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Mass Foreclosures And Permanent Job Losses Will Snowball Into A Larger Crisis

A weekend topic starting with Market Watch. “Commercial real estate’s COVID-19 woes can’t be patched up with more debt. That’s Lisa Pendergast, executive director of the CRE Finance Council, an industry group focused on the $4.6 trillion commercial real estate finance market, on the pile of problems confronting properties as a result of the coronavirus pandemic. In June, the delinquency rate for property loans that were bundled into commercial mortgage-backed securities deals hit a near all-time high of 10.3%, a jump from only 2.8% a year prior, according to Trepp.”

“‘The numbers are truly eye popping,’ Pendergast said of the rapid pace of building owners falling behind of their mortgages. During the global financial crisis it ‘was kind of a rolling disaster that was slower to materialize,’ she said, speaking of the distress that eventually hit commercial properties a decade ago. ‘Here, it was overnight.'”

The Denver Post in Colorado. “When the coronavirus hit, Denver was coming off the biggest years for new apartment construction in its history. Developers completed more than 26,000 apartments in the Mile High metro over the last two years, including a record 13,300 in 2018, according to data from Denver-based data firm Apartment Insights. The year represents the crest in a surge in apartment development dating back to at least 2015.”

“Now that the decade-long economic expansion that helped fuel the boom has come to an abrupt end, apartment developers — in Denver and across the country — find themselves at a crossroads. Coronavirus has visited some short-term pain on the city’s apartment market. Kairoi Residential’s new Park 17 apartment building near the intersection of East 17th and Park avenues is about 12% leased so far.”

“Vacancy rates went up, rents came down and new units stayed empty for longer. Denver’s core downtown neighborhoods were hit the hardest. ‘People opening their doors over the next six months or a year, they are probably going to have suffer some slow absorption, probably are going to have to offer more concessions than they planned on,’ said Scott Rathbun, a consultant with Apartment Insights.”

From Bisnow on New York. “The city is closing down streets to allow for more outdoor dining space, but Melissa Fleischut, the president and chief executive of the New York State Restaurant Association, told The New York Times this week that it needs to be expanded. ‘I don’t know anybody who would have the capacity outdoors that they have indoors,’ she said to the publication. ‘The sales are just not anywhere where they need to be to make restaurants profitable.'”

“‘I have these arguments with the landlord: We have no ability to operate in some places, and I say, ‘How can you ask me to pay rent?’ said Nicholas Stone, the founder of Australian coffee chain Bluestone Lane. They go, ‘it’s not my problem.’ Well, asset prices have gone up so much in the last five or 10 years, it’s time now for everyone to share the pain.'”

From Marketplace. “The rent in places like New York and San Francisco is, to use a technical term, insane. The average rent for a one bedroom in New York is $4,208 according to one estimate. Will that change? Yuri Pinter lives in a ‘convertible two bedroom’ on the fourth floor of a walk-up in Hell’s Kitchen. That means it was built as a one bedroom, but a partial wall has been constructed to convert the living room into a second bedroom. There is no living room. This is a fairly common way of life in New York.”

“The rent is $2,500 a month. Pinter asked for a break. ‘I sent them an email and I asked for 50% off actually, I asked for half price.’ The landlord was accommodating. ‘He said, we can’t do fifty percent but we’ll do 25%.'”

“Pinter is wondering if he’s going to stay. ‘It’s not worth it, New York City rent is not worth it. Cause we’re paying for the lifestyle, we’re paying for the city, we’re paying for the life outside of the apartment, otherwise it makes no financial sense.’ How many Yuris are out there, that’s what’s gonna determine the rent. Because the rent is, in the end, just a measure of how much people want to be here.”

The San Francisco Chronicle in California. “One-bedroom rents fell compared to the prior year in 27 of 31 Bay Area cities tracked by Zumper, a real estate listings website. The biggest drops were concentrated in major Silicon Valley tech hubs, including Cupertino and Menlo Park. Those cities have some of the region’s highest rents. ‘People are definitely taking this time to move out of San Francisco,’ said Crystal Chen, marketing manager at Zumper.”

“The number of listings have risen about 25% in San Francisco compared to the previous year, meaning renters have more options. Chen said her friends have successfully renegotiated rent to a lower rate and she urges prospective tenants to push for lower rents and more incentives, which can include gift cards or free parking.”

“‘I was expecting a significant drop in rents and a big jump in vacancy rates. Unemployment hits the rental market much harder than it hits the for-sale market,’ said Patrick Carlisle, chief market analyst in the Bay Area at real estate brokerage Compass. ‘Tenants paying the highest rents in the nation decamp quickly if their jobs disappear — to cheaper areas or back to mom and dad — and that is what is happening now.'”

From KPBS in California. “The San Diego City Council voted narrowly Tuesday to extend a citywide moratorium on evictions through September 30. Unemployment in some low-income San Diego neighborhoods has been hovering around 25%. Councilmembers Barbara Bry, Mark Kersey, Chris Cate and Scott Sherman voted against the measure, citing concerns that landlords would be unable to pay mortgages or maintain their properties if they are forbidden from kicking out tenants who aren’t paying rent.”

“‘I understand and sympathize with the challenges many of our residents are facing,’ Bry said. ‘But today we are being asked to vote to extend an eviction ordinance that doesn’t really solve the problem.'”

The Houston Chronicle in Texas. “Houston hotels are not expected to return to pre-pandemic revenue levels until 2024, according to commercial real estate firm CBRE. Some may not make it that long. The American Hotel and Lodging Association this week predicted the industry is facing ‘massive foreclosures of thousands of hotel properties’ across the nation.”

“‘With a sharp decline in travel demand, nine times worse than September 11 and with lower room occupancy than during the Great Depression, our small business owners are struggling to survive,’ Chip Rogers, the association’s chief executive, said in the release.”

“At special risk are hotels that were funded with mortgages that were bundled into securities, known as commercial mortgage-backed securities, or CMBS. Commercial real estate investors are confronting issues similar to those faced by investors in residential real estate mortgages in the years leading up to the housing bust of more than a decade ago. As with homes, most commercial properties are purchased with mortgages, which are then bundled into securities and sold to investors, whose returns depend on property owners making their monthly payments.”

“One-quarter of securitized hotel mortgages were delinquent in June, data from securities data company Trepp show. But hotel owners who are struggling to make monthly payments are finding much less flexibility if their mortgages have been securitized, according to a survey by the hotel association.”

“Only 20 percent of hotel owners whose mortgages had been bundled into securities have received any relief on their loans, compared to 91 percent of hotel owners who had borrowed from banks, making it more likely for such mortgages to foreclose, Rogers said. ‘Without action to shore up commercial debt especially CMBS loans, the hotel industry will experience mass foreclosures and permanent job losses which will snowball into a larger commercial real estate crisis impacting other segments of the economy.'”

The South Florida Business Journal. “The nation’s months-long struggle to regain its economic footing amid the Covid-19 pandemic is stretching consumers to a breaking point, with the latest signs of distress flaring in the U.S. apartment market. South Florida, which had a relatively healthy rental marketing before the recession, has not been spared.”

“A Business Journals analysis of construction and mortgage data identified a significant pullback in multifamily building permits and building starts since February. The retrenchment foreshadowed pain and, in some circles, opportunities to come, as property owners from Florida to California have since reported surges in missed rents and requests for relief among tenants affected by the country’s record spike in unemployment.”

“As of June 15, the Business Journals identified 4,966 multifamily properties flagged by loan servicers for issues threatening their operations and financial health, a 46% increase over the 3,403 given the same ‘watchlist’ status in March. While concerns ranged from low occupancy levels to maintenance needs, the vast majority of issues cited among the newly minted watchlist properties were related to Covid-19, according to dozens of loan servicer notes reviewed for this story.”

