Examining the home price boom and its effect on owners, lenders, regulators, realtors and the economy as a whole.
Post off-topic ideas, links, and Craigslist finds here.
Posted By: Ben Jones @ 12:27 am
Are home prices in your area losing touch with reality again?
Popping property bubbles
Choosing the right pin
House prices in Europe are losing touch with reality again. Deflating the bubbles will not be easy
Aug 30th 2014 | Stockholm | From the print edition
THE Swedish word bo means to live; sambo to cohabit. As more people struggle to get on the housing ladder, a new word has been coined: mambo, to live with your mum. After Oslo, Stockholm is Europe’s fastest growing capital—its population is expected to expand by 50% by 2030—yet cranes are scarce. The 30,000 new arrivals each year have increased competition for housing, and record-low interest rates have allowed Stockholmers to afford bigger mortgages. As a result, Swedish house prices have more than trebled since 1996 and household debt has reached 174% of after-tax income. There is talk, naturally, of a bubble.
It is not just Sweden: in June the IMF called on policymakers to do more to curb housing prices around the world, pointing out that valuations looked high in many countries (see article). In May the European Central Bank singled out sky-high prices in Belgium, Finland and France; in July Moody’s, a ratings agency, said that Britain showed signs of a new property bubble. The trend is all the more remarkable given that many of those economies have not fully recovered from the financial crisis and are growing feebly if at all.
After the collective pre-crisis boom, European housing markets took two paths. Denmark, Greece, Ireland, the Netherlands, Portugal and Spain dropped sharply; some continue to fall. Others including Belgium, Britain, Norway and Sweden only dipped before rebounding with worrying speed (see chart).
The ratio of house prices to rents is 65% above its historical average in Norway, 44% above it in Finland and 43% in Britain. Incomes are also failing to keep pace, with the price-to-income ratio 46% above its long-term average in Belgium and 27% in France. Things look even more outlandish in some cities. Apartment prices in Stockholm have risen 11% over the past year, after climbing 9% the year before; homes in London went up by 19%, thanks in part to foreign speculators.
Household debt is also hitting new records, as people take on bigger mortgages. In Norway, where the price of homes has risen fourfold since 1995, households now owe creditors two times their annual income after tax. Americans used to be far more indebted than Europeans. But Americans’ debt is now below 105% of income after tax, whereas that of euro-zone households is almost 110%. “You cannot know you’re in a bubble, but you can know that debt has moved too far,” says Urban Backstrom, a former governor of the Riksbank, Sweden’s central bank. However, expectations that borrowing will stay cheap and not enough new homes will be built continue to push prices higher.
Do home prices in your area seem a bit frothy?
Global property markets
Easy money is inflating house prices across much of the globe
Aug 30th 2014 | From the print edition
BEFORE the financial crisis of 2007-08 low long-term interest rates fuelled an extraordinary house-price boom around the world. That bubble was pricked in the crisis and subsequent recession. Since then, however, central banks’ attempts to crank up the recovery by pushing down long-term interest rates to new lows have had a predictable consequence in many property markets. House prices are now rising in 18 of the 23 economies that we track, in eight of them at a faster pace than three months ago (see table).
There remain some weak spots, especially in Europe. Prices in Spain, which had one of the biggest bubbles before the crisis, are still falling. They have also been declining in France and Italy, reflecting continuing economic weakness in the euro zone’s second- and third-largest economies. In contrast, housing markets are buoyant in some northern European countries, notably Britain.
Since some recovery was bound to occur after the housing slump, how worrying are the renewed signs of exuberance? To assess whether house prices are at sustainable levels, we use two yardsticks. One is affordability, measured by the ratio of prices to income per person after tax. The other is the case for investing in housing, based on the ratio of house prices to rents, much as stockmarket investors look at the ratio of equity prices to earnings. If these gauges are higher than their historical averages then property is deemed overvalued; if they are lower, it is undervalued.
Based on an average of these measures, houses are at least 25% overvalued in nine countries. Judged by rents, the most glaring examples are in Hong Kong, Canada and New Zealand. The overshoot in these economies and others bears an unhappy resemblance to that prevailing in America at the height of its boom before the crisis.
“Easy money is inflating house prices across much of the globe”
Long-time HBB readers and posters will note a significant intellectual revolution underway, as there was no possibility ten years ago that Economist magazine writers would have dared suggest a connection between global central banking easy money policy and house prices.
Some interesting questions going forward include:
1) Will central bankers be blamed when the Echo Bubble pops?
2) Given the prospect of blame, will they make every effort possible to keep the Echo Bubble inflated?
3) How powerful are the countervailing factors which might lead these Echo Bubble inflation schemes to fail?
When the Echo Bubble eventually collapses and the dust has settled, which central banker will be held most culpable?
None of the banksters will be held culpable, so long as 95% of the electorate are sheep (as manifested by voting for the establishment status quo like Obama, McCain, Romney, and whatever corporate statists the Republicrats give us as “choices” in 2016).
Yet in your brilliance, Sammy, you think that by not voting period things will somehow magically change. It doesn’t matter if only 10% of voters show up, the candidates will not change.
ft dot com
Last updated: August 26, 2014 6:32 pm
Developers offer hefty discounts in strained China homes market
By Gabriel Wildau
A woman walks past residential buildings under construction at the Fun City apartment complex, developed by China Vanke Co., in the Fangshan district of Beijing, China, on Sunday, March 10, 2013. China maintained its economic-growth target at 7.5 percent for 2013 while setting a lower inflation goal of 3.5 percent, setting up a challenge for new leaders to keep prices in check without harming expansion. Photographer: Tomohiro Ohsumi/Bloomberg
In the latest sign of Chinese developers’ desperation to unload inventory into a weak property market, China Vanke Co is offering discounts of up to $325,000 to homebuyers who shop on Alibaba’s Taobao, an e-commerce platform.
The country’s biggest developer will give discounts that match shoppers’ spending of up to Rmb2m ($325,000) on the eBay-like service. Homes in real estate developments in Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Chongqing, among other cities, will qualify, according to an advertisement on Taobao’s website.
Developers began cutting prices this year but have so far failed to revive flagging volumes. More than 30 cities have also removed purchase restrictions introduced in 2010 to restrain price growth amid public anger over high prices.
