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How Comfortable Are You Catching A Falling Knife?

A report from Chicago Magazine in Illinois. “Chicago’s luxury condo market has cooled off significantly since 2018, but don’t expect a Manhattan-style meltdown. In a plunge described by commentators as a ‘bubble’ and ‘bloodbath,’ the median price of high-end condos and co-ops built in New York’s premier borough plummeted by 24 percent over the course of FY2019. Noting that nearly half of new units had remained unsold since 2015, the New York Times proclaimed last month that the residential tower boom that altered the city’s skyline in the 2010s had gone bust. The beginning of the 2020s would represent a ‘reckoning with reality,’ in the words of one expert.”

“The news isn’t quite so grim for Chicago. ‘The luxury market has been slowing down in a lot of cities, but New York is a different animal altogether,’ says Matt Laricy, a broker at Americorp in River North. ‘The international super-rich want to buy expensive places there — it’s a bragging thing. As a result, [New York developers] overbuilt a lot, but here, it’s more slow and steady.'”

“The proof is in the numbers. Luxury condos and townhouse values fell here in 2019, but only by about three percent — significantly less than the 24 percent recorded in New York, according to Zillow, which defines the nebulous term ‘luxury’ as the 90th percentile of the market in terms of price per square foot. More eyebrow-raising for developers and sellers is the 47 percent freefall of the number of luxury units sold in the city since 2017, as reflected by the same data: from 4,142 to 2,189 last year.”

“Wealthy condo seekers have been taking a wait-and-see approach when ponying up big bucks for new construction for a litany of reasons: uncertainty when it comes to interest rates, higher property taxes, and the overall local economy under a new mayor and governor. In turn, developers yank listings or pull projects.”

“For example, Crain’s reported earlier this month that Related Midwest, the developers behind One Bennett Park — the sparkling, ultra-luxe, 70-story Streeterville tower near Navy Pier — removed about 30 listings in late 2019, including three $14 million penthouses. You can currently snap up a two-bedroom, three-bath condo for $1.85 million, marked down from $1.95 million a few months ago. Likewise, a lack of demand for $1.3 million–plus luxury condos in River North recently prompted developers to scrap plans to build a 15-story residential tower on the site of the old Erie-LaSalle Body Shop in favor of a five-story boutique hotel.”

The Wall Street Journal on New York. “Two trophy penthouses in a nearly 800-foot-high new construction tower in Manhattan have finally sold after several years on the market. At Madison Square Park Tower in the Flatiron District, the two top penthouses, as well as two studio apartments on a lower floor, have sold in a deal totaling approximately $45 million, according to Ian Bruce Eichner, the building’s developer. The sale brings the East 22nd Street building to more than 90% sold, Mr. Eichner said. It’s taken more than four years to get to that point, as the New York luxury market suffered amid an influx of new condo inventory in Manhattan.”

“‘There’s a general perception in the buying community that everything is overpriced and there’s plenty of it,’ Mr. Eichner said. ‘The people who have the money to afford these units are sophisticated. When they ask their advisers what they think, they’re asking them, ‘How comfortable are you catching a falling knife?'”

The Nashville Post in Tennessee. “A large portion of the long-stalled Ovation property in Cool Springs is up for sale. Colliers International in Nashville is representing Paramont Capital in the sale of a 34-acre portion of the Ovation property on which a loan group foreclosed last year. They began advertising the property in November. The full 150-acre Ovation area was supposed to be a hub of Cool Springs, with a mix of office space, retail, multifamily housing and hotels. Since its initial approval several years ago, a large portion of that project has largely been stalled.”

“A few days after Highwoods held a ribbon-cutting event for Mars, a lending group held a foreclosure auction for a piece of Thomas’ land. (Thomas still owns 42 acres in the Ovation area.) The bizarre auction on the courthouse steps in Franklin ended after a bail bondsman bid $42 million for the property but then couldn’t produce the money. So the property went back to the lending group for a sale price of $40.5 million.”

“In a press release from late last year, Colliers notes that the property for sale is development-ready and is approved for 480,000 square feet of office and retail space, 380 apartments and 480 hotel rooms. Executive Vice President and Partner Shane Douglas and Senior Vice President Patrick Inglis are leading the effort to sell the property.”

“‘The first and most important step in our engagement will be to formalize a process for presenting Ovation to appropriate buyers,’ Douglas said at the time. ‘This is a high-profile opportunity that many buyers are already aware of, so we will focus on designing an appropriate timeline that gives prospective buyers the ability to respond to an opportunity of this scope.'”