“The increase in distressed loans was concentrated in major cities with large apartment markets. Among the five areas with the most multifamily units analyzed, New York City and Los Angeles both saw a 59% increase in watchlisted apartment properties from March to June. Spikes also were reported in Houston (68%), Dallas (41%) and Washington, D.C. (70%).”

“In South Florida, the number of loans on the watch list increased from 31 with a balance of $334 million to 98 with a balance of $794 million. Perhaps even more troubling, more multifamily loans in South Florida were flagged by special servicers as being late or in default.”

“As of May 31, there were approximately 106 million consumer-credit accounts — ranging from auto loans to student debt to home mortgages and credit cards — in some stage of remediation with lenders. That was more than triple from a month earlier, according to credit-research concern TransUnion LLC.”

“Similar signs of stress are appearing in loan-servicer reports for major apartment properties throughout the country. At the sprawling ParkMerced development at 3711 19th Ave. in San Francisco, owner Maximus Properties recently warned its loan servicer of potential cashflow concerns due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The property backs approximately $1.26 billion in mortgage debt.”

This Post Has 160 Comments
  1. ‘4,966 multifamily properties flagged by loan servicers for issues threatening their operations and financial health, a 46% increase over the 3,403 given the same ‘watchlist’ status in March’

    Is that a lot?

    ‘At the sprawling ParkMerced development at 3711 19th Ave. in San Francisco, owner Maximus Properties recently warned its loan servicer of potential cashflow concerns due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The property backs approximately $1.26 billion in mortgage debt’

    Remember when rental watch said, “those loans will probably be OK”?

    Eat yer crowz.

    1. Yikes. $1.26 BILLION? The Parkmerced complex was built waay back in the WW2 era and was affordable back in the day for students, middle class people etc. a few friends and family members lived there over the years. But that was a San Francisco that is long gone. Crazy that the current owners managed to rack up that much debt on a 75 YO complex. Some interesting history…
      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Parkmerced,_San_Francisco

  2. ‘chief market analyst in the Bay Area at real estate brokerage Compass. ‘Tenants paying the highest rents in the nation decamp quickly if their jobs disappear — to cheaper areas or back to mom and dad — and that is what is happening now’

    Nobody wants to live there? Jobs disappear?

    1. “Tenants paying the highest rents in the nation decamp quickly if their jobs disappear — to cheaper areas or back to mom and dad”

      I was looking at places to rent with someone in need yesterday. Called a Realtor who had his number on a sign and asked him how much the rent was? (for the beat up old 2 bed 1 bath in a less than desirable neighborhood)

      He said $1,900 (I was thinking $1,200 even in this inflated market).

      I told him no thanks and informed him that I had just looked at a much nicer house in a much more desirable neighborhood before he started telling me about other overpriced rentals and houses for sale he had in other undesirable neighborhoods in less desirable parts of Palm Beach County.

      I cut him off and said,,,

      Look, there’s an awful lot of people not paying their rent or mortgage right now and I fully expect a drop in rental and house prices in a few months so thanks anyway but I think we’ll just keep looking.

      In the 4 or 5 second silence that followed I could practically feel his fear and almost see the look on his face, I have seen it before…

      https://youtu.be/oN6Ykm3mAe0?t=173

      1. Had just looked at a much nicer house in a much more desirable neighborhood for the same price.

      2. Yeah, 25% unemployment in some SD areas. What do you think is going to happen? There are trillions of yellen bucks flying off to money heaven. Not a prediction – happening right now.

  3. ‘It’s not worth it, New York City rent is not worth it. Cause we’re paying for the lifestyle, we’re paying for the city, we’re paying for the life outside of the apartment, otherwise it makes no financial sense’

    I recently posted an article from a Jewish website that said New Yorker’s may have thought their status and lifestyle would never change, but history has shown that is not true. Looks like the mayor and guvnah have shoot you guys in the fook. You had your boom, enjoy the bust

  4. ‘Houston hotels are not expected to return to pre-pandemic revenue levels until 2024, according to commercial real estate firm CBRE. Some may not make it that long. The American Hotel and Lodging Association this week predicted the industry is facing ‘massive foreclosures of thousands of hotel properties’ across the nation’

    So this would be a problem, but we have this:

    3 May 2017

    ‘Which US hotel markets are on the bubble?’

    ‘As the hotel industry continues on the path toward a downturn, it’s time to begin looking at warning signs for which markets are poised to experience a large drop.’

    ‘At a recent gathering, I was involved in a group conversation with hotel property investors who agreed that they have been “choking on the numbers” in certain U.S. hotel markets. Stated differently, their spreadsheet models explode once either acquisition prices or development costs are entered to evaluate hotel opportunities, especially in red-hot markets.’

    ‘They asked, “Should we pay such high prices now, given that the boom may turn into a bust?” As a college professor, I offered the standard response: “It depends, what do you think?” As a hotel market forecaster, I promised to think and write about hotel property market bubbles with regard to their questions, and likely those of others, about current pricing in local markets.’

    ‘Boom and bust experiences over the past few decades—with tech stock prices and housing prices, for example—have generated an avalanche of books and articles about short-term, extraordinary asset pricing volatility. A summary of these writings appears as follows.’

    https://www.hospitalitynet.org/opinion/4082501.html

    1. ‘Unprecedented pressures on colleges and universities as a result of the coronavirus will weaken student housing asset performance across sectors, according to Fitch Ratings. Student housing public private partnerships (PPP) metrics have generally been stable through 2019, but student housing loans held by US commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS) portfolios performed weaker compared with the overall multifamily sector even before the outbreak. The effects of the pandemic are expected to further impair standalone student housing performance, as described in Fitch’s recently published report Student Housing Vulnerable in New Normal of Higher Education.’

      https://www.fitchratings.com/research/structured-finance/coronavirus-weakens-student-housing-ppp-us-cmbs-performance-16-06-2020

      These PPP’s were dropping like flies before the CCP virus. They were a sham, set up to take advantage of all the foreign money piling into the space.

    2. I don’t see how the hotel or university housing sectors can survive the COVID-19 pandemic. The business models on which these debt-fueled sectors relied were fundamentally flawed, a fact laid bare by the virus.

  5. ‘Imagine if someone had proposed, during the present pandemic emergency, that, because food is so important, people should just be able to walk into grocery stores and walk out with their groceries, all without paying. We all know how that would play out. People would stop trying to fit their shopping within their budgets, and stores quickly would go bankrupt.’

    ‘Substitute housing for groceries and property owners for grocers, and this is similar to what some people advocated in Colorado. Joining other activists, Denver councilor Candi CdeBaca—who once called for “community ownership of land, labor, resources, and distribution of those resources”—called for an outright rent freeze.’

    ‘Insofar as Polis’s order was motivated by a desire to keep eviction cases temporarily out of the courts, which have been severely stressed by the pandemic, the move was reasonable. But, if that was the only motive, Polis could have simply called for a temporary halt in enforcing evictions rather than outlawing them outright.’

    ‘As anyone who has ever completed or organized a big home improvement project knows, constructing and maintaining a housing structure is extraordinarily expensive and time-consuming. In many respects being a property owner sucks.’

    ‘We do not summon housing from the belly of the Earth by casting magical spells, burning incense, smoking ganja, debating the finer points of whether Lenin or Mao or Castro or Che Guevara is the more-inspiring mass-murderer, or singing Kumbaya. Someone builds it, and someone pays for it.’

    https://pagetwo.completecolorado.com/2020/06/30/armstrong-sympathy-for-the-property-owner/

    1. We don’t seem to mind so much people being homeless or not having healthcare, but we draw a line at them starving. They don’t get to walk into a store and take it, but they get free food nonetheless.

