May 29, 2013

Bits Bucket for May 29, 2013

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

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Comment by goon squad
2013-05-29 02:14:29

Wall Street Journal - Washington, DC: The New Boomtown

“As other American cities have been buffeted by an uneven economy, Washington’s property market has been buoyed two forces specific to the capital city: a surge of federal contractors and a rising tide of government spending. The result: what real-estate agents and developers are calling an unprecedented real-estate surge.

Washington’s economy—which was never hit as hard during the recession as other major U.S. cities—is flourishing. From 2007 through 2012, the local economy expanded 7.6%, compared with the nation’s growth of 5.4%, according to economist Stephen Fuller of George Mason University. Federal procurement spending in the Washington area increased by 182% from 2000 through 2010, which has led to an influx of contractors, lawyers and consultants. Overall, the area saw a population increase of 776,280 between 2000 and 2010.

According to Mr. Fuller, annual government spending on federal contractors in the D.C. metro area increased from $12.6 billion in 1990 to $29.3 billion in 2000, and to $82.5 billion in 2010.

Comment by Mr. Smithers
2013-05-29 06:22:45

The Hunger Games in real life.

Comment by goon squad
2013-05-29 06:24:41

We are hiring.

Comment by aNYCdj
2013-05-29 10:19:40
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Comment by joe sees your PPQ and counters that its immaterial to your unpopulated joint venture
2013-05-29 06:40:48

Private bootstrapping contractors now do jobs that federal employees used to do, often performing core functions one would normally associate with government. The costs? Much higher. And the shenanigans that private firms pull is off the charts. They create shells and joint ventures so they can bid on small business contracts, then submit their own PPQs as evidence that the new “small business” is capable of performing the contract. They will propose to take over from an incumbent contractor and cut costs by cutting salaries 10% across-the-board yet offer no evidence that this won’t impact security/safety/mission. They’ll promise technological innovations that will cut costs, but then when the costs aren’t cut, they’ll go back to the gov’t and ask for more money to do the contract since their idea didn’t work. They’ll use foreign IT subcontractors in India (primarily) that are much cheaper, even if it means security risks. Then you have all the FCA and FCPA actions that arise because private companies need to make profit and often end up cutting corners, lying, stealing, or breaking local laws when operating abroad (hurting civilians, violating import/export laws, etc.). No biggie, at least we’ve cut the size of the active duty military and career civilian civil servants, right?

Sad to say I’m a part of this gravy train, representing private contractors. But one needs to live in the real world and this pays alot [sic] of money. Both parties are _fully_ on board with this so I don’t think it will get reined in any time soon. So I take the money, stack it up, make other plans, and take a good long shower every day when I leave DC. DC is gross, there’s a reason Maryland didn’t want this swamp and sold it to the fed gov for cheap. (Hey, if the feds would’ve paid more money, DC would’ve been where Bethesda or Chevy Chase are today.)

Comment by goon squad
2013-05-29 07:00:32

I want to be Bill in Los Angeles when I grow up.

Bill in Los Angeles = WIN.

Comment by Bill in Los Angeles
2013-05-29 18:44:46

Whip Inflation Now - Gerald Ford’s meek slogan in 1975

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Comment by mikeinbend
2013-05-29 13:45:42

Spending how ever many hours a week you work in a shithole place that makes you want to shower just because you were there doing what you do? How many more years you going to persevere?

When is “fun for Joe time”? I fear making a lot(sick) of money could be addicting so you may not find yourself getting out of there as soon as you plan. But as you get more and more used to being slimy, doing slimy things for slimy companies, the urge to shower should pass. It will be fruitless anyway as the slime eventually won’t wash off.

Comment by joe the IRA stuffer
2013-05-29 14:37:23

I agree with you. I am a radical saver so i won’t be forced to do this that much longer. I’m going to start telecommuting and flex time type things in another year or so. We’ll see how this changes the equation over time.

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Comment by mikeinbend
2013-05-29 17:11:16

Good to hear it.
I know a guy who first worked as a public defender.
He hated representing (mostly) criminals, but rationalized that someone had to do it.
After a couple years he went to work for the DA; playing the other side for awhile before hanging his own shingle as a real estate attorney.

Comment by Bill in Los Angeles
2013-05-29 18:49:11

If he did not defend the sick people, someone else would. This world is sick. Might as well make a buck off the sicks.

Comment by Bill in Los Angeles
2013-05-29 18:46:51

If you don’t do it Joe sees your PPQ and counters that its immaterial to your unpopulated joint venture - then someone else will.


Comment by ahansen
2013-05-30 01:02:03

Happy belated b-day, bila.

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Comment by Bill in Los Angeles
2013-05-30 18:02:51

thank you ahansen (I keep odd hours and did not see your post till now)

Comment by ahansen
2013-05-30 00:59:17


Please, please, please keep copies of all the documentation of this you can manage, and channel it an appropriate hmmmumwikileakshmmm) online whistle-blowing outlet.

You’re skirting true patriotism here. Go ahead and take the plunge? I know you’ve the integrity. Try for the courage.


Comment by ecofeco
2013-05-29 07:10:49

All loans lead to Rome.

Comment by joe sees your PPQ and counters that its immaterial to your unpopulated joint venture
2013-05-29 08:12:11

All your base are belong to GD and Lockheed.

Comment by jose canusi
2013-05-29 08:33:17

Rome was eventually sacked.

Comment by ecofeco
2013-05-29 09:12:13


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Comment by 2banana
2013-05-29 11:52:29

He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.

He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.

He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harass our people and eat out their substance.

He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.

He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:

For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:

For depriving us in many cases, of the benefit of Trial by Jury:

He has plundered our seas, ravaged our coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.

Comment by Biggvs Richardvs
2013-05-29 12:42:55

We won’t stand for that kind of ‘terririst rhetoric here in the land of the free and home of the brave mister! You just take that nonesense go back to the socialist anti-american rock you crawled out from under! The founding fathers would be ashamed that a ‘murrican could write such a thing. Shame on you sir!

Comment by Bill in Los Angeles
2013-05-29 18:52:18


The choice is 1) revolt, 2) take part in taking the spoils, or 3) be eaten. Which is the most optimum for your survival?

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-05-29 03:27:00

Luckily for Bitcoin owners, the virtual currency is never used to transact trade in illegal goods and services.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-05-29 03:28:52

Thou shalt have no other gods before me.

– Exodus 20:3 –

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-05-29 03:33:34

Feds shut down payment network Liberty Reserve. Is Bitcoin next?
By Timothy B. Lee, Published: May 28, 2013 at 2:25 pm

Federal prosecutors have shut down Liberty Reserve, an alternative payment network that they say was a $6 billion scam “designed to help criminals conduct illegal transactions and launder the proceeds of their crimes.” (Read the indictment.) This is a case anyone with Bitcoins in their virtual wallet is going to want to watch very closely.

The lead defendant, Arthur Budovsky, has a history of building money-transfer businesses that attract unwelcome attention from federal regulators. In 2006, Budovsky faced charges relating to another money-transmission business, called Gold Age, that authorities said had not complied with money-laundering regulations. He was convicted and sentenced to five years’ probation. Undeterred, Budovsky moved to Costa Rica, renounced his U.S. citizenship and started a new financial network called Liberty Reserve. Now that, too, has come under U.S. government scrutiny, and Budovsky has been arrested in Spain.

In the view of federal prosecutors, Liberty Reserve was deliberately designed for illegal activities. “Liberty Reserve has become a financial hub of the cyber-crime world, facilitating a broad range of online criminal activity,” the indictment states. “Unlike traditional banks or legitimate online payment processors, Liberty Reserve does not require users to validate their identity information, such as by providing official identification documents or a credit card. Accounts can therefore be opened easily using fictitious or anonymous identities.”

Of course, that description could just as easily describe Bitcoin. Anyone can create a new address for accepting bitcoins and then transmit funds to other Bitcoin addresses without furnishing identifying information. This feature has raised concerns that the currency has been used for activities such as drug dealing or illegal gambling.

Comment by oxide
2013-05-29 06:43:07

Last week’s Civil War discussion about Article 1 Section 10 got me wondering about alternate currencies. Article 1 Section 10, among other things, prohibits States from coining their own currency. Citizens of some New England towns are bartering goods and services to each other in exchange for labor-hours. Informal barter will always be around, but at what point does organized labor hours cross the line into coining money? Is a BitCoin Unconstitutional even if it’s used to buy legimate goods?

Comment by ecofeco
2013-05-29 07:31:38

When a state forces by law that the new currency is to be used exclusively or so widespread as to usurp by default, US currency.

I’m sure there are other requirements, but that’s the basics.

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Comment by joe sees your PPQ and counters that its immaterial to your unpopulated joint venture
2013-05-29 07:35:14

The Hampden (hipster) neighborhood of Baltimore has its own currency called B Notes.

I used to have a bunch when Dogwood was open and I used to ask for B Notes as change when I’d pay. Now I don’t have as much since I used most of it up and haven’t been up there in a bit. Good system, IMO. If my area had something similar, I would use it.

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Comment by Neuromance
2013-05-29 08:29:44

In government, there are non-serious issues and serious issues.

• Serious issues are those which impact politicians’ re-election chances and standard of living.

• Non-serious issues are those outside the above realm.

Alternative currencies bites into the federal revenue gathering abilities, and can be a destabilizing force on the economy if the alternative currency takes hold. Thus, it is a Serious Issue™.

Expect politicians to react accordingly, up to and including federal troops.

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Comment by Biggvs Richardvs
2013-05-29 12:54:34

I think it’s safe to say that once the United States government™ allowed a privately owned organization to begin issuing currency at will(I believe that’s called counterfeiting, no?), all bets as far as what is considered “legitimate” when it comes to currency are off.

And to anyone who doesn’t understand the full Ramifications of the Federal Reserve™ being privately owned(it really is - look it up), please educate yourself. Any economics course that teaches central bank accounting will back me up.

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Comment by ahansen
2013-05-30 01:03:20

And no one ever uses actual currency to transact trade in illegal goods and services, right?

Comment by BellyoftheBeast
2013-05-29 03:27:14

Hello again from Gotham- Sales are brisk, there is no supply, and people are fighting at open houses. Every salesperson wants to be a millionaire next week with BernankeBucks, and nobody can find skilled labor to build any new buildings. New buildings are usually stopped at least 3 times by the DOB, as “interested parties” just have to call 311 to get an inspector on the site. The unions continue to deteriorate as they compete against contractors who get labor with subsidized or free housing, food, insurance, and care for kids while working off the books. The currency today is green cards- come work and we will help you to get your entire extended family into the country and onto the dole- and preferably onto disability with our hand-picked judges.

The Dem Mayoral race is fun- NYC wants to avoid voting for a lesbian with a wife, as the media (for now) attacks and vaccinates a guy who got caught being hetero on the internet. His co-religionists can overlook this as he promises to continue Bloomberg light instead of a shift to the tax-hiking left. The other candidates would make Marx blush, as they make promises to keep the thousands/millions of dependents voting at least 3 times on election day.

Quote of the day from an older RE student from the Projects to a young Israeli who just bought his first apartment in the city:

“You need us. We are the ones who do all of your work at $5/hour so that you can live your fancy lifestyles. We have larger apartments than the multi-million dollar condos nearby, and we deserve it”

-She expects that from her complexion that she has a choice of 3-bedroom apartments for $300/month.


Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-05-29 04:49:05

Interesting but that’s just not what we’re seeing in NYC. Furthermore, data sales and price data is being withheld in NY and has been for more than 18 months.

Comment by 2banana
2013-05-29 05:30:18

NYC is bankrupt.

Unions pension promises alone can not even be paid. Let alone for everything that a city government is supposed to do.

Ironically, it is not from trying to squeeze every last dime from its taxpayers.

Property taxes are already at insane levels ($20,000/year on a small nothing house in Queens). Add in the state income tax (7% under $200,000), NYC income tax (3.5%) and sales tax at almost 9%.

What does a working man have left? A crack shack in the out borough is easily $500,000. An 1 bedroom apartment in Manhattan is over a million dollars.

The ONLY thing keeping all the dishes in the air is QE and the government buying trillions in worthless assets from Wall Street.

The easy money props up EVERYTHING in NYC. EVERYTHING.

When is all collapses (and it will) it is going to make NYC from the 1970s look good.

