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Developers Are Telling Brokers To Just Make Me An Offer

A report from the Coeur d’Alene Press in Idaho. “‘In every year since 2013, home prices in Kootenai County have grown significantly faster than wages,’ said Samuel Wolkenhauer, Region 1 economist for the Idaho Department of Labor. ‘It’s important to remember that these growth rates compound on each other, which means the gap is growing exponentially.'”

“‘The chances of prices leveling off or going down anytime soon — or ever — are slim to none. They won’t go down because people keep moving into this area,’ said longtime Coeur d’Alene Realtor Marshall Mend. ‘Why would home prices go down when people are lining up to buy? It’s supply and demand.'”

From The Advocate in Louisiana. “In the first six months of 2019, prices held flat or in some cases fell in what were recently the city’s highest-demand neighborhoods, including parts of Uptown, the Central Business District, Mid-City and downriver areas like Bywater. ‘We are in the long tail of a 10-year recovery cycle,’ said Paul Richard, an executive at Latter & Blum, noting that the theme of last year’s annual real estate forecasting conference in New Orleans was a question: ‘Are we at a market peak or a new base line?'”

“In Orleans Parish, the 70130 area that includes the Lower Garden District, the CBD and part of the French Quarter is the priciest at $286 per square foot, even after it dropped more than 4% in the past year.”

The Wall Street Journal on New York. “In June, sales of luxury residential real estate soared like a Midtown skyscraper as buyers rushed to beat a looming July 1 tax increase. In July, they plummeted back to earth to the slowest pace in years, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis. It was the slowest pace for such sales in the month of July since 2009.”

“The median sale price of a Manhattan apartment fell to $970,000, the lowest level in four years. That was down 40% from the figure in June, which was pushed up by the many high-end sales. ‘The crisis seems to be going sideways,’ said Donna Olshan, a broker who tracks the luxury market. Sellers who lower their prices are doing deals, she said, while other listings sit on the market. Many condo developers aren’t lowering prices, but they are telling brokers to ‘just make me an offer,’ she said.”

The Bay Area Newsgroup in California. “Permits for residential construction in California fell 16 percent in 2018-19 from the previous 12-month cycle, according to an analysis by the Public Policy Institute of California. Permits dropped nearly 50 percent in San Mateo County, 30 percent in Alameda County, almost 10 percent in Santa Clara County and 7 percent in Contra Costa County.”

“‘It’s certainly not lack of demand,’ said Paul Campos of the Bay Area Building Industry Association.”

The San Francisco Chronicle in California. “If you’ve always wanted to own a penthouse in the sky — and who hasn’t — you’ll have more to choose from in San Francisco as a slew of top-floor condos in new South of Market high-rises hit the market alongside a handful of older gems atop the city’s posh hilltop neighborhoods.”

“The good news is, there’s no rush. Luxury penthouses take months, often years, to sell. The top floor of the Lumina’s Folsom Street tower has been for sale since 2015 when the building was under construction. It was originally listed as a single home for $40 million. In 2018, it was split into two units priced at roughly $11.5 million and $10.5 million. This summer the developer began offering a $1.55 million incentive on each unit to build out the empty shells.”

“The Italian owners of a half-floor penthouse atop the Ritz-Carlton on Market Street spent five years transforming it into a glitzy modern-Italian showpiece, bringing in designers and craftsmen from Europe. But they never stayed there, and now it’s for sale at $9.9 million or $2,753 a square foot, said the listing agent. HOA dues are $3,700 a month. The other top-floor unit at the Ritz sold last year for $5.95 million or $1,964 a square foot.”

The North Bay Business Journal in California. “Home sales jumped in the North Bay in July from a year before, although median sale prices dropped slightly, according to CoreLogic. The report found that home sales in the San Francisco Bay Area last month were the lowest for July since 2011, when 7,014 homes sold. Sales have fallen on a year-over-year basis for the past 12 consecutive months.”

The Orange County Register in California. “Southern California home-price gains are quickly evaporating, no matter who’s doing the counting. This year’s falling mortgage rates gave house hunters more buying power. Instead, it appears buyers — unnerved by domestic and global economic uncertainty — are not willing to pay up. Reports published by CoreLogic, California Association of Realtors, the Federal Housing Finance Agency, S&P/Case-Shiller and the Real Estate Research Council of Southern California all tell the same tale.”

From Mansion Global. “Former New York Yankee third baseman Alex Rodriguez has parted with his house in California’s Hollywood Hills. The Mid-Century Modern property has sold for $4.4 million in a deal that is expected to hit property records on Friday, Mansion Global has learned through a source.”

“Mr. Rodriguez, 44, listed the Hollywood Hills home last November for $6.5 million, and the asking price was lowered to $5.25 million in March, Mansion Global previously reported. He purchased the home in 2014 from actress Meryl Streep and her husband for $4.8 million using a trust, according to PropertyShark records.”

