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Maybe What We Thought Was More Conservative Wasn’t

A report from KPBS in California. “Norm Miller, a real estate finance expert at University of San Diego, said if you look at price per square foot, prices have only risen about 1% over the past year. In fact, Miller said home prices among the bigger, more expensive homes have actually dropped. He thinks this is due to new federal tax laws that limit the deduction of property taxes. That boosts the after-tax cost of owning a big home and, consequently, drives down the home price.”

The Orange County Register in California. “Southern California had 18,632 foreclosure filings last year. Well, bankers do make mistakes. And families do have financial catastrophes. So mortgages do go bad, even in the best of times.”

The Bay Area Newsgroup in California. “The price for the San Francisco Victorian made famous by the ’80s sitcom ‘Full House’ and the reboot ‘Fuller House’ has been reduced by $500,000, to $5.499 million. The shows’ creator, Jeff Franklin, purchased the home for $4 million in 2016.”

The National Herald on New York. “Prince Pavlos of Greece and his wife purchased a $16.5 million Southampton estate, according to the Real Deal, the New York Post reported. The 13,000-square-foot property is located at 385 Great Plains Road, the Post report continued, noting the ‘sale price marks a hefty discount — a nearly 40% drop from the listing’s original $27 million asking price in 2009. The following years saw a relisting in 2012 for $25.8 million. The price dropped to $19 million in 2017 before rising $3 million to $22 million in 2018.'”

The Real Deal on Florida. “After rising just before Super Bowl LIV, condo sales once again fumbled in Miami-Dade County. A total of 79 condos sold for $29 million last week, compared to 135 units that sold for $56 million the previous week. Condos last week sold for an average price of about $370,000 or $317 per square foot.”

The News Press in Florida. “After a decade of litigation, more than 1,800 Florida homeowners who bought homes made unlivable by drywall manufactured in China will be sharing in a $248 million settlement. Defective drywall that caused damage to property and health concerns hit people in 44 states, estimated at as many as 20,000 homes. Florida had the most. The settlement approved by a federal judge in New Orleans last month resolves two suits — and potentially more than 3,000 claims — filed against Taishan Gypsum Ltd., the China-owned company that sold much of the defective drywall in the United States, beginning in 2009.”

“As the housing boom was replaced by the Great Recession, homes that had lost much of their value were abandoned. Crashing property values made walking away the choice for many. Cape Coral resident Russell Moody, in an-email to The News-Press, was critical of the judge for approving the negotiated settlement. Moody argues that in his case, it will pay only a fraction of the estimated $163,000 it would cost to remove the offending drywall — and its effects — from his home. He is among the people who sued that have not removed the drywall.”

“‘It is a cleverly worded rationale, obfuscated in legalese and based on faulty and mischaracterized information, for approving a settlement that deprives over a hundred SW Florida residents of hundreds of thousands of settlement dollars that they are legally entitled to,’ Moody said.”

“Ultimately, the victims of the Chinese drywall will be paid pennies on the dollar for the damage to their homes and possibly to their health. The emotional strain of a decade lost will not be compensated.”

The Dallas Business Journal in Texas. “Home price increases in North Texas will likely continue to decelerate in 2020 and fewer homes will sell for above list price as the residential market here, like in much of the nation, cools. That’s the assessment of Cheryl Young, a senior economist with Zillow. How is the national housing market looking?”

“Nationally we’ve been seeing a transition in the housing market for the last almost two years now. Things have been slowing down quite a bit, especially in terms of home sales. Sellers are not quite in the driver’s seat anymore. We’re seeing house prices slow down. We haven’t really seen a drop (in prices) anywhere, except in really, really hot markets like San Francisco.”

“A couple of years ago, many homes were selling above list price. Is that no longer the case? That’s definitely what we’re seeing. That’s true nationally, but it’s dropped more here. Homes selling above listing price was really the norm back in 2016, 2017. In 2019, we saw the share of homes selling above listing price about 18 percent in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. That’s down from the peak in 2016, which was around 30 percent. In 2018, it was 24 percent, so it’s been declining since 2016. That’s a little lower than we’ve seen nationally, but the jump down hasn’t been as big nationally.”

“Is that healthy? It’s telling us things are normalizing.”

From Patch Massachusetts. “The most expensive home on the market in Waltham just had another price drop. The property was listed first in March last year for $2.2 million. Since then it’s had four price drops. Today, nearly a year on the market, the owner is asking $1.6 million.”

From Seattle PI in Washington. “The dark clouds and drizzle of winter parted ways for a warming Seattle condominium market. Seattle started the year with a jolt as sales spiked and inventory plummeted. Citywide, the median Seattle condo sales price reduced 4.26% year-over-year, and 7.7% from the prior month, to $449,975 in January. We had been flirting with a balanced real estate market over the last half of 2019, bringing some equilibrium and relief for prospective buyers.”

“However, that changed sharply as January’s 291 Seattle condo listings (listed in the MLS) reflected a one-year and one-month dropped of 32.5% and 14.2%, respectively. This was the fewest number of listings for sale since April 2018. Note, this figure does not contemplate the presale units that are currently under construction.”

From Senior Housing News. “Private equity investment in senior housing has gained momentum over the last several years and could reach new heights in 2020 — which might spell trouble for the industry down the road. Specifically, some private equity funds may be coming to the space for the first time with unrealistic expectations, which could result in a variety of unwelcome outcomes. In one scenario already playing out in some instances, PE owners are pressuring operators to drive short-term results at the expense of long-term viability, in order to generate returns on tight timelines that are standard in other types of PE real estate investment.”

“For instance, a number of private equity funds are struggling to generate returns in the multifamily space and are eyeing senior housing, according to Mike Gordon, senior managing director and head of transactions for Chicago-based PE firm Harrison Street. ‘There’s going to be a bit of a rude awakening when they realize that the three- to four-year hold period in the multifamily space just doesn’t translate in our sector,”’ he told Senior Housing News.”

“Going into 2020, private equity firms had a record-high $1.5 trillion in unspent capital, according to Preqin data. ‘I certainly don’t have any numbers on this, but I feel like every time I turn around, I read an article about new funds, new money,’ Julie Ferguson, senior vice president at Ryan Companies, told SHN. Communities that were built early in the recovery leased up quickly and were generating attractive returns in the high-20% range, she observed. As a result, many investors ‘chased this market,’ which became overbuilt.”