Comment by snowgirl
2013-05-29 06:04:50

I’m starting to think NYers deserve their tax burden. MA residents were going nuts and complaining loudly when they became known as Taxachusetts. All I hear here is, “Oh well. What are you going to do?” with a chuckle or “Don’t let the door hit you on the way out” during online tête-à-têtes. In the last school budget vote, barely more than 1000 people bothered. The budgets pass overwhelmingly while spending on projects that have nothing to do w/education. Obviously there’s still fat on the bone but I guess everyone is all good w/that.

People either just write the checks or silently plan their exodus. But the message I mostly get is you most be a low achiever if you have a problem with your taxes.

Comment by Bill in Los Angeles
2013-05-29 18:59:04

“I’m starting to think NYers deserve their tax burden.”

There are plenty of rural NYers who disagree with you. Analogy: Take California (please?). There is a lot of California outside of San Francisco and Los Angeles. A lot of people who love the geography, weather, and other non-government amenities of California who may be second or third or more generations Californian, but live outside those areas and never voted for big government, but who are so tied by blood to the state. NYers the same way. Heck, New jersey the same way.

Please separate the geography from the politics. Most people are where they are not because of the politics but because they grew up where they are and they have great memories.

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Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-05-29 06:17:05

“NYC is bankrupt.”

FORD TO CITY: DROP DEAD: President’s snub inspired, not discouraged, ex-Gov. Hugh Carey
Monday, August 8, 2011, 4:00 AM

Felix Rohatyn, the financier who helped Hugh Carey save New York from bankruptcy, was at Elaine’s with the governor when someone walked in with the first edition of the next day’s Daily News.

FORD TO CITY: DROP DEAD, the paper said, in what became an iconic headline.

It was Oct. 29, 1975, and President Ford had just nixed a bailout for the city.

“I thought it was the end of us,” Rohatyn remembered Sunday. “But he thought it was the beginning of winning. He was right.”

Carey said the federal snub meant the state would have to step in - and the unions, the banks and City Hall would have to deal.

“There was so much upheaval - he saw the fact that we had to win, there was just no alternative,” Rohatyn said.

He said Carey never wavered in his fight to save the city.

Comment by Mr. Smithers
2013-05-29 06:26:01

“Unions pension promises alone can not even be paid. Let alone for everything that a city government is supposed to do.”

Haven’t you heard? Unions brought you the 40 hour work week. How dare you question union awesomeness? You must be a Koch Brother.

Comment by joe sees your PPQ and counters that its immaterial to your unpopulated joint venture
2013-05-29 07:16:52

20k property taxes aren’t on nothing houses, they’re on houses in Douglaston or Jamaica Estates. Or else very large multifamily rentals in Astoria.

Comment by sfhomowner
2013-05-29 09:27:46

Two years ago CA seemed on the brink of collapse. Now, this:

California’s New ‘Problem’: Jerry Brown on the Sudden Surplus

Comment by aNYCdj
2013-05-29 10:22:51

Here is a HINT….find a LL with a paid off house who lives in it… would be surprised how reasonable it can be…

Comment by ecofeco
2013-05-29 07:34:32

NYC is the cause of most of the rest of this nation’s problems.

Comment by joe sees your PPQ and counters that its immaterial to your unpopulated joint venture
2013-05-29 08:13:12

I think you’re confusing DC and NYC.

Comment by ecofeco
2013-05-29 08:23:49

Oh not at all.

Most people have it backwards. I didn’t see Wall St give the US Gov 7 trillion dollars recently, did you?

DC is just a front for Wall St.

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Comment by sfhomowner
2013-05-29 09:34:22

I think “San Francisco Values” are responsible for the tear in our moral fabric.

Comment by aNYCdj
2013-05-29 10:29:38
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Comment by Resistor
2013-05-29 17:49:50

It must have taken a lot of courage for you to post that, DJ.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-05-29 03:35:57

Does your wife bring home the bacon?

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-05-29 03:37:41

Working moms are now main breadwinners in a record 40 percent of US households with children
By Associated Press, Published: May 28 | Updated: Wednesday, May 29, 12:12 AM

WASHINGTON — America’s working mothers are now the primary breadwinners in a record 40 percent of households with children — a milestone in the changing face of modern families, up from just 11 percent in 1960.

The findings by the Pew Research Center, released Wednesday, highlight the growing influence of “breadwinner moms” who keep their families afloat financially. While most are headed by single mothers, a growing number are families with married mothers who bring in more income than their husbands.

Demographers say the change is all but irreversible and is likely to bring added attention to child-care policies as well as government safety nets for vulnerable families. Still, the general public is not at all sure that having more working mothers is a good thing.

While roughly 79 percent of Americans reject the notion that women should return to their traditional roles, only 21 percent of those polled said the trend of more mothers of young children working outside the home is a good thing for society, according to the Pew survey.

Roughly 3 in 4 adults said the increasing number of women working for pay has made it harder for parents to raise children.

Comment by ecofeco
2013-05-29 07:39:41

There is an amazing amount of reverse sex discrimination in corporate America these days.

Along with ageism and credit score.

Comment by homie don't play houses
2013-05-29 07:50:00

So where are the men? In prison?

That doesn’t explain the whole picture.

Comment by ecofeco
2013-05-29 08:26:25

Believe it or not, that’s part of it. This country has the largest prison population in the world. Even larger than commie countries.

The rest are unemployed, part-time, or working lesser paying jobs.

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Comment by sfhomowner
2013-05-29 09:32:24

Why Men Fail
Published: September 10, 2012

You’re probably aware of the basic trends. The financial rewards to education have increased over the past few decades, but men failed to get the memo.

In elementary and high school, male academic performance is lagging. Boys earn three-quarters of the D’s and F’s. By college, men are clearly behind. Only 40 percent of bachelor’s degrees go to men, along with 40 percent of master’s degrees.

Thanks to their lower skills, men are dropping out of the labor force. In 1954, 96 percent of the American men between the ages of 25 and 54 worked. Today, that number is down to 80 percent. In Friday’s jobs report, male labor force participation reached an all-time low.

Millions of men are collecting disability. Even many of those who do have a job are doing poorly. According to Michael Greenstone of the Hamilton Project, annual earnings for median prime-age males have dropped by 28 percent over the past 40 years.

Men still dominate the tippy-top of the corporate ladder because many women take time off to raise children, but women lead or are gaining nearly everywhere else. Women in their 20s outearn men in their 20s. Twelve out of the 15 fastest-growing professions are dominated by women.

Over the years, many of us have embraced a certain theory to explain men’s economic decline. It is that the information-age economy rewards traits that, for neurological and cultural reasons, women are more likely to possess.

To succeed today, you have to be able to sit still and focus attention in school at an early age. You have to be emotionally sensitive and aware of context. You have to communicate smoothly. For genetic and cultural reasons, many men stink at these tasks.

But, in her fascinating new book, “The End of Men,” Hanna Rosin posits a different theory. It has to do with adaptability. Women, Rosin argues, are like immigrants who have moved to a new country. They see a new social context, and they flexibly adapt to new circumstances. Men are like immigrants who have physically moved to a new country but who have kept their minds in the old one. They speak the old language. They follow the old mores. Men are more likely to be rigid; women are more fluid.

This theory has less to do with innate traits and more to do with social position. When there’s big social change, the people who were on the top of the old order are bound to cling to the old ways. The people who were on the bottom are bound to experience a burst of energy. They’re going to explore their new surroundings more enthusiastically.

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Comment by ecofeco
2013-05-29 10:21:18

What a load. I have seen men heavily discriminated against by women (and gay men) over the last 20 years.

It’s shameful and women will pay the price. I’ve met far too many “queen bees” who are giving a bad name, reputation and men bad attitudes, towards women.

Not that men are blameless. but it looks like the same old “sins of the fathers” the human race is notorious for.

Comment by rms
2013-05-29 11:09:11

“But, in her fascinating new book, “The End of Men,” Hanna Rosin posits a different theory. It has to do with adaptability. Women, Rosin argues, are like immigrants who have moved to a new country. They see a new social context, and they flexibly adapt to new circumstances. Men are like immigrants who have physically moved to a new country but who have kept their minds in the old one. They speak the old language. They follow the old mores. Men are more likely to be rigid; women are more fluid.”

Throughout human history conquered men are slaughtered while the women are co-opted as concubine or reproductive role; survival means adaptation.

Comment by sfhomowner
2013-05-29 11:26:09

What a load

Which part? The statistics about who is graduating and going to college?

Comment by ecofeco
2013-05-29 12:16:16

No, the stats are good. It’s been way for quite some time.

Again, roughly for the last 20 years. (not enough time today to get the hard numbers)

The rest is off the cuff and only proves my point: the discrimination against men which has been documented for, again, roughly the same amount of time and seems to be endemic in public school as well.

Sorry, wasn’t prepared to argue this subject today and again, don’t have time to provide the footnotes, but it can be googled and of course, you’ll need to ignore the usual extremist results from both sides.

But the discrimination is real.

Comment by Bill in Los Angeles
2013-05-29 19:07:10

Where I am at, the bright women do not get the recognition and job titles. The attractive women do. There is one young woman who is model quality and has the best title. Probably got the $ to go with it. But she’s not 1/3 as bright as the female engineers.

As for men, a lot of the downfall is self-inflicted. I think the baby boomer males were the last of the men who kept pushing the envelope.

Sorry Joe and the other young ones. I don’t imply ALL gen y or gen x men are losers. But the drive to success is just not there.

Comment by aNYCdj
2013-05-29 10:33:38

The whole picture is lots of MEN are fix it type guys…..and the jobs are throw it away type jobs….

Most women cant fix anything, so the throw it away and buy a new one is ok with them…. I would get frustrated knowing it could be fixed for a few dollars, or resold on ebay.

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Comment by Carl Morris
2013-05-29 13:57:02

Throughout human history conquered men are slaughtered while the women are co-opted as concubine or reproductive role; survival means adaptation.

In this case we’re being conquered by the 0.01% and the rest of the men are slowly being starved out? Rejected like the excess men in a polygamy compound except in slow motion?

Comment by non-conformist
2013-05-29 05:05:20

“Does your wife bring home the bacon?”

There was a 6 ft. 5 in. 265 lb. lineman at Milford Academy 1978-1979 who used to walk down the hall in a towell singing and acting out this commercial to a T. Funnier than hell. - 192k -

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-05-29 06:19:55

“…and never, never let you forget you da man…”

Those must have been some interesting times to be married!

Comment by Ol'Bubba
2013-05-29 07:14:25

“…and never, never let you forget you da man…”

Those must have been some interesting times to be married!

Yet, surprisingly, no one back then thought to invent bacon-scented perfume…

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Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-05-29 03:39:20

Are home prices going up like gangbusters in your neck of the woods?

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-05-29 03:41:06

Can anyone besides me recall the early days of the blog, when trolls descended to inform us that U.S. housing has nothing to do with what happens on Wall Street?

My how the world has changed!

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-05-29 03:49:08

There is the pretend narrative of why Wall Street is experiencing a bull stampede, which is that the housing market recovery is leading the rest of the economy along the road to recovery. And then there is the reality of the Fed stuck very high up in the tree of QE3, with no way to get back down to terra firma.

At what point will delirium give way to sobriety?

Comment by azdude
2013-05-29 05:27:27

Buy a house today and get a HELOC tomorrow?

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Comment by MightyMike
2013-05-29 08:01:18

Now you’re replying to your reply to your reply. It’s a Whac-A-Bubble™ hall of mirrors.

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Comment by cactus
2013-05-29 11:10:29

At what point will delirium give way to sobriety?”

I don’t know ? last time I used the “less than 10% of the local buying population can afford the median priced house in Ventura County” rule

I really had no clue how bad it. I thought it was just a another correction like the 1990 areospace pullback

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Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-05-29 03:51:06

Updated May 28, 2013, 7:45 p.m. ET
Home Sales Power Optimism
Prices Rise at Fastest Pace Since 2006, Calming Investor Fears of a Spring Swoon

Home prices surged during the first quarter at their fastest pace in nearly seven years, the latest sign of a sustained warm-up in an economic recovery that has otherwise been marked by starts and stops.

The housing-market revival—and an accompanying report on consumer confidence—adds new grist for a debate inside the Federal Reserve about how far to push its easy-money policies, including an $85 billion-a-month bond-buying program which has helped to keep mortgage rates near historic lows, boosted asset prices and begun to stimulate hiring and spending.

Fed officials say they have been considering when to wind down the program. Signs of a stronger housing market could give confidence to officials who want to be sure that the economy can stand on its own, without the bond buying. Still, they have been reluctant to get too enthusiastic about signs of an upturn, in part because the economy has disappointed before.

