Finding the In-Between

 | Aug 19, 2011 | 8:47 AM EDT
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We aren't down as much as we were and we aren't up as much as we were. Something in between seems more like it, and we are trying to find where that in-between is.

It's not easy, with high-frequency bombers everywhere, to get to that equilibrium. We need to overshoot, most likely, which is why it all feels so "scary" right now.

It shouldn't, though. We are better off than in 2008, but it sure doesn't feel like it because of the swings -- swings that are pretty vicious because there is so little money playing.

Plus, we do a lot of shadow boxing. We don't know any more about the dozen banks that could be in trouble, but we know that when banks get in trouble markets go lower and we are simply trying to recalibrate everyday while the machines go off left and right. It feels more like a battlefield where nobody gets out alive rather than making forward progress by keeping our heads down and advancing on any break in the action.

So we hunker down and lose less, again, until Europe stabilizes and our leaders go back to work attempting to lead.

We know what's changed for the worse. But here's a thought: Rates are now so low that the president and HUD can basically say that Fannie and Freddie will buy any refinanced mortgage if banks let anyone who has not skipped two payments refinance at these rates. That way we are taking the pressure off the good guys who would, otherwise, not meet the banks' incessant demands to put up more money to refinance.



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