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Five Percent Is Too Little And 50 Percent Is Stupid

A report from the Commercial Property Executive. “Does multifamily property management have a particularly weak spot right now which could be hit in case of a recession? Diana Batayeh, the CEO of Village Green: Building new apartments and improving existing ones come with high costs. To drive the yields expected by stakeholders, rent prices need to rise. In the event of a recession, the ability to achieve higher rents becomes difficult. Apartments within the more affordable Class B and C sectors tend to be impacted less during a recession because housing is a basic need. Higher-end Class A apartments, however, typically cater to renters by choice. These higher-end luxury apartments will experience a decline in renter demand and likely need to lower rent and offer more concessions to maintain occupancy. That will make it more difficult to attract investors to new development opportunities as well as dilute the returns on existing Class A assets.”

The Pioneer Press in Minnesota. “An interesting thing happened in the St. Paul housing market in October. Rents, which had been climbing faster than inflation, finally dipped, even compared with the same time a year prior. Also in the third quarter of 2019, developers were well underway with construction of 643 housing units in St. Paul. How many might be considered affordable? Arguably none. Another 5,000 market-rate or mixed-income units also were in the concept stages.”

“The report describes median rents in St. Paul falling in October compared to a year prior for both one- and two-bedroom apartments, but rising for three-bedroom apartments. Minneapolis rents also showed decline in all three categories. Median one-bedroom rents fell 11 percent, from $1,100 a year ago to $974 in October. Median two-bedroom rents fell 6 percent, from $1,250 to $1,175. It’s not entirely clear whether that indicates a slight softening in the rental market or just a temporary reprieve in monthly rents.”

“‘We had an internal discussion, but it’s too soon to really say that for sure,’ said HousingLink President Sue Speakman Gomez.”

The Palm Beach Daily News in Florida. “A U.S. bankruptcy judge made the right call last spring when he approved the sale of the stagnant Palm House hotel condominium project in Palm Beach for nearly $40 million, a federal appeals court has affirmed. The court’s decision delivered a blow to former Palm House owner and private lender Glenn Straub, whose company had appealed a lower court’s decision upholding the sale order issued by West Palm Beach-based Judge Erik P. Kimball. In March, at the same hearing in Kimball approved the sale, Straub had made a last-minute offer to buy the long-padlocked Palm House property at 160 Royal Palm Way.”

“But Straub’s proposal was roundly rejected by Kimball and the parties who had been working for months to sell the beleaguered Palm House project to repay dozens of foreign investors who claim to have lost millions in the project. Several creditors also are owed money. According to courthouse testimony, Straub bought the Palm House property in foreclosure from Robert Matthews in 2009 and carried out renovations before transferring ownership back to the control of Matthews in 2013. Matthews has since pleaded guilty and is awaiting sentencing on felony conspiracy, money-laundering and tax-evasion offenses related to the Palm House in a U.S. district court in Connecticut.”

“Prosecutors there say Matthews and others bilked foreign investors out of money earmarked through the federal EB-5 program to pay for renovations and to open the Palm House as a luxury hotel and condominium. Instead, according to Matthews’ plea agreement, Matthews used investors’ money to buy property in Connecticut and to cover personal expenses. The Palm House property remains shuttered, and court records show the proceeds from May’s sale are being held in an escrow account.”

From The Real Deal. “Developer Ian Bruce Eichner has slashed the price of his Continuum South Beach penthouse as he mulls his next project in Miami. Eichner cut the price of the 11,031-square-foot, seven-bedroom unit to $39.9 million. That’s 20 percent below the original $50 million ask. ‘You put an apartment on the market with a price, which would have made sense, but then the market changes,’ Eichner said. He added, ‘So, I’m going to reduce the price to a number that reflects the market. Five percent is too little and 50 percent is stupid.'”

“Eichner is founder of the New York-based Continuum Company, which delivered the two-tower condo development at 50 and 100 South Pointe Drive in 2003. His penthouse comes with a cabana, a guest unit on a lower floor and 10 parking spaces. The unit features a terrace with a private pool, a screening room and large open kitchen. It hit the market in 2015, and the price was reduced a year ago to $48 million.”

“Earlier this year, developer Related Group CEO Jorge Pérez slashed the price of his penthouse nearby at One Ocean, a building he developed, to $10.95 million, a 45 percent discount off the original asking price.”

From Curbed Atlanta in Georgia. “With its white picket fence and bright red porch swing to match the front door, this circa-1920 Virginia-Highland bungalow with beaucoup walkability aims to charm intowners who covet timeless housing styles. Yet the property has lingered unsold for well over a year, listing records show. It’s been listed as high as $895,000 in summer 2018. After nearly a dozen incremental price adjustments, it returns to market at $840,000 this week.”

The Los Angeles Times in California. “A price cut was the cure for the Lake Arrowhead listing of plastic surgeon Andrew Ordon. The Emmy-nominated host of ‘The Doctors’ just sold his waterfront retreat for $2.2 million after trimming about $700,000 off the original asking price.”

This Post Has 165 Comments
    1. “Eichner cut the price of the 11,031-square-foot, seven-bedroom unit to $39.9 million. That’s 20 percent below the original $50 million ask. ‘You put an apartment on the market with a price, which would have made sense, but then the market changes,’ Eichner said. He added, ‘So, I’m going to reduce the price to a number that reflects the market. Five percent is too little and 50 percent is stupid.’”

      Well if there are not enough cocaine dealers to buy it, then 50% may not be stupid. You did not build for the mass market. It is nice that Florida does not have a state income tax but the caps on the SALT deduction are still a killer when you are dealing with a home costing that much whether or not it is an airbox.

      1. “After listing his Continuum South Beach unit for $50 million in 2015, the 13,000-square-foot condo is back on the market for $48 million, according to the Wall Street Journal.”

        I guess the 4% discount off the 2015 wishing price wouldn’t cut it.

      1. “The city provides water service to approximately 50,000 residents. To date, the City of Poway has never issued a boil water order.” Third world country living.

        1. The only tap water i have thought to taste ok and be safe was in hawaii and lake tahoe. California tap is nasty. Berkey water filtration systems work great 😉

          1. I run all of our drinking water through Aqua Rain ceramic filters. You can notice the difference in how tap water tastes.

