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The Ways In Which The Media Encouraged The Housing Bubble And The General Failure Of The Press To Counter The Hype

An editorial from Savannah Morning News. “This summer marks 10 years from the end of the worst recession since the Great Depression. In the years before the recession, those of us who warned of looming dangers were often dismissed as uninformed cynics, but we had the numbers on our side. The signs of the inevitable reckoning were clear to anyone who bothered to analyze the real estate market data and the dizzying, irrational pace of new construction.”

“To this day, I wonder about the ways in which the news media encouraged the housing bubble and about the general failure of the press to counter the hype with solid data analysis.”

From Diana Olick at CNBC. “The dull days of summer may be over sooner than expected in the nation’s housing market. The supply of homes for sale, which had been increasing earlier this year, could turn lower again soon, and that will likely mean the return of bidding wars.”

“Such battles had slowed dramatically this past spring, thanks to more listings and more cash-strapped buyers unwilling to pay top dollar. Nationally, just 12% of offers written by Redfin faced a bidding war in June, down from 52% a year earlier.”

“Real estate agent Harrison Beacher works in some of the more up-and-coming neighborhoods of Washington, D.C. Housing inventory in the district was up more than 7% in May compared with a year ago, but that’s down from a 24% supply gain in January, according to the Greater Capital Area Association of Realtors. Beacher is prepping his clients, three-quarters of whom are first-time buyers, for bidding wars.”

“‘The first thing they have to do is look in a mirror and not out a window. They have to understand their comfortable max,’ said Beacher. ‘We say ‘what is your max capacity?’ Be prepared mentally to go up to that max capacity. If it’s under, that’s gravy.'”

“Once the war is underway, buyers have to come up with different strategies that go beyond just top price. Sellers can be sticky and emotional. Most want to be able to picture their buyers in the home, and that picture has to be warm and fuzzy. Beacher said he has seen buyers research the sellers on LinkedIn to try to find some kind of connection.”

“Bidders often write letters to the sellers, but Beacher warns, it cannot just be about how much they love the house. ‘I always encourage the clients to work on their narrative. That has helped us win two bidding wars this year,’ he said. ‘Somebody overcoming something without being too cheesy. What it means to you to be here. Projecting the life you will live in the house and continuing what the owners have started. Pay attention to detail, things that people did in the house, like ‘We love your pine, herringbone floor pattern.’”

From Bloomberg. “Here’s how rapidly the U.S. housing market has cooled: Buyers are now about four times less likely to face a bidding war than they were just a year ago. In June, 12% of buyers faced competition compared with 52% a year earlier, according to an analysis by brokerage Redfin of offers written by its agents. While San Francisco is the most competitive market, the share of listings that got multiple offers fell to 28% from 65%.”

“San Jose, in the heart of California’s Silicon Valley, has seen the country’s most dramatic comedown. Only 6% of offers faced competition in June, half the national rate. A year earlier, it was 74%. Properties in the area are ‘staying on the market longer, and more sellers dropping prices than either of the last two years,’ Redfin agent Stella Phua said. ‘The only homes that are getting multiple offers now are the ones in the best locations, great condition, and priced lower than similar homes in the neighborhood.'”

This Post Has 145 Comments
  1. Projecting the life you will live in the house and continuing what the owners have started. Pay attention to detail, things that people did in the house, like ‘We love your pine, herringbone floor pattern.’”

    Hey realtor scum, should I write a gushing love letter to the auctioneer who sold me that house at the foreclosure sale?

  2. “The dull days of summer may be over sooner than expected in the nation’s housing market. The supply of homes for sale, which had been increasing earlier this year, could turn lower again soon, and that will likely mean the return of bidding wars.”

    Wow. Who paid for this shill piece?

    1. Diana could have provided some supporting evidence or data for the claim, along with some plausible reasons for supply decreasing. But no, she speaks to one individual with a conflict of interest in one local market, and proceeds to paint the entire country with this broad brush.

      I’ve gotten to the point that I don’t go beyond skimming over the headline of anything with her name on it. Zero credibility.

      1. “But no, she speaks to one individual with a conflict of interest in one local market, and proceeds to paint the entire country with this broad brush.”

        You use what works.

