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The General Overarching Narrative Across The U.S. Is That Housing Is Slowing Down

A report from the Sacramento Bee in California. “Homes values declined last month across the country and in many large California metro areas, according to Zillow. The Sacramento region was no exception. ‘In general, Sacramento is slowing down but not as dramatically as San Jose and San Francisco,’ said Skylar Olsen, Zillow’s director of economic research.”

“‘The general overarching narrative across the U.S. is that housing is slowing down,’ said Olsen. ‘Coastal California markets are just extreme versions of that narrative — they were moving much faster than other metros and the slowdown is more abrupt.'”

The Atlanta Journal Constitution in Georgia. “Overall demand peaked a little more a year ago and home prices in many regions – including Atlanta — started to decelerate. The number of homes listed for sale is 16% higher than it was a year ago, said Andy Peters, operating partner at Keller Williams Realty Georgia Legacy Group. ‘That wouldn’t be a cause for concern if we were selling more homes, but the pending rate (the share of homes under contract for sale) is down 3.2% compared to the same time last year.'”

From Bloomberg on New York. “Here’s one advantage to selling pricey condos near, but not on, Billionaires’ Row: You can tout your project as a bargain. It’s a strategy that apartment landlord AvalonBay Communities Inc. is looking to as it begins marketing its first for-sale project, the Park Loggia in Manhattan. The real estate investment trust acquired the site in 2015 for $300 million, near the peak of Manhattan’s high-end sales frenzy, with plans for luxury rentals and, perhaps, some condos.”

“Since then, the borough has become saturated with both. AvalonBay studied its options and, well into construction on the 32-story project, decided the more-lucrative option was to go all-condo. ‘We think it’s priced right,’ said Martin Piazzola, AvalonBay’s senior vice president of development. ‘Something around the corner is probably 50% more per square foot — or double. You do all the math and suddenly, they’re astronomical and we’re attainable.'”

“Selling condos in Manhattan has gotten tougher these days as the well-heeled take their time to sort through the sea of high-priced options. Buyers are also becoming more sensitive to carrying costs, thanks to the new tax law that limits how much of their property levies can be written off on their federal returns. At the end of 2019, there will be about 9,004 unsold condos on the market in Manhattan, and it would take nine years to clear them all at the current pace of deals, according to estimates from Miller Samuel.”

From Realty Biz News. “The data is still early and a little sketchy but there are reliable indications that the residential market is entering a period of decline – probably a soft landing. Since last summer, sellers have rushed houses onto the market to take advantage of high prices. At the same time, buyers have been backing away from the market because houses are unaffordable.”

“Even as prices decline, Seattle now has 2,370 more homes on the market than at the same point last year – an increase of 24%. Based on declining prices and increasing inventory, Zillow now rates Seattle as a buyer’s market. But buyers aren’t in a hurry to lay down massive down payments just yet.”

“It’s entirely possible that Seattle’s home price decline is an exception rather than a leader of a national trend. But there are other strong indicators. NAR reports the top four cooling markets compared to last February are: San Jose, Portland, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. The overall average housing supply in these major cities is up 40.2% year on year.”

From Patch Illinois. “The price tag on the location of Mr. T’s notorious ‘chainsaw massacre’ has been cut by more than $1.5 million. The sellers of the 7.5-acre estate between Western Avenue and Green Bay Road sliced their asking price Monday to just under $6 million — less than half of what the property was seeking a dozen years ago following a renovation.”

From Northern Neck News. “Virginia True, owner of the controversial Fones Cliffs, is broke and deep in debt. The company has no operating revenue or expected income. Still, it has high hopes for the waterfront estate. The company filed a petition in the New York Eastern Bankruptcy Court for relief under Chapter 11.”

“In court documents, Virginia True explains that it still owns the 977-acre property in Richmond County and plans to keep it. The company touted the estate as being in an Opportunity Zone, which offers tax incentives for long-term investments in areas with high poverty rates and sluggish growth.”

“In the new vision, Virginia True plans to claw its way out of debt by developing the property to attract ‘high-paying’ clientele from the Amazon headquarters that’s slated to open in Northern Virginia. Howard Kleinhendler, Virginia True’s executive vice president was quoted as saying, that it’s almost impossible to get conventional funding for a golf course. As soon as lenders hear the word, they hung up.”

