May 7, 2014

Bits Bucket for May 7, 2014

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

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Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-05-07 01:22:55

Is it too late now to tap into the long-term Treasury bond rally underway?

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-05-07 01:24:13

Bloomberg News
Treasury Long-Term Debt Is Top Performer Before Yellen Speaks
By Wes Goodman
May 07, 2014

Treasury long-term notes and bonds were the world’s best-performing government securities over the past month on speculation Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen will say today inflation is in check as the economy grows.

The U.S. plans to sell $24 billion of 10-year notes today and $16 billion of 30-year bonds tomorrow, following a $29 billion three-year auction yesterday. Unrest in Ukraine is supporting demand for the safest assets. Yellen is scheduled to testify before the congressional Joint Economic Committee today and the Senate Budget Committee tomorrow.

“Yellen may imply that growth is picking up and inflation is under control,” said Kazuaki Oh’e, a debt salesman at CIBC World Markets Japan Inc. in Tokyo. “We also have the Ukraine problem.” The factors will “help keep yields down,” he said.

2014-05-07 21:58:52

I’m a bond bull. At least for the next three years possibly more.

Yields will stay range-bound-ish for that period. So not technically a “bull” but I’d pick up the income.

Everyone is way too bearish on them. I don’t believe the “recovery”.

I’m also betting that China and the rest of the BRIC’s implode in that time-frame.

Comment by Get Stucco
2014-05-07 22:33:25

Where’ve you been hiding out?

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2014-05-07 23:12:23

Don’t have much to say on a day to day basis. So run away.

Ben says it all. I just say “What he said.”

Comment by rms
2014-05-07 23:23:37

“I don’t believe the “recovery”.”

+1 Asset debt over-hang, labor participation rate, aging boomers.

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Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-05-08 06:47:39

“I’m a bond bull.”

Heh…. gotcha now. ;)

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Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-05-07 01:26:10

ft dot com
On Wall Street
Last updated: April 25, 2014 11:46 am
Low Treasury yields frustrate bond bears
By Michael Mackenzie in New York
Case for holding longer-term bonds remains firmly in place

While many expect a pick-up in US economic activity in the second half, Treasury rates remain low – a conundrum that frustrates bearish bond investors who believe 2014 is the year of much higher yields.

Just under a decade ago, when Alan Greenspan was Federal Reserve chairman, he described the then low level of a 10-year Treasury yielding 4.15 per cent against the backdrop of tightening monetary policy as a conundrum.

Today, many in the bond market are once more shaking their heads when they see the 10-year note yielding 2.68 per cent, down from 3 per cent at the start of January. Given that bond prices move inversely to yields, sections of the US Treasury market have performed strongly since the year began.

Long-term Treasury bonds or those with a maturity beyond 25 years have delivered a total return of 10 per cent in 2014, according to Barclays Indices.

The pressing question is why are long-dated government bonds doing so well and handily eclipsing this year’s returns for lower rated company paper and equities? Moreover, what does this mean for the economy and to investors betting on stronger growth and better returns from riskier assets in the coming months?

Unlike 2005, when Mr Greenspan talked of a bond conundrum, the Fed is not raising its key borrowing rate.

However, the recent decline in long-term Treasury yields has occurred while the central bank has stepped back from buying long-term Treasuries via its taper of quantitative easing. A further cut of $10bn in the Fed’s monthly bond purchases to $45bn is expected at next week’s policy meeting.

David Ader, at CRT Capital, says we are seeing markets adjust to less easy money from the Fed.

“To the extent QE benefited risk assets, the unwind of QE removes that as a prop.”

Comment by cactus
2014-05-07 09:18:16

Einhorn, 45, has been critical of Bernanke’s willingness to leave interest rates near zero for more than five years. The hedge-fund manager has said the benefits of low rates diminish over time until they are more harmful than helpful, and that the Fed’s stimulus has led to income inequality. Bernanke, a former Princeton University economics professor, stepped down this year after eight years helming the U.S. central bank.

In describing the dinner conversation at New York’s Le Bernardin, Einhorn criticized Bernanke for saying he was 100 percent certain there would be no hyperinflation and that it generally occurs after a war.

“Not that I think there will be hyperinflation, but how do you get to 100 percent certainty about anything?” Einhorn said. “Why can’t you be 99 percent certain?”

You’re Wrong
Bernanke responded “you are wrong” to a question about the diminishing returns of having interest rates at zero, according to the hedge-fund manager. The ex-Fed chief’s explanation, Einhorn said, was that raising interest rates to benefit savers wouldn’t be the right move for the economy because it would require borrowers to pay more for capital.

Comment by Guillotine Renovator
2014-05-07 10:49:33

“The ex-Fed chief’s explanation, Einhorn said, was that raising interest rates to benefit savers wouldn’t be the right move for the economy because it would require borrowers to pay more for capital.”

Sure, because debt junkies are so good for the economy. Bernanke appears to enjoy fighting fire with fire. Where normal firefighters soak down the surrounding buildings with water, Bernanke is busy setting them ablaze as well. His, and Yellen’s, hair of the dog approach will eventually burn the entire thing down.

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Comment by Get Stucco
2014-05-07 22:38:27

Bernanke appears to enjoy fighting fire with fire.

I prefer the ‘hair of the dog cure’ metaphor: Soothe the alcoholic’s pounding headache with another bottle of whatever gave it to him.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-05-07 01:28:38

Talking Numbers - CNBC | Yahoo Finance
Think the bond rally is over? Think again.
By Lawrence Lewitinn
18 hours ago Talking Numbers

Few things are weirder right now than the bond market.

The Federal Reserve continues to taper its bond-buying program as the official unemployment rate ticks down. That should mean higher interest rates.

But lots of other things are happening. For example, though the unemployment rate is at 6.3 percent, the labor participation rate is the worst it has been in over three decades. Tensions on the Ukraine-Russia border and data showing China’s manufacturing contracting have sent investors fleeing to the safety of U.S. bonds. That should mean lower interest rates.

This tug-of-war in the bond market has kept rates in a relatively tight range for much of the year. In fact, the yield on the benchmark U.S. 10-Year Treasury Note has stayed between 2.6 and 2.8 percent since February. It wasn’t long ago when a 20 basis-point move was just another humdrum week in the market.

While the 10-Year’s yield dipped below 2.6 percent briefly in the past couple of days, Chantico Global founder Gina Sanchez said, investors shouldn’t expect rates to stay this low indefinitely.

“I don’t think that we can really support going well below 2.6 percent,” said Sanchez, “only because bonds at these levels are really expensive.”

The only way for interest rates to go lower would be for economic expectations to sour, according to Sanchez, a CNBC contributor.

“That’s really not what’s happening,” Sanchez said. “Although it’s not a dramatic recovery, it is still a recovery. We are still seeing a fall in unemployment rates. There are still issues out there but we are actually seeing the consumer come back to life. So, I think that it doesn’t make any sense to have rates down below here. I think that this is an anomaly and it’s a selling opportunity.”

Comment by LolaLOL
2014-05-07 07:30:37

So despite the Fed pulling back from buying and winding down the QE, people still want these dirty shirts? And the reason they want these dirty shirts now are because of the Ukraine unrest and instability from that?

Or is it because they see the economy tanking? The article above denies this is the reason, therefore it must be the reason.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-05-07 01:30:20

ft dot com
Markets Insight
May 6, 2014 8:21 am
Why US and European bond yields will fall
By Steven Major

The key to conflict resolution is to put yourself in someone else’s shoes. To understand the apparent disconnect between the stronger US economy and lower US Treasury yields, consider it from the perspective of the US Treasury market.

Conventional thinking holds that better economic data lead to expectations of higher short-term interest rates and that bond yields will rise as a result. After all, if the economy is growing, the output gap should narrow and capacity constraints could be reached. The resultant threat of inflation means monetary policy is likely to tighten.

But the causality can run in the other direction, and it is more interesting to consider what the bond market says about the economy than what the economy should say about bond yields. This ‘tail wagging the dog’ approach requires a closer look at three factors: what bond yields tell us; historical precedents for bonds moving independently of official rates; and what bond yields mean for the various actors in the economy.

Comment by Blue Skye
2014-05-07 04:30:30

“the various actors…”

The Fed gets top billing. Everyone else is an extra.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-05-07 06:40:20

What has the Fed done to drive long-term rates down?

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Comment by Albuquerquedan
2014-05-07 07:10:00

This guy is worth listening to, I think Bloomberg just has him on so they can run the tape six months from now and show that they have “balanced” guests, I saw him this morning and I hope this is right tape, he talked about housing was dead in the water with 50% of sales being cash to infestors and young people being in position where they could not afford houses and actually had no desire to take the risk of owning house:

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Comment by LolaLOL
2014-05-07 05:55:38

Can any real conclusions be drawn from massively manipulated markets?

It’s like trying to conclude whether you should take Amy home when all you’ve got to go on is dim lighting and 4 coats of makeup.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-05-07 06:03:41

Yet you might find Liberace or Lola under that body filler.

