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Sellers Are Acquiescing Because Otherwise The Buyer Is Going To Walk Away

It’s Friday desk clearing time for this blogger. “Nonbank financial firms spent years lobbying against tougher regulation and stricter capital requirements, arguing that their emerging dominance in mortgage lending didn’t pose a risk to the financial system. Now, many of those companies say they are in desperate need of a bailout to stave off bankruptcy and a potential collapse of the U.S. housing market. When government-owned Ginnie Mae tried to require stress tests and higher capital and liquidity requirements, some ‘nonbanks were violently opposed to the idea,’ said former Ginnie president Michael Bright. One small lender told Bright that if an event similar to the proposed stress scenario were to take place, he’d just hand Ginnie the keys to his firm.”

“Market condition: severe. That’s Bank of America Corp.’s new assessment of a corner of the U.S. mortgage industry facing a deluge of applications from homeowners looking to shore up their finances. ‘If you’re a homeowner, you’ve always been told that one of the easiest ways to access cash in a pinch is to tap the equity in your home,’ Nations Lending Chief Executive Officer Jeremy Sopko said. ‘In a normal environment, this is absolutely true. But this is no normal environment. And so fear is building.'”

“Bank of America significantly tightened its standards for loans to homeowners wanting to borrow against their equity. The minimal credit score it’ll accept from borrowers is now 720, up from 660. JPMorgan, meanwhile, may boost its minimum credit score for new Helocs to 720 as well, up from 680, and is also considering other changes, such as limiting approvals to customers who already have a mortgage or checking account with the bank, said a person with knowledge of the matter. The bank’s goal is to slash application volume by as much as 75%.”

“Struggling homeowners are flooding their mortgage companies with requests for help. Many are having a hard time getting it. Homeowners say they are waiting hours on the phone just to reach a real person. When they do, some are told that getting an answer could take weeks. ‘I’m frustrated and scared,’ said Chris Colgan, a real-estate agent from Northern Virginia. He said he called his servicer some 15 times in the past month.”

“In San Antonio, there are 2,165 short-term rentals registered with the city.. Eric Perez, who rents out five properties near downtown San Antonio, said bookings have plummeted since the outbreak began. Taxes and other bills are looming. ‘It’s quite a burden to carry five mortgages,’ he said.”

“Kelly Martinez and her husband started renting out a house in Alta Vista on Airbnb in December. Along with the mortgage, there are also utilities to pay for and loans they took out to furnish the house, she said. ‘We were doing great up until the end of February,’ Martinez said. ‘Then boom, boom, boom — everyone canceled. Business has completely dried up.'”

“Recent deals show some sellers are in need of liquidity and willing to negotiate. In New York City only two luxury home sellers managed to strike deals last week. And they had an average listing discount of 33%, according to Olshan Realty. One such market is California’s Silicon Valley. Now, homes are selling with discounts of $50,000 or more off their asking price, said Kalena Masching, a Bay Area agent with Redfin. Mary Lou Wertz, co-founder of Maison Real Estate, in Charleston, South Carolina, said the climate of uncertainty has brought negotiating to another level. Buyers are even asking for price concessions at the closing table, she said.”

“‘I’ve never seen it before,’ Ms. Wertz said, and sellers are acquiescing because otherwise the buyer is ‘going to walk away.'”

“Real estate listings are drying up, open houses have been canceled, and buyers are staying home. One more pillar of the Canadian economy is under threat from the coronavirus pandemic. In Vancouver, some sellers haven’t caught up with reality, says Ian Watt, who specializes in condos at Sutton Group West Coast Realty.’We’re still seeing a dozen listings a day in the downtown core, it’s ridiculous,’ he says. ‘Why would anyone do it? No buyers are out, period.'”

“A group representing 15 Jersey Estate Agents are appealing for support from government, claiming the island’s housing market has been ‘all but destroyed’ by the coronavirus outbreak. The Jersey Estate Agents Association warn the situation could be worse than the 2008 financial crash. ‘We really feel as though we’re being left in limbo. The government have kept money side in the rainy day fund. We’re appealing to government now to use that money for the purpose of giving. You need to act now,’ said Gill Hunt, President, Jersey Estate Agents Association.”

“The health crisis because of the COVID-19 pandemic is only set to worsen in Cambodia in the coming months, though more deleterious may be the looming economic crisis. The housing bubble has now burst and a debt crisis will only worsen; the escape valve of migration to Thailand is no longer an option. Quite simply, the government doesn’t have the money to bail out the entire economy.”

“The Realtors Association of Jamaica has, for the time being, been holding up to the COVID-19 invasion, but there are fears among the leadership that things could get really bad soon. According to the president, Andrew James, basically, what has been happening is that some customers have been watching the market, and their assumption is that as the situation is now, maybe in another three to six months they will not be able to meet their loan payments.”

“He said that if that happens, a number of properties would be going up for auction, and will be going on the private treaties list. ‘So there are those persons who say they will wait and see. Persons who may even have put down a deposit are now saying, ‘Hold on, hold on, I don’t want to go any further until I know what is happening, because chances are I might not have a chance to pay down the loan,’ and so on,’ he stated.”

“‘So, as far as the realtors are concerned, they are in an awkward situation right now: Realtors are only paid by commissions,’ he added.”

“According to him, the high-scale apartments are mostly investments, like apartments and town houses which are bought by people investing in a second home, or one which their children will eventually own after they leave college. ‘Then you have the young professionals who continue to rent their homes, while they buy these apartments for the short term (like Airbnb) for prices that cover the market prices,’ he pointed out. What is happening now is that the short-term market is, I regret to say, drying up. A lot of people have invested in Airbnb, but with nobody travelling and flights not coming in, these properties might now be turned into long-term rentals,’ he informed the Observer.”

“‘Because, if you have a mortgage to pay, you might not have a choice but to keep it locked up with nobody to rent it, so you have to go long-term,’ he added.”

This Post Has 227 Comments
  1. ‘Now, many of those companies say they are in desperate need of a bailout to stave off bankruptcy and a potential collapse of the U.S. housing market. When government-owned Ginnie Mae tried to require stress tests and higher capital and liquidity requirements, some ‘nonbanks were violently opposed to the idea,’ said former Ginnie president Michael Bright. One small lender told Bright that if an event similar to the proposed stress scenario were to take place, he’d just hand Ginnie the keys to his firm’

    Yeah, these loans were rock solid…

    1. It’s Friday desk clearing time for this blogger. Nonbank financial firms spent years lobbying against tougher regulation and stricter capital requirements, arguing that their emerging dominance in mortgage lending didn’t pose a risk to the financial system. Now, many of those companies say they are in desperate need of a bailout to stave off bankruptcy and a potential collapse of the U.S. housing market.

      – “Non-bank” sounds kind of sketchy to me. Kind of like loansharking. The loans were considered too risky for banks, so why are we now surprised that there’s a problem?

      – They were all doing it. LAT article from 2014, before it got even worse. So, NOW there’s a problem. The enduring legacy of Mel Watt’s FHFA: Another housing bust is baked into the cake. Now lenders are “suddenly” tightening lending standards. Of course, no one could have seen this coming. It looks like all of that oversight from Dodd-Frank is now paying dividends. Oh, wait. Another situation of maximum moral hazard, because other people’s money (taxpayers) was backstopping the casino.

      “It’s déjà vu all over again.” – Yogi Berra

      https://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-fannie-freddie-loans-20141018-story.html
      Fannie Mae, Freddie Mac reach deal to ease mortgage lending
      By E. Scott Reckard, Tim Logan | Oct. 17, 2014 6:01 PM

      “Mortgage financing giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, together with their federal regulator, have drawn up rules aimed at loosening constricted lending standards to make mortgages more affordable and easier to get for those with less than stellar credit.

      “Under the new rules, the financing firms would delineate what constitutes cause for requiring banks to repurchase loans. They also would reduce the minimum down payment to 3% from 5% generally needed to qualify for selling the loans to Fannie and Freddie.”

      1. Calling yourself a “nonbank” to justify your lending business skirting banking rules seems kind of sketch.

        Could I call myself a “non-miner” and then go out into the middle of an environmentally protected area to extract gold and sell it for a living?

  2. ‘Bank of America significantly tightened its standards for loans to homeowners wanting to borrow against their equity. The minimal credit score it’ll accept from borrowers is now 720, up from 660. JPMorgan, meanwhile, may boost its minimum credit score for new Helocs to 720 as well, up from 680, and is also considering other changes, such as limiting approvals to customers who already have a mortgage or checking account with the bank, said a person with knowledge of the matter. The bank’s goal is to slash application volume by as much as 75%’

    This is a credit event, and it’s been building for a while. The goal is to ‘slash application volume by as much as 75%.’ So much for tapping that equity USAins’. Here’s what to look for: when buyers find themselves underwater, they will bail. Good money after bad, etc. No amount of government gravy can prop up a mania of this size.

    1. Two Harbors Investment Corp. (TWO-PC)
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    2. “Bank of America $ignificantly tightened its $tandards for loan$ to homeowner$ wanting to borrow against their equity.”

