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The Net They Thought Policymakers Were Holding Out For The Market Wasn’t There At All

A report from the Palm Beach Post in Florida. “As the coronavirus spreads, travel and other economic activity has slowed or stopped. Florida’s $1 trillion economy relies on tourism more than most states, so the slowdown here is likely to be especially dramatic. ‘Florida is vulnerable because travel and leisure are going to take the biggest hit,’ said Mark Vitner, an economist at Wells Fargo. The last time the U.S. economy fell into recession, the culprit was widespread speculation in the housing market. ‘Even though we grew for 10 years, consumers didn’t overdo it,’ Vitner said. ‘Households are in pretty good shape. The housing market isn’t overbuilt; in fact, it’s underbuilt.'”

From CNBC. “After falling to a record low just two weeks ago, mortgage rates are surging higher again. This as real estate agents try to deal with a new normal in what was supposed to be a busy spring housing market. Higher-priced housing markets are likely to see more of an effect, as buyers are more influenced by moves in the stock market. The recent rout already has New York City buyers pulling back, and that is the case in other major metropolitan markets.”

“‘The immediate effect has been to the downside, concern and fear associated with the unknown,’ said Steven Cohen, an agent at Keller Williams in Boston. ‘Aversion to congregating at open houses and worry that asset devaluation, equity devaluation will bring the overall economy down, including the value of real estate.'”

The Journal News in New York. “Those interviewed by The Journal News/lohud say the outbreak came to Westchester County during a bull run for the single-family real estate market. Sellers in Westchester, said Jonathan Miller, of real estate appraisal firm Miller Samuel, have had to come down on pricing in recent years to meet the new market expectations. And the potential reduction in inventory due to the virus, coupled with favorable interest rates, may push sellers already in the market to consider further discounts.”

The San Francisco Chronicle. “In just a few short weeks, the coronavirus, or more specifically the economic uncertainty resulting from it, has already begun to have an impact on the Bay Area real estate market. Buyers who were counting on stock market sales to cover their down payments are putting their searches on hold while the market is erratic. Others who have already liquidated and have cash on hand are rushing to put offers in during this brief window where Bay Area buyers may actually have the upper hand.”

“‘I spoke with a few brokers today who mentioned their sellers aren’t looking for multiple bids, and just want their listings sold quickly,’ said agent Par Hanji. ‘International clients are watching from a distance. Out of state parents helping their children buy are pausing too.'”

“In Seattle, where the company is based and which has been ground zero for coronavirus cases in the U.S., Redfin CEO Glenn Kelman said there has already been a significant drop in demand from both buyers and sellers since the first COVID-19 deaths there at the end of February. Since the Bay Area is running a few weeks behind Seattle in terms of novel coronavirus cases, it could be that the worst is yet to come.”

The Globe and Mail in Canada. “The Bank of Canada slashed interest rates Friday for the second time this month, a move that came as sentiment had begun to darken in the country’s real estate market with the spread of the COVID-19 crisis. ‘Pure economic reality set in,’ said Ron Butler, a broker with Butler Mortgage Inc., which is licensed in Ontario, Alberta and British Columbia. ‘I have gone from extremely enthusiastic about real estate and mortgages to ‘what the hell?’ right now.'”

The Geelong Advertiser in Australia. “The Queenscliff home of late cartoonist Ron Tandberg has finally drawn in a buyer. The parkside character house with bay views has been traded for an undisclosed sum after the initial $3 million asking price was slashed by more than $1 million. Fletchers, Queenscliff selling agent Charles Caldwell said he could not reveal further details about the sale. However, Mr Caldwell had previously dropped the asking range to $1.75 million to $1.85 million after taking over the listing.”

From Stuff New Zealand. “Take a stroll around your neighbourhood one evening and you might not even notice the overgrown lawns and drawn curtains. Yet thousands of empty ‘ghost houses’ continue to haunt the authorities dealing with NZ’s housing crisis. According to the last census, there were more than 39,000 unoccupied dwellings in the greater Auckland area alone, a near 18 per cent increase in five years. That figure is higher than far bigger global cities. London, with a population of 9 million, has 25,000 empty homes, according to UK government data.”

“The problem isn’t confined to Auckland. A total of 196,506 homes were left unoccupied across the country at the 2018 census, according to Stats NZ. The figure includes homes with no current occupants, unoccupied properties being renovated, baches, and holiday homes. Beyond our biggest city, Tauranga also has thousands of ghost houses, with nearly 5000 classed as unoccupied. The prized Queenstown Lakes District has more than 5600 empty properties, while in Christchurch, there were almost 13,000 vacant residences, according to the census data.”

“Housing Minister Megan Woods aid it was ‘not a black and white situation, and we don’t fully understand why some of these houses are not fulfilling their role as a home.'”

From Nikkei Asian Review. “When Susan Yu received a call from Danke in February, she was baffled. Danke Apartment, which manages more than 350,000 housing units in China including Yu’s home in Xi’an, told her she needed to vacate the apartment as soon as possible because the landlord did not want to rent the place anymore, according to Yu who signed a one year lease with Danke that is supposed to end in October 2020.”

“Most major metropolitan areas in China were still under lockdown in February due to the coronavirus outbreak, and residential complexes have set up access control points to bar entry of all non-residents. According to Yu, this means it is nearly impossible to find a moving company or a new apartment. ‘What if I caught the virus during the move? Is Danke going to be responsible for that?’ Yu wrote in a blog post.”

“The bigger problem for the nascent co-living industry is that Yu is not alone. Dozens of similar cases have been reported in the past two months at Chinese consumer complaint resolution platform BlackCat, a website and app for customers to file complaints, as well as offering mediation services between the customers and businesses. More than a few tenants are now unable to pay rent because they couldn’t return to work and some are not getting paid on time or at all as businesses they work for are also struggling.”

“‘The business model of co-living is essentially no different from leasing properties and turning them into co-working spaces,’ said a venture investor based in San Francisco who specialized in the real estate sector. ‘WeWork has yet to prove the co-working model works after almost ten years, and it is difficult for me to believe the co-living will work when they are facing even stronger competitive headwinds in the residential property market.'”

From The Standard. “Kenya’s real estate industry is tittering on the very edge, following industry reports and data provided by the Central Bank of Kenya. Over the past few years, countless properties whose worth runs in the billions have been put up for auction after various forms of loan defaults. Auctioneers are now decrying the current state of the market, disclosing that they were stuck with countless properties that had received zero offers for years.”

From FM 104 in Ireland. “Campaigners say Dublin City Council isn’t doing enough to bring vacant properties back on the market. The Dublin Renters Union have held a protest outside a luxury apartment block on the south side, where the majority of units are lying empty. Rents at the One Ballsbridge building cost up to five-thousand euro. Peter Dooley from the Renters Union wants the government to bring-in a vacant property tax: ‘There are more than 30,000 vacant homes in Dublin. Renters Union held a demo outside a luxury apartment block in Ballsbridge. Rent there is €5k a month and majority of units are lying empty.”

