December 31, 2013

Bits Bucket for December 31, 2013

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

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Comment by tresho
2013-12-31 03:54:09

FREE FREE FREE house in Arlington Virginia
The catch is, the new owner has to move it off the lot it was built on.

On behalf of their client, Arlington-based architects Paola Lugli and Paola Amodeo, of the firm Paolasquare international, are offering a free Sears house at 3010 7th St. N. (near Pershing Drive in Lyon Park). The house, built in 1926, is a Wellington model Sears home. Originally priced at $1,998, this lot recently sold in September 2013 for over $750,000.

The 1926 Sears bungalow is in excellent condition.

However, the needs of the homeowner do not meet the constrictions of the current home. Rather than bulldoze this historic property, the homeowner is interested in giving it away for only the cost of moving the home.

Comment by inchbyinch
2013-12-31 09:18:06

Thanks. I sent a copy and paste to Rose Thorton, the expert on Sears Kit Homes (blog as well).
She would be very interested. She wants to preserve them. She will dig and find out if it is one, another brand, or a fake.

Comment by Skroodle
2013-12-31 10:03:56

Wow, just think how much that house depreciated since 1926.

Comment by Mr. Smithers
2013-12-31 10:12:51

Housing ALWAYS depreciates…even when it appreciates 37,500%

Comment by inchbyinch
2013-12-31 10:53:37

Hardly. That house was probably bought for and built (including the land) under 2/3 of what a regular construction home cost and was built better. The Magnolia model was a 2,800+ sq ft beauty, and the kit was around $5K. The niches and quality of the goodies were sensational back then.
Here is a segment on kit homes..

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-12-31 11:38:05

Yeah Martha…. it was probably this and that too!

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Comment by oxide
2013-12-31 17:05:25

It’s too bad that the video didn’t show the interior of these houses. The style — especially of the bungalows — was usually Craftsman. Lots of sturdy woodwork, built-in cabinets and bookcases, and square clean lines which could almost be seen as minimalist. The Arts and Crafts movement, which sort of turned into Craftsman style, was a response, actually a protest, to the overly elaborate Victorian style of delicate woodwork and rooms stuff with too many pieces of furniture and too many patterns of fabric and heavy drapes.

The other day someone posted that if people took care of their houses, that would positively influence the kids growing up. The same was true for Craftsman interiors. The simple but high quality workmanship was very deliberately intended to rub off on the kids to live hard-working but simple lives.

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Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-12-31 18:24:50


Comment by inchbyinch
2013-12-31 21:12:26

On Rosemary’s Thornton’s Blog she has pictures of interiors.
She did a post on niches, phone wall niches, eat in breakfast nooks and more.
Really cool stuff.
and check out parts 2 & 3

I Love Rose’s passion, and have learned a lot.

Comment by oxide
2013-12-31 22:35:17

lolz all you want HA, you aren’t building Craftsman ANYthing for $55/sq ft, land or no. The stain and lumber alone for these houses costs more than that, even at Home Cheapo.

Comment by Muggy
2013-12-31 05:03:16

“Wow, didn’t know about this. The Keys must be a complete flood zone! Wouldn’t want to have put down a bunch of money to live there”

It also has to do with the age of the structure, and when the house was mapped. From what I understand, it’s a total mess. Any one reading this blog that lives in Florida, and has flood insurance, should call their insurance rep and ask about rates after “Biggert-Waters Act” goes into effect. In Pinellas, there are houses facing 1000% increases. You read that correctly… one thousand.


Smithers, if you’re on today, I would love to know what you suggest for places to raise a family in GA. On my short list:


Comment by Muggy
2013-12-31 05:04:16

BTW, it’s not just coastal homes, it’s any homes that are at flood risk, this includes many inland homes as well.

Comment by Overtaxed
2013-12-31 05:32:38


Thanks for posting this the other day, I did some digging and because my house is ~4′ above BFE, it looks like my premium might actually go down (or, much more likely, not increase very much) even though I’m in the “worst” non-oceanfront flood zone (AE, IIRC).

We’ll see, anything that’s telling me it’s going to reduce my premium is viewed with extreme suspicion.

Comment by rms
2013-12-31 07:50:17

Your property is listed in a database known as CLUE, which also has ArcGIS data associated with it. Any of the major carriers can query everything for you.

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Comment by Combotechie
2013-12-31 06:33:57

Hmmmmm … but you only need flood insurance if you are a member of the how-munch-a-month crowd, not if you are a true owner, correct?

The how-munch-a-month folks are not the true owners - the lenders are the true owners - and so if you are buying flood insurance you are protecting the lenders, you are protecting the true owners. Which means there should be a big discount on the total cost (total cost in this case equals price of property plus cost of insurance) offered to cash buyers if cash buyers are willing to become self insured.

Do I have this right or am I missing something, something such as flood insurace is manditory whether you re the true owner or not?

Comment by shendi
2013-12-31 10:55:34

Combo, I think you bring up a good point. The I in PITI should take care of the bankers’ concern shouldn’t it?
However, with regard to what you said about flood insurance the true owners will need to cough up the money if indeed their house gets damaged in a flood. Can they do it?

Comment by Mr. Smithers
2013-12-31 10:14:30

Bunch of evil Tea Baggers in Georgia. I’d stay away. Move to a nice place like Maryland or New Jersey instead.

Comment by Suite Joey Blue Eyes
2013-12-31 12:06:46

Nah, Muggy doesn’t make much money. South is the way to go.

Comment by Mr. Smithers
2013-12-31 12:20:28

Not worth living with rednecks just to save a couple of bucks. Move to MD. You can rents a 700 sq ft apartment for $2500 a month. Now that’s living!!

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Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-12-31 12:26:06

At least he can rent for half the cost of buying in GA.

Comment by Muggy
2013-12-31 16:07:31

I have a friend like you, Joe. He graduated top of his class at U. Chicago and practices Big Law in NYC. He’s so badass, he says things like, “Skadden’s for _ags.”

Those who have it all figured out amuse me.

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Comment by Muggy
2013-12-31 16:01:56

Hi Smithers, perhaps you can comment on those three locations?

Comment by azdude02
2013-12-31 05:35:06

A house is the best investment you will ever make.

Comment by Bill, just south of Irvine
2013-12-31 05:58:29

Right. In upscale cities that become the Compton or Inglewoods.

Comment by azdude02
2013-12-31 06:37:32

stock and home gains are the economy.

Comment by Mr. Banker
2013-12-31 06:53:53

Earned money sucks, borrowed money rules.

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Comment by Mr. Banker
2013-12-31 06:58:50

Don’t restrict yourself to being a saver and end up being edged out by a borrower, jump onto the bandwagon and borrow all the money you can get before you get priced out of the markets forever.

Comment by azdude02
2013-12-31 07:04:52

I quit saving money a long time ago. Equity is my savings.

Comment by Mr. Banker
2013-12-31 07:34:31

“Equity is my savings.”

