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They Are Going To Sell At Whatever Price To Get A Buyer

A report from CBC News in Canada. “Owners of condo units in Fort McMurray’s troubled Hillview Park complex are worried about paying their bills after being hit with special assessments of up to $76,000. It’s the third special assessment charged to owners since the complex burned to the ground in the 2016 Horse River wildfire. Sheila Champion bought her three-bedroom townhouse-style condo in April 2010. Now 51, she expects to be paying off the new assessment of $64,233 until she’s 77. On top of the new special assessment, Champion said her condo’s value has plummeted to less than $200,000. ‘I have no choice but to keep the unit,’ said Champion, who owes about $300,000 on her mortgage. ‘I will be upside down on this until the day that I die.'”

“Rebekah Benoit used to own a Hillview Park condo, but paying for the mortgage, special assessments and another home to live in became too much. Benoit, a teacher, had to file a consumer proposal after getting a $20,000 special assessment in 2018. Her husband, a veteran and engineer, had to file for bankruptcy in 2018. She said she tried to hang onto the condo for as long as possible, cashing in her husband’s military pension and liquidating their savings. ‘That was a terrible idea,’ she said. ‘But we just didn’t know how bad it was.'”

The Guardian on the UK. “Some of the world’s richest people are snapping up luxury London mansions despite the coronavirus pandemic and lockdown – but only if the seller knocks a million or two off the sale price. Henry Pryor, an independent luxury property buying agent, said his clients were considering buying but only if they thought they were getting a bargain.”

“Pryor said one of his clients was interested in buying a new-build luxury flat in Fitzrovia, central London, with an asking price of £5.5m. ‘The agent showing it told me he thought the developer would take £4.5m before I had even got my rubber gloves and mask on to look round,’ Pryor said. ‘We will probably bid £3.5m, and see how that goes.'”

The Journal on Ireland. “The number of properties being advertised to rent in Dublin has increased by 39% in the month of May compared to last year, according to property website The almost 2,900 homes being advertised represents the highest one-month total for Dublin homes for rent since August 2015. Sale prices are now lower than a year ago in all parts of the country except Leinster (outside Dublin).”

From Globes on Israel. “In Tel Aviv, the number of homes offered to let started growing by mid-March, probably as apartments were taken off the short-term tourist rental market, through Airbnb, for example, and were advertised for rent on the local market.”

“‘There was a flood of apartments to rent as a result of the shortage of tenants, because some left,’ says Dadi Orion, branch manager of Anglo-Saxon Tel Aviv. ‘At the beginning of the coronavirus outbreak there was a dramatic drop in prices, of 20%. The whole market was flooded with apartments, and owners just looked for any tenants who would come in. Now it has started to even out, although it’s not what it was, because there’s a supply of apartments to rent that there hasn’t been in years. There are apartments standing empty.'”

The Bangkok Post in Thailand. “The Covid-19 pandemic has exacerbated an already uncertain residential and office property market in Bangkok, likely to lead to falling rents and a glut of vacancies, says the chief executive of Savills Thailand. ‘We were predicting the office market was going to come under immense pressure anyway irrespective of the Covid-19 event because the volume of new office supply in the central business district (CBD) is expected to reach 150% on top of a current level of supply that would have already put downward pressure on rental rates, likely leading to higher vacancy rates,’ said chief executive Robert Collins.”

“On the residential side, he said the market will feel the effects of the crisis much sooner, as developers struggle to sell off existing supply of condominiums as overseas buyers dwindle. ‘There is quite a lot of evidence that residential developers are reconsidering what to do with their land and in the first instance pushing back projects by a few years. For projects that are still in the design stage, they are going back to the drawing board and considering if they should stop bringing residential properties to the marketplace,’ said Mr Collins.”

The Nikkei Asian Review. “With the Philippines facing the worst economic downturn in 30 years, prices are set to fall by up to 15%, according to Colliers International. That could force local real estate holders to sell at huge losses and create fears that Filipinos could be priced out when the property market recovers. ‘They are going to sell at whatever price to get a buyer,’ said property consultant David Leechiu, who warned of steeper price falls if community quarantine and travel restrictions continue.”

From Nine News in Australia. “Million dollar home owners copped a big hit in real estate during COVID-19, and they are not happy about it. A survey found seller happiness was down 21 per cent for Australians who sold property worth more than $1.5 million in April, compared to the first financial quarter of 2020. South Australia and Victoria were recorded as a joint-second, followed by Tasmania, New South Wales, Queensland and Western Australia represented the country’s unhappiest sellers.”

“‘How does the old saying go? The bigger they are, the harder they fall,’ RateMyAgent CEO Mark Armstrong told of the survey results. ‘When you go to metropolitan markets where property is more expensive, they’ve had a greater growth in (market) dollar amount growth and the psychology of having to accept a little bit less on the other side is more in a metropolitan area than a regional area in rough numbers. Psychologically, sellers look at the dollar amount, not the percentage of fall.'”

This Post Has 99 Comments
  1. ‘getting a $20,000 special assessment in 2018. Her husband, a veteran and engineer, had to file for bankruptcy in 2018. She said she tried to hang onto the condo for as long as possible, cashing in her husband’s military pension and liquidating their savings. ‘That was a terrible idea’

    Well, it was cheaper than renting Rebekah.

    1. cashing in her husband’s military pension


      Nothing quite like betting the farm to stay in the Casino.

