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It’s A Rookie Error To List It Higher And Hope That It’s Going To Get There

It’s Friday desk clearing time for this blogger. “When Carolyn Guss and her husband listed their California home, which sold for under asking, their real-estate agent said people were eager to buy homes with yards outside of San Francisco proper. Would-be buyers expressed interest, but there was a catch: Too many people were trying to sell in San Francisco. During the first week of August, property listings in the city of San Francisco were up 96% compared with the same week last year, according to Zillow. ‘We realized they couldn’t sell their place in San Francisco,’ said Ms. Guss. ‘When did you ever think that you would say the sentence, ‘Yeah, I can’t sell my place in S.F.’?”

“Tony Broccoli, whose father produced many of the James Bond films, has sold an oceanfront home in Malibu for a little over $7.44 million. Broccoli bought the property in 2014 for $8 million, records show.”

“$28.5 million — Beverly Crest. Behind the gates of Beverly Park, an under-construction mansion set on four acres where Oscar-winning producer Richard Zanuck once lived changed hands for $11.2 million shy of the original asking price. $25 million — Beverly Hills. On Sunset Boulevard, Donald Simon sold an estate for $17 million less than the original asking price.”

“The number of empty apartments for rent in Manhattan soared to their highest level in recent history, topping 13,000, as residents fled the city and landlords struggled to find new tenants. The number of apartments for rent, or listing inventory, more than doubled over last year and set a record for the 14 years since data started being collected, according to a report from Douglas Elliman and Miller Samuel. As the number of apartments listed for rent hit 13,117, the number of new leases signed fell by 23%.”

“July’s weakness, and what brokers say is already a slow August, suggests that Manhattan’s real estate and economic troubles could extend well into the fall or beyond. ‘The outbound migration is higher than the inbound migration right now,’ said Jonathan Miller, CEO of Miller Samuel. ‘This could be a difficult couple of years for landlords.'”

“High-end condos in Portland’s Pearl District sold on average at $507 a square foot last year while the price per square foot has dropped to $481 so far in 2020, says Sean Z. Becker of Portland-based Sean Z Becker Real Estate. Condos in the South Waterfront have dipped from $469 a square foot last year to $441 a square foot so far in 2020, he adds. In early March, three potential buyers looked at a $1.5 million condo Becker has listed. Two returned several times and he expected a sale. Then restaurants, cafes and bars — one of the walkability perks of living downtown — were shuttered due to the pandemic. The condo is still on the market, he says, and ‘we’ve only had two showing in four months.'”

“The Emerald, a 40-story condominium building in Seattle, is about to open and only about 30% of the homes have been sold. The result are price cuts averaging 9% across the 262 units in the project, said Josh Nasvik, managing director at Polaris Pacific. Nasvik attributes the weak sales numbers to a market that was softening before the crises. It was a slowing from ‘the frenzy that Seattle had experienced for the five previous years,’ he said.”

“Although rental rates in Mississauga held strong at the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic and associated lockdown, a new report suggests that prices are down about 10 per cent year-over-year. The report says data from the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation indicates that 2,229 condo apartment builds were completed in May—the third-highest monthly total over the last three years. The report says a ‘significant portion’ of those units were purchased by investors and are hitting the rental market.”

“Growing economic uncertainty relating to both COVID-19 and Brexit is prompting lenders to tighten their purse strings. Another ominous development is the trend for lenders to shun the Bank of Mum and Dad. This apparently draconian measure was followed closely by Lloyds withdrawing their ‘Lend a Hand’ mortgage for new applicants. The axing of the Lend a Hand mortgage is a sign that Lloyds no longer expects house prices to increase sufficiently to justify this offer.”

“Thirdly, Moneyfacts reports a sharp drop in the number of high LTV mortgage deals available. This time last year there were 758 mortgage deals available with only a 10% deposit. Now there are just 46, and the number may shrink further. Withdrawal of low-deposit / high LTV mortgages is a further indication that lenders are no longer confident of house price increases, and may even be fearing a price drop.”

“Apartments have held their value better than houses since the pandemic sent property prices reeling, but plunging demand and oversupply is putting investors under pressure to sell at the worst time. Brisbane investor Lisa Liang is among owners looking to cut their losses. She recently listed her three inner-city apartments for sale because she is worried prices will fall further over the next three years.”

“‘There’s very little demand for apartments at the moment, especially for high rises, and there’s so many of them in Brisbane,’ she said. I think there’s no prospect for capital growth for apartments in this market. My apartments have fallen in value by up to $100,000 each since I bought them six years ago. So I want to sell up and buy houses instead, but unfortunately the apartments are not getting a lot of interest and those few people who inquired are looking for a bargain.'”

“Popular suburbs across Sydney are seeing the highest discounts on sale prices as the property market struggles. In New South Wales, the Canterbury Bankstown, Lower and Upper North Shore, City, East and Wollongong areas prices have fallen at least 16 per cent for July. Around 15-16 per cent of homes listed across the Eastern Suburbs and further south in Wollongong can also be picked up for below the initial asking price.”

“Cherie Humel from Clarke & Humel Property in Manly told Domain sellers were still playing catch-up to the changing market conditions, and it was important to have open conversations up front rather than ‘sending them off to Disneyland’. ‘It’s a rookie error to list it higher and hope that it’s going to get there. All that happens is buyers aren’t even interested in the first place,’ said Ms Humel.”

“The prices of pre-owned homes in Hong Kong have come off their 10-month peak in June. More cases of losses are on the rise, with up to 4,000 new apartments remaining in the pipeline for launch over the next four months of the year, on top of the current inventory of 13,000 unsold abodes around the city, according to published data. That is pushing owners of lived-in homes to slash prices.”

“A flat measuring 508 sq ft at Harbour Pinnacle in Tsim Sha Tsui sold last week for HK$12.3 million, making a loss of HK$3.3 million after taxes and fees were added. Another flat measuring 737 sq ft flat at Parc Oasis in Kowloon Tong sold for HK$15.2 million, for a loss of HK$3.07 million inclusive of taxes and fees because the owner was in a rush to emigrate from Hong Kong. ‘As more owners offer more discounts, there will be … pressure on property prices,’ said Sammy Po, chief executive of residential division at Midland Realty.”

“Not yet 30, Beijing office worker Li thought she was already on her way up China’s private property ladder with two apartments bought and rented out. Then came the new coronavirus, jobless tenants leaving town and a rent falloff. She’s one of millions of Chinese landlords who have bought apartments to let in a highway to the country’s growing middle class, many now facing a first slump in rental income. Li, who declined to give her full name, said she had to almost halve the rent at one of her apartments between February and May to hang on to a tenant, while her own salary was slashed 25% as her employer made coronavirus cutbacks.”

“‘I must pay the rent of my room in Beijing, and monthly mortgages for the two apartments,’ she said.”