This Post Has 133 Comments
  1. ‘The median sale price of a Manhattan apartment fell to $970,000, the lowest level in four years. That was down 40% from the figure in June, which was pushed up by the many high-end sales’

    The MIX!!

    ‘The crisis seems to be going sideways,’ said Donna Olshan, a broker who tracks the luxury market. Sellers who lower their prices are doing deals, she said, while other listings sit on the market. Many condo developers aren’t lowering prices, but they are telling brokers to ‘just make me an offer’

    Crisis, eh? Still no bubble Donna? WSJ? Prices are down 40% plus. I documented a near 50% drop in an off the plan NYC condo in the spring of 2017. Don’t tell me it’s the mix.

  2. ‘has sold for $4.4 million…He purchased the home in 2014 from actress Meryl Streep and her husband for $4.8 million’

    So a $400,000 loss since 2014. And these UHS want us to believe prices are up or down single digits.

    1. I love good Mid-Century design something fierce, but there were some aspects of that house in the pictures, like the placement of the ovens intruding into the living area or the staircase along the wall that just had me throwing up in my mouth a little. I’m surprised it sold for as much as it did.

      1. Looks like they’re having fun making movies and raising two daughters together. Oh yeah, that’s not a family home especially with that open swimming pool.

    2. It’s incredible how many entertainment figures have chosen to throw away money on real estate investing losses. I believe we have only seen the tip of the iceberg so far.

      1. I wonder if they feel it gives them something to “show off”…

        Maybe an “I’ve arrived” or “Keeping up with the (top actor/actresses)” thing that evolved in that particular demographic.

  3. ‘We are in the long tail of a 10-year recovery cycle,’ said Paul Richard, an executive at Latter & Blum, noting that the theme of last year’s annual real estate forecasting conference in New Orleans was a question: ‘Are we at a market peak or a new base line?’

    Prices in New Orleans have been sinking like a turd in a well for a couple of years Paul.

    1. ‘Are we at a market peak or a new base line?’

      Nobody wants to say “permanently high plateau” but they DO say it – using different words!

  4. ‘Permits dropped nearly 50 percent in San Mateo County, 30 percent in Alameda County, almost 10 percent in Santa Clara County and 7 percent in Contra Costa County’

    ‘It’s certainly not lack of demand’

    So why are those airboxes sitting for years Paul?

    ‘But they never stayed there, and now it’s for sale at $9.9 million or $2,753 a square foot, said the listing agent. HOA dues are $3,700 a month. The other top-floor unit at the Ritz sold last year for $5.95 million or $1,964 a square foot’

    How do you say fooked in Italian?

    1. HOA Fees $3,700/month .
      Who could afford the place even if it was free?

      Slightly off topic
      My friend lived on Park Avenue in Manhattan in the 90’s.
      HOA/ Super fees were $5,600/month. Oh and when people say they have a door man what they meant in this Condo was 10 door men during the day and about 5 at night. I guess it was really high end.

  5. Many condo developers aren’t lowering prices, but they are telling brokers to ‘just make me an offer,’ she said.”

    Thanks, but I think I’ll just wait for the coming tidal wave of foreclosure auctions.

  6. This year’s falling mortgage rates gave house hunters more buying power. Instead, it appears buyers — unnerved by domestic and global economic uncertainty — are not willing to pay up.

    This trend is only going to snowball as the cratering picks up momentum and the cascading defaults send the dominoes tumbling.

    Be afraid, FBs and speculators. Be very afraid.

  7. “Southern California home-price gains are quickly evaporating, no matter who’s doing the counting.

    Trillions of Yellen Bux valuations are going to melt away like FB tears in the rain before the wipeout of the Everything Bubble is done playing out.

  8. ‘In every year since 2013, home prices in Kootenai County have grown significantly faster than wages…It’s important to remember that these growth rates compound on each other, which means the gap is growing exponentially’

    I’ve been pointing out the compounding for years. And central bankers will say it’s impossible to spot a bubble.

    ‘The chances of prices leveling off or going down anytime soon — or ever — are slim to none. They won’t go down’

    Ever? Click!

    1. “Kootenai County”

      Wages up there around Sandpoint, ID are some of the lowest in the nation. This area is very popular with wealthy Californians building luxury vacation homes with its beautiful summers but long cold winters. Mark Furman (think OJ Simson trial) lives up that way, IIRC.

    2. every year since 2013, home prices in Kootenai County have grown significantly faster than wages…It’s important to remember that these growth rates compound on each othe

      Don’t know you Ben? Every single one of those new shacks is going to be bought by an equity locust. Who cares about the locals? It’s not like they are going ever need a house anyway…

    3. Shack buyers in far-flung no-job areas like Kootenai County, ID disappear like a fart in a tornado the moment that prices stop rising, and those places crater worse of all.

