January 18, 2014

Bits Bucket for January 18, 2014

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

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Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-01-18 05:18:09

Falls Church, VA Housing Prices Down 10% Year over Year


Comment by oxide
2014-01-18 07:43:24

Sweetcakes, that’s the LIST PRICE. Isn’t that the “wishing price” where folks won’t “give it away” — you know, the price that HBB thinks is useless?

Honeypot, HBB is interested in SALES PRICE, what buyers actually pay.

Falls Church, VA Housing Prices UP 6.1% Year Over Year


Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-01-18 08:07:47

Trulia is a NAR company. Movoto aggregates data directly from sales and deed recorder offices.

We’re interested in trend and change of trend. And clearly prices are falling across the DC metro area.

Here’s another example of falling demand and sinking prices in the DC metro area.

Annandale, VA Housing Prices Crater 12%; Inventory Up 29%


We understand that your entire financial future is founded on the ongoing housing fraud and corruption but we can’t help you with that. We can only provide the data.

Comment by oxide
2014-01-18 09:08:43

“Trulia is a NAR company. Movoto aggregates data directly from sales and deed recorder offices.”

Where does Trulia get information about homes that are sold or off the market?

We license the information about sold and off-market homes. Our data provider compiles public record information from local assessor, tax collector, and recorder offices across the United States going back for a period of 10 years.


Movoto aggregates data directly from sales and deed recorder offices.

If Movoto is aggregating data from SALES and deed offices, then why don’t you post some SALES data? I dare you.. post some sales data from Movoto with a legit link. Instead, you are posting LISTING data. And where does Movoto get its LISTING data?

Where possible, Movoto uses the Active listing data from MRIS, Real Estate Information Network to calculate the Total Active Inventory, Median List Price, % Distressed, Median Days on Market, Median House size by livable square feet, Median Price per Sq.Ft, and Price per Sq. Ft.

Which is the NAR company? You tell me.

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Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-01-18 09:18:00

And more to the point; movoto includes ALL price data. Trulia, Zillow exclude defaulted properties, foreclosures and outliers in the same way Case Shiller exclude them.

You have to be willing to look at the entire market.

Comment by Common Sense
2014-01-18 09:21:23

I liken HA’s use of statistics to that of a drunk using a street light… for support rather than illumination.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-01-18 09:24:07

Your beef is with MRIS.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-18 10:04:56

Notwithstanding concerns about biased data reporting by firms with large REIC constituencies, the list price has a large advantage over sale price as a contemporaneously indicator of market conditions. By contrast, sale prices (such as those which enter the Case-Shiller/S&P Index) are a lagging indicator, as they provide a snapshot of conditions several months back, when the sales reflected in average prices closed.

Comment by suite Joey blue eyes (csn&y superfan)
2014-01-18 10:26:23

Good point about the problems inherent in using zillow or trulia as data. Excluding defaulted properties is a significant problem (that conveniently suits the realtor agenda).

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-18 10:34:12

“Excluding defaulted properties…”

That is a perfect example of statistical procedures that introduce systematic (upward) bias in reported prices.

Comment by suite Joey blue eyes (csn&y superfan)
2014-01-18 10:57:21

Absolutely, pbear… It’s like a ready-made textbook example of sampling bias.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-18 11:40:25

Which textbook did you have in mind?

Comment by oxide
2014-01-18 14:03:51

So HA, are you gonna post some Movoto SALE prices, or will you just bluster again?

With a link.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-01-18 14:41:30

Like we’ve explained, asking prices are falling. The final sale prices are much lower as asking prices are forward-looking.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-18 14:56:57

“…Movoto SALE prices…”

What is it about ‘lagging indicator’ you don’t understand?

Comment by ghost riding the whip
2014-01-18 15:16:04

Movoto Annandale VA median square foot list price:

1 year ago: $218
1 month ago: $221
Today: $224

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-01-18 15:36:17

Radioactive granite?

Stick with a single username Donkey. ;)

Comment by Pete
2014-01-18 16:44:42

“So HA, are you gonna post some Movoto SALE prices, or will you just bluster again?”

I’m amazed he hasn’t called you a debt donkey or liar yet. Not sure what it means, but it is refreshing.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-01-18 16:51:04

We’re all here waiting for you to stop backpedalling.

How about it “pete”? ;)

Comment by Pete
2014-01-18 19:05:27

Backpedaling? I don’t know, I’m just glad to see that you can make a good argument when you put your mind to it.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-01-18 21:01:12

I’m happy to have a dialog and that is what this blog is about, still after 8+ years. And for 8+ years, the gatekeepers have continued to attempt to dominate the conversation and censor the truth about housing on this site.

For as long as I’m allowed, I’ll be there when the grease hits the frying pan.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-18 09:58:45

Isn’t that the “wishing price” where folks won’t “give it away” — you know, the price that HBB thinks is useless?

Nobody except for you said list price is useless. In fact, if list prices are decreasing, it is likely that sale prices are decreasing by more. Since wannabe sellers don’t want to ‘just give it away,’ their asking prices naturally follow a declining market down with a lag.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-01-18 13:03:48


Here’s some more interesting DC Metro metric showing falling prices and cratering demand.

Arlington VA Housing Prices Sink 10% YoY; Inventory Up 28%


Arlingon VA is typical of most metro areas around the country. Sliding prices due to massive excess inventory, overbuilding and rising delinquencies and defaults.

Arlington VA Housing Prices Sink 10% YoY; Inventory Up 28%


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Comment by oxide
2014-01-18 14:01:31

if list prices are decreasing, it is likely that sale prices are decreasing by more.


It is NOT likely that sale prices are dropping. Sale prices are definitely INCREASING. That is what is posted on Trulia. NAR site or no, Trulia is showing increasing sale prices, and Trulia gets its data from the sales recorder offices. (I even posted a link to prove that Trulia gets its data there.) Which is pretty reliable, according to HA himself.

Nobody except for you said list price is useless.

For the past few years on HBB, I’ve been reading about “wishing prices” and “price is only what people are willing to pay” and — most recently — “I can list my used Honda for $50K but no one will buy it.” And now listing price is no longer useful?

It’s only “useful” if it favors you. If it doesn’t favor you, then I’m a whore. Got it.

As for not including foreclosures, fine. If foreclosures are such a great price as to drop the median, why don’t put your money where your mouth is and BUY ONE at 30% off current market prices? Go on, go for it. Stand on the courthouse steps and buy one. And then try to live in it. Report back.

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Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-01-18 14:40:12

“That is what is posted on Trulia.”

We understand however Trulia excludes defaults in the same way Case Shiller excludes defaulted property. Movoto is much more comprehensive.

And just a suggestion… calm down. Your posts have a tinge of desperation to them.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-18 14:58:39


It is NOT likely that sale prices are dropping. Sale prices are definitely INCREASING. That is what is posted on Trulia.”

Sales prices are a lagging indicator of where the market is headed. And I repeat myself…

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-18 14:59:39

P.S. Try not to get your undies in a bunch!

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-18 15:00:39

“… calm down …”

That too.

Comment by oxide
2014-01-18 17:05:26

Even the idiot economists on TV know what “future tense” is.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-01-18 17:09:02

You got taken to the woodshed.

Comment by "Uncle Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-01-18 18:07:21

Movoto interests me because it posts inventory numbers. It seems fishy that Zillow and Trulia don’t post inventory. That is the most important trend to follow.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-01-18 18:12:41

Zillow plots demand.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-18 05:18:41

Is the stock market overbought?

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-18 05:21:55

Jan. 17, 2014, 1:19 p.m. EST
Six ratios say this market is very overbought
Opinion: The time to build a larger cash position may be near
By Mark Hulbert, MarketWatch

The U.S. stock market is more overvalued than it was at the majority of the past century’s peaks, according to six well-known valuation ratios.

That doesn’t mean the bull market is coming to an end, of course, since some past bull markets were even more overvalued when they topped out. Furthermore, no two market peaks behave the same way.

Nevertheless, the evidence suggests that risks are high. You may want to consider selling some of your stock holdings and building up cash.

To compare current valuations to those that prevailed at past market tops, I relied on a comprehensive list of past bull-market tops compiled by Ned Davis Research. The list is based on a set of criteria focusing on the speed, magnitude and length of market movements.

According to the firm, there have been 35 bull-market tops since 1900. The Dow Jones Industrial Average lost an average of 31% in the bear markets that followed.

Comment by suite Joey blue eyes (csn&y superfan)
2014-01-18 10:32:14

When it falls significantly (and it will) i shall be waiting will open arms. with cash! The last times things crashed, i was a poor student :-( so I’m missing out on selling and walking away from this current market.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-18 05:23:43

Be Careful in an Overvalued, Overbought Market
BY Richard Suttmeier | 01/17/14 - 09:58 AM EST
Find out if (BBY) is in Cramer’s Portfolio.

NEW YORK (TheStreet) — I debuted my themes for the 2014 stock market on Jan. 2 in, “Stocks Begin 2014 With Inflating Bubbles.” I explained that even if new intraday all-time or multiyear highs continued to occur, the downside risk exceeds the upside potential for the five major equity averages. Overly simplified, my market call for 2014 is that the major averages will test their 200-day simple moving averages at some point during the year.

I have been saying that stock picking would be extremely difficult in an overvalued, overbought stock market. (On Jan. 8, I wrote “Inflating Market Bubble Not Quite Ready to Pop.”) I maintain my long-term concerns about the stock market.

The Fundamentals — ValuEngine continues to show an extremely overvalued stock market. We show that 85.2% of all stocks are overvalued, with 53.3% overvalued by 20% or more. Only 14.8% are undervalued, and only 4.8% are undervalued by 20% or more. All 16 sectors are overvalued, with 12 overvalued by 23% to 38.2%. This is the reason why you see stocks plunge by 10%, 20% or more following disappointing earnings or other stock-specific negative news.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-18 05:25:56

Jan. 14, 2014, 1:07 p.m. EST
Monday selloff is a warning sign
Commentary: Market rout was typical of an overbought market
By Lawrence G. McMillan

Monday’s sharp selloff proved that the bears do have some life.

But is it enough to actually cause a noticeable stock market correction? The bulls have gotten a little too full of themselves, pushing the market into an overbought condition that is somewhat unusual. Now we will have to see if the bulls have enough firepower to halt the selling onslaught of Monday and to rescue the market once again.

The broad stock market had become overbought in an unusual way — by going sideways over the last couple of weeks. Usually, when the market goes sideways, that allows for overbought conditions to be alleviated. In fact, this particular bull market leg — stretching back to November 2012 — has done just that several times.

But this time, there was some internal buildup of overbought conditions. These included, but weren’t limited to: Unusually heavy option volume in speculative stocks, increased momentum in stocks that were already stretched by having risen too far, put-call ratios at extremely low levels, and various volatility measures at extremely low levels, too. We’ll enumerate some of these as we describe the current market conditions.

Even with the sell-off Monday, it’s noteworthy that no serious technical damage has yet taken place. The broad stock market, as measured by the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index (SPX -0.39%) held above support. For SPX, that support is at 1,810. It was a triple resistance area back in November and December (2013), and once it was broken on the upside (as a result of the positive Fed “tapering” announcement in December), it became support — and remains support until broken. There should now be resistance in the 1,830-1,840 area, now that the market has broken down from there, but the more important level is the 1,810 support.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-18 05:29:51

The Reformed Broker
Chart o’ the Day: “Overbought
Joshua M Brown
December 26th, 2013

It’s easy to poke fun at people who’ve been using valuation or some other fundamental indicator as a market timing signal. It’s demonstrably ridiculous and the results for the most stubborn among them have been disastrous.

