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Buyers Would Pay Those Numbers Because They Were Confident It Would Be Worth More Next Year

A report from the Wall Street Journal. “BlackRock Inc. made a well-timed bet on distressed loans during the financial crisis. Now the firm has moved its windfall to its charitable arm. The giant asset manager said it has donated all of its nearly $600 million worth of shares in the mortgage company PennyMac Financial Services Inc. to fund nonprofits. By moving the stake to charity, the firm will also reap tax gains. In 2008, the firm invested $34 million from its corporate balance sheet to back PennyMac in anticipation of a wave of mortgages at bargain prices that could be restructured.”

“The venture was controversial because it was run by former executives of Countrywide Financial Corp., a now-defunct lender that became a symbol for the excesses that led to the financial crisis.”

The Boston Globe in Massachusetts. “A lot of us would welcome a little more space at home, all else being equal. But when does a big home become too big — and risk overwhelming buyers? Size can become a liability, too, when a home is starting to feel outdated — because there’s just so much more that needs updating. Doug McNeilly, an agent in Wayland said there was such a glut of large 1990s houses on the market in Sudbury in the middle of last year that, at one point, there was 72 months of inventory in the $1.25 million to $1.49 million range.”

“The seasonal winter slowdown brought those inventory levels back down to normal, McNeilly said. But the same thing could happen again this summer, he added, because a lot of those houses are starting to show their age — and the prospect of updating something that size can overwhelm buyers. ‘A 6,000-plus-square-foot house built in the late 1990s with minimal or older updates might need a new kitchen, updates to all four and a half baths, new flooring, and interior paint,’ he said. ‘That can easily top $250,000.'”

The Observer in New York. “After four months and a $710,000 price cut, a buyer has emerged for Kim Kardashian and Kanye West’s former Soho home. The 2,427-square-foot apartment popped up on the market with an ambitious $4.7 million price tag in September 2019, but the ask was discounted to $4.3 million less than a month later. That apparently didn’t bring in too many offers, and the price was subsequently lowered to $3.99 million. That seems to have done the trick, as the loft-y abode is now in contract.”

“The current layout is the result of a two-unit combination; West paid a total of $3.14 million for the adjacent apartments, and brought in Italian architect and designer Claudio Silvestrin to bring his usual über minimalist vision to life. West and Kardashian used this as their New York home base for several years, before eventually offloading the property for $3 million in 2018, taking a loss in the sale.”

The Los Angeles Times in California. “Hollywood producer turned speculative home developer Nile Niami is selling his Opus project in Beverly Hills for a little over $50 million. Niami, who is currently putting the finishing touches on a $500-million estate in Bel-Air, found a buyer for the property himself, according to sources with knowledge of the deal. While the property itself is expected to record in the $40-million range, the higher price reflects the custom Italian furniture, champagne cache and exotic cars that were negotiated separately in the deal.”

“The 20,500-square-foot mansion, built in 2017, originally hit the market that year for $100 million and was more recently listed for about $60 million, records show.”

From Socket Site in California. “As expected, the number of homes on the market in San Francisco (610) has jumped 20 percent since the Super Bowl and inventory levels are now back to within 3 percent of their mark at the same time last year and a 7-year high. And the percentage of listings which have undergone at least one official price reduction (which doesn’t include any of the homes which were withdrawn from the market at the end of last year and have recently been relisted with a reduced asking price and a reset ‘days on the market’ count) has ticked up to 15 percent, which is one (1) percentage point higher than at the same time last year, while the percentage of homes on the market with a price tag of a million dollars or less is now holding at around 25 percent (which is down 3 percentage points on year-over-year basis).”

The Houston Chronicle in Texas. “Dallas Cowboys star Deion Sanders’ onetime Texas mansion is back on the market, this time with an entire community built around it. The Prosper, Texas, property — dubbed ‘Chateau Montclair’ — was a sprawling, 112-acre estate when Sanders lived there. Sanders sold the chateau in 2014, after which a real estate agent sued him, claiming he’d withheld $1 million from the sale (a reported $15 million).”

“Public records indicate it sold again in 2016. That same year, developers divided into several lots and broke ground on what is now an upscale residential enclave known as Montclair, all built on the dwelling’s original parcel. The residence’s land has been reduced to six acres. Of course, that’s still a sizable private estate, and one that qualifies as this Texas town’s priciest home listing, despite its market challenges: it was originally listed at $21 million and reportedly sold at auction for just $4 million in 2014 that deal fell through. It was then listed, removed and re-listed before going back on the market for $12.75 million. It saw a spate of price reductions during its for-sale time.”

“Just weeks ago — in late January — it saw a $1.8 million price cut. Its current list price: a mere $5.75 million.”

From 3 News Las Vegas. “There are 20 zip codes in Nevada that have been identified as the hardest-hit by foreclosures, delinquency, and negative equity, and 18 of them are right here in Clark County. To stabilize housing prices and prevent future foreclosures, there’s now $17.9 million available for home buyers. The money, which is being offered as part of the Treasury Down Payment Assistance Program, will be given to around 900 Nevada families to help make a down payment towards a single-family home, condo, or townhome in the struggling areas.”

“There are 18 zip codes in Clark County and 2 in Nye County that qualify. Eligible homeowners can receive up to $20,000 from the program.”

From DS News. “DS News’ Webinar Series, in partnership with Altisource, will present its next webinar on Tuesday, February 18, with Holding Down the Fort. Jim Vaca, Altisource, points out that 19% of all new loans are FHA insured and that the agency is looking to change the servicing standard to get large banks to increase the market share of FHA from 15%. That mark was previously 50%.”

“Additionally, default rates among FHA loans are two-to-four times the rate of other investors. According to a survey by Auction.com, 80% of servicing professionals polled—an increase from the 72% polled last year—expect their FHA loan portfolio to increase over the next two years and 85% expect that increase to be more than 25%.”

From The Georgetowner. “Throughout the year, The Georgetowner seeks comments from real estate professionals on the state of the market. It seems that the sky’s the limit when it comes to home prices in Washington, D.C. Is that, in fact, true? And when will too much become too much?”

“Not sure I agree with this beyond a few ultra-ultra-luxury sales that occurred on Virginia’s Gold Coast. Beyond those few waterfront sales, the remaining ultra-luxury sales over $10 million that have occurred in recent months frankly represent properties that have been for sale for several months and did not achieve asking prices or very close to them. In summary, we are fortunate in seeing an upswing in ultra-luxury sales at high numbers, but I wouldn’t categorize them as the sky is the limit. — William F.X. Moody.”

“I think the one crucial misunderstanding buyers and sellers have in 2020, and frankly have been struggling with for a few years now, is that there have to be documented credentials justifying the value of a home purchase. Whether it be recent sales in similar price ranges and areas, units sold or comparable house sales, all of these factors contribute to documented value information. For the first eight years in the early 2000s, those credentials weren’t as necessary. Buyers would pay numbers because they were confident it would be worth more next year either way. What we experienced was emotional sales: ‘I love the house,’ ‘It works perfectly for our family,’ etc. That has been gone for more than 12 years now, and it’s our job as realtors to help buyers and sellers still feel at peace with their investment. Most of the emotions of real estate purchases today have pushed aside by financial prudence.”

This Post Has 266 Comments
  1. ‘Additionally, default rates among FHA loans are two-to-four times the rate of other investors. According to a survey by Auction.com, 80% of servicing professionals polled—an increase from the 72% polled last year—expect their FHA loan portfolio to increase over the next two years and 85% expect that increase to be more than 25%’

    This is a foreclosure servicing news site. By portfolio they mean foreclosed shacks they are baby sitting.

    1. I’m sure that this is completely unrelated to lowered lending standards implemented to keep the game going just a little longer.

      Maximum moral hazard when other people’s money (read taxpayer’s money) is at at risk. Sure glad the regulators are all over this.

  2. ‘it was originally listed at $21 million and reportedly sold at auction for just $4 million in 2014 that deal fell through. It was then listed, removed and re-listed before going back on the market for $12.75 million. It saw a spate of price reductions during its for-sale time…Just weeks ago — in late January — it saw a $1.8 million price cut. Its current list price: a mere $5.75 million’

    I said this bust was coming to Prosper back in 2014. No crystal ball required. It was simply an insane amount of building of super expensive shacks miles and miles away from jobs which paid enough to support the loans. Golly, that’s not complicated!

