August 17, 2014

Bits Bucket for August 17, 2014

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

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Comment by Ol'Bubba
2014-08-17 05:13:09

There was a front page article in this morning’s Charlotte Observer on the Bank of America acquisition of Countrywide. It appeared on the front page above the fold. The headline: “The Deal that lost billions for BofA”.

Link: www (.) charlotteobserver (.com) /2014/08/16/5109087/the-deal-that-cost-bank-of-america.html#

from the article:

“Since July 1, 2008, when the deal officially closed, the bank’s mortgage business has lost $52.7 billion through the first half of this year, the Observer found. This number – more than double North Carolina’s recently approved annual state budget – includes settlements, payments to investors for soured loans, accounting writedowns, and operating losses and profits. The rest of the bank made about $75 billion over the same period.”

Comment by Ben Jones
2014-08-17 05:54:49

Here’s the link:

‘Now, the Justice Department case appears close to resolution. The expected settlement of more than $16 billion would be the largest ever between the U.S. government and a company.’

‘While a huge number, the settlement is likely to leave many unsatisfied. Some critics say Bank of America is getting off light considering the damage it caused in the financial crisis and question why individuals aren’t being prosecuted. Others say the bank is being punished for a deal that saved Washington from a costly bailout.’

“Can the government really claim victory for squeezing money out of large banks like Bank of America to pay for the sins of some other lender?” said Cecala, the publisher of Inside Mortgage Finance. “Wouldn’t it be more appropriate if they went after Countrywide officials who were responsible for this kind of thing?”

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-17 06:12:55

No criminal charges, as usual.

Comment by SUGuy
2014-08-17 09:29:18

I think the White house, Fed, Banks, Regulatory agencies, Treasury are staffed by the same group of people. So thinking that someone should go to jail might be a moot point.

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Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-17 11:37:43

The regulators walk through the revolving door to work for the firms they used to “regulate” while Bernanke, Geithner, Hillary, and their ilk go on to collect $150,000 or more per speech in what looks an awful lot like payola from those who benefited from their policies. Got crony capitalism?

Comment by scdave
2014-08-17 07:00:11

“Wouldn’t it be more appropriate if they went after Countrywide officials who were responsible for this kind of thing ??”

Yes, it would….

Comment by frankie
2014-08-17 09:51:28

“I’d do it legal,” Lucky replied. “I learned too late that you need just as good a brain to make a crooked million as an honest million. These days you apply for a license to steal from the public. If I had my time again, I’d make sure I got that license first.”

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Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-17 11:39:43

Steal a box of cigars from a convenience store and get yourself shot (no tears shed from me). Steal billions like Jon Corzine (former “bundler” for Obama campaign) and walk around scot free.

Comment by phony scandals
2014-08-17 08:18:31

“Wouldn’t it be more appropriate if they went after Countrywide officials who were responsible for this kind of thing?”

Countrywide issued hundreds of VIP loans to buy influence, report says

By Les Christie and Rebecca Stewart, CNN Congressional Producer @CNNMoney July 5, 2012: 6:11 PM ET

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Countrywide Financial, once the nation’s largest mortgage lender, bought influence on Capitol Hill by issuing hundreds of sweetheart loans for members of Congress, their staffs and other government employees, according to a report issued by the House of Representatives Thursday.

Referred to as the “VIP program” or the “Friends of Angelo” program — after former Countrywide founder and CEO Angelo Mozilo — this preferential treatment varied with the importance and influence of the borrowers and included such perks as lower loan rates, expedited loan processing and less stringent underwriting standards, the report said.

The VIP program first made headlines in June 2008 when it was revealed that many influential policy makers, including former Senate Banking Committee Chairman Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., and current Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad, D-N.D., received special terms on mortgages from Countrywide.

The House Oversight Committee started its investigation into the program in 2009, and has since discovered that these loans were extended to thousands of people, including almost a dozen lawmakers and former executive branch officials. In addition, thousands of Countrywide employees, as well as employees of Congress, the White House, Fannie Mae (FNM), Freddie Mac (FRE) and other government entities were also offered the special loans. - 65k -

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-17 08:23:21

How about if they go after the officials who took VIP loans (e.g. Chris Dodd)?

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Comment by Guillotine Renovator
2014-08-17 10:40:24

Start with Mozillo himself, and work backwards.

Comment by Professor Bear
2014-08-17 06:05:34

Please correct me if I am wrong, but I vaguely recall the Fed having an active involvement in encouraging BoA to purchase Countrywide. Is heavy-handed meddling in private bank acquisitions really a part of the Fed’s mandate?

And why is it that BoA inherited the fallout, while Countrywide officials appear to have successfully taken the money and run? (E.g. I know of one former Countrywide officer who set up a business in a central American country…)

Comment by Ol'Bubba
2014-08-17 06:19:13

You may be thinking of the heavy handed pressure for BofA to acquire Merrill Lynch. BofA was having second thoughts about the deal around December of 2008.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-17 06:44:35

That too…

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Comment by shendi
2014-08-17 08:39:42

You are correct about the Fed. The Fed with Hank Paulson at the helm also got JP Morgan to buy Bear Stearns and WaMu. However, you should realize that both JPM and BoA had their own shenanigans to hide so they required little convincing to take on other banks’ problems. IMO these BoA & JPM thought they could pass on the fines etc. as something that they inherited.

Comment by Guillotine Renovator
2014-08-17 10:46:35

The conversations likely went something like this:

Paulson: “I need you to acquire Bear Stearns and WAMU in a big way.”

Dimon: “I don’t want that junk.”

Paulson: “How would you like to do a Bear Stearns nosedive tomorrow, crooked boy?”

Dimon: “I’m so excited, when can we get this deal done?!”

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Comment by polly
2014-08-17 18:21:48

Hank Paulson wasn’t at the Fed.

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Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-17 21:39:19
Comment by oxide
2014-08-17 13:03:28

Is heavy-handed meddling in private bank acquisitions really a part of the Fed’s mandate?

One could argue that one man’s heavy-handed meddling is another man’s trust-busting. The SEC should have clipped the mergers and acquisitions far sooner, like in the mid 1990s’. Then nobody would have been too big to fail, and the meddling would have been far less heavy-handed. Maybe we should take the angle that forcing to buy Merrill was the price BoA had to pay for having such a large market share in the first place.

That said, this is in regulation space, not the Fed.

Comment by Selfish Hoarder
2014-08-17 06:12:45

I’ll have to look back in my brokerage account records, but after BAC bought Countrywide and I noticed BAC in one of its annual reports boasting about giving out loans to low income people, well I sold all my stock of BAC.

It was another instance of a business acting like the “progressive” businesses in Atlas Shrugged, and that is before the lights went out of course.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-17 06:13:53

This article makes it sound like BoA assumed it would make money on the Countrywide deal.


Bank May Buy Troubled Giant in Home Loans

Published: January 11, 2008
(Page 2 of 2)

Countrywide showed spectacular growth in both earnings and share price over the years. But in recent months it became clear that its growth was fueled by increasingly loose lending practices. Last year, even as defaults rose, the company was slow to recognize that it needed to change its business practices and lend more conservatively.

In August, as financial markets froze on fears that the subprime mortgage woes were spreading into other parts of the economy, Countrywide was forced to draw down all of its $11.5 billion credit line.

“Countrywide has been a rogue lender with a rogue leader,” said Martin Eakes, chief executive of the Center for Responsible Lending, a consumer advocacy group. “Bank of America would be a responsible home for fixing the problems that Countrywide has created.”

Through acquisitions, Bank of America has transformed itself from a small regional bank into a national powerhouse. In 2003, for example, it paid $48 billion for FleetBoston Financial, which gave it the most branches, customers and checking accounts of any United States bank. In 2005, Bank of America became the biggest credit card issuer when it bought MBNA for $35 billion.

By purchasing Countrywide, Bank of America would combine its 5,800 branches with the mortgage lender’s coast-to-coast network, helping Mr. Lewis achieve his goal of becoming the biggest player in every major consumer finance category.

If the deal goes through, Bank of America would brush up against a federal cap that prevents a bank holding company from controlling more than 10 percent of the nation’s deposits. Because Countrywide Bank is a federally insured savings and loan, the rule does not apply.

Seeking to ease any regulatory concerns, representatives for the companies were in Washington on Thursday to brief regulators.

Mr. Mozilo is expected to remain as chief executive of Countrywide until the deal closes, probably in the third quarter, people briefed on the transaction said. After that, he would serve on a transition team and would remain with the combined company on an interim basis.

He could be entitled to an exit package of roughly $72 million. That would be on top of the $410 million in pay, including $285 million in option gains, that Mr. Mozilo has taken home since he became Countrywide’s chief executive in 1999.

Selling Countrywide gets Mr. Mozilo out of a tightening financial vise. But doing so at a stock price below $10 is certainly not what he probably envisioned. Indeed, just last March, as the subprime crisis was starting to unfold, Mr. Mozilo crowed that Countrywide would benefit from the spreading mess. “This will be great for Countrywide,” he told an interviewer, “because at the end of the day, all of the irrational competitors will be gone.”

Comment by Ben Jones
2014-08-17 06:28:52

‘For at least a year, the Obama administration has been pushing lenders to make mortgages more widely available to responsible people looking to buy homes.’

“Now that we’ve made it harder for reckless buyers to buy homes that they can’t afford, let’s make it a little bit easier for qualified buyers to buy the homes they can afford,” President Barack Obama said last August in a speech at an Arizona high school, adding that too many qualified families are getting rejected by banks.’

‘The administration has been meeting with key stakeholders, including David Stevens, the MBA’s chief executive, throughout the year to understand why the situation isn’t improving. Stevens says he told administration officials that many potential buyers are getting shut out of the market because lenders don’t want to take a chance on them.’

