December 30, 2014

Bits Bucket for December 30, 2014

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

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Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-12-30 02:11:51

How do you like oil at May 2009 levels? American living is nearly affordable once again for middle class working families.

Now if we could just get housing to follow a similar path back to affordable levels…

Comment by Shillow
2014-12-30 06:19:14

The stock market also?

Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2014-12-30 08:51:30


Comment by Puggs
2014-12-30 15:15:23

Bring it. I got a bunch of cash I’d pile in at DOW 6,500!

Comment by Avocado
2014-12-30 17:55:29

but so do others who pile in at DOW 16000, get it? same with RE, cars, boats

it is called “demand”

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Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-12-30 19:16:56

Well Lolacado….. demand isn’t doing so well for houses is it.

Comment by Guillotine Renovator
2014-12-30 21:54:42

Uhh, no, apparently YOU don’t get it. When the stock market decides to do a straight down nosedive, you can hardly find buyers at any price. That’s why they call it a CRASH. Everybody is selling, and getting the hell away. You didn’t learn a thing during the last crash.

Comment by Guillotine Renovator
2014-12-30 21:57:54

I should have clarified there are buyers, of course, but at LOWER AND LOWER prices, not higher prices.

Comment by Puggs
2014-12-30 22:18:12

If you bought in at 16,000 and over paid for cars and houses that’s a very personal problem. I’d be happy to buy repo’d houses, boats and cars at 75% off.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-12-30 06:34:16

Got gravity?

Oil prices fall more than $1, dropping to five-year lows

By Samantha Sunne
NEW YORK Mon Dec 29, 2014 4:27pm EST
A motorist holds a fuel pump at a Gulf petrol station in London in this April 18, 2006 file photo.
Credit: Reuters/Luke MacGregor/Files
Related News
UPDATE 1-Libya fighting destroys two days oil supply
Libya asks Italy to help extinguish fire at biggest oil port
UPDATE 10-Oil declines amid stronger dollar, crude oversupply in U.S.
Rocket hits storage tank at Libya’s biggest oil port

(Reuters) - Crude oil prices on tumbled on Monday, with global grades settling down more than $1 a barrel after an early rally fizzled and prices fell to their lowest levels since May 2009.

News of further damage Libya’s oil infrastructure prompted the early rally that was quickly erased as pervasive fears of global oversupply trumped concerns about output curtailment from the OPEC producer.

Phil Flynn of Price Futures Group said the rally may have triggered sell stops. Then once the Brent dropped below $54, a previous low, more stops may have been triggered.

It just shows you that the market is very heavy,” Flynn said.

Comment by azdude
2014-12-30 06:54:29

how much do you think the carbon tax in CA will add to fuel on the 1st?

Comment by rms
2014-12-30 09:17:04

Will the school teachers get it or the general fund welfare peeps?

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Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-12-30 06:35:31

Oil Prices Continue to Slide on Oversupply Concerns
U.S. Shale Inventories Still High Despite Scaling Back of Drilling Rigs
By Georgi Kantchev
Dec. 30, 2014 5:29 a.m. ET

LONDON—Oil prices continued their relentless slide on Tuesday on concerns about a growing oversupply of the commodity.

Fueled by booming U.S. shale oil production and reluctance from other major producers to cut output, the selloff shows no signs of abating despite news of disruptions in Libya and an apparent scaling back of drilling rigs in the U.S.

Front month Brent crude on London’s ICE Futures exchange fell $0.50 to $57.34 a barrel, following a 2.6% drop on Monday. In electronic trading on the New York Mercantile Exchange, light, sweet crude futures for delivery in February traded at $53.27 a barrel, down 0.7%.

“There is a lot of negative sentiment going around despite the holidays,” said Thina M. Saltvedt, senior oil analyst at Nordea Bank in Oslo. According to her, the slide will continue into the New Year and Brent might average $55 in the first quarter of 2015.

Comment by Shillow
2014-12-30 07:38:59

Will you be ready for the massive stimulus package that will be coming directed towards infrastructure? After the recognition of the current downturn. When? Before the 2016 elections, with bipartisan support.

Comment by Dman
2014-12-30 10:19:03

There should have been one right after the crash. But instead of giving money to construction workers, they decided to give it to the banks. Now we still have a deficit, but it’s all going toward making the rich even richer.

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Comment by scdave
2014-12-30 10:58:06

+1 Dman…

Comment by drumminj
2014-12-30 11:04:38

There should have been one right after the crash. But instead of giving money to construction workers, they decided to give it to the banks.

“They” did, to some degree. Remember the ARRA and the money given out for “shovel-ready” projects?

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-12-30 11:13:06

Yeah I’ll never forget it. Compliance with ARRA requirements nearly destroyed a few lives in our outfit.

Comment by aNYCdj
2014-12-30 08:27:16

How do you like oil at May 2009 levels?

Other than some long driving lately catching up with some old friends outside of Albany upstate ct and out on Amagansett & montauk and taking the scenic routes…it really doesn’t affect me much in queens

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-12-30 08:44:55

Where in queens?

Comment by aNYCdj
2014-12-30 08:56:11

long island city

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Comment by Bill, just south of Irvine
2014-12-30 09:06:44

The prices probably won’t affect me for awhile. My airlines hedge on oil and are using higher priced fuel they stocked up on. The fuel they buy now is cheap and will be reflected in airline tickets maybe in a year or so.

Comment by Ol'Bubba
2014-12-30 09:17:53

I drive about 10,000 miles a year and my car gets about 20-22 mpg, so I buy about 450-500 gallons of gasoline a year, or about 40 gallons a month.

The extra $40-60 bucks a month is nice (at $1 to $1.50 less per gallon), but it’s not a life changing amount.

Perhaps we can get some comments from the northeast, where many of the homes are heated with oil. That could be a much bigger amount than what I’ve reported on driving.

Comment by Rental Watch
2014-12-30 10:18:23

I wouldn’t get used to these prices. The news by the end of 2015 will be US oil production declines, which will be a precursor to supply/demand dynamics pushing prices back up to a point where US oil production will rise again.

Comment by Dman
2014-12-30 10:20:52

Unless China crashes, in which case all bets are off.

Comment by scdave
2014-12-30 11:01:36

+1 again Dman….China is the elephant in the room as far as the world economy is concerned…They are way out on the risk curve due to their commitment to employ & house their massive population…You can’t believe their reported numbers so if it does implode, we likely will not be prepared…

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Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-12-30 11:10:01


We’re all fully prepared and welcome dramatically lower and more affordable prices.

Enjoy them.

Comment by Guillotine Renovator
2014-12-30 11:09:34

“I wouldn’t get used to these prices.”

This is typical bubble-vision, where one cannot imagine a world without hyperinflated asset prices. Alas, crude oil has been massively overpriced due to speculation caused entirely by a reckless central bank bequeathing large sums of cash to Wall St. insiders.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-12-30 11:15:35


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Comment by Guillotine Renovator
2014-12-30 11:34:22

The shilling/bargaining usually goes something like this:

“Prices will keep going up forever.”
“Price won’t fall, they’ll just stay at a permanently high plateau.”
“Prices may have fallen a little, but they won’t fall anymore.”
“Prices won’t stay this low long, they’re going to shoot back up.”

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-12-30 11:36:29

In the meantime, gravity endures.

Comment by Rental Watch
2014-12-30 12:58:09

At $30 per barrel, all of the fracking of new wells, tar sands extraction will stop completely, and the extra several million barrels per day of additional supply that came online recently will go away within a few years.

At $140 per barrel, the prices were purely based on speculation (ie a bubble).

At $60-$80, they are based on the cost of production of a marginal barrel of oil.

