November 25, 2013

Bits Bucket for November 25, 2013

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

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Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-11-25 05:42:53

realtors are liars

Comment by goon squad
2013-11-25 07:13:31

And Glengarry Glen Ross is a documentary.

Comment by Strawberrypicker
2013-11-25 07:30:26

They really should remake it, but instead of middle age men, use a couple of 60ish RE harpies and their late 20 chikapoos.

There is a wealth of comedy in making fun of this RE shill behavior. I’m surprised it has not been better mined. Instead we get all these HGTV shows treating realtards the way Rio treats His/her Messiah.

Put that skim caramel macchiato with an extra shot down, skim caramel macchiatos with an extra shot, are for closers only.

Comment by Suite Joey Blue Eyes
2013-11-25 07:43:57

Alec Baldwin nailed it, though. The alpha guy giving marching orders to the desperate losers so they’ll get out there and sell some suckers with emotional appeals to their hopes & dreams.

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Comment by SD Guy
2013-11-25 09:46:33

Here is Alec Baldwin’s famous speech in Glen Gary. I post this once a year and since it was mentioned I thought I’d break it out even though most have seen it before.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-11-25 09:59:10

I found myself involuntarily reaching for my nearby cup of coffee on your mention of that speech…

Comment by rms
2013-11-25 13:16:35

Poor ‘ol Jack Lemmon. [sniff]

Comment by HBB_Rocks
2013-11-25 13:40:09

A treat for the holiday season:

ABC: always be cobbling!

Comment by Strawberrypicker
2013-11-25 20:47:57

Focusing on Alec Baldwin is fine, but all the roles are good and come to be appreciated the more you see it. I go back and forth between Ed Harris, Pacino and Jack Lemmon every time I see it. Mamet’s dialogue has that interesting cadence and is soo good.

He should consider some type of expansion of the Baldwin role into a short play all it’s own that includes the prior scene with Mitch and Murray and then a further scene of his meeting with them again after the meeting to laugh at what went down.

Comment by Combotechie
2013-11-25 07:52:55

The remake should include Suzanne, portrayed as a burned-out Realtor From Hell.

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Comment by oxide
2013-11-25 09:17:41

They are ALL Suzanne.

And from what I’ve seen, HGTV treats the realtors better than Rio treats Obama.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-11-25 10:59:35

Cockroach realtors

Comment by Beer and Cigar Guy
2013-11-25 12:24:50

For those of you who have yet to see it, get on Netflix and watch, ‘The Queen of Versailles’, which actually IS a documentary. Also on Netflix is the final season of ‘Arrested Development’, which has some hilarious and biting references to the bubble throughout the episodes.

Comment by Suite Joey Blue Eyes
2013-11-25 12:31:41

The 4th season of Arrested Development isn’t as good as the first 3, but I catch those references to the bubble as well.

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Comment by azdude02
2013-11-25 05:57:40

the cheerleading for stocks is getting more noisy. It feels like you simply can lose again.

I wonder how high janet yellen will take the market?

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-11-25 06:20:46

“It feels like you simply can lose again.”

It’s felt that way for weeks on end of new record highs, in fact!

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-11-25 06:38:36

Taper Isn’t Tightening as Bonds See No Rate Boost Until ’15
By Daniel Kruger & Liz Capo McCormick - Nov 25, 2013 4:16 AM PT
Fed Won’t Taper in Near Term, Shugg Says

The $11.7 trillion Treasury market is betting on history not repeating as the Federal Reserve moves closer to reducing its unprecedented stimulus.

From futures to derivatives, traders don’t see the central bank raising its benchmark interest rate from a record low until nine months after policy makers end their monthly bond purchases of $85 billion, or late 2015. In September, when the Treasury market was tumbling in the midst of its worst year since 2009, the projected gap was two months, according to Barclays Plc.

The Fed’s assertion that the tapering of its quantitative easing doesn’t mean a tightening of monetary policy is starting to sink in among bond traders. That may help contain yields, supporting borrowers of all types that have refinanced trillions of dollars of debt because of the Fed’s policies.

When Fed Chairman Ben S. Bernanke first discussed ending purchases May 22, “there was a consensus opinion that ‘Oh my God, this is the end,’” and that an increase to the federal funds rate would “be right on the heels of that last purchase,” said Gregory Whiteley, who manages government debt investments at Los Angeles-based DoubleLine Capital LP, which oversees $53 billion. “That is not the consensus any longer,” he said in a Nov. 19 telephone interview.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-11-25 06:46:42

November 24, 2013, 1:05 pm
Disruptions: If It Looks Like a Bubble and Floats Like a Bubble …
SAN FRANCISCO — It sounds like heresy around here. But here goes:

Is this another tech bubble?

Back East, the Wall Street money is starting to worry that it feels like 1999 all over again. Money-losing technology companies are going public at you’ve-got-to-be-joking prices. The founders of Snapchat are getting multibillion-dollar offers — and turning them down. And the Nasdaq composite index, a visible symbol of the ’90s dot-com boom and bust, is a sneeze away from 4,000, a level it last reached just before, well, you know.

Is this time different? Out in Silicon Valley, many insist it is. But for the average investor, there are reasons for caution.

Since the dark days of 2008, the Nasdaq has risen more than 150 percent, twice as much as the old-school Dow industrials. Money has been pouring into social media stocks. As of Friday, Twitter had risen nearly 60 percent since it went public only a few weeks earlier.

Once again, new “metrics” are being applied to justify stratospheric valuations. Twitter is losing money. A price-to-earnings ratio? There is no E in the P/E. But its stock is trading at 20-odd times the company’s annual sales. Good enough.

There is more. Technology companies have become the takeover bait du jour. A report issued by Ernst & Young last week said that mergers and acquisitions in the global technology industry have rebounded to “a new post-dot-com bubble high.” Roughly $71 billion in deals were made during the third quarter.

And then there is, the poster child of the dot-com bust. Kozmo is back. Last time, its couriers would deliver just about anything at any hour — CDs, Milky Way bars, you name it. It burned through $280 million before going bust.

Remember us?” a banner on the reads now. “We’re relaunching soon.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-11-25 08:15:20

Jeeez…. I remember Kozmo quite well.

realtor/housing/used houses will suffer the same fate.

Comment by Ethan in Norfolk VA
2013-11-25 10:09:31

There is a documentary about the failure of Kozmo called E-Dreams. I’m pretty sure that is the company, a bike delivered Amazon type clone. Now I believe Amazon is planning 1 day delivery in major markets of some items.

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Comment by goon squad
2013-11-25 08:36:55

Today’s WSJ reporting about millions of fake Twitter accounts, and bulk sales of fake Twitter account “followers”. Now that is a can’t loose investment of a lifetime!

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-11-25 07:03:43

Nov. 6, 2013, 6:09 a.m. EST
Fear is killing your investments
The high cost of being afraid of the stock market
By Chuck Jaffe, MarketWatch

Wayne Gretzky—the greatest hockey player of all time—famously said that “you miss one-hundred percent of the shots you don’t take.” Of the ice, however, the Great One confesses he was “not a big risk taker…I stay away from things that I don’t know anything about.”

Two surveys released this week show that most investors better relate to Gretzky’s second sentiment. Many are still afraid of the stock market—a fear created during the financial crisis five years ago—and those investors have not been taking their shots. As a result, they have missed out, not only on the rally of the last few years, but on the opportunity to be better positioned for what happens next.

BlackRock this week released its first Global Investor Pulse Survey, which showed that while steady gains have pushed some stock markets worldwide to all-time highs, “most people are not comfortable taking on more risks to achieve better returns.” The survey polled more than 17,500 investors (including some 4,000 Americans) across a range of income levels.

In the U.S., 48% of investible assets were being held in cash, with just 18% in stocks and 7% in bonds, according to the survey.

Comment by Strawberrypicker
2013-11-25 07:22:03

The best financial decision I ever made was not taking a shot at an overpriced crap shack in 2004-2005. He’ll it wasn’t just a financial decision it ended up being a whole life decision. If I took that shot I’d have been screwed. Everyone was saying that was what you were supposed to do. Prices just kept going up. For a while.

All these cheerleaders counting their profits at the top of the market are like degenerate gamblers who will only tell you about their wins and conveniently forget the losses.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-11-25 07:20:48

Nov. 22, 2013, 6:01 a.m. EST
Dow 20,000 here we come: It’s different this time
Commentary: We need more irrational behavior to create a real bubble
By Michael Sincere

Watching the Dow Jones Industrial Average top 16,000, many investors are hoping this market is in a bubble (so they can shrewdly buy stocks at lower prices when it pops). But we have a long way to go for that.

Right now, the most important part of a bubble is missing — the mania. We need intoxicated investors, a buying frenzy, over the top speculation, and a get-rich-quick mentality. A bubble without a mania is like an ice cream sundae without a cherry. We can do better.

Although it’s possible to have a bubble without a mania, those maniacal meltups help historians confirm whether it was a true bubble. Also, meltups make you feel rich before you go broke (be sure to save your statements so you can remember how much you could have, should have, and would have made if you had sold in time).

Comment by rms
2013-11-25 08:06:49

“Right now, the most important part of a bubble is missing — the mania. We need intoxicated investors, a buying frenzy, over the top speculation, and a get-rich-quick mentality. A bubble without a mania is like an ice cream sundae without a cherry. We can do better.”

