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Awash In Price Cuts, Even Famously Successful Builders Are Seeing Red Ink

A weekend topic starting with CNBC. “The International Monetary Fund has raised concerns over commercial property and the risk it could pose to financial stability. Andrea Deghi, a financial sector expert at the IMF, explained that if a slew of businesses in the sector were to collapse, then that could add pressure on banks who have lent money to them. Banks could incur ‘very large capital losses,’ he said.”

“In addition, the commercial property sector also relies heavily on investment from outside of the banking sector. ‘When the value of assets held by these investors fall, they might become less willing or able to provide new financing to commercial real estate borrowers, in particular when their balance sheets become weaker,’ Deghi added.”

The Real Deal on New York. “One of economists’ favorite expressions is Herbert Stein’s ‘if something cannot go on forever, it will stop.’ Just ask luxury condo developers. Builders cannot keep apartments empty indefinitely in a Captain Ahab–like quest to land a whale of a buyer. They must offer concessions and cut prices to move units before their lenders foreclose, even if they buy time with an inventory loan — secured by unsold units — to repay construction loans that come due.”

“A New York Times story noted developers have been slashing condo prices by as much as 50 percent in Manhattan, where the market is weaker than in Brooklyn and Queens, relative to what it was. ‘From soaring condos in affluent enclaves like Tribeca to boutique buildings on gentrifying blocks in the East Village, Manhattan is awash in price cuts,’ the article said.”

“Even famously successful builders are seeing red ink in the depressed condo market. Extell Development’s Gary Barnett admitted to the Times that he would lose money on three of his six current projects. Barnett then delivered a quote unlikely to join Stein’s in the pantheon of economic classics. ‘From here on in,’ he declared, ‘it has to go up.”

From Bisnow New York. “A recent valuation shows one Fifth Avenue retail property is worth almost 70% less than it was in 2015 as the famous luxury retail strip continues to feel the pain of the coronavirus pandemic. The value of landlord Solly Assa’s nine-story retail and residential building, once occupied by Domenico Vacca at 15 West 55th Street, has plummeted from $119M to $37.8M, The Real Deal reported, citing appraisal data from Trepp. The building, which went up in 1915, sits a few blocks south of Central Park and also contains 36 luxury residential units, according to StreetEasy.”

“Rents and valuations for Fifth Avenue will likely not go back up to the 2015 peak, said Compass Vice Chairman Robin Abrams, who focuses on retail leasing. ‘There have been people that they don’t know if they are going to see rents like that in most of our lifetimes again,’ she said.”

The Loveland Reporter Herald in Colorado. “The foreclosure actions affecting two Northern Colorado shopping malls — The Promenade Shops at Centerra and Foothills in Fort Collins — are not a foreshadowing of things to come in the region, unless you’re in the mall business. Ryan Schaefer, CEO of NAI Affinity commercial real estate agency in Northern Colorado, provided that assessment.”

“The foreclosures in recent months of two of the region’s largest shopping centers drew the attention of the commercial market, but as Schaefer noted, the problem is not unique to Northern Colorado. ‘It’s about demographics. We have too many malls in the United States, and those suffering most are too large for their markets,’ he said.”

“Another commercial real estate sector particularly affected by the pandemic was office space, where transactions nationwide were down 46.9% as office tenants sent their employees home. Denver, Larimer County and Weld County all saw negative absorption of office properties, with Denver seeing 4.6 million square feet vacated, Larimer County 244,000 square feet and Weld County 108,000 square feet. Using a rough guess on how many workers might permanently leave congregate offices, Schaefer said that if companies reduce office space by even 10%, that means that available, existing office space is 16 times greater than the amount of new office space delivered in 2019.”

The San Francisco Business Times in California. “A number of large companies in San Francisco are appealing to a city board to reassess major pieces of commercial property at considerably lower values. The requests include Uber Technologies seeking to lower the value of its 1455 Market St. headquarters from its current $83.7 million level to $41.9 million, the Pier 70 building from $53.7 million down to $26.8 million as well as several other properties.”

