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If The Big Guys Can’t Pay The Rent, Who Will Move In?

A report from the Milwaukee Biz Times in Wisconsin. “Barrett Lo Visionary Development, the real estate development firm that has been working for years to build a 44-story luxury apartment building at a site near the lakefront in downtown Milwaukee, on Friday paid its delinquent property tax bill for the site. Barrett Lo’s tax bill of $353,796.57 for the site was due on Jan. 31 The firm has been charged $47,762.54 in interest since then, bringing the total amount owed to $401,559.11.”

“In a statement issued earlier this week, Barrett Lo described the property tax delinquency for the site as ‘an oversight on our part that we were made aware of on (Oct. 4),’ the statement said. Barrett has said publicly that his firm needs to secure $15 million in financing to get construction going for The Couture. When asked by BizTimes for an update on efforts to obtain the final financing for The Couture, Barrett said, ‘We’re working on it. We’re doing really well.'”

The Davis Enterprise in California. “In April, a housing agency leasing apartments mainly to UC Davis students from China quietly stopped forwarding the students’ rent to heir apartments, setting off a chain of events a lawyer would later call the ‘most interesting case’ she has ever worked on.”

“After the agency, WeHousing, neglected to give the students’ April rent money to the apartments, property managers at nine Davis apartment complexes served a total of about 100 students eviction notices. ‘It was a big shock,’ said Guanlin Li, a computer science student from China who had paid that month’s rent to WeHousing as usual.”

“According to WeHousing founder Alan Gao, the company went into debt after failing to fill about a third of their units for the year. The company leased apartments in Davis as well as in several other college towns across the country. In April, some of those loans came due. ‘For April and May, we used most of the rents collected to pay off loans,’ Gao said.”

“Gao told media outlets and apartment managers the company wanted to get out of its contracts with the apartments to limit future losses. However, accounts by students, property managers and lawyers indicate that Gao did everything in his power to prevent the apartments from terminating the contracts, thereby forcing the property managers to ‘evict’ the company in order to get their units back.”

“‘If he wanted to walk away, he could,’ Kevin Schultz, the onsite manager at the Drake Apartments. ‘Instead, he’s demanding the residents continue to pay him while he doesn’t intend to pay us.'”

“While the terms are clearly stated in the WeHousing contracts, students said they had no idea they were entering into an unusual type of housing agreement and signing away their rights. ‘WeHousing didn’t explain anything about license versus landlord,’ said Kang Sheng, a UCLA student from Singapore. ‘I don’t think any of us expected anything more complicated.’ Many of the students signed the contracts before arriving in the U.S.”

“Several months after moving in, Sheng said, he realized there was something odd about the housing agreement. ‘WeHousing rented out the living room. Then there were situations where people would come and stay for a night and then leave. We didn’t know who they were,’ Sheng said. ‘We felt personally unsafe.'”

The West Side Rag in New York. “Duane Reade will be closing its three-level store at 325 Columbus Avenue on 75th Street, the company said in a sign on the door. The news comes after two other chains closed on the same block — Starbucks shuttered its cafe across the street earlier this year, and Chase Bank announced in September that it was closing its branch on the north half of the Duane Reade block.”

“Locals are getting nervous — if the big guys can’t pay the rent, or don’t want to, who will move in? Our tipster Kevin, who sent the photo above, worried that few business can make it in the area anymore. ‘If Duane Reade, Chase, and Starbucks all can’t operate profitably here, how can anything survive? I’m not sure what the landlords of these addresses are planning on for the future, but these are very large spaces with massive rents and I imagine they’ll need to subdivide it. If it wasn’t for Asset opening and Da Capo, this block would look post-apocalyptic.'”

This Post Has 141 Comments
  1. ‘Barrett Lo’s tax bill of $353,796.57 for the site was due on Jan. 31 The firm has been charged $47,762.54 in interest since then, bringing the total amount owed to $401,559.11…Barrett Lo described the property tax delinquency for the site as ‘an oversight on our part that we were made aware of on (Oct. 4)’

    Yeah, that 350k tax bill just got forgotten. Happens all the time.

  2. ‘Several months after moving in, Sheng said, he realized there was something odd about the housing agreement. ‘WeHousing rented out the living room. Then there were situations where people would come and stay for a night and then leave. We didn’t know who they were,’ Sheng said. ‘We felt personally unsafe’

    So is anybody else starting to think all this co-this-and-that is a bunch of horse-hockey used to separate fools from their money?

    “Ding dong: Hi, I’m here to sleep in your living room. Where’s the bathroom, I gotta take a dump.”

    1. Yes, I absolutely do.

      On the other hand, I do have some sympathy for foreign students who have to find housing in a strange new country. They don’t know the norms and customs, are young and dumb, and are just easy marks in general. I’ve been an exchange student and I know I’ve overpaid for accommodations, much to my dismay. At the end of the day, this is just the next evolution of the same crappy kinds of things humans have been doing to each other forever. It’s not different this time, it’s just sad and pathetic.

      1. “On the other hand, I do have some sympathy for foreign students who have to find housing in a strange new country. They don’t know the norms and customs, are young and dumb, …”

        Young and dumb: Two characteristics that go well together.

        “… and are just easy marks in general.”

        IOW, God’s gift.

        “At the end of the day, this is just the next evolution of the same crappy kinds of things humans have been doing to each other forever. It’s not different this time, …”

        Meaning the beat goes on?

        “… it’s just sad and pathetic.”

        And quite profitable.

  3. “ Locals are getting nervous — if the big guys can’t pay the rent, or don’t want to, who will move in? ”

    ” Our tipster Kevin, who sent the photo above, worried that few business can make it in the area anymore. ”

    ” ‘If Duane Reade, Chase, and Starbucks all can’t operate profitably here, how can anything survive? I’m not sure what the landlords of these addresses are planning on for the future, but these are very large spaces with massive rents and I imagine they’ll need to subdivide it. If it wasn’t for Asset opening and Da Capo, this block would look post-apocalyptic.’ ”

    – Simple math: a) rents are too darn high + b) NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Socialist/Communist economics (think minimum wage laws, rent control, sanctuary status, homeless policies, etc.) = collapse of the free market system, store/retail closings, and empty streets.

