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Too Many Real Estate Businesses Are Living In A Fool’s Paradise

A report from the New York Post. “The best deals are to be found in Northwest Queens, where rent prices are down 17%, matching discounts in Manhattan — but in Queens, apartments were cheaper to begin with. Landlords are offering the equivalent of 3.4 months free rent, up 88.9% compared to last year and far more than what is being offered in Manhattan and Brooklyn. Experts say the reason for the steep decline is because there are so many new apartments that were recently built in Queens, and now there are not enough residents to fill them.”

“‘If they haven’t hit bottom, not that far away from it. There’s only so far rents can go before you’re just losing money on the property,’ said said Victor Rodriguez, director of market analytics at the CoStar Group.”

The Los Angeles Times in California. “Since March the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in San Francisco has dropped nearly 30%, the largest decrease in the country. For some renters — mostly middle- and upper-income earners — it’s now more affordable to live in the famously expensive city than in its bluer-collar neighbor, Oakland. A year ago, only about 1% of the units managed by members of the San Francisco Apartment Assn., the city’s largest landlord group, were vacant, said Janan New, its executive director. Now, she said, nearly a quarter are empty.”

“Data from the U.S. Postal Service show that 56,000 more people requested address changes out of San Francisco in 2020 than those moving in. ‘Every man, woman and their dog is saying there’s no point living in downtown San Francisco if you’re not going into work,’ said Nicholas Bloom, an economics professor at Stanford University.”

From 9 News on Colorado. “Some landlords told 9Wants to Know they are feeling the financial squeeze amid the pandemic as tenants use the eviction moratorium to stay in their home. Terri Sullivan said her tenants are using the CDC eviction moratorium to stay in their home and haven’t paid rent since September 2020. ‘We had to get rid of a car. We have had to cut back pretty much everywhere,’ said Terri Sullivan, who rents a townhouse in Colorado Springs. ‘We had to take some money out of retirement funds to be able to make the mortgages so we could scrape by.'”

From Vancouver is Awesome in Canada. “A Port Coquitlam mother stuck with over $14,000 in mortgage and utility bills after a tenant reportedly skipped out on five months of rent says she’s been left frustrated by an overburdened legal system backed up by the COVID-19 pandemic. Suzanna de Souza says her troubles started with the tenant back in 2016 while she was in the midst of a divorce and short on money. When a couple from Ottawa offered to pay up to a year’s rent in advance if she didn’t seek references or do a credit check, de Souza says she was suspicious but ultimately desperate enough that she went ahead.”

“‘I was going through a divorce, couldn’t afford my mortgage on the house and then here comes a sweet deal,’ she recalls. ‘I was like, ‘Oh wow. All this money.’ But the lump sum payment never came.”

“When de Souza said she went to serve court documents to her ex-tenants at their new house on the top of Burke Mountain in Coquitlam, she found them living in a six-bedroom house on a corner lot. ‘They drive brand new BMWs. I drive a beat-up Prius,’ she says.”

From Bisnow UK. “Beware of a mental trick, one humans often play on themselves. Placing the economic pain in 2020 makes it possible to tell ourselves that 2021 will be the year of recovery. The more pain we locate in the past, the more justifiable it becomes to believe that 2021 will be the year in which everyone, including the property industry, builds back better.”

“Red Flag Alert has been measuring corporate financial performance and business distress since 2004. Its 2020 data makes for surprising reading. The surprising fact about the Red Flag data is not how much damage has been done, but how little. The worst could be yet to come, as government support recedes.”

“‘Changes in insolvent debt last year were significantly suppressed by the Government’s COVID-19 support measures. On first glance, this can seem like a huge positive, but it’s actually masking a very serious problem,’ Red Flag Alert Managing Director Mark Halstead said. ‘The Government is propping-up tens of thousands of ‘zombie companies’, which should actually be allowed to fail. Pumping taxpayers’ money into these struggling businesses is a lost cause and when Government coronavirus support ends, it will drive a sudden spike in companies going out of business, with them leaving behind billions of pounds in outstanding invoices that will never be paid.'”

“Halstead is far too polite to say that too many real estate businesses are living in a fool’s paradise, but it is probably true nonetheless. Human beings love stories with happy endings, and it would be so human and so tempting to declare that the coronavirus story arc ends here, sometime in 2021. But these sideways glimpses of some unusual data sets suggest the drama may only just have begun.”

From Commercial Real Estate on Australia. “Retail shops could soon go the way of empty city office towers, with small businesses facing a ‘year of reckoning’ as government stimulus measures are wound back. It could trigger a wave of distressed selling in the commercial property market, sending values plunging, according to the director of an accountancy firm in Sydney.”

