March 1, 2013

Bits Bucket for March 1, 2013

Post off-topic ideas, links, and Craigslist finds here.

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Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-03-01 02:21:34

DO NOT buy housing know. You will lose alot of money if you do. ALOT of money.

Comment by azdude
2013-03-01 07:06:06

how much groupon stock do you own?

Comment by eight pieces of chicken
2013-03-01 08:22:35

Stocks? He owns the whole company. He just fired the CEO.

Comment by Resistor
2013-03-01 04:28:38

“SEFFNER — A sheriff’s deputy plucked a man from an expanding sinkhole Thursday night, but neither was able to save the man’s brother from being sucked into the rubble, authorities said.

Early Friday, authorities said the site had become too unstable to continue rescue efforts and the focus would instead shift to a recovery operation.”

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2013-03-01 08:30:47

Don’t let your house eat you alive!

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower©
2013-03-01 13:27:30

The prospect of getting sucked out of your own bed down into a 100 foot sinkhole is yet another reason to never, ever own a home.

Comment by ecofeco
2013-03-01 11:05:42

Talk about a money pit…

Comment by tresho
2013-03-01 12:30:27

“Man eaten alive by housing crater”

Comment by hazard
2013-03-01 18:01:29

I told Muggy about watching where he bought in Florida for this reason last year.

Comment by Resistor
2013-03-01 19:07:20

Haz – had a close call at work so the handle changed

Comment by hazard
2013-03-01 05:26:59

“You’re a liar. You’re making sh*t up again. Why is that?”

8 Ways to Spot a Liar | Photo Gallery - Yahoo! Shine - 183k -

Comment by 2banana
2013-03-01 06:47:47

Like this?

Maxine Waters: ‘Over 170 Million Jobs Could Be Lost’ Due To Sequestration

Comment by Bigguy
2013-03-01 07:20:08

The sky is falling, the sky is falling. Whoops.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2013-03-01 08:44:19

She must have been referring to jobs that were outsourced to China, as total U.S. nonfarm employment is on the order of 135 million.

Comment by ecofeco
2013-03-01 11:07:08

Our entire workforce is only 156 million. :lol:

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Comment by tresho
2013-03-01 12:31:27

“120% of Americans are morbidly obese”

2013-03-01 17:05:54

Fatty, fat, fattinson! :P

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Comment by oxide
2013-03-01 05:55:58

$5 Footlong too much? Subway to roll out $3 subs
(Associated Press , Staff)

“If Subway’s $5 Footlong is too expensive, the chain is now offering 6-inch subs for $3.

Burger King this week introduced “King Deals” in select markets, which includes a daily featured entree, small drink and side for $4.99.”

Every reader had the exact same thought: The $5 footlong is cheaper per inch. But its’ the same concept as the dollar stores and the single serving shampoo packets. You can only buy with the money you have, and if that means forking over a higher price per unit for a smaller package, you don’t have a choice.

Comment by Blue Skye
2013-03-01 06:32:16

Just put it on your credit card.

Comment by azdude
2013-03-01 06:42:13

I remember when they had foot longs for 3 bucks. this 6-7 dollars for a cr@ppy sandwich is getn old.

I went through the the carls jr drive thru yesterday. They try to hard sell you there now too. There were burger combos > 7.00.

all I wanted was a cheap burger and they seemed unhappy I didnt want a combo or to go big on a soda.

my bill was 1.39 for a big burger.

Comment by X-GSfixr
2013-03-01 10:19:43

I go to Old Chicago fairly frequently…….mainly because they are the only place open after 9pm, when I get home from doing my part-time stuff.

The Caesar Chicken Salad has gone from $7.95, to $9.95, to $11.95 in about two years……along with everything else on the menu. Appetizers went from 5-7 bucks to 10-11. A damn tea or soft drink is now $2.75.

No inflation here, just move along and mind your own business………

Comment by Blue Skye
2013-03-01 10:49:20

It’s interesting, because the food rawstuffs have been about level over that time period.

Another wierd thing, those 2 liter bottles of pop are $1.50, and right next to them are the 20 oz bottles for $1.75.

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Comment by ecofeco
2013-03-01 11:09:26

Everything and I mean everything at my local grocery stores have doubled in price over the last 4 years.

Comment by spook
2013-03-01 11:17:20


in 2007 I answered a Craigslist Ad regarding some commercial property for rent. I drove to College Park MD to check it out and found it was a warehouse space with a business operating out of it.

Guess what the business was?

It was 3 or 4 guys with their cars and some phones that would pick up and deliver your fast food to you.

Yeah, Burger King, McDonalds, Pizza Hut… any place that did not deliver, this business would do it for you.

Im not sure how the fee structure was set up, but they were operating when I saw it. And yes, people are that lazy. Just waddling out to the car to sit in the drive thru is a BFD for some people.

Comment by aNYCdj
2013-03-01 19:01:41

I got 2 breakfast burritos at McD for $3…..spicy…..thats all i ever get there…2 for $3 but Ill admit I really love the McGriddles…

Its been years since i had a big mac or whopper or wendys…

Comment by White Rhino
2013-03-01 06:04:15

I Have been following this blog since new centuray financial collapesed.
I own and operate Sunrise Construction. I named it that because I was always working before sunrise. I have owned and operated a small business all my life , just about. I can say without hestation , that every thing people buy has a cycle , and housing is no different. I have seen boom and bust at least five times in my life, and it never ceases to amaze me how quikley values return to the top of the priceline. Anyway , it cost me everything i once owned to keep my home and pay my bills, and i have no regrets. I live on thirteen acres with an old farmhouse , twenty miles from the coast, in washington state , and my mortgage is at least comparable to rent, but i live where i want to , and am happy here. Being a survivor , in the worst possible industry to be in in all of this , i can say without hesitation, that the reputation you make in your world can carry you in times of famine, and really, it is the legacy we leave that gives new entrants the courage to take the risk of starting a new business. I have enyoyed all of your posts , for years , and almost feel as though i know some of you. I really miss Oly Gal, but life itself is a risk. I wish the best to all of you. And thankyou Ben for providing this forum.

Comment by Blue Skye
2013-03-01 06:41:03

Hello Rhino, and we all miss Olygal.

If you’ve lost your business, and are moving over for new entrants to try their luck, what are your plans for adapting to the new economy?

Comment by Combotechie
2013-03-01 06:42:22

“… the reputation you make in your world…”

Anymore reputations don’t need to be earned, they can simply be purchased.

Donald Trump comes to mind. The Donald SHOULD HAVE a terrible reputation but, in some circles - many circles, large circles at that - he doesn’t.

In some circles - despite all evidence to the contrary - he is considered to be a financial genius.

Comment by palmetto
2013-03-01 06:45:50

Thanks for posting, White Rhino. Good points. Live long and prosper!

Comment by 2banana
2013-03-01 06:50:02

You must have some great stories from both boom and bust times…

Comment by ecofeco
2013-03-01 07:31:03

I too have seen the cycles.

Anyone remember Fox & Jacobs or US Homes?

Comment by joe smith
2013-03-01 07:45:09

Of course there are cycles. This is why smart people start taking some pans out of the fire when the fire starts burning really hot. Take some money and hold onto it rather than keep leveraging up. This requires a degree of discipline where one overrides his/her own urges. Most people do not have much discipline.

Comment by Neuromance
2013-03-01 10:29:50

There certainly are cycles. When people’s appetites become satiated for a good or service, demand for that item drops.

What I think is a bit different for housing is that, while demand is always pretty strong, the epidemic of fraudulent mortgages drove prices and demand radically higher. When I say fraudulent mortgages, I mean mortgages that people would be unlikely to repay.

So - the devil’s in the details. Looking at the situation in the aggregate, one sees a boom and bust. Looking at the situation more closely, one can see a fraud-driven financial mania.

Each mania is a little different. This isn’t exactly Dutch tulip bulbs because shelter is a necessity (rented or bought). It’s not exactly stocks since stocks are logical constructs which are shares of ownership in a company. Again, a more optional item Also, further differences with the housing mania is the massive government intervention to prop up house prices. So each mania will play out slightly differently.

The core of every mania is the belief in a get-rich-quick scheme.

So - how this will play out is unclear. Every mania, like every war, is a bit different. There are a lot of differences in this one from previous ones, not the least of which is the government on all levels is trying to keep this one going.

Kudos to Ben Jones for, early on, identifying the housing boom as a financial mania.

Comment by Neuromance
2013-03-01 10:37:27

The core of every mania is the belief in a get-rich-quick scheme.

Let me clarify. Not everyone who bought a house did so to get rich quick. However, at the core of every mania is the belief in asset - physical or financial - which is rapidly increasing in price and will do so indefinitely at a more or less constant rate.

That belief drives the myriad get-rich-quick schemes. Because if you have such a magical asset, one cannot fail to sell at a profit.

Comment by rms
2013-03-01 13:03:00

“I wish the best to all of you.”

Getting ready to slip into a suicide vest or something?

Comment by Arizona Slim
2013-03-01 15:36:45

Welcome to our big, dysfunctional family, White Rhino!

Comment by Pimp Watch
2013-03-01 17:51:15

I can say without hestation , that every thing people buy has a cycle , and housing is no different. I have seen boom and bust at least five times in my life, and it never ceases to amaze me how quikley values return to the top of the priceline.

Good. I’m glad you’ve committed yourself by invoking “without hesitation”.

Now proceed and tell me about your bidding, contract and construction experience.

Comment by PeakHubris
2013-03-01 19:10:25

Which town, White Rhino?

Comment by Lip
2013-03-01 06:07:54

Obama is the closest thing to Nixon we’ve seen in 40 years
By Patrick Caddell

“Since Benghazi, when I raised the alarm about a media that was not only willing to blatantly support one political party or one political a candidate but for the first time seemed willing to suppress or ignore the facts and truth as related to a disaster of American foreign policy, my fear has been that we are now on a slippery slope.

