August 10, 2014

Bits Bucket for August 10, 2014

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

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Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-10 00:34:49

Xinhua Insight: Hard landing unlikely for China’s property market 2014-08-08 18:12:40

BOAO, Hainan, Aug. 8 (Xinhua) — China’s property market, which has experienced disparate fortunes across the country over recent months, is unlikely to see a hard landing, experts have said at an ongoing forum.

“It’s indisputable that the property market of some cities is entering an adjustment period, but it goes too far to say the market has reached the edge of collapse,” said Zhu Zhongyi, vice president of the China Real Estate Industry Association, at the annual meeting of the Boao Real Estate Forum in south China’s Hainan Province.

The meeting, which opened on Wednesday and closes on Friday, has attracted more than 1,000 delegates from the country’s real estate-related sectors.

China’s property market started to fragment last year, as home prices eased in smaller cities while prices remained stubbornly high in big cities. But the market has been heading downward as a whole in 2014.

New home prices in 55 of an official sample of 70 major cities dropped month on month in June, compared with 35 in May. New home prices fell in the first tier cities of Shanghai, Guangzhou and Tianjin, but not in Beijing. However, used home sales declined in all four cities.

Other key indicators for the sector were also disappointing. The total floor space of commercial housing sold dropped by 6 percent year on year in the first six months of the year, while the floor space of newly constructed homes was down 19.8 percent.

Zhu attributed the situation to oversupply, lending difficulties and the bearish sentiment of home-buyers, which will continue for a while.

The market fluctuation comes alongside China’s efforts to restructure and de-leverage its economy. The country’s growth dropped to 7.4 percent in the first half of 2014 from a 7.7-percent pace last year.

Like the broader economy that is making a soft landing after staggering growth in past decades, the property bubble is also gradually deflating as no mass bankruptcies have been reported, noted Fan Gang, director of the National Economic Research Institute at the China Reform Foundation.

Li Mingkai, president of the Hong Kong-based Centaline Group, a leading Chinese real estate agency, estimated that home prices will continue to decline in the second half of 2014 but that the number of home transactions will slightly pick up at the same time.

For the next two to three years, both home prices and the transaction volume will stay at the same level as the second half, Li predicted.

Comment by azdude
2014-08-10 05:52:07

the economist in me thinks that china has learned a lot from uncle FED.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2014-08-10 05:58:03

Have you change your prediction once again? If you still think China is going to grow 6.5%, you are just wasting everyone time by posting story after story on this subject. That prediction and my prediction of around 7% do not differ enough to be important to the housing market in the U.S. Now if you have gone back to your previous view that China’s on a verge of a “collapse” then it could have an impact. However, your story states that not only is the economy unlikely to have a hard landing the property market itself is unlikely to have a hard landing. So maybe you need to find a story that actually supports your view instead of mine, which is a property correction that has very little impact on the GDP of China.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-08-10 06:57:13

Remember…. Current (phony) China GDP has cratered 50% since 2008….. and has a very long way to fall.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2014-08-10 07:44:36

You are just discrediting your U.S. housing predictions. China has just about doubled its GDP since 2008 and no serious person disputes it.

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Comment by Ben Jones
2014-08-10 08:01:47

‘China has just about doubled its GDP ‘

From now on, any post you make that has China and GDP in it is getting deleted on this blog.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-08-10 08:05:28


Housing Dannyboy housing!

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-10 08:25:34

Doctor Copper has made another announcement.

Copper Heads for 2nd Weekly Drop as China’s Imports Fall
By Jae Hur Aug 8, 2014 12:37 AM PT

Copper headed for a second weekly decline after imports by China, the biggest user of the metal, fell to the lowest since April 2013.

The contract for delivery in three months on the London Metal Exchange fell as much as 0.5 percent to $6,961.25 a metric ton and was at $6,962.50 at 3:26 p.m. in Hong Kong. The metal touched $6,951.75 on Aug. 6, the lowest since June 30. Prices are down 1.4 percent this week.

Unwrought copper and copper products imports totaled 340,000 tons in July, declining for a third month, China’s customs agency said today. The country’s aluminum and aluminum products exports rose to 380,000 tons in July, the highest in three years, customs data showed.

The drop in China’s copper imports dragged prices lower,” said Hwang Il Doo, a senior metals trader at Korea Exchange Bank Futures Co. in Seoul.

Comment by butters
2014-08-10 09:15:42

Doctor Copper has made another announcement.

Doctor Copper has nothing on witch Yellin’.

Comment by Guillotine Renovator
2014-08-10 11:05:43

“From now on, any post you make that has China and GDP in it is getting deleted on this blog.”

Music, sweet music. Don’t let the door hit you in the @ss, China pimp.

Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-08-10 13:22:54

“getting deleted”

LUV it!

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-10 14:04:00

“getting deleted”

One potential downside: 50 percent reduction in recent number of HBB posts…

Comment by Ben Jones
2014-08-10 14:05:37

That’s not a downside. Moderating these pointless food-fights is wasted time and bandwidth.

Comment by Jingle Male
2014-08-10 15:46:03

“…..From now on, any post you make that has China and GDP in it is getting deleted on this blog….” Say Ben Jones!

Finally, I figured out where Ben moved to feed on the carcasses of housing speculators: Communist China.

The only downside for we bloggers is that he joined the Communist Party and censors the contributions!

Just kidding Ben….please don’t censor me!

Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-08-10 16:09:31

PropagandaDan stopped being a contributor some time ago.

Comment by Blue Skye
2014-08-10 08:01:25

The Great Zoloft predicts! Parroting the commie party line isn’t a prediction at all. China announced the year’s result will be 7.5% on January 1. It is a done deal.

About that phony trade balance; we hear the China’s supposed bulging exports weren’t actually imported by anyone on the other end.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-10 10:55:53

China’s supposed bulging exports weren’t actually imported by anyone on the other end.

Link, please?

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Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-08-10 13:26:03

Awesome link.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-10 14:07:07

Thank you.

Comment by shendi
2014-08-10 17:17:45

There are two scales lhs and rhs. For example in 2009 the
exports were 60 bil usd and imports were 80 bil usd. Is the difference import duties/ tariffs or just middle men?

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-10 10:38:27

China stepping up efforts to surveil and control the flow of information by netizens. What are they so afraid of?

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-10 10:51:54

Try not to catch yourself a falling knife.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-10 10:54:39

ft dot com
August 10, 2014 12:52 pm
Grosvenor plots first China housing development
By Josh Noble in Hong Kong

Grosvenor, the property company owned by the Duke of Westminster, is looking to exploit a market slump in China by building its first housing development project in the country.

Nick Loup, Grosvenor’s chief executive in Asia, told the Financial Times that the group is seeking a site for a residential construction project in Shanghai and expects to sign a deal within the next 12 months, even as a multi-year boom comes to an end. The group is also searching for a commercial property development in the city.

“We’ve always had a very long-term idea of what we wanted to do in China. This is the obvious next step for us,” said Mr Loup, brushing aside concerns about a recent fall in house prices. “You’re more likely to find good quality opportunities when the market’s in a down cycle.”

Grosvenor’s previous investment in China’s residential market has been limited to renovation projects. Its move into ground-level development contrasts with some local players that have been slashing prices, cutting back on new projects, and looking to overseas markets for growth.

Housing construction in China fell 16.4 per cent year-on-year in the first half of 2014, according to data out last month, while total sales dropped 6 per cent.

The problems in the sector vary across the country. Affordability is the main issue in large cities such as Shanghai and Beijing, while many smaller cities suffer from chronic oversupply.

Grosvenor’s plans are confined to the higher end of Shanghai’s housing market, which has proven resilient to the property downturn. Analysts say luxury apartments in China’s top cities are likely to remain insulated from the current slump.

The demand will continue to be there in tier-one cities. Affordability will not be an issue in that segment of the market,” said Michael Klibaner, head of China research at consultancy JLL. “We don’t see a lot of downside risk there.”

Comment by Blue Skye
2014-08-10 12:44:43

Well, good luck Duke. The higher markup stuff is insulated you say?

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Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-10 00:36:20

If you whistle loudly and long while walking alongside a graveyard, is it a given the ghosts and zombies will leave you alone?

Comment by Amy Hoax
Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-10 08:21:39

More than 92%, or $438 billion, in HELOC balances hadn’t entered their end-of-draw period as of the end of 2013, according to the report. And nearly half of all HELOC balances at that time originated between 2005 and 2007, many of them with draw periods of 10 years. That means over the next few years, many of these loans will enter the end-of-draw period.

An earlier estimate from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency suggested that $171 billion in home-equity lines held by the country’s biggest banks would reset between this year and the start of 2018, compared with $28 billion in the previous four years.

Many of them aren’t tiny loans, either: 52% of HELOC balances were greater than $100,000 at the end of last year, TransUnion found.

I am crying tears of Schadenfreude for the f-d buyers who are finally going to have to start repaying in full the hundreds of thousands of dollars in easy-money mortgage loans they used to get into houses they couldn’t afford. Thanks for sharing this tale of woe, Amy!

Comment by Amy Hoax
2014-08-10 09:17:57

You didn’t read the article title, it says not as bad as some fear.

So all you fence sitters should go buy a home today!

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Comment by Selfish Hoarder
2014-08-10 09:22:06

I am far better off selfishly hoarding, than buying a rotting stucco box.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-08-10 09:37:21

Thank you… I’m going to add your words to the compendium.

Rotting depreciating housing…. rotting worthless depreciating housing…. The more you spend on a house, the greater your losses.

Comment by Amy Hoax
2014-08-10 10:21:12

You people are so negative, must be the full moon.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-08-10 10:32:51

Cheer up Cheetos Fetcher…… falling housing prices to dramatically lower and more affordable levels is positively bullish and good for the economy.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-10 10:33:19

I relish the thought of coming in here day after day in the near future as the housing market implosion resumes in earnest, rubbing your nose in your hubris until you ooze out of this forum for good.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-10 10:57:51

“…rubbing your nose in your hubris…”

That’s not hubris rubbing up against Amy’s nose.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-10 11:10:22

I did read the article title.

But I am well aware of the customary cognitive dissonance between MW article titles and their contents so largely ignored the title in favor of the ugly facts about the massive wave of looming resets reported in the body.

Comment by Rental Watch
2014-08-10 14:19:35

How much pain there is going to be will be related directly to how many of the HELOCs are attached to underwater homes.

A while back (pre-crash, or just after the start of the crash), I saw some data on lenders. The big shocker at the time was that all lenders looked the same (high LTV mortgage portfolio), with one stark exception…Wells Fargo. There two notable things about Wells Fargo’s mortgage portfolio:

1. Their overall LTV was WAY lower than the rest of the banking world (like 60% compared to 80%)–I guess that’s what happens when you keep many of the loans on your balance sheet–and they amortize down over time; and

2. They were VERY active in the HELOC market compared to other lenders.

I think Wells Fargo may be the “canary in the coalmine” with respect to HELOC pain. If there is to be problems, we will see it first with greater loan-loss reserves at Wells, followed by higher instances of HELOC default.

Then again, if their underwriting was similar on HELOCs (lower LTVs), then they might NOT be the canary–we’ll need to rely upon broader measures to determine whether HELOC resets will be a big problem.