The Portugal News. “BE political party calls for vacant properties in Lisbon acquired under golden visas to be requisitioned for public purposes and to reinforce the housing offer by making them part of the Accessible Income Programme. In the motion signed by the BE councillor in Lisbon, Manuel Grilo, to which Lusa had access and which should be presented on 12 March, in a private meeting of the municipal executive, it is defended that the municipality urges the Government ‘to proceed with the survey of vacant properties acquired in connection with the granting of gold visas.'”

“‘Despite the opacity of the data related to this process, the bias in the price per square metre and the lease through real estate speculation, produced by the easy and guaranteed business of gold visas, is recognised today,’ reads the motion. The statement continues by saying that ‘selling Portuguese citizenship in exchange for an investment of €500,000, has introduced unacceptable discrimination.'”

The Wall Street Journal. “In the widespread disruption sown by the novel coronavirus epidemic, investors find themselves facing an economic problem the Fed can’t solve for them. Because rates were already so low, the central bank’s ability to help bolster the economy using conventional tools is severely limited. Up until last month, many investors were operating under the assumption that the Fed’s easy-money policy was destined to keep pushing stocks higher.”

“It was back to the Fed put, in other words—the notion that, like a put option on a stock, the Fed effectively was insuring investors against market downturns. That placed equities at a much higher starting point as investors began to understand the seriousness of the coronavirus pandemic. Worse, as stocks tumbled investors realized that the net they thought Fed policymakers were holding out for the market as it performed its high-wire act wasn’t there at all. It is yet another reason why so many are assuming the brace position at the same time.”

This Post Has 174 Comments
  1. Well all the phony horse-sh$t comes apart pretty easily doesn’t it?

    ‘Those interviewed by The Journal News/lohud say the outbreak came to Westchester County during a bull run for the single-family real estate market’

    Westchester shacks have been a money bleeding disaster for years.

  2. ‘Despite the opacity of the data related to this process, the bias in the price per square metre and the lease through real estate speculation, produced by the easy and guaranteed business of gold visas, is recognised today,’ reads the motion. The statement continues by saying that ‘selling Portuguese citizenship in exchange for an investment of €500,000, has introduced unacceptable discrimination.’

    The Chinese investor strikes again.

  3. ‘The immediate effect has been to the downside, concern and fear associated with the unknown,’ said Steven Cohen, an agent at Keller Williams in Boston. ‘Aversion to congregating at open houses and worry that asset devaluation, equity devaluation will bring the overall economy down, including the value of real estate’

    I bet Diane soiled her skirt when writing that down.

  4. This move in mortgage rates is a very troubling sign to me. Beginning of the week, you could get 3.375 on a 30 year fixed with no points. Yesterday the lowest I could find is 4.125. The last time they were that high the 10 year was over 2. Something else fishy is going on in the MBS market. If this keeps up, it could be the final nail in bubble 2.0’s coffin.

    1. These guys are losing money at these rates. Last year it was reported that something like 40% of non-bank lenders were losing money. And they are the weak link in the guberment loan guarantee scam.

      Email:

      18 New Foreclosures in COCONINO County, AZ

      1. Most deals non-bank lenders have with correspondents is they have to buy back loans if refie’d in less than 6 months. I am wondering how many lenders will go under due to buy backs.

      1. The Financial Times
        Federal Reserve
        Mortgage rate rise increases pressure for Fed intervention
        Traders say liquidity in market for bonds backed by American home loans is drying up
        Robert Armstrong in New York and Brendan Greeley in Washington 2 hours ago

        US mortgage rates have risen to the highest level in months despite recent Federal Reserve interest rate cuts, complicating the central bank’s efforts to stimulate the US economy as the spread of coronavirus curtails business activity.

        The costs to consumers are increasing because of logjam in the $7.5tn market for mortgage-backed securities (MBS), where most US home loans are bundled into securities guaranteed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the government-controlled “agencies,” and sold at yields that tend to track those on the 10-year Treasury note.

        As the Fed has lowered rates in recent weeks, consumers have rushed to refinance mortgages, flooding the market with MBS. However, as the coronavirus has spread, banks and brokers that act as intermediaries in the market have struggled to sell the bonds. They also have little appetite for adding more of them to their balance sheets

        “Liquidity in mortgage-backed securities market, which is usually the second-most liquid market in the world after Treasuries, is on par with, if not worse than, what we saw during the financial crisis,” said one bank credit strategist. “The market is telling the Fed: if you don’t intervene, we are getting away from being a functional market.”

        As a result, the difference between yields on mortgage-backed securities and those on 10-year Treasuries has doubled since a month ago to 1.5 percentage points — the widest spread since 2009, during the financial crisis, according to Bloomberg data.

        American consumers are feeling the impact. The average rate for a 30-year fixed rate mortgage spiked to 4.12 per cent on Friday, up from 3.55 per cent at the beginning of the month and the highest since June 2019, according to Bankrate.com.

        1. Too big to fail bailouts may lead to a spike in rates when the rest of the world starts recovering and bailing the dollar safety play.

          7% motgages post recession would be armageddon. Not to mention debt rollover. Cash is gonna be king again.

          1. For once, savers will be rewarded.

            I’ll believe it when I see it. It may only happen for people who saved in something other than dollars. Although I have to admit at the moment the dollar is looking pretty good in spite of all efforts to kill it.

          2. something other than dollars

            My primary interests are boating and woodworking. I have a boat that is in great shape and a studio full of tools and tons of seasoned fine hardwoods. I can pay for beans and rice in dollars or silver for the rest of my life. I guess I’m where I wanted to be and couldn’t care less about the “markets”. The only thing I owe anybody is kindness.

          3. “I’ll believe it when I see it.”

            Me too! The “no-down” debtors will simply waltz off into the sunset leaving the banks to the fed and treasury to unwind.

      2. I’ve never played around in stocks and bonds. When I was first becoming aware of how these markets worked in the 80’s, I could see what people were saying. Good news good, bad news good, cuz the Fed! What a crock. If central banks could make everybody rich there would be no poverty.

        Look at how it works. Most corporations don’t pay dividends. Those that do are taxed twice. If someone says that isn’t right, all snowflake hell breaks out. But when stocks take a dump, look at how many trillions are spent to prop it up! Here’s an idea: let this stuff stand on it’s own legs. Let shack prices stand on their own. Aren’t we told for years how “strong” the shack market is? Well prove it.

        1. The stock market is turning into a casino

          ‘The stock market has been in chaos since the coronavirus emerged as a serious threat. On Thursday the S&P 500 dropped over 9%, more than it had in a single day since 1987. It roared back to reclaim some of the losses on Friday.’

          It’s not just the past two days. As my colleagues noted over on Yahoo Finance’s daily market post, “the S&P 500 has gained or lost at least 4.89% every session this week, and plunged enough during the intraday session to trigger ‘circuit-breakers’ to help prevent further extreme losses twice.”

          ‘The volatility is obvious: Things are uncertain and probably going to get worse before they get better. But that hasn’t stopped people from talking about moving in and out of the market and mapping out bottoms, falling knives, and dead-cat bounces.’

          https://finance.yahoo.com/news/the-stock-market-is-turning-into-a-casino-212956205.html

        2. What’s really sickening is that at the first sign of an owwwie, the traders started crying and the FED has ALREADY stepped up with trillions of dollars – the most ever. The stock market, by all metrics, is still vastly overvalued. It’s a bubble. Yet bubbles are acceptable but fair values are not. We need to throw these bums out and do something different.

