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An Unhealthy Attachment To An Obviously Dead Bird

A report from the Times of London in the UK. “There are streets in London that may boast more expensive land. Others can claim to have higher average property prices. Yet none can compete when it comes to the sheer concentration of vast super-mansions. So why is The Bishops Avenue, aka Billionaires’ Row, falling into rack and ruin? The north London street is home to some of the world’s wealthiest people. Over the past few years, though, pockets of decay have set in where hulking homes have been neglected by overseas owners. Once they were palatial. Now, their windows are boarded while front lawns are strewn with beer cans and cigarette packets.”

“Some locals attest to worse. ‘These places have become a magnet for delinquents and wild animals,’ a woman, who gave her name as Mrs Walker, said. ‘Addicts, drunks, squatters, teenagers — you name it.'”

“At the south end of The Bishops Avenue, where the most expensive homes are to be found, The Times estimated that between a quarter and a third were unoccupied. Of those, all but one are owned by offshore companies registered in the Isle of Man, British Virgin Islands and the Bahamas. ‘Some of these rich foreigners have more money than sense,’ said one woman, who did not want to be named. ‘They’ve got so much money that they just buy the place and then forget all about it. It means nothing to them.'”

“Such stories contrast starkly with the national housing crisis. According to the charity, Action on Empty Homes, 85,000 families will spend Christmas this year living in temporary accommodation.”

The Irish Independent. “Representatives of some of the country’s most active housebuilders met for a regular catch-up to discuss industry issues earlier in the week and, according to people with knowledge of the meeting, they nearly all had one observation in common: a distinct slowdown in the length of time it is taking to sell the average family home around the country.”

“Many of the housebuilders present complained that the queues of buyers at new housing estates have disappeared and that newly-built units are still sitting idle long after they would have expected them to sell.”

From The Citizen in Kenya. “High-end property developers and owners continue to suffer burnt fingers as lenders intensify the recoveries of bad loans through the auction of collateral. A fresh report by Knight Frank paints the stakes for the high-end market owners who on one end continue to bare the impact of the oversupply linked price correction with buyers maintaining the control of the market. ‘The rising number of distressed properties in Nairobi has also affected prime residential values significantly with lenders intensifying efforts to recover non-performing loans through the sale of collateral,’ states part of the report.”

“Combined, the ongoing glut in the high-end properties segment coupled with the pressing need by lenders to recoup bad loans has led to the heavy discounting of property prices to see valuations in real estate remain on the slump. The market distress has recently featured on daily newspapers as auctioneers place multiple advertisements on mass-property sell-offs even as they too face hardships in making a sale prompting the initiation of substantive price slashes.”

The Ottawa Citizen in Canada. “In the immediate aftermath of Alberta’s accelerated coal phase-out, real-estate prices in Hanna, home to most of the 200 workers at the Sheerness power plant and coal mine, collapsed. The town has been forced to reassess the value of houses within its boundaries, dramatically reducing values and its tax base. But downward reassessments have not kept pace with the rate of decline in housing prices. Data from the town show that only one in 20 homes is selling above assessed value.”

“A fixer-upper can cost less than a used car. In early December, there were six houses for sale for less than $70,000, including a five-bedroom, three-bathroom, 1,300-square-foot split-level with a detached garage. The average price of houses on the market in Hanna is $166,215, which is just 44 per cent of the provincial average, according to Alberta Real Estate Association data.”

“‘When you can buy a truck or a house for the same price, it’s pretty sad,’ said Tracey Grantham, owner of Big Sky Real Estate Ltd. in Hanna. Many residents, she added, are still paying their mortgages even though they are losing equity seemingly by the day.”

From Domain News in Australia. “An inner-west deceased estate made its owners a $400,000 gain in just seven months, a staggering result that encapsulated the auction market’s turnaround this year. The inner-west bore the brunt of the downturn with median house prices declining more than 10 per cent year on year by July 2019, according to Domain data. But since then, Sydney house prices regained almost a third of the value lost during the two-year downturn, Domain’s September House Price Report found.”

“‘I can’t remember the last time I saw a first-home buyer beat an investor,’ said auctioneer Andrew Robinson . ‘I think compared to even six months ago – we were struggling … there just weren’t the buyers. It seems now that it’s easier to get money, the banks have loosened up their lending again, which has definitely helped.'”

The Australian Financial Review. “Sydney-based investor Scott O’Neill said most investors switching to commercial were chasing cash flow, which has been elusive in residential investments. ‘A lot of the residential markets are just not performing as well as they used to and there are a lot of mediocre returns out there,’ he said. ‘The days of 8 per cent capital growth in residential seemed long gone. Rents have dropped in many areas, vacancies have risen and some states are changing tenancy laws in favour of tenants, which make residential less attractive.'”

“Mr O’Neill noted that retiring Baby Boomers who rely on regular income have also turned to commercial investment to boost their cash flow. ‘Many people find it hard to rely on the rent they’re getting from residential properties,’ he said. ‘You can’t live off the rental income as prices are still very high relative to rent so most of the time, your residential investment is costing you money, rather than earning income.'”

From New Zealand City. “OneRoof data predicts the average Auckland house price could skyrocket threefold – to almost 3-million-dollars by 2040. Queenstown will likely remain as the most expensive area – with an average home at 4.8 million. OneRoof’s Owen Vaughan says if the next 20 years are anything like the last 20, it could be a wild ride.”

From Stuff New Zealand. “2019 in the New Zealand construction sector presents an interesting smorgasbord of wins and losses. The most obvious win is the continued growth of the construction sector – extending its multi-year boom. Arguably this is one of the longest ‘upswings’ in construction ever seen in New Zealand. In October we saw a projected further 9 per cent growth to $43 billion announced. This is an amazing run.”