Almost everything since then has helped to realize that fear. Chuck Hagel, the sequester, Mr. Obama’s speeches — all of these have revealed a mainstream press that has absolutely decided to wear its bias openly as outriders of the Obama administration.

Except for one issue — when the president refused to allow reporters to cover him and Tiger Woods playing golf together. Now that’s something they can get riled up about.”

Read more:

Oh, sorry I have to use Fox News, but no one else is willing to discuss the obvious. The MSM is in the tank for the Prez and they don’t care if he’s using Chicago style politics to transform our country into a banana republic.

Comment by palmetto
2013-03-01 06:49:54

I really don’t understand what the problem is with Hagel for Defense. Seems like a decent man to me. Just because he said he would refuse to perform oral sex on a donkey if it meant the survival of Israel…oh, wait, that was on SNL (did that clip ever air?)

Comment by 2banana
2013-03-01 06:59:30

There really wasn’t an issue.

The Republicans were holding it up to get answers from the obama Administration about why/how they allowed an ambassador and three other Americans to be killed in Benghazi.

It is kinda ironic.

Argo (a movie about rescuing six American hostages held by islamics) wins “Best Picture” at the Oscars and we can’t get any answers about four dead Americans (to include an Ambassador) killed by islamics.

Comment by eight pieces of chicken
2013-03-01 07:20:44

Wait 10 yrs for a movie. Somebody will write a book/movie and the pravda will have no reason to cover or lie for the president long out of throne.

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Comment by palmetto
2013-03-01 07:29:03

It’s pretty simple, actually. It was a betrayal of monumental proportions, along with Egypt. No surprise to me or thee, but a complete shock to Hillary and her minions. You’d have to read the back story on this. Google Houma Abedin.

And, the Republicans weren’t trying to get answers on a darned thing. One of their own, Michele Bachmann, had already raised questions about the issue well before Benghazi happened, got too close to the truth and was viciously shouted down by the mad dog McCain, and then promptly eviscerated in the press, with the full blessing of the neocon hegemony.

So, you will never, EVER have “answers” on Benghazi. Neither Republicons or Democrats want them. Sometimes the truth is stranger than fiction.

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Comment by 2banana
2013-03-01 07:38:16

The facts say you are wrong.

But don’t let that stop you from deflecting any responsibility for the obama administration.

The logic of four year olds. Tommy and Johnny are doing it too! So I am blameless.


Republicans vow to hold out for data before vote on Hagel
The Washington Times - February 13, 2013 - Tom Howell Jr.

Democrats pressed ahead Wednesday with Chuck Hagel’s nomination to be secretary of defense, scheduling a showdown vote for Friday even as top Republicans signaled that they need more information before confirming him for the Pentagon’s top civilian post.

He is one of several top administration nominees facing roadblocks as Republicans demand to know more from President Obama on various topics, such as the Sept. 11 attacks on the U.S. Consulate in Benghazi, Libya, and threaten to hold up his appointments as leverage.

Comment by palmetto
2013-03-01 07:45:51

The facts say you ought to read my post before you go off half-cocked.

Bachmann tried to warn McCain and the rest of the neocon hegemony WELL before Benghazi was even on the radar. No one listened. Benghazi happened. McCain showboated.

You don’t want to understand, and you prove my point, because the libtard bedwetters (ht goon) will also align with you on this one.

Anyway, congrats to Hagel. I hope he’ll be able to be a voice of sanity.

Comment by palmetto
2013-03-01 08:15:24

Henry Kissinger once famously said:

“To be an enemy of America can be dangerous, but to be a friend is fatal”

As Mubarak and Quaddafi found out, among others. Why do you think Assad refuses to give in? He learned his lesson well.

Comment by AmazingRuss
2013-03-01 08:35:33

Nothing like a little political tantrum to get what you want, even if it means dragging a soldier through the mud.

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Comment by Cracker Bob
2013-03-01 10:02:06

Why/How come we cannot get answers on why Bush/Cheney allowed two 767’s to plow into the World Trade Center and kill 3,000 people. I don’t recall Gamecock sissy-boy Lindsey Graham calling for an investigation on that.

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Comment by Glory Hole Republican
2013-03-01 10:20:24

Gamecock sissy-boy

Anyone else notice that all of Lindsey Graham’s male staffers look like Abercrombie & Fitch model twink-bois?

Comment by Cracker Bob
2013-03-01 10:27:07

I think Lindsey was getting the “vapors” at the Hagel hearings.

Comment by eight pieces of chicken
2013-03-01 10:30:50

Glory Hole Republican

So are you the designated homophobic in the blog?

Comment by rms
2013-03-01 13:05:42

“Anyone else notice that all of Lindsey Graham’s male staffers look like Abercrombie & Fitch model twink-bois?”

+1 LOL!

Comment by Pimp Watch
2013-03-01 17:52:47

Our friend Joe Smith is slipping…. really bad.

Comment by ecofeco
2013-03-01 11:13:50

“The Republicans were holding it up to get answers from the obama Administration about why/how they allowed an ambassador and three other Americans to be killed in Benghazi.”

I hope they go for broke, because then we’ll all get to see how it was the Repubs THAT CUT FUNDING for ALL embassies just months before the Benghazi.

So go for it.

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Comment by eight pieces of chicken
2013-03-01 07:45:34

You are right palmetto. It was the neocons who didn’t want Hagel. Weak on Israel, whatever that F that means? It’s like Israel is our 58th state or something….

Not than I am Hagel’s fan…he’s also a war monger. He voted for the Iraq war but later became critical of it. May be didn’t get his fair share of the loot?

Comment by palmetto
2013-03-01 07:55:48

“He voted for the Iraq war but later became critical of it. May be didn’t get his fair share of the loot?”

I think everyone voted for the Iraq war except for Ron Paul.

But there are those who are now willing to admit they made a mistake. Shouldn’t we acknowledge that? And perhaps Hagel, in this new post, will be in a position to make up some damage.

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Comment by ecofeco
2013-03-01 11:15:19

Everyone voted for it based on false intel.

We never did find those WMDs, did we?

Comment by ahansen
2013-03-02 00:02:21

Barbara Lee (D) San Francisco was the sole House holdout on the vote to authorize.

She has my $upport for the rest of her career on the basis of that one principled stand.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2013-03-01 08:50:35

I think I saw that clip. It definitely left an impression.

Comment by alpha-sloth
2013-03-01 06:56:57

when I raised the alarm about a media that was not only willing to blatantly support one political party or one political a candidate but for the first time seemed willing to suppress or ignore the facts and truth

He raised the alarm about Fox ‘News’?

Comment by ecofeco
2013-03-01 07:35:44

Nixon? I lived through Nixon.

Bush made Nixon look like a genius.

Comment by palmetto
2013-03-01 07:57:35

“Bush made Nixon look like a genius.”

I’m tellin’ ya…

Comment by whyoung
2013-03-01 08:59:10

“Only Nixon could go to China” - Spock, Star Trek VI

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Comment by alpha-sloth
2013-03-01 09:04:52

Nixon was a genius. A diabolical genius, but a genius nonetheless.

Comment by ahansen
2013-03-01 12:30:30

Sorry Lip, I lived through Nixon’s literal police state and I’m living through Obama’s cyber one, and believe me, I feel a lot less concern for my physical safety and a lot more personal freedom than I did back then. (And yes, I’m among the world’s most paranoid individuals.)

While this administration could theoretically declare me a terrorist and have me droned into oblivion, Nixon actually DID put citizens on his enemies list and set about destroying their lives. Going after thought crimes VS going after acts of terror is not a fair comparison. Nixon’s hard-handed tactics literally brought this country to the brink of civil war.

The closest Obama’s gotten to eight years of Nixonion rule was the crackdown on OWS, and even that atrocity was relatively blood-free. Nixon killed people. He imprisoned political dissenters by the thousands. He created an active, not monitoring, police state that literally broke into homes and businesses in the middle of the night and spirited people away.

Do you really think that none of the Constitutional horrors of the Obama administration existed in previous ones?

Of course they did, but we didn’t have the open news sources we have developed in the last decade, so we didn’t hear about them except through the underground and through in-person social channels like churches and schools. The internet has brought its own transparency with it, along with a broader forum for people to freak-out in publicly.

Comment by inchbyinch
2013-03-01 06:10:32

White Rhino
Good Morning!

Comment by White Rhino
2013-03-01 06:24:23

Inch by inch, good name , words to live by
Jeff D

Comment by oxide
2013-03-01 06:46:15

Jeff, thank you for concentrating on Fannie/Freddie projects. I learned a little bit about the LEEDS requirements for new green building, but the most environmentally friendly house is the one that’s already built. Thank you also for working on drainage and basements. Too many flippers like to slap up paint and granite while ignoring major systems.

Comment by inchbyinch
2013-03-01 06:47:45

My grandma (died at 104-lost it at 102) always told me” inch by inch, anything is a cinch”.

Comment by Cracker Bob
2013-03-01 10:09:53

“inch by inch, anything is a cinch”

Ron Jeremy’s motto.

Comment by frankie
2013-03-01 06:27:39

The price of gold fell for the fifth month in a row in February, meaning that the precious metal has completed the longest run of monthly declines since 1996.

Spot gold fell to $1,579 per ounce yesterday, having plunged through the $1,600 an ounce last week – the first time it had breached this level since August.

Gold lost 5pc of its value in February, as improving global economic outlooks lessened demand for the safe haven. Experts blamed a more buoyant stock market, and the growing confidence of both private and institutional investors, many of whom are turning their back on “safe” assets and seeking the higher returns associated with share and high-yield bonds.

One for the bear, perhaps we should

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2013-03-01 08:53:19

With the gold price falling even in the face of the Fed’s reaffirmation of its commitment to QE-to-infinity, I’m thinking perhaps this is not a good time for dips to buy…

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower©
2013-03-01 13:09:43

Gold bug plugs fingers in ears, tightly shuts eyes and chants:

“QE3 has no impact on gold prices.
QE3 has no impact on gold prices.

