Examining the home price boom and its effect on owners, lenders, regulators, realtors and the economy as a whole.
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Posted By: Ben Jones @ 1:07 am
HUD housing programs at risk locally and across the nation
January 26, 2013
by Lynda Carson
Oakland – The Oakland Housing Authority administers 13,259 Section 8 voucher units in Oakland, owns and operates around 3,300 conventional public housing units, and assists about 10 percent of Oakland’s low-income families with their housing needs. San Francisco has 8,611 Section 8 units, Berkeley 1,939, the Housing Authority of Alameda County 6,097, Richmond 1,750, Marin County 2,145, and Contra Costa County Housing Authority 6,763.
Low-income tenants in the Section 8 Housing Choice Voucher Program pay 30 to 40 percent of their monthly income for rent, and the rest of the rent is paid to the landlord by the program. Years of cuts have so torn the housing safety net that most of those eligible for federal housing assistance fall through the holes.
Now massive spending cuts to the nation’s federal housing programs are scheduled to go into effect on March 1, 2013, threatening thousands of low-income families in Oakland and other Bay Area cities with higher rent than they can pay. Additionally, several hundred thousand or more low-income families all across the nation could lose their vouchers.
On Jan. 23, the Washington Post reported that top leaders in both major political parties predicted that massive across-the-board spending cuts to the nation’s domestic programs and the Pentagon known as “sequestration” will go into effect on March 1 as scheduled, at least temporarily.
“It’s going to happen,” said Sen. Richard Durbin, D-Ill., adding that Republicans in both chambers are determined to make $1.2 trillion in spending cuts during the next decade.
The latest deals in Washington that were agreed upon by the Democrats and Republicans since late December to avoid a fight over the nation’s debt ceiling and to avoid going over the so-called “fiscal cliff” resulted in more than 80 percent of the Bush era tax cuts remaining in effect and $110 billion in automatic spending cuts scheduled to go into effect on March 1. Additional spending cuts of around $110 billion per year are also scheduled to go into effect during the next 10 years.
Section 8 may be cut? That just may become quite “interesting”.
THIS . WILL . NEVER . HAPPEN .
Fear mongering and vote pandering. Scare people that “the safety net” is being cut so we have cover when we don’t do jack. Less Section 8 payments to LLs means lower rents means housing prices drop.
“Less Section 8 payments to LLs means lower rents means housing prices drop.”
Cut the Section 8 payments to towns like Oakland, and the federally guaranteed mortgages to San Francisco across the Bay, and a massive implicit flow of federally-funded subsidy from Flyover Country to California homeowners will dry up.
Somehow my point was missed.
From the article: “Additionally, several hundred thousand or more low-income families all across the nation could lose their vouchers.”
“could lose their vouchers” does not mean the vouchers will be cut, it means they will be eliminated - eliminated as in no more, as in poof.
Eliminate Section 8 vouchers in places such as Oakland or Compton and see what you will get in return (you might want to stand back a bit).
“Eliminate Section 8 vouchers in places such as Oakland or Compton and see what you will get in return (you might want to stand back a bit).”
+1 Arson, the methodology of the poor.
Actually arson may not be such a bad thing….could lead to rebuilding of housing meant for people who can fully pay for it…
Assuming it ever gets rebuilt.
A lot of people assume that the welfare crowd will just find jobs and pay the rent. But as someone here pointed out that other day, add these people to the workforce and watch the official unemployment rate skyrocket. It’s hard to be a “discouraged worker” when you have no place to crash, but of there are no jobs then there are no jobs.
I think the “interesting” side of things won’t be limited to places like Compton. A lot of “safe” nabes won’t be so safe anymore.
This is big news! Eliminate section 8 and you will eliminate a reason that decent people won’t rent. What I mean is that in most places I rent, including “luxury apartments,” they take in section 8 vouchers. This also brings in their cRAP “music” culture, their lack of consderation for the peace of other neighbors, their criminal friends and relatives (visitors), and other social decays. When section 8 is gone, luxury apartments will become luxury apartment again. Neighbors will be higher quality and respectful of each other. The monthly rent of $950 for a two bedroom apartment in a quiet area sure beats $3,000 per month mortgages. When your assets generate $10,000 per month gains and you pay $950 per month rent and you have a community spirit of like-minded people, why isolate yourself from them by going to a SFH that you pay far more for?
“When section 8 is gone, luxury apartments will become luxury apartment again.”
Your post suggests that high-end luxury apartments have to take in Section 8 renters. Is this the case?
No, he’s suggesting that $950 a month in coastal CA should get you a “luxury” apartment without having to deal with the dreadful inconvenience of “them”.
If you want culturally-attuned neighbors, you have to PAY for culturally-attuned neighbors. If you’re intrinsically cheap, you’re going to get what you pay for.
So in other words, for the same quality of housing, you get a discount on the rent if you live with Section 8 neighbors?
I’m down with that; in fact, I used to live in this kind of a place. It was great until the day when the Section 8 neighbor upstairs from me flooded the bath tub, resulting in the destruction of my ceiling and the beautiful hardwood floor in my ‘luxury’ apartment.
From what I have read locally, the section 8 vouchers rationed out here in my neck of the woods won’t cover the rent on the “nicer” apartments.
I also knew someone who was trying to get a section 8 voucher in SoCal. He found out that the waiting list was 5 years in most counties and that in Orange County they stopped accepting applications altogether.
I don’t know about “high end.” Around this part of L.A. “High end” means you have your own full sized washer and dryer and your kitchen has a dishwasher, as well as that you have assigned garage parking. Luxury means you might have assigned parking if you don’t have a studio and you have a refrigerator. There is a fitness center and swimming pools and a jacuzzi. That’s what “luxury” means here. But they accept section 8 vouchers. Rent is $1100 for a studio.Some apartments here in this part of L.A. don’t even have a refrigerator. BYOR. This part of L.A. is heavy with professionals who work in the south bay. Many of them in medical professions and engineering. Many renters just cannot afford the houses. Nearby the prices of a moldy 1950s era house is usually for $600,000.
In Phoenix “luxury” means full sized washer and dryer in the unit, full kitchen, and one assigned covered space for parking. They accept section 8. I had some as neighbors a few times.
The high end apartments going for above $1700 are up in Marina Del Rey, Playa Del Rey, and northward. They have full sized washers and dryers. Having your own W/D is high on my list. Many times some bozo put some junk in the washer in the previous load and whatever it was permanently bleached in some spots in some clothes.
What are the shacking up rules for Section 8? If you can’t get Section 8 yourself, just find a buddy who has it and move in. This is how they can absorb such high rents.
Interesting. I hadn’t thought that maybe one reason the trailer park is so livable here is that not only is there no renting…but that also means no subsidized renting.
I thought that most trailer parks did rent out spots and sometimes even the trailer.
That may be true in some or most places. But not here.
I should clarify…everyone pays lot rent. But nobody can rent their trailer to anyone else. It might be possible to trick the management, but probably not for long. They pay close attention to everything that goes on.
The renting lifestyle gets better without rude neighbors and with lower crime rates. Up and down this street in my part of L.A. are a lot of rentals, some at higher rents and some at lower rents than mine. If the sequestration happens March 1 there will be some changes in quality in this area. More vacancies perhaps. Maybe I will get assigned space in the garage rather than have to park on the street. But with my lease expiring at the end of February I have to decide do I renew 12 months or go month to month. I’m getting antsy for a change of scenery and might want to work in a cold climate for a year.
Faulty Realtor™ logic: If mortgage rates revert to historic levels above 5 percent, monthly payments will increase by twenty percent.
Correct logic: Given the assumption that many people purchase “as much house as they can afford,” particularly at a time when the Fed is signaling future real estate price reflation, most are already straining to make their monthly. For somebody in this situation, a twenty percent increase in monthly payment requirements to buy a house with market value X will lead to purchase of a house at price Y = X/1.2 = 83%X — i.e. the housing purchase budget constraint will drop by about 17% for a typical household.
But not to worry — I’m sure this will have no effect whatsoever on prices, as everyone knows that real estate always goes up.
Why does the MSM always ask complete morons what they think will happen to housing?
Realtors predict big year for housing in metro area, but some disagree
Posted: 01/26/2013 12:01:00 AM MST
Updated: 01/26/2013 11:52:51 PM MST
By John Mossman
The Denver Post
Deviree Vallejo of Kentwood City Properties, right, shows a house to Val Ries of Erie on Friday. The house at 2055 Osceola St. in northwest Denver has been on the market for a week, listed for $575,000, and Vallejo will have an open house there Saturday. (Cyrus McCrimmon, The Denver Post)
Realtors and others in the industry are trumpeting a robust housing market in the Denver area and throughout Colorado in 2013, saying this year will be a continuation of the rebound the market enjoyed in 2012 — and perhaps even more.
Analysts and academics who specialize in real estate, however, aren’t convinced. They say the local market is more likely to cool down from last year’s astonishing growth that followed five difficult years — pointing to uncertainty in Washington and an economy that’s still finding its footing.
Metrolist reported that home sales in the Denver area last year rose 18 percent from 2011, contributing to a 9 percent increase in the average sales price over 2011.
Tim Brannon, a mortgage banker at Catalyst Lending in Greenwood Village, sees that growth continuing.
“The popular opinion is that it’s going to be quite the active market,” Brannon said. “A lot of people have been sitting on the fence, and now there is a general impression that the economy is improving.
“Home prices are still low, with historically low mortgage rates. That, coupled with low inventory and pent-up demand, should make for a fairly hot market.”
Brannon said homebuyers are realizing that low interest rates won’t last forever. The interest rate on the average 30-year, fixed-rate home loan is about 3.4 percent. Brannon believes it is inevitable that, sooner or later, 30-year loans will climb back to about 5 percent, and that means homeowners’ monthly payments would be 20 percent more than they are now.
“Brannon believes it is inevitable that, sooner or later, 30-year loans will climb back to about 5 percent, and that means homeowners’ monthly payments would be 20 percent more than they are now.”
And the notion that those who are “in” at rates of <4% are somehow safe is hilarious. They bought a bond in the form of a house. By now, everyone here by now should have a fundamental understand of a bonds yield/par value relationship.
“By now, everyone here by now should have a fundamental understand of a bonds yield/par value relationship.”
I keep trying to educate people on this, but it amazes me how very many supposedly smart people just don’t get it.
Like the writers for The Economist magazine, for instance. Try to find in the passage below any mention of how by artificially suppressing long-term interest rates, QE1, QE2 and QE3 have hammered investment returns into the ground while swelling corporate pension liabilities to ginormous size.
The omission is an outright embarrassment.
State pension systems
Illinois lawmakers fail to tackle the state’s pension crisis
Jan 26th 2013 | CHICAGO |From the print edition
Squeezy goes to Springfield
OF ALL the states, Illinois seems the most blatant example of state finances gone awry. Its ballooning pension system is to blame. The state’s unfunded pension liabilities are close to $100 billion, and the governor, Pat Quinn, a Democrat, has warned that this figure is now growing by $17m a day. A special report by the state’s Commission on Government Forecasting and Accountability in November put the pension funding ratio (assets to liabilities) at 39%.