      I wonder why our line is there? Fed people die off fairly quickly without shelter and healthcare. Seems like a waste of food.

      1. Fed people die off fairly quickly without shelter and healthcare.

        Not true. Through most of human history people have lived long enough to reproduce successfully without shelter or healthcare that modern people would recognize as adequate. Yes in extreme climates some form of shelter is required, but living in extreme climates is not. So they are different than food or water or air. The real question to me is where are people allowed to exist to eat their free food if every bit of space is owned by someone else who doesn’t want them there?

        1. Allowed to exist as hate objects maybe? Or as a warning to others of what happens if you displease the wealthy?

        2. The real question to me is where are people allowed to exist to eat their free food if every bit of space is owned by someone else who doesn’t want them there?

          There’s a lot of cheap land in flyover. It might not be one’s first choice, or 101st choice. Of course the homeless congregate in big cities because they have more freebies.

    2. ‘In many respects being a property owner sucks.’

      Pearls of wisdom are beginning to emerge!

  6. ‘The Wuhan Institute claims experiments were shelved because they did not believe the strain was a close enough match to the Sars virus. However, scientists have questioned the likelihood of this scenario.’

    ‘Nikolai Petrovsky of Flinders University in Adelaide told The Times: “If you really thought you had a novel virus that had caused an outbreak that killed humans then there is nothing you wouldn’t do — given that was their whole reason for being [there] — to get to the bottom of that, even if that meant exhausting the sample and then going back to get more.”

    https://www.thesun.co.uk/news/12034764/china-found-coronavirus-strain-seven-years-ago/

  7. I would like to know why they were altering a virus in a China lab that would kill older people and the unhealthy.

      1. I keep waiting for someone to say out loud that they may have solved the social-security-and-medicare-are-going-broke problem as the nursing homes empty out.

    1. i keep waiting for a journalist to ask Dr. Fauci at a press conference what he knew about the NIH funding of the wuhan lab bat virus research. Did Dr. Fauci and NIH know and approve of that wuhan lab doing gain of function research on bat viruses to make them more deadly and contagious for research? How can the press not ask any of these questions to him yet. is the press that corrupt?

  8. Kanye West is running for President now. Just another example of how insane things are that all you have to be is famous to think you qualify for high office.

    1. The bar has been lowered so far, they had to dig a trench under it. Special Needs Presidents from here on out.

        1. The Bush Presidency was big on the One World Order concept and Agenda 21 that was never voted on.

          Basically both parties started altering in around 1995 to this Globalist xison of the World. Woodrow Wilson kinda started the nonsense .

          Really when ever you get these agendas of control of the World reject it immediately.

          So, even if you assume that the intention was good in having a One World Order, the idea sucks. Firstly, it violated the Monroe Doctrine.
          George Washington was right in his idea that the US should avoid foreign entanglements. George didn’t like the concept of Political Parties either, and look how evil they have become.

        2. We will be in another boots on the ground Middle East war within two years of a Biden presidency.

          1. I wouldn’t count DJT out yet. He proved himself a more capable candidate than anyone from either party in the last election, and everyone wrote him off up until election night. Once the Democratic nominee is chosen, it’s easy to anticipate age coming up repeatedly as a concern in the race.

        3. Hundreds Of Former Bush Officials Unite To Endorse Joe Biden

          So they finally show their true colors.

      1. “I was wondering the other day if Biden would choose Oprah Winfrey as his VP”

        Maybe, if they (and I mean they not he) can’t talk Moochelle Obama into it.

  9. I see little to nothing discussing the convention industry. With all the zoom conferencing is it all but dead? Also I have not seen (at least in my area) the big boat/home improvement shows.

    1. The local convention center was converted into a Covid field hospital and all conventions were cancelled. So far the field hospital has treated zero patients.

    2. All these connected things. I still think the danger to the economy was throw out the window with this shut-down. There’s so many moving parts. This goes under, that goes under, the ripples could be huge. The CCP virus is bad, mmkay? I know, let’s take the economy down too!

      I’m not giving in to the “everything’s changed” thing. There will be a vaccine. But with hotels and airliners, how many companies will live to see it? When I go to an airport (did last week), you see people spending money. People I know are hoarding money. That’s not good.

      1. People I know are hoarding money. That’s not good.

        If they’re hoarding rather than going into debt to buy houses they can’t afford, take trips they can’t afford, etc, isn’t that a good thing overall?

        I agree our economy currently runs on debt and people spending more than they will make in their lifetime, but folks having savings is a good thing in the long-term no?

        1. To a degree. Some things are irrational. I know of a family out west who received a total of $5,000 in guberment assistance in March/April, and didn’t pay their $650 rent payment. Like the NYC guy above, it depends on how many are out there. The MSM is bombarding the public with fear which could cause things to get out of hand. It’s going to be bad, but I personally don’t want to see a big depression.

          1. I think there’s gonna be a big depression. Bubbles on bubbles on bubbles, and this big pin to pop them all.

          2. “I know of a family out west who received a total of $5,000 in guberment assistance in March/April, and didn’t pay their $650 rent payment.”

            Hopefully, not one of your tenants. Fingers crossed!

        2. If they’re hoarding rather than going into debt to buy houses they can’t afford, take trips they can’t afford, etc, isn’t that a good thing overall?

          Sure, but money is economic blood. No matter how much you have if it doesn’t circulate you die. Where I’m at people are making money and paying their rent/mortgage and buying groceries. But that’s it except for the occasional new Tesla I see appearing in driveways. All those people who used to serve them meals and take them to the airport and fly them to other places are out of a job. So far the assumption has been that soon enough things will go back to “normal”. But if that assumption is wrong then all those people need to be learning how to produce something else that the already productive people want. And what would that be? More groceries and Teslas? Better food delivery and remote teaching for their kids? If this is the new normal people are going to need to start inventing new desirable products. I was thinking that somebody needs to make a Zoom that’s geared more for social/family gatherings rather than for business.

          1. Where I’m at people are making money and paying their rent/mortgage and buying groceries. But that’s it except for the occasional new Tesla I see appearing in driveways. All those people who used to serve them meals and take them to the airport and fly them to other places are out of a job.

            I don’t disagree, but I don’t think “hoarding” is the root issue there — it’s that all of these businesses are shut down. Even if I wanted to spend money eating out, I can’t. And apparently the governor thinks no business should be able to transact with my if I’m not wearing a mask.

            I’m certainly saving money not paying tolls, parking, or eating out for lunch and coffee around my office. I’d gladly eat out around here (at the least get take out) if it was allowed and easy. Heck, I can’t go to a wine shop to re-stock.

            But yes, that money not being spent means jobs go away. And people eating out less presumably save money, shoring up their finances (assuming they’re not doing something stupid with the money instead).

            If this is the new normal people are going to need to start inventing new desirable products.

            This might be a good outcome — all of the pirate and candle shops close, but we may actually get some new useful, sustainable products and businesses.

      2. Leadership wasn’t good. Lots of conflicting announcements, incorrect and bad data. The way people are behaving now means we shut down the economy for nothing. We chose both bad options because we couldn’t pull together and choose one.

        1. “We chose both bad options because we couldn’t pull together and choose one.”

          “You can always count on Americans to do the right thing after they’ve tried everything else.” —Winston Churchill

      1. Same happened here. Work at the convention center abruptly stopped at 1/4 of the planned beds. Ditto at “The Ranch” near Fort Collins. Neither has admitted a single patient.