‘In an interview with The Washington Post, Stevens explained why. A major stumbling block for potential borrowers, he said: “Credit overlays.” Stevens: “In order for lenders to sell mortgages to Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac or the Federal Housing Administration, the mortgages have to meet minimum standards for some key variables: the credit score, the amount of debt the borrower has relative to his or her income and the documentation. But lenders are applying standards that are more conservative than what is required, and those are the credit overlays. For instance, FHA allows credit scores that can be as low as 500, but most lenders insist on a minimum of 620 or 640 because they think it’s risky to do anything under that.”

Bad bank! Lawyers, settlements in the billions. Bad bank, make more house loans! Oh, here, borrow money from Janet “Affordable Housing” Yellen for free and make billions on 15% credit cards.

Do you suppose these bank exec’s haven’t noticed no one goes to jail? Hmmm, and isn’t it interesting that no one has even mentioned returning to the pre-”crisis” FASB standard about accounting for bad loans? Never even brought up.

There’s even a wiki page:

‘The source of the term is a quotation in an October 17, 2004, The New York Times Magazine article by writer Ron Suskind, “Faith, Certainty and the Presidency of George W. Bush,” quoting an unnamed aide to George W. Bush (later attributed to Karl Rove[1]): The aide said that guys like me were “in what we call the reality-based community,” which he defined as people who “believe that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality.” … “That’s not the way the world really works anymore,” he continued. “We’re an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you’re studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we’ll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that’s how things will sort out. We’re history’s actors…and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do.”

Comment by Ben Jones
2014-08-17 06:37:46

‘How to wreck the GOP in 3 easy steps!’

‘2. Investigate and prosecute fraud committed during the housing bubble.’

‘This one would require a little urgency, since we are getting close to the statute of limitations, but it’s the right thing to do—hell, it borders on existential necessity.’

‘No one cares about the gargantuan civil settlements the Justice Department has been winning from the Wall Street banks. The law enforcement community, for their part, has been content to blame individual homebuyers for the disaster that sank the economy. The leaders of Obama’s justice department, meanwhile, worry themselves sick that prosecuting financiers might damage the banks and the economy.’

“Too big to jail” is a philosophy that will curdle patriotism and kill idealism for years to come—an ironic end to a presidency that began with so much “Hope.” It is Obama’s greatest failure; indeed, it borders on an outrage. He can still salvage the situation, however, by investigating and prosecuting high-ranking financiers for the obvious wave of fraud that puffed the bubble to begin with. Doing so would signal that no one is above the law; that America insists on accountability even for the very rich. It might even make the president a hero overnight.’

‘I asked Bill Black, a former S&L regulator with enormous experience in prosecuting white-collar crime, if such a thing could still be done, and how the Justice Department might proceed.’

‘The answer, in short, is yes, it can be done. The authorities have the smoking gun, Black says, in the records of the company that many Wall Street firms hired for due diligence purposes back in the bubble days. And it’s a “smoking Gatling gun, with hundreds of canisters,” Black adds. “We know exactly where to look. It goes through the entire [financial] universe, all the major players.”

‘The first step in building the cases, Black explains, is to “dramatically increase the number of prosecutors and FBI agents assigned to the cases. [Attorney General] Holder can do it tomorrow.” Then Holder would “hyper-prioritize those cases. . . . You would identify the 25 highest priority targets, take all these FBI agents running these half-assed cases against the mice, and put them against the biggest frauds in modern history.” With some determined leadership, Black maintains, indictments could be brought and cases could be won—just as many of them were won back in the days of the S&L scandal.’

‘If Obama did it, Black concludes, “he’d go out a star.” And so he would. But what scares me most about this proposal is the near certainty that Obama and Holder won’t do it, that they will sit on their hands and let the statute of limitations elapse. Then, in a few years, the brilliant young man who we elected to take on the banksters will head home to Chicago having never laid a as much as a glove on them, leaving the financiers to lead us happily into the next disaster, knowing with absolute certainty that no policeman and no politician in this country can ever touch them.’

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Comment by scdave
2014-08-17 07:14:12

Nice post Ben…Its disturbing and depressing at the same time..We rail about corrupt China and other countries but in many ways we are no more or less corrupt than they are in that we know there was massive fraud but individual persons pay any price…Just fines for the company…Those Wall street guys new those securities were toxic…Thats why when they sold them they took the other side of the trade…They made a fortune on the front end, and then made another one on the back end and at the end of the day brought our entire economy down to its knees…

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-17 07:19:05

If you continue to vote for or otherwise support candidates of the oligarch-captured establishment GOP or DNC, you are part of the problem. Both parties have turned a blind eye to, if not actively enabling, the most grotesque forms of corruption and crony capitalism, i.e. the repeal of Glass-Stegal. If the voters demanded accountability from their “public servants” and threw out the ones on Wall Street’s payroll, we would start seeing policies that benefit more than the .1%.

Comment by Ben Jones
2014-08-17 07:51:41

‘Those Wall street guys new those securities were toxic…They made a fortune’

It’s easy to simplify it. Tempting even. But let’s look at where we are today. I’m not picking on Jingle, but he’s happy with his house gains. A year or so ago, and LA Times article reported flippers were selling to flippers. They are feeling pretty smart I’d bet. It’s not just houses; look at the stock market. Look around you; are all these people sitting on big brokerage accounts not getting something out of wall street?

I can’t get that FASB rule out of my mind this morning. Why was it there in the first place? Was it a silly rule after all? Was there a restraint or transparency that had so little meaning it can be discarded and we never look back?

This is sorta like moral hazard. One article I posted mentioned that the Federal Reserve used to talk about moral hazard often, but doesn’t mention it anymore. Do you suppose Janet Yellen hasn’t noticed that Ben Bernanke is getting $150,000 for a 15 minute speech? Was moral hazard just a silly concept, with no meaning all along? Or are we stepping over some dangerous live wires we’ll regret later?

Comment by iftheshoefits
2014-08-17 08:02:31

I’ve never been a fan of Obama. Just the same, when he was elected in 2008, I remember saying to myself, “a bunch of left wing anti-corporatists got elected, but at least they’ll go after the bankers”. Whoops.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-17 08:04:38

Ben Bernanke, like prostitutes everywhere, is colllecting from his clients after servicing them during his years at the Fed. Look at the parade of “former” Goldman Sachs officials, i.e. Tim Geithner, who drafted economic policies that benefited the .1% exclusively, then reaped their reward once they “returned” to their previous “private” pursuits.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-17 08:12:30

I’ve never been a fan of Obama. Just the same, when he was elected in 2008, I remember saying to myself, “a bunch of left wing anti-corporatists got elected and at least they’ll go after the bankers. Whoops.”

Are you f****** retarded? A candidate hand-selected by George Soros with a list of 2008 campaign contributers that read like a who’s who of TBTF banksters and bailout recipients (Goldman Sachs the #2 donor being a dead giveaway) is an “anti-corporatist”? What inverted reality do you inhabit?

Comment by iftheshoefits
2014-08-17 08:56:13

Ease up, dude. You obviously know nothing about me so STFU.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-17 09:09:30

By your own admission you voted a candidate backed to the hilt by Wall Street grifters in the belief - based on empty populist rhetoric - that he was somehow “anti-corporate.” Your innocense is touching.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-17 09:17:52

Are you going to vote for Hillary in 2016 because, having been “dead broke” when her & Bill left office, they understand the struggles of the middle class? BWAHAAHAAHAAA!

She’s even more sold out to Wall Street than Obama was, if that’s even possible. If the shoe fits, indeed.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-08-17 09:44:29

I”’ve never been a fan of Obama. Just the same, when he was elected in 2008, I remember saying to myself, “a bunch of left wing anti-corporatists got elected, but at least they’ll go after the bankers”. Whoops.”

The majority of the country thought the same but let me correct one thing….. Major Whoops.

This guy will be remembered as the 100% bought and paid for president.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-17 09:56:07

You can tell a tree by its fruits, and you can tell what a politician is going to do once in office by who their financial backers are - campaign rhetoric being empty bluster. Obama, McCain, and Romney were all beholden to the Wall Street grifters and competed with each other in their fawning over the likes of Jamie Dimon and Lloyd Blankfein. Ron Paul was abhored by the crony capitalists. Draw your own conclusions. There is no excuse for being fooled in the Internet age.

Comment by Guillotine Renovator
2014-08-17 11:01:16

“If you continue to vote for or otherwise support candidates of the oligarch-captured establishment GOP or DNC, you are part of the problem.”

These were the only candidates my ballot offered.

Comment by Ryan
2014-08-17 11:28:43

Bad news boys and girls: Both the R and the D will always have the backing of Wall St. They are the ONLY ones who win.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-17 11:45:48

So don’t vote. Why take part in a puppet show?

Comment by oxide
2014-08-17 13:17:02

Ben, which FASB rule are you referring to? Google just sends me to FASB. Mark to market accounting? Deferred interest?

Comment by Ben Jones
2014-08-17 13:46:57

It’s ongoing. But primarily:

‘April 2, 2009 — The Financial Accounting Standards Board, pressured by U.S. lawmakers and financial companies, voted to relax fair-value accounting rules that Citigroup Inc. and Wells Fargo & Co. say don’t work when markets are inactive.’

‘Changes to fair-value, or mark-to-market accounting, approved by FASB today allow companies to use “significant” judgment in gauging prices of some investments on their books, including mortgage-backed securities. Analysts say the measure may reduce banks’ writedowns and boost net income. Firms could apply the changes to first-quarter results.’

‘FASB’s staff conceded the March 17 proposal led to a “presumption” that all security sales are “distressed” unless evidence proves otherwise. Such an interpretation might have let financial firms ignore transactions in valuing assets.’

‘FASB staff said banks should only disregard transactions that aren’t “orderly,” including situations in which the “seller is near bankruptcy” or needed to sell the asset to comply with regulatory requirements. The staff said in a report today it was not FASB’s intent “to change the objective of a fair-value measurement.”

So they can ignore some transactions regarding the house loans they are holding, along with “other assets”. Then there’s this:

‘FASB rejected requests from banks to let them apply the fair-value change to their year-end financial statements for 2008. While the new standard takes effect for earnings reports filed at the end of June, FASB said companies could apply it to their first-quarter financial statements.’