From Bravo TV on New Jersey. “The Housewife has left the building (er, state), y’all! In a post to her Instagram account this weekend, The Real Housewives of New Jersey alum Jacqueline Laurita announced she was leaving New Jersey, the state she was born in, once again. Despite her excitement, Jacqueline is moving amid some alleged financial troubles. She and her husband, Chris Laurita, have put their Franklin Lakes home on the market for $1.85 million (and have since lowered the asking price by $100,000) — but according to NJ.com, the property is facing ongoing foreclosure proceedings.”

“Chris recently sold many of the family’s furnishings and belongings on his Facebook page, and he faced some ridicule for doing so. ‘Why can’t someone write something positive about a family pulling up their bootstraps and moving on to bigger and better opportunities?’ He also added that the family had the opportunity to relocate to a home that was a completely different style from their New Jersey estate, and that his Facebook yard sale had ‘nothing to do’ with the foreclosure proceedings.”

This Post Has 99 Comments
  1. ‘Virginia True, owner of the controversial Fones Cliffs, is broke and deep in debt’

    Eat yer crowz taxpayer.

    1. inventory par 40
      current for sale 24
      22151 reigns supreme as Orange man bad has cut squat and local fed workforce grows

          1. “But I still don’t understand why we’re building another manned fighter jet.”

            Because there’s a 2,000-yr/old tall blonde guy who will be returning someday to the Mount of Olives, but he won’t appear unless god’s children are there to greet him. It’s called the Qualitative Military Edge.

      1. Yep. Things remain hot near me as well. $600K “luxury” townhomes going up. Selling fast.

  2. ‘according to NJ.com, the property is facing ongoing foreclosure proceedings’

    These real housewives have an astonishing default rate.

    1. “These real housewives have an astonishing default rate”.

      You referring to their house$ or husband$?

    2. “In August 2017, Chris was found to be liable for fraud by a New York City Judge, which came about as a result of case of bankruptcy he filed in 2009. After being chosen to settle Signature Apparel Group’s affairs, Anthony Labrosciano sued many members of their family – Jacqueline and Chris, Chris’s sister and brother in-law, Adeline and Joseph Laurita as well as Anthony Laurita. Labrosciano alleged that they all misused company funds to keep up with their lavish lifestyles. While Adeline and Joseph were able to settle their case, the other three still remained under fire. To make matters worse for Chris and his wife, their lawyers pulled out of the case because of unpaid fees. Despite all of their legal troubles, the family managed to stay afloat and are working hard to settled all of their debts so they can move on.”

      Life in the fast lane!

    3. “These real housewives have an astonishing default rate.”

      I have a hard time believing there are actually men attracted to these money-grubbing hos.

    4. These real housewives have an astonishing default rate.

      Nobody could have seen that coming.

  3. ‘At the end of 2019, there will be about 9,004 unsold condos on the market in Manhattan, and it would take nine years to clear them all at the current pace of deals’

    Yard sales, foreclosures, bankruptcy and years of inventory. Are we there yet?

  4. ‘Even as prices decline, Seattle now has 2,370 more homes on the market than at the same point last year – an increase of 24%. …NAR reports the top four cooling markets compared to last February are: San Jose, Portland, San Francisco, and Los Angeles. The overall average housing supply in these major cities is up 40.2% year on year’

    Where are these thousands of shacks coming from? Wa happened to my shortage!?

    1. also people were greedy – whether investors or downsizers. They were waiting for more appreciation – and now they are all jumping in.

      Also the darn flippers.

  5. If the GSEs were privatized, would the implicit taxpayer-funded guarantee of their debt go away?

    1. No the government guarantee stays.

      Remember rich people like to privatize the profits, but socialize the cost.

  6. The Seattle suburb where Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates both live is running out of money
    CNBC
    Catherine Clifford
    June 25, 2019

    “Jeff Bezos and Bill Gates are the richest people in the world, worth $119 billion and $107 billion respectively, according to Bloomberg. Amazon is headquartered in Seattle and Microsoft is just outside the city, and both billionaires have homes in the nearby small town of Medina, Washington.”

    “With a population of just over 3,000, Medina is the seventh richest zip code in the U.S. with a median home value of $2.77 million, and the town has a median household income of $186,464 in 2017, the most recent data available. (By comparison, the 2017 median household income in the U.S. was $60,336.)”

    “Yet Medina is running out of money — and the irony is lost on no one.”

    “So how is the home of the richest people on the planet coming up short? The problem is, even though Medina home values are increasing, the city’s income is not rising at the same speed, the city says.”

