June 4, 2014

Bits Bucket for June 4, 2014

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

RSS feed


Comment by Carl Morris
2014-06-04 00:59:34

One thing I thought I was noticing on the last trip was that things just seem to be getting slower at this factory. But I thought maybe it was just a lull after Chinese New Year. But now it seems even slower than in March. By American standards it’s a very big expensive building for the amount of product being built. I’d say the building is being used at maybe 20% capacity? In January it seemed like around 50%. The project I’m on seemed like a small side project in January. Now it kind of feels like one of the bigger things here. And it hasn’t gotten much bigger. I’m just not seeing the huge crowds of workers that used to be here.

Comment by FavelaTuro
2014-06-04 06:24:14

God forbid they lower the price of ipads amd sell more. They play every planned obsolescence, upgrade, “new feature” trick they can to keep that price up. Eventually cheaper labor costs and tech increases lead to deflation.

2014-06-04 06:27:34

Cash Deals for Homes Reach Record With Boomers Retiring

Mike Trafton bought a house in a suburb of Boise, Idaho, where he plans to retire. He made the deal without signing a stack of mortgage papers.

Trafton, 55, and his wife Cindy, 54, paid $400,000 in cash for the 3,200-square-foot house in Eagle after selling their 4,400-square-foot home in a Portland, Oregon, suburb for $680,000. Like a growing number of baby boomers, born between 1946 and 1964, the Traftons had no desire to get a mortgage.

“I feel better about owning my home outright,” said Trafton, who’s moving to a region with an average of 200 sunny days a year and skiing in the winter. “At this stage in our lives, we can afford it, and it’s better than having a monthly mortgage payment hanging over us.”

Cash Deals
The majority of people making all-cash deals are baby boomers mostly because America’s largest-ever generation is beginning to retire, said Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of Realtors. In 2012, there were a record 61.8 million Americans over the age of 60, according to the Census. That compares with 46.6 million in 2000.

“Cash purchases are on the rise because older homeowners who have decades of home-equity accumulation don’t want the hassle of a mortgage,” Yun said. “With the economy improving and the stock market at record highs, boomers are the ones who are driving the market.”


Comment by FavelaTuro
2014-06-04 07:25:50

Sold one house and bought a cheaper house. More deflation. This is a bad sign for you IE Slumlord.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-06-04 07:31:45

I’m expecting a lot of all-cash deals to be driven by coastal retirees moving inland and buying a house at a small fraction of the sale price.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Arizona Slim
2014-06-04 11:31:21

We also get quite a few of them here in AZ.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-06-04 17:40:37

I count AZ as “inland” from the coast. For that matter, even 20 miles from the shore is inland in terms of the cost savings over beachfront property. And we don’t have to worry about global warming melting the polar ice caps, leaving us in a permanent state of underwaterness due to rising sea levels.

Comment by rms
2014-06-04 07:43:47

“Trafton, 55, and his wife Cindy, 54, paid $400,000 in cash for the 3,200-square-foot house in Eagle…”

Wow, $400k is a huge pile of money in Idaho. Insane.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Blue Skye
2014-06-04 07:47:20

They expect the house to be a stream of wealth. One could live very comfortably on $400 large in Idaho for the rest of their lives, or impoverish oneself with an overpriced house. It’s the inchbyinch model.

Comment by FavelaTuro
2014-06-04 07:54:59

These large lumps of cash are quite vulnerable to con men and fraudsters. Particularly because the people with them are older and slowing down mentally. There will be many stories in the years to come of people that were scammed out of their cash by thinking they bought a house.

Comment by Blue Skye
2014-06-04 08:16:30

At 55?

Are you a teenager?

Comment by iftheshoefits
2014-06-04 08:21:28

Not to mention all of those who actually did buy the house and were scammed out of their cash just the same.

I used to think those of us individual cash buyers were the ones with leverage in negotiating price, but the realtors sure don’t see it that way. They look at a cash transaction as one that doesn’t have to go through the lender’s appraisal.

Yes, appraisals are mostly useless and fraudulent themselves any more, but the keyword there is mostly. Bank appraisals still operate in some cases as a check and balance against house lusting debt donkeys volunteering excessive amounts of OPM to meet some sellers wishing price. With a cash transaction, as long as they’ve got the buyer fooled, they’re in free.

And boy, do the buyer’s agents pull out all the stops with cash buyers to convince you that the wishing prices are “the market”. Even ones that we knew from other associations in life and thought we could trust. Bah. The “buyer’s agents” are paid for by the seller, and that’s who they’re working for.

With all the information on the internet, anyone enlisting the services of a buyer’s agent as anything more than a direct paid-by-the-hour chauffeur at $30 an hour is a fool. Do your own homework and save hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Comment by oxide
2014-06-04 09:11:06

Skye, isn’t the tax exclusion something like $250K?

My guess is that this couple had paid off the mortgage on the Portland house, and they had to buy a $400K house to keep the proceeds to less than $250K (more or less) and thus avoid paying taxes.

Actually the house probably IS a stream of income. If they live in the $400K house for three(?) years, they can sell that and buy a $150K house and pocket another $250K tax-free.

(I admit, I didn’t like inchy’s strategy either, but it was her decision.)

Comment by ibbots
2014-06-04 10:29:33

Oxide - it is $250k per person, so in a married couple, $500k.

What they do with the money is irrelevant for tax purposes if the house they sold was their primary residence. You are thinking of the old §1034 roll over. That was replaced by the new §121 back in 1994 I believe.

Comment by Bill, just South of Irvine
2014-06-04 11:14:53

Retire early sounds fine if you keep very active. Mind and body.

Comment by Bill, just South of Irvine
2014-06-04 11:24:51

My sister’s friend’s husband is putting his fishing boat up for sale for $1,000,000. We will see them this evening. I last took a ride on his boat in 2006 toward Catalina island. Time flies by. They are around retirement age. Would be interesting to hear what plans they have. Move out of California? Or put the million in municipal bonds. House near the beach is paid off.

Comment by Pete
2014-06-04 18:22:29

“House near the beach is paid off.”

Idaho, here we come!

Comment by Guillotine Renovator
2014-06-04 18:59:21

Million dollar fishing boat? Sounds more like a pleasure yacht.

Comment by Bill, just South of Irvine
2014-06-05 07:45:39

He also supported lots of science stuff, took surfers back and forth to yhe Cortes Bank. One of them named Greg Long.

Comment by FED Up
2014-06-04 13:27:26

“The majority of people making all-cash deals are baby boomers mostly because America’s largest-ever generation is beginning to retire, said Lawrence Yun, chief economist of the National Association of Realtors.”