“‘Two groups … suffer the most,’ said Yuan Chengjian, vice president of Zhuge House Hunter. ‘One is long-term rental firms … the other is investors who buy properties through high leverage financing, because they pay off part of their mortgages with rent.'”

“Luo Shuzhen, 50, with 80 rooms to sublet in two buildings in the southern industrial city of Dongguan, said tenant numbers have dropped 30% this year. She’s now postponing plans to furnish an apartment she bought last year. ‘It’s hard to say how long the epidemic would last, so I’m not sure whether I can maintain the rental business in the second half,’ said Luo, who runs a convenience store.”

“‘Half of the transactions in the securitisation market use 90 days as the definition for default, while the other half use 180 days,’ said Tracy Wan, senior director of Asia-Pacific structured finance at Fitch Ratings. “For those who use 180 days, you’d have a longer time to recognise defaults, and that number is still going up.'”

“For Beijing office worker Li, the time to seek assistance in keeping her property dreams in one piece has already come. ‘I even asked my father for help – and I’m nearly 30 years old!’ she said.”

This Post Has 155 Comments
  1. ‘sold an oceanfront home in Malibu for a little over $7.44 million. Broccoli bought the property in 2014 for $8 million’

    Eat yer crowz Thornberg.

    I could have regaled you with crater across the globe. There’s just too much, so I cut it short with these tales of woe. I would say I’ll catch up this weekend, but like almost every day, more pours in.

    1. Well documented here on the HBB, but still peculiar how Hollywood/Show Biz types seem to have this uncanny ability to loose copious amounts of money in Real Estate.

      Maybe too many ‘lets all get really, really rich’ Hollywood cocktail parties?

      1. I think it’s because these celebrities buy and sell these properties so often. Broccoli lived(?) there only 6 years, and that’s considered a long time for these celebrities. You never hear of a starlet losing money after owning the property 15+ years.

        I have to wonder if the stars really live in these houses. They seem to sell only 3-4 years after buying, including a year of heavy-duty renovations. Can’t they just stop and enjoy themselves?

        1. No doubt they overpay for the shack, which isn’t surprising. Many of them were probably waiting on tables before they got their big break. Suddenly they have millions and they’re looking at megabuck properties, with no idea of what they’re really worth, and probably make a choice because so and so lives down the street. Of course, selling during the bust doesn’t help one bit. But you don’t want to sell when the market is hot, because you’ll leave money on the table and your buyer will get all that sweet future appreciation.

  2. ‘Growing economic uncertainty relating to both COVID-19 and Brexit is prompting lenders to tighten their purse strings’

    This is happening everywhere, despite what the REIC says. I’ll have more on that this weekend.

  3. ‘The Emerald, a 40-story condominium building in Seattle, is about to open and only about 30% of the homes have been sold. The result are price cuts averaging 9% across the 262 units in the project’

    The majority investor: a Chinese company. But UHS says red hot Seattle, to the moon Alice?

    1. I went to their website and they’re “starting from the $500ks.” That is not affordable for anybody making under $125,000 per year, which is a small percentage of people.

        1. These articles never touch that. Last decade they would. Not any more.

          The shuttering of hundreds of media outlets over the past decade, combined with the globalist consolidation of those remaining, has ensured that no non-Narrative Compliant stories will ever see the light of day in the MSM.

        2. So what does that do to the people who bought the 30%? These articles never touch that. Last decade they would. Not any more.

          You’d think they’d be all over that since they have TDS and want the worst news possible to try to force him out.

        1. It is if their spouse makes $100K/year. We can’t forget that most of this stuff is two-income households. As I’ve been saying, two teachers could easily afford a house on my block. No high-power education or job necessary.

        2. “…a person earning 125k?”

          A person earning 125k is in a high tax bracket helping to support needy “we’re all in this together” people, so they couldn’t purchase a $500k condo in the sky with steep monthly association fees.

        3. Man, is 500k affordable for a person earning 125k?

          The answer is “no,” but I thought I’d be generous given that interest rates are in the cellar.

  4. ‘We realized they couldn’t sell their place in San Francisco…When did you ever think that you would say the sentence, ‘Yeah, I can’t sell my place in S.F.’?’

    I said this day was coming Carolyn. BTW some people are saying a million people have left NYC now.

    1. BTW some people are saying a million people have left NYC now.

      I would love to see their demographics. I’ll bet most are higher income. Hopefully they were mostly renters, the most they would lose is the balance on a lease, and maybe not even that.

      I really wonder what Amazon was thinking when they announced building part of HQ2 in NYC? AOC did them a huge favor by running them out of town, though perhaps by that point they already knew they had made a huge mistake. Talk about dodging a bullet.

      1. I keep biking around looking for marauding pillagers and abandoned buildings in Brooklyn but can’t find any.

        We bought a car again because parking is a little easier and renting has gotten harder. We have to hope that at least SOME of those who fled don’t come back, or we’re screwed.

          1. It depends on what you mean by “lost.”

            It is very common in metro NY to have a small apartment in the city, and another property in a rural or vacation area nearby. Even fairly middle class people have more than one home, though they added up to fewer square feet than your Texas house.

            The Catskills, the Adirondacks, the Hamptons, the Berkshires, and even parts of Vermont have second weekend homes owned by people from NYC. The only thing that has changed for these people is that they are in their other house, because they find no reason to be in the city now.

            Who has actually moved away? I suspect its young people who have lost their jobs and can’t afford their rent, and are having to move home to their parents’ house. Some of those are in Manhattan, but many may be in the other boroughs.

          2. Larry, where do these Manhattanites keep their home/tax address? Would they switch their address to their second home to avoid taxes? Better yet, I wonder how many Manhattanites would simply dispose of both their homes and move to a beach house in a tax-friendly state such as Florida or Delaware(?).

          3. switch their address to their second home to avoid taxes?

            Taxed based on where you where you worked when you earned the money.

          4. Taxed based on where you where you worked when you earned the money.

            Eric Post

            Some years ago I had a job in Laramie, Wyo. Wyoming has no state income tax, but since I live in Colorado I had to pay Colorado state income tax. My employer reported my income and withheld Colorado tax.

          5. My understanding is that income tax is based on home address. This is the basis for “Massholes,” those who live in New Hampshire but commute to Boston. In my area, many co-workers live in Virginia for the low taxes but commute to the office in Maryland. (I expect that to change now that VA has gone completely blue, with the usual commie legislation to follow.)

          6. “My understanding is that income tax is based on home address.”

            Play an NFL game in California, and they collect the income tax from each player.

          7. Most full time residents in Manhattan are in fact Section 8. The majority of NYC workers live in NJ, the counties around the 5 boroughs (Westchester, Rockland, Putnam, Orange, Dutchess), Connecticut, NJ or come in from Long Island. These are all middle classers. No hoards of “rich people”. Nope. Sorry.

            In the rare event you earn enough to maintain an apartment in NYC just to work there during the week, you are levied NYC taxes in addition to state and federal.

