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The Supply Thesis May Be A Major Misdiagnosis

A weekend topic starting with Market Place. “The following is an excerpt from Christopher Knowlton’s new book, ‘Bubble in the Sun: The Florida Boom of the 1920s and how it brought on the Great Depression.’ ‘My first impression, as I wandered out into the blazing sunlight of that bedlam that was Miami, was of utter confusion,’ remembered Theyre Hamilton Weigall, a twenty-four-year-old Australian- born, London-based journalist who arrived in Florida by train at the peak of the boom and stood stunned among the screeching motor horns and the deafening cacophony of rivet guns, drills, and hammers. ‘Hatless, coatless men rushed about the blazing streets, their arms full of papers, perspiration pouring from their foreheads,’ he recalled. ‘Every shop seemed to be combined with a real estate office; at every doorway, crowds of young men were shouting and speech-making, thrusting forward papers and pro- claiming to heaven the unsurpassed chances they were offering to make a fortune. . . . Everybody in Miami was real estate mad.'”

From The Atlantic. “In Manhattan, the homeless shelters are full, and the luxury skyscrapers are vacant. Such is the tale of two cities within America’s largest metro. Even as 80,000 people sleep in New York City’s shelters or on its streets, Manhattan residents have watched skinny condominium skyscrapers rise across the island. These colossal stalagmites initially transformed not only the city’s skyline but also the real-estate market for new homes. From 2011 to 2019, the average price of a newly listed condo in New York soared from $1.15 million to $3.77 million.”

“But the bust is upon us. Today, nearly half of the Manhattan luxury-condo units that have come onto the market in the past five years are still unsold, according to The New York Times. In the past decade, New York City real-estate prices have gone from merely obscene to downright macabre. From 2010 to 2019, the average sale price of homes doubled in many Brooklyn neighborhoods, including Prospect Heights and Williamsburg, according to the Times. Buyers there could consider themselves lucky: In Cobble Hill, the typical sales price tripled to $2.5 million in nine years.”

The Wall Street Journal. “Robert Knakal, chairman of New York investment sales at JLL Capital Markets, said that investment sales hit a peak in 2014 and 2015, and have been slowing since October 2015, though price declines on sales that have closed have been modest. The slump has extended to land prices, hotels and condominiums, he said. He said the market was down 10% in value, but in terms of sales volume, ‘This is the longest correction we have ever seen in the 36 years I have been’ in the business.”

From the Independent on Singapore. “The Urban Redevelopment Authority (URA) revealed late last year that Singapore had an overhang of 31,948 units and observers believe that this property glut could take years to clear, exacerbating concerns over the already uncertain economic climate. Christine Li, head of research for Singapore and South-East Asia at Cushman & Wakefield plc, told Bloomberg that ‘excessive exuberance’ in buying en-bloc sites, which are entire apartment blocks that are sold by a group of owners to a developer for redevelopment, caused the glut.”

The Daily Mail on Australia. “Investors made up a record-low 24.8 per cent of real estate buyers this year but that is set to change – locking more Generation Z buyers out of real estate. Property data group CoreLogic’s head of research Tim Lawless said their numbers were set to increase next year as another interest rate cut made it easier for them to pay off an investment loan.”

“Mr Lawless said investors would flock back to the property market to make a capital gain. Another interest rate cut in the first half of 2020 would also reduce monthly mortgage repayments. This would enable landlords to pay off an investor loan through rental income – saving them from making a loss. ‘Investors are likely to be motivated by prospects for capital gain, as well as the fact that gross rental yields, although generally low, are likely to be higher than the cost of debt,’ Mr Lawless said.”

From Domain News in Australia. “Rents in pockets of Sydney have been slashed by almost a quarter as new supply from the city’s building boom continues to hit the market, new data shows. Oran Park, about 45 kilometres south-west of the city centre, recorded the biggest decline with the median unit rent in the suburb dropping 24.5 per cent, to $378 a week. It was one of six suburbs to see double-digit percentage declines for unit rents, including Glenmore Park, Rouse Hill, Barangaroo and St Marys.”

The Irish Independent. “Location! Location! Location? Not any more! We can start 2020 by throwing that old chestnut under a bus. Kerunch! In the emerging Irish property market of 2020, location is just one of myriad factors influencing buyer decisions, sales and prices; to the degree that house values are rising and falling simultaneously in the same locations, and even on the same streets.”

