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The Grey Rhino Is Panicking

It’s Friday desk clearing time for this blogger. “John Bryan was one of dozens of investors spending thousands of dollars to buy properties from a Florida-based company that flipped homes in Johnstown, promised to manage the properties and pay them the rent they collected. Over two years Citrona Homes, LLC is believed to have bought around 200 homes, before suddenly closing up shop earlier this year.”

“What they did during that time is now the subject of local, state, and federal investigations. ‘This guy seemed to have everything covered,’ Bryan said. ‘I feel like an idiot but I’m not the only one. I’m broke, I’m destroyed. I just don’t understand how another human can do that to another human. It just escapes me.'”

“Developers in South Florida are saying that the market for new condo development is either hibernating or forever changed. ‘We’re all not selling very well. I’m not going to lie to you,’ said Gil Dezer, the president of Dezer Development, known for building luxury towers with name brands. Dezer said some of the most recent condo towers that broke ground ‘probably shouldn’t have.'”

“‘New York’s such a worse place than Miami right now, and nobody’s talking about it because there’s a bunch of friendly foreclosures happening quietly or LLC purchases,’ said Property Markets Group Managing partner Ryan Shear. ‘Because in New York, you have to deal with the [Attorney General], which is different than in Florida. And once it goes public in New York, it’s cooked. So a lot of things happen behind the scenes. There’s no pre-sales, no private launch and like the cost basis was $2,500/foot with zero sales and now it’s coming to roost and they haven’t sold a lot of the condo units, and it’s a huge problem.'”

“Zillow economist Jeff Tucker said the San Diego market has mellowed after a jump in price reductions. ‘The story with San Diego was reality setting in after prices had been rising unsustainably fast,’ he said. ‘That’s where you get this mismatch of people’s expectations and what they can really sell for.'”

“A loose group of Spokane professionals has begun working to relieve some of the pressure the area’s housing market is under by bringing ‘zombie homes’ back to life. Spokane Association of Realtors government affairs director Darin Watkins says zombie homes are so called because they are often the result of a stalled foreclosure. They’re unoccupied and neglected, yet they remain the homeowner’s responsibility. Such homes can turn into nuisance properties overrun with squatters, crime, and neglect.”

“The city of Spokane initially had estimated there were about 1,200. By examining how many homes have had water service shut off for at least six months, however, the coalition determined that there are about 3,000 zombie homes in the city. Some lenders also take years to complete the foreclosure process, Watkins says. ‘There’s some evidence, according to the city, that banks are hanging onto these houses for longer than they should — four, five, seven years — because they’re not in the bank’s name yet,’ he claims.”

“Benchmark home prices in Edmonton fell even further last month to their lowest point in more than six years, newly released numbers show. ‘It’s making it difficult for buyers to be financed, even though in theory we’re in a buyer’s market,’ said Michael Brodrick, chair of the Realtors Association of Edmonton. ‘Consumers are just saying, ‘I’m happy to go out for dinner, I’m not happy to spend half a million dollars on a new house.'”

“Damac Properties will shift gears and focus on international luxury resorts in places such as the Maldives, Seychelles, Bali and Marrakech rather than adding to the ‘large oversupply problem’ in the UAE, a senior company official said. ‘The market in UAE, I don’t need to beat around the bush, the market has softened,’ Ali Sajwani the general manager of operations told The National. ‘There is a large oversupply problem, continuous dumping by certain companies into the market, which is not healthy for the market. Prices have come down, yields have come down and the market has suffered.'”

“In today’s housing market, both sellers and buyers are bombarded with a variety of often mixed messages on pricing their homes to sell, or an array of bargains at reduced prices. While the residential property market in South Africa remains active, there’s no doubt that it remains mainly a buyer’s market, says Dr Andrew Golding, chief executive of the Pam Golding Property group. ‘Sellers who are able to wait for trading conditions to improve, are better advised to take their homes off the market. A reduction in the volume of properties listed would also go some way towards stabilising the market so that the normal forces of supply and demand are at play, rather than an overweighting of stock on the market,’ Golding said.”

“Owing to the financial crisis and the slowdown in the real estate sector, residential projects worth around $66 billion are facing bankruptcy proceedings, a recent survey said. ‘In the current scenario, it is the residential real estate segment that presents the maximum amount of stressed assets. India’s residential sector has been reeling under the pressure of delayed/stalled projects with 4.54 lakh units running behind their completion dates,’ the agency said.”

“Tenant-friendly suburbs in Melbourne’s pricey rental market have been revealed, with new data showing the neighbourhoods where renters have plenty of choice and don’t have to battle rising costs. In Southbank, the glut of apartments meant renters had their pick of the bunch, Dixon Kestles director John Pratt said. ‘From time to time we get people coming to us saying, ‘My property’s been on the market for a few weeks and it’s not renting,’ and we look at it and we find out it’s overpriced,’ he said. ‘If an agent is doing their job, they’ll be communicating with their client and they will bring the price down.”

