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A Question That Haunts Every Speculative Episode

A report from the Wall Street Journal on New York. “The coronavirus lockdown has frozen Manhattan’s luxury real-estate market, with the volume of deals slowing to a trickle over the past three months. But one developer said he’s seeing signs of life on—of all places—Billionaires’ Row in Manhattan. Two units asking roughly $30 million each have sold at the under-construction condominium 111 West 57th Street since March, according to Michael Stern of JDS Development, one of the building’s developers.”

“Mr. Stern said both deals were signed with only a ‘slight’ discount to the asking price. ‘Any developer who says their pricing is absolutely firm is not being serious,’ he said. ‘It’s the best time to be a buyer, because everyone is willing to listen to a reasonable offer at a fair discount.'”

The Idaho Statesman. “Baby-boomer buyers briefly pulled back. Sellers too. But on Boise’s bullet train to High Housing-Price City, the coronavirus pandemic has been little more than a curve in the track. Last month, 834 new and existing homes sold in Ada County, according to the Intermountain Multiple Listing Service. It was the lowest total for any May since 2014, when 783 homes changed hands. And prices? They went down too. The median price for homes sold in Ada County dropped from a record $374,900 in April to $360,450 in May.”

From Crain’s Chicago Business in Illinois. “A Highland Park house that the late architect Stanley Tigerman designed in the postmodern style in 1990 sold for less than the value of the land that it’s on. Designed as a ‘suburban village’ where different functions like cooking, sleeping and reading each get a separate node of the building off a plaza-like hallway, the three-bedroom, 5,100-square-foot house on Park Avenue West sold June 11 for $780,500.”

“The house is on 1.6 acres. Crain’s found three recent land sales nearby that, based on their price per square foot, would have sold for $947,000, on average. The Tigerman property, which the architect in 2017 described as ‘one of my favorites,’ went for 82 percent of that. ‘All I can tell you is that’s the world we’re in now,’ said Nancy London, the Baird & Warner agent who represented the buyers.”

“In recent months, a Frank Lloyd Wright house in Elmhurst and a Prairie School landmark in River Forest have also sold for the value of the land or less. Another Tigerman design, built in 1985 about four miles east and near Lake Michigan, has been on the market for most of the past five years, first listing at $3.25 million in June 2013. Its price is now down to $1.5 million, or about 64 percent of the $2.35 million the sellers paid for it in 1994.”

The Union Tribune in California. “San Diego officials are projecting they’ll take in less property tax revenues based on predictions of a rise in tax delinquencies and in foreclosures linked to the pandemic. Property tax, the city’s largest and most consistent revenue stream, typically doesn’t begin to dip significantly until a year or two into an economic downturn, because there is a delay in tax assessors re-assessing property values downward.”

“But city officials say they anticipate fewer people will pay the property taxes they owe during the new fiscal year that begins July 1. They predict San Diego’s delinquency rate will triple from an historically low 0.8 percent to 2.4 percent.”

The Los Angeles Times in California. “American Campus Communities, a large national student housing owner, has maintained mostly steady occupancy since March, Chief Marketing Officer Jason Wills said. Wills called a rash of lease-breaking in the spring a ‘knee-jerk response’ to confusion and concern. In mid-April, the company preleased 76.6% of its portfolio for the upcoming academic year — up from 76.2% during the same period last year.”

“However, Joseph Tobener, a Bay Area attorney specializing in tenant law, said his law office is fielding 15 to 20 calls a week from parents and students, primarily in the Bay Area, who want to break their lease. ‘It’s only going to get worse,’ he said.”

From Community Impact in Texas. “A total of 460 homes were sold across six Katy-area ZIP codes during May. This is a decrease of 35 from the previous month. Overall Houston-area home sales dropped 20% year over year in May, but none of the Katy-area ZIP codes that experienced sale price decreases saw that large of a drop. At 12%, ZIP code 77450 experienced the highest year-over-year decrease of the median price of homes sold in May among six Katy-area ZIP codes.”

“ZIP code 77441’s year-over-year drop was 10.9%, while ZIP code 77494 experienced a 6.8% decrease. This is the second month in a row that 77450 experienced a year-over-year decrease and the third month in a row for 77441.”

From Arlington Now in Virginia. “Another week of ramped up activity in Arlington! Sellers are listing homes at a faster pace than buyers can ratify contracts despite strong showings, fantastic interest rates and beautiful weather. Buyers — I encourage you to take a second look at properties that have been sitting on the market a little longer. Some of these are likely contemplating a price reduction and getting to them before that happens can spell huge opportunity.”