Comment by azdude
2013-05-29 05:42:42

do asset bubbles create jobs?

Seems like the only way to grow the economy is through assets according to the experts.

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Comment by oxide
2013-05-29 05:52:07

They create jobs, yes.
They do not create careers.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-05-29 07:10:28

And most of all, they createt Debt Donkeys. ;)

Comment by ecofeco
2013-05-29 07:41:46

When you send 100s of thousands of jobs to third world and COMMUNIST countries, then yes, the only way to create jobs is with bubbles.

Comment by In Colorado
2013-05-29 09:11:16

When you send 100s of thousands of jobs to third world and COMMUNIST countries

More like millions of jobs.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-05-29 03:53:39

Whose job is it to fabricate and propagate ridiculous lies to hide the actions of the man behind the curtain?

Comment by BellyoftheBeast
2013-05-29 04:39:25

You Can’t Handle the Truth. - Sarge.

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Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-05-29 06:22:54
Comment by sfhomowner
2013-05-29 09:41:37

The Next Housing Bubble Is About To Pop All Over You

Flippers. Record home prices. Stock markets at record highs. Record low-interest rates. Just add some sad tales about young couples making $250,000 per year in Silicon Valley who still can’t afford a million-dollar bungalow and you’ve got 2007 all over again.

We cannot seem to get out of the terrible loop from real estate bust to housing bubble. Playing the residential property market is the one drug addiction that’s still socially acceptable. Despite what just happened a few years ago and is still lingering in much of the country, the housing boom is back.

“While flipping is re-emerging nationwide,” reports this morning, “brokers say it is happening most in California, where home prices have risen sharply over the past year.”

Bay Area median prices have already topped a half-million dollars, which is where they were in 2007 before prices collapsed by 56 percent.

The Bay Area’s median sale price first passed the $500,000 threshold in May 2004, when it rose to $501,000. It continued rising and held well above that level for four years, then dropped below $500,000 in June 2008 as home prices tumbled. From its $665,000 peak in June/July 2007 to its $290,000 trough in March 2009, the median plunged 56.4 percent, or $375,000. As of last month most of the Bay Area’s peak-to-trough loss had been regained. The median was up $220,000 from its March 2009 trough, meaning it had made up about 59 percent of its loss.

The median home price in San Francisco hit $1 million last week.

Bidding wars are suddenly common again. “We’re accepting offers next Wednesday at noon,” says a realtor about a mediocre house that was almost certainly underwater and on the verge of foreclosure a year ago.

An annual income of $250,000 seems like a lot of money. But home prices in the Bay Area are so high that the old definitions of “a lot” don’t hold true anymore. You could buy a much less expensive home, but then you have to start worrying about the quality of your kids’ schools and the length of your commute. All in all it’s a tough conundrum.

The surge in coastal-city real estate markets made sense until this year, when home prices in places like Silicon Valley and the wider Bay Area surpassed the previous bubble highs.

It makes sense to buy a place in San Francisco for half a million dollars, when average rents there hit $2,700 for a one-bedroom—if you’ve got the income, good credit, and $100,000 on hand for a 20 percent down payment. As a homeowner, you get a mortgage deduction, and at a 30-year fixed mortgage at 3.6 percent will cost you only $1,800 a month. Add all the taxes and insurance and you’re still paying less than the average San Francisco rent.

Comment by Ben Jones
2013-05-29 10:03:56

‘The housing affordability index in California dropped from 48 percent in 2012’s fourth quarter and 56 percent a year ago to 44 percent in the latest quarter. On average, California homebuyers needed to make at least $66,800 to afford a home priced at $350,490 with monthly payments of $1,670.’

‘For counties that submitted data, Tulare County tied Kings County with the highest affordability index, while San Mateo County tired San Francisco County with the lowest index at 23 percent.’

And these numbers are with a 20% down payment. I can see this words spray painted on the walls of foreclosed houses all over San Francisco:

‘But it was less than the average San Francisco rent!’

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-05-29 18:22:49

“As a homeowner, you get a mortgage deduction, and at a 30-year fixed mortgage at 3.6 percent will cost you only $1,800 a month.”

You also get;

-A rapidly depreciating asset at a massively inflated price

-Exposure to massive risk associated with prices declining back to historic levels

-burdensome maintenance costs at 3%/yr

-Loss of mobility

Comment by 2banana
2013-05-29 05:36:41

Can anyone besides me recall the early days of the blog

From the early days:

$200 billion/year deficits were criminal. How many teachers could we hire for that amount?

5% unemployment and gas at $1.50/gallon were signs we were in the worst depression since WWII

Cindy Sheehan was a star and celebrity to be admired. War death counts on TV were a nightly occurrence.

Everything was the president’s fault. And his party. All the evil of the world could be fixed if he was just voted out of office.

Comment by goon squad
Comment by Beer and Cigar Guy
2013-05-29 13:12:53
Comment by Mr. Smithers
2013-05-29 06:32:49

Early days of the blog…..

President tapping phone calls to Pah_KEE-staan led to calls for impeachment.

President killing brown people in Afghanistan = calls for impeachment

Spending $1T on a war…calls for impeachment

Later days of the blog (post 2009)

President tapping phones of US reporters and their parents….evidence of a great man.,

President killing brown people in Afghanistan with drones…evidence of the best president ever

Spending $1T on “stimulus” (AKA union slush funds) = evidence of why President should be on Mt. Rushmore

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Comment by ecofeco
2013-05-29 07:49:52

Good thing Bush finally found those WMDs.

Oh wait…

Comment by MightyMike
2013-05-29 08:05:46

Spending $1T on a war…calls for impeachment

I’m sure that never happened. Impeaching a president is a big pain in the neck. It would be easier for Congress to stop the spending.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-05-29 04:01:17

Local: Virginia
Report: D.C.-area housing market strongest in nation
May 28, 2013 | 9:00 pm

The Washington area is home to the strongest housing market in the country, as home prices nationally soared to a six-year high, according to a national housing report released Tuesday.

The region reached an index of 189.7 in March, on a baseline of 100 taken in January 2000 — a 7.7 percent jump in home prices over the past year, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices report. The national index hit 136.7, good for a 10.2 percent increase from 2012.

The metropolitan areas experiencing the fastest growth — Phoenix, San Francisco and Las Vegas — are all recovering from bottoming out during the foreclosure crisis, according to Craig Lazzara, senior director of S&P Dow Jones Indices.

Comment by joe sees your PPQ and counters that its immaterial to your unpopulated joint venture
2013-05-29 06:57:07

I regularly see houses that I think are overprised by 25% or more sell in just a month or two. In my neighborhood, when I see this I make a mental note of it because I figure there’s a good chance they come back on the market as dirt-cheap foreclosures after this shenanigans ends. Last crash I wasn’t ready (too young, fresh out of school), this time I will be sitting with cash in hand, I’m determined about this.

The houses I’m talking about are houses that should sell for 100k tops but are selling for tens of thousands more.

The high-end markets are completely untethered from reality. I’d never touch anything that expensive (too lumpy of an asset, too few potential buyers/renters) but it’s insane to see people pay 500k+ for condos, which hapens on the reg here.

Comment by sfhomowner
2013-05-29 09:42:37

I regularly see houses that I think are overprised by 25% or more sell in just a month or two.

Here, they sell in less than a week.

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Comment by cactus
2013-05-29 11:19:05

I regularly see houses that I think are overprised by 25% or more sell in just a month or two.

Here, they sell in less than a week.”

same here 93021

Comment by mikeinbend
2013-05-29 17:27:08

how about 93010 or 93066?
(Camarillo and Somis)

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-05-29 04:02:42

D.C. home values tripled in two decades
Thursday - 5/23/2013, 2:15pm ET
By Jeff Clabaugh

When stacked against states, no state comes close to long-term appreciation of home values in the District, where prices have nearly tripled in the last 22 years.

Data from the Federal Housing Finance Agency says median home prices in D.C. are up 293.4 percent since 1991. That’s more than three times the national average.

Comment by joe sees your PPQ and counters that its immaterial to your unpopulated joint venture
2013-05-29 07:02:39

Sadly this sounds about right. In nicer areas, homes are up 400-500% from 1990 levels. Look at nice areas in Howard County MD for example.

Comment by sfhomowner
2013-05-29 09:44:18

median home prices in D.C. are up 293.4 percent since 1991

Anyone here believe they will go back to 1991 prices?

65% decline, meh.

Comment by oxide
2013-05-29 05:22:45

List prices are certainly going up like gangbusters. One house that I pass by on the way to work is now listed at at least 25% higher than it should be. Another house, which did a Pergraniteel update including a fourth illegal bedroom, is listed at 15% above what I would have paid for it. It had an offer that fell through. At least that’s what they say… zillow never showed it being under contract.

Inner burbs are infilling, especially along the heavily travelled retail roads near the Metro Stations. They are “making more land” by demolishing old schoolhouses and warehouses and weedy parking lots and building 12-14 floor Mixed Use condo/upscale shopping centers. These guys are capable of gentrifying entire neighborhoods with a single Whole Paycheck.

In the outerburbs, heavy equipment has returned from their hiatus to their circa 2007 unfinished developments. Semi-rural roads sport sales trailers with signs outside, “Huntmaster Crossing and Dogpoop Farms Luxury Townhomes from the high $400’s.” My favorite blueberry farm had been surrounded by rolling fields, but now that section of road is lined with close-packed McHouses. A square mile of exposed pale clay lies behind the McHouses. The topsoil mysteriously disappeared.

I don’t see where people are getting the money for this new construction. Aren’t the hedge funds and cash offers generally limited to low-end existing homes? There don’t seem to be the ninja loans for J6P either. The younger Millenials, now in their mid-20’s, are saddled with college debt payments larger than a mortgage. And the Federal Government isn’t hiring.

Comment by 2banana
2013-05-29 05:40:53

I don’t see where people are getting the money for this new construction

40 cents of every dollar the Federal government spends is borrowed money.

$1+ Trillion deficits for every year of the obama administration.

obama has borrowed more money that ALL the other presidents COMBINED (even accounting for inflation).

QE3 is now at $80 billion/month with no end date.

Shall I go on…?

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-05-29 06:26:02

$85 billion a month — but what’s another $5 billion ($60 bn / annum) between friends?

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Comment by oxide
2013-05-29 06:48:32

How much of this borrowed money is filtering down to the people who actually buy the houses? I guess you could say that $1.00 of revenue goes to SS and Medicare, but the borrowed 40¢ goes to contractors. That might explain the DC market.

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Comment by goon squad
2013-05-29 06:56:01

‘the borrowed 40¢ goes to contractors’

you got a problem with the invisible hand of the free market?

Comment by In Colorado
2013-05-29 08:58:02

but the borrowed 40¢ goes to contractors. That might explain the DC market.

Except this year they will borrow 20 cents for every dollar spent, at least according to the GAO.

Still, they are spending a great deal of money on beltway contractors. “Defense” doesn’t come cheap, you know.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-05-29 06:25:00

“One house that I pass by on the way to work is now listed at at least 25% higher than it should be.”

If they can just hang on to that listing through the summer of 2014, they can get 25% higher than market value or more!

Comment by joe sees your PPQ and counters that its immaterial to your unpopulated joint venture
2013-05-29 07:08:13

“illegal fourth bedroom”

People don’t even bat an eyelash at this. The cities/counties don’t enforce the rules. This is a sure sign of a poorly functioning housing market and zoning/code enforcement. I see these illegal bedrooms frequently, oftentimes these houses are where you see a dozen immigrants living. Or where home “owners” rent out a room to help pay the mortgage.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-05-29 07:12:46

“One house that I pass by on the way to work is now listed at at least 25% higher than it should be.”

And the anecdote is based on what?

Comment by Mr. Smithers
2013-05-29 06:38:32

“Are home prices going up like gangbusters in your neck of the woods?”

Well since everyone here takes what Zillow says as gospel. According to Zillow, my zip code is up 8% since this time last year. I don’t know if I’d call that gangbusters, but I’ll take it.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-05-29 07:02:51

“Well since everyone here takes what Zillow says as gospel.”

Straw man troll alert

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-05-29 07:14:47

But EddieTard is still underwater and sinking.

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Comment by Bluestar
2013-05-29 08:20:14

I just got back from protesting a tax appraisal where they tried to jack up my taxes by 10%. At the hearing I was able to get them to roll it back to the previous years value by showing pictures and recent sales prices that showed their valuations were too high. But I was the only one of 5 other property owners that got a cut at that hearing. Every one of them had their valuations increased by 10% or more. Last year less than .03% of property owners filed protests so I am clearly in the minority. When you check out the comparable properties on Zillow the city appraisals are actually higher on many of the homes. As long as the county tax appraiser can revalue homes without push back from the citizens you will not see housing prices decline.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-05-29 08:26:47



Prices continue declining in the northeast as taxes rise in the meantime.