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Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-05-07 06:41:29

Don’t forget to wear your beer goggles!

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Comment by scdave
Comment by Albuquerquedan
2014-05-07 07:11:15

I just posted a similar link. Saw this guy on television this morning probably the smartest person on television in a long time.

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Comment by Bill, just South of Irvine, CA
2014-05-07 07:24:21

This should be good news for apartment REITs such as Equity Residential, as more people are staying in rental apartments.

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Comment by LolaLOL
2014-05-07 07:32:23

better economic data

Like GDP being negative in Q1?

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-05-07 01:33:00

U.S. News
Trade Data Indicate Economy Contracted
By Ben Leubsdorf
Updated May 6, 2014 2:49 p.m. ET

The U.S. economy likely contracted in the first quarter for the first time in three years, private forecasters said Tuesday after the nation’s trade gap narrowed less than expected in March.

Both exports and imports rose in March, a sign of strengthening demand at home and abroad that should bolster the economy into the spring. But the Commerce Department had assumed a larger decline in the trade deficit when it estimated last week that U.S. economic output barely expanded in the first three months of 2014.

A revised reading of U.S. gross domestic product, expected at the end of May, could be downgraded from the current estimate that the economy expanded at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 0.1% in the first quarter.

J.P. Morgan Chase economists now estimate GDP contracted at a 0.8% pace in the first three months of 2014. Macroeconomic Advisers pegged the decline at 0.6%. Even some of the more optimistic estimates point to slight output shrinkage in the first quarter. Barclays Capital economists see a 0.2% decline and BNP Paribas put the GDP drop at a 0.1% pace.

“Exports were weak at the start of the quarter, and simply didn’t recover enough by the end of the quarter,” Capital Economics economist Paul Ashworth said.

Comment by LolaLOL
2014-05-07 07:35:59

Is JpMC making a case for QE5?

Comment by LolaLOL
2014-05-07 06:16:10

How does this relate to all the stops being pulled now to prevent the second quarter from being negative? Every stat massage and juke possible will now be implemented, possibly some other form of stealth QE also. Everything is on the table because a negative Q2 means we are in a recession.

It’s all Bull$hit.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-05-07 06:42:21

As all of GWB’s men learned, recessions are pretty hard to hide, at least when viewed through the lens of the NBER’s rear-view mirror.

Comment by LolaLOL
2014-05-07 07:37:14

How long do they need to hide it? Only until after November?

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Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-05-07 06:54:18

May 7, 2014, 9:04 a.m. EDT
Bond yields’ drop to year lows support rate contrarians
Longer-term Treasurys rally, defying views that a stronger recovery would bust bonds
By Ben Eisen, MarketWatch

NEW YORK (MarketWatch) — Long-term interest rates have dropped in recent sessions, giving voice to a minority of contrarians who aren’t yet ready to bet the farm that low rates are gone forever.

Investors built up expectations of an economic lift-off in 2014, which was meant to send investors running from bonds and yields firmly higher. Despite tepid data brought on by cold weather for much of the winter, the rising-rate crowd is still dominant: a recent survey of economists showed 100% expect higher 10-year Treasury yields in the coming six months.

Comment by LolaLOL
2014-05-07 07:42:16

Despite tepid data brought on by cold weather ….

Somebody out there might find that the number of times “cold weather” is offered as an excuse in the MSFM (mainstream financial media) is inversely proportional to the strength of the economy?

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-05-07 06:55:18

Here is a screaming “buy” signal:

a recent survey of economists showed 100% expect higher 10-year Treasury yields in the coming six months.

Comment by Bill, just South of Irvine, CA
2014-05-07 07:28:50

If we get a Republican regime, people will mistakingly think things will be far different and Obamacare will be repealed. There will be a big stock market crash in 2016 if it becomes evident the Rs will take back control.

If not, the stock market might continue going up…forever (not!) - through the E Warren administration but the next crash will be during the next American revolution, which can happen between six and eight years from now.

Comment by LolaLOL
2014-05-07 07:44:23

2016 is a million years away. We got 2014 and 2015 to deal with first. The deck chairs cannot be properly repositioned until after November.

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Comment by In Colorado
2014-05-07 07:49:06

during the next American revolution, which can happen between six and eight years from now

I’m not holding my breath. Americans are too apathetic these days for a revolution. Heck, there’s no shortage of young able bodied Americans volunteering to serve the needs of the Empire by joining its armed forces.

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Comment by oxide
2014-05-07 09:09:50

The revolution appears to be occuring on an individual basis. There are too few engaged enough to change things by the electoral process, so the revolutions are holing up and stocking up to fend off FEMA’s magic tanker truck of corn syrup.

Comment by RioAmericanInBrasil
2014-05-07 14:49:31

but the next crash will be during the next American revolution, which can happen between six and eight years from now.

I’d rather listen to predictions from someone who actually knows squat about America and American history.

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Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-05-07 17:23:23

Hello Lola….

Where are you claiming to live this week? Ethiopia? Bangladesh?

Comment by MrsLolaSoros
2014-05-07 18:51:57

Lola knows American history, after all, she lives in DC. All about back room deals and back scratching.

Comment by goon squad
2014-05-07 02:42:44

Realtors are liars.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-05-07 03:02:47

Want to get ripped off? Go talk to a Realtor today.

Comment by goon squad
2014-05-07 06:33:25

Buying a house today will be the worst mistake of your life.

Don’t do it!

2014-05-07 07:42:36


California Foreclosure Starts Hover Near 8-Year Low

La Jolla, CA.–For the third consecutive quarter California foreclosure starts remained little changed at a level last seen in early 2006, the result of steady economic growth and higher home values. Foreclosure processors are still mostly plowing through a pool of toxic subprime mortgages originated back in mid-to-late 2006, a real estate information service reported.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-05-07 09:57:46

Meanwhile back on planet earth;

California Foreclosures Skyrocket 57%

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Comment by Get Stucco
2014-05-07 22:42:07

“California Foreclosure Starts Hover Near 8-Year Low”

That would get you back to 2014 - 8 = 2006, just before the first major leg down in home prices, accompanied by skyrocketing foreclosures.

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Comment by MrsLolaSoros
2014-05-07 22:56:03

the result of steady economic growth

Are you on crack?

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Comment by Mr. Banker
2014-05-07 05:36:46

Realtors are but tools put to use by The Great American Dream Machine.

Their job is to lead the sheeple to the sheeple shearers, nothing more.

Comment by LolaLOL
2014-05-07 06:04:58

It ain’t Left v. Right or Dem v. Rep. or Lib v. Conservative, it is Us v. Them. Them now includes government at all levels along with the plutocrats like the bankers and other 1 percent plutocrats.

There is plenty of money for necessary services, good schools, decent libraries, etc. There isn’t money for the massive bloat, waste, corruption and fraud. There isn’t money for big windfall giveaways to cops and firefighters for OT and pensions and Bearcat Humvees.

Government at all levels is now just as much of a scam as Mr. banker, bleeding the masses.

Statists here won’t accept this because their self worth and self esteem are tied up in the state.

Comment by Mr. Banker
2014-05-07 06:38:44

“Government at all levels is now just as much of a scam as Mr. banker, bleeding the masses.”

I can’t speak for government bleeding the masses but as for me I do no bleeding of the masses whatsoever.

What I provide for the masses are methods for them to bleed themselves.

Remember, for this bleeding the masses come to me, I don’t go to them.

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Comment by Mr. Banker
2014-05-07 06:53:03

If people do not like getting bled then they should quit signing sheets of paper that have interesting words printed on them, such as the word “adjustable”.

Comment by Mr. Banker
2014-05-07 07:01:05

For any product, other than a financial product, the price of the product is disclosed to the buyer. But if the product is a financial product and this financial product contains the word “adjustable” then the buyer really has no idea just what the cost of the product will be.

But nevertheless he will sign up for the product.

People are smart.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2014-05-07 07:37:24

Mr. Banker, I heard an economist on the BBC make an interesting point. To paraphrase he was talking about how we have an incredible wealth tax on homes. For example take the example of a person in a $500,000 home that has 3% equity, not an unusual position due to the housing correction, and he or she is paying property taxes of 3% of the value of the entire house. That is a wealth tax of 100% since the bank that actually has 97% of the equity in the home and is paying 0% of the taxes. Once again Mr. Banker kudos for rigging the game.

Comment by LolaLOL
2014-05-07 07:47:20

For any product, other than a financial product, the price of the product is disclosed to the buyer…

Except for medical products, educational products, and I’m sure there are more.

Comment by taxpayers
2014-05-07 06:50:29

gov workers get to retire in their 50’s while privSec workers will work till 70

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Comment by LolaLOL
2014-05-07 07:49:31

Don’t work too fast, you are going to work us right out of a job.

Seniority is the only proper basis upon which to allocate wages.

Comment by Bill, just South of Irvine, CA
2014-05-07 07:31:23

“It ain’t Left v. Right or Dem v. Rep. or Lib v. Conservative, it is Us v. Them. Them now includes government at all levels along with the plutocrats like the bankers and other 1 percent plutocrats.”

