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A Reminder That Credit Risk Is An Actual Thing In The Mortgage Market

Two reports from Housing Wire. “One thing that is clear, however, is that the mortgage lending landscape is vastly different in early April than it was in early March. Certain segments of the business – namely government, non-QM, and jumbo loans – have dried up substantially as lenders pull back from loans that are seen as riskier than GSE loans. And according to Federal Housing Finance Agency Director Mark Calabria, some of those changes may be sticking around for a while.”

“The first domino that seemed to fall was non-QM lending. Late last month, many of the biggest lenders specializing in lending to borrowers outside the Qualified Mortgage lending box began pausing their activities due to uncertainty in the market. Then, the Federal Housing Administration lending environment began to shift with many lenders raising their FHA requirements, thereby limiting the number of borrowers that were able to get an FHA mortgage.”

“More recently, many lenders have dialed back their jumbo lending as investor interest has dried up. Beyond that, a growing number of lenders are tightening lending standards as a record-breaking number of people are losing their jobs. The reason for all these changes is the same; there’s far too much uncertainty in the market and lenders are uneasy about lending to borrowers whose credit profile isn’t ‘perfect.'”

“Calabria said that the recent tightening in credit availability is a normal reaction to economic situations like this one. ‘Just like you saw a pullback after the last time,’ Calabria said. ‘Certainly, we saw credit standards tightening in 2009 and 2010. In fact, we saw credit standards tighten as early as 2006. So, there was a slow tightening over that time. I think you’ll see this as a reminder that credit risk is an actual thing in the mortgage market.'”

“The availability of mortgage credit in March crashed to the lowest level since June 2015, led by a pull-back in jumbo and non-QM lending, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. The trade group’s monthly Mortgage Credit Availability Index plummeted by 16.1% to 152.1 last month, MBA said on Thursday. The Conventional index, meaning loans not backed by the government, decreased 24.2%, while the Conforming index that includes loans bought by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac dipped by 2.7%, MBA said. The Jumbo index experienced a 36.9% freefall and the Government index that includes loans backed by the Federal Housing Administration and the Department of Veterans Affairs took a 6.6% downturn.”

“‘There was a reduction in the availability of loans with lower credit scores and higher LTV ratios, and the largest pullback came from the jumbo and non-QM space,’ said Joel Kan, MBA associate vice president of economic and industry forecasting.”

“Lenders are pulling back as the economic shutdown aimed at stemming the spread of COVID-19 spiked concern that borrowers wouldn’t be able to pay their bills, Kan said. ‘This month’s release highlights the large retreat from jumbo and non-QM investors due to a sharp drop in liquidity,’ Kan said. ‘Lenders are making credit criteria changes to account for the increased likelihood of forbearance and defaults, as well as higher costs.'”

From Market Watch. “The federal government’s rush to support homeowners in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic should help many Americans avoid foreclosure, but it could have negative consequences for the mortgage industry.”

‘What most consumers don’t understand is even when they stop making their mortgage payments, servicers are required by contract to continue to make those payments on their behalf to whoever owns the mortgage note,’ said Rick Sharga, a mortgage industry veteran. ‘The government has basically put in place a program that allows borrowers not to pay but it’s done nothing to backstop the servicers who are going to need that cash to make the payments themselves.'”

“The forbearance situation is even more concerning for nonbank mortgage firms. In the wake of the Great Recession, non-bank mortgage lenders such as Quicken Loans, Freedom Mortgage and Mr. Cooper COOP, have grown significantly. Non-bank lenders accounted for nearly two-thirds of all new mortgages as of May 2019, according to data from the Urban Institute, a left-of-center policy research group. Back in 2013, comparatively, they made fewer than 40% of all loans.”

“These companies play a particularly big role when it comes to loans backed by the FHA, Department of Veterans Affairs and Department of Agriculture. Non-bank lenders make up 86% of this market. These loans are more likely to go to first-time home buyers and black and Latino households, as compared with loans backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.”

“While non-bank firms are subject to many of the same regulations as banks, they don’t need to undergo the same amount of stress testing or keep the same amount of capital on hand. And the fact that these companies don’t have deposits to draw on to continue making payments to investors means they’re in a particular bind as a result of the uptick in forbearance. ‘There’s just no way anybody could have enough capital set aside to handle the kind of payments that servicers could have to make,’ Sharga said.”

“Within a matter of weeks, the U.S. could see servicers ‘run out of cash and basically become insolvent,’ said Karan Kaul, a research associate at the Urban Institute. If a servicer were to go out of business, borrowers’ loans would be transferred to another company. But the process of transferring loans is time consuming and can be messy.”

“While some mortgage servicers are standalone firms, in most cases the companies that service mortgages also originate home loans. As a result, if these companies are put out of business because of the coronavirus crisis, Americans could have fewer options of where to get a mortgage in the future. ‘And that impacts the eventual recovery as well, even after the virus has been contained,’ Kaul said.”

“Moreover, the effects of the situation in the servicing sector won’t be experienced equally by all home buyers. Because the non-bank servicers at risk of going out of business are more likely to serve people in the market for FHA and other government-insured loans, first-time home buyers and people of color are more likely to face trouble getting loans as a result.”

From CNBC. “Loan servicers are being slammed by requests from homeowners to delay their monthly mortgage payments as the coronavirus forces millions of people out of work. Yet one of the industry’s top regulators vehemently denies that those servicers need any help. Top industry leaders are fighting back in an escalating war of words that could have a wide-ranging impact on the nation’s housing market.”

“Last week, Mark Calabria, director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, said in an interview on CNBC that a liquidity facility for servicers might be necessary after a few months – but not now. Calabria estimated there could possibly be 2 million borrowers missing payments by the end of May. But forbearance requests have already topped 2 million, according to a report released Tuesday by the Mortgage Bankers Association. Servicers say they desperately need help to make those payments.”

“Calabria is now saying servicers won’t need help for at least a year. He told The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday that he has seen no evidence to suggest that there’s a systemic crisis for nonbank servicers. He called the industry’s concern ‘spin.’ The Mortgage Bankers Association immediately took issue with Calabria’s comments.”

“‘The FHFA director’s recent statements send a troubling message to borrowers, lenders, and the mortgage market,’ Bob Broeksmit, president and CEO of the group, said in a statement late Tuesday night. ‘Since Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will eventually reimburse mortgage servicers for the payments they must advance during forbearance, Director Calabria should advocate for the creation of a liquidity facility at the Fed to ensure the stability of the housing finance market.'”

“Calabria also told HousingWire that Fannie and Freddie may have to move mortgage servicing to bigger companies if smaller servicers don’t have the cash to handle all the forbearances. Industry observers were concerned by his comments.”

