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We Couldn’t Have Seen Excessive Price Rises Without A Permissive Debt Market

A report from Politico. “The booming housing market helped stave off economic collapse in 2020. But soaring prices are starting to worry policymakers. The current pace of home price appreciation is unsustainable, they say. ‘I am worried that the price run-up is going to choke off first-time buyers,’ said Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors. ‘This simply cannot continue. One wonders what is the end game, how does this play out given the heated market conditions of too many buyers, multiple offers? As prices simply outpace people’s income by a large margin, people won’t qualify to get a mortgage.'”

From CBS 4 in Colorado. “The housing market in the Denver metro area has seen a dramatic increase in home prices of more than 20 percent over the past year. ‘It’s been crazy but it’s also very gratifying to be in a market that’s so appreciating,’ said Dee Nielsen, a new homeowner in Littleton who started thinking about buying last year. ‘I knew no matter where I bought and what I bought, I was buying something that was an investment to me.'”

“Lori Abbey, a realtor said prices increasing by double digits in one year is significant on its own but more than 20 percent is unheard of and she understands why buyers may be scared by that figure. But she says the data is supported by more people working from home in a pandemic, including those moving to Colorado from the coasts who are willing to spend more money in a relatively cheaper housing market. ‘It’s not a bubble, it’s a what is actually called a boom, we are now becoming a big city,’ Abbey told CBS4.”

“‘It’s going up so high and it’s not dropping,’ Nielsen said. ‘Have faith in the state we live and the time we live and that’s it for me, I don’t have any doubts.'”

From Cal Matters. “Until recently, San Francisco was often in the headlines for being one of the most expensive places in the world to live. But since last March, the number of people leaving the city on net jumped an eye-popping 649% compared to the same period in 2019, based on the California Policy Lab’s analysis. As far as Heidi Hart can tell, all the anxiety has actually supercharged the housing market.”

“‘It feels like people around here have kind of accepted this ridiculous, expensive market, and they want more of it,’ said Hart, fresh off her best year ever as owner of Santa Cruz County’s California Dreaming Real Estate. ‘It’s like it’s a drug or something. There’s money coming out of the woodwork from everywhere.'”

The Los Angeles Times in California. “For years, spec developer Nile Niami has teased ‘The One’ — a 100,000-square-foot mega-mansion in Bel-Air that he hoped to sell for $500 million. But his plans are now in peril. Niami borrowed $82.5 million from Hankey Capital in 2018 to build the extravagant home. Over the last three years, that debt has ballooned to more than $110 million, and Hankey wants its money. The lender just served Niami a notice of default on the prized property, which is considered the first step in the foreclosure process. If Niami can’t repay the loan in 90 days, Hankey could force a sale of the home.”

“Default notices are nothing new for Niami. He received two in 2020 alone: one for a debt of $10 million on a property he owns at 1369 Londonderry Place in the Hollywood Hills, and one for a debt of $23.4 million on a mansion at 10701 Bellagio Road that he’s currently trying to sell for $59 million in Bel-Air. He took out a $200,000 loan from Compass for a separate Bel-Air property he was trying to sell in 2019, and the real estate company sued him in October for failing to repay it, records show.”

The Real Deal on New York. “A deal that will serve as a benchmark for how values have held up at 220 Central Park South is underway. The owner of unit 55B has accepted an offer from an unknown buyer. Once finalized, the deal will be closely scrutinized by the industry, particularly considering the diminishing resale values of apartments along Billionaires’ Row.”

“Even before the pandemic, nearly 40 percent of condo resales in Midtown closed at a loss — the worst of any neighborhood or property type, according to StreetEasy. Now, amid the pandemic and with a glut of new development condos on the market, that landscape is even more challenging unless sellers are willing to accept discounted offers.”

“‘I think many will be curious to see if resales follow the same path that One57 has taken, with substantial discounts from the original contract price,’ said appraiser Jonathan Miller, referring to Extell Development’s nearby tower where owners have resold units at significant losses in the past year.”

From Reuters. “Canada’s red-hot housing market has become a bonfire, spurring comparisons to earlier bubbles and prompting calls for cooling measures. But policymakers are standing back, unwilling to intervene for fear of undermining Canada’s still-fragile economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. While Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem in February acknowledged ‘some signs of excess exuberance’ in the housing market, he downplayed the need for action.”

“‘Right now the economy is weak, we’re just coming out of the second wave. I think we need the support, we need the growth we can get,’ Macklem said.”

“‘If you got in four months ago, you just made C$100,000,’ said Ottawa agent Judy Corriveau of entry-level homes popular with investors. ‘As far as investments go, it’s a lot better than the stock market … Unless you got in on GameStop,’ she said.”

“But a senior government source said ‘now is not really the time to be ratcheting anything down,’ pointing to the ongoing economic pressures. Broker Corriveau in Ottawa said it is ‘heartbreaking’ to see first-time buyers struggle. ‘You don’t know if there is going to be that one person who has lost 10 bidding wars and now is going to bid C$50,000 more than necessary just because they want to be done with it.'”

From Stuff New Zealand. “In a letter to Reserve Bank Governor Adrian Orr late last year, Minister of Finance Grant Robertson asked the Reserve Bank to consider government housing policy (specifically, regarding house prices) in relation to the Reserve Bank’s monetary policy functions. In her 2017 analysis, housing researcher Jenny McArthur pointed out that New Zealand’s debt – much of it tied up in household mortgages – is the ‘elephant in the room’ with regards to housing affordability. The reality is the vast majority of people do not buy houses with money they already have – they rely on mortgage debt financing.”

“As McArthur points out, ‘we simply couldn’t have seen the excessive price rises over recent years without a permissive debt market that allows households to take on mortgages up to twelve times their income.'”

From Domain News in Australia. “Driving over Granville’s railway bridge in peak hour traffic can take up to 20 mins for Tony Eltakchi. The stretch of road is less than 200 metres but the disproportionate scale of congestion, he says, comes from the nearby high-rise residential towers, all built in recent years. When asked who is buying these high-rise apartments, Mr Eltakchi, a local real estate agent, said. responds: ‘No one that I bloody know of. Ever since these monstrosities were built, especially in Granville, they can’t sell them, so they’re leasing them.'”