I’m not saying that prices should go up to $140 per barrel again…nor do I expect them to. However, if the price of oil doesn’t support the real cost of pulling more of the stuff out of the ground, people won’t spend the money to pull it out of the ground.

The good news for consumers is that I think Wall Street now has evidence that at well under $100 per barrel ($70 or $80), supply can ramp up quickly. This means that there will be fewer people speculating that oil will go back to those levels–and there are more producers that can flood the market. The bad news for consumers is that there is no ability for the frackers to poke a hole in the ground (high fixed cost of getting to the oil), and just let the oil flow for years (low marginal cost of allowing the oil to flow for years).

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Comment by Guillotine Renovator
2014-12-30 13:10:50

You’ve completely overlooked the fact that the actual costs of drilling and exploration are falling, too. BUBBLE VISION.

Comment by Rental Watch
2014-12-30 13:35:15

No, I’m not ignoring it, but I’m also not ignoring the fact that the highest yielding locations were drilled first.

The reason fracking took off in the Eagle Ford and now the Niobara is that we have already poked a lot of holes in the earth in those places, and we know where the highest concentrations of hydrocarbons exist in shale. Those drilling aren’t stupid, they went to the most promising locations first.

And to your point…it used to take 3-4 months to drill and frack a well, it’s now down to 21 days. Also, some drillers have figured out very clever ways to inexpensively move around the oil rigs, further decreasing the cost to drill.

However, with the lower costs, these guys are still not going to drill and produce unless they can make a profit, and everything I’ve read indicates the cost to produce a barrel of oil from fracking is at $40 at the low end, and upwards of $80 at the higher end. So, the Bakken, Eagle Ford and Niobara (which have the lower cost of production) will continue to drill, where the more expensive fields will slow or even stop production.

With those as the range of production costs depending on the quality of the location, $60-$80 oil is not unreasonable as a common range to expect going forward. $100 is too high, and $40 is too low.

People are focused on the fact that drilling permits have fallen by 30%. In my thinking is the fact that drilling permits have NOT dropped by 100% with the fall in prices. In other words, even at today’s prices, there is plenty of activity. However, well production falls very quickly, and so unless you keep drilling and fracking at the same rate, production of the field will fall.

In other words, the 30% reduction in drilling permits indicates to me that production will peak as the prior round of drilling comes online, but then fall, unless drilling permits rebound–and drilling permits will only rebound with either a) an expectation of stabilized prices, or b) an expectation of higher prices. We will not see a reversal of that drilling trend if the expectation of continued decline of prices continues.

And no, I’m not an expert on oil/gas…far from it. But a friend of mine has been an investor in the Bakken now for about 7 years, and while he notes the same drop in costs that you reference (which he has witnessed first hand), he also doesn’t expect the current prices to persist given what he knows about the cost of producing oil via fracking.

Comment by Guillotine Renovator
2014-12-30 13:44:47

“And no, I’m not an expert on oil/gas…far from it. But a friend of mine has been an investor in the Bakken now for about 7 years…”

That’s quite the expertise.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-12-30 14:33:01

He’s starting to see the usefulness in telling truth. He didn’t say he was in the oil/gas business like he did construction…… which he frantically backpedalled from when challenged.

Comment by Oddfellow
2014-12-30 15:52:12

The frackers and the oil sands are going to be the new swing producers. Prices go up and more of them become profitable and come on-line, prices go down and the less-profitable go off-line, which extends their lifetime as counterweights to higher oil prices.

Comment by Rental Watch
2014-12-30 18:23:03

I’ve NEVER said I was in construction. We invest in projects where we hire contractors frequently. Find a post where I say otherwise.

And no, my friend is not a multi-decade wildcatter, but he’s not a passive investor either (meaning he didn’t click a mouse to buy shares in a company, but he has contact directly with boots on the ground through private investment). The economics of Bakken fracking isn’t much older than 7 years–and he’s seen how the numbers have changed over time (i.e. what it takes to attract capital to drill for more oil, what the costs are, etc.).

I’m certain there are people with more experience than him, but without a more experienced contact, his knowledge is much better than nothing at all.

Comment by Rental Watch
2014-12-30 18:26:34

“The frackers and the oil sands are going to be the new swing producers. Prices go up and more of them become profitable and come on-line, prices go down and the less-profitable go off-line, which extends their lifetime as counterweights to higher oil prices.”


The old swing producers were generally OPEC, and so they manipulated the prices to maximize their profits. With more market-based producers as the swing producers, we should not see the same kind of high prices as before. But at the same time, because of geology, low marginal cost oil won’t keep prices depressed for long periods of time as before.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-12-30 18:50:00

Backpedal some more R_Fraud.

Comment by trader jack
2014-12-30 23:34:47

In 1937 oil was $3 a barrel at the well head. Minimum wage was about 15 cents an hour. A barrel of oil took 20 hours of work to buy..
Minimum wage now is about $7 an hour, 20 times that would be $140 a barrel, but oil today is $60 a barrel.

In other words it is cheaper now than it was in 1937

Gasoline was 12 cent a gallon, or about an hours wages, gasoline today is $3 a barrel or about 1/2 hours wages.

Why the complaint about oil prices?

the difference is that we buy more crap today and need the money to pay for the extra crap!

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Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-12-30 03:36:24

Does an increasingly valuable dollar enrage you because you don’t have any and you owe so many of them?

Comment by oxide
2014-12-30 09:19:05

No, no, and no.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-12-30 10:08:55

Your losses are yours.

Comment by Ol'Bubba
2014-12-30 09:24:38

The Yahoo Finance charting of the US Dollar Index does not seem to be working well.

Can anyone suggest a different site to view the DXY?

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-12-30 10:07:04

Falling prices of housing and commodities is your best indicator.

Comment by oxide
2014-12-30 12:46:38

Oh for heaven’s sake HA, be nice.

Ol’Bubba — money dot cnn dot com has a decent non-nonsense Markets page with good drop down menus. WSJ isn’t bad either. However, I couldn’t find DXY on either one. Is that an official symbol?

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Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-12-30 15:04:38

I was being nice. There is no better indicators that falling commodity and housing prices.

Comment by Ol'Bubba
2014-12-30 16:10:40

Thanks, Oxide. DXY is not an official symbol.

I tend to ignore HA’s butt thunder.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-12-30 16:57:11

Then why ask for it?

Comment by trader jack
2014-12-30 23:49:15

No, it means that more money will be spent buying goods made overseas because they are cheaper as the dollar is worth more.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-12-31 01:14:37

Crater Jack!

Comment by real journalists
2014-12-30 05:56:08

realtors are liars

Comment by Shillow
2014-12-30 06:28:39

No one in the general public seems to be expecting the bloodbath 2015 is going to be. The signs are right there in front of their faces though, including that prices have in many places been openly and publicly reported as heading down since late summer at least.

Fewer oil jobs, fewer construction jobs, fewer mortgage and realter jobs, on and on and on.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-12-30 07:06:11

The general public are zombies. They have no idea what’s coming and are utterly incapable of critical thinking or confronting evil.

Comment by rj chicago
2014-12-30 10:09:13
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Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-12-30 16:38:01

Did criminal misconduct run rampant in banking for years? Oh, nevermind. Is the US economy actually contracting instead of recovering? We’ll just make up better numbers. Did US officials act like Nazi war criminals in torturing prisoners? Well, yeah, but so what? Did the State Department and the CIA scuttle the elected Ukrainian government in order to start an unnecessary new conflict with Russia? Maybe so, but who cares? Was the Affordable Care Act a swindle in the service of insurance and pharmaceutical racketeering? Oh, we’ll read the bill after we pass it. Shale oil will make us “energy independent.” (Not.)


