Neuswanger: How the Russia Investigation might impact mortgage rates (column)
December 12, 2018
As Robert Mueller releases more and more tantalizing clues as to what his final report might contain there is going to be rampant speculation on whether President Donald Trump can survive the coming firestorm, and if he departs the Oval Office, what it will mean for the economy.
If there is one thing markets and investors dislike, it is uncertainty.
Right now the economy is on pins and needles over the end results of the multitude of changes in tariffs and trade agreements.
Whether Mike Pence will carry on the same strategy (or if said strategy is sustainable) is a huge uncertainty.
“During the Clinton impeachment hearings, mortgage rates plummeted on speculation over whether the economic boom that he presided over could continue.”
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Uncertain times are famous for a couple of things.
First, investors know uncertainty brings opportunity, but it takes a brave and savvy investor to take chances like that.
As few investors are brave enough to bet the farm on a market downturn as a time to buy, most will run for the security of government-backed bonds.
A bad day in stocks can send tens of billions of dollars fleeing from stocks and see investors buying up bonds like they were good scotch on the eve of Prohibition.
During the Clinton impeachment hearings, mortgage rates plummeted on speculation over whether the economic boom that he presided over could continue, and the economy was a lot less fragile and complex then.
What is happening now is far more serious than telling a fib about ones sex life, and the complexities of tariffs and trade agreements need a leader's (and a nation's) undivided attention and a steady hand.
It's unlikely if this situation spirals into full blown impeachment hearings and/or criminal charges against the president that we will have either.
As the events unfold in the coming months, investors can likely expect some wild rides and stunning rises and falls in both the stock and bond markets.
The economy is going to be impacted dramatically by the perception of possible outcomes whether good or bad.
My gut feeling for homebuyers is that mortgage rates might be lower, but demand might be slower as well due to the national preoccupation with what will happen next.
It will be interesting to watch alcohol and marijuana stocks, this could be a boon time for sales and people needing a distraction of some sort.
Chris Neuswanger is a mortgage loan originator with Macro Financial Group in Avon and may be reached at 970-748-0342. He welcomes mortgage-related questions from readers. His website and blog can be found at http://www.mtn mortgageguy.com.
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