    2. “Fort McMurray condo owners hit with 3rd special assessment, this time for up to $76,000”

      Third time’s a charm!

      1. “Fort McMurray condo owners hit with 3rd special assessment, this time for up to $76,000”

        I would never, ever, ever buy a condo for the reason above. I know somebody who got a $40,000 special assessment.

  2. “…with an asking price of £5.5m. ‘The agent showing it told me he thought the developer would take £4.5m before I had even got my rubber gloves and mask on to look round,’ Pryor said. ‘We will probably bid £3.5m, and see how that goes.’”

    In American money, he’s proposing to bid about $4.5 million on a home with a near $7 million asking price.

    Won’t the seller be insulted?

    1. Won’t the seller be insulted?

      I don’t get why anyone would pay $7M to live in London. When it’s their turn to riot, you won’t be allowed to defend yourself with a peashooter or even a kitchen knife.

      When I last visited in 2017 the anger was palpable in the air. The veneer of civilization there is very thin and the gib me dats are thick. Crime there is worse than in DeBlasio’s New York.

  3. ‘there was a dramatic drop in prices, of 20%. The whole market was flooded with apartments, and owners just looked for any tenants who would come in. Now it has started to even out, although it’s not what it was, because there’s a supply of apartments to rent that there hasn’t been in years’

    You know Dadi, I’m pretty sure they were there all along.

  4. ‘The number of properties being advertised to rent in Dublin has increased by 39% in the month of May compared to last year, according to property website The almost 2,900 homes being advertised represents the highest one-month total for Dublin homes for rent since August 2015’

    But, airbnb says surging?

  5. Seattle, WA Housing Prices Crater 13% YOY As Amazon And Microsoft Layoffs Accelerate

    *Select price from dropdown menu on first chart

    As a noted economist questioned, “Why buy a house when you can rent one for half the monthly cost. Buy it later after prices crater for 70% less.

  6. I posted yesterday about the 2002-2003 SARS outbreak, which ended with a cumulative worldwide case total of about 8,000. At current rates, California alone adds more than that number of new cases every four days.

    We’re just in the first inning of COVID-19.

    The Financial Times
    Peter Wells an hour ago
    Rising rates of new cases in west and Deep South of US
    US states in the west and Deep South that were among the earliest to reopen continue to show an increase in the number of coronavirus cases, calling into question the policy of relaxing lockdown restrictions.

    A further 18,195 people in the US were reported to have tested positive over the past day, according to data compiled on Tuesday by the Covid Tracking Project, up from 16,240 on Monday.

    The largest number of new cases — 2,275 — were in Texas. This ranks as a one-day record for the state, but it did not report any new cases on Monday. That could be a result of the normal delays in reporting during and immediately following the weekend. New cases averaged a little more than 1,500 per day for the week to June 7.

    The next largest one-day increases in cases were in California and Florida, with 2,170 and 1,096 respectively. On a rolling seven-day basis, new cases in California of about 2,600 are near a record high, but the number of tests the state is conducting each day has been around 50,000 to 70,000 over the past two weeks, well up from between 30,000 and 50,000 a month ago.

    Florida’s seven-day average for new cases was at a record today at about 1,200 — double what it was two months ago — but the number of daily tests has recently varied in a range of less than 10,000 to just over 40,000.

    Similar patterns of rising new cases are emerging in other southern and western states, including Arizona, Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee.

    A further 941 people in the US died from the virus over the past 24 hours, according to the Covid Tracking Project, taking the overall national total to 105,981.

    1. For those who want to minimize the danger of covid-19, I simply point to China, which initially denied anything was amiss, then in draconian fashion, locked down large sections of its country, and 10s of millions of people, to try and understand why their hospitals were being overrun.

      The Chinese Communist Party is not a touchy-feely bunch, and they most assuredly would not react in such a way for a cold, or sniffles.

      I certainly don’t understand the true nature of this disease. Some people, even older people, get mild symptoms (Vint Cerf, inventor of the Web, just reported having a mild case for 3 weeks, and he’s not a spring chicken), but others are debilitated or die. One fact we do know that, unchecked, it has the ability to overload hospitals. Another fact is the older one is, the greater the likelihood of death if one contracts it, and moreso if one has the standard comorbidities.

      1. “I certainly don’t understand the true nature of this disease.”

        The seriousness of the disease is directly related to the financial incentives associated with patients being infected with it. For an example: If a patient with a heart problem is also infected with the coronavirus and he subsequently dies then the death is chalked up to being cause by the coronavirus. If the hospital is in need of funding (aren’t they all?) and funding is made available to hospitals in order to fight the coronavirus then – presto! – a lot of patients will be reported as having been infected with the coronavirus.

        There was an article about this a couple of weeks ago but it got lost via time and inattention.

        1. If a patient is suffering from several ailments, any one of which could kill him, and the patient dies then which of his several ailments killed him?

          If he has cancer and his heart stops did he die of cancer of did he die of a heart attack? One doctor may attribute the death to one cause while another doctor may choose the other one.

          If there is a financial incentive of choosing one cause over another then guess which cause will be chosen?