          1. We have a homelessness crisis in this country which has largely been ignored for years and years, yet the wealthy special interests can’t even handle a couple weeks of paper losses before the entire country is mortgaged to save them. This has got to stop. Immediately.

        3. Most corporations don’t pay dividends.

          A quick google search shows that 80% of the S&P 500 pay dividends and that they paid $485B in dividends in 2019.

    2. One thing I heard was that the brokers/originators are swamped due to the cuts, and the rates are jacked to discourage additional backlog piling up for now.

      True or not? I have no idea…

      1. I heard the same thing about raising up the rates due to the origination shops operating at a level beyond their capacity, so it does make sense.

        Taking this a step further, the financial markets went into convulsions last week. Some days it seemed like everything asset class was negative.

        With respect to mortgage backed bonds, I wonder if investors were worried about widespread defaults as the corona virus makes a negative economic impact.

  5. ‘In just a few short weeks, the coronavirus, or more specifically the economic uncertainty resulting from it, has already begun to have an impact on the Bay Area real estate market. Buyers who were counting on stock market sales to cover their down payments are putting their searches on hold while the market is erratic. Others who have already liquidated and have cash on hand are rushing to put offers in during this brief window where Bay Area buyers may actually have the upper hand.’

    Brief window.

    ‘I spoke with a few brokers today who mentioned their sellers aren’t looking for multiple bids, and just want their listings sold quickly,’ said agent Par Hanji. ‘International clients are watching from a distance. Out of state parents helping their children buy are pausing too’

    I recently watched netflix’s Narco season. It stuck me how much money was paid for drugs. It isn’t the real “value.” Oil too. How many billion$ we pay for something that is in a glut. Shacks as well. As I’ve said I don’t like the term “narrative” because it suggests we can’t see with our own eyes. But day after day the REIC continues with the shortages, bidding wars, yadda yadda. Shortage, urgency, fear is the oldest snake-oil trick in the book.

    1. I don’t live in La Jolla or Rancho Santa Fe but i don’t live in the barrio either. Somewhere above the middle which in San Diego means >600k$ for a starter home. I went for a walk a couple of nights ago after dinner and, walking down the main street in my neighbor, I happened upon a junkie sitting on the bus stop bench shooting up. I’ve never seen a junkie in action up close like that. It was disturbing. Just didn’t expect to see it around here. Sad.

      1. Back in the early 90’s In Escondido a scruffy looking guy wearing cammies took a shower in our front yard with the garden hose. The neighbor across the street saw him and called the cops. The only reason I know this is that I looked out the window and saw 3 cruisers parked with their lights flashing and the dude was sitting on the curb talking to the cops, who eventually took him away. The police never contacted me.

        I can only imagine what it’s like now. I’m sure that the Escondido PD couldn’t be bothered with something like that today. One of many reasons we left California.

        1. “took a shower in our front yard”

          Same thing happened to me except I caught the guy in the act. One of the first lessons I learned as a new homeowner in my first house in Portland was remove the hose from, and install an indoor shutoff valve to, the front faucet.

  6. There’s always a silver lining to any crisis. Lower gas prices, less traffic, and reduced greenhouse gas emissions are some incidental benefits of coronavirus quarantine measures.

    The Financial Times
    Coronavirus
    Coronavirus puts the brake on America’s gas-guzzling ways
    World’s largest petrol market contracts as workers are told to stay at home
    The US Treasury Department building is seen next to an almost empty 15th Street at noon in Washington DC on March 13, 2020. – Fear of the coronavirus spread reduced traffic and usual activity in the US Capital to a standstill. The World Health Organization said Friday it was not yet possible to say when the COVID-19 pandemic, which has killed more than 5,000 people worldwide, will peak. (Photo by Eric BARADAT / AFP) (Photo by ERIC BARADAT/AFP via Getty Images)
    The US Treasury Department building is seen next to an almost empty 15th Street at noon in Washington DC on Friday © AFP via Getty Images
    Gregory Meyer in New York and David Sheppard in London 3 hours ago

    Be the first to know about new Coronavirus stories

    Commuting by car into big US cities is usually a hell of red brake lights. This month congestion has eased for an unsettling reason.

    Coronavirus is emptying American highways as workers stay home to avoid contagion. Their behaviour is rocking the world’s largest petrol market.

    Petrol demand in the US normally rises from February to March. But assorted data from early virus hotspots show the opposite.

    Seattle was the epicentre of the coronavirus outbreak on the US west coast, prompting companies such as Amazon and Microsoft to order employees to work from home.

    On interstate highway 5 from the city of Everett 25 miles to the north, traffic volumes had fallen by 4 per cent early last week. Traffic on a crowded section of the I-405 interstate highway had declined by 8 per cent, the state transport department said.

    Fuel sales are “slow, slower than usual”, said the manager of an Arco petrol station in suburban Seattle.

    1. I had to go out and get something around 5 p.m. today. And traffic didn’t look lighter than I would expect. Though people seem to be driving especially aggressive and crazy.

      1. We went to an outlet store mall in Carlsbad today. If the coronavirus affected shopping behavior out there, it was hard to detect. The parking lot was full, the stores had traffic, and there was plenty of inventory (of clothes).

        My wife questioned how social distancing was supposed to work with so many shoppers out filling the stores. It’s a conundrum, as the alternative is instant recession.

        Side note: My sons report their workplaces, in the restaurant industry, are all cutting hours and reducing services. For example, there’s talk about eliminating dine-in customers and going to 100% drive through service.

        1. My wife questioned how social distancing was supposed to work with so many shoppers out filling the stores. It’s a conundrum, as the alternative is instant recession.

          I’ll bet those same people have 200 rolls of TP in their garage (since SoCal houses don’t have basements), and mountains of cans of chili, soup, veggies, etc, in the kitchen.

  7. Hey guys, I am a little panicked right now. Currently in escrow for a home along California’s coast, anyone think I should back out? Rents are through the roof in my area. I am in it for Long haul, but anxiety is keeping me up. Maybe just cold feet.

    1. Harbor Bluffs, FL Housing Prices Crater 14% YOY As Gulf Coast Housing Prices Drop Like A Rock

      https://www.zillow.com/harbor-bluffs-fl/home-values/

      *Select price from dropdown menu on first chart

      As a noted economist said, “I can ask $50k for my run down 10 year old Chevy truck but where is the buyer at that price? So it is with all depreciating asset like houses and cars.”

    2. How were you this naive to be buying coastal CA real estate in the first place?

      Find any way to back out now if you have an exit. Another year or two of high rents is nothing compared to a decade or more underwater, even if you are in it for the long haul.

    3. Just recognize that you are purchasing at absolute peak pricing, and that a haircut of 50% does not seem implausible, it seems probable. You can always refinance the interest rate, you can never refinance the purchase price. RUN.

      1. Well said. I don’t understand how someone can come here (the Housing Bubble Blog) at the literal peak of the bubble, with a hole punctured in that bubble, and ask if they should continue to go through with a purchase.

