October 5, 2013

Weekend Topic Suggestions

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Comment by Whac-a-Bubble™
2013-10-04 05:05:43

What do recent slumping asset prices portend?

Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2013-10-04 08:16:45

Which ones do you believe to be “slumping”? They all look overpriced to me.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-10-04 08:53:52

Overpriced…… And falling.

Comment by inchbyinch
2013-10-05 09:57:23

Falling? Around my area, hardly. You periodically see a listing bought (uhs bragging to get top $ for a seller), and then a $10K+ drop after being inked, to get in line with the comps. But falling? Not in So Ca (yet). Fall has arrived and prices are still robust. (unfortunately)
Hey, I want fair property taxes.

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Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-10-05 11:28:11

Guess again Donkey. Sales collapsed and that is a proxy for falling prices.

Comment by inchbyinch
2013-10-05 16:40:18

A little civility young man. Micro markets my dear. Cyber Hug and Kisses.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-10-05 17:06:39


A little truth over the hill’er. Knowledge my friend. Seek the truth.

Comment by inchbyinch
2013-10-06 07:01:33

As we say in our circle of friends:
“Over the hill, and off the pill.” lol

Comment by ahansen
2013-10-06 12:04:32


Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-10-06 13:47:13

…. and fetching coffee for the boss for wages.

Comment by Whac-a-Bubble™
2013-10-05 06:20:42

What is fascinating is that although fear indexes spiked after the govt shutdown, prices have barely budged.

October 4, 2013
Shutdown jolts market’s fear gauges: 6 charts

Welcome to the fourth day of a partial U.S. government shutdown. Not to mention that Congress has less than two weeks to raise the debt ceiling before the U.S. is unable to borrow money to pay its bills, which would trigger an unprecedented default. While it’s unlikely that doomsday scenario will play out, there is little indication right now of an immediate resolution to the standoff in Washington.

The longer the shutdown and the debt-ceiling debate drag on, the more concerned investors will grow about toxic side effects such as a potential downgrade of U.S. credit, a shutdown-induced blow to quarterly U.S. growth and a delay of Federal Reserve tapering in bond buying. Here’s how stocks tracked by the S&P 500 SPX +0.71% , bonds, the “fear index,” gold, and the dollar have reacted to the dysfunction in Washington, D.C.

Comment by Whac-a-Bubble™
2013-10-04 08:05:13

Gold has barely dropped so far today, and has only dropped a tiny bit all week.

Is it safe to assume the panic has passed?

Comment by Whac-a-Bubble™
2013-10-04 08:07:13

At least the panic isn’t as bad now as it wuz before!

Oct. 4, 2013, 10:08 a.m. EDT
Gold ETF flows suggest investor panic is over
A closer look at SPDR Gold Trust offers hints on gold-demand outlook
By Myra P. Saefong, MarketWatch

Outflows continue for the SPDR Gold Trust, but they’re not at bad as they were earlier this year.

SAN FRANCISCO (MarketWatch) — At a time when a government shutdown and debt-ceiling limit are promoting broad fear and volatility, gold investors can find hints on the demand outlook for the precious metal from exchange-traded funds.

After record outflows from gold-backed exchange-traded products in the second quarter, outflows slowed down significantly in the third quarter. Investors were quitting their gold funds, just not with the urgency they showed in prior months.

Gold ETPs, which include exchange-traded funds — an exchange-traded security that tracks a stock, sector, index or other assets classes or basket of assets — saw outflows slow to $4.2 billion, compared with record outflows of $19.6 billion in the second quarter, according to ETF Securities.

Comment by Whac-a-Bubble™
2013-10-04 08:50:41

Are terrorists normally successful when they demand for their victims to negotiate?

Comment by 2banana
2013-10-05 06:56:01

I dunno - ask any union.

Comment by Whac-a-Bubble™
2013-10-05 07:09:11

Do the right-wing extremists who control the House of Representatives have a formal union, or just an informal one?

Comment by phony scandals
2013-10-05 07:41:46

“Do the right-wing extremists who control the House of Representatives”

“If you can help one child who has cancer, why wouldn’t you do it?” the reporter asked.

“Why would we want to do that?” Mr. Reid snapped back. “I have 1,100 people at Nellis Air Force Base that are sitting home. They have a few problems of their own. This is — to have someone of your intelligence to suggest such a thing maybe means you’re irresponsible and reckless.”

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Comment by oxide
2013-10-05 10:28:09

Harry Reid is playing hardball now. No more bleeding heart bits of funding for the children, just to be polite, or to be a good Democrat.

Comment by Strawberrypicker
2013-10-05 07:12:51

The only people attempting to get any spending under control and they are … Terrorists?

All we ever get here is two wrongs make a right thinking that ends up benefitting the overlords.

Comment by AmazingRuss
2013-10-05 12:27:47

Those people have no problem buying the military expensive toys it doesn’t want.

Comment by Strawberrypicker
2013-10-05 17:15:14

I agree, cut the military spending. I wish some party would be for that. Neither is. Cut all those welfare entitlements also. They are rife with fraud anyway.

Do you agree with me?

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Comment by AmazingRuss
2013-10-05 17:52:28

I am if one of two things happens. We have full employment, so the ex welfare recipients can find work, or we euthanize them.

Several million starving, desperate people would endanger me personally.

Comment by jane
2013-10-05 18:13:58

I listened to a Fed (what else) CIO lecture. Attributable to better algorithms and better cross-referencing in govt data bases, it has been demonstrated (yea, verily - by people being hauled in by the ear if they can be found) that 16% of Medicaid payments are frankly fraudulent. This is not a case of a marginally-qualified Auntie Keisha keeping her car. These are frequently cases of Aunt Keishas buying multiple SSNs and applying as five or six different people; or Dr. Wi Lee doing the same and receiving payment for ghost treatment. Like with the good Dr., Aunt Keisha can monetize her excess capacity.

It might not be so bad, but the Fed HHS clerks, in a show of solidarity and support, sometimes bury the files. So, although it is incontrovertible that 16% of Medicaid payments are fraudulent, only 4% get put on the road to recovery or termination. The rest? Pouty-lipped HHS clerks are protecting “one of us”. The term of art is “shrinkage”.

We are fracked by two out of the three daily household service providers (health and housing). We are fracked royally and in the *ss by our government with the continuing saga of the fix.

Looks like we-alls was simply bred to be fracking objects. We have found our destiny. Now what to do?

A good start would be to exercise some discerning judgment. We got along without the non-essential 800,000 for (it’ll probably be) a month (after all is said and done) and nothing happened. Get rid of ‘em. We can’t afford ‘em.

I swear - the next time I have to deal with a petulant, pouty-lipped govt clerk, I am actually going to go all elitist and say “Have you listened to yourself recently? Can you hear how dismissive you sound?”. I will sacrifice the forty five minutes to speak civilly to her manager about the matter. Discretionary time slots are precious to me. I do not sacrifice 45 minutes lightly.

I am losing my resilience, and regret seeing it peter out. It is the thing that feeds a sense of humor, and the creative twist on a problem.

Comment by Strawberrypicker
2013-10-06 07:45:59

Where is this lecture to be found? And I’m sure you can add another 10-20% of not playing by the rules fraud on top of this blatant ripoff fraud.

But we need 100 percent guaranteed employment for all, or just give out the free checks.

Comment by AmazingRuss
2013-10-06 08:54:48

What do you think is going to happen when these people begin to starve? Assuming some of them have the skills to actually get some job, they are pushing somebody else out of it.

One solution would be to do away with minimum wage, and see the rise of slums like Kolkata in the US, but there are still millions of these people that are so useless they cost you money to have around. They are the products of a multigenerational train wreck, and beyond rehab.

When somebody is starving, they will steal to survive if they can… Eventually ending up in jail, costing much more to maintain than welfare.

Thes people don’t just disappear when you stop sending them checks.

Comment by Strawberrypicker
2013-10-06 10:09:49

It is not a multigenerational train wreck. In a train wreck people die and people survive. I’ve never heard of a train wreck where more and more people die long after the wreck. Your solution is more and more checks, less and less incentives to ever work and further generations with no example of working. In order to end this you need to end the subsidized behavior. I don’t want anyone starving unless they are capable of working and choose not to. I wouldn’t just end all the checks tomorrow. There would be a weaning to a different system where someone on the dole is not allowed to perpetuate further generations.

You would not cut anything and will quibble with how any cuts should be done, forever and ever, letting it continue on and on, sentencing many millions more to poverty and the continuing hell of the inner cities.

Comment by AmazingRuss
2013-10-06 10:23:49

I wasn’t being sarcastic about the euthanasia. Sterilization would work too.

The fact remains that these people can’t support themselves, and never will be able to support themselves. It’s inhumane to simply let them starve.

Comment by aNYCdj
2013-10-06 11:13:30


If you really want to be tough on subsidized behavior then everyone must sit in class for 20 hours a week and learn English and Math.

They would have to make and maintain a FB page in English for their EBT card….remember there was NO trayvon martin FB page…..but there was a gangsta one.

Ebonics has a stranglehold on these people, we have to break those chains before any kind of job training or employment will work.

Comment by MightyMike
2013-10-06 14:12:33

Ebonics has a stranglehold on these people, …

It’s interesting that, even though you live in one of the most diverse cities on the planet, you think that all poor people are black.

Comment by aNYCdj
2013-10-06 17:56:17

Sorry Mike we can call it what you want how about Redneck speak? its all the same…..every culture has its Ebonics.

Thats is where to start first…solve that problem and the rest will quickly disappear.

Comment by AmazingRuss
2013-10-06 19:38:25

What happens if you do manage to educate some of them and they find work? Somebody else can’t find a job.

You still end up with a bottom layer of people that are unemployable.

Comment by rms
2013-10-06 21:19:53

“What happens if you do manage to educate some of them and they find work? Somebody else can’t find a job.”

In Oregon you cannot fill your vehicle’s tank; the station’s helper must do it. Additional fuel tax provides the funding, so the unemployable have a working environment to socialize and become accustomed to a schedule.

Comment by aNYCdj
2013-10-06 23:00:37

Russ well maybe they will take the jobs from the illegals. Since English will be their main language.

Under Tarp there were 2500 subsidized jobs allotted for NYC 90% went to the parks dept which is 86% minority….

Hey we wont even try this… well you know it’s kinda likea sorta racist.

Comment by Whac-a-Bubble™
2013-10-04 08:51:46

Do high levels of margin debt suggest another stock market crash is in the works, or is it different this time?

Comment by Whac-a-Bubble™
2013-10-04 08:53:33

Bulletin » Boehner demands Obama and fellow Democrats negotiate

The Tell
The Markets News and Analysis Blog
High-margin debt flashing ‘yellow’ warning to market bulls: strategist
October 4, 2013, 11:40 AM

Are bullish stock investors getting overly greedy?

Margin debt is an indicator that probably doesn’t get as much attention as it should.

Right now, margin debt is flashing a “yellow” signal to market bulls, says Scott Clemons, chief investment strategist at Brown Brothers Harriman Wealth Management. As the chart shows, margin debt rivals the 2007 peak that came just before the financial crisis and the ensuing market drop.

Comment by phony scandals
2013-10-05 05:32:51

When is the dollar going to collapse?

Comment by spook
2013-10-05 06:42:13

after you collapse?

(sorry, I’ll get my coat)

Comment by phony scandals
2013-10-05 06:57:10

“after you collapse?”

It shouldn’t take that long. :)

Comment by 2banana
2013-10-05 06:58:24

1. When we are no longer the reserve currency of the world
2. When the US military is not the most powerful armed force in the world
3. When the Treasury starts to issues T-Bills to be paid back in ANYTHING but US dollars

Comment by Ben Jones
2013-10-05 07:01:23

‘to be paid back in ANYTHING but US dollars’

Like Federal Reserve Notes?

Comment by 2banana
2013-10-05 07:07:13

Like Yen or Euros or Gold.

I have done a bunch of random reading of the fiscal collapse of countries/currencies through history.

One similar thread is that near the end of the “game”, they all seem to issue to debt to be paid back in anything but their own currency. It is suicide but it keeps the game going just a while little longer.