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Comment by joe sees your PPQ and counters that its immaterial to your unpopulated joint venture
2013-05-29 08:55:08

I need to remove all my house’s information from zillow now that you mention this.

I updated the info a few months back because I wanted to see what my house was “worth” in this ridiculous bubble and people here said a property assessor would never use the information.

Not worth the risk. I’m knocking the sq ftage, # of BR/BA, and size of the garage back down to the previous numbers.

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Comment by sfhomowner
2013-05-29 09:46:10

I need to remove all my house’s information from zillow now that you mention this.

How do you do this?

Comment by joe sees your PPQ and counters that its immaterial to your unpopulated joint venture
2013-05-29 10:16:33

You can claim the house on zillow (there’s a process, it’s very easy) and then update the data.

I’m going to knock mine back to whatever the assessor’s think the sq ftage is (which is quite a bit less than the actual sq ftage bc my house had an un-finished 2nd floor when it was originally built). And remove the fact that it’s a 2 car garage (garage doors aren’t visible from the street since garage is detached and behind the house). And remove that the basement is finished.

Also knock off a BR and a BA.

In the meantime, it’s been interesting to see what Zillow thinks the house is “worth”.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-05-29 10:36:31

Not much.

Comment by ecofeco
2013-05-29 07:52:16

“Are home prices going up like gangbusters in your neck of the woods?”

I have no idea. I can’t afford one at any price. (seriously) So needless to say, I don’t even bother to check these days.

Comment by eastcoaster
2013-05-29 09:47:00

Pretty much flat in my area…for 3 years now. Little upticks (or downticks) here and there, but essentially, it’s the same market as when I bought in 2010.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-05-29 03:58:16

May 28, 2013, 11:23 AM
Real Estate News: Flippers Ride Housing Wave–Again
By WSJ Staff

Here is a look at real-estate news from the long weekend and today in the WSJ:

Flippers Ride Housing Wave: Rising home prices have fueled the return of a practice that some blamed for inflating the bubble: house flipping.

In California, Homes Bought and Resold Quickly Reach Highest Levels Since 2005

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-05-29 04:04:13

How can anyone possibly feel gloomy at this point, with U.S. home prices and consumer confidence climbing ever higher by the minute?

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-05-29 04:09:27

If QE3 withdrawal would cause disruptive spikes in bond yields, then why even bother discussing it? Why not instead just keep the QE3 punchbowl spiked forever?

Or is that the real plan, and any discussion of QE3 withdrawal just a head fake to reduce the tendency of speculators to reflate the bubble to such ginormous size that it collapses of its own weight?

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-05-29 04:11:06

Dang gloomsters! Why can’t they give poor Mr Market a break for a change?

New York Markets Open in: 2:25:04
Futures: S&P 500 -0.6% DOW -0.5% NASDAQ -0.5%
Risk of bond spikes in QE pullout, warns OECD
Futures fall on Fed worries, OECD gloom | IMF cuts China forecast

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-05-29 04:14:22

At what point do elephants become too large to hide them under the living room rug any longer?

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-05-29 04:16:27

ft dot com
Last updated: May 28, 2013 5:39 pm
US housing lift could crimp Fed buying
By Robin Harding in Washington and Anjli Raval, Tracy Alloway and Michael Mackenzie in New York

The largest rise in house prices for seven years and a surge in consumer confidence have added to a fast-improving US economic outlook, increasing the chances the Federal Reserve will slow its $85bn-a-month in asset purchases.

House prices jumped 10.9 per cent in March from last year’s levels, the biggest increase since the height of the housing boom in 2006, according to the S&P/Case-Shiller index. The rise in prices for homes and other assets helped push the Conference Board’s index of consumer confidence to its strongest level for five years.

The data add to growing evidence that the Fed’s ultra-low interest rates are helping the world’s largest economy through a soft patch caused by tighter fiscal policy and setting the stage for strong growth in 2014.

Stocks rose sharply on Tuesday, with the S&P 500 climbing as much as 1.5 per cent before trimming gains to close up 0.6 per cent, while 10-year Treasury yields closed at 2.17 per cent, the highest since April 2012.

The Fed is likely to welcome that combination of rising stocks and bond yields as a sign markets are optimistic about growth and will tolerate a slowdown in the pace of asset purchases under its third round of quantitative easing.

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Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-05-29 04:24:49

May 29, 2013, 7:17 a.m. EDT
U.S. mortgage applications down 9% last week: MBA

By Nathalie Tadena

The total number of mortgage applications filed in the U.S. last week fell 9% from the prior week as refinance applications fell for a third consecutive week and interest rates jumped to their highest level in a year, the Mortgage Bankers Association said Wednesday.

The market composite index was down 8.8% on a seasonally adjusted basis for the week ended May 24 from the previous week, according to the weekly survey covering more than three-quarters of all U.S. residential-mortgage applications.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-05-29 04:19:14

Tuesday, May 28, 2013 09:15 PM PST
Economic gains lift US confidence to a 5-year high
By Christopher S. Rugaber and Martin Crutsinger

WASHINGTON (AP) — Home prices are surging. Job growth is strengthening. And stocks are setting record highs.

All of which explains why Americans are more hopeful about the economy than at any other point in five years.

Consider Michael Quintos, head of a Chicago advertising agency that helps small businesses market themselves through social media. Quintos sees more optimism at work and among friends and relatives.

“A year ago, I had more friends asking me if I knew anybody who was hiring,” he says. “Now I have more people who are hiring asking me if I know anyone looking for a job.”

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-05-29 04:22:59

Da bears…

ft dot com
Global Market Overview
Last updated: May 29, 2013 10:41 am
US Treasury yields hit fresh highs
By Jamie Chisholm, Global Markets Commentator

Wednesday 10:30 BST. US benchmark bonds are sporting their highest yield in more than a year as recent strong data raise hopes that the US economic recovery is gathering pace.

Global equities are mainly soft, however, as the rise in implied borrowing costs signals to some that the days of Federal Reserve largesse – deemed an important support of stock market valuations by many – may soon be coming to an end.

The FTSE All-World index is down 0.2 per cent after the Asia-Pacific region excluding Japan fell 0.6 per cent and as the FTSE Eurofirst 300 sees a 1.1 per cent decline.

The dip for Europe is partly the result of Wall Street’s S&P 500 finishing Tuesday’s session well off its highs and also caused by the sight of US index futures suggesting the New York gauge, which last week hit an intraday record of 1,687, will later ease another 10 points to 1,650.

It appears stocks are beholden to the action in the sovereign fixed-income market – particularly US and Japan government bonds (JGBs).

Washington’s 10-year yield is up 2 basis points to 2.19 per cent, having earlier hit 2.23 per cent, its highest since March 2012. The latest leg-up in yields comes after an index of US consumer sentiment in May jumped to a five-year high while home prices made their biggest gain for seven years in March.

Investors have two ways of looking at rising bond yields relative to other assets. Bulls will argue that falling bond prices (and therefore rising yields) are evidence of the “great rotation” out of fixed income into stocks, a trend that can continue for a long time and extend the equity rally.

Bears will contend that higher bond yields make Treasuries more attractive compared with equities, especially as the dividend payout on the US stock market is now a dozen or so basis points below what is available from Washington’s IOUs.

It seems the bears’ narrative may be carrying greater heft in the current session.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-05-29 04:26:59

May 28, 2013, 1:33 p.m. EDT
Prepare for another round of wealth destruction
By Thomas H. Kee Jr.

I have been advising clients and prospective clients to engage in proactive strategies that can work in both directions since I developed Stock Traders Daily in January 2000. At the time, I had moved from Morgan Stanley and created my business with the opinion that buy-and-hold strategies were far less productive; at least they would be, than proactive strategies going forward. I believe we are now in another period where this thinking is especially true, and I have been pounding the table trying to convince people of this.

What I am not doing is telling people to adopt my strategies, although I think many would benefit, but what I am telling them is that we are in a bubble, and all bubbles end badly. You are far better off in cash than you are invested. I would sell everything, that includes excess real estate, and I would get liquid and nimble immediately. My recent cautious comments on Google (GOOG +0.91%) that suggested investors look to sell and maybe even short prove that I believe even the best companies can see their stock prices fall.

According to my longer-term macroeconomic analysis, called the Investment Rate, we are in a naturally weak economic environment that has direct correlations to the Great Depression and stagflation. The trillions of dollars of infusion offered by stimulus programs and bailouts saved the economy from what would have been a Greater Depression. It is those infusions that have influenced assets higher, it is those that has made some people feel sanguine, but that is exactly the opposite of what they should feel.

Comment by goon squad
2013-05-29 04:42:11

stocks and homes will take you to the glory land

Comment by azdude
2013-05-29 05:44:59

maybe the FED should spin off another agency that can print money and buy govt debt to grow the economy?

Comment by goon squad
Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-05-29 06:28:01

Or the other agency could buy all the bad assets off the Fed’s balance sheet. They could call it the TASSIV (Toxic Asset Superfund Special Investment Vehicle).

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Comment by ibbots
2013-05-29 05:52:08

Is the newy discovered MERS-CoV virus the black swan, or another case of CNN crying wolf?

Comment by ecofeco
2013-05-29 07:56:33

It’s a reminder we are overdue for the next epidemic of at least 1918 Spanish flu proportions.

WAY overdue.

And for people to use little more personal hygiene. Like washing your damn hands!

Comment by jose canusi
2013-05-29 08:44:11

Amen. But first things first: wipe your dang bottom, please. AND THEN wash your hands. I’m firmly convinced there is less hand washing because there’s less bottom wiping, as evidenced by the CDC report on fecal matter in public pools.

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Comment by ecofeco
2013-05-29 09:16:13

Saw that.

Because the human race can be such nasty pigs, I am still trying to determine which will come first: WW3, the plague or death by ecosystem collapse.

Maybe all three at more or less once. The Spanish flu was the real cause for the end of WW1.

Comment by goon squad
2013-05-29 09:45:02

The reason there is so much poop in the swimming pools is because of Obama voters like this dude:

Comment by stewie
2013-05-29 12:17:59

Maybe, maybe not. Germ theory of diesease didn’t really get off the ground until Pasteur came around in the late 1800’s. In 1918, it was still in its infancy. Modern microbiology and virology only really took off after WWII. The world is a VERY different place today. Could some new superbug come around that thwarts all our antibiotics and vaccines and treatments? Sure, anything’s possible, but for now, I still think humans have the upper hand.

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Comment by polly
2013-05-29 15:45:14

In our new(ish) office building, the faucets are automatic - you put your hands at the right level and the water comes out. But the water is barely tepid and the spray is very, very gentle. The soap dispensers are barely adequate, also automatic, and often broken.

Exactly how we are supposed to wash our hands properly with this set up is beyond me.

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Comment by ecofeco
2013-05-29 07:53:59

How? Because wages aren’t rising?

Comment by 2banana
2013-05-29 05:07:25

Because government run things the best.

And makes all things affordable. For the children.


Mortgage Applications Decline 8.8%, US Homeowership Lower Than Most European Countries
Confounded Interest | 05/29/2013 | Anthony B. Sanders

According to the Mortgage Bankers Association (MBA), mortgage applications fell again last week. The applications fell 8.8%.

Mortgage refinancing applications fell by a whopping 12.30% while mortgage purchase applications rose by 2.58%. Here is the Bankrate 30 year fixed-rate average (yellow) and refinance applications (white) since May 2nd.

But here is a longer term view of mortgage purchase applications. Back to 1997 when the housing bubble started to form.

On a related issue, homeownership rates in the US fell to 65% from a peak of 69.2% during Q4 2004.

A 65% homeownership rate leaves the US below most of Europe except for France, Austria and Germany. And the US is barely above France although the US is the only country in the world with government sponsored enterprises (GSEs) like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Comment by 2banana
2013-05-29 05:11:12

Bottom Line: To get the money to buy the votes of the Free Sh*t Army you need an organization like the IRS.


Americans Deserve the IRS | May 29, 2013 | Walter E. Williams

Since the 1791 ratification of our Constitution, until well into the 1920s, federal spending as a percentage of gross domestic product never exceeded 5 percent, except during war. Today federal spending is 25 percent of our GDP. State and local government spending is about 15 percent of the GDP. That means government spends more than 40 cents of each dollar we earn. If we add government’s regulatory burden, which is simply a disguised form of taxation, the government take is more than 50 percent of what we produce.

