April 25, 2015

Bits Bucket for April 25, 2015

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

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Comment by Housing Analyst
Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-04-25 04:31:39

From the Financial Times yesterday more evidence that the EIA is seriously underestimating the decline in U.S. production in the shale oil areas:
Chemicals traffic was down 1 per cent by volume but the figure concealed a 38 per cent decline in movements of crude oil after sharp oil price declines made expensively produced US crude oil less attractive.


Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-04-25 05:19:16

“China Government Firm’s Default Shocks Market- Is More To Come?”


Short answer: You better believe it Mister.

Comment by Blue Skye
2015-04-25 06:19:13

China’s borrowing based boom sees more unraveling…

Another Default, Another Credit Guarantee In Play: Jiangsu Dahong Textile


“Sheyang Investment and Development Co. has unconditionally guaranteed the debt of Dahong. Sheyang also provided $60 million in land as guarantee. However, after default, Sheyang has provided no compensation.”

Comment by azdude
2015-04-25 06:28:08

all the ponzi schemes are starting to come to the surface over there. They are running out of greater fools.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2015-04-25 06:57:24

They still have a greater fool in here touting the merits of China’s allegedly robust economy (built on fraud and credit).

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Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-04-25 08:50:18

You can look at isolated trees or you can look at the forest it is up to you:


Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-04-25 08:53:25

From the Alpha link:

The new numbers are out, and the trend remains in place: In the first quarter of 2015, China’s economy grew 7 percent-the slowest quarterly pace since 2009. The data comes on the heels of 7.4 percent growth in 2014, a figure that missed the Chinese government’s target and was the slowest annual tally since 1990. The most fearful of economic observers still see a possible hard landing in the future. But the optimists see China’s economy changing according to plan.

For some years now, China has been in deliberate transition to an economic model as reliant on domestic consumption as it is on exports, as well as one that is less driven by public investment. In the process, the country’s economic targets have expanded beyond its historical single-minded focus on GDP growth to include things like healthy employment numbers, income growth and social well-being. The 7 percent growth rate isn’t even really a surprise; rather, China’s current Five-Year Plan, which expires this year, included a target of 7 percent growth in 2015. Indeed, that growth rate is what Premier Li Keqiang was referring to last month when he said the economy had entered a “new phase of slower and better-balanced growth.”

In 2010, China aimed to keep urban unemployment under 5 percent through 2015, and it has averaged 4.1 percent over the past five years. There’s been plenty of job creation in the cities-51 million new urban jobs in the past four years. China has also successfully boosted income in the countryside, reducing the income gap between urban and rural workers. Overall, income has risen by 67 percent in rural areas and 51 percent in urban areas. “This is one of the important objectives of the government in order to promote inclusive and balanced growth,” Credit Suisse analysts Amlan Roy, Anais Boussie and Mengyuan Yuan write in a recent report detailing China’s progress on its Five Year Plan.

In order to bolster income growth and thereby consumption, the government has also sought to provide its citizens with better social welfare. The government plans to increase the retirement age in order to ease the government fiscal pressure imposed by an aging population. The state has also increased subsidies for health services: more than 1.3 billion people are covered by the country’s basic medical insurance, a coverage ratio of more than 95 percent. And then there’s infrastructure. China’s railway network is already over 100,000 kilometers, and it’s getting longer: in 2015, more than $128 billion will be invested and more than 8,000 new kilometers of railways will be built.

The Chinese government has also started governance reforms. The party is carrying out an unprecedented anti-corruption campaign across all levels of government, while also trying to improve transparency and accountability to the general public. This could help the global perception of China on many non-economic qualitative indicators.

This is a profound structural change, of course, and the transition continues to be anything but easy. The Chinese economy could slow even further, especially as China deals with increasing labor costs, oversupply in the housing market and weak demand from Europe. “It’s difficult to confront slower growth and make structural adjustments at the same time,” Roy, Boussie and Yuan write. “Policy makers have to seek a delicate balance between sometimes conflicting objectives.” To this point, however, they appear to be finding that balance.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-04-25 09:23:24

China’s external debt is just over 6% of GDP and falling, the United States unfunded liabilities is approaching 96 trillion dollars almost six times its GDP. The U.S. will collapse decades before China. If China was having trouble meeting its seven per cent goal for GDP growth it could double that train spending since it can afford it due to its low governmental debt.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-04-25 09:25:26

BTW, Brazil continue to implode just like I predicted years ago, supply side out performs Keynesian demand side economics every time.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-04-25 09:29:26

More big picture, have to go will post later in the day:

LONDON, April 25 (Xinhua) — HSBC Holdings plc sees and cheers for the huge opportunities in China’s urbanization process, growing number of middle class and outward investment blueprint, said the group’s chairman Douglas Flint Friday.

Speaking at the group’s annual general meeting here in London, Flint said that the global economy today witnesses some “unstoppable key trends”.

The developed world contemplates more “subdued growth” than enjoyed historically and as emerging markets enter a phase of consolidation, deregulation and greater market based reforms, these trends will shape the global economy in the near to mid-term, he noted.

He said the first trend is the urbanization in emerging markets, most notably in China as migration from the rural economy accelerates in order to achieve a more balanced distribution of economic prosperity.

“One hundred million people will move into China’s middle-class in the next 10 years — creating major opportunities for increased trade and consumer spending,” he said.

HSBC makes most of its money overseas, with Asia accounting for around 80 percent of its profit. It sets Britain and Hong Kong, China as its two home markets.

The second trend is that there is “clearly huge demand of massive investment” in new infrastructure to support the growth in urbanization in emerging markets and at the same time to refresh ageing infrastructure in developed markets, said Flint.

He appraised China’s investment investing in a network of highways, railways, logistics centers and other critical infrastructure, as it is supposed to eliminate the connectivity bottleneck within Asia and between Asia and the West - the new Silk Road.

Across Asia, investment needs are estimated at eight trillion dollars, he added.

Flint said:” We are very encouraged by the trends in outward investment from China and the reshaping of the Chinese economy from export dependence to domestic consumption.”

“We see great opportunity from further liberalization and internationalization of the Renminbi (RMB, or Chinese yuan), where we are the leading international bank supporting that internationalization,” he said.

According to its latest quarter macroeconomic forecast, HSBC Global Research estimates a 7.3 percent GDP growth for China, higher than the market consensus of 7.0 percent.

Comment by Califoh20
2015-04-25 09:58:17

Brazil has all of the natural resources other countries dream of.

Comment by Blue Skye
2015-04-25 10:00:09

More and more new articles out f China say that China is in contraction and that China is growing, both in the same article. An economy rapidly expanded on credit must grow or die. The escalating defaults of major players is a tell.

Comment by Califoh20
2015-04-25 10:48:12

I bought a short China ETF last year (FXP) so far, so bad for me. My bio-tech fund offsets it. So even-steven as usual.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-04-25 11:06:39

Lola and Dan.

Did you know lawyers are liars?

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-04-25 12:34:01

Lawyers and Realtards™ are liars.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-04-25 12:36:26

More big picture:

Chinese developer Kaisa’s default could be the start of a bloodbath for overseas investors
Just ride on by. (Reuters/Carlos Barria)
Written by Heather Timmons
April 21, 2015

The announcement April 20 that the long-troubled Shenzhen property developer Kaisa Group has defaulted on $1 billion in debt may mark just the beginning of the bad news for investors in China’s moribund property market, particularly the overseas ones.

Chinese companies have some $207 billion in international corporate bonds outstanding, according to Dealogic data, and real estate companies account for nearly a third of that at $66 billion. Kaisa’s particular problems include a string of mysterious management departures and an unexpected cash shortage, and it is the first-ever Chinese property company to default on overseas debt.

But the entire sector is looking shaky, analysts warn. “Dark clouds over China’s property sector are unlikely to pass anytime soon,” Standard & Poor’s wrote just days before Kaisa’s default. China’s largest property developers are “in a significantly worse shape” than in the previous year, the ratings agency said, adding: “More defaults are in the cards.” (Less than 24 hours after Kaisa’s announcement, China had its first-ever government company bond default, but not in the property sector.)

China’s property market slump has been accompanied by a slowing local economy and the drying up of credit for the property sector, a trifecta that’s sure to hit investors that bought tens of billions of dollars in stock and debt.