Equally ridiculous is the idea that any one or two technical indicators can tell you when an uptrend or a downtrend is through running its course. We all have our favorite technical measures of price but, in the end, all of them are subservient to price itself.

Here’s the blogger at The Short Side of Long with a look at the “overbought” nature of the stock market all year, which clearly can persist in not mattering for quite a long time. The percentage of stocks trading above their 200-day moving averages rose into “overbought” territory around 80% last October and stayed there pretty much all year:

Just a quick update on one of my favourite indicators for the stock market – percentage of stocks within the S&P 500 trading above the 200 day moving average. The indicator continues to flash a warning signal, something I have discussed on my blog for the last few months. So far the market has turned a cold shoulder to on going bearish divergence as it continues to tear higher into record territory.

Chart 2: The stock market has been overbought for the whole of 2013

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-18 05:31:20

A “Frothy”, “Overbullish”, “Overbought”, “Overmargined” Market With “Not Enough Bears” - In Charts
Submitted by Tyler Durden on 11/03/2013 16:55 -0500

Last week, Bank of America warned that “it’s getting frothy, man” based on the sheer surge of fund flows into equities. Here is the same firm with some other observations on what can simply be described as a “frothy”, “overbought”, “overmargined” market with “not enough bears.”

From Bank of America:

“Daily slow stochastic is generating an overbought sell signal.”

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-18 05:34:45

Read This, Spike That | MONDAY, NOVEMBER 11, 2013
The Latest Measures of a Bid-Up Stock Market
Various data points suggest that the broader indexes don’t have much more room to rise.

Want proof that the bull market that began in March 2009 is getting long in the tooth?

The financial press these days is filled with it, using data ranging from intensifying IPO activity to the climb in the value of the Wilshire 5000 relative to the economy to make the point.

For example, a piece in today’s Wall Street Journal cites the explosion in both initial public offerings and secondary stock offerings as proof that the smart-money is taking its money now before the market corrects or falls hard.

“So far this year, U.S. companies have put out $51 billion in first-time stock issues, known as initial public offerings or IPOs, based on data from Dealogic,” writes the Journal’s veteran stock-market writer E.S. Browning. “That is the most since $63 billion in the same period of 2000, the year bubbles in tech stocks and IPOs both popped.

“Follow-on offerings by already public companies have been even larger, surpassing $155 billion this year,” Browning adds. ” That is the most for the first 10-plus months of any year in Dealogic’s records, which start in 1995.”

As Browning writes, “issuers are grabbing current terms before markets fade. That makes experienced investors ask themselves a classic question: If the smart money is selling, should we be buying?”

A few days ago, the Street Authority’s David Sterman used a simply valuation metric watched by Warren Buffett as further proof that conditions are getting overvalued.

Sterman points out that the aggregate value of the largest 5,000 U.S. companies (as measured by the Wilshire 5000) is trading roughly at a 10% premium to the gross national product. When that value of the Wilshire 500 trades at a 20% to 30% discount to the GNP, Buffett sees value in the broader market.

The Wilshire 5000 has risen 68% since the end of 2009,” writes Sterman. “Yet the economy has grown just 17%, throwing this key ratio out of whack.”

Sterman points out 2007 was the last year that the Wilshire 5000 exceeded the value of the economy, and we all know what happened in the following year.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-18 05:38:08

Overbought? No sweat, thanks to ‘Bernanke-care
Published: Thursday, 24 Oct 2013 | 1:52 PM ET
By: Jeff Cox | Finance Editor
More pundits say the markets are clearly overbought — but is that really the case? CNBC’s Jeff Cox weighs in.

With bullishness seemingly everywhere in sight, the stock market is as overbought as it’s ever been, and that doesn’t really seem to be bothering many people.

Earlier this week, Bespoke Investment Group labeled the S&P 500 as “extremely overbought,” while analysts at Strategas said that from a valuation standpoint the market “exhibited tendencies similar to that of a runaway freight train.”

No matter—the stock market went on its merry way Thursday, rallying modestly to threaten new highs.

Investors may be playing a dangerous hand, but there’s very little skepticism that things can’t keep going on the same track.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-18 05:39:56

Market Outlook: S&P 500 Is Finally Overbought, Should You Sell?
StreetAuthority Network
By Michael J. Carr
May 20, 2013 4:45 PM

After another big gain, the S&P 500 closed in overbought territory for the first time since October.

To define overbought, the 52-week rate of change (ROC) is a useful indicator. When the 52-week ROC is greater than 25%, I consider the stock market to be overbought. After gaining 2.16% last week, SPDR S&P 500 (SPY) moved into overbought territory. Previous overbought extremes in SPY are marked in blue on the chart below.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-18 05:41:29

Did Santa Bernanke Scare off The Grinch?
Thursday, December 19, 9:25 a.m.

The Fed’s decision to begin tapering QE stimulus was surprising since 70% of economists and analysts did not expect it at this meeting, and the market’s positive reaction to the announcement was perhaps just as surprising.

After all, it was just on and off again hints that it might begin tapering that created all the market downturns since May, which were only halted when the Fed rushed in with ‘no taper’ decisions and assurances. And the market spikes up almost 300 points when it does decide to act?

But in his press conference Chairman Bernanke did a masterful job of turning the news positive, by offering much more dovish forward guidance; a promise to keep interest rates extremely low by other means for several more years, probably into 2015; assurance that the reduction in QE purchases in January will not necessarily be the beginning of a continuing monthly basis, but further tapering steps will be determined each month based on the strength in the economy; that unemployment getting down to 6.5% which was its previous target for when it might consider raising rates, is out the window, that it will have to be well below 6.5%, and will also be conditional on inflation remaining below 2.5%, and so on.

It’s hard to know if it was a one-day wonder reaction, or is the beginning of another leg up.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-18 05:42:55

Kaeppel’s Corner: Beware the Market BLIP (Bernanke Linguistics Induced Panic)
By Jay Kaeppel, Optionetics.com | Mon July 15, 2013 4:15AM PT

It can’t be easy being Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke these days. I mean first you have to make sure that the printing presses are humming 24/7, no excuses. Secondly, you have got to choose your words very carefully. For every time he opens his mouth the entire financial world holds it collective breath. At this point I would guess that he breathes through his nose a lot and assiduously avoids opening his mouth to take big gulps of air, which would almost certainly create a panic in the financial markets.

And even something as minor as simple sentence structure has become a very important consideration for the Fed chairman. Picture Mr. Bernanke sitting down in front of a microphone and uttering the following sentence:

“The Fed has decided to stop printing so much money” (within a nanosecond thousands of high frequency trading computers panic and immediately disgorge hundreds of millions of shares, instantly driving the Dow down 1,000 with ease). A split second later and after just a brief gulp of air, Mr. Bernanke then completes his sentence, “eventually, but definitely not anytime soon.”


Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-18 05:44:56

Bernanke’s Alice in Wonderland Stock Market
Wednesday, 5/08/2013 14:20

A.K.A. Young FrankenMarket…

IN FAILING to take a “healthy” correction, the stock market is now running on policy and momentum, writes Gary Tanashian in his Notes from the Rabbit Hole.

Hence we now dub thee Young FrankenMarket; Ben Bernanke’s creation, sustained by government and legacy MBA debt, following Alan Greenspan’s monster that was stitched together with artificially low interest rates that ultimately manifested in a huge commercial credit bubble.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-18 05:45:56

Wall Street will miss its Market Whisperer.

Comment by azdude02
2014-01-18 05:58:01

the stock market has been rigged by the central bank. do you like buying manipulated assets? Its only a matter of time before another crash. you know and I know it . Got assets?

Comment by Anklepants
2014-01-18 06:28:37

You can’t put your money in stocks, you can’t put your money in bonds, you can’t put your money in housing, what’s left?

Comment by azdude02
2014-01-18 06:40:09

commodities? a small business? precious metals have taken a beating.

I realize the only way I will ever get wealthy is come up with an ingenius product.

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Comment by inchbyinch
2014-01-18 07:51:01

Good topic, growing money.

Our neighbor (husband & wife) bought a caregiver franchise He was a scrap metal guy. She was a substitute teacher (taught parenting at the adult school-wtf?)

Anyway looked it up and low and behold there are a bunch of franchised caregiver chains. I think that they flooded the market with caregiver franchises. Just my initial observation.

Inventing a product is my husband’s current goal. He is an EE and a former Intel employee, and was on a few patents. The guy lives in his office cave.
If he doesn’t get rich, at least he’s happy.

Comment by jose canusi
2014-01-18 08:03:12

“there are a bunch of franchised caregiver chains.”

Tell me about it. Just cruise craigslist in any market that’s heavily populated by retirees and you’ll see tons of ads desperately seeking salespeople for these caregiving companies.

Lol, sometimes the small business mentality is exactly that, “small”. As in small-minded. I get a mental picture of a bunch of sweaty guys sitting around in some grungy strip mall office space telling each other “Hey, we got a company, we got some sh*t to sell here, let’s just get a few salesmen to go out there on commission and bring in the biz, nothin’ to it”.

Comment by jose canusi
2014-01-18 08:57:35

I guess there’s research out there on how many franchises survive and thrive and how many go under. I think folks who sink their money into these businesses have dreams of being a McDonald’s mogul, or Dunkin’ Donuts or maybe even a Jenny Craig.

I’ve worked for two small biz franchises. One was fairly successful, long established. But the owner still complained about his expenses and being an older man, often threatened to fold up the tent. He had excellent salespeople, though, and that’s what made him a success.

The other franchise was hosebag city, succeeded on the back of the housing bubble and crashed when the bubble did. Owner was a real a-hole and so were his cronies.

Comment by Anklepants
2014-01-18 09:15:33

“Inventing a product is my husband’s current goal. He is an EE and a former Intel employee, and was on a few patents.”

Here’s an idea he can have. Something that tells you when the kids safety seats are buckled and clicked. Regular seat belts are hooked in to the warning system and will cause it to ding ding ding if you try to drive unbuckled. Not so for kids car seats, which strikes me as somewhat ironic. Baby seats you usually do yourself, but by the time they are a little older they can do it themselves. Kids are in such seats longer now and at older ages now.

I haven’t researched any prior art.

Comment by Pete
2014-01-18 16:59:11

“Something that tells you when the kids safety seats are buckled and clicked.”

Hey, not bad! That’s one that I could see gubmint getting in on and making law.

Comment by inchbyinch
2014-01-18 18:14:14

I bet Florida is flooded with senior services.

We hired a caregiver for a week for my post hip surgery mother. $700/40 hours and she was your typical Pilipino CNA. I felt ripped off. Who can afford those prices? I bet having to hire an RN as one of your employees can’t be cheap. All the overhead, rent going up, payroll, taxes, regulations. No thanks. We owned an electronics DBA. That was headache enough, without the franchise fees.

I audited a franchise class at Pepperdine U in Malibu years ago. The Professor said buying a franchise was like buying a job, and you’d better have the right location, network, and sales plan in place. Otherwise, you are a s.u.c.k.e.r.

Some developers will not lease to a franchise retailer. Way too many failures.
I was told not to in my former position. Only corporate structures.

Comment by jose canusi
2014-01-18 07:57:16

Investing is not for the little folks. It’s only for the big, swinging dick bankers and Wall Streeters, who want to play Ponzi.

At some point, when this all collapses, and it will, the old fashioned stuff about valuing customers and making things and providing services that work and that people need and want will come back. Maybe not in my lifetime, though.