      👾 … versus … 🏠🏧♻️

      Mania #2 (deeth.👾.hy$teria)
      I$ feeding & devouring$
      Mania #1 (Bubble$.Ever.Thang$)

      $ad.

      1. I’m not sad, I’m in the foreclosure biz. Did I cause this? No. Pretty soon we’ll be hearing, “everyone knew it was a bubble.” The Mansion Global article is the REIC gearing up for that phase. “OK vultures, on you marks!”

        Remember the CA UHS last decade who denied it was a bubble every month for years and then showed up as a short-sale/distressed shack expert?

        1. I’m waiting for the “They never should’ve given me this loan” sob stories to fill the media.

    3. “Bank of America significantly tightened its standards for loans to homeowners wanting to borrow against their equity.”

      How about a rewrite: Bank of America is taking steps to protect itself from homeowners wanting to extract any equity, and then “let their house go” to their HELOC lender.

    4. The next few years might be among the few in recent decades when people with a decent credit rating have a housing market advantage over subprime borrowers.

      1. Yeah? I keep waiting. Right now I’m within 15 years of retirement. Pretty soon I should just start planning for where I want to live after than instead.

  3. ‘I’m frustrated and scared,’ said Chris Colgan, a real-estate agent from Northern Virginia’

    Eat yer crowz taxpayer.

    ‘Eric Perez, who rents out five properties near downtown San Antonio, said bookings have plummeted since the outbreak began. Taxes and other bills are looming. ‘It’s quite a burden to carry five mortgages’

      1. The amount of “Rent Seeking” has exploded in the last decade, and I mean nearly everywhere – not just the RE sector.

        Consider how many things from software to food delivery services that want you to ‘subscribe’. A steady stream of subscription revenue (along with lock-in to prevent switching to competitors) is the current holy grail of business models.

        In the RE sector, this has permeated down to Joe six-pack and Jane “I want to see the manager”.

        A parasite depends on the health of its host for it’s own survival.

        1. The amount of “Rent Seeking” has exploded in the last decade, and I mean nearly everywhere – not just the RE sector.

          We learned during the previous bubble that doing real work is for suckers, until everything blows up and then having a real, steady job becomes the thing of envy.

        2. Consider how many things from software to food delivery services that want you to ‘subscribe’.

          For me, Amazon Prime is a great example of this.

          Not long ago, I was searching online for a couple of things I wanted to buy. In both cases, I found the exact same item cheaper in places other than Amazon. Have others noticed this?

          1. For many items amazon will default the product page to “recurring purchase” (aka subscription).

            One factor in this trend has been the ‘speed of change’. 50 years ago, many companies believed that there would be buyers for the products they made for decades to come. “oh, sure we’ll be revising or updating it every now and then” they might acknowledge, but for the most part there were some job and businesses for which it seamed reasonable to expect a long, steady future.

            Not today – the pace of innovation, (not to mention global competition) has gotten faster and faster. The speed of innovation, speed of information, and even the speed of manufacturing and delivery. All faster than they ever have been.

            Today, companies and products arise, grow, have their hayday, and then fail to keep up with to competition and changing times all in the matter of a few years.

            Vendor, supplier and Ecosystem lock-in to a recurring payment stream from users/consumers is the bright ray of hope to many of them, from the smallest to the biggest.

            example from 2 weeks ago: https://www.zdnet.com/article/microsoft-expected-to-announce-microsoft-365-consumer-subscription-plans-on-march-30/

          2. example from 2 weeks ago:

            Why anyone would “subscribe” to MS-Office when there are free opensource alternatives is beyond me.

          3. “Why anyone would “subscribe” to MS-Office…”

            Two kids in college programs that want Excel and Word files submitted. I buy “five installations” of Office 365 Pro for $120/yr for non-commercial use, and also get Azure cloud space too. FWIW, I bought one (1) commercial seat of WordPerfect for DOS back in the day for $495. The UPS truck dropped off an update box of 3.5″ floppies every few weeks. Going forward, the prophets say that AI will do my paperwork while I’m off having fun, and I’m going to sell my IBM clicky keyboards!

          4. Two kids in college programs that want Excel and Word files submitted.

            OpenOffice and LibreOffice support those formats.

          5. “OpenOffice and LibreOffice support those formats.”

            I know that. I have a couple of VM Linux distros.

            The kids each have the same fast Dell laptops with Windows 10 Pro, Office 365, etc., and they’ll end up working somewhere using similar software. They’re in the struggling phase of life while unsure of what lies ahead, and I’m just a provider for them, not proselytizing.

        1. I saw that. I had a heck of a time finding it on YouTube this morning because I was querying dancer rather than stripper.

          1. rms provided the YT link. The ZH article didn’t have anything substantively new. I’ll spare Ben having to approve the link again.

      1. Love that scene, not to mention the entire movie.

        I have plenty of first- and second- hand similar stories from the pre-2008 collapse period (not about strippers, but including many other amateur real estate speculators, including my wife’s hairdresser).

    1. i cannot respond with an intellectual response. Several decades agao, my early teen friends had a saying ‘no-shit ex-lax’. This seems to be the only type of response.

      —-
      “In San Antonio, there are 2,165 short-term rentals registered with the city.. Eric Perez, who rents out five properties near downtown San Antonio, said bookings have plummeted since the outbreak began. Taxes and other bills are looming. ‘It’s quite a burden to carry five mortgages,’ he said.”

    2. Using massive leverage to buy and HODL multiple lumpy, big-ticket, undiversified, illiquid real estate investments is awesome, as long as prices always go up.

  4. Damm thief’s, rapists and drug dealers..Build that wall NOW !!

    Farmworkers are often undocumented immigrants. Now, they’ve been deemed essential by a government that has sought to deport them — an irony that’s not lost on those picking the food feeding Americans as they shelter in place. [The New York Times]

    1. Faced with an oversupply, dairy farmers have to dump milk
      Apr 1, 2020

      ‘Dumping milk is not something Tom Leedle, co-owner of Black Cat Dairy farm in Lake Geneva, said his three-generation farm family has ever had to do for economic reasons. “We started putting it down the drain (Tuesday) night,” Leedle said. “You do the best you can to have a good product, and it’s a real hit in the gut that you can’t sell it.”

      ‘The difficult decision came after a call from the Dairy Farmers of America, requesting farmers who sell their milk to DFA consider voluntary dumping of product amid a changing market during the COVID-19 pandemic. Initially, there was an increase in demand at grocery stores in anticipation of shelter-in-place orders. However, that demand “is starting to level off,” Coady said. At the same time, demand for milk products decreased as a result of school and restaurant closures, which has resulted in an overall surplus of milk.’

      https://www.kenoshanews.com/news/local/faced-with-an-oversupply-dairy-farmers-have-to-dump-milk/article_e9eae75e-023f-5f39-8a76-8211c6be2a6d.html

      1. RFD.TV has a cool Young AG video showing how “farmers is still farming”. Cheerful!

        Maybe some talented HB.B ll blogger and find the Link.

        (Eye’s a road roamin’ this a.m. ..
        .)

      2. Can’t they at least make government cheese and freeze it? It would be good for a year at least. And yes, government cheese was a real thing. I remember eating it at my grandparents house. It was a sort of dry cheddar the came in five-pound bricks. I vaguely recall some fable about fat cows and skinny cows.

        What an effed up economy, when the gov will print a trillion dollars to hand out to hungry people, while at the same time dump the milk that could have gone to the same hungry people. 😕

        1. Seems like a good idea if the have cold storage available. Perhaps they are facing the same issue that the oil industry is facing?

    2. President Donald J. Trump still living in your head rent-free.

      Biometric registration for guest worker visas for agricultural workers is a policy I hear nobody supporting, despite the fact that the technology exists to implement it easily. If paired with a zero tolerance policy for crime committed by guest workers, there’s no reason it wouldn’t work.

      Convicted of DUI or a hit and run accident? Get deported tomorrow.

      And all remittances should be taxed at 50%.

      1. Yep, other countries have guest worker programs, no reason the US can’t. Except for politics.

      2. And all remittances should be taxed at 50%.

        Those remittances are all that’s keeping a lot of migrants’ family members in Mexico. If you tax them at 50% they’ll just find “informal” ways to send the money.

    3. Yeah, but they did’nt catch this one on accounts he looks like “one of ’em” but was born 30 feet North of thee border in Yuma, AZ

      Cesar Chavez March 31st 1927

  5. I live along the RR corridor into NY City with Luxury Apartments rising along the lines. I can only imagine what is going to happen, as when I walk now [with required 6 ft distances] I see empty shells with the sales banners flapping to the birds.

  6. Heard a CA ages say today that one of his lenders raised raised the down and rate on a 3-plex this week. Down went from 20% to 25% with a steep rate increase. He said some lenders aren’t even doing loans now without extreme FICO scores and downs.

    No amount of loan for forbearance will stop what’s coming. Once employed new owners are underwater from the first wave of foreclosures from ABNB hosts and service workers losing jobs, even those employed new owners will walk. I watched it happen in 2008. If you don’t have skin in the game you’ll walk.