          2. The aqua rain system was runner up for me but it didn’t have the chlorine filter which our local water has a disgusting amount of along with fluoride. I dont appreciate the water company mandating those in my over priced tap water.

          3. California tap is nasty.

            Probably why I’ve never been much of a water drinker. I prefer my beverages bottled or canned.

          4. California tap is nasty.

            Meh. Boulder was good. Folsom is decent. San Jose I drank and tried not to think about it :-). I’m not a fan of bottled water for everything. I even drank small amounts of tap water in China on occasion just to annoy my wife.

    1. “Officials have a culprit in mind: cooking grease that’s been poured down the drain.
      “It tends to congeal into big masses that slow or stop the flow of sewage, leaving it no place to go but back up the pipes. In some places around the world , the grease balls have gotten so enormous they’ve been described as ‘fatbergs.’
      “’This time of year we get a lot of grease blockages in sewers from residents that discharge grease,’ city environmental protection chief Vincent Sapienza told reporters. ‘We’re under the assumption that it’s that.’

      Warning: Possible racis statement to follow:

      “Most residents in the middle-class neighborhood are non-white and about half are foreign-born, according to U.S. Census Bureau data.”

        1. Most cities had inventory building up this summer, but now flat according to movoto.did absorption speed up or is Movoto broken?

          1. Your empty ravaged skull is broken.

            Inventory always peaks late summer, then declines over the winter.


      1. Guess they need to be hand held, put the grease in a metal coffee can, then freeze it..

        Or better yet pouring grease down pipes is no different then having high cholesterol, and then pow… a heart attack.

      2. “It tends to congeal into big masses that slow or stop the flow of sewage, leaving it no place to go but back up the pipes. In some places around the world , the grease balls have gotten so enormous they’ve been described as ‘fatbergs.’

        In China those get harvested and recycled. Known as “gutter oil” and used to fry the cheapest street food. Yes, I’ve mentioned it before…but it’s always a fun conversation starter :-).

  1. The Twin Cities used to be among the safest and most family-friendly cities in the nation, until the local do-gooders imported hundreds of thousands of Somali refugees, while generous welfare benefits attracted a huge influx of inner-city residents from Chicago and every other blue-state urban utopia. Progressive mission accomplished: With a violent crime rate of 1,063 reported incidents for every 100,000 residents, nearly three times the corresponding national rate, Minneapolis is now one of the most dangerous cities in the country, with a poverty rate at 22%. Now smaller cities like St. Cloud are reaping their share of vibrant cultural enrichment as the rot spreads out from Minneapolis-St. Paul. Heckova job, libtards.

    1. ‘Minneapolis rents also showed decline in all three categories. Median one-bedroom rents fell 11 percent, from $1,100 a year ago to $974 in October. Median two-bedroom rents fell 6 percent, from $1,250 to $1,175’

      No pension for you!

      1. How come San Diego rents always go up, unlike Minneapolis rents do? Is it because everyone wants to live here?

        1. Really when? Every country with significant ethnic or religious differences ends up in civil war. We already have had one devastating civil war because the one percent wanted cheap labor to pick cotton and tobacco. It is just a line fed to us to make us support the importation of a surplus of labor to enrich the few. Sorry assimilating groups such as Germans, Irish and Italians is not difficult. The groups share a common religion and vary in average IQ by no more than a few points. You start diverging by much more than that, you have permanent problems not more strength. Also, for the most part they started out not questioning the US constitution or the free enterprise system. They came to this country to embrace both. Obviously, we must live with the diversity we do have, but we do not need to add to the problems of full assimilation which is needed to make a nation state work.
          The groups most negatively impacted by immigration are catching on, thus native blacks are supporting Trump in surprising numbers given the constant propaganda against him.

          1. Right on Cue for you Adan…Diversity is fine as long as its the type of ethnic diversity that you want…

      1. “The party told you to reject the evidence of your eyes and ears. It was their final, most essential command. His heart sank as he thought of the enormous power arrayed against him, the ease with which any Party intellectual would overthrow him in debate, the subtle arguments which he would not be able to understand, much less answer. And yet he was in the right! They were wrong and he was right.”

        — George Orwell, 1984

    2. “until the local do-gooders imported”

      Why do you assume that locals were the primary force behind this?

      Hint: they weren’t. See also Lewiston, Maine.

      Cultural relativism is such a tired, sad, lie 🙁

      1. The funding came from the federal level, but the resettlement contracts went to Lutheran Charities and Catholic charities, which had strong and enthusiastic networks at the local level.

        My cousin was a dyed-in-the-wool liberal do-gooder at the U of M who volunteered to work as an English teacher helping to facilitate the resettlement of Somali refugees into Minneapolis-St. Paul. He became very disillusioned, and red-pilled, very quickly. All of the Somali mosques were coaching kids on how to feign symptoms so the parents could collect disabilities, and in all the homes he went into there were pillows on the floors for families that sat around chewing khat and watching big-screen TVs all day while endlessly asking him to help fill out their welfare forms.

          1. That always baffled me…somalia one of the hottest countries on Earth and relocated to Maine, and Minnesota???? why not Biloxi???

          2. Actually I remember a story from Maine. A landlord had to get rid of tenants. I cannot remember if they were from the Sudan or Somalia. The landlord provided heat, however the refugees set their heat in the 90s in the middle of winter. I am not sure the furnace went off the whole time they lived in the place.

    3. Rents, which had been climbing faster than inflation, finally dipped, even compared with the same time a year prior.

      All these experts and developers touted rents as an incontrovertible justification for housing prices. No one considered the simple corollary that rents have also been in a bubble. Duh.

    4. Don’t you realize that suggesting any connection between generous welfare benefits and skyrocketing crime rates is inappropriate and offensive to SJWs?

      1. Some people’s cultures are just different. My first memory of this was as a kid growing up in Boston and riding the T. If my parents ever found out I skipped my fare, they were the sort who would send me to the station to confess and pay what I owed. I was fishing a token out my pocket at the turnstile when a woman from another unnamed country approached the turnstiles with a gaggle of children. Maybe six or seven of them. As soon as they got close she gave them a wave with her hand and they all scrambled under turnstile bars and disappeared into the subway tunnels. She was smiling and laughing like it was mission accomplished. In some cultures, scamming the system is a laudable achievement. We’ve got plenty of scammers here but at least we still have a remnant of the idea of a code of honorable behavior.