“Property price data backs this up. Sydney’s worst-performing suburbs and property type, over the past five years, are almost entirely units in the western suburbs. Granville, Merrylands, Auburn, Kellyville, Parramatta, Harris Park, Wentworth Point: prices in each of these suburbs have fallen between December 2015 and December 2020, some of them by 13 and 15 per cent.”

“This was happening against the backdrop of large investor demand all but drying up in parts of Western Sydney, which relies on immigration and the international student market, said economist Ryan Felsman. But with cheap finance and stimulus from the government, property developers would continue to build, he said. Architect and City of Sydney councillor Phillip Thalis, who helped develop a number of Sydney’s most important urban projects, slammed the developments for failing to fulfil the original vision.”

“‘This is the most rapacious period in Sydney’s history. The rate and scale of change is shocking to many people. There are a lot of people building buildings who wouldn’t want to live in them themselves,’ he said.”

From BBC Business on the UK. “NHS worker Holly Ciesielczuk bought 75% of her first-floor flat in Redbridge in March 2019, under shared ownership. But when she tried to borrow more money to increase her share of ownership a year later, she hit a stumbling block. Following their initial survey, her mortgage lender requested an EWS1 form, which can be obtained following an assessment of a building’s external walls.”

“These were first developed to assess the potential financial impact of cladding on high-rise flats, after 72 people died at Grenfell Tower. After the government extended its advice to smaller properties in January 2020, mortgage lenders began demanding fire surveys from a much wider range of sellers. The reason Holly was given by her lender for requesting one was that a balcony on the building had a wooden floor.”

“However, she says her housing association would not agree to an EWS1 because, it said, the building was not high enough to meet the criteria. The lender refused a mortgage without it, as did the next bank she tried. The combination of this and her partner’s cancer diagnosis took its toll. ‘I properly broke down. If I knew how much stress this was going to cause, I would never have bought my flat,’ she told the BBC.”

“Rebecca Frisina and her family were hoping to move to a larger property, but have been unable to sell their flat. Although they have found a buyer, the mortgage provider has requested a EWS1 form for their property. Rebecca’s family are now living with her parents and their buyer has moved into rented accommodation. ‘We have asked for a rough estimated timeline and they have refused to answer us,’ she says. ‘It’s been a nightmare.'”

This Post Has 163 Comments
  1. Well, I’m off tomorrow moving back to Texas. I’ll probably not have time to post much, but will get back in action ASAP.

    1. As long as Crow, CraterTaters and Hotcakes keep flying out of the HBB Chop House, all is well.

    2. Have a good move Ben. It’s nearly 20 years since I did the same thing moving home to NY for family. I hope it’s as worth it for you!

    3. I wish you a smooth and safe move, Ben. We’ll see you on the other side, and don’t forget to visit your favorite tex-mex and bbq places.

      1. don’t forget to visit your favorite tex-mex and bbq places

        That reminds me I had been planning on a food tourism trip to Austin for some bbq, burritos, and tex-mex right before COVID hit. Never got to go.

        Luckily, Chuy’s has expanded up into middle TN so I can get some legit queso and some creamy jalapeno ranch dressing!

        1. food tourism trip to Austin

          Check out Netflix’s The Chef Show Season 1, Episodes 7 & 8 (“Aaron Franklin” and “Hot Luck”). The whole series is great and inspiring!

          1. Netflix

            I know, I know. I hate Netflix because it’s globalist propaganda. Even though this series is somewhat Hollywood-centric, it’s still an interesting series. My San Francisco sourdough starter should be arriving later this week.

          2. I know, I know. I hate Netflix because it’s globalist propaganda

            Which is why I cancelled it.

            Why give your money to people who hate you?

          3. My husband and I have separate finances. I’ve suggested numerous times that he cancel it, but he and my son like some of their original content.

  2. ‘This simply cannot continue. One wonders what is the end game, how does this play out given the heated market conditions of too many buyers, multiple offers? As prices simply outpace people’s income by a large margin, people won’t qualify to get a mortgage’

    Here’s the thing Larry: they are qualifying. The Politico article confirms that. Why would people rush to gamble on shacks at all time highs?’

    ‘I knew no matter where I bought and what I bought, I was buying something that was an investment to me…It’s going up so high and it’s not dropping’

    1. “it’s not dropping”

      Shades of 2006-2007 for me. Lost count how many times I heard this. We know what came next. Took a bit longer for the fallout. But it did fall out.

  3. acknowledged ‘some signs of excess exuberance’ in the housing market, he downplayed the need for action…a senior government source said ‘now is not really the time to be ratcheting anything down,’ pointing to the ongoing economic pressures’

    See, these central bankers are dogs who would let you borrow too much for a one quarter GDP spurt.

    ‘You don’t know if there is going to be that one person who has lost 10 bidding wars and now is going to bid C$50,000 more than necessary just because they want to be done with it’

    OK, so where are the appraisers? Are they just standing there rubber stamping 20% plus increases in a recession? As I’ve posted before, the GSE’s aren’t using appraisers on a big chunk of sales.

    DONG!

  4. ‘Nowcast: 10 metros most threatened by high numbers of FHA delinquencies (January 2021 Update)’

    ‘While Atlanta and Chicago are the metros most at risk from FHA delinquency rates, elevated FHA delinquency rates threaten homeowners and neighborhoods in numerous other metro areas across the country. While the share of January FHA delinquencies has fallen noticeably from the previous month, the share of seriously delinquent loans remained unchanged.’

    ‘Of FHA’s roughly 8 million loans outstanding in January, 17.0% were delinquent and 11.8% were seriously delinquent as reported in FHA Neighborhood Watch (includes loans in forbearance). The below table summarizes these trends over time.’

    ‘As the forbearance periods end, one of two things will happen. Those borrowers who are able to resume normal payments may elect to have arrearages deferred until the loan is paid off, which would result in these loans becoming current. Borrowers who are unable to resume normal payments or who elect not to, remain delinquent. As a result, total delinquency levels are likely to fall, but serious delinquencies are likely to remain high. Unless able to sell their home, those borrowers who remain seriously delinquent are likely headed to foreclosure or other disposition. A buyer’s market could develop in ZIP Codes with heavy exposure to FHA and other high risk loans.’