So who is going to get burned? Figuring that out right now is difficult. First of all, there’s a lot of this potentially risky property developer debt out there, and much of it is now held outside of China. China’s property developers issued a record $26 billion in dollar-denominated international bonds last year, according to Dealogic, almost four times what they issued in 2010:

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-04-25 12:38:28

And even more big picture:

Commodities Corner
Iron Ore Prices: Grim and Grimmer
Iron ore prices, which have recently steadied at around $50 a metric ton, are expected to continue to slide as supplies keep piling up.
By Rhiannon Hoyle
April 24, 2015 11:55 p.m. ET

Bulk-commodity investors have needed a cast-iron stomach as iron-ore prices plunged more than 50% over the past year.

While prices have recently steadied at about $50 a metric ton, analysts are predicting the slide will resume as supplies of the ingredient for steelmaking continue to pile up.

The oversupply of iron ore is the result of the global commodities boom. China’s appetite for iron ore and other raw materials in the early part of the 21st century seemed endless, and mining companies gambled on new projects to feed the fast-growing Asian nation. But mining projects take time to develop, and by the time many of the new mines became operational, China’s demand had faded.

With supply outstripping demand, iron-ore prices are likely to fall to at least $40 a ton. Iron ore traded at $49.98 a ton on the CME Globex on Friday.

“The scale of the recent price decline mirrors the steep price increases 10 years ago,” Goldman Sachs wrote in a recent note.

Some iron-ore producers have been forced to shutter unprofitable mines this year as the price slide deepened, but those shutdowns pale in comparison with the amount of new supply flooding into the market. For years, the amount of iron ore transported by ships nearly equaled the demand. Then, in 2015, the balance tipped into a supply surplus. UBS now predicts that the surplus will top more than 200 million tons in the next few years.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-04-25 12:41:44

There is really too much big picture out there to post!

China’s Cnooc to slash spending on low oil price

Published: Apr 24, 2015 7:54 a.m. ET
By Brian Spegele

BEIJING– Cnooc Ltd. is likely to slash spending further after low oil prices led to a sharp drop in the Chinese state-controlled oil giant’s first-quarter revenue.

The partial results released on Friday by the listed unit of state-owned China National Offshore Oil Corp. indicate further pain ahead for the Chinese oil industry as it grapples with a price slump that is challenging energy companies around the globe, as well as softer demand at home.

Cnooc has pledged to cut spending by roughly one-third compared with a year ago, but its figures indicate it has more cutting to do to reach that goal.

“Capital expenditure was reduced significantly,” said Neil Beveridge, analyst at Bernstein Research. “It needs to be cut more to achieve the full-year guidance.”

Cnooc Chief Executive Li Fanrong praised the company’s performance under what he called “harsh circumstances,” but pledged greater efforts throughout the rest of 2015.

“We will continue to strengthen our internal operations management, exercise strict cost control and enhance efficiency to proactively respond to the impact of low oil prices,” Mr. Li said in a statement.

First-quarter revenue fell nearly 40% to 36.72 billion yuan ($5.93 billion) from 60.46 billion yuan a year earlier because of falling energy prices. Cnooc said realized oil prices–the average price it earns for each barrel sold–fell 49% in the first quarter versus the same period last year. Spending in the first quarter fell about 16%, led by a 35% drop in exploration costs.

The company didn’t disclose net profit for the first quarter.

Like oil companies everywhere, Cnooc is being forced to adjust to swift changes in global energy markets. Rapid oil-and-gas production out of the U.S. and elsewhere has flooded global markets with new supplies. Meanwhile, a slowing economy has been suppressing demands at home for the major Chinese oil companies.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-04-25 12:45:34

China: The Real Reason for the Great Oil-Price Crash?
China’s economy has certainly played a role in the dramatic fall of oil prices. Beijing could, however, benefit from the drop in multiple ways.
Anthony Fensom
January 9, 2015

Plunging oil prices have sent shockwaves around the world, threatening to topple governments and bankrupt businesses even while U.S. consumers celebrate cheap gasoline.

Yet while rising supply has been largely blamed for the precipitous price fall, China’s lower demand growth and its long-term implications for the global economy have been largely ignored. Is Beijing a winner or loser from cheap oil?

On January 7, U.S. benchmark oil prices dipped below $48 a barrel, the lowest since April 2009 and half the level of just five months ago. The slump follows November’s decision by the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) not to curb production, despite surging U.S. shale supply and weakening Asian and European demand.

China’s role in oil’s rise and fall reflects its re-emergence on the world stage. During the past decade, the communist giant’s industrialization spurt saw it become the world’s second-biggest economy and top consumer of resources such as iron ore and coal, as well as the world’s largest net oil importer.

According to Societe Generale, a French multinational banking and financial services company, Beijing’s opening to world trade at the start of the 21st century, signified by its joining of the World Trade Organization in 2001, was responsible for increasing the oil price from around $20 a barrel to $100. During this period, China’s demand grew by the equivalent of Japan and the United Kingdom’s total oil consumption, giving oil markets a similar shot in the arm to that of other commodities.

As a result, China became the world’s largest oil importer in 2013, surpassing the United States, and currently imports nearly 60 percent of its supply.

Comment by Blue Skye
2015-04-25 13:56:27

Lower oil prices is good for China. Not wasting so much money on useless crap is good for China. What lies ahead will be incrementally less catastrophic for China.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-04-25 14:49:53

Nothing anyone posted refuted the fact that China is growing at a 7% rate this year, not just the government is saying it outside sources are saying it as stated in the articles. BTW, a few weeks ago, I said that someone should go back and look at the “ghost cities” from a few year years ago and see if they still are ghost cities. Well the Economist Magazine went back to the city showcased by 60 minutes and this is what they said in its April 18, 2015 magazine, first the quote from sixty minutes and then the follow up:

‘We found what they call a ghost city’ said Lesley Stahl, the host. ‘Uninhabited for miles and miles.’ “Two years on, she would not be able to say the same. The empty streets where she stood have a steady stream of cars. Workers saunter out of offices at lunchtime. Laundry hangs in the windows of the subdivisions.”

But hey folks don’t let the facts get in you way and the fact that I am being proved correct and you are widely mistaken bother you.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-04-25 14:51:37

“Brazil has all of the natural resources other countries dream of.”

Despite that due to its left wing economics it is barely growing and getting per capita poorer the last three years.

Comment by Blue Skye
2015-04-25 20:22:06

“Nothing anyone posted…”

Now that right there is interesting. Apparently these things are invisible. I have a suspicion that when you personally are the empty handed bag holder, the rose colored glasses will come off with a vengeance.

Comment by inchbyinch
2015-04-25 06:48:26

OT, but related to the Chinese. They actually did something right. They bought Volvo from Ford in 2010 (Ford lost $5B on Volvo) and fired all the Ford BOD, and reinstated a Swedish BOD, and moved the Engineering back to Sweden. Granted, the Chinese built a China Volvo plant (mainly for their local market), but Sweden and Belgium are the main plants.

The Chinese should get credit, when they do something right.
My newer Volvo is Belgium built, but no chocolate coupons. Bummer.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-04-25 07:29:49


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Comment by Professor Bear
2015-04-25 12:46:34

Volvo = vulva, after changing just two letters

Comment by Califoh20
2015-04-25 13:43:46

My maroon Volvo 740 wagon disagrees. Pd $2500 it in 1999, sold it for $2500 3 yrs later with 246k miles. Just drove it, 5 spd, sunroof, good mpg, great turning radius. I dont like depreciation.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-04-25 13:44:44

You’re a maroon.

Comment by Liberals Lie
2015-04-25 17:37:01

My grandfather( an old sweed from the “old country”) used to call volvos, “vulvas”. I always got a hoot out of that.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2015-04-25 08:49:08

The dominoes are starting to fall in more rapid succession.

Comment by Blue Skye
2015-04-25 14:02:46

Possibly another of the big four developers in China will drop the ball next week. When these guys can’t roll over their massive debts, the dominoes could be busy.

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Comment by Selfish Hoarder
2015-04-25 05:30:53

Not from The Onion. White male crypto currency guy who made a mint off of white male crypto currency guys decides he like the matrix.


Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2015-04-25 06:59:06

With all the bizarro news and Alice-in-Wonderland pronouncements from our PTB, the Onion’s business model seems to have fallen behind the times.

Comment by phony scandals
2015-04-25 05:31:05

Comment by Oddfellow
2015-04-24 18:14:33

“But you didn’t actually read the article.”

“What part didn’t we read? We read the part where the white folks poop their pants when they’re treated like black folks.”
“The politicized knock on the door in the night isn’t right for Wisconsin, or anywhere else in the United States of America.”

Hunting witches in Wisconsin

By Rich Lowry
April 20, 2015 | 8:02pm

The knock on the door in the dead of night is the stuff of “Darkness at Noon,” and of the state of Wisconsin.