        1. In some cultures, scamming the system is a laudable achievement.”

          And if you don’t scam you’re weak and or stupid or both so say the Chinese I work with they know how to play it, I just heard that wisdom again a few days ago. H1B because Americans can’t be trained ( senior manager quote different than cheating is smart quote ) yes often my ears burn with so much wisdom in high tech land

          1. Americans were pretty darn well trained to INVENT not only the Internet, but all the subsequent websites. I know; I saw it in the 1990s. The H1Bs only came later, to take advantage of an already-established system.

            As for the cheating culture, I’ve seen that too. Remember those stories about the you-pick orchards practically having to go on lockdown to prevent customers from shoplifting the blueberries? To them, it’s ok to cheat because that shows you’re smart enough to not get caught. And you get bonus points for cheating the Evil White Man.

          2. Cactus, I’ve heard that too, from H1Bs – that they’re chosen over Americans because of their training, work ethic, etc. It bothers me how much focus on stopping illegal immigration gets when focus also needs to be on stopping LEGAL immigration, like the H1Bs. ROC is being taking over. They’re taking jobs that could go to Americans, buying and bidding up houses in the area, anchor babies are taking spots in the local universities that could’ve gone to local American students, they’re bringing their large families over, helping other families get H1Bs and bring their families over… You can’t go anywhere anymore. It’s changing work culture and neighborhoods. It’s a very big problem considering ROC already has issues with Americans finding jobs, buying houses, and matriculating at the universities. No one wants to talk about it or even face it. It’s conveniently swept under the rug.

      2. PB,

        We’re at historically low crime rates, so any correlation between benefits to the poor and crime rates would only seem to justify the benefits.

        Even with all the mass shooting hysteria, we actually have FEWER mass shootings than ever. It’s just that with lower crime, any crime that does happen is more publicized.

    5. I live in the Twin Cities and work two blocks from the largest housing development housing Somalis. I routinely walk to work from my parked car in the dark, and half the year walk back to my car in the dark. I walk in the neighborhood to go to lunch.

      All too often, the people making the biggest fuss over supposed crime issues in any area are people who’ve never been there, don’t live or work there. They just read inflammatory articles, fall for them, and mindlessly repeat the claims.

      In short, as a lifelong resident I can confirm the Twin Cities has not deteriorated into a crime-ridden pesthole.

      Incidentally, one of my longterm neighbors (lived here 17 years) grew up in the Chicago projects. This is his first home, and his whole family is achingly proud of having gotten out of the projects and into the middle class. I’d happily have all of his brothers and sisters as my neighbors. Conversely, my lifelong next door neighbor now has her granddaughter living with her. This respectable middle-class white collar family produced a granddaughter with an engineering degree who is prostituting herself out of her grandma’s home to pay for her drugs, and who is inviting dealers, johns, and convicts in to party with her. It just goes to show that race/religion/class/education levels doesn’t mean everything.

      1. It just goes to show that race/religion/class/education levels doesn’t mean everything.

        Thank you for sharing that. I lived in Montreal for a couple of years, one of the most diverse cities on this continent. I became enthralled by the mix of cultures, backgrounds, religions, etc. I very much appreciate diversity. Our mostly Scandinavian/German family has had a little bit of diversity added in the past 20 years through marriage (pacific islander, black, Asian, Latino, etc.). It is a great credit to my grandparents who have warmly embraced their wonderful grandchildren and I have never heard them utter a disparaging word (grandmother is Fox-news watching DJT supporter and grandfather was, before his passing, a very solid democrat which made him an anomaly in Rexburg, Idaho).

  2. Yet the property has lingered unsold for well over a year, listing records show. It’s been listed as high as $895,000 in summer 2018. After nearly a dozen incremental price adjustments, it returns to market at $840,000 this week.”

    Sorry, greedheads, but “incremental price adjustments” won’t cut it anymore. Get to sawin’ and slashin’ like you mean it, or chase the market down with the rest of the “we’re not giving it away!” crowd.

  3. ‘Prosecutors there say Matthews and others bilked foreign investors out of money earmarked through the federal EB-5 program to pay for renovations and to open the Palm House as a luxury hotel and condominium. Instead, according to Matthews’ plea agreement, Matthews used investors’ money to buy property in Connecticut and to cover personal expenses’

    Foreign visa fraud and condotel. Talk about risk layering!


    The Way Out for a World Economy Hooked On Debt? Yet More Debt
    Zombie companies in China. Crippling student bills in America. Sky-high mortgages in Australia. Another default scare in Argentina.

    “With central bank rates at their lowest levels and U.S. Treasuries at their richest valuations in 100 years, we appear to be close to bubble territory, but we don’t know how or when this bubble will burst.”

    Read in Bloomberg:

    1. Lower prices for housing is good for the economy. Deleveraging is good for the economy. People who lend money at sub-5% getting haircuts is a good lesson. Bloomberg wants us to think otherwise.

      1. Deleveraging is good for the economy ??

        Given the record debt, private, corporate & government I would agree with that statement Ben…And yet, here we are with Trump cutting over a trillion in taxes for the Corps, with over a trillion dollar deficit and still wanting even lower interest rates…

      2. Of course, I agree Ben. I will go further Bloomberg, the man which owns the organization, wants articles which show the US about to collapse when it is the globalists, world about to collapse. All the graphs shown were for the world not the US alone. The fact that the US is not working to prop up globalism is a problem for the globalists not for the US. Yes, we have $1.3 trillion in student debt, is that a new problem? Was there a sudden surge in student debt? We have a bankruptcy code which encourages reorganizations thus bankruptcy and defaults, that too is not a new problem, if it really is a problem, I think not. Bloomberg would like to create a recession with his reporting but it is not working. The stock market is inching to record highs on a weekly basis. Does not mean a boom but the stock market does predict six months to one year out and a recession is not in its view. We start voting in this country in September of 2020, by election day in November 40 to 50% of the vote will be cast. Time is running out for a recession to impact the election. What is going to cause it anyway? We will have Boeing cranking up 737 max production soon greatly boosting the economy. Oil shocks used to cause recessions in the US. However, a sharp rise in oil will only cause increased drilling in this country and spur the economy and oil prices will be capped by the increased production. If you know the difference in oil reserves and oil resources, you will understand that we are running out of $60 oil but we have plenty at $80 a barrel. 50 cents a gallon more will still mean gasoline far below prices reached under Obama or W. Lower housing prices mean more sales and it is sales than boost the economy the most. People buy furniture etc. after they buy a home. The globalists asset inflation model does not help this country as much as affordable housing and money put into productive assets and not consumptive items.