I don’t believe it. It’s big and small investors, and “all cash” just means no mortgage on the home being purchased. It doesn’t count all those lines of equity on other properties, credit card debt etc. I’ve gone through oodles of mortgage records in my area, and most of the boomers I see selling owe a lot and are asking absurd prices to, no doubt, have some greater fool buyer pay off their mortgage and fund their retirement.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by rms
2014-06-04 18:01:59

“I don’t believe it.”

Some of it is true.

I live in eastern Washington’s flyover country, and there are old folks arriving who bought their Seattle-Tacoma homes in the sixties before the inflationary seventies. They sell at $500k+, and buy for cash and bank the balance; simple manual laborers they won the economic-demographic lotto. However their dilemma out here is access to good healthcare.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-06-04 18:30:20

We saw this dynamic in the Midwest back in the early 1990s — myriad Californians had dumped their overpriced houses and moved to large, newly constructed tract homes priced at a fraction of California housing.

Comment by Guillotine Renovator
2014-06-04 19:03:38

As long as there is good health care and shopping close by, and little crime, the Midwest does not look so bad if it is cheap as compared to the nosebleed coastal areas.

Comment by FED Up
2014-06-04 20:42:53

If you were 25 in 1969 when you bought a house, you were born in 1944, and not a boomer. Sure there are some, but there were many who cashed out 2001-2006 and moved into a equally overpriced shack and therefore, lost the advantage they had. The area I follow is in the Chicago suburbs, and the prices aren’t cheap here and the property taxes are horrendous. BTW, I don’t trust anything that comes out of the NAR propaganda machine.

Comment by 2banana
2014-06-04 04:54:51

Welcome to the obama economy.

Now GET on that property ladder!

Sacrifices have to be made.


Half of Americans can’t afford their house
June 4, 2014 - Quentin Fottrell - http://www.marketwatch.com

As the housing market slowly recovers, a majority of homeowners and renters are finding it hard to meet rising rents and mortgage payments, new research finds.

Over half of Americans (52%) have had to make at least one major sacrifice in order to cover their rent or mortgage over the last three years, according to the “How Housing Matters Survey,” which was commissioned by the nonprofit John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation and carried out by Hart Research Associates. These sacrifices include getting a second job, deferring saving for retirement, cutting back on health care, running up credit card debt, or even moving to a less safe neighborhood or one with worse schools.

“Affordability issues are real and a major hurdle,” says Lawrence Yun, chief economist at the National Association of Realtors, an industry group. Home prices have increased 20% over the past two years while wages have barely gone up, he says. “Only by adding more new supply, via housing starts, can home prices be tamed,” Yun adds. In fact, construction of housing units has averaged around 1.5 million a year for the past five decades, he says, but it’s likely to be less than 1 million in 2014.

What’s more, at least 15% of American homeowners (or residents of 78 counties across the country) were living in housing markets where the monthly mortgage payment on a median-priced home requires more than 30% of the monthly median household income — long considered the maximum for rent/mortgage repayments. Housing costs above that threshold are “unaffordable by historic standards,” says Daren Blomquist, vice president at real estate data firm RealtyTrac. In New York county/Manhattan, mortgage payments represent 77% of the median income and in San Francisco County represents 70%.

Although mortgage rates are still quite low, down payments, poor credit and tighter lending standards remain three of the biggest hurdles for buying a home, especially among young people, Blomquist says. “The slow jobs recovery for young adults has made it harder for them to save and to get a mortgage.” Some 84% of young people are delaying major life decisions due to the poor economy, according to a 2013 survey by Generation Opportunity, a nonprofit think tank based in Arlington, Va.

The good news: Rising prices have lifted millions of homeowners out of negative equity. Since the lowest point in the housing market crash, rising prices have led to an additional $4 trillion in housing equity, going to existing homeowners, smart investors and those who can afford to buy, Yun says. Home prices, including distressed sales, increased 10.5% in April 2014 year-over-year, according to the latest survey from mortgage-data firm CoreLogic, representing the 26th consecutive month of annual increases in home prices.

Comment by phony scandals
2014-06-04 06:21:45

“Half of Americans can’t afford their house”

Not even if they have hardwood floors?

I’ll have to wash my orange fingers and check with Amy on this.

Comment by FavelaTuro
2014-06-04 06:26:30

I have said this before, it is a sign of a highly dysfunctional market if families could not afford to buy the home they now own.

Comment by FavelaTuro
2014-06-04 06:28:36

The good news: Rising prices have lifted millions of homeowners out of negative equity.

Now if they could only find someone to sell their house to at those rising prices. Wait, what!

Comment by Mr. Banker
2014-06-04 06:38:37

“The good news: Rising prices have lifted millions of homeowners out of negative equity.”

This is indeed good news in that the true homeowners are the bankers.

Comment by oxide
2014-06-04 06:45:31

These sacrifices include getting a second job, deferring saving for retirement, cutting back on health care, running up credit card debt, or even moving to a less safe neighborhood or one with worse schools.

I have been blathering about “needs industries” on HBB for years, and IMO justifiably. I didn’t understand how many hidden pockets of value that we had until people had to raid them. Spare bedroom vs. roommate, Grandma’s SS check, a few hours of TV at night vs. a second job, financed car vs. leased car, better school vs. bad school, doctor vs. 88¢ discount drug bin at Wal-Mart, cashier vs. self-checkout, Applebee’s vs. Lean Cuisine, JCPenney vs. Wal-Mart.

Landlords raise rent and dare renters to pay it. Similar retailers keep an unspoken agreement to not undercut each other’s prices. People will pay because they have to, until they have raided every saved penny and live in paycheck to paycheck stuffed into barely functional dwellings. This is not new; such economies have existed since at least Ancient Rome.

Comment by Blue Skye
2014-06-04 17:00:07

At least dropping cable at $100/mo isn’t on the list. That would be awful.

Comment by phony scandals
2014-06-04 06:59:11

“Rising prices have lifted millions of homeowners out of negative equity.”

Bon Jovi - Bad Medicine Lyrics - YouTube
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4coXVx8noBA - 141k -

I don’t need no refi program to be giving me a thrill
And I don’t need no anesthesia or a nurse to bring a pill
I got a big fat friggin mortgage and I’m livin’ in a shack
They said it was a Smart Loan now it’s a monkey on my back
There ain’t no mortgage program gonna save this heart attack
And if they got a lower payment, well, I haven’t found it yet

This house is like negative equity
Negative equity is what I see
Upside down just like negative equity
There ain’t no Realtor that can cure my disease

I ain’t got a fever got a permanent disease
And it’ll take more than a Realtor to prescribe a remedy
And I lost lots of money but it isn’t wasn’t cause’ a greed
Gonna take more than a refi to get this poison outta me

Well I need a respirator ’cause I’m running out of breath
You’re a Liar and a Devil wrapped in stockings and a dress
When you find your medicine you take what you can get
‘Cause if there is lower payment, well, I haven’t found it yet

This house is like negative equity
Negative equity is what I see
Upside down just like negative equity
There ain’t no Realtor that can cure my disease

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-06-04 07:37:19

The American Dream is out of reach, say hardship-hit families
June 4, 2014, 7:51 AM ET

The American Dream is ‘a national ethos of the United States, a set of ideals in which freedom includes the opportunity for prosperity and success, and an upward social mobility achieved through hard work.