It’s voluntaryists (those who are, in Ron Paul’s words, non-interventionists in everything) versus the statists. The NAP - non-aggression principle cannot be argued against if you know what it stands for.

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Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-05-07 02:50:03

If you have to borrow for 15 or 30 years, it’s not affordable nor can you afford it.

Comment by goon squad
2014-05-07 06:30:53

“I have so much money left after “throwing money away on rent” every month that I don’t know where to throw it.”

You better believe it.

Comment by HomeGnome
2014-05-07 05:22:31

Elizabeth Warren is doing something about the $1.2 trillion in outstanding student federal loan debt she says is dragging down the middle class.

The Massachusetts Democrat is set to introduce a bill Tuesday that will allow people holding federal student loans to refinance them to the lower, current rate.

“When interest rates drop, people can refinance their home, they can refinance their business debt. It’s regarded as a smart move for any consumer or business. But student borrowers are prohibited from doing that under most programs,” Warren said. “This bill says we’re going to change that and let them refinance that down to current low rates.”

Comment by LolaLOL
2014-05-07 06:23:00

Didn’t we cover this yesterday shill? This shows she is in the FIRE sectors pocket, not the other way around. Just like houses, it is the cost of the principal not the goddanged interest.

She ain’t us, she’s them.

Comment by j-j-j-joe
2014-05-07 06:42:49

We can’t support this. It would hurt the “job creators”:

“The bill will be funded by enacting the Buffet Rule, which would limit tax breaks for the wealthiest U.S. citizens, Warren’s office said.”


Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-05-07 05:24:13

Another day of statist buffoonery hiding your profit motive or some honest thoughts?

Comment by jose canusi
2014-05-07 05:37:29

Dow 0.

Yep, just discovered Zero Hedge. Whew.

Comment by oxide
2014-05-07 05:52:33

Sorry, I can’t find the article. Is there a date or a link?

I can think of a couple ways for the DOW to go to zero, and none of them are remotely likely.

BTW, I’m not “Amy Hoax.” I’ve always been only oxide, with one brief foray into “realtor whore” a couple years ago, in honor of faster-pussycat who bestowed me with the moniker.

Comment by LolaLOL
2014-05-07 06:25:32

I don’t blame you for not admitting it. There’s a large backlog of sandwiches to be made.

Comment by jose canusi
2014-05-07 06:29:06

“The site contends that Goldman Sachs’ alumni are at the center of a powerful cabal and that the solution is “a purifying market crash that leads to the elimination of the big banks altogether and the reinstatement of genuine free-market capitalism” - “Dow Zero.”[3]”

And I never advanced the opinion that you are Amy Hoax.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2014-05-07 07:40:58

I thought she had the intelligence to pull it off, but I still think it is Goon. AGW hoax and Amy Hoax do go together.

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Comment by LolaLOL
2014-05-07 07:53:01

The AGW debate here brings to mind the recent article about how the years and years of the medical and nutritional sciences railing against saturated fats has now been shown to have been based on flawed and fraudulent studies 40 years ago. There is no evidence for this firmly held core belief.

Yet they still keep going claiming a steak is evil.

Comment by RioAmericanInBrasil
2014-05-07 14:56:06

I still think it is Goon….


And you thought Romney would win, that there’s no climate change and that Obamacare would be repealed, not enough Hispanics were signing up, not enough young would sign up, the “death spiral” and other bogus dreck.

How can you imagine people care what you “think”?

You have no track record on anything important and yet you stalk the blog like you’re smart?

Comment by MrsLolaSoros
2014-05-07 22:59:37

I really do wonder what triggers cause you to come out of that cage.

Comment by Rental Watch
2014-05-07 08:45:00

Too bad Dodd Frank made it harder to be a small bank, and much easier to be a big one (with less competition).

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Comment by oxide
2014-05-07 09:18:06

Sorry Jose.. you’re right, you didn’t say I was Amy Hoax, but I didn’t want to post a separate comment so I stuck it on the next comment.

Interesting that genuine market capitalism is known as DOW Zero. I was thinking that the only way for the DOW to be worth 0 is to go the other extreme: instating full-on communism where there is no private sector at all. Even the guys making pens are gov employees. Have any countries really done that?

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Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-05-07 11:03:35

Now go fetch me some cheetos…. PRONTO!

Comment by oxide
2014-05-07 05:40:07

From yesterday

Comment by cactus
2014-05-06 19:29:24
I asked a co-worker if people back East really use the word “poors” or “Bronies.” He said no unless they are from Delaware.

I have only heard the word “poors” here on HBB. I’ve heard “The Poor,” (and similarly, “The Rich.”) I don’t know the etymology, but somehow the plural form implies personal choice, while the singular form implies a general bad thing in the context of needing to be eradicated. “Bronies” is a new term, but I’m sure it’s nationwide, like Trekkies or hippies.

AFAIK, the real regional battle is between “soda” and “pop.”

Comment by j-j-j-joe
2014-05-07 06:25:50

The term “poors” is not a commonly used term. It’s used among a certain small subset at most. It is not actually used in a negative way, just a way that denotes people with less opportunities or choices. Most “poors” are not literally poor. Probably about 80% of Americans are “poors”. It has more to do with a) needing to work b) living paycheck to paycheck or nearly so c) having little concept of quality or redeeming values and d) not receiving much or passing much wealth (opportunity) on a generational basis.

The concept of “poors” is pretty well nailed by this book:

If you want to read the real treastise on class systems in the western world, read Thorstein Veblen’s Theory of the Leisure Class, which is one of the best applications of Economics to the post-agricultural West.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-05-07 06:31:18


Comment by MightyMike
2014-05-07 07:10:20

I read that book a long time ago. I don’t remember it talking much about 80% of the population being poor or poors. The more interesting sections had to do with aspects of class that weren’t related to wealth or income. IOW, just like there are people who are poor WT, there are also lots of people who are rich WT, though he didn’t he use those terms.

Comment by cactus
2014-05-07 10:10:43

Thorstein Veblen’s Theory of the Leisure Class

“Simultaneously, the leisure class retained its superior social status in the tribe by means of direct and indirect coercion; for example, the leisure class reserved for themselves the (honorable) profession of soldiering in defense of the tribe; and so withheld weapons and military skills from the lower-order social classes. Such a division of labor rendered the lower social classes dependent upon the leisure class, and so perpetuated and justified their existence for defense against enemies, natural (other tribes) and against supernatural (ghosts and gods), because the first clergy were members of the leisure class.”

Somehow realtoring and the 6% cut must fit in this ..

Comment by MightyMike
2014-05-07 10:28:53

That book must have been written a hundred years ago. If it were to be rewritten for the 21st century a different title would be required. These days the upper classes are busy, busy, busy and their lack of leisure time is an indicator of their high status in society.

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Comment by LolaLOL
2014-05-07 06:32:28

Joe uses the term Brony to answer the race question on forms. When it gives an “other” option, he checks that and writes in Brony.

Comment by j-j-j-joe
2014-05-07 06:36:31

Nah, but I might put bro-tastic. Or “yummie” (hat tip to goon).

Comment by goon squad
Comment by j-j-j-joe
2014-05-07 07:07:19

I see you ‘mirin’ my style, don’t deny

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2014-05-07 07:12:45

Does he do the same when asked about gender?

Comment by LolaLOL
2014-05-07 07:55:06

Just check both. It’s a spectrum.

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Comment by jose canusi
2014-05-07 06:43:40

“the real regional battle is between “soda” and “pop.”

Yes, well, I have a feeling the whole pop stand is about to blow.

Comment by polly
2014-05-07 07:30:59

“AFAIK, the real regional battle is between “soda” and “pop.””

Also, “water fountain” and “bubbler.”

Comment by In Colorado
2014-05-07 07:42:32

Never heard of a “bubbler” before, but what would I know, I’ve lived in SoCal and flyover.

I’ve only ever seen “poors” used in one place outside this blog.

Comment by goon squad
2014-05-07 07:51:49

“Bubbler” is local to Massachusetts.

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Comment by Albuquerquedan
2014-05-07 07:56:20

We use it in Vermont also. Of course, states in New England are the size of counties in the west so that is not surprising.

Comment by Blue Skye
2014-05-07 07:43:38

In Buffalo a “pop” is a coke. In Boston a “pop” is a shot of whiskey. In New Orleans a “pop” is a session with a sex worker. In New Orleans, a root beer or any other soda is a “coke”. In Buffalo, a root beer is a “rutt beer”.

Comment by cactus
2014-05-07 09:38:43

I have only heard the word “poors” here on HBB.”

it sounds Marie Antoinette to me, like ‘La” or “eat cake ”

we have lots of flashy new money here on the left coast made in high tech and they don’t say weird things like that, I don’t think they even think about these things they are all consumed with high tech.

Engineering degree of the new money versus liberal arts degree of the old money.