“But construction industry ‘high performance’ is a paradoxical concept. The failure rate of construction companies is horrific. The fallout of Ebert’s failure in late 2018 fed forward into 2019 stressing companies. We have seen multiple liquidations including Arrow International, Stanley Group and others. Large clients lose money and have to rethink their development plans. Small clients building their dream home lose everything.”

“In 2019 housing will be largely remembered as the year of KiwiBuild ‘recalibration’. Phil Twyford was moved out as housing minister – in a move seen as a tacit acceptance of KiwiBuild programme failure. KiwiBuild has to one of the most over-egged confections to hit the sector in recent years. Sky high expectations were created, not matched by delivery. Everyone wants a high quality home opportunity for first time homeowners. However fundamentally they were the wrong price point product pitched at the wrong demographic.”

“Prior to the general election 2020, the Government needs to offset negative KiwiBuild PR. A quick win is needed to defuse attacks ahead of the election. Without it government risks accusations of an unhealthy attachment to an obviously dead bird.”

This Post Has 164 Comments
  1. ‘Many residents, she added, are still paying their mortgages even though they are losing equity seemingly by the day’

    Well it was cheaper than renting…

    BTW, check out the photos at the Times link. Wanna know where this whole vacant, luxury shack/airbox gambling thing is headed?

    1. “still paying their mortgages”

      Crazy notion there, Tracey, that people would buy a house and pay it off over time in order to have a place to live.

  2. ‘Some of these rich foreigners have more money than sense,’ said one woman, who did not want to be named. ‘They’ve got so much money that they just buy the place and then forget all about it. It means nothing to them.’”

    Globalism: the gift that keeps on giving.

  3. “High-end property developers and owners continue to suffer burnt fingers as lenders intensify the recoveries of bad loans through the auction of collateral.

    Sorry, Janet Powell, but pumping $100-120 billion in printing-press liquidity a day into the repo markets is going to be grossly insufficient as non-performing loans force the auctioning of collateral. That in turn is going to usher in the Fed’s worst nightmare: true price discovery in place of mark-to-fantasy accounting. The deterioration of the underlying collateral for the insane lending binge since 2009, a product of cheap unlimited Yellen Bux, is going to mean the actual value of the collateral is anyone’s guess, but far below outstanding loan balances.

    (All together now: “Oh dear!”

    At some point the markdown of collateral is going to overwhelm the Fed’s ability to keep pumping liquidity into the system to forestall the inevitable financial reckoning day. As defaults and foreclosures snowball, the full magnitude of the Fed’s fraudulent monetary and “stimulus” policies of the last ten years, and the chimera of a “recovery” fueled by debt and fake money, is about to be laid bare.

    1. “It is now too late to stop a future collapse of our societies because of climate change.” Then, 🥂 🎉 🎊 🎈

        1. It’s essentially like a game of Monopoly where most of us are lucky to have a Baltic Avenue, but we keep landing on Boardwalk and Park Place, both of which have hotels.

          1. The game of Monopoly, played to it’s ultimate end, results in one player owning EVERYTHING and all the other players owning absolutely NOTHING.

            I like it.

      1. The Atlantic — The Arrogance Of The Anthropocene, 8/13/19:

        “The most enduring geological legacy, instead, will be the extinctions we cause. The first wave of human-driven extinctions, and the largest hit to terrestrial megafauna since the extinction of the dinosaurs, began tens of thousands of years ago, as people began to spread out into new continents and islands, wiping out everything we tend to think of as “Ice Age” fauna—mammoths, mastodons, giant wombats, giant ground sloths, giant armadillos, woolly rhinoceroses, giant beavers, etc. This early, staggered, human-driven extinction event is as reasonable a starting date as any for the Anthropocene and one that has, in fact, been proposed. However, a few thousand years—or even a few tens of thousands of years—will be virtually indistinguishable in the rocks a hundred million years hence. That is, it would not be obvious to the geologists of the far future that these prehistoric human-caused extinctions were not simultaneous with our own modern-day depredations on the environment. The clear-cutting of the rain forest to build roads and palm-oil plantations, the plowing of the seabed on a continental scale, the rapid changes to the ocean and atmosphere’s chemistry, and all the rest would appear simultaneous with the extinction of the woolly mammoth. To future geologists, the modern debate about whether the Anthropocene started 10 minutes ago or 10,000 years ago will be a bit like arguing with your spouse on your 50th wedding anniversary about which nanosecond you got married.

        What humans are doing on the planet, then, unless we endure for millions to tens of millions of years, is extremely transient. In fact, there exists a better word in geology than epoch to describe our moment in the sun thus far: event. Indeed, there have been many similarly disruptive, rapid, and unusual episodes scattered throughout Earth history—wild climate fluctuations, dramatic sea-level rises and falls, global ocean-chemistry disasters, and biodiversity catastrophes. They appear as strange lines in the rock, but no one calls them epochs. Some reach the arbitrary threshold of “mass extinction,” but many have no name. Moreover, lasting only a few tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands of years in duration, they’re all considered events. In our marathon of Earth history, the epochs would occasionally pass by on the side of the road like towns, while these point-like “events” would present themselves to us only fleetingly, like pebbles underfoot.”

        https://www.theatlantic.com/science/archive/2019/08/arrogance-anthropocene/595795/

          1. They could have at least picked a cute, less annoying kid.

            A cute, less annoying kid would have better things to do than running around the globe stamping their little feet about climate change.

      2. Here’$ the delivery vehicle$ for the $tage $etup: “Then, 🥂 🎉 🎊 🎈”

        Economic$
        The $hock and Awe Era for Central Bank$ Is Over

        Bloomberg |By Enda Curran |December 8, 2019

        More than ten years of crisis fighting — including this year’s rush to $upport global growth — have left policy makers in key economie$ facing a new decade with few good options to fight the next downturn.

        Interest rate$ are either already around hi$toric low$ or negative after more than 750 cut$ since 2008, spurring concerns they are doing more harm than good.

