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You Don’t Want To Be The Tree That Falls In The Forest That No One Hears

A report from the Times of London. “Sean Rakidzich was ‘spitting fire.’ The 34-year-old from Houston had built a small empire via Airbnb, managing 103 properties in Texas and Pennsylvania. Then the coronavirus walloped his business, as it did everyone else’s in the travel industry. But when Airbnb’s billionaire boss Brian Chesky suddenly announced a blanket refund policy for guests last month, overriding contracts its hosts had struck with travellers, $100,000 (£79,500) of Rakidzich’s bookings were vaporised. Chesky ‘screwed us,’ he said.”

“Rakidzich said many hosts who may have been letting a room or a spare apartment are ‘suddenly scrambling to learn how to run a business.’ For many, this crisis has exploded the easy money myth that drew millions into the Airbnb web. ‘It always seemed so safe to be a host,’ said Rakidzich. ‘And now people are struggling.'”

“There has been no shortage of schadenfreude, especially among critics who have long argued that Airbnb has stoked the housing crises in cities by taking homes off the market that would otherwise be available as long-term rentals.”

The Wall Street Journal. “As the coronavirus spreads and stay-at-home orders cut deeply into the economy, buyout firms are scrambling to triage investments in industries that are particularly vulnerable. During back-to-back calls from their Hamptons beach houses, Lake Tahoe ski cabins and Florida vacation rentals, private-equity managers have worked frantically to group their investments, with some using color-coded buckets. Green companies have escaped largely unscathed. Yellow means ‘Keep an eye on this one.’ Red equals serious trouble.”

From Forbes. “My wife and I listed our house for sale in late February, shortly before Washington state reported its first Covid-19 related deaths. We went under contract in less than 24 hours. Full ask. 30 day close. Everything was going exactly according to plan. Until the Dow cratered and it all fell apart. Our story isn’t unique in the new corona normal.”

“Real estate’s clobbering runs wide and deep. Short-term vacation and AirBnB rentals were promptly banned by many local city councils. Year over year short-term rental reservations for 2020 summer travel are now down by 75%. Hosts, many of whom rely on their short-term rentals for critical supplemental income or, in many cases, all of it, now credit Covid-19 for the ‘Cancellation Apocalypse.'”

“Billy Rose, Founder and President of luxury brokerage The Agency based in Beverly Hills isn’t advising his sellers to sit on the sidelines. ‘If you’re selling, get your property on the market,’ he advises. ‘Don’t wait until ‘better times’. We don’t know when that will be, and most MLSs are pausing the Days On Market counter at the moment so sellers aren’t prejudiced in this regard. Also, don’t price based off the ‘outlier’ or premium comp. You need to create urgency by pricing ahead of the market. If you are new to the market, then you want your price to be compelling. If you are already on the market, then you don’t want your reduction to be a non-needle mover; you don’t want to be the tree that falls in the forest that no one hears. Sellers also need to be mindful that now is not the time to be trying to drive a hard bargain. Don’t scare buyers off. Be accommodating if you want to sell.'”

From News Channel 5 in Tennessee. “A Wall Street investment firm recently sent an email to Nashville area home builders saying it wants to grow its holdings in middle Tennessee. One of the nation’s largest Real Estate Investment Trusts sent the e-mail on March 20, shortly after tornadoes hit the area and as economic concerns over the Coronavirus began to increase. We showed the e-mail to real estate investor Bruce McNeilage, and ask him his thoughts on the timing.”

“He said banks are already starting to pull back on loans and that could leave large home builders in trouble.’Will those letters continue to come? Probably. Will they work? Unfortunately, yes. There are going to be guys that get in trouble that have to sell assets,’ McNeilage said.”

From Westfair Online. “When considering both the commercial and residential real estate markets within the economic chaos brought about the COVID-19 pandemic, two new surveys present a situation that is not lacking in bad news – yet large pockets of optimism continue to remain amid the doom and gloom.”

“On the commercial side, real estate brokerage CBRE surveyed its capital markets professionals on March 17 to determine the changes it was witnessing from their clients. The poll found 50% of the company’s capital markets team saw sellers delay bringing assets to market and more than 70% expected more of this disruption into the next 30 days. The survey found the size of bidding pools contracting, with 65% of respondents reporting they were getting smaller and 80% expecting them to shrink further.”

“The survey also found 50% of buyers trying to ‘re-price’ deals that are under contract to a reduced figure while two-thirds of buyers asked for 5% price reductions. Spencer Levy, CBRE’s senior economic advisor and chairman of Americas research, addressed the issue of the equity real estate capital markets in a March 18 flash call. ‘Most deals … are proceeding,’ he observed. ‘While institutional buyers from a capital balance sheet standpoint may be stronger, we’re actually seeing a falloff in more institutional buyers than private buyers. And this is largely due to the denominator effect, which is squarely on the table, largely because of the falloff in REIT prices versus private market values.'”

“CBRE also predicted that most industries were hitting a short-term ‘pause’ button on office space and the energy and travel and leisure industries would feel the greatest impact on a market slowdown. For multifamily developments, stress points could occur in senior housing and Class B and C apartment units for lower-income workers.”

“On the residential side, a survey of U.S. agents by Juwai IQI, the Chinese-based real estate sales and media company, found respondents believing the remainder of 2020 will be dismal. In looking ahead to the next three quarters, 85% of U.S. real estate agents expected to earn less than the previous year, with 58% predicting a ‘significant’ slashing of their earnings and 28% believing the reduction would be ‘moderate.'”

From Reuters. “JPMorgan Chase & Co, the country’s largest lender by assets, is raising borrowing standards this week for most new home loans as the bank moves to mitigate lending risk stemming from the novel coronavirus disruption. From Tuesday, customers applying for a new mortgage will need a credit score of at least 700, and will be required to make a down payment equal to 20% of the home’s value. JPMorgan would not disclose the current minimum requirements for its various mortgage products, but the average down payment across the housing market is around 10%, according to the MBA.”

“The changes should help JPMorgan reduce its exposure to borrowers who unexpectedly lose their job, suffer a decline in wages, or whose homes lose value. The new credit standards do not apply to JPMorgan’s roughly four million existing mortgage customers, or to low and moderate income borrowers who qualify for its ‘DreaMaker’ product, which requires a minimum 3% down payment and 620 credit score.”