“‘We are already in a recession – it just has a big dirty Band-Aid on it,’ said Leah Oliver of Minnik Chartered Accountants, a firm specialising in small family-run businesses.”

“The end of support packages – such as JobKeeper, loan relief and mortgage deferrals – will increase the number of properties added to the market later this year, Ms Oliver predicted, as mortgagees worry about possible foreclosures. ‘What we expect to see is distressed sellers, and distressed selling of property is what disrupts the market,’ she said. ‘We haven’t seen any of that yet because stimulus measures have meant people haven’t felt the pressure to liquidate [their] assets.'”

“Office occupancy rates remain at record lows in CBDs, with figures revealing an estimated two-thirds of Melbourne offices were empty in January, while Sydney offices were less than half full. Her sobering predictions about office and retail commercial real estate have also become personal. Ms Oliver recently listed for sale the office the firm had occupied for three years – and where she’d undertaken a major renovation – because her staff are all working from home. ‘To have an asset sitting there that was empty, it was a no brainer,’ she said.”

“She said the writing was on the wall when it came to a looming downturn in the commercial property market, but its severity and duration remained a mystery. ‘At the end of the day, it’s pure economics. It’s a recession,’ she said. ‘But we will pass through it and come out the other end.'”

This Post Has 133 Comments
  1. ‘A year ago, only about 1% of the units managed by members of the San Francisco Apartment Assn., the city’s largest landlord group, were vacant, said Janan New, its executive director. Now, she said, nearly a quarter are empty’

    How’s that 5% cap rate look now? This article is incredible. These landlords are on their knees.

    1. It gets a lot worse – Bloom has been studying remote work for years and is teaming up with U of Chicago on systematic changes as a result of the lockdown. They report in the working paper that at a minimum WFH will shoot up from 5% to 20% pre/post lockdown with a benefit of (albeit small) increase in productivity.

      Watch out folks operating on the edge in downtowns – perhaps you need to sell and have someone else catch the falling knife.

      ——
      “Every man, woman and their dog is saying there’s no point living in downtown San Francisco if you’re not going into work,” said Nicholas Bloom, an economics professor at Stanford University who is studying remote work during the pandemic.

      1. “…It gets a lot worse…”

        “…at a minimum WFH will shoot up from 5% to 20% pre/post lockdown…”

        Those numbers are probably very, very conservative.

        FWIW, my company (Fortune 50 software) projects nearly 100% pre/post lockdown.

        Goodbye to millions of square feet of leased office. Even the fate of our super deluxe demo center is questionable, partly because demo of products gets easier and easier with improved software such as Microsoft Teams (and even Zoom), and partly because the insane expense of physically moving customers into a building and wining/dining/glad handing.

        As predicted here on the HBB for years, its the end of an era. The REIConplex needs to wake up and put a fork in it.

        1. I wonder how many of those buildings will be repurposed into housing the homeless and UBI/unemployable hordes that will grow by leaps and bounds?

          1. In Colorado

            “…will be repurposed into housing the homeless and UBI/unemployable hordes…”

            Already, some precedence in that homeless have (illegally) broken into abandoned industrial sites in LA and IIRC Oakland.

            ” Wikipedia – On December 2, 2016, at approximately 11:20 p.m. PST, a fire broke out in a former warehouse that had been converted into an artist collective with living spaces known as Ghost Ship.”

            I am sure we can all look forward to more of this kind of nonsense.

            What is it going to take to get the rest of the general population to wake up and get out of bed?

          2. What is it going to take to get the rest of the general population to wake up and get out of bed?

            I suppose that many think that as long as the discarded are kept far away from their neighborhoods that it’s all good. Of course, many are a layoff’s notice away from joining the discarded.

  2. ‘If they haven’t hit bottom, not that far away from it. There’s only so far rents can go before you’re just losing money on the property’

    Now this is from a Costar guy. Did they not notice these idiots have been losing money for years? But when it’s all up and up and cash out refi, nobody cares.

    1. The way this actually works is that rents keep going down based on supply and demand. Then the property is foreclosed at a much lower value, and the new proprietor charges a much lower rent. And rents keep going down until balance is achieved.

      But if reality had been part of the discussion, prices wouldn’t have bid up to begin with.

  3. ‘The Government is propping-up tens of thousands of ‘zombie companies’, which should actually be allowed to fail. Pumping taxpayers’ money into these struggling businesses is a lost cause and when Government coronavirus support ends, it will drive a sudden spike in companies going out of business, with them leaving behind billions of pounds in outstanding invoices that will never be paid’

    This and the Australia article put a fine point on the elephant in the room. Sure, we kicked the can, ha ha! Shutting down the global economy was a huge disaster. We gotta quit listening to these globalists, because they have no idea what makes the economy work.