      1. I agree, but when I drove around there in 2014, a mcmansion on a tiny lot would sell for 700-900k. Zero down builder loan though!

  3. ‘The Clark County zip codes that qualify for down payment assistance are:

    89030
    89101
    89102
    89103
    89104
    89106
    89107
    89108
    89109
    89110
    89115
    89119
    89120
    89121
    89122
    89146
    89156
    89169

    ‘The remaining two affected zip codes are in Nye County:

    89048
    89060

    ‘To receive the assistance, your annual income must be less than $98,500, you must not own another property, and the property you’re purchasing cannot cost more than $400,000.’

  4. So BlackRock made a well timed bet? Much easier to do when you know exactly what the Fed is going to do. Is it even a bet when the ultimate outcome has been determined and you know it?

    1. I don’t care about that.

      ‘The venture was controversial because it was run by former executives of Countrywide Financial Corp., a now-defunct lender that became a symbol for the excesses that led to the financial crisis’

      These subprime sleaze-balls went right back into business. And people say loans are sound today.

      1. What I’m trying to figure out is what it going to be the impetus for the whole thing to just melt down like last time. Because it has to. There’s no way that people are suddenly able to handle even larger debt loads than last time.

        1. The implosion of Housing Bubble 2.0 would be well underway by now, if it wasn’t for the Fed’s massive liquidity-pumping into the financial sector. And as was the case in 2008, I bet the Fed is accepting their banker cohorts’ toxic-waste mortgage portfolios at par in exchange for repo Powell Bux.

        2. able to handle even larger debt loads

          It’s grow or die. When people believe the price is not going up any more, they immediately can’t handle the debt service.

    2. BlackRock There must be more to this story than Blackrock suddenly becoming so “charitable”. Even the tax deduction does not explain it. What is really going on here? And by the way, did BR sell the shares and donate the profits or did they donate the shares? For some reason I think possibly it matters.

      1. They don’t want to be tarred and feathered in the next downturn like Anthony “TanMan” Mozzilo was in the last one. This still took valuable shelter off the market for home buyers and drove up near by prices.

  5. ‘I think the one crucial misunderstanding buyers and sellers have in 2020, and frankly have been struggling with for a few years now, is that there have to be documented credentials justifying the value of a home purchase. Whether it be recent sales in similar price ranges and areas, units sold or comparable house sales, all of these factors contribute to documented value information. For the first eight years in the early 2000s, those credentials weren’t as necessary. Buyers would pay numbers because they were confident it would be worth more next year either way.’

    But prices can shoot way higher than those “credential weren’t necessary” days and all is well?

  6. ‘Walmart Inc. is shutting down its Jetblack personal-shopping service and laying off most of its roughly 350 staffers after the retailer abandoned plans to find investors for the unprofitable operation.’

    ‘The New York City-based unit, which offers fast product delivery on orders placed through text message, will stop delivery services on Feb. 21, a Walmart spokesman said. The Wall Street Journal earlier reported that Walmart was planning to end its Jetblack service and restructure the organization.’

    ‘Jetblack Chief Executive Jenny Fleiss left last year, succeeded by Nate Faust, Walmart senior vice president of e-commerce logistics, who had worked previously for Jet.com, the e-commerce startup Walmart bought in 2016.’

    ‘Jetblack was launched publicly in 2018 as part of an innovation arm at Walmart dubbed Store No. 8, where the company intends to build technology and business units that aren’t immediately profitable but could be integrated into the larger company in the future. Walmart executives have talked about Jetblack as a potential avenue of growth and research, not as a profit center. As of last summer, Jetblack was losing about $15,000 per member annually, the Journal reported.’

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/walmart-to-scale-back-jetblack-after-investor-talks-fizzle-11581604739?mod=hp_lista_pos3

    A lack of vision.

    1. In my opinion, Walmart has half-assed its attempt at online sales. They cheaped out. They don’t even have customer service support or a way to find out if a specific product is available in a particular store. They will not be able to compete with Amazon until they actually put forth real effort to create a good system.

      1. Our Walmart “Super Store” has a wonderful selection of products, and they’re open 24/7 too. Their app can locate anything within the store and show where, along the isle, it is located on a floor-plan map. Out of stock? Just order it via their app, and they’ll bring it to the store and send an app alert too. Their pharmacy is linked to their app too. My credit card is linked with them, and I can review all of my prior purchases within seconds. Walmart has a world-class database management team, IMHO.

        1. Prior to Walmart coming to town we had to drive at least 30-min to the next larger town to buy a bicycle inner tube, a pair of socks, cooking utensils, etc., so I welcome their presence and marvel at their ability to incorporate technology.

  7. It’s just faulty lending based on faulty appraisals. It’s not going to have a good ending no matter how long they delay the crash.

    It’s just hard to watch this set up to a big fall.

    1. “Sandy Nurse doesn’t see why she needs to be $120,000 in debt “just for trying to improve my understanding of the world.””

      So why should the rest of us pay to improve your understanding of the world? I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that she didn’t choose a major to understand the world of physics or engineering.

      1. “I have to either pay my rent and get health care, or pay down my loans,” said Nurse, who got her bachelor’s degree in political science…

        I’m going to go out on a limb here and guess that Sandy didn’t get what she was looking for.

      2. THESE are the people which my plan would help….send back your degrees repossesses them. You never graduated so you are not an alumni either. Just start your life over debt free…. So any job from here on out any job that requires a BA or MA you will never be able to apply for since you do not have any valid college degrees anymore.

        I never benefited from my degree,” said Ami Schneider, 33

          1. My fear has always been they will find a way to discharge most or all the debt, and you still can keep your job. The moral hazard would be tremendous ……..PS Musk is the oddball thinker maybe someday that will be the norm…. but tens of millions of jobs today require you have to have a piece of paper to even apply.

          2. My fear has always been they will find a way to discharge most or all the debt

            Not unless the BK code is changed. Bottom line, if you owe money to the FedGov, be it student loans or taxes, you will pay it. And the Dems who are promising to forgive the loans are pandering, it won’t happen, not even if you surrender your worthless diploma.

            As has been documented in this blog, people’s social security is being garnished to cover delinquent student loans. Short of leaving the leaving the country and never returning, you will pay one way or another.

          3. Short of leaving the leaving the country and never returning, you will pay one way or another.

            Sounds like you’ll pay with your Social Security even if you leave…unless you leave without ever paying any into the system.

      3. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., and 2020 presidential candidate: A young woman came up by herself. And she said I’m a broke college student with a lot of student loan debt. And she said, I checked and I have $6 in the bank. So I just gave $3 to keep you in this fight.

        That’s what we’ve got to do. We’ve got to stay on this fight with people who are counting on us.

        Wow, just wow. Don’t know what’s more pathetic here: the broke college student naive enough to think that corporate stooge Fauxahontus would in any way alleviate her situation, or a well-funded corporate stooge taking $3 off a broke prole.

      1. ” … meanwhile prices on everything continue to $urge. Broke people, $kyrocketing price$. ”

        T$k, T$k, thee Fed’$ are wringing their cold.$weatinghand$:

        Central bank$ ‘collateral damage’ is $kewing financial market$, one economi$t says

        Why the Fed’$ hypocritical in complaining about corporate bond exce$$

        MarketWatch | Published: Feb 13, 2020

        As the economic cycle chugs on, so does the chorus of concerns about the surging pile of corporate debt. But one longtime bond-market watcher thinks some of the loudest critics — central banks — may be hypocritical to criticize the “mispricing” of risk in corporate bonds without acknowledging their own role in creating the situation.

        “Essentially, the sovereign debt market is no longer a free marketplace where the supply and demand for sovereign debt reflect the profit incentive of private agents,” wrote John Silvia in a recent research note.

        In his note out Thursday, Silvia muses that private sector demand for sovereign — that is, public — debt ordinarily would seem to be a function of expectations about incomes, interest rates, inflation, exchange rates, deficits, and more. The supply part of the equation should reflect the same issues, he noted.

        1. ‘…some of the loudest critics — central banks — may be hypocritical to criticize the “mispricing” of risk in corporate bonds without acknowledging their own role in creating the situation.’

          It’s like the pot calling the pot black.

      2. Don’t forget a record $14 trillion in household debt, plus surging credit card debt delinquencies among the young, aka Bernie’s base.