This Post Has 159 Comments
  1. ‘Rakidzich said many hosts who may have been letting a room or a spare apartment are ‘suddenly scrambling to learn how to run a business.’ For many, this crisis has exploded the easy money myth that drew millions into the Airbnb web. ‘It always seemed so safe to be a host,’ said Rakidzich. ‘And now people are struggling’

    Brian, I’ve heard stamping your little feet helps a lot.

    1. ‘It always seemed so safe to be a host,’ said Rakidzich

      If something seems too good to be true, it probably is.

    2. “For many, this crisis has exploded the easy money myth that drew millions into the Airbnb web.”

      So the way normal capitalism works (RIP) is that investors assume risk of their capital in an attempt to grow an enterprise and increase wealth.

      It sounds like Airbnb and other S-T rental companies were predicated on a risk-less business model. That would be moral hazard. Removing risk from investing is asking for trouble, since it never really went away. Just because someone tells you something doesn’t make it true. Say it ain’t so.

      https://www.investopedia.com/ask/answers/09/moral-hazard.asp
      What Is a Moral Hazard?
      By Andrew Beattie
      Updated Jun 25, 2019

      Moral Hazard in Business

      The idea of a corporation being too big to fail also represents a moral hazard. If the public and the management of a corporation believe the company will receive a financial bailout to keep it going, management may take more risks in pursuit of profit. Government safety nets create moral hazards that lead to more risk-taking, and the fallout from markets with unreasonable risks—meltdowns, crashes, and panics—reinforces the need for more government controls. Consequently, the government feels the need to strengthen these nets through regulations and controls that increase the moral hazard in the future.

      The alternative to creating a moral hazard is to simply let corporations fail when they risk too much and let the stronger corporations buy up the wreckage. This theoretical free-market approach should remove any moral hazard. In a true free market, companies would still fail, just as houses burn down whether they’re insured or not, but the impact would be minimized. There would be no industry-wide meltdowns because most companies would be more cautious, just as most people choose not to smoke in bed whether they are insured or not. In both cases, the risk of getting burned is enough to prompt serious second thoughts.

      True free-market capitalism doesn’t exist, so the taxpayers of many countries are the unwilling insurers for markets. The problem is insurers profit by selling policies, whereas taxpayers gain little or nothing for footing the bill on the policies and bailouts that create moral hazards.

      1. In some ways I feel for a young couple like this buuuuuut then there is always the risk that what we thought was normal is anything but.
        AND look at the next to last paragraph – “My property taxes are about two-thirds of what I spend on mortgages.”

        THAT friends of HBB is exactly why I left the fair havens of ILL ANNOY – the taxes, oh the taxes!!!

        And now the story:

        “I really like the story of how we started this business.

        “My husband, Ben, and I started out 12 years ago. At the time, I really wasn’t expecting that we’d become full-time landlords. For me, it was a way for us to buy a house with the space we needed, plus cash flow. I come from a business background, my family owned businesses. I thought if I can buy something that pays for itself … wow that’s a great buy.

        “Back then, my husband was a teacher, making probably $30,000 a year. I owned a new coffee shop. We didn’t make much money at all. But then this duplex came up for sale. I said we should buy it: We could live in one unit and rent the other, and that would cover our mortgage. So we did it. Then, a few years later, there was a triplex for sale near Bradley University, so we bought that. We grew that coffee shop and I sold it to an employee. We used the proceeds to buy some more rental properties. By that time, we had proved to the bank we knew what we were doing.

        “Today, we own 28 units.

        “We like to grow slow. Four years ago, we bought a 20-unit building. We have a contract on another 13-unit building, but I’m not sure how that’s going to progress with everything going on. We got an extension on the contract, so we have until July to do the inspections. Luckily, the sellers aren’t moving fast, either. We’re just waiting.

        “I want to feel confident in most of my tenants … I’m really hopeful they all continue to pay. But I think most landlords have this fear about politicians and leaders halting evictions. I had one college student who rents from us message me last Wednesday night and she didn’t know if she could pay rent. We said, pay us when you get your stimulus money. But now it could be a long time until that money makes it to people’s bank accounts. I try to be flexible with payment dates already, and I’m hopeful that because I’ve been empathetic before that this pays me back now. I’m riding on the idea that tenants will remember that I’ve always treated them well. And that college girl paid me earlier today, so I’m hopeful.

        “I have $46,000 worth of property taxes due this summer, and jeez, I hope I get my rent because if I don’t, we are going to be in a hard place. Our biggest expenses are the mortgage payment and the property taxes. My property taxes are about two-thirds of what I spend on mortgages.

        “I’ve always tried to plan for the worst when things are really good. We have a couple of lines of credit that can float us for a little while. If this goes on for too long and people decide not to pay, this starts to get really scary. What if this goes on for six months? That’s a lot of money to make up.

        “There are loans and grants for other small businesses, but landlords like my husband and me, we fall through the cracks.”

        Katie VandenBerg
        Owner of VanHaus LLC
        Morton, Illinois

        1. THAT friends of HBB is exactly why I left the fair havens of ILL ANNOY – the taxes, oh the taxes!!!

          Sadly, when the day comes that the fair voters in the Centennial State vote to strike TABOR from the constitution, I have little doubt that taxes here will soar into the stratosphere. I plan to be living somewhere else by then.

    3. ‘Rakidzich said many hosts who may have been letting a room or a spare apartment are ‘suddenly scrambling to learn how to run a business.’

      – Airbnb is a hotel business model, with “rooms” often operated in residential neighborhoods, even though in clear violation of local zoning codes, but that’s a topic for another discussion.

      – Caveat: not a contract law expert. Natural disasters are covered under “Force Majeure” clauses in contracts. I don’t know if pandemics apply, but probably. I don’t think small Airbnb businesses were savvy enough to write that into their mortgage loans though. Only option that I can see is Chapter 11, which allows restructuring/refinancing. Without bailouts, that’s how the system works. The whole S-T rental thing stinks to high heaven from the get-go. Go open a motel or something where the zoning permits operating a commercial enterprise.

