August 16, 2014

Bits Bucket for August 16, 2014

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

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Comment by tresho
2014-08-16 00:58:41

The Great Chinese Exodus
Many Chinese are leaving for cleaner air, better schools and more opportunity. But Beijing is keeping its eye on them.
Even when the emperors did their utmost to keep them at home, the Chinese ventured overseas in search of knowledge, fortune and adventure. Manchu Qing rulers thought those who left must be criminals or conspirators and once forced the entire coastal population of southern China to move at least 10 miles inland.

But even that didn’t put an end to wanderlust. Sailing junks ferried merchants to Manila on monsoon winds to trade silk and porcelain for silver. And in the 19th century, steamships carried armies of “coolies” (as they were then called) to the mines and plantations of the European empires.

Today, China’s borders are wide open. Almost anybody who wants a passport can get one. And Chinese nationals are leaving in vast waves: Last year, more than 100 million outbound travelers crossed the frontiers.

Most are tourists who come home. But rapidly growing numbers are college students and the wealthy, and many of them stay away for good. A survey by the Shanghai research firm Hurun Report shows that 64% of China’s rich—defined as those with assets of more than $1.6 million—are either emigrating or planning to….The decision to go is often a mix of push and pull. The elite are discovering that they can buy a comfortable lifestyle at surprisingly affordable prices in places such as California and the Australian Gold Coast, while no amount of money can purchase an escape in China from the immense problems afflicting its urban society: pollution, food safety, a broken education system. The new political era of President Xi Jinping, meanwhile, has created as much anxiety as hope…Politics, though, isn’t the most important issue on the mind of Ms. Sun, a 34-year-old Beijing resident who’s bailing out. (She requested anonymity because she doesn’t want publicity to spoil her plans.) The main reason she’s planning to pack up: Her 6-year-old daughter is asthmatic, and Beijing’s chronic pollution irritates the girl’s lungs. “Breathing freely is a basic requirement,” she says. The girl also has a talent for music, art and storytelling that Ms. Sun fears China’s test-driven schools won’t nurture.

Recently, Ms. Sun flew to San Francisco to shop for a school for her daughter, browse for property and handle the paperwork for permanent U.S. residency. She insists that she’s not leaving China forever—a sentiment expressed by many on their way out who see a foreign passport as an insurance policy in case things go badly wrong in China.

“I’m just giving my family another option,” she says….A college professor, who insisted on anonymity altogether (”Just call me an intellectual,” he says), takes a darker view of China’s prospects as he prepares to emigrate to the U.S., joining his two children, who both have postgraduate degrees from U.S. colleges.

Like many Chinese academics, the professor has a business or two on the side, although he hardly looks the part of an executive, unshaven and with crumpled pants riding 6 inches above his open sandals. In China, he pronounces, “Once you get rich, they arrest you.”… the sheer volume of China’s outbound travel these days, and its massive economic impact, gives it new leverage. In the global market for high-end real estate, Chinese buying has become a key driver of prices. According to the U.S. National Association of Realtors, Chinese buyers snapped up homes worth $22 billion in the year ending in March.

Australia called a parliamentary inquiry to find out whether local households were being priced out of the market by Chinese money. (The conclusion: not yet.)

Without fee-paying Chinese students, many colleges in the postrecession Western world simply wouldn’t be able to pay the bills. Chinese students are by far the largest group of foreign students on U.S. campuses, and their numbers jumped 21% last year from the year before—to 235,597, according to the Institute of International Education. Their numbers are increasing at a similar pace in Australia. In England, there are now almost as many Chinese students as British ones studying full-time for postgraduate master’s degrees….The Chinese government has no desire to slow the flow of students. Its attitude is simple: Why not have the Americans or Europeans train our brightest minds if they want to? President Xi’s own daughter went to Harvard.

As always with China, the numbers awe. In his memoirs, Zbigniew Brzezinski, the former national security adviser, recalls a meeting between President Jimmy Carter and Deng. Human rights were on Mr. Carter’s agenda, and he started needling the Chinese leader about Beijing’s tight emigration policies. “Fine. We’ll let them go,” Deng snapped. “Are you prepared to accept 10 million?”

Comment by Lionel
2014-08-16 09:28:21

Interesting article, tresho. I’m having trouble thinking for an analog to China’s current situation. When Japan was soaring in the 80’s I don’t think there was a swelling population of newly rich eyeing the doorway to emigrate, largely (I would imagine) because Japan had been a relatively stable country prior to the boom. In China’s case, I could imagine a massive, semi-perminent brain drain once it appears that economic and political stability have ended. I think we’re in for some interesting times coming up in regard to China.

Comment by tresho
2014-08-16 12:34:30

China is a one-of-a-kind place. One of earth’s oldest continuous cultures, largest populations, where the nursery rhymes taught to toddlers are also some of its oldest classical poetry. They’ve been through everything at least once, attaining glorious peaks of civilization & descending into invasion from barbarians, mass starvation & cannibalism. And then back again. Bugging out before another collapse has a long history there, also.

Comment by MacBeth
2014-08-16 15:53:58

Easily the most interesting article about China that’s been posted here in a long while.

Thanks, tresho.

Comment by Housing Analyst
Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-16 08:44:57

That’s an awesome graph. However I am wondering about how the vertical scale relates to demand?

What exactly does “State_Turnover_All” tell you? I’m guessing this is the percentage of existing homes which resold in a year, which would potentially be a function of both supply (i.e. inventory of homes potentially for sale at each price point) and demand.

At any rate, the graph definitely tells a visual story of a market in an ongoing tailspin since reaching a peak in 2005, shortly after the Housing Bubble Blog’s inception.

Comment by Guillotine Renovator
2014-08-16 10:40:54

A more important question may be “where are these graphs even coming from?” It looks like someone made a crude Excel spreadsheet, then saved it to PicPaste. I don’t see any reference for them, and I can’t even open the files. Something doesn’t pass the smell test with this propaganda.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-08-16 12:48:05

You’re enraged.

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Comment by Guillotine Renovator
2014-08-16 12:57:08

I think you need to take a good look in the mirror, Mr. Enraged. Your dishonesty has called into question all of your posts. Your credibility is nearing all-time lows due to your unwillingness and inability to answer to your untruths.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-08-16 13:21:08

Don’t take it so personal though. Cheer up! Collapsing housing demand is a good thing!

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-08-16 03:21:45

Medford, OR Housing Prices Plummet 13%; Inventory Swells 60%

Comment by Housing Analyst
Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-16 08:51:56

Looks like Sac got sacked!

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-08-16 17:07:15

Cratering demand and worthless housing.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-08-16 03:38:16

“Why would pay more than new construction cost ($55 per square foot) for a rapidly depreciating 20+ year old resale house?”

Let me guess…… Because realtors tell you that the cost of a house cannot be evaluated using math?

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-08-16 03:41:18

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

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

Don’t Be A Debt Donkey®

Comment by phony scandals
2014-08-16 16:34:10

“Don’t Be A Debt Donkey®”

Don’t eat Donkey® sausage either.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-08-16 03:43:12

Arlington, VA Housing Prices Plunge 15%; Seller Price Reductions Balloon 153% As Demand Collapses Nationally

Comment by palmetto
2014-08-16 04:23:37

How NAFTA is destroying the economy.

“So if NAFTA is so bad for American workers, then why don’t our politicians just repeal it?

Well, unfortunately most of them are not willing to do this because it is part of a larger agenda. For decades, politicians from both major political parties have been working to slowly integrate North America. The eventual goal is to turn North America into another version of the European Union.”

Comment by Skroodle
2014-08-16 08:06:14

Since when have politicians worried about the working class?

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-16 08:40:29

As long as the working class mindlessly votes for candidates of the oligarch-captured Republicrat duopoly, why should the politicians give a damn about them? Wall Street’s organized larceny is secure.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-16 08:58:19

Hear hear!

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Comment by MightyMike
2014-08-16 10:43:09

Since when have politicians worried about the working class?

Decades ago there used to be organizations called unions. Millions of working class Americans joined unions and, because the were working as a unit, were able to influence the PTB in Congress.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-16 19:36:57

Then organized crime subverted the unions, and now they’re just another set of goons parasiting off the productive.

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Comment by MightyMike
2014-08-16 21:41:17

Uh, no, that’s not true.

Comment by Mugsy
2014-08-18 02:05:20

Worst three years of my working life were in a union shop. Never again.

Comment by Housing Analyst
Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-16 04:45:02

How is China housing looking these days?

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-16 04:49:04

Fall in lending stokes China property prices fears
The Australian
August 14, 2014 12:00AM

NEW lending levels in China have fallen to the lowest level in more than six years, renewing concerns that the property market will again be the next major trouble spot for the national economy.

The People’s Bank of China revealed yesterday new yuan lending was just 385 billion yuan ($67.2bn) in July, down sharply from the 1.1 trillion yuan recorded in June.

The results surprised financial markets economists who had predicted that lending would be at least 727.5 billion yuan, after the record level was achieved in the previous month.

Aggregate financing, a broad measure of liquidity in the domestic financial system, reached 273.1 billion yuan, down from 1.21 trillion yuan in June, and is set to hit its lowest level since 2009.

The weaker results prompted a sell-off across Asia-Pacific regional markets as investors became concerned that China’s volatile property market could be about to slow dramatically.

Housing prices in China’s top-tier cities have recorded double-digit falls over the past two years after a massive increase of supply hit the market, but these have stabilised in recent months.

There are now concerns that the nation’s smaller cities will suffer similar price falls after a sudden building rush. UBS economist Wang Tao said the credit growth softening was a “negative surprise” and the sudden fall in aggregate finance was the result of lower bank lending and reduced bank bill acceptance as part of some firms’ financing arrangements.

Ms Wang said the July results would also have been skewed by a surge in the deposit levels recorded by the Chinese banks during June and tougher shadow banking regulations put in place by the government.

“We don’t believe this data reflects a credit tightening by the People’s Bank of China evidenced by recently policy intentions expressed by the Politburo and the central bank,” she said. “There was also ample interbank liquidity and strong credit growth in June which surprised on the upside.”