    The best story I heard was a friend from high school. He was underwater by 50%. Bought the identical house across the street that was owned by the bank. Remodeled it while living in the house across the street that he began to default on. When he was all done he moved across the street and left the keys in his old house for the bank. He wasn’t underwater anymore.

    1. ‘When he was all done he moved across the street and left the keys in his old house for the bank’

      Yeah, I mentioned this the other day.

      This weekend I’m going to put together a CRE post. What’s happening in that space is unbelievable.

      1. I’m sad for the people that will get caught up in this. I’m not sad for the system. The system is corrupt. It needs an overhaul.

        CRE…I heard Cheesecake Factory is not paying rent on any of their locations.

        1. Here’s some more from the first link:

          ‘The MBA, the industry trade group, released its own white paper in 2019 calling the researchers’ warnings “overstated.” In December, the Financial Stability Oversight Council said nonbanks were a potential source of danger, a warning met with derision by some nonbank mortgage firms.’

          “When it comes to loan servicers, the FSOC and regulators have spent years fretting about supposed hazards that do not really exist,” Freedom’s Middleman wrote in a January post on the MBA website. He said FSOC’s contention that nonbank servicers were a systemic risk was “bizarre,” though he did write that the government could help nonbanks find more stable sources of liquidity.’

          ‘But while regulators seemed well aware of the potential issues, little was done to fix them. In 2017 and 2018, Ginnie required some of its largest lenders to present liquidity plans showing what lines of credit and capital they could draw on in a crisis. While some nonbanks appeared strong, others had credit lines that could be pulled by their lenders at any time for any reason, said Bright, making them poor funding sources during a downturn.’

          ‘Now, nonbank mortgage firms say that many of them will go under if they don’t get a new lending facility from the Treasury Department and Fed.’

          ‘Former Ginnie president Ted Tozer, who was appointed by President Barack Obama, said coronavirus shows that nonbanks need a lender of last resort in the same way that banks are able to draw on the Fed in times of peril. “We need to find a solution so we’re not going through this every time we have some sort of crisis,” Tozer said.’

          How about not loaning people money they can’t pay back? You guys spent years doing the drip, drip of making it easy to get in over ones head. All of you, regulators, non-banks, the run of the mill REIC.

          And of course Bloomberg absolves them all:

          ‘While the 2008 housing crash was caused by risky mortgages and fraud, the 2020 crisis isn’t the result of bad decisions by lenders. Mortgage Bankers Association Senior Vice President Pete Mills said it’s unfair to punish nonbanks for being unprepared for a calamity like the coronavirus because it couldn’t have been predicted.’

          “I don’t think there is a liquidity standard that could have dealt with this kind of ramp up” in expected delayed payments, said Mills, whose Washington-based group lobbies for the industry.’

          If lending was sound it wouldn’t have blown up on you. They’ve already said borrowers have months, so why are mortgage REITs down 75%? Because the were gambling with leverage, you dolt.

    2. My neighbor did that back in the early 1990’s during the Aerospace bust in CA. He Bought a house across town then walked on his Townhome, back then I had never heard of such a thing.

      1. I knew some people who left the state (CA) during that same downturn. Bought the new place out of state first, then let the old house go into foreclosure.

        1. Bought the new place out of state first, then let the old house go into foreclosure.

          If you already sold to the bank at the top in a no-recourse state it makes sense. Of course we’ve seen this all before.

      2. Remember those days well. Back then a hefty down payment was required to pull-off a second home purchase as the End of the Cold War spending was swift and thorough.

    3. No amount of loan for forbearance will stop what’s coming.

      Sam, the forbearance is the reason WHY this is happening. If you were reading this HBB for the last several years, you would see the discussion about 5% down, 3% down, and 0% down. FICO score lower than deadbeats bank account and DTI ratio over 50%. Yes, this was a BUBBLE. Now with even the talk of loan forgiveness, these “non-bank” and bank lenders are scared. That and the fact that they can’t package these toxic mortgages into Mortgage Backed Securities and offload it to the next speculators! Sounds familiar?

      Tell me if you think these are good loans
      https://www.bloomberg.com/news/features/2018-05-24/small-time-bankers-make-millions-peddling-mortgages-to-the-poor

      1. “This would-be homeowner has a 596 credit score, putting him in the subprime range. His car has been repossessed, something that would likely disqualify him at the Bank of America branch next door.

        “Usually a repo that’s like three years old, we’re not really going to sweat that,” he assures the caller. “We’re pretty lenient here.” He steers his prospect to several $400,000 homes with swimming pools. “Have your wife check that out,” he says, referring to a remodeled kitchen with granite countertops. “She’s going to love it.”

        Many of Christian’s customers have no savings, poor credit, or low income—sometimes all three. Some are like Joseph Taylor, a corrections officer who saw Christian’s roadside billboard touting zero-down mortgages. Taylor had recently filed for bankruptcy because of his $25,000 in credit card debt. But he just bought his first home for $120,000 with a zero-down loan from Christian’s company. Monthly debt payments now eat up half his take-home pay. “If he can help me, he can help anyone,” Taylor says. “My credit history was just horrible.””

        1. “Many of Christian’s customers have no savings, poor credit, or low income—sometimes all three.”

          Don’t these conditions compliment each other?

      2. This is my post on that:

        May 25, 2018

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

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

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

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

        I keep this handy because it’s a simple explanation of how we got here. A junior high school student could understand where this was going.

        1. My latest bookmark:

          March 26, 2020

          “As America heads into a deep recession, the $11 trillion residential-mortgage market is in crisis. Investors who buy home loans packaged into bonds are dumping even those with federal backing because of panic that millions might not make their payments. Yet one risky sector had started to show cracks long before the coronavirus pandemic sparked the worst financial meltdown in 12 years: the federal government’s largest affordable-housing program, whose lenient terms are geared toward marginal borrowers.”

          “As real estate prices soared in recent years, working-class adults everywhere have increasingly relied on mortgages backed by the Federal Housing Administration — and U.S. taxpayers. Since 2007, the FHA’s portfolio has tripled in value to more than $1.2 trillion, almost 11% of the market. While private lenders make these loans, they are packaged into Ginnie Mae bonds, common in mutual funds and pensions.”

          “Before Covid-19 started roiling China, a November FHA report found that 27% of borrowers last year spent more than half their incomes on debt, a level it describes as ‘unprecedented.’ The share of FHA loans souring in their first six months has doubled over the last three years to almost 1%.”

          “Not long ago, Alex Castillo drove his shiny black Infiniti SUV through an office park north of the San Antonio airport, along a busy seven-mile stretch of highway that loan officers call ‘Mortgage Row’ because of its abundance of small independent mortgage companies that dominate FHA lending. Castillo, who has the words ‘The Dream Starts Here’ stitched into his jacket, works for Pennsylvania-based American Residential Lending. Oddly, amid the pandemic, his business is booming. His customers locked in FHA mortgages after interest rates plunged this month — adding to federally backed mortgage debt.”

          “‘If the government tells me you’re good enough to get a loan, I have to trust and believe in the government,’ Castillo said. ‘Then we just hope and pray that the client doesn’t get foreclosed on.’”

          “In downtown San Antonio, scores of investors stood on a parched lawn beside the city’s historic granite-and-red-sandstone courthouse. It was the first Tuesday of February, the day of the foreclosure auction. Matt Badders, a San Antonio lawyer who represents lenders, auctioned off two houses. The failed mortgages remind him of the run-up to the financial crisis 12 years ago, when lending to customers with spotty credit nearly brought down the world’s financial system. ‘We’re almost back to 2007, when mortgage originators are waking people up on park benches, saying sign here,’ Badders said.”

          “At the auction, the crowd bid on 338 homes, a third with FHA mortgages, according to Roddy’s Foreclosure Listing Service. One house had dual master bedrooms, a game room and granite kitchen counters. It sold for $202,000 — $52,000 less than the homeowner borrowed only two years ago. The taxpayer-backed FHA insurance fund will take a loss.”

          “Dave Stevens, FHA commissioner under President Barack Obama and former chief executive officer of the Mortgage Bankers Association, said a recession will expose hidden risks in home lending. ‘This should be an alarm bell to policymakers,’ Stevens said. ‘Sometimes you get blinded by a good economy and suddenly look at it and see a bubble of defaults coming.’”

          “The federal government has decided it doesn’t want to pursue — and has asked a judge to dismiss — a lawsuit against Utah-based Academy Mortgage Corp. The judge refused. The suit claims the company’s staff would repeatedly feed information into an automated federal underwriting system, manipulating it until the computer gave the green light. ‘Decline is a curse word,’ Plaintiff Gwen Thrower, a former underwriter, quoted a manager as saying. ‘We don’t use it.’”

          http://housingbubble.blog/?p=3070

    4. Easy solution: get rid of the silly non-recourse, then leave it up to the banks to pursue recourse as they see fit. A new house bought before jingle mail sounds like a fine piece of collateral.

  7. “During the month that Denver and the rest of the country began to feel the impact of the new coronavirus outbreak, the median rent here inched up 0.2 percent over February and 0.9 percent over March of 2019, according to Apartment List.