  2. That’s racis’

    The Financial Times
    Coronavirus
    China-Africa relations rocked by alleged racism over Covid-19
    Africans in Guangzhou evicted from hotels and had passports confiscated, officials say
    People wearing masks in Guangzhou, Guangdong province. Video posted on social media over the weekend showed people of African descent being evicted, sleeping rough and being refused service in shops
    © Alex Plaveski/EPA/Shutterstock
    David Pilling in London and Sue-Lin Wong in Hong Kong an hour ago

    Sino-African relations have been plunged into crisis after African officials reacted furiously to allegations that their nationals were being routinely discriminated against in Guangzhou, southern China, as alleged potential “carriers” of coronavirus.

    Video posted on social media over the weekend showed people of African descent being evicted from homes and hotels, sleeping rough and being refused service in shops. Widespread reports alleged others have been forced into quarantine despite testing negative for Covid-19.

    African ambassadors in Beijing wrote a letter to China’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, seen by the Financial Times, condemning what they said was “the persistent harassment and humiliation of African nationals”. Families with young children had been forced to sleep on the streets and passports had been confiscated, they said.

  3. Re-post from the last thread, article published today:

    “The Millennials entered the workforce during the worst downturn since the Great Depression. Saddled with debt, unable to accumulate wealth, and stuck in low-benefit, dead-end jobs, they never gained the financial security that their parents, grandparents, or even older siblings enjoyed. They are now entering their peak earning years in the midst of an economic cataclysm more severe than the Great Recession, near guaranteeing that they will be the first generation in modern American history to end up poorer than their parents.

    It is too soon to know how the unfurling business-failure and unemployment crisis caused by this novel public-health crisis is hitting different age groups, or how much income and wealth each generation is losing; it is far too soon to know how different groups will rebound. But we do know that Millennials are vulnerable. They have smaller savings accounts than prior generations. They have less money invested. They own fewer houses to refinance or rent out or sell. They make less money, and are less likely to have benefits like paid sick leave. They have more than half a trillion dollars of student-loan debt to keep paying off, as well as hefty rent and child-care payments that keep coming due.

    Compounding their troubles, Millennials are, for now, disproportionate holders of the kind of positions disappearing the fastest: This is a jobs crisis of the young, the diverse, and the contingent, meaning disproportionately of the Millennials. They make up a majority of bartenders, half of restaurant workers, and a large share of retail workers. They are also heavily dependent on gig and contract work, which is evaporating as the consumer economy grinds to a halt.”

    https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2020/04/millennials-are-new-lost-generation/609832/

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

    1. Covid-19 made ‘unthinkable’ reforms a reality in the US – now make them stick

      ‘The crisis has produced emergency responses such as guaranteeing housing, reversing excessive incarceration and reducing drug prices that read like a progressive agenda’

      https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/apr/13/covid-19-made-unthinkable-reforms-a-reality-in-the-us-now-make-them-stick

      There are people out there who want the CCP virus to destroy the economy, force guberment on us. Control every aspect of our lives. Fudge em. This shutdown was sold to us as a way to keep hospitals from being overwhelmed. We are weeks past that now. See the control freaks for what they are.

      1. Part 2 of the Burning Platform article posted yesterday:

        “By shutting down the country the government has crushed virtually every business in the country and putting tens of millions out of work, with resulting crash in tax revenues at the Federal, State and Local level. At the same time, Trump and everyone in Congress have become Bernie Sanders socialists, except most of it is corporate socialism. The deficit was already on track to top $1.2 trillion, but with the $2.2 trillion stimulus package, and more to come, the deficit this year and next will approach $3 trillion.

        We have allowed ourselves to be led by assertive idiots and permitted psychopaths to dominate the highest levels of government and finance. These are truly evil men with evil intentions. Power, greed and control are what drive these people. During normal times, governors of states are practically figureheads, as all they do is pass more laws and increase your taxes. It’s when we face a man made crisis like we are experiencing today, the true authoritarian nature of these petty tyrants rears its ugly head.

        The reprehensible tyrannical mandates and orders being made by mostly Democrat governors across the country is a disgusting display of fascism. Their mandates violate the Constitution, but are being enforced by their police state thug instruments of force. The police will do the bidding of those who pay them, with total disregard for the Constitution or your rights. Freedom of religion, freedom of assembly, freedom of speech, and 2nd Amendment rights are being shut-down.

        There are millions of well-armed angry Americans trapped in their homes right now. The powers that be have been able to maintain the status quo by providing plentiful manufactured toxic bread products and technological circuses for masses, keeping them sedated with anti-depressants and a myriad of mindless distractions. But, taking away their livelihoods, endangering their ability to put food on the table, requiring papers to travel on the roads, and mandating quarantines and curfews at the point of a gun, are a bridge too far.

        Even docile sheep will start to bite if they are starving and cornered. I know many of us feel like we are tilting at windmills, but I believe the evil men who are dictating our fates and imprisoning us in their financialized world of fraud are weaker and more desperate than they appear. At a point in the near future a few heroes will summon the fortitude to push back and ignite the patriotic spirit that founded this country – liberty or death.”

        https://www.theburningplatform.com/2020/04/13/the-road-to-perdition-is-paved-with-evil-intentions-a-final-reckoning/

        1. “At the same time, Trump and everyone in Congress have become Bernie Sanders $ocialists, except most of it is corporate $ocialism.”

          “Trump, Mnuchin and Powel are now hostage$ of the $tock market$, they will continue to add, add and add again at each $ell-off. It’s happy hour and open bar time, friends… ready for zombie companie$ with negative earning$ at ATH with 30/40/50 M unemployed”… $ad.

          Does the approval$ of all the$e legi$lation fund$ 📝require the $ignature 🖍of thee.🍊.jesus?

          I$n’t “push.over.Powell” $uppose to be a regi$tered independent?

          $ad.

        2. keeping them sedated with anti-depressants and a myriad of mindless distractions

          I was a bit surprised when all sportsball events were cancelled. I was expecting TPTB to come up with a way to keep them going, even if it meant playing in empty stadiums and keeping players quarantined from the public (but not each other).

          1. Bread and circuses (restaurants and sportsball) helps to keep the hoi polloi compliant and in a state of stupor. Guess they will have to double down on the alcohol and Netflix.

        3. We have allowed ourselves to be led by assertive idiots and permitted psychopaths to dominate the highest levels of government and finance. These are truly evil men with evil intentions.