“‘We see this interview as counterproductive to efforts to stabilize the economy and housing finance,’ wrote Jaret Seiberg, financial services and housing policy analyst at Cowen Washington Research Group. ‘It is only going to increase concerns about the stability of servicers and reduce the willingness of lenders to originate mortgages, including refinancings. We do not see how that is in the public’s best interest.'”

The Globe and Mail in Canada. “Fewer Canadians are taking out mortgages and refinancing their debt, as home sales decline, interest rates on loans rise and lenders start tightening standards amid the economic fallout from the pandemic. ‘Demand for mortgages, particularly for purchases, have declined quite precipitously in the last several weeks,’ said Stephen Smith, chief executive of mortgage lender First National Financial Corp.”

“Home sales in Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal and Calgary dropped in the past two weeks of March and are expected to slow further as unemployment soars amid government restrictions aimed at curbing COVID-19. ‘The market swung so fast the other way,’ said Calum Ross, principal broker with the Mortgage Management Group. ‘There was a surge in demand when rates dipped. Now, the combination of people realizing that the refinancings are not as profitable and the falloff in purchase market, there is a meaningful fall in mortgage applications.'”

“At the same time, lenders are tightening their underwriting standards, according to mortgage brokers. Earlier in March, some lenders said they would proceed with mortgages even for those temporarily laid off, but now they are less forgiving. ‘Now it is more, if you are temporarily laid off, we won’t be proceeding with credit,’ said Trevor Yerema, president of Advanced Mortgage, which operates in Western Canada. ‘We have seen one instance where a client was approved on the Friday. Everything was good to go, but then [the lender] did a secondary follow-up call on Monday to find out that they were laid off Monday morning and they pulled the approval.'”

“Lenders are also becoming more rigorous in their reviews of self-employed borrowers. The most common type of mortgage – a five-year fixed agreement – is now more expensive than it was at the beginning of the year, according to brokers. That rate is hovering around 2.89 per cent compared with 2.29 per cent just a few weeks ago. Only homeowners who held a variable mortgage rate before the first interest rate cut have been able to reap the full benefit of the Bank of Canada’s March rate cut.”

“‘Demand for refinancings have dropped 50 per cent of what it was two weeks ago,’ Mr. Yerema said.”

The Orange County Register in California. “Like many folks in the Southern California housing industry, the prime selling season looked promising to Emile Haddad. As February turned to March, the CEO of Five Point Holdings saw sales contracts at the Great Park Neighborhoods in Irvine running double the usual pace. One week, 24 homes sold. The next, 25. Then, in mid-March, the coronavirus’ economic wallop hit.”

“Sales fell to nine in a week. And since then, basically, none. The project had 553 home sales last year.”

“It’s not just Irvine. It’s just not new homes. Across Southern California, new sales contracts for existing homes plunged 35% in four weeks to a six-year low, according to ReportsOnHousing. ‘It’s a testing time for all of us,’ Haddad says.”

“‘Nobody is going to get out of this with 100 cents on the dollar,’ Haddad says. ‘Anybody who thinks so, at the expense of somebody else, is not acting in the spirit I think we need.'”

“Investors in Five Point, which also has development projects in Valencia and San Francisco, have taken a hit. Shares have been swept along Wall Street’s steeply descending rollercoaster, going from $9 in February to under $4 two weeks ago and almost back to $6. That’s roughly a $200 million decline in market capitalization over six weeks as investors try to gain visibility into future profits.”

This Post Has 185 Comments
    1. As a rich renter (redundant, I know) with no debt, my federal income taxes will be spent to bail out all these degenerate gamblers. This country is a joke.

      1. Considering the US guberment hasn’t paid for WW 2 or one other penny borrowed since, I think it’s unlikely you or I will pay anything.

    2. Best way to defuse a food fight: Spread the rotten food across the entire currency base, and let future generations enjoy eating it.

  1. Let’s start unraveling the BS:

    ‘While non-bank firms are subject to many of the same regulations as banks, they don’t need to undergo the same amount of stress testing or keep the same amount of capital on hand. And the fact that these companies don’t have deposits to draw on to continue making payments to investors means they’re in a particular bind as a result of the uptick in forbearance. ‘There’s just no way anybody could have enough capital set aside to handle the kind of payments that servicers could have to make’

    Remember the non-bank guy who told a regulator if he was subjected to tougher stress tests he would just hand over the keys to the business? These guys were walking dead before the Chinese Communist Party virus.

    ‘There’s just no way anybody could have enough capital set aside to handle the kind of payments that servicers could have to make’

    Rick, are you saying those ficus trees, rented desks and coffee machines won’t cover the many billions in crappy loans you made?

    BTW, banks have money set aside. Non-banks don’t, that why they were allowed to “step up” – Mel Watt strikes again! This was all subprime junk for many years.

    1. “servicers are required by contract to continue to make those payments”

      To recap what we’ve learned here this year, the servicing rights – which non-banks classified as an asset (called a mortgage servicing right/MSR) and used as collateral to borrow more money from banks – turn out to be a massive liability instead of a perpetual money machine. Weird.

      As Ben noted months ago, in many of the recent pre-virus foreclosures the foreclosing party was the servicer. I think that means the servicers have been bleeding borrowed cash for months, even a year or two. Das wrote his Marketwatch editorial anticipating/begging for non-bank bailouts in April 2019. In it he said 40% of non-banks didn’t turn a profit in 2018.

      “Within a matter of weeks, the U.S. could see servicers ‘run out of cash and basically become insolvent.’”

      Servicers would’t have been foreclosing on loans in 2019 if they weren’t running out of cash already.

      1. That’s right. FHA warned last year over 40% of the non-bank lenders were losing money. And 43,000 shacks lined up for pre-foreclosure auction at auction.com alone in the third quarter of 2019. From what I’ve seen since, there are even more, though almost everything is getting postponed right now.

        1. “43,000 shacks pre-foreclosure”

          Amazing. That’s 43,000 payments non-banks had to advance, before corona.

          “Everything is getting postponed”

          So… now the servicers have to advance payment on millions more defaults, AND they can’t start new foreclosures, AND they can’t proceed with the foreclosures already in progress. Oh, and originations have basically stopped, their credit lines are being pulled, and they have zero cash.

          1. I think the postponements are because of the CCP virus. Auction.com just set it up so one can bid online, here in AZ anyway.

        2. And 43,000 shacks lined up for pre-foreclosure auction at auction.com alone in the third quarter of 2019. From what I’ve seen since, there are even more, though almost everything is getting postponed right now.

          More “kick the can.” There’s no free market capitalism anymore.

      2. “Das wrote his Marketwatch editorial anticipating/begging for non-bank bailouts in April 2019. In it he said 40% of non-banks didn’t turn a profit in 2018.”

        It seems like the coronavirus and the dawn of Unlimited Quarantinive Easing came in the nick of time to justify bailing these guys out!

    2. Americans could have fewer options of where to get a mortgage in the future

      How difficult is it to change the sign over the front door of these fly-by-night outfits?