    1. ‘outstanding invoices that will never be paid’

      BTW, this is always what bothered me as an accountant with companies run by people who blow off making a profit. I’ve seen it over and over: they leave a huge pile of unpaid bills that somebody is stuck on.

    2. leaving behind billions of pounds

      I’ve only heard about the US stimulus bills. What are the ones in the UK and EU like? Especially in the UK, where millions are only allowed to leave their homes to shop at the grocery store. What kind of unemployment are they getting? What kind of corporate welfare are large companies getting? Is their “high street” getting bail outs too, or are they being left to die like our Main St?

  4. ‘We had to get rid of a car. We have had to cut back pretty much everywhere…We had to take some money out of retirement funds to be able to make the mortgages so we could scrape by’

    Yeah, we’re all in this together Terri.

    1. “Yeah, we’re all in this together Terri.”

      😁😁😁

      ….. but it sounds like you paid too much.

    2. Never let a crisis go to waste…

      To steal an election.

      To assume dictatorial powers.

      Etc.

      “I want to stop people from getting away with capitalizing on the pandemic.”

  5. At the end of the day, it’s pure economics. It’s a recession…But we will pass through it and come out the other end’

    I’ll just let this hang out there…

    1. “At the end of the day, it’s pure economics. It’s a recession,’ she said. ‘But we will pass through it and come out the other end.”

      Sounds like she’s ready to “monkey-branch” her way out of this mess into the standard of living that she’s become accustomed?

  6. “Suzanna de Souza says her troubles started with the tenant back in 2016 while she was in the midst of a divorce and short on money. When a couple from Ottawa offered to pay up to a year’s rent in advance if she didn’t seek references or do a credit check,”

    Broke, desperate and stupid is no way to go through life Suzanna.

  7. It’s another COVID miracle!

    Not a single case of flu detected by Public Health England this year as Covid restrictions suppress virus

    Experts say decline in infections could justify continued use of hand sanitiser and masks following coronavirus pandemic

    Samuel Lovett
    @samueljlovett
    36 minutes ago

    Not a single case of influenza has been detected by public health officials in England for the past seven weeks, with infection rates at historic lows amid the ongoing Covid-19 restrictions.

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/flu-cases-covid-england-phe-latest-b1805124.html

    1. Experts say decline in infections could justify continued use of hand sanitiser and masks following coronavirus pandemic

      A good excuse to wear a Guy Fawkes mask to foil those ever present cameras in London,

  8. The state legislature of North Dakota has passed a bill that makes mask mandates illegal.

    Flyover states are resisting medical tyranny, while the coasts continue to wear their cuck masks locked up in their cuck sheds.

    1. Real Journalists double down on the fear porn.

      SF Gate — California’s coronavirus strain looks increasingly dangerous (2/23/2021):

      “The devil is already here,” said Dr. Charles Chiu, who led the UCSF team of geneticists, epidemiologists, statisticians and other scientists in a wide-ranging analysis of the new variant, which they call B.1.427/B.1.429. “I wish it were different. But the science is the science.”

      Californians, along with the rest of the country, have been bracing for the rise of a more transmissible coronavirus variant from the U.K. known as B.1.1.7. But they should know that a rival strain that is probably just as worrisome has already settled in, and will probably account for 90% of the state’s infections by the end of next month, said Chiu, an infectious diseases researcher and physician.

      https://www.sfgate.com/news/article/California-s-coronavirus-strain-looks-15972270.php

      Did you know that less than 6% of the alleged 500,000 CCP Flu deaths were “of COVID” and the remainder of them were misclassified as “with COVID?”

      1. Did you know those 6% of death certificate which had listed COVID as the IMMEDIATE cause of death (Line a) are all in error and go directly against the CDC guidance for listing COVID on a death certificate? CDC stipulates that COVID should be listed as an UNDERLYING (Line c) cause of death.

        https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/data/nvss/coronavirus/Alert-1-Guidance-for-Certifying-COVID-19-Deaths.pdf

        This is also why the survival rate is settling around 99.3%, and not 99.99976% as the deniers like to gossip. It doesn’t sound like much but that difference is nearly the population of Wyoming.

        1. nearly the population of Wyoming

          Which ironically is the number of people who pass away in the US every two months, year in and year out.