          1. (a snip of the article)

            Death certificates can be signed by a physician who was responsible for a patient who died in a hospital, which accounts for many COVID-19 deaths. They can also be signed by medical examiners or coroners, who are independent officials who work for individual counties or cities. Many COVID-19 death certificates are being handled by physicians unless the death occurred outside of the hospital, in which case a medical examiner or coroner would step in, said Dr. Sally Aiken, the president of the National Association of Medical Examiners (NAME). In some jurisdictions, including cities such as Chicago and Milwaukee, medical examiners are involved in determining the cause of death for every suspected COVID-19 case. In those jurisdictions, medical examiners review medical records even of patients who die in hospitals to ensure that the symptoms and any testing indicate that the patient did indeed die of COVID-19.
            Having medical examiners confirm COVID-19 deaths can create more uniformity and clearer documentation, Aiken told Live Science. On a death certificate, there are spaces to list an immediate cause of death, as well as the chain of events that led to that final disease or incident. There are also spaces for adding contributing factors.
            For COVID-19, the immediate cause of death might be listed as respiratory distress, with the second line reading “due to COVID-19.” Contributing factors such as heart disease, diabetes or high blood pressure would then be listed further down. This has led to some confusion by people arguing that the “real” cause of death was heart disease or diabetes, Aiken said, but that’s not the case.
            “Without the COVID19 being the last straw or the thing that led to the chain of events that led to death, they probably wouldn’t have died,” she said.
            Detecting COVID-19
            How hard it is to accurately determine whether COVID-19 was truly that last straw depends on the situation. Most COVID-19 deaths seen at Mount Sinai Health System in New York are in people who have comorbid (or co-occurring) conditions such as coronary artery disease or kidney disease, said Dr. Mary Fowkes, the chief of autopsy services at Mount Sinai. But it’s not typically difficult to tell what killed them.

            “Most of the cases are pretty straightforward,” Fowkes told Live Science. “The lungs are usually so severely involved with pathology, so they are two to three times or more the normal weight of a normal lung.”
            (The excess weight is due to fluid and cell detritus from damaged lung tissues.)
            In some cases, particularly those where someone dies at home or quickly perishes after entering an emergency room, the determination can be a little more fuzzy, said Dr. Jeremy Faust, an emergency physician at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Massachusetts.

            “The challenge is knowing who died of COVID-19 versus who died with the virus that causes COVID-19,” Faust told Live Science.
            Autopsies can help answer that question, but autopsy rates were low even pre-pandemic, Fowkes said. Even at Mount Sinai, a rare medical system that offers every family a chance to have their loved one autopsied for free, the rate of autopsy was only about 20% prior to the pandemic. According to NAME, there is an ongoing shortage of forensic pathologists working in the United States, with about 500 currently employed and a need for 1,200. Autopsies for COVID-19 can also be dangerous due to the infectious nature of the disease and ongoing shortages of personal protective equipment for pathologists.

            Another complication for assigning a cause of death for COVID-19 is that some younger people have died of strokes and heart attacks and then tested positive for COVID-19 without any history of respiratory symptoms. The virus is now known to cause blood clots, suggesting that COVID-19 was the killer in these cases, too. Fowkes and her colleagues conducted a microscopic inspection of the brains of 20 COVID-19 victims in her hospital system and found that six of them contained tiny blood clots that had caused small strokes before death.
            “We’re seeing it in younger patients than you would expect, and we’re seeing it in a distribution that you wouldn’t expect, so we think it’s related to the COVID,” Fowkes said.
            The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued guidelines for how to attribute a death to COVID-19. The guidelines urge using information from COVID-19 testing, where possible, but also allow for deaths to be listed as “presumed” or “probable” COVID-19 based on symptoms and the best clinical judgment of the person filling out the death certificate. A medical examiner trying to determine a cause of death in the absence of testing would comb medical records and query family and loved ones about the person’s symptoms before they died, Aiken said. Postmortem COVID-19 tests may be possible, depending on the jurisdiction.
            Underreporting or overreporting?
            All of the inconsistencies of cause-of-death reporting precede the COVID-19 pandemic, says Jay Wolfson, a professor of public health at the University of South Florida (USF). But getting good data about deaths is now extremely pressing, he told Live Science. Death certificates are often used by epidemiologists and public health officials to detect strange clusters of deaths or to link certain risk factors to certain causes of death. But because different states and localities have different rules about recording and reporting causes of death, the cumulative data is always messy.
            “I think some states are reluctant to open their databases up, knowing they have validity problems or knowing the data might be misused,” Wolfson said. But public health officials need access, he said, and they need to figure out ways to dig into the data and standardize them. Wolfson and other researchers at USF are already working with state officials to see what kind of data the state can legally release, he said.

            Meanwhile, as the political debate over the response to the virus heats up, some have argued that death reports are being deliberately skewed. Aiken rejected the notion of a vast conspiracy by medical examiners; medical examiners are designed to be independent entities, she said, and they run the political gamut from conservative to liberal.
            “It always cracks me up,” she said. “Medical examiners and coroners aren’t organized enough to have a conspiracy.”
            In Colorado, the discrepancy over people dying with COVID-19 versus of COVID-19 is due to federal reporting guidelines requiring the health department to report any COVID-positive death to the CDC, even if COVID-19 wasn’t thought to cause the death, Gov. Jared Polis said in a news conference Friday (May 15). The health department has been instructed not to report those deaths as being caused by COVID-19 to the public, Polis said.
            In Florida, state law prevents the release of death certificate data, Wolfson said, but it may be possible to get public release of death certificates with identifying information removed, or of cumulative datasets.
            Both undercounts and overcounts of COVID-19 deaths are possible, Wolfson said, but it’s not yet clear which is more likely, or whether they might simply balance each other out. Fowkes said that based on her experience, it’s more likely that COVID-19 deaths are being missed than overcounted. That’s because New York is among several cities that show spikes in deaths at home, and these anomalous spikes could be due to untested, untreated COVID-19.