American dream? More like a pipe dream, according to a research report released Wednesday.

The fresh poll from CNN/ORC International shows 59% of adults think the American dream has become impossible for most to achieve, up from 54% in a poll conducted in 2006. What’s more, 63% of those surveyed believe most children in the U.S. will grow up to be worse off than their parents.

Older Americans were even more pessimistic, with 70% agreeing that kids won’t do as well as their parents, as opposed to 59% who agreed in the 18-34 and 35-49 brackets. A total of 1,003 adults were surveyed by telephone. Women were more downbeat than men.

Just a day earlier, MarketWatch’s Quentin Fottrell reported on new research showing that more than half of Americans (52%) have had to make at least one big sacrifice over the last three years, just to be able to pay the rent or mortgage. That study also found that many don’t associate the American dream with home ownership anymore. Some say that attitude is linked to still-fresh memories and problems from the housing bust.

Comment by the golden goon
2014-06-04 07:42:41

posted denver business journal piece yesterday reporting that denver house prices at all time high, 48.2 percent above 2000 prices.

and i ain’t buying any of it, because as a very wise goon once (maybe more than once) said:

“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.

and bill in los angeles = WIN

Comment by the golden goon
2014-06-04 08:30:26

And another article published today reports Denver house prices at all time high, with zero economic fundamentals to support it (this isn’t the island of Manhattan or the San Francisco peninsula here)


We’ve got the sprawl and traffic of Atlanta, and the smog of the Inland Empire, the quality of life is getting worse and worse here every single day. The mountains are nice to look at on the horizon, just don’t try driving there or breathing outside:


Comment by azdude
2014-06-04 05:25:34

Do these assets bubbles give the FED an opportunity to print more money when the bubbles pop? They don’t seems to care about the boom and bust cycles.

I think one of the reasons for lackluster growth is that a lot of the new money created went to pay off old debts of the last bubble.

The housing bubble pulled consumption forward on credit and a lot of the newly created money went to pay off all the debts that went bad.

Comment by 2banana
2014-06-04 05:33:29

If printing money lead to prosperity….

How smart we are to be the only country to ever think of it!

Comment by j-j-j-joe
2014-06-04 06:06:58

The definition of a failed two party system:

Congress has an 11% approval rating.


100% of house and senate incumbents won their primaries.

Comment by AmazingRuss
2014-06-04 06:56:16

Stupidity among the electorate is the achilles heel of democracy.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by 2banana
2014-06-04 07:17:23

The free sh*t army votes for those who promise more free sh*t

Comment by AmazingRuss
2014-06-04 12:15:26

And you selflessly vote against your interests for the greater good of Fox news.

Stupidity abounds.

Comment by FavelaTuro
2014-06-04 07:40:19

The illusion of choice. I don’t buy the blame the people rationale. What they want is never on the menu and it is deliberately set up that way. And if a threat pops up, here comes the spin machine of both sides to destroy it.

For example, i think there are reasonable obvious interim positions that would garner large amounts of support on both immigration and taxes. Immigration: let the poor bastards in to work legally, but no citizenship or status that gets you any benefits. Temp workers yes, whole families no. Very high penalties thereafter for employing illegal labor. Taxes: exempt all small businesses up to a certain high level on all these new taxes on the rich proposals, so that the job creation aspect isn’t damaged.

Maybe these have been proposed and I’m just another ignorant voter, but I doubt seriously.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Biggvs Richardvs
2014-06-04 12:53:08

“Brought to you by Carl’s Jr.”

Just rewatched Idiocracy last night. Ironic that they used the same narrator that did the original PBS Nature documentary ’cause, well, the movie has pretty much become one as well.

/Wonders if James Cameron will direct “Ass.”

Comment by Blue Skye
2014-06-04 05:58:22

The overall impression is that the money created went to lenders, to make them whole. Also mega loans to the FedGov to support their spending sprees and to foreign powers, or the banks thereof. Next to nothing fell on the pedestrian debt donkey, except that some of escaped being thrown out of work, we are allowed to keep borrowing to oblivion on the cheap, and some of us are picking up nickels in front of the housing bubble steam roller. The price of everything has doubled because of this and our wages continue to shrink.

The Fed is not pushing on a string, as we used to hear. They are simply feeding out rope to us.

Comment by Muggy
2014-06-04 06:18:35

“some of us are picking up nickels in front of the housing bubble steam roller.”

Reporting for duty!

Comment by FavelaTuro
2014-06-04 07:43:16

J fraud and R fraud are going to get flattened.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by oxide
2014-06-04 06:53:24

“new money created went to pay off old debts of the last bubble.”

Old saying: I just got my paycheck but I spent it already.

Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-06-04 13:24:32

Maybe the Fed is doing a favor for the good-old boy’s club. The old boys were carrying bad loans and needed to be paid back. Maybe the new boys are just foils, I dunno.

Comment by phony scandals
2014-06-04 06:04:19

Eric Holder Announces Task Force To Focus On “Domestic Terrorists”

Submitted by Tyler Durden on 06/03/2014

Submitted by Mike Krieger of Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

It’s been obvious for quite some time that the so-called “war on terror” is nothing more than a fear-mongering induced power grab; a convenient excuse to strip the citizenry of its civil liberties and humanity. Many commentators, including myself, have predicted for years that the entire counter-terror juggernaut that has been constructed post-9/11 would be ultimately redirected upon the domestic population.

Snowden’s heroic whistleblowing has already proven without a doubt that the government spy apparatus (along with tech company complicity) has been zeroed in on the domestic population for quite some time, but is the situation about to escalate? Are the feds so fearful of their own people, they are about to focus all their counter-terror energy on U.S. citizens? It appears so.

I warned about this development back in 2011 in my post: The War on Freedom. In it I stated:

This whole charade shouldn’t be called “The War on Terror.” It is actually all about keeping the citizenry terrified. The government loves keeping you in a state of fear so that then they can do anything they want to the little sheep. It should be called “The War on Freedom.” Your freedom.

Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder, Jr. on Monday announced the creation of a task force within the Justice Department to combat an “escalating danger” from “homegrown” terrorists within the United States.