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-16 04:51:17

China’s housing sales fall 10.5% in 7 months to July
Dow Jones newswires
13 Aug, 7:40 PM

Housing sales in China in the first seven months of the year fell 10.5 per cent to 2.98 trillion yuan ($US484 billion), signaling that property-loosening measures rolled out by about 30 local governments haven’t yet made a meaningful impact.

Sales were 2.56 trillion yuan in the first half of the year, down 9.2 per cent from the same period of 2013, according to data released by the National Bureau of Statistics Wednesday.

July is typically a seasonally slower month for housing sales and analysts said they are awaiting sales data in August and September for signs a turnaround is in the works, but the continued fall in sales remains a cloud on China’s economic prospects.

Consumers are staying on the sidelines on expectations for further falls in prices, property agents said.

Housing sales in July fell 17.9 per cent on a year-over-year basis and 28.2 per cent from June, according to calculations by The Wall Street Journal from data issued by the National Bureau of Statistics. The bureau doesn’t issue data for individual months.

Some economists were surprised by the weakened sales momentum, especially since more local governments made it easier for home buyers to purchase their second or subsequent homes.

“What I can’t really understand is why the housing sales were down so much,” Société Générale economist Wei Yao said. “A lot of local governments had eased home purchase restrictions. Of course, it’ll take some time for the measures to show effects, but still I’m surprised by how sluggish sales were in July,” she added.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-16 04:54:04

UPDATE 1-China July property investment slows, sales drop sharply
Wed Aug 13, 2014 3:00am EDT

Financials »

* Jan-July property investment +13.7 pct y/y vs +14.1 pct in H1

* Jan-July new property construction -12.8 pct y/y vs -16.4 pct in H1

* July property sales -16.3 pct y/y vs -0.2 pct in June

* Property downturn is expected to continue-analysts (Adds details, comments)

BEIJING, Aug 13 (Reuters) - China’s property market showed further signs of weakening in July, with real estate investment slowing and sales falling sharply despite efforts by many local governments to shore up the troubled sector.

Combined with July activity data released over the past week, the figures suggest softness in the housing market is becoming an increasingly drag on other parts of world’s second-largest economy.

Property investment grew 13.7 percent in the first seven months from a year ago, down from an annual rise of 14.1 percent in the first half, the National Bureau of Statistics(NBS) said on Wednesday.

Newly started property construction dropped 12.8 percent in the January to July period from the same time a year ago, though the decline easing from an annual drop of 16.4 percent in the first six months.

Meanwhile, property sales dropped 16.3 percent in July in terms of floor space, according to Reuters calculations based on official data.

That compared with a 0.2 annual drop in June.

Property investment growth and newly started construction are expected to cool further in the coming months as developers slow their activities amid weak demand, analysts said.

“The surprisingly deep drop in home sales will continue to weigh on the property market,” Zhao Dazhen, a property analyst at CEBM Group, an investment research firm in Shanghai.

“If the sales continue to worsen in coming months, we think the government will unveil more measures to support the industry,” said Zhao.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-16 04:57:29

No need to hit the panic button…yet.

Little Improvement Seen from China’s Economic Stimulus Measures
Data Suggest Recent Measures Haven’t Revived Economy
Updated Aug. 13, 2014 9:14 a.m. ET
Laborers work on a construction site in Guangzhou. Reuters

BEIJING—Economic data suggested that recent stimulus measures have done little to improve two weak corners of China’s economy—wariness about lending and a struggling property sector.

Wednesday’s reports on new lending, property prices and industrial production suggest the leadership will need to maintain its stimulus program for the rest of the year to make its 2014 target of 7.5% economic growth, economists said.

Growth in new lending declined sharply in July after a strong June increase. Meanwhile, housing sales fell by more than 10% in the first seven months of the year. The hefty drop came despite recent eased restrictions on property sales that many analysts and home buyers hoped would put a halt to the real-estate downturn.

I wouldn’t hit the panic button yet,” said HSBC economist Frederic Neumann. “But this is a bit of a sober reminder of the challenges that China faces.”

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-16 04:59:33

China tipped to boost stimulus amid credit slump
PUBLISHED: 14 Aug 2014 11:19:13 | UPDATED: 14 Aug 2014 17:08:30
China’s property slump and dangers from rising bad loans are making it tougher for Premier Li Keqiang to sustain the fastest growth in the Group of 20 nations. Photo: Bloomberg

China’s plunge in credit expansion last month and unexpected slowdown in investment spending flashed warnings on growth that investors and economists bet will spur policy makers to expand stimulus.

Chinese stocks closed higher on Wednesday on speculation the government will take steps to support its 7.5 per cent expansion target, after initially falling when the People’s Bank of China reported the lowest level for its broad financing measure since 2008. Barclays Plc is forecasting two second-half interest-rate cuts, while Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Ltd. said a reduction in banks’ reserve requirements is imminent.

A property slump and dangers from rising bad loans are making it tougher for Premier Li Keqiang to sustain the fastest growth in the Group of 20 nations. Any stimulus would build on measures this year to expedite railway spending, free up money for loans for small businesses and channel funds toward building low-income housing.

“The top concern right now is to make sure the economy can be reasonably smooth in its growth, rather than controlling the risks,” said Li Daokui, a former PBOC academic adviser who’s a professor at Tsinghua University in Beijing.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-16 05:07:11

This seems to be going down similarly to the vaporization of the US subprime mortgage lending sector in 2007 — in other words, at breakneck speed with a trailing ball of flames. It’s always ugly when a controlled burn explodes into a massive conflagration.

China Faces Credit Crunch as Lending Falls 86%
by Chriss W. Street
14 Aug 2014

China’s National Bureau of Statistics revealed data on August 13th that the nation’s credit plunged by a dramatic and wildly unexpected 86% in July, down to the slowest pace since the 2008 bankruptcy of Lehman Brothers and the start of the global financial crisis. With a collapsing housing sector and falling exports, China now faces a brutal credit crunch.

The collapse in Chinese credit from $320 billion in June to $44.3 billion in July is causing panic across the nation as anecdotal stories from local officials indicate the credit contraction is being “policy-driven.” This would mean that the Chinese central government told its state-owned-banks and (as of 2011) 144,700 state-owned-enterprises that control 43% of China’s total industrial output and business profit to stop expanding.

Since the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy in 2008, China’s state-sponsored export economy has significantly lost competitiveness. As exports fell from 39% of GDP in 2008 to 26% in 2013, the Chinese government made the “policy-driven” decision to plug the gaping economic hole by launching a credit-driven housing and infrastructure construction boom. Funding that boom caused China’s total debt rise from 120% of GDP to over 200% of GDP in June.

Slow-downs in Chinese business expansion have taken place in the past when the Communist Party wanted to curtail high inflation, but this is the first time that loan demand declined after months of sustained and definitely not “policy-driven” declines in home sales, home prices and housing construction in major Chinese cities.

The all-powerful central government has been saying since late 2011 it intends to gradually rein in the construction investment boom and rebalance its economic policy goals to encourage domestic consumption. But the abrupt credit squeeze in July indicates something in China is happening that is beyond the control of the government.

The major reason China has failed to slow its credit boom is the rise of “shadow banking.” A decade ago, China’s state-owned and tightly regulated conventional banks accounted for virtually all the lending in China. But as the Chinese government reined in traditional bank lending from 27% of GDP in 2010 to 18% today, unregulated loans from “shadow bank” trusts, leasing companies, credit-guarantee firms, and money-market funds fueled real estate speculation by expanding from 3% to 8% of GDP.

Traditional bank loans in China required the buyers to actually live in the home, whereas much of the real estate activity over the last six years has been to speculators. The China vacancy rate reached 22.4%, or 49 million units, for sold residential homes in urban areas, according to a 2013 nationwide survey by researchers from China’s Southwestern University of Finance and Economics.

China’s National Bureau of Statistics officially reported in May that home prices fell modestly in 55 of 70 cities. Despite one million new housing units being completed each month, July home sales in China plunged by 17.9% versus June. Home prices in Shanghai, the nation’s most important business center, have fallen by 10.5% over the last twelve months. The looming glut is putting huge pressure on both the heavily-indebted speculators that own vacant properties and “white knuckle” shadow banking lenders that charge exorbitant interest rates.

No one knows how large the shadow bank losses could be, but China’s ten largest state-owned banks reported overdue loans reached $94 billion at the end of 2013, a 21% increase from a year earlier. At the time, real estate was supposed to be rising in value.

Overdue loans are a leading indicator of asset-quality deterioration and show the rising liquidity constraints among borrowers,” said Liao Qiang, a Beijing-based director at Standard & Poor’s. “While we believe Chinese banks’ credit woes will unfold gradually, the disturbing thing is that the end is nowhere in sight.

Comment by rms
2014-08-16 08:02:02

When “heads roll” in China it’s not a figure of speech.

Comment by tresho
2014-08-16 12:37:45

When “heads roll” in China it’s not a figure of speech.
Dying under police interrogation is almost an in-joke there also.

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Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-16 05:09:45

China considers pushing on a string to revitalize its collapsed lending sector.

China Considers Targeted Rate Cuts In 2H - Press
15 Aug 2014 02:21 EDT
BEIJING (MNI via eFXnews)

The Chinese government could add targeted interest rate cuts to the policy mix in the second half of this year as officials try to lower financing costs in the economy, the official China Securities Journal said in a commentary Friday.

The leading securities newspaper said the need to stabilize the housing market is a constraint on a system-wide rate cut but indicated that the government may try to target the cuts, as it has already done twice with the reserve requirement ratio this year.

“Targeted interest rate cuts via comprehensive policy tools could be another important instrument for the central bank,” the newspaper said.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-16 05:11:45

China credit plunge argues for interest rate cut but no quick action seen
By Kevin Yao
BEIJING Thu Aug 14, 2014 4:04am EDT

Aug 14 (Reuters) - China’s surprisingly sharp and sudden drop in credit has strengthened the case for the central bank to cut interest rates, but policy insiders believe it will be reluctant to take more aggressive steps and for now will stick to more targeted measures.