  2. This is critical:

    ‘While some mortgage servicers are standalone firms, in most cases the companies that service mortgages also originate home loans’

    Let’s remember who these guys are:

    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.”

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

    They were making huge commissions with supposedly zero risk. Ouch!

    1. Fast forward almost 2 years:

      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

  3. ‘Moreover, the effects of the situation in the servicing sector won’t be experienced equally by all home buyers. Because the non-bank servicers at risk of going out of business are more likely to serve people in the market for FHA and other government-insured loans, first-time home buyers and people of color are more likely to face trouble getting loans as a result’

    Break out the tiny violins. First time buyers (think of the childrens), people of color! Now that the big guns. How about cripples and little old ladies market watch? And won’t these people of color soon be saying, “they had no business loaning me that amount of money! Racists!”

    Diane is spinning hard too:

    ‘Calabria also told HousingWire that Fannie and Freddie may have to move mortgage servicing to bigger companies if smaller servicers don’t have the cash to handle all the forbearances. Industry observers were concerned by his comments’

    ‘We see this interview as counterproductive to efforts to stabilize the economy and housing finance,’ wrote Jaret Seiberg, financial services and housing policy analyst at Cowen Washington Research Group. ‘It is only going to increase concerns about the stability of servicers and reduce the willingness of lenders to originate mortgages, including refinancings. We do not see how that is in the public’s best interest’

    Jaret is one of those swamp creatures. Probably hasn’t worked a day in his life outside of pumping sleaze in DC. This is the real state industrial complex right out in the open.

    1. This CNBC article with Calabria comments is just a gem.

      “‘Since Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will eventually reimburse mortgage servicers for the payments they must advance”

      The gov’t should lend money to servicers while the servicers wait to be reimbursed for… the money the gov’t owes them. Right.

    2. “Fannie and Freddie may have to move mortgage servicing to bigger companies if smaller servicers don’t have the cash… Industry observers were concerned by his comments.”

      I’ll bet they were. I have a picture of dominoes toppling. Bye-bye small non-banks. So sorry. You had a good run. Take note big servicers: this is your future. And investors currently being advanced cash by the soon-to-be-out-of-business servicers: enjoy it while it lasts, because those gov’t guarantees will not be honored.

    3. Questions going forward:

      -At some point the gov’t will run out of banks able/willing to take over advance payment type servicing in a time of mass default. What happens then? Will the gov’t try to force the banks to perform servicing?

      -The Fed owns billions/trillions of these mortgages. What’s their role here? Are they receiving advance payments from the nonbank servicers (money courtesy of the real bank) right now? Eventually it’s just gov’t guarantees on Fed-owned paper. Will everything cancel out?

      1. “The Fed owns billions / trillions of these mortgages. What’s their role here?”

        Here’s a hunch, based on trillion$ and counting in Unlimited Quarantinive Easing commitments so far:

        Buy moar of these mortgages and bury them forever on the Fed’s balance sheet.

        1. Note that the figures in the article posted below, from last Sunday, do not reflect the announcement two days ago of another $2.3 trillion in QE to buy junk bonds.

          My recent “wild guess” of a post-coronavirus balance sheet size on the range of $10-$12 trillion suddenly seems like an underestimate, given the Unlimited number of potential additions to the size and scope of QE4.

          The Financial Times
          Coronavirus business update 30 days complimentary
          Charts that Matter Federal Reserve
          How big could the Fed’s balance sheet get?
          The US central bank bought more than $1m of assets per second over past two weeks
          Colby Smith April 5 2020
          Federal Reserve’s balance sheet could reach $9tn
          US takes a cue from Japan; Central banks’ balance sheets as % of GDP

          The Federal Reserve’s balance sheet is expected to balloon this year after its dramatic interventions to shield capital markets and the world’s biggest economy from the effects of the coronavirus outbreak.

          As Covid-19 brought the global economy to a screeching halt last month, and sent stocks into a bear market, the US central bank announced confidence-restoring measures to relieve strain in the trading of US Treasuries, agency mortgage-backed securities and commercial paper, as well as municipal and corporate bonds.

          Last week the Fed added yet another new facility, which will allow central banks and other international monetary authorities to temporarily swap their Treasuries for highly prized dollars amid a global shortage.

          Analysts at Bank of America say these actions, taken together, could result in the Fed’s balance sheet topping $9tn by the end of the year, or more than 40 per cent of US gross domestic product. Its assets expanded by about $1.14tn between 18 March and 31 March — a pace of just over $1m per second.

          BofA’s estimate could be conservative. Krishna Guha, vice-chairman at Evercore ISI, expects the balance sheet to hit the $9tn milestone by mid-year. Should the economic shutdown become “prolonged”, and the Fed is forced to increase its emergency purchases, Mr Guha said he could see the balance sheet soaring to as much as $12tn by June, and rising from there.

          That is equivalent to about 60 per cent of the US’s national output — and would push the Fed higher up the table of central-bank intervention. According to BofA, the assets on the European Central Bank’s balance sheet equate to about 40 per cent of GDP. For the Bank of Japan, it already tops 100 per cent.

          1. The US central bank bought more than $1m of assets per second over past two weeks

            Economies of bale. The FED moves the goal posts after the kick is in the air, to assure the “right team wins.”

          2. bale noun (1)
            \ ˈbāl \
            Definition of bale
            1 : great evil
            2 : woe, sorrow … bring us bale and bitter sorrowings …— Edmund Spenser

            “…a pace of just over $1m per second…”

            Is that alot?

    1. We should blame some country!!! Except if the start is in the US, of course.

      We should call the Spanish Flu Virus in 1918, “The Kansas US Virus”. So far it had killed millions more than the Covid-19 virus. The final results are still pending for Covid 19.

      Maybe with liberal courts, the world can sue Kansas out of existence for losing their fathers and grandparents. Nobody would miss Kansas.

      It is stupid to blame a virus on a country.

      1. China could of contained the virus. The Spanish Flu was called the Spanish Flu because they were the only ones reporting on it.

        The rest of the Countries weren’t reporting on it because they were still engaged in WWl, so they didn’t want to report on troops getting it.

        They think it started in Kansas and the troops spread it.

        We didn’t have a WHO at that time with Country agreement to report outbreaks.

      2. It is stupid to blame a virus on a country.

        The Chinese were the first to find and name the virus. They called it the Wuhan Flu. Out of respect, we should stick with that.

        1. It is stupid to blame a virus on a country (China).

          Questions.

          Was the CONVID-19 accidentally (recklessly) released into the Wuhan province by Chinese scientists and then covered up for months by the CCP?

          Was the virus originally created in a Chinese bio lab, located in Wuhan, by Chinese bio-scientists to possibly be used as a Chinese bioweapon against China’s “enemies” at some future time.