        1. Every message board has a bombastic story, e.g., “my girlfriend and I want to get married, but she is pregnant from some guy who left her, and I just found out she was a pole dancer, but had to stop because of the baby. Should I go through with the marriage?” Haha…sure buddy, and rent a larger place with a bedroom for the alcoholic mother in law too.

          1. I’ve always considered your posts to be among the most entertaining on the blog. Given the message boards you apparently subscribe to, now I know why… 😀

    4. I am in it for Long haul, but anxiety is keeping me up. Maybe just cold feet. anyone think I should back out ??

      Anxiety probably comes with the territory when making the biggest purchase in your life particularly in the current enviorment…Take a breath and review your circumstances;

      Have you spent sufficient time looking at and following the market area where you want to purchase ??

      Do you have confidence in your capacity to service what ever debt you may be taking on including taxes & ins ??

      Do you have sufficient reserves to withstand an unforeseen call on capital ??

      Lastly, IMO, your personal residence is not an investment…Its your home…If, like you say, your in it for the long haul then fluctuations in the market value of your home is a given…

      Now, with that said, its a unnerving time right now…How this all shakes out is anyones guess and understandably can suggest its time to pause…

      If I was confident in my answers to the questions I raised above then I would move forward…Also, Don’t discount the fact that you would be borrowing long term money at rates that are at historic lows…

      You can also expect posts here that will be 180 degree opposite of what I have just suggested…

      Good luck to you with your decision…

      1. And when he locks in those wonderful “historic lows”, he can watch the value plummet when rates go up. I’d rather buy when prices are lower, your down payment goes further, and within 30 years, there will almost certainly be another opportunity to refinance <4%.

      2. your personal residence is not an investment…Its your home…If, like you say, your [sic] in it for the long haul then fluctuations in the market value of your home is a given…

        Realtors are so soothing about the priceless emotional benefits of overpaying for a house with money that you won’t even earn until the next couple of decades should nothing go wrong.
        Should add that “You deserve this Ant”.

        Biggest Housing Bubble in history, which is already bursting.

        1. overpaying for a house with money that you won’t even earn until the next couple of decades ??

          And how the F@#$ would you know that based on his post ?? You just make chit up…

  8. ‘So then why would people hoard a product that is abundant? Australia has also suffered from panic buying of toilet paper despite plentiful domestic supply. A risk expert in the country explained it this way: “Stocking up on toilet paper is … a relatively cheap action, and people like to think that they are ‘doing something’ when they feel at risk.”

    ‘This is an example of “zero risk bias,” in which people prefer to try to eliminate one type of possibly superficial risk entirely rather than do something that would reduce their total risk by a greater amount.’

    https://www.navytimes.com/news/your-navy/2020/03/12/theres-plenty-of-toilet-paper-so-why-are-people-hoarding-it/

  9. Economic Report
    Consumer sentiment tumbles in March as coronavirus threat explodes into view
    Published: March 13, 2020 at 12:53 p.m. ET
    By Jeffry Bartash
    U.S. consumer sentiment index likely to fall even more soon
    A “Closed to all tours” sign is posted at the U.S. Capitol March 12, 2020. Efforts to contain the spread of COVID-19, also known as coronavirus, has shut down large parts of the economy Getty Images

    The numbers: If Americans weren’t fully aware of the coronavirus threat several weeks ago, they are waking up to it now.

    A survey of confidence, known as the consumer sentiment index, fell to 95.9 in March from 101.0, according to the University of Michigan. That’s the weakest reading in five months.

    The index is all but certain to fall more sharply in the months ahead. The current reading only covers the first 11 days of March — right before an onslaught of bad news about the coronavirus epidemic pushed the U.S. into crisis mode.

  10. “‘I spoke with a few brokers today who mentioned their sellers aren’t looking for multiple bids, and just want their listings sold quickly,’ said agent Par Hanji.

    “Fear has very large eyes” — Russian proverb

  11. The parkside character house with bay views has been traded for an undisclosed sum after the initial $3 million asking price was slashed by more than $1 million.

    I weep for those dear departed Yellen bux.

  12. “Housing Minister Megan Woods aid it was ‘not a black and white situation, and we don’t fully understand why some of these houses are not fulfilling their role as a home.’”</em.

    This dissembling idiot is the Housing Minister? That explains a lot.

  13. Peter Dooley from the Renters Union wants the government to bring-in a vacant property tax: ‘There are more than 30,000 vacant homes in Dublin. Renters Union held a demo outside a luxury apartment block in Ballsbridge. Rent there is €5k a month and majority of units are lying empty.”

    The writing is on the wall, speculator scum. People are sick of being priced out of decent affordable housing, and are going to want to stick it to the vulture funds that are holding these properties off the market. Except, of course, for Joe Biden supporters, who are mindlessly bending over for the crony capitalist status quo.

    1. Rent there is €5k a month

      In Dublin? My employer has an office in Dublin and I know we pay people there a pittance. Bay Aryan prices and salaries that aren’t even flyover. Small wonder those apartments are empty,

  14. It’s so different now than it was just six months ago!

    How to buy a house with $0 down in 2020: First time buyer
    Dan Green
    Dan Green The Mortgage Reports contributor
    October 21, 2019 – 13 min read
    No down payment mortgage

    A no down payment mortgage allows first-time home buyers and repeat home buyers to purchase property with no money required at closing except standard closing costs. Other options, including the FHA loan, the HomeReady™ mortgage and the Conventional 97 loan offer low down payment options with a little as 3% down. Mortgage insurance premiums typically accompany low and no down payment mortgages, but not always.

    Is a no down payment mortgage right for you?

    It’s a terrific time to buy a home.

    Sales are rising, supply is dropping, and prices have increased in many cities and neighborhoods. Compared to next year, today’s market may look like a bargain.

    Furthermore, mortgage rates are still low.

    Rates for 30-year loans, 15-year loans, and 5-year ARMs are historically cheap, which has lowered the monthly cost of owning a home.

  15. Given yesterday’s spectacular Wall Street rally, is it safe to assume that we are out of the coronavirus woods, financially speaking?

    1. The Financial Times
      Opinion Coronavirus
      Financial markets are being humbled by real life
      The coronavirus crisis is more dangerous than anything previously seen by frontline financiers
      Katie Martin
      HONG KONG, CHINA – MARCH 13: Pedestrians wearing a face mask as a precautionary measure against the coronavirus, oficially named COVID-19, are seen walk past a stock market display board showing the Hang Seng Index results in Hong Kong on March 13, 2020. World markets have plunged by fears over the coronavirus outbreak. (Photo by Miguel Candela Poblacion/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)
      © Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
      Katie Martin yesterday

      The uniquely arrogant Masters of the Universe who dominate the financial sector have long assumed that markets themselves would provide the source of the next big crisis.

      For years, investors and analysts pored over the intricacies of financial markets, hunting for canaries in coal mines, particularly when the ageing (and now expired) bull run in stock markets started to smell past its sell-by date.

      Arcane corners of financial plumbing, from volatility indices to specialist short-term lending markets, have been endlessly scrutinised for signs that they could prove to be the butterfly’s wing that sets off the next big drama in the real economy. Everyone was looking for the modern equivalent of the drop in the Thai baht that sparked the 1998 collapse of hedge fund LTCM, which in turn forced a US Federal Reserve bailout to rescue markets from calamity.

