Phil Grossfield's Blog


Zimmerman-Trayvon; Bernanke Good Speak

trayvonZimmerman – Trayvon.  The prosecution screwed this trial up…that’s it in a nutshell. As you may or may not know, I used to be an attorney…you may call me Esquire if you please. Although I spent the majority of my legal career on the corporate side, I worked on a first-degree murder trial in my last year of law school. In fact, I was assigned to the highest profile murder trial in the history of Minnesota, at least it was back then.

Whether you believe Zimmerman was justified to shoot an unarmed 17-year old kid or not, there is no getting away from the fact that the prosecution’s team blew it…they blew it big-time. They never should have brought charges for murder…they should have charged him with no more than manslaughter. The burden of proof required for a murder conviction is extremely difficult to obtain, and that’s the way we like it in our American justice system. Our judicial system runs on the belief that it’s better to let 99 guilty criminals go free than to let one innocent person be found guilty.

Freedom is our highest priority to protect. So, we must ensure beyond a reasonable doubt that a person is guilty before we take away their freedom, either in the form of prison or capital punishment. Proving intent to murder is exceedingly difficult because you have to convince the jury beyond a reasonable doubt…that’s super hard to do particularly in a highly publicized murder trial. In my opinion the prosecution lost credibility the minute they attempted to establish murder. Had they pursued manslaughter, Zimmerman would be in prison today. Let’s not lose sight that a 17-year old kid was deprived of his life and it’s hard to find any justice in that. 

My Schedule:  Available all day…

My Market Watch:   Bonds Up As Bernanke Speaks – Fixed Pricing Improved   The 30-year Fannie Mae bond is trading +50bps this morning and as a result our pricing for fixed rate mortgages has improved.

Ben2Bernanke’s position as of late has been to settle things down, at least that’s the way I interpret his words. This morning he mentioned that despite the Fed’s intention to taper QE, he remains flexible to buy bonds as necessary. He then said that he is concerned with tight mortgage standards. Both of these statements have been interpreted as bully for bonds, particularly after a 60-day run of nothing but QE tapering talk.  More importantly, if bonds can hold their gains, the markets should start to level out…even with much higher rates I think we can all agree that some market stability would be welcome. If so, prepare for very aggressive Interbank rates and prices in the very very near future.

Perspective.  30-Year Fixed Average Rates:  Past 40 years:  8.15%    Past 30 years:  7.45%    Past 20 years:  6.52%    Past 10 years:  5.72%

A Word On Pricing.  We have corporate calls on our pricing strategy. Interbank has traditionally been hyper-aggressive in price but with so much volatility in the bond market we have backed off temporarily while remaining competitive. It is our every intention to jump back into our role as an aggressively priced lender…but when the time is right…. This is good smart business.   

A word on locks.  Even though turn-times are fast, I advise longer term locks or at least a pricing cushion to account for possible lock extensions. Flexibility in getting additional days is not as elastic. I advise 45 day Locks. If you must lock 30 days then be sure to build in additional rebate in case you need to pay for an extension.  This is good smart business.

distinguish_yourselfDistinguish Yourself. In order to succeed in this business and in this market, you must find a way to distinguish yourself from other LOs. That is, if you are going to get more reliable referral sources, you must be able to clearly convey several compelling reasons why they should use you….My calendar is getting full – I am scheduling presentations to discuss (1) How to Be Successful In The Future Market, (2) Where to Look For Additional Referral Sources, and (3) How To Distinguish Yourself From Other LOs.  Let me know if you’re interested in a presentation….

2 responses to “Zimmerman-Trayvon; Bernanke Good Speak

  1. Barry Hyman July 20, 2013 at 12:27 am

    while i would agree the prosecution made strategic and tactical mistakes, the fact that the jury (who had the option of manslaughter) decided according to the law and jury instructions, zimmerman was not guilty. clearly, the problem is the law which turns self defense on its head. i would even state that the law as applied is deeply racial in that blacks are disproportionately victimized by juries. this alone gives grounds to making the law unconstitutional.

    • Phil Grossfield July 20, 2013 at 3:24 pm

      Great point, and you may very well be right. But the case and trial would have gone completely different if the charge was just manslaughter and not murder. The case would have revolved around whether Zimmerman should have pursued Martin in the first place, and if a gun was necessary, and the vigilante argument would have been characterized differently, and the burden would have been less, and the jury’s perspective of the prosecution would have been different too…even if unconsciously so.

      I hear what you’re saying, you make a good argument. We’ll never know now, but I do know that by bring M1 the prosecution lost any chances of getting a conviction. My guess is the family will sue for civil damages (money) and I expect a money reward. Of course, they’ll unlikely ever get any money out of it….

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