    1. He helped pump the market, now he’s dumping. Last I heard he was hanging out with Gary Watts at the beach.

  9. I am shocked, shocked! to learn that Goldman Sachs and other TBTF Wall Street grifters have enraged in price fixing and market manipulation. Surely Fauxahontus will not abide such blatant insider trading, and our ever-vigilant regulators and enforcers will be moving out even now to arrest the perps and bring criminal charges for criminal activity.

    Or they’ll get the usual stern finger-wagging lecture followed by tax-deductible fines amounting to a fraction of their ill-gotten profits, while Fauxahontus bloviates for the cameras about her commitment to the middle class, but does nothing to protect the latter from the mega-financial predators and fraudsters on Wall Street.

    https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2019-09-01/rare-smoking-gun-judge-says-goldman-and-four-other-firms-blatantly-price-fixed-gse

    1. ‘Goldman Sachs and four other financial firms are facing claims that they rigged the $550 billion market for bonds backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, according to Bloomberg. In the Southern District of New York, a proposed class action suit accuses the institutions of driving down the offer that they bought unsecured bonds at and “pumping” up the bid at which they sold them over the counter.’

      ‘The judge concluded that traders from these banks engaged in price fixing by using industry chatrooms, which exist primarily so that banks, dealers and co-underwriters can work together on a limited basis to find opening prices for bond issuances. However, in this case, four chat logs instead offered evidence that the traders discussed how to avoid a “race to the bottom” on the secondary market.’

      Race to the bottom?

      $550 billion is a fraction of what these companies back.

      1. Goldman Sachs was Obama’s #2 campaign contributor. Obama appointed Attorney Generals Holder and Lynch, who made sure no bankers were ever criminally charged or otherwise held accountable for the massive fraud and criminality that caused the 2008 financial crisis. Holder, needless to say, got a cushy, seven-figure, do-nothing job on Wall Street for services rendered. Barak and Michelle Obama have raked in an estimated $65 million from various book deals and speeches since leaving “public service.” None dare call it bribery.

        “Change Goldman Sachs can believe in” would’ve been an apt Obama campaign slogan.

        1. That’s ancient history. What matters IMO is we learned over a year ago that something like 40% of mortgage lenders weren’t making a profit.

          How could they? Offering hundreds of thousand$ at sub-5% on shacks at all time highs, for 30 years!, to borrowers who know full well that paying it back is optional. Plus they’ve been skinnying down standards to where I found a no-doc, zero down, sub-prime loan in Tennessee recently. Of course it’s gonna blow up.

          July 24, 2019

          “More Central Floridians are taking out zero-down loans to buy a home. ‘We didn’t have to put $30,000 down on a house, but you still get the house you want,’ said Christina Martinez, whose family bought a home in Kissimmee a few months ago with a zero-down loan through Veterans Affairs. ‘We could have put (something) down, but since we didn’t have to, we just didn’t.’”

          “Economists said it’s a relatively safe time to use zero-down programs, as home values continue to rise and the labor market remains strong. But some urged caution, pointing out the programs usually have high interest rates and high monthly mortgage payments. ‘As people have recovered, now banks are becoming a little bit looser with their lending standards,’ said Jason Martin, a financial adviser with Allgen Financial.”

          “Stacy Luna, a lender with Atlantic Bay Mortgage Group, says buyers who don’t make much of a down payment are more likely to lose their homes to their lenders. ‘Unfortunately, what we do find with people with less skin in the game, those are the people who end up in foreclosure,’ Luna said. ‘Maybe they lose their job, or maybe they had a roommate and now the roommate’s gone, something breaks on the house. All they know is I only had $1,000 in it so why should I stay?’”

          “For Dana Signore, a single mother who recently bought a house in Clermont, the only way she could afford to buy a home was if she didn’t put anything down. She qualified for a zero-down loan through the USDA for her $230,000 home.’That was really the only option,’ Signore said. ‘The money wasn’t there.’”

          “If her clients qualify and are comfortable with the monthly mortgage payments, Annie Amalfitano, a loan originator for Motto Mortgage Exclusive, encourages them to utilize the VA and USDA programs. It’s better than renting, she says. ‘Why would you pay $1,200, $1,500, $1,600 a month … when you can get into a home for that much? Why would you?’ Amalfitano said. ‘You’re just lining somebody else’s pockets and you’re not building any equity yourself. Your rent is going out the window.’”

          http://housingbubble.blog/?p=2115

          1. That’s ancient history. What matters IMO is we learned over a year ago that something like 40% of mortgage lenders weren’t making a profit.