I suspect that this will play out like Option ARMs–that a lot of the borrowers who utilized HELOCs for affordability have already defaulted–what’s left are increasingly the “stronger” hands.

We shall see.

Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-08-10 14:34:42

RW: If their hands were really that strong, then they would not have used HELOCs to convert short-term unsecured debt into long-term secured debt. I have unsecured debt at 0% interest. I bought a house with a credit card, I am not kidding. I have a pretty strong hand there. People who buy houses with mortgages, and then use their mortgage like a credit card are the opposite.

Comment by Rental Watch
2014-08-10 14:45:32

Who lent you money at 0% unsecured (I’d like their phone number)?

I have a mortgage at 3.75%, and LTV less than 60%. I have a massive tax disincentive to sell securities to raise cash for short-term needs. I could liquidate my holdings and be debt free in an afternoon.

If I needed cash for any reason that was a near-term crunch (kids college, new investment opportunity before old one sells, etc.), a HELOC is one avenue that I could take. The rates are low enough, why not?

That said, I haven’t taken out a HELOC, but I know people who have. My parents have an undrawn HELOC on their debt-free house–for quick access to a lot of cash if necessary.

A HELOC is just another debt tool that serves a purpose sometimes. While I agree with you that a HELOC can be a dangerous debt weapon, a HELOC on its own is not necessarily a sign of weakness–there can be other complicating factors.

Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-08-10 15:07:48

Credit card companies are tripping over themselves to lend me money at 0% interest.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-08-10 15:12:18

“I have a mortgage at 3.75%, and LTV less than 60%. ”

I seriously doubt it considering the price you paid for it.

Want to rethink that one?

Comment by Selfish Hoarder
2014-08-10 17:07:55

Even though I have enough cash to buy a shack in my Phoenix neighborhood, I cannot tell if the neighbors on my block are underwater or they are about to lose their jobs or take salary cuts.

We need a return to required 20% down payments for loans and full recourse. Arizona is a non-recourse state.

It will take a real market correction - no artificial bottom to house prices - to return the role of responsibility to property rights.

I’ll continue renting until then, even with higher rent payments on lease renewal.

Comment by goon squad
2014-08-10 17:40:59

“higher rent payments on lease renewal”

It’s not happening here. Maybe you’re renting in the wrong place.

And there’s a world of rentals out there, don’t let Amy or Bloomberg or the New York Times tell you otherwise.

Comment by Selfish Hoarder
2014-08-10 19:56:21

I’ve been based at that apartment complex for ten years. And I think they are taking advantage of me, although one recent year they dropped the rent by some amount.

My salary is flat this year only because we have a company change. A bigger fish bought the small company, and the excuse is not to change 401k fiduciary or insurance until January 2015. But we were told to expect increased compensation and that will probably be after the new year.

So I’m not that worried. My salary percentage increase will offset the rent percentage increase.

Comment by Rental Watch
2014-08-10 21:37:19

Credit card companies lend you money at 0% for 30 days at a time. If you’re late, they jack the rate up to 15%++.

That’s not the same as being able to borrow money for years at a time at sub-5%.

And you missed my main point–the trouble will be primarily limited to homes that are underwater…a smaller and smaller group of homes.

Comment by Rental Watch
2014-08-10 21:41:30

‘“I have a mortgage at 3.75%, and LTV less than 60%. ”

I seriously doubt it considering the price you paid for it.

Want to rethink that one?’


25% down PLUS amortization gets me very close to 70%. To get the rest, I just have to show that the market has gone up by more than 6.5% per year the past 3 years…a pretty low bar given the madness that has occurred in the SF Bay Area.

Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-08-10 22:27:10

Credit card companies loan me money at 0% for 18 months at a time. If they change the rate, I’ll transfer the balance.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-08-11 04:14:44

“25% down PLUS amortization gets me very close to 70%. To get the rest, I just have to show that the market has gone up by more than 6.5% per year the past 3 years…a pretty low bar given the madness that has occurred in the SF Bay Area.”

Strike 2.

With demand collapsing across the state of CA, you couldn’t find a buyer for a half your fantasy price. You’re 110% LTV just like everyone else in that debt ridden impoverished state.

Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-08-10 14:27:25

Don’t worry, Whac. The rich Chinese billionaires and institutional investors will buy all those foreclosures for twice as much as whatever the original owners paid. They will leave them vacant to keep supply restricted. You can’t go wrong betting on house prices, as they always go UP!

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Comment by Ella58
2014-08-10 11:59:04

8 months into 2014, we should already be seeing an avalanche of sob stories in the media about circa 2004 resets. The fact that we have seen very few stories so far is all the proof we need that banks are simply rolling over the loans into another interest-only period.

The banks won’t/can’t even finalize the foreclosures already in progress; why would they create more right now? Better for their books to have more debtors current on their interest-only loans than behind on repayment loans, at least until that excess inventory is less of a problem.

Further evidence that all those people taking out HELOCs with no intention of repaying the debt were right - I doubt most of that HELOC money will ever be repaid, and with no consequences for lendor or debtor either. Free money for everyone!

Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-08-10 14:37:54

If they pay interest only forever, then the banks will end up with a lot more than just the principal back. The people just won’t have any money to spend on anything, since they will be indentured servants. Wouldn’t a person walk away from a situation like that? They’d be better off renting.

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Comment by Albuquerquedan
2014-08-10 04:55:36

That would describe what is happening with the U.S. dollar and Obama’s speeding up of its demise.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-10 11:17:49

If the dollar is rapidly going down the tubes, then why is the entire planet so in love with U.S. Treasurys, especially China?

Did you realize that a long-term Treasury bond is nothing more than a promised fixed series of future payments denominated in U.S. dollars?

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-10 11:19:36

ft dot com
The Last Word
August 10, 2014 5:53 am
Are US Treasuries a no-brainer macro idea?
By John Dizard

Should Abenomics not lead to a revival of domestic and export demand soon, the Bank of Japan could offset the risk of further devaluation with its own bids for US Treasuries

This has not been a good year for many, if not most, global macro investors. It sounds like that should be easy work: just lean back in your ergonomic chair overlooking Park Avenue, and decide whether the euro goes hither or thither against the dollar. Then touch in the new position with a few keystrokes, and decide whether to leave early to avoid the traffic on the way to the company’s plane at the Teterboro airport.

Sadly, no. The problem is that instead of trying to outsmart a couple of dozen competing professional investors who have worked on valuing some casino junk bond or gas-drilling shares, you have to do better than a couple of hundred million people who collectively have an informed opinion about US Treasuries prices. Macro is hard. Do not ask whether you can leave work early; the answer is that you cannot leave. If you do, the work will follow you wherever you go. And over time, you probably will not win.

Of course there is always some no-brainer macro idea that is there for the taking. For example, at the beginning of this year, anyone who knew anything about economics could have told you that US Treasuries were heading into a long-term bear market.

Unfortunately the Treasuries curve had dropped out of its economics class, so it did not know what it was supposed to do. The first-half rally in Treasuries was probably the biggest surprise for the macro-investor world, which was bad because it is the biggest market in the world.

Four years ago, I moderated a debate on the proposition that “Treasuries are for losers” between my friend Jim Grant and David Rosenberg, chief strategist at Gluskin Sheff, the Canadian wealth manager. Jim took the affirmative, and I tried to stack the debate in his favour. Even so, the house decided, correctly in the light of history, that Mr Rosenberg’s disinflation-bond-bull thesis was a winner.

Interestingly, Mr Rosenberg now believes the investor class is underestimating the strength of the US economy. And this time around he and I are in agreement that commodities look attractive relative to equities or fixed income.

As for this year’s Treasury rally, he points to the precedent set back in 1998. “Back then the US economy was growing at 4 per cent, yet bonds rallied because of the dramatic implosion in Asia and the [consequent] flight to safety. The US bond market has become the smartest kid in summer school, because even 2.4 per cent on the 10-year stands out as a good. And there has been a distinct European flavour to the recent buyers of Treasuries.”

Comment by Albuquerquedan
Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-08-10 05:49:49


How far underwater are you on your shack?

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2014-08-10 06:03:14

I told you several times I was not, that is how I was able to refinance to around 3.5% last year and you asked me the same question last year and I told you. I did have to use the tax credit to achieve that and I told you that too. You asked me just a few weeks ago and I told you. Sorry, but sometimes buying a house does not result in a loss.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-08-10 06:12:03

No no…. You said you paid some massively inflated price? It was $100/sq ft or more. Correct?

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Comment by Albuquerquedan
2014-08-10 06:23:46

I don’t believe I ever told you my sq. foot price and if you can buy a small house for what you quote in ABQ., I suggest you back up the truck.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-08-10 06:40:28

Then spit it out.

We’re in the business of building houses from time to time. We have no interest in buying them.

Comment by Guillotine Renovator
2014-08-10 11:07:47

“Then spit it out.”

How can he, when the PPSF is constantly changing with his lies?

Comment by Rental Watch
2014-08-10 14:21:37

“from time to time”?

What does that mean? Bechtel contracts to build destroyed homes after major catastrophes? Or you actually build homes to compete with Pulte, Lennar, etc.?

Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-08-10 14:44:40

“From time to time” is a saying that has sneakily made its way into the more-respected circles of cool kids in business these days.

Comment by Rental Watch
2014-08-10 14:47:27

In no cases though have I known “from time to time” to mean “regularly”, unless HA is being sarcastically understated (which isn’t his style).

Comment by azdude
2014-08-10 05:47:19

Are any of you still predicting this big collapse in home prices?

We had a pretty good collapse and you still didnt buy.

I’m assuming the collapse in prices wasnt enough for you?

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-08-10 06:15:48

Pick yourself up off the floor and cheer up. Collapsing demand resulting in falling housing prices to dramatically lower and more affordable levels is bullish optimism.

Comment by azdude
2014-08-10 06:41:31

im sorry you lost your house.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-08-10 06:54:20

Prices have a very long way to fall before we lose any money on our inventory. Remember….. We’re profitable at $55/sq ft.

Think about how far prices have to drop before we lose any money.

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Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-08-10 08:07:39

Pick yourself up off the floor and cheer up. Collapsing housing demand and falling prices to dramatically lower and more affordable levels is positively bullish.

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Comment by Albuquerquedan
2014-08-10 06:21:31

No, they waited and prices recovered. I understand not buying now but they missed a chance and whether they get another chance is questionable. I did not miss my chance to buy in 2010 or my chance to refinance last year. As I say if you cannot correctly predict then you really don’t know what is going on. I caught interest rates last year perfectly at the bottom and if you consider the eight thousand dollar tax credit caught housing in my area at the bottom. Can there be another crash, anything and everything is possible but with what Obama’s Fed has done to its balance sheet a nominal drop is unlikely. A real drop in prices is quite possible but I have a fixed mortgage in nominal dollars not in real dollars so I have no fears.

Comment by azdude
2014-08-10 06:40:18

bingo! well said dan. some of these folks want us to go into a depression so they can pick up a deal.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-08-10 06:41:41

And you’re underwater as I recall.

What did you pay Dan?

Comment by azdude
2014-08-10 07:09:39

how many homes did u lose when u got loans from angello?

youll never get over losing your house will you?

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Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-08-10 07:12:12

You’re underwater on multiple houses?