          According to this documentary, and the scientists interviewed in it, the virus didn’t originate at a open-air seafood market:
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gdd7dtDaYmM&feature=emb_logo

          1. Great documentary. I posted a number of the English-language scientific publications here on HBB but the Chinese-language documents shown in this documentary are particularly insightful and unlikely to be shown anywhere in our MSM.

        2. Whose the only nation to drop a nuclear.bombs on citizen.peoples?

          What sort of “respect” should be assigned to that action?

          1. “What sort of “respect” should be assigned to that action?”

            I’m sure the Chinese thought it was awesome.

  4. Ok, I give up. Big Government with big bailouts. Doctors trumping Trump.

    Also ,the 20 million job dump were more likely to be Trump voters. Now they are thrown into waiting for a government check and food bank lines.

    People in panic mode in prison in their homes watching the daily death count.

    This would make a good movie, but this is really happening.

        1. I’d guess most people don’t file for unemployment the moment they are out of work. Although my two kids who just lost their incomes didn’t waste any time…I suppose they were among the first or second wave to be counted.

          1. I’d guess most people don’t file for unemployment the moment they are out of work.

            I disagree. I’d bet most DO.

          2. Maybe.

            Anyway we can probably agree that the unemployment numbers we’ve seen so far are merely the beginning. Unfortunately, collapsing employment begets collapsing product demand, which begets collapsing labor demand.

  5. ‘There was a reduction in the availability of loans with lower credit scores and higher LTV ratios, and the largest pullback came from the jumbo and non-QM space’…Lenders are pulling back as the economic shutdown aimed at stemming the spread of COVID-19 spiked concern that borrowers wouldn’t be able to pay their bills…‘This month’s release highlights the large retreat from jumbo and non-QM investors due to a sharp drop in liquidity’

    I’ve said many times, if you want lower prices (everybody wanted that, right?) get rid of the guberment loan gravy. Well, it’s gone!

  6. ‘Sales fell to nine in a week. And since then, basically, none’

    ‘Nobody is going to get out of this with 100 cents on the dollar’

    Especially the people who invested with you Emile! Where oh where are those all-cash Chinese buyers? They disappeared faster than you can say feng shui.

  7. Combining 2 articles.

    So do people hold on – or do they decide to take what they can get when the country opens up to further protect themselves.

    Or do they anticipate that the govt will bail them out in some formats
    —-
    “Investors in target-date mutual funds that are close to retirement pulled a net $9.4 billion in March as the coronavirus drawdown accelerated during the month. Investors further from retirement stayed the course.”
    “The net outflows from 2020 target-date funds equaled roughly 4% of assets. That’s a much faster rate than the redemption of 2015 target-date funds in the first quarter of 2015.”

    “Several factors that characterized the last decade will now work against housing. The lowest interest rates in U.S. history spurred a boom in luxury housing. At the start of the last decade, about a fifth of the homes in the U.S. were priced at $300,000 or higher. Ten years on, that’s true for more than half of all homes. The National Association of Realtors says the inventory of existing homes for sale has dropped to about three months of supply from more than seven months. Supply has shrunk as millions of Baby Boomers unexpectedly delayed downsizing. One of the reasons for this was the longest bull market in stocks in history, which afforded would-be sellers the wherewithal to continue carrying higher maintenance and larger homes than otherwise possible.

    The recent reversal in the stock market has the potential to expedite the long anticipated “Silver Tsunami.” A June 2019 Fannie Mae report tallied the number of homes owned by boomers and the generation that preceded at about 46 million, more than a third of the 140-million-home housing stock. Zillow Group Inc. predicts “upwards of 20 million homes hitting the market through the mid-2030s (which) will provide a substantial and sustained boost to supply, comparable to the fluctuations that new home construction experienced in the 2000s boom-bust cycle.”

    But now, the number of homes Zillow projected to hit the market in a disciplined fashion over the next 15 years will become an exodus as retirees’ need to monetize the equity in their homes to supplement their disposable income skyrockets. One can only imagine how swiftly home prices will decline once boomers feel safe enough to open their homes to outsiders as part of the normal sales process. The University of Michigan’s preliminary consumer sentiment index for April that was released Thursday showed that plans to buy a home tumbled the most since 1979.”

    The capping of deductions at $10,000 has already led to a 10% to 25% discount on home prices in high tax states relative to their lower-tax counterparts. Anticipated increases in property taxes to offset collapsing state and municipal budgets will amplify the damage inflict on those on fixed incomes.


    https://www.morningstar.com/articles/977523/article?fbclid=IwAR0Eef_PGHP0te0cXh4RxojP8P9H9I-hKSAUVClw4S6oN8HOjDY5fOmK2Gk

    https://www.bloomberg.com/amp/opinion/articles/2020-04-10/coronavirus-fallout-u-s-housing-prices-will-tumble?fbclid=IwAR0JbgHZ5Yy4ndfsCHm4UW75Mk_iGu-l2C2COHeSJ16Nx0kUY2iBeGmI7as

      1. “Real estate should never of been pumped up again.”

        Real estate should’ve never been pumped-up in the first place. This was Greenspan’s idea to replace the failed dotcom bust.

        1. rms, I think the 2008 bust was due to faulty and fraudulent lending when they ran out of greater fools in the Ponzi scheme. They were marketing F paper as if it was AAA loans.

          The lenders didn’t even record the loans in accordance with the law and they were leveraging one loan 40 times. The loans should of been rendered null and void, but these crooks got the bail out they wanted.

          1. the 2008 bust was due to faulty and fraudulent lending

            There was the part about house prices being too high.

          2. “There was the part about house prices being too high.”

            Housing prices that are too high is a natural consequence of rampant faulty and fraudulent lending. Apparently this channel was one of the key drivers of The Housing Bubble.

          3. drivers of The Housing Bubble

            Events may facilitate a mania, but they aren’t exactly the cause.

        2. There was the part about house prices being too high.

          Exactly. It was the high prices that were the problem. Remember, MOST of the defaults were prime, not subprime.

          1. Ok, faulty and fraudulent lending created a false demand that drove up prices. Speculators can also drive up prices .

            You have to have a arm’s length transaction that’s based on current value, not future value. The appraisals were coming in at whatever the purchase contract said.

            They were getting shill buyers to cash the crooks out also . Speculators should of put more money down , but the chant that real estate always goes up was suppose to hide all fraudulent lending.

            The lenders also made these trench loans where loans were broken up into risk trenches for loan investors which was a security instrument rather than a regular loan . Many of those loan investors sued.
            No doubt many a buyer of a house was willing to lie on the loan apt, encouraged by the loan officer or realtor.
            Cherry pickers were getting 800 k loans they didn’t qualify for . False and fraudulent demand creating false demand and false market comps.

            False market based on fraud and faulty lendiing that created a false mania.

          2. lendiing that created a false mania.

            Lending can enable a mania, it can’t create one.

            The gasoline did not create the automobile.

