Eq: Total Market


In what seems a status quo that has been in place for eons, the way credit is measured in the mortgage market appears poised to change. For many years, Fair Isaac Corp’s FICO score has been by far the dominant credit score used when determining mortgage issuance. Now Congress is trying to shake things up with a bank deregulation bill that would require Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to consider credit scores beyond FICO. If the move happens, it is expected that more mortgages would be approved.

FINSUM: This would be a huge shakeup with big implications for the market. If more mortgages get approved, it seems like credit-worthiness would fall in aggregate, with a commensurate rise in rates.


President Trump has just sent a strong message to overseas investors: that US tech is not for sale. The president rejected Broadcom’s hostile takeover of Qualcomm. Although Broadcom is based in Singapore, the prospect of China, which loomed over the deal, was enough to get the White House to block the hostile takeover. American Qualcomm is in a heated race with overseas rivals, including Huawei, to build next-generation wireless technologies, and the US is warned about its strategic interests.

FINSUM: The US is right to worry about this, and we think blocking the deal was a great move. China runs its companies like China Inc., which puts the US at a bit of a structural disadvantage (because our firms don’t share as much info). Therefore, Washington needs to be very careful.

(New York)

While some see the housing market as being in the middle of a long push upward, some see a lot of risks on the horizon as rates rise. In particular, mortgage rates look set to move strongly higher as the Fed keeps hiking rates. 30-year mortgage rates just hit a four-year high and are already hurting refinancings. Not only will the rates hurt new buyers, but they also keep people from moving, which could create bottlenecks in the system. The rise in rates is also challenging because home prices have risen sharply.

FINSUM: So the big point which counteracts all this negativity is that Millennials are entering their home-buying years, so there is a large pool of demand to support prices. The higher end of the market may be where things are weakest.

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