December 24, 2017

A Repeat Of An Earlier Situation

A weekend topic starting with the Japan News. “The global economic recovery continues to gather steam. Why has strong global economic growth continued since last year even as political turmoil has emerged in the United States and Europe? Despite stormy seas since last year, with Britain leaving the European Union and U.S. President Donald Trump emerging as a vocal advocate of protectionism, the U.S. economic recovery has entered its ninth year. Meanwhile, Japan’s recovery period is thought to be the second longest since World War II, topping the Izanagi economic boom of 1965-70. What is happening in the global economy?”

“Periods of high stock prices are thought to produce an ‘asset effect,’ in which increases in the value of asset holdings push up consumption and other areas. Improvements in corporate earnings due to trade expansion and the brisk semiconductor market are driving up stock prices, and it is possible that Japan is in a virtuous cycle that positively affects the mind-sets of consumers and companies.”

“Semiconductors are going through a so-called ’silicon cycle’, and there is fear that oversupply will cause prices to collapse. An IT bubble occurred around the early 2000s, in which stock prices surged based on high hopes over the sudden expansion of IT-related businesses. According to the Mizuho Research Institute, the market capitalization of stock prices, seen through global GDP ratios, is approaching levels seen in previous bubbles.”

“Monetary easing has caused surplus funds, and the system of pouring money into assets such as stocks and real estate is the same as in past bubbles. As interest rates begin to rise in the United States, and European countries start to scale back monetary easing, stock prices could slump at any moment. The cycle of boom and bust in the semiconductor market that repeats every three to four years. Thought to occur due to factors such as generational turnover in memory caused by technological innovation. Besides the high growth of semiconductors, the balance of supply and demand is considered fragile due to such factors as enormous amounts of capital investment.”

From the Guardian. “Walk down almost any major New York street, and some of the most expensive retail areas in the world are blitzed with vacant storefronts. Over the past several years, thousands of small retailers have closed, replaced by national chains. When they, too, fail, the stores lie vacant, and landlords, often institutional investors, are unwilling to drop rents.”

“The common refrain is that the devastation is the product of a profound shift in consumption to online, with Amazon frequently identified as the leading culprit. But this is maybe an over-simplification. ‘It’s not Amazon, it’s rent,’ says Jeremiah Moss, author of the website and book Vanishing New York. ‘Over the decades, small businesses weathered the New York of the 70s with it near-bankruptcy and high crime. Businesses could survive the internet, but they need a reasonable rent to do that.’”

“Part of the problem is the changing make-up of New York landlords. Many are no longer mom-and-pop operations, but institutional investors and hedge funds that are unwilling to drop rents to match retail conditions. ‘They are running small businesses out of the city and replacing them with chain stores and temporary luxury businesses,’ says Moss.”

“In addition, he says, banks will devalue a property if it’s occupied by a small business, and increase it for a chain store. ‘There’s benefit to waiting for chain stores. If you are a hedge fund manager running a portfolio you leave it empty and take a write-off.’”

“Like Moss, New York retail property agent Robin Zendell believes it’s too simplistic to blame Amazon. The same signals of over-pricing are seen in every area of real estate, including housing. ‘When you see [that] every corner has a bank or a pharmacy, and there is a gym on the second floor, there’s a simple reason for that: people can’t afford the rent. Why did restaurants go to Brooklyn? Because it’s cool? No, because it was cheap, and [because] restaurateurs were sick of giving investors’ money away so they could pay their rent.’”

“In some areas, notably Bleecker Street, once lined with fashion boutiques including Ralph Lauren and Marc Jacobs, too many vacancies create their own problems. ‘Rents have fallen but now there are so many empty stores there, nobody wants to be alone. So they’ve created more of a crisis.’”

From Desmond Lachman. “Back in 1933, renowned investor Sir John Templeton famously said that the investor who says that ‘this time is different,’ when in fact it is virtually a repeat of an earlier situation, has uttered among the four most costly words in the annals of investing. He might very well have been speaking about economic policymakers and investors today who try to convince themselves that the bubbles in today’s global economy will have a happier ending than previous bubbles because ‘this time is different.’”

“They do so despite the fact that there are a number of good reasons to fear that if today’s global bubble situation is indeed different from 2008, it might be because it is more dangerous. The most obvious way in which today’s global economic situation would appear to be more worrying than that in 2008 is the increased pervasiveness of bubbles today than before. In the run-up to the 2008 Lehman crisis, the bubbles were contained to the U.S. housing and credit markets; today, they appear to be found in almost every corner of the world economy.”

“It is not simply that we are witnessing egregious bubbles of historic proportions in exotic markets like the Bitcoin market or the Leonardo da Vinci art market. Rather, it is as the former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan recently warned, years of highly unorthodox monetary policy by the world’s major central banks has created an unprecedented global government bond bubble, with long-term interest rates plumbing historically low levels.”

“Indeed, global equity valuations are at lofty levels that have only been experienced three times in the last century. At the same time, housing-price bubbles are all too evident in key countries like Australia, Canada, China and Britain, while interest rates have been driven down to unusually low levels for the high-yield debt and emerging-market corporate debt markets.”

“If one had any doubt that global credit markets have lost touch with reality, all one needs to do is to consider a number of recent international bond issues. How is it that a country like Argentina, which has distinguished itself by defaulting no less than five times in the last hundred years, has managed to place a 100-year bond on good terms in the market? Or how is it that war-torn Iraq or little-known Mongolia not only can place bonds in the market but can have these bonds several times oversubscribed?”

“It also does not help matters that the bursting of bubbles today would be taking place in the context of a world more indebted than it was on the eve of the Lehman crisis.”

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Comment by shendi
2017-12-24 08:58:39

If this is what the second longest economic recovery looks like in Japan, a first world country with low salaries, then they are doomed when it all crashes. Japan has the highest number of boomers per capita. The next decade is going to be interesting for them.

Comment by OneAgainstMany
2017-12-24 09:01:35

They keep importing nurses from the Philippines and China to take care of the aging population. They are going to need to develop some robots to take care of their population in order to maintain their mono-culture and ethnic homogeneity.

Comment by 2banana
2017-12-24 09:51:55

But, interestingly, they allow no muslims to immigrate there.

And not matter how many or little Japanese babies are born, Japan will have Japanese culture.

And not ONE Islamic terrorist attack.

A 100 years from now, all will recognize Japan and Japanese.

Can’t say the same for Europe.

Wonder what the car bombs, sharia law and infidel sex slaves will do for housing prices in Europe…

Comment by Neuromance
2017-12-24 10:54:06

There’s kind of a fetishism for the need for a high and growing population (”population fetishism”). It boils down to one concern - who will feed the retirement pension scheme for that country, be it US or Japan or other? The ratio of number of workers to retirees is the value pointed to. As time has gone on, and the population ages, there are typically fewer workers relative to retirees, which requires those workers to pay a larger percentage of their income to support a retiree.

However, if AI and automation increase the productivity of service providers to the elderly (health workers, food delivery, housing, cleaning, etc), the population fetishism among the economics orthodoxy will cease or at least be reduced (there is of course a political/social component supporting immigration here as well).

The economy is a competition for resources. Each actor in the economy tries to convince the other actors to give him cash or other items of value. At the industrial revolution, instead of 100 farmers required to feed a village, it was reduced to one. Now, at the dawn of the AI/Automation revolution, again there will be that consolidation of value production. If you are making more, and there are less people competing for those resources in an economy, that should increase the standard of living of those in that economy.

