Posted by Karl Denninger
Borrowing costs are going up, and this chart says they’re going up a lot – like 200 basis points within the next year or so on mortgages and 10yr Treasuries.
Key to the thesis of Bernanke (and essentially everyone else) that this “V-shaped” recovery could take hold and be sustainable – instead of being a false dawn – is the premise that mortgage rates would behave.
Bernanke’s thesis, in fact was that he could cap 30 year money at 4% or less to prevent home price devaluation.
Well, now the 10 year bond is back where it was before the collapse. That’s good, right? Well, not really – because it means that 30 year money (mortgages) will start backing up shortly and prices on existing Fannie and Freddie (along with other long-duration) paper will start falling.
The target on this breakout of the inverted head-and-shoulders is 6% on the ten year treasury, and approximately 7% on 30 year mortgages. As of today’s pricing (about 5% on that same money) we can back into the home price impact quite simply; the hypothetical $200,000 house will be devalued to $161,644.55.
That is, the same payment that today pays down a $200,000 mortgage will only pay down a $161,644.55 one.
The time on the full expression of this target is one to two years hence, although it can occur sooner. The reliability of this sort of pattern is extremely high, and remains valid conditionally even with a drop back to 3%, and is not invalidated unless the ten year were to get down to 2.03%. Neither is likely.
The entire premise of the so-called “recovery” not only requires stabilization of the housing market but a resumption in home price appreciation. With the cost of mortgage money nearly-certain to rise toward the 7% range over the next year this is simply impossible.
The market will not ignore this for long, once it begins to express itself in actual rates and prices – and it will.
If you’re one of the trapped underwater homeowners who as of today has an opportunity to short-sale your house, take it – while it still is available.
Consider that The Fed is holding a literal trillion of this paper which is likely to come under extreme valuation pressures as rates back up.
Additionally, the sentiment in the market today is positively giddy – those who claim that retail is “not in” need to look at the ISE index, which hit an all time high today. That’s all retail call buyers – they sure are “in”, and now the shears can come out of the drawer.
Parabolic moves like this always go further than you’d expect or believe possible. But the math always wins, and the sort of rate environment we’re seeing now is quite similar to what happened in 1987.
No, this is not predicting a 1987-style crash – at least not today or tomorrow. But with both rates and oil headed up hard the effective tax this presents to the economy is going to hit home immediately and hard, with no evidence that this very same backup in oil is in commodities generally (look at wheat lately?)
That’s not inflation, it’s financial speculation in a blow-off top.
Real job creation and a healthier economy? We’ll see.