Comment by goon squad
2014-05-07 06:06:36

Because MarketWatch loves lists that take ten clicks to read through, “Gallup Healthways surveyed hundreds of thousands of Americans in 189 metropolitan areas in the U.S. in 2012 and 2013. The survey recorded the physical and emotional health of the residents, as well as financial, employment, and social indicators, among others.”

The ten most miserable:

1) Huntington, WV
2) Charleston, WV
3) Redding, CA
4) Spartanburg, SC
5) Hickory, NC
6) Beaumont, TX
7) Columbus, GA
8) Shreveport, LA
9) Mobile, AL
10) Evansville, IN

Comment by goon squad
2014-05-07 06:26:16

Which I don’t understand, because 2Brony and my Drudge link clicking betters tell us that the right to work, union goon free, bootstrapping, job creator South is utopia and that everyone’s moving there.

Comment by j-j-j-joe
2014-05-07 06:34:45

The fact is, even when you take higher COL into account, the average person in a high income state (Northeast + CA) is better off than the average person in a low income state (primarily in the southeast and southwest). There is a really good chart on this, oxide posted it a while back.

When you include health issues and marital status/kids into the equation the gap widens even more (poorer states have worse health outcomes, more divorce, and people tend to have more children too).

Here is the most recent chart I can find of state by state median incomes.

Comment by LolaLOL
2014-05-07 06:37:11

Another meaningless list based on a supposed survey and squishy nebulous criteria in order to produce a click bait end result. Paid for by whom?

I clicked through and they looked no better or worse than most places, and better than most big cities with all the traffic and too many caged rats.

You also know it is BS because Scranton, PA isn’t on the list.

Comment by Blackhawk
2014-05-07 06:52:27

Redding, CA?

Hmm, I just visited last week and I thought it was pleasant small town surrounded by farms and rolling hills. The view of My Shasta was beautiful.

From the article, “Residents in all of the nation’s 10 most miserable areas were more likely to smoke than the average American. They had higher obesity rates and lower income than the typical American household, and the percentage of adults with a college degree was universally lower than the national rate of 29.1%, and in four instances, it was below 20%.”

Oh I get it, from an elitist snob perspective it’s miserable. The people that live there love it.

Comment by goon squad
2014-05-07 07:02:56

“from an elitist snob perspective”

According to “real journalists”, if it’s not within ten miles of an Interstate 95 or 405 (and it’s “the 405″, don’t forget the definite article when referencing it) exit, it probably doesn’t exist…

Comment by Blackhawk
2014-05-07 09:07:29

The 405 freeway? I thought it’s more like a parking lot and I Always avoid it.

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Comment by Carl Morris
2014-05-07 08:39:52

Not sure, but I think I’m detecting a high percentage of military towns in that list.

Comment by goon squad
2014-05-07 06:19:43

The Washington Post has been getting a bit uppity lately, publishing articles questioning if the housing market is in a new bubble. So now it’s time to bring them back on the National Association of Realtors’ plantation:

“Home values in a few states have surpassed the price peaks reached during the housing boom, but that doesn’t mean a return to the days of frothy pricing.

In March, Colorado, North Dakota, South Dakota, Texas, Wyoming and the District of Columbia exceeded their old highs, the mortgage firm CoreLogic reported Tuesday based on its own price index. Still, there’s no reason to fear a price bubble in those markets, said Mark Fleming, the group’s chief economist.”

Comment by LolaLOL
2014-05-07 06:38:34

Last time the prices were based on massive fraud and fog a mirror credit, the prices are right back up this time because the economy is so good. Wait, what?

Comment by Rental Watch
2014-05-07 08:47:03

Prices are back up right now because of:
1. Lack of development (very little new supply);
2. Low interest rates.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-05-07 08:54:59

With 25 million excess empty and defaulted houses and more added daily, there is no issue with supply. Especially inCA.

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Comment by taxpayers
2014-05-07 06:53:23

I’m near dc we are not at the high 7/5/2005
off about 7% or 20 % when adj for inflation

Comment by LolaLOL
2014-05-07 07:57:29

Close enough for gubmint work.

Comment by Jingle Male
2014-05-07 11:59:53

The houses I purchased in 2010 for $260,000 sold in 2006 for $650,000. Today, the market value is about $400,000.

They are still 40% below the peak pricing. Sacramento.

Comment by Carl Morris
2014-05-07 08:43:39

Keep in mind Wyoming is far enough behind that the bank rescue kicked in before the bubble ever started to pop there. So they are definitely in a decade long permanently high plateau now.

Comment by Pete
2014-05-07 12:03:47

Well technically he’s not denying the existence of a bubble, just that there’s no need to be afraid of it!

Comment by j-j-j-joe
2014-05-07 06:20:53

NYC Mayor Bill diBlasio come out with a proposal to reduce rents in the city. It’s surprisingly reasonable.


Mr. de Blasio’s plan includes at least nine significant proposals, many involving deregulation, that aim to get developers to build more and build denser.

1. By pledging that “in all rezonings that substantially increase potential housing capacity, the City will require a portion of the new housing developed to be permanently affordable to low- or moderate-income households,” Mr. De Blasio signals that he intends to seek further rezonings that substantially increase potential housing capacity.

2. He gives us some idea how he might achieve those rezonings by calling for repeal of a state law that limits residential buildings to a “floor area ratio” of 12. That law means you can’t have more than 12 square feet of residential building area per square foot of land area. Mr. de Blasio would instead have the city set its own such limits through the zoning process. Currently, the city allows a ratio of up to 18 for office buildings in the densest parts of Manhattan. Mr. de Blasio hasn’t proposed a specific limit for residences, but if the city copied its practice for office buildings, it could allow up to 50 percent more residential development on high-density sites — which would give the city something very valuable to offer developers in exchange for building affordable housing.

3. He proposes to use tax policy to discourage property owners from keeping their land vacant or their buildings underoccupied.

4. He calls for a relaxation of minimum parking requirements for affordable housing development in certain areas of the city, noting: “Where parking is built for affordable housing, spaces often go unused. The construction of unnecessary parking spots increases construction costs and may deter development or reduce the number of affordable units that can be produced.”

5. He’d change setback requirements (rules about how far away from the street a building wall must be to reach a given height) in order to increase the effective amount of building area that is allowed on a given site. Over the last few decades, developers have shifted toward taller ceiling heights, which has meant that the existing setback rules effectively allow for less floor space than they used to.

6. He’d make it easier to build on vacant land within “Tower-in-the-Park” style developments, which consist of buildings set far back from the street and surrounded by open space, for example, Stuyvesant Town. Much of that space often consists of parking lots rather than parkland, yet in many cases current zoning rules require the space to remain unbuilt.

7. He wants to expand the use of transferable development rights, which allow owners of underbuilt land to sell their excess rights to other landowners.

8. He’d make it easier to convert obsolete nonresidential buildings to residential use, even where those buildings would not meet residential zoning requirements if built new.

9. He makes a variety of proposals aimed at reducing New York’s unusually high cost of construction.

Comment by j-j-j-joe
2014-05-07 06:27:15

Here’s the press release on the NYC/DiBlasio proposal

Comment by goon squad
2014-05-07 06:28:08


Comment by LolaLOL
2014-05-07 06:41:19

Does this help or hurt his developer buddies?

Comment by j-j-j-joe
2014-05-07 06:30:15

A sign of the times. Office Depot announces 400 planned store closings… and their stock jumps.


Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-05-07 06:57:55

Hey Liberace…… Post some housing related links. Ya know… falling prices, collapsing demand, growing inventory.

Comment by j-j-j-joe
2014-05-07 07:10:31

400 store vacancies –> more downward pressure on commercial rents & more jobs being shifted from small locations to offshore & big tech companies –> more joblessness and housing price collapses in smaller areas

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-05-07 07:27:25

No Liberace….. Housing fundamentals as in falling prices in metro areas.

Go Lib!

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Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-05-07 07:28:40
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Comment by MightyMike
2014-05-07 09:19:06

If you have the housing links why do you need j-j-joe to post housing links?

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-05-07 09:24:31

It’s time for you to start posting something useful.

Comment by In Colorado
2014-05-07 09:01:52

A sign of the times. Office Depot announces 400 planned store closings… and their stock jumps.

They just merged with Office Max, which means that they now closing redundant stores in many locales, some just blocks away from each other. When they merged it was known this was going to happen, in fact, it was in the business plan.

I’m guessing the analysts are thinking that they will still have the same aggregate sales with fewer stores and employees (lower costs).

Comment by Arizona Slim
2014-05-07 14:35:33

I can’t say I’ve ever been in an Office Max/Depot store that was very busy. Same goes for Staples.

Comment by rms
2014-05-07 20:47:04

+1 And these places are not SQFT bashful either.

Comment by rms
2014-05-07 20:43:17

“Office Depot announces 400 planned store closings…”

No office with more than a few employees pays retail for their supplies; think internet warehouse and delivery service. Not many office people are capable of lifting a 5,000-sheet box or using a hand truck loaded with 4 x 5,000-sheet boxes.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-05-07 06:44:42

What’s all this talk of a “trading slump” on Wall Street? I thought the stock market always went up?