People are smart.

Comment by overpaid government contractor
2013-12-31 06:54:44

This message sponsored by the National Association of Realtors®

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-12-31 06:01:05

If you take on mortgage debt at current massively inflated housing prices, you’ll enslave yourself for the rest of your life.

“Debt is bondage.”~Suze Orman, May 11, 2013

In other words, don’t buy housing at these massively inflated prices. Don’t Be A Debt Donkey®

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-12-31 06:02:35

“The deflationary spiral rages on…… whatever you do, stay out of debt and hold onto your cash.”

You better believe it mister.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-12-31 06:04:01

“When is housing massively overpriced? It’s quite simple. When the price of the house is in excess of the cost to build (lot, materials, labor and profit), less depreciation for a used house.”

Exactly. No need to confuse it. Our cost to build a SFR is right around $55/sq ft, with profit.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-12-31 06:05:06

Considering we’re profitable building new structures anywhere in the country at $55/sq foot(lot, labor, materials and profit), why pay more than $35-$40/sq ft for a 20+ year old house?

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-12-31 06:06:35

“The Main Problem Is The Price”


“The price” is massively inflated 250%+ over long term trend irrespective of location.

“The price” represents crushing losses from which you’ll never recover in your lifetime.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-12-31 06:14:11

“Buying a house is an adventure in depreciation discovery and slavery.”

It’s a very painful adventure. Just asked the millions of joe 6 paks who throw good money after bad on a rapidly depreciating house, month after month after month.

Comment by Mr. Banker
2013-12-31 07:37:36

It’s a very painful adventure for some, a very pleasurable adventure for others. It all depends on which side of the transaction you decide to place yourself on.

Comment by inchbyinch
2013-12-31 10:00:03

And where in the cycle you bought, your length of ownership, and other factors. We’ve walked away after selling our former residences with pockets full of profit. They were early phases of new construction, and in mint condition. Absurd to tag all homeownership a loss . Baloney.

This home could become a rental. No mortgage means more freedom. Life is an adventure.

Happy New Year everyone.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-12-31 11:36:29

And you overpaid by 250%. Those are your losses.

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Comment by Greenshirtwebcamtransient
2013-12-31 06:44:51

I read through the predictions from last year. It didn’t seem like anyone nailed it for 2013 about such things as flippers being back, prices rising (at least through the 1st half of the year), inventory increasing as prices rise, and the ever increasing stock market.

Seemed like we were more concerned with the fiscal cliff, which I think amounted to squat.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-12-31 07:12:04

We need more FR PR input here. Slithers isn’t cutting it and the FR isn’t getting their moneys worth.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-12-31 07:36:41

Is that what his job is?! It totally makes sense — especially the bit about the ski slope in the backyard of his Atlanta homestead.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-12-31 07:39:25

What next from Slithers…. an ocean front condo in montana?

Comment by Mr. Smithers
2013-12-31 10:40:16

I live in Washington you dolt.

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Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2013-12-31 10:52:34

Where ya at in WA (assuming you meant WA state)?

Comment by Mr. Smithers
2013-12-31 11:58:26

Outside Spokane.

Comment by inchbyinch
2013-12-31 21:18:56

Mr. Smithers
Seeing GVD (Properties) doing a lot of renovating and building around your way?
(CEO is a family member)

Comment by Mr. Smithers
2013-12-31 10:42:53

I still don’t get why it’s so hard for you to understand the skiing in the backyard thing. I know you live in a 1 bedroom and all, but come on. This isn’t rocket science. Some snow, some slope and voila, you can ski down it.

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Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-12-31 11:34:42

Yo go Slithers!

Comment by overpaid government contractor
2013-12-31 07:50:21

He should be awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics for creating the Eastern Washington State / Central Idaho Recreational Waterpark Attendance Index.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-12-31 08:10:20

Don’t forget about the Applebees Wait Time Index!

Comment by AbsoluteBeginner
2013-12-31 17:31:21

‘He should be awarded the Nobel Prize in Economics for creating the Eastern Washington State / Central Idaho Recreational Waterpark Attendance Index.’

‘Don’t forget about the Applebees Wait Time Index!’


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Comment by jose canusi
2013-12-31 07:17:30

Retire by the beach for a $1000.00/month or less in “America’s New Sun Belt”. Which isn’t in the US, though.–for–1-000-per-month-164336470.html

This is something that I’ve considered and have been researching Uruguay, for example. But here’s the problem with this model for those living only on SS: what happens if SS goes dry suddenly? Now you’re trapped in a country where you may not know the language and have no other means of support.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-12-31 07:28:44

What does that mean?

The retired people I know live in the same place they always lived.

Comment by jose canusi
2013-12-31 07:43:35

Although I don’t personally know anyone who has retired outside of the US, I know OF a few, mainly in Mexico or Costa Rica.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-12-31 07:51:47

I don’t know anyone who up and moved at 60 something years old because they’re too old to work anymore. And I know alot of 60 somethings.

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Comment by jose canusi
2013-12-31 07:53:50

And some of those countries may have their own problems, but the interesting thing (with the perceived exception of Mexico) is that they look to have become more stable, while the US looks more and more unstable. You’re probably less likely to encounter the knockout game in Panama or Uruguay, for example, than you are in the US.

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Comment by fubarrio
2013-12-31 08:37:42

lived in uruguay for about 4 years (2006 to 2010). u can’t really know what to expect until you get down there, but i would wager that maybe 1 in 20 people (or less) actually SAVE money by moving there.

nice things (things you’re used to) still cost — usually a LOT more. crazy stupid import taxes of close to 80% in some cases mean that you buy everything VERY low quality from southern cone (uruguay argentina brasil) or you live totally local.

people like to quote the price of steak dinner or healthcare (which are cheaper) but gasoline, gas, electricity, CARS, clothes, electronics, household goods, pots/pans, processed/imported food (think: ketchup), etc etc etc are a lot more expensive. rent in a place you’d consider liveable is a lot more expensive as well…u can move to the uruguayan ‘country-side’ and find something affordable but i think flyover country USA within driving distance of a low cost retailer is a lot better value these days.

Comment by Skroodle
2013-12-31 10:08:57

$60k buys you a house on the Texas coast and another $120 gets you a concealed carry permit.

Comment by Mr. Smithers
2013-12-31 10:39:14

If Texas seceded, then that would be the best retirement deal. If it’s stuck in the USA, not so much.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2013-12-31 08:41:34

But here’s the problem with this model for those living only on SS: what happens if SS goes dry suddenly

Or what happens if the value of the dollar plunges? Your SS might not be able to support you, if the dollar loses its reserve currency status. To me this is just more globalization, have people take their money to foreign countries to support their economies and narrow the income gap between the U.S. and the rest of the world.

Comment by In Colorado
2013-12-31 09:33:21

Or what happens if the value of the dollar plunges? Your SS might not be able to support you, if the dollar loses its reserve currency status.