The task force will chiefly comprise leaders from the FBI, the Justice Department’s National Security Division and U.S. Attorneys. Called the Domestic Terrorism Executive Committee, it is a recreation of a task force formed by former Atty. Gen. Janet Reno after the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing. The task force fell into disuse after 9/11.

Though the original task force, which was little known, focused mainly on right-wing zealots, Holder’s version is aimed at U.S. citizens or visitors radicalized via the Internet. Holder said the government will continue to fight terrorists abroad.

Oh the internet! That dangerous place where the citizenry engages in thoughtcrime and can actually perform real journalism without the censorship of mainstream propaganda media.

http://www.zerohedge.com/…/eric-holder-announces-task-force-focus-domestic-terrorists - 122k -

Comment by Muggy
2014-06-04 06:31:38

“fear-mongering induced power grab; a convenient excuse to strip the citizenry of its civil liberties and humanity”


Comment by AmazingRuss
2014-06-04 06:57:16


Comment by Housing CEO
2014-06-04 09:09:26


(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Biggvs Richardvs
2014-06-04 13:40:12

‘Murrica. That’s with a capitol “M”, and don’t none y’all forget it!

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by AmazingRuss
2014-06-04 15:18:51

What?!? No capitalized apostrophe? CommieFaschistTerrorist!

Comment by jose canusi
2014-06-04 07:03:15

Having not been particularly successful overseas, Washington sets its sights on US citizens.

“Homegrown” terrorism is a joke of a term. Almost all “homegrown” terrorists are really from elsewhere to begin with, even if they were “naturalized”. Or there parents were immigrants and the “terrorist” sees himself as more loyal to wherever his family is originally from.

The problem is very easy to solve. Just don’t allow entry by people from countries that are known to be problematic.

But if there’s one thing Washington loves to do, it is to crap on US citizens. And the media loves to further twit US citizens by calling these people terms like “an Iowa man” or “a Springfield man” or whatever US designation they can come up with, like if the guy last took a leak in a restroom on 1-95 in Florida, he’s a “Florida man”.

They do the same with illegal immigrants. They don’t mention that the person is an illegal from Mexico, or Central America. If he did the crime in Longmont, Colorado, he’s a “Longmont Man”.

Comment by jose canusi
2014-06-04 07:24:24

“there parents” should be “their parents”. More coffee.

Anyway it doesn’t matter. The US is coming apart, brought to you by the homegrown terrorists of Washington, DC., the occupation government.

Comment by Housing CEO
2014-06-04 08:57:55

They have to make up for the release of foreign born “terrirists.” This country is beyond joke and has been for a while.

Comment by Housing CEO
2014-06-04 09:35:24

US Begins Delivering F-16s To Iraq This Week, A Decade After It Wiped Out Iraq’s Air Force

‘Merika, Yuck Feah!

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by AmazingRuss
2014-06-04 15:47:39

We’ll be shooting them down in 15 years.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-06-04 07:33:29

Sounds like Nixon on steroids.

Comment by phony scandals
2014-06-04 09:42:26

Turley: Obama The President That Richard Nixon Always Wanted To Be

Posted on June 3, 2014

JONATHAN TURLEY: Well, unfortunately our system is changing, and it’s changing without a debate. Or even a discussion about what we’re going to do in the future when we have a three branch system, a tripartite system but one branch is so dominant. What’s emerging is an imperial presidency, an uber presidency as I’ve called it, where the president can act unilaterally. This is only the latest example of that.

What’s troubling is that we have a system that has been stable precisely because these are limited and shared powers. This president has indicated that he’s just not willing to comply with some of those aspects. He told Congress he would go it alone and in our system you’re not allowed to go it alone.

JONATHAN TURLEY: Well, I think that the biggest problem we have is that the system itself, if we have a dominant branch, simply begins to shut down in terms of the safeguards. People don’t seem to understand that the separation of powers is not about the power of these branches, it’s there to protect individual liberty, it’s there to protect us from the concentration of power. That’s what is occurring here. You know, I’ve said it before, Barack Obama is really the president Richard Nixon always wanted to be. You know, he’s been allowed to act unilaterally in a way that we’ve fought for decades.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/…e_president_that_richard_nixon_always_wanted_to_be.html - 39k -

Comment by Biggvs Richardvs
2014-06-04 14:07:23

First they came for the loan-owners, and I did
not speak out -
Because I was not a loan-owner.

Then they came for the HBBers…..

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by cactus
2014-06-04 08:30:08

This worries me more than any housing bubble

Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-06-04 13:21:09


Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-06-04 17:44:40

With domestic terrorists running amok, all the normal protections on civil liberties are indefinitely suspended, until the situation is resolved.

Comment by j-j-j-joe
2014-06-04 06:12:06

“Oh Won’t Someone Think of the Billionaires”



Over here, under the big top, we have Phil Mickelson, golfing legend, part-time economic analyst and political pundit, and, if we’re to judge recent events in the light most favorable to him, perhaps the biggest sucker in two tasseled shoes. On Friday, it was reported that the FBI buttonholed Mickelson after his round at the Memorial to talk with him about his possible knowledge of — and involvement in — an insider-trading scheme. Mickelson is maintaining his innocence and says he intends to cooperate fully with the federal authorities, there being no such thing as an “informal” chat with the FBI. Donald Sterling would be suing Eric Holder by now.

The alleged scheme seems rather straightforward. In 2011, a legendary Wall Street carnivore named Carl Icahn was mounting a bid to take over the Clorox Company. (Bleach does seem to be an important, if curious, subtext to this column.) The folks at the Securities and Exchange Commission found their interest piqued by the fact that Mickelson and another man, William Walters, made a couple of trades at the same time, including trades that involved Clorox stocks. They wondered, as they are wont to do, if, maybe, you know, some information about Icahn’s activities may have somehow dropped into the ears of people like Mickelson and Walters. (For what it’s worth, Icahn never got the company after all.) This is what had the guys in the nice government suits walking up to Mickelson as he walked off the green last weekend.

Comment by Muggy
2014-06-04 06:27:03

I once had to do a voice over recording session with a wall streeter white collar criminal that had just been released from jail. He had done exactly what was described here, and made $60k.

I was blown away that he risked jail time for $60k. Obviously nobody thinks they’ll get caught, but if I was going to risk my own freedom, I’d want to be looking at “retirement” figures.

Comment by tresho
2014-06-04 06:50:20

I was blown away that Phil dared to converse with the FBI without his lawyer being present. Not a good idea for anyone, and particularly not for someone with assets that can be extracted one way or another. Lying to the FBI is a felony, and the FBI is perfectly capable of creating a lie to suit the case.