      Instead, investors are being humbled by one thing they clearly had not considered: real life. That makes the crisis sparked by the coronavirus pandemic more dangerous, and harder to fix, than anything else previously seen by the men and women currently on finance’s front lines. It will not be the last.

      First, some numbers. How bad is this? The global decline in stock market valuations between January 20 and Thursday topped $13tn. That is roughly equal to just over $3bn for each coronavirus death, Nicholas Smith at CLSA, said in a note on Thursday. That is a brutal calculation but we live in brutal times; coronavirus is not just the flu and this pullback is not just a correction.

      Just a month ago, the market mood was dominated by lolling complacency and a belief that the virus would be a temporary setback, confined to China. The shift in perspective since then has been staggering.

      Thursday saw the direst moment so far, with European stocks dropping farther in one day than they ever did during the eurozone debt crisis of 2011-2012, while the FTSE 100 sank at its fastest pace since the Black Monday crash of 1987. The S&P 500 dropped 9.5 per cent. That means it slumped 20 per cent into a bear market at its fastest-ever pace, more rapid even than in the legendary 1929 crash.

      “We have gone from feeling like this is just an equity market correction, which happens, to the point where markets are breaking down. The stuff you see on the screen, the prices, are not accurate,” said David Riley, of BlueBay Asset Management.

      The chaos came despite efforts to prop up confidence by the Fed, Bank of England and the European Central Bank. Stocks jumped on Friday, but it is not clear that policymakers have stopped the bleeding.

    2. “is it safe to assume that we are out of the coronavirus woods, financially speaking?”

      Short answer: Probably not. I suspect that those c-virus test kits are purposely being held up for the sole purpose of propping the stock market. If they actually started testing an reporting real numbers, we’d see another 5K drop within days.

      There was one speculation of 100K people positive but untested, just in Ohio. States like New York are probably much higher.

      1. This doesn’t seem like an old person who was already on oxygen:

        The situation worries Patton Village Police Chief Shannon Sharp: One of his seven officers — a man in his 40s — is in critical condition after testing positive for the new coronavirus.

        For several days, that officer has been unconscious in the hospital, Sharp said, while the public has pointed fingers and pressed for more information on where he was before he was sick, including his exact contacts during the Houston Rodeo cookoff that he attended Feb. 28.

        https://www.houstonchronicle.com/news/houston-texas/houston/article/As-Patton-Village-officer-fights-coronavirus-15131723.php

        1. They are seeing cases like that in Italy. But they seem to be isolated cases. Someone suggested that people of Italian descent are possibly more susceptible. That would suck.

          1. I thought it was supposed to be mostly Wuhan Chinese people who work in the northern Italy clothing factories but the media was too PC to say it.

          2. Carl, you’re right. After I made the post I looked it up online. There are a ton of flights between China and Italy. My speculation is that several Chinese started several clusters around the same time, possibly as early as mid-January.

            Then you take into account the Italy has a lot of old people, a lot of smokers, and a shortage of hospital beds. The high case fatality rate is plausible.

      2. Just the other day, Seattle mayor Jenny Durkan was saying the Seattle area could have 70,000 cases in six weeks.

        “This is if we don’t take any steps — so it is exponential growth — it doubles approximately every 6 days. It’s a range. And this is the mid-range that the experts believe that they have confidence.

        So you start on March 10th, we believe we had 1,100 cases. It doubles basically every week. So after 6 weeks, there would be 70,000 cases. And by early April, there’d be over 40,000 cases.

        So once we were able to get this modeling back from our researchers at the Fred Hutch, Bill Gates and others, that gave us better data on which to make some decisions on how we needed to really reduce gatherings as quickly as we could.”

        Stopping this then assumes the kind of lock down that we saw in the Wuhan area if, that is, you believe their numbers are now declining.

        1. Okay, civil engineer here, not a germ warfare scientist:
          Given: doubles every 6-days, 3/01=1,100 cases.
          Using a napkin: R = R0*e^(k*t); so…
          2,200 = 1,100*e^(k*6); then k=0.116; so…
          Assuming: 6-wks = 6*7=42-days; so…
          R = 1,100*e^(0.116*42); R=140,800 cases; so…
          The 70,000-cases assumption is that the quarantine will flatten the curve?

          As indicated above, civil engineer w/napkin.

          1. “The 70,000-cases assumption is that the quarantine will flatten the curve?”

            That’s the goal of quarantine: To slow down the growth rate to a manageable level. This was relatively easy with SARS: since only symptomatic cases were contagious, putting them into quarantine quickly ended the exponential growth phase of the outbreak.

            The asymptomatic transmission of COVID-19 means that much more draconian measures are needed to limit the growth rate of the outbreak, particularly when so little is known about how large it is and where it is concentrated, thanks to a lack of testing.

            This is a case where the lack of adequate statistical sampling has a huge economic cost.

          2. I think Jenny called it a week (7 days) so she could do the maths on her fingers. This amounts to you calculating with one more “week”.

            Given: doubles every 6-days, 3/01=1,100 cases

            The Devil is in the Assumptions.

          3. Not a germ warfare scientist either (BS/JD/MBA/BFD) but the equation probably looks more like:
            R = R(initial) * 2^t
            70,400 = 1,100 * 2^6

  16. Residential service call in Greeley. House was originally built in the 1890s, owner bought in 2016 for $225K and pending inspection is selling for $305K. Recent article posted here crowing that “the easiest way to make $100K in Denver is to buy a house and wait three years” but this is Greeley, not Denver.

    Greeley smells really bad today (Front Range residents will know what I’m talking about).

    1. Greeley smells really bad today

      I’ve been told that it’s the smell of money. Steaks don’t grow on trees, you know.

      1. If you ask a millennial, food grows itself on the shelves at King Soopers. And electricity just pours out of the wall like water. As much as I want to move away because of traffic and other population growth related annoyances, it’s just too easy to make money here. All these millennial brogrammers need to keep overpaying for crusty old used houses in Dumver that they don’t know how to fix, then call me (with checkbook in hand) to come help them.

        1. “All these millennial brogrammers need to keep overpaying for crusty old used houses in Dumver that they don’t know how to fix”

          I used to pull guys like that out from under 20 to 25 sheets of 4 x 12 drywall that was stocked upright against the wall. They would be trying to look behind it to see if you sparky dudes had moved the outlets where they had asked them to, happened 3 times over several years. Evidently the colleges they graduated from did not tell them that it is almost effortless to pull 20 sheets off a wall 2 at a time to an upright position but it turns into 2000 [bs. moving real fast when you go slightly past it.

          Sounded awful, first time I thought the guy was really hurt. He, like the others was screaming with his arms flailing when we got to him and while we pulled the boards off of him, Then he apologized, like the next 2 would thanked us and hobbled his embarrassed @ss out the door.