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Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-18 10:16:17

Goldman Sacked (and BTW, it’s very hard to find this story in the U.S. MSM)

16 January 2014 Last updated at 10:18 ET
Goldman Sachs sees big quarterly profits fall
A fall in bond trading contributed to the fourth quarter fall in profits

US investment bank Goldman Sachs has reported a big fall in quarterly profits, due largely to a reduction in bond trading revenue.

Net earnings for the three months to 31 December fell to $2.33bn (£1.43bn), down 19% compared with the same period last year.

But full-year net earnings rose 8% to $8.04bn on revenues of $34.2bn.

Rival bank Citigroup also reported results, with its profits also hit by reduced income from bond trading.

Citigroup reported adjusted net income of $2.6bn for the quarter, up from the $2.15bn a reported a year earlier but below many analysts’ expectations.

JP Morgan, which reported its results on Tuesday, also reported suffering from falling or stagnant bond trading volumes.

Comment by suite Joey blue eyes (csn&y superfan)
2014-01-18 10:38:02

Gs earnings still beat the street’s estimates though. Everyone k knew there fall, the question was how much. They guided lower as well.

Comment by Anklepants
2014-01-18 08:20:32

Morning paper in PHX says Intel is laying off 5,000. Time to buy a home in Chandler. ;(

Comment by inchbyinch
2014-01-18 18:24:11

Thanks for the Intel news. Hubby was an Engineering Mgr for Int*l and went back to his DBA creative digs. He enjoyed the travel, and the people, but it was a pressure cooker at Int*l. I feel bad for the 5,000.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-01-18 05:22:08

Realtors Are Liars

Comment by phony scandals
2014-01-18 05:34:59

Obama’s Speech on N.S.A. Phone Surveillance

JAN. 17, 2014

“What I did not do is stop these programs wholesale — not only because I felt that they made us more secure, but also because nothing in that initial review, and nothing that I have learned since, indicated that our intelligence community has sought to violate the law or is cavalier about the civil liberties of their fellow citizens.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/01/18/us/politics/obamas-speech-on-nsa-phone-surveillance.html -

NSA Officers Spy on Love Interests

8:45 pm
Aug 23, 2013

Siobhan Gorman

WASHINGTON—National Security Agency officers on several occasions have channeled their agency’s enormous eavesdropping power to spy on love interests, U.S. officials said.

The practice isn’t frequent — one official estimated a handful of cases in the last decade — but it’s common enough to garner its own spycraft label: LOVEINT.

Spy agencies often refer to their various types of intelligence collection with the suffix of “INT,” such as “SIGINT” for collecting signals intelligence, or communications; and “HUMINT” for human intelligence, or spying.

The “LOVEINT” examples constitute most episodes of willful misconduct by NSA employees, officials said.

In the wake of revelations last week that NSA had violated privacy rules on nearly 3,000 occasions in a one-year period, NSA Chief Compliance Officer John DeLong emphasized in a conference call with reporters last week that those errors were unintentional. He did say that there have been “a couple” of willful violations in the past decade. He said he didn’t have the exact figures at the moment.

http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2013/08/23/nsa-officers-sometimes-spy-on-love-interests/ - 98k

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-01-18 07:37:37

The most corrupt administration in US history.

Comment by Combotechie
2014-01-18 08:20:22


You gotta love LOVEINT if you are a backer of the NSA - a booster of the NSA - because in you are one of those guys who are plugged into the NSA then you get to be plugged into LOVEINT, and if you are plugged into LOVEINT then you are plugged into the private lives of your political enemies - such enemies of yours personally and enemies of your darling NSA.

Has anyone in this country (other than maybe J. Edgar Hoover) had it so good?

Comment by phony scandals
2014-01-18 08:53:37

America’s Spies Want Edward Snowden Dead

Benny Johnson
January 17, 2014

Edward Snowden has made some dangerous enemies. As the American intelligence community struggles to contain the public damage done by the former National Security Agency contractor’s revelations of mass domestic spying, intelligence operators have continued to seethe in very personal terms against the 30 year-old leaker.

“In a world where I would not be restricted from killing an American, I personally would go and kill him myself,” a current NSA analyst told BuzzFeed. “A lot of people share this sentiment.”

“I would love to put a bullet in his head,” one Pentagon official, a former special forces officer, said bluntly. “I do not take pleasure in taking another human beings life, having to do it in uniform, but he is single handedly the greatest traitor in American history.”

That violent hostility lies just beneath the surface of the domestic debate over NSA spying is still ongoing. Some members of Congress have hailed Snowden as a whistleblower, the New York Times has called for clemency, and pundits regularly defend his actions on Sunday talk shows. In intelligence community circles, Snowden is considered a nothing short of a traitor in wartime.

Full article here

This article was posted: Friday, January 17, 2014 at 5:53 am

Tags: domestic news

Comment by Combotechie
2014-01-18 09:37:51

If you are a NSA guy then you have to go after this Snowden in order to send a message to the next Snowden.

If Snowden is allowed to slide or (gasp) prevail then total control by the NSA over its employees will be lost and what the NSA will end up with is a lot of whitsleblowers. And you can’t maintain a totally secret organization if it is filled with whistleblowers.

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Comment by suite Joey blue eyes (csn&y superfan)
2014-01-18 10:41:42

I’m continually shocked by how deeply some people become aligned with their job our the masters they serve. To want to kill snowden because he revealed some crazy, misguided policies? That strikes me as insane.

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Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-18 10:52:42

This news brings to mind the play my son’s English teacher just assigned as a class reading assignment, The Crucible (1953). Though nominally about the Salem witch trials, it turns out the playwright Arthur Miller was spinning allegorical reference to McCarthyism.

Comment by suite Joey blue eyes (csn&y superfan)
2014-01-18 11:01:37

Nothing is more American than wanting a transparent system with basic protections for people who are whistle blowers. It’s nuts that people who claim to protect the country want unlimited power, no oversite, and massive army of private contractors operating (rationally) under a motive of profits at any cost.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-18 11:41:54

The political calculus requires that Whistleblower Protection Laws be passed to protect the citizenry from official abuse, and that they be ignored when politically expedient.

Comment by albuquerquedan
2014-01-18 13:13:08

I going to post something that I am not going to be around to defend but I think the country needs a Cruz/Rand Paul ticket. Neither is part of the PTB. I think that it is too early for a libertarian to win the Republican nomination but libertarianism is the future of the party. Cruz will not back amnesty which would destroy America and Paul would gain foreign policy experience which would lessen the argument that his foreign policy beliefs are naïve. Cruz would lessen the democrats advantage with Hispanics and as New Mexico’s Latina governor shows, Hispanics can be against amnesty and still win in democratic leaning states. The republican establishment would hate this ticket because it is the most anti-globalist ticket you could assemble but it would be a great ticket to check the Bush/Obama type policies.

Comment by oxide
2014-01-18 14:10:36

A-dan I agree. We do need a Cruz-Paul ticket. Or perhaps a RINO and blue dog dem ticket. I don’t think they’ll get many votes, but the pre-election polling would be very useful.

As for offing Snowden, I bet that NSA guy is just mad that he can’t do his LOVEINT.

Comment by Ben Jones
2014-01-18 09:10:27

Things Barack Obama Doesn’t Consider “Abuse”


Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-18 10:21:48

Check out this movie whenever you get around to it:

Das Leben Der Anderen

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-18 10:19:01

Let me get this straight:

Unspecified changes are planned to make the top-secret program that records all private U.S. citizens’ phone conversations less intrusive. But since the program is top secret and the changes are unspecified, U.S. citizens won’t notice the difference.

That’s quite a relief!

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-01-18 05:38:05

Realtor Sentenced In Sex Crime


Not only must you hide your wallet, now you have to hide your children too

Comment by Housing Analyst
Comment by Housing Analyst
Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-18 05:49:22

Is the Housing Bubble back in full swing?

– New record high housing prices reported on a regular basis? CHECK

– Shrinking inventories of homes listed for sale? CHECK

– Shriveling sales volumes? CHECK

– Angriest trolls God ever sent to earth infiltrating the HBB? CHECK

Yep. It’s a bubble!

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-01-18 05:57:17

The lying realtors are enraged. :mrgreen:

Comment by azdude02
2014-01-18 05:59:25

just like last time they cant see it until it falls apart on its own.

Comment by Anklepants
2014-01-18 06:43:27

The difference is between can’t see and …don’t want to see.

There is plenty of evidence now, just like last time. The discussions here show both of these points very clearly.


Comment by Amy Hoax
2014-01-18 06:00:42

“Angriest trolls”

You’re just jealous because Mr. Smithers has a crush on me.

Comment by Housing Analyst
Comment by Anklepants
2014-01-18 08:25:00

Imagine the racket Amy made being dragged out of that hole? Stubbornness is a donkey’s specialty? Or is that a mule?

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Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-01-18 08:32:31

At the moment, it’s something like this.


Don’t Be A Debt Donkey®

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-18 05:51:44

As we look ahead from the early weeks of 2014, is it safe to assume the eurozone crisis is behind the global economy?

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-18 05:53:28

Why has Europe’s economy done worse than the US?
The eurozone experience shows what can happen when people lose control over their government’s economic policies
Mark Weisbrot
theguardian.com, Thursday 16 January 2014 08.15 EST
Eurozone crisis
The eurozone has been subject to more brutal economic policy than the US. Photograph: Michael Probst/AP

If we compare the economic recovery of the United States since the Great Recession with that of Europe – or more specifically the eurozone countries – the differences are striking, and instructive. The US recession technically lasted about a year and a half – from December 2007 to June 2009. (Of course, for America’s 20.3 million unemployed and underemployed, and millions of others, the recession never ended – but more on that below.) The eurozone had a recession of similar length from around January 2008 to April 2009. But it then fell into a longer recession in the third quarter of 2011 that lasted for another two years, and may only be exiting that recession currently.

This makes a big difference in people’s lives. In the eurozone, unemployment is at near record levels of 12.1%; while in the US, it is currently 6.7%. Despite the incompleteness of these measures, these numbers are comparable. And, of course, in Spain and Greece unemployment is 26.7 and 27.8%, respectively, with youth unemployment at an intolerable 57.4 and 59.2%.

How are we to explain these differences? The United States was, after all, the epicenter of the world financial crisis and recession in 2008. But US policy-makers responded to the recession with different policies. Most important was monetary policy: the Federal Reserve lowered short-term interest rates to about zero in 2008 and has kept them there since. The Fed also signalled its intention to keep these interest rates at these levels for a long time. And venturing into uncharted territory, the Fed engaged in three rounds of “quantitative easing”, or more than $2tn of money creation. This enabled the Fed to stimulate the recovery by lowering long-term interest rates, including the crucial home mortgage interest rate, which helped recovery in the housing market. After some stimulus in both areas, the eurozone governments also engaged in more and earlier budget tightening than the United States did; and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has shown a clear relationship (Figure 6) between this fiscal tightening and reduced GDP growth.