Residential property sales fell 9.4 per cent in floorspace terms in the first seven months of the year compared with the same period in 2013, according to government statistics.
Developers are increasingly resorting to creative sales tactics to drum up interest.
An office tower in Henan province offered car washes by bikini-clad models to people who referred a friend to the building’s account on WeChat, the instant messaging service run by Tencent Holdings. A residential developer in Wuhuan offered new iPhone 6s to potential buyers who showed up at the sales office.
“Do home prices in your area seem a bit frothy?”
In my little section of Region IV they are about mid to late 2004 “frothy”.
Prices in east Ventura County (So Ca) are leaking air. For instance, my neighbor’s home (lost his 16 y o son recently in the house-heart) listed at $589K and is down $20K. I am tempted to tell him to paint the kitchen cabinets *chocolate and buy pulls at 99centknobs dot com (decent quality, btw) and jazz up his kitchen. The market has slowed to a crawl. Buyers are being selective and are very price sensitive.
*chocolate is so rich looking and women need an emotional pull.
Thats right. Throw more good money after bad on some depreciating dump. Brilliant advice.
His kid died in the house, and he needs to get out of it. He found his son dead in there. Another $50 is no big deal. Lighten up and good morning.
Lighten up ??
Good luck with that…
Yeah, don’t feed the troll, I hear ya. HA is the antipode of the folks here on the HBB.
LOLZ. That’s what he’s telling you to do fool. And you can’t do it.
“I am tempted to tell him to paint the kitchen cabinets *chocolate and buy pulls at 99centknobs dot com (decent quality, btw) and jazz up his kitchen.”
Why waste money on last-ditch renovations which will cost more than the resulting increase in the market value of the home, and which some prospective buyers may find sufficiently offensive to kill any interest in making a purchase?
It might get the house sold, and if he did a diy , the cost is minimal. In this area, chocolate kitchens are a big want from buyers. White as well. Espresso (blackish brown), that boat has sailed.
“It might get the house sold, and if he did a diy , the cost is minimal.”
If it is so cheap and easy to have them installed, why not mention this to prospective buyers as part of the marketing strategy, rather than potentially discouraging those who don’t like chocolate colored cabinets, and discovering there are no buyers in the market who want to buy the home decorated this way?
Paint the existing cabinet doors and framing. Not installing anything. Throw some 99centknobs dot com hardware on them and whala, new look.
Most of the solds in our area are chocolate kitchens. It’s a sheep thing, whac.
Do all sheep like chocolate? I admit I don’t really get sheep thinking processes.
I’d appreciate that they made the effort. I’m watching houses that bottomed at $110K two years ago go for $200K-225K in ghetto lite, central, original fixtures 1978 Las Vegas. Like Daffy Duck says, it’s despicable.
“…women need an emotional pull”
How are they going to feel when they find out someone’s kid recently died in there?
How are they going to feel when they find out someone’s kid recently died in there ??
Well, in California at least, its a mandatory disclosure item if it happened in the past three years…A sale and closing can be reversed by a court if the buyer was not informed prior to…
Yeah, the disclosure law is for superstitious nincompoops. That law use to be 2 years, btw.
Gotta feel for this neighbor. No one knew the kid had the heart condition. 16 y o, wow!
Don’t tell me you wouldn’t want to know if someone’s kid recently died in the house you were thinking about buying?
Caveat emptor, as your Realtor™ is likely hiding information that could make you regret the purchase you are about to make.
Yeah…You gotta feel for the parent…They probably want to sell the house so the can move on and get some closure…It does complicate the sale a bit…The asian culture seem to have the most heartburn with it…
It can be worse…If there was violent death in the house, or multiple deaths, its even hard to rent much less sell…I have seen houses go into foreclosure because of it…
“Well, in California at least, its a mandatory disclosure item if it happened in the past three years…”
Do they require a white outline of the body’s position, too?
White is a better choice than brown. Brown is dark and depressing as heck. And even if a buyer doesn’t want a white kitchen, it’s something they can “live with” while they decide what to do. Emotional pull? That’s what cheery towels and such are for. look at the cover of any kitchen magazine. They have it styled to the gills with “pops of color. “
We’ve had white, blonde maple, and now chocolate kitchens. It depends on the kitchen and home for us. The down side of chocolate is fingerprints and smudges. Glass door inserts help the room look roomier.
When we bought this joint it was the floor plan. The pool was the caveat, and boy is it ever.
But that’s for you. For the poor guy who found his 16 year old son dead of the heart condition and wants to unload the house, I think white would be more attractive to potential buyers.
No matter what his floor plan, white is better. If it’s a small kitchen, white will be brighter. If it’s a large kitchen, he can do the country kitchen thing with roosters and fruit bowls and what not. (Hopefully a friend is doing all this, because I can’t imagine him having the energy to do it himself.)
China: Moon Cake failure. Just spoke to someone and they said the “sales of Moon Cakes was a failure due to Gov. crack down on gifts.” Lots of expensive Moon Cakes going to waste this year. He was trying to stop the bleeding. Prices start at 50 to 100 USD per small box.
Where are you?
We’re at Sycamore south of LA Ave.
I think he’s in China, whoring himself out at the expense of the United States, like so many others…
The arrogant, out-of-touch, bankster-usurped establishment political parties in the UK face the crumbling of their monopoly on electoral power as disillusioned British voters switch in droves to the upstart, anti-EU UK Indepence Party (UKIP).
Flash in the pan, distracts the voters and gives protesters something to vote for.
Maybe not. The sheeple in the UK, unlike their US counterparts, are starting to wake up and open their eyes. And what they see makes them very, very pissed off.
Oddly enough, the ECB’s policy of showering billions of printing-press Euros on the banksters has failed to stem the worsening economic malaise in the Eurozone. Which of course means lavishing more billions in QE on the banksters. Same as it ever was.
The globalist, East German-born Angela Merkel trots out her sour face and is reportedly unhappy that “former” Goldman Sacs exec turned ECB banker Mario Draghi implied moar QE (underwritten by German taxpayers) at the recent bankster confab at Jackson Hole. In the end, of course, Merkel’s “objections” will evaporate as the ECB and Fed must push ahead with their core mission of enriching the .1% at the expense of the 99%.
..you can eassily spot propaganda when writers misstate basic facts.
Frau Merkel was born in Hamburg, West Germany.