  3. 1. This bill will end the housing price decline there and support the housing bubble in many other areas as they and their families come to the US
    2. It will mean that Americans’ wages will be depressed in those industries.
    3. It will make paying student loans more difficult, causing taxpayers to have to foot the bill for the defaults.
    4. Eventually, it will cause increased chain migration.

    What is not to like?
    https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2019/07/12/exclusive-paul-gosar-americans-must-put-a-clampdown-on-green-card-giveaway-for-big-tech/

    1. 5. Jet aircraft designed by this foreign labor will continue to plunge out of the sky at random killing hundreds and causing their employers billions of dollars in lost revenue and lawsuits.

  4. US judge unseals files in case of girl, 17, ‘forced to have sex with Prince Andrew’

    “Documents from a 2015 libel suit linked to the sex offender Jeffrey Epstein, a friend of the prince, are to be made public”

    https://www.thetimes.co.uk/article/us-judge-unseals-files-in-case-of-girl-17-forced-to-have-sex-with-prince-andrew-9f0v6db5d

    ‘The US prosecution is being handled by New York’s public corruption unit. Barbara McQuade, a former US attorney, said: “It seems unusual to me that the public corruption unit would be investigating this case. That unit typically handles cases involving public officials. If Epstein were protecting any potential co-conspirators during his negotiations with Acosta, the public corruption prosecutors now have the leverage to find out.”

    Oh dear…

    1. Interview with Virginia Roberts (and other young victims), footage from Miami Herald investigative report. Dersh is doomed, despite declaring his innocence to anyone who will listen 🙄

      Jeffrey Epstein: The Groomers, The Cover-Up, The Island & The Victims
      youtube.com/watch?v=KqpoJC213_k

    2. The involvement of this public corruption unit right off the bat makes me think it’s likely Epstein was trapped. The Miami Herald article was planted by the feds to flush him out, he immediately implicated co-conspirators by wiring them a lot of money, feds saw it and filed witness tampering charges less than a week after the first arrest. And he was grabbed at a NJ airport as soon as he landed in the US, before he could clean out his safe.

      1. There are few things that could have greater impact than the bursting of the global real estate bubble and one of them is the bursting of the global pedo bubble.

    3. I love it…Get all those SOB’s…I don’t care who it is…

      I know you are wishing & hoping Adan but, Obama is not on the list…

      1. Obama’s absence seems very conspicuous against the backdrop of people in power who had past associations with Epstein.

          1. Policies and politics aside, president Obama was had good moral character. I was glad when the LDS church got rid of their involvement with scouting after DJT used the jamboree as a pep rally.

          2. From Wikileaks, “I think Obama spent about $65,000 of the tax-payers money flying in pizza/dogs from Chicago for a private party at the White House not long ago, assume we are using the same channels?”

            FYI: pizza = girl; hot dog = boy

          3. Google bathhouse Barry and see what comes up, if that stayed out of the MSM how do we know what else was hidden?

        1. Vouching for moral character of a politician…unprotected sex with ten prostitutes in Tijuana would be less likely to come back to haunt you.

          1. You could drink the water and binge on street tacos on top of it and still be putting yourself in less jeopardy.

          1. Well if anyone connected to Obama by however many degrees of separation was involved in sex trafficking, that makes him guilty by association. Is that your point?

          2. guilty by association

            Guilty by accusation too. Also by imagination. Reveling in other’s sins, real or imagined.

            It’s all just part of moral bankruptcy. What do you expect from a bunch of debt donkeys?

          3. You’re the professor. Why don’t get out your calculator and tell us how many degrees of separation are between Hillary and Obama. As for what the point is, again, you’re the professor. I think you are well able to put the pieces together on your own.

          4. Nobody is reveling in anything. No one in Washington from either party, recent past or present, is in the clear yet on this Epstein debacle. No one here knows who will end up being implicated. By the way, professor, that’s point in case you didn’t figure it out yet.

      2. Also no prosecutors under Obama. How did his AGs miss conduct which was being detailed in tabloids on a weekly basis. Engaging in the conduct is beyond vile, however not stopping it is almost as bad. Nobody who followed the news was shocked by the charges. This had to be one of the most widely known crimes in history.

    4. I guess Prince Andrew won’t be visiting the U.S. or any of it’s territories anytime soon. The odds of him ending up in a prison sucking on bananas are certainly in his favor. This Epstein story is manna from heaven for the tabloids.