        At the same time, leading central banks are buying bonds again — so called quantitative easing — after the purcha$e of more than $12 trillion$ of financial a$$ets wasn’t enough to revive inflation.

        It all means the mantra of monetary heroe$ saving the world economy — as labeled by OECD Secretary General Angel Gurria — needs to pa$$ to their fi$cal counterpart$

        There are some signs of that happening: Japan on Thursday announced a stimulus package to support growth. The U.K. election is set to open the door to a return to 1970s-style spending no matter who wins. But budget deficits and political differences mean many governments won’t chip in.

        What Bloomberg’s Economists Say…
        “The failures of fiscal policy have forced monetary policy first to extremes and now to the brink of exhaustion. When the next downturn comes, it’s Ministries of Finance, not central banks, that will have to provide the solution.”

        –Chief Economist Tom Orlik

        As if contending with depleted armories$ and the mountain of debt their decade of ea$y money has wrought wasn’t enough, new challenges from digital currencie$ to climate change will test central bank$’ ability to $tay in control.

        1. ‘China’s potential economic growth will be below 6% over the next five years, an adviser to China’s central bank said on Saturday. The economy could grow between 5% and 6% from 2020 to 2025, Liu Shijin, a policy adviser to the People’s Bank of China, said at a conference in Beijing, according to an article he posted on social media.’

          ‘China’s monetary policy is already quite loose, and attempting to stimulate the economy to grow faster than its potential could cause it to fall off a cliff, said Liu.’

          https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-economy-gdp/chinas-potential-growth-below-6-over-next-five-years-central-bank-adviser-idUSKBN1YC0AK

        2. More than ten years of crisis fighting — including this year’s rush to $upport global growth

          The PTB need to make up their collective mind: either we have growth, or we shrink and destroy the global economy with warmist hysterics.

          1. shrink and destroy

            Why exactly is it the end of the world for honest folk if the “economy” shrinks?

          2. Why exactly is it the end of the world for honest folk if the “economy” shrinks?

            From what I have observed, they get laid off.

      3. If you accept climate change as a reality, which it is, you have a 66% chance of going the wrong way on your decision, which, of course means it is better to do nothing to stop what ever you believe is happening.

        1. “Doing something” can be a lot more costly than doing nothing if climate change turns out to be a nonevent.

    2. So Earth becomes uninhabitable because the average temperature might rise 2 degrees. Yet at the same time we talk about the viability of colonizing Mars, an utterly dead, freezing cold planet with almost no atmosphere.

      1. Catastrophic AGW (“CAGW”) crowd claims that the science is settled. However, using that “science” you get widely inaccurate forecasts and the bias is clearly to predict warming. I think I know how to quickly slow down the warming in forecasts. The only “scientists” who get funding are the scientists who created models which accurately forecast the warming. Thus, more than eighty percent of the scientists will lose funding. I am willing to listen to the forecasts of the almost twenty percent since they at least created accurate models:
        https://wattsupwiththat.com/2019/12/06/climate-models-have-not-improved-in-50-years/

        1. the scientists will lose funding

          It’s really a shame. Untold thousands of career “scientists” bumbling around making centuries out weather forecasts on the public dime. All the while we can’t afford to handle daily business without sinking deeper in debt.

      2. uninhabitable because the average temperature might rise 2 degrees

        Keep in mind that they’re not talking about overall average temperature. This might lead you to believe days would be hotter. They are talking about higher nightly lows. An important distinction if you wonder about survivability.

    3. The closer the fraud gets to being exposed the more fear mongering the claims. We are still around 2 degrees Celsius below the average interglacial but our caveman ancestors could handle it but we cannot?

        1. Much more likely that billions will die in an ice age. More co2 might be able to prevent that. 😄

          1. It’s “a posteriori.”

            Loosely based on population scientists who think that 2 billion is the population the earth can sustain indefinitely.

          2. How dies that reasoning link to climate change as the causal mechanism? Seems like we should expect to eat ourselves out of sustainable food production before a couple of degrees warmer temperatures wipes us out.

          3. Svante Arrhenius, the originator of the greenhouse gas theory, claimed that warmer temperatures would be boon to food production. His calculations were discredited by Angstrom.

            Despite his failed global warming predictions, what’s not to love about a guy who championed Eugenics? [sarc]

            The following has apparently been scrubbed from the Wikipedia article about him since I last looked it up, but survives elsewhere.

            “Svante Arrhenius was one of several leading Swedish scientists actively engaged in the process leading to the creation in 1922 of The State Institute for Racial Biology in Uppsala, Sweden, which had originally been proposed as a Nobel Institute. Arrhenius was a member of the institute’s board, as he had been in The Swedish Society for Racial Hygiene (Eugenics), founded in 1909.”

            The “science” of racial cleansing became popular soon after in Germany, and in the US too. Why would Wiki whitewash that?

  4. ‘Australia’s biggest city has been shrouded in hazardous smoke for the past week, as wildfires burning across the country’s drought-stricken east coast are—in some cases—becoming too big to put out. The fires are turning the daytime sky in Sydney orange and causing air quality to dip to levels more often seen in cities like Delhi and Beijing.’

    ‘The trend in Australia, as with California, is moving toward bigger, faster-moving and more destructive wildfires, due in part to climate change, which causes higher temperatures and extreme dryness, creating more fuel.’

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/wildfires-turn-sydneys-surroundings-into-an-inextinguishable-orange-furnace-11575809647

    Sounds like paradise. I watched a video the other day with some people down there explaining that the guberment, under pressure from environmentalists, had made prescribed burns illegal. Oh well, it’s only Australia and California, who cares? At least they have their expensive shacks and blackouts.