Now the question is why our European brothers and sisters have been so unfortunate as to be subjected to much more brutal economic policy than what we have experienced in the United States. While there are many nuances, there are also some simple but critically important reasons. Most vital is the accountability, or lack thereof, of the people and institutions making the decisions. In Europe you have the so-called “troika” – the European Central Bank (ECB), the European Commission, and (more recently recruited) the IMF. These are much less accountable to eurozone residents – especially but not limited to those of the most victimized countries (Spain, Greece, Portugal, Ireland, and Italy) – than even the relatively unaccountable Federal Reserve and US Congress and executive branch are to Americans.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-18 05:56:02

Greek Economic Rebound: The Bond Boom May Be Short-Term Exuberance That Will Lead To Long-Term Pain
By Michael Paterakis
on January 17 2014 12:36 PM
Greek prime minister’s office
An official closes the door of the office of Greece’s prime minister, Antonis Samaras, after government ministers arrived for a snap cabinet meeting in Athens, June 2013. REUTERS/John Kolesidis

There was a time, not so long ago, when Greek bonds were given up for dead, along with the rest of the Greek economy. At the height of Greece’s economic crisis, in October 2011, trading volume in the secondary securities market for the country’s state-issued debt was zero. Fast-forward two and a half years: Much of the new narrative takes for granted that Greece is over the crisis. “Success story” gets tossed around more than predictions of doom. The country, some officials say, is ready to return to the land of the living.

“The vicious cycle ends in 2014,” Greek Prime Minister Antonis Samaras said in his New Year’s address. “Greece will return to the markets, it will start to become a normal country again. The debt will be declared viable, without the need of loan agreements, without the need to borrow money.”

Although more-negative alternative views are generally being drowned out by the exuberance of investors piling into Greek bonds, the smart money may be taking the contrarian position. Examined closely, Greek finances are still fundamentally in trouble and European elections are coming up this May, which is typically a difficult time for stumbling economies on the continent. Given this backdrop, either the state of the Greek economy or euro zone politics, or both, are poised to propel an impending Greek bond crash.

Indeed, when you pare back some of the official language about Greece’s future, the downside becomes more evident. For example, the Greek parliament’s budget office conceded in a note last October: “For Greece’s debt to become viable with the country’s efforts alone, a combination of growth rates and primary surpluses for many years is required. It is not realistic to assume this will be achieved in 2014.”

Outsized successes of a small number of funds, which took a big risk in 2013 by investing in Greek debt, may turn out to be an expensive distraction from what is yet to come.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-18 05:58:11

How is China’s economy shaping up for 2014?

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-18 06:02:29

International Business
With China Awash in Money, Leaders Start to Weigh Raising the Floodgates
JAN. 15, 2014
A visitor viewing the model of a new apartment complex in Wuhan, in central China. Darley Shen/Reuters
Cranking Up the Printing Presses

The money supply in China now vastly exceeds that in the United States.

HONG KONG — Move over, Janet Yellen and Ben Bernanke. Step aside, Mario Draghi and Haruhiko Kuroda. When it comes to monetary stimulus, Zhou Xiaochuan, the longtime governor of the People’s Bank of China, has no rivals.

The latest data released by China on Wednesday show that the country’s rapid growth in money supply has continued. Mr. Zhou and his colleagues at the Chinese central bank have only begun the difficult and dangerous task of reining it in.

The amount of money sloshing around China’s economy, according to a broad measure that is closely watched here, has now tripled since the end of 2006. China’s tidal wave of money has powered the economy to new heights, but it has also helped drive asset prices through the roof. Housing prices have soared, feeding fears of a bubble while leaving many ordinary Chinese feeling poor and left out.

There are big differences, of course, between China and the major Western industrial powers. The Federal Reserve, the European Central Bank and the Bank of Japan are trying to prevent deflation and help their economies recover from the lingering consequences of the financial crisis and the Great Recession. They have little reason to fear inflation.

The mechanics of China’s monetary policy stimulus are also different from the Fed’s quantitative easing. The Fed has been effectively creating money by buying bonds and other securities. The People’s Bank of China has been creating money to a considerable extent by issuing more renminbi to bankroll its purchase of hundreds of billions of dollars a year in currency markets to minimize the appreciation of the renminbi against the dollar and keep Chinese exports inexpensive in foreign markets; the central bank disclosed on Wednesday that the country’s foreign reserves, mostly dollars, soared $508.4 billion last year, a record increase.

Moreover, the rapidly expanding money supply reflects a flood of loans from the banking system and the so-called shadow banking system that have kept afloat many inefficient state-owned enterprises and bankrolled the construction of huge overcapacity in the manufacturing sector.

Comment by azdude02
2014-01-18 06:33:35

harbor freight tools is busy as ever. when do you think they will go public and raise some capital?

Dollar stores full of their stuff are thriving.

walmart is full of chinese product.

even some of crastsman tools are made in china.

We need an affordable car from the chinese. Something under 10k good on fuel.

Comment by Carl Morris
2014-01-18 07:03:49

Better look to India. China seems to be going straight from outdated crap to American style oversized luxury. I don’t see any innovation in that direction here.

Comment by oxide
2014-01-18 08:01:33

I’m rather skeptical about that, Carl. My understanding is that India neglected its physical infrastructure in favor of building up its electricity and computer capabilities, which is how you get millions of IT “engineers” at the same as millions of people hanging out the windows of 30-year-old buses, and millions more without toilets. Even then they can’t keep reliable residential electricity. I can’t imagine building mass producing a car in that environment.

(sorry about putting “engineer” in quotes. I hung out with the traditional engineers in college, back when IT was “computer programming,” and I’m protective of the word.)

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Comment by have to negate
2014-01-18 08:59:52

Tata owns Jaguar/landrover.
Mahindra is HUGE.

You might want to reconsider your opinion.
The reason Tata doesn’t own Ford or Chrysler is they didn’t need the tax writeoff.

If you do not currently drive a ford fiesta; you might to explain your wish for a cheap good gas mileage car.

YOU don’t want one….

Comment by tom cruz bustamante
2014-01-18 09:45:13

India is a democracy which means they can’t close and move cities overnight like China’s been doing to build their massive infra.

Comment by azdude02
2014-01-18 08:06:14

speaking of india I do love a good IPA brewski. Did a little research on the beer. When the british sent their beer to there colonies in india it often turned skunky. to survive the trip they added more hops and alcohol to it, no more skunky brewskis.

It is simply amazing how much territory britain once controlled. A little while after WW2 India got independence from Britain.

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Comment by jose canusi
2014-01-18 09:01:21

What’s even more amazing is how Britain gives all their former colonial subjects the right to immigrate to their little island. From what I’ve been reading online, it’s like trying to fit 10 pounds of sh*t into a 2 pound bag.

Comment by tom cruz bustamante
2014-01-18 10:11:50

What’s even more amazing is how Britain gives all their former colonial subjects the right to immigrate to their little island.

That’s only fair when you take over other peoples lands and loot everything of worth.

Comment by Tarara Boomdea
2014-01-18 13:24:24

What’s even more amazing is how Britain gives all their former colonial subjects the right to immigrate to their little island.

That’s only fair when you take over other peoples lands and loot everything of worth.

They’re worse than “Shameless”. I haven’t watched it all yet (tough to understand in parts), “Benefits Street” is a documentary on BBC 4 now - there’s been quite the outcry, calls for discontinuing the series:

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-18 06:04:26

Is the bond market oversold?

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-18 06:08:00

Barron’s Cover | SATURDAY, JANUARY 18, 2014
The Good, Bad, and Ugly: A Guide to 2014
The year ahead presents challenges as well as investment opportunities, say our 10 Roundtable experts.

We wish we could share the official view of the Barron’s Roundtable regarding the economy and markets in 2014. But it was impossible to find much common ground this year among our passionate, principled, and occasionally pugilistic panelists, whether the discussion veered toward interest rates, stock prices, GDP, or lunch.

The schisms were apparent from the start of our annual confab, held on Monday at the Harvard Club of New York, and they are likely only to widen as QE3 — or is it QE4? — makes its way fitfully back to port. Therefore, we feel obliged to offer two competing outlooks for the new year, which seems a tad more challenging already than its bubblicious predecessor.

Table: 2013 Roundtable Report Card

The Roundtable’s optimists expect the global economy to pick up, bonds to tick up, and stocks to mosey higher, notwithstanding the errant hiccup. The pessimists, emboldened perhaps by the return after a one-year absence of Marc Faber (wearing a woolen wonder of a hat that put hipsters to shame), see crippled economies here and abroad, rotten government policies, and a selloff in stocks that could rekindle fears of, yes, systemic risk. Yet, somewhere between these poles, all say, lie plenty of investments worth a wager, on the long side and the short.

Barron’s: After a stupendous year for U.S. stocks, 2014 is looking rather different. Since the Federal Reserve and the bond market will be setting the tone, let’s start with our bond maven, Bill. What will everyone be “Yellen” about this year?

Gross: Moves in the U.S. and global bond market have been directed in recent years largely by central-bank asset purchasing, or quantitative easing. These policies have kept interest rates abnormally, if not historically, low. In the U.S., the Fed is beginning to pull back. Yields on 10-year Treasury bonds are 120 basis points, or 1.2 percentage points, higher than they were 12 to 15 months ago. We’ve had a bear-market run, so to speak.

At Pimco, we don’t expect yields to keep rising, even in the face of Fed tapering [the Fed has started curbing its bond-buying]. When its asset purchases end, likely in late 2014, government bond yields will be dependent on the policy rate [the Fed's target for the federal-funds rate, currently 0.25%]. That brings us to Janet Yellen, who becomes chair of the Fed on Feb. 1. She is dovish with a capital D, meaning she won’t increase the policy rate, which is key for two-, five- and 10-year bonds. That will allow levered borrowers, banks, investment banks, and hedge funds to have a reliable source of funding at a reliable price. Absent higher inflation and a policy-rate change, the U.S. bond market, and other bond markets, will be stable.

Is the market overly discounting a rise in the policy rate in 2015 or 2016?

Gross: Yes. Eurodollar futures indicate a policy rate of 3% to 4% in early 2018, but that is a long way off. It’s another way of saying that the market sees a rate hike in early 2015.

And what are the chances of that?

Gross: Slim to none. First, the Fed has to finish the taper. Then, as it has suggested, there will be a considerable amount of time before it raises rates.

Comment by azdude02
2014-01-18 06:27:04

bond prices are highly manipulated like other assets.caveat emptor!

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-18 10:32:47

Apparently Pimco isn’t the only big investing firm that got burned last year in bonds.

Bond trading stings Goldman, Citi in fourth quarter
By Lauren Tara LaCapra and David Henry
Thu Jan 16, 2014 7:44pm EST
A Citi sign is seen at the Citigroup stall on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange, October 16, 2012. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

(Reuters) - Goldman Sachs Group Inc and Citigroup Inc suffered a steep drop in bond trading revenue in the fourth quarter, a stinging blow for two banks long seen as stalwarts of fixed income markets.

The two banks performed worse in fixed income than rivals JPMorgan Chase & Co and Bank of America Corp, showing that even as bond market trading volume suffers from falling prices, some banks will endure more pain than others.

“You have to be nimble to trade the debt markets these days. If you make a bad bet, it will show up in results, and profits will be harder to earn in 2014,” said Matt McCormick, a portfolio manager and banking analyst at Bahl & Gaynor Investment Counsel, which manages about $11 billion.

Goldman’s profit fell 21 percent, as revenue from bond trading dropped 11 percent after adjusting for an accounting charge, it reported on Thursday. The bank’s shares closed down 2 percent at $175.17.

Citigroup, which also reported on Thursday, said bond trading revenue slid 15 percent in the fourth quarter to $2.33 billion in what it called a “challenging trading environment.” Its shares fell 4.3 percent to $52.60.

Trading results for the two banks contrasted with JPMorgan Chase & Co’s, whose bond trading revenue rose 1 percent, and Bank of America Corp’s, where it jumped 16 percent.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-18 20:01:46

It’s not clear to me what Goldman and Citi did to lose boatloads of money in bonds. We could sure use a poster like Faster Pussycat, Sell Sell about now to provide the inside scoop!

