October 31, 2016

It’s All About Yield And Returns

A report from Bloomberg. “The Hidden Villa Apartments, a 61-unit complex in Beaverton, Ore., is the kind of property investors love and affordable-housing activists ignore. Built in 1968, it was acquired recently by an out-of-town developer who plans to tear up the old carpeting and roll in some stainless steel appliances. The idea is to attract the wealthier workers flocking to knowledge industry jobs in the Portland, Ore., metropolitan area and charge higher rents. Sixty-one cheap apartments gone, 5.6 million to go.”

“‘When we started out, our model was, let’s buy from the slumlords and create habitable housing,’ said Max Sharkansky, managing partner at Trion Properties, a decade-old Los Angeles-based property manager that bought Hidden Villa. The company targets deals where it can raise rents by 25 percent, often more. ‘If someone can’t afford it, they can move into something older or more vanilla and pay the lower rent,’ Sharkansky said. In the submarkets that his company targets, those kinds of apartments often no longer exist. ‘Usually the only option is to move out of the neighborhood.’”

The Real Estate Journal. “The multifamily sector is soaring across the country and the Midwest. The St. Louis market is no exception, as developers continue to bring new units to the region. Midwest Real Estate News recently spoke with Andrea Kendrick, a director with the St. Louis office of Berkadia Commercial Mortgage, and Kevin Kozminske, senior managing director in the same office, about the strength of the apartment market in St. Louis and the reasons behind its strong performance.”

“MREN: And what about acquisitions and refinances? What does Berkadia consider for these projects? Kozminske: The product we are doing a tremendous volume with is Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Again, we look carefully at borrower experience and the past performance of a project. We also look at the borrower’s business plan, especially if the borrower is looking to do a value-add play, if they want to finance the acquisition and repair of an apartment property. Borrowers want to acquire these older properties and renovate them. They want to push up the rents they can get with these older apartment buildings.”

“MREN: How strong is that value-add segment of the apartment sector today? Are you still seeing a lot of investors acquiring old apartment properties to renovate them and then charge higher rents? Kozminske: That has slowed down a little in the last six months as prices have continued to increase. They are trying to find that property to make this play work. That is getting harder. But there is still room for this type of acquisition, especially in the suburban markets. You can add to the counter tops, appliances and finishes and then increase the rents. There is still room for rent to grow in that space.”

From Pensions & Investments. “Real estate money managers are looking beyond the four food groups of retail, multifamily, office and industrial to provide investors with returns in a challenging investment environment. While core funds stick to the four main real estate property types, value-added and opportunistic funds can stray into niches, said David Stone Phelps, a partner in the Los Angeles office of law firm Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP who specializes in real estate transactions, primarily representing real estate managers, capital market clients and institutional investors.”

“‘Opportunistic and value-added funds … can have a broader focus and investment strategy including assets to be repositioned or ‘out-of-favor’ or specialized real estate. In the end it’s all about yield and returns,’ Mr. Phelps said.”

“Andrew Gibbs, senior analyst in the Philadelphia office of Aberdeen Asset Management, agreed that he is seeing many more niche opportunities. There is increased interest from investors as they search for yield, he said. Aberdeen is investing in niches including student housing, medical office and senior housing. ‘We certainly have some concerns about supply pipelines in student housing, particularly at smaller universities,’ Mr. Gibbs said.”

The Bellingham Herald in Washington. “While the local rental market remains tight, it appears rates are starting to flatten out. Monthly median rental rates in Bellingham hit $1,467 in March but have slowly trended downward, hitting $1,439 in August, according to data from Zillow. This is a trend that Bellingham real estate appraiser Tom Follis is also seeing. He doesn’t see rates going down significantly, but, at least, they’re not going up.”

“‘Rents have more or less maxed out,’ said Follis, who also noted that rates ‘rose like crazy’ in 2015. ‘I think landlords were pushing the envelope because the demand was so strong.’”

“It’s possible that the recent addition of several multifamily buildings is finally having some impact on demand. Another student-focused facility called Gather Bellingham is being built on North Forest Street. It will add 423 beds to the Bellingham inventory when it is completed this fall. Construction of other multifamily buildings in Bellingham has been strong for the past two years. According to data from the Bellingham planning department, permits have been approved for projects totaling 964 units from the beginning of 2014 through September 2016.”