    1. higher temperatures and extreme dryness

      Heavy rain in San Diego over Thanksgiving and rain again this weekend. Snow days in Boston already. 🙄

      1. You entered a warm PDO in 2014 it warms the water and actually can result in more rain. The great droughts such as the Anasazi culture killer occurred during a cold PDO and it appears to have lasted for centuries. Usually the cycles last 30 years but the last cold one was short. The true scientists know these things and quietly go about their work but do not criticise the CAGW zealots because that would lead to a lost of funding

      2. “Heavy rain in San Diego over Thanksgiving and rain again this weekend.”

        Which will end up producing vast quantities of chaperral in the hills that is destined to be dried out by next year’s zero humidity 60 mile-per-hour Santa Ana winds which will then catch fire and burn to the ground any houses built in these hills.

        Shortly after this burn the rebuilding will begin and even additional housing will be added to these same set of hills that historically get wiped out by brush fires whenever the Santa Ana winds return, which is every year.

        People are stupid.

        1. Here’s a good read about the Santa Ana winds …

          https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Santa_Ana_winds

          Here’s a snip …

          “The Santa Ana winds and the accompanying raging wildfires have been a part of the ecosystem of the Los Angeles Basin for over 5,000 years, dating back to the earliest habitation of the region by the Tongva and Tataviam peoples.[18]”

          For over 5,000 years the winds and accompanying wildfires have periodically raged. There is a message here somewhere.

          1. For over 5,000 years the winds and accompanying wildfires have periodically raged. There is a message here somewhere.

            Citizen! Claims such as this are non-Narrative compliant and will not be tolerated! Any and all wildfires in recent years have been caused by climate change, as part of the revealed gospel handed down by St. Greta and crafted by her globalist handlers. Please cease and desist from deviations from The Narrative, lest your social credit score suffer. Consider yourself warned!

      3. If you can’t see that weather systems are extremely complex, whereby a warning of the globe and ocean can create pockets of cold weather and winter storms early, then there’s nothing helping you.

        1. pockets

          Conversely, drought, heat wave or hurricane events can’t honestly be held up as evidence of global warming.

          1. Every winter we get condescending lectures on “weather isn’t climate”. And every summer we don’t.

    2. PG&E settlement of $13.5 billion for victims of CA wildfires last week. Who is going to pay for that? CA consumers of electricity. The increase of electricity prices will only hasten those with means to install solar + battery.

      1. The other answer is for PG & E to get out of its expensive wind and solar contracts in bankruptcy. Admittedly that would require Californians to do like the Australians and vote against the CAGW zealots.

          1. PG&E already renegotiated a 10% discount on the renewable contracts, so yes, they did get a discount.

            “California utility Pacific Gas & Electric said it will honor all existing power-purchase agreements in a forthcoming plan to reorganize and emerge from bankruptcy.”

            “Whether or not legacy power contracts would survive has been a hot topic within power industry circles since the utility’s role in deadly wildfires sent the company into bankruptcy. PG&E has committed to power contracts totaling $42 billion, most of which come from renewable power plants. Early deals with wind and solar developers now carry a significant premium compared to today’s market, so backing out of the contracts held the potential to save PG&E billions of dollars.”

            https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/pge-pledges-to-keep-all-power-purchase-agreements-but-some-already-took-a-h

            The key words in the above are “early deals.” All of the new deals coming online have significant cost benefits, like the 8minute solar deal in the Mohave Desert with LA.

      2. “PG&E settlement of $13.5 billion for victims of CA wildfires…”

        I’m surprised the courts allowed settlements for the Napa and Oakland fires, which were not caused by PG&E equipment.

    3. Southern CA has always burned in the fall just without the internet to send images all over and cause anxiety about whatever agenda needs to be pushed. Global warming, first responders , higher taxes, importance of big government, whatever . Sell fear then control, rinse repeat.

      1. “Southern CA has always burned in the fall…”

        As kids we used to see the night sky glow above the San Gabriels when we visited Grandma in SoCal.

  5. Almost £11 billion-worth of London housing is sitting empty

    Airbnb and buy-to-leave has left some 22,481 homes unoccupied in the capital, fuelling the current housing crisis.

    ‘With a high average property value in these areas, Evans explains that this could be accountable to what the authority calls ‘buy-to-leave’: “Multi-millionaires will buy these properties purely just for it to be held as an investment. Driving around boroughs like Kensington at night gives me great sadness. So many of the houses’ lights aren’t on – streets and streets of houses are dark!”

    https://www.thelondoneconomic.com/property/almost-11-billion-worth-of-london-housing-is-sitting-empty/30/10/

    1. Almost £11 billion-worth of London housing is sitting empty

      I personally know of one such house: an acquaintance, a British national who was a permanent US resident, inherited a small London house from his parents, but never told the IRS about it. He died, and his American citizen widow is afraid of accepting the same house as her inheritance, as she fears that the IRS will swoop in and financially destroy her for her spouse’s non reporting of his inheritance. So the house has been abandoned for a few years. I wouldn’t be surprised if there are squatters living in it.

  6. “Many of the housebuilders present complained that the queues of buyers at new housing estates have disappeared and that newly-built units are still sitting idle long after they would have expected them to sell.”

    Oh dear. Looks like some serious sawin’ and slashin’ may be in the cards if you want to unload those new housing estates (with TERRIBLE build quality), homebuilders. Gosh, I fear that the longer such new housing sits idle, the faster it’s going to deteriorate. That’ll mean serious price markdowns that in turn means the outstanding loan balances exceed the decaying collateral. When the banks holding this toxic-waste collateral refuse to accept other banks’ collateral for inter-bank lending, because they realize the other banks are also trying to hive off their toxic-waste crap, then the financial system starts to lock up and true price discovery, long suppressed, rears its ugly head.

    Say, haven’t we been down this road before?

    1. Are you looking at these as investment properties? That Fairfax home looks really rough and, given its age, has some not fun surprises in store. The Brentwood home, built in 2005, has more potential I would think.