          Testify, Brother 401. Can I get a “Hallelujah!” in the house?

      2. Loan owners rule,
        Renters drool.

        “Freezing mortgage payments and evictions

        To prevent people from leaving their homes during the outbreak, many cities and states – such as Florida, New York, San Francisco, New Orleans, Oakland, Seattle and Philadelphia – are temporarily suspending mortgage payments and residential evictions. All but 10 states have passed emergency tenant protections.

        The same cannot be said for measures to suspend rent, which affects far more people nationwide. Organized rent strikes have popped up around the country, with 60 ongoing strikes in California alone.

        Eviction suspensions help, but they don’t eliminate the rent burden – tenants will still have to make up payments, even with lost income. That means that evictions are still on the horizon, only delayed.”

        1. “That means that eviction$ are still on the horizon, only delayed.”

          Ya reckon those “coming.$oon!” balloon payment$ demand$ will happen before Nov 2020?

        2. So why should renters be given preferential treatment here? Any property owners who opt for forbearance are still eventually on the hook for their mortgage payments as well.

          Both are being treated equally, as far as I can see here. Of course, if you owned property/land, you’d be more in control of your own destiny. But, you know, “debt is slavery” and “you’re a loanowner” if you do that.

          1. “Both are being treated equally…”

            Dunno. To me “pack your boxes in 30 days” vs “pack your boxes in 120 days” doesn’t seem “equal.”

        3. Just looking ahead here. Let’s say at some point, masses of people are evicted for refusing to pay rent. Because they can’t or are just so angry they refuse. Evict assuming that there will be a pool of employed, responsible people that want to rent from you? How many will evict, and find that the people who want to rent were just evicted from somewhere else?

          I would not be surprised to see massive rent and mortgage strikes that last awhile. Remember the rage people felt when they got foreclosed on during the last bubble? Pouring cement down drains, selling off appliances and wiring from homes before leaving everything behind? I think we’re going to see even more rage this time around, as the 50 percenters who live paycheck to paycheck, sadly admire their $1000 + investment they put into tattoos and realize they have to worry about where their next meal comes from for the first time in their lives.

          1. “…and realize they have to worry about where their next meal comes from for the first time in their lives.”

            Applying for a SNAP benefits card should be a high priority for anyone living near the edge.

            *The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) defines food insecurity as a lack of consistent access to enough food for an active, healthy life.

          2. Had to do a quick calc on that. Let’s say I want to eat reasonably healthy. I can get a bag of frozen veggies for $1.20, a pound of meat on sale for $2.50, 8 ounce dry rice for 50 cents, pinto beans for 30 cents, and 50 cents of teabags and salt and cheap olive oil. It would be monotonous, but it’s $5/day, or $150/month. The US has 340 million people, so 2 trillion would last 3 years give or take some variation for he-men and babies.

            yup.

      3. Ahem…

        Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, after his Blackface Klansman scandal, promised he’d do right by black folks if we gave him a second chance. At the time, it felt like he was just trying to moonwalk his way out of racial quicksand, but he’s since made a concerted effort to deliver the goods. Saturday, Northam signed bills giving state localities the freedom to remove or alter Confederate monuments.

        https://www.wonkette.com/nice-time-va-gov-northam-tells-confederate-monuments-to-get-the-f-k-out

        Virginia Is Reborn As a Leftist Enclave, Following Governor’s Easter Weekend Bill-Signing

        https://cnsnews.com/article/national/susan-jones/virginia-reborn-leftist-enclave-following-governors-easter-weekend

      4. See the control freaks for what they are.

        Gates’ Globalist Vaccine Agenda: A Win-Win for Pharma and Mandatory Vaccination

        ☝️ Chalk full of hyperlinked supporting evidence.

        Bill Gates’s Charity Paradox

        “Through an investigation of more than 19,000 charitable grants the Gates Foundation has made over the last two decades, The Nation has uncovered close to $2 billion in tax-deductible charitable donations to private companies—including some of the largest businesses in the world, such as GlaxoSmithKline, Unilever, IBM, and NBC Universal Media—which are tasked with developing new drugs, improving sanitation in the developing world, developing financial products for Muslim consumers, and spreading the good news about this work.”

        The Nation found close to $250 million in charitable grants from the Gates Foundation to companies in which the foundation holds corporate stocks and bonds: Merck, Novartis, GlaxoSmithKline, Vodafone, Sanofi, Ericsson, LG, Medtronic, Teva, and numerous start-ups—with the grants directed at projects like developing new drugs and health monitoring systems and creating mobile banking services.”

        “[Ray] Madoff, like many tax experts, stresses that these billions of dollars in tax savings have to be seen as a public subsidy—money that otherwise would have gone to the US Treasury to help build bridges, do medical research, or close the funding gap at the IRS (which has resulted in fewer audits of billionaires). If Bill and Melinda Gates don’t pay their full freight in taxes, the public has to make up the difference or simply live in a world where governments do less and less (educating, vaccinating, and researching) and superrich philanthropists do more and more.”

        “Philanthropy has also delivered a public relations coup for Bill Gates, dramatically transforming his reputation as one of the most cutthroat CEOs to one of the most admired people on earth. And his model of charity, influence, and absolution is inspiring a new era of controversial tech billionaires like Mark Zuckerberg and Jeff Bezos, who have begun giving away their billions, sometimes working directly with Gates.”

        (emphasis added)

        1. Yeah, gates has publicly said he was giving away his filthy lucre – at least twice! Somehow he’s still rich. Lotto maybe? And unca warren is constantly plastered all over yahoo finance, muttering he needs to be taxed more, when BH is set up entirely as a personal tax dodge.

          1. Kindly ol’ Warren is one of the biggest frauds out there. The public personas of these guys are completely fictitious.

          2. I don’t know why anyone would listen to Gates’s opinion on epidemiology. He’s a computer guy who never finished college.

          3. Fortunately I never had the misfortune of using Windows 8. Given the choice I would use Linux, but there are way too many hurdles to using it. Gates has perfected the monopoly business model.

          4. Try Ubuntu Linux. Burn a dvd or host on a usb drive and run it “live” without overwriting your existing OS. Pretty easy to use, only issue you might find is if you have any 3rd party software you use that runs only on windows/mac, but maybe you can run a virtual box image (also free) to host that software. Be free of Gates and his sh!tware empire!