    Zumper, another online real estate company, looks at its own listings in 100 cities across the country to come up with its monthly rental analyses. Zumper put the two-bedroom median for Denver in March at $1,920, up 1.1 percent over February and down 1.5 percent over the previous March.

    Both companies said it was too early to judge the full impact of COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus.”

    https://denverite.com/2020/04/01/denver-rents-were-more-or-less-flat-in-march/

    I recognized the picture of the building in this article immediately, because I worked on this construction site for almost a year. The picture was taken from either the southeast corner of the pool deck or from the roof of the amenities area just above the fitness center.

      1. So why don’t they pack up their stuff and leave? Their shops are closed, meaning zero revenue. And they already couldn’t afford before the lockdown. Move their stuff to a storage place or their apartment, and find a new place when they are allowed to reopen. They can work at King Soopers or Walmart until then. Instead they’re going to drain their savings on a shop they can’t open. Yeah, I know closing and moving out is a major chore and is demoralizing, and if they move far away they will have to build up a new customer base. But if they run out of savings and still can’t reopen, what then?

    1. “Construction is still considered an essential business that can keep running during the statewide limits on activity because of the coronavirus, but new guidance from the state suggests reducing crew sizes and possibly deferring nonurgent work to reduce risks.

      The updated guidance, released Wednesday by the Colorado Department Public Health and the Environment, said construction can continue because of the unique issues it faces with the supply chain of materials, financing, contract deadlines and public need. But companies must adhere to guidelines for keeping people apart to prevent the spread of the new coronavirus, even if that increases costs or the time it takes to finish the work, according to CDPHE.

      Reduce size of work crews to the minimum number of people possible to perform the task safely.

      Minimize interaction between work teams.

      Maintain a 6-foot distance between employees wherever possible.

      Focus on activities that are truly critical: Not all construction activities are of equal urgency.

      For small projects, especially residential projects such as home renovations, businesses and homeowners are strongly encouraged to provide construction contractors with flexibility to defer work until after the stay at home order is lifted.”

      https://www.denverpost.com/2020/04/03/coronavirus-colorado-updates-construction-guidance-essential-business-covid/

      The Denver Post website tries to make itself as unreadable as possible. To get this article to load, I typed a period after the “com” of the URL string and then physically unplugged my DSL cable once the text of the article had loaded (with ad-blocker notification that 28 ads were blocked).

      1. I just ignore the ads. Hey, at least the Post is now letting you look at their articles without a subscription.

        1. Not viewing ads is a matter of principle.

          Note that News Corp. owns the Wall Street Journal (subscription only), the UK Daily Mail (unreadable with ad-block), and the New York Post and MarketWatch dot com, the latter two both free and readable with ad-block.

          1. I bought a 3-month trial subscription to Bloomberg recently. Feels icky giving my hard-earned money to a globalist media flagship, but for times like these having unrestricted access to their articles is worth it.

        2. Many papers are putting coronavirus stories in front of its paywall as a public service. That paywall might go back up after this crisis subsides. As for ads, I can deal with those. Somebody’s got to pay the reporters and web designers. But clutter and pop-ups and moving targets, no thanks.

    2. More local news:

      “An unprecedented number of metro Denver home sellers pulled their listing off the market last month, while thousands went the other way, rushing to list their homes before a major economic downturn made a sale tougher to achieve.

      “How quickly our world has changed,” Jill Schafer, chair of the market trends committee at the Denver Metro Association of Realtors, said in comments accompanying the association’s monthly update.

      The median price of a single-family home sold in March in metro Denver was $487,950, up 4.2% from February and 8.4% from March 2019. The median price of a condo sold was $330,000, a 4.8% increase from February and a 10% gain from a year ago.”

      https://www.denverpost.com/2020/04/03/coronavirus-metro-denver-home-listings/

      1. while thousands went the other way, rushing to list their homes before a major economic downturn made a sale tougher to achieve

        Too late, I think.

  8. Money-grubbing globalists are shipping 3M N95 masks – the ones our genius Surgeon General told the sheeple not to buy – to overseas customers, while Trump bloviates but does nothing to put Americans ahead of globalist profiteers.

    https://www.foxnews.com/media/florida-emergency-official-3m-selling-masks-overseas

    “I can’t, other emergency management directors, CEOs of hospitals can’t get this life-saving PPE [Personal Protective Equipment] because a company decided to make a globalist decision and not put America first.”

        1. I bash oligarchs quite routinely, but respect billionaires like Mark Cuban, Bill Gates, and even the otherwise execrable Sheldon Adelson who have stepped up to find and deliver PPE to those who need it most, while the gub’mint flails ineffectually.

        1. 2 months too late, but better late than never I suppose. I bought my N-95 masks back in mid-January. I have no access to intelligence like the government does, yet I had the foresight to get them. They knew what was happening in China. They dropped the ball, plain and simple.

          1. I think I was 10 days behind you, but same here. Even my local grocery store had a huge display of boxes of masks, on an endcap for high visibility. I didn’t buy them there, but I got a few at home depot. To be honest, at the time I felt so strange buying them that I hid them in the cart underneath other stuff. I thought other customers would think of me as paranoid like a crazy prepper. Next time I’ll trust my instincts.

          2. I have one of the 3M N95 masks I bought a few years ago to wear during a home project. I only wore it a little bit so after it dried out (they do get damp!), I put it back in it’s package and kept it. I won’t wear it unless I get flu-like symptoms and have to go get medical care.

    1. while Trump bloviates but does nothing to put Americans ahead of globalist profiteers

      Didn’t France recently accuse the US of “stealing” masks intended for them?

      1. It’s blatantly illegal to interfere with legitimate commercial transactions, and sets a terrible precedent. The Trump administration should be focused on lessons learned and a massive bolstering of our national readiness and resiliency to combat future epidemics and mitigate the damage from this one. Boosting capacity of domestic PPE manufacturers and bringing back production lines from China is a big first step.

  9. Now, many of those companies say they are in desperate need of a bailout to stave off bankruptcy and a potential collapse of the U.S. housing market.

    These CEOs need to be locked up in the same pound-me-in-the-ass federal prison as our captured and complicit policymakers, regulators, and enforcers.

  10. ‘If you’re a homeowner, you’ve always been told that one of the easiest ways to access cash in a pinch is to tap the equity in your home,’ Nations Lending Chief Executive Officer Jeremy Sopko said.

    FBs aren’t homeowners, Jeremy. They’re debt donkeys who won’t hesitate to walk away from their underwater shacks and leave lenders holding the bag – again.

  11. “Bank of America significantly tightened its standards for loans to homeowners wanting to borrow against their equity. The minimal credit score it’ll accept from borrowers is now 720, up from 660. JPMorgan, meanwhile, may boost its minimum credit score for new Helocs to 720 as well, up from 680, and is also considering other changes…

    Too little, too late. When Douche Bank’s $43 trillion derivatives exposure blows up, it’s game over for the financial system and all these reckless and greedy banks.

  12. “Struggling homeowners are flooding their mortgage companies with requests for help. Many are having a hard time getting it.

    I wasn’t aware that lenders are philanthropic organizations.

  13. ‘It’s quite a burden to carry five mortgages,’ he said.”

    I guess bankruptcy will come as a relief, then, Speculator Boy.

  14. ‘We were doing great up until the end of February,’ Martinez said. ‘Then boom, boom, boom — everyone canceled. Business has completely dried up.’”

    That’s a cryin’ shame, considering the mortgage and carrying costs on your overpriced shack haven’t dropped by a single nickel.

  15. ’We’re still seeing a dozen listings a day in the downtown core, it’s ridiculous,’ he says. ‘Why would anyone do it? No buyers are out, period.’”

    And just like that, greed turned to panic.

  16. ‘I’m frustrated and scared,’ said Chris Colgan, a real-estate agent from Northern Virginia. He said he called his servicer some 15 times in the past month.”

    Ben, can the HBB FedEx this guy a teddy bear?

  17. “‘I’ve never seen it before,’ Ms. Wertz said, and sellers are acquiescing because otherwise the buyer is ‘going to walk away.’”

    The pawn shop scene in Pulp Fiction pretty much captures what sellers can look forward to.

    “Bring out the gimp.”

  18. ‘We really feel as though we’re being left in limbo. The government have kept money side in the rainy day fund. We’re appealing to government now to use that money for the purpose of giving. You need to act now,’ said Gill Hunt, President, Jersey Estate Agents Association.”

    Are you a Wall Street banker, Gill? No? Then you’re SOL.

  19. A lot of people have invested in Airbnb, but with nobody travelling and flights not coming in, these properties might now be turned into long-term rentals,’ he informed the Observer.”

    Lots of tragedies in this world, Andrew, but this ain’t one of them.

    1. Can’t blame ’em. Many policemen are calling in sick due to a lack of PPE, and some departments no longer respond to break-ins.

      1. some departments no longer respond to break-ins

        That’s one of the things I don’t like about CA. It seems like they are really quick to say “we don’t respond to that”. I guess I’m kind of a believer in the broken window theory that as soon as you do that you get a whole bunch more of the bad behavior than you expected.