To the question of whether armed police can storm your house and take away your personal effects and tell you to shut up about it, based simply on your political advocacy, Wisconsin answered for years, “Why, yes, they can — now please, shut up about it.”

Journalist David French has talked to families targeted in the John Doe raids for the first time, and their stories are harrowing. Shouting officers at the front door in pre-dawn raids, at least once with a battering ram. Armed police rifling through and carting off their belongings, down to and including a daughter’s computer. And warnings to stay silent.

The targets were told not to tell their lawyers, or their friends, or their neighbors. When armed cops storm the house next door, people often wonder why, but the targets were forbidden from discussing what happened. As French points out, this wasn’t the right to remain silent and avoid self-incrimination, but an order to remain silent and not to make any professions of innocence. They had a keener sense of due process in Salem, Mass.

The investigators were, among other things, fishing for campaign-finance violations, on dubious grounds. So, for exercising their First Amendment rights, some targets were denied their First Amendment rights. This is the Bill of Rights, via Kafka and Inspector Javert.

A partisan Democrat whose wife was a shop steward for a teachers union, Chisholm investigated everything possible related to Walker for a couple of years, without really laying a glove on him.

It was in the run-up to Walker’s re-election campaign that, with the help of a compliant judge, John Doe entered its next phase of harassment of conservative groups.

Investigators swept up personal e-mails, and issued wide-ranging subpoenas, including information on donors.

And the offense was backing the wrong side in a highly contentious political dispute. It’s one thing for kids with bongo drums to register their opposition to Scott Walker; it’s another for armed agents of the state, operating with the force of law, to be used as essentially a political cudgel.

nypost.com/2015/04/20/hunting-witches-in-wisconsin/ - 125k -

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2015-04-25 07:06:23

So, for exercising their First Amendment rights, some targets were denied their First Amendment rights. This is the Bill of Rights, via Kafka and Inspector Javert.

It bears repeating: the astro-turf “conservative advocacy” groups funded by Walker’s Daddy Warbucks GOP oligarch donors, like the establishment GOP itself, have either maintained a cowardly silence while the Constitution was being trampled on by the Republicrat Duopoly and its Presidential standard-bearers, or were actively complicit in seeing rights and liberties stripped away. So let these “activists” get a good, healthy dose of life in a corporate statist, post-Constitution State where the nail who sticks up gets pounded down. They might see the light and belatedly start fighting to restore some of our lost liberties.

Comment by phony scandals
2015-04-25 15:52:10

Political Gestapo, that about sums it up.

Wisconsin DA Chisholm’s Political Gestapo

Posted on Wednesday, April 22, 2015 by BZ

Chisholm’s Political Gestapo[And shame — MASSIVE SHAME — upon those “law enforcement officers” (you deserve to be in quotes) who took part in those raids.

You know who you are and you know you conducted yourselves improperly, no matter what you say or how you attempt to justify your actions publicly. You still cannot sleep well at night. As well you shouldn’t. You violated your fundamental Constitutional oaths.]

If you donated to or voted for Scott Walker in Wisconsin, you were brought under the gunsights of Democrat District Attorney John Chisholm and Leftist Democrat Judge Judge Barbara Kluka Barbara Kluka, who signed off on every piece of paper proffered before her by Chisholm.

This was nothing more than criminalizing Conservatism.

Something of which all my consistently loyal readers could be accused: being Conservative. Not even Republican, but at their base: Conservative.

Like myself. I am no longer a Republican, I am an Independent voter. I tossed the GOP to the curb over five years ago.

I am an Independent Conservative. And I’m a law enforcement officer.

That said, police SWAT teams were, literally, utilized by Leftist, Demorat forces in order to frighten, harass and intimidate loyal American taxpayers who did nothing more than exercise their rights as guaranteed by the US Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

bloviatingzeppelin.net/wisconsin-da-chisholms-political-gestapo/ - 72k -

Comment by Oddfellow
2015-04-25 16:12:24

Jeez louise, Wisconsin just doesn’t get it, do they phony? No-knock, heavily-armed police home invasions to serve warrants are for black people, not white conservatives.

Just because we approve of doing it to them, doesn’t mean it can happen to us, right?

Comment by phony scandals
2015-04-25 17:53:11

Your transparent race card B.S. is a little tiring Jimmy.

Although I personally don’t recall any No-knock raids on black people (I do remember one where a flash grenade was thrown in a white babys crib) you seem to be the only one happy to see No-knock on anyone. But I’m not surprised as I remember one of your kind hearted liberal buds who agrees with you here on this blog fantasizing about an entire “Teabilly” neighborhood being taken out by an airstrike.

Like Lois Lerner proclaiming her innocence then taking the Fifth after the dog eating her e-mails to the White house you must be very proud of Democrat District Attorney John Chisholm, his wife who is a shop steward for a teachers union and Leftist Democrat Judge Judge Barbara Kluka.

Comment by Oddfellow
2015-04-25 18:42:04

Well, you lost me there, too many allusions. All I know is, like you, it really rankles me when the cops treat white people like black people. It makes me worried about our Constitutional protections.

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Comment by phony scandals
2015-04-25 05:45:03

4 Actual Words Leftists Tried to Ban
Not even language is safe from the leftist agenda

by Infowars.com | April 24, 2015

In fact, completely harmless words are now deemed a threat to the leftist utopia and must be sacrificed on the altar of political correctness.

Here are four actual words leftists tried to ban!


Ever pack lunch in a brown paper bag? If so, you’re probably a racist or a bigot – at least that’s what the left wants you to think.

In 2013, a memo was sent out to city employees in Seattle, Washington that banned the words “brown bag” due to its “offensive nature.” Offensive how you ask? Well, according to Elliott Bronstein of the Office for Civil Rights, brown bags were once used over 100 years ago to test if a Black American’s skin was too dark.

“The term ‘brown bag’ doesn’t bother everybody, but… there is a history behind the use of it,” Bronstein said.

Proving that some sanity was left in the city, Seattle residents called Bronstein’s crusade a complete waste of time.


Ever been blacklisted or used the term? Obviously you’re racist – and police in the UK agree.

According to the Daily Mail, police chiefs banned the word in 2012 over fears that radical authoritarian leftists would call them racist for using it.

Instead, Scotland Yard employees were told to use colors such as ‘red’ and ‘green’ so as to not offend the trendies. Of course, in due time, all colors will be racist.

“I am sure we can appreciate the sensitivity around the use of such terminology today so please ensure it is no longer used,” Security Services Chief Brian Douglas said at the time.


“Stop using the word bossy, now!” say ironic women not understanding irony.

In early 2013, Michelle Obama championed a campaign to ban the word “bossy,” arguing that the word was used to defame women.

Of course the effort was an utter failure, and leftists were temporarily forced to head back to the drawing board to plan their next attack on rational thought.


Back to Seattle already? Well, brown bags weren’t the only things found offensive. Friendly city employees also found the word “citizen” to be in bad taste since some people aren’t citizens.

Attempting not to scare away their illegal immigrant voting base, Seattle successfully banished the word from all government paperwork.

“Luckily, we’ve got options,” Bronstein said. “For ‘citizens,’ how about ‘residents?’”

Comment by OliverGarchy
2015-04-25 07:55:21

What about the lovely AC/DC song Back In Black?

Comment by Oddfellow
2015-04-25 16:15:02

They whitewashed it.

Comment by phony scandals
2015-04-25 17:56:20

“They whitewashed it.”

Good one Jimmy.

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Comment by Oddfellow
2015-04-25 18:52:31

They were worried they’d get blackballed if they didn’t.

Comment by Combotechie
2015-04-25 08:51:40

Interesting stuff! I did a Wiki-up of “Paper Bag Party” and this is some of what I got back:

“From 1900 until about 1950 in the larger black neighborhoods of major American cities …

(note who is doing this)

“… paper bag parties” are said to have taken place. Some organizations used the “brown paper bag” principle as a test for entrance. People at many churches, fraternities and nightclubs would take a brown paper bag and hold it against a person’s skin. If a person was lighter or the same color as the bag, he or she was admitted. People whose skin was not lighter than a brown paper bag were denied entry.

“There is, too, a curious color dynamic that sadly persists in our culture. In fact, New Orleans invented the brown paper bag party — usually at a gathering in a home — where anyone darker than the bag attached to the door was denied entrance. The brown bag criterion survives as a metaphor for how the black cultural elite …”

“… the black cultural elite …”

“… quite literally establishes caste along color lines within black life. On my many trips to New Orleans, whether to lecture at one of its universities or colleges, to preach from one of its pulpits, or to speak at an empowerment seminar during the annual Essence Music Festival, I have observed color politics at work among black folk. The cruel color code has to be defeated by our love for one another. —Michael Eric Dyson, excerpt from Come Hell or High Water.