The Oregonian. “Former NFL quarterback Drew Bledsoe created a family compound in Bend that reflected his successful career. It’s been estimated by Realtor.com that a comparable property today would cost about $20 million. The dwelling was completed in 2008 as the housing bust was intensifying. His estate has it all, yet it took seven years to find a new owner and it finally sold at $5.6 million, a 43% discount from the original asking price of $9.95 million.”

“What finally motivated someone to make an offer that was accepted? A $20 million value for $5.6 million.”

From KITV in Hawaii. “Jackie Quinlan’s one bedroom condo at the Waikiki Banyan has a great view of the ocean, a full kitchen along with new furniture and fixtures, it even has a nonconforming-use certificate, which makes it a legal vacation rental. What it doesn’t have is guests, because it is not allowed be open for business. ‘This is my livelihood. I haven’t made any money since mid-March. Yet the hotels are able to make money. I don’t understand why they can operate, but we cannot,’ stated Quinlan. ‘Financially I am living off of my savings, it is very stressful,’ added Quinlan.”

“That frustration is being echoed by other legal vacation rental owners as well as property managers hurt by the targeted shutdown of their businesses. ‘I think it is frustration and desperation, like everyone else who has lost their job. The bills don’t stop coming, mortgages still have to be paid, or rent is still due,’ said Honolulu attorney Gregory Kugle.”

From Bloomberg. “Tuesday afternoon, a smallish Chinese real-estate firm, ticker symbol DUO, went crazy on the Nasdaq. Out of the blue, in a vacuum of news, depositary receipts of the Shenzhen-based outfit shot up 13-fold, taking its market capitalization to $4 billion. Nobody had a definitive reason why. But people could guess. Its name: Fangdd Network Group Ltd., sounds like the acronym for that amalgamation of American megacaps, the ‘Faangs.'”

“A lot of the stock market has this tinge of late. Get people to believe that other people will believe that a stock will go up, and fear-of-missing-out will take over. More than 15,000 retail clients of the Robinhood investing app added DUO to their account last week, a phalanx of day traders marching to war.”

“Newly minted equity experts in chat rooms, enticed by ever-falling fees, empower themselves and push shares of companies with not much profit into the stratosphere — sound familiar? Comparisons between today and the dot-com bubble write themselves, in the era of the Robinhood market. Whether this episode ends like that one has become an obsession of Wall Street.”

“Everyone knows the dot-com bubble ended badly — in a two-year bear market that cut the value of the U.S. equity market in half. Then again, it took years for warnings to come true that people would pay a price for blind speculation. The Nasdaq 100 doubled in 1999 — fortunes were made for people who sold at the top. How many will pull that off this time is a question that haunts this and every speculative episode.”

“‘It is definitely a sign of a bubble,’ said Matt Maley, chief market strategist for Miller Tabak. ‘That’s another sign of froth — people deciding, ‘I just need to bet, therefore I’ll bet on anything.’ And even though they don’t know anything about the stock market, they’re betting on it now. You’ve also seen that pick up in the options market, which is obviously a lot more speculative than the regular market.'”

“To Jim Bianco, president and founder of Bianco Research LLC, it all comes down to the Fed structuring the market so that everyone always wins. ‘That’s why we’re seeing a giant rush of small retail investors and everybody else into the market,’ Bianco told Bloomberg Television. ‘When you go into the market, you go to the riskiest end of the market, so you buy bankrupt companies, you buy beaten down airlines, you buy cruise ships, you buy retailers because they will benefit the most from a support system where everything is targeted, and the markets will always go up.'”

This Post Has 138 Comments
  1. ‘San Diego officials are projecting they’ll take in less property tax revenues based on predictions of a rise in tax delinquencies and in foreclosures linked to the pandemic’

    Eat yer crowz Thornberg.

    1. “…projecting they’ll take in less property tax revenues…”

      Under funded city/county pensions, here we come.

      1. The state (Colo) was making “catch up” payments to PERA, though I have no idea if they did any good. Those catch up payments have been stopped. PERA is one of the most underfunded pensions in the country.

      2. The bigger problem is central bank engineered near-zero to negative bond yields, which have the combined effects of hammering asset returns and making pension liabilities swell to gargantuan size, at a time when GDP is headed to negative. Net effect: Deeply underwater pensions.

        1. Retirement
          The Arrival Of The ‘Unavoidable Pension Crisis’
          May 25, 2020 10:04 AM ET
          Lance Roberts
          Summary
          I wrote an article in 2017 discussing the “Unavoidable Pension Crisis.” At that time, most did not understand the risk.