“Another notable submission comes from SHR St. Francis LLC, which requested a reduction in the Westin St. Francis hotel valuation from $751.9 million to $309 million. Other companies on the list include Dropbox, the owner of Hotel Union Square, First Republic Bank, the S.F. Flower Mart, skilled nursing facility Victorian Post Acute and real estate entities 750 Harrison LLC and 1335 Folsom LLC.”

“‘Any value can be submitted on an application for an applicant’s opinion of value and we’ve seen $0 or even $1 as an opinion,’ Alistair Gibson, acting administrator of the Assessment Appeals Board, wrote in an email.”

From Bisnow Los Angeles in California. “A Q1 2021 report from Savills revealed 23.6% of the office space in Los Angeles was available for lease. That’s a high not seen since 2009, the authors wrote. Inventory has grown from 214M SF in Q1 2020 to 216.4M SF in Q1 2021. Santa Monica and the Fox Hills area saw 30.4% and 36.7% of their office space available for lease, respectively. Santa Monica has seen a significant amount of sublease space hit the market, Savills Southern California Region Research Director Michael Soto said.”

“Sublease space is hitting new highs citywide, a factor that has contributed to the high overall availability. Sublease inventory has ballooned by 91% since the pandemic began and is now at more than 9M SF, Savills found. Office leasing activity totaled 2M SF in Q1 2021 — a drop not only from Q4 2020, when leasing activity totaled 2.1M SF, but also a 42.4% drop from the five-year quarterly leasing average of 3.5M SF, the report found. For comparison, Q1 2020 saw 4M SF of leasing activity.”

“‘Concessions such as parking abatement and contraction rights have become prevalent again and are not expected to go away anytime soon,’ according to the report.”

From WCHS TV in West Virginia. “A year into the pandemic and a year of working from home is starting to take its toll on bigger buildings in downtown Charleston. Some of those buildings are begging for businesses, and employees to come back to work. Howard Swint is a commercial property broker and the leasing agent for Laidley Tower. ‘Roughly about 20% of the downtown Charleston class A market is vacant and it has been for roughly two years now,’ Swint said.”

From Blog TO in Canada. “Now is a pretty good time to be looking for Toronto apartment rentals… relatively speaking. On one hand, average asking rent prices are lower right now they have been in more than a year thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. On the other hand, Toronto is still the most expensive (or second-most expensive, depending on how you’re measuring) place to rent a place in Canada.”

“Could you get a much larger place for much less money in literally any other major Canadian city except for Vancouver? Yes. But could you even imagine scoring a two-bedroom in downtown Toronto for less than $2,000 a month before COVID came to town? Heck no. And average rent prices just keep on falling.”

“The latest GTA rental market update from Bullpen Research and torontorentals.com shows that the average monthly rent price for all property types across the region declined in February of 2021 for the 15th month straight. Year over year, rent prices are down a whopping 16.3 per cent, hitting a new average of $1,986 — and that’s not just for one-bedroom rental units, that’s for all property types of all sizes in all parts of the Greater Toronto Area.”

“For downtown Toronto specifically, condos and apartments did experience a nearly 20 per cent decline in average rental rates compared to the year previous. Average rents for condo apartments are down 18 per cent in the Greater Toronto area as a whole.”

From Domain News in Australia. “Melbourne, Australia’s second-largest city and home to some of its most expensive property, is now the cheapest capital in which to rent a four-bedroom house. The median asking rent for a one-bedroom unit in Melbourne fell 11 per cent to $325 in the year ended December 2020 and 10.4 per cent in Sydney to $430 – the two biggest unit rent declines.”

“Domain senior research analyst Nicola Powell said smaller rental properties suffered amid the uncertainty of last year. ‘The smaller the apartment, the bigger reduction in rent in Sydney and Melbourne,’ Dr Powell said. Rental markets were more reliant on demand from new arrivals and international students had seen more disruption, she said. ‘We’re struggling with the apartments,’ The Agency’s national head of property management, Maria Carlino, said.”

