August 23, 2014

Bits Bucket for August 23, 2014

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

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Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-08-23 03:33:31


Comment by Guillotine Renovator
2014-08-23 12:36:19

You’re enraged.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-08-23 13:23:20

Shape up or back in the corner.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-08-23 03:38:12

Walnut Creek CA Housing Prices Crater 10% YoY; Demand Plummets As Excess Inventory Balloons 68%

Comment by frankie
2014-08-23 04:19:34

Goldman Sachs agrees to $1.2bn settlement over mortgage bonds
Regulator Federal Housing Finance Agency finds bank sold faulty bonds to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac


The deal averts a trial on 29 September in a pair of lawsuits against Goldman that the FHFA filed in 2011 as it sought to recover damages from various financial institutions behind some $200bn (£120.6bn) in mortgage bonds bought by Fannie and Freddie that later went sour.

To date, the FHFA has resolved all but three of the 18 lawsuits it filed, recovering $17.3bn (£10.4bn) through cases against banks including Bank of America Corp, Deutsche Bank AG and Morgan Stanley.

Comment by Jingle Male
2014-08-23 04:50:25

Sacramento Foothills Report:

The used home sales market has cooled substantially. Inventory is fairly steady, up slightly, but pending sales are only 40% of listings, vs about 70% last year. The high end seems overwhelmed with inventory.

The rental market is very strong with renter demand. Rental properties are rarely on the market more than a few weeks. Surprisingly, rents have been flat with this demand, which indicates there is no pricing power. Over priced properties just sit.

Vehicle traffic seemed to jump up last year and the first few months of 2014, but has moderated in the last few months.

Interesting times.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-08-23 05:01:01

J._Fraud… “rental demand” is a false distinction. There is either demand for housing or there is not. Right now, housing demand is sinking and has been.

Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2014-08-23 09:13:17

Right now, housing demand is sinking and has been.

How are you measuring “housing demand”? I have seen the MBA Purchase Index, but that is _purchase_ demand, not housing demand in general.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-08-23 09:32:00

The MBA is housing demand.

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Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2014-08-23 11:39:09

No, the MBA Purchase Index tracks money lent to _purchase_ housing. It measures purchase demand. It says zero about the demand to rent housing.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-08-23 12:28:32

No. It tracks mortgage application volume. It says zero about money lent.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-23 09:37:11

That’s a great question, made all the more challenging by the supply side of the market, which has been artificially limited through bailout measures such as low-interest rate refinancing of underwater mortgages and lenders dragging out the process of foreclosure and putting vacant homes back on the market over years and years.

In short, extraordinary supply restrictions could easily mask collapsing demand.

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Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2014-08-23 11:41:19

In short, extraordinary supply restrictions could easily mask collapsing demand.

Totally agree. The market will not normalize and find a true equilibrium until such extraordinary supply restrictions are removed. Until such time, the pricing curve is operating under the siren song of false, manipulated signals.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-23 12:36:48

“…the pricing curve is operating under the siren song of false, manipulated signals.”

The dead giveaway is reduced transactions volume, especially among traditional end-user buyers, not to be confused with fly-by-night Chinese communist specuvestors, which gets back to HA’s point about sinking demand.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-23 12:48:04

The group-think stricken economists at the Fed have drunk enough housing recovery koolaide at this point to collectively put themselves under the table.

Maybe central planning will work better this go round than every other time in the course of human history, but I have my doubts. And good luck to stock market investors if valuations depend on indefinite continuation of the current low rate environment and a return of housing construction to peak bubble levels.

Construction of new homes hits eight-month high in July
A framer works on the roof line of a new home under construction Tuesday at the William Lyon Homes site in the Pavilion Park development in Irvine. (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)
By Andrew Khouri

New-home construction in the U.S. surged to an eight-month high in July, lifting the stock market and prospects for a broader economic recovery.

Housing starts jumped 15.7% from June to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,093,000, the Commerce Department said Tuesday. Investors cheered the rise, which ended two months of declines and soared past expectations of a 965,000 rate.

Emboldened by the housing numbers, the Dow Jones industrial average rose 80.85 points to close at 16,919.59.
Looking forward, a case could be made for continued improvement in the housing sector.

“This was a solid report,” IHS Global Insight economists Patrick Newport and Stephanie Karol wrote in an analysis. “Builders’ optimism is picking up.”

If it continues, the uptick in construction could have sustained, broad effects on the economy. New-home construction wields a hefty economic punch, economists say. Builders demand scores of laborers and raw materials, while new-home buyers often furnish their digs with new couches and televisions.

That bodes well for companies that specialize in construction materials and home improvement.

Home Depot Inc., for instance, said Tuesday that its second-quarter profit jumped 14% to $2.05 billion, or $1.52 a share, from $1.8 billion, or $1.24, a year earlier.

The company, based in Atlanta, also raised its profit outlook for the year. Shares of the home improvement giant rose $4.64, or 6%, to $88.23.

But, much like the larger economy, the housing market has had its share of fits and starts.

The recovery slowed starting last summer as higher prices and mortgage rates priced some buyers out of the market. Sales of previously owned homes, the largest portion of the market, have risen in recent months but remain below year-ago levels. New-home sales fell in June from May, as well as from a year earlier.

In a speech last week, Federal Reserve Vice Chairman Stanley Fischer labeled the housing market a major roadblock to a more robust economic recovery.

Tuesday’s construction report, however, should lessen such concerns, Credit Suisse economist Dana Saporta said. Building permits, a gauge of future construction, climbed 8.1% in July.

“Looking forward, a case could be made for continued improvement in the housing sector,” said Saporta, pointing to rising optimism from home builders and an improving labor market.

July was the sixth straight month that the U.S. added more than 200,000 net new jobs — a streak not seen since 1997. And a gauge of builder confidence hit a seven-month high in August, the National Assn. of Home Builders reported Monday. The association said mortgage rates that have fallen from last year’s highs are one factor driving buyers to new homes.

“More and more people are feeling ready to buy a home,” said Kevin Kelly, the group’s chairman.

The monthly Commerce Department report showed new-home construction climbed in all regions except the Midwest, where starts fell 24.8%. In the West, a major home building region, starts rose 18.6% in July from a month earlier. June’s dismal national numbers were also revised upward to 945,000 from 893,000.

Still, groundbreaking remains off its normal pace from before the housing bubble, when starts averaged around 1.5 million annually, Saporta said.

Across Southern California, new-home sales this year will rise 5% to 19,100, predicts Pete Reeb, an economist with John Burns Real Estate Consulting in Irvine. That, however, is still 53% below the 25-year average.

Sluggish demand from first-time home buyers, along with a shortage of skilled construction workers and ready-to-build lots, has held back construction, said chief economist David Crowe of the home builder association.


Sure, you can build them, but then you have to sell them. And then, those who bought them have to ensure they can keep paying for it. With our boom bust economic cycles, I’d be very wary about jumping into that frying pan.
at 1:52 PM August 20, 2014

Comment by scdave
2014-08-23 07:22:45

Thanks for the info Jingle…

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-23 05:03:56
Comment by Overbanked
2014-08-23 07:09:04

“Tightening monetary policy as soon as inflation moves back toward 2 percent might, in this case, prevent labor markets from recovering fully,” she said.

“Acknowledging the uncertainty surrounding this assessment, Ms. Yellen added that the Fed was prepared to adjust its stance as the economic evidence became clearer, either moving more quickly to raise rates or holding steady for even longer. She said the Fed expected to end the expansion of its bond holdings in October.”

Is “expected” the key word here?

Comment by scdave
2014-08-23 07:31:09

Here is the FED conundrum on rates…Withe the strongest european country (Germany) with a negative bond rate and China exporting disinflation, a rate increase in the face of that would attract even more capital to our shores thereby depressing the all other markets even further…

Should that be part of the consideration on a FED move ?? Maybe, maybe-not but that does not change the effect on the world markets if they choose to do so in the face of current conditions…Maybe by mid 2015 things will be different…If they aren’t, or if they are worse, I suspect the FED will sit on there hands barring a big spike in the inflation rate here…

Comment by Overbanked
2014-08-23 08:12:27

So what if there’s a big spike in inflation? Inflation is the enemy of asset owners, but if there is QE sufficient to compensate for that, why would the owners care?

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Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-23 09:38:20

“Inflation is the enemy of asset owners,…”

Why? Don’t follow your logic…

Comment by Overbanked
2014-08-23 11:23:10

“Inflation is the enemy of asset owners.”

That’s what I learned in school. Inflation benefits those who owe and penalizes those who own. That’s a very basic beginning.

And I know there’s been debate here ad nauseum about what is and what is not “inflation.” Inflation is an increase in the money supply. An increase in the money supply may or may not cause the (real) CPI to increase.

I included the bit about QE to address the issue: if an increase in the (real) CPI reduces the price and/or purchasing power of my assets by 1% but QE (direct subsidy) increases same by 1.1%, I’m still coming out ahead.

Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-08-23 12:23:14

Owning assets is a hedge against inflation. Being a debtor may still hedge you against inflation, but you still have to pay interest. Maybe if you got a low-interest, fixed-rate loan, and then a lot of inflation started happening, then the loan would have made you better off, but those who purchased assets would not be hurt by the inflation.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-23 13:09:30

“Inflation benefits those who owe and penalizes those who own.”

You seem to confound asset ownership with category of assets owned.

If inflation is high, there are some assets which get hammered (anything involving long-term fixed dollar payments in the inflating currency) and others whose values naturally go up with inflation (real assets like gold, houses, corporate assets, collectibles, etc).

There are at least three factors which greatly complicate the picture:

1) The prospects of future stimulus and bailout measures from the Fed or other high level government regulatory bodies with financial bazookas in their pockets add a great deal of uncertainty to whatever fundamental economic developments suggest about the future direction of asset prices.

2) Investors act on rational expectations for future economic developments, not on what is happening currently. So, for instance, if investors believe current and future Fed policy will eventually lead to inflation, they will rationally invest in a way to take advantage of the expected future development. Case in point: High housing prices today could in part reflect an expectation that future inflation will make housing prices tomorrow even higher.

3) Fed policy tends to often act in opposition to predictable fundamentals. For instance, the announcement in January 2012 that the Fed was going to backstop the U.S. housing market most likely resulted in increased speculative demand for real estate, as investors saw an opportunity to capture a portion of the resulting home price increases due to extraordinary stimulus measures.

When the Fed ends this extraordinary stimulus, what do you think will happen to this speculative slice of housing demand? My personal belief is that short-term speculators can quickly move from the demand to the supply side of the market, exacerbating price volatility. But FOMC members certainly realize this; will they take further countervailing measures to smooth this out? The infinite regress possibilities get very confusing and add a lot of noise to what fundamentals suggest should happen to supply, demand, transactions volume and prices against a backdrop of central planning.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-23 13:15:40

“Maybe if you got a low-interest, fixed-rate loan, and then a lot of inflation started happening, then the loan would have made you better off, but those who purchased assets would not be hurt by the inflation.”

This happened big time in the 1970s. Home debtors who entered the decade with low-interest, long-term mortgages (like my parents, for instance) captured a windfall as inflation shrunk the real cost of their fixed monthly payments relative to the nominal values of their homes and incomes.

By contrast, retirees on fixed-annuity pensions entering the 1970s watched the real value of their monthly incomes shrink to a fraction of their former worth by 1980, as only Social Security and a limited number of private pensions feature cost-of-living adjustments.

In short, inflation creates winners and losers, and it is prudent to allocate your assets before inflation ramps up to make sure you don’t get caught in the loser category.

Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-08-23 13:51:05

OK, yeah, I was thinking of “assets” as things like houses, gold, etc.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-23 15:38:12

‘OK, yeah, I was thinking of “assets” as things like houses, gold, etc.’