From Reuters Investigates. “A third-generation farmer, Matt Gibson eyed a big expansion of his family’s business in late 2011, as grain prices soared in a searing Midwestern drought. By 2015, with grain prices at half their peak, BMO Harris Bank and others creditors sued the Gibson businesses seeking to recoup more than $30 million. The travails of Matt Gibson, 39, and his family are emblematic of a new class of ‘go-go farmers,’ a term coined by fellow Midwest growers and agricultural economists. Many, like the Gibsons, borrowed heavily to expand their farms, then borrowed more in an effort to plant their way out of a commodity price crash, according to dozens of interviews with Midwest farmers, lenders and agriculture experts.”

“Their distress could foreshadow broader economic turmoil in the grain sector, which includes corn, soybeans and wheat. ‘We’re in for a very, very rough time,’ said Jim Mintert, director of Purdue University’s Center for Commercial Agriculture. ‘It’s going to take several years to work our way through this.’”

“A Reuters analysis of federal data on agricultural lending in the grain-producing ‘I-states’ - Illinois, Indiana and Iowa - shows that delinquency rates on farmland and production loans are rising sharply. The federal government doesn’t track large farm bankruptcies, but a special category of bankruptcies for smaller farms - Chapter 12 filings - points to distress in the grain sector. In the top Midwest grain states, the number of Chapter 12 filings, limited to those with less than $4.03 million in debt, were 51 percent higher in the 12-month period ending June 30 of this year compared to the same period in 2013, according to federal court data. In Iowa, the top corn producer, Chapter 12 filings had climbed 125 percent.”

“In all, about one in three U.S. farms raising grain and other row crops, not including cotton, last year were categorized by the department as ‘highly leveraged’ or ‘very highly leveraged,’ meaning their debts equaled at least 41 percent of assets. ‘I expect these categories to get larger,’ Robert Johansson, chief economist for the U.S. Department of Agriculture, told Reuters.”

“Some lenders, eager to grow their portfolios, stopped following their own lending guidelines, said Joseph D. Roach, farmer and former agricultural banker, and other lenders and lawyers interviewed by Reuters. Grain cooperatives, equipment makers, seed sellers and other entities also extended easy credit, he said. ‘I started to notice all these bankers letting the farmers have more rope,’ said Roach. ‘They couldn’t give out the money fast enough.’”

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Comment by Ben Jones
2016-10-31 15:10:03

The Reuters report is long and well done. Worth reading in full if you have time. I ordinarily wouldn’t have mixed in a farm article with other stuff, but I did a farm bubble post yesterday before this came out and didn’t want to wait to show it to you.

Comment by Blue Skye
2016-10-31 17:43:21

“In all, about one in three U.S. farms raising grain and other row crops, not including cotton, last year were categorized by the department as ‘highly leveraged’ or ‘very highly leveraged…”

It is sad for me, having been a long time farm owner and from a farming family. Farming, some say, is the beginning of art. It is certainly the foundation of a civilization.

The prospect of a generation of FFs is rather sobering.

Comment by Ben Jones
2016-10-31 18:02:03

There’s some FF in that article. Hard to feel sorry for them; they thought they’d hit the jackpot and ran with it. The one guy at the beginning was 18 million in debt when the market went south and they loaned him another 12 million! More rope indeed.

Comment by Karen
2016-10-31 21:09:56

Many, like the Gibsons, borrowed heavily to expand their farms, then borrowed more in an effort to plant their way out of a commodity price crash, according to dozens of interviews with Midwest farmers, lenders and agriculture experts.”

When you are in a hole, stop digging.

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Comment by Professor Bear
2016-11-01 03:37:27

Or double down and go for broke!

Comment by Professor Bear
2016-11-01 03:40:22

Gotta love the Halloween headline:

Fields of Debt
Falling prices, borrowing binge haunt Midwest ‘go-go farmers’

Comment by Professor Bear
2016-11-01 03:45:29

“Such statistics match up with the stories of agrarian hubris and family desperation that are piling up in coffee shops and courtrooms across the Midwest. The common narrative is a struggle against low grain prices and high debt after years of credit-fueled expansion.”

These people got sucked up by the Fed’s bubble tornado. Hopefully they will land on their feet in the Land of Oz and live happily ever after.

Comment by snake charmer
2016-11-01 08:00:34

I read “The Worst Hard Time” last year, about the Dust Bowl and the practices that contributed to it, and the same themes appear. And these are the animal spirits that the world’s central bankers have released from the genie bottle with ZIRP.

Comment by Professor Bear
2016-11-01 15:35:14

Isn’t it curious how central bankers generally claim no credit for bubbles blown as a direct consequence of their easy money policies?