          Since then, the situation has continued to worsen.

          COVID-19 pandemic has likely triggered a rolling pension collapse over the next couple of years.

          This idea was discussed in more depth with members of my private investing community,Real Investment Advice PRO.

          In 2017, I wrote an article discussing the “Unavoidable Pension Crisis.” At that time, most did not understand the risk. However, two years later, the “Unavoidable Pension Crisis” has arrived.

          To understand we are today, we need a quick review.

          Currently, many pension funds, like the one in Houston, are scrambling to marginally lower return rates, issue debt, raise taxes, or increase contribution limits. The hope is to fill the gaping holes of underfunded liabilities in existing plans. Such measures, combined with an ongoing bull market, and increased participant contributions, will hopefully begin a healing process.

          Such is not likely to be the case.

          This problems are not something born of the last ‘financial crisis,’ but rather the culmination of 20-plus years of financial mismanagement.

          An April 2016, Moody’s analysis pegged the total 75-year unfunded liability for all state and local pension plans at $3.5 trillion. That’s the amount not covered by fund assets, future contributions, and investment returns ranging from 3.7% to 4.1%. Another calculation from the American Enterprise Institute comes up with $5.2 trillion, presuming that long-term bond yields an average 2.6%.

          With employee contribution requirements extremely low, the need to stretch for higher rates of return have put pensions in a precarious position. The underfunded status of pensions continues to increase.

          1. The whole analysis is off target, as it misses the role of rock-bottom yields in killing pension plans.

          2. “If the numbers above are right, the unfunded obligations of approximately $5-$6 trillion, depending on the estimates, would have to be set aside today such that the principal and interest would cover the program’s shortfall between tax revenues and payouts over the next 75 years.”

            That’s roughly what we’ve spent in the Middle-East on military conflicts during the past 20-yrs.

  2. ‘This is my livelihood. I haven’t made any money since mid-March. Yet the hotels are able to make money. I don’t understand why they can operate, but we cannot. Financially I am living off of my savings, it is very stressful’

    The hotels are losing their a$$es Jackie.

    1. When her house gets repoed, someone will get to live in it. When the hotel goes tits up, it’ll sit empty for years.

  3. ‘To Jim Bianco, president and founder of Bianco Research LLC, it all comes down to the Fed structuring the market so that everyone always wins’

    Click!

  4. ‘His estate has it all, yet it took seven years to find a new owner and it finally sold at $5.6 million, a 43% discount from the original asking price of $9.95 million. What finally motivated someone to make an offer that was accepted? A $20 million value for $5.6 million’

    ‘sold June 11 for $780,500…Crain’s found three recent land sales nearby that, based on their price per square foot, would have sold for $947,000, on average. The Tigerman property went for 82 percent of that’

    ‘In recent months, a Frank Lloyd Wright house in Elmhurst and a Prairie School landmark in River Forest have also sold for the value of the land or less. Another Tigerman design, built in 1985 about four miles east and near Lake Michigan, has been on the market for most of the past five years, first listing at $3.25 million in June 2013. Its price is now down to $1.5 million, or about 64 percent of the $2.35 million the sellers paid for it in 1994’

    Real estate always goes up…

    1. Plus they have Illinois taxes on them. That state is broke and is relying on a federal bailout that it is probably not going to get.

      1. Isn’t the FED already giving “loans” to states? They’ll probably bail them out with the irresponsible states getting the most. “Moral hazard” is alive and well.

  5. Re-post from the last thread, CNBC’s Jim Cramer on Friday 6/12:

    “Cramer said the market is being shaped by amateur investors biting at low dollar stocks and warned that “rampant speculation” tends to end in disappointment. He said the market, which is attempting to bounce back after being hobbled by the coronavirus pandemic, was due for a pullback.”

    There have been a number of related articles recently about unemployed Gen-Z daytraders disrupting the market from their moms’ basements on the Robinhood app.

    I’ve been reading the wallstreetbets sub-Reddit, looks like most of these kids are losing money, it’s fun to watch.

    What’s going to happen on Wall Street this week? I predict at least one 1,000+ DOW drop, possibly tomorrow.

    1. UW model predicts

      If we’ve been reminded of anything lately it’s that math experts cannot predict the future, and that fortune telling is not science.

      It’s good for funding though.

      1. experts cannot predict the future, and that fortune telling is not science.

        +Infinity. A model merely reports the outcome embodied in the assumptions underlying the model. Incorrect assumptions yields incorrect results. Garbage in, garbage out.