        2. All these millennial brogrammers

          Actually, most millenials are too old to be brogrammers, who are in their 20’s. By the time you’re thirty, you’re considered over the hill. Time to move into the marketing department.

          to keep overpaying for crusty old used houses

          Ah, but think of the walk scores! With a vegan taqueria just a few steps away! Can’t find that in Broomfield, right?

          then call me (with checkbook in hand) to come help them

          Enjoy it while it lasts.

          1. “Ah, but think of the walk scores!”

            I bought a truck Wednesday with a 5.3L ECOTEC3 V8 engine. That’s as Green as I get, although I’m sure where I live has a very high “walk score”.

  17. It’s an interesting time to openly declare war on the Fed chairman.

    Sounds like interest rates may be headed lower as a result.

    Economy
    Trump says he has the right to remove Powell as Fed chair but hasn’t ‘made any decisions’ yet
    Published Sat, Mar 14 2020 1:01 PM EDT
    Updated 3 hours ago
    Jeff Cox
    Key Points
    – President Donald Trump repeated criticisms of the Federal Reserve and Chairman Jerome Powell for “not leading” during the coronavirus crisis.
    – Trump said he has the authority to remove Powell from his position though he hasn’t made any decisions yet.

    1. Zero’s been a foregone conclusion for well over a month. The problem is it doesn’t work, and it’s actually hurting the banks.

      1. I’m planning to hang on to my Vanguard Longterm Treasury fund at least until rates break the zero bound. After that point, I’ll evaluate the timing of my further HODLing.

  18. I am still waiting for the Sacramento, California housing market to tank and inventory levels to rise so I can buy a place without overpaying.

    1. It’s going to be at least 3 years until you see any “deals,” likely longer. It’s best to stop looking for a while.

  19. Shutdown of the Western World continues…

    Associated Press
    Spain to follow Italy into lockdown, US expands travel ban
    Published: March 14, 2020 at 2:08 p.m. ET
    By Associated Press
    Spanish will be allowed to leave their homes only to buy food and medicine, commute to work, go to hospitals and banks, or take trips related to the care of the young and the elderly

    Spain drew up plans to lock down its 46 million citizens, France closed the Eiffel Tower and the Louvre, and more borders snapped shut around the world as governments took increasingly sweeping measures Saturday to reduce contact among people and contain the spread of the coronavirus.

    President Donald Trump announced that the U.S., which days ago barred entry to travelers from much of Europe, will extend the ban to Britain and Ireland, where cases are on the rise.

      1. Shelter or I mean quarantine in place.

        Your legal rights in a quarantine, explained
        The truth is, your rights aren’t particularly well defined.

        By Ian Millhiser Mar 11, 2020, 8:10am EDT

        New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) announced on Tuesday that the state would create a “containment area” in the city of New Rochelle, hoping to contain the spread of Covid-19, the coronavirus disease. The epicenter of this area is a synagogue believed to be connected to several cases of the disease. For now, the state plans to close gathering spaces near the synagogue.

        It is unclear if New York or some other state will resort to more serious measures, such as mandatory quarantines. But can the government quarantine someone against their will?

        The short answer is probably “yes.”

        https://www.vox.com/2020/3/11/21166621/coronavirus-quarantines-legal-constitution-new-rochelle

    1. and more borders snapped shut around the world

      A friend is in Cancun as we speak. I hope he can come home before those flights are grounded.

        1. Cancun is supposed to be one of Mexico’s safe places. I know people who bailed out of Mexico City and moved there for safety reasons.

          When I lived in Mexico City it was a lot more common to vacation in Acapulco than Cancun for a few reasons:
          1) Acapulco hotels were cheaper
          2) You can drive there in 3 hours. You have fly to Cancun.
          3) Fewer foreigners, it felt more “Mexican”

          Today those 3 reasons are still true, but now Acapulco is considered very dangerous. Foreigners shun it altogether. So if you live in Mexico City and can afford it, you go to Cancun and don’t even think about Acapulco.

          1. Colorado, any knowledge of the Merida area?

            I’ve heard that Merida, and the Yucatan in general, are safer. That said, it could change as Mexico seems to be careening towards being a failed state.

  20. Another 110 million Europeans are about to get added to Italy’s 60 million already under quarantine.

    Coronavirus: France and Spain announce sweeping restrictions
    14 March 2020
    Coronavirus pandemic
    The Eiffel Tower is closed

    Two of the EU’s biggest states, France and Spain, have followed Italy in announcing emergency restrictions to combat the spread of coronavirus.

    France, a country of 63.5 million, ordered the closure of all non-essential places used by the public from midnight (23:00 GMT).

    Sweeping curbs on citizens’ movements will take effect overnight in Spain, which has a population of 46.7 million.

    Spain is the worst-hit country in Europe after Italy.

    There are 191 deaths and 6,046 infections in Spain. Italy, which has recorded more than 1,440 deaths, began a nationwide lockdown on Monday.

    The US is to extend its European coronavirus travel ban to include the UK and Republic of Ireland. The ban will begin at midnight EST on Monday (04:00 GMT Tuesday), Vice-President Mike Pence announced.

    On Friday, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Europe was now the “epicentre” of the pandemic. Its head, Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, urged countries to use aggressive measures, community mobilisation and social distancing to save lives.

    1. Spain is the worst-hit country in Europe after Italy.

      Is there a large Chinese diaspora in Spain? I don’t remember seeing any the last time I was there. Hmmm … I wonder if being of Mediterranean stock makes you more vulnerable?

      1. Just a month ago we wondered if being Asian made you more vulnerable. There might not be a Chinese influx into Spain, but there’s probably a large Italian influx.

        And after all the virus got around Seattle for six weeks undetected. It could have been wandering Spain for longer.

  21. Mrs Spiffy is not doing so well. Temperature rising, though not quite into full blown fever so far. Fun at ground zero (USA edition).

    1. I hope it is seasonal flu, but by all means get her tested if symptoms worsen

      Most of my immediate family members have had flu symptoms with fever over the past couple of months. We probably won’t ever know if it was coronavirus.

  22. I’m doing some research on upcoming California foreclosure auctions. Modesto looks to be a hot spot, as is Sacramento area. Lots around LA and Orange County, San Bernardino.

    1. San Jose too.

      3 bd2.5 ba1,929 sqft
      2081 Mckenzie Pl, San Jose, CA 95131

      3/13/2019 $1,186,234 unpaid balance

      https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/2081-Mckenzie-Pl-San-Jose-CA-95131/64639664_zpid/

      Opening Bid $840,000
      Est. Debt $1,221,418

      Been in default for a year.

      $1,163,367
      4 bd3 ba2,357 sqft
      2977 Miraloma Way, Union City, CA 94587

      11/11/2019 $996,018 unpaid balance

      https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/2977-Miraloma-Way-Union-City-CA-94587/24991401_zpid/

      I’d bet this shack has second (or third) liens. See that a lot here in AZ.

  23. If this goes on for an entire year, you can stick a fork in a lot of things for 2020.

    March 13, 2020 – 04:07 PM EDT
    Worst-case coronavirus models show massive US toll
    By Reid Wilson

    Statistical models meant to project the potential reach of the coronavirus and the COVID-19 disease suggest more than a million Americans could die if the nation does not take swift action to stop its spread as quickly as possible.

