At least one banker doesn’t see Bernanke’s credit risk as contained


(Updates with details of his 2011 mortgage.)

Apparently, former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke is a bit of a credit risk.

According to Bloomberg, he not only told a conference of economists in Chicago that he couldn’t refinance, but when they laughed, he added, “I’m not making that up.”

To be fair, Bernanke has successfully completed at least two refinancings, in 2009 and 2011, according to an article in The Wall Street Journal. A Fed disclosure form has his 2011 mortgage at an interest rate of 4.25%. The most recent data from Freddie Mac has the 30-year fixed rate down to 4.19%, suggesting he was likely trying to change the type of mortgage as well.

And, Bernanke’s income these days is sporadic, if lucrative — pulling down an estimated $250,000 per speech.

Banks are underwriting far fewer refinancing applications — down about 75% from the spring of 2013, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association. What happened then? Oh, a guy named Ben Bernanke started talking about the Fed tapering bond purchases, and interest rates shot up.



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