Comment by AmazingRuss
2014-06-04 06:58:21

When you’re jonesing for the next bump of cocaine, the risk/reward ratios get all skewed.

Comment by Housing CEO
2014-06-04 08:50:33

My guess is Icahn will walk free but Phil goes to jail.

Comment by oxide
2014-06-04 13:46:48

I’m not sure what Icahn did wrong, at least in this particular instance. He wasn’t trading on insider information; he WAS the insider information, so to speak.

Comment by j-j-j-joe
2014-06-04 06:13:23

GOP positioning for primaries should begin this fall when they travel the country help others campaign. And you know what? Ted Cruz is still a Canadian citizen (dual citizen).



Ted Cruz made it clear in August that he planned to renounce his Canadian citizenship by the end of 2013. But despite the pretty simple renunciation process it’s a new year and he’s still a Canuck — not that there’s anything wrong with it. According to Canadian immigration lawyers, the process isn’t nearly as complicated as he’s making it out to be: all he really needs to do is download a four-page PDF, fill it out, pay a fee and send it back. Also, the fourth page is just signatures. If Cruz had started the application process back in August when he announced his renunciation plan, he’d already be free of his embarrassing status as a Canadian, since the average wait time is three to four months. If you urgently need to renounce your citizen, then you just write “Urgent – Renunciation of Canadian Citizenship” in large dark letters on the envelope you send your application in.

“Unless there’s a security issue that hasn’t been disclosed, unless there’s a mental health issue that hasn’t been disclosed, there’s no reason for anything other than a lickety-split process to occur,” Richard Kurland, a Vancouver-based immigration attorney, told the Associated Press. Cruz’s September filibuster was a little odd, but we’re going to assume that any mental health issue that would make him ineligible to denounce his citizenship would also make him ineligible to be a United States Senator.

Last month, Cruz told the Dallas Morning News that he had retained counsel to help him get through the process. But why would a Harvard educated lawyer need someone to help him answer questions like:

Were you a British subject living in Canada before 1947?

“It’s not complicated at all,” Stephen Green, a Toronto-based immigration law who offered to help Cruz, told the AP. “They make sure you understand what you’re doing, that you’re not going to become a stateless person, and then you’re rock ‘n’ roll, and good to go. I would assume that if he’s retained counsel, this could have been done by now.”

Comment by oxide
2014-06-04 07:32:25

Are there any definitive court (SCOTUS, I guess) rulings on the interpretation of “natural born” for Presidential candidates? The issue has only come up twice but never to the court level: The Governator who decided not to run, and Obama who had the short form from Hawaii. I think the intent of the founders was “American soil,” mainly to keep Hamilton out of the office. So is that the default position?

I suspect that Cruz is just floating renunciation as a trial balloon. No point in going through with it, and then finding that he is still ineligible to run.

Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-06-04 13:17:54

Canadians have square heads anyway.

Comment by 2banana
2014-06-04 08:36:13

obama has showed the way.

Laws don’t matter.

Comment by FavelaTuro
2014-06-04 06:34:10

What makes a good realtor? The only thing I can think of is that they get you the house you want at a cheaper price.

Anyone who says they know a good realtor, ask them how much off the asking price the realtor was able to negotiate. Everything else is hand holding.

Comment by Blue Skye
2014-06-04 07:53:19

Silly Favela, Realtors do not work for the buyer.

Comment by Interested Observer
2014-06-04 08:58:19

The only way for a buyer to get an advantage is to give the selling agent both sides of the deal. Getting the entire commission gives the agent a little more incentive to keep the buyer happy.

Comment by ibbots
2014-06-04 10:40:12

A lot of state allow principals to represent themselves in a transaction. Realtors of course find this objectionable but it really isn’t their decision.

I collected 2.5% a commission on the purchase of my home.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-06-04 12:39:48

It could have been 50% and you’d still be underwater. Idjit.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by j-j-j-joe
2014-06-04 07:12:09

Hillary has big problems. I’d say less than 50% chance she’ll be the Dem nominee in 2016.

Here’s an article on her “Goldman Sachs Problem”.


A few weeks ago, Hillary Clinton delivered a much-touted policy speech at the New America Foundation in Washington, where she talked passionately about the financial plight of Americans who “are still barely getting by, barely holding on, not seeing the rewards that they believe their hard work should have merited.” She bemoaned the fact that the slice of the nation’s wealth collected by the top 1 percent—or 0.01 percent—has “risen sharply over the last generation,” and she denounced this “throwback to the Gilded Age of the robber barons.” Her speech, in which she cited the various projects of the Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation that address economic inequality, was widely compared to the rhetoric of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), the unofficial torchbearer of the populist wing of the Democratic Party. Here was Hillary, test-driving a theme for a possible 2016 presidential campaign, sticking up for the little guy and trash-talking the economic elites. She decried the “shadow banking system that operated without accountability” and caused the financial crisis that wiped out millions of jobs and the nest eggs, retirement funds, and college savings of families across the land. Yet at the end of this week, when all three Clintons hold a daylong confab with donors to their foundation, the site for this gathering will be the Manhattan headquarters of Goldman Sachs.

Goldman was a key participant in that “shadow banking system” that precipitated the housing market collapse and the consequent financial debacle that slammed America’s middle class. (A system that was unleashed in part due to deregulation supported by the Clinton administration in the 1990s.) This investment house might even be considered one of the robber barons of Wall Street. In its 2011 report, the Financial Crisis Inquiry Commission, a congressionally created panel set up to investigate the economic meltdown, approvingly cited a financial expert who concluded that Goldman practices had “multiplied the effects of the collapse in [the] subprime” mortgage market that set off the wider financial implosion that nearly threw the nation into a depression.

Comment by Arizona Slim
2014-06-04 11:38:51

Yet at the end of this week, when all three Clintons hold a daylong confab with donors to their foundation, the site for this gathering will be the Manhattan headquarters of Goldman Sachs.

There it is. And Clinton’s opponents on the Democratic primary tickets (yes, there will be such people) will use this fun factoid against her.

Comment by j-j-j-joe
2014-06-04 13:01:16

Thank you AZ Slim. That’s the part I would’ve bolded myself. Haven’t seen you around here in a while, hope all is good.

Comment by Arizona Slim
2014-06-04 16:57:01

Thanks, j-j-j-joe.

To sum up how things are going, I’ve been shifting gears.

It seems that, in the past two years, my web design business has been sinking like a stone and photography has been all but impossible when it comes to making ANY money.

But you know how the HBB-ers keep referring to Mr. Market? That’s what’s been happening around here.

In the same two-year period, people with a willingness to pay me for my words have been coming around. Right now, I’m writing a bit of web content that features a surgeon/artist. What’s not to like about that?