    “That’s because by law, the local government cannot increase the amount of tax revenue it collects by more than 1% each year without the residents voting to approve a larger amount.”

    https://www.cnbc.com/2019/06/25/medina-wash-home-to-jeff-bezos-and-bill-gates-running-out-of-money.html

    1. So how many more fires did the Fire Department have to put out last year than the year before?

      Why is the cost of running the Fire Department rising so quickly?

      Medina homeowners get screwed so that Medina fire fighters can get mansions of their own?

      And what’s going to happen when property values crater, after the city sets its budget to the currently inflated property values?

      We just went through this in the township I live in, so I already know the answers to all of the above.

      1. “So how many more fires did the Fire Department have to put out last year than the year before?

        Why is the cost of running the Fire Department rising so quickly?”

        The fire department is one of the biggest scams there is. The actual time spent fighting/extinguishing fires is so small as to be laughable. Most of the time, they’re responding to medical calls.

        To answer your question though – SALARIES AND PENSIONS. These parasites are killing their hosts.

        1. This is very old; I’ve posted it here before. Not my favorite customers when I was an owner/operator in the bar biz. One told he should not pay because, I quote, “I might save your life someday.” I could say more, but won’t.
          Fire Hero Gets Schooled
          youtube.com/watch?v=EmC26RuO26g

      1. Not donate, tax them. And property taxes are highly effective because they can’t flee to other jurisdictions. How many corporations game the tax rate and have an effective tax rate of near zero? I am all about raising property taxes. It is better than a wealth tax and highly efficient at getting revenue. Plus, it constrains bubbly prices.

        You could have a progressive property tax, or a mansion tax whereby houses that are valued above a certain amount get a higher percentage tax rate.

      2. Bill Gates: Taxes on rich should be ‘much higher’

        Says the man who puts the majority of his wealth in a private foundation, which then donates to another sketchy pay-to-play foundation and invests in risky startup companies.

        1. I consider Gates’ investments and philanthropy beyond reproach and truly admirable. If you really dig into what he has done and what he has encouraged others to do with his giving pledge, it is clear he is one of the good guys and is enlightened. The good he has done with his wealth is remarkable. Notably, he also has not fought tax increases. He is inviting government to create a more equitable tax structure by taxing them more. Now it’s congress’s turn to act.

          1. You do realize that we are talking about Bill & Melinda Gates foundation, right? Not the Clinton Foundation. Even so, the Clinton foundation does good work. The donation in question of the Gates Foundation to the Clinton Foundation was .01% of the total value of the assets of their foundation. It’s a rounding error.

            You are making a mountain out of a molehill. Going down the rabbit hole again…

          2. Clinton Foundation ‘Pay to Play’ Model Under Investigation [Infographic]
            https://www.theepochtimes.com/clinton-foundation-pay-to-play-model-under-investig

            Dec 5, 2018 – News Analysis Click on the infographic to enlarge. The Clinton Foundation has raised more than $2 billion since …
            Scam Exposed: Donations To Clinton Foundation Plummeted After …
            https://www.investors.com/politics/editorials/clinton-foundation-donations/

            Nov 23, 2018 – During the 2016 campaign many wondered whether the Clinton Foundation was a legitimate charity or a pay-to-play scam. The latest data …
            FBI launches new Clinton Foundation investigation | TheHill
            https://thehill.com/…/367541-fbi-launches-new-clinton-foundation-investigation

            Jan 4, 2018 – The Justice Department has launched a new inquiry into whether the Clinton Foundation engaged in any pay-to-play politics or other illegal …
            Clinton Foundation’s revenue hit 15-year low after ’16 presidential …
            https://www.opensecrets.org/news/2018/12/clinton-foundation-revenue-low/

            Dec 13, 2018 – The Clinton Foundation’s revenue nosedived to a 15-year low in 2017, the … in pay-to-play politics or illegal activities when Hillary Clinton was …
            Clinton Foundation–State Department controversy – Wikipedia
            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clinton_Foundation–State_Department_controversy

            During Hillary Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State, a number of individuals, organizations, …. ties to the Kremlin and which was promoting Uranium One stock paid Bill Clinton ….. Saturday Night Live parodies · Hillary and Clinton (2016 play).
            ‎Foundation · ‎Operation of Foundation · ‎Access to Clinton · ‎Emails between Clinton …
            Feds Launch Clinton Foundation “Pay to Play” Investigation – Capital …
            https://capitalresearch.org/…/feds-launch-clinton-foundation-pay-to-play-investigation…