New Biography Causes Stir: How Close Was Merkel to the Communist System?
Photo Gallery: Chancellor Angela Merkel’s East German Days
A biography focusing on Chancellor Angela Merkel’s time growing up in East Germany is making headlines because it suggests she was closer to the communist system than hitherto known. Her spokesman has denied she has covered anything up.
A new biography covering Chancellor Angela Merkel’s life in East Germany has caused a stir by suggesting she was closer to the communist apparatus and its ideology than previously thought.
Published this week and written by journalists Günther Lachmann and Ralf Georg Reuth, the book quotes Gunter Walther, a former colleague of hers at the Academy of Sciences in East Berlin, as saying she had been secretary for “Agitation and Propaganda” in the Freie Deutsche Jugend (FDJ) youth organization at the institute. Merkel, a trained physicist, worked at the academy from 1978 until 1989.
Excerpts from the book, “The First Life of Angela M.,” were published in the newsmagazine Focus on Monday. The mass-circulation Bild newspaper has also given the book prominent coverage in recent days.
The book explores Merkel’s life growing up in German Democratic Republic (GDR), where her father Horst Kasner was a Protestant pastor and a committed socialist. He moved to East Germany from West Germany in 1954.
I stand corrected. Frau Merkel was born in West German, but moved to East Germany with her traitorous Bolshevik-loving father and was no doubt raised to be a good little socialist with other people’s money. It would not surprise me in the least if she embraced the Communist system, although she serves the banksters with far more zeal.
“Same as it ever was” is right, so why the seething anger? You think you’re gonna change it? Bwahahahahahahaha!!!! Now get back to your low-wage life, peasant!
It’s that time of year again – when the little juvenile delinquents, future prison inmates, and functionally illiterate junior members of the free shit army pick up their “free” backpacks and “free” school supplies they will never use and shuffle off to the decaying prison-like schools in the City of Philadelphia to eat “free” breakfasts and “free” lunches, while being taught government sanctioned pablum by overpaid mediocre union teachers.
An entrenched monopolistic power structure than needs to be crushed.
The teachers’ unions are a pillar of the corrupt Democrat Party establishment, and the indoctrinated dolts turned out by our public education system are future entitlement voters. Who exactly is going to crush them? The corrupt corporatist GOP which also wants drones and not citizens capable of critical, independent thinking?
Awesome words penned here. The whole system of neoconservative / progressivism is the problem and it’s their philsophical core that causes it.
+1. You have to ask yourself who benefits from dumbing down the masses. And why parents who love their kids aren’t pushing back.
bill i think everyone is over thinking this….the first step to me has always been a War on Ebonics.. everybody has to be fluent in the English language.
Then i believe all the other problems will be solved in time on their own….at far far less cost then anyone can imagine.
“You have to ask yourself who benefits from dumbing down the masses. And why parents who love their kids aren’t pushing back.”
If the act of pushing back seems futile then the solution for parents may lie in home schooling.
Home schooling is what my daughter does with my grandchildren.
Can you imagine how much different our political landscape would look if everyone who voted for Obama - in the childlike faith that a candidate hand-picked from obscurity by George Soros and with Goldman Sachs as his #2 campaign contributor - would somehow bring “change we [i.e. the 99%] can believe in,” thus self-identifying as morons, would voluntarily recognize they are too stupid to participarte in the political process, and refrain from casting votes in future elections? Ditto for the mouth-breathers who voted for McCain and Romney out of a sincere belief they would somehow pursue policies more beneficial to the country as a whole instead of Wall Street and the neo-cons. With this mass of Republicrat cretins staying home on election day, we might actually have a shot at becoming a Constitutional Republic once again.
A lot of homeschooled kids are socially maladjusted freakshows. I hope your grandkids are the exception.
bill i think everyone is over thinking this….the first step to me has always been a War on Ebonics.
Yes, because our various “war on [fill in the blank] have been such successes to date.
Can you imagine how much different our political landscape would look if everyone who voted for Obama….Ditto for the mouth-breathers who voted for McCain and Romney
It would not look much different. You are insulting the wrong people. As if you’re any better by insulting your fellow Americans. Like we asked for this crap.
The people who indoctrinated you with such antipathy towards teachers’ unions are really opposed to all unions. They are the same .1% you rant and rave about. They crippled the private sector unions and they would now like to do the same to the public sector unions.
Although I am against public sector unions you do make a good point MM…
The common reason for it is the parents are sheople. The more appropriate term for “sheople” is “passive.”
People are stretched on their finances (and it’s usually their fault for getting sucked into buying a stucco box costing 67% more than what it’s worth). Married couples have to drop off the kids at school, drive 60 miles to work, and maybe have 20 minutes left in the day for themselves. And the school? they probably never go to PTA meetings. Never met the teachers.
Being passive is the term used by people in all sorts of aspects.
Diet: Look at all the big bellies on 9 year olds these days. If there was one documentary that should have shaken up the people on the crap they put into their bodies, it should be “Super Size me.” Most people don’t know, but studies show that those who eat 7 or more vegetables and fruits a day have a 42% less chance of dying at any age compared to those who do not.
Alcohol: Do guys getting together watching a football game on those TV commercials really only drink two beers during the three or four hours? Overdrinking is a big problem and easy to do when combined with spectator sports or movies. I know now my boss can put away 6 beers in an evening. I did the same when on travel with him to S.F. back in February and we went bar hopping. The question is if he does that regularly. Binge drinking - but he’s skinny.
Politics: Do people realize when they go to the ballot box and vote mainstream they are committing violence? I’ll put it this way: If I hire someone to kill someone else, am I not committing violence? If I hire someone to rob someone else, am I not committing violence? But this is happening every election. Very violent sheople. And they are sheople for not understanding the N.A.P. (non-aggression principle).
House-buying: Do people realize they are risking their freedom and their nest egg by not knowing beforehand who their neighbors are when they shop for a house? You should know everyone on your block. And those who live in the house behind you. You should be very kind to them. But people don’t do that. They buy a house and then you hear them complaining about the noise the next door neighbor makes from his motorized scooter. It’s passivity again, assuming without meeting your future neighbor.
Listening to N.A.R. pablum and accepting a lie as truth: “your house is an investment.” I never heard that before the year 2000. A house is not an investment. At best, it’s a place to raise your kids in a decent neighborhood. Case-Shiller showed it barely keeps up with inflation. Stock index funds regularly purchased and rebalanced - that is called investing.