I saws this happen in Mexico in the 1970’s. High inflation and a Peso that was artificially pegged at 12.50 to the dollar priced out a lot of retirees. A lot of them lived near Guadalajara and when many had to pack up and go home they started a support group: FROG: Former Retirees of Guadalajara.

Years later in the early 80s the peso collapsed and it was affordable again. But because of the ensuing crime wave that followed (and never ended) many retirees never returned.

Comment by ibbots
2013-12-31 08:52:04

Some of those Central American countries require a certain amount of fixed income per month, or verification fixed assets, i.e. $200k, prior to granting a long term visa. In other words, they don’t want a bunch of freeloaders showing up, burdening their social services. What a concept.

If someone is considering moving there, they should make learning the language an early objective.

Comment by In Colorado
2013-12-31 09:28:08

what happens if SS goes dry suddenly

I don’t think it will suddenly go away. Instead, they will play the “inflation” game and payouts will fall way behind inflation over time (just like our wages have been doing), and if things really get tight they’ll reduce payouts. But unless the payroll tax is abolished, SS won’t go away entirely.

That said, there are other things to worry about before retiring in idyllic Uruguay:

1) A devaluation of the USD. I saw this happen in Mexico in the 70’s when inflation started to kick in. A lot of Americans were retired around Guadalajara, and while the dollar didn’t devalue, the peso was artificially propped up via oil revenues. American retirees suddenly found themselves priced out and had to go home.

2) Public safety. Uruguay is a 3rd world country, and while it might be relatively safe now, that could change in a heartbeat. All it would take would be a financial crises followed by a heavy dose of “austerity”. That’s when and how Mexico slipped into it’s current state of near anarchy (the drug lords are only the most notorious aspect of it, most crime has nothing to do with the drug cartels)

3) You will be an outsider and treated as such. The gov’t bureaucracies will be sure to make your life difficult as they will expect you to jump through all kinds of hoops all the time for the most inane reasons. As a naive and “wealthy” foreigner, you will be in the cross-hairs of every thug and con artist, as you will stand out like a sore thumb.

Comment by Skroodle
2013-12-31 10:13:39

Municipal pensions will go away before SS goes away.

As bad as the Tea Party wants to eliminate SS, the rest of the politicians know that move would be political suicide.

Comment by overpaid government contractor
2013-12-31 07:25:33

‘the dawn of pot tourism in colorado will bring shuttle buses to the state’s first recreational marijuana shops, guides sharing their stashes with out-of-staters and watchful eyes at ski resorts and denver’s airport.

after months of speculation, the opening of the nation’s first recreational pot shops wednesday will provide early signs of whether marijuana tourism is legitimate and worthy of investment or overstated and damaging to the state’s image.

‘we’ve had a lot of interest, a lot of curiousity, a lot of buzz,’ said peter johnson of colorado green tours, a travel agency seeking to cater to a luxury crowd.

johnson’s company will take guests in limos and suv’s to newly opened stores and private grow operations. guides are ‘cannabis aficionados’ who share their supply with guests for no charge, johnson said.

‘we are professionals in the travel business,’ said johnson, 39, who has worked as a stock trader and tech entrepeneur. ‘we’re not a bunch of stoners trying to have a party.’

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-12-31 07:32:49

Lola and his cast of street trannies are on their way to Denver, CO.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2013-12-31 09:01:37

Some poor guy is going to get stoned and make the mistake of his life. Be careful out there Goon. Make sure a squadette is really a she. Give “it” the Croc Dundee test.

Comment by Skroodle
2013-12-31 10:15:46

I think you mean Aspen.

Comment by overpaid government contractor
2013-12-31 10:19:39

BTW, if you’re ever going to get arrested in Colorado, get arrested in Aspen.

Don’t ask me how I know this.

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Comment by MacBeth
2013-12-31 07:49:05

Well, heck. People go on wine-tasting tours all the time (which I find dreadfully boring), so why not go on pot-puffing tours?

Gad. Leave it to desperate wannabes to ruin marijuana, too.

Comment by overpaid government contractor
2013-12-31 08:02:24

Linked from Drudge

“new users might be best advised to wait a few months before buying their weed. Some experts and store-owners say that getting high in the mile high state will likely be expensive at first, with prices easing off as the supply of weed catches up to the demand from Americans hoping for their first chance to buy recreational marijuana legally.”

Only out-of-staters with no connections will pay those higher prices. This city is drowning in weed. An eighth of an ounce of the killer sells for $22.50 if you have a Red Card. And everybody knows somebody who has a Red Card. And Red Card holders like scoring weed for other people, because all of the dispensaries have “rewards programs” for frequent buyers. Tell that to the “experts” in the above article :)

Comment by overpaid government contractor
2013-12-31 09:35:48

Another Denver article is currently the top story on Bloomberg:

“Of the top 25 U.S. metropolitan areas, Denver was tied with Seattle for the third-biggest increase in 25 to 34 year old residents from 2008 to 2012, data from the Census Bureau and Moody’s Analytics Inc. show. The 9.1 percent gain trailed only Washington, with a 12 percent jump, and Baltimore, with a 9.6 percent gain.”

Comment by Mr. Smithers
2013-12-31 10:29:38

“guides are ‘cannabis aficionados’ who share their supply with guests for no charge, johnson said.”

No charge? LOL. Good luck with that business model kidz.

Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2013-12-31 10:54:26

No charge? LOL. Good luck with that business model kidz.

Think of it like a loss-leader; I’m sure they will be getting a commission from the shops that they will steer their new “friends” toward later for purchases after sampling…

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-12-31 07:39:03

Did you ever get around to dumping your bond fund? It’s not too late.

Markets face a year as tough as 1994
By Ian Campbell
December 31, 2013

The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

It’s all priced in, the optimists say, referring to the likely tapering of the U.S. Federal Reserve’s money-printing. But tapering is just the beginning of the end of ever looser monetary policy and the long road towards normalisation.

In 1994 it was an unexpected Fed move that triggered an infamous sell-off. This time, the shift in policy is widely anticipated. And since Ben Bernanke, the Fed chairman, first talked taper in May, the yield on 10-year U.S. Treasuries has gained about a percentage point, to hit 3 percent just after Christmas. But they are still expensive. The three-decade bull market in bonds that culminated in depression fears and monetary extremism is over.

That is a good thing, mostly, but markets will take it hard. Yields on 10-year Treasury bonds could reach 4 percent, or more, by late 2014 as the Fed gradually winds down its bond-buying, the U.S. recovery broadens and inflation picks up. Other global bond yields will follow and provoke further shifts in global capital flows and currencies.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2013-12-31 08:04:42

Yields on 10-year Treasury bonds could reach 4 percent, or more, by late 2014 as the Fed gradually winds down its bond-buying, the U.S. recovery broadens and inflation picks up

Every 1% increase in the interest rate as I said yesterday will raise the budget deficit 170 billion dollars. We cannot even cut the deficit 60 billion dollars without people forecasting doom. We have backed ourselves into a corner following Krugman type policies. If inflation picks up and I am in the camp of it is when and not if, the country will face a choice, other default on the debt or allow the debt to be inflated away. The first option is very deflationary and the second option will lead to extreme inflation. The one chance to avoid these bad options was a Simpson/Bowles grand compromise but the time for that has passed. This is probably the year we will have to choose.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-12-31 08:11:59

“If inflation picks up and I am in the camp of it is when and not if, the country will face a choice, other default on the debt or allow the debt to be inflated away.”