The Irish Times. “Chronic undersupply is frequently blamed for pushing up house prices. It’s the dominant narrative here. But a recent Bank of England study suggests the supply thesis may be a major misdiagnosis. The paper by two economists published just before Christmas claims that the four-decade long surge in house prices in the UK – property prices have quadrupled since the 1980s (we’ve had an even steeper ascent here)– has been caused by low interest rates, and not by a lack of supply of new homes.”

“The Bank of England researchers calculated that even with a significant supply response, the jump in real house prices since 1985 wouldn’t have been that much less, and that the real driver of prices was cheap credit. Think of it this way: a €1 million mortgage borrowed at 0.75 per cent and €450,000 mortgage borrowed at 7.5 per cent have the same repayment of €3,100 per month.”

“‘Nearly all of the rise in average house prices relative to incomes can be seen as a result of a sustained, dramatic, and consistently unexpected, decline in real interest rates,’ the researchers write.”

This Post Has 82 Comments
  1. From the last link:

    ‘The findings are being heralded as an evolution in the bank’s thinking. Back in 2014. governor Mark Carney blamed rapid price growth on a “chronic shortage of housing supply”.

    Carney is a blind a$$-hat.

    ‘The findings have serious implications. If we build more homes – as we are doing – we might not get the hoped-for reduction in prices. In 2006, when a record 92,000 homes were built in the Republic, property prices here rose by 14 per cent.’

    ‘Equally if interest rates return to normalised levels, the value of properties could fall significantly leaving many of those on the lower rungs with their life savings tied up in shrinking-value assets.’

    Well, as you are finding out in Ireland, trees don’t grow to the sky. And ultimately a mania relies on a greater fool. There’s only so many then crater.

    1. “chronic shortage of housing supply”.

      It depends on what kind of shortage you’re talking about. There is no physical shortage if you were to count all houses/apts. However, there is a massive shortage of affordable housing for rent or for sale. I’m convinced the shadow inventory is the problem. I think the big banks and the FED are carrying tens of millions of empty houses on their balance sheets, which has helped exacerbate this bubble. This is criminal, IMO.

      1. millions of empty houses

        That would make them the top tier speculators in this mania. Lucky for them, they are speculating with your money. Free to them to expand the money supply, but it’s a tax on you.

      2. I would love to see some hard data on the actual numbers of shadow homes. Unfortunately, from what i have learned, that is impossible. Criminal is an understatement

    2. Oh, we know all about Carney here in Canada! He played a huge role in helping to create the massive housing bubble we have seen here in Vancouver. Fortunately, the RE market here is now undergoing a significant correction.

      Feel free to join my “Metro Vancouver Housing Collapse” Facebook group and share in the information/discussions along with 8,275 others if you would like to know more.

      1. Hey Bill!

        We know all about Carney here on the HBB too. He fits right in with everything that’s been going on worldwide, not just Van.

  2. ‘My first impression, as I wandered out into the blazing sunlight of that bedlam that was Miami, was of utter confusion,’ remembered Theyre Hamilton Weigall, a twenty-four-year-old Australian- born, London-based journalist who arrived in Florida by train at the peak of the boom’

    I really like this idea of someone completely out side of a bubble, suddenly stepping into it and recognizing insanity. And we’ve had many variations. Reports of block after block of empty luxury airboxes on the worlds most expensive real estate round the world. Tens of thousands of empty shacks in Irvine bought by Chinese who can’t get the money out to maintain them.

    I’m glad this Atlantic writer got a little traction calling NYC “insane”. But it’s been that way for many years and anybody could have seen it for what it was. Isn’t that fact in itself insane?

    1. “I really like this idea of someone completely out side of a bubble, suddenly stepping into it and recognizing insanity.”

      This describes my feeling whenever I am forced to travel to the San Francisco Bay Area, not the bubble necessarily but the insanity.

    2. ‘My first impression, as I wandered out into the blazing sunlight of that bedlam that was Miami, was of utter confusion,’ remembered Theyre Hamilton Weigall, a twenty-four-year-old Australian- born, London-based journalist who arrived in Florida by train at the peak of the boom’

      “I really like this idea of someone completely out side of a bubble, suddenly stepping into it and recognizing insanity. And we’ve had many variations. Reports of block after block of empty luxury airboxes on the worlds most expensive real estate round the world. Tens of thousands of empty shacks in Irvine bought by Chinese who can’t get the money out to maintain them.”