        1. It’s gotten ridiculous here in Seattle. Store after store is closing downtown because of the homeless and other crooks shoplifting to their heart’s content knowing there will be zero response or consequence.

          I rather preferred the attitude I saw when I was living in West Texas decades ago (You can take a guess, a description of it would offend every bleeding blue heart for miles around here).

          1. crooks shoplifting to their heart’s content knowing there will be zero response or consequence

            I’m reminded of the scene in Seattle Is Dying where the mayor laughs at citizens who complain about this in a town hall meeting.

            What’s even worse is that these people will leave, and then once settled into their new city will vote for people just like the ones who are ruined Seattle.

    2. I have thousands of rounds of ammo, purchased at a gun show when prices were low and ammo was plentiful.

          1. Nice, that song doesn’t get much attention but they nailed that early 90s just-before-Nirvana-blew-up-the-world vibe. The tie in with Keanu and Point Break just adds to the vibe. Love that sound.

      1. I had a pretty decent stock of ammo built up, which now resides in the watery depths along with my AR-15 that went overboard in that tragic boating accident. I have a nagging feeling I might’ve lost some other things, too, but am waiting to see what a future Biden Administration might try to ban or confiscate.

    3. Yeah, let’s all gloat and jump for joy now that we’ll all get to live in a world where all of our disputes are solved with violence.

      1. we’ll all get to live in a world where all of our disputes are solved with violence

        You’ve been in one all along.

  20. I had a good chunk of cash in Capital One and a mortgage I have paid down aggressively from JPM. When I heard Capital One had exposure to shale on the hedge and might have problems I paid off the mortgage.

    The notion to pay it off did not come from a position of strength or confidence for me. I would have preferred to keep the cash safe until this blows up and hunt for discounted assets but I don’t really trust the banks, the Fed, Uncle Sugar or the dollar.

    Not a great position to be in but better than many others.

    Yes I’m aware that the property taxes are an ongoing form of extortion into perpetuity. Bring back that Allodial title! Today’s tax system is modern feudalism but with a hyper vigilant nanny/surveillance state backing it vs a monarch.

  21. And just like Ben has mentioned before……wait until just one homeowner in the neighborhood blinks and sells for 5-10% or so under the last comp. The Snowball starts to roll. All it takes is one.

        1. “All those $unday night$ in 2008,”

          Don’t remind$ me, old wound$: U$ Bank “clawed.back” $75,000 on my medical $ensor “bid.ne$$” account.

          Eye’s went to buy shipping boxes from a small local box.guy on Monday: “$orry, declined” …
          Hwy50: “What?”

          The “bid.ne$$ N$F ca$cade begin $oon afterward$ … Wow$er$!I

          (Eye.$urvived, then, thrived!, no worrie$.)

          Po$t.$cript:
          (GM / Dephi.Medical / deep.pocket$ / my very good attorney$!)

  22. Jim.may “boo.yah” says : “Repre$$ion!”

    Cole.”theeman” says: “Dece$$ion!”

    (You heard it on Mr. Ben Jones HB.B ll blog fir$t!)

    Place.yer.bet$

    1. An opinion poll is nice, but it will be more nice when they start reporting results. Read earlier this week 1000 patients in NY being treated with this, haven’t heard of any results yet.

        1. Washington Times is but one source (and a very specific one at that) and Sermo is but one provider (and one I have never heard of at that, although that might just be because I have never needed a health survey).

          Bias comes in many forms. Geography is only one.

          As for sample size, you actually only need about 30 in a properly designed study.

          1. https://www.sermo.com/about/

            “Sermo is a ‘virtual doctors’ lounge’ that facilitates medical collaboration and crowdsourcing. From sharing challenging patient cases to asking tough questions, physicians come to Sermo to get the answers and support they need in real time. Today, we have over 800,000 verified doctors spanning 150+ countries – and we’re growing every day!”

          2. 800,000 verified doctors

            Very impressive. Yet it was an opinion poll: Which do you think is best? Quinine or garlic? It is not about a test, nor a trial, nor anything factual about effectiveness. I wonder where placebo fell in the preference rankings.

          3. I wonder where placebo fell in the preference rankings.

            “Azithromycin, known by the brand name Zithromax or Z-Pak, was rated the second-most effective therapy at 32%, followed by ‘nothing,’ analgesics (including acetaminophen), anti-HIV drugs and cough medicine.”

          4. In the absence of published clinical studies while working on the front lines, this shared information has to be better than nothing.

          5. In the absence of published clinical studies while working on the front lines, this shared information has to be better than nothing.

            Seems like we’re still very much flying by the seat of our collective pants with regard to this bug.

          6. flying by the seat of our collective pants with regard to this bug

            Pretty much.

          7. ‘nothing,’

            Nothing is technically a negative control and not a placebo but since we’re flying by the seat of our collective pants . . .

    2. https://www.thegatewaypundit.com/2020/04/wow-dr-fauci-now-says-cant-really-rely-upon-models-wth/

      Fauci now saying the models they used to convince Trump to shutdown the country and sign a multi trillion dollar bail out bill don’t mean anything and you can’t rely on them. Welcome to insane world where you are told whether you can leave your house by bureaucrat leprechauns with galactic Napoleon complexes. CNN is carpet bombing the country with his latest pronouncement that he doesn’t understand why the whole country isn’t completely shut down. The guy is a lunatic. How many people will hospitals be saving when there are rolling blackouts and hospitals can’t repair or replace equipment because the economy has gone medieval? But these are government bureaucrats with no concept that legitimate income is required to pay bills. This is what we get by allowing these moonbats to control our lives.

      1. The model:

        https://covid19.healthdata.org/projections

        http://www.healthdata.org/about/director-statement
        “The announcement of the 10-year, $279-million investment in IHME by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation this year provides a moment in time to reflect and to look ahead.”

        The vaccine:

        https://www.modernatx.com/modernas-work-potential-vaccine-against-covid-19
        “On January 13, 2020, the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Moderna’s infectious disease research team finalized the sequence for mRNA-1273, the Company’s vaccine against the novel coronavirus. At that time, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of NIH, disclosed their intent to run a Phase 1 study using the mRNA-1273 vaccine in response to the coronavirus threat and Moderna mobilized toward clinical manufacture. Manufacture of this batch was funded by the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations (CEPI).”

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Coalition_for_Epidemic_Preparedness_Innovations
        “CEPI was conceived in 2015 and formally launched in 2017 at the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland. It was co-founded and co-funded with US$460 million from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, The Wellcome Trust, and a consortium of nations, being Norway, Japan, Germany; to which the European Union (2019) and Britain (2020) subsequently joined.”

        https://www.crunchbase.com/funding_round/moderna-therapeutics-grant–e09064ec#section-overview

  23. Surgeon General: Change in mask recommendation reflects new information regarding transmission from asymptomatic individuals.

    1. New information? The Chinese were saying this at New Years. And people in the CDC said “we see no evidence of that” and stuck their heads in the sand. In my area of government, we would have pulled that string VERY quickly, assumed the worst, and prepared for it.

    2. How will a mask that doesn’t filter out virus-sized particles confer any benefits aside from peace-of-mind to the ignorant?

      1. The point of distinction today: masks minimize spread from symptomatic and asymptomatic but infected individuals. They didn’t change their view on protection for healthy individuals even though it’s obvious health care professionals are at greater risk of exposure and benefit from some protection.

      2. doesn’t filter out virus-sized particles

        Consider that there may not be any virus sized particles flying around in the air alone in their naked form, rather that they are carried in a droplet of human excrement fluid. That this should be a serious question after a century of real scientists studying viral infections is rather amazing. How many do we employ?

  24. The latest change in local behavior around here is curbside pickup only. Phone ahead with a credit card number. Even the auto repair has closed its lobby. Drop your keys in the slot, but don’t come in.

      1. Yeah, and I’m related to the guy.

        The soothing daily musings of our Governor on the tube don’t seem to be calming people down.

        1. The machine shop for the “racers” still exists, leather belt powered machine tools & all!

          Watkins Glen International Raceway was the dream turned reality for law student Cameron Argetsinger in the late 1940s. On October 2, 1948, the first post-World War II road race in the United States, “The Day They Stopped the Trains” began in the village of Watkins Glen.

          My ex.Mil 1$t cousin … (She from Syracuse, women’s suffrage fame, see below:)

          Amelia Bloomer

          Born:1818
          Died:1894
          Amelia Bloomer was Women’s Rights and temperance advocate born in Homer, NY. She was the editor of the first newspaper for women, The Lily, from 1849-1853. The Lily began as a publication of the Seneca Falls Ladies Temperance Society, though Bloomer would eventually assume full responsibility for its editing and publication.

          Herstory.

          1. Sounds like a real battle-ax. Odd the article doesn’t mention her many cats or boxed wine.

  25. “What we believe is that this are going to be temporary,” said realtor John Harding. “if we can’t buy or sell right now we’re going see a surge after this passes.”

    https://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/local-news/mortgage-lenders-are-tightening-their-belts-amid-coronavirus-fears

    REALTOR, I have so much money after “throwing money away on rent” every month that I don’t know where to throw it.