In order to squeeze out of us half of what we produce, a government tax collection agency must be ruthless and able to put the fear of God into its citizens. The IRS has mastered that task. Congress has given it powers that would be deemed criminal if used by others. For example, the Constitution’s Fifth Amendment protects Americans against self-incrimination and being forced to bear witness against oneself. That’s precisely what one does when he is compelled to sign his income tax form. However, a Fifth Amendment argument can’t be used as a defense in a court of law. The IRS will counter that you voluntarily provided the information on your tax return.

If you’re in debt to Bank of America, Wells Fargo or any other private creditor, in order for it to garnish your wages as a means of collecting debt, it must first get a court order. By contrast, the IRS can garnish your wages without having to get a court order first. If your employer doesn’t obey the IRS and send it a portion of your wages, he will be held accountable for what you owe. At the minimum, some IRS collection procedures violate one of the basic tenets of the rule of law — namely, the law of the land applies equally to individuals (and other private entities) and the government (and its officials and agents).

If federal spending were only 5 percent of our GDP ($750 billion) — instead of 25 percent ($3.8 trillion) — there would be no need for today’s oppressive and complicated tax system. You might ask, “How could we be a great nation without all the government spending?” When our Constitution was ratified in 1791, we were a weak and poor nation. One hundred forty years later, with federal spending a mere pittance of what it is today, we became the world’s richest and most powerful nation. No small part of this miracle was limited and unintrusive government.

The bottom line is that members of Congress need such a ruthless tax collection agency as the IRS because of the charge we Americans have given them. We want what the IRS does — namely, to take the earnings of one American so Congress can create a benefit for some other American. Don’t get angry with IRS agents. They are just following orders.

Comment by oxide
2013-05-29 06:07:27

namely, the law of the land applies equally to individuals (and other private entities) and the government (and its officials and agents).

Where is the reference which says this statement is valid?

Comment by 2banana
2013-05-29 06:15:52

Just a guess:

Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution

Section 1. All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.

Comment by oxide
2013-05-29 06:55:28

I dunno, it looks like the 14th says that laws apply equally to all citizens compared to each other. That doesn’t answer my question, because I’m looking for the provision where citizens are equal to the government. Could you find me the passage where I, as a Citizen, am allowed to vote (unanimously) in favor of waging my own war, just like Congress can?

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Comment by tresho
2013-05-29 07:17:42

Could you find me the passage where I, as a Citizen, am allowed to vote (unanimously) in favor of waging my own war
Everyone has the implied right to die after being riddled by police &/or military ordnance, silly.

Comment by MightyMike
2013-05-29 09:32:04

I would think that it would be the due process part of the 14th amendment. Something must be missing from this story. If this Walter E. Williams is telling the truth, you would think that there would be a court case somewhere when somebody tried to challenge the IRS ability to garnish without due process.

Comment by ecofeco
2013-05-29 08:00:05

I’ve never had a problem with the IRS. But then again, I’m not trying to hide large sums of money.

Comment by homie don't play houses
2013-05-29 08:27:56

I pulled a Geithner in 2010 but got caught. I didn’t report some stock sales (~$200 gains) mainly due to laziness (didn’t have all the information handy when I filed online) and out of curiosity. It took IRS 10 months to send a letter asking me to correct my filing with correct information.

Comment by polly
2013-05-29 16:00:23

I got audited one year by letter on a single issue. I didn’t even know it was an audit until I later took a class about administrative procedure and the professor told us about them.

The letter said I owed $X for year A (year A was about two years ago at the time). I looked up my records and figured out that they thought a certain amount of income was in year A when it had really been in year A-1. So I called up the financial institution, got them to resend the papers that showed I didn’t have any of that sort of income in year A. Copied it and sent it in with a brief explanation that the income they thought I had in year A was really from year A-1 and that I had paid the taxes in year A-1.

Six weeks later I got a big check (that year’s tax refund had been held back while they thought I owed them money) and a letter saying the matter was closed. Total time expended was about 5 hours because it took a while to get to talk to a person at my bank who could send me the information I needed, and because my records weren’t in the greatest shape.

Now, if I had decided to ignore the first letter, I would have been in big trouble. Not using TurboTax or H&R Block or anyone else to do my taxes helped a lot. I knew what I had done, so I was able to identify the likely source of confusion easily. I expect it would be harder for a lot of people.

Comment by Happy2bHeard
2013-05-29 19:55:09

“However, a Fifth Amendment argument can’t be used as a defense in a court of law. The IRS will counter that you voluntarily provided the information on your tax return.”

I think this statement is based on a couple of court cases. You are required to report the income, but you do not have to state its source.

per Wikipedia:

Federal income tax [edit]

In some cases, individuals may be legally required to file reports that call for information that may be used against them in criminal cases. In United States v. Sullivan,[54] the United States Supreme Court ruled that a taxpayer could not invoke the Fifth Amendment’s protections as the basis for refusing to file a required federal income tax return. The Court stated: “If the form of return provided called for answers that the defendant was privileged from making[,] he could have raised the objection in the return, but could not on that account refuse to make any return at all. We are not called on to decide what, if anything, he might have withheld.”[55]

In Garner v. United States,[56] the defendant was convicted of crimes involving a conspiracy to “fix” sporting contests and to transmit illegal bets. During the trial the prosecutor introduced, as evidence, the taxpayer’s federal income tax returns for various years. In one return the taxpayer had showed his occupation to be “professional gambler.” In various returns the taxpayer had reported income from “gambling” or “wagering.” The prosecution used this to help contradict the taxpayer’s argument that his involvement was innocent. The taxpayer tried unsuccessfully to keep the prosecutor from introducing the tax returns as evidence, arguing that since the taxpayer was legally required to report the illegal income on the returns, he was being compelled to be a witness against himself. The Supreme Court agreed that he was legally required to report the illegal income on the returns, but ruled that the privilege against self-incrimination still did not apply. The Court stated that “if a witness under compulsion to testify makes disclosures instead of claiming the privilege, the Government has not ‘compelled’ him to incriminate himself.”[57]

Sullivan and Garner are viewed as standing, in tandem, for the proposition that on a required federal income tax return a taxpayer would probably have to report the amount of the illegal income, but might validly claim the privilege by labeling the item “Fifth Amendment” (instead of “illegal gambling income,” “illegal drug sales,” etc.)[58] The United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit has stated: “Although the source of income might be privileged, the amount must be reported.”[59] The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit has stated: “. … the amount of a taxpayer’s income is not privileged even though the source of income may be, and Fifth Amendment rights can be exercised in compliance with the tax laws “by simply listing his alleged ill-gotten gains in the space provided for ‘miscellaneous’ income on his tax form.”[60] In another case, the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit stated: “While the source of some of [the defendant] Johnson’s income may have been privileged, assuming that the jury believed his uncorroborated testimony that he had illegal dealings in gold in 1970 and 1971, the amount of his income was not privileged and he was required to pay taxes on it.”[61] In 1979, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit stated: “A careful reading of Sullivan and Garner, therefore, is that the self-incrimination privilege can be employed to protect the taxpayer from revealing the information as to an illegal source of income, but does not protect him from disclosing the amount of his income.”[62]

Record keeping [edit]

A statutorily required record-keeping system may go too far such that it implicates a record-keeper’s right against self-incrimination. A three part test laid out by Albertson v. Subversive Activities Control Board,[64] is used to determine this: 1. the law targets a highly selective group inherently suspect of criminal activities; 2. the activities sought to be regulated are already permeated with criminal statutes as opposed to essentially being non-criminal and largely regulatory; and 3. the disclosure compelled creates a likelihood of prosecution and is used against the record-keeper. In this case, the Supreme Court struck down an order by the Subversive Activities Control Board requiring members of the Communist Party to register with the government and upheld an assertion of the privilege against self-incrimination, on the grounds that statute under which the order had been issued was “directed at a highly selective group inherently suspect of criminal activities.”

In Leary v. United States,[65] the court struck down the Marijuana Tax Act because its record keeping statute required self-incrimination.

In Haynes v. United States,[66] the Supreme Court ruled that, because convicted felons are prohibited from owning firearms, requiring felons to register any firearms they owned constituted a form of self-incrimination and was therefore unconstitutional.

Comment by Happy2bHeard
2013-05-29 20:20:05

“When our Constitution was ratified in 1791, we were a weak and poor nation. One hundred forty years later, with federal spending a mere pittance of what it is today, we became the world’s richest and most powerful nation. No small part of this miracle was limited and unintrusive government.”

In 1790, we had 16 states and 3.9 million people. By 1860, the population was about 31 million in 31 states. By 1930, we were 123 million people in 48 states.* The growth of the government was driven as much by population growth as by any other factor.

The miracle was driven more by vast natural resources than by unintrusive government. Unified government may have contributed more to the US emergence as a world power than unintrusive government. If the South had won the Civil War, the current United States might well be 3 or more nations instead of one. We could have spent the last century embroiled in wars on our territory like the continent of Europe. In any case, 3 nations would not have the political or economic clout that one unified country does.

* Population figures are based on the US Census and obtained from Wikipedia.

Comment by 2banana
2013-05-29 05:17:28

From the NYT???

Maybe there is some hope for the MSM. But only when their goose is about to get cooked.


Only Nixon Harmed a Free Press More
New York Times - James C. Goodale - May 29, 2013

The search warrant filed to investigate the Fox News reporter James Rosen proved as many had suspected: President Obama wants to make it a crime for a reporter to talk to a leaker. It is a further example of how President Obama will surely pass President Richard Nixon as the worst president ever on issues of national security and press freedom.

The government’s subpoena of The Associated Press’s phone records was bad enough. But the disclosure of the search warrant in the Rosen case shows President Obama has delved into territory never before reached by previous presidents.

The Justice Department obtained Rosen’s e-mail by using a search warrant in which it alleged that Rosen was a co-conspirator with a government adviser named Stephen Kim.

Until President Obama came into office, no one thought talking or e-mailing was not protected by the First Amendment.

Comment by Mr. Smithers
2013-05-29 06:42:14

“From the NYT???

Maybe there is some hope for the MSM. But only when their goose is about to get cooked.”

The MSM is in love with Obama. Like all love affairs, there are the occasional things your significant other does that upsets you. This is the case with the MSM and Obama right now. They’re not thrilled about what he did to the AP. But it’s just a little spat. By July, Obama will buy the MSM some flowers and chocolates and all will be forgotten by 2014 when it will be back to “EVIL RIGHT WING GOP WANTS TO KILL GRANDMA AND PUPPIES AND KITTENS” stories around the clock.

Comment by ecofeco
2013-05-29 08:01:36

I hate to point this out, but this process was made LEGAL by the GOP controlled gov during Bush.

Nah, not really. I LOVE to point this out!

Comment by tresho
2013-05-29 05:39:49

Former Michigan Supreme Court Justice sentenced to prison for bank fraud
Ann Arbor — Former Michigan Supreme Court Justice Diane Hathaway called herself a broken person and delivered a tearful apology Tuesday for committing bank fraud but a federal judge still sent her to prison for 12 months and one day.

The sentence caps the biggest scandal to rock the state’s highest court in decades, a scandal that forced Hathaway to resign, surrender her law license and plead guilty in January.

The sentence did not satisfy Dan Pero, a Republican political consultant and president of the American Justice Partnership, a conservative group that aired radio ads against Hathaway last year questioning her house deals.

“She was a bad person who did a bad thing,” Pero said. “She got what she deserved but didn’t get enough.”

Pero faulted Hathaway for misleading her colleagues on the Supreme Court and the public.

“She stood in front of everybody and said she was innocent,” Pero said. “She never once apologized.”

He also said it is wrong that Hathaway gets to keep her public pension and an expensive vacation home in Florida.

“She is going to prison and that is a good thing,” Pero said. “It shows she is not above the law.”

Former Supreme Court Chief Justice Cliff Taylor, who lost to Hathaway in 2008, called the prison sentence a “mild penalty.”

Taylor questioned whether an average person would have received a similar sentence.

“I think people will wonder if this is the same kind of sentence a kid from the hood would have got,” Taylor said. “A year is a long time, of course, but it is important to send a message to powerful people who have powerful responsibilities that they cannot abuse them. Most people who rob banks get more than this.”

Taylor DID get more - the pension and the expensive Florida home.

