December 22, 2017

The Decisions Made Sense At The Time

It’s Friday desk clearing time for this blogger. “It was what one expert called ‘the mother of all booms.’ Just over a decade ago, Arizona’s construction industry was leading the country in residential and commercial building. People were waiting up to a year for a house, even as builders were throwing new homes up on spec for the residents who were flocking to the state. And then it was over. The industry is not yet back to where it was, but it’s better off. Now experts wonder where the ceiling will be this time. ‘The new normal is the big question,’ said Greg Burger, president of RL Brown Housing Reports, which specializes in residential market research.”

“Elliott Pollack, an economist and real estate consultant, said the decisions builders were making before the recession hit made sense at the time. ‘If you just looked at the numbers and you didn’t anticipate the type of recession that occurred – and very few people did – you were able to justify the new construction,’ Pollack said. ‘People were building in anticipation of rooftops that never got built. The problem was that nobody anticipated the depth of the recession. Therefore, you had all this stuff that was in the building stages when the recession hit, and it took a while to turn that off. And then, of course, you can’t close down a half-done building. You have to finish it.’”

“Welcome to Palm Beach County’s newest city: Westlake (pop. 5). Only a handful of people live in this hamle. But when developer John Carter surveys the still mostly barren landscape, he sees South Florida’s next bustling and vibrant community. The population will start climbing by the end of the year and could eventually reach 15,000 as the development’s 4,500 homes are built over the next decade. Homes start at $276,000, but that’s lower than the county’s median sales price of $325,000. Top-end homes will approach $500,000.”

“Developers are offering down-payment assistance — up to 3 percent of the purchase price in the form of an interest-free loan — along with discounts for government and civil service employees.”

“Though job growth is slowing in the Bay Area, giving rise to worries about a downturn in home values, experts are predicting a slowdown at worst for the real estate market — and no changes at best. Christopher Thornberg of Beacon Economics maintained, ‘Profits for tech are still good. Exports are picking up, venture capital has just started to pick up in the Bay Area and there are no underlying issues to suggest that the tech industry is heading for some dramatic drop or pullback. Rather, it has reached a sustainable plane.’”

“Robert Edelstein, co-director of the Fisher Center for Real Estate at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, isn’t quite as positive. ‘A slowing of employment here can be enough to make the housing market not so robust,’ Edelstein said. While Facebook is on top now, it could go the way of similar platforms such as Friendster and LiveJournal, he said. ‘If the U.S. economy and the world economy slow down, people aren’t going to be buying the $1,000 Apple X. If they don’t do so, Apple may need to slow their growth, and the Bay Area will suffer and so will the real estate market,’ Edelstein said.”

“The days when multimillion dollar teardowns in Metro Vancouver triggered bidding wars pushing the offers above the asking price seem to be over. Three in four detached houses in Canada’s once hottest housing market sold below asking in November, according to home sales data sent to ThinkPol by a real estate industry whistleblower. The industry insider claimed that they’re releasing the data told address what they see as unethical and deceptive practices of the industry. The asking prices ThinkPol looked at were the final list price, which were often much lower than the original list price. ThinkPol also found that many properties had been delisted and relisted at a lower price, thereby hiding the price drop and days on the market.”

“‘Just the other day, my colleague bragged about how she got her client to come ten percent over asking by blatantly lying to them ‘you have to make that offer or you’ll regret it if you get outbid’ knowing that property had just been delisted and relisted to reset the days on the market,’ the insider told ThinkPol. ‘This is the way the industry has been, bending and twisting the numbers, trying to show that there is no slowdown in the market whatsoever, and real estate prices will continue to grow as before, and toying with people’s emotions to get them to overleverage themselves.’”

“Singapore’s authorities are concerned the island-state’s property market could be setting itself up for a fall. There should be vigilance about risks ‘including the impact of rising interest rates, geopolitical developments, and excessive exuberance in the property market,’ said Ong Chong Tee, a deputy managing director of the central bank, the Monetary Authority of Singapore.”

“Persuading people to be more cautious could be a tough sell. Others, like IT sector employee Bernard Ng, are being driven into the market because of the fear of missing out on a good deal. ‘If you don’t buy now, it will be even more expensive next time,’ said Ng.”

“A widening chasm between housing prices and rental cost could be a sign that a correction is right around the corner. The biggest chasm can now be found in Norway. That’s the finding of a study of 20 advanced economies by Moody’s Investors Service. And now the market is showing signs of cooling, sparking concern of a possible economic downturn. Rapidly falling prices this year have wiped out annual price gains amid a surge in housing supply and as buyers have rushed to sell.”

“The central bank is playing cool for now. Norwegian central bank Governor Oystein Olsen, who last week signaled he’s preparing to raise interest rates as soon as next year, says he expects a ’soft landing.’”

“Buying off-the-plan has long been a popular option for Aussie homebuyers — but what happens when things don’t go to plan? Telopea neighbour Carmel Bennett is dissatisfied with her kitchen, and was told that the floorplans she’d seen before buying were actually only for marketing purposes and not a true reflection of the new home. ‘There’s nothing I can do about it now, I’m stuck with it — unless I want to rip the kitchen out and put a whole new kitchen in,’ she said.”

“‘Most investors buy-off-the plan because they’re convinced they will save on stamp duty and tax relief, but a poor performing property with a tax benefit or stamp duty savings is still ultimately a poor performing property, and you’ll lose money in the long run,’ said Property Mavens founder Miriam Sandkuhler.”

“Ten years ago this month was the start of a vicious recession, and some scars remain even if the economy has healed. The Great Recession destroyed more than 248,000 jobs in metro Atlanta – about one of every 10 – and led to a quarter-million foreclosures. To Annie Manning, that past is not so past. She had lived in her Stone Mountain home for 15 years when a ‘friend’ persuaded her to refinance, getting her a low mortgage rate and soft-pedaling the extent that her rates would rise two years down the line.”

“When the rate reset in 2007, her monthly payments went from $572 to $874. As a healthcare worker making less than $25,000 a year, she knew she was in trouble. Manning says she would have liked to have stayed in that Stone Mountain home a few more years. But she is not complaining. She lives now in a federally subsidized apartment complex in Atlanta. She thinks the house was worth about $120,000 when she left. If she had stayed and sold it, she would have walked away with some cash.”

“She tries to look back with a sense of peace, she said. ‘It was a blessing. I couldn’t see it in the beginning. At the time, I was depressed. I felt embarrassed…’ Recalling, she tears up and has to stop for a moment. ‘It has been so long,’ she said. ‘My God, I thought I was over it.’”

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Comment by Ben Jones
2017-12-22 09:28:25

‘The problem was that nobody anticipated the depth of the recession.’

Bzzz, wrong answer Elliot.

‘Therefore, you had all this stuff that was in the building stages when the recession hit, and it took a while to turn that off. And then, of course, you can’t close down a half-done building. You have to finish it.’

There are 6 or so stalled towers in Miami right now. There were also some in Phoenix a few years back.

Comment by Ben Jones
2017-12-22 09:41:36

Plus these guys forget how the builders hammered their own buyers with discounts on newer shacks, driving a bunch of them into strategic default, pushing prices lower yet and repeat. Jeebus, the shack companies just eventually folded their LLCs and headed to the beach.

Comment by 2banana
2017-12-22 09:46:02

Hey - did anyone anticipate Bitcoin dropping from $20k to $10k in four (4) days?

Comment by junior_kai
2017-12-22 15:00:56

Ray Charles could have seen that coming, along with coinbase not being able to process transactions. Liquidity, what is it good for? Absolutely nothing, say it again!

In my local fishwrap a few weeks ago was an article about a guy selling his estate, something on the order of 3M, but he wanted bitcoin. His son had been studying crypto and based on the knowledge and wisdom of what appeared to be a 20 year old the Dad figured it was the future of money. Bet he’s revising that requirement.

Comment by Ben Jones
2017-12-22 16:32:56

‘Miami real estate loves Bitcoin – will Bitcoin love it back?
Developers and brokers are embracing the cryptocurrency - but have they factored in its volatility?’

‘By Katherine Kallergis | December 19, 2017′

‘A condo for sale in Miami hit the market earlier this month accepting only Bitcoin, grabbing headlines as one of the only U.S. real estate listings to limit itself to the cryptocurrency.’

‘The one-bedroom pad at 480 Northeast 30th Street listed on Dec. 8 for 33 Bitcoin, or about $550,000 at the time, according to the listing agent. But as of Tuesday, 33 Bitcoin is now equal to about $603,000. In dollar terms, that’s a jump in the asking price of about 10 percent in less than two weeks.’

“A lot of folks who have been speculating on Bitcoin are trying to find a place to put this wealth,” said Andrew Hinkes, a Miami-based attorney. Foreign investors sitting on “mountains of capital” could also turn to Miami real estate as a safe haven for their cryptocurrency fortunes, he said.’

“The big benefit is not needing to rely on an intermediary – a bank, an escrow officer, all the middlemen we typically have to use,” said Lifthrasir, founder of Velox.RE, a blockchain real estate startup based in California, that created a blockchain deed software implemented in Chicago’s Cook County. “Transferring that amount of money through a bank can be a pain.”

‘The unregulated space could also appeal to buyers with secretive or illicit sources of wealth, experts said. Khoi Dang, a corporate attorney at Duane Morris in Los Angeles, said blockchain technology may potentially open the doors to shadier deals.’

“It provides some level of anonymity as to the source of the funds,” Dang said. “Because of that, it does lend itself to a way of moving currency [unwatched] outside of the country.”