The governor has been trying for most of the past year to focus legislators’ attention on the problem. Democrats control the Capitol in Springfield. Despite a number of legislative efforts and a public-relations push featuring Squeezy the Pension Python (see overleaf), the General Assembly closed without a deal on January 8th.
The pension squeeze in Illinois is the result of years of state underfunding, as well as absurdly optimistic assumptions about investment gains. Every year pension payments swallow a growing proportion of the state budget, which varies between $30 billion and $35 billion. Abdon Pallasch, the assistant budget director, says pension payments for fiscal 2013 will be $5.1 billion and, for fiscal 2014, $6.1 billion. (In 2008 payments were $1.8 billion.) He adds that the pension squeeze has already closed prisons and juvenile detention centres, and has reduced inspections by the state Department of Agriculture. Cuts have also been made in state aid to colleges and universities, student scholarships and pre- kindergarten places.
As usual…what else can we expect from those Intelligent folks? Huh maybe end all the spiking of pensions, end free healthcare for spouses and kids after retirement.. …retirement means no work, so no double dipping anymore….start there and see how much you save…..why are we smarter then those morons in Hellinoise?
He adds that the pension squeeze has already closed prisons and juvenile detention centres, and has reduced inspections by the state Department of Agriculture.
How does imputed rent affect the yield of the house-bond?
‘But not to worry — I’m sure this will have no effect whatsoever on prices’
“Steve.. how can I be a millionaire.. and never pay taxes?” First.. get a million dollars.
$100,000 at 5% interest amortized over a 30 year term means a monthly payment of $536.82
$100,000 at 3.5% interest amortized over a 30 year term means a monthly payment of $449.04
536.82/449.04 = 1.1955
That’s a rise of 19.55% on a 30 year mortgage if rates rise from 3.5% to 5.0%
“If mortgage rates revert to historic levels above 5 percent, monthly payments will increase by twenty percent.” This is a valid statement.
“This is a valid statement.”
If you are talking about an interest only payment (no principle, no taxes, no insurance) which we are not.
And if you are talking about the payments on a single mortgage where the principle is fixed and the only thing that is varying is the interest rate (a variable rate loan) and not what the payments would be on a house that would sell for less money because the ultra low interest rate loans are not available. Also not what was being discussed. Realtors are talking about new home sales, not changes in interest rates of already sold houses.
“Realtors are talking about new home sales, not changes in interest rates of already sold houses.”
As was I.
Clearly anyone with a fixed-rate mortgage wins the lottery when interest rates go up, unless they have to sell for some reason.
No, Polly - those figures are for principal & interest for a fully amortizing 30 year term.
So you are ignoring taxes and insurance, bubba, though if you look at what you wrote, you said it was just the interest portion.
And, again, your statement only applies to what will happen to an existing variable rate mortgage. When you are talking about new sales, either the people buying have to be able to afford to pay more, or the higher interest rate will force prices down. And I guarantee you, a bunch of realtors weren’t talking about the budget impact on their former clients with variable rate mortgages. They think that the house prices will remain static as the interest rates go up. Absent higher salaries, that isn’t going to happen.
amortized over a 30 year term
Amortization means that a portion of the payment is applied to principal.
I guess they didn’t teach that in law school.
It amazes me how obtuse some posters have become where pointing out that a single premise is true rather than false triggers such responses.
Isn’t an argument a logical conclusion supported by factual premises?
So you think that the relevant portion of this discussion is whether you saying “interest amortized over 30 years” is a good way to describe a full interest and principle payment?
You still ignored insurance and taxes.
And you still have not addressing the static price assumption.
If you like, I will concede I got a B on the test. You got an F. Why not talk about the rest of the question?
I was pointing out that a statement was actually true at its most basic level, which was not acknowledged prior to layering the market dynamics. Nothing more, nothing less.
Concede that you got a B on the test?
You’re a very generous grader when it comes to your own paper.
though if you look at what you wrote, you said it was just the interest portion.
polly, he said no such thing. He said “at 5% interest”. The interest clearly applied to the 5%, not the payment. “Payment” is commonly used to refer to principal and interest, in the context of an amortizing loan. What Bubba wrote was quite clear, at least to me.
That is the key question. I’ve been thinking about this some, and I’m not sure that our assumption that it translates directly into lower house prices across the board is at all correct.
What it really does, more precisely stated, for payment-constrained buyers, is to shift the demand curve down to a lower-priced purchase. But that does not necessarily mean that any given house will be purchased for a lower price. Buyers may be pushed to purchase _different_ houses.
I could easily imagine that for super-expensive houses, with less budget-constrained buyers, it might have very little effect on demand. For the very rich, choosing to buy with cash or a loan may very well be more of a tax-strategy decision, and not a howmuchamonth constraint.
For the next tier down, of high-end homes for buyers who do have more of a budget-constraint, the shift in demand could be completely crushing, as those who used to buy in this range can no longer afford as much house with higher rates, there is no one higher on the price curve shifting down into this segment to pick up the slack.
For lower-end homes, the change in demand might be rather slight, as those who could only afford a minimal home to begin with would still try to stretch to reach this segment, and the demand curve from slightly more expensive home can also now only afford the lowest-end homes at this point—so between the combined demand from these two segments, aggregate demand might hold up quite well.
“That’s a rise of 19.55% on a 30 year mortgage if rates rise from 3.5% to 5.0%.”
You totally missed the point of my post, which was that someone who was planning to consume a given share of their earnings on housing is more likely to pay a lower purchase price than a higher monthly if interest rates go up.
Was I really that hard to follow? If so, I apologize.
Taken in isolation, the premise of payments rising 20% was a correct statement.
Layering in market dynamics and budgeting takes it to another level and the implication was that the underlying statement was untrue.
I got your point.
“$100,000 at 5% interest amortized over a 30 year term means a monthly payment of $536.82
$100,000 at 3.5% interest amortized over a 30 year term means a monthly payment of $449.04″
Just in case others are missing it, suppose someone who could afford at most a monthly housing payment of $449.04 a month wants to borrow as large an amount as possible to buy a home.
If interest rates are 3.5%, then according to your calculation, they can borrow $100,000.
But if rates are 5%, the most they will be able to borrow is
($449.04/$536.82)*$100,000 = $83,648, which is 16.4% less purchasing power.
Yes, it is definitely a 16.4% reduction in purchasing power. But it does not necessarily mean that houses will behave in a bond-like manner; the shift in purchasing power may just shift the demand curve, and cause this hypothetical buyer to buy a different, less expensive house.
See my late response to polly above.
“…the shift in purchasing power may just shift the demand curve, and cause this hypothetical buyer to buy a different, less expensive house.”
Yes. Which explains why a further decrease in housing transactions (i.e. liquidity desertification) is a likely consequence of a future increase in mortgage interest rates. Perhaps if the Fed makes $40 bn a month in MBS purchases forever, this scenario can be avoided?
The other part of the story is the complete disappearance of inventory in the ‘different, less expensive house’ price category…positive demand in a price range where no homes are available for sale coupled with zero demand at a higher price range where homes are available sounds to me like a recipe for high-end home price collapse, but perhaps I am missing something?
sounds to me like a recipe for high-end home price collapse, but perhaps I am missing something?
Nope, I totally concur, PB; the total absence of demand at the top end of howmuchamonth will cause houses in that range to absolutely crater. I just think the effect will be different in the various portions of the price spectrum.
“I just think the effect will be different in the various portions of the price spectrum.”
I’ve already seen a first-hand example of the crushing effect of high-end market decline which I long ago predicted, in the case of a colleague at work who had to sell recently due to unfortunate circumstances (high-end home bought long ago for at a much lower price, recently mortgaged to make it bigger / fancier, just before the primary breadwinner lost his job). It took two years and $500K in price reductions to sell.
And a couple of weekends ago, I posted a refutation of a UT-San Diego article entitled, “Are million-dollar homes selling?” A little online research revealed the ten San Diego homes selling for the highest prices in 2012 took up to five years to sell, in several cases after price reductions over 50 percent.
someone who was planning to consume a given share of their earnings on housing is more likely to pay a lower purchase price than a higher monthly if interest rates go up.
Which pushes the median lower, which results in price compression of the median as sales volume of the tier above collapses which compresses the tier below the median… and on and on and on.
Then there is the massive excess empty inventory weighing on all of it.
It’s turtles price declines all the way down.
It’s still an assumption on your part that purchase prices will drop to offset the increased interest payments. If the interest increased (it has to eventually, only a question of when) I think we’ll see either a slight drop or a flattening of prices. As I described Friday (I think it was Friday), basic economic principles & behavioral economics findings seem to suggest that people are somewhat less than rational. And with housing in this country being subsidized/favoried (e.g. MID still exists) it will take a while to play out.
I’m hoping for a price cratering (!!!) but expect more of a prolonged “sag”, maybe a few percent a year. Over a long period, this could be devastating to people who got leveraged to purchase houses, of course.
“It’s still an assumption on your part that purchase prices will drop to offset the increased interest payments.”
In case that was aimed at me, you are incorrect. I was merely showing the effect higher rates will have on the household budget constraint for owner-occupied real estate. A more likely outcome than lower prices is lower sales, as the Fed has done a great job of brainwashing homeowners into believing that higher prices are on the way.
The price declines are likely to materialize with maybe a three-year lag after rates increase. I refer you to Ben Jones’ numerous posts on the Texas real estate crash of the mid-1980s, which followed the increase in interest rates engineered by Paul Volcker in the 1979-1982 period, which in turn led to a big increase in unemployment and big decrease in oil prices.
“I think we’ll see either a slight drop or a flattening of prices.”
What you “think” and the truth are two different far far apart.
The reality is we and our competitors are building for double digit percentages less than the inflated prices of resale housing. And we’ll continue to do so until you and resellers get it through their head that a house isn’t worth much more than $60/sq ft….. brand new.
I don’t disagree with you that much. I’m saying that I think the trajectory will be slightly different.
I also largely agree that housing is worth $60/sq ft, with slight variances for local building regs, environmental regs, zoning, etc.
And at some point the cost of the lot comes into it.
“I also largely agree that housing is worth $60/sq ft…”
Are you saying this is what housing costs to build, or this is what it would sell for if competitively priced, or something else?
What’s a lot cost within commuting distance to NYC? 2k? 3k? Not 200k.
LOL. A $2k lot within commuting distance to NYC? I guess it depends on your definition of commuting distance. Or if you have a helicopter.
There are plenty of $2k lots in an around Dutchess County which is very commutable to NYC.
You were saying?
Dutchess County which is very commutable to NYC.
85 mile commutes to NYC aren’t for me. Maybe on a train.
But can you get Chinese at 3 in the morning, or whatever it is that makes NYC so desirable a place to live, in Dutchess?
Will he move back in to his underwater house?