March 1, 2013, 6:00 a.m. EST
Gold’s bull run not over, it’s just taking a break
Commentary: Why you should expect the price gains to resume
By Myra P. Saefong, MarketWatch
AFP/Getty Images

SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — After five months of declines in gold prices, it’s still not time to call an end to gold’s bull run.

After all, the factors that contributed to gold’s fifth straight monthly decline — central-bank monetary-policy cues, economic data, currency fluctuations, asset relocation, and emerging markets — are generally the same as they’ve been for gold’s more-than-decade-long bull run.

Jack Otter and Brendan Conway discuss a new ETF designed to hedge against rising rates, plus the trouble with gold miners, and the volatility trade.

“Many are declaring that there is no catalyst to drive gold forward,” said Jan Skoyles, head of research at The Real Asset Co., a precious-metals investment platform provider. “They’re right — the bullish drivers of gold haven’t changed at all for several years.”

“Those that pay attention to the markets know that governments embrace easy-monetary policy, they know that the euro will continue to have significant problems and they know that currency wars will continue to escalate,” she said. “That is why gold’s bearish factors, such as improved U.S. data, have greater impact on the gold prices.”

Comment by Bill in Los Angeles
2013-03-01 15:11:11

Okay. I am buying gold next week. Hoping it still falls.

A bill in Obamao’s Illinois state is being put up for committee to register all precious metals purchases and sales. Same thing recently in Houston.

I buy with cash. When I have over my percent in asset allocation I sell for cash.

A matter of weeks or months before the brown rot people’s republic calls for precious metals trading registration. I will buy or sell elsewhere after that.

Comment by 2banana
2013-03-01 06:53:54

Wow - things can change when government actually enforces the law.


Hasta la visa: Immigration to the UK plunges by a THIRD
The Sun | 1st March 2013 | GRAEME WILSON

‘BRITAIN’S net migration has plunged by a third after a clampdown on visas for bogus students, it emerged yesterday.

In just a year the number of people coming here compared to those leaving fell by 84,000 — the biggest drop since records began in 1991.’

Comment by palmetto
2013-03-01 07:08:32

Sheriff Joe Arpaio offers to detain illegal immigrants for free, in his facilities. Lol, YES WE CAN!

Comment by eight pieces of chicken
2013-03-01 07:28:03

Sitting president orders release of detained “illegals” - Should be an impeachable offense IMO.

A thug Sherriff will round them up and put him in tents in desert - Absolute brutality, lacks any decency and against humanity. Illegal, too IMO.

If we are not a banana republic, who is?

Comment by 2banana
2013-03-01 07:40:45

banana republic = people (with power) follow the laws they feel like following.

Now who is doing that?

Immigration Laws?
War Powers Act?

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Comment by ecofeco
2013-03-01 09:28:18

…and sending American jobs to communist China should a treasonous offense, but I don’t anything happening there either.

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Comment by michael
2013-03-01 10:07:37

Has an iPhone ever been made in the U.S.?

Comment by eight pieces of chicken
2013-03-01 10:54:04

Has an iPhone ever been made in the U.S.?

Designed by Apple in California Assembled in China.

California must be a new country that I wasn’t aware of.

Comment by michael
2013-03-01 13:12:37

Has there ever been an iPhone assembly job in the U.S.?

How many iPhone design jobs have been shipped to Chins?

Comment by measton
2013-03-01 08:48:10

I’m sure a crappy economy helps.

Comment by frankie
2013-03-01 10:07:28

The only law that’s being enforced is the law of economics. No streets paved with gold anymore and the lure of the UK isn’t what it was.

Comment by White Rhino
2013-03-01 06:58:55

I never lost a thing, i adapted, i now write lumber estimates for lumber yards, and business is booming, no doubt in my mind , the recovery , at least in my business , is underway. No way to know if this thing has legs. I was once told this business is like a woman, you never know what you will get, (happily married) ,,,,,

Comment by azdude
2013-03-01 07:07:38

where is most of the demand for lumber coming from? How is the timber industry up there?

Comment by Combotechie
2013-03-01 07:25:12
Comment by Lemming with an innertube
2013-03-01 07:30:45

Hello, White Rhino, from a fellow lurker! Nice to hear your story.

Comment by Blue Skye
2013-03-01 07:34:47

“it cost me everything i once owned to keep my home…”

I guess I didn’t understand just what you meant by “everything”.

A house is like a woman, it takes “everything”.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2013-03-01 09:02:14

“I was once told this business is like a woman, you never know what you will get,…”

I thought that was a box of chocolates…but never mind.

Your story reminds me of my HS calculus teacher. My classmates and I took his class at the crest of the baby boom, when he had two very full sections of calculus at our (generally) middle-class blue collar school.

When I went back to visit him five years later, he was downcast. The demographics of the school had collapsed, and there were not enough calculus students around to form a single class. Within the next five years after that, I heard through the grapevine that he had quit his job, which included after-hours service as track coach, and started up a lumber yard out in the countryside a hundred miles outside of the city.

When opportunity dries up, it’s good to be willing and able to move on to something new.

Comment by tresho
2013-03-01 12:40:34

The demographics of the school had collapsed
In a great many once desirable school districts, the mindless and never-ending quest for higher home prices has priced families with school aged children out of them. It’s not just demographics.

Comment by Montana
2013-03-01 16:07:00

That’s one way to interpret it.

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Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2013-03-01 23:50:19

“It’s not just demographics.”

At the risk of seeming racist, in this case demographic transition had a lot to do with it…

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Comment by Pimp Watch
2013-03-01 17:58:02

“I never lost a thing, i adapted, i now write lumber estimates for lumber yards, and business is booming, no doubt in my mind , the recovery , at least in my business , is underway.”


Another new username? And a new charade too.

“lumber estimates”.lmao

Comment by ahansen
2013-03-02 00:16:44

Rhino’s posted here before. And what’s so funny about writing “lumber estimates”? There’s an art to getting it right, and you’re not the only person who’s ever worked as a contractor. Why the scorn?

Comment by White Rhino
2013-03-01 07:18:39

I have no idea where the demand is , but my January reciepts were the best in ten years, this thing is pounding me seven days a week and i have had to let some clients go.I am the first to see the recovery, and the last to be let go. I think that if the PTB had not done what they did to keep financials alive, that i would be living in a tent and hunting deer. So at least as it applys to me, i am damb glad we at least have a chance to make a living.

Comment by eight pieces of chicken
2013-03-01 07:31:27

I think that if the PTB had not done what they did to keep financials alive, that i would be living in a tent and hunting deer.

Hope you have saved enough this time so that in next financial collapse you will not have to live in a tent and hunt deers.

Comment by White Rhino
2013-03-01 07:43:37

Saving would be a luxery, surviving is what is the name of the game. It is what i do best. I am lucky to be standing in all of this, but of course , i could not be just satisfied with that, My wife and i opened a business in the middle of the bust. She is an interior designer , so i opened a design studio for her and two years later it acutually show signs of promise. The best investment nowdays is in you…..

Comment by joe smith
2013-03-01 07:55:17

Saving isn’t a luxury, it’s a choice people make.

After decades of experience, the best you can hope for is survival?

And while opening your own business can hold promise, an interior design business in central Washington would not be my pick for the middle of a recession. Best of luck anyway. After 2 years, I think you’d want to see more than “signs of promise”, but don’t look at me as I am pretty cynical.

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Comment by eight pieces of chicken
2013-03-01 08:15:42

Saving isn’t a luxury, it’s a choice people make.

I respect you for saying that. It’s such a simple truth that escapes so many. At the end of the month if your outflows are larger than inflows, either look for ways to cut down your expenses or get a second job. Or both.

Comment by PeakHubris
2013-03-01 19:42:10

20 miles from the sea is not “central Washington.”

Comment by Ben Jones
2013-03-01 07:35:52

‘if the PTB had not done what they did’

They’ve got you conditioned. Like the stuff going on in DC right now; the world will end if Washington DC isn’t fed an endless supply of ever increasing money. You know what I think? The world would explode in prosperity if DC fell into the ocean.

Comment by eight pieces of chicken
2013-03-01 07:39:47

And the financial district in Manhattan.

Comment by MacBeth
2013-03-01 09:28:01

It’s good to see others here that believe BOTH the Tea Party and Occupy had potential.

Shame that others here still don’t understand that:

neocons = progressives


progressives = neocons.

I wonder who here on HBB profits monetarily from the absence of either Occupy or the Tea Party, or both.

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Comment by eight pieces of chicken
2013-03-01 10:50:01

I think we all do. Some more, some less.

The 2 invisible hands of free market (government policies and the fed policies) have covered every inch of our lives.

Comment by White Rhino
2013-03-01 07:46:13

They made it possible for me to continue, and with my reputation for what i do, i was able to survive it, thank god…..

Comment by White Rhino
2013-03-01 07:57:02

It has nothing to do with cliches or talking points, is has to do with paying the bills. You either can do this , or you cant.

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Comment by joe smith
2013-03-01 07:59:22

Here’s a picture of you and your buddy Jamie Dimon. You’re in the red.

Comment by joe smith
2013-03-01 07:57:18

You can’t see how they possibly extracted more from you in the long run than your short term “benefit” is?

And you used to be self employed building homes but now you write estimates for a lumber yard? And you are thanking @$$holes like Jamie Dimon?

I can’t believe what I’m reading. Whatever you are smoking, please send me some. I still haven’t gotten my sweet marijuana delivery from Mike in Bend yet.

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Comment by White Rhino
2013-03-01 08:09:31

Well, six figures selling my knowledge is ok by me . I was a framer , not a buillder , and i very much like that i am not pounding plywood on a roof in a sixty mph wind three storys off the ground. All i know is , my world is working , supply and demand has worked all my life

Comment by joe smith
2013-03-01 08:38:56

“supply and demand has worked all my life”

Your own posts contradict this. After decades of working, you’re thankful to a bunch of bankers & lawyers for letting you “survive”. Not have savings, not have a high quality of life, not have a legacy. No, just to “survive” and have a “reputation”.