        1. I’ve heard (don’t remember which video, or for that matter, its source so take it for what it’s worth – I wouldn’t be surprised) he’s unofficially persona non grata in many countries. Since he’s “royalty” they can’t say it outright.

          Randy Andy.

          1. That Mossad angle certainly goes broad and deep! There certainly are some puzzling holes in the official Epstein story (e.g. how do you rise from himble beginnings as a math teacher to make billions of dollars while lying around all day long getting Lolita massages?).

          2. I read something earlier today that said Epstein entertained some of his investors with the young stuff so that he could avoid repaying them, i.e., financial blackmail. Gotta wonder how many of these remorseless deviant swindlers work on Wall street?

          3. With the intelligence angle, you have to wonder if his mission was to insinuate himself amongst the politically powerful in order to create blackmail opportunities through pedaphilic associations.

    1. The Wall Street Journal
      Markets
      Oxymoron Alert: Some ‘High Yield’ Bonds Go Negative
      For junk bonds that have negative yields, peculiar characteristics help explain their especially ultralow rates
      By Paul J. Davies
      Updated July 14, 2019 1:32 pm ET

      In the latest sign of financial markets going into uncharted territory, more than a dozen junk bonds, which usually carry high yields, now trade in Europe with a negative yield.

      It is a stark illustration of how ultraloose monetary policies have turned debt investing into a choice about how to lose the least amount of money.

      European investors have gotten used to paying for the privilege of owning safe government bonds with negative yields, a kind of backward interest rate that shows the rate at which your money will shrink over time. Investors have also gotten used to highly rated, investment-grade companies trading with negative yields.

      But junk bonds are typically risky borrowers with weaker balance sheets and often smaller businesses that may struggle to pay back what they borrow anyway.

      “It is a perverse situation,” said Colin Purdie, chief investment officer for credit at Aviva Investors. “It is called ‘high yield,’ so to get a negative yield is pretty unusual. But it’s not completely crazy. For some investors, there is an acceptance that it’s not about absolute returns, but relative returns.”

      1. “It is a perverse situation,” said Colin Purdie, chief investment officer for credit at Aviva Investors. “It is called ‘high yield,’ so to get a negative yield is pretty unusual.”

        And incredibly stupid.

        “But it’s not completely crazy.”

        Wrong.

        “For some investors, there is an acceptance that it’s not about absolute returns, but relative returns.”

        The entire planet is populated by morons.

  5. The NARrative:

    https://www.cnbc.com/2019/07/12/bidding-wars-are-heating-up-heres-how-to-win-your-dream-home.html
    Real Estate
    Bidding wars are heating up. Here’s how to win your dream home
    Published Fri, Jul 12 2019 12:28 PM EDT | Updated Fri, Jul 12 2019 2:26 PM EDT | Diana Olick @DianaOlick

    The dull days of summer may be over sooner than expected in the nation’s housing market.

    The supply of homes for sale, which had been increasing earlier this year, could turn lower again soon, and that will likely mean the return of bidding wars.

    Such battles had slowed dramatically this past spring, thanks to more listings and more cash-strapped buyers unwilling to pay top dollar. Nationally, just 12% of offers written by Redfin, a real estate brokerage, faced a bidding war in June, down from 52% a year earlier. The supply of homes for sale, however, which had been up over 6% annually in January, is now up by just 2.8%, according to realtor.com Housing demand is also rising, as mortgage rates sink.

    – Wait, what?

    The latest data (May, ’19)
    New and Pending Home Sales data are leading indicators.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-06-25/u-s-new-home-sales-fall-to-five-month-low-missing-estimates
    economics
    U.S. New-Home Sales Fall to Five-Month Low, Missing Estimates
    By Katia Dmitrieva | June 25, 2019, 8:00 AM MDT

    Sales of new U.S. homes fell to a five-month low in May, adding to signs of weakness in the sector despite lower mortgage rates.

    Single-family home sales dropped 7.8% to a 626,000 annualized pace that missed all estimates in Bloomberg’s survey of economists, from an upwardly revised 679,000 rate in April, government data showed Tuesday. The median sales price decreased 2.7% from a year earlier to $308,000.

    https://www.nar.realtor/newsroom/pending-home-sales-bounce-back-1-1-in-may
    Pending Home Sales Bounce Back 1.1% in May [MoM, but not YoY]

    WASHINGTON (June 27, 2019) – Pending home sales increased in May, a positive variation from the minor sales dip seen in the previous month, according to the National Association of Realtors®. Three of the four major regions saw growth in contract activity, with the West experiencing a slight sales decline.