‘And foreign buyers who want to avoid the red tape of the current process may be particularly drawn to Bitcoin. “No one can stop you,” Bitcoin advocate and investor Joshua Unseth said. “You’re avoiding a lot of international regulations.”

Do these people really think money-laundering is going to be tolerated because of the form?

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Comment by palmetto
2017-12-22 19:38:54

“Do these people really think money-laundering is going to be tolerated because of the form?”

Does the Clinton Foundation exist? Wells Fargo? HSBC?

Seriously, I don’t understand why people are so down on digital currency. Yes, I know I gave Bill LA a raft of stuff about it, but I’ve been re-thinking. Here we’ve been talking about end the Fed and other bankster related stuff. Well, no one is going to listen to us about end the Fed. So we’ve got to end it ourselves. This is one way of doing it, for starters. Yes, there’s bugs, but they are with the exchanges, not the currency. Believe me, those bugs will be worked out.

Like I said, as long as people have confidence in it and will accept it for payment and can further use it themselves to make payments, then you’ve got money whether you or I like it or not. At this point, it looks as if the only thing that can stop it is an EMP. So, always have some physical PM as a hedge.

Comment by Ben Jones
2017-12-22 20:06:32

‘I don’t understand why people are so down on digital currency’

Speaking for myself, it’s what Jerry Seinfeld said about dancing: ‘it’s stupid.’

Comment by palmetto
2017-12-22 20:10:51

So’s fiat, but that hasn’t stopped anyone from using it.

It’s nice to have a workable alternative. Or a number of them.

Comment by Ben Jones
2017-12-22 20:15:44

‘It’s nice to have a workable alternative. Or a number of them’

OK, let’s start an HBBcoin. Now you send me some money and let’s get going. Or we could just keep using the yellen bucks because I don’t really see what I am adding to the picture.

Comment by palmetto
2017-12-22 20:36:19

Actually, you could do that. To keep it going, however, requires the confidence in and acceptance of HBB coin as a payment.

Money is just an idea, really. Digital currency is an idea, and we’ll have to see where it goes.

Comment by Ben Jones
2017-12-22 21:06:46

Yes, but that’s the thing about bubbles. You have to say something when it matters.

Comment by Professor 🐻
2017-12-23 07:31:02

Upward volatility = liquidity on steroids and an investing mania where true believers mortgage their houses to buy as many Bitcoin as they can afford.

Downward voluntary = liquidity crunch, panic, race for the exits, abandoning ship without enough lifeboats, systemic risk that the leveraged Bitcoin collapse could destroy the entire global financial system, and pleas for bailouts.

Comment by rms
2017-12-22 17:32:16

“Ray Charles could have seen that coming…”


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Comment by Professor 🐻
2017-12-22 23:51:10

Did you all miss the chance to get your money out of Bitcoin before the massive collapse?

Comment by In Colorado
2017-12-22 11:36:47

This makes me think of all the Chinese ghost cities, where speculators purchase unfinished flats simply to flip. On the outside the Towers look finished, but when you peek through the windows, you see bare concrete walls, the interiors are completely unfinished. I guess they could do that in Miami too.

Comment by Anonymous
2017-12-22 13:39:46

“There are 6 or so stalled towers in Miami right now. There were also some in Phoenix a few years back.”

And the Las Vegas Fontainebleau is still an empty shell. Though hope (continuously) springs eternal for it…

Comment by Senior Housing Analyst
2017-12-22 09:29:00

North Bethesda, MD Housing Prices Crater 10% YOY

*Select price from dropdown menu on first chart

Comment by taxpayer
2017-12-22 11:21:32

that’s Oxide country

Comment by Mafia Blocks
2017-12-22 14:36:34

Poor Donk…. Poor poor Donk.

Comment by oxide
2017-12-22 17:41:39

North Bethesda is the ritzy part of town; I could never afford to live there.

Comment by Ben Jones
2017-12-22 09:30:35

‘Incoming capital from the Middle East into the U.S. real estate sector totaled $4.057 billion in the third quarter—a decline of 71 percent compared to the same time last year.’

Comment by rms
2017-12-22 17:56:56

“While investors are aware of issues related to the immigration ban, it is more likely that their top concern is simply pricing, says Jim Costello, senior vice president at RCA.”

+1 It’s not complicated.

Comment by Mr. Banker
2017-12-22 09:34:52

1. Dumb ‘em down.

2. Profit.

“‘Just the other day, my colleague bragged about how she got her client to come ten percent over asking by blatantly lying to them ‘you have to make that offer or you’ll regret it if you get outbid’ knowing that property had just been delisted and relisted to reset the days on the market,’ the insider told ThinkPol. ‘This is the way the industry has been, bending and twisting the numbers, trying to show that there is no slowdown in the market whatsoever, and real estate prices will continue to grow as before, and toying with people’s emotions to get them to overleverage themselves.’”

Comment by Mafia Blocks
2017-12-22 09:46:57

“‘Just the other day, my colleague bragged about how she got her client to come ten percent over asking by blatantly lying to them

They lied for years about demand when in fact demand was collapsing.

Does anyone believe they had an epiphany and started telling the truth? LOL….. This is the kind of skulduggery resulting in fakenews that got President Trump elected.

Comment by 2banana
2017-12-22 09:49:46

1. The Real Estate Agent works for the SELLER

2. The higher they get in the price of the house, the higher is their commission.

3. Therefore, treat all Real Estate Agents as the enemy. As well as the banker and the appraisal dude.

Comment by SFMF
2017-12-22 11:11:32

Finding an honest r/e agent is like finding a good/honest mechanic. Hang on to them for dear life, because you may never find one again.

Comment by BlueSkye ⚓
2017-12-22 16:37:44

That’s funny!

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Comment by Neuromance
2017-12-22 18:26:46

If you’re a seller, a real estate agent is a pretty good deal in today’s locked down RE market (the RE sector frowns strongly on FSBO’s, and they heavily influence the laws).

If you’re a buyer, simply realize that your realtor makes more money the higher the price is. And they are in fact paid by the seller so are in reality working for the seller. And that they have families to feed, and bills to pay. So their goal is to find the highest price you are willing to pay to do the deal (there are uncomfortable similarities to a fifth column for the unsophisticated buyer).

Comment by 2banana
2017-12-22 09:39:53

If the just signed into tax law did nothing else but these TWO things - what a YUGE step in the right direction and a YUGER win.

God Bless DJT.


What Will the Tax Law Do to Over-Indebted Corporate America?
by Wolf Richter • Dec 22, 2017

The new law sharply limits the deductibility of corporate interest expense.

Starting in 2018, a company can only deduct interest expense of up to 30% of its Ebitda (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization). Any amount in interest expense beyond it will no longer be deductible.

This will tighten further in 2022, when the deductibility of corporate debt will be capped at 30% of earnings before interest and taxes but after depreciation and amortization expenses. This is a much smaller number than Ebitda. And interest expense deduction is capped at 30% of that much smaller amount. This will raise the tax bill further.

Most impacted will be highly indebted companies, which often have a junk credit rating. And due to this junk credit rating, they also pay higher interest rates. This made the interest expense deduction very valuable. But now it is getting partially gutted.

Businesses have long been incentivized to borrow, not only by the extraordinarily low interest rates even for junk-rated companies, but also by the full deductibility of interest expense. And thus encouraged by the tax code, corporate debt has surged. Mergers & acquisitions, share buybacks, leveraged buyouts, and dividends have often been funded at least partially with debt. And over the years, companies have piled on an enormous amount of debt.


What Did You Win?
Market Ticker - 12/20/2017

When it comes to homeowners mortgage interest deductability is moved down to $750,000 from $1m. That won’t bite middle-class people but the loss of HELOC / HELOAN interest deductibility will, as that’s immediate as of January 1st and permanent, if I’m reading the bill correctly, with no grandfathering for existing loans.

Got a HELOC? The interest deduction for that ends on December 31st.

Comment by SFMF
2017-12-22 09:57:18

Once upon a time, credit card debt was tax deductible. Then that deductibility went away. And the result was a YUUGE decrease in credit card debt right? Ooops. No that didn’t happen at all.

Same with mortgages. People do not make their life decisions based on tax deductions. First off with the next tax bill, it’s estimated 90% of tax files won’t itemize. It’s about 70% now. Which means the MID could ve $750K or $7.50 and for 9/10 people it is irrelevant.

Once again, the MSM (and everyone here) ignores the fact that the standard deduction has doubled and is now at $24K for married filers. You have to work pretty hard to get to $24k deductions. I’m an evil sorta rich person and I am under $24K. All my deductions are business deductions. Once I get to personal tax returns I’m around $15-18K a year. Eliminate every deduction you want, heloc, MID, SALT, I’m still coming out better off just from the doubling of the standard.

Comment by 2banana
2017-12-22 10:05:49

You are partially correct and incorrect.

Yes, for most folks, this is a nothing burger. For lower middle class - it is a modest tax reduction.

For those living on the HELOC escalator - it is going to cost them dearly. And will probably stop those on the fence.

For highly indebted companies (so many to list of the “tech revolution v2.0″ and GE wannabes) - it is going to crush them.

Comment by SFMF
2017-12-22 10:38:17

90% of people don’t itemize. So at the very absolute worst case, 90% will either be better off or unchanged.

And companies will be crushed by having their tax rate almost cut in 1/2? That’s a new spin on it.

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Comment by BlueSkye ⚓
2017-12-22 13:43:50

If taxable income was very low compared to interest payments, could be difficult.