These banks must have been on the verge of being under capitalized. So an April ruling gets retroactive treatment back to the first quarter.

‘One change adopted by the board would require banks to disclose the effect of the changed interpretation, although the final wording has not been released and it is not clear how detailed that disclosure will be.’

‘For some other assets, banks must write them down to market value only if they conclude that the decline is “other than temporary.” The measure that drew dissents will allow banks to keep part of such declines off their income statements, although the decline would still show on the institutions’ balance sheets.’

‘One of the dissenters, Thomas J. Linsmeier, argued that accounting rules already allowed the “fiction all banks are well capitalized,” adding that the changes would “make them seem better capitalized.”

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-17 07:07:31

Eric Holder has already made it crystal clear that the DoJ has no desire or intent to hold TBTF banks accountable for their crimes and swindles. The banksters are literally above the law and they know it.

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Comment by iftheshoefits
2014-08-17 10:20:36

How did you read in that I voted for Obama? In no way did I say that in the post, nor did I ever even consider voting for him. So cool down and stop being such an a**hole.

As someone who’s been reamed numerous times here over the years for being too far to the right, this is more than a little amusing…

Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-08-17 12:59:53

So? It kept a few of The Ones from going to jail.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-17 05:57:52

A foretaste of life in Pelosi’s DNC Supermajority people’s republic.

Comment by goon squad
2014-08-17 06:13:45

And legal weed in Colorado and Washington state = millions of dollars that don’t go to the Mexican cartels. Do what Peter Tosh said and legalize it.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-17 06:29:08

But how will HSBC, Wachovia, and the other TBTF banks launder billions in drug money if pot production is legalized and takes place in the U.S.?

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-17 06:30:51
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Comment by scdave
2014-08-17 07:21:20

Do what Peter Tosh said and legalize it ??

Thats to simple…A simple act that eliminates Billions in wasted dollars and 10’s of thousands in branding people as criminals…Why do it ?? Think about all the jobs & money lost…Think of the kids !!

If you have a felony, the hiring process does not delineate what it was that you got a felony for…Your a felon…Period…You Need not apply…

Comment by goon squad
2014-08-17 07:27:35

Meanwhile, you can just keep sending your money here:

“Cannabis purchases by out-of-state visitors account for an estimated 44 percent of all retail sales in the Denver area and about 90 percent in mountain resorts, according to a recent market study commissioned by the Colorado Marijuana Enforcement Division.”

Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-08-17 12:57:57

Legalize everything! That will make cartels go out of business.

Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-08-17 13:07:11

If people want to legalize pot because they see no harm in the drug, then fine. We should not, however, get this confused with any sort of cartel-busting or medical treatment. Let’s be honest about it.

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Comment by palmetto
2014-08-17 07:18:50

The kidnappings in Mexico have been stepped up to include the middle class and working people:

But kidnappings by Mexicans don’t just take place in Mexico, and they don’t limit themselves to other Mexicans. One took place not far from me a few years ago:

Comment by reedalberger
2014-08-17 11:05:08

Coming soon to a town near you, courtesy of progressives and the US Chamber of Commerce.


Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-17 06:08:56

As the oligarchs gather in Jackson Hole this weekend to plot how they can escalate their looting of the productive economy, it seems likely that further “austerity measures” will be discussed for economically non-viable members of society, i.e. those with no monetary value to the .1% except as slave labor for the prison-industrial complex or as increasingly superfluous FSA DNC voters. Meanwhile, an ever-growing number of throwaway human beings will be subject to increasing deprivation as the oligarch’s insatiable demand for more asset-stripping from the productive means less for “the least of these my brethren.”

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-17 06:25:19

The oligarchy’s central-planning enablers gather behind closed doors at Jackson Hole prior to Yellen issuing her “no billionaire left behind” edicts at the end of the week.

Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-08-17 12:56:29

OK, so we are banning the left behinds of billionaires, but we will allow the other half of the butt?

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-17 06:19:45

Chinese Investors Fuel California Housing Bubble
Wealthy Chinese are gobbling up real estate in the Bay Area, but local opposition and an impending bubble signal danger.
By Jack Detsch
August 16, 2014

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.

“It is just a natural phenomenon.” Ellen Osmundson, Managing Partner of MJ Real Estate International in San Francisco explained to The Diplomat. “When more than 30 percent of the population in San Francisco is Chinese, it is natural that Chinese homebuyers are gravitating towards the culture, language and food that they are familiar with.”

Comment by Selfish Hoarder
2014-08-17 06:41:33

I have mixed feelings about the Chinese coming over and buying up RE in Cali. The Chinese people I know (at least from third generation Americans) tend to continue the strong family values and non-dysfunctional values that White people used to have over 40 years ago. Very admirable. On the other hand they tend to vote for more socialism. The wealthy ones of course, have the money to become the new “influence peddlers” in Sacramento. They may provide a buffer against the plans of Mexicans to take over California. I haven’t seen any angst from Mexicans anywhere about it but I would bet they are not happy for hoards of Asians to come to California.

Looking at a racial map of Southern California, there are dense pockets of Asian areas and Asian / White areas. You feel safer in those places and are safer in those places.

Comment by inchbyinch
2014-08-17 07:38:01

Selfish Hoarder
The 97 new building projects in Downtown LA are for the most part S Korean and Chinese funded, although people like Tom Gilmore (Adaptive Use Ordinance creator) and Izek Shomof (another brilliant mind) are the second tier of turning the blight around. I’ve been watching the reinvention of DTLA with excitement.

We really wanted to buy a home in So Pasadena. The Asians we met there are educated, hardworking, sophisticated, and would make ideal neighbors.Asian $ priced us out. A comparable Simi Valley home was $1.2M in So Pas. I like the Asian mind. One of many respectful cultures.

btw, there are Asian gangs as well.

Comment by Selfish Hoarder
2014-08-17 10:17:03

IIRC, Alhambra is south of Pasadena, and primarily Asian. I had a girlfriend from Hong Kong and we would go to Alhambra a lot for Dim Sum. We would get odd looks because I am a cracker. But I like Dim Sum. Once we ate at a Dim Sum place right north of DTLA, very close to Hill Street (Hill Street Blues fame). We were with her girlfriends. All talking in their language at rapid clip. I used my chopsticks and reached for the hens feet. One of them broke into English “No No No!” to warn me not to eat it. I was not sure if I broke a taboo or that they were warning me I would be grossed out. I think it was the latter. Relax - I had it before! Had Sow’s ears before at a wedding reception in Phoenix. It was a Vietnamese wedding reception.

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Comment by inchbyinch
2014-08-17 13:35:10

Dim Sum- Now that’s tasty food. My husband loves the stuff. We ate at the Dim Sun Palace in DTLA (I think I got the name right) and oh man, it was incredible.

I’m interviewing for jobs downtown. The Metrolink station is 5 minutes from home.

Comment by Selfish Hoarder
2014-08-17 13:42:51

Dim Sum Palace. That name rings a bell. I think that’s where we ate.

I love DTLA. Been to the science center lots of times. Toured the Disney center. Spent time with the Asian culture downtown.

Comment by inchbyinch
2014-08-17 16:23:52

Selfish Hoarder
Cool to meet another DTLA urbanite. I plan to doing some of the LA Conservatory walking tours. They get you into some Art Deco buildings and other great architectural pieces of art, the general public can’t access.
Here is an example:
Eastman Columbia Building was a Dept Store

Love all the stories behind the old buildings, and the Bradbury Building was in Blade Runner. Cool stuff. I’m a sucker for the old Hollywood glamour days and stories of the tycoons like Van Nuys, Chandler, and Mulholland. They all have their humble roots in dtla. Became filthy effing rich.
The Conservatory Tours are either cheap or free.

Comment by Selfish Hoarder
2014-08-17 18:19:02

Sounds all good. I live in Orange County now. But spent 8 or 9 years in the South Bay area. My happy memories included visiting MOCA, the J Paul Getty Museum (on the hill), and attending plays downtown amid those tall buildings. Had some adventure too - when I and my girlfriend many years ago got lost, we ended up in east LA. Came upon a few cop cars that had detained some people. We were trying to find the freeway - probably the 110. A cop told us we don’t belong there (of course - white skin) and he actually took his car and followed us until we got to the onramp.

So yeah there are good LA cops, or at least at that time, that year.

Comment by AbsoluteBeginner
2014-08-17 08:37:38

Do Chinese gangs and black-markets follow the expatriates to US shores?

Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-08-17 12:47:59

Asians are overly compliant and accept corruption.

Comment by palmetto
Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-08-17 07:40:57

Some specifications now prohibit use of non-domestic cast and ductile fittings due to the skyrocketing number of defects in fittings as a result of $hitty sand molds. CI and DI pipe and fitting defects are too costly to deal with regardless of fabricator.

Comment by palmetto
2014-08-17 07:25:06
Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-08-17 06:33:43

“Even under the best circumstances, housing results in stunning losses. At current massively inflated asking prices, the losses are lifelong. Financing those losses is a financial death sentence.”

You can say that again.

Comment by Selfish Hoarder
2014-08-17 13:41:07

I just chit chatted with another renter at my Orange County apartments. He asked me if I lived above him because he had his TV on loud and the guy above him stomped his feet. I said no. I said we renters have to understand that we are too close together to be thinking we are the only ones who can hear our TVs, stereos and so on. The SFHs above us don’t have those worries.

I would have wanted to add this though: But I would not trade this minor detail for the bondage that those SFH owners above us are into - indebted to their banks. Or that their adult kids are priced out of the very neighborhoods they grew up in.

Renting is far more liberty than owning. A Voluntaryist’s paradise!

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-08-17 14:17:16

It’s certainly less costly.

Comment by Ben Jones
2014-08-17 07:05:53

‘On the surface, the unrest in Ferguson, Mo., was about local police using deadly force on an unarmed young man. But on a deeper level, it reflected the increasing poverty and economic decline that affects ethnic communities all over America.’