    – Example of NYC’s continuing Socialist/Communist insanity:

    “The city of New York’s Commission on Human Rights has decided that illegal aliens need more protection from the law than American citizens. So they passed an ordinance that not only makes it illegal to threaten to call immigration authorities on a suspected illegal, but you could be fined $250,000 just for saying “illegal alien.”
    This is not The Onion.”

    – This is NYC, but could be/soon to be/is virtually any Democrat-controlled metro anywhere in the U.S. A microcosm of the Socialist “experiment” playing out in a city near you. Think SF, CA, or Chicago, IL, or Baltimore, MD, or LA, CA, or … and you get the idea.

    Frank Sinatra – New York, New York Lyrics

    Start spreading the news
    I am leaving today
    I want to be a part of it
    New York, New York

    If I can make it there
    I’ll make it anywhere
    It’s up to you
    New York, New York

    – Good luck with that!

    1. you could be fined $250,000 just for saying “illegal alien.”

      There is a unique opportunity here to pair this type of speech crime with autonomous driving and speech recognition technology.

    2. Simple math: a) rents are too darn high + b) NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Socialist/Communist economics (think minimum wage laws, rent control, sanctuary status, homeless policies, etc.) = collapse of the free market system, store/retail closings, and empty streets.

      I don’t consider minimum wage laws socialist/communist. Those who want the absolute cheapest labor ever want illegal immigration working under the table and whose legal status is so precarious that they can take advantage of them.

      As for retail/store closings, I think this is kind of an example in which the free market is working, albeit with a lag. One doesn’t get any rent from empty storefronts. The only reason they don’t lower the rent is because they are wishing/hoping/waiting for someone to come sign a lease at the inflated asking price. When those don’t show up though, things will change.

      1. 1) Rents are too high because of false market signals and assoc. major misallocation of capital.

        2) Minimum wage set by fiat vs. free market leads to store closings and/or automation. Kills small businesses and employment.

        3) Both are inflationary and could be prevented by ending the Fed and their toxic meddling/interventions that started this mess in the first place. Regulated (think referee) free markets (which we don’t have anymore) work. Socialism, as shown by history, always fails. With this knowledge, the economic disaster unfolding in NYC could have been avoided altogether. And yet here we are…

        1. Rent control laws will only worsen the situation, by creating a disincentive for would-be landlords to provide rental housing, coupled with an economic incentive for the remaining landlords to charge the highest legally allowable rent on their places. The results are (1) less rental housing currently available; (2) higher rents on the rental housing that remains available; (3) a long-term death spiral in available rental housing, due to current tenants choosing to never leave in order to keep their rents low (similar dynamic to current owners never leaving once they have locked in their Prop. 13 basis).

        2. I agree with you on free markets, but I think we have to accept there will be ups and downs in any system. Failing to accept that is what leads to all the regulations that make things worse.

          1. I view minimum wage as a form of regulated markets.

            I see it as a way to “unionize” the bottom rung.

      2. “Those who want the absolute cheapest labor ever want illegal immigration working under the table and whose legal status is so precarious that they can take advantage of them.”

        Minimum wage laws are a great way to increase demand for illegal immigrant labor.

        1. There will always be a race to the bottom for some people. All the more reason to have an E-verify system and have stiff penalties for employers who hire illegal immigrants.

    3. This is a problem everywhere — too much commercial real estate was built during the last cycle. Way too much, in the face of a future of e-commerce shopping options.

      1. What gets me with retail space is how greedy the landlords appear to be given that they have no problem letting the shops/storefront sit empty and vacant for a long time after pricing their prior tenants out of business at that locations. Is there some tax relief when that happens or other perverse incentive?

        We’re seeing a lot of that here in my zip code which has a small, fixed amount of retail zoned, with a number of long time local businesses going away – though the plan here for many might be to sell out and put a maximum size apartment building on the land. (which has its own issues peculiar to being on an island)

        1. What gets me with retail space

          Why should the dynamic be different from everything else in the property mania? The price of the property itself should appreciate far more than warranted by the meager income of long term lease to a business that has to actually make a profit.

          Some years ago here we discussed the Starbucks model, where corporate “profits” were mostly from appreciation of its real estate rather than margin on sale of product.

    4. “NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio’s Socialist/Communist economics (think minimum wage laws, rent control, sanctuary status, homeless policies, etc.)”

      Substitute Governor Gavin Newsom for the NYC mayor, and you have a nice synopsis of the California ecopalypse.

        1. I don’t buy the idea that rent control always exacerbates housing problem. I think a lot of the impact is in the details.

          Before DJT came into the office, the conventional wisdom was that tariffs were unquestionably damaging to the economy. But I think a more nuanced view of tariffs and trade is emerging. I predict a more nuanced view of rent control will emerge too. It may well be that it is very bad in some situations, but neutral or even positive in others.

          1. “I don’t buy the idea that rent control always exacerbates housing problem.”

            You disagree with a majority of professional economists on this, as well as economic theory and empirical evidence from places where rent controls have been in force.

            But you are certainly entitled to your opinion.

          2. I personally think modern medicine has it all wrong, and we should go back to using leeches for bloodletting purposes.

            Control your instincts
            Rent control will make housing shortages worse
            The latest trend in housing policy will compound decades of failure
            Print edition | Leaders
            Sep 19th 2019

            THE OVER-REGULATION of homebuilding in and around thriving cities is one of the great economic-policy failures of recent times. In London the median full-time employee renting the median two-bedroom flat works nearly half the year just to pay the landlord. In San Francisco rent is so high that a four-person household with an income of $129,000 might still qualify for federal handouts. Housing shortages like these have helped suck wealth away from young renters, fuelling tension between the generations. Supply restrictions have a high economic cost—by one estimate, curbs in just three successful cities lower overall GDP in the United States by almost 4%. As more and more voters find themselves on the losing end of property markets, they have also generated a political backlash. In America and Europe politicians are thus under pressure to reduce housing costs.