        1. You don’t know until the auction, and even then the reserve is hidden. However, with the 2017 sale price, it’s probably what’s owed on the shack. You’ll probably have to kick the bum out if you’re the “winner”.

          1. I look forward to the day when these auctions start going bid-less. When that happens, look out below.

          2. Shadow inventory is a conspiracy theory.

            Thankfully, since OAM posted that MSM story about Alex Jones being a nasty human being, I have steered clear of any and all Internet sites that propogate conspiracy theories such as shadow inventory, as our MSM sheepdogs are much more credible. Together with the MSM media outlet’s enlightened globalist oligarch owners, Real Journalists have only our best interests at heart, per OAM. I have now seen the light and returned to the sheep pen, where along with my fellow sheeple I can graze contentedly on the green shoots sprouting from the manure the MSM flings across our pasture.

          3. “So he made it a little over a year.”

            This highlights how and why housing bubbles are unsustainable. At the very pinnacle of pricing, they suck in the least credit worthy borrowers with no assets and paltry incomes. That’s backwards. You would have to have all the poor people buy at low prices and the wealthy buy at high prices to even dream of sustaining it from an affordability/carrying costs standpoint.

            They FED lowering rates can kick the can for a little while, but once you get to zero, then what? Negative rates? I call bullsh!t on that. That would fawk up a whole host of industries and balance sheets.

        2. I have steered clear of any and all Internet sites that propogate conspiracy theories such as shadow inventory

          The fact is that there are real conspiracies. If you want to watch a great one, just go see Dark Waters, which my wife and I had the pleasure of seeing last night. Ironically, at the end of that wonderful film, a lady stood up and went on a rant about how vaccines caused autism.

          The problem with simplistic thinking is over-simplifying cause and effect. One major point of that article from Alex Jones’s video editor, who eventually saw through what was happening and wrote the expose, was that there were several large scale crises (Great Recession and terrorism attacks and related wars) that caught the media off-guard. Jones provided a simple, neat, tidy explanation for all of this and it was easy to digest. The really stunning part is when he sent his fact checkers out all over to try and fabricate high radiation levels with Geiger counters or trying to show that America was being overrun by a caliphate. The evidence wasn’t there, so it was fabricated. Cognitive dissonance at its finest.

          1. I know somebody with an autistic daughter. He swears that vaccines caused his daughter’s autism — but not directly. He says that his daughter was normal until she was given a barrage of vaccines within a couple days of each other. His theory is that too many simultaneous vaccines will overwhelm the growing body and “scramble her brain.”

            He’s not anti-vax, but he advises parents to space the vaccines out over time. I wonder if there’s any research on this.

          2. It’s interesting how your friend didn’t hesitate to assume that his child’s autism was caused by the vaccines, despite the evidence that many other children who get the same vaccines apparently never develop autism.

            Statisticians caution against drawing inferences from samples of size one, but that doesn’t seem to stop the practice.

          3. an interesting topic

            The school district informed me this past Monday that they want to designate my son as “intellectual disabled” based on their singular evaluation by an unfamiliar male adult. All of you without children on the spectrum, can kindly STFU.

          4. http://www.icandecide.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/Stipulated-Order-copy-1.pdf

            “ICAN therefore filed a Freedom of Information Act, FOIA, request on August 25th, 2017 to HHS seeking copies of the biennial reports that HHS was supposed to submit to Congress, starting in 1988, detailing the improvements it made every two years to vaccine safety. HHS stonewalled ICAN for eight months refusing to provide any substantive response to this request.”

            “ICAN was therefore forced to file a lawsuit to force HHS to either provide copies of its biennial vaccine safety reports to Congress or admit it never filed these reports. The result of the lawsuit is that HHS had to finally and shockingly admit that it never, not even once, submitted a single biennial report to Congress detailing the
            improvements in vaccine safety.
            This speaks volumes to the seriousness by which vaccine safety is treated at HHS and heightens the concern that HHS doesn’t have a clue as to the actual safety profile of the now 29 doses, and growing, of vaccines given by one year of age.” (emphasis added)

          5. “intellectual disabled”

            Do you think this label will be helpful, by requiring an IEP and supportive accommodation, or harmful, by sidelining and withdrawal of opportunity?

          6. “many other children who get the same vaccines apparently never develop autism.”

            Not every smoker develops lung cancer. Not every carbohydrate addict suffers from diabetes. Not every drinker needs a liver transplant. Not everyone taking Vioxx had a cardiac event (in fact it was 1.8%), but that was enough to pull it from the market. We can’t use the theory of “everyone else did it” as an absolute. People are just too complex, and some are just more susceptible than others. I’m not anti-vax either, but I’m hoping there’s some research on my acquaintance’s theory.

          7. harmful, by sidelining and withdrawal of opportunity

            My son has had an IEP for six years. He’s in an Academic ASD special day class and mainstreaming from non-academic activities (music, art, PE) for the first time. He’s had two diagnostic evaluations (the second to specifically address cognitive abilities) and now four school evaluations. The most recent school evaluation is inconsistent with (worse than) the second diagnostic evaluation in May 2017 and third school evaluation in February 2018. It is also inconsistent with observations of his ABA and speech providers. The school district has a financial and legal incentive to lower the bar as much as possible. It’s easier for them to place him in a moderate/severe ASD class with no expectation of a high school diploma. Needless to say, it’s been a rough week.

          8. I’m not anti-vax either

            Neither am I, but I have read, heard and seen enough to suggest that vaccines are not as innocuous as we have been led to believe. Not too long ago I found a very informative 30+ series of tweets by a PhD/MPP with this as his profile description, “The autism epidemic is thalidomide, The Big Short, & Spotlight all in one. The biggest medical mistake in history, driven by profit, covered up by ppl we trust.” His account no longer exists.