    ‘Homeowners in these ZIP Codes will predominantly be low income (ZIP Codes with about 50-90% of area median income) and contain high percentages of households of color and high levels of mortgage risk. See, for example, the maps for the Washington, DC metro area, which show the substantial overlap for concentrations of FHA and minority borrower share, high levels of DTIs and mortgage risk. The area to the southeast on the map largely consists of Prince George’s County, MD. This was the hardest hit DC area county during the Great Housing Bust.’

    https://www.aei.org/nowcast-10-metros-most-threatened-by-high-numbers-of-fha-delinquencies-january-2021/?mkt_tok=NDc1LVBCUS05NzEAAAF7nIOmCLIYfJxl0ZIg4Zhn4KijYMJ_Kz_eP2yWdBkS4FCTbvErOsYZny9LWx8CmUbPOXOYe_uJJs937tOcftZUxa9cI4MadCeIw0z49CIpVyAL

    ‘substantial overlap for concentrations of FHA and minority borrower share, high levels of DTIs and mortgage risk’

    This is risk layering, and they’ve been doing it for years. They are letting the poorest people get fooked and don’t give a damn.

    1. Here are those 10 metro areas:

      Atlanta
      Chicago
      Houston
      Dallas
      DC area
      Riverside CA
      Baltimore
      San Antonio
      Orlando
      Tampa

      Congrats on moving back to Texas! I hope you were able to cash-out and unwind your businesses in AZ and make a clean break.

      1. Not really, it’s sort of legs in two places for now. It’s a difficult decision at this moment, but I know I’m doing the right thing. Some changes may have to be made in the future depending on how things go.

    2. It plays well into the Democratic politicians’ “mortgage lending is racis’ ” meme.

    3. 10 metros most threatened by high numbers of FHA delinquencies

      I downloaded the spreadsheet. My little burg (which gets lumped in with the Fort for statistical purposes) was 166 on the list. Armpit Ciudad Greeley is 129 and Dumver is 33.

  5. ‘prices in each of these suburbs have fallen between December 2015 and December 2020, some of them by 13 and 15 per cent’

    Yet the media says red-hotcakes…

    ‘This was happening against the backdrop of large investor demand all but drying up in parts of Western Sydney, which relies on immigration and the international student market, said economist Ryan Felsman. But with cheap finance and stimulus from the government, property developers would continue to build’

    That’s right. They keep building even though there’s not really a need nor a market. No concerns about global warming here, like China. Did you know they are still breaking ground on towers in NYC even though they are drowning in empty units?

  6. The globalist plan has always been to turn us all into debt slaves. It’s working majestically.

    1. Yeah, well it helps a bit to be deeply immersed into a population of totally – TOTALLY! – dumbed-down ignorant pukes.

    2. The debt slave trap scares me less than what the globalists plan to gain in the bust. It’s not that I think that that their plans will work. It’s that in the long cycle, the existing hegemon always overplays their hand, resulting in massive devastation and mass casualties in their homeland during the transition to the next hegemon. Basically, the elites never want to give up power and they stretch too far. They believe that their ‘allies’ will support them, but those same allies yearn for a new order and defect to the challenger rather than go down with ship. Sadly, the existing hegemon is us.

      USA! USA! USA!

    1. Deep down they know that obesity, especially extreme obesity will kill them, but it will kill them much later. So they can blow it off and tell themselves that they will be thinner later.

      They fear the virus will kill them now.

      1. I’m at elevation 10,200 feet in the Pike National Forest right now getting exercise and generating my own vitamin D from the sun.

        Reddit neckbeard lockdown lovers are as pale as the snow I’m snowshoeing on.

  7. ‘If you got in four months ago, you just made C$100,000’…of entry-level homes popular with investors. ‘As far as investments go, it’s a lot better than the stock market … Unless you got in on GameStop’

    This is a mania, and it’s debt driven. Word of people making 100k Canadian pesos for doing no work spreads quickly, especially up there where they’ve been conditioned by the REIC/media/guberment to expect it to be a risk free bet.

    As I’ve been doing this for a while, I often think about where we are. Sure, central banker says “the economy is too weak to stop shack loans!” Should people be taking out huge loans if the economy is weak?

    Another contradiction is, wow prices are way up! Yet every day I can find all kinds of real crater all over the world. But whatever is really going on, shacks should never, ever increase 20% in a year. If that’s what the statistic says, it’s either not showing what’s really happening (like Seattle condos for instance) or there’s a lotta fraud going on, or both.

    March 26, 2020

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    1. Below is the most insidious comment. Albeit she is probably a ditz and not intentionally being dangerous.

      But once this goes around – especially if you tell folks that they have to scrimp and save to get $10K times 10 years. Or you can just sign where the mortgage broker says – and then easy equity.

      ——
      “‘If you got in four months ago, you just made C$100,000,’ said Ottawa agent Judy Corriveau of entry-level homes popular with investors. ‘As far as investments go, it’s a lot better than the stock market … Unless you got in on GameStop,’ she said.”

      1. Another classic is when you ask them if it is like 2006…they will always say the exact phase, “this time, it’s different.” And that’s how you know it isn’t.

    2. I can believe that median prices in some areas are going up, but plenty are not.

      For example, I can believe areas 2-4 hours out of San Francisco are going up — that’s close enough to make it to the office (in SF, Mountain View, etc), but far enough away to be a lot cheaper. Also, the housing mix can have a big effect on the medium price (if well paid workers are buying more expensive houses).

      But where I’m at (East Bay) is not going up; it’s holding steady with slight downwards. I’ll be interested to see what the inventory does once the spring selling season starts. I’ll add that traffic is still way below pre-shutdown levels.

      1. 2-4 hours is one long drive, even if it’s just once a week.

        When I lived in north San Diego county I knew a few people who worked in Orange County. They would catch the “San Diegan” at the Oceanside Amtrak station and kept a beater car (with
        a manual gearbox to discourage theft) wherever they got off the train in Orange County. Even then, the commute was long, but they could kick back and rest while on the train.

    3. Central banks have turned the entire global economy into a giant casino of reckless gamblers who are highly leveraged. I find it disgusting, and as somebody who is not partaking in any way whatsoever, my cost of living is increasing rapidly due to it.

      1. My brother in law who has COVID and just got out of the hospital last week. He brought 10k on QS stocks on Friday and sold it today. Made $3k … that’s more money then he made when he was working at TSA.