I’m not making a fulltime living as a copywriter — yet — but that’s the direction I’m headed.

So, there you have it. The Arizona Slim update.

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by LiberaceLOL
2014-06-04 17:17:18

You’ve got big problems L-L-L Liberace.

Comment by phony scandals
2014-06-04 08:39:00

“Bad enough that you’ve got military chiefs briefing arms companies bosses - in private - about their hopes and dreams for Ukraine. But you’ve also got billionaire speculators and the heads of gigantic private equity funds listening in.”

“People who stand to make a killing out of knowing where and when the bombs are going to fall, how many and on whom.”

The US supreme allied commander in Europe, General Philip Breedlove (left), leaves the Marriot hotel in Copenhagen after discussing Ukraine
Just before lunch on Friday, two cars left the Marriott hotel in Copenhagen in quick succession. First to leave was laden down with US military brass. It carried the supreme allied commander in Europe, General Philip Breedlove, and his aides.

Four stars on his hat and a grim look on his face. Clearly he’s annoyed to be missing the buffet. He can still smell those Danish meatballs. It’s killing him.

The general hadn’t travelled to Bilderberg alone. Discussing the situation in Ukraine with this many senior government ministers makes it official military business. He was well accompanied.

A few minutes after the hungry general had been swooshed off, out popped the secretary general of Nato, Anders Fogh Rasmussen, aka “the Fogh of War”.

Rasmussen always makes me chuckle, because in every photo we’ve got of him he looks so incredibly vain. Like a miniature Fonz. Rasmussen was travelling with quite an entourage, one of whose jackets flapped open to reveal his firearm.

Rasmussen’s bodyguards were there, of course, to try and keep the heads of Airbus and Saab from throwing themselves at him, begging for a nice big war.

I hope they managed to protect him. He’s only little, and the CEO of Airbus, Thomas Enders, is tall with a kind of lanky strength. The head of Saab, Håkan Buskhe, has a low centre of gravity. Together they’d be unstoppable, especially with Kissinger behind them, pushing.

http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/may/31/bilderberg-ukraine-summit - 133k -

Comment by 2banana
2014-06-04 08:45:59

I always like the question:

“Can you tell me +/- 3 degress f what the optimal “correct” temperatures “should” be?”


My Two Favorite Questions for Global Warmists
americanthinker.com | 6/4/2014 | Paul Jacobson

So, I find myself sitting around a patio table next Independence Day sipping on the perfect mimosa with some friends and a couple of folks I haven’t met before. One of the new acquaintances brings up the subject of “climate change.” I know from the term used that this one is probably a sorta believer but not a hard-core, unshakable advocate; were that so, he would have used the latest, hippest, most with-it name-change term “climate disruption.”

Now it’s time for my Favorite Global Warmism Question #1:

Did you know that there’s no such thing as a greenhouse gas?

But now it’s time for Favorite Global Warmism Question #2, and this one is really serious:

How much actual CO2 is there in the atmosphere?

Comment by Bill Jr, just south of Denver
2014-06-04 09:15:49

Dannyboy’s got the week off, so 2brony’s gotta warm the warmists for him.

Note to humanoids, you are not God’s pets.

Either “side” can try to politicize the warming warmist “debate” but can never deny the unquestionable fact that infinite growth is not possible in a finite ecosystem.

The worst thing any humanoid can do for the global ecosystem is to breed more humanoids.

Praying to Sky Wizard will not save your planet.

Thank you for not breeding.



Comment by Housing CEO
2014-06-04 09:36:57

Did Bill adopt you? Are you on the Bill Sr’s will?

Comment by Bill Jr, just south of Denver
2014-06-04 09:55:09

Bill Sr may not even remember meeting my mother, it was at a Cheap Trick or Foreigner concert, and I was conceived in the backseat of a Chevy Vega after the show.

Mom was gathering wild mushrooms in the Rocky Mountains when she went into premature labor and died shortly after giving birth. Her corpse was dragged away and eaten by bears, never to be found.

I was raised as a feral child by a pack of marmots for the first few years of my life. One day I found a camper’s lost backpack that contained a Sony AM/FM Walkman and several Dean Koontz novels. This is how I learned to speak and read English, and how to eventually rejoin humanoid society.

In my eighteenth summer, I left the marmots, made my way to Denver, got my GED, got a job at the Purina Puppy Chow factory, and rented my first apartment.

Growing up without any understanding of money, I soon found that after paying my rent every month, I now had so much money left that I didn’t know what to do with it. And then I found this blog…

(Comments wont nest below this level)
Comment by Bill, Just south of Irvine
2014-06-04 10:28:29


Well I refer to myself as Bill Jr because my dad was always called Bill Sr. Just got back from eye surgery. Done. Hopefully that one is good the rest of my life. Taking a sick day all day. Sister from No. Cal is here helping me out. We are thinking of going to the beach after her company webinar…

Comment by mathguy
2014-06-04 10:30:26

Goon Squad is always long on culling the human herd, but short on volunteering to be culled himself.

Comment by Bill Jr, just south of Denver
2014-06-04 10:47:49

That’s right, mathboy.

Advocating not breeding is not “culling” and I’d love for you or any other reader here to produce a post in which I supported “culling” the humanoids.

Recall your post few months ago suggesting I personally contribute to solving humanoid-induced climate change by stepping in front of a bus.

Appreciate the suggestion, but I’ll find a more interesting way to check out.



Comment by In Colorado
2014-06-04 11:11:19

Advocating not breeding is not “culling” and I’d love for you or any other reader here to produce a post in which I supported “culling” the humanoids.

I suspect that he (and others) confuse your call to “enjoy the die off” with “culling”.

As having kids increasingly becomes a challenging, expensive and difficult vocation around the globe we will see some profound changes in birthrates (downward) around the global. What will be interesting to see is how “capitalism” copes with a declining global population.

Comment by Bill Jr, just south of Denver
2014-06-04 11:19:52

The problem will sort itself out, but it will probably be very messy, and may not happen for another hundred to five hundred years.

The limitations of a finite ecosystem will do the “culling” whether humanoids like it or not…

Comment by Bill, just South of Irvine
2014-06-04 11:21:08

I can imagine a big business in used items. Huge excess inventory not just in houses, but cars, computers, and so forth. Forcing new widget prices to fall.

Cash and bitcoin, farmland and precious metals should all be good to trade with.

Comment by mathguy
2014-06-04 12:26:53

reminder: fill 10% of texas with 10 story buildings, and each person on the planet gets 1500 sq ft of living space with the rest of the world completely empty. The only thing we have an excess of is hot air from eugenics spouters.

Comment by Bill Jr, just south of Denver
2014-06-04 12:44:27

reminder: infinite growth is not possible in a finite ecosystem.