Comment by BlueSkye ⚓
2017-12-22 13:40:55

“Businesses have long been incentivized to borrow…”

It used to be that having to borrow money to survive was considered a most unfortunate turn of events. Very undesirable. In the past 40 years it has become the smart business model. That will change.

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Comment by Patrick
2017-12-22 18:54:37

This sounds to me as a carried interest overhaul. Most senior exec people who have been using it to create capital gains seem to borrow from their companies who in turn borrow from banks, etc. Make it non deductible at corp level and you’ve defeated the paperhangers.

But then what would I know. I’m Canadian.

Nice find 2bannana

Comment by MacBeth
2017-12-23 08:52:19

I very much like this and a few other parts of the tax bill - it represents a sea change. A forcing of new attitudes….and a new practicality.

Pragmatism is where it’s at these days, and will be for a few decades to come. Because has to be.

Comment by Elron
2017-12-22 15:36:20

Not only will it smite the unbelievers and destroy all that we fear and hate because we don’t understand it, Donald J. Trump’s tax cut will ALSO cure your lumbago and constipation! Hooray! Hooray for Donald J. Trump, the most awesome president we have ever had!

Comment by junior_kai
2017-12-22 17:37:50

Lumbago sounds like yet another cuban dance to be honest.

How’s your nothingburger taste? Should have ordered it without the onions - wouldnt have all those tears :)

Comment by BlueSkye ⚓
2017-12-22 19:20:20

awesome president…

The first payoff was not to hear/see Screech every day. It’s a win. Anything else is the gravy.

Comment by In Colorado
2017-12-22 20:21:19

Just the thought of seeing her smug face and that fingernails on a chalkboard voice in oval office is enough to induce nausea.

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Comment by Anonymous
2017-12-23 09:49:28

AMEN !!!!!

Comment by SFMF
2017-12-22 09:49:18

Oh my….

“Washington (AFP) - New US home sales saw their largest monthly increase in more than 25 years in November, with buyers in the fire-stricken West snatching up new houses at a rapid rate, according to government data released Friday.”

Comment by 2banana
2017-12-22 10:00:53

Last inflate of the bubble (housing is already declining in Miami, NYC, Toronto, Chicago, etc.) or buyers trying to get “grandfathered” before the Trump tax law takes effect?

Comment by SFMF
2017-12-22 10:41:42

That’s one possibility.

The other is maybe after 8 years of Obama’s recession, the economy is finally booming and people have money and confidence to buy a house? Nah. Let’s go with the conspiracy theory.

Comment by Mafia Blocks
2017-12-22 10:45:51

With housing demand a 20-year lows and hundred million unemployed people in this country, it’s going to take a little time.

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Comment by Professor 🐻
2017-12-23 08:31:28

The new tax law has stimulated a home sales boom!

Comment by rms
2017-12-23 12:09:31

Sorta like firearm sales when Dianne Feinstein has a triple-shot doppio.

Comment by Senior Housing Analyst
2017-12-22 10:04:19

Westlake Village, CA Housing Prices Crater 5% YOY

Comment by Apartment 401
2017-12-22 10:09:10

Realtors are liars.

Comment by Mafia Blocks
2017-12-22 10:10:47

…. and every closing a crime scene.

Comment by MWR
2017-12-22 10:18:47

Rather, it has reached a sustainable plane.’” (Plain???)

HMMM… Is that the same as a permanent plateau

Comment by Ben Jones
2017-12-22 10:20:19

It’s Berkeley.

Comment by MacBeth
2017-12-23 08:55:28

LMAO! Too true…

Comment by BlueSkye ⚓
2017-12-22 13:46:09

The rane in Spane falls mainly on the plane. I guess at Berkley you get the grade you feel you deserve.

Comment by Ol'Bubba
2017-12-22 18:30:22

Is this gonna be on the final?

Comment by BlueSkye ⚓
2017-12-22 19:04:35

Only if you want it to be.

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Comment by Ben Jones
2017-12-22 10:59:11

‘the floorplans she’d seen before buying were actually only for marketing purposes and not a true reflection of the new home. ‘There’s nothing I can do about it now, I’m stuck with it — unless I want to rip the kitchen out and put a whole new kitchen in,’ she said.’

There’s a funny photo at this link.

Comment by 1225pong
2017-12-22 13:36:36

This happened in Asian countries a lot. Builders start selling their “future apartments” before they even break the ground for foundation. Basically they just build a fancy show case unit (with temp materials and can easily put together and remove that kind of show case) and some fancy printed flyer and they are ready to sell. I remember I’ve seen an apartment flyer during the show-case-sell-event as well as the finished product. The living room was so tiny that you can only put a kids version sofa in, and the only bed fitted in the bedroom would only be a coffin for vampire sleep-in. It’s basically a finished midget size apartment. Therefore I’d never buy any house that I cannot see yet.

Comment by 2banana
2017-12-22 11:08:05

These townhouses were obviously never meant to live in.

They were designed as Chinese money laundering boxes in the air.

Comment by 2banana
2017-12-22 11:15:46

Does this effect property values? Just make sure you bid 10% over asking price - just to be really sure.

Wonder if HGTV will do a follow-up on their “international house hunters” series on Americans who by houses in tourist spots all across the mundo…


6 Bodies Found Hanged From Bridges Near Mexican Tourist Resort in Baja California Sur
KTLA - 12/22/2017

Four bodies were found municipality of Los Cabos, the other two near the state capital of La Paz. The bodies were found suspended from three bridges located near the two main international airports and the highways leading to the popular beach resort of Cabo San Lucas.

Authorities have not released the identities of the deceased nor said who they believe to be responsible for the deaths.

Violence in the Baja California Sur region has increased in the past three years, due to an ongoing territorial dispute between the Sinaloa and Jalisco New Generation drug cartels.

Comment by oxide
2017-12-22 17:57:00

At one point HHI had a Costa Rica marathon. Isn’t that where the retired mobster was shot in the movie Casino?

Comment by 2banana
2017-12-22 11:22:17

Bubble, fraud, ponzi, casino….crash.


Stunning: Bitcoin Price Plummets In Just 24 Hours
cbs2la | 12/22/2017 | Michael Shane CNN

Bitcoin prices plunged sharply to below $11,000 on Friday, shedding a third of its value in just 24 hours, according to data from It later rebounded slightly to around $12,000 — but that’s still a stunning 25 percent less valuable than bitcoin was Thursday morning.

Prices had approached $20,000 as recently as Sunday. The turbulence comes on the back of a few days of bad news for bitcoin, which has still soared by more than 1,000 percent since the start of the year.

On Thursday, a bitcoin spinoff called bitcoin cash was suspended from one of the most popular exchanges after possible insider trading.

Comment by jeff
2017-12-22 11:33:46

“It’s about a 35-minute drive from Westlake to downtown West Palm Beach”

With no traffic, it took a dude I know 2 hours to get in from Loxahatchee (which if I am reading this right is much closer than Westlake is going to be) on Tuesday because of a fender bender that slowed traffic to a crawl.

Comment by snake charmer
2017-12-22 12:56:13

That local newspaper article about Westlake reads like dark comedy. The sequence of events leading to the creation of the “city” is morally dubious even by Florida standards. A sampling:

“Westlake was a development fight decades in the making.

Back in the early 2000s, during South Florida’s building boom, as many as 10,000 homes were proposed for Callery-Judge Grove by its previous owners.

The Palm Beach County Commission, under pressure from Loxahatchee residents worried about losing their rural lifestyle, had initially balked at those building plans.

But in 2006, state law changes pushed by Callery-Judge made it easier to develop by easing restrictions on urban sprawl. A 2012 gave Callery-Judge’s owners the ability to form a city — even with only a handful of residents — and chart their own future.

Minto Communities acquired Callery-Judge Grove in 2013.

A year later, the county approved Minto’s plans to build about 4,500 homes and 2 million square feet of shopping centers, offices and other business space.

On June 20, 2016, the area’s five residents voted to form a city, and Westlake was officially born.”

Comment by snake charmer
2017-12-22 13:06:40

The developer is hawking the future water views to be had on man-made lakes, but I wouldn’t get carried away envisioning a tranquil or bucolic scene. I’ve seen a similar subdivision here. A faux lake in the shape of an oval was excavated, and cookie-cutter houses were erected all around it. Maybe it looked pretty in the sales brochure, but it’s an ugly and sterile reality.

Comment by snake charmer
2017-12-22 13:15:05

Any time a developer in this state makes a representation about a driving time from one place to another, you should take that number, add twenty minutes, and then double it.

Comment by jeff
2017-12-22 12:04:56

You better watch out
You better not cry
Better vote once
I’m telling you why
Donald Trump is coming to town

He’s making a list
Of who voted twice
Gonna find out Who’s naughty and nice
Donald Trump is coming to town

He sees you when you’re sleeping
He knows your News is Fake
He knows if Soros pays you
So be good for goodness sake!

O! You better watch out!
You better not cry
Tell the Snowflakes
I’m telling you why
Donald Trump is coming to town
Donald Trump is coming to town

Comment by Mafia Blocks
2017-12-22 12:42:44


Comment by Apartment 401
2017-12-22 13:23:01

That’s not funny. And neither is this article:

Listen to your betters. Lake Worth, FL is the “fundamental transformation” you were promised, and coming soon to every city and town in USA :)

Comment by In Colorado
2017-12-22 14:23:28

Under the current policy, families can to stay together while awaiting a deportation decision. But the new proposal would force parents to adult detention centers and their children to juvenile shelters.

