at a recovery after two years of recession.”