While July data pointed to an economy that is struggling, the People’s Bank of China (PBOC) remains concerned that pushing more money into a system already flush with cash may lead to a further build-up of debt and encourage speculative activities, rather than boost the real economy.

Economists at top government think-tanks involved in internal policy discussions believe the PBOC will instead continue to try to reduce the cost of borrowing in other ways, while coaxing increasingly risk-averse banks to keep credit flowing at affordable levels to avert a deeper slowdown.

“It’s necessary to cut interest rates,” said an economist at the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), the country’s top economic planning agency.

“But we must take some time to see whether the current targeted policy measures will work,” said the economist, who requested anonymity due to the sensitive nature of the topic.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-16 05:17:12

South China Morning Post
Mainland economic activity slows
Sluggish data on real estate investments suggests that investors were jumping the gun when betting on a surging economic rebound
PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 13 August, 2014, 2:16pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 14 August, 2014, 12:25am
Economists say the pressure is on Beijing to ease policy further.

A shock fall in the mainland’s broadest measure of credit in the economy and sluggish data for real estate investment in July flagged the risk that investors have got too optimistic too soon about the strength of a burgeoning economic rebound.

Economists say the performance will add pressure on Beijing to ease policy further to consolidate a still fragile economic rebound, while some expect growth will be sustained on fresh infrastructure investment.

“The slight growth rebound seen in the second quarter appeared short-lived, as the economy lacks momentum for sustained fast expansion,” said Peng Xingyun, a senior researcher at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.

The Shanghai Composite Index recouped earlier losses to close 0.1 per cent higher as investors speculated on further easing steps to come. Hong Kong’s benchmark share index finished at its highest in more than 31/2 years, with the Hang Seng Index ending up 0.8 per cent at 24,890.34 points, while the China Enterprises Index of the leading offshore Chinese listings in Hong Kong rose 1.2 per cent.

“If investment growth slows further with a property market downturn hitting more cities,” a cut on interest rate or “a slight reduction” on overall banks’ reserve requirement ratio cannot be ruled out, Peng said.

New yuan loans issued in July slumped to 385.2 billion yuan (HK$484.9 billion), which may be a temporary fall back from a peak of 1.08 trillion yuan in June, but economists say it also reflects slow industrial demand.

Total social financing tumbled to 273.1 billion yuan last month, the lowest since November 2008 and down from 1.97 trillion yuan in June.

Despite the nationwide relaxation on home purchases, property investment growth cooled to 13.7 per cent in the first seven months from 14.1 per cent in the first half. That dragged down fixed-asset investment growth to 17 per cent from 17.3 per cent over the same period.

Industrial production failed to move in tandem with strong export data last week, with growth decelerating to 9 per cent in July from 9.2 per cent in June, while retail sales growth eased to 12.2 per cent from 12.4 per cent.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-16 05:19:39

People’s Daily Online
Economic recovery momentum tails off
(China Daily) 09:06, August 14, 2014
A worker inspects rolls of polyester fiber at a factory in Nantong, Jiangsu province. [Photo/China Daily]

Recovery momentum in June failed to carry over into July, as shown by China’s softening data in industrial output, investment and retail sales, which underscored the fragility of the economy’s exogenous momentum.

Except for industrial output growth, which met market expectations, all other key data fell short, despite the government’s introduction of stimulus measures in May.

Institutions are slightly divergent in their analysis of the slowdown, with some suggesting not to “read too much” into a monthly fluctuation, while others argue the upsurge in June may mark an end to the rebound.

Li Huiyong, chief economist with Shenyin &Wanguo Securities, said although the industrial output growth has slowed by 0.2 percentage point from June to 9 percent, the increase was still higher than the 8.9 percent average rise in the April-June period, and was the second highest point this year.

“Investment and consumption slowed from June but still kept an overall decent shape. Signs are apparent that the economy is stabilizing,” Li said.

But other institutions voiced a pessimistic outlook. Analysts with Haitong Securities even said the economic rebound is already over.

“Overcapacityand deleveragingin the corporate sector depressed the manufacturing investment. … The economy became languid after a roaring second quarter. The rebound may be over and the growth will continue to ease in August,” Jiang Chao and Gao Yuan from Haitong wrote in a note.

Comment by Ol'Bubba
2014-08-16 07:56:58

Are you moving to China?

Comment by palmetto
2014-08-16 08:09:34

Good question. adan was run off the blog for posting about China over and over, but the hits just keep on coming.

ENOUGH with the endless posts about China. We’re scrude in the US as it is.

Comment by Ben Jones
2014-08-16 08:55:30

‘endless posts about China’

First of all, all I told Dan was I would delete any posts from him that contained China and GDP, because it was getting ridiculous. He must have got his feelings hurt, but so be it. Second, China could be the weakest link in the global real estate bubble. They printed more money, have the largest spread between prices and incomes. Think about how many countries are tied to China economically, which just happen to have real estate bubbles as well. Then there are the Chinese speculators, running all over the world buying up houses, apparently with at least some money laundered out of the country. I for one will continue to watch China like a hawk, because it is critical to almost every bubble in the world.

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Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-16 09:11:50

One last thing:

China certainly appears to be entering a credit crunch at the moment which closely resembles what set of the global economic crisis in August 2007. This is just in time for the Fed’s annual conclave in Jackson Hole. You can expect some future posts from me on the inevitable Jackson Hole discussion of the China credit picture.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-16 09:13:17

4:38 am ET
Aug 15, 2014
Asia Looks to Jackson Hole
By Tom Wright
Federal Reserve Chairwoman Janet Yellen
European Pressphoto Agency

Central bankers meeting in Jackson Hole, Wyo., next week are set to discuss labor market dynamics, and that’s a topic Asian policy makers are closely monitoring.

How the U.S. Federal Reserve interprets U.S. labor data is crucial for when it will decide to start guiding short-term interest rates higher. And that could have a big impact on Asian economies whose asset markets have been buoyed this year by cheap global money.

Federal Reserve Bank of Kansas City’s annual economic conference in Jackson Hole a year ago focused on the global impact of the Fed’s massive bond-buying program. The meeting took place as emerging market assets took a beating, spooked by uncertainties over how fast the Fed would wind up its extraordinary monetary stimulus as the U.S. economy recovered.

That question has been settled: the Fed agreed recently to end its bond buying by October. Investors have gotten used to a world without “quantative easing” and funds have poured back into emerging nations this year, especially small frontier markets.

But Asian policy makers remain concerned any sign of rising global rates will spark a new wave of outflows.

“The markets have been set up for a major shock to come,” said an official with an Asian central bank, who asked not to be named. The 10-year U.S. Treasury yield, at below 2.5%, is too low given the U.S.’s economic recovery, the official said. The fear is that yields will rise fast, drawing “hot money” out of emerging markets.

That’s why Asian authorities will be closely watching proceedings at Jackson Hole, where participants, including Fed Chairwoman Janet Yellen, will discuss “Re-Evaluating Labor Market Dynamics.”

Comment by palmetto
2014-08-16 09:13:25

“Then there are the Chinese speculators, running all over the world buying up houses, apparently with at least some money laundered out of the country. I for one will continue to watch China like a hawk, because it is critical to almost every bubble in the world.”

Nothing wrong with watching China, like a hawk or otherwise.

My issue is with multiple articles that say the same thing, although written differently, sometimes by different authors.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-16 09:14:16

“set off”

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-16 09:32:28

“My issue is with multiple articles that say the same thing, although written differently, sometimes by different authors.”

If multiple authors in different cities around the world are making similar statements, this increases the chances that you are not just reading propaganda from a single source with a vested interest.

Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2014-08-16 09:45:52

this increases the chances that you are not just reading propaganda from a single source with a vested interest.

With control of media having been consolidated to a few global conglomerates, I’m not sure that your assertion remains as true today as it was in years gone by.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-16 16:11:00

PiC — your point is taken. However, I still maintain that including multiple sources is useful for providing different takes on a current issue.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-16 09:06:04

As someone who helped my renter-neighbors of ten years’ duration relocate one rainy weekend last February, only to see a young Chinese family which can barely speak English snap up the place as a quick-flip at something like $50,000 above comp prices, I can assure anyone who cares that China’s financial-economic trajectory is highly relevant to future developments in the U.S. housing market.

As for my China posts versus adan’s, the overwhelming majority of his fell into one of two categories:
1) His own self-reporting;
2) Attacks on anyone who dared to question his opinions.

By contrast, you will notice most of my posts are links to news stories from all over the planet which provide information on the current housing market situation in China. If you find these dull or irrelevant, please ignore them.

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Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-16 09:13:34

A. Dan’s posts were predicated almost exclusively on Chinese official statistics, which have been shown to lack credibility or paint an accurate picture. It got tiresome and tedious to see him build straw-man arguments around BS data, so I for one was glad to see Ben reach the end of his tether and lower the boom. China is hugely relevant to both the housing market and the larger bubble in all assets blown by Fed and central bank money-printing and malinvestment, not to mention epic fraud.

Comment by palmetto
2014-08-16 09:39:22

I don’t disagree on China, but really, it reminds me of the whole Japanese corporate phenomenon that happened in the 1980s here in the US, on Chinese steroids. And the result will be the same, on steroids.

I’ve already asserted, a long time ago, that China is a paper tiger rife with fraud. Seriously, how can anyone really be that worried about it? Their products suck out loud compared to what the US used to manufacture, I’ve had enough experience with “Made In China” to last a few lifetimes.

Look at the poisoned food products, environment, crap that falls apart, etc. And don’t get me started on the myth of Chinese IQ, because it doesn’t quite square with direct experience.

There was a time in its history that it was an innovator (pasta and gunpowder) and also the origin of some great art and culture. Those days are long gone, although they can be resurrected.

And what do you think is going to happen to those who launder money here? China owns a substantial chunk of US debt. The Chinese who are merrily driving up prices in the US are going to be in for quite a shock, when their overlords start looking for them. The DOJ/Homeland Security/CIA or whoever will blithely had them over. Believe it.