            A rethink of housing policy is certainly overdue. Many of the new ideas are welcome, for example more building and recognition of the harm wrought by NIMBYism (the attitude of homeowners campaigning against nearby developments). Britain has improved the regulation of rental contracts, a vital component of a functional housing market. Unfortunately, at the same time an old and rotten idea is being resurrected—rent controls. If these proliferate, they will, just like rules that stymie building, skewer property-market outsiders and protect favoured residents.

          3. “Rent control” always does exactly what it was always intended to do.

            Don’t listen any bleeding hearts who promote it using the language of keeping housing costs regulated and low and to make it more affordable to the less fortunate. This is only a red herring and a smokescreen.

            Look instead at what “rent control” actually accomplishes, which is always the exact opposite of this, and which is the result it was intended to achieve from the outset — to gentrify communities for the benefit of the extremely wealthy, and to drive out of the communities the less affluent people the proponents claim it was put in place to help.

            “Don’t bother to examine a folly — ask yourself only what it accomplishes.”

            — Ellsworth M. Toohey

          4. I think you nailed the reason why rent control appeals to wealthy elites, such as California Governor Gavin Newsom. On the face of it, the policy is to help the underprivileged, but in practice, it helps wealthy renters keep their living expenses down, while keeping the riffraff out of their neighborhoods.

          5. You disagree with a majority of professional economists on this, as well as economic theory and empirical evidence from places where rent controls have been in force.

            I acknowledge it is not mainstream economic policy. But then again, every major economist always thought tariffs were harmful and free trade was good. It is only recently that new, more nuanced research questioning the sacred cow of free trade and even tariffs and qualifying its benefits in certain instances.

            I imagine that rent control will be similar. The rent control measures I have seen put in place recently seem very benign because they limit rent increases to something like 5-7% per year and just seem to offer more modest tenant protections. They don’t seem to be as draconian as some of the earlier rent control measures which were associated with housing shortages. I imagine in the next 5 years we will have some data that paints a more nuanced picture of rent control.

          6. You disagree with a majority of . . . . But you are certainly entitled to your opinion.

            🤣

          7. rent control always exacerbates housing problem

            Government control of prices tends to make the price controlled thing unavailable.

      1. The Wall Street Journal
        Opinion Letters
        No End in Sight for California Homeless Mess
        Mental illness, addiction and the release of thousands of prisoners, all undoubtedly contribute to the current California homeless situation, but the core of the problem is supply and demand.
        Oct. 1, 2019 3:48 pm ET
        A homeless man sleeps in front of recycling bins and garbage on a street corner in San Francisco, Aug. 21. Photo: Jeff Chiu/Associated Press

        Regarding your editorial “California’s Hobo Paradise” (Sept. 24): Mental illness, addiction and the release of thousands of prisoners, all undoubtedly contribute to the current California homeless situation, but the core of the problem is supply and demand. The Golden State has a 3.5 million unit dwelling deficit, and last year constructed just 125,000 new homes.

        California’s dirty little secret is that its housing shortage, and the homeless crisis it created, persist because every current California homeowner and most politicians have a vested interest in maintaining the status quo. For the truly wealthy, it is a matter of scenery, proximity and density. No tech titan or Hollywood celebrity wants his or her views blighted with affordable housing. Likewise, while they are all publicly concerned with economic disparity and childhood poverty, elites want neither anywhere near their own progeny. Finally, like everyone else, they desire no more traffic than they currently endure.

        Most politicians, beholden to wealthy donors, acquiesce to their wishes. Even those politicians who try to improve the situation inevitably shoot themselves in the foot. Watch the effects of statewide rent control worsen the problem.

        Any student of OPEC or De Beers realizes that California’s housing shortage isn’t organic, but purposeful. The shortage, and the homeless crisis it begets, will remain until the housing supply dramatically increases. The day before you published this editorial, Gov. Gavin Newsom, speaking at the U.N., noted how humiliating he found the current presidential administration. Evidently the governor is more embarrassed by President Trump then the fact that 130,000 of his fellow Californians permanently reside outside, like livestock. Perhaps that, too, is part of the problem.

        Ronda Ross
        Austin, Texas

        1. The Golden State has a 3.5 million unit dwelling deficit…130,000 of his fellow Californians permanently reside outside

          So, you have to build 3.5 million houses to get 130K people off the street?

          If I were living on welfare, I don’t think I’d pitch my tent in a big California city.

          1. It never freezes and seldom rains in Coastal California cities. Given favorable weather and generous provision of food and other essentials, against the great challenge of earning sufficient income to afford a limited-supply rent controlled dwelling plus pay exorbitant taxes on your earnings, it is no surprise that Coastal California has a large concentration of homeless residents.

          2. it is no surprise that Coastal California has a large concentration of homeless residents ??

            +1 Pbear but that’s not the meme that many here want to use like the one you responded to…

          3. it is no surprise that Coastal California has a large concentration of homeless residents?

            A couple of weeks ago someone linked to a good progressive discussion about housing and homelessness in California and the host and the guest basically dismantled the idea that CA homeless were coming from outside states and they used data to show it.

            Does anyone remember what the name of this podcast show was? It seemed to be a good show and it was a favorite of one poster here. I listened to that one episode and found it very enlightening.

        2. While that is certainly nice and progressive, especially coming from someone 1500 miles away, the truth the MSM seems determined not to print is that more and more working, tax-paying citizens are really fed up with the homeless that choose to live that life and are a blight and prey on law-abiding citizens. The filth, crime, drugs and now increasing violence are being treated as a protected right by left-leaning, left-coast local politicians (who don’t have to put up with the mess they condone).