If granny isn’t eating cat food when this is over then we didn’t do our jobs correctly. –The Street

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2013-11-25 14:57:39


If granny isn’t eating cat (Little Tiger) when this is over then we didn’t do our jobs correctly. –The Street

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Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-11-25 11:03:45

So long as the stock market keeps hitting new records every other day, who cares about sagging home sales or Facebook breakdowns?

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-11-25 11:04:52

Stock market live blog: Nasdaq 4,000, Facebook breaks down, home sales drag
November 25, 2013, 9:24 AM

9:57 am
Index update
by Saumya Vaishampayan

Index update:

The S&P 500 is up about 1 point, or 0.05%, to 1,805.65

The Dow is up 28 points, or 0.17%, to 16,092.56

The Nasdaq is up 6 points, or 0.15%, to 3,997.96

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-11-25 11:16:19

Oct. 21, 2013, 6:02 a.m. EDT
Don’t fight the Fed — fear it
Commentary: Bernanke & Co. are looking for bubbles in all the wrong places

By Michael Sincere

MIAMI (MarketWatch) — Now that the Washington debt and shutdown drama is behind us — at least for now — let’s consider a potentially more dire situation: the Fed’s next move.

Do you remember the Fed? Just last month everyone was expecting Ben Bernanke to cut back on quantitative easing (i.e. taper). The high-speed traders had their fat fingers on the keyboard, ready to sell. Would the Dow Jones Industrial Average drop 200 points or 300? It was the easiest trade in the world.

And then, Benny and the Feds surprised nearly everyone by not tapering! The market loved it, and responded with a 200-point rally. It was beautiful. The Dow sailed well past 15,000 and there was blue sky as far as the eye could see. Unfortunately, the next day the market sold off, but it was a fun day while it lasted.

A few economists mumbled that quantitative easing was going on too long, and that if it didn’t stop soon it could cause real damage to the economy. What? Take away the punch bowl? Do you have any idea how the market would react? No, QE must sail on.

And to anyone who thinks that QE could create an asset bubble, St. Louis Fed President James Bullard has an answer. Last month he said that the Fed didn’t see any bubbles. “At least right now,” Bullard noted, “you don’t have anything of that magnitude going on.”

Bubbles are funny things. During the Dutch tulipmania bubble (1634-1637), beautiful tulips were bought and sold for $200,000 each at today’s prices. At the time, few realized they were in a bubble, but who cares? You could make a fortune by buying and selling the tulip without even owning it. Many people got rich before they went broke.

During the Internet bubble (1995-2001), people thought the good times would continue indefinitely; 1999 was a particularly fun year for investors as certain Internet stocks such as and others with a dot-com name went up by a gazillion points. And during the housing bubble (2007-2009), flipping houses was all the rage. But at the time it didn’t seem like a bubble.

The year of the Fed bubble

If the Fed continues with QE (i.e. excessive monetary liquidity), and it most likely will, the market could rally right into Christmas and beyond. On the other hand, if the Fed even whispers the word, “taper,” the market might convulse. And no one wants that.

One might wonder if we’re now in the middle of a Fed-induced bubble (2009-?). As the market climbs higher because the Fed is reluctant to taper, the bubble might get bigger. Like other bubbles, few will know we’re in one until it pops. That’s the strange thing about bubbles: they can go on for years. Meanwhile, the damage is being done, but no one sees until it’s too late.

If you try to warn people that the market might be rising a bit too fast and too far, they protest. “Don’t fight the Fed,” has been the mantra since the last Fed bubble popped. That’s what they always say.

Yes, it’s true, you don’t fight the Fed — at first. But the Fed is only human, and if it makes a mistake (which it’s prone to do on occasion), anything is possible. The Fed has got itself into a pickle this time. If it continues with QE indefinitely, it could cause economic damage. If it cuts QE, the market will protest.

What to do? Keep your eye on the bond market. If the yield on the 10-year Treasury rises above 3%, that could spell trouble for stocks.

If the stock market is in a Fed-induced bubble (we’ll know after it’s over), it won’t be easy to deflate. The Fed will try to reduce QE slowly, which would be an amazing feat. Bubbles cannot be controlled so easily. In a worst-case scenario, that popping sound you hear is not a Champagne bottle.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-11-25 13:07:25

November 23, 2013
The next 10 investment bubbles
Photo: Bloomberg
1 of 13

Asset bubbles are funny things. You’re not sure something is in a bubble until it pops. Ever since investors first bid up the price of tulip bulbs to ridiculous levels back in the early 1600s, one thing many economists seem to agree on is that pre-popped bubbles defy formal identification. This past year Princeton economist Paul Krugman said there’s no standard definition for them. Last week, Columbia University economist Guillermo Calvo said at a San Francisco Fed conference that we still don’t have a theory about them. “Irrational Exuberance” author and Yale economist Robert Shiller, who recently said stock prices are high but not at alarming levels, called market bubbles a form of “social mental illness.” While we may not have an academic definition of bubbles, investors certainly have fresh memories of getting burned by the U.S. housing bubble in 2006 and the bubble in 1999. With this in mind, MarketWatch looked at 10 assets that are showing that sort of frothiness that could indicate a bubble in the making.

—Wallace Witkowski

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-11-25 15:40:04

Bernanke’s exit strategy: Keep stock investors from rushing the exits
November 25, 2013, 5:13 PM

The Federal Reserve wants to make a graceful exit from the bond-buying program that has supported the U.S. economy and lifted stock prices. But every time the Fed talks about tapering, anxious bond and stock investors beat a hasty retreat.

Steve Cucchiaro, chief investment officer of Windhaven Investment Management, Inc., a unit of Charles Schwab Corp, says the Fed has something of a public relations problem as it attempts to replace a big punch bowl with a smaller one.

The Fed, he says, has been “making great pains” since May to get the markets to understand that “tapering is not a tightening,” and that resulting higher interest rates would not necessarily be a death-knell for stocks.

Cucchiaro expects the Fed to prevail. “Just like [former Fed Chair Paul] Volcker was successful turning back inflation and interest rates, this Fed will be successful at turning interest rates and inflation to the upside.”

The strategist says he expects a modest tapering with the Fed emphasizing that it will hold short-term interest rates near zero for an extended period. And he credited outgoing Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke for his damage-control efforts to keep the markets informed.

“Short rates near zero, and long rates going up is not necessarily a bad thing,” Cucchiaro says, given that such an environment suggests stronger economic growth and corporate earnings. “After an initial adverse reaction, an echo of what happened last spring, markets could settle out,” he adds.

“If the long rate climbs gradually and is not a shock, and we’re left with a steeper yield curve, that’s OK for stocks,” Cucchiaro says. Conversely, he notes, if long rates move too high, too fast, then investors may fear that the Fed is losing control.

Which of these two forces will gain the upper hand? Much depends on the Fed’s oratorical skills, Cucchiaro says. Bernanke, he notes, “would like people to remember how the Fed took bold and unprecedented action after the financial crisis and kept the financial crisis from turning into a depression or severe deflation.”

Bernanke’s nominated successor Janet Yellen, meanwhile, has a reputation for being dovish on monetary policy, and Cucchiaro speculates that Yellen “might look for opportunities to show a more balanced view” with regard to fighting inflation.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-11-25 06:10:48

If you were a member of an “investor group,” would you be interested in a stake in a too-big-to-fail firm which had a monopoly position in its industry (in violation of the Sherman Antitrust Act, by the way)?

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-11-25 06:16:34

How much longer until Frankenstein Mae and Freddie Krueger Mac are resurrected as entirely private oligopolists with a too-big-to-fail stake in the mortgage securitization industry and an army of K-street lobbyists to protect it?

Comment by scdave
2013-11-25 07:16:38
Comment by Suite Joey Blue Eyes
2013-11-25 07:36:34

Albert Lord could show Fannie & Freddie how to accomplish this. He’s pretty much the slimiest, most disgusting person in DC area. Which is saying a lot.

Comment by goon squad
2013-11-25 07:49:16

downlow joe has entered the building

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Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-11-25 06:19:39

Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac attract investor groups
By Dina ElBoghdady and Danielle Douglas, Published: November 21

Investor groups are scooping up shares of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and even offering to buy core pieces of their businesses, complicating legislative efforts to shut down the two mortgage giants.

Some Capitol Hill lawmakers have been clamoring to shutter the companies ever since the government seized them at the height of the 2008 housing crisis. President Obama also has publicly called for an end to the two institutions.

Comment by oxide
2013-11-25 09:32:37

This is nothing more than yet another attempt to get the taxpayer to do private sector’s dirty work, as has the goal of any public-private partnership for decades. If Congress really wanted to end Fannie and Freddie, they would simply repeal/remove the implicit government guarantee, explicitly this time. Scavenging activity would stop within the hour.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-11-25 10:01:39

According to the rules of DC’s game, repealed guarantees can be reinstated, and laws can be ignored. Look no further than the (widely ignored) Sherman Antitrust Act against price fixing, for instance.

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Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-11-25 06:26:39

11/22/2013 @ 8:00AM
Fannie Mae And Freddie Mac Exemplify The Horrors Of Crony Capitalism
By Ike Brannon

Nothing exemplifies the the cost of crony capitalism like Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac . For years these fiefdoms were run as little more than as piggy banks for connected politicians, who could count on substantial financial support for re-election, and retiring members and staffers from their committees of jurisdiction could expect a lucrative lobbying contract. Even their relatives got in on the act.