This Post Has 117 Comments
  1. ‘Banks could incur ‘very large capital losses’

    Already happened:

    ‘A recent valuation shows one Fifth Avenue retail property is worth almost 70% less than it was in 2015

    I realize this is too long, but I could have doubled it, that’s how much crater is out there.

      1. That’s why people who buy airboxes that don’t come with land are idiots. And that’s why it’s cratering. There might be — or, pre-COVID, might have been — some justification in major downtowns like Manhattan where you’re basically buying the Walk Score. But in any small city, it’s better to get the land.

        1. “But in any small city, it’s better to get the land.”

          – 1) RE is now an asset class. It has nothing to do with “the land.” CRE/RRE have been financialized. Wall St. is now larger than Main St., in terms of assets and control of the economy. Think central planning, comrade.
          – 2) CRE is overbuilt, but they’re still building.
          – 3) Too much central bank-generated money (created ex nihilo) chasing too few goods. Bernanke bucks, Yellen bucks, Powell bucks, all looking for a place to die and go to money heaven.
          – 4) This is an asset bubble, and would have crashed without the CCP virus pandemic, which has only served to accelerate the process. What goes up, must come down. The law of (financial) gravity hasn’t been repealed, in spite of what the Fed says; dot-com popped in 2000, housing bubble 1.0 popped in 2008, everything bubble popped in 2021 (?). Since the Fed and other central banks are just doing more of the same of what they did the last two times, it’s not different this time, only worser, since almost all assets are involved and each one is in a larger bubble than ever before.
          – 5) Not drinking the cool-aid.

          1. Housing was an “asset class” (whatever that means) in 2008 when prices fell 40%.

        2. Considering there is a globe full of land where 95% of it goes undeveloped, land is essentially worthless dirt. If you paid more than $500-$1,000 an acre you paid too much.

        3. Oh yes…it’s the land that’s special. Just like it was in Tokyo right up until when the Japanese land bubble popped in spectacular fashion, circa 1989.

        4. my county likes to yo-yo the land vs structure. Structures always depreciate at some co-ooe compared to inflation, But always

    1. “When the value of assets held by these investors fall, they might become less willing or able to provide new financing to commercial real estate borrowers, in particular when their balance sheets become weaker,”

      Barn door left open
      All the horses have fled
      Hurry, shut the door

      1. “. . . .He credited government stimulus and the Paycheck Protection Program for helping prop up retail sales and for staving off a far-worse recession.”
        BK filings are STILL down 40+% nationwide. When the stimuli stop, “. . ashes, ashes, . . it ALL comes crashing down. . .”

    2. I realize this is too long, but I could have doubled it, that’s how much crater is out there.

      Meanwhile, our Fed-juiced Ponzi markets are hitting all-time highs. One of these things is not like the other.

  2. ‘Any value can be submitted on an application for an applicant’s opinion of value and we’ve seen $0 or even $1 as an opinion’

    That’s the spirit!

    1. If I were the city assessor I’d offer a deal. I would lower the assessment, but if the owner misses so much as one mortgage payment, pandemic or no, the property will be immediately foreclosed and sold on the courthouse steps priced at that tax assessment.

      1. What kind of a deal would you offer honest people, who didn’t promise a bank they would pay money they don’t have?

        1. What kind of a deal would you offer honest people, who didn’t promise a bank they would pay money they don’t have?’

          A mighty media effort to make them feel guilty and higher taxes .

          original sin

  3. ‘Roughly about 20% of the downtown Charleston class A market is vacant and it has been for roughly two years now’

    ‘The latest GTA rental market update from Bullpen Research and torontorentals.com shows that the average monthly rent price for all property types across the region declined in February of 2021 for the 15th month straight. Year over year, rent prices are down a whopping 16.3 per cent, hitting a new average of $1,986 — and that’s not just for one-bedroom rental units, that’s for all property types of all sizes in all parts of the Greater Toronto Area’

    And tens of thousands of units on the way. QE is deflationary.