            And just to correct the false narrative above, nobody is commuting in from the Catskills, Adirondacks or VT. It’s not even possible time wise so why lie about it?

      2. I doubt it is a million. In the 70s over 900,000 people left NYC but by 1990 NYC was at a population high.

        Also since the census tallies populations as of April 1, 2020, the population of NYC would still be high as the exodus didn’t start then.

        1. “income tax is based on home address. ”

          It’s based on tax home. You’d have to look it up at the IRS. It’s tricky and always gave me trouble on exams.

          But IIRC if you’re keeping a legal residence in a taxing state, it doesn’t help.

          1. It’s based on both in NY. If you earn NY income, it’s taxed in New York. BUT if you earn ephemeral income (investment income) it’s based on your official residence.

            For NY, you have to be in the city less than 6 months of the year, and demonstrate other lack of ties to the city. NY is used to dealing with this, because those at the very top pay a lot of taxes, and have multiple houses.

            There are some people who might not have to pay NYC income tax this year based on being in their second home far more than usual.

  5. ‘There’s very little demand for apartments at the moment, especially for high rises, and there’s so many of them in Brisbane,’ she said. ‘I think there’s no prospect for capital growth for apartments in this market. My apartments have fallen in value by up to $100,000 each since I bought them six years ago’

    So the FOMO plan the guberment and central bank has blown up in their faces. Lower than 6 years ago? Somebody (Domain, cough) has been a lion for a long time!

  6. ‘When did you ever think that you would say the sentence, ‘Yeah, I can’t sell my place in S.F.’?”

    You need to turn off your TeeVee, cancel your MSM subscriptions, and start seeking out real news and real truth from citizen journalists on the Internet, Ms. Guss. Your reliance on the MSM has failed you badly.

  7. “The number of empty apartments for rent in Manhattan soared to their highest level in recent history, topping 13,000, as residents fled the city and landlords struggled to find new tenants.

    Is that a lot?

    1. honestly – it does not seem like a lot for a city of 8M.

      I would like to know about the apartments that are being placed by leasing offices and not being advertised widely.

      I am completely, wild ass guessing – but i would not be surprised by at least 50K units that need to be filled

        1. 13,000 empty apartments in Manhattan are not exactly tenement housing, either. Don’t know what the average rents work out to, but it looks like a bunch of greedy landlords are going to be out some serious money.

          1. “…13,000 empty apartments in Manhattan…”

            Whats the average rent in Manhattan, $~2K?

            ~13K * ~2K =~ $26mm/mo

            $26 million lost rents/month

            Is that a lot?

          2. Whats the average rent in Manhattan, $~2K?

            $4,208

            Which sounds about right. In the early 2000s I paid at least $3000/mo for a 700sf 1bd apartment.

          3. “…$4,208…”

            Wow, I’ve heard NYC was expensive, but $4,208 is insane.

            Lets update my calculations:

            “…13,000 empty apartments in Manhattan…”

            Whats the average rent in Manhattan, $4,208

            ~13K * $4,208 =~ $57.7mm/mo

            $57.7 million lost rents/month

            Now, Is *that* a lot?

          4. When you live in the Manhattan, you don’t need a car and don’t pay for car insurance. IIRC, rent in the city was roughly equivalent to living outside the city and having a car.

          5. I don’t keep spreadsheets of what I used to spend. Some things are better left unquantified. 🙂

          6. The 13,000 empty apartments are not, in fact, very many for a borough of 1.5 million people.

            The question is will the citywide vacancy rate rise to 5.0%. There are about 3.3 million rental units in the city. The vast majority are not counted by these private data sources, because they don’t list with high-end brokers.

        2. Just checking – so at $2M income/year, your taxes are 49% if you live in NYC (before sales ax etc). No wonder the greedy wall st guys are always complaining

          tax Type Marginal Tax Rate Effective Tax Rate 2019 Taxes*
          Federal 37.00% 35.02% $700,474
          FICA 2.35% 2.67% $53,440
          State 8.82% 7.66% $153,178
          Local 3.88% 3.85% $77,085
          Total Income Taxes 49.21% $984,177
          Income After Taxes $1,015,823
          Retirement Contributions $0
          Take-Home Pay $1,015,823

          1. You underestimate the tax burden here. Let’s say you have a spouse earning $200,000-plus, but you are earning less than the FICA limit, and are in the gig economy.

            That means in addition to a high marginal federal, state and local income tax burden, you are paying FICA for another 15 percent. And the 1/4 percent MTA payroll tax. And perhaps the unincorporated business tax. The marginal tax rate on your additional income is getting toward 60 percent. And then if you decide to spend that money, there is the sales tax.

            But the executive/financial class doesn’t pay FICA, and has its “investment” income taxed at a lower federal rate, because they control the federal government.

            And in New York all the retirement income of retired public employees is full exempt from state and local income taxes, because the political/union class controls New York State.

            https://larrylittlefield.wordpress.com/2019/07/31/dont-increase-the-federal-payroll-tax-replace-it-with-a-value-added-tax/

            Just remember, Trump promised to help regular people and fight the “rigged system.” But all he did was cut taxes for the rich and corporations again, let Wall Street rape and pillage even more, and screw regular people. I would expect no less of Biden and a Democratic congress. It isn’t ideological, its generational. Generation Greed.

          2. Yeah, Trump cut taxes for the rich so much that the Democrats are trying to eliminate the SALT deduction limits

  8. As the number of apartments listed for rent hit 13,117, the number of new leases signed fell by 23%.”

    Better get to sawin’ and slashin’, greedy landlords.

  9. Continuing from Jeff’s post in the last thread, President Trump quoted from an interview on Monday:

    “If Biden wins, it will be chaos in this country … You’ll have Portlands all over the United States, which is anarchism.

    There’s more fear because these people are radical, crazy people that you didn’t have last time … You didn’t have this last time. Last time you had Hillary. Now, you have people who are truly radicalized and nuts when you look at Portland. They’re anarchists, they’re agitators. I think it’s much more severe”

    This is about HOUSING because it is about CRIME.

    I was in Durango earlier this week, and am considering relocating there (or to a number of other places) within a few years.

    Ben Jones, I will never buy a house in Denver. I knew this before 2020 and all the riots and looting, the lawlessness in the city only amplifies this. I’m already making a point of boycotting Denver, the only places I spend any money (and generate sales tax revenue from) are the electrical supply shops.

    I make a point of spending money in Arapahoe, Jefferson, Douglas counties locally, and elsewhere in the state when I travel.

    Denver has made it abundantly clear that me, and my money, are not welcome there. The feeling is mutual.

    1. I’ve been hearing anecdotes about people selling their shacks in metro Denver and moving to El Paso and Larimer counties. Houses in my nabe are selling, one across the street just closed for $625K.

      Denver has made it abundantly clear that me, and my money, are not welcome there. The feeling is mutual.

      The only time I would go to downtown Denver was to attend the local comic con. It used to be fun, but now it’s clear that people like myself are not welcome, so I (and many others) stopped going.