Comment by scdave
2014-08-10 07:58:46

I have a fixed mortgage in nominal dollars not in real dollars so I have no fears ??

And there are now “millions” of owners out there in the same situation…Secured long term mortgages at rates & terms we will likely never see again in our lifetimes…

Look at the refinance market…It has collapsed…Employment in the loan & escrow business is in free-fall…

The effect of this could be housing turn-over in much lower numbers then historical data would indicate…3% long term fixed rate money is a pretty powerful incentive to “just-stay-put”..

So lets here it from Rental Watch & A-Dan…Do you see your-self moving and selling in the near future…Lets say, in the next 7 years ??

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-08-10 08:03:50

What does it matter with 25 million excess empty houses and housing demand at 20 year lows?

“Staying put” simply means accruing greater losses. Is that your goal?

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Comment by oxide
2014-08-10 09:11:51

Local obs:

One of the houses on my block just sold a little bit above the asking price. Like much of my nabe, the buyers are Hispanic. I saw a young Hispanic couple with an infant daughter unloading a carload of food and diapers. Dead givaway: they carried the stuff around the side of the house, not into the front door. They must be renting the finished basement with the bath and back entrance. This is how they afford houses: roommates and renting basements. That’s the only real home improvement I see in my nabe. Running water for new bathrooms and kitchenettes, geared for rental income.

This weekend I visited a friend near those new mixed-use developments built next to a Metro station in a gentrifying neighborhood. As we walked past the sign advertising the townhomes, the friend told me that the developer had covered the old price sticker with a new price sticker which was $100K more.

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Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-08-10 09:59:26

Donk, gentrification fails miserably.

Comment by Rental Watch
2014-08-10 14:30:07

Since you asked:

Nope. I bought a house in 2011 that will last us a long time in a great school district and subsequently locked in at 3.75% (fixed for 30). My youngest is not yet 2 and my commute is 35-40 minutes walking through residential neighborhoods, or a 6-7 minute drive.

I was talking with relatives recently about how crazy the market had gotten again in the mid-Peninsula, but commented that I’m having a hard time getting excited, since I have no need to refi (ever) and the house will work for my family for the next 20 years.

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Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-08-10 15:14:07

And you paid a 300% premium.

Your point is?

Comment by rms
2014-08-10 09:55:47

“No, they waited and prices recovered.”

Prices never dropped in the desirable areas particularly along the coastal zip codes where jumbo mortgage back-stopping was employed.

Comment by Rental Watch
2014-08-10 14:32:34

“Prices never dropped in the desirable areas particularly along the coastal zip codes where jumbo mortgage back-stopping was employed.”

Don’t you think cash buyers had something to do with how the coastal markets held-up?

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Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-08-10 15:16:25

Doubtful as demand as consistently fallen every year in coastal areas since 2006.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-10 15:22:19

Yes — especially the all-cash Chinese buyers.

And their likely exit with the advent of the Chinese housing crash has downside implications ahead for coastal Cali prices.

Comment by rms
2014-08-10 20:26:01

“Don’t you think cash buyers had something to do with how the coastal markets held-up?”

Even the cheap GI Loan 3/1-fifties dumps didn’t drop much in Los Osos where I used to live; damned if they expect me to pay $350k for a moldy shack on a concrete slab resting on blow sand. I think those jumbo loan limits have allowed the $30k/yr losers to hang-on another ten years. This notion of equity is nothing but fantasy because the employment situation has deteriorated since I’ve left the area.

Comment by Blue Skye
2014-08-10 14:47:47

” I did not miss my chance to buy in 2010…”

LOL. Buying the first dip in the most massively overextended market in our history does not make you “knowing”. If you had sold into the sucker’s rally, then maybe, but you think you are set. You are in the same position as some posters here who bought at 2004 prices, like that was before the bubble even was born. Haha!

Comment by Selfish Hoarder
2014-08-10 09:24:19

Heck, I am predicting a hug terrorist attack within the U.S. for blowback. It is inevitable as long as U.S. foreign policy is interventionist.

Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-08-10 14:49:33

Some of us bought cheap houses during the first crash, and would LOVE to do so again.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-08-10 15:17:42

They weren’t so cheap were they. ;)

Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-08-10 16:10:51

Yes, they were very cheap.

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Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-08-10 17:16:25

Were’ they two-thirds construction cost cheap?

Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-08-10 18:25:34

They were less that $55/sq ft.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-08-10 18:31:36

There it is.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-08-10 05:59:08

Dallas TX Prices Reductions Up 970%; Excess Housing Inventory Skyrockets 800%+ As Demand Craters Nationally

Comment by Skroodle
2014-08-10 08:30:42

The suburbs is where it’s at in the DFW area.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-08-10 09:46:42

Prices in D/FW suburbs turned negative in June.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-08-10 06:09:55

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

Comment by azdude
2014-08-10 06:45:53

your high

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-08-10 06:50:31

Yes. Our expenses tend to be a bit higher as we carry the costs of an equipment motor pool.

Comment by Blackhawk
2014-08-10 07:04:47

Link please. I want to see where these $50/sf homes are located.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-08-10 07:07:29

They’re right here on the HBB. Use the search function.

Nice switchup by the way.

Comment by Guillotine Renovator
2014-08-10 11:15:48

You cannot build a house in Seattle proper, including the lot, for $55 per square foot. You can’t even find a teardown for $55 per square foot, which means you’d have to get paid to replace it in order to meet the $55 psf number. You are generalizing too much. You also tried to compare well and septic installation prices in the northeast with prices in the northwest, which was an epic failure. It’s not an apples to apples comparison. I’m on board with your message of overpriced housing, and the cratering that’s in store, but you mix in BS that is so far from reality that it really hurts your credibility.

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Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-08-10 11:51:56

Sounds like Seattle has a serious problem.

As far as septic and well, it’s a reality. In fact our site material costs on the west coast are less than the south east. Materials, means and methods don’t change on geography, ie my sub is going to roller bit in Seattle just like anywhere else. I’ll wager a well is even less costly in WA due to the shallow gw elevations.

Comment by Guillotine Renovator
2014-08-10 15:40:56

Yes, there is a positively massive bubble in the NW, and it is in the price of land. I can show you land for nearly $500,000 per acre. It is grotesquely overvalued, but saying you can build for $55 per square foot including the lot is woefully inaccurate.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-08-10 17:14:23

Excluding the lot it’s less. That’s entirely accurate.

Comment by Guillotine Renovator
2014-08-10 18:11:50

“Excluding the lot it’s less. That’s entirely accurate.”

No, we’re talking about building a house in Seattle, including the dirt, for $55 per square foot. It is impossible.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-08-10 18:15:52

We’ll build a house anywhere in Seattle for $45/sq ft on your lot.

Comment by Guillotine Renovator
2014-08-10 22:33:23

“We’ll build a house anywhere in Seattle for $45/sq ft on your lot.”

I am sure you can, insofar as the structure is concerned. However, the bubble is in the land. Seriously delusional land prices right now.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-08-11 04:17:26

Then say so. That has nothing to do with our profitability.

Comment by gsnarks
2014-08-12 10:12:58

“We’ll build a house anywhere in Seattle for $45/sq ft on your lot.”

Key omitted modifier:

..and have it pass code (let alone HOA specs.)

You’ve been flogging the same hs for the last five years now, while the real world goes on around you. Maybe if you actually got a job and interacted in it a bit you’d get a less delusional overview?

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-08-10 07:36:55

And btw, we and every other outfit are profitable anywhere in the country at $55/Sq ft. So yes, you got burned.

Comment by azdude
2014-08-10 08:02:39

can you give us the address of one of the homes you have built in CA at 55/ foot.

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Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-08-10 08:09:54

Everyone of them we’ve built was less than $55/sq regardless of location.

Comment by azdude
2014-08-10 11:58:44

im sure buddy. u are like pinocchio.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-08-10 12:19:14

I think someone got ripped off on a depreciating asset like a house. Let me guess…. you financed that shack too A._Fraud.

Comment by Blue Skye
2014-08-10 14:51:24

Of course he financed, and then HELOC’d his way. Or he’s a total poser troll, day in and day out.

Comment by Guillotine Renovator
2014-08-10 18:13:41

“And btw, we and every other outfit are profitable anywhere in the country at $55/Sq ft.”

Not including the dirt you’re not. Show me ONE building lot in Seattle where you can build for $55 per square foot which includes the dirt price and permits. You can’t.

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Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-08-10 18:17:30

What’s a lot worth in Seattle…. $5k? 8k at best?

Comment by Guillotine Renovator
2014-08-10 22:38:08

“What’s a lot worth in Seattle…. $5k? 8k at best?”

Bwahahahahaha!! Try $200,000 in a good neighborhood, or more.

Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2014-08-10 22:53:51

What’s a lot worth in Seattle…. $5k? 8k at best?

LOL. You need to lay off the crack.

Teardowns can go for anywhere from several hundred thousand to a million, depending on the location.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-08-11 04:15:58

$8k at best.

Comment by scdave
2014-08-10 08:05:55

Link please. I want to see where these $50/sf homes are located ??

He has no Link…He can talk but he can’t proof which tells you that its just random BS…Just ignore the Dude…He lives each day to be able to respond to people who engage with his crap…

Comment by Blue Skye
2014-08-10 14:59:20

It’s tiresome dave. We’ve had lots of data here about actual construction costs for standard housing. Any one who paid four or five or ten times that just won’t get the message, then asks for links, then asks for links, then asks for links!

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Comment by gsnarks
2014-08-12 10:19:44

Funny how links tend to either corroborate or disprove the claim. Not so funny how repeated polite requests to see them tend to get deflected–from “time to time”.

Comment by Ben Jones
2014-08-10 06:24:32

‘Since his Thursday night announcement that he had authorized US airstrikes in Iraq, the US air war in the country has picked up considerably, and President Obama’s latest comments are laying the stage for a “long-term project” in the country, with further escalations likely along the way.’

‘In his interview with the New York Times, President Obama lamented the comparative brevity of his war in Libya, saying his decision to attack Libya and impose regime change was “the right thing,” but that the US should’ve had a longer “follow-up” mission to prop up a new government there.’

‘It is that regret that is informing his new Iraq War, and his talk of a military goal of preventing the creation of an Islamic caliphate in Iraq and Syria is only part of a protracted nation-building mission that is rapidly forming around what he presented Thursday as an emergency humanitarian intervention.’

‘Obama was quick to dismiss any talk of any time frame for the new war, saying only that it “is going to take some time,” and answering a question about whether that meant months or years by saying only that it wouldn’t be a matter of weeks.’

‘Another telling aspect of the president’s latest talk is that, while he had long bragged about having ‘gotten the US out of Iraq,’ he openly spurned the label today, insisting the pullout was “not my decision” and was only done because President Bush had reached a status of forces agreement which expired under his watch.’

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-10 06:50:37

B..b..but Obama said in 2012 that we were leaving behind a stable and self-reliant Iraq after 4500 US deaths, 30,000 maimed, and over a trillion dollars in direct expenditures.

Comment by palmetto
2014-08-10 07:05:50

What can you say about something like that? Seems to me like he feels that, as President of the US, he is entitled to have his own, personal war. Didn’t want Bush’s sloppy seconds in Iraq. Messed up Libya. No one wanted Syria. Russia? Hmm…

My favorite nickname I saw over at ZH, “I’llbombya”.