        Why work? Hint: he’s on UE.

      2. my cost of living is increasing rapidly

        What are you doing that has a drastically rising price?

        1. I’m a lowly renter. I’ve been getting gouged hard the past 3 years. But I have faith I will be in the catbird seat at some point. All of these articles Ben posts indicate falling rents are coming.

          1. Lots of people are paying no rent at the moment, due to moratoriums. We’re also among the gouged.

            It’ll be interesting to see whether rent payments actually come due at the end of the moratoriums. I’ll believe it when I see it.

  8. I wonder how Zilldo comes up with an estimate that increased by over ten percent since the supposed sale price in 2019, when the price$ of comparable home$ are sinking like turds in a well?

    “‘The One'”
    Zillow
    12 bd
    38,000 sqft
    924 Bel Air Rd, Los Angeles, CA 90077
    Sold: $94,000,000
    Sold on 10/24/19
    Zestimate $105,829,201
    Est. refi payment: $414,251/mo

  9. A report from Politico. “The booming housing market helped stave off economic collapse in 2020. But soaring prices are starting to worry policymakers. The current pace of home price appreciation is unsustainable, they say. ‘I am worried that the price run-up is going to choke off first-time buyers,‘ said Lawrence Yun, chief economist for the National Association of Realtors. ‘This simply cannot continue. One wonders what is the end game, how does this play out given the heated market conditions of too many buyers, multiple offers? As prices simply outpace people’s income by a large margin, people won’t qualify to get a mortgage.‘”

    From CBS 4 in Colorado. “The housing market in the Denver metro area has seen a dramatic increase in home prices of more than 20 percent over the past year. ‘ It’s been crazy but it’s also very gratifying to be in a market that’s so appreciating,’ said Dee Nielsen, a new homeowner in Littleton who started thinking about buying last year. ‘I knew no matter where I bought and what I bought, I was buying something that was an investment to me.‘”

    Lori Abbey, a realtor said prices increasing by double digits in one year is significant on its own but more than 20 percent is unheard of and she understands why buyers may be scared by that figure. But she says the data is supported by more people working from home in a pandemic, including those moving to Colorado from the coasts who are willing to spend more money in a relatively cheaper housing market. ‘It’s not a bubble, it’s a what is actually called a boom, we are now becoming a big city,’ Abbey told CBS4.

    – This is all normal. /s

    – From the first article:
    “It all threatens to freeze broad swaths of the population out of the market, leaving millions of Americans in a less secure financial position, widening the racial wealth gap and forcing millennials, already lagging previous generations in building wealth and forming families, to fall even further behind.”

    “The dream of homeownership is out of reach for so many working people,” said Senate Banking Chair Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio). “Rising home prices and flat wages means that many families, especially families of color, may never be able to afford their first home.”

    – But the Fed doesn’t cause wealth inequality. It’s true because they said so. /s It’s all enabled by fiat currency the value of which is whatever the central bank says it is. Intrinsic = zero, but huge paper wealth with inflation of the money supply and artificially suppressed interest rates.

    – From the second article:
    The Denver Metro Association of Realtors reported for March 2021 that the median home price was $530,000, an increase of more than 4% from the previous month and up 21.84% compared to a year ago.

    – I’m sure everyone received a 21.84% raise over the past year also. Looking for another 20% this year. /s

    – Call it “Clown World,” “Bizarro World,” “La La Land,” but don’t call this normal, or free markets. The Fed is dropping rates and blowing massive bubbles, so maybe call it “Bubble World.” This is fine. I’m sure it will all end well. /s Oh, the insanity!

    1. “The Denver Metro Association of Realtors reported”

      🤣🤣🤣

      I wonder why the exclude foreclosures and defaults from their “calculation”.

      No mention of the rampant appraisal and mortgage fraud either.

  10. From Stuff New Zealand. “In a letter to Reserve Bank Governor Adrian Orr late last year, Minister of Finance Grant Robertson asked the Reserve Bank to consider government housing policy (specifically, regarding house prices) in relation to the Reserve Bank’s monetary policy functions. In her 2017 analysis, housing researcher Jenny McArthur pointed out that New Zealand’s debt – much of it tied up in household mortgages – is the ‘elephant in the room’ with regards to housing affordability. The reality is the vast majority of people do not buy houses with money they already have – they rely on mortgage debt financing.

    As McArthur points out, ‘we simply couldn’t have seen the excessive price rises over recent years without a permissive debt market that allows households to take on mortgages up to twelve times their income.‘”

    – Q: Does New Zealand have a central bank? A: Why yes, as a matter of fact: The Reserve Bank of New Zealand. Does anyone still think that central banks don’t directly cause wealth and income inequality? Central banks are a financial pox and cancer upon the world. The same problem in virtually every country.

  11. The colossal failure the Federal Reserve made of social insecurity rarely gets mentioned anymore.

    Is there anything more toxic than social security? Other than housing?

  12. Looks like the anticipation of Stim-largesse has sent stonks flying into the stratosphere as if perched on a Falcon 9 rocket. How long will this “hit” last before the market nosedives again?

    1. These “stimulus” packages are short term fixes, like a fresh baggie for a crackhead. But as others have highlighted, you need bigger and bigger stimulus to get the same result. Just look at the national debt and the FED’s balance. Just WOW.

      I anticipate another stimulus forthcoming in the next 3 months or so. I also believe this kick the can is going to go on until the system just breaks so awfully bad that there’s no denying it is fooked. Or a war or something breaks out. But, we are never going back to what we had 40 years ago.

  13. – Not a China fan, but another example of the dark side of over-investment in RE. It’s pretty much the same model everywhere. Unfortunately it takes a crash to resolve it. China’s housing market is just another bubble in a different part of the world. When economies are focused on residential investment (speculation) due to financialization, they’re doomed to failure. Someday, maybe, the world will come to its senses and realize once again that housing is shelter and not an “investment,” but there’s a lesson to be learned first. Central banks and policies are a cancer and have metastasized. It’s global.

    https://www.scmp.com/economy/china-economy/article/3124562/china-learns-lesson-hong-kongs-housing-policy-beijing-keen?utm_source=Twitter&utm_medium=share_widget&utm_campaign=3124562
    Opinion | Zhou Xin | Published: 8:15am, 9 Mar, 2021
    China learns lesson from Hong Kong’s housing policy, with Beijing keen to avoid same damage to society [Good luck with that! Too late!]