    1. “The University of Michigan’s preliminary consumer sentiment index for April that was released Thursday showed that plans to buy a home tumbled the most since 1979”

      No “pent-up demand” for $500,000 starter homes happening here.

      1. In 1979 Mr Market was staring down the gun barrel of Sheriff Paul Volcker’s campaign to stamp out inflation, which resulted in a downward spiral almost as bad as the one that started in March 2020. So 1979 is a pretty extreme comparison year.

      2. BlueSkye,
        What about the stock market rise that crashed in 1929 that they blamed on lending on margin.
        Without the easy money they were giving anybody to purchase stocks you wouldn’t of got the mania rise in stock prices in the 20s.
        ….

        1. Wizard,

          Mania is not a logical response to incentives or opportunities, it is an illogical response. Would you pay $1 million for a roll of toilet paper because someone would lend you the money? If you are mentally ill, you might. TP will be $10 million in the future. Mania.

          1. BlueSkye,
            The faulty lending caused the prices to go up. Than people jumped in because the prices were going up so fast. It’s fake demand based on a unqualified buyer.

            I mean what comes first the chicken or the egg?

            I mean at some point it becomes a mania when the artificial rise in price makes people think they can make money fast and easy. The motive to buy could be fear in thinking you will be priced out forever.

            I guess you could get a mania or high demand because of very little supply of something.

            But, because a loan is used in real estate , it’s a qualified sale.

          2. it becomes a mania

            Mania is organic. It’s a problem with your ability to think rationally.

          3. “It’s a problem with your ability to think rationally.”

            Enabled, aided, and abetted by the catalyst of faulty and fraudulent lending, allowing subprime borrowers to obtain loans to buy houses priced at multiples of income which prudent underwriting standards would not allow.

    1. Ok, BlueSkye, don’t know if you will see this comment.

      I see your point about how a mania becomes irational at some point. It’s just that without lenders engaged in prudent lending , they allowed a unqualified buyer to become a gambler who relied on real estate going up . Loans are not suppose to be based on the asset going up, but rather the ability to qualify on present value of the asset.

      The idea that buying a home is a right, and never mind if you can afford it , is flawed lending also. The buyer is just getting set up for a big fall.

      1. a mania becomes irational at some point

        A mania is irrational from the beginning. It is a disease.

        All the other things going on at the same time are symptoms or enablers, not the underlying cause of the disease.

        The reason I push this concept is that it presents a classic model for what will happen down the road, namely Crash & Burn, not a return directly to Normal. If you are not prepared for that you could make a mistake.

      2. “…a mania becomes irational at some point.”

        tl;dr BS is right: People who experience mania have a disease.

        According to psychologists only the top 1/3 of the population will achieve, “formal operations.” These people are not drawn to a gambling casino, and they see nothing good, e.g., wasted energy, no net production and society preying on a vulnerable population, the bottom 1/3, who can’t resist the flashing lights, the food buffets, the leggy waitresses, etc., and who think they can beat the odds. These same gamblers are driving the housing bubble(s) everywhere. The middle 1/3 realize that they are rowing upstream, but they don’t see the futility because they’re not exhausted yet. Eventually they will tire and understand, like the top 1/3, that winning means not playing.

        Realize that these housing bubble(s) are now too large for a policy edict; a crash is the only way out. Once housing is played-out it will be something else. In the old days it was someone rolling through town in a covered wagon selling an elixir that would cure any ailment. Usually society can rely on regulations for protection, but eventually society has enough new players who see these regulations as an impediment, and the viscous cycle resumes!

        Hope that helps, HW. Whew!

  8. “If a $ervicer were to go out of busine$$, borrower$’ loan$ would be tran$ferred to another company. But the proce$$ of tran$ferring loan$ is time con$uming and can be me$$y.”

    Eye thought cock.a.roach’$ thrive when thing$ are me$$y?

    Deeth.👾.knob.handle.germ$ might be’$ related … munch, munch, munch …

  9. “These loans are more likely to go to first-time home buyers and black and Latino households, as compared with loans backed by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.”

    Are these loans deliberately targeted at certain racial or ethnic groups?

    And if so, wouldn’t that constitute illegal discrimination in lending?

    1. There’$ a word prosecutor’$ use to de$cribe such behavior$:

      “Grooming” … a$ in “you$ been groomed.”

    2. FDIC Law, Regulations, Related Acts

      Discrimination in lending on the basis of race or other prohibited factors is destructive, morally repugnant, and against the law. It prevents those who are discriminated against from enjoying the benefits of access to credit. The Agencies will not tolerate lending discrimination in any form. Further, fair lending is not inconsistent with safe and sound operations. Lenders must continue to ensure that their lending practices are consistent with safe and sound operating policies.

    3. Who is to blame if black and Hispanic Americans end up with a disproportionately large share of subprime mortgage loans?

      Next Economy
      Why Blacks and Hispanics Have Such Expensive Mortgages
      High-cost lenders are targeting these communities, preventing them from building wealth to pass on to their children.
      Gillian B. White
      February 25, 2016
      Steve Dipaola / Reuters

      Despite the housing bust and its lasting implications, owning a home nevertheless remains one of the most common ways for American families to build wealth—white families, predominantly. The homeownership rates of black and Hispanic Americans lag dramatically behind that of white Americans. These minority groups are much less likely to purchase a home, and if they do, they are less likely to have homes that appreciate in value. They’re also more likely to lose their homes through foreclosure. These gaps help explain, in part, the staggering disparity in wealth between whites and people of color.

      The reasons for this are not solely practices of the recent past, such as redlining. Today, home loans are consistently more expensive for black and Hispanic buyers than they are for white buyers. Why? Because banks and other lenders direct these groups toward high-risk, high-priced products. The result is, in part, that blacks and Hispanics are less likely to own homes in general, and additionally that when they do obtain home loans, those loans are often a more expensive and risky proposition—think of the subprime loans that tanked the housing market—which can increase the chance of financial ruin and default.

    1. Ain’t no po’ folk but I ain’t paying to read that.

      “When homeowners reset the clock with a new mortgage, they can add years to the life of their loan”

      REALTOR, when I reset the clock with every lease renewal, I shorten years from my working life and add years to my retirement.

      Debt is slavery.

      1. “…but I ain’t paying to read that.”

        Good investigative journalism is a necessary component for a democracy to survive. Without it we’d become subjects.

    2. “Boomers are more comfortable with using debt as a strategic financial tool”. There’s no fool like an old fool.

  10. Is there at least some chance that the Fed will come in with Unlimited Quarantinive Easing to support the nonbank mortgage lenders? Or does Unlimited not really mean unlimited?

    1. U.S. Mortgage Industry Braces for More Strain as Support Talks Stall
      April 10, 2020
      U.S. News & World Report
      By Matt Scuffham

      NEW YORK (Reuters) – The U.S. residential mortgage finance market faces severe stress after the industry failed this week to convince regulators to launch an emergency liquidity facility needed to bridge billions of dollars of missed home loan repayments, industry sources and analysts have warned.