          More and more on places like Nextdoor and local subreddits, I am seeing whispers, allusions and ‘discussions’ to calls for vigilante means of striking back.. literally.. The gen Y/Z SJWs don’t seem to understand oblique references to things like the 1970s Charles Bronson movies and the like.

          1. oblique references to things like the 1970s Charles Bronson movies and the like

            They would we lost on this Gen-Xer as well.

          2. They would we lost on this Gen-Xer as well.

            You’re not missing much. BUT…be aware that big population centers really can become hell holes if things get bad. That was the big message of the movies of that era for me.

          3. oblique references to things like the 1970s Charles Bronson movies and the like

            You’re not missing much. BUT…be aware that big population centers really can become hell holes if things get bad. That was the big message of the movies of that era for me.

            Part of the plot was that the residents had to “take matters into their own hands” to fight back and kick out the crooks/thugs/gangs that terrorized their neighborhood, and if extra-legal means were involved so be it, because the police were of zero help to protect them.

            In Seattle, a big beef is that the City Council has effectively declared that prosecutors cant prosecute homeless criminals (unless it makes the national news). So property crime and robbery/attacks have soared as the homeless addicts know that there are zero consequences. If they are caught, they are released the next day. Sucks to be a normal citizen or run a business where that’s happening and no one in power seems to want to change that.

            https://crosscut.com/2019/02/report-seattle-needs-reform-end-revolving-door-between-jail-and-homelessness

          4. it is no surprise that Coastal California has a large concentration of homeless residents ??

            The weather has not significantly changed in the last ten years, the number of homeless and their behavior has which is the direct result of governmental policies. The policies not to incarcerate for low level crime and the creation of sanctuary cities are two of the biggest changes.

          5. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/1984_New_York_City_Subway_shooting#Perpetrator
            Thought of Bernie Goetz after seeing Joker. I saw him on Canal Street a few years after the shooting. The first sketches in the paper looked like my brother, so we all were teasing him and asking where he was that night.

            I thought that Joker is a Falling Down, Taxi Driver, King of Comedy and this incident amalgam. It was strange because of that, but I enjoyed it anyway.

      2. Is California trying to scare away its wealthiest citizens, to make room for more homeless residents?

        Personal Finance
        Published 4 days ago
        California tax hike caused ‘significant’ out-migration of top-bracket millionaire residents, study shows
        By Brittany De Lea
        FOXBusiness
        The flaws in the left’s push to tax the wealthy

        It’s not just federal tax changes that drive residents from high- to low-income tax states – turns out hiking statewide taxes on the wealthy drives them out in droves, too.

        A new study published on Monday showed that when California raised its income tax rates it caused a “substantial one-time out-migration response” among wealthy residents, who left for lower-tax destinations.

        The study looked at increases to state income tax rates approved by California voters in Nov. 2012 (Proposition 30) of one to three percentage points for upper-income households. It raised the top marginal tax rate to 13.3 percent for incomes of more than $1 million.

        The new rates were retroactively applied to 2012 and scheduled to expire at the end of 2018. They have since been extended through 2030.

        The study found a consequent “sharp uptick” in wealthy taxpayer departures in 2013 when compared with previous years, particularly among those earning between $2 million to $5 million and more than $5 million.

        1. and scheduled to expire at the end of 2018. They have since been extended through 2030

          Don’t ever believe a tax will be “sunsetted”, or that any income/$ limit won’t be applied to you someday.

  4. ‘For April and May, we used most of the rents collected to pay off loans,’ Gao said.”

    A Ponzi scheme (/ˈpɒnzi/, Italian: [ˈpontsi]; also a Ponzi game) is a form of fraud that lures investors and pays profits to earlier investors with funds from more recent investors. … The scheme is named after Charles Ponzi, who became notorious for using the technique in the 1920s.

    1. “For April and May, we used most of the rents collected to pay off loans,’ Gao said.”

      See? Bankers get paid no matter what.

      Bankers rule.

    1. – I dunno, this old nursery rhyme seems apropos somehow…
      “The five stages of grief and loss”, perhaps?

      – The reality is I probably need more coffee before blogging! 🙂

      The 5 stages of grief and loss are:
      1. Denial and isolation;
      2. Anger;
      3. Bargaining;
      4. Depression;
      5. Acceptance.
      People who are grieving do not necessarily go through the stages in the same order or experience all of them.

      “This little piggy went to the market,
      This little piggy stayed home,
      This little piggy had roast beef,
      This little piggy had none,
      And this little piggy cried wee wee wee all the way home.”

      1. “People who are grieving do not necessarily go through the stages in the same order or experience all of them.”

        I enjoy watching my clients experience each step as they move down the list of step and I become very disappointed if they happen to miss one of them.

        I don’t mind in what order they endure the steps just as long as they endure them all.

    2. Any connection to “We(Don’t)Work”

      If not and WeBroke had any money, it might have become a trademark dispute.

  5. I’m not sure what the landlords of these addresses are planning on for the future, but these are very large spaces with massive rents and I imagine they’ll need to subdivide it.

    Using my Nostradamus-like powers of prophesy, I can tell you exactly what’s going to happen: greedy landlords who jacked up rents that were unsustainable in our oligarch-looted economy and were thus saddled with vacant buildings, are going to be foreclosed on. These buildings will emerge from bankruptcy auctions with more astute owners who will price them for the market so they can attract and retain quality tenants.

  6. Had dinner last night with a friend whose wife is a Colorado Springs realtor. While acknowledging that Denver’s housing market is softening, she said whoever does economic forecasting for realtors is asserting that the Colorado Springs housing market will continue rising for at least another two years.

    We’ll see about that.

    1. whoever does economic forecasting for realtors and expects to continue working for said realtors is asserting that the Colorado Springs housing market will continue rising

    2. she said whoever does economic forecasting for realtors is asserting that the Colorado Springs housing market will continue rising for at least another two years

      They’re saying the same nonsense up north in Ft. Collins.