Comment by Guillotine Renovator
2014-08-16 12:59:40

“A. Dan’s posts were predicated almost exclusively on Chinese official statistics, which have been shown to lack credibility or paint an accurate picture. It got tiresome and tedious to see him build straw-man arguments around BS data, so I for one was glad to see Ben reach the end of his tether and lower the boom.”


Comment by Ol'Bubba
2014-08-16 10:35:15

Palmy -

The thing is I asked the question before Whackster posted the 10 responses to his own post.

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Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-16 16:13:05

And to answer your question, NO, China is moving to me.

Comment by palmetto
2014-08-16 08:42:51

CHUCK FINA!!!!!!!!!!!!

Comment by Ben Jones
2014-08-16 09:47:10

Case in point:

‘On an unusually clear March day in Northern California, Oakland Mayor Jean Quan gathered with several hardhat-wearing Chinese developers on a patch of dirt near the city’s waterfront. With local press cameras snapping away, the developers, led by China-based Zarsion Holdings Chief Weixun Shan and local planner Mike Ghielmetti, broke ground on “Brooklyn Basin,” a $1.5 billion development along a decrepit stretch of industrial waterfront.’

‘Brooklyn Basin, which will bring roughly 3,100 new residents and 200,000 feet of retail space to Oakland by 2021, is just one example of major Chinese real estate investment in the Bay Area. Investors are descending upon the region in huge numbers: about 35% of Chinese residential real estate purchases in the U.S. occur in California, according to a study conducted by the National Association of Realtors. The same survey found that Chinese investments in U.S. real estate amounted to $22 billion in the year ending in March 2014, making up almost a quarter of foreign purchases.’

‘With housing getting tougher to come by back home. China’s economy is slowing down and becoming more diverse: GDP growth fell below 10 percent in each of the past two years, and the real estate bubble in major cities including Shanghai, Beijing, and Hong Kong seems to have burst: housing starts across China were down over 18 percent in the first five months of 2014. In April alone they fell 25 percent year-on-year.’

‘Regulations are also mounting: Beijing has imposed new rules forcing developers to apply for pre-sale permits, in hopes of deterring speculators and increasing the supply of housing (although some of the regulations are starting to be eased.) Exorbitant down payments, which can climb to half of the purchase price back home (and a minimum of 70 percent for buyers purchasing a second home), compare to just 20 percent in the Bay Area. With the yuan getting stronger, investors have fewer and fewer reservations about investing in America.’

‘For high net-worth Chinese who have assets of anywhere from $1.6 million and up, buying a single-family home or condominium looks like an increasingly good long-term investment: Bay Area housing prices surged by 2.4 percent in May. California-based realtors are doing more and more to entice potential buyers from China’s upper middle class of some 60 million people. Mandarin speaking tours, which lead investors around the South Bay.’

‘And there’s no doubt that China’s presence in the Bay Area market is driving up prices. As Mark McLaughlin, CEO of Pacific Union, a prominent San Francisco real estate firm, told local CBS affiliate KPIX, “it’s added a demographic of buyers who, generally, take a long-term view. They’re not sellers in the next five to seven years.” Chinese buyers are sitting on much of this property as housing in the Bay Area becomes increasingly scarce, causing its value to skyrocket. The Case-Shiller home price index, released in May, saw Bay Area home prices jump by 23 percent compared with a year ago.’

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Comment by palmetto
2014-08-16 09:57:10

OK, so the Chinese are driving a bubble in the US. A major one. On steroids. Looks like there may be some opportunity there when it explodes, no?

Comment by Guillotine Renovator
2014-08-16 12:53:18

Central banking and globalism is a complete and total failure.

Comment by tresho
2014-08-16 12:58:27

Central banking and globalism is a complete and total failure. The PTB and their running dogs, pushing that agenda, will be the very last to understand that.

Comment by palmetto
2014-08-16 13:00:15

“Central banking and globalism is a complete and total failure.”

Failure for who?

Comment by Guillotine Renovator
2014-08-16 15:49:30

“Failure for who?”

Do you really have to ask??

Comment by palmetto
2014-08-16 16:11:27

Humor is in short supply today.

OK, I’ll clarify. Globalism as a complete and total failure depends on who you are. Certainly if you are US middle class, it is. But it’s been good for other groups, like Chinese escaping their country, or forthe investor or even upper managerial class.
Even the political class.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-16 16:15:44

‘GDP growth fell below 10 percent in each of the past two years, and the real estate bubble in major cities including Shanghai, Beijing, and Hong Kong seems to have burst: housing starts across China were down over 18 percent in the first five months of 2014. In April alone they fell 25 percent year-on-year.’

And yet we have been repeatedly assured here that 7.5% growth is “in the bag.” (Or at least we were told until the lower bound recently dropped down to 6.5%.)

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-16 05:20:39

Is the Eurozone economy looking any better than China’s at the moment?

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-16 05:23:43

Euro-Zone Economy Stalls in Second Quarter as German GDP Slips

Weak Quarter Raises Fears Europe’s Recovery Has Faltered as Tensions With Russia Add New Challenges
By Brian Blackstone and Marcus Walker
Updated Aug. 14, 2014 4:09 p.m. ET
The euro-zone economy stalled last quarter after 12 months of weak growth, with German output falling more than expected, underscoring concerns that the region is mired in a deep rut of high joblessness and weak consumer prices. Photo: Bloomberg

FRANKFURT—The euro-zone economy stalled in the second quarter, raising the ugly prospect that the region’s meager recovery has lost momentum just as it faces fresh headwinds from Russia and Ukraine.

Germany’s economy, long Europe’s growth engine, shrank for the first time in more than a year, a development economists largely attributed to a mild winter that boosted activity in the first quarter at the expense of the second. The bigger concerns, they say, are France and Italy, where respectable rates of growth aren’t even in sight.

“The euro-zone recovery never really got going, and now it appears to be petering out,” said Simon Tilford, deputy director of the Centre for European Reform, a nonpartisan London think tank.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-16 05:28:13

Euro zone economy grinds to halt even before Russia sanctions bite
By Michelle Martin and Martin Santa
BERLIN/BRUSSELS Thu Aug 14, 2014 6:42pm BST

(Reuters) - Euro zone economic growth ground to a halt in the second quarter as Germany’s economy shrank and France’s stagnated.

The zero growth reported by statistics agency Eurostat on Thursday was cause for alarm throughout the 18-nation region, which is already bracing for the impact of sanctions imposed on and by Russia over Ukraine.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-16 05:31:40

14 August 2014 Last updated at 06:58 ET
Article written by Gavin Hewitt
Europe editor

Eurozone crisis: The grim economic reality
Barbed wire hung over the ECB logo in Frankfurt as part of an installation (7 August 2014)
The European Central Bank can expect more pressure as clouds continue to gather over the EU economy

Over recent weeks, the French government has been saying it would “tell the French the truth” about the economy. A new reality is dawning.

French Finance Minister Michel Sapin has spoken of Europe’s “economic malaise”. After another quarter of zero growth in France, he has admitted that the government’s previous forecast of 1% growth this year is impossible to reach.

It is not just France where uncomfortable truths have been unveiled. In the second quarter of the year, Germany suffered a 0.2% decline in GDP.

An important survey earlier this week concluded that economic growth will be weaker in 2014 than expected.

Italy is back in recession and the French economy stagnant. Other countries are hinting they will cut their growth forecasts.

And the risk of deflation is growing. French consumer prices fell 0.4% month on month. Portugal’s price index slumped 0.7% in July. Spain saw the steepest slide in consumer prices in five years.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-16 05:32:52

There is a silver lining in the investing world: US Treasury bonds.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-16 05:35:48

Long-term Treasury yields have nearly retraced all the way to their May 2013 lows.

Treasury Rally Sends Yields to One-Year Lows Amid Turmoil

By Daniel Kruger Aug 15, 2014 9:00 PM PT

Treasuries rallied, with benchmark 10-year note yields falling to the lowest level in more than a year, as turmoil between Ukraine and Russia and weakening economic data in the U.S. fueled investor demand for a haven.

U.S. government bonds rose for a second week as retail sales stalled, jobless-benefit claims rose and consumer confidence fell, spurring bets the Federal Reserve will be slow to raise interest rates. The crisis in Ukraine escalated as the government said its troops destroyed part of a military convoy that crossed into the country from Russia. Central bankers meet next week for an annual conference in Jackson Hole, Wyoming.

All of these things are favorable and create an underpinning for the market,” Thomas Tucci, managing director and head of Treasury trading in New York at CIBC World Markets Corp., said of the conflict and data. “It’s a full capitulation” by investors who bet against Treasuries.

U.S. 10-year yields dropped eight basis points, or 0.08 percentage point, to 2.34 percent this week in New York, according to Bloomberg Bond Trader prices. It was the biggest weekly decline since July 11. Yields touched 2.30 percent yesterday, the lowest level since June 19, 2013.

The yield on 30-year bonds sank 10 basis points to 3.13 percent and reached 3.10 percent, the least since May 22, 2013. Five-year note yields fell nine basis points to 1.54 percent.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-16 05:39:48

Note that gold and long-term Treasury prices are diverging. For the moment, Treasurys (aka fixed dollar annuities with balloon payments at the end of the term) are appreciating while gold is declining.

Gold price extends losses, ends the week at Rs 28,700 per 10 gram
Last Updated: Saturday, August 16, 2014, 15:01

New Delhi: Gold prices fell further by Rs 100 to Rs 28,700 per ten gram in the national capital Saturday largely in tandem with a weak global trend amidst subdued demand from jewellers.

Silver also dropped by Rs 425 to Rs 43,525 per kg on reduced offtake by industrial units and coin makers.

Traders said apart from weak global trend on signs of waning investor demand from the US to China, fall in demand from jewellers and retailers mainly kept pressure on gold prices.

Gold in New York, which normally sets price trend on the domestic front, fell 0.7 percent to USD 1,306.20 an ounce, the biggest drop since July 31 and silver by 1.9 percent to USD 19.52 an ounce, the biggest drop since August 5.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-16 05:40:49

Brace yourself for the usual obligatory list of reasons that gold is a special asset class (i.e. more bubble era thinking).