The definition goes much farther than that, to include anything which provides a store of value over time. Even your higher education qualifies — economists call this ‘human capital’, and the increased income which comes with academic credentials helps explain why people are willing to go thousands of dollars into hock and to spend a portion of their productive working years to obtain a degree which reflects this form of investment.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-23 05:10:17

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

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-23 05:13:40

Oligarchs for a DNC Supermajority open their checkbooks for their favorite party-for-hire.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-23 05:19:15

“Former” Goldman Sachs exec Mario Draghni calls on EU countries to “boost economies” ravaged by crony capitalism - apparently the flood of ECB “stimulus” money lavished on the banksters isn’t doing much for stubbornly highly unemployment rates.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-23 05:24:23

Ferguson: When A$$holes Collide. Best commentary to date.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-23 06:23:05

“…an unarmed black man…” sez the NPR reporter at the top of every hour’s newz.

Crime & Courts
Missouri cop was badly beaten before shooting Michael Brown, says source
By Hollie McKay
Published August 20, 2014

Darren Wilson, the Ferguson, Mo., police officer whose fatal shooting of Michael Brown touched off more than a week of demonstrations, suffered severe facial injuries including a bone fracture near one eye and was nearly beaten unconscious by Brown moments before firing his gun, a source close to the department’s top brass told

“The Assistant (Police) Chief took him to the hospital, his face all swollen on one side,” said the insider. “He was beaten very severely.”

According to the well-placed source, Wilson was coming off another case in the neighborhood on Aug. 9 when he ordered Michael Brown and his friend Dorain Johnson to stop walking in the middle of the road because they were obstructing traffic. However, the confrontation quickly escalated into physical violence, the source said.

“They ignored him and the officer started to get out of the car to tell them to move,” the source said. “They shoved him right back in, that’s when Michael Brown leans in and starts beating Officer Wilson in the head and the face.”

The precise extent of Wilson’s injuries are unclear. The source told on Wednesday that the officer had sustained a fractured eye socket in the incident, and repeated that assertion early Friday morning, in response to a conflicting report on the severity of the injuries.

The source claims that there is “solid proof” that there was a struggle between Brown and Wilson for the policeman’s firearm, resulting in the gun going off – although it still remains unclear at this stage who pulled the trigger. Brown started to walk away according to the account, prompting Wilson to draw his gun and order him to freeze. Brown, the source said, raised his hands in the air, and turned around saying, “What, you’re going to shoot me?”

At that point, the source told, the 6-foot-4, 292-pound Brown charged Wilson, prompting the officer to fire at least six shots at him, including the fatal bullet that penetrated the top of Brown’s skull, according to an independent autopsy conducted at the request of Brown’s family.

Wilson was left dazed by the initial confrontation, the source said. He is now “traumatized, scared for his life and his family, injured and terrified” that a grand jury, which began hearing evidence on Wednesday, will “make some kind of example out of him,” the source said.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-23 06:51:43

Could the officer’s family sue NPR for disgracefully shoddy reporting on this incident?

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-23 06:56:53

NPR could successfully argue that shoddy reporting and advancing DNC talking points is what they and all MSM media outlets are all about - caveat emptor applies to those who get their information from the compromised and captured corporate media.

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Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-23 06:59:13

They also prostitute themselves to the NAR. How low can you go?

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-23 07:15:23

If anyone can find information to link blaggard DNC propagandists to the misleading reporting on the Michael Brown saga, please post.

Comment by hackrenter
2014-08-23 08:20:45

What’s shoddy about reporting that the officer shot an unarmed black man? Isn’t that what happened, even it was legally justified? If the officer has a problem with the reporting, he can do interviews to give his side of the story and authorize the release of his medical records.

The shoddy reporting is done by outlets that rely on anonymous sources. That FOX report posted above leaves a lot of questions. How did a nearly unconscious officer fire that many shots, and why didn’t the police immediately say the officer was severely beaten? Police spokesmen are usually quick to say when an officer is injured in the line of duty.

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Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-23 09:41:36

“Isn’t that what happened, even it was legally justified?”

Reporting over and over again that an unarmed black man was shot with no mention of extenuating circumstances will naturally lead many to a summary judgment that the dead man was an innocent victim.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-23 09:56:52

“How did a nearly unconscious officer fire that many shots, and why didn’t the police immediately say the officer was severely beaten? Police spokesmen are usually quick to say when an officer is injured in the line of duty.”

Isn’t it a reporter’s basic job to ask questions, such as whether the police officer was assaulted before shooting a crime suspect in the line of duty, before reporting on the story?

Sorry if I don’t understand the tenets of real journalism.

Comment by rms
2014-08-23 18:50:25

“Sorry if I don’t understand the tenets of real journalism.”

+1 Yo homie? Dianne Feinstein could explain what “real journalism” entails. Drop your question over at her senate website.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-23 22:05:11

Maxine Waters, a St. Louis native, to attend Michael Brown’s funeral
Rep. Maxine Waters of Los Angeles said she planned to attend Michael Brown’s funeral in St. Louis, her hometown. (Mark Boster / Los Angeles Times)
By Kurtis Lee
August 22, 2014, 6:01 PM

U.S. Rep. Maxine Waters will travel to her hometown of St. Louis on Monday to attend the funeral of Michael Brown, the unarmed 18-year-old black man killed by a white police officer two weeks ago.

Waters, whose district spans much of South Los Angeles, said that she had followed the events surrounding Brown’s death very closely and that she was reminded of police shootings that have taken place in the Los Angeles area.

“I have been in contact with some of the elected officials and community leaders in the St. Louis area and join with the overall community in calling for justice for Michael Brown,” Waters said in a statement.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-23 07:06:59

The media seems very fixated on pinning down whether Darren Wilson suffered a broken eye socket or merely had a swollen face when he entered the hospital.

Why does that distinction matter whatsoever? If an unarmed man starts duking it out with a cop, doesn’t that pretty much support the cop’s right to use lethal force to protect himself from bodily harm?

Comment by tresho
2014-08-23 07:26:30

Why does that distinction matter whatsoever?
It is a bit harder to get a fractured eye socket than a swollen face. The distinction matters, as would the possible presence of the cop’s DNA on the dead man’s knuckles. We used to have courts of law to sort through things like that.

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Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-23 07:30:28

“It is a bit harder to get a fractured eye socket than a swollen face.”

Wouldn’t the necessary action for both outcomes qualify as an assault?

Comment by tresho
2014-08-23 07:46:05

Wouldn’t the necessary action for both outcomes qualify as an assault?
You can easily get a swollen face from simply smashing your face into the edge of your car door. (IIRC, one of the airmen captured in Gulf War I gave himself a swollen face by smashing it into a wall. His captors put him on TV anyway, but the propaganda aspect was a little spoiled. Back in the early 1980’s I once heard of a guy coming to an ER with a badly swollen face. He told hospital staff 7 Iranians jumped him outside of a bar and beat him up. Police went back & interviewed customers of the bar in question, and they said the “victim” simply passed out and fell off his bar stool.) OTOH, someone shoving your car door shut as you attempt to get out, making the door struck your head, would be more of an assault.

Comment by Ryan
2014-08-23 13:14:23

I seem to recall officer being outfitted with this amazing device referred to as a tazer. Apparently this magical innovation, when fire at an agressive suspect, generally renders them immobile as they are jolted with a large dose of electrostatic shock. Perhaps, prior to having Mr. Brown assume room temperature, Mr. Wilson could have attempted the shock therapy generally prescribed to the agitated negro.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-23 13:17:42

“Perhaps, prior to having Mr. Brown assume room temperature, Mr. Wilson could have attempted the shock therapy generally prescribed to the agitated negro.”

That is a matter for the courts to sort out.

Comment by Guillotine Renovator
2014-08-23 14:45:38

“Perhaps, prior to having Mr. Brown assume room temperature, Mr. Wilson could have attempted the shock therapy generally prescribed to the agitated negro.”

I prefer lead be used on a strongarm robber who beats up a cop and then goes for his gun shortly after said robbery, but that’s just me.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-23 15:40:44

I prefer lead be used on a strongarm robber who beats up a cop and then goes for his gun shortly after said robbery, but that’s just me.

Assuming that reflects the actual events, I agree. But the crappy reporting on the incident leaves this completely open to interpretation, without admitting as much.

At the end of the day, it is the judicial court’s job to sort this out, not the media circus’s.

Comment by Guillotine Renovator
2014-08-23 16:19:30

“Assuming that reflects the actual events, I agree. But the crappy reporting on the incident leaves this completely open to interpretation, without admitting as much.

At the end of the day, it is the judicial court’s job to sort this out, not the media circus’s.”

I completely agree with you. Until they get to the bottom of it, however, I’m going to side with law enforcement and not a criminal caught on camera abusing and robbing a shopkeeper moments before his demise.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-23 07:13:32

Why does it matter to the story whether or not Michael Brown broke Officer Wilson’s eye socket? Isn’t the main point of interest here how the MSM has repeatedly reported on “the shooting of an unarmed black man” without ever once mentioning that the police officer who shot him was first victimized in an assault?!!!

Disgraceful and shameful reporting…

Police officer who shot Michael Brown did NOT suffer a broken eye socket but he did go to hospital with a swollen face after deadly altercation
- Officer Darren Wilson did not suffer a broken eye socket as a result of his deadly confrontation, according to latest reports
- On Tuesday it was reported that he had suffered an ‘orbital blowout fracture’
- The officer was taken to a hospital with a badly swollen face following the shooting on August 9, but x-rays came back negative for any serious injury
- Earlier reports had claimed that the officer was almost knocked unconscious by Brown’s blows
- Only six arrests were logged overnight in Ferguson on Thursday as the town witnessed a more peaceful night
By David Mccormack for MailOnline
Published: 17:26 EST, 21 August 2014 | Updated: 01:02 EST, 22 August 2014

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-23 07:20:09

Could the City of Ferguson possibly sue the deep-pocketed globalist media corporations for misleading reports on the Brown incident that led to night after night of social unrest and destroyed businesses in their normally peaceful community?

I see grave injustices, and I hope those responsible are held accountable.

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Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-23 08:25:19

It would make more sense to sue the Fed, the Treasury, the banksters, and their congressional enablers for destroying the productive economy and thus creating and exacerbating poverty and the unraveling of the social fabric in places like Ferguson.

Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-08-23 13:13:51

Maybe, but we should be careful to separate the actions of Little Boy Brown from the militaristic response of the entire police department. It was that response that caused the protests to escalate into full-blown riots, IMO.

It would have made more sense for the police department to be more open to public discussion in the first place. They chose instead to take a very disrespectful tack toward those questioning them. They started off with the apparent attitude that they should not be held accountable to the public.

Little Boy Brown was clearly a jerk, and I’m not sad that he’s dead. On the other hand, it seems that law enforcement across the United States has become more jerkish over the past 10 years. Two wrongs don’t make a right.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-23 13:20:07

I agree that many were at fault, which gets back to the original post on the topic of “collision” (+1).

Comment by Guillotine Renovator
2014-08-23 14:51:11

“Little Boy Brown was clearly a jerk, and I’m not sad that he’s dead. On the other hand, it seems that law enforcement across the United States has become more jerkish over the past 10 years. Two wrongs don’t make a right.”

Yes, a violent jerk who would have, no doubt, ended up killing somebody one day, and going to prison for the rest of his life at the very minimum. If it somehow turns out the cop acted irresponsibly when shooting him, then the cop can go do some hard time, too. But Brown won a well-deserved Darwin award. There are too many people on this planet, and Brown won’t be missed by society. I am sorry his family is hurting, but perhaps after grieving they can take stock of their remaining children, if any, and make sure they’re not out muggin’ and thuggin’.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-23 07:25:13

“They ignored him and the officer started to get out of the car to tell them to move,” the source said. “They shoved him right back in, that’s when Michael Brown leans in and starts beating Officer Wilson in the head and the face.”

Is that legal?