As an aside, I was reading some history of Greece. When the Persians took and sacked Athens and most of the population was hiding in the woods or on the islands - the Greeks voted and refuse to debase their currency. Even in that crisis, they wanted the world to trust their money.

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Comment by JingleMale
2013-10-05 17:56:19

“…the end game is near…”

You mean like the subprime lenders waving in, approving and funding more bad loans, so they earn more origination fees to help payback prior bad loans they sold to Fannie or Freddie?

Bwahahaha…..The End Game.

Comment by Whac-a-Bubble™
2013-10-05 07:11:04

“…ANYTHING but US dollars…”

Like Bitcoin?

Comment by Combotechie
2013-10-05 07:27:56

“… ANYTHING but US dollars …”

Where did all the folks go that use to hang around here and laugh about how worthless the U.S. dollar was and how stupid the Chinese and others were to willing accept them in exchange for the worthless junk they sent to us?

Haven’t heard much from them lately.


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Comment by Whac-a-Bubble™
2013-10-05 07:47:34

Indian rupees, anyone?

Indian rupee jumps 73 paise to seven-week high against US dollar
BT Online Bureau
Last Updated: October 3, 2013 | 19:17 IST

The Indian rupee appreciated by a further 73 paise to close at an almost seven-week high of 61.73 against the US dollar on Thursday as the US currency weakened globally, following the budget impasse in Washington and fears of the Fed tapering its stimulus programme receded.

Dollar sales by exporters and firm local equities also supported the local currency.

The rupee opened at 62.15 a dollar from the previous close of 62.46 at the Interbank Foreign Exchange Market and touched a low of 62.22. It bounced back to a high of 61.65 before settling at 61.73, a rise of 73 paise or 1.17 per cent.

The rupee was at the highest level since August 16, when it closed at 61.65 against the dollar.

“The gains were mainly attributed to the sharp weakness in the US dollar index and strength in the euro,” said Abhishek Goenka, CEO of India Forex Advisors. “The US dollar weakened globally following a failure by US lawmakers to resolve a budget impasse.”

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Comment by Combotechie
2013-10-05 08:04:37

“The US dollar weakened globally following a failure by US lawmakers to resolve a budget impasse.”

“failure to resolve a budget impasse” = will not commitmit to spend money they do not have.

The currency weakens because the country will not spend as much money that they do not have compared to what was planned. Now, is this nuts or what?

Comment by Combotechie
2013-10-05 08:06:54

Lol. If you want to weaken the country’s credit rating then threaten to move in the direction of balancing the budget.

Comment by No Lawyers
2013-10-05 08:12:51

Black is white in this clusterfook Bernanke world.

Comment by Whac-a-Bubble™
2013-10-05 08:28:23

“The currency weakens because the country will not spend as much money that they do not have compared to what was planned. Now, is this nuts or what?”

There may be some hidden logic. For instance, the shutdown creates the prospect of an economic crash ahead, which leads the Fed to indefinitely postpone the taper.

Indefinite taper postponement = more dollars in print = lower dollar.

Comment by Whac-a-Bubble™
2013-10-05 08:31:29

Fed’s Kocherlakota Says QE Buffers Against Shutdown Impact
By Aki Ito - Oct 4, 2013 2:36 PM CT

Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis President Narayana Kocherlakota said the Fed’s $85 billion in monthly bond purchases help buffer the U.S. economy against the partial shutdown of government, and growth hasn’t been “good enough” to warrant a pullback in record stimulus.
“It’s hard to justify reducing the pace of purchases” if the Fed truly were committed to doing everything it can to support the jobs recovery, Kocherlakota said today in an interview in Minneapolis. “Our accommodative policy is a useful buffer against these kinds of fiscal disturbances,” while “they can’t offset it completely,” said Kocherlakota, a backer of bond buying by the Fed who votes on policy next year.

Comment by Ben Jones
2013-10-05 06:22:21

‘Furloughed since Tuesday, Mekayla Coleman needs some fast cash. To make a few bucks, Coleman, who works in IT at the Department of Defense’s Defense Acquisition University, turned to Craigslist in hopes of selling some baby items she no longer needs.’

“Prices can be negotiable, but please serious offers only, I really need the money,” says the listing, which advertises about $300 worth of items.’

‘Coleman’s in a bind because she recently spent all her savings to get her house ready for sale and hadn’t saved up for the partial government shutdown. “It’s not looking good,” she said.’

Comment by Whac-a-Bubble™
2013-10-05 06:25:37

“…she recently spent all her savings to get her house ready for sale…”

You have to give her credit for at least having the prudence to be on the sell side of the market rather than the buy side.

Comment by Whac-a-Bubble™
2013-10-05 06:26:53

“…but please serious offers only, I really need the money…”

Lowball offers only, please.

Comment by Strawberrypicker
2013-10-05 07:31:26

A real sob story. Here is what her ad says: “I am selling some of baby’s stuff trying to make some money due to the Furlough/gov shutdown situation. All in great condition. Brought two of everything due to baby staying with my sister alot. Now don’t need all this stuff. Prices can be negotiable, but please serious offers only, I really need the money.”

Ignoring the typo, it looks like she Bought two of everything and now wants to sell. Boo hoo.

Comment by Whac-a-Bubble™
2013-10-05 08:00:02

“Ignoring the typo, it looks like she Bought two of everything and now wants to sell. Boo hoo.”

It’s almost as tragic as the people who had to sell their second homes in the wake of the Fall 2008 financial collapse.

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Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2013-10-05 08:11:57

Lowball offers only, please.

I know, right?? Tipping your hand regardnig your desperate need of cash puts you in the opposite of a strong bargaining position.

Comment by Mr. Banker
2013-10-05 06:47:09

“Furlouged since Tuesday Mekayla Coleman needs some fast cash.”

Lol! Since Tuesday? What, three days ago? She’s broke after only three days?

Lol! Breed her, clone her, do whatever it takes to make copies of her. Me and my banker buddies can hardly wait to loan her money.

Comment by an exceptional debtor
2013-10-05 07:02:03

When was the Feds’ payday? It had to be last Friday.

Comment by polly
2013-10-05 14:09:31

I don’t know if the DOD is on the same schedule as the rest of the civil service, but I haven’t missed a paycheck yet. The first miss will be next Friday, though sometimes it doesn’t get deposited until Saturday or even the following Monday.

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Comment by Neuromance
2013-10-05 09:17:26

It is truly indentured debt-servitude.

Leveraged to the hilt, with the big house, nice cars, and not two nickels to rub together. This is the lifestyle pushed on people by Wall Street and the media and politicians.

Quite right, a banker’s dream.

Comment by Mr. Banker
2013-10-05 09:36:06

I we, us bankers, can keep ‘em broke and desperate then we can effectively own them - which, owning them (owning people) is what slavery is all about.

But I say it is effectively owning them, not actually owning them, which is really better for guys such as myself because actually owning them means I have to pay attention to feeding and caring for them, which is something that I don’t really want to do.

What I really want to do is gain control of what they produce - not actually own them but own chunks of their wealth. But I cannot do this by force so I have to resort to doing it by persuasion. Which is really easy to do because most everyone has been dumbed down by the MSM and by what is known as our educational system.

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Comment by United States of Moral Hazard
2013-10-05 16:38:47

You’re doing an excellent job, Mr. Banker, EXCELLENT job. You’ve got them eating right out of your hand. The debt junkies are everywhere.

Comment by Happy2bHeard
2013-10-05 19:17:44

Perhaps she is planning for a long furlough.

Comment by AmazingRuss
2013-10-06 08:37:27

300 bucks should buy her a day and a half.

Comment by 2banana
2013-10-05 07:00:14

Federal workers are paid the 1st and the 15th of every month.

So they have yet to miss a paycheck yet.

And they don’t even have $300 in savings…

I am sure the same people will do a great job running obamacare…

Comment by phony scandals
2013-10-05 07:07:12

The cheap tricks of the game

By Wesley Pruden
Thursday, October 3, 2013

The Park Service appears to be closing streets on mere whim and caprice. The rangers even closed the parking lot at Mount Vernon, where the plantation home of George Washington is a favorite tourist destination. That was after they barred the new World War II Memorial on the Mall to veterans of World War II. But the government does not own Mount Vernon; it is privately owned by the Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association. The ladies bought it years ago to preserve it as a national memorial. The feds closed access to the parking lots this week, even though the lots are jointly owned with the Mount Vernon ladies. The rangers are from the government, and they’re only here to help.

“It’s a cheap way to deal with the situation,” an angry Park Service ranger in Washington says of the harassment. “We’ve been told to make life as difficult for people as we can. It’s disgusting.”

“If you can help one child who has cancer, why wouldn’t you do it?” the reporter asked.

“Why would we want to do that?” Mr. Reid snapped back. “I have 1,100 people at Nellis Air Force Base that are sitting home. They have a few problems of their own. This is — to have someone of your intelligence to suggest such a thing maybe means you’re irresponsible and reckless.”

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2013/oct/3/pruden-the-cheap-tricks-of-the-game/ - 101k -

Comment by Combotechie
2013-10-05 07:17:58

“The cheap tricks of the game.”

That happen to work.

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Comment by Strawberrypicker
2013-10-05 07:40:30

Not so much in the age of the internet where people can see how the tricks are being implemented in practically real time.

It is an interesting comparison of this time v. Last time. Now the corporate media is much less a source for people’s news.

I’m sure people are furiously at work figuring out how to stop social security and welfare checks so someone gets riled up.

Comment by 2banana
2013-10-05 07:23:38

It is the obvious playbook of the democrats.

Ignore the massive debt, make the crisis hurt as much as possible and blame the republicans as much as possible.

Coming soon - sob stories from victims crying on the shoulder of obama. And obama stopping social security checks while blaming the republicans.

These are the politicians and leaders of the free sh*t army.

An angry and vindictive of people as you will every see when the free government cheese even gets slightly smaller. Hey, never let a crisis go to waste.

I hope the republicans hold for a long time.

Either we get some fiscal sanity now or we wind up worse than Greece.

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Comment by phony scandals
2013-10-05 08:01:58

“Coming soon - sob stories from victims crying on the shoulder of obama.”

Desperately seeking #ShutdownSobStories: White House soliciting tales of woe

Posted at 7:03 pm on October 4, 2013
by Twitchy Staff

The White House is looking for tales of tragedy from the four-day-long government shutdown. The avalanche of media attention given to Obamacare poster boy “Lying” Chad Henderson would suggest that, yes, works of fiction are acceptable, and perhaps even preferred. In any case, bring the pain. Here are your instructions as they appear on the White House website.

http://twitchy.com/2013/10/04/desperately-seeking-shutdownsobstories-white-house-soliciting-tales-of-woe/ -

Comment by Happy2bHeard
2013-10-06 19:15:01

“Ignore the massive debt

Deficits only matter when Democrats are president.

Comment by shendi
2013-10-05 10:21:05

What if people realize that the shutdown did not mean the end of the world? If the shutdown goes on for a couple of weeks it might very well mean that essential services (decided by whom?) are the only services needed!

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Comment by rms
2013-10-05 10:43:29

“What if people realize that the shutdown did not mean the end of the world? If the shutdown goes on for a couple of weeks it might very well mean that essential services (decided by whom?) are the only services needed!”

After WWII our treasury secretary Henry Morgenthau determined that the surviving German civilian population only required 900-calories per day to stay alive, emaciated but alive.

Comment by United States of Moral Hazard
2013-10-05 16:40:53

Today’s population likely only requires 600 calories per day. They have reserves to live off.

Comment by Mr. Banker
2013-10-05 07:07:30

Clone her.

Comment by Whac-a-Bubble™
2013-10-05 07:58:47

Already been done years ago!

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Comment by polly
2013-10-05 14:10:55

Wrong. We get paid every two weeks. Where that falls in the month varies.

Comment by In Colorado
2013-10-06 07:44:18

And they don’t even have $300 in savings…

It is worth remembering that not all FedGov employees are paid handsome salaries. I know a guy who used to be a ranger at Rocky Mountain National Park. He quit because of the low pay.