Comment by Sheldon Kristol
Comment by Sheldon Kristol
2015-04-25 06:04:40

Obama loves Iran because he hates Israel and hates America:


Comment by scdave
2015-04-25 07:50:28

because he hates Israel and hates America ??

Seems to me you may be the one full of Hate…

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2015-04-25 07:55:03

You don’t seem very keen at recognizing SK’s satire.

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Comment by Califoh20
2015-04-25 13:46:21

USA continues to give $8 billion a year to Israel, seems like love.

Who loves Iran more Reagan and the illegal arms trade or Obama and the nuclear treaty?

Know your party.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-04-25 15:08:00

The sale was to keep Iran and Iraq at war. Reagan had both our enemies killing each other and we were making a few bucks. Pure genius.

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Comment by Ben Jones
2015-04-25 15:45:00

‘at the very least half a million and possibly twice as many troops were killed on both sides, at least half a million became permanent invalids, some 228 billion dollars were directly expended, and more than 400 billion dollars of damage (mostly to oil facilities, but also to cities) was inflicted, mostly by artillery barrages. Aside from that, the war was inconsequential’


And around 300,000 civilians killed. Unless one advocates genocide, which you have before, killing such a number with no outcome can only be described as a crime against humanity. That’s the most terrible crime on the books, BTW. It’s noted Dan. I hope you are proud of justifying every bit of animosity people around the world feel toward this country. And to the readers who see this, think about what it means to have a citizen willing to say such a thing in a public forum, and what this country has become.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-04-25 15:59:48

He’s an attorney. What do you expect him to say?

Comment by phony scandals
2015-04-25 06:02:57

“They rolled up in two buses, as well as a swarm of SUVs,”

“I think altogether there are about 85 Realtors here today,”

(How many of you read those 2 lines and thought Drone Strike? Show of hands please.)

New York Realtors get a taste of Greenwich

Maggie Gordon
Updated 8:30 pm, Friday, April 24, 2015

The sound of high heels clacking along hardwood floors ticked through the hallways at 54 Shore Road, Wednesday morning as dozens of Realtors from New York toured the property, listed for $3.3 million. The five-bedroom home was one of four included on a bus tour arranged by Douglas Elliman to introduce its real estate agents from throughout the New York suburbs to the Greenwich market.

“I think altogether there are about 85 Realtors here today,” said Alison Farn Leigh, the listing agent for the property and one of the coordinators of the tour.

They rolled up in two buses, as well as a swarm of SUVs, pulling up to the well-manicured grass that lines the quiet Old Greenwich street for an event that Douglas Elliman organized to allow agents to mingle and learn a little something new about Greenwich– one of the most expensive and sought-after markets in the U.S.

“We didn’t know what to expect,” she said, as she stood on the lawn at 54 Shore Road. “But the houses are very comparable to where we’re from.”

Several agents from other parts of the New York metro area echoed that thought. Though there was one difference that continued to come up in conversation: The price.

“I couldn’t sell this, even at Cold Spring Harbor at $3 million,” said Melissa D’Angelo, a broker with the firm’s Huntington office on Long Island.

“A house like this, with a water view, would be $1.7 million in Cold Spring Harbor,” she continued, noting that the Colonial would fit in well in the town where she sells property, given its curb appeal. “This house, you could pick it up and drop it in Cold Spring Harbor and no one would know it didn’t come from there, but not for $3 million.”

http://www.greenwichtime.com/…/New-York-Realtors-get-a-taste-of-Greenwich-6221897.php - 105k -

Comment by Bill, just south of Irvine
2015-04-25 06:09:11

Atheism on the rise in the Arab world (this is a good thing!)

Comment by Bill, just south of Irvine
2015-04-25 06:12:59


More Arabs are reportedly embracing atheism, as the region undergoes political upheaval in the post-Arab Spring environment.

Despite countries seeking to downplay the number of disbelievers, “atheism is spreading like wildfire,” according to an article by The New Republic. A Cairo-based Islamic institution claimed there were 2,293 atheists in the entire Arab World, an estimated population of 300 million, leading to criticism the calculations were too low.

Indeed, more than one million Saudis profess to be atheists, according to a WIN-Gallup poll from 2012. Aside from analyzing Facebook pages for Arab atheists, exact calculations are tricky in Islamic countries, where the risk of exposing oneself can range from imprisonment to capital punishment.

One Egyptian student was sentenced to three years in prison after announcing he was an atheist online. Mohamed al-Banna’s own father testified against the 21-year-old.

Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood government was overthrown in 2013, but the new regime under President Abdel Fatah al-Sissi has launched a severe crackdown on social and political behavior.

Disbelief could threaten the political structure of countries relying on religion to justify state authority. Saudi Arabia, a primary example, lawfully designated atheists as terrorists in 2014.

“If you are an atheist in Saudi Arabia, you are also a revolutionary. If atheism is allowed to flourish, the regime won’t be able to survive,” Brian Whitaker, author of “Arabs Without God,” told writer Ahmed Benchemsi.

Stigmas follow self-proclaimed atheists, oftentimes labeled as immoral. “The main view is that if someone is … an atheist then he must be living like an animal. That’s how they see us. I have been asked so many times why wouldn’t I sleep with my mother?” said a Jordanian atheist cited by Benchemsi.

He writes: “In today’s Arab world, it’s not religiosity that is mandatory; it’s the appearance of it. Nonreligious attitudes and beliefs are tolerated as long as they’re not conspicuous.”


I was born too early. I would like to be born 50 years from now when all religion is dead and we can finally live lives based on reason instead of hate and superstition.

Comment by Combotechie
2015-04-25 06:32:03

“A Cairo-based Islamic institution claimed there were 2,293 atheists in the entire Arab World, an estimated population of 300 million, leading to criticism the calculations were too low.”

“2,293 atheists in the entire Arab World.”

Not 2,292, or 2,294 or any other number, but exactly 2,293.

Out of a population of 300 million (that’s 300,000,000 - not 299,999,999 or 300,000,001 but 300,000,000).

Lol. I love this blog.

Comment by Combotechie
2015-04-25 06:37:20

“…exact calculations are tricky in Islamic countries, where the risk of exposing oneself can range from imprisonment to capital punishment.”

But nevertheless an exact number of 2,293 atheists was somehow obtained.

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Comment by Combotechie
2015-04-25 06:50:39

Reminds me that the reason economists use decimal points in their forecasts is to show the rest of the world that they have a sense of humor.

Comment by Bill, just south of Irvine
2015-04-25 06:53:43

Yeah I thought that number was odd too.

However I refuse to believe Arabic people are monolithic ants. It is very likely 1% of them are atheists. Just like in any populated area.

A far higher amount of course would not believe in any organized religion.

Just like in America there are atheists who quietly go to church with their spouses who are religious. I know one. he confessed he is an atheist but his wife is religious and they go to church.

I could not handle that. I would have to have ear buds while sitting with my wife so that I could listen to Led Zepellin while the man at the podium preaches hate.

Comment by In Colorado
2015-04-25 07:01:28

I was born too early. I would like to be born 50 years from now when all religion is dead

You really believe that Islam will be gone in 50 years? I think the opposite will happen, that Islam is going to overrun the west.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2015-04-25 07:21:28

Islam has the seeds of its own destruction. Look at the Sunni-Shia divide, then the multiple schisms within each camp. They are killing more of each other than they are “infidels.” And while they can conquer territory, they’ve proven pretty convincingly that they can’t actually govern and provide the services that the population requires. Right now their advance has been aided by the political correctness-run-amok in the West. If and when radical Islam starts to pose an existential threat, people will wake up and start pushing back. It’s already starting to happen in Europe, where the globalist, open-borders, bankster adjuncts are being challenged by nationalists who want to take back their sovereignty and cultures.

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Comment by Blue Skye
2015-04-25 08:08:53

Most people usually gravitate towards being in a club, and want someone to explain things to them that are mysteries. I doubt that will change.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2015-04-25 08:52:29

For any intelligent, honorable Arab, I would think the stark contrast between the irrationality, repressiveness, and nihilism of Islam and the far more benign nature of the Christian minorities living among Islamic populations, would make its own teaching point. Especially in the Internet age, where truth-seekers can examine other holy texts (or atheist arguments, if so inclined) and compare/comtrast them to the truck-shaped doctrinal and logic flaws in Islam.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2015-04-25 09:00:31

I was born too early. I would like to be born 50 years from now when all religion is dead and we can finally live lives based on reason instead of hate and superstition.