    3. If I forgot to include the conventions industry in the death-by-covid list I posted yesterday, I apologize.

      1. San Diego has figured out an interesting alternative use for its convention center while the industry is shut down.

        Homelessness
        1,300 under one roof: life at the Convention Center homeless shelter
        Residents watch The Price is Right at the Alpha Project homeless shelter at the San Diego Convention Center in downtown on June 5, 2020 in San Diego, California.
        (Eduardo Contreras / The San Diego Union-Tribune)
        Thefts, screams at night, tedium among challenges at city’s largest homeless shelter
        By Gary Warth
        June 13, 2020
        5 AM
        SAN DIEGO —

        Life inside San Diego’s largest homeless shelter can be tranquil, relaxing and friendly.

        And it could be a place where women are frightened by men who leer at them. Where possessions often go missing. Where sleep is disturbed every night by the sound of someone screaming.

        Perhaps it’s no surprise that 1,300 people living at the city’s largest homeless shelter — in the San Diego Convention Center — are not going to have a shared experience.

        Depending on who you ask, the bathrooms are either horrible or the best part of the shelter. The effort to find people permanent housing is either running smoothly or at a snail’s pace. The days can be tedious or can be pleasant and peaceful.

        1. Ending up in a homeless shelter or on the streets is usually the culmination of a lifetime of poor choices.

  10. I am waiting to see what happens in the Sacramento/Folsom/Roseville market in northern California. Rich tech nerds are moving out of the bay area and buying places here thus keeping prices inflated and inventory low. Only low income service jobs are being lost and those kids don’t make enough to buy a home.

    1. I was east of the bay area last week. I was told commuters were living there. But I saw lots of people who live and work there who don’t have tech jobs. These situations can crush the larger economy. As can a CRE collapse, like what happened in the oil states in the 80’s. Millions of shacks got foreclosed and prices weren’t that high back then. It’s was the job loss.

      1. @Ben yes that can happen again but the large banks will just buy up all the homes keeping the prices inflated again as shadow inventory perhaps. Plus the CARE act is letting people live without paying mortage for a year. In Sacramento, the wealthy Intel tech workers make 200k a year and they are buying up homes in nicer areas like Folsom, Roseville, and El Dorado Hills. Meanwhile, tech employees are working from home due to COVID 19 and buying in downtown and nice parts of Sacramento. There are less than 5k homes on the market under 600k. Homes go pending fast with multiple offers above asking. My friend quickly sold his place in Elk Grove with an offer 5k above his asking price to a couple from the east bay area. As a first time buyer who is not a millionaire, it is a very frustrating time to buy a home at these inflated prices at such low inventory. I am waiting to see what happens next year after the election and COVID crisis hopefully ends.

        1. ‘There are less than 5k homes on the market under 600k. Homes go pending fast with multiple offers above asking’

          Sounds like a bubble to me.

          ‘the large banks will just buy up all the homes keeping the prices inflated again’

          There’s several things wrong with this. It’s not banks, it’s fly by night non-banks, writing what ends up as guberment backed loans. Additionally, Mel Watt is gone.

          1. March 26, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

          2. @Ben, I agree and that is why I am waiting this thing out. I have a good stable job and pre-approved but all of the signs point to serious bubble in Sacramento. As much as I hate living in a cramped 1 bedroom apartment, I want to see how Covid lockdown plays out and when the special freebie mortgage programs end and also what will happen when the FED cannot hyperinflate their way out of the asset markets.

          3. It seems like Megabank, Inc will avoid toxic subprime mortgage debt like the plague. If the Fed steps in with Unlimited QE bailouts, a change of heart could take place.

    2. Thats what Im keeping an eye out for too. Many of the houses Ive been watching in northern Ca are pending in days. I figure its Bay Area folks with money migrating out to the smaller cities. I cant imagine the locals are paying the asking prices since there arent a lot of high paying jobs. Hoping there aren’t too many, prices are still dropping but most are still overpriced if you ask me. Cant wait for reasonable prices. Good luck!

      1. If and when prices are reasonable don’t wait too long. I sold my last place in Spring 2007 thanks in part to what I learned at the HBB. Did not try and buy again until 2001/2012 and was competing with legions of 100% cash flippers and speculators. My pre approved mortgage, big down payment, good job, and perfect credit were virtually worthless as sellers will nearly always go with the all cash offer. In retrospect I should attempted to buy in 2009, might have been successful then (this was in Northern Calif. FWIW)

  11. “I say, ‘How can you ask me to pay rent?’ said Nicholas Stone, the founder of Australian coffee chain Bluestone Lane. They go, ‘it’s not my problem.’”

    The idea that the landlord had the security of a large company is the entire reason why they evicted that local, independently owned coffee shop to make room for a chain like Bluestone Lane.

    1. I hope that Sacramento home prices crater 50% and inventory increase next year after COVID ends.

      1. I will advise my young adult kids to consider waiting until 2025 before even thinking about homeownership.

        I’m not making a hard prediction that a bottom will be reached by then, particularly given the Fed’s level of extraordinary accommodation, and their track record of picking winners and losers in the U.S. economy. The only certainty about the housing market situation from here on out is great uncertainty.

        1. The one exception is my son who is helping to build his own starter home. By starting out debt free, he’ll be able to avoid the debt slavery situation that is forced onto the masses of young people starting out.

        1. @MafiaBlocks @Ben, cool well EDH is way too far for my taste. I won’t know my work situation until this COVID lockdown thing ends and for state employees if long term telework is permanent or not until end of year. Besides, it is foolish to buy at peak of market now in summer! Also, viewing homes wearing full mask gloves by appointment due to paranoid sellers is not a picnic and no open houses either. I hope it tanks hard.

          1. EDH is way too far for my taste

            That’s ok, there are still no good deals in EDH…yet. Maybe someday.

  12. May 1, 1930
    “While the crash only took place six months ago, I am convinced we have now passed the worst and with continued unity of effort we shall rapidly recover. There is one certainty of the future of a people of the resources, intelligence and character of the people of the United States-that is prosperity.” President Hoover

    1. I’ve mentioned here once or twice that about 25 years ago, curiosity drove me to my university library, where I looked up some Wall Street Journal editions from early 1930. The fact that the U.S. economy had entered the Great Depression was not even on the radar screen at the time.

      I have the impression that a big difference between then and now is that the Fed didn’t define itself to have an active role in guarding against the risk of an economic depression. For one thing, macroeconomic policy as it exists today had yet to be invented.

      The Fed is all in this time to an unprecedented degree. So it is a question of whether and how Unlimited QE will work over time to stave off fundamental economic collapse.

      1. The Fed is all in this time to an unprecedented degree.

        Agreed. That’s what makes it almost impossible to use past examples to predict the future. We know that what can’t go on forever won’t, but we have no idea how long that might take, and in the meantime how many wash/rinse cycles the Fed can pull off. Oxide might have her place completely paid off by that time rather than ending up deep underwater as originally predicted by past examples.

        1. Some posters have given Oxide a hard time over the years, but her financial strategy doesn’t seem unreasonable for her situation, especially if she doesn’t want to face the prospect of forced relocation which some of us renters have endured.

  13. I’m not sure that Trump even realized what he was going to step into when he proposed his agendas.

    So you have all these powerful forces that have revealed their true colors just because of his election. They appear to be,
    The Globalist, the Deep State, the Communist, the One World Order/Agenda 21 crowd, the Monopolies, Communist China, the Open Borders group and take away the guns group, the endless wars group, the Wall Street Casino rigged markets group, the racism group, the deep welfare State, the FBI , the elite and fake news, the education racket, fake Climate Change, rigged health care system, and on and on.
    ,
    My point is if you believe that all these power players are going to make a better America under their agendas, than Trump would be the evil disrupter.

    Washington DC became a corrupt entity in which the hard working middle class became meaningless to all these other power forces.