From Multi-Housing News. “How do you lend money into a market and an economy that may be heading into a decline? The answer: very carefully. The economy is still showing signs of strength and real estate capital is plentiful, but the risks—including weakness in manufacturing spreading to other sectors, trade policy uncertainties, a $23 trillion trade deficit, a forecasted $1 trillion federal deficit, constrained infrastructure spending, a stock market correction, a tech market bubble, geopolitical risks, the U.S. national election and low short-term interest rates—are mounting, noted moderator Kelly Wren, partner at the law firm of Ballard Spahr.”

“‘There is a lot more discussion around conditions than even a year ago,’ said UBS Managing Director Chris LaBianca during a panel discussion titled ‘Risky Business: Late Stage Cycle Conversation on Credit, Valuations and Underwriting’ at the Mortgage Bankers Association CREF 2020 Conference.”

“Some lenders have entertained more interest-only components, relaxed cash management requirements, extended terms, etc. As a balance sheet lender, Greg Gerken, executive vice president and head of U.S. Commercial Real Estate Lending said they are looking at loans today as if they are making an investment. ‘We have to think about this property with a lense that, frankly, as a banker I never thought I’d use,’ he said. ‘It’s not loan-to-own but loan-to-what-if and making sure we are not underestimating everything that has to go right.'”

“LaBianca said now is the time for lenders to return to basic principles like being market savvy so they can foresee the things that may signal trouble. Some of the new hot markets, like Nashville, may become overbuilt. Others—like New York—are dealing with regulatory challenges.”

“But haven’t the real estate capital markets generally been more cautious throughout this cycle?”

“They have and haven’t, noted LaBianca. When you look at the average leverage (58 percent today vs. 75 percent in 2007), debt yields (11 percent vs. 8.5 percent), and debt service coverage (1.2 vs. 2.7), the industry has learned the lessons of overleveraging. The percentage of IO loans (about 82 percent today) could be a sign that the industry has gone out of bounds, but the leverage on those loans is 75 percent on average.”

“Net operating income, however, has not risen with valuations. ‘Maybe what we thought was more conservative wasn’t,’ said LaBianca.”

“But, despite some trouble that may be on the horizon, commercial real estate still has a considerable cushion, said LaBianca: ‘This run has been so good for so long, and where property prices are, even if there is a 20 percent correction, you’d be back to 2016 and still above 2007.’ Romina Padhi , vice president and senior credit office for Moody’s Investor Services, noted that prices for some CMBS issues (smaller markets and student housing, for example) have already dropped.”

This Post Has 183 Comments
  1. ‘We haven’t really seen a drop (in prices) anywhere, except in really, really hot markets like San Francisco’

    ‘noting the ‘sale price marks a hefty discount — a nearly 40% drop from the listing’s original $27 million asking price in 2009’

    One more reason I don’t bother with time-wasting, ankle biting trolls anymore. Lots here to chew on folks. I’m off foreclosure scouting.

    1. Foreclosure market not yet ripe for the picking where I am. Can you share the states you are looking at? I’m keeping my powder dry for the moment.

  2. And families do have financial catastrophes.

    Owing more on a shack than you can sell it for is indeed a financial catastrophe.

    1. Not necessarily. If people can still afford the payments and don’t have to sell, they’ll just be less and less underwater as time goes on. Being underwater is only a crisis when you are forced to sell or move (job loss/divorce/death) and you can’t bring cash to the table, or if you bought with an I/O neg-am and your payments reset higher. Of course that also assumes you bought below your means and you’re not using credit cards to hang on.

      At least one co-worker is close to getting to the surface. He said “someday my house will be worth what I paid for it.”

    2. … And the longer you keep paying on the shack, the greater the losses at the end.

      Imagine paying $500k in principal and interest and only recovering $200k in the end?

      Stack on decades of losses to depreciation and it’s even worse.

      Oooph….

  3. a $23 trillion trade deficit

    Apparently a law degree didn’t prepare Kelly well to manage all those zeros.

  4. Moody argues that in his case, it will pay only a fraction of the estimated $163,000 it would cost to remove the offending drywall…

    Drywall is a DIY project for me, but I cannot imagine how one could spend that much money on drywall.

    1. “…estimated $163,000 it would cost to remove the offending drywall…”

      Contaminated drywall is probably handled just like asbestos cleanup.

      You have to hire a certified crew in hazmat suits and transport to a certified toxic waste dump.

      At what point would it be cheaper/better/safer to simply “nuke” [1] the entire neighborhood?

      Construction quality in SW Florida is so bad anyway a complete bulldoze would be a service to the community.

      [1] A fleet of dozers could flatten a entire neighborhood in a few days and remove all the debris.

  5. Stock market hitting new highs, oil prices up over 3 percent, will someone tell the bulls that Coranavirus is the new black death. The stock market predicts conditions six months to a year out, nine months is after the election. People with TDS are getting nervous, they are burning voodoo candles for a recession. Of course, they are doing it for the children.

          1. My understanding: So long as Joe Biden is running for President, no one is allowed to question anything he or his family has done.

    1. aq: “Stock market hitting new highs, oil prices up over 3 percent, will someone tell the bulls that Coranavirus is the new black death.”

      Ronnie. Raygun: “Oh, there you go again.”

      It’$ aq.danny.boy, versus Goldman $achs …

      Oil flip$ into contango, indicating month$ of $urplus

      Reuters | By Dmitry Zhdannikov

      LONDON (Reuters) – The oil market looks set for at least four months of depressed demand because of China’s coronavirus outbreak, with a large crude $urplus not expected to clear at least until August, analysts and traders said.

      Goldman $achs, meanwhile, said the flip of time $preads into contango is consistent with the physical market $uddenly $hifting into a large surplu$.

      The structure of the market has significant implications. Besides encouraging $torage of oil, contango also hurt$ financial investors who have to pay a premium every month they renew a futures contract.

      “The virus outbreak might well prove to be a game-changer for 2020,”

      China has been the main driver of global energy demand growth in recent years and ING Bank said the market is clearly worried that Chinese refinery demand will retreat.

      “The issue for the market is if travel restrictions continue for an extended period … demand lo$$ will become increa$ingly difficult for the market to $wallow,” ING said, adding the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries and its allies, known as OPEC+, could come under increasing pressure to cut output by more than laid out in their existing supply pact.

      Edward Moya, analyst at broker OANDA, said he expects volatility to remain high and that any sustained rallies are likely to be used by sellers to reduce their positions.

      “If OPEC+ delivers anything less than an additional 1 million barrel per day cut, oil could fall further into bear market territory,” he said.

    2. We all know that Just a 50 basis points hike in interest rate, whole $hit collapses like Trump in front of Net-N-Yahoo.

