October 28, 2013

Bits Bucket for October 28, 2013

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

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Comment by (Still) Waiting for the Fall
2013-10-28 04:40:06

An indication of how far we have fallen…


The rest of the world is hailing Snowden as a hero and he has made the short list for the Sakharov Prize; a former Soviet dissident. Ironic, that the MSM isn’t the place to find this, and a U.S. citizen is in exile in the former USSR for going public.

Comment by goon squad
2013-10-28 07:08:53

Snowden deserves a Nobel and Dianne Feinstein belongs in Guantanamo Bay.

Comment by Northeastener
2013-10-28 08:40:22

+ 100

Comment by scdave
2013-10-28 09:32:37

Snowden deserves a Nobel and Dianne Feinstein belongs in Guantanamo Bay ??

Yep…In the cell right next to Bush, Cheney & Rumsfeld…

Comment by Suite Joey Blue Eyes
2013-10-28 10:25:22

Wolfowitz, Doug Feith, etc. etc.

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Comment by Beer and Cigar Guy
2013-10-28 11:34:37

“…Yep…In the cell right next to Bush, Cheney & Rumsfeld…”

And Clinton, and the other Clinton and Obomba, right?

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Comment by AmazingRuss
2013-10-28 11:41:05

Yup… the traitor block.

Comment by Northeastener
2013-10-28 13:00:23

An indication of how far we have fallen…

Where are all the progressive Obama apologists today? Why aren’t you refuting the 60 Minutes story regarding the Obama administration’s bungling and cover-up of the Bengazi Libya attack that killed 5 Americans?

Comment by Suite Joey Blue Eyes
2013-10-28 13:24:57

Just because people felt Obama >>> Romney doesn’t mean we’re apologizing for him. Can’t speak for others, but I’m disgusted by O’s foreign policy, he had the opportunity to refute the Bush Doctrine entirely and instead drones and spying have become even more “important” to your military industrial complex. He had the opportunity to stop fighting idiotic wars in the arab world and instead all he did was downsize them and make them seemingly permanent via drones. And it goes without saying, having “our people” abroad in Iraq, Afghanistan, etc., where they serve as targets is just stupid, be it in Bengazi or elsewhere. If you can’t protect them, bring them home. Bengazi is just as bad as Fallujah. O is no hero. That said, still a better choice than Mittens. Which is kind of like saying I’d rather eat week old liver than eat a shit sandwich.

Comment by Bill, just south of Irvine
2013-10-29 04:52:33

“Progressivism” cannot operate without big government. Why are their followers always surprised at these atrocities?

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Comment by michael
2013-10-28 14:26:55

didn’t need 60 minutes…hillary admitted it to congress.

“what difference…at this point…does it make?” - former secretary of state hillary clinton

statement analysis…

meaning…at some other point…it did make a difference. just not now.

Comment by Northeastener
2013-10-28 13:50:31

An indication of how far we have fallen…

Federal agents’ pre-dawn raid on reporter’s home raises questions

Where are all the progressive Obama apologists today? Why aren’t you defending the Obama administration’s use of falsified warrants to illegally search and seize a Washington Post reporter’s private documents? I mean, really? A warrant to search for firearms and ammunition that are legally owned? What was the probably cause that convinced a judge this was worth signing off on? Why were private documents and documents related to the “Air Marshall Program” taken, along with the firearms that were confiscated?

Illegal. Unconstitutional. Pathetic.

Comment by MightyMike
2013-10-28 15:30:07

I entered Audrey Hudon’s name into Google News. Most of the top 10 results came from Fox News, the Daily Caller, etc. The following was from the Atlantic Monthyl website. Paul Flanagan is Audrey Hudson’s husband.

The document notes that her husband, Paul Flanagan, was found guilty in 1986 to resisting arrest in Prince George’s County. The warrant called for police to search the residence they share and seize all weapons and ammunition because he is prohibited under the law from possessing firearms.

So why does Hudson think she was the real target of the raid? Hudson once worked for the conservative Washington Times, and Newsmax, and the Colorado Observer. She told the Daily Caller that an investigator with the Coast Guard Investigative Service, Miguel Bosch, asked her of she was the reporter who’d written articles for the Washington Times critical of arm marshals. (Air marshals are under the Coast Guard, and the Coast Guard is under the Department of Homeland Security.) Then, on September 10, Bosch told her that five files with interview notes were taken during the raid. Those files had the names of government sources, and “were used to expose how the Federal Air Marshal Service had lied to Congress about the number of airline flights there were actually protecting against another terrorist attack,” Hudson says. She says Bosch said the files had to be run by the TSA to make sure it was “legitimate” for her to have them. Bosch would not give the Daily Caller a comment.

Why would the Coast Guard Investigative Service be involved with a raid to make sure Flanagan wasn’t violating gun laws? The Coast Guard said it was because Flanagan is an ordnance technician for the Coast Guard in Baltimore. Why take someone’s files during a gun raid? The Coast Guard says it’s because some were original government documents, which Hudson says she got through a Freedom of Information Act request. “During the course of the search, the CGIS agent discovered government documents labeled FOUO – For Official Use Only (FOUO) – and LES – Law Enforcement Sensitive. The files that contained these documents were cataloged on the search warrant inventory and taken from the premises,” a Coast Guard spokesperson said. Hudson says that doesn’t explain why her handwritten notes were taken.

Update: The Coast Guard sent this statement:

“In the course of a joint Federal & Maryland State Police investigation, a lawful search warrant was served on August 6, 2013 in Shadyside, MD. The Coast Guard Investigative Service (CGIS) was asked to participate since the search involved a Coast Guard employee. During the course of the search, the CGIS agent discovered government documents labeled FOUO - For Official Use Only (FOUO) and LES - Law Enforcement Sensitive. The files that contained these documents were cataloged on the search warrant inventory and taken from the premises. The documents were reviewed with the source agency and determined to be obtained properly through the Freedom of Information Act. The CG employee was notified that the documents were cleared and the CG employee picked them up after signing for the documents.”

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-10-28 04:53:31

Day 5 of Rio frantically backpedalling in fear

To Our Blog Liar “Rio”:

Post up a phone pic of your “ocean” or a simple scene in “brazil”. Make sure you got your middle finger in the picture so we understand clearly that it’s you.

Show us “Rio”. You’ve got no more credibility to lose.

Comment by ibbots
2013-10-28 07:23:42

So, Rio pretty much lives in your noggin 24/7, rent free huh?

More like day 5 of OC disorder on display.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-10-28 07:37:40

Come up with your own material kiddo.

And you’ll get the same. Just post a wild claim.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-10-28 05:27:24

“Arizona Realtor Facing Federal Drug Charges”


Comment by Housing Analyst
Comment by azdude02
2013-10-28 05:32:18

it seems the bankers want a cut of every large purchase these days. For the most part people are stuck paying interest because prices for the things they want have gotten so high. I guess all the money printing over the past 100 years has served its purpose?

Comment by Mr. Banker
2013-10-28 06:53:43

I love the smell of money so early in the morning.

I love the idea the we bankers offer what we call “financial products” to the masses and the masses are so willingly buy them.

Comment by Mr. Banker
2013-10-28 06:59:08

“are so willingly buy them = “so willing buy them”

Why spend lot of money to build a factory in order to offer to a product? Instead put some words on a sheet of paper and put a dotted line at the bottom.

Easy money.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-10-28 08:42:41

I thought your original grammar nailed it:

“All your monies are belong to us.”

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Comment by Salinasron
2013-10-28 05:32:50

ooh, I feel so good this morning. Just oozing out of every pore with all that hope and change bestowed by the voting public. Why with all this open admin promised by Palosi I can see how the world loves us more and with the new health care people should be crashing our borders to get in.Life is good. Only one thing missing, putting more people in housing they can’t afford.

Comment by AbsoluteBeginner
2013-10-28 05:56:39

‘Only one thing missing, putting more people in housing they can’t afford.’

Has anyone any concrete evidence that in the long run, in general, people who rented ended up broke simply because they did not have the piggy bank of a house to cash out on?

I get so much BS/shilling/conflict-of-data from media sources. You’d think buying an index fund and having insurance as well as stable work is all you need. Of course, financial gurus and advisers always mention buying a house. Suppose you don’t? Do you increase your chances of ending up in the poor house? If growth of your money is ultimately what is at stake, is it essential that a piece of real estate has to be in your portfolio? If so, then why not just buy into REITs and such and minimal exposure to bank foreclosure action in case you can not make your monthly nut? What is wrong with REITs?

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-10-28 07:00:11

No but there are tens of millions of concrete cases demonstrating that a house is always a loss. Rent for half the cost of holding a depreciating asset like a house.

Comment by goon squad
2013-10-28 07:14:06

“a house is always a loss”


Buy a house today, and your lifetime of losses will be incalculable.

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Comment by Blue Skye
2013-10-28 07:03:39

Buying grossly overpriced things that are in oversupply is not a way to “increase wealth”.

Comment by Rental Watch
2013-10-28 08:46:08

Buying a house is a consumption choice. If I put the same money into the stock market than I did my house (down payment PLUS amortization), I would find it very hard to believe that the dividends on the money saved wouldn’t EVENTUALLY pay my rent for me.

The only difference is if you rent, you have lower costs of changing living situations, but you’ll always have rent to pay. If you buy, and you diligently pay off your mortgage, eventually, you’ll have a lower cost of shelter than if you were renting.

Comment by Blue Skye
2013-10-28 08:59:11


Except that the math might suggest you will spend more by front loading the living expenses. A big tipping factor is the future trajectory of house prices. That’s why some of us here mention the “Housing Bubble”.

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Comment by oxide
2013-10-28 13:07:38

The math only suggests the living expenses are front-loaded if house prices never go up (not true), if rent never goes up (not true), and if buying costs more than rent (not true, at least not in my case). And what’s wrong with front-loading living expenses? Wouldn’t you want to do that while you’re still young and healthy and working? Old and sick and retired is the worst time to be in thrall to a landlord.

Comment by Rental Watch
2013-10-28 13:11:32

Another big factor is how much rent you pay for a comparable place now as compared to the cost of finance/taxes/maintenance, as well as the trajectory of rents during the period of analysis. Not to mention how effectively you invest any savings in the near term if you are paying less to live.

$1,500 per month in rent, assuming 2% inflation per year, equals a total of $730,000 paid to a landlord over a 30-year period. At the end of that period, you have whatever you have saved by not owning (whatever that may be), and a continued rent payment.

If you bought a house for $300,000, assuming a 7% mortgage rate, and 2% annually for property tax and maintenance, you pay a total of about $600k in interest, property taxes, and maintenance. You also pay $300k in principal over that time. At the end of 30 years, you have a place to live subject to paying property taxes. At the end of that 30 years, what’s the house/land worth?

And for what it’s worth, the example isn’t outlandish (and in fact in some markets may overstate the price for a the $1,500 per month rental home)…we have a property that we have rented for $1,500 per month in a rental portfolio (and it’s been rented at that level for a couple of years), and I figure the home is worth about $220k today (up significantly from when we purchased it).

At today’s mortgage rates, what do you think is better? Paying $220k for a house? Or paying $1,500 in rent? What about if you add 2.5% to today’s mortgage rates?