Comment by Selfish Hoarder
2014-08-16 06:55:55

Gold? How about gold, silver, platinum, and palladium?

Movable, hidable wealth. Precious metal prices do not rise in the long run. Fiat currency falls in the long run relative to precious metal.

Fiat is great to have only for blending in with the crowd, for making quick transactions, and for anonymity (if it’s all from “under your mattress.”). Precious metal bullion in physical form adds the anonymity. Not even a Bitcoin transaction is anonymous, and that’s something that I still have trouble with among my fellow voluntaryist acquaintances.

Precious metals - far better than real estate as an insurance against inflation, due to the portability and the ability to dollar cost average. Whereas you have to wait, sometimes for maybe ten years before you can easily afford your dream house or where the prices come down to reasonable levels.

Why not enjoy collecting fine wines and rent a wine storage unit? I work with an engineer who has wines stored both in San Francisco and in Redondo Beach. He’s from a money family, but he built up his wine investment from when he was in his 20s, about 30 years ago.

Then there is also ammo to collect. and firearms.

Precious metals, ammo, firearms, and cash - the cash under the mattress. Build up a good amount of this and you laugh at economic news in the media.

Comment by Blue Skye
2014-08-16 07:33:41

“…rent a wine storage unit?”

Seems a rather fragile thing if you are expecting to need your gold and ammo.

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Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-16 07:51:35

My thought exactly. I picture SH in his smoking jacket sippling a fine merlot while the rampaging hordes flow around him out of an instinctive respect for high culture.

Comment by oxide
2014-08-16 08:27:29

I guess Bill is not expecting a prepper-style go time where some explosion takes out the gas stations and utilities. More of an economic collapse like Depression Germany, where wine and gold will come in handy to buy favors from the ruling class.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-16 08:44:24

Ferguson showed how thin the veneer of civilization is in most urban areas. Go visit your local Wal-Mart and take a good look around. Once EBT Snap cards stop working (or the oligarchs demand greater austerity for the masses as they escalate their own looting) that FSA will not react well, so the comparison to Depression-era Germany may not apply. It could get a lot more Mad Max than that as the haves become targets for the have-nots.

Comment by reedalberger
2014-08-16 10:14:49

“It could get a lot more Mad Max than that as the haves become targets for the have-nots.”

All according to plan?


Comment by Skroodle
2014-08-16 07:48:59

Electric cars don’t need palladium, whose going to be buying it in 10 years?

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Comment by iftheshoefits
2014-08-16 07:56:26

Did you mean who’s going to be buying electric cars in 10 years?

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-16 07:59:14

Judging by current trends in my area, we’ll all be riding scooters or bicyles.

Comment by Skroodle
2014-08-16 09:26:35

“Current” LOL!

Comment by iftheshoefits
2014-08-16 09:43:19

Yeah I got a real charge out of that one.

Comment by iftheshoefits
2014-08-16 09:45:28

Sorry, I couldn’t er… resist.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-16 09:30:30

“Gold? How about gold, silver, platinum, and palladium?”

Yes — all special. Don’t you think the ‘movable, hidable’ feature would be fully reflected in their prices by now?

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Comment by Bill, Just South of Irvine
2014-08-16 10:47:22

“Don’t you think the ‘movable, hidable’ feature would be fully reflected in their prices by now?”

The “movable, hidable” aspect is fully reflected in the price, I’m sure. But other aspects may or may not be reflected. That is why buying over time is a peachy keen thing to do.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-16 16:17:47


Comment by Ryan
2014-08-16 06:26:48

Is now a good time to buy bonds?

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-16 06:26:24

French home construction tanking in yet another central-planning epic fail.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
Comment by rms
2014-08-16 08:28:17

“Johnson said police backed off to try and ease the tension. He believes looting may have spread to a couple of nearby stores. No arrests were made.”

+1 Betcha the store owners [had] to pay all their taxes.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-16 08:47:01

Store owners and the productive will also have to pay all the reconstruction costs so the FSA can have another looting spree at some future point.

Comment by rms
2014-08-16 10:15:28

“Store owners and the productive will also have to pay all the reconstruction costs so the FSA can have another looting spree at some future point.”

+1 You’re right about that since property insurance rarely covers damage and/or looting due to civil strife.

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Comment by reedalberger
2014-08-16 10:18:18

Most business owners in those neighborhoods are already risking their lives on a daily basis providing goods and services to the community. What happens when they all pick up and leave?


Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-08-16 06:32:09


~The Enrager

Comment by 2banana
2014-08-16 06:40:52

Wonder how housing prices are doing in Ferguson?

In a normal world - they would crater.

In the obama housing bubble v2.0 - this could actually help increase prices.


Michael Brown Killing: Police in Ferguson Fire Tear Gas Amid Looting

Armored vehicles rolled back onto the streets of Ferguson early Saturday, as riot police faced off with looters in the Missouri town gripped by protests since the fatal police shooting of an unarmed black teen.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-16 08:02:25

According to Paul Krugman (chief propaganda mouthpiece for Keynesian voodoo economics) destruction is good, as resultant rebuilding increases GDP. While Janet normally only prints for the benefit of oligarchs, I could see the Fed running off an extra billion or two (rounding error) to ensure those FSA votes in the greater Ferguson area.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-16 09:33:58

They were already cratered before the recent incident. (I know, as my parents live about fifteen minutes drive from there, where reverse gentrification has also taken hold…)

Comment by rms
2014-08-16 10:17:09

“Wonder how housing prices are doing in Ferguson?”

Maybe they’ll tick-up since they’re short one punk?

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-16 06:43:03

The City of London has some of the priciest real estate in the world. However, the quality of life is deteriorating thanks to the UK political establishment’s insistence on flooding the country with immigrants and asylum seekers, including east Europeans who have been particulary industrious in forming criminal gangs to prey on their hosts. UK academics, who like our own have been in the forefront of pushing for moar multiculturalism and globalism, may change their tune once the consequences start showing up on their own doorsteps.

Comment by 2banana
2014-08-16 08:04:56

Kinda like our “amnesty now” democrats won’t learn their lesson until a drunk illegal crashes into their family van or mugs them…

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-16 08:12:34

Most of the Republlicrat “amnesty now” crowd in their exclusive gated enclaves only see Latinos as landscapers, cheap domestic help, or slave labor for their agribusiness cartel patrons.

Comment by Skroodle
2014-08-16 09:30:13

Has everyone forgotten Reagan Amnesty of the late 80’s?

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Comment by palmetto
2014-08-16 09:53:53

Not me. I’m reminded of it EVERY DAY.

Yeah, Saint Ronnie. Pfft.

Comment by 2banana
2014-08-16 10:12:21

Yep. At least he realized his mistake.

According to Ronald Reagan himself, as told to his trusted long-time friend and U.S. Attorney General Edwin Meese, the biggest mistake of his presidency was signing the l986 amnesty for what turned out to be more than half the five million illegal immigrants in the country. Reagan was uncomfortable with the amnesty but was persuaded by some of the leaders of his own party (still living) that it would only affect a small number of illegal immigrants and would assure that Congress would follow through with more vigorous enforcement of U.S. immigration laws. The misnamed Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA) of 1986 was touted by its supporters as “comprehensive immigration reform” that would grant amnesty only to a few long-settled immigrants and strengthen border security and internal immigration enforcement against employers who were hiring illegal immigrants.

Comment by Oddfellow
2014-08-16 11:28:41

And if you can’t trust hearsay evidence from Edwin Meese, what can you trust?

Comment by Skroodle
2014-08-16 08:13:50

City of London is only 1 sq mile.

The only immigrants there are wealthy bankers and building cleaners.

The only criminal gangs are Goldman Sachs and Bank of England.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-16 08:26:34

Okay, what I meant was the greater London metropolis. JP Morgan also outsources its fraud to the City of London - remember the London Whale? - so don’t leave them out of the list of gold-colar thieves and swindlers who commit larceny with impunity.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-16 08:34:17

An oldie but a goodie: Max Keiser skewers Republicrat corporate statists Obama and Romney. He also said he moved to London, the global epicenter of unfettered crony capitalism and financial fraud, to have a front-row seat to the collapse of this house of cards. “If you see me walking the streets of your town, you’re probably f**ked.” Max enjoys a huge following among the UK middle and working classes who are fed up with the banksters and their captured political system, while the MSM in America has largely succeeded in ensuring that the sheeple are unaware of his existence or message.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-16 08:58:58

A serf in the days of King John, Max Keiser argues, was in many ways better off than some US voters in 2012.

“Because in the age of Robin Hood,” Keiser says, “at least the process of theft was transparent. The barons came to your house. They whacked you over the head then they took all your money.” Even if the poor didn’t exactly empathise with their oppressors, Keiser adds, they could at least comprehend their methods. “And the serfs,” he continues, “did enjoy a modicum of stability. They got something in return for their enslavement. A small plot of land. Shelter. A relationship with the lord of the manor.” In the modern age of “financial tyranny” orchestrated by what Keiser refers to as “the banksters” in charge of the major financial institutions in the US and Europe, he believes, “We have reverted to a more pernicious kind of neo-feudalism. The instruments of larceny have changed; that’s all.”

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Comment by 2banana
2014-08-16 10:15:12

On average - a serf had to pay between 20-33% of his income (harvest) to the baron. Then he was free and clear.

Compare/contrast where most people in the middle class pay over 50% in taxes today (ALL taxes when added together - Fed, state, local, SS, medicare, sales, property, inheritance, etc.)

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-16 10:24:39

And yet they continue to vote for the political enablers of the robber barons. Pathetic.

Comment by Oddfellow
2014-08-16 10:58:31

¨Then he was free and clear.¨

I’m not so sure your view of serfdom is historically accurate.

Comment by MightyMike
2014-08-16 10:51:32

However, the quality of life is deteriorating thanks to the UK political establishment’s insistence on flooding the country with immigrants and asylum seekers, including east Europeans who have been particulary industrious in forming criminal gangs to prey on their hosts.