‘Despite rosy reports in the media about the end of the national foreclosure crisis and the recession that followed, all is not well in our inner cities and close-in suburbs with largely minority populations, like Ferguson.’

‘The foreclosure crisis was hard on many Americans, but it was a disaster for communities of color, including the citizens of Ferguson. In the zip code that encompasses Ferguson, half (49 percent) of homes were underwater in 2013, meaning the home’s market value was below the mortgage’s outstanding balance. This condition (also called “negative equity”) is often a first step toward loan default or foreclosure, according to the recent report, “Underwater America,” from the Haas Institute for a Fair and Inclusive Society at the University of California, Berkeley.’

‘Mortgage lenders targeted predominantly black and Hispanic areas for the highest-risk, highest-cost types of mortgage loans, such as adjustable-rate mortgages and loans with high prepayment penalties. This led to higher-than-average default rates, according to the Housing Commission established by the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington, D.C.’

‘The commission found many of the families sold on risky mortgages had good credit, decent incomes and everything else necessary to qualify for traditional long-term, fixed-rate loans. Yet, they were not offered those kinds of loans, but instead “steered into exotic and costly mortgages they did not fully understand and could not afford,” the commission said.’

‘This “deliberate targeting of minority areas for the sale of risky and expensive loans,” as the commission described it, wreaked havoc on the financial wellbeing of affected families and undermined the stability of entire neighborhoods.’

Ah, it was the loans! They were “deliberately targeted”. Gosh, I bet the prisons are bulging with the rascals who did this.

Wait a minute. There are really high percentages of underwater borrowers in entire states, like Nevada and Florida. Were Nevadan’s deliberately targeted? And why are so many underwater loans from the same period in time?

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-17 07:09:35

Wasn’t it federal housing policy from the FHA which deliberately targeted dodgy loans on minority communities?

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-17 07:12:56

What never gets mentioned in these “minority victimhood” articles is that the subprime loans provided a means for folks of modest economic circumstances to purchase and live in much more attractive homes than loans based on traditional prudential lending standards would have allowed. Wasn’t this a primary purpose of “affordable housing” policy?

Comment by MightyMike
2014-08-17 08:59:34

the subprime loans provided a means for folks of modest economic circumstances to purchase and live in much more attractive homes than loans based on traditional prudential lending standards would have allowed.

only for a few years

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Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-17 10:50:14

They signed the loan contracts agreeing to repay hundreds of thousands of dollars more than they could reasonably have expected to ever earn over their future working lifetimes. And I assume nobody put guns to their heads forcing them to sign, at least in the vast majority of cases?

Perhaps they figured that even in a worst case scenario, where they lost their homes, it would only be a matter of a few years before some mortgage lender would find a way to loan them hundreds of thousands of dollars once again to buy another place.

Comment by MightyMike
2014-08-17 11:35:50

Yes, that’s true, Whac. I remember people who took out ARMs back in the early part of the previous decade were often told that they would have a low interest rate which would then increase after 5 years. But don’t worry, they were then told, you refinance before that happens. Of course, we all know how that worked out. Many of those people couldn’t refinance after 5 years because they were underwater at that point.

It does raise a good point about the whole effort aimed at increasing homeownership. Many of those low income “first time homebuyers” probably didn’t have friends or family members who ever owned their own home, so the experience of buying a house a complete mystery to them, which, in turn, made them easy marks for the fraudsters who are rampant in the REIC.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-17 12:27:09

“Many of those people couldn’t refinance after 5 years because they were underwater at that point.”


Posted: 6:21 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 12, 2014
Program to help underwater homeowners Thursday
By Staff report

The Home Affordable Refinance Program, a government sponsored effort to help homeowners refinance their homes, will host a meeting at Ebenezer Baptist Church Thursday, Aug. 14, at 11 a.m.

The church is at 407 Auburn Ave. in Atlanta.

It is one of four stops on the current tour, hosted by the Federal Housing and Finance Agency. Local experts along with lenders will be present to those who are eligible get the information they need to refinance into a better mortgage. To find out more and about what documents those interested will need to bring, visit, or go to and click on “Media and Events.”

Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-08-17 12:38:15


You are implying that low-income people are too stupid to be trusted with any mortgage at all.

Comment by oxide
2014-08-17 13:44:04

Auntie Fed, the evidence bears this out, un-PC as it may seem.

As Whac said, those with low income may have been eligible to buy a modest house, but they were sweet talked into buying “as much house as they could afford,” which they could “refinance later.” That is, they could be trusted with a mortgage on a modest house, but they couldn’t be trust to wantsuch a mortgage.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-08-17 13:53:44

You’re one of them Donk.

Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-08-17 13:57:19

Then low-income people should be protected from themselves. No mortgages for them.

Comment by MightyMike
2014-08-17 14:39:38

You are implying that low-income people are too stupid to be trusted with any mortgage at all.

It’s not a matter of IQ, just knowledge and experience. If some poor immigrant saves up enough money to become the first person in his family to ever buy a car, he’s the sort of person who could ripped off by a used car salesman.

Comment by MightyMike
2014-08-17 14:42:37

those with low income may have been eligible to buy a modest house, but they were sweet talked into buying “as much house as they could afford,” which they could “refinance later.” That is, they could be trusted with a mortgage on a modest house, but they couldn’t be trust to want such a mortgage.

This happened to a lot of middle income people, too.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-17 15:00:42

Then low-income people should be protected from themselves. No mortgages for them.

Wouldn’t that be redlining?

Comment by Selfish Hoarder
2014-08-17 10:20:55

The Austrian economist in me says the Federal government cannot bail out underwater home owners forever - whatever form - keeping the bottom of the prices from falling to the natural levels.

It is prudent to wait it out, even if you have to wait it out another ten years. It could take that long before we really get the real market correction to correct the 2001-2007 housing bubble.

I can wait.

Comment by Selfish Hoarder
2014-08-17 10:32:51

You will know there’s been a correction when there are virtually no REOs, down payments and the NODs are at historical lows, home ownership goes to historical lows, and the average house price is relative to the average household income (2 and a half times income).

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Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-17 10:52:18

Bubble-headed thinking is still in vogue, which is a primary reason to avoid buying U.S. residential real estate like the plague for now, unless you are a speculator who can quickly dump your holdings in the event of the next inevitable downturn.

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Comment by Blue Skye
2014-08-17 11:50:05

“I can wait.”

Good for you. Enjoy your freedom in the meantime!

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Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-17 07:13:55

As the .1% systematically impoverises the 99% (the stock market and obscene CEO salaries and bonuses being the only economic measures that count for the Fed and the oligarchy’s captured Republicrat duopoly) more and more blighted, futureless communities are going to experience unrest as volatile, disaffected youth lash out. Not a recipe for social cohesion or law and order.

Comment by scdave
2014-08-17 08:06:31

disaffected youth lash out ??

That may be the only thing that will scare those ba$turds in DC…When it starts to hit them and their family members personally, you watch how quick the partisan politics go away…Until then, the SOB’s will continue to do what they do…

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-17 08:39:00

The politicians in DC are a reflection of the tools back home who elected them. George Carlin, as usual, nails it in “Why I don’t Vote.”

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Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-17 07:20:15

Here is a link to the Underwater America report. I skimmed it. If there is anything in there about the role of government-sponsored affordable housing programs in putting all these minority households in the financial version of Davy Jones’ locker, I’m missing it.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-17 07:22:56

Finally, some long-overdue political push-back on the increasing militarization of municipal police forces.

Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-08-17 12:24:12

The biggest disaster for the finances of black people is brown people who are here illegally. Illegal immigrants take low-paying jobs for even lower pay, and they can’t complain about illegal treatment. But it’s so much more PC to focus on the shiny foreclosures.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-17 15:22:41

Blacks voted 95% for Obama, who has made “immigration reform” (amnesty) and open borders a centerpiece of his administration, per the demands of his oligarch backers. So Africa-Americans have been complicit in their own economic demise. This is my non-sympathetic face.

Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-08-17 16:36:54

I wonder what could have been done to elect a better alternative.

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Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-17 15:57:20

Hope ‘n change has not been kind to Ferguson or the rest of the 99%.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-17 16:02:33

Ferguson is a microcosm of the worsening poverty since 2000, with the Fed’s policies funneling trillions to the .1% while the 99% sink deeper into economic malaise. Wait until Fergusons start cooking off in every state.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-17 21:45:59

It’s a bit different in Ferguson, a St. Louis suburb, than, say, almost anywhere in California. My CA living experience thus far has always included blacks living in our immediate neighborhood, which is not indicative of demographic instability or near-term transition. By contrast, Ferguson is an area which was almost all white fifty years ago but is now almost all black, reflecting the St. Louis tradition of blacks moving into formerly all-white areas precipitating white flight and incursion of more blacks. It is a racial dynamic which has continued for at least fifty years already, with no end in sight.

Comment by inchbyinch
2014-08-17 07:26:13

lihtc (low income housing tax credits) Boy, what a racket. I’ve been studying the IRS tax code 42 section, and although it helps people, it is my initial impression it’s great for the banks, more so than the LLPs. The bank that funds the project, gets a big discount on their tax bill. It is administered under HUD (who else).

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-17 07:41:42

You’re saying legistlation written by the banksters’ K Street lobbyists actually benefits…the banksters?! I am shocked, shocked! I tell you….

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-08-17 07:32:09

Watching gov deliberately establishing massively inflated floor price of housing and herding empty pockets into it is delightful. Watching others pay the prices with cash?


Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-17 07:56:56

A point of correction: the Federal Reserve, despite its name, is a private banking cartel. When you understand it was designed from its clandestine inception in 1913 to faciliate the massive transfer of wealth and productive enterprises from the 99% to the .1%, it’s actions start making a lot more sense.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-08-17 08:00:44

My error. Thank you for making the critical distinction.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-17 08:30:36

“We have in this country, one of the most corrupt institutions the world has ever known. I refer to the Federal Reserve Board. This evil institution has impoverished the people of the United States and has practically bankrupted our government. It has done this through the corrupt practices of the moneyed vultures that control it.” Congressman Louis T. McFadden in 1932

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Comment by Blue Skye
2014-08-17 11:43:24

There’s them at the banks and there’s the hundred million idiots on the other side of the teller window who borrow just as much as the banks will lend them to buy stuff they will never be able to afford.