      1. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi recently disclosed that her husband, Paul, has acquired more (AMZN)com and (FB) stock. Paul Pelosi, a businessman and investor, used options to acquire Amazon (ticker: AMZN) stock, and sold Amazon options. The options had exercise prices that were materially below the market value of both Amazon and Facebook stock.

        Trumps bull market

        1. “…Jerome Powell said Wednesday the central bank would fight the next economic downturn by buying large amounts of government debt…”

          Don’t they understand that currency dilution doesn’t work?

          1. If you are at the end of the money pipeline, it does not work very well.

            Sounds a little like a human centipede.

          1. It would be more equitable. However what do you think the body count would be in the inner city? It would make Walmart on black Friday look like a church social.

        2. Aggressive QE since 2008 and the resultant debasement of the currency and speculation has raised the cost of living to the point most Americans are sinking deeper into debt, not to mention 70% of the population cannot afford the median-priced house. Heckova job, Ben, Janet, and Jerome.

          1. It’s also worked as a mechanism to transfer ownership of hard(er) assets to those with access to the QE money…

      2. No worrie$! … Ever$! … Party on like.it$.2005! + What happens to a 31 Trillion$ “Deficit$.don’t.matter$” when is accompanied by a National.eCONomic.Collap$e? = Buy.the.dip$!

        Powell says Fed will aggre$$ively use QE to fight next rece$$ion

        MarketWatch | By Greg Robb | Published: Feb 12, 2020

        “We will use those tool$ — I believe we will use them aggre$$ively should the need ari$e to do so,” Powell said.

        The Fed has traditionally been able to $lash intere$t rate$ to fight a rece$$ion often by as much as 5 percentage points. But that’s impo$$ible now because the Fed’s benchmark rate is currently in a range of 1.5%-1.75%.

        “We will have less room to cut,” Powell said.

        As a result, once the Fed trims rates close to zero, if it does, “it is much more likely we will have to turn to the tools we used in the financial crisis,” namely asset purchases and forward guidance, Powell said.I

        Negative interest rates have been a favorite talking point of President Donald Trump, who has regularly called on the Fed to take the step.

        Other countries like Switzerland and Germany have been using the negative rate tool.

        Powell told lawmakers that Congressional spending plans aim to support the economy if it weakens.

        He urged them to put the federal budget on a more sustainable path while the economy is strong.

        The U.S. national debt is currently $23 trillion$.but

        Asked what level would be concerning, Powell replied: “I would be concerned now.”

        The Congressional Budget Office forecast that the national debt would top $31 trillion by 2030, the highest level since World War II.

  6. “…The Orange County Register in California. “Southern California had 18,632 foreclosure filings last year…”

    “…Well, bankers do make mistakes…”

    Apparently “bankers” (using the term loosely) have confused the term “due diligence” with “greed”.

    “…So mortgages do go bad, even in the best of times….”

    The amount of back pedaling recently by the REIConplex is breathtaking. Could become an Olympic sport.

    1. It’s coming from a low base!

      Here’s the thing: why are there any foreclosures? Why not sell and escape? The ones I look at are mostly underwater. Be it a loan from ten years ago or 1 year ago. One would think a reporter might poke around a bit at the nature of these loans. Lots are refi’s, cash out refi’s I’d bet. Some are low down (or zero down) loans to people who never had a chance of making the payments in the long run. These are things we were told couldn’t possibly happen.

      October 4, 2019 “The federal government has dramatically expanded its exposure to risky mortgages. In 2019, there is more government-backed housing debt than at any other point in U.S. history, according to the Urban Institute. A growing number of homeowners faces debt payments that amount to nearly half of their monthly income. ‘There is a point here where, in an effort to create access to homeownership, you may actually be doing it in a manner that isn’t sustainable and it’s putting more people at risk,’ said David Stevens, a former commissioner of the Federal Housing Administration. ‘Competition, particularly in certain market conditions, can lead to a false narrative, like ‘housing will never go down’ or ‘you will never lose on mortgages.’”

      “The Federal Housing Finance Agency, at the time under Director Mel Watt, began working on plans to direct Fannie Mae to purchase loans with higher debt-to-income thresholds, Watt said. ‘It is intuitive – you think the higher somebody’s debt-to-income ratio, the more problems they are going to have,’ he said from his home in North Carolina, where he is now retired. ‘But that’s just not the best criteria to apply to be quite honest.’”

      October 8, 2019 “‘There’s another,’ said ‘Mary Jo,’ an Orange County realtor who did not want her name used, pointing at another of the large houses, this one advertising over 4,000 square feet. All of this has spiraled to a large number of hard-to-sell homes that are overvalued, expensive, that the owners don’t want to take a loss on, and younger people don’t want to buy. It’s difficult to estimate the average number of unsold McMansions, but real estate agents have reported that McMansions are hard to turn around. So much so that some neighborhoods are estimated to have half of their McMansions unsold or in foreclosure.”

      “‘Some of our buyers only hang on to them for a year,’ said Mary Jo. ‘It’s the crisis hitting us. People can’t afford these, raise the money for a decent down payment, but then after a job loss or plain can’t affording it do to other higher costs, they foreclose or they sell the house. I can’t say how many are unsold in California, especially since many of them go in and out of being sold or on the market. But in Orange County it’s at least 10 to 15 percent of McMansions in states of not being sold in some developments, like if it’s in foreclosure or escrow. But it depends, become some neighborhoods have a much higher rate,’ Mary Jo explained, motioning to the row of houses with signs in front of them down the street.”

      http://housingbubble.blog/?p=2768

      1. May 25, 2018

        “In his corner of American finance, where hard selling meets hard luck, Angelo Christian is a star. Each time Christian sells a home loan, the company he works for, American Financial Network Inc., takes as much as 5 percent. Many of Christian’s customers have no savings, poor credit, or low income—sometimes all three. Some are like Joseph Taylor, a corrections officer who saw Christian’s roadside billboard touting zero-down mortgages. Taylor had recently filed for bankruptcy because of his $25,000 in credit card debt. But he just bought his first home for $120,000 with a zero-down loan from Christian’s company. Monthly debt payments now eat up half his take-home pay. ‘If he can help me, he can help anyone,’ Taylor says. ‘My credit history was just horrible.’”

        “Christian can do this kind of deal because he is, in effect, making the loan on behalf of the federal government through its most important affordable housing program. It’s a sweet deal: He gets his nearly risk-free commission. Taylor puts no money down. If things go south, the government ultimately bears the risk. Many borrowers ‘are living paycheck to paycheck and, if they lose their jobs, they go into default immediately,’ says John Burns, a housing consultant.”

        “One reason more borrowers may be stretching: Real estate prices are soaring again.”

        http://thehousingbubbleblog.com/?p=10443

        I’d flip that last line:

        One reason real estate prices are soaring again – more borrowers may be stretching.