If you understood supply and demand it would be almost impossible for you to say those words. If you were 25 and just “surviving” that would also be different.

Comment by Pimp Watch
2013-03-01 18:03:07

“Well, six figures selling my knowledge is ok by me . I was a framer , not a buillder”

Let’s see…. You own a construction company, now you’re not a builder but a “framer”, etc etc etc.

Go back and come up with a new ruse.

Comment by joe smith
2013-03-01 07:48:43

Not to mention that half of the things White Rhino has been saying are either cliches or talking points. I feel bad when people meekly accept that their role in life is to be pwned. Spouting talking points is a sympton of this mindset.

Comment by MacBeth
2013-03-01 09:32:57

“teabillies” anyone?

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Comment by alpha-sloth
2013-03-01 09:49:38

“progressives = neocons” anyone?

Comment by joe smith
2013-03-01 09:53:44

How is that a cliche? I thought I made that up. (Note: I just googled it and have seen other people using it, but it’s far from a common saying.) It can’t be a cliche until it catches on.

Your point is taken though, it’s time to cultivate some new terminology here.

Comment by Earned Income Tax Credit
2013-03-01 10:29:14

cultivate some new terminology

My vote is for “Koch fluffers”.

Comment by joe smith
2013-03-01 11:27:12

Koch Fluffers I am sure is my term.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2013-03-01 23:48:25

How many paid Koch fluffers post here? ‘Fess up, boyz…

Comment by Joe mamma
2013-03-01 10:56:59

White rhino is a strain name but if he wants it inWa it is legal anyway. Peed in a cup yesterday; after work today I just may burn one down!

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Comment by palmetto
2013-03-01 07:51:28

“They’ve got you conditioned. Like the stuff going on in DC right now; the world will end if Washington DC isn’t fed an endless supply of ever increasing money. You know what I think? The world would explode in prosperity if DC fell into the ocean.”

Amen, brothah!

Comment by 2banana
2013-03-01 08:02:41

Kids will starve and grandma will be throw into the street with that kind of talk. Plus minorities and women will be disproportionately affected…

“They’ve got you conditioned. Like the stuff going on in DC right now; the world will end if Washington DC isn’t fed an endless supply of ever increasing money. You know what I think? The world would explode in prosperity if DC fell into the ocean.”

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Comment by MacBeth
2013-03-01 09:34:40

That’s RACIST.

Comment by tresho
2013-03-01 12:42:23

I think that if the PTB had not done what they did to keep financials alive, that i would be living in a tent and hunting deer
Nope. According to the PTB, without them you’d be drinking muddy water, sleeping in a hollow log, and most definitely, would NOT be able to post anything on the internet. Living in a tent and hunting deer is not for LOOSERS.

Comment by Pimp Watch
2013-03-01 18:00:34

Your “january receipts”? For 3 bushels of apples?

Comment by 2banana
2013-03-01 07:25:32


Hope and Change.

The economy is rapidly recovering.


Incomes Drop Most in 20 years
San Diego Source | 03/01/2013 | Michelle Jamrisko

Consumer spending in the U.S. rose in January even as incomes dropped by the most in 20 years, showing households were weathering the payroll-tax increase by socking away less money in the bank.

Household purchases, which account for about 70 percent of the economy, climbed 0.2 percent after a 0.1 percent gain the prior month, a Commerce Department report showed today in Washington. The median estimate in a Bloomberg survey of 76 economists called for a 0.2 percent advance. Incomes slumped 3.6 percent, sending the saving rate down to the lowest level since November 2007.

Employment gains, the rebound in housing and growing demand for autos will probably keep supporting consumer spending in the first quarter as the world’s largest economy picks up from an end-of-year slowdown. Even so, rising gasoline prices and the need to rebuild nest eggs may make it difficult for households to match last quarter’s performance.

“It’s going to be touch and go for the consumer for the next few months,” said Ryan Sweet, a senior economist at Moody’s Analytics in West Chester, Pennsylvania, who correctly projected the 3.6 percent drop in income. “The consumer is going to be able to support the recovery, but they’re not going to be able to take it” to a higher level, he said.

The Bloomberg survey median called for incomes to fall 2.4 percent.

The slump in incomes in January was the biggest since January 1993 and followed a 2.6 percent jump in December. Some companies paid dividends and employee bonuses earlier than usual before tax rates went up this year, removing a gain usually seen in January. The Commerce Department estimated the January level of wages was reduced by about $15 billion and December was boosted by about $30 billion, reflecting the timing of the bonuses.

The saving rate dropped to 2.4 percent from 6.4 percent. Disposable income, or the money left over after taxes, dropped 4 percent after adjusting for inflation, the biggest plunge since monthly records began in 1959.

The economy grew at a 0.1 percent rate from October through December, less than forecast, as companies reined in gains in inventories and national defense outlays dropped 22 percent, the biggest since 1972, Commerce Department data showed yesterday.

The expiration of the payroll tax cut in January, coupled with climbing gasoline prices, are trimming discretionary income and may damp household purchases in the first quarter.

Comment by azdude
2013-03-01 08:11:39

you havent missed the rally according to goldman, lmfao:

Comment by Rental Watch
2013-03-01 12:34:52

Ah, the permabull strikes again.

The day Cohen becomes a bear, we should all sell everything we own, down to our underwear.

Comment by Brett
2013-03-01 07:28:58

$85.4 billion = Sequestrartion

Sequestration cuts the federal budget by 2.4 percent over the next decade, while the payroll tax increased by two percent earlier this year when President Obama and lawmakers opted not to extend the payroll tax holiday that had been in place.

The world will end!

An efficient company would do a great job at adopting cost-cutting measures to overcome the hurdle and make site the end-costumer isnt affected…. I’ve seen it happen st my company before.

Americans had to overcome 2% less in their paycheck last month, but the government can’t figure out how to get by with 2% less?

Let’s release criminals, fire teachers, close airports, etc!

Comment by 2banana
2013-03-01 07:32:58

It is the tactic of government at every level. It is what ANY monopoly does.

They need to make the public feel the pain so the public will agree to any and all tax increases.

It is why cities close libraries and parks first when they need a tax increase/budget shortfall.

If the public unions put in an extra 2% for their insane pensions to close the budget shortfall - no one would notice.

And we can’t have that.

Comment by eight pieces of chicken
2013-03-01 07:34:30

You are showing your racis tendencies.

Comment by Brett
2013-03-01 08:09:47

What’s a racis tendency?

Comment by eight pieces of chicken
2013-03-01 08:17:17

The programs that are being cut will hurt the poor and minorities the most, haven’t you heard?

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Comment by ahansen
2013-03-01 12:43:50

Firing the relief pilot = not having enough money to heat your home.

Comment by Blue Skye
2013-03-01 07:39:30

There is no time factor in the percent term. GovSpeak drives me up a wall.

Also, if it is a 2.4% cut (from proposed increases), we would like to know how much of an increase that really is.

You forgot to mention the children.

Comment by MacBeth
2013-03-01 08:55:00

How much will government officials be paying out of pocket for ObamaCare? I have forgotten that number.

Funny how government never mentions that as the End of the World, yet a 2.4 percent cut in increased spending is vital to “our” national survival.

It’s all nonsense.

In reality, Obama was hoping to pin the economic destruction already being caused by ObamaCare on the sequestration.

Meeepppp! Wrong answer, Bammy. Try again.

Comment by Combotechie
2013-03-01 07:44:46

Go ahead and make jokes and laugh and have your fun but keep in mind that 170 million American workers are destined to lose their jobs because of this sequestrartion.

Comment by Ben Jones
2013-03-01 07:49:02

‘Once upon a time, “homeland” was a word of little significance in the American context. What American before 9/11 would have called the United States his or her “homeland” rather than “country”? Who sang “My homeland, ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty”? Between my birth in 1944, as World War II was drawing to a close, and September 11, 2001, I doubt I ever heard the word in reference to the U.S.’

‘Today, there’s nothing alien about that most un-American of terms. It has slipped so smoothly into our lives that “Homeland” is the name of a popular TV show, and college students looking for a good livelihood can now get a BA or an MA coast to coast in… yep, homeland security. (“You can build a career helping to protect our nation by earning your Bachelor of Science Degree in Homeland and Corporate Security at St. John’s University.”) And if you happen to be into securing the homeland, you can even join the “corporate and homeland security club” on campus. After college, given the money pouring into the “field,” the sky’s the limit.’

We could completely eliminate this dumb department and we’d never miss it. You are more likely to be killed by a falling TV than a terrorist.

Comment by 2banana
2013-03-01 07:58:56

Any degrees on how to create a government kill list of American citizens?

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Comment by palmetto
2013-03-01 07:59:45

There’s something totalitarian about the term.

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Comment by eight pieces of chicken
2013-03-01 08:52:53

There’s something totalitarian about the term.

Shouldn’t be this way. Parliament systems have a ministry called Home Ministry, which is equivalent to our Justice department. That begs the question, what’s the American homeland department is for? IMO, it’s a paramilitary wing created to suppress the masses and they have done a decent job so far.

Comment by MiddleCoaster
2013-03-01 09:53:36

It reminds me of Nazi Germany. And not in a good way. ;)

Comment by Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program
2013-03-01 11:36:36

“Lebensraum” or living space has a homeland-ish ring to it :)

The wiki article notes that USA was a model for Hitler’s policy:

Comment by Blue Skye
2013-03-01 13:34:36

The world is ours, we just happen to live here.

Comment by MacBeth
2013-03-01 08:41:54

Tsk, tsk, Ben.

Without the Department of Homeland Security Against American Citizens and Individual Thought and Action, where do you think any ex-DOD spending would land?

I mean, look, that money needs to be spent somewhere and somehow.

