Rate Update September 16, 2008

Rates are effectively unchanged this morning.

There is A LOT to talk about this morning as crisis in the financial markets persists. Here is a summary of the major stories we’re falling that are likely to impact the direction of mortgage rates:

→ AIG: The nation’s largest insurer is close to insolvency. Analysts are suggesting that the troubled insurer needs to raise $75 billion in fresh capital to stay afloat. The failure of this firm would be unprecedented because of it’s vast reach & volume of obligations. AIG operates in 130 countries and is a major player in the credit default & life insurance sector. AIG’s failure would likely cause a major disruption in the financial markets which could drag other firms down with it. Although rates may benefit from this news in the near term, in the long run this would be a disaster.

→ Federal Funds Rate: The Fed is scheduled to announce their interest rate policy decision this afternoon. Last week at this time there was a 0% chance that the Fed would alter rates. However, analysts now assume a cut of at least .25% and possibly even .50%. Remember that in and of itself the Fed cutting rates will not directly impact mortgage rates. However, what they say following their announcement can.

→ Consumer Price Index: Finally, the Labor Department released the monthly CPI report. The report came in line with expectations reflecting a 5.4% increase year-over-year. When stripping out volatile food and energy prices year-over-year inflation rose by 2.5%. Although these figures are relatively high compared to the past couple years the announcement did not surprise the markets.

Current Outlook: floating