      1. If I had a DJT sticker on my car and parked anywhere near Civic Center, Capitol Hill, East Colfax, I would expect to have my car vandalized, or even be assaulted.

        I wouldn’t drive through those areas at night, even without any stickers I would expect road blocks and possibly being assaulted.

        Many of the businesses there are more interested in displaying virtue signals in their front windows than in providing any goods or services I need.

        A city that has Candi CdeBaca on its City Council is to me, an un-welcome mat. Don’t come here. Don’t spend money here.

        1. I wouldn’t drive through those areas at night, even without any stickers I would expect road blocks and possibly being assaulted.

          It’s funny how the local MSM is very mum about that.

          The last time I went to Denver Comic Con there was a shooting about a block away from the convention center. During the earlier years I would venture out from the building to the 16th street mall to get something to eat. As the years passed I noticed the increase in unsavory types there, and eventually just stayed in the convention center all and bought an overpriced sandwich for lunch.

          Then it got painfully woke and stopped being fun. I won’t pay to be lectured by immoral Hollyweird B and C listers about why I’m a terrible person. The last time I went was in 2017.

          1. I’ve lived adjacent to some pretty rough areas in Cleveland. Low income (or no income), high crime neighborhoods. I would feel more safe driving from downtown Cleveland to University Circle on Chester, Euclid, Carnegie, Cedar Avenues in the middle of the night than I would now driving through downtown Denver.

            This is what our country has turned into, where majority white mobs of communist terrorists are the most likely perpetrators of violence. Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, the City Council, the Denver Police have made it quite clear that you will not be protected, and if you defend yourself, you’ll be the one going to jail.

          2. “driving from downtown Cleveland to University Circle on Chester, Euclid, Carnegie, Cedar Avenues in the middle of the night”

            If you can believe it, we used to do that in high school…for fun.

          3. If you can believe it, we used to do that in high school…for fun.

            One time in the army 4 of us drove from Ft. Campbell, KY up to Connecticut on a 4 day pass for fun. One day we went down into NYC so the Connecticut guy could show us small town boys how it’s done. At the end of the evening we decided to drive straight north through Harlem for fun to get back to CT. That was interesting. There were squeegee guys in the middle of the night. All the stoplights would change at once and you’d drive as fast and as far as you could until they all turned red and you had to stop and the squeegees came out…and then you’d take off at full throttle the moment you saw green again.

          4. “then you’d take off at full throttle the moment you saw green again.”

            Oh, in that part of Cleveland at the time, we didn’t stop at red lights! 😁

      2. thats whats confusing – Some areas of Denver are a mess as mentioned.

        I mentioned in a previous posting – my inlaws in Lowry and Centennial respectively – have not seen any problems. A friend in Cherry Creek (expensive townhouse) has not seen any problems either. As long as they stay away from downtown.

        Thoughts?

        1. Thoughts?

          If Biden wins, the race war will be coming to look for you, especially in gentrified places like Lowry which are a stone’s throw from Colfax. But even more distant places like Cherry Creek or Highlands Ranch won’t be immune.

          I can see places like Johnstown, Milliken, Berthoud and Loveland becoming more popular, especially for the WFH crowd.

          1. I mentioned Councilwoman CdeBaca in the above post, before having seen the following article just published this morning, and it’s not like it’s a surprise, it’s more like what took her so long:

            “Denver City Councilwoman Candi CdeBaca has filed a bill that, if approved by a majority of her fellow legislators, would ask voters in November to replace the city’s police department with a “peace force” focused on preventing crime and reducing violence without using force.

            The peace force would “subsume” the Denver Police Department, according to the bill. Its language reflects demands from protesters who have called to abolish the police department and use the money for social services that treat the root causes of crime.”

            https://denverite.com/2020/08/14/councilwoman-candi-cdebaca-files-bill-to-replace-the-denver-police-department-with-a-peace-force/

            We’re not going to monopolize Ben’s blog with all the Denver posts, but this is important, and it’s about housing.

            I have money, and I will never buy a house in Denver, and I will continue renting in Arapahoe County until I either move to an outer suburb or leave the Front Range altogether.

          2. That is the piece of work that tweeted she wished everyone who attends a MAGA rally catches covid and dies. And I will bet any amount of money she will Have private security 24/7, ironically enough staffed by ex cops.

          3. Denver City Councilwoman Candi CdeBaca has filed a bill that, if approved by a majority of her fellow legislators, would ask voters in November to replace the city’s police department with a “peace force” focused on preventing crime and reducing violence without using force

            Demolition Man?

        2. I work in the Gold Coast of Chicago and it’s similar here. Outside of downtown and other retail areas, you don’t see problems. (Other than Chicago’s usual high crime areas which are similar to previous years).

          This leads me to believe these activists are just bored and frustrated by the quarantine. If it hadn’t been George Floyd it would’ve been something else.

          1. This leads me to believe these activists are just bored and frustrated by the quarantine. If it hadn’t been George Floyd it would’ve been something else.

            Especially for the antifa types who are looking for any excuse to start a communist revolution.

          2. Look at any map of any major metro and it’s easy to see how the endless suburbs overwhelm the downtown core. If rioters try to fan out from downtown, they spread thin very quickly. Too much area for even Antifa to organize. I imagine rioters will concentrate on high-impact targets such as wealthy neighborhoods, wealthy shopping districts, statues, or politicians’ homes.* The thousands of nondescript middle class houses will likely be safe.

            —————-
            *This is what happened in St. Louis with the gun-toting couple. The riot parade was marching toward the mayor’s residence and took a quick side trip into a very wealthy private neighborhood.

    2. There’s a picture that’s been making the rounds in the housing articles: two signs hanging out the windows of a DC apartment building: “No job, no rent.” Many other pictures of protest signs saying “Cancel rent.”

      I understand that there’s a pandemic going on, but I’m getting a distinct attitude that these folks wouldn’t pay rent even if there was a vaccine waiting on their doorstep, becuz SJW. Every eviction is going to be a riot. And then they’ll wonder why the rich (of every color) are fleeing the cities an taking their taxes with them. Or why they live in a food desert.

          1. single mother!!!!!!
            Because she didn’t take birth control, she is entitled to free rent for life. God I hate the media.

            I have a friend who owns a few rentals. He is now requiring 6 months rent upfront for new tenants or existing tenants to renew leases. Only way he can protect himself from the free rent movement. And so far 2 of his properties have been lease like this. Tenant gets a discount on rent, he has guaranteed revenue. I foresee this being the future of renting, at least for higher end places.

          2. 6 months rent upfront is going to be tough for Gen Z starting out. For my first two apartments, I had an ok salary going in but I had no cash.

            You LL can probably get away with asking 6 months up front, but a commercial complex probably can’t. Such a requirement would almost guarantee the complex to be disproportionally non-POC and therefore deliberately racis as proven by Disparate Impact.