Comment by MightyMike
2014-08-17 17:07:46

So this guy is one politician that you like, Ray?

McFadden is also remembered as a “vociferous foe of the Federal Reserve”,[4] which he claimed was created and operated by Jewish banking interests who conspired to economically control the United States. On June 10, 1932, McFadden made a 25-minute speech before the House of Representatives,[5] in which he accused the Federal Reserve of deliberately causing the Great Depression. McFadden also claimed that Wall Street bankers funded the Bolshevik Revolution[6] through the Federal Reserve banks and the European central banks with which it cooperated.

In 1934, he made several anti-semitic comments from the floor of the house and in newsletters to his constituents wherein he cited the Protocols of the Elders of Zion, claimed the Roosevelt administration was controlled by Jews, and objected to Henry Morgenthau, Jr., a Jew, becoming Secretary of the Treasury.[11][12][13][14][15] Drew Pearson claimed in his “Washington Merry-Go-Round” column that, in a publication by the American fascist Silver Shirts, McFadden had been “extensively” quoted “in support of Adolf Hitler”.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-17 18:16:56

I was unaware of McLadden’s background, especially the more unsavory aspects.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-08-17 18:22:40

And where his statements true?

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-17 18:55:33

Citing “Protocols of the Elders of Zion” - a forgery by the Tsar’s secret police - doesn’t bolster his credibility, nor does supporting domestic fascists or Hitler.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-17 08:26:33

“…the Federal Reserve, despite its name, is a private banking cartel…”

Why is it a .gov if it is not a part of the U.S. government?

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-17 08:41:48

Google is your friend.

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Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-08-17 12:19:18

The fine line between question and statement is somewhere between your far- and near-sighted foci.

Comment by Blue Skye
2014-08-17 11:51:30

Maybe it means we have a privately owned government.

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Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-08-17 12:11:58

Same question with the Post Office.

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Comment by phony scandals
2014-08-17 08:35:00

“Watching gov deliberately establishing massively inflated floor price of housing and herding empty pockets into it is delightful.”

The dude in this video is building @ $100 a ft. using shipping containers.

More turning to shipping containers for shelter

Comment by oxide
2014-08-17 13:51:19

Then he’s overpaying. You can buy a pre-fab home with simple finishes for $75/sq ft. (structure only, no land, foundation, or hookups) It won’t be as strong as shipping container, but you won’t feel like a boxcar-hopping bum in your own home.

Comment by jane
2014-08-17 16:59:34

“Boxcar hopping bum” - delightful turn of phrase!
Mind if I burn it into memory and use it from time to time? I’m trying to figure out how I can work it into a convo with a real-t-whore.

It’s the real-t-whores who are largely responsible for this re-bubble. What slob can resist “I can get you a buyer that’ll pay [your wishing price] PLUS [25%]“?

It’s fiat pricing. By our failure to dish out the contemptuous laughter while walking away, we - the prospective marks - have allowed this re-bubble to play out.

Nothing is sweeter than the white-eyeball countenance of terror, accompanied by the smell of fear, on a real-t-whore as you walk away.

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Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-08-17 17:07:20

And what you did is precisly what Donk should have done. It’s much to late for that now.

Comment by goon squad
2014-08-17 07:55:19

Lengthy article about the scummy world of debt collection:

Don’t be a debt donkey and you won’t have these problems

Comment by rms
2014-08-17 09:10:21

“Lengthy article about the scummy world of debt collection:”

When you become a non-performing debtor your debt contract, and all of your personal information, is auctioned to the highest bidding debt collection firm. When that firm fails, your debt is peddled to the lowest of the low-class collection agencies that operate at or beyond the boundaries of the law. In addition, debtors identities are frequently peddled to the underworld by employees of these firms.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-17 08:00:00

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

Comment by phony scandals
2014-08-17 09:03:24

Soros Aligns With Obama Policy in Massive CONSOL Energy Buy

BY: Washington Free Beacon Staff
August 15, 2014 11:33 am

Liberal billionaire George Soros invested $234 million in a leading U.S. energy company during the second quarter of 2014, as that company revamped its portfolio to align more closely with Obama administration energy policies.

Filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission reveal that Soros bought 5.1 million shares of CONSOL Energy last quarter.

CONSOL is a leading coal and natural gas producer, but it sold off about half of its coal assets late last year.

The administration has made it a goal to “crucify” U.S. coal producers, and many companies are blaming onerous Environmental Protection Agency regulations for the industry’s decline.

As news of Soros’ equity stake broke on Thursday, the Department of Energy was announcing that it would ease restrictions on U.S. natural gas exports, a move that is widely expected to raise prices by increasing global demand for U.S. gas.

The Obama administration supports natural gas development, touting the need for such development in its overarching Climate Action Plan last year.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-17 09:43:56

It’s more like Obama aligning with his patron, Soros. Google the extensive links and overlapping agendas between those two over the years.

Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-08-17 11:57:42

That doesn’t make any sense. Soros invests in a company that has shown a commitment to more restrictive rules. Then the DOE turns around and says “Never mind; we are going to loosen the rules.” This puts the Soros company at a competitive disadvantage. It is restricting itself, while other companies are not. In other words, I don’t think Soros knew that the restrictions would be lifted right after he made the investment.

Comment by phony scandals
2014-08-17 10:45:22

The Beatings Will Continue Until Morale Improves

Ferguson police mistakenly arrested an innocent man before viciously beating him

By Blurtman Follow Sat, 16 Aug 2014, 9:03pm

Ferguson police mistakenly arrested an innocent man before viciously beating him so bad he was taken to hospital and then charged for bleeding on THEIR uniforms’

Henry Davis, 52, was arrested in Ferguson, Missouri, on September 20, 2009

Police had mistaken him for a man of the same name with an outstanding warrant Davis claims police realized their mistake but still locked him up

He was allegedly beaten by a group of four officers He was held for several days before being charged with four counts of property damage

Police in Ferguson had mistakenly arrested a man before the Michael Brown shooting and, after realizing, proceeded to beat him up in a holding cell and then charge him with destruction of property for bleeding on their uniforms, it has been claimed.

Henry Davis, 52, had missed his turn off for the Missouri city of St. Charles during heavy rain late at night on September 20, 2009, pulling over about 20 miles away in Ferguson.

While waiting for the rain to clear about 3am, a patrol officer ran Davis’ plates and arrested him on an outstanding warrant - however it was the wrong Henry Davis. The wanted man had a different middle name and Social Security number, but Davis, a welder, said the officer cuffed him and put him into a patrol car without explanation, The Daily Beast reported.

Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-08-17 12:08:41

I really wish the media would give some more attention to police brutality against white people. It isn’t just blacks who get this type of treatment. What about the white chick from Occupy who was arrested and jailed for smacking a plain-clothes officer who grabbed her breast?

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-17 18:23:06

Any unwarranted use of coercive force against any citizen should be grounds for public alarm and redress within the system.

Comment by phony scandals
2014-08-17 10:49:13

Woman Arrested for Swearing In Front of Her Kids

By elliemae Follow Sat, 16 Aug 2014, 7:59pm

The streets of South Carolina were a little safer on Sunday night after a mom-of-two was arrested for allegedly swearing at her kids inside a North Augusta grocery store.

Danielle Wolf told WJBF she recently moved to the area and was shopping with her husband and children when her husband kept placing heavy items on top of the bread in their cart. She was then approached by a fellow shopper who accused her of directing the f-word at her kids.

“I’m like, ‘When did I say this to my kids?’ She’s like, ‘You told that they were smashing the bread,’” Danielle explained. “I said, ‘No, I said that to my husband, that he was smashing the bread by throwing the frozen pizzas on top of it.’”

The situation then escalated to a pretty ridiculous level as a North Augusta Department of Public Safety officer came over and arrested Danielle.

“He was like, ‘You’re under arrest.’ Right in front of kids, in front of my husband, in front of customers,” she recalled. “I didn’t harm nobody. I didn’t hurt nobody. The lady said she was having a bad day. So, because you’re having a bad day you’re going to ruin somebody’s life.”

According to the incident report, she was handcuffed and taken to the police station where she was charged with disorderly conduct for publicly uttering “while in a state of anger, in the presence of another, any bawdy, lewd or obscene words or epithets.”

Another witness said Danielle swore at the woman who confronted her, but that woman has since apologized to Danielle for the way things ended up, WJBF reports. Danielle is due in court on Sept. 12.

Good thing I don’t live there - I’d be in f#ckin’ prison.

Comment by phony scandals
2014-08-17 11:23:34

This story reminded me of a joke.

The parents of an 11 year old and 9 year old boys could not stop their sons from swearing. They had tried taking their video games away, taking deserts away and even put soap in their mouths, yet nothing stopped the boys foul mouths.

One night the father decided that was it, he told his wife that when the boys came down for breakfast in the morning the first one to cuss was going to get it.

The next morning the boys came down and sat at the kitchen table and the father asked the 11 year old….

What would you like for breakfast?

The boy answered…. Gimmie some of those f#ckin’ eggs.

BAM! The boy was laying on the floor holding the side of his face.

The father then looked at the 9 year old and asked…

Now, what would you like for breakfast?

Eyes and mouth wide open the 9 year old looks at his father and says…

I don’t know, but I damn sure don’t want any of those f#ckin’ eggs.

Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-08-17 11:49:54

No, you’re a guy. They only arrest women for stuff like that.

Comment by phony scandals
2014-08-17 12:13:53

“No, you’re a guy. They only arrest women for stuff like that.”

You think elliemae is a guy?

By elliemae Follow Sat, 16 Aug 2014, 7:59pm

Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-08-17 13:12:32

Who is elliemae?