“In short, the company doesn’t plan to sell the property to a bail bondsman on the courthouse steps.”

The Canton Rep in Ohio. “The Arthur J. Cirelli building on 30th Street NW will remain vacant for the foreseeable future. The Stark Metropolitan Housing Authority (SMHA) and developers Giltz and Associates planned to demolish the dilapidated structure and build an $8 to 10 million housing and retail complex. Confusion and changes regarding the proposal and city practices, however, have halted discussions.”

“This ordinance would update the original 1988 agreement between the city and corporation. It removes a clause, mandated by the city but not state law, that requires the CCIC to pay fair market value for city property. City officials have said that clause has rarely, if ever, been used. ‘We have never required obtaining fair market value,’ Mayor Thomas Bernabei said at a council meeting earlier this month.”

“That’s because past transactions have been ‘upside down’ and required more investment from the buyer than the property was worth, Law Director Kristen Bates Aylward said.”

From Inman News. “U.S. foreclosure filings in January 2020 increased 13 percent from December 2019 to 60,085 total filings, according to a report by Attom Data Solutions. The increase also brings foreclosure filings up 7 percent from a year ago in January 2019. New Jersey, Delaware and Illinois reported the worst foreclosure rates in January 2020. Among 53 metro areas containing at least 1 million people, areas that reported the greatest foreclosure rates included Chicago, Illinois (one in every 1,027 housing units); Cleveland, Ohio (one in every 1,029 housing units); Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (one in every 1,072 housing units); Jacksonville, Florida (one in every 1,144 housing units); and Riverside, California (one in every 1,189 housing units).”

“19 states reported year-over-year increases in foreclosure starts, including California (increased 27 percent); Tennessee (increased 21 percent); Georgia (increased 14 percent); Illinois (increased 9 percent); and Ohio (increased 3 percent). Likewise, 75 of 220 metro areas analyzed reported year-over-year increases in foreclosure starts, like San Antonio, Texas (increased 66 percent); Los Angeles, California (increased 63 percent); Riverside, California (increased 22 percent); Nashville, Tennessee (increased 19 percent) and Chicago, Illinois (increased 14 percent).”

“National bank repossession rates also rose after the holidays, increasing month-over-month by 49 percent and year-over-year by 70 percent.”

This Post Has 162 Comments
  1. ‘Related Midwest, the developers behind One Bennett Park — the sparkling, ultra-luxe, 70-story Streeterville tower near Navy Pier — removed about 30 listings in late 2019’

    One again, open discussion of market manipulation. 30 out of 70? What’s the days on market Related?

    1. Seeing the same thing here currently, homes that have sat on the market unsold getting removed from MLS, the overall number of listings dropping in all area markets. Some homes are selling, but most are smaller properties < $300K. Still a few weeks too early (at least here) to know whether this is just the usual slow winter market, or a sign of something more significant.

      1. Same in my nabe. Last summer and fall, a few Minimalist Millenial Gray renoflips sold for a pretty good price. But the zombie house two blocks away from me got in on the craze too late. It was MMG reno-flipped and listed about a month ago, went contingent, but now it’s off-market. They bought it for $80K under what it was worth, and tried to squeeze too much profit. They reno-ed only the inside, while leaving the dead trees, dying fence, and a dying roof. Now they’re getting hammered.

        I don’t have a good handle on auctions, but the same 3-4 auctions are not moving. One has been sitting since last summer, first with a guest worker-ish renter, and now empty. All the auction houses need renovation, but the reserve is too high to make a reno worth while.

          1. Basically, donkey math. If I were a reno-flipper, I likely could paid ~$50K more then these buyers did and still made a profit.

            Comps in my nabe are around $400K for a reno’d property.
            Anyone who went to Zillow would see what the reno-flippers paid for the POS property, could estimate the reno cost, and know that the flipper was looking for a $70K profit. That’s too much profit for this nabe, especially given the neighbors.

    2. Reminds me of that tactic builders were using at the last bubble peak, putting “SOLD” signs in the windows of half the houses in a development. Then they all went into foreclosure before anyone ever moved in. They were never sold to begin with.

  2. ‘National bank repossession rates also rose after the holidays, increasing month-over-month by 49 percent and year-over-year by 70 percent’

    Ho ho ho, meeeery foreclosures everybody! I’ll point out this article below from Friday was written as a regular column by a local loan guy. Notice not one other publication mentioned it?

    “The Fannie Mae fictitious California employer list started in 2018. With its January fraud alert, the list has grown to 65 companies that appear to be scheming up and down the state. Typically, the borrower and the mortgage loan originator are in cahoots to come up with a fictional job with fictional wages so the borrower can qualify for a home loan. Ok. Fair enough. But, why is Fannie Mae only naming California employment fraudsters? Surely, the other 49 states have their fair share of crooks.”