EXCLUSIVE: Geithner’s private farewell to Obama and Treasury staff
Posted by Zachary Goldfarb on January 25, 2013 at 8:44 am
A man who is ready for a few days at the beach. (Chip Somodevilla/Bloomberg News)
A man who is ready for a few days at the beach. (Chip Somodevilla — Bloomberg News)
Friday is Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner’s last day on the job. As I reported in my profile of the secretary’s tenure, he made his farewell at Treasury last week, with President Obama, Vice President Biden and others in attendance. The remarks were private, but we have obtained a transcript of the event:
“Thank you and thanks for coming to honor the people…the people who work here. And I’m so pleased to see you all today. You’re so gracious to come.
“Now the President knows, and [he] said this the first time we met, I was not in favor of this idea of returning to the Treasury. But I am grateful that he asked me to do it and I am grateful that he forced me to stay…really. [laughter]
“And I have loved this work, here in this great building, at these momentous times, with these great people, working for a President I deeply admire.
“And there’s so much I admire about you, about him. I remember in December of ’08, on I think what was the first conference call with your new team, such as it was, the subject was your hopes and ambitions for the country, and what objectives should define your first term.
“And I said, ‘The most important thing would be to prevent a second Great Depression, and you should probably start with that.’ And you reacted quickly—I think, irritated—saying that was not enough for you. And I thought, ‘Fasten your seatbelts.’ But you were right to set your sights so much higher.
“Now, we had our moments, and I know at times, perhaps all the time, you must have been saying to yourself: ‘Geithner? What was I thinking?’ [laughter]
“And I remember being in your office in one of those dark days in early 2009, and you asked me, ‘This plan of yours…You asked, you said, ‘Is it going to work?’ And I said, ‘You know, nothing is certain in life,’ borrowing a phrase from one of my predecessors, but I knew that our plan was better than any and all of the alternatives before us.
“And you stuck with it, and you were willing to take the political heat, and the country is, in my view, better for it.
How’s Geithner’s Home Holding Up?
By Cristina Lindblad on May 20, 2010
(Corrects spelling of Tim Geithner in headline.)
A government perch may offer power and influence—not to mention free parking—but affords no protection from the housing crunch. The one-quarter of U.S. households now underwater on their mortgages may take consolation from the soggy real estate investments of some government leaders. Using data from Zillow, a Web site that provides home valuations based on comparable sales, and other sources, we compiled a list of who’s up and who’s down.
32 Maple Hill Dr, Larchmont, NY 10538
Not for Sale
Rent Zestimate: $7,967/mo
See current rates on Zillow
Single Family:3,665 sq ft
Lot:7,840 sq ft
Last Sold: Dec 2004 for $1,601,700
Value Range 30-day change $/sqft Last updated
$1,597,664 $1.12M – $2.11M -$25,729 $435 01/24/2013
Rent Zestimate $7,967/mo $4.1K – $11K/mo +$7 $2.17 01/21/2013
Date Description Price Change $/sqft Source
05/22/2009 Listing removed $1,575,000 -3.7% $429 Houlihan Lawrence Inc
02/14/2009 Listed for sale $1,635,000 2.1% $446 Houlihan Lawrence Inc
12/14/2004 Sold $1,601,700 – $437 Public Record
You have to wonder to what extent the moves underway by top U.S. government officials to prop up the value of housing reflects their own personal interests in owner-occupied real estate.
They wipe their behinds like everyone else. You can bet there’s a healthy dose of self interest, like any normal human.
“05/22/2009 Listing removed $1,575,000 -3.7% $429 Houlihan Lawrence Inc
02/14/2009 Listed for sale $1,635,000 2.1% $446 Houlihan Lawrence Inc”
Amazing detail there: Tim Geithner listed his home over a period when the U.S. stock market was losing about half its value and QE1 was invoked. And yet it is still underwater, four years down the road.
It’s only underwater if he put less than $5000 down payment. Gimme a break, p-bear.
Apparently we define underwater differently.
My definition is related to capital gain or loss; so far he is sitting on an unrealized loss, and it is most likely larger than what the Zestimate indicates, given that their estimates tend to exhibit upward bias. I’m ignoring whether the home has penciled out as a rental for them, as I don’t have the data.
By contrast, in your world, if you make a 100% down payment, the you can never go underwater.
“By suckers, I am off to Wall Street to make me some millions”
No kidding. He will soon be able to dump the Larchmont home and shrug off whatever amount he lost as peanuts compared to the consideration he pulls down at his new Wall Street position.
As I noted in a post yesterday, the Wall Street bull is long in the teeth. This is the point when Mom and Pop in flyover country get on board the stock market train, just before it tries to cross the river where the bridge is out…
I recall a moment of great amusement once when playing a free lance gig. Someone who previously used the rental parts we were playing from had scribbled “DON’T PANIC” in bold print at a particular challenging passage in the music.
Bull market winding down. Don’t panic
By Hibah Yousuf @CNNMoneyInvest January 25, 2013: 5:18 AM ET
Laszlo Birinyi says the bull market likely entered its final stage last summer. So far, the S&P 500 has climbed almost 8% during this period of “exuberance.”
NEW YORK (CNNMoney)
With stocks at 5-year highs and the bull market entering its fifth year, questions about how much longer the bull has to run are beginning to swirl.
Laszlo Birinyi, a renowned market analyst who was among the first to call the market bottom four years ago, says the bull market likely entered its fourth and final stage last summer. He calls this the “exuberance” period, saying that’s when the “fireworks” happen.
In fact, both the first and last stages historically serve up the best returns.
“This is when all the people who have been reluctant and hesitant to invest in the stock market start realizing this isn’t the New York City subway system,” said Birinyi, president of research and money management firm Birinyi Associates. “There’s not going to be another train coming so they better get on board.”
aapl was a generational buy three weeks ago, lmfao.
They are trying to unload their shares on to retail at the top once again.
My friend in san diego is pissing all over himself about the rally in stocks. I’m out and have been for years. A market supported by money printing will not last.
These situations have a way of changing in a heart beat. It may have something to do with providing the insiders with an opportunity to dump shares just before bad news is released.
Has Apple peaked?
The world’s most valuable firm may be past its prime
Jan 26th 2013 | SAN FRANCISCO |From the print edition
TECH blogs are abuzz. Pundits are busy pumping out predictions. The company that makes the new device that is attracting so much attention is teasing reporters by being coy about its innovative features. Apple’s product launches are always like this. But this time the fuss is not about an Apple product: it is about Samsung’s latest Galaxy smartphone, which is likely to be launched in March.
Stiffer competition in smartphones and tablets from the likes of Samsung has spooked investors in Apple. They got another fright on January 23rd when the firm revealed that its latest quarterly profit of $13 billion was flat because of higher manufacturing costs. That triggered a rout in after-hours trading: at one point some $57 billion was wiped off Apple’s market capitalisation, roughly the equivalent of the entire value of Ford, a carmaker.
Apple’s shares have been mauled by bears many times before (see chart 1), but they have always recovered. The big question on many investors’ minds is whether the firm can rebound again. Two things have whetted the bears’ appetites.
First, Steve Jobs, Apple’s founder and creative genius, is dead. The iPhones and iPads he sired still generate gargantuan profits. But his successor, Tim Cook, has yet to prove himself capable of bringing new breakthrough products to market. Second, Apple’s fantastic profit margins—38.6% on sales of $55 billion—attract competitors like sweetshops attract six-year-olds.
The company’s fans pooh-pooh the idea that Apple has peaked.
Even at $450 I think AAPL is still way overvalued. AAPL is like RE. Lots of downside.
The 2016 presidential campaign is already underway.
For the record, I won’t vote for Hillary, nor will my wife, but it won’t matter to the outcome.
President Hillary Clinton? If she wants it
By David Rothkopf, Special to CNN
updated 4:07 PM EST, Sat January 26, 2013
(CNN) — There are few certainties in American politics. But you can write it down: If Hillary Clinton wants to be the next nominee of the Democratic Party to be president, the job is hers.
Her health will be a factor.
I would vote for Hitler before Hillary. Can any Hillary supports please explain her appeal? Don’t get. I see a faux feminist who for years aided and abetted a serial sexual predator (often using the nuts and sluts offense against other women.) Nita Lowery a long term Congresswomen was in queue for the US senate seat held by Patrick Moynihan. But Hillary was more “qualified” e.gp She was the boss’ wife. Had she not been the boss’ wife she would have been laughed off the face of the earth for running for senate from NY: Never lived there, never held elective office, had been unemployed for nearly ten years. When she was a lawyer in Little Rock would anyone have ever given her (a flaming bleeding heart Yankee woman) the time of day had she not been the governor’s wife?
During her presidential campaign when the going gut rough she pulled the poor little woman card with her crying theatrics. Heard she pulled the same thing at the Benghazi hearings this past week.
P.S. When she was pushing Hillarycare she would not even let government teachers teach her daughter. But had no compunction about forcing ever single person in the country into socialized medicine. All animals are equal but some are more equal.
“I would vote for Hitler before Hillary.”
In our less kind moments, some posters here have accidentally typed ‘Hitlary’…
“Can any Hillary supports please explain her appeal?”
You may need to ask a lady or an extreme liberal Democrat. No male acquaintance of mine finds any appeal to her or would vote for her. She comes off like a woman who is trying to be a man.
By contrast, some time check out how Angela Merkel conducts herself. ‘Gender’ is not an issue — she is a leader.
And yet she was elected to the US Senate by one of the most sophisticated and demanding electorates on the planet. Perhaps they saw qualifications you did not? Like, oh, maybe she played an intrinsic part in running the country for eight very profitable years?
“most sophisticated and demanding electorates on the planet.” Supposed that’s one opinion. I would say one of the most gullible and naïve. Hillary dons a Yankee’s cap and viola she’s a New Yorker.
“Like, oh, maybe she played an intrinsic part in running the country for eight very profitable years?”
Thanks. As I suggested, our liberal and/or female posters are quite likely to have more upbeat assessments of Hillary than I have.
So far as the eight profitable years, I note they ended shortly after William Jefferson Clinton left office with the onset of a tech stock crash that kicked off one of the worst bear markets in U.S. history.
I suppose a Clinton fan might claim it was Bush’s fault.
I know, can you imagine a women as President?
Pregnant and barefoot, just like God ordained!
Go ahead an throw out your sexist strawman. For me, it is about already having had enough of the Clintons to last me a lifetime; nothing about Hillary’s gender enters the assessment.
nothing about Hillary’s gender enters the assessment.
Not even this?
She comes off like a woman who is trying to be a man.
You do realize that’s about the oldest and weakest attack against a powerful woman there is?
“Do you realize that’s about the oldest and weakest attack against a powerful woman there is?”
And now our extreme libruhl fringe has weighed in — thx!
But don’t make the mistake of trying to fit me into your little black-and-white ’sexist’ box; I don’t fit.
don’t make the mistake of trying to fit me into your little black-and-white ’sexist’ box; I don’t fit.
You fit perfectly:
OK, since the gender card has already been played against me and you won’t back down, I feel compelled to explain myself further.
1. I expect the gender card to be played over and again against anyone who questions Hillary’s viability as a candidate, similar to the way Herman Cain accused all his ex-girlfriends of a conspiracy to keep a black businessman out of the WH. But it is not about gender.
2. I have no problem with powerful women who know how to wear the mantle of power; Indira Ghandi, Margaret Thatcher and Angela Merkel all come to mind as examples. Hillary does not wear the mantle of power well, at least in the subjective view of this American voter.
