Details on Fed Balance Sheet Reduction

2018-01-02T18:42:08+00:00 June 15th, 2017|Categories: Uncategorized|Tags: , , , , , |

After its meeting concluded on June 14th, the Fed provided some details about the plan to reduce its holdings of U.S. Treasuries and agency debt and mortgage-backed securities (MBS). Regarding the starting time for the reductions, Fed Chair Yellen said that they could begin “relatively soon if the economy performs in line with the Fed’s forecasts. This comment caused investors to anticipate that the starting time will be in September or October, which was sooner than expected. In a document called the Policy Normalization Principle and Plans, the Fed laid out additional information. They will reduce their holdings by not reinvesting all the principle payments received. Over the last few years, they have held the level of their holdings steady by reinvesting all the principle payments received. The amount of principle payment received that will not be reinvested will start at $10 billion per month and will grow by $10 billion every three months until the monthly total reaches $50 billion. The reduction then will be capped at $50 billion and will continue until the size of the Fed’s holdings has fallen to the desired level. The Fed did not disclose the desired level but did say they expect the [...]

Fed Meeting

2018-01-02T18:44:35+00:00 December 14th, 2016|Categories: Special Update|Tags: , , , , , |

As widely expected, the Fed raised the federal funds rate by 25 basis points. Unfortunately for MBS, Fed officials also raised their outlook for the pace of future rate hikes. They now forecast three rate hikes in 2017, one more than previously projected. The faster pace was viewed as negative for mortgage rates. But why? The purpose for raising the federal funds rate is to keep inflation from rising above the Fed's target of 2%. This should be a good thing for mortgage rates. Part of the reason for the adverse reaction stems from a more direct effect the Fed has on mortgage rates. The Fed owns over $1.7 trillion of the agency mortgage-backed securities (MBS) that it purchased during its quantitative easing (QE) days. The Fed keeps the balance of MBS around that level by buying new MBS to replace that which pays off. The Fed is currently the buyer of approximately 25% of all newly issued MBS. This added demand from the Fed drives MBS prices higher and mortgage rates lower. The Fed says that it will not allow its holdings of MBS to decline until "normalization of the level of the federal funds rate is well under [...]

Blog Talk Radio Show Summary November 15, 2010: What has Gone Wrong?

2017-12-20T17:34:15+00:00 November 18th, 2010|Categories: BlogTalkRadio Podcasts|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Mortgage rates have moved higher (mortgage security prices have moved lower) and strangely enough QE2 deserves much of the blame.  The Fed intended for the opposite to happen.  As they purchase their $600 billion in long-term Treasury securities, the Fed expected the added demand would drive prices higher and rates lower, not only for Treasury securities, but for mortgage backed securities as well.  Things have not happened as planned.  The Fed began their Treasury purchases on Friday and  MBS prices fell 27/32nds.  The Fed continued their Treasury purchases today and MBS prices are down another 16/32nds.  So what has gone wrong? Some of the issue is that MBS prices rose considerably in the weeks preceding the Fed’s announcement that they were going to buy $600 billion of Treasury securities.  The much anticipated announcement had already accomplished much of the expected end result before it even started.  After the announcement, sentiment toward the benefits from the plan shifted.  Investors worldwide began to doubt the Fed’s ability to control rising inflation when it begins.  Foreign investors recalculated their required returns after seeing the value of the dollar fall to recent lows.  Political power in the US shifted from the Democrats to the [...]

Blog Talk Radio Show Summary November 8, 2010: Election’s Effect on Mortgage Industry

2017-12-20T17:34:15+00:00 November 9th, 2010|Categories: BlogTalkRadio Podcasts|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Glen Corso, Managing Director of The Community Mortgage Banking Project, joined the show today and offered his “inside the beltway insights on the effects the change of control in the U.S. House of Representatives may have on the mortgage industry.  According to Glen, the single biggest effect will come from Barney Frank no longer being the Chairman of the House Financial Services Committee.  Barney has been such a significant influence over mortgage related legislation that without him in the Chairman position, future legislation will likely be less hands-on.  Glen said to expect some technical corrections to the Dodd-Frank Bill.  The corrections may be a little more than technical corrections, but far short of wholesale changes the Republicans would like.  He expects little to be done about Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac now that the Republicans control the House.  The two parties are very far apart in their belief about the proper course of action for Fannie and Freddie and without Democratic control of both the House and the Senate neither party is likely to succeed in pushing their plan.  Glen reminded everyone that funds have already been committed to Fannie and Freddie to replenish their capital as losses continue to [...]

Blog Talk Radio Show Summary October 25, 2010: How Much Quantitative Easing (QE II)

2017-12-20T17:34:15+00:00 October 27th, 2010|Categories: BlogTalkRadio Podcasts|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

  Have you noticed an extra bit of volatility in MBS prices lately?  Do you know the cause?  Last week we saw mid-day price changes four out of the five days.  Three were favorable, fortunately, and one was unfavorable.  We saw unfavorable price changes Monday afternoon, this week.  There are always several factors weighing in on investors as they decide what they will pay for mortgage-backed securities.   The primary factor right now seems to be the Fed’s plan for more quantitative easing (QE II).  QE II will have the Fed buying Treasury securities, adding liquidity to the market to stimulate lending, to promote economic growth, to reduce the value of the dollar,  to make exported goods cheaper to foreign buyers and to make imported goods cost more, to create higher inflation.  New demand for Treasury securities should improve demand for MBS as well, driving up prices.  Too much QE II could add too much liquidity and reduce the value of the dollar too far, increasing inflation too much and driving up the yield required on MBS, reducing prices. No longer is there a question of whether the Fed will buy more Treasury securities, but the question is how much and [...]