            It might be ancient history, but what hasn’t changed is the systemic corruption that operates with impunity thanks to our captured and corrupt policymakers, regulators, and enforcers. Caveat Emptor applies now more than ever, because we stopped being a nation of laws at least a decade ago. The really big criminals can commit felonies with complete impunity, while frauds like Fauxahontus turn a blind eye.

          2. ‘at least a decade ago’

            My entire lifetime, which is why I don’t worry about it. Remember the Mexico bail-out? (I don’t remember which one.) It went to Mexico, right? Nope, all of it went to Goldman bond buyers.

          3. “Economists said it’s a relatively safe time to use zero-down programs, as home values continue to rise and the labor market remains strong.”

            You might consider doing the exact opposite of what economists recommend.

            True story: When we moved to California a couple of decades ago, an economist I knew back home advised against buying a place to live in, since it would be too risky. We ignored the advice and bought. When we sold eight years later, the place had tripled in value from our purchase price.

            Generally my experience with economists is that they are not very good at predicting, but nonetheless are very generous with sharing their predictions.

          4. Generally my experience with economists is that they are not very good at predicting, but nonetheless are very generous with sharing their predictions.

            “It’s tough to make predictions, especially about the future.” – Yogi Berra

          5. “Generally my experience with economists is that they are not very good at predicting, but nonetheless are very generous with sharing their predictions.”

            The economics profession is fortunate that it doesn’t have to contend with immutable physics like the acceleration of gravity. Their credulous victims might end up homeless or go to bed hungry, but not the economists.

        2. That’s not #TheNarrative.

          Barack Obama is the Messiah. And Michelle Obama is Joan of Arc / Mother Teresa / all of the above.

          If this was Reddit, you’d be downvoted into “comment below vote threshold” status…

          1. You forgot DJT retweeting Wayne Allen Root’s claim that Israelis love Trump “like he’s the King of Israel” or “the second coming of God.”

        3. Absolutely. They gave Oscama the Nobel Peace Prize. But they should have had the clause that the prize would be taken away if any one of them bombed a fellow Nobel Peace Prize winner! They don’t. That is why Oscama still has his Nobel.

          What Oscama really deserved was an Oscar – for his outstanding performance in the 2008 election campaign.

          1. Remember the bumper-sticker? Obama launched more tomahawk missiles than all the other Nobel Peace Prize winners – combined!

          2. A guy who proclaims “I’m good at killing people” wins the Nobel Peace Prize. You can’t make this stuff up.

          3. A guy who proclaims “I’m good at killing people” wins the Nobel Peace Prize.

            But not necessarily in that order :-).

        1. Fun was not the right word…What I mean to say is thats when the ugly ones will come out because they went all in and they will know they are done…Like our in house right winger says; “We are armed to the teeth”…Bring it on…The Trump election will have repercussions far beyond what we see currently…The shootings like our current one in Odessa ?? Thats just a warm up folks…Get ready…

          1. I guess gun violence doesn’t discriminate.

            Nope. But the media does. Some stories never see the light of day, some never go away.

  10. They can’t even wait until the bodies are cold before they start trying to erase the Constitution:

    “The attack, the second mass shooting in Texas this month, prompted a round of calls for stricter gun laws from some hopefuls running for the Democratic nomination for president.

    U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., said on Twitter, “America is sick of this. We need to act.”

    Former Congressman Beto O’Rourke of El Paso, Texas, where 22 people were killed in an Aug. 3 attack at a Walmart, tweeted, “More information is forthcoming, but here’s what we know: We need to end this epidemic.”

    U.S. Sen Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., said on Twitter that the violence makes her “heartsick.” “We’ve already lost far too many to gun violence-Congress must act now,” she said.

    https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/death-toll-odessa-shooting-rises-7-17-month-old-child-n1048711?cid=eml_nbn_20190901

    1. I wonder what the police and the media is hiding. Come on now, the reports do not say that the initial vehicle was stolen. Thus, they know the name and probably plenty more and it does not fit the narrative they want. If they did not want to report any details, they should not have identified him as white. But to release that and then not release any other details seems to be playing politics with the victims.

      1. I don’t think anybody’s hiding anything. It’s just another guy with a screw loose who went off. Same as it ever was.

        1. It’s just another guy with a screw loose ??

          No screw loose Dude…Thats the new reality…You want to see real carnage ?? See what happens if the economy softens and Trump looses particularly in a big way…

          1. Thats the new reality…You want to see real carnage ?? See what happens if the economy softens and Trump looses particularly in a big way…

            scdave, are you really Beaker from the Muppet Show? No one I know is going to go to the barricades for Trump.

