2008-03-19 MBAVPRCH Index

MBAVPRCH Index (Mar 14)

Survey n/a
Actual 365.0
Prior 368.8
Revised n/a

Leveling off at 2003 levels, which corresponds to housing starts well over 1.5 million.

Also, this is a seasonally adjusted number, so as it stays level at current levels it corresponds to the typical spring increases in sales.

Still way above recession levels of the past, and mtg bankers have lost market share to the banks as well.

2008-03-19 MBAVREFI Index

MBAVREFI Index (Mar 14)

Survey n/a
Actual 2335.0
Prior 2448.2
Revised n/a

Refi activity remains moderate.

5 Responses

  1. W,
    Any thoughts on the deflationary wipe-out in the AGG/Commodities market today? Change in trend or temporary pullback? I
    thought the inflation trade was still alive after the
    FOMC meeting.

  2. i always get insecurity pangs with every break in the crude price that ‘tests’ my theory regarding price setting.

    the way i see it the saudis have no choice but to simply set price and let quantity adjust, and they are intent on raising prices, perhaps with an aim to disabling to the west.

    over time, i expect crude to keep going up as saudis (and maybe russsians as well) continue to hike price.

    other commodities, however, could lag as they are subject to competitive market forces. however they are also supported by fund allocations to passive commodity strategies.

    bottom line, temp pullback, at least for crude, and probably food which is tied to energy prices via biofuels. probably a temp pullback for the other commodities and inflation in general as well.

    it is a crowded trade right now, so expect a lot of vol

  3. I don’t see the political calculus behind a saudi power play via the oil channel: wouldn’t that be equivalent to biting the hand that feeds them?

  4. Seems the ‘foreign sector’/oil producers may have figured out how to kill two birds in one stone.

    1. increase their real terms of trade by hiking price and then spending the proceeds rather than adding to financial assets (at previous rates)

    2. weaken the west politically and economically by hiking prices, reducing domestic demand and inducing inflation in their economies.

  5. ” perhaps with an aim to disabling to the west.”

    With Cheney’s recent visit it would seem Saudi price increases may have more to do with applying pressure to resolve the middle east issue…

    Cheney: Mideast peace entails compromise

    Given the Yom Kippur conflict back in the 70’s, motivations don’t seem that different. Even Carter’s brokered agreement in 1978 between Egypt and Israel was not sufficient?


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