    Land sales have become a key source of revenue for local governments in China who are in need of cash for development

    Property has also become a key wealth asset for Chinese households, but it has also caused damage to society – issues perceived to have formed the basis for the divisions and tensions in Hong Kong

    The land auction and property development system in China is a direct descendant of Hong Kong’s. The system, in which the government sells land to developers so they can build homes, has supported rapid urbanisation and improved the living conditions for hundreds of millions of urban Chinese. [And built many “ghost cities,” which is good. /s]

    But Beijing is also rapidly realising the social costs of the system, including its chronic damage to entrepreneurship, a yawning wealth gap that depresses the ambitions of younger generations, and the formation of a rent-seeking landlord social class whose interests are too often at odds with the broader community – the same problems perceived by Beijing as the basis for the social divisions and tensions in Hong Kong.

    1. Someday, maybe, the world will come to its senses and realize once again that housing is shelter and not an “investment,” but there’s a lesson to be learned first. Central banks and policies are a cancer and have metastasized. It’s global.

      I sure hope so, but I have my doubts when I look at how the younger generations are speculating in everything. They have been trained. Again, more and more stories in the media about teenagers making hay in the stock market, early 20-somethings buying houses as “an investment,” etc. It seems like we’re fooked.

      1. I’m sure youngsters were trained to party in the 1920s. They were retrained pretty hard, and today’s youngsters will be too.

        1. I love this comment. It is more true than you know. Read the boys in the boat or to kill a mockingbirdbird again and pay attention to Dill. The re-education will END many of our snowflakes based on the levels of depression im seeing in my large public CA high school. School was already a place of high tension and low engagement, now its worse engagement wise bc the standards keep dropping bc admin can see huge numbers of non-grads coming down the pipeline. So everyone gets dumber.

          Mr. Banker, you live in a target rich environment. Just open your mouth and the minnows will fight to the death to get into your mouth.

        2. The Fed’s approach to any downturn today will be different than the approach to a downturn in 1929. Bernanke’s speech on Milton Friedman’s 90th birthday is a very good read to think about the theory behind central bank policy:

          “Friedman and Schwartz laboriously built the case that the causality can be interpreted as running (mostly) from money to output and prices, so that the Great Depression can reasonably be described as having been caused by monetary forces.
          […]
          Let me end my talk by abusing slightly my status as an official representative of the Federal Reserve. I would like to say to Milton and Anna: Regarding the Great Depression. You’re right, we did it. We’re very sorry. But thanks to you, we won’t do it again. ”

          Crater interest rates, fire up the printer and boost the balance sheet size – that’s the game plan.

          Now, what’s coming might be a bit interesting. A former Fed chief as the Treasury Secretary, 1) huge fiscal stimulus they always wanted, 2) a balance sheet double the size it was a year ago, and the vast cash injections (monetary stimulus) required to maintain that, 3) a perhaps more ferocious than post-wartime rebound as we did not crank up defense spending for war. However, on the other side of that is a huge debt load.

          1. Printing press economics has been declared successful before allowing for a chance to unwind the policy and assess the after effects.

            However, the Japanese experience from 1990 through 2010 or so offers some hints. And they haven’t actually ever fully unwound their printing press policy, either.

            It’s possible that we are at the end of something, and just don’t know it yet.

          2. Sure. With an unlimited FED balance sheet, you can just paper over everything. Eventually, the FED owns everything and IS the economy. No problem at all with that, right?

          3. By the way, this has nothing to do with the economy. It’s about maintaining asset price bubbles and the net worths of the billionaire Davos set.

          4. the net worths of the billionaire

            The revenue stream of the banking cartel is the top priority.

    2. Someday, maybe, the world will come to its senses and realize once again that housing is shelter and not an “investment,”

      It depends on the definition of “world”. If you mean those who create the policies that make housing unaffordable, the answer is a resounding “No”.

      I’m sure there are billions of people in the world who wish right now that housing was more affordable, but they have no say in the matter.

  14. The Financial Times
    Opinion Markets Insight
    Bond sell-off is a foretaste of things to come
    Government debt simply cannot provide the kind of safe harbour it once did
    Long-term US government bonds have lost more than 12 per cent this year

    Thushka Maharaj yesterday
    The writer is global multi-asset strategist at JPMorgan Asset Management

    For many in bond markets, the sell-off across fixed-income assets since the start of year might appear a bracing foretaste of things to come.

    Markets are undergoing a pivotal shift. Where extraordinary support from central banks was a key driver for markets over the past nine months, economic fundamentals will take the lead this year. And bond market repricing sits at the nexus of this transition.

    The repricing has already begun. Long-term US government bonds have lost more than 12 per cent this year amid rising volatility in fixed-income markets. Stronger fiscal stimulus in the US is weighing heavily on the bond market.

    1. The Financial Times
      Opinion Markets Insight
      Why inflation is at risk of overshooting the Fed’s comfort zone
      Regime shift is under way with US economy set to recover much more than expected
      Chetan Ahya yesterday
      The writer is chief economist at Morgan Stanley

      A comeback in inflation is no less likely because it has been absent for the past 30 years.

      On the contrary, the conditions are ripe for US inflation to overshoot 2 per cent, the level that the US Federal Reserve gauges as consistent with its mandate. Under its new approach unveiled last year, the Fed has signalled it will tolerate an overshoot of the target for a period of time to compensate for persistently low inflation.

      1. ‘the Fed has signalled it will tolerate’

        See what nice guys they are?

        ‘an overshoot of the target for a period of time to compensate for persistently low inflation’

        I must have missed this concept in economics classes.

        ‘US economy set to recover much more than expected’

        I see lots of closed businesses. The FT is a globalist rag.

  15. West Liberty cancels school due to COVID-19 vaccine side effects

    David Hotle
    Mar 8, 2021
    Updated 20 hrs ago

    WEST LIBERTY — The cure may not be worse than the disease for the West Liberty School District, however classes were canceled Monday after several teachers reported experiencing side effects after receiving a second Moderna COVID-19 vaccination over the weekend.

    On Saturday, district staff received the second dose of the vaccine at a special clinic. When the district checked in with teachers Sunday, 64% reported having some kind of side effect and 28% thought the side effects made them feel too poorly to go to work.