Comment by Ben Jones
2013-10-05 06:31:54

‘The NSA is Making Us All Less Safe’

“Computers are everywhere. They are now something we put our whole bodies into—airplanes, cars—and something we put into our bodies—pacemakers, cochlear implants. They HAVE to be trustworthy.”

Comment by Bill, just South of Irvine, CA
2013-10-05 06:50:00

Those large jumbo jets can almost fly themselves. Computer software on them follows the DO-178B standard for engineering. Several generations of software updates and of course field-tested. Flying domestically in the U.S. has become much safer than in the 90s. The car culture does not realize this safety factor.

Imagine you drop anchor and buy a house in what you think is a strategic location, 20 miles south of a hub of jobs in your profession, and 20 miles north of another one. But such jobs are very unstable. Finally the only job you can get that pays nearly as much is 60 miles south! So you drive 600 miles a week for the job. Statistically the more miles you drive (or fly) the more likely you will get in an accident. I would prefer to play on those odds by driving less. I also fly less these days since my new job. So this is why I rent during my career, rather than drop anchor in a house 60 miles from a good job. Moving to the job and driving less means less likely to crash.

Comment by 2banana
2013-10-05 07:01:52

But if you don’t buy a house you are a loser and not part of the American dream

Comment by Bill, just South of Irvine, CA
2013-10-05 13:26:30

In the heart of OC, yes I am considered a “looser” for not committing to a community by buying a house. We renters are considered subversives and are looked on with great suspicion. But when I was a mortgage payer back in the early 90s, and as one who would not bring enough women to my home (maybe 5 over the course of 6 years), I was regarded with suspicion too.

Another colleague at the office tied the knot last week. Very few people knew about it until it happened. Just three weeks ago that colleague and I were in a car going back to the office from lunch and we were talking about the subject - no use getting married if you don’t want kids. I guess he and his new Mrs want kids.

Having no debt and always thinking I don’t have enough cash and gold bullion makes me so unAmerican. Driving a ten year old economy car and wearing inexpensive clothes, same deal. Someone please get a gun and force me to shop at some knick knack store for some useless dust collectors, please!

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Comment by rms
2013-10-05 07:22:43

“So this is why I rent during my career, rather than drop anchor in a house 60 miles from a good job.”

If you were raising a family the kid’s school district would be an issue and possibly your wife’s job; she may need that shorter commute. A married family man has constraints that you just can’t imagine until you are committed and obligated. That the social services sector has ballooned into a tax gobbling monster doesn’t surprise me one bit.

Comment by Bill, just South of Irvine, CA
2013-10-05 07:56:26

True. Being single, renting, childless and with no pets is optimal in today’s society.

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Comment by goon squad
2013-10-05 09:14:16


Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2013-10-05 09:30:38

Perhaps a financial/career WIN. But a life win? Not so clear to me.

Perhaps we should revisit this in another 30 or 40yrs, as many things look different in the reflection of the rear-view mirror.

Comment by shendi
2013-10-05 10:23:25

What’s up with people with dogs that do not clean up after their dogs? Why have pets then?

Comment by oxide
2013-10-05 10:43:52

Prime, I wouldn’t bother. I don’t expect to see Bill on his deathbed regretting that he didn’t marry or have children or plant a tree or didn’t take the opportunity to love a goldfish. Bill doesn’t give a sh!t for anyone but himself.

Comment by Bill, just South of Irvine, CA
2013-10-05 13:16:42

Lots of you never heard of Long Term Care insurance or have experienced it in use. I have. It worked well for my Aunt. She was in a home for the last 24 months of her life. Her bedroom was large and very bright inside with its own private entry. She had care 24/7. Worked out very well for her.

Some people do not need relationships. Many of same have been ripped off by phonies and are very cautious with others. If my siblings all go before me I will put my wealth into a trust and bind it legally.

I have second cousins in their 20s and 30s who are responsible people and I’m in fact starting to contribute to a college fund for the only child of a second cousin.

Comment by Bill, just South of Irvine, CA
2013-10-05 13:18:40

Oxide you are wrong. I don’t give a shit about you, Alpha, or the other commie, the one in Brazil.

Comment by United States of Moral Hazard
2013-10-05 16:46:04

“What’s up with people with dogs that do not clean up after their dogs? Why have pets then?”

As a lifelong dog lover and owner, I can’t stand those people. They give me, and all other responsible dog owners, a bad name. Also, what’s up with the people who get multiple dogs and cats and then just leave them outside all the time and never do anything with them? Horrible people as well.

Comment by United States of Moral Hazard
2013-10-05 16:48:58

“Being single, renting, childless and with no pets is optimal in today’s society.”

I fit all of the above except I have a pet. I can’t say it is optimal simply because I’m not sure how I’ll feel about it when I am older. I sometimes think I might regret not having kids. I’ll admit to being a commitment-phobe.

Comment by Bill, just South of Irvine, CA
2013-10-05 16:58:00

For a long time I loved big dogs. Dobermans, German Shepherds, Retrievers, Boxers. When I stop moving around and have more space and more time I will have to consider getting a “best friend.”

Comment by Bill, just South of Irvine, CA
2013-10-05 17:01:21

When you start feeling ashamed about not committing, think about how great it is to be debt-free and that you do not feel as though you have to buy a palace or a porsche to attract a lover. It is so odd how you keep reading posts on here where people ridicule those you are drowning in debt, yet the very same ones are riduculing debt-free people who paid their dues. Almost as if they are likely to vote to confiscate our hard earned wealth and redistribute it to future Democrats or something.

Comment by Pete
2013-10-05 17:28:21

Not sure if you’re speaking strictly from a financial standpoint, but if so, you’re better off finding a gal who shares your love of saving and not having kids. Live together. Split the rent and utilities and have even more disposable income to blow on whatever you choose. Of course, you have to really really like her and vice versa. Or him, not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Comment by Bill, just South of Irvine, CA
2013-10-05 20:14:37

I go for the opposite sex. But honestly I am not interested in any relationship. I just don’t care. Had plenty in the past. All the ones in Southern California (not the high desert) ripped me off in some way. I just want to work out, work, eat, and sleep!

Comment by Bill, just South of Irvine, CA
2013-10-05 20:18:26

It is the search that is the problem. I work mostly with guys. The one woman where I work is married. At the gym I am there to work out and get the workout over with. The only chance of meeting someone is at Starbucks while I am in line, or when i am on a plane, or at a bar on those rare occasions I go to bars.

Comment by aNYCdj
2013-10-06 11:21:52

I love dawg owners thy have to go out in blinding snow rain sleet 100 degree heat indexes to clean up POOP…..they are so cool…..especially the wimmin….

Comment by Bill, just South of Irvine, CA
2013-10-06 16:29:17

Ha Ha! Now you remind me of why I like OPD (Other People’s Dogs) and not have to clean up the mess.

Comment by Overtaxed
2013-10-05 07:52:26

Or work from home. Which I still continue to think will be a big shift over the next 10-20 years. I haven’t had an “office” in close to decade. I fly quite a bit (about 75,000 miles/yr) but, most of my time I’m working from my house.

This shift is going to move demand out of cities to places that are “convenient” to an airport, but not necessarily to downtown. I live about 30 miles from my normal airport, which, while closer would be nicer, given that I only go there a few times a month at most, is a pretty good compromise.

Comment by Bill, just South of Irvine, CA
2013-10-05 08:00:27

I have arranged my career to go this route. However I still prefer basing my address in a large metro area. Getting older means wanting to be able to select from the best doctors. Phoenix eight months of the year and a coastal part of California four months of the year is my ideal.

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Comment by Mr. Banker
2013-10-05 07:06:05

What’s wonderful about the educational system we have today is the finanacial part of it - the training and experience the student needs to receive in order for him to learn to properly handle his money (if he learns at all) - happens AFTER graduation (much to my delight).

An educational system that keeps on and on and on and on educating long, long, long after graduation. What system can beat that?

Run up the bills early on and then stuggle for years - decades - to pay them off. It builds character along theway (and makes me rich).

Comment by 2banana
2013-10-05 07:09:43

The Free Sh*t Army does not pay back the debt.

Comment by Mr. Banker
2013-10-05 07:11:53

I don’t care who pays it back, it only matter that I get paid.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-10-05 07:21:26

The Free Sh*t Army grovels at your feet Mr. Banker.

They think you’re going to to give them something….. for free.

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Comment by Mr. Banker
2013-10-05 07:33:41

“The Free Sh*t Army grovels at you feet Mr. Banker.”

As they should, after all me and my buddies spent billions of dollars conditioning them.

An excellent investment on our part, one with excellent returns.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-10-05 07:39:08

Indeed Mr. Banker.

How is it that you groom these slaves?

Comment by Mr. Banker
2013-10-05 07:54:33

First, get them to buy into what the MSM feeds them.

Then gain control of the MSM.

The rest naturally falls into place.

Comment by No Lawyers
2013-10-05 07:10:20

We have to invest more on education.

Comment by Mr. Banker
2013-10-05 07:14:05

Raise the tuition and you just may raise the incentive to learn about finances.

Comment by Strawberrypicker
2013-10-05 07:45:40

Most costly education when the price of delivering the knowledge has never been cheaper. I think you can take MIT courses on line for free. But you get no degree without coughing up the bucks.

Comment by Whac-a-Bubble™
2013-10-05 08:49:04

“But you get no degree without coughing up the bucks.”

There’s the rub! But nonetheless, if you are into continuing education for the sake of growing your brain, this is the Golden Era.

Check out: https://www.coursera.org/

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Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2013-10-05 09:44:38

“But you get no degree without coughing up the bucks.”

I think the education model will change over time; eventually, you will be able to learn the material online, and simply demonstrate that knowledge by taking in-person testing. In other words, something along the lines of the companies that administer the SAT/PSAT/LSAT/ACT/etc will step in the certify to what extent you actually know what you say that you know.

At that point, the biggest differentiator of on-campus learning vs online learning will be the social development aspects.

Comment by CarrieAnne
2013-10-06 12:53:21

Only if the parents let it.

Comment by Whac-a-Bubble™
2013-10-05 07:07:52

Do y’all think the Grand Old Party of Rich Old White Men may have trouble attracting young voters going forward (not to mention middle-aged and older voters)?

Shutdown hurts GOP efforts to woo younger voters
Aliyah Frumin and Suzy Khimm
4:01 AM on 10/05/2013
People listen to Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney speak during a campaign rally at Shawnee State University in Portsmouth, Ohio October 13, 2012. (Photo by Shannon Stapleton/Reuters)

After the GOP got crushed at the polls in 2012, Republican Party leaders realized they needed to broaden their base, especially among younger voters.

The Republican National Committee even released an autopsy report declaring that the GOP had become an entity at which “young voters are increasingly rolling their eyes,” and admitting “we have lost our way with younger ones. We sound increasingly out of touch.”

A majority of 18- to 29-year-olds—60%–helped propel President Obama back into the White House in 2012, compared to just 37% for Mitt Romney.

Fast forward to today, and the RNC’s much ballyhooed autopsy report looks forgotten. Republicans are being blamed for a massively unpopular government shutdown, with many lawmakers refusing to pass a spending bill unless it includes defunding or delaying Obamacare. Some strategists and pollsters say the standoff could hurt the GOP’s attempt to make inroads with young voters.

According to a pre-shutdown survey by Harvard University’s Institute of Politics, 56% of 18- to 29-year-olds said they believed that ensuring affordable access to healthcare is a bigger priority than reducing the deficit.

And according to an ABC-Washington Post poll, among 18- to 39-year-olds, 44% approve of how Obama is handling debt negotiations. Meanwhile, 39% approve of how Democrats in Congress are handling it, and only 30% support the GOP.

“There’s a real risk for Republicans that they’ll shoulder more of the blame with this section of the electorate,” said Republican pollster Kristen Soltis Anderson.

Comment by No Lawyers
2013-10-05 07:28:06

Shutdown is good for yut’s bottomline. Honestly why pay into system that is mostly going to be used by the elderly? Then again yut is lost on the yuts.

Comment by 2banana
2013-10-05 07:28:30

Really? MSNBC?