        1. What is going to cause it anyway ??

          You were probably saying the same thing in July of 2008…

          And by Sept. 15, 2008, Lehman Brothers declared bankruptcy, causing the firm’s stock to plummet a final 93% from its standing just three days prior. With the collapse of one of the world’s biggest and most successful banks, the markets took unprecedented beating that is still, in some ways, being felt today.

          With central bank rates at their lowest levels and U.S. Treasuries at their richest valuations in 100 years ??

          I am sure there is nothing that could go wrong here…Haven’t you & Trump pushed for even lower rates Adan ??

          1. No, I agreed that the housing bubble was bursting and we were due for a stock market correction. The correction was bigger than I expected but then so was the quick bounce. I suspected that Soros helped the decline at the time. I did not panic even thought the call options I had written on my stocks was not sufficient to absorb the losses of the stocks. Thus, I was more than whole within a year.

          2. And by Sept. 15, 2008, Lehman Brothers declared bankruptcy, causing the firm’s stock to plummet a final 93% from its standing just three days prior.

            Then as now, the usual financial media touts and shills assured the sheeple to remain calm and that all was well. Jim Cramer: “Bear Stearns is fine!” – right before the bank cratered from $60 to under $2 a share, prior to being liquidated.


        2. Bloomberg

          “’Xi Jinping is not a dictator. He has to satisfy his constituents or he’s not going to survive,’ @MikeBloomberg told @FiringLineShow in September when defending China’s efforts to tackle pollution.”


          Wharton History Professor on China: “We can’t team up with the modern day equivalent of the Third Reich”

        3. “Lower housing prices mean more sales and it is sales that boost the economy the most.”

          That’s a great observation. The next decade or so of falling home prices will be a boon to the economy.

          1. As The Big Fat Bastard, aka Mafia Blocks so eloquently states:

            Nothing accelerates the economy and creates jobs like falling asset prices to dramatically lower and more affordable levels. Nothing.

            He’s right.

    2. There is nothing either party can do about the spiraling debt. If the debt doesn’t expand, the money supply doesn’t expand. If you take all debt out the system, you also take all the money out of system. But neither party will tell you this because they are both slaves to the same master.

  5. re$tin’ & awaitin’ the colo$$al capitulation’$ of over.priced $helter.$hack$ to compliment the colo$$al panic$ of over.priced Equitie$!

    Brexit Jan 31$t 2020, no if’$ or but’$!

    Long live the Queen of Ireland!

        1. Bloomberg should use it as his campaign theme song. Speaking of campaigns apparently Obama will do anything to stop Bernie, what a billionaires’ tool he is. It proves what I was saying when he was in office. The Globalists used minorities to keep the housing bubble going. When they saw the bubble imploding they knew minorities were going to get hit the hardest. Thus, they knew they needed a minority tool to be president to keep the blowback down. Thus, the rug was pulled out from under both Hillary and McCain, the other Globalist billionaire’ tools. Minority wealth was wiped out for a generation, try to keep the cities from burning with a white woman or a white man in office when that happens. Obama is collecting his 40 pieces of silver now.

          1. “will do anything to stop Bernie”

            “with a white woman or a white man in office”

            I was gonna vote for Bernie in the 2020 primary (Colorado now has open primaries) but I’m gonna vote for Tulsi Gabbard instead. Here her recent comments as quoted in an article published a few days ago:

            “The Democratic establishment is increasingly irritated. Representative Tulsi Gabbard, long-shot candidate for president, is attacking her own party for promoting the “deeply destructive” policy of “regime change wars.” Gabbard has even called Hillary Clinton “the queen of warmongers, embodiment of corruption, and personification of the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party.”

            An added bonus of voting for her is that I can call any D’s who vote for Biden, Buttigieg, Sanders both racist and sexist for voting against a woman of color.

            Not that it really matters, Trump is going to win 2020 by a single electoral college vote, despite losing the popular vote by 10,000,000. Watching Portland burn itself to the ground (again) will be glorious…

          2. “Gabbard has even called Hillary Clinton “the queen of warmongers, embodiment of corruption, and personification of the rot that has sickened the Democratic Party.” ”

            I like the way she thinks! 🙂

  6. The idea of creating sequestered lanes to protect pedestrians from self-driving cars is dumb and expensive. Why not just continue relying on the superior thinking skills of human drivers, rather than pour gobs of money into further developing self-driving cars that can’t distinguish a human being from a shopping cart?

    1. The Financial Times
      Driverless vehicles
      Driverless cars aren’t safe enough to share our streets
      Fatal Uber crash shows that the technology should be quarantined to separate lanes
      Nick Chater
      The steering wheel of a Toyota Motor Corp. Prius hybrid car, operated by Yandex.Taxi, part of Yandex.NV, turns to maneuver the vehicle in response to traffic information relayed by sensors during a self-driving taxi trial on open roads in Moscow, Russia, on Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2019. Yandex, Russia’s largest search engine that successfully expanded to online taxi and swallowed Uber Technologies Inc. operations in the country, started testing self-driving cars in 2017.
      Photographer: Andrey Rudakov/Bloomberg
      Even signals that are easily detected, such as flashing lights, can be difficult to interpret
      © Bloomberg
      Nick Chater 7 hours ago

      US safety investigators are right to be fed up with rules allowing companies to unleash driverless cars on streets, while “self-certifying” that their testing methods are safe.

      “In my opinion they’ve put technology advancement here before saving lives,” Jennifer Homendy, a member of the US National Transportation Safety Board, said at a recent hearing into the March 2018 fatal crash involving an Uber self-driving car.

      1. In a couple more years we will have heavy duty, bullet proof, steel 5000 lb, battery powered triangles self driving through neighborhoods. Woohoo!

        1. 5000 lb, battery powered triangles Maybe pedestrians who wish to survive will switch to 10000 lb, battery powered triangles under their own control.

    2. I’ll go with the conspiratorial view on this. They don’t want people controlling their own mobility. Say something against your government while in your vehicle? The doors will lock and you will be driven straight to the reeducation training facility. “Self-driving” cars is a misnomer. The car is being driven by the people who programmed it to do what it’s doing. If you are in one, you will go where they program It to go when and how they program it to take you there. Want to go outside the physical range of the 5G network or outside your prescribed area of travel.? It will turn around and drive you back to your urban gulag.