Comment by scdave
2014-12-30 07:29:32

including that prices have in many places been openly and publicly reported as heading down since late summer at least ??

Well, you apparently know more than this guy;

Home prices rose 0.76% in October according to the latest S&P/Case-Shiller home price index, topping expectations.

Read more:

Comment by Shillow
2014-12-30 07:40:05

Do you even read this blog?

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Comment by scdave
2014-12-30 08:11:49

Do you even read this blog ??

More than and for far longer than you I would guess…I am not as smart as you…I have no capability to debate facts with a Yale University Professor…

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-12-30 08:48:40

CaseShiller excludes defaults and foreclosures. Worse yet, it’s over 6 months old by the time it’s published.

Stick with MRIS data(like zillows sale price data). It’s current and accurate.

Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2014-12-30 08:54:19

I have no capability to debate facts with a Yale University Professor…

Who is a Yale University Prof??

Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2014-12-30 09:09:51

CaseShiller excludes defaults and foreclosures.

False; it excludes them from being selected as price-pairs, but the prices of the houses that are selected as price-pairs include the effects of the surrounding defaults and foreclosures on market prices.

Worse yet, it’s over 6 months old by the time it’s published.

False. It is a 3-month rolling average. Let me translate that for you: one third of the data is three months old; one third of the data is two months old; one third of the data is current.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-12-30 09:14:21

False. And false again. And considering the excess empty and defaulted inventory isn’t changing hands, CS is far more a skewed indicator.

Stick with MRIS transaction data. It’s refreshed daily.

Comment by Rental Watch
2014-12-30 10:38:42

Then you should post some data based on the MRIS data. That would be interesting. However, I suspect it will be saying the same thing as Case Shiller, so I suspect it won’t be forthcoming from you anytime soon.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-12-30 10:47:52

Zillow transaction data is sourced from MRIS.


Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-12-30 10:57:02

And don’t forget… CS is 3 month old data that is released 60 days later. Kind of useless.

Comment by scdave
2014-12-30 11:06:33

Then you should post some data based on the MRIS data ??

EXACTLY….Not just throw BS out there….Prime countered HA and now HA has egg on his face because he looks stupid…So, only thing HA can do is respond with childish banter…

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-12-30 11:33:28

And further to the point; Even zillow acknowledges they exclude defaults and foreclosures from the MRIS transaction data they report.

Just how far have prices fallen if it were included?

Comment by Rental Watch
2014-12-30 13:09:02

Oh, Zillow. Sorry, but they don’t update their broad value estimates or actual sales on a daily basis reliably. They update their data and estimates for the prior month by about the 20th of the subsequent month.

As an example, Zillow lists 33 homes as having sold in CA over the prior 7 days. That would imply total sales in CA of about 1,700 for the year. This is off by about a factor of 200.

If you look at the prior 30 days in CA, the number of sales goes up to 19,777 (implied annual sales closer to 240k).

And the prior 90 days in CA, the number of sales goes up to about 90k (360k annual sales rate).

To round things out, the prior 12 months in CA has total sales of about 420k.

In other words, very little of the data is posted by Zillow “daily”.

After approximately 20 days, most of the sales from the prior month are posted, which is why Zillow releases their estimates from the prior month after about a 20 day lag.

Comment by Rental Watch
2014-12-30 13:18:33

And the whole “they exclude distressed sales the data would be worse” is a bunch of BS. There are sources that include this data, and the overall numbers aren’t all that different.

Corelogic’s HPI shows prices both including and excluding distressed sales. And the vast majority of the annual change in prices is HIGHER if you include the distressed sales, NOT lower.

In their December HPI report, they list 10 major MSAs, all but one have the annual change HIGHER including distressed sales. The exception is NY/NJ, which shows 5.5% annual increase including distress, and 5.9% excluding distress. The rest are the opposite.

(Chicago is 4.8% including distress, 4.0% excluding distressed sales, etc.)

More broadly, CoreLogic reports California at 7.7% year on year excluding distressed sales, and 8.4% including distressed sales.

Nationwide, prices are up 5.6% excluding distressed sales, and up 6.1% including distressed sales.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-12-30 14:29:34

“Estimates”? No. Sale Prices my friend. And they’re down.

Indices like CS and HPI are nothing more than a counterfeit and cheap substitute for actual transaction data like this;

San Diego Sale Prices Plunge 10% YoY As Inventory Balloons Statewide

Real transaction data my friend. There is no substitute.

Comment by Rental Watch
2014-12-30 18:38:33

Case Shiller uses real transaction data. However, rather than look at median, which doesn’t control for differences in homes, they look at sales pairs (ie. identical homes selling more than once).

It’s laughable for you to think that median prices in cherry picked zip codes is more meaningful than paired sales data over entire regions.

Zillow also uses a paired sales method to come up with their estimate of market direction…and for zip code 92130…that direction is up 2% year on year.

If you care about how Zillow looks at the data, look here:

Per Zillow’s website:

“Both FHFA and Case-Shiller utilize a weighted repeat sales methodology originally conceived in the 1960s and subsequently elaborated upon by Professors Karl Case (currently at Wellesley) and Robert Shiller (currently at Yale). This methodology was a significant improvement over the more conventional median sale price as it looks at the price change between repeat sales of the same home versus just looking at the median sale price of homes sold in a given period of time. The median sale price is heavily influenced by the type of homes that are selling at a given time, making it a less than ideal measure of home price levels.

Of course, using a repeat sale methodology does have its own important caveats. Most importantly, the index is based only on the sample of homes that have sold at least twice, a fact which serves to exclude all new construction (which can account for more than 10% of real estate transactions).”

They go on to explain what they do:

“The Zillow Home Value Index takes a different approach to constructing its market index. Zillow generates valuations several times a week on more than 80 million homes, or roughly three out of four homes in the U.S., and calculates historical values dating back to 1997 (thus creating over 13 billion Zestimates). This complicated process allows us to aggregate these house-level valuations into indexes at the neighborhood, ZIP code, city, county, metro area, and national levels. This Zillow Home Value Index eliminates the bias present in median sale prices by looking at the value of all homes in a region, not just those homes that sold.”

Yes, the measure you are trotting out from Zillow is, per Zillow, biased.

Comment by Rental Watch
2014-12-30 18:50:53

Correction, Zillow doesn’t use paired sales, but they try to control for lots of factors, bringing their estimate closer to a sales pair than a simple median.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-12-30 18:53:12

False but that’s your schtick.

Zillow transaction data is actual sale and price data. The CS/CrimeLogic tripe is an index. Not transaction data.

Nice try.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-12-30 08:01:12

Here’s another look at the same Case-Shiller data, and it ain’t positive for housing.

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Comment by oxide
2014-12-30 09:18:06

Big whoop. Look at the rest of the graphs. The monthly drop is less severe than monthly drops in other years. And overall prices are still higher than the 2010 lows.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-12-30 10:18:11

And that’s the problem with CS. It excludes half the market.

And don’t forget that current asking prices of resale housing are 300% higher than long term trend and 2x construction costs.

Comment by jane
2014-12-30 18:37:03

Shillow, that was unkind. Personally, I’m with SCDave on this. I’ve been following the HBB collective commentary for years, and I also would not argue with a Yale professor in public.

HA, thank you for the explanation, and for redeeming my faith in a data-driven world. OF COURSE the C-S index is not current - I well remember you making that point before. The devil is in the details, as always.