    2. medical tyranny

      I dropped some things by a friend’s house this morning. I’ve seen her maybe 2 or 3 times in the last year. First question out of her mouth: did you get your vaccine? Despite caring for our own kids, we’re considered health care providers under the state’s IHSS program and have been offered the COVID jabs. She’s had the first Moderna jab and her husband’s had the first Pfizer jab. She said she couldn’t move her arm after the first jab. Her second jab will be on March 4th. SMH. She already has Lupus, an autoimmune disorder, and takes hydroxychloroquine.

    1. I totally can get behind putting 10% or so of a portfolio into BTC as long as you are going to forget it about for a few years. Institutional and Corporate investors are laying in big stakes, and I can see it as a part of a diversification hedge against the infinite fed printing press running for another 5+ years.

      But Nooooo. Seems like everyone want to day trade crypto. Didn’t anyone study what happened to day traders in the 90s? The daily volatility is a set of giant spinning knife blades.

  9. With all this money being injected into the economy and no end in sight, it seems like inflation is going to take off (I see signs of it already). Why won’t housing prices inflate also? Will the Fed raising interest rates stop this?
    Trying to figure this out

    1. Housing has been in a massive bubble for 8 years now.

      Lower interest rates, bailouts and vanishing lending standards drove it.

      Higher interest rates lead to lower housing prices.

        1. Michael Burry warns stimulus may stoke inflation

          By Steve Goldstein
          Last Updated: Feb. 22, 2021 at 12:59 p.m. ET
          First Published: Feb. 22, 2021 at 7:59 a.m. ET

          The fund manager who famously spotted the mortgage crisis ahead of time — and invested in GameStop GME, -6.76% long before the videogames retailer became a worldwide sensation — now says the U.S. government is inviting inflation.

          he said the trillions more planning to be spent on stimulus will boost demand as employee and supply-chain costs skyrocket.

          He also referenced the brisk debt-to-GDP rises, and increases in the M2 measure of money supply. Burry linked to a decade-old book on the lessons of the Great German and American inflations.

          Burry also said bitcoin BTCUSD, -13.46%, which some view as an alternative to the dollar DXY, 0.17%, is at risk from a government crackdown.

          Cassandra
          @michaeljburry
          I don’t hate $BTC. However, in my view, the long term future is tenuous for decentralized crytpo in a world of legally violent, heartless centralized governments with #lifeblood interests in monopolies on currencies. In the short run anything is possible- why I am not short #BTC.
          12:45 PM · Feb 20, 2021

          https://www.marketwatch.com/story/big-short-investor-michael-burry-warns-stimulus-may-stoke-inflation-11613998762

    2. Why won’t housing prices inflate also?

      Will mortgage rates rise significantly? Or will the banking clan kick the can ?

  10. Ive met her a number of times thru my friend Howard Bloom who was the biggest rock promoter in the 80’s …….We’re absolutely moving into what I call Step 10. I wrote a book in which I pointed out there were 10 steps that would be tyrants always take when they want to close down a democracy. Whether they’re on the left or the right, they always do the same 10 things and now we’re at something I never thought I’d see in my lifetime.

    https://www.breitbart.com/clips/2021/02/23/naomi-wolf-under-the-guise-of-a-real-medical-pandemic-were-really-moving-into-a-coup-situation-a-police-state-situation/

    1. Today is Tuesday, February 23rd and Joe Biden is not the legitimately elected president of the United States.

      1. “Today is Tuesday, February 23rd and Joe Biden is not the legitimately elected president of the United States.”

        I knew one of those two things were true but I didn’t know today was Tuesday, February 23rd.

      1. There are tyrants on both sides.

        The way I see it is: if you say anything against the left’s current orthodoxy you risk being canceled and having your life turned upside down. Some leftists are starting to suggest that your children should be taken from you should you be guilty of wrongthink. Just remember, what is unthinkable today quickly becomes normal in the very near future.

        Who would have thought just a few years ago that Corporate America would march its employees into conference rooms and then proceed to tell them that they are horrible people, maybe even subhuman, simply because they are white?

        Speak against the right, even when the right was “in charge” and there were no consequences.

        1. Just read that Jeep is being told to retire the Cherokee name.

          In the small picture, I don’t care. They’ll just rename it after some ski resort. But in the big picture, just how far is the country going to bend backwards? Very, very far. I’m guessing. We’re all going to become limbo masters … wait … is saying that also raycis?

          1. Bigelow Tea very quietly changed the name of its “Plantation Mint” tea to “Perfectly Mint.” I don’t think anyone noticed.

          2. Ox my mom worked at Bigelow tea in Norwalk, and so did a lot of other moms on the street they were “housewifey” type seasonal jobs while the kids were in school.

          3. “Just read that Jeep is being told to retire the Cherokee name.”