      1. That’s awesome. It sounds like self-driving cars are not only unsafe, but also are a threat to America’s cherished constitutionally protected freedom to drive where we choose.

      2. “straight to the reeducation training facility”

        They’re called Vocational Education and Training Centers, at least they are in Xinjiang Province.

        See also: Dekulakization.

        History doesn’t repeat itself, but it often rhymes. And when millennials become the largest voting block in the United States, they will implement similar policies here.

        And now back to your regularly scheduled Globalist Narrative™.

        1. From Wikipedia …

          “Dekulakization under Stalin
          Joseph Stalin announced the ‘liquidation of the kulaks as a class’on 27 December 1929.[3] Stalin had said: ‘Now we have the opportunity to carry out a resolute offensive against the kulaks, break their resistance, eliminate them as a class and replace their production with the production of kolkhozes and sovkhozes.'[9] The Politburo of the Central Committee of the Communist Party formalized the decision in a resolution ‘On measures for the elimination of kulak households in districts of comprehensive collectivization’ on 30 January 1930. All kulaks were assigned to one of three categories:[3]
          1. to be shot or imprisoned as decided by the local secret political police
          2. to be sent to Siberia, the North, the Urals or Kazakhstan, after confiscation of their property
          3. to be evicted from their houses and used in labour colonies within their own districts”

          1. More fun reading from Wikipedia …

            During the summer of 1918, Moscow sent armed detachments to the villages to seize grain. Any peasant who resisted was labeled a kulak: “The Communists declared war on the rural population for two purposes: to extract food for the cities and the Red Army and to insinuate their authority into the countryside, which remained largely unaffected by the Bolshevik coup”.[2] A large-scale revolt ensued and it was during this period that Lenin sent a directive in August 1918: “Hang (hang without fail, so the people see) no fewer than one hundred known kulaks, rich men, bloodsuckers. […] Do it in such a way that for hundreds of versts [kilometers] around the people will see, tremble, know, shout: they are strangling and will strangle to death the bloodsucker kulaks”.[11]
            During the height of collectivization in the early 1930s, people identified as kulaks were subjected to deportation and extrajudicial punishment. They were often murdered in local violence while others were formally executed after conviction as kulaks.[7][12][13]
            In May 1929, the Sovnarkom issued a decree that formalised the notion of “kulak household” (кулацкое хозяйство). Any of the following defined a kulak:[3][14]
            Use of hired labor.
            Ownership of a mill, a creamery (маслобойня, “butter-making rig”), other processing equipment, or a complex machine with a motor.
            Systematic renting out of agricultural equipment or facilities.
            Involvement in trade, money-lending, commercial brokerage, or “other sources of non-labor income”.
            By the last item, any peasant who sold his surplus goods on the market could be classified as a kulak. In 1930, this list was extended to include those who were renting industrial plants, e.g. sawmills, or who rented land to other farmers. At the same time, the ispolkoms (executive committees of local Soviets) of republics, oblasts and krais were given rights to add other criteria for defining kulaks, depending on local conditions.[3]

        2. I like to believe that when millennials spend enough time outside of the reeducation camps they were in, colleges, common sense will prevail and they will begin to vote for people who have views in their best interests. Thus, hard working millennials will start voting for non-globalists.

          1. “hard working millennials”

            Apprentice electricians are maybe 0.01% of the millennial workforce?

            Yes, there are some in the other trades too, but not many.

            The majority of millennial “careers” require little or no effort, and can, and should be replaced by robots and AI.

          2. This is a bit exaggerated. Outside of the SJWs that studied their social justice related degrees, all I studied in college was cold hard math, science, engineering and business. No indoctrination.

    3. Why not just continue relying on the superior thinking skills of human drivers

      Exhibit A in the “superior thinking skills of human drivers”:

      “Osborn was in the Albertsons parking lot around 1:40 p.m. when he was hit by a silver 2002 Pontiac Grand Am driven by an 88-year-old Ivins man.”

      “Based upon the initial investigation, it appears that, rather than pushing the brake, the driver of the Grand Am pushed on the accelerator,” St. George Police said in a press release Wednesday. “After striking Mr. Osborn, the Grand Am continued through a parking stall and struck a shopping cart return bin before coming to a stop after striking an unoccupied vehicle.”

      1. Obviously obsolescence is a concern, whether talking human brains or self-driving cars. I will submit without any evidence to back it up that 88 year old human drivers will generally outperform 88 year old robotic ones.

        1. I have a lot more faith in machines that don’t text and drive, don’t drive drowsy or drunk, and who don’t erroneously think their driving capabilities are better than they actually are (or who are too stubborn to admit otherwise). This also applies to young drivers whose prefrontal cortex isn’t fully developed by the age of 25 and who speed and take all sorts of reckless maneuvers.

    4. pour gobs of money into further developing

      “Driverless cars: Many expected this by 2020 (and Elon Musk has promised) but the general consensus of the field is that fully autonomous driving is harder than most people expected, still many years off, except in limited conditions (such as ideal weather, minimal pedestrian traffic, detailed maps, etc.).”

      “Right now, governments, large corporations and venture capitalists are making massive investments into AI, largely deep learning; if they start to perceive a pattern of overpromising, the whole field might suffer. If driverless cars and conversational bots appear only a year or two late, no problem, but the more deadlines slip, on driverless cars, medical diagnosis and conversational AI, the greater the risk of new AI winter becomes.”

      1. “The future is already here, it just isn’t evenly distributed.” – William Gibson

        Of course there are real challenges for total self-driving, but there are already self-driving cars operating now in many US cities. Waymo has been doing this with human supervision for a couple of years now. They are almost ready to remove the humans.

        I can say with confidence that I am a better driver with the self-driving features of my model 3. When I turn on autopilot, I am centered in my lane much better than I could do myself. I also get advanced collision warnings faster than my human brain can react. Several times I have been prompted to brake (or the car has applied the brakes itself) faster than I could react. In one case a car has slowed down very quickly and was taking a right hand turn but their tail light was burned out.

        1. “Waymo has been doing this with human supervision for a couple of years now. They are almost ready to remove the humans.”