Comment by Rental Watch
2013-10-28 13:18:44

BTW, my point isn’t to advocate ownership or not, it’s just that particular facts and circumstances may make owning cheaper than renting, and it’s not easy to simply say today that renting is better, or owning is better.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-10-28 15:12:36

The math only suggests the living expenses are front-loaded if house prices never go up (not true), if rent never goes up (not true), and if buying costs more than rent (not true, at least not in my case).

Donkey donkey donkey…..

Houses don’t “go up”. They tracked wages for 100 years until 1994.

Rent’s don’t “go up”. Rents tracked wages for 100 years until 1994.

And yes….. rental rates per square foot are a small fraction of buying. You know it yet refuse to do the simple math.

Comment by Blue Skye
2013-10-28 15:45:36

Which is why some of us here on this blog occasionally mention the Housing Bubble. If peak credit is behind us, then both of you are wrong about the trajectory of wealth and pain.

BTW Oxy, I suspect that when you are old, alone and weak, you may not prefer to carry such a big house around.

Comment by Rental Watch
2013-10-28 16:13:54

“If peak credit is behind us, then both of you are wrong about the trajectory of wealth and pain.”

Then aren’t the returns on equities also going to really suck (which goes back to the original question)?

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-10-28 16:21:19

Oh RenTroll Watch… Misleading again are we?

A $300k mortgage with 10% down results in a $646,674.03 repayment plus another $300k in taxes and maintenance and we’re just short of a MILLION $$.

And what’s 150k house worth after 30 years after you paid an inflated price of $300k for?

About $150k.

You’re hideously corrupt.

Comment by Rental Watch
2013-10-28 17:29:18

I simply separated out the interest cost from principal reduction, which I was VERY explicit about.

Let’s be detailed about this: I assume a 2% inflation rate (in rents and home prices).

Rental cost at $1,500 per month (inflated by 2% per year) in total $ = $730k for 30 years of rent.

House Cost: $300k
Interest Cost: $376k
Property Taxes: (1% per year, I’ll inflate at 2% per year per Prop 13 to make people happy) $121k in total
Maintenance: I’ll assume an amount equal to property taxes, another $121k

Total Cost: $918k
Total Value 30 years from now, assuming you overpaid by 2x and that inflation doesn’t hit home prices (counter to 100+ years of data from Shiller): $150k
Net Cost: $768k, or $38k more than renting

You make up the difference in less than 2 years.

However, let’s add in the fact that you get to keep your $30k, and if you invest well over 30 years, and turn into $250k+, wow, you pay $290k more than renting, right?

Now, add on the fact that inflation would push up the home price from your $150k to $270k at 2% per year. Benefit falls to $170k for renting.

Now, add on the fact that you probably don’t need to pay $300k in today’s market, as I mentioned, I know of at least one market in So Cal where $1,500 rents equate to about a $225k home price, and now you are even better off owning, since the cost is reduced by 25%, or another $230k, and the down payment benefit is equally reduced on the side of the renter by about $60k+.

If you add the fact that at $225k and at a 7% mortgage rate, it is demonstrably economical to own instead of rent, $225k might actually be fair, so if you inflate $225k instead of $150k, you are even better off.

Now, add the fact that we artificially boosted the interest rate in our analysis by more than 200 basis points, if you bought the $225k home at today’s interest rates, you would be even better off.

Now, add the fact that you can (at least for a little while) deduct the mortgage interest and property taxes, and you are even better off.

To be clear, the $225k home is in Western Riverside County, not along the coast, so this math doesn’t work everywhere, but it’s one reason why I don’t believe we are in for a broad-based correction at this point…the rent vs. own analysis isn’t out of whack when you look outside of coastal markets (at least with respect to CA), EVEN if you take into consideration the opportunity cost of the down payment (which most don’t), juice up interest rates (which is what many people are concerned will crash prices), assume you are overpaying even today (despite the rent/own math), and don’t take into consideration any tax consequences (which for at least some time, there is a tax benefit to owning).

Anyone with Excel can do exactly the same math that I just did…it’s no secret.

Comment by Rental Watch
2013-10-28 17:56:14

By the way, in a world with 7% mortgage rates, 2% is pretty tame inflation…the higher that inflation goes, the more the buy/rent analysis favors owning (even if you inflate the cost of maintenance).

Comment by Blue Skye
2013-10-28 18:13:31

Actually, a spreadsheet does not help you do math if you do not understand a thing. It just gives you a very nice presentation and a warm fuzzy validation even if you input total crap.

This is why some of us on this blog occasionally mention the Housing Bubble, so that if you’ve got one eye open to the mania that is around us, you have a chance of avoiding crushing debt and losses.

We don’t need a spreadsheet to know that if you pay double for a house and do it with money borrowed for 30 years, you are going to experience a financial disaster, not to mention the debt slavery.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-10-28 18:18:28

Let’s be HONEST about this: Wages aren’t “inflating” nor have they been.

Rental cost at $1,500 per month in total $ = $540k for 30 years of rent.

Same House Cost At Currently Inflated Asking prices: $450k
Interest Cost: $628k

Property Taxes: ($10,000 per year, we won’t “inflate” that for a housing trolls benefit) $360k in total

Maintenance: Only a Liar will suggest maintenance is any less than $10,000/yr. $360k in total

Total Cost: $1.59 Million

Total Value 30 years from now in consideration of the fact you overpaid by 200% (See Shillers data, attached): $225k

Net Cost: $1.36 Million, or $825k MORE than renting.


Your losses begin the day you buy it at current prices.
Anyone with Excel and integrity can do exactly the same math that I just did…it’s no secret.

Comment by Blue Skye
2013-10-28 18:39:34

Did we mention that there is a Housing Bubble?

Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2013-10-29 00:08:43

Rental cost at $1,500 per month in total $ = $540k for 30 years of rent.

RW, HA’s numbers are closer to reality in my neck of the woods.

Zillow (yeah, grain of salt) suggests that the house that I am renting is worth $495K currently; it guestimated roughly $400K at the recent local minima in 2009/10. My rent: $1350.

You want to plug that into your Excel spreadsheet and see what you come up with? :-)

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-10-28 10:00:14

“Buying a house is a consumption choice.

And it represents irrecoverable losses at current asking prices.

Your point?

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Comment by Bill, just south of Irvine
2013-10-29 04:55:18

Same myth that married people are wealthier than singles.

Comment by NH Hick
2013-10-28 06:14:31

Second missing thing, Real Job Growth and no phony cook the books numbers like what is being fed to the sheep every week.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2013-10-28 08:42:02

Speaking of numbers, I have read a couple of articles that show the PTB are coming out and admitting that they want inflation to get the economy going. In fact, one in the New York Times quoted an economist that was advocating the FED allow 6% inflation per year.
I do not see this type of rent increase unless the FED generates more inflation but this is being “reported” in MSN today:

Apartment rents (that’s the average rent, excluding perks and freebies) are expected to rise about 16% — from $1,049 in 2012 to roughly $1,215 by the end of 2017, Reis Inc. analyst Michael Steinberg tells Money Talks News.

Voracious demand

Blame it on the recovery, which is in itself is a good thing, of course. It means, however, that more people are in the market for rentals. At the same time, builders are struggling to bring new apartments online fast enough to meet the increased demand.

“The country has been on a decades-long drought of large-apartment-buil​ding construction” because, until recent years, homeownership was growing, writes Slate economic writer Matthew Yglesias.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-10-28 09:58:00

Remember…Demand for shelter has fallen to 1997 levels…. and it’s still sliding.

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Comment by measton
2013-10-28 10:21:36

Inflation will only fix things if

1. People have savings - NOPE
2. People can force companies to give them a raise - NOPE
3. People can send a formarly unemployed spouse off to work - NOPE
4. People can borrow money - NOPE

Otherwise printing money will just shift spending from wants to needs and drive up unemployment.

The only way to generate inflation now is for the gov to create jobs or cut taxes on the middle class. This ain’t happening. If anything they are cutting the flow of money to the poor and middle class. Thus more and more money in elite banks looking for safe assets to invest in. The problem of course is fewer customers being able to pay.

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Comment by Ben Jones
2013-10-28 10:36:12

“Amanda Drury, Talking Numbers: “Can we ever exit our QE (quantitative easing) program smoothly? And, if we can’t achieve that, at what point will it really matter to the market?”

David Stockman: “I think [the Fed is] in a dead end. They’ve painted themselves into a corner. Zero interest rates now have been in place since December 2008. We’re headed towards seven years if we take them at face value that they’re not going to raise interest rates until 2015. So, this is sort of a made-up doctrine by the seat of their pants. Ten years ago, no one would have thought this was remotely rational not withstanding some of the weaknesses we’ve had in the economy. But, after all, the GDP is now higher, we’re five years from the crisis, and yet somehow, we seem to be addicted to stimulus in just a crazy way. So, I think they’re trapped and I think it’s a very great danger to the economy because at some point, they’re going to have to shift. And, when they do, there’s going to be a day of reckoning of pretty serious magnitude.”

Drury: “You’re clearly very critical of the Fed’s programs. But, just to play the devil’s advocate, since we’ve enacted QE, the stock market is up – we’re sitting around record highs again – the unemployment rate down. Why is it so bad?”

Stockman: “It’s so bad because, essentially, the zero interest rate and the massive bond purchasing have very little to do with the slow recovery that we’ve had in the economy. I think that was just a natural recovery after we had the big liquidation of labor and inventory at the time of the crisis in the fall of 2008. Nevertheless, we barely crept forward at 2% real GDP growth for more than four years – weakest recovery we’ve had in the post-War period after the deepest recession. The fact is most of the money that they’re printing never gets out of the canyons of Wall Street. It goes into speculation.”

Comment by Blue Skye
2013-10-28 10:37:47

We had at least 40 years of big inflation and that got us here.

Fix things?

The Fed is obviously willing to “allow” more. They just have to get us to borrow more and more and more, which wouldn’t fix anything in most of our views.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-10-28 10:40:08

So, I think they’re trapped and I think it’s a very great danger to the economy because at some point, they’re going to have to shift. And, when they do, there’s going to be a day of reckoning of pretty serious magnitude.”

Understatement of the Century.

You better not be carrying debt…… and you better have cash. Alot of it.

Comment by maldonash
2013-10-28 12:34:43

Is it not a good strategy to have a lot of debt since it will be paid back with inflated dollars … caveat - as long as the asset does not also depreciate. Also, is there a chance that debts will be socialized as we did with our financial industry and the housing industry??

Comment by oxide
2013-10-28 13:13:04

maldonash, that only works if wages are inflated along with prices. However, we’re not seeing wage inflation. Why would a company raise American wages? There are about 5.5 billion people in third-world who will gladly work for 1/10 or less of American wages, and about 12 million people in America itself who will gladly work for 2/3 of American wages and settle for a lower standard of living.

Comment by maldonash
2013-10-28 13:21:58

Makes perfect sense regarding wages - did not process this when I wrote that. I own a business that is paid on commissions. When prices go up, I make more usually - sales do not seem to be affected by price increases. So for me this works? Disclosure - I have zero debt, since I cannot stomach anyone (other than the government coercion) having too much power over my life’s decisions.