A major shareholder recently offered a reform plan that would replace them with two fully-capitalized private entities, which Treasury officials dismissed out of hand. Before anyone puts a knife in the heart of privatization efforts, it’s worth reviewing how they got into their current plight.

For a long time Fannie and Freddie had been managed by political entities rather than mere businessmen, and they had two masters–the politicians who wanted campaign contributions and increasing home ownership rates, and shareholders. Eventually, regulatory oversight went by the wayside and they chased their twin, conflicting goals with impunity.

The rationale for Fannie and Freddie remaining as full-fledged government-sponsored enterprises evaporated long ago. The implicit backing of the federal government (which was called upon in 2008) allowed these entities to make imprudent investment decisions and ultimately squander hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars.

Comment by Suite Joey Blue Eyes
2013-11-25 07:31:34

Fannie, Freddie, and also Sallie… each of this is pure sh!t.

Comment by rms
2013-11-25 08:15:25

“Fannie, Freddie, and also Sallie… each of this is pure sh!t.”

+1 True.

However they’re backed by the little-people®, and they have a l-o-n-g way to go before they’ve been bled dry.

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Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-11-25 06:28:55

Watt confident Senate filibuster change assures confirmation
Posted: Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013

Democratic U.S. Rep. Mel Watt is confident he’ll be confirmed to head the Federal Housing Finance Agency now that Senate Democrats changed the chamber’s filibuster rule.

“I would say that certainly substantially improves the chances,” he says.

President Barack Obama nominated Watt last spring to head the agency that oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Senate Republicans blocked his confirmation last month.

But Thursday, Senate Democrats triggered the so-called “nuclear option.” They changed the rules so that most judicial and executive-office appointments can move to confirmation votes with support from a simple majority of senators, not the 60-vote super-majority that had been in effect.

The Senate could vote on Watt’s nomination when it returns to session in early December.

Watt continues to be optimistic.

“I’ve known it’s not been about me,” he says. “Every once in a while they’ll make some noises about qualifications. But no one felt they were saying that with a straight face. This has been about politics, and a lot of it has been directed at this president.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-11-25 06:30:50

FHFA faces pushback on cuts to Fannie Mae apartment lending
6 hours ago • Bloomberg News

WASHINGTON — The U.S. regulator of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is proceeding with plans to scale back their financing of apartment-building loans next year, shrinking what opponents call a critical support for rental housing.

The government-owned companies back about 45 percent of the multifamily market. While the size of the cuts is still undetermined, they will add to a 10 percent reduction in apartment financing that the Federal Housing Finance Agency required Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to make this year as part of a broader effort to boost private investment in housing finance.

Developers, lenders and affordable-housing advocates are pushing back, saying the move could deprive rural areas and smaller cities such as Boise, Idaho, and Topeka, Kan., of rental housing that private investors may neglect. Dozens responded to a recent FHFA request for suggestions with the same message: Don’t do it at all.

“Without Fannie and Freddie our ability to get deals done in smaller towns would be greatly reduced,” E.J. Burke, chairman of the Mortgage Bankers Association and an executive vice president at Cleveland-based KeyBank, said in an interview. “We haven’t seen that impact yet, but down the line I’m very concerned if the conservator continues to cut their volumes.”

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-11-25 06:33:17

Going ‘nuclear’ may help Watt
Confirmation more likely with Senate rules change
Published Saturday, November 23, 2013
by Margaret Chadbourn, Reuters

President Barack Obama’s pick for a top housing regulatory post looked poised to win confirmation after the Senate changed its rules on Thursday to make it harder to block nominees.

If confirmed to head the agency that regulates housing finance giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, U.S. Rep. Mel Watt of Charlotte could open the door for the taxpayer-controlled firms to provide greater mortgage relief, in line with White House economic goals.

The current head of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Edward DeMarco, is a career civil servant who has knocked heads at times with the Obama administration on homeowner-relief programs as he has sought to conserve the companies’ assets.

That focus has endeared DeMarco to Republicans, who successfully blocked Watt’s nomination in a vote last month. The filibuster marked the first time since the Civil War that the Senate failed to confirm a sitting member of Congress.

The Republican action helped spur Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Nevada Democrat, to push through a change in the Senate filibuster rules on Thursday.

Previously, 60 votes were needed to clear procedural hurdles in the 100-seat Senate. Now, a simple majority suffices for all but Supreme Court nominees - a change that virtually guarantees Watt’s confirmation given that Democrats control 55 votes.

Homeowner and consumer advocacy groups have lobbied hard for Watt’s approval. They argue that DeMarco, who became the FHFA’s acting director in 2009, has not implemented programs that could help borrowers who are having trouble making mortgage payments.

Analysts expect Watt to allow Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to forgive loan principal for Americans who owe more on their mortgages than their homes are worth – a step the White House has advocated but one that DeMarco had refused to take.

“If Watt is confirmed, we would expect the FHFA to work towards some form of principal reduction and institute specific changes to Fannie and Freddie refinance efforts,” said Isaac Boltansky, an analyst with Compass Point Research and Trading.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
Comment by jose canusi
2013-11-25 07:45:22

The GOP isn’t going to do squat, it’s just noise. They sold out a long, long time ago. They’ve been too intimidated by PC. And let’s not forget, it was the Republican Mitt Romney who provided the template for O-care, and the “conservative” John Roberts who gave it the force of law, as a “tax”.

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Comment by jose canusi
2013-11-25 08:01:00

I think the John Roberts betrayal sticks in my craw more than anything else. Conservatives are supposed to stand for smaller gov’t and lower taxes.

Some conservative, eh?

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2013-11-25 08:15:52

But remember the genius of the founding fathers. Only the federal government is restricted on what it should be funding. One of the reasons for this is the fact that only the federal government can create money. Thus, if a state wants to create Romney care, Americans were free to move to another state to avoid the tax and the state could not print money to get out of its mess. It is when and it has happened people start using the tax and borrowing powers of the federal government to transfer wealth from one individual to another that the whole system is endangered. That is why the founding fathers never meant the general welfare provision to include transfer payments. Caring for the poor was the function of the states not the federal government.

I would love to continue this discussion but I have to go.

Comment by my failure to respect is unacceptable
2013-11-25 09:30:39

GOP may actually keep it barely alive to pound democrats in elections after elections.

Comment by rms
2013-11-25 13:23:12

“GOP may actually keep it barely alive to pound democrats in elections after elections.”

I doubt it. The toothless deer hunters in camouflage will pipe-up about 90-days before the election with their pastor’s anti-abortion meme. Poof!

Comment by oxide
2013-11-25 09:48:33

Sez Daily Caller: “And I’m not sure the people who did this today have thought this.”

Democrats aren’t that dumb. Does George Will think he’s brilliant for pointing out that repealing the filibuster for legislation could/would be turned against the other party? He ain’t the first to plant that flag. Everyone was discussing that possibility way back when the R’s were threatening nuclear option in 2005-2006.

Nobody knows the calculus in 2017. But if the R’s control all three branches, I welcome them to try to repeal Obamacare.

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Comment by Blue Skye
2013-11-25 10:31:42

“Democrats aren’t that dumb…”

Judge the tree by its fruit.

The government down there is doing a lot of really dumb things.

Comment by Strawberrypicker
2013-11-25 18:48:45

If the Rs control only one branch, the executive, they can repeal it by forever delaying implementing it. Messiah in Chief gave them that power already.

Comment by oxide
2013-11-25 10:12:29

And a great comment from that article:

“even if somehow obamacare goes, the amnesty the bipartisan establishment wants to force on us to replace American workers with low wage foreigners will kill the middle class, the republican party and America. — garyinaz66″

Too late, mr. gary, it already happened. That’s what happens when you vilify unions, deify Jack Welch, get loose with H1-B, convince Clinton to sign NAFTA, and veto tax increases for companies who outsource jobs. As for amnesty, that went for both parties. Border security was part of Reagan’s amnesty too, but it fell by the wayside since no one wanted to put a damper into the “growth” a busiensss could get from paying substandard wages.

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Comment by my failure to respect is unacceptable
2013-11-25 10:47:50

The sad thing about playing blue team or red team is you forget who you truly are.

Comment by Blue Skye
2013-11-25 12:43:22

“convince Clinton…”

Who proposed NAFTA?

Comment by MightyMike
2013-11-25 16:45:35

Who proposed NAFTA?

It was probably some business group.

Comment by phony scandals
2013-11-25 06:27:18

Banks Warn Fed They May Have To Start Charging Depositors

Submitted by Tyler Durden on 11/24/2013 15:24 -0500

Executives at two of the top five US banks said a cut in the 0.25 per cent rate of interest on the $2.4tn in reserves they hold at the Fed would lead them to pass on the cost to depositors.

Banks say they may have to charge because taking in deposits is not free: they have to pay premiums of a few basis points to a US government insurance programme. -

Comment by rms
2013-11-25 08:19:10

Depositors…it’s what is for dinner.

Comment by Blue Skye
2013-11-25 10:34:29

“the 0.25 per cent rate of interest on the $2.4tn in reserves they hold at the Fed…”

This is how they are charging us now.

Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2013-11-25 10:38:31

This is how they are charging us now.