Comment by tresho
2013-05-29 06:51:58

Meanwhile Jon Corzine has not been indicted. Talk is that Jeff Skilling, of Enron infamy, will be let out of prison early, and why is unknown.

Comment by ecofeco
2013-05-29 08:04:11

You left out the important part of this article: she was a licensed RE agent.

And hell no the sentence was equitable compared to some kid from hood.

Comment by ecofeco
2013-05-29 08:28:07

wasn’t equitable…

Comment by localandlord
2013-05-29 05:42:26

Interesting article from the Grenwich times at the bottom of yesterday’s bits bucket. “modestly priced homes” from 764-899K.

Insane prices, if you get my drift. This is HA’s home turf. At that rate I expect you can rent for half the price of owning, even if prices crater by 65%.

“In other words, homeownership is becoming a little less attainable for the everyman and everywoman. The census says there are four primary reasons for this: High debt; Insufficient cash for a down payment; Poor credit history; or Interest rates that set the monthly mortgage payment too high for the family to afford on its current income.”

You forgot a reason Mr Census bureau - the price is way too high. Like 10 X too high.

Comment by azdude
2013-05-29 05:46:29

Buy a house today and get free rent for 5 years tomorrow?

Comment by In Colorado
2013-05-29 09:02:03

YMMV. Don’t try that in the Centennial State. I know of a few people here who were evicted less than a year after defaulting.

Comment by oxide
2013-05-29 06:10:05

Interest rates that set the monthly mortgage payment too high??? :roll:
azdude is right. It’s the principle of the thing.

Comment by joe sees your PPQ and counters that its immaterial to your unpopulated joint venture
2013-05-29 08:57:25

Those prices are very modest for Greenwich, CT. An expensive house there is several million dollars.

Comment by goon squad
2013-05-29 05:49:22

The next president of the United States, our only hope to beat Hillary:

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-05-29 06:30:26

What about Sarah Palin?

Comment by goon squad
Comment by Carl Morris
2013-05-29 08:28:17

Just in time for the new superman movie.

There are a lot of people who don’t have a problem with her. They seem to be a minority, though.

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Comment by rms
2013-05-29 23:25:00

“What about Sarah Palin?”

Gotta love that red telephone — kaboom!

Comment by joe sees your PPQ and counters that its immaterial to your unpopulated joint venture
2013-05-29 08:59:56

“Her announcement comes as the Office of Congressional Ethics looks into claims by Mrs. Bachmann’s former campaign aides that she might have improperly used money raised by one of her House-affiliated political action committees to help her presidential bid in the run-up to the Iowa presidential caucuses in January 2012. She came in sixth in that race, even though she campaigned heavily in the state. The defeat led her to pull out of the race the next day.

Though her presidential bid initially excited Tea Party supporters, Mrs. Bachmann would later find herself upstaged by conservative opponents like Mr. Cain and Mr. Santorum, and she was prone to misstatements, including saying the vaccine against the human papillomavirus was linked to “mental retardation.” “

Comment by In Colorado
2013-05-29 09:07:01

It will be interesting to see who the GOP fields in 2016. It will probably be either another really rich guy or a wild eyed tea billy. If so, they will go down in flames, again.

Comment by joe sees your PPQ and counters that its immaterial to your unpopulated joint venture
2013-05-29 09:23:49

In flames in the general election, but they will probably take out someone like Chris Christie (viable candidate, competent public servant) in the primaries.

Think about this for a second: The type of people who vote in the GOP primary would almost certain pick Rick Santorum or Michelle Bachman over Chris Christie. LULZ.

Comment by In Colorado
2013-05-29 11:32:20

Think about this for a second: The type of people who vote in the GOP primary would almost certain pick Rick Santorum or Michelle Bachman over Chris Christie. LULZ.

Or another RMoney type. But yeah, someone like Christie has a snowball’s chance in hell of being nominated.

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Comment by homie don't play houses
2013-05-29 11:54:56

Christie is RMoney….without the money of course.

Everybody cries out that we don’t have real choices in elections. What’s the difference between Christie and a Democrta? Not that much honestly. At least on the rhetoric teabillies are different.

Comment by joe sees your PPQ and counters that its immaterial to your unpopulated joint venture
2013-05-29 12:07:30

Christie is not like a democrat, he’s fought hard to cut spending in NJ without doing much (if anything) in the way of tax increases.

He also has a long background in actually practicing law/prosecuting crime.

Christie isn’t like Romney at all - Romney was staunchly pro-choice and against gay marriage, for example. Romney is for all sorts of advantages for business and loopholes for the super-wealthy. Again, not Christie.

I also doubt Christie would advocate for a bigger military or more aggressive foreign policy (read: more wars) like Romney.

Your comment was #fail.

Comment by joe sees your PPQ and counters that its immaterial to your unpopulated joint venture
2013-05-29 12:33:54

I mean Romney was anti-choice not pro-choice (obviously).

Romney also doesn’t believe in science, climate change, or lots of other things. LULZ.

Comment by homie don't play houses
2013-05-29 12:37:25

Your comment was #fail.

Your whole life is #fail. All you offer is propoganda while claming to be despise it.

Christie will lie & cheat just like any other politician. You know I am right at the core. All you offer is distinction without a difference.

Comment by Carl Morris
2013-05-29 14:03:03

But yeah, someone like Christie has a snowball’s chance in hell of being nominated.

The vibe I get is that he had as much chance as anybody until he started acting like he was from New Jersey instead of Texas.

Comment by MightyMike
2013-05-29 15:27:45

Romney also doesn’t believe in science, climate change, or lots of other things It’s quite possible that he actually believes in climate change. He just had to say that he didn’t believe in it to win the GOP nomination. That was one of his problems last year. The bigger issue was health care. When he was governor of Massachusetts, his health care legislation was one of his proudest achievements. Then he went out on the campaign trail and bashed Obamacare, which is essentially the same idea as Romneycare.

Comment by 2banana
2013-05-29 05:51:35

Q: What do you call a school district that spends $20,000 per student but has falling down school buildings and poor test results?

A: A public union goon hell hole that just needs more money to fix itself.

PS - And it is for the children!


District Spent $20K Per Student, Had Rodents In Schools, Holes In Ceiling and Walls
Michigan Capitol Confidential | 5/25/2013 | Audrey Spalding

Though the Highland Park School District spent $19,634 per pupil in 2010-11, which was the highest in the state, district schools were so mismanaged that they had rodents in the classrooms, holes in the ceilings and walls, and horrendous filth in the bathrooms.

“It was terrible,” said Delshon, a senior at HPCHS. “We had to worry if something was going to crawl on us; worry if the ceiling was going to fall in on us.

Though the Highland Park district was struggling financially and academically, it spent more money than every other district in the state. During the 2010-11 school year, Highland Park spent nearly $20,000 per student. And yet, the Highland Park schools are in utter disrepair.

Ultimately, the state gave Highland Park more than $8 million in extra funding so that it could pay its bills.

Prior to being charterized, some district officials were blaming state legislators for a lack of funding. The Michigan PTA President also called for more money. At the same time, the district was spending nearly $20,000 per student — well over a quarter of a million per classroom — while the district shed nearly half of its students

The previous teachers’ contract shows that the district paid 100 percent of health care premiums while granting special favors for the union, like handing over district financial information, setting up an automatic payroll deduction for dues, and allowed the local president to spend half of his or her time working exclusively on union business.

Comment by goon squad
2013-05-29 06:18:15

Obama Causes Welfare Chaos In Detroit:

Comment by Mr. Smithers
2013-05-29 06:46:34

Jesus banana, how many times do I have to tell you…without unions we’d no 40 hour work weeks and no weekends and 5 year old kids would be out working in the coal mines doing 12 hour shifts. How dare you question the awesomeness of unions? You must be a Koch Brother.

Comment by In Colorado
2013-05-29 11:37:42

Jesus banana, how many times do I have to tell you…

Laugh it up Smithers. Once upon a time private sector pensions weren’t all that rare. That Corporate America is steadily chipping away at the middle class and its standard of living is a fact. Less paid time off and severance pay (since they aren’t required by law), fewer employees getting health insurance and those who still do get pay more for crappier insurance, shrinking to non existent 401K matches, etc.

Comment by ecofeco
2013-05-29 08:06:09

“Q: What do you call a school district that spends $20,000 per student but has falling down school buildings and poor test results?”

The fault of the local voters.

Comment by 2banana
2013-05-29 10:01:08

You have no idea how public union goons act in a “closed shop” state - do you?

Comment by ecofeco
2013-05-29 10:24:40

Grandfather was a state rep of the Pipefitters Union.

Nope. No idea. No siree. None at all.

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Comment by 2banana
2013-05-29 10:56:08

Like I said:

You have no idea how PUBLIC union goons act in a “closed shop” state - do you?

Comment by In Colorado
2013-05-29 11:39:33

Colorado is a closed shop state and public employee wages are low.

Comment by ecofeco
2013-05-29 12:17:52

You just have no idea, period. :lol:

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-05-29 06:45:59

Guess what? The U.S. has had a mandatory savings policy since 1935.

It’s called Social Security.

Any questions?

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-05-29 06:46:59

BlackRock’s Fink: U.S. needs mandatory savings policy
May 29, 2013, 9:42 AM

BlackRock BLK -0.81% CEO Larry Fink thinks Americans are not saving enough for retirement. Fink said on CNBC Wednesday morning that the U.S. needs a mandatory savings policy to help Americans accumulate wealth for lengthening lifetimes that will require more retirement income. Fink took an impassioned tone on CNBC’s Squawk Box, saying retirement is a bigger issue than tax policy.

Fink also outlined a bullish stance on equities, and a cautious stance on bonds during his appearance. ”There’s no question in my mind that equities remain to be fairly cheap,” he said.

Comment by homie don't play houses
2013-05-29 06:52:23

I am sure he would like to manage this mandatory saving?

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-05-29 07:01:24

Exactimento, amigo…so long as we are going to have forced savings in America, why not give it to the private sector (Wall Street), as they are so much better at creating wealth than the government.

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Comment by tresho
2013-05-29 07:22:45

why not give it to the private sector (Wall Street)
since they’ll get it anyway, by hook or by crook.

Comment by In Colorado
2013-05-29 11:41:18

I am sure he would like to manage this mandatory saving?

Well, those huge investment firm wages and bonuses have to skimmed off from somewhere, right?

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Comment by Mr. Smithers
2013-05-29 06:48:47

Just one question…since you claims SS is a savings policy, where do I find out my SS balance? If I’ve been saving money all these years, via SS, surely there is a savings account somewhere with my name on it and a balance. Funny thing is, I can’t seem to locate the account number or the balance in my account. Can you help me out?

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-05-29 06:57:21

“Just one question…since you claims SS is a savings policy, where do I find out my SS balance?”

If you don’t forget to apply, you will discover checks show up in your mailbox on a regular basis after you retire.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-05-29 06:58:35

P.S. I assume you realize life annuities have a lump sum present value (= “balance”)? You can ask an insurance company what they would charge for your monthly life annuity if you want to know what your “balance” is.

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Comment by tresho
2013-05-29 07:21:46

you will discover checks show up in your mailbox on a regular basis after you retire.
Uh, no. The gov’t stopped sending out Social Security checks a few months ago, AFAICT. Benefits are either direct-deposit or go into a prepaid debit card.

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Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-05-29 06:59:55

“…account number…

Can you help me out?”

If you lost your Social Security card and cannot remember the number on it, I cannot help you out.

Comment by HBB_Rocks
2013-05-29 07:44:06

“Just one question…since you claims SS is a savings policy, where do I find out my SS balance?”

The Social Security Administration sends you a card occasionally telling the amount you will receive when you retire. Check your mailbox. It’s probably next to the ValPack.

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Comment by Happy2bHeard
2013-05-29 23:37:43

Perhaps Smithers has not paid in enough to qualify to receive SS. I think 40 quarters is the minimum.

Comment by oxide
2013-05-29 10:23:55

Before the bubble called it the road to riches and the before the HBB called it debt hamster shack monkey slavery etc, buying a house used to be considered as a forced savings account too. Many a Grandma — including mine — lived for years in relative comfort in a paid off house and using SS for food and utilities.

Comment by non-conformist
2013-05-29 07:55:30

“So if we’re truly committed to strengthening our middle class and providing more ladders of opportunity to those who are willing to work hard to make it into the middle class, we’ve got to fix the system. We have to make sure that every business and every worker in America is playing by the same set of rules. We have to bring this shadow economy into the light so that everybody is held accountable — businesses for who they hire, and immigrants for getting on the right side of the law. That’s common sense. And that’s why we need comprehensive immigration reform.”