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Comment by Professor Bear
2016-11-01 03:51:38

“As their debt grew, they promised grain not yet grown and calves not yet born, along with a farmhouse and other property.”

Don’t count your cattle before they’re bred.

Comment by Professor Bear
2016-11-01 04:07:06

Crazy talk about bubbles remains in vogue.

Farmland prices can teach investors a lot about asset bubbles
By William Watts
Published: June 26, 2015 7:32 a.m. ET
It is hard to know when you’re in a bubble
American farmland: Worth every penny?

Investors see bubbles everywhere these days from bonds to Chinese stocks to the U.S. dollar, but determining whether an asset is merely expensive versus completely disconnected from reality is no easy task.

A once red-hot market in farmland that has subsequently cooled off with few ill effects offers a case in point.

As recently as 2013, a sharp rise in U.S. farmland prices was prompting warnings. But since then, prices for prime crop-growing dirt have started to soften, but gently and with few ill effects.

Comment by Ben Jones
2016-10-31 15:12:24

‘The idea is to attract the wealthier workers flocking to knowledge industry jobs in the Portland, Ore., metropolitan area and charge higher rents. Sixty-one cheap apartments gone, 5.6 million to go.’

‘what about acquisitions and refinances? ..The product we are doing a tremendous volume with is Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.’

Good old Mel Watt, pedal to the metal! Backing around a trillion of these things just the past few years. Affordable housing, go!

Comment by Michael Viking
2016-10-31 15:29:00

Just looked at an apartment complex over the weekend and made a tentative offer today that would work for me. The response “Ya not going to happen…Just keep in mind the market is going up…”

I’m actually looking forward to a market going down. Jeez, though, I’m sure tired of waiting for that.

Comment by Price Discovery
2016-10-31 15:48:57

Depends on how you view a market;

1) The singular minded, mono-faceted will think price. We all know price is meaningless. More so with housing given the mania-like conditions, expansive low/no down payment mortgages, weak buyer credit profile, etc.

2) A deal maker will review all the facts, specifically demand and take a long lengthy look at the seller.

If demand is sinking or otherwise low, price is meaningless. Given what we know about home sales over the previous X years, I wouldn’t hesitate to say the market has been going down for at least that many years.

Comment by Ben Jones
2016-10-31 16:59:45

‘made a tentative offer today that would work for me’

You’re a brave Viking. I wouldn’t touch this stuff. Heck the lenders are still refinancing them like crazy. One year after you bought it? No problem here’s 60% of what you put down. Almost nobody has any equity. They are literally doing the ATM thing with these apartments. Now most major markets are way overbuilt/rents are falling and who knows how bad it’ll get? These fools are out beating the bushes in little burgs like Bellingham throwing up hundreds of units. Then there’s the luxury deal: not just class A, super A with a bocci ball court. Same with student apartments. Senior is even worse right now, it’s gone over the falls.

The biggest expense is vacancies. I am headed to Texas soon to check out apartment markets and SF housing. Right now with thousands being built, I wouldn’t consider anything but foreclosures at 50% of cost to build and would factor in 70-75% vacancies. There’s just too much risk at the moment: overbuilding, falling rents, over-leveraged owners and way low returns. I gotta have some cushion!

Comment by Michael Viking
2016-10-31 17:32:34

I’m a little brave, but hopefully not overly so. I target one town I know very well that has a population of around 14K and has been stable for a long time. It has both high end and low end housing, etc. My units are all serving the section 8/HUD type folks. The next town with more population is over an hour away and it has 77K - that’s more than the entire county where my units are. My county is very favorable toward the landlord and - knock on wood - evictions are cheap and easy. I figure that because the tenants are HUD, they’re not going anywhere, whereas if I had higher end units and things got bad, they’d move out or want lower rent.

I also only buy stuff that returns 25% or more ROI (using my numbers and vacancy estimates, not the realtor’s) at time of purchase. That’s why I get lots of “ya not gonna happen”s before I am able to find a deal that works. I invest strictly for cash flow and don’t use any “appreciation” in my numbers.

I’m actually quite interested in what you think. I’m generally very risk averse but feel I’m okay. A second opinion would be great! I have been tempted to liquidate about now but I’m unaware of anything else to invest in that I understand. I feel like I understand real estate and I can control what’s going on. With stocks, bonds etc. I can’t understand or control them and I sure don’t trust any of the CEOs… What’s left to invest in?

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Comment by Ben Jones
2016-10-31 17:48:28

‘What’s left to invest in?’