    The Pending Home Sales Index,* http://www.nar.realtor/pending-home-sales, a forward-looking indicator based on contract signings, climbed 1.1% to 105.4 in May, up from 104.3 in April. Year-over-year contract signings declined 0.7%, marking the 17th straight month of annual decreases.

    NARrative not equal to data…

  6. “To this day, I wonder about the ways in which the news media encouraged the housing bubble and about the general failure of the press to counter the hype with solid data analysis.”

    You wonder, eh. Well the reason is as clear as can be from my viewpoint and this reason is directly related to our wonderful educational system.

    During those years of wonder a lender could and did offer up laughably ruinous terms to a borrower the borrower would IMMEDIATELY agree to the terms offered up. ANY terms offered up. Those were the days of milk and honey.

    “Many Americans lost their livelihoods and their homes – setbacks from which some people will never entirely recover. The human costs have been extraordinary.”

    Ignorance can be a bitch for some, a livelyhood for others; It all depends where one chooses to position himself.

  7. Trump tells Ocasio-Cortez and other female progressives to ‘go back’ to ‘original’ countries

    5 hours ago

    Donald Trump aimed a fiercely controversial attack at “the Squad” on Sunday, saying the four progressive Democrats who have clashed with their own party leaders should “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came”.

    “You can’t leave fast enough,” he added.

    Trump did not name his targets but the members of “the Squad” are Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York; Ayanna Pressley of Massachusetts; Rashida Tlaib of Michigan; and Ilhan Omar of Minnesota.

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/jul/14/trump-squad-tlaib-omar-pressley-ocasio-cortez

    1. Look like always Trump could have said what he said with more diplomacy but like the vast majority of the time he is correct in the big picture.

      When immigrants came here from Germany right after the American Revolution, they were not trying to bring a Monarchy to America, they came because they rejected what they have left behind. When people fled the Soviet Union, they were not trying to bring communism to America, they rejected communism. When they fled Nazi Germany they rejected Nazism. Now, we have people coming to this country who believe in the exact ideology which made their countries sh@tholes to begin with and reject the ideological framework which made the US great. This fundamental change is exactly why we need to stop immigration and assimilate or deport the people we have already allowed into the country.

      1. “…with more diplomacy…”

        Did you mean to say ‘veracity’? My understanding is that only one of the four Squad members was born outside of the U.S.

          1. If Pelosi has issues with them, then they certainly have issues, as does the entire Democratic Party.

      2. Actually, immigrants coming to America today do so for the exact same reasons they always have: to seek a better life. They generally fled war (19th century Germans and Italians) and famine (Irish). The difference is America had a lot of wide open space back then, and the immigration was mostly legal.

        Poor people don’t have ideologies. They just want to eat. That hasn’t changed.

        1. Really a shame what DJT said. Need to be able to debate ideas, not tell people to go back to where they came from.

          1. There is an acute shortage of cobalt that is why EV cars are a dead end and the EV demand is already leading to substantial deaths in the Congo:

            Cobalt is almost out of Tesla batteries:

            Then again, even today, Tesla’s cobalt usage really is not that significant to the composition of Tesla’s battery cells. Tesla and Panasonic are apparently leading the EV field when it comes to minimizing cobalt usage. Tesla has long been a proponent of nickel-cobalt-aluminium (NCA) technology developed by Panasonic in Japan, which goes against the trend of a nickel-cobalt-manganese (NCM)-focused EV industry. Furthermore, Elon Musk reiterates that, in general, the trend in the material development world is towards higher-energy, lower-to-no-cobalt chemistries.

            https://cleantechnica.com/2018/06/17/teslas-cobalt-usage-to-drop-from-3-today-to-0-elon-commits/

          2. Then stop falling for the left’s racial smear tactics in parsing that one short phrase out of the quote, and look at the entirety of what he said.

            If America is such a horrible country, why did they come here in the first place, instead of stay where they came from, and fix the problems there instead?

            I am fed up with the hatred coming out of the mouths of her and her ilk. She can go **** herself.

          3. It does seem like the Democrats are embracing the politics of racial division more than at any point in their history during this election cycle. I predict this will prove a losing strategy, as the red states won’t go for it.