      2. “… Lots are refi’s, cash out refi’s I’d bet…”

        Absolutely correct.

        To wit, South Orange County is ground zero. Don’t have any way to compile reliable stats, but I would estimate that at least half of all households are living above their means.

        1. ” …but I would e$timate that at least half of all household$ are living above their mean$.”

          In Thee “oh, $ee!” (O.C.)? … Judging by the lack.of.ANY “beater.car$” crowding thee 18 lane$ roadway$, that is a Con$ervative.E$timate! (imhTo)

        2. I would estimate that at least half of all households are living above their means

          The ones with BMWs, Benzes, Audis and Lexus SUV’s on their driveways?

      3. “Some are low down (or zero down) loans to people who never had a chance of making the payments in the long run. ”

        At least they weren’t I/Os or neg-ams like in 2005. Between I/O payments, failed refis, crying to the media, moratoriums on robostamp foreclosures, and FASB 157-fueled squatting, those FBs could raise a kid from elementary school to high school graduation in a house they never should have been able to buy in the first place.

      4. People can’t afford these, raise the money for a decent down payment, but then after a job loss or plain can’t affording it do to other higher costs, they foreclose or they sell the house.

        Really? “Decent down payment”? And they’re just going to walk away from all that money?

        1. I would walk away if I put let’s say $5,000 down.

          I wouldn’t walk away if I put down $50,000.

          My local bankers send me emails about the exciting 0% down payment options available to get me into the house I deserve.

          1. My local bankers send me emails about the exciting 0% down payment options available to get me into the house I deserve.

            Hence my cynicism about the phrase “Decent down payment”.

  7. “‘It is a cleverly worded rationale, obfu$cated in legale$e and based on faulty and mi$characterized information, for approving a settlement that deprive$ over a hundred SW Florida resident$ of hundred$ of thousand$ of $ettlement dollar$ that they are legally entitled to,’ Moody said.”

    “Ultimately, the victims of the Chinese drywall will be paid pennie$ on the dollar for the damage to their homes and possibly to their health. The emotional $train of a decade lo$t will not be compen$ated.”

    Well, these U$A farmers are going to have some “legale$e.jerky” to chew on for a long.period.of.time too.

    Busine$$ In$ider:

    Farmers $lam trucking brokerage giant with $1.1 billion law$uit

    By Jessica Snouwaert |21 hrs ago

    Farmers in North and South America are $uing C.H. Robin$on, the world’$ third-largest logistic$ company, alleging illegal busine$$ practices that they claim defrauded them, Texas Public Radio reported Friday.

    David Moore and nearly a dozen other farmers claim C.H. Robinson, particularly fresh product and products distributor Robinson Fresh, overcharged for shipping costs, illegitimately held onto additional profits, and underpaid farmers for many types of products including melons and asparagus.

    C.H. Robinson denied the farmers’ accusations.

    “We deny any and all allegations of wrongdoing and look forward to vigorously defending our actions, as well as filing legitimate counterclaims against the growers,” Michael Castagnetto, President of Robinson Fresh, told Business Insider in a statement.

    The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Minnesota mid-January seeking $1.1 billion over claims of concealed and unpaid profits as well as punitive damages.

    “To me, this is a critical lawsuit because farmers have struggled financially and the company has as a legal and fiduciary responsibility to act in the grower’s economic best interest,” Andrew Thomasson, a New Jersey-based consumer-protection attorney representing the farmers, told Business Insider in a statement. “But it’s actually hurting these farmers and their community.”

    The farmers accuse C.H. Robinson in the lawsuit of “freight topping,” or charging farmers additional hidden fees for transportation costs. Thomasson said the alleged freight topping negatively affected all stakeholders including truckers, investors, and bankrupted framers in some cases.

    The case joins other legal actions that allege trucking companies are charging extraneous fees. In December, the Federal Trade Commission sued Atlanta, Georgia-based FleetCor, claiming the company garnished “at least hundreds of millions” in extra fees from small businesses.

  8. VIRGINIA HOUSE PASSES BAN ON SEMI-AUTO FIREARMS AND SUPPRESSORS IN HYPERPARTISAN VOTE

    National File – FEBRUARY 12, 2020

    Virginia House Passes Ban on Semi-Auto Firearms and Suppressors in Hyperpartisan Vote
    IMAGE CREDITS: ZACH GIBSON/GETTY IMAGES.

    The Virginia House of Delegates has voted to pass House Bill 961 – a statewide ban on the sale of widely owned semi-automatic firearms, as well as the possession of suppressors and of magazines capable of holding 12 or more rounds of ammunition.

    Passing the House by a hyperpartisan vote of 51-48, the bill is seen as such a legislative overreach that even a few Democrats joined in voting against it. It will now head to the Senate, where a previous push to pass a similar bill has already failed.

    In a press release made shortly after the vote was held, the NRA credited Michael Bloomberg’s “bought and paid for lawmakers” with the bill’s passage and warned Virginians of Bloomberg and the Democrats’ end game.

    https://www.infowars.com/virginia-house-passes-ban-on-semi-auto-firearms-and-suppressors-in-hyperpartisan-vote/

    1. The writing is on the wall. The globalist oligarchy’s minions have their marching orders, and they will carry them out. The only question is when the actual confiscations will begin. Heritage Virginians, don’t think you’re going to vote your way out of what’s coming.

  9. The yield chasing dry cleaner effect is endless!

    How an ‘epic bond bubble’ sent Greece’s 10-year yield below 1% for the first time ever
    By Sunny Oh
    Published: Feb 12, 2020 11:49 a.m. ET
    Negative yields across Europe have driven investors into Greek debt

    In a demonstration of the insatiable appetite for anything sporting a positive yield, the Greek government’s cost to borrow money for over a decade fell below 1% for the first time in its history on Wednesday.

    Investors say crisis-ridden Greece’s dramatic turnaround in the eyes of bond investors demonstrates how negative yields across the eurozone and other developed markets have forced fund managers into the riskiest corners of debt capital markets, be it emerging markets or “junk” bonds issued by indebted corporations.

  10. We don’t have a sustainable health care system. It’s not a right as Sanders would like you to believe.

    People would like you to believe that you can abuse yourself and all you have to do is take a magic pill from medical science for your lack of healthy habits.

    I have older friends that don’t want to do anything while they run to the doctor all the time racking up thousands to get the newest pill.

    You got to exercise, get natural sun, have a full night’s sleep, and eat well.

    So the right to health is a slacker wanting someone else to pay for their bad choices.