      +1

      – Oh, and “it’s NOT different this time.”

    3. Not that i disagree with the following statement. But i have been looking for this to be documented in the financial press so that i can send to someone. They love OC – and are just looking for the first appropriate house. Trying to get them to do the appropriate due dilligence.

      —————–
      “Tens of thousands of empty shacks in Irvine bought by Chinese who can’t get the money out to maintain them.”

  3. ‘Mr Lawless said investors would flock back to the property market to make a capital gain. Another interest rate cut in the first half of 2020 would also reduce monthly mortgage repayments. This would enable landlords to pay off an investor loan through rental income – saving them from making a loss’

    No they aren’t. Shacks and airboxes have been “negatively geared” for 15 years in Sydney. You aren’t taking all the costs into account. Lo and behold, as a mania is manifest and on display in Australia once again. And like the US and elsewhere, it was purposeful, lead by the central bank and government, and doomed to end in misery.

    ‘Rents in pockets of Sydney have been slashed by almost a quarter as new supply from the city’s building boom continues to hit the market’

    You guys are fooked.

    1. “You aren’t taking all the costs into account.”

      DonkeyMath is the only way to conclude that a owner occupied house is an investment.

    2. Shacks and airboxes have been “negatively geared” for 15 years in Sydney.

      Negative leverage is going to be a bit*ch as asset bubbles crash back to earth.

    3. ‘Rents in pockets of Sydney have been slashed by almost a quarter as new supply from the city’s building boom continues to hit the market’

      We need a 50% decrease in rents out west to even approach affordability.

  4. “The following is an excerpt from Christopher Knowlton’s new book, ‘Bubble in the Sun: The Florida Boom of the 1920s and how it brought on the Great Depression.’ ”

    That’s an exaggeration. There was also a stock market bubble at the time, and while stock prices were soaring, the incomes of half of all Americans, those on the farm, was falling. They were buying all those new goods on credit.

    Oh, right…

  5. ‘‘Every shop seemed to be combined with a real estate office; at every doorway, crowds of young men were shouting and speech-making, thrusting forward papers and pro- claiming to heaven the unsurpassed chances they were offering to make a fortune’

    How many years has it been since 60 Minutes looked at empty cities in China? For the most part they are still empty and more were constructed. Corporate media have for some reason decided the idea of manias is forbidden. Sure PBS can report on a hundred year ago bubble, but I was in Miami in September and it’s a worse bubble now. At least in dollar terms.

    1. How many years has it been since 60 Minutes looked at empty cities in China?

      Real Journalists have their Narrative to promulgate, and Orange Man Bad will always pre-empt housing bubble stories. But citizen journalists, unlike their MSM counterparts, don’t practice such selective reporting and YouTube is full of reports about shoddy Chinese construction as well as the ghost cities.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XopSDJq6w8E

      1. I’ve posted that video and others these guys have made. In one they looked into rampant prostitution and drug dealing in China, which runs counter to everything we’re told about the place. Best I can tell, China is run by their mafia. And as the Canadians have found out, behind the mafia is the Chinese police system.

        1. Here’s an interesting read related to what you just said …

          Organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners in China – Wikipedia
          https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Organ_harvesting_from_Falun_Gong_practitioners_in_China

          Here’s a snip …

          “According to the reports,[1] political prisoners, mainly Falun Gong practitioners, are being executed ‘on demand’ in order to provide organs for transplant to recipients. The organ harvesting is said to be taking place both as a result of the Chinese Communist Party’s persecution of Falun Gong and because of the financial incentives available to the institutions and individuals involved in the trade.”

        2. After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the mafia and the state effectively merged, as “Russian” oligarchs (no more Russian than I am) bought state enterprises for a song and gained a controlling market share of the countries resource extraction firms, using organized crime bolstered with “former” KGB officials as their enforcers. I suspect that in China the corruption is even more systematic and pernicious.

        3. “I’ve posted that video and others these guys have made.”

          I remember watching a video you posted when they were riding through the “ghost cities” riding what seemed like dirt bikes with a GoPro on their helmets.

          1. They’ll be lucky if they get out of China without becoming involuntary organ donors.

            Separately, I signed up for a subscription to the Epoch Times. You should too. Good reporting, and unlike the MSM and corporate media that grovel before China’s tyrannical overlords, their journalists aren’t afraid to tell the truth about how malevolent China’s CCP dictatorship is, or to expose the rampant fraud underpinning China’s “growth.”