            Can’t wait to see the new 4 wheel drive Jeep White Supremacist.

          4. Jeep White Supremacist

            I’ve noticed that most Rubicons are driven by old white men, most with mustaches, my father included.

        2. That is the very real difference with the majority on the right, they aren’t trying to cancel or silence, or eliminate, or even encamp the lefties. The right believes in the first amendment and all the other Constitutional protections.
          Sure they still have some fringe right wing groups that are still around, but their numbers are small from what I understand.
          To brand 75 to 80 million Trump Voters as terrorist racist that need to be reprogrammed into leftest or Commie views of reality shows how Nazi like the left is getting.
          The left thinks they should be the thought Police against other political views but most of the right think they are not correct in their radical and Commie views.
          They lie 24/7 about the right wing in this Country that it’s a bum rap. They are getting dangerous and scary and the Monopolist are just using them as useful brainwashed dumb asses to carry out the Monopolist /Commie power grab agendas.
          So, the left is becoming dangerous to the right like never before.

          1. The left thinks

            The PC Left acknowledges no higher authority, only what they agree upon at the given moment. It follows that when they are in charge there is no absolute right or wrong. Bend over all you want to, there is no keeping up with their agenda.

    1. Not really.
      Woodrow Wilson suffered a serious stroke, and the country was pretty much run by the First Lady for 1919 and 1920.
      Reagan pretty much on his way out during his second term.
      But I would say that Biden is the only President that was elected* with the condition already in place, rather than developing it in office.

    1. The Financial Times
      Markets Briefing US equities
      US tech stocks slide for second day
      Investors worry higher bond yields threaten rally in shares of fast-growing companies
      Nasdaq MarketSite on February
      Wall Street high-flyers like Tesla, Square and Zoom Video all declined
      © Bloomberg
      Hudson Lockett in Hong Kong, Leke Oso Alabi in London and Eric Platt in New York
      13 minutes ago

      US technology stocks declined for the second day in a row on concerns that rising long-term interest rates would derail a historic surge in the share prices of fast-growing companies.

      The technology-focused Nasdaq Composite fell 1.7 per cent while the blue-chip S&P 500 lost 0.7 per cent. Wall Street high-flyers like Tesla, payments company Square and Zoom Video Communications all declined. Larger tech groups including Apple, Amazon and Google parent Alphabet also lost ground.

      The renewed selling came after the Nasdaq Composite fell 2.5 per cent on Monday in what some investors suggested was the beginning of an overdue correction. The index is still up 40 per cent over the past year.

      1. This is so nuts that Marxism has gained such acceptance in the US, given the failure of most Communist States.
        Karl Marx was a spendthrift who could never pay his bills who wanted other people to pay his bills for him.He was just a Con Artist that thought up this theory of equity to compensate for his own irresponsible traits.
        To make a whole Government economic theory out of Karl Marx basic shortcomings of being a leach, a parasite, and a criminal misfit is evident.
        The Racism narratives are just lies to support the notion of equity handed out by Big Government , no different than the childish criminal mentality of the Con Artist Karl Marx.
        Even proposing that equity should be decoupled from ones actions is the criminal mentality of Karl Marx, that wanted something for nothing.
        So in the final analysis, people don’t want to be productive just to give it to unproductive or lazy people or parasites.
        The Globalist Monopolies are cheater looters who want rigged systems to loot the productive while they foster fake narratives of Racism and equity, when they are causing the lack of equity by their rigged Monopolies.
        The fake news is fostering race wars, and Civil War over this attack on the White Race and the bogus theories of equity spawned by the criminal mentality loser Karl Marx.
        The Globalist Power Mongers like Gates, Soros and Klaus Schwab are similar Con Artist criminal mentality self serving control freaks like Marks, only more sinister than even Marx was.

    2. If stonks are already falling against the backdrop of Unlimited Quantitative Easing, is there anything the Fed can do to save the market? Is an even more Unlimited QE possible than the one already in play?

      1. Is an even more Unlimited QE possible than the one already in play?

        Well, some infinities are bigger than others. For instance, there is an infinite number of odd numbers, but there are more (2x) whole numbers, and even more real numbers.

        1. Yep. It’s a bit beyond my mental capacity to grasp how there can be uncountably more reals than rationals, even though I memorized the Cantor diagonal proof many years ago as a math student. It’s cool to think that if you randomly aim an infinitely thin dart at the interval (0,1), you hit an irrational number with probability 1.

          1. faith to believe it

            That’s not how “the Science” works today. First you pick what you want to believe (or have others believe). Then you pick “the Science” that fits.