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-05-07 06:46:57

Bloomberg News
JPMorgan Leads Wall Street Banks Lower on Trading-Slump Forecast
By Hugh Son
May 05, 2014

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM:US) led shares of Wall Street banks lower, dropping the most in almost a month, after warning that a deepening trading slump may last through the second quarter.

Shares of the company fell 2.7 percent to $54.08 at 9:58 a.m., the worst performance in the 83-company Standard & Poor’s 500 Financials Index. Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs Group Inc., Citigroup Inc. (C:US) and Bank of America Corp. (BAC:US) all lost at least 1.3 percent.

Fixed-income and equities trading revenue will fall about 20 percent from last year’s second quarter, New York-based JPMorgan said in a regulatory filing after the market closed last week. The firm blamed “a continued challenging environment and lower client activity levels.”

Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon, 58, was the first head of a major U.S. bank to warn investors this year that trading was down, saying in February that revenue had fallen 15 percent. A 20 percent slide from the $5.37 billion posted in last year’s second quarter would mean about $4.3 billion from the trading business this period. That would mark the company’s worst first half in trading since the financial crisis.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-05-07 06:51:23

Banks lead decline in European equities
FTSE and Iseq closed for May bank holiday, prompting low trading volumes elsewhere
Credit Suisse Group dropped 2.3 per cent to 27.40 Swiss francs after JPMorgan Chase forecast that its own trading revenue will slide 20 per cent this quarter. Photograph: Reuters Arnd Wiegmann
Tue, May 6, 2014, 19:24
First published: Tue, May 6, 2014, 19:24

European stocks fell as violence intensified in eastern Ukraine, while a report showed Chinese manufacturing contracted for a fourth month.

The European Commission also published its spring economic forecasts, lowering its 2015 growth estimate for the overall gross domestic product of the 18-nation euro zone to 1.7 per cent, down from a February prediction of 1.8 per cent.

The London and Dublin markets were closed for the May bank holiday and the absence of FTSE trading meant volumes were lower overall. The volume of shares changing hands in Stoxx 600 companies was 64 per cent lower than the average of the last 30 days, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.

National benchmark indexes retreated in 13 of the 16 western-European markets that did open. France’s CAC 40 index managed to add 0.1 per cent, but Germany’s DAX slid 0.3 per cent.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-05-07 06:52:54

Michael O’Rourke: U.S. stocks may be the walking dead
May 7, 2014, 7:08 AM ET

It’s a classic zombie scenario: The dead are dead, but don’t know they’re dead. And that could be this market, warns JonesTrading’s Michael O’Rourke in a note late Tuesday.

The firm’s chief market strategist says even as the S&P 500 remains within striking distance of an all-time high, headwinds are building and could wipe out hopes stemming from last week’s strong payrolls report. (Not that the market could rally on even that stunner. Instead, it closed slightly lower.)

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-05-07 06:57:13

May 7, 2014, 6:00 a.m. EDT
Investors get bearish, suggesting stocks will rise
That’s what contrarian analysis says about market action in the next few weeks
By Mark Hulbert, MarketWatch

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (MarketWatch) — Is the wall of worry strong enough to support a higher stock market?

That’s the question I asked in a column one month ago, at a time when the NASDAQ Composite Index (COMP -0.42%) had already dropped 7.3% from its early-March high. I reported that, because a number of bulls had stopped charging so hard, “if a bottom isn’t already close at hand, it won’t come at much lower levels.”

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-05-07 06:58:26

How much further would tech stocks (e.g. NASDAQ) have to fall to reach (1) correction territory? (2) bear market territory?

Comment by goon squad
2014-05-07 06:45:35

It’s good to be the King

Of the 0.01%, by the 0.01%, for the 0.01%

Comment by (Still) Waiting for the Fall
2014-05-07 08:10:57

Stoopid is as stoopid duz…
People with more money than brains never stay that way for long.

Comment by In Colorado
2014-05-07 08:55:05

Yeah, right. They got rich because they’re stupid. When your net worth is in the tens of billions (like Larry Ellison) a $100M mansion or a $500M Hawaiian island won’t break the bank.

Comment by goon squad
2014-05-07 06:52:31

Downtown Los Angeles can be yours for only $523.36 a square foot:

“You have all these different slices of life,” said Halli Kristjansson, 53, a writer from Iceland who moved to an Arts District live-work unit a year ago. “I walk out the door past all these homeless people to go to the Los Angeles Athletic Club for a nice workout. Down here, it’s still a rainbow of humanity.”

Comment by In Colorado
2014-05-07 08:57:31

He should move to Compton. It’s even more rainbowland there.

Comment by oxide
2014-05-07 10:04:00

“It’s sitting on a little stretch of land in East Hampton that has had the who’s who from the beginning of time,” Desiderio said. “You would recognize every name of the oceanfront owners. They are all Googleable.”

Ooh, bad vocabulary, Mz. Desiderio, of Town and Country Real Estate.
Everyone is Googleable.
Real he-men are Wikipediable.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2014-05-07 07:00:30

Those promoting the belief in CAGW, are like the professor in Gilligan’s Island telling the headhunters, wearing bones between their noses, that they better release the castaways or he would cause the sun to disappear. While he was correct about the science that an eclipse would occur, he was lying about the cause. Similarly, we have the natural warming in a normal interglacial period slightly enhanced by man and we are being told that unless we spend hundreds of billions of dollars and let our electric rates double or triple, terrible things will happen. 90% of the warming will occur if we do everything they say due to natural warming and because of China and India if we double our costs for electricity in this country, we will probably reduce 1% of the warming. Sorry is not worth their taxes, they can take their bones and stick them and not between their noses.

Comment by goon squad
2014-05-07 07:18:52

Warmists warming it again, Dannyboy?

Here’s a pic I took the other day from the Continental Divide looking west toward Loveland Ski Area and the Eisenhower tunnel entrance:

So how are warmists gonna warm when there’s all that snow up there?

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2014-05-07 07:25:52

If it is about the environment and not tax money, why would the state of California be considering a tax policy which punishes energy efficiency:

Comment by goon squad
2014-05-07 07:44:34

Ooo, look, a Drudge Report link!

That’ll convince the warmists to stop warming.

Good work, Dannyboy. The Koch check is in the mail :)

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Comment by Albuquerquedan
2014-05-07 07:58:12

Your “coke” check is in the mail from George Soros for that post. :)

Comment by cactus
2014-05-07 10:24:37

KCAL9’s Bobby Kaple reports that Sen. Mark DeSaulnier, D-Concord, introduced a bill to test out the vehicle miles traveled (VMT) tax because the state’s gas tax was no longer bringing in the revenue it used to due to people driving more fuel efficient vehicles.

that’s what they do, they did it with water some years ago.

what are they going to do when everyone quits smoking ?

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Comment by MightyMike
2014-05-07 10:52:25

If it is about the environment and not tax money…

How could a tax not be about tax money?

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Comment by oxide
2014-05-07 12:24:23

Road and bridge maintenance are funded by gasoline taxes. The concept is that more gasoline usage == more road usage, so vehicles that use the roads more naturally pay more for maintenance via the gas tax. In the past, that was true. But hybrids and electrics use less gas but they tear up the roads the same amount as other vehicles. This bill wants to decouple road usage from gasoline usage, so that electric cars also pay for maintenance even if they don’t buy gasoline.

A-Dan is saying that if California is so tree hugger, then they should let the electrics and hybrids tear up the roads for free, as an incentive.

The electric utilities are having similar issues with solar users. Of course, in the past, you couldn’t get electricity from anywhere except a power plant, so grid maintenance is bundled into the price of electricity from the utility. Now, solar panels use less electricity but still need a maintained grid. Utilities are asking to decouple grid maintenance from power plant electricity.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2014-05-07 12:27:09

If the real concern is about the environment and not about an excuse to impose taxes both locally and globally why impose this tax? Of course, the mileage tax is about taxes but it is in the context of global warming and an example that Democrats really care more about tax money since this tax is clearly contrary to fighting global warming since it is a disincentive to buy an energy efficient car if you are going to pay by the mile and not the gallon.

Comment by "Uncle Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-05-07 12:47:47


How come they don’t charge people a tax to ride their bicycles on the public roads? The people on bicycles act like they own the road.

Comment by MightyMike
2014-05-07 13:22:18

All taxes are about taxes. Some are about other things as well.

Comment by oxide
2014-05-07 13:30:42

Probably because extracting a bicycle tax would be far more expensive than the damage caused by bikes. Now, the price of bikes being a hazard.. that’s a different issue.

A-dan, maybe CA thinks that the best way to care for the environment is to keep the roads maintained, so that they don’t lose the fuel efficiency from ALL cars driving on bumpy roads. I bet that that’s more damaging than some hippee hybrid can make up for. :razz:

And people buy fuel efficient cars in ALL states, not just commie CA. I guess there’s an incentive above not paying a CA gas tax… maybe because fuel efficient cars don’t buy as much gas period?