          2. They still do that. It’s their primary narration method. They are linked and carry on helmet conversations about all sorts of topics with the camera picking up whatever they are riding through.

        4. that video and others these guys have made

          They moved to the US with their Chinese wives to raise family. Still making videos, able to speak a little more freely.

          1. I’ve watched some of their videos on youtube. I’m sure that the Chinese authorities turned the heat up on them so they would leave on their own.

            From what I have heard they are switching the focus of their videos to travel blogging in other countries.

    2. Here’s something that I happened across regarding Chineese ghost cities …

      The way in which property values are structured in China plays a role in the creation of “ghost cities”, according to author Wade Shepard, who has traveled widely to research the phenomenon of China’s underoccupied cities. “Economically affordable housing” must be lived in by the owner, and can not be bought and sold as an investment. The developer is only permitted to sell “economically affordable housing” at 5% over the cost of construction. By contrast, “commodity housing” can be bought and sold as an investment. Because housing is a physical object, and China’s large population guarantees an ongoing demand for housing, commodity housing is considered a more secure way to store money. Except in some Tier 3 and Tier 4 cities, which have different government regulations, “commodity housing” generally sells as an investment.[4] In addition, these homes typically serve as future homes for the buyer’s offspring to live in when they get married.[9]

      Under-occupied developments in China – Wikipedia
      https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Under-occupied_developments_in_China#List_of_cities

      1. ‘these homes typically serve as future homes for the buyer’s offspring to live in’

        More after the fact new paradigm horse hockey. Like the tales we were told about Chinese multi-million $ buying NYC condos for their 3 year old children to use when going to college some day. It makes no sense. What did make sense was money laundering, and that’s how it turned out.

    3. Sure PBS can report on a hundred year ago bubble, but I was in Miami in September and it’s a worse bubble now.

      Maybe it’s like the 70s where you couldn’t talk about Vietnam without arguing but you could set M.A.S.H. in Korea and then it was safe to talk about.

        1. Have there even been any actual communist countries? ISTM those were oligarchal dictatorships pretending to be communist.

          1. Of course. Socialism has always been a lie, everywhere, every time. Misery follows for most all. Luxury and brutality for the few.

    4. They may need to import people from other countries to fill those empty cities, thanks to the Chinese Birth Dearth.

      The Financial Times
      Chinese society
      China’s falling birth rate creates timebomb for economy
      Fewer women are willing to have a second baby owing to high costs
      A baby stroller is seen as mothers play with their children at a public area in downtown Shanghai November 19, 2013. China will further ease its family planning laws after announcing last week that it would allow millions of families to have two children, a senior official from the government’s family planning commission said on Tuesday. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
      Only 14.7m babies were born in China last year, the lowest level in six decades © Reuters
      Sun Yu in Beijing
      2 hours ago

      Fewer than one in four women of child-bearing age in Shanghai is willing to have a second baby, exposing another threat to a Chinese economy that is already growing at its slowest pace in 29 years.

      On Friday, the National Bureau of Statistics announced that China’s economy in 2019 grew at its lowest rate since 1990 and that the country’s birth rate fell to a record low. While gross domestic product grew 6.1 per cent last year, China’s birth rate dropped to 1.05 per cent.

      In Shanghai, one of China’s most important cities, the damaging effect of the one-child policy on the world’s second-largest economy is particularly acute.

      Weng Wenlei, vice-president of the Shanghai Women’s Federation, a government body, said birth rates in Shanghai had plunged despite efforts to relax China’s population control. She said births in the city had fallen “swiftly” following a brief recovery in 2016, when China began allowing couples to have two children.

    5. No news to regulars here, but it turns out that China is not the only place with an empty buildings problem.

      Ideas
      Why Manhattan’s Skyscrapers Are Empty
      Approximately half of the luxury-condo units that have come onto the market in the past five years are still unsold.
      January 16, 2020
      Derek Thompson
      Staff writer at The Atlantic
      View from a duplex penthouse in Manhattan
      The view from a duplex penthouse in ManhattanBloomberg / Getty

      In Manhattan, the homeless shelters are full, and the luxury skyscrapers are vacant.