The people who indoctrinated you with such antipathy towards teachers’ unions are really opposed to all unions.
If labor unions truly represented and championed blue collar workers, I would be all for them. However, they have been thoroughly usurped by organized crime and its close bedfellow, the Democrat Party. Union goons killed the goose that laid the golden egg and endorsed politicians like Obama, who, working hand in glove with Wall Street looters, gutted the productive economy with Big Labor being active accessories. I support workers and will gladly support unions if and when they are purged of organized crime affiliates and DNC apparatchiks.
The NEA is deserving of the same contempt as the NAR - even worse, since it is them that destroyed our education system.
The oligarchs hoist their champaign to Labor Day and the globalist rush to the bottom in terms of compensating workers.
Hey one of those people on that balcony reminds me of my crony capitalist boss. And yes he is a crony. His mom used her influence peddling to get him his business. He sold it recently and probably turned a handsome profit. Ever notice the $hit-eating grins those “progressives” always sport? It’s because they know they gamed the system they so despise.
Thank God the Republicans are supported by those heroes that belong to the Police and Firefighters Unions.
“free” breakfasts and “free” lunches”
These kids have parents on food stamps. If the moms stopped buying cr*p, they could budget lunches with their snap allowance. It is a nice chunk of change per person in household.
A teacher told me horrific tales about food waste in K-6. Uneaten fruit goes in the trash. Ungrateful maggots (of all varieties).
This nation is one big zoo.
And the “de-escalation” in the Ukraine continues.
LOL! They got them with the ole “safe passage agreement”! Whose running the Ukraine now a days any how?
Opposing malevolent oligarchs. The ordinary people on both sides are so screwed.
Quote of the day: “There is a widespread belief that the existing unemployment is the result, in large part, of the gross inequality in the distribution of wealth and income which giant corporations have fostered; that by the control which the few have exerted through giant corporations individual initiative and effort are being paralyzed, creative power impaired and human happiness lessened.”
US Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis, Liggett Co. v Lee, March 13, 1933
But at least we’ve got Facebook and smartphones, to keep the seething masses entertained.
the first step to me has always been a War on Ebonics ??
There is a earlier step that would solve the illiteracy problem…out of control child-birth…I just shake my head when I see very poor, illiterate people with many children…I look at those kids and ask myself what chance do they have for anything other than a minimal life…I don’t know what the soloution is…Maybe there isn’t one…
Been around the world and found that only stupid people are breeding;
The cretins cloning and feeding,
and I don’t even own a TV (Harvey Danger, Flagpole Sitta)
Thanks for that. I watched “Peep Show” (this song is its theme song) but never really paid attention to the lyrics.
Hearing those lyrics keeps me reminded of “Idiocracy,” and idiocracy. the one in quotes is the movie. The one without quotes is what we have in the USA today. That song came out in 1997? Prophetic.
Big Sisters and Big Brothers are great role models. Or like me, they see their parents as anti-role models. Family environment plays only a part of how a child turns out. External influences can wake the child up.
As I was growing up, I realized my “incubator” had a low IQ, and swam up stream without her encouragement or love.
Look at Louis Armstrong’s youth. Same thing. Russian Jews gave him his first instrument, he hung out with their kids, and the rest is history.
I have come to learn that the outside influences on children & teens is far greater than I could have imagined….Good parenting and a loving family does not guarantee anything…
Yeah, I concur. Nor does socio-economic conditions.
Look at most of the Tin Pan Alley musicians and lyricists. Most came from the NYC tenements, mostly, Jewish immigrant offspring. Others like Johnny Mercer (started Capital Records after a music/lyrics career) was from a well off religious southern family. He strayed and followed his dream. He loved Judy Garland, but life timing kept them from getting married. (I’m young then this generation. I’m enamored with this era-learning piano.)
I had no one to rely for guidance or love but a sense of self, and some positive external influences.
Nothing is sadder than unrealized human potential, especially kids in the formative years. In the tenement neighborhoods you speak of, Inchbyinch, it seems like people were much more connected to their neighbors and could look out for them if they were so inclined. Today people are much more isolated and kids are being raised in houses and apartments by TVs. The value of positive, caring outside influences like teachers, coaches, mentors, etc. cannot be overstated. Good on anybody who looks out for others.
True enough. I had to search out positive role models. I also had to teach myself good character. My family had religion, an e ticket opt out of consequences for bad behaviors.
“There is a widespread belief that the existing unemployment is the result, in large part, of the gross inequality in the distribution of wealth and income..US Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis, Liggett Co. v Lee, March 13, 1933… ???
80 years ago…Right after the Depression…And here we are again….
IMO, we will get back to some balance either through revolt or through a new deal…I say the new deal….It will come from Tax Code Reform and possibly a WPA effort in infrastructure rebuilding…
Repeat after me: there is no inflation. So sayeth Auntie Janet.
The price rise of butter is due to the forces of Supply and Demand.
“Consumers have increased purchases for five straight years, while margarine sales dropped, according to researcher Nielsen NV. The gains left U.S. stockpiles in July 42 percent lower than a year earlier, USDA data show.”
The herd of consumers are buying butter instead of buying margarine. The herd apparently has decided that margarine and all the stuff margarine is made from is not healthy to eat.
BTW, the source of much of what margarine is made from is corn and here’s what is happening to the price of corn:
According to that chart, corn is down year over year.
We may not be able to afford our butter, but at least we have plenty of guns.
We may not be able to afford our butter
Too true. Two dollar + price jump at Costco lately.
Butter Prices Reach All-Time High Amid Smaller Stockpiles
Friend from NYC was here in Vegas five months ago - she thought prices here were cheap.
The person with the guns also has the butter.
I hardly eat any butter. I don’t need it.
Same for me with guns. Never eat ‘em, don’t need ‘em (personally), though I am grateful for the brave soldiers out there protecting America’s borders from invading barbarians.