Hey, ask any 20-30 year old if they will be able to collect social security when they get old? The universal answer is NO.

Ask why? Because the government will be bankrupt.

Yes - they do understand.

Comment by spook
2013-10-05 07:35:44

Can’t we just add Mexicans?

Comment by Mr. Banker
2013-10-05 07:46:01

The Social Security trust fund is not being handled properly, the returns that should be gotten are just not there.

To remedy this I suggest the trust fund be turned over to those of us (we the bankers and the Wall Streeters) who are experts when it comes to handling money.

Comment by Whac-a-Bubble™
2013-10-05 07:50:11

Social Security has low returns because it is an INSURANCE PROGRAM (OASDI = Old Age, Survivors and Disability Insurance).

Nobody is stopping you from being reincarnated as a trust fund baby and gambling in the stock market for higher returns.

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Comment by Mr. Banker
2013-10-05 07:57:02

The issue isn’t whether I gamble in the stock market or not, the issue is just whose money I am going to use.

Comment by Strawberrypicker
2013-10-05 08:16:10

Social security is a welfare program plain and simple. All this getting back what I’ve paid in talk is so they don’t have to call a spade a spade.

Comment by Whac-a-Bubble™
2013-10-05 08:47:13

I thought welfare meant you got the money in exchange for not working? Last time I checked, Social Security promises were only made to working stiffs.

Comment by Strawberrypicker
2013-10-05 08:58:18

Welfare is the government giving you money you have not earned. I don’t care if you work a thousand years. Once you are getting something you haven’t earned, which many are, far more than ever paid in, it’s welfare.

I can see an out for getting more money than you put in based on taking an insurance risk, but that isn’t this.

Comment by Whac-a-Bubble™
2013-10-05 09:11:23

“Once you are getting something you haven’t earned, which many are, far more than ever paid in, it’s welfare.”

That’s a very broad definition, which apparently includes federal agricultural subsidies, including the federal crop insurance program, bailouts of Megabank, Inc and the auto sector, bailouts of everyone who bought GSE debt wondering whether or not Uncle Sam was good for the unwritten guarantee, and Social Security payments in retirement years for workers who have paid into the system for their entire working lifetimes.

I take your point, but I believe your definition of welfare is overly broad. Of course, as it’s a free country, you are free to redefine commonly-understood words to your personal liking.

Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2013-10-05 09:34:45

Once you are getting something you haven’t earned, which many are, far more than ever paid in, it’s welfare.

So by your definition, receiving a payout on a life-insurance policy would be welfare as well—and more welfare-like the sooner one passed away after taking out the policy.

I can see an out for getting more money than you put in based on taking an insurance risk, but that isn’t this.

Sure it is–everybody paying in takes the risk that they will never receive a single dollar of the FICA taxes that they paid in, in the case that they pass away before becoming eligible for benefits.

Comment by Whac-a-Bubble™
2013-10-05 09:47:44

Insurance = welfare

Trust fund babies living off daddy’s money = welfare

etc etc etc

Comment by tresho
2013-10-05 10:57:49

I take your point, but I believe your definition of welfare is overly broad. Of course, as it’s a free country, you are free to redefine commonly-understood words to your personal liking.
That expanded definition definitely includes federal pensioners receiving benefits, such as retired presidents, military, etc.

Comment by MightyMike
2013-10-05 13:07:50

Of course, as it’s a free country, you are free to redefine commonly-understood words to your personal liking.

Having a conversation about the issues becomes difficult if people can’t even agree on the meanings of words.

Comment by tresho
2013-10-05 13:58:32

Having a conversation about the issues becomes difficult if people can’t even agree on the meanings of words.
In that case, decide on the meaning of words / terms before carrying the discussion any further. Some of the best dialogues of Plato/Socrates seemed to revolve around defining terms. That may well be the end of any discussion, but if so, too bad. At least one side of the conversation will probably have learned something useful.

Comment by Strawberrypicker
2013-10-05 17:20:12

Define welfare as narrowly as you want, but god forbid you cut it! How about we use a term I think we can agree on: “the dole.” And yes, farm subsidies, bailouts of mega banks, SSI,bailouts of FBs, auto unions, whatever. It is all the dole.

Comment by Strawberrypicker
2013-10-05 17:24:54

Add in Medicare also. None of this stuff is “insurance” no matter how you pretend. It is just government subsidy, aka, the dole.

Comment by Happy2bHeard
2013-10-05 19:36:34

If I buy an insurance policy for long term care insurance, I expect the company to pay out if I need it for as long as I need it. It is not welfare. The company is paying for contracted services.

You want to call it welfare so you can decide not to pay it.

Comment by Montana
2013-10-06 07:35:08

SSI is the welfare part of social security.

Comment by Strawberrypicker
2013-10-06 08:31:53

I said above, insurance isn’t welfare. It is taking a risk and you are charged based on the risk and what you expect to get out. This isn’t what Social Security is. It’s not insurance. It is a welfare program clothed in this charade of getting what you paid in.

Comment by rms
2013-10-06 10:27:05

“SSI is the welfare part of social security.”

I believe its acronym is SSDI, the disability option.

Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2013-10-06 10:39:05

I said above, insurance isn’t welfare. It is taking a risk and you are charged based on the risk and what you expect to get out.

More specifically, the insurer is taking the risk, and you are paying them to transfer the risk to them.

This isn’t what Social Security is. It’s not insurance. It is a welfare program clothed in this charade of getting what you paid in.

It certainly can be expressed as a risk transfer: you are paying the SS program a premium against the risk that you outlive your money and end up old and impoverished.

The “getting what you paid in” has always been a huge red herring–the system was never designed with that goal in mind, and the very first recipient had paid in very little. That was known from the get-go.

Most get more than they paid in; some get none. And yes, the balance between the two needs to be adjusted so that the system remains sounds in an actuary sense. We have pretended to make the needed adjustments more than once, and failed each time.

Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2013-10-06 10:42:06

I believe its acronym is SSDI, the disability option.

+1. When the qualifying disability is fraudulent, then it looks a bit like welfare; when the qualifying disability is real, however, it definitely is not.

Comment by Whac-a-Bubble™
2013-10-05 07:57:20

BTW I have really enjoyed your posts — keep up the great work, Mr. Banker!

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Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2013-10-05 08:25:38

+1… But just who IS Mr. Banker??

Comment by Whac-a-Bubble™
2013-10-05 08:45:00

Given they many deep insights he shares with us, I can only assume he is a real banker.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-10-05 19:34:41

“+1… But just who IS Mr. Banker??”

He is our Master. Grovel at his feet subject!

Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2013-10-05 19:51:47

He is our Master. Grovel at his feet subject!


Best post from you some time, HA! Awesome… :-)

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-10-05 20:14:34

I object. Clearly and unquestionably, our best posts are those that directly relate to housing.

Comment by clark
2013-10-06 01:02:27

Housing Analyst asked, “But just who IS Mr. Banker??”

I think Mr.Banker is a former motguage broker from Phoenix, Az. that I gave a link to this website from SHTFPlan.

If that helps?

Comment by No Lawyers
2013-10-05 08:04:24

Mr. Banker,

Does the government work for you or you work for the government?

I think it’s a mutually beneficial relationship between you two.

Please enlighten us.

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Comment by Combotechie
2013-10-05 08:08:55

I AM the government.

Comment by Mr. Banker
2013-10-05 08:10:15

No, I am the government.

Comment by No Lawyers
2013-10-05 08:14:46

So what’s Obama?

What’s Congress?

What’s supreme court?

Comment by Mr. Banker
2013-10-05 08:17:22

My employees.

Comment by Mr. Banker
2013-10-05 08:20:38

If the politicians need lots of money to run for office (and they do) and we bankers and Wall Streeters are in control of the money then just who do you think it is that controls the politicians?

Comment by Mr. Banker
2013-10-05 08:21:51

“It’s a private club, and you ain’t a member.” - G. Carlin

Comment by Whac-a-Bubble™
2013-10-05 09:00:31

Government of the debt slaves, by the bankers, for the bankers, shall not perish from the Nation.

Comment by Bill, just South of Irvine, CA
2013-10-05 08:15:06

In a couple elections we will certainly see whether the Free $h_t voters gather more numbers. Turning 20 million illegals into US citizens will clinch the end of the R party, or at least make the Republicans drop their opposition to taxes, regulations, and welfare.

At that point the only difference between Republicans and Democrats will be the abortion issue. Many Hispanics are social conservatives and the Republicans will use the social conservative message to woo votes.

I have been libertarian since a teen. I foresee a significant growth in Libertarian Party membership, but way less than ever needed to stop the Free $h_t voters from putting their thugs in power. I predict a ceiling of ten percent of the registered voters will become Libertarians. It is useless to use the voting process if you are a free market proponent. Mob rule prevails and we are now like Europe, a dreadful “social democracy.”

The key to the revolution against big government will be from outside the political process. It is in the form of paying less taxes. The Free $h_t voters can vote all they want, but if there is not enough revenue for them to steal, they will eventually run into a wall.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-10-05 07:12:03

Congressional term limits NOW

Comment by Bill, just South of Irvine, CA
2013-10-05 08:59:59

Won’t make a dime’s worth of difference when we get thug A for two years followed by thug B for two years followed by thug C for two years…the Free $h_t Army will just vote for the same mentality - theirs.

Comment by AmazingRuss
2013-10-06 11:30:44

Yep. Will just make the politicians more affordable for the wealthy.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-10-06 17:52:48

It’s a start. Too many royal families.

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Comment by aNYCdj
2013-10-06 23:05:14

public funding of all elections with each candidate getting the same amount of money……

And if the super rich want to run let them!! They might as well spend a couple of hundred million today instead of waiting till they die.

Comment by 2banana
2013-10-05 07:15:56

How do you “shortchange” people by NOT paying a BONUS pensions check at a time when a city is bankrupt???

By the title - even the MSM are getting it.

Public unions + long term democrat rule = bankruptcy and ruin


Detroit union wins victory worth ‘refund on deck of Titanic’
Yahoo - October 05, 2013 - Joseph Lichterman

Detroit’s largest public sector union scored a symbolic victory Friday when a Michigan administrative law judge reinstated an extra annual pension check for city workers and retirees, although the judge in the city’s bankruptcy case has prohibited enforcement of the ruling.

Earlier this year O’Connor read a verbal opinion supporting the case brought by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, claiming Detroit shortchanged its members beginning in November 2011 when the City Council stopped paying a bonus pension check.

That payment and others cost the pension fund $1.92 billion from 1985 to 2008, a 2011 report to city council said.

Comment by Rusty1014
2013-10-05 09:00:20

I read the full story about this, they paid out any earnings above the “expected” rate of return (7.9%), in years when the return exceeded 7.9%. In years when the return was below the expected rate, they just paid the regular pension. What idiot thought this would work? How would they ever make up for losing years? And yet, we taxpayers will be asked to make this program whole. The bankruptcy judge should have the power to confiscate the net worth of every pension board member.

Comment by tresho
2013-10-05 11:00:37

Detroit union wins victory worth ‘refund on deck of Titanic’
More like writing a check to the deceased, putting it in his coffin & then burying it.

Comment by 2banana
2013-10-05 07:32:49

When Liberals Run Cities
Townhall.com | October 5, 2013 | John C. Goodman

Have you ever noticed how often cities where there are very few Republicans elect Republican mayors anyway? Or if they don’t elect a Republican, they elect a Democrat who acts like a Republican.

New York City is known for being a bastion of liberalism. But the city hasn’t had a real liberal mayor for almost 40 years. When Jersey City, New Jersey, elected Republican Bret Schundler as mayor, there probably weren’t more than five Republicans living in the whole city. Democrats have outnumbered Republicans in Dallas County, where I live, for quite some time. Yet Dallas has never really had a liberal mayor.

On the other hand, consider the coming mayoral election in New York City. The Democratic nominee, Bill de Blasio, is unapologetically liberal/progressive. His two main issues are clamping down on the New York Police Department’s “stop and frisk” policy and raising taxes on wealthy New Yorkers to pay for universal pre-K education.