“‘The only force that can defeat China is from within. No exterior force can.’ On October 2 this year, the Communist Party’s leading journal of political theory, Qiushi, published in full a 2018 speech by President Xi Jinping, highlighting in stark language China’s coming challenges as the People’s Republic enters its 71st year. Indeed, in 2020, China’s primary economic risk is most likely to come not from the trade war, but from its inflated property market.”

“‘Black swans’ and ‘grey rhinos’ dominated China’s financial lexicon this year. Few in the population know what they are but most know what they mean. They mean fear. China’s property market is the grey rhino, overfed on massive liquidity steroids. One injection was the massive stimulus introduced in response to the 2008 global financial crisis. Another injection was from the six consecutive interest rate cuts in the 12 months to November 2015. Awash in liquidity, Chinese stock markets took off too, but by late 2015, the bubble had burst and the benchmark Shanghai Composite Index tumbled about 50 per cent from its 2015 peak. Real estate, however, partied on.”

“Zhongnanhai’s worst economic nightmare is a Japan-style collapse. Despite Xi’s caution that ‘houses are for living in, not for speculation,’ China’s real-estate market value has risen to twice the size of the G7 economies combined. At US$65 trillion, it is almost five times China’s GDP in 2018, and more than 10 times China’s stock market capitalisation. In 2019, China’s property bubble is being pricked – on both the supply and demand sides.”

“Since 2017, conglomerate Dalian Wanda Group, the flagship of billionaire Wang Jianlin, has dumped US$25 billion in assets to keep afloat. More recently, major developer Soho China is looking to sell all core commercial properties in Beijing and Shanghai worth US$8.5 billion. The grey rhino is panicking. Trade conflicts can always be addressed by recalibrating global trading routes over time. But China’s economic dream will be over if its property bubble bursts, Japan-style. All bubbles come to an end; the question for China is when and how.”

This Post Has 133 Comments
  1. ‘the coalition determined that there are about 3,000 zombie homes in the city. Some lenders also take years to complete the foreclosure process, Watkins says. ‘There’s some evidence, according to the city, that banks are hanging onto these houses for longer than they should — four, five, seven years — because they’re not in the bank’s name yet’

    Zombie shacks are a REIC statistic, shadow inventory is a conspiracy theory.

    1. This is one of the main reasons for skyrocketing rents, in my opinion. They have removed millions of houses from stock. It’s criminal.

  2. ‘We’re all not selling very well. I’m not going to lie to you,’ said Gil Dezer, the president of Dezer Development, known for building luxury towers with name brands. Dezer said some of the most recent condo towers that broke ground ‘probably shouldn’t have’

    ‘New York’s such a worse place than Miami right now, and nobody’s talking about it because there’s a bunch of friendly foreclosures happening quietly or LLC purchases,’ said Property Markets Group Managing partner Ryan Shear. ‘Because in New York, you have to deal with the [Attorney General], which is different than in Florida. And once it goes public in New York, it’s cooked. So a lot of things happen behind the scenes. There’s no pre-sales, no private launch and like the cost basis was $2,500/foot with zero sales and now it’s coming to roost and they haven’t sold a lot of the condo units, and it’s a huge problem’

    This is an industry website and again proves very revealing. They discuss how behind reality the media is, brag about sticking buyers with overpriced airboxes. Trust these guys (and the media) at your peril.

    1. April 19, 2018

      From Bisnow on Florida. “‘Palm Beach is completely on fire,’ said Todd Michael Glaser, a high-end homebuilder who made his name in Miami but has lately been concentrating on Palm Beach County. ‘I’ve never seen the amount of $8M to $70M homes as in the last three and a half, four months. It’s staggering.’ It’s not just single-family homes that are hot, but a new wave of high-end condos and mutifamily apartments, especially in downtown West Palm Beach.”

      “Kolter Urban President Bob Vail, who is developing the Alexander, said that there is something of an arms race for amenities in the new supply of high-end homes. ‘You see that across the U.S. There are [apartment] buildings in Atlanta, Denver and Dallas that are nicer and more fully amenitized than condominium units, because that’s what it’s going to take to get people to choose that building,’ Vail said. ‘It’s just sort of a differential advantage. It’s really become a race in those more in-demand markets.’”

      “Though the market is healthy now, the developers agreed a slowdown is possible as new supply takes time to be absorbed, construction costs rise and actionable sites get harder to find. Low salaries in Palm Beach County mean that not many workers can afford high rents. When an audience member asked whether they were concerned with an economic downturn, Vail responded half-jokingly, ‘Condo developers, we don’t forecast those kind of things, you know what I mean? We’re just go, go go,’ he said. ‘And the faster we go, the faster we get to the closing, and then, I’m not going to say we don’t care, but … ‘ The audience chuckled as he trailed off.”

      http://thehousingbubbleblog.com/?p=10407

      1. “Palm Beach is completely on fire”

        Pretty soon it actually will be as houses are set on fire to collect insurance.

  3. Heard an interesting news report coming into work today (KNX1070 AM Los Angeles)

    In greater LA area, a UCLA(?) study counted 100K *empty* homes.

    (BTW, this is the exact same number as posted by Ben many months ago.)