Comment by Blackhawk
2014-08-10 07:17:30

You know I would hardly ever agree with anything that Obama does but I think he’s being forced into it because of the genocide that’s occurring over there. I think it’s a lot worse than the mainstream media is willing to publicize.

If we don’t shut down ISIS now, we will have to shut them down somewhere else. This could be the beginning of World War III.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2014-08-10 07:43:00

My problem is not what he is doing to avoid the genocide but the fact Rice and Clinton encouraged the destabilization of the Middle East. The Arab Spring has turned into the winter of discontent all over the middle east. Everything is much worse now than it was when Bush II left. A president inherits problems but they are responsible for the delta. As Reagan said about the condition of the country under Carter when he was running for election. Are you better off?

Comment by RioAmericanInBrasil
2014-08-10 09:11:16

Everything is much worse now than it was when Bush II left.

Yep. We should have listened to Dick Cheney when he said USA going to war with Iraq would be a horrible idea because it would totally destabilize the region.

……In an April 15, 1994 interview with C-SPAN, Cheney was asked if the U.S. and UN forces should have moved into Baghdad. Cheney replied that occupying and attempting to take over the country would have been a “bad idea” and would have led to a “quagmire”, explaining that:

Because if we’d gone to Baghdad we would have been all alone. There wouldn’t have been anybody else with us. There would have been a U.S. occupation of Iraq. None of the Arab forces that were willing to fight with us in Kuwait were willing to invade Iraq. Once you got to Iraq and took it over, took down Saddam Hussein’s government, then what are you going to put in its place? That’s a very volatile part of the world, and if you take down the central government of Iraq, you could very easily end up seeing pieces of Iraq fly off: part of it, the Syrians would like to have to the west, part of it - eastern Iraq - the Iranians would like to claim, they fought over it for eight years. In the north you’ve got the Kurds, and if the Kurds spin loose and join with the Kurds in Turkey, then you threaten the territorial integrity of Turkey. It’s a quagmire if you go that far and try to take over Iraq. The other thing was casualties. Everyone was impressed with the fact we were able to do our job with as few casualties as we had. But for the 146 Americans killed in action, and for their families - it wasn’t a cheap war. And the question for the president, in terms of whether or not we went on to Baghdad, took additional casualties in an effort to get Saddam Hussein, was how many additional dead Americans is Saddam worth? Our judgment was, not very many, and I think we got it right.[54][55]

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Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-08-10 07:50:15


Comment by Ben Jones
2014-08-10 07:58:59

‘If we don’t shut down ISIS now, we will have to shut them down somewhere else’

You mean like maybe Syria, where the US government and the GCC funded and armed ISIS? Plenty of people warned that we were aiding some bad people, and no one in DC had a problem when these guys were sending suicide bombers onto busy streets there.

Now the facade is gone. The neocons are overjoyed. The military industrial complex is assured the loot will roll in. Lots of brown people are getting killed, and no one will notice what’s happening in Gaza. Humanitarian crisis?

‘Sometimes Genocide Is OK…It just depends who is in office at the moment. Here is a much forgotten exchange between Lesley Stahl and Madeleine Albright on “60 Minutes” back on May 12, 1996 that is not getting much play lately:

‘Lesley Stahl on U.S. sanctions against Iraq: We have heard that a half million children have died. I mean, that’s more children than died in Hiroshima. And, you know, is the price worth it?’

‘Secretary of State Madeleine Albright: I think this is a very hard choice, but the price–we think the price is worth it.’

He’s a sly one, this Mr Kill List. First he sends in a few hundred troops to “assess the situation” in Iraq, and now he’s bombing to protect those same troops, while admitting he never wanted to leave Iraq in the first place.

Jeebus, we don’t even know what’s really going on. I’ve read ISIS is up to 20,000 men. And man they are rampaging toward Irbil, a city of 1.5 million. While holding “vast swaths” of Syria and Iraq. How can anybody believe 20,000 guys, without air support mind you, could do such a thing?

Comment by Skroodle
2014-08-10 08:33:18

Looks like our allies in Syria are bringing back that Old Testament justice:

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Comment by rms
2014-08-10 10:03:41

Paris Hilton wouldn’t be happy there.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-10 11:02:42

None in the crowd stepped forward, said a witness to the event in a northern Syrian city. So the jihadi fighters, mostly foreign extremists, did it themselves, pelting Faddah Ahmad with stones until her body was dragged away.

“Even when she was hit with stones she did not scream or move,” said an opposition activist who said he witnessed the stoning near the football stadium and the Bajaa garden in the city of Raqqa, the main Syrian stronghold of the Islamic State group.

Is this sort of practice part of Islam, or is it more a matter of particular groups’ interpretations?

It doesn’t seem much in tune with post-Enlightenment civil liberties.

Comment by Guillotine Renovator
2014-08-10 11:18:12

These people are not playing with a full deck of cards. They do not value life or respect it.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-10 11:24:03

It seems like they value controlling women through terror and intimidation, in the name of traditional religious values. Moreover, their notion of societal norms seems to be stuck in the pre-1500 era. Let’s hope the West figures out how to collectively contain this scourge on the face of humanity, or we are all doomed.

Comment by Guillotine Renovator
2014-08-10 11:41:09

This scourge, as far as I can tell, appears to be an army of angry young men, the losers of society, who get their rocks off by cutting people’s heads off and raping and killing women. Only the severely mentally disturbed could engage in such activities.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-10 11:44:02

Only the severely mentally disturbed could engage in such activities.

I guess it’s all good, so long as you can cloak your disturbed activities in the mantel of religious jihad.

Comment by Blue Skye
2014-08-10 15:05:01

“they value controlling women…”

No, the woman is dead. No control there. They now have control over the men who committed murder for them.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-10 15:24:33

They now have control over women who either watched or heard of the stoning.

Comment by Blue Skye
2014-08-10 15:57:18

Sure, indirectly, but those women are not their agents, just their fearful maybe victims. The men who participated in the murder are their agents.

Comment by Blackhawk
2014-08-10 08:36:44


ISIS, as I understand them, will continue to spread their war as they continue to invade other countries. Right now they’re in Iraq, but Syria and the whole Middle East are in their plans/dreams. Once they get to Israel, things could spin out of control resulting in WW3.

I don’t disagree with you, I just think we should kill them before they get too big. They understand one thing, power, and we still have the ability to wipe them out (I think).

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Comment by phony scandals
2014-08-10 08:50:03

“You mean like maybe Syria, where the US government and the GCC funded and armed ISIS?”

The Benghazi Brief – The Entire Story Of Operation “Zero Footprint” In Libya and Why Further Benghazi Committee Hearings Are Futile…

Posted on August 9, 2014 by sundance

And…. If you just realized…. Yes, ISIS or ISIL currently on the march in Iraq, came from Syria, fought in Syria and more than likely was armed by the U.S. inside Syria and Turkey. They were more likely trained, in Adana, a city in southern Turkey about 60 miles (100 km) from the Syrian border, which is also home to Incirlik, a U.S. air base where U.S. military and intelligence agencies maintain a substantial presence; by the same CIA operatives used by the State Dept to send Syria weapons from Benghazi and Darnah back in Libya.

If Operation Zero Footprint in Libya was stupid, arming the Syrian branches of al-Qaeda two years after the FSA was thoroughly corrupted by al-Qaeda, is infinite degrees beyond stupid.

But that’s hindsight for ya….. or as Secretary Clinton would say “Whether they were, … at this point, what difference does it make?“

By June of 2012 the New York Times was reporting that the CIA is operating a secret arms transfer program to Syria that sounded exactly like the re-diversion plan Clinton developed with Panetta/Petraeus. According to the Times suddenly, there is: “…an influx of weapons and ammunition to the rebels.”…/ - 339k -

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Comment by tresho
2014-08-10 09:54:49

How can anybody believe 20,000 guys, without air support mind you, could do such a thing?
There’s “alot” we (the public) don’t know about what’s going on out there. I am reasonably sure Sunni & Shia Muslims have been at war with each other for about 13 centuries. I am reasonably sure takfiri Muslims are more than willing to kill anyone who disagrees with them & does not submit to their rule. I’m reasonably sure the world is much smaller and much more crowded than it once was.

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Comment by Ben Jones
2014-08-10 10:19:16

‘I am reasonably sure Sunni & Shia Muslims have been at war with each other for about 13 centuries’

One can say just about anything regarding Arabs and people rarely challenge it. It’s a fact that before the US invaded Iraq, women could wear western clothes, attend universities, become professionals. If these religious sects are set to kill each other, why do they need to be armed by outside forces all the time? Who put Bin Laden in the war business? Did you know many of these ISIS guys are not Iraqi’s, but Turks? Turks running around killing on the Arabian peninsula. Has that ever happened before?

‘The late, great critic of the American Imperium, Chalmers Johnson, popularized the salient concept of “blowback”. That is, the notion that if you bomb, drone, invade, desecrate and slaughter—collaterally or otherwise— a people and their lands, they might find ways to return the favor.’

‘But even Johnson could not have imagined the kind of blowback coming ferociously Washington’s way now. Namely, the mayhem being visited on much of Iraq by American tanks, armored personnel carriers, heavy artillery, anti-aircraft batteries and other advanced weaponry that has fallen into the hands of the very jihadist radicals that have been the ostensible target of Washington’s entire multi-trillion “war on terrorism”.

‘Iraq was never a nation. At least the Ottomans knew that you don’t put Shiite’s, Sunni and Kurds in the same parliament or police force, and most certainly not the same army!’

‘It was the British and French foreign offices which in 1916 drew the Sykes-Picot boundaries and created the historical illusion that a nation called Iraq actually existed. And it was their successors in the west which installed a series of corrupt and brutal rulers, including kings, generals and Saddam Hussein himself.’

‘Then came the neo-cons who for no discernible reason of national security could not leave well enough alone. By god, they were going to have regime change…What these fools did was to open the gates of hell. The end result of Washington’s 20-year campaign to liberate Iraq, beginning with the first gulf war and followed by the devastating trade sanctions of the 1990s and the brutal desecrations of Bush II’s “shock and awe” and all the military mayhem which followed, was to aggravate, widen and mobilize all of the latent ethnic and religious conflicts and enmities that had been bottled up for decades inside the Sykes-Picot illusion.’

‘Now the furies have come. Ironically, the bloodthirsty ISIS is comprised of fighters who were first enabled by the misbegotten Bush maneuver known as the “surge”; then armed and trained by the CIA for the campaign against Assad; and now brandish the best weapons that any ramshackle jihadist group ever had.’

‘And yet America’s “peace” President is sending the bombers back in because there is a “humanitarian crisis” involving a religious sect no American has ever heard of, stranded on a mountain top that has nothing to do with the security and safety of the citizens of Lincoln NE and Spokane WA.’

‘Has not the American war machine turned the entirety of Mesopotamia and the Levant into a humanitarian crisis—of which this is only a tiny manifestation? Isn’t it time to at least stop fueling the blowback?’