Then you’d love the utopias created by Lenin, Stalin, Mao, Hitler, and Pol Pot.

Comment by Bill, just south of Irvine
2015-04-25 10:36:37

Hmm. The post communist Russians have strong atheism still and they are some of the best mathematicians in the world. I would not wish communism on anyone to get there though. Somehow I never ever liked collectivism and became an atheist at age 7.

And Hitler was not an atheist.

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Comment by MightyMike
2015-04-25 14:31:02

Well, there may be a lot of good mathematicians in Russia. On the other hand, you mention Hitler. He certainly had a lot of highly talented scientists, engineers and so forth working for him, not to mention very talented generals in his army.

Another interesting thing in your writing is the heavy use of words ending in -ist or -ism.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-04-25 14:40:53

Housing my friend.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-04-25 16:13:46

“He certainly had a lot of highly talented scientists, engineers and so forth working for him, not to mention very talented generals in his army.”

Lots of the best German scientists were Jewish, which ultimately played a significant role in the downfall of the Axis powers.

Edward Teller Biography
Father of the Hydrogen Bomb
Date of birth: January 15, 1908
Date of death: September 9, 2003

Edward Teller was born into an affluent, educated Jewish family in Budapest, Hungary. As one of the great cities of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, Budapest was part of a larger central European world of predominantly German language and culture. Edward was only ten when the First World War brought an end to the Empire and Hungary became independent for the first time in centuries.

Young Edward was a mathematical prodigy, educated in private schools, but his education was frequently disrupted by the political turmoil engulfing the new nation. In 1926, Edward left Budapest to study chemical engineering in Karlsruhe, Germany.

In Karlsruhe, Teller became intrigued by physics, particularly the new theory of quantum mechanics. The young chemical engineer transferred to the University of Munich in 1928 to pursue this interest. In Munich, disaster struck. A streetcar accident cost Teller his right foot.

Once Teller had recovered from his injury and learned to walk with a prosthesis, he transferred to the University of Leipzig to study with Werner Heisenberg, who was in the forefront of the new physics. Teller received his doctorate in physics in 1930 and took a job as research consultant at the University of Göttingen. His first published paper, “Hydrogen Molecular Ion,” was one of the earliest statements of what is still the most widely held view of the molecule.

Teller might have settled down to a long, productive career in Germany, but again political events intervened. Adolf Hitler came to power in Germany and Teller knew immediately that there was no future for him in Germany. With the help of the tight-knit community of advanced physicists, Teller was able to emigrate to Denmark in 1934. There he joined the Institute for Theoretical Physics, where the great Niels Bohr led a team of young scientists attempting to unlock the secrets of the atom. In this year, Teller married Augusta Harkanyi, a marriage that weathered half a century of expatriation and controversy.

At Bohr’s institute, Teller met the Russian physicist George Gamow, also a political refugee. After a year, Gamow and Teller went their separate ways. Gamow headed for George Washington University in Washington, D.C., while Teller headed for England. He worked briefly at the University of London, but within a year received an invitation to join Gamow in Washington. Teller gratefully accepted the offer and entered the United States in 1935; he became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1941.

In Washington, Teller and Gamow worked together closely, formulating the so-called Gamow-Teller rules for classifying subatomic particle behavior in radioactive decay. They also attempted to apply the new understanding of atomic phenomena to astrophysics. Teller had settled down to what he hoped would be a quiet academic life, but events in Europe intervened again.

The development of nuclear physics had continued at a slower pace in Hitler’s Germany, but by 1939, German scientists had discovered nuclear fission. It was theoretically possible to split the atom, releasing energy as heat. It appeared to Teller and the other refugee physicists that the most destructive force ever known to man might fall into the hands of Adolf Hitler. Their fear was amplified by the knowledge that the German nuclear program was led by Heisenberg himself.

Teller’s friend Leo Szilard enlisted Albert Einstein to bring this danger to the attention of President Franklin Roosevelt. Roosevelt appealed to the scientific community to mobilize for the defense of freedom. In 1941 Teller joined America’s best physicists in the top secret Manhattan Project. Their mission: to develop the atom bomb before the Germans did.

After preliminary work in Chicago with Enrico Fermi, and in Berkeley with J. Robert Oppenheimer, Teller moved to the isolated laboratory at Los Alamos, New Mexico. Here, under Oppenheimer’s leadership, the first atomic bomb would be built.

Comment by rms
2015-04-25 09:38:27

“Atheism on the rise in the Arab world”

We can topple them with Fast Food and Pornography.

Comment by azdude
2015-04-25 06:29:49

Do you guys think its safe to buy some more facebook shares? Seems like everyone is making money day trading but me.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-04-25 06:42:03

Sell Poet sell…. get what you can get for your _____ right now because it’s going to be much less as time goes on.

Comment by Bill, just south of Irvine
2015-04-25 06:47:30

I would never buy FB as individual stock. But I notice it’s in my Fidelity Contrafund. So be it.

Comment by Combotechie
2015-04-25 06:52:51

“I would never buy FB as individual stock. But I notice it’s in my Fidelity Contrafund.”

Bill, you need to consider doing stand up.

Comment by Combotechie
2015-04-25 06:58:35

Let me see if I understand this correctly:

You would never buy FB stock because it is … what? … too risky?

But you would pay some fund managers a fee to buy it on your behalf.

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Comment by Selfish Hoarder
2015-04-25 07:48:36

It is in my 401k dude

Comment by Ol'Bubba
2015-04-25 10:18:11

If you want to buy FB, then you need to accept the risk of investing in an individual security.

If you buy a mutual fund that holds FB, then the individual security risk is mitigated.

At this stage in my life (late 50’s) I don’t have the appetite for individual security risk. I’ll stick with index mutual funds for my equity investment risk.

Day traders tell you about their wins, but they never tell you about their losses.

If you ever worked for an institutional investor, you would quickly learn how over matched you are as a day trader. It’s like the difference between being the best basketball player on the playground versus being able to compete in the NBA on a day-in, day-out basis.

Is it safe to buy FB? I have no idea, but if you are looking for safety, I would steer clear of individual stocks.

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Comment by Bill, just south of Irvine
2015-04-25 10:33:51

I agree Ol’ Bubba. That was my point. The others don’t understand it’s not hypocritical.

What am I going to do? Avoid investing in the sector of large growth companies in a mutual fund JUST BECAUSE FB is 3% of the portfolio? PUHLEEZE. Besides, the Contrafund was the best performing choice over the long haul in that sector compared to others I had to choose from in that 401k.

Comment by bungabunga
2015-04-25 11:37:03

Maybe they don’t tell about their losses because they have none. It’s a rigged game and everybody who plays is winning atm.

Comment by Selfish Hoarder
2015-04-25 12:49:53

I like this rigged game. Have been realizing gains and with the proceeds after taxes been buying movable and hidable assets that people don’t want.

Comment by Ol'Bubba
2015-04-25 14:01:51

“Maybe they don’t tell about their losses because they have none. It’s a rigged game and everybody who plays is winning atm.”

Hey bungabunga - if you believe they don’t have any losses then I have a bridge for you at a very attractive price.

Comment by Can_Bubble
2015-04-25 06:42:46

People I know who’ve been employed building condos in Toronto over the last few years:
- An old friend from University who had a beautiful mind for math and economics but poor social skills and a dysfunctional relationship with his wealthy (property rich) mother. Because he can come across as weird he couldn’t get past the interview stage with any of the six big banks in Canada. He’s been collecting a mental disability allowance from the Canadian Government for about 20 years. Anyway, he got bored and managed to get work helping to construct cheap condos.
- A guy who worked as a chemical engineer for eight years before getting downsized by someone who was willing to work for 40K. He was out of work for a few months before he took his skills to condo unit construction.

Comment by inchbyinch
2015-04-25 06:55:22

Can Bubble
Interesting data points. Underemployment is fairly common is So Ca. In our area, a lot of tech firms are gone, and my EE hubby will meet up with former co-workers doing retail gigs or working way below their skillsets. Pretty freak’in sad.

Comment by Can_Bubble
2015-04-25 07:08:39

Condo jobs pay pretty good. Much better than retail.

I’ve been hearing many stories about shoddy workmanship.

Comment by Selfish Hoarder
2015-04-25 07:50:11

Huh? Tons of software job openings in OC

Comment by Califoh20
2015-04-25 10:00:43

We call it simple supply and demand. You make what you are worth, regardless of how many years in school you spent. There are no victims, you dont “deserve” anything. Go get it.