    3. “whoever does economic forecasting for realtors is asserting that the Colorado Springs housing market will continue rising“

      Good question, who feeds this economic bs forecasting to these sheep realtors? REIC paid msm shills is my guess

  7. Will poor earnings results finally catch up with Wall Street this month, or will the Fed’s NotQE bond purchase program serve to keep stocks aloft? Time will tell!

    1. The Financial Times
      Opinion The Long View
      Allure of US stocks reflects great expectations
      Investors are keen to jump in, anticipating strong outlooks, but caution is warranted
      Michael Mackenzie yesterday

      When stock investors chase after winners, it is striking how often they end up in the US.

      All of the top five stocks in the FTSE All World index by market weight are US tech giants, so it is no surprise that over the past decade, Wall Street has eclipsed rivals, driven by big tech and other leading multinationals.

      That remains the story for 2019. So far this year, the All World index excluding the US has risen around 9 per cent. Throw in the S&P 500, and the gain moves towards 15 per cent.

      Not surprisingly, broad valuation measures of US equities are elevated. Not only that, but they sit well above rivals, such as those for Europe, the UK and emerging markets. The cyclically adjusted price/earnings multiple, known as CAPE, for the S&P 500 currently trades around 29 times, compared to a historical mean of 17. In contrast, across other equity markets, the CAPE ratio is far lower. That suggests that investors with an eye on valuations and long-term returns should think seriously about areas of Europe, emerging markets and even the UK, which has been harshly downgraded within many portfolios since Brexit erupted.

      Daniel Grosvenor, equity strategist at Oxford Economics highlights how the CAPE on the MSCI All Country World Index of 19 times represents “a near record gap” with the S&P 500.

      “The US is also where valuations are currently most stretched . . . and it is also the epicentre of our concerns on corporate leverage given the prevalence of share buybacks in recent years,” he warns.

    2. The Financial Times
      On Wall Street Corporate bonds
      Beware of paying too steep a price for high-quality assets
      The run into ‘safe’ instruments is starting to look like a stampede
      Robin Wigglesworth yesterday

      “There are no bad assets, only bad prices” is an adage on Wall Street. It is something that investors herding into supposedly safe, stable corners of financial markets should bear in mind.

      With most big economies spluttering and the post-crisis bull market looking vulnerable, it is natural that many fund managers are looking for safety, first and foremost. The latest run of economic data from Europe and the US has been discouraging, and the IMF will next week lower its global growth forecasts, underscoring a mounting sense of pessimism.

      If a deep downturn is looming — as some investors believe — then stocks in more economically sensitive industries such as banking and luxury goods, or bonds issued by lowly rated, heavily indebted companies, will probably suffer a beating.

    3. Is more and bigger hair-of-the-dog debt-funded stimulus the only thing that can save us from the CR8R?

      The Financial Times
      Opinion Global Economy
      Global economy is at risk from a monetary policy black hole
      Governments should borrow more to stave off secular stagnation
      Lawrence Summers
      Kristalina Georgieva, managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), pauses while speaking ahead of the IMF and World Bank Group Annual Meetings in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, Oct. 8, 2019. Georgieva, in her first major address as head of the IMF, painted a downbeat picture of the world economy and said a more severe slowdown could require governments to coordinate fiscal-stimulus measures.
      Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg
      The new managing director of the IMF, Kristalina Georgieva, has warned that economic growth globally is decelerating
      © Bloomberg
      Lawrence Summers yesterday

      New IMF managing director Kristalina Georgieva’s first speech makes bracing reading for the global financial community as it gathers this coming week in Washington for the annual IMF and World Bank meetings. Ms Georgieva noted that while two years ago growth was accelerating in 75 per cent of the world, the IMF now expects it to decelerate in nearly 90 per cent of the global economy in 2019 to the lowest level in a decade.

      This shift into reverse comes as central banks in Europe and Japan have embraced negative interest rates and investors expect further rate cuts from the US Federal Reserve. Bonds worth more than $15tn are trading with negative yields.

      If the primary problem were on the supply side, one would expect to see upward price pressure. Instead, despite loose fiscal and monetary policy, central banks in the industrialised world have as a group fallen well short of their inflation targets for a decade and markets project that this will continue.

      Europe and Japan are engaged in black hole monetary policy. Without a major discontinuity, there is no prospect of policy rates returning to positive territory. The US appears to be one recession away from entering the same black hole. If so, the whole industrialised world would be providing at best negligible and often negative returns to risk-free savings and falling short of growth and inflation targets. It would also have to maintain financial stability amid increased incentives for leverage and risk-taking.

      1. Thanks to Trump and his American first policies the US has one of strongest economies. Thus, the globalists’ problem. The Fed worked hard to slow down the US economy and originally wanted a 2020 recession. However, the Fed slowed the world’s economy to the point of recession and drove the rest of the developed world into near or in recession conditions. NOW, the Fed is trying to save the world without helping Trump too much.

    4. The Wall Street Journal
      Markets
      Dim Earnings Outlook Poses Peril For Stocks
      Some companies scale back expectations as investors grow more cautious
      By Gunjan Banerji
      Oct. 6, 2019 10:00 am ET
      The outlook for third-quarter corporate profits is darkening, a threat to further derail a stock market that is already off to the worst start to a quarter since 2016.

      A flurry of earnings reports in coming weeks will mark the latest test for stocks after a rocky stretch of economic data

    5. Will there be a ‘morning after’ Friday’s trade agreement euphoria?

      Looking on the bright side, a big crash between now and December 24 could create a tremendous opportunity for dips to buy, just like last year’s.

      Trader Talk
      Wall Street has doubts after partial trade deal: ‘I don’t think this gets us to Christmas’
      Published Fri, Oct 11 2019 5:03 PM EDT
      Updated 2 hours ago
      Bob Pisani
      Key Points
      – Investors cheered a partial trade deal with China but soon realized there is no clear timeline for removing existing tariffs.
      – Chinese companies do not meet U.S. accounting standards, and there’s been no clear progress with its regulators.
      – Nevertheless, delisting Chinese companies from U.S. indexes is not an attractive option for many investors.