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Comment by real journalists
2014-12-30 08:03:40

denver business journal articles for amy

denver sees uptick in home-price gains; sets new record high

metro denver renters fork out $474m more in 2014

the future’s so bright, i gotta wear shades 8)

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-12-30 06:22:20

Is Greece’s financial crisis finally over? It seems to never show up in the news anymore.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-12-30 06:23:49

Europe News
Greek Vote for President Fails, Reviving Uncertainty
Prospect of New Vote Hits European Stock Markets, Renews Fears on Debt Crisis
Alexis Tsipras, opposition leader and head of the Syriza party, leaves the parliament building after the presidential vote in Athens on Monday. Reuters
By Alkman Granitsas and Stelios Bouras in Athens and Charles Forelle in London
Updated Dec. 29, 2014 9:30 a.m. ET

A parliamentary vote to elect a president in Greece failed on Monday, unsettling stock markets in Europe’s most precarious countries and setting off worries that a new Greek political upheaval could reignite a long-simmering debt crisis.

The vote means Greece will hold national elections in late January—possibly opening the door to Syriza, a left-wing coalition that leads most polls over the ruling New Democracy party and is a potent opponent of the austerity-led policies ordered by Greece’s international rescuers and carried out by Prime Minister Antonis Samaras.

A Syriza win could also embolden populist parties in other countries seeking to challenge a European prescription for the debt crisis that has largely calmed financial markets but done little to improve conditions for citizens struggling with high unemployment.

The Greek uncertainty could also complicate matters for the European Central Bank, which is considering purchasing government bonds to stimulate a stagnant economy. The most plausible version of such a quantitative-easing plan involves the central bank’s purchasing bonds of all eurozone countries—which could put the ECB in the awkward position of buying tumbling Greek debt.

Comment by Dman
2014-12-30 10:27:28

Greece or China. Which one will go first and scare the crap out of Wall Street? Hang on to your Dow. With both hands.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-12-30 06:25:42

Under the bus they go!

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-12-30 06:27:52

IMF suspends financial aid to Greece
in IMF/OECD News 30/12/2014

The International Monetary Fund has said it is suspending financial aid to Greece under its huge rescue program until a new government is formed.

IMF spokesperson Gerry Rice said discussion on the completion of the sixth review of Greece’s bailout will resume once a new government is in place.

Mr Rice added that the holdup in the programme would not impact the country’s finances in the short term.

The decision comes after Greek lawmakers failed to elect a new president in a final round of voting.

It leaves the country facing an early election that could derail the international bailout programme it needs to keep paying its bills.

The only candidate in the race, former European Commissioner Stavros Dimas, matched the result achieved in the second round of voting before Christmas.

However, he fell short of the 180 votes needed to become president.

Under Greek law, a parliamentary election must now be called, leaving financial markets and Greece’s European Union partners facing weeks of uncertainty that could undermine fragile signs of economic recovery and derail its public finances.

A general election is now expected to be held by early February.

German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble said Greece must stick to agreed economic reforms regardless of the outcome of the election.

In a statement, Mr Shaeuble said “these tough reforms are bearing fruit, they have no alternative.”

The radical leftist Syriza party, which wants to tear up Greece’s bailout agreement with the EU and International Monetary Fund and wipe off a big part of its debt, has held a steady lead in opinion polls for months, although its advantage has narrowed in recent weeks.

Comment by scdave
2014-12-30 08:35:32

From what I have read & heard, it appears that reckoning day comes in late January with elections…The fear of many is that the new leadership, if elected will default on their debts and exit the euro…

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Comment by In Colorado
2014-12-30 11:00:25

When backed into a corner, people will opt for the demagogue that promises to fight for the people.

If Greece defaults, the Banking Clan will make sure it is severely punished.

Comment by rms
2014-12-30 09:20:16

“Under the bus they go!”

Hate it when that happens!

Comment by aNYCdj
2014-12-30 06:40:15

For the first time since the foundation of the modern Greek state nearly 200 years ago, radical leftists – marginalised, tortured and tormented for the best part of the 20th century – were on course to assume power.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-12-30 07:03:14

The People’s Republic of California is on a similar trajectory.

Comment by azdude
2014-12-30 07:51:44

home prices cannot be allowed to go down. Bankers lose their @ss in this case and they make pretty big donations last I checked.

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Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-12-30 08:02:28

And the sheeple can always be counted on to vote for their Congressional water carriers, so any bankster losses will be made good by taxpayers.

Comment by rms
Comment by aNYCdj
2014-12-30 08:15:31

Rare Snow to Blanket Las Vegas, Desert Southwest on New Year’s Eve

Comment by Bill, just south of Irvine
2014-12-30 09:44:37

I want to see snow on Saddleback Mtn (in Orange Cty, California). Please flying spaghetti monster, make it snow!

Comment by In Colorado
2014-12-30 11:02:54

I can only imagine the mayhem if it actually did snow in Orange County. Southern Californians can’t drive when it rains, imagine them driving on snow packed roads on their bald tires, plus the fact that many of them have never driven in the snow before.

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Comment by Bill, just south of Irvine
2014-12-30 12:43:22

Not sure if it would get low enough to snarl more than a few of the city slickers. This shot was from a few years back someone took…

Comment by In Colorado
2014-12-30 13:43:46

Even if it did manage to snow beyond flurries, I’m sure it would melt upon contact with the pavement.

Still, the thought of 4-5 inches falling on SoCal brings a smile to my face. The place would shut down and they’d have to call in the National Guard. Of course, it’ll never happen.

Comment by Tarara Boomdea
2014-12-30 12:49:33

Can’t wait. People here in Las Vegas drive like lunatics in regular weather. They freak out when it rains. You do have to be careful because oil accumulated on the roads isn’t washed away very often. When the oil mixes with water, the roads are very slick. They don’t have a clue about snow. I think the last time we had any real amount of snow was 2008.

Comment by aNYCdj
2014-12-30 08:22:00

barely any snow for the snowmobiles in Tug hill NY some of these places get 250-300 inches a year

Comment by aNYCdj
2014-12-30 10:43:37

cool plowing tug hill 1939:

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-12-30 15:17:01

Global cooling? Burrrrrrrrr…….

Comment by real journalists
2014-12-30 08:11:46

this should get jesse jackson’s sons another anheuser-busch distributorship

huffington post - house majority whip steve scalise spoke at white supremacist conference in 2002

72% of black kidz in america born out of wedlock? who cares about that sh1t

and remember, social justice™ can only be achieved by looting foot locker


Comment by scdave
2014-12-30 08:27:49

72% of black kidz in america born out of wedlock ??

And there you have it…The full circle/cycle of poor uneducated children without a stable male parent in the household…I am not quite sure which of the two participants are to blame the most…Something simple birth control could solve…

Comment by rms
2014-12-30 09:25:37

“72% of black kidz in america born out of wedlock?”

Who was the gangsta who bragged about being in jail while a fetus?

Comment by Bill, just south of Irvine
2014-12-30 09:52:22

JMO, but if someone’s going to have kids, it makes sense for a couple to be committed to each other until the last child becomes an adult.

I don’t think that necessarily means the couple should be married. It takes a very special mutual loving relationship to spend a couple decades with your mate without getting the State as third partner in the relationship. Have I ever seen this happen? No. At most it was 7 years, a friend of mine called his woman friend his “wife,” but there was no marriage for the first 7 years.

Come to think of it, perhaps couples should not marry until they spend a certain amount of years together.

Comment by scdave
2014-12-30 11:10:50

perhaps couples should not marry until they spend a certain amount of years together ??

The Evangelicals will have none of it !!! No dipping the johnson into the promised land until we have taken vows…

Comment by In Colorado
2014-12-30 13:47:28

The Evangelicals will have none of it !!!

Like it matters what they think. Within a generation or two single motherhood will be the norm (with multiple baby daddies, of course). Only upper middle class and above will marry, and not always.