+1. It’s a stealth tax that is almost impossible to avoid—everyone who has even a single dollar is paying their share.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-11-25 06:40:47

Is the U.S. housing recovery still going strong these days?

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-11-25 06:43:27

The Economist
House prices
Home truths
The recovery in housing is looking surprisingly shaky

Nov 23rd 2013 | NEW YORK |From the print edition

THE city that proved that America’s housing market is rising from the ashes was, fittingly, Phoenix. From property-bubble peak to post-financial crisis trough, house prices in Arizona’s biggest metropolis plunged by more than half, as demand dried up and foreclosures soared. But low interest rates and slowly reviving consumer confidence, plus a bunch of private-equity firms convinced there was an opportunity in buying up homes cheaply, eventually brought the market back to life. By September the median sale price of a single-family home in the Greater Phoenix area was $199,000, up 33% in a year.

Yet lately not all the signs from Phoenix have been positive. Initially, house prices and sales rose together. But according to a recent report by the Centre for Real Estate Theory and Practice at Arizona State University, they have started to diverge. In September the number of single-family homes sold was 9% lower than in the same month a year earlier; sales of town houses and condos were flat. Since July the Greater Phoenix market has “cooled dramatically”, thanks to a steep fall in demand. In 2014, the report predicted, prices will rise more slowly than the “furious pace we have witnessed over the past two years.”

A similar picture is emerging elsewhere, especially in cities where price and sales growth had been strong. The monthly index of housing conditions published by the National Association of Home Builders and Wells Fargo, a bank, published on November 18th, was flat since October and down from 59 in July to 54 now. (That is slightly positive; a score of 50 would mean that builders are evenly divided as to whether conditions are good or bad). The Case-Shiller index, which tracks house prices in 20 big cities across America, reported year-on-year price growth of 12.8% in August, but also noted an abrupt slowing of the monthly rate of growth as 16 of those cities reported more modest price increases in August than in July. In October the Federal Reserve noted that the “recovery in the housing sector slowed somewhat in recent months.” This set the stage for the release of data on November 20th that showed a sharp 3.2% fall in sales of existing homes in October.

This is probably evidence of “stalling, rather than a reversal”, says Jim O’Sullivan of High Frequency Economics, a research firm. Would-be buyers are coming to terms with costlier mortgages; long-term mortgage-interest rates are up by a percentage point since the early summer. That can be a drain on a tight household budget. The housing-affordability index published by the National Association of Realtors, which combines average mortgage costs, average home prices and average family income, is down to 164 from a high of 214 in January, which is significant. Yet housing remains far more affordable than the historic average of around 125, which means that the recovery is likely to pick up before long, says Mr O’Sullivan.

Comment by Strawberrypicker
2013-11-25 07:16:01

“By September the median sale price of a single-family home in the Greater Phoenix area was $199,000, up 33% in a year.”

Down 50%, up by 33%, so only 17 percent to go before we’re right back to peak prices, and beyond, right! ;)

You gotta be a fool not to buy.

Like I said yesterday, anyone who buys where the median price has risen 30 percent in the previous year is quite foolish.

Can I get a shout out from the blog liberals for the concept of behaving conservatively with personal finances, particularly if it is the biggest financial decision of your life? Or does advocating anything conservative just leave a bad taste in your mouth.

Comment by Suite Joey Blue Eyes
2013-11-25 07:34:26

That median price is far, far too high for PHX. When I was in PHX last year I saw perfectly nice houses built in the bubble that were listed for $150k ballpark and had been sitting a long time. Surrounding houses purchased in the bubble had gone for twice that.

I’m surprised more people didn’t walk away from their 300k mortgage in order to get a very similar house at half price later.

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Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-11-25 07:52:53


Comment by Albuquerquedan
2013-11-25 07:46:13

Actually the math does not work like that. Say if you have a 200,000 house and it drops by 50% then you have a 100,000 house, increase it by 33% and you have a 133,000 house, another 17% does not get you back to even.

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Comment by Strawberrypicker
2013-11-25 18:53:37

Hence the “right” and the wonky face at the end.

Comment by goon squad
2013-11-25 06:45:00

housing only ever goes up, you cant loose with housing

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-11-25 06:47:50

or stocks, for that matter (refer to opening posts above)…

Comment by goon squad
2013-11-25 07:11:27

Denver Post reports that Colorado new vehicle sales are up 12 percent in the first 10 months of 2013.

Pull some equity, get some new wheels. Dayjobs are for loosers.

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Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-11-25 07:50:43

“Subprime Loans For Car Buyers Buoy U.S. Sales”

As is housing, the lightly used auto market will be flooded inside of 36 months.

That’s your “recovery”. This entire mess of an economy and country is one big BS fraud.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2013-11-25 07:58:02

The credit requirements are back to fog a mirror for vehicle loans you do not need to pull out home equity.

Comment by goon squad
2013-11-25 08:03:10

84 month term, $0 down, 125% LTV on the trade-in, it’s all good bro

Comment by Puggs
2013-11-25 12:20:54

We need a good buying frenzy now to glut the market down the road. Can’t wait to pick up a used car for 1/3 cost.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-11-25 12:28:11

Ya gotta love deflation.

Comment by rms
2013-11-25 13:26:56

“Can’t wait to pick up a used car for 1/3 cost.”

+1 Have all cash…ready to pounce on a deal.

Comment by Montana
2013-11-25 07:50:58

it might loose your bowels when the price craters

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-11-25 08:00:11

….. they’re more likely to end up in your throat as the ride down accelerates.

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Comment by goon squad
2013-11-25 08:18:37

There is no bubble. Repeat, there is no bubble. Got HELOC?

The future’s so bright, I gotta wear shades!

Comment by rms
2013-11-25 08:39:08

Dang…I feel impotent with my spec-house Moen faucet. :(

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Comment by oxide
2013-11-25 09:54:07

If it spits its liquid it’s not impotent.

Anyway, according to Zillow, in my nabe there are more houses in “pre-foreclosure” than there are for sale. That doesn’t mean they are going on the market, just that a NOD was filed. That said, the combined for-sale and pre-foreclosure seems even less than just the for-sale from a couple years ago.

Comment by oxide
2013-11-25 10:05:17

What fun!

“Spending on renovations is benefiting retailers who sell construction supplies. Home Depot, the largest, last week boosted its fiscal 2014 earnings forecast after reporting its third-quarter profit net income was 43 percent higher than a year ago.

…The second floor of the addition has a dormer window protruding from the roofline. Instead of covering it with asphalt shingles to match the rest of their roof, the customers upgraded to copper as an architectural accent, Mroz [contractor] said.”

I’ve seen a considerable uptick in the activity at Home Despot. And they must be feeling safe to put a copper topper on the house. I don’t even feel comfortable hanging a copper rain chain on my house.

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Comment by inchbyinch
2013-11-25 16:32:52

rain chains - We’re going that route.
The copper dormer idea sounds dreadful to me. Architectural blunder is more like it. No taste.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-11-25 17:00:47

Is leslie appleton yun a liar?

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-11-25 13:09:41

Nov. 25, 2013, 12:13 p.m. EST
Drop in pending home sales points to pause
Higher mortgage rates, shutdown limit sales in October, trade group says
By Jeffry Bartash, MarketWatch

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — U.S. mortgage rates are still very low by historical standards, but don’t tell that to prospective home buyers: Pending sales of previously owned homes fell in October to the lowest level since the end of 2012.

The National Association of Realtors on Monday said its pending home sales index dipped 0.6% in October to 102.1 to mark the fifth straight decline. The index had sunk a revised 4.6% in September.

Pending sales rose slightly in the Northeast and Midwest but more significantly, they fell in the South and West, the areas where demand for housing is most concentrated. A sale is listed as pending after contract are signed and they typically take one to two months to complete.

The pending sales index is lower now than it was in the same month one year ago, more evidence that the housing market resurgence has faltered. The “recovery in home sales has clearly at least stalled,” said Jim O’Sullivan, chief U.S. economist at High Frequency Economics.

The housing market has been one of the biggest bright spots for the economy in 2013, adding sizably to U.S. growth after years of poor sales following a market bust in 2006. Any prolonged pause in sales could act as mild headwind on the economy in 2014.

The biggest reason for the slowdown in sales, which spiked earlier in the year, is the backup in interest rates. Many buyers rushed to complete purchases during the summer as rates surged, leading to fewer sales in the fall.

A 30-year fixed mortgage, for example, fell to as low as 3.35% in early May, helped by a Federal Reserve strategy of buying public and private bonds to push interest rates down.

Yet mortgage rates jumped by more than a percentage point over the next three months amid speculation that the Fed would curb its bond purchases. Although rates have come down a bit, they averaged 4.22% in the week ended Nov. 21, according to mortgage lender Freddie Mac.

What’s also dampened the pace of sales are rising home prices, a trend amplified by the relatively low number of properties available. Many people are unwilling to sell because their homes are still worth less than what they paid and builders aren’t erecting as many new homes as they used to.

The pool of potential buyers, meanwhile, is not as large as normally would be the case because of still-high unemployment and tighter lending standards. Banks and other lenders have to comply with stricter government regulation in the aftermath of the 2007-2009 recession and they want to avoid loans to riskier borrowers.