Of course, this will be deflationary, but not all deflation in a currency is bad:
• High deflation is bad, as people will all become currency hoarders, even when faced with the desire to purchase things that will improve their life.
• Mild deflation may actually make people feel wealthier and more willing to spend.
• Mild inflation actually seems to make people feel poorer, as it reduces their purchasing power and expectations of purchasing power, and recent evidence seems to indicate it may actually suppress spending, much as a tax increase would.
• High inflation is expected to make people spend as the theory goes that they’re going to lose purchasing power, they might as well spend now. However, we have evidence from the high inflation 70s, which was hardly a boom time, and again, the Philips curve, linking inflation to unemployment, broke down, because we had stagflation (high inflation + high unemployment).
• Hyperinflation will in fact without question force people to spend because the speed with which the currency is eroding becomes urgent.

Each of these are unique phenomena, despite the fact they share similar names, which likely confuses both policy makers and economists to lump them together.

Now interestingly, the whole inflation-fetishism angle is due to the debt-based economy we have, which is based on debt-fetishism, which is the belief that debt is the basis of economic growth. Inflation is simply a subtle tax (against instituted by the central bank, bypassing the government’s need to vote on it) which transfers value from savers to debtors, further driving economic growth. Of course, certain types of debt are good - business taking out debt for plant investment or R&D, and paying it back, while receiving a net value surplus (i.e. it pays 1,000 dollars, gets 10,000 as a result of the thing the debt was used to buy). However debt taken on by an individual to purchase a service (e.g. a vacation) likely has net negative consequences.

There have been many decades of evidence to support or contradict these theories. The problem with social sciences is that the foundation is speculation about herd dynamics, and correlations are found in gathered evidence to support or contradict those speculations. The problem is that so much of social science is based on orthodoxies as rigid as those in religions. So contradictory evidence can come in, but until a suitably high-ranking priest willing to bless the evidence and update the canon, the old orthodoxy stays. And if the old orthodoxy is actually beneficial to the high priests, there’s even less reason to change it.

Ultimately when you start with a flawed premise, and derive further flawed premises from it, the ultimate argument doesn’t pass the giggle test. However, it becomes orthodoxy promulgated by the priesthood, much like the emperor’s new clothes, because this is the accepted way to think about the evidence. The social sciences should not be approached the same way as the hard sciences: if a hard science creates a bizarre result based on evidence, it’s probably true; if the social sciences create a bizarre result based on evidence, it’s probably false.

As time as gone on, it seems to be the reality of economic success for a country is likely a kinder-and-gentler mercantilism, which doesn’t provoke conflict (not as brutal as colonial empire mercantilism), along with a focus on productivity and technology growth rather than population growth.

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Comment by Mike
2017-12-24 12:15:08

Great posts today. These are keepers:

So contradictory evidence can come in, but until a suitably high-ranking priest willing to bless the evidence and update the canon, the old orthodoxy stays.[...] Ultimately when you start with a flawed premise, and derive further flawed premises from it, the ultimate argument doesn’t pass the giggle test.

I would be laughing in an amazed, disbelief sort of way ( the same way I might nervously laugh if I saw someone lighting a cigarette while pumping gas ) but this money printing/debt binge threatens (guarantees?) a global economic crisis

Comment by GreenEggsAndSpam
2017-12-24 15:22:52

I dont believe any of the nurses or any one else authorized to work in Japan have a chance of becoming citizens. It is a very closed society and probably one of the most hive like people on the planet, but they are super obsessive compulsive and can turn mundane things into an art form like no other and produce products of great quality.

Wasabi farm

Too much is concentrated in Tokyo, so much so the government is looking to incentivize companies to move away so as to provide a better quality of life for people. Been there, no desire to go back - but I do want to explore more of the countryside.

Comment by OneAgainstMany
2017-12-24 17:06:49

It’s definitely a different culture than that of the US. A huge focus on honor, guilt, and shame. My father speaks Japanese and was VP of Asia pacific operations for a number of years. He loves Japan. I never lived there but would have loved to. I did develop a rather expensive sushi habit though growing up with a Cantonese-speaking and Japanese-speaking household.

Comment by palmetto
2017-12-24 19:04:25

My mother did a lot of business with the Japanese during the 1980s. She said it was one of the best experiences of her life, how she was treated. The people she did business with put up a web page in her honor, which was more than she ever got from some of the New Yorkers who she helped make wealthy.

She never became fluent in Japanese, but picked up enough to get by in her travels.

Comment by BlueSkye ⚓
2017-12-24 20:14:32

I worked in Japan for a while, out in the countryside. I was there to solve a problem and I stayed until that happened. Very interesting experience. One man honored me with an amazing kindness and trust, won’t bore you with the details.

When I got home I had a very large portion of grilled steak.

Comment by Mafia Blocks
2017-12-24 09:43:23

It’s another journalist failing to understand that a “recovery” is defined as falling prices to dramatically lower and more affordable levels, accelerating the economy and created jobs like only falling prices can.

Comment by BlueSkye ⚓
2017-12-24 11:03:11

“The global economic recovery continues…”

The folks who keep saying we are in one big recovery are wrong, and willfully so. They point to positive GDP growth. Any country can have GDP growth just by increasing debt, yet this impoverishes the country.

Comment by rms
2017-12-24 12:33:25

“The next decade is going to be interesting for them.”

There is probably plenty to learn from the Japanese experience. Debt, demographics, limited resources, pride, etc., an economics student would have a smorgasbord of opportunity.

Comment by palmetto
2017-12-24 08:59:17

“The common refrain is that the devastation is the product of a profound shift in consumption to online, with Amazon frequently identified as the leading culprit. But this is maybe an over-simplification. ‘It’s not Amazon, it’s rent,’ says Jeremiah Moss, author of the website and book Vanishing New York. ‘Over the decades, small businesses weathered the New York of the 70s with it near-bankruptcy and high crime. Businesses could survive the internet, but they need a reasonable rent to do that.’”

“Part of the problem is the changing make-up of New York landlords. Many are no longer mom-and-pop operations, but institutional investors and hedge funds that are unwilling to drop rents to match retail conditions. ‘They are running small businesses out of the city and replacing them with chain stores and temporary luxury businesses,’ says Moss.”

Testify! The rent is too dang high!

Comment by Ben Jones
2017-12-24 09:22:58

‘The common refrain’

Despite amazon holding single digit sales. Kinda makes one wonder where these common refrains come from. The author of hte last link worries about the lack of experience at governments and central banks. I for one think we can do without that sort of experience.

Comment by palmetto
2017-12-24 09:46:51

Reminds me of those lame campaign refrains for Hillary: “She’s got experience!”

Not just Hillary, either. Members of Congress, the banking system, finance, the deep state, the sheep state. EXPERIENCE!

Yep, and all of it crap.

Comment by Neuromance
2017-12-24 11:00:30

Ben Jones: Kinda makes one wonder where these common refrains come from.

Bezos owns the Washington Post. A huge media bullhorn.

Having a media desk, which floods the media with PR, creates “conventional wisdom.”

Comment by Neuromance
2017-12-24 11:08:23

Having a media desk, which floods the media with PR, creates “conventional wisdom.”

It puts the “they” in “they say.”

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Comment by GreenEggsAndSpam
2017-12-25 15:24:06

I wonder if Bezos has invested in some of the private equity vampires that buy up RE, in particular commercial in order to jack rents up and making it impossible for small businesses to get established - less competition forcing people to buy stuff from amazon.

I’ve probably said before, but I’ve seen commercial properties empty for years, some for over a decade. What good is that for the economy? Similar beef with the all the stupid government contracts that dole money out to one legged people with a lisp who then just turn around and hire one of the majors to do the work and they just skim off the top. Roll the guillontines!

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Comment by BlackSwandive
2017-12-24 13:54:15

“Part of the problem is the changing make-up of New York landlords. Many are no longer mom-and-pop operations, but institutional investors and hedge funds that are unwilling to drop rents to match retail conditions. ‘They are running small businesses out of the city and replacing them with chain stores and temporary luxury businesses,’ says Moss.”