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Comment by Dman
2014-12-30 10:32:47

RJ, it’s amazing that you can take an article about a leading representative in Congress who may be a white supremacist with ties to the KKK, and turn it into yet another “the problem with black people” post. I admire your ingenuity.

Comment by real journalists
2014-12-30 10:57:39

“If I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon” — President Barack Hussein Obama

Got Arizona Iced Tea brand Watermelon Fruit Punch, Skittles, and Promethazine with Codeine?

“Obama always goes reckless in words and deeds like a monkey in a tropical forest” — Kim Jong Un

Comment by MightyMike
2014-12-30 13:27:29

I admire your ingenuity.

He’ll probably be speaking to David Duke’s group at their next meeting, sharing that amazing ingenuity.

Comment by Ben Jones
2014-12-30 13:30:36

And up pops the Racist Whisperer.

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Comment by MightyMike
2014-12-30 13:56:06

What does that mean?

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-12-30 16:41:26

It means MightyMike is an anal polyp.

Comment by real journalists
2014-12-30 13:46:23

This message sponsored by the Media/Academia Race Hustlers Industrial Complex™


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Comment by real journalists
2014-12-30 08:18:48

fox news tosses out some red meat for the badge lickers and uniform fetishists

‘the number of law enforcement officers killed by firearms in the u.s. jumped by 56 percent this year and included 15 ambush assaults, according to a report released tuesday.

the annual report by the nonprofit national law enforcement officers memorial fund found that 50 officers were killed by guns this year, compared to 32 in 2013.’

‘i can’t breathe’

Comment by Bring Back the WPA
2014-12-30 10:28:11

When Fox news comes on I turn my back.

Comment by drumminj
2014-12-30 10:45:03

Fox News was on in the background when I was visiting the “in-laws” over the holiday. Man that was painful — I couldn’t stop myself from commenting out loud/correcting their misinformation/pointing out the hypocrisy.

Comment by In Colorado
2014-12-30 11:07:27

Why the h e l l do people have the TV on in the background when no one is watching it? Especially during social gatherings? I’ve never understood that, I guess it’s an American thing, like setting up the Christmas tree in November and tearing it down on Dec 26 (the second day of Christmas). I’ve been to my share of parties where the TV is blaring and no one is watching it. When we entertain, the TV is turned OFF.

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Comment by drumminj
2014-12-30 11:21:17

When we entertain, the TV is turned OFF.

I’m with you on that.

Comment by scdave
2014-12-30 11:11:51

pointing out the hypocrisy ??

Spot on…They are the best at it….

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Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-12-30 16:43:32

OK, so Fox News panders to the boom-bahs, but that eye candy is SOOOOO sweet…..

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Comment by reedalberger
2014-12-30 11:24:57

You need cops to enforce the idiotic progressive laws forced upon an unwilling citizenry. How else are you going to stop Joe half pitcher from lighting up a parliament in the local pool hall?


Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-12-30 08:28:41

Inflated prices are strangling the housing market. (Inflated realtor fees, too).

Comment by real journalists
2014-12-30 08:33:01

This is a Drudge Report link and was not written by real journalists

Open your wallets, whitey, because you’ve got 34 million more Free Sh*t Army to pay for

And if you object to your 14 year old daughter dating a 25 year old freshman high school student MS-13 gang member with teardrop tattoos, you are a RACIST

Comment by In Colorado
2014-12-30 09:53:35

Aren’t Border Patrol agents armed? I’m surprised that they don’t use deadly force when detainees become “aggressive”. It’s what cops do.

Comment by X-GSfixr
2014-12-30 11:37:01

My brother in the Border Patrol carries a SIG. Don’t know what model. .40 S&W.

When he graduated from the acadamy, he was issued the (new) gun he trained with, and one box of 50 rounds of ammo. He has to account for every round. Evidently, it’s specialized ammo with a special BP stamp on the case, and the bullet is identifiable as a Border Patrol round. When he practices/qualifies, he uses range ammo, or store-bought. He’s been in 8 years, and still has his first 50 rounds.

Usually, anybody they catch doesn’t resist. In fact, the current fad seems to be for Eastern Euros (Romanians) to fly to Mexico, cross the border, and surrender to the first Border Patrol agent they see.

Which is why this border issue is suck a effed up Kabuki. Mexicans are sent back. Everyone else goes before a judge, who sets up a hearing for 6-9 months in the future, then cuts them loose in the USA, with a promise to appear at their hearing in the future. Of course, nobody EVER shows up.

This “pulled out of the azz” 12 million illegals number is a effing joke. It could be 50 million, as far as anyone knows. The Border Patrol guys are wondering why the tear up their knees/legs/backs running up and down hills chasing the random Mexican, when everyone else is getting kicked loose anyway.

When I was out there in August, he was telling me the story about this nasty cactus the have out there…..even sticks/penetrates leather. Some guy they were chasing fell face first into one. HATE IT when that happens…….

Comment by In Colorado
2014-12-30 14:24:40

Interesting …

Law enforcement is more “restrained” when dealing with foreign invaders than it is with the citizenry.

I am guessing that Border Patrol agents are trained to exercise restraint. If they blew away “aggressive” illegals who resist arrest, Mexico and other countries would make a huge stink of it, and would probably take it to the UN. When cops shoot and kill and unarmed American, well, that’s an “American problem” and the UN doesn’t care.

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Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-12-30 20:52:46

I hate all forms of cactus.

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Comment by Dman
2014-12-30 10:35:30

So RJ has a problem with white girls dating Mexicans? What a surprise.

Comment by real journalists
2014-12-30 10:54:28

“If you like your lice and scabies and MS-13, you can keep your lice and scabies and MS-13″ — President Barack Hussein Obama

Comment by real journalists
2014-12-30 08:47:09

bill deblasio serving ed koch’s 4th term, lolz

remember those ‘no radio’ signs people left on their dashboards?

Comment by aNYCdj
2014-12-30 08:59:23

you know DeBozio’s wife has a lot to do with it…right?

Comment by rms
2014-12-30 09:51:24

“bill deblasio serving ed koch’s 4th term, lolz”

Inside out Oreo?

Comment by Tarara Boomdea
2014-12-30 12:59:14

Ah, memories. I had to replace a few radios. People installed the removable ones, so you’d have to drag it around with you. When you got sick of that, you just shoved it under the seat. Later, the ones with the detachable faces were in vogue.

Comment by real journalists
2014-12-30 09:06:26

marketwatch clickbait slideshow article of the 10 healthiest states in america

1 - hawaii
2 - vermont
3 - massachusetts
4 - connecticut
5 - utah
6 - minnesota
7 - new hampshire
8 - colorado
9 - north dakota
10 - nebraska

note that -none- of the 10 healthiest states are in the south

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-12-30 09:18:58

Have you ever seen the over flowing number of bloated slobs in HI?

Comment by palmetto
2014-12-30 09:37:28

I call BS on Vermont in that list. Huge number of young folks wasted on heroin and other drugs. But maybe they OD before they need medical care, who knows.

Comment by In Colorado
2014-12-30 10:09:42

note that -none- of the 10 healthiest states are in the south

Comment by aNYCdj
2014-12-30 09:06:43

Kinder says requiring a salad “puts negative peer pressure” on students who might have taken it if they didn’t have to.

Comment by oxide
2014-12-30 09:37:39

Your article extracts quotes from a longer article. Here is the longer article:

Of course no one can agree on a course of action. Once kids get a taste of the salt and sugar diet, it’s too difficult to change it back.

Comment by aNYCdj
2014-12-30 10:17:09
Comment by In Colorado
2014-12-30 11:15:02

Once kids get a taste of the salt and sugar diet, it’s too difficult to change it back.