          Taking the human training wheels away seems like a pretty big leap of faith!

    5. PB,

      I agree separate lanes are not “the way”, but being able to get out of your car and it goes to find a parking spot will be great. Or getting in your car, falling asleep, and waking up at your vacation spot 300 miles away. What about getting rid of your car altogether? Just summon one at will with no insurance needed. Solo trip, or commute to work? Small car on the way. Family trip? SUV awaits. Need to haul something. A truck is on your doorstep. All for less than your monthly car payment, and without the cost of a human driver.

      I predict the next big “dot com” will be an insurance company that reduces your insurance bill on the car you own when you use more of the uber/lyft/tesla self-driving car service. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if uber/lyft/tesla didn’t CREATE this service to promote the transition away from personal car use to their service model.

      1. I wouldn’t be surprised if uber/lyft/tesla didn’t CREATE this service to promote the transition away from personal car use to their service model.

        Uber under Kalanick was not secretive that the road to profitability was to eliminate the human drivers. And that kind of makes sense considering that the driver takes like 70% of the revenue (they also eat the depreciation and wear and tear of their vehicles). But if we ever get to on-demand vehicle sharing services, the cost-per-mile with an electrified vehicle will be astonishing low. Car ownership will not go away, but the need to have a car to get from point A to point B will be much less costly since it will not require car ownership (e.g. access over ownership).

        Tesla, for their part, has suggested they will launch their own Tesla network. I imagine at first this will be their own contracted drivers driving EVs. At some point they may morph in to a Waymo style service in select cities where driving conditions and weather is temperate and predictable.

        1. If BEV’s cost per mile is so low, why aren’t we seeing a lot of electric rental cars (including last miles, e.g. at mass transit stations)?

          BTW, a lot of the used electric cars I see for sale on sfbay craigslist are pretty low miles. So it appears that most owners aren’t taking full advantage of those lower costs….

          Finally, as a side note, if I didn’t have to worry about picking up kids at random times, and had some extra cash, I think is would be VERY fun electric transit (especially the long range version):

          1. Because electric wins (will win?) on TCO, and rental companies don’t do TCO; the renter pays for gas. Thus the rental company can amortize on the asset, add maintenance, and get a much lower investment point with gas vehicles.

          2. Electric car cost/mile is 38% higher than internal combustion vehicles, directly attributed to the fact that they continued running long after electric vehicles fall apart.

            Why pay 38% more for transportation?

          3. I posted on this yesterday, but I guess my post didn’t show up. Anyway, this is already happening. NYC taxis are now approved for model 3s. It will take some time because the upfront cost of an EV is high. My uncle drives for Lyft/Uber and he told me that the only people who can really make anything are those who drive a used Prius because their fuel costs are so much lower than everyone else. Eventually the Prius rideshare vehicle will be replaced with a used model 3.

      1. I don’t mind the color at all — it’s a nice neutral — but doing the complete house in it, inside and out, is boring and shows zero imagination.

        1. I mind it very much when it clashes with the hardwood floors.

          Many pix of Teh Gray, but NO pix of the basement, or the yard. Red Flag! SOP for flippers. They only show the reno.

          1. Personally, I like English Cottage outside, with a mild version of Craftsman styling inside. Straight Craftsman is a little too much to handle, but a muted version is quite beautiful when done right.

    1. A housing development I drove past in Las Vegas had a sign up touting the fact they are within walking distance of the new Raiders stadium. 🙂

        1. I’m a lifelong Raiders fan, and I would most certainly not call that a selling feature.

          Is that because if you’re within walking distance of the Raiders that means the Raiders are within walking distance of you?

  7. “…sold his waterfront retreat for $2.2 million after trimming about $700,000 off the original asking price.”

    Lake Arrowhead is beautiful, but I don’t know about $2.2 million worth of beauty. Even after the nice haircut, that’s alot.

    1. “Lake Arrowhead is beautiful … ”

      Well, with 73% of the forest infected with beetle death, what could possibly go wrong when lightning or a careless human fire pit ignition?

  8. The globalist oligarchs and their media mouthpieces are highly displeased about Trump signing into law the bill passed with rare bipartisan support intended to tie future preferential trade treatment to certification of Hong Kong’s basic rights and freedoms. The globalists would much prefer that the U.S. kow-tow to the tyrants in Beijing rather than risk any escalation in trade disputes that would threaten their all-important global Ponzi markets.

    1. This is the best thing DJT has done in a while. I hope his support for HK stays and is not just a way to deflect attention away from impeachment.

      1. I think it is worth mentioning in China, for normal people, any question of their territory is highly offensive. And everyone knows HKSAR belongs to China!

        Thus, for a foreign power to even mention HKSAR’s internal affairs in this way is a huge escalation psychologically for China. Even people who despise the Party are often still hardcore nationalists. This is a game-changer I think.

        Media and academics often argue the Party is only legitimate because of economic growth, but I’d argue it also gains legitimacy from asserting China’s sovereignty against the hostile foreigners. The Century of Humiliation is a thing they begin to teach in Kindergarten. They show children images of WWII era Japanese soldiers murdering civilians in all of its gory glory. Imagine the psychological damage of showing small children actual murder pictures, and telling them they are a special racial family that must stick together because outside powers are jealous and want to prevent their rightful rise back to the top of the world as a leading technology and cultural power. The Party is here to prevent future humiliations for the family. So the Party has no ability to make a deal with the USA now that their territory is again being questioned by the hostile foreigners (general Mainland perspective).

        Moreover, Trump can’t back down domestically because the bipartisan consensus from the 1970s to integrate China into the global economy is finally reversed, and only radicals like Bloomberg will continue to argue for the PRC. It is increasingly difficult in America for politicians to shill for a country that has Muslim re-education camps, openly dumps poison into the air, water, and soil, and has some of the world’s worst income inequality.

        And HKSAR will continue to burn because the laobaixing have had enough. That’s the saddest part of this whole ordeal, because Hong Kong is a beautiful place that sadly appears to have no future.

        1. It’s difficult to imagine the U.S. defending Japan’s virtue from Chinese aggression. A modern war of attrition against The Panda stands little chance of success.

          1. @RMS: I think China is more likely to expand westward rather than towards Japan. Central Asia has lots of resources. Japan has lots of technology and IP, but those can be taken peacefully.