    2. These COVID forecasting models must come from the same quacks who sold the Fed its economic forecasting models.

  6. “American Campus Communities, a large national student housing owner, has maintained mostly steady occupancy since March, Chief Marketing Officer Jason Wills said. Wills called a rash of lease-breaking in the spring a ‘knee-jerk response’ to confusion and concern. In mid-April, the company preleased 76.6% of its portfolio for the upcoming academic year — up from 76.2% during the same period last year.”

    I don’t know about the rest of the world, but my college kidz are living at home and taking courses online. And the announcements are already out that online courses will continue in the fall, into the indefinite future.

    Seems like the college housing investment scam is dead as a door nail…

    1. How is the young generation going to experience the going wild without parental supervision phase of growing up?

    2. I read that years ago, universities explored renting out the dorm rooms during the summer to tourists. Almost like the original airbnb except never heard about it becoming a thing. Maybe too late or too risky nowadays to open up dorms to adults that want an affordable choice to motels?

      1. renting out the dorm rooms during the summer

        NYU Law School used to rent their dorm rooms during the summer to law firm summer associates among others. Smallest room I’ve ever stayed in: two twin beds long x two twin beds wide.

      2. I don’t know if they were fully used, but even in my days, dorms were used for Summer Camps for wealthy kids. ie Cheerleading, soccer, robotics, etc. However, not this summer.

  7. I got this from Crain’s New York:

    “Empty apartments surge to record levels in parts of Manhattan”

    These metro apartment markets have melted down the past two months.

  8. A Highland Park house that the late architect Stanley Tigerman designed in the postmodern style

    If you guys have the time, I highly recommend you take a look at the pix for this monstrosity of a dwelling. My first impression is that this thing was designed by Krusty the Clown for client couple who hated each other and didn’t want to interact with each other.

    A kitchen with a SBUX-style eating counter (the kind where you can sit next to strangers without looking at them. A dining room that looks like a break room. A powder room that belongs on an airplane. A library capsule(?) encased inside another empty room. The best view is given to the laundry room. I’m not making this up.

    Here’s the Zillow linkie: https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/1940-Park-Ave-W-Highland-Park-IL-60035/4903621_zpid/

    1. Spending nearly $800k, and it has a motorized TV antenna? That “art-suprematism” carpet with the piano is a strange fit. I agree with you regarding the laundry room; with some soft music I could fold clothes all day long in there!

      1. Hey we had a motorized antenna growing but then there was no cable so we had a choice of a lot more TV stations then our neighbors..

    2. This is horrible. Looks like a medical clinic or shared office. Ripe for a pickup by WeWork!

  9. Buyers — I encourage you to take a second look at properties that have been sitting on the market a little longer.

    No thanks. I’d rather watch the greedhead “I’m not giving it away” sellers twisting in the wind.

  10. “What finally motivated someone to make an offer that was accepted? A $20 million value for $5.6 million.”

    Wrong. The new value is now $5.6 million, until it changes hands at some future point for much less.

  11. ‘Financially I am living off of my savings, it is very stressful,’ added Quinlan.”

    Perhaps stamping your little feet would dissipate some of that stress, Jackie.

  12. Gotta admit, I’m enjoying seeing the “woke” movement acting like a snake devouring its own tail. The desiccated soulless fashionista elites who hosted high-dollar fundraisers for the likes of Bill Clinton and Barak Obama are now under attack from their former acolytes for their white privilege, as well as being horrible human beings.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8416269/Anna-Wintours-apology-not-promoting-black-staff-far-late-says-former-right-hand-man.html

    1. Rental Market Faces $726M Hit as Pandemic Drives Gen Z Back Home
      Posted by Editor on June 12, 2020 in Business
      Rentals Generation Z
      A new report indicates that the pandemic and resulting unemployment have forced many young adults to move back home. Photo credit: Zillow.com

      Unemployment has prompted millions of young adults to move back in with their parents, according to an analysis of the rental market.

      The report, from Zillow.com, shows potential rent lost from Generation Z alone could total an estimated $726 million.

      The ripple effects of their next move could have far-reaching consequences for the housing market, the authors concluded.

      The number of adults living in a parent’s or grandparent’s home grew by more than 2.7 million in March and April, as the coronavirus pandemic took hold.

      That’s nearly triple the largest two-month increase in the past five years. A large majority of those who moved home, about 2.2 million, are between 18 and 25 years old.

      In the San Diego metro area, 11.4% of renters are in Gen Z. Those who moved home in March and April represent $12.7 million in monthly rent payments at risk.