From what I’ve read, the immigrants from Eastern Europe in the UK are considered to be very hard working people. They don’t commit crime at a higher rate than the native British and they use welfare less. The big problems are that there presence pushes down wages and makes schools and hospitals more crowded.

Comment by phony scandals
2014-08-16 06:56:16

Good Morning Region IV

Comment by Blue Skye
2014-08-16 07:36:38

It’s a beautiful autumn day here in Region II.

Comment by reedalberger
2014-08-16 10:21:49

Good morning from Section VIII.


Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2014-08-16 11:39:36

Region X checking in. All quiet here.

Comment by rms
2014-08-16 12:08:24

“Region X checking in. All quiet here.”


Comment by oxide
2014-08-16 16:10:14

Business as usual in District 9.

Comment by 2banana
2014-08-16 07:00:43

Rule#1: Never buy a house in a long term democrat and union goon controlled city…


Who Lost the Cities? There is more wrong with Ferguson than the Brown case.
The National Review | August 15, 2014 | Kevin D. Williamson

The Reverend Jesse Jackson is, to the surprise of all thinking people, right about something: “A spark has exploded,” he said, referring to the protests and violence in Ferguson, Mo. “When you look at what sparked riots in the Sixties, it has always been some combination of poverty, which was the fuel, and then some oppressive police tactic. It was the same in Newark, in Chicago, in Detroit, in Los Angeles. It’s symptomatic of a national crisis of urban abandonment and repression, seen in Chicago.”

A question for the Reverend Jackson: Who has been running the show in Newark, in Chicago, in Detroit, and in Los Angeles for a great long while now? The answer is: People who see the world in much the same way as does the Reverend Jackson, who take the same view of government, who support the same policies, and who suffer from the same biases.

This is not intended to be a cheap partisan shot. The Democratic party institutionally certainly has its defects, the chronicle of which could fill several unreadable volumes, but the more important and more fundamental question here is one of philosophy and policy. Newark, Detroit, Chicago, Los Angeles — and Philadelphia, Cleveland, and a dozen or more other cities — have a great deal in common: They are the places in which the progressive vision of government has reached its fullest expressions. They are the hopeless reality that results from wishful thinking.

Philadelphia, for example, has not had a Republican mayor since the Truman administration. It did enjoy the services of Mayor Frank Rizzo, a Democrat who endorsed Nixon in exchange for federal handouts and who governed in the progressive style: He converted a private utility into a public one and promptly turned it into a patronage machine, he was close with the labor unions and raised the city’s wage tax to fund spending on transportation and infrastructure projects, worked for economic benefits for the elderly, etc. He was a classic welfare-statist Democrat — and a man who, as police commissioner, famously promised to “make Attila the Hun look like a fag.” It wasn’t a right-wing radical who bombed a Philadelphia rowhouse and burned down the neighborhood — it was an African-American progressive, Wilson Goode.

For years, our major cities were undermined by a confluence of four unhappy factors: 1. higher taxes; 2. defective schools; 3. crime; 4. declining economic opportunity. Together, these weighed much more heavily upon the middle class than upon the very wealthy and the very poor. In the case of Philadelphia, the five counties in the metropolitan area have had a mostly stable population, but the city itself lost more than a quarter of its population between 1950 and 2000 as some 550,000 people fled to the suburbs or beyond. How many people matters, but which people matters, too: They were the ones with the means and the strongest incentive to relocate. Over the same period of time, Chicago lost a fifth of its population, Baltimore nearly a third. Philadelphia is one of the few U.S. cities to impose a municipal income tax (one of the taxes Mayor Rizzo raised), creating very strong incentives to move across the line into Delaware County or Bucks County. This is sometimes known as “white flight,” but that is a misnomer: In Detroit, the white middle class got out as quickly as it could — and the black middle class was hot on its heels. Upwardly mobile people and those who expect to be — i.e., those with an investment in the future — care a great deal about schools, economic opportunity, and safety. And they know where the city limits are.

Progressives spent a generation imposing taxes and other expenses on urban populations as though the taxpaying middle class would not relocate. They protected the defective cartel system of public education, and the union money and votes associated with it, as though middle-class parents would not move to places that had better schools. They imposed burdens on businesses, in exchange for more union money and votes, as though businesses would not shift production elsewhere. They imposed policies that disincentivized stable family arrangements as though doing so would have no social cost.

The more progressive the city, the worse a place it is to be poor and/or black. The most pronounced economic inequality in the United States is not in some Republican redoubt in Texas but in San Francisco, an extraordinarily expensive city in which half of all black households make do with less than $25,000 a year. Blacks in San Francisco are arrested on drug felonies at ten times their share of the general population. At 6 percent of the population, they represent 40 percent of those arrested for homicides. Whether you believe that that is the result of a racially biased criminal-justice system or the result of higher crime incidence related to socioeconomic conditions within black communities (or some combination of those factors) what is undeniable is that results for black Americans are far worse in our most progressive, Democrat-dominated cities than they are elsewhere. The progressives have had the run of things for a generation in these cities, and the results are precisely what you see.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-16 08:06:04

Is there any major urban center not controlled by the corrupt DNC-union-FSA nexus?

Comment by Skroodle
2014-08-16 08:16:30

Didn’t Bloomberg run NYC for the past 12 years?

Comment by MightyMike
2014-08-16 10:36:52

This issues comes up every so often. The fact is that is nearly all of cities in America are controlled by Democrats. Some of those that you never hear about, such as Seattle, Austin, Boston, or San Jose, benefit from having lots of government jobs or industries that were built on corporate welfare, e.g. aerospace, pharmaceuticals, software. It’s the amount of money that comes out of that software industry that has made San Francisco so expensive and made life difficult for so many of its residents.

Another fact to keep in mind when discussing the population decline in cities like Baltimore, Chicago and Philadelphia is that there used to be a lot of manufacturing jobs in those cities that disappeared.

Comment by aNYCdj
2014-08-16 18:19:52

This is what Ive been saying for years and branded a racist…….people moved because they saw the next generation of kids on a Jail track and not a college track…

======This is sometimes known as “white flight,” but that is a misnomer:

Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2014-08-16 18:30:04

This is sometimes known as “white flight,” but that is a misnomer:

People of all colors and creeds flee from crime—if they have the means and the sense, that is…

Comment by phony scandals
2014-08-16 07:06:25

NAFTA Is 20 Years Old – Here Are 20 Facts That Show How It Is Destroying The Economy

By Michael Snyder, on August 14th, 2014

Many Americans like to remember Bill Clinton as a “great president” for some reason. Well, it turns out that he was completely and totally wrong about NAFTA. The following are 20 facts that show how NAFTA is destroying the economy…

#1 More than 845,000 American workers have been officially certified for Trade Adjustment Assistance because they lost their jobs due to imports from Mexico or Canada or because their factories were relocated to those nations.

#2 Overall, it is estimated that NAFTA has cost us well over a million jobs.

#3 U.S. manufacturers pay Mexican workers just a little over a dollar an hour to do jobs that American workers used to do.

#4 The number of illegal immigrants living in the United States has more than doubled since the implementation of NAFTA.

#5 In the year before NAFTA, the U.S. had a trade surplus with Mexico and the trade deficit with Canada was only 29.6 billion dollars. Last year, the U.S. had a combined trade deficit with Mexico and Canada of 177 billion dollars.

#6 It has been estimated that the U.S. economy loses approximately 9,000 jobs for every 1 billion dollars of goods that are imported from overseas.

#7 One professor has estimated that cutting the total U.S. trade deficit in half would create 5 million more jobs in the United States.

#8 Since the auto industry bailout, approximately 70 percent of all GM vehicles have been built outside the United States. In fact, many of them are now being built in Mexico.

#9 NAFTA hasn’t worked out very well for Mexico either. Since 1994, the average yearly rate of economic growth in Mexico has been less than one percent.

#10 The exporting of massive amounts of government-subsidized U.S. corn down into Mexico has destroyed more than a million Mexican jobs and has helped fuel the continual rise in the number of illegal immigrants coming north.

#11 Someone making minimum wage in Mexico today can buy 38 percent fewer consumer goods than the day before NAFTA went into effect.

#12 Overall, the United States has lost a total of more than 56,000 manufacturing facilities since 2001.

#13 Back in the 1980s, more than 20 percent of the jobs in the United States were manufacturing jobs. Today, only about 9 percent of the jobs in the United States are manufacturing jobs.

#14 We have fewer Americans working in manufacturing today than we did in 1950 even though our population has more than doubled since then.

#15 Back in 1950, more than 80 percent of all men in the United States had jobs. Today, only 65 percent of all men in the United States have jobs.

#16 As I wrote about recently, one out of every six men in their prime working years (25 to 54) do not have a job at this point.

#17 Because we have shipped millions of jobs overseas, the competition for the jobs that remain has become extremely intense and this has put downward pressure on wages. Right now, half the country makes $27,520 a year or less from their jobs.

#18 When adults cannot get decent jobs, it is often children that suffer the most. It is hard to believe, but more than one out of every five children in the United States is living in poverty in 2014.

#19 In 1994, only 27 million Americans were on food stamps. Today, more than 46 million Americans are on food stamps.

#20 According to Professor Alan Blinder of Princeton University, 40 million more U.S. jobs could be sent offshore over the next two decades if current trends continue.

For much more on this, please watch the video by Charlie LeDuff posted below. It is well worth a few minutes of your time…

So if NAFTA is so bad for American workers, then why don’t our politicians just repeal it?

Well, unfortunately most of them are not willing to do this because it is part of a larger agenda. For decades, politicians from both major political parties have been working to slowly integrate North America. The eventual goal is to turn North America into another version of the European Union.

Just check out what former general and CIA chief David Petraeus had to say about this…

“After America comes North America,” Petraeus said confidently in answering the question about what comes after the United States, the theme of the panel discussion. “Are we on the threshold of the North American decade, question mark? I threw that away — threw away the question mark — and boldly proclaimed the coming North American decade, says the title now.” He also boasted about how the three economies have been put “together” over the last 20 years as part of the “implementation” of the North American Free Trade Act.