This is the problem with the entire eCONomic model of the US in general - the consolidation of all assets into the hands of the moneyed few. There was a class war - the people lost.

Comment by OneAgainstMany
2017-12-24 15:12:13

Kind of like the war on drugs. Drugs won.

Comment by redmondjp
2017-12-24 19:14:51

Exactly. And Big Bisnus has figured out how to (indirectly, through lobbyists and legislation writers) craft government regulations designed to keep small businesses out of their sandbox.

I’ve watched my local downtown being transformed into the Agenda 2030 global utopia for the past 20 years now (multistory residential, with national-chain-filled ground-floor retail, with a future light rail line nearby).

Many multi-generational local businesses have been displaced, with many of them closing for good, or moving to a low-traffic street a few blocks away and then closing later.

The war against the little guy is being fought at all levels.


Comment by 2banana
2017-12-24 09:38:29

Losing almost $1 Million on a Home…so far

From the listing:

Real Estate Tax: $45,637.00

The DJT Tax Reform Law hitting progressive targets already?


Millionaire MSNBC Host Joe Scarborough Is Downsizing
Daily Caller | December 22, 2017 | Betsy Rothstein

Maybe size doesn’t matter.

And perhaps bigger isn’t always better?

MSNBC “Morning Joe” host Joe Scarborough is selling his multi-million dollar, Colonial-style, 7,826 square-foot house in New Canaan, Conn., where he resides with his son and daughter. The daughter will soon be going off to school, leaving the large home for just him and his son. Presumably his fiancé Mika Brzezinski spends time there, too.

Scarborough says he’s ready to downsize. The plan is to buy another house nearby.

According to a hometown rag, Scarborough is trying to sell the sprawling home. But so far things aren’t looking too good — they’ve had to lower the price at least once by $409K. The home has been on the market for 40 days.

Scarborough purchased the home for $4,600,000 in 2011.

The current asking price: $3,690,000.

Comment by SFMF
2017-12-24 10:15:33

Like all good liberals he is a liar.

He SAYS everyone should live in a multi-culti city like NYC, yet he lives in New Cannaan, a small town/suburb that is close to 100% white

He SAYS everyone should be environmentally conscius but lives in a 7800 sq ft.

I wonder how he gets back and forth every day from CT to NYC? Probably a chauffeured Suburban. Same guy that whines about Trump pulling out of Paris.

Comment by taxpayers
2017-12-24 11:41:44

wasn’t 2011 the time to buy?

Comment by 2banana
2017-12-24 11:45:41

And those were the RED HOT real estate market days.

If you wanted to lose $1 million + (taxes, insurance, upkeep, renovations) in six years…

Wonder what kind of house a person could rent in the area for $167,000 per year? With some else cutting the grass, fixing the toilets and replacing the furnace.

Comment by Mafia Blocks
2017-12-24 16:59:03

2011? Your underwater if you did.

Comment by Jingle Male
2017-12-25 02:30:21

HA! Is that you? I am not underwater. Sacramento foothills. All the houses I own are worth substantially more than I paid for them. They are selling quickly too.

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Comment by Mafia Blocks
2017-12-25 04:26:33


Coos Bay, OR Housing Prices Crater 19% YOY

Comment by Senior Housing Analyst
2017-12-24 09:40:35

Eagle Creek, OR Housing Prices Crater 7% YOY

Comment by 2banana
2017-12-24 09:46:00

Another DJT Tax Reform Law DIRECT HIT on progressives/liberals.

Wonder if they will see the light and start working for lower taxes and lower spending in their deep blue states…



Want to prepay property taxes to beat federal tax overhaul? Here’s what we’ve learned | 22 Dec 17 | Michelle Breidenbach

The people who collect taxes in New York are acting fast to help taxpayers try to get ahead of a pitfall for homeowners in the new federal tax overhaul.

The bill will no longer allow taxpayers to deduct more than $10,000 in state and local income and property taxes from their federal income taxes.

At the same time, it doubles the standard deduction to $12,000 for a single taxpayer and $24,000 for a family.

That means more people will no longer itemize their taxes.

But there is one strategy homeowners who itemize now can use to beat the bill.

If your county allows payment of 2018 property taxes at the end of 2017, you can pay now and take the deduction on your federal income taxes in the spring, according to many news sources.

But the news has also set off a storm of skeptics who wonder if the IRS will really allow it.

The bill passed earlier this week in Washington prohibited the deduction of prepaid state and local income taxes. But Congress was silent on the prepayment of property taxes, said Stephen Acquario, executive director of the New York State Association of Counties.

Comment by taxpayers
2017-12-24 11:44:42

county/munis will spend the $ as fast as they get it
then 2019 whoops

Comment by rms
2017-12-24 12:38:21

Some of these county/munis cannot pay their fire/police pensions.

Comment by BlackSwandive
2017-12-24 16:55:29

They’ll just increase property taxes.

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Comment by Professor 🐻
2017-12-24 13:46:28

It’s a shame to see federal laws based on political vindication rather than what serves the greater good of the country. Not to suggest that the Democrats are any better. This is a natural consequence of our two-party system of political payback.

Comment by OneAgainstMany
2017-12-24 15:13:54

We need more statesmen (and stateswomen). People who are willing to govern not narrowly based on tribalism, but broadly based on the common good. We need more decency and civility in our discourse. That’s my humble opinion.

Comment by BlueSkye ⚓
2017-12-24 16:20:35

decency and civility in our discourse…

That will get you a little progress with reasonable people. It will get you nothing with predators.

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Comment by BlueSkye ⚓
2017-12-24 16:22:49

what serves the greater good…

Then let’s discourage increases in debt.

Comment by OneAgainstMany
2017-12-24 17:07:51


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Comment by Professor 🐻
2017-12-25 09:40:01

Like, for instance, with the new Republican tax plan, that pays for a big windfall to the top 0.1% with a $1.4 trillion increase in the deficit over ten years? The deficit hawks have been bamboozled.

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Comment by Michael Viking
2017-12-25 10:42:26

Are these the same people who told us Obama was God? How much did Obama’s plan increase the deficit over his 8 years and how much did these people proclaim it would increase when they first reported it? Why should we ever listen to them?

Go Trump! He makes all the right people mad.

Comment by Mafia Blocks
2017-12-25 11:05:36

Especially DebtDonkeys, HousingHens and Degenerate Gamblers.

Comment by Professor 🐻
2017-12-25 15:25:14

“Are these the same people who told us Obama was God?”

Why can’t Republicans just own the fact that they just passed a tax bill to give the economy a short-term sugar high at the cost of a $1.4 trillion increase in the deficit? It is a little late to blame this one on Obama. But since you did, I note that Obama’s deficit spending represented a desperation effort to pull the economy out of the worst economic slump since the 1930s. What is the Republican apology for abdicating their principles?

Comment by Michael Viking
2017-12-25 15:47:58

I note that Obama’s deficit spending represented a desperation effort to pull the economy out of the worst economic slump since the 1930s. What is the Republican apology for abdicating their principles?

I see you’re back like a partisan hack! Democrats good. Republicans bad. Put this tip away in your mind: anything Trump does that you don’t agree with, realize that he has to do it that way because of something Obama did. If it’s not enough to salve your wounded mind, dig deeper and imagine what he does he has to do because he’s paying for something Bush did that your god didn’t fix. If that’s still not enough for you, I’m sure you can dig on back to Bush Sr. or Reagan. Heck, you can probably start working Nixon into your blame game because he got us off the gold standard. Show us your skillz and see how far you can take it. Who was the original first republican who ruined it all? Was there a democrat who could actually fix something? or was every democrat doomed to failure because they had to clean up after republicans? Was there ever a republican who failed because he had to clean up after a democrat? Are you sure the first person to screw things up wasn’t a democrat and republicans have been trying to right the ship ever since?