The government shutdown also weighed on the home industry in October. Lenders need to verify the incomes of some borrowers by checking with the IRS, but the tax agency operated on minimal staff last month.

“In a survey, 17% of realtors reported delays in October, mostly from waiting for IRS income verification for mortgage approval,” said Lawrence Yun, chief economist of NAR.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-11-25 06:51:54

Iran, the Nikkei and why resistance is futile for staunch market bears
November 25, 2013, 6:21 AM
By Shawn Langlois

The stock market doesn’t need another reason to move higher, but it got one this weekend anyway.

Check Iran off the list of possible market-crippling Black Swans, at least until the next reason to add it right back on there comes around.

With a little more risk off the table, gold is looking like a why-bother investment, oil prices are getting pinched, and equities are continuing that hypnotic stroll upwards. Still hanging onto that bear mentality? Switch teams/start explaining, obviously (read about the latest bear to flip below).

It’s not easy to chase new highs, but as the Borg would tell you — and more and more naysayers are finding out — resistance is futile.

They have all sorts of rationales, such as QE-infinity and piles of cash on the sidelines ready to pounce. There’s also the idea that it’s valuations, not record highs, that count. And, by that measure, stocks aren’t out of whack.

“Fear of investing at market peaks is understandable,” Alliance Bernstein’s Dianne Lob wrote in a recent blog post. “But for longer-term investors, market level has no predictive power. Market valuation — not market level — is what historically has mattered to future returns.” Still doesn’t feel right, does it?

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2013-11-25 13:21:09

Those socialist leaders sure are dumb:

Why is gold up today whac and why is someone buying 3,000 dollar calls on gold two years out?

Iran removed as a black swan? Actually, an attack on Iran would not be considered a black swan since the possibility was too well known. Iranian agents blowing up Saudi oil targets or Saudi back Iraqi forces stopping Iraqi exports, much more of a black swan and I think very possible in the next few years

Comment by Bill, just South of Irvine, CA
2013-11-25 19:10:30

Gold is up but bold mining stocks down. GDXJ the juniors ETF has a 9.33% yield as of COB today. That’s not a typo.

Meanwhile my former company stock is being cheerleaded to keep going up. Staffing industry is inversely correlated to the gold.

One way or another I’m going to realize some gains of my staffing company stock next year. Probably $8,700 worth every four months starting the first trading day after New Years Day. Staffing company stocks are at nose bleed heights while gold mining stocks are depressed.

Statistically, there is a greater upside potential on mining stocks than staffing. No one can argue with that.

Just wish it was January 2 already!

Comment by Bill, just South of Irvine, CA
2013-11-25 20:34:47

GDXJ all time high was April 8 2011. $155.36. Assuming its $3.00 dividend was the same back then, that is a 1.93% yield.

Today GDXJ closed at $32.15

Let me put it in this persective. That’s 20.69% of the April 8 2011 price. $32.15 / $155.36

or you could have been lucky and bought at the low today of $31.41 and be appreciating a 9.55% yield. 9.55%!!!!!!

Got a calc? Dividend is $3 a share.

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Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-11-25 06:53:07

Have you dumped your bonds yet?

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-11-25 06:55:08

Nov. 25, 2013, 8:46 a.m. EST
Treasurys slip ahead of auction supply
By Ben Eisen

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — Treasury prices inched lower Monday ahead of $96 billion worth of government debt securities this week. The benchmark 10-year note (10_YEAR +0.47%) yield, which moves inversely to price, rose 2 basis points on the day to 2.765%. The 30-year bond (30_YEAR +0.34%) yield rose 1.5 basis points to 3.850% and the 5-year note (5_YEAR +0.89%) yield rose half a basis point to 1.358%.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-11-25 06:57:13

How are your bitcoin investments holding up?

Bitcoin mania in three charts

November 22, 2013, 3:34 PM

The Internet just can’t get enough of bitcoin.

That much was apparent this week, which kicked off with two Senate hearings on virtual currencies. While the hearings included many questions about bitcoin’s potential for criminal activity, the Treasury Department’s Jennifer Shasky Calvery noted that cash is still the best way to launder money. (Read a full recap of the first Senate hearing here.)

“Even though we had an idea of the testimony, I think we were all pleasantly surprised at the bitcoin-friendly atmosphere,” Jeff Garzik, a bitcoin core developer, said in an email.

That “bitcoin-friendly” environment was followed by a surge in prices above $900 early Tuesday on the trading exchange Mt. Gox, the second-biggest exchange by volume. And the combination of price action and media coverage of the Senate hearings helped lead to a spike in Google searches for bitcoin on Tuesday. The chart below shows the surge in searches for the word bitcoin over the last month on Google. The values represent search interest relative to the highest level on the chart, which was Tuesday in this one-month period.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-11-25 07:00:35

Retire Here, Not There
Nov. 13, 2012, 7:01 p.m. EST
Retire Here, Not There: California
Four affordable gems in the expensive Golden State
By Catey Hill

For the more than 36 million Americans who will turn 65 in the coming decade, the best cities and towns for retirement now have a much higher bar to clear. They can’t just be great places to live—they also have to offer great value. In our “Retire Here, Not There” series, we survey every state to find less-expensive alternatives to the best-known retirement destinations.

On a postcard, California looks like the perfect retirement destination. On paper, the picture is a little more cloudy. With a cost of living that’s more than a third higher than the national average, superhigh unemployment in many areas, and the country’s sixth-highest tax burden, the Golden State may be out of reach for many seniors, say financial advisers. Take Santa Barbara, one of the state’s most popular hot-spots for seniors. While residents take pride in the city’s Spanish adobe architecture, arts scene and many boutiques—all within a short drive to one of the fasting-growing wine regions in America—they also pay for the pleasure. Living costs are more than twice as high as the national average, while the median home costs roughly $700,000, compared with about $200,000 for the average U.S. home.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-11-25 07:33:22

What a God foresaken, corrupt, illegal immigration Hell Hole of a state California is.

Comment by Strawberrypicker
2013-11-25 07:33:24

Cost of living being more than a third higher probably doesn’t include housing in the calculation. Then it’s double or triple other places. And less safe.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2013-11-25 07:51:49

Agreed. It is the false prosperity that you see in many blue states, high minimum wage laws and generous pay to government workers drives up average wages for the state. However, paying those wages means much higher taxes and costs. People even ending up paying higher federal income taxes since the brackets are not adjusted for living costs. What you end up with is a state where it is much harder to be middle class, even if on paper you are doing better than people in red states.

Comment by scdave
2013-11-25 09:41:30

You crack me up with your Anti-California drivel Dan…California is a huge state with World ranking economy…Basically, it is a powerful country that happens to be part of the United States…I won’t even go into the multitude of attributes outside of its diverse and dynamic economy…I will just leave it there…

“California is poised to pass Italy and the Russian Federation and become the world’s eighth-largest economy in 2013″…

“With the European economies in recession, California pulled even with Italy and moved closer to the GDPs of France and the United Kingdom”….

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Comment by my failure to respect is unacceptable
2013-11-25 09:47:38

Phony GDP….phony economy and worst of all phony people. Outside of few pockets of “nice” area…CA is a 3rd world.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-11-25 09:57:20

CA is truly a third world ghetto.

Comment by Blue Skye
2013-11-25 11:35:21

“California is poised to pass Italy and the Russian Federation and become the world’s eighth-largest economy in 2013″

I guess that makes up for the people in California being the poorest in the country.

Comment by scdave
2013-11-25 12:01:10

California being the poorest in the country ??

Most GDP in the country but still the poorest ??

Comment by Blue Skye
2013-11-25 12:13:11

Yup. Ben’s made a few posts about it here. Personal income vs cost of living is the lowest of any state.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-11-25 12:26:11

Here it is…. (and yes… HomeDepotDonkey saw it…. he just doesn’t like the reality of it)

California Most Impoverish State In The US

(geography adjusted)

DC actually tops the list but that particular nest of corruption isn’t a state…. thank God.

Comment by reedalberger
2013-11-25 15:59:25

Along with being a third world hell hole, its also a police state full of language and action authoritarians. If you want to see where PC and authoritarian Marxism takes a once great state, you have to look no further than CA. I lived there in the 80’s and early 90’s, can’t imagine how bad it is now.

Comment by rms
2013-11-25 18:27:31

“…its also a police state full of language and action authoritarians.”

+1 True. However, I still enjoy visiting the coastal California communities, and I’d move back if it made financial sense.

Comment by Rental Watch
2013-11-25 18:28:52

Home prices are too high here. That’s the crux of the cost of living issue. That’s it.

There is a very simple question to answer: Why are home prices so high in California?

My answer is prop 13 and not enough supply built (in large part due to CEQA).

If your answer is “low interest rates”, you need to ask why other states don’t have the same affordability issues (CA affordability index is now at 32 vs. the US as a whole at 56–per CAR).

If your answer is “banks holding onto housing inventory”, you need to ask why this affordability issue has been a problem for far longer than the recent foreclosure crisis. CAR provides monthly data from 1988-2005:

From 1988-1989, CA averaged 25 on affordability, the US was 51.
From 1990-1994, CA averaged 32 on affordability, the US was 55.
From 1995-1999, CA averaged 39 on affordability, the US was 55.
From 2000-2005, CA averaged 26 on affordability, the US was 55.