        2. Sounds like the Odessa shooter was a guy eking out a marginal existence who snapped when he was terminated from his job as a truck driver. Despite scdave’s attempts to depict the shooter as the vanguard of a wave of deranged white male Trump supporters (gotta propagate The Narrative), it seems more likely to be a case of “people who lose everything, lose it.”

          https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/ne8zbm/the-odessa-shooter-was-fired-from-his-trucking-job-just-hours-before-rampage

          1. We know he had a criminal record and he probably has numerous mental health problems. May just be the reason for his termination. However, as you said does not fit the narrative they want. That narrative supports making it easier to put people in mental institutions against their will which is something the left will never support and Trump would support. The left does not want their base institutionalized.

          2. We know he had a criminal record and he probably has numerous mental health problems.

            One thing that definitely needs to happen is to require 100% background checks on every gun buyer, with those who have criminal convictions or have been involuntarily referred to mental health intervention (for valid reasons) barred from purchasing or possessing firearms.

          3. According to the Mortgage Bankers Association and the National Association of Realtors anyone who isn’t buying a house is insane, and they should be barred from purchasing or possessing firearms.

      1. Yes. It seems like the Toledo shooter. Used to advance the narrative until his leftist orientation could not be ignored and then silence. We should all remember that the Boston Marathon bombers were white. They were also Islamists terrorists. Do not know if that is the case here but I am pretty sure his background does not fit the narrative they want. By time his name does get released his social media history will probably be long gone.

        1. “his social media history will probably be long gone”

          I’ll be reading 4chan to see the screenshots of it. Considering the geography (West Texas) I think it’s unlikely he was an Antifa supporter like the Dayton shooter was (and that Real Journalists won’t report).

          Just the fact that he was white can tell you how #TheNarrative for this will be scripted. The black shooter of 5 black wounded victims in Mobile, AL on Friday will be memory holed, because that’s how Real Journalists roll…

    2. Dems had a majority in both houses during the first two years of the Obama administration. But failed to pass any gun laws. Though they had been expected to.

      1. Question is it better to be stabbed to death or bludgeon to death instead of being shot to death? Also, is it better that 85 year old women is bludgeon to death than the 6’2″ 250 pound 20 year old criminal is shot to death? I think that it is more important that the crime rate drops than just the number of gun deaths drop. More importantly, like the founding fathers I think Americans should have a way to resist tyranny which I think many globalists want to end.

        https://winteryknight.com/2017/10/06/did-australias-ban-on-guns-lower-violent-crime-rates-and-lower-suicide-rates-2/

          1. “gun homicides and gun suicides went down substantially:”

            And my point is so what if all you did is shift both to other means. Especially, if it results in more innocent people being killed and less criminals.

          2. And my point is so what if all you did is shift both to other means. Especially, if it results in more innocent people being killed and less criminals.

            But it didn’t:

            “Following the enactment of gun law reforms in Australia in 1996, there were no mass firearm killings through May 2016. There was a more rapid decline in firearm deaths between 1997 and 2013 compared with before 1997, but also a decline in total nonfirearm suicide and homicide deaths of a greater magnitude.”

            See figures G, H, and I from Jama report.

            https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/2530362

          3. You are ignoring the information contained in my link such as the homicide rate in NYC is lower than London or more importantly, thus Australia has removed the important check against tyranny without a true benefit of creating a safer society:

            Yes, as with the gun-happy United States, the murder rate is down in Australia. It’s dropped 31 percent from a rate of 1.6 per 100,000 people in 1994 to 1.1 per 100,000 in 2012.But it’s the only serious crime that saw a consistent decline post-ban.
            In fact, according to the Australian government’s own statistics, a number of serious crimes peaked in the years after the ban. Manslaughter, sexual assault, kidnapping, armed robbery, and unarmed robbery all saw peaks in the years following the ban, and most remain near or above pre-ban rates. The effects of the 1996 ban on violent crime are, frankly, unimpressive at best.
            It’s even less impressive when again compared to America’s decrease in violent crime over the same period. According to data from the U.S. Justice Department, violent crime fell nearly 72 percent between 1993 and 2011. Again, this happened as guns were being manufactured and purchased at an ever-increasing rate.

          4. the homicide rate in NYC is lower than London

            Except for the homicide rate in NYC is not lower than London. It might have been for a few months last year, but annualized figures still show NYC is higher than London:

            Why London’s Murder Rate Is Not Higher Than NYC’s

            With regards to other violent crimes, here is the data for Australia:

            https://aic.gov.au/publications/tandi/tandi359

            Homicide = down
            Assault = slightly up
            Sexual assault = roughly flat (no meaningful change)
            Robbery = increased

            Violent crime with body counts are the most meaningful. An increase in the rate can be a result of increased reporting, not necessarily an increase in incidence. It is difficult to know whether that is the case. That is why the most important metric, homicides and suicides, show a clear downward trend. And as the Jama report shows, the slope of the trend changed after 1996 gun law.