          5. “I don’t know why anyone would listen to Gates’s opinion on epidemiology. He’s a computer guy who never finished college.”

            People are able to learn plenty especially when it’s something they’re interested in and where they spend their money. He’s more businessman than computer guy.

        2. Aw Pshaw, always focu$ed on the lowe$t hanging fruit$!

          Ya have to $ee what “True.Believer$” really are after, you have to think Mega$.Huge & Mega$.Long.Term!

          Now search:
          A young Bill Gates donate$/inve$ts $400 Million$ to University for $tudies involving human.genetic.longevity

          Iffin’ ya can’t take$ it with ya, maybee$ you & yearn$ can play @ rece$$ longer than all the other kids.

          Bell$ ringing🔔🔊, … hurry now, run back to yer class.rooms.

        3. 50% royaltie$ on Global $ales, “Mr.Wonderful” would bee proud!

          DEAL$
          APRIL 13, 2020

          Alnylam’s gene-silencing efforts get $2 billion$ Black$tone backing

          By Saumya Joseph

          (Reuters) – Blackstone Group Inc said on Monday it would invest $2 billion in Alnylam Pharmaceuticals Inc through an equity-and-debt deal, giving the drugmaker a financial boost without tapping into currently volatile stock markets for funds.

          Alnylam is the first drugmaker to win U.S. approval for a treatment using the Nobel prize-winning RNA interference (RNAi) technology and is currently developing other RNAi drugs to treat a range of conditions, including rare bleeding disorders.

          Earlier this month, the company also agreed to develop treatments for the new coronaviru$ with Vir Biotechnology Inc.

          The private equity giant is providing $1 billion of the funding in exchange for half of the royalties on global sales of Alnylam’s cholesterol therapy inclisiran, currently under review.

          With two commercially available therapies, Alnylam uses the RNAi technology that works by targeting and “silencing” specific genetic material, blocking the production of deadly proteins that cause diseases.

    2. “guaranteeing that they will be the first generation in modern American history to end up poorer than their parents”

      Do they still get$ to vote?

      Will “anger$” effect their choice?

  4. FA Center
    Here’s proof about whether short sellers are making this bear market more painful
    Published: April 13, 2020 at 8:02 a.m. ET
    By Mark Hulbert
    Short sale restrictions could be costly for all investors

    Short sellers are being accused of making this bear market worse, but are they? It’s human nature to find bad guys to blame, and short sellers are easy targets. What could be more objectionable than traders who bet that stock prices will go down even more?

    I differ with this argument. There is no evidence that restricting short sales prevents the market from going down. At the same time, there is plenty of evidence that such restrictions impose many other costs on all investors.

    Consider what happend in the fall of 2008, in the wake of the Lehman Brothers bankruptcy and the near-collapse of the U.S. financial system. Four days after that bankruptcy, as the SEC was banning short selling of financial stocks, then SEC Chairman Christopher Cox said that the move “will restore equilibrium to markets.”

    Three months later, the Financial Select Sector SPDR (ETF XLF, -3.80%) was 44% lower than when the ban went into effect. Cox said: “Knowing what we know now, I believe on balance the commission would not do it [ban short selling of financial stocks] again. The costs appear to outweigh the benefits.”

    This perhaps explains why the SEC hasn’t instituted any short sale restrictions in this most recent bear market — at least so far. But regulators are under pressure from some corners to do so.

    Why do short sale bans ultimately fail? Matthew Ringgenberg, a finance professor at the University of Utah, said in an interview that the general consensus among academic researchers is that, just as Cox concluded in late 2008, “short sale bans do more damage than good.” Specifically, he said, studies have shown that while such bans do “nothing to arrest the fall in prices,” stocks for which shorting is banned have “worse bid-asked spreads and higher volatility.”

    1. I have to compliment Mark Hulbert’s emulation of Keynes’ approach:

      “When the facts change, I change my mind.”

  5. Debt is slavery:

    “Mortgage rates have fallen back to recent lows, and though homebuyers aren’t exactly banging on the doors during the spring housing market amid the coronavirus crisis, there are some hardy ones out there in the hunt. And there are still plenty of current homeowners who could save money through a refinance.

    Unfortunately both types of loans are now harder to get as the mortgage market is badly battered on several fronts due to the impacts of the pandemic on the economy and employment.

    Mortgage credit availability in March fell to the lowest level in five years, according to a survey by the Mortgage Bankers Association.”

    https://www.cnbc.com/2020/04/13/coronavirus-why-its-suddenly-much-harder-to-get-a-mortgage-or-even-refinance.html

  6. Rakidzich said many hosts who may have been letting a room or a spare apartment are ‘suddenly scrambling to learn how to run a business.’

    Oh, really.

    1. Managing 103 properties in two states is not “letting a room or a spare apartment”. This is a guy who pretty much put 100 people out on the street so he could line his own pockets. Eff him.

      1. No shortage of Schadenfreude

        I plead guilty. No shortage at my house.!!
        Could not have happened to more deserving people.👍

      2. “This is a guy who pretty much put 100 people out on the street so he could line his own pockets.”

        When you want to explain inventory shortages of homes for local residents to live in, don’t overlook the role of debt-financed AirBnB moguls like this guy.

        1. I question how many of these “Airbnb moguls” were actually making money. The market was saturated with these types. I think the supply dwarfed demand, and most were speculators counting on that ever-increasing sweet equity.

          1. Exactly. You didn’t need to make money at Airbnb. All you needed was to just make the mortgage payments and hang in there until you got rich automatically. That’s been everybody’s plan for decades now. Small thinkers did it with one house, big thinkers did it with 100.

  7. ‘Wool prices have crashed to 40-50% below levels of early 2019, leaving many Falklands wool growers concerned for their businesses. As much as 70% of the Falklands 2019/20 wool clip is as yet unsold.’

    ‘Wool prices have been under pressure for much of the last 6-9 months with falls of 20-30% occurring during the period March 2019 to March 2020. The remaining crash was stimulated by the pandemic.’