Comment by tresho
2014-08-23 07:30:23

Is that legal?
I dunno, looks more like a mere “allegation”

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Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-23 07:32:21

One that was first reported after several weeks of headline news about how a cop shot an unarmed black man with no mention of possible extenuating circumstances…

Comment by tresho
2014-08-23 07:48:53

several weeks of headline news about how a cop shot for no reason at all other than racism an 292 lb 6′ 4″ unarmed baby black man with no provocation mention of possible extenuating circumstances…

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-23 09:45:58

It seems your “reading between the lines” version of the NPR news story is a fairly natural interpretation, given that the part about the assault of the cop was systematically excluded from their reporting.

I frankly don’t care whether the cop or his victim was white, black, yellow or orange; assaulting a cop is not OK. If reporters can’t get these details right, they are openly fanning the flames of social unrest.

Comment by Lionel
2014-08-23 07:32:18

“The source claims that there is “solid proof” that there was a struggle between Brown and Wilson for the policeman’s firearm, resulting in the gun going off – although it still remains unclear at this stage who pulled the trigger. Brown started to walk away according to the account, prompting Wilson to draw his gun and order him to freeze.”

There’s a lot in here that doesn’t make sense to me. So the gun just went off, yet it hadn’t been drawn yet? And it went off in the car, and then they’re essentially having a conversation just after a gun went off in an enclosed space, which would probably have you holding your ears, not say, what are you going to shoot me? And then he draws his gun? Not commenting on who was right or wrong, it just sounds a tad funky.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-23 09:53:44

The competing versions of what happened are an appropriate matter for the courts to sort out. But the way the story was reported unduly fostered the “unarmed victim” interpretation by leaving out relevant details about what led up to the shooting.

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Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-08-23 13:18:44

And all of the supposed “eye-witness” accounts sound even taddier funky. I think we will need to rely on physical evidence, which should be presented at trial.

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Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-23 13:23:10

Thank goodness we have constitutionally mandated trial by jury in this country, to relieve us from excessive reliance on the MSM-sponsored kangaroo court of public opinion.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-23 05:25:36

To protect and serve (public union style):

Comment by aNYCdj
Comment by ibbots
2014-08-23 06:27:32

Bought it for $9M in 2004, sold it for $16.5M 10 years later.

His losses are certainly incalculatable.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-08-23 06:48:49

Sounds like a serious problem eh Idgit?

Comment by Guillotine Renovator
2014-08-23 13:06:33


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Comment by Housing Analyst
Comment by Raymond K Hessel
Comment by Guillotine Renovator
2014-08-23 13:05:31

As a dog-lover, I’ve always been fascinated by foxes. I’ve never seen one in the wild, but they seem to be very playful with humans at times. There’s a documentary called “Grizzly Man” about a guy named Timothy Treadwell who thought of himself as a bear whisperer, and foolishly camped amongst them in Alaska despite repeated warnings from countless people and agencies. He was eventually eaten by them (big shock- nobodycouldaseenitcomin’), but there’s a scene with a fox who is playfully stealing his hat and running away with it which is very endearing to any animal lover.

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Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-08-23 13:20:20

I’ve seen lots of wild foxes. They like to eat pet rabbits on the escape.

Comment by Guillotine Renovator
2014-08-23 14:54:23

Pet rabbits are cute- until they sink those GIGANTIC teeth into your 5 year old finger. Yeah, I know something about this…

Comment by aNYCdj
2014-08-23 16:32:08

ummmmm do you still have that fingah?

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-23 05:28:49

Even the Obama administration’s most ardent MSM apologists and promoters of DNC talking points are starting to shake their heads.

Comment by tresho
2014-08-23 05:32:40

INFOGRAPHIC: The invisible line that divides 94% of China’s people from the other 6%
Informative map showing concentration of Chinese population in China, and also eastern Asia vs. rest of the world.

Comment by scdave
2014-08-23 07:36:19

Wow…Nice post…

Comment by Ol'Bubba
2014-08-23 07:59:01

The panel on the infographic with the circle in SE Asia showing more people living within that area than outside it is interesting.

Note the population density in northern India - some of the highest densities are along the banks of the Ganges River.

Got water?

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-23 10:00:03

That’s cool. Makes me wanna draw a couple of lines from northwest to southeast a bit inland from the California coast and see how the blue and red parts of the state stack up in terms of population.

Comment by frankie
2014-08-23 05:40:08

First-time buyers now save £1,300 a year by taking out a mortgage rather than renting, according to Britain’s biggest lender, the Halifax.

Based on a three-bedroom house, the average first-time buyer pays £677 a month.

The average rent paid on the same-sized property is £787, giving owners a monthly saving of £110.

But experts warn historically low mortgage rates would not have to rise by much for the reverse to be true.

The report says, at present, buying is cheaper than renting in all regions, except the East Midlands and East Anglia.

Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-08-23 13:25:55

They don’t have fixed-rate mortgages in the UK, do they?

Comment by frankie
2014-08-23 14:37:40

Yes, they have fixed rate mortgages, they tend to cost more and have higher fees. They also tend to be fixed for two to five years and require a lower loan-to-value (LTV) ratio.

Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-08-23 14:42:20

See, I wouldn’t consider two-to-five years to be “fixed”.

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Comment by Overbanked
2014-08-23 05:42:42

So I get a coupon from Chase where they will give me $175 if I open a new savings account and deposit at least $15k. It looks like I can withdraw the money immediately without a penalty (I can’t close the account before 6 months, and if I have less than $300 I get charged a monthly fee.)

Does this mean that the banks are hurting for cash, or customers, or both?

It sounds like the economy is not very healthy.

Comment by azdude
2014-08-23 06:43:10

they want your money so they can gamble more in stocks.

Comment by scdave
2014-08-23 07:39:21

they want your money so they can gamble more in stocks ??

Not really…They want your money so they can pay you .005% and buy 2 year bonds @ 2%….1.5% spread on Trillions of savers dollars…With no risk I might add…Banks….Pirates in Brick Ships…

Comment by azdude
2014-08-23 07:59:42

that too but why do most of these major banks have trading desks now?

gamble in stocks, commodities, etc

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Comment by scdave
2014-08-23 08:10:37

why do most of these major banks have trading desks now ??

Not quite sure but my guess would be Wealth Management Services…A group that I don’t belong to…A group that “most” don’t belong to…So, the rest of us 99.9% get the .005% rate…

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-23 08:29:49

Because Rubin, Clinton’s Treasury Secretary who was doing the biding of Wall Street (big surprise), pushed through the repeal of Glass-Stegall and set the stage for the epic fraud and criminality that has followed ever since. See totally unrelated story: how the Clinton’s amassed a fortune worth $200-300 million since leaving office.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-23 10:02:39

Isn’t it interesting how the leaders who do Wall Street’s bidding while in office seem to always undergo these rags-to-riches transformations after leaving office?

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-23 10:15:26

If we were a nation of laws, investigators charged with looking out for the public interest would take a more active interest in how the Clintons and their ilk accumulated their ill-gotten gains and what quid pro quos got called in once they left office.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-23 10:41:34

I’m sure this kind of “beginner’s luck” happens all the time in commodities futures trading.

Hillary Clinton Turned $1,000 Into $99,540, White House Says
Published: March 30, 1994

The White House said today that in 1978 Hillary Rodham Clinton invested $1,000 in commodities futures and that the investment grew in 10 months of trading in the notoriously volatile market into a gain of nearly $100,000.

Seeking to dispel suggestions that the trades were risk-free and improperly arranged by an Arkansas lawyer who represents one of the state’s most powerful companies, the White House issued a statement this afternoon that said the First Lady had put up her own money and that she bore all of the financial risks in a marketplace where three out of four investors lose money.

The officials also released a year’s worth of brokerage statements from one of Mrs. Clinton’s two accounts. They show winnings outrunning losses about three-to-one.

‘Too Nerve-Racking’

Senior advisers to President Clinton and his wife said in a briefing this afternoon at the White House that Mrs. Clinton based her trades on information in The Wall Street Journal, and that she stopped trading by 1980, despite her success, because, as one senior aide put it, “she did not have the stomach for it any more and found it to be too nerve-racking.”

Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2014-08-23 11:42:53

Isn’t it interesting how the leaders who do Wall Street’s bidding while in office seem to always undergo these rags-to-riches transformations after leaving office?


Well said.

Comment by Overbanked
2014-08-23 08:09:43

But why would they not require a time commitment? Certainly some customers will park their money there and forget about it. Anyone who has $15k cash probably pays more attention than that.
Even still, $175 comes out to 1.17% on $15k (if you keep it there for a year.) I’m putting the coupon in my glove compartment and might use it if I drive by a Chase with some time on my hands.

Seems to me they’re starved for cash.

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Comment by azdude
2014-08-23 08:29:11

you have to pay income tax on that 175.00. they will 1099 u buddy.

Comment by Overbanked
2014-08-23 11:27:25

Well, I could stuff it in my mattress and pay no income tax…

Or I could buy an “income property” and deduct the depreciation and pay LESS income tax and start shopping for my yacht.

Comment by Mr. Banker
2014-08-23 09:02:16

“Banks….Pirates in Brick Ships…”

In the old day pirates in wooden ships used to resort to coercion to get what they wanted. Nowdays Pirates in Brick Ships (as you put it) simply use a bit of persuasion.

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Comment by tresho
2014-08-23 10:31:26

A house with a mortgage on it is always a Brick Ship House.

Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2014-08-23 11:45:00

Brick Ship House.


Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-08-23 13:28:24

Whereas pirates used to take advantage of people riding the ocean waves, they now take advantage of people riding dotted lines.

Comment by scdave
2014-08-23 05:50:21

Not sure if anyone posted this yesterday;

“home sales plunged across southern California this July, a drop which could ultimately stunt the region’s economic growth”


Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-23 06:10:50

Very entertaining to read the NAR shills attempt to put lipstick on this pig, i.e. claims that would-be home buyers are vacationing en masse with some newly-bestowed affluence given our booming economy…LMAO.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-23 06:36:00

Pretty sure I posted this in several versions a couple of weeks ago, but in case anyone missed it:

Southern California home sales plunge in July home sales
With home prices sharply higher, there are simply fewer buyers able to afford them. Above, a home for sale in Lake Forest last year. (Patrick T. Fallon / Bloomberg)
By Andrew Khouri
- ‘There are a lot of hurting agents right now.’ –South Bay agent Leo Nordine
- With home prices sharply higher, there are simply fewer buyers able to afford them
- Housing’s economic punch comes chiefly from new home construction, said Richard Green of USC

Southern California home sales plunged in July and show little signs of rebounding. And that, economists say, could stunt the region’s economic growth.

Buyers scooped up 20,369 new and resale houses and condos in the six-county region last month, down 12.4% from a year earlier, research firm CoreLogic DataQuick said Wednesday. The sharp drop follows steady declines since October, as would-be buyers struggled to afford houses after prices surged last year.
Home sales

The drop in sales could have economic repercussions. When someone buys a home, they often splurge on items such as new furniture, fresh paint or new carpeting. Then there are real estate agents, mortgage brokers and moving companies to pay.

“The housing multiplier effect is very significant, because there are so many things that happen with a home purchase,” said Leslie Appleton-Young, chief economist for the California Assn. of Realtors. “That is dampened when you have lower home sales.”

The pain is especially acute for brokers, who depend on a commissions.

“There are a lot of hurting agents right now,” said South Bay agent Leo Nordine, who said his volumes have been roughly flat this year. “There are too many agents and not enough sales.”

The steady declines come despite more homes on the market compared with last year. With prices sharply higher, there are simply fewer buyers able to afford them.

Changing demographics are also playing a role, experts said. Surveys show most young adults still want to own a home, but significant barriers exist for that large demographic group.

Student debt is high, income growth is meager and many are putting off marriage, which historically has spurred purchases. And the massive baby boom generation isn’t downsizing en masse, further limiting home sales as its members hold onto their spacious suburban homes, Appleton-Young said.

“It’s clearly a concern,” she said of low sales volumes. “And I’m not seeing the way out of it.”