    At least three different models built by epidemiology experts suggest that millions of Americans will contract the coronavirus, even in optimistic projections, based on what they know of its spread in China and the United States so far.

    One model from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) suggested that between 160 million and 210 million Americans could contract the disease over as long as a year. Based on mortality data and current hospital capacity, the number of deaths under the CDC’s scenarios ranged from 200,000 to as many as 1.7 million.

    1. If this goes on for an entire year, you can stick a fork in a lot of things for 2020.

      One thing is certain, this is a year we’ll remember.

      1. I took some photos of my Trader Joe’s shopping experience this evening.

        – Produce aisles: barren
        – Dairy: No milk, yogurt or eggs
        – Bread shelves: Empty
        – Silver lining: There was plenty of alcohol to stock up on enough to last through a two month quarantine

        1. Consumer panic takes over stores throughout San Diego County
          Empty shelves, fights over shopping carts and road rage plagued plazas.
          Author: Monique Griego (Reporter)
          Published: 6:11 PM PDT March 13, 2020
          Updated: 6:11 PM PDT March 13, 2020
          Panic… and maybe a little hysteria at Costco and stores across San Diego County – amid the ongoing coronavirus outbreak.

          “The panic is real, definitely,” said one customer. The line just to get in the parking lot stretched down the street and News 8 crews saw plenty of road rage.

          While the vast majority of diagnosed cases are considered mild, as the number of those infected continues to grow, people are stocking up – preparing to stay inside. Tyrone Moore said he and his wife were just making a regular trip to the Costco Business Center in Kearny Mesa and had no idea what they were in for.

          “I have been out here for 60-minutes waiting on my wife to get out of line for three items and it’s just sad,” Moore said.

          It was the same story at the Vons in La Jolla Village. Customers were lucky if they could get a parking spot or shopping cart and the shelves empty.

          Especially when it came to toilet paper, paper towels, pasta and of course hand sanitizer. In Santee, the Costco store reached capacity and extra help was called in for crowd control. “It’s crazy,” said one shopper.

          1. I clear-out the roadside mailbox, daily, for my elderly neighbor leaning the envelopes against her door behind the screen door. Yesterday I saw a large box of toilet paper from Amazon on her porch; texted her!

          2. It’s nothing like this in my little burg. Was at Safeway yesterday and it seemed close to normal., except for the TP asile.

    2. “Based on mortality data and current hospital capacity, the number of deaths under the CDC’s scenarios ranged from 200,000 to as many as 1.7 million.”

      So far there are 49 Americans that have died.

      Once again, these estimates from the people who still don’t know how many were infected or died in 2009 from the H1N1 virus.

      1. They gave a pretty wide range of fatality estimates. Even the low-end estimate of 200,000 is an order of magnitude higher than the typical seasonal flu season.

    3. The Hill

      “the number of deaths under the CDC’s scenarios ranged from 200,000 to as many as 1.7 million.”

      So far 49

      These estimates from the same people who still don’t know how many Americans were infected or died from the H1N1 virus in 2009.

    4. based on what they know of its spread in China

      That means they don’t actually know anything, and you’re entertaining yourself telling us that 2 million of us are going to die.

  24. My little drama today… copy and paste from my Facebook post.
    =========================

    On Tuesday, I had the second shot in the two-shot series for shingles. 💉
    Then I developed flu-like symptoms, namely body aches and fatigue. But these are fairly common side effects of that shot. Though I didn’t have any problem with the first one.🤔
    After four days, I began to suspect something else was going on. So I went back to the clinic. 🏥
    They of course are screening everyone at the door. When I told them I had body aches and a fever, I was given a mask and shunted off to the side. 🤒😷
    Eventually a well-protected nurse came out to talk to me and get vitals.
    She went back and talked to a doctor. Then returned and did a swab test for flu. But not for covid 19. 🧫🔬
    The results came back just a few hours later. Turns out I have influenza A. I had a flu shot, so apparently it’s a strain that wasn’t covered this year. 🙄
    They gave me some Tamiflu to take. 💊 But it may be too late for that to have any effect.

      1. I gather that it’s highly variable! Someone else I know had pretty severe side effects from the first shot and not from the second. I am the opposite. And some people don’t have any side effects

    1. I am grateful that they had a mask to give you. If I need to be tested for something, I will bring a mask with me.

      1. If you’re in the hospital and want to put on one of their masks, never take the one on top!

    2. I think most of my immediate family members had your experience (and we all had our seasonal flu shots). One son had a 103 degrees F temperature…sickest I have seen him since he was an infant (he’s a young adult).

      None of us took the COVID-19 test, so we’ll never know for sure whether we had it. But I did have a two week period when I was up every night for hours with an uncontrolled cough. (You probably saw quite a few posts from me at odd hours, inspired by coughing attacks…)

      1. “coughing attacks…”

        Same here a few weeks ago and in late fall. Weren’t dry and no fever so I assume it wasn’t worse than flu. The coughing attacks in both cases came in the last few days of the illness.

      2. uncontrolled cough

        Dextromethorphan helps. I’ve had a cough and chest congestion since my dad was in the hospital at the end of January. No fever though and chest x-ray was normal.

      3. We got flu shots late last year when they first became available, and we have slid through the flu season unscathed. Fingers crossed!

      1. Giving the bankers and other multinational corporations 4 trillion in bailouts was the thing to do So we printed the money and prosecuted no one for criminal activity.
        Giving families and small business owners temporary help during a real national emergency is unacceptable especially since the bankers will probably need another 4 trillion pretty soon. The Fed is gonna print in overdrive.

    1. Her resolution is quite mum about how to fund it. I’m gonna guess that a national VAT would fund it. And once the pandemic is over, Dems will say “wow, that worked great, let’s keep it going!”

      Anyway, just goes to show that the “surfer girl” that cuckservatives are in love with is just another Dem.

      1. Anyway, just goes to show that the “surfer girl” that cuckservatives are in love with is just another Dem.

        Sure, I can buy that. What I don’t get is why the Dems hate her so much? They think she’s a Russian asset or a closet libertarian or both. To me it seems like she could be the future of their party.

        1. I think her only sin that I can see is that she isn’t pro-war. She has all the other check boxes ticked:
          – Female
          – “Person of color”
          – Non Christian (Hindu)
          – Open borders
          – Free healthcare for illegals
          – Pro Gay
          – Pro Trannie
          – High taxes
          – Globalist

          It just goes to show how easy it is to fail the Left’s purity test, which is constantly changing. All those candidates who raised their hands in support of free healthcare for illegals knew it was the latest purity test. Don’t raise that hand and you are out.

  25. This is going to disappoint some people.

    Trump tests negative for virus;

    Jill Colvin and Aamer Madhani, Associated Press Updated 9:20 pm EDT,

    1. “This is going to disappoint some people.“

      Who the boomer remover mafia… would be interesting to see how their “lord of the flies” real world scenario would play out. Gone on the days of respecting our elders, a nation of gimme dats, das mines would die of in months. Im glad he tested negative, he is our our president whether we like it or not.

      1. Culture
        What Is ‘Boomer Remover’ and Why Is It Making People So Angry?
        By Andrew Whalen On 3/13/20 at 11:42 AM EDT

        “Boomer Remover,” a mean nickname for the novel coronavirus COVID-19, began trending on Twitter early Friday.