          4. Could not find a link under your Tesla response. First you stated Cobalt shortage was not a problem to my first comment, then you post a link that demonstrates that it is a bottleneck and 3 per cent of the battery is still a lot and it is critical in preventing fires. Then the story relies on Tesla’s promise that it will be out of the next generation batteries based on very preliminary battery experiments. I guess due to Musk’s record of always delivering on time and budget we can believe that claim. Sarcasm.

        2. “The difference is America had a lot of wide open space back then, and the immigration was mostly legal.”

          You need to get out more. There is no shortage of undeveloped land in the U.S. In fact, the amount staggers the mind.

          1. Is it good for farming? Serious question. I would have figured agribusiness got all the sports we could grow anything on by now.

          2. Also I more meant that American society and economy wasn’t as “crowded” (competitive) as it is now. But I take the point.

            Also let’s remember everyone hated the German, Italian, and Irish immigrants as well. And it was probably the 1% that were cheerleading immigration as well back then. These immigrants worked on farms or factories.

          3. “There is no shortage of undeveloped land in the U.S.”

            Some of us would like to see most of that land remain undeveloped.

        3. “The difference is America had a lot of wide open space back then, and the immigration was mostly legal.”

          The difference is America had no entitlements back then and 19th century Germans, Italians and Irish wanted to assimilate. There were no ESOL classes or school breakfast and lunch programs etc. for the German and Italian immigrants you speak of.

          1. That’s exactly it, jeff. When our Manhattan neighborhood went downhill, I used to say “They’re not here to assimilate, they’re here to take over.”

          2. They actually weren’t super keen to assimilate. Germans spoke German, Italians spoke Italian, etc. for multiple generations. Especially in rural communities (the PA Dutch). Ethnic neighborhoods in cities had their own native language newspapers. Eventually the grandkids learned English. This will happen with the newest batch as well. Kids just want to belong. All you have to do is wait.

          3. Also I got free breakfast at school as a kid… trust me it wasn’t worth crossing an ocean or a dessert for. It a sticky bun and a pint of milk. Plus everyone made fun of my sister and I. Awesome.

            By and large these people just want to earn a living. Now, they ARE breaking the law. No one can argue they aren’t. Furthermore, illegal immigration absolutely has labor market effects.It’s a legitimate public policy issue. But illegal immigrants aren’t evil and they have no master plan to assimilate the United States. We can debate this on the merits.

          4. But illegal immigrants aren’t evil and they have no master plan to assimilate the United States. We can debate this on the merits.

            Perhaps, but then what do you make of folks taking down the US flag and replacing it with the mexican flag?

          5. My German ancestors spoke, wrote, and studied in German from when they settled the Midwest in the mid-1800s up until WWII. At that point, they became very eager to assimilate, forgetting they were German nearly overnight.

          6. Eventually the grandkids learned English. This will happen with the newest batch as well. Kids just want to belong. All you have to do is wait.

            You are right here Foo. This is the basic pattern. America is a nation of immigrants and this pattern of children and grandchildren assimilating is well established. Even Univision has struggled because Mexican and Latino children aren’t interested in Spanish-only language programming. For the record, I speak Spanish and French fluently and attend church in Spanish.

          7. assimilate
            We visited relatives in Bradford, England in the mid-seventies (could have been 77-78, not sure). We asked them what’s the deal with all the Pakistanis here. They said no problem, they’re nice. We were having our own problems back in NYC re: illegals. Young as I was, I said, oh really, you’ll see.

            We don’t realize how we’ve (Americans) have been trained. Others have not been put through the program, and have no problem advocating for their group, to your (Americans’) detriment.

        4. Really were they burning and defacing US flags and putting up the flags of the countries they came from? I do not think so. Put your head in the sand and pretend but they are nothing like the people that arrived at Ellis Island.

          1. We have room for probably 500 million more immigrants from the third world….they’ll assimilate, don’t worry.

      1. Foo says debate on the merits. Only
        Trump wants to go back to Merit based immigration which was the law until around 1965. For two hundred years the question asked was whether the immigrant benefitted the US, not whether the immigrant would benefit. Anyone who would not and would be burden on the citizens of this country was denied entry. Now if they need expensive medical services that the taxpayers will have to pay for, turning them back is cruel.