3. The thought of a repeat of the acrimonious 2012 presidential campaign season makes me want to hurl, and the Clintons bring so much baggage with them that it is a foregone conclusion this will happen. A few examples include Vince Foster’s mysterious death, Hillary’s unbelievably lucky foray into futures trading, Bill Clinton’s Monica Lewinsky sex scandal, and the Benghazi incident, which will be used as a bludgeon against her candidacy. Based on all of this collective baggage, I would guess her election prospects are already dead in the water.
4. I don’t like the idea of having an ex-president and his wife occupy the WH. More generally, I don’t like the dynastic element in American politics, and seek every available opportunity to thwart it.
5. The Clintons are very much into the kind of punchbowl spiking policy that makes the sitting president look good while handing a pile of steaming feces to the successor. A great example of this is the $500K capital gains exclusion for a primary residence which really kicked the housing bubble into overdrive. It wasn’t until Bush’s second term that the SHTF.
6. The Clintons are into the kind of low-income “affordable housing” policy which I disdain. I believe the weakening of underwriting standards at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac primarily occurred on the Clintons’ watch.
I’m sure there are a few other reasons I would oppose a Clinton II presidency lurking in the back of my mind, none of which have anything to do with gender.
2016 election prediction:
1. Gov Christie loses 40 lbs.
2. The Democrats go with Clinton and the Republicans go with Christie as their candidates.
3. Christie wins the election, as American voters like him and dislike Hillary.
1. Gender card
Chicago Daily Observer
Hillary 2016: The Democrats Best Hope
Russ Stewart 3 January 2013
Democratic strategist James Carville coined a phrase, which was reduced to an acronym: KISS. It meant “Keep It Simple, Stupid,” a reference to voters’ limited capacity to dissect and digest complex issues.
That was further embellished by his 1992 advice to Bill Clinton: “It’s the economy, stupid.” The astute Clinton focused on that issue, which propelled him to the White House.
But Hillary Clinton has the proverbial trump card – namely: gender. She need not run for president as an apologist of the Obama Administration. She need not defend his economic or foreign policies. By resigning as Secretary of State, effective 2013, she separates herself from the president. Apart from the Libya situation, Clinton has been a competent diplomat, visible on the world stage, provoking no wars. Her poll approval ratings, down in the 30s when she was First Lady, are now in the 60s. In 2016, Clinton can concoct her own platform, rejecting and criticizing Obama’s failures.
If she runs, she will be, as was Obama in 2008, an instrument of “change” – namely: America’s first woman president. And her gender, alone, is enough to elect her. On the strength of the female vote, every state that voted for Obama in 2012 would vote for Clinton in 2016.
2. Mantle of power
Show me another »
Why is Hillary Clinton so annoying?
* Is it her sense of entitlement?
* Her shrill witch like voice?
* Is it because she is an opportunistic political bully?
* Is it because she is a liar and will do and say absolutely anything get that nomination even if it means stealing it?
Best Answer - Chosen by Voters
3. Clinton baggage
a. Vince Foster
The man who knew too much? The truth about the death of Hillary Clinton’s close friend Vince Foster
By SALLY BEDELL SMITH
Last updated at 00:23 15 January 2008
b. Whitewater scandal
By Dan Froomkin
Editor’s Note: This special report is an archive of coverage and related background information on the Whitewater investigations.
c. “Beginner’s luck” in futures trading
Hillary Clinton Futures Trades Detailed
By Charles R. Babcock
Washington Post Staff Writer
Friday, May 27, 1994; Page A01
Hillary Rodham Clinton was allowed to order 10 cattle futures contracts, normally a $12,000 investment, in her first commodity trade in 1978 although she had only $1,000 in her account at the time, according to trade records the White House released yesterday.
The computerized records of her trades, which the White House obtained from the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, show for the first time how she was able to turn her initial investment into $6,300 overnight. In about 10 months of trading, she made nearly $100,000, relying heavily on advice from her friend James B. Blair, an experienced futures trader.
Monica Lewinsky And The $12 Million Affair
So there we all were, kvelling over the great seducer Bill Clinton, falling in love with him all over again following his star turn at the Democratic National Convention earlier this month. And then, just like in the movies ….
e. Benghazi incident
What’s Behind the GOP’s Fixation on Benghazi?
Jan 23, 2013
As Republicans grilled Hillary Clinton on the Obama administration’s response to Benghazi in congressional hearings Wednesday, they repeatedly hit on a talking point that doesn’t seem like it’d do them a lot of good: It’s been four months. “Here we are, four months later, and we still don’t have the basic information,” Sen. John McCain told Clinton Wednesday. “I’m not trying to be obnoxious here, I’m just trying to get the answers I believe the American people deserve to hear. It’s been four months,” Sen. Ron Johnson told a Milwaukee radio show after he and Clinton had a testy exchange. “More than four months later its unacceptable that the State Department has made it so difficult” to conduct oversight, Ohio Rep. Steve Chabot told Clinton. Clinton will have to respond later in writing, because Chabot used up all of his time with his statement. But they all raise a good question: What have we been debating for four months?
4. Clinton dynasty
December 4, 2007, 9:11 pm
Clinton on the Dynasty Question
By KATHARINE Q. SEELYE
Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton thinks it was not a good idea for one Bush to follow another into the White House, but having one Clinton follow another is apparently a different matter.
5. Clintons’ $500K capital gains exclusion for primary residence
Tax Break May Have Helped Cause Housing Bubble
Monica Almeida/The New York Times
By VIKAS BAJAJ and DAVID LEONHARDT
Published: December 18, 2008
“Tonight, I propose a new tax cut for homeownership that says to every middle-income working family in this country, if you sell your home, you will not have to pay a capital gains tax on it ever — not ever.”
“Tonight, I propose a new tax cut for homeownership that says to every middle-income working family in this country, if you sell your home, you will not have to pay a capital gains tax on it ever — not ever.”
— President Bill Clinton, at the 1996 Democratic National Convention
6. The Clintons’ special relationship with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac
September 9, 2008 5:30 A.M.
Politics and the Fannie Mae Piggy Bank
Franklin Raines, Jamie Gorelick, and some very cooked books.
Editor’s note — The impending federal bailout of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac has shed light not only on the seriousness of current housing market conditions but also on the mismanagement and corruption that helped cripple the mortgage giants. Although political figures from both parties have profited mightily from Fannie Mae, it has been a particular favorite of former officials of Democratic administrations, as NR’s Byron York found out when he looked into the situation in the summer of 2006.
On May 23, 2006, as a jury in Houston deliberated the case against top Enron executives Kenneth Lay and Jeffrey Skilling, a little-known regulatory agency in Washington, the Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight (OFHEO), released a study with the dryly bureaucratic title “Report of the Special Examination of Fannie Mae.” The document received far less attention than the news from Enron, but its conclusions were stunning. In meticulous detail, it outlined a culture of corruption at the Federal National Mortgage Association — better known as Fannie Mae — that rivals the most serious corporate scandals in recent years. In this case, however, the main players are Washington insiders — some of them prominent veterans of the Clinton administration — and the scandal’s effects could ripple through Congress for years.
I hope when all the posts I just threw together show up, you will be fully convinced that my issues with a Hillary Clinton presidency go far beyond the “woman in the WH” strawman.
But if not, let me know: I’d be happy to remind her future Republican opponents of further ways to keep her from winning the presidency if you wish.
The 2016 campaign is already underway!
Hillary Clinton has graceful, public send-off in exit interview with ‘60 Minutes’ and President Obama
After 20 years in the public spotlight, Clinton will leave the political arena for a more private life — though it may not be for long as CBS’ Steve Kroft pushes question on presidential run in 2016.
By James Warren / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Monday, January 28, 2013, 12:39 AM
Secretary of State Clinton’s appearance on “60 Minutes” Sunday night, complete with an admiring presidential glance, may be a big help down the road. Steve Kroft (left) questioned the former rivals.
Big-shot departing White House aides usually get a small, private farewell from the boss — but Hillary Clinton got a nationwide hug on “60 Minutes” on Sunday night.
President Obama and the exiting secretary of state paid homage to each other just four years after shredding each other during the 2008 presidential campaign.
The 30-minute interview was light on news but heavy on symbolism and stagecraft. A relationship born in the campaign crucible culminated with an Obama valedictory for Clinton. The President called their association “a great collaboration.”
“I’m going to miss her. Wish she was sticking around,” he said.
Keep telling yourself that. (”It’s not gender, it’s the pantsuits!”)
you go, bear…lol
For the record, I won’t vote at all. I’ve gone voluntaryist. The only reason I voted was to help make a case about my permanent address. Not because I think voting does anything good. Voting does everything bad by the way.
66 million people out of 219 million eligible voters voted for Obama. 61 million people out of that voted for Romney.
93 million eligible voters did not vote.
40% of the eligible voters voted for None of the Above by not voting.
30% voted for Obama
28% voted for Romney.
You cannot deny this statement: Obama has not received the consent of the governed in his second term. Romney clearly would not have the consent of the governed either.
The government in Washington does NOT have the consent of the governed. It’s also why so much vitriol. At least 28% of the people do not like Obama. Those are Romney voters. If one fourth of the non-voters do not like Obama, to be a safe estimate, at least 38% of the people do not like Obama. 30% of the people DO clearly like Obama. So that is why you see such vitriol these days. The same would go for Romney. A larger number of people could not stand Romney than favor Romney.
It’s going to be the same in 2016 when the Democrats put another candidate out there and Romney runs again.
I am done with it.
There’s no way Romney is running again…I don’t think. That’s not the R way. He had his turn.
“66 million people out of 219 million eligible voters voted for Obama. 61 million people out of that voted for Romney.
93 million eligible voters did not vote.”
The non-voters won by a landslide!
If only a candidate represented them.
“If only a candidate represented them.”
I don’t think Ron could even come close to winning an election among the non-voters if they were forced to vote. But I suppose I could be wrong. A few non-voters are militant about it…I think the rest are lazy. Lazy and Ron Paul probably don’t mix.
If only the voting system were structured such that a majority of voters choosing not to vote counted as a vote of “no confidence” against the candidates running—and there was an automatic re-vote, with the previously-running candidates banned from participating.
Now THAT would be a great system.
What someone proposed, on the NOTA, is that if NOTA won the majority vote, the office would go vacant until at least the next election.
It would be very embarrassing for a career politician to lose to NOTA. So this would not be implemented. I do like this idea a lot as a transition to the voluntaryist society I want. But I will not agitate for it. I’m done with the political process. I’m not done agitating against government.
Ron Paul is too old to run. Dennis Kucinich is out of Congress now and could devote all his time to a third party run, but he is too weird and too ugly to gain traction nationally.
The (s)elected candidate in 2016 will be Bush’s fifth term.
HAH! Like I said during Romney’s run, JEB 2016!
Wait and see. Watch and learn.
I could see that happening. I remember when W first entered discussion as a potential candidate; many were shocked when it eventually came to pass.
P.S. I will state here and now that I will not vote for the nuclear family member of any former president in the next election.