By the way, do you work for Cirque de Soleil as a contortionist? I was wondering because of your ability to contort reality to fit your point of view.

Trump’s in your head. I love it! Merry Trumpmas!

Comment by Ben Jones
2017-12-25 19:22:40

This is well done:

How Donald Trump Won the 2016 Election - (TIMELINE)

Comment by Professor Bear
2017-12-26 09:18:52

“I see you’re back like a partisan hack! Democrats good. Republicans bad.”

Food fight!

Comment by Don
2017-12-24 22:11:13

The IRS will rule (eventually) if you can deduct 2018 prepaid prop taxes in 2017. I would assume IRS will treat property taxes the same as state income and sales taxes: no deduction allowed.

So you if pre-pay it could be a huge headache down the line

Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2017-12-26 10:29:44

You’ve always been able to pre-pay and pre-deduct property taxes; they’re deductible when paid. I used to use this technique all the way back back in the early ’90s.

Comment by Hi-Z
2017-12-26 10:41:28

The fact that you used it does not mean it was a legitimate ploy.
You simply did not get caught.

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Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2017-12-26 10:47:43

Nope, you don’t know the code—it’s deductible when paid. The county that I was living in at the time sent out the amounts late in the fall, and they were due in the spring sometime; anyone who was paying attention had the option of paying before or after Dec 31st. The county even highlighted the option.

Comment by SFMF
2017-12-24 09:49:25

I’v been looking and looking but can’t find the section in the constitution where it says everyone is entitled to low rent in NYC. Can someone help me out?

Comment by OneAgainstMany
2017-12-24 12:28:40

Not in the US constitution. Other countries do view affordable housing as a human right.

National Economic and Social Rights Initiative takes this position:

Affordability: Housing costs should be at such a level that the attainment and satisfaction of other basic needs are not threatened or compromised. For instance, one should not have to choose between paying rent and buying food.

In the Mexican constitution:

Article 4

“Any family has the right to enjoy a decent and respectable house. The law will set the instruments and supports necessary to achieve such objective.”

In the South African constitution:

“everyone has the right to have access to adequate housing.”

Comment by SFMF
2017-12-24 12:56:02

Yes by all means let’s emulate S. Africa and Mexico, their economies have always been leaders, right? Maybe we should also check out what Venezuela’s hot new ideas are too. What could go wrong?

Comment by OneAgainstMany
2017-12-24 15:17:52

I’m not advocating copying S. Africa or Mexico, just responding to your question. The diagnosis is unaffordable housing. The treatment is open to debate and discussion.

The larger question is, should the United State’s economy be able to create affordable housing? I would answer yes. Clearly this isn not happening, so something is amiss. The extent to which some people have to make very hard choices is a matter of policy discussion.

Fundamentally I believe that people shouldn’t have to decide between paying for rent and food.

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Comment by BlueSkye ⚓
2017-12-24 16:30:13

The solution is easy. Don’t let speculators trade in, hoard or manipulate the necessities of life. Very old principle which our corrupt politicians have abandoned in favor of lobbyist payments.

Comment by SFMF
2017-12-24 16:59:57

The solution is even more simple. Allow the market to work. This is always the answer.

Sadly what we do now is distort the market with insane leftist policies like rent control, subsidized housing, restrictions on land use, etc.

Comment by OneAgainstMany
2017-12-24 18:04:45

restrictions on land use

I would agree that a major impediment to affordable housing is land use, specifically zoning regulations that specify minimum lot sizes and minimum dwelling sizes that are built on a lot. When you add parking requirements, a lot of land goes towards parking cars.

Comment by SFMF
2017-12-24 16:57:50

Nobody has to make that decision. It’s BS. If you’re “poor” in America there are umpteen welfare programs, including Section 8 and Food Stamps that both feed people and provide housing.

So please enough of this nonsense.

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Comment by OneAgainstMany
2017-12-24 18:26:03

Only 1 in 4 individuals who qualify for section 8 housing receive it. The need vastly exceeds the amount allocated for the program. Indeed, some waiting lists are several years long and are closed for years at a time. Many slots are given out by lottery. Section 8 housing assistance is very different from food stamps. With food stamps, if you quality, you get the benefit. Not so with section 8. There is a very limited amount, regardless of need. Even those who do receive the benefit sometimes have difficulty getting landlords to accept the voucher.

To put section 8 in context, the MID cost the federal government $71 billion in 2015 which is more than twice the amount spent on low income renters ($29.9 billion). $60 billion of the MID goes to high-income households. In essence, our federal housing policy is helping high income mortgage holders much more than low income renters. The $750 MID cap is a tiny first step at addressing this disparity, but hardly goes far enough in my opinion

Comment by In Colorado
2017-12-24 21:04:43

Only 1 in 4 individuals who qualify for section 8 housing receive it.

In Denver there is a lottery to get onto the section 8 waiting list.

Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2017-12-26 10:45:44

Only 1 in 4 individuals who qualify for section 8 housing receive it. The need vastly exceeds the amount allocated for the program.

Maybe we should cut the benefit by a factor of four, and at least give everyone who needs it SOME help?

Nope, that would never fly.

Comment by tj
2017-12-24 14:41:18

National Economic and Social Rights Initiative

straight out of marxville, as is usual with you.

Comment by SW
2017-12-24 21:49:09

This discussion on housing as a “right” is interesting and highlights to me that most Americans don’t understand the constitution because they don’t understand the men who framed the constitution. The Declaration of Independence clearly states that

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

Their belief was that God gave people the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. I would argue that they intended government to protect those three things only. They probably would have all voted vehemently against any programs that would tax some to benefit others.

It seems we don’t understand the founders and we’ve gotten very far off the track of a democratic republic.

Comment by aNYCdj
2017-12-24 12:54:46

NYC here is the deal, rent control and then rent stabilization was meant to keep communities intact by offering a guaranteed lease at a negotiated increase. The upshoot is a lower yearly rent roll means a lower selling/buying price.

But the kicker was if a long term tenant leaves or dies you could renovate and possibly up the rent to market rate and when you converted these apartment the selling price would be much higher..huge capital gains

But greedy nasty landlords have tried for decades to harass people into leaving, instead of just offing them $$$$ to give up their lease. so you get people not paying the rent for years while tied up in court..

Think of it as an easement on the property, you have to share a driveway with a neighbor or someone who has a landlocked property in the back. and that goes with the sale of the house. Rent control is no different, if you dont like it well DONT BUY IT.

Comment by SFMF
2017-12-24 13:43:24

Rent control is like communism. It fails 100% of the time, but let’s keep doing it because one day it will work, we promise.

It’s so simple a caveman can understand. When you take away incentive to make a profit, suppliers of rental units exit the market. Supply is reduced, and prices increase. And the supply that is available rots away since there is no incentive to upgrade.modernize the supply. The end result is high prices for poor quality.

But even though the caveman understand, really smart liberals in NYC, San Francisco, Chicago, etc don’t get it.

Comment by aNYCdj
2017-12-24 14:24:22

why do you think there s no affordable housing built in NYC?

Long Island City unbelievable what has happened in the last 10-15 years….Long Island City’s thousands of incoming apartments, mapped
40+ developments poised to usher in Queens’s next generation of rentals and condos

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Comment by SFMF
2017-12-24 15:00:47

Anecdote is not the singular of data my good man. Sure there are some buildings going up. But absent rent control there would be a lot more. Here is the NYT, that well known right wing rag explaining it….

“The problem, though, is that these programs actually make the city much less affordable for those unlucky enough not to live in a rent-regulated apartment, Mayer says. The absurdity of New York City’s housing market has become a standard part of many Econ 101 courses, because it is such a clear example of public policy that achieves the near opposite of its goals.”

Comment by Jingle Male
2017-12-25 02:43:31

Marin county California passed a referendum zoning 1000s of acres open space. Keep out the developer….