      3. A couple weeks ago I picked up a couple of cartons of my favorite organic eggs at sprouts. They were $5.99. Yesterday I went to pick up more, and they were $8.99. Also picked up five cans of synthetic oil and a filter, same brand I always use, and they’d gone up at least 25% since my last oil change four months ago. Maff is hard and all, but what I’m seeing at the grocery store and everywhere else belies the Fed’s claims that inflation is under 2%. And it seems to have surged higher just in the past two weeks.

        1. Been going on for years. The gallon of engine oil I use is now $20 or more depending upon store. Not so long ago it was $13.99. Bread is up over 20%, etc.

        2. I paid $1.39 for a dozen “Large” eggs today. Could have got them for 99c at Aldi’s, but theirs aren’t so “large”.

          1. Not all eggs are equal. Cheap ones don’t taste as good and lack nutrients due to industrial farming. The color gives away the quality. Yolks should be reddish or orange, not yellow.

          2. The color gives away the quality.

            So true! When I was a teenager, I was reluctant to eat eggs from chickens we raised. When I finally did, damn, those were the best eggs ever!

    1. “…Workers run out of cash before payday….”

      One of the most scary charts I have seen in a long time.

      32% of households earning 200K+ run out of cash?

      Wow. Just Wow.

      Levels of indebtedness among the 200K+ households must be completely out of control.

      Just freaking unbelievable.

      1. 32% of households earning 200K+ run out of cash?

        A home loan they can’t afford, $500 a month for cable/phone&data/streaming, At least 3 $5 coffee at sbucs everyday, eating out almost everyday, a chiro visit every month…. that’ll do it.

        1. I’ve got a great family. I’ve got a four-bedroom house in a great community. Like my car? It’s new. I even belong to the local golf club. How do I do it? I’m in dent up to my eyeballs. I can barely pay my finance charges. Somebody help me.

          1. “$omebody help me!”

            Clarion call for Mr.banker … “Oh, mi$ter.banker, I’ve fallen on my behind$ & can’t catch up! Help!”

        1. Perfect example of a car that if you really want one you should buy a nice 3 year old version for half off. That’s what I did, and it worked. What I didn’t expect was how fast the other half of the value would depreciate. They go virtually to zero within 10 years. Probably because it’s impossible to avoid spending 4 figures every time you enter the dealership.

          1. Especially these new BMWs, or frankly most new cars, all turbos which really stress anything made of rubber or plastic under the engine like hoses or sensors. Money pits. Find a non-turbo car while you still can.

            All a plan to force people’s into electrics when their warranties expire. I’ve owned a turbo car and service costs aren’t for the faint of heart, ESPECIALLY German examples.

        2. That looks fun to drive but the hit to the savings would be too much. See also: have never paid more than $12,000 for a car ever. Buy Japanese and drive it til it dies.

  8. “…That has been gone for more than 12 years now, and it’s our job as realtors to help buyers and sellers still feel at peace with their investment….”

    Oh please, REIConplex

    Notice how as the whole REIC ball of rubber bands is exploding in their faces that suddenly the REIConplex is taking the high moral ground.

    Next thing we are going to hear from this gang of gangsters is something along the lines of “Well, we all just tried to talk him out of buying this property, because we all knew that it was an emotional decision and not a prudent financial one”.

    Searching my office cube for a barf bag.

      1. Seriously delinquent auto loans jumped to 4.94% of the $1.33 trillion in total loans and leases outstanding, above where the delinquency rate had been in Q3 2010 as the auto industry was collapsing, with GM and Chrysler already in bankruptcy, and with the worst unemployment crisis since the Great Depression approaching its peak. But this time, there is no unemployment crisis; these are the good times

        The FED has created the most unstable eCONomy possible. It’s a megahigh-rise built on a foundation of sand on swampy ground.

      2. If you just make the 1 percent you cannot afford that house. If you just make the .1 percent, you can not afford that house. The people who can really afford that house in the world could fit in the average high school gym. I have no problem with the 1 percent, we all know some and many are fine people. It is being ruled by the .01 percent who rule by manipulating the poor by giving them middle class tax money that bothers me. Even the whole 99 percent one percent divide was created by billionaires to hide just how few people run the world.

    1. Just look at that chart. The loan defaults are almost double the rate of the financial crisis, and yet they’re still carpet-bombing the country with them. Who can afford to take these losses? Santander, apparently, but I really don’t get it. At a certain point, there’s no money in it.

        1. Best time to bag a vehicle from that section-8 place is right as dawn’s light appears on the horizon as these peeps are passed-out from being up all selling drugs, stolen property and partying.

    2. “It’s almost as if there’s a pattern here. Nobody has any money”

      That should be good enough for another 20% rise in stock markets.

      1. Janet Powell said yesterday that the Fed would be “aggressive” in using QE in the event of a recession. The Fed is already pumping in $40-90 billion a day in the repo markets with Ponzi markets at their peak – that isn’t aggressive enough?

    3. It’s almost as if there’s a pattern here. Nobody has any money

      It’s funny how a lot of people think that the way to be in a position to always have cash at hand is to somehow be “clever” with your finances:

      After meeting Bob and other friends for dinner.

      Broke guy: “How does Bob do it? He’s never broke. He always pays cash when we have dinner with him.”

      A: “Bob spends as little as possible and saves as much as he can.”

      “No way, it can’t be that.” Broke Guy says as Bob drives away in his 15 year old Corolla. “By the way, did you see my new iPhone or the new BMW I just leased? “

  9. Seattle, WA Housing Prices Crater 17% YOY As Amazon And Microsoft Layoffs Clobber Homeowners

    https://www.zillow.com/seattle-wa-98102/home-values/

    *Select price from dropdown menu on first chart

    As a noted economist said, “I can $50k for my run down Chevy truck but where is the buyer at that price? So it is with all depreciating assets like houses and cars.”

  10. ‘the number of homes on the market in San Francisco (610) has jumped 20 percent since the Super Bowl and inventory levels are now back to within 3 percent of their mark at the same time last year and a 7-year high’

    Wa happened to my shortage bay aryans?

    ‘the percentage of listings which have undergone at least one official price reduction (which doesn’t include any of the homes which were withdrawn from the market at the end of last year and have recently been relisted with a reduced asking price and a reset ‘days on the market’ count) has ticked up to 15 percent’

    Openly discussing market manipulations. The industry is full of crooks.

    1. Openly discussing market manipulations. The industry is full of crooks.

      Surely such open discussions of market manipulation and fraud would draw scrutiny from our ever-vigilant regulators, enforcers, and policymakers.

      I slay me….

  11. https://www.hubzu.com/property/90016098730-16483-Valley-Blvd-Fontana-CA-92335

    $258,000
    Current Highest Bid

    ‘Built in 1954, this charming ranch style single family residence features three bedrooms and two baths with two car detached garage. Living room entrance. Kitchen with white cabinetry. Possible roof and ceiling damage’

    Window boarding fail in photo 21.

    https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/16483-Valley-Blvd-Fontana-CA-92335/17338843_zpid/

    Foreclosure information
    8/1/2019 Listed by bank $332,900

    ‘This property was foreclosed and now the lender is selling it for $332,900.’

    ‘Zillow’s Foreclosure Estimate predicts this property will sell for $328,197.’

    Insanity.

    1. Madness. Looks like some roof leaks too if the ceiling patching is anything to go by. Anyone who could afford to fix this house up will not be buying this house.

    2. Fontana was the HQ for the Hell’s Angels back in the day. This house looks like it may have been the home of a biker gang at one point.

  12. “President Donald Trump this week proposed a modest 1% pay increase and less generous retirement benefits for federal workers.

    The proposal, included in Trump’s fiscal 2021 budget blueprint, is reigniting a longstanding debate over whether federal employees earn too much, or too little, compared to their private-sector counterparts.

    The president’s budget cites a 2017 Congressional Budget Office study that found federal workers’ total compensation on average is 17% higher than private-sector workers in similar jobs, chiefly because of their benefits.

    “CBO found that, in comparison to the private sector, the federal government continues to offer a very generous package of retirement benefits,” the budget plan says.”

    1. It depends on which department. For example, the Department of the Interior is running on a starvation budget these days. If they do receive a morsel of funding they’ll spend it on something important like discussing which restroom the transvestite employee should use.