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Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-08-17 11:48:00

Reason #1568 not to buy an overpriced house:

- One incompetent boss can ruin your stuck-ash life.

Comment by phony scandals
2014-08-17 12:25:20

DEATH WISH? Media Draws Map to Home of Ferguson Police Officer Who Shot Mike Brown

Posted by Jim Hoft on Saturday, August 16, 2014, 4:38 PM

Guest post by Kristinn Taylor

cnn darren wilson

Is the media trying to get Ferguson police office Darren Wilson lynched?

CNN broadcast a report Friday that showed the house, including the street number, of the Ferguson police officer who police say shot Mike Brown. The officer has been in hiding due to death threats since the shooting last Saturday. His name, Darren Wilson, was just released Friday morning.

Another news outlet apologized for broadcasting video of Wilson’s home while others have virtually drawn a map to Wilson’s house for those bent on vengeance.

Yahoo News named the community Wilson where Wilson resides and published a photograph of the officer.

The UK Daily Mail also named the community, posted photos of the officer and gave a description of the house.

USA Today also named the community and reported a local police presence.

The Washington Post named the street where Wilson lives.

In the video report, CNN reporter Ed Lavandera is seen walking in the street where Wilson lives. The CNN video shows a wide view of Wilson’s house and then pans around the street to show its relative position in the neighborhood. While Lavandera does not name the street, he gives its approximate location.

Every news report says neighbors told them Wilson has not been home for several days.

A version of the video being aired by CNN affiliate Newschannel 13 in Orlando, Florida (and likely other affiliates around the country including the St. Louis market) shows a brief close-up of the house number by the front door such that someone could freeze and enlarge the image to get the address.

The version of the report available online at CNN has that footage edited and replaced with a close-up of a front window of Wilson’s house.

St. Louis TV station KSDK, which like USA Today is owned by Gannett, issued an apology Saturday afternoon for broadcasting video of Wilson’s home.

“Yesterday KSDK showed the video of the Ferguson Police Officer’s home in our 5 p.m. news but did not mention the address of the home. KSDK immediately felt using that video was a mistake and pulled the video of the home from future newscasts and from our web site. We have not used the video since then and do not intend to do so. We apologize to our audience, to the surrounding neighborhoods, to the greater St.Louis community and to the officer for our mistake.”

CNN’s video is still available online while Newschannel 13 is repeating the report on the hour as of this writing.

A local newspaper named the street where Wilson lives, adding that the area high school closed and sent students home when Wilson’s name was made public. Local police reportedly monitored the streets to ensure the safety from any potential lynch mob of the school kids heading home.

In the aftermath of the Trayvon Martin shooting George Zimmerman had to go in to hiding even though he had not been charged with a crime. Additionally, his parents were forced to flee their home as the lynch mob threatened them too. Incorrect addresses for the Zimmermans were sent out on social media forcing others to flee in terror for fear of being mistaken for the Zimmermans.

Who would have guessed that mob rule would be the rule in 21st Century America?

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Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-08-17 13:16:31

So? They did the same thing to the girl that was raped by Kobe Bryant.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-17 15:30:57

Yep. She was blasted for agreeing to a financial settlement, but of course the MSM never revealed the circumstances of the rape (brutal), how traumatized she was, and the death threats the girl and family were innundated with by Kobe supporters who should’ve been castrated right along with him.

Comment by Skroodle
2014-08-17 16:07:14


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Comment by MightyMike
2014-08-17 16:54:06

Ray is angry and wants to hurt people.

Comment by phony scandals
2014-08-17 17:54:22

Or he doesn’t want to Coexist with rapists.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-17 18:08:57

Injustice makes me angry regardless of who it is committed against, or by. Kobe committed rape and got away with it, and the people who threatened and harrassed his victim are just as bad as he is. Do I want to hurt people? No. Do I think victims and perpetrators both deserve due process and justice under the law? Yes.

Comment by MightyMike
2014-08-17 18:10:00

The two things are not mutually exclusive. But Ray gets a lot of satisfaction out of getting angry and pointing out bad behavior. From what I recall, the Kobe Bryant case was a he said/she said situation. He said that the sex was consensual, she said that it was forced. There were no witnesses. Wikipedia says that the prosecutor dropped the case when the woman said that she would not testify. This was after $200,000 was spent by the prosecution (wasted taxes - government waste!!!) preparing for the trial.

Nevertheless, Ray wants to castrate the accused and his supporters. Clearly he hates the constitution.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-17 18:36:50

Okay, clearly I don’t literally want to castrate Kobe or the vile human beings who hounded and threatened his victim. The woman did not testify because she and her family were receiving death threats and she’d undergone enough trauma at that point. The prosecution would not have spent $200K unless they thought they had a solid case. That isn’t “waste”: it’s the foundation of our legal system and it isn’t just a matter of money, it’s a matter of principal and holding perpetrators accountable for their actions. Kobe paid money to make the case go away, and I can’t fault the victim for not wanting to go through the nightmare a trial would have entailed.

I do not “hate the Constitution.” Quite the opposite. Kobe or any accused deserves due process. We should be a nation of laws where any perp - be they a celebrity, politician, or Wall Street sociopath - knows they cannot commit crimes and victimize people with impunity.

Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-08-17 20:07:42

Kobe publicly apologized for committing the act. He admitted it to the public. That was part of the settlement. I imagine her attorney thought of that to help reduce the death threats that his fans were making against her. After all, Kobe himself never aksed all those guys to stop trying to kill her, so someone had to do something. I’ll bet Kobe even paid back the prosecutor too. It was a private deal, so we’ll never know.

My point was to show that people have always been quick to threaten people with death, as long as the perceived offender seems to maybe be interfering with their basketball game. Or baseball, or soccer, or whatever it is that Kobe does.

Comment by phony scandals
2014-08-17 12:41:46

The Intolerance Behind Elizabeth Warren’s 11 Commandments of Progressivism

Mises Daily: Saturday, August 16, 2014 by William L. Anderson

The 11 Commandments:

1. We believe that Wall Street needs stronger rules and tougher enforcement, and we’re willing to fight for it.

For all of the financial misconduct that we have seen from Wall Street, the problem isn’t a lack of regulation or a dearth of enforcement. No, the problem is that Wall Street is linked at the hip to the federal government and to the Federal Reserve System, which then uses Wall Street as a mechanism to pump cheap money into the system. At the same time, the state then protects Wall Street firms from the consequences that occur when investments in the financial bubbles the Fed creates fail.

Progressive Populists like Warren claim to abhor the tax-funded bailouts, but they don’t object to the inflationary actions of the Fed, nor do they call for a halt to the symbiotic relationship between Wall Street and K Street. Yes, they might complain about the relationship, but at no time has Warren or any of her ilk ever called for a severing of the ties between Washington and Wall Street.

What Warren actually is saying is this: We want the state to have an even greater role in directing investments and determining the outcomes, and when the outcomes invariably fail — as we can expect central planning to do — then we demand ever more of the same. The results may be economically disastrous, but they provide marvelous political theater.

Warren never will endorse free markets on Wall Street — and neither will Wall Street, which I believe to be instructive. Nothing would provide better discipline for the markets than free markets, but Warren is not interested in market discipline; she is interested in the markets being forced to provide outcomes that violate economic laws, and then demanding even more government coercion when disasters inevitably occur.

2. We believe in science, and that means that we have a responsibility to protect this Earth.

Warren obviously is referring to the fact that not all scientists believe we are in the middle of catastrophic global warming — and that makes her mad. In fact, it makes Warren so angry that she wants the state to intimidate scientists that don’t go along with Washington’s pre-determined “scientific” outcomes.

One does not “believe in” or “not believe in” science. Science is not — or should not be — a deity. Science is about using certain consistent methods to ascertain and test various theories about the natural world. It also is about determining probabilities for certain, repeatable events and it should never be hijacked by politicians for their own uses.

If Warren truly did “believe” in science, then she would have no objection to scientists like Roy Spencer and Judith Curry explaining in public forums — without harassment — why they believe the current fears that Warren promotes about “climate change” are overblown. You see, in real science, the “discussion” never is over. Skepticism is the very heart of the scientific method, something that the “discussion-is-over” people like Warren refuse to hear.

What Warren means is that governments should fund scientific research, and that the research should reflect what politicians like Warren want it to reflect. America’s current obesity crisis, for example, is linked directly to government bullying of scientists almost forty years ago, forcing them to accept the government’s “new” nutrition standards, including the government’s “war on fat,” which has been disastrous.

3. We believe that the Internet shouldn’t be rigged to benefit big corporations, and that means real net neutrality.

I am no expert on “net neutrality,” but I don’t think that Warren is much interested in protecting the interests and rights of ordinary individuals who use the Internet, as she remains strangely silent on illegal spying done by the CIA and NSA which does absolutely nothing to protect ordinary citizens.

10. We believe that immigration has made this country strong and vibrant, and that means reform.

Because the current immigration situation is a hot-button item that I would prefer not to touch, given I can see arguments on both sides, I only will say that Warren’s vision of unlimited immigration into an absolute welfare state would be a disaster. Warren has shown no proclivity to putting any limits on welfarism, and given her political record, I believe she sees new immigrants as a source of political support exchanged for welfare benefits.…e-Intolerance-Behind-Elizabeth-Warrens-11-Commandments-of-Progressivism - 61k -

Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-08-17 13:18:50

*This message paid by the Koch brothers.*

Comment by phony scandals
2014-08-17 13:56:21

Make sure everybody stays in their box.

Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-08-17 14:01:57

As Gramps used to always say, “Consider the source”. Mises?

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Comment by MightyMike
2014-08-17 17:02:19

Yeah, I’ve read that the chairman of Mises is a major statist.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-17 19:16:17

The Founding Fathers included a “general welfare” clause in the Constitution for a reason. As much as I like some of Ayn Rand’s work, her basic philosophy seems fundamentally evil, as society can’t just turn its back on the less fortunate. Some people need and deserve help. The current prison-industrial complex is another example where nightmarish conditions are going to breed monsters (and even inmates have the right to be treated as human beings).