I haven’t seen the reaction in the Mexican media yet, but this will be a huge disincentive for illegals to bring their children with them when they illegally enter the country.

Funny though, how Salon and the left have no issues with child protection services removing kids from their parents’ home. I have an interesting anecdote regarding this:

A relative’s son, who was a toddler at the time, woke up from a nightmare in the middle of the night. He was disoriented and couldn’t find his parent’s room so he wandered out of the house and wound up on the neighbor’s porch. He rang the door bell and the neighbors answered the door.

Instead of just taking him home they called the cops. Hoo boy, things got complicated fast. The cops threatened to seize the child and turn him over to CPS, his parents begged them not to do that. In the end the cops relented, with the threat that next time there would be no second chances.

Funny how Salon never has articles about situations like that one.

Comment by Anonymous
2017-12-22 13:51:05


Happy holidays, HBB!

Comment by SW
2017-12-22 12:23:52

the pic of the aussie trying to sit on the toilet in that article is hilarious

Comment by rms
2017-12-22 17:42:04

That seems like an odd location for a sliding glass door.

Comment by Ben Jones
2017-12-22 18:00:42

This is from the original article:

‘Alyssa Lee, one of several residents at the new Telopea complex, told 9NEWS she was shocked upon arriving at her home to find it didn’t match the floorplans she’d been shown. A toilet that faced one direction in the plan was instead built directly facing a shower wall.’

‘The sink, previously positioned beneath the window, was also moved to the middle of the kitchen bench. Upon further inspection, Ms Lee discovered flimsy window seals, uneven shelves and power switches that weren’t connected.’

Comment by oxide
2017-12-22 18:13:01

I’m wondering if that’s the door to a shower, not a wall or the door into the next room. Just tell them to sit sideways. It works.

Comment by BlueSkye ⚓
2017-12-22 19:15:09

Just tell them to sit sideways…

Respect for practicality.

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Comment by SW
2017-12-22 12:25:35

I’m pretty sure SFMF is right about the tax breaks. Looks like I stand to gain a 30% cut in my Fed taxes before I really itemize. Try yours at the link.

Comment by SFMF
2017-12-22 13:44:46

I’m right 98.72% of the time.

Comment by BlueSkye ⚓
2017-12-22 13:48:48

…and modest about it the rest of the time!

Comment by rms
2017-12-22 17:47:58

Back when I had a mortgage, student loan debt, dental crown bills, etc., in addition to three other mouths to feed I was never able to gain ground by itemizing.

Comment by shendi
2017-12-22 21:59:46

That calculator is not setup correctly. It asks how much mortgage interest you paid for the year when it should say mortage value. In other words the calculator allows you to put in 750k as mortgage interest.

I rent but I wanted to test the calculator.

Comment by Senior Housing Analyst
2017-12-22 12:46:02

Cooper City, FL Housing Prices Crater 8% YOY

Comment by snake charmer
2017-12-22 13:20:32

“Robert Edelstein, co-director of the Fisher Center for Real Estate at UC Berkeley’s Haas School of Business, isn’t quite as positive. ‘A slowing of employment here can be enough to make the housing market not so robust,’ Edelstein said. While Facebook is on top now, it could go the way of similar platforms such as Friendster and LiveJournal, he said. ‘If the U.S. economy and the world economy slow down, people aren’t going to be buying the $1,000 Apple X. If they don’t do so, Apple may need to slow their growth, and the Bay Area will suffer and so will the real estate market,’ Edelstein said.”

Off-topic, but when did cell phones get so pricey? They’re now being sold using an installment payment plan, like a car. Digital cameras have gotten more expensive too.

Comment by Anonymous
2017-12-22 13:52:43

“…While Facebook is on top now, it could go the way of similar platforms such as Friendster and LiveJournal.”

I guess Myspace has been totally forgotten ?!

Comment by oxide
2017-12-22 18:16:30

It looks like Facebook has already slain all the major competition in its market. Like Amazon and probably google. So Facebook is probably here to stay.

Comment by Avg Joe
2017-12-24 00:22:56

There was a time when AOL had slain their competition. Microsoft too.

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Comment by rms
2017-12-24 10:21:31

Microsoft held most of the cards back in the day, but they likely failed to share enough of their spoils with the Senators and Congress, so the regulatory screws were tightened.

Comment by In Colorado
2017-12-22 17:04:51

Off-topic, but when did cell phones get so pricey?

We can thank Apple for that. FWIW, good old fashioned flip phones are still available.

I have a gray market Samsung J7. The model was intended for the Indian market. I got it for $200. Nice phone, can’t say that I can tell the difference between it and a $700 phone.

But yeah, iPhones have become status symbols. When my (now laid off) coworkers would ask me why I don’t have an iPhone, I just laugh. The Apple cult is very strong, it make me think of that Futurama meme, where Fry shouts “Take my money!”

Comment by whirlyite
2017-12-22 19:14:34

I buy used factory resets for a fraction of the cost of a new iPhone. Always a model or two back, for example, I just got an iPhone SE. IMHO only fools pony up the cash for the latest and greatest. I’m not getting on that treadmill.

Comment by BlackSwandive
2017-12-22 23:08:44

I like to buy the latest and greatest only when my current one fails. My Galaxy S5 is going on 4 years old, and I hope to get another 4 years out of it. Same situation with my laptops, etc. I use them until they’re broken, then I replace them with a high quality unit.

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Comment by whirlyite
2017-12-23 07:22:26

I agree. I meant fools who have to have the latest and greatest as soon as it hits the market!

Comment by Anonymous
2017-12-22 13:57:23

“‘If you don’t buy now, it will be even more expensive next time,’ said Ng.”

Hurry! Don’t miss out! Housing only goes up!

Comment by Neuromance
2017-12-22 17:07:04

Bitcoin loses 200 billion in market value. That’s a lot of money going poof. Guess the central bank will have to step in and start printing to avoid the dreaded deflationary pressure.

But wait! No big bitcoin donors yet (GS is in the process of setting up a crypto currency trading desk). No politicians with big bitcoin holdings, probably. No large swaths of the population exposed to the bitcoin market. Also no big PR machines to shriek about the sky falling.

Somehow, though, I think the apolitical “disinterested technocrats” at the Fed will probably sit this one out, despite the 200 large going poof.

Comment by tj
2017-12-22 17:39:28

That’s a lot of money going poof.

money doesn’t go ‘poof’. it simply changes hands.

Comment by Neuromance
2017-12-22 18:13:20

That’s actually my position too. I’ve had a few discussions here with “money-does-go-poof” proponents and been beaten down. I hope they step in with their arguments. Which to be fair, were pretty good.

If I can sum up their positions, I think there are three issues:

1) With financial assets, money merely changes hands. I think that was agreed.

2) Due to fractional reserve banking, when debt goes bad, money goes poof because the bank lent out money while claiming to depositors it still has that money (see reserve requirement). So in the mind of the depositor, his money has gone poof, while in reality, it has changed hands in an unexpected manner - essentially he’s been robbed. And if the value of the asset it was used to buy goes down, that further poofs the money in some way.

3) Finally the third issue raised was when the valuation of an individual’s assets go down, he is going to spend less as a result of the perceived reduction in net worth, resulting in economic contraction. A reverse wealth effect.

Comment by tj
2017-12-22 18:38:19

1) With financial assets, money merely changes hands. I think that was agreed.


So in the mind of the depositor, his money has gone poof, while in reality, it has changed hands in an unexpected manner

right again. it’s ‘in his mind’. he hasn’t been ‘robbed’ just outsmarted. and no matter how much the asset goes down, no dollars go ‘poof’.

he is going to spend less as a result of the perceived reduction in net worth

probably so..

resulting in economic contraction.

not in isolated cases because there’s been no loss of money in the economy. however, if there’s general fear it could cause an economic contraction.

but the important point to remember is as you agree, money never goes ‘poof’ unless it burns up in a fire.

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Comment by Ben Jones
2017-12-22 18:54:32

‘money never goes ‘poof’ unless it burns up in a fire’

That’s not true. If I have a house that cost me 100k to build and I sell it to you for 100k, if the price crashes I’ve still got the money and you got the poof.

Comment by tj
2017-12-22 19:00:53

If I have a house that cost me 100k to build and I sell it to you for 100k, if the price crashes I’ve still got the money and you got the poof.

i’ve got the ‘poof’, but there’s still exactly the same amount of dollars in the economy. i’ve personally lost the money, but it just transferred to you.

Comment by Ben Jones
2017-12-22 19:08:18

I realize you’re a person who doesn’t like to admit you are wrong, but you are. Money isn’t wealth. It’s a claim on wealth. And when big assets crash in value it is poof. I’ll pick a post at random from ten years ago today:

December 22, 2007

The Gold Mine Came To An End

The Review Journal reports from Nevada. “Local housing indicators in November continued to soften, two Las Vegas research firms said this week. Closings and median prices in the new- and existing-home categories fell from a year earlier, data from SalesTraq and Home Builders Research showed. The market’s median new-home price plummeted following massive cost cuts in October and November, as builders looked to move inventory. And sustained high supply on the resale side suppressed median prices there.”

“The pain hit the affordable condominium-conversion market especially hard. The segment, which carries median prices well below $200,000, moved just 67 homes in November, down from more than 1,000 sales at the conversion market’s peak in December 2005, said Dennis Smith, president of Home Builders Research.”

“Builders pulled just 343 permits, the lowest total ‘in this century,’ said Larry Murphy, president of SalesTraq.”