    These Agendas have destroyed the intent of this Constitutional Republic. It insured the destruction of the USA.

    The only thing that might save the USA is a return to being a productive Nation that manufactures it own stuff, basically what the policies were between 1945 and 1975 here.

    Nothing else can save the USA. Tell me something else that could save the USA. Given the course all these power players listed above are on, it would be curtains for anything that resembles America as we knew it.
    I’m glad that all these powers showed their true colors in the last 3 1/2 years.

    How do any of those powers I mentioned above advance any of the needs of the private sector working class?

    1. Throughout most of human history, there have been the lords and the serfs. The Oligopoly is straight-up neofeudalism. Soon Jeffrey Epstein and his ilk can satiate their appetite for underage girls or perversions of any sort with full impunity as their capture of the institutions of governance, as well as their existing control of finance and the media, is complete. There’s a reason globalist oligarchs like Soros and Bloomberg are bankrolling gun control efforts – the 2nd Amendment the last bulwark between the financier oligarchy and total control.

    2. How do any of those powers I mentioned above advance any of the needs of the private sector working class?

      Do you mean the free productive people who just want to be left alone? They are the natural enemies to the groups above but they are being squeezed out. Nobody cares about their needs…only how to skim off their productivity. Once there is nothing left to skim does the real war for survival begin among all those groups above?

      1. Carl Morris,
        What I don’t understand is how all the powers I mention are going to survive if the productive class falls. There is something very parasitic about these powers .
        There is something very virus like about these powers.

        1. What I don’t understand is how all the powers I mention are going to survive if the productive class falls.

          They’ll do what they’ve been doing for decades: import new “productives”, whether they be coders. circuit designers, or simply roofers and drywallers. Some will have papers, and some won’t.

          As has been mentioned here over the years, meat packing used to be a solid middle class, union job. Now the unions are gone and the workers are all low paid immigrants, both legal and illegal.

          The first time I visited my employers divisional HQ in Santa Clara. I was surprised by how few white people worked there. I wasn’t expecting Broomfield, CO campus demographics, but I was surprised.

  14. “Vacancy rates went up, rents came down and new units stayed empty for longer. Denver’s core downtown neighborhoods were hit the hardest.”

    Downtown Denver is a toilet.

    1. I am thinking of everything I can think of that could avoid a Great Depression that would be World Wide.

      Great Depressions set the stage for Wars also.

      Maybe some grand reset could be done whereby all debt is reduced to a deflation price. I don’t know, this is a big problem.

        1. If antifa would figure that out they would be more useful. Instead they are just one more group trying to skim off the productive.

      1. “I am thinking of everything I can think of that could avoid a Great Depression that would be World Wide.”

        Good luck with your thinking.

        “Great Depressions set the stage for Wars also.’

        Yep.

        “Maybe some grand reset could be done whereby all debt is reduced to a deflation price. I don’t know, this is a big problem.”

        One person’s debt is another person’s wealth. If you are going to reset one persons debt then you are going to reset somebody else’s wealth. If this debt is held by, say, pension funds then you are in fact going to reset a lot of pensioner’s income.

        And then there are the banks: If the debt owed to the banks is reset then the money in people’s banks accounts are going to be reset.

        This resetting thingy is a package deal.

        1. Mr Banker, it would be a compromised deal between both sides. It better than just bailing out the Banks.
          The plus part would be that the deflation would start a new world on non rigged markets (course new laws would be needed).

          If you bail out the Banks again like 2008 your not going to have a productive worker class be able to survive getting screwed again.
          I’m just saying that the deflation in all prices would offset the debt compromise.

          If all prices were cheaper than it would be starting from a position of sustainable markets. Healthcare would have to go down min. 50 %.
          In other words , everything is deflated to non rigged prices, than you unleash real capitalism again. Big Gov. could be put back in their proper place, as well as Wall Street, and Globalism.

  15. “‘I have these arguments with the landlord: We have no ability to operate in some places, and I say, ‘How can you ask me to pay rent?’ said Nicholas Stone, the founder of Australian coffee chain Bluestone Lane. They go, ‘it’s not my problem.’ Well, asset prices have gone up so much in the last five or 10 years, it’s time now for everyone to share the pain.’”

    Maybe instead of everyone “sharing the pain,” it’s time to start fighting back against the central banks that caused these asset bubbles and made rents and housing unaffordable.

    1. I saw that video from last night. It was obvious none of that stuff got sold at the neighborhood legal fireworks stand.

      1. Carl, as you probably already know, Coloradans drive up to Cheyenne to buy “real” fireworks that are illegal here. I even get junk mail from the Wyoming fireworks stands in June, complete with discount coupons.

        Are the illegal LA fireworks locally made? I can’t see them being smuggled from Mexico.

        1. “Are the illegal LA fireworks locally made?”

          Not sure where they’re made, and they’re very expensive. But aerial fireworks are sold in Grant Co., Washington. I was joking with my wife that we should have put a couch up on the roof as the locals put on quite a display for hours.

  16. U.S. hits 120,000 coronavirus cases over July 4th Weekend — with surges in Florida, Arizona and Texas
    Published: July 5, 2020 at 1:00 p.m. ET
    By Quentin Fottrell
    Florida reported 10,059 new cases Sunday after reporting 11,458 new cases Saturday, which was second only to the daily peak of 11,571 in New York last April
    An outdoor restaurant in Manhattan Beach, Calif. on July 4 where beaches are closed due to a spike in COVID-19.
    AFP via Getty

    The U.S. has recorded at least 120,168 new coronavirus cases over the July Fourth Weekend.

    COVID-19, first identified in Wuhan, China in December, had infected 11,317,637 people globally and 2,852,807 in the U.S. as of Sunday, up from 2,732,639 on Thursday evening ahead of the long weekend, according to official figures collated by Johns Hopkins University’s Center for Systems Science and Engineering. It had claimed 531,729 lives worldwide, and 129,718 in the U.S.

    New cases are up 42% in Florida over the past week, 32% in Arizona, 40% in Montana, 37% in the Virgin Islands, 33% in Idaho, 30% in South Carolina, 29% in Texas, 28% in Arizona, and up 21% in California over the same period, according to this tally by the Washington Post.

  17. ‘We’re in your house… let’s go!’ Hundreds of heavily armed militia protest Confederate carving in Georgia

    Published: July 5, 2020 at 12:11 p.m. ET
    By Shawn Langlois

    ‘I don’t see no white militia, the boogie boys, the three percenters and all the rest of these scared-ass rednecks. We here, where the **** you at? We’re in your house… let’s go!’

    That taunt came from one of an estimated 200 armed protesters who marched through Georgia’s Stone Mountain Park on Saturday and called for the removal of a sculpture depicting Gen. Robert E. Lee, Confederate President Jefferson Davis and Gen. Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson.

    https://www.marketwatch.com/story/were-in-your-house-lets-go-hundreds-of-heavily-armed-militia-protest-confederate-carving-in-georgia-2020-07-05

    1. Only link I can find with all the videos.

      “We’re In Your House. Let’s Go.” – Black Armed Protesters Challenge White Militia At Confederate Monument

      Sun, 07/05/2020

      NFAC’s leader Grand Master Jay describing how he will build his black ethnostate inside the United States.
      boasting they are all ex-military extremely disciplined & experts shooters..gonna end really bad for these guys..

      The group, known as Not F**king Around Coalition (NFAC), marched through Stone Mountain Park near Atlanta on Independence Day, calling out white militias, along with protesting one of the largest Confederate monuments in the country, reported Reuters.

      Hundreds of heavily armed NFAC members, predominantly African Americans, were seen dressed in black combat gear with military-style rifles – quietly marched up a road in the park in two columns.