It’s time to recognize that America is not a monarchy, and move away from presidential choices that smack of dynasty.
I was just thinking…I don’t want to vote for Jeb, but after another AWB passes I might be angry enough to do so. And that might explain why the system is wasting political capital on such stupidity in the first place…to get people like me to vote to perpetuate the system. Again.
If it gets down to Jeb versus Hillary, I would probably change my voting rule and vote Republican.
Please CBIT do not even suggest such a choice. However, it is a viable possibility. How about we just hold a lottery and you buy a ten dollar ticket to become president? The proceeds could be used to pay off the debt. Citizens only please. I don’t think we could do worse.
It won’t be Jeb, surely the GOP will learn a few things before then?
I think Chris Christie sealed his own fate with the GOP primary voters by welcoming Obama in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. Remember what types of people vote in primaries. And remember that most primaries are closed, meaning you must be a registered member of the party to vote (ruling out objective independents).
Also, remember that Mark Zuckerberg and other young people can help Christie raise a billion dollars for his campaign, but young people don’t vote in GOP primaries. And a lot of young people won’t give the GOP a chance after McCain and Romney ruining the “brand”.
So it’s really going to be people like Northeasterner and AQDan, who won’t be alive when my generation gets to pay off their social security and medicare benefits, who will be selecting the GOP nominee (who will, once again, lose).
“It won’t be Jeb, surely the GOP will learn a few things before then?”
Rick Perry? Herman Cain?
More seriously, my sister, a self-professed bleeding heart liberal who takes politics far more closely than I, suggested to me recently she thought Christie might be the next Republican candidate. Let’s see if the dolts who run the party can avoid screwing up his chances the way they did Romney’s.
It probably should be Christie, if the GOP is serious about raising money AND winning. But I’d bet against Christie. He’s far too moderate, northeastern-y, and he doesn’t have right wing social beliefs (wishy washy on abortion, favors gay marriage, favors reasonable gun restrictions, etc).
The fact that Christie was a great U.S. attorney will also mean little to nothing to hard core right types. Even Giuliani couldn’t get their support bc of his moderate social views.
Joe Smith, Neither Romney nor McCain damaged the brand, they were just weak candidates. W did major damage to the brand. As others have said on this blog eight years of Obama is the price we pay for eight years of W. But what you cannot see is just how much Obama is damaging the Democratic brand. The Democrats had control of the House after 2008 by a wide margin. After the 2012 election the Republicans have control by a decent margin. The reason for that is Obama was able to motivate millions less voters than his previous run. No FDR or Reagan type re-election. Also, you did not understand the natural tendency of people to grow more conservative as they age. The baby boomers that you think are so conservative once were the Democratic party’s hope. If you think that people are going to vote the same way in 60’s as they do in their twenties than you do not understand anything about politics.
In fact, since the Democrats had control of the House after the 2006 election, they have already lost more than the gained with the 2008 win.
A story that has been going on under the radar except in Mormon circles, it involves Harry Reid among others:
CIBT: Regarding the nuclear Bushes, shouldn’t it be “nuke-yuh-lar” -
Correct pronunciation, though I believe it is spelled ‘nuclear.’
Obama Second Term To Challenge Big Banks
January 21st, 2013
By Peter G. Miller
It will be in the mid 40s for the second inauguration of Barack Obama, but behind the secenes things will be a lot hotter.
One of the big themes of the next four years concerns banks, lending and clarity. In the past few weeks thousands of pages of new regulations have been published as a result of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, regulations which will substantially alter the way we create mortgages and finance real estate.
For example, according to the Wall Street Journal, 61 percent of all subprime borrowers qualified for better financing in 2006. (See:Subprime Debacle Traps Even Very Credit-Worthy, December 3, 2007).
At the time loan officers could be paid on the basis of a yield spread premium (YSP) — the higher the cost of the mortgage the greater the compensation to the loan officer. Today YSPs are illegal which means there is no incentive to drive borrowers into higher-cost loans, toxic financing or unsuitable mortgages and as a result many foreclosures and short sales will be prevented.
Lenders can now charge whatever they want for mortgage financing, BUT if a loan has points and fees which total more than 3 percent of the loan amount then the financing cannot be considered a “qualified mortgage” — and if you’re a lender you only want to make QMs to avoid liability.
There’s no usury rate for mortgages under the new rules, BUT if the mortgage rate is more than 1.5 percent above the Average Prime Offer Rate it cannot be a qualified mortgage.
Mortgage lending has become a huge profit center under the new rules but what about other bank operations? How risky are derivatives trading and off-the-books entities?
We have to know these things. Why? To avoid another financial meltdown.
A very close family fried just obtained her citizenship (after being here for a couple of decades and going through the process).
I’d like to get here something special as a congratulations gift…any ideas?
Seriously, though, without knowing anything about this friend or your price range it’s hard to venture a guess, but I’d suggest a lovely handcrafted piece of Hopi/Zuni/Navajo turquoise jewelry (or if from Cali, a necklace with a gold nugget). A special edition coffee table book of the National Parks would be nice, as would a special “welcome” dinner in the wine country. You can’t go wrong with a fun congratulations party exaggerating all the hoops she had to jump through and bells she had to ring to get to this point. And of course a catered red,white, and blue cake for dessert.
Write this day down. I agree with Hansen about the turquoise jewelry although, coral and silver jewelry is very nice. They have slightly different styles but it is all great. Zunis makes great inlaid earrings, and Navajos squash blossoms and Hopis silver jewelry. However, they all do great work and you find some artisans in each tribe that can make anything. Rugs, pottery and other art works are also highly prized . However, the rugs are quite expensive.
We agree on more than you might imagine, Dan. It’s just those niggling details….
Think of her favorite hobby or occupation (find out details behind the scene if you don’t know). Then try to think of something symbolic of this activity. It will be all the more effective if the gift you choose is uniquely emblematic of what she has done since starting the path to citizenship…
Gift card to Home Despot…
How about a nice LED lighting fixture? The light will last for years and will be something she will need to use every day. A decent LED is expected to last at least 50,000 hours. If you left it on all day everyday it yould last for a little over 2000 days, or something like 5 and a half years.
I’d do something related directly to the new citizenship. How about offering her a ride to the polls for her first election and a celebratory lunch or dinner after that?
Voting? Very Pollyannish….and dumbest idea ever…..
Take her to house hunting and help her get an FHA loan.
Why did the friend decide to become a citizen? My mom and mother in law have been in u.s for decades, neither is a citizen or wants to become one (they are indifferent). My mother in law might do it because it will make flying to Greece easier. Right now she is cyprus/uk citizen.
She’s originally from Africa, has been here for many years and her family and kids are scattered to the winds (some still in Africa, some in Europe). Citizenship will make traveling easier.
A framed 1040 form, because your friend is now an official slave to the state.
She’s been paying taxes for years…that’s nothing new.
Thanks to everyone for the ideas…I like the Native American/handcrafted path. Also, in her time here, she has acquired an affinity for jazz, so perhaps some collectible from an American Jazz legend…
An AR-15 ?
Cool. I saw this image.
My Phoenix merchant is getting in a shipment of Bushmasters, DPMS, and Windham AR15s. If he’s getting Colts in, I will buy one. If there are DPMS ones available, I’m buying one.
Seems a bit nuts to pay current prices, IMO. Unless it’s the last chance forever, I suppose.
Why do real estate developers think it’s OK to plop a major commercial development right in the bottom of a river valley? Don’t they realize that rivers some times flood?
I’m a about to post a minor example below; click on the video link to watch fools drive their cars through a flash flood near a major San Diego mall. Nobody gets killed, but with six more inches of water, a different outcome could potentially occur.
Remember all those shysters who came into town on a shiny wagon, planted an accomplice in the crowd, hawked a potion that was good for what ails you, took the money and left town just before the good citizens figured out that the potion was just whiskey?
The whole of Los Angeles is a river basin. (The LA Basin.) All those channels running through your backyards? The ones you never notice? They carry RIVER WATER out to the sea. And when it rains hard and the dams overflow (or break, which they sometimes do, especially when there is an earthquake) they will FLOOD YOUR CITIES; and three million of your homes.
Then there are the high tides. I have personally walked through knee-high water in the streets of Newport Beach — where it hadn’t rained for months.
The point is, most small-time developers are oblivious. There’s a reason no one has built there before….
I’m cool with that. My floor is more than 20 feet above the ground.
Your floor may be, but your foundation ain’t.
To its credit, LA has adapted over the years, at least in the area of debris flow catchments:
Los Angeles Against the Mountains—I
by John McPhee September 26, 1988
In “Los Angeles Against the Mountains,” a 1988 installment in the New Yorker series “The Control of Nature,” which was later published as a book, John McPhee described how Southern California’s dry chaparral produces devastating fires.
I lived through knee-high tidewater for three years when I lived on the boardwalk in Newport Beach. More an annoyance than anything. Day or two per year. No big deal.
Really screwed up the garage, though!
Let me add that I have seen old photos of a time in the 20th century when the entire San Diego River Valley was completely inundated with flood waters. Perhaps flood control is now in place to reduce the likelihood of similar events.
The time you don’t want to be in the river valley further downstream is when the flood control system fails. It happens. A vivid childhood memory is of a visit with one of my dad’s closest friends, who gave his first-hand account of how his family barely escaped with their lives during the Rapid City flood of 1972. Unfortunately, the real estate developers had built the community where he lived right in the flood plain of the innocuous-looking creek which the flood turned into a raging torrent, killing 200 people. He himself had to wade in waste-deep water in the dark of night to save himself and his immediate family. Makes San Diego fire evacuation seem like a walk in the park by comparison.
Pacific storm drenches San Diego County; Cloudy skies, wet conditions to continue through weekend
Cooler temperatures to move in
Last Updated: 9 hours ago
SAN DIEGO -
Downpours over San Diego County were expected to ease up on Saturday, but drizzle and light rain were expected to redevelop overnight and stick around for another day or two, forecasters said.
According to 10News Pinpoint Weather Team forecasts, up to about an inch of precipitation will likely fall throughout the San Diego County area ahead of cooler temperatures and more scattered cloudbursts continuing into Monday.
Barricades were up at Avenida del Rio near Fashion Valley Mall on Saturday. Part of the roadway was submerged by the San Diego River, which was at a higher level due to runoff from rain.
Also building on the Santa Clara river using earthen levies to put homes right in the river bottom. How do these things get insured ?
Meanwhile, the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), which must issue its own permit under the Clean Water Act, has moved closer to a final permit, termed a Record of Decision. The Corps has spent months in negotiations with the Environmental Protection Agency over several outstanding issues involving the permit. FSCR is still hopeful that the final permit will eliminate its most egregious feature – the proposed filling with dirt of 110 acres of the Santa Clara River floodplain.
Is this behavior fairly typical among Wall Street used home sellers?
Well-To-Do Real Estate Broker Accused Of Raping Internet Date
January 26, 2013 11:33 AM
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A well-to-do real estate broker at a high-end Manhattan firm has pleaded not guilty to a rape charge brought from a young woman he met on the Internet.