    “Is mortgage application fraud trending? As far as I can find, nobody else was banging the trash can lids on crooked mortgage cronies. And, why not throw the book at the bad guys? Fannie Mae didn’t respond. What about Freddie? Not sure. ‘It’s our policy to not comment on ongoing investigations,’ wrote Freddie Mac spokesman Chad Wandler.”

    http://housingbubble.blog/?p=2950

    One would think this to be big news, effecting millions of suc…uh homeowners. Started in 2018, by the crooks at Fannie Mae no less, and we’re just hearing about it?

    1. There’s no way for prices to become so detached from incomes without fraud. It’s impossible. The entire bubble is, once again, built upon fraud and greed.

  3. The stock market is crashing.

    And housing will follow…

    “This sucker could go down” — George W. Bush

      1. “Or due to fear of Bernie?”

        Bernie is probably as good as Trump in doubling the stock values.

    1. “The stock market is crashing.”

      That can’t be allowed to happen as it would expose the pension shortfall.

    2. Stock market will be up by the close. Guaranteed!

      Let the magic work….Orange man tweets…..

      1. Italy, no.one.care$ …

        No more Nutella!
        A tweet from a local $upermarket showed empty $helves of Nutella.

        Italian $tocks $lump nearly 6% as European equitie$ crumble on $preading coronaviru$

        MarketWatch | Steve Goldstein & Barbara Kilometer | Feb 24th 2020

        Airline $tocks hammered:

        There were virtually no $tocks in the green on Monday. Airline stocks were showing the bigge$t decline$

        “With further outbreaks likely to continue across the world, and Iraq and Turkey closing their border$ to Iran after cases being reported there, financial market$ could well have to get used to an extended period of uncertainty, as con$umer behavior globally starts to change,”

          1. Close of trading:
            NEM: +0.04%.
            Spot Au: +0.74%
            Spot Ag: +.1%
            DOW etc.: – 3.56%
            BtC: -3.17%

            IMO someone is clearly holding down the price of Au and Ag. Likely so central banks and govs can quietly stack. B@std@rds.
            Banks and govs clearly don’t care what happens to BtC.

      2. “Stock market will be up by the close. Guaranteed!”

        =

        “Bee’s cheerful, we’re off our $e$$ion low$!”📈 📣☝ 🎉 🌞

          1. DAY RANGE
            27,912.44 – 28,402.93

            CLO$ED
            Last Updated: Feb 24, 2020 at 4:15 p.m. EST
            27,960.80

            (-1,031.61 -3.56%)

            End.of.the.day:

            Up: +48.36 from thee $e$$ion.low$! …☝🎇🎉👏

    3. As of right now,

      DOW: -3.19%
      Gold: +1.61%
      BTC: -2.30%

      Until this virus hit, the gold v. btc battle has been largely hypothetical. In general people thought the two were so comparable — store of value, independent of government fiat, great tool for the unbanked, etc. — that people would choose one over the other, with not much room for HODLing both.

      So with all the similarities, why is BtC falling with the DOW while gold rises? And this isn’t the first time. What does this say about Bitcoin? I’m not trying to be snarky, I just don’t know.

      1. Might bee’$ because this fella is knot a “True.Believer’$” in $hiny digital piecemeal coin$:

        WARREN BUFFETT STATES CRYPTOCURRENCY “DOES NOTHING”

        In an interview just released on CNBC, billionaire financier Warren Buffett reiterated his long-held position that cryptocurrency has no intrin$ic value, and made clear that he would never own any. Buffett insisted that Bitcoin $erves no real purpo$e, which is why it has not achieved mainstream use.

        The Rundown:
        WARREN BUFFETT STATES CRYPTOCURRENCY “DOES NOTHING”

        BLOCKCHAIN ASSETS REMAIN OUTSIDE LEGACY FINANCE

        The discussion centered on Buffett’s recent dinner with Justin Sun, who paid over U$D $4 million for a dinner with Warren Buffett as part of a charity auction. Buffett noted that Sun and his other guests behaved very well, and the conversation was respectful. Nevertheless, Buffett insisted that the Tron founder failed to change his mind in any way on this subject.

        Look$ like Uncle Warren is just a $tubborn.Old.Goat! … 🐐👊!

      2. “So with all the similarities, why is BtC falling with the DOW while gold rises?”

        There’s no similarity between imaginary coins and physical gold.