    In this particular report, comparison was being made between the number of homeless (~30K) and empty dwellings (~100K).

    What was startling is that report noted that many homes sit empty because they are 2nd homes, but *many* are the result of *speculation*, with owners waiting for that elusive uptick in prices.

    To me, what is noteworthy is that this is the first time ever the term *speculation* has been used in a MSM report that I am aware of.

    Perhaps the speculation elephant in the room is now even too large for the MSM to ignore?

    Some shortage.

  4. ‘I feel like an idiot but I’m not the only one. I’m broke, I’m destroyed. I just don’t understand how another human can do that to another human. It just escapes me’

    Have you tried stamping your little feet John?

    1. Housing speculators like you drove up the price of shelter for everyone, John. The universe has a funny way of putting things right in its good time, though I doubt that you can appreciate that sentiment.

    1. The screaming match inside the political echo chamber has reached a deafening volume. I’m having a hard time envisioning a happy ending, regardless of which side of the aisle claims victory.

        1. Wheeler got quiet for a few moments, and then he said something that I will never, ever forget.

          “These people are playing with matches… I don’t think they understand the scope and scale of the wildfire they are flirting with. They are f**king around with a civil war that could last a decade and cause millions of deaths…

          http://taxicabdepressions.com/?p=1193

        2. DOJ Probing Former FBI Lawyer for Altering Document Tied to Spying on Trump’s Campaign

          ‘The Justice Department is conducting a criminal investigation into a former FBI attorney who allegedly altered a document tied to the bureau’s surveillance of a Trump campaign associate, according to reports by CNN, The Washington Post, and The Associated Press.’

          ‘The finding is expected to be part of the DOJ Inspector General Michael Horowitz’s report on the investigation into a Foreign Surveillance Intelligence Act (FISA) warrant the FBI obtained to spy on Trump campaign associate Carter Page. Horowitz is expected to release the report on Dec. 9 and is scheduled to testify about it before the Senate Judiciary Committee on Dec. 11. Horowitz referred the finding to U.S. Attorney John Durham, who is conducting a criminal investigation into issues tied to the investigation and surveillance of the Trump campaign before and after the 2016 presidential election.’

          ‘Page, the subject of the FISA surveillance, told Fox News at an earlier appearance that FBI used the application to spy on him “as a way of getting into the Trump campaign.” The power of surveillance under a FISA warrant is virtually unlimited and includes the ability to collect the realtime and past communications of every person who was in touch with Page in addition to all of the people in touch with Page’s contacts.’

          https://www.theepochtimes.com/doj-probing-former-fbi-lawyer-for-altering-document-tied-to-spying-on-trumps-campaign_3154408.html

          Get a rope.

    2. Wha?…you mean after years of dismissing the Deep State as a conspiracy theory, Paul Krugman, cheerleader for the Keynesian fraudsters at the Fed, now gushes about the Deep State being our salvation?

      I am Jack’s complete lack of surprise.

      1. This is what has the Democrats running scared, usually around a year before the presidential election, the Democrats are up by double digits. When someone like Emerson has the popular vote so close, it means an electoral college landslide for the Republican. Of course it can change but very scary stuff for Democrats:

        https://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/latest_polls/

          1. Trump’s approval ratings were much lower and Paul Ryan was doing nothing to help house members. The Republicans did fine in the Senate. Despite Ryan the Republicans lost far fewer seats than Obama loss in 2010 yet he went on to win re-election.

  5. Shakespeare scholars have unearthed the original copy of the play
    “The Ides of March.” In it, Caesar’s final words as he is being stabbed to death by false friends aren’t “Et tu, Brutus?” but rather, “Realtors are liars.”

      1. Realtor get yee to a nunnery for work is probably the next Bart revision. BTW I mean that line as Bart meant it not as most people think it means. Thus a whorehouse not a true convent. I guess in today’s culture the Bart might be cancelled for anti Catholic bias. No wait antichristian bias is ok, he would only be cancelled for using the word mosque.

  6. “…the San Diego market has mellowed after a jump in price reductions.”

    SAN DIEGO SEES FEWER HOME PRICE REDUCTIONS
    Zillow’s September data show that compared to year, market is better for sellers

    The narrative the San Diego Union-Tribune used home sales department is pushing is that the market is improving for sellers, due to fewer price reductions now than last year.

    But somehow the comparatively higher rate of price reductions to which they now allude stayed out of the news last fall.

    Got biased reporting?

    1. People in my hood still pushing the limits on asking prices. I doubt anyone within a five block radius of me could buy the house they are living in with a qualifying mortgage.

      1. As I have said in a few recent posts, watch gold. When the PTB are losing control gold moves up, when they can manipulate it down they can flood the markets with liquidity and keep the bubbles going.

        1. I’m doing more than watching gold, silver, and platinum. I’m buying every dip. With the Keynesian fraudsters at the Fed printing us down the road to Weimar 2.0, holding physical precious metals and life’s essentials will be the only protection against these gold collar criminals.

        2. This is just my humble opinion of course – we all have them – but I think gold is pretty much topped out. If you look at the price chart over the course of the past 30 years, gold ain’t cheap right now.

