Interest Rates Still at Precipice

The conventional wisdom is that as stock prices fall investors move money into “safe-haven” investments like bonds. This drives bond prices up, and thus yields down, so when stock prices fall, interest rates usually go lower. (This is a simplification, but for our purposes today will do.) Stock prices that are arguably inflated, international economic...

How Many More Bad Loans Are There?

We’re done with getting rid of all the underwater home owners with bad loans, right? Not by a long shot.  Today’s Mortgage Servicing News reports that non-performing loans are down significantly from the peak in 2010, but still three times higher than the pre-crisis level.  In other words, still quite high. According to Jackie Stewart,...

Wells Fargo Sued by Oakland for Predatory Lending

I’m beating a dead horse, I know, and I’ve beat this horse in the past.  But one of the worst practices that caused the financial crisis (and one of the reasons we are facing such enormous regulatory pressure in our industry today) was lenders selling sub-prime loans to uninformed borrowers who should have gotten prime...

No Fed Rate Hike! What Does That Mean for Mortgages?

No Fed Rate Hike!  The board of governors of the Federal Reserve decided, as expected, not to raise the discount rate that they charge to banks at their meeting of September 16. The vote was 9-1, and for sure some on the board are hawkish about inflation, and want to raise rates sooner rather than...

Want to Buy a Private Island?

Here’s a fun little item from SFGate  today: Price for private island in San Francisco Bay drops to $5 million By KRISTIN J. BENDER SAN FRANCISCO — In a city with some of the highest home prices in the country, a private island in the San Francisco Bay is now for sale for $5 million....