Comment by MightyMike
2014-08-17 17:01:08

Warren obviously is referring to the fact that not all scientists believe we are in the middle of catastrophic global warming — and that makes her mad.

The fact that 3% of climate scientists disagree with the consensus is not likely to make her angry.

I only will say that Warren’s vision of unlimited immigration into an absolute welfare state would be a disaster. Warren has shown no proclivity to putting any limits on welfarism, and given her political record, I believe she sees new immigrants as a source of political support exchanged for welfare benefits.

I doubt that any evidence can be found showing that she favors unlimited immigration.

And we have a new ism word here - welfarism. I thought that that phenomenon had run its course.

Comment by phony scandals
2014-08-17 17:22:26

“The fact that 3% of climate scientists disagree with the consensus is not likely to make her angry.”

Follow the money.

Comment by phony scandals
2014-08-17 17:48:14

“The fact that 3% of climate scientists disagree with the consensus is not likely to make her angry.”

The myth of the 97% climate change consensus
Posted on May 30, 2014 by Guest Blogger
97 percent- just dont lift the hat
Image Credit –

What is the origin of the false belief – constantly repeated by President Obama, the media and others – that almost all scientists agree about global warming?

Claims continue to be made that “97% of scientists agree that climate change is real, man-made and dangerous.” That’s what Secretary of State John Kerry told graduating Boston College students. It’s what President Obama said in his State of the Union address and a recent tweet.

There’s just one problem – aside from the fact that this assertion is being used to help justify policies and regulations that are closing down fossil fuel power plants and crippling our economy. The claim is completely bogus. As Heartland Institute president Joe Bast and climate scientist Roy Spencer make clear in this article, the papers used to create and perpetuate the 97% claim are seriously and fundamentally flawed. The alleged consensus simply does not exist; much less does it represent anything remotely approaching 97%.

By Joseph Bast and Roy Spencer

The myth of the climate change 97%

What is the origin of the false belief that nearly all scientists agree about global warming?

Joseph Bast and Roy Spencer

Secretary of State John Kerry, President Obama and others frequently claim that climate change will have “crippling consequences,” and that “Ninety-seven percent of scientists agree that climate change is real, man-made and dangerous.” In reality, the assertion is science fiction. The so-called consensus comes from a handful of surveys and exercises in counting abstracts from scientific papers – all of which have been contradicted by more reliable research.

One frequently cited source is Naomi Oreskes. She claimed to have examined abstracts of 928 articles and to have found that 75% supported the view that human activities are responsible for most of the observed warming over the previous 50 years, while none directly dissented. Ms. Oreskes’s definition of consensus covered “man-made” influences but left out “dangerous” – and excluded scores of articles by prominent scientists who question the consensus. She also failed to acknowledge that a study published in the journal Nature noted that abstracts of academic papers often contain claims that aren’t substantiated in the papers.

Another widely cited source for the consensus view is an article in Eos: Transactions of the American Geophysical Union. It reported the results of a two-question online survey of selected scientists, and claimed “97 percent of climate scientists agree.” Most scientists who are skeptical of man-made catastrophic global warming would nevertheless answer “yes” to both questions. However, the survey was silent on whether the human impact – or the rise in temperature – is large enough to constitute a problem. It also failed to include scientists most likely to be aware of natural causes of climate change.

There is no basis for the claim that 97% of scientists believe that man-made climate change is a dangerous problem.

To read the rest of their article, go to

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Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-08-17 20:14:58

We don’t need to read articles about abstracts from “more reliable research” that couldn’t even make it into any peer-reviewed scientific journal, my dude.

Your pasted rant about Warren is a very transparent attempt to mischaracterize what she believes. She makes eleven statements, and then the Libertarian paper rewords all eleven of those statements to mean something else.

Comment by phony scandals
2014-08-17 17:28:22

Record-setting winter could mean more than higher heating bills and snow fights

More Harsh Winters Could Spell Disaster For The Electrical Grid


If you thought last winter was bad, get ready for a potentially worse winter in parts of the country this year. But another record-setting winter could mean more than higher heating bills and snow fights.

Harsh winter weather combined with coal-fired power plant closings could spell trouble for many households across the country who will desperately need to keep the lights and heat on this winter.

Joe Bastardi, chief meteorologist at WeatherBELL Analytics, told the Wall Street Journal Live that current weather patterns are “flowing along right now into the type of El Niño situation that is notorious for giving the United States cold, snowy winters, especially in the southern and eastern part of the United States, relative to the averages.”

Temperatures last winter set new record lows for huge swaths of the U.S. The stretch from December 2013 to February 2014 was the “34th coldest such period for the contiguous 48 states as a whole since modern records began in 1895,” reports the Weather Channel.

Read more

Comment by goon squad
2014-08-17 13:29:03

speaking of paid for by koch, here the billionaire boys take it local:

Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-08-17 13:51:03

Why are the Ferguson cops being such boneheads? They want to attack protestors with tear gas, tanks, and semiautomatic rifles. They DO NOT want to prevent looters from pillaging local businesses.

And they expect people to abide by a friggin curfew? If I were a tall, muscular young male living in or near Ferguson, I would take the week off and just hang out on the streets at night for the sole purpose of annoying the cops.

Are these police too stupid to even realize what they are brining on themselves?

Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-08-17 13:54:06

“…brining on themselves”

That didn’t come out right!

Comment by phony scandals
2014-08-17 14:21:31

For Hillary Clinton, Nothing Less Than A Gulfstream G450 Will Do

11:37 PM 08/16/2014

Wherever Hillary Clinton is going, she needs at least a Gulfstream G450 to get there.

The once nearly “dead broke” former First Lady now makes steep demands when she gives speeches to corporations, groups and universities, according to emails between Clinton’s agent and the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, where Clinton will earn $225,000 for a 90-minute speech in October.

The school received a bit of a break from the $300,000 Clinton requested during initial negotiations, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, which obtained the emails that were sent last year.

The correspondence showed that Clinton normally requires “round-trip transportation on a chartered private jet.”

Specifically, the former Secretary of State must fly on a “Gulfstream G450 or larger jet,” according to the emails.

According to Gulfstream’s website, Gulfstream G450s hold up to 16 passengers.

Clinton has come under fire for pocketing those huge fees and living a luxurious lifestyle while also downplaying her and husband Bill’s enormous wealth. Besides telling ABC’s Diane Sawyer that she and Bill were nearly “dead broke” after leaving the White House in 2001, Clinton said that the couple are unlike the “truly well off.”

The Clinton’s are estimated to be worth between $100 million and $200 million.

The Daily Caller first reported Clinton’s contract with the UNLV Foundation, which, besides being expensive, also included a list of strict demands. (RELATED: University Contract Details Hillary Clinton Speech Demands)

In her contract, Clinton stipulated that she will have final approval on any moderator used during a Q & A session. She would also have final say-so on any advertisements used at the event and in the event program booklet.

Clinton also required $1,250 for a stenographer to transcribe her speech. No videographers would be allowed and the event is closed to the press, unless approved by Clinton at a later date.

Clinton agreed to pose for up to 50 pictures with 100 people, not including the 20 people she would be allowed to invite to the event.

According to the emails obtained by the Las Vegas Review-Journal, UNLV Foundation officials and staffers were critical of Clinton’s demands. One official called them “meddling” after the agency edited a description in the event program in order to “dumb it down.”

The Clinton team’s required oversight of the materials the Foundation wanted to publish on its website led a web designer to complain that the agency had it “assbackwards in my mind.”

Clinton typically requires funding for “round-trip business class travel for two advance staffers.”

She stipulates that her staff be allowed to select hotel accommodations.

In whatever hotel they choose, the former Secretary of State must be put up in a presidential suite, a fitting room given the likelihood that Clinton will run for president herself in 2016.

Up to three adjoining rooms must be provided for Clinton’s travel aides and an additional two rooms for advance staff, the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported.

On top of that, Clinton’s lead travel aide must be provided a $500 stipend to cover out-of-pocket costs.

Read more:

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-17 15:36:32

A sense of entitlement runs deep with that family. Crony capitalism has been good to the Clintons.

Comment by Blue Skye
2014-08-17 16:00:45

Sounds like she can’t afford to quit this gig to be President.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-17 16:07:03

Are you kidding? How do you think her parents got so filthy rich after leaving office? Think it might have had something to do with services rendered while in office?

Comment by Skroodle
2014-08-17 16:08:44

What office was Hillarie’s parents in?

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Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-17 16:18:11

Clearly, you are a recent graduate (with honors) of our public education system. Bill and Hillary were co-Presidents and Hillary was Secretary of State. They amassed a fortune of $200-300 million after leaving office. Totally unrelated to the fact that Slick oversaw the dissolution of Glass-Stegal, which allowed the banksters free rein to engage in the speculative orgy that led to the 2008 crash. As I said, crony capitalism has been very good to the Clintons.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-17 19:07:20

Skroodle - a misunderstanding. The Zero Hedge article was about Chelsea Clinton, who recently gave a disastrous media interview where she said she had realized “money just wasn’t that important to me” despite marrying a billionaire hedge fund magnate and being grossly overpaid for her minimal role as an MSM talking head. Her parents, Bill and Hillary, were the parents I was refering to, not Hillary’s parents, who might have been decent people unlike their progeny.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-17 16:27:47

Chinese embezzlers curbing their conspicuous consumption as official efforts against graft are stepped up.

Comment by Blue Skye
2014-08-17 17:40:55

Horse already left the barn.

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

I would like to hear a remake of the Beach Boys’ Be True To Your School titled “Be True To Your Region”

Comment by goon squad
2014-08-17 17:16:12

the Clash - I’m So Bored With The USA:

in the middle of reading Redemption: The Ballad Of Joe Strummer biograpahy now…

Comment by goon squad
2014-08-17 17:24:05

The MC5 (Motor City Five) covers Chuck Berry and performs an original:

“well, well, well, take a look around”

Comment by Selfish Hoarder
2014-08-17 18:35:44

Dang MC5 and Black Sabbath were the first two bands I listened to on 8 track tape in ‘74 (other than listening to rock on my radio). MC5 was very rad.