It’s an easy choice and one that has been made many times since 1776.

Comment by Skroodle
2013-12-31 10:17:16

Yep, hyper-inflation will get here in a couple of decades.

Comment by Mr. Smithers
2013-12-31 12:00:30

Hyper inflation is coming which makes renting the better option. LOL

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Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-12-31 08:48:37

Dec. 31, 2013, 9:42 a.m. EST
Treasurys slip, poised for sharp yearly yield rise
Stories You Might Like
All-time-high house prices in 10 of top 50 metro areas
Stocks end little changed; Dow sets another record
By Ben Eisen, MarketWatch

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — Treasury prices fell Tuesday after data showed home-prices inched up in October, putting the benchmark yield on track for a yearly rise of over a full percentage point.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2013-12-31 07:40:08

Warren Buffett makes a lot of money due to his “friend” Obama holding up the XL pipeline but the environment suffers for it. Pipelines are far safer than trains:

Comment by jose canusi
2013-12-31 07:58:31

Heh, I recall Buffett talking about his investment in “rolling stock”, yes. But I would argue your point about pipelines. They’re sitting targets for destruction. I often wonder that it hasn’t happened more often. Of course, they don’t go up in fireballs, that’s true.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2013-12-31 08:12:51

The safety is based on decades of data. It is true pipelines can be attacked but it is far easier to derail a train and it does far more damage.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2013-12-31 08:31:48

Before we moved oil by pipelines we moved it by train. Pipelines were certainly the cheaper method and safety concerns were reflected in that price. However, here is a study that just evaluates safety:

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Comment by Skroodle
2013-12-31 10:21:19

Taking land away from citizens and giving the land to oil companies to make lots of money is not even popular in Texas.

Refusing to negotiate and calling in the police dressed as storm troopers has left a bad taste in many land owners in Texas.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-12-31 07:41:47

Here we are on the dawn of 2014, a decade after Ben Jones started the Housing Bubble Blog, and most amazingly, the Housing Bubble still lives and breathes. How many of you who read here in 2004 thought it would take this long for this episode in financial history to play out?

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-12-31 07:46:13

The saga has been quite lucrative for some of us. Better yet, clarity of thinking and the relentless pursuit of truth is the end result of reading this blog.

Comment by jose canusi
2013-12-31 07:55:16

Hah! I joined toward the end of 2005. I had no clue what would happen. I wonder how much longer this episode can last.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-12-31 08:06:43

The downside to all this is that the eventual but assured correction will be far more painful than it would have been had it been allowed to, post 2006.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-12-31 08:13:23

I don’t know: Isn’t there always an argument for postponing near-death experiences as along as possible?

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Comment by Albuquerquedan
2013-12-31 08:42:41

No, they are great.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-12-31 08:47:05

Memorable, to be sure!

Comment by inchbyinch
2013-12-31 10:56:06

I came aboard HBB in early 2005. Whac, it is amazing we’re still in bubble-land. Who would have thunk.

Comment by Greenshirtwebcamtransient
2013-12-31 07:45:11

The investor buyers are gone, the prices are too high for flips, and now a third of the buyers had the amount they can borrow cut by a hundred K, what is that poem again?

Something about where are the buyers, Stealtors are liars…

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-12-31 07:49:31

Allow me Sir;

The market is booming;
But where are the buyers?
Inventory is looming,
realtors are liars.

Whats important regarding 2013 demand (as measured by lying realtors) is once non-organic housing demand is stripped out, actual demand for housing is roughly in the early 1980’s range.

Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2013-12-31 10:16:10

actual demand for housing is roughly in the early 1980’s range.

Not so; the ABA’s lending stats still show that purchase applications for mortgages are in the 1997-ish range. The investors who are buying with cash do not show up in this statistic, so it is a reasonable proxy for what you are calling “organic” or “actual demand”.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-12-31 11:33:21

You’re including refi.

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Comment by overpaid government contractor
2013-12-31 07:46:22

Hope and Change

“The population of the United States is growing more slowly than it has since the Great Depression in what demographers say is a reflection of the recession’s lingering effects on people’s behavior.

On New Year’s Day, the census projected, the U.S. population will surpass 317 million people, a one-year increase of 0.7 percent.

During the recession, the District attracted many young adults who moved to Washington when jobs were scarce elsewhere. That growth continued in the past year.

It added 13,000 residents between July 1, 2012, and July 1, 2013, the Census Bureau estimated. With more than 646,000 people, the District is bigger than it has been since the 1970s.”

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2013-12-31 08:16:24

We would have been at ZPG decades ago without immigration and we would have all been better off for it. Wait not all of us, the .01% would have made less money due to wages being higher. I guess we now know who runs things.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-12-31 08:17:13

Here is your source of future real estate demand:

Sluggish economy seen dragging down U.S. population rate
By Stephen Dinan
The Washington Times
Monday, December 30, 2013

The U.S. population this year grew at its lowest rate since the Great Depression, according to the latest Census Bureau estimates Monday that suggest the sluggish economy continues to tamp down on immigration, and birth rates are still low for those already here.

The country added just 2.255 million new people between July 1, 2012, and July 1, 2013, the Census Bureau reported. That’s the smallest total increase since the 1980s and, when measured against the size of the population, is less than three-quarters of a percent, or the lowest rate of growth since 1937.

“It shows the impact of the recession and its aftermath still exist,” said William H. Frey, a demographer at the Brookings Institution. “What we’re seeing now is really economically driven.”

Comment by Ben Jones
2013-12-31 08:06:20

‘The most Kafkaesque paragraph from today’s NSA ruling’

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-12-31 08:11:32

Holy mother of crissssss…

That’s like saying a murder conviction should be overturned because LE overheard co-conspirators discussing the crime before it happened.

Comment by jose canusi
2013-12-31 13:07:49

Jeebus Cripes on a cracker. I’ve never read such tortuous, Byzantine, convuluted drivel in my entire life. Not to mention a complete perversion of the intent of the law, since the Constitution itself. Utterly pompous, too

But that’s the state of our legal system for ya. Bought and paid for.

Comment by rms
2013-12-31 21:05:21

“But that’s the state of our legal system for ya. Bought and paid for.”

+1 The seeds of revolution.

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Comment by reedalberger
2013-12-31 16:15:46

This is the little talked about downside of progressive government.