      2. “…stonks…”

        Okay, I’m a little slow to the meme.

        “What does stonks mean? In internet slang, stonks is a deliberate misspelling of stocks, as traded in the stock market. It is often used to refer to such stocks—and finance more generally—in a humorous or ironic way, especially to comment on financial losses.” —dictionary.com

  11. “San Francisco, even as rents decrease, remains the nation’s costliest big city. A one-bedroom apartment still typically rents for almost $2,000 a month, putting it far out of reach for many residents. But the steep drop in prices has surprised real estate watchers for both its depth and scale. Even landlords in tony neighborhoods like Pacific Heights and Russian Hill, who once were charging $4,000 a month for one-bedroom apartments, are lowering their prices and offering incentives like months of free rent to get tenants in the door.”

    Is this a lot?

    1. For another thousand bux, I’d rather get an Inergy Apex setup. You can charge it with house power, or with solar panels. It’s probably a better option for rolling blackouts, since it can recharge during powered times. Never needs gasoline, can be operated indoors, and is silent for good OpSec.

      1. Only 550 watts continuous from Apex while on battery only.
        EU2200i rated 1800 watts continuous, 2200 watt maximum.

        1. I have the 3000 on my boat. Enough to run the 18000 Btu A/C with ease, or the pizza oven. 4 gal/day if you’re living it up.

        2. I understand. You can’t live it up on an Inergy. But you never have to refill it either. For me, it’s enough to power a freezer and laptop, and boil water. If it’s very cold out, I have an electric mattress pad which I could use intermittently. With that and canned and dry food I could do well for most emergencies. I don’t expect anything more prolonged than that, knock wood.

          1. and boil water

            You shouldn’t use electricity for that in a storage battery situation. It takes too much. A little “rocket stove” would be more practical, in the back yard perhaps. Just twigs or a tiny bit of your neighbor’s fence will boil that water no problem.

            Will you have internet to monitor your bitcoin speculations when the grid is down?

      2. Oxide,

        I’ve had the Inergy 1500 Flex Power Station on pre-order for months now. Production is finally starting March 8, with shipments in April+May. A big part of the delay has been been the batteries – they will only use LG or Samsung cells (and I’m cool with that; don’t want to risk some Chinese battery) Supposed to hold 80% charge after 2000 full cycles.

        I’ve ordered a total of 4 batteries for 4300 w/hr and a set of solar panels to experiment with.

        I also just received a 4-circuit transfer switch last week. It will get wired into the breaker box and let me flip up to 4 15-amp circuits over to an external power source.. aka the Inergy Flex.

        About 4 weeks ago was it? we were without power for a day and half and it dropped into the 40s inside Casa Spiffy. It was a great learning experience for why I want a transfer switch, and which circuits to put on it.

        We have gas heat but the furnace and water heater need electric to run the fans, pilot, etc. Also, it’s super hard to open those garage doors without power. I’ll be able to to keep those, along with the fridge and freezer and electric starters on the stove top powered on during future outages.

        The $3M house below us has a natural gas standby generator, and everyone within a three quarter mile radius knows about it now. Those things are loud and I’m with you when it comes to OpSec. Ditto for storing fuel – we get outages every 6 to 12 months, but its variable, and I don’t want to always have to worry about 1) making sure the fuel is fresh, and 2) what to do if it runs out – if it’s a winter storm, we may be stuck (it’s happened) for a few days. The Inergy guys do recommend checking the charge level every 6 months when in storage, but that’s much less hassle compared to restocking fuel.

        1. Thank you for the insight, MG. I do have some goals for this year, and some work on the electrical is on the list. A couple other things got in the way. I’ll put a transfer switch on the wish list.

          1. The switch I got was $200, with controls for 4x 15 amp circuits. Installation by a qualified electrician will probably run me more than the switch itself, but it will be worth it.

        2. 4 batteries for 4300 w/hr

          Not clear what you’re getting, but if you have 4300 watthour (not watts per hour) that’s about 40 amphours of storage. That would power a 2 amp load for 20 hours.

          Don’t plug everything in at once!

          BTW, a generator, like your car, is whisper quiet only if it has a good muffler & etc. Neighbors wouldn’t know if you were running one of the Hondas.

          1. Certainly not planning on running everything at once.

            Just key items as needed. The transfer switch lets me manually control which of the hooked up circuits are powered by what source. Just being able to run the gas furnace for a few hours, or open the garage door and get the car out would have made the last outage 10x less inconvenient.

            With 1-2 outages a year on average, usually short but occasionally not, I’m comfortable getting the system.

            The nice thing is that it doesn’t preclude getting a gas generator as well should I determine the need.