Comment by phony scandals
2015-04-25 06:57:03

Why California faces ‘lost generation’ of homebuyers

Ben van der Meer
Staff Writer-
Sacramento Business Journal
Apr 24, 2015, 5:42am PDT

The slow pace of homebuilding will hurt California by driving millennials out of state to buy, according to the CEO of the California Association of Realtors.


Comment by In Colorado
2015-04-25 07:04:18

The insane prices have nothing to do with it.

Comment by scdave
2015-04-25 07:54:12

Exactly Colorado…

Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-04-25 08:08:03


Even the younger dumber generations fully understand that housing prices are massively inflated.

Does that make you feel stupid?

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Comment by bungabunga
2015-04-25 11:29:39

Who needs them? We will just have to import more corrupt chinese oligarchs.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2015-04-25 07:10:46

Who would want to sign a 30-year mortage when faced with the prospect of a record-breaking drought with no end in sight? I would not want to be tied to a house and a location in that scenario.

Comment by scdave
2015-04-25 07:56:23

Who would want to sign a 30-year mortage when faced with the prospect of a record-breaking drought with no end in sight ??

You can’t see beyond the end of your nose ?? I can think of many reasons you could offer up for not signing a 30 year mortgage but the current drought would not be one of them….

Comment by rms
2015-04-25 10:02:40

“Who would want to sign a 30-year mortage when faced with the prospect of a record-breaking drought with no end in sight?”

I’ve had that very thought myself, but home buyers in Phoenix metro don’t appear to be concerned. The day when Hoover Dam lacks the water necessary for hydro-power generation is looming, and those air conditioners won’t run on batteries.

Comment by Selfish Hoarder
2015-04-25 11:11:40

The largest nuclear generation facility in America is in Arizona west of Phoenix. Arizona has had a drought more than a dozen years but folks there are not worried.

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Comment by rms
2015-04-25 11:54:28

What do they cool the plant with?

Comment by Selfish Hoarder
2015-04-25 12:56:20

Cooled with reclaimed water. 20 billion gallons of waste water from Phoenix annually.

Comment by Califoh20
2015-04-25 13:50:19

Where does the original water come from so they can “reclaim” it? :)

Comment by Bill, just south of Irvine
2015-04-25 14:27:11

Colorado river through the ACP http://www.cap-az.com/ . Ground water. Salt River from the east.

Comment by Bill, just south of Irvine
2015-04-25 14:59:03

From the article in AZ Republic on water:

“If there is a shortage on the Colorado River, the first people to lose it are farmers in central Arizona. Their rights are lowest on the list.Homes and businesses in the three counties served by the CAP Canal (Maricopa, Pinal and Pima) get higher priority.

Even under the worst case outlined in the drought plan, about 1 million acre-feet would continue to flow down the canal each year during the shortage, enough to provide what cities currently take from it. (That’s as long as the river can supply that much water. If things get bad, biblically bad, the CAP would have to shut down. The only people with rights to the very last drops of Arizona’s share are the farmers in Yuma - their rights are the most senior of all.)”

If there is a shortage on the Colorado River, the first people to lose it are farmers in central Arizona. Their rights are lowest on the list.

There you go. California farmers have been given the top priority in water while Arizona farmers are up $hit creek without a paddle. That is why Arizona is not in a crisis and will not be.

Comment by rms
2015-04-26 01:06:32

Interesting tid-bits. Thanks, Bill.

Comment by Califoh20
2015-04-26 16:07:21

farmers cant farm on their hundreds of acres….hmmm… no consequences for AZ mortgage owners??


Comment by Combotechie
2015-04-25 07:10:56

“The slow pace of homebuilding will hurt California by driving millennials out of state to buy, according to the CEO of the California Association of Realtors.”

Wow! Then my morning commute to work would really be a bitch.

Comment by Combotechie
2015-04-25 07:32:08

If it were a matter of finding an inexpensive place to buy then one really wouldn’t have to leave the state. California offers several inexpensive places. Go here for an example:


Captain Obvious says:

It’s not just the location of your house you need to consider, it’s also the location of your job. If your job is in California then California is where you are going to have to buy.

Comment by scdave
2015-04-25 08:02:40

There are lots of affordable places in California…I have told this story in the past but I will offer it again;

A heavy equipment operator that I came to know working on one of my projects bought a home on 2 acres in Cottonwood California..He would come down to work on a project, stay in a motel until finished and then head back home until the next job..He made a LOT of money…Paid his house off in 5 years…Raised two kids and put them through private Universities…Has every man toy imaginable…

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Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-04-25 11:13:52

Paying a 200% premium for a depreciating asset is not “making money”.

Santa Clara, CA Sale Prices Plummet 10% YoY; Demand Craters Statewide


Comment by Selfish Hoarder
2015-04-25 13:04:26

There is a reason those places are inexpensive. Far from good paying jobs for professionals for instance. Or smog.

My hometown of Fresno in the valley is like that. I remember reading an article in the L.A. Times years ago about Fresno. The smartest kids from the wealthiest families attend Bullard High. They go off to college, get a job elsewhere for the pay, and only return home to visit. Young people who stay get left in the dust. If you can breathe in that city and like it more than being able to afford nice toys, well I guess that is okay. Not for me though. This is also the same way with Bakersfield and Madera.

The state colleges are good enough though. Some people stay for the four year college and then get the STEM jobs in he large coastal areas.

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Comment by Bring Back the WPA
2015-04-25 08:09:56

Since a Realtor said that it’s obvious the opposite must be true.

Comment by X-GSfixr
2015-04-25 07:04:08

Some story today about some dumbazz claiming tha he could hack into an airliners wifi and induce EICAS messages to the flight crew. Immediately got detained. This of course was defacto proof that his claim was true.

(Sound of -fixr throwing the “BS Flag”)

EICAS is what newer airplanes use in place of a multitude of warning lights and gages/indicators. Along with displaying stuff on LCDs like oil pressure, it replaces idiot lights with “messages”. (Example: a low oil pressure switch tripped will put up a “LOW OIL PRESSURE” message). Analog and sometimes digital sensors are tied into a “Fault Warning Computer”, which then sends signals to the LCD displays , telling it what to display.

There is no physical or wifi connection to the FWC. It probably has an AFIS connection to the ground to alert the maintenance guys to problems in flight, but the system only transmits. Any reply from the ground goes thru the flight crew.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2015-04-25 07:15:43

And then there’s this guy, who figured out how to outsmart the HFT algos responsible for 70-90% of current volume in our rigged and broken “markets.” Of course he, and not the above-the-law HFT front-runners, had to be taken down.


Now that the confusion and the initial smoke following the stunning CFTC/DOJ/FBI allegation that the entire Flash Crash was the result of just one high latency UK trader’s actions has cleared, several critical things have emerged.

First: Nav Sarao not a typical massively funded, connected and lobby-protected High Frequency Trader, such as Citadel or Virtu, using countless algos across numerous fragmented markets to frontrun size order blocks, but an old-school “point and click” prop trader. This is how he described his trading style in a response to the UK regulator:

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-04-25 07:08:03

If this graph depicted an EKG, the doctor would have to declare the patient dead.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-04-25 07:22:49

I made the figure last night to shoot down our resident attorney’s false claim that interest rates had not collapsed before the onset of QE1 around the end of March 2009. The figure clearly documents the collapse against the zero bound in December 2008 with no subsequent recovery.

Comment by Albuquerquedan
2015-04-25 14:59:36

Once again you misstate what I said. I never said anything about the federal funds rate, I said QE3 lowered mortgage rates and auto loan rates, and it did. The purpose of QE3 was to lower particularly mortgage rates by buying out on curve. I know because I refinanced at around 3.5%.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-04-25 16:32:20

You didn’t specify what rates you meant.

But for the record, long-term rates were already in the basement by late 2008 as well, and they have subsequently continued their secular downtrend that dates back to October 1981, when the average conventional 30-year fixed mortgage rate was 18.45%.

And mortgage rates remain positive; their is plenty of room for them to keep trending down from here to 0%.

So your post seems to have yet again missed the mark.

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Comment by Professor Bear
Comment by Professor Bear
2015-04-25 07:33:35

For the record, the Fed Funds rate has rested against the zero bound for six long years now: 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, plus a good part of 2015 already.

But not to worry, as liftoff is imminent.

Comment by Combotechie
2015-04-25 07:58:20

William McChesney Martin - “The job of the Federal Reserve is to take away the punch bowl just as the party gets going.”

And theory implies the opposite should be true, meaning to get the party going the punch bowl must be put back.