    6. It seems like Wall Street is hoping for a big crash, followed by a massive dips buying opportunity, like in March 2009. Why this is a desirable outcome is a mystery to me. Perhaps it is ideal for those who anticipate it and play their cards right?

      1. Markets
        Investors are flocking to money markets at the highest rate since the financial crisis
        Published Sat, Oct 12 2019 9:00 AM EDT
        Jeff Cox
        Key Points
        – Money market funds have pulled in $322 billion over the past six months, the fastest pace since the financial crisis.
        – The good news: Shortly after that gloomy period of 2008, investors had the buying opportunity of a lifetime.

        Investors are flocking to the relative safety of money market funds at the highest level since the financial crisis-era collapse of Lehman Brothers in 2008.

        The industry has pulled in $322 billion over the past six months, the fastest pace since the second half of 2008, bringing assets to nearly $3.5 trillion, according to data from FactSet and Bank of America Merrill Lynch.

        On the bright side: That was a period which preceded the buying era of a lifetime for stock market participants. In March 2009, Wall Street kicked off a bull market, still intact, that would break records for longevity.

        “You could be contrarian and say [the money market flow is] positive, because if the market actually steadies itself and there’s a detente [in the trade war], that money’s going to go back into the equity market,” said Quincy Krosby, chief market strategist at Prudential Financial. “From a contrarian standpoint, it would be helpful.”

    7. Out of the woods, or into the woods?

      Opinion: The U.S. economy isn’t out of the woods yet
      By Caroline Baum
      Published: Sept 24, 2019 1:53 p.m. ET
      Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images
      The economic data have improved, but the economy isn’t out of the woods yet.

      A funny thing happened on the way to the recession, which had been lightly penciled-in for sometime next year: the U.S. economic data showed a marked improvement.

      From housing starts and home sales to manufacturing production and jobless claims, the economic news last week was upbeat, even as the Federal Reserve administered a second dose of monetary stimulus in as many months to offset the risks from slowing global growth and a trade war.

      Does this mean we should table the forecast of a significant slowdown or possible recession in the U.S.? Is it time for the EMTs — in this case, Fed policy makers — to stand down?

      Risks aren’t abating

      Not yet, and probably not anytime soon.

      1. It the globalists thought the US economy was about to tank, there would be no impeachment effort. They would just allow the economy to tank, blame Trump and his anti-globalists policies, and watch him be voted out next November and not worry about populism anymore. By impeaching him, they know they assume the risk of a recession. It is just like if the PTB really worried about global warming, they would have pushed nuclear power plants in the 1980s when they first raised the alarm. If you are facing an imminent threat, you do not worry about dealing with nuclear waste a thousand years from now. Of course, if the threat was real Obama would not be buying beachfront property. No, like always it is not important to listen to what they say but it is critical to watch what they do.

  8. Economy and Policy
    The Economy
    The Price of Savings Glut: Negative Rates
    By Matthew C. Klein
    Oct. 11, 2019 3:46 pm ET
    Neonbrand

    About a quarter of all the bonds in the world—including some ostensibly “high yield” corporate debt with credit ratings below investment grade—now yield less than zero. Most of these bonds are issued by borrowers in Europe (excluding the United Kingdom) and Japan, with roughly 70% in those jurisdictions currently trading at negative yields. Even the beleaguered governments of Greece and Italy have managed to borrow at rates below zero.

        1. From Russian President Vladimir Putin via the New York Post:

          “I’m sure that Greta is a kind and very sincere girl. But adults must do everything not to bring teenagers and children into some extreme situations.”

          Amen. St. Greta, despite the adulation lavished on her by fawning real journalists at the behest of their globalist masters, has zero standing to lecture the world about climate change or anything else.

          1. Her handlers had to take alot of plane trips for her to avoid taking one. How’s that girl gonna get home?

          2. My guess is that either her trip home will produce a carbon footprint, or else she will swim (but even that would generate methane). Human existence in the modern world results in carbon emissions. Get over it already.

          3. 30% of Russia’s GDP is oil. Any decline in oil is very painful for them. Russia is only important as long as oil price is high. Same with many backwards Islamic states

    1. hard to find in the US press so I went to an Indian source ??

      FOX did not report it !!…My goodness…Looks like we need another meeting between Barr & Murdoch…

        1. It’s not that Fox has fundamentally morphed. As impeachment becomes more of a reality, they are distancing themselves from DJT. The Drudge Report is the same way. He is running prominent articles discussing impeachment rather than the obligatory explain-it-away puff pieces from many far right outlets. Word on the street is that Drudge has soured on DJT.

          1. No Fox has not fundamentally morphed. It has always been run by globalists. It was and is a Romney/ Paul Ryan type organization. However, Trump cares about working class conservatives and the Koch brothers failed to change him. It has nothing to do with impeachment changing Fox or Drudge. When the globalists saw Biden going down the tubes, they tried to push a war with Iran and when that failed have pivoted back to impeachment and Drudge and Fox are part of the effort since they are either run by globalists or supported by globalists. Now, the globalists see Trump getting re-elected unless they can get him out of office. They do not want this to go to the ballot box. Trump is not losing support, the mask has come off Fox and Drudge.
            Liberals have not figured out how they have been manipulated by globalist news sources. They still are getting fired up about Trans’ bathrooms. The right has figured out that the globalists play up distraction stories so they can steal the wealth of the country. The irony is the old left was against open borders and tariff free goods from countries with low wages, non-existent safety regulations and no pollution controls and now they have TDS trying to prevent Trump from fighting globalism which destroys the blue collar middle class.

          2. Liberals have not figured out how they have been manipulated by globalist news sources.

            For emphasis.

          3. As impeachment becomes more of a reality

            Just my opinion, but impeachment has been ongoing since the election. The verdict was in at the beginning. Still looking for the crime.