      Another video shows the group coming to a stop on the road with an unidentified man shouting into a loudspeaker challenging white militias.

      “I don’t see no white militia,” he declared. “We’re here. Where … you at? We’re in your house. Let’s go.”

      https://www.zerohedge.com/political/were-your-house-lets-go-black-militia-challenges-white-militia-confederate-monument

      1. “Grand Master Jay describing how he will build his black ethnostate inside the United States.”

        President Kanye’s future Chief of Staff?

        1. “I don’t see no white militia,” he declared.

          If they were there you wouldn’t see them either. You see Grand Master Jay those “scared-ass rednecks” as you call them, the ones the MSM has talked you into believing hate you because of the color of your skin would be in a position of concealment with a scoped high powered rifle the way they were taught hunt game since they were children if they were there.

        2. Wikipedia on Liberia

          (some snips)

          Liberia began as a settlement of the American Colonization Society (ACS), who believed black people would face better chances for freedom and prosperity in Africa than in the United States.[6] The country declared its independence on July 26, 1847. The U.S. did not recognize Liberia’s independence until February 5, 1862, during the American Civil War. Between January 7, 1822, and the American Civil War, more than 15,000 freed and free-born black people who faced legislated limits in the U.S., and 3,198 Afro-Caribbeans, relocated to the settlement.[7] The settlers carried their culture and tradition with them.

          The Americo-Liberian settlers did not relate well to the indigenous peoples they encountered, especially those in communities of the more isolated “bush”. The colonial settlements were raided by the Kru and Grebo from their inland chiefdoms. Americo-Liberians developed as a small elite that held on to political power,[8] and indigenous tribesmen were excluded from birthright citizenship in their own land until 1904.[9] Americo-Liberians promoted religious organizations to set up missions and schools to educate the indigenous peoples.[10]

          In 1980 political tensions from the rule of William R. Tolbert resulted in a military coup during which Tolbert was killed, marking the beginning of years-long political instability. Five years of military rule by the People’s Redemption Council and five years of civilian rule by the National Democratic Party of Liberia were followed by the First and Second Liberian Civil Wars. These resulted in the deaths of 250,000 people (about 8% of the population) and the displacement of many more, and shrank Liberia’s economy by 90%.[11] A peace agreement in 2003 led to democratic elections in 2005, in which Ellen Johnson Sirleaf was elected President, making history as the first female president in the continent. National infrastructure and basic social services were severely affected by the conflicts as well as by an outbreak of Ebola virus, with 83% of the population living below the international poverty line as of 2015.[12]

          In Slaves to Racism: An Unbroken Chain from America to Liberia, Benjamin Dennis and Anita Dennis argue that the Americo-Liberians replicated the only society most of them knew: the racist culture of the American South. Believing themselves different from and culturally and educationally superior to the indigenous peoples, the Americo-Liberians developed as an elite minority that held on to political power. They treated the natives the way American whites had treated them: as inferiors. The natives could not vote and could not speak unless spoken to. Just as American Blacks were prohibited from marrying or having sexual relationships with white women, the natives could not marry Americo-Liberian women. Even when some natives became educated, they were excluded from government positions, except for a token few.[23] Indigenous tribesmen did not enjoy birthright citizenship in their own land until 1904.[9] Americo-Liberians encouraged religious organizations to set up missions and schools to educate the indigenous peoples.

          In 1929 allegations of modern slavery in Liberia led the League of Nations to establish the Christy commission. Findings included government involvement in widespread “Forced or compulsory labour”. Minority ethnic groups especially were exploited in a system that enriched well-connected elites.[33] As a result of the report, President Charles D. B. King and Vice President Allen N. Yancy resigned.

          1. (some more snips)

            Corruption is endemic at every level of the Liberian government.[81] When President Sirleaf took office in 2006, she announced that corruption was “the major public enemy.”[77] In 2014 the US ambassador to Liberia said that corruption there was harming people through “unnecessary costs to products and services that are already difficult for many Liberians to afford”.[82]

            Following a peak in growth in 1979, the Liberian economy began a steady decline due to economic mismanagement after the 1980 coup.[90] This decline was accelerated by the outbreak of civil war in 1989; GDP was reduced by an estimated 90% between 1989 and 1995, one of the fastest declines in history.[90] Upon the end of the war in 2003, GDP growth began to accelerate, reaching 9.4% in 2007.[91] The global financial crisis slowed GDP growth to 4.6% in 2009,[91] though a strengthening agricultural sector led by rubber and timber exports increased growth to 5.1% in 2010 and an expected 7.3% in 2011, making the economy one of the 20 fastest-growing in the world.[92][93]

            Current impediments to growth include a small domestic market, lack of adequate infrastructure, high transportation costs, poor trade links with neighboring countries and the high dollarization of the economy.[92] Liberia used the United States dollar as its currency from 1943 until 1982 and continues to use the U.S. dollar alongside the Liberian dollar.[94]

            Following a decrease in inflation beginning in 2003, inflation spiked in 2008 as a result of worldwide food and energy crises,[95] reaching 17.5% before declining to 7.4% in 2009.[91] Liberia’s external debt was estimated in 2006 at approximately $4.5 billion, 800% of GDP.[90] As a result of bilateral, multilateral and commercial debt relief from 2007 to 2010, the country’s external debt fell to $222.9 million by 2011.[96]

            While official commodity exports declined during the 1990s as many investors fled the civil war, Liberia’s wartime economy featured the exploitation of the region’s diamond wealth.[97] The country acted as a major trader in Sierra Leonian blood diamonds, exporting over US$300 million in diamonds in 1999.[98] This led to a United Nations ban on Liberian diamond exports in 2001, which was lifted in 2007 following Liberia’s accession to the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme.[99]

            Liberia scored a 3.3 on a scale from 10 (highly clean) to 0 (highly corrupt) on the 2010 Corruption Perceptions Index. This gave it a ranking 87th of 178 countries worldwide and 11th of 47 in Sub-Saharan Africa.[83] This score represented a significant improvement since 2007, when the country scored 2.1 and ranked 150th of 180 countries.[84] When dealing with public-facing government functionaries, 89% of Liberians say they have had to pay a bribe, the highest national percentage in the world according to the organization’s 2010 Global Corruption Barometer.[85]

          2. Corruption is such a big part of Liberia that Wikipedia has an entire topic dedicated to it:

            Corruption in Liberia – Wikipedia
            https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corruption_in_Liberia

            (some snips)

            Corruption is endemic at every level of Liberian society. Corruption is not specifically a punishable crime under Liberian law.[1] When President Sirleaf took office in 2006, she announced that corruption was “the major public enemy.”[2]

            In 2014, Deborah Malac, at the time the US ambassador to Liberia, stated that “Corruption remains a serious problem in Liberia. It undermines transparency, accountability, and people’s confidence in government institutions.”[3]

            In the US State Department’s 2013 Human Rights Report on Liberia, it was highlighted that corruption is not a crime in Liberia, although there are criminal penalties for economic sabotage, mismanagement of funds, and other corruption-related acts. According to a 2013 report published by the US State Department, low pay levels for the Liberian civil service, minimal job training, and lack of successful prosecutions have exacerbated official corruption and helped foster a culture of impunity.[4]

            The 2013 US State Department report said that: “Judges were susceptible to bribes to award damages in civil cases. Judges sometimes requested bribes to try cases, release detainees from prison, or find defendants not guilty in criminal cases. Defense attorneys and prosecutors sometimes suggested defendants pay bribes to secure favorable rulings from or to appease judges, prosecutors, jurors, and police officers.”[4]

            In 2012, the Liberia National Police (LNP) “investigated reports of police misconduct or corruption, and authorities suspended or dismissed several LNP officers.”[4]