          3. I foresee this being the future of renting, at least for higher end places.

            Not in California.

          4. I foresee this being the future of renting, at least for higher end places.

            LOL, maybe some people who rent lux apartments could come up with 6 months rent up front. Beyond that, very very few people could. If they had that kind of cash flow, they probably wouldn’t be renting in the first place.

          5. I have a friend who owns a few rentals. He is now requiring 6 months rent upfront for new tenants or existing tenants to renew leases. Only way he can protect himself from the free rent movement.

            Yeah, good luck with that. The number of people who have 6 months rent liquid are minuscule. It’s all bluster. He can’t afford to eat the vacancies.

          6. Obviously not everyone has 6 months available Some so. Those that do will get the better options than those who don’t. For. $2k a month Place that’s $12k. It’s not $12m for carrying out loud. I can say without hesitation that everyone I know in my circle of friends and family has $12k available if they need it. But they don’t make the news, unlike poor single mom who waaah waaah waaaah can’t afford the rent. The sob stories make the news. The people who pay their rent and taxes don’t. Don’t allow yourself to have a distorted view of the world through that prism.

          7. Yet renting from the bank at twice the monthly cost creates even more defaults.

            Dumb dumb DebtDonkeys.

          8. I can say without hesitation that everyone I know in my circle of friends and family has $12k available if they need it. But they don’t make the news, unlike poor single mom who waaah waaah waaaah can’t afford the rent. The sob stories make the news. The people who pay their rent and taxes don’t. Don’t allow yourself to have a distorted view of the world through that prism.

            Which is exactly what you’re doing. Time to wake up and realize most people are broke as a joke.

          9. everyone I know in my circle of friends and family has $12k available if they need it. You need to get out a lot more. What %-age of adult Americans fits in that category, anyway.

  10. If China is booming, per its fabricated economic statistics, why does it need so many debt collectors?

    China’s debt collectors flourish as consumers flounder in a COVID-hit economy

    https://www.reuters.com/article/us-china-lending-consumer-analysis-idUSKCN258325

    SHANGHAI/BEIJING (Reuters) – It’s not a good sign for any economy when debt collectors are booming and in China right now, the industry is on a hiring spree.

    Whole Scene Asset Management, a debt recovery firm based in the southern province of Hunan, plans to double staff numbers to 400 people this year as it expands into new cities.

    “Debt collection companies have been mushrooming,” said company founder Zhang Haiyan. “And with bad loans growing this year, everyone is adding new hands.”

  11. Heckova job, BoC central bankers.

    Canada Doubled Down On Real Estate In 2005. Now It’s The Biggest Bubble The G7 Has Ever Seen, And It’s Getting Bigger

    https://betterdwelling.com/canada-doubled-down-on-real-estate-in-2005-now-its-the-biggest-bubble-the-g7-has-ever-seen-and-its-getting-bigger/

    Canadians know real estate prices have grown quickly, but most have no idea how it compares to the world. US Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas (US Fed) data shows how home prices evolved since the Financial Crisis. While most countries scrambled to balance home prices with local economic growth, Canada doubled down on housing. The result is Canadian real estate prices have grown at nearly triple the pace of any G7 country, since 2005.

  12. I keep coming across fun price histories around the LA area. #1 shows the peak for some properties was clearly 2015. #2 shows the owner losing money even after 14 years of bubble. #3 shows the mania is still strong with some (especially the $1mil and under market) and we’re in that phase of bubble pop where no one has any idea what anything is actually worth.

    Condo #1:
    8/13/2020 Listed $1,595,000
    8/18/2017 Sold $1,550,000
    11/17/2015 Sold $1,850,000
    4/14/2011 Sold $900,000

    Condo #2:
    8/02/2020 Price Reduced $1,695,000
    7/16/2020 Price Reduced $1,775,000
    10/28/2019 Listed $1,850,000
    2/21/2006 Sold $1,700,000

    Condo #3
    8/10/2020 Sold $1,000,000
    7/07/2020 Listed $995,000
    07/14/2011 Sold $590,000
    11/13/1997 Sold $304,000
    09/28/1994 Sold $200,000

    1. “especially the $1mil and under market”

      See also: Portland, though we seem to have returned just in the past week to the “list it for $30-50K under Zestimate” territory of early 2020.

    1. Thank you for this. It’s one of the most depressing news features I’ve read. I didn’t realize that the Henry Ford Hospital system had requested to use HCQ on their patients and the FDA refused. I predict that 3-4 years from now there will be MASSIVE lawsuits and I hope the patients win all of them.

      Help us, Ivermectin, you’re our only hope.

  13. 13k Empty apartments in Manhattan sounds like a lot but it’s only 1.5% of all apartments in the borough. There are 850k apartments in Manhattan.

    Secondary cities like Seattle and Minneapolis are going to see a huge exodus of people. It’s already happening. And it will be permanent. Primary cities like NYC, LA and SF will be fine in the long run. The next Google or Facebook will not be built in a garage in podunk flyover. It will be built in The bay area. Same with the next investment bank in NYC and movie studio in LA. These cities have survived and grown through wars, depressions, pandemics, fires you name it. And they will survive this latest round of hardship.

  14. This is a great weekend to plan your exit from Illinois:

    “A demonstration scheduled to take place in Chicago this weekend is aiming to shut down the Dan Ryan Expressway, mirroring a now-historic anti-violence march that closed the same roadway in July 2018.

    Illinois State Police confirmed they are aware of the protest and have been in contact with protest organizers “to set up a safe route of travel.”

    https://www.nbcchicago.com/news/local/chicago-protest-aims-to-shut-down-dan-ryan-expressway-this-weekend/2321821/

    This isn’t going to stop anytime soon.

    What will stop, is sales tax revenue into cities that allow this.

  15. This girl pisses off ANTIFA and BLM “protesters” just by showing up at their events. Evidently she must have pissed off some ANTIFA and BLM supporters in the local District Attorney’s office. I guess this is what us deplorables can look forward to when Biden and Kramala Harris are getting teir marching orders from Sandy from Westchester or I mean AOC and company.

    INFOWARS REPORTER ARRESTED ON VIDEO

    Watch as police haul off a female journalist

    Infowars.com – AUGUST 14, 2020

    Infowars reporter Millie Weaver uploaded a livestream video of a police officer showing up to her home claiming a grand jury indicted her and that she is under arrest.

    Breaking: Infowars Reporter Arrested On Video
    Infowars reporter Millie Weaver uploaded a livestream video of a police officer showing up to her home claiming a grand jury indicted her and that she is under arrest.

    Tune in now as we discuss this breaking news:

    In the video, Weaver said she never received any notice in the mail and had “no idea why” she was being arrested.

    “Guys, I’m literally about to break huge breaking news right now and I’m being arrested,” she told the camera.

    Millie’s husband, Gavin, can be heard off-camera telling her, “We’re being charged with burglary.”

    “Burglary?” she responded. “For what?”