      Such is the tale of two cities within America’s largest metro. Even as 80,000 people sleep in New York City’s shelters or on its streets, Manhattan residents have watched skinny condominium skyscrapers rise across the island. These colossal stalagmites initially transformed not only the city’s skyline but also the real-estate market for new homes. From 2011 to 2019, the average price of a newly listed condo in New York soared from $1.15 million to $3.77 million.

      But the bust is upon us. Today, nearly half of the Manhattan luxury-condo units that have come onto the market in the past five years are still unsold, according to The New York Times.

      What happened? While real estate might seem like the world’s most local industry, these luxury condos weren’t exclusively built for locals. They were also made for foreigners with tens of millions of dollars to spare. Developers bet huge on foreign plutocrats—Russian oligarchs, Chinese moguls, Saudi royalty—looking to buy second (or seventh) homes.

      But the Chinese economy slowed, while declining oil prices dampened the demand for pieds-à-terre among Russian and Middle Eastern zillionaires. It didn’t help that the Treasury Department cracked down on attempts to launder money through fancy real estate. Despite pressure from nervous lenders, developers have been reluctant to slash prices too suddenly or dramatically, lest the market suddenly clear and they leave millions on the table.

      1. “In Manhattan, the homeless shelters are full, and the luxury skyscrapers are vacant.”

        Where’s a democrat when you need one?

  6. ‘Chronic undersupply is frequently blamed for pushing up house prices. It’s the dominant narrative here. But a recent Bank of England study suggests the supply thesis may be a major misdiagnosis. The paper by two economists published just before Christmas claims that the four-decade long surge in house prices in the UK – property prices have quadrupled since the 1980s (we’ve had an even steeper ascent here)– has been caused by low interest rates, and not by a lack of supply of new homes’

    Many years ago I was interviewed by a School of Journalism. Among the things I told them was new-paradigm thinking is almost always invented after the fact to explain away irrational behavior. So about this shortage: how many years can that hold up? And just how was it that when men made nails by hand, no power tools or fork lifts available, they could somehow build enough shacks?

    1. “new-paradigm thinking is almost always invented after the fact to explain away irrational behavior”

      A key insight you likely won’t hear anywhere else. A fascinating point.

    2. ‘Chronic undersupply is frequently blamed for pushing up house prices. It’s the dominant narrative here.

      ‘But a recent Bank of England study suggests the supply thesis may be a major misdiagnosis.’

      ‘The paper by two economists published just before Christmas claims that the four-decade long surge in house prices in the UK has been caused by low interest rates, and not by a lack of supply of new homes

      – Diana Olick! Paging Diana Olick!

      “..new-paradigm thinking is almost always invented after the fact to explain away irrational behavior.”

      https://www.investopedia.com/articles/stocks/10/5-steps-of-a-bubble.asp
      Five Stages of a Bubble
      By Troy Segal
      Updated Jan 16, 2020
      “What Is a Bubble?
      The term “bubble,” in a financial context, generally refers to a situation where the price for something—an individual stock, a financial asset, or even an entire sector, market, or asset class—exceeds its fundamental value by a large margin. Because speculative demand, rather than intrinsic worth, fuels the inflated prices, the bubble eventually but inevitably pops, and massive sell-offs cause prices to decline, often quite dramatically. In most cases, in fact, a speculative bubble is followed by a spectacular crash in the securities in question.”

      “These stages also outline the basic pattern of a bubble.
      1. Displacement”

      A displacement occurs when investors get enamored by a new paradigm, such as an innovative new technology or interest rates that are historically low. A classic example of displacement is the decline in the federal funds rate from 6.5% in May 2000, to 1% in June 2003. Over this three-year period, the interest rate on 30-year fixed-rate mortgages fell by 2.5 percentage points to a historic low of 5.21%, sowing the seeds for the subsequent housing bubble.”

      [Followed by:]
      2. Boom
      3. Euphoria
      4. Profit-Taking
      5. Panic

      – According to the Fed narrative “no one could’ve seen it coming,” even though we’ve had 3 major asset bubbles (the third one is still in play) in 20 years. And yet these are Wile E. Coyote, PhD super geniuses, who know so much more about economics than the rubes, hayseeds, and deplorables in flyover country. “Stealing us blind since 1913.”

  7. The Wall Street Journal. “Robert Knakal, chairman of New York investment sales at JLL Capital Markets, said that investment sales hit a peak in 2014 and 2015, and have been slowing since October 2015, though price declines on sales that have closed have been modest.