What better place than on baseball-sized drones and plastic gloves at airports? Our government needs to weed out unlawful acts before they occur. Surely you know that.

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Comment by Ben Jones
2013-03-01 09:03:49

‘Our government needs to weed out unlawful acts before they occur’

You mean like the way the FBI trolls around the internet for weak minded 18 YO’s, talks them into planting a “bomb”, gives them the “bomb” and then arrests them?

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2013-03-01 09:08:00

“You mean like the way the FBI trolls around the internet for weak minded 18 YO’s,…”

Isn’t this illegal? Or is your point that the FBI is above the law?

Comment by Brett
2013-03-01 09:09:59

Yes, I believe the FBI is above the law

Comment by Ben Jones
2013-03-01 09:17:18

It happens all the time:

‘San Jose resident Matthew Llaneza, who converted to Islam in 2011, is accused of attempting to bomb a bank building in Oakland…I believe, given the history of the FBI, that Llaneza’s is a classic case of entrapment. Over the past several years, the FBI has repeatedly manufactured terror plots by targeting vulnerable members of the Arab, South Asian and Muslim communities. Llaneza’s case closely follows the pattern.’

‘The target is usually an individual or a small group of people with a troubled past, psychological issues or financial problems. In the case at hand, the Mercury News reported that Llaneza has a history of psychological problems. This presumed inability to make sound judgment is perfect for entrapment.’

‘The job of the FBI friend is to excite the individual’s emotions by talking about politics and making him feel weak if he doesn’t want to participate in an act of violence. The agent makes sure that the subject is riled up and then facilitates every part of the operation, from providing him with money and ideas to actually building devices.’

‘We saw this in Llaneza’s case from the FBI’s assistance in selecting the target location to making a fake bomb. Of course, when the FBI foils its own plot, the agents emerge as heroes. But there would not have been any bomb plot if it wasn’t for an agent egging Llaneza to do something extreme.’

Comment by Northeastener
2013-03-01 10:48:26

We could completely eliminate this dumb department and we’d never miss it. You are more likely to be killed by a falling TV than a terrorist.

What people should be asking is why DHS is purchasing massive quantities of ammunition, including hollow points (against the Geneva convention according to the rules of war), and using targets with “Armed Pregnant Woman”, “Armed Grandmother”, “Armed Mother with Child”, and “Armed Child” for training?

In discussions with a firearms dealer today, he mentioned that FedGov has stopped all imports of ammunition. Supposedly there are massive quantities of foreign-made ammunition sitting in warehouses at ports on the East Coast that FedGov will not allow into the country. He mentioned that FN hasn’t been able to import any ammo into the US since November of last year.

So the question becomes “Why is Homeland Security gearing up for war while the Federal government is stopping all imports of foreign manufactured ammunition?”

Seems to be a perfect storm of anti-2A legislation at the Federal and State level in combination with manipulations of civilian availability by the government and massive purchases by the government…

Comment by sfhomowner
2013-03-01 12:59:59

Download and listen to:

This American Life
471:The Convert
Originally aired 08.10.2012

This week’s episode, “The Convert,” was about FBI informant Craig Monteilh, who went undercover in southern California’s Muslim community to try to find people who were recruiting and training terrorists. Craig’s operation, which took place in 2006 and 2007, was called Operation Flex.

Comment by ecofeco
2013-03-01 11:25:24

“Homeland” reeks of jingoistic fascist police state.

Like something Orwell would have created.

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Comment by Northeastener
2013-03-01 14:09:30


Comment by ahansen
2013-03-01 12:48:16

I still cringe and sneer when I hear anyone use the term “Homeland”. As tone-deaf a term as Bush’s infamous “Operation Enduring Vengeance.” (And from the same pen, as I understand it.)

Most Americans lack the historical perspective (ahem, education) to appreciate the irony, let alone take the appropriate offense.

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Comment by Northeastener
2013-03-01 14:08:27

Most Americans lack the historical perspective (ahem, education) to appreciate the irony, let alone take the appropriate offense.

We don’t agree on everything, but I’m pretty sure we agree on firearms and the 2nd Amendment, at least in principle. I’d say we’re also in agreement with the use of the term “Homeland”.

It brings to mind images of the 3rd Reich…

Comment by ecofeco
2013-03-01 15:58:09

Zee New Vorld Order

We’re livin’ it.

Comment by oxide
2013-03-01 16:30:35


Western Civ is affectionately known as “Plato to NATO” because they run out of time before they get to recent history. Methinks they need to re-tweak the curriculum.

Comment by cactus
2013-03-01 21:31:46

have you seen “cold lazuras” with Albert Finney ?

Another English movie not great on special effects but chilling on the vision of the future

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Comment by ecofeco
2013-03-01 09:40:09

Is that 170 million of the 156 million total workforce? :lol:

Comment by MacBeth
2013-03-01 08:26:02

You mean 0.24 percent less annually on average, do you not?

The figure you provided states over 10 YEARS, not over one month.

Dang! That means $100,000+ a year federal attorneys still won’t get their taxpayer-funded boxes of paperclips. At $1.50 a box, that’s quite the sacrifice to purchase your own.

As an American citizen, I am appalled by an insufficiently equipped federal office. Please stand by me as I hang my head in shame.

Comment by Brett
2013-03-01 08:56:24

Unheard of!

How will they survive?!

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2013-03-01 09:06:30

Your paperclip example is patently absurd. Where did you drudge it up?

Comment by joe smith
2013-03-01 09:18:06

Government lawyers are a bargain compared to private practice lawyers working the other side of the same cases and government offices are already poorly equipped compared to their private practice adversaries. It’s no mystery to me why the government routinely loses or gets bad settlement deals. Their budget is severely hamstrung compared to the adversaries.

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Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2013-03-01 09:42:23

I guess you haven’t heard by now that the private sector always does it better?

Comment by polly
2013-03-01 09:31:26

I mentioned earlier this week that office supplies are pretty scarce in my office these days. The example I used was the fact that the newer people don’t have any paperclips and I can’t find any boxes of them in the empty supply cabinets so I am sharing what I have left (from the last time I could find supplies) with them.

Evidently, there is a new rule that professionals who work for the government have to buy their own office supplies. Like school teachers who get rated on how nice their bulletin boards look, but have to buy the supplies to decorate them because the schools don’t have the supplies any more.

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Comment by joe smith
2013-03-01 09:47:34

What about the support staff? Over here the support staff go through office supplies much more than attorneys. Do they have to provide their own supplies? I can’t imagine someone having to buy binders or highlighters and bring them to work to help create documents which then become the product of the U.S. Government.

Comment by X-GSfixr
2013-03-01 10:47:13

Buying your own office supplies is the new paradigm in the private sector as well.

Comment by sfhomowner
2013-03-01 13:14:06

Buying your own office supplies is the new paradigm in the private sector as well.

Public school teachers have been doing this for at least a decade.

Comment by polly
2013-03-01 13:36:35

Support staff? Well, there are only a few of them and to be perfectly honest, we don’t ask them to share their supplies. It doesn’t matter how much stuff you get done, nothing goes out the door until they have done their part, so we try not to mess with them.

Comment by joe smith
2013-03-01 14:42:24

I agree completely about the importance of all the support staff. And I mean that: all of them. They use their own effort to get things out to the P.O. for service, even if it’s Friday at 6:30 PM or something like that. And without a 2nd (or 3rd, etc) pair of eyes to edit and do cite checks, nothing would get done.

I’ve also noticed that the government seems to have very little support staff. At GAO it seems like they have 20+ attorneys per paralegal. To me, that seems insane. It probably means GAO attorneys do a lot of things that private practice ones rarely or never do. For example, in private practice, an attorney just can’t bill for certain things, whereas we bill paralegals out at 150-250/hr. So if we need a ton of documents prepped for a deposition or status conference (etc) it’s billed out. Gov’t can’t bill and thus has less incentive to have the right support staff around.

Comment by PeakHubris
2013-03-01 19:51:19

I would never, EVER, purchase my own supplies if I was working for somebody else.

Comment by rms
2013-03-01 21:45:22

“I would never, EVER, purchase my own supplies if I was working for somebody else.”

We used to buy our own floor wax when I was in the military. They demanded shiny waxed floors, or nobody was going anywhere for the weekend. Git ‘er done.

Comment by MacBeth
2013-03-01 09:43:46

Ask someone else on this board who complained about not having paperclips at ready [taxpayer-funded] disposal.

I choose not to say who that was, though I do know.

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Comment by MacBeth
2013-03-01 09:47:49

…meanwhile, Cantankerous, ponder your post below about incomes dropping the most in 20 years…

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower©
2013-03-01 12:52:12

“…ponder your post below about incomes dropping the most in 20 years…”

So long as the stock market and housing market keep going up, I fail to see why incomes matter…

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2013-03-01 09:12:18

So long as the stock market and housing market booms continue, I expect sequestration to have little to no effect on slowing down the burgeoning economic recovery.

U.S. stocks surge in best day since Jan. 2
Market Snapshot
RW Baird analyst: Sequestration won’t be ‘Armageddon’ for economy
February 27, 2013|Kate Gibson, MarketWatch

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — A powerful U.S. stock rally Wednesday lifted indexes to their best session since Jan. 2, as a positive report on housing and the Federal Reserve chief’s commitment to stimulus overrode concerns that had battered stocks earlier in the week.

The advance brought indexes closer to their record highs, levels that should only prolong the ongoing rally by luring retail investors back to the market, said strategists.

“Investor psyche at the retail level still seems fragile, so this is an important juncture for the stock market. The next week or two could tell the story for the coming months,” said Brad Sorensen, Schwab director of market and sector research. Read more on stocks nearing their pre-crisis records.

After fluctuating early on, the Dow Jones Industrial Average (US:DJIA) climbed more than 200 points and ended up 175.24 points, or 1.3%, at 14,075.37. All but one of the Dow’s 30 components advanced. The session was the strongest since the blue chips clocked a 300-plus-point gain on Jan. 2, the first trading day of the year. Wednesday also marked the first back-to-back days of triple-digit gains since the year’s start.

