Archive for June, 2008

Good News is Bad News

Good News is Bad News
  • Initial jobless claims were better than expected – good news,
    right? We want people to have jobs. Don’t be fooled by the increase in
    unemployment rate; that’s mostly caused by a gigantic flood of
    high-school graduates into the job market, and not by people losing
    their jobs, as this morning’s number proves.
  • Unfortunately for bonds, when employment increases, that raises
    pressure on the Fed to raise rates, and that is bad. Bad for us here,
    that is. So that’s bad, right?
  • So far, not very bad. The 10-year note is losing back everything
    it got yesterday, but mortgage lenders pay more attention to the 5.5%
    and 6% FNMA bond, and those aren’t off quite so far.
  • The big number is the Philly Fed coming out in about 20 minutes,
    and we’ll be mostly flat until then. If it moves us significantly in
    one direction or another, we’ll alert you on it.

We love referrals, so feel free to forward this to anyone you like, and
have them shoot me an email so I can get them on the list their own

And this weekend, Saturday 5pm to 7pm, is the Fourth Annual Chris Jones
Group BBQ. You’re invited. It’s at Olivia Votaw’s at 565 East 300
North in Lehi, right next to the high school (north side). Please
come, eat our food, and enjoy. Really. Our treat.


Well, You Know…

  • No news out today, so bonds are taking direction from stocks.
    When stocks drop, and they are, bonds usually rise, and they are. Not
    strongly. Not like Superman spinning the world backward. But we’re up
    a little and punching through resistance levels.

  • Part of this impetus comes from the CNBC interview
    yesterday in which the guest said, and I quote, “if the Fed raises
    interest rates with employment up and financial firms in the tank, in
    an election year, they need to be prepared for people to come for them
    with torches and pitchforks. It just ain’t gonna happen.”
  • There had been some pricing in of a possible Fed rate hike
    later this summer, but that seems vanishingly unlikely given the
    general state of the economy, so that pricing is coming back out of the
    market, giving us a little – a very little – boost.
  • New FHA regulations are on the docket for the first of next
    month, more bad news for those with iffy credit and/or not much in the
    bank. There will also be new RESPA regulations – not good ones – at
    some point this year. It’s tough out there, folks. But there’s good
    news as well, it’s just harder to find. Be smart. Do your homework.
    Keep reading.

Recommendation: if you’re looking to buy or refinance, now’s the time.
Pull the trigger. Get the deal done. Do not wait for rates to move
lower, because they aren’t likely to do that. Do an FHA if you possibly
can, but do something and do it immediately.

We love referrals, so feel free to forward this to anyone you like, and
have them shoot me an email so I can get them on the list their own


Firefox 3.0!!! WOOHOOO!

Firefox 3.0 is out, and it’s absolutely fantastic, so go here and download it right now. I am in fact blogging in my browser window thanks to a great little add-on called ScribeFire. This will enable much more frequent, though not more intelligent, posting.

That’s all for now.

Life Can Be a Dream

And I don’t mean that in a good way.

I find that here we are in June, and I spent most of the year worrying about if I could financially make it this far. Guess what? I did. Hoorah.

Now I’m worried about September. This is pointless and stupid. [as an aside, one of my friends says he knows worrying works, because look at the huge number of things that never happened because he was worrying about them] [hey, I'm just saying]

Meantime, my kids are growing up, the weather is beautiful – this is the first Spring I can remember here that is actually a lot like Spring – and I’m missing most of it because I’m thinking of other stuff. Yoda inveighs against this when he first meets Luke Skywalker: “always his mind on the future. Hmph. Never his mind on where he was. Hmph. What he was doing.” Wise observation from Yoda (aren’t they all). This isn’t a good thing to be doing. Joy cannot be captured this way.

And men are that they might have joy. That can be read two ways. The usual way is to read it as “men are allowed to be happy”, but you can also read it as “the whole point of men is that they be happy”. That’s the way we’re going to read it today. The whole point of all this is for us to be happy. There are 8 million reasons for us to be happy, too, but of course we’re going to find the two reasons – illusions, mere potentialities, most of the time – that we might not be, and focus on those. Always our minds on the future, and never our mind on where we are and what we are doing. One cannot be grateful that way, and joy is impossible without gratitude.

That’s the way most of us choose to waste our time. I know I do. Time can be converted, banked, laid up in store. We can take it with us. But we can’t do it unless we are storing it up as it happens, really experiencing the minutes and hours we have, and extracting from them the joy and the pain and the sorrow and the laughter that is in them. We are admonished to become as little children. That’s what kids do best. They are right here, all the time. You never catch a six-year-old losing the joy of the moment because Dad might not get a paycheck next month.

That would be stupid. Who can live in next month?