Comment by overpaid government contractor
2013-12-31 08:08:50

Linked from Drudge:

If you want to discuss the criminal behavior of Obama’s sons, you will be silenced.

“If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon” — President Barack Obama

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-12-31 08:18:13

The Knockout Game is not hate crime becuz….?!

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2013-12-31 08:24:59

For the same reason that black panthers cannot be prosecuted for voter intimidation.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2013-12-31 08:18:23

Political Correctness is the religion of the left. You can be burned for heresy for questioning any policy or belief.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2013-12-31 08:22:14

And remember there are sins of omission and commission. Target just had an inside job on stealing debit card and credit card information. It also is involved in not asking people about their criminal behavior on job applications. It seems that such questions had a disparate impact of minorities. My question and the MSM will not touch it, did the policy to hire people with criminal records play a role in the recent credit/debit card thefts?

Comment by Skroodle
2013-12-31 10:23:50

Target outsources their IT to India. India was the weak link.

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Comment by Albuquerquedan
2013-12-31 10:52:27

Source for that?

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-12-31 08:32:07

Political correctness is the enemy of truth and freedom.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-12-31 08:20:12

December 17, 2013, 1:07 AM ET
Easy Money Delays Retailing Shakeout
Senior Editor

Struggling retailers may have never had it so good. Too good, some would argue.

Investors, desperate for higher returns, are eagerly lending to risky borrowers like RadioShack Corp. (RSH -1.16%), Sears Holdings Corp. (SHLD -0.74%) and J.C. Penney Co. (JCP +0.17%), buying the chains time to try to turn around their businesses in the face of weak sales and fierce competition.

But what’s encouraging for those companies is a problem for their retailing competitors that also cater to the nation’s financially stretched middle class.

A building boom in the years before the credit crisis has left the U.S. with a surplus of stores. While chains like Gap Inc. (GPS -0.97%) are closing locations and scaling back others, some analysts think it will take a few bankruptcies and liquidations to bring the market back into balance.

RadioShack, Sears and J.C. Penney all say their liquidity is adequate, and their ability to continue as going concerns hasn’t been cast into doubt. But easy credit is delaying the industry’s day of reckoning, putting pressure on middle-market chains that already are grappling with slow sales growth and consumers who can be won over only with deep discounts.

“What you’ve got here is a market that still has more players than are necessary,” said Antony Karabus, CEO of Hilco Retail Consulting. “They’ve bought themselves time, but they’re still all eating from the same pie.”

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-12-31 08:27:44

Why would the U.S. or China ever actually follow through with announced plans to unwind stimulus?

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-12-31 08:31:07

Wouldn’t it be preferable to keep blowing bubbles nonstop than to spark a fresh crisis?

Dec. 30, 2013, 10:34 p.m. EST
U.S. and China: When the giants unwind
Commentary: Withdrawal of stimulus could well cause a fresh crisis
By Andy Xie

BEIJING ( Caixin Online ) — China and the United States, the primary sources of economic stimulus since 2008, will begin to unwind their stimulus in 2014. The Fed’s announcement of its first reduction in quantitative easing and China’s rising interbank interest rate are signals of what is to come. The main driver for the unwinding is concerns of bubbles, not that economies are strong enough.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2013-12-31 08:33:53

When inflation can no longer be hidden.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-12-31 08:38:41

Fair enough. We’re not there yet…still trying to hide deflation at this point!

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-12-31 08:43:45

“Fair enough. We’re not there yet…still trying to hide deflation at this point!”


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Comment by 2banana
2013-12-31 08:32:50

It’s perfectly alright to use public money and discriminate for a left wing cause.

So what’s the test to get access to this housing? Fashion sense?


Long-stalled S.F. housing project for LGBT seniors on track
San Francisco Chronicle | December 30, 2013 | John Wildermuth

The deep rumble of bulldozers and other construction equipment at the former UC Extension campus at Laguna and Haight streets in San Francisco is a welcome sound not only to the folks who will be building about 440 housing units on the site but also to the city officials who helped jump-start the long-stalled development.

The help - and money - provided by city housing officials “is really what’s made this project move forward,” said Seth Kilbourn of Openhouse, one of the site’s developers and a group that provides services to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender seniors.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2013-12-31 08:36:14

Seth Kilbourn of Openhouse, one of the site’s developers and a group that provides services to lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender seniors.

Why don’t they be honest and call their organization “Bathhouse” since that is where they really want to live.

Comment by overpaid government contractor
2013-12-31 08:57:43

President Bathhouse Barry should be there for the ribbon-cutting ceremony

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-12-31 08:41:11

LGBT housing for San Francisco seems to make sense, no? By contrast, as we were driving around her Utah neighborhood, my MIL casually pointed out a “polygamy compound.” She suggested that if the polygs eventually leave, they could replace the compound with a nice single-family (i.e. one husband, one wife) housing development.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2013-12-31 08:44:25

Were you in Draper or South Salt Lake?

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-12-31 08:49:36


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Comment by Albuquerquedan
2013-12-31 08:53:47

I have read estimates that 5% of the residents of Utah are polygamists. I have interacted with a number of polygamists over the years.

Comment by azdude02
2013-12-31 09:00:11

they are good people. they like diversity.

Comment by In Colorado
2013-12-31 09:36:17

I have read estimates that 5% of the residents of Utah are polygamists.

I understand that most of them receive foodstamps and other gov’t cheese, especially since the unofficial wives have no income of their own and thus qualify as “single mothers”.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2013-12-31 09:55:36

Exactly. They even rationalize it by saving the U.S. government is evil, a product of Satan and they are just bleeding the beast by taking these benefits.

Comment by Mr. Smithers
2013-12-31 10:18:18

“I understand that most of them receive foodstamps and other gov’t cheese, especially since the unofficial wives have no income of their own and thus qualify as “single mothers”.”

But I thought food stamps recipients were the salt of the earth? Just hard working folks trying to get ahead. Or does that only apply to “right” people?

Comment by Skroodle
2013-12-31 10:27:11

Child brides are out of vogue in modern day society now.

Comment by overpaid government contractor
2013-12-31 10:48:28

“Child brides are out of vogue”

Not for Phil Robertson, LOLZ.

Comment by 2banana
2013-12-31 11:36:06

Child brides are out of vogue in modern day society now.

Not in the dozen or so muslim countries I have visited.

60 year old dudes marrying 12 year olds.

Usually as the 3rd or 4th wife.

A more miserable life you will never see.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2013-12-31 11:42:52

This is rhetorical but why does a quote from the Duck Dynasty cast get more attention than a supreme court justice that wanted to the lower the age of consent to 12?

Comment by 2banana
2013-12-31 08:51:56

was government money used to build the place?

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2013-12-31 08:54:47

Since most polygamists are involved in SNAP and other welfare fraud, indirectly yes.

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Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-12-31 08:55:52

Given the massive federal subsidies in the U.S. housing market, I can only assume the answer is “yes.”