          9. incentive to lower the bar

            This part I understand only too well. This is where it might be helpful to consider the perspective that God gave you to your son as an Advocate. Fortunate for him. Remember; Nobody expects a Redheaded Viking!

            I’m at the other end of such a journey, in that my successful special needs child is in her 40s.

          10. The autism vaccine link is strongly reinforced because often times the signs of autism manifest during the CDC timeline for vaccines. Nevertheless, no epidemiological study or credible medical or scientific professional accepts the link. When I did my rotations at the county health clinic, we had books, pamphlets, literature, and all sort of tactics for dealing with parents who had gone down the misinformation wormhole and who were hesitant to allow their children to get vaccines. But it’s not easy in this day and age, you can find all sorts of information to bolster this misinformation. Interestingly enough, it was Russian trolls who escalated the anti-vax movement online. The goal often is just to create conflict/confusion/disinformation, so you have pro and anti-vax information going out to the same audience. It is information pollution.

            The best emerging evidence for a non-genetic link to autism is air pollution:

            https://www.heraldextra.com/news/local/harvard-draws-link-between-autism-and-air-pollution/article_53b6a81e-91ac-58f8-8556-70e6eac70cd1.html

          11. ‘Interestingly enough, it was Russian trolls who…’

            There is no debate about whether vaccines cause autism. They don’t.

            “Conclusions. “Whereas bots that spread malware and unsolicited content disseminated antivaccine messages, Russian trolls promoted discord. Accounts masquerading as legitimate users create false equivalency, eroding public consensus on vaccination.”

            https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6137759/

          12. God gave you to your son as an Advocate. Fortunate for him. Remember; Nobody expects a Redheaded Viking!

            Indeed!

  7. Current market, wealth, and income distortions distilled down to the London property market. This could be anywhere in the civilized world, and literally is, really.

    A report from the Times of London in the UK. “There are streets in London that may boast more expensive land. Others can claim to have higher average property prices. Yet none can compete when it comes to the sheer concentration of vast super-mansions.

    So why is The Bishops Avenue, aka Billionaires’ Row, falling into rack and ruin? The north London street is home to some of the world’s wealthiest people. Over the past few years, though, pockets of decay have set in where hulking homes have been neglected by overseas owners. Once they were palatial. Now, their windows are boarded while front lawns are strewn with beer cans and cigarette packets.”

    Such stories contrast starkly with the national housing crisis. According to the charity, Action on Empty Homes, 85,000 families will spend Christmas this year living in temporary accommodation.

    ————————–

    “The popularity of inflation and credit expansion, the ultimate source of the repeated attempts to render people prosperous by credit expansion, and thus the cause of the cyclical fluctuations of business, manifests itself clearly in the customary terminology. The boom is called good business, prosperity, and upswing. Its unavoidable aftermath, the readjustment of conditions to the real data of the market, is called crisis, slump, bad business, depression. People rebel against the insight that the disturbing element is to be seen in the malinvestment and the overconsumption of the boom period and that such an artificially induced boom is doomed. They are looking for the philosophers’ stone to make it last.” — Ludwig von Mises (1940)

    “The real menace of our republic is this invisible government which like a giant octopus sprawls its slimy length over city, state and nation. Like the octopus of real life, it operates under cover of a self created screen….At the head of this octopus are the Rockefeller Standard Oil interests and a small group of powerful banking houses generally referred to as international bankers. The little coterie of powerful international bankers virtually run the United States government for their own selfish purposes. They practically control both political parties.” – New York City Mayor John F. Hylan, 1922

    1. “The few who understand the system will either be so interested in its profits or be so dependent upon its favours that there will be no opposition from that class, while on the other hand, the great body of people, mentally incapable of comprehending the tremendous advantage that capital derives from the system, will bear its burdens without complaint, and perhaps without even suspecting that the system is inimical to their interests.”

      — The Rothschild brothers of London writing to associates in New York, 1863.

        1. EVERYONE should know what they are doing, it is not as there is a shortage of information as to what they are about.

          But people just don’t seem to care.

          1. Public schools work perfectly for the people they serve, an unholy alliance of bureaucrats, unions, and bankers who live non-dischargeable student debt among other types of “credit” the dumbed-down pukes clamor for.

  8. Flipped few a few channels this morning and stopped on Face the Nation, I think it was Adam Schiff’s odd shaped head and pencil thin neck that made me stop. Anyway, as I watched I think her name is Margaret Brennan interview Schift I noticed (which I have before) that it wasn’t an interview at all, but two people reading a script that they had rehearsed.

    There was no time between the question being asked before Schift spewed his answer, no contemplation at all just a long rehearsed on talking point answer returned seamlessly each time with no interruptions or push back from Margaret Brennan at all.

    The next guest with the rebuttal was a Republican Mark Meadows, as apposed to the Schiff’s ping-pong interview you would have thought Margaret Brennan was married to Meadows and had just caught him cheating. I don’t think that Dude got one answer out without being cut off and badgered while being asked another question before he could answer the first. But that’s how the Real Journalist’s roll.

    1. “Flipped few a few channels this morning and stopped on Face the Nation…”

      That was your first mistake. Turn it off….

        1. Very tragic. One of the few times I have contributed to a stranger’s GoFundMe account. He left behind two little girl. Makes my heart ache for his family.

    1. Dated, but seems apropos…

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Joo90ZWrUkU
      Tennessee Ernie Ford Sings 16 Tons
      7,179,031 views
      •Mar 20, 2008

      http://www.songlyrics.com/tennessee-ernie-ford/sixteen-tons-lyrics/
      Tennessee Ernie Ford – Sixteen Tons Lyrics

      Some people say a man is made out of mud
      A poor man’s made out of muscle and blood
      Muscle and blood and skin and bones
      A mind that’s weak and a back that’s strong

      You load sixteen tons and whattaya get?
      Another day older and deeper in debt
      St. Peter don’cha call me ’cause I can’t go
      I owe my soul to the company store

      I was born one morning when the sun didn’t shine
      I picked up my shovel and I walked to the mine
      I loaded sixteen tons of number nine coal
      And the straw boss said, “Well, bless my soul”

      You load sixteen tons and whattaya get?
      Another day older and deeper in debt
      St. Peter don’cha call me ’cause I can’t go
      I owe my soul to the company store

      1. A great song. I’ve met people involved in coal mining in Eastern Kentucky – probably the most exploited people you will ever meet – and every syllable of this song speaks the truth.