      The $726 million in rent payments each month comprise about 1.4% of the rental market. If jobs quickly return, housing could rebound. But if jobs are permanently lost or slow to recover, that could free up rental units, driving down prices.

      1. “… that could free up rental units, driving down prices.”

        Ordinary people being able to afford decent housing? The horror!

        1. San Diego city leaders would rather have a huge homeless population than to make affordable housing available to their citizens.

    2. Forecast: San Diego rents to drop by 10%
      The San Diego Union-Tribune

      A well-known real estate tracker is predicting a 10 percent drop in rents in San Diego County by the end of the year because of the economic fallout of COVID-19. CoStar says the average rent now, around $1,840 a month, should drop to roughly $1,664 a month by the last three months of 2020.

      1. Gosh, I sure hope no investors lose money from not factoring in such high vacancy rates and low affordability into their assumptions.

      1. *Fall asleep in a drive thru*
        *Fail Sobriety Test*
        *Fight with Cops*
        *Steal Taser*
        *Run from Cops*
        *Shoot Taser at cops*
        *Get shot*

        MSM: Why do the police keep killing innocent unarmed black men?

          1. Talk about a stupid comment.

            The scumbag had numerous opportunities to submit to arrest, but he did not. Good shoot and the world is a slightly better place without that loser.

          2. If you point something at the police, they will think it’s a gun and shoot at you. This has been common knowledge for, like, decades. Did the cops check this guy for a weapon first? That might be a deciding factor. If they knew he had no other weapon, and therefore the pointy thing had to be the non-lethal taser, that’s an argument against the LEOs.

        1. *Shoot Taser at cops*

          And in the dark there was no way for the cops to know what he was pointing at them. I believe this is known as “suicide by cop”

          1. If he shot the taser at the cops, wouldn’t that justify them shooting him? How could they have known if he was using the taser or a handgun?

          2. “How could they have known if he was using the taser or a handgun?”

            Note the taser’s neon yellow frame.

    1. This same sh*t-show is going to play out in one progressive-maladministered city after the other

      I think this is a feature, not a bug. They clearly do NOT care about any semblance of law and order in their cities. They want anarchy and lawlessness.

      1. “I have a foreboding of an America in my children’s or grandchildren’s time — when the United States is a service and information economy; when nearly all the manufacturing industries have slipped away to other countries; when awesome technological powers are in the hands of a very few, and no one representing the public interest can even grasp the issues; when the people have lost the ability to set their own agendas or knowledgeably question those in authority; when, clutching our crystals and nervously consulting our horoscopes, our critical faculties in decline, unable to distinguish between what feels good and what’s true, we slide, almost without noticing, back into superstition and darkness” — Carl Sagan

      2. They clearly do NOT care about any semblance of law and order in their cities. They want anarchy and lawlessness.

        They say that apparently having no idea how lack of law and order will eventually affect them personally. It’s hard to take “leaders” with that little vision and foresight seriously.

        1. I seriously believe now that the end goal is for across the board anarchy so that the republic will collapse and a new order can be established. With them in charge, and no free elections, of course.

          1. the end goal is

            No doubt for a few, it has always been so. Apathy is a luxury we can no longer afford.

        1. “Wasn’t this country founded via violent revolution?”

          By people who didn’t need their bricks delivered.

          1. By people who didn’t need their bricks delivered.

            And by people who had thought out their positions and were willing to die for what they believed in.

            Quite different from these Lord of the Flies children.

        2. Wasn’t this country founded via violent revolution?

          Against an occupying foreign power, which employed foreign mercenaries.

        3. Protest movements don’t last long without a leader. Where’s the Frederick Douglass? Or JFK or RFK or MLK of this generation? It’s clear the Obamas aren’t going to take on the role.

          1. Where’s the Frederick Douglass?

            Real hardship brings out real heroes. Victim politics, with little to complain about compared to seriously hard times, seems to only bring out the sheep and the mad dogs.

            I think it is still too early for a real hero. The hardship bed is well made though so perhaps there will be a winnowing. Neighbors will only survive through mutual aid, not by throwing bricks at each other. We’ll see.

    1. Protesters call for Baltimore to defund police; tell lawmakers ‘you about to lose your job’

      —————
      Tre Murphy of Organizing Black called it “a constant reminder every time they walk into the building.”

      “We telling ‘em we here and we coming to collect,” he told the crowd of protesters Friday afternoon.

      Murphy said that organizers are also aiming to root out politicians who are in the pockets of the Baltimore Police Department.