    Food banks and suicide hotlines are there for you. And if you can get it together, get a real job and #LearnToCode.

    1. COVID-19 match
      Lit the quarantine tinder.
      Tinder lit forest.

      The Financial Times
      Global Economy
      Global economy set for sharpest reversal since Great Depression
      IMF head warns downturn is steeper than financial crisis as data reveal job losses
      A shuttered pub in Baltimore, Maryland. The US economy shed 710,000 jobs in early March.
      A shuttered pub in Baltimore, Maryland. The US economy shed 710,000 jobs in early March. © AFP via Getty Images
      Chris Giles in London
      7 hours ago

      The coronavirus pandemic and lockdowns imposed by governments on both sides of the Atlantic have pushed the global economy into the sharpest downturn since the Great Depression, data released on Friday signalled.

      The US economy shed 710,000 jobs in early March, ending 113 months of continuous job growth, in official figures that were far worse than economists had been expecting.

      The shock US employment numbers came shortly after business surveys across Europe showed the services sector to be in deep trouble with the largest drop in activity and prospects for more than 20 years.

      The head of the IMF has warned that the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic would be worse than the 2008 financial crisis.

      “This is a crisis like no other,” said Kristalina Georgieva, managing director of the IMF, speaking at a conference organised by the World Health Organization on Friday. “Never in the history of the IMF have we witnessed the world economy coming to a standstill,” she said. “It is way worse than the global financial crisis.”

      Worse data was about to come in April, economists said, with many now forecasting double digit percentage declines in output in the second quarter as vast swaths of the world’s two most advanced economic zones shut down.

      Indices of activity by purchasing managers in the eurozone, UK and Swedish purchasing managers’ indices all fell around 20 points, from levels indicating a majority of companies were seeing business activity improving to levels below those seen at the worst point of the 2008-09 financial crisis.

  26. Ben?
    I posted a comment that was awaiting moderation here with 2 links about expected mortgage defaults, and after a while it looks to be deleted.

    Any reason why? I thought it was on-topic? Not wanting to rock the boat here too much.

    1. I’m not posting zero guts links anymore. Those guys are clowns. Why don’t they even use their real names?

      1. Ah, ok! I wasn’t paying attention that it was a site we don’t want to bother with anymore.

        No harm, no foul I hope.

    1. That researcher’s firm has also been working on a universal flu vaccine, that works on all strains of the flu. If they can that off the flu could go the way of polio or smallpox.

  27. Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway sells part of Delta, Southwest airline stakes
    https://www.cnbc.com/2020/04/03/warren-buffetts-berkshire-hathaway-sells-part-of-delta-southwest-airline-stakes.html

    (snip)

    “According to regulatory filings, Berkshire sold nearly 13 million Delta shares for about $314 million and roughly 2.3 million Southwest shares for about $74 million.
    The sales were conducted on Wednesday and Thursday, the filings show.
    Berkshire previously owned about 11.1% of Delta stock and 10.4% of Southwest stock, according to Refinitiv data.
    No reasons for the sales were given.”

    Can anyone on this blog guess the reason for the sales?

    Here’s a clue …

    Delta Air Lines, pilots spar over cost savings as revenue dries up
    https://thepointsguy.com/news/delta-air-lines-pilots-cost-savings/

    (snip)

    “Airlines around the world are hurting as COVID-19 decimates demand for air travel. Global revenues are forecast to fall by more than two-thirds and losses total $39 billion during the quarter ending in June, according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA).

    “In the U.S., Delta is burning through roughly $60 million in cash daily as revenues have fallen by about 97% to $4 million a day. Daily revenues at United Airlines are down by $100 million.”

    1. $illy, he $old to gets under 10% SEC disclosure$ … now him & Charlie don’t have to $peaketh ’bouts their new positions for 45+ day$

      $tealth.$trategie$!

  28. These are rough times for musicians, and not just due to lost work and performing opportunities.

    1. Covid-19 is ravaging the music world
      Opinion by Gene Seymour
      Updated 9:44 PM ET, Fri April 3, 2020
      “Gene Seymour is a film critic who has written about music, movies and culture for The New York Times, Newsday, Entertainment Weekly and The Washington Post. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author. View more opinion at CNN.”

      (CNN) A dispiriting couple of weeks in the lives of music fans have now climaxed with the death of Bill Withers, whose lean, leathery-tough vocals on such pop classics as “Ain’t No Sunshine,” “Use Me,” “Just the Two of Us” and “Lean on Me” were deeply woven into the soundtracks of several generations’ lives.

      Withers died Monday at 81 of what his family has described as “heart complications.” His death has not been linked to the Covid-19 virus. But his loss, coming at about the same time that “Lean on Me” has resurfaced as a global anthem of collective will during the coronavirus pandemic, nonetheless feels like another in an already seemingly relentless series of recent body blows to the music world.

      Among the casualties: Adam Schlesinger, Fountains of Wayne founding member, lead vocalist and songwriter; Joe Diffie, Grammy-winning country-music singer; Alan Merrill, best known for writing Joan Jett’s 1980s anthem, “I Love Rock and Roll;” Manu Dibango, a Cameroon saxophonist whose riffs on the hit 1972 dance tune, “Soul Makossa,” helped spearhead worldwide interest in African pop; and Aurlus Mabelle, the Congolese song-and-dance man dubbed king of the eclectic blend of black pop genres known as “soukous.”

      Joe Diffie is gone, but Billy Bob will always love Charlene
      Joe Diffie is gone, but Billy Bob will always love Charlene
      Of all music genres, however, it is jazz that’s been struck especially hard and deep by Covid-19. Four musicians of varied ages have died in the last few weeks from the disease, the most recent of which are Ellis Marsalis and Bucky Pizzarelli, two master instrumentalists who found widespread fame relatively late in their storied careers and also passed their legacies on to their children.

      Marsalis, who was 85, was a fixture in his native New Orleans as a pianist doggedly advancing the cause of bop and other post-1940s jazz music in a city more inclined to embrace the pre-swing era of the 1920s. Over time, Marsalis’ commitment, chops and reputation as a music educator won him respect and affection from the musical cognoscenti of his hometown.

      Of Marsalis’ many prominent students, including Terrence Blanchard and Harry Connick Jr., the most celebrated were four of his six sons. The achievements of Branford, Wynton, Delfeayo and Jason Marsalis were considerable enough to transform the Marsalises into the unofficial royal family of jazz. Along with their dad, they also were staunch and at times acerbic defenders of jazz tradition which by the time Branford and Wynton became breakout stars in the early 1980s, also encompassed the kind of hard bop music their father continued to play into his 70s and 80s.

      1. The Financial Times
        Coronavirus
        Fifteen years after Katrina, New Orleans battles coronavirus storm
        City that lost more than 1,000 people in the hurricane has become a Covid-19 hotspot
        Bourbon Street in New Orleans on March 27. The city’s French Quarter usually teems with tourists but is now practically deserted
        © Chris Graythen/Getty
        Demetri Sevastopulo and Brendan Greeley in Washington yesterday

        When the sun rose over New Orleans on Thursday, residents of the “Big Easy” learned that Ellis Marsalis, a legendary jazz pianist and local hero, had joined the more than 6,000 Americans who have died from the coronavirus pandemic.

        His death stunned the city that gave birth to jazz. But it was also a reminder that 15 years after Hurricane Katrina ravaged New Orleans, the city is battling a potentially deadlier storm.

        New Orleans is now a hotspot for coronavirus in the US. The state of Louisiana has reported 9,000 Covid 19 cases, only 2,000 fewer than California which has eight times the population. New Orleans, a city on the Gulf of Mexico, and its surrounding parishes have 5,300 cases, and the metropolitan area’s death toll has topped 230, just lower than California’s.

        Cedric Richmond, a New Orleans congressman, said he could tell how bad things were without even looking at the statistics.

        “Just from the number of people that I personally know that are not making it every day, I think that over the next 14 days you will see that big spike,” said Mr Richmond, who is co-chair of Joe Biden’s presidential campaign.

        Just weeks ago, even as the virus had begun to take hold in the US, crowds of revellers thronged the streets of New Orleans to celebrate Mardi Gras. Now Bourbon Street, famous for its bars and jazz clubs and the heart of the city’s cultural identity, is boarded up.

        “Now the rats in the French quarter don’t have enough food, so they are coming out,” said Molly Lindsey, a local. “There is never a dull moment.”

        Ms Lindsey said some businesses had only just returned to New Orleans after leaving following Hurricane Katrina. The Dixie Brewery, established in the city in 1907, moved to another state, and only returned in January.

        Two weeks ago, Jay Forman, owner of Gracious Bakery, had three stores and 60 employees. Now he has one store and two staff: himself and his wife Megan. Katrina was “like a nuclear bomb” but this is worse, he said. “This is more like the city got hit by a neutron weapon and it eradicated everything alive.”