    1. https://www.mercurynews.com/2021/03/25/real-estate-bankrupt-bay-area-hotel-auction-covid-queen-mary/

      Bay Area Concession Craze: How Apartment Landlords Are Eager To Sweeten the Deal

      Check Out the Freebies Being Offered By Some of the Region’s Most Prominent Properties

      https://www.costar.com/article/1318695087/bay-area-concession-craze-how-apartment-landlords-are-eager-to-sweeten-the-deal

      This link says it was “once unthinkable”! Costar is so full of it. Bay aryan rents have been sinking like a turd in a well for 6 years.

      1. I sure wish the NYC, Bay Area and LA Area price cuts I keep reading about would metastasize to San Diego.

        It seems like we were the leading edge of Housing Bubble 1.0 price declines. We’re lagging the megalopolises in the developing Housing Bubble 2.0 crater.

        1. NYC, Bay Area and LA

          These cities are much bigger sh!tholes now. I’m wondering if Bay Aryans and Angelenos are fleeing to San Diego and contributing to demand.

  4. A weekend topic this is the Colorado Rockies home opener weekend.

    Baseball is now woke, therefore baseball is over, forever.

    The decision is yours, you can generate revenue for woke kneelers, or you can live with principles and not generate revenue for woke kneelers, it’s not that hard, all you have to do is stop giving them money.

    1. More woke corporations to boycott (4/2/2021):

      “American Airlines publicly slammed Republican lawmakers in Texas in response to the passage of an election integrity bill the airline claims would “limit voting access.”

      “Earlier this morning, the Texas state Senate passed legislation with provisions that limit voting access,” the Fort Worth, Texas, based airline said in a statement Thursday. “To make American’s stance clear: We are strongly opposed to this bill and others like it.”

      https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/american-airlines-blast-texas-election-integrity-law

      Today is Saturday, April 3rd and Joe Biden is not the legitimately elected president of the United States.

      The 2020 election was stolen.

        1. Delta Airlines (based in Atlanta) is also getting woke with Coke and the MLB. The Georgia state legislature is considering revoking some of Delta’s tax incentives.

          While this is not directly related to housing, it is related to the economy i.e. discretionary consumer spending.

          When I say I’m financially boycotting something, I don’t just forget I said that a week or a month later.

          If you support stolen elections, and if your corporate policies are ANTI-WHITE, you don’t get my money.

          1. “If you support stolen elections, and if your corporate policies are ANTI-WHITE, you don’t get my money.”

            I only regret having already given up supporting these corporations.

            Two years ago I gave up Coca Cola or any sugar water soft drink for Lent and have not had one Coke or any sugar water since nor do I plan to in the future.

            Although I have flown Delta Airlines several times, I have not flown any airline since my Mom’s funeral 4 years ago so no big loss for Delta.

            After having played organized baseball from the age of 9 through 18 and being a MLB all of my life I stopped watching, listening to, or paying any attention to the game when Wayne Huizenga bought himself a team, won the World Series and then cut the players he had bought to save money and fielded a last place minor league team the following year.

            I know what George Steinbrenner had done with the Yankees but it wasn’t this. Huizenga proved you could simply buy and sell a championship, it made it too cheap. Since then I haven’t watched more than a few pitches a year of a game that I used to listen to on the radio as a kid pre-game through post-game.

            1997: A Blockbuster of a Binge

            Four months after winning the 1997 World Series, the Florida Marlins were honored by President Bill Clinton at the White House. Only 14 Marlins showed up. The other 11 were ex-Marlins—traded, released or lost to free agency.

            And that was just the beginning.

            Connie Mack had twice proven long ago that you could build a championship team over time and tear it down overnight. Wayne Huizenga proved with the 1997 Marlins that you could both build and tear apart a winner within an eye blink of baseball history. In that relative split second, Huizenga was both a hero and villain in Miami, and to the greater baseball populace represented all that was wrong with the game in the 1990s.