Follow the money
Myth of arctic meltdown: Stunning satellite images show summer ice cap is thicker and covers 1.7million square kilometres MORE than 2 years ago…despite Al Gore’s prediction it would be ICE-FREE by now
Seven years after former US Vice-President Al Gore’s warning, Arctic ice cap has expanded for second year in row
An area twice the size of Alaska - America’s biggest state - was open water two years ago and is now covered in ice
These satellite images taken from University of Illinois’s Cryosphere project show ice has become more concentrated
By DAVID ROSE FOR THE MAIL ON SUNDAY
PUBLISHED: 17:04 EST, 30 August 2014 |
The speech by former US Vice-President Al Gore was apocalyptic. ‘The North Polar ice cap is falling off a cliff,’ he said. ‘It could be completely gone in summer in as little as seven years. Seven years from now.’
Those comments came in 2007 as Mr Gore accepted the Nobel Peace Prize for his campaigning on climate change.
But seven years after his warning, The Mail on Sunday can reveal that, far from vanishing, the Arctic ice cap has expanded for the second year in succession – with a surge, depending on how you measure it, of between 43 and 63 per cent since 2012.
To put it another way, an area the size of Alaska, America’s biggest state, was open water two years ago, but is again now covered by ice.
The most widely used measurements of Arctic ice extent are the daily satellite readings issued by the US National Snow and Ice Data Center, which is co-funded by Nasa. These reveal that – while the long-term trend still shows a decline – last Monday, August 25, the area of the Arctic Ocean with at least 15 per cent ice cover was 5.62 million square kilometres.
This was the highest level recorded on that date since 2006 (see graph, right), and represents an increase of 1.71 million square kilometres over the past two years – an impressive 43 per cent.
Other figures from the Danish Meteorological Institute suggest that the growth has been even more dramatic. Using a different measure, the area with at least 30 per cent ice cover, these reveal a 63 per cent rise – from 2.7 million to 4.4 million square kilometres.
Yet for years, many have been claiming that the Arctic is in an ‘irrevocable death spiral’, with imminent ice-free summers bound to trigger further disasters. These include gigantic releases of methane into the atmosphere from frozen Arctic deposits, and accelerated global warming caused by the fact that heat from the sun will no longer be reflected back by the ice into space.
Judith Curry, professor of earth and atmospheric sciences at Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, said last night: ‘The Arctic sea ice spiral of death seems to have reversed.’
Those who just a few years ago were warning of ice-free summers by 2014 included US Secretary of State John Kerry, who made the same bogus prediction in 2009, while Mr Gore has repeated it numerous times – notably in a speech to world leaders at the UN climate conference in Copenhagen in 2009, in an effort to persuade them to agree a new emissions treaty.
Mr Gore – whose office yesterday failed to respond to a request for comment – insisted then: ‘There is a 75 per cent chance that the entire polar ice cap during some of the summer months could be completely ice-free within five to seven years.’
Misleading as such forecasts are, some people continue to make them. Only last month, while giving evidence to a House of Lords Select Committee inquiry on the Arctic, Cambridge University’s Professor Peter Wadhams claimed that although the Arctic is not ice-free this year, it will be by September 2015.
Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2738653/Stunning-satellite-images-summer-ice-cap-thicker-covers-1-7million-square-kilometres-MORE-2-years-ago-despite-Al-Gore-s-prediction-ICE-FREE-now.html#ixzz3ByukQ39R
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My Cousin Vinny The defense is wrong - YouTube
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AiA1NVEf9K4 - 177k -
“The speech by former US Vice-President Al Gore was apocalyptic. ‘The North Polar ice cap is falling off a cliff,’ he said. ‘It could be completely gone in summer in as little as seven years. Seven years from now.’
“But seven years after his warning, The Mail on Sunday can reveal that, far from vanishing, the Arctic ice cap has expanded for the second year in succession – with a surge, depending on how you measure it, of between 43 and 63 per cent since 2012.”
Ooops - time for Al G. to rebrand me thinks!
Is a new generation of future bailout recipients currently loading up on HELOC debt which will put them underwater when the Echo Bubble collapses?
Gawd save us from strawman “Is it a bubble” discussions.
If it expands like a bubble, shines like a bubble, and pops like a bubble, it’s a bubble.
Time to prime the bailout pump:
Equity credit lines are making a comeback as home prices rise
By Kenneth R. Harney
- Owners have pulled out $120 billion in new home equity credit lines in the last 12 months
- HELOCs are particularly attractive because of their low interest rates and repayment flexibility
- Increase in equity credit lines is the result of home price gains in most parts of the U.S. in the last year
WASHINGTON — If you’ve got it, tap it. That appears to be the strategy for growing numbers of homeowners across the country who have begun taking out home equity credit lines at a rapidly accelerating pace.
New data provided by national credit bureau Experian and researchers at the Oliver Wyman consulting organization suggest that a rebound boom in equity-tapping is underway. Owners have pulled out $120 billion in new home equity credit lines in the last 12 months, a 27% increase in volume over the year earlier.
In some states, new home equity line borrowing is exploding — up 169% in Wyoming, 85% in Oklahoma, 79% in Arizona, 53% in Florida and 52% in Ohio. Dollar volumes of new lines are highest in areas with the most expensive housing, especially along the West Coast and the Northeast. In California alone, nearly $6 billion in new equity credit lines were originated in the last 12 months, according to researchers.
In many cases these are not small lines, either. For owners with high credit scores, the average amount that can be drawn down on new lines is just under $120,000. For those with good but not perfect credit, dollar limits average in the $40,000 to $60,000 range.
But banks are lending to applicants with poor credit as well. New credit lines to “deep subprime” owners — those with the worst credit histories — topped out above $30,000 in the second quarter.
Home equity credit lines — commonly referred to as HELOCs — typically are second mortgages. Unlike standard second loans, HELOCs are structured as open lines of credit that the borrowers can access up to a stated limit. Lines are often used to pay for home renovations, college tuition and other recurring big-ticket expenses.
HELOCs are particularly attractive because of their low interest rates and repayment flexibility. Rates for owners with good credit run from the mid-3% range to 4%. Repayment terms typically are interest-only for an initial period of years, after which payments “reset” to include principal plus interest.
Most HELOCs are made by banks. As long as the total mortgage debt secured by a house — the combination of the first mortgage plus the maximum HELOC amount — does not exceed 80%, banks believe that they have a margin of safety should home values decline. But some banks and credit unions recently have begun pushing the combined debt limit to 90%, provided applicants’ credit scores and documented incomes are high.