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-10 10:40:55

+ 1

Comment by tresho
2014-08-12 15:44:08

One can say just about anything regarding Arabs and people rarely challenge it.
My previous post said NOTHING about “Arabs”. I wrote about “Sunni and Shia Muslims”. Some of either class are Arab. Some aren’t. Some Arabs are Christians. Sunni and Shia Muslims have been killing each other in that part of the world for 13 centuries, more or less, and US imperialism had NOTHING to do with that, at least not until the US came into existence.

Comment by butters
2014-08-10 08:14:07

Neocons love them some wars…

Comment by phony scandals
2014-08-10 08:59:53

“Neocons love them some wars…”

All Wars Are Bankers’ Wars - YouTube - 135k -

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Comment by MacBeth
2014-08-10 10:41:50

As do progressives.

NeoCons = Progressives

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Comment by reedalberger
2014-08-10 15:15:59

“Neocons love them some wars…”

Militant Islam is not a false flag, it’s real. We should have never invaded Iraq and never tried to extend and nation build in Afghanistan, that is obvious at this point.

That being said, what do we do now? Let these pure evil inhuman vermon build an islamic caliphate? You don’t think they will begin operations against the United States and other countries?

They will never stop until we’re dead or they’re dead, which do you want?

This new breed of Islamic Militant makes Al Qaeda look like the young Shirley Temple dancing and singing “On the Good Ship Lollipop” in her cute little dress.


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Comment by rms
2014-08-10 20:45:22

“We should have never invaded Iraq…”

+1 Imperialist neo-con Paul Wolfowitz, who authored the Doctrine of Preemptive Intervention, has no comment.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-10 08:48:23

If we don’t shut down ISIS now, we will have to shut them down somewhere else. This could be the beginning of World War III.

“If we don’t send our boys to fight the Communists in Viet Nam, we’ll have to fight them in Chicago” bleated the sheep.

Comment by reedalberger
2014-08-10 15:23:12

““If we don’t send our boys to fight the Communists in Viet Nam, we’ll have to fight them in Chicago” bleated the sheep.”

Cute slogan, but very naive. I don’t want them coming to our country and our Government’s prime constitutional power is that of national defense. Why? So we can live free, pursue happiness and conduct the business of our economy without having to deal with this type of barbaric chaos on our streets.


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Comment by gsnarks
2014-08-12 11:37:50


Haven’t “we” enriched the war-mongers of the MIC enough for one (or twenty) lifetimes? How long will “we” continue to perpetrate this monstrous charade?

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Comment by Selfish Hoarder
2014-08-10 09:26:27

You want to stop genocide? Gear up and go over there yourself. Don’t put my neck on the line by doing it in my name.

Comment by rms
2014-08-10 10:11:49

“Gear up and go over there yourself.”

+1 The jooz are great at “saber-rattling” for Joe Sixpack’s kids to enlist and fight while sending their progeny to college.

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Comment by goon squad
Comment by Blackhawk
2014-08-10 13:52:00

What are you talking about, putting your neck on the line?
I merely stated that I agree for the president for a change.

I think we should use a squadron of AC-130 gunships to fly over these rebels and I usher them into the paradise that they’re so anxious to find.

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Comment by reedalberger
2014-08-10 15:27:39

“doing it in my name”

Wait til they come for you…all the money in the world won’t buy your life.


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Comment by Selfish Hoarder
2014-08-10 16:01:23

“Wait til they come for you…

If the American government continues to meddle in the middle east, they will come for me and they will come for you, no matter if YOUR MAN is in charge in Washington D.C. See below:

“their [Bloomberg, Stern, Rand Paul] advocacy kills both Israelis — now — and Americans — later. Neither will ever move to Israel and share the dangers of the country and people they supposedly love, and when the Islamists’ war comes to America they will be able to hire security personnel to make sure their worthless hides survive.”

Comment by phony scandals
2014-08-10 16:38:39

Dianne Feinstein says ISIS or ISIL or whoever they are is going to ruin the fruit bat barbecue in my backyard.

I thought they said I only had to worry about the Domestic Tea Baggers.

Sick the Border Patrol on them they aren’t doing anything right now.

Press Mostly Ignoring Feinstein’s Warning That ISIS Wants ‘To Attack Us in Our Backyard’

By Tom Blumer | August 9, 2014

Yesterday, Roll Call and The Hill both relayed Democratic Senator Dianne Feinstein’s call, in Roll Call’s words, “for a broader military campaign against ISIL, not just the targeted missions authorized by the president.” She believes it is needed because “It has become clear that ISIL is recruiting fighters in Western countries … and possibly returning them to European and American cities to attack us in our backyard.”

Searches at their web sites indicate that the Associated Press and New York Times have not reported Feinstein’s stark warning, which directly contradicts the President’s January ridicule of ISIL/ISIS as the equivalent of junior varsity basketball players. At the Politico, in a worry-wart piece on “Obama’s liberal problem,” Seung Min Kim and Jeremy Herb shamefully omitted Feinstein’s “in our backyard” warning — while covering the rest of what she said.

Here is what the Politico pair did report:

And Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), the chairwoman of the Intelligence Committee, said she “strongly” supports Obama’s authorization for airstrikes — warning that ISIL was a “terrorist army” that was quickly broadening its influence in the region.

“It takes an army to defeat an army, and I believe that we either confront ISIL now or we will be forced to deal with an even stronger enemy in the future,” she said. “Inaction is no longer an option.”

In bold, look at what they Politico pair did not report, as carried in Roll Call:

Senate Intelligence Chairwoman Dianne Feinstein warned Friday of the risk that the insurgent group ISIL could be preparing fighters to attack American and European targets.

“It has become clear that ISIL is recruiting fighters in Western countries, training them to fight its battles in the Middle East and possibly returning them to European and American cities to attack us in our backyard,” the California Democrat said in a statement backing military action authorized by President Barack Obama. “We simply cannot allow this to happen.”

Feinstein called for a broader military campaign against ISIL, not just the targeted missions authorized by the president.

“It takes an army to defeat an army, and I believe that we either confront ISIL now or we will be forced to deal with an even stronger enemy in the future. Inaction is no longer an option. I support actions by the administration to coordinate efforts with Iraq and other allies to use our military strength and targeting expertise to the fullest extent possible,” Feinstein said.

Kim and Herb somehow managed to get down everything
Feinstein said about the current “airstrikes” and the terrorists “broadening … influence in the region,” and ignored everything she said about the need for “a broader military campaign” and the possibility that ISIS/ISIL fighter are working or will work on “attack(ing) us in our backyard.” How conveniently selective — and negligent. It would appear that they want “Obama’s liberal problem” to be that he’s doing too much, not that he’s not doing enough.

At the AP Friday morning, before Feinstein made her afternoon statement, Julie Pace gave away the problem the press is having in reporting the full truth about the horrors occurring in Iraq, the country the President arguably abandoned several years ago after the U.S. achieved undeniable victory in a hard-fought war there. The problem in all of this is, per her story’s headline: “IRAQ UPHEAVAL THREATENS OBAMA LEGACY.”

Read more:

Comment by phony scandals
2014-08-10 17:02:43

“after the U.S. achieved undeniable victory in a hard-fought war there.”

Which was fought so Iraq’s oil would continue to be sold in US Dollars.

All Wars Are Bankers’ Wars

Comment by scdave
2014-08-10 08:10:37

What I don’t quite understand is why the other economic & military powers (China & Russia etc.,) just don’t seem to GAS what happens in the middle east..If that place erupts in all out war, won’t the entire world economies suffer ?? I just don’t get why China “NEVER” engages…

Comment by butters
2014-08-10 08:18:54

May be may be the Chinese think it’s WRONG to indiscriminately bomb cities. And it doesn’t solve anything.

Comment by scdave
2014-08-10 08:42:40

May be may be the Chinese think it’s WRONG to indiscriminately bomb cities. And it doesn’t solve anything ??

Fair enough, but what is Chin’s “solution” ?? They never offer any assistance or idea’s…

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Comment by MacBeth
2014-08-10 10:50:41

China’s “solution” is the same as that of most countries: Lie low and let someone else deal with it.

Comment by shendi
2014-08-10 11:14:54


I’m curious as to why do you think China has to offer a solution or assistance? It is not as if China started the problem. For that look no further than the British

See Ben’s post above It was the British and French foreign offices which in 1916 drew the Sykes-Picot boundaries and created the historical illusion that a nation called Iraq actually existed

In fact, if this Iraq thing had not taken place they would have signed agreements to legally get the oil from Iraq. Now, thanks to the western nations’ sanctions on Russia, China can build pipelines and get oil & gas from Russia closer to home too.

Comment by shendi
2014-08-10 11:17:26

On a different note, I do not think that US and European nations want to prevent the oil & gas companies from doing business with Russian companies since it is a very lucrative parts and equipment business.

Comment by reedalberger
2014-08-10 15:33:06

“May be may be the Chinese think it’s WRONG to indiscriminately bomb cities.”

But it was fine to starve and murder 70 million of their own people? Yeah, let’s base our moral judgement on that fine history.


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Comment by Blue Skye
2014-08-10 10:10:44

“…he openly spurned the label today”

Two faced liar.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-10 10:35:36

A veteran’s perspective on how he and his brothers-in-arms have been left bereft and at loose ends by the “official” end of the GWOT.

Comment by reedalberger
2014-08-10 14:55:30

IF there was one purpose that could and should unite the entire civilized world, destroying militant Islam is that purpose.

Black, While, Yellow, Brown…Gay, Straight, Bi, Questioning…Peaceful Muslims, Jews, Christians, Buddhists, Hindus, Wiccans, Atheists, Agnostics…Conservatives, Liberals, Progressives, Socialists, Communists, Marxists…Should all unite in the fight to finally rid the world of this cancer.

How can we consider ourselves a civilized people while we let these vicious barbarians go on the most abominable ghoulish killing spree the likes of which the world has not seen in 70 years?


Comment by gsnarks
2014-08-12 11:51:19

Yes. Starving their children, denying them medicines, overthrowing their governance, destroying their infrastructure, desecrating their culture, bombing their cities, droning their weddings and funerals, blowing up their schools, hospitals and refuges is so much cleaner than this “ghoulish” response to our craven predations….

You sound like the IDF.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-08-10 06:30:44

Seal Beach, CA Housing Prices Crater 33% YoY; Excess Empty Housing Drives Inventory Up 161%

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-08-10 06:38:12

Fairfax, VA Housing Prices Dive 5% YoY; Sellers Panic As Price Slashing Skyrockets 300%

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-08-10 06:48:00

Agoura Hills, CA Housing Prices Plummet 22% YoY

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-08-10 06:52:04

Contra Costa County, CA Housing Demand Crashes Through Crisis Era Floor; Now at 10+ Year Lows

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-08-10 06:55:43

Labor Force Participation Rate Sinks To 36 Year Low

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-08-10 06:58:23

You all should be thanking your lucky stars you didn’t sign up for 30 years of mortgage slavery in the last few years…..

Comment by azdude
2014-08-10 07:04:33

still broke and renting?

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-08-10 07:14:01

Remember…. Houses depreciate rapidly. And your losses are astronomical when you finance them.

Why buy when you can rent for half the monthly cost?

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-08-10 08:20:59

Thank your lucky stars A._Fraud.

Comment by azdude
2014-08-10 14:27:57


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Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-08-10 15:25:04

You’re enraged A._Fraud. :mrgreen:

Comment by azdude
2014-08-10 16:30:22


Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-08-10 17:13:06

And underwater.