        1. Techie hipsters were convinced BtC would be the next safe haven when governments fall. Freeeeeeeeeeeedom! But it looks like BtC can’t survive a two-month quarantine.

      3. Bitcoin and all crypto are merely electronic mechanisms for greedy speculators to buy and sell “nothing” to each other from the comforts of their chair and their phones.

          1. Many a babes in HollyWood thought he was very attractive.

            The only reason he got any woman willingly was because he advanced their careers, wife included.

      1. “The world is ending!”

        “True .Believer’$” … $ometime$ have hard ending$.hard

        (I$ there a li$t of all the genuis’$ that currently predict for a global economic “$oft.landing$”?)

        ‘Mad’ Mike Hughes dies in rocket crash trying to prove Earth is flat.

        AP News | February 24, 2020
        Video shows parachute tearing off rocket at launch

        He said in a video that his goal was to eventually fly to the edge of outer space to determine for himself whether the world is round.

        “I don’t want to take anyone else’s word for it,” he said in the video, posted on the BBC News website. “I don’t know if the world is flat or round.”

        In another video posted on his YouTube site, Hughes said he also wanted “to convince people they can do things that are extraordinary with their lives.”

        “My story really is incredible,” Hughes once told The Associated Press. “It’s got a bunch of story lines — the garage-built thing. I’m an older guy. It’s out in the middle of nowhere, plus the Flat Earth. The problem is it brings out all the nuts also.”

        “👌Boomer” …

  4. What happen$ to Federal Revenue$ iffin’ bu$ines$$ decline$?

    Uncle Warren lead$ the re$cue!:

    Billionaire Apple investor Warren Buffett traded in his $20 flip phone for an iPhone

    CNBC |PUBLISHED MON, FEB 24 2020 | By Jessica Bursztynsky

    KEY POINT$
    Warren Buffett has finally upgraded to a $martphone.

    Once a fan of the $20 Samsung SCH-U320, Buffett is now using Apple’s late$t model.

    Berkshire Hathaway own$ roughly 5.5% of Apple.

      1. 1000 drop isn’t enough to panic either way. Unless this virus mutates to be much deadlier, I think we’ll see supply chains refill by late summer. That will be the last opportunity to sell out.

  5. Mama Mia! 🍝

    eCONomic$:

    Italy Risk$ Another Rece$$ion that could Pummel Europe’$ Economy

    Bloomberg | By Fergal O’Brien |February 24, 2020

    Virus outbreak hit$ financial center, indu$trial heartland

    Policy option$ available for $timulus re$ponse may be limited

    Italy appears never far from a recession, and the spread of the coronavirus may just tip it back into the danger zone.

    Long Europe’s weak link, it now has to deal with a jump in infections and a government lockdown in an area that’s both the country’s financial center and its industrial heartland. Carmaker Fiat ordered all those in affected areas to work from home, while fashion designer Armani closed its Milan offices as well factories in Italy’s north for a week.

    Economic Engine:

    Northern region$ produce a large percent of Italy’s GDP

    Not only does the crisis pile pressure on an economy that shrank at the end of 2019, but a renewed slump could also batter a euro zone $truggling to $hake off a prolonged $lowdown.

    Italy’s fragile ruling coalition is trying to ease the financial burden on companies in the region. But if more is needed, it’s not clear where it could drum up a bigger cushion. The European Central Bank’s armory is depleted, and domestic fiscal support would weigh on an already stretched budget. The country’s debt ratio is already almost 140% of gross domestic product.

    $craping Along
    Italy’s economy is barely keeping its head above water

    Bank of Italy Governor Ignazio Visco said monetary policy may not have the firepower to help if the crisis worsens. He repeated a view long held by central bankers that governments must step up with extra spending to prop up growth.

    “If we don’t see a rapid V-shaped effect there must be some decision to act in a coordinated way,” he said. “We must use fiscal policy because monetary policy is already very very accommodative around the world, and it’s uncertain that we can do more on that.”

    (With assistance by Alessandro Speciale, Jeremy Diamond, and Giovanni Salzano)

    1. I have been thinking about how people have been saying that the Sun kills the Coronavirus.
      Couldn’t they just bring in a bunch of sun lamps for enclosed structures and direct the rays toward the vents also.

      It just seems like this virus spreads in close quarters with vent systems.

      1. UV, AKA Blacklight, does the job. Bulbs are readily available, even LED. I use it to cure resin. Nail salons use it to cure resin on fingernails.

        Just don’t look at it, like you don’t stare at the sun (I hope).

      2. “I have been thinking about how people have been saying that the Sun kills the Coronavirus.”