Comment by oxide
2013-10-28 05:52:05

Did Rio and Housing PimpAnalyst settle that picture-in-Rio wager yet?

I missed HA’s pic of scaffolding, but I never doubted he was in construction. I was just curious as to what sort of housing he built at his low cost/sq ft.

Building is ramping up again in DC. This time it’s surburban infill. One section of my town was an 1960’s abandoned grocery store and ugly parking lot. They bulldozed that up for “Townhomes from the mid $500s” (not sure of the exact price). In other areas, small enclaves of 6-8 Depression-era houses are again being bulldozed up for townhomes from the mid-$500’s. Almost nobody is building SFH smaller than 2500 sq ft McMansion size. The days of the Levittown tract home are over. You have to pay a pretty penny to not share walls.

(To be honest, what I would really like to see are senior-living communities stocked with Ross Chapin-type cottages.)

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-10-28 05:58:39

and the ruse continues.

Comment by AbsoluteBeginner
2013-10-28 06:02:02

‘Almost nobody is building SFH smaller than 2500 sq ft McMansion size. The days of the Levittown tract home are over. You have to pay a pretty penny to not share walls. ‘

Took a drive around Tysons Corners some years back. Maybe Fairfax, -ie- DC suburbia area. First impressions were that you had these monstrosities of a house with not much of a back yard and, did I mention, the houses look like McMansions. Almost as if it was a trailer park of sorts. Scenic? Eh, looked like parts of NJ where I grew up. So, not anything that inspired me.

Comment by jose canusi
2013-10-28 06:09:15

I just checked out those cottages, they look quite charming.

The retirement communities in Fla (and I think AZ) that were built by Del Webb (when he was running the show, not the company that exists today and bought the name) are not half bad. Little concrete block shacks with patios, carports and in some cases garages. Low cost, low maintenance for warmer weather. Some of them need a little updating, and some have those single vehicle driveways that are a bit awkward for two cars, one behind the other, but it’s nice, modest living.

Comment by goon squad
2013-10-28 06:25:10

What a joke.

I just looked up the 2013 GS locality tables. A step 1 GS-13 in metro D.C. makes $89,033. Compare that with $85,063 in Cleveland or $83,156 in Huntsville, Alabama.

Who’s buying all these overpriced shacks? Must be all those overpaid contractors.

Comment by Rick O'Shay
Comment by rms
2013-10-28 06:39:15

“A step 1 GS-13 in metro…”

Isn’t a GS-13 pretty far up the food chain? Manager types, IIRC.

Comment by polly
2013-10-28 06:42:19

A large chunk of West Virginia is included in the DC “metro area” for purposes of the GS table. Brings the amount down for those of use who actually live close to DC and is a huge bonus for people living 2 1/2 hours away. Helps to have had a powerful senator.

Comment by Martin
2013-10-28 07:51:45

Right Polly, People living in Charlestown, WV and Martinsburg, WV are having the best deal. High Federal salaries and very low cost of living. You can get a 5000 sq. ft. house for under 300K and the same in NoVa is 700-800K.

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Comment by Suite Joey Blue Eyes
2013-10-28 08:52:16

Post 5000 sq ft houses less than an hour from DC that are under a million bucks.

They must be in tear-down condition.

I agree, you can find shacks like that in WV or York, PA area. Not in MD, NoVA or DC though. In a nice area those would be 2MM+.

Comment by aNYCdj
2013-10-28 12:16:15

Why would anyone NEED a 5000sq ft house unless you have 10 kids?

Comment by maldonash
2013-10-28 12:37:32

home office, workout room, nanny quarters etc.?

Comment by aNYCdj
2013-10-28 12:54:52

So you never leave “home” and let the nanny do the grocery shopping.

Comment by maldonash
2013-10-28 13:02:30

I leave home all the time since I have a home in NYC also (besides home base of LA) and travel the world several times a year. The nannies take care of the kids when we are working and some loose ends, but we actually do the grocery shopping the majority of the time.

Comment by Martin
2013-10-28 07:56:57

Yes Sir, you hit the nail. It is majority Federal Contractors still getting paid average $80-$100 per hour, especially in IT. I’ve seen even very low paid contractors making at least $60 per hour.

It means the billing RATE IS LIKE $150 to $250 and many companies are eating that cheese, all funded from debt and Fed printing.

If Govt. Workers were causing the bubble in NoVa, there are many Fed workers all over the country with similar GS scales.

It is the easy money contractors are looting. See the case for the Federal Healthcare website. That thing could easily be done in $10-15M max with better performance. Can someone tell me how much money contractors made on that? Most were billing I’m sure $200-$300 per hour.

Comment by goon squad
2013-10-28 08:23:54

While the mouth-breathing, Drudge-link clickers get their panties all in a twist because food stamps cost taxpayers $80 billion a year, always remember that government contractors cost taxpayers

$500,000,000,000+ a year

Such joy it gives to type out all eleven zeroes of that number :)





And remember that contractors account for 70% of Pentagon spending. We are the real welfare queens. While the food stamp Lucky Duckies fill their shopping carts with steak and lobster, we fill our shopping carts with F-35’s.



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Comment by Suite Joey Blue Eyes
2013-10-28 08:54:51

Private contractors cost multiples of what federal employees cost. That’s with the (new) retirement scheme for fed employees factored in, too.

Pay for private contractors makes fed workers look like big-time bargains.

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Comment by Taxpayers
2013-10-28 08:52:54

the pension and hc at age 56 vs privsec of blank empty space

Comment by scdave
2013-10-28 07:40:34

what I would really like to see are senior-living communities ??

Thats the hottest thing going right now around here along with apartments….High densities in both…50 units per acre…

Comment by RioAmericanInBrasil
2013-10-28 08:10:47

Did Rio and Housing PimpAnalyst settle that picture-in-Rio wager yet?

I just read Jinglemail said he’d give Ben’s blog $500. Too bad, I wanted the money to come from someone I don’t respect. Especially HA.

Anyway, Jingle are you around now?

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-10-28 08:26:47

Its all about you. Jonesy has nothing to do with it.

Comment by RioAmericanInBrasil
2013-10-28 08:52:41

Its all about you. Jonesy has nothing to do with it.

Ben’s going to get $500 thanks to Jingle. And thanks to you being a disrespected, paranoid clown.


I hope this cam is really live. I will walk past this street webcam at about 2:30 pm Rio time (2 hours later than USA eastern standard time. About in half an hour. I’ll be wearing a green rolling stones t-shirt with the big red lips logo and a wide brim white panama hat. (Damn, I’m gonna look like a Gringo) I will be pulling a black carry on luggage because I’m going to take care of some business out of town for a few days. I’ll stand by the manhole cover. If someone can capture the image on the screen and post it to this blog for jingle, Thanks and thanks jingle!!! YOU ROCK!

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Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-10-28 09:23:11

Oh no you don’t.

Post a photo of your ocean you claim to be in front of. Fire up a cigar you so proudly boast about.

Comment by Ben Jones
2013-10-28 09:33:59

I saw him. He waved at the camera.

Comment by Blue Skye
2013-10-28 10:56:57

Too funny. Curious to know if our pretends-to-be Paladin pays for the theatre ticket.

Comment by oxide
2013-10-28 12:09:39

Thank you, Ben.

And I guess it really IS a “he.”

Is he hot?

Comment by Ben Jones
2013-10-28 12:30:03

How would I know? Anyway, the photos were grainy. I took a screen shot.

Comment by Middle Coaster
2013-10-28 12:36:53

Dang. Cherished employer has (naturally) blocked the site where Rio did his walk-by.

Our resident troll has been pwned! HA HA HA!

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-10-28 12:43:44

Coming from the most uninformed person to ever post here, THAT is funny! :mrgreen:

Comment by polly
2013-10-28 05:59:59

I just wanted to illustrate what my health insurance has done for me recently.

I had a bit of a health scare. Turned out to be not very serious, though I still have some follow up work to do. Anyway, since it involved a doctor’s visit, a simple biopsy in the office during that visit, a lab looking at the biopsy samples, a scan and a simple blood test. Seems like a nice variety of possible non-emergency interactions with docs to use as an example. This could have been anything from “guess what you are getting a bit older” to “you have aggressive cancer,” so the tests were necessary. Turned out to be the former, but here is the financial break down:

total cost if you don’t have any insurance (”submitted charges”): $1623.80

total cost of the same stuff under the contract the insurance company has with the providers (”plan allowance”): $769.50

total I paid in copays (I had already used up my individual deductible earlier in the year): $99.30

So, just having an insurance company doing my price negotiations for me saved over $850. Believe me, I was in no emotional state to be doing that when I walked into the doc’s office. Oh, and the medication that I was prescribed was vastly less expensive because of the prescription benefit.

And the best deal for the insurance was definitely for the blood test. The plan allowance for the lab test was less than 12% of the cost the lab tried to charge. The only people on site are techs and an admin person (good luck negotiating a better price with them). If you don’t sign a contract to promise to pay the full amount if your insurance rejects the claim, they won’t take the sample at all. I don’t have high blood pressure or high cholesterol or any of that stuff, but gs-fixer has told us that the labs are what kills him when he needs to get his scripts filled.

Comment by rms
2013-10-28 06:10:48

“…the labs are what kills him…”

+1 Ditto.

Diagnostic imagery and lab analysis samples from fly-over country are usually sent to the metro areas. Anything serious, and we drive to Seattle where the seasoned professionals are plenty, and it’s cheaper too.

Comment by jose canusi
2013-10-28 06:14:26

polly, did you catch the PBS documentary “The Waiting Room”? Very interesting the dynamics of a hospital emergency room holding area. I think they filmed in Oakland. My heart was bleeding for the poor guy who had been working laying carpet for the same pay for a couple of decades, then had it decrease due to competition from illegal immigrants, and then he developed bone spurs that caused excruciating pain. His daughter had moved back in with him, too. No job.

He said he didn’t know what he was going to do, just keep taking pain meds and keep working.

Comment by polly
2013-10-28 07:04:15

No, I didn’t, but I’ll keep and eye on listings for a rebroadcast or check it out on-line.

I can’t begin to guess what would have happened to me at an emergency room. Really. There was something going on that might have gotten me to see someone eventually, but it would have been the worst place to get things handled. And lets say they had done the tests and it had turned out to be the worst possible thing. Emergency rooms don’t treat cancer. They stabilize you and send you home. Well, I wasn’t unstable. Emergency room wouldn’t have done anything.

Comment by (Neo-) Jetfixr
2013-10-28 08:47:54

Twisted my ankle last May. When it swelled up pretty bad, wen to the Emergency Room. (I was between doctors)

Twenty minutes and one x-ray = $2600.00

I found out last year that there is NO WAY to “negotiate” prices with your local doctor or staff. For starters, they don’t have a effing clue as to the prices. Especially form their “contractors”.

They “guessed” that my lab work would be $300. Actual bill was over $600.

Webster’s Dictionary:

“Giant Charlie-Foxtrot……..see US Health Care Industry”.

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Comment by my failure to respect is unacceptable
2013-10-28 07:03:57

Glad to hear it was not serious.