            You are making a huge logical leap when you imply that decreased guns resulted in more robberies/assaults. This is what the Australian government attributes to the increased robberies (hint: it’s drugs):

            “Robberies are often committed to help finance drug purchases (Chilvers & Weatherburn 2004) and consequently, shifting patterns in drug availability and cost influence the prevalence of robberies. Changes in heroin supply are thought to have contributed to the rapid rise and then decline in robbery rates in New South Wales between 2000 and 2002 (Chilvers & Weatherburn 2004)”

            For assault:

            “An increased awareness of what constitutes physical and sexual assault (particularly for assaults occurring within the family), a diminishing of associated taboos, a tendency for delayed reporting, and improved police and judicial responses to reports of assault all represent factors likely to have influenced willingness to report (Borzycki 2007; Cook, David & Grant 2001; Lievore 2003; Taylor & Mouzos 2006).”

            “The large increase in recorded assault and sexual assault among males and females aged 0-14 years could be correlated with better public understanding of child protection issues. A coinciding increase in child protection notifications and substantiations has been attributed in part to increased public awareness and hence reporting of child abuse cases (AIHW 2006). Family violence, in particular domestic violence, has also received greater attention recently from political, justice and media spheres. This is likely to have influenced some reporting behaviour among women. Most assaults against women are perpetrated by a partner or family member; almost half (46%) of women physically assaulted since the age of 15 were assaulted by a current or ex-partner and 37 percent by a family member (ABS 2006b).”

            In other words, the narrative that you are painting of gun violence going down as a result of Australia’s gun laws being passed in 1996 but other crimes going up as a result is not supported by the data.

      2. Dems had a majority in both houses during the first two years of the Obama administration. But failed to pass any gun laws. Though they had been expected to.

        That was back when they still remembered 1994 and considered guns a third rail. Now that memory has been lost and we get to go around again with a new generation of Ds.

        1. The thing is that there is consensus on stuff like red flag laws and universal background checks with GOP and dems. It is the NRA that has taken a hard-line stance. Lots of responsible gun owners I know support common sense reforms.

          1. Everybody supports common sense reforms. But nobody agrees on what that means. Trust me, there is NOT consensus on red flag laws. To some it looks like the perfect way to disarm your political enemies. There may almost be consensus on background checks if you tightly define them. Don’t assume “the GOP” speaks for the rural masses on this stuff.

  11. Dorian is a nasty storm.

    Prayers for those people in the Bahamas.

    Still watching the path. I was talking to my neighbor yesterday who was a kid when Andrew hit in 1992. His family lived in Kendall, but because Andrew was supposed to hit the Palm Beach / Broward County line they went to stay with friends whose Homestead home was a little further inland and away from the forecast landfall. The night Andrew hit the storm joggled south from the Palm Beach County line and hit Homestead.

    His memories of that storm included the roof coming off the house leaving them looking at the 180 mph rain bands in the night sky and people huddled in bathrooms praying while holding mattresses over their heads.

    His memory of the following day was seeing a dead horse with a 2 x 4 through it.

    Anyway, I’m still watching the path of Dorian.

    1. Seriously, it sounds like it’s packing a real big wallop.

      I hope everyone in the path is able to take action and evacuate or otherwise shelter up. These things sort of take immediate precedent over everything else.

    2. Imagine if we built homes that were appropriate to the region in which they’re located. In particular, with regard to the normal severe weather events that occur there.

      I spent three years stationed on Okinawa. All the houses, indeed all smaller buildings, are built from poured reinforced concrete. I sat through three typhoons in my off-base house. No dramas beyond a little water that was blasted inside around the edges of windows. The power didn’t even go out.

      But let’s keep building homes in hurricane country out of toothpicks. (eyeroll)

  12. This year’s falling mortgage rates gave house hunters more buying power. Instead, it appears buyers — unnerved by domestic and global economic uncertainty — are not willing to pay up.

    Not willing or not dumb enough? Or not able? Interest rates on 30Y are down over a 100 basis points making the payments on a 550k mortgage now about the same as on a 500k mortgage a year ago. Yet prices are still flat lining. How long will the interest rate euphoria last before another rate cut is needed to entice another wave of borrowers? A few months, my guess. And they’ll have to go back to 2005 style strawberry picker loans in CA cuz there just ain’t nobody left who can afford this sh*t.

    1. It doesn’t even matter if anybody’s left who can “afford” it, once it’s common knowledge that prices are crashing, all the speculators will disappear en masse along with those end users with even a modicum of common sense, driving prices into the cellar.

      1. Exactly. When the tide resides in to the point everyone sees it, they won’t be running for a swim

    1. I’m looking forward to observing how Europe handles the permanent underclass it has imported.

        1. Probably more lighthandedly than we handle ours.

          For now. But I expect things to change slowly…and then all at once.

    1. Uber, Lyft etc., are the darlings of fauxgressives i.e. the BJ Clintons, CHR Clintons, Oscamas and Bidens of the world. They are not progressives, they are more like socially moderate (not even here are they really liberal) right-wingers.