But the trick is to get people to willingly drink from the punch bowl once it is put back.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-04-25 07:48:12

Capitol Report
Beware the ‘super taper tantrum’
By Steve Goldstein
Published: Apr 20, 2015 2:21 p.m. ET
Former Fed chief Ben Bernanke may have caused the last taper tantrum, and one analyst says it could be even worse this time around.

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — It’s what is feared by markets and by Federal Reserve officials alike — a rerun of the May 2013 taper tantrum, when yields spiked higher on the suggestion of an imminent reduction in bond purchases.

In a new research piece, Deutsche Bank’s Joseph LaVorgna counts five episodes since 1994 when the yield on the 10-year Treasury note (TMUBMUSD10Y, -2.51%) moved substantially higher because of a change in expectations on the likely path of Fed policy. “If history is a guide, a backup in Treasury yields could be both swift and violent, with most of the move occurring over a short period of time, generally within two months,” he says, warning of what he calls a “super taper tantrum.”

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2015-04-25 07:27:38

Swedish cops show the NYPD how not to escalate a situation.


Comment by Raymond K Hessel
Comment by Raymond K Hessel
Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2015-04-25 07:37:53

For any members of the 99% who are going to vote for HillaryJeb, I have the perfect bumper sticker for you.


Comment by Selfish Hoarder
2015-04-25 13:05:35


Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2015-04-25 07:33:45

Wonder how many Baltimore 7-11s are going to get cleaned out tonight.


Comment by OliverGarchy
2015-04-25 08:08:48

All in all, the vast vast majority of the 300 million Americans are doing much better than ever. Lotsa good food, lotsa entertainment, a dole if you choose not to work, not and cold running firearms, and free medical that includes happy pills.

Sure there are a few man bites dog stories about 70 percent of children being born out of wedlock in certain regions but overall the PTB are looking out for their pets very well.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2015-04-25 08:55:50

Yeah, massive debt and the ability to print trillions in “stimulus” can create an illusion of prosperity, until the financial reckoning day catches up with you.

Comment by Califoh20
2015-04-25 13:53:58

If you are born and die during the era of an illusion of prosperity, it is still prosperity. The toys you bought still go fast.

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Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2015-04-25 07:53:24

Are the PTB and their propaganda arm such as the NYT belatedly recognizing that the sleazy, corrupt .1-percenter Hillary Clinton is too odious for even the hope ‘n change lemmings to tolerate?


Comment by Bring Back the WPA
2015-04-25 08:46:29

Maybe the NY Times wants to tear down Hillary to make room for Liz Warren. That works for me.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2015-04-25 08:58:42

The NYT wants to impose another oligarch-selected candidate on the sheeple. For their purposes, Jeb would work just as well as Hillary. They stand for exactly the same thing - enabling the .1% to fleece the 99% with impunity and impose a globalist, corporate statist agenda. Yep, Jeb will suffice just fine. Fauxahontas probably won’t run, as she doesn’t want to be unmasked (by the alternative media, not the fawning MSM) as the fraud that she is.

Comment by Bring Back the WPA
2015-04-25 09:12:25

Of all the candidates, Warren is the least “fraudulent.” She is the only one who would actually try to level the playing field away from the 1% and towards the middle class. That’s why she can’t win, the PTB won’t let her.

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Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2015-04-25 09:21:47

Wow. You are a poster child for the MSM’s conditioning of the sheeple. Look at what Fauxahontus does, not what she says. Like rushing to block a real audit of the Fed, the single greatest destroyer of the middle class.

Comment by Bring Back the WPA
2015-04-25 09:33:29

As I’ve said before, Warren was against the so-called “audit” because all Congress wanted to do was use hearings to interfere with Fed operations. She’s right, the last thing we need is for goofballs like Ted Cruz to start monkeying with monetary policy, something he has no clue about.

Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2015-04-25 09:46:34

Oh, so she argued in favor of an audit, and just against the political grandstanding?

Great, let’s get on with the audit, then.

Comment by Mr. Banker
2015-04-25 10:12:09

“Audit the Fed”

Bahahahahahahahaha … what does this term even mean?

I don’t think it means what you think it means.

What do you think you will find if you “audit the Fed”? Thin air, maybe? Do you think you just might find a substantial amount of thin air?

Wow! What a shocker that would be!

Bahahahahahahaha … dumb ‘em down, and profit.

Comment by Mr. Banker
2015-04-25 10:18:50

It’ll be thin air that you will find but it will be HIGH QUALITY thin air - AAA rated thin air.

Thin air backed up by the full faith and credit of the United States of America.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2015-04-25 08:01:23

And Yellen sees no evidence of bubbles.


Well, maybe Amazon is the greatest thing since sliced bread, but that doesn’t explain how it gained $25 billion of market cap overnight after reporting another loosing quarter. Give all the credit you want to its web services business—a newly disclosed but decade old operation with scads of competent competitors and which sports a modest $6 billion run rate of sales that may or may not be profitable on a fully-loaded cost basis—and it still doesn’t explain today’s buying panic.

What can’t be denied, however, is that Amazon’s first quarter red ink brought its bottom line over the last twelve months (LTM) to negative $406 million. That’s its worst result since way back in December 2001 when it posted a LTM loss of $567 million. And it marks the 18th straight quarter in which its LTM net income has been going downhill from the modest peak of $1.1 billion it posted for the four quarters ended in September 2010.

So what we apparently need to do here is reverse Wall Street’s normal admonition to value a stock based on its possible earnings next year or the year beyond, and, instead, compute a backwards looking PE multiple. To wit, the casino today is valuing Amazon at 190X the earnings it used to have 55 months ago.

Comment by Mr. Banker
2015-04-25 08:12:14

Bahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha …


Comment by Bring Back the WPA
2015-04-25 09:26:39

JP Morgan just upgraded AMZN to Buy with a $535 price target. That’s a 20% gain over today’s price. Who cares about profitability? Your Wall St. overlords and Master Yellen want you to buy, buy, buy!

Meanwhile, deep within JP Morgan’s offices, a meeting was held: “… we need a strong buy rec on AMZN with a high target so we can unload our shares to Joe Sixpack… let’s do it, boys!”

Comment by Califoh20
2015-04-25 10:13:24

Sure, we know this, but the USA is full of dumb people who do not. This is how most people make $$, use the dumb people to your advantage. 300 yr tradition. Dont fight it, join in, then buy a boat. Life is good.

Comment by Mr. Banker
2015-04-25 10:47:45

“Sure, we know this, but the USA is full of dumb people who do not. This is how most people make $$, use the dumb people to your advantage. 300 yr tradition. Dont fight it, join in, then buy a boat. Life is good.”


So, how long have you been a banker?

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Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2015-04-25 08:06:14

When Comrad Pelosi begins settling her votes-for-entitlements Free Sh*t Army of illegals in Section 8 housing, some of the NIMBYs may not be amused. I just hope they’re Democrats.


Comment by Califoh20
2015-04-25 10:09:36

I too dislike the free shit army, especially, WalMart and Alcoa. They mooch billions!! And the GOP loves to give it to them.

Meanwhile the 99% get nada. Free market?? haha

Comment by Selfish Hoarder
2015-04-25 13:13:08

Happens also in the USA. I have seen it more than once. A house is not an investment. It is very likely a depreciating asset. You have to have to be a crony capitalist and have political friends in zoning to prevent the neighborhood from going ghetto. In California that means having a net worth in the 9 figures.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2015-04-25 08:17:40

How long before situations like this cause large-scale urban rioting?


Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2015-04-25 09:05:44

With central bankers pumping $13 trillion in created-out-of-thin-air “stimulus” into the global money supply since 2008, and the Fed’s reckless debasement of the currency and radical Keynesian experiments, it seems the stage has been set for a return to the “barbaric relic” as a backing for whatever currency replaces the debauched dollar as the world reserve currency.


Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2015-04-25 09:07:19

More can-kicking for Greece, as the global ponzi markets must not be allowed to implode under the weight of their own fraud and fictitious mark-to-fantasy valuations.


Comment by Bring Back the WPA
2015-04-25 09:09:48

The electric utilities and the frackers are getting nervous. On April 30 Tesla will announce a new product: electric energy home storage and utility-scale storage. This is the holy grail of solar power, the ability of save power made during the day and save it for use in the evening.

Here in California all of the utilities are moving to time-of-use rates, charging high rates during peak demand hours (late afternoon) and low rates after midnight. With a Tesla home unit, you could charge it late at night and use it during peak hour, reducing your overall energy bill.


Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2015-04-25 09:23:02

I’d like to retire to an off-the-grid place, and technologies like this would be ideal for freeing people from the utility companies and their rackets.