            Perhaps, the best clue as to whether COVID-19 deaths have been undercounted or overcounted is excess mortality data. Excess mortality is deaths above and beyond what would normally be expected in a given population in a given year. CDC data shows a spike of excess mortality in early 2020, adding up to tens of thousands of deaths.
            Some argue that many of these excess deaths are related to COVID-19 lockdowns, not COVID-19 themselves, Faust said, because people fear catching the disease if they go to the hospital for other reasons. A study in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology did find that nine major hospitals saw a 38% drop in emergency visits for a particular kind of heart attack in March. That suggests that people really are delaying or avoiding medical care, which could mean that some of them die of preventable causes.
            But non-COVID conditions probably don’t explain most excess deaths, Faust said. Only a portion of heart attack visits would have represented lives saved, he said, because doctors must treat perhaps 10 patients to save one life. And other causes of death—such as motor vehicle accidents—are down.
            This could change with time, Faust cautioned. For example, if cancer patients forego their treatments for a year, rather than a few months, the impact on their death rates is much more likely to be noticeable in the population-wide data. But for now, he said, “it’s unlikely that the coronavirus deaths are being overcounted by a magnitude that explains our observation that something very unusual is going on.”

        2. The seriousness of the disease is directly related to the financial incentives associated with patients being infected with it.

          Maybe in the US, but in the fixed budget NHS systems in other countries AFAIK they aren’t getting paid extra for Covid patients.

          1. Reasonably accurate causes of death are particularly when dealing with epidemics. In med school almost zero training was given to those usually responsible for filling them out. Since autopsies have become rare, seldom does the physician have any feedback about mistakes that only autopsies can show.

      2. Chris Martenson at Peak Prosperity brought up a good point: the worldwide cases are going up, but the deaths are going down. There could be several reasons for that. Could be that virus is already weeding out the vulnerable (unlikely, given the low exposure rate). Could be that hospitals are getting better at treatments. Could be that mask-wearing and social distancing is decreasing initial viral load and what would have been deaths are now mild cases (most likely). Could be that countries are lying about their number of deaths. Or, it could be that the virus itself is mutating to be less deadly. (If the virus is man-made, we would expect this to happen rather quickly). Or it could be some combination of all of them.

        We need more genomics research on the virus itself. We don’t know anything about antibodies or immunity. Why do some people get mild cases and others get nailed? And more importantly, we don’t know about long-term effects. Does this virus totally disappear, or does it lurk inside for decades like chicken pox? I wouldn’t want to try the herd immunity route until we know more.

        1. When tests were few, they were rationed to severe cases with a high fatality rate. More widespread testing has resulted in uncovering more mild and asymptomatic cases. An easy misinterpretation of this uncontrolled sampling effort is to infer that a higher percentage of people have the disease, but the death rate is lower. This shift in perception could result from a change in the number of people tested alone, with no change to the underlying case distribution.

        2. We need more genomics research on the virus itself.

          The virus was a pretext to destroy the economy ahead of a presidential election. But let’s just waste more money doing things we don’t do for any other virus.

    2. Blessed be the truth tellers…

      However, the 2014 date mentioned in the article in connection to Sars is wrong.

      The Financial Times
      Coronavirus pandemic
      US virus expert warns pandemic has further to run
      Anthony Fauci says there is ‘no way’ Covid-19 will disappear until a vaccine is found
      Anthony Fauci’s warning comes despite moves by several hard-hit states to reopen their economies
      © AFP via Getty Images
      Hannah Kuchler in New York 6 hours ago

      Anthony Fauci, one of the doctors in charge of the US government’s coronavirus response, has warned that the outbreak is far from over, even as some of the worst-hit states start reopening their economies.

      Dr Fauci, the longtime head of the US National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said there was “no way” Covid-19 was going to burn itself out simply through current public health measures, like the Sars epidemic did in 2014, so a vaccine would be needed.

      “I’ll guarantee there is going to be more than one winner in the vaccine field because we’re going to need vaccines for the entire world,” he told a pharmaceutical industry conference on Tuesday. “Billions and billions of doses.”

      Dr Fauci’s warning comes despite President Donald Trump’s efforts to push a quicker reopening of the US economy. Although Mr Trump has taken credit for a better than expected employment outlook, there are signs of a jump in coronavirus cases in some southern and western states that relaxed their lockdown measures last month.

      Dr Fauci has previously warned that ending lockdowns too early could lead to “suffering and death” through uncontrollable outbreaks.

      The infectious disease expert said Covid-19 had fulfilled his worst pandemic fears: a virus that jumped from an animal to humans, was easily transmissible through breathing and had a high death rate.

      “Now we have something that turns out indeed to be my worst nightmare,” he said. “In a period of four months, it has devastated the world; 110,000 deaths in the US. There’s millions and millions of infections worldwide. And it isn’t over yet.”

      Dr Fauci said he was surprised by how quickly the virus was able to move from Wuhan to the rest of China and across the globe through innate infectiousness and because of humans’ “extraordinary travel capability”.

