Eq: Total Market

(New York)

Well it didn’t look like it would be a great year for bonuses, but 2017 bonus data is just in and it was a good year for the industry. Bonuses were up a whopping 17% this year and nearly eclipsed their pre-Crisis levels for the first time. The big bonuses largely reflected the growth of the leveraged loan market, which boosted fees across the industry. The New York state comptroller makes a good point about the data, saying “The large increase in profitability over the past two years demonstrates that the industry can prosper with the regulations and consumer protections adopted after the financial crisis”.

FINSUM: With bonuses getting to near pre-Crisis levels, it seems to be another sign that things are getting toppy.

(New York)

The mortgage market has been doing quite well for a number of years. A steady stream of home buying and refinancings because of ultra low mortgage rates has kept things flowing. However, with rates rising, the refinancing part of the business is weakening for lenders. In 2017, 37% of all mortgage origination was from refinancings, down from 72% in 2012. Accordingly, the overall mortgage market fell by a whopping 12% in 2017. In order to combat the fall, lenders are pushing home equity lines of credit and adjustable rate mortgages.

FINSUM: This is a huge part of the mortgage market that is falling away. This will mean lower earnings for lenders. One wonders when the rising rates will start to curtail purchases. It seems inevitable.


The Wall Street Journal has just put out the first thoroughly insightful article about the new homes crisis that we have yet seen. The US is currently plagued by one of the most severe declines in new home construction in the last century and the piece interviews many parties, including home builders, to understand why. The heart of the issue is that the costs to build a new home have roughly doubled since just before the Crisis, as labor, land, and materials have surged in price. Accordingly, many builders now only build luxury homes, where the margins are fatter for them. The low end of the market has been left with very few homes for a large number of buyers, which has sent prices through the roof.

FINSUM: So we have surging pricing at the same time as rising interest rates. Prices look set for a big fall in the near to medium term.

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