They are building it right now, apartments by the hundreds of thousands. Some areas are going to be hopelessly overbuilt for years. These towers are a by product of the bubble IMO. The luxury stuff will have to be re-purposed. But the only way to get decent returns will be buying defaulted properties. The good thing is there will be plenty to chose from. The bad thing is some will be hand grenades. It’s ideal to have a smaller market you know well. Look around and find some that have changed hands recently. I bet they paid too much. When those guys go under, talk with their bank.

I’m going to try and get a feel for what’s going on in west Texas, Dallas area, Houston and Eagle Ford oil country. I’ll have some videos to put together when I get back.

Comment by Blue Skye
2016-10-31 18:05:16

“What’s left to invest in?”

Sometimes I feel like a very lucky guy. I’ve got a few adventures planned for the next 20 years or so. I’ve spent some time equipping and provisioning and that is done. I no longer even think about what is left to invest in.

Do what you enjoy (and understand) Mr. Viking. If you are not a debt donkey you will be fine.

Comment by SW
2016-10-31 20:46:51

I’m looking at SF and MF in the Midwest right now. I plant pat art super slow next year as I see a huge correction coming but it could be 18 to 24 months out.

Viking - I like your numbers. I like The sound of your market. If you can find deals that hit the 25% ROI. I would say do it.

Comment by Michael Viking
2016-11-01 08:19:09

Thanks for all the advise. I guess holding on to what I have and keeping my powder dry for the coming deals is the thing to do. I have access to foreclosure deals due to a bank resource, but they almost never seem to be worthy.

I do think people are paying too much. One I tried to buy (seller turned me down) was sold by somebody who’s a friend of a friend. Talked to the previous owner and she said she sold the place because it was a giant pain in the rear with maintenance and plumbing problems. Armed with the knowledge I wanted the issues taken care of before purchase :-) That was another “no way!” Unless the current owner can find a FB to purchase it, I think he’s gonna end up choking on it.

Blue, my dream is to build a large cruise vessel along the lines of some sort of George Buehler special and cruise around wherever I desire. As I get older, though, I realize building my own will take too much time. I’ve sailed some cruises on a tall ship but I don’t know enough about boats to make a purchase. Far from it. I envy your boating lifestyle! I sure do enjoy cruising around on the open water.

Comment by oxide
2016-10-31 18:31:36

Sixty-one cheap apartments gone, 5.6 million to go.’

Ben, it’s going to get even worse. When the LL’s can’t find enough wealthy knowledge workers to populate the luxury weight rooms and dog-grooming studios, Mel Watt will step in again and raise subsidies so the poor can live in these Grade A places. In other words, instead of poor people renting poor apartments, poor people will rent rich apartments with the difference being made up by the gov borrowing even more money. We might get those “welfare queens” yet.

Comment by Mafia Blocks
2016-10-31 19:20:55

Hey Donk.

Comment by Ben Jones
2016-10-31 20:26:05

‘it’s going to get even worse’

I don’t think so.

Comment by taxpayers
2016-11-01 04:37:51

Fairfax county has subsidies for luxury apartments for families making 90k

Comment by azdude
2016-10-31 16:11:55

They don’t want prices to go down!

Their job is to get u to pay more!

Comment by mcbain!
2016-10-31 16:25:23

Thats why the fed fears deflation far more than inflation. Their whole ponzi based economic scheme allows them to front run everything and strip mine the assets of the country. Its why they take money from anyone and everyone to acquire or retain their power - wikileaks today came out and said the clinton foundation took money from algeria to get off the terrorist watch list. Who cares if housing, health care, or education are unaffordable to the masses? Thats how ((they)) keep them down, struggling to make ends meet.

Comment by Ben Jones
2016-10-31 16:26:55

‘Some lenders, eager to grow their portfolios, stopped following their own lending guidelines, said Joseph D. Roach, farmer and former agricultural banker, and other lenders and lawyers interviewed by Reuters. Grain cooperatives, equipment makers, seed sellers and other entities also extended easy credit, he said. ‘I started to notice all these bankers letting the farmers have more rope,’ said Roach. ‘They couldn’t give out the money fast enough.’

But loan standards are tough! There’s no easy money.

‘what about acquisitions and refinances? ..The product we are doing a tremendous volume with is Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.’

At the top of the market, as always.

Comment by mwr
2016-10-31 16:43:49

Ben: I read where ATTOM Data Solutions, formerly realtyTrac, said that in Q3 2016 30% of the Purchase loans were either FHA or VA and tht NON-Bank/depository lenders made the majority of those loans.

FYI: FHA and VA can have down payments as low as zero but most have less then 5% down.