    – Ahem! Someone’s a lyin’. Prices declines of 25-50% aren’t “modest” here on planet Earth. Not sure which planet or alternative universe this guy’s from…

  8. From The Atlantic. “In Manhattan, the homeless shelters are full, and the luxury skyscrapers are vacant. Such is the tale of two cities within America’s largest metro.”

    – I think this is a snapshot, a microcosm of any major metro/MSA in the U.S. currently. Certainly Denver, CO is no different. Denver’s Lincoln Park has a rat problem but I think it’s due to the rats inside the capital bldg,, not the homeless outside. The year of the rat indeed.

    – Massive missalocation of capital and assoc. malinvestment. All the earmarks of Fed and Wall St.- driven financialization. It’s going to take some significant adjustments to our economy, esp. RE market before we see any signs of normal markets again. Hint: Wages aren’t going to go up to match current bubblicious housing prices. Current events are eerily similar to the Roaring ’20s and TGD. Not predicting anything, but just saying,..

    1. Current events are eerily similar to the Roaring ’20s and TGD.

      Maybe. Feels closer to ’30 than ’20 to me. Beware the Ides of March.

      1. It’s really going to feel like the 30s once Weimar 2.0 kicks in, thanks to the Fed’s deranged printing and resultant hyperinflation. If you’ve studied that period, the parallels with today are uncanny.

    2. Love your posts, RPE. It’s encouraging to know that among the brain-dead sheeple, a growing number of the awake and aware have seen through the MSM’s false Narratives, and are not going to go quietly into that Long Goodnight the globalists have in store for them.

      1. – Thanks Boo. Likewise! Bubble behavior is similar throughout history. This one, The Everything Bubble, is just “a little bigger” than most.

        – Bubbles feel good on the way up, but they have, as shown by history, always collapsed. The ruinous aftermath is ignored until it can’t be anymore.

        – Again, to take a chapter from history, John Law, The Banque Royale, and the Mississippi Bubble seems like a reasonable analogy today.

        http://www.mshistorynow.mdah.ms.gov/articles/70/john-law-and-the-mississippi-bubble-1718-1720
        “The weak spot in Law’s scheme was his willingness to issue more bank notes to fund purchases of shares in the company. Stock prices began falling in January 1720 as some investors sold shares to turn capital gains into gold coin.”

        https://www.managementstudyguide.com/john-law-and-mississippi-bubble.htm
        “This bubble was created when John Law, a renegade Scotsman unleashed a fraudulent fiat banking system on an unsuspecting economy.”

        “Once the government could not create money out of thin air to raise the stock prices of Mississippi Company, the shares started collapsing. John Law had also become a much-hated figure. As a result of this, the Mississippi Company’s lies stood exposed in front of the public. Once the population realized that the most profitable entity in France was bankrupt, they started dumping their shares turning them worthless almost overnight. Many fortunes were lost as a result of the blatant duplicity that John Law had proposed.”

        https://mises.org/wire/john-law-and-mississippi-bubble-%E2%80%93-300-years-later
        “Some similarities with the personality of Keynes two hundred years later are striking. Keynes was a mathematician first, and an economist second. Their approach was also similar: see a problem and try to find a solution, instead of seeing a problem and trying to understand why it existed before solving it. Both Law and Keynes felt that sound money was too restrictive for the enhancement of an economy.”

    3. Ain’t it grand that the FED is destroying the country in the name of degenerate gamblers?

      “Shifts in repo borrowing and lending by non-bank participants may have also played a role in the repo rate spike. Market commentary suggests that, in preceding quarters, leveraged players (eg hedge funds) were increasing their demand for Treasury repos to fund arbitrage trades between cash bonds and derivatives.”

      https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/944-trillion-reasons-why-fed-quietly-bailing-out-hedge-funds

    1. But wait, there’s more!!

      The FBI foiled another one of its own plots, entrapping three dumb asses into going along with an informant’s goading them into plotting illegal acts. Naturally the media is using these keyboard commandos to conjure up bogus “Neo-Nazi” threats instead of focusing on the real protesters and the real issues, namely, Virginians upset about threats to their Constitutional rights.

      https://www.splcenter.org/hatewatch/2020/01/16/conspiracy-theories-threats-violence-loom-over-coming-gun-rally-richmond

      “We’re seeing threats of violence,” Northam said Tuesday at a news conference. “We’re seeing threats of armed confrontation and assault on our Capitol.”