            Jan 5, 2018 – The U.S. Department of Justice is yet again investigating the corrupt Bill, Hillary, and Chelsea Clinton Foundation, this time over alleged “pay to …
            Multiple Instances Of Pay To Play With Clinton Foundation | C-SPAN.org
            https://www.c-span.org/video/?c4767657/multiple…pay-play-clinton-foundation

            Dec 13, 2018 – Mr. Blum asks, “IN YOUR ANALYSIS DID YOU COME ACROSS WHAT APPEARED TO BE PAY-TO-PLAY WITH THE CLINTON FOUNDATION …
            The Clinton Foundation’s History of Controversy – Pacific Standard
            https://psmag.com/news/whats-going-on-with-the-clinton-foundation

            Jan 23, 2018 – But now the Federal Bureau of Investigation has reportedly re-opened an investigation of the foundation’s alleged “pay-to-play” politics while …
            Clinton Foundation: Report says FBI has been investigating for months
            https://www.usatoday.com/story/news/politics/…clinton-foundation…/1008434001/
            Jan 5, 2018 – The FBI has been investigating the Clinton Foundation and whether the former … Justice Dept investigating Clinton Foundation for ‘pay for play’.

          3. Yes, I do realize that we were talking about the GF. Their affiliation with the CF is problematic. Charles Ortel isn’t much of a rabbit hole. You seem to be the one misinformed or ill-informed.

          4. Let’s finish this: I have a JD and an MBA. I’m admitted to practice in NY and before the USPTO. I explored a position with GF and have a former colleague who worked for GF. I also manage a 501(c)(3). You have a BS in CS and manage an apartment building?!

          5. my BS is in a much harder science than yours.

            I have a BS in Chemical Engineering. It was the hardest thing the college had to offer, so they said. High Honors! My Mom liked that.

            Thinking logically isn’t a product of education, though the degree might be some meager proof of it.

            This guy you’re responding too jumps from one footing to another. Admires Gates and then wants to take his money. Socialism is all about lies and control. An argument it is not.

          6. BS in Chemical Engineering

            I gathered as much.

            Thinking logically isn’t a product of education, though the degree might be some meager proof of it.

            Agreed, although I have more than meager proof.

            This guy

            I’ll go back to ignoring him.

          7. Oh, and my BS is in a much harder science than yours.

            Hey now, CS degrees aren’t a cakewalk :). At least at my university, it meant taking four semesters of physics, two of chemistry, three semesters of calculus, some EE classes, etc. Same fundamentals as all engineering degrees.

            V. different from schools where CS may be in the business, or natural sciences colleges.

            All that said, I can’t think of many other majors where you can have an open-book, open-note exam where you’re given 10 questions but only have to answer two, and even that is a struggle (common in my advanced CS classes).

          8. CS degrees aren’t a cakewalk

            I know. I was one of the few girls in most of those classes.

          9. Good posts and sources Ben. And I do agree that the Clinton foundation receiving donations when Hillary was secretary of state creates major problems. My original point though was that Bill and Melinda Gates’ charitable efforts are by and large hugely beneficial to society and are an instance of genuine good in this world. Almost any objective person that looks at the Gates foundation sees good in what they do anywhere across the political spectrum. The amount that their charity donated to the Clinton foundation is trivial, or less than .01%.

          10. Let’s finish this: I have a JD and an MBA. I’m admitted to practice in NY and before the USPTO. I explored a position with GF and have a former colleague who worked for GF.

            To paraphrase a poster here, it’s the internet. Absolutely now way of know if that is true. You might just as likely be a Russian troll or a “400-lbs-hacker” (shout out to DJT). I have found that people who tend to feel the need to tout their credentials are compensating for something.

            You have a BS in CS and manage an apartment building?!

            I don’t have a BS in CS. I started my degree in CS, but never finished it. Wish I had. I have a tech background, but I graduated as a double major in French/Spanish (speak them both fluently). I am also an RN. I don’t just manage the building, I am a majority owner of the building.

          11. I don’t just manage the building, I am a majority owner of the building.

            Living with family for a few years can make one a very rich person.

            One of these things is not like the other.

          12. My credibility was challenged so I offered up my credentials. Realizing that some people consider law and business degrees fluffy, I added the BS degree. I didn’t mean it as a general diss; I’m fairly certain that my biochemistry degree from a very competitive top UC school was harder than OAM’s CS degree from wherever in UT. I know education isn’t everything. It does however establish credibility rather quickly, like it or not. The real value in education these days is certainly up for debate. I really like hearing here about how the next generation is approaching education in this crazy world as I try to help my son navigate his future.