  13. Thee (“oh, $ee!) OC (loverly $helter.$hack graphic$)

    12,854 Orange County mortgage$ are ‘$eriou$ly’ underwater$

    Jonathan Lansner| OC Register | PUBLISHED: February 13, 2020 | Categories: Busine$$, Hou$ing

    Underwater loans are seen as being at a high risk of default. If the economy sours or if the owner’s finances get stretched, there’s little financial motivation keeping the borrower in these homes.

    California had 189,896 seriously underwater home loans in the fourth quarter. That’s 2.7% of all mortgaged properties, third-lowest nationwide. By the way, 7% of mortgages in the rest of the U.S. are seriously underwater by Attom’s math.

    If you look at the Orange County results at the neighborhood level, the pricier the community — think coastal towns or fancy foothill areas — the more likely the chance for badly underwater homes. Shortages of affordable residences have kept low-end prices stronger than the bulk of the market. Plus, cheaper homes are often bought with large down payments or in all-cash deals, creating high levels of equity.

    Look at the number and share of seriously underwater mortgages in big Orange County ZIPs and how that percentage ranked among 979 California ZIPs tracked by Attom. Let’s start with the 10 Orange County ZIPs with the highest level of problem loans …

    1. Laguna Beach 92651: 410 mortgages or 6.01% of all home loans — ranking No. 918 statewide.

    2. Newport Coast 92657: 148 or 5.71% — No. 911 statewide.

    3. Newport Beach 92663: 236 or 5.39% — No. 894 statewide.

    4. Corona Del Mar 92625: 177 or 5.27% — No. 885 statewide.

    5. Tustin 92782: 251 or 3.67% — No. 792 statewide.

    6. Laguna Hills 92637: 87 or 3.56% — No. 776 statewide.

    7. Trabuco Canyon 92679: 296 or 3.10% — No. 695 statewide.

    8. Newport Beach 92660: 229 or 3.06% — No. 682 statewide.

    9. San Clemente 92673: 238 or 2.97% — No. 664 statewide.

    10. San Juan Capistrano 92675: 235 or 2.93% — No. 653 statewide.

      1. “By the way, 7% of mortgages in the rest of the U.S. are seriously underwater by Attom’s math.”

    1. According to a recent science article Carbon Dioxide concentration is now 416-ppm. Global sea levels were 60-ft higher than today last time CO2 concentration was that high according to paleo air bubble samples recovered from deep ice drilling in Greenland and Antarctica. It’s the industrial age of the last 150-yrs, they claim.

      1. Male testosterone levels have dropped dramatically over the past 50 years. That explains quite a few things.

  14. No worries, as Kelly.Annie would say: it’s just “alternate.facts!”

    China | $ociety
    Coronavirus: China reports 254 deaths in a day as cases surge after including clinically diagnosed patients

    Hubei’s new cases nearly 10 times more than day before, because previously infections were diagnosed only by test kits, of which there has been a shortage

    Heavyweight sent by Beijing to oversee handling of the outbreak says its scale has not been accurately estimated

    Cissy Zhou, Gigi Choy, Zhuang Pinghui |Published: 8:00am, 13 Feb, 2020

    An official checks the temperature of passengers at a bus terminal in Shanghai. Photo: BloombergAn official checks the temperature of passengers at a bus terminal in Shanghai. Photo: Bloomberg
    An official checks the temperature of passengers at a bus terminal in Shanghai. Photo: Bloomberg
    China’s National Health Commission reported 59,804 confirmed cases of coronavirus as of Wednesday – after a surge of 15,152 new cases because of a change in diagnostic criteria.
    The commission on Thursday said 1,367 people had died from the illness in mainland China, and 254 new deaths were reported on Wednesday.
    Of the new infections, 14,840 were reported in Hubei – the epicentre of the coronavirus epidemic, almost 10 times the number reported a day earlier.

    he virus – which causes the disease now officially known as Covid-19 – has spread to at least 24 countries, sickened more than 60,000 people worldwide, with tens of thousands more suspected cases.

    Hubei ‘closed for business’ until February 21
    Businesses in Hubei were instructed to remain closed until February 21 on Thursday, according to a statement by the province’s coronavirus treatment and control command centre.

    The spring semester for schools from kindergartens to universities will also be delayed until further notice, the statement said.

    1. Dr. Dan! Paging Dr. Dan!

      A 737 Max private plane will pick you up this afternoon for a tour of Wuhan China. After all, it’s only a flu.

        1. from the link…

          North Korea ‘executes trade official for visiting a public bath while he was in quarantine over #coronavirus fears after returning from #China’

    2. “Hubei’s new cases nearly 10 times more than day before, because previously infections were diagnosed only by test kits, of which there has been a shortage

      Nobody could have seen it coming! Wall Street disease expertz assured me that the rate of new case growth was slowing!!

  15. ‘The forewoman of the jury that convicted former Donald Trump campaign adviser Roger Stone showed clear animus against Trump in a slew of social media posts that surfaced after she identified herself as the foreperson while issuing a defense of government prosecutors who withdrew from the case this week.’

    ‘The posts show animus against Trump, including showing Hart’s belief in the theory that Trump and his campaign colluded with Russian actors to win the 2016 election. Special counsel Robert Mueller’s team couldn’t establish any conspiracy or cooperation between Trump or his campaign and Russia.’

    ‘In one post in 2017, Hart shared a quote calling Trump “the #KlanPresident,” apparently referencing the white supremacist Ku Klux Klan group. The quote was from filmmaker Ava DuVernay. In another post that year, Hart wrote that she marched with others past Trump’s hotel in Washington.’

    “Marched by 45’s hotel…and the crowd went booooo!!! Then yelled shame, shame, shame as we walked by!” she wrote. Trump is the nation’s 45th president.’

    ‘In a post in 2018, Hart praised an official of UnidosUS, formerly the National Council of La Raza, for “firing us up and calling us to act against the oppressive, racist agenda of 45’s admin.” And she said that Trump supporters were racist for “co-signing and defending a racist and his racist rhetoric.”

    ‘In January 2019, Hart shared a Twitter post from CNN analyst Bakari Sellers that was about Roger Stone. Stone “has ya’ll talking about reviewing use of force guidelines,” Sellers wrote after FBI agents conducted a pre-dawn raid on Stone’s house that was captured by CNN cameras. Sellers listed a number of people who had not prompted talk about the guidelines. “But Roger Stone!!! Think about that,” he wrote.’

    ‘That same month, Hart shared an NPR article that included information about Stone’s indictment.’

    ‘On Nov. 15, 2019, the day Hart and fellow jurors voted to convict Stone, Hart posted a tweet containing four emojis: two hearts and two fist-pumps. A Facebook post she linked to in the tweet was deleted.’

    https://www.theepochtimes.com/roger-stone-jury-forewomans-anti-trump-posts-surface-after-she-issues-defense-of-prosecutors_3237060.html

    She’s clearly impartial.

    1. Was just going to comment on that… is this enough to contest the verdict? Can they sue CNN and NPR for juror tampering?

    2. Tucker Carlson on Roger Stone’s prison sentencing

      “This is a pure political hit. Roger Stone is facing prison because he’s a high-profile Donald Trump supporter. It’s that simple,” Carlson said. “You want proof? Here it is. [Former CIA Director] John Brennan and [former Director of National Intelligence] James Clapper will sleep at home tonight. Both have been caught lying under oath, on camera, about matters of national importance. And yet neither is in jail. Neither has been indicted. Neither ever will be.”

      “Now, Stone and his wife, who is 71 years old and deaf, have lost their home because of this. They have no insurance. They’re utterly broke,” Carlson said, turning back to Stone’s situation. “The whole thing is shocking and it’s disgusting. It’s a farce that discredits the entire American justice system.”

      https://www.foxnews.com/media/tucker-carlson-roger-stone-pardon-commute-sentence

      1. [Former CIA Director] John Brennan and [former Director of National Intelligence] James Clapper will sleep at home tonight. Both have been caught lying under oath, on camera, about matters of national importance. And yet neither is in jail. Neither has been indicted. Neither ever will be.”

        FBI agents deliberately falsified evidence and made false claims under oath, yet the DoJ IG’s report acts as if these were minor mistakes. No, they were willful attempts to pervert the course of justice and railroad people who were almost certainly innocent of the charges against them. While the FBI agents involved suffered administrative actions, none were criminally charged for criminal actions. As they say, the fish rots from the head first.

