Archive for July, 2006

Mary, Mary….

Bonds seem to like the weak economic data we’ve been getting lately. Over the past couple days we’ve picked up almost .125% (one-eighth) in rate pricing. If you don’t know what that means, you haven’t been paying attention.

Blogging has gotten more and more complicated with the expansion of the business. We have currently got 34 clients/loans we’re working with, and that takes up a huge amount of time. Rest assured, we’re still here.

Thought I’d post this by way of letting you know how things are. Charlotte, our little 4-year-old, has been helping me with the garden, as you can see. She’s wearing a brand-new handmade dress, made by our wonderful neighbor Aunt Lily. She (Charlotte) broke her arm yesterday, but we had time to get this harvested before that happened (yes, yes, she’s fine. It’s just a broken arm. Happens here all the time). So yeah, things are good here, and thanks for asking. Hope things are good where you are.

It’s Independence Day

Okay, so it’s been a while.  I apologize.  It isn’t as if I’ve been sitting around bored and putting this off, but I know that the attention span of blog readers is not all that great, and I also know that there’s no reason to keep reading the blog if there’s nothing new here to read on a regular basis.  Again, my apologies.  It’s on my list of things to do every day, but some days that list just gets longer and longer.

The Fed raised rates again, for what is now the 17th consecutive meeting, a record.  Prime is now 8.25%, and the Fed Funds rate is 5.25%, which is higher than the yield on the 10-year bond.  This is called a yield curve inversion, and it has presaged a recession every time it has occurred.  I’m not predicting.  I’m just informing.

What that means is that the 30-year rate is staying pretty much where it’s been for the last 3 months, hovering between 6.625% and 6.75%.  Short-term rates, though, for instance adjustable mortgages, have not fared quite so well.  To say the least.  The 3-year ARM right now prices out at 6.375%, less than half a point below the 30-year.  Still, that’s better than it was a few months ago.  Rate squashing means that the 5-year and 7-year ARMs are also 6.375%, though, so nobody is really selling the 3-year much at the moment.  At least they better not be.

The World Cup has been absolutely fascinating.  I’m a huge Zinedine Zidane fan, and I was deeply saddened that he looked so old and useless the first few matches.  That was more than made up for by his brilliant performance against Brazil.  And look, the US has its problems, but we tied Italy and did it playing a man down for 45 minutes.  With a coach that actually wanted to win matches, we might have come out on top in that match.  And Italy is in the semifinal.  There’s great reason to believe that the US is just one or two players away from being a major international contender.

Tomorrow is Independence Day, and that always does something to me.  After Thanksgiving and Christmas, this is my favorite holiday.  I always liked fireworks, and BBQ, but the thing that made this holiday so special for me was the two years I spent in communist Hungary.  I remember vividly standing at the Szabadság Szobor overlooking the Danube and belting out the third verse of the Star Spangled Banner, you know the one that goes:

Oh thus be it ever when free men shall stand
Between their loved homes and the war’s desolation.
Blessed with vict’ry and peace, may the heav’n-rescued land
Praise the power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: in God is our trust.  
And the Star Spangled Banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free, and the home of the brave.

I still get chills.

One year later, the Berlin Wall fell.  You never know what can happen.