      “We coming to get you out, and then inside that same process, we going to take 50% of the police department budget,” he declared. The crowd erupted in cheers.

      Everyone began to chant “You about to lose your job,” which is now a viral hit after video of a woman singing while being detained in early June was remixed.

      “Let ‘em know you about to lose your job because we comin’: we comin’ for our power; we comin’ for our money; we comin’ for everything that should have been ours in the first place, but all these politicians, the police, they’ve been stealing our resources,” Murphy explained. “They’ve been hoarding their power, and it’s been waiting for a time like this for us to say ‘Y’all are going to implement our agenda. It’s no more about what you want.”

      Organizing Black presented a list of four demands to the Baltimore City Council:

      1. Immediate divestment from the Baltimore City Police Department
      2. That half of the Baltimore Police Department’s 2020 budget be reinvested in Black communities
      3. Abolishment of the Law Enforcement Officers’ Bill of Rights
      4. Local control of the Baltimore Police Department
      —————–

      https://wtop.com/baltimore/2020/06/protesters-call-for-baltimore-to-defund-police-tell-lawmakers-you-about-to-lose-your-job/

      1. half of the Baltimore Police Department’s 2020 budget be reinvested in Black communities

        Ironically, that money has already been spent. Stay in school, math is important.

    1. Is the Fed’s predicted recovery V-shaped, L-shaped, or something else?

      Business
      Fed warns US faces ‘long road’ to recovery
      10 June 2020

      The head of America’s central bank has pledged to continue support for the US economy for “as long as it takes”.

      Warning that the US faces a “long road” to recovery, Federal Reserve Chair Jerome Powell said the bank would keep interest rates near zero for the foreseeable future.

      A policymaker forecast released by the Fed showed rates remaining low until the end of 2022.

      “This is going to take some time,” Mr Powell said.

      In December, Fed policymakers said they expected the US economy to grow about 2% this year and the unemployment rate to remain around 3.5%.

      But the pandemic has dramatically rewritten that outlook, prompting the loss of more than 20 million jobs in March and April in the US alone.

      The OECD on Wednesday said the pandemic had triggered the most severe recession in a century and warned that the global economy could contract 7.6% this year, should a second outbreak hit.

      Predictions released by the Fed on Wednesday show policymakers expect the US economy to shrink 6.5% this year and the unemployment rate to be 9.3%, before falling to 6.5% in 2021.

      That would still be a big increase from the 3.5% rate recorded in February.

      1. Prof, have you been listening to Raoul Pal at Real Vision finance? He thinks we’re on our way to a solvency crisis, not a liquidity crisis.

    2. Is a V-shaped recovery in the bag?

      Yeah, and the point of the “V” seems to be wearing a hole in the bag and may fall out of the bottom soon.

    3. The Financial Times
      Coronavirus business update 30 days complimentary
      Markets Briefing Equities
      Global stocks fall after jump in China and US coronavirus cases
      Equities hit by fears new outbreaks in world’s top two economies could prompt second wave
      Japanese stocks fell on rising concerns of a second wave of coronavirus cases
      © AFP via Getty Images
      Hudson Lockett in Hong Kong 57 minutes ago

      Global stocks fell after a jump in new coronavirus infections in the US and China stoked investor concerns over a potential second wave of the pandemic.

      In Asia-Pacific on Monday, Japan’s benchmark Topix index dropped 0.7 per cent while Hong Kong’s Hang Seng index and China’s CSI 300 shares slipped by 0.6 per cent and 0.1 per cent respectively. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 fell 1.2 per cent and South Korea’s Kospi shed 1.3 per cent.

      Futures markets tipped the S&P 500 to drop 1.7 per cent when Wall Street begins trading later in the day. The FTSE 100 was expected to fall 0.7 per cent.

      Those losses came after almost 80 new coronavirus infections were recorded in Beijing over the weekend, many linked to a fresh seafood and vegetable wholesale market. Until the latest outbreak, the city had gone more than 50 days without a new case and the development has prompted concerns over a second wave of infections in the Chinese capital.

      That has raised the prospect of new lockdowns in China, which could derail the country’s economic recovery. China’s National Bureau of Statistics said on Monday that industrial production in May grew by 4.4 per cent year on year, higher than the month before but still below some analysts’ expectations.

      Equity markets — which have staged a powerful rally in recent weeks — have also been unsettled by a jump in US coronavirus cases. Covid-19 infections increased by more than 25,000 over the weekend with states including Texas and Florida reporting record rises after reopening their economies.