          1. I have been writing in the money calls on the gold and silver stocks the last few weeks so I tend to agree. What makes me mad is that my favorite Platinum and palladium produce SWC was taken over a few years ago, I made decent money but I would have made a lot more if it would have stayed an independent company.

          2. Just a thought (and I do have some PMs). I suspect the person or entity that holds gold and does not also have a mountain of debt is a rare bird. Same as Real Estate and such. When the credit pyramid collapses, there will be pressure to offer up such real assets to settle obligations. Cash will be in short supply, not gold. When fiat floods over the landscape then gold will be handy, but that doesn’t happen overnight.

            I’ll be able to just sit and watch with my hands folded for long enough.

    2. “Got biased reporting.”

      Same type of reporting in last housing bubble. Hyping a narrative that isn’t supported by facts or rational logic even.

      I don’t even know how this false reporting or opinion reporting is going to stop.

      The only thing you can say is anytime you buy something let the buyer be aware you might be a mark.

      I don’t think that lenders are entitled to give a person a loan that is a set up for foreclosure. It makes lending a joke. That might be the biggest thing I hate about the false markets that are created by faulty lending.

  7. “‘Black swan$’ had ‘grey rhino$’ dominated China’s financial lexicon this year. Few in the population know what they are but most know what they mean. They mean fear. China’s property market is the grey rhino, overfed on ma$$ive liquidity steroid$.

    Good for China, they create their own eCONomic phrase$ for description$ of ma$$ive financial de$truction & collap$e.

    Go “grey rhino”! … Go!

  8. “Owing to the financial crisis and the slowdown in the real estate sector, residential projects worth around $66 billion are facing bankruptcy proceedings, a recent survey said.

    There needs to be a museum built commemorating the trillions of Yellen Bux lost in all the speculative malinvestment since 2009.

      1. He is going to need a bullet proof car when the company goes into bankruptcy. Do not get me wrong it will be a chapter 11 so the company will survive in some form but the shareholders are going to get creamed.

        1. WANT the side glass

          That’s an interesting perspective. I’m thinking you don’t want those big shards though. Any window I’ve ever broken (in the last 50 years) fell in tiny tiny little pieces.

  9. They mean fear. China’s property market is the grey rhino, overfed on massive liquidity steroids.

    “Fear has very large eyes.” — Russian proverb

    1. Remember when the Japanese Emperor Grounds in Tokyo were worth more than all of California commercial real-estate (or something like that). The sneaky money has been made and smuggled out of the country. Look at Orange County, Seattle, Vancover etc.

      Had an acquaintance complaining about the young (20s-30s), rich, mainline Chinese throwing around money in downtown Bellevue and showing off their expensive cars and clothes. These spoiled kids (as opposed to the one that work hard at University or in jobs) will never have a hard day of work again

      —————
      “Zhongnanhai’s worst economic nightmare is a Japan-style collapse. Despite Xi’s caution that ‘houses are for living in, not for speculation,’ China’s real-estate market value has risen to twice the size of the G7 economies combined. At US$65 trillion, it is almost five times China’s GDP in 2018, and more than 10 times China’s stock market capitalisation. In 2019, China’s property bubble is being pricked – on both the supply and demand sides.”

      1. Had an acquaintance complaining about the young (20s-30s), rich, mainline Chinese throwing around money in downtown Bellevue and showing off their expensive cars and clothes

        Yep. I deal with this every day…

      2. Their children will return to the peasant class. These women lack the skills and knowledge to teach their offspring how to gain and maintain wealth. You should pity them; their chains are golden, but they’re chained nonetheless.

      3. The top for Japan was when they bought Pebble Beach. If you recall they were buying everything and the kitchen sink over here.

    1. I wonder if recent political developments may have impacted their decision?

      Warren calls out Blackstone for ‘shameless’ profits from housing
      Published
      November 19, 2019, 10:52am EST

      Elizabeth Warren called out Blackstone Group Inc. for its real estate practices as she laid out her tenants’ rights plan, accusing the company of “shamelessly” profiting from the 2008 housing crisis.

      Her criticism on Monday was the latest instance of the Democratic 2020 presidential candidate singling out Wall Street companies and investors by name for actions she says contribute to inequality.

      In a Medium post where she laid out proposals to strengthen tenants’ rights, Warren assailed Blackstone for going on a “shopping spree” in the wake of the 2008 crisis and buying apartments and single-family homes that had been foreclosed. She also took aim at Colony Capital Inc. and Cerberus Capital Management.

      1. Hey Fauxahontus, who gave Blackstone and its fellow Wall Street grifters billions in free Yellen Bux gambling money so they could hoover up the distressed assets of the proles? Hint: it’s the same private banking cartel that you helped shield from a real audit that would’ve revealed the full extent of its swindles against the 99%.

      2. Warren should know because she bought a couple of real estate flips in 2015. Her husband and her income is based on the gouging higher education business.
        Her desire to bail out student debt is no different than the lenders wanting to get bailed out from the housing crash with their fraudulent loans. The students overpayed, just like the fooked borrowers did when RE markets crashed in 2006.