        Great! The hotties with tan lines will be spared!

    2. N. Italy this is where our design center is and Engineers and managers were out visiting Santa Clara last week…. I’ve mentioned before how Silicon Valley is bound to be infected sooner or later, too much travel out of that place . scary stuff this has to affect the housing market , the uncertainty.

  6. “On Monday, a lawmaker from Qom – a Shia holy city 75 miles (120 km) south of the capital, Tehran, accused Iran’s health minister of lying about the scale of the outbreak.

    According to the semi-official Ilna news agency, which is close to reformists, the lawmaker, Ahmad Amirabadi Farahani, said there had been 50 deaths from the coronavirus in Qom alone.”

    So much for no deaths outside of China. Dan?

    https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/feb/24/coronavirus-dead-in-iranian-city-of-qom

  7. Uncle Warren: Now is not a good time for dips to buy.

    Warren Buffett says ‘don’t buy or sell’ on the headlines as coronavirus sends stocks plunging
    Published: Feb 24, 2020 12:19 p.m. ET
    Tourists visit the Piazza San Marco, in Venice, Italy (Photo by ANDREA PATTARO/AFP via Getty Images)
    By Callum Keown
    Reporter

    It has finally happened — coronavirus fears have taken over and panic has set in.

    Global stocks are plunging on Monday after the number of virus cases outside China surged over the weekend, particularly in Italy, South Korea and Iran.

    The Dow Jones Industrial Average (DJIA, -3.36%) fell 3% – 880 points – in early trading. European stocks also plummeted, with Italy’s FTSE MIB (I945, -5.43%) leading the descent, falling 5.9%.

    However, in our call of the day, Warren Buffett told investors not to buy or sell stocks, which he referred to as businesses, based on the day’s headlines.

    “The real question is: ‘Has the 10-year or 20-year outlook for American businesses changed in the last 24 or 48 hours?’” the billionaire investor said on CNBC.

  8. Free.Trade! … ain’t just about “made.in.China.plastic$”

    COMMODITIE$:

    Brazil says U.S. will allow fre$h Brazilian beef import$

    Reuters | By Ana Mano, Jake Spring

    SAO PAULO/BRASILIA (Reuters) – Brazilian Agriculture Minister Tereza Cristina Dias said on Friday that the United States had reopened its market for Brazilian fre$h beef export$, effective immediately.

    The United States had halted imports of Brazilian fresh beef in June 2017, alleging that some shipments failed to pass food safety checks.

    Brazil is one of the world’s largest beef producers, exporting $7.3 billion in fresh and industrialized beef products last year

    The USDA had banned Brazilian fresh beef imports after increasing its testing on the beef and ready-to-eat products following a 2017 investigation into corruption that involved Brazil’s health inspectors and meat companies including JBS SA and BRF SA.

    The tests raised “recurring concerns about the safety of the products intended for the American market,” the department said at the time. Brazil blamed abscesses caused by foot-and-mouth disease vaccinations given to cows and said it posed no food safety risk.

    The United States had only just opened to Brazilian beef imports in 2016 before the market was closed down a few months later, so Brazilian shipments to the country were minimal.

    (Reporting by Ana Mano and Jake Spring; Additional reporting by Tom Polansek in Chicago; editing by Sandra Maler and Jonathan Oatis

  9. I’m thinking I need to go to Costco today… anyone notice people already stocking up on things other than masks, etc?

    1. Well, there hasn’t been a single confirmed case in the Centennial State, and I was at the local Safeway yesterday and it seemed well stocked with normal shopping levels. But as soon as a single case is confirmed here, then I will begin to stock up. I already have a box of N-95 masks and a big box of latex gloves.

        1. Shelves are still full. But everybody in CA with Asian connections is pretty flared up already. Those without are just starting to notice.

          1. We’ve got a lot of well-to-do Chinese here locally. The last couple times I’ve gone out, grocery store, etc, I’m seeing them wearing masks.

            I’m 100% work from home, and Mrs. Spiffy has shifted back to nearly that for the last couple weeks, minimizing contact.

            Now as long as the amazon delivery people aren’t coughing the virus onto everyone’s packages…

          2. Sambucol elderberry still on the shelves at Costco in Simi valley

            I wonder if Zinc pills will help like with a cold ?

          3. Now as long as the amazon delivery people aren’t coughing the virus onto everyone’s packages…

            What about the people who filled the packages? My company gets a few parts made in Wuhan.

          4. My company gets a few parts made in Wuhan.

            Guessing they can’t be sprayed liberally with Lysol.