        The term has appeared in more than 65,000 tweets and references the higher mortality rate among older people infected with COVID-19—particularly among people over 60, including the Boomer Baby age cohort approximately between the ages of 56 and 74.

  26. This is kind of in interesting. It seems that investing sentiment has flipped from extreme greed to extreme fear this year at a record high pace.

    I wonder if something like this exists for home buyers?


    Fear & Greed Index

    What emotion is driving the market now?

    1. Stocks are more fungible than houses and stocks notably don’t have to prepped (e.g., paint, repairs, moving/storage) for sale.

      1. Right. It’s like comparing a bull to a snail.

        However, we shouldn’t conclude that snails never panic. Rather they move far more slowly when they stampede.

  27. The Financial Times
    Coronavirus
    Global recession already here, say top economists
    Coronavirus a ‘wicked cocktail’ for growth, according to former IMF chiefs
    Metropolitan municipality worker sprays disinfectant over a metro train in Istanbul. The IMF said the pandemic did not look like a normal recession
    © Bloomberg
    Chris Giles in London, Brendan Greeley in Washington and Martin Arnold in Frankfurt
    3 hours ago

    The world economy has fallen into recession, suffering from a “wicked cocktail” of coronavirus and the dramatic action to limit its spread, according to four former IMF chief economists.

    As the virus has spread from China to the rest of the world, economists no longer feel they have to wait for data to confirm the world is in recession, even though official forecasts remain more optimistic.

    Serving policymakers and officials have so far sought to contain alarm over the economic consequences of the coronavirus. Mark Carney, Bank of England governor, has declined to predict a UK recession while Christine Lagarde, European Central Bank president, said only that it would be a “major shock”.

    Gita Gopinath, IMF chief economist, said it was hard to predict what might happen but that the pandemic did not look like a normal recession. Data from China has shown a much steeper drop in services than a normal downturn would predict for instance.

    But her predecessors at the IMF were less guarded in their assessment. Kenneth Rogoff, a Harvard University professor, said: “A global recession seems baked in a cake at this point with odds over 90 per cent.”

    Maurice Obstfeld, a professor at University of California, Berkeley, said recent events were “a wicked cocktail for the global growth”. He added: “I do not see how, given the events in China, Europe and the US, you are not going to see a severe slowdown.”

    Olivier Blanchard, senior fellow at the Peterson Institute, said there was “no question in my mind that [global economic] growth will be negative” for the first six months of 2020. The second half would depend on when peak infection was reached, he said, adding that his “own guess” was that this period would probably be negative as well.

  28. Are these guys pandering for bailouts the same dudes who borrowed buckets of money and used it to enrich themselves and their shareholders by driving up their share prices? Now I guess they want everyone else who uses the almighty dollar to pay for their gambling losses.

    Market Extra
    Wall Street fears ‘flashbacks to 2008’ with forced selling in $9 trillion U.S. corporate bond market
    Published: March 14, 2020 at 11:18 a.m. ET
    By Sunny Oh
    Fed should request Congress to allow the Fed to buy corporate bonds like the ECB did

    1. Why does the coronavirus outbreak make people want to sell all their stocks and hoard toilet paper?

      Invest in You: Ready. Set. Grow.
      If you’re panic shopping, chances are good you might also panic-sell your stocks
      Published Sun, Mar 15 2020 9:16 AM EDT
      Jill Cornfield
      Toilet paper shelves lay empty at a supermarket in Saugus, Massachusetts on March 13, 2020.
      Joseph Prezioso | AFP | Getty Images

      It’s not all in your mind. The growing panic over coronavirus is real, and fear is a rational response.

      What’s not a foregone conclusion is your own reaction.

      When markets tank, some people always want to flee to cash. When an illness threatens to spread to practically everyone you know, many people want to stock up — and it seems these two responses actually go hand in hand, according to Rick Kahler, a certified financial therapist and a certified financial planner.

      “There’s absolutely a correlation between hoarding and selling out [of the market],” said Kahler, the founder of Kahler Financial Group in Rapid City, South Dakota. “They’re emotional responses.”

      Anyone who feels very emotional about an event wants to take an action that will relieve the anxiety, Kahler says. Whether someone has stockpiled food and paper goods or sold equities, it will bring a feeling of relief.

      The mistake, though, is in thinking you’ve made the absolute right decision.

    2. The Financial Times
      Opinion Coronavirus
      This is not ‘panic’, it is a reasonable response to a crisis
      I am a scientist called on to give advice at times like these. This week it became personal
      Simon Wessely
      Panicked crowds rushing through the London bird market, following a false alarm of danger, Frontpage of French newspaper Le petit journal, October 21, 1923, Private Collection (Photo by Leemage/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)
      Panic buying, or a rational stocking up of necessities?
      © Universal Images Group/Getty
      Simon Wessely 4 hours ago
      The writer is director of the NIHR Health Protection Research Unit for Emergency Preparedness and Response at King’s College London

      A lot can happen in a short time at the moment. When I started writing this piece last weekend, my wife was in America, whose borders were open. I was looking forward to watching the football team I support, Chelsea, play against Aston Villa today.

      A week later, all football is off and it is likely that all large scale public events will be banned. The US is closed to all but a few. My wife is back in the UK, but she has tested positive for Covid-19. Luckily, she has recovered quickly and I remain well. But the advice that I have received as a contact has changed dramatically. At the start of week, I would have had to self-isolate for 14 days. Now, there are no restrictions on me unless I develop symptoms. Confusing isn’t it?

      While this week it has all become personal, my interest in such advice is usually professional. I am one of the many scientists called on to give advice to government at times like these. When my colleagues and I speak to those charged with communicating to the public, we start with three basic principles: don’t give premature reassurance; don’t tell people not to panic; get doctors and scientists on television as soon as possible.

      Usually the official asks what is wrong with telling people not to panic. First, those who are already panicking are unlikely to listen. Second, those who aren’t will start to wonder if they should. But, most important, we know that during emergencies most people don’t panic for most of the time.

  29. The Financial Times
    Live
    Coronavirus latest: Germany to shut borders as European cases surge
    As global coronavirus case numbers continue to rise, governments around the world are imposing increasingly tough measures in a bid to stem its spread. Germany is set to close its borders with France, Austria and Switzerland from Monday morning.

    1. Perhaps it is anticipated rate cut euphoria that is driving up futures?

      US: Fed to cut 100bps at its next meeting – Deutsche Bank
      NEWS | Mar 13, 08:06 GMT | By FXStreet Team

      Economists at Deutsche Bank have changed their forecast and are now expecting more rate cuts from the Fed at its next meeting. Meanwhile, the US dollar is showing off its safe-haven status.
      Key quotes:

      “Our Fed call has changed and we now expect 100bps of cuts at the next meeting, bringing the fed funds rate directly to the zero bound.”

      “They also don’t rule out an early emergency cut given the volatility. It wouldn’t surprise any of us if this happens at any moment.”

      “If the Fed cuts rates to zero by this meeting as they expect, Chair Powell’s press conference should focus on the next policy steps should the outlook deteriorate further.”

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