The rapid increase in new credit lines is the direct result of the significant gains in home prices in most parts of the country during the last year, researchers say. According to Federal Reserve estimates, owners’ equity holdings jumped by $2.15 trillion between the first quarter of 2013 and the first quarter of this year.
But here’s a key question: Despite the big jumps in home prices and equity holdings, is the boom in HELOCs beginning to look like a bubble? Is it a good thing — or an omen — when new HELOC volumes soar in a year by 79% in Arizona and 52% in Florida? Both states were early leaders in the mortgage credit crazes that preceded the bust. Are we heading for a repeat?
Alan Ikemura, a senior product manager at Experian Decision Sciences, doesn’t think so.
“HELOC [originations] are not a bubble taking shape,” he says, because banks’ underwriting rules and practices are much more stringent. Plus consumers themselves are behaving more prudently with the credit they’re granted.
Didn’t we go down this road last time? Leverage, debt, reckless spending, etc. What happens when interest rates go up and payments on the HELOC’s are much higher. Do I hear Bubble 2.0!
at 8:08 AM August 31, 2014
What happens when interest rates go up ??
Thats the the buzz phrase of the day…So much so it does not have much impact…The markets sure don’t seem to be overly concerned…
Maybe, we should also consider another way this could play out…What if we are in a Japan like cycle…Who here honestly believes that we could raise rates tomorrow by even 1% much less back to historical norms without massive consequences not just for us but for the entire world economies…
We are already the flight to safety haven for bonds and pretty much everything else…A rate hike by the FED would possibly have the reverse effect of its intent in that there would be so much competition for our 2’s & 10’s that the yield would just be driven back down…
What would you do, and how would you act financially if you knew that interest rates would remain low for another 3-5 years…Stagflation & deflation at the same time….Higher cost in the things we need…Lower cost in everything else…
Raising rates resulting in 10%+ yields on the ten year bond would accelerate the economy like nothing else.
“What happens when interest rates go up ??”
1. Housing values drop
2. HELOCked owners go underwater
3. An angry mob clamors for bailouts
4. Politicians see renewed opportunity to win votes by bailing out underwater HELOCked homeowners, and go for it (again)
#5. World economies explode creating the kindling for world war III which, in essence, could be the end of humanity…
Raising interest rates right now would be a disaster…
Lower prices means the sky is falling?
Are you ok?
If prices go up then equity goes up. Only a damn fool would just stand by and let all that equity go to waste. The smart thing to do is convert that equity into some nifty spending money.
The way to accomplish this magic by going to the bank and working out a deal with your friendly banker whereby the banker gets control of the equity (aka the house) and you, in return, get some money to spend.
Poof goes the money you spend and what is left after the spending is some debt that is owed to the bank - debt that is backed by the house that you believe you own (but really don’t).
So now the banker has got you where he wants you. And he was able to do this because …
People are smart.
The deserving equity extractors have no need to worry, as if home values ever again decline, “Save Our Homes” bailout measures will be adopted to make underwater borrowers whole.
‘Owners have pulled out $120 billion in new home equity credit lines in the last 12 months’
Why? Are they buying stocks with the proceeds?
It’d be scary if that turned out to be the case. We could be looking at a financial market bloodbath that makes the 1930s episode look like a minor correction by comparison.
It’s deja vu all over again!
Has anybody estimated how many trillion dollars in Fed engineered home equity wealth effects have landed in the portfolios of foreign real estate equity locusts? Perhaps this will only become clear through the lens of history’s rear view mirror, once the locusts finish taking the money and running.
The Council on Foreign Relations (elitist body intent on advancing an oligarchical, globalist agenda) calling for the Fed and central banks to give cash “directly to the people” meaning, of course, the people of Wall Street, not the people of Wal-Mart.
“She documents a growing trend of older Americans for whom the reality of unaffordable housing and scarcity of work has driven them from their homes and onto the road in search of seasonal and temporary employment across the country.”
Permanent temps: What your life as an ‘elderly migrant’ worker will be like when you can’t retire
By Lynn Parramore, AlterNet
Saturday, August 30, 2014 11:21 EDT
In a must-read article in the current issue of Harper’s magazine, journalist Jessica Bruder, adjunct professor at Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism, adds a new phrase to America’s vocabulary: “Elderly migrant worker.” She documents a growing trend of older Americans for whom the reality of unaffordable housing and scarcity of work has driven them from their homes and onto the road in search of seasonal and temporary employment across the country. Packed into RVs, detached from their communities, these “Okies” of the Great Recession put in time at Amazon warehouses, farms and amusement parks, popping free over-the-counter pain reliever to mask the agony of strained muscles and sore backs. And when they can’t hold up any longer? The RV sometimes becomes a coffin.
Since the financial crisis ripped the security out from under millions of people, the bulk of our politicians, including President Obama, actually tried to reduce, rather than increase, Social Security. The absence of pensions, along with the inadequacy of 401(k)s, skyrocketing healthcare and job insecurity and unemployment, are sending more and more people scrambling to figure out a way to keep body and soul together. Even grandparents are joining the ranks of those for whom life has become a game of Survivor. In an email interview, I asked Bruder about this alarming trend and what it means for the country, now and in the future.
Lynn Parramore: In your recent article in Harper’s, you describe a trend of downwardly mobile elderly folks traveling the country in RVs in search of temporary and seasonal work. How many people are we talking about? How fast has this trend been emerging?
Jessica Bruder: Though no one keeps an official tally of how many older Americans are doing this kind of work, their ranks appear to be growing rapidly in the wake of the housing bust and market crashes.
Amazon first hired a handful of migrant full-time RVers in 2008 through a program the company later named “CamperForce.” As of 2014, it had expanded to employ some 2,000 workers, according to a recruiter I met in Quartzsite, Arizona. The American Crystal Sugar Company taps the same labor pool each fall to staff its annual sugar beet harvest, and their recruitment numbers are up, too. This year, they’re hoping to recruit 600 “workampers,” up from 450 the year before.
Sad, but the important thing is to increase CEO compensation, reduce unnecessary “head count” to inflate stock prices for the 1%’s’ stock options, deliver “shareholder value,” and keep Wall Street’s ponzi markets humming along. The 99% are superfluous to these all-important measures of neoliberal economic “success.”
Recruitment materials for the beet harvest, with 12-hour overnight shifts in subzero temperatures, refer to the work as “an unBEETable experience
What’s missing from this story is the background of those in this situation.