  8. I was doing some math recently, and house prices are so high in many areas that they will not cash flow even with a 25% down payment. So, put down $75k of your own cold, hard cash, and still subsidize your renters for several hundred more per month. Who does this?

    1. Pretty much the entire apartment industry the past few years. It’s what tipped me off about the apartment bubble. No cash flow is irrational and they brag about serial refinancing then flipping. Remember the NY guy? 35,000 units and allegedly resorted to fraud to “plug holes in their cash flow”?

      1. We are cash flowing pretty well, though we came online beginning of 2018. Class A in SLC. Our cost to build was much lower than some of the new stuff going up. And there is lots of new stuff coming on line. Should get interesting.

        1. Same thing has happened here…Some big boys have pulled out although they have entitled land and “VERY” deep pockets…They say the costs to completion has gotten completely out of control…Proforma budgets seem to be good for like “one day”..

      2. I don’t get why bankers keep refinancing these guys. It’s like the shale oil business, losing money every year.

    1. “U.S. clients are definitely very, very worried. Everyone is making razor-thin margins already and most people have a huge percentage in China. So if the biggest source increases the price by 25%, they are worried,” Li & Fung CEO Spencer Fung said in an interview with Bloomberg.”

      “Razor-thin margins” my rear end.

  9. Front page article about housing in today’s (Monday July 15) Brisbane, Australia Courier Mail.

    Headline trumpets: “Brisbane to lead the nation with 20% surge in house prices.”

    “A massive jump in house prices is forecast for Brisbane over the coming 3 years — almost double the nearest Australian state capital — with major Queensland cities close behind.

    BIS Oxford Economics house forecast 20% growth in house prices in Brisbane, with demand driven by its relative affordability compared with other capitals and a pick-up in positivity.”

    It goes on to quote predicted growth figures for other major cities in the country. Which, oddly, are all positive. I know from reading HBB that housing prices in those places are actually going down. 🙂

    1. Their using predictions just like liberal news organizations use polls in this country, just make them up to try to push people in that direction.

  10. “…the general failure of the press to counter the hype with solid data analysis.”

    In fairness to the press, isn’t their primary job to sell ad space? Conducting and publishing a fact-based data analysis could alienate REIC constituents, eliminating potential ad revenues.

  11. More love letters to sellers. Warm and fuzzy. Give me a break. Same agent will be taking places down when time to sell short sales. Commission is really the only concern, any way they can get it. Nothing else matters.

    I hope recession gets here soon, just to shut up these goofballs as well as Olick, Yun and the rest of the cheerleading squad.

    1. Hang in there. Just after surgery is one of the few legitimate opportunities to enjoy pain meds (been there / done that). Of course, don’t get hooked!

    2. I had both done, two months apart, in late 2017. It was funny because since I was taking care of my mother and that was very difficult. I felt like it was a relief to be out of commission for the few days each. Unfortunately, once I got home I was back on the job which was painful but sitting in bed all drugged up and being served restaurant meals (it was a private facility) almost felt like a vacation. A reverse frying pan into the fire thing.

      Don’t mean to diminish your suffering – it ain’t no day at the beach but 2+ years later I hardly remember that I had it done, and it is so nice not to be in pain anymore.

      Don’t let them scrimp on the painkillers.

      1. Not that it matters to anyone else, but it was 2016. (Time flies when you’re having fun.) Believe me, after even only a few months you’ll feel so much better 😘

    3. @BlueSkye, @drumminj, @Prof Bear, @Tarara B, @Bubbleville, @ect

      Thanks one and all for the well wishes. I will be good as new in time … the key word being ‘in time’ 🙂 gotta get there first. Riding up that wave of leg swelling and blood pooling that comes with the first few days right now. They gave me plenty of meds, including the good ones. I must be taking 20-25 pills a day right now.

      Right now I’m spending most of my time resting or trying to do basic exercises (ouch, ouch, ouch!). Every so often, my head clears up enough to spend 15-30 minutes on the internet, then I fog up again.