      1. Lose on every mile they drive but make it up by driving more miles. A bit of overstatement but it is ignoring the ultimate wear and tear on their vehicles which makes a lot of them earn minimum wage or less. Unfortunately, most do not get it until they have to replace their vehicles.

        1. Unfortunately, most do not get it until they have to replace their vehicles.

          People will loan you lots of money for a car (even more than it’s worth) but they won’t give you money to sit home. So Uber it is.

        1. Seems like remedial math reinforces a negative feedback loop in students who really should be in a vocational training setting without abstract thinking.

    1. Apple/Netflix/Amazon’s foray into original content strikes me as what is likely to happen for news as the consolidation continues. I suspect tech companies that have been curating and aggregating content will eventually create content. You see this with the Washington Post. WSJ now has a partnership with Apple+.

    2. (snip)

      “There was an intense newspaper war being waged between the Register and Times. Both papers had hundreds of staffers covering Orange County communities and fighting for scoops. The Register prided itself on having at least one story from every Orange County community in each day’s paper. The Times tried to connect O.C. to the rest of the world with in-depth stories. Both scored big scoops.”

      This “intense newspaper war” between the L A Times and the O C Register meant that if one wanted to know what is really going on regarding L A real estate he should read the Register and if he wanted to learn what is really going on with Orange County real estate he should read the Times.

      Both newspapers wrote the truth (or something approaching the truth) about real estate in the other guy’s market but never about their home market.

      Funny how that went. I have no idea why this was so.

      (snort)

  9. A blast (literally) from the past. (WARNING: Not real estate related but it is related to the endless stupidity of our fellow human beings.)

    Enjoy.

    Watch “FROM THE ARCHIVES: The exploding whale of Florence, Oregon” on YouTube
    https://youtu.be/ax7kENH-A7s

  10. “Over the past few years, though, pockets of decay have set in where hulking homes have been neglected by overseas owners. Once they were palatial. Now, their windows are boarded while front lawns are strewn with beer cans and cigarette packets.”

    Without the prospect hedging massive inflation by laundering Yellen bux into empty mansions, there is no way this situation would make sense.

    1. “‘These places have become a magnet for delinquents and wild animals,’ a woman, who gave her name as Mrs Walker, said. ‘Addicts, drunks, squatters, teenagers — you name it.'”

      It’s good to know that at least someone has found a useful purpose for these white elephants to continue their existence.

  11. ‘The days of 8 per cent capital growth in residential seemed long gone. Rents have dropped in many areas, vacancies have risen and some states are changing tenancy laws in favour of tenants, which make residential less attractive.’

    Time for investors to bail?

  12. Hey boomer! Ready to join the Silver Tsunami?

    These housing markets will feel the biggest impact from the ‘Silver Tsunami’
    By Jacob Passy
    Published: Dec 7, 2019 9:28 a.m. ET

    Roughly one in three homes in the U.S. is owned by someone age 60 or older
    Getty Images/iStockphoto
    Sun Belt cities are expected to see a glut of homes come on the market in the coming years as baby boomers age.

    The U.S. housing market will soon see a “Silver Tsunami.”

    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.

    In the decade between 2007 and 2017, around 730,000 homes hit the market that were previously owned by seniors each year. But that number is expected to grow exponentially over the next couple decades. Between 2017 and 2027, 920,000 homes will be released into the market each year by people aged 60 or older, according to a new analysis from real-estate company Zillow. By the decade between 2027 and 2037, the figure is project to hit 1.17 million homes a year.

    1. Silver Tsunami?

      My running buddy is a retired corporate controller for Ford motors companies. His 2nd home is here in So Utah, but Detroit is his home. He is a hardcore runner and he has several gym memberships. He told me his insurance covers the one under some sort of “silver sneakers” program, but he refuses to get that free membership because he resents the “silver” moniker. He said to me, “Talk about terrible branding.”

    2. homes will be released into the market each year by people aged 60 or older

      Which will help accelerate the price of houses to fall below norms. We will also be selling off a lot of other things which will layer huge deflationary forces on top of a collapsing credit bubble.

      1. Yup, the demographic bomb. The OK boomers are about to flood the market with houses, cars, and stocks to pay for health care. I don’t think it’s going to have that great of an effect on their Millenial kids. Housing might be cheaper for them, but they won’t be getting down payments or other subsidies from bank of mom and dad either.

  13. “‘I can’t remember the last time I saw a first-home buyer beat an investor,’ said auctioneer Andrew Robinson . ‘I think compared to even six months ago – we were struggling … there just weren’t the buyers. It seems now that it’s easier to get money, the banks have loosened up their lending again, which has definitely helped.’”

    Helped? Yes, helped create debt slaves. Welcome to Trudeau’s Canada. Slower growth than the US and much higher unemployment. Real estate prices artificially being held up by the government despite the poor performance of the economy. Looks very much like Obama’s America. Coincidence? No, his policies are very much like Obama and virtually all the Democrats running for president.

  14. “Auckland house price could skyrocket threefold – to almost 3-million-dollars by 2040.”

    Buy now or be priced out forever! Of course if there had been a similar headline 20 years ago in a US paper, we might now consider it fair warning rather than the insanity it is.