Comment by Ben Jones
2016-10-31 16:50:03

Rocket go now. (BTW, RT should fire whoever came up with that new name).

Comment by oxide
2016-11-01 07:09:54

+1. I thought we we got over the “solutions” fad ~2002.

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Comment by Professor Bear
2016-10-31 22:11:54

What would a farmer do with the banker’s rope?

Comment by Deplorable And Irreedemable
2016-10-31 17:02:27

So Abedin went on a blind date with Weiner set up by Hillaryous Clinton. Abedin married Weiner and Sexual Predator Bill Clinton officiated.

No wonder they’re so fawked up.

Comment by Professor Bear
2016-10-31 19:09:24

Is DickiLeaks enough to derail Hillary?

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2016-10-31 19:12:25

Birds of a feather…wonder what kind of video evidence Jeffery Epstein has on all of them.

Comment by In Colorado
2016-11-01 08:39:16

It’s almost comical, except for the fact that she might win.

Comment by Apartment 401
2016-10-31 17:25:34

An old motel offers 30 homeless families a new beginning:

“Joshua Station hosts about 31 families who have found themselves homeless for a variety of reasons – drug addiction, domestic violence, mental illness or immigration.

It helps another 40 families or so who have gone through the program, which provides housing for up to two years, said Kelsey Winters, development director at Joshua Station.

Families that are accepted must come up with a “life plan” and follow through on it. They must pay what they can afford in rent, submit to drug testing, undergo weekly room inspections and join a community dinner every Thursday.

The staff of 14, along with outside volunteers, provide counseling, life skills training and a host of other services. One of the most important things the program does is help its participants learn to trust others again and build a new social support network”


Comment by Apartment 401
2016-10-31 17:35:40

New on Crane Watch: 2 million square feet of industrial development

“The latest update to Crane Watch demonstrates the Denver metro area’s need for industrial space and how developers are answering that need — and not just in the typical industrial hotspots like Denver’s Montbello neighborhood and Aurora.

Of the 15 projects added to Crane Watch this month, 10 of them are industrial, totaling more than 2 million square feet of industrial space under construction, new to the map in October.”


They took the crane down on our jobsite last weekend, we move into the next building on Wednesday, with some stellar views of Broncos Stadium, Elitch Gardens, and the downtown skyline. But when we’re finished, will anybody actually rent these apartments?

Comment by Apartment 401
2016-10-31 17:57:36

Got 7.62×39?

“Hillary Clinton on Monday night attacked Donald Trump’s close ties to the gun industry as she campaigned with gun control advocates former Rep. Gabby Giffords and her husband, former astronaut Mark Kelly.

At a rally in Cincinnati, Ohio, the Democratic presidential nominee renewed her call for comprehensive background checks and closing the gun show loophole. She also took aim at gun groups’ spending on ads for Trump, the GOP nominee.

“Donald Trump won’t stand up to the gun lobby. He sold out to them.” Clinton said on Monday. “I will stand up to them as president.”


Registration, confiscation, extermination.

Every totalitarian regime in history has taught that it only ends one way…

Comment by aNYCdj
2016-11-01 05:56:02

its really a racist issue blacks dont go to gun shows…yet something like 95% of their gun violence is from illegal guns…….how about 5y ears no bail for each illegal gun 10 years for serial numbers filed off and double that for any priors….so where is oh and hill on this one?

Comment by In Colorado
2016-11-01 08:41:09

So, if Hitlery “wins”, will it finally be “go time”? Or will there just be more bitching and complaining?

Comment by Apartment 401
2016-10-31 18:03:16

“Today’s manifestations have a larger economic component. The plight of salaried workers after decades of wealth redistribution upwards, the hollowing out of the country’s industrial core, the financializing of business, and the emergence of a “gig’ economy that promises only more dislocation, insecurity, skimpy or no benefits, and declining living standards have eroded the optimistic creed that has been the lifeblood of America. Rugged individualism dictates that individual persons should assume responsibility for their failings; stoic fatalism in the face of external forces that drain all hope is quite another matter.

Blame, like discontent, is free-floating. Its locus shifts among Wall Street, Government leaders, and foreigners. The last most interests us here. Factors originating beyond the nation’s borders are prominent targets. They range from “globalization” as an abstract new reality to Benedict Arnold companies that off-shore jobs and tax liabilities to American leaders who sign away American interests in one-sided trade deals to hostile governments who are cheaters. There is more than a grain of truth in the complaints directed at all of those mentioned. The “common man,” as we quaintly used to call workers, indeed has been sold out by the “bosses” – economic and political. In truth, most of that selling out has been by elites favoring other elites here at home at the expense of the general populace.”

