Financial pioneer John Law
The Murderer, The Boy King, And The Invention Of Modern Finance

John Law – wins in a duel in London and is convicted of murder. He escapes from prison, flees the country, and arrives in France. There he leverages his understanding of statistics to earn a small fortune gambling, which he builds into a large fortune by creating a paper money system and giving birth to modern finance (as well as a massive financial crash).

Rates – we saw nice improvements through Thursday this week but all gains were lost Friday after the jobs report. Rates are still near historic lows and down nearly 3/4% from this time last year.

Jobless Claims – the number of people filing for unemployment benefits for the first time decreased slightly this week. Claims are still over 4X pre-covid levels. The total number of people receiving unemployment benefits is 28M or 18% of our workforce.


Jobs – there were over 3.6M job creations in August, a huge figure. Job gains only increased by 1.4M because an additional 1M people entered the work force that weren’t able to find jobs. The headline unemployment figure of 8.4% included close to 240K temporary census jobs. If those are removed the real figure is closer to 10%. If you add part-time workers who would prefer to be full-time the unemployment figure is closer to 14.2%.

Appreciation – Core Logic reported that home values increased a staggering 1.2% from Jun to July this year. After previously forecasting losses CoreLogic is now forecasting year over year appreciation.

Applications – mortgage application volume is down 2% from last week. Purchases dipped slightly (0.2%) but are up 28% from this time last year. Refinances are now up only 40% year over year (previously 100%+)

Forbearance – the Mortgage Bankers Association reports that 7.2% of American’s (3.6M) with mortgages are claiming hardship forbearance. This number is unchanged from last week and 62% of folks in forbearance have extended their claim.

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