        2. Hong Kong is a beautiful place that sadly appears to have no future.

          In my view, China’s success as a country is tied to Hong Kong’s success. The special privileges they have their and their form of government has created climate of innovation, technology, banking, and culture. China cannot afford to crack down on Hong Kong too much or else they run the risk of doing collateral damage to their future economic prospects.

          1. The VIPs in charge will be OK no matter what happens.

            They may shoot themselves in the foot. HKSAR is an important conduit for the world to engage economically with China under a rule of law system. Without that, I agree the country will not be as prosperous as it could be otherwise.

    1. “Personal loan balances now exceed $300 billion, as of the second quarter of this year, according to Experian, a whopping 11% yearly increase. For good reason, too, as personal loans can help to consolidate credit card debt, or make funds available for major projects, such as a home remodeling effort. For many of us, …”

      Dummies, for many of us dummies …

      “… the allure is hard to ignore, …”

      Like it, love it, want more of it.

      “… but personal loans do differ in some key ways from other types of credit you might use, such as credit cards. It’s important to understand the key differences before signing on the dotted line.”

      Bahahahahah … does this mean the borrower has to actually read the loan documents?


      “On the other hand, borrowers with poor credit may encounter rates higher than the average credit card, sometimes exceeding 30%.”

      “Sometimes exceeding 30%”

      Again, like it, love it, want more of it.

  9. “On the other hand, borrowers with poor credit may encounter rates higher than the average credit card, sometimes exceeding 30%.”

    I can just imagine what the default rate is on those loans.

  10. Are you whatsoever concerned that accounting legerdemain may be concealing a severe drop in core earnings that will prove the catalyst for the next stock market rout?

    1. Opinion: Companies’ core earnings are more crazily distorted than investors realize, and that puts stocks at risk
      By David Trainer, Sam McBride, and Kyle Guske II
      Published: Dec 1, 2019 9:22 a.m. ET
      Over the trailing 12 months, GAAP earnings fell 1% while adjusted core earnings fell 6%

      …earnings distortion is now positive for the first time since 2007 and is the highest it’s been since 2000. Figure 3 shows that soon after earnings distortion broke into positive territory, in 2006-07 and 1998-2000, the stock market crashed.

          1. It’s worth bearing in mind that the long generally positive trend in stock PEs since the early 1980s was underpinned by a decrease in developed economy sovereign bond yields from double digits to near zero or negative recent levels. When the yield trend reverses, it could undermine the relative attractiveness of stocks.

          2. I do not see how using earnings during the Obama years gives you a more accurate view of present earning particularly with the tax changes. You used a ten year average of earnings. Just looking at the last 12 months it is 23.04 a little high but nothing like the 123.73 it was in May 2009.

      1. ” … earning$ di$tortion” = one of many key component$ in the “True.Believer$” calculu$ of prediction$ for the manife$tation$ of a “$oft.landing$”

        Long live the King of Wales!

  11. Seattle, WA Housing Prices Crater 18% YOY As Amazon And Microsoft Layoffs Drive Mortgage Defaults

    *Select price from dropdown menu on first chart

    You’re gonna read it here, there and everywhere…. and like it.

    As one noted economist advises, “Mortgage debt is the most toxic and damaging debt of all. Avoid it at all costs.”

  12. Better shape than Obama when looking at the five year chart and certainly nothing like the situation we faced in 2008.

    1. Get the price declines going far and deep enough and there will be little effect at all other than an accelerating economy.

      Mercer Island, WA Housing Prices Crater 17% YOY As Appraisal Fraud Ravages West Coast Cities

      As one noted economist stated so eloquently, “Nothing accelerates the economy and creates jobs like falling prices to dramatically lower and more affordable levels.”

    1. The Lilys — And One (On One):

      “Night after night
      I’m unable
      To stop huffing lines of one and one
      Off the kitchen table til dawn”

      Millennial, is that you?

      It’s OK. There’s therapy, and meetings that can help with that (I’m not joking, if you think you have a substance problem, do something about it).

      1. I guess for me it was getting responsible jobs early where calling in sick at the last minute was not acceptable.

  13. “Five percent is too little and 50 percent is stupid.”

    Interesting. Looks like I can just copy-pasta my exact responses from the other day:

    “Five percent is too little…”

    “…and 50 percent is stupid.”
    Still meh, but heading in the right direction. Of course, my expectations are set for a 50% off sale at the full market median here in Portland.

    1. Watched this very enlightening video tonight. The Royal Bank of Australia (RBA) is right up there with the Fed in terms of Keynesian monetary fraud. The RBA head in a recent speech admitted that by early next year all of the central banks will be doing full-blown QE and “all options were on the table” as the gargantuan debt bubbles blown up by the central bankers are becoming dangerously unstable. Also, there are increasing accounts of depositors attempting to pull their funds out of Australian banks, but being told either the cash is not available or being interrogated about what they intend to do with the funds, with the threat of the account being blocked if the bank doesn’t like the answers. Scary stuff.

    2. Good video; worth watching. So the grand plan of the Keynesian fraudsters at the central banks is to push up asset prices by artificially suppressing interest rates and flooding debt markets with fake money to prevent a liquidity lock-up a la 2008. Genius plan, but have these Fed asshats noticed that social unrest has spread to more than 20 countries as the beleaguered proles are reaching the breaking point with the soaring cost of living – especially housing – and wages not keeping pace with inflation?

      1. In the US I think housing price declines would cause more unrest than low interest rates. Loanowners are a large constituency.

        1. Are they rioting in the streets of Manhattan yet?

          Manhattan real estate prices take the biggest tumble since the financial crisis
          Published Wed, Oct 2 201912:01 AM EDTUpdated Wed, Oct 2 201910:40 AM EDT
          Robert Frank
          Key Points
          – The average sale price for a Manhattan apartment fell 14% in the third quarter, according to a report from Douglas Elliman and Miller Samuel.
          – That was the steepest drop since 2010, when the city was still in the grips of the financial crisis.
          – Some of the decline is due to the timing of a new tax on high-priced Manhattan real estate that took effect on July 1 and may have shifted the timing of some deals.

          Prices for Manhattan real estate took their biggest plunge since the 2008 financial crisis, according to a new report.

          The average sale price for a Manhattan apartment fell 14% in the third quarter, according to a report from Douglas Elliman and Miller Samuel. That was the steepest drop since 2010, when the city was still in the grips of the financial crisis, according to Jonathan Miller, CEO of Miller Samuel, the appraisal and research firm.