        This is the problem with government picking the winners and losers as far as bail outs or free handouts.

        It’s not the role of government IMHO to use taxpayers funds to correct the greed or fraud of any industry. It’s really a Judicial matter, but good luck with rigged courts.

        Everybody can get behind charity for certain groups that’s funded by the government, or emergency relief type stuff. But when you get into the government paying for things that were never promised in the Constitution, than it’s just a Communist government.

        1. But when you get into the government paying for things that were never promised in the Constitution, than it’s just a Communist government

          Are you suggesting in your comment above that “charity” doesn’t meet this definition? Or am I misreading?

          1. Charity and emergency relief is justified and is usually short term in concept. Picking winners and losers, or bailing out corrupt industry, or trying to use tax dollars to create equality of income is not the role of government.

          2. Charity and emergency relief is justified and is usually short term in concept

            I agree with your second statement. On the above, I’d suggest that “charity” is often a means of picking winners and losers, often has religious aspects, etc. IMO gov’t shouldn’t be involved in “charity”

    2. October 29, 2019 12:32 PM
      Rent-regulation overhaul may hit Blackstone overseas
      Bloomberg News

      After months of tensions, Denmark is set to change its housing law to stop Blackstone Group Inc. and companies like it from ratcheting up rents.

      Housing Minister Kaare Dybvad said the government has realized that existing legislation wasn’t designed to withstand the kind of speculation he says firms like Blackstone do. His concern is that rents have risen to levels that prevent average income-earners from living in Denmark’s main cities.

      “Blackstone is infamous for using methods that we haven’t seen before in the Danish housing market,” Dybvad said in an interview in Copenhagen on Tuesday. He expects the new legislation to be in place before parliament breaks for the summer.

      1. Local, “Thee.O.C. new$”:

        80% increase in rent$ sure seems to file up the elderly folks!

        (Ana.he.i.am, is also home to the “Happiest Place on Earth!” )

        ANAHEIM
        Anaheim Ramps up Security at Public Meetings Amid Effort to Quash Debate and Push Through $tadium Deal

        People now have to walk through metal detectors and get their bags searched before going to Anaheim City Council meetings, an effort that began just after the City Council began limiting debate and preparing for a fast-track public consideration of the billion dollar Angels stadium deal next month.

        During the past two meetings, Nov. 5 and 19, at least four police officers also flanked the security lines as residents lined up to get inside the Council Chambers before the start of meetings.

        Councilman Jose Moreno said it’s likely not the city’s response to residents’ growing anger over the City Council’s actions to shelve items and further restrict the Council minority’s ability to talk about policy proposals.

        Senior$ living at Rancho La Paz mobile home park have been pushing the City Council to adopt rent control for months because they faced rent increa$es after a new owner bought the park and had to raise the rent to cover his increased property tax. But the seniors argued he increased it much more than to just cover the $800,000 increase to the property tax. After five years, their rent$ will increase by roughly 80 percent.

        https://voiceofoc.org/2019/11/anaheim-ramps-up-security-at-public-meetings-amid-effort-to-quash-debate-and-push-through-stadium-deal/

    3. Moving out: Blackstone sells remaining stake in Invitation Homes
      Blackstone has reaped about $7B from the Invitation Homes since it went public in 2017
      TRD NATIONAL
      Nov. 21, 2019 03:00 PM
      Staff
      Jonathan Gray

      Jonathan Gray

      The Blackstone Group sold its last piece of Invitation Homes.

      The private equity giant sold nearly 11 percent of Invitation Homes’ shares for about $1.7 billion. In all, Blackstone made about $7 billion since the home rental business went public in 2017, according to the Wall Street Journal.

      Blackstone founded Invitation Homes after the financial crisis, scooping up suburban homes at the bottom of the market to rent to people who could no longer afford a mortgage.

      Even though Blackstone sold its stock in the company, Invitation Homes’ share price has kept rising. As of 2:40 p.m. Thursday afternoon, the stock price was $29.60 per share, up 48 percent since the company went public at $20 a share over two years ago.

      Jonathan Gray, Blackstone’s president, who led its real estate division when it launched Invitation Homes, said the biggest challenge was building the business. “We created a company from scratch. It was created on a yellow pad. It was an idea. Now it’s a real business,” he told the Wall Street Journal.

        1. “Bought for pennies, sold at the peak. Who’s the bagholder?”

          Exactly now on to the next Ponzi scheme, pump and dump.

    4. Ya wake-up, go outside on a lovely crisp mornin’ & whata ya see?, a whole field filled with fre$h gopher hole$

      THE WALL $TREET JOURNAL:

      Bridgewater bet$ more than $1 billion on global equity pullback by March

      MarketWatch | By JULIET CHUNG &GUNJAN BANERJI

      “Bridgewater A$$ociates LP has bet more than $1 billion that $tock market$ around the world will fall by March,”

      The wager, a$$embled over a span of months and executed by a handful of Wall $treet firm$, including Goldman $achs Group Inc. GS, +0.82% and Morgan $tanley MS, +0.42% , would pay off for the world’s biggest hedge fund if either the S&P 500 SPX, +0.13% or the Euro Stoxx 50 SX5P, +0.32% —or both—declines, some of the people said.