I can almost guarantee that if you looked closely at their history you’ve find a whole series of stupid financial decisions based on instant gratification. The fact that they own RVs is proof. An RV is like a boat: expensive to purchase, depreciates quickly, and costs a fortune to maintain.
There are exceptions, of course, but I would bet that almost all of those described in the story have a history of living beyond their means.
“In your recent article in Harper’s, you describe a trend of downwardly mobile elderly folks traveling the country in RVs in search of temporary and seasonal work. How many people are we talking about? How fast has this trend been emerging?”
Apparently the writer doesn’t understand math. How are $35+ per night RV parks remotely affordable?
Walmart parking lot is free.
‘Walmart parking lot is free.’
My future home(s) if I get an RV and a dream to hike all the great long-distance trails.
I miss the Beats.
The way they used to scream about being victims after those huge cash out refis. The demands of free homes and claims of not having any knowledge of neg am loans with balloon payments that they figured they would take care of with another refi or a sale to a bigger fool than themselves when they signed for them. The squealing when the Hardest Hit money ran out and denials of collecting rent for years on “investment properties” that they were not making mortgage payments on.
I miss the Beats.
Top Foreclosure Fraud Website FOR SALE - YouTube
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uW5FFJracfw - 194k - Cached - Similar pages
May 27, 2014 ..
Are you suggesting the Beats are Dead?
IIRC they are known as DEADBEATS
“IIRC they are known as DEADBEATS”
A hypocorism (/haɪˈpɒkərɪzəm/; from Greek ὑποκορίζεσθαι hypokorizesthai, “to use child-talk”), also known as a pet name or calling name, is a shorter or diminutive form of a word or given name, for example, when used in more intimate situations as a nickname or term of endearment. However, shortening of names is certainly not exclusive to terms of affection; indeed, in many cases, a shortened name can also be used to intimidate or humiliate. The ambiguity would need to be clarified by context.
Ru missing the rally in long-term government bonds?
30-Year U.S. Bond Yield Falls to 2014 Low
Investors Anticipate More Easing Measures From the ECB
By Cynthia Lin
Updated Aug. 27, 2014 4:50 p.m. ET
U.S. Treasurys shadowed euro-zone government bonds higher Wednesday as global investors anticipate more easing measures from the European Central Bank.
In late afternoon trading, benchmark U.S. 10-year notes gained 9/32 in price to yield 2.361%. The 30-year bond rallied 31/32 to yield 3.101%, hitting its lowest level this year. Two-year notes rose 1/32 to yield 0.516%. Bond yields fall when prices rise.
Rates on U.S. government bonds have become increasingly attractive relative to those offered on comparable bonds across the Atlantic, helping to support Treasurys despite worries about when the Federal Reserve might tighten monetary policy.
“There are greater expectations of quantitative easing from the ECB as it relates to asset-backed securities,” said Wilmer Stith, portfolio manager of the Wilmington Trust Broad Market Fund. “The question is how effective it will be.”
ECB President Mario Draghi spoke at the Jackson Hole, Wyo., central banking conference last weekend, emphasizing the lack of inflation in the euro zone and reiterating that the central bank is ready to act when necessary.
That raised investors’ expectations that the ECB will soon, perhaps as early as September, deliver further easing measures to support growth and boost inflation in its region. The ECB announces its next policy statement on Sept. 4.
Germany’s bonds rallied over the past week, sending its yields to historic lows. The 10-year bund yield fell as low as 0.90% Wednesday, while its two-year debt yielded below zero. The 1.46 percentage-point gap between U.S. and German 10-year debt yields is the highest since 1999.
Spain’s 10-year bond yield fell to 2.153%, extending the unusual case where Spain bonds yield less than comparable U.S. Treasurys.
“European government bonds continue their Draghi-inspired rally,” said Richard Gilhooly, interest-rate strategist at TD Securities, referring to Mr. Draghi.
“The rally in Europe continues to widen spreads versus U.S. Treasurys while imparting a mild bid to the U.S. market.”
Economists once again show their collective ineptitude in trying to predict when interest rates will increase and the long-term government bond bubble will pop.
I’m sure ABQDan boldly and virilely predicted this development correctly, though I am presume he isn’t available to corroborate the boldness, virility and correctness of his prediction.
Treasury Market Rally Is Stronger Than Every Economist Predicted
By Wes Goodman and Mariko Ishikawa
August 29, 2014
This year’s Treasury market rally has been stronger than every economist surveyed by Bloomberg News predicted.
Ten-year yields that slid to 2.32 percent yesterday were lower than the levels projected by all 66 economists surveyed for their Sept. 30 forecasts. Even as the Federal Reserve scales back the bond-purchase program it has used to support the U.S. economy, Treasuries are drawing demand as yields in Europe fall to records amid speculation the European Central Bank will increase its efforts to cut borrowing costs. Fighting in Ukraine is spurring investor appetite for the safest securities.
“The bond market still has more room to rally,” said Ali Jalai, a bond trader in Singapore at Scotiabank, a unit of Bank of Nova Scotia, one of 22 primary dealers that trade directly with the Fed. “The consensus is that the ECB will announce some sort of bond-buying program.” In Ukraine, “it seems to be getting bigger and bigger every day,” he said.
The U.S. 10-year yield was little changed at 2.34 percent at 11:45 a.m. in New York, according to Bloomberg Bond Trader data. It has fallen from 3.03 percent at the end of 2013. The price of the 2.375 percent note maturing in August 2024 fell 2/32, or 63 cents per $1,000 face value, to 100 8/32.
The median forecast in the Bloomberg survey conducted Aug. 8 to Aug. 13 was for the benchmark to be 2.70 percent by the end of September, while the lowest prediction was 2.40 percent.
Yields are also less than the bottom forecast for year-end, which is 2.43 percent among 68 economists who responded.
From the U.S. to Asia and Europe, fixed-income securities of all types have gained 1.3 percent in August, the most since January as measured by Bank of America Merrill Lynch index data.
Japan’s 10-year bond yielded 0.496 percent, after falling to 0.485 percent yesterday, the lowest level since April 2013. Australia’s declined to 3.29 percent, about one basis point away from this year’s low.