President Barack Obama, January 29, 2013

That shadow economy is already in the light and has been for years, it has engulfed a large swath in the center of Jupiter.

Jupiter man accused of stabbing woman, fiance after paying for sex

By Julius Whigham II
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Posted: 9:39 a.m. Wednesday, May 29, 2013

What began as an apparent meeting for sex ended with a 23-year-old Jupiter man’s arrest last weekend after he allegedly stabbed a woman and her fiance, town police said.

Horatio Marroquin was arrested Saturday on allegations of robbery, aggravated battery with a deadly weapon and solicitation. He remained in custody at the Palm Beach County Jail on Wednesday morning in lieu of $30,000 bond.

According to police, the incident began around 5 a.m. Saturday at a home in the 800 block of Philadelphia Drive. Police went to the house after initially responding to the emergency room at Jupiter Medical Center. There they learned that a 36-year-old man and 28-year-old woman had been stabbed, allegedly at Marroquin’s home.

The arrest report does not identify the stabbing victims.

Marroquin was taken into custody and questioned. His speech was somewhat slurred and he smelled of alcohol, the arresting officer noted in her report.

Marroquin told police the woman showed up unexpectedly at his home early Saturday asking if he wanted to pay for sex, the report said. Marroquin said he’d previously met the woman about six months ago while he was buying an item at a Circle K store. He alleged that, during that first encounter, the woman approached and asked if he wanted to do “business,” meaning exchange money for sex.

Marroquin said he agreed and took the woman to his house. Once inside, he gave the woman $40, but she ran away without engaging in any physical contact.

Marroquin said he did not chase her and decided to let the matter go, the report said.

On Saturday, the woman returned with the same offer, he told police. This time he refused, but eventually agreed when the woman reportedly called him later that morning.

According to the report, when the woman arrived, Marroquin told her to go to the back patio where he then gave her $24 in cash and $3 worth of coins.

While the two were getting undressed, another man, the woman’s fiance, allegedly came around a corner pointing a knife and demanding money.

Marroquin said he ran inside and grabbed a butcher knife and then went back to the patio to confront the other man. Angry that he had been robbed earlier, he was not going to let it happen again, he told officers.

According to the report, Marroquin grabbed the woman and placed his arm around her chest and neck. He threatened to cut her if he did not get his money. Marroquin said he did not recall stabbing the woman , but he did remember stabbing the other man at some point. He took away the other man’s knife and the woman gave him back the cash, the report said.

The wounded man suffered a significant stab wound to his upper left arm and had to be taken to St. Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach.The woman had a gash on her left cheek.

Her fiance told police the couple had gone to a gas station with another woman, then to Marroquin’s house after fixing a dead battery. He stayed in the car while his fiance went to the house, the report said.

The man said he got out minutes later after hearing yelling. He told investigators that he asked Marroquin to let his fiance go, but Marroquin reached down for something near a chair and rushed toward him. The man said he was unaware of his fiance’s alleged sex-for-money arrangement and has nothing to do with whatever deals she makes with other people.

While being questioned at the hospital, the wounded woman initially refused to cooperate. But she later told officers that Marroquin was on the one who contacted her asking for sex. She said that Marroquin then attacked her because he was was angry that she’d robbed him, the report said. - 83k -

Comment by ecofeco
2013-05-29 08:08:07

Crackheads are worthless.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-05-29 08:22:54

Yeah but they don’t depreciate like houses.

Comment by homie don't play houses
2013-05-29 08:00:44

tocks are tanking…..

How long before a Fed statement saying they will NOT taper…..

Comment by ecofeco
2013-05-29 08:21:16

tic tocks? :lol:

Comment by AbsoluteBeginner
2013-05-29 08:07:00

What is going on with FNMA?

Comment by rms
2013-05-29 23:40:59

“What is going on with FNMA?”

Other than cronyism, nepotism and taxpayer support?

Comment by joe sees your PPQ and counters that its immaterial to your unpopulated joint venture
2013-05-29 08:15:31

Remember when the GOP wasn’t run by teabillies?

Look back at the Dole/Kemp platform ^^^.

Comment by Carl Morris
2013-05-29 08:36:44

All I remember is that they got no traction against a guy that only slightly less than half the country was already starting to hate with a passion.

Comment by Neuromance
2013-05-29 08:50:44

The Democrats tell you what they’re going to do to your face, and then do it. On a whole host of issues: debt (doesn’t matter), deficits (don’t matter), immigration (de facto open borders), size-and-power of government (bigger is better), crime (hug-and-release).

The Republicans tell you the opposite of what the Democrats do, then do mostly what the Democrats do.

That is why they fail.

When Dick Armey (I think I mistakenly said it was Newt previously) was asked why the unprecedented discretionary government spending when Republicans controlled all branches of government, he replied, “To the victor go the spoils.”

I’m not cynical about politics. I’m just realistic. Understanding human nature is why the Founders put in place checks and balances.

Comment by ecofeco
2013-05-29 10:29:52

^ This.

Comment by 2banana
2013-05-29 10:03:55

Anyone remember JFK?

Largest tax cut in American history

NRA Life Member

Liked to kill commies.

Comment by joe sees your PPQ and counters that its immaterial to your unpopulated joint venture
2013-05-29 10:19:39

Yeah, Vietnam was awesome.

I’m not a JFK fan. RFK maybe. Eisenhower definitely.

The teabillies of today are basically every bit as subhuman as a section 8 receiving deadbeat dad who beats his babies’ moms.

Comment by ecofeco
2013-05-29 10:28:03

The guy that sent us to the moon?

Yeah, I remember him.

Comment by 2banana
2013-05-29 10:52:31

Compare/contrast to the food stamp president.

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Comment by ecofeco
2013-05-29 12:20:15

Compare/contrast to the corporate ho’s Congress.

Comment by Happy2bHeard
2013-05-29 23:45:56

JFK did not take office with an economy in free fall, 2 unfunded wars, and a gutted middle class. Gasoline was 20-30 CENTS per gallon for most of the 60s. Expensive energy did not arrive until the Arab oil embargo of 1973.

Completely different conditions.

Comment by rms
2013-05-30 00:08:05

“Expensive energy did not arrive until the Arab oil embargo of 1973.”

Expensive energy did not arrive until the Israel’s Yom Kippur war and the subsequent Arab oil embargo of 1973.

Comment by rms
2013-05-29 23:43:58

“Anyone remember JFK?”

I remember Jackie’s shopping trips.

Comment by non-conformist
2013-05-29 08:18:19

It Will Take The Fed Seven Years To Deliver 300 Tons Of German Gold

Submitted by Tyler Durden on 01/16/2013 18:16 -0400

What is news is that courtesy of the supplied calendar of events in the Buba statement, it will take the Fed some seven years to procure Germany’s 300 tons of gold. This is the same Fed that, in its own words, holds some “216 million troy ounces of gold” or some 6720 tons, in its vault 80 feet below ground level.

Putting the above in perspective, the amount of gold that Germany will have to wait 7 years for is shown in red. The amount of gold the Fed supposedly holds, is shown in yellow with a shade of tungsten. Why it will take the Fed 7 years to part with an amount of gold that is less than 5% of its total holdings is anyone’s guess…

unless of course, the bulk of the gold in the column on the right has been rehypothecated numerous times to serve as collateral for countless counterparties, and it is no longer clear just who own what to anyone. - 103k -

Comment by Carl Morris
2013-05-29 08:41:48

The amount of gold the Fed supposedly holds, is shown in yellow with a shade of tungsten.

That’s funny.

Comment by AmazingRuss
2013-05-29 14:00:53

If you keep it in the dark in a vault, I suppose it doesn’t matter what color it is.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-05-29 08:20:05

“If you bought a house 1998 to current, you’ve got rocks in your head.”

Comment by Neuromance
2013-05-29 08:38:27

Analysis: Housing price gains mask lingering market weaknesses
By Tim Reid
LOS ANGELES | Tue May 28, 2013 7:30pm EDT

(Reuters) - The recovery in the housing market is showing a pattern far different from what followed previous downturns, experts say, suggesting that the dramatic price gains of recent months may not be sustainable.

The surge in home prices, seen most recently in the Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller home price index released on Tuesday, is at least in part a function of record-low interest rates, extraordinarily low housing supply, and record-high volumes of investor money pouring into single family homes, analysts say.

Comment by azdude
2013-05-29 09:13:15

Buy a house today and get a bailout check tomorrow?

Comment by 2banana
2013-05-29 10:04:55

Only if you are a victim…


Comment by goon squad
2013-05-29 10:49:21
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Comment by joe sees your PPQ and counters that its immaterial to your unpopulated joint venture
2013-05-29 11:15:34

“American Exceptionalism” called out in The Atlantic:

“America: Where the Poor Work on Holidays”.

So proud. USA! USA!

Comment by sfhomowner
2013-05-29 11:30:22

Work to live, not the other way around.

Comment by ecofeco
2013-05-29 12:21:40

Commie talk!

Comment by cactus
2013-05-29 13:11:57

any opinions on Reno NV ?

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-05-29 13:24:18

The predictions given below are contingent on a group of conditions which may take decades to materialize.

Given that the thirty-year T-bond has already dropped by over seven percent in less than a month, based only on the anticipated end of QE3, he may be right about his prediction that bond yields will remain steady after QE3 is withdrawn.

By the time withdrawal is finally underway, bond yields will have fully corrected in anticipation. Likewise, the stock market will likely have already dropped significantly in anticipation.

Bulletin Dow ends down 106 points in worst day since May 1
Investor Alert

May 29, 2013, 6:00 a.m. EDT
4 ways the end of QE will surprise everyone
Commentary: End of central bank buying could benefit most markets
By Matthew Lynn

In truth, quantitative easing is an experiment. No one had tried it until the Japanese experiment started a decade ago. And certainly no one has ended it before. So we can’t have any real idea what precisely will happen. But here are four ways the end of QE will catch most investors out.

One, gold rises.

Two, banks rise in value.

Three, bond yields stay steady.

Four, equities rise.

Comment by non-conformist
2013-05-29 15:22:27

Now would this be considered multitasking?

Luis Briones, New Mexico Man, Drove Drunk While Having Sex

05/29/13 10:28 AM ET EDT

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — A New Mexico man faces multiple charges after police say he was having sex with a woman while driving drunk and crashed, ejecting the woman from the vehicle.

The Albuquerque Journal reports () 25-year-old Luis Briones was found with one shoe on and his shorts on inside-out Monday night after he wrecked his Ford Explorer in Albuquerque.

Police say Briones’ female passenger was found naked outside the SUV after being ejected. She had deep cuts to her face and head.

Authorities allege Briones tried to drive away after the crash and leave his passenger behind, but a witness grabbed his keys from the ignition. He also allegedly tried to hide from responding officers behind a cactus.

Briones is charged with aggravated DWI, reckless driving and evading police.

No attorney was listed for him.
Information from: Albuquerque Journal, -

Comment by tresho
2013-05-29 16:29:14

Now would this be considered multitasking?
Typical for New Mexico.

Comment by non-conformist
2013-05-29 15:34:24

Housing Bubble II: Euphoria And Other Shenanigans
Submitted by testosteronepit on 05/29/2013 12:31

Wolf Richter

The good old days are back. Those days during the last housing bubble when money grew on trees: home prices jumped 10.9% year over year, according to the S&P Case-Shiller 20-city Home Price Index, based on data through March 2013. On a monthly basis, the index rose 1.2%. Prices are now back to 2003 levels. The usual suspects: Phoenix soared 22.5% year over year, San Francisco 22.2%, Las Vegas 20.6%. You can’t lose money in real estate. I’m already hearing it again.

Flipping houses is back in vogue. People are jabbering about it on their cellphones while crossing streets without looking. Entire articles have been written about it, backed with reasonable-looking numbers, such as RealtyTrac’s “25 Markets Where Flipping Homes is Most Profitable.” The top three? Orlando, Las Vegas, and Phoenix. Visions of 2005!

The smart money is once again running national radio ads on how-to-flip-houses shenanigans. Pull out your credit card, call that 800-number, and get rich quick. On NPR, an “economist” said this morning that the housing market was “on fire.” That’s the sort of hard “data” that puts real gloss on NPR’s perspicacious coverage of the US economy. And everybody fingers the “tight” inventory – as hundreds of thousands of vacant and for-sale homes have evaporated, and as bidding wars are breaking out over what’s left. Or so it seems.