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Comment by MightyMike
2014-08-17 17:51:29

how about this?

David Bowie - I’m Afraid of Americans (HD) - YouTube

Comment by goon squad
2014-08-17 18:32:28

An outtake from the 1975 Young Americans tracks:

And covering Bruce Springsteen’s “It’s Hard To Be Saint In The City”

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Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-08-17 18:09:17

Debt Donkeys subject themselves to a lifetime diet of CraterTaters.

Comment by Selfish Hoarder
Comment by phony scandals
2014-08-17 18:41:34

Time to snore in Region IV

Goodnight NSA

Goodnight Sweetheart Goodnight - YouTube - 159k -

Comment by Selfish Hoarder
2014-08-17 20:20:54

Exciting milestone for gold lies ahead. Its 5 year low is currently $933. In three months or so its five year low will be $1100 as it was on a skyrocket to above $1200 per ounce.

Its four year low is around $1200 right now. Only about $100 less than current spot price.

The price is in consolidation for sure. The analysts say “buy mining stocks now” - done that back in December. So back to collecting movable, hidable metals.

Comment by Selfish Hoarder
2014-08-17 20:39:18

I agree philosophically with Doug Casey (”Crisis Investing”) but I was too poor to follow his advice for the 20 years that I knew about his books. Thank goodness! He advised from early on to go to third world countries, even some dictatorships - with the idea that they could not get any worse.

In the meantime I built up a good portfolio of stock mutual funds while pundits said the US market will crash. Yes it crashed in 2000-2003 and in 2008 to early 2009 but I was fully into it still during those times and still bought more.

Recently Doug Casey pushes farmland for sale in Argentina. Tonight I came across a link which shows the other side of the issue:

Seems Mr. Casey is a huckster. That does not mean I dislike his philosophy. But you always have to be a BS detector even among people whose polemics you agree with.

With all the problems America is having, all the violations of our constitutional rights, I still have my firearms and millions of responsible Americans do too. Many South American countries, perhaps Argentina, but I know Chile, have severe restrictions on gun ownership. I cannot handle that. I’ll stay with the red states USA - where I keep my firearms.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-18 00:17:12

China News
China Home Prices Slip Again in July
Developers Cut Prices as Sales Fall 10.5% Over First Seven Months of the Year
By Esther Fung
Updated Aug. 18, 2014 2:20 a.m. ET
A man talks on his phone near a new residential compound in Taiyuan, Shanxi province, May 11, 2014. The average price of new homes in 70 Chinese cities fell for the third straight month in July. Reuters

SHANGHAI—The average price of new homes in China fell for a third straight month in July, declining nearly twice as fast as in June, as property developers further cut prices in response to a market downturn.

Housing sales in China have fallen this year, dropping 10.5% by total value in the first seven months compared with the same period a year earlier. Analysts expect further price cuts as local governments and property developers grapple with a glut of apartments and tight credit conditions.

“I’m definitely not buying homes anymore,” said Gan Xiaodong, 36 years old, who previously flipped several homes in the southwestern Chinese city of Chongqing. Mr. Gan said he was having trouble selling a particularly large house there, and “beginning in 2011, I couldn’t raise the price anymore.”

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-18 00:18:48

China Home Prices Fall in Majority of Cities on Weak Demand
By Bloomberg News Aug 17, 2014 8:09 PM PT

China’s new-home prices fell in July in almost all cities that the government tracks as tight mortgage lending deterred buyers even as local governments eased property curbs.

Prices fell in 64 of the 70 cities last month from June, the National Bureau of Statistics said today, the most since January 2011 when the government changed the way it compiles the data. Beijing prices fell 1 percent from June, posting the first monthly decline since April 2012.

“The falling trend of China’s property market has no sign of improving,” Shen Jian-guang, Hong Kong-based chief Asia economist at Mizuho Securities Asia Ltd., said in a phone interview today. “The key issue is the mortgages, despite all types of local government easings. The high rate is damping sentiment of owner occupiers.”

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-18 00:20:21

China’s House Prices Fall Further
August 18, 2014 1:11 AM

Build it and they will come. Many residential and commercial projects, especially in China’s smaller cities, have gone up like that but now there are concerns they could bring down the economy. The latest China housing prices for July confirmed the property market is softening. Average new home prices in 70 cities dropped 0.9 percent in July from June, the third consecutive monthly drop.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-18 00:21:53

UPDATE 2-China home prices fall for third straight month in July
Mon Aug 18, 2014 11:27am IST

* July home prices ease from June, third consecutive monthly fall

* Prices still up 2.5 pct on year but slowest gain in 17 months

* New home prices fell in 64 cities m/m in July vs 55 in June

* Price falls deepened in small cities, decline seen continuing (Adds market reaction, details)

By Xiaoyi Shao and Koh Gui Qing

BEIJING, Aug 18 (Reuters) - China’s new home prices fell in July for a third straight month with price declines spreading to a record number of cities including Beijing, underlining a worsening property downturn that is increasingly dragging on the broader economy.

Average home prices slipped 0.9 percent in July on a monthly basis, Monday’s data showed, as the declines spread to the largest number of cities since January 2011, when authorities started releasing the property price data.

“We expect home prices to continue to drop in coming months due to an increasingly pessimistic market sentiment,” said Yan Yuejin, a property analyst at real estate services firm E-House China in Shanghai.

“The possibility of further moves by the central bank to loosen monetary policy cannot be ruled out. That would put a floor beneath prices,” Yan said.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-18 00:23:15

Property activity continues declining as prices drop in more cities 2014-08-18 13:36:53

BEIJING, Aug. 18 (Xinhua) — China’s property sector showed new signs of cooling in July, with more cities reporting month-on-month price drops, official data showed on Monday.

Out of 70 major Chinese cities, 64 saw month-on-month price declines for new homes in July, compared with 55 in June, the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) said in a statement.

Only two cities — Xiamen in southeastern Fujian Province and Dali in southwestern Yunnan Province — saw month-on-month price gains in new home prices last month, compared with eight cities in June and 15 cities in May, the NBS data showed.

New home prices in Xiamen edged up slightly by 0.2 percent month on month while Dali prices rose by 0.1 percent.

Hangzhou, in east China’s Zhejiang Province, saw new home prices drop the most among the 70 cities, down by 2.5 percent from June. Sanya, on south China’s Hainan Island, dropped by 2.4 percent month on month.

For existing homes, 65 major Chinese cities saw price drops in July, up notably from 52 cities in June, according to the NBS. Prices of existing homes in Shenyang in northeast’s Liaoning Province decreased the most by 1.5 percent from June.

Only one city, Xining in west China’s Qinghai Province, recorded a month-on-month price gain for existing homes in July, up slightly by 0.1 percent from June, the NBS said. However, on a year-on-year basis, new home prices in 65 cities are still higher than a year ago, with only three cities seeing a price drop in July — Hangzhou and Wenzhou in east China’s Zhejiang Province and Shaoguan in central China’s Hunan Province.

The growth rates in the 65 cities moderated significantly in July, said Liu Jianwei, a senior statistician at the NBS.

Liu said many home buyers were taking a wait-and-see attitude due to uncertain market prospects, which led to month-on-month drops in home prices in more Chinese cities.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-18 00:24:18

Is ABQDan still long China property? Becuz I hear the smart money is long gone.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-18 00:25:41

Smart money long gone from China property
Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing has sold about $3.5 billion worth of property on the mainland and in Hong Kong since August last year, according to the South China Morning Post. Photo: Bloomberg

If Asia’s richest man is any guide, the smart money started leaving China’s property market a year ago.

Hong Kong billionaire Li Ka-shing has sold about $3.5 billion worth of property on the mainland and in Hong Kong since August last year, according to the South China Morning Post.

Analysts say the sales, via the investment company Hutchison Whampoa and some real estate trusts which he part-owns, indicate a concerted strategy to reduce Mr Li’s exposure to the Chinese property market. Li himself doesn’t like the sales to be highlighted.

But he is not alone.

Other big property investors, while not necessarily selling out of China, have certainly been diversifying their portfolios away from its troubled real estate sector. And Australia is among the overseas markets being targeted.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-18 00:27:42

China News
Chinese Officials Rush to Sell Luxury Homes Amid Corruption Crackdown
Real-Estate Agents Say Bureaucrats Are Selling Homes at Steep Discounts
By Esther Fung and Alyssa Abkowitz
Aug. 17, 2014 7:04 p.m. ET

Cai Bin, center, whom social-media users dubbed ‘Uncle House,’ was convicted on graft charges. Imaginechina/Associated Press

China’s corruption crackdown has already taken a bite out of the hospitality sector in China with its ban on lavish banquets and is now starting to make waves in another corner of the economy, as officials afraid of government scrutiny are dumping apartments.

In one case late last year, an Inner Mongolia political leader named Wu Zhizhong was convicted of corruption, accepting bribes and embezzling public funds. Investigators said Mr. Wu owned 33 properties in China and one house in Canada. Xinhua, China’s official news agency, said the keys to all of his homes could fill up an entire handbag.

Cai Bin, a former Guangzhou official dubbed “Uncle House” on social media, was also convicted last year for accepting bribes. Investigators said he and his family owned more than 20 homes.

Those cases, and others like them, have raised alarm bells among local government leaders.

According to roughly a dozen property agents interviewed by The Wall Street Journal, officials are now afraid to buy luxury pads, and several are trying to offload properties that might raise red flags.

“Officials are focused on selling their homes quickly, so they are willing to sell at 5% to 10% cheaper than the average prices of comparable homes,” says Zhang Yan, a manager at Shanghai Centaline Property Consultants, who says he sells three to four homes to officials every quarter on average. Party members usually find a buyer within two weeks, he said, while most other sellers find buyers in about a month, waiting for a higher price.

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