Comment by azdude
2014-08-23 07:13:07

I was talking to someone from el cajon the other day. they said home prices went up another 100k this year. their small modest home is now worth 400k cause its a half hour from beach.

Its weird that insane prices returned to s cal but not so much to other bubble areas like sacramento and phoenix.

Will banks need another bailout?

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-23 06:13:32

Someone remind me again what America gained from the AIPAC/neo-con invasion of Iraq.

Comment by Selfish Hoarder
2014-08-23 06:44:56

Big defense corporations gained tons of moolah. The US government gained even more power. There two things. Unfortunately all this is at the expense of money and liberty of the 99% of American people, including the sucker “Christian fundies” who are in favor of war against any middle east country that is a threat to their spaghetti monster’s home in Israel.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-23 06:48:52

Let me clarify: by “America” I meant the ordinary people.

Comment by Selfish Hoarder
2014-08-23 07:01:29

Ordinary people gained nothing and lost a significant amount. But the government/corporation-owned MSM is making the Americans believe they are gaining by the interventionism.

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Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-23 07:10:22


Comment by scdave
2014-08-23 07:52:36

Ordinary people gained nothing and lost a significant amount ??

Significant amount ?? How about losing your life ?? Or being crippled with your body or WORSE in your psyche ?? Tens of thousands of them living each day with it up until they put a bullet through their skull or someone else’s…

What makes me sick to my stomach is the likes of Cheney trying to rewrite history in his own defense…The friggen guy is a criminal no less than Hitler…

I don’t let Bush of the hook either but his defense is that I am not very bright, have an ego problem and easily influenced…

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Comment by Selfish Hoarder
2014-08-23 10:26:31

Cheney made $billions off of Hailiburton, is what I have been reading. GWB is just too naive - typical social neoconservative/progressive blind to the pain he inflicted by destroying the Fourth Amendment. His “progressive” side is basically the “good intention” of spreading “dumbo-ocracy” to the middle east and the $500 billion “prescription medicine benefit.” Ron Paul would have never called those actions traditional Republican actions.

Comment by Ryan
2014-08-23 13:22:16

I believe they have an ETF for that….

Comment by butters
2014-08-23 09:15:32

We gained ISIS(L).

5 trillion dollar war coming within a decade? Everybody wins, no?

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-23 06:19:40

Since the former western democracies are reverting to neo-fuedal oligarchies run by robber barons, it only seems apropos to consider a concept whose time is coming back around: medieval castles!

Comment by Selfish Hoarder
2014-08-23 07:03:06

I need a castle with high tech forms of moats to defend against whatever modern weapons there are - to protect my wines and precious metals :)

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-23 07:06:42

Thereby making yourself a magnet to the feral post-SHTF marauders. Have fun storming the castle, FSA!

Comment by tresho
2014-08-23 07:38:27

I need a castle with high tech forms of moats
Be sure your architecture doesn’t involve any vulnerable thermal exhaust ports.

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Comment by Selfish Hoarder
2014-08-23 10:22:53

Good point RKH.

In that case I will go for a treeless stucco box with bars in the windows. Lots of that type in Phoenix south of the Arcadia district like at McDowell near the 143. Or maybe Guadalupe, which is adjacent to Tempe!

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Comment by Guillotine Renovator
2014-08-23 12:49:00

If the sh!t really hit the fan, not many are safe no matter the locale. Luck would factor heavily in anyone’s survival and well-being. I don’t think we’re going to see any sort of catastrophic societal collapse, only a slow and methodical decline in the standard of living until over 2/3′rds of the population is living in poverty while the mega-billionaires compete with each other to build yachts which rival the size of aircraft carriers. Ain’t life grand?

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Comment by phony scandals
2014-08-23 06:22:47

The Feds Let Go of Dozens of Convicted Murder Illegal Immigrants, See Where They Are on This Map

August 22, 2014 4:30 PM

The Center for Immigration Studies has used information provided to the office Senator Chuck Grassley (R., Iowa) to map out the locations of where convicted killers were let go by Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials in 2013. The killers were booked out in 24 states and were associated with 96 different cities, according to the CIS report. The following map shows with red dots the ZIP codes where they were released and with blue squares the ICE centers where they were
booked out:…cted-murder-illegal-immigrants-see-where-they-are-map-ryan - 72k -

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-23 07:08:52

There’s no telling how many crimes (or what severity) these illegals commited in their own countries, since almost none are ever brought to trial or convicted, especially if they are in cartels or gangs.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-23 06:40:52

Note that the beginning of 2012 was when the Fed decided to pump QE3 steroids into U.S. home prices.

U.S. home price gains slowed last quarter as inventory expanded

Home prices:
A home for sale in Huntington Beach. (Bryan Chan / Los Angeles Times)
By Andrew Khouri contact the reporter
Home prices rose 4.4% in the second quarter, the smallest increase since the beginning of 2012

The national housing slowdown deepened in the second quarter as home prices posted their smallest gain in two years, according to a new report.

The median price for a single-family home rose 4.4% from a year earlier to $212,400, the National Assn. of Realtors said Tuesday. That was the smallest rise since the first three months of 2012.

The housing market began to slow last summer amid higher prices and mortgage rates as many buyers put their home search on hold. More homes have also come up for sale recently, further blunting the ability of sellers to command ever-higher prices in fervent bidding wars.

Comment by azdude
2014-08-23 08:02:15

will these new buyers be left holding the bag? will they qualify for bailout money?

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
Comment by Selfish Hoarder
2014-08-23 07:10:32

If I was not such an individualist I would have done the same as those guys. I had a roommate in the mid 90s who had roommates for ten years. He saved up so much money by his mid-30s that he had to take weeks off from work without pay every couple of years to go travel someplace around the world. Like 5 weeks in Brazil and 2 months in Australia.

Young people can learn a lot from it. And I have finally come around to say the 20 young people living together on MTV (different sets of 20 at a time usually - the number “20″ is my exaggeration) is actually a smart idea.

Now that Mr. Brown has a girlfriend and wants privacy (which is a big reason I left that roommate, because I had a girlfriend and wanted privacy), he is about to spend more money. So he accumulated for 20 years and maybe it’s a good idea for him to become individualistic?

Thanks for the post.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-23 06:43:36

Is your HELOC at high risk of default?

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-23 06:45:07

Nearly 20% of home equity loans face higher default risk, report says
home sales

Signs direct buyers to open houses in Huntington Beach in June. (Bryan Chan / Los Angeles Times)
By Andrew Khouri
August 7, 2014 12:24 PM

As much as $79 billion in home equity lines of credit are at heightened risk for default in coming years as Americans face a day of reckoning on their boom-era second mortgages, a new study found.

Many home owners who took out so-called HELOCs during the housing bubble have been paying only interest on the lines of credit.

Now, said credit rating firm TransUnion in a report released Thursday, they are nearing their end-of-draw terms, meaning they can’t borrow from the lines and have to start paying back principal along with interest.

That, TransUnion said, could lead to payment shock — and possible defaults.

The most at-risk loans account for 11% to 19% of balances yet to mature — or $50 billion to $79 billion, the study said. While that amount is significant, TransUnion Vice President Ezra Becker, the study’s co-author, said the risk was manageable.

Most borrowers, Becker said, have the ability to deal with the increased payments, and lenders can contact and try to make arrangements with those most prone to default, typically borrowers with lower credit scores and those less able to adjust to sudden jumps in expenses.

“A lot of people are worried that the sky is going to fall,” Becker said. “The numbers indicate the majority of HELOCs are low risk.”

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-23 06:49:02

Owners again borrowing against homes as housing market recovers
By E. Scott Reckard and Andrew Khouri
February 20, 2014

Retired aerospace engineer Owen Klasen was rejected last year when he sought a second mortgage to paint and re-roof his house.

Home prices hadn’t risen enough, the loan officer told him.

But last month, the same loan officer offered him more than double the credit he needed.

“I told him I needed $25,000″ on a home equity line of credit, said Klasen, who lives in Fillmore in Ventura County. “He said we were qualified to go up to $60,000.”

Klasen is among a wave of homeowners in California and nationally who are again putting their homes in hock — despite the costly lessons of the housing meltdown.

After a home equity credit binge during the housing bubble, banks shut off the tap as home prices plummeted. Sobered homeowners stopped viewing equity as free money for cars, vacations and college educations.

But now second mortgages are back in vogue. Homeowners in the six-county Southern California region took out 47,542 home equity lines of credit last year — 48% more than in 2012, according to research firm DataQuick. The median credit line was $100,000.

The same trend is taking hold nationwide. Bank of America, for instance, saw its home equity business surge 75% last year compared with 2012, said Matthew Potere, who oversees home equity lending for the Charlotte, N.C., giant. In the fourth quarter, BofA issued $1.9 billion in new home equity credit lines, up from $1 billion a year earlier.

In Southern California, the heaviest borrowing is in the wealthiest neighborhoods, where prices are closer to their peaks during the bubble, DataQuick figures show. Orange County’s Villa Park, with a median home price topping $1 million, had the highest rate of equity credit approvals last year.

But homeowners in the affordable Inland Empire also took out more equity credit lines.

“You are seeing national home prices rising,” said Kelly Kockos, Wells Fargo’s senior vice president of home equity. “It’s no longer just the coastal markets.”


This is stupid. Some people will never learn…
at 9:41 PM March 09, 2014

Comment by butters
2014-08-23 07:46:46

Wash lather rinse repeat

Amerika, what a great country.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-23 06:57:03

Household debt rises at fastest pace since global financial crisis
By Walter Hamilton
February 18, 2014

Families boosted their borrowing late last year at the fastest pace since the global financial crisis, a sign that Americans are gradually reopening their wallets as they feel more secure in their jobs.

Household debt jumped $241 billion to $11.5 trillion in the fourth quarter, the biggest increase since the third quarter of 2007, according to data released Tuesday by the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

“This quarter is the first time since before the Great Recession that household debt has increased over its year-ago levels, suggesting that after a long period of de-leveraging, households are borrowing again,” said Wilbert van der Klaauw, an economist at the New York Fed.

The pickup in debt was a welcome development after a string of disappointing economic reports in the last few weeks.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-08-23 08:04:52

“The pickup in debt was a welcome development after a string of disappointing economic reports in the last few weeks.”

A world gone mad.

Comment by azdude
2014-08-23 08:34:10

its just pieces of paper.

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Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-08-23 09:33:52

$hithousePoet… If your dollars are just pieces of paper, throw them in the garbage.

Comment by azdude
2014-08-23 12:47:35

tell me what they are genius? looks like paper to me.

They can make as much as they want of it.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-08-23 12:49:27

And you’ve got none of it.

Your point Poet?

Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-08-23 13:33:02

They are made out of cotton. They are textiles.

Comment by tresho
2014-08-23 07:05:09

Michigan: State land on lakeside in Cheboygan County to be auctioned
ROGERS CITY, Mich. - The Michigan Department of Natural Resources will offer two lakefront parcels in Cheboygan County in an auction. The minimum bid for each 2-acre parcel will be $350,000.

(from elsewhere) TRAVERSE CITY — More families nationwide are homeless now due to a lack of affordable housing, according to Ryan Hannon, Street Outreach Coordinator for Goodwill Northern Michigan. Traverse City is one of many regions feeling the effects of this.

Comment by Guillotine Renovator
2014-08-23 12:35:08

“The minimum bid for each 2-acre parcel will be $350,000.”

That can’t be. It’s “only worth $8k, tops.”

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-08-23 18:18:04

Then dig in those empty pockets and pay it.

Comment by Guillotine Renovator
2014-08-23 18:42:39

You’re enRAGEd.

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Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-08-23 19:00:11


Comment by Guillotine Renovator
2014-08-23 19:45:16


Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-08-23 20:05:53

You’re enraged.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-08-23 07:05:28

Katy, TX Housing Prices Head South At Peak Of Selling Season; Price Reductions Skyrocket 200% As Housing Demand Plummets

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-23 07:29:20

The Tell
The Markets News and Analysis Blog
New grads would rather work in tech than on Wall Street
August 22, 2014, 3:57 PM ET

Banking used to top the list of most sought-after job for college graduates but that’s no longer the case, according to industry experts.