          1. The Uber rich will pay temps to do their rioting. Lately the temps have been busy at the antifa events but they should get to the declining housing prices riots soon

    3. Reader comments are uniformly scathing about the role of the Fed and central banks, showing the growing public awareness of the swindles being perpetrated on the 99% by the Fed and its financial sector cohorts. How much longer can the Fed run its confidence rackets when the former sheeple are now on to the con?

  14. Hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving.

    Martha Stephens
    3 days ago
    Happy Thanksgiving everyone. 2019 ..Timeless

    Laura Jessica Wopp-Hulin
    3 years ago
    If you remember this song & all the lyrics….you just might be a hard-case hippie! ENJOY!!!!

    Arlo Guthrie – Alice’s Restaurant (Live at Farm Aid 2005)

  15. 50 years ago today I was 5 days away from reporting for my draft physical and almost certain induction into the US armed forces shortly afterward. But out of the blue the US had its first draft lottery since WWII on this day. I went from priority #1 to priority #362, and so the angel of Fate passed me over. One of my cousins was shot down over Viet Nam 30 Jun 1970, his body not recovered until 2012. I attended his funeral at Arlington in 2013.

    1. Thanks for sharing Tresho. It’s amazing those what small little twists of fate can mean in our lives. I doubt I’ve ever had something like that, but there have been a handful of small forks in the road that have ended up being monumental decisions that changed the course of my life.

    2. The resistance to the Vietnam war made the MEC realize they had to do away with the draft and the citizen military. Now it’s much easier for them to intervene whenever they want. I wish we had a draft because this would focus the snowflakes on being anti-interventionist.

    3. Lots of MDs cut their teeth in forward medical surgical units as helicopters altered the triage equation.

      The Vietnamese just wanted independence from France as colonialism was dying, but I guess our cold-war butch haircuts at the Pentagon were afraid the Soviets were set to be their next Overlords and decided that they would be better off dead than Red. The conquest of Sadam’s Iraq was no different…a total cluster phuc!

    1. How long are they going to let this go on?

      As long as they think it shields him from valid criticism.

    2. It does speak to desperation that they just do not put him out to pasture with Hillary. Actually they need to send both to the glue factory. However instead Joe is their front runner. Honestly cannot see that lasting. However I cannot see Mayor Pete winning over religious blacks or Hispanics. I think the others have sunk themselves with Medicare for all and most importantly free medical care for illegals. Hard to walk back now when you are on video.

  16. “Apartments within the more affordable Class B and C sectors tend to be impacted less during a recession because housing is a basic need.”

    Perhaps you are more stable on the revenue side. But you might face a problem on the expense side, if actual housing reinvestment (as opposed to fancyfication) is required. The roof, the boiler, the electrical system, the sewer connection, etc.

    Real estate is not a stock or bond. You actually have to know things.

  17. As tapped-out debt donkeys curb spending and consumption, are inventory write-downs of overpriced, non-selling stock a leading indicator of the deflation that is the Fed’s worst nightmare?

    Deflating shack prices would mean FBs walking away from their underwater shacks en masse, causing values to plunge. That in turn would result in collateralized loans shedding trillions in Yellen Bux valuations as their actual underlying value would be anyone’s guess.

    Oh dear….

  18. An interesting observation I ran across on the net that I feel applies to real estate manias as well as many other things …

    “In reading The History of Nations, we find that, like individuals, they have their whims and their peculiarities, their seasons of excitement and recklessness, when they care not what they do. We find that whole communities suddenly fix their minds upon one object and go mad in its pursuit; that millions of people become simultaneously impressed with one delusion, and run after it, till their attention is caught by some new folly more captivating than the first.” –Charles Mackay (1841)

    1. Boeing should soon be leading the Dow to new highs. It cut 737 max production. When the plane is recertified production will be much higher than even the number being produced before the cutbacks.

  19. Demographics are destiny:

    These Housing Markets Will Feel The Biggest Impact From the Silver Tsunami
    Market Watch
    2 December 2019
    Jacob Passy

    “As baby boomers reach their golden years, a growing number of homeowners across the country will pass away. And with their passing, these seniors will leave behind millions of homes. And millions more boomers will choose to sell their homes as they downsize or move to retirement living facilities.”

    Metro area Share of homes seniors will release by 2027 Share of homes seniors will release by 2037
    Tampa-St. Petersburg-Clearwater, Fla. 15.2% 33.2%
    Tucson-Nogales, Ariz. 14.8% 32.6%
    Miami-Fort Lauderdale-Port St. Lucie, Fla. 15.2% 31.9%
    Orlando-Deltona-Daytona Beach, Fla. 14.4% 31.9%
    Dayton-Springfield-Sidney, Ohio 14.3% 31.3%
    Knoxville-Morristown-Sevierville, Tenn. 13.5% 30.8%
    Pittsburgh-New Castle-Weirton, Penn.-Ohio-W.Va. 13.6% 30.2%
    Cleveland-Akron-Canton, Ohio 13.2% 29.9%
    Albuquerque-Santa Fe-Las Vegas, N.M. 12.7% 29.6%
    Greensboro-Winston-Salem-High Point, N.C. 13.3% 29.5%
    Albany-Schenectady, N.Y. 12.6% 29.1%
    Buffalo-Cheektowaga, N.Y. 13.2% 29.0%
    Birmingham-Hoover-Talladega, Ala. 12.5% 28.6%
    Greenville-Spartanburg-Anderson, S.C. 12.7% 28.6%
    New Orleans-Metairie-Hammond, La.-Miss. 12.5% 28.5%
    Rochester-Batavia-Seneca Falls, N.Y. 12.6% 28.5%
    Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, Ariz. 12.4% 28.2%
    Hartford-West Hartford, Ct. 12.2% 28.0%
    Milwaukee-Racine-Waukesha, Wis. 12.0% 27.9%
    St. Louis-St. Charles-Farmington, Mo.-Ill. 12.3% 27.9%

    “At the other end of the spectrum, Salt Lake City, Utah, is expected to see the smallest effect from the “Silver Tsunami.” With less than 20% of homes expected to go up for sale because they are currently owned by an aging baby boomer. Other cities expected to escape this trend relatively unscathed include the cities of Austin, Houston and Dallas in Texas.”

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