December 6, 2011
A few days ago we presented an analysis by ConvergEx showing that due to the very close historical correlation between home prices and employment, it is the Fed’s view that the only way to stimulate employment (aside from such BLS shennanigans as pretending that despite the natural growth of the labor force by 90k a month to keep up with population, those willing to work are in fact declining) is to raise home prices. Raising home prices be definition means either reducing supply – an event which is proving impossible with shadow inventory in the millions and rising, even as thousands of new delinquent mortgages appear each day while homebuilders keep on chugging out new homes that remain vacant for years, or increasing demand. It is the latter that the Fed targets, by attempting to make mortgage rates ever cheaper via LSAP, Operation Twist or other Treasury curve interventions that attempt to push down long-dated yields ever lower. This works in theory. In practice, however, as the chart below demonstrates, the Fed’s entire ZIRP-targeting policy over the past several years has been one abysmal failure (for everyone expect those with immediate access to the Fed’s zero interest rate capital – i.e., the Primary Dealers). As proof of this we present the following chart, which maps the SAAR in New Home Sales against the 30 Year Fannie Cash Mortgage. What appears very clearly on this chart is that despite ever declining mortgage rates, there is simply no interest in home turnover, and sales are at record low levels due to lack of demand, and lack of desire to sell into a bidless market, in essence causing the entire housing market to halt.
And this makes intuitive sense: the bulk of home owners who can take advantage of cheap credit are those who already have a mortgage and at best will refi into a cheaper one. For everyone else, either the bank’s admissions criteria are too stringent, or the potential borrower is simply convinced that a year from today, the 30 Year mortgage rate will be another 1% lower (most likely with 100% justification). As such there is absolutely no drive to naturally restart the housing market (one can commence here a discussion of how central planning destroys every market it infect like a lethal virus, but we will spare that for another, more preachy night). For now we will leave you with this chart which proves beyond a reasonable doubt that the Fed’s primary mandate: to lower the unemployment rate (by boosting home prices) has been a failure.
This also means that the ovecompensating academic idiots of Marriner Eccles will do next what is a perfectly logical next step for a cabal of deviant misfits hell bent on bending the world to their will: devalue the US currency to a point that “compensates” for their failure in the housing market. And that they can and will do. Even if it means dumping crisp hundred dollar bills out of helicopters.
This article was posted: Tuesday, December 6, 2011 at 4:24 am