As WCBS 880’s Irene Cornell reported, Lakhinder Vohra, 47, met the woman through a Web site called SeekingArrangement.com. The woman claimed Vohra attacked her on her first visit to his Wall Street apartment.
The Web site caters to men like Vohra, who works for the firm Nest Seekers described as “sugar daddies with lots of cash.” Vohra used the handle “Daddylovesarmcandy” on the Web site and claimed to be worth as much as $10 million, according to a New York Post report.
The 26-year-old victim claimed that he threw her face down on the bed, placed his hand on her back, and raped her, the newspaper reported.
Summary: Hooker and john have dispute over price.
There is a major difference between a call girl and a mistress, and rape is rape, hooker or no.
Even concubinage has been corrupted: By marriage.
– Friedrich Nietzsche
Even concubinage has been corrupted: By marriage.
– Friedrich Nietzsche
I bet he refused to pay.
I sure hope PW is around on Sunday; I look forward to his comments on this article:
Article posted: 1/18/2013 5:41 AM
Real estate sales appear to be in early bloom
By Ken Harney
WASHINGTON — Could we be looking at an early spring this year — not in meteorological terms but real estate? Could the chilly December to February months, which traditionally see fewer buyers out shopping for houses compared with the warmer months that follow, be more active than usual?
And if so, what does this mean to you as a potential home seller or buyer?
There is growing evidence, anecdotal and statistical, that there are more shoppers on the prowl in many parts of the country than is customary for this time of year, more people requesting “preapproval” letters from mortgage companies, more people visiting websites offering homes for sale, and more people telling pollsters that they expect home prices to continue rising and that the worst of the housing downturn is long past. There is even data showing that during holiday-distracted December, there was a jump in visits to homes listed for sale.
Coldwell Banker, one of the largest brokerages in the country, says traffic to its listings website was up 38 percent during the past month, compared with year-earlier levels. ZipRealty, an online brokerage based in Emeryville, Calif., reports that its website has seen an unusual 33 percent increase in home shoppers in the first half of January compared with December.
Redfin, a brokerage with headquarters in Seattle, found that even during the week of Dec. 30, shoppers requesting home tours by agents jumped 26 percent over the four-week average, and 9 percent compared with the same week the year before.
Economists at the National Association of Realtors report that foot traffic at houses listed for sale in well over half of all markets around the country was higher this past December than the year before. Given the strong December reading, says Paul C. Bishop, vice president for research at the association, sales in the coming weeks should be “robust.”
Even in markets that typically hibernate until the snow melts, there are indications of an unusually early start to the 2013 season. Joe Petrowsky, president of Right Trac Financing Group, a mortgage company near Hartford, Conn., says he has received a much higher volume of requests for “preapproval” letters — which tell sellers that a purchaser is qualified for a mortgage loan — compared with what’s typical at this time of year.
“I’m seeing twice as many buyers this January as last January,” Petrowsky said in an interview. “People have finally figured out that prices are moving up, interest rates are really low, and they don’t want to miss out on the opportunity.”
In the Washington, D.C., area, Long & Foster Real Estate, the country’s largest independent broker, reports strong “signs that we are going to have an early spring” in terms of home sales. In an unusual occurrence for January, according to Steve Wydler, a Long & Foster agent in Northern Virginia, “multiple offer situations are becoming increasingly common, with prices being escalated above asking price.”
Yet sales languish at 16 year lows and entire neighborhoods of empty houses grow by the day.
This question is of possible interest to folks with home businesses.
It may also be of interest to renters, as I am sure that Uncle Sam would not discriminate against them by limiting the availability of home-use deductions to wealthy Ownership Society members.
Posted on Saturday, 01.26.13
No place like home, IRS finds
If your home is your place of business, you will find it easier to file for deductions with a streamlined ‘safe harbor’ method.
By KENNETH R. HARNEY
If you’re one of the millions of homeowners and renters who work or run a business from the place you live, here’s some good news on taxes: The Internal Revenue Service wants to make it easier for you to file for deductions on the business-related use of your home.
The new IRS option plan, which will be available for 2013 and beyond, allows owners and employees who work from home to deduct $5 per square foot of home office space per year, up to a maximum allowable space of 300 square feet. The write-off is capped at $1,500 per year, but the hassle factor is negligible.
Here’s how it works. The Internal Revenue Code permits you to deduct expenses for a home office that is used “exclusively” and on a “regular basis” as your principal place of business “for any trade or business,” or as a place to meet with clients or customers. Provided you qualify on these threshold tests, the code allows you to deduct mortgage interest, property taxes, rent, utilities, hazard insurance and other expenses based on the percentage of the total space of the home that is attributable to your business use.
Though this method can produce sizable deductions, critics have long argued that the computations for some of the allowable items — depreciation on the house you own is one — can be tricky and require significant record-keeping and time expenditures to get it exactly right. Plus the IRS has acknowledged that the presence of a home office deduction on a taxpayer’s filing may increase that taxpayer’s potential for being selected for audit.
The new streamlined approach essentially boils everything down to just one measurement: How much square footage that qualifies for business purpose treatment are you using? Multiply that number by $5 per square foot and you’ve got your deduction amount. As long as this does not exceed $1,500, you can use the new short form write-off. If the total is more than $1,500, you can use the more complicated option, which is spelled out in IRS Form 8829 and available at IRS.gov.
The pros and cons of the new option? Abe Schneier, senior technical manager for taxation at the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants, says it should be a money-saver for small-scale enterprises and start-ups. “Anybody who’s going to start a new business working from home will probably find this a great advantage,” he said in an interview.
On the other hand, owners whose operations require large amounts of space and who have sizable utilities, insurance and other expenses probably will want to stick with the traditional method — complicated though it can be — because it can yield them much higher write-offs.
So take a look at how much time you’re spending on business work in your home, review the basic rules outlined in IRS publication 587, “Business Use of Your Home,” and go with the smarter option for your situation.
I wonder if the feds share that “work at home” info with the local zoning commission. Some of the more statist / central control / commie areas really get wild about zoning and I’d think signing an income tax form stating that you’re breaking local zoning laws would be problematic.
Given how they couldn’t release Mittens tax returns without his permission I doubt they share home office info either.
That said, I’ve never heard of a zoning law that prohibits a home office, at least as long as you are the only one working in it.
Shh…School marm is reading your post. She likes ALL government laws and thinks everyone of us must obey ALL government laws, including those that are unconstitutional and violate our property rights.
depreciation on the house you own is one
But houses don’t depreciate! The realtor told me so!
That’s quite a ginormous bubble to the north of us, eh?
Great Canadian real estate crash of 2013
The housing bubble has burst, and few will emerge unscathed
by Chris Sorensen on Wednesday, January 9, 2013 3:59pm
Keith Roy began warning his clients about a faltering Vancouver housing market in early 2012. The realtor says he was tipped off not by industry statistics, but by chatter across backyard fences. “When you hear about a homeowner who thinks his neighbour got too much money when he sold his house, you know there’s something going on,” says Roy. “That was the first clue.”
Keith Roy began warning his clients about a faltering Vancouver housing market in early 2012. The realtor says he was tipped off not by industry statistics, but by chatter across backyard fences. “When you hear about a homeowner who thinks his neighbour got too much money when he sold his house, you know there’s something going on,” says Roy. “That was the first clue.”
Seems like a peek over their southern border would have been enough for the average Canuck to connect the dots, but I guess it’s different up there.
Canadian Economy to Stall; Housing Bubble Looms
Author: Andrew Heaton
Despite the economy having held up well in recent years amid lack of a banking crisis, strong resource demand and a boom in condominiums, the latest economic forecast for Canada from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is not encouraging for either the economy at large or the construction industry.
Following overall economic growth of just 1.9 percent in 2012, the IMF is tipping expansion of just 2.0 percent this year.
In its report, the Fund says Canada has weathered the financial crisis relatively well, with demand having recovered from the GFC faster than the case for the United States and the economy benefiting from strong commodity demand and favourable financing conditions which have boosted housing construction.
But it warns the strong housing market has fuelled a build-up in household debt and exposure to property price falls.
IMF: Eurozone to remain in recession in 2013
IMF says recession-hit eurozone continues to pose a large downside risk to the global economic outlook.
Last Modified: 23 Jan 2013 20:10
Global growth in 2013 will be heavily led by emerging and developing economies [EPA]
The eurozone will stay in recession in 2013 with the currency area’s economy contracting by 0.2 percent, the International Monetary Fund predicts.
“The euro area continues to pose a large downside risk to the global outlook,” the Washington-based crisis lender said in a quarterly update of its World Economic Outlook on Wednesday.
“In particular, risks of prolonged stagnation in the euro area as a whole will rise if the momentum for reform is not maintained.”
Euro area bailout recipients Greece, Portugal and Ireland, as well as struggling economies including Spain and Italy, where governments are trying to fix large budget deficits, must continue to push through both fiscal and structural reforms, the IMF said.
The weaker economies on the eurozone periphery “must be supported by the centre” through the European Union’s firewalls along with continued steps toward full banking union and budget integration, the IMF update said.
January 22, 2013, 2:40 P.M. ET
China Looks Like a Bubble Economy, GMO Says
By Ben Levisohn
China’s cheap, it’s underperformed other emerging markets and its economy has the wind at its back. What’s not to like?
How about its bubble economy? That’s what keeps GMO’s Edward Chancellor and Mike Monnelly underweight–and up at night, according to a new report.
Take China’s rapid credit growth. In 2009, non-financial credit expanded by the equivalent of 45% of the nations 2008 GDP–and has needed an increasing amount of credit to keep growing. From 2007 to 2012, the ratio of credit to GDP has increased to 190%. That’s faster than the credit booms of Japan in the 1980s or the U.S. during before the financial crisis. And the speed of growth, rather then the actual amount is often more problematic.
You see a similar story in all the BRICS, the debt levels that took us 70 years to accumulate they have managed to accumulate in the last ten years fueling their economies in the short term but setting them up for some lean years. BTW, by debt levels I mean as a percentage of their GDPs.
I think I’d be better off buying MSFT as a proxy-stevia-substitute instead of trying to make a stab of etching out a lifestyle at this point in Seattle. You know, cast my ballot of whether Seattle is worth the cost by just taking stock in one of its big employers versus sending money into the real estate quagmire that it is:
“Currently I live and teach in Chicago and make about $60k/yr teaching at an elementary school in the city. With that and my wife’s very part-time income of about $15/yr - my wife, myself, and our one year-old daughter have not had a problem living and even saving a bit each month in our $1700/mo 3br/2ba apartment.”
This family likely spends 45% of their net income on rental housing. What could possible go wrong? Heck, the future is so bright ‘ya gotta wear shades!
A question I have been meaning to ask for a while , we are getting more and more stories like this
Mark Price said food price inflation would rise further as the heavy rainfall last year meant that many farmers did not plant crops for 2013.
Mr Price told the Sun: “We’re seeing input food inflation of around 3 to 3.5pc, but we expect it go up to as much as five.
“In some commodities, the increases will be massive,” he added.
“It’s bread, vegetables, all produce. The apple crop was down 20 to 30 per cent so apple prices have to go up. You have only seen the tip of the iceberg,” said Mr Price.