    “They won’t say,” he answered.

    https://www.facebook.com/100000020582474/videos/3504203672923618/

    1. Is this FOMO on steroids?

      Yes, lots of lots of people with income suddenly want a suburban home with a pool far away from antifa and they want it now…before the other guy at their downtown company thinking the same thing gets it.

      1. “far away from antifa and they want it now”

        I love love love this topic, and thank you Ben for providing a space to discuss it (donate money to the HBB).

        Real Journalists lie. The videos on Andy Ngo’s Twitter don’t lie. Wendy’s restaurants don’t burn themselves to the ground. Entitled, self-centered, virtue signaling, bitter white rejects of society burn Wendy’s to the ground.

        People with money are leaving. And you, marxist trash, are the left behinds. The tax revenue is leaving. Instead of trying to vote you out, we will leave, and we will take our money with us.

        I used to spend money at Tattered Cover Books and Twist & Shout Records on East Colfax. Not anymore.

        The most effective rejection of the modern American urban dystopia is the dollar not spent, the dollar not circulating throughout the economy, this is the peaceful way. We avoid them, and we spend our money elsewhere.

        P.S. Debt is slavery.

        1. The most effective rejection of the modern American urban dystopia is the dollar not spent, the dollar not circulating throughout the economy, this is the peaceful way. We avoid them, and we spend our money elsewhere.

          If Sleepy Joe wins they will get trillions in bail outs.

          1. Move section 8 out to the suburbs like they did when Obama was president. yes the homes cost 3x but section 8 covered it the problem was the renters didn’t want to leave their hood.

          2. Somehow, I don’t think that Powell is going to bail out Tattered Covers books. Bailouts are for the big boyz. In the little people space, we’re more likely to get UBI. Will the UBI crowd buy stuff from a bookstore?

          3. I’m talking about bailing out states and big. Democrat controlled cities, not small businesses.

  16. April 3, 2019:

    “Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) said Tuesday that she believes women who say they felt uncomfortable after receiving unwanted touching from former Vice President Joe Biden.

    “I believe them and I respect them being able to tell their story and having the courage to do it,” Harris said at a presidential campaign event in Nevada.

    The California senator added that Biden will need to decide for himself whether to run for president.

    “He’s going to have to make that decision for himself. I wouldn’t tell him what to do,” Harris said.

    In recent days, several women have come forward to allege that Biden has touched them inappropriately.”

    Archive link to The Hill dot com: http://archive.vn/LaQML

    1. How unscrupulous do you have to be to accuse someone of being a racist and a sexual predator then become that person’s running mate?!

      1. How unscrupulous do you have to be You’re being too harsh. Kamala Harris has her principles. If you don’t like those, well, she has others!

    1. California Heat Wave Raises Fire Threat, Virus Spread Fears
      Friday, August 14, 2020
      By Associated Press
      Above: Sand art at the Hotel del Coronado on July 12, 2020, asking visitors to wear a mask as an employee sets up beach chairs in the background.

      California withered under a heat wave Friday that brought dangerously high temperatures, increased wildfire danger and fears of coronavirus spread as people flock to beaches and recreation areas.

      High pressure building over Western states pushed temperatures into triple digits across the state by midday. Sweltering weather was expected to continue into next week across greater Los Angeles, the Central Valley, Sierra Nevada foothills and parts of the San Francisco Bay Area.

      Palm Springs and other desert regions could approach 120 degrees (49C), the National Weather Service predicted while issuing widespread heat watches and warnings.

      “Dangerously hot conditions will occur during the afternoon and early evening hours each day,” a weather service warning said.

    2. Why is it again that everyone wants to live in California?

      News
      California wildfires burn amid high risk of brutal blazes
      Updated: Aug. 14, 2020 10:07 p.m.
      The Ranch Fire burns over a residential area, Thursday, Aug. 13, 2020, in Azusa, Calif. Heat wave conditions were making difficult work for fire crews battling brush fires and wildfires across Southern California.
      Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP
      Motorists make their way along a road as the Ranch Fire burns, Thursday, Aug. 13, 2020, in Azusa, Calif. Heat wave conditions were making difficult work for fire crews battling brush fires and wildfires across Southern California.
      Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP
      A cyclist rides along a trail as the Ranch Fire burns, Thursday, Aug. 13, 2020, in Azusa, Calif. Heat wave conditions were making difficult work for fire crews battling brush fires and wildfires across Southern California.
      Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP

      LOS ANGELES (AP) — Bone-dry vegetation fueled three wildfires near Los Angeles amid warnings Friday that the risk of new blazes erupting was high as temperatures spike and humidity levels drop during a statewide heat wave.

      1. Back when it had 1/4 of its current population California was very idyllic. You could live away from the fire zones, jobs were plentiful and housing was cheap.

        Now it’s become a leftist nightmare.

    3. California becomes first state to hit 600,000 coronavirus cases
      By Sophie Lewis
      August 14, 2020 / 4:15 PM / CBS News

      California has become the first state in the U.S. to surpass 600,000 confirmed cases of COVID-19. The harrowing milestone comes as the state tops 11,000 total deaths from the virus.

      Johns Hopkins University reported 603,072 coronavirus cases in the Golden State on Friday morning. The state leads the nation in cases, followed by Florida, with 557,137 cases, and Texas, with 531,428 cases.

      The state is averaging 137,000 tests per day, with a positivity rate of 6.2% over the last 14-day period, Governor Gavin Newsom said Friday.

    4. ‘We’re going to run out of people’: California’s COVID-19 response hampered by high-level resignations
      California
      Los Angeles Times
      Posted: Aug 14, 2020 / 08:23 AM PDT / Updated: Aug 14, 2020 / 08:23 AM PDT
      In this Feb. 27, 2020, file photo, California Department of Public Health Director and State Health Officer Dr. Sonia Angell speaks to members of the press at a news conference in Sacramento, Calif.. Angell announced she was departing from her role as director and state public health officer for the California Department of Public Health in a letter to staff that was released Sunday, Aug. 9, 2020.
      (AP Photo/Randall Benton, File)

      The sudden departure this week of California’s public health officer is intensifying instability in the state’s vital health departments as they struggle with crushing workloads and navigating the worst health crisis in a century, according to interviews with current and former healthcare and government officials.

      Dr. Sonia Angell stepped down from the California Department of Public Health on Sunday after only 10 months in the job. Her second-in-command, who led the state’s testing task force, left in July. The resignations add to a list of more than a half dozen top health officials who have departed over the last year, raising concerns that the upheaval is threatening the state’s response at a critical time.

      “We’re going to run out of people,” state Sen. Richard Pan (D-Sacramento) said of the turnover in the state’s public health infrastructure. “How many people do you think are qualified to be California’s [public health] director that are floating around out there in the whole country? It’s not a very large pool. And if we’re going to churn through them like this, we’re going to be in big trouble — if we’re not already in big trouble.”