      1. Falling prices causes enragement indeed.

        As a noted economist said, “Nothing accelerates the economy and creates jobs like falling prices to dramatically lower and more affordable levels. Nothing.”

        He’s right.

    1. T$k, T$k for Thee $audi’$ … T$k, T$k for Thee Putin.Ru$$ki … T$k, T$k for OPEC+ … $ad.

      COMMODITIE$|FEBRUARY 13, 2020 / Noah Browning

      Oil demand set for first fall in a decade as virus takes toll: IEA

      LONDON (Reuters) – Oil demand is set to fall this quarter for the first time since the financial crisis in 2009 due to the coronavirus outbreak in China, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Thursday

      “The consequences of Covid-19 for global oil demand will be significant,” the Paris-based IEA said in a monthly report, using the new scientific name for the virus.

      Demand in the first quarter of 2020 is expected to fall by 435,000 barrels per day (bpd) compared with a year earlier, it said, noted it would be “the first quarterly decrease in more than a decade”.

      “For 2020 as a whole, we have reduced our global growth forecast by 365,000 bpd to 825,000 bpd, the lowest since 2011,” the IEA said, adding that it assumed economic activity from the second quarter would return progressively to normal.

      “China was responsible for around three-quarters of last year’s global oil demand growth. Before the outbreak of Covid-19, it was expected to drive over a third of oil consumption growth in 2020, but now we think it will be less than a fifth,” the IEA said.

      1. Woe$er & Woe$er …

        Reuters |COMMODITIES| FEBRUARY 13, 2020 / John Kemp

        Falling air freight points to renewed global economic slowdown: Kemp

        LONDON (Reuters) – Global air freight started to weaken again last month, after improving in the final quarter of 2019, a worrying sign the nascent upturn in the global economy was running into trouble even before the coronavirus crisis wor$ened.

        Air freight is a coincident rather than a leading indicator of economic activity, but because cargo data are available more quickly than other statistics, they can act as the canary in the mine, warning of wider changes in the economy.

        Air cargo growth through major hubs such as Hong Kong, Singapore and London’s Heathrow began to decelerate in the middle of 2017 and by the end of 2018 was falling year-on-year.

        The freight downturn worsened throughout the first nine months of 2019 as trade tensions between the United States and China intensified and global manufacturing activity was hit by a slump.

        Hong Kong’s air freight has been hit by a perfect storm from the trade war, the global manufacturing slowdown, civil unrest in the special administrative region, and now the coronavirus-driven downturn in China.

        But London’s Heathrow also reported volumes were down 11% in January compared with 2019 and down 13% compared with 2018, suggesting a much more widespread weakness.

        The downturn in air freight is likely to be much worse in February with many of China’s businesses closed to prevent the spread of coronavirus.

        The risk now is that coronavirus will hit a global economy still fragile after the downturn of 2018/19, with the slowdown centred on China but spreading through global supply chains throughout Asia and to other regions.

        (Global $ynchronized $low down is a digital media myth!)

  16. Update: My friend accepted the counter-offer sent to all 5 bidders. The property was on the market for 1 week.

    1. I have a related update: I negotiated a cash for keys deal with the FB single mom living in the shack I bid on at the courthouse a couple of weeks ago. She’s got 11 more days to GTFO! And it better be clean when she leaves, or no money.

      Anyhoo, something to keep in mind for you aspiring loanowners out there.

        1. I know what some you are thinking: Ben, you so meanie!

          I didn’t give her the loan she had no chance in hell of paying back. What I did do was research the shack, find someone who was willing to lay down the cold hard cash so you taxpayers wouldn’t have to. Well, somebody did take a haircut, but that’s their problem. Maybe they’ll make the bank eat it, I don’t know.

          Moral to the story, aspiring loanowners is, you gotta pay that money back. The UHS who spent 20 minutes showing you around don’t care if you can’t. The seller don’t care and that smiling loan officer sure as hell don’t care. Mel Watt don’t care, he’s retired! And if you don’t pay it back somebody like me is gonna show up and tell you to GTFO!

          1. “And if you don’t pay it back somebody like me is gonna show up and tell you to GTFO!”

            Contract law for the win. Don’t sign up for debt you can’t pay. It’s not that complicated.

            Debt is slavery.

          2. Telling deadbeats to GTFO of homes they can’t afford to stay in isn’t being mean. It’s an absolutely necessary step in the right direction of true price discovery and restoring sanity to the housing market after 11 years of radical Keynesian monetary experiments that have priced the median shack out of reach of 70% of wage earners. Paying her cash to move her deadbeat a$$ along was more than generous.

          3. “And if you don’t pay it back somebody like me is gonna show up and tell you to GTFO!”

            Be a great game show

            GTFO

            It would start just like Wheel of Fortune

            (deep voice game show dude reads)

            Welcome to the wacky world of bidding wars, short sales and foreclosures. But buy em right and pay your mortgage or your opponent will show up at your door and tell you to…

            (studio audience yells)

            GTFO

      1. I negotiated a cash for keys deal with the FB single mom living in the shack I bid on at the courthouse a couple of weeks ago. She’s got 11 more days to GTFO!

        So what happens if she refuses to leave? Do you just call the Sheriff, or are there more legal hoops you have to jump through to get her evicted?

          1. I’m assuming that the money is basically a bribe to get her to leave promptly and without more legal drama. But if she refuses the bribe, how long will it be and how much work will it take to forcefully evict her?

    2. “But buy em right and pay your mortgage or your opponent will show up at your door and tell you to…

      (studio audience yells)

      GTFO“

      Lol!! I dont watch tv but i would watch this!

  17. Las Vegas has alot of homeless too:

    “Las Vegas recently began cracking down on people living outdoors. In November, the city council approved a law that made sitting, resting or “lodging” on sidewalks a misdemeanor punishable with up to six months in jail or fines of up to $1,000 in most neighborhoods.

    Some say the tipping point in lawmakers’ attitudes was “poop on a stoop”.

    Tired of finding human waste outside his office in downtown Las Vegas, attorney Jerry Gillock in September used a shovel to deliver feces to the steps of city hall. Gillock was soon on the 11 o’clock news for the second time in four months demanding action regarding people sleeping, using drugs and relieving themselves outside his law practice.”

    https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2020/feb/13/las-vegas-homeless-sleeping-ban-no-lodging

    1. “I’ll never say I’m homeless. I’m house-less. I’m residentially challenged. Homeless is a behavior to me,” he said, staring off toward the skyline of the Strip. “But here’s the thing: there’s no carrot. There’s no prize, there’s no poster child, there’s no steps to success. No one sees that, and if there’s no carrot, nothing to aim for, you give up. I think that’s where most of the homeless people are. They have just given up.”

      1. The cool thing about dating homeless chicks is that after the date, you can just drop ’em off anywhere.

          1. Except they’re already there because she called them first claiming to be your live in girlfriend that you just beat up.

      2. “there’s no steps to success. No one sees that, and if there’s no carrot, nothing to aim for, you give up.”

        Eloquent recounting of the result of 40 years of bubble. Sad. And unfortunately no bubble pop will make up for what we’ve all lost in time and human potential (although that is a good place to start to rebuild.) Bubbles make all of society poorer, then they pop.

        1. “…what we’ve all lost in time and human potential…”

          Also sad: Not only will the Fed not account for this waste due to keeping the economy perpetually on the bubble boil for decades, but they won’t even begin to acknowledge their complicity in creating the bubble in the first place.

          1. acknowledge their complicity

            Take a step back from that question. What would you expect from a group of thieves? They’ve got a cartel on the money supply of the United States, and they’re a private bank caartel! What the heck is the US Treasury for? It’s not for lending money into existence at interest.

            The bankers have reduced the purchasing power of the dollar over 90% just in my own lifetime. They don’t need to acknowledge anything.

        1. And what ugly hills they are. Brown scrubbly bumps. I can’t believe people pay millions of dollars for a “view.”

          1. I moved away from North San Diego county 20+ years ago, but I do get back once in a while. And yeah, the brown, arid hills don’t make for much of a “view”.

            According to zildo, our old shack in Escondido is worth 550K

          2. “And what ugly hills they are. Brown scrubbly bumps.”