    Why should I be taxes to pay for people’s childcare, their sex change operation, the. school debt they racked up, pay for ilegals, pay for slackers and bums., and peoples birth control, on and on.

    Once you start calling products a right you take away personal requirement to earn what you get.

    Bernie Sanders is like a dirty old grandpa in a car trying to lure the brainwashed children into the car with candy.

    Bernie screams about equality and expects to steal from one group to pay for another. Everybody will than become a slacker bum so everyone can become equally non productive.

    Commie Theory was from the ramblings of Karl Marx who was a immature bum, who even wanted the State to take care of the numerous children be sired.

    If we in the US go down the path of Communist it will kill America. Yes, the Globalist power grab needs to be corrected,. but not by socialism/Communism.

    Bernie has always been sucking off the Government gravy train in his own life. Bernie is a loser parasite that has captured the ear of the young and dumb. He is appealing to the lowest in people, and he’s way to old to enter high office.

    1. Also, I’m not saying that we don’t need to give emergency relief, or that we shouldn’t take care of the disabled. Any humane society would do that.

      1. Limit immigration of all types and jobs will come with health insurance. Medicaid and Medicare can cover the rest of society who deserve free or reduced payment health care.

        1. Yet the ones that want to give “free” healthcare also favor open borders and unlimited immigration. You can’t have both.

          I still don’t like the concept, but might actually listen to and consider the case for national healthcare if we had strong borders and limited it to only citizens.

          Until then, I don’t want to hear about it.

          1. I just spent 10 months getting Medi-Cal for my son. It’s insufficient for primary insurance (many doctors don’t accept it because it doesn’t cover their costs; it won’t pay for speech services because it assumes the school district is providing) and practically useless for secondary insurance (extra overhead costs for providers to bill and cashflow problems).

            I also agree with CHE that you can’t have “free” healthcare with open borders and unlimited immigration.

            And where is “my body, my choice” in this?! Is that only for abortions and not my other healthcare choices?

          2. Yet the ones that want to give “free” healthcare also favor open borders and unlimited immigration. You can’t have both.

            Indeed, a recipe for disaster.

          3. I just spent 10 months getting Medi-Cal for my son.

            You’re shopping for a $2 million house but putting your kid on Medi-Cal? Why aren’t you buying him private insurance?

          4. Why aren’t you buying him private insurance?

            I have. He qualifies for Medi-Cal because of a disability. We spend as much on healthcare as we do on rent and it’s gotten exponentialially worse every year since the unAffordable Care Act. Regarding the house, I’m doing a 1031 exchange with my late mother’s home in Encinitas that she purchased in 1999. I’m not looking to spend $2M but have them on my radar to gauge how the market is doing. As we’ve seen here on HBB, the high end pops first then cascades to the lower tiers.

          5. “Yet the ones that want to give “free” healthcare also favor open borders and unlimited immigration. You can’t have both.”

            I don’t think you can have either for any longer than 5 or 10 years, after that something big is going to break down.

          6. I have. He qualifies for Medi-Cal because of a disability. We spend as much on healthcare as we do on rent and it’s gotten exponentialially worse every year since the unAffordable Care Act.

            Wait a minute – you’re on the other thread saying we don’t need a single payer system, yet you’re using the system to save yourself money but don’t want others to qualify for that same system? Talk about rich….

          7. yet you’re using the system

            I’m not because it’s insufficient. It’s only after getting it and risking primary coverage that I found that out. Making it “free” for everyone, including illegals, will make it worse. I posted two arguments and a video full of arguments against a single-payer system. I haven’t seen anything from you other than your conclusion, “yes, we do.”

          8. Making it “free” for everyone, including illegals, will make it worse.

            I’ve got news for you – it’s ALREADY FREE for illegals. Go to any emergency room. They never pay, it’s just written off.

          9. I posted two arguments and a video full of arguments against a single-payer system. I haven’t seen anything from you other than your conclusion, “yes, we do.”

            Debating whether or not we need a single payer system is just going to eat up Ben’s bandwidth, and it’s entirely conjecture on both our parts. I’ll agree to disagree with you on it, but my main complaints about our country are FED-induced asset price bubbles and healthcare. I don’t believe there’s any way to stop the runaway prices without a single payer.

          10. I’ll agree to disagree with you on it

            I’ll agree to disagree but my opinion is not based on conjecture. It’s based on academic courses in health economics, professional experience as a biotechnology entrepreneur and personal experience as an unfortunately frequent healthcare consumer.

          11. I’ll agree to disagree but my opinion is not based on conjecture.

            Gonna have to disagree there, too. We’ve never had a single payer system so there’s no proof that it wouldn’t work. Further, when you look at Canada’s model, Canadians seem to like it and don’t have the worry that Americans have. We have longer wait times in my city to see a specialist than they do across the border in Canada.

            Bottom line: We need to close down the border, get out of these pointless wars in the middle east, and offer every citizen healthcare just like Canada.

          12. We have longer wait times in my city to see a specialist than they do across the border in Canada.

            That’s interesting. I live on the border too. My Canadian GF came here to see a specialist when her wait time was going to be over six months in Canada. Paid cash.

            We’ve never had a single payer system so there’s no proof that it wouldn’t work.

            The famous “single payer” is a phantom. Does he have enough money to pay all the bills?

          13. That’s interesting. I live on the border too. My Canadian GF came here to see a specialist when her wait time was going to be over six months in Canada. Paid cash.

            Oh yeah? What kind of specialist?

            The famous “single payer” is a phantom. Does he have enough money to pay all the bills?

            I take it you don’t understand what “single payer” even means.

          14. I’ve seen some tendencies here over the course of the past couple months. I’m starting to think you’re “Mafia Blocks” and all of his associated troll accounts. You’re antagonistic, just like him, and you type the same.

          15. I’m starting to think you’re “Mafia Blocks”

            He’s not. Mortgage Watch and Mafia Blocks on HBB and Big Fat Bastard on ZeroHedge being the same person is more likely.

          16. I’ve got news for you – it’s ALREADY FREE for illegals. Go to any emergency room. They never pay, it’s just written off.

            I had a weird experience this summer using the system for my mother in law that was just visiting for a couple months from China. She has a heart condition, was feeling crappy, and needed to get checked out. Took her to the ER, they made her pay about a thousand up front. She got checked out and went home. Got a couple of bills a few weeks later for another thousand or so and we paid that. Then months later we got another bill from the same hospital that had already billed us…for about 6 grand with an offer to knock 1000 off if we paid quickly. My wife went down to the hospital to ask them about it. Told them we already paid them and asked why they sent another bill. They had no answers…but insisted it was a legitimate bill. Decided not to pay it. It was BS. They know it’s 95% likely to get written off but they want to troll for fearful or rich visitors to see if they can squeeze some more money out of them. I wasn’t impressed. If she had done it through an insurance company they never would have paid that. Abusive practice IMO.