“‘This market is really, really bad,’ said Realtor Mike Altishin. ‘Quite frankly, I’m not interested in taking a listing at this point unless someone is extremely motivated to sell.’”

“Altishin has a home for sale below $200,000, and it’s fallen out of escrow three times. He’s also sold his own investment properties; one, appraised at $210,000, just sold for $165,000. And Altishin had to cover the closing costs to boot.”

“‘I saw a commercial on TV with some people who had purchased a home at an auction, and they were excited that they had purchased this $250,000 house for $20,000 below value,’ Altishin said. ‘When I heard that, I said, ‘That was about $25,000 too much.’”

“‘It’s a horrible market, but it’s a horrible market that’s going to get better,’ Smith said. ‘We are very close to the bottom. Unfortunately, the turnaround is not going to happen overnight.’”

In Business Las Vegas from Nevada. “More midrise condo projects in Las Vegas have been postponed as part of the continuing shakeout of the housing industry. The number of condo units suspended jumped 21 percent in the third quarter from 3,877 to 4,688, according to Applied Analysis.”

“With financing harder to come by for developers, there were more than 20,000 units suspended or canceled through the end of the third quarter. The prices of new homes and existing homes have fallen, giving local buyers some incredible bargains that hadn’t been available and further competition for the condo market that is also a lifestyle choice.”

“‘There is a lot of competition in the marketplace, and it is difficult for buyers to be willing to pay the premium for a project when there are 27,000 resale units on the market today,’ Applied Analysis Principal Brian Gordon said.”

“In its latest statistics tracking the third quarter, Applied Analysis reported there were 13,033 condo units under construction, led by MGM Mirage’s CityCenter. There are 7,219 existing condo units, up from 5,849 at the end of the second quarter.”

“The closing price of units sold in the third quarter averaged $694,600 or $539 per square foot. At the end of the third quarter, there were 854 luxury condos on the market, up 19 percent from the second quarter. The units had an average asking price of $830,800 or $624 per square foot.”

The Nevada Appeal. “Nevada’s unemployment rate continued to rise in November despite seasonal hiring in the retail sector.”

“Bill Anderson, economist for the Department of Employment, Training and Rehabilitation, said the primary culprit was the construction industry, which was down another 2,500 jobs from October. He said because of the collapse of the housing market, construction has lost some 7,300 jobs in the past 12 months.”

“The Las Vegas area reported 5.3 percent out of work, up from 1.2 percent from a year ago.”

The Arizona Republic. “A slowdown in condominium sales in downtown Scottsdale has altered the plans for Hotel Valley Ho and its residential units. Two years after completing renovations for $80 million, the hotel is opening its tower suites for nightly rentals.”

“Valley Ho, built in 1956, reopened in December 2005 with plans for 37 condos, lofts and penthouses. Three penthouses have been sold, and another will be furnished as a model to entice more buyers.”

“Valley Ho has a handful of full-time residents, and part-time residents and investors, said Andrew Chippindall, Valley Ho general manager.” “Valley Ho’s top-floor units start at $1.6 million for 1,688 square feet, and two-bedroom condos are going for $700,000 and up for 1,350 square feet.”

“Sales of existing condos and townhouses in Scottsdale have fallen nearly 9 percent this year through November, compared with 2006. Median prices have been slumping as well, down 7 percent in November from the previous year. Building permits issued in Scottsdale for condos and apartments have fallen 18 percent this year, with less than two weeks left in 2007.”

“The slowdown persuaded Toll Brothers to hold off indefinitely on construction of its 62-unit Regency townhouse project, south of Valley Ho.”

“Toll Brothers is completing 85 condos on the same site at its six-story building called the Mark. Model units are scheduled to open early in 2008.”

“The two-day auction at the Mesa Convention Center could be the start of a trend. Not only are foreclosures climbing, but so is the number of homes going back to lenders. 2,000 people showed up to bid at, or at least to watch, an auction for more than 200 Valley homes on which lenders had foreclosed.”

“Before last year, most of the homes in default sold at trustee auctions on the steps of the Maricopa County courthouse. Now there are few bidders for those auctions because many of the houses are worth less than what is owed on them.”

“Values of the houses to go on the block ranged from $100,000 to $600,000. All had been taken back by big U.S. lenders. More than three-fourths of the properties sold for prices ranging from $75,000 to $465,000.”

“There weren’t a lot of bidding wars, and prices didn’t soar.”

“Prices started low. The opening bid on a relatively new three-bedroom, 2 1/2-bath house in Goodyear started at $80,000.”

“Unfortunately, there’s plenty of new inventory because 1,344 homes were foreclosed on in metropolitan Phoenix last month. Also, almost 3,500 homeowners who are behind on their mortgage payments got notices that their lender was about to start foreclosure proceedings.”

“Home builders big and small have been scaling back their development plans for the coming year and selling off untouched swaths of land - particularly in outlying areas - to cope with the struggling market. That has created opportunities for investors looking to buy land at a discount.”

“Real-estate experts say the sell-off trend is likely to continue next year as the housing market struggles through its correction.” “‘Our view is that the market is going to get worse before it gets better,’ said John Graham, president of Scottsdale-based developer Sunbelt Holdings.”

“Currently, much of the land offered for sale is in areas like Pinal County and Buckeye, or other far-flung regions.”

“Valley broker Bo Mills, who specializes in industrial properties, watched as land investors sold undeveloped properties zoned for industrial use in the West Valley to hungry home builders during the housing run-up a few years ago.”

“Portions of that land remain untouched and are back on the market, Mills said, but they aren’t being rezoned for industrial uses.”

“‘We’ve always been concerned with the lack of Class A and Class B industry employment centers,’ said Barry Broome, president and CEO of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council. ‘The best real-estate sites should be used for employment sites. You’re in competition for employers; you’re not in competition with houses.’”

The Arizona Daily Star. “When the market got tough, real estate broker Dave Sunderman did what many industry experts advise: He hit the street.”

“Although he might have taken that idea too literally. Sunderman recently stood on the corner of East Tanque Verde and North Sabino Canyon roads with a sign saying ‘Will Sell You A Home For Food’ and offering to donate a portion of his commissions to the Community Food Bank.”

“‘I’m seeing a lot of agents going out and looking for second jobs,’ said Chip Rock, owner of Re/Max Majestic Realty. ‘The agents who know how to sell real estate are still selling real estate. The ones who came in during the boom, they don’t know how.’”

“Among those who may be phasing out is Rick Van Camp, of Red Horizon Realty. Van Camp previously worked in sales for a company that rebuilds circuit breakers, but left for full-time real estate work in 2004. Now he’s gone back to the electrical equipment firm and just does real estate part time.”

“‘My old broker used to say if you had a pen and a pulse, you could write a real estate contract, he said. Since then, it’s gotten much slower.’”

“The total volume of real estate sales — and pool of potential commissions — has fallen nearly 42 percent from October 2005 to October 2007, the most recent figures available, according to the Tucson Association of Realtors MLS.”

“Rock said that, in the current environment, he expects the ranks of real estate agents in town to drop eventually by about a third. ‘The gold mine came to an end,’ he said.”

“Some agents are finding that the post-slowdown market takes more work, including more weekends holding open houses, and more self-promotion.”

“‘Three years ago, quite frankly, you could show up and probably you would have a piece of business drop in your lap,’ said Rosey Koberlein, CEO of The Long Cos., parent of Long Realty ‘That’s not the business climate now.’”

The Yuma Sun from Arizona. “Despite sluggish home sales, sharp decline in new construction and a doubled foreclosure rate, observers of the real estate market are sure there’s a light at the end of the tunnel for the industry.”

“They just can’t see it yet.”

“‘Actually, I don’t think Yuma has been hit as hard as other places,’ said Vicki Bardo, outgoing president of the Yuma Association of Realtors. ‘We had a better year than I thought we would have. Yuma really hasn’t had it as bad as other areas.’”

“That’s not to say the real estate market here hasn’t been hit hard, she said. ‘We’re sitting here with a lot of inventory. There’s no question it’s been devastating, especially when someone has to move and they can’t sell their house.’”

“She said 1,500 dwellings of all types were listed recently for sale by the Yuma association’s MLS. That doesn’t include homes the owners are trying to sell themselves or most of the new construction.”

“‘The market is bleeding and there is a lot of volatility in the mortgage market. Most of the exotic mortgages are gone. They no longer exist for people with poor credit or no down payment,’ said Brian Holiman, branch manager for Yuma Mortgage Group.”

“‘But I happen to believe this is a really good time to buy a house,’ Holiman continued. ‘Sellers are realizing they need to bring their price down and make other concessions.’”

“One thing he’s seeing, he said, is that people have become more realistic. ‘They’re buying what they can actually afford.’”

“Caught in the middle are the many people who overpaid for a house - often speculators - with the expectation of a quick turnaround and fat profit from the accelerating prices, Holiman said. ‘That’s come back to haunt them. I’m seeing at least one person a week who’s in trouble.’”

Poof, and lots of it.

Comment by BlueSkye ⚓
2017-12-22 19:09:09

Poof is German for fooked.

Comment by Ben Jones
2017-12-22 19:13:07

Let’s do another one in case you aren’t convinced:

December 22, 2007

Sales Fell More Steeply Than Usual In California

The Used House Salespeople report from California. “Home sales decreased 36.2 percent in November in California compared with the same period a year ago, while the median price of an existing home fell 11.9 percent, C.A.R. reported today. ‘While it is normal for sales to decline at this time of year, regional sales fell more steeply than usual because of the ongoing liquidity crunch and tighter underwriting standards,’ said C.A.R. President William E. Brown.”