          4. The verdict was in at the beginning.

            Impeachment is analogous to an indictment; it is not a verdict or conviction. WRT DJT, impeachment by a D-led house was a given but conviction by a real R-led Senate is an impossibility.

          5. The verdict was in at the beginning.

            We started with a verdict. Then we made an indictment. We’re looking for a crime. Not sure if we’ll need any evidence.

            Rule of law is optional. Logic has already been discarded.

          6. “Impeachment is analogous to an indictment; it is not a verdict or conviction. WRT DJT, impeachment by a D-led house was a given but conviction by a real R-led Senate is an impossibility.”

            With Trump’s popularity any Republican Senator who votes for removal has ended his or her career. Even Democrats in red states are going to be hurt by the vote. TDS has blinded Democrats to the reality that the impeachment efforts not only make a Trump election more likely but increases the chance the Republicans take back the house. I would slightly disagree on the impossibility of removal. The Globalists can promise and deliver great wealth to anyone who is willing to do their bidding. The question is whether there are enough Republican senators who can be bought to go against the will of the people. Paul Ryan could have found the funds to build the wall when Republicans had the house. However, he was willing to walk away from his position of speaker instead of crossing the Koch brothers. He knew the overwhelming will of Republican voters and ignored it. I think that odds are heavily against removal for trying to expose corruption. The Democrats have just spent two years convincing everyone to ignore due process violations against Trump and his associates and focus on the underlying issues and now are trying to pivot where there are real breaches of law and ethics committed by Biden and not just phony allegations against Trump.

          7. The Globalists can promise and deliver great wealth to anyone who is willing to do their bidding.

            Hence my emphasis on real Rs not RINOs.

          8. No Fox has not fundamentally morphed. It has always been run by globalists.

            I wonder what you make of DJT tweeting: “Fox isn’t working for us anymore!”?

  9. Cryptocurrencies
    Bitcoin No Longer Seen as the Driving Force in Crypto Market
    By Brandon Kochkodin
    October 11, 2019, 6:12 AM PDT
    Indexica points to a growing cryptocurrency ecosystem
    Moves spurred by competing coins, new blockchain technologies

    Bitcoin has plunged more than 30% since hitting a year-to-date high. That fact is clear, but explaining why the world’s largest digital currency has lost momentum in the second half of the year is anything but.

    Some, like JPMorgan Chase & Co. have pointed to Intercontinental Exchange Inc.’s new futures contracts and an unwinding of long positions as likely culprits for the nosedive. Others have pointed to a buildup of technical bearish signals as setting off its summer swoon.

    Indexica, an alternative data provider, has a different take. According to their predictive index built on data from Aug. 1 through Oct. 1, Bitcoin’s fall has less to do with the currency itself and more to do with a growing cryptocurrency ecosystem.

    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2019-10-11/bitcoin-no-longer-seen-as-the-driving-force-in-crypto-market

    1. OCT 11, 2019
      By Marie Huillet
      If Bitcoin Fails, Crypto Industry in for a Bad Time: Cardano Founder

      Ethereum (ETH) co-founder turned Cardano (ADA) creator Charles Hoskinson believes that if Bitcoin (BTC) fails, the entire cryptocurrency industry could fail.

      Hoskinson made his remarks during an interview for the Off the Chain podcast on Oct. 10, hosted by Morgan Creek Digital Assets co-founder Anthony Pompliano.

      After multiple projects that included co-founding Ethereum, Hoskinson — a mathematician, cryptographer and entrepreneur — founded the peer-to-peer technology firm Input Output Hong Kong (IOHK) in 2015.

      As CEO of IOHK, Hoskinson created and launched the cryptocurrency Cardano in 2017, which uses a Proof-of-Stake (PoS) algorithm dubbed Ouroboros.

      Bitcoin: “blind, deaf and dumb by design

      https://cointelegraph.com/news/if-bitcoin-fails-crypto-industry-in-for-a-bad-time-cardano-founder

      1. cryptocurrency industry

        That phrase right there. If they’re not actually making anything, they’re taking something.

    2. Fed’s Hidden QE Becomes Norm; Bitcoin to the Rescue
      Avatar
      Anatol Antonovici | Oct 12, 2019 | 12:09

      Yesterday, the Federal Reserve (Fed) said it would restart buying bonds in the open market. Also, it will continue its overnight funding operations until January of next year.

      Fed’s Cash Injection Is Already Routine

      For the Fed, pouring cash into the markets is already routine. It seems that policymakers are trying to convince the public that there is nothing wrong with their easing measures. However, what we get is cheaper money that devalues at an even faster paste.

      Last month, the M2 monetary supply exceeded the $15 trillion mark.

      Elsewhere, the M1 money supply – a narrower definition of money that includes its most liquid form – is about to touch the $4 trillion mark soon.

      For former congressman Ron Paul, the Fed’s intervention in the market is a form of monetary socialism, as the central bank is trying to plan the value of money through manipulations rather than letting the markets decide it.

      On Friday, the Fed announced it would start purchasing about $60 billion in Treasury bonds every month until at least the second quarter of 2020. Also, it will extend the repo operations from the end of November to at least the end of next January. The Fed explained:

      “These actions are purely technical measures to support the effective implementation of the FOMC’s monetary policy, and do not represent a change in the stance of monetary policy.”

      Bitcoin Is Among Ideal Assets to Preserve Value

      The Fed is trying to convince the public that we shouldn’t call its measures quantitative easing and that its last steps are not even part of monetary policy. For the central bank, buying bonds and injecting cash into the repo market are necessary measures to protect the economy and mitigate potential risks, especially amid the Sino-US trade war.

      Dallas Fed President Robert Kaplan told the media:

      “It is not intended to create more accommodation or create more stimulus. This is not intended to have any impact on monetary policy. It’s not designed that way.”

      However, economists argue that this is the purest form of QE and should be treated as such. Usually, QE is the result of a crisis but it seems the Fed doesn’t want the public to realize there is a problem with the economy.