Now it has no affordable housing and jammed freeways as development occurs 20 miles north! The quality and affordability of life have both deteriorated.

Comment by 2banana
2017-12-24 10:05:45

Ok. So what do we have (for sure) for 2018?

The Trump Tax Reform is law. $750,000 limit for the MID and $10,000 deduction limit on state/property income taxes.

Slowly increasing interest rates.

The great QE unwind picks up speed.

HELOC loan interest no longer a tax deduction.

Sharp limits the deductibility of corporate interest expense crushing highly indebted companies.

Obamacare now toothless as there is no more fees/penalties for not signing up.

Housing bubbles tipping everywhere.

Bitcoin shows how to lose 40% in a day.

Hmmmm - at least it will be interesting.

Comment by SFMF
2017-12-24 10:12:20

And as usual you forget to mention the lowered rates and doubling of the standard deduction. 90% of filers won’t itemize anymore. 80-90% of filers will get a tax cut. If tax cuts, ie having more money for home buyers is what you’re pinning your hopes on, for a housing crash, you’re going to be waiting a while.

Comment by Mafia Blocks
2017-12-24 10:16:32

With housing demand at 20 year lows and falling fast, housing crashed long ago.

Comment by BlueSkye ⚓
2017-12-24 11:07:01

And as usual you forget to mention the elimination of the personal exemption. It’s starting to look like willful wrongness.

Comment by SFMF
2017-12-24 11:51:43

I’ll see your personal exemption and raise you a $2K per kid tax credit. Remember for a couple earning $110k+, it used to be $0. Now that threshold has been raised to $400K.

You can spin this any way you want it. Fact is with the new bill 90% of people will no longer itemize. 90% of mortgages are under $750K. And even NYT and WaPo admit that 80% of tax files will get a tax cut.

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Comment by BlueSkye ⚓
2017-12-24 12:06:55

I concede on the child tax credit increase.

I am so grateful that I don’t look for that one anymore.

Comment by RickyDanny
2017-12-24 13:00:07

It’s a great deal until the kid grows up and realizes she owes China $2,000 in borrowed money for every year of her life.

Comment by palmetto
2017-12-24 13:19:44

Well, maybe not. That Executive Order presents some interesting possibilities for paying down the debt. I just hope that we used a kinder, gentler way of parting the bad actors from their bux than Saudi Arabia has allegedly used.

Comment by Professor 🐻
2017-12-25 09:46:43

“So what do we have (for sure) for 2018?”

The ten year march to a $1.4 trillion increase in the deficit to pay for the regressive Republican tax reform will commence.

Comment by Senior Housing Analyst
2017-12-24 10:14:10

Emeryville, CA Housing Prices Crater 14% YOY As Bay Area Housing Correction Expands

Comment by Jingle Male
2017-12-25 02:51:21

HA! Is that you. There are 2 houses in your sample! You are such a cherry picking jokester!

Not to mention inventory is down 80% and price/ SF is up 48%! You’re such a fraud!

Comment by Professor 🐻
2017-12-25 09:43:38

“There are 2 houses in your sample!”

Sounds like there may be a dearth of buyers at current asking prices. This is a typical development in the parabolic price blowout phase of a bubble.

Comment by Jingle Male
2017-12-25 14:32:46

More likely the winter slowdown. I can assure you demand for houses is still strong in Emeryville.

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Comment by Mafia Blocks
2017-12-25 15:44:05


Carmel, CA Housing Prices Crater 5% YOY As Fiscal Conditions Worsen

Comment by Jingle Male
2017-12-26 06:26:49

Days on market down, price per SF up… you even read your postings….???

Comment by Mafia Blocks
2017-12-26 06:36:25


Kaunakakai, Hawaii Housing Prices Crater 12% YOY

Comment by 2banana
2017-12-24 11:12:01

In rural area - it comes down to jobs.

In long term democrat controlled cities + public unions + free sh*t army it comes down to insane taxes, high crime, massive corruption and poor/no services.


Get PAID up to $80,000 to move to struggling towns: Cash grants, student loan pay offs and free land are offered as incentives to revitalize rural communities across the U.S.
MailOnline - 12/24/2017 - Daniel Roth

Towns in rural America are attempting to revitalize their increasingly anemic communities by incentivizing people to move out to the countryside.

Cash grants, student loan pay offs and free land giveaways are just some of the enticements smaller communities are offering to a younger generation of Americans looking to leave the big city, where in some places individuals can utilize up to $80,000 worth of incentives to relocate.

According to USA Today, rural America encompasses 75 per cent of the country, but only 16 per cent of its population, the lowest in the nation’s history.

But its not just communities in the idyllic plains of the American country side that are offering these programs.

A few surprising cities and even states also say they will help you payoff homes and financial obligations if you agree to live in their communities.

Baltimore, Maryland

A surprising addition to this list, Baltimore has two programs that will help people looking to move to the city with buying a home

If you qualify, the Buying into Baltimore program offers residents a $5,000 forgivable five-year loan.

The Vacants to Value Booster scheme offers $10,000 for a down payment and closing costs if you purchase property considered to be distressed or formerly distressed.

New Haven, Connecticut

New homeowners can count up to $80,000 worth of perks if they decide to build a home in New Haven, Conneticut

New homeowners can count up to $80,000 worth of perks including a $10,000 forgivable five-year loan for first-time buyers. It also offers $30,000 of renovation assistance, along with paying up to $40,000 towards college tuition.

‘You can also receive an additional $2,500 if you’re a city employee, teacher, police officer, firefighter or member of the military,’ the program’s website states.

Comment by aNYCdj
2017-12-24 13:09:46

Hi 2……..I remember we had a poster SFRenter who was buying a house with these type of city employee loans/grants weren’t they both school teachers?

Comment by Anonymous
2017-12-24 13:42:40

How the hell can these cities afford to pay out these bonuses?

Comment by Hi-Z
2017-12-24 13:50:46

Perhaps they are borrowing the money.

Comment by Ethan in Northern VA
2017-12-24 19:10:31

The tax income from the property would quickly pay it back?

Comment by palmetto
2017-12-24 19:58:00

New Haven needs help. I’ve mentioned this before, a friend of mine traveled there once and said it was the only place she’d every been where the buildings were more animated than the residents.

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Comment by Drater
2017-12-24 14:55:53

I’ll gladly pay $5000 not to live in Baltimore…

Comment by 2banana
2017-12-24 11:19:57

Hmmm…wonder what this will do for rents and housing prices…


It is Now Legal to Defecate and Urinate on Denver Sidewalks
Joe for America | December 23, 2017 | Scott Osborn

Denver just decriminalized public defecation in order to make life easier for immigrants and the homeless.

No Board of Health? That’s how diseases spread. Now every time I think of Denver I will see visions of poop and other body fluids on the sidewalk. People are required to dispose of dog poop and Denver is letting humans defecate any where they please.

What’s disturbing as well is that they also decriminalized camping out on private land. So now you can go out to get your morning paper, but it’s not there, because the person camping on your front lawn is reading it while defecating on the sidewalk in front of your house.

Denver City Council had an unanimous vote Monday night to decriminalize the offense of people committing certain low-level crimes like lying in a public right-of-way, urinating in public and panhandling.

“Many times it becomes a deportable offense if you’ve been convicted of even a minor ordinance violation that’s punishable by a year in jail,” Mark Silverstein said, legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union of Colorado.

Comment by SFMF
2017-12-24 11:56:52

Mark Silverstein

Comment by BlueSkye ⚓
2017-12-24 13:13:26

easier for immigrants…

quite the dysfunctional sanctuary.

Comment by Anonymous
2017-12-24 13:43:43

Another good reason to avoid Denver if I go out to Colorado next summer. In fact, I’ll probably just completely avoid the Front Range in general.