  13. BACKLASH AS ACTRESS ‘THANKS’ CHURCH FOR CALLING BLACK TRUMP VOTERS ‘MENTALLY ILL’

    Debra Messing under fire for suggesting black Americans shouldn’t vote for who they want

    Sputnik – SEPTEMBER 1, 2019

    The 51-year-old actress, perhaps best known for her role on the award-winning sitcom Will & Grace, replied “Thank You #Alabama” to a tweet about a sign placed near the New Era Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, reading: “A black vote for Trump is mental illness.”

    The other side of the sign says, “A white vote for Trump is pure racism.”

    https://www.infowars.com/backlash-as-actress-thanks-church-for-calling-black-trump-voters-mentally-ill/

    1. “Messing, a global ambassador for the non-profit Population Services International, which seeks to improve health in developing countries, has joined her Will & Grace co-star Eric McCormack in a push for the media to out Hollywood attendees of an upcoming Beverly Hills fundraiser for Donald Trump.”

      “’Please print a list of all attendees please. The public has a right to know,’ she replied to a post about the event by The Hollywood Reporter.”

      “McCormack earlier floated the same idea, calling on the magazine to ‘report on everyone attending this event, so the rest of us can be clear about who we don’t wanna work with.’”

        1. How do we get people to a point where they know having 2 healthy children is better then having 7 starving ones?

          1. The idea is that the 7 starving children are more likely to look after you in your old age than the two healthy ones.

  14. We’ve been puzzling over what kind of investor would buy negative yield bonds.

    Turns out it’s primarily investors who own money printing presses that buys them.

    1. The Financial Times
      Charts that Matter Bunds
      Why Germany’s bond market is increasingly hard to trade
      Shortage of tradable Bunds reflects huge ownership by banks and central banks
      A sign in front the Deutsche Bundesbank, or German Central Bank, is seen in Frankfurt, Germany, on Tuesday, Oct. 6, 2009.
      Investors seeking income from German bonds have hit a wall © Bloomberg
      Tommy Stubbington 40 minutes ago

      After a record-breaking rally in bond markets, all of Germany’s government debt now trades at sub-zero yields. That raises an important question: what kind of investors are happy to hoover up bonds that guarantee a loss if they are held to maturity?

      One answer is that investors — in the sense of fund managers seeking to generate a return on their clients’ money — do not actually own very much of the German bond market.

      An analysis by Union Investment, a Frankfurt-based asset manager, shows that the overall value of Bunds outstanding has been falling slightly since 2014 thanks to Germany’s aversion to running budget deficits. But the volume of freely tradable Bunds on the market has fallen much more sharply, and is expected to drop below €70bn by 2024 down from more than €600bn a decade earlier.

      The precipitous drop has been caused by the rise of a class of bondholders typically indifferent to the level of yields. These include foreign reserve managers at central banks, financial institutions that since the crisis have had to hold ever larger piles of government bonds to meet regulatory requirements, and the German central bank itself. The Bundesbank holds more than €350bn of Bunds as a result of the European Central Bank’s quantitative easing programme.

    2. Is it safe to assume the central bankers will never unwind the balance sheet buildup left behind by quantitative easing? As if they did, bubbles would pop and markets would tumble.

    1. Oil falls as US, China add more tariffs in trade war
      Published 3 hours ago
      Updated 14 min ago
      Reuters
      Key Points
      – Brent crude was down 27 cents, or 0.5%, at $58.98 a barrel by 0324 GMT.
      – U.S. oil was down 2 cents at $55.083 at barrel.

      Oil prices were lower on Monday after new tariffs imposed by the United States and China came into force, raising concerns about a further hit to global growth and demand for crude.

      Brent crude was down 27 cents, or 0.5%, at $58.98 a barrel by 0324 GMT, while U.S. oil was down 2 cents at $55.083 at barrel.

      The United States began imposing 15% tariffs on a variety of Chinese goods on Sunday — including footwear, smart watches and flat-panel televisions — as China put new duties on U.S. crude, the latest escalation in a bruising trade war.

      U.S. President Donald Trump said the sides would still meet for talks later this month.

      Trump, writing on Twitter, said his goal was to reduce U.S. reliance on China and he again urged American companies to find alternate suppliers outside China.

      Beijing’s levy of 5% on U.S. crude marks the first time the fuel had been targeted since the world’s two largest economies started their trade war more than a year ago.

      “The trade and tariff overhang is inescapable for oil markets, so while trade uncertainties persist, it will be difficult for oil to shrug off concerns about the threat to global demand,” said Stephen Innes, Asia Pacific market strategist at AxiTrader.