      It is made up of put options, which are contracts that give investors the right to sell stocks at a specific price, known as a strike, by a certain date. They allow investors to shell out a relatively small amount of cash to hedge a larger portfolio or make a directional wager. The options expire in March and currently represent one of the largest bearish bets against the market.

      Bridgewater paid roughly $1.5 billion for the options contracts, or just about 1% of the Westport, Conn., firm’s $150 billion in assets under management, according to people familiar with the matter.

      1. Puts are prudent strategic investments if executed by Wall Street Megabanks and friends.

        If individual investors execute such strategies, they are evilly trying to profit from others’ losses.

      1. Or create and then exploit. Regardless it was a great time to get out of this one and maybe get back in later.

  10. My first truck cost me $100.00 & mechanics lien paperwork with DMV in 1972: 1949 Studebaker 1/2 ton pickup, faded original red paint & flat 6

    https://classiccars.com/listings/view/1189605/1949-studebaker-pickup-for-sale-in-cadillac-michigan-49601

    (Got stolen in 1979 whilst eye was on my motorcycle tour of Alaska)

    So, was thinking of bookending my 49 Dodge & was striving for a $tudebaker pickup or VW Tran$porter, but the re$tored price$ are “$pendy”. $o, eye decided an hour ago to purcha$e the Te$la “back.to.the.future” x2 motor El Camino.

    1. One of my brothers use to have a 51 International. It had first gear, second and reverse. When we wanted to scare up some money we’d go around looking for work pulling up tree stumps. We’d dig enough around the stump to attach chains, hook em up to that truck and start slamming it into reverse. No matter how much jolting went on, it never did any damage to the truck. Built like a rock.

      1. A high school buddy of mine bought an old Cadallac hearse for $400, and thought it would be cool to drive through town with a mannequin’s feet sticking out the back. The citizenry were duly outraged, police were summoned, and parents notified. He got tired of local LE harassment, bought a ’71 Ford Gran Torino. The first weekend we were out cruising with our cronies, we decided to moon about 500 people standing in line for a famous gospel group that had come to town. Once again, the citizenry reacted badly, cops were called, and we were busted. So apparently owning a jalopy leads to chronic poor judgement and bad behavior.

        1. iffin’ ya had a Hillary looks.like mannequin, & drove around any.midwest.town USA, you mighta had a more positive outcome!

        2. So apparently owning a jalopy leads to chronic poor judgement and bad behavior.

          Correlation != Causation. But I’m sure the correlation is very strong.

          1. “But I’m sure the correlation is very strong.”

            Yes.

            Exhibit C: buddy of mine in high school had a yellow beater Chevy Nova that he took up a curb to flatten a stop sign as well as knock over orange barrels on the highway. (Sorry, taxpayers)

        3. I think Robert Earl Keene could write a song about that, it does sound like you were so messed up you did not know whether you were drunk or stoned.

          1. We were neither. We were often somewhat impaired after our parking lot socials, but more often than not our capers owed more to youthful stupidity than anything else.

    2. “…$o, eye decided an hour ago to purcha$e the Te$la “back.to.the.future” x2 motor El Camino.”

      Yuck. I’m sorry to hear that.

        1. There are so many $ and other symbols and punctuation going on that it’s like trying to solve a riddle every time I read his posts. Obviously I missed it because I thought he was serious.

          1. Download the joshua tree extension and use it

            And if you like it, thank me by donating to Ben so we continue to have a place to congregate!

  11. eye decided an hour ago to purcha$e the Te$la “back.to.the.future” x2 motor El Camino.

    My first reaction was that the design was is so avant-garde and really, really out there. I kind of hate it and love it at the same time. Weird. One of the best games I played when I was younger was “Shadow Run” and this vehicle definitely seems like it would fit. Lots of memes online are comparing it to the Halo vehicle with a machine gun on it.

    But I just dropped my son off at pre-school and have been looking at all the trucks on the road (and there are a ton here), and like now every truck I see seems dated.

    I don’t know which will be more difficult, getting die-hard truck fans to buy a Cybertruck or convincing die-hard Mustang fans to buy the new Ford Mustang EV (Mach E).

    1. Actually, eye’m planning on plastering in copper metal large font lettering:

      STUDEBAKER

      then in very small font: “made in Canada”

    2. I am betting that selling the truck will be harder. It might sell south of the border if they do make the windows bullet proof. It does like you can mount .50 caliber machine guns easily on the body.

      1. I just read that the roll up back is supposedly able to have solar attached to it and get 15 miles of charge per day passively. That would be really cool to me. If I go back to being a travel RN, I would purchase something like that to sleep in the back of after a long shift in the ER.

    3. I don’t know which will be more difficult, getting die-hard truck fans to buy a Cybertruck or convincing die-hard Mustang fans to buy the new Ford Mustang EV (Mach E).