The best solution is still to decouple maintenance from fuel. The proposed legislation is a step toward doing that.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2014-05-07 13:32:38

You totally miss the point, some taxes are more about changing behavior than raising revenue such as the cigarette tax, if AGW is an imminent threat than imposing a tax which discourages saving gasoline makes no sense.

Comment by MightyMike
2014-05-07 13:50:06

I can’t see how the new tax would discourage saving gasoline. The article that you linked to doesn’t mention replacing the existing gasoline tax.

In fact, as the end of the article a woman is quotes saying “So if we go on vacation and I drive up to Mammoth, that’s 600 miles. We’re being taxed on vacations?”

Maybe she would cancel her vacation after the new tax was passed, or not travel as far. That would result in less gasoline consumption.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2014-05-07 14:09:06

Moving from a per gallon model to a per mile model certainly decreases an incentive to buy a fuel efficient or even electric car. With an electric car you are going from paying no tax to paying a tax, it should be obvious to anyone that is just not trying to disagree.

Comment by MightyMike
2014-05-07 14:28:22

As I wrote, nobody appears to be suggesting the elimination of the gasoline tax. So the savings that come from ownership of an electric car would not be affected.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2014-05-07 14:33:09

Oxide gets it and it shows once again she is probably the most intelligent liberal on this blog which may be damming with faint praise.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2014-05-07 14:50:28

You are just like Obama you cannot see how new taxes alter people’s behavior. If people see that taxation is heading toward a per mile instead of per gallon basis they have less incentive to buy a fuel efficient car. Obama still does not get why requiring companies to provide insurance for people working over 30 hours creates more part time positions or how Obamacare creates an incentive for companies to stay small and avoid being forced to provide insurance in the future.

Comment by RioAmericanInBrasil
2014-05-07 16:07:55

If the real concern is about the environment and not about an excuse to impose taxes both locally and globally why impose this tax?

Do you even have any idea about human behavior? No.

Comment by MightyMike
2014-05-07 16:11:40

You are just like Obama you cannot see how new taxes alter people’s behavior. If people see that taxation is heading toward a per mile instead of per gallon basis they have less incentive to buy a fuel efficient car.

For the third time, there is no mention in the article that you linked to of any elimination of the gasoline tax. So drivers would have to make a giant assumption that the introduction of a new tax would lead to the elimination of another tax at some point in the future. I would say that you don’t understand people’s behavior. Most people inclined to buy a hybrid to save money would not lose that inclination until they saw the price of gasoline decline.

You don’t have to wait for any new tax to see this is in action. If you went to San Francisco and wtached the cars driving over the Golden Gate Bridge at rush hour, you’d see a bunch of drivers who have to pay a high “per mile” fee to drive over the bridge. I imagine that you’d see quite a few Priuses and other cars that use little fuel.

Comment by "Uncle Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-05-07 17:04:37

I think that even if the road were used exclusively by bicycles, then it would still fall apart within five years. People should have to pay a tax if they want to ride bicycles on nonresidential roads.

Comment by MightyMike
2014-05-07 17:09:52

A politician in Australia recently proposed licensing cyclists and taking licenses away from those who engage in too much unsafe cycling.

Comment by cactus
2014-05-07 17:53:38

Its just another tax , I think CA employees armies of workers who think up ways to justify taxes.

Armies of workers backed by private industry bootstraping consultants who actually think up these new taxes.

Comment by cactus
2014-05-07 18:02:34

there are always smart people like Albuquerque Dan who see the cross purposes of new taxes so private consultants have to be employed to think up the spin to justify the tax.

Save gas this tax is good for all of us, no wait we are not getting enough taxes use more gas, no wait save gas, no wait my retirement..

I think they use hollywood spin guys to soften up he populace first with scary predictions and cool visual aids then when the time is right another group show up to save the day with more government and more taxes.

Comment by oxide
2014-05-07 18:11:09

Mighty Mike,

One of the commenters to the article did mention that the legislation is going to try to eventually replace the gasoline tax with a mileage tax, as a voluntary program. That’s why I said that the proposed legislation is a step in the direction of decoupling gas from roads. I’m not sure how they replace the tax only for a few volunteers.. maybe the volunteer pays both the mileage and gasoline taxes, submits gas receipts, and the state would refund the gasoline tax.

some taxes are more about changing behavior than raising revenue

And this tax is clearly one of the ones that raises revenue. You’re taking a tax with a clear-cut direct purpose and twisting it to your pro-fossil agenda.

Sure, if not paying a penny here or there makes a few libtards buy a hybrid, that’s a little bonus on the side. But the gasoline tax is primarily about MAINTAINING ROADS. Why is this so difficult for people??? Little Miss “They’re taxing my vacation” is enough to make me scream. Lady, they aren’t taxing your vacation, they are taxing you because your behemoth is tearing up 600 miles of state road. Those potholes don’t fix themselves. If you stayed at home, you wouldn’t be taxed.

And as I’ve said before, that the real incentive is in using less gas, not in avoiding a gasoline tax. The gas itself costs 100x the tax, so it’s the gas itself which alters the behavior. If it were ONLY about the CA tax incentive, then why do people buy fuel efficient cars in low-tax states like Texas or Tennessee?

Comment by MightyMike
2014-05-07 19:01:00

I checked the comments and there were over 5,000 and I couldn’t find the comment that you mentioned. Then I Googled it and found another article saying that “DeSaulnier’s bill would use a “miles-based fee” to replace the state gas tax, now at 52.9 cents per gallon.”

Then I checked and I see that the price of gasoline is right around $4.00 per gallon in Sacramento. As you wrote, there’s still a pretty strong incentive to drive an efficient car with gas at ~ $3.50. In addition to that, the proposed vehicle miles traveled (VMT) tax would provide an incentive to minimize the number of miles driven, which would be good for the environment. So the change could lead, ceteris paribus, to slightly more gasoline and diesel fuel getting burned, but the increase would probably be pretty small.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-05-07 19:11:05

Today you were asked to post something useful. Housing related fundamental such as price, sales volume, demand, etc.

Comment by MightyMike
2014-05-07 19:18:11

You didn’t say please.

Comment by In Colorado
2014-05-07 08:01:38

Here’s a pic I took the other day from the Continental Divide looking west toward Loveland Ski Area and the Eisenhower tunnel entrance:

You must have been pretty high up there. The tunnel, at 11,000 feet, looks far below.

Comment by goon squad
2014-05-07 09:02:28

“You must have been pretty high”

Higher than you can even imagine.

Here looking southwest from the same location toward Keystone and Breckenridge.

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Comment by oxide
2014-05-07 10:19:42

higher than you can even imagine

Hope you fit some Cheetos into your backpack.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2014-05-07 10:47:38

Amy is his pack mule and she has them in her backpack.

Comment by Blue Skye
2014-05-07 07:47:49

Empires flourish during warming periods. They collapse during cooling periods.

Comment by cactus
2014-05-07 10:20:56

Well if they can’t invent new useful things they can tax old necessary things, like air and water.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-05-07 07:01:15

Arlington, VA Housing Prices Dive 29%; Inventory Balloons 54% As Buyers Exit Market

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-05-07 07:04:39

Herndon, VA Housing Prices Crater 16%; Inventory Skyrockets 92%

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-05-07 07:06:25

Bethesda, MD Housing Prices Plunge 11% YoY

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-05-07 07:08:20

Mclean, VA(DC Metro) Housing Prices Sink 5% YoY As Inventory Grows

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-05-07 07:11:09

Worthless housing…. worthless worthless housing… it’s worth less and less with each passing day.

Falls Church, VA(DC metro) Housing Prices Crater 7% YoY; Inventory Balloons 25%

Comment by goon squad
2014-05-07 07:11:10

My Drudge link clicking betters tell me that WalkScore is elitist

“In the Denver area, per-capita vehicle miles traveled have been stagnant since 2000, and total miles traveled have been flat since 2005. Statewide, we have added as many people as the population of Colorado Springs since 2005 with no net increase in driving.

So why the change? Contributing factors include more people living in multifamily housing in walkable neighborhoods, and a change in the attitudes of young people toward car ownership and driving.”

Comment by In Colorado
2014-05-07 07:58:25

I wonder how much of this is due to telecommuting. Unless you live and work downtown, I don’t see how one get by in Denver without a car. The place is sprawl city and public transportation is a joke.

As for telecommuting, obviously not everyone can do it, but everyone I know in tech does it,usually working a couple of days a week from home.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-05-07 07:15:02

Don’t be fooled by the lib/con right/left charade. It’s merely cover to get you to take your eye off your wallet.