But vacant homes don’t evaporate. Private-equity funds have poured tens of billions into gobbling up vacant single-family homes in specific markets. And now some of them are planning IPOs as a way of dumping this stuff into funds that unsuspecting worker bees hold in their 401(k)s. It’s called an exit, and they have to do it before it blows up in their faces. Meanwhile, they’re hoping to rent out at least some of these vacant homes on their books, but vacancy rates of single-family homes are sky-high in these markets, with the stock of vacant homes having simply been moved from the for-sale list to the for-rent list where it languishes unnoticed by the gurus. That’s what free and unlimited money will do. I’ve hammered on this theme before…. Housing Bubble II: But This Time It’s Different.

Euphoria even shows up in the numbers. The Conference Board Consumer Confidence Index rose in May to 76.2 up from 69.0 in April, the highest level since February 2008. Not everyone was euphoric. Which was why the index hasn’t hit the stratosphere yet. But those among the respondents who benefitted from the Fed’s money-printing binge and the bubbles it engendered in corporate bonds, farmland, housing, the stock markets, even junk bonds… they felt flush; and just like in 2006 or 2007, when “Merger Monday” had become a day of the week, they felt wise for having made smart decisions. Forgotten were the fiscal cliff – whatever that had been – the payroll-tax hike, and the sequester. For the lucky ones, these inconveniences were drowned out by euphoria.

The Walmart crowd wasn’t so lucky, however, and if it hadn’t been for their presence, the index would have been soaring. So there were some hiccups: only 10.8% of the respondents thought that jobs were “plentiful”; while dismal, and a reminder of reality, it was up from an even more dismal 9.7% in April.

Everybody loves bubbles. People either don’t remember the wealth destruction and wealth transfers that took place when the last bubble blew up, or they think they, but not others, can get out in time, whether it’s through an IPO, a quick stock sale, or a real estate transaction. Governments love bubbles because they generate a flood of tax revenues – and even California is having illusions of a surplus. Central banks, and specifically the Fed, create bubbles and then deny their existence until afterwards when they bail out their cronies that hadn’t been able to get out in time – while others are left holding the bag. It’s an amazing show, with fireworks, suspense, dramatic plot twists, and a rousing score. And we get to watch it over and over again.

Since I write so much about financial fiascos, debacles, and nightmares, I’ve been asked about ways to protect assets in this environment. Thankfully, I don’t give financial advice. Even if I did, I wouldn’t have all the answers. But I just finished reading an excellent book on precisely that topic, so I decided to review it. Read…. Diplomatic Immunity For Your Assets In Interesting Times!

Comment by Resistor
2013-05-29 17:52:06

The housing talk is back at work.
Buy now
You’ll be priced out
You’re throwing money away
Bidding wars

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-05-29 21:45:54

Fly Bernanke’s helicopter and play other central bank games
May 29, 2013, 12:36 PM

Can you manage the Federal Reserve better than Ben Bernanke? The Wall Street Journal on Wednesday unveiled the “Federator,” a video game in which you can maneuver Bernanke’s helicopter to maximize employment while minimizing inflation.

Our WSJ colleagues may be surprised to learn — the Federator is not the only central bank-related video game out there. The European Central Bank has long had a game called Economia, which is admittedly a lot less fun, albeit closer to the full governing council experience. You get to set an interest rate and then see how the economy evolves. Remember this is the ECB, though — you don’t have to worry about pesky unemployment! Only inflation, like a good Bundesbanker.

The San Francisco Fed offers a simulation, the Fed chairman game, set in a world where the Fed funds rate is 4.5%, unemployment is 4.75% and inflation is 2.1%. That sounds like something more appropriate for the Kansas City Fed. (Current levels: Fed funds rates: 0.09%; unemployment, 7.5%; inflation, 1%).

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-05-29 21:48:57

Pimco’s Gross says ‘Bernanke has a lost a little control’
May 29, 2013, 4:32 PM

Bill Gross, Pimco’s co-chief investment officer, says that we are entering a new phase of the correlation between stocks and bonds as central banks ease up their reign on the global capital markets.

In an interview on CNBC Wednesday, Gross recounted the history of the relationship between the two asset classes: before the global financial crisis, stocks and bonds had a negative correlation — as stock prices rose, bond prices fell — reflecting fairly traditional risk-on, risk-off behavior. Once the financial crisis hit, the correlation dissipated altogether.

The famed bond prognosticator has recently said that the bond bull market is over, though the bear market hasn’t yet begun. That middle ground is currently buoyed by central back monetary easing, though speculation about tapering of Federal Reserve bond purchases has led to a sell-off in benchmark U.S. Treasurys in May.

Going forward, that will leave us with a new, mildly positive correlation between stocks and bonds, said Gross:

If bond prices go down, stock prices should go down as well. That’s simply because the global levered trade is dependent upon a stable Japanese yen and a stable JGB yield and a stable Treasury yield, and once you produce instability, then that leverage starts to unwind, the housing market gets affected, and stocks come down.

In a further shift in bond-equity correlations, the 10-year Treasury 10_YEAR +0.33% yield also crossed the S&P 500 SPX -0.71% dividend yield this week in an intersection widely watched by traders. Read more about how that has shifted the meaning of “hunt for yield”.

Asked about Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke’s policies as an economic driver, Gross asserted that Bernanke doesn’t necessarily have his hand on the steering wheel, nor did he ever:

I think Bernanke has a lost a little control in terms of the real economy. As a matter of a fact he never had it. And to the extent that low interest rates reduce savings and therefore reduce consumption, to the extent that they reduce the return on investment for corporations, to the extent that they destroy business models and then technically jam up the repo market, you’ve sort of lost control of economic growth going forward.

Comment by non-conformist
2013-05-30 03:25:19

Government Silently Positions for Martial Law as Financial Collapse Arrives in America

Susanne Posel
Occupy Corporatism
Aug 1, 2012

The US government has been scheming on how to provide for continuity of government for many decades now. According to an US veteran informant who claims to be an ex-marine and worked on portions the contingency plans known as Rex 84, civil unrest will come after a financial collapse.

The Readiness Exercise 1984, a.k.a. Rex 84, outlines continuity of government wherein the US Constitution is suspended, martial law is declared and the US military command take over state and local governments in order to ensure stabilization of our nation at any cost. Any American who is deemed a “national security threat” would be detained in an interment or FEMA camp.

The author of Rex 84 was Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North, National Security Council (NSC) White House aids and NSC liaison to FEMA.

Rex 84 is the plan; the triggers are a series of executive orders . It is the continuity of government under specific contingency strategies that are laid out in various operations guide manuals. Operation Garden Plot is a subprogram of Rex 84.

Twice before, Rex 84 was implemented – during the LA riots and on 9/11. In these scenarios, only small portions of the entire set of documents were used. Within the series of contingency plans, implementation of them depends on the severity of the situation.

Some of the plans include internment camps where all or portions of the active or inactive military bases would be transformed into work camps where all considered to be dissonant would be held. The NORTHCOM army manuals clearly state that NATO forces will be used in every phase of the operation.

According to the informant, procedures to move conventional, chemical and nuclear bombs across the nation without detection have been facilitated without notice by the US military.

Back in 1986, during his military service where he was involved with weapons transportation, the informant describes how an unmarked refrigerated trailer driven by a civilian driver was used to transport chemical or conventional weapons to various strategic bases both above and underground.

The informant said he was a specialist in aviation deployed weapons, which made him the perfect candidate to the assignment of weapons transportation.

The refrigerated truck, allocated by the administration department on base, was directed to the commissary, where the unsuspecting driver believed that he was transporting food. The weapon was placed at the head of the trailer, and covered up with either food stores (like cans of soup) or body bags. In the event that the truck is stopped en route, the weapon would be well hidden and go undetected by inspectors on the public highways.

A US Marine Corp bill of lading was the paperwork necessary to move the commercial refrigerated truck through weigh stations on public highways without any question. the informant remembers that there was not one incident where he had to enact any security measures to ensure the delivery was made.

The informant, who was assigned to ride in the cab of the truck with the driver, says that his orders were to make sure the truck arrived at its destination. He was informed by his superiors that if there were problems concerning potential civil unrest, he was to radio into his superiors for aid by either air or ground support.
Should the situation warrant serious attention; crowd control methods would be implemented.

One possible scenario was the use of cluster bomb units (CBUs) that will emit upon detonation, a “sleep and kill” chemical weapon that will not disturb infrastructure, but is lethal to all living things within the effected zone. Santilli describes these particular 3 unit CBUs as shaped like water-heaters with a coned top and plunger-like device. Once deployed in the air, a parachute assists these CBUs to the targeted area. And when detonated, a deadly chemical gas will kill every human and animal in the specified cordoned area.

This is just one example, says Santilli, as to the lengths the US armed forces are trained to make sure continuity of government is preserved.

The informant explained that the use of foreign troops on US soil, as described in Rex 84 and other subsequent manuals, would have a two-fold purpose. Firstly, to provide extra security in designated areas, cities or highways; and secondly, as scapegoats were violent action used against American citizens should the US military be directed to attack civilians.

The refrigerated truck, carrying the chemical or conventional weapon with Santilli riding shotgun travelled to underground bases like the one at Yuma Proving Ground which is a ammunitions testing range for pilots. Nestled underneath the ground is a secret military base.

The informant explains that his knowledge of Rex 84 provides that within the document, one of the scenarios that would cause a complete suspension of the US Constitution, Bill of Rights and implement martial law would be a financial collapse. He says once the collapse occurs, the US government and defense agencies estimate they have a 72 hour window to activate all procedures to ensure continuity of government as well as a lockdown of the general population as civilian unrest, riots and outbreaks of violence are anticipated.

A source in the Deutsche Bank claims that in 2008 our financial and monetary system completely collapsed and since that time the banking cartels have been “propping up the system” to make it appear as if everything was fine. In reality our stock market and monetary systems are fake; meaning that there is nothing holding them in place except the illusion that they have stabilized since the Stock Market Crash nearly 5 years ago.

Since this time, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in conjunction with FEMA and other federal agencies have been quickly working to set in place their directives of control under a silent martial law.

The Deutsche Bank informant says that the cause for the bailout of the banks was a large sum of cash needed quickly to repay China who had purchased large quantities of mortgage-backed securities that went belly-up when the global scam was realized. When China realized that they had been duped into buying worthless securitized loans which would never be repaid, they demanded the actual property instead. The Chinese were prepared to send their “people” to American shores to seize property as allocated to them through the securitized loan contracts.

To stave this off, the American taxpayers were coerced by former President Bush and former US Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson. During that incident, the US Senate was told emphatically that they had to approve a $700 million bailout or else martial law would be implemented immediately. That money was funneled through the Federal Reserve Bank and wired to China, as well as other countries that were demanding repayment for the fraudulent securitizations.

To further avert financial catastrophe, as well as more debt or property seizure threats by the Chinese, the Euro was imploded there by plunging most of the European countries into an insurmountable free-fall for which they were never intended to recover.

All the money that those banks claimed they needed to avert collapse was also sent to the Chinese to add to the trillions of dollars lost during the burst of the housing bubble on the global market.

The only saving grace has been the US dollar being the global reserve currency. However, now this prop is showing signs of wear as foreign nations like China, Russia, India and Iran are dealing in gold as currency and purchasing gold on the market at an exponential rate.

In 1970, Henry Kissinger made a deal with the Saudi Arabian government that American debt would be purchased in exchange for cheap oil. Since then Iran has taken control over the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) by their use of gold as currency which has threatened the direct value of the US dollar as the global reserve currency.

This scenario with Iran coupled with the massive leaps forward in US military presence on American streets and the emergence of FEMA camps across the nation pose an obvious turn of events and explains exactly why we are witnessing the silent implementation of martial law.

The war with Iran has to do with gold, its use as currency and its exposure of the central banking cartel’s lack of gold which defines a fiat currency’s worth. And right now, the US dollar is absolutely worthless.

The Deutsche Bank informant says that the financial collapse that happened in 2008 will be realized here in America very soon. Once that happens, there must be full implementation of marital law to control the potential riots and control over citizens that will be desperate to feed their families.

The attacks of recent on the 2nd Amendment play a significant role in attempting “amicably” to remove the possibility of civilian retaliation against the US military’s presence throughout the nation. However, if they cannot remove the guns from our hands in time, they will continue on with the guidelines set out in Rex 84 with directives to kill any dissenters that refuse to obey. - 66k -

Comment by Carl Morris
2013-05-30 09:36:45

Got conspiracy?

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