      Tough call. But I think maybe you can win over truck guys with pure functionality…especially of some of that can’t be matched by the competition. Although if the “Mustang” was way faster than a P100D then maybe that could win on functionality too.

      But yeah, that truck is some kind of ugly. The seating must be pretty low compared to most trucks in order to not have headroom issues anywhere but the “point”.

      1. Eye was wonderin’ about that issue too. My youngest is 6’4″.

        The only vehicle eye ever purcha$ed “$ite.un.$een” was my 1967 Toyota landcruiser FJ45 pickup truck. ($1,200 1981)

        To this day, eye’s wishes eye’d knot evers $old it.

          1. No, I’m pretty sure I was on the right Youtube video. I think you’re projecting again. After all, you’re the one living down in trannyland. Cheers!

  12. John Bryan was one of dozens of investors spending thousands of dollars to buy properties from a Florida-based company that flipped homes in Johnstown,

    On the back end of bubbles, the scale of the scams and the fraud comes into view. In the good times, it’s all rainbows, unicorns, and Rose colored glasses. Con artists see the easy money and zero in like seagulls on a beach dumpster.

  13. Arcadia, CA Housing Prices Crater 15% YOY As Los Angeles Area Housing Market Tanks On Plunging Demand

    https://www.zillow.com/arcadia-ca/home-values/

    *Select price from dropdown menu on first chart

    As a noted economist said, “A housing ‘recovery’ is falling prices to dramatically lower and more affordable levels by definition.”

  14. “Indeed, in 2020, China’s primary economic risk is most likely to come not from the trade war, but from its inflated property market.”

    China’s primary economic risk is demographic, an aging population. It will soon have a trade deficit. Who are we going to blame for OUR trade deficit then? And who will subsidize the U.S. lifestyle when the Chinese are selling U.S. Treasury bonds instead of buying?

    The good news for China — a large generation of seniors is trailed by a smaller but much richer generation of workers. Whereas in the U.S., those over 60 (Generation Greed) are the richest generations now alive, those under 40 (Millennials) the poorest, and those 40-60 (Generation Apathy) in between.

    1. China’s old are the richest generation because they own all of the property. In many cases they own multiple empty investment airbox concrete shells. Look at Hong Kong — the Mainland has similar problems.

      The reason is in the 1990s the housing market was opened and workers given homes at very low prices (because no market existed). After 2008 the government flooded the market with liquidity, and savers had no other option but Wealth Management Products or real estate as a means to invest their savings.

      The Chinese middle class is a bunch of 50+ year old people that own property. They don’t necessarily earn high salaries, but are “rich” on paper. The working people in their 40s or younger are in serious debt if they “own” property, or they earn pitiful wages given inflationary pressures for basic consumer goods.

      For example, a “highly paid” white collar financial worker in Shanghai can expect to earn less than 20,000 RMB per month. That is less than $3,000 per month. And an apartment costs $700,000+. They are screwed and not rich given prices, despite earning nominally higher salaries than their parents did. At least massages and food delivery are cheap I guess!

      1. You mean later born generations are screwed in China too? How’s that for global solidarity!

        I think that in China, there are lots of older people living in poor rural areas, and used to living with less.

        I think it will be a little easier for their urban children to support them that it will be for U.S. Millennials, who earn 25 percent less than Baby Boomers, to pay for Baby Boomers to take cruises while retired for 30 years.

        1. pay for Baby Boomers to take cruises

          Is that what you expect from your kids? I pay for my own cruise or I don’t go. Call me greedy, but I still help them here and there in their 30s and 40s.

        2. In 1979, Chinese workers were making 10 cents an hour and you could not own private property. Both wages rising and the right to own property occurred after that. A small number of older, politically connected people did get very rich setting up sweat shops but most of the really old are very poor due to the poor wages they received during their working careers. Now wages have risen to an average of $5 an hour, so less worker poverty but harder to join the rank of billionaires.

  15. I$ we there yet? ($urely China can replicate a comic book, right?)

    A Marvel comic book just sold for a record $1.26 million

    By Paul P. Murphy, CNN

    Updated 11:56 AM ET, Fri November 22, 2019

    But it’s still not the most expen$ive comic book ever sold. “Action Comics #1,” the first Superman comic, sold for more than $3.2 million in 2014 on eBay.

      1. The progressive Massachusetts Senator also didn’t miss an opportunity bashed Donald Trump and label him as racist.

        ‘Racism bumps up the wealthy and the power, leaving them to take more wealth and more power for themselves,’ Warren said, pausing for applause and dramatic effect.

        ‘Which brings me to Donald Trump,’ she continued, garnered cheers, laughter and boos. ‘Donald Trump didn’t create the corrupt system, but he wouldn’t be in power without it.’

        Here’s the irony: Fauxahontus has spent her entire political career advancing the interests of a corrupt and venal .1% in the financial sector that has been colorblind when it comes to screwing over the proles regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, etc. The globalist elites have deliberately stirred up racial and class tensions as part of a divide-and-rule strategy to deflect the proles’ attention from the real enemy who is plundering black, white, brown, and yellow alike. Of course the ignorant fools who bellowed “We want to be heard!” at Fauxahontus were wasting their time, since she is part and parcel of the corrupt system they’re lashing out against.