The primary question is whether the disposition to blame external parties will manifest itself in antagonistic action. That has been the pattern elsewhere at other times. It is by no means obvious, though, that this logic holds in the case of the United States today. This is certainly true as regards any large-scale use of military force. Fifteen years of relentless, failed wars in the greater Middle East have drained the country of the passion for violence with which we retaliated for 9/11. Whether a President Clinton will expand operations in Syria is unaffected by what the American public’s anger over illegal immigration or biased “trade” agreements. A vague distaste for ungrateful, grasping foreigners does not eclipse aversion to expensive new adventures abroad or skepticism that they will work.


Comment by Apartment 401
2016-10-31 18:08:40

John Kasich follows through on vow not to vote for Donald Trump, writes in John McCain instead:

“Gov. John Kasich, who had vowed not to vote for Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, voted Monday by absentee ballot.

His choice? Sen. John McCain of Arizona.

Chris Schrimpf, the governor’s political spokesman, confirmed the write-in vote to cleveland.com and said Kasich voted straight-ticket Republican on the rest of his ballot. Schrimpf added that Kasich was comfortable picking McCain, the 2008 GOP nominee for president, over Trump, Democrat Hillary Clinton and Libertarian Gary Johnson, a former Republican on the ballot as a nonpartisan candidate.

The vote essentially is a symbolic gesture. Because McCain is not among the 18 certified write-in candidates in Ohio, Kasich’s vote for president will not count.

Kasich ran unsuccessfully for this year’s Republican nomination and made clear his concerns about Trump’s rhetoric. He did not set foot inside Quicken Loans Arena during the GOP convention in Cleveland, despite being governor of the host state. He long hinted he would not be voting for Trump, even though he was among a crop of other GOP hopefuls who initially pledged to back the eventual nominee.”


Comment by Salinasron
2016-11-01 05:52:25

And why is this news? Do you want to tell me when he has a bowl movement too! He was only in the race to get Jeb Bush the nomination.

Comment by snake charmer
2016-11-01 08:13:16

Florida is the same about allowing only approved write-in candidates. I did not know that in 2012, meaning that my vote for Sanders did not count. If Kasich wanted to make a symbolic vote, why didn’t he write in himself?

Any politician making a write-in vote public knowledge clearly is signaling to future voters.

Comment by In Colorado
2016-11-01 08:36:01

John Kasich follows through on vow not to vote for Donald Trump, writes in John McCain instead

I wonder what all these cuckservatives are going to do if Trump wins? Will they just do the honest thing and reregister as Democrats?

Comment by snake charmer
2016-11-01 09:18:54

If he wins, I hope new political parties are born, because both the GOP and the Democratic Party as currently constituted sound and feel like history at this point.

Comment by Apartment 401
2016-10-31 18:32:01

A nation of strung out junkies, strung out on debt and on dope:

“A former top Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) official has accused Congress of putting pharmaceutical company profits ahead of public health in the battle to combat the US’s prescription opioid epidemic.

Joseph Rannazzisi, head of the DEA office responsible for preventing prescription medicine abuse until last year, said drug companies and their lobbyists have a “stranglehold” on Congress to protect a $9bn a year trade in opioid painkillers claiming the lives of nearly 19,000 people a year.

Rannazzisi, director of the agency’s office of diversion control for a decade, said the drug industry engineered recent legislation limiting the DEA’s powers to act against pharmacies endangering lives by dispensing disproportionately large numbers of opioids. He also accused lobbyists, who have spent hundreds of millions of dollars in recent years to influence opioid legislation and policy, of whipping up opposition to new guidelines for doctors intended to reduce the prescribing of the painkillers with a close resemblance to heroin.

“Congress would rather listen to people who had a profit motive rather than a public health and safety motive,” said Rannazzisi. “As long as the industry has this stranglehold through lobbyists, nothing’s going to change.”


Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2016-10-31 19:17:57

Funny how you have to go to foreign media outlets (i.e. UK Telegraph, Independent, Daily Mail, etc.), al-Jazeera, and RT to get non-corporate media articles that cover America’s dark underbelly.

Comment by somedewd
2016-11-01 02:53:36

More than 80% of the world’s “legal” narcotics (oxycodone, hydrocodone, etc) are consumed in the US. It’s now cheaper to use heroin than obtain Percocet on the street. Addiction numbers are spiking. ODs are spiking. Options exist to prevent this but doctors are too spineless to say “No” to patients self-medicating for depression and other maladies, while legislators won’t allow the use of FDA-approved alternate therapies.

