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Big tech is watching you; Kroll watches COVID; JPM preps 😬

By September 29, 2021 No Comments

Big tech looks to cash in on spying on you in your home

Two weeks ago Rise&Shred joked about your new Roomba spying on you. Well, it’s funny, because it’s true.

Silicon Valley is invading your home because it wants to replicate the control it has today on the Web and your smartphones (which we check nearly 100 times per day!). 

But this time, monitoring devices are being installed in your kitchen, bedroom and bathroom appliances; places where it’s harder to notice and devices that are harder to replace. 

On Tuesday, Amazon introduced a (paywall —>) smart thermostat, talking picture frame and even a rolling robot — each of which you operate primarily through Amazon’s Alexa assistant. 

Writing about the data that gets harvested from your home, WaPo columnist Geoffrey Fowler adds: “These assistants also serve the tech giants that made them. They decide what information to provide you, where you can shop and how seriously to take your privacy. One example: I dug into the Alexa settings for my old home and discovered that over the past three years, Amazon recorded 281,328 data points about it — every flick of a connected light switch and more.”

It’s not just Amazon and Google putting up walls in our smart homes. Apple, which was a pioneer in voice AIs with Siri on the iPhone, only this summer announced a program that allows non-Apple devices to answer to “Hey, Siri.” But there’s a catch: The home also needs to have an Apple-made HomePod smart speaker in it.

So we have some time before our lives get completely monitored. And that’s only because the different big tech systems struggle to work well together. Your iPhone may not connect to your Nest, for example.

But, as Fowler notes, big tech is solving the compatibility issue and, one day soon, they will know everything about us.

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KBRA: We don’t know how bad the pandemic hit mortgages, yet

Could the worst be yet to come? Maybe, but mortgage bond money isn’t too worried.

A new look at the private mortgage bond market from Kroll Bond Ratings Agency is indicative of just that: We don’t know how bad the pandemic hit mortgages, yet. 

The report notes that, despite this, the market for mortgage bonds has hit a record year since the subprime meltdown crisis!

In its report (free registration, recommended) KBRA said, in addition to some other predictions, that continued pandemic-related economic impacts and the consequent monitoring of credit performance will remain important through the end of 2021. 

Recent regulatory changes from FHFA and their potential impacts on RMBS market will continue to be significant as well, such as the recent amendments to the PSPAs and the GSE capital rules. 

Mortgage rates are generally expected to remain low with potentially some marginal increases, continuing to incentivize refinance and purchase activity. 

Delinquencies relating to COVID-19 are likely to continue their decline through 2021, unless the spread of new COVID-19 variants imposes another wave of closures of local economies.

YTD 2021 Issuance Volume: Q2 2021 was a record quarter of RMBS 2.0 issuance ($25 billion) and we anticipate Q3 will surpass this level to reach an estimated $29 billion in issuance across the prime, non-prime, and CRT segments. In total, Q1-Q3 is expected to reach combined issuance of $72 billion. 

This means that YTD 2021 is already a record year for post-subprime meltdown RMBS issuance, with Q4 to extend on the gains.

2021 Issuance Expectation: KBRA expects Q4 2021 will close at about $24 billion, with an estimated $14 billion in prime issuance, non-prime ($9 billion) and CRT ($1.2 billion); overall 2021 issuance should hit $96 billion, making it a new record year for RMBS issuance post-global financial crisis.

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Jamie Dimon says JPMorgan has begun to prepare for potential US default

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon says America's largest bank is once again preparing for a potential US default even though heexpects Congress to avoid that “potentially catastrophic” event by lifting the debt ceiling. 

In an interview with Reuters on Tuesday, Dimon said JPMorgan has begun scenario-planning for how a possible default would affect financial markets, capital ratios, client contracts and America's credit ratings. 

That's something Dimon has indicated the bank did during previous close calls with the debt ceiling.

“Every single time this comes up, it gets fixed, but we should never even get this close,” Dimon told Reuters. “I just think this whole thing is mistaken and one day we should just have a bipartisan bill and get rid of the debt ceiling. It's all politics.”

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told lawmakers Tuesday that the federal government will run out of cash and extraordinary measures by October 18, setting the stage for a potential default if Congress does not raise the debt limit before then.

As Rise&Shred first reported, if the US defaults on its debt payments and the impasse drags on, the ensuing recession would wipe out nearly 6 million jobs and lift the nation's unemployment rate to nearly 9%, Moody's projected in a report published Tuesday.

The market meltdown would slash stock prices by one-third, erasing about $15 trillion in household wealth, the report found.

“This economic scenario is cataclysmic,” wrote Mark Zandi, chief economist at Moody's Analytics.

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