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Comment by Mr. Smithers
2013-12-31 10:28:17

Judging solely from stories in the MSM and characters in Hollywood, I have to assume the gay population is near 100% these days. Is that not correct?

Comment by 2banana
2013-12-31 11:39:37

Given the special right gays now receive


with no way of verifying who is gay.

Why not check the “I am gay box” and get your free government set asides, bonus points for federal hiring, special scholarships and even hate crime law protection?

It is the only way a white male can get all that minority free cheese…

Comment by Mr. Smithers
2013-12-31 12:01:57

Declaring yourself gay is the best employment protection ever. Nobody will ever fire the gay guy.

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Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-12-31 12:07:51

How’s Lola?

Comment by 2banana
2013-12-31 08:36:44

With ObamaCare, We’re All Criminals Now
American Clarion | December 31, 2013 | Gina Miller

Because of this new, evil law, many Americans will become “criminals” as of January 1st (or whatever arbitrary, new deadline the real criminal Obama has set at his putrid whim), because many will refuse to comply with this wicked mandate. After all, are we supposed to endlessly bow down and submit to lawlessness from our own federal government? Is there a point at which we refuse to comply with their illegal dictates? Whatever the answer, there is a boiling movement to gather support for telling this administration to stick its illegal Obamacare law in its pipe and smoke it, to say, “We will not comply!”

Our federal government has long ago stepped out of its lawful, constitutional bounds and is now functioning in the realm of unconstitutional dictatorship. Since we have seen that the Republicans (who, with mouths full of guile, promised us they would kill Obamacare) have no will to stop this law, many Americans realize that it’s up to us to resist this tyranny. We have no representation in our representative Republic.

We are between a rock and a hard place with this new law, and that is by devilish design, of course. Because of the outrageous Obamacare requirements for what must be covered by insurance policies, countless millions of Americans are losing the health insurance they already had, and many of them may not be able to afford new policies under the commie-care requirements of this new, legal atrocity.

While it would be nice to have it, I cannot afford health insurance. I’m certainly not alone in this. If I have to seek medical treatment, I must pay for it without insurance coverage. Although my husband and I make enough money to pay our bills and get by, we don’t make enough to comply with the Obamacare mandate to purchase health insurance, which would cost us anywhere from $600 to $2000 or more per month (and, no, we don’t take a dime of federal taxpayer money handouts of any kind).

The federal government has no legitimate authority to coerce us into buying health insurance—or any other product, for that matter—for the privilege of simply being citizens of the United States. Therefore, we will be “criminals,” as of January 1st, and I know we will be far, far from the only ones.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-12-31 08:42:11

“We’re All Criminals Now”

I have to guess that NSA monitoring has a similar effect.

Comment by cactus
2013-12-31 08:52:04

A kid killed himself at MPHS well actually at the railroad tracks but it was game on for law enforcment as over 70 police, Homeland security and plain cloths whatever got to swarm the school, kicking down doors and sticking a AR15 to a clueless teachers head who for some reason didn’t open the classroom door.

The future.

Comment by AbsoluteBeginner
2013-12-31 19:36:26

‘The future.’

You gotta wonder how the Romans kept it going. All we have are history books, museums, some movies and on location archaeological studies. Nobody has first hand knowledge of what the Romans were thinking.

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Comment by Albuquerquedan
2013-12-31 08:50:33

“The federal government has no legitimate authority to coerce us into buying health insurance—or any other product, for that matter—for the privilege of simply being citizens of the United States. Therefore, we will be “criminals,” as of January 1st, and I know we will be far, far from the only ones.”

So if you are an illegal alien you will not be a criminal since you cannot sign-up and we cannot consider your illegal entry a crime according to the PC police. For illegal entry you will get amnesty but any citizen that does not have insurance will face the wrath of the IRS. Gawd, you have to love what this country has become.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-12-31 08:57:03

Bizzarro world:

Illegal immigrants to U.S. = LEGAL

U.S. citizens = CRIMINAL

Comment by azdude02
2013-12-31 09:18:27

I was told the housing market will pick up steam after the superbowl.

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Comment by Mr. Smithers
2013-12-31 10:20:16

My favorite part of this law:

A 25 year old woman has the option to buy catastrophic coverage, that does NOT include maternity coverage.

However a 45 year old man MUST buy insurance that covers maternity.

Comment by Skroodle
2013-12-31 10:28:11

And the Amish don’t even have to pay Social Security taxes!

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Comment by 2banana
2013-12-31 11:32:19

The Amish take care of their own.

You will never so a homeless Amish person. Nor will you ever see then use SNAP, section 8, welfare or other free sh*t army cheese.

The US Government tried to force them on Social Security back in the day.

The Amish told the Government (in a nice way) - F*ck you. You will have to arrest every one of us. Take every single farm. And even then we would still not pay. All in front of newspapers in a country that loves the Amish as decent and hardworking folk.

So the US Government backed down.

There is a lesson in there somewhere.

Comment by Mr. Smithers
2013-12-31 12:12:40

Hmmm…no Social Security Taxes eh?

Note To Self: Investigate real estate options in and around Lancaster, PA

Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-12-31 12:24:26

Why? Prices in Lancaster have collapsed 49% YoY and falling and inventory has skyrocketed 75%.

“Get what you can get for your house in PA today because it’s going to be much less tomorrow for decades to come.”

You better believe it Slithers!!

Comment by ibbots
2013-12-31 08:58:29

FYI - ACA is a civil statute, not a criminal one.

It is possible to break the law and not be a criminal. If I allow my car registration to expire, I have broken a law, but will not be charged criminally. It is solely a civil matter, same with ACA.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2013-12-31 09:06:56

That is why a put “criminal” in parenthesis. However, the larger issue is that we are willing to use the resources of the state to identify and punish anyone that violates this statute but e-verify is not used and illegals are allowed to file with the IRS for tax refunds and other matters without any action being taken.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2013-12-31 09:12:14

a=they, type over.

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Comment by 2banana
2013-12-31 08:49:47

Democrats and public unions wrecking yet another city.

When will people wake up and realize these two entities are not their friends?

Democrats and public unions will tax everything to infinity before they take a single cut to their insane benefits and pensions.

Lord help you if you have a job, business or HOME in Chicago.

The jobs and businesses will leave (see Detroit, Newark, Trenton, Camden, Philly for other examples).

The home will stay to be eventually abandoned. Homeowners will eventually lose everything.


Chicago pension crisis called worst in nation
American Thinker | 12/31/2013 | Rick Moran

Calling the Chicago pension crisis the worst in the nation is saying something - like, how bad can it get?

The city’s underfunded pension system for teachers, firefighters, police, and transit workers threatens to punch a hole in the city budget that would devastate city services. The teachers’ alone are $1 billion short of funds, while the city as a whole is looking at a whopping $27 billion shortfall.

The state of Illinois is even worse off with more than $100 billion in unfunded pension liabilities. Where is the money going to come from to fix the problem?

