Tuesday, January 20, 2015 - Article by: Justin Fitzhugh - Nations Lending Corporation -
We have entered 2015 with a nice running start with volumes, and plenty of Nations Lending originators and their clients are wondering what will happen to interest rates. No smart lender, or CEO, bases their companys fortunes on interest rate projections, and plenty of experts were wrong about 2014. But what is going on with borrowing costs now that Quantitative Easing (QE) is done?
The United States does not operate in a vacuum and now Europes economy could arguably use a shot in the arm. The prospect of QE has driven risk-free rates lower in Europe, which has lured companies based in the United States to issue Euro bonds. This impacts Nations and our brokers both directly and indirectly for a number of reasons. Smaller lenders do not have access to the global markets, but the global markets impact them.
Large companies like Apple, Exxon, or Verizon are issuing billion in euro bonds yielding 1.65%. International exposure matters.
Independent mortgage banks like Nations Lending cannot borrow at 1.65%. We pretty much borrow from warehouse lenders at 3 or 4%. We have all seen the announcements and minutes from the Federal Reserve Open Market Committee meetings which have pretty much set the stage for higher U.S. borrowing costs next year (at least short term rates).
That is an interesting situation: rates possibly heading higher in the United States while remaining at rock bottom overseas. The big U.S. banks which are currently enjoying a very low cost of funds will see their margins squeezed as rates head higher.
Nations Lending is making plans for 2015, trying to hone our business models to accommodate various rate environments, overhead escalations, expansion plans, and so forth. And although rates factor into those plans, there are more critical factors than basing your entire business model on a rate guess.
What is Quantitative Easing: http://www.economist.com/blogs/economist-explains/2014/01/economist-explains-7
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Wikipedia Definition of Quantitative Easing: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quantitative_easing
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