      More than 2m people have tested positive for Covid-19 in the US, the most of any country. More than 100,000 have died of the virus.

      “At a global level, this talk of second waves is misplaced, as daily new cases have been rising steadily since early May,” said Robert Carnell, head of research for Asia-Pacific at ING. “Also, if globally, we are still in wave one, then it is possible that without a vaccine, the big wave is still lying out there somewhere waiting to hit.”

    1. It will start with looters hijacking those flimsy little Amazon vans. They’ll move on up to hijacking larger trucks and confiscating the goods. It doesn’t take much to slash a tire. Maybe that’s why all those companies are pledging millions of dollars to “causes.” To keep their trucks safe.

      1. Maybe that’s why all those companies are pledging millions of dollars to “causes.” To keep their trucks safe.

        It won’t work, and I can guarantee that Jeff Bezos doesn’t care what happens to his serfs.

    2. Oh dear…77% of independent truck drivers are refusing to make deliveries to libtard-run cities that have voted to defund their police departments.

      FWIW, that was a poll. We’ll see what happens when push comes to shove. I’m inclined to think that many truckers will boycott.

      1. Supplies don’t get shipped to cities, they get shipped to businesses, which might have been looted and burned. Anything is possible if enough money is available. Should be interesting.

    1. Millions of “furloughs” are about to become permanent.

      I was surprised when the media used the word furlough, as it was obvious that millions of job losses were permanent.

  13. I read “The Coming Generational Storm” about 10 years ago. Seems like things are speeding up to make that book’s thesis come true. I need to re-read it. I think Kotlikoff had a 70 trillion dollar deficiency at the worst of it. At what point will the dollar amount be pointless and we just declare all thedebtas have to be erased?

  14. ‘We’re thinking landslide’: Beyond D.C., GOP officials see Trump on glide path to reelection
    https://www.politico.com/news/2020/06/15/trump-glide-reelection-republican-officials-316457

    (snip)

    “Interviews with more than 50 state, district and county Republican Party chairs depict a version of the electoral landscape that is no worse for Trump than six months ago — and possibly even slightly better. According to this view, the coronavirus is on its way out and the economy is coming back. Polls are unreliable, Joe Biden is too frail to last, and the media still doesn’t get it.”

    1. Little nugget: “Redfin isn’t expected to begin generating meaningful free cash until 2024. Revenue by then is expected to multiply more than four times, to $3.6 billion.”

      1. This article is more about Redfin and Taylor Morrison than how the pandemic has changed what home buyers want (more social-distancing space and his and hers Zoom rooms).

    1. “The bill, named the Monthly Economic Crisis Support Act, was introduced in May by Sens. Kamala Harris, D-Calif.; Bernie Sanders, I-Vt.; and Ed Markey, D-Mass.” ‘Nuff said.

    1. Well, there a area that’s long overdo that I think need. a Political group for.

      “Comedians Lives Matter”
      Comedians got more than their fair share of Covid-19 and none of them get their own bathroom. For decades they have been booed off the stage, and that’s just racism man, admit it.
      Comedians won’t get a gig if they don’t make people laugh, so it’s high time that Cops are defunded so Comedians get some more of that free Gov Cheese.
      You know that it was discrimation to consider Comedians a non essential business, so take a knee because COMEDIAN LIVES MATTER.

      Donations will be taken at your local Walmart, to be diverted to BIDEN For President fund.

    1. According to your friends at Morgan Stanley, every stock market dip is merely a prelude to the next leg up in the bull market. So buy this dip, and prepare to ride the bull!

      1. ‘“We maintain our positive view for U.S. equity markets because it’s early in a new economic cycle and bull market. Last week’s correction was overdue and likely has another 5-7% downside. It’s healthy and we are buyers into weakness with a small/mid-cap and cyclical tilt,” the investment bank’s strategists said.’

        1. Is a severe case of COVID-brain leading you to gamble foolishly in cratering risk assets?

          1. The Financial Times
            Coronavirus business update 30 days complimentary
            Coronavirus treatment
            Coronavirus could infect human brain and replicate, US study shows
            Johns Hopkins University research adds to concern about poorly understood neurological symptoms
            Microscope image from within the ‘mini-brain’ showing a neuron stained red to show infection with coronavirus
            © Lena Smirnova, Johns Hopkins University
            Clive Cookson, Science Editor 3 hours ago

            US scientists have found the first direct evidence that coronavirus could infect the human brain and replicate inside its cells, heightening concern about the disease’s poorly understood neurological symptoms.