Comment by goon squad
2014-05-07 07:29:52

The only difference is whether they lick AIPAC’s left boot or right boot.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-05-07 07:36:11

The communists co-opt the cause of the Free $hit Army. The Free $hit Army gets a lifetime of debt and the communists rob you blind.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-05-07 07:17:13

Annandale, VA (DC Metro) Housing Prices Down 6% YoY As Inventory Balloons 40%

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-05-07 07:30:01

Los Angeles, CA Housing Prices Slide Lower As Inventory Balloons 27% And Buyers Disappear

Comment by goon squad
2014-05-07 07:48:33

See above Bloomberg link. For only $523.36 a square foot, you can “taste the rainbow” of downtown Los Angeles.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-05-07 07:51:11

Explains why prices are falling and demand is collapsing.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-05-07 07:32:15

San Diego Metro Housing Prices Plunge 13%; Inventory Explodes 79%

2014-05-07 07:53:27

San Diego,Ca +17.6% one month gain, +$86,000 ONE MONTH GAIN







Housing will continue to go up 15-20% yearly in California until 2017.
Its a good time to buy and make big time equity $$$$$$$$$$$$$

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-05-07 08:18:18

Too late to dump those shanties. You’re broke.

Comment by pazuzu
2014-05-07 16:32:01

IELK: “Housing will continue to go up 15-20% yearly in California until 2017.”

Comment by Housing Analyst
Comment by "Uncle Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-05-07 12:41:22

The percentage of houses with decreasing values in San Francisco is up. Take note, oh ye adherents to the Church of California real estate.

Comment by taxpayers
2014-05-07 07:38:19

even Janet the weather lady is talking bubble on housing

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-05-07 07:50:07

A shoe shine boy moment.

Comment by j-j-j-joe
Comment by Albuquerquedan
Comment by j-j-j-joe
2014-05-07 13:18:14

$700 for a bike suit? Not sure what my mentor Mr Money Mustache would think.

Even if he approved, on warm, humid Chesapeake days I would smell… wonderful.

This could probably work in the mountain west or California. Places with more suitable weather.

Comment by In Colorado
2014-05-07 08:50:16

Why don’t they offshore it to China to save money?

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-05-07 08:20:16

Housing Liberace housing !!!

Comment by Neuromance
2014-05-07 08:37:47

Ritholtz comes out for homeownership in the link below. He quotes a fellow who brings up three popular points:

• Once the mortgage is paid off, house carrying costs are miniscule.
• It’s a forced savings plan.
• Money spent on rent is thrown away. Money spent on a house leaves you with an asset at the end of it.

But - we’ve discussed these things here. House carrying costs vary. They consist of TI-UMF - Taxes, Insurance, Utilities, Maintenance and Fees. These can be quite significant.

And the forced savings - what are they talking about? All that money you put in a house can’t be tapped until you sell it. Or you can get a loan and put your house up as collateral. But that’s not tapping your savings - it’s a loan you must pay back. And in a debt bubble, house prices are going to be inflated everywhere. So good luck getting your “savings” back.

Finally, the money thrown away on rent. Expect to spend the price of the house on interest and carrying costs. Then when/if the mortgage gets paid off, then you get to spend money on carrying costs. These total costs are typically way above rent.

Anyway, here’s the Ritholtz link:

Comment by Bill, just south of Irvine
2014-05-07 08:55:59

Forced savings? It is as a losing investment in the decency of your neighborhood. The “progressives” destroy the neighborhood with subsidies. It is a given. Better to buy an Audi R8 than a shack in a neighborhood destined to go ghetto.

Comment by "Uncle Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-05-07 12:36:19

Some neighborhoods improve over time.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2014-05-07 13:35:38

Some but most when they start going down they keep going down. There has to be a catalysis such as rapid employment growth in the area which is very rare these days.

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Comment by Bill, just South of Irvine, CA
2014-05-07 20:36:30

“Some neighborhoods improve over time.”

The Hamptons
Martha’s Vineyard
Beverly Hills
Pacific Palisades
Laguna Beach
Marin County
Newport Beach
Del Mar

So what’s your point?

Try Shaker Heights, Ohio.
Try Detroit.
Try Fresno
Try Stockton
Try Richmond
Try East St. Louis
Try Newark
and so on

See any pattern yet?

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Comment by MightyMike
2014-05-07 21:54:41

What’s the pattern?

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-05-07 10:57:19

After reading that tripe, it’s obvious BR carries water for the system.

Comment by Rental Watch
Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-05-07 11:19:52

Yes but what about the millions of foreclosures set aside as a result of foreclosure moratoriums?

Comment by Rental Watch
2014-05-07 12:48:32

What are you talking about?

If a lender stops processing a foreclosure, that still shows up as a delinquent loan for Transunion (who gets reports on who is still paying).

If a lender completes a foreclosure, but never resells it, it shows up as REO, which is tracked by various groups, but the number I frequently see is about 500k REO that haven’t been resold onto the market…NATIONWIDE (about 10% of that in CA).

What precisely is a foreclosure that has been “set aside”?

A borrower stopped paying, but the bank isn’t foreclosing?

What does “setting aside” a foreclosure actually mean in your mind?

Comment by "Uncle Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-05-07 12:33:16


How do explain the doubling of inventory?

Comment by Rental Watch
2014-05-07 12:42:04

Doubling of inventory? Where?

Take a look at the Calculated Risk Blog.

On a weekly basis, he is tracking nationwide inventory as compared to the same week for 2010-2013. The last post on this was 5/5.

What it shows is that inventories in 2010 were from 1.0MM to 1.2MM over the year (all approximations).

2011 was about 900k to 1.1MM
2012 was about 650k to 900k
2013 was about 600k to 800k

Current level is about 800k, trending approximately 10% above last year at the same time.

In other words, inventory is higher than last year, but not high.

Comment by "Uncle Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-05-07 12:51:08

Phoenix. Coming soon to Sacramento.

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Comment by Rental Watch
2014-05-07 13:05:22

How is inventory compared to, say 2001? 2003?

Some of the markets I track had inventory SO depressed, that a doubling wouldn’t bring them back to normal.

I think Whac saw inventory of homes on the market in San Diego County running at substantially less than half of normal.

A doubling there means we are approaching normal.

Understanding the starting point from which the comparison is being made really matters.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-05-07 14:16:28

Again….. what about the millions of foreclosures set aside as a result of foreclosure moratoriums?

Comment by Rental Watch
2014-05-07 14:52:02

I refer to my questions above, what does “set aside” mean with respect to foreclosures? At what point in the process halted?

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-05-07 15:20:51

You know what it means.


Comment by Rental Watch
2014-05-07 16:20:10

Evading the question again…

Here is the foreclosure process:

1. Home owner becomes delinquent…shows up as non-current (LPS), delinquent (Transunion), etc.

2. Lender issues a Notice of Default. These numbers are reported by various groups, since NODs are public filings. These folks are now in the foreclosure process, as reported by various groups (including LPS).

3. Once the foreclosure is complete, the home is either sold to a third party, or ends up as REO on the books of the lender. This number is tracked by Foreclosure Radar, as well as others. Traces of this REO shows up in things like the FDIC reporting (if the REO is on the balance sheet of banks), or Fannie reporting (if the REO is on the balance sheet of Fannie).

No matter where the process is supposedly stopped, the sum total of the distress can be tracked.

In what category are your “millions” of “set aside” foreclosures?

If they are not in these categories, at what point are they being “set aside”, and how are they being hidden from sight?

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-05-07 17:18:53

Yes you’re evading again.

For the third time….. what about the millions of foreclosures set aside as a result of foreclosure moratoriums?

Comment by Albuquerquedan
Comment by oxide
2014-05-07 12:52:54

Did the reporter even think to call the county? Or do a 4-second google, like I did?

25-1700.38.6 Landscaping Guidelines and Principles…

8. Parking of motor vehicles on landscaped areas, on grass, or against trees and shrubbery is prohibited. Parking of vehicles on landscaped/grass areas is permitted during special events.

[warning, PDF]

No, I thought not. It’s much more profitable to run a sob story against a poor elderly couple.

Comment by LolaLOL
2014-05-07 18:48:20

You answered for Amy. I know you did it deliberately.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
Comment by Blackhawk
2014-05-07 16:48:42

Yes. And then we’ll see if they have the cojones to change anything. I doubt that they do.

I will have fun watching the Benghazi Special Committee root out the truth. That dude from South Carolina has a beautiful prosecutorial mind.

I heard today that the Libyan security company that was guarding the embassy was let go on Aug 31st. For some reason someone wanted them to die. I wonder why? Something to do with guns?

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2014-05-07 10:17:16

The increase in oil production is decelerating rapidly. Last year at this time if you would have checked you would have seen oil production at 1.2 million per day. Now it is less than one million. The only think that has been going right for America the last four or five years is the increase in oil and gas production. This has not happened due to Obama’s policies but despite them since he cannot control oil production on private lands. To the degree he has the power to impede production on public lands or block pipelines carrying oil from private lands, he has. The growth in GDP has been heavily tied to energy production, now there will be far less of an increase due to energy production beginning to level off:

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2014-05-07 10:49:32

Last year at this time if you would have checked you would have seen oil production increasing yoy at 1.2 million per day.

Comment by Housing Analyst
Comment by Carl Morris
2014-05-07 13:48:04

Thank you sir, may I have another?