            Knowing that finding success on the field meant competing with the powerful Atlanta Braves in the National League’s Eastern Division, Huizenga went for broke in 1997. He brought in six new free agents, including star sluggers Bobby Bonilla and Moises Alou, and a solid starting pitcher in Alex Fernandez. He anted up for All-Star slugger Gary Sheffield—coming off a monster season for the Marlins in 1996—making him one of baseball’s first $10 million-a-year ballplayers. Huizenga even spent big bucks to bring in a first-class manager in Jim Leyland, who was going from famine to feast after 11 years of dealing with tightwad budgets at Pittsburgh.

            https://thisgreatgame.com/1997-baseball-history/

          2. Jeff, I’m gonna reply to this on tomorrow’s thread. It’s been a long day, I can go hiking during the week but when it’s time to put in a full day on a Saturday, I work.

        2. Since when did we care what American thinks about anything?

          I think the idea is that Corporate America is going to shut down patriots.

      1. Warning to the biz world…

        You keep giving into this nonsense and you’re not gonna have a business to run.

        1. We just discussed this last week. They don’t care about boycotts because they don’t need customers anymore.

          Gilette p-o’d half their customer base with those insane commercials and yet their stuff is still on the shelves at Wally’s.
          Disney is losing millions/billions; Star Wars 9 made half the money of Star Wars 7. Sure, there’s always some report of DIS profits being down, but it’s not enough to stop them from churning out crapola.
          Franchise movies, video games, and comics have devolved to a cesspool of diversity and cultural appropriation. They lost their main customer base, boys, but hey, it pleased a few blue-haired femmes on the fan websites even though the femmes never actually put any $$ down for the product.
          NFL ratings are down; they sign an all-time high-dollar deal with the networks.
          NBA/MLB ratings are down; but players are making $10+ million per year.
          Nobody’s watching award shows anymore.
          YouTube is experimenting with removing the “dislike” button on videos and I think we all know why.
          All of these are some sort of boycott, but nobody is in danger of going bust.

          Somebody’s bankrolling all this woke, and it’s not conservatives and probably not Democrats. Could be Bezos.
          Could be Davos. Could be the the corporations borrowing printed money from the the Fed. Could be China. And really, what can I do, as an individual? I already “woke up,” so I guess I’ll just set up my garden on my deck and continue to stack.

          1. “Gilette p-o’d half their customer base with those insane commercials and yet their stuff is still on the shelves ”
            have you seen the new Gillette commercials on You Tube?
            Clean Shaven very “manly” man with great build. (not a “soy boy.”) They have definitely changed their marketing based on “Marketing Feedback.” I haven’t bought Gillette in years either.

          2. Good for Gillette, I suppose. I used to love their stuff, but I also haven’t bought it in years. Blades and cream have advanced enough that even store brands are as good as Gillette was 15 years ago.

            And thank goodness that the clean-shaven look appears to be coming back in. Game of Thrones is OVER (and the review of the last season were so bad that I didn’t dare watch it), so let’s be done with the beards and the man buns, ok?

      2. It’s telling that globalist tech giants are leading the fight against state-level attempts to ensue the integrity of the voting process. How can the globalists and their Democrat Quislings rig elections if anti-voter fraud measures are enacted?

        Apple’s Tim Cook joins chorus in denouncing Georgia’s voting law

        https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2021/apr/01/apple-tim-cook-denounces-georgia-voting-law

        Apple chief executive Tim Cook joined the chorus of business leaders who have come out in support of voting rights in light of voting restrictions Georgia’s governor signed into law last week.

        1. It’s telling that globalist tech giants are leading the fight against state-level attempts to ensue the integrity of the voting process

          It’s nearly all of Corporate America.

          And Oxide is right. They don’t care about customers or their money. Pro Sportsball is giving fans the finger while getting record broadcast fees, even though viewership is falling like bowling ball rolling down the stairs.

        2. in support of voting rights

          I believe I have the right to not have my vote cancelled by fake ballots.

      3. More woke corporations to boycott

        Based on the Biden’s lies about Georgia’s bill. WaPo even gave him four Pinocchios.

    2. “Baseball is now woke, therefore baseball is over, forever.”