    ‘Dr Clausen said the wool sector was one of those areas that was being looked at, “unfortunately, it’s not just wool prices that are the issue, the entire market is freezing up, so limited sales are also impacting businesses.”

    http://www.penguin-news.com/index.php/headlines/all-headlines/18-rural/172-wool-prices-down-50-since-early-last-year

      1. ‘If you’ve been to the grocery store, you’ve likely noticed beef prices remain the same, or in some cases, have increased. Yet, beef cattle producers are still losing money. Over the last several weeks, the price of cattle has dropped close to 30 percent, resulting in cattle producers losing 250 dollars or more a head.’

        ‘But what consumers are seeing in the stores, is not what producers are seeing at the sales. “It’s disheartening knowing that we’re trying to make ends meet, on our end, and then the consumer is getting a raw deal because they’re not getting that price drop also,” said rancher Sandi Berry.’

        ‘Jimmy Kinder with the Oklahoma Farm Bureau says the price disconnect could be due to the change in where we are getting our food. Instead of eating out at restaurants, most are eating at home’

        “Before the pandemic, over 50 percent of the food dollar were actually used outside of the home,” said Kinder. “And almost overnight that flipped. And so that changes the value of that live animal walking around out here on the farm.”

        ‘According to Oklahoma Cattleman’s Association Executive Vice President Michael Kelsey, the connection between the price of beef and the price of cattle is very complex. “So that sirloin steak if you will, goes through a lot of hands before the consumer actually puts it on their plate,” said Kelsey. “So that’s what makes this beef supply chain really complex. But that being said, we’re still very interested in understanding why there’s such a price disconnect between ranchers and the consumers.”

        https://www.kswo.com/2020/04/10/beef-prices-stores-not-reflecting-cattle-market/

        1. “Before the pandemic, over 50 percent of the food dollar were actually used outside of the home,” said Kinder.

          I haven’t had a Sausage-n-Egg McMuffin for weeks now. It’s so bad now that in my dreams I’ve been upgrading to the meal, which adds the crispy golden Hash Browns and a small coffee!

        2. that’s what makes this beef supply chain really complex

          Sure. Cattle prices doubled between ’09 and ’15 and then dropped. The price of a ribeye steak went up as you’d expect, but didn’t drop afterward. Complexity indeed. Off 30% short term but not below ’09 cattle prices.

      2. Illusion$, Delusion$ … Rece$$ion, Depre$$ion … the xaoh.deeth.👾.munche$.&.munche$.$tealthly.progre$$ively.uncea$ingly.invi$ibly towards its ultimate de$tiny!

        1. Our betters have not put a $0.12/slice tax on the grease-wheel, yet. But it’s coming, you know.

          1. Point taken.

            To restate my question:

            Why does a fillup of the gas tank cost more than a pizza, given that a whole barrel of oil can be obtained for less than an entire pizza and that most people are leaving their cars in their garages for days on end, ad valorem gas taxes notwithstanding?

    1. That’s a whole bunch of craterin’ right there.

      Here’s some more.

      Silver Spring, MD Housing Prices Crater 17% YOY As Northern Virginia/Washington DC Rental Rates Tank On Surging Mortgage Defaults

      https://www.movoto.com/silver-spring-md/market-trends/

      As one Washington DC broker conceded, “If you’re a buyer, the broker is lying to you. I know a liar when I hear one. I’ve been lying my entire life.”

    2. $ynchronized Global $lowing is a $ocial.media digital di$tributional di$informational myth!

      Long.live.$oft.landing$!

  8. Here’s some fun recent articles, note the results of both will lead to less household formation, and the collapse of the (non-existent) demand for a $500,000 starter home:

    “Paulette Sherman, a New York psychologist and author of “Dating From the Inside Out” says serial daters “often love the chase but don’t commit.”

    “They’re basically addicted to the romance of early dating, but they get bored easily and move on,” said Dr. Sherman, who specializes in relationships.

    There are distinctive reasons, Dr. Sherman says, for falling into the habit. Enter the traits of serial daters: those who consciously look to have fun and don’t want anything serious; who love the thrill of the chase and the power of romancing many partners; who fear commitment but also fear loneliness; who have attachment issues; who actually enjoy the glamour of the single lifestyle; who date to get narcissistic needs fulfilled; and who are confused and don’t really know what they want.

    They’re typically easy to spot. “They can be charming and smooth, but they are only into things as long as they stay fun,” Dr. Sherman said. “They have a history of shorter relationships and are usually the one to break things off.”

    https://www.nytimes.com./2020/04/11/fashion/weddings/confessions-of-a-former-serial-dater.html

    “Tens of thousands of women across the country trying to have a baby through fertility treatments are in limbo because of COVID-19: They’ve had to postpone their appointments indefinitely due to coronavirus recommendations recently issued by the American Society for Reproductive Medicine.

    The U.S. guidelines, issued March 17, are similar to recommendations by fertility groups in Europe and Canada. The task force that wrote them said they’re meant to address not just the unknown impact of COVID-19 on pregnancy and fertility, but to encourage social distancing and reduce demand on the health care system. The guidelines do include some exceptions, such as for people with cancer who want to freeze eggs or sperm before starting chemotherapy, and women who had already started a treatment cycle when the recommendations were announced — but those apply to relatively few patients.”

    https://www.npr.org/2020/04/12/831706118/women-say-they-are-falling-off-the-cliff-of-fertility-as-pandemic-puts-treatment

    You wanted to “have it all?” Well, this is how “having it all” will end for many of you, with you having all the cats and boxed wine and anti-depressant meds you ever wanted, and dying alone 🙁

    1. a New York psychologist

      I didn’t need a degree in psychology to figure this out when I was living in NYC as a single professional.

    2. fertility treatments

      All-around inhospital circumstances for conceiving: major physical and emotion stress. Seen a few family and friends go through it, two of whom quickly conceived their second without any assistance.

    3. ‘“Paulette Sherman, a New York psychologist and author of “Dating From the Inside Out” says serial daters “often love the chase but don’t commit.”’

      Isn’t Paulette basically describing men?

      1. “Isn’t Paulette basically describing men?”

        No.

        Gay men spend less time on the chase, so they’re able to experience many more hook-ups. That’s why it was so difficult to track aids. The ladies make the chase waaay more difficult, spend money on clothes, cosmetics, etc., and phuc with your head too if you’re an energetic suitor.