            If you want foliage and trees then you have to live with the steady rainfall that supports it. Go look at that Mamas & the Papas video again, who is shoveling snow and who is frolicking at the sunny beach?

          3. And what ugly hills they are. Brown scrubbly bumps. I can’t believe people pay millions of dollars for a “view.”

            The west is pretty much brown with the exception of the PNW or the forests.

          4. Plenty of foliage south of the Mason-Dixon line, and very little snow unless you’re in the mountains. And if you’re in the mountains, you’re probably not commuting to a job every day.

    1. I see Atherton St is nearby. The buyers of my friend’s house on the other side of San Elijo Rd may be selling their home on Atherton St. Do you want the realtor’s name?

    1. Drugs are better, cheaper and ‘more exciting’ when they are illegal. Sheeple wanted to legalize it not knowing that it was just another vehicle for the taxes. Suckers!

  18. “the percentage of homes on the market with a price tag of a million dollars or less is now holding at around 25 percent (which is down 3 percentage points on year-over-year basis) [for San Francisco]”

    So inventory in general has jumped, but so-called “affordable” inventory has actually gone down a bit. This sounded similar to the LA zipcodes I’ve been watching for years, so I did some number crunching. As of today:

    746 homes for sale
    20% under $1mil, of which 40% are sale pending (58 out of 147)
    80% over $1mil, of which 19% are sale pending (114 out of 599)

    One advantage for bubble-blowers of having relatively few listings in the range people can actually afford is that it takes relatively few buyers to create the illusion of a robust market.

    So it only takes 58 buyers to make the market seem hot at the low end, while 114 people at the high end hardly makes a dent in the huge amount of so-called luxury inventory.

    For my market, the bubble pattern of the last few years seems to be repeating – very few sales and lots of price cuts for the last 6 months of 2019, then as soon as the new year hits, just a bit of looser credit/higher loan limits enables a small number of new borrowers to snap up listings at the low end and magically make a dead market appear to be brought back to life. Not being a troll, just pointing out that so far for my market, the pattern continues for one more year, and it only takes relatively small number of people to make it happen.

  19. from SCMP It’s morning over there.

    China’s Hubei province, the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak, reported a further 4,823 cases of the disease early on Friday morning, bringing the total in the mainland to 64,627.

    OK, more cases, more deaths, and we’ve got a number for you calculated to make you feel more or less OK.

    I’ve been wondering about this for a few days: They report the “number” from Hubei and call it the mainland total. They don’t get called out on that. Maybe nobody cares because “everybody knows”.

    Apologies to Adan, who isn’t everybody.

  20. You see the healthy looking dude sitting by you on the bus? Better not breathe, as he could be a latent carrier.

    1. Coronavirus can be spread by people who don’t show symptoms, CDC warns
      By Jackie Salo
      February 13, 2020 | 3:28pm | Updated
      Robert Redfield
      Dr. Robert Redfield Getty

      Coronavirus can be spread through people who aren’t exhibiting symptoms of the illness, the director of the Centers for Disease and Control and Prevention said Thursday.

      Dr. Robert Redfield confirmed reports out of China that the virus can spread when the person is still asymptomatic, according to CNN.

      “There’s been good communication with our colleagues to confirm asymptomatic infection, to confirm asymptomatic transmission, to be able to get a better handle on the clinical spectrum of illness in China,” Redfield told the outlet.

      Redfield said it’s not known how much the asymptomatic cases are contributing to the spread of the virus — which has sickened more than 60,000 people worldwide — but the discovery is concerning.

    2. Coronavirus incubation period may be much longer than once thought
      By Jackie Salo
      February 13, 2020 | 10:16am | Updated
      People queue outside a pharmacy as they won the lottery to buy protective masks, in Guangzhou, China,.
      EPA

      The incubation period for COVID-19 could be as long as 24 days — 10 days more than previously understood, a new study says.

      China’s National Health Commission released new research that suggests that the standard 14-day quarantine period might not be enough to contain the spread of the virus, Business Insider reported.

      The study, which was co-authored by Dr. Zhong Nanshan, who is credited with detecting SARS in 2003, determined that the incubation period for the new coronavirus ranges up to 24 days, with the average being three days.

      The research, which has yet to be peer-reviewed, also suggested that patients can infect other people during the incubation period, echoing the findings of previous reports about the virus.

      1. Meh. Didn’t read but that just sounds like a long skinny right tailed distribution. Not saying its trivial, but everything else we aready know about the virus is so bad this is just a drop in the bucket.

    3. You see the healthy looking dude sitting by you on the bus? Better not breathe, as he could be a latent carrier.

      I wonder when we will see people in the US (outside of the bay area) donning N-95 masks? I’m not terribly keen on taking a field trip to Santa Clara anytime soon.

      1. I took a flight from the East Coast over the weekend, and there at least half a dozen passengers wearing N-95 style masks.

          1. My seatmate on a flight last week, a white guy in his late 20s, had one. He was also wearing a fez and what looked like a band costume top, and gave off a vibe like he was mentally not quite right.

          2. Checking in from an airport south of the Mason-Dixie line: There are no Asians, nobody coughing, and no masks.

            Will report later today from the other end…

          3. ” …an airport south of the Mason-Dixie line: There are no Asians, nobody coughing … ”

            Has tabacco’$ de$tructive lung legacy disappeared in that geographical area?

            ( @ my lil’ brothers local Hemet, CA Native ca$ino, lots of Asian’s, … $moking cig$)

  21. In case you are still worried about the coronavirus outbreak, you don’t need to be, as our resident expert offers his assurances:

    ALL IS WELL!

    1. The Financial Times
      Coronavirus Outbreak
      Alibaba
      Alibaba warns of severe impact from coronavirus
      Merchants have been left without goods to sell or couriers to deliver packages

      Airlines
      Two-thirds of Chinese airlines’ planes grounded over coronavirus
      Passenger numbers tumble due to travel restrictions and fear sparked by outbreak

      Container shipping
      Global shipping market reels from coronavirus
      China shutdown leaves crews stuck at sea, shipyards deserted and shipowners hunting for work

      Analysis Coronavirus
      Coronavirus hits global tourism industry as Chinese stay home

      Coronavirus
      China reports sharp rise in coronavirus cases

      Coronavirus
      Coronavirus mapped: the latest figures as the outbreak spreads

    2. I guess whack conspiracy theories are, well, just whack.

      Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

      The Financial Times
      Coronavirus
      Coronavirus latest: China says number of infections breaches 60,000

      Live
      Coronavirus
      Coronavirus not engineered in Wuhan lab, says expert
      Scientist shoots down misleading social media claims that were widely circulating
      an hour ago

        1. Parse carefully. That statement even if true does not eliminate the possibility that it was designed in another lab and then stolen or intentionally moved to the Wuhan lab after being “engineered”.

    3. Decoupling$+ = U$ Dollar @ 99.18 & goin’ ^ … (cau$es no damage$ to U$A export$)

      WORLD POLITIC$:

      Coronavirus outbreak will speed up US-China ‘decoupling’ more than the trade war, Milken Institute analyst says

      CNBC|PUBLISHED TUE, FEB 11 2020 | Weizhen Tan

      KEY POINT$:
      Talk of the risk of the world’s two major powers “decoupling” surfaced as their trade battle, which began in 2018, heated up — leading to billions of dollars of tariffs imposed on each other’s goods.

      In the arena of technology, ties between the countries also steadily worsened, and China was said to start efforts to wean itself off U.S. tech.
      “We talked about China and the U.S. decoupling.

      The coronavirus more than the trade war has sped some of that decoupling as countries, as businesses think about their supply chain for the long run,” said Curtis Chin, an Asia fellow at the Milken Institute.

      One effect of the ongoing outbreak, though, is that it’s giving both powers “an out” for the so-called phase one agreement that they just signed, Chin pointed out.

      “In many ways, things are frozen right now — that U.S.-China trade dynamic. I don’t see negotiators coming from Beijing to Washington at this moment,” he said.

      “Interestingly, when we think about the phase one deal … in a way the coronavirus gives both sides an out. If commitments aren’t met anytime soon, well it’s the coronavirus,”

      1. “Coronavirus outbreak will speed up US-China ‘decoupling’ more than the trade war, Milken Institute analyst says”

        Great insight there. I beat him to it. I posted here that Trump won’t even have to conduct a trade war since nobody will trust China anyway. Now somebody pay me big “consultant” bux.