Comment by Drater
2017-12-24 14:57:34

Trying to emulate California with Hepatitis outbreaks?

Comment by Jim from Any town USA
2017-12-24 17:07:29

That article is screaming, “need more immigrants.”

Comment by tresho
2017-12-25 06:44:32

The source for this article is 6 months old. See this link.

Comment by Professor 🐻
2017-12-25 15:49:44

So Denver is heading San Francisco’s direction?

Comment by MacBeth
2017-12-25 19:18:19

Colorado = The Next California

Comment by Neuromance
Comment by SFMF
2017-12-24 11:58:36

And this is a problem because…..

Comment by Professor 🐻
2017-12-24 14:57:22

They clearly represent the best interests of the 0.1%, the FIRE sector, and Wall Street. Not sure whether they give a damn about Middle America.

Comment by Professor 🐻
2017-12-24 15:01:13

And they are unelected, very powerful officials…

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Comment by Jingle Male
2017-12-25 02:56:57

You would prefer less wealthy people? A school.teacher, carpenter or auto mechanic?

Comment by Professor 🐻
2017-12-25 09:51:00

I’d prefer less politically active people in bureaucratic positions like FOMC membership.

Comment by Jingle Male
2017-12-26 06:31:49

I agree with you, unfortunately financially astute and politically aware are often basic requirements for said positions….

Comment by Neuromance
2017-12-25 15:32:56

The point is that their policies benefit themselves, of course. They are not going to act against their own interests. However, there is a very real possibility that the policies that benefit themselves do not benefit the society at large.

Comment by oxide
2017-12-25 06:41:43

Sorry, but $1M is assets by near retirement age *is* Middle America.

Just start with a cheap state school college degree, a foot in the door to a career, 30+ years of raises/promotions to $125K+ by age 60, pay off a house, and you’re easily at $1M. Any smart Baby Boomer can get there.

Comment by El Tr0ll de Marquis
2017-12-25 10:53:44

Doesnt even have to be that smart of a boomer. Anyone who bought and held a home in SoCal in the 70s and 80s is a millionaire today.

Comment by Neuromance
2017-12-24 11:53:04
Comment by Anonymous
2017-12-24 14:09:12

LOL, … Would now be, I suppose. :D

Comment by BlueSkye ⚓
2017-12-24 16:37:33

I shudder to think of what the epilogue of this story would read like if the Clinton Crime Syndicate had remained in power.

Comment by Karen
2017-12-24 11:53:24

Saudi General Reportedly Tortured To Death After Refusing To Fork Over His Fortune

Comment by rms
2017-12-24 12:43:06

>>Alqahtani died on 12 December after being tortured with electric
>>shocks, and his family struggled to recognise him after receiving
>>his body, according to sources, the newspaper reported.

>We know this might come as a shock to some…


Comment by Jim from Any town USA
2017-12-24 17:11:03

When are we doing the same to Bezos, Gates, et all?

Comment by Obama Goons
2017-12-24 19:12:52

I like it, I love it, I want more of it.

Comment by palmetto
2017-12-24 12:42:25

This is from last Christmas season, but it’s still relevant and fun a year on!

Merry Trumpmas, God Bless Us, everyone!

Comment by In Colorado
2017-12-24 13:37:50

Trumpmas? Let’s not get carried away.

Comment by Professor 🐻
2017-12-24 13:38:31

Merry Trumpass to one and all!

Comment by palmetto
2017-12-24 15:36:10

Geez, guys, what’s with all the bah-humbug?

Comment by tresho
2017-12-25 06:46:37

Geez, guys, what’s with all the bah-humbug?

A Merry Humbug to all!

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Comment by BlueSkye ⚓
2017-12-24 16:40:29

Merry Christmas to all. Peace and good will to all of mankind.

Comment by Obama Goons
2017-12-24 18:16:16

And a Merry Trumpmas to you.

Comment by palmetto
2017-12-24 19:07:06

Thank you. And a happy, healthy and prosperous New Year to you in the time of Trump.

Comment by Professor 🐻
2017-12-24 13:36:55

“They do so despite the fact that there are a number of good reasons to fear that if today’s global bubble situation is indeed different from 2008, it might be because it is more dangerous. The most obvious way in which today’s global economic situation would appear to be more worrying than that in 2008 is the increased pervasiveness of bubbles today than before. In the run-up to the 2008 Lehman crisis, the bubbles were contained to the U.S. housing and credit markets; today, they appear to be found in almost every corner of the world economy.”

This time is different, because everyone openly acknowledges that bubbles are running rampant right and left, and yet everyone is all in, all the time, including government policymakers and central banks.

Comment by SFMF
2017-12-24 15:08:56

HA HA HA HA, another bomb from Matt Damon. Donwsizing, the anti-Suburban, pro-GloBULL Warming movie cost $70M to make. It grossed $6M opening weekend.

Hollywood will never learn.

Comment by palmetto
2017-12-24 18:54:23

Hollywood is toast. No one wants their shite-infested product anymore. It’s like they hit a wall and are oblivious to the fact that their faces have been bashed in.

Comment by In Colorado
2017-12-24 21:01:03

It makes me think of the propaganda infested tripe the Soviet film industry used to produce.

Comment by palmetto
2017-12-25 09:21:23

I was thinking about this issue this morning, as I logged onto ZH, and saw the kerfluffle about Julian Assange’s Twitter account having been deleted, (not suspended, mind you, but deleted, which means he or someone close to him shut down the account, if it was suspended, that would have been Twitter doing the shutting down).

I think part of Hollywood’s slow motion collapse comes from the idea that we are in the midst of a global reality show (a Donald J. Trump production) far more fascinating than anything Hollywood could ever produce. It has a cast of hundreds of thousands, millions, even. And we can participate if we wish. There’s so many facets to it, so many players, heroes and villains, some actors where you’re not sure what part they’re playing.

Who gives a crap about The Justice League and other silly arse stuff when you can come to the HBB and discuss real-life housing, or go to Crowdsource the Truth and watch Charles Ortel lay bare the Clinton Foundation, or check out the George Webb series, or watch Bitcoin go through its gyrations, or follow Trump threading his way through the Deep State, or follow the FBI’s machinations, or, or, or. Jeebus, the campaign and election of Donald J. Trump was an epic in and of itself.

Hollywood? Pfft.

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Comment by GreenEggsAndSpam
2017-12-25 16:34:45

While the twitter “takedown” of Trumps account was purportedly to install tracking software, methinks this takedown of JA was to purge something similar.

Theres a war going on and we only see a tiny sliver of the action. Much of what goes down gets ascribed to random events - “earthquakes”, train crashes, and the like.

I’ve not had a tv in almost 10 years and gone without for most of the last 25+. Watching it or movies is painful for anyone with an IQ above room temperature and a memory that stretches past their last meal.

Comment by Senior Housing Analyst
2017-12-24 17:18:58

Bothell, WA Housing Prices Crater 15% YOY On Record High Housing Inventory

Comment by redmondjp
2017-12-24 19:23:30

HA, you are so full of bullcarp!

There is record LOW inventory in the entire Seattle area right now.

Comment by Mafia Blocks
2017-12-24 19:26:57

Hello my good friend…

Seattle(Capitol Hill), WA Housing Prices Crater 8% YOY On Plunging Housing Demand

Don’t forget to select price from the dropdown menu on the first chart

Comment by Jingle Male
2017-12-25 03:04:02

Prices up 17% last year! That’s more like a melt-up than a crater down. HA, a laugh a minute.

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Comment by Mafia Blocks
2017-12-25 04:22:10


Castle Rock, CO Housing Prices Crater 11% YOY

Comment by Jingle Male
2017-12-25 14:36:44

How many times are you going to keep posting the same 3 markets? Are those the only ones you can find?