‘fill 10% of texas with 10 story buildings … the rest of the world completely empty’

because the billions of humanoids now residing in this corner of texas won’t need a global infrastructure of agriculture, drilling, mining, et cetera to support them.

but thanks for playing, mathchild…

Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-06-04 13:08:16

Bill Jr:

Can you post a picture of some of the marmots who raised you? We generally require proof on this blog.

Comment by mathguy
2014-06-04 13:21:19

“in a finite ecosystem” - we haven’t even gotten off the planet yet with agriculture, yet you’re here thinking small and mean spirited looking with glee for the destruction of human life. Very petty and small minded when you think of the vastness of the universe, and the wonders we have yet to uncover with technology and the human spirit of exploration.

Comment by Bill Jr, just south of Denver
2014-06-04 13:54:02

and down the sci-fi rabbit hole we go.

any possible interplanetary migration/colonization will be solely for the benefit of the 0.01%. the billions of humanoids left behind will get to suffer and die under the consequences of the capitalist system created/maintained by the 0.01%, that’s not glee, that’s just reality.

‘technology and the human spirit of exploration’

don’t count on it. eisenhower built the interstate highway system. kennedy created the program to put a humanoid on the moon.

what have the greatest innovations of the last 20 years been?

twitter? viagra? drone strikes?

Comment by mathguy
2014-06-04 14:12:16

how about robotic automation… modern fertilizer.. genetic modification for pesticide resistance.. low power electronics .. solar and wind energy farms.. huge medicinal advances…

just around the corner, fusion energy, desalinization technology improvements, robotics moving into households, farming, mining, space exploration & colonization, further improved medicine, automated transportation networks

again, just because you are small minded doesn’t mean we need to get on your suicide train.

” the billions of humanoids left behind will get to suffer and die under the consequences of the capitalist system”

everyone dies, and the capitalist system led by the united states has created the best standard of living the world has ever seen, and arguably the best rate of increase in standard of living as well. democracy/capitalism is the worst system, except every other one that has ever existed.

Comment by mathguy
2014-06-04 14:20:57

BTW, fortunately for you, in the terribly oppressive system we live in, you are still free to donate the output of your labor exclusively to the preservation and protection of habitat and natural open space, or to donate to research for the future ecological and scientific advancement of humanity. My guess is you will continue to just suck up more oxygen and output CO2 with some annoying vibration that renders into a grating irritating low toned whine.

Comment by Bill Jr, just south of Denver
2014-06-04 14:31:38

and john lennon once wrote a song called imagine.

i’m still waiting for the utopia that was promised in edward bellamy’s 1887 book ‘looking backward’ but all we got was 1984 / brave new world…

Comment by mathguy
2014-06-04 14:40:02

like i said, keep vibrating that CO2 you are outputting. It’s doing a whole lot of good.

Comment by Pete
2014-06-04 18:36:00

“and I was conceived in the backseat of a Chevy Vega after the show.”

Bill = WIN.

Comment by phony scandals
2014-06-04 10:36:53

US Marshals Transfer Controversial ‘Stingray’ Cellphone Surveillance To Prevent ACLU Review

Stingray equipment essentially acts as a fake cell tower and collects information from each phone that connects to it

by RT | June 4, 2014

The US Marshals Services has intervened in a dispute between a Florida police department and the ACLU, with the Marshals sweeping in at the last minute to seize controversial cell phone records before the ACLU was able to review them.
Earlier this year the Florida chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union filed a lawsuit against the Sarasota Police Department in an attempt to compel them to turn over records on the police’s use of its “Stingray” devices.

The powerful Stingray equipment has drawn the ire of civil liberties advocates nervous about its ability to essentially act as a fake cell tower and collects information from each of phone that connects to it.

The ACLU, which asserts that the Stingray enables the “electronic equivalent of dragnet ‘general searches’ prohibited by the Fourth Amendment,” convinced the court to force the Sarasota police to make the documents available for review.

ACLU staff attorney Nathan Freed told Wired that the US Marshals sent an agent from the Tampa area to Sarasota to pick up the documents so the police would be unable to disclose them.

Wessler described the incident as “truly extraordinary and beyond the worst transparency violations” the ACLU has seen regarding use of the Stingray.

“This is consistent with what we’ve seen around the country with federal agencies trying to meddle with public requests for Stingray information,” he said, adding that officials have used the Homeland Security Act in the past to keep the documents under lock and key. “The feds are working very hard to block any release of this information to the public.”

The ACLU is working to obtain the records in question because the organization discovered that a Florida police detective was earned permission to use the Stingray by filing an application under Florida’s “trap and trace” statute, which gives police more leeway than the usual probable-cause warrant.

Wired explained that, while trap and trace orders are used to obtain information such as the time and duration of a call, a Stingray would have given the Florida detective the ability to track the location of cell phones. The ACLU has argued that the Stingray constitutes a more invasive device than the kind currently allowed under the trap and trace statute.

“In this case, police used two versions of the Stingray – one mounted on a police vehicle, and the other carried by hand,” the civil liberties group wrote. “Police drove through the area using the vehicle-based device until they found the apartment complex in which the target phone was located, and then they walked around with a handheld device and stood at ‘every door and every window in that complex’ until they figured out which apartment the phone was located in. In other words, police were lurking outside people’s windows and sending powerful electronic signals into their private homes in order to collect information from within.”

The Marshals asserted that because the detective who used the Stingray was deputized as an agent, the documents actually belong to the Marshals service.

Not all police departments are authorized to use the Stingray, although the Sarasota cops have revealed that they have employed the technology no less than 200 times in the years between 2007 and 2010. Even more alarming, from the ACLU’s point of view, is that each of the 200-plus incidents came without a judge’s permission. They were reportedly able to do so by signing a non-disclosure agreement with the Stingray manufacturer.

The ACLU now believes that the dozens of US police departments allowed to use Stingrays have signed non-disclosure agreements with the Florida-based Harris Corporation and are thus subverting the need for judicial permission. ACLU attorneys explained in a blog post Tuesday, though, that the Marshals’ sudden decision to supersede the Sarasota police and take the records will prevent the situation from being resolved soon.

“We’ve seen our fair share of federal government attempts to keep records about Stingrays secret, but we’ve never seen an actual physical raid on state records in order to conceal them from public view,” they wrote. “When police engage in invasive tracking of our locations and communications, it is crucial that the public have access to accurate information so it can participate in an informed debate.”

Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-06-04 12:52:52

It’s about time the ACLU started hopping on something that actually matters. Up until now, they have only protected minorities. I’m glad the rest of us matter too.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-06-04 12:45:49

Worthless housing…. worthless worthless housing. Housing is worth less and less with each passing day.

Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-06-04 13:01:36


Comment by Blackhawk
2014-06-04 13:35:47

BREAKING: Border Patrol Sector to Release 500 Illegal Aliens Per Week into US, in the San Diego area.


The lawlessness just keeps rolling. Is the a “Rules for Radicals” rule that says you need to deluge your opponent with scandals?

Comment by phony scandals
2014-06-04 15:55:31

OK Chuck, pick up your sh#t and go back there and sit with Sheila Jackson Lee.

Congresswoman Sheila Jackson Lee on North and South Vietnam …
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XK3rTUgoQD4 - 156k - Cached - Similar pages Jul 15, 2010 …

Harvard grad Chuck Schumer fails history, credits Jefferson for Bill of Rights

New York Democrat stumbled Tuesday over basic American history

by Stephen Dinan
The Washington Times
June 4, 2014

Sen. Charles E. Schumer, New York Democrat, stumbled Tuesday over basic American history, crediting Thomas Jefferson for authorship of the Bill of Rights during a debate over the First Amendment and campaign finance.

“I think if Thomas Jefferson were looking down, the author of the Bill of Rights, on what’s being proposed here, he’d agree with it. He would agree that the First Amendment cannot be absolute,” Mr. Schumer said.

While Jefferson is deemed the principal author of the Declaration of Independence, he was not intimately involved in the writing of the Constitution or the Bill of Rights, which is the first 10 amendments to that founding document.

Indeed, Jefferson was out of the country, serving as minister to France at the time of both the Constitution convention and the congressional debate over the Bill of Rights. His fellow Virginians, James Madison and George Mason, are usually credited with being more influential in the process — Mason for being among the most forceful in demanding the protections of such a Bill of Rights, and Madison for being the political muscle that got them approved.

Read more

Comment by jane
2014-06-04 16:21:43


Takedown: TARP Crooks, Residents of Tony Corrupticut Towns -

WASHINGTON, DC - The Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP) today announced that Daniel Carpenter, 60, of Simsbury, Conn., and Wayne Bursey, 63, of
Bloomfield, Conn., have been charged in a 57-count superseding indictment with various conspiracy, fraud, and illegal monetary offenses stemming from a scheme to defraud insurance companies into issuing insurance policies on the lives of elderly people for the benefit of the defendants and other investors, also known as a stranger-originated life insurance (STOLI) scheme.

In December 2013, Carpenter and Bursey were charged in a 33-count indictment with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, and multiple wire fraud and mail fraud offenses. The superseding
indictment, which was returned by a grand jury in Hartford on May 14, 2014, adds one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, 10 counts of money laundering, and 13 counts of making illegal monetary transactions.

Carpenter appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Donna F. Martinez in Hartford on May 27, 2014, and entered a plea of not guilty to the charges. Bursey’s arraignment is not yet scheduled.

Comment by Muggy
2014-06-04 16:59:28

“Pinellas County is in the midst of a third consecutive year of record tourism numbers and there’s no sign that might let up this summer. Visit St. Pete/Clearwater, the county’s tourism agency, said there has been a massive amount of digital interest in the Pinellas beaches as a summer destination.

The TradeWinds Island Grand Resort already reported that 97 percent of its 796 rooms have already been booked through June and 98 percent have been booked through July.”


Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-06-04 18:33:37

Have you dumped your Treasury bonds yet?

Credit Markets
U.S. Government Bonds Fall For Fifth Session
Bonds Post Longest Losing Streak in a Year
By Min Zeng
Updated June 4, 2014 3:33 p.m. ET

Treasury bonds fell Wednesday for a fifth straight session, posting the longest losing streak in a year, as some upbeat U.S. economic releases sapped demand for safe assets.

The selling was moderate as investors awaited the monetary-policy meeting of the European Central Bank on Thursday and the U.S. nonfarm jobs report on Friday.

In late-afternoon trade, the benchmark 10-year note was 3/32 lower in price. Its yield rose to 2.606%, near the highest level in three weeks, according to Tradeweb. When bond yields rise, their prices fall.

The latest setback for the bond market added to concerns that this year’s price rally that had accelerated in May might have run its course.

The 10-year yield, a global benchmark in setting interest rates for consumers and businesses, has climbed from 2.4% on May 29, the lowest level since October. It traded at about 3% at the start of January.

Treasury bond prices had initially gained Wednesday after data showed the U.S. private sector added fewer jobs in May than expected. But sellers returned following a separate release showing a monthly gauge of the U.S. service sector accelerated and the latest economic survey from the Federal Reserve showed the U.S. economy gained momentum in recent weeks.

“I am still calling yields to go higher,” said Mark Dowding, senior fixed-income manager at BlueBay Asset Management in London, which oversees about $64 billion. “The economy is showing clear signs of improvement.” Mr. Dowding said the yield would rise above 3% by the end of December.

Bond yields had tumbled this year as investors were concerned about an uneven pace of the global economic growth. Major central banks have pledged to keep interest rates low for longer, buoying bond prices.

A number of releases this week have shown that the U.S. economy is picking up some momentum after the harsh winter. In the previous two sessions, data showed a gauge of the U.S. manufacturing sector strengthened last month, factory orders gained more than forecast and auto sales jumped.

Tom Tucci, head of Treasury trading in New York at CIBC World Markets Corp., said if stocks, which traded near all-time highs, “roll over or data disappoints, you could move lower in yield.”

Data on Wednesday showed that the U.S. private sector added 179,000 jobs in May. Separately, the trade deficit grew 6.9% to a seasonally adjusted $47.24 billion in April, the widest in two years. Economists said this could curb the pace of growth in the second quarter.

Economists expect Friday’s report to show 210,000 nonfarm payrolls were created in May, following 288,000 jobs added in April. The unemployment rate is expected to edge higher to 6.4% from 6.3% in April.

Investors also awaited Thursday’s interest-rate decision from the European Central Bank. The ECB has signaled it may take measures to support the economy and prevent low inflation from turning into deflation, a persistent decline in consumer prices that would discourage consumer and business spending.

The prospect of ECB action has prompted investors to buy euro-zone government bonds, sending their yields sharply lower. As a result, U.S. Treasury bonds have drawn buying because they provide much higher yields than German government bonds, the benchmark for the euro zone’s debt market.

On Wednesday, the 10-year German government bond yielded 1.39%.

Traders said that with expectations for the ECB meeting running high, any disappointment Thursday would send yields in both euro-zone and Treasury bonds higher.

Comment by AbsoluteBeginner
Name (required)
E-mail (required - never shown publicly)
Your Comment (smaller size | larger size)
You may use <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong> in your comment.

Trackback responses to this post