          17. He’s not.

            I’m pretty sure he is. I waited a long time to even say it, but I’ve suspected it for years. He hides it fairly well, but he makes mistakes using the same words, showing up on threads at the same time, criticizing the same commenters that his alter egos have issues with – it’s transparent. He has had it in for oxide forever, same as his other sign ons. The guy’s a major troll. He’s even Eamonn Harter down below.

          18. Blue Skye and Mafi/MW are clearly not the same person. Their details and careers are very different. Mafi in construction, Blue retired from drilling(?). There’s more details to guess at, but no need for it.

            They both have it in for me, but in different ways. Blue thinks nobody should be buying a house, much less a single woman buying an SFH. He thinks I overpaid — everyone overpays compared to his area — and that I will be underwater. Mafi is a just a plain troll. Hey, I like the intelligent conversation.

          1. Also globalists want middle class taxpayers to provide healthcare so they do not have to provide it to their workers. Socialize the costs, but keep their ever increasing profits.

          2. if you tie it to jobs it might force people to work.

            One problem with that is serious illness, which I’ve seen result in the person being let go after a while.

          3. To force people to work, it’s better to tie it to things like food and shelter. Health insurance is not so immediate, in fact it’s something you may not even use, so it’s not the best motivator.

        2. Firstly, the Monopoly price sitting of health care needs to be corrected. It’s just not sustainable, just as ponzi scheme pricings in housing isn’t.

          Free market capitalism needs to return to the health product. 50 years ago Employers use to pay for health care and it was cheap. It was cheap because a working person is less likely to make a claim.

          In the 70s the Government took over the higher risk of people over 65, which was even more reason for health care to remain cheaper for the rest. But price fixing greed inched in by the medical Cartel and
          Insurance Co . Employers didn’t want to pay the never ending higher prices.

          Obamacare was a health care plan designed to lock people into bogus pricing by charging by how much you make rather than health risk, while charging a tax penalty if your not willing to be over charged to pay for a lower income person.

          Other Countries do health care at half the cost, but we are gouged in US by a price fixing Medical Cartel.

          So, you go back to free market capitalism after you bust the medical monopoly.
          The medical billing is all a big racket with the insurance companies in cohoots with the Medical Cartel.

          While we might need some provisions for poverty stricken people to get some health care, and of course some emergency life saving measures, it doesn’t mean we can afford top of the line health care for all .

          And again I say, people have to start taking some responsible moves to live healthy lifestyles. The current health system is not sustainable if people think they can rack up a million or more in health care while they do nothing to promote health.

          The Big Government should not take over health care because Big government is to corrupt right now to take over anything.

          1. One suggestion is to publicly publish prices for most common procedures and drugs and some charts on effectiveness. Sort of like a Consumer Reports for health care.

            I believe Vermont tried this for drugs and they were shut down VERY quickly.

      2. Bernie is pushing the Overton Window on the discussion about health care in the U.S.

        If he can focus on health care and the economy, whilst giving the necessary lip service to all the SJW garbage (because millennials) and then push that aside after getting elected, maybe productive change can happen.

        I have allegedly generous health *care* provided by my employer (I pay zero for health care *insurance* and pay only for vision and dental) but it’s a garbage policy.

        1. “…I pay zero for health care…”

          My family’s blue cross health care insurance is closing in on $1,400/month…right out of my retirement annuity. My wife’s employer also deducts for blue cross health, delta dental and a vision plan. I know we’re providing health care for another family or two out here in fly-over country; we can’t get around it unless we forgo health care insurance too.

          1. Our premiums last year were $2072/mo and would have been something like $2300/mo this year had I changed my husband and I to an HMO-type plan. This did/does not include vision for the three of us or dental for two of us. Hence, why I was looking into Medi-Cal for possible use as secondary insurance.

          2. And that is the problem, you are paying for the uninsured. We have tens of millions of immigrants both legal and illegal who do not pay for health insurance. Additionally, we have millions of Americans who have been forced to work at jobs with no or poor health insurance due to the competition of illegals. This drives up the cost for everyone. Just look at the problem Bernie has in Nevada, when people have good health insurance provided by the employer, they do not want Medicare for all. We need to close the borders this help situation would sort out quickly including Monopoly pricing. The big corporations would insist on it, and the water carriers would do their bidding.

    2. I agree communism isn’t the answer. But I also think that the parties of Wall Street and the Federal Reserve brought this on themselves. And us. So we may get communism anyway before it’s over. Or civil war.

      1. And they continue to bring it, day, after day, after day. They haven’t learned. Not until the country puts a socialist in charge will they even start to wake up. They’re partying like it will never end because they think Trump will beat Bernie. I’ve got news: I voted for Trump, and I’d probably vote for Bernie if I had to make a choice.

        1. Ok, back in the 1930s Communist started gaining ground in the US as a reaction to the stock market crash. The Communist didn’t prevail and post World War 2 the US moved into a capitalist structure that was highly productive while it created the American dream.

          The Commies went underground and great material wealth was obtained by the working class to the point of envy by the rest of the World. The balance of power was reasonable.

          Look, than inch by inch the Politicians sold out the vast majority of citizens in favor of Globalist, Bankers/Wall Street, the Elite and the one percenters. Like anything it can be corrected but socialism/Communist Manifesto is not the answer. It’s failed in every ountry tried, You ought to talk to people who live under this economic system and they will tell you how bad it is. It’s just whatever the government wants to give you.

    3. So the right to health is a slacker wanting someone else to pay for their bad choices.

      The Fatpocalypse is going to hit hard. I see so many people in their prime years who are obese, or even morbidly obese. I can’t begin to think of what their health will be like when they reach middle age. Mobility scooters everywhere?

      1. It’s just not sustainable under any kind of economic system. And big Pharmacy has got to be one of the biggest evils.

        I’m just saying, health care like Climate change is the bogus scare tactic of the power brokers . I’m not saying you don’t need some health care, but don’t think the crazy level that it’s at is sustainable, so try to get healthy if you can.

        1. Just one more point. Do you want big business to get off the hook for paying health care, and have it transferred to Government ,only to have your taxes go up 300%. Big Business already is making to much profit as it is.

          1. Do you want big business to get off the hook

            There’n no hook there. Businesses started giving benefits some years ago to compete for scarce workers. It wasn’t a moral obligation.