Comment by Bring Back the WPA
2015-04-25 09:37:39

If — and it is a big IF — the storage technology matures and is cheap enough, you can be off the grid in your existing home. You won’t have to move to a remote rural location.

Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2015-04-25 09:47:49

Hint: it is nowhere near cheap enough. If your property is already grid-tied, it will never be cheap enough.

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Comment by Bring Back the WPA
2015-04-25 10:20:48

That’s what naysayers always say about disruptive technologies. It won’t work. It’s too expensive. It’ll never be popular.

“I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.” — IBM, 1943

“There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.” — DEC, 1977

Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2015-04-25 10:48:51

Look at the graphic in the link I’m about to post, and see if you can understand the reason this is not at all like the computer revolution.

Hint: shrinking feature size produced exponentially-increasing computing power for the same die-size and power consumption. This was commonly referred to as Moore’s Law, which predicted a doubling of the number of transistors on a die approximately every 18mo.

Stronger hint: there is no exponential improvement in battery technology. Yes, it has improved, but not nearly at that rate.

Comment by Bluto
2015-04-25 11:33:33

Agree, have heard many people try to extrapolate Moore’s Law to technology in general and it just doesn’t work that way in general. Solar cells are another good example, no doubt there will be improvements in efficiency but they will NOT be exponential and are limited to 100% efficiency at best (actually not even 100%, but close enough for the sake of argument/example)….i.e. efficiency might double or even triple maybe but cannot improve by 10X, 100X, etc.


Comment by Bring Back the WPA
2015-04-25 12:35:13

The two don’t compare

Moore’s Law: number of transistors per square inch on a CPU doubles every year

Swanson’s Law: cost of solar panels drops 20% for each doubling of solar panel shipments


For solar panels, operational efficiency is somewhat less important than the primary factor, which is cost per watt.

Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2015-04-25 14:56:53

The two don’t compare

Of course the two don’t compare. That was MY point!

You are the one who compared them—not I. You used examples of people underestimating the potential growth of computing power to suggest that I was similarly underestimating the potential growth of battery technology.

Don’t try to weasel your way out of it now.

Comment by Califoh20
2015-04-25 11:49:59

Totally possible today. My friend has a 50 acre ranch and $2000 worth of panels and golf cart batteries. With LED lights, no grid needed. He has a back up generator just in case it is cloudy for 1 week straight. No ac needed with a well built home in an area of dry weather. Not sure it would be possible wear AC is needed to survive the summer and humidity.

Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-04-25 13:19:13

You can’t run a ranch on solar panels Lola.

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Comment by Califoh20
2015-04-25 14:00:09

of course you cant… nothing is possible deep in your depression.

Got Prozac?

Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-04-25 14:10:35

Pick yourself up off the floor and cheer up Lola. We all benefit from falling prices to dramatically lower levels. Including your “friend”.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
Comment by MightyMike
2015-04-25 14:47:13

That one’s probably mostly false.

Comment by Califoh20
2015-04-25 10:15:23

Raining on the central coast of CA today. Creek is flowing again.

Comment by rms
2015-04-25 12:17:01

FWIW, I really miss the Central Coast.

Comment by Bluto
2015-04-25 12:23:20

Thankfully we got a good rainstorm up in the Calif. wine country last night too…

Comment by Selfish Hoarder
2015-04-25 13:14:39

Just a few drops in OC this morning but tonight a chance of rain.

Comment by Housing Analyst
Comment by azdude
2015-04-25 17:02:30

did u dvr the jenner interview?

Comment by Housing Analyst
2015-04-25 19:17:47

Data Poet data….

Santa Clara, CA Sale Prices Crater 10% YoY


Comment by phony scandals
2015-04-25 11:47:29

National Debt Soars Over $18 Trillion

Our debt is more than we produce

by Peter Malcolm | Truth Revolt | April 25, 2015

In an article for Forbes, Mike Patton, a Contributing Editor with Investment Advisor magazine, explains how the mushrooming national debt will cost the public an exorbitant amount of money. After pointing out the simple truth that the reason debt is dangerous is that “a dollar borrowed today necessitates that a dollar plus interest be repaid in the future. This reduces the amount of money available for future spending,” Patton segues to explain the rise in “public” debt since 2004.

Pointing out that the federal debt was $7.3 trillion in 2004 and over $18 trillion now, with an expected increase to $21 trillion by 2019, Patton states that the concurrent cost to taxpayers rose from $72,051 per taxpayer in 2004 to $154,161 today, an average annual increase of 7.16%, greater than the concurrent average annual wage increase. The Congressional Budget Office expects the national debt to rise to $27 trillion within ten years, which will entail the taxpayers paying the federal government $722 billion a year.

Then Patton explains the domino effect of such a burden on taxpayers. As taxes rise so the federal debt can be paid for, the private sector will shrink, triggering smaller wage increases; thus attacking the taxpayers from both directions, taxes and wages.

Patton continues by noting that America’s debt-to-GDP ratio in 1980 was only 35.4%, rose to 57.7% in 1990, and today stands at 102.6%, which means our debt is more than we produce.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-04-25 12:55:24

Sounds as though the massive dead cat bounce in the oil price may end soon.

BP sees ‘massive’ shock for North Sea as oil glut deepens
By Ambrose Evans-Pritchard | Telegraph – Tue, Apr 21, 2015 23:54 BST
The world’s over-supply of oil is like the deep slump in 1986. BP fears it may get worse as Iran’s supply hits market and US shale hold firm

The North Sea oil industry faces a drastic squeeze as the world’s crude glut worsens, BP has warned.

“We’re going to see massive restructuring,” Bob Dudley, chief executive, said. “The North Sea is a very high cost basin and it is going to be a painful adjustment.”

Mr Dudley told the IHS CERAweek forum in Houston, Texas, that the latest tax cuts in the Budget will help margins but do not go far enough to avert a bloodbath for smaller drillers and exploration companies.

The warning follows a study by the International Monetary Fund showing that the UK’s oil and gas industry has the highest cost structure of any major region in the world - if taxes are included - and is the most vulnerable to a prolonged downturn.

Mr Dudley said there is little chance of a revival in crude prices for a long time given the “remarkable resilience” of US shale producers, who have defied predictions of collapse and continue to drill record volumes.

The US rig count has plummeted from more than 1,600 in November to 734 this week, yet this has not led a cut in output due to rising efficiency and a shift in drilling tactics.

“It’ll level off, but for now we’ve quite a bit of surplus oil. There could be unintended consequences for the world in terms of stress,” Mr Dudley said, alluding to a possible wave of bankruptcies.

He added that a nuclear deal with Iran and the lifting of sanctions on the country could lead to a fresh surge of supply, perhaps more quickly than expected. “It will not take too long to have another 500,000 [barrels a day], and I don’t see Russian production coming off,” he said.

He compared the current dynamics in the global oil market to the glut in 1986, which took several years to clear. While big projects in the North Sea are still viable at today’s prices near $60, the area risks relentless decline.

Meanwhile, Mr Dudley also revealed that the Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico five years ago had cost BP a total of $44bn (£29.5bn) so far in clean-up costs, legal settlements and provisions. “I don’t think any company has done more, so quickly, after an industrial accident,” he said.

Rivals are eyeing BP as a potential takeover target, calculating that the company may be too weak to defend itself as the energy sector faces a wave of mergers. But Mr Dudley said the group bolstered its defences before the oil price plummeted.

“We have been able to divest $40bn of assets. This has reduced risk and left us in a better position to weather the storm facing our industry. We are making some very tough decisions,” he said.

The company is seeking buyers for $2bn of US pipelines and storage terminals, according to Bloomberg.

Comment by Professor Bear
2015-04-25 19:08:28


I had no idea how beautiful they could look.

Comment by rms
2015-04-26 01:16:21

That’s a Calif. drowning hazard; better re-read your liability policy. :)

Comment by Professor Bear
Comment by Professor Bear
2015-04-25 20:07:15

Why not just leave natural wonders in their natural state? Why blight God’s handiwork with some scumbag real estate developer’s desecration?

Comment by Prime_Is_Contained
2015-04-25 20:37:08


Comment by Professor Bear
2015-04-25 22:34:03

Anyone who obstructs views like this with the sight of a shopping mall is certain to have to reckon with Teddy Roosevelt’s ghost.

in fact, I hope someone in Hollywood picks up on this concept and makes a movie about it. The real estate developer could be cast as Owen Wilson, snd the ghost of Teddy could bring him to his senses before running him out of town. It would make a lot of money and help raise awareness of a mistake before it happens.

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