      The Federal Reserve on Thursday announced fresh measures to support businesses hurt by the novel coronavirus disruption but failed to launch a funding facility for mortgage servicers despite intense industry lobbying in recent days.

      “The housing finance industry is about to collapse,” Odeon Capital analyst Dick Bove warned in a note on Wednesday, saying that a law passed by Congress last month allowing homeowners to delay repayments for up to a year could be a “death knell” for mortgage servicers.

      The Fed declined to comment for this story, but Chair Jay Powell on Thursday said that the central bank was carefully watching mortgage servicers” and “will have our eyes on that as a key market.” The U.S. Treasury Department, which would have to approve any liquidity facility, declined to comment.

  11. And now for some good news:

    “The New York Times has gauged the pandemic’s effects on newspapers, magazines and digital media companies through interviews with executives, newsroom employees and union leaders across the country. All told, an estimated 28,000 employees of news media companies in the United States have been laid off, furloughed or had their pay reduced since the arrival of the coronavirus.”

    https://www.msn.com/en-ph/finance/companies/news-media-outlets-have-been-ravaged-by-the-pandemic/ar-BB12stQx

    Remember when Twitter started banning users for trolling laid-off journalists with the hashtag #LearnToCode?

    The HBB remembers. Consider getting a real job, loosers.

  12. “Mark Calabria, director of the Federal Hou$ing Finance Agency, which over$ee$ Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac”

    Doe$ this fella have a bo$$? Iffin’ $o, who i$ it? & who’$ hi$ bo$$? & doe$ that per$on have a bo$$? & if so who might that be? Let’$ take it to the way$ up to thee top dog, you know, where the proverbial “Buck$.$top$.here!”

    The per$on who $ays: “$orry no Federal.Re$erve./.U$ taxpayer$ $6+Trillion$ + “UNLIMITED”.monie$ for YOU!” … $ad.

    1. Isn’t FHFA Director one of those few “Buck$.$top$.here!” positions in the U.S. federal government hierarchy?

      This isn’t to suggest that the Fed couldn’t come in with Unlimited Quarantinive Easing funds to shore up the “We’re-not-subprime” nonbank mortgage lenders if they were deemed systemically risky or part of an essential infrastructure sector of the U.S. economy.

    1. Real Journalists want me and my whole family dead for voting for Trump in 2016. I would reciprocate the sentiment, but I want them to stay alive, and suffer, for decades.

      Their incomes, assets, and any prospects for the future are going down faster than Hillary at the 9/11/2016 memorial event 🙁

      1. https://www.waynedupree.com/cnn-stage-4-tds-coronavirus/

        This is pure gold. CNN got trolled by a Trump supporter during their virtual town hall on Coronavirus.

        Here’s what happened.

        Viewers were asked to submit questions for the “experts” to answer during a live segment with Anderson Cooper.

        A Trump supporter named James Foxx submitted a question on “TDS” also known as “Trump Derangement Syndrome.”

        He wrote: Is Stage-4 TDS considered an underlying morbidity

        Ha ha ha!

  13. Kentuckians, you might$ be$t to take a uber/Lyft tomorrow.

    Kentucky will take down license plates of people attending Easter services and order them to quarantine

    Kentucky is urging residents to avoid Easter services this weekend due to the coronavirus pandemic, warning that anyone who attends in person will be ordered to quarantine for 14 days.

    By Faith Karimi and Rebekah Riess, CNN / Sat April 11, 2020

    Officials are aware of about six churches planning to hold in-person services, Gov. Andy Beshear said in a statement. The state police will record attendees’ license plates and notify them it is a misdemeanor violation of orders issued by state health officials, the governor said.
    “Local health officials then will contact the people associated with those vehicles and require them to self-quarantine for 14 days.

    1. The sheeple are being conditioned to mindlessly comply with any official order, no matter how arbitrary or senseless.

  14. ‘The government has basically put in place a program that allows borrowers not to pay but it’s done nothing to backstop the servicers who are going to need that cash to make the payments themselves.’”

    The Mortgage Bankers Association better start writing bigger checks to the DNC.

  15. “Loan servicers are being slammed by requests from homeowners to delay their monthly mortgage payments as the coronavirus forces millions of people out of work. Yet one of the industry’s top regulators vehemently denies that those servicers need any help.

    Comrade Pelosi can install a more pliant regulator, but it’s going to cost you, mortgage servicers. So ante up.

  16. Servicers say they desperately need help to make those payments.”

    Guess that was a predictable consequence of giving loans to deadbeats and poor credit risks. So suck it, servicers.

  17. Within a matter of weeks, the U.S. could see servicers ‘run out of cash and basically become insolvent,’ said Karan Kaul, a research associate at the Urban Institute.

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

    1. ‘The oceanfront East Hampton property came on the market last summer asking $60 million. The deal is the largest to have closed in the Hamptons so far this year, said appraiser Jonathan Miller.’

      ‘The Hamptons market has been in a slump. The fourth quarter of 2019 posted the second-lowest number of Hamptons fourth quarter sales in eleven years, according to a report by Mr. Miller.’

  18. Across Southern California, new sales contracts for existing homes plunged 35% in four weeks to a six-year low, according to ReportsOnHousing. ‘

    Is that a lot?

    1. Is that all? A 35% drop?

      I’m amazed anyone is making an offer these days. But 65% of recent bubble highs?

      We live in bizarro world.

    1. MN Sen. Dr. says reported coronavirus deaths may be off

      By Cali Hubbard | Posted: Wed 6:15 PM, Apr 08, 2020 |

      (Valley News Live) — Minnesota Senator and Doctor Scott Jensen say he received a seven-page document from the Minnesota Department of Health on how doctors should go about filling out a cause of death certificate.

      The letter from the Minnesota department of health gives advice to physicians, physician assistants and others who certify deaths.
      The doctor says the letter takes you to a CDC website that has recommendations on how to include COVID-19 as a diagnosis for someone who was never tested for COVID-19.

      https://www.valleynewslive.com/content/news/MN-Sen-Dr–569489461.html

      1. I posted about the new CDC guidelines 4 or so days ago. It says COVID goes on the bottom line regardless if there are other things going on. Found it by accident.

    2. And then there’s this news like this:

      Doctors And Nurses Say More People Are Dying Of COVID-19 In The US Than We Know

      “The numbers are grossly underreported. I know for a fact that we’ve had three deaths in one county where only one is listed on the website,” one California ER doctor told BuzzFeed News.”

      The bottom line is this whole thing has become yet another partisan sh!tbag.

      1. BuzzFeed News

        Who published the unverified and salacious Steele dossier. Not a credible source.