      2. “I see so many people in their prime years who are obese, or even morbidly obese.”

        However, you never see old morbidly obese people as diabetes and other renal problems shorten their lifespan.

      3. Unfortunately people got fat doing exactly what the government told them to do, since the early 80s. Low fat, 6 meals a day, 2000 calories, doesn’t matter if the food is real like butter or fake like HFCS and seed oils. That’s the fast track to obesity, especially for women.

        1. At work I used to marvel at the amount of sugary drinks consumed, flavored gourmet coffees in the morning and soda pop at lunch and all afternoon. It’s glamorized in the media depicting lean smiling yuppies with an iPhone in one hand and a Starbucks Latte in the other.

    4. “You’re shopping for a $2 million house but putting your kid on Medi-Cal?“

      OH the horror!!! Seems standard protocol to me… add in more freeeeeeeeeee like food stamps, cash paying / non taxed side hustles and then setup a meeting with Broker Angelo for that guaranteed loan approval. The American dream baby! aaannnd ITS GONE!

      On a side and more serious note, I support RR’s situation and why shouldn’t a tax paying model citizen be able to utilize the same benefits all the tax evading, 2020 Escalade driving, food stamps for drug trading, worthless to society, (i can go on) crooks get?!

      1. why shouldn’t a tax paying model citizen be able to utilize the same benefits all the tax evading, 2020 Escalade driving, food stamps for drug trading, worthless to society, (i can go on) crooks get?!

        Exactly! I wouldn’t be pursuing if I weren’t already subsidizing other people’s healthcare. I don’t make the rules but I’d be stupid to not play by them.

        1. Not to pick on you, but if someone who can afford a $2 million dollar house is legally eligible for welfare bennies, then something is terribly wrong

          1. welfare bennies

            Not all “benefits” are only for the destitute. Also, it is a sad thing for the disabled to be without an advocate in our system.

          2. Disability is an “act of God” beyond the control of the impacted individual, and therefore a legitimately insurable contingency, unlike many of the other dubious conditions that our government deems insurable.

          3. someone who can afford a $2 million dollar house

            I’m not buying nor can I afford a $2M house! HeadlessBankers assumed incorrectly.

    5. “people’s childcare, their sex change operation, the. school debt they racked up, pay for ilegals, pay for slackers and bums., and peoples birth control, on and on.”

      Because children are our future, don’t you know. An educated populace moves the community forward, you see. But it’s rather peculiar how in a “community” or “sharing” economy, the good stuff only flows one way, from the producers to the takers.

      That said, I see nothing wrong with paying for birth control or high school for everybody. Or even basic dorm living for the very poor or addicts.* Enough to enable the takers to, if not produce, at least not be a drain. But after that I stop. We don’t need a degree in gender studies to move a community forward.

  11. HA!
    says price per sq ft is no good
    said if you look at price per square foot, prices have only risen about 1% over the past year. In fact, Miller said home prices among the bigger, more expensive homes have actually dropped

  12. Latest on the Wuhan Bio-lab-11/19 virus for those who prefer an accurate name not a PC name: still only two dead outside of mainland China. 13 cases in the US with three fully recovered no deaths and no one seriously ill.

    1. prefer an accurate name not a PC name Names are mere social conventions. When you come up with idiosyncratic cutesy names that few others will understand, you are just spreading confusion. But if confusion is what you want, I recommend you use the name “chiroplastosis”. No hits on Google for that one.

      1. Why can’t some Good Samaritan engineer a virus that only hits Wall Street grifters and REIC shills?

      1. The Financial Times
        Coronavirus
        China reports sharp rise in coronavirus cases
        Beijing fires top officials in province at the centre of outbreak
        – China’s official death toll and infection numbers from a new COVID-19 coronavirus coronavirus spiked dramatically on February 13 after authorities changed their counting methods, fuelling concern the epidemic is far worse than being reported.
        – Chinese workers prepare to deliver ambulances to Wuhan, where medical facilities have been overwhelmed by cases of coronavirus
        © AFP via Getty
        Yuan Yang in Beijing and Tom Mitchell in Singapore an hour ago

        The Chinese government on Thursday sacked its top two officials in Hubei, the province at the centre of the coronavirus epidemic, just hours after announcing a sharp rise in new infections and deaths from the disease.

        Hubei reported 14,840 new cases — a tenfold surge over the number reported on Wednesday, while new fatalities more than doubled to 242. The sudden increase stemmed from changes in the methodology for how officials are counting coronavirus cases.

        The surge will complicate efforts by President Xi Jinping, who made his first public appearance earlier this week on the front lines of outbreak, to restart the world’s second-largest economy, an increasingly urgent task for the Chinese Communist party.

        1. The article is very naive. Of course, he authorize the change thus he does not believe it complicates things. I believe it is a good sign if they believe they can release more accurate numbers

        2. Martin l King use to say in speeches in essence that he would like investments in poor black communities so black people could get good jobs also.

          King was never saying just give people money so they could be on the dole of the State long term. Some black leaders have said in essence that the welfare state was the worst thing that ever happened to black communities.

          I guess we disagree that a number of these handouts should be a function of the Gov.

          It corrupts people to be on the dole overall, causing them not to advance as they normally would.

          Further, they keep asking for more and more , because that’s human nature.

          Equal opportunity is important, but welfare was suppose to be short term relief, not a life style.

  13. “It’s not loan-to-own but loan-to-what-if”

    If this were in residential, it would be the definition of predatory lending. Loan-to-what -if loans have failure built in.

    “The percentage of IO loans (about 82 percent today)”

    Can this be right, 82% of multifamily loans are interest only?

    1. even those earning over $100,000

      I’ll bet they drive expensive cars with big payments, have mortgages with a 5x income ratio (or worse) and eat out a lot.

      1. Even with the Chinese excluding mild cases, you have a mortality rate of just over 2 percent. Outside of China it is around .4 percent which is about double the death rate for seasonal flu epidemics.

    1. The most valuable data is going to come from that cruise ship, especially about the method of transmission.

  14. I just saw a new online credit company called “Sweet Pay,” where you buy something expensive but don’t have to pay right away. This is in addition to the “After Pay” I’ve seen on other retail sites. These things are proliferating. They didn’t even exist last bubble. These Powellbucks are washing over every nook and cranny in this country.

    1. “These Powellbucks are washing over every nook and cranny in this country.”

      Expect a tumultuous 2020 in the Middle East
      The embassy assault in Baghdad is just the beginning.

    2. Some company (forgot the name) is hawking a service for those with direct deposit. This company will deposit your paycheck 2-3 days *before* your actual payday. They’re selling it like a neat new convenience, but really it’s just another payday loan.