Comment by polly
2013-10-28 07:08:19

Thank you. I’ll take really annoying over serious any day of the week.

Comment by Strawberrypicker
2013-10-28 07:13:11

Glad you are okay.

This sounds like the 50 percent off sale where they’ve marked everything up 150 percent the night before.

Comment by polly
2013-10-28 07:45:43

Except that people who don’t have insurance always pay the 150% higher price. Or 400% (scans). Or 800% (blood test).

Or they luck out and don’t go to the doc and hope for the best.

Or they get sick, end up in an emergency room, get care that isn’t really suited to their illness, and end up with thousands of dollars in debt that they can’t afford. So they go bankrupt. Or pay if off over years with one of those new health care credit cards that start at 0% but go up to 24% after 6 months. Or the hospital writes the whole thing off (after approving them for charity care - good luck with that) and the rest of us pick up the bill indirectly.

Comment by Rental Watch
2013-10-28 08:48:19

“Except that people who don’t have insurance always pay the 150% higher price. Or 400% (scans). Or 800% (blood test).”

And therein lies a major problem, not just for individuals, but for small insurance companies trying to get started. As long as these differentials exist, there will be limited choice with respect to health insurers.

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Comment by cactus
2013-10-28 08:53:40

Except that people who don’t have insurance always pay the 150% higher price. Or 400% (scans). Or 800% (blood test).”

Sometimes the medical industrial complex will come back at you and bill you for what the insurance doesn’t pay.

Even though the medical office is on the insurance providers list of accepting the amount and forgiving the rest some completely different person simply says no we are not here is the bill.

I’ve had medical bills show up 2 years after any services, 2 YEARS later !! I don’t pay and they threaten my credit report and send it to a bill collector. what a joke unless of course you depend on credit than it’s no better than a blackmail.

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Comment by samk
2013-10-28 08:42:51

Interesting article about docs who don’t take insurance:


“The fee varies depending on age. For kids, it’s $10 a month. For adults up to age 44, it’s $50 a month. Senior citizens pay $100.

The office has negotiated deals for services outside the office. By cutting out the middleman, Nunamaker said he can get a cholesterol test done for $3, versus the $90 the lab company he works with once billed to insurance carriers. An MRI can be had for $400, compared to a typical billed rate of $2,000 or more.”

” ‘The insurance industry took over my practice,’ he said. ‘They were telling me what procedures I could do, who I could treat — I basically became their employee.’

Now Petersen does hernia operations for $5,000 a pop, which includes anesthesia, operating room time and follow-up visits. He negotiates special rates for the anesthesiologist and the operating room, and is able to provide the service for about a third of what a patient might pay otherwise.”

Comment by cactus
2013-10-28 08:59:20

The office has negotiated deals for services outside the office. By cutting out the middleman, Nunamaker said he can get a cholesterol test done for $3, versus the $90 the lab company he works with once billed to insurance carriers.

Middle man there you have it. Medical insurance builds big monuments to themselves rivaling only Banks for the skyline of any major city.

If technology continues to build better and cheaper electronics which the medical profession uses to diagnosis why don’t cost go down?

Hmmm and doctors aren’t getting paid anymore.

And now we all are forced to buy INSURANCE. Next we will all be forced to have Bank accounts and credit cards..

Comment by oxide
2013-10-28 12:17:49

OK, so a hernia op is $5000. Is that a “real” price — that is — are these negotiated rates still high enough to cover the physical costs of supplies, hospital facilities, and staff salaries? Or does the staff do the operation at a loss, knowing that they will make it up when they collect $20000 for another hernia op which insurance paid for?

This is a fairly important question.

Comment by phony scandals
2013-10-28 06:13:51

29 Incredible Facts Which Prove That Poverty In America Is Absolutely Exploding

Michael Snyder
Economic Collapse
October 28, 2013

These poverty numbers keep getting worse year after year no matter what our politicians do.

So is there anyone out there that would still like to argue that we are in an “economic recovery”?

And as I mentioned above, the “have nots” are becoming increasingly angry at the “haves”. For example, just check out the following excerpt from a recent New York Post article…

The maniac who butchered a Brooklyn mom and her four young kids confessed that he did it because he was jealous of their way of life, a police source told The Post on Sunday.

“The family had too much. Their income (and) lifestyle was better than his,” the source said.

The bloody suspect was caught holding the kitchen knife he used during the Saturday night rampage inside the Sunset Park apartment where he had been staying with the victims, the source added.

Sadly, this was not an isolated incident. All over the western world, a “Robin Hood mentality” is growing. This is something that I am so concerned about that I made it a big part of my new book. At this point, even wealthy Hollywood-types such as actor Russell Brand are calling for a socialist-style “revolution” and a “massive redistribution of wealth“.

Perhaps Brand does not understand that what he is calling for would mean redistributing most of his own wealth away from him.

When the next major wave of the economic collapse strikes, I fear that all of this anger and frustration that are growing among the poor will boil over in some very frightening ways. I believe that we will see a huge spike in crime and that we will eventually see communities all over America looted and burning.

But I am not the only one that is thinking along these lines. A new National Geographic Channel movie entitled “American Blackout” attempts to portray the social chaos that could erupt in the event of an extended national power failure…

American Blackout, National Geographic Channel’s two-hour, edge-of-your-seat movie event imagines the story of a national power failure in the United States caused by a cyberattack — told in real time, over 10 days, by those who kept filming on cameras and phones. You’ll learn what it means to be absolutely powerless.

You can view a clip of the film that was made available by NatGeo for the SHTFplan.com community right here.


• an hour ago• 5 △0 ▽− +

Conservatives are waking up to how the GOP (and DEM) has been infiltrated by statists, bankers, lobbyists that take us in one direction. Increasing the size of the government in expense, power, and control, signing away our rights, and stealing from future generations to do it. Picking winners and losers while inflating the power of corporations by depressing our wages with illegal immigration they have no intention of fixing, or brokering trade deals that destroy our industries.

We see how entirely bankrupt the media is, and how the politicians that get the spotlight are often the most corrupt. People that are awake see one party, and two flavors of lies told to sell it to two groups of people with a narrative controlled by the infiltrators. False divisions, illusions of representation and choice, finally propagated with financially fixed elections where 153 individuals control 60% of superPAC money.

What liberals don’t get is that money is ours, and by allowing the government to touch it the waste of transactional overhead robs us! We are way too big to live under centralized government, like dinosaurs were too big to only have one brain. It’s the big government that creates the wealth imbalance. How? By giving a pass to corporations on regulations and taxes, and by creating laws that fix the game and destroy competition by picking winners with such great advantages we get monopolies or what are essentially government sanctioned cartels.

In this situation there is no difference between state and private assets, as the government controls the law and policies these cartels/monopolies operate under. The huge power of the government is abused, infiltrated, and controlled by small groups. Opportunity is lost because it costs them so much to figure out how to even spend the money and keep the power. The value of time and choice cannot be underestimated it is the root of prosperity.

Privileged classes emerge in all systems including socialism and communism you see them in China, the government administrators have their own hospitals, private planes, chauffeurs, villas, and otherwise while some literally eat worms. They create their own aristocracies and it all transforms into feudalism the less power, knowledge, and information people have; which are fundamental to the imbalances. There are so many flavors of corruption.

For the nation to be healthy, when a working person looks at their lot in life, they have to believe that by working harder and making things cheaper they become more wealthy. Wealth created through the more efficient use of resources. But if people don’t benefit from their work, they don’t bother. This is how communism kills societies, and crony capitalism is no different than socialism.

The American people have not benefited from all the sacrifices, hard work, productivity, that has been invested by them into the economy. Instead the bankers loot us, the politicians bank on insider trading, and no matter what happens the American people get the bill one way or another through cost shifting and a myriad of other scams.

Wealth is hard to measure, but we can start with basics human needs. Clean water, food, shelter, clothing, and then our emotional needs of safety, love, etc. Humans live a dignified existence when all these needs are met. What we’ve seen is our emotional needs stripped from us through the abuse of labor, families broken up by the pressures of greed and short sightedness.

Even good things can become weapons, women’s rights can quickly become the demonization of men, depriving children of fathers, creating a culture of divorce and consumerism. Can you put a dollar value on a healthy parent? Families are in both the classical (Aristotle) and modern sense the most basic economic unit. When basic needs are not met people become animalized.

Animals are easy to control, in the past they were called “beasts”, and it was moral to enslave the “beasts”, beasts are people who take no responsibility, but to fill their immediate desires be it food, sex, or otherwise. Families take responsibility/initiative for the future, they build, invest, sacrifice, and preserve. America is being animalized culturally. Divide and conquered by depriving groups of needs and then assigning the provisions of those needs through the government.

You can see this clearly in the use of foreign aid as well, you give foreign aid so that when the government of the country you want to control steps out of your interests you can deprive that aid and create a civil war. Then you can make a new deal with the faction that takes over by arming them or otherwise. They say a nation is 7 days from civil war, because that’s when the hunger drives desperation. That’s the gun that the governments keep at people’s heads, to gain leverage and loot them.

http://www.infowars.com/category/featured-stories/ - 72k -

Comment by goon squad
2013-10-28 07:06:30

The squad loves loves loves doomer porn articles like this!

We have been correctly predicting for years that the future belongs to Lucky Ducky, and the future is NOW.

The FEMA camps are in place and ready. The thug army DHS is armed and ready. All just waiting for the signal from King Barry Hussein to intentionally crash the EBT system which within days will lead to riots that as Matt Bracken said, “will make 1968 look like a picnic”.

The Chris Dorner manhunt was a dry run.

Watertown, MA was a dry run.

Got 7.62×39?

Comment by Bluestar
2013-10-28 07:24:34

“Got 7.62×39?”

“Got friends?”

Even better, “Got friends in high places?

Bluestar AKA Jack Smith

Comment by phony scandals
2013-10-28 08:00:49

“The thug army DHS is armed and ready.”

AP Photo: Checkpoint Cops Point Guns at Americans’ Heads

Fallujah-style security comes to Sacramento

Paul Joseph Watson
October 28, 2013

After a gang member shot and injured several law enforcement officials before going into hiding in a Sacramento suburb on Friday, police responded by setting up a checkpoint and aiming guns at innocent people’s heads, an AP photo shows.

The photo, (credited to AP Photo/The Sacramento Bee, Randall Benton) is captioned, “A California Highway Patrol officer and another emergency responder stop a vehicle at a checkpoint near the neighborhood where a federal immigration officer was shot and three local police officers were wounded during a violent confrontation with a suspect in the Sacramento suburb of Roseville on Friday, Oct. 25, 2013.”

After an hours-long standoff, the suspect, 32-year-old gang member Samuel Nathan Duran, eventually surrendered after leaving a nearby house in which he had been holed up.

The felon responsible for the shootings was a wanted parolee and was already known to police having been seen riding a bike earlier in the day. His description would have been well circulated and known intimately by those tasked with hunting him down.

So why were Americans innocently driving their cars through the suburb of Roseville subjected to treatment that wouldn’t have looked out of place in Stalinist Russia, or more recently in Iraq or Afghanistan?

As we saw during the Boston bombings manhunt, in complete violation of law, police seem to believe that so long as they are hunting a potentially dangerous suspect, the Constitution is null and void, and that martial law is in effect.