“‘The large decreases in the statewide median price of the past few months have resulted from difficulties in obtaining jumbo loans, particularly in the upper and middle tiers of the market,’ said C.A.R. Chief Economist Leslie Appleton-Young. ‘Whether this trend will continue after the liquidity crunch has eased remains to be seen.’”

“C.A.R.’s Unsold Inventory Index for existing, single-family detached homes in November 2007 was 15.3 months, compared with 6.4 months (revised) for the same period a year ago. In a separate report covering more localized statistics generated by C.A.R. and DataQuick Information Systems, 13.9 percent, or 41 out of 295 cities and communities, showed an increase in their respective median home prices from a year ago.”

The Daily Bulletin. “Depending on your perspective, the California Association of Realtors’ November housing report had a little something for everyone. The bad news, of course, was for homeowners, who saw the value of their property decline, 14.3 percent in the Inland Empire.”

“The good news was for would-be buyers, who saw the median price of a home in the state fall below half a million dollars. The bad news is that it’s tough to get loans, particularly of the jumbo variety.”

“The good news is that there are plenty of homes on the market, unless you’re a seller, in which case that’s just more bad news.” “The San Bernardino-Riverside area median price fell to $344,140, with sales in the region off 43.2 percent from a year ago. The High Desert was even harder hit, with sales down 52.1 percent and the median price of a home down 21percent to $262,650.”

“Todd Tatum of Victorville-based American Housing Group said some new-home builders had been forced to make deep cuts in their asking prices. ‘That’s a bad position for them,’ he said. ‘Especially if you’ve sold the first phase of a development at one price and then you have to cut prices for the second phase.’”

The Daily News. “With the credit crunch eroding the real-estate market, the median price of a home in Los Angeles County and the rest of California plummeted a record 12 percent from a year earlier, a trade association said Friday.”

“In Los Angeles County, the state’s biggest market, the median price of a previously owned house dropped in November to $520,960 from $590,790 a year earlier, the report said. Sales fell 36.5 percent.”

“Robert Kleinhenz, the association’s deputy chief economist, attributed the price declines to potential buyers having trouble obtaining jumbo loans.”

“‘It’s very hard to figure out when that’s going to be resolved because it has to play out globally in financial markets around the world,’ he said of the credit crunch. ‘We’ll probably still see very weak sales here in California because of our reliance on jumbo loans.”

“In the High Desert, which includes the Antelope Valley, sales plunged 52 percent and the median price fell an annual 21 percent to $262,650.

“‘I don’t see much change in this trend. It’s not very good news,” said Jack Kyser, chief economist at the Los Angeles County Economic Development Corp. ‘Right now the news is not encouraging. No wonder people are not out shopping.’”

“”In Ventura County, sales fell 55.3 percent and the median price slipped 6.1 percent to $623,510.”

The Ventura County Star. “Donna Bushno doesn’t have to sell her Ventura home, but after 35 years she wants to downsize. ‘It’s time to move on,’ she said.”

“She and her husband put their three-bedroom, two-bathroom house on the market in July for about $569,000. After 30 days, they cut the asking price to $549,500. After five months and no bids, they dropped their Realtor and are now trying to sell the house themselves.”

“While sellers watch their equity shrink, they’re looking for any way to improve their net, said Allen Bertke, an independent broker with Bertke Consulting Services in Ojai. ‘People are really rebelling against the 6 percent commission,’ he said.”

“This means more business for Bertke. The slow market still hurts, he said, noting that his business has dropped about 30 percent.”

“Bertke’s low prices have attracted a growing number of sellers, but he’s had to walk away from many potential clients who are unrealistic. “‘We are fighting the major problem in the market today, which is sellers’ denial of what the real market is,’ he said.”

“He estimated that 90 percent of homes on the market are overpriced, some by as much as 20 percent. ‘It’s taking sellers awhile to understand the new reality,’ he said.”

Inside Bay Area. “The Alameda County-Contra Costa County region lost 1,800 jobs in November, adjusted for seasonal changes. The setback comes on the heels of job losses in September and October.”

“All told, the East Bay has lost jobs for three months in a row. During that period, employers have erased a seasonally adjusted 4,200 jobs, according to the state’s Employment Development Department.”

“‘The job market is very dismal,’ said Robin Gardner, a Fremont resident who said he has been looking for work as an administrative assistant. ‘I average sending out about 50 resumes a day. This past month, I’ve gotten one interview per week, maybe. I won’t be enjoying this Christmas.’”

“Why is this happening? It was only a year ago that the East Bay was the economic leader of the Bay Area. But the residential real estate wreckage has engulfed at least a portion of the region’s economy and job market.”

“‘This has definitely affected the broader job market,’ said Michael Bernick, a Milken Institute Fellow who specializes in employment policy. ‘There have been significant layoffs in mortgage banking” in the East Bay.’”

“‘The numbers clearly indicate that the housing market has gone beyond just impacting construction and financial activities,’ said Jon Haveman, a principal economist with Beacon Economics. ‘The bursting of housing bubbles traditionally lead to recessions in the United States, and this is the housing bubble to beat all housing bubbles. We are not surprised at all that the economy is slowing down dramatically.’”

“Victoria, a San Ramon resident who asked that her last name not be used, said she has had few responses to her job postings on multiple Internet employment boards.”

“Until mid-2006, Victoria worked in an array of jobs in the housing finance and real estate industries. Her most recent stint was at World Savings, whose parent was taken over by Wachovia Corp.”

“‘I’m pretty open to any kind of job,’ Victoria said. ‘Real estate is not a good market any more. A bunch of companies are laying people off. I will definitely consider getting into a new field.’”

From ABC News. “Cesar Dias, who has been in real estate 18 years, is making sure that the foreclosed houses in his hometown of Stockton, Calif. are getting sold, in a quite unusual way. Dias leads the weekly ‘Repo Home Tour,’ where he fills two large, brightly colored buses with prospective buyers looking for houses with big price reductions.”

“There is almost an art to the way he makes the home-buying experience fun.”

“But if you ask Cesar Dias why he conjured up Repo HomeTours three months ago he’ll tell you it’s not about money, or profits, or exploiting the misfortune of others, but about saving neighborhoods in Stockton.”

“Dias believes he is providing a necessary service. ‘We have an abundance of properties,’ said Dias. ‘And banks have to sell, and we have to provide buyers.’”

“There was a housing construction boom partly fed by people who could not afford the expensive houses in San Francisco, 60 miles away. As more and more homes were being built, prices went down and homebuyers were finding homes they could afford, or so they thought.”

“Many homebuyers simply bought to turn a profit; heedless to the bust that would inevitably come as homeowners could no longer afford their mortgage payments.”

“Elissa and Jon Hernandez were on Dias’s tour this week. The Hernandez’s have been renting for years but believe they can finally afford to own a home, thanks to the decreased prices of the foreclosed homes in Stockton.”

“In fact, one of the houses displayed on the tour was a two-story, 2,600-square-foot house that was purchased for $504,000, but now the bank that owns it is only asking $285,000.”

“The Hernandez’s see it as an opportunity as well and refuse to apologize for buying a foreclosed home. ‘We get ourselves into positions and if we can’t get ourselves out, it’s our responsibility to do what we have to do,’ said Jon Hernandez.”

“The Hernandez’s have not committed yet to buying, but it seems like they still have a few things to learn about mortgages. When asked if they were planning to get an adjustable or fixed mortgage, Jon Hernandez admitted that ‘I personally don’t know the difference.’”

“And while the foreclosure tourists are certainly happy to be shopping for a bargain, one wonders what the neighbors think of the colorful road show home-buying circus. It doesn’t bother Stockton resident Don Bailey.”

“‘I don’t care who sells it, you know, just sell it,’ said Bailey.”

The Press Democrat. “There’s a sale on at Windsor Town Green Village, and it’s not the usual holiday season variety. For $11 million, you can buy about a third of downtown, touted in a real estate ad as ‘Windsor’s flagship live/work community acclaimed by the Sierra Club as one of the country’s best smart growth villages.’”

“The New York Times advertisement that began running last week is for property owned by Elvera Bragg, the 87-year-old partner in Town Green Village who is selling 24 commercial properties, along with some of the townhomes. The storefronts and condos also can be purchased individually.”

“Her granddaughter, Sylvia Bragg, said the asking price is ‘a deal.’”

“The Town Green Village has been cited as a shining example of redevelopment in a formerly blighted area of Windsor. It includes a mix of shops and restaurants on the ground floor with townhomes overhead. While the eateries generally have thrived, it’s been a struggle for some businesses, particularly the half-dozen that were run by Elvera Bragg. Right now there are about 10 closed storefronts in the village.”

“Town Manager Matt Mullan said…other cities also are experiencing leaner times. ‘Over the holidays I’ve been in downtown Santa Rosa, Petaluma and Sonoma,’ said Mullan. ‘There’s vacancies in every one of those downtowns.’”

“There are shops at the Town Green that specialize in items such as beads, needlepoint, lingerie, candles, children’s shoes and maps. But residents say it lacks the everyday necessities found on the other side of Highway 101.”

“Orrin Thiessen, the developer who worked with Windsor officials to build the Town Green Village, has acknowledged the Town Green suffered initially from a lack of chain stores to drive up foot traffic. But he said that is changing. Starbucks, for example, is opening in February in a prominent location.”

“Efforts are also under way to attract a grocery store.”