Comment by phony scandals
2014-01-18 06:16:40

Think Tank: “Extraordinary Crisis” Needed to Preserve “New World Order”

Posted on January 17, 2014
by Paul Joseph Watson

Writing for the Atlantic Council, a prominent think tank based in Washington DC, Harlan K. Ullman warns that an “extraordinary crisis” is needed to preserve the “new world order,” which is under threat of being derailed by non-state actors like Edward Snowden.

The Atlantic Council is considered to be a highly influential organization with close ties to major policy makers across the world. It’s headed up by Gen. Brent Scowcroft, former United States National Security Advisor under U.S. Presidents Gerald Ford and George H. W. Bush. Snowcroft has also advised President Barack Obama.

Harlan K. Ullman was the principal author of the “shock and awe” doctrine and is now Chairman of the Killowen Group which advises government leaders.

In an article entitled War on Terror Is not the Only Threat, Ullman asserts that, “tectonic changes are reshaping the international geostrategic system,” arguing that it’s not military superpowers like China but “non-state actors” like Edward Snowden, Bradley Manning and anonymous hackers who pose the biggest threat to the “365 year-old Westphalian system” because they are encouraging individuals to become self-empowered, eviscerating state control.

“Very few have taken note and fewer have acted on this realization,” notes Ullman, lamenting that “information revolution and instantaneous global communications” are thwarting the “new world order” announced by U.S. President George H.W. Bush more than two decades ago.

“Without an extraordinary crisis, little is likely to be done to reverse or limit the damage imposed by failed or failing governance,” writes Ullman, implying that only another 9/11-style cataclysm will enable the state to re-assert its dominance while “containing, reducing and eliminating the dangers posed by newly empowered non-state actors.”

Ullman concludes that the elimination of non-state actors and empowered individuals “must be done” in order to preserve the new world order. A summary of their material suggests that the Atlantic Council’s definition of a “new world order” is a global technocracy run by a fusion of big government and big business under which individuality is replaced by transhumanist singularity.

http://www.dcclothesline.com/tag/war-on-terror-is-not-the-only-threat/ - -

Comment by Ben Jones
2014-01-18 07:49:01

“After 325 columns, what is left to be said? Two points, I think, are worth noting in closing. First, since the Marine Corps Gazette article that first laid out the framework of the Four Generations of Modern War was published in 1989, events have largely followed the course it predicted.”

“In particular, the theory’s definition of Fourth Generation war has proven prophetic. Since 1989, the world has witnessed a progressive weakening of the state and rise of alternative, non-state primary loyalties, for which a growing number of men are willing to fight. That is the heart of my definition of Fourth Generation war. As Martin van Creveld says, what changes is not how war is fought, but who fights and what they fight for.”

“Other definitions of 4GW, including defining it as just a new name for insurgency, miss the mark. Fourth Generation war is more than a buzzword. It is the biggest change in war since the Peace of Westphalia.”

“The second point I would close with is that the U.S. military doesn’t get it.”


Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-01-18 06:26:26

“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
2014-01-18 06:32:43

“If you pay current massively inflated asking prices for resale housing, you’ll get ripped off so excessively that you’ll never recover financially.”

You can say that again.

How many suckers have we heard about right here on the HBB in just the last few years that overpaid by $200k or more?

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-01-18 06:36:19

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2013-09-03 19:17:50


They’ve been real estate whores since day 1. I once called up a guy on the telephone who worked for them — Christopher Cagan — to discuss the bubble situation. By the end of the conversation, he dismissively informed me that I was a ‘bubble head’ and terminated the call. (This was way back in 2005, before the ginormous crash we collectively predicted — LOLOLOLOLOZZZZZS!!!!)

A reminder to the reading public:

Dismiss anything WhoreLogic has to say about housing.

Comment by azdude02
2014-01-18 08:09:37

they are experts.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-01-18 08:22:39

There are alot of professional PR outfits out there. ALOT.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-18 10:43:03

A Hot Market Now ‘Normal’
Jennifer Harmon
DEC 1, 2004 2:00am ET

Prices in the Southern California housing market have finally cooled off due to lack of affordability and increased inventory, according to a cyclical study from First American Real Estate Solutions here.

The second quarter of 2004 was the very hottest part of the mortgage market, the study said, but the boom was unsustainable for a long-term basis. During the summer, the market suddenly lost steam.

The boom may be over but there’s no risk of the overall market crashing, said Christopher Cagan, director of research and analytics of FARES.

“The heartland of the country never had a surge in prices. In San Francisco, New York and Los Angeles where land is built out, the market reflected demand and prices started going up,” he said. “The fire is still burning. It’s a ‘normal’ market now and sellers and buyers, instead of overasking on price, are shopping around and discounting prices.”

When prices stopped rising, the market turn was much more pronounced in the affluent coastal areas, as the affordable inland regions continued to do well, the study said. “The study certainly applies nationally. The coasts, by which I mean Florida, California and New York … there’s a huge boom in New York City and Long Island. But the super-duper days are pretty much done. You can’t have 25% appreciation every year. The market can turn in a matter of months. In New York, all of a sudden the leaves of fall could come down,” Mr. Cagan said.

In Los Angeles County, only 17% of households could purchase a median-priced home. In Orange County, that number was only 11% for a home of $530,000. In the summer of 2004, this “normal” market, buyers could take their time instead of making a “panic purchase,” he said.

Some markets have moved slowly without a cycle. The Milwaukee real estate market has been essentially linear in character rather than cyclical, the study said. In Southern California, the attitude is slow growth, pro environment and builders are a great deal wiser than before, Mr. Cagan said. Hundreds of houses are not built at one time but in pulses and phases, many of which are presold - not like the Las Vegas market that went up 52% in one year regarding the issue of overbuilding.

As the market settles back to “normal,” Mr. Cagan’s advice to consumers is stay away from creative financing they can’t afford. “Interest rates are still at a relatively low level historically. It’s still a good time to buy, because mortgage rates will still be lower in 2005 than later years. But you can’t toss anything on the market and it’s gone the next day. Sellers don’t get instant offers. Buyers look around and make offers,” he said.

“This is not a time for panic. Get a fixed-rate mortgage. You can get still get a mortgage at low rates. Then sit back and laugh at the world. Real estate is still an excellent investment for those who want to buy and stay. Don’t force yourself into a situation where you won’t be able to make your payments three or four years from now.” Inflation is coming back, and the budget deficit is showing the dollar is going down against the euro and yen. “Real estate dips during slow periods, but it’s still an excellent hedge against inflation,” he said.

Comment by Anklepants
2014-01-18 06:57:32

I’m very disappointed in this blog and all the posters here. Yesterday Ben posted an article with the following sentence: “The Minister of Construction, Minister Dung, said real estate inventory is decreasing.”

Not a single comment on Minister Dung.

Back to my copy of Maestro, by Bob Woodward.

Comment by real journalists
2014-01-18 09:06:53

“He who pick bottoms have smelly finger” - ancient Chinese proverb

Comment by phony scandals
2014-01-18 07:01:43

That tweet by CNBC’s Jane Wells about everything being fake and the central bankers propping up the world has been wiped off the internet.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-01-18 07:06:37

The truth is obscured and the professionally groomed propaganda narrative is overlaid for everyone to tap dance on.

They’re out of options. Make no mistake. Have no doubt.

Comment by azdude02
2014-01-18 07:10:02

was she fired? is she at fox now? cnbc only keeps the people that can speal BS with a straight face. ratings have fallen off a cliff.

Comment by jose canusi
2014-01-18 07:03:12

“Instead of expanding coverage to those without it, Obamacare is replacing the pre-existing market for private insurance. Surveys from insurers and other industry players indicate that as few as 11 percent of those on Obamacare’s exchanges were previously uninsured. If these trends continue, the probability increases that Obamacare will eventually get repealed.”

“I don’t know if we’re growing the number of people with insurance,” a Minnesota-based health insurer told Wilde and Mathews. “We’re just adding complexity.”


Comment by phony scandals
2014-01-18 07:04:23

Obama Picks Soros Crony to Lead NSA Probe

Mike Ciandella
CNS News
January 18, 2013

When President Obama needs help, he can always turn to one of the Soros inner circle. In a speech on Jan. 17, Obama announced that his new Presidential Counsel John Podesta will lead a “comprehensive review of Big Data and privacy,” following the NSA privacy scandal that has dogged his administration.

What he didn’t mention was that Podesta is the founder of the liberal Center for American Progress. CAP has gotten $7.3 million from liberal billionaire George Soros since 2000 and was one of the keystone liberal think tanks founded after the Democrats lost the 2004 election.

Podesta was to have focused on the health care law and climate change issues, according to a Dec. 9, New York Times article.

Full article here

This article was posted: Saturday, January 18, 2014 at 6:17 am

Tags: big brother, domestic spying

Comment by phony scandals
2014-01-18 07:09:43

Obama donor leading Justice Department’s IRS investigation

By Josh Hicks, Published: January 9

Two Republican lawmakers and a conservative legal group are questioning the Justice Department’s selection of a Democratic donor to lead the agency’s probe into the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of certain advocacy groups during the 2010 and 2012 election cycles.

House Oversight Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) and Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) issued a letter to U.S. Attorney General Eric H. Holder Jr. on Wednesday demanding the department remove DOJ trial attorney Barbara Bosserman from the case, saying her involvement is “highly inappropriate and has compromised the administration’s investigation of the IRS.”

Bosserman donated a combined $6,750 to President Obama’s election campaigns and the Democratic National Committee between 2004 and 2012, according to federal campaign finance records.

The American Center for Law and Justice, which represents 41 groups suing the IRS over its controversial screening methods, also criticized the appointment of Bosserman to lead the probe.

“Appointing an avowed political supporter of President Obama to head up the Justice Department probe is not only disturbing but puts politics right in the middle of what is supposed to be an independent investigation to determine who is responsible for the Obama administration’s unlawful targeting of conservative and tea party groups,” ACLJ chief counsel Jay Sekulow said in a statement Thursday.

The Justice Department said that it cannot take political leanings into account when assigning cases and that making legal political contributions does not prevent its attorneys from fulfilling their duties without bias.

“It is contrary to department policy and a prohibited personnel practice under federal law to consider the political affiliation of career employees or other non-merit factors in making personnel decisions,” said Justice spokeswoman Dena Iverson. “Removing a career employee from an investigation or case due to political affiliation, as chairmen Issa and Jordan have requested, could also violate the equal opportunity policy and the law.”

Efforts to reach Bosserman on Thursday were unsuccessful, and the DOJ did not respond to requests for an interview with her.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/federal_government/obama-donor-leading-justice-departments-irs-investigation/2014/01/09/980c010a-796a-11e3-8963-b4b654bcc9b2_story.html -

Comment by inchbyinch
2014-01-18 07:26:16

Albertsons grocery stores is closing stores in So Ca

In our area Selleck Properties (Tom Selleck’s family - the Magnum PI guy) are developers. They are building a lifestyle center w/ a 18,000 sq ft Target, w/ 13,000 sq ft of it dedicated to food in my area. It’s next to a first rate Costco. (Westlake Village, Ca.)

The multi billion dollar grocery industry is changing structure. The old business paradigm is tired.

Comment by azdude02
2014-01-18 08:07:14

they have been out of n ca for awhile.

Comment by inchbyinch
2014-01-18 18:33:16

Didn’t know that. Evidently, it’s the beginning of the end down here in s ca.

