Interest Rate Roundup

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Some quick hits on mortgages and the markets

Just to keep track of a few of the latest developments ...

* Lehman Brothers plans to cut another 850 jobs related to its mortgage business, both here and abroad. Apparently, business in the Korean mortgage market isn't so hot. Who knew?

* National City said it will take a $200 million charge and that it is eliminating 1,300 jobs to scale back its mortgage banking business. The super-regional bank will no longer make home equity loans through brokers, and will also make cutbacks in its regular nonconforming mortgage business.

* Lots of regional Fed bank presidents and governors are out talking today. The general gist of their comments is that they're watching the markets closely, they aren't positive the housing downturn is spilling over too badly into the rest of the economy, they aren't really sure what to do next, etc., etc.

* Got gold? Looks like metals traders are betting the Fed will keep flooding the world with freshly printed money -- something that could cause even more erosion in the value of the dollar. I show spot gold up 2%, or about $14, at last count. It has now taken out every peak save the big one back in May 2006.


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