Do you include imaginary friends on the 2010 census?

April 7, 2010

Good morning!

Criticism Quote of the Day: “He has a right to criticize, who has a heart to help.” – Abe Lincoln.

Interest Rates: Last week I won $50 on a scratch-off lottery ticket. This brought my lifetime winnings to over $3,000.00!! The bad news is that I’ve spent over $7,000 on those tickets. The Fed just ended a similar program that lasted about 18 months; Bernanke bought roughly $800 billion in mortgage backed securities which helped keep rates low, which in turn stimulated home purchases and refinances. While this little spending spree did help, it didn’t have the impact many thought it would. And now it’s gone. The Fed ended its mortgage-backed securities program last week, and this caused rates to move in the wrong direction. A 30yr fixed now stands at around 5.25% give or take. Rates vary on credit score, type of property, equity in the home, and if I can get off this moving violation ticket in court today. (in my defense, left turn on red is legal in many 3rd world countries).

Important Stuff This Week: Two big reports come out this week which could affect interest rates. The first is a 10-year Treasury Note Auction. Strong interest in these will lead to lower rates. On Thursday Weekly Job Claims come out. This is important, but the biggest employment report always comes out on the first Friday of every month. A weakness in employment is bad for the economy but good for rates. Last week’s Employment Report showed a gain of 162k jobs which was big, but maybe misleading as many of those jobs were part-time census workers. (Reminder: Do your job as a U.S citizen and fill out and mail in the 2010 Census. I just did mine, and I even included my two imaginary friends (Hansel and Buck) that live under my staircase).

Criticism Quote of the Day 2 “Before you criticize someone, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way when you criticize them, you are a mile away from them and you have their shoes.” – Jack Handey.

Timeout for Trivia: Congrats to all of you who correctly guessed Chicago’s John Cusack as the answer to last week’s trivia. Want to be entered into a quarterly drawing to win cool stuff? Simply email me the answer of today’s Who Am I? question. Good luck: “Tomorrow I turn 47. While not as famous as my dad, I can still rock with the best of them. I had some top 40 hits here in the US. Before any of this though, I was a kid who drew a water color painting of my friend Lucy O’Donnell that inspired a hit song. A guy in my father’s band also wrote a song inspired by me that became one of their biggest hits. He wrote this to get me thru my parent’s divorce.”

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