Last year was the second wettest year across the UK in records dating back more than a century to 1910.
given the references on this blog to the shrinking sizes of Tuna cans and the ability to eat ipod’s, is is safe to assume that food prices in the Western World are all on the increase and the obesity epidemic might start to reverse?
Food prices are on the rise, but I expect the obesity epidemic to get WORSE. The most fattening foods: corn wheat rice soy, are also the most subsidized and least perishable, which means they are the cheapest. Poor people are going to eat fewer frozen veggies and more Ramen noodles.
Never mind the USA fats. The boyz on Wall Street doing “God’s work” have limitless Bernank Bux with which to speculate on foods and drive the overseas black and brown poors into starvation and ultimately revolution.
Not there for work: Connecticut’s disappearing labor force
Published 12:34 am, Saturday, January 26, 2013
Donald Klepper-Smith, chief economist of New Haven-based Data Core Partners, said the number of people actively engaged in the work force in Connecticut, defined as those who are working or looking for work, fell 51,000, or 2.68 percent in 2012, the largest drop in the nation.
“We’re moving in the wrong direction, and we’re moving there fast,” Klepper-Smith said of the chart he produced using U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics data.
In December, the state’s unemployment rate fell 0.3 percent to 8.8 percent despite losing 1,800 jobs. The reason the unemployment rate fell was because there were fewer people in the labor force, not because there were more jobs.
Wonder what Mr. Donald Klepper-Smith’s salary is? Does his wisdom really have real value? If we waste money on these guys how many labor and service jobs could be saved or paid better?
So it happens with HOAs too.
Runaway HOA boards and the 80/20 rule
Posted: 12:00 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 26, 2013
I live in a community with a homeowner’s association (HOA) that is experiencing a runaway HOA board of directors (especially the new president), that has been inconsistent in equally applying the rules to the homeowners. They also interpret the rules according to their own reasoning, rather than how the rules and covenants are written. Please advise me as to the best course of action to stop the board’s actions in the short term. I realize that voting others onto the board is an option, but elections are held annually, for a three-year term. In a volunteer board, this is not always the easiest path to get homeowners to volunteer their time. Can the board members be sued individually or collectively if they do not abide by the rules and covenants, and apply them equally to all owners? I and other homeowners are looking for options to stop the current board members before more damage is done. Signed, R.A.
http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/business/real-estate/runaway-hoa-boards-and-the-8020-rule/nT5GK/ - 92k -
Wow. Just wow…The communistic nature of many HOAs is enough to turn people off. But different rules for different members is even worse. It’s like high school popularity again, only that your “biggest investment,” your blood sweat and tears of decades is at the mercy of such politicians.
Just reviewed one of my longest held long-term non-IRA holdings in a mutual fund. I see it has peaked per a share NAV price to an all-time high since its pseudo-conception via fund merger ca. 2006. Something is telling me to sell it and, get this, use the proceeds to finish funding my Vanguard Roth IRA for 2012. I am already reviewing my I-bond holdings and it looks like I’d be better served placing that money in slush stock market account vs. the 4% CAGR it has given since 2003. See where this is going? I have more bullishness in stocks since it looks like there is little left to scrape some return from. If I ain’t try to ring a bell for a top, who is then? I need to look at some charts next. They might be mumbo-jumbo in the Warren Buffet school of fine tarts, but boy do they correlate nicely with short-term market tops.
OK, 10% of the population own 70% of the net worth of the USA and that includes the stock market. If you think the top 10% are heading into hard times don’t own stocks or bonds. But if you think Larry Ellison, Bill Gates, Warren Buffet or Sheldon Adelson are going to just keep getting richer then leave your money invested since they are the market.
Here’s what I did in 2012. I sold nearly half of my VSGAX because it was my best performer on an annual basis of my vanguard stock mutual funds and I had a healthy gain. I kept just enough to maintain admiral status. I feared my capital gains tax was going up to 20% in January. I was wrong. But now I have more cash.
I converted all of my VFIAX to VTCLX - all this outside my IRA. I wanted the tax managed account to reduce my exposure to taxable gains and dividends because of the same fear of tax increases. My capital gain to realize on that conversion in December was somewhere above $4500.
As for my Vanguard IRAs, I have two: One is traditional and one is Roth. Both are in Vanguard 500 Index fund. The Roth is well above $10,000 so it’s VFIAX. The traditional IRA is in VFINX, which has the higher expense ratio. The dividends and capital gains are tax sheltered in those IRA accounts, hence I am with the 500 index fund. Somewhere in December I will convert that traditional IRA to the Roth account. This is the way the current laws allow anyone at an income above $110,000 per year to get to a Roth, by conversion only. Not by direct contributions.
I bought most of my I bonds in the early 2000s. I very rarely buy any these days because the fixed rate does not make them attractive at all. I prefer my municipal bond fund. If the fixed rate ever gets to 1% I might buy $2,000 worth of Series I bonds that year. I’m happy with the I bonds that I have. Some of them with a 3% fixed rate. My average annual yield on those is around 6%.
From yesterday’s discussion, its claimed that 75 million baby boomers are going to sell their homes to 80 million Gen Y
Old people don’t sell the fashionable supersized “look at me” mcmansion to recent college grads, at least post-2005.
There’s a forgotten generation in between, the gen X group. Theoretically I’m supposed to trade up from my small ranch starter home to a palatial supersized boomer mcmansion, and the kids are supposed to “buy” my gen X starter house (buy in quotes, really rent money from the bank), but I guarantee it ain’t happening. The good news, is depending on which made up statistics you prefer, there are from 41 million to 90 million gen Xers, so there’s probably enough of us to buy the boomer houses, and we have enough gen X houses to sell to the gen Y crowd. However Wikipedia will tell you wages are 11% lower for this generation than the boomers. So boomer prices need to decline an absolute minimum of 10% just on a income basis, but don’t forget the expense basis, this isn’t the 80s when my dad paid $50/mo for health insurance for us. And on top of the demographic effects, the bubble has to /should be wiped out.
I figure if the boomers can eat the entire loss of the bubble, with a long term demographic decline loss of about 50% on top of that (meaning a total decline around 75% from peak bubble prices) then I’ll buy a boomer house, and a gen Y kid can buy my gen X house from me. Basically I’m asking for 1970s-1980s pricing, because thats what the household budget for housing looks like. Of course multi-generational declines in the standard of living don’t magically end with one transaction, I’m sure I’d have to eat another 1/3 to 1/2 capital loss to sell my mcmansion to an even poorer middle aged gen Y in another 25 years, its not like they’re going to be any better off financially than we are…
Or buy something new for 20-40% under the price of massively inflated resale housing.
I’ll just be over here in the trailer park eating popcorn and watching this play out. So far I’d have probably been better off hanging onto my Gen X starter home that I sold in 2005, but I’m happy to be on high ground at the moment.
Still can’t believe they allow trailers in Boulder.
always wondered how do you keep them warm at 20 below? or 40 below?
I think the coldest we’ve seen here in Boulder in the last 3 years since we bought it is 10 or 12 below. The skirting is tight against the ground so I don’t think too much is lost from underneath. The windows are crappy, but seem to insulate OK with two layers of single pane, about 4 inches apart. I don’t know if it’s just a high capacity heater or what, but it keeps up far better than the end unit townhome we were renting a few blocks away for the first 4 years of bubble sitting. We had to run the oven sometimes to warm the place up over there and we were definitely buying more natural gas over there according to the bills.
Out of staters confuse front range weather with ski resort weather.
Right now it’s 54 degrees and there is no snow on the ground. We do get a few cold snaps over the winter, but lows are typically in the 20’s during the winter. Sometimes they are above 32. Going below zero happens very rarely.
Keep in mind, too, that what Carl refers to as a “trailer” is likely a manufactured home that’s built to code specs. They maybe be Barbi-doll flimsy, but they’re surprisingly cozy and easy to heat, especially with a wood/pellet stove.
Pretty sure mine is a double wide that did actually come in on wheels that could be reinstalled if needed. Originally manufactured in 1994 and then remodeled and moved to it’s current site just before we bought it used in 2009.
Trailers are cheap living and yes they heat quickly… and cool quickly. Heating unused space like a SFR is throwing good money after bad.
Never had a “bad” trailer park date. Dressing-up was a new pair of jeans, never picky about what we had to drink or watch on the VCR, and come to think about it I never heard “no” either.
‘Never had a “bad” trailer park date.’
I used to tutor a lady who lived in a trailer in maths. She was married, and I behaved myself around her, but the temptation to misbehave was pretty powerful…
but the temptation to misbehave was pretty powerful…
You’re a good man, PB…
I am probably one of the few heterosexual men on the planet who has occasionally turned down an attractive woman on principle.
“I am probably one of the few heterosexual men on the planet who has occasionally turned down an attractive woman on principle.”
And the ladies will never give you a second chance even if you’re together on a deserted island.
Those are my principles, and if you don’t like them — well, I have others!
I love the Tianello shirts from Boulder. Great shirts for travel throw them in a ball and then hang them up and the wrinkles come right out.
They have craptastic trailers in Aspen.
All the hourly workers live 3/4 to a trailer.
Dude….. you’ll always be high and dry. And it’s a comfortable place.
I would seriously love to move to a trailer home, and may try it if we have to move. The rental we are in is great, but the income from our rental home will disappear when we sell it. So the rent won’t end up so much a “wash” anymore. Our 8th grade daughter may want to go to a certain school which is not the one 3 blocks from here.
So a trailer home? If it is livable(location, neighbors) and costs less than a regular rental; why not? If I were buying one I would want to make sure that rental prices for the space in the park are secure; rather not have it be in a park at all for that matter and I would want to factor into the price the more rapid depreciation/less usable life of the product. Hopefully find one not more than 5-8 years old.
But a cash buyer for a product that banks are not granting loans so easily, namely, manufactured housing on land; could be a way to find a decent place to live.
Wait…. you stamped your feet and took your ball home 2 weeks ago…. and now you’re back…….liar.
Even those younger generations having kids are not having as many kids as the boomers. So they will be leery of moving into McMansions.
Who in the next generation will ever be able to afford to have kids? I’m guessing a lot fewer than the Baby Boomer generation; hence lots more demand for 2 br homes and smaller, and very little for 3br+…
A 2 bedroom beach house right on the gulf sand in Sarasota’s Siesta Key would really be nice. You don’t need much indoor space. You will be spending most of your time outdoors on the gulf beach.
It is sad to see what I predicted about Libya coming true. But as I said two years ago, the opposition in Libya was from the same part of the country that sent large numbers of jihadists to Iraq, so what kind of government do you think they are going to have? The Libyan government had stopped sponsoring terrorists and was working with us, so why was this great need to intervene to overthrow it?
There is no functioning government in Libya per se.
Just remember…If you’re doing it, they want to know — If you have it, they want it.
Statists - The masters of other people’s affairs and resources.
Global Progressives - Promoting and Defending the Indefensible since 1900.
Nickpapageorgio’s question of the day.
Will the Statist Global Progressives capitalize on this latest tragedy by calling for the ban of Night Clubs and fires?