The militarized lockdown of Watertown, Mass., during which heavily armed officers went door to door without search warrants terrorizing families at gunpoint and ransacking homes, led Ron Paul to observe that the manhunt was more frightening than the attack itself, saying it resembled “scenes from a military coup in a far off banana republic.”

http://www.infowars.com/category/featured-stories/ - 72k -

Comment by goon squad
2013-10-28 06:32:57

Wall Street Journal online piece today “U.S. Cities Grapple With Finances” is some nice red meat to bait 2ban into a goon rant. The infographic linked to the article ranks cities by:
Population decline
Days of cash on hand
Low reserves
Taxable real estate per capita
Net direct debt per capita
Pension costs
State aid

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-10-28 06:39:12

It’s the public sector unions and Democrat politicians who are to blame!

U.S. News
U.S. Cities Grapple With Finances
Urban Centers Are Struggling Even as Recovery Takes Shape, Data Show
By Jeannette Neumann
Oct. 27, 2013 7:29 p.m. ET

American cities’ fiscal health is lagging behind other sectors of the economy as the recovery slowly takes hold.

Buffeted by steep drops in state aid, rising pension and health-care costs and sluggish property-tax revenue, many urban centers are struggling even several years after the financial crisis.

“We think we saw the bottom, knock on wood,” said Robert Chisel, director of finance and administration for Reno, Nev. But, he said, “We’re not going back to the old days. We all know that.”

Local officials hasten to distinguish their cities from Detroit, which this summer became the largest-ever U.S. municipal bankruptcy case. Most won’t get to that point: just 63 cities, towns and villages, including Detroit, have filed for municipal bankruptcy protection since 1954, said Chicago lawyer James Spiotto, who tracks the sector.

But an analysis by The Wall Street Journal of financial data from the nation’s largest cities shows that many of them are wrestling with the same types of issues that sank Detroit. The data were provided by Merritt Research Services LLC, an Iowa research firm that mines cities’ financial filings. Merritt examined 2012 filings from the 250 largest U.S. cities by population. A handful, including Baltimore, Milwaukee and Dayton, Ohio, weren’t available by August 2013, when Merritt collected the information.

While many cities made conservative choices that protected them during tough times, the overall picture shows signs of fragility.

Of the 250 cities, more than half still have reserves below their 2007 levels. They also have taken on more debt: 114 cities saw overall debt loads increase from 2007 to 2012. The real-estate markets in 100 cities are still worse than they were in 2007, an acute problem for governments that rely on property taxes as a top source of revenue.

Comment by goon squad
2013-10-28 08:01:11

Hope and Change

“Nothing thrives in Illinois like local government — almost 7,000 units that tax, spend and drive up debt in a state struggling to pay off vendors and cover almost $100 billion of unfunded pension liabilities.”


Comment by 2banana
2013-10-28 09:40:29

Goon rant?

Wouldn’t it be better to live within one’s means and reign in the insane public unions and NOT destroy your city (and drive every productive person into the suburbs)?

Or in the end - this is what happens:

Detroit Pensioners Face Miserable 16 Cent On The Dollar Recovery

It is the same kind of violent and anguished repricing that all unsecrued creditors in the coming wave of heretofore “denialed” municipal bankruptcy filings will have to undergo. Starting with Detroit, where as Reuters reports, the recovery to pensioners, retirees and all other unsecured creditors will be…. 16 cents on the dollar!… or less than what Greek bondholders got in the country’s latest (and certainly not final) bankruptcy.

From Reuters:

On Friday, city financial consultant Kenneth Buckfire said he did not have to recommend to Orr that pensions for the city’s retirees be cut as a way to help Detroit navigate through debts and liabilities that total $18.5 billion.

Buckfire said it was clear that the city did not have the funds to pay the unsecured pension payouts without cutting them.

“It was a function of the mathematics,” said Buckfire, who said he did not think it was necessary for him or anyone else to recommend pension cuts to Orr.

Buckfire, a Detroit native and investment banker with restructuring experience, later told the court the city plans to pay unsecured creditors, including the city’s pensioners, 16 cents on the dollar. There are about 23,500 city retirees.

Comment by goon squad
2013-10-28 06:37:53

Dedicated to all the loanowner debt junkies

Lou Reed and the Velvet Underground perform “Waiting For The Man”, an uplifting tune about strung out junkies taking the subway up to Harlem to score some dope:


Comment by Rich
2013-10-28 09:13:15

I like this one better…

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-10-28 06:43:43

Judging from their burgeoning share prices, you would almost begin to suspect the plan to unwind the GSEs had been canceled.

J.P. Morgan’s Mortgage Troubles Ran Deep
Deals With Subprime Lenders at Heart of $5.1 Billion Settlement
By Al Yoon
Oct. 27, 2013 6:24 p.m. ET

A 1,625-square-foot bungalow at 51 Perthshire Lane in Palm Coast, Fla., is among the thousands of homes at the heart of J.P. Morgan Chase (JPM +0.13%) & Co.’s $5.1 billion settlement with a federal housing regulator on Friday.

J.P. Morgan bundled 4,209 loans from New Century Financial into a mortgage-backed security it sold to investors Reuters

In 2006, J.P. Morgan bought one of two mortgage loans on the home made by subprime lender New Century Financial Corp. J.P. Morgan then bundled the loan with 4,208 others from New Century into a mortgage-backed security it sold to investors including housing-finance giant Freddie Mac. (FMCC +11.89%)

By the end of 2007, the borrower had stopped paying back the loan, setting off yearslong delinquency and foreclosure proceedings that halted income to the investors, according to BlackBox Logic LLC, a mortgage-data company.

The Palm Coast loan wasn’t the only troubled one in the New Century deal: Within a year, 15% of the borrowers were delinquent—more than 60 days late on a payment, in some stage of foreclosure or in bankruptcy—according to BlackBox. By 2010, that number exceeded 50%.

“That’s much worse than anyone’s expectations when the deal was put together,” said Cory Lambert, an analyst at BlackBox and former mortgage-bond trader. “It’s all pretty bad.”

J.P. Morgan sidestepped many of the subprime-mortgage problems that bedeviled rivals during the financial crisis, and avoided much of the postcrisis scrutiny that dragged down others on Wall Street. But now its own behavior during the housing boom is coming under close examination as investigators work through a backlog of cases.

The bank dealt with some of the biggest subprime lenders of the time, including Countrywide Financial Corp., Fremont Investment & Loan and WMC Mortgage Corp., a former unit of General Electric, according to the Federal Housing Finance Agency complaint.

J.P. Morgan’s relationship with New Century, a subprime lender that went bankrupt in 2007 and later faced a Securities and Exchange Commission investigation and shareholder suits, shows that the New York bank was part of the frenzied push to package mortgages for investors at the end of the housing boom.

The New Century deal, J.P. Morgan Mortgage Acquisition Trust 2006-NC1, was one of 103 cited in the lawsuit against J.P. Morgan brought by the FHFA, which oversees Freddie Mac and home-loan giant Fannie Mae. (FNMA +13.40%)

The $5.1 billion settlement is part of a larger tentative deal with the Justice Department and other agencies that would have J.P. Morgan pay a total of $13 billion. That deal is expected to be completed this week.

While these settlements seem huge, given the nature of the offenses, they are trivially small,” said William Frey, chief executive of Greenwich Financial Services LLC, a broker-dealer that has participated in investor lawsuits against banks that packaged mortgages. J.P. Morgan declined to comment on the settlement or any loans in the bonds it bought.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-10-28 06:50:39

Since the GSE model of sticking taxpayers with housing finance costs was so wildly successful here in the U.S., the Dutch plan to copy it.

BREAKING NEWS U.S. Sept. Factory Output Rose Less Than Forecast

Dutch Copy Fannie Mae Seen by BlackRock as Taxpayer Risk
By Maud van Gaal & Corina Ruhe - Oct 28, 2013 5:31 AM PT

The Dutch, whose economy is suffering from a housing-market collapse made worse by tighter regulation, plan to issue government-backed mortgage bonds to loosen lending and ensure the country avoids a repeat of the 2008 crisis when credit dried up.

Banks, pension funds and the Dutch government agreed last month to establish a finance company that will buy some of the highest-rated securitized mortgages from lenders with funding from government-guaranteed home-loan bonds. The program would issue at least 50 billion euros ($69 billion) within five years to reduce lenders’ reliance on capital markets for funding.

The Netherlands’ government wants to lure new mortgage providers and investors into a market increasingly seen as among the riskiest in Europe after the Dutch went on a borrowing binge before the financial crisis and housing prices fell 20 percent. The finance ministry is seeking reassurance the bonds won’t put taxpayers at risk and needs the blessing of European Union regulators that the initiative doesn’t break state-aid rules.

“An explicit state guarantee on Dutch-mortgage bonds creates more transparency and liquidity, which will attract a broader group of investors,” Harald Benink, professor of banking and finance at Tilburg University, said in a phone interview. “That may result in lower costs to fund mortgages and subsequently cheaper loans for consumers.”

Economic Affairs Minister Henk Kamp is pushing the effort as the U.K. also adopts state-guaranteed mortgage funding to support housing. The governments are stepping up involvement in property even after the U.S. was forced to rescue its mortgage-finance firms Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac five years ago amid a housing crash.

Comment by Neuromance
2013-10-28 10:37:52

Since the GSE model of sticking taxpayers with housing finance costs was so wildly successful here in the U.S., the Dutch plan to copy it.

It’s a fantastic business model. The taxpayers take the risk, the financial sector keeps the profit. A system which has been shaped over several decades. We’re seeing it in bloom.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-10-28 06:47:17

Review & Outlook
Little Orphan Fannie Mae
Washington rewrites financial-crisis history to punish J.P Morgan.
Updated Oct. 27, 2013 7:00 p.m. ET

The government assault on J.P Morgan Chase is an injustice for many reasons, but the case has now reached tragicomic heights with the bank’s agreement on Friday to pay $5.1 billion for supposedly conning Fannie Mae FNMA +13.40% and Freddie Mac. FMCC +11.89% So the government-favored mortgage giants that did as much as anyone to foment the housing bubble and bust are now presented as victims.

The premise of the allegations settled on Friday is that while it may appear that Fan and Fred were recklessly gambling on the housing market for years before the crisis, they were duped by Morgan and other banks into buying risky mortgage-backed securities that they did not understand. This is the Little Orphan Fannie defense.

Even the partisan Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, created by the 2009 Pelosi Congress and chaired by a former state Democratic Party chairman, didn’t try to sell that line. As much as the Democratic majority on the panel wanted to absolve Washington of its role in creating the crisis, it had to give the two government-created mortgage monsters their due. The committee’s report dubbed Fannie and Freddie the “kings of leverage” and described all of the ways they avoided oversight while relaxing underwriting standards and raising their bets on subprime mortgages.

The two companies, which profited from an implicit government guarantee, owned or guaranteed $5 trillion of mortgage assets. Sometimes they bought home loans and bundled them into securities for sale to other investors, and sometimes they bought securities that others had assembled. They were the biggest buyers of subprime bundles during the housing boom, and their lust for those bundles fed the subprime machines at Countrywide (later bought by Bank of America) and Washington Mutual (bought at federal request by J.P. Morgan JPM +0.28% ).