Writing in The Wall Street Journal, Vincent Cannato reminds us all of what liberal governance looked like in years past:

Under Mayor John Lindsay, who embodied the promise and then the tragedy of Great Society liberalism, the city suffered through a tumultuous 1960s and early ’70s. While Lindsay was in office (1966-73), crime continued its dramatic rise, public-sector labor unions turned New York into “Strike City,” welfare rolls increased even amid an economic boom, swaths of the city were hollowed out by arson and abandonment, the city’s infrastructure began to deteriorate, graffiti proliferated, and the middle class continued its flight to the suburbs…

After years of chaos and tumult, New York no longer looked like a good investment. It nearly went bankrupt, and its finances were taken over by an Emergency Financial Control Board.

What happened in New York 40 years ago is not all that dissimilar to what has been happening in Detroit. As that city inched toward its own fiscal cliff, city services deteriorated, taxes rose and taxpayers fled. Now we learn that while all that was going on millions of dollars were being looted from city workers’ pension funds. As reported in The New York Times:

The payments, which were not publicly disclosed, included bonuses to retirees, supplements to workers not yet retired and cash to the families of workers who died before becoming eligible to collect a pension…

Most of the trustees on Detroit’s two pension boards represent organized labor, and for years they could outvote anyone who challenged the payments.

Why do some cities fall into this trap while other cites avoid it? And what does any of this have to do with liberalism as a political philosophy?

Absent a counter force, Detroit’s experience is almost inevitable. As taxpayers escape to other jurisdictions, the political imbalance grows leading to higher taxes, deteriorating services and more taxpayer migration. The ultimate end is a formal or informal bankruptcy, in which the city falls under the control of a judge or some other non-democratic entity. This result is in no one’s interest. But no single group is in a position to stop it. If all the interest groups could get together and agree to show restraint (by asking less from the system and taking less), the demise could be avoided. But there is no mechanism that allows this to happen.

Comment by WT Economist
2013-10-05 08:16:32

“Under Mayor John Lindsay, who embodied the promise and then the tragedy of Great Society liberalism.”

Lindsay was a Republican.

The reason New York City voters, who vote for Democrats from elsewhere, elect Republican Mayors is because the local Democrats are a bunch of corrupt hacks and have been for 170 years.

The issue is one party control. The Red States could use to elect a few Democrats, because the only Democrats who could get elected there are good ones.

Comment by phony scandals
2013-10-05 07:33:14

WARNING: A cash out refi may hasten blindness.

“It was predatory, calculated to strip my equity and set me up for failure.”

What they should have done was given her a loan that added equity to her home and set her up for success.

Wells Fargo foreclosure fighters: They’re baaaack!

04.23.13 -

In attendance at this afternoon’s San Francisco rally will be Bernetta Adolf, a cancer survivor in her late 60s who has also struggled with blindness, a particularly challenging disability that forced her to retire from her city job as a Muni driver.

Adolf is locked in a battle with Wells Fargo over the foreclosure of her home in San Francisco’s Oceanview-Merced-Ingleside neighborhood. The trouble started when she borrowed against the home she’s lived in 20 years, to fund her son’s college education.

“It turns out the loan to provide for my son’s future was designed to ruin my own,” Adolf wrote in an online statement. “It was predatory, calculated to strip my equity and set me up for failure. When I tried to work with Wells to fix the loan, they offered a modification so small it didn’t make any difference. Then they started trying to take my house. The stress hastened my blindness and continues to aggravate my health problems.”

http://www.sfbg.com/politics/2013/04/23/wells-fargo-foreclosure-fighters-they%E2%80%99re-baaaack - 94k -

Comment by Mr. Banker
2013-10-05 07:49:36

“The trouble started when she borrowed against the home she’s lived in 20 years, to fund her son’s college education.”

Is this a great country or what? Put a dotted line in front a person - any dotted line will do - and the person will most likely sign it.

Comment by No Lawyers
2013-10-05 07:55:43

Where’s the son? Is he helping out the parents?

Comment by Mr. Banker
2013-10-05 07:58:26

The son? He’s donating body parts to help meet expenses.

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Comment by Mr. Banker
2013-10-05 07:59:43

er, he’s SELLING body parts to help meet expenses.

Comment by phony scandals
2013-10-05 09:03:58

“Where’s the son? Is he helping out the parents?”

Fast-Food Chains Cut Worker Hours, Blame Obamacare

By Lisa Scherzer
Wed, Jan 9, 2013 5:49 PM EST

According to a local TV station, the store said that employees in non-management positions will have their hours reduced to 28 a week. A spokesman blamed the cuts on the new law that, beginning in 2014, will require employers to offer health coverage to employees who log at least 30 hours a week, or pay a penalty starting at $2,000 per worker. The Wendy’s spokesman said, as a small-business owner, he can’t afford to stay in operation and pay for everyone’s health insurance. Under the law, any company that has more than 50 full-time workers falls under the new health insurance mandate.

http://finance.yahoo.com/blogs/the-exchange/fast-food-chains-cut-worker-hours-blame-obamacare-224911846.html - 134k -

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Comment by Ethan in Norfolk VA
2013-10-05 10:35:49

I wonder what kind of profit the owners are taking home from the restaurant.

Comment by an exceptional debtor
2013-10-05 13:04:06

After the lawyer fees, most likelt not much.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-10-05 07:50:28

HEADLINE- “The Free Sh*t Army Strikes”

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-10-05 07:42:29

“Housing is a depreciating asset, ALWAYS.”

Exactly. No different than a car, refrigerator or lawn mower.

Comment by Whac-a-Bubble™
2013-10-05 07:56:01

Actually quite a bit different than a car, refrigerator or a lawn mower. The depreciation on these basic American household necessities is generally a small fraction of annual income.

By contrast, the depreciation on a house on which you overpaid by hundreds of thousands of dollars, not to mention the massive financial losses, could easily wipe out a typical American family’s annual income.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-10-05 08:01:12

(smack)… thank you for pointing out that error of mine.

There are tens of millions of suckers out there with a debt sentence with no means of appeal.

Comment by Whac-a-Bubble™
2013-10-05 07:54:01

We we be better off as separate countries instead of one big unhappy family? (Not to suggest that California hasn’t already effectively separated, or anything…)

McClellan: I blame Robert E. Lee
October 04, 2013 12:15 am • By Bill McClellan

Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee in an 1864 image by Julian Vannerson. Library of Congress image.

Even the most disastrous things have been done with good intentions. Like Iraq. Hardly anybody this side of Dick Cheney thinks our invasion of that country was worth the price in blood and money, but at the time, most people thought it was a good idea. Truth is, most people thought it was a good idea because they figured it would be relatively easy. We are, after all, a Superpower.

If we were several countries, we wouldn’t be. Illinois would not have invaded Iraq. Not even if it were combined with Minnesota and Wisconsin as the country of Illminnonsin.

Of course, our various countries could still come together as a coalition for really big things. I like to think we wouldn’t have sat out World War II.

But we wouldn’t have invaded Iraq. We wouldn’t be drawing lines in the sand in Syria. Nobody else is doing that. Only us. Why? Because we figure we have to be policeman for the world.

That’s one reason we’re broke. Even when we’re not fighting wars, we’ve got troops all over the world.

If we weren’t broke, it would be easy to overlook the fact that we’re ungovernable. Who would care? If you’re going to be a dysfunctional family, be a rich dysfunctional family. Be the Kardashians. They’re famous for being famous, and being famous pays well. People read about them to get their minds off the fact that we’re broke and ungovernable.

At the moment, our government is shut down. Partially shut down. I have not paid close attention, but I know it has to do with a political squabble about the Affordable Care Act. As bad as the current situation is, we are supposed to be facing an even worse situation later this month when Congress is confronted with raising the debt ceiling.

That could be catastrophic, people say.

But that is the way things go these days. We bounce from crisis to crisis. All solutions are temporary, and as bad as the current crisis is, the next one always promises to be worse. No wonder many of us care so deeply about the Kardashians!

Sadly, I see no hope for the future, either. There is little common ground, and the loudest voices come from the fringes.

It didn’t have to be this way. If Lee had listened to Longstreet, we wouldn’t be one big, unhappy country. We’d be a number of smaller countries. Smaller and happier. Maybe the Kardashians wouldn’t even be famous.

Comment by Whac-a-Bubble™
2013-10-05 08:02:27

“Would we…” (yegads!)

Comment by phony scandals
2013-10-05 08:17:09

As Ashe Schow of the Washington Examiner observed, “while hundreds of thousands of Americans are furloughed for being ‘non-essential,’ the White House has found asking for their stories to be ‘essential.’” Fortunately, a #ShutdownSobStories hashtag has popped up to make these tragic tales easy to find. Check them out, if your heart can take it.

I have no idea what the panda at the National Zoo is doing. #shutdownsobstories3:39 PM - 4 Oct 2013

#shutdownsobstories I have no idea when to drink water or when to move3:54 PM - 4 Oct 2013

#ShutdownSobStories Wildlife in closed National parks are starving due to the lack of picnics.

#ShutDownSobStories Just who is gonna pick up all these dead bodies on my street?

ShutDownSobStories Feeling unsafe without the NSA watching over me.

Harry Reid hurt his finger while pushing his own elevator button.


It snowed today and I had to shovel it. #shutdownsobstories5:30 PM - 4 Oct 2013

ShutDownSobStories Obama has to hold his own umbrella. #OrParasol5:23 PM - 4 Oct 2013

#ShutdownSobStories the White House will only host 2 concerts per month

#shutdownsobstories Moochelle couldn’t get dressed today, the 24 who help her dress are on furlough

#ShutDownSobStories First Dog Bo’s V-22 grounded, has to start riding in AF1 cargo hold. http://shar.es/KBSBk via @sharethis

WWII vets now need to travel with wire cutters. #shutdownsobstories5:37 PM - 4 Oct 2013

ShutDownSobStories Michelle hasn’t had a vacation for 3days

#ShutDownSobStories Kybosh on anymore IRS Star Trek videos.5:28 PM - 4 Oct 2013

Comment by AmazingRuss
2013-10-06 11:32:12

They’re not furloughed. They’re on surprise paid vacation.

Comment by CarrieAnne
2013-10-06 13:04:09

DoD called everyone back to work on the 6th.

Defense Department to Call Back Most Furloughed Civilians (Bloomberg)

The U.S. Defense Department plans to call back most of the civilian employees it furloughed last week under the federal government shutdown, a move that averted some layoffs planned by defense contractors.

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said in a statement yesterday that legislation signed by President Barack Obama, which ensured that service members were paid on time during the shutdown, permitted the military to call back employees responsible for the “morale, well-being, capabilities and readiness of service members.”

“I expect us to be able to significantly reduce — but not eliminate — civilian furloughs under this process,” Hagel said in the statement. “Employees can expect to hear more information from their managers starting this weekend.”

Comment by Whac-a-Bubble™
2013-10-05 09:51:18

ft dot com
Last updated: October 4, 2013 8:55 pm
Shutdown puts trade talks on ice
By Geoff Dyer and James Politi in Washington and Shawn Donnan in London

A worker operates a forklift among containers at a shipping terminal in Yokohama City, Kanagawa Prefecture, Japan, on Monday, June 17, 2013. Japan has posted a surplus in its current account, the broadest measure of international trade, every year since at least 1985, Ministry of Finance data show, helping the nation to finance its government deficits without being dependent on foreign capital.©Bloomberg

US efforts to conclude trade deals with the European Union and 12 Pacific Rim nations suffered a big blow as a result of its government shutdown, with US trade officials cancelling next week’s round of talks in Brussels and Barack Obama scrapping a trip to meet Asian leaders.

Mike Froman, US trade representative, called Karel De Gucht, EU trade commissioner, on Friday to tell him that the shutdown would “prevent” his office from “proceeding” with the second round of talks.

“He noted that financial and staffing constraints related to the shutdown make it impossible to send a full team of negotiators; USTR will work with the [European] Commission to craft an alternative work plan that can begin once the US government shutdown ends,” a USTR spokeswoman said.