          5. Hahah. Luckily we don’t have to order often. It’s been a while since the last shipment and nobody is in a hurry to make the next order from what I’m hearing.

          6. parts made in Wuhan..

            How long does it take to cross the Pacific and go in and out of warehouses? More than 7 days? Just don’t order anything Fedex I guess.

          7. How long does it take to cross the Pacific and go in and out of warehouses?

            Honestly I don’t know how long it takes stuff to ship and get through customs going this direction. Especially the expensive tech components. Not part of my job :-). I just use stuff after it gets handed to me.

          8. How long does it take to cross the Pacific and go in and out of warehouses? More than 7 days?

            A couple weeks for the cargo ship just to cross the water.

          9. I just use stuff after it gets handed to me.

            Just have the stuff in a room with a few managers talking. Hot air is your friend.

      1. N-95s are scarce – most things that looks like protective equipment have gotten jacked up to nosebleed prices. I’ve made a long term to-do to add some items to my stock later in the year after the current situation has blown over and died down.

        Even Mrs Spiffy – normally the grounded counter to my point – is starting to that stocking up right now might be a good idea. She used to work for the cruise line (Holland) that owns those ships that have become floating pandemics, and talked with some friends over there. Sounds like they’re on the verge of a full panic over the impact to the company should it spread to ships in other markets (Caribbean, Mediterranean, etc)

        Anyway, we’ve already been working on building a ‘buffer’ of consumables/food, wouldn’t take much to bring it up to a solid 30 days for just about everything, and 60+ on a lot of stuff.

    2. I’ve seen some empty shelves at Wal Mart. Grocery stores are still stocked. That’s where I’m going now.

          1. Point drop. Percent, no.

            Although the DOW dropping 1,000 points in a day is a key psychological trigger, regardless of percentage.

            I can remember watching the October 1987 crash on the nightly network news with my family and thought my father was going to have a heart attack.

          2. 1987 is the year I started a full time position in the financial sector. I will never forget the ashen looks on my colleagues’ faces while Black Monday played out. Of course, Alan Greenspan made it all better again afterwards by supplying lots of liquidity to the market in the ensuing days.

          3. 1987

            I had been married 15 years and was raising four kids on a farm while holding down an engineering job. I didn’t have “investments”. I didn’t feel a thing.

          4. 1987 … Pay phones, remember those?

            Eye was riding my bicycle to work on Coast Hwy (1) in Corona Del Mar, eye stopped @ local restaurant to get a coffee. There, standing in a white tennis outfit was tall elderly man maybee (70)? Yelling, then crying, then muttering, then hollering’ loudly into a wall hanging pay phone, talking with his brother, … “what happened? What am I gonna do? How could this be? Why? Why? … $o di$traught, $o wilted, $o be$ide himself.

            Eye’ve never tru$ted Wall $treet $ince … (But eye soon educated my$elf, via Inc. Magazine, Forbe$, Wall $treet Journal & Uncle Warren, later Jack Bogle …)

          5. I was a young E-4 in the army. I didn’t hear about it until later when one of the E-6s who drove the crappiest Le Car I’d ever seen with a “Happiness Is Positive Cash Flow” bumper sticker was complaining about how bad of a hit he took that day. Only person I knew who was affected.

          6. I remember reading about Black Monday in the Pacific Stars and Stripes. I was an Air Force E-3 stationed at Suwon Air Base in South Korea. Needless to say, I didn’t have an investment portfolio at that point in my life, so no direct impact to me. 🙂

          7. I’d ask, what’s shorty doing?

            Realize that the fed took a dim view of shorty’s tactics during the 2008 bust, and shorty learned something new about our, “free markets.”

  10. “The news isn’t quite so grim for Chicago. ‘The luxury market has been slowing down in a lot of cities, but New York is a different animal altogether,’ says Matt Laricy, a broker at Americorp in River North.

    We’ll see about that, Matt.

  11. “Wealthy condo seekers have been taking a wait-and-see approach when ponying up big bucks for new construction for a litany of reasons: uncertainty when it comes to interest rates, higher property taxes, and the overall local economy under a new mayor and governor.

    What these turds fail to understand is that the mood of the country is turning decisively against the plutocrats who in collusion with the Fed have been robbing them blind since 2008. While the oligarchy has had things all its own way, Bernie’s surge to Democratic front runner is emblematic of the “soak the rich” mentality taking hold among vengeful proles pitilessly screwed over by globalism and the crony capitalist status quo. These “luxury” properties and their owners are going to be taxed, then taxed some more, as a payback for their occupants being the prime beneficiaries of the financier oligarchy’s plundering of the productive economy and the rackets they’ve been running against the 99%.