Comment by Housing Analyst
Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-08-10 07:09:03


Not that we need anymore evidence that you’re screwed if you bought a house in the last 14 years.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-08-10 07:16:16

N Bethesda, MD Housing Prices Crater 22% YoY; Inventory Balloons 62% As Excess Empty Inventory Hits Market

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-08-10 07:21:34

Woodbridge, VA Housing Prices Dive 6% YoY; Price Reductions Skyrocket 151%

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-08-10 07:23:15

“Remember… Housing is a depreciating asset and always a loss. Your losses are magnified tremendously if you paid more than $40/sqft for a used house. Your losses are irrecoverable in your lifetime if you financed it.”

You better believe it.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-08-10 08:13:18

Lawyers are liars.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-08-10 08:50:38

Walnut Creek, CA Housing Prices Crater 10% YoY; Inventory Explodes 61% As Housing Demand In California Plummets To 10 Year Low

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-10 08:56:06

Meanwhile, the crony capitalist Establishment GOP is trying to dust off Romney as an alternative to the catastrophic failure of “hope ‘n change.” Please tell me the American electorate aren’t stupid enough to fall for this corporate statist, though in my heart I know better.

Comment by phony scandals
2014-08-10 09:12:22

In my little part of Region IV, house prices are approaching late 2004 to early 2005.

And that didn’t end well.

Comment by oxide
2014-08-10 11:41:34

It didn’t end well because people bought with zero-down, and financed with mortgages which were I/O and neg-am which started low and reset. How many of the post-2009 mortgages will have payments that reset? If we don’t have mass resetting payments, then the prices ought to hold.

Comment by Ben Jones
2014-08-10 13:10:32

‘If we don’t have mass resetting payments, then the prices ought to hold’

This is a variation of the position I tried to put a name on recently. The best I’ve come up with so far is the “2014 isn’t 2008″ theory.

In fact, the common denominator of most foreclosures was when they were made.

‘One thing that has not changed is the footprint of toxic loans that led to the housing price bubble and helped trigger the Great Recession.’

‘Most of the loans going into default in the second quarter are still from the 2005-2007 period when the market was overheating.’

It was borrowing too much money that got people into trouble. Now I know, this doesn’t fit the narrative that it was subprime loans that caused the problems. See, the prices were fine. House prices can never recover too much. To the moon! We just have to let Elisabeth Warren run the world and we can all have a million dollar house or three, AND financial stability.

Comment by azdude
2014-08-10 14:26:36

It seemed that overpriced homes was the common theme. People were buying because they saw everyone else making easy money. They wanted in on the action, greed.

It seems that once they pulled most of the homes off the market during the bust it created a floor. Prices leveled off and started rising. Investors saw an opportunity and value and poured in. Prices rose and it sucked more people in.

Problem seems the investors can find enough buyers to hand the homes off to retail. The market has gotten soft in some areas.

In CA they are basically not foreclosing on people and doing loan mods and principal reductions.

What I find interesting is these banks doing all these settlements and acting like its their money. Basically they get bailed out and use taxpayer money to announce settlements.

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Comment by phony scandals
2014-08-10 16:05:50

“It seems that once they pulled most of the homes off the market during the bust it created a floor.”

That’s what I saw here.

Of course part of it was allowing the Beats to live rent free while they were squealing about being Robo signed as visions of a free house danced in their heads for four or five years.

Then came the cruel settlement that crushed their dreams and gave all the money to the people who were supposed to dole it out to the Beats.

Comment by Blue Skye
2014-08-10 15:24:26

“the position I tried to put a name on recently…”

The walking debt?

Zombie mania?

As we go through several cycles down on the unwind of the biggest financial mania in history, there will be fewer true believers each bounce, until all are exhausted.

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Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-08-10 15:28:31

“If we don’t have mass resetting payments, then the prices ought to hold.”

You have a problem with your logic. Current asking prices are 250% higher than long term trend and double construction costs (lot, labor, materials and profit).

How are you going to reconcile it?

Comment by Selfish Hoarder
2014-08-10 09:14:28

Google ” blowback”

Comment by phony scandals
2014-08-10 09:33:27

Operation Zero Footprint

Comment by Housing Analyst
Comment by Amy Hoax
2014-08-10 11:53:51

OMG the sky is falling! Oh wait, it didn’t fall yesterday, it hasn’t fallen yet today. That means it’s definitely going to fall tomorrow. And then you can wag your finger and say I told you so.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-08-10 12:21:30

Don’t be silly kiddo…. falling housing prices is a good thing.

Comment by Neuromance
2014-08-10 09:39:12

Curiouser and curiouser - another favored incumbent defeated. This time a Democrat, so no Tea Party bogeymen to blame.

Bloomberg News
Hawaii Governor Abercrombie Ousted in Primary
By Greg Giroux August 10, 2014

Hawaii Democratic Governor Neil Abercrombie was defeated in his re-election bid, the first time in the state’s 55-year history the incumbent was ousted in a primary.

Abercrombie lost to state senator David Ige, who won 67 percent of the vote to 31 percent, according to an unofficial tally by the Hawaii elections office.

Abercrombie, 76, will leave office after a four-year term in which he antagonized the state teachers’ union and other groups. During a four-decade political career, he served in the state legislature and U.S. House of Representatives.

Comment by phony scandals
2014-08-10 10:03:21

Going it alone

In one of the poorest counties in Texas, at the center of the
U.S. border crisis, one deputy must do the work of many

ENCINO, Tex. — Elias Pompa had a thousand square miles of backcountry to patrol by himself,

He had been dispatched to this part of Brooks County to investigate an open window at an abandoned ranch building — another potential break-in in the nation’s busiest corridor for illegal immigration, where break-ins could mean any number of things. He had driven this way before to investigate robberies where the only item missing was water, stolen by groups of migrant children crossing the desert alone. He had come to confront drug cartel members carrying backpacks loaded with knives and 70 pounds of marijuana. He had come to rescue immigrants dying of dehydration and he had come when it was too late, carrying a state-issued body bag.

Meanwhile, record numbers of Central Americans had begun crossing into South Texas, four times as many as in 2009, migrating through the desolate ranchland that was their closest geographical entry point to the United States. Now most emergencies in the daily 911 call log related to immigration problems: “illegal on road,” “illegal lost,” “illegal on private property,” “illegal deceased.” In 2012, the sheriff’s office spent a third of its diminished budget on the recovery and burial of 129 immigrants found dead in the brush.

A chase.

“Come on, come on, come on,” he said, staring at the Mazda, urging it to the side of the road, and a few seconds later the car swerved toward the brush on the right side of the highway. The driver jammed on the brakes. A back door flew open as the car continued to move and seven people piled out: four men, two women and a child, with little water and no supplies. They tumbled onto the shoulder of the road, raced into the brush and climbed over a barbed-wire fence onto a desolate ranch. Then the Mazda tore back onto the highway.

The Mazda raced to 90 mph and then, less than a minute later, swung wildly again to the side of the road and stopped. The driver opened his door and started to run, leaving the car running, too.

“Damn it,” Pompa said again, because now came another choice: Deal with a running car obstructing the right lane of a major freeway? Or chase this man wearing a baseball cap and jeans, probably an experienced coyote who was younger, faster and better at navigating the brush?

Pompa thought about the calf muscle he had torn in a chase a few months earlier, and how he had no health insurance to cover that injury, and how he had been unable to take sick time to heal because there was no one to fill in for him. “Should I go after him?” he said, but instead he watched for a few seconds as the man climbed over a 10-foot fence and disappeared into tall grass.

Pompa left his police lights flashing and went to search the car, which was empty except for a water bottle and a rental car contract from McAllen. He called a friend who worked for a tow truck company and asked him to impound the car. “I got another one for you,” Pompa told him, before recounting the chase.

“Great police work,” the friend said.

“I guess,” Pompa said, but now seven more people were in the brush, including a child who might make it to where he was going or maybe die trying. The smuggling guide was probably on his way back to Mexico to pick up his next load. There was a car on the side of the road that by law would be returned to the rental company, which would rent it out again. “It’s like catching air,” Pompa said. -

Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-08-10 15:02:20

He has no health insurance?

Comment by phony scandals
2014-08-10 17:58:29

I know right, Palm Beach County Sheriffs have gold plated health insurance.

Comment by gsnarks
2014-08-12 11:59:06

A couple of German Shepherds could work wonders in this sort of situation….

Comment by butters
2014-08-10 10:09:57

We spent 2 trillions and created ISIS. Why not enjoy the fruit of our labor a little longer?

I bet we will need another 5 trillions to defeat ISIS. Mr Chairman, get to work!


Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-10 10:52:14

The masters of the financial universe have a new plan to solve the world’s water problems: in order to create more efficient distribution of the world’s most vital compound, we need to create myriad new layers of middlemen and financiers and have them trading billions (if not trillions) of dollars in derivatives of that scarce resource on global commodity exchanges.

It will be the Enron-ization of water, as the exact same people who almost destroyed the global economy with synthetic structures securities and corrupted the basic pricing mechanism of just about every commodity market will be entrusted to determine the price of the water everybody consumes.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-10 11:36:31

Are you positioned for the coming meltdown in small caps?

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-10 11:42:51

Aug. 10, 2014, 5:30 a.m. EDT
Small-cap stocks will likely feel the most pain

The action for small-cap stocks is particularly ominous
By Philip van Doorn, MarketWatch

Following another week of elevated volatility for the broad market, analysts still differ on whether we’re positioned for a prolonged market pullback. But one thing is clear: Small-cap stocks are taking the worst beating.

This chart shows the movement of the Russell 2000 Index over the past 12 months, along with the 20-day, 50-day and 200-day moving averages. The index has dropped below all three averages, which is the type of price momentum that can lead to a larger decline, according to Art Nunes, chief investment officer for Dynamic Investing Group, which has about $70 million in assets under management.

The Russell 2000’s 20-day moving average has moved below the 200-day average, and the 50-day may soon cross below the 200-day average because “there’s no sign buyers are coming into the market,” he told MarketWatch.

“The reason it is important, is that once a new trend emerges, it is persistent,” Nunes said.

The trend for small-cap stocks over several years has been upward, he said, but the 20-day moving average began to decline in January, after which the 50-day moving average began to decline. “Now it appears the long-term trend is about to reverse,” he said.

The S&P 500 Index, on the other hand, is still trading well above its 200-day average, although the index is trading below its 20-day and 50-day moving averages, despite rising slightly this week.

“If you look at the overall market, it is in a long-term rising trend,” Nunses said. But for small-cap investors, “it’s a good time to take 10% to 20% of one’s portfolio off the table.” He predicted the Russell 2000 would head back toward its May lows.

Of course, there are pockets of opportunity in any market. Using the same approach of gauging the relative changes in moving averages, as well as price momentum, Nunes identified three broad market subsectors believes will outperform: coal mining, gold and silver mining and broker-dealers.

“One way to play the coal sector is an exchange-traded fund we like, the Market Vectors-Coal,” Nunes said. For gold and silver, he recommends the Market Vectors Gold Miners and the Global X Silver Miners, while for broker-dealers, he recommended iShares U.S. Broker-Dealers.

“The coal and precious metals sectors are at an earlier stage of recovery than the broad market, after having been beaten up,” Nunes said.