    Classes were canceled Monday to give the staff members a chance to feel better. Classes are expected to resume Tuesday.

    http://www.communitynewspapergroup.com/news/state/west-liberty-cancels-school-due-to-covid-19-vaccine-side-effects/article_910596dd-786e-510f-88bf-11840bedd116.html

    1. Peretti co-founded HuffPost in 2005 with the site’s namesake, Arianna Huffington, along with Andrew Breitbart and Kenneth Lerer,

      Huh? 🤨

      1. Both from Wikipedia:

        Andrew James Breitbart (/ˈbraɪtbɑːrt/; February 1, 1969 – March 1, 2012) was an American conservative journalist, writer, and commentator who was the founder of Breitbart News and a co-founder of HuffPost.

        Breitbart News Network (known commonly as Breitbart News, Breitbart or Breitbart.com) is an American far-right syndicated news, opinion, and commentary website founded in mid-2007 by American conservative commentator Andrew Breitbart, who conceived it as “the Huffington Post of the right”.

  16. OK, I was trying to find information on the state of affairs in China on Covid.
    In spite of a high population, and being the so called origins of the virus they aren’t having any problems at all. No deaths and 10 to 15 cases reported here and there they claim are imported cases. I couldn’t find any data of a mass vaccination program going on in China.
    But, I find this to be pretty odd, or maybe I just can’t find the data. It seems that China is producing some vaccines, but they are selling them to other Countries.
    So when you go back to the original news where people were falling in the street and being rounded up and taken away in cars it all seems so fake now.
    Nothing really adds up. And the exact timing of the so called Pandemic, that spreads World wide, but China doesn’t have a problem is not believable. China doesn’t have Mutant strains like every other place has?
    Notice but how there is now limited coverage on other Countries by MSN here, yet at first they had the big World maps tracking the Pandemic. Do they even talk about how it’s going in India for instance, a high population Country.
    I’m just saying that it interesting on what they choose not to report on as what they do report on.

    1. …it all seems so fake now.

      It’s always been fake coming out of that country. Initial reports are always far more accurate than anything you’ll see AFTER the govt has clamped down on all social media outlets, rounded up the ‘truthers’, and then allowed the state-run media to eventually sell as news.

      Our system is just as corrupt though, as the idiots that own our media conglomerates get to dictate what is passed on as news.

    2. Check my username. It was and always will be just a flu bro.

      The PCR tests and their cycle count are the lynchpin of the whole scam.

  17. So I heard that Saturday March 20 is supposed to be some kind of “meat free day” here in the Centennial state. Being that we are in Lent I don’t see why they didn’t schedule it on a Friday. Anyway, I’m planning on grilling some nice steaks that day.

    1. March 20 is my birthday.

      I will ABSOULTELY be enjoying steaks that day, whether I grill them or pay others to grill them for me.

      Being a renter is nice.

    1. The Financial Times
      GameStop Corp
      GameStop shares whipsaw in echo of January’s Reddit frenzy
      Stock swings higher before tumbling in frenetic trading that triggered volatility pauses
      GameStop’s rally in January stemmed largely from a concerted effort by amateur traders to crush negative bets on the company
      Madison Darbyshire 4 hours ago

      Shares in GameStop went on another wild ride on Wednesday, first shooting higher and then crashing in a repeat of the explosive trading frenzy from the start of this year.

      The shares surged as high as $348.50, marking a 150 per cent rally on the week, before tumbling back towards $200 as more than 45m shares traded hands by 1pm on Wall Street. The New York Stock Exchange halted the stock several times because of the volatility.

      This week’s rally still left the shares far shy of their peak near $483. But a gain of more than 1,000 per cent so far this year reflects the enduring influence of have-a-go investors on pockets of the public markets.

      “Maybe it was worth more than $10 per share,” short seller and founder of Muddy Waters Research, Carson Block, told CNBC on Wednesday. “But come on. This is a sign that there is some serious dysfunction in our markets right now.”

    2. GameStop’s stock was on the rise again, until it wasn’t
      A wild Wednesday for GME
      By Ian Carlos Campbell
      Mar 10, 2021, 7:48pm EST

      GameStop stock (GME) soared in value on Wednesday, peaking at $348.50 per share. Then, in an event that’s definitely not cause for concern, minutes later it lost fully half its value by plummeting to $172, Bloomberg reports. Yes, “stonks” are back, and GameStop is once again in the crosshairs of online amateur investors.

      Wednesday’s drama ultimately ended with the price settling back down to $265 per share, but it’s hard to not feel déjà vu. It seems like it was only yesterday when everyone was watching in a mixture of shock, amusement, and general concern as GME crested $483 per share. The rise and fall doesn’t quite compare, but the losses for anyone who sold during Wednesday’s dip in price are likely huge.

  18. Only Pork can bring the rain
    That makes you yearn to the sky
    Only Pork can bring the rain
    That falls like tears from on high

    Pork, reign o’er me
    Reign o’er me, o’er me, o’er me
    Pork, reign o’er me, o’er me
    Pork

    The Who – Love reign over me
    7,200,018 views
    https://youtu.be/gDbAtWpoA6k

    House passes $1.9 trillion spending bill without one GOP vote

    by Susan Ferrechio, Chief Congressional Correspondent | | March 10, 2021 02:10 PM

    “This isn’t a rescue bill,” House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a California Republican, said. ”It isn’t a relief bill. It’s a laundry list of left-wing priorities that predate the pandemic and do not meet the needs of American families.”

    https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/congress/house-passes-1-9-trillion-spending-bill-without-one-gop-vote

    1. Does it seem like pigmen are dumping their mansions at losses all over the planet about now?

      Not sure what this development portends for the liddle people…

    2. “Photo #2 of 6: Tamsen Ann Ziff…”

      Note the ceiling; looks like more cameras than Epstein’s crib!

  19. Oh dear…the mega-mansion defaults are starting to come fast and furious now. Let’s all please observe a moment of silence for all those dear departed Yellen Bux.

    A massive Los Angeles hilltop mansion with an asking price once touted at $500 million now faces a notice of default.