    1. Makes you wonder what’s really going on inside all those quarantined houses and apartments in Wuhan and other hot spots. There have been credible accounts of people taking their sick family members to hospitals, only to be turned away with any diagnosis or treatment. Also, given the way the virus spread on that cruise ship, how can it not be spreading equally fast among people huddled inside their lock-down spaces?

      1. Cough!

        February 13, 2020
        Coronavirus
        Vietnam locks down village as China coronavirus cases soar
        new 25 seconds ago

        1. Truth is tiresome when people want a different result. We had a third death, a Japanese woman in her 80s. So more than 500 cases, 3 deaths. But if you like you can still go with PB’s , 30 to 40 percent mortality rate instead of the 2 to 4 percent I was saying. Additionally, I said that the experts were expecting that to be on the high side.

    2. B…b…but China’s official media outlet, The Global Times, which is on par with Diana Olick when it comes to being a credible information source, told us everything was under control and it was time for international air carriers to resume flights to China.

      https://www.globaltimes.cn/content/1179374.shtml

      Time to resume suspended flights to China

      It has been eight consecutive days that the number of confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus-related pneumonia declined in areas outside of Central China’s Hubei Province. It clearly shows the top-level preventive measures adopted across the country have taken effect and this severe epidemic has been put under control. Although experts are cautious in predicting an inflection point, we have seen some light. Chinese society has been striving for a turn in the situation under the leadership of the government.

      1. It has been eight consecutive days that the number of confirmed cases of the novel coronavirus-related pneumonia declined in areas outside of Central China’s Hubei Province. It clearly shows the top-level preventive measures adopted across the country have taken effect and this severe epidemic has been put under control.

        Hahahaha! Thanks for the laugh….

  15. “New York police data shows close to 95% of victims and suspects in murder cases were minorities in 2015.”

    There was only one way real journalists were going to print that.

    Bloomberg buffeted by recording of him discussing crime, minorities

    Jason Lange
    FEBRUARY 11, 2020

    The recording that circulated on Tuesday included especially blunt language. Bloomberg is heard saying police need to be where the crime is, “which means in minority neighborhoods.”

    “95% of your murders – murderers and murder victims – fit one M.O.,” Bloomberg said. “You can just take the description, Xerox it and pass it out to all the cops. They are male; minorities 16 to 25.”

    “The way you get the guns out of the kids’ hands is to throw them up against the walls and frisk them,” Bloomberg said in the recording.

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-usa-election-trump-bloomberg/bloomberg-buffeted-by-recording-of-him-discussing-crime-minorities-idUSKBN2052DC

    1. This reminds me of two quotes I saw on instapundit.com:

      “Modern journalism is all about deciding which facts the public shouldn’t know because they might reflect badly on Democrats.” – Jim Treacher

      And

      “Journalism is about covering important stories. With a pillow, until they stop moving.” – David Burge

  16. All is well!

    Asset Management
    Fidelity: Coronavirus ‘grey swan’ could derail global growth
    Asset manager warns the escalating contagion could prove a serious blow to already-fragile business confidence
    Pedestrians wearing protective masks cross a street in the Mong Kok district of Hong Kong, China Paul Yeung/Getty Images
    By David Ricketts
    February 13, 2020 12:01 am GMT

    Sentiment among analysts at Fidelity International has dropped to its lowest level in four years, with the coronavirus identified as a potential threat to companies’ growth prospects in 2020.

    According to the asset manager’s influential analyst survey — comprising the views of 150 Fidelity members of staff and based on 15,000 meetings with companies — the escalating contagion could prove a serious blow to already-fragile business confidence.

    1. Bonds News
      February 13, 2020 / 2:10 AM / Updated an hour ago
      Euro zone bond yields falls as coronavirus death toll jumps
      Dhara Ranasinghe
      * Euro zone periphery govt bond yields tmsnrt.rs/2ii2Bqr
      By Dhara Ranasinghe
      LONDON, Feb 13 (Reuters) – Euro zone government bond yields fell on Thursday, as investors flocked back to safe-haven debt markets after the Chinese province at the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak reported a record rise in the death toll under a new diagnostic method.

      The new methodology effectively lowers the bar for classifying new infections, contributing to the spike in cases.

      World stocks slipped, 10-year U.S. Treasury yields tumbled 5 basis points to 1.58% and the euro hit its lowest level against the Swiss franc since August 2015 as the latest developments fuelled concern about global growth.

      That set the tone for European bond markets, with yields on top-rated 10-year German Bund yields falling 3 bps to -0.40% .

      Yields on 10-year bonds across the euro zone were 1 to 3 bps lower on the day .

    2. I’ll predict again that this summer will be the sweet spot. The coronavirus will be likely be over or nearly over by then, economy will start moving again, and banks will keep manipulating to keep Trump in office. Everyone will fly high until a miserable Christmas season rings in a new recession.

    1. Great journalism, with photos and diagrams. Next task: compare to plumbing designs in Wuhan and cruise ships. Another thought, with water constantly running through, wouldn’t sewer pipes be colder than other surfaces? Viruses would survive better.

    2. toilet pipes in skyboxes

      They are talking about a sewer vent open to the bathroom. Tolerating the odor is hard to imagine. The pictures are hilarious.

    1. Irrational exuberance?

      “Inovio’s stock jumped to $5.32 a share a few days after the company announced it was selected to work on a coronavirus vaccine. Shares are now at $3.34, back to where they were a month ago.”

        1. Brent crude is back over $56 a barrel and the market is giving up less than half it’s gains from yesterday, Big picture just off record highs. Sorry only PB and probably an alias or two, thinks that Coranavirus is the second coming of the black death. It could kill millions maybe even low tens of millions if it breaks out but that is similar to the bad flu epidemics. Unlike the Spanish flu, the death rate is concentrated in the over 60 demographic. If it can be contained for a few more months, both seasonal factors and a potential vaccine will keep even the worse scenario discussed above from happening.

          1. Yes Red, I do hope that is the case. Yesterday, when China decided to count properly the mild cases some on this board actually seem gleeful about the increased cases. They ignored the fact that the 15,000 plus cases and 255 deaths actually brought the mortality rate for the day below 2 percent even in China. Of course, proper counting is a good development. Actually, a hopeful development which might mean that China’s draconian measures might even be working. Putting everyone in those so called hospitals, is much like leaving them on a cruise ship. Much more likely they will become ill but also much less likely they will spread the virus beyond the isolated population.

          2. ‘some on this board actually seem gleeful about the increased cases’

            No they didn’t. If you call my blog a board one more time it’ll be the last time you comment here.

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