            Thomas Hartung and colleagues at Johns Hopkins University made the discovery after adding low levels of Sars-Cov-2, the virus responsible for Covid-19, to tiny neuronal balls known as mini-brains that are grown from human stem cells.

            The researchers found the virus infected neurons in the mini-brains via the ACE2 human protein that is known to be an important entry point for Sars-Cov-2. The virus then multiplied within the neurons; within three days the number of copies had increased at least tenfold.

            “It is really critical to know that our most precious organ can be directly affected by the virus,” said Prof Hartung, a toxicology expert at Johns Hopkins, adding it was still unclear how frequently this happened in Covid-19 patients.

            Whether the virus can infect the brain is among the biggest questions in a long list of unknowns about the way the disease seems to affect most tissues and organs in the human body.

            The study, which is under peer review at the journal Altex but not yet published, follows unconfirmed reports of neurological symptoms in Covid-19 patients, including in the original outbreak in Wuhan. More than a third of coronavirus victims who were hospitalised in the Chinese city exhibited neurological symptoms, including dizziness, headache and seizures.

  15. Associated Press
    Utah and Oregon put reopening of economies on hold amid spikes in coronavirus cases, but Texas, Arkansas and Arizona press on despite warning signs
    Published: June 13, 2020 at 8:17 p.m. ET
    By Associated Press
    U.S. states are weighing health risks against economic damage from stay-at-home orders that have thrown millions out of work
    Doiners are waited on at Mission Rock in San Francisco on Friday, the first day outdoor dining was allowed at the city’s restaurants since the COVID-19 pandemic began. AP

    Utah and Oregon put any further reopening of their economies on hold Saturday amid a spike in coronavirus cases, but there was no turning back in such states as Texas, Arkansas and Arizona despite warning signs flashing there too.

    One by one, U.S. states are weighing the health risks from the virus against the economic damage from the stay-at-home orders that have thrown millions out of work over the past three months.

    And many governors are coming down on the side of jobs, even though an Associated Press analysis this week found that cases are rising in nearly half of U.S. states — a trend experts attributed in part to the gradual reopening of businesses over the past few weeks.

    1. I’m surprised they haven’t said the Stock Market is racist . Time for raprations from the SM. This is obviously a long term institution in which the oppressed has been denied their right to easy money.

      The homeless don’t get to invest, so this should be a God given right along with housing, health care, and Food Stamps.

      1. “The homeless don’t get to invest, so this should be a God given right along with housing, health care, and Food Stamps.”

        The smartest investment anyone can make is in yourself.

    2. cases are rising in nearly half of U.S. states

      It’s a sign of the times when the virtual world casts a shadow over the mind that the real world cannot shake.

      The virtual cases are being mined and more artifacts keep being found. Real live medical cases are becoming rare. We only have the artifacts to keep the dim witted cowering. Use what you’ve got and spread the narrative!

      1. Per the worldometer web page the US has been dethroned as the daily deaths leader for a few days. Today’s count has the US at #7 with 93 deaths. Mexico and Brazil are the new leaders.

        My county, which at the peak (April 29) had 20 new cases per day, is down to 0-1 cases per day, and we started reopening over a month ago. Restaurant dining rooms have been open for weeks.

  16. How can we go from the Civil Rights movements of the 60s insuring that all the races have equal right to the pursuit of happiness, to free shit from the Gov. Is our right.

    You don’t hear the protestors and looters demanding jobs . The Seattle group demands that Cops are defunded in favor of free shit to them.

    While these Commies demand to be taken care of by the productive class that pays taxes, they don’t think that they should lift a finger to provide their
    own needs.

    They are stuck in fecus mode. Do they really think a Commie regime is going to let them sit around on their ass, take provided dope, and party hardy while these other people have to work?

    1. Do they really think a Commie regime is going to let them…

      Let them? They think they will be the commie regime. They put the “idiot” in “useful idiots”.

      1. In the 60s we as a nation answered the call for equality and moved in that direction. How will we answer the call for superiority? Probably not in exactly the same way.

        1. Especially since the 3 major minority groups are rivals. Sure, they make nice on TV and will endorse creepy Joe, but behind the scenes you know they don’t trust each other.

        2. Apparently the new cultural wars are about where government funds should go.
          The hippies of the sixties were protesting against the War in Viet Nam , as well as Civil Rights for all.

          How does that morph 60 years later into give me free shit, kick the police out, and White people have to hide there light under a bushel and kneel to __________.

          1. How does that morph 60 years later

            A lifetime of government looting for the benefit of the privileged, cheap easy credit but no jobs?

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