    LA Mansion Once Set for $500 Million Price Tag Is in Default
    https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2021-03-10/l-a-mansion-once-set-for-500-million-price-tag-is-in-default?srnd=premium&sref=ibr3A0ff

    An $82.5 million loan for “The One,” a 100,000-square-foot (9,300-square-meter) home built by developer and film producer Nile Niami, is delinquent, according to Don Hankey, who advanced the money in 2018 and filed the default notice.

    The debt on the property, which has yet to go on the market, has climbed to $110 million, with unpaid interest, he said.

    1. That would be mega-mansion default, singular. It’s the same damn mega-mansion defaulting over and over again. It’s like the One Fruitcake. It gets passed around so many times you think there are millions of them.

    1. “Rents in some of the wealthiest districts have dived as lockdowns spurred residents to move to greener areas with more space and thousands of migrants to leave London, meaning investors have shied away from central city deals.”

      It’s really worth keeping the pied-à-terre in the city where the mistress with a bmi of 17 to 20 is anxious to frolic.

  20. Lockdown Lovers poll news (3/10/2021):

    “A plurality of voters say their area should start to roll back coronavirus restrictions when at least 75 percent of the local population is vaccinated, a new Hill-HarrisX poll finds …

    14 percent said restrictions should be kept in place “indefinitely.”

    https://thehill.com/hilltv/what-americas-thinking/542639-poll-more-voters-say-their-area-should-start-to-roll-back

    Note that when broken down by political affiliation, 18% of Pedo Joe voters support keeping restrictions indefinitely.

    1. Stanford University doctor: Lockdowns ‘single worst public health mistake’ in last 100 years

      By Jessica Chasmar – The Washington Times
      Wednesday, March 10, 2021

      A professor of medicine at Stanford University declared Monday that the COVID-19 lockdowns will be remembered as the country’s “single worst public health mistake” in the last 100 years.

      Dr. Jay Bhattacharya told Newsweek that the physical and psychological damage the ongoing lockdowns are causing to kids and adults is “catastrophic.”

      “I stand behind my comment that the lockdowns are the single worst public health mistake in the last 100 years,” he said. “We will be counting the catastrophic health and psychological harms, imposed on nearly every poor person on the face of the earth, for a generation.

      “At the same time, they have not served to control the epidemic in the places where they have been most vigorously imposed,” he continued. “In the US, they have — at best — protected the ‘non-essential’ class from COVID, while exposing the essential working class to the disease. The lockdowns are trickle down epidemiology.”

      “Current lockdown policies are producing devastating effects on short and long-term public health,” the Great Barrington Declaration states. “The results (to name a few) include lower childhood vaccination rates, worsening cardiovascular disease outcomes, fewer cancer screenings and deteriorating mental health — leading to greater excess mortality in years to come, with the working class and younger members of society carrying the heaviest burden. Keeping students out of school is a grave injustice. Keeping these measures in place until a vaccine is available will cause irreparable damage, with the underprivileged disproportionately harmed.”

      https://m.washingtontimes.com/news/2021/mar/10/jay-bhattacharya-stanford-doctor-lockdowns-single-/

        1. I flew roundtrip between the two busiest airports in the country last month and I haven’t died yet.

          Delta keeping the middle seats empty was nice, but the Branch Covidians are going to do everything they can to make flying as miserable and authoritarian as possible in the near future.

          Vaccine passports, anal swabs, and the permanent cancellation of food and beverage service.

          The 18% neckbeards have no problem with millions of CCP Flu positive Central Americans swarming across the border and being put on buses across the country, because Orange Man Bad.

          1. “What is the date today?”

            It’s the one year anniversary of fifteen days to flatten the curve.

            After three consecutive years of real income growth (for the first time in 45 years) for the poor and middle class in 2017-2019, this country has erased all of those gains, probably permanently. And those gibs checks aren’t gonna help much when gas is $6 a gallon.

            JFK put a man on the moon. Obama and Asterisk put men in little girls’ bathrooms.

            We are bombing Syria again and will be at war in the Middle East for the next century.

            My own neighborhood is overrun with tweakers and junkies and panhandlers and I’m surrounded by people who wear masks while driving alone.

            You wanna know what day it is? Today is Thursday, March 12th and Joe Biden is not the legitimately elected president of the United States.

            That’s what day it is.

          2. It’s actually March 11th. I can’t get the date right, and neither can our alleged president. He doesn’t even know where he is or what he is saying, and this product of election fraud allegedly got 81 million votes.

          3. panhandlers

            The number of panhandlers has skyrocketed in my little burg, as has petty crime. Reports of burglaries, thefts and other unsavory activities on NextDoor is through the roof. And suddenly, all the city council seems to be concerned with is “racial equity”, even though there are only about 200 blacks here, and most of them are well off, with county or city jobs.

          4. not the legitimately elected president

            Currently bashing the legitimately re-elected president’s COVID response last year.

      1. I guess i’m not poor enough to have lasting mental illness from this…. we still went almost ever weekend for a long drive just to get out of the house and with almost no traffic it was heaven!!!

    1. From the DMN (paywalled):

      “Dallas-Fort Worth is seeing one of the nation’s biggest declines in homes for sale. More than 200,000 home listings are missing around the country, according to Realtor.com. On average it took less than 40 days to sell a D-FW area home.

      The home marketing firm looked at listing inventories, changes in asking prices and the time it takes to sell a property in markets across the country.

      D-FW ranked fifth among major markets for the biggest decline in homes listed for sale in the last year. Active property listings in the area are down more than 64% from February 2020.

      Austin had the biggest decline in home inventories — down almost 74% year-over-year.”

      It is bananas, over list all cash offers are the only ones getting contracts.

      1. all cash offers

        I saw an article that claimed to debunk that there is an exodus out of California.

          1. From Burbank airport north on the 5 freeway homeless encampments all along the margins of the interstate.

            Creepy

          2. homeless encampments all along the margins of the interstate.

            Move along citizen, nothing to see here.

    1. You can’t even comment on MW anymore. It looks they have AI or filter that triggers on words like bubble or something, and the comment is automatically rejected.

    2. I remember in the late 80’s when the San Diego REIC was predicting the that average house would cost $500K+ in the not too distant future. The prediction back then seemed so absurd as working class San Diegans could barely afford a shack at the current prices. How could prices possibly get that high? Who would be able to afford a house? And yet, here we are.