      The numerous changes have increased pressure on California’s underfunded state health departments as they try to keep pace with the governor’s flurry of announcements on new guidelines, programs and policy changes, which one former agency official likened to a daily fire drill. Public health leaders at the state and county levels have also become a target of hostility over business and mask restrictions.

      1. Dr. Sonia Angell stepped down from the California Department of Public Health on Sunday after only 10 months in the job.

        Was that enough time for her six figure pension to vest?

        1. These senior executive types have commissioned talent agents constantly looking for a better gig; they don’t care about the agency’s mission.

    5. U.S.
      California Temperatures Could Reach Levels of Deadly 2006 Heat Wave When Hundreds Died
      By Aristos Georgiou On 8/15/20 at 8:51 AM EDT
      Extreme weather
      California
      Heat wave
      National Weather Service

      Forecasters have warned that temperatures in California could reach levels seen during the deadly 2006 heat wave, which has been linked to the deaths of hundreds of people.

      The National Weather Service (NWS) said that parts of California could see temperatures approaching records as a heat wave that began on Friday looks set to persist until at least mid-way through next week.

      In the Los Angeles area, for example, an Excessive Heat Warning is in effect until 9 p.m. Wednesday. This warning means that a period of very hot temperatures, even by local standards, will occur.

  17. Sux to be in California. No electricity shortages noted here in southern NV, despite the heat. Prob because we’re not sufficiently woke and still generate most of our electricity using non-PC fossil fuels, instead of virtuous renewables:

    “Heat Wave: California ISO Issues Stage 3 Alert, Forcing Rolling Blackouts
    August 14, 2020 at 7:50 pm

    SAN FRANCISCO (CBS SF) — The California Independent System Operator (ISO) declared a statewide Stage 3 power emergency Friday evening as excessive heat drove up electricity use and set records across the Bay Area, forcing rolling blackouts across the state until the power grid stabilized.

    The California ISO declared the emergency shortly after 6:30 p.m. and directed utilities around the state to shed their power loads. State power grid officials lowered the energy demand surge from Stage 3 to Stage 2 around 9 p.m.

    The current heat wave is expected to put a strain on the power grid into next week. A Stage 3 emergency means the state power grid is not meeting demand and rotating power outages may be necessary…”

  18. Meanwhile, in Seattle (New York Post 8/14/20):

    “A group of Black Lives Matter protesters in Seattle marched through a residential neighborhood this week demanding that white residents give up their homes, dramatic video shows.

    Footage of the Wednesday demonstration posted to Twitter shows a crowd of dozens chanting “Black lives matter” before an unidentified man projects his ire toward nearby white residents — saying they are living in a historically black section of the city as another woman in the crowd yells that they should “give up” their homes, the clip shows.”

    This is what you voted for, and you only deserve more of it.

      1. Andy Ngo’s Twitter has lots of clips of Seattle and Portland rioting again last night.

        Is there something in the water in the Pacific Northwest that makes adult males there stop growing at 125 pounds?

        1. Is there something in the water in the Pacific Northwest that makes adult males there stop growing at 125 pounds?

          There’s a silent majority of men in the PNW made up of loggers, tradesmen and other professions who are big, strong, and who would wipe the floor with these little cucks.

          1. Don’t leave out the lumbersexuals.

            Pro-tip: the adult males described aren’t from here. Mostly imported bugs from the East coast, Midwest, and south of the (OR) border.

    1. they are living in a historically black section of the city

      By this reasoning, bank can go back to tossing African Amerians out of the suburbs, because those are historically white sections of the city.

      1. “reasoning”

        LOL. We’re dealing with the products of the taxpayer funded public education here. These are the rules:

        1) blame whitey
        2) see rule #1

    2. the crowd yells that they should “give up” their homes

      Most of those houses belong to Mr. Banker. And he won’t be giving anything up.

  19. What did Uncle Warren see in his crystal ball that made him want to step away from his Megabank, Inc HODLings?

    1. The Financial Times
      Coronavirus business update 30 days complimentary
      Berkshire Hathaway Inc
      Berkshire Hathaway slashes stakes in US banks
      Warren Buffett’s group pares back holdings in Wells Fargo, JPMorgan, PNC and Goldman Sachs
      Warren Buffett, through Berkshire Hathaway, is one of the single-biggest individual shareholders in US banks
      © REUTERS
      Eric Platt and Robert Armstrong in New York yesterday

      Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway significantly cut its stakes in some of the largest US banks in the second quarter, selling billions of dollars worth of stock in Wells Fargo, JPMorgan Chase and other financial institutions.

      Berkshire Hathaway disclosed on Friday it had sold 85.6m shares of Wells Fargo in the quarter, reducing its stake from 7.9 per cent to 5.8 per cent of the lender, according to a filing with US securities regulators. Berkshire also sold 35.5m shares of JPMorgan, lowering its stake to 0.7 per cent from 1.9 per cent, and a substantial minority of its longtime holding PNC Financial.

      Mr Buffett sold the last of his financial crisis-era investment in Goldman Sachs in the quarter, which was worth just under $300m at the end of March. He cut Berkshire’s stakes in M & T Bank, Bank of New York Mellon, US Bancorp, Mastercard and Visa as well. In total, including both financial and non-financial stocks, Berkshire dumped $12.8bn worth of shares in the quarter.

      Through Berkshire, Mr Buffett is one of the single-biggest shareholders in US banks and his decision to pare back his exposure will be parsed by investors globally, especially given the timing.

      The same will be true of the decision to add exposure to gold in the second quarter, via a new holding in Barrick Gold, the world’s second-largest miner of the precious metal. Shares in Barrick Gold were up 7 per cent in after-hours trading.

      The Covid-19 pandemic has forced US banks to take billions of dollars in provisions for future credit losses. The 15 largest US banks alone have set aside $76bn since the crisis began.

      In addition, Federal Reserve intervention, designed to protect the economy from the effects of the virus, has pushed short-term interest rates to nearly zero, compressing banks’ lending margins as loan pricing falls faster than their already low financing costs.

    2. “What did Uncle Warren see in his crystal ball…”

      Is that another way of saying, “insider information?”

      1. Not necessary. A blind and deaf person could tell that with mass defaults underway on housing, auto, credit card, and student loan debt, the banks who HODL it as assets are going to lose alot of money.

  20. But, flying self driving taxis?

    Fraud charges, lost patents: How an L.A. auto legend’s China venture crashed

    ‘Whatever the outcome, Saleen’s bid to bring his high-powered cars to China has crashed, leaving the 71-year-old filled with regret. “When it came to taking my brand on a global basis, it really seemed to offer me an opportunity that I could not refuse,” Saleen said. “In hindsight I realize the deal was too good to be true.”

    https://www.latimes.com/world-nation/story/2020-08-13/car-legend-steve-saleens-china-venture-collapses

      1. ‘You can’t walk down a street in Manhattan without seeing the signs saying “going out of business” or “commercial space available.” It’s a growing problem that keeps on growing. “I feel so sad, they’re great things for kids,” Jeannette Djiduemd, a Bank Street Bookstore customer, told PIX11 News.’