      “The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety) by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary.”

      — H. L. Mencken

      1. People forget their responsibility as citizens.

        “A militia when properly formed are in fact the people themselves…and include all men capable of bearing arms.”

        Richard Henry Lee
        Letters From the Federal Farmer

    2. It reminds me of how the media were salivating over the opening of the Joker movie, hoping to incite some kind of violence at the theatre.
      Clearly they are still looking for martyrs.

  9. “‘Nearly all of the rise in average house prices relative to incomes can be seen as a result of a sustained, dramatic, and consistently unexpected, decline in real interest rates,’ the researchers write.”

    Is this tantamount to placing the blame on LIRP, ZIRP and NIRP policies the globalist central banking cartel has imposed on the developed world economies over the past decade?

    1. The Economist writers are calling out the Housing Bubble for the epic policy disaster that it is. I consider this to be progress and an indication that the end is near.

      The horrible housing blunder
      Home ownership is the West’s biggest economic-policy mistake
      It is an obsession that undermines growth, fairness and public faith in capitalism
      Leaders
      Jan 16th 2020 edition

      ECONOMIES CAN suffer both sudden crashes and chronic diseases. Housing markets in the rich world have caused both types of problem. A trillion dollars of dud mortgages blew up the financial system in 2007-08. But just as pernicious is the creeping dysfunction that housing has created over decades: vibrant cities without space to grow; ageing homeowners sitting in half-empty homes who are keen to protect their view; and a generation of young people who cannot easily afford to rent or buy and think capitalism has let them down. As our special report this week explains, much of the blame lies with warped housing policies that date back to the second world war and which are intertwined with an infatuation with home ownership. They have caused one of the rich world’s most serious and longest-running economic failures. A fresh architecture is urgently needed.

      1. “…and a generation of young people who cannot easily afford to rent or buy and think capitalism has let them down.”

        This is where the real danger lurks as the disenfranchised young are also what enables the retirement systems to function since interest rates remain below the core rate of inflation. Recall those Rolling Stones lyrics, “Time is on my side…”

      2. Sorry Bear, but this whole paragraph is a thinly veiled pitch for a new world order.

        “vibrant cities without space to grow” <— then develop a new city, dummies. There's no shortage of land or roads or fixer-up housing for people to live in. Bring in some jobs and cities will become "vibrant" very quickly (e.g. Nashville). I've been harping on this for years.

        "ageing homeowners sitting in half-empty homes who are keen to protect their view" <– that's pretty rich that banks who deliberately held inventory off the market criticize homeowners who deliberately hold their individual inventory off the market.

        "generation of young people who … think capitalism has let them down." <– Typical pitch for global socialism.

        "capitalism" <– since when was printing money and picking winners and losers (winners=banks, losers=Joe6P) "capitalism?" It's reverse socialism. The young people should be fighting THAT.

        1. You’re overlooking the main point, which is that government intervention to encourage everyone to make themselves individually and collectively wealthy by purchasing bigger and more houses than they need to live in has led to long-term waste of resources and decline in quality of life across the western world.

        2. “ageing homeowners sitting in half-empty homes who are keen to protect their view

          In California, it’s more about protecting a low Proposition 13 tax basis that ends with a sale.

    1. sanc·ti·mo·ny
      /ˈsaNG(k)təˌmōnē/
      noun derogatory
      noun: sanctimony
      -the action or practice of acting as if one were morally superior to other people.
      “they have no shame and turn on the phony sanctimony”

      1. “She’s a promiscuous virgin…”

        I dated a few back in the day. I didn’t know it then, but forty years later they’d be better known as “foodie dates.”

    1. ‘With NYC’s cost of living ranked 129 percent higher than the national average, according to PayScale, and with something as basic as a gallon of almond milk costing $7.29 (versus $4.49 in most other cities where it), there’s no arguing that New Yorkers are feeling the squeeze. And people are leaving– around 277 move out of the city each day, according to 2018 census data.’

      https://www.bkreader.com/2020/01/19/unaffordable-nyc-the-rising-cost-of-calling-new-york-city-home/

  10. It’s pretty ironic that by stepping in to ban consumption of an evil “luxury product,” the gubmint inadvertently harmed those who produced it, many of whom apparently were not themselves wealthy.

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