  22. My in-depth study of the housing market leads me to believe that Jeffrey Epstein didn’t kill himself.

      1. he died of Coranavirus

        How about that guy in N Korea who was executed for not obeying quarantine, is he a victim of the virus?

  23. When are the next Pha$e 2 v1.a Trade Agreement$ goin’ bee arranged? Meeting$ @ Mar.A.Largo? … Face.to.Face?

    1. Meetings will resume any day now, judging from thee unbia$ed poll result$:

      Chinese economy clobbered by coronavirus but set to recover soon: Reuters poll
      Workers wearing face masks rope a container ship at a port in Qingdao
      By Vivek Mishra

      (Reuters) – The coronavirus-hit Chinese economy will grow at its slowest rate since the financial crisis in the current quarter, according to a Reuters poll of economists who said the downturn will be short-lived if the outbreak is contained.

      A Feb. 7-13 Reuters poll of 40 economists based in mainland China, Hong Kong, Singapore, as well as Europe and the United States, predicted China’s annual economic growth in the first quarter of 2020 to slump to 4.5% from 6.0% in the previous quarter.

      That drop was expected to drag down the full-year growth rate in 2020 to 5.5% from 6.1% in 2019, its weakest since at least 1990 when comparable records began.

      However, economists were optimistic the economy would bounce back as soon as the second quarter, with growth then forecast to recover to a median 5.7%, according to the poll.

      That figure was pushed higher by several optimistic forecasts from economists based in mainland China. The range was 2.9%-6.5%.

    2. Coronavirus
      Published 6 mins ago
      Coronavirus cases exceed 64K globally, death toll nears 1,400 in China
      By David Aaro | Fox News
      — Dr. Siegel on huge jump in new coronavirus cases and deaths
      — U.S. confirms 15th case of coronavirus; Fox News medical correspondent Dr. Marc Siegel weighs in.

      The number of coronavirus cases diagnosed in China continued to surge Friday after the country reported 5,000 more people diagnosed with the virus while the government reportedly enforced “wartime” measures in additional cities in Hubei province.

      The National Health Commission announced 121 more people had died from the virus. The report comes after 14,840 new cases were reported a day earlier thanks to a new approach to testing.

      The Washington Post reported that the “wartime” approach means citizens in some areas are barred from leaving their homes.

      Roughly 60 percent of Friday’s cases were determined by the new method, which takes into account a physician’s diagnosis before the infected are confirmed in a lab test.

  24. Is your FOGI keeping you from missing out on the stock market’s inexorable rise against a wall of coronavirus fears? Come on in, the water is fine! Goldilox sez so…

    1. Stocks are near record highs, but people are still not investing
      By Anneken Tappe, CNN Business
      Updated 2:54 PM ET, Thu February 13, 2020
      Chinese stocks see worst day in years

      New York (CNN Business)
      The US stock market is at near record levels. So why are some investors still sitting on the sidelines?

      The S&P 500 (SPX) — the broadest measure of America’s stock market — closed at another all-time high on Wednesday. The index has climbed more than 4.5% this year. The Dow (INDU) is a whisker away from 30,000 points.

      But volatility, geopolitical risks and political uncertainty are keeping ultra-cautious investors out of stocks, according to market participants. The global coronavirus outbreak has added to this skepticism, as the economic fallout from the disease remains to be determined.

      Yet there’s less money in the market right now than there was during the 2007-2009 recession as measured by the value of money market assets, said Brent Schutte, chief investment strategist at Northwestern Mutual.

      “Money market fund levels are still just at levels of 2009, even though they spiked all of last year,” said Schutte.
      These fund assets now stand at $3.6 trillion, the highest level in more than 10 years, but still below the $3.9 trillion peak in January 2009.

      Investors pulled their cash out of the market in droves during the recession caused by the financial crisis. The economy recovered, and the S&P 500 has rallied more than 250% since then. But money market asset levels show that some investors are still cautious.
      Irrespective of macroeconomic risks and temporary selloffs, US stocks are near record highs.
      The US market remains a goldilocks investment environment where everything is just right with a relatively strong economy coinciding with low inflation, Schutte said.

      But the more investors who get off of the sidelines and back into the market, the better it is for stocks: “There’s still a lot of cash on the sidelines, which is why I think markets could still move higher,” Schutte told CNN Business.

      This means investors shouldn’t worry about the market’s almost daily all-time highs and should jump on the bandwagon.

    2. The Financial Times
      Coronavirus
      Coronavirus latest: 1,700 doctors infected as number of cases nears 65,000

      Eurozone economy
      Eurozone economy suffers slowest growth in 7 years

      German economy has flatlined and coronavirus could deal further blow
      updated 32 minutes ago

  25. It’s a better than usual time to be a lobster.

    Economy / China Economy
    Coronavirus saps China’s demand for rock lobster, hitting exporters in Australia, Canada and New Zealand
    — The coronavirus outbreak has severely dented demand for lobster in China, the world’s largest importer of the crustacean
    — Exporters in Australia, New Zealand and Canada have been forced to cancel shipments and consider releasing live catch back into the sea
    Topic | Coronavirus outbreak
    Su-Lin Tan
    Published: 4:00pm, 14 Feb, 2020
    Updated: 4:00pm, 14 Feb, 2020

      1. LOL! Hopefully one day the band will reunite and play their never-released single, “Realtors are Liars.”

  26. RACIS LAWBREAKER ALLEGATIONS
    OTTAWA — Global health law experts say dozens of countries — including the United States and Australia — are breaking international law by imposing travel restrictions during the novel coronavirus outbreak.

    In a commentary published in The Lancet medical journal, 16 health law scholars argue that the restrictions on travellers who’ve been in China, the epicentre of the COVID-19 outbreak, are driven by “fear, misinformation, racism and xenophobia,” rather than science.

  27. The reward for citizen journalism on the coronavirus outbreak from inside China? Forced quarantine.

    They Documented the Coronavirus Crisis in Wuhan. Then They Vanished.
    Two video bloggers whose dispatches from the heart of the outbreak showed fear, grief and dissatisfaction with the government have gone silent.
    Chen Qiushi, a self-declared citizen journalist, in Wuhan, China, on Feb. 4. His friends lost contact with him two days later.
    Credit…Chen Qiushi, via Associated Press
    By Vivian Wang
    Feb. 14, 2020
    Updated 6:16 a.m. ET

    HONG KONG — The beige van squatted outside of a Wuhan hospital, its side and back doors ajar. Fang Bin, a local clothing salesman, peered inside as he walked past. He groaned: “So many dead.” He counted five, six, seven, eight body bags. “This is too many.”

    That moment, in a 40-minute video about the coronavirus outbreak that has devastated China, propelled Mr. Fang to internet fame. Then, less than two weeks later, he disappeared.

    Days earlier, another prominent video blogger in Wuhan, Chen Qiushi, had also gone missing. Mr. Chen’s friends and family said they believed he had been forcibly quarantined.

    Before their disappearances, Mr. Fang and Mr. Chen had recorded dozens of videos from Wuhan, streaming unfiltered and often heartbreaking images from the center of the outbreak. Long lines outside hospitals. Feeble patients. Agonized relatives.

    1. Real Journalists, meanwhile, are tow-towing to Chinese authorities to protect their “access.” Just like they refused to run housing bubble stories back in 2007 to avoid antagonizing their REIC advertisers.

  28. Brent crude back up over 57 a barrel. I guess the second great recession has been postponed again. Really helps to hAve a president who protects america

    1. Oil = glut … ($upply demand$ dimini$hing) … $ad.
      aqdan = blah, blah, blah+

      Reuters |COMMODITIE$ FEBRUARY 11, 2020
      $audi Arabia wary of costly slow response as virus knocks oil: sources
      Rania El Gamal

      Oil prices have fallen by more than $11 a barrel this year to $54

      One OPEC source said Riyadh wanted a quick supply cut to “put a floor under the prices”.

      “The Saudis want to be proactive and to keep oil prices at $60 a barrel or above,” the source said.

      OPEC’s biggest producer, Saudi Arabia in the past has often orchestrated OPEC production cuts or increases to keep oil prices at a preferred level.