From 1988 through 2005, CA was on average 24 points WORSE than the US, with the low being 13 points worse, and the high being 37 points worse. CA is right now 24 points worse.

What other alternative is there to the answer being “too little supply”? Does the data support that alternative answer to the question?

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-11-25 18:33:31

There is plenty of housing supply in that hell hole called California.

4.4 MILLION excess houses to be precise.

Comment by Northeastener
2013-11-25 09:56:31

…high minimum wage laws

Massachusetts senate just voted to increase the minimum wage here to $11/hour by 2016. It’s a win-win for the libtards… the working poor get raises, the state gets more in taxes (if not income tax than sales tax), and the politicians who voted it get support at the voting booths from those who benefited.

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Comment by Albuquerquedan
2013-11-25 13:02:37

What I find the most interesting is that I did not even mention California in my post but ScDave read California into it. I actually was thinking more like NY or NJ but California does fit that description and SCDave knows it even though I never said its name. It is like police coming to a crime scene and some one blurting out, “I did not stab that person” without even being asked. You know they will get additional scrutiny.

Comment by oxide
2013-11-25 14:22:22

Ny and NJ?? Your description fits Maryland very well. It fits Northern Virginia even better, if you can cut it off from the rest of Virginia.

Comment by Rental Watch
2013-11-25 10:23:48

Actually, if you go to the source of the cost of living data (, it breaks down the difference between places by components of cost of living. It DOES include housing cost.

I compared where I live (in CA) to Portland, OR.

Food is 10% higher in CA, utilities a few percent lower, transportation and health are the same, Misc are about 18% higher. Housing was off the charts higher in CA (like 3-4x).

However, that housing cost doesn’t hit a lot of folks who have lived here a long time, have their house paid off and are getting ready to retire. Prop 13 protects those homeowners from substantially higher property taxes.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-11-25 10:37:51

And given the fact thatCA prices are out of control, CA is the most impoverish state in the US.

This notion that CA is shangri-la is 100% pure unadulterated bullish*t.

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Comment by Strawberrypicker
2013-11-25 18:57:15

By what twisted contortion of math will housing being 3-4 times the cost of elsewhere only result in the cost of living being 1/3 more? Gamed junk.

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Comment by Rental Watch
2013-11-25 23:26:52

There is no contortion of logic.

I compared a very specific city in CA (an expensive city within an overall expensive state) with Portland, a fairly average city in terms of cost.

The difference in cost of living between those two cities was closer to 2.7x (ie. 270% higher). The cost of living was really skewed by housing.

The cost of housing inland (I’ll pick on Stockton), actually makes the cost of living there cheaper than Portland.

California is truly a tale of two cities…coastal markets (which are out of control), and inland markets (which are NOT yet out of control).

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-11-26 05:05:00

You are the Grand Contortionist.

Comment by Puggs
2013-11-25 12:35:50

Cali is t!ts up debt mule country.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2013-11-25 13:06:19

Every time there is a high tech bubble, people will claim California is coming back, but then the bubble breaks and it is in a bigger hole then before. Should be soon now. Hey, I am a licensed attorney in the state but only do pro bono for friends. I do not hate the state but would not live there due to the politics.

Comment by rms
2013-11-25 13:37:01

“…it is in a bigger hole then before.”

…it is in a bigger hole than before. :)

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Comment by Albuquerquedan
Comment by Albuquerquedan
2013-11-25 07:28:49

Associated Press

AP Photo
AP Photo/Marcelo Carnaval

World Video

Buy AP Photo Reprints

Excerpt of Drudge link:

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — With the tropical sun blazing from a near cloudless sky and waves lapping at golden sand, it seemed like a perfect day at the beach in Rio de Janeiro.

Then dozens of marauding youths descended en masse, snatching beach bags and cellphones, ripping gold chains from necks and setting off sandy stampedes by panicked beachgoers.

Comment by Strawberrypicker
2013-11-25 07:54:14

I have heard it theorized that the reason all of these zombie movies and tv shows are popular, particularly with white middle age men, is that on some level the zombies and those who get killed off represent the 47%, the fat, lazy, addicted, weak, who they see as weighing down society.

Zombies are the new eugenics, or at least the longing therefor.

Comment by oxide
2013-11-25 10:22:06

My understanding that zombies feed on braaaaaaaiinns. Wouldn’t zombies target college campuses and the homes of the 1%, and leave the 47% alone?

Comment by Carl Morris
2013-11-25 11:19:32

I don’t know about eugenics. But the whole zombie theme does seem to have become some sort of code word or dog whistle for armed survivalism versus those incapable of feeding themselves once the food stops flowing.

Comment by goon squad
2013-11-25 07:55:54


i love the corporate media’s preference for this term to describe the perpetrators of all manner of adolescent mayhem, as it blankets their behavior as merely the folly of youth.

knockout game targeting jews?

ah, youth

flash mob looting sports authority?

ah, youth

robbery on the beaches of rio?

ah, youth

Comment by Northeastener
2013-11-25 09:50:28

6 new “Knockout Game” attacks in New Haven CT in the last week… one of the attacks was on a 62yo woman who was punched in the face, fell down, and hit her head on the pavement. No report of the “race” of the perpetrators, but they were young and wearing hoodies… and all of the attacks took place near a public housing development.

Comment by goon squad
2013-11-25 10:30:48

but it’s a ‘game’, played by ‘youths’.

challenge the corporate media narrative of this and you are a racis.

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Comment by jose canusi
2013-11-25 07:58:08

Flash mobs set to bossa nova! Awesome.

BTW, Brazil is said to be where the “flash rob” originated. That’s where you take some middle class schmoe off the street at gun or knife-point and drive them around to ATMs and have them withdraw money on your behalf until there ain’t no more.

Comment by my failure to respect is unacceptable
2013-11-25 09:44:06

Still they don’t have knock-out games there? What’s the point of painting Brazil in negative way article after article. It’s a wonderful country with wonderful people….may be except Lio.

Comment by scdave
Comment by Albuquerquedan
2013-11-25 11:07:04

I am in a safe area but ABQ does have a high crime rate and my eugenics plan would benefit the area. But compare our homicide rate to Brazil or even Baltimore and we do quite well, thank you.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2013-11-25 11:12:26

Over 50,000 homicides in Brazil per year , now that is doing it right.

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Comment by Albuquerquedan
2013-11-25 11:21:15

The homicide rates by country. Compare the rate of the Swiss where you are able to bring your true assault weapon home with you, with any other country (but please compare to Brazil), so is the root cause of homicides guns or perhaps low IQ?

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-11-25 11:40:02

Likely a combination of low IQ and poverty. Remember…. Brazil is still a third world country.

Comment by MightyMike
2013-11-25 16:56:57

That’s probably not it. I read a review of a new biography of Charles Manson. He was given an IQ test twice in different jails. He got above average scores both times.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-11-25 16:59:42

And California is running a close second.

Comment by goon squad
2013-11-25 18:30:30

a new biography of Charles Manson

By Jeff Guinn? I just picked that up from the Denver Public Library, looking forward to spending my free time over TG weekend not eating and not shopping and reading that…

Comment by MightyMike
2013-11-25 18:44:09

Yes, that’s it. Here’s a little section that mentions one of his IQ tests. The first sentence made me laugh out loud.

Twelve days before a parole hearing Manson was caught trying to hotwire a car in the prison parking lot. He took another IQ test and scored 121. He could barely read or write, but he was clever in his way. The inmates who fascinated him were the pimps. He wanted to learn their trade. It was his first flicker of ambition. He enrolled in a fashionable prison course on the teachings of Dale Carnegie, the author of How to Win Friends and Influence People. ‘Let the other fellow feel that the idea is his’ would become an essential part of his repertoire as a cult leader.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2013-11-25 11:15:31
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Comment by Albuquerquedan
2013-11-25 07:38:49

From yahoo sports (AP wire) , he may be past his prime, but I still like Pac-Man as a person and would like to see him get his chance to fight:

After Pacquiao returned to winning ways by demolishing former world lightweight champion Brandon Rios in Macau on Sunday, talk turned inevitably to the long-awaited mega-fight against eight-time world champion Mayweather.

Comment by my failure to respect is unacceptable
2013-11-25 09:41:08

Who’s been chicking out so far? Pacquio or Mayweather?

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-11-25 08:03:29

Pending Home Sales Sink


Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-11-25 08:10:34

Jethro says to the Crossdressing Lola: “The only winner here is me… and I’m living in your head rent free.”

Comment by jose canusi
2013-11-25 09:19:45


Comment by Housing Analyst
Comment by Blue Skye
2013-11-25 12:24:52

The realtor lie there is that 65% of houses sold at a gain. I’ll bet that they don’t consider any “cost” other than the supposed purchase price.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-11-25 12:32:13

Yeah that was my thought too considering shelter is an ongoing expense that never pays you back.

Comment by goon squad
2013-11-25 08:46:25

Yet more affirmation of the squad’s ever-correct declaration that the future belongs to Lucky Ducky:

Those hungry poors’ lost productivity is THEFT from the 1%. They need to feel the crack of the plantation overseer’s whip on their indolent behinds to get them back in line!

Comment by Suite Joey Blue Eyes
2013-11-25 09:50:56

There are “Black Friday Sale” signs popping up on new real estate developments in my area. I’ll probably take a picture of some when I bike by them another day.