  9. “We don’t know when that will be, and most MLSs are pausing the Days On Market counter at the moment so sellers aren’t prejudiced in this regard. Also, don’t price based off the ‘outlier’ or premium comp. You need to create urgency by pricing ahead of the market. If you are new to the market, then you want your price to be compelling. If you are already on the market, then you don’t want your reduction to be a non-needle mover; you don’t want to be the tree that falls in the forest that no one hears. Sellers also need to be mindful that now is not the time to be trying to drive a hard bargain. Don’t scare buyers off. Be accommodating if you want to sell.”

    We need to fake DoM and the selling prices. Bid winners of prior years should not be punished because of the Crisis. Oh the Horror!

    1. “We need to fake DoM and the selling prices. Bid winners of prior years should not be punished because of the Crisis. Oh the Horror!”

      – Housing prices are set at the margin by comps. This drove the insanity on the way up, and will drive the return to sanity on the way down. It just takes one or two price cuts to “wreck” the comps. It cuts both ways. The good news now is that prices are falling and there won’t be any “over asking” bids, love letters, squirrel-feeding, etc., and the bottom is still a long way down.

  10. “We run a well.oiled.machine!”
    dtRumpsis chaostica trantrumious

    ‘Ab$olute chao$’ as U.$. $mall busine$$es try to tap into re$cue fund$

    By JOYCE M. ROSENBERG AND KEN SWEET
    THE ASSOCIATED PRESS / PUBLISHED APRIL 12, 2020

    De$perate $mall busine$$ owners in the U.S. who hoped for a quick government lifeline to help them $urvive the coronaviru$ crisi$ are still without funds and are instead battling red tape, wary banks and swamped computer systems.

    Thousands of owners who applied for loans under the U.S. federal government’s Paycheck Protection Program are in their second week of waiting for their money.

    And thousands who sought relief through Small Business Administration economic injury disaster loans have waited even longer – some since mid-March.

    U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin raised expectation$ of nearly immediate ca$h when, in announcing the Paycheck Protection Program, he said companies could receive their loan money the $ame day they apply.

    But Mr. Mnuchin’$ foreca$t didn’t factor in technological glitche$, including problem$ with the $BA’s E-Tran proce$$ing $ystem on Monday. It also overe$timated the ability of the banks to turn around the ma$$ive number of applications they were receiving.

    Since April 3, when the program began, more than 791,000 applications have been approved by the SBA. In 2019, it handled under 60,000.

    $ad.

    1. “Our youngest recently graduated from college and is now working full time. We provided a college education for all three children, and we were easily able to afford it. We make a very good income (over $500,000 a year), although we live in an expensive city and our income tax bracket is astronomical.”

      Who the phuc is, “We?”

      1. “I was fortunate to be a stay-at-home mom. I now work part time, which is essentially just “play” money.”

        No kidding!

        Yet: “We have emptied our IRAs and have a great deal of credit card debt, which I hope to have paid off in full in the next 18 months — and we’d like to save for retirement.”

        That letter can’t be real.

        1. Unfortunately I am sure it is very real. My Mom worked in financial services for a long time, did some selling but mostly office management/SEC compliance. She worked with folks who were pulling 500K-800K (in NY) 20-25 years ago. She used to tell us most of the brokers/salesman couldn’t put together 5K if they need it for an emergency, every single penny they earned was spent before or as soon as it was earned. Vacation houses, expensive car leases, pretty much everything to show “wealth”

          I can say from experience when I worked overseas and made some pretty decent money most of my friends were broke. Spend every dime, never saved anything in 401Ks, etc.

          1. That’s the kind of behavior that interest rates bumping along the zero bound for a protracted period of time encourages.

  11. We’ve all got it coming. Somehow I can’t help but think that the vitriol is amplified here in the echo chamber, a lot. Bill Gates foundation an evil cabal? All Airbnb hosts evil? Everyone a socialist, even Orange Gargamel? Come on guys. Flights of fancy are one thing, but this level of opprobrium and paranoia is off the charts.

      1. “A really efficient totalitarian state would be one in which the all-powerful executive of political bosses and their army of managers control a population of slaves who do not have to be coerced, because they love their servitude.”

        – Aldous Huxley, Brave New World

    1. “Everyone a socialist, even Orange Gargamel?”

      LMFAO! That’s better than funny. Please git yer cheese flavored biscuit on the way out!

    2. ‘this level of opprobrium and paranoia is off the charts’

      You must be talking about the MSM, cuz I’ve noted the shocking absence of the bring out yer dead cart for weeks. Airbnb shack gamblers getting an a$$-pounding is humorous.

      Draconian Predictions of Death

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P0eP2jmNXZ8

    3. Check out the echo chamber at the Washington Post comment section. You’d come out of there convinced that the Orange Gargamel invented the rats who spread the Black Death.

  12. Some more LOLZ for a Monday — Virus-Panicked Liberal Gun Buyers Are Getting Angry When They Discover Their Own Gun Control Laws:

    “More than a dozen of these buyers (men and women) actually thought that since they filled out and signed everything, they could just walk out and go home with the firearm. Several actually said they saw how easy it was to buy a gun on TV and why did they have to fill out all these forms.

    The majority of these first timers lost their minds when we went through the Ammo Law requirements. Most used language not normally heard, even in a gun range. We pointed out that since no one working here voted for these laws, then maybe they might know someone who did. And, maybe they should go back and talk to those people and tell them to re-think their position on firearms – we were trying to be nice.

    Most were VERY vocal about why it takes 10 days minimum (sometimes longer if the DOJ is backed up) to take their property home with them. They ask why do I need to wait 10 days if I need the protection today or tomorrow? We pointed out again that no one working here voted in support of that law.

    They really went crazy when we told them that for each firearm they had to do the same amount of paperwork and they could only purchase ONE handgun every 30 days. Again, we didn’t [vote] for that law.

    We had people cuss at us and stomp out when we explained that secondary identification had to be part of the paperwork, as they felt insulted that what they had wasn’t good enough. We have a number of Yelp reviews calling us names and other things about how bad we are because of this whole new buyer rush.”

    https://www.redstate.com/kiradavis/2020/04/10/815520/

    1. Hoisted on their own petard. I love it.

      A colleague of mine (not a libtard) who has been talking about buying a gun for months now, but never made it a priority, asked if he could borrow one of mine “in case things get out of hand.” I told him no, and pointed out that such transfers are illegal in Colorado unless they go through an FFL, complete with background check. Not to mention, I’m not keen to put guns in the hands of people who aren’t trained and proficient in their use.