      “This is about taking preemptive measures against future uncertainties …it is about lessons learnt from the past,”

      “Saudi officials knew consumption would decline. They also knew that, while the coronavirus impact was uncertain, the market was responding,” energy consultancy PK Verleger LLC said in a research note.

      “Following the Greenspan model, they understood that something needed to be done right away,”

    2. Are you suggesting that Trump cajoled OPEC into cutting production in order to boost prices?

      Sources, puhleeze…

        1. Google h1n1 and origins. How many people could even tell you that it originated in central Mexico. 12,000 Americans died in 2009, do you remember Obama doing anything to tighten the southern border to reduce transmission?

    3. With Chinese demand collapsing, it seems like the worst to come may lie ahead for oil, especially if coronavirus impacts on the Chinese economy prove to be “worse than expected.”.

      The Wall Street Journal
      Oil Markets
      Oil Prices Slide Into Bear Market on Coronavirus Concern
      Representatives of OPEC and its allies set to meet as outbreak rattles investors
      By Summer Said and
      Benoit Faucon
      Updated Feb. 3, 2020 5:59 pm ET

      Oil prices slid into bear-market territory on Monday, highlighting investors’ growing concern that China’s deadly coronavirus will hurt the global economy by reducing demand for gasoline, diesel and jet fuel in an already well-supplied market.

    1. Buying a house at the peak of a bubble artificially induced by Fed money printing would be highly detrimental to your financial future, said no realtor ever.

  29. Confirmed coronavirus deaths = 1318

    Confirmed recoveries = 3900

    Estimated case fatality rate =
    1318/(1318+3900) = 25.3%

    It fell from the initial rate, but doesn’t seem likely to ever reach AlbuquerqueDan’s often recited 2% number, which inflates the denominator by including confirmed cases whose outcomes are unknown.

    For some strange reason, he prefers to use the same downward-biased calculation as the one the Chinese Communist Party uses. Go figure!

    1. PB , why are you using China data when you are accussing me of replying on it? Outside of China the mortality rate is well under 1 percent. If you use the latest data and include China there are more than 7,000 people who have recovered. A few weeks ago there was some debate on whether the mortality rate would be between 2 or 4 percent or something much higher although no expert supported your insane numbers. Now there is virtual consensus among the experts that it will be lower than 3 percent.
      Coranavirus has settled Hong Kong down, no riots in the street. A few months ago, China would have gladly traded the coranavirus epidemic for peace in Hong Kong. World trade would have been much more disrupted by an invasion of Hong Kong. It is not necessary due to this virus. This reality is very interesting.

      1. Mortality outside of China IS < 1% at the moment. But it is like 3% in Wuhan. Why?

        Because the health system in Wuhan got overrun. How many empty hospital beds to you think there are in the NYC, LA, DC, Chicago, etc. metro areas at this exact moment? I would bet less than 1,000. Never heard of a hospital that wasn't essentially at capacity.

        Right now everyone who gets coronavirus gets A+ gold standard health care (because resources are available and the powers that be don't want to spook the herd).

        But yeah, if there is a run on hospitals, and folkds can't access care, this can definitely shoot up. Not saying it will, but I don't the discrepancy is a mystery.

      2. A few months ago, China would have gladly traded the coranavirus epidemic for peace in Hong Kong.

        Interesting point. And it seems to have started at very close to that exact time.

        1. Yes Carl. Sometimes coincidences are just that but sometimes they are related we will never know for sure. Motive and opportunity were certainly there.

    2. seems just like Aids would have been contained to Fire island and NYC, if the carrier worked at Kmart instead of being an airline steward.

    3. the Chinese Communist Party

      Who can do the best math with data provided by the CCP?

      80 cities in lock down as of the other day, 4 x 10^8 people. 1.3 x 10^3 deaths (I’m using my K&E sliderule). That’s 3.2 x 10^-6 over something like three weeks. Would you even notice missing 3 people out of a million? It’s probably fewer people than die trying to cross the street on foot in traffic. They’re not real good about having pedestrian crosswalks in some of these places. Since there is no traffic now, maybe this whole thing is a boost to the population?

      I think my maths are pretty good, but is there a fallacy in my logic?

        1. Young whippersnapper somewhere asking, “what’s that?”

          Parents used to tell their college bound daughters to keep an eye peeled for the guys with a slide-rule; they’ll be able to support a family.

    4. What if a infected person remains a carrier forever even if they recover.

      I’m just saying that right now there are to many unknowns.

      I wiped down my shopping cart at the store yesterday and I kept my distance from people, but hell one could pick it up off surfaces.

    1. “how do you manage SFHs ?” … (bye looking @ who’$ sitting @ the kitchen table)

      Major Holder$

      Breakdown:
      13.88% % of Shares Held by All In$ider
      94.29% % of Shares Held by In$titutions
      109.49% % of Float Held by In$titutions

      421 Number of In$titutions Holding $hares

  30. Just reached out about touring a house for rent. Man, it really is easier to buy than to rent these days. Here’s the questionnaire I got in response:

    * Desired Move in date?
    * Desired Lease length?
    * Any pets? If so, what type/breed/age/weight?
    * How many occupants? (including children, roommates, etc.)
    * How’s your credit?
    * The owner’s income requirement says that TWO adults may combine their gross income to make at least 3x the total monthly rent and EACH additional adult occupant must make at least 3x the total monthly rent on their own. We will need to see copies of income documentation. Does this work for you?
    * Please list each adult’s gross monthly income:

      1. I was going to respond asking for income statements from the owner to ensure they can afford the house/to pay their mortgage, taxes, and insurance.

        Only fair, right?!

    1. I noticed that when I bought in 2010. Also, I have noticed that my one bedroom apartment now rents for about my house payment including taxes and insurance. I have more than twice the floor space, two bedrooms and two bathrooms instead on one and a two car garage. Maybe the ABQ area is an outlier but rents are too damn high in the area.

  31. “But hell one can pick it off of surfaces”

    For several hours at least unless it is exposed to sunlight. Then the half life of the virus is 2 and half minutes. Honestly, the amount of information on the link I provided several times is amazing. This virus dies easily exposed to sunlight or with temperatures above the mid 80’s . This virus is in the common cold family and kills like severe flu strains. We do not know everything about this virus but we do know that it neither spreads like measles nor kills like Ebola. It is not like small pox. It would be a bad addition to seasonal flu which is a possibility but it will not alter history like the black death. The ad hominem attacks on me are not because I was wrong a few weeks ago, it is because the doomsters have been proven wrong. With more sunshine or warmer temperatures this episode will pass. The great unknown now is what happens this Fall.

    1. Yes but they usually keep the stores cold. How do you let sun light into a big store.

      I’m just saying that there is still some unknowns. I’m not really that parnoid about getting it at this juncture, but I want more answers.

    1. “locally approved developments that will bring thousands of much-needed, price-attainable homes to California families”

      Eye seem$ to have forgotten what “price-attainable.home$” mean$ when Fed.Fund$ rate$ are @ 1.55%

      This is Kern Co. bought.politician$ + Mega.$helter.$hack Developer $triving to bee what Donnie.Bren & Irvine.Co was to Thee (oh, $ee!) OC circa 1971,

      They already have an Ikea + Caterpillar Mega distributions centers + “Outlet$” + inn&out burger$ = build.it & “they.will.come!”

      Iffin’ they can get Richard Branson’$ “Brightline” train$ extended from Antelope.Valley-Viva.LasVega$ it’ll be x10 more than 35,000 $helter.$hack$ … (imhTo)

      (+ @ this end of the San Joaquin valley, one is only 30 mins from the LA Ba$in … Average speed = 83mph!)

      (You had me @ CBD!)

  32. I gotta admit that I have very little trust for big Government.

    In my lifetime I have seen big Government do some pretty inhumane things in the name of the Greater Good. This is why a Constitution that protects the individual is so necessary.

    The Greater Good concept gives big Government the ability to do almost anything for what these clowns call the Greater Good.

    They would choose who gets better health care and who gets rationed.

    Really, it gets to the point where one wouldn’t have any choices left that didn’t serve the Greater Good of the State.

    It’s really scary what these power hungry goons like Sanders and Warren are suggesting.

    Just look at the red faced anger of Sanders as he points his finger at you when he speaks.

    1. and dont forget Greta will never point her finger at the word biggest polluters china India, and african mining

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