For the broker-dealers, “everything is parallel and moving up very nicely,” he said.

End of the bull run?

There has been no shortage of warnings from market strategists that we’re heading for a major drop in stock prices. Then again, Piper Jaffray analyst Craig Johnson sees 70% upside for the S&P 500.

But Sterne Agee chief market technician Carter Worth found the trading action on July 31, when the Dow Jones Industrial Average dropped more than 300 points, to be particularly disturbing, because “it was aggressive selling, accompanied by numerous instances of heavy-volume dropping and gapping, the kind of selling that represents distribution—the backing away from assets and themes.”

Worth saw no reason over the past week to change his opinion that the bull market has ended. “The general premise is that there was a lot of damage done. It is hard to come out of the damage that has been sustained,” he told MarketWatch.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-10 12:17:26

Why A Full-Blown Market Correction Should Be Expected
By Mitchell Clark | Stock Markets | Aug 08, 2014 04:53PM GMT

The monetary environment is still highly favorable to stocks and should continue to be so well into 2015. However, while this market can handle higher interest rates, stocks can only advance in a higher interest rate environment if gross domestic product (GDP) growth is there to back it up.

Because of the capital gains over the last few years and the across-the-board record-highs in many indices, investment risk in stocks is still high. Accordingly, it’s worthwhile reviewing your exposure to risk, particularly regarding any highflyers in your portfolio; they get hit the hardest when a shock happens.

Currently, geopolitical events between Ukraine and Russia have the potential to be the catalyst for a correction. It could happen at any time depending on what transpires.

The risk of stocks selling off on the Federal Reserve’s actions is diminishing. The marketplace is well informed about the central bank’s intentions and it’s quite clear that Fed Chair Janet Yellen doesn’t want to do anything to “surprise” Wall Street.

I still view this market as one where institutional investors want to own the safest names. The economic data just isn’t strong enough for traditional mutual funds and pensions to be speculating.

This is why the Dow Jones Industrial Average and other large-cap dividend paying stocks are so well positioned. They offer great prospects for increasing quarterly income, some capital gain potential (still), and downside protection compared to the rest of the market.

Of course, all stocks are risky. An equity security is priced in a secondary market where fear, greed, emotions, and a herd mentality are part of the daily pricing mechanism.

Accordingly, anything can happen to any stock—anything. Therefore, a portfolio of stocks is well served by some diversification among businesses and industries, and a key part of stock selection should include the earnings reliability any potential holding offers.

With the stock market trading near its all-time record-high after a massive amount of monetary stimulus, I view stocks as risky; therefore, retirement or savings portfolios should be skewed towards blue chips and this includes picks in traditionally faster-growing industries, like technology and health care.

Risk is something that many investors pay more attention to after there’s been a shock to the system.

No doubt, considering where we’ve come from, stocks have been—and continue to be—due for a material price correction. So far, we’ve really only had periods of price consolidation since the March 2009 low.

Comment by Rental Watch
2014-08-10 14:37:09

Yup, bolted from small-caps in Q1. Ran that horse hard in 2013.

Comment by phony scandals
2014-08-10 11:37:12

Jeff Spicoli:

What Jefferson was saying was, Hey! You know, we left this England place ’cause it was bogus; so if we don’t get some cool rules ourselves - pronto - we’ll just be bogus too! Get it?

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-10 11:50:38

Thanks in part to policies that encourage purchasing way more house than they can afford, such as enabling mortgage loans at 50% of household income, a significant portion of American households are woefully unprepared for retirement. The ants are going to eventually be asked to pony up old age support for grasshoppers who lived their younger lives in overpriced, supersized houses by their own choices.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-10 12:12:34

Not so golden: Wealth gap lasting into retirement
By MICHAEL HILL Associated Press
Published: Aug 3, 2014 at 12:32 PM PDT

William Kistler views retirement like someone tied to the tracks and watching a train coming. It’s looming and threatening, but there’s little he can do.

Kistler, a 63-year-old resident of Golden, Colorado, has been unable to build up a nest egg for himself and his wife with his modest salary at a nonprofit. He has saved little in a 401(k) over the past decade, after spending most of his working life self-employed. That puts him far behind many wealthier Americans approaching retirement.

“There is not enough to retire with,” he said. “It’s completely frightening, to tell you the truth. And I, like a lot of people, try not to think about it too much, which is actually a problem.”

With traditional pensions becoming rarer in the private sector, and lower-paid workers less likely to have access to an employer-provided retirement plan, there is a growing gulf in the retirement savings of the wealthy and people with lower incomes. That, experts say, could exacerbate an already widening wealth gap across America, as more than 70 million baby boomers head into retirement - many of them with skimpy reserves.

Because retirement savings are ever more closely tied to income, the widening gulf between the rich and those with less promises to continue - and perhaps worsen - after workers reach retirement age. That is likely to put pressure on government services and lead even more Americans to work well into what is supposed to be their golden years.

Increasingly, financial security for retirees reflects how much they have accumulated during their working career - things like 401(k) accounts, other savings and home equity.

Highly educated, dual income couples tend to do better under this system. The future looks bleaker for people with less education, lower incomes or health issues, as well as for single parents, said Karen Smith, a senior fellow at the Urban Institute, a Washington think tank.

“We do find rising inequality,” said Smith, who added that it’s a problem if those at the top are seeing disproportionate gains from economic growth.

Incomes for the highest-earning 1 percent of Americans soared 31 percent from 2009 through 2012, after adjusting for inflation, according to data compiled by Emmanuel Saez, an economist at University of California, Berkeley. For everyone else, it inched up an average of 0.4 percent.

Researchers at the liberal Economic Policy Institute say households in the top fifth of income saw median retirement savings increase from $45,539 in 1989 to $160,000 in 2010 in inflation-adjusted dollars. For households in the bottom fifth, median retirement savings were down from $8,433 in 1989 to $8,000 in 2010, adjusted for inflation. The calculations did not include households without retirement savings.

Employment Benefit Research Institute research director Jack VanDerhei found that in households where annual income is less than $25,000, nine in 10 saved less than $10,000, up slightly from 2009. For households with six-figure incomes, 42 percent saved at least $250,000, up from 34 percent five years earlier.

The days of retirees being able to count on set monthly payments from pensions continue to fade among non-government workers. Only 13 percent of private-sector workers now participate in “defined benefit” plans, compared with a third of such workers in 1985. They’ve been eclipsed by “defined contribution” plans, often 401(k)s, in which employers match a portion of employee contributions.

Americans know they need to save for retirement. The trick for many is actually doing it. It’s estimated that about half of private-sector workers don’t take part in a retirement plan at their current job.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-08-10 12:31:42

Deflation…..let it rage.

Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-08-10 13:20:03

Guys, I think I have Ebola. My tummy hurts. Someone call PropagandaDan and ask him for his expert opinion.

PS: I need house prices in Phoenix to drop by 25% or more. Make it happen, people!

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-10 13:46:35

Remind me again what AIPAC and the neo-cons gained from this fiasco, since I can’t quite see how America benefited from our decades of intervention or the “stable” Iraq we built at such a tremendous, ongoing cost.

Comment by goon squad
2014-08-10 15:26:08

Abraham Foxman would like to have a word with you

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-10 14:00:04

The neo-cons and AIPAC, having learned nothing from Iraq, already have their next project lined up.

Comment by goon squad
2014-08-10 15:28:05

The Southern Poverty Law Center would like to have a word with you

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-10 14:03:37

Hillary tries to distance herself from Obama’s foreign policy failures - remind me again who was Secretary of State while said failures were unfolding.

Comment by goon squad
2014-08-10 15:30:16

Region VIII checking in

And Matt Bracken can predict the future, he already wrote it

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-10 15:58:17

It seems kind of weird to make posts about the Chinese housing crash without a lengthy tirade of off-topic drivel soon to follow.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-10 16:01:07

Will China’s real-estate bubble be worse than ours?
Millions in China are pursuing property with a zeal once typical of house-happy Americans. The rush is fueling fears that the bubble may burst — and soon.
By Dexter Roberts of Bloomberg Businessweek

Li Nan has real-estate fever. A 27-year-old steel trader at China Minmetals, a state-owned commodities company, Li lives with his parents in a cramped 700-square-foot apartment in west Beijing. Li originally planned to buy his own place when he got married, but after watching Beijing real-estate prices soar, he has been spending all his free time searching for an apartment. If he finds the right place — preferably a two-bedroom in the historic Dongcheng quarter, near the city center — he hopes to buy immediately. Act now, he figures, or live with Mom and Dad forever. In the last 12 months such apartments have doubled or tripled in price, to about $400 per square foot. “This year they’ll be even higher,” Li says.

Millions of Chinese are pursuing property with a zeal once typical of house-happy Americans. Some Chinese are plunking down wads of cash for homes. Others are taking out mortgages at record levels. Developers are snapping up land for luxury high-rises and villas, and the banks are eagerly funding them. Some local officials are even building towns from scratch in the desert, certain that demand won’t flag. And if families can swing it, they buy two apartments — one to live in, one to flip when prices jump further.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-10 16:04:27

08.05.2014 14:06
Willem Buiter: Little Systemic Risk from a Financial Crash

Citigroup economist says central government has the resources to prevent a financial institution from falling, but warns housing booms like China’s usually end in tears
By staff reporters Li Zengxin and Ding Feng

(Beijing) – Many economists have said that today’s China shares many similarities with Japan in the late 1980s because both rely heavily on exports and cheap labor to back growth, and both suffered asset bubbles caused by post-crisis stimulus and a fragile banking system. Some have warned that China is likely to follow Japan, entering a decade of long deflation and depression like Japan did in the 1990s.

Willem Buiter, the chief economist at Citigroup, is more optimistic. He said that despite a credit bubble, China is unlikely to face systemic risk from a financial crash.

Buiter did warn there are risks in China’s housing boom. “I’ve never seen a housing boom of the magnitude of China’s that did not end in tears,” he said.

A housing bubble burst does not necessarily have to have catastrophic consequences, as many Chinese households could manage a 20 percent drop in housing prices, he said. Property companies and construction firms may suffer losses, or even bankruptcy, but banks will survive with government support, Buiter added.

Buiter joined Citigroup as chief economist in January 2010. From June 2009 to August 2011, he was professor of political economy at the Centre for Economic Performance of the London School of Economics.

In a recent interview with Caixin, the Dutch-born, American-British economist discussed the risks facing China’s economy and the progress of reform, as well as the outlook of global recovery. Excerpt of his interview follow.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-10 16:07:03

China’s Real Estate - A Market in Crisis
By Roxanne James
Wednesday 06 August 2014

After China’s house prices rose dramatically through the first months of 2013, the government imposed stringent cooling measures which may have been too efficient, resulting in rapid deceleration in housing values across the country.

The government initially imposed restrictions on the purchases of second and third homes, increased the amount of deposits required on property financed by mortgages and tightened credit for property developers.

Measures to Cool Market Too Effective

In June 2014 it was reported that among 70 major cities in China, house prices dropped in 55 of them, representing the sharpest decline since December 2008. Further statistics showed a drop-off in property investment with annual growth rising by 16.8% in the first three months of 2014, down from 19.3% in the first two months.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-10 16:13:33

Much of this discussion of whether the China housing bubble will eventually burst seems to sidestep a glaringly obvious point: The notion of houses as a place for people with extra savings to invest them is an artifact of the mania which is destined to end with the mania.