After it all fell apart, the only debate was whether the twin disasters at Fan and Fred were primarily the result of federal “affordable housing goals” or executives’ desire for bigger profits and bonuses. Being Democrats, the commission majority settled on greed as the principal problem at Fan and Fred, but nobody concluded that they were victims.

The commission learned from John Kerr, an examiner with the Federal Housing Finance Agency (FHFA), that Fannie was “the worst-run financial institution” he had seen in 30 years as a bank regulator. Austin Kelly, an official at FHFA’s predecessor agency, said regulators couldn’t trust Fannie’s numbers because their “processes were a bowl of spaghetti.”

And you should hear what people were saying inside these firms. Former Fannie Mae Chief Risk Officer Enrico Dallavecchia wrote in a 2007 email to the company’s COO that Fannie “was not even close to having proper controls processes for credit, market and operational risk.” He added that “people don’t care about the [risk] function or they don’t get it.”

Over at Freddie, former CEO Richard Syron acknowledged in an interview with the commission that one of the reasons he fired longtime chief risk officer David Andrukonis in 2005 was that Mr. Andrukonis opposed relaxing Freddie’s loan underwriting standards. According to civil charges filed by the Securities and Exchange Commission, around the end of 2004 Mr. Syron rejected the advice of Freddie credit risk officers who had urged him to stop Freddie from guaranteeing so-called NINA loans, which required no verification of borrower income or assets.

Adding to the absurdity of the FHFA suit, even Fannie and Freddie don’t claim they were innocent. The two companies have agreed to a deferred prosecution agreement in which they don’t deny misleading investors about the size of their investments in subprime mortgages and liar loans.

The SEC is still suing former senior executives at both companies for securities fraud. The cases may not come to trial until 2015, which is convenient for the government as it pursues the Fan-and-Fred-as-victims case with Morgan and other banks. You never know what a trial might tell us about how the companies decided to buy mortgage-backed securities sold by banks.

Comment by goon squad
2013-10-28 06:53:17

Because 100+ P/E ratios signal the investment opportunity of a lifetime

Wall Street Journal - Silicon Valley: Feel the Froth

“Twitter Inc. plans to go public at a value of $11 billion, without turning a profit. Venture capitalists just valued Pinterest Inc., which generates no revenue, at nearly $4 billion, and an even younger, revenue-deprived company, Snapchat Inc., is angling for a similar price tag … shares of internet companies are soaring again, and signs of pre-2000 exuberance can be seen in Silicon Valley and the nearby area. Home prices in San Francisco and surrounding counties rose more than 15% in the past year. Office rents in San Francisco are 23% above their 2008 peak.”

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-10-28 06:56:28

Having never once Tweeted, I have to wonder: Besides selling everyone’s personal data to the NSA, how does Twitter make money?

Comment by my failure to respect is unacceptable
2013-10-28 07:10:04

It’s the advertisements, baby!

Everyone is pinning hope on advertisements to masses, who can’t afford to buy most of the things without loans. This will end very well.

Comment by aNYCdj
2013-10-28 12:51:48

what advertising I never see any on FB….i guess its those unwashed masses they are after.

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Comment by goon squad
2013-10-28 07:18:14

Best. Post. Ever:

“Twitter is ebonics for white people” — HBB poster spook

Comment by oxide
2013-10-28 14:01:15

Saw that last week. Agreed.

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Comment by samk
2013-10-28 08:52:10

It doesn’t.

“In papers filed with US regulators, it was revealed for the first time that Twitter made a loss of $69m in the first six months of 2013, on revenues of $254m.”

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-10-28 06:54:13

Given overwhelming market strength, how can anyone be pessimistic now?

Oct. 28, 2013, 9:41 a.m. EDT
The S&P 500 moves into the danger zone
Avi Gilburt
Stocks, ETFs, Currency
Avi’s latest posts
Why is everyone so sure of S&P 1800?
Are we setting up for a Lehman-type event?
It will not be different this time
By Avi Gilburt

For several months now, we have had the 1760-1780 region in the cash index as our higher target region. Although we did expect to hit it from a deeper pullback before this leg of the two-year uptrend continued, this week we hit a high of 1759.82. Now that everyone feels that the road ahead of us is clear, as we have moved past the recent debt debacle, what can go wrong for this continued uptrend?

Well, this past week, we saw the AAII Investor Sentiment registering only 17.6% bearishness, whereas the long-term average is 30.5%. Furthermore, we may be seeing evidence that the Russell 2000 and the financials, represented here by the Select Sector (SPDR-Financial XLF -0.41%), the former market leaders, may have begun to lag in this next move higher.

Furthermore, the divergences I am seeing in our daily and weekly S&P 500 charts are becoming more pronounced. Lastly, I am unable to get past the striking support that the weekly slow stochastics have given to this rally from 2011 being a large diagonal. That makes this top a very dangerous one, indeed, which will see a very strong reversal which will likely catch most market participants by surprise.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-10-28 10:30:45

Oct. 28, 2013, 6:01 a.m. EDT
Fed should get out of the market’s way
Commentary: Stocks need to trade on fundamentals, not artificial stimulants
By Lance Roberts

The long-term investor is dead.

Gone are the days where people looked towards next year when building their portfolios, or five years down the road as they approach retirement. Now from a combination of apprehensiveness and shear paranoia in our unstable markets, investors are looking only as far as they can throw for their personal investment decisions.

In more than 30 years of money management, I’ve never seen such a rapid change in the way people make financial plans. Instead of saving for the future, many are opting for fast gains — yet at the same time they want low risk. Others are playing it completely safe. In fact, in a quarterly poll my firm took, 83% of respondents said they were holding on to their cash versus investing in the stock market.

Here’s a look at what it means to be an ‘accredited investor’ — wealthy individuals who are able to get a stake in startups and other privately owned firms.

Why are investors so hesitant to invest when markets are at record highs?

It should come as no surprise that the 2008 financial crisis is still a major factor. As the banks were crumbling, the housing market caved and unemployment rocketed, investors’ confidence sunk.

But in the years that followed, we saw a huge amount of government intervention in the form of various stimulus packages. While some may argue that this stimulus, including the Federal Reserve’s quantitative easing, saved our economy, this injection of billions of dollars each month to buy government bonds has created a dangerous façade of market strength.

This is because although we get a visible boost from QE, these upward swings are merely a temporary high. The public has taken note of the Fed’s parlor trick. An overwhelming 93% of participants in our survey wanted to end QE and let the markets readjust without government support. And we have every reason to worry. By the Fed thinking they can own an entire Treasury market, it is funding a new asset bubble that is at risk of bursting.

Comment by cactus
2013-10-28 12:56:22

Wharton School professor Jeremy Siegel told CNBC on Monday that the Dow Jones Industrial Average (Dow Jones Global Indexes: .DJI) could rise 10 percent or more in 2014.
That may not be on par with this year’s roaring return but is still historically robust, he said, considering that 2013 has been an “extraordinary year” for stock gains.
In a ” Squawk Box ” interview, Siegel said that the Dow could finish out 2013 with another 6 percent, on top of the blue-chip index’s 25 percent gain year-to-date.”

tale told by Idiots… you know the rest ;-)

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-10-28 13:39:23

Oct. 28, 2013, 11:59 a.m. EDT
5 signs the market bulls are wrong
All signs suggest this is irrational exuberance 3.0
By Brett Arends

Everyone is cheering. Everyone is bullish. Standard & Poor’s 500-stock index just hit a new high. The Russell 2000 index of small cap stocks, which is typically even more boom-and-bust, has soared to new records. The government is back open, the Federal Reserve’s printing presses are on triple shifts, and it’s all good.

Oh, brother.

Irrational exuberance, anyone?

On Dec. 5, 1996, then-Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan famously warned about the stock-market bubble (which he then failed to rein in), calling it a manifestation of irrational exuberance.

Seventeen years on, a lot has changed, of course. (For one thing, chances are you’re reading this on your phone.) But I’m getting a horrible feeling of déjà vu… all over again.

1. Stock valuations are in bubble territory.

The dividend yield on the S&P 500 back in 1996 was 2%. Today? About 2%.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-10-28 14:25:23

Oct. 28, 2013, 3:23 p.m. EDT

The mother of all Fed surprises
By Michael A. Gayed

By not addressing the pace of stock-market gains, falling inflation expectations, and the growing disconnect between asset markets and the economy, the Fed is risking the embarrassment of potentially causing another bubble.

Comment by Ben Jones
2013-10-28 07:06:58

‘It’s quickly turning into crisis time in Washington for President Barack Obama’s health care reform law with the federal website crashing again and a series of hearings set for this week along with a major address from the president.’

‘Middle income consumers are starting to get hit with sticker shock as previously low-priced plans get canceled and replaced with higher-dollar coverage. Stories of consumers getting plans canceled directly contradict Obama’s promise that people who like their plans could keep them under the new law. Defenders of the law say that the new plans will be better. But they will also cost more at a time when wages are stagnant.’

‘And many of these middle class consumers hit by higher rates do not qualify for the federal subsidies intended help millions of lower income consumers get covered, many for the first time. Anger from consumers is likely to add to already rising political pressure to delay or alter the law.’

‘This is especially true for Democratic senators such as Mary Landrieu of Louisiana and Kay Hagan of North Carolina facing tough re-election battles next year in states Obama lost. A group of these vulnerable Democratic senators recently signed a letter to embattled Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius asking that the March 31st open enrollment deadline for Obamacare get pushed back.’

‘Calls for an individual mandate delay, fiercely opposed by the administration, will likely becoming overwhelming if the federal website is not functioning seamlessly by Dec. 1. Even if the mandate is delayed, the millions of young, healthy and currently uninsured people the law depends on to make the economics work could ultimately decide paying the penalty is better than buying insurance. That could spark a “death spiral” for the law, an outcome that would be devastating for the Obama presidency and Democrats hopes in 2014 and beyond.’

My, it looks like it’s harder to actually build something than just spying on people or blowing sh#t up with drones and bombs.

Comment by goon squad
2013-10-28 07:23:25

If you question the policies of King Barry the Chicago Jesus, you are a racis.

Now get back to work, serf. And make sure you pay your 1% penalty (it’s a penalty, not a tax, if you call it a tax that’s racis too) on your 2013 taxable income for not buying Obamacare.


Comment by Ben Jones
2013-10-28 07:39:53

As someone who has started two businesses in the past few years, I can say it is incredibly difficult and unpredictable. So I can sympathize with an effort to sit around with a bunch of suits that have never had a real job in their lives and re-create an entire industry in one swoop. Had it been me, I would have been tempted to try it in one state first, or some other limited launch.

I’m sure we’ll soon hear the sad panda’s say, ‘I didn’t build that.’

Comment by Bad Andy
2013-10-28 08:11:37

I remember debating this very fact here several years ago. There’s no way a program like this can work as written.

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Comment by Northeastener
2013-10-28 09:30:36

Had it been me, I would have been tempted to try it in one state first, or some other limited launch.