        ‘Djiduemd would travel from the Bronx to Morningside Heights to buy the unique children’s books and toys at Bank Street book store and she, among so many other customers, is in mourning over the closing of this beloved shop at the end of August, a fixture in the neighborhood for 50 years. It’s another victim of the pandemic.’

        “So sad walking up and down Broadway all these stores are closing,” Ana Juarbe, another bookstore customer, said. The Bank Street Bookstore is one of more than 2,800 businesses shut down since March because of dwindling foot traffic during the pandemic. More than 77,000 stores, or roughly one third of the city’s 230,000 small businesses could be gone forever before the pandemic ends, according to a new study.’

        https://www.pix11.com/news/local-news/manhattan/small-businesses-in-nyc-suffering-from-pandemic

        But NYC always bounces back!

        1. ‘Real Estate Reductions: $60k chop on Eagle Rock traditional, $30,000 reduction on Echo Park contemporary and $20,000 slice on Historic Filipinotown 3-bedroom. Eagle Rock traditional: $60,000 chop on 2 story home with 2-bedrooms and backyard filled with fruit trees. Now asking $915,000. Echo Park contemporary: $30,000 reduction for 2-bedroom home with large 2 car garage only blocks away from shops. Now asking $1,129,000. Historic Filipinotown 3-bedroom: $20,000 slice on spacious 3-bedroom home with views of downtown LA skyline. Now asking $740,000.’

          https://www.theeastsiderla.com/real_estate/35-of-l-a-buyers-could-afford-a-median-priced-home-echo-park-homes-for/article_5b958722-dd8c-11ea-9f11-93d1d223bf3b.html

          Chop? But UHS says shortage?

          1. ‘Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey may regret cancelling his planned move to Africa this year. Democrats in Sacramento are proposing to raise the state’s already punitive 13.3% top income tax rate to 16.8%—retroactive to January of this year. Now’s a good time for California high-earners to take their money and run.’

            ‘The Assembly bill would raise the top rate to 14.3% for households making more than $1 million, 16.3% on income above $2 million and 16.8% above $5 million. The combined federal-California top marginal tax rate would rise to 53.8% on wage income and 40.6% on capital gains. Another Assembly bill would apply a 0.4% wealth tax on assets over $30 million.’

            ‘Even before the pandemic, government unions had launched a referendum to eliminate California’s tax cap on commercial property. Democrats recently proposed a $100 billion spending bill with more subsidies for electric-cars, green infrastructure and low-income housing. The latter costs more to build than a small chateau in Texas due to environmental regulation and permitting.’

            https://www.wsj.com/articles/californias-next-tax-increase-11597445360

          2. more subsidies for electric-cars

            This is how you create billionaires like Elon Musk. This isn’t a free market, it’s a free cheese market.

          3. and low-income housing. The latter costs more to build than a small chateau in Texas due to environmental regulation and permitting.

            Meanwhile, California’s tent cities keep growing.

        2. The bookstores closing is really sad. Even with all of its problems, New York City is still the literary capital of the country. I’d rather get a human recommendation for a book than whatever Amazon’s algorithms select. Jeff Bezos has enough money already.

      2. A smaller version of this happened near Traverse City Michigan last month. Couple in a travel trailer at a campground one morning. Husband got up, went out, turned on the propane supply, went inside to light the stove. Massive explosion blew out the sides and collapsed the burning roof on top of the occupants. Man held up the roof while his wife & dog escaped, then he did, badly burned. Almost certainly a leak of propane into the trailer.

    1. “…Saleen’s bid to bring his high-powered cars…”

      I repo’d a Saleen Mustang back in the day. It was a fast powerful car compared to OEM Ford, had chassis and suspension upgrades, Recaro bucket seats, fancy stereo, etc., and I took care to deliver it to the shop as I found it, and the repo shop carefully delivered it to the Fremont auto auction on a flatbed truck. About a week later, my boss said one of the yard guys at the auto auction “totaled it;” the debtor was “off the hook!”

    2. But, flying self driving taxis?

      FWIW, Saleen makes supercars, not flying cars. And as the world is learning, the global market for supercars is very, very small.

  21. It’s not too late to HODL some bonds to offset your excessive stock market gambling risk.

    Mark Hulbert
    Opinion: Here’s a bullish case for owning bonds now — even with yields close to zero
    Published: Aug. 15, 2020 at 8:11 a.m. ET
    By Mark Hulbert
    Counting for inflation and taxes, interest rates aren’t particularly low
    Getty Images

    Interest rates have just as much a chance of declining as rising. Many of you will have difficulty accepting this. The almost-universal narrative these days is that, because U.S. rates are at record lows — close to zero, in fact — their path is undoubtedly up. Bonds in turn will suffer.

    But this widely-held narrative fails to take into account both inflation and taxes. Once you do, it becomes clear that interest rates now aren’t even close to being at all-time lows — as you can see from the chart below.

  22. GMO
    Reasons (NOT) To Be Cheerful
    Certainty, Absurdity, and Fallacious Narratives
    By James Montier
    White Papers | August 12, 2020
    Executive Summary

    Never before have I seen a market so highly valued in the face of overwhelming uncertainty. Yet today the U.S. stock market stands at nosebleed-inducing levels of multiple, whilst the fundamentals seem more uncertain than ever before. It appears as though the U.S. stock market has drunk from Dr. Pangloss’ Kool-Aid – where everything is for the best in the best of all possible worlds. It is as if Mr. Market is taking a tail risk (albeit a good one) and pricing it with certainty.

    Now let me be clear, I don’t claim to know the answers to any of the deep imponderables that face the world today. I have no idea what the shape of the recovery will be, I have no idea how easy it will be to get all the unemployed back to work. I have no idea if we will see a second wave of Covid-19 or what we will do if we do encounter such an event. But I do know that these questions exist. And that means I should demand a margin of safety – wriggle room for bad outcomes if you like. Mr. Market clearly does not share my view.

    Instead, as best I can tell, the driving narrative behind a V-shaped recovery in the stock market seems to be centered on “The Fed” or, even more vaguely, “liquidity creation.” It is tricky to argue for any direct linkage from the Fed’s balance sheet expansion programs to equities. The vast majority of QE programs have really been about maturity transformation (swapping long debt for very short-term debt). Nor can one claim a good link between QEs to yields to equities. In fact, during each of the three previous waves of QE, bond yields actually rose. In addition, yields around the world are low but you don’t see other equity markets sporting extreme valuations. So, I think that Fed-based explanations are at best ex post justifications for the performance of the stock market; at worst they are part of a dangerously incorrect narrative driving sentiment (and prices higher).

    The U.S. stock market looks increasingly like the hapless Wile E. Coyote, running off the edge of a cliff in pursuit of the pesky Roadrunner but not yet realizing the ground beneath his feet had run out some time ago.

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