            In 2013, Human Rights Watch released a report specifically about police corruption in Liberia. They interviewed more than 120 people who had said they had been victimized in their dealings with the police. They said that “police officers typically ask crime victims to pay to register their cases, for transport to the crime scene, and for pens and other items used in the investigation. Criminal suspects routinely pay bribes for release from police detention.”[2]

            Street vendors said they were often the victim of police raids, especially in Monrovia. Vendors said that police routinely steal goods, arrest vendors, and then require them to pay for their release from detention. Motorcycle and taxi drivers throughout the country described harassment and extortion along roads. Those who refuse to meet officers’ demands face violence and arrest. Elite armed units, such as the Police Support Unit, were frequently cited for violent abuses.[2]

            Human Rights Watch also interviewed 35 police officers of varying ranks for their study. The police described being given inadequate supplies, living on low salaries, and pressure to pay their superiors to obtain desirable posts and promotions.[2]

            In Liberia’s education system, patronage and bribery by administrators, professors, and students are widely reported. Abuse of resources, teacher absenteeism, and sex for grades are common. A culture of silence prevents reporting of problems and hence any constructive reform.[5][6]

            In 2013, a confidential anonymous SMS suggestions box for students and educators began to operate in elements of Liberia’s education system, in order to report systemic abuses.[6]

            In 2014, the head of Liberia’s National Commission on Higher Education was under investigation by Liberia’s Anti Corruption Commission for a second time, over allegations of the embezzlement of funds supposedly spent upon official travel which never occurred. The National Commission on Higher Education coordinates, monitors, evaluates and accredits all higher institutions of learning.[7]

            Medical system Edit
            Amidst Liberia’s Ebola epidemic in 2014, some body-collection teams dispatched to collect the Ebola dead accepted bribes to issue falsified death certificates to family members, stating that their dead relative died from something other than Ebola. The body of the Ebola victim could also be left with relatives. Ebola carries a stigma in Liberia, and some families do not want to admit that their relative died of Ebola. Another factor is that families wish to give their relative a traditional burial.[8] An American NGO journalist reported that Liberian police threatened arrest and demanded bribes in order for him to be able to leave the MSF compound.[9]

    2. ‘I don’t see no white militia, the boogie boys, the three percenters and all the rest of these scared-ass rednecks. We here, where the **** you at? We’re in your house… let’s go!’

      They still have something to lose and would rather not spend their lives in prison. Wait until there are no consequences to see things get really ugly on both sides. We’re headed for Rwanda.

      1. I recently read an opinion piece that contemplated the costs to remove the Stone Mountain “artwork”, concluding that it was very expensive and probably not worth it. I went to one of the laser & fireworks shows there in the late ’80s and thought (being from one of “Them Narth’rn States” as my then-GF’s parents commented) that it was a little out of touch with current times to be honoring the losers of the War Between the States. Still, there was (and is) a quiet resigned resentment and belabored pride that sits out of sight in the culture there, like that of a wife who used to have a career that was lost when she got married to an industrialist who demanded a stay-at-home spouse. Stone Mountain is a touchstone for that otherwise indefensible dignity.

        1. there was (and is) a quiet resigned resentment and belabored pride that sits out of sight in the culture there

          I was in the army and then the national guard in Tennessee in the late 80s/early 90s. Coming from Wyoming where the civil war was just a few dates and quotes to memorize, I was surprised how much it still meant there. My favorite was:
          Them: “Wyoming? So are you guys Yankees?”
          Me: “No…”
          Them: “Do you think you’re southerners?”
          Me: “No…”
          Them: “So you’re nothing then.”

          For them there was nothing else to be.

        2. HUNDREDS OF ‘JUSTICE’ PROTESTERS RETURN TO ARMED COUPLE’S HOME

          Protesting against people defending their property

          Steve Watson | Infowars.com – JULY 6, 2020

          After a couple gained notoriety last week for taking up arms to defend their home in St Louis from protesters who broke into the private property, hundreds returned to the scene this past weekend, vowing that the couple shouldn’t be allowed to live in peace.

          The AP reported that “Protesters marched along the busy public boulevard called Kingshighway, which intersects with Portland Place, a private street that is the site of the Renaissance palazzo-style home of Mark McCloskey, 61, and his 63-year-old wife, Patricia.”
          ———————————————————————————————
          You have to scroll down a couple of videos on this twitter page to see the mob chanting (if we don’t get no justice then they don’t get no peace) outside of the lawyer’s house who represents African Americans in discrimination cases where he lives with his wife house in one of “Them Narth’rn States”

          https://twitter.com/JenniferSarti10

  18. Ah, Portlandia…can’t we all get along?

    Oregon News
    Twice on July Fourth, police declare riot in downtown Portland
    Updated Jul 05, 2020; Posted Jul 04, 2020
    July 4th protest declared riot in downtown Portland
    By K. Rambo | The Oregonian/OregonLive and Elliot Njus | The Oregonian/OregonLive

    For the second time in less than 24 hours, Portland Police declared a downtown demonstration a riot during Fourth of July protests. More than a dozen were arrested, and police used tear gas to drive the crowd away.

    Mayor Ted Wheeler expressed concerns about Portland being “on edge,” heading into Fourth of July weekend. A riot was declared around 4 a.m. Saturday in downtown Portland after overnight demonstrations, but events through the day remained generally peaceful until late Saturday, when police again declared a riot.

    1. Meanwhile, in Seattle, one of the two protesters struck by a vehicle on I-5 this weekend has died. “They” identified as a non-binary individual who from press photos appears to be white. The driver was a darker complexioned male immigrant from Eritrea.

      NPC’s are all eagerly awaiting for narrative.exe to load so they can know how they’re supposed to think about this one…

      1. Meanwhile, in Seattle, one of the two protesters struck by a vehicle on I-5 this weekend has died.

        Given how they were thrown like rag dolls after the impact, I’m surprised they weren’t pronounced dead at the scene.

        There is no way the scripters of the Narrative can use this in any form or manner, so it’s off to the memory hole.

      2. “…from Eritrea.”

        Hmm, I don’t recall ever buying something made from there…wherever it is. Never heard of until now. 🙂

      3. Isn’t it illegal to block a freeway?

        I’m beginning to suspect that it’s not an effective method to shut down traffic, either.

    1. Jessie Livermore said in the stock market money is much easier to make than it is to keep. He suggested anyone who made big money on a stock trade should stick that money in the bank. He also said one can beat a stock but he cannot beat the stock market.

    1. That was clearly sarcasm on Musk’s part. The sad thing is that the comment section thought Musk was serious.

      1. And I know and care so little about either Kanye or Elon that I took the headline at face value without giving it a second thought.

        1. In the meantime I enjoy seeing the pictures they show from Kanye’s ranch in my hometown. It’s freaky to see that skyline associated with such stories…

    2. Candidate Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert Camacho has my vote.

      Wouldn’t it be funny if West siphoned up enough black voters to give Trump a near 50 state landslide?

      1. Wouldn’t it be funny if West siphoned up enough black voters to give Trump a near 50 state landslide?

        I’m not sure he can siphon up anybody. I think he lost most black voters when he wore a maga hat. But then again the Ds don’t do much to earn the votes either. We’re all living in interesting times now.

  19. Many commentators have jumped to the conclusion that U.S. COVID-19 deaths are on a steady glide path down to zero. However, there is a lag between the onset of the disease and the eventual case outcome that makes the relationship between number of cases and deaths difficult to quantify.

    Can you believe that in some cases, individuals fight COVID-19 for over three months, only to ultimately lose the battle?