Europe’s bond yields have tumbled to records after ECB President Mario Draghi said in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, last week that policy makers will use “all the available instruments needed to ensure price stability” and are “ready to adjust our policy stance further.” The ECB next meets on Sept. 4.
Europe needs to stop the insanity
Published: Aug 29, 2014 1:11 p.m. ET
By Michael A. Gayed
While everyone is focused on the Dow Jones Industrials Average hitting the 17,000 level and the S&P 500 crossing 2000, the real thing to think about is the madness of the crowd. It is now a foregone conclusion by market pundits that the European Central Bank (ECB) will initiate quantitative easing (QE). The argument? Germany and Italy are contracting, and bond yields in all developed market are signaling deflation.
I don’t disagree — Mario Draghi may indeed do some form of QE given that the hardest thing to do for any central bank is to do nothing at all. But can we all take a step back for a moment and think about just how insane this line of thinking is? Last I checked, quantitative easing has failed to do anything meaningful to Japan’s gross domestic product (GDP) and inflation from the standpoint of wages. Last I checked, quantitative easing has failed to significantly boost U.S. GDP and inflation expectations, though it has greatly widened the gap between rich and poor.
What you fail to see is that QE was never intended to boost GDP. It was and is an enrichment scheme for the .1%, pure and simple.
Region VIII checking in
and please put your poop in a bag when you’re visiting the backcountry of region viii, because there’s too much poop in the water:
Think about how you treat the natural resources, and the unnatural resources of your Region.
Think about your Region.
Precious metals: One of the few assets that is no one else’s liability. Thanks to Doug Casey for that tidbit.
There are many others:
- Fine violins and other string instruments
- Fine violin bows and those for other string instruments
- Bit coin
- Beany Babies
etc etc etc
FEDS RELEASE NUMBER OF IMMIGRANTS ARRESTED IN THE SOUTH TEXAS
“They’ll be apprehended in the field, taken back to the station and processed accordingly”
by KRGV | AUGUST 31, 2014
Federal officials released more information about the number of illegal immigrants arrested so far this year in the Rio Grande Valley.
Recently released information puts the number at 245,000. Seventy five percent of those crossers are from countries other than Mexico. Most of those are from Central America.
The number of arrest for last year was 154,000.
“We have some from China, some from Bangladesh, some from Albania,” Border Patrol Spokesman Omar Zamora said.
Zamora said 18,500 people have made their way to the Valley after traveling halfway around the world.
You must stop calling them derogatory terms like “illegal immigrant” and re-brand them “DNC Supermajority Enablers” instead. Sounds more…empowering.
The Mother of All Blowback
By Eric Margolis
August 30, 2014
So we see small numbers of US troops being sent back to Iraq – enough men to get the nation stuck in a new conflict but not enough to make a major difference. In short, the worst of both worlds.
Now, Obama is being pressed to attack Syria, an idea so crazy it takes the breath away. Obama is largely responsible for the current disaster in Syria – nearly 200,000 dead and three million refugees. Once thriving Syria, the real heart of the Arab world, has been devastated. President Vlad Putin may not save Obama this time.
The US sponsored and armed the uprising against the Assad regime, which had brutally ruled Syria for 43 years. France, Britain, Saudi Arabia and other Arab nations backed the campaign to overthrow Assad, as a way to damage Iran, Syria’s principal ally. The result: a bloody war of attrition that is slowly being won by Damascus.
Worse, the western intervention in Syria produced what is known in the intelligence business as “blowback”- in this case the Mother of all blowback.
The Syrian jihadist supported by the western powers and, for some baffling reason, Turkey, ran amok. A previously unknown band of gunmen known as the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant were trained and armed in Jordan by CIA, then turned lose on Syria.
ISIL became ISIS, then the by now notorious Islamic State(IS) which has been rampaging across northern and central Iraq. What makes IS so effective is that the major portion of its leaders and soldiers are veterans of President Saddam Hussein’s army, notably the Republican Guard. With IS is the last surviving Saddam insider, Izzat Ibrahim al-Douri.
When the US first invaded Iraq, Saddam predicted it would face the “Mother of all battles.” Westerners laughed. Eleven years later, the laughter has been silenced. Iraq continues to fight on and it is no longer safe for foreign oil companies. Saddam’s revenge.
The Islamic State is the perfect example of Nietzche’s over-used maxim, “what does not kill us makes us stronger.” It has risen from the ruins of Iraq and Syria to challenge the American Raj.
“Light” bombing by the US in Iraq won’t stop the IS. Pentagon chiefs now say US air power and special forces must go into Syria. This is standard Obama procedure: inching forward and launching trial balloons to test public opinion. But it’s clear the American public does not want new wars no matter what the pro-war media and bought Congress may say.
War is good for business.
Ebola continues its march across Africa, and is now moving into overcrowded cities. Krugman must have some way to spin this as good for GDP.
The previous Ukrainian oligarch regime emptied the national treasury of $70 billion dollars before skipping off to Russia. Now the new Ukrainian oligarch regime is getting $17 billion from the IMF (22% paid for by US taxpayers) - I’m sure their accounting controls will be scrupulous.
French socialists demanding more QE (since they’ve killed the goose that laid the golden eggs).
US SENATOR CALLS FOR ARMS FOR UKRAINE AS ‘FULL-SCALE WAR’ LOOMS WITH RUSSIA
by TIM LISTER, FAITH KARIMI AND SHELBY LIN ERDMAN | CNN | AUGUST 31, 2014
A U.S. lawmaker is calling for the arming of Ukrainian forces engaged in fighting Russian troops along the nation’s eastern border with Russia.
Sen. Robert Menendez, D-New Jersey, is in the Ukrainian capital, Kiev, on a fact-finding mission into the monthslong conflict there between pro-Russian rebels and the Ukrainian military.
Appearing on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday, Menendez called this a “watershed moment” in the conflict. He said it’s time to recognize what’s really happening in eastern Ukraine — not a rebel uprising, but a Russian invasion.
“And we must recognize it as that,” said Menendez, chairman of the House Foreign Relations Committee. “When I read the headlines back at home that suggest rebels are advancing in different parts of eastern Ukraine, it’s not rebels — it’s Russian soldiers.”
“We should be providing the Ukrainians with the type of defensive weapons that will impose a cost upon (Russian President Vladimir) Putin for further aggression.”
Crater crater crater.
“…have at least 10,000$…”
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