    1. plutocrats who in collusion with the Fed have been robbing them blind since 2008

      Well before that. But most didn’t notice before then.

    2. vengeful proles pitilessly screwed over

      So how long do I have before this horde of locusts eats down to where I am in the 99%?

    1. So this is a Nintendo game and the other contestants are goombas and Obama is the little boss and Trump is the big boss before Bernie can save the princess?

    2. You don’t “stop Bernie Sanders,” you appeal to his voters to try to sway them to your side. These fawking clowns have lost touch.

  12. There’s gonna be a lot of Sad Pandas tonight when they login to see what kind of battering their 401Ks took.

    1. With my current employer’s 401k, I am investing 50% in an S&P 500 index fund, 25% in bonds, and 25% in money market cash.

      Not everyone is all stock. A rep from Fidelity told me I have too little stock in my portfolio for my age, but I don’t care.

    2. “…what kind of battering their 401Ks took….”

      Not a grand day for the REIConplex either.

      Getting a bit harder for FB’s to raid their 401(k)’s to get down payment $$.

      It’s possible we could see this whole brittle village made of toothpicks come apart faster that anyone had imagined.

      1. “this whole brittle village made of toothpicks”

        Here in Denver everything above five floors has to be concrete and steel. Five or under can be roped with Romex because its wood frame. But I don’t really have to touch Romex anymore because commercial only.

        If only the renters of those wood frame “luxury” apartments knew how many leaks were taken by construction workers on the floor and on the studs and in every corner of their “luxury” unit so much LOLZ.

        At least with steel and concrete you can kinda clean the place up. Saunders Construction did a really good job of that at the 9th and Colorado project.

        1. Tobacco juice (alot of tobacco juice), spilled Pepsi, snot, sometimes blood, taco and burrito wrappers, thousands and thousands of empty energy drink cans, dead rodents and birds, piss bottles and sometimes feces. Strewn across every jobsite in America and even lurking behind the walls and above the ceilings of every “luxury” rental built in Denver in the last decade.

          1. dead rodents

            Which reminds me . . .

            @BubblevilleCA: Any update on those friends with rodent carcasses in the walls?

          2. My son and I just covered all the soffit vents with aluminum screen mesh and self tapping screws because the Sparrows were pushing-in the aged fiberglass screens stapled behind the 1.5-in holes and building nests.

          3. Aluminum won’t keep out rodents. I had them gnaw right a hole through my aluminum siding to get inside the attic crawl space. Then I used 1/4″ galvanized wire mesh inside the attic, over the inside of the soffit vents, stapled to various wood construction elements. Soffit openings are mostly accessible from the attic. Haven’t seen any new holes in my white vinyl siding in that region since it was installed in 2013. Haven’t inspected the mesh since I installed it, but I no longer hear the pitty-patter of little feet coming from overhead.

          4. “Aluminum won’t keep out rodents.”

            Wow, sounds like center-fire targets. Our town has grain storage and corn drying facilities downtown, so the rodents likely hang around that area. FWIW, the bird problem has been solved.

        2. And those are rentals. The DC area is exploding with similar construction, only it’s condos and modern townhomes. I opted for a Cold War house for a reason. Closer in, better built, no HOA.

  13. The people who put this kid on that stage should be arrested for child abuse.

    ‘I’m gay too’: Buttigieg counsels 9-year-old on coming out as gay to the world

    ‘I want to be brave like you’

    By WND News Services
    Published February 24, 2020 at 12:07pm

    “It took me a long time to figure out how to tell even my best friend that I was gay, let alone to go out there and tell the world and to see you willing to come to terms with who you are in a room full of 1,000 people, thousands of people you’ve never met that’s, that’s really something.”

    “The first thing is that it won’t always be easy, but that’s okay, because you know who you are,” he told Ro.

    “And that’s really important, because when you know who you are, you have a center of gravity that can hold you together when all kinds of chaos is happening around you.”

    https://www.wnd.com/2020/02/gay-buttigieg-counsels-9-year-old-coming-gay-world/

    1. Being vociferously gay is never going to be universally accepted or appreciated in this country or world. It’s called TMI. All that ever needed to be disclosed, if anything at all, was a quiet acknowledgment and then to move on. The whole “gay candidate” thing rubs a lot of people the wrong way, even if they won’t admit it publicly. And not only men but women, too.

      1. It’s called TMI

        Worse than that. It’s pressure to celebrate what your parents taught you was immoral. It’s psychological warfare. In this case, trying to take a 9 year old into the fold is predatory.