Comment by Mafia Blocks
2017-12-25 16:15:32


Los Angeles(Koreatown), CA Housing Prices Crater 10% YOY

Comment by Jingle Male
2017-12-26 06:40:41

You are mixed up again…..your link is to Florida….

Comment by Mafia Blocks
2017-12-26 06:58:47


Silverton, OR Housing Prices Crater 5% YOY

Comment by palmetto
2017-12-24 20:32:32

‘Twas the night before Christmas, and in the White House
Trump’s words were stirring; Obama felt like a mouse.

A populist president with a broom that swept clean,
Trump accomplished much in 2017.

Yet out past the lawn there arose such a clatter,
Pussy Hatters were yelling along with Black Lives Matter.

The Deep State pushed back—the Swamp became bitter,
They always get triggered when Trump is on Twitter.

Fake News Media compared Trump with Nixon,
“Impeach him!” said Maddow, Mika and Wolf Blitzen.

Rich kneelers were kneeling and sitting on hands,
Stadiums were emptied, they angered their fans.

Rocket Man’s missiles were threatening Seoul,
Kim Jong-Un’s stocking was soon stuffed with coal.

Respect, fame and fortune many women were hoping,
Instead they were molested–the gropers were groping!

Crooked Hillary lied about Trump’s Russian collusion,
The evidence showed it was just an illusion.

The Ass Clowns were angry and showing no poise,
They were loud and obnoxious–empty barrels of noise.

Trump’s eyes twinkled with MAGA delight. He yelled,

–Merry Christmas from Ben and Tina Garrison

Comment by Jon King
2017-12-25 01:02:47

You live in a bizarro world of alternate reality. The fact is that Clinton saved us from the disaster of Bush 1, Obama saved us from the epic fail of Bush 2, and some Democrat will save us from the disaster of dimwit Trump.

Trump is a conman who has ripped people off his entire life. Nothing but a 2 bit carnival barker. His Presidency will end just like Bush 2…with an epic crash and wallow away in defeat.

Comment by jeff
2017-12-25 08:04:45

Jon King

Did your Mom make it home safe that day?

Comment by jeff
2017-12-25 08:09:57
Comment by rms
2017-12-25 11:52:31

“This one has the ending.”

The cheers and clapping… says it all.

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Comment by Mafia Blocks
2017-12-25 08:22:35

Mr. President Donald J. Trump lives in your empty skull…. Rent free.

Comment by Prodigal Son
2017-12-25 08:30:45

George W. Bush was a war monger too stupid to stand up to Wall Street, even as millions of jobs were disappearing overseas. Obama was a greedy asshole who took a $400 thousand payout from Wall Street as a reward for letting them conduct business as usual. Donald Trump is a lying con man who still manages to fool many people too partisan to know better. And if Hillary would have won, Wall Street would have been just as happy. Until a candidate runs who will actually fight against Wall Street’s war on workers, nothing will change.

Comment by Obama Goons
2017-12-25 08:36:36

Have a Merry Trumpmas.

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Comment by palmetto
2017-12-25 08:52:53

One of my fave songs from the 80s. Things Can Only Get Better!

Weird hair, weird clothes, exuberant performance. Merry Christmas!

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Comment by BlueSkye ⚓
2017-12-25 09:04:09

God bless President Trump.

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Comment by palmetto
2017-12-25 09:23:34

Absolutely. I wish for him to be able to enjoy this brief holiday respite with friends and family at Mar a Lago. He’s certainly earned it.

Comment by Professor 🐻
2017-12-25 09:57:39

Apparently there is a sucker born every minute, and Trump is a master of sucker manipulation.

Comment by butters
2017-12-25 10:23:22

Sadly it doesn’t end in sucker manipulation, it will end in a horrible war the country doesn’t need.

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Comment by Professor 🐻
2017-12-25 10:34:41

Gotta do something to take the focus off the FBI investigation…

Comment by butters
2017-12-25 10:49:16

Personally I think the FBI investigation is nothing more than the swamp fighting back. What I don’t understand is why the so called swamp wants to fight Trump. If you think it through Trump and his cabal are also swamp creatures, too. They want more wars, they advocate bad economic policies, They are arrogant and Ignorant.perfect swamp creatures, no?

Comment by El Tr0ll de Marquis
2017-12-25 11:19:41

18 months and still no evidence. Lol.

Comment by palmetto
2017-12-25 13:02:44

What do you mean, no evidence? There’s evidence out the wazoo: against Comey, McCabe, Strzok, Lisa Page, Bruce Ohr and his wife Nellie, Glenn Simpson, Christopher Steele, Hillary Clinton, Bill Clinton, Huma Abedin, Anthony Weiner, Wasserman-Schultz, Tony & John Podesta and a whole host of others that haven’t been named yet, possibly including the uranium sample courier, Mueller.

And that’s just the surface stuff, lol. With that Executive Order, Trump has put the big guns in place to eradicate the international child and human organ trafficking rings.

Comment by Professor 🐻
2017-12-25 14:29:16

“There’s evidence out the wazoo:”

Conspiracy Theories ‘R Us

Comment by jeff
2017-12-25 18:49:11

“Conspiracy Theories ‘R Us”

You been sitting in on classes with Mighty Professor?

FBI agent kicked off Mueller probe changed language in Comey’s Clinton memo

By Bob Fredericks December 4, 2017

The FBI expert in the middle of a political uproar for mocking President Trump in email messages changed a key phrase in former agency Director James Comey’s description of how Hillary Clinton handled classified information, it was reported Monday.

Records show Peter Strzok, who led the investigation of Clinton’s private email server as the second-highest-ranking official in the counterintelligence division, changed Comey’s draft language describing Clinton’s behavior as “grossly negligent” to “extremely careless,” a source told CNN.

The shift from “grossly negligent” to “extremely careless” was key because the federal law that covers how classified material should be handled calls for criminal penalties for “gross negligence.”

Comment by palmetto
2017-12-25 20:11:06

Trump’s punishment for winning the election is that he has to Narfle the Garthok:

Comment by azdude
2017-12-25 09:16:29

merry xmas! buy a house and join the club!

Comment by Senior Housing Analyst
2017-12-25 09:41:07

Carrollton, TX Housing Prices Crater 9% YOY On Subprime Mortgage Lending

Comment by Professor 🐻
2017-12-25 10:07:19

Does turnover in Fed leadership presage recession?

Comment by Professor 🐻
Comment by Professor 🐻
2017-12-25 10:41:46

“Expect your investments to take a hit”

Time for da Boyz to pull the rug out from under the rubes?

Comment by alphonso bedoya
2017-12-25 13:18:24

Is there any article that doesn’t end with a disclaimer ?

Comment by Overbanked
2017-12-25 10:23:58

Feliz Navidad!

Comment by El Tr0ll de Marquis
2017-12-25 11:23:46

Doubled standard deduction is a gift to renters. You’d think the millennial rentier class would be happy. But the visceral hatred of DJT has blinded them.

Comment by butters
2017-12-25 12:01:50

Maybe they just don’t like men who grope women and brag about it?

Comment by BlueSkye ⚓
2017-12-25 12:18:24

More technically, men who brag in supposed private that the groupies would gladly allow them to do so.

I wonder how many men are so pure of heart, bereft of instinct or daft of brain who would not find such a situation remarkable. I was a teenager the first time a clear permission was granted my way and 50 years later I still find such a situation remarkable, though I am neither rich or famous.

Comment by SFMF
2017-12-25 13:03:41

I guess now that Muhrussia turned out to be a nothingburger, we’re back to MuhPu$$ygrab

Comment by butters
2017-12-25 12:05:57

Maybe they don’t like him because for no reason he moved the US embassy to Jerusalem?

Maybe they don’t like him because he appointed another money printer to Fed chair?

