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EJ
03-20-07, 06:47 PM
http://www.itulip.com/images/snakeafter.gifCan the U.S. economy digest the trillion dollar ARMs egg?
March 20, 2007 (iTulip)

The U.S. housing market swallowed an egg. Two eggs, actually. The chart below shows one "egg" of loans re-pricing between three to 19 months from now, and another in a couple of years. The first egg is of the hard boiled subprime variety, the second a mix of prime, option and other non-subprime adjustable mortgages.

All that re-pricing means many billions of dollars that consumers will be paying for mortgages over the next few years, unless Big Al, who recommended ARMs in 2004, gets the last laugh after all. Maybe knows something we don't, like that we're going to see a massive asset deflation that drives down interest rates.

You can't throw a beer can out the window without hitting a reporter writing or talking about the bursting housing bubble.









http://www.itulip.com/images/armadjust.gif

This afternoon, NPR featured foreclosed on former property owners on a show about sub-prime loans. Newspapers ranging from the Wall Street Journal to your local rag are plastered with news of housing distress. It's enough to make a contrarian want to call a bottom. Just in time, along comes the Commerce Department today with the news that new home construction rebounded in February.
Home Construction Rebounds in February (http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/070320/economy.html?.v=10)
March 20, 2007 (Martin Crutsinger - AP Economics Writer)

Housing Construction Rebounds, but Drop in Building Permits Seen As Worrisome

New home construction rebounded in February following a steep January slide. But analysts pointed to a further decline in building permits as a worrisome signal of future problems for the troubled housing industry.
Alas, it is the second sentence that is most relevant: fewer permits means less building to come. Today we add another month to our housing permit recession prediction chart from October 2006.


http://www.itulip.com/images/permitsrecessionEM.gif


Since 1960, the U.S. economy has only experienced one recession not associated with a major decline in housing permits, the 2001 recession that followed the dot com and telco crash. The U.S. economy has never failed to experience a recession after housing permits issued declined more than 25% year-over-year. No exceptions. The new permits data show permits below the 25% Y-o-Y decline level and falling, after a slight bounce in December 2006.


http://www.itulip.com/images/permits00to07.gif


As long as Uncle Sam keeps creating new death and destruction products and services jobs to compensate for recent declines in jobs selling mortgages to drug addicts and poor old ladies, home prices will continue to drift down rather than crash. The relationship between jobs and home prices that we explained back in December 2005 holds. This chart is from the FDIC in 2004.


http://www.itulip.com/BLShousingpricesvsemployment.jpg


That said, in areas of the U.S. where the last vestiges of the Production/Consumption (PC) Economy (http://www.itulip.com/images/PC_Economy.gif) dissipate and are not replaced by Finance, Insurance, and Real Estate (FIRE) Economy (http://www.itulip.com/images/FIRE_Economy.gif) jobs, housing prices can collapse.
(http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070319/ts_nm/usa_subprime_detroit_dc;_ylt=Aov5dA96IapEm53NtFaK6 N0EtbAF)
Houses cheaper than cars in Detroit (http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20070319/ts_nm/usa_subprime_detroit_dc;_ylt=Aov5dA96IapEm53NtFaK6 N0EtbAF)
March 20, 2007 (Kevin Krolicki - Reuters)

With bidding stalled on some of the least desirable residences in Detroit's collapsing housing market, even the fast-talking auctioneer was feeling the stress.

"Folks, the ground underneath the house goes with it. You do know that, right?" he offered.

After selling house after house in the Motor City for less than the $29,000 it costs to buy the average new car, the auctioneer tried a new line: "The lumber in the house is worth more than that!"
Speaking of crashes, chalk up another convert to Ka-Poom Theory, none other than Rich Dad, Poor Dad author Robert Kiyosaki.
The Slow-Motion Stock Market Crash (http://finance.yahoo.com/expert/article/richricher/26878)

I predict that if there is a recession, current Fed chairman Ben Bernanke (and, in an attempt to hold onto the White House, the Republicans) will flood the market with more money at lower interest rates.

Then the purchasing power of the dollar will once again drop, asset prices may rise, and the financially naive will actually believe that the value of their assets -- houses, stocks, and mutual funds -- have gone up in value.
Actually, Ka-Poom, Real Dow, and our 2001 Gold Prediction all rolled into one. Welcome to the club, Robert!

The iTulip ShadowFed has been meeting to decide what the FOMC is likely to do tomorrow with rates and say about the future. The ShadowFed also offers advice to the FOMC on what the Fed ought to do. One of the inputs is this chart which shows a factor that has been a feature of the U.S. bond markets for many months now, an inverted yield curve. Except for iTulip's Eric Hodges reminding us of the fact every month, the inverted yield curve would be easy to forget about, like bald tires one forgets to replace; not a problem, until it rains.


http://www.itulip.com/images/yieldcurveR.gif


Add it all up–the drop off in building permits, a persistently inverted yield curve, and the ARM repricing eggs–and it looks like a recipe for rate cuts, if not for at least two factors that the Fed did not face the last time it considered rate cuts: $59 oil and $660 gold. Look for the ShadowFed announcement later today.