Technically, they did start with a single state… MA. MA has had Romneycare for a number of years now. Obamacare was based on the bi-partisan Romneycare passed in MA.

The only thing it has done here in MA is drive healthcare premiums up to some of the highest levels in the country, drive primary care physicians and doctors not associated with large hospitals and corporations out of the business, and increase the wait times to see your doctor. Oh, and many small and mid-size businesses have dropped health coverage for employees completely.

Of course, what you hear from the left is that now health insurance isn’t tied to employment, so you can freely change jobs or start your own business without concerns about insurance. The reality is that the lower and middle class workers never had a chance to start their own business and now they are losing their less-expensive employer-paid health coverage for more expensive exchange coverage. Many of the upper-income types starting their own businesses are dual-income households anyway, and can fall back on the spouse’s coverage… so the “big selling point” is a canard.

That’s reality in MA. What socialists saw as a “success” here in MA escapes me, unless your plan from the beginning was to destroy the health insurance and health care industries, just like the government destroyed the housing industry and is in the process of destroying education.

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Comment by In Colorado
2013-10-28 11:55:38

Had it been me, I would have been tempted to try it in one state first, or some other limited launch.


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Comment by 2banana
2013-10-28 09:46:42

obama to republicans in the budget debate: FU! We will not negotiate. obamacare will be implemented according to the LAW.

obama to democrat senators. No problem delaying obamacare if it helps you get re-elected.

obama to unions. No problems with obamacare exemptions.


Comment by phony scandals
2013-10-28 07:56:00

Oh I wish I were a nonessential worker
That is what I truly wish to be
cause if i were a nonessential worker
everyone would be in love with me

Comment by In Colorado
2013-10-28 11:56:38

The graveyards are full of indispensable men.

Comment by goon squad
2013-10-28 08:13:58

Extensive piece discusses demographic changes and the political evolution of Colorado:


Comment by Northeastener
2013-10-28 09:36:38

Secessionists in CO and CA. A growing anger from Libertarians and Tea Party Republicans against the Federal government and socialists in general. The “Free-State Project” to send 20,000 libertarians to NH and destroy the burgeoning Liberal-Progressive movement there. Oathkeepers and 2nd Amendment supporters hoarding firearms and ammo.

“May you live in interesting times.”

Comment by phony scandals
2013-10-28 08:19:32

Monsters of the Housing Market: Vampire REOs and Zombie …
http://www.realtytrac.com/content/news-and-opinion/monsters-of-the-housing-market-vampire-reos-and-zombie-foreclosures-7892 - 78k - Cached - Similar pages

Oct 2, 2013 … Report on how vacant “zombie” foreclosures and owner-occupied “vampire” bank -owned homes are both a challenge to the housing market

Comment by chi-nyc-sf-dc
2013-10-28 08:26:01

Buckle up in Hong Kong?


Hong Kong is experiencing something unusual: a slumping property market. The city is the world’s most expensive place to rent office space or apartments and has enjoyed a lengthy run of rising prices, with occasional hiccups like the SARS epidemic in 2003 and the onset of the global financial crisis in 2008. Once investors got over the initial shock of that crisis, the market has been on a tear, with prices more than doubling since the end of 2008.

Demand is already soft, with prices falling about 2.7 percent since March, but Hong Kong-based Barclays analysts Paul Louie and Zita Qin say this is just the beginning. “We believe the property market is about to enter its first real downturn since 1998 and we expect home prices to drop by at least 30 percent by the end of 2015,” they wrote in a report published today. With home prices up 111 percent since the end of 2008, “we believe there is significant scope for owners to take profit on their property holdings,” Louie and Qin wrote.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-10-28 08:48:03

Pending Sales of Existing Homes Slump by Most in Three Years
Lorraine Woellert
Published 7:35 am, Monday, October 28, 2013
(Updates with production data in fifth paragraph and stocks in seventh.)

Oct. 28 (Bloomberg) — Fewer Americans than forecast signed contracts to buy previously owned homes in September, the fourth straight month of declines, as rising mortgage rates slowed momentum in the housing market.

The index of pending home sales slumped 5.6 percent, exceeding all estimates in a Bloomberg survey of economists and the biggest drop in more than three years, after a 1.6 percent decrease in August, the National Association of Realtors reported today in Washington. The index fell to the lowest level this year.

Mortgage rates last month reached two-year highs and some homeowners are reluctant to put properties up for sale as they wait for prices to climb, leading to tight inventories. Combined, those forces are pushing some would-be buyers to the sidelines and slowing the pace of recovery in real estate.

“You did get a bit of a shock when mortgage rates went up,” Gennadiy Goldberg, U.S. strategist at TD Securities USA LLC in New York, said before the report. “It’s an erratic pace of expansion.”

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-10-28 08:54:27

I can’t help but wonder how the October government shutdown may have impacted used home sales. The next data release should be very interesting!

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-10-28 09:56:05

<i.”the fourth straight month of declines,”

That means housing demand fell every single month of the peak selling season.

That’s called collapsing demand. It’s no wonder considering housing prices are inflated by 200%+.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-10-28 08:50:16

Toetag houses are the new black!

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-10-28 08:52:52

Amy Hoak’s Home Economics
Oct. 28, 2013, 6:00 a.m. EDT
Buyers today want a house for the long haul

Homeowners see a house as retirement nest egg, not an ATM
By Amy Hoak, MarketWatch

When Amy Lewis sits in her Lafayette, Calif., home, she can envision her three young daughters growing up there. She sees them forming lasting friendships with the neighborhood kids, graduating from the local schools, coming home for visits during college breaks.

It doesn’t stop there: The 43-year-old can also imagine grandchildren running around the halls.

It’s a different mentality than in years past, when people would buy a home, stay for several years and move up to something bigger or better. First and foremost, Lewis said she and her husband wanted an experience similar to one that they had growing up, one where the neighborhood kids went from preschool to high school together. Her parents still live in the same house they moved to when she was 2 years old (and they’re also flush with home equity in their 80s).

But Lewis adds there is another financial reason to staying put: Mortgage rates are very low, and there is a good chance it will be hard to trade in that monthly payment in several years.

“Definitely, for the next 30 years, we feel confident we want to be there,” Lewis said.

More home buyers today are planting deep roots in their communities, according to research from the National Association of Realtors. That’s especially true for buyers younger than 45 years old—those most likely to be move-up buyers, said Paul Bishop, NAR’s vice president of research.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-10-28 09:52:33

A “retirement nest egg” eh? LOLZ

It never was nor will it ever be. It seems to be an effective tool to draw the suckers in though.

Comment by goon squad
2013-10-28 09:58:58

i hope amy hoak doesn’t hit her head when she crawls out from being on her knees under lawrence yun’s desk.

‘retirement nest egg’

more like a broken egg on the sidewalk. an egg that needs mowed. an egg that needs shoveled. an egg that needs raked. and egg that needs its roof replaced. an egg that needs its furnace replaced. an egg that costs thousands and thousands of dollars of ‘rent’ via municipal taxes for the privilege of allegedly owning it.

Comment by Neuromance
2013-10-28 10:42:22

And the most important thing: giving a chunk of your income - tribute, danegeld - to the financial sector for the next several decades.

That right there is the gold to the policy makers.

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Comment by phony scandals
2013-10-28 09:01:58

For U left Coasters.

Fukushima is Here - San Francisco Human Mural - YouTube
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sBqdutmVqBo - 95k - Cached - Similar pages
5 days ago …

Electronic Goldmine

Home / Geiger Counter

Sensitive Geiger Counter Kit

Digital Display Geiger Counter Kit

Micro Geiger Counter Kit

Radiation Illuminator Display

Miniature Russian Geiger Counter

More to choose from

Electronic Kits-Electronic Goldmine
http://www.goldmine-elec-products.com/departments.asp?dept=1059 - 47k

Comment by Suite Joey Blue Eyes
2013-10-28 09:17:48

I know you guys think that Ivies are the only places full of shitlibs running programs in Genderqueer Studies. But it’s time to realize that every big university has become a dumping ground for this type of group think. Just look at the link to the Wisconsin prof below and try not to gag.

“Faculty Affiliate in American Indian Studies”


Comment by MightyMike
2013-10-28 09:55:03

I didn’t see anything objectionable on that page. The guy’s won awards for both his books and his teaching. What’s the problem?

Comment by Suite Joey Blue Eyes
2013-10-28 10:29:34

Pay attention, brother:


Also? That guy’s ENTIRE claim to scholarly tenure is his research on whites being racist against blacks and native americans. I’m not saying it’s not worthy. I’m pointing out that if you say this is the norm at Ivies, you should realize it’s a big part of what profs do at lower ranked schools too.

Comment by goon squad
2013-10-28 11:18:58

The Big Ten schools are known for their football but their academics are nests of sh*tlibbery. One of my ex-squadettes (undergrad U of Penn) did three years in Teach For America and then went on for a Masters at the Ford School of Public Policy at U of Michigan (Ann Arbor, birthplace of the Weather Underground).

I went to some dinner parties with her fellow classmates, I can’t remember a single one of them mentioning ever having a job that produced a tangible product or made a profit. They all existed in this alternate universe of academia and the non-profit world, entirely dependent on grants from foundations, states, and the federal government for their paychecks.

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Comment by cactus
2013-10-28 12:37:56

They all existed in this alternate universe of academia and the non-profit world, entirely dependent on grants from foundations, states, and the federal government for their paychecks.”

creepy like a woody Allen movie

Comment by MightyMike
2013-10-28 16:16:04

Doesn’t your paycheck depend on the federal government?

Comment by MightyMike
2013-10-28 13:41:51

Ok, you should have used the college fix link in your original post. On the other hand, that appears to be another one of these right wing news websites, this one just focused on colleges and universities. You have be careful reading those websites. You can see from this blog that people who get all of their news from right wing websites are frequently confused. A half-decent news organization might try to contact someone else involved in the story, instead of just reprinting this grad student’s letter.

If you look at the professor’s page in detail, you see that he doesn’t limit his research to “whites being racist against blacks and native americans”. He’s also interested efforts made to achieve equal right for blacks, such as the freedom rides, which involved blacks and whites working together. Also, white people doing nasty things to non-whites is a big part of American history, so there are probably of dozens or hundreds of history professors all over the country who write about little else.

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Comment by goon squad
2013-10-28 10:53:31

the shitlibs are unavoidable in higher ed. while at football factory state university, i took some upperclassman (upperclassperson) lit courses with a very popular english professor (white baby boomer, phd, uc santa barbara).

when the jesse jackson lovechild story broke, he interrupted the lecture on shakespeare to discuss that, a rant that concluded with him giving the black power salute and declaring ‘we’re with you jesse!’

Comment by cactus
2013-10-28 12:47:40

I know you guys think that Ivies are the only places full of shitlibs running programs in Genderqueer Studies.”

beginning to think that yes..

Comment by goon squad
2013-10-28 09:19:49

Yes kidz, commuting makes you fat and stupid and depressed:


Comment by my failure to respect is unacceptable
2013-10-28 09:39:46

What’s more damaging to your health?

Sitting on a car for 45 minutes? Or
Sitting on a public transportation for 45 minutes?