Comment by phony scandals
2014-01-18 07:26:54

The mainstream media, Democrats and Republicans rely on cognitive dissonance.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-01-18 08:11:55

Fairfax VA Housing Prices Crater 13% Year Over Year


Comment by jane
2014-01-19 05:03:45

They’re still insanely overpriced cr*pshacks, inflated beyond belief by the dirty money sloshing around. Prices are set at the margin. When the marginal buyer’s sole concern is “how do I drop this hot cash into something that looks legit”, asset prices will balloon. Nobody argues with a suitcase full of dirty money.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-01-18 08:17:56

“Vital Signs: Housing Inventory Remains Spacious”


If US Chamber of Commerce is freely acknowledging 13+ MILLION houses go empty. You know it’s double that then some.

Also, be very careful what realtors say.

Comment by aNYCdj
2014-01-18 08:20:50

Drought emergency in CA….how much is a house worth if you cant flush the the toilet?

Comment by jose canusi
2014-01-18 08:45:25

The three most pathetic words ever heard in a disaster-prone area: We will rebuild!

Demolished by an earthquake? We will rebuild!

Flattened by a tornado? We will rebuild!

Flooded out by hurricane? We will rebuild!

Destroyed by fire? We will rebuild!

Swallowed by a sinkhole? We will rebuild!

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-01-18 08:47:46

And it’s always LIEberals that are the first to say it. Hey…. in their feeble minds, as long as someone else is paying for it, who cares?

Comment by tom cruz bustamante
2014-01-18 09:53:59

Shake down taxpayers everywhere? what’s not to like…

Comment by jane
2014-01-19 05:20:39

A million bucks, minimum! Buy now or be priced out forever!

I think I already shared my experience from a couple of months ago.

As recently as October, a realtwhore explained - with condescending patience - how a 25% deduction now (not a credit, mind you - a deduction) would leave me in cash-positive territory five years into the future. Despite debt ($200K) in excess of fundamental value. I had little appetite for the scenario. I became one of the great unwashed, subject to pity. I just didn’t get it.

I invited her to sign an affidavit attesting to the cash-positive benefit five years down the road, of buying now at $200K over fundamental value. She didn’t get it and went back to her script.

Realtwhores are liars.

Comment by phony scandals
2014-01-18 09:21:14

Anyone been to Montreal recently?

U. S money BAN in all Store in Montreal ~ YouTube
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4U5_4An_2Nw - 119k - Cached - Similar pages
Jan 11, 2014 …

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-01-18 10:05:35

Mortgage Pimp Convicted Of Fraud


Watch these guys closely. And realtors too.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-18 10:47:50

Some families’ concern: too much room
By Christine Brun, Special to the U-T
Noon Jan. 17, 2014

Imagine discovering that the house you recently built is too big. No, you didn’t read that incorrectly! It is possible for a home to be overly spacious and to feel almost cold. Once a client told me, “Love grows better in small places.”

Over the holidays, I was talking with my daughter-in-law, who, along with my son, is building their family dream home. They are typical of many Gen-X couples: educated, active, family oriented and basically happy with their choices in life so far. They have two little ones under the age of 4 and have immersed themselves in satisfying parenting. This house is already seen as a warm gathering spot for friends and extended family alike.

Our conversation was about my “kids” asking some friends, who had just built a home of their own, if they had any advice to share. To my surprise, the only complaint that the young couple had was that their house was too huge!

When you move from a modest home where the kids are underfoot as you rush around putting groceries away or where you are forever trying to fold the laundry faster than one crawling baby can dismantle your pile, you imagine that grander space will be heavenly. Yet, instead the observation was that suddenly in their new quarters, the young mother found that she couldn’t always see what the children were doing. She could no longer hear them as they played and know what prompted a meltdown or little argument. A certain level of intimacy was sacrificed to grander size.

I realize that to a four-member family that is cramped into a 1,000-square-foot home, such comments seem like a bad case of adult whining. But instead of a case of being ungrateful, I feel that this is one of those spatial issues that one cannot quite envision ahead of time.

Comment by suite Joey blue eyes (csn&y superfan)
2014-01-18 11:10:34

Middle class people who are “building their dream home” are, almost without exception, debt donkeys at their cores. Obnoxious debt donkeys, really. It’s an act of vanity, self-importance, and overreliance on ones health, ones job, and future events. Dumb dumb dumb. I bet 2k sq ft would be unthinkably small for such people. Lol.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-18 11:42:52

“Obnoxious debt donkeys…”

How oxymoronic can you get?

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-01-18 12:41:46

That’s the scathing truth Lib. I’m going to put that one in the favorites list.

Comment by Pete
2014-01-18 17:15:15

“I bet 2k sq ft would be unthinkably small for such people.”

The article did leave me wanting to see a pic or specs of the ‘dream house’ they were talking about. Might have put things in perspective.

Comment by Muggy
2014-01-18 12:34:19

We are in 1,350 sq.ft. now. I think with Florida’s weather, we could probably pull this off until our kids go off to college.

I think if we had an indoor utility room, we’d be all set.

Comment by sleepless_near_seattle
2014-01-19 00:48:54

“White man build big fire, sit way back…Indian build little fire, sit up close.”

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-18 12:10:28

Is it the world’s super-rich who are driving residential real estate through the roof?

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-18 12:13:00

International super-rich target California real estate
By Sinead Cruise
LONDON Thu Jun 14, 2012 9:54am EDT
The kitchen of a for sale, $37 million dollar luxury home at One Pelican Hill Road North is seen in Newport Beach, California April 13, 2012. REUTERS/Lori Shepler

(Reuters) - The super-rich investors responsible for London’s prime real estate bubble are adding California to their wish lists, lured by bargains offering crisis-defying returns as an overdue churn in the United States property market finally gets under way.

Wealthy European and Asian investors who have dominated the market for addresses in London’s most fashionable neighbourhoods are frequently outbidding locals for assets in the Golden State, U.S. real estate brokers report - and banks, long shackled by the volume of distressed property on their books, are in the mood to cut deals.

“It is now London and Los Angeles, not Shanghai or Moscow, that interests the cash-rich international investor,” said Simon Lyons, managing director of global property group Enstar Capital, who is making regular trips to the U.S. in search of bargains.

As uncertainty stifles global financial markets, real estate with strong rental prospects in key cities across the United States is again becoming an asset of choice for the yield-hungry international investor.

Data released this week by the National Association of Realtors showed that international sales reached $82.4 billion in the year to March 31, up from $66.4 billion in 2011.

The Chinese are now the second-largest foreign buyers of U.S. homes (behind Canadians), accounting for 11 percent of sales in the year to March 2012, up from 9 percent in the previous year. Cash purchases accounted for 62 percent of international sales and the average price paid by international buyers was $400,000, against the overall U.S. average of $212,000.

As the U.S. jobs market expands, there are signs that the worst may be over for the property market that spawned the sub-prime mortgage maelstrom and the world’s deepest banking crisis since the Great Depression.

To capitalise on increasing confidence, Los Angeles-based asset manager TCW has unveiled plans to raise up to $250 million for a fund enabling wealthy investors to buy foreclosed homes from government agencies and lenders.

While lenders are still keen to avert foreclosures by extending loans, so-called distressed inventory is starting to sell because banks are now in a better position to absorb greater losses and free up capacity on their balance sheets.

David Parnes, a director at Bond Street Partners, a Los Angeles-based realtor specialising in high-end luxury and investment property, said that Los Angeles is enjoying its biggest influx of foreign capital for years.

“Investors are now snapping up foreclosures in greater numbers because comparatively low property prices mean they are able to achieve strong returns,” he said. “Prices in L.A. are showing to 60 to 70 percent discounts against their equivalent in Manhattan.”

Parnes points out many reasons to explain why the world’s super-rich are making a beeline for California. The state is the financial hub of the U.S. West Coast, with Los Angeles already home to the highest number of foreign-born billionaires and Fortune 500 company CEOs outside New York.

The 2011 Wealth-X World Ultra Wealth Report said that Asia Pacific has an estimated 42,525 ultra-high-net-worth individuals with a combined wealth of $6.2 trillion, and many are looking to park wealth in key Western cities to diversify their holdings.

European ultra-high-net-worth entrepreneurs active in Asia’s fast-growing economies are also acquiring bases on the U.S. West Coast to benefit from reduced travel times to the region and time zones better suited to those business interests.

In Silicon Valley, Russian billionaire and Facebook (FB.O) backer Yuri Milner shelled out $100 million in March 2011 on one of the most expensive single-family U.S. homes ever sold. Moscow-based Milner is expected to use the French Chateau-style mansion as his second home, Parnes said.

Comment by Bill, just south of Irvine, CA
2014-01-18 19:26:47

The smart foreigners who are wealthy are so wealthy that most of their wealth generation stays out of the U.S. and is taxed at a far lower rate, then when they buy in Marxist Taxifornia, it’s such a small sliver of what net worth they have that the property tax does not matter.

It’s better to be a wealthy Chinese based in 15% flat tax Hong Kong than a wealthy American like Romney who has the 3.8% surcharge on his long term capital gains - his tax rate is 18.8%, assuming all his income is his realized gains.

Comment by jane
2014-01-19 05:51:31

“cash’rich” - aka, crooks awash in filthy money - proceeds of international drug distribution, slaving, bribery and kickbacks.

Comment by Bill, just South of Irvine, CA
2014-01-19 17:40:16

We would not have to blame international drug lords if drugs were legalized everywhere, wouldn’t we? Liquor is a much more damaging drug than dope and we never hear of liquor cartels beheading people do we? Because it’s legal.

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Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-18 12:17:17

ft dot com
January 17, 2014 2:40 pm
Where (and why) the super-rich are investing in real estate
By Laura Battle
Key factor in this trend is the extraordinary wealth creation in Asia in recent years

Land ownership is, perhaps, the most ancient expression of wealth. Throughout history it has provoked conflict and inspired grandeur, from civic monuments and sacred spaces to egotistical towers and pleasure palaces. Today the relationship between land – or property – and wealth is more complex and more commercial than ever before. Since the economic crisis of 2008, real estate has attracted many of the world’s super-rich who have sought a safe haven, and a means of diversifying assets, and a very visual symbol of power and sophistication.

In 2008, $146bn of global private wealth was invested in the large-deal (above $10m) real estate market and by 2012 this had increased by 111 per cent to $308bn. Meanwhile, corporate investment in the same sector rose by only 43 per cent to $594bn over the same period. These figures, detailed in a new report by Savills in partnership with Wealth-X, a Singapore-based consultancy, reveal the increasing importance of private investment in the world of property.

“It’s a case of push and pull factors,” says Yolande Barnes, director of residential research at Savills. “I just saw a list of the top dealers [relating to deals made in 2013, compiled by Real Capital Analytics] on the buy side and the sell side. You look at the sellers and you’ve got JPMorgan, Lehman receivers, Deutsche, all the big bank names . . . and on the buyer side, the new big names are private Chinese companies and US Reits [real estate investment trusts].”

A key factor in this trend is the extraordinary wealth creation in Asia in recent years. According to Knight Frank, the number of high net worth individuals (HNWI, defined as those with net assets of at least $30m) increased by 35.6 per cent between 2007 and 2012, and they have demonstrated a keen interest in property.

The Savills report states that 28 per cent of wealth held by Asian ultra high net worth individuals (UHNWI, also defined as those with net assets of at least $30m) is in the real estate industry, compared with 8 per cent of wealth held by UHNW Europeans and 6 per cent of wealth held by UHNW North Americans. Consequently, a growing proportion of Asian wealth is now being channelled into direct property holdings and trophy homes.