      – So the MLB and a bunch of other “woke-a-cola” corporations are coming out against open and fair elections. That’s normal. /s To the extent possible, I’ll be boycotting all of them. “Get woke, go broke.”
      – When everything is “racist,” then nothing is racist. The issue was never about race; it’s about power and control on the left, aided and abetted by the legions of “useful idiots.” The goal is Socialism is all its “glory.” Venezuela, Cuba, N. Korea, and all of the failed states that came before them: How’s that working out for ya?
      – There are millions of disenfranchised voters in the U.S. as a result of the 2020 Presidential election, due to blatant election “irregularities.”
      – Fences around the nation’s capital. Banana republic stuff.
      – Keep accumulating your 2A supplies. The Founding Fathers put it in the Constitution for a reason.
      – End of rant.

      1. Unlike many of my colleagues, I have not put my “pronouns” on my Slack or Zoom accounts. If anything, that is a strong statement given I’m firmly in the minority.

        1. I haven’t specified and pronouns, but if someone asks, I tell them “it/it/its” to shut them up.

        2. Nice! just set mine to (dude/dude/dude).

          Now to see if anybody in the multiple meetings I have during the workday notices (I work at a university 😉

      2. How does one politely alert others that you are unwoke / no special pronouns, etc. Maybe wear a “Boycott MLB 2021” T-shirt?

      1. It’s not quite my style, but whoever designed and built that seems to have done a good job. You could do some serious sophisticated partying there — the kind of partying where people leave their weapons at home. I’d love to get a better view of the guest houses and pool house.

        1. Florence is my favorite city. With the name Villa Firenze, I had to find more pictures of the property. I don’t care for the palm trees but otherwise it’s very well done.

  5. Andrea Deghi, a financial sector expert at the IMF, explained that if a slew of businesses in the sector were to collapse, then that could add pressure on banks who have lent money to them. Banks could incur ‘very large capital losses,’ he said.”

    Banksters can gamble with reckless abandon, knowing the Fed & middle class taxpayers have their backs.

  6. Barnett then delivered a quote unlikely to join Stein’s in the pantheon of economic classics. ‘From here on in,’ he declared, ‘it has to go up.”

    Dream on. Commie malgovernance is going to unleash vibrant cultural enrichment and slashed city services on a scale unseen in NYC’s history.

  7. “Another notable submission comes from SHR St. Francis LLC, which requested a reduction in the Westin St. Francis hotel valuation from $751.9 million to $309 million.

    The Yellen Bux collateral underlying these loans is being vaporized. What is that going to do to the monetized securities?

  8. “Unicorns” and related malinvestment would only be possible in a world awash with Yellen Bux.

    ‘People believed it’: the rise and fall of WeWork, a $47bn unicorn

    https://www.theguardian.com/film/2021/mar/31/wework-hulu-documentary-adam-neumann

    It’s almost by requirement that Hulu’s WeWork: Or The Making and Breaking of a $47 Billion Unicorn, a documentary on the spectacular over-inflation of the company that coated shared offices in a soft-lit shell of capitalistic spirituality, starts with Adam Neumann (in business terms, a unicorn is a private company valued at over $1bn).

    1. Future subjects of similar stories a couple of years from now:

      – TSLA
      – Virgin Galactic
      – GameStonk

    1. Its not many buyers per below – it seems to be most. I read some local Seattle RE blogs —- the message from realtors seems to be jump on it right away (especially for detached)


      For many buyers, there is no line they won’t cross to snap up a home. Real estate agents and lenders tell tales of buyers raiding their retirement savings, going tens of thousands of dollars over budget, buying a house online (without ever seeing it in person) and removing contingencies designed to protect them.

      1. – Get it while it’s scarce and hundreds of rivals are bidding on the same house you want because they know prices will go up by double digits every year into the indefinite future
        – Don’t wait until there is tons of inventory for sale and everyone says its a bad time to buy because prices are cratering and everyone is afraid to catch a falling knife

    2. Despite the boom, some of the houses for sale in my immediate area are showing price cuts. Generally, they tend to be fixer-uppers which are in bad enough shape that a family can’t move in, but are priced too high for a flipper to reno for any kind of profit. The sellers will chase the market down for $40K until some flipper agrees to take it on. Any fully reno’d houses are going fast. I’ve seen a couple in my nabe put up Coming Soon signs. I bet they’re trying to sell out from under the renters.