    3. Don’t forget this gem:

      Your kids want to buy Roblox stock? Heed these warnings first
      Last Updated: March 11, 2021 at 9:37 a.m. ET
      By Andrew Keshner
      ———————
      …more than half of Roblox’s approximately 32.6 million daily users across 180 countries are younger than age 13.

      Roblox began trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Wednesday. Shares obtained a $45 reference price on Tuesday. By mid-day Wednesday, Roblox RBLX, 5.88% shares were trading above $73.

      So maybe now your kid wants to play Roblox on the stock market too. At a time when more people are getting into the stock market — for better or for worse — parents might be more inclined to say ‘yes’ to the idea. Those parents could buy a share in their own brokerage account. Or, they could use a custodial trading account to do it. … But beware of the tax consequences that lurk —…blah blah.
      ————

      We all know what happened the last time kids gave out stock tips. Well, maybe “we all” don’t know.

    4. Are you looking forward to higher mortgage rates?

      If it means prices coming down even a bit and less demand, sure.

  21. Flew PDX to PHX and back. No empty seats to provide for distancing and nobody cared. (Except maybe the double masked gentlemen towards front who kept prominently displaying the book he was reading, obammer autobiography.) In casual conversation waiting for restroom, Flight attendant told me she’s tired of policing people. Same attendant who at beginning of flight reminded my sister to “put mask up between bites”. Pretty sure that was posturing considering her later comment which I thought was purposeful. I asked where she lives and she happily said she’d recently sold her house in PDX and moved outside cour de lane. No grey bins were being meticulously sanitized going through security. Workers were all just as half asleep as usual. Nobody in either airport who seemed to be posted as a mask checker and big signs in PDX concourses thanking travelers for being there.

    1. Recently flew from Wenatchee to Seattle to Portland, and the first flight was full, no empty seats. Those who are concerned at risk were tightly masked with real N95s, some doubled. The rest were obedient, but their masks were too loose to be effective. Everyone is exhausted, IMHO.

  22. There is an article on the cnn website titled: “These 5 charts show the pandemic’s brutal impact on American workers”

    Nowhere does the article mention that the millions of jobs were lost because of unnecessary lockdowns. The way it’s written you’d think that the losses were organic.

      1. AFAIK, the stock market only cares about companies setting and meeting quarterly expectations.

  23. “The booming housing market”

    Housing is booming
    but where are the buyers
    inventory is looming
    realtors are liars

  24. I’m having trouble with this math ? I get 52% of the 11M vaccines where did the other 48% go ?

    “Despite making up 6 percent of California’s population, African Americans have received just 3 percent of the nearly 11 million vaccine doses administered in the state so far. Latinos, meanwhile, have received 17 percent of the doses given out so far though they account for 39 percent of the state’s population.
    In comparison, whites, who make up 72 percent of the population, have received 32 percent of doses administered so far.

    1. I’m having trouble with this math ? I get 52% of the 11M vaccines where did the other 48% go ?

      Maff be hard.

  25. Just read that Denmark, Norway and Iceland have suspended the Astra Zeneca vaccine due to blood clotting issues.

    1. That’s strange. I just saw a story on the news about the Astra Zeneca vaccine (gene therapy). They only said that it wasn’t approved in the US. They made no mention of it being suspended anywhere, and certainly no mention of any blood clots. They only said that it was in use in ‘Over 70 countries outside the US.’ I’m sure it was an honest mistake. /s

  26. Do overvalued stonls really matter, so long as you can get your money out before the cratering?

    1. What I don’t get is how does a $500K “medallion” pencil out for taxis? Just how much were they charging before Uber came on the scene?

      Or were cabbies buying medallions to flip them for a profit?

      1. That’s probably why they were taking people on a 12 mile trip to a place 5 miles away – once they had a fare they had to milk every last penny out of them.

        1. rip

          You were right and I was wrong and I apologize. If that kid got busted like that with his hands at his side and there were no charges filed he had undoubtedly, as you said hit the MMA kid before the filming started.

          DA: No charges in viral bathroom fight involving OU football player Spencer Jones, MMA-trained man

          By Simon Samano | March 11, 2021 3:03 pm

          Nobody involved in the viral bathroom fight between a University of Oklahoma football player and a man with MMA training will face charges.

          The Norman (Okla.) Police Department announced Thursday that it completed its investigation into the Feb. 13 incident, which went viral on social media, and submitted its findings – investigative reports, videos, witness statements and other documents – to the Cleveland County District Attorney’s Office on March 9.

          District attorney Greg Mashburn has decided not to pursue criminal charges, determining the altercation was “a mutual combat situation.”

          “We have carefully considered the entirety of the circumstances surrounding the incident including a previous altercation between the parties and the actions that led up to the physical fight caught on camera by a bystander,” Mashburn said in a statement. “My office has decided that no criminal charges are appropriate as this appears to be a mutual combat situation in which both parties voluntarily engaged in a fist fight.”

          https://mmajunkie.usatoday.com/2021/03/viral-bathroom-fight-walker-brown-okalhoma-football-player-no-charges-filed

    2. “A taxi medallion, also known as a CPNC (Certificate of Public Necessity and Convenience), is a transferable permit in the United States allowing a taxicab driver to operate. Several major cities in the US use these in their taxi licensing systems, including New York City, Boston, Cambridge, Massachusetts, Chicago, Philadelphia, and San Francisco.” —wiki

      Sorry, had to research that one. I suppose Uber gets around that expense?

    1. Q: Why did the Realtor cross the road?

      A: To lie to the buyer across the road.

      Realtors are liars.

  27. Google, Bing, DuckDuckGo. It is surprising to me the differences in results for certain politically charged search terms. It’s fascinating. Google is the outlier here, with the least relevant results. And this is why competition is so important in tech. People rapidly adopt the best product so the ecosystem tends towards monopoly. But those growing companies IMO cannot be allowed to simply swallow every competitor.

  28. The carpet bagger has already given up. From the Colorado Sun:

    Democrat Gregg Smith is ending his short-lived campaign to unseat Republican U.S. Rep. Lauren Boebert on Monday, saying he’s now confident there are other progressive candidates who can win in Colorado’s 3rd Congressional District next year.

    “I’m satisfied that Lauren Boebert will not be a congresswoman in January 2023,” Smith told The Colorado Sun in an interview over the weekend.

    Yeah, that’s why he quit. Because she’s sure to lose.

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