WTF does a black friday sale mean on a new townhouse? And what kind of idiot would spend their thanksgiving looking at overpriced townhomes anyway? Have we fallen this low as a society?

Here’s the website for the development using those Black Friday signs:

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-11-25 09:56:08

ANY housing Liberace….. Not just condos.

Comment by oxide
2013-11-25 10:30:47

They are probably offering price cuts on the upgrades. I don’t know Baltimorgue. Is the location worth $250K for a two-bed attached product?

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-11-25 10:40:10

It depends on how many square foot your buying.

Comment by Suite Joey Blue Eyes
2013-11-25 10:50:41

Similar houses would sell for 100-200k more a few blocks away. Here’s an example:

Of course that’s not saying they’re “worth” that amount of money. They aren’t. Just saying that people buying those homes *think* they’re getting a bargain.

Ryan Homes already offers upgrades thrown in — 250k is the starting price for a stripped down model but you can probably get them to throw in a few things and stay at that price. Again, it’s a sales gimmick and not worth it.

For comparison purposes, my house is 1.5x the sq ft and has a 6500 sq ft lot & 2 car garage (detached) and I paid 150k a short walk away. The people buying those townhomes are debt donkeys to begin with. Almost all young people (older, empty-nest type buyers tend to buy on the water and pay a lot more).

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-11-25 12:22:23

“older, empty-nest type buyers tend to buy on the water and pay a lot more”

And end up broke down and out with no means to support yourself.

Say…. we have a few of those right here on the blog.

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Comment by Patrick
2013-11-25 10:10:19

Rioamerican in Brazil

I liked your response yesterday.

“Updating “skills”” will not solve any long-term problems imo. It is structural in that in the reality of globalization and automation.”

Agreed. However, the 80% employed are our base economy and to avoid any erosion of this base their level of abilities will have to increase just to stand the economy still. Even Stems.

” Not even stem graduates. (And a world of only stem grads is boring and monotomous as hell)”

Yes. Agreed.

“The solutions for societal peace and prosperity involves wealth/job redistribution back to the middle-class. ”

Sorry, but I do not agree. This smacks of rewarding those who have not worked to contribute. Societal peace can be achieved by thinking of prosperity as happiness - and happiness does not have to be purchased.
Do we really need 3,000sf houses to be happy? $100,000 cars? A child who becomes a Millwright vs a B A should produce the same level of happiness.Etc.

“Many factors are contributing to this somber situation. Globalization is placing downward pressure on wages.”

Agree. And I don’t think equilibrium will be achieved in my lifetime either.

“Advances increasingly seem to deliver incremental outcomes, rather than transformative ones.”

So totally true. This is one major point I don’t think our economy is factoring in on. Tech increases being sold as quantum leaps are disparaging. The economy needs new formulas, not revamped ones. And these can come from many areas ie a method to store large amounts of electricity, magnetic jet engines, a new method of building housing, predictive health (or anything of an analysis nature), a new personal method of transportation. Ok, I guess everyone can laugh now. The point is, a brand new technology creates many more jobs than a “transformative” increase of an existing tech.

” And there just isn’t enough oxygen in the economy to fuel the kind of recovery that would really heat up the engineering job market.”

Respectfully disagree - completely. The oxygen is there. We just have gutless leaders not able to be real leaders - and probably don’t know how to be anyways. Research and development in hundreds of areas going on right now, any one of which could stand this economy on it’s hind legs. Think of North Dakota - -

Our leaders should not be thinking only about how to insure the survivability of the financial system. They should be more in tune with the major segments ie manufacturing, farming, fishing, mining, health (oops), - and be willing to pay a lot less attention to what the entertainers think.

Comment by Strawberrypicker
2013-11-25 20:41:08

Rio is only allowed to post on Sundays due to psychiatrists orders.

Comment by goon squad
2013-11-25 11:10:23

The yuppiefication of San Francisco continues, with backlash from longtime resident poors:

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-11-25 12:42:50

California Makes It To Top 5 Unemployment States In The Nation

Staggering unemployment, rampant illegal immigration and crime and to top it all off, the most impoverish state in the country.

Comment by phony scandals
2013-11-25 13:40:52

Government books $41.3 billion in student loan profits

David Jesse, Detroit Free Press
1:32 p.m. EST November 25, 2013

Figures come as concerns mount about growing loan debt for students, graduates.

The federal government made enough money on student loans over the last year that, if it wanted, it could provide maximum-level Pell Grants of $5,645 to 7.3 million college students.

The $41.3 billion profit for the 2013 fiscal year is down $3.6 billion from the previous year but it’s a higher profit level than all but two companies in the world: Exxon Mobil cleared $44.9 billion in 2012, and Apple cleared $41.7 billion.

STORY: Student loan rates will feed federal profits

“It’s actually neither accurate nor fair to characterize the student loan program as making a profit,” Education Secretary Arne Duncan said during a July conference call with reporters after the Free Press and other news media reported on profits from student loans.

The department did not return calls or e-mails seeking comment before the story was published, but issued a statement Monday.

“The administration has taken steps to improve college affordability, and thanks to collective efforts, students and families are paying lower rates on their loans today than they would have otherwise,” Stephen Spector, U.S. Department of Education spokesman said in an e-mail to the Free Press. “More must be done to bring down the cost of college, and we look forward to continuing to work with Congress, institutions, borrowers, and other stakeholders to make college more affordable.” -

Comment by oxide
2013-11-25 14:33:11

Whoh Nellie. I didn’t realize there was so much profit.

No wonder Bush transferred all those government-backed student loans from the government to private banks for “servicing.” And the private banks probably made even more money from higher interest rates and juicy fees.

It also explains why Obama insisted on returning those student loans back to the government as part of the Obamacare law. And hey, if the gov took the risk in backing those loans, why shouldn’t they reap the profit?

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-11-25 15:43:19

A colleague from Norway sold for $150K (American dollars) over asking back in April 2013. She claims homes are now selling for maybe $150K under asking (a $300K loss over the span of half a year).

Sounds like a hard landing, no?

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-11-25 15:44:36

Norway Poised to Relax Rules to Fight House Price Deflation
Saleha Mohsin, ©2013 Bloomberg News
Published 9:00 am, Monday, November 25, 2013

Nov. 25 (Bloomberg) — Norway is moving closer to easing mortgage lending standards as the nation’s deflating property market prompts concern among lawmakers that existing regulations are too tight.

Real estate prices, which have doubled over the past decade and touched a record high this year, are now dropping faster than the central bank had predicted. The Conservative-led government, which won power in September, says it’s now looking into raising the amount banks can lend to borrowers to 90 percent of a property’s value, from 85 percent previously, in an effort to support first-time buyers.

“Norwegian banks are already in a good position,” Hans Olav Syversen, the head of the parliamentary finance committee in Oslo and a member of the Christian Democrat party that the government relies on to rule, said in a Nov. 21 interview. “We’re asking for a more flexible rule. A 10 percent down- payment should be enough if banks take into account individuals and their own ability to pay their debts.”

Norway’s housing market, which Nobel laureate Robert Shiller already in 2012 said was in a bubble, has been inflated by a period of record-low interest rates that fueled a borrowing spree in Scandinavia’s richest nation and left Norwegians more indebted than ever before. Households now owe about twice their disposable incomes to their creditors, a level the central bank and the financial regulator have warned is unsustainable.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-11-25 15:46:03

Hard Landing

Yet recent real estate data show that house price gains have reached a tipping point. House prices slid a seasonally adjusted 1.5 percent in October from a month earlier, dropping for a second month, according to data from the Norwegian Real Estate Agents Association.

Nordea Bank AB, the largest Nordic Lender, forecast earlier this month that house prices will fall as much as 20 percent over the next two years, forcing the central bank to cut its main rate twice next year, from the current 1.5 percent.

“It’s a rather hard landing,” said Erik Bruce, senior economist at Nordea.

Comment by azdude02
2013-11-25 16:28:21

if there is a whiff of a hard landing here janet will print a lot more cash and get yield down to 3% again. Isnt this new asset driven economy awesome?

If you dont have any assets your SOL!!!

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-11-25 16:50:18

Too late.

Hold your cash because you’re going to need it in ways you’ve never imagined.

Comment by Ben Jones
2013-11-25 19:04:31

‘(Reuters) - Republicans went to the American South on Monday to press their opposition to President Barack Obama’s signature healthcare law in a U.S. congressional hearing that the law’s supporters called a one-sided political attack.’

‘ Michael Boyette, a 28-year-old businessman from Ellijay, Georgia, said his insurance premium was increasing by almost $200 per month for his family of three.

“You may think that we went with a more expensive plan or have gotten more coverage,” Boyette said during the hearing, the second of four events on the Affordable Care Act to be held outside Washington by the Republican-led House of Representatives Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.’

“In fact, we have not,” Boyette said. “We have less coverage than before, also higher out-of-pocket expense and a premium that has risen 65 percent. This is not affordable to me.”

‘Another witness called by the panel, Raymer Sales Jr., who is with a Duluth, Georgia-based firm that works with employers to develop employee healthcare plans, spoke of rising costs.’