“Did the market forget who the chief cook and bottle washer is? If they did, Ben has set them straight and the market loves it,” Elliot Spar, market strategist at Stifel, Nicolaus & Co. said of the market reaction to Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke. Read more on Bernanke’s second day of testimony.

The S&P 500 index (US:SPX) added 19.05 points, or 1.3%, to 1,515.99. All 10 sectors were higher, led by industrials and materials sectors. It was also the S&P 500’s best day since Jan. 2.

Setting a positive tone for the day’s trading, the National Realtors Association reported contracts to purchase previously owned homes rose 4.5% in January. Read more on pending home sales.

“Psychologically, it’s a big help,” said Bruce Bittles, chief investment strategist at RW Baird & Co., of the latest indication of a strengthening housing market.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2013-03-01 09:23:31

I’m definitely seeing many signs that sequestration, not to mention higher taxes, are positives for the U.S. economy, despite all the scare stories!

March 1, 2013, 11:10 a.m. EST
Worst income dip in 20 years doesn’t stop spending
Consumers keep at it despite tax increase at start of year
By Jeffry Bartash, MarketWatch

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — Consumers increased spending in January for the third straight month, suggesting that a big drop in income and a tax hike at the start of the year only exerted a mild drag.

Consumer spending advanced a seasonally adjusted 0.2% last month, the Commerce Department said Friday. That matched the estimate of economists polled by MarketWatch.

Americans continued their spending ways despite an increase in their taxes and the biggest plunge in income in 20 years.

A two-year law that reduced payroll taxes by 2% expired in January and the government also raised rates on the very rich. For people earning $1,000 a week, the payroll tax hike takes an extra $20 out of their paychecks.

Incomes, meanwhile, sank 3.6% in January after spiking 2.6% in December. Companies accelerated the payment of rewards for workers and investors in December to avoid higher tax rates in January, accounting for the big swing.

Consumer spending represents as much as 70% of the economy. When Americans buy more goods and services, businesses generate higher sales and profits and can afford to hire extra workers. Less spending results in slower economic growth.

Comment by ecofeco
2013-03-01 11:30:22

They blame the tax increase but not the lack of wages keeping with inflation over the last 30 years nor lack of raise over the last 2 years despite RECORD corporate profits.


Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2013-03-01 09:26:04

This boom cannot be stopped. Buy stocks now, or get priced out forever!

March 1, 2013, 10:47 a.m. EST
Manufacturing sector revs up in February
ISM manufacturing index at best point since June 2011
By Steve Goldstein, MarketWatch

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — The manufacturing sector saw an acceleration in February to the best level in close to two years, according to a survey released Friday that points to a business sector not afraid Washington will step on its toes.

The Institute for Supply Management’s manufacturing index climbed 1.1 points to 54.2%, coming in ahead of the 52.5% forecast in a MarketWatch-compiled economist poll and reaching the best level since June 2011. ISM reported that 15 out of the 18 industries it follows reported growth.

U.S. stocks were trading lower on the session, though the ISM data helped moved markets off their worst levels.

A similarly constructed index from another data provider, Markit, was a nearly identical 54.3%.

The ISM gauge saw expansion in all five of the major subcomponents, including a 4.5 point improvement to 57.8% for new orders and a 4 point advancement for production to 57.6%.

However, employment slowed by 1.4 points to 52.6%.

The agreement reached by Congress and the White House to avert most scheduled tax hikes has helped businesses that nonetheless were showing signs of investment anyway.

The hard data seems to confirm that businesses are willing to spend: core capital-goods orders climbed 6.3% in January, the best gain in two years. See charts of core orders and other indicators in The Week in Charts.

“Automotive is still going strong, which allows budgeting for capital equipment,” said one purchasing manager in the machinery industry.

“Starting to pick up after a slower than normal year-end,” added another manager.

Comment by Brett
2013-03-01 09:28:00

Neapolitano had no idea illegal alien detainees under here wing were being released…


Napolitano Regrets Surprise Announcement of Immigrant Release

Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano had no part in a decision by underlings to release low-risk illegal immigrant detainees as a way to save money before the sequestration and was surprised to learn about it, Napolitano told ABC News in an exclusive interview.

“Detainee populations and how that is managed back and forth is really handled by career officials in the field,” Napolitano said.

Napolitano added that the release, which has been criticized by congressional Republicans, was poorly timed.

“Do I wish that this all hadn’t been done all of a sudden and so that people weren’t surprised by it? Of course,” she said.

When asked why the detainees were in jail in the first place, Napolitano replied, “That’s a good question. I’ve asked the same question myself … so we’re looking into it.”

Comment by joe smith
2013-03-01 09:54:48

Bob Woodward has something in common with Realtors.

[pauses and waits for RAL to finish this thought]

Comment by joe smith
2013-03-01 10:15:37

Kind of surprised that Krugman’s very pro-Bernanke NYT piece today doesn’t carry any disclaimer at all about his decades-long professional and personal history as a colleague of Bernanke. I think their offices were/are on the same floor of a fairly small building (the WWS).

“Ben Bernanke, hippie”

Op-Ed Columnist
Ben Bernanke, Hippie
Published: February 28, 2013 580 Comments

Comment by alpha-sloth
2013-03-01 11:22:39

I like the first comment: The obsession with deficits won’t end until a Republican is elected.

Comment by Carl Morris
2013-03-01 13:50:07

It’s true. And then we can go back to the Bush era obsessions from the left.

Comment by alpha-sloth
2013-03-01 19:41:08

Bush era obsessions from the left.

What were they again?

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Comment by Carl Morris
2013-03-01 20:18:56

Oh please…like everyone doesn’t remember.

Comment by palmetto
2013-03-01 11:51:28

I’m tellin’ ya, the guy’s mustache hairs have grown up through his nostrils and into his brain. How anyone can take him seriously, I have no idea.

Comment by GrizzlyBear
2013-03-01 20:48:44

Krugman penned an article about how crude oil was not in a bubble as it approached $150 per barrel. He has zero credibility.

Comment by john banner
2013-03-01 10:32:48

If I am not mistaken, when the payroll tax holiday was passed, the president and congress did raise taxes to pay for the holiday. Some of the taxes enacted had to do with housing. Since the holiday has ended, have those taxes been rescinded?

Of course I am being facetious. It just goes to show how duplicitous our representatives are.

Comment by ecofeco
2013-03-01 11:33:31

Or how stupid people are for voting for the same clowns over and over.

Comment by oxide
2013-03-01 16:47:54

I think you’re mistaken:

The most obvious reason the holiday stimulates the economy is the $100+ billion per year tax cut unaccompanied by any reduction in spending.Instead the holiday was financed by debt, to be paid for by future generations, and is accumulating interest payments now.

Congress should make clear that these steps will have no effect on current or future retirement checks. The Treasury would have to issue new bonds to cover those payments in the short term.

That payroll tax holiday was not offset by anything. In other words, it was Out Of Control Government Spending. So when Obama agreed to end it, he stopped some Out Of Control Government Spending. And yet you are all complaining. So I guess you don’t like Out Of Control Government Spending… until you’re the one getting the cheese, eh.

Comment by X-GSfixr
2013-03-01 10:43:24

Seems that 80% of the DOT’s sequestration is going to hit the FAA’s 20% share of the DOT budget.

Can’t touch “Airport Improvement” and all of those construction contracts to boot strappers like ITT, Lockheed Martin, and Honeywell, so all of the cuts will hit operations.

100 ATC towers to close. Lots of them at fairly busy airport in the LA, DFW, NYC area, and regional/reliever airports. More towers will close overnight. People will be furloughed from the remaining towers/ATC In-route facilities.

Stay tuned for the -fixr’s “Mid-Air Fatality Scoreboard Show”.

Unless, of course you believe all of this is “Chicken Little” talk from a Godless Socialist. Time will tell.

Comment by ecofeco
2013-03-01 11:35:17

Say WHAT?!!!

No, really? If so, I am NOT flying anywhere anytime soon.

Comment by X-GSfixr
2013-03-01 12:01:51

As in everything. It all depends.

I’m going to call my local FSDO on Monday, to see if anyone answers the phone.

If you are just buying an airplane, good luck with getting any LOAs for the next six-nine months.

X-GSfixr’s “Educational moment du Jour”: You are required to have a FSDO issued “LOA” (Letter of Authorization) for various things, like operating your aircraft in “RVSM” airspace (between 28K and 39K feet).

If you don’t have one, you get to drive around below 28K, burning a s##tload more fuel, and playing tag with all of the clouds/thunderstorms/icing. Which kinda defeats the purpose of buying that shiny new jet.

The operations and maintenance guys at the FSDOs have to review your application, see if you have your documentation, equipment, and maintenance plan squared away, before they issue an LOA. Reductions in staff at the FSDOs, means a delay in the LOA review.

Last time this happened (when some idiots/Galtians/Government-is- too-big types refused to believe the FAA was going to require LOAs, even though they had been loudly warning everyone for FIVE YEARS), some people were waiting 6 months or more for LOAs. You can burn a lot of extra fuel, and pizz off/scare a lot of people in six months.

Damn those unintended consequences. Just letting the government close up shop seemed so simple………

Comment by measton
2013-03-01 12:43:10

Note as the middle class become more impoverished they will fly a lot less. We just need to speed up the wealth stripping so they can be confined to their card board box located next to their place of employment or the dump.

Comment by tresho
2013-03-01 13:00:32

Note as the middle class become more impoverished they will fly a lot less.
Airlines’ future has looked bad even before the housing bubble. Note the regular episodes of airline bankruptcies. I read somewhere that since the very beginning airlines have not been profitable for their investors. Related industries may have been profitable, but not the airline industry. How expensive does fuel have to get before some, or most, airports shut down due to lack of passengers able to pay their fares?

