The Under-utilization of Housing Wealth In Retirement…

By Anthony B. Sanders

The Under-utilization of Housing Wealth In Retirement (Is Credit Too Tight and Shared Appreciation Mortgages As A Solution?)

There is an interesting event coming to Washington DC — the 2018 Housing Wealth in Retirement Symposium brought to you by The Funding Longevity Task Force at The American College of Financial Services and the Bipartisan Policy Center (BPC).

The goal? The goal for the Symposium is to facilitate collaboration among stakeholders – including regulatory agencies, NGOs, and the financial services community – to address the under-utilization of housing wealth in retirement.

The speaker list is excellent. The Urban Institute’s Laurie Goodman is the apparent headliner.

Here are my two cents (which has been devalued to less than a cent).

The American population is aging and many are entering retirement. But are they prepared?

First, The Federal government and its stakeholders have already tried to get more households to be stakeholders (that is, homeowners). And this happened.

Yes, the great leap forward in home ownership ultimately failed after almost reaching 70% before subsiding back to around 64%. That is, trying to get marginal households to switch from renting to owning. (By lowering credit standards and down payment requirements).

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Is it Ever Different This Time?

By Jeffrey Snider

As my colleague Joe Calhoun likes to point out, nothing is new, everything has happened before. We like to think that’s not the case, as the saying goes every generation thinks it has invented sex. What changes is the form, the format largely remains the same. Human beings in 2018 are the same as they were in 1918.

Quite recently, the stock market suffered a bout of liquidation. Whether or not that has concluded isn’t yet determined. The reasons for it, at least those given in the mainstream, tend to be related to how things are so good. Inflation is about to breakout, the economy booming with it, and so the Federal Reserve will be forced to move faster than its otherwise snail’s pace. This is bad for stocks apparently.

So, we get headlines like thisInflation Fears Rattle Stocks.

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Treasury Seven-Year Sale Caps $258 Billion Week of Higher Yields (Git-R-Done!)

By Anthony B. Sanders

 

Both Larry the Cable Guy and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin would be proud of this week’s Treasury auctions. The “Git-R-Done! Auctions

(Bloomberg) — The U.S. Treasury’s $29 billion auction of seven-year notes drew the highest yield for securities at that tenor since 2011, capping a $258 billion flood of debt sales over three days.

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The Albatross Of Debt: The Stock Market’s $67 Trillion Nightmare, Part 1

By David Stockman

This is getting pretty ridiculous. For old times sake, we recently checked on the Federal debt level during the month we arrived in the Imperial City as a 24-year old eager beaver. That was June 1970 and the Federal debt held by the public was $275 billion.

Mind you, while that number wasn’t exactly diminutive, it had taken all of 188 years to accumulate. That is to say, Uncle Sam had borrowed an average of $28,000 per week during the 9,776 weeks since George Washington was sworn in as the nation’s first president.

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Limits on the 500-Pound Gorilla

By Michael Ashton

With interest rates flirting with 3% on the 10-year Treasury note, and the potential (and eventuality) that they will go significantly higher, I thought it might be timely to review a blog post from February 10, 2013 called “Limits on the 500-pound Gorilla.” (It’s worth reading that original post for some of the comments attached thereto.)


Well, here’s an interesting little tidbit. (But first, a note from our sponsors: some channels didn’t pick up my article from  last Wednesday, “Fun With The CPI,” so follow that link if you’d like to read it.)

The Fed adds permanent reserves by buying securities, as we all know by now. The Open Market Desk buys securities and credits the Fed account of the selling institution. Conversely, when the Fed subtracts reserves permanently, it sells securities and debits the account of the buying institution.

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Venezuela Devalues Bolivar More Than 80% in Currency Auction…

By Anthony B. Sanders

Venezuela must be taking the books/movies “The Hunger Games” literally.

(Bloomberg) — Venezuela’s bolivar plunged more than 80 percent as the central bank restarted currency auctions for the first time since August as part of its efforts to ease a severe shortage of dollars and clamp down on hyperinflation.

One dollar bought about 25,000 bolivars at the auction, compared with 3,345 bolivars at the last so-called Dicom sale about six months ago. The rate announced Monday is still much stronger than in the black market, where individuals and businesses without access to the official markets pay about 225,000 bolivars per dollar, according to dolartoday.com.

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Volatility and Interest Rates

By Tom McClellan

VIX Index versus 3-month T-Bill yield
February 23, 2018

Why is the VIX spiking now?  Because now is when it is supposed to do that.

Volatility and interest rates have an interesting relationship, going back many years.  Higher interest rates pull money away from the stock market, and thus make it so that prices have to travel farther to find liquidity, after a positive or negative stimulus.

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