Interesting that the median sales price is down significantly, while on the same page it says that Boulder home values are up 8.3% YOY. Apparently the higher priced homes are getting so valuable that nobody buys or sells them.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-05-07 19:14:51

Like I said two weeks ago….. craters are forming on the face of the US like pepperonis on a pizza. It wasn’t a joke and I’m not joking. Not then, not now.

I’ll have some interesting discussion to contribute tomorrow in addition to the links.

Comment by doom
2014-05-07 10:49:04

You all know I take a stance for positive business, but when I just heard the Fed Yellen say the target in now 5.2% unemployment and so many blowing in the wind statements, it reminds me old the old adage throwing darts blindfolded.

I don’t like anything I can’t see ahead of me, thus either the powers to be get their collective heads together or somebody better learn how to make soup and serve it on the local sidewalks?

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-05-07 10:54:31

Now that the resumption of the housing price decline is in full swing, they’re covering there ass.

“Yellen: Economy remains on track but keep an eye on housing”

Down we go! Where the bottom is, Housing Analyst knows!

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2014-05-07 12:29:20

Just another example of Obama’s economy going “forward” in the wrong direction.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2014-05-07 12:43:28

Hey HA, I just found a picture of Joe and Lola hanging out together:

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Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-05-07 14:14:47

LOLZ! That’s them!

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2014-05-07 14:52:37

I know. I just don’t know if the picture was taken at Paddles or on a Potomac river cruise.

Comment by "Uncle Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-05-07 12:29:40

Yellen is M-A-D mad because houses are showing signs of being less unaffordable in the foreseeable future. It is very important to make sure that only the obscenely wealthy global elite are able to purchase real estate. The Federal Reserve is going to freeeeeeeaaaaaaaaak out in a few months, when the price reversals accelerate.

Oh, but there’s no obvious bubble in stocks though, so don’t worry about that. The stock market only goes up.

Comment by taxpayers
2014-05-07 13:13:20

that biaaaytch is claiming income equality as a fed purview

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2014-05-07 12:33:56

Remember a few days ago when Lola was trying to claim that consumers were paying off debts and posting an old link. I stated that consumers were going further in debt due to student loans and car loans and posted a more current link. While here is an even more current update demonstrating that I was right:

May 7 (Reuters) - U.S. consumer credit recorded its largest increase in a year in March, boosted by growing demand for student loans and household borrowing to buy automobiles.

Total consumer credit increased by $17.53 billion to $3.14 trillion, the Federal Reserve said on Wednesday. That was the largest rise since February 2013.

February’s consumer credit figure was revised lower to show a $12.99 billion increase rather than the previously reported $16.49 billion advance.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected consumer credit to rise by $15.75 billion in March.

Revolving credit, which mostly measures credit-card use, rebounded by $1.13 billion after falling by a revised $2.73 billion in February. The failure in March to recoup the prior month’s decline suggests that households remain cautious about assuming too much debt.

Non-revolving credit, which includes auto loans as well as student loans made by the government, rose $16.40 billion in March. February’s figure was revised to show a $15.71 billion increase instead of the previously reported $18.91 billion surge. (Reporting by Lucia Mutikani; Editing by Paul Simao)

Comment by Rental Watch
2014-05-07 12:44:10

Remember my comment about the rise in foreclosures being largely an effect from the Homeowner Bill of Rights?

Here is a nice quote from DataQuick on the matter, which was PRECISELY my point:

“Although this year’s first quarter was the first to log a year-over-year increase in default filings since fourth quarter 2009, that gain can be attributed to an anomaly early in first-quarter 2013: There was a short-lived plunge in NoD filings in January and February last year as new state laws - known as the “Homeowner Bill of Rights” - took effect, causing lenders and services to pause and adjust. On a year-over-year basis, NoD filings have only increased in January this year, rising 63.9 percent, while February and March NoD levels fell 2.8 percent and 22.5 percent, respectively, from a year earlier. Still, the January gain was enough to put all of first-quarter 2014 ahead of first-quarter last year.”

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2014-05-07 13:11:27

China has 60 million homes and more than four times the population of the U.S. we have 18.6 million, so we still beat them on a per capita basis, we can still can compete successfully with China!!!

Comment by Albuquerquedan
Comment by taxpayers
2014-05-07 15:24:51

how many bankers have lost their jobs since dood/frank

Comment by jane
2014-05-07 17:00:01

Not enough.

Comment by RioAmericanInBrasil
2014-05-07 14:46:28

Why would a major political party lie so much? I mean, really lie as part of a major party platform. Again and again. This is not America. This is not normal American political exchange. This is sustained propaganda the likes America has not seen before regarding a non-war issue. Shame on those of you who go along with it.

Morning Plum: Facts can’t cure Obamacare Derangement Syndrome

….House Republicans, you will recall, recently released a report claiming only 67 percent of enrollees had paid their Obamacare premiums. This was widely hyped by the law’s opponents: All these claims that the law is on track just have to be cooked! But the insurers themselves are set to testify today that here in the real world, 80-90 percent of people have paid:

As many as 90 percent of WellPoint customers have paid their first premium by its due date, according to testimony the company prepared for a congressional hearing today. For Aetna, the payment is in the “low to mid-80 percent range,” the company said in its own testimony. Health Care Service Corp., which operates Blue Cross Blue Shield plans in five states including Texas, said that number is at least 83 percent. [...]

Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee invited insurers to testify on enrollment after publishing a report last week claiming only two-thirds of people who signed up had paid their first premium.

“That was just foolishness on the part of the committee to even publish that number because it was completely out of context,” Bob Laszewski, an insurance industry consultant in Alexandria, Virginia, said in a phone interview.

That last quote is interesting, because Laszewski is an Obamacare skeptic, yet he’s charging Republicans with “foolishness” for trying to make a political point with the 67 percent number (it only tallied up payments through April 15th).

Comment by MrsLolaSoros
2014-05-07 18:56:13

Been bogged down in the Potomac trying to save your Messiah’s huge screw up? November webcam surprise?

Comment by Little Al
2014-05-07 15:58:28

There are certainly rumblings that a new recession is on its way. Only this time, Yellen will have not ammunition to shoot. If interest rates still are at zero, how can the economy be artificially stimulated. Also, Yellen said recently that her biggest fear is the housing market. When will this housing story disappear?

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-05-07 16:03:59

When prices roll back to typical levels.

Comment by MightyMike
2014-05-07 16:45:05

What’s artifical stimulation? Is there such a thing as natural stimulation?

Comment by oxide
2014-05-07 18:27:58

Of course there is, Mike. Anything that creates jobs or puts money into the pockets of The Poor will stimulate the economy, as the money is spent again.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-05-07 18:42:34

Fetch me a beer.

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Comment by MrsLolaSoros
2014-05-07 18:57:38

Sammich also.

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Comment by LiberaceLOL
2014-05-07 19:08:37

…. and scrub the toilet.

Comment by goon squad
2014-05-07 17:01:57

For those of you who may be considering a visit to the high country of Colorado and getting higher than you should be:

Comment by tresho
Comment by jane
2014-05-07 19:35:23

I’m going Oil City.

I left my old yob a year ago and went to a new one. The company line was ‘if you are in R&D you can work from anywhere as long as you can make a physical appearance on two days’ notice’. My old (slimy non-profit) company went to a telecomm policy after the crash, and for them it was an ez way to disappear people. The new place looks like it means it in good faith.

If I only need to come in once a month to do program review, I can do that.

These are small, obscure towns that have seen better days, and which are LOTS prettier than Metro DC.

I’m either a) gonna live in a singlewide while I GC an indestructible house [looking for plans - our resident experts say that concrete is verboten, so be it - I hope he will in fact look over the plans!] or b) buy an old one. One thing that can be said about old houses: they have stood the test of time. I am told that builders in the 30s were so glad to have work that they were detail oriented so as to eke out an extra week of pay. Finding an old stone house (brick ones are common in the old, obscure towns) would be my preference. Man plans, the PTB laugh.

I saw several that would have been perfectly fine by the standards of the day, whose monthly carrying costs = my storage unit. 1000 sq ft, 1 ac., basement. Did not have enough room for my books. (These too small)

I also saw several Old Vics built back when people had servants - rooms were large, would have had room for my books and paintings. Maintaining the gingerbread on them scares the bejeezus out of me. If I keeled over from seeing a ghost, it would take a month for anybody to find me with all the nooks and crannies. And it would be eerie hearing the halls echo, with just me walking them. Carrying costs 3x my storage unit. These were too big and complicated, with too little land - in town, on banker’s row I guess. Perfect for a boarding house if you trust your boarders - but unless you have nerves of steel, not comfy for this singleton.

I hope to find something that is juuusst right. If I DO get canned, at least I’ll have almost-free housing in a congenial small town - that’s a big weight off one’s back. Everything is relative.

Thankfully, my lease has six months to go.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-05-07 19:49:07

I’ve enraged the internet housing marketeers(fraudsters).

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