Comment by ahansen
2013-03-01 12:52:20

Everyone predicted disaster when Reagan broke the Air Traffic Controllers strike, too. Except the air got safer….

Comment by Arizona Slim
2013-03-01 15:40:53

And six years later, the replacement controllers formed their own union.

Comment by cactus
2013-03-01 21:47:11

I was hired right after the strike went to Oklahoma went to LA center in Palmdale

not for me though seperating aircraft all day long

This was before HUD invaded palmdale and lockheed bailed

Comment by cactus
2013-03-01 21:42:47

probably close Flight service Stations

Comment by Neuromance
2013-03-01 10:49:34

An observation from William K. Black:

“The Department of Justice is now, officially, an oxymoron given its senior officials’ admissions that they deliberately refuse to hold accountable (or even investigate) the systemically dangerous institutions (SDIs) and their senior officers because of fears of causing a global financial crisis.

As a former senior regulator, an effective regulator, I am astounded that anyone believes that the route to financial stability is leaving elite frauds in charge of many of our banks.

Any bank that is too big to fail and to prosecute is a clear and present danger that should be promptly shrunk to the point that it can no longer hold the global economy hostage in order to extort immunity from the criminal laws for the controlling officers who became wealthy by being what Akerlof and Romer aptly described as “looters.”"

Comment by ecofeco
2013-03-01 11:36:30

Somebody else gets it.

To bad Marie Antoinette didn’t.

Comment by X-GSfixr
2013-03-01 11:44:32

“Clear and Present danger…….”

Good. Now we are getting somewhere.

What SEAL Team would be sent to Wall Street, to bust caps in the HQs of the Investment Banks?

Comment by tresho
2013-03-01 12:55:01

“Clear and Present danger…….”

Good. Now we are getting somewhere.

No, we are not getting anywhere important. Prof. Black has been a voice crying out in a wilderness since at least 2007, if not sooner, and has been mostly ignored the whole time. Within a few years, statutes of limitations will take effect, and the “looters” will be free to enjoy their ill-gotten gains.

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Comment by wittbelle
2013-03-01 12:27:29

Just went to Versailles. Those are some nice digs. I would have been a p!ssed off peasant too. She and Louis deserved everything they got.

Comment by Urbanachiever
2013-03-01 11:40:07

The three musketers Obama,geithner and holder believed. Case closed .

Comment by eight pieces of chicken
2013-03-01 11:01:02

Apple hits 52 week low.

How many generational buying opportunities in just couple of months?

Comment by Rental Watch
2013-03-01 12:42:26

Apple’s generational buying opportunity was in 2001/2002, right after they came out with the iPod and they were trading for cash…I just wish I would have held the whole position I entered into at that point, but I would have had to borrow way too much to exercise all the options I’d acquired…I’d be retired in a big way. Shoulda, woulda, coulda…onward.

Comment by eight pieces of chicken
2013-03-01 11:06:48

Scientists figured out the real mystery as to why fast foods taste so good?

Horse Meat

Comment by ahansen
2013-03-01 12:57:49

Horse meat is delicious. It’s also lean, grass fed and not shot through with hormones with a taste and texture much like bison. I fail to understand the outrage.

Comment by tresho
2013-03-01 15:56:07

Isn’t anyone going to comment on what human flesh tastes like? This is the internet, after all.

Comment by measton
2013-03-01 12:40:51

Sequester - I’m sure at some piont in history we will find out that the sequester was planned long ago by the leadership of both parties (ie puppets for the elite) as a way to cut expenses without having to go on record as voting for them. BB will have more leeway to print money and hand it to the WS elite.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower©
2013-03-01 12:50:10

Fed monetization of fiscal policy continues…

Taxes squeeze U.S. households, factories to add to growth
WASHINGTON | Fri Mar 1, 2013 1:20pm EST

(Reuters) - Consumer spending was tepid in January as higher taxes squeezed incomes, but vigor in the manufacturing sector last month suggested economic growth picked up early this quarter.

Other data on Friday showed strong auto sales and a rise in consumer sentiment in February, which should help support spending.

The reports suggested the economy had enough momentum to withstand the $85 billion in federal budget cuts known as the “sequester” that were set to start taking hold on Friday, but not so much as to convince the Federal Reserve to decrease its monetary support for the recovery.

“The numbers say the economy does have a reasonable amount of momentum that is probably enough to deal with whatever comes from the sequestration,” said Bill Cheney, chief economist at John Hancock Financial Services in Boston.

Comment by 2banana
2013-03-01 14:04:17

Lemmie see if I understand.

Republicans in power. They are evil and must be replaced. Everything is their fault.

Democrats in power. Both parties are just as corrupt. Republicans would be just a bad. What is the difference anyways? Leadership - what is that?

Comment by Michael Viking
2013-03-01 14:42:21

Don’t forget the cases where a Democrat mishap can be blamed on something a Republican in the past is responsible for.

The sad/surprising thing is how Democrats and liberals are never able to witness their irony. Like Al Gore and his green agenda; What’s his carbon footprint, anyway? Talk about your top 1 percent…

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2013-03-01 23:45:00

Jeebus — I’ve sure missed the Democrat-Republican partisan discussions which spontaneously sprang up here every day leading up to the November 2012 presidential election. Thanks for the refresher!

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Comment by meastqon
2013-03-01 18:22:07

Lemmie see if I understand

Democrats in power or out of power they are evil and must be replaced. Everything is their fault.

Republicans in power = Nirvana

I guarantee I’ve been far more critical of Obama then you’ve been of, well your never critical of GOP but my guess is that you are paid to be this way.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2013-03-01 23:46:15

Stupid is as stupid gets paid to say.

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Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2013-03-01 23:54:13

True confession: I would never make so many dumb partisan political remarks as you do, even if I was paid good money for it.

Comment by Resistor
2013-03-01 15:12:34

“Americans saw their income drop so dramatically in January that it marked the deepest one-month decline in 20 years.”

Comment by hazard
2013-03-01 15:59:29

“This vision stands in stark contrast to the numerous bills filed over the past few years with the sole intention of kicking thousands of Florida’s working families out of their homes for the sake of expediency,” said Soto, a real estate and family law attorney.”

Yes we must protect the homeowners. You renters and your renter children can go find yourself an appliance box you low life b@stards. Except for that poor boomerang buyer who had to lower herself to being a renter for 3 years after being foreclosed upon before she could become a homeowner again because we did not protect her well enough. Now get out of my way, I must protect the homeowners.

Posted: 4:48 p.m. Friday, March 1, 2013

Foreclosure-related bills hope to ease housing crisis

By Kimberly Miller
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Four proposals to protect homeowners from foreclosure-related abuses and increase resources to keep them in their homes were filed this week as lawmakers ready for a legislative session that already includes a long-debated “fast-track” foreclosure bill.

The bills, filed Wednesday by Sen. Darren Soto, D-Orlando, would help homeowners by reducing their loan amounts through principal reductions, shrinking the number of years banks can pursue a homeowner for unpaid debt, and giving the attorney general more power to investigate law firms.

Soto, who as a House Representative from 2007 to 2012 pushed for a stronger investigation of alleged wrongdoing by the state’s large so-called “foreclosure mills”, said his proposals are an alternative to legislation that seeks to fix the housing crisis by hastening repossessions.

“This vision stands in stark contrast to the numerous bills filed over the past few years with the sole intention of kicking thousands of Florida’s working families out of their homes for the sake of expediency,” said Soto, a real estate and family law attorney.

For the fourth consecutive session, a bill (HB 87) has been filed that would allow a judge to demand the homeowner prove why a foreclosure judgment shouldn’t be issued if a bank’s documents are deemed sufficient. Consumer advocates fear the bill will give homeowners little time to muster a defense.

Bill sponsor Rep. Kathleen Passidomo, R-Naples, said she believes the proposal has a chance of passing this session, which begins Tuesday, following years of deliberation and refinement.

“Florida has one of the slowest foreclosure systems in the country,” Passidomo said earlier this year. “We need to protect borrowers’ rights, but also efficiently move the process along.”

As of Dec. 31, Florida had an estimated 371,120 pending foreclosure cases in its court system.

Three of Soto’s bills — SB 1236, 1226, and 1218 — have matching legislation filed in the House. A bill (SB 1228) that would limit the amounts banks can recoup in unpaid debt after a short sale is not yet sponsored in the House.

Rep. Jose Rodriguez, D-Miami, is working with Soto on SB 1218, which would make it a violation of Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act to file false evidence in foreclosure proceedings. Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi was barred from investigating law firms accused of foreclosure malpractice because the courts said the allegations were not technically violations of the act.

Soto said he knows his proposals will face resistance, but he believes he’ll be able to at least tack some of the language onto Passidomo’s bill.

“I am mindful of the fact that this is going to be a bit of a battle,” said Soto. “But there will be at least one foreclosure bill moving through and that provides an arena for amendments.”

Comment by Rental Watch
2013-03-01 16:05:16


The other day, we were discussing vacancy rates in CA, and you were noting that some of the characteristics of CA housing (people per home, vacancy rate, etc.) might in some way be due to higher rents and younger people doubling up to afford the higher rents…you said in part:

“Building more housing units for them would not in and of itself induce them to move. Lower rents might.”

My simple response–when you are at 5% rental vacancy rates, you don’t get lower rents without building more housing.

Frequently, when an apartment developer builds a new project, they offer concessions to fill up the building upon completion (they need to since they have a new loan and expenses to pay for)…first month free…first 2 months free…$1 security deposit…no last month’s deposit required…etc.

Also, there is a whole set of younger renters that happily take the free rent for a month or two for the first 12 months, only to hop to the next deal when the year is up. This is done at the expense of the places from which these tenants move.

If there are enough new apartments (or new housing generally) that the existing rental base starts to lose too much occupancy, they will react by giving their own concessions…to stay full.

