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    March 31, 2008

Mortgage Rate Lies

Not so much a how to today - that comes tomorrow; more along the lines of comment. Im charting again but looking at some interesting data. The data in question is the US Mortgage rate - I was chatting to Leslie our documentation guru last week. She mentioned that she had been shopping around for a refi on her house. One vendor told here not to bother right now and to wait until September. Pourquoi? Asks Leslie - 'because the rate always falls in September in an election year!'

Huh? So the mighty Fed that sets interests rates and acts, I thought, independently of government is swayed by 'election years' and lowers the cost of borrowing just before the election and affects the worlds economy to boot. Who benefits? other than the consumer that is. Maybe the fastest candiate off the blocks can claim that they helped sway the Fed in their decision. I couldn't see it.

After a bit more discussion it was thought that maybe it only falls when an incumbent is running for a second term. Maybe George had a quick word with Greenspan in 2004, 'lower the rate there feller, just for old times sake?' Reminds me of our yo-yoing gas (petrol) prices here where Im damn sure the government steps in when OPEC gets a little too greedy.

Being the consumate skeptic I was out googling, looking for historical rate numbers. I alighted upon the USTreasury web site which posts such numbers and they have rates back to 1990 in an XML format to boot; even better, the XML has been generated by an old friend - Oracle Reports.

Time to get busy with a template and check out this claim. Here's the full 17 years worth:


Its a busy chart with more than 4500 data points - I'll address that tomorrow.

Looking in at Nov 2004 and Nov 1996 for messers Bush and Clinton

Bush Incumbent


Clinton Incumbent


I have included some data leading up to the election date but I can not see a change either way? Its not a scientific study but maybe the incumbent does not have the influence afterall ... phew! The only thinkg I can see is a steady rise continuing after Bush got back in, there may even be a jump ... but Im an impartial observer and quite obviously know nothing! 

Tomorrow the crux of why I was looking at this data using our charting engine - how can we smooth it out a bit for users?


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Comments ( 7 )
  • Marco Villa Thursday, September 4, 2008
    How did you get the lines to appear to point out a specific point in time. I am trying to create a chart with a fiscal year along the bottom. I want to insert a line that shows the user the current point in time. Thanks in advance for your help.
  • Tim Friday, September 5, 2008
    Ahhh ... you got me. The charting engine does not support vertical reference lines only horizontal. I added those lines into the template itself as drawings.
  • Joan Ebio Tuesday, December 15, 2009
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  • mortgage rates today jumbo Monday, June 28, 2010
    Mortgage rates as low as they have been in many years Prior to the early 1980s a borrower applying for a mortgage would have no option but to apply to their local bank branch manager for that mortgage. At this time in the mortgage industry the banking branch network was wide and serviced many ....
  • Get A Mortgage With Good Or Bad Credit Saturday, July 17, 2010
    Since we are discussing the many benefits of Mortgage Rate Lies (Oracle BI Publisher Blog), When a broker is unable to get you an acceptable mortgage they are only allowed to charge you a fee of $1. The broker can charge for any work carried out on your behalf such as surveys.
  • Wells Fargo Loan Modification Sunday, July 18, 2010
    Since we're on Mortgage Rate Lies (Oracle BI Publisher Blog), Of the supposed 400,000 families that were to be shielded from foreclosure, as of this report, approximately 400 loans (that's right 400 total) have been refinanced. Industry executives correctly called the program "useless" because of its onerous details.
  • Loan modification Tuesday, July 20, 2010
    While we're tackling the subject of Mortgage Rate Lies (Oracle BI Publisher Blog), If it is a brand new company, or they just started doing loan modifications, you want to use more caution. Even attorneys and law firms are no exception to this rule. Law firms are no exception to the economic turmoil we live in, and as they have seen their billable hours reduced, some scramble to find work in other areas such as loan modifications.
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