      Although he spent much of his career fighting HIV, Dr Fauci said Covid-19 was more complicated than the virus that causes Aids, especially because of the large number of asymptomatic individuals and the range in severity of the disease. He added that Ebola had been “really scary” but was never transmitted as easily as Covid-19.

      1. IIUC, isn’t AIDS also transmitted asymtomatically? Or at least pre-symptomatically. But AIDS has a very limited transmission route. You didn’t catch it at Wal-Mart or church (refrain from the jokes, please).

        I’m a little wary of Fauci and his “billions and billions of vaccines” schtick, since he’s such a vaccine pusher. I’d rather give this virus a chance to evolve to something less deadly.

        1. Fauci and his “billions and billions of vaccines”

          Without the cash flow from vaccine royalties a lot of Dr. Faucis wouldn’t exist.

    1. We’re seeing the effects of work at home. Yesterday, Grizz posted that agents were clamoring daily for his parents’ house in Montana, and now Sonoma and Carmel are looking very attractive to FAANG employees who are tired of dodging poop. If you can find a house for $500K, you’re better off even if you take a Zuckerberg pay cut.

      Those are the wealthy high-earners. But you could just as easily find some $80K mid-level programmer who would buy that broke guy’s $73K house in Mishawaka, Indiana (from yesterday’s post) and doing very well. We could be seeing a mass of cubicle dwellers going Oil City plan.

      1. Most jobs can’t be performed remotely. And those that can are more likely to be chopped long term. Most of the massive job losses we initially experienced were due to retail businesses completely shutting down, so the on site workers were not needed. When those open back up, the on site workers HAVE to be there. Long term job cuts due to a poor economy will hit the WFH crowd hard.

    2. There are 2 classes – you are mentioning the rich.

      The one i am watching for is the upper middle class – being paid $200-400 total compensation (including stock).

      [i mentioned this before – but hearing more and more about this from tech industry].

      Execs and Engineering leadership thinking: that Senior and Principal level engineers only need to come in 1 day a week or 1 day every 2 weeks for key design reviews. I have heard this for MSFT, GOOG and ORCL specifically – although they are not publishing this yet.

      So for those limited days – does it hurt to wake up at 4:30, start driving at 5 and head home in the evening. Yes a 14 hour day. But you dont have to live in Silicon Valley or Seattle.

      You can buy a lot more house, live in neighbourhoods without crap on the sidewalk, and have a backyard. I can see a lot of folks with a family that would consider this. Of course if you are still in the dating phase, you would still want to live downtown.

      1. so the fanciful thoughts of living in Hawaii, in a ski town like Breckenridge, or a lodge in Wyoming etc. would be out.

        But i think for MSFT and Amazon in Seattle, you could live in Lopez Island and take the ferry in for those limited days. Or you can live up in the mountains (Leavenworth etc).

        I am not sure the equivalent is in the Valley – maybe wine country or Sacremento etc.

      2. It seems to me that tech giants such as “MSFT, GOOG and ORCL specifically,” would be the first to design online meeting software that’s so close to the in-person experience that they could eliminate the need for a weekly in-person meeting.

        1. The plan is to use online video and screen sharing for daily standups, debug sessions, triage and other team engagement. This also includes sessions with customers, now virtual conferences etc.

          Longer 2-3 hour design reviews is where there are thinking that they need social distancing – but in person attendance for key engineers (not all). So this is the current thinking. Please GMs and VPs do want to have 1:1s with these folks at least monthly.

        2. they could eliminate the need for a weekly in-person meeting

          Most of our teams are geographically diverse, as in on different continents. The last time I had an in person meeting with my boss was over 2 years ago.

          I do occasionally head down to Denver for some VP’s quarterly all hands meeting, which I could attend via Zoom, mostly just to say hi to people in person.

          1. I dont think that you will see this with companies that have 20 to 50K software engineers. There is a bunch of structure that product engineering teams need to have right now as they make the migration – this could change over the next 2-5 years as they get more experience.

            In talking to a couple of execs – half of Q2 was basically a write-off for software engineering and product development. They are super focused on hitting the ground running on schedules/deliverables July 5.

            We shall see —-

            However, it is good news for folks that dont want to commute into the city center every day. They either live 2-3 hours away or completely remote.

          2. half of Q2 was basically a write-off for software engineering and product development. They are super focused on hitting the ground running on schedules/deliverables July 5.

            That’s interesting to hear, as I’ve been full speed ahead on my project, with very little slippage due to the transition to WFH (other than onboarding new team members more slowly).

            We’ve been as effective as we would be otherwise, IMO (for better or worse)

          3. We’ve been as effective as we would be otherwise

            Same here, but for us WFH has been a way of life for many. It is the very opposite of those oh so trendy bench seating environments.

            I haven’t seen any issues with our VPN, even though we are now “everyone works from home” and there are over 100K of us worldwide.

          4. That’s interesting to hear, as I’ve been full speed ahead on my project, with very little slippage due to the transition to WFH (other than onboarding new team members more slowly).

            Same here. We even got our semi-annual bonuses last month, our results were improved over the industry slowdown we had a year previously.