      Some interesting things happened just before I went in – tl;dr it looks like I’ve got my choice of (new) work for the next couple years that’ll keep me well compensated. I put the last bits of work in on the gig that occupied me since 2016 just before going in for surgery. It takes a load off my mind to know that I have multiple opportunities waiting for me once I get back on my feet (literally). All told, we’re probably going to be in pretty good shape economically for a while, and I know I am a lot more fortunate than many other people are going to be. Mrs. Spiffy is taking good care of me in the meantime… now if I can just get Chutneys to deliver Paneer Tikka Masala and garlic naan over to me…

      1. Good on Mrs. Spiffy for being there for you.

        I recall the last time I was seriously drugged after surgery, my lovely wife prepared a surprise birthday party for me. I was so zoned out, that I was completely surprised, indeed!

      2. now if I can just get Chutneys to deliver Paneer Tikka Masala and garlic naan over to me…

        I think I’ll be ordering Indian this afternoon…

  12. Could authorizing conversion of existing supersized single family homes into duplexes or triplexes, plus rezoning for construction of multifamily domiciles in areas currently restricted to single family residences, eliminate the supposed housing shortage?

    (Asked by a resident of a duplex unit…)

    1. What Works
      How Minneapolis Freed Itself From the Stranglehold of Single-Family Homes
      Desperate to build more housing, the city just rewrote its decades-old zoning rules.
      By ERICK TRICKEY
      July 11, 2019
      Erick Trickey is a writer in Boston.

      MINNEAPOLIS—On recent early summer day, Janne Flisrand and John Edwards took a victory lap through their neighborhood.

      As they strolled along sidewalks shaded by maples and oaks, they pointed out the variety of single-family homes that give the Lowry Hill East neighborhood its signature look: three-story houses from the early 20th century, with big, white-columned porches. Then they came to a century-old brown brick building, also three stories tall, with rows of windows on both sides of a recessed entryway. The six-unit condominium building from 1910 was flanked by 2½-story blue houses—one a single-family home, the other a triplex. It was mini-tableau of housing diversity that Flisrand and Edwards say has become all too hard to build in their part of town. “We’ve had a really long history of apartments and renters in this neighborhood,” Edwards says. “But 20 percent of the neighborhood wanted to prevent that housing for the last 50 years.”

      Well, they won’t prevent it any longer.

      Thanks in part to activists like Flisrand and Edwards, Minneapolis just did away with the rules that gave single-family homes a stranglehold on nearly three-quarters of the city. In December, Neighbors for More Neighbors, the group co-founded by Flisrand and Edwards about two years ago to address Minneapolis’ affordable housing crisis, won a victory unseen in any other major American city. The city council approved the Minneapolis 2040 comprehensive plan, which declares the city’s intent to abolish single-family-home zoning and allow duplexes and triplexes to be built anywhere in the city.

    2. Shortages are a myth unless your referring to a shortage of “affordable” rentals… I would love to see all the vacation homes, speculator piggy bank homes, and Airbnb rentals in these so called shortage areas taxed to a point where they had enough money to spend those taxes for affordable housing for the median income families. Wishful thinking as that only helps the working class.

      1. I would love to see all the vacation homes, speculator piggy bank homes, and Airbnb rentals in these so called shortage areas taxed to a point where they had enough money to spend those taxes for affordable housing

        Completely with you on this. Affordable housing needs a revenue stream. Airbnb wouldn’t really work if more cities did what Minneapolis was doing though.

          1. That’s a fantastic recording.

            Reminds me of my extreme good fortune to find myself on stage playing in a backup orchestra for this guy a couple of years ago…still going strong, six decades after the release of his Greatest Hits album!

    1. Oh, jeez, MB, enough already on oxide. I’m sure she’s way happier with the decision she made than I am. She sounds happy.

      I have to say I love you screwing with them over at zerohedge but my family would have been so much better off today if we had bought the crap shack we were renting in 2011 (at the owner’s extortionist price over $40K over estimate, which is why I declined, cheap bitch that I am.)

      We would have had so much less stress for the last eight years. My decision, my responsibility, and there were other reasons that we declined.

      It’s not so simple.

      1. enough already on oxide

        Sure, but she our the poster child for “There is no housing bubble and rent will ALWAYS go up. I am going to be sooo rich by going deeply into debt.” More recently, ” I could sell my house tomorrow and buy your house for cash in that Dead Podunk.”

        There’s alot to work with here.

        1. Mustn’t have been paying as much attention as I thought I was. Did it myself in 2006, felt a bit bad about it (though the buyers were weirdly arrogant, I guess as you will when you spend a ridiculous price for something, so I didn’t feel that bad.)