A nation where kids and teens are fatter than their grandparents. Why try to do anything about it? It’s better that they collect 5-10 years of disability, until their cholesterol clogged hearts stop beating and they keel over in their mobility scooters, than pay them 20-30 years of Social Security.

Comment by X-GSfixr
2014-12-30 12:30:09

That’s my plan. Better an early stroke/heart attack, than being an Alsheimer’s addled geezer living in a cardboard box under a bridge.

Of course, my doctor doesn’t think much of it. His trouble is that he’s looking at it from the narrow Medical Industrial complex perspective.

With the system being as currently designed/implemented, there is going to be a “seller’s” market in cardboard boxes.
Maybe they should start tracking them on Zillow.

The one benefit of my 6 month unemployment hiatus in 2009 was that it brought home how close 90% of the population is to the cardboard box retirement plan.

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Comment by reedalberger
2014-12-30 18:55:44

All you have to do is get 45 min of good solid exercise four or five days a week and make sure you keep you lean muscle mass solid. You will actually burn calories even when you’re not working out.


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Comment by Bill, just south of Irvine
2014-12-30 09:23:52

According to Zillow, the average “zestimate” is unchanged for Phoenix from ten years ago over the whole valley.

At any time, not just December 2004, one has to have rocks in his head to make major financial moves relative to his net worth. It’s the gigantic difference between freedom/opportunity and bondage.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-12-30 09:40:25


And remember….<bThe price floor for housing is far lower than the price floor reached in 2010

Comment by rj chicago
2014-12-30 09:42:38

Happy New Year HBB’ers…..
Quickly - I stumbled on this blog about 6 mos. ago as I have been contemplating a move to region VIII in order to leave behind what I affectionately call the flea bitten cesspool of Chicago ILLANNOY.

Looked out there in CO over three very long weekends over subsequent months flying from Chicago and back and came away severely disappointed to find that prices and quality of homes were no where near what I had expected - poor quality - high price and poorly designed for a single guy having lost his beautiful wife to cancer about a year ago. All on hold now.

Long story short - I am very grateful to all who post here - some more often than others - and the insight has provided me a lot of pause in confronting a big question as to whether it is even worth getting involved in the carnage to come in housing. Given the insights I am holding off purchase until reality (whatever that is) settles in again.

Thanks for keeping me from being one of the shorn!!!

By the way - Pizza!? Did we get Pizza this last weekend following the trouncing of the Raider?

Comment by real journalists
2014-12-30 10:17:29

all of colorado and metro denver is an overpriced dump.

don’t move here, you’ll be really disappointed if you do.

Comment by In Colorado
2014-12-30 11:17:11

What he said. Don’t move here. Please, don’t move here. And if you can take anyone back to Chicago with you, we would be most grateful.

Comment by rj chicago
2014-12-30 12:59:43

I grew up out there many moons ago - never wanted to be in Chicago but oil dump in mid 80’s caused me to move here as the econ. was better - I would not bring anyone here over my dead body. Anything has to be better than this mess.

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Comment by butters
2014-12-30 14:17:59

The thing is every state will be just like Illinois in a decade or so.

Comment by In Colorado
2014-12-30 14:27:33

The thing is every state will be just like Illinois in a decade or so.


Comment by aNYCdj
2014-12-30 10:29:13

or you could buy this and have so many friends…..or a new business

Comment by rj chicago
2014-12-30 13:00:57


Comment by scdave
2014-12-30 11:16:26

Try looking around Nashville or Albuquerque….And I am very sorry about the loss of your wife rj…My condolences…

Comment by In Colorado
2014-12-30 14:29:13

Same here my condolences too.

We make plans and then life makes its own decisions.

Comment by oxide
2014-12-30 13:00:40

Also, sorry for the loss of your wife.

As for purchase decisions:

1. Do you (or do you plan to) commute to an office job several times a week?
2. How good is your vision/can you drive/are you mobile?
3. Do you have any medical conditions where you have to go to a hospital on a regular basis, or need a specialist doctor, or may have to get to a hospital fast?
4. Do you have family (children, grandchildren) that you want to live close to?
5. Are you dead set on the scenery that Colorado offers, or can you find something similar in another state?
6. Do you have the energy/money to rehab a fixer-upper dwelling over a couple months, do you wnat ugly but habitable, or do you want move-in condition?

These questions will drive your purchase decisions.

Comment by rms
2014-12-30 13:41:56

“…having lost his beautiful wife to cancer about a year ago.”

Sorry to hear that. A co-worker just went through an epic struggle eventually losing his wife to leukemia. They also had to deal with the travel issue living 3-hrs from Seattle. He was gone from work so much that management gave him the cold shoulder upon his return that he recently retired. He did everything right for 24-yrs, but it didn’t matter in the end.

Comment by Bill, just south of Irvine
2014-12-30 14:18:41

The grass seems greener from afar. But once you are in it, there are dog doo piles all over the place.

Comment by jane
2014-12-30 19:06:02

rj, please accept my sincere condolences. Beyond losing the soul mate, it is challenging to have lost your history. Best wishes to you for an uplifting New Year.

Comment by rj chicago
2014-12-30 10:33:40

Not much going on at work today - so…I am trolling the econ sites - me thinks this house of cards is just gonna cave. This from “the mess that greenspan made” site.

Comment by drumminj
2014-12-30 10:46:25

we’ve been waiting for it to cave for 5-6 years now. I wouldn’t hold your breath — coordinated money printing and asset price manipulation by central banks is a very powerful thing.

Comment by In Colorado
2014-12-30 11:21:16

Being the world’s reserve currency will buy us a lot of time. And if China crashes it will buy us even more time.

But yes, unless something is done to right the ship, and it doesn’t appear likely to happen, at some point we will cave and crater.

Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-12-30 15:08:30


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Comment by real journalists
2014-12-30 11:02:09

“You work three jobs? How uniquely American” — George W. Bush, 2005

Comment by X-GSfixr
2014-12-30 12:22:45

They said, “Cheer up,……..things could be worse.

Sure enough, I cheered up…….and things got worse.”

Pvt Rodriguez in “The D.I.” (1957)

Comment by scdave
2014-12-30 11:20:16

me thinks this house of cards is just gonna cave ??

Its a problem…One side of the coin is get out of the way so the younger generation can have the job…The other side of that same coin is that if you are not working then you are dependent on transfer checks or your own reserves which we have read that many do not have…

Comment by oxide
2014-12-30 13:16:41

I’m seeing a vicious circle. Everyone wants the boomers to retire so the younger generation can have the job.

Despite the high DOW, boomers aren’t retiring because they have to support their Millenial kids who can’t get jobs. Those Millenial kids can’t get jobs because — here’s the circle — other boomers aren’t retiring either because they are supporting their Millenial kids who are also waiting for boomer jobs.

There’s another wrinkle in the gov agencies. Gov is downsizing by waiting for a boomer to retire, and then either letting the position die, or filling the job with a cheaper Millenial. So the boomer works for the bigger paycheck, rather than allowing the kid to do the job for less; more overall money for the family that way.

It also doesn’t help that the Boomer is likely still supporting his big underwater house, and/or his kids college loans. This is going to go on until the boomers simply can’t do it anymore.

Comment by rj chicago
2014-12-30 13:48:42


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Comment by Bill, just south of Irvine
2014-12-30 14:24:29

Then there are boomers who have no dependants and keep working because they are interested in their work. Why would people like that ever retire? I meet all sorts of interesting people in software in Orange County. Another doggone libertarian entrepreneur this morning. The work we do is very marketable and also as a nice side benefit helps decentralization efforts tremendously. It is possible to bring down big government through peaceful technology.