    3. Wouldn’t it be hilarious if the current housing inventory shortage actually turns out in retrospect to have been a slow motion version of COVID-19 toilet paper shortage, with a glut of homes coming onto the market once the COVID-19 pandemic eviction and foreclosure moratoriums are ended?

      1. One thing I have learned from a decade and a half of bubble watching: It’s good to know what form of government interventions are leading to absurd price increases, in order to get a sense of how the market will revert once the interventions are ended.

    1. Apr 3, 2021,11:30am EDT|28 views
      Relishing The Joys Of A Demolition Derby For Self-Driving Cars
      Lance Eliot, Contributor
      Transportation
      Dr. Lance B. Eliot is a world-renowned expert on Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML).
      Demolition derbies could ultimately involve AI self-driving cars.

      It’s Spring time!

      Makes one hark back to visiting local county fairs and doing all the usual things that one does at such events, including eating scrumptious cotton candy, going on the dizzying whirly rides, and of course watching the annual car-smashing demolition derbies.

      Demolition derbies were first popularized in the 1960s and 1970s and became what some people consider still today to be a fully bona fide sport, namely a vaunted motorsport, consisting of drivers competing to see which of them can last the longest in an automotive war of attrition. Typically involving at least a half dozen cars, the drivers overtly attempt to ram into the other cars, hoping to stop the other cars from continuing to participate. The last remaining vehicle able to drive on its own steam in the arena is the proclaimed winner.

      There’s nothing more earthly satisfying than hearing the crunch and grind of metal against metal as the cars bash and smash into each other (doing so in a relatively controlled setting and with numerous safety precautions put in place). In addition to the final winner of this gladiator style rampage, there are oftentimes trophies for the “Best in Show” and also a “Mad Dog” award for the driver that was the most aggressive and wildly brazen during the automotive take-no-prisoners battle.

      Some would say this is barbaric.

      Maybe it should be completely outlawed, some assert.

  9. Equity locusts are moving into my street. There are now 2 Maserati’s, a Ferrari, a high end Porsche and a few Teslas, all with Cali plates.

      1. They look older. I think they are retirees who have some connection with the little burg: friends or family.

  10. CNN Analyst Fears Americans May ‘Enjoy Freedoms’ Without Getting Covid Jabs, Unless Biden Ties Re-openings to Vaccination

    by RT
    April 3rd 2021, 5:43 am

    ra LaRosa
    @TaraLaRosa
    ·
    Apr 1
    “If everything is reopened, … how are we going to incentivize people to actually get the vaccine? The CDC and the Biden administration needs to come out a lot bolder and say if you’re vaccinated you can do all these things, here are all these freedoms that you can have.”

    https://twitter.com/TaraLaRosa/status/1377769349260439557

    1. Other than people wearing masks when they enter shops, it seems that it’s business as usual in my little burg, Lots of traffic, people going places, busy parking lots, etc. Heading out later to buy some booze. I expect the liquor store will be busy with no real social distancing beyond the personal space you would have given others pre pandemic.

      Meanwhile, my UK relatives need the government’s permission to leave their house, even though they had a measly 3400 new cases and 54 deaths yesterday, in a nation of 60M+. Will they be locked down until there no new cases for a month?

      1. Meanwhile, my UK relatives need the government’s permission to leave their house

        And they are happy to obey.

      2. until there no new cases for a month?

        We’ll never get to that as long as the PCR test is in use.

        1. Indeed.

          Kary Mullis on Fauci • Dec 8, 2020 (short, 2:05)
          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5aISPlTLbJo

          From the description:
          Kary Mullis INVENTED the PCR technology that is currently FRAUDULENTLY being used to diagnose all these “cases” of COVID-19. Mullis always said the PCR technology is a RESEARCH TOOL, and should NEVER be used to diagnose any disease in a human.

    2. You see, that’s why we need re-education camps. Then if Les Deplorables persist in their obstinance and rejection of The Narrative, they can be transferred straight into the gulag. I’m pretty sure the globalists’ CCP comrades could help with the plans.