Go figure. Debt Donkeeees for life.

Comment by tresho
2016-11-01 08:23:43

Opium is now the opium for the masses.

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Comment by In Colorado
2016-11-01 08:34:06

Congress would rather listen to people who had a profit motive rather than a public health and safety motive

Guess who makes the big campaign contributions.

I don’t see how anyone who has even the tiniest amount of scruples could serve in Congress without feeling ill.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2016-10-31 19:32:04

Are the sheeple become less sheeplike? An overwhelming majority of ‘Muricans think the MSM is in the tank for Crooked Hillary.


Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2016-10-31 19:44:23

Victoria Nuland (Kagan) and her neocon coterie must be so proud of the “democrats” they brought to power in Ukraine.


Comment by ZH
2016-10-31 20:04:53

U.S. Trucking Companies Slash Fleets Amid “Tepid Shipping Demand”


“It’s clear that overcapacity has driven down pricing.”

Comment by Professor Bear
2016-11-01 15:38:43

Too many trucks, too many oil rigs, too many tanker ships, too many luxury condos…think there might be a pattern here?

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2016-10-31 20:05:30

How can freight volumes - the most reliable indicator of the real economy - be tumbling when that blow-on-her-nails barbie on CNBC assured viewers that Everything is Awesome?


Comment by phony scandals
2016-10-31 20:06:35

I knew Donna Brazile gave Hillary Clinton the debate questions before the debate but I didn’t know Bill Clinton had an illegitimate black son.


Comment by palmetto
2016-11-01 07:38:58

Technically, he would be a mixed race son. He’s been desperately trying to get a DNA test.

In other news, Malik Obama’s AMA on reddit last night was an absolute scream. The guy has a wild sense of humor. He wants a DNA test, too, as he’s not entirely sure POTUS is his blood brother, LOL.

What an election! The greatest show on earth.

Comment by phony scandals
2016-11-01 07:48:38


Danney Williams set to give national press club speech

Paul Joseph Watson - NOVEMBER 1, 2016

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2016-10-31 20:43:28

Weathy Chinese are getting out of China’s bubbleicious economy before the bottom drops out.


Comment by Professor Bear
2016-11-01 02:05:58

Too bad they are using the wealth they get out to buy up homes in U.S. neighborhoods!

Comment by oxide
2016-11-01 07:27:17

IMO they are idiots for targeting the west coast. They should target the rural Midwest and the Upper South. Excellent places to live if you already have money. The colleges are still good too.

Of course, that’s assuming the Chinese have actual money and are borrowing it from somewhere. And that they would stoop to send kids to Football Factory State instead of Stanford.

Comment by tresho
2016-11-01 08:26:13

They should target the rural Midwest and the Upper South.
I know one family in NW lower Michigan that is hosting Chinese high school students from the mainland. The Chinese kids seem to have more spending money that their host family makes, net, per year.

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Comment by In Colorado
2016-11-01 08:29:40

I think the Chi-Coms are worried about being in the minority in flyover, whereas in the Bay Area they fit in just fine.

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Comment by Carl Morris
2016-11-01 12:07:09

Yeah, they get teased about being FOBs but other than that they fit right in. I checked out the Chinese grocery store in Milpitas and it became obvious you could live here without speaking English if you stayed in the right areas.

Comment by SW
Comment by Ben Jones
2016-10-31 21:03:16

‘All heck is breaking loose in San Francisco…But not because the economy has tanked in the most ludicrously expensive rental market in the US, which it has not. Enormous supply is flooding the market, thanks to a historic construction boom not only of apartment towers but also of condo towers, whose investor-owned units, now that selling them has become tough, are appearing on the rental market.’

‘Nearly all of the new supply is high end, and it is pressuring the market from the top down.’

Comment by SW
2016-11-01 08:57:39

That part about the high end pushing everything lower is interesting. One would think that the lack of low end supply would result in price stability in the low end but it appears that the price drop in high end is trickling down.

Comment by Price Discovery
2016-11-01 15:37:20

It’s not a market of low, mid and high end. It’s a homogenous mix of housing units where the prices are are record levels.

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Comment by Professor Bear
2016-11-01 01:54:11

The Fed’s balance sheet seems rather large lately. Any thoughts on how soon they will reduce it to normal size?


Comment by azdude
2016-11-01 07:13:01

never, it will get bigger. they will manage it by suppressing rates and avoiding losses. You need to work harder and save more!

