The Federal Reserve

We are in new times! The Fed announced yesterday, March 11th , the Term Securities Lending Facility (TSLF). This is an innovative tool for these interesting times. In the past, raising the Fed funds rate was the tool to heat up or cool down the economy.  Bernanke is applying his creativity. The TSLF is aimed at mortgage backed securities that have been staying on bank balance sheets and slowing the normal flow of credit.  The intention of this new tool is to inspire more lending and borrowing.  You can read more in this Business Week article. Essentially the Fed is to lend up to $200 billion to banks in an effort to loosen up tight credit markets . The stock market rallied yesterday by 400 points – its biggest gain since July 2002.  It declined again today, but stay tuned for more innovative tools from the Fed.

Meanwhile, San Francisco continues to sell many properties at a fast clip. Don’t these buyers know it’s hard to get a loan?

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President Bush signed the $168B Stimulus Package .  For homeowners, this is signficiant. The jumbo loan limit (that has very attractive interest rates) has been temporarily raised from $417,000 to $729,750 for high cost areas such as California for loans originated between July 1, 2007 and December 31, 2008.  That means if you have been on the fence on buying, now is the time to act! And now is the time to refinance. Contact me for information on buying or selling your home or if you need a referral for a top lender.

The Federal Open Market Committee lowered the rate by 1/4 point

because  “Incoming information suggests that economic growth is slowing, reflecting the intensification of the housing correction and some softening in business and consumer spending. Moreover, strains in financial markets have increased in recent weeks.  Today’s action, combined with the policy actions taken earlier, should help promote moderate growth over time. ”

All bodes well for us!