The report divides Chinese overseas investors into three waves: the first, those buying homes in countries where they have business interests; the second, those buying for their offspring or to secure permanent residency; and a predicted third wave looking to buy property in an ever wider range of locations. It is certainly worth considering the huge potential for growth in the Chinese market, and Asian buyers more generally, but these expectations are based on an assumption that the spending power of Asian UHNWI will continue to increase, and that the tastes of these buyers will broaden as their wealth matures.

In recent years, Asian buyers have made an impact on cities around the world, with Hong Kong, Singapore, Mumbai and London among the top locations for residential investment.

Adam Challis, of Jones Lang LaSalle in London, says he is seeing high demand from Singapore and Kuala Lumpur, while interest from Hong Kong and China remains strong. “It’s fair to say that the demand is much bigger than this city, or any individual city in the world, can reasonably meet,” he says. “The anecdote I use is from [London mayor] Boris Johnson’s tour a few months ago when he launched London.cn [London’s official Chinese-language website]. We had one of our colleagues there as part of the trade mission and in her blog report she said that in the first 24 hours of the website going live there were 82m hits.”

Additional research by Savills into the buying habits of Asian UHNWI highlights the growth potential if they were to diversify their portfolios. Currently, 64 per cent of property owned by wealthy North Americans and Europeans is located in cities, 15 per cent in towns and suburbs and a combined 21 per cent in waterside, rural leisure and ski locations. Meanwhile, 95 per cent of property owned by wealthy Asians is located in cities, with just 2 per cent in towns and suburbs and a mere 4 per cent in waterside, rural leisure and ski locations. Savills suggests that if Asian buyers could be encouraged to acquire suburban and leisure properties in the same proportions as westerners it could create a market for about $804bn of residential real estate globally.

All these things are heading in one direction, which is upwards, because it’s coming from a low base and the potential size of this market is enormous,” says Liam Bailey, head of Knight Frank residential research. “It may not be rapid growth, but it would be surprising if we didn’t see more Chinese owners of properties in rural France or rural Italy, or even outside the big cities in America.”

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-01-18 12:31:58

A tiny sliver of the market that has nothing to do with 99.9% of the population.

And if you sitting around deluding yourself into believing somehow you’re one of them, gonna be one or going to profit from it, you’re going to be disappointed.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-18 13:35:24

“A tiny sliver of the market that has nothing to do with 99.9% of the population.”

I’m not entirely clear on that, as I don’t know what share of the superrich buy super expensive housing versus the share who invest in residential real estate which was traditionally only purchased by owner-occupants (e.g. tract home development units in the U.S.). It seems like there is an unprecedented number of individuals who currently believe in the idea that buying and holding McMansions in the U.S. as investment properties will somehow enrich them.

So many got burned on this strategy in the early 2000s that it seems incredible to see it happen again so soon! Could it be that the Fed’s massive post-2009 housing market bailout has led investors to believe that massive bailouts will happen again after the next crash? I suppose stranger things have happened in the history of the Fed.

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Comment by jane
2014-01-19 05:49:07

No, IMHO. It’s the dirty money looking to get laundered.

Comment by Housing Analyst
Comment by jane
2014-01-19 05:56:54

There’s a thriving market on Ebay for used women’s underwear.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-19 09:12:45

Gag me.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-01-18 13:18:31

Washington DC Mortgage Salesman Pleads Guilty To Mortgage Fraud And Identity Theft


These mortgage salesmen and realtors are thieves and fraudsters.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-01-18 15:09:30

Just how corrupt do you think DC area realtors are?

Just how desperate do you believe DebtDonkeys are?

Comment by phony scandals
2014-01-18 15:27:01

Why Are Dozens Of High Ranking Officers Being Purged From The U.S. Military?

Michael Snyder
New American
January 17, 2014

Since Barack Obama has been in the White House, high ranking military officers have been removed from their positions at a rate that is absolutely unprecedented. Things have gotten so bad that a number of retired generals are publicly speaking out about the “purge” of the U.S. military that they believe is taking place.

Image: Barack Obama (Wikimedia Commons).
As you will see below, dozens of highly decorated military leaders have been dismissed from their positions over the past few years. So why is this happening? When I was growing up, my father was an officer in the U.S. Navy. And what is going on right now is absolutely crazy – especially during a time of peace. Is there a deliberate attempt to “reshape” the military and remove those that don’t adhere to the proper “viewpoints”? Does someone out there feel a need to get officers that won’t “cooperate” out of the way? Throughout world history, whatever comes next after a “military purge” is never good. If this continues, what is the U.S. military going to look like in a few years?

Perhaps you are reading this and you think that “purge” is too strong a word for what is taking place. Well, just consider the following quotes from some very highly decorated retired officers…

-Retired Army Major General Paul Vallely: “The White House protects their own. That’s why they stalled on the investigation into fast and furious, Benghazi and Obamacare. He’s intentionally weakening and gutting our military, Pentagon and reducing us as a superpower, and anyone in the ranks who disagrees or speaks out is being purged.”

-Retired Army Major General Patrick Brady: “There is no doubt he (Obama) is intent on emasculating the military and will fire anyone who disagrees with him.”

-Retired Army Lt. General William G. “Jerry” Boykin: “Over the past three years, it is unprecedented for the number of four-star generals to be relieved of duty, and not necessarily relieved for cause.”

-Retired Navy Captain Joseph John: “I believe there are more than 137 officers who have been forced out or given bad evaluation reports so they will never make Flag (officer), because of their failure to comply to certain views.”

According to the Blaze, one anonymous Pentagon official has said that even young officers have been told “not to talk about Obama or the politics of the White House”…

A Pentagon official who asked to remain nameless because they were not authorized to speak on the matter said even “young officers, down through the ranks have been told not to talk about Obama or the politics of the White House. They are purging everyone and if you want to keep your job — just keep your mouth shut.”

Now this trend appears to be accelerating. We have seen a whole bunch of news stories about military officers being dismissed lately.

Almost always, a “legitimate reason” is given for the dismissal. And without a doubt, if a military officer is actually behaving unethically, that officer should be held accountable.

However, the reality is that everyone has “skeletons in the closet”, and if you really want to get rid of someone it is usually not too hard to find a way to justify your decision.

The following are excerpts from three news stories about military officers in trouble that have come out so far in 2014…

#1 The Air Force Times: A group of former Air Force majors, forced out this summer by a noncontinuation board, plans to file a lawsuit claiming the service had no right to separate them simply to meet end-strength numbers set by Congress.

More than 10 of the 157 dismissed majors are banding together to challenge the move in court, seeking either reinstatement or early retirement pay. All 157 had been twice passed over for promotion and were within six years of retirement.

#2 Defense News: Acting US Navy Undersecretary Robert Martinage, the department’s No. 2, has resigned under pressure, sources confirmed for Defense News.

The resignation, which Martinage announced to his staff Tuesday morning, came after allegations were made of inappropriate conduct with a subordinate woman, the sources confirmed.

#3 Huffington Post: The Air Force says 34 nuclear missile launch officers have been implicated in a cheating scandal and have been stripped of their certification in what is believed to be the largest such breach of integrity in the nuclear force.

Some of the officers apparently texted to each other the answers to a monthly test on their knowledge of how to operate the missiles. Others may have known about it but did not report it.

The cheating was discovered during a drug investigation that involves 11 Air Force officers across six bases in the U.S. and England.


Taken alone, it would be easy to dismiss those stories as “coincidences”. But when you put them together with the stories of dozens of other high ranking military officers that have been purged from the U.S. military in recent years, a very disturbing pattern emerges.

The following is a list of high ranking military officers that have been dismissed over the past few years that has been circulating all over the Internet. I think that you will agree that this list is quite stunning…

Commanding Generals fired:

General John R. Allen-U.S. Marines Commander International Security Assistance Force [ISAF] (Nov 2012)
Major General Ralph Baker (2 Star)-U.S. Army Commander of the Combined Joint Task Force Horn in Africa (April 2013)
Major General Michael Carey (2 Star)-U.S. Air Force Commander of the 20th US Air Force in charge of 9,600 people and 450 Intercontinental Ballistic Missiles (Oct 2013)
Colonel James Christmas-U.S. Marines Commander 22nd Marine Expeditionary Unit & Commander Special-Purpose Marine Air-Ground Task Force Crisis Response Unit (July 2013)
Major General Peter Fuller-U.S. Army Commander in Afghanistan (May 2011)
Major General Charles M.M. Gurganus-U.S. Marine Corps Regional Commander of SW and I Marine Expeditionary Force in Afghanistan (Oct 2013)
General Carter F. Ham-U.S. Army African Command (Oct 2013)
Lieutenant General David H. Huntoon (3 Star), Jr.-U.S. Army 58th Superintendent of the US Military Academy at West Point, NY (2013)
Command Sergeant Major Don B Jordan-U.S. Army 143rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command (suspended Oct 2013)
General James Mattis-U.S. Marines Chief of CentCom (May 2013)
Colonel Daren Margolin-U.S. Marine in charge of Quantico’s Security Battalion (Oct 2013)
General Stanley McChrystal-U.S. Army Commander Afghanistan (June 2010)
General David D. McKiernan-U.S. Army Commander Afghanistan (2009)
General David Petraeus-Director of CIA from September 2011 to November 2012 & U.S. Army Commander International Security Assistance Force [ISAF] and Commander U.S. Forces Afghanistan [USFOR-A] (Nov 2012)
Brigadier General Bryan Roberts-U.S. Army Commander 2nd Brigade (May 2013)
Major General Gregg A. Sturdevant-U.S. Marine Corps Director of Strategic Planning and Policy for the U.S. Pacific Command & Commander of Aviation Wing at Camp Bastion, Afghanistan (Sept 2013)
Colonel Eric Tilley-U.S. Army Commander of Garrison Japan (Nov 2013)
Brigadier General Bryan Wampler-U.S. Army Commanding General of 143rd Expeditionary Sustainment Command of the 1st Theater Sustainment Command [TSC] (suspended Oct 2013)
Commanding Admirals fired:

Rear Admiral Charles Gaouette-U.S. Navy Commander John C. Stennis Carrier Strike Group Three (Oct 2012)
Vice Admiral Tim Giardina(3 Star, demoted to 2 Star)-U.S. Navy Deputy Commander of the US Strategic Command, Commander of the Submarine Group Trident, Submarine Group 9 and Submarine Group 10 (Oct 2013)
Naval Officers fired: (All in 2011)