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2013-12-31 08:56:55

Where is the money going to come from to fix the problem?

You are assuming they are going to fix the problem. The Illinois “fix” was just a kick the can down the road solution. It bought them a few years, nothing more.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-12-31 08:59:27

Sounds like an interesting development:

Quinn signs Illinois pension bill

December 05, 2013

Gov. Pat Quinn launched Illinois’ epic attempt to bail itself out of a $100 billion public employee pension debt Thursday, signing into law an ambitious financial, legal and political effort to restore the state’s tumbling credit ratings and unstable economy.

Despite the historic nature of the law, which takes effect June 1, the Democratic governor signed the measure behind closed doors, joined by top lawmakers. The quietness of the event symbolized the controversial nature of a package that has split longtime political allegiances and quickly become fodder for the 2014 campaign season.

Comment by Mr. Smithers
2013-12-31 12:11:31

Yeah whatever. Democrats will win landslides in every election again in 2014. What are the union thugs going to do…vote Republican?

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Comment by Housing Analyst
2013-12-31 12:20:47

Very unlikely Slithers. Pick yourself up off the floor cheer up.

Comment by Mr. Smithers
2013-12-31 10:23:30


You’re just a racis tea bagger dude. Don’t you know civil servants who earn $150K and retire at 55 are the reason America is great?

All we have to do is tax evil rich (white) people at 90% and all our problems will be solved. Then the firemen, policemen, and garbagemen of Chicago can go back to working on their 40′ boats in between rounds of gold at the country club.

But no. The racis GOP won’t allow that. Because they hate blacks, gays, gay blacks, black gays, women, children, old people, young people, middle aged people and babies too.

Comment by 2banana
2013-12-31 08:58:49

obama is winning his War on America.

Out of jobs, out of benefits, out of luck
CNN | December 30, 2013 | David Frum

Then, suddenly, the old deal broke down. It broke down as abruptly, as utterly and as seemingly irretrievably as a previous old deal broke in 1929. Mass and long-term joblessness characterize the U.S. economy of 2014 as surely as plentiful low-wage jobs characterized the U.S. economy of 15 years ago. Look at the output statistics, and the United States has recovered from the crisis of 2008. Look at the job numbers, and it seems the United States never will.

In a major economic address delivered in Osawatomie, Kansas, in 2011, President Obama speculated that more public-sector hiring might do the trick. But how many people can government employ? And how sustainable is it for government to raise its payroll at exactly the same time as it is also shouldering the rising costs of Medicare and Social Security for retiring baby boomers?

Comment by azdude02
2013-12-31 09:01:48

seems like most of the good jobs are with the govt these days.

Comment by 2banana
2013-12-31 09:14:14

just like most 3rd world banana republics…

Comment by overpaid government contractor
2013-12-31 09:21:01

“how many people can government employ?”

Every retiring federal civilian employee here (who actually gets replaced) is backfilled with a contractor.

Feds drool, contractors rule!

Comment by Mr. Smithers
2013-12-31 10:25:49

The theme for 2014 will be $15 minimum wage. Class warfare on warp speed is coming.

In a way this will be a good thing. At $15/hr, McDonald’s will fire all the illegals and replace them with kiosks. Then I’ll finally be able to order a Big Mac without having to repeat myself 5 times. And chances are, the order will be correct as well.


Comment by Albuquerquedan
2013-12-31 10:42:52


Yes, and that is how America became great. Not by importing serfs, by finding away to substitute capital for labor and improving productivity. Of course, there have always been some people that wanted slaves and coolies but the country only advanced by resisting this quick fix to labor shortages.

Comment by 2banana
2013-12-31 11:25:08

What is so hard of saying “Me gustaría una hamburguesa con queso, por favor?”

Our differences make us stronger!

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2013-12-31 11:30:55

Our differences make us stronger!

Then, why do gays want to marry a same sex partner. Wouldn’t you want to marry someone from a different sex to make a stronger marriage?

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Comment by 2banana
2013-12-31 11:46:47

And, now that you mention it…

Why do we DRIVE on parkways and PARK and driveways?

Comment by Mr. Smithers
2013-12-31 12:08:00

Very few gays actually get married. In Canada where gay marriage has been legal for almost 10 years, there are a whopping 20,000 same sex marriages.

In a country of 35 million people.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2013-12-31 09:23:31

Gold is bi-polar today. Up $8, then down $10, now up $13. Manipulation and tax lost selling vs. strong physical demand. The article about gold imports to Hong Kong falling ignored the fact that it is easier to import gold directly into China and well over a 100 tons were imported into China for the month. Of course the MSM’s job is to do the bidding of the .01%. They want the fiat currency scam to continue because that is how they have accumulated the great wealth.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2013-12-31 09:45:20

Iceland sticking it to the PTB once again, this time with bitcoin:

Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2013-12-31 11:04:51

Iceland sticking it to the PTB once again

Sticking it to them how, again? Bitcoin mining is legal to do pretty much anywhere, I believe… Anywhere with cheap reliable power and a reliable internet connection works fine.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2013-12-31 11:16:45

The PTB do not want anything that competes with fiat currency. Bitcoin is a superior currency to fiat currency and even to gold. Gold is superior money to either dollars or bitcoin. A person can preserve his or her wealth with gold but from time to time buy a bitcoin for everyday transactions. Store all your wealth with bitcoin you run to high of risk of government hacking or tracing. Using both you can eliminate the need for Fed reserve fiat currency.

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Comment by Interested Observer
2013-12-31 10:36:49

Movie Review - The Shawshank Redemption

How a banker went to prison on a double homicide, made lots of money and then retired to Mexico.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2013-12-31 10:50:33

I wish they would have covered how when he went “straight” after prison, he went into, basically, subprime mortgages and made even more money than when he was engaged in penny stock fraud. I think the movie is probably a waste of time since it concentrates more on his personal decadence instead of the decadence in our financial system.

Comment by overpaid government contractor
2013-12-31 11:32:27

I saw the movie last week. Toward the end, Belfort branches out from pimping stocks and makes a Tom Vu infomercial.

Comment by 2banana
2013-12-31 11:44:09

How democrats win elections.

Now remember - the millions and millions that the democrats want to give amnesty to will not be allowed to vote or get any more free government cheese. They promised.


Report: New York Investigators Obtain Fraudulent Ballots 97 Percent of Time
National Review — The Corner | 12-31-13 | John Fund

New York City’s Department of Investigation (DOI) has just shown how easy it is to commit voter fraud that is almost undetectable. Its undercover agents were able to obtain ballots for city elections a total of 61 times — 39 times using the names of dead people, 14 times using the names of incarcerated felons, and eight times using the names of non-residents. On only two occasions, or about 3 percent of the time, were the agents stopped by polling-place officials. In one of the two cases, an investigator was stopped only because the felon he was trying to vote in the name of was the son of the election official he was dealing with.

