THE BASIS POINT

Starbucks Closes 600 Stores, Factory Inflation High, Can You Cancel Your Mortgage?

It seems that not a day goes by without someone asking, “Why are the numbers on a telephone key-pad reversed from those on a computer keyboard?” I don’t know why, but if one is really curious, or for that matter hadn’t even noticed until I just wrote that, click here.

MARKET & ECONOMY UPDATE
Why did I put my 401k into Starbucks stock two years ago? I thought that their share prices would go up forever, but instead, they have gone down for the last two years. Starbucks announced yesterday it will close 600 company-operated stores in the next year due to the faltering U.S. economy and over-expansion.

The 10-yr is chopping around the 4.00% mark today, and mortgages are roughly unchanged from yesterday afternoon, after yesterday’s worsening. The news yesterday that manufacturing unexpectedly expanded in June for the first time in five months didn’t help rates. The ISM Manufacturing Index rose above 50 to 50.2 from 49.6 in May, and the group’s index of raw-material costs jumped to the highest level in almost three decades. U.S. construction spending fell 0.4 percent in May on continued deterioration in the residential sector, but outside of home building private spending rose for the fifth consecutive month. The MBA’s mortgage application data showed that last week it was +3.6%, and also out this morning was a private jobs survey that showed job cuts rose 47%, along with and ADP survey that showed a big jump in joblessness. (This has renewed some debate about tomorrow’s Non-farm Payroll number, expected to decline by 60k with a 5.4% unemployment rate.) Lastly today, May Factory Orders are expected to show a 0.5% increase after seeing a +1.1% increase in April.

MORTGAGE INDUSTRY UPDATE
Two borrowers in Wisconsin claimed that lender Chevy Chase Bank had hidden the true terms of what they believed was a good deal on a low-interest loan. A lawsuit filed by them Chevy could have major implications for banks, should a U.S. appeals court agree that borrowers can cancel their loans en masse when their lenders violate a federal lending disclosure law.

Indymac is denying rumors that the end is near – they doth protest too much? Indymac announced that the company’s former CFO, has resigned. Indymac’s Chairman and CEO responded to recent shareholder suggestions about a stock buyback, saying Indymac is not considering a buyback of its shares.

In February, Union Bank of California began requiring a signed mortgage broker fee disclosure with every submitted application. UBOC decided to include all the fees paid to brokers and to require a signed addendum to the disclosure form be obtained when material changes to broker’s compensation and fees occur after submission. (They define a “material change” as any fees and points paid to a broker by the borrower that exceed $500.)

JOKE OF THE DAY
Mrs. Donovan was walking down O’Connell Street in Dublin when she met up with Father Flaherty.
The Father said, “Top o’ the mornin’ to ye! Aren’t ye Mrs. Donovan and didn’t I marry ye and yer
hoosband 2 years ago?”
She replied, “Aye, that ye did, Father.”
The Father asked, “And be there any wee little ones yet?”
She replied, “No, not yet, Father.”
The Father said, “Well now, I’m going to Rome next week and I’ll light a candle for ye and yer hoosband.”
She replied, “Oh, thank ye, Father.” They then parted ways.

Some years later they met again. The Father asked, “Well now, Mrs. Donovan, how are ye these days?”
She replied, “Oh, very well, Father!” The Father asked, “And tell me, have ye any wee ones yet?”
She replied, “Oh yes, Father! Three sets of twins and ! 4 singles! , 10 in all!”
The Father said, “That’s wonderful! Where is yer loving hoosband?”
She replied, “E’s gone to Rome to blow out yer stinkin’ candle.”