  12. A California program intended to improve COVID-19 vaccine availability to people in hard-hit communities of color is being misused by outsiders who are grabbing appointments reserved for residents of underserved Black and Latino areas.

    The program to address inequities in vaccine distribution relies on special access codes that enable people to make appointments on the My Turn vaccine scheduling website. The codes are provided to community organizations to distribute to people in largely Black and Latino communities.

    But those codes have also been circulating, in group texts and messages, among the wealthier, work-from-home set in Los Angeles, The Times has learned. Many of those people are not yet eligible for the vaccine under state rules.”

    1. LOL@ those who are conniving and cheating to get that poison injected into their bodies, especially when herd immunity isn’t far off.

    2. The codes are provided to community organizations

      Those angelic community organizers are selling the codes, aren’t they. Seriously, California couldn’t come up with a more secure way to do this?

      1. Those angelic community organizers are selling the codes, aren’t they.

        Given that few in their communities want the vaccine …

        1. … or need it. A lot of the POCs are pretty young, and I bet a lot of them have already had COVID anyway. They need the money more than the vaccine.

          1. The other day, I watched a pre-pandemic dieting video, which said that obese people have chronic Vitamin D deficiency. Fat cells soak up the Vitamin D, so it can’t get into the bloodstream for transport.

            It’s now pretty well known that Vitamin D is protective against COVID. So obese people are vulnerable to COVID because their excessive fat cells are taking away the protective Vitamin D.

      2. Those angelic community organizers are selling the codes, aren’t they.”

        Sure these low level government workers sell all kinds of little favors just like they do back home. Ever wonder why everyone at lower level positions at these annoying government offices are related to each other ? Maybe its a CA thing ?

  13. Kind of basic question, but what happened to rental prices in the 2007+ period? Were they a leading indicator before it went BOOM?

  14. Are you concerned about the prospect of a 30% drop in stock prices due to new policies under the incoming administration?

  15. Would you tie your company’s fortunes to the sh!tco!n price? This is bound to go down in financial history as one of the crazier periods.

      1. The Financial Times
        Opinion FT Alphaville
        NY attorney lasers Bitcoin’s key funding mechanism
        The NY Attorney-General’s ruling on Tether and Bitfinex stands to destabilise the way dollars flow into the bitcoin value system. But Bitcoin’s meme warriors are buffering up their defences.
        Izabella Kaminska 2 hours ago

        It’s been a volatile and stressful week in cryptoland.

        First Elon Musk, the electric boss of eccentric car company Tesla (or was it the other way round) and one of bitcoin’s most high-profile supporters, tweeted on Saturday that the cryptocurrency’s price “seems high”.

        Then, after bitcoin hit a record high of $58,354 on Sunday, US Treasury secretary and former Fed chair Janet Yellen dismissed bitcoin as an “extremely inefficient way of conducting transactions”, as she lamented its staggering energy consumption, a comment that helped bitcoin fall more than 22 per cent from its peak. At pixel time, Bitcoin was trading around $47,500.

        And then on Tuesday, the New York District Attorney’s office moved to suspend Bitfinex and Tether’s “illegal activity” in the state.

        The connected entities will now be prohibited from servicing New Yorkers, on the basis that they deceived the market by overstating reserves and by covering up approximately $850m in losses around the globe.

        The move could be a major blow to the value of bitcoin, due to the role that Tether, a dollar-tracking crypto stablecoin, plays in supporting dollar-denominated inflows into the bitcoin ecosystem.

        Tether’s transparency page puts its current dollar assets at $34bn. But regulators and critics have always worried about the shape and liquidity of the dollar assets Tether purports to hold in support of its pegged dollar token. Many believe a huge chunk of bitcoin’s value may have been effectively synthesised by over-depending on assets of this sort that they allege are only partially funded.

        In her findings, NY Attorney Letitia James dubbed Tether a “stablecoin without stability” not least because its Tethers were never fully backed at all times. In some cases, she noted, Tether’s declarations of holdings came only as a result of temporary cosmetic cash injections (usually described as window dressing in the finance sector).

  16. Only 550 watts continuous from Apex while on battery only.
    EU2200i rated 1800 watts continuous, 2200 watt maximum.

    1. The Financial Times
      Commodities
      Commodities price surge raises fears of ‘overshoot’
      Inflation-hedging bets pour fuel on sector rally
      Prices for corn, copper and oil are all up in 2021 © Getty
      Neil Hume, Emiko Terazono and David Sheppard in London
      8 hours ago

      From corn to crude and copper, commodities have enjoyed a stellar start to 2021 as investors scour the market for inflation hedges and bets on the “greening” of the global economy.