      3. start driving at 5 and head home in the evening

        Retired now, but I worked remotely for two decades, and I was a “key” engineer. I visited clients in N America, Europe and Asia by plane. I was a six hour drive or a one hour flight from the HQ. The employer paid travel expenses if I visited the office for a periodic meeting. I would always spend one or two nights in a local hotel, and have meals with various colleagues, also at their expense. It was less expensive for them than maintaining an office for me.

        Driving at the end of a 14 hour day is not smart.

        1. 14 hours is a 7-8 day + 2 hr commutes each way.

          and you only have to do this once a week or once every 2 weeks.

          1. 7-8 day

            In my experience, these kind of days eventually involve some meals. It remains that after a tiring long day, driving in the dark and/or weather is not the wisest thing.

            I don’t mind being tired, and I don’t mind being hungry, but I don’t like being tired and hungry. while driving.

        2. Driving at the end of a 14 hour day is not smart. A couple of MDs I knew back when died asleep at the wheel while they were driving home after a day / night at the hospital.

          1. That hurts.

            And reminds me of a nagging question in my mind: Given how much is known about the deleterious effects of sleep deprivation, why does the medical profession choose schedules for practitioners which foster chronic sleep deprivation?

          2. why does the medical profession choose schedules for practitioners which foster chronic sleep deprivation?

            Why do engineers take Calculus their first year with mostly indifferent professors? Why do Marines do the crucible in boot camp? You can justify it in a variety of ways, but in the end I think it’s to weed out the ones who aren’t fully committed. The medical profession enjoys making sure there is always a shortage of doctors and therefore money to be made and large student loans can be serviced.

          3. engineers take Calculus their first year with mostly indifferent professors

            Gosh, it used to be the first two years.

            I applied to engineering college in December. The admissions guy interviewed me and wanted me to wait for the fall semester. I told him I didn’t have any time to waste waiting for fall. He said they don’t offer Calc I in the spring semester. I told him I’d take Calc II then Calc I, then Dif Eq, then Calc III. I said that if I didn’t Ace any of these he could set me back and I’d repeat the course, also that I was SERIOUS and the school would be proud of me.

            He looked me in the eye and said he was going to admit me on the basis of Brass Balls, as it was occasionally his privilege to do.

          4. “I told him I’d take Calc II then Calc I, then Dif Eq, then Calc III. I said that if I didn’t Ace any of these he could set me back and I’d repeat the course, also that I was SERIOUS and the school would be proud of me.”

            An ABET certified engineering program has a course matrix that must be completed, in sequence. It’s a long slog with few opportunities to catch-up if you fail a class along the way because it affects eligibility for other aligned coursework. It’s likely the reason many engineers don’t smile much.

          5. You must have attended a very small undergraduate school. It’s unusual to not have enough students for at least one section of Calc 1 to pick up off-semester or failed students.

            My guess is that you had some Calc 1 experience in high school or work environment. (senior year math is pre-calc, which might have been enough.) You might be able to pass Calc II without any Calc 1, but not “ace” it.

            On the other hand, if your calc was the same as mine, then you can skip to DifEq without Calc 3.

          6. NJIT. Not exactly a tiny school. I had three weeks and the text to go through before class started. I did get an A in all four. “Couldn’t have” is a little harsh. Yes I went to a very going-to-college High School.

            I apologize if it sounded too much like bragging. I was just giving a personal example of insane seriousness, which I had then but wouldn’t have now for sure.

            must be completed, in sequence

            Oh dear. Do I have to give back my Tau Beta Pi pin?

          7. Gosh, it used to be the first two years.

            I should have said “started”.

            He said they don’t offer Calc I in the spring semester. I told him I’d take Calc II then Calc I, then Dif Eq, then Calc III.

            Whoa. That wouldn’t have worked for me. I ended up taking Calc II and DiffEq twice just to improve my grade and understand better. I’m definitely better at software than I am at that type of problem solving.

          8. The only thing I remember about calculus is something about surface integrals and washers and knowing right then that I was not wanting to see those ever again.

          9. The calculus series for engineers and scientists leaves an indelible impression on your soul. For the inquisitive the view of the world is forever changed.

          10. For the inquisitive the view of the world is forever changed.

            Those who just want a job suffer what they must.

          11. “Those who just want a job suffer what they must.”

            My son is suffering that gauntlet right now, and he has several years ahead of him; no smiles. I worry that his little head will get him in trouble.

  7. and then declared bankruptcy?

    Dumb as a rock.

    “cashing in her husband’s military pension and liquidating their savings”

  8. I’m trying to figure out how covid-19 is going to affect the real estate sector.

    For every house that is purchased, one of the following actions must occur to enable the purchase chain (right?):
    1) A renter has to buy a vacated house
    2) A foreigner has to buy a vacated house
    3) Someone has to buy a second house
    4) A foreclosee walks away, gets a new loan and buys a vacated house

    These actions are going to be suppressed. ON the other hand, because the Fed has unleashed the bazooka of sucking debt out of the system, making the GSEs flush with cash, making the government and Wall Street flush with cash, that coincides with a heavy trickle-down approach, upper tiers of income benefiting, and a strong expectation that houses will once again continue their relentless price climb.

    BUT – even though these other actions create the expectation of higher house prices, and allow the higher tiers of income to continue real estate activity, how will the required actions (1-4 above) that have to happen with every house purchase be affected? Enough first timers moving into purchasing because of FOMO expectations? But they need to be confident in their financial situations, house price stability and need to come up with down payments.