Several major Wall Street firms, including Goldman Sachs Group Inc., J.P. Morgan Chase & Co., Citigroup Inc. and Bank of America Corp. are planning to raise salaries up to 25% for the most junior bankers to remain competitive, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.

The raises are being implemented in an effort to retain employees who are being tempted away by tech companies and startups.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-23 08:32:34

It’s good to be a bankster.

Comment by Mr. Banker
2014-08-23 08:38:37

Bahahahahahahaha … word has it that Gordon Gekko was supposed to be a bad guy but the college grads at the time saw him as a role model.

Now that these Gordon Gekko wanabees are are being churned and burned it seems as if the latest batch of college grads to be churned and burned are going into tech.

In tech (and biotech) folks are paid little in the way of cash but are paid lots in the way of stocks - are paid in shares in the companies they slave a hundred-or-so hours a week for (its cheaper for the company to do this).

If the company does well stock-market-wise then they do well. If the company does not do well stock-market-wise then …

(BTW, keep in mind that stock prices of these techs and biotechs are matters of the collective opinions of total strangers).


Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-23 10:07:52

“(BTW, keep in mind that stock prices of these techs and biotechs are matters of the collective opinions of total strangers).”

Good thing for Keynesian beauty contests, as there is little evidence of anything of sufficient fundamental value to support the lofty share prices of these companies.

Comment by phony scandals
2014-08-23 10:16:09

“And yet, Sewell said, armored carriers, which many civilians see as tanks — along with the fatigues and the assault rifles — can engender an attitude among officers that the citizens they are sworn to protect also are the enemy. “It’s not just the equipment; it’s the attitude,” he said.”


South Florida cities can roll out Ferguson-like arsenals

Posted on Saturday, 08.23.14

Some are questioning a Defense Department program that has helped cities like Ferguson, Missouri — and Virginia Gardens — receive tank-like weaponry.

When an armed 26-year-old Miami Gardens man barricaded himself in his home last spring, county police dispatched an armored personnel carrier, called a “BearCat,” equipped with a grenade-proof shield, a gun turret designed for a 50-caliber machine gun, and enough interior space for a dozen officers.

“They going to war or something?” a neighbor remarked at the show of force.

Records show police agencies in Miami-Dade also have four “mine resistant vehicles,” five grenade launchers and 242 assault rifles at their disposal. The police department in Tallahassee, the state capital and home to Florida State University, has its own BearCat, as does Virginia Gardens, a microscopic hamlet adjacent to Miami International Airport with a population of fewer than 2,500.

Police acquired these arsenals largely through a federal initiative called the 1033 Program. It is designed to allow law enforcement agencies to arm themselves with SWAT or assault-type equipment that the military no longer needs.

The program drew harsh criticism this week as police rolled out tank-like vehicles and other military-style hardware in a face-off with angry citizens in Ferguson, Missouri. Many are questioning whether displaying such weaponry might be viewed as a provocation.

From the Panhandle to the Keys, Florida is bristling with military equipment. Alachua County, the University of Florida’s home in the gently rolling hills of North Florida, has an armored truck, a “mine resistant vehicle,” about a dozen night vision goggles and three helicopters. Osceola County, where Mickey Mouse lives, has two grenade launchers and two armored personnel carriers.

Bay County, which includes the spring break destination Panama City Beach, has a “combat/assault/tactical wheeled vehicle,” and three helicopters. Even NASA keeps what it calls “big boy toys” at the Kennedy Space Center in Central Florida.

And though he did not specify the military gear his city has acquired, Mayor Tomas Regalado is confident the Miami Police Department can withstand whatever havoc criminals, terrorists or drug cartels can wreak.

“They are equipped to go to war,” Regalado told the Miami Herald this week, speaking of his police department.

The 1033 program remained largely under the radar until it went on full display in the St. Louis suburb, where residents took to the streets after the shooting of an unarmed, 18-year-old black male by a white police officer.

The death of Michael Brown, which remains under investigation by both local police and the U.S. Justice Department, sparked both peaceful and sometimes violent demonstrations in the predominantly black city.

Though the conversation across the United States has centered largely on the issue of race, the turmoil has prompted much introspection on the question of whether it is healthy to deploy weapons meant for the battlefield in American communities.

“Some of that equipment is absolutely necessary,” said James Sewell, a 32-year lawman who spent 17 years at the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, rising to the rank of assistant commissioner before retiring. Sewell said an armored personnel carrier possibly could have saved the lives of two St. Petersburg police officers on Jan. 24, 2011, when they clashed with 39-year-old Hydra Lacy, whose rap sheet included arrests for attempted murder, kidnapping and rape.

The two officers and a deputy U.S. Marshall with a fugitive warrant went looking for Lacy. When the confrontation got ugly, Sewell said, officers had only a dump truck to shield themselves from a fusillade of bullets. The police officers were killed and the deputy Marshall was wounded.

And yet, Sewell said, armored carriers, which many civilians see as tanks — along with the fatigues and the assault rifles — can engender an attitude among officers that the citizens they are sworn to protect also are the enemy. “It’s not just the equipment; it’s the attitude,” he said.

The American Civil Liberties Union agreed.

“Neighborhoods are not war zones, and our police officers should not be treating us like wartime enemies,” the ACLU wrote in a June report.

Much, though not all, of the military-style equipment finding its way into local police forces originates with the U.S. Department of Defense’s Defense Logistics Agency, through a program called the Law Enforcement Support Office, or LESO.

LESO’s motto: “From Warfighter to Crimefighter.”

Since 1997, the agency has moved about $4.3 billion in surplus military equipment to the states, a LESO report said.

Read more here:

Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-08-23 13:38:59

I need to save more money because I will need to secure my eventual house like a military fort.

Comment by Selfish Hoarder
2014-08-23 10:20:08

Today at my local government/corporate/zionist bank as I was taking out fiat to put under my mattress, the teller asked me if I finished paying off my car loan. I told the young gal, “a long long time ago and I have zero debt!” I should have added that debt is for donkeys and California “progressives” but left it at that. Happy to cart away fiat paper for filling up my mattress.

Comment by tresho
2014-08-23 10:33:15

I only get to zero debt once a month, after I pay off my credit balances.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-23 10:36:24

Hah! Same here…

Comment by azdude
2014-08-23 12:45:19

pay your share of the bailouts!

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Comment by Selfish Hoarder
2014-08-23 12:03:24

Tresho that’s what I mean. I do the same. I don’t call it debt when you pay it off before the interest charge sets in.

Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-08-23 13:41:10

Do “conservatives” in the other 49 United States have less debt?

Comment by Can Bubble
2014-08-23 10:25:29

$1,000,000 is the threshold because the CMHC will not provide insurance over that amount.

If you don’t have 25% down you have to get mortgage insurance from CMHC.

How many buyers are willing to go up to $750,000 in debt to Mister Bankee? Too many.

Comment by Selfish Hoarder
2014-08-23 10:39:35

Arizona Homebuying slide forces Builders to Deal

New-home prices across metro Phoenix soared too high and too fast in 2012 and 2013 for many buyers to handle, leading to a slump in sales that has builders worried.

Higher prices for new houses, along with slower-than-expected increases in household income, population and job growth, will cut the number of home sales an estimated 5 percent from last year’s level, stalling the long-awaited recovery of the region’s homebuilding market.

The slowdown in home sales means fewer construction jobs but better deals for new-home buyers. Home prices have dropped slightly this summer, and builders are trying to lure buyers by offering incentives that include lower mortgage rates and free upgrades on appliances, countertops, lighting and flooring.

One reason: a big gap between new- and resale-home prices in metro Phoenix — a gap that is greater now than at any time in recent history.

Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-08-23 13:45:02

Home prices have dropped slightly this summer, …

You sure wouldn’t know it by looking at Zillow. Zillow is always right, and their “projections” prove to any reasonable observer that house prices will outstrip inflation by 2-3x for evermore.

Comment by Selfish Hoarder
2014-08-23 14:46:51

Zillow is always right

I know that is bounded by the implicit sarcasm html blocks.

I have also been snooping 85044, 85048 on Zillow and noticed the euphoria is still happening. Prices are nowhere near 2006 but they are like 2008. The 2011 lows in Phoenix were artificially raised by the big investment companies like Blackstone, and also the Canadians - all over the valley. And also supported by the government hand-holding of FBs at taxpayer expense. Not to forget that Arizona is a non-recourse state. But someone has to pay the piper. It ain’t coming out of my municipal bond interest though.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-23 15:55:40

We’re looking at selling my parents’ home in the Midwest this fall. I believe Zillow’s estimate is over $25K to the high side of market value.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-23 15:59:35

Crazy part: The Zestimated value for the surrounding area has been dead as a doornail since late 2012, but they show my parent’s home miraculously appreciating by $25K over the same period. And I know personally that they have made no home improvements beyond minimal routine maintenance over the interim.

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Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-23 16:02:57

Maybe we’ll put the Zestimate on the listing; do you need to pay a fee for this, given they are available free online?

Comment by Selfish Hoarder
2014-08-23 16:22:23

The best proof of the pudding is that in many areas like in Phoenix, incomes have been falling while prices of houses being sold keep going up. And that means of course the house prices are over valued. And who is fanning the flames of “overvaluation?” - NAR, the US government, banks, brokers, Zillow, Trulia,, etc. Oh, and also $hitty-Data.

The falling incomes / rising house prices will end up in only disaster as another bubble will burst.

Then a new flood of rentals on the market. Investors will dump their own rentals.

That will mean a renter’s market is around the corner. But one thing for sure, we are in a Housing Bubble still and it’s going to burst.

Comment by Selfish Hoarder
2014-08-23 10:41:57

From the link I just posted (Arizona homebuying slide…) that will appear below:

“Household incomes in metro Phoenix today have not kept pace with the price of new housing,” homebuilding analyst RL Brown said. “The area has seen a decline of over 9 percent (since 2009) in real median household income.”

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-23 10:49:03

I’m pretty sure the same story applies to San Diego, though I haven’t seen it in print (yet).

Comment by Selfish Hoarder
2014-08-23 10:54:05

A bit further into the article it discusses a couple who sold their $300,000 house to buy a single story 4,500 McMansion in Gilbert for $700,000.

Facebook comments on the article included one who said there are plenty of people who can afford a $700,000 house but live in $300,000 houses and have lots of cash. Another comment concurred that he knows this is happening more than in previous recessions because people learned hard lessons.

Columnist Catherine Reagor is a cheerleader for Phoenix area real estate most of the time. But 40% of the time she posts the grim truth the RE industry does not want to see.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-23 11:03:36

While most MSM journalists have willingly sold their souls and compromise their integrity to parrot the Establishment line, a few have to be conflicted enough to occasionally slip in a bit of truth in their articles.

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Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-23 10:47:09

Why this homebuilder is turning to rentals
By Jonathan Horn
1:34 p.m.
Aug. 22, 2014
Town homes in a complex called Ocean Air, being built to rent as apartments. In the background can be seen the ocean at Torrey Pines State Beach. Town homes in a complex called Ocean Air, being built to rent as apartments. In the background can be seen the ocean at Torrey Pines State Beach. — Bill Wechter

On a hill overlooking the massive freeway merge near Carmel Valley, construction workers are building what appears to be the kind of complex that would soon be decorated by tall balloons and “for-sale” signs.

Balloons may ultimately fly above the 100 new townhouses that make up the complex dubbed “Ocean Air,” but any signs hoisted would be advertising leases, not sales.

The development, by longtime for-sale home builder MBK Homes, is the company’s first foray into the rental market. And it’s doing it with a somewhat risky project. That’s because the $40 million Ocean Air complex isn’t going to consist of the traditional stacked flats, where as many units as possible are jammed on top of each other, connected by staircases in common areas.