“He said there are about 150 townhomes and residences that are part of the Town Green. Bragg appears to own four of those townhomes that are for sale — with prices ranging from $316,000 to $399,000. Her real estate agents did not return calls seeking comment.”

“Some of the commercial units she is selling still have business tenants, including a cell phone store and candle store.”

“Hal Beck, the executive director of the Windsor Chamber of Commerce, said some of the failures around the Town Green resulted from business owners who did not have strong business plans. He said some of the shops, such as a kitchenware store, were designed more for tourists than locals.”

“‘This is a downtown. If a shop is going to make it, it has to have repeat business. A lot of these shops were not designed for that,’ he said.”

Comment by Ben Jones
2017-12-22 19:15:21

I posted this comment to this ten years ago today:

Comment by Ben Jones
2007-12-22 12:34:08

The timing of this CAR release is interesting. They usually report the same day as the NAR. But from the looks of when the press release hit the internet, I’d say it was mid-afternoon, on the Friday before Christmas. Hmm.

Some of you may remember this urban myth project showing up here before:

‘The Press Democrat. “The sluggish economy, a sharp drop in foot traffic and a pull-out by a major investor are all being blamed for the tough times facing the Town Green Village. It’s a setback for a fast-growing project that has literally transformed the face of downtown Windsor in a few short years.”

“Politicians, planners and business groups have hailed the project as a model of smart, mixed-use urban redevelopment. But ‘For Lease’ signs now litter the colorful, historically inspired storefronts, and more may be on the way.”

“‘I have been living this nightmare for 17 months,’ said Kathy Flinn, owner of Creative Wick, a create-your-own candle studio. ‘I’ve got $100,000 invested here. I can’t afford to walk away.’”

“The town, which has invested millions of in redevelopment funds in the area, encouraged rapid growth in an effort to quickly get new residents living there so the new businesses would thrive, said Debra Fudge, Windsor mayor pro-tem.”

“Orrin Thiessen, the developer and general partner of Town Green Village, said he’s built about 200 residential and commercial units in buildings along the Town Green since 2002. The first few years were fantastic, but he acknowledged the slow housing market and a recent decision by a key investor have limited his ability to extend much help to ailing retailers.”

“‘We’ve got a little bit of a double whammy going on right now,’ Thiessen said.”

“The slow housing market has hit his project harder than other developments because of the way the retail and the residential components are intermingled, he said.”

“In 2005, when Flinn was considering opening her business, she scouted out the area and thought it couldn’t miss. But Flinn hasn’t turned a profit in any of the 17 months she’s been in business. She blames a bad location and poor marketing efforts by the developers. She said there is nothing wrong with her core business model, which involves hosting parties where people pay about $12 to make their own candles.”

“The buildings are comprised of street-level shops with residential units upstairs. Neither are selling as well as they were two years ago, Thiessen said. ‘I have the buyers,’ Thiessen said. ‘I have a big list that have already picked out their condominiums, but they have to sell their homes first.’”

Comment by Ben Jones
2017-12-22 19:16:45

Money can’t go poof, HA!

‘In 2005, when Flinn was considering opening her business, she scouted out the area and thought it couldn’t miss. But Flinn hasn’t turned a profit in any of the 17 months she’s been in business. She blames a bad location and poor marketing efforts by the developers. She said there is nothing wrong with her core business model, which involves hosting parties where people pay about $12 to make their own candles.’

Comment by tj
2017-12-22 19:18:36

And when big assets crash in value it is poof.

are you talking about dollars? that’s what i’m talking about. and when assets crash in value the amount of dollars in the system doesn’t change.

here’s an example with stocks..

let’s say that there are a total of 10 dollars in existence. of that, i have 3 dollars. 7+3 equals the ten dollars in existence. then i buy a stock for 2 dollars. the seller now has my former 2 dollars. so some of the dollars in existence have been transferred. 7 + the 2 the seller has + the 1 i have left. the dollars in existence are still at 10. then i sell my stock back for 1 dollar, so i have a dollar loss. the buyer now has 1 dollar and the stock back. so he is a dollar richer. now the stock buy/seller (broker) has 1 dollar and i have 2 dollars and the pool has 7 dollars. the total dollars in existence is still 10 dollars even though i have lost a dollar. so, no dollars were destroyed even though i lost a dollar in the market.

Comment by Mafia Blocks
2017-12-22 19:25:05

Poof’s and Craters. It’s what is necessary to resuscitate this disatrous economy.

Comment by Ben Jones
2017-12-22 19:31:25

‘the amount of dollars in the system doesn’t change’

I’m an accountant and that’s how I look at it. You have a balance sheet as do I. When mine stays the same and yours goes down with no compensation, that’s yellen bucks gone to money heaven. Jeebus, a fiat created never goes away? We’d be paying 10,000 bit coins for a loaf of bread.

Comment by tj
2017-12-22 19:39:06

i’m not saying people don’t lose money. in your example i’d have lost 100k. but the money is still in the system.

in my very first post on this thread i said the guy losing his money thinks the money went poof, but it really didn’t. he just lost it all. to him it went ‘poof’ but in reality the money still exists.

dollars never get destroyed in the financial system. people lose money, yes. but the only thing that happened was that someone new owns them.

Comment by Ben Jones
2017-12-22 19:47:10

This is pointless.

Comment by Ben Jones
2017-12-22 20:12:11

‘Many homebuyers simply bought to turn a profit; heedless to the bust that would inevitably come as homeowners could no longer afford their mortgage payments. Elissa and Jon Hernandez have been renting for years but believe they can finally afford to own a home, thanks to the decreased prices of the foreclosed homes in Stockton.’

‘In fact, one of the houses displayed on the tour was a two-story, 2,600-square-foot house that was purchased for $504,000, but now the bank that owns it is only asking $285,000.’


Comment by BlueSkye ⚓
2017-12-22 21:09:33

What tj doesn’t consider is that the money was created by borrowing. When the debt cannot be repaid, the money goes poof.

Comment by Ben Jones
2017-12-22 21:13:55

Or that it’s eliminated by repayment or write off.

Comment by tj
2017-12-22 22:09:13

When the debt cannot be repaid, the money goes poof.

if i borrow a thousand dollars from a friend and lose it in vegas, the money just has a new owner. i don’t have it anymore. if i can’t or won’t pay back the loan, the money hasn’t disappeared. it’s still with its new owners in vegas.

what’s the difference if i borrow from friend, loan shark, or a bank? a loan is a loan.

many years ago on this blog i said that dollars are loaned into existence. by that i mean physical dollars. newly minted dollars have no value until they are loaned out from the central bank.

once physical dollars are in legitimate existence they can’t be destroyed by any financial transaction. they are permanent (until they get worn out and then the banks just replace them with new bills).

dollars don’t get destroyed no matter what those ‘money is debt’ videos say. and loan write offs only destroy the loan, not any dollars.

Comment by tj
2017-12-22 22:21:32

Or that it’s eliminated by repayment or write off.

i guess we shouldn’t pay off our loans then or we’d all be penniless.

Comment by OneAgainstMany
2017-12-23 21:27:33


Consider brushing up on the money supply, the money multiplier effect. Also, this is a good descriptor of how money is destroyed when loans are repaid in the way that Ben is describing:

I think one thing that may be tripping you up is that you are thinking very narrowly of money (M0 and M1):,-m1,-m2,-m3,-m4

Comment by tj
2017-12-24 00:48:33

I think one thing that may be tripping you up is that you are thinking very narrowly of money (M0 and M1):

there’s nothing tripping me up you sanctimonious moron.

why don’t you stop assuming what you think i don’t know, and tell me what basic economic principles you believe i misunderstand? and do it on the thread where we were discussing it. you won’t get anymore responses from me on this one.

only a dumbass like you would assume i don’t know about the multiplier effect.

plus, don’t think i don’t know that you’re trying to stir up trouble between ben jones and myself. scumbag.

Comment by OneAgainstMany
2017-12-24 08:21:37

I didn’t mean to touch a nerve, just genuinely trying to help. I’m sorry I offended you. And I’m not trying to stir up anything. I honestly don’t know you, so I don’t what you know and don’t know. Personally, I am always grateful to anyone who points out new information or helps me to see things differently or consider something in a different light.

That said, it seems pointless to continue to have a discussion with you. You’re a bit too testy for my style of dialogue. But feel free to send me information to sources or ideas you feel credible if you feel so inclined.

Comment by rms
2017-12-24 10:15:37

“…how money is destroyed when loans are repaid…”

I remember the Volcker effect of high interest rates back in the early 80’s… no money circulating. Construction froze overnight it seemed. That old cliche, “Not having two nickles to rub together” was true back then.

Comment by rms
2017-12-22 18:01:43

Margin Call Fat cats and starving dogs

Comment by Neuromance
2017-12-22 18:31:18

Neuromance: No big bitcoin donors yet [...]

Actually, the Winklevii are the first bitcoin billionaires. And they seem extremely astute. I wonder if they’ve purchased politicians yet, or have any pull at the central bank.

Comment by palmetto
2017-12-22 19:14:32

The Winklevii are amazing. I sometimes wonder what they would have made of Facebook if Zuckerberg had not stolen it from them. It would have been a classier product, that’s for sure.

Something tells me they will do an end run around the central bank, but quietly, so they won’t need the pull their. Purchased politicians will be insurance.

Comment by Senior Housing Analyst
2017-12-22 18:03:53

Littleton, CO Housing Prices Crater 21% YOY

Comment by Patrick
2017-12-22 19:11:19

With all this talk about losing 1.5 T over the next 10 years -

If the gov collects $100 this year, it gets to spend $100 (mostly on labour) Very little multiplier.