      A fierce rally in copper has sent it above $9,000 a tonne for the first time since 2011. After a dramatic recovery, Brent crude on Tuesday briefly crossed $66 a barrel, the level at which it started a tumultuous 2020. And corn is up about 17 per cent since the start of 2021 to an almost eight-year high of $5.54 a bushel.

      The S&P GSCI spot index, which tracks price movements for 24 raw materials, is up 17 per cent this year.

      Predictions of a so-called supercycle — a prolonged period of high prices as demand outstrips supply — have lured investors to commodities, according to sector specialists. Others are seeking to buy real assets as protection against inflation.

      “The latest commodity price gains are being driven by money inflows and inflationary expectations, rather than actual physical buyers,” said Alastair Munro of Marex Spectron, a brokerage.

    1. From the source article: This means that an organization will likely be at odds with federal law if it requires its employees, students or other members to get a Covid-19 vaccine that is being distributed under emergency use authorization.

      State law often prohibits retaliating against an employee for refusing to participate in a violation of federal law.
      As if “federal law” means much any more. We’ve gone from rule of law to anarcho-tyranny.

      1. You missed the next sentence: Organizations that require Covid-19 vaccination in violation of federal law may face lawsuits under these state laws not only to block the policy but also for damages and attorneys’ fees. It’s still a valid cause of action that could be quite costly.

  17. From /r/NoNewNormal:

    “Masks are turning people into psychopaths.

    When people are forced to wear them all day for months, they become bitter and resentful seeing anyone else not being forced to do the same. They’ve been beaten down psychologically and seek to ruin lives of the disobedient.”

    1. Freaks are running the Country. Look at all the old freaks in high positions, like Biden, Pelosi, Dr Fauci, etc. all long term Politicians. Freaks , liars, privileged power mongers that destroy anything they touch being the bribed sell outs they are.
      Little egos that can only be filled with money and power and a corrupting of all that is good. A total crystalized version of evil in these long term Politicians that reek their madness on innocent people waging war on sanity.
      Pelosi is the highest example of the female power principle gone haywire in a pathological desire to control life .
      Bill Gates a pathological freak that is so privileged and detached from humanity that his agenda for humans is he should dictate what they get to eat, and he should make billions on jabbing vaccines in them.
      Soros, who is a old crystalized hardened version of evil, who made his money at the expense of many, is just a Nazi who wants open borders and a one World Order of his vision of the World. A pathological evil of a predator that sold out to the Nazis in his youth, and now he wants to sell out the World.
      Biden, one of the most corrupt long term Politicians who attached himself to the Government Gravy train, not as a intelligent public servant, but a dumb self serving parasite who used Government for bribes and sick predator arena for his sick Psychology.
      This is a freak show of deranged self serving nuts that should be locked down before they do more damage to the World.

  18. Is the stock market’s new normal an end to easy money gains?

    Sounds to me like a great recipe for a trip to Craterton.

    1. The Financial Times
      US Inflation
      Bond investors suffer worst start to year since 2015
      Rising yields reflect worries that US stimulus and virus vaccines will stoke inflation
      The bond markets sell-off has begun to ripple through equities markets
      © FT montage; AP/NYSE
      Robin Wigglesworth
      4 hours ago

      The global bond market is suffering its worst start to a year since 2015 as investors grow increasingly confident that the rollout of Covid-19 vaccines will boost economic growth and fan serious inflationary pressures for the first time in decades.

      The Bloomberg Barclays Multiverse index tracking $70tn worth of debt has lost 1.9 per cent since the end of last year, in total return terms that account for price changes and interest payments. If sustained this would be the worst quarterly performance since mid-2018 and the sharpest first-quarter setback for the broad fixed income gauge in six years.

      The bond market reversal started gathering steam in January, when the Democrats won control of the US Senate and raised the prospect of a more forceful stimulus package to heal the damage caused by the coronavirus pandemic. But the sell-off has accelerated and broadened markedly in recent weeks.

    2. It feels like the stock market boat is turning. I’ve been expecting a major pullback as April 15 and Taxes come due. Interest Rates are trying to rise. How long can they keep the lid on that pressure cooker?

      1. “Interest Rates are trying to rise.”

        “The Federal Reserve has two mandates: maintaining maximum employment and maintaining stable prices and moderate long-term interest rates.”

        Tens of millions fallen off of the Unemployment Classification, which runs for six months, but they remain unemployed. Hence, the fed will continue to purchase enough Treasurys to keep rates low until the employment numbers improve. Note to self: “It’s going to be a long stretch.”

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