          13. My credibility was challenged so I offered up my credentials.

            Your credentials isn’t what makes me question your credibility, it is the sources you link out to, like LifeZette above which is an opinion-based commentary outlet that has pushed conspiracy theories. Just visiting the site one with any shred of critical thinking should be able to see the agenda it is pushing. You have a habit of posting out to these obviously skewed sites.

  7. The Fed has sent stocks skyward and Treasury yields plunging. Any thoughts on how the market’s schizophenic episode will resolve?

    1. ” … Indeed, the market’s strong comeback in June has little to do with economic fundamentals. It’s largely driven by the shift in Federal Reserve’s monetary policy and the revived hopes for a trade deal between the U.S. and China. The persistent weakness in cyclicals stocks that traditionally correlate to economic health could be especially worrisome as corporate profit picture continues to deteriorate.

      There’s something wrong with this rally in the $tock market, JP Morgan says

      CNBC | Yun Li | 6/26/2019

    2. Theorie$ are $warming around like a di$turbed hornets nest!

      This unu$ual trend is providing key support for U$ stock$, says
      Lizzy Gurdus | CNBC | 6/26/2019

      Buyback$ are giving stock$ a boo$t — but there’s a twi$t

      “With share repurchases among S&P 500 companies near highs, with the group having broken its record-making buyback streak in the first quarter of 2019, global stock markets are now officially shrinking, according to Citi Research.

      That unusual trend — referred to by Citi strategists as “de-equitization” — is serving to prop up U.S. stock prices at a moment where investors are still hesitant to back the multiyear rally in U.S. equities, says Robert Buckland, chief global equity strategist and managing director at Citi Research.

      “I think it’s an important support for the stock market at a time when investors have generally been suspicious of equities through most of this bull market,” Buckland said Tuesday on CNBC’s “Trading Nation.” “Really, the main marginal buyer of the public equity asset class has been companies, not your regular investor.”

      For Citi, de-equitization doesn’t only refer to share buybacks — which reached historic highs last year — but also mergers and acquisitions, which reduce the shares of companies involved in those deals, Buckland said. Stock offerings and initial public offerings typically serve as a counter to that, but now, even those aren’t enough to stem the contraction, he said. “

      1. Just remember, the stock market always goes up. That’s all you need to know about stocks.

        1. buy stawk that in fake meat that bleeds and pogo stick rental companies for guaranteed riches!

          1. Founded in 2009, Beyond Meat promises products that taste and look more like the real thing. The burgers contain pulverized beets, which gives them their reddish color and juices so that they “bleed” and sizzle in the pan.

          2. My Mom served beets, straight up. I hated them.

            But super healthy for you. Sounds like your mom knew what she was doing.

    3. market pushing up against resistance so prob lots of back and forth and good chance of a scary pullback later in the summer or early fall as reality of an economic slowdown takes hold. but we’ll likely rally to new highs late in the year or first 1/2 of next year as capital comes into the markets from abroad as their economies are much worse.

  8. Hate Crime Hoaxes Are More Common Than You Think

    A political scientist found that fewer than 1 in 3 of 346 such allegations was genuine.

    ‘If “Hate Crime Hoax” merely offered examples to illustrate the extent of this phenomenon—and the book offers nearly 100—it would be providing a much-needed public service. But Mr. Reilly has a larger point to make. The Smollett case isn’t an outlier. Increasingly, it’s the norm. And the media’s relative lack of interest in exposing hoaxes that don’t involve famous figures is a big part of the problem.’

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/hate-crime-hoaxes-are-more-common-than-you-think-11561503352

  9. ‘The general overarching narrative across the U.S. is that housing is slowing down’

    Somebody at google needs to ramp up some algorithms to change this trend in narratives. Or they could just delete this Olsen person.

  10. There’s a reasonable argument to be made that perpetrating a hate crime hoax is a hate crime in and of itself, as the obvious intention is to frame an innocent party based on their race, gender, and/or religion. As such, these hoaxes should be punished just as severely as the accused would have been, had they been found guilty of the actual crime. Of course since the targets of these hoaxes are almost 100% White Males, the villain du jour of the national media and entertainment complex, there is little interest in prosecuting the perpetrators or bringing their perfidious schemes to attention.

    This has been going on for a very long time. This site documents only a small fraction of these cases: http://fakehatecrimes.org/

  11. Considering a local 1031 exchange. Thoughts and/or advice in this wacky economic environment are greatly appreciated.