Mr Froman emphasised that the deal remained “a major economic priority for the US, with the potential to enhance the world’s largest economic relationship and support jobs on both sides of the Atlantic when an agreement can be completed”.

João Vale de Almeida, the EU ambassador to Washington, tweeted on Friday afternoon that “unfortunately” the round of talks had been axed and added: “The EU is ready when you are!”.

In a statement , Mr DE Gucht said: “The cancellation of next week’s negotiation round in Brussels is clearly unfortunate but let me underline that it in no way distracts us from our overall aim of achieving an ambitious trade and investment deal between Europe and the US which will bring real economic benefit to people on both sides of the Atlantic.”

Comment by Whac-a-Bubble™
2013-10-05 09:53:55

ft dot com
October 4, 2013 6:37 pm
US policy makers fear flying blind
By Robin Harding in Washington
People check the jobs board at a Denver Workforce Center, part of the Denver Office of Economic Development, in Denver, Colorado©Bloomberg

A lengthy government shutdown could paralyse US Federal Reserve policy making – including a crucial decision on when to slow its asset purchases – and create ripple effects that make economic data less useful for months or even years to come.

US policy makers fear a continued government shutdown could seriously degrade the quality of economic data and leave them without reliable information until January.

The Fed will rely heavily on government figures to assess when to taper its monetary stimulus from $85bn-a-month so the loss of data could have big effects on global markets.

Although the first impact of the shutdown was a delay in jobs numbers for September, which were due for release on Friday, policy makers are more concerned about the integrity of October’s data.

Several officials said their greatest fear was that the government would not reopen by October 14, the survey week for the monthly jobs report. The government will release September’s number when it eventually reopens but the October data could be lost forever.

Without a prior month for comparison, November data would be hard to compile and interpret, so December data – released in January – would be the next clear reading on how the economy is performing.

“It’s a loss of clarity at a critical time,” said Diane Swonk, chief economist at Mesirow Financial in Chicago. “It’s like flying blind.”

Comment by Whac-a-Bubble™
2013-10-05 11:15:37

Anybody who doesn’t believe the taper will be postponed indefinitely, please raise your hand!

Comment by azdude02
2013-10-05 18:49:51
Comment by tresho
2013-10-05 11:11:59

Making housing more affordable in Traverse City Michigan area
Sheila Crowley, president of the National Low Income Housing Coalition, said Traverse City and northern Michigan could significantly benefit from a change in the federal tax code, which she is advocating, to help fund more affordable housing projects.

Crowley was in Traverse City Wednesday to discuss the National Housing Trust Fund that was established by Congress in 2008 as part of the Housing and Economic Recovery Act. The fund was meant to create an alternative funding source for affordable housing, but financing never materialized after the housing crash.

Crowley and her organization now advocate for funding through modifications to the mortgage interest deduction. The group wants to lower the cap on the amount of interest that can be deducted on mortgages from $500,000 to $1 million and convert deductions into a non-refundable 15 percent tax credit.

The National Association of Realtors opposes any change to the mortgage interest deduction. Officials with the national agency said the mortgage interest rate deduction is a critical part of promoting home ownership.

Affordable housing remains in strong demand in northern Michigan and particularly in Traverse City. The 2012 Grand Traverse County Housing Inventory and Strategy found regional families increasingly spend huge chunks of their budgets on housing. Nearly half of all rental households pay more than 30 percent of their income for housing. For households earning $20,000 or less, the percentage is nearly 80 percent.

“We in Traverse City are mentally deficient very challenged,” Traverse City Commissioner Jim Carruthers said. “We live in a resort community flooded by retirees and second homeowners willing and able to spend extravagant sums on housing with high-income properties, and housing that costs too damn much homelessness issues and affordable housing is always going to be a problem for us.”

Comment by rms
2013-10-05 11:46:07

During the eighties recession(s) it was commonplace to see cars for sale with “Take Over Payments” rather than a price; not so these days. I’ve been waiting for the desperation sales with some of that “down payment, sweet equity” buried in the deal, but it isn’t happening…yet. Have cash.

Comment by 2banana
2013-10-05 12:57:36

These are really funny.

Inexplicably bad property photographs.


Comment by oxide
2013-10-05 13:32:48

That sculpture(?) in the bedroom…

Comment by rms
2013-10-05 19:34:21

Gee, is that Mr. Ed looking for a tickle?

Comment by Ben Jones
2013-10-05 15:45:58

‘The shutdown of the government is impacting many home buyers and sellers who face uncertainty about when mortgages can be approved and their sales closed. ‘Every single move on their part I think is a farce and it’s shameful. It’s a completely shameful way to behave,’ said Alex Schroeder Futures Design.’

‘Schroeder buys and sells homes for a living. He’s what’s popularly known as a ‘flipper,’ which means he buys distressed homes, rehabilitates them and then sells them for a profit. He made his latest sale just last week, but now the government shutdown has put it in doubt.’

‘It puts it in uncertainty which is pretty serious because that’s my source of income,’ said Schroeder. One lender at Alain Pinel we talked to estimated that one out of four loans in California are government backed by the Veterans Administration or Federal Housing Administration. Those loans are now in limbo due to the shutdown. With each passing day of the shutdown, Alex is feeling more pressure.’

‘We need this sale to go through. We need it go through quickly. The money is tied up. We want it to roll into the next project as soon as possible,’ said Schroeder.’

Comment by Strawberrypicker
2013-10-05 17:26:58

Boo hoo again. Some flipper is inconvenienced.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-10-05 18:20:41



The clown is too stupid to realize the shutdown is likely saving him from massive losses.

Comment by Ben Jones
2013-10-05 17:16:26

‘Downtown Minneapolis is ground zero for the apartment-building boom, with the most projects in the pipeline, and the majority of those apartments priced at the upper end of the market. Call them “luxury,” “upscale,” “high-end,” or just expensive. Veteran developer Jim Stanton is building Stonebridge Lofts, a brand-new 164-unit condo building in downtown Minneapolis near the Guthrie Theater. At press time, he said he had 89 presales and seven reservations; the building is set to open in spring 2014.’

‘Did Stanton ever consider apartments at his site? “Not too seriously,” he says. ““My read is, [with] the apartments, we might be approaching a bubble. We have an awful lot of them coming on in a short period of time,” Stanton says of the current rental market. “I decided to go where the competition ain’t.”

‘Job growth and apartment development are inextricably linked. Nationally, Washington, D.C., is being watched closely as a market at risk for a glut of new apartments. Jay Denton, vice president of research for Dallas-based Axiometrics, Inc., an apartment market research firm, thinks it is not creating enough new jobs to support the volume of apartments in the pipeline.’

“[Developers and investors] look at Washington, D.C., and they get scared,” he says; worry about rising vacancies, lower investment returns, and a slowdown in future development. “It’s the one market where oversupply is really feared.”

Comment by AbsoluteBeginner
2013-10-05 21:02:16

Chuck Barris

Comment by phony scandals
2013-10-06 07:17:07

Chuck’s finest work besides Rio’s buddy.

Gong Show: The Popsicle Twins (aka “Have You Got A … - YouTube
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tDxDYIQL6Nc - 160k -

Comment by phony scandals
2013-10-06 07:23:27

Popsicle Twins incident[edit]

Barris was well known for his run-ins with the censors, bringing in risque acts as bait to allow some of the less risque acts to slip by. In 1978, one of these bait acts, two teenage girls known simply as “Have You Got A Nickel” (also called the Popsicle Twins) made their way onto the show after being cleared by the censors, who saw nothing objectionable at the time about their act. The two girls, after walking out onto the stage barefoot wearing shorts and t-shirts, sat down and proceeded to consume their popsicles in a sexually suggestive manner. While they were able to complete their act without being gonged, two of the judges gave them low marks (Phyllis Diller gave them a zero, while Jamie Farr awarded them a marginally better 2). The third judge, Jaye P. Morgan, would award them a 10, quipping, “Do you know? That’s how I started.” (She was rewarded with a popsicle from one of the girls before they left the stage.) The “Popsicle Twins” skit aired in Eastern time zone markets, but NBC pulled the act from the Central, Mountain, and Pacific airings of the day’s episode immediately after it ended;[9][10] the act was not cut from all the tapes, however, as the Popsicle Twins incident has aired in reruns.

Comment by Whac-a-Bubble™
2013-10-06 00:27:21

Luckily, since as many of our astute posters here have pointed out, the housing market doesn’t depend much on mortgage lending these days, thanks to the all-cash investor brigade, there should be no worries if mortgage approvals are on hold until when and if the government shutdown ends.

Shutdown will stall home loans for thousands

Courtesy of Matthew Green/Courtesy of Matthew Green - The shutdown at USDA’s rural development loan program has cost Matthew and Natali Green the starter house they’ve been waiting to buy since last April.

By Lisa Rein, Published: October 4 E-mail the writer

Beginning next week, thousands of home buyers will be unable to get approvals for their mortgages because of the government shutdown, potentially undercutting the nation’s resurgent housing market.

Without paperwork from the Internal Revenue Service, the Social Security Administration and in many cases the Federal Housing Administration, banks and other mortgage lenders will be less willing to make loans, if they can make them at all. For instance, lenders rely on the IRS to confirm borrowers’ income and on Social Security to confirm their identity.

Every day that government offices remain shuttered will delay an ever-larger fraction of mortgage closings, industry leaders say, jeopardizing mortgage and interest-rate approvals and spooking sellers. About 15,000 new home mortgages and 18,000 refinancings on average are completed across the country each day.

On Friday, House Republicans continued to insist on changes to President Obama’s health-care program as a condition for funding the government. But with attention on Capitol Hill shifting to an Oct. 17 debt-ceiling deadline, there was no end in sight to the government shutdown, nor relief for prospective home buyers.

“Most people don’t really think about, ‘Well my loan is going to be underwritten by a federal agency,’ ” said Marj Rosner, vice president and sales manager at Long & Foster, a real estate firm. “But the government has a huge imprint here.”

Comment by Neuromance
2013-10-06 14:59:34

The government IS the mortgage market. It’s generally well known that 90%-plus of the mortgages are backed or bought by government, as the article states. But, based on this, it’s more like it’s just about 100%. For the past several years too. So the following article considers the impact on housing.

Government Shutdown Risks Hurting The Housing Recovery
10/01/2013 @ 7:00AM
By Morgan Brennan

One of the biggest questions regarding the shutdown and how it will affect housing has revolved around the mortgage market, specifically prospective buyers’ access to new home loans. After all, more than 90% of all loan activity is underwritten, insured, or owned by the government and its affiliated entities.

Mortgages purchased and securitized by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will be unaffected because their operations are paid for by fees charged to lenders. And the Department of Veterans Affairs will continue to guarantee mortgages for Americans that have served in the military since these loans are funded by user fees as well.

Where there has been mounting concern is the Federal Housing Administration, which currently endorses about 15% of the entire single-family mortgage market. Several media outlets recently reported that the FHA would be unable to endorse any single-family loans and that no staff would be available underwrite and approve new loans. [ed note: Jeb Hensarling, chair of the House Financial Services committee, said, "Over the years, the FHA has strayed far from its original mission. ... It has become the nation’s largest subprime lender.]


Comment by clark
2013-10-06 01:16:37

Bill, just South of Irvine, CA wrote, “- no use getting married if you don’t want kids.”

I disagree with that.
But, YMMV I guess.

shendi asked, “What’s up with people with dogs that do not clean up after their dogs?”

Oh mang, what’s up with people carrying plastic bags while following their pets around? That’s gross And creepy.
It’s as if the pets are walking the owner.

Hey, it’s a lot like a house?

Yeesh, and the birds & the squirrels get a free pass, what’s up with that?

Myself, I will pray for Alpha, and the other commie, the one in Brazil. And the single guy, or woman, I hope they find someone.

Free range pets rock! …Unless they’re the illegitimate child of Oboma, then their mom gets whacked and nobody notices the offspring.

And so it goes, just another day in Bizarro World.

I can’t wait for page two.

Comment by Mr. Banker
2013-10-06 04:30:39

“Yeesh, and the birds & the squirrels get a free pass, what’s up with that?”