Blog Talk Radio Show Summary August 16, 2010: Online Mortgage Industry Resource

2017-12-20T17:34:16+00:00 August 20th, 2010|Categories: BlogTalkRadio Podcasts|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , |

Lykken-on-Lending (LoL) has partnered with HousingMatrix, an online resource of information for the housing industry.  HousingMatrix now hosts the  LoL  library of the most recent recorded program as well as all prior programs.  HousingMatrix is a site you should explore if you have not been there before.  If the information you seek has to do with housing, you will find it at HousingMatrix. Mortgage rates have continued their move lower this week, reaching a new low this morning.  Last Tuesday’s Fed announcement helped push mortgage rates lower and then the announcement on Friday that July’s inflation remains very low helped as well.  The Fed announced that they were keeping the Fed Funds rate between .25% and 0% and that they expect to keep it at this very low level for an extended period of time.  This was as expected.  What was a bit of a surprise was that they expressed a concern that the pace of the economic recovery was slowing and they announced a new policy to add a little stimulus to the economy.  The new policy deals with what they will do with the cash the Fed receives from payments on their portfolio of Treasury and mortgage-backed securities.  [...]

More Fed MBS Purchases?

2017-12-20T17:34:16+00:00 August 9th, 2010|Categories: In The News|Tags: , , , , , , , |

A couple of months ago, Fed Chief Bernanke was answering questions about the Fed's plan to sell its MBS portfolio. He stated that the Fed would eventually return its balance sheet to normal by selling the $1.25 trillion in MBS it had bought to stimulate the economy, but that it would not take place soon. While some Fed officials were pushing for a faster start date, investors believed that the MBS sales were likely to begin early in 2011. As the economic outlook has grown weaker, however, the Fed's likely plans have changed. Rather than discussing a start date for Fed tightening moves, Fed officials are now outlining options and conditions for adding further monetary stimulus. In particular, the Fed had been planning to allow the MBS in its portfolio to mature without replacing them. Due to defaults, refinancings, and maturities, some MBS "roll off" the Fed's portfolio over time. Until recently, investors expected the Fed to let its portfolio slowly shrink in this fashion, which would represent a minor amount of monetary tightening. Tuesday, though, a Wall Street Journal article suggested that Fed officials are considering whether to replace those securities to stimulate the economy. With the next Fed [...]

BlogTalkRadio Podcast – June 14, 2010

2017-12-20T17:34:16+00:00 June 17th, 2010|Categories: BlogTalkRadio Podcasts|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

This week on BlogTalkRadio/Lykken-on-Lending: What drives mortgage rates?  Inflation and uncertainty.  Inflation is not present right now and according to the majority of the Federal Open Market Committee members it is not expected to be much of a concern for the near future.  Uncertainty, though, is alive and well.  Continuation of the recent economic improvement in the US is considered anything but certain.  Global economic growth has been a question mark.  The ability of several European nations to satisfy their debt obligations is uncertain.  This uncertainty has resulted in tremendous volatility in the stock market, which has caused tremendous volatility in mortgage-backed securities prices. Daily, global headlines suggest to  investors its time to shift assets to more or less risky investments.  That is what happened last week.  After reaching the highest level of the year, mortgage-backed security prices were beat down on Thursday based on headlines from Australia, China, and Europe, all which suggested improving economic conditions.  Investors sold low risk bonds and bought higher risk stocks.  The Dow gained 270 points.  MBS prices lost 25/32nds.   This pattern has been in place now since April when the European debt crisis raised its ugly head.  Look for volatility in mortgage-backed security [...]

BlogTalkRadio Podcast – May 24, 2010

2017-12-20T17:34:18+00:00 May 25th, 2010|Categories: BlogTalkRadio Podcasts|Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Mortgage rates made a nice move lower last week.  In fact, they have moved lower each of the last four weeks, to the lowest level of the year.  Many of us thought mortgage rates would head higher after the Fed stopped buying mortgage-backed securities (MBS) at the end of March.  Mortgage rates did move higher just prior to and just after March 31st,   but new circumstances entered the market in April.   Uncertainty has pushed investors out of riskier assets like stocks (the Dow is well off its recent highs) and into less risky assets like government insured MBS.  Several things are contributing to this uncertainty.  The European debt crisis and a tightening monetary policy in China have made investors very uncertain about future economic growth in the US.   In addition, the passage by the Senate of a financial reform bill has many investors questioning how freely banks will make capital available to US businesses to finance their expansion.  This uncertainty combined with very low inflation rates have made MBS an attractive alternative. Dave Lykken hosted today’s show from the exhibit floor of the MBAs National Secondary Market and Expo.  He reported that the conference was well attended and the [...]

Increased Fed Support for MBS Sales

2017-12-20T17:34:18+00:00 April 23rd, 2010|Categories: In The News|Tags: , , , , , , , |

Friday morning, CNBC reported that support is growing among Fed officials to begin sales of mortgage-backed securities (MBS) from the Fed's portfolio. In a program which ended March 31, the Fed purchased $1.25 trillion of MBS to help lower mortgage rates and boost the economy. According to CNBC, "at least" six members of the Fed's policymaking committee support near-term MBS sales if the economy continues to improve. The selling could begin as soon as the third or fourth quarter of this year. Fed Chief Bernanke still views the likely time frame to begin MBS sales as next year, but his recent comments have indicated a willingness to keep more options open. With the next Fed meeting taking place on Wednesday, the 2:15 et release of its statement will take on added significance. If the Fed actually conveys an intention to begin to sell MBS soon, mortgage rates would be likely to rise on the news.

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