It is hard to overstate the bewilderment which awaits the masses who jumped on the surplus housing investment bandwagon when prices revert to fundamental value and they see their wealth head down the vortex.

Comment by Michael Viking
2014-08-10 19:19:22

If China doesn’t step in “Fed-like” and print trillions buying up stuff and their housing crashes, then that’s a good thing, right? The crash will be momentous, but that’s how it’s supposed to happen under capitalism.

Alternatively they could handle it like our Fed has and keep adding fuel to the flame.

I prefer a scenario with solid moral hazard.

My guess is China will let housing crash, but it remains to be seen. I for one am eager to watch it unfold. I think it’s very unlikely they’ll act like Japan and the US.

Comment by Ben Jones
2014-08-10 20:19:33

‘unlikely they’ll act like Japan and the US’

They already did, 2008-9. Printed more money than Japan and the US combined.

Comment by Michael Viking
2014-08-11 16:57:56

I hadn’t heard this so I Googled it up. Very interesting, thanks for pointing it out. I guess the Chinese say they needed to create the money to keep up with the wealth creation? I know as there are more and more people and “wealth” that more money must be printed/created but I sure don’t know how to determine the appropriate amount to print.

Boy, these really are interesting times!

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Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-08-10 16:08:07

Middle-class neighborhoods in Phoenix are mixed in with the poor ones. I don’t see how these speculators can manage to keep their houses vacant. I see plenty of drug dealers and homeless people who would probably like to move in to a vacant house if they could find one.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-10 16:48:20

Lil Sis has an even bigger drug dealer problem than occupation of a vacant property: Her tenant, who stopped paying rent months ago, appears to be one. I haven’t heard the update yet on how the eviction proceeding is working out.

Comment by goon squad
2014-08-10 19:29:24

You should go listen to John Cougar Mellencamp’s song Pink Houses and the lyric “Ain’t that America” and go watch the 2014 Souper Bowl Coke commericial again.

Comment by AbsoluteBeginner
2014-08-10 16:14:17

Wonder if the mint requires the victors to feed the squirrels as part of their obligations:

Comment by Selfish Hoarder
2014-08-10 17:37:32

Face Facts: US Democracy-Crusading Causes Wars - It’s Time for American Neutrality

By mike [sheuer] | Published: July 23, 2014

“Modern war with all its consequences is too tragic and too devastating to be approached from anything but a purely American standpoint. We should never enter a war unless its is absolutely essential to the future welfare of our nation.” Colonel Charles A. Lindbergh, 15 September 1939

This week, some of the world is engulfed in bloodshed that is playing out against the background music of Woodrow Wilson’s howling madness. Wilson’s “Making the World Safe for Democracy” symphony and “Self-Determination” nocturne have now been playing for almost 100 years, and few works by other men have caused more human costs or more unnecessary wars. Wilson’s demented mind produced a product which, rather than spreading democracy as promised, has simply spread war. The equation is simple: spreading democracy causes war. This morning, for example:

–1.) Rival militias are fighting and killing each other near the international airport in Tripoli in another episode in the unrelenting economic and human disaster that has been caused by the Obama/McCain-led, NATO campaign to install democracy in Libya.

–2.) A Malaysian airliner and its passengers lie scattered across fields in eastern Ukraine in another racheting-up of the war started in that country by the ignorant but arrogant interventionists and the democracy crusaders of the EU and the Obama administration. This situation, of course, has led the Neocons to call for “stronger action” against Russia to protect what does not exist, Ukrainian democracy, and to stand up to that non-threat to the United States, Vladimir Putin and Russia. (NB: The culprit here is Malaysian Air — and any other airline — that flies passengers over war zones to save money on fuel.)

–3.) Iraq is disintegrating into sectarian civil war as the very predictable consequence of the Republican/Neocon removal of Saddam Hussein and a decade of democracy building in that country. We can look forward to the same situation after we and the West Europeans help the great democracy-loving Syrian resistance — better entitled the mujahedin — destroy Asaad. Then, using Western-provided weapons and supplies, it will turn on and destroy the Jordanian regime.

–4.) The war in Gaza burns right along as always with Israelis and Palestinians merrily murdering each other. This war has gone on for 60-plus years because Washington and its European allies keep intervening, first in favor of Israel, then in favor of the Palestine, then back to Israel, and so on and so on. Now is the time to stand back and let the two sides fight it out to the finish. Democracy in Israel or Palestine is worthless to American interests. Let the better war-fighter win, and then let America have no ties to the winner.

All of these wars and near-wars have been brought to us by the contemporary American and European believers in Woodrow Wilson’s academic theorizing and ignorance of of the world outside the American South. Wilson also was a profound bigot who was as cock-sure as today’s most ardent racists in Western capitals that he could and should force Slavs, Africans, Latinos, and Arabs to behave as he wanted them to behave, either through eloquent persuasion or gunboats and the Marines’ bayoneted rifles.

The Founders did not create the United States to act as Wilson and his policies have acted; that is, as the catalyst that foments unnecessary wars. But a catalyst for war is exactly what our bipartisan political elite has been for the last thirty years and more. The sad truth is that many of our politicians, diplomats, generals, and religious leaders are war-causers. None will leave well enough alone; none trust foreigners to work out their own futures; and none seem to care how much the unnecessary wars they cause will cost Americans in lives, dollars, and affection/respect.

These men and women take it as their righteous mission to intervene in the affairs of others and work to make them into people just like themselves, whether in terms of worshiping secular democracy, self-determination, women’s rights, religious tolerance, human rights, or some other one-size-fits-all abstraction that no young American man or woman should ever be called on to fight and die for overseas. This Wilsonian practice amounts to insanity and was long ago recognized as such by one of the greatest Americans. ” The improvement of our way of life is more important than the spreading of it,” Colonel Lindbergh told his countrymen. “If we make it satisfactory enough, it will spread automatically. If we do not, no strength of arms can permanently impose it.”

The vital point that these men and women deliberately ignore — along with most of the media and the academy — is that most of the violence and warfare that goes on in the world has absolutely no impact on genuine, life-and-death U.S. national interests. It is no skin off America’s nose if all the Israelis kill all the Palestinians, or vice versa. Likewise, there would be no material impact on North America if the Obama-EU intervention in the Ukraine ended in a civil war in that country, with the Europeans and Russians arming their respective allies. Only a tenured, Ivy League academic could argue with a straight face that what happens in Libya is important to the United States. And Iraq’s shattering is likely to lead to a Sunni-Shia regional war which — because the U.S. political elite keeps intervening in the Muslim world and cowers at the idea of killing Islamist fighters in requisite numbers –may be the best way of temporarily protecting America against what has become a truly international Sunni insurgency, against which we will one day be forced to rearm and fight to the death.

Tomorrow morning, in fact, President Obama’s national security adviser could honestly inform him that the rest of the world’s wars have put no life-and-death American interest at stake; that none of the combatants merit our aid in money, arms, or rhetorical support; and that no U.S. military personnel need to be put at risk. That adviser also might suggest to Obama that the negative impact the wars have on investors and the markets is due not to the wars themselves, but to the fear that he and his NATO chums will involve themselves in the current wars and — given their Wilsonian mindset — inevitably make things worse.

A clear and simple statement that America will not become engaged in the ongoing wars — followed by prolonged presidential and senatorial silence on the issue — would steady the markets and rightly define the wars as being none of America’s concern. If Obama is too busy fund-raising to write such a statement, he could borrow some words from Mr. Lincoln’s Secretary of State, William Henry Seward. Being as brazen with the truth as he is, Obama could even tag the statement as the “Obama Doctrine” and be confident that the close-to-worthless U.S. educational system has not made one American in ten thousand knowledgeable about Secretary Seward.

The president could begin his statement by saying he and all Americans regret that so many of the world’s peoples are killing each other, but we all must accept the simple fact that man is a fallen creature who is hard-wired for war. He could then penitently acknowledge that the interventionist U.S. political elite — which includes himself — has been instrumental in causing each of the wars now dominating the headlines. He could finish by admitting that the majority of Americans despise their political leaders’ financially disastrous and always bloody interventionism and so henceforth — in Secretary Seward’s words — Washington will follow the lead of its citizens, and this means that “the American people must be content to recommend the cause of human progress by the wisdom with which they should exercise the powers of self-government, forbearing at all times, and in every way, from foreign alliances, intervention, and interference.”

Now, that would be Obama’s first good day’s work since becoming president.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-10 18:12:34

How would the US military industrial complex earn its bacon if we declared neutrality?

Comment by Selfish Hoarder
2014-08-10 18:45:53

“How would the US military industrial complex earn its bacon if we declared neutrality?”

It has to retool its factories and build some peaceful stuff.

Comment by Selfish Hoarder
2014-08-10 18:13:18

This ISIS deal. From a sample of what I’ve seen on Facebook, it’s the Neocons, distinct from progressives, who want the U.S. to rescue the Christian minorities and nuke the non-Israelis. These people are the modern day Woodrow Wilson types. But mark my words, if the murdered people were atheists, the Christian right would be isolationists.

Comment by Blue Skye
2014-08-10 21:00:07

“But mark my words…”

No Sir. I am against slaughter of any peoples, regardless of their persuasions. Unless they are persuaded to kill innocent people.

You mistake civil religious people for Imperialists.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-11 00:18:41

Property Defaults Seen as Financing Stresses Mount: China Credit
By Bloomberg News Aug 10, 2014 6:47 PM PT

China’s slumping property market is fueling speculation the industry is set for a shakeout as small developers face difficulty raising funds to pay off debt.

Yield premiums on Chinese real-estate bonds denominated in dollars have jumped 35 basis points this month to 582 basis points over Treasuries, the sharpest increase among emerging Asian countries, according to Bank of America Merrill Lynch indexes. That compares with a 19 basis-point advance for Indonesian builders. Moody’s Investors Service and Standard & Poor’s said some smaller Chinese developers may default in the second half amid falling sales and shrinking access to credit.

China’s real-estate industry poses the biggest near-term risk to growth in the world’s second-largest economy after new home prices dropped in the most cities in two years in June, according to JPMorgan Chase & Co. While government steps to ease property curbs helped builder bonds rally in July, they’re giving up those gains ahead of housing-price data due next week.

“The operating environment is still tough for Chinese developers,” said Franco Leung, a senior analyst in Hong Kong at Moody’s. “Banks in China have become more selective in lending to developers. Those weaker developers still face liquidity pressure.”

Prices Slide

Closely held Zhejiang Xingrun Real Estate Co., located south of Shanghai, collapsed in March under 3.5 billion yuan ($569 million) of debt. Baoan Hongji Real Estate Group Co., a Shenzhen-based builder, said on July 14 its profit may have dropped as much as 96 percent in the first half from a year earlier.

“Given the fragmented nature of the property market in China and the sheer number of developers, it wouldn’t be surprising if there are news of developers being in financial difficulty or of outright defaults,” said Swee Ching Lim, a Singapore-based credit analyst at Western Asset Management Co.

Comment by phony scandals
2014-08-11 07:29:13

phony scandals

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