DemonD
03-20-07, 10:42 PM
[wrapright][/INDENT] Speaking of crashes, chalk up another convert to Ka-Poom Theory, none other than Rich Dad, Poor Dad author Robert Kiyosaki.
The Slow-Motion Stock Market Crash (http://finance.yahoo.com/expert/article/richricher/26878)

I predict that if there is a recession, current Fed chairman Ben Bernanke (and, in an attempt to hold onto the White House, the Republicans) will flood the market with more money at lower interest rates.

Then the purchasing power of the dollar will once again drop, asset prices may rise, and the financially naive will actually believe that the value of their assets -- houses, stocks, and mutual funds -- have gone up in value.
Actually, Ka-Poom, Real Dow, and our 2001 Gold Prediction all rolled into one. Welcome to the club, Robert!


You can blame part of this bubble on Kiyosaki and all the MLM shills out there. I know you have to be somewhat PC about popular figures Eric, but Kiyosaki does not deserve to be mentioned in legitimate financial discussions anymore than Dr. Seuss or Bozo the Clown.

I'm going to echo some sentiments from here and other blogs. It's absolutely horrendous what the Fed and bankers have done to our economy. If houses were supported by fundamentals instead of funny money games, many young professionals like myself would be able to actually be owning our homes, many hundreds of thousands of people would not be having their homes taken, credit ruined, and lives turned upside down. I get nauseous thinking about any bailout that will end up costing us, the responsible taxpaying people who didn't take on suicide loans or participate in this idiocy, while the bankers again get their elbows greased and maintain their luxurious lifestyles.

I could probably write a novel ranting about all the things I see that are wrong but thank goodness for places like itulip that are educating people on the real deal. I only wish that more people would wake up and smell the coffee.

miju
03-21-07, 06:45 AM
the question is not related to the job creation for the low income class. the question is : how are going to behave the high income class which is the representative of the asset class economy ? if prices of stock market and housing remain depressed then we know that these consumers will cool down their spending. But without stopping to consume will it be sufficient to bring a recession ? and what could push them to stop consuming ?
miju

ablevin
03-21-07, 10:40 AM
On the subject of $1 trillion, did I see correctly that China's central bank gov. Zhou Xiaochuan stated that China will no longer continue to accumulate foreign reserves? I have a hard time believing this, but god help us if that is true. Can you even imagine what would happen to the dollar and interest rates if China turned off the spigot so suddenly? I am having trouble conceiving of where all that capital would turn to. Equities markets already seem so bloated, China would have to be crazy to continue to fuel that fire. All signs point to domestic investment and consumption, all of which would riase commodities prices. I cannot conceive of any other conclusion. Anyone else care to venture a guess?

jk
03-21-07, 10:59 AM
the chinese have indicated that they will set up an investment fund of about $300 billion, perhaps modelled on singapore's scheme. since it seems unlikely, for many reasons, that they will liquidate 30% of their trillion $ portfolio overnight to fund such an entity, my guess is that they will direct new money that way, thus taking about 3 yrs to get the thing fully funded. the singapore set-up has both portfolio investments and owns whole companies.

there are many possible goals for the new chinese investments, especially as they will not necessarily be profit-maximizing in any short-term time frame. for example, they might invest evne more than they are now in big, long-term projects in africa- securing both natural resources and political alliances. they might do the same in latin america. how about joint ventures in eastern europe? might be a smart move financially, and would garner support in the e.u. in the meantime, this removes what has been ongoing support for the u.s. dollar and the bond market.

Finster
03-21-07, 02:44 PM
On the subject of $1 trillion, did I see correctly that China's central bank gov. Zhou Xiaochuan stated that China will no longer continue to accumulate foreign reserves? I have a hard time believing this, but god help us if that is true.

God help us if it's not. There are few certainties in life, but one of them is that China will not continue to accumulate dollars forever. The question is not whether it will stop accumulating, but how dependent on that accumulation we will be when it does.

And the answer to that is that the longer it goes on, the more dependent on it we will be. So the sooner it stops, the better off we will be.

fourthirtysix
03-21-07, 09:30 PM
As a real estate novice, could someone explain what Unsecuritized and Agency ARMs are? And why do they seem to rise just as the Subprimes are trailing off?

Thanks

Rajiv
03-22-07, 05:58 PM
Good article by Robin Blackburn <a href="http://counterpunch.org/blackburn03222007.html">Waiting for the Bodies to Float Up -
Toxic Waste in the Sub-Prime Market</a>