      2. Oh, jeez, MB, enough already on oxide. I’m sure she’s way happier with the decision she made than I am. She sounds happy.

        It’s refreshing to see someone with self-awareness and a modicum of humility. Thank you.

    1. Huzzah, sincerely.

      I have relatives that live there, or is it Keller or Grapevine? Don’t know Texas, liked it the one time we visited.

    1. I really wish that the political process in this country would focus on kitchen table issues affecting the majority of citizens, and not the infantile mudslinging and character assassination from the extreme left and right.

      I know.

    2. After the primaries, he needs to stay in the circular firing squad right now. Do you think Pelosi went after AOC because she was having a bad day? No she has polls showing the Democrats losing the Whitehouse and the Congress due to the public rejecting the drift to the left. Thus she was prepared to silence them. Trump countered by praising her and going after the four. Now if Pelosi takes any action she will be on the same side as Trump. The man knows how to play three dimensional chess and keep the Democrats moving over the cliff.

  13. Does anyone who reads here have an opinion on the reliability of shipping flows as a recession indicator?

    1. While stock market is booming, freight sector sends a recession signal
      20 hrs ago
      David Nicklaus
      David Nicklaus is a business columnist for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

      “Trucking volume has done a magnificent job of predicting recessions,” he said. “It’s not anything other than real, tangible goods being moved.

      “Right now that tangible goods flow, no matter how you slice and dice it, has gone from flashing yellow to flashing red,” Broughton added. “It’s predicting a recession.”

        1. Too many people with ‘honest jobs’ are eating ramen right now – we’ve collectively gotten too good at extracting all the profit out for the benefit of the ownership class exclusively.

  14. After hitting a halcyon high of $13,682, Sh!tcoin seems to be having a crater problem. It just suffered a booboo and fell to $9,871 this past hour.

  15. CNBC TV
    Top Stories
    China Economy
    China posts its lowest quarterly growth in 27 years as the trade war drags on
    Published 5 hours ago
    Updated an hour ago
    Huileng Tan
    Key Points
    – China’s economy grew 6.2% in the second quarter from a year ago, the country’s statistics bureau said on Monday.
    – Analysts polled by Reuters expect China’s economy to have grown 6.2% from a year ago in the April to June period.
    – The GDP figure comes as the world’s second largest economy remains locked in a trade war with the U.S.

    1. Thanks to Trump, China is losing its race to grow rich before it grows old. A lot of speculative building in China. The housing was built to accommodate workers who would be needed for new factories which were expected to be built under a projective GDP growth levels now not being seen. It is the fundamental problem with planned economies. It might have worked had Trump not been elected and moved to stop the rape of America workers. Now China has to figure out how to pay for the infrastructure it constructed to cities it anticipated to be needed under the higher GDP estimates and the private developers need to pay for housing built that is no longer needed which cannot be sold or rented since the anticipated factories will not be built. Trump is preventing China from challenging us militarily without firing a shot. Whether China agrees to a trade deal or not he has ruined their decades long plan. It may have angered China to a point of cutting of it’s nose to spite its face, but it has made the US safer and soon to be more prosperous. MAGA

  16. Why ruin a good thing?

    Baltic Dry Index no longer reflects dry bulk shipping performance: Bimco

    The Baltic Dry Index (BDI) can no longer accurately reflect how the dry bulk shipping market is performing, according to a latest analysis report by Bimco.

    “Bimco now believes that the BDI cannot be used as a proxy for the dry bulk market as a whole, because of the weighting of the different ship types in the index,” said Peter Sand, chief shipping analyst at Bimco.

    Sand recalled that since 1 March 2018, the BDI was changed from an equal-weight index for capesize, panamax, supramax and handysize to a weighting of 40% on capesize and 30% on each of the panamax and supramax time charter averages, and no longer including the handysize time charter average.

    “Knowing profits from losses requires insight into real US dollar per day earnings, which no index values can provide,” he said.

    The BDI, issued daily by London-based Baltic Exchange, is widely referred to around the world as a proxy for dry bulk shipping stocks, indicating changes in the cost of transporting various raw materials such as coal and steel by different sizes of dry bulk carriers.

    During April 2019, the BDI was dominated by capesize shipping, which pushed the index up by 50% on the back of a 239% increase in rates for capsizes – from a very low level – whereas the three other segments only rose slightly or decreased.

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