No, because night clubs function as an opiate of the people…they are not a threat to TPTB.
Unlike shootings in American cities, lethal nightclub fires are a rare event.
But I’m not surprised you would get confused about this distinction…
Just remember… your failings are their fault — Your faults are their failings.
Stoopids – the whiners who’d rather complain than think.
Provincial Regressives — The Commies won’t let me smoke in restaurants anymore. Waaaaaa
“Comment by ermagerd”
She’s no noob here :-).
I don’t think it’s Nick’s Mrs. Gboto, but gut feeling says it’s the queen of Kern County.
Don’t be too hard on our poor nicky. His head may be up his ahem, but his heart’s in the right place. Sorta.
“The Commies won’t let me smoke in restaurants anymore.”
I have come across the occasional free-market capitalist who suggests that we’d be collectively better off if smoking in restaurants was legal. The crux of the argument is that if you don’t like smoking, you always have the option of going to a restaurant that doesn’t allow it.
Trouble is, so far as I can tell, half a century back, virtually all restaurants allowed smoking, giving non-smokers no way to avoid it other than never eating out.
“Trouble is, so far as I can tell, half a century back, virtually all restaurants allowed smoking, giving non-smokers no way to avoid it other than never eating out.”
If there was profit in non-smoking restaurants, somebody would have opened one. Restaurants are one thing, why expand the bans to bars, nightclubs, pool halls and private clubs? Lots of neighborhood bars closed, others had to spend large amounts of money to build outside areas to support their customers who smoked and many lost their jobs.
Most of these bans were propositions and referendums, and the majority of the voters who chose to support the measures never step foot in bars, pool halls and private clubs…they just don’t like the smell of smoke. That’s a hell of a reason to take away someones livelihood. Tyranny of the majority is how I would describe these bans.
If you ever see the state of Nevada ban smoking in casino’s you will see the end of Las Vegas and tens of thousands of jobs lost. Take a look at what happened to the smoking ban in Atlantic City.
“…they just don’t like the smell of smoke.”
I’m guessing they also don’t like the health risk or the chance they will somehow get saddled with the tab for smokers’ medical care.
They’re doing wonderful things in mental institutions now days, you should look into it.
By “a bubble in treasuries,” of course you must be referring to five year notes, ten year notes, or bonds, but not T-bills.
That is correct. Short term Treasury debt is less vulnerable to an increase in interest rates than long-term Treasury debt.
Pundits suggested years ago that the Fed had run out of bubbles. Apparently they were absolutely wrong.
Analysts warn investors over rush into bonds
Market experts surprised at numbers piling into debt issues despite record-low yields
Monday, 28 January, 2013, 12:00am
Jeanny Yu email@example.com
The investment tide has not yet turned from bonds to shares, but the change is not far off, say market watchers and analysts.
For the moment, however, investors continue to pile into Asian high-yield bonds in “surprising” numbers, although some fund managers say the trend is not expected to be sustained.
Market specialists warn that capital could be blindly enthusiastic about emerging-market junk bonds, whose yields have fallen to records low of about 7 per cent. They say there is a high capital loss risk for junk bond holders, given those yield levels and limited demand in the secondary market, once the funds flow turns strongly to equities.
“The general appetite among our clients now is into equities,” said Victoria Ip, the Asia-Pacific chief investment strategist at Merrill Lynch Global Wealth Management. “I don’t think there will be too much of a capital return from those junk bonds.”
High-yield bond issuance by mainland firms hit a record US$5.7 billion this month. Issues by Hong Kong firms so far are on par with the record level recorded in October 2010, according to Dealogic data.
Fourteen mainland and two Hong Kong companies rushed to take advantage of record low fundraising costs. They were mainly property developers. Cheung Kong also joined the fray, raising US$500 million.
“There is a bond bubble going on. High-yield bonds by Chinese property firms attracted strong fund inflows recently, but it is not wise for investors to flock to such instruments as they are not compensated for the risk they are taking,” said Gary Dugan, the chief investment officer in Asia and the Middle East for private banking group Coutts.
“Should, for example, Beijing introduce measures to slow house price inflation, some property developers’ recently launched bond offerings could suffer high capital losses.”
Last year, global investors pulled US$69.1 billion out of stock funds while pouring US$493.6 billion into bond funds, according to data provider EPFR Global. The situation looked very different this month - emerging-market bond funds took US$2.02 billion in new demand, just a third of the inflows into stock funds in the week to January 16.
Phillip Apel, the head of diversified fixed-income and rates at Henderson, said that as the equity market recovered, funds were flowing into shares.
Apel said the flow into bonds might not turn negative for now but could change if bond yields continued to fall.
Yields for bond products, including junk bonds, investment-grade bonds, and safe-haven treasury bonds, are at record lows. Yields on emerging-market high-yield bonds, for example, have fallen from 24.5 per cent in 2002 to only 7 per cent.
Dumb question of the day:
Are U.S. housing recoveries always driven by the Fed’s punchbowl respiking activities, or is this time different?
I have to admit the REIT fund I parked money in as of September 2012 has returned an 18% annualized rate so far, thanks to the meme about housing driving the recovery.
It’s the Vanguard REIT fund. I suggest everyone buy some, so that my returns can go ever higher (Buffett coattail effect).
Housing to drive economic growth (finally!)
By Chris Isidore @CNNMoney January 27, 2013: 5:33 PM ET
Economists expect the housing market to be the primary driver of growth this year.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney)
The bursting of the housing bubble plunged the economy into a recession from which it has yet to fully recover. But economists say this could finally be the year that housing lifts us out of the doldrums.
Just over half of economists surveyed by CNNMoney identified a housing recovery as the primary driver of economic growth this year. The rest were split fairly evenly between consumer spending, increased domestic energy production and stimulus from the Federal Reserve as major growth drivers.
“Homebuilding activity will likely remain the strongest growing component of the economy in 2013,” said Keith Hembre, chief economist of Nuveen Asset Management. “After several years of excess supply, demand and supply conditions are now in much better balance.”
Home sales rebounded to the strongest level in five years in 2012, as home building bounced back to levels not seen since early in the recession. Near record low mortgage rates, rising home prices and a drop in foreclosures have combined to bring buyers back to the market.
The economists surveyed also forecast that there will be just under 1 million housing starts this year — roughly matching the 28% rise in home building in 2012. Moody’s Analytics is forecasting much stronger growth — a 50% rise both this year and next year, which it estimates will create more than 1 million new jobs.
“There’s a lot of pent-up demand for housing, and very little supply,” said Celia Chen, housing economist for Moody’s Analytics. “As demand continues to improve, home builders have nothing to sell. They’ll have to build.” She said that growth in building will mean adding not just construction jobs, but also manufacturing jobs building the appliances and furniture needed in the new homes, which in turn drives overall consumption higher.
Bring out the Pimp.
Despite a foul, if mild, breeze blowing from DC, the direction of Wall Street is all up from here. Buy stocks now, or get priced out forever!
Jan. 27, 2013, 1:20 p.m. EST
Washington could curb market enthusiasm
By Kate Gibson, MarketWatch
Even some of the most bullish equity analysts are looking for a stock market pullback.
NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — With the S&P 500 index about not all that far from its all-time high, even some of the most bullish equity analysts are looking for the market to pause, or pull back.
“I think the market is a little ahead of itself, I would like to see it go sideways in coming weeks to take some of the adrenaline out,” said Terry Sandven, chief equity strategist at U.S. Bank Asset Management.
Art Hogan, market strategist at Lazard Capital Markets, concurs, pointing out that the S&P 500’s 5.4% rise in the month so far is not a sustainable trend.
“Do we think we can annualize January? Do we think the market will end the year up 60%? Of course not,” Hogan said.
But in the week ahead — the busiest for fourth-quarter earnings, with 122 of the S&P 500 scheduled to release results, it’s unlikely that American corporations will pull the plug on Wall Street’s steady climb.
“We’ve had enough of the sample set, and more household names are giving an upside than a downside,” said Hogan.
The same is likely true of economic reports, the most important of which is Friday’s nonfarm payrolls report for January. “Even with the expectations for that to be a better number, you’d have to see a significant downward surprise to get a rally-stopping number,” said Hogan.
But both Hogan and Sandven believe rally’s undoing could play out away from Wall Street.
“Washington is going to have a foot print in what the market does, and with the debt ceiling extended to May, we still have the March 1 sequestration,” said Sandven of the deadline for avoiding automatic federal budget cuts.
The U.S. Bank strategist expects increased emotion and sharper rhetoric out of Capitol Hill and higher volatility on Wall Street.
“The most logical negative catalyst would be something we’ve gotten used to, and it comes from the beltway,” said Hogan. “As we turn the calendar from January to February, my guess is it starts to loom large, and by Friday, it’ll be 27 days away” Hogan said of negotiations between the White House and Congress to reach a deal to avert what would otherwise be 10% across-the-board cuts in federal spending.
But the anticipated political drama is expected to roil the market only in the short run, with the S&P 500 likely to top its Oct. 9, 2007, closing high of 1,565.15, in the months ahead, many equity analysts believe.
The world economy
The world economy is improving. But not as much as some investors seem to think
Jan 26th 2013 |From the print edition
A VIRUS is spreading through financial markets—and it isn’t the flu. Investors around the world have been struck by a bout of optimism. As stockmarkets from New York to Tokyo hit multi-year highs, the VIX, a gauge of investors’ fear, fell to its lowest since 2007. Is this ebullience justified?
Up to a point. There are three reasons to feel more hopeful about the world economy. First, several disasters have been avoided. Europe’s politicians have shown themselves determined to save the single currency. America’s politicians avoided falling off the “fiscal cliff”. And now that Republicans in the House of Representatives have offered to extend the debt ceiling for three months (see article), there is hope that America’s fiscal battles will be waged by negotiation rather than blackmail. All this has boosted financial markets—and should encourage firms and consumers to invest and spend more.
A second reason for cheer comes from central banks’ activism. In September the European Central Bank promised unlimited bond-buying to keep the euro together. Then the Federal Reserve pledged to hold interest rates down until America’s unemployment rate falls below 6.5%, along with open-ended monthly bond purchases. This week the Bank of Japan, under pressure from a new government, appeared to join the club of the bold. It doubled its inflation target, to 2%, promising to buy assets on an open-ended basis from 2014. With central banks pledging to buy more bonds for longer, which keeps their yields low, it is no surprise that investors are piling into riskier assets. Indeed, that’s partly the point: higher share prices make investors more likely to boost consumption.
Evidence that growth may be accelerating, at least in some places, provides the third reason for optimism. Much of the good news stems from China, where GDP growth jumped in the last three months of 2012, to 7.9% from 7.4% in the previous quarter. The latest figures, from retail sales (up 15.2% year-on-year in December) to industrial production (up 10.3%), have all been better than expected. The ebullient also point to America, where the housing-market recovery is gathering strength.
Curb your enthusiasm
These are all good reasons for feeling better about the world economy’s prospects. But they need to be put into context.
Here’s a staged home listing on Redfin Phoenix:
I thought staging was exclusive to a rising market.
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