      Oh, and I almost forgot: All my guns were lost overboard in a tragic boating accident.

  13. “most MLSs are pausing the Days On Market counter at the moment so sellers aren’t prejudiced in this regard”

    ^^^ This is fraud and deception! somebody needs to sue for deceiving and manipulating buyers…WTF? theses crooks do anything screew people.

    1. Why is this fraud and deception?

      Do you think Facebook monthly active users are real? Do you think Goog’s ad click stats are real? Do you think youtube views are real? Do you think this country’s fiscal/monitory numbers are real?

      Welcome to the new normal. Also known as Amerikkan Exceptionalism.

  14. Democratic congresswoman: Rules for PPP loans are ‘too restrictive’

    https://finance.yahoo.com/news/democratic-congresswoman-rules-for-ppp-loans-are-too-restrictive-171820173.html

    Narrative in error:

    ‘As of Monday morning, $221 billion in PPP loans has been approved — more than 60% of the $349 billion Congress approved for the program. Republicans are pushing for an extra $250 billion for small-business loans, but Democratic leaders oppose putting more money into the program without addressing other issues as well.’

    ‘House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer want additional funding for state and local governments, hospitals and an increase in SNAP funding.’

  15. “There has been no shortage of schadenfreude, especially among critics who have long argued that Airbnb has stoked the housing crises in cities by taking homes off the market that would otherwise be available as long-term rentals.”

    Guilty as charged.

    1. I’m especially glad that those FIRE Millenials get to see their “passive income” blow up in their faces. Looks like you need to get another job rather than running a blog from the illegal bedroom in your tiny house.

  16. We went under contract in less than 24 hours. Full ask. 30 day close. Everything was going exactly according to plan. Until the Dow cratered and it all fell apart.

    Party’s over, greedheads.

  17. From Tuesday, customers applying for a new mortgage will need a credit score of at least 700, and will be required to make a down payment equal to 20% of the home’s value.

    Way too late to be tightening up on lending, JPM. But I like the 20% down. Imagine how many future foreclosures could’ve been avoided with that one simple requirement.

    1. Yeah, no way these new lending standards will stick. Why would any sucker put down 20%? If you did you couldn’t just walk away when things go south.

      Plus, the Fed has been punishing savers for 14 years straight. Why would anyone save when ZIRP is a permanent fixture of life? Plus, 95% of buyers I know couldn’t put together a 10% down payment, much less 20%.

      1. Why would anyone save when ZIRP is a permanent fixture of life?

        I am reminded of a link posted here a few days ago to a story about a miles long line of cars for a food bank in Vegas. There was a video clip and all the cars I could see in the line were late model cars, not a single beater. So they probably all had a mortgage and two late model cars in the driveway, but the minute they were laid off it was straight to the food bank.

        Saving money is for losers, I guess.

        1. Funny that you mention that about the late model cars. I had the exact same thought. Not a single beater or even older car.

          I had 2 thoughts, either loads of folks were trying for some free food or that everyone is leveraged to the hilt and 3 weeks without a paycheck send them to the food bank.

          After I read the lines were hours and hours long I thought the 2nd scenario was much likelier.

          1. Some people are cheap enough to hit the food bank regardless, but the length of that line was breathtaking.

            I see it in my little burg. The median HH income is about $70K, yet I see $30K+ vehicles everywhere, not to mention all the super duper $50K plus pickups and full size SUV’s. It seems that the only guys driving beaters deliver pizzas.

    2. Wondering what JPM will offer me to keep a mortgage with them in the hopefully not too distant future. 852 FICO today, roughly 20% LTV and a 4-year history of paying on a dead person’s mortgage.

          1. You do have to be a debt donkey to get a really high score. “Sorry, you don’t have a mortgage and a car loan history.”

          2. Interesting I get free FICO scoring through my Credit union and Equifax only goes up to 850. I guess they all score a bit differently.

  18. From the WSJ piece: “During back-to-back calls from their Hamptons beach houses, Lake Tahoe ski cabins and Florida vacation rentals, private-equity managers have worked frantically…”

    Did a NYT reporter sneak into the WSJ offices?

  19. Despite the full-court press by the Fed’s bullion-banker accomplices and primary dealer trading desks to artificially suppress the price of gold through naked shorting and selling mass (non-existent) paper gold, the price of gold just hit $1715 a oz. Gold, which has served as a store of wealth for 5,000 years, is the mortal enemy of the Keynesian fraudsters at the central bank. The fact that it is soaring is another indicator the Fed has lost control, and the smart money knows it.

  20. “Sean Rakidzich was ‘spitting fire.’ The 34-year-old from Houston had built a small empire via Airbnb, managing 103 properties in Texas and Pennsylvania. Then the coronavirus walloped his business, as it did everyone else’s in the travel industry.

    Sometimes you’re the windshield and sometimes you’re the bug, Sean.

    1. “…Sometimes you’re the windshield and sometimes you’re the bug..”

      That’s pretty funny! Great line.. Got to keep in my great quotes file.

      Good news was that Sean’s death as a bug was quick and painless.

  21. Bernie endorsed Creepy Joe today. Sad, but not unexpected.

    The_Donald can’t win Colorado, so I’ll probably just not vote in November. Which is fine, because my greatest hope for this election is that Trump looses by ten million popular votes and wins the electoral college by a single vote.

    1. I would like to see him win the popular vote by 1, then all the leftist states that passed stupid laws awarding their electoral votes to the popular vote winner go apoplectic.

      1. And can’t whine for another 4 years that he didn’t win the popular vote. Really sick of that one.

      2. apoplectic is a nice word but I prefer apeshit.

        then all the leftist states that passed stupid laws awarding their electoral votes to the popular vote winner go apeshit.

        1. Have they changed the rules sufficiently that the last election would have gone the other way?

        1. I have a hard time imagining Creepy Joe beating Trump. Does anybody even know what he’s running on, besides fumes?

          1. Spend spend spend just keep spending……free college is a dumb idea…..its should college is expensive and trade schools should be cheap……you want your Phd..spend $200,000 and pay it back, you want to be an auto mechanic $5000 and you keep all the tools valued at $5000.

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