    1. Nick Cordero, Broadway actor, dies at 41 after battle with Covid-19
      By Lisa Respers France, CNN
      Updated 9:50 PM ET, Sun July 5, 2020

      (CNN) Nick Cordero, a Broadway actor who had admirers across the world rallying for his recovery, has died after a battle with Covid-19, according to his wife, Amanda Kloots.
      He was 41.

      “God has another angel in heaven now,” Kloots posted on her official Instagram account Sunday night. “My darling husband passed away this morning. He was surrounded in love by his family, singing and praying as he gently left this earth.”
      Kloots has been regularly updating her social media accounts with news of her husband’s ups and downs as he battled the virus and complications, including an amputated leg. She said Cordero battled the disease for 95 days.

    2. “Can you believe that in some cases, individuals fight COVID-19 for over three months, only to ultimately lose the battle?”

      Nick Cordero?

    3. Of course I believe it. Those long-haulers — young and healthy — are the reason I’m still on voluntary lockdown and wearing N-95s.

      Nick Cordero was taken down by blood clots. In fact the researchers are theorizing that the long-term illness with the organ damage, phantom pain and the psycho effects is due to oxygen starvation from local blood clots.

    4. “Can you believe that in some cases, individuals fight COVID-19 for over three months, only to ultimately lose the battle?”

      That’s a short battle compared to many other afflictions.

      1. My point was that the recent tendency of some casual observers to discount rising rates of new COVID-19 cases by noting that death rates have declined seems misplaced. Any deaths connected to new COVID-19 cases may not happen for weeks or even months into the future.

        1. some casual observers

          I’m here PB, and not disinterested.

          Following your line of thought, all victims would have to be on this three month march from hospitalization to death. It couldn’t be just the outliers. The majority of patient deaths came within days or a few weeks of peak hospitalizations in NY, so it is difficult for me to believe there is a 90 day time bomb in general. No deaths at all and then BAM?

          1. Reading about the unfortunate demise of a young Broadway star makes me wonder if this lag might increase for young healthy people who catch COVID-19, compared to older folks who may not be able to fight it for as long. Given reports that the average age of new COVID-19 victims is declining, I wonder whether this increases the time until case outcomes are determined, making three months less of an outlier than it was earlier in the outbreak.

          2. the average age of new COVID-19 victims is declining

            I might suggest that the general population is now being tested instead of just sick people going to the hospital. If young healthy people test positive, are they “victims”?

    5. Florida Update.

      Some possible insight into timelines. Reopening began May 4. New cases started going up June 4, and increased from 1,000/day to 10,000/day over the month. Hospitalizations stayed flat, except for a jump of 100 people last week. Deaths inched up 10/day last week, but are still below where they were when the All-Clear was signaled in early May.

      We should know something in two weeks.

  20. Enter the two tier workforce, where people who matter run the show from a central office and the rest of the workers telecommute.

    Soon to become apparent is a permanent loss of demand for automobiles and anything related to automotive commuting.

      1. Telecommuting technology definitely further globalizes the knowledge labor market. Not sure if building a wall will help much in that area.

    1. w@h will make a dent in auto demand, but won’t precipitate any permanent loss. I think we’ll see a lot of two-car households move to one-car households, but very few will give up cars entirely.

      1. very few will give up cars entirely.

        Probably true, but it’s going to do a number on the replacement rate as well as the mix. If you drive an hour every day and you enjoy a certain level of performance and/or image as part of your drive, you spend significant money to maintain that. Which in most cases means replacement relatively often. If you suddenly only need to make a run to the local store once a week rather than battling for dominance on the freeway every day, driving a cheap practical beater for decades before replacing it starts to make a lot more sense. So you can still have a two car house while giving a LOT less money to the car industry and not feeling like you’re missing anything.

        1. Probably true, but it’s going to do a number on the replacement rate as well as the mix.

          Oh yes. A car that would pile up 60-80K miles in 5 years might only have 20K on the odometer after 5 years under the new use model, and still be a “new car” by many measures.

          I find it interesting that gas prices have shot up. It’s about $2.30 in my neck of the woods. Up from $1.60

          1. I find it interesting that gas prices have shot up. It’s about $2.30 in my neck of the woods. Up from $1.60

            It’s pure Wall St. speculation. What’s even dumber is the fact that they are locking things back down in several states yet crude is not cratering again. $40 per barrel is ridiculous given the lack of demand. It should be $5.

    2. “Soon to become apparent is a permanent loss of demand for automobiles and anything related to automotive commuting.”

      Once a satisfactory workaround to the expense of operating (and depreciating) an automobile is discovered there will be no turning back. Ditto for the expensive college education.

      1. “Ditto for the expensive college education.”

        It already exists, but prices haven’t yet adjusted to reflect the cost reduction due to providing college coursework online.

        And online education won’t work for everyone. One of my sons has finally adjusted to online coursework only after COVID-19 made it essential to adapt.

        1. “And online education won’t work for everyone.”

          The assumption that everyone should attend college is wrong. The skilled trades are long overdue society’s respect.

    1. Who knew the Chinese asset markets could also generate wealth effects, just like U.S. markets do?

      The Financial Times
      Coronavirus business update 30 days complimentary
      Asia-Pacific equities
      China stocks surge after state media urges investors to load up
      Chorus of support for equity market echoes ill-fated efforts in 2015
      An investor looks at screens showing stock market movements at a securities company in Nanjing

      Analysts said Chinese authorities could be seeking to push up prices in the hope this would boost consumer spending
      © AFP via Getty Images
      Daniel Shane in Hong Kong and Don Weinland in Beijing 2 hours ago

      China’s stock market recorded its biggest rally in more than a year on Monday after state media encouraged investors to pile into the market and reap the benefits of a post-coronavirus economic boom.

      State-owned Shanghai Securities News ran a story on Friday titled “Hahahahaha! The signs of a bull market are more and more clear.” A Xinhua story on Monday said investors were “running” into stocks while a front-page editorial in the state-run China Securities Journal on Monday talked up the prospect of a “healthy” bull market, adding that investors could look forward “to the wealth effect” of rising prices.

      The country’s CSI 300 index of Shanghai- and Shenzhen-listed shares jumped 5.7 per cent with trading volumes more than double their recent average. More than 280 of the CSI 300’s shares finished in positive territory, while many banks and brokerage firms rose by the daily maximum of 10 per cent. The financials sector as a whole topped the leaderboard, up 9 per cent.

      Analysts said Chinese authorities could be seeking to push up prices in the hope this would boost consumer spending and support a broader economic recovery. But the chorus of support for China’s markets rekindled memories of 2014 and 2015, when state media cheered a more than doubling of stock prices. That rally later unwound in spectacular fashion with a 40 per cent collapse.

        1. ‘So far in the pandemic, “surprisingly high rates” of rent collection have persisted in rental housing, including senior housing and active adult.’

          One thing in favor of senior housing is that lots of the rent comes out of savings or pensions. For example, my folks are good for the rent for life, thanks to Dad’s pension income. Of course this presumes the investments which underlie his pension plan don’t collapse, but judging from the recent stock market rally, this won’t happen.

          Prospective future entrants to senior care facilities who are currently working are a completely different story, as the labor market situation going forward may impact their peak earning years.

          1. Your dad is part of generation greed. The generations that his shafted will not be able to afford any sort of senior care facility. Suicide might be a better option for many.

          2. It’s amazing how you know so much about a man you never met.

            It’s not personal – it’s his generation.

        2. things will come unglued” if enhanced unemployment benefits phase out

          They’re already starting to ask for UBI, even if they aren’t calling it that.

  21. Footnote: “More than doubling” + “40 percent collapse” = minimum gain of
    2×(1-0.4)-1 = 20%.

    Doesn’t seem half terrible if you don’t mind the volatility.

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