Ballot security in checking birth dates or signatures was so sloppy that young undercover agents were able to vote using the name of someone three times their age who had died. As the New York Post reports: “A 24-year female was able to access the ballot at a Manhattan poll site in November under the name of a deceased female who was born in 1923 and died in April 25, 2012 — and would have been 89 on Election Day.” All of the agents who got ballots wrote in the names of fictitious candidates so as not to actually influence election outcomes.

Last year, guerrilla videographer James O’Keefe sent hidden cameras into polling places around the country to demonstrate just how easy it is to commit voter fraud and how hard it is to ever know it happened. In Washington, D.C., one of his assistants was able to obtain Attorney General Eric Holder’s ballot even though Holder is 62 years old and bears no resemblance to the 22-year-old white man who obtained it.

Comment by Mr. Smithers
2013-12-31 12:10:05

No, no, no. There is no such thing as voter fraud. The good people at MSNBC and The New York Times have assured me of this numerous times. Which is why requiring ID to vote is racis.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-12-31 13:55:11

What’s up with that massive 11th hour, 59th minute spike job on U.S. stock prices?

Comment by Rental Watch
2014-01-01 01:16:38

Let me guess, prices up on low volume? A real nice way to end the year if you can show slightly better 2013 returns.

Reminds me of a guy who invested in a specific type of company…he manipulated low-volume stocks at the end of quarters to make his returns look better than they actually were (and to earn more fees since his fees were based on quarter-end valuations).

Problem is that the SEC caught him.

They focused on the increased fee that he earned.

I thought the biggest fraud wasn’t that (which was a few thousand dollars), but that he purposefully used a clients money to intentionally overpay for stock, essentially wasting tens of thousands of that client’s money in order to earn his few thousand dollars.

Glad he got caught.

Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2014-01-01 21:35:12

Problem is that the SEC caught him.

Interesting thing that the SEC caught this little fish, but doesn’t seem able to catch any of the BIG fish involved in the massive, rampant, wide-spread housing bubble loan securitization fraud.

Comment by Mr. Smithers
2013-12-31 16:52:44

29.6% gain for the S&P this year.
Gold down 22% this year.


Maybe in 2014 you’ll figure it out.

Comment by Bill, just South of Irvine, CA
2013-12-31 19:42:48


Two observations:
1) Those who were overweight precious metals and underweight stocks have not only lost wealth, they lost an opportunity cost in the stock appreciation.

2) Those who were overweight stocks and underweight gold did very well.

But gold is an insurance policy. Markets are cyclic. Gold has not finished its path. It’s heavily manipulated. It seems only the Chinese and Indian citizens know this. Central banks are buying physical gold like crazy.

Smart people are not fooled into giving up on gold. But they are shifting out of irrational exuberance and looking for beaten assets. Precious metals and mining stocks have been severely beaten.

Comment by Rental Watch
2014-01-01 01:24:27

Gold touched $800 ever so briefly in I think 1980 (with inflation raging), and didn’t get back to that level until what, 2007/2008?

Do you think it’s possible that people will be saying the same thing 20 years from now about the $1,900 level reached in 2011?

I don’t know if that’s likely, but it’s certainly possible.

Yet at the same time, I’m willing to bet that if you plotted the average apartment rent per square foot in 1980 through to today, you would see a much steadier increase over time.

Gold reacts to sentiment.
Rents actually adjust to higher price levels in the economy.

Gold is more of a speculative bet than a hedge against inflation. For a true hedge against inflation, I choose real property (privately held or REITs) every time.

Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2014-01-01 21:50:54

Rents actually adjust to higher price levels in the economy.

Interesting point; how closely does it track the CPI or other inflation metrics, RW?

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by phony scandals
2013-12-31 17:16:16

Former MSNBC Host Told Not to Warn Public About Fukushima

“Because the official government position is that it’s safe”

Paul Joseph Watson
December 31, 2013

Former MSNBC host Cenk Uygur was told not to warn the public about the danger posed by the meltdown at the Fukushima nuclear plant during his time as a host on the cable network.

“I was on MSNBC at the time when this happened, I said, “Don’t trust what the Japanese government is saying, they’ll say trust what the electric power company is saying. Go, go, go, get outta there. Get as far away from that plant as you can. It’s literally a core meltdown.” And they always don’t want people to panic, so they were always like, “Oh it’s going to be okay.” [...] I’m like, “You’re crazy man, don’t be anywhere near that reactor.” And I remember at the time, of course not at The Young Turks, but on cable news, people were like, “Hey Cenk, you know, I don’t know that you want to say that, because the official government position is that it’s safe.” Oh, is that the official government position? Now go explain that to the people who served on the USS Ronald Reagan.”

Uygur previously revealed how MSNBC president Phil Griffin ordered him to tone down his show because “people in Washington” were concerned about Uygur being too combative towards “those in power.” Despite the fact that his show had good ratings, Uygur walked away from the network to create his own online broadcast.

Uygur’s reference to the USS Ronald Reagan concerns recent revelations that 71 U.S. sailors who helped during the initial Fukushima relief efforts returned with thyroid cancer, Leukemia, and brain tumors as a result of being exposed to radiation at 300 times the safe level.

The sailors are suing the Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO), which repeatedly lied in an effort to downplay the severity of the situation.

Now that radioactive debris is hitting the West Coast of North America, numerous different animals and sea life are suffering from mysterious diseases, including 20 bald eagles that have died in Utah over the last few weeks alone.

Top scientists have warned that if another major earthquake hits Fukushima, which is almost inevitable, it would mean “bye bye Japan” and the complete evacuation of the west coast of North America.

Comment by rms
2013-12-31 21:11:30

“…complete evacuation of the west coast of North America.”

Wow, that sounds expensive.

Comment by AbsoluteBeginner
2013-12-31 19:14:50

Here is to a frugal ( more frugal) 2014.

Concentrating on the goal to pump up my retirement account balance for some reason. I really want to be able to step a bit farther away from the rat-raise at age 59.5. Feeling that lately these past few years. Thank you corporation for reminding me I am expendable. I understand, it is just business.

Comment by Bill, just South of Irvine, CA
2013-12-31 19:38:45


I have four years and eleven months until i’m 59 and a half. If I sell out all my old company stock in 2014 and keep the proceeds in cash I will be in a very good position financially to withstand another stock crash and focus on buying stock mutual funds and precious metals only from then on.

A good balance in your personal net worth offsets the feeling of being expendable.

Young people whine that older people have all the money. Older people whine that younger people have all the job security and wage potential and looks and years ahead.

I think it’s a fair trade. Maybe that’s why when I was in my 20s I did not give a hoot about making very little income.

Comment by Lemming with an innertube
2013-12-31 20:10:11

When you work somewhere for all of your adult life, it’s hard to realize that it is just business. I really liked the movie “The Company Men” with Ben Affleck and Tommy Lee Jones. It was a timely movie for me. Check it out if you get the time.

Comment by jose canusi
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