Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Oops! Chart Proves Obama's Housing Policies Have Been a Complete and Utter Cluster-Fail

This is why the President runs around the country -- when he's not golfing or vacationing -- talking about how great the future will be if only Congress would stop blocking his agenda. Because, like all liberals, he can never, ever look back at the past, the results of his previous decisions, which are uniformly disastrous.

A few days ago we presented an analysis by ConvergEx showing that due to the very close historical correlation between home prices and employment, it is the Fed's view that the only way to stimulate employment (aside from such BLS shennanigans as pretending that despite the natural growth of the labor force by 90k a month to keep up with population, those willing to work are in fact declining) is to raise home prices. Raising home prices by definition means either reducing supply - an event which is proving impossible with shadow inventory in the millions and rising, even as thousands of new delinquent mortgages appear each day... or increasing demand. It is the latter that the Fed targets, by attempting to make mortgage rates ever cheaper via LSAP, Operation Twist or other Treasury curve interventions that attempt to push down long-dated yields ever lower. This works in theory. In practice, however, as the chart below demonstrates, the Fed's entire [Zero Interest Rate] policy over the past several years has been one abysmal failure (for everyone expect those with immediate access to the Fed's zero interest rate capital - i.e., the Primary Dealers)...

...What appears very clearly on this chart is that despite ever declining mortgage rates, there is simply no interest in home turnover, and sales are at record low levels due to lack of demand, and lack of desire to sell into a bidless market, in essence causing the entire housing market to halt.

...And this makes intuitive sense: the bulk of home owners who can take advantage of cheap credit are those who already have a mortgage and at best will refi into a cheaper one. For everyone else, either the bank's admissions criteria are too stringent, or the potential borrower is simply convinced that a year from today, the 30-year mortgage rate will be another 1% lower (most likely with 100% justification). As such there is absolutely no drive to naturally restart the housing market (one can commence here a discussion of how central planning destroys every market it infect like a lethal virus, but we will spare that for another, more preachy night). For now we will leave you with this chart which proves beyond a reasonable doubt that the Fed's primary mandate: to lower the unemployment rate (by boosting home prices) has been a failure...

Oh, for the love of...! Now I'm gonna have to add another item to The Complete List of President Obama's Historic Firsts™.

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