    2. Yeah, I was thinking about how the internet already made recordings something that you give away for free and you make your money on the live shows. Now what?

    3. Yeppers, but when it comes to music, & musician(-s) & “hard.time$” … history is made, even posthumou$ly!

      For example: … “sit on the dock bay” By Otis Redding

    1. Richard Bernstein: No, This Isn’t the Stock Market Bottom
      Last Updated: April 3, 2020 at 12:49 p.m. ET
      First Published: April 3, 2020 at 10:24 a.m. ET
      By John Kimelman

      IN THE MIDDLE OF LAST YEAR, Richard Bernstein and his investment team started pivoting to defense after concluding that the decade-old economic expansion was fraying around the edges. Though the $9.5 billion macroeconomic analysis and portfolio-construction shop failed to predict the sharp, deep market downturn triggered by the coronavirus pandemic, the cautious call is now paying off. “Our biggest portfolio is down about half of the decline of the S&P 500,” says Bernstein.

      Reached by phone at his New York City apartment, where he is hunkered down with his family, Bernstein tells Barron’s Advisor that we’re probably at the beginning of the bear market, not the end. He explains which piece of data is the key indicator of an economic recovery. And he argues that a V-shaped recovery is wishful thinking.

      Q: Barron’s: First off, how is your health and how are you handling this period of social distancing?

      A: Bernstein: I’m fine, other than a little bit of cabin fever, and my family is fine.

      Q: On February 19 – at the S&P’s peak and just days before the crash began – you were on television issuing warnings about flat corporate profit growth and below-average GDP growth. But you didn’t mention the word “coronavirus” even once. Would you like a do-over?

      A: I’m not going to tell you we saw the coronavirus’s impact on markets. But we had been reducing the risks in our portfolios for the past six to eight months because we were seeing a deterioration in economic fundamentals. No downturn starts with a weak economy; it starts with a strong economy that begins to fray around the edges.

      Q: You wrote recently that the coronavirus is a black swan event, which by definition is something that is highly unanticipated. Shouldn’t this have been anticipated earlier by U.S. markets, given that the problem had been building for weeks inside of China?

      A: That’s what happens when you get a very speculative stock market. At the peak, you get a new normal that things are wonderful. But at Bernstein Advisors, we saw that there was a deterioration of normal economic fundamentals and few seemed to care. I would argue that the coronavirus was just an accelerant on what was already burning embers.

      Q: Are you saying that the markets wouldn’t have fallen as hard if the economy hadn’t been vulnerable in the first place?

      A: Exactly.

      Q: Explain how you positioned your portfolios given your concerns last year about a deteriorating economy.

      A: The playbook says when fundamentals begin to deteriorate, you head towards defensive sectors such as consumer staples, health care, utilities and real estate investment trusts.

      We are not absolute-return investors and we don’t short stocks, so it’s going to be up to individual investors as to whether we did a good job or not. But on a relative-return basis, we did well. Our biggest portfolio is down about half of the decline of the S&P 500.

    2. Dow drops more than 300 points to close out another wild week on Wall Street
      Published Thu, Apr 2 2020 6:09 PM EDT
      Updated Fri, Apr 3 2020 4:29 PM EDT
      Fred Imbert
      Silvia Amaro
      Thomas Franck

      Stocks fell on Friday to end another volatile week of trading, pressured by a spike in coronavirus-related deaths in New York while investors digested a dismal U.S. jobs report.

      The Dow Jones Industrial Average slid 360.91 points, or 1.7%, to 21,052.53. The S&P 500 dropped 1.5% to 2,488.65. The Nasdaq Composite also pulled back 1.5% to close at 7,373.08.

      Wall Street posted its third weekly decline in four. The Dow lost 2.7% this week while the S&P 500 fell 2.1%. The Nasdaq ended the week down 1.7%.

      New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said deaths in the state rose by 562 in 24 hours to more than 2,900 for the biggest increase to date. Cuomo added the curve of confirmed cases “continues to go up,” noting there are now over 100,000 cases in New York state.

      “This still feels like something we’re heading into, not heading out of,” said Brian Nick, chief investment strategist at Nuveen. “We can see the light behind us, but not ahead of us.”

      “The upside scenario is disappearing very quickly and the base case is getting worse,” said Nick.

  29. Simon says… Shut down your restaurants!

    Simon says… Layoff all your workers!

    Simon says… Stay in your house!

    Simon says… Stay six feet apart!

    Simon says… Wear a mask!

    Pick up your unemployment checks and forgivable Small Business Payroll loans!

    Ahhhh you’re out.

    1. My wife says she refuses to wear a mask. So far, we have avoided this, but the public vibe suggests our unmasked days are numbered.

      1. The pretty ladies don’t like the look. They don’t want to be seen like that. I’ve heard it first hand.

        1. I wouldn’t mind being seen like that if I didn’t believe that it’s just for show, to demonstrate to your fellow Costco warriors that you are doing your part to fight the virus by covering your face with a germ-shedding old rag. Could whoever knows of a shard of evidence, beyond the personal opinion of some faceless risk-averse bureaucrat, to support this claim, please post it?

      2. The governor here has asked that we cover up when we leave the house to go anywhere, with whatever we can: a mask, a bandana, etc.

        I almost want to go to King Soopers tomorrow just to see how many people will cover up; but we don’t need anything.

      3. “My wife says she refuses to wear a mask.”

        Hehe…can always count on the split-tails for well-timed drama.

        1. I’ll be doing most of the shopping once mandatory face masks are required. My SBUX employee son has to start wearing one at work this weekend, I believe.

          1. “I’ll be doing most of the shopping once mandatory face masks are required.”

            I’ve been there for a couple of weeks now.

    2. Remember when Bill Maher supported crashing the economy if it resulted in Trump losing re-election?

      The HBB remembers.

    1. The Financial Times
      The eurozone’s ‘whatever it takes’ mantra has a problem
      Financial Times
      15 hours ago
      FRANKFURT AM MAIN, GERMANY – MARCH 12: Christine Lagarde, President of the European Central Bank, speaks to the media following a meeting of the ECB governing board at ECB headquarters on March 12, 2020 in Frankfurt, Germany. The ECB is pursuing measures to counter the economic impact of the rapidly spreading coronavirus. The number of confirmed cases across Europe has reached 25,000. (Photo by Thomas Lohnes/Getty Images)
      Christine Lagarde announces the ECB’s €750bn bond-buying programme © Thomas Lohnes/Getty
      Adam Tooze 15 hours ago
      The writer is the author of ‘Crashed: How a Decade of Financial Crises Changed the World

      “Whatever it takes” is the mantra of the moment. Hammered out to an audience of Eurosceptic hedge fund managers at the height of the 2012 eurozone crisis by Mario Draghi, then president of the European Central Bank, the words have come to stand for the technocratic determination to meet a crisis with all necessary force.

      It should be no surprise that the phrase is enjoying a renaissance in 2020. Faced with the Covid-19 pandemic, we need brave talk. The irony is that when Mr Draghi first uttered the assurance it was less a confident assertion than an act of defiance. The ECB did not have the licence to act. Nor did he have the approval of his own team in Frankfurt. Instead, he gambled that the intensifying pressure of the crisis would forge the eurozone into a truly integrated fiscal and financial unit. In such a system, the ECB could then graduate to being the sword and shield of the euro.

      Eight years on, the coronavirus crisis is exposing how ambiguous the outcome of his wager on Europe remains.

      “Outright monetary transactions” — the ECB policy most closely associated with Mr Draghi’s promise — is a power festooned with conditionality. It was crafted to soften the resistance of northern European conservatives, above all in Germany. To trigger the ECB’s power to buy sovereign debt under OMT, a country must first have been granted a rescue programme from the European Stability Mechanism. This would need a unanimous vote from all eurozone members, which gives Germany a veto.

      For the distressed borrower, the conditionality this implies would be humiliating. Mr Draghi never had to put OMT into effect and, even now, no one wants to invoke the mechanism to support the stressed states in the pandemic.

      It is precisely for that reason that nine heads of government, led by France, Italy, Spain and Portugal, have proposed mutualised “coronabonds”. This is a proposal that has been made repeatedly since 2010. It has long had the support of the ECB, which wants a sensible balance between fiscal and monetary policy. A common bond would be the foundation of a fiscal apparatus to match the scale of the currency union. Faced with a common crisis such as Covid-19, it is more warranted than ever.

      But the opposition of the northern states is adamant. As they have shown in recent weeks, they are determined to resist the idea even if it causes an open breach with their European partners.

      1. “It was crafted to soften the resistance of northern European conservatives, above all in Germany.”

        I’ve been reading-up on Deutsche Bank AG sordid history. Bailing them out would be like turning a killer loose with a handgun and a bottle of Viagra.

      2. Warning: The following observations are from the ground here in SW Germany with absolutely NO supporting data.

        Lots of folks going about their business and I’m shocked at the amount of blue hair crew (70+) that spends their day in the coffee shops that have been deemed essential businesses. No masks or any other type of protection in sight. People still groping everything and anything in the grocery stores and not wearing gloves. My neighbors constantly have friends over for Friday dinner and lots of the grandparents still have the kids dropped off by the 30 something parents who are still working. Germany may be doing lots of testing but many citizens are paying scant attention to orders coming from the government.