    2. “Any thoughts on how far crude will drop before the trade war ends?”
      Unless there are more Yellen bux created, it cannot drop below the cost of producing oil in the Permian for more than a few weeks which is the time it takes to drill a new well. You lose 60% of the production, or mor, of a shale well per year so it takes a lot of new wells to even keep production level. The era of drilling wells at a loss seems to have ended after burning through about $250 billion in capital.

  15. Globalists presidents making law changes with the help of globalists in Congress completely which are ignored by the MSM controlled by the globalists. Now, we will have people on this blog criticize the source. They should be asking why they have never seen this story in sources such as the NYT. There are lies by omission. Everyday the MSM leaves out material information from their publications which does not fit the narrative that globalism is good. Why do our tax laws support the hiring of non-Americans over Americans?
    https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2019/09/01/exclusive-hilarie-gamm-15-percent-discount/

  16. China sure could use pork from the US. Contrary to what you hear from some on this blog there really isn’t an unlimited amount of agricultural products which can be substituted for US exports. China is shooting itself in the foot trying to shoot at us. It is not a good time to be a cat or dog in China. Of course, it seldom has been. Socialism and rationing they just seem to go together.
    https://www.aljazeera.com/ajimpact/chinese-city-rationing-curb-rampant-pork-prices-190902065924614.html

      1. “It’s not like Brazil can just double it’s production overnight.”
        Or ever unless it burns down the entire Amazon. Even then, it cannot sustain the production due to soil conditions.

    1. Norway is an example of the direction where most of the developed world is heading in the shift from ICE cars to EV. They have just done a better job of capturing the negative externalities of the tailpipe emissions. They have not distorted the market. Rather, they have taken away the subsidies implicit in having combustion engines release tailpipe emissions.

      1. co2 emissions are net beneficial for the world, plants need even more co2 than there is in the atmosphere for optimal growth, there is no subsidy for pollution which even comes close to what Norway is spending. I will concede a minor subsidy for real pollutants still being released and not be accounted for but we can reduce them in ICEs for probably one percent of what we are spending on electric cars. Also, I think many developed countries are cutting back on the wasteful EV subsidies:
        https://www.yahoo.com/finance/news/electric-car-boom-could-over-170000182.html

        1. EVs won’t need subsidies to compete. Parity is going to be there with gas cars in 2-3 years. Tesla will have no tax credit in the US by the end of this year. They are selling every one that comes off the line. Even in my little city it’s amazing how many new model 3s we see all around the town. Even picking up my kid from pre-school there are 2 other model 3s.

          China just exempted Teslas from sales tax last week. It is still applied to foreign gas cars. That is huge. They are going to sell a ton of Teslas in China once the factory starts up in a few weeks.

        2. Economics of Electric Vehicles Mean Oil’s Days As A Transport Fuel Are Numbered

          “The future is not looking bright for oil, according to a new report that claims the commodity would have to be priced at $10-$20 a barrel to remain competitive as a transport fuel.”

          “The new research, from BNP Paribas, says that the economics of renewable energy make it impossible for oil to compete at current prices. The author of the report, global head of sustainability Mark Lewis, says that “renewable electricity has a short-run marginal cost of zero, is cleaner environmentally, much easier to transport and could readily replace up to 40% of global oil demand.”

  17. Key passage from the Norway article:

    The likelihood of purchasing an EV is 15 times higher for the richest 25% of Norwegian households as compared to the bottom 25%. Since the purchase price of an EV is cheaper than an ICE car in Norway that discrepancy can not be explained by the initial cost barrier. The fact that 84% of the richest households own at least one additional ICE car against only 21% of the poorest households seems to indicate that without access to a second ICE car, owning an EV – despite all the incentives – is less appealing to the average person. This is most likely due to EVs inherent limitations as compared to ICE cars. In many ways, Norway’s EV support policy is a second car discount and living cost subsidy mechanism for the rich.

    1. How expensive is the Ford F-150? The MSRP of that these days qualifies for a luxury vehicle in many cases, and it’s the most popular vehicle in the US. It also has a competitive advantage in that trucks from oversees are have import taxes whereas passenger cars do not.

      In any event, it looks like Ford just announced that they are bringing their EV version of the F-150 to market before 2022. They are moving up their timeline. Good for them. I hope they sell a ton.

      1. The reason the F150 sells the most is because of fleet sales, which have nothing to do with household income. You really need to think things through before you post them.

  18. The reason the F150 sells the most is because of fleet sales, which have nothing to do with household income.

    What percentage of Ford’s sales are fleet sales? The best data I could find show 32%, and that has been falling. I think there are lot of weekend warrior types, construction, trades, etc. that buy the F-150. In my neck of the woods, even girlfriends of drive them to and from Crossfit.

    In any event, let’s say that fleet sales mean a lot. I’m sure they do. But those fleet sales can switch, just like that police force in Iowa that is trading in their Dodge Chargers for Tesla model 3s.

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