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Registered Investment Adviser Caleb Lawrence 

Early gains gave way to losses in the final hour after the Fed hiked rates another ¼% and adopted a more hawkish tone with respect to interest rate hikes, as was widely expected.

The Mortgage Bankers Association reports that its mortgage activity index slipped 1.1% last week as refi’s fell 4.5% while purchase apps increased 1.4%. The 30-year contract rate for a jumbo loan was unchanged at 4.55%.

Existing home sales snapped a pair of declines in February with a 3% gain to 5.54 million units annualized, led by the western region that posted an 11.4% advance. Month’s supply was unchanged at 3.4, the median price gained .4% for the month to $241,700 a figure 5.9% higher than a year ago.

Last week was the 10th anniversary of the collapse of Bear Stearns an event the heralded the arrival of the great financial crisis. In its wake the policy response included far more rules and regulations, largely in the form of Dodd-Frank, less enforcement of existing rules and of course no jail time for the banksters or punishment designed to deter future malfeasance. The outcome was a very predictable continuation of the bankster lie, cheat and steal business model that continues to this day. Of course, their lobbyists have been hard at work in the post crisis period trying to loosen up the rules. Their latest success being the repeal of major portions of the Dodd-Frank bill, freeing the banksters to engage in more risky lending. This will of course enable them to push the debt levels to new and better record highs. When the inevitable bust occurs, it will also leave taxpayers on the hook for yet another bailout, one that will dwarf that seen in the post crisis period. It still needs to pass the House, but they have an even more reckless version.

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