    Hard to see any obvious angle. Could just be flat for a while. Would there be a decline? Housing demand is always strong, especially with FOMO so deeply embedded in the national psyche. Population goes up by 20 million or so every decade, so demand stays strong there. The GSEs dutifully raise the ceiling for conforming loans by healthy margins every year. I don’t know that people look at houses as a path to riches nowadays so much – I dunno, I haven’t taken a poll, maybe they do. To me, the main financial benefit of a house is possibly locking in a lower fixed payment if your loan amount is small enough, and building some wealth for your heirs. Risks are of course is money pit and price declines.

    So, the coronavirus impact is not entirely clear to me.

      1. A herd of them have to sell. Nothing is more valuable that a buckets full of dollars. Nothing.

    1. “3) Someone has to buy a second house”

      Trillions of newly created Powell bux are seeking assets to HODL.

  9. UCLA Professor Under Police Protection Following Threats

    Chrissy Clark – JUNE 9, 2020 5:00 AM

    A college professor is living under police protection after rebuffing a request to exempt minority students from taking final exams in the wake of George Floyd’s death.

    University of California Los Angeles accounting professor Gordon Klein faced threats of violence after he declined a student’s request that he delay a final exam in light of national unrest. The university suspended the professor for three weeks beginning on June 25 and launched a discrimination investigation into the incident. Klein declined a request for comment, but a Malibu Police Department spokesman said the department increased police presence near the educator’s home after Klein received multiple threats.

    1. “rebuffing a request to exempt minority students from taking final exams”

      So wait, the whites have to take the finals while the minorities… what, get automatic A’s? Just who is being discriminated against?

  10. With love like this, who needs hatred?

    Market Extra
    In latest market rally, even companies filing for bankruptcy get love
    Published: June 9, 2020 at 3:13 p.m. ET
    By Sunny Oh
    The Chapter 11 process has historically led to significant losses for equity investors
    Getty Images

    In a sign of how unloved stocks are finally catching a break, shares of U.S. companies that have filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy are up sharply since last week.

    The rush into chapter 11 stocks appears to be an extreme manifestation of a rally that has started to broaden beyond a few high-flying tech shares, as optimism about the reopening of the U.S. economy gains traction. May’s employment report fueled the buoyant mood in risk assets, showing that the U.S. had gained 2.5 million jobs last month, versus a forecast for 7.25 million job losses.

    Andrew Lapthorne, head of quantitative equity strategy at Societe Generale, said the rotation into stocks that failed to participate in the equity rebound since March was reflected in how companies with fragile balance sheets were beginning to see sharp gains.

    He estimated investors would have reaped a 20% gain if they simultaneously bought shares in U.S. companies in weak financial shape and sold stocks with more robust balance sheets.

    See: Stock-market investors are eager to rotate into unloved sectors, but they should look before they leap

    Whiting Petroleum Corp. (WLL, -32.47%), Hertz Global Holdings Inc. (HTZ, -24.41%) and J.C. Penney (JCP, -14.70%) are among the companies that are seeing renewed interest even after filing for bankruptcy. Their gains, however, stalled on Tuesday as broader market indices such as the S&P 500 (SPX, -0.78%) and Dow (DJIA, -1.08%) fell.

  11. There’s no shortage of terrible real world economic news to cheer up the stock HODLer.

    1. The Financial Times
      Coronavirus business update 30 days complimentary
      International Energy Agency
      Global natural gas demand set for biggest fall on record
      Impact of pandemic and mild winter will lead to 4% drop this year, forecasts IEA

      Anjli Raval, Senior Energy Correspondent yesterday

      Global consumption of natural gas will drop this year by the most in history, according to the International Energy Agency, as measures to contain the spread of coronavirus lead to an unprecedented shock to demand.

      The Paris-based IEA said on Wednesday that the effects of the pandemic, combined with a mild winter in the northern hemisphere, will cause global natural gas consumption to drop 4 per cent in 2020, or 150bn cubic metres, with the impact spanning every region in the world. Such a fall would be twice as severe as that registered after the global financial crisis in 2009, when demand fell 2 per cent.

      Although the natural gas sector has experienced a smaller hit from government-imposed lockdowns than oil and coal, which are used more widely in transport and for commercial power generation, the dip shows the market “is far from immune” from the pandemic, said Fatih Birol, head of the IEA.

    2. The Financial Times
      Coronavirus business update 30 days complimentary
      Coronavirus economic impact
      OECD warns of deepest economic scars in peacetime for a century
      Rich nations forecast to struggle to recover from coronavirus pandemic impact
      People who lost their jobs wait in line to file for unemployment benefits in Fort Smith, Arkansas, US.
      © REUTERS
      Chris Giles in London
      6 hours ago

      Rich countries face a disappointing economic recovery from the historic downturn caused by the pandemic, which will leave deeper scars than any peacetime recession in the past 100 years, the OECD has warned.

      In a downbeat set of forecasts, the international organisation said on Wednesday that although developed economies were likely to experience a rapid initial bounceback from the recession, it would probably fall far short of bringing living standards back to their pre-pandemic level in early 2020.

      The forecasts paint a far gloomier picture of the next few years than global equity markets, which have recovered sharply from their March lows as investors take a much more upbeat view about global prospects.

      Laurence Boone, chief economist of the OECD, said the economic impact of coronavirus on unemployment, corporate bankruptcy and adjustments to normal life forced by social distancing would be large and would prevent a normal economic recovery from recession.