The complex is coming online at a time when the county’s for-sale housing market has slowed. In July, for instance, home sales were down 18.5 percent from the same month in 2013. Demand for rentals, however, is strong, with the county vacancy rate at 2.8 percent. MBK is looking to fill a niche in Carmel Valley, where its executives see demand for rental units that mimic the larger kinds of homes that are usually built for purchase.

At Ocean Air, the complex’s three-level townhouses have been created under condo building specifications, with neighbors only to the side.

“The beauty of this is that it’s not for sale, it’s a rental property, but you get the same level of finishes and the same product type that you would normally see in a for-sale development,” said Josh Harnett, MBK’s director of apartment operations. “Usually on multifamily or apartment projects you’re stacked on top of each other and there’s at least three levels of apartments, they’re smaller flats.”

The complex is holding its first public viewing today, where prospective renters will put on hard hats and walk the site, as if they were prospective owners. The first move-ins are planned for October.

Rick Fletcher, vice president of sales and marketing for the newly created MBK Rental Living, said the renters who choose to lease at Ocean Air wouldn’t want traditional apartments — they have the owner mentality, but don’t want to own. That’s either because of lifestyle changes after the Great Recession, they want flexibility that comes with a lease, or they don’t want to or can’t make a huge down payment.

More and more people are choosing to lease, and we fill that niche for them,” Fletcher said.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-23 10:55:06

Crony communists are driving up Vancouver housing prices…surprise, surprise.

Vancouver housing data reveals Chinese connection
Iain Marlow, The Globe and Mail
7:06 AM, E.T. | August 22, 2014

One of the largest real estate companies in British Columbia says that more than one-third of all the single-family detached homes it sold last year went to people with ties to mainland China.

Macdonald Realty Ltd., which has over 1,000 agents and staff in B.C., said 33.5 per cent of the 531 single family homes sold by its Vancouver offices in 2013 went to people who the company said were a mix of recent immigrants and Canadian citizens.

Those buyers, the company added, tended to spend more money, too, with the average cost of a house sold to these clients topping $2-million, compared to $1.4-million on average overall.

The figures did not include Macdonald’s sales in suburban areas such as Richmond, Burnaby or North Vancouver.

“This is our snapshot of Vancouver,” says Dan Scarrow, vice-president of corporate strategy at Macdonald Realty.

The information is based on reports from the firm’s sales, anecdotes from its agents and Mr. Scarrow’s own experience working with mainland Chinese clients, and it’s a glimpse into the influence of mainland Chinese money on Vancouver’s real estate market, which is considered among the most expensive in North America.

Vancouver has been flooded in recent years by tens of thousands of investor-class immigrants from mainland China, who have seen the west coast city as a stable – and picturesque – place to park their capital in luxury property.

That has helped drive up the average price of a single-family home in Vancouver to around $1.2-million.

Mr. Scarrow, who noted the firm does not query buyers about immigration status, believes that investment flowing from mainland China into Vancouver real estate is a quantifiable phenomenon, but has not personally seen much of the more controversial type of buyer: Those from abroad who buy for investment purposes but never live in the city. “We still see very few pure investors from China who have no connection to Vancouver,” he says.

Getting a handle on foreign buyers is difficult and Macdonald’s survey is far from exact – though one major property developer in Richmond said “that sounds about right.” The federal government does not collect meaningful data on the number of foreign buyers purchasing Canadian real estate, leaving industry participants to debate the impact of foreign capital on the local market. And that debate has gotten heated recently, with some developers accusing others of racism and criticizing those who want to slap curbs on foreign investment. The issue is complicated by the fact that some of Vancouver’s ethnically Chinese Canadian citizens with ties to Hong Kong view newer immigrants from mainland China with a degree of suspicion, assuming their wealth might have been accumulated in part by proximity to China’s Communist Party, rather than in a free market with the rule of law like Hong Kong.

The lack of hard data has also complicated discussions about the city’s affordability crisis and fuelled a local cottage industry where analysts attempt to decipher the scope of foreign money by looking at things like electricity usage in downtown neighbourhoods where some suspect foreign buyers have bought condos in which they never live.

“People always say there are no stats. Well, here are the stats,” says Mr. Scarrow. “This is actual evidence.”

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-23 10:59:05

Corruption Crackdown Slowing Down China’s Economy Could Be A Good Thing
Bianca Ortega | Aug 22, 2014 09:58 AM EDT

Xi Jinping pursued a broad crackdown on corruption after he became China’s president in March 2013, but the campaign also affected the country’s economic growth that raised concerns in the financial industry.

Based on the International Monetary Fund’s projection for GDP (gross domestic product) growth this year, foreign investment in China dropped for the first time in 17 months in July.

Xi’s anti-graft campaign had an adverse effect on luxury industries and is now poised to target other giant corporations such as Audi, Microsoft and GlaxoSmithKline, the International Business Times reported.

People are now wondering if the Chinese Communist Party’s effort to purge itself of corruption has brought down the country’s economic progress.

Anna Snyder, an analyst at New York consultancy firm Rhodium Group, said Xi’s campaign is just a small part of a bigger effort to turn China’s economy around.

Indeed, China’s struggle with its slowing economy started long before Xi took his place as president. Goods export and infrastructure investment fueled the country’s rapid growth since 1978 but these two factors are now experiencing a natural decline.

In 2007, Premier Wen Jiabao conveyed his worry about the economy’s lack of balance, coordination and sustainability. This was the year when China’s GDP rose to 14.2 percent.

Xi’s anti-graft movement presents a paradox: Chinese leaders want to increase the country’s consumption but the government is targeting industries that fuel it.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-08-23 11:06:49

UN calls for “immediate action” to come to aid of beseiged Shias in Iraq. Translation: since UN peacekeepers are militarily worthless, except for spreading AIDS in places like Cambodia, once again US troops will be thrown into the breach.

Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-08-23 12:17:01

Happy Saturday all. May a crater befall you.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-08-23 12:24:31

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

Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-08-23 13:47:02

That is disturbing.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-08-23 13:55:31

Imagine having to eat them everyday of your life just because you couldn’t say no to debt.

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Comment by azdude
2014-08-23 14:12:54

u r getting weird.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-08-23 16:14:04

Houses depreciate rapidly.

Comment by azdude
2014-08-23 17:02:49

u really need to see a shrink.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-08-23 18:16:08

This is very positive and bullish.

Ventura, CA Housing Prices Crater 28% YoY As Excess Empty Inventory Hits Market

Comment by Guillotine Renovator
2014-08-23 15:25:15

“That is disturbing.”

Somebody’s not playing with a full deck.

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Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-23 13:28:15

A plague o’all your investment houses.

Comment by tresho
Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-23 13:30:43

The family has a new kitten - no dogs for them.

Makes you wonder whether any more kids are in the planning.

Comment by Guillotine Renovator
2014-08-23 12:31:37

Is anyone else sick to f***ing death of hearing “hashtag_?” I thought this word would be disappearing from the vernacular last year.


Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-08-23 13:49:59

You are antihashtagist.

Comment by Guillotine Renovator
2014-08-23 15:26:27

Yes, proudly.

Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-08-23 14:10:22

How come no one cares about the white woman who was recently murdered by police unnecessarily?

Comment by Selfish Hoarder
2014-08-23 14:41:45

Because she is white. You’re supposed to be a progressive so why do you care about a white woman?

Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-08-23 14:43:50

You don’t know what a progressive is.

Comment by Selfish Hoarder
2014-08-23 15:10:47

Sure I do. A progressive is anyone in the Democrat Party who is not well known and has never been mentioned on HBB. And RINOs are also progressives.

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Comment by Selfish Hoarder
2014-08-23 15:18:36

So why are you so in love with Statism? You rich or something? Rich people are in cahoots with the state and need it to keep in power.

‘Progressives are not at all progressive. Progressives are actually like Conservatives and Liberals in wanting to maintain and extend the political status quo: Statism. What is statism? It is “a political system in which the state has substantial centralized control over social and economic affairs.”’

- From part 3

Comment by Selfish Hoarder
2014-08-23 15:19:57

“Progressives are not progressive, but neither are Conservatives and Liberals. If it’s broad and widespread progress, improvement and betterment that’s desired, libertarianism is the progressive political philosophy with the greatest promise of encouraging these processes because it aims to reduce government’s role drastically. ”

- from part 3

Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-08-23 15:54:56

You just implied that anyone who cares about white women is not a progressive. You identify me as a progressive, and I am a white woman. Therefore, since I care about myself, I must care about white women. This proves that your logic is fundamentally flawed, and your perspective is skewed.

You keep copying and pasting the personal opinions of staunch Republitards, thinking that those twisted, self-serving opinions can be taken as fact. That does not align with the self-definition of the Progressive Congressional Caucaus, which I have pasted a few times on this board.

Comment by Selfish Hoarder
2014-08-23 15:58:54

Um…And so you use the same parrot line that libertarians always hear from LIEberals - you call any libertarian who disagrees with you a Tea bagger or Republitard.

And the social conservatives always keep calling libertarians communist pot smokers.

We voluntaryists have experienced all this for decades.

Can’t you think your yourself, woman?

Comment by Selfish Hoarder
2014-08-23 16:02:36

My recommendation you just admit you are a progressive and a progressive is no less a statist than a neoconservative and leave it at that?

Here is the perfect defn’ of a “progressive:

A Progressive is a statist who will deprive you of your property and rights and insist it’s for your own good.

Any other statist who is NOT a Progressive will just deprive you of your property and rights and leave at that point without telling you it’s for your own good.

Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-08-23 16:09:30

I agree with some of the things that progressives want, but not all of them. I suspect that some of them might be corrupt, much like the other types of politicians.

It is really not helpful for a person to contrive their own self-absorbed definitions for words that are already defined differently. It makes conversation more difficult.

And dude, when I think for myslelf, you should not expect me to come to your conclusion. Because that would not indicate me thinking for myself, would it?

Comment by Selfish Hoarder
2014-08-23 14:50:54

Hey, a couple weeks ago I posted my ordeal with my Phoenix lease renewal. I have forgotten my Orange County lease is 14 months, and stopped in the management office. She offered another 14 months at no rent increase if I renewed today. And so I grabbed a chair and filled out the paperwork.

I wonder if I could have renewed early in Phoenix maybe they would not have automatically increased my rent?

I am thinking that next year I won’t get any increase. Maybe will get a decrease like what happened there once. And once while renting in L.A. my rent went down by $300 per month for a lease renewal.

Any of you out there with a pending lease renewal, you have nothing to lose if you offer to renew early for the full term if you get no rent increase.

Comment by Selfish Hoarder
2014-08-23 14:52:15

I would have had to pay $50 more month in Orange County if I waited a couple weeks for the lease renewal notice. That’s 3.5%.

Comment by Selfish Hoarder
2014-08-23 15:26:07

11 Progressive Commandments

“[Elizabeth] Warren is a tried and true Fascist” - from the article

But her name was mentioned by her admirers on this HBB so she is “not a ‘Progressive’”

Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-08-23 15:59:44

You are the only person saying that Elizabeth Warren is not a progessive. You are kind of obsessed with this whole “progressive” thing. You have rolled all the evil in the world up into a ball, and tagged it with the word “progressive”, and you keep looking at it and talking about it.

Comment by Selfish Hoarder
2014-08-23 18:27:14

“You are the only person saying that Elizabeth Warren is not a progessive. “

I was being sarcastic when I wrote that no one on the HBB ever named any progressive.

I’m still waiting for you to get the courage to give us examples of names of people who ARE progressive. I named them. And I know that anyone I name, you will say “well she/he is not a progressive - you do not know what progressive means” and you will keep your secret, refusing to answer the implicit question, “well then you tell us what a progressive is, and you name us the names of famous progressives.”

Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-08-23 19:40:25

Elizabeth Warren is a progressive. I have pasted their own definition of themselves on this board like four times now. There is nothing I can do about people who refuse to acknowledge the actual definition of a term, and instead INSIST on redefining that term in a completey arbitrary, self-centered way. Warren doesn’t fit your definition of a progressive because your definition is wrong.

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Comment by Selfish Hoarder
2014-08-23 20:01:45

Thanks. There you go. Back to the link where it explained why Elizabeth Warren is a fascist.

Progressives are no better than statists. They are a special form of statists, insisting they are doing you good, or their chosen group good and they (the progressives) are the chosen Gods who can only identify what is good.

They are the worst part of statists. They hide the evil that they really are in Orwellian doublespeak.

They are a dime a dozen.

Comment by Selfish Hoarder
2014-08-23 15:27:56

And finally

“Hitler was a Progressive.” - I read this in “The Ominous Parallels” and already knew this. But you LIEberals keep denying it. You still keep parroting “you do not know what a progressive is.” You are full of beans you cowards!

Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-08-23 16:05:29

I think the word “progressive” was synonymous with “socialist” at that time, but I wasn’t alive then, so I don’t know. Anyway, a tyranical dicatator could be progressive, conservative, or anything else. Those are interdependent categories. Besides, you just think that anyone who isn’t an anarchist must be a progressive, and that’s not true.

Comment by phony scandals
2014-08-23 16:18:36

The coming False Flag is gonna be a doozy.

Comment by Selfish Hoarder
2014-08-23 16:28:48

I’ve been pounding the table about this over and over. I have been saying the end of QE will mark the continuation of the precious metals boom. Personally I was happy to be buying gold at regular intervals with the same amount of $ the last couple of years and my happiness got better as the prices came down to the $1300 level because I bought more oz per $.


The popular notion that rising rates crush gold is totally false. Gold rocketed higher in the 1970s when both short and long rates were already very high and rising.
Gold soared in the 2000s when rates were far higher than today’s, and even surged during the Fed’s last major rate-hike cycle a decade ago, which was quite sharp.
Rising interest rates are not gold’s nemesis, and not even a real threat. They actually help alternative investments by weighing on stocks and bonds.

Gold has slid during this past week on mounting fears of interest-rate hikes. Between the latest FOMC meeting’s minutes and the Fed’s annual Jackson Hole Economic Policy Symposium, American futures speculators’ rising-rate phobias have been whipped into a fever pitch. They worry gold will be crushed when the Fed eventually starts normalizing rates. But history shatters this fallacy that rising rates are gold’s nemesis.

Today there is a near-universal belief among futures traders that rising interest rates are very bearish for gold. The underlying logic is simple. When interest rates rise, so do yields on bonds and cash in the form of money-market funds. This makes bonds and cash relatively more attractive to investors than gold, which yields nothing. Therefore they jettison their gold holdings to migrate capital back into bonds and cash.

While this thesis may seem sound on the surface, it should be tested rather than being blindly accepted as truth. The financial markets are littered with popular notions that later prove dead wrong. And even the sophisticated gold-futures speculators are not immune. Late last year they scared themselves into a full-blown hysteria over the nearing start of the Fed winding down its massive QE3 bond-monetization campaign.

So they dumped gold futures in droves leading up to that dreaded event, as the mere threat of it in June 2013 battered gold to its worst quarter in 93 years. Yet the very next day after the Fed started its QE3 taper in December, gold bottomed and hasn’t looked back since. Within less than 3 months, gold had surged 16.2% on heavy buying despite ongoing tapering. Conventional “wisdom” in the markets is often mistaken.

The winding down of QE3 was a one-time event, totally unique in history since the Fed had never done such a gargantuan open-ended bond monetization before. That made it impossible to test, leaving the contrarians out on a limb betting that QE3 tapering wouldn’t prove to be gold’s apocalypse. But rising rates are far different, having happened many times in history. We just have to see how gold performed in them.

So this week I built a big spreadsheet including nearly 45 years of daily gold-price and interest-rate data. For rates I used the benchmark yields on both 1-year Treasury bills and 10-year Treasury notes, in order to represent both the short and long ends of the yield curve. The result was fascinating, shattering the popular notion today that rising rates are gold’s nemesis. That is a total fallacy proven false by history.

The past half-century or so has seen two mighty secular gold bulls interrupted by a great secular gold bear. Gold soared in the 1970s and again in the 2000s, but drifted sideways to lower for the intervening decades in between. And during the third of a century since the early 1980s, interest rates have been falling on balance as represented by these benchmark US Treasury yields. This is an exceedingly-old trend.

Right away in this high-level strategic overview, the notion that rising rates are bearish for gold and the necessary opposing corollary that falling rates are bullish for gold starts to crumble. During the mighty 1970s secular gold bull, which dwarfs today’s so far, gold surged while interest rates were rising. And then in the 1990s gold slumped while interest rates were falling. There are plenty of other similar episodes.

So American futures speculators’ staunch conviction today that gold and rates have a strong negative correlation simply isn’t true. The proof is not just visual, but statistical. Over this entire massive span, gold’s correlation with 1-year and 10-year Treasury yields merely ran -0.525 and -0.509. Multiply these by themselves to get each of their r-squares, and they weigh in at merely 27.5% and 25.9% respectively.

This means that only 28% and 26% of gold’s daily price action over the last 45 years was mathematically explainable by changing interest rates! That’s only a quarter, stunningly low in light of today’s universal belief that gold’s fortunes are slaved to rates. Thus nearly three-quarters of gold’s price action over our lifetimes had nothing to do with changing interest rates! They are a minor secondary gold driver at best.

Yes, gold’s current secular bull unfolded in a falling-rate environment. But so did gold’s multi-decade secular bear before that. Interest rates’ impact on gold prices is far more indirect and nuanced than the simplistic up-is-bearish interpretation popular today. Gold prices are dominated by global investment demand. That, not interest rates, is what investors and speculators must focus on to multiply their wealth in gold.

When the world’s investors want gold, they move capital into it which drives up its price. Depending on the magnitude of those capital inflows, this can lead to anything from a single-day rally to a decade-long secular bull. And when gold falls out of favor with investors, their selling forces its prices lower. The interest rates only materially affect gold prices indirectly through their impact on global investment demand.

And since rates have been falling on balance for a third of a century, the last time we saw a secular rising-rate environment was the 1970s. If American futures speculators are right today, gold should have been obliterated then. With yields on bonds and cash high and rising, why would anyone bother holding zero-yielding gold? But instead of crumbling, gold enjoyed its strongest secular bull in modern history!

Interest rates rose consistently throughout the 1970s, as the benchmark yields of 1-year and 10-year Treasuries reveal. And rather amazingly, gold actually had a strong positive correlation with both yields over that entire secular rising-rate span! Its 1-year and 10-year daily price correlation came in way up at +0.797 and +0.910, for r-squares of 63.6% and 82.8%. That is really high and totally contrary to expectations.

Gold was strong in 1973 and 1974 as rates rose, weak in 1975 and 1976 as rates fell, and actually soared in 1979 as rates surged! Is this what’s in store for gold during the coming first secular rising-rate environment since the 1970s? Markets are forever cyclical, and after rates fell on balance for a third of a century they are certainly overdue to rise on balance for at least a decade if not longer. Higher rates are inevitable.

So why did something so radically counterintuitive based on conventional wisdom happen during gold’s last secular bull? If investors and speculators can wrap their brains around this, they will realize that rising rates pose little threat to gold today. Provocatively, just the opposite is true. Rising rates may very well prove to be an exceedingly-bullish force rekindling vast amounts of global gold investment demand.

This heretical assertion hinges on gold being one of the leading alternative investments. These are defined as assets that are not the traditional dominant three of stocks, bonds, and cash. When stocks and bonds are thriving, investors have no need to look for alternatives. But when stocks and bonds roll over into bear markets, alternatives really start to shine. And gold has long been the king of that realm.

Rising interest rates are actually extremely bearish for stocks and bonds! As rates rise, yields on bonds including “risk-free” Treasuries climb. This makes bonds relatively more attractive compared to stocks, especially for those seeking income. And because Wall Street usually includes interest rates when measuring stock-market valuations, higher rates make stocks look more overvalued which leads to selling.

So as rising rates weigh on stocks, reducing investor demand for them, alternative investments look a lot more attractive and return to favor. If the stock selling feeds on itself enough, cyclical bear markets can form. They tend to cut stock prices in half over a couple years or so. And that’s exactly what happened in 1973 and 1974. During those two years, the flagship US S&P 500 stock index (SPX) fell by 41.9%.

So investors looked for alternatives, and flooded into gold. Their buying blasted it up 186.4% in 1973 and 1974 while short rates were surging and long rates were rising! Even though 1-year and 10-year Treasury yields averaged jaw-dropping by today’s standards levels of 7.8% and 7.2% over those couple years in the mid-1970s, investors still didn’t hide out in cash or pour vast sums into bonds. They wanted gold.

Cash wasn’t popular despite high yields because it was far-underperforming gold. Why earn 8% or less in a money-market fund when gold was blasting up 60%+ annually? Even if that number was just 15% a year, it still trounces cash. The same thing will likely happen in the next rising-rate environment. Will a 3% money-market yield, which seems unattainably high today, prove more attractive than gold itself?

Very unlikely. Since its secular bull was born in April 2001, gold has enjoyed a compound annual rate of return of +12.8% as of this week despite being relatively low and out of favor today. Compare this to the S&P 500’s mere +4.2% over that same secular span even at today’s euphoric records. When the stock markets roll over again, gold should have no problem easily achieving annual gains of at least 15%.

And just like in the 1970s, rising rates are likely to be a major driver of stocks’ next cyclical bear. Ironically the same is true with bonds. Higher yields do attract new bond investors, but only if those yields are stable. Why? Bond prices move inversely to yields. As rates rise, the prices of all existing bonds drop as sellers force them to lower levels to make their existing fixed coupons equal current market yields.

The bond markets have enjoyed one of the biggest and longest secular bulls ever witnessed over the past third of a century because rates fell on balance. But when rates start rising on balance, bond prices are going to fall for as long as rates rise. That means all investors who can’t hold every bond to maturity, including bond funds, are going to watch the principal value of their bond portfolios relentlessly drop.

They won’t want anything to do with bonds if their yields don’t handily exceed this erosion of their capital invested. Imagine the Fed hikes rates far enough to see long Treasuries yielding 7%. That is almost inconceivable after years of the Fed’s zero-interest-rate policy. If Treasuries yield 7% but bond investors are losing 5% a year in principal, their net gain is just 2%. That won’t even keep pace with inflation, of course.

So if bonds are falling and stocks are falling, why not buy gold which will be gaining double digits again year after year? Alternative investments thrive, investment demand for them soars, when traditional stock and bond markets are weak. And nothing pushes stock and bond prices lower more effectively and relentlessly than rising-rate environments. Rising rates are likely to drive capital into gold like nothing else can.

Gold was weak in 1975 and 1976 as rates fell, losing 27.8%. Why? Because the SPX shot 56.7% higher in a new cyclical-bull bounce out of the preceding cyclical bear. But soon after the stock markets stalled again in 1976, gold caught another bid. It continued powering higher in 1977 and 1978 despite rates rising relentlessly, especially on the short end of the yield curve. And both rates and gold soared in 1979.

When rates rise fast, not only does their potential downside impact on stock and especially bond prices accelerate, widespread inflation fears are kindled. And neither stocks nor bonds do well in periods of high inflation, but of course gold thrives. So if the markets wrest control of the upcoming rate rise away from the Fed, sharply higher rates are far more likely to push more capital into gold than pull money out of it.

Many traders today believe high rates killed the secular gold bull of the 1970s, but the truth is once again more complex. In less than 6 months between August 1979 and January 1980, gold skyrocketed 200.4% higher! Seeing any already-high price triple in such a short span of time is the hallmark of an unsustainable popular mania. After such a parabolic climax, gold’s bull was due to fail regardless of rates.