      2. Doctors And Nurses Say More People Are Dying Of COVID-19 In The US Than We Know And far more people are recovering uneventfully from COVID-19 in the US than we know. Maybe in years to come we will learn a bit more about that.

      3. “The bottom line is this whole thing has become yet another partisan sh!tbag.”

        “takes you to a CDC website that has recommendations on how to include COVID-19 as a diagnosis for someone who was never tested for COVID-19.”

        1. Speaking of…

          Remember when you were citing the CDC for all your Swine Flu rhetoric? So the CDC is either reliable or FOS, depending upon the spin you’re looking for, huh Jeff? You partisans crack me up!

          1. You show me a memo from the CDC telling doctors to inflate Swine Flu deaths and I will disregard them too. But that’s right, the CDC numbers on Swine Flu proved to be low by tens of thousands,

          2. Jeff, your mind is already made up. I have no desire to try to convince you of anything. I don’t post the articles I do because they’re something I steadfastly believe in or to change your mind, it’s only to show that there are two sides to every story. The truth can usually be found in the middle.

            Insofar as COVID-19 is concerned, it is something which is still unfolding. Down the road, when it has passed, the CDC will use their models for a final accounting just as they did for the Swine Flu. In the meantime, arguing over whether the numbers are high or low is a fool’s errand.

          3. “I don’t post the articles I do because they’re something I steadfastly believe in or to change your mind”

            For a while it didn’t seem that way.

            HeadlessBankers
            March 13, 2020 at 5:22 pm

            Meanwhile, some really wonky things going on with that Johns Hopkins coronavirus tracker. They reversed yesterdays infected numbers out, as well as deaths in Florida and Georgia. Then they just updated it today to show a massive increase in confirmed infections, and added more deaths in WA and CA but did not re-add the Florida and Georgia deaths.

            HeadlessBankers
            March 13, 2020 at 5:55 pm
            Anybody see this?

            Ohio likely has 100,000 coronavirus cases, top health official says

            https://www.foxnews.com/health/ohio-likely-has-100000-coronavirus-cases-top-health-official-says

          4. For a while it didn’t seem that way.

            Wow, Jeff, going back a month to look at my old posts? That’s called “living in your head, rent free.”

            But like I said, I’m not interested in trying to change your mind about anything. Your mind is made up and you will only believe data and stories which support your foregone conclusion. You’re a partisan and a cherry-picker, and I pointed that out months ago.

  19. Mathematical observation: a curve that goes from straight horizontal to straight up vertical is not exponential. One reason for this is that the derivative doesn’t exist at point where the slope goes from zero to Infinity and Beyond. By contrast, exponential curves are smooth (i.e. continuously differentiable).

    Visual Capitalist
    Central Banks
    The Fed’s Balance Sheet: The Other Exponential Curve
    Published 20 hours ago
    on April 10, 2020
    By Marcus Lu

    As the threat of COVID-19 keeps millions of Americans locked down at home, businesses and financial markets are suffering.

    For example, a survey of small-business owners found that 51% did not believe they could survive the pandemic for longer than three months. At the same time, the S&P 500 posted its worst first-quarter on record.

    In response to this havoc, the U.S. Federal Reserve (the Fed) is taking unprecedented steps to try and stabilize the economy. This includes a return to quantitative easing (QE), a controversial policy which involves adding more money into the banking system. To help us understand the implications of these actions, today’s chart illustrates the swelling balance sheet of the Fed.

    How Does Quantitative Easing Work?

    Expansionary monetary policies are used by central banks to foster economic growth by increasing the money supply and lowering interest rates. These mechanisms will, in theory, stimulate business investment as well as consumer spending.

    However, in the current low interest-rate environment, the effectiveness of such policies is diminished. When short-term rates are already so close to zero, reducing them further will have little impact. To overcome this dilemma in 2008, central banks began experimenting with the unconventional monetary policy of QE to inject new money into the system by purchasing massive quantities of longer-term assets such as Treasury bonds.

    These purchases are intended to increase the money supply while decreasing the supply of the longer-term assets. In theory, this should put upward pressure on these assets’ prices (due to less supply) and decrease their yield (interest rates have an inverse relationship with bond prices).

  20. “Public safety” bureaucracies are rife with highly paid incompetents, often elevated to senior positions through Affirmative Action policies, many of whom are also corrupt. This helps explain the inept FedGov, state, and local response to the coronavirus. It should also motivate the prudent to not count on government riding to the rescue in the event of a life-threatening natural or man-made disaster.

    https://www.nola.com/news/coronavirus/article_2db55c6a-76b7-11ea-a565-73e44818f7c5.html

    The public safety director at New Orleans’ Ernest N. Morial Convention Center — where officials are erecting a makeshift hospital for patients infected with COVID-19 — stole 80 masks recommended for healthcare workers battling the deadly disease and was arrested Friday, according to court records.

    Vernon Giscombe, 58, who has held his position since 2013, faces one count of malfeasance in office, Louisiana State Police wrote in the records.

    1. I’m guessing this dude had an ample, recession proof salary, and he lost it to steal 80 masks.

    1. “Filers who did not receive a refund electronically in the last tax year will soon be able to expedite their payment by submitting their bank information to the IRS via the “Get My Payment” app, which the federal government is launching next week.”

      Refund? What refund?

      Refunds are for people who can’t math enough to adjust their withholding so you end up owing a minimal amount of state and federal. I was on the IRS website earlier today and they don’t have the link up yet to submit bank information for those of us who owe every year and file paper returns by mail with a check.

      1. I amazed when I hear of people getting thousands in refunds, year after year. You’d think the dude who does their taxes at H&R block could tell them how many exemptions to claim on their W-4.

        Of course, some who get refunds don’t have anything withheld, and are just cashing in on refundable tax credits.

    2. I’d venture to guess that most taxpayers aren’t even aware the option to adjust their withholding to eliminate their zero interest rate loans to Uncle Sam (aka “refunds”).

      Nor are they aware that they are loaning out a portion of their paychecks at zero percent interest.

          1. IIRC; I could be wrong. I’ve been responsible for a minimum of 4 returns per year for the last 3 years and have used the same accountant for 25+ years.

  21. CUOMO: EVERY CORONAVIRUS PROJECTION HAS ‘BEEN 100% WRONG AT THIS POINT’

    New York Governor acknowledges deeply flawed projections by health experts

    Tom Pappert | National File – APRIL 11, 2020

    In a polite 9-minute interview on Giuliani’s program, Cuomo discussed the challenges currently faced by New York, and noted that every model provided by scientists has been completely wrong, and seemingly as a result, virtually useless.

    “All of the projections, by the way, all those statisticians have been 100 percent wrong at this point,” said Cuomo. “And we’ve been following the models because that was the only blueprint, but they haven’t turned out to be correct.

    https://www.infowars.com/cuomo-every-coronavirus-projection-has-been-100-wrong-at-this-point/

    1. Is less people dying than projected bad news?

      I have some actual bad news. The dog is getting older and having joint problems and is now retired from climbing mountains. He can still hike in the foothills, but will not be repeating or beating his personal altitude record of 12,400 feet.