The birds and squirrels have conditioned - have trained - the FBs just as everyone else has.

Lol. Convince an FB that he himself has trained the birds and the squirrels to come to him at their leisure and eat food that he, the FB, spends his own time and energy and money to provide and then convince the FB that he is the one who patiently trained them while in reality it is the other way around.

He, the FB, works hard to provide food that the birds and the squirrels get to eat for free. All the birds and squirrels have to do is show up.

Comment by Whac-a-Bubble™
2013-10-06 05:25:27

I have a suggestion for FBs everywhere: Feed your squirrels, as stated in the signed agreement with the former owner, and get over it.

Comment by Mr. Banker
2013-10-06 06:05:34

This can be a selling point, this commitment to feeding the squirrels, if the proper spin is placed upon it. The newly minted FB not only gets an alligator of a mortgage to feed he also gets to feed a bunch of squirrels.

If other FBs who buy do not have squirrels to feed then they, the others, can be looked down upon by the squirrel guy; He has squirrels, they don’t. He has bragging rights that they don’t have.

It all has to do with the spin. Spin something correctly and something - anything - can be promoted as being a wonderful idea (Example: Can some sh!t and call it art).

BTW, what is a view of the ocean worth? You know, that huge, scarce body of water that covers most of the planet? What’s it worth to get a view of it, not own it, just get a view of it? Maybe not even a good view, just a glimpse?

Lots of people will willingly pay some very big bucks for property just for the ocean view because along with the ocean view they get some very exclusive bragging rights (”I have an ocean view, you don’t.”)

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Comment by spook
2013-10-06 05:23:44

Steering wheel slavery and guns don’t mix

2 Concealed Carry Holders Kill Each Other In Road Rage Incident


Comment by Combotechie
2013-10-06 07:21:23

Two Darwin Award candidates.

Comment by In Colorado
2013-10-06 07:34:40

I can only imagine what went through their minds after they were shot. They had guns after all, so they were supposed to be bad ass. Getting shot and dying, that wasn’t supposed to happen. Dual Darwin award winners.

Between crazy drivers and trigger happy cops, I think it’s best to drive very politely these days.

Life in America.

Comment by Bill, just South of Irvine, CA
2013-10-06 13:16:26

So this made headlines. As if 99.999% of all CCW people would kill each other too if one road rages another. Good grief. In reality every CCW holder goes through a background investigation and has to take a class. No prior arrests and so forth. What does “no prior arrests” mean to you? So if these two, perhaps 50 years old, had no prior run-ins with the law, then all of a sudden snap, then shoot each other, how likely is this to happen out of all the CCW holders?

Comment by phony scandals
2013-10-06 06:07:19

“Yeesh, and the birds & the squirrels get a free pass, what’s up with that?”

Squirrels are rats with furry tails, if I were a rat I would bring a lawsuit for tail discrimination and demand compensation for all my ancestors. Squirrels get the run of the parks and rats get the exterminator, what’s up with that?

Squirrels - Backyard Nature

Dec 15, 2011 …

Squirrels, such as the Eastern Gray Squirrel, Sciurus carolinensis, at the right, as well as chipmunks, are rodents, just like mice and rats. They all belong to the order Rodentia. A conspicuous feature uniting squirrels with rats and mice is their teeth. In the front of all rodent mouths, including those of squirrels, there are four chisel-like gnawing-teeth called incisors, two above and two below. Immediately behind the incisors there’s a space, and then flattish back teeth appear. These back teeth, or “cheek” teeth, are adapted for grinding. The vast majority of rodents also have four toes on each front foot, and five on each hind foot.

http://www.backyardnature.net/squrrls.htm - 16k -

Comment by Mr. Banker
2013-10-06 07:10:38

“What’s up with that?”

It’s all in the marketing. Market squirrels as rodents and they may get treated as rats get treated. Market them as maybe something akin to “sharing in the Wilderness Experience” and then you may end up with a protected species.

Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2013-10-06 07:51:24

Squirrels are rats with furry tails

Squirrels are rats with good PR.

Comment by phony scandals
2013-10-06 08:04:43

How do you plead squirrel, guilty or not guilty?

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Comment by phony scandals
2013-10-06 08:13:04

Lois the squirrel says her tail has done nothing wrong and was not discriminatory towards rats but invokes Fifth Amendment in a House hearing on tail targeting.

Comment by Whac-a-Bubble™
2013-10-06 08:36:07

Realtor®s are rats with squirrely clients.

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Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-10-06 09:52:14

Correction: Realtor®s are Sh*tHouse Rats with clueless turd clients.

Comment by tresho
2013-10-06 10:17:03

I like squirrels, and not just for their fuzzy tails. They will sit up their trees and stare me down, they will tell me they don’t like the cats prowling my back yard by making an alarm call, and generally have an attitude towards humans. Rats are sneaky skulkers and scavengers who just mess things up.

Comment by In Colorado
2013-10-06 07:37:08

But, YMMV I guess.

I think that some people, for various reasons, shouldn’t get married or even be in relationships.

Comment by clark
2013-10-06 01:33:17

Here’s the link that draws the conclusions about that woman being Obama’s mistress:


I suspect that in certain quarters it will blow up and distract people from thinking about a housing bubble.

…But what do I know, it just seems like a familiar story in, ‘any town, America’.

Like I said, I can’t wait for page two.

Comment by jose canusi
2013-10-06 08:07:47

The head injury thing makes a lot of sense. Poor woman.

Comment by jose canusi
2013-10-06 08:25:39

And I really doubt Obama has any mistresses, at least as we understand the term.

Comment by Blue Skye
2013-10-06 19:27:39

Well, he does think he’s JFK.

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Comment by Whac-a-Bubble™
2013-10-06 05:29:00

Don’t hold your breath on that QE3 taper.

ft dot com
On Wall Street
October 4, 2013 10:12 am
Washington impasse will delay Fed taper
By Michael Mackenzie in New York
Shutdown to stifle growth, business and consumer sentiment

The 10-year Treasury note is the linchpin of the global financial system and judging by its meagre yield of 2.6 per cent, the message from the bond market this week was clear: the US is not going to default on its obligations.

That was not enough to stop the temperature from rising in some markets after the US government was shut down for the first time since 1995.

In a weary echo of 2011, the focus of investors has turned to whether the $16.7tn debt ceiling can be raised by October 17, thereby preventing a possible delay in debt payments by the US Treasury, which would rank as a technical default.

Yields on Treasury bills that mature later this month have risen sharply this week as some money market funds decided prudence was the correct course of action. The cost of insuring against a US default in the thinly traded realm of sovereign credit derivatives also rose sharply, while equity investors headed for the exit as the shutdown was set to continue into next week and a showdown over the debt ceiling loomed.

With Washington gridlocked, the US Treasury sounded the alarm: “If market participants were to lose confidence in the United States’ willingness to repay its debts, the adverse effects seen in 2011 could reappear, and even push up yields on Treasury securities. Such a rise in Treasury yields would also raise the cost of financing the government’s debt and worsen the fiscal position of the government.”

Beyond nervous short-term positioning across markets ahead of a likely last-minute debt ceiling deal as we saw in August of 2011, the much bigger story is what the latest bout of Washington intransigence means for the US economy and in turn the Federal Reserve’s policy outlook.

A month ago, the 10-year Treasury touched 3 per cent and the market was firmly in the grasp of the bears. Prospects for the economy were being talked up and investors prepared for a dilution of the Fed’s hefty $85bn of monthly bond purchases.

Now, it appears the central bank was very prescient last month in deciding against a taper, and not just because of the current fiscal stand-off.

Comment by Bill, just South of Irvine, CA
2013-10-06 13:18:23

Big business media says there will be no default. The Democrat Party wants to avoid default and continue Keynesianism.

QE 4 will be announced soon.

Comment by Whac-a-Bubble™
2013-10-06 06:26:16

Is the Government Shutdown Roadblocking U.S. Housing Recovery?
Posted: 10/04/2013 5:15 pm

If you’re considering buying or refinancing a home and you need a VA, USDA or FHA mortgage, the government shutdown might seem like a detour on your path to home financing. Headlines are touting that borrowers won’t be able to get government loans during the shutdown, sending the housing recovery into a downward spiral. Even reputable outlets have missed the mark on explaining the shutdown’s impact on housing because of the complexities involved.

Comment by azdude02
2013-10-06 09:48:55

its costing me some equity. I need tires for the car.

Comment by Whac-a-Bubble™
2013-10-06 11:22:39

Don’t worry; once Congress catches wind that the shutdown may jeopardize the housing recovery, they will end the stalemate within 24 hours max.

Comment by phony scandals
2013-10-06 06:28:19

To protect and to serve?

If only this attack had not happened in Mayor Bloomberg’s Utopia perhaps the beating victim could have thwarted the attackers by throwing a Big Gulp at them.

FIVE off-duty NYPD officers were among the bikers involved in SUV attack but not one of them intervened to help father as he was viciously beaten in revenge for running one of them over

By Daily Mail Reporter and Ryan Gorman
PUBLISHED: 18:59 EST, 4 October 2013 |
UPDATED: 10:24 EST, 5 October 2013

At least five off-duty New York Police Department officers have admitted being present at the savage revenge beating last weekend on the Henry Hudson Parkway, according to reports.

Among the off duty cops were at least two detectives and three other officers, all who witnessed the attack and did little to stop it. One of the detectives, an undercover narcotics officer, watched as the violence broke out and chose not to break it up for fear of ruining his cover.

The five officers were not the only ones present, WABC is reporting that the NYPD is investigating whether several off-duty corrections officers were also there. Police who saw the violent attack did not begin coming forward until Wednesday - four days later.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2445011/5-duty-NYPD-officers-bikers-involved-Edwin-Mieses-Jr-SUV-attack.html -

Comment by jose canusi
2013-10-06 07:45:26

We’ve reached the Mad Max stage.

Comment by tresho
2013-10-06 10:21:00

We’ve reached the Mad Max stage.
By no means. A Mad Max event would have ended in everyone in the SUV being tortured, burned alive, and their bodies left to rot on the road. The extent of police involvement would have been to push the debris off the road into a gutter.

Comment by phony scandals
2013-10-06 07:02:40

I wonder if the undocumented worker who was behind the wheel of the hit and run on my parked F-250 a couple of months ago was at the rally?

“She said U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is deporting more than 1,000 people a day.”

Well you had 100 right there that ICE didn’t touch despite “the law of the land”. How long has it been since the Feds got to decide which “law of the land” they will enforce and which “law of the land” they will not enforce anyway?

Posted: 8:11 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 5, 2013

Undocumented workers rally for immigration reform in Lake Worth

By Jeff Ostrowski

Palm Beach Post Staff Writer

Doris, an immigrant from Honduras, fears a 6 a.m. visit from federal officials like the one that ended in her son’s deportation.

Jorge, who has lived in America for 18 years, dreams of a legal status that would let him apply for a driver license and travel between his home in Lake Worth and his family in Mexico.

The two undocumented workers were among a crowd of about 100 who gathered in Lake Worth on Saturday to urge the federal government to end deportations and to adopt immigration reform. They were part of a nationwide series of nearly 200 protests calling for “dignity and respect” for undocumented immigrants.

Isabel Vinent, deputy director of the Florida Immigration Coalition, led chants of, “Obama, escucha, estamos en la lucha.” (“Obama, listen, we’re in the fight.”)

She said U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is deporting more than 1,000 people a day.

http://www.palmbeachpost.com/news/news/undocumented-workers-rally-for-immigration-reform-/nbGrs/ - 90k

Comment by jose canusi
2013-10-06 13:29:50

zombie apocalypse.

Comment by jose canusi
2013-10-06 14:15:24

All kidding aside, it’s a pretty depressing bunch of folks. People are scared pissless because of what the future portends.

Comment by Ben Jones
2013-10-06 08:41:35

This is a couple of weeks old:


‘A limited supply of available homes drove U.S. home prices up 12.4 percent in July compared to a year ago, and local realtors have seen a similar trend in the High Desert. Month-over-month price gains shrank in 15 cities in July compared with the previous month, indicating prices may be peaking. And the month-over-month gains in the 20-city price index have slowed for three straight months, the AP said.’