        Germany, out.

    2. The looming collapse of the Eurozone
      BY Tuomas Malinen / 2 April 2020

      Eine beschädigte Euro Münze eingehüllt in unwetterwolken. Die wolken sind dunkel und glühen im hintergrund rot. Die europäische Union in der Kriese

      The Eurozone is teetering in the edge of a collapse. The massive economic costs caused by the coronavirus outbreak and the draconian measures needed to contain it are pillaging the world economy. However, they will deliver their worst hit on the Eurozone.

      This is for the simple reason that the Eurozone has become extremely fragile. The monetary union and banking sector have been mishandled for years. This, not the Covid-19 outbreak, is the true reason, why we are on the edge of a collapse.

      But, how did we get here?

      The failed clean-up

      During the Great Financial Crisis (GFC), only a few European banks were allowed to fail, which were mostly concentrated to one country: Iceland. In total, 114 European banks received government support during the crisis.

      The banks were also allowed to carry non-performing loans and assets on their balance sheet. This meant that:

      1) Banks held defaulted loans on their balance sheets, instead of writing them off and recapitalising.

      2) Assets (like mortgage-backed CDOs) that had lost most or all of their value could be held on the balance sheet based on their “nominal value”, that is, their purchase price.

      In practice, the balance sheet of the European banking sector was divided into three layers. The first included the good assets, held “mark-to-market”, meaning that their value was based on actual daily market quotes. The second layer included assets that had lost value, but which the banks could pretend had not. The third layer, “the dark pit”, included assets that were nearly or totally worthless, but are nonetheless held on bank books as if they still had some value.

      Using traditional accounting, a large part of the European banking sector has probably been insolvent for the past 10 years.

      1. “The massive economic costs caused by the coronavirus outbreak and the draconian measures needed to contain it are pillaging the world economy.”

        Doesn’t GDP measure spending…any kind of spending? I recall reading something years ago that used an LA gang member getting shot, and then patched-up in the local ER. Inefficient spend, of course, but spending none the less. Our elected officials never complained much about the U.S. spending $6 Trillion in the middle-east rather than creating jobs repairing our infrastructure.

        1. “Doesn’t GDP measure spending…any kind of spending?”

          That would be expenditures (e.g. there’s an ongoing program to estimate U.S. Personal Consumption Expenditures).

          GDP measures Gross Domestic Product (“aggregate home-country production”).

        2. “the U.S. spending $6 Trillion in the middle-east rather than creating jobs repairing our infrastructure”

          We’$ long pa$t foriegn’$ $oil “Nation$.Building” … eye believe’$ Dickey “shoot.a.duck.or.a.lawyer” Cheney is writing his memoir$ in dog.patch Wyoming.

  30. Eurozone economy rocked by coronavirus shutdowns
    Economists say the worst is yet to come for the eurozone
    By Lizzy Burden, Economics reporter 3 April 2020 • 11:37am

    Business activity across the eurozone collapsed in March as governments shut vast swathes of their economies to contain the spread of the coronavirus.

    IHS Markit’s final composite eurozone Purchasing Managers’ Index (PMI) came in at a record low of 29.7 in March from February’s 51.6, lower than the flash reading of 31.4. Any reading below 50 signals contraction.

    It marks the index’s biggest monthly drop since the survey began in July 1998, a reflection of contractions in activity in all of the bloc’s largest four economies.

  31. Now that the collectivists have established a precedent for seizing “unused” private property and redistributing it to “those in need,” when will they start seizing vacant investor-owned shacks and doling them out to Democrat dependency voters? (A: Never, since the globalist oligarchs who own the vulture funds buying up distressed housing with free FedBux are also the bankrollers of the Democratic Party).

    https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/xgq9vq/new-york-is-going-to-start-seizing-unused-ventilators-and-giving-them-to-hospitals-that-need-them

    1. bankrollers of the Democratic Party

      To be fair, they’re bankrollers of the Republican Party too.

  32. Got a free month of SiriusXM satellite radio with my truck. Listening to Classic Vinyl and other stations like it makes me feel like I’m driving around listening to the radio in high school.

    Kinda cool thing is it’s not all about the great songs you remember but the songs that just played while you were driving around or sitting on the porch with your girlfriend with the radio playing in the background that I probably otherwise would have never heard again.

    Jefferson Starship – Runaway (1978)

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PDSsHdVwWA0

  33. Disturbingly fascinating case growth illustration…

    The Mercury News
    NewsHealth
    Watch: The stunning growth of coronavirus cases in California’s hardest-hit counties
    See the surge in cases over time in March as LA overtakes Santa Clara County
    By Harriet Blair Rowan | Bay Area News Group
    PUBLISHED: April 3, 2020 at 2:57 p.m. | UPDATED: April 3, 2020 at 6:23 p.m.

    This story is available to all readers in the interest of public safety. Please consider supporting our coverage of the coronavirus outbreak by subscribing to The Mercury News. Only 99¢ for a 3-month trial.
    Support local journalism

    When March started, Santa Clara County was the epicenter of the coronavirus crisis in California.

    But throughout the month, as the virus spread across the Golden State, and the tragic bottleneck of testing for the deadly COVID-19 virus eased, a new picture emerged: Southern California caught up to the Bay Area in a race nobody wants to win.

    The interactive animated graphic above illustrates that dramatic shift.

    By March 18, Los Angeles County – California’s most populous – had eclipsed Santa Clara County, with 192 confirmed case of the lethal virus. In just two weeks since, LA’s numbers have spiked to more than 4,000 cumulative cases, nearly four times as many as Santa Clara County.

    By Friday, California had more than 11,300 cases. To see how cases have grown over the course of March in California’s hardest-hit counties, click on the start button (white arrow inside the black circle) on the bottom of the graphic. You can stop it to see the numbers on any given date.

    Los Angeles reported 4,045 cases as of April 2 among the county’s 10.4 million residents.

    1. growth illustration

      They should have left it alphabetical so it looked like a horse race rather than constantly re-ordering it.

  34. After the Navy and academia, tourism is the number three industry in San Diego. How’s it doing with the COVID-19 situation?

    1. Tourism In San Diego Comes To A Halt Amid Coronavirus Pandemic
      Monday, March 30, 2020
      By Maureen Cavanaugh, Pat Finn
      Photo by Bennett Lacy
      Above: The parking lot at La Jolla shores is closed following orders from the city of San Diego in order to prevent spread of COVID-19, March 22, 2020.
      KPBS Midday Edition Segments podcast branding

      A very big employer in San Diego — besides the Navy, biotech and academia — is tourism. So what’s happening to attractions like Sea World? And what are tourism-dependent employers doing for their laid-off employees amid the coronavirus outbreak?

    2. Number of local cases passes 1,000
      Local
      by: City News Service, Merrilee Moore
      Posted: Apr 3, 2020 / 02:15 PM PDT / Updated: Apr 3, 2020 / 06:35 PM PDT

      SAN DIEGO (CNS) — The number of coronavirus cases in San Diego County increased by 146 Friday, the largest local increase since the epidemic began and enough to have the county cross the 1,000-case milestone.

      There have been 1,112 positive cases confirmed in the county, and an additional death reported Friday of a man in his late 70s, brings the total death count to 17.

  35. Live Updates
    Live updates: U.S. reports more than 30,000 coronavirus cases in record day; CDC recommends people wear cloth face coverings
    And yet we know that there is this whole sector of the economy
    The service and hospitality sectors of the economy are feeling the coronavirus outbreak hard, and it’s often Hispanic workers who are baring the brunt. (Adriana Usero, Luis Velarde/The Washington Post)
    By Timothy Bella,
    Anna Fifield and
    Steve Hendrix
    April 4, 2020 at 1:22 a.m. PDT
    Please Note
    The Washington Post is providing this story for free so that all readers have access to this important information about the coronavirus. For more free stories, sign up for our daily Coronavirus Updates newsletter.

    The United States reported on Friday more than 30,000 confirmed coronavirus cases in a day for the first time, bringing the American total to more than 273,000 and the death toll to over 7,000. More than 1 million confirmed cases have been reported around the world.

    1. 30,000/(273,000-30,000) = 12.3% daily growth in cases

      Doubling time in U.S. cases is 5.8 days.

        1. According to China, mere moments after peak growth, new cases/deaths drops off to zero almost instantly.

        2. I haven’t looked at the time series. I may get ambitious later and try to fit a logistic curve to the data.

          1. This guy

            I’ve followed him for over 1.5 years. Pretty sure he’s an aerospace engineer.

          2. “If cases only hit 415k, deaths would be 26.5k.”

            The world loves an optimist. But based on the current case count and doubling time at the current growth rate of under a week, and in light of the ongoing effort to increase U.S. testing, this outcome would require a Chinese data miracle to achieve.

          3. His first tweet in that long thread was on February 2. Good visualization of the data tying it to China’s narrative. Twitter shadowbanned him for a period of time.

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