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Comment by In Colorado
2014-12-30 14:35:57

Despite the high DOW, boomers aren’t retiring because they have to support their Millenial kids who can’t get jobs. Those Millenial kids can’t get jobs because — here’s the circle — other boomers aren’t retiring either because they are supporting their Millenial kids who are also waiting for boomer jobs.

This, plus all the good paying jobs that went offshore.

My daughter, a recent Liberal Arts grad (I tried to talk her into majoring in something STEMmy) was able to land an entry level 35K job. She’s been struggling for over a year to find a job like this while she toiled away in retail. I will give her credit, she never gave up, but it was a challenge. More than once she was a finalist, sometimes out of a pool of 100+ qualified applicants, only to not get the job, but her perseverance paid off.

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Comment by "Auntie Fed, why won't you love ME?"
2014-12-30 21:35:36

When I STEMuated, I clocked in at $15/hr. Deflation much?

Comment by Bill, just south of Irvine
2014-12-31 12:01:00

I do know boomer couples who worked for the federal government most of their careers. Yes you can retire in your 50s and get full retirement at 56. One couple retired nearly two years ago. And the guy told me two other friends of ours, also a married couple, are retiring in a few weeks, but age 58.

So yeah, it’s happening.

My decision point will be when my portfolio is earning $30,000 more on an annual basis than my total wages and benefits. There could be a time when my salary is capped and it could be a year or two unemployment before I can find something with as good as I have now. In a few days or weeks I will find out if I am probably capped. If so, my own retirement is probably four or five years away.

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Comment by Bring Back the WPA
2014-12-30 10:38:53

Here Comes the Massive Pump and Dump… Dow 20,000 by end of 2015

“Wharton finance professor Jeremy Siegel told CNBC on Tuesday that the Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA) could hit 20,000 in 2015, a rise of 10.9% from its current level, but warned that the slog will only get more difficult as stocks get closer to fair value. Calling stocks to move higher over the last three to four years was a “slam dunk,” Siegel said. “The market was so undervalued with the interest rates so low, and earnings momentum going up.” While earnings momentum continues to rise, stocks are nearer to fair value, said Siegel. The professor last year at this time predicted the Dow would hit 18,000 by the end of 2014, according to CNBC, a milestone that was achieved on Dec. 23. ” (source: Morningstar)

The more astute followers of the market understand that the big money sell their stocks by making the market go up first, drawing in the dumb money. Amateurs sell later after the top has already been made.

Comment by real journalists
2014-12-30 11:01:00

“This sucker could go down” — George W. Bush, 2008

Comment by Puggs
2014-12-30 22:21:36

“This sucka’s going down!” - Jeb Bush, 2017

Comment by rj chicago
2014-12-30 11:05:42

This is the best graphic I have seen (just found it today) that describes what was explained to me by my geography teacher in high school years ago as he explained that if you go too far to the left or too far to the right the politics and their actors become indistinguishable from each other. What a mess.

Comment by scdave
2014-12-30 11:22:07

^ be addressed in the 2016 election….

Comment by Housing Analyst
Comment by X-GSfixr
2014-12-30 12:16:59

As predicted by your fearless resident mech, Air Asia = weather related.

The comments on the stories is proof that US Americans a lot of times don’t have any idea what they are talking about.

Lots of comments about freezing pitot tubes, and why are they being used instead of GPS. Like “My GPS in my car knows speed/direction, why do airplanes use this old stuff?”

Because GPS in airplanes ain’t GPS in your POS Lexus.

Best (FAA/ICAO certified) accuracy horizontally and vertically is +/- 10 or 15 feet. And it’s not instantaneous. 10 feet is good enough for navigation and shooting approaches. And it’s contingent on how many satellites the system is “seeing”. As far as I know, nobody has done a study on GPS accuracy while penetrating a giant thunderstorm. They are usually too busy tring to keep the engines running, and the wings and tail on the airplane.

A wing failing in flight makes a helluva loud “boom”. One of the things I heard about at Chez-na was the engineering types break the wing on the C750 “structural test rig” when the life cycle testing was done. Wings deflected about 20 feet at the tip before it failed. Resultant “BANG” rattled the whole engineering building.

As an aside “Air International” a few months back had an article about how most “safety improvements” over the past 30-40 years haven’t really improved safety; They have instead been used to justify cost-cutting.

Improved more reliable engines? Used to need a minimum of three to cross large bodies of water. Now, you can legally fly oceanic, 6-7 hours away from the nearest airport on two.

Improved automation/navigation/airframe monitoring? Used to eliminate the flight engineer and the navigator positions. Some airlines want to eliminate the co-pilot position, and train the head flight attendant on operating the radios and flying the airplane in an emergency.

And of course, they will only want to do this training every six months, in the simulator (to save money, and to “avoid risk to the airplane”). All I can say is “good luck with that”.

Comment by rms
2014-12-30 13:59:38

A wing failing in flight makes a helluva loud “boom”.

Several youtube clips of the MH-17 disaster show lots of people fully intact though charred by fire. I suspect more than a few were alive for the cartwheeling descent. Lots of clear passport shots.

Comment by rj chicago
Comment by Ben Jones
2014-12-30 14:54:19

‘Like dozens of other communities in Iraq, this small Sunni settlement in northern Salahuddin province’s Tuz Khurmatu district has been reduced to rubble. In October, Shi’ite militiamen and Kurdish peshmerga captured the village from the Sunni militant group Islamic State. The victors then laid it to waste, looting anything of value and setting fire to much of the rest. Residents have still not been allowed to return.’

“Our people are burning them,” said one of the Shi’ite militiamen when asked about the smoke drifting up from still smoldering houses. Asked why, he shrugged as if the answer was self evident.’

‘Kurdish business tycoon Sirwan Barzani, a nephew of Iraqi Kurdish President Masoud Barzani, sees this as a moment to advance his people’s nationalist dream. He was in Paris chairing a board meeting of the telecom company he founded in 2000 when he received news that Islamic State militants had overrun Mosul. A former peshmerga fighter in the 1980s, he canceled his holiday plans in Marbella and rushed back to Kurdistan to help prepare for war, taking command of peshmerga forces along a 130 km (81 mile) stretch of the Kurds’ front line with Islamic State.’

‘Washington sees the Kurds as its most dependable ally in Iraq. For Barzani and other Kurds, though, the fight against Islamic State is simply the continuation of a long struggle for an independent nation.’

‘Before leading an offensive last month to drive Islamic State militants back across the river Zab towards Mosul, Barzani said he met with an American general to talk strategy and coordinate airstrikes.’

“They asked about my plan,” Barzani told Reuters in a military base on the frontline near Gwer, 48 kilometers (30 miles) south of the Iraqi Kurdish capital Arbil. “I said, ‘My plan is to change the Sykes-Picot agreement’” – a reference to the 1916 agreement between France and Britain that marked out what would become the borders of today’s Middle East.’

“Iraq is not real,” Barzani said. “It exists only on the map. The country is killing itself. The Shi’ites and Sunnis cannot live together. How can they expect us to live with them? Our culture is different. The mentality of Kurds is different. We want a divorce.”

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-12-30 16:49:55

Oddly, I don’t recall either Bush or Obama ever mentioning these sectarian realities before committing US forces to the neo-cons’ grand schemes.

Comment by measton
2014-12-30 19:42:01

The Biden/Gelb plan was endorsed by the U.S. Senate in 2007 but ignored by the Bush Administration. Seven years later, the division of Iraq into ethnic regions looks more likely than ever. The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) holds much of western and northern Iraq, including the city of Mosul, and the Kurdish leadership is pressing ahead with plans for a referendum as a likely step towards a unilateral declaration of independence.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-12-30 15:05:54

I can hear the bargaining and pleading now….. “please God… make prices stop falling…. Please!!!”