Most apartment owners manage to an occupancy level that they deem will maximize revenue (similar with self-storage). If they are above that occupancy level, they conclude that they are undercharging rent for their market, and they’ll jack up the rent. If they are below a certain occupancy level, they will conclude that they are charging too much and will cut their rates until they can attract enough tenants to get their occupancy up. This level of occupancy might be related to the particular market they are in (an 20% vacant market might have a different occupancy target than a 10% vacant market). For self-storage it might also have to do with the size of the facility (since larger facilities are harder to keep full than smaller facilities).

This is similar with any business with a heavy fixed capital investment.

Dynamic pricing in hotels is similar, airlines, etc. The last room night sold at a hotel is the most expensive. Similar with the last ticket on an airplane.

In any event, if you want lower rents, you need higher vacancy. To get higher vacancy, you need more units (or fewer people/jobs).

Comment by ahansen
2013-03-01 16:40:19

I have no figures to back this up, but in my experience CA apartments cater to a more transient population base (contract workers, grad students, recent immigrants, young couples just getting their bearings.)

All of these demographics are headed for downsizing — contract engineers and sales, grad students and students in general, immigrant labor, even new young householders. When it’s cheaper to rent a larger, quieter, less crowded SFH than a tiny cramped apartment, (especially if you intend to go the room mate route) how can rents help but go down overall in the foreseeable future?

Comment by Rental Watch
2013-03-01 17:25:08

Again, it all depends on if you believe there is ample supply of cheap, larger digs to rent. The data doesn’t support that assertion in CA, IMHO.

CA’s home ownership rate is only about 54%…there are lots of renters across the board. I rented the same house for 7 years, after an apartment for 7 years. All within a few square miles. I wasn’t transient, I just couldn’t afford (nor desired) to purchase during that time.

I agree with you that it will be hard for landlords to keep raising rents over the next few years, but for a different reason. My rationale:

One hallmark of the bubble was that people without much in the way of income or credit could get a loan to buy a house. These were previously permanent renters, who then got a mortgage. Lots of these folks have lost their house after the crash…however, lots of them have not, and are holding on.

When the market was falling, and jobs (lots of blue-collar construction jobs among others) were cut, vacancy rate in CA rose. My guess is that the blue-collar workers left the rental pool and consolidated, either with parents, or friends to survive. Then, as jobs started to come back, vacancy rates fell in CA again…but here’s the main point: Most of these early jobs were white-collar, college graduate targeted jobs (tech, etc.). These are people who can afford to pay more, but didn’t want to buy a house because hell, who wants to buy an asset that is falling in price?…your down payment would evaporate quickly. Blue collar workers are still struggling to find consistent work–and haven’t come back into the renter pool in as large numbers after leaving it.

What those two things led to (and I’m surmising here, not basing it on data) is an overall mix of renters in CA that is more heavily skewed toward college graduate/white collar workers than ever before, increasing the total renter pool capacity to pay higher rents. Without building more units, when landlords raised rents, the tenants stayed and paid those rents (with some blue collar folks doubling up to do so).

Now, as we move into the next part of the cycle, there are going to be two major trends emerge, IMHO:

1. As construction rises from 50k per year back to “normal” levels of 200k per year in the state, there will be a LOT more blue collar workers getting a steady paycheck. This will increase the number of blue-collar workers who move into the renter pool (from their current condition of living at home, doubled up, etc.).

2. Every month that goes by with year on year home price appreciation per Shiller, and every month where a prior owner’s damaged credit heals, there are going to be more white-collar renters who decide that they want to buy…as the blue collar workers enter the rental pool, the white collar workers will be leaving the rental pool.

Over time, the mix of white/blue collar workers in the rental pool will edge back toward more traditional levels, but a level that is less capable of paying today’s rents than the mix today. If people are unable to pay the rents, they won’t…over time landlords’ ability to maintain higher rents (or high rent growth) will weaken, and rents will flatten/fall. I think this will be a headwind for rents over the next 5-10 years…and a reason why I’m not too keen on apartments at today’s low cap rates (that rely upon high rental growth to make the math work).

Comment by ahansen
2013-03-02 01:05:49

Interesting. Thanks for your thoughts, RW.

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2013-03-01 17:27:05

The last room night sold at a hotel is the most expensive.

You’re not very bright.

The last room sold is always extraordinarily cheap. You have a choice at 3pm between accepting a customer or not getting any money at all.

Those of us who are risk-neutral know how to play this game all over the world.

I’ve stayed in places way above my station in just about every continent with this simple trick.

Comment by Rental Watch
2013-03-01 19:06:55

There are plenty of nuances with revenue maximization models.

The hotel example isn’t perfectly analogous to apartments. Try to walk up to an apartment with one unit left, and get a low rent. Good luck with that.

Last minute bookings for hotels are always different for the reason you describe–REGARDLESS of occupancy level. Very few infrequent travelers choose to walk up and try to get a room, since most infrequent travelers are doing their travel for vacation (during kids holidays, or weekends, which times in greater demand)…too much risk involved to just walk up. Mid week, off season travel? Sure, walk-up.

The cheapest rooms go to the block purchasers…wedding parties, etc. The hotels want to “cover their nut” and so they aggressively pursue conference users, wedding parties, etc. and give discounts.

Once a hotel gets to 90%+ booked for a weekend a few weeks out, prices will be significantly higher than when they are at 80% (which will be higher than 70%). They are very sophisticated in how they manage, with even small hotels reviewing prices daily depending on their bookings.

They manage prices downward as they get closer and closer to the date of stay if they are not continuing to book, and you are right, walk-ups the day of stay will get a great deal–if there is a room available. However, not below a certain price level…as they don’t want to collect too little for the risk of wear/tear and cost of cleaning.

Self-storage is different yet.

Walk up to a storage facility? You’ll generally pay more than if you book online ahead–unless you are equipped with their online asking rates, or negotiate a break on the spot (managers have lots of leeway to make a deal). Why? Because they’ve figured out that the walk-ups generally haven’t done as much homework, and drive to the most conveniently located facility. If you book online, they figure that you are using the power of the internet to find the best deal, so they are most competitive on price through their online booking systems.

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Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2013-03-01 23:43:15

“The last room sold is always extraordinarily cheap.”

It’s also often marketed as ‘nonsmoking’ when it really isn’t.

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Comment by Pimp Watch
2013-03-01 18:08:22

You’re a liar. You’re making sh*t up again. Why is that?

What’s really going on in California

California imposed a new law on banks innocuously called “Homeowners Bill of Rights” which forces banks to switch over to a judicial foreclosure process, which they can opt to do on their own, but takes a year or more to renegotiate contracts and compensation structures for the foreclosure law firms who do all the leg work for the banks. And while those changes are being made… it makes it appear that foreclosures have slowed down dramatically in the state.

The reality?

Defaults (undeclared) are spiraling upward that yet have to pass through the foreclosure pipeline.

The truth?

California is still the highest foreclosure state in sheer volume and percentage.

The low-down?

Resale housing is still massively overpriced as a result of unprecedented interference by individual states and the federal government. The market distortions will be removed and the down draft will continue allowing the market to correct.

If you play with fire, you will get burned.

Comment by cactus
2013-03-01 21:53:16

Is it all lies then ? damn realtors

“At the moment it’s a seller’s market again,” said David Fogg, a real estate agent in Burbank, CA. “Very low inventory, very low interest rates, almost no bank inventory of homes, it’s crazy out there. Every good property I’ve listed this year has brought 10-50 offers and sales prices 10-20 percent over comps. Cash is King.”

Nearly one third of all existing home sales in January were paid for in cash, and not just by investors, who are making up a shrinking share of the market. Fierce competition is forcing buyers to use every advantage, given that so many are going after so little.

In California’s San Fernando Valley there are usually over 9,000 homes for sale this time of year, according to real estate agent Billy Wynn. Today there are just over 1,400.

“Realtors are getting so many offers they are taking the homes off the market and not accepting additional offers before any offer is even accepted,” said Wynn. “This is real estate bubble 2.0 on steroids.”

It is a puzzling situation, given all the warnings of a tsunami of so-called “shadow inventory” that was supposed to be flooding the market right now. As it stands, fewer distressed properties are coming to the market.

Comment by hazard
2013-03-01 17:48:49

Obama issues pardons to 17 for minor offenses

2 hours ago

WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama on Friday issued pardons for 17 people, largely for minor offenses.

Those receiving pardons came from 13 states and had been sentenced for crimes that included falsely altering a money order, unauthorized acquisition of food stamps, drug violations, and possession of an unregistered firearm.

Comment by hazard
2013-03-01 17:59:26

Scouts Train to Fight Terrorists, and More

Published: May 13, 2009

IMPERIAL, Calif. — Ten minutes into arrant mayhem in this town near the Mexican border, and the gunman, a disgruntled Iraq war veteran, has already taken out two people, one slumped in his desk, the other covered in blood on the floor.

The responding officers — eight teenage boys and girls, the youngest 14 — face tripwire, a thin cloud of poisonous gas and loud shots — BAM! BAM! — fired from behind a flimsy wall. They move quickly, pellet guns drawn and masks affixed.

“United States Border Patrol! Put your hands up!” screams one in a voice cracking with adolescent determination as the suspect is subdued.

It is all quite a step up from the square knot.

The Explorers program, a coeducational affiliate of the Boy Scouts of America that began 60 years ago, is training thousands of young people in skills used to confront terrorism, illegal immigration and escalating border violence — an intense ratcheting up of one of the group’s longtime missions to prepare youths for more traditional jobs as police officers and firefighters.

In a training exercise run by Border Patrol agents, Explorer scouts from Visalia, Calif., prepare to storm a “hijacked” bus. More Photos » -

Obama Civilian Security - YouTube - 209k -
Jul 17, 2008 …

Comment by Resistor
2013-03-01 21:31:07

Title: An email from my realtor, who left teaching to make more money.
Genre: Tragedy

“Probably doing real estate full time – can’t afford to teach. Sad, I would rather teach but it’s just Econ 101.”

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