  14. 40 years ago everyone in the United States except Bernie Sanders celebrated the “Miracle on Ice”.

    Soviet Union 2 1 0 3
    United States 2 0 2 4

    Date February 22, 1980
    Arena Olympic Center
    City Lake Placid, New York, U.S.
    City Lake Placid, New York, U.S.
    Attendance 8,500

    1. Bernie Sanders is a Commie bum nut who attached himself to the big Government purse strings early on.

      I can’t believe this guy is getting the traction he is.

      We live in really strange times.

      1. Almost every employer that pays a family supporting wage derives its funding from the government at some level. The free market’s bones have been picked clean during the last 50-yrs.

      2. Bernie Sanders is a Commie bum nut who attached himself to the big Government purse strings early on.

        I can’t believe this guy is getting the traction he is.

        People vote against stuff much more than they vote for stuff. Bernie has traction because he’s not Trump AND he’s the enemy of crony capitalism. If we want people like Bernie to have less traction we must reduce the cronyism significantly. Otherwise he or someone like him will eventually win the popular vote. It’s inevitable, just like a populist on the right was/is inevitable the worse things get.

    1. Those are not floating chairs. The chairs hang from a bar under the counter. The step-up underneath the chairs is the counterbalance support to hold the weight of the chair and the person.

      Chairs like this were very common at soda fountains in the 1950s. They’re actually quite elegant because there’s no legs to vacuum around or scratch the floor. They swing under the counter when not in use. If I ever get a new kitchen, these are on the list.

      1. They swing under the counter when not in use.

        And, everywhere when in use by kids. Now imagine kids in motion while eating.

        1. Now imagine kids in motion while eating. Swinging in & out from the edge of the counter gave us something to do while sucking on root beer floats.

  15. China sentences Swedish bookseller to 10 years in prison
    https://finance.yahoo.com/news/china-sentences-swedish-bookseller-10-043350850.html

    (snip)

    “Gui Minhai first disappeared in 2015, when he was believed to have been abducted by Chinese agents from his seaside home in Thailand. He and four others who worked for the same Hong Kong publishing company all went missing at around the same time, only to turn up months later in police custody in mainland China.

    “The Ningbo Intermediate People’s Court announced Tuesday that it gave Gui, a naturalized Swedish citizen, a 10-year prison sentence. Gui admitted to his crime, agreed with the sentence and will not appeal, the court said.”

    1. I recall reading a story about fake Chinese police cars in Orange County, which were intimidating local Chinese residents until local police stopped them.

      1. Which tells you all you need to know about “homeland security.” While TSA is busy groping women, our enemy is in the country doing whatever they want.

          1. “Several people reported last Tuesday, Sept. 10, that an Asian man driving an Audi sedan made to look like he was an officer with the Chinese People’s Armed Police, a national paramilitary force, said California Highway Patrol Officer Florentino Olivera.”

            “The vehicle was outfitted with the security force’s seal and Chinese police symbols, photos released by CHP show.”

            “But while the sedan was black, Chinese police vehicles are traditionally white with a blue stripe.”

            So the Chinese police drive Audi sedans?

  16. How can you tell you are in a mania? One way is if every stock market move, including historically large selloffs, gets interpreted as a positive sign.

    1. Suze Orman says investors should ‘rejoice’ at the Dow’s more-than-1,000-point tumble on Monday — here’s why
      By Mark DeCambre
      Published: Feb 25, 2020 9:48 a.m. ET
      Stock markets are attempting to rebound on Tuesday.

      Monday’s decline also turned the blue-chip gauge negative for 2020, leaving it with a 2% year-to-date decline.

      The S&P 500 (SPX, -1.03%) slumped 111.86 points, or 3.4%, to close at 3,225.89, and the Nasdaq Composite (COMP, -0.98%) fell 355.31 points, or 3.7%, to finish at 9,221.28. The S&P 500 is now down 0.2% year-to-date, while the Nasdaq is still up 2.8% in 2020.

        1. Dow around 450 right now. Wouldn’t be surprised to see the Fed paint the tape today – or at least try to.

          1. Waiting for a 2,000-point dead cat bounce from the fed’s magic fairy dust.

            One of these times will be the last time that works.

      1. Suze Orman says investors should ‘rejoice’ at the Dow’s more-than-1,000-point tumble on Monday

        True…but how many real investors are even in the market any more?

    2. The Financial Times
      Coronavirus
      Wall Street slumps as coronavirus spreads around globe

      Fresh wave of stock selling after Japan and Italy step up warnings over impact of outbreak
      updated 14 minutes ago

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