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-12-30 15:29:56

Had a weird real estate experience today. My sisters and I had no sooner finished getting my parents’ home cleared out and ready to sell when the guy who hauled away our trash made an informal offer to buy it “as is.” His offer is about 10 pct below what we had planned to list for, but given the additional amount of work involved in accepting contingent offers and haggling on price and/or repairs, it seems tempting.

My scam sensor was tingling wildly, maybe because of my sisters’ excessive exuberance at the prospect of nipping the time until sale in the bud. Should I be worried about the prospect of selling to this guy?

Comment by MightyMike
2014-12-30 15:33:30

Would this allow your parents to avoid paying realtors?

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-12-30 15:37:17

Further thought: I’m not wildly optimistic that the 2014 oil price crash won’t spill over into housing. Perhaps it would make more sense to get the money out of the market fast, than to hold the home out on the market as demand craters.

Comment by phony scandals
2014-12-30 17:34:54

10% below asking “as is” and no Realtor?

I’d be on that faster than Al Sharpton gets on a plane to Ferguson, Missouri after reports of a white police officer shooting of an unarmed black teen.

I would pay a decent lawyer 500 bucks to look it over.

I go with the dude from Cornell who said they wouldn’t be able to figure out the robo-signing thing, the one Polly said was wrong.

Comment by phony scandals
2014-12-30 15:40:42

EXCLUSIVE: Man beaten in broad daylight in Bronx neighborhood

By Carolina Leid
Tuesday, December 30, 2014 12:46AM


William King has lived in his Bronx neighborhood for 40 years, and since 1974 he has felt safe - that is until Saturday afternoon when he was brutally beaten in broad daylight. The vicious encounter was caught on home surveillance camera.

The incident happened near the corner of Briggs Avenue and East 197th Street in Bedford Park - not in the wee hours of the morning, but at 2 in the afternoon on a beautiful, bright and busy day.

One man pounded the 67-year-old, while another acted as a lookout - both were left empty-handed.

“I believe it was a racial attack - they weren’t trying to rob me, I had money on me and my wallet and all. They weren’t trying to rob me,” adds King.

King works as a facility maintenance clerk for a law firm, and teaches Sunday School at Our Lady of Refuge. His neighbors say the video is so hard to watch. - 68k -

Comment by Tarara Boomdea
2014-12-30 17:40:26

Comment by phony scandals
2014-12-30 15:40:42

EXCLUSIVE: Man beaten in broad daylight in Bronx neighborhood

I know that neighborhood; bad for a long time. Poe Cottage is near there.

Comment by phony scandals
2014-12-30 18:22:52

Thanks Tarara

Comment by aNYCdj
2014-12-30 19:27:12
Comment by aNYCdj
2014-12-30 19:24:28

no racial charges will be filed….DeBozio’s wife will see to that….

Comment by tresho
2014-12-30 15:53:50

Officials in China steal corpses for cremation to meet gov’t quotas
Two officials in southern Guangdong Province were found purchasing corpses from grave robbers in order to meet government cremation quotas, Chinese media reported last week.

In late June, a resident surnamed Gu from Shizhai Village of Beiliu City in south China’s Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region reported his grandfather’s body was stolen from the graveyard where it was buried.

Since body theft cases frequently occur in the region, Gu and other family members were guarding the graveyard in turns. Still, they failed to prevent the theft of his corpse.

In early July, police from Beiliu City apprehended a grave robber surnamed Zhong based on an investigation. Zhong said he has stolen more than 20 corpses in local villages at night, put them into bag, and transported them by motorcycle to neighboring Guangdong Province.

Zhong then disclosed a surprising detail about the crime. He said he sold the corpses to two officials from Gaozhou City and Huazhou City in Guangdong.

With the help of Guangdong police, the two suspects, surnamed He and Dong, were arrested. Both were local officials in charge of funeral management reform. They told police that they bought the corpses to finish government cremation quota.

Comment by phony scandals
2014-12-30 16:31:46

96% of Illegal Immigrant Families With Deportation Orders ‘Can’t Be Found’

by Natalie Johnson | Daily Signal | December 30, 2014

Thousands of illegal immigrants who spilled into border states earlier this year have “disappeared” from government tracking, according to a recent investigation by a Houston TV station.

The wave of unaccompanied children and women illegally crossing into the United States between July and October was so large that Border Patrol had to release thousands on their own recognizance due to lack of detention space.

Now, many of those ordered to be deported “can’t be found,” says investigative reporter Robert Arnold.

The Obama administration has repeatedly reinforced these cases as a top priority, yet the Houston TV station found that only a sliver have been sent home.

Comment by Tarara Boomdea
2014-12-30 17:48:58

Comment by phony scandals
2014-12-30 16:31:46

96% of Illegal Immigrant Families With Deportation Orders ‘Can’t Be Found’

Comment by real journalists
2014-12-30 18:00:07

“To those who scare peace-loving people with phantoms of lost liberty, my message is this: Your tactics only aid terrorists, for they erode our national unity and diminish our resolve. They give ammunition to America’s enemies, and pause to America’s friends. They encourage people of good will to remain silent in the face of evil.”

Attorney General John Ashcroft - December 6, 2001

Comment by phony scandals
2014-12-30 19:38:12

I saw a face of evil the other day.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-12-30 20:26:25

I saw the face of bovine stupidity at the polls in 2008 and 2012. They’ll make the same bad choices in 2016.

Comment by Selfish Hoarder
Comment by aNYCdj
2014-12-30 19:30:06

Thousands Vie For Affordable Housing Units In Trendy Williamsburg, Brooklyn

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-12-30 19:47:17

Great marketing scheme for the bagholders.

Comment by aNYCdj
2014-12-30 19:44:00

sometimes you have to watch this and realize how good you have it….

Comment by phony scandals
2014-12-30 19:57:16

Final Party : New Orleans woman’s funeral with disco ball, cigarette … - 296k - Cached - Similar pages
Jun 13, 2014 … When the funeral home directors at Charbonnet Funeral Home asked … cigarettes while drinking beer and whiskey as a disco ball lit up the room. … 83- year-old socialite’s funeral - at which her body was propped up on an iron …

Comment by Tarara Boomdea
2014-12-30 20:21:23

Old drinkers are made of tough stuff. When I was in that business, we used to open at 8 AM and had a few elderly regulars. One morning an old lady told me she started the day with a whiskey sour, topped it with another type of drink (don’t remember what) and now she’s here. Good morning to you!

A year or two later and all of them had died, so we started opening at 11.

It’s kind of a funny story :roll:

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2014-12-30 20:28:09

Uh-oh…seeing the first contagion of the oil bust hitting entities created by Wall Street hedge funds.

Comment by AbsoluteBeginner
2014-12-30 21:07:45

TPP, never really heard of it until now. Wonder if it means anything to main street:

Comment by Housing Analyst
2014-12-30 21:10:59

So hows the Free $hit Army doing today? Donk? R._Fraud? CrayonDan?

Comment by AbsoluteBeginner
Comment by Selfish Hoarder
2014-12-30 22:21:21

It’s a rainy evening in the OC. I had a UPS shipment that I was expecting all day. Just a book on Bitcoin. Well the tracking info kept saying “out for delivery” and I read on the web sometimes people get things at 7 or 8. My book arrived at 9:11pm.

Now I can get some shuteye - taking care of a cold. Lots of work to do with Bitcoin and PCs and TPMs and all.

Comment by Whac-A-Bubble™
2014-12-30 22:26:25

What does Dr Copper have to say about China now?

Comment by phony scandals
2014-12-31 07:10:09

phony scandals

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