Comment by In Colorado
2016-11-01 08:26:57

And not just the Fed. Central Banks around the world are doing the same.

Comment by Professor Bear
2016-11-01 03:33:54

Everyone thinks markets are going to Hell in a hand basket, which is a bullish contrarian signal, as everybody is going to buy stocks once the gloom has lifted.


1) The stock market always goes up, either now or later.

2) You can’t go wrong buying stocks!

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2016-11-01 04:48:41

As former sheeple become awake and aware, the globalists are losing control.


Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2016-11-01 04:51:16

Loretta Lynch’s Justice Department tried to force FBI to end its investigation of the Clinton Foundation for financial crimes and influence peddling. Drain the swamp!


Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2016-11-01 04:53:05

How can the world be running out of dollars when the Fed has created so many trillions of them out of thin air since 2008?


Comment by In Colorado
2016-11-01 08:24:47

Sounds like another head fake. Business as usual will follow.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
Comment by Raymond K Hessel
Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2016-11-01 05:09:54

How did this ever make it into the NYT? Hillary shows up at an early voting venue in Florida, is greeted with Trump signs and cries of “Lock her up!”


Comment by phony scandals
2016-11-01 07:46:28


Comment by In Colorado
2016-11-01 08:23:17

Meanwhile the rigged polls still show her in the lead. She could be indicted and the polls would still show her in the lead.

Next Tuesday will be an interesting day.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2016-11-01 05:11:31

Violence in Mexico keeps getting worse. That’s why we need open borders.


Comment by In Colorado
2016-11-01 08:21:34

Mexico is on the verge of becoming a failed state. Outside of the DF (Mexico City) and a few choice locations (Cancun comes to mind) anarchy rules. Not that the DF or Cancun are safe, just that the level of lawlessness is lower.

IMHO it will continue to deteriorate to the point that the populace will BEG the military to take over and impose a dictatorship with never ending martial law. We’ll see how that works out.

Comment by In Colorado
2016-11-01 09:37:22

Here is a URL (in Spanish) of a vigilante who killed four muggers who had just robbed everyone on a bus:


The comments to the article are 99%+ in favor of the vigilante. People in Mexico have had it with the crime wave, which is why I believe that there is a non trivial chance of a coup de etat.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2016-11-01 18:40:02

Mexico has a thoroughly corrupt and incompetent government because it has a thoroughly corrupted society who allowed their institutions of governance to be corrupted and co-opted. Something to think about when you cast your ballots.

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Comment by Eddie89
2016-11-02 11:46:39

“Here is a URL (in Spanish) of a vigilante who killed four muggers who had just robbed everyone on a bus”

Great example of a good guy with a gun stopping 4 criminals. One with a gun and the others had knives. The vigilante was sitting at the back of the bus. The thieves had stolen passengers possessions and had asked the driver to stop the bus.

Vigilante gets up and shoots the thieves. As they ran away and attempt to get off the bus, the vigilante follows them and shoots them again.

He then takes the stolen items from their now dead bodies, puts them on the floor of the bus and tells people “Here are your things. Everyone grab your possessions. Just cover for me.”

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Comment by azdude
2016-11-01 05:37:12

Keep your debt slave score high so you can beg for a loan!

Comment by phony scandals
2016-11-01 09:45:59

“Keep your debt slave score high”

FICO Fair Isaac Co.

DISCO Debt Slave Co.

Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2016-11-01 05:47:42
Comment by Raymond K Hessel
2016-11-01 05:54:29

So much for the self-proclaimed “most transparent administration in American history.”


Comment by phony scandals
2016-11-01 09:18:04

Surging in the polls

Comment by phony scandals
2016-11-01 16:29:22

The Comey effect: how ex-Westport hedge fund lawyer could decide presidency

By Neil Vigdor Updated 11:32 am, Tuesday, November 1, 2016

The corporate culture at the world’s largest hedge fund — where its billionaire manager, Ray Dalio, preaches “radical transparency” — isn’t for everyone.

James Comey bought in. So much so that when President Barack Obama nominated the Westport resident to be FBI director in 2013, Comey told the Senate that he would carry the same principles from Bridgewater Associates to the bureau.

Comey served as general counsel of the $150 billion fund from 2010 to 2013.

“I went to Bridgewater, in part, because of that culture of transparency,” Comey said during his confirmation hearing. “It’s something that’s just long been part of me. So I think it’s incumbent on every leader to foster an atmosphere where people will speak truth to power.”


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