      Most people see a V-shaped recovery, but we think it’s going to stop half way,” she said. “By the end of 2021, the loss of income exceeds that of any previous recession over the last 100 years outside wartime, with dire and long-lasting consequences for people, firms and governments.

    3. Federal Reserve
      US economy will shrink 6.5% this year, Fed forecasts
      – Central bank paints bleak outlook for economy in 2020
      – Federal Reserve to keep interest rates close to zero into 2022
      Dominic Rushe in New York
      Wed 10 Jun 2020 14.49 EDT
      Last modified on Wed 10 Jun 2020 15.50 EDT

      The Federal Reserve chair, Jerome Powell. US stock markets, which have dipped in recent days, bounced back after the Fed statement on Wednesday.

      The US economy will shrink by 6.5% this year, the Federal Reserve has forecast, announcing it would keep interest rates close to zero into 2022.

      The US central bank’s moves come as the economy struggles with the impact of the coronavirus pandemic. However, the Fed expects the US economy will return to growth in 2021, with unemployment falling to 9.3% and GDP increasing 5%, followed by 3.5% growth in 2022.

      “The ongoing public health crisis will weigh heavily on economic activity, employment, and inflation in the near term, and poses considerable risks to the economic outlook over the medium term,” it said in a statement.

      The Fed cut interest rates to near zero in March when the global coronavirus pandemic reached US shores, and the Fed has since purchased more than $2tn in treasury and mortgage securities to ensure smooth market functioning.

  12. Now that the plandemic is over, how come so many people are talking about a second wave?

    1. To scare you into obeying.

      Get that mask on, stay in your dwelling and do as you’re told, as you spend the rest of your life cowering in fear.

      This country is ****ed. I’m glad that I had a chance to live in it when it was good.

      1. To scare you

        Most reasonable people were willing to be inconvenienced at the beginning when we were told the Great Plague was coming. Most reasonable people have long since realized that what the Voices of Authority have been telling us, and are still telling us, was wrong. It is now two months since this tiny epidemic burned out and we are still under ridiculous restrictions. It isn’t even much of a news story any more. We’ve moved on to another manufactured emotional vector.

        I don’t like being manipulated. I expect I’m not alone.

        1. Elephant warning!

          As global cases pass 7 million, WHO warns the pandemic is ‘far from over’
          Here are the latest coronavirus updates from around the world.
          A woman is sprayed with disinfectant before entering a shopping mall in Jakarta on Tuesday. Dita Alangkara / AP
          Updated June 9, 2020, 2:24 PM PDT

          Despite encouraging signs in east Asia and Europe, where economies are slowly reopening after months of lockdown, the World Health Organization has warned that the pandemic is “far from over” as the number of cases globally hit 7 million.

          “More than six months into the pandemic, this is not the time for any country to take its foot off the pedal,” WHO Director General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters on Monday.

          More than 135,000 cases were reported Sunday, he said, making it the worst day for new confirmed infections since the pandemic began. Some three quarters of the new cases were from 10 countries, including the U.S, which is approaching the 2 million cases mark.

          1. making it the worst day

            We keep doing tests. The numerator keeps going up. The denominator keeps getting ignored.

            This appeals to the dim witted only and is deliberate misrepresentation. Dr. WHO is a liar. NBC likes him I guess.

    2. Pandemic Wave 1.0
      Floyd Riots 1.0
      Pandemic Wave 2.0
      Floyd Riots 2.0
      Presidential Election

    1. Breana Clark told the council. “We need resources in our communities

      Translation: My friends and I need great paying make work jobs at a non profit.

    2. “After 12 hours of speakers and debate, the City Council declined to reduce police funding. The council agreed to create a new city Office on Race and Equity, and it increased rent relief funding by nearly $5 million to $15.1 million.”

      In the past, the municipal solution to acquiesce the barbarians was building a new Cultural Center…that nobody visited.

  13. Rather than defund the Police, the real solution is to defund the Welfare State

    When you have a political party that bribes voters to vote for them using public funds to finance a corrupted welfare system, that is the problem.

    The original immigrants that came over here had to work their asses off with no welfare from the State.They suceeded and following generations were able to do better and better. They wanted to be Americans and spiting on the Flag or expecting kneeling from the greater population would be unheard of.

    The welfare State created generations of gang infected hell holds.

    Could you imagine the Founding Fathers endorsing a welfare State whereby a Political party gets to bribe voters by using tax funds to support people who are non productive.

    Now the Dems want the ilegals to get welfare and free health care by tax funds.

    At the same time the Greedy Globalists don’t want anyone to notice that manufaçturing and jobs were outsourced to other Countries , while they have a whole political party that stays in power by wanting victims.

    This corruption has made it easy for the Commies to move right in with their takeover that promises all needs provided with everyone being equal.

    The false narrative of a racist Nation is a lie. It’s the hijacking of tax dollars to support a corrupted Politicàl party , who also was the party that voted to bail out the Banks in 2008.

    It’s all moral hazard, and it has been for a long time.
    It’s nothing but lies and fake news and Russian Hoax and fake investigations.

    Trump the outsider really stepped on the Swamp by getting elected. The resistance has really shown their true colors like never before. No other choice but to take out any Politicians that are a part of the highjacked America. Screw the Commies, screw the Globalist, screw the welfare State.

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