      1. Property is in a skip-generation trust. Purchased in 1999. Appraised in 2016. A little over $1M in equity.

        1. House was rented below market rate the last three years. New house would be personal residence.

        2. If it is in a trust then the tax savings would be meaningful. Trusts cannot pass through cap gains to the beneficiaries except in the year of termination. You’re probably aware you can generally only 1031 up (trading up in value / debt) , otherwise, there’ll be boot, i.e taxable receipts. So usually you gotta pick up some debt on the other side.

          I like 1031’s when we know we’ll eventually get the step up in basis due to death. A GST doesn’t have that feature, so it has to make sense from some other perspective. Small multi-family (~4 units) is so bought up right now, but when if ever is that gonna change?

          1. So usually you gotta pick up some debt on the other side.

            Just reading about this. Remaining mortgage is under $275K. Without the 1031 exchange, a new mortgage would be at least twice as much.

            step up in basis due to death. A GST doesn’t have that feature

            I believe Form 706 was filed was for this purpose.

          2. I see. Did the prop go into the GST before or after death? How long ago did the death occur? There’s a lot to unpack here and probably a tax efficient solution for you but you know what they say about free advice….

            Best bet is to find a good local tax attny and go from there.

          3. There’s a lot to unpack here

            Literally and figuratively! This brief exchange is telling me that I should probably consult with the trust attorney that set all of this up. Thanks for the input. It was helpful.

        3. You can buy anywhere in the country, so that’s a big advantage. I would look for a commercial property in a place that hasn’t boomed, and it must cash flow. (Stay away from storage units). There’s always people looking to cash-out. For instance you could narrow your search down to other 1031 exchangers. I would use a national website like loopnet or such.

          1. “Stay away from storage units”

            Geez, I thought those were total cash cows! Of course I’m just basing that on my experience renting them.

          2. anywhere in the country . . . commercial property

            A local residential property for our primary residence is what is ultimately needed.

  12. The shitcoin scam is really taking off. The price is up 43% in a week, and it’s now at $13,500. The trajectory is actually steeper than the last bubble. Unreal. All the chatter now is “Bitcoin $100,000, guaranteed.”

    1. Bitcoin

      I take it as an indicator of how tight things are getting in China. I mean aside from there being no toilet paper.

      1. Sure – whatever. All I hear about is the “fundamentals” of Bitcoin, but all that’s happening is a bunch of speculators are rushing in and then trading the gains for fiat. This is a speculative bubble of EPIC proportions, with Wall St. DEEP, DEEP into it.

        1. “A break above the $12,720 level “will allow for a complete retracement of the 2018 bear market,” according to John Kolovos, chief technical strategist at New York-based Macro Risk Advisors, though he noted in comments Tuesday that the rally was “turning more and more impulsive.”

          Sure, technical analysis of a computer number which means nothing. There is zero intrinsic value, and this computer number is infinitely divisible.

          https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-06-26/bitcoin-tops-12-000-level-for-first-time-since-january-2018

          1. More to the point: This is a tidal wave of liquidity desperately searching for yield due to irresponsible central banks flooding the entire globe with capital.

      2. Haha China has toilet paper, it’s just because there are so many absurdly poor people there it is often stolen. Much like how if you go to the ‘hood in America you won’t find well-stocked public toilets.

        1. But there is a weird cultural thing were lots of Chinese people who are NOT absurdly poor still act absurdly poor when free stuff is available. Maybe it’s just because hard times were much more recent there. Americans did some weird stuff after the Great Depression but that faded out quite a while ago.

          1. Fair point about the free stuff and odd behavior. It’s definitely a different world there.

            I remember my first time in the countryside I witnessed a group of farmers stealing metal sewer grates from the brand new constructed highways. From their perspective, it’s all public property anyway!

          2. From their perspective, it’s all public property anyway!

            Maybe the communist philosophy IS at the root of it. Stand in line all day and then grab all you can get. Or starve. Your choice.

          3. Americans did some weird stuff after the Great Depression

            I vividly remember my grandmother washing and reusing plastic baggies.

    1. “…certain they could come up with $2,000…”

      Note that they don’t actually have it. 🙂

  13. “In the new vision, Virginia True plans to claw its way out of debt by developing the property to attract ‘high-paying’ clientele from the Amazon headquarters that’s slated to open in Northern Virginia.“

    I love how every REIC member thinks just because their property is within a 300 mile radius of the new HQ2 that tech folks will be buying left and right. They won’t.

    1. Forget Amazon – if a person has a house within a 300 mile radius of a large city with a tech sector, then those houses are automatically priced as though wealthy city folk are going to “snap them up.”

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