      1. “retired from climbing mountains.”

        Ohhh I always wondered how he got up there.

        My dog’s 9 and can still run 2-3 miles daily with me, but I’m
        sure the days are numbered. : (

          1. “…Border Collie…”

            No out-pedaling these farm dogs, so I keep some “mini treats” in my handlebar bag.

          2. Quite the stamina for a 9yo dog! I love Vizslas (canine redheads) but from what I’ve read and people I’ve spoken to who have them Vizslas require that much exercise. I can see a Border Collie needing a lot of exercise too given that it’s a working/herding breed. My mom got an Old Time Scotch Collie to train as a service dog for my son but life had other plans.

      2. I’m sorry to hear our friend is moving on to that part of his life. I hope you both enjoy your reaming time together in the foothills.

    2. From Kenneth Arrow’s WaPo obituary:

      Dr. Arrow was known as a skillful storyteller with a quick wit. While serving in the Army Air Forces, he was tasked with producing long-range weather forecasts. He and his colleagues soon realized that the prevailing techniques were no more accurate than random guessing.

      His team brought this to the attention of his supervisors, and Dr. Arrow published his first scholarly paper on how optimal flight formulas could be improved. His efforts were rebuffed by his boss.

      “The commanding general is well aware that the forecasts are no good,” he was told. “However, he needs them for planning purposes.”

  22. Sitting in the parking lot at Costco, trying to muster the desire to enter. I take it as a favorable sign that I was able to park within 50 feet of the front entrance.

    To mask or not to mask, that is the question.

      1. Went out to buy some booze and other stuff today. I’d say that it was 50/50 regarding masks at the liquor store. Also stopped by Sam’s Club and Safeway. Maybe 30% were wearing a mask there.

        1. Most of the stores in our village have a table blocking the entrance. You can conduct your business there. The wine shop is call ahead, pay on the phone and they’ll bring it out to your car.

        2. I did snap up a few bottles of vino at Costco today that I would normally not purchase, due to being able to obtain wines of comparable quality for $3 to $6 less per bottle across the street at Trader Joe’s. However, there was a line of maybe 100 people on the sidewalk in front of Trader Joe’s snaking around the corner that led me to doubt the value of the price discount under present circumstances.

      2. I side with those who are more worried about mass hysteria than the virus. Based on what I have read, makeshift masks are not effective to protect against inhaling the virus. So wearing a mask in public low-risk spaces, such as Costco, merely serves to heighten the rampant collective panic and reduce the societal courage that is needed to get back to normal life.

          1. My wife found an old scarf for me to wear. I took a selfie with it on to humor my friends, but I would be too embarrassed to wear it in public.

          2. One of the Costco line enforcers was wearing a death smile mask like the rightmost one in the photos you linked.

            No thanks…

          3. One of the Costco line enforcers

            I still have yet to see any lines anywhere in my little burg.

          4. “Coffee filters not doing the job?!

            LOL!

            Im going to try that just for the attention 😉 I had a conv with a non mask wearing worker at the local hardware store while he was getting a window cut for me (warning: dont lock kids in backyard to play, they may break your window to get back in) he said the blue shop towels are said to work close to an n95 mask if put behind a cloth face mask and they had these on the shelfs boxed individually @ $10’each

          5. if put behind a cloth face mask

            That’s what people are doing with coffee filters.

        1. “So wearing a mask in public low-risk spaces, such as Costco, merely serves to heighten the rampant collective panic and reduce the societal courage that is needed to get back to normal life.”

          +1 Very well said.

        2. So wearing a mask in public low-risk spaces, such as Costco, merely serves to heighten the rampant collective panic and reduce the societal courage that is needed to get back to normal life.

          hy·per·bo·le
          /hīˈpərbəlē/

          noun
          noun: hyperbole; plural noun: hyperboles

          exaggerated statements or claims not meant to be taken literally.

          1. I was trying to be as forthright as possible in a blog post. Nobody bothers to measure the cost to society of mass hysteria.

          2. I don’t equate wearing a mask to mass hysteria. It seems like an easy, reasonable precaution to stop the spread of a virus.

          3. Totally with you on the mask thing, PB. My husband and I had a discussion this morning about the likelihood of our son being willing to wear a face mask should school require one if/when it reopens. Will the school district refuse to admit/educate children who refuse to for whatever reason? It seems like a stupid thing to think about but I felt stupid when we first stocked up on food before the big hoarding rush.

          4. Sounds like masks are essential equipment for medical professionals exposed to COVID-19 cases. Not so much for the rest of us.

            Coronavirus outbreak
            Can a face mask protect me from coronavirus? Covid-19 myths busted

            The truth about how you can catch coronavirus, who is most vulnerable and what you can do to avoid infection
            Hannah Devlin Science correspondent
            Sat 11 Apr 2020 06.52 EDT
            Last modified on Sat 11 Apr 2020 06.54 EDT
            How do I know if I have coronavirus and what happens next? – video explainer
            Claim: ‘Face masks don’t work’

            Wearing a face mask is certainly not an iron-clad guarantee that you won’t get sick – viruses can also transmit through the eyes and tiny viral particles, known as aerosols, can penetrate masks. However, masks are effective at capturing droplets, which is a main transmission route of coronavirus, and some studies have estimated a roughly fivefold protection versus no barrier alone (although others have found lower levels of effectiveness).

            If you are likely to be in close contact with someone infected, a mask cuts the chance of the disease being passed on. If you’re showing symptoms of coronavirus, or have been diagnosed, wearing a mask can also protect others. So masks are crucial for health and social care workers looking after patients and are also recommended for family members who need to care for someone who is ill – ideally both the patient and carer should have a mask.

            However, masks will probably make little difference if you’re just walking around town or taking a bus so there is no need to bulk-buy a huge supply.

    1. “To mask or not to mask, that is the question.”

      You have never served in the armed forces. 🙂

        1. Just don your mask and slip by unnoticed like the chameleon. Save your energy for the real fight.

          1. I went for a walk without a mask and a little old lady was walking her dog across the street with a mask on

            The lady was about 25 feet from me. I looked over at her and I pulled my shirt up over my nose. I felt like a heal for not complying.

          2. And this is the difference between us, because I view the people walking around my neighborhood with masks on and 25 feet of social distancing as hysterically and irrationally fearful.

          3. When I go for a midday walk in my nabe, I encounter 2-3 people at most during my 30-40 minute long stroll, though sometimes the number is zero. So until it’s mandatory I won’t wear a mask during my walk.

          4. Out for a bicycle ride or walk I carry the N95 mask in a sandwich baggie in a pocket just in case an unexpected close encounter happens.

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