      Nevertheless, the figures are insane. On Thursday, the New York Fed added $88.1 billion through the repo market, and another $82.7 billion on Friday.

      While the Fed is experimenting, Bitcoin remains an ideal asset to preserve value and stay away from a devaluing currency.

      https://bitcoinist.com/feds-hidden-qe-becomes-norm-bitcoin-to-the-rescue/

      1. “Bitcoin Is Among Ideal Assets to Preserve Value.”

        Bitcoin dec 2017 ~19700$
        Bitcoin oct 2019 ~8300$

        Down more than a condo in Vancouver.

        1. The Fed uses bullion banks as its agents to put on naked gold shorts on the Comex to drive down the price of gold. This manipulation is done to artificially protect the U.S. dollar’s value from the Fed’s deranged money-printing (debasement) and enables the Fed’s primary dealer accomplices to repurchase gold at lower prices. In addition, the bullion banks can sell billions in non-existent paper gold using instruments like derivatives to manipulate the gold price, which complicit regulators and enforcers turn a blind eye. However, the market-rigging is getting more difficult since gold breached the key $1500 resistance line and has more and more people become red-pilled and start to understand how rigged, manipulated, and broken these “markets,” and our financial system, have become and start stacking physical precious metals as the ultimate hedge against the Keynesian fraudsters at the Fed.

  10. Looks like pricing is finally retracting below bubble 1 peaks in my area. All down from here.

    2005 peak price 980k
    2019 current listed price 979k

    https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/3019-Twin-Palms-Dr-Aptos-CA-95003/16136272_zpid/

    DATE EVENT PRICE
    10/10/2019 Price change $979,000(-6.8%)
    9/6/2019 Price change $1,050,000(-12.1%)
    7/8/2019 Price change $1,195,000(-8%)
    6/20/2019 Listed for sale $1,299,000(+88.3%)
    12/10/2009 Sold $690,000(-7.9%)
    8/14/2009 Listing removed $749,000
    4/17/2009 Price change $749,000(-6.3%)
    4/3/2009 Price change $799,000(-11.1%)
    2/4/2009 Price change $899,000(-5.3%)
    1/10/2009 Listed for sale $949,000(-0.4%)
    12/4/2008 Listing removed $952,500
    10/31/2008 Listed for sale $952,500(-2.8%)
    8/15/2005 Sold $980,000(+38%)
    7/25/2002 Sold $710,000

      1. evident in DJT

        That’s some pretty raw trolling there. The NYT article doesn’t allude to any DJT corruption, or of his children.

        1. The NYT article doesn’t allude to any DJT corruption, or of his children.

          Yes, I consider that the major fault of the article. The myriads of comments point out this glaring omission, however:

          “The difference is that the DJT daughter works in the White House and the son-in-law as well. Both while getting trademarks from China and financing from Deutsche Bank. Both while getting security clearances that Daddy made certain they got; Both while profiting from “being seen.” And don’t forget that all the adult children of DJT get Secret Service protection while jaunting around the world cutting deals – from India to Turkey. Nothing says “I’m important” like walking into a meeting, or a classroom at Georgetown. with a couple of burly guys with guns.”

          1. I found this to be the best comment:

            “Too often Democrats want to point to Trump’s family, who are easy targets for charges of corruption and nepotism. But as you note, too many political families of all stripes take advantage of their political connections to enrich their families and friends.

            There needs to be strict guidelines and laws on what is acceptable behavior and what is not in politics. As I’ve said here before, people in power need to work _at minimum_ to avoid even the appearance of this kind of corruption. And that goes for Joe Biden’s family as well as for Trump and McConnell’s. Otherwise the entire system appears corrupt. And too often it is.”

          2. The difference is that the DJT daughter works in the White House and the son-in-law as well.

            IIRC, not paid.

            Both while getting trademarks from China and financing from Deutsche Bank.

            Which they more than likely would have gotten if DJT wasn’t in office.

            Both while profiting from “being seen.”

            How nebulous.

            adult children of DJT get Secret Service protection

            As did/do the children of former presidents.

          3. Nothing says “I’m important” like walking into a meeting, or a classroom at Georgetown. with a couple of burly guys with guns.

            In Washington, sure. In Wyoming it’s just another day at the office :-).

          1. “tried to ingratiate themselves” i.e., no quid pro quo

            “Now we’re looking at near raw bribery,” Near? Raw? Pathetic!

            Get a brain!

          2. tried to ingratiate themselves

            And why would they try to do that? That’s right, because it worked with previous administrations. TDS sufferers should really try using “but for” causation before making allegations/accusations.

          3. TDS sufferers should really try using “but for” causation before making allegations/accusations.

            I think if there is one thing that is going to come from the Hunter Biden issue it will be closer scrutiny of DJT and his business dealings and that of his sons. The thing I worry about is Kushner and how he might be getting played by foreign governments for his debt on 666 5th Avenue.

            I’ve been in favor of DJT’s tariffs, stance on China, immigration reforms (including ending chain migration and limiting immigrants that might become a “public charge”). But I think he has served oil industries, been weak on gun reform, been a disaster on climate, is narcissistic, and probably self-serving. I would trade him out for Sanders or Warren in a heartbeat, Biden not so much.

            Don’t be so thin-skinned about DJT. He’s still worlds better than Bush 2 because he didn’t lead us into unprovoked wars. As unpalatable as I find DJT, it’s hard to do worse that Bush 2.

  11. Which they more than likely would have gotten if DJT wasn’t in office.

    Yes of course, because China has been really good about honoring intellectual property in the past and never creates knockoff designer goods.

  12. My company rents office space in San Diego. Last year I was told the building was at 100% occupancy. So it was strange that the large office space (fits about 40 people) next door has been empty this whole time. I figured someone was paying rent and not showing up. Turns out the larger offices were never rented. There’s only demand for smaller spaces. The building is going to remodel and subdivide.
    I’m not sure if this counts as more supply coming online. Just seems like another oddity in this market.

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