Comment by Overbanked
2017-12-25 12:22:12

Snowflakes don’t like DJT because they’re too dumb to understand that the USA will never be safe so long as Saudi Arabia has enemies in Yemen.

Comment by alphonso bedoya
2017-12-25 13:11:53

“If you’re “poor” in America there are umpteen welfare programs, including Section 8 and Food Stamps that both feed people and provide housing.” — SFMF

Do you think homeless people just walk into offices and are given free housing and Food Stamps ? Do you know anyone receiving Medicaid ? In Section 8 housing ? I didn’t think so.

In March we can talk about the Recession’s first quarter that Trump gave us. You can then blame it on single Moms and SNAP programs and not the million dollar tax gift that he gave to my son’s corporation.

Comment by SFMF
2017-12-25 13:34:18

Of course, right now cue, a Republican president comes to power and all of a sudden the homeless are back. The homeless showed up in 1981, went away in 1993, came back in 2001, disappeared in 2009 and are back in full effect for 2017.

Comment by Professor 🐻
2017-12-25 14:36:32

1981 sounds about right. St. Ronnie opened the doors of the asylums and set the institutionalized mentally ill out on the streets to fend for themselves. An large homeless population has been an omnipresent backdrop to the American landscape ever since.

Comment by Professor 🐻
Comment by alphonso bedoya
2017-12-25 15:02:47


Not many folk connect the dots: Hospitals forced the mentally ill onto the streets and municipal jails became their next destination. In excess of 40% of our prisons now house these people.
Why doesn’t England or Finland have the same issues?

And did we really think having 45 million without healthcare was doable into the future?
As long as you can afford Manhattan’s high-rise urban canyon life is good.

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Comment by Professor 🐻
2017-12-25 15:35:00

My dad spent much of his working years ministering to the criminally incarcerated mentally ill subpopulation. Our approach to dealing with this societal fringe is suboptimal.

Comment by OneAgainstMany
2017-12-25 20:52:56

I just got off shift at my hospital (lucky me, I get the Christmas day shift). We take care of the homeless that cycle in and out of our ER all the time. It is far cheaper to provide housing and food than doing what we are doing as a nation.

If all you know about homelessness and mental illness is what you read on a news site or a blog, I would humbly submit that you don’t know much. Get out and really work with the homeless and you’ll learn a lot, namely that many of our homeless are children, families, and single mothers. You’ll realize that “there but for the grace of God go I.” You wont change from Republican to Democrat or vice versa, but you might just not be a scrooge.

Comment by palmetto
2017-12-25 21:45:59

+1. My nephew is an activist and advocate for the homeless in the Seattle area. Frustrating work and not always rewarding.

Comment by sod
2017-12-26 08:00:23

“In California, for example, the number of patients in state mental hospitals reached a peak of 37,500 in 1959 when Edmund G. Brown was Governor, fell to 22,000 when Ronald Reagan attained that office in 1967, and continued to decline under his administration and that of his successor, Edmund G. Brown Jr. The senior Mr. Brown now expresses regret about the way the policy started and ultimately evolved. ”They’ve gone far, too far, in letting people out,” he said in an interview.

Dr. Robert H. Felix, who was then director of the National Institute of Mental Health and a major figure in the shift to community centers, says now on reflection: ”Many of those patients who left the state hospitals never should have done so. We psychiatrists saw too much of the old snake pit, saw too many people who shouldn’t have been there and we overreacted. The result is not what we intended, and perhaps we didn’t ask the questions that should have been asked when developing a new concept, but psychiatrists are human, too, and we tried our damnedest.”

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Comment by rms
2017-12-26 13:45:06

I remember these patients being pushed into halfway houses in downtown San Jose just south of San Jose State University.

Comment by alphonso bedoya
2017-12-25 14:49:25

The homeless showed up in 1962 and made a lot of politicians uncomfortable at congressional hearings with Michael Harrington,the author of The Other America: Poverty in the United States.
Why do you think we didn’t have gated walled communities in the 1960’s ? (There were no guard-booths on Jupiter Island, either.)

Are you getting your news from ZeroHedge ? Does either political party have a handle on the displaced and homeless of this society ? You think Vets, old people and the young are doing well in America ?

Comment by Professor 🐻
2017-12-25 15:44:51

“Does either political party have a handle on the displaced and homeless of this society?”

AKA nonvoters

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Comment by palmetto
2017-12-25 18:59:01

“Are you getting your news from ZeroHedge ?”

What do you care? It’s mainly just an aggregator, you know, with some editorial, or stories cobbled together from other sources, which they reference.

They’re just as likely to have commentary from James Kunstler as Pat Buchanan, Glenn Greenwald or Pat Buchanan, and they provide an outlet for a wide range of interesting but less well-known names from the across the spectrum, as well as financial information and commentary on the events of the day or week. Sometimes they’ll zero in on a specific industry and examine what is going on there. The comments section gets a little wild sometimes, but at least they let people comment without censoring, pretty much.

Sometimes it’s a bit too much doom and gloom, but for the most part, I find it interesting. They sometimes aggregate some good stuff on housing, too.

So, why the Zero Hedge shaming here on the HBB? And why the eff do you care?

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Comment by alphonso bedoya
2017-12-26 01:22:39

Like the New York Times, ZeroHedge has an agenda. I’m not impressed with either.
Goldwater, Fulbright, Eric Sevareid, Kunstler, Christopher Hitchins ….are/were better thinkers.

Comment by palmetto
2017-12-26 07:42:28

“ZeroHedge has an agenda”

and that would be?

Comment by OneAgainstMany
2017-12-25 20:57:01

The patient that took the most of my time tonight was essentially a homeless lady. She was demented and deemed a ward of the state, meaning that there is likely a family backstory. Usually this happens when family essentially abandons their elderly parents, either because they can’t cope financially or emotionally with the caregiver burdens. Sometimes it’s because they have their own issues to deal with (physically ailments, drug abuse, poverty, etc.). So they go in memory care (Alzheimer) unit. If you want to serve and have a meaningful experience, I recommend volunteering at a local hospice organization. You’d be amazed at the need there is for someone who can just listen to the elderly tell their stories.

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Comment by Mafia Blocks
2017-12-26 06:11:56

Learn to love Mr. President Donald J. Trump.

Collier County, FL Housing Prices Crater 5% YOY

Comment by Neuromance
2017-12-25 16:55:59

One more blast from the past (2009):

“As the Fed weighed strategies for arresting the economic tailspin in March 2009, including the collapsing housing market, Elizabeth Duke, a member of the board of governors, offered a colorful way of thinking of their task.

“I’d like to start with the story of an elderly wealthy gentleman who had taken a young bride and begun to spend money like crazy,” Ms. Duke said. “His friends got very concerned that he was going to go through his entire fortune, and they elected one of their number to go and talk to him about it. He said: ‘Sam, we’re really concerned. We want to make sure that you know that you can’t buy love.’ Sam said: ‘I know you can’t buy love, but if you spend enough money, you can buy something that looks so close you can hardly tell the difference.’ ”

What does this have to do with housing? She continued:

“So I think if we spent enough money, got enough of a hit right now, it would look like a floor on house prices, and we might have something every bit as good as a floor on house prices.”

“Ben Bernanke Has an Impressive Passive-Aggressive Streak, and Other Things We Learned in the New Fed Transcripts”

I think they put a floor under pretty much every other asset class, physical and virtual, too.

Comment by rms
2017-12-25 17:25:56

In 2008 the world was about to discover that they had been swindled by Wall Street.

Comment by palmetto
2017-12-25 18:19:34

Wasn’t the first time, that’s for sure.

Comment by palmetto
2017-12-25 19:00:17

And it wasn’t the last, either.

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Comment by Senior Housing Analyst
2017-12-25 17:54:50

Naples, FL Housing Prices Crater 5% YOY

*Select price from dropdown menu on first chart

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