  15. Did anyone watch the video linked in the article about Tom Ford’s ranch for sale from earlier this week? If you didn’t, it’s just hilarious. It might be the ultimate memorial to housing mania, perhaps on a “Suzanne researched this” level. The violins! The choir singing when the house comes into view! The Price on Request! The fact that it was posted 3 years (and about -$30mil) ago!

    Only 2min 30 sec. Highly recommended.

    https://vimeo.com/162580144

    1. They’re not showing much of the house. It’s clear that they are selling brownie points, not bedrooms and bathrooms.

      1. Video Reveals Power Of Sinclair, As Local News Anchors Recite Script In Unison
        Camila Domonoske
        NPR
        April 2, 2018

        “A video published by sports news site Deadspin over the weekend revealed dozens of TV anchors from Sinclair Broadcast Group reciting the same speech warning against “biased and false news.” It was the latest show of the vast reach of a company that owns local TV stations across the country and has long been criticized for pushing conservative coverage and commentary onto local airwaves.”

        “Sinclair required local anchors to record promos where they denounce “the troubling trend of irresponsible, one-sided news stories plaguing our country” and say that “some members of the media use their platforms to push their own personal bias and agenda to control ‘exactly what people think.’ “”

        “Sinclair says it is simply warning viewers about the dangers of fake news circulating on social media. But media critics see a powerful company using local journalists to parrot one of President Trump’s most consistent talking points — an allegation that the mainstream media cannot be trusted.”

        1. A guy I know did some work on the Smith brother’s (owners of the Sinclair conglomerate) homes. He was shooting the breeze with one of the brothers, who was complaining about the state of the US: welfare, immigrants, addicts, etc. He said the country needed to do away with those people. When my friend argued that they were all Americans, and we can’t just ‘do away’ with them, he replied, “That’s why we need a dictator”.

        2. “to parrot one of President Trump’s most consistent talking points”

          LOL

          I’m yet to hear them parrot one of Trump’s talking points.

          Quite the contrary.

          In fact just last week our local Sinclair put forward the talking points of 3 of the 4 leftist legal scholars who testified in the impeachment hearing including the Wicked Witch of the West Pamela Karlan of Stanford who said she crossed the street not to walk in the same side a Trump building was on. But failed to mention anything But Jonathan Turley who was invited by Republicans had said.

          “This would be the first impeachment in history where there would be considerable debate, and in my view, not compelling evidence of the commission of a crime,” Turley said.

          1. The rather bland impeachment hearings lack a major ingredient that hinder the Nielsen ratings, a beautiful woman.

    1. “Virtually every FBI and DOJ National Security Division official with material involvement in the original Page FISA application would later be removed—either through firing or resignation.” AKA Draining the Swamp

    1. Take it from a permabull: If there is ever again another bear market, it will transpire as a Baby Bear market, after which stocks will resume always going up.

      So back up the truck, load up on stocks, and get rich!

      Opinion: How bad will the next bear market be?
      By Mark Hulbert
      Published: Dec 7, 2019 12:52 p.m. ET
      This is what typically happens to U.S. stocks after a long bull run

      Especially long bull markets aren’t always followed by especially long or severe bear markets. In fact, more often than not, they’re followed by shorter-than-average declines.

      That’s important information because many are worried about the bear market that eventually will follow the current U.S. bull market, supposedly the longest in U.S. history. Just this week, one of the investment newsletters I monitor noted that “long duration bull markets always create excesses.”

      If “the higher they go, the harder they fall” were true, then an exceptionally severe bear market is indeed in our future. But history doesn’t support that argument: There is no correlation between a bull market’s duration and the length and the severity of the subsequent bear market.

      1. I’m thinking about a historic example. Wasn’t there a bull market, dubbed by historians as the Roaring Twenties, followed by a bear market, known as The Great Depression, which lasted from about 1929 through 1940 or so?

        Not to worry…I’m sure this example was an anomaly.

        As was the Japanese asset price collapse (1989 – ??? decades later)…

  16. Got white elephants?

    The Financial Times
    Chinese economy
    Cement price rise points to surge in China construction
    Experts fear country is embarking on more white elephant projects
    Workers are seen at the construction site of the National Speed Skating Oval, one of the venues for the 2022 Winter Olympics, in Beijing, China May 21, 2019. Picture taken May 21, 2019. China Daily via REUTERS
    Men at work in May on the National Speed Skating Oval in Beijing, one of the venues for the 2022 Winter Olympics © Reuters
    Sun Yu in Beijing yesterday

    A surge in the price of construction materials in China suggests Beijing’s stimulus measures have succeeded in boosting building activity but raises fears the country could be embarking on more white elephant projects.

    Average prices of cement in big cities have picked up 15 per cent since September, ending eight months of decline, according to Wind, a financial data provider. A price index for rebar — reinforcing steel bars used in construction — has gained 12 per cent over the same period. The price of construction aggregate has risen nearly 10 per cent since the end of the third quarter.

    Infrastructure construction has been an important component of China’s economic expansion and — with the country reporting growth of 6 per cent in the third quarter, the slowest in 30 years — Beijing has resorted to stimulus measures to kick-start it again.

    Beijing said last month it would allow local governments to issue Rmb1tn ($142bn) in special purpose bonds before the end of the year, freeing up funding by using their 2020 quota. The central government also lowered capital requirements for infrastructure projects such as railways, ports and toll roads.

    However, while a recovery in the construction industry could ease worries about a hard landing for the economy, it reignites long-held concerns about wasteful investment, with local governments apparently racing to launch projects regardless of their economic value. “Infrastructure investment is only a short-term solution to fighting an economic downturn,” said Wang Jun, an analyst at the China Center for International Economic Exchanges, a Beijing-based think-tank. “But it also causes long-term problems such as industry overcapacity and inefficient allocation of capital.”

    1. 18,663 abandoned housing units

      and all government owned.

      “Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial capital, is home to 21 million people. It currently has a housing deficit of about three million.”

      They are doing it for the homeless people.

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