Comment by Suite Joey Blue Eyes
2013-10-28 09:43:17

Depends. Sitting on a train for a while is pretty credited. Metro or subway? Not so much.

Sitting in a car is a lot worse than either, though. Very bad for your financial health and sends a cascade of stress hormones crescendoing throughout your body. I tried driving to DC for work (~50 mins) for a few weeks then decided bike & train was the credited answer. So easy, it’s actually pretty enjoyable. Also? Much less expensive.

I’d #killself before driving a car 2 hrs a day for work ever again.

Comment by 2banana
2013-10-28 09:49:25

Beg Apple: Subways overrun with homeless

It’s an express train — to the bad old days.

Cops are giving homeless people and panhandlers in the subways the kid-glove treatment, arresting subterranean scofflaws far less frequently than just two years ago, data show.

The ranks of the homeless, meanwhile, have swelled to 1,841 this year — a 13 percent increase over last year’s tally, the city’s Department of Homeless Services says.

For straphangers, it has created an atmosphere of fear.


Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-10-28 10:03:58
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Comment by aNYCdj
2013-10-28 13:10:34

Pretty true you rarely see a big man like Gov. Christie or a large woman on a subway or on the older buses. But the newer buses are much lower to the ground and much easier to get in and out of so this will change.

Plus the city is installing more elevators at certain major subway stops that will go directly to street level.

“In places where people walk more, obesity rates are much lower,” she noted. “New Yorkers, perhaps the ultimate walkers, weigh six or seven pounds less on average than suburban Americans.”

Comment by Northeastener
2013-10-28 09:44:48

It’s all about priorities… I commute 100+ miles 4 days a week and still find time to work out, spend time with the wife and kids, etc.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-10-28 10:35:59


What was that?!

It’s the sound of collapsing housing demand across the nation.

Got 25 MILLION excess empty houses?

Comment by Ben Jones
2013-10-28 10:42:08

Re-posting from yesterday:

‘About 1 in 10 houses sold in Pierce County in the past year wasn’t bought by real people. A News Tribune analysis of sales and property data between October 2012 and 2013 shows that three major private investment funds have spent about $172 million on almost 1,000 properties, all destined to become rentals.’

‘Brokers with direct knowledge of Blackstone’s moves in Washington told The News Tribune that the company generally has a five-year plan: Buy low, fix cheaply, maximize rent, then sell high. Or, higher.’

‘The brokers would not speak on the record for fear of damaging their livelihoods. Last year, a newspaper in Tampa Bay, Fla., quoted a local broker by name who was working with Blackstone to buy houses in the area. The day after the report published, the broker said he ended his relationship with the company because he wanted to avoid being sued. According to the newspaper, the broker said company officials told him that he “should have kept my mouth shut.”

‘That attitude is how they come across to competitors, too, one broker told The News Tribune. “They are kind of bullies,” the broker said. “They are willing to pay more.”

‘They are overpaying for properties,” Kevin Knoben, a broker who regularly attends the auctions, said this summer. “Their people are given an amount they can go up to and it doesn’t matter where it’s located. They’re buying houses that would be assessed at $150,000 in South Tacoma and they’re paying $200,000 and up. “They don’t care as long as they can put a renter in it,” he said.’

‘Paying higher prices changed the behavior of banks that were auctioning homes, said broker Lorrie Garl, who buys properties on behalf of regional investors. “Banks are setting opening bids higher because they know they can get it,” she said. “It’s made it a lot more difficult because (the big companies are) willing to pay market value and sometimes above, which is crazy to us, but they do.”

“This is no different from institutional investors being bullish in other commodities,” said Jody McNamer, a Gig Harbor-based real estate investor who has focused on the South Puget Sound region for 20 years. “They run those commodities up and dump their holdings after they make their profits. And little guys are all, um, what happened?”

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-10-28 10:45:30

‘They are overpaying for properties,” Kevin Knoben, a broker who regularly attends the auctions, said this summer.

And so are the clueless suckers who buy as end users. They will lose the most.

Comment by cactus
2013-10-28 11:27:38

Many open House signs in Moorpark Ca have not seen that in over a year

Open house signs go up when homes don’t sell and frantic owners tell Realtors “to do something”

Oh well

Comment by Taxpayers
2013-10-28 11:31:55

“This tells us to expect lower home sales for the fourth quarter, with a flat trend going into 2014,” NAR Chief Economist Lawrence Yun said in a statement. “Even so, ongoing inventory shortages will continue to lift home prices, though at a slower single-digit growth rate next year.

Comment by inchbyinch
2013-10-28 14:32:53

Milk Prices May Soar to $8 a Gallon

Farm subsidy bill’s scare tactic.
Cow’s milk isn’t fit for humans anyway. There are better sources of calcium w/o hormones. Broccoli for one. Including the food stamp program, $80B. Holy Cow!

Comment by Northeastener
2013-10-28 14:55:56

Another example of government involvement in a market creating price distortions.

Is there anything the government can’t screw up?

Comment by goon squad
2013-10-28 16:05:10

‘is there anything the government can’t screw up?’

nasa and the interstate highway system worked out ok.

since then, not so much.

Comment by Strawberrypicker
2013-10-28 19:26:22

We’re public unions involved? Seriously, I’m asking. I don’t know.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Bluestar
2013-10-28 15:01:05

From the guys who brought you the internet and weaponized drones:
Pentagon’s DARPA works on reading brains in real time:

The SUBNETS program intends to change the current landscape significantly. Not only does DARPA want to map out exactly how diseases establish themselves in an individuals brain, the agency also wants its implant to be able to record the signs of illness in real time, deliver treatments, and monitor the treatment’s effectiveness.
Already, roughly 100,000 people worldwide live with a Deep Brain Stimulation implant, a device that helps patients cope with Parkinsons disease…
The new project is part of President Obama’s BRAIN initiative, which sets aside $100 million in its first year to develop new innovations in neuroscience. DARPA is collaborating with the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation on SUBNETS, and it is currently soliciting proposals from various research teams.

There are a lot of anti-social people who need this technology. I hope they use this breakthrough technology to cure the epidemic of Tea Party disease that has infected our conservative brothers and sisters.
I’m sure it’s covered in your Obamacare insurance policy.

Comment by Resistor
2013-10-28 15:28:25


Comment by Resistor
2013-10-28 15:30:05

“the project was originally championed by local resident and south Sound conservationist Gayle Broadbent-Ferris who died in an accident in 2009. She introduced the property to the Trust and helped keep interest in its preservation alive during a period when development was contemplated. “Gayle, more than anyone, would have been thrilled to know the property is now under conservancy,” Laurence said.”


Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2013-10-28 18:23:12

Nice find! :-)

Comment by Blue Skye
2013-10-28 18:19:31

Hey Oly, well done.

Comment by phony scandals
2013-10-28 16:21:07

Boy that James Taylor really pulled a Sebelius the other night at the World Series.

FACT CHECK: Sebelius misstates law on signup start


5 hours ago

WASHINGTON (AP) — Misstating the health care law she is responsible for administering, Kathleen Sebelius has asserted that the law required health insurance sign-ups to start Oct. 1, whether the system was ready or not. In fact, the decision when to launch the sign-up website was hers.

The troubled debut of the government’s health insurance enrollment website has raised questions about whether its start date should have been delayed to allow testing and repairs before it went live. Asked last week whether that might have been the wiser course, Sebelius, the health and human services secretary, said that wasn’t possible because the law required an Oct. 1 launch.

In a visit to a community health center in Austin, Texas, on Friday, Sebelius acknowledged more testing would have been preferable. “In an ideal world there would have been a lot more testing, but we did not have the luxury of that and the law said the go-time was Oct. 1,” she said.

But the law imposed no legal requirement to open the website Oct 1. The law says only that the enrollment period shall be “as determined by the secretary.” The launch date was set not in the law, but in regulations her department had issued. Agencies routinely allow themselves flexibility on self-imposed deadlines.

Officials could have postponed open enrollment by a month, or they could have phased in access to the website. Oregon, one of the 14 states that built its own website under the federal law, did just that, allowing initial website access only for counselors instead of the general public.

Larry Levitt, health insurance expert at the Kaiser Family Foundation, said that in setting the sign-up start date the administration had to balance three competing interests: keeping the enrollment period short enough to prevent people from waiting to see whether they developed a health condition that needed insurance; keeping the period long enough to allow consumers to learn about their options; and allowing enough time to have the sign-up system ready for an onslaught of applications.

“Looking in the rear-view window, the systems obviously weren’t ready by Oct. 1 and a delay would have allowed for a smoother launch,” he said.

In the Texas appearance, Sebelius also pointed to a more likely reason behind the urgency to launch: politics, and in particular a government shutdown over the issue.

“A political atmosphere where the majority party, at least in the House, was determined to stop this anyway they possibly could … was not an ideal atmosphere,” she said.

Associated Press writers Ricardo Alonso-Zaldivar in Washington and Chris Tomlinson in Austin, Texas, contributed to this report.

EDITOR’S NOTE — An occasional look at claims by public figures that take shortcuts with the facts or don’t tell the full story

Associated Press

Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2013-10-28 18:20:48

Q from a couple of days back about interest-rate locks:

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-10-26 13:09:48

P.S. Despite the sunk cost problem, I already gave her your advice yesterday.

I also told her to try to figure out if these “interest rate locks” generally come with unannounced charges to reduce rates even before the loan has closed. I can’t imagine it would take more than 15 minutes for the lender to compute and write in the payments for a lower rate. Why should this cost $300+?

This actually makes perfect business sense, if you stop and analyze it—and has nothing to do with being scammed.

Assume you were in the business of originating loans, and selling them down-stream. You would be exposed to interest-rate risk on the loans you have in the pipeline, from the moment you “lock” the rate with the customer, until the later time when you sold them to Fannie/Freddie/private securitizers.

How would you handle this risk, or at least convert it from a complete unknown to a known cost? You would hedge your risk on the futures markets.

Those hedges are not free. In the aggregate, over a reasonable period of time, I’m guessing that it is somewhat less than $300. :-)

Comment by AbsoluteBeginner
2013-10-28 20:34:44

Years ago, they ran an ad on TV about how you should save for retirement. It had a lady sitting in a chair, by herself, in an empty house presumably maybe being foreclosed upon. She said in the ad in the voice over how she had the best vacations and best restaurants, etc. in her time with their (her and her husband’s) money. But had none now. Presumably because they did not save their money and spent it all on comfort impulses.

I want to see an ad ran that shows renters sitting in a house lamenting how they should not have invested in stocks and bonds and REITs because now they do not have a house to fall back on for cash equity extraction or to sell. I want to see that. I want to see how people who rent are destined to be poor no matter whether they save money into stocks and bonds and REITs. I want the NAR to come out and say that getting a mortgage is guaranteed wealth creation.

Comment by Blue Skye
2013-10-28 20:48:09

You want to be lied to. Living a life of debt service does not make you wealthy. Spending a lot less than you have/earn is how you find financial independence. It has to do with thriftiness and avoiding debt, not owning a house. You being in debt makes someone else wealthier.

Comment by AbsoluteBeginner
2013-10-28 21:17:24

At times, I see Tom Vu pointing at me and saying I have no yacht with foxy girls on it because I have no money. He’s right.

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