The “highly integrated” forces of Canada, the United States, and Mexico, Petraeus continued, will become the world’s powerhouse for energy and science. “There are four revolutions that are ongoing at various levels in each of the countries but foremost in the United States,” said the former CIA chief, who now serves as chairman of the KKR Global Institute. “The energy revolution is the first of those, which has created the biggest change in geopolitics since the rise of China since 1978.” The other “revolutions” include IT, manufacturing, and life sciences, which, “as highly integrated as they are, allow you to argue that after America comes North America,” he added.

When you hear our politicians talk about “free trade”, what they are really talking about is integrating us even further into the emerging one world economic system. And over the past couple of years, Barack Obama has been negotiating a secret treaty which would send the deindustrialization of America into overdrive. The formal name of this secret agreement is “the Trans-Pacific Partnership”, and it would ultimately result in millions more good jobs being sent to the other side of the planet where it is legal to pay slave labor wages. The following is a description of this insidious treaty from one of my previous articles……e-20-facts-that-show-how-it-is-destroying-the-economy - 180k -

Comment by Skroodle
2014-08-16 08:18:45

#21. GM has built cars in Canada since 1918, showing the roots of NAFTA originated with Woodrow Wilson.

Comment by phony scandals
2014-08-16 11:16:23

How much was the industry bailout in 1918?

Comment by rj chicago
2014-08-16 13:33:49

In re: to item number eight - google ‘ford plant brazil’ and see what Detroit lost under this ponzi scheme.

Comment by phony scandals
2014-08-16 15:52:48

At the ned of the 3:33 video the dude says….

Sources say this is the kind of plant Ford would love to build in the U.S. if only the UAW would allow it.

Ford’s Joint Venture assembly plant in Brazil - YouTube - 153k - Cached - Similar pages
May 14, 2009 .

Comment by 2banana
2014-08-16 07:14:14

The riots will actually help the local economy.

Nancy Pelosi thinks Food Stamps and Unemployment Give the ‘Biggest Bang for Our Buck’ for spending taxpayer money. Think of all the jobs for rebuilding after a riot!!!!



Ferguson crisis: Most business insurance covers riots
St Louis Business Journal | 8-12-2014 | Jacob Kirn

The National Underwriter’s Commercial Property Coverage Guide defines a riot as “any tumultuous disturbance of the public peace by three or more persons mutually assisting one another in execution of a common purpose by the unlawful use of force and violence resulting in property damage of any kind.”

(The Los Angeles riots of 1992 caused $775 million in insured losses, according to the Insurance Information Institute.)

Brent Butler, government affairs director for the Missouri Insurance Coalition, also said most commercial policies cover riots. Merchandise stolen — not just property damage — would also typically be covered, he said.

It’s possible insurance companies in the future will raise premiums for the affected area, Butler said.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-16 08:14:13

The riots will actually help the local economy.

Gun and ammo retailers and private security companies are going to be doing a booming business. Especially after the way the State Police hung local businesses out to dry.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-16 08:20:03

One of the only positive things to come out of Ferguson is that it’s shining the mirror on the increasing militarization of municipal police forces (despite Obama’s “weapons of war do not belong on our street” denunciation of assault rifles, which, ironically enough, were wielded by merchants and employees of stores that were NOT looted and gutted by the FSA in Ferguson).

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-16 07:15:28

The Free Shit Army just got a license to loot in Ferguson. Cops are standing down to let mobs take what they want.

Comment by Skroodle
2014-08-16 08:20:48

Banksters must be jealous.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-16 08:49:17

The welfare queens on Wall Street make the FSA looters in Ferguson look like pikers. They are also literally above the law, thanks to Holder’s refusal to prosecute any of the TBTF banksters due to the “systemic risk” it might cause.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-16 08:53:56

Holder “explaining” the DoJ’s refusal to hold banksters criminally liable for their actions.

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Comment by Skroodle
2014-08-16 09:32:07

Blacks in Ferguson are not too big to shoot or jail.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-16 10:12:41

Apparently the DoJ did not want the word getting about about Marytr Mike’s criminal inclinations.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-16 16:19:53

Why bother robbing convenience stores when your people in Washington can work the system so you can take hundreds of billions of dollars straight from the U.S. Treasury?

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Comment by Oddfellow
2014-08-16 16:05:07

¨The Free Shit Army just got a license to loot¨

Another dupe falls for divide and rule.

Comment by Ann Gogh
2014-08-16 07:49:46

I want a Forever Home!

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-16 07:52:56

That’s what my rescue mutt told me with the same soulful eyes….

Comment by Blue Skye
2014-08-16 07:52:18

The NASCAR WGI race this past week was called the “Cheese-it 355″. No wonder we haven’t heard from Amy lately.

Comment by iftheshoefits
2014-08-16 07:58:32

She would have had lots of time on her hands, no? All those ‘first time home buyers’ were occupied with more important matters…

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-16 08:35:16

Like watching their solvency and net worth diminish.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-16 07:54:00

I thought it would be “Death Race 2014.”

Too soon?

Comment by phony scandals
2014-08-16 08:01:05


by KERRY PICKET 14 Aug 2014

A leaked document from the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Intelligence and Analysis predicts increased “anti-government violence over the next year.” The document says the inspiration for violence is Cliven Bundy’s Bunkerville standoff with the Bureau of Land Management from earlier in the year.

DHS’s seven-page report entitled Domestic Violent Extremists Pose a Threat to Government Officials and Law Enforcement points to the recent murders of two Las Vegas law enforcement officers as evidence that there is a “growing trend of anti-government violence compared to the previous four years and inspired by perceived government overreach and oppression” and the “perceived victory at Bunkervile” will “likely prompt more violence.”

Bundy’s 20-year legal dispute with the BLM over grazing fees on federal land escalated when the agency attempted to seize his cattle in the beginning of April. An armed stand off between the BLM and supporters of Bundy ensued until the feds backed off before any serious violence erupted and left the 67-year-old rancher’s land.

Jerad and Amanda Miller, a husband and wife who were at the Bundy ranch, later killed three people in Las Vegas, including two police officers, before killing themselves. The two left an ominous note, swastika, and Gadsden flag by the bodies of both officers. Ammon Bundy, son of rancher Cliven Bundy, told the Associated Press the Millers were not welcome at the Ranch and were kicked out after a few days, calling them “very radical” and that they didn’t “align themselves” with the Bundy’s protest movement.

These incidents that took place in the south and the west since 2010 and that DHS counts as a “surge in militia and lone offender extremists events with anti-government motivations and targets” are: Alaska militia men, Waffle House plot in Georgia, FEAR militia, LAX shooting, XXX Militia Splinter Group, Bunkerville Ranch, Texas Militia plot, Las Vegas shootings.

From the report:

After years of only sporadic violence from violent domestic extremists motivated by anti-government ideologies, I&A has seen a spike within the past year in violence committed by militia extremists and lone offenders who hold violent anti-government beliefs. These groups and individuals recognize government authority but facilitate or engage in acts of violence due to their perception that the United States Government is tyrannical and oppressive, coupled to their belief that the government needs to be violently resisted or overthrown.…ent-Homeland-Security-Predicts-Rise-of-Anti-Government-Violence - 79k

Comment by phony scandals
2014-08-16 08:33:01

Gamescom: Shoot Racist Tea Partiers in ‘Battlefield Hardline’

Submitted by marvinmartian on Thu, 08/14/2014 - 12:30

Daily Paul Liberty Forum

In the upcoming first-person shooter Battlefield Hardline, players will shoot and kill racist anti-government Tea Party types, Gadsden flag and all.

Comment by 2banana
2014-08-16 10:19:20

The world needs more “Coexist” bumper sticks…

Comment by inchbyinch
2014-08-16 11:30:08

I like the concept, but not on bumper stickers. How about “religion= mythology, superstition, and rituals”.

I am reading “Good Without God” by Greg Epstein at Harvard. So far it’s intriguing.

Comment by 2banana
2014-08-16 11:46:59

Yea - things are/were much better in countries that are officially atheist and have outlawed religion.

The 150+ million citizens murdered by their own government might disagree.

See the USSR, China, North Korea, Cuba and Cambodia (etc.) under communism for more details.

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Comment by phony scandals
2014-08-16 09:12:27

Top 10 States for Underwater Homes | - 55k - Cached - Similar pages

More than 1 in 6 homeowners with mortgages were seriously underwater in the second … Here, in ascending order, are the top 10 states for underwater homes.

Comment by phony scandals
2014-08-16 09:20:44

Percentage of homes that are underwater

Q2 2014: 24 percent

Q2 2013: 16 percent

Q2 2012: 13 percent

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-16 10:57:50

If you like your crony capitalism, you can keep your crony capitalism.

Comment by 2banana
2014-08-16 11:19:47

Comcast is a major obama/democrat corporate supporter…

Just doing their best to get the “John Corzine” safety card…

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-16 19:41:56

I am Jack’s complete lack of surprise.

Comment by inchbyinch
2014-08-16 11:24:38

Anyone in the insurance biz?
When a business has a fire (an example would be a huge retailer), does anyone know if the insurance company gets a bill from the local fire dept? Does it also apply to SFH fires as well?

I know our taxes pay for these types of services, but I was wondering if the income stream is wider than we suspect.

Comment by 2banana
2014-08-16 11:51:10

I know (locally) that the fire department and EMS do charge is they go out on a call.

Unless you gave money and were a member of their booster club.

Seems unfair considering tax money goes to funding them in the first place.

But ask yourself - why for a minor fender bender or a small grease fire that has already been put out by the home owner - 3 firetrucks, 2 police cars and an ambulance arrive on the scene for no apparent reason?

Each gets to charge for their service.

And there are union pensions to be paid.

Comment by inchbyinch
2014-08-16 17:53:24

Boy, I hit a trigger point of yours. Who said anything about outlawing religion? Epstein doesn’t go down that path. The book is liked by the religious as well. It’s about good character, the history of religion and many other data points.

Regarding the Fire Dept ?, it was about fires. I know the medical reimbursement thing. You missed the jest of my question. Does a HO ins policy get billed for a house fire? How about the retail store’s insurance getting billed?