“The homes priced to sell are going quickly,” said Karen Sanchez, a broker associate with Real Living Hamilton Landon. “But the average standard home is priced 10 percent above the average, which means the homes are receiving multiple offers and staying on the market longer.”

From the comments:

‘Wish my house would sell for what I want to and what the county has it accessed for , but all the offers on it have been $15 to $20 thousand below market value. :).’

‘And Christmas is now in August. BS! Within a 1 mile radius of anyones home, there will be a minimum of 3 bank owned properties. The exceptions being some of the rural areas in AV, Lucerne Valley and Phelan. You may not notice these homes driving down the street because banks are more or less being made to maintain them so that they don’t become neighborhood eye-sores. Also, they are not listed for sale because the banks want to be able to control market values by limiting the available REO inventory.’

‘I am getting ready to put my house on the market and get out of California but I do not think I am going to get what I have into my place. If I do not get what I want I wont sell it , I have a beautiful place up here and a 50 x 60 ft shop for my hubby’s man cave , gardens, greenhouse name it even grass it is beautiful but I need to get out of this state and this Desert.’

Comment by Whac-a-Bubble™
2013-10-06 09:52:05

“But the average standard home is priced 10 percent above the average, which means the homes are receiving multiple offers and staying on the market longer.”

Similar to Lake Wobegon, where the women are strong, the men are good looking, and all the children are above average, these homes are priced on average 10 percent above average, stay on the market longer, and all receive multiple offers.

Comment by rms
2013-10-06 10:56:44

“…a 50 x 60 ft shop for my hubby’s man cave…”

That’s what I’m missing in my life.

Comment by CarrieAnne
2013-10-08 06:31:56

those spaces used to be called barns…but that’s much less glam

Comment by Ben Jones
2013-10-06 08:47:37

Here’s an offer for joe, if he can make it out to Santa Monica:


‘As the government shutdown continues, New West Symphony will offer 100 complimentary tickets to its concerts this weekend to those government workers who have been furloughed or otherwise impacted by the shutdown.’

“While politics divide, music unites and it is the job of cultural institutions to do our part in reaching out to those in need,” said Executive Director Natalia Staneva. “Music has soothing qualities that can help those impacted escape reality for an evening. It is our way to give back.”

These little newspapers on the coast in California seem to have lots of local ads for plastic surgery.

Comment by tresho
2013-10-06 10:45:47

WHAT THE BANKERS KNEW (working paper at Tuck School of Business)
When it comes to buying and selling their own homes, traders at the heart of the housing bubble did worse than most, says Tuck finance professor Ing-Haw Cheng.

As the United States still struggles to recover from the financial crisis of 2008, a lot of blame has been passed around for the proximate causes of the event. Some point to the 1999 repeal of the Glass-Steagall law as the watershed moment, as it allowed banks to re-couple their deposit and investment functions, creating the opportunity for conflicts of interest. But deregulation is an amorphous enemy, so the public has been quick to blame investment bankers themselves. Many find it hard to imagine that bankers missed seeing large-scale problems in housing markets before others. Among the worst fears are that bankers knew they were creating toxic mortgage-backed securities but did so anyway because they stood to make a lot of money in fees and bonuses.

To assess whether those most involved in the market were aware that real estate prices were about to go over a cliff, Ing-Haw Cheng, an assistant professor of business administration at Tuck, decided to examine something the traders should have protected most vigilantly: their own pocketbooks. Along with Sahil Raina of the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business and Wei Xiong of Princeton University, Cheng researched the personal real estate transactions of hundreds of mid-level mortgage securities traders between 2003 and 2006, the period during which the real estate bubble was inflating.

They hypothesized that given the traders’ inside knowledge, they should have been less likely to buy new homes during the run-up in prices, or more likely to divest or downsize any existing homes. This approach allowed the researchers to examine traders’ beliefs, independent of any poorly-designed job incentives. They then compared the results with the real estate transactions of plausibly uninformed control groups consisting of lawyers and Wall Street stock analysts over the same time period.

Cheng and his co-authors found that those who dealt in mortgage-backed securities did worse in timing their own real estate transactions than those in the control groups. Those working in securitization were more likely to buy second houses or move into more expensive homes during the 2003-2006 price run-up than the average equity analyst or lawyer. Several of those homes were also subsequently sold at low prices during the bust.

One important nuance, Cheng offers, is that bankers may have been aware of problems with subprime mortgage-backed securities, but still blind to the impending collapse of the broader real estate market. And this is despite their active participation in that broader market. “It was surprising to find that those working in the mortgage-backed securities industry showed a lack of cautiousness in their own real estate transactions, particularly since their human capital is tied to the health of the housing market,” says Cheng. “They seemingly took extra money from bonuses and raises and put it into homes, without regard for the fact that house prices were high and that many would lose their jobs if housing markets cooled off. Needless to say, housing markets collapsed, and these bankers didn’t make out too well.”

The research also suggests that certain subgroups of those in the mortgage-backed securities industry may have been overly optimistic in their home purchases. For instance, those who lived in the fizziest real estate markets, who purchased second homes particularly aggressively, may have been influenced by the sentiment in those areas. Meanwhile, those who worked on the sell side, and at firms with particularly high exposure to the housing market, had poor performance in their home portfolios. These groups may have been influenced by group think—where the desire to minimize conflict within the group leads to support for incorrect decisions or inaccurate observations.

“Much of the discussion these days revolves around whether bankers knowingly deceived people,” says Cheng. “There’s little evidence that these bankers anticipated the broad crash in housing. Instead, we should be asking if bankers themselves got caught up in the hype of the bubble, blinding them to any warning signs they might have been able to see otherwise.”

Cheng’s work demonstrates financial firms’ misguided incentives are only part of the story behind the trading in mortgage-backed securities during the run-up to the financial crisis. Those most heavily involved in the market showed their belief in the unsustainable pace of home price increases through their personal real estate transactions—and lost, just like everyone else.

I.H. Cheng, S. Raina, and W. Xiong, “Wall Street and the Housing Bubble,” working paper. Sahil Raina is a Ph.D. candidate at the Ross School of Business. Wei Xiong is a professor of economics at Princeton University.

Comment by Mr. Banker
2013-10-06 11:20:23

“Among the worst fears are that bankers knew that they were creating toxic mortgage-backed securities but did so anyway because they stood to make a lot of money in fees and bonuses.”

As long as the music was playing we were going to want to dance. If one bank chose not to play the game then the other banks would simply step in and pick up the slack. After all, it’s not as if there was al that much risk involved (for the banks, that is).

Comment by Bill, just South of Irvine, CA
2013-10-06 11:29:27

My boss, the CEO of a small company, is a proponent of Obamacare, even though he has under 50 employees. All of us have all our insurance paid for. It really depends on what the company gets out of the employees. He is a California liberal. Most liberals are generous with other people’s money. He’s generous with his own money…so far.

This does not make me a leftist statist. When the 20 million illegals get amnesty, the Democrats will work on including them in ObamaScare. This will cause premiums to go sky high.

I was paying $100 per month for my health insurance most of the last 13 years.

Comment by Bill, just South of Irvine, CA
2013-10-06 14:50:22

On second thoughtt I think under the law, my boss will not have to furnish insurance, since he has less than 50 employees. No wonder he is in support of ObamScare! He has only seventeen employees.

I expect my company benefit of paid-for health insurance to go away soon.

Comment by Pete
2013-10-06 16:00:22

“When the 20 million illegals get amnesty, the Democrats will work on including them in ObamaScare. This will cause premiums to go sky high.”

Actually, I think that adding them into the pool would force premiums down, as most of them are young and won’t need alot of medical care.

“On second thought I think under the law, my boss will not have to furnish insurance, since he has less than 50 employees. No wonder he is in support of ObamScare! He has only seventeen employees.
I expect my company benefit of paid-for health insurance to go away soon.”

You are correct about your boss not having to provide insurance under the new law. But he’s already been providing it, so why would he stop? If you’re saying that it’s because premiums will go up, I doubt it. Google Obamacare shop exchange. Besides offering tax credits to companies w/fewer than 50 employees, small companies like this will get the same rate as larger companies.

Of course it’s possible that it won’t work as intended, but I don’t think your fear of your employer dropping the insurance is well-founded. If he does, I’m sure we’ll hear about it here!

Comment by Bill, just South of Irvine, CA
2013-10-06 16:27:14

He might be happy that he has an edge, as a small business, over those that have more than 50 employees. In fact I have seen this in action. At the place I just came from, they had layoff after layoff since 2010. They had over 50 employees and got bought by a very large company, but still laid off another 8. My current company used to provide staffing there in the golden days.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-10-06 16:21:13

“If you pay current massively inflated prices for a depreciating house, you’ll be so indebted that you’ll be fetching coffee for the boss at 65 years old.”

No thanks. I’ll pass on being a Donkey in my 60’s.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-10-06 17:26:00

“Housing is a money pit.”/b> Bill in CA, 10/5/2013

Comment by Bill, just South of Irvine, CA
2013-10-06 17:44:30

I’m renting a $1350 apartment in a sea of $500,000 houses. They think they have it so good

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-10-06 17:47:29

Without a buyer in sight.

Comment by Blue Skye
2013-10-06 20:02:33

I applaud you. I rent a $100 dock in a sea of $300K houses. I anchor in their secluded bays and they think that they are so lucky.

It seems to draw near though, the freezing time that I will have to crawl upon the land amongst the debtors.

Comment by AbsoluteBeginner
2013-10-06 19:55:41

Max Baer, Jr.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-10-06 20:09:12

Grandpa Jones

Comment by AbsoluteBeginner
2013-10-06 21:32:52

Open the door, let them in.

Comment by AbsoluteBeginner
2013-10-06 21:38:37

Let’s see, social security deduction —–> about 15% less money my employer could pay me if they had to.

ObamaCare————> ?

Hmmm, hmmm, hmmmm……

I imagine the Roth IRA is cannon fodder down the road eventually.

Just thinking out loud.

I see debt, people.

Comment by Whac-a-Bubble™
2013-10-06 23:01:48

I thought raising the debt ceiling had been removed from the Republican side of the table as a bargaining chip, but apparently not. Did the RNC decide to stress test the Fed’s ability to use QE3 to keep Treasury bond yields low?

Consequently, tomorrow could be a very exciting trading day on Wall Street. Got extortion?

House Speaker John Boehner demands cuts for debt limit increase
By Matt Smith, CNN
updated 7:18 PM EDT, Sun October 6, 2013
Watch this video
Boehner: This fight was coming
* Default? “That’s the path we’re on,” House speaker tells ABC
* Republicans are “playing with fire” on debt limit, Treasury chief tells CNN
* Cruz: GOP should demand big structural cuts before raising borrowing limit

(CNN) — House Republicans won’t support raising the federal government’s borrowing limit without new spending cuts from the Obama administration, and the White House risks an unprecedented U.S. default by refusing, House Speaker John Boehner said Sunday.

Speaking six days into a partial government shutdown and 11 days before the Treasury Department expects to hit its statutory debt ceiling, Boehner told ABC’s “This Week” that he wants “a serious conversation” about spending, but no tax increases. Asked if the United States would default on debt payments unless President Barack Obama makes concessions, Boehner said, “That’s the path we’re on.”

“The votes are not in the House to pass a clean debt limit” — one with no conditions attached — “and the president is risking default by not having a conversation with us,” said Boehner, R-Ohio.

But speaking on CNN’s State of the Union, Treasury Secretary Jack Lew said Congress is “playing with fire” by threatening to leave the U.S. government unable to pay its creditors — a risk he called “unthinkable.”

“We’ve never gotten to the point where the United States government has operated without the ability to borrow,” Lew said. “It’s very dangerous. It’s reckless, because the reality is, there are no good choices if we run out of borrowing capacity and we run out of cash.”

Comment by clark
2013-10-06 23:18:01

This weekends heroine is Daisy Luther.
Have you all seen her bit about, “Bring It On: I Will Not Comply with Obamacare”?

Ya, I see debt, people. too.

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