If conventional wisdom holds true, the lending season traditionally begins after the MBA. Accordingly, rather than kicking-off on Super Bowl Sunday, the 2016 Mortgage Banker Association CREF/Multifamily Conference has been moved up by one week this year, essentially extending the traditional lending season by one week.
Ironic, however, the MBA will kick-off concurrent to the Iowa Caucus, the first major electoral event of the nominating process for President of the United States. One could say they the Iowa Caucus and the MBA make strange bedfellows. Like the movie Groundhog Day, both the MBA and Iowa Caucus keep coming back and it seems we can’t escape them. In the run-up to 2016 both events have struggled with a challenging economic environment and lower than expected results. During the period between previous meetings the size and breadth of governmental agencies have continued to lurch forward, threatening take over, or to the very least serving as a last resort.
Accordingly, thought leaders will simultaneously gather in Iowa and Orlando to lay-out their platforms, positions, past performance, and state their predictions for the year to come.
We will gather to debate over-regulation, under-regulation, jobs, economy, growth, interest rates, more oversight, less oversight, more government intervention, less government intervention, geopolitical risks, technology, terrorism, weather, et al.
Special interests, stakeholders, consultants, will swirl the conferences to show their influence. Who will be more conservation, liberal, or undecided? Who will hold true to traditional values, or progressive? Who wants change, stay the course, or a swing of the pendulum? Can we predict anything by the size of the crowds at various events?
Soon enough, both the MBA and Iowa will caucus and leaders will emerge. Deals will get done, and alliances made that set the stage for the year ahead. Some will drop out or return back to their home towns the rethink campaigns. A few will push onward undeterred, with the hope of moving up.
At the end of the day, one thing is for certain, expect the unexpected this year. Iowa almost always yields surprises and it increasing more difficult to predict the outcome. Likewise, it’s increasingly difficult to predict capital markets. Few would have predicted the dramatic fall in oil prices, or Obama handing Hillary and humiliating defeat in Iowa in 2008. Good to have a real estate guy as a frontrunner in both events. It improves our odds.
The take away, both the MBA and Iowa Caucus are squirrely little affairs that predict nothing. However, both are important and shouldn’t be missed.
See you at the show, and check back in November to see if we accurately predicted anything this week in Iowa or Orlando.