Comment by Blue Skye
2014-08-16 23:01:15

The irony here is that there is no basis for what is “good” outside of religious tradition. It’s called every man a law unto one’s self. Left to one’s self, what’s good is what’s good for me, which doesn’t align well with what’s good for everyone else. Without cohesive tribal beliefs, there is no basis for law and government aside from might makes right, and you get governments based on rules made up by psychopaths who wrestle their way to power. The last generation called these governments “communist”.

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Comment by phony scandals
Comment by rms
2014-08-16 12:12:58

“More turning to shipping containers for shelter”

+1 Except that the National Association of Termites are unhappy.

Comment by Blue Skye
2014-08-16 23:11:03

They may know how to weld steel containers together, but they don’t know how to moor that sailboat.

Comment by phony scandals
2014-08-16 12:06:13


by AFP | AUGUST 16, 2014

Mexico’s foreign ministry late Friday protested Texas Governor Rick Perry’s deployment of National Guard troops to the southern US border to halt the surge of child migrants.

Mexico “reiterates, in a firm and categorical way, its rejection of this measure,” read a statement from the foreign ministry.

“No circumstance at all or change in border security exists that justifies this measure taken by the state.”

The troop deployment “does not contribute in any way to solving the immigration problem,” and is inconsistent with US-Mexico talks aimed at “building a modern, prosperous and safe border,” the statement read.

Comment by phony scandals
2014-08-16 12:13:30

Hospital ER Charges $9,000 to Bandage Cut Finger

A New Jersey teacher was stunned when he received a $9,000 bill after his cut finger was bandaged in a hospital emergency room. Baer Hanusz-Rajkowski cut his finger with the claw end of a hammer. After waiting a few days to see if it would heal on its own, Hanusz-Rajkowski decided to go to the emergency room at Bayonne Medical Center in New Jersey, according to NBC New York. It was determined (without X-rays) that his finger didn’t need stitches. So Hanusz-Rajkowski left with a bandaged middle finger. NBC New York said he was surprised to get this in the mail:

Hanusz-Rajkowski got hit with an $8,200 bill for the emergency room visit. On top of that, Bayonne Medical Center charged $180 for a tetanus shot, $242 for sterile supplies, and $8 for some antibacterial ointment in addition to hundreds of dollars for the services of the nurse practitioner.

That $9,000 bill left Hanusz-Rajkowski speechless. From NBC:

“I got a Band-Aid and a tetanus shot. How could it be $9,000? This is crazy,” Hanusz-Rajkowski said. “If I severed a limb, I’d carry it to the next emergency room in the next city before I go back to this place.”

Why was the bill so high? The answer isn’t clear. It’s more of a he said, she said. Carepoint Health bought Bayonne Medical Center about six years ago, making it a for-profit business, NBC said. Dr. Mark Spektor, president and CEO of the medical center, said the big bill is the fault of Hanusz-Rajkowski’s insurance company, United Healthcare, which no longer has an in-network pricing contract with the hospital. Spektor said United doesn’t offer fair reimbursement rates. According to NBC, Mary McElrath-Jones, spokeswoman for United Healthcare, disagrees with Spektor. “United Healthcare is deeply concerned about hospitals establishing an out-of-network strategy to hike the rate they charge for emergency room services, often surprising patients,” she said. Regardless of whether there’s an in-network price deal, New Jersey law demands that insurers cover the costs of ER visits, NBC said. United Healthcare ended up paying $6,640 on the bill. After the story hit the news, the hospital wrote off Hanusz-Rajkowski’s portion of the bill. Some people are calling for a price cap on ER procedures, NBC reported. Spektor said that would put the hospital, which was once on the brink of bankruptcy and is now profitable again, at risk.

“Insurance companies in the state of New Jersey particularly have had record profits last year. Billions of dollars in profits while hospitals are struggling and closing. That is the real story,” Spektor said.

What do you think of Hanusz-Rajkowski’s hospital bill? Do you think you’ve been massively overcharged at a hospital? Share your comments below or on our Facebook page.

This article was originally published on as ‘Hospital ER Charges $9,000 to Bandage Cut Finger’.

Comment by tresho
2014-08-16 12:53:55

“If I severed a limb, I’d carry it to the next emergency room in the next city before I go back to this place.” He better call ahead first. Don’t assume pricing is any better anywhere else.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-16 19:44:38

He’s a teacher, which means in all probability he voted for the lib-dems who give the FSA “free” medical care, the costs of which are transferred to those who can pay. I have no sympathy.

Comment by MightyMike
2014-08-16 21:45:17

You have no sympathy because for him because of the way that he probably voted? That makes no sense. Also, he’d have to be British to vote for the Lib Dems.

Comment by MightyMike
2014-08-16 21:47:59

More importantly, it’s irrelevant to the significant point of the article, which is the outrageous expensiveness of the way that health care is financed in the USA. To read it as a morality tale about an individual teacher is to distract yourself.

Comment by phony scandals
2014-08-16 16:30:25

Governor Declares Emergency, Sets Ferguson Curfew

Aug 16, 2014, 7:00 PM ET
By DAVID A. LIEB and NIGEL DUARA Associated Press

Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon declared a state of emergency and imposed a curfew Saturday in a St. Louis suburb where police and protesters have clashed in the week since a black teenager was shot to death by a white police officer.

Nixon said that though many protesters were making themselves heard peacefully, the state would not allow looters to endanger the community where 18-year-old Michael Brown was shot in a street. The curfew will run from midnight to 5 a.m. Sunday.

“I am committed to making sure the forces of peace and justice prevail,” Nixon during at a press conference at a church that was interrupted repeatedly by people objecting to the curfew and demanding that the officer who shot Brown be charged with murder.

Powerful Scenes From Ferguson, Missouri

“We must first have and maintain peace. This is a test. The eyes of the world are watching,” Nixon said. “We cannot allow the ill will of the few to undermine the good will of the many.”

Nixon’s curfew announcement came after tensions again flared in Ferguson late Friday night. Earlier that day, local police identified the officer who shot Brown as Darren Wilson and released documents and video footage alleging that Brown had robbed a convenience store just before he was shot. Police said Wilson was unaware Brown was a suspect when he encountered him walking in the street with a friend.

Nixon said the U.S. Department of Justice is beefing up its civil rights investigation of the shooting.

Missouri State Highway Patrol Capt. Ron Johnson, who is in charge of security in Ferguson, said 40 FBI agents were going door-to-door in the neighborhood starting Saturday, talking to people who might have seen or have information about the shooting.

Johnson assured those at the news conference that police would not enforce the curfew with armored trucks and tear gas but would communicate with protesters and give them ample opportunity to leave. Nixon and Johnson were flanked by numerous local elected officials, including U.S. Rep. William Lacy Clay Jr., who urged Johnson to be flexible with the midnight curfew.

But they were interrupted repeatedly.

“Why is the focus on security and not getting justice? Why is there not an arrest?” one women yelled.

Among the many people shouting questions was Malik Shabazz, the president of Black Lawyers for Justice, who said that members of his group and the New Black Panther Party and the Nation of Islam had been helping to maintain order and deter protesters from violence.

“It seems to be a tight curfew line that could be a prescription for confrontation,” said Shabazz, who asked unsuccessfully that the curfew’s start be delayed by an hour.

Brown’s death had already ignited several days of clashes with furious protesters. Tensions eased Thursday after Nixon turned oversight of the protests over to the Missouri Highway Patrol. Gone were the police in riot gear and armored vehicles, replaced by the new patrol commander who personally walked through the streets with demonstrators. But Friday night marked a resurgence of unrest.

On Saturday, some residents said it appeared the violent acts were being committed by people who came from other suburbs or states. -

Comment by goon squad
2014-08-16 17:00:10

Region VIII checking in.

Comment by goon squad
2014-08-16 17:50:25

On the trail running the Pikes Peak Ascent half-marathon today:

And nearing the finish line:

People with mortgages don’t get to do this

Comment by goon squad
2014-08-16 18:21:17

“People with mortgages don’t get to do this”

When you ink your life away by signing on that line, think about what you’re giving up. Much, much more of your income than you ever planned for. You could be so deep in the hole so soon you won’t even know what hit you.

Housing is always a net loss. Always.

Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2014-08-16 18:29:04

Awesome—I may have to travel to do that one! Looks like an amazing and unique course.

(Of course, that would require that I shed my (ahem) several winters worth of hibernation energy stores… :-)

Comment by Selfish Hoarder
2014-08-16 17:40:07

“We are all atheists about most of the gods that humanity has ever believed in. Some of us just go one god further.” Richard Dawkins

“We are all voluntaryists when describing how we associate with our families and friends. Some of us go further and insist the people calling themselves members of “government” must also respect voluntary association.” - Me. (And I’m going to perfect this into as great a quote as Richard Dawkins did for atheism

Google Voluntaryism

Comment by inchbyinch
2014-08-16 18:09:04

Selfish Hoarder
Great post. I am a recovered man in the sky, watching my every move and word, gal. I like what Epstein calls himself, “a humanist”.

I’ve always had good character. My 104 year old late granny told me, when I hear or see the religious “shield”, be even more cautious.

You are what you do and say. What a weird concept, heaven and hell. An afterlife, wtfk.

Comment by Selfish Hoarder
2014-08-16 18:13:54

Thanks and yours is also a great post and enjoyable to read!

Comment by goon squad
2014-08-16 19:01:55

Something to think about in your life when you wake up on a Sunday morning:

Is your housing choice flexible? Or are you locked in to somewhere you don’t want to be?

Comment by Get Stucco
2014-08-16 19:16:50

Did you get stucco?

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-08-16 19:33:15

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

You better believe it mister.

Comment by Selfish Hoarder
2014-08-16 20:10:27

Another thing to think about renting vs owning: Most people who buy don’t know their next door neighbors these days. This is the same thing as putting $hundreds of thousands of dollars in a stock that you never heard of. It’s that stupid.

A house is not an investment. It never was an investment. And the worth of your house is only as good as the neighborhood - which depends on the quality of the neighbors.

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