Captain David Geisler-U.S. Navy Commander Task Force 53 in Bahrain (Oct 2011)
Commander Laredo Bell-U.S. Navy Commander Naval Support Activity Saratoga Springs, NY (Aug 2011)
Lieutenant Commander Kurt Boenisch-Executive Officer amphibious transport dock Ponce (Apr 2011)
Commander Nathan Borchers-U.S. Navy Commander destroyer Stout (Mar 2011)
Commander Robert Brown-U.S. Navy Commander Beachmaster Unit 2 Fort Story, VA (Aug 2011)
Commander Andrew Crowe-Executive Officer Navy Region Center Singapore (Apr 2011)
Captain Robert Gamberg-Executive Officer carrier Dwight D. Eisenhower (Jun 2011)
Captain Rex Guinn-U.S. Navy Commander Navy Legal Service office Japan (Feb 2011)
Commander Kevin Harms- U.S. Navy Commander Strike Fighter Squadron 137 aboard the aircraft carrier Abraham Lincoln (Mar 2011)
Lieutenant Commander Martin Holguin-U.S. Navy Commander mine countermeasures Fearless (Oct 2011)
Captain Owen Honors-U.S. Navy Commander aircraft carrier USS Enterprise (Jan 2011)
Captain Donald Hornbeck-U.S. Navy Commander Destroyer Squadron 1 San Diego (Apr 2011)
Rear Admiral Ron Horton-U.S. Navy Commander Logistics Group, Western Pacific (Mar 2011)
Commander Etta Jones-U.S. Navy Commander amphibious transport dock Ponce (Apr 2011)
Commander Ralph Jones-Executive Officer amphibious transport dock Green Bay (Jul 2011)
Commander Jonathan Jackson-U.S. Navy Commander Electronic Attack Squadron 134, deployed aboard carrier Carl Vinson (Dec 2011)
Captain Eric Merrill-U.S. Navy Commander submarine Emory S. Land (Jul 2011)
Captain William Mosk-U.S. Navy Commander Naval Station Rota, U.S. Navy Commander Naval Activities Spain (Apr 2011)
Commander Timothy Murphy-U.S. Navy Commander Electronic Attack Squadron 129 at Naval Air Station Whidbey Island, WA (Apr 2011)
Commander Joseph Nosse-U.S. Navy Commander ballistic-missile submarine Kentucky (Oct 2011)
Commander Mark Olson-U.S. Navy Commander destroyer The Sullivans FL (Sep 2011)
Commander John Pethel-Executive Officer amphibious transport dock New York (Dec 2011)
Commander Karl Pugh-U.S. Navy Commander Electronic Attack Squadron 141 Whidbey Island, WA (Jul 2011)
Commander Jason Strength-U.S. Navy Commander of Navy Recruiting District Nashville, TN (Jul 2011)
Captain Greg Thomas-U.S. Navy Commander Norfolk Naval Shipyard (May 2011)
Commander Mike Varney-U.S. Navy Commander attack submarine Connecticut (Jun 2011)
Commander Jay Wylie-U.S. Navy Commander destroyer Momsen (Apr 2011)
Naval Officers fired: (All in 2012):

Commander Alan C. Aber-Executive Officer Helicopter Maritime Strike Squadron 71 (July 2012)
Commander Derick Armstrong- U.S. Navy Commander missile destroyer USS The Sullivans (May 2012)
Commander Martin Arriola- U.S. Navy Commander destroyer USS Porter (Aug 2012)
Captain Antonio Cardoso- U.S. Navy Commander Training Support Center San Diego (Sep 2012)
Captain James CoBell- U.S. Navy Commander Oceana Naval Air Station’s Fleet Readiness Center Mid-Atlantic (Sep 2012)
Captain Joseph E. Darlak- U.S. Navy Commander frigate USS Vandegrift (Nov 2012)
Captain Daniel Dusek-U.S. Navy Commander USS Bonhomme
Commander David Faught-Executive Officer destroyer Chung-Hoon (Sep 2012)
Commander Franklin Fernandez- U.S. Navy Commander Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 24 (Aug 2012)
Commander Ray Hartman- U.S. Navy Commander Amphibious dock-landing ship Fort McHenry (Nov 2012)
Commander Shelly Hakspiel-Executive Officer Navy Drug Screening Lab San Diego (May 2012)
Commander Jon Haydel- U.S. Navy Commander USS San Diego (Mar 2012)
Commander Diego Hernandez- U.S. Navy Commander ballistic-missile submarine USS Wyoming (Feb 2012)
Commander Lee Hoey- U.S. Navy Commander Drug Screening Laboratory, San Diego (May 2012)
Commander Ivan Jimenez-Executive Officer frigate Vandegrift (Nov 2012)
Commander Dennis Klein- U.S. Navy Commander submarine USS Columbia (May 2012)
Captain Chuck Litchfield- U.S. Navy Commander assault ship USS Essex (Jun 2012)
Captain Marcia Kim Lyons- U.S. Navy Commander Naval Health Clinic New England (Apr 2012)
Captain Robert Marin- U.S. Navy Commander cruiser USS Cowpens (Feb 2012)
Captain Sean McDonell- U.S. Navy Commander Seabee reserve unit Naval Mobile Construction Battalion 14 FL (Nov 2012)
Commander Corrine Parker- U.S. Navy Commander Fleet Logistics Support Squadron 1 (Apr 2012)
Captain Liza Raimondo- U.S. Navy Commander Naval Health Clinic Patuxent River, MD (Jun 2012)
Captain Jeffrey Riedel- Program manager, Littoral Combat Ship program (Jan 2012)
Commander Sara Santoski- U.S. Navy Commander Helicopter Mine Countermeasures Squadron 15 (Sep 2012)
Commander Kyle G. Strudthoff-Executive Officer Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 25 (Sep 2012)
Commander Sheryl Tannahill- U.S. Navy Commander Navy Operational Support Center [NOSC] Nashville, TN (Sep 2012)
Commander Michael Ward- U.S. Navy Commander submarine USS Pittsburgh (Aug 2012)
Captain Michael Wiegand- U.S. Navy Commander Southwest Regional Maintenance Center (Nov 2012)
Captain Ted Williams- U.S. Navy Commander amphibious command ship Mount Whitney (Nov 2012)
Commander Jeffrey Wissel- U.S. Navy Commander of Fleet Air Reconnaissance Squadron 1 (Feb 2012)
Naval Officers fired: (All in 2013):

Lieutenant Commander Lauren Allen-Executive Officer submarine Jacksonville (Feb 2013)
Reserve Captain Jay Bowman-U.S. Navy Commander Navy Operational Support Center [NOSC] Fort Dix, NJ (Mar 2013)
Captain William Cogar-U.S. Navy Commander hospital ship Mercy’s medical treatment facility (Sept 2013)
Commander Steve Fuller-Executive Officer frigate Kauffman (Mar 2013)
Captain Shawn Hendricks-Program Manager for naval enterprise IT networks (June 2013)
Captain David Hunter-U.S. Navy Commander of Maritime Expeditionary Security Squadron 12 & Coastal Riverine Group 2 (Feb 2013)
Captain Eric Johnson-U.S. Navy Chief of Military Entrance Processing Command at Great Lakes Naval Training Center, IL (2013)
Captain Devon Jones-U.S. Navy Commander Naval Air Facility El Centro, CA (July 2013)
Captain Kevin Knoop-U.S. Navy Commander hospital ship Comfort’s medical treatment facility (Aug 2013)
Lieutenant Commander Jack O’Neill-U.S. Navy Commander Operational Support Center Rock Island, IL (Mar 2013)
Commander Allen Maestas-Executive Officer Beachmaster Unit 1 (May 2013)
Commander Luis Molina-U.S. Navy Commander submarine Pasadena (Jan 2013)
Commander James Pickens-Executive Officer frigate Gary (Feb 2013)
Lieutenant Commander Mark Rice-U.S. Navy Commander Mine Countermeasures ship Guardian (Apr 2013)
Commander Michael Runkle-U.S. Navy Commander of Mobile Diving and Salvage Unit 2 (May 2013)
Commander Jason Stapleton-Executive Office Patrol Squadron 4 in Hawaii (Mar 2013)
Commander Nathan Sukols-U.S. Navy Commander submarine Jacksonville (Feb 2013)
Lieutenant Daniel Tyler-Executive Officer Mine Countermeasures ship Guardian (Apr 2013)
Commander Edward White-U.S. Navy Commander Strike Fighter Squadron 106 (Aug 2013)
Captain Jeffrey Winter-U.S. Navy Commander of Carrier Air Wing 17 (Sept 2013)
Commander Thomas Winter-U.S. Navy Commander submarine Montpelier (Jan 2013)
Commander Corey Wofford- U.S. Navy Commander frigate Kauffman (Feb 2013)
So what do you think about all of this?

Do you believe that a “purge” of high ranking military officers is taking place?

Please feel free to share what you think by posting a comment below…

This article was posted: Friday, January 17, 2014 at 5:52 am

Comment by Bill, just south of Irvine, CA
2014-01-18 19:14:35

I worked in the DON for eleven years. I saw this happen due to the Tailhook scandals of the 1980s. In the 1990s I did not particularly trust Clinton, but there was much needed downsizing happening on defense contractors and bases.

As government employees - if you kept your nose clean you would have retained your career path. It was not uncommon for your branch (Departments composed of Divisions and Divisions composed of Branches) to change its “core competencies” several times in four years just to keep the deck chairs shuffled.

Perhaps this is a pattern - high level heads getting guillotined, followed by massive downsizing.

This all could be a good thing.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-18 19:11:52

Check out three different firms’ “range estimates” for a home in Rancho Bernardo. The crazy thing is that the DataQuick estimate is so much higher than the others that the upper end of the Eppraisal range barely overlaps the low end of the DataQuick range, while the SmartZip range doesn’t overlap DataQuick’s range whatever.

I’ve always perceived DataQuick as the real estate data provider equivalent of an escort service, so I’m not at all surprised.

Estimated Values
$476,400 Est.
$433,525 Low
$519,275 High

$598,490 Est.
$529,085 Low
$666,889 High

$464,311 Est.
$394,664 Low
$533,958 High

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-18 23:11:23

Might keeping company with bloodthirsty, brutal dictators drive one to drink?

Dennis Rodman Enters Alcohol Rehab
January 19, 2014

Retired American basketball star Dennis Rodman has checked himself into an alcohol treatment program after returning to the United States from his latest trip to North Korea, where he played an exhibition game for the birthday of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Rodman spokesman Darren Prince said Saturday that Rodman checked into the facility voluntarily. He did not disclose the location of the center and did not say how long Rodman would be there.

While on his self-described “basketball diplomacy” trip, Rodman gave an incoherent, profanity-filled rant during a live interview with CNN, in which he seemed to imply that a U.S. citizen deserved to be imprisoned in the North.

In a statement through a publicist, Rodman later said it had been a “stressful day” and he had been drinking before the interview.

Rodman told reporters at the Beijing airport last Monday that he was sorry he could not do anything to help free imprisoned American missionary Kenneth Bae, who was imprisoned by for 15 years of hard labor on a conviction of trying to overthrow the government. He said he is not a diplomat and asked the world to put away politics for one day.

Comment by Carl Morris
2014-01-19 19:55:49

He was already on Celebrity Rehab once where he never did really admit to having a problem. That was wasted time for him, but maybe now he’s ready.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-01-19 00:28:43

Why go back to Goldman Sachs? A ‘message from the universe’
January 18, 2014, 12:55 PM

Geesh. The way Fortune magazine tells it, Goldman Sachs Group Inc. GS is a kind and gentle place to work.

The magazine is out with the heartwarming tale of Marty Chavez, the bank’s chief information officer. He first came to Goldman in 1993 as a quant, four years later got religion (OK, technically, he decided to stop drinking and wanted a new venue), and decamped to Credit Suisse. CS Then, as is befitting of those who live a charmed life, he founded and sold a startup, bought a beach house, and retired to Fire Island.

But Goldman has a powerful reach, and soon enough now-president Gary Cohn was giving Chavez a call, telling him to come back. So Chavez did what anyone would: He went to a silent monastery in New Mexico, cleaned toilets, and decided that returning to the bank would not be so bad after all.

“It’s the only time in my life that I would say there was a clear message from the universe,” Chavez told Fortune.

He became the chief information officer in September. His predecessor retired just weeks after a technical glitch at the bank briefly roiled trading.

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