Bond demand didn’t surge again until rates stabilized, until investors finally believed that their principal invested would be relatively safe. And even if those ultra-high rates prematurely killed gold’s bull, way up above 16% on the short end and nearing 14% on the long end are radically above anything we are going to see in the coming years. Gold thrived in the 1970s up until 13% in both 1-year and 10-year terms.

Today’s secular gold bull that was stealthily born in 2001 happened in a far-different environment, highlighting that rates are only a secondary gold driver. Over the past 13 years or so, long rates have fallen on balance while short rates have only materially risen one time. And contrary to futures speculators’ outlooks, gold rallied while short rates surged and rallied with long rates far higher than today’s.

Since early 2001 the correlation r-squares of gold with 1-year and 10-year yields have been 43.8% and a high 76.3%. Both are based off of negative correlation coefficients. But with rates falling on balance while gold rose on balance over this span, a negative correlation was inevitable. Focusing on that high-level relationship exclusively masks the true performance of gold in high and rising-rate environments.

Between April 2001 and August 2011, gold’s latest secular-bull high, this metal powered 640% higher. This compares to a horrendous 2% loss for the SPX over that same span, by the way. But during those prime secular-gold-bull years, 1-year Treasury yields averaged 2.24% while 10-year Treasury yields averaged 4.09%. This is 22.4x and 1.7x higher than today’s levels respectively, or many rate hikes higher!

So if gold thrived so incredibly while rates were far higher, why on earth are rising rates perceived as a threat to gold at all as long as they remain below 5% or so? That was the upper range of 10-year yields during gold’s secular bull, and even of 1-year yields. And between mid-2004 to mid-2006, the Fed was on an aggressive tightening cycle. It catapulted the federal-funds rate that it directly controls from 1.00% to 5.25%!

This was a monstrous increase in a short period of time, far more extreme than what the uber-dovish Yellen Fed is expected to do in the next tightening cycle. If American futures speculators are right that rising rates are a mortal threat to gold, it should have been wrecked during that last sharp tightening. Yet this metal actually surged 56.4% higher over that 2-year span where short rates effectively quintupled!

If gold’s secular bull was strong in far-higher rates than today’s, and gold powered higher during the last steep rate-hike cycle, it seems pretty silly for investors and speculators to fear the next round of rate hikes today. Gold and everything it drives including the flagship GLD (NYSEARCA:GLD) gold ETF, silver, and the stocks of the precious-metals miners are likely to thrive during the next rate-hike cycle as general stocks and bonds get hammered.

And for several reasons, the Fed’s next rate-hike cycle is likely to be exceedingly gradual. The Yellen Fed has telegraphed this, and stock traders universally expect it. If the Fed hikes rates too fast, it will risk spawning a panic-like selloff in the topping and dangerously overvalued US stock markets. And fast rate hikes risk igniting cascading bond selling too, which would rapidly catapult rates up out of the Fed’s control.

The Fed will also do everything in its power to slow the rise in rates because of the extreme US federal-debt levels. Merely normalizing short and long rates to long-term averages would literally bankrupt the United States government! Soon interest expenses to service Washington’s enormous debt would expand to eat up all discretionary government spending. There is no way the Fed will risk destroying the US government.

Contrary to popular belief, rising rates are no threat to gold. This metal soared in the 1970s during the last secular rising-rate environment as stocks and bonds got hit. Gold powered higher again in the 2000s with both short and long rates far higher than today’s levels. And gold surged during the only major modern rate-hike cycle seen a decade ago, when the Fed more than quintupled short rates.

Prudent investors and speculators study history to test popular opinion, as emotions often cloud the collective judgment of traders. What would you rather rely upon to grow your capital, someone’s mere belief or the evidence from history? American futures speculators are dead wrong today that the Fed’s coming rate-hike cycle is a mortal threat to gold. The weight of evidence strongly supports the bullish contrary view.

The bottom line is the popular notion that rising rates crush gold is totally false. Gold rocketed higher in the 1970s when both short and long rates were already very high and rising. And gold soared in the 2000s when rates were far higher than today’s. It even surged during the Fed’s last major rate-hike cycle a decade ago, which was quite sharp. Rising interest rates are not gold’s nemesis, and not even a real threat.

Rising rates actually help alternative investments. They weigh on overvalued stock markets, sucking capital out of them. And they steadily erode bond investors’ precious principal. As stocks and bonds fall, investors pour capital into alternatives. Gold leads this category. So as the Fed’s coming rate hikes start popping today’s stock and bond bubbles, global gold investment demand and hence gold prices should thrive.

Comment by Guillotine Renovator
2014-08-23 18:46:00

Ummm, that’s like 40 paragraphs too much. A little teaser and the link would be greatly appreciated by all.

Comment by Selfish Hoarder
2014-08-23 19:58:49

See below. Just a link to an image. Says it all.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-23 22:12:20

WAY long post.

That said, back to the early point about how the end of QE will support PMs.

Maybe I am off bass here, but I thought that the interest rate suppression due to QE had the collateral effect of driving up PM prices, as the lack of any return on interest bearing assets renders gambling on readily available commodities a natural alternative investing strategy.

If so, won’t PMs tank when the end of QE drives up rates?

Comment by Guillotine Renovator
2014-08-23 22:20:43

I don’t know if you’re off bass, but you’re not off base. Gold is going to CRATER!!!!

Comment by Selfish Hoarder
2014-08-24 06:45:27

Again, the illusion is that little people would welcome higher savings rates in T bills and ten year notes. But the real problem is the overwhelming buyers of bonds have their eyes on the value of the bonds, not the yield of the bonds.

The value of the bonds goes the opposite of the yield. When the value drops, there is a rush to the exits as the bond holders don’t want to be caught holding the bag. This is exactly what happened in the late 70s. Bonds were being dumped.

While rates were climbing, the stocks fell because the cost of borrowing went up.

You need to focus on the value of bonds and the value of stocks. Not the yield.

The return on gold is zero, and has been zero. But $35 in 1971 to $1300 is much better than what bonds returned over those years.

Comment by Selfish Hoarder
2014-08-23 16:33:14

One image kills the myth about gold and interest rates:

Comment by AbsoluteBeginner
Comment by AbsoluteBeginner
Comment by rms
2014-08-24 16:30:54

A couple of hard-working Mexican day laborers can be found every morning in the Home Depot or Lowe’s parking lot. Don’t waste your time with lazy white-bread.

Comment by phony scandals
2014-08-23 21:47:39


Feds also use provocateurs to “justify” the militarization of local law enforcement


A retired Philadelphia, Penn., police captain recently said the federal government routinely uses provocateurs against demonstrators to discredit them in the eyes of the public.

Capt. Ray Lewis, who retired from the Philadelphia Police Department in 2004 after serving 24 years and was present during the 2011 Occupy Wall Street protests, said undercover provocateurs “infiltrated Occupy Wall Street like crazy” as a way to influence public opinion against the protestors, a strategy which is also used against other movements critical of the establishment.

“That’s the easiest way to destroy a movement,” he stated. “Let’s say you have Occupy. Either the police, Homeland Security or corporate America – Wall Street – will hire one of their security officers to go out there and burn the American flag, so now you have one of these guys burning an American flag and he’s not an Occupier, he’s not with the protestors, but guess what gets shown all across America?”

“All mainstream America, sitting at home in their middle-class neighborhoods, see this one guy burning an American flag or another one urinating on a police car who is also an undercover agent and then think ‘oh my God, that whole protest – that whole movement – is corrupt and I don’t want anything to do with it.’”

“So they never learn anything about it,” he added. “You can kill a movement that fast with provocateurs.”

The government can also use provocateurs to stir up violence at otherwise peaceful demonstrations to justify a draconian response to the protest and the militarization of local law enforcement.

For example, radio host Dave Hodges claimed a Department of Homeland Security source told him the violent rioting and looting in Ferguson, Missouri, last week “was encouraged and exacerbated by undercover DHS agents posing as members of the Black Panthers.”

The police used this violence to justify giving unconstitutional orders to peaceful protestors in Ferguson, who were the vast majority of those present, while armed with combat gear more suited for war in Iraq and Afghanistan than the American Midwest.

They receive the majority of this military arsenal directly from the Defense Department through the 1033 Military Surplus Property Program.

“They also have access to billions of dollars’ worth of funding from the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security, which they can use to buy military equipment from weapons manufacturers, who line their pockets with the spoils,” Kara Dansky, a senior counsel at the ACLU’s Center for Justice, wrote.

In summary, provocateurs give local police the excuse to transform into small armies by provoking violent confrontations between law enforcement and demonstrators which is then broadcast to the entire nation through exhaustive news coverage.

This unfortunately programs the population into accepting not only the militarization of the police, but also a vast expansion of government powers offered to supposedly stop the violence which in reality only eliminate individual liberties.


Patriot1 • 2 hours ago
John Steinbach talks about provocateurs in his novel The Grapes of Wrath, written towards the end of the Depression in the late 1930’s. Tom Joad and others are staying in this federal government camp, which is a place of safety from the oppressive local authorities. The local police cannot legally enter the camp unless there’s some kind of riot or other disturbance taking place. The people in the camp hold a dance with live music. Shortly before the dance, Tom Joad and a few others are forewarned that the local authorities are going to send a provocateur into the camp who will attempt to start a riot, thus giving the local police the pretense of raiding the camp and arresting everybody. They spot the provocateur and stop him before he can get started, thus denying the local police the excuse they need to raid the camp. This scene is also shown in the movie version, starring Henry Fonda as Tom Joad. Nothing new under the sun, governments have been using this tactic for a long time.
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diddlysquat Patriot1 • 37 minutes ago
I always thought it was John Ford who was Tom Joad, so that was Henry Fonda. I also thought that John Ford played the leading role as ‘Paul Fabrini’ in the movie ‘They Drive By Night’ but it was Humphrey Bogart who played that role. I have never read the novel ‘Grapes of Wrath’ but have seen the movie a few times. What I get out of the movie is how there exists a paradox in society of those who will follow whatever the ‘authorities’ want and those who want economic and personal freedom.

Although I like the theme of ‘Grapes of Wrath’ I have often thought of the ending in the movie. The welfare camp which is really just one step above total poverty, and the beginning of the ‘welfare state’, which makes FDR’s ‘New Deal’ seem like the light at the end of the tunnel. Is this possibly Hollywood just being used as a tool(or working with) by the now very powerful president at the height of the 1930s depression. Something missing in The Grapes of Wrath is the Hegelian Dialectic: action-reaction-solution. Sink the economy and gradually bring it back to ‘normal’. Take everything from the working class, starve them for a while; then give them the basics so as to make sure they don’t die, while also giving them some hope that things will get even better. Problem is that there are nefarious forces in high places making sure that the next step is carefully planned and orchestrated. The most important part for the nefarious forces - always controlling the masses every step of the way.
By the way, ‘They Drive By Night’ is a great movie. It is about an independent trucker trying to live the ‘American Dream’.
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Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-08-24 18:27:19

Malik Shabazz: ‘Provocateurs,’ ‘Plants’ Causing Violence in Ferguson
By Andrew Johnson
August 19, 2014 12:09 AM

“Intentional provocateurs” and “outside infiltrators” are responsible for the eruptions of violence during the protests of peaceful marchers in Ferguson, Mo., according to Black Lawyers for Justice president Malik Shabazz.

“They’ve been here everyday to try to provoke the police to attack us,” Shabazz told CNN as tensions escalated in the city shortly after 10 p.m. local time. “We cannot allow this movement to be destroyed — we’re here for justice.”

When asked about the arrest of man minutes earlier for “carrying a jug of something,” Shabazz, a former chairman of the New Black Panthers Party, said that man was “a plant.” “I don’t know who he’s planted by, but he’s not with us — he’s here to make this look bad, and we don’t want to make it look bad,” he said.​

Shabazz called on community volunteers to help keep the peace in Ferguson.

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