If private industry gets $100 it spends most of it, and the receiver spends most of it, etc. Multiplier of 11 times a year.

Why aren’t we hearing the benefits on the multiplier effect?

Comment by OneAgainstMany
2017-12-23 21:31:03

It will depend greatly on what happens with the results of the tax cuts. If they go to new investment or increasing wages, then the multiplier will take effect. If they go to dividends and stock buybacks, then you probably won’t have much knock-on effects from that.

Comment by Ben Jones
2017-12-22 19:38:10

Trump Order Blocks Major Human Rights Abusers Tied to Clinton

Dec 21, 2017

‘On Thursday, the Trump Administration launched “a new sanctions regime targeting human rights abusers and corrupt actors around the world”. President Trump signed an executive order blocking the property of persons in serious human rights abuse or corruption. An Annex to the order listed 13 individuals who would be affected by the sanctions including two individuals with ties to the Clinton’s and the Clinton Foundation. Dan Gertler, an international businessman who acquired a fortune through corrupt business deals in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, was listed in the Annex. Gertler was also exposed in the recent Paradise papers as Glencore secretly donated millions to Gertler to act as a middleman for landing deals with the DRC. Glencore has a long history of corruption, former leader of the firm Marc Rich fled the United States in 1983 after being “indicted on charges of sanctions-busting, fraud and tax evasion, and accused of arms dealing.” Rich’s family were major donors to Bill Clinton, and Marc Rich was later pardoned by President Clinton in the final hours of his presidency.
Also listed in the Annex to the Order was Gulnara Karimova, the daughter of an Uzbek dictator who allegedly boils his political opponents alive. Karimova organized a Clinton Foundation fundraiser in Monaco, in an attempt to “aquaint herself with Bill Clinton” and “gain favor with Hillary Clinton.” Though the Washington Examiner reports she was “placed under sustained house arrest before the effects of her Clinton connection could be known.”

“Is this Executive Order the start of something bigger?”

Some comments:

‘They took down 2 Billionairs today with Trumps executive order , imagine having 21 Billion in the bank frozen today. After seeing this video I can see these 2 guys were probably associated with Bush in the oil manipulation back in the good old days. Man , first it was billionaire Alaweed taken down by the Saudis last week and now this , I’ll bet you these 3 guys were responsible in some way for 9/11 World Trade centers , I don’t have proof , but watching what’s been going on the past 2 weeks , I bet I’m right. Don’t you just love when some one is rich then they lose all the money and become vagrants , easy come easy go , Ha Ha !!!’

‘This is a brilliant move on Trump’s part — because the EO is pursuant to an Obama-era law targeting Russians (the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act), it’s flying almost completely under the radar — See Politico and WA Times articles. Yet it’s pretty clear that this EO setting the stage to for a major move against the Clinton Criminal Cabal. Combined with the observation of unprecedented numbers of sealed indictments, it’s beginning to look alot like Christmass — Indictments for Podesta the Molesta and fellow pedoophilic parasites — Please let it be so!!’

Comment by Ben Jones
2017-12-22 19:39:59

The EO stated US persons could no longer legally have transactions with those listed.

Comment by palmetto
2017-12-22 20:07:52

Big news. I hope Chelsea isn’t planning on divorcing her husband and getting married again, because the Clinton Foundation won’t be able to pay for the wedding.

Sigh. I wouldn’t put it past her parents to do a Ken Lay and leave her holding the bag.

Comment by palmetto
2017-12-22 19:55:21

“Is this Executive Order the start of something bigger?”

I sure hope so, but I’m not betting on the FBI, DOJ or CIA to enforce it. But just that Trump issued it, that right there is a big start.

Charles Ortel has been laying out the many illegal practices of the Clinton Foundation and its blatant accounting irregularities. It boggles the mind that no one has gone to jail, and yet former Congresswoman Corrine Brown is going to jail for minor charity fraud.

Comment by Ben Jones
2017-12-22 20:01:04

Lots of congress critters announcing they aren’t running again or resigning and CEO’s dropping like flies. Media people too.

This guy did what I thought about but didn’t take the time to do: look up the Clinton connections.

Comment by Mr. Banker
2017-12-23 05:32:00

Hillary: “If that f***ing bastafd wins, we all hang from nooses”.

Comment by Mafia Blocks
2017-12-22 19:56:54

Never get out in the weeds with a bonafide liar.

Comment by Joyce
2017-12-22 21:38:56

Did you see what happened to Bitcoin today? It was just a matter of time till that Ponzi started to collapse.

Comment by Joyce
2017-12-22 21:44:11

The environmental movement has received new vigor lately because Trump is so scary to so many people. The Bears Ears reserve in Utah was desecrated last week.

Comment by jeff
2017-12-23 06:33:37

I don’t sob or break down and cry and it takes a couple of seconds to start, but every time I see or hear this commercial this year tears stream down my face.

Traditions. A Publix Christmas story.

It’s been six months and most of the time my wife and I are ok but every once in a while you see someone or hear something that makes you breakdown.

It happened to me the other night when my wife and I got back from Christmas shopping and I thought of the one who loved the Holiday so much and realized for the first time in twenty-three years I wouldn’t be able to buy her Christmas presents.

I’m sorry for taking up Ben’s space here and anyone’s time but I don’t belong to or use any other social media and I just saw that commercial.

People I have talked to that have been through this say you don’t get over it but learn to live with it and I guess we just haven’t made it there yet.

Shannon you are missed.

Merry Christmas and love always


Comment by BlueSkye ⚓
2017-12-23 09:33:31

Well you have brought a tear to my eye as well. I lost a loved one and no it isn’t ever over. If you are truly celebrating Christmas remember that there is a gift there for all of you, that you may one day be together again.

Comment by jeff
2017-12-24 07:26:39

Thank you Blue

This is the prayer we had on the card with Shannon’s picture.

May the road rise up to meet you.
May the wind be always at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face;
the rains fall soft upon your fields
and until we meet again,
may God hold you in the palm of His hand.

Comment by OneAgainstMany
2017-12-24 08:34:30

Beautiful prayer. I am extremely sorry for your loss. Your daughter sounds like a very special soul. If you feel like sharing, I would love to hear a cherished memory or what your daughter brought to the dance of your life.

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Comment by MacBeth
2017-12-23 09:40:29

There are a good many people here who would like to help you out, if we could. If you are seeking something in particular that might be helpful (an ear, a shoulder, philosophy, support, perspective - whatever that may be), let us know.

Comment by Tarara Boomdea
2017-12-23 11:38:58

Absolutely =(

Comment by Patrick
2017-12-23 19:00:40

We lost our son. I know the pain you are talking about.

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Comment by jeff
2017-12-24 07:18:52


I’m so very sorry for your loss.

Comment by jeff
2017-12-24 07:16:16

“There are a good many people here who would like to help you out”

MacBeth and Tarara

You already have.

Thank you

Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2017-12-24 05:44:43

So sorry, jeff. You are in my thoughts and prayers.

Comment by jeff
2017-12-24 07:36:22

Thank you Prime

I do not discount those thoughts and prayers, we have two other children and two grandchildren now and at times this Holiday season I swear it was those thoughts and prayers that kept us putting one foot in front of another so we could take care of them.

Comment by Mafia Blocks
2017-12-23 07:04:38

“Crypto Craters”

lol@degenerate gamblers

Comment by azdude
2017-12-23 07:51:50

seems like trump is gonna rack up more debt then obama.

Interest rates are not going up if central banks keep buying bonds.

I guess ivanka trump says this tax cut is gonna eliminate the national debt. How delusional are these people?

Comment by Apartment 401
2017-12-23 08:27:23

“A Seattle man has published a coloring book attacking white men to soothe the soul of left-wingers, Democrats, and Black Lives Matter acolytes — just in time for Christmas.

“I Am So Sick of White Guys,” the new coloring book by author Jim Corbett, is, among other things, aimed at attacking “white privilege” and accusing President Donald Trump of being a puppet for Russian strongman Vladimir Putin.

Along with the Trump/Putin theme, Corbett included Ku Klux Klan rallies, attacks on white men for criticizing the NFL’s anti-American protests during the national anthem, and scenes celebrating the left’s attacks on free speech on college campuses.

The idea came from Corbett’s habit of losing his cool over television news reporting on the evils of white people. Corbett — himself a white man — soon began dreaming up his coloring book as a way to relieve the stress in his put-upon liberal life.”

Look closely at the bottom of the book cover, it says “10% of all profits from book sales will be donated to the Southern Poverty Law Center.”

Comment by Mr. Banker
2017-12-23 08:46:25

A population of totally dumbed-down ignorant pukes happily bring forth to themselves this gem …

A snippet: “On the other end, every time I look up from my desk there is a customer who is absolutely drowned in their vehicle. Six thousand dollars in negative equity is the norm, but I’ve witnessed numbers as high as twenty thousand in the last year. Customers are always astounded by how their car has lost so much of its value so quickly. What they fail to realize is their car was worthless from the beginning.”

Comment by Mafia Blocks
2017-12-23 09:08:05

They thought they lost their ass on a car mortgage….. Just imagine their reaction when they discover their losses on the house mortgage.

Comment by rms
2017-12-23 12:56:31

I always enjoyed seeing these loans where debtor’s were driving their third vehicle with the balance due from the previous two tacked on the new loan. Make the payment “fit” and the balance due a balloon payment.

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