“The insurance community has known from the very beginning that prices were expected to increase because of the required additional benefits,” Sales said. “However, talking about the prospective increase in the cost of health insurance pales in comparison to showing someone real numbers.”–sector.html

‘The insurance community has known from the very beginning that prices were expected to increase’

They should know, they wrote the thing. Funny how the President then went around telling everyone that it would be cheaper. It’s almost like he was purposefully lying or something.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-11-25 20:09:29

Talking to my retired MIL tonite. Her premium quadrupled then some. There was nothing wrong with her existing policy but the insurer pulled it.

There is no doubt in my mind that this is going to be a compliance nightmare for anyone filing a W-2. It’s that much of a friggin’ mess already. F*ck this POS thing. In fact knife medicare too.

Comment by azdude02
2013-11-25 20:20:49

its one big scam.

Comment by Strawberrypicker
2013-11-25 21:52:41

What isn’t a scam these days?

Banking? Hah, scam (gamed manipulated markets, nickel and diming the customer for a million small fees, bail outs, ez credit ripoffs).

Real Estate? Scam. (No description necessary).

Medical? Scam (costs rising drastically and unnecessarily, services getting worse, back pain, chronic fatigue syndrome, inflated billing to game the insurance setups).

Primary education? Scam (billions being wasted on administrators, IEPs, nanny state plans to take over for parents who won’t raise their kids).

Secondary? Scam (with all the knowledge available for free on the web, college should cost about $500 a year now, but the costs are exploding with no relation to cost effectiveness or ability to get a job to pay back the loans).

Defense contractors? Scam (sucking off the government teat to supply troops in unnecessary wars or on unnecessary foreign bases).

Law? Scam (regulatory capture, bought off politicians making laws to benefit their donors with billions in legal fees, slaps on the wrist for da boys).

Tech hardware? Scam (planned obsolescence, upselling unneeded bells and whistles, Computers could be like washing machines or refrigerators or stoves for what most people do with them.)

Tech software? Scam (updates, new versions, useless features, a million time wasting apps, productivity gains already realized 10 years ago).

Pharmaceuticals? Scam (everyone needs to be medicated for life).

Mental health? Scam (good god the billions being spent on drugs to medicate bad behavior and placate people, ADD, ADHD, autism diagnoses exploding, marijuana prescriptions for depression, and no damn hope for effective treatment for all the crazies roaming the streets homeless or going on shooting sprees constantly).

Social work? Scam (overburdened system affording endless due process rights to drug addled parents placing their kids at risk and conversely wasting resources investigating frivolous claims).

Farming/food? Scam (endless subsidies, not growing food, price supports).

Consumer goods? Scam. (Cool iphone, slave labor, Nafta, planned obsolescence, Starbuckification).

Automobiles? Scam (tens of thousands for new cars priced beyond the means of average wage earners but made affordable through bail outs and ez credit).

Law enforcement? Scam (pension and benefit giveaways screwing the taxpayers and the rookies, billions wasted on pot policing, Bearcats, militarization, and revolving door jails).

Content? Scam. (Millions of man hours spent creating endless redundant products to amuse ourselves to death, gamed reviews on Amazon, HGTVization, click bait articles full of fluff about the “top 10 best places to live” and advertising, advertising, advertising for eyeballs).

Government? Scam. (At the highest levels controlled by the interests, at the lowest levels controlled by the interests. Taxes, fees, bond measures, more and more dollars, always growing, cuts being decreases in future planned increases, nanny statism, inefficiencies never addressed because it means cutting government jobs and decreasing bureaucrats powers).

Have I left anything out? Maybe travel, but I don’t do much of that. Lola?

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Comment by rms
2013-11-25 20:38:53

“Talking to my retired MIL tonite. Her premium quadrupled then some.”

Has she taking care of herself, i.e., eating right, exercise, etc.?

Comment by Strawberrypicker
2013-11-25 22:37:12

But it has changed the conversation from Why to How.

Why do we have this?

How can we get rid of this?

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-11-25 23:57:28

“Her premium quadrupled then some.”

So let me get this straight: Was the point of cancelling lots and lots of people’s existing coverages to railroad them all into Cadillac plans that enrich medical insurers at the expense of all the rest of us?

If not, then what was the point of cancelling existing coverage for so many?

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-11-26 04:54:58

I have no idea. I had to listen to her bemoan the belabor the point.

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Comment by phony scandals
2013-11-25 19:13:32

“Halperin said the death panel concept is a cornerstone of Obamacare. “It’s built into the plan. It’s not like a guess or like a judgment. That’s going to be part of how costs are controlled,”

“Doctor, ain’t there nothing I can take”
I said, Doctor, to relieve this belly ache?”
I said, Doctor, ain’t there nothin’ I can take”
I said, Doctor, to relieve this belly ache?”

You put the lime in the coconut, you drink them both together,
Put the lime in the cocount, then you’ll feel better.
Put the lime in the coconut, and drink them both up,
Put the lime in the coconut, and call me in the morning.”

Halperin: Death Panels Built Into Obamacare

Kurt Nimmo
November 25, 2013

Mark Halperin, a senior political analyst for Time magazine, told Newsmax TV that Democrats and the corporate media did not level with the public on death panels built into Obamacare.

Mark Halperin makes his remarks on death panels at 8 minutes into the video.

Halperin said the death panel concept is a cornerstone of Obamacare. “It’s built into the plan. It’s not like a guess or like a judgment. That’s going to be part of how costs are controlled,” Halperin told Steve Malzberg. Halperin makes his comments eight minutes into the above video.

Democrats have used the term “death panel” as a pejorative after the former Republican Governor of Alaska, Sarah Plain, used it in a debate on Obamacare in 2009.

Democrats and the corporate media boast they have “debunked” the claim and insist eugenics practices are not part of Obamacare. PolitiFact characterized the term as its “Lie of Year” in 2009 and FactCheck said it represents one of its “whoppers.”

Democrats and supporters of the Obamacare fiasco have fought a running battle since the Keynesian economist and New York Times columnist Paul Krugman said in February that in order for the collectivist welfare state to run smoothly higher taxes and death panels will be mandatory.

“Eventually we do have a problem. That the population is getting older, health care costs are rising,” Krugman said, admitting that “there is this question of how we’re going to pay for the programs… So the snarky version… which I shouldn’t even say because it will get me in trouble, is death panels and sales taxes is how we do this.”

This article was posted: Monday, November 25, 2013 at 6:29 pm

Comment by Ben Jones
2013-11-25 20:00:49

‘During a token policy appearance Monday in San Francisco, President Obama railed against Republicans for standing in the way of his ‘comprehensive’ immigration reform plans that would extend an amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants. ‘We’ve got to finish the job,’ Obama said, referring to bipartisan legislation that passed the U.S. Senate in June but has long stalled in the House.’

‘You have the power,’ one yelled. ‘Actually, I don’t,’ Obama replied. ‘If, in fact, I could solve all these problems without passing laws in Congress, then I would do so,’ he insisted.’

‘But skeptics believe big business is engaged in a naked political ploy for a cheaper source of domestic labor. ‘America is not an oligarchy,’ Republican Alabama Senator Jeff Sessions complained on Monday.’

‘Congressional leaders must forcefully reject the notion, evidently accepted by the President, that a small cadre of CEOs can tailor the nation’s entire immigration policy to suit their narrow interests.’

Where Oh where are the presidents defenders? He’s trying to cut back on globalization, we’re told. He want’s to help us keep our jobs! While he conspires with super wealthy 20 something CEO’s to let tens of millions of illegals become legal. Foam the runway for banks! What will it take for you to realize this dude is a sell-out?

Comment by phony scandals
2013-11-25 20:15:42

‘We’ve got to finish the job,’ Obama said,

Yeah, Charles Manson said that too.

Comment by Ben Jones
2013-11-25 20:47:01

‘President Barack Obama has faced withering criticism around the globe for his secret spying programs. How has he responded? With more secrecy.

Obama has been gradually tweaking his vast government surveillance policies. But he is not disclosing those changes to the public. Has he stopped spying on friendly world leaders? He won’t say. Has he stopped eavesdropping on the United Nations, the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund? He won’t say.

Even the report by the group Obama created to review and recommend changes to his surveillance programs has been kept secret.

Critics note that this comes after he famously promised the most open administration in history.

“They seem to have reverted to a much more traditional model of secrecy except when it’s politically advantageous,” said Steven Aftergood, who directs the Federation of American Scientists Project on Government Secrecy, and is an expert on – and prominent critic of – government secrecy. “That’s normal but not consistent with their pledge.”

‘not consistent with their pledge’

Boy, isn’t that the norm with these people.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-11-25 23:58:38

As did Hitler.

Comment by Strawberrypicker
2013-11-25 22:45:08

November 25, 2013
Obama’s Weekly Job Score Ties His Lowest
Last week’s 40% rating matches level in 2011 after budget crisis

PRINCETON, NJ — President Barack Obama’s job approval rating averaged 40% in Gallup Daily tracking for the week ending on Sunday. This is down slightly from 41% in each of the three prior weeks, and from 43% in late October.

Gallup’s weekly trends indicate that Obama lost the most support over the past month among Americans with high socioeconomic status, particularly postgraduates and those earning upward of $90,000 per year.

Really? Holding steady at 41 percent for the last three weeks and then now only dropping a point when he’s going thru the biggest disaster of his presidency? Gallup is being gamed.

Comment by Tarara Boomdea
2013-11-26 17:42:02

Good one.

You Picked a Fine Time to Leave Me Blue Shield

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