  16. A quick look around the island shows that the temperature continues its slow but steady drop.

    More waterfront homes up for sale ($4-6m) than I can recall seeing at one time since moving here. Perhaps things are getting shaky for their owners?

    Hmm.. Bought in 2017 for $2.18M, torn down, new house built and now asking $6M 27 months later. Since it’s been listed for over 300 days and counting, I’m sure the owners aren’t worried about selling it soon /s Another waterfront flip just like it a half mile down the road (but I can’t see any price history) provides competition.

    Another busy weekend on tap – hope everyone else is doing good…

  17. Geez…how many years back did we start talking about this little issue?

    In Sun City, Ariz., a place tailored to silver-haired snowbirds, many homes have low-maintenance rock gardens instead of grassy yards. Cassidy Araiza for The
    Wall Street Journal

    Real Estate
    OK Boomer, Who’s Going to Buy Your 21 Million Homes?
    Baby boomers are getting ready to sell one quarter of America’s homes over the next two decades. The problem is many of these properties are in places where younger people no longer want to live.
    By Laura Kusisto
    Nov. 23, 2019 12:00 am ET

    1. No mention in the headline of the other problem, which is that Millennials can’t afford to buy for what the Boomers believe their homes are worth.

      1. You beat me to the punch professor. I just finished reading that one. The author makes the point that Gen X probably won’t be able to afford the current price:

        But the buyers coming behind the baby boomers, the Gen Xers, are a smaller and more financially precarious generation with different preferences, posing a new kind of test for the housing market. One problem is that the bulk of the supply won’t necessarily be in places where these new buyers want to live.

        A sobering statistic:

        One in eight owner-occupied homes in the U.S., or roughly nine million residences, are set to hit the market from 2017 through 2027 as the baby boomers start to die in larger numbers, according to an analysis by Issi Romem conducted while he was a senior director of housing and urban economics at Zillow.

        Those boomers who sell first may be the few that make it out of the burning theater.

        1. Do not worry Democrats have a cure for the problem. They are actively making the cities where millennials want to live sh*tholes. Thus the old burbs will boom again for many of the same reasons boomers moved to the burbs to begin with, cheaper housing that was safer and cleaner than the city cores

          1. I liked city living after weed and seed had cleaned out the high crimes areas. I utilized urban mass transport due to cost, convenience, and to prevent real pollution and natural resource depletion not to prevent the release of a beneficial gas. Now millennials have voted for people who allow subways and light rail systems to be filled with criminals and nutcases which make the systems unusable. Honestly, I feel just when we had finally reached the point of achieving what I advocated for all my adult life, livable cities which made urban sprawl unnecessary along came the woke generation to undue the progress. Former mayors despised by the woke generation were the people who made cities like NYC livable. Now, that NYC has moved from Republican mayors to woke Democrats, it is going back to city I remember in the 1970s. I was living in Vermont but I would travel through it but the thought of living there was a nightmare.

          2. . Thus the old burbs will boom again for many of the same reasons boomers moved to the burbs to begin with,

            One major problem: jobs.

        2. “One problem is that the bulk of the supply won’t necessarily be in places where these new buyers want can afford to live.”

          Fixed it!

          1. “One major problem: jobs.”

            I am in flyover and have a major Facebook data center just a few miles from my house. Corporations are already moving from the overpriced, now poor quality of living places. It is the late sixties all over with corporations moving out of the formerly hot cities. Back then it was cities like Detroit and NYC. Now it is cities in the bay area and NYC.

      1. Here is what I already see happening quite often all over – mom and dad die … and the majority of what’s left of their estate is the house, and it is left to be split among the kids.

        The kids aren’t interested in moving into mom & dad’s old place for multiple reasons that @Professor Bear, @Albuquerquedan and @OneAgainstMany have already touched on many of – too far away from current job/family, lack of good enough jobs (for the kids) near the location. House is not what they want, wrong size, too big, too small, etc. Kids have too much debt/don’t have the means to afford parent’s house etc.

        And usually there is more than one child involved.

        So they want to sell mom & dad’s old house, and split the proceeds. Those proceeds will help their kids dig out of their own holes and move forwards faster. But they also are not the target market of buyers. So, lots of sellers will be trying to sell houses they themselves would not be interested in buying.

        And to make matters more complicated, I am often seeing that one of the kids – all the kids are now ‘middle aged’ BTW — one of them (or more) has kids of their own who are late teens, 20s, or early 30s.. who are basically slackers/parasites. So they want their (good for nothing) kids to live in mom & dad’s old house until it’s sold (rather than with them, or them majorly subsidizing them, as had been the case). Then “until it’s sold” gets dragged out for a long time while one of the grand-kids and their hangers-on basically squat in the house and the rest of the kids get more and more pissed. I wish I was making this up, but I’ve seen/heard this exact scenario multiple times now from people I know.

        I guess where I am going with this is that audience of new buyers is so very different from the boomers when they bought the house, that the situation is not just a numbers game of demographics, but that it is far far worse.

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