    3. CNN Analyst Fears Americans May ‘Enjoy Freedoms’
      She’s positioning herself to take Fauci’s job or succeed him.

      1. https://drleanawen.com/
        Rhodes Scholar
        past president of Planned Parenthood
        global health fellow at the World Health Organization
        consultant to the China Medical Board
        member of the Council on Foreign Relations

        You know, the usual.

    4. Biden Ties Re-openings to Vaccination

      Harmeet Dhillon was on with Laura Ingraham last night talking about the constitutionality of vaccine passports. They’re not for a myriad of reasons. Her non-profit organization, Center for American Liberty, will be challenging them.

      1. Biden hasn’t done anything quite yet. I think they’re waiting until the end of May, when (depending on J&J) vaccines will be available for any walk in person. Then we’ll see their true colors.

        I looked at the Israeli data. They are 75% adults vaccinated, with 1/3 of the population being unvaccinated kids. Cases and deaths are dropping like a rock. So it may be that there’s herd immunity even if 25% to refuse the vaccine. We won’t know for sure until the masks come off.

          1. They will let the tech giants do their dirty work. The rest of Corporate America will play along. No “passport”:

            You can’t fly or ride any form of public transportation.
            You can stay in a chain hotel
            You can’t rent a car
            You can’t enter a stadium or any indoor venue
            You can’t come to the workplace.

            Etc.

          2. The rest of Corporate America will play along.

            Denny’s in Del Mar is offering free pancakes for vaccinated customers.

          3. Denny’s in Del Mar

            The one on Via De La Valle? I’ve had breakfast there, a very long time ago.

          4. The one on Via De La Valle?

            Yes. You can enjoy your free pancakes eating in their parking lot now.

        1. The media won’t stop talking about vaccine passports. They will try to shove them down our throats.

          1. Do non-polygamous Mormons even have that many? The families I’ve known top out around 9.

    1. immediate payment of $20,700 and an additional $6,600.

      Since the Biden regime is handing out free money like it’s candy, this is hardly surprising.

  11. The foreclosure actions affecting two Northern Colorado shopping malls — The Promenade Shops at Centerra and Foothills in Fort Collins

    Both have been in some form of foreclosure since the previous bust. Foothills has been a ghost town as long as I can remember.

  12. By Annie Linskey and
    Paul Sonne
    Oct. 24, 2020 at 7:17 p.m. EDT

    Joe Biden leaned heavily on a letter from former U.S. intelligence and defense officials in Thursday night’s debate to argue that Russia orchestrated a disinformation operation allegedly involving damaging information obtained from his son’s laptop that was promulgated by President Trump’s personal attorney, Rudolph W. Giuliani.

    “There are 50 former national intelligence folks who said that what he’s accusing me of is a Russian plant,” Biden said at the debate. The former vice president said those former officials had concluded that what Trump was citing about his son was “a bunch of garbage.”

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/russian-involvement-biden-laptop-unproven/2020/10/24/ebae1760-1604-11eb-ba42-ec6a580836ed_story.html

    NATIONAL SECURITY

    Hunter Biden story is Russian disinfo, dozens of former intel officials say

    By NATASHA BERTRAND
    10/19/2020 10:30 PM EDT

    More than 50 former senior intelligence officials have signed on to a letter outlining their belief that the recent disclosure of emails allegedly belonging to Joe Biden’s son “has all the classic earmarks of a Russian information operation.”

    The letter, signed on Monday, centers around a batch of documents released by the New York Post last week that purport to tie the Democratic nominee to his son Hunter’s business dealings. Under the banner headline “Biden Secret E-mails,” the Post reported it was given a copy of Hunter Biden’s laptop hard drive by President Donald Trump’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who said he got it from a Mac shop owner in Delaware who also alerted the FBI.

    While the letter’s signatories presented no new evidence, they said their national security experience had made them “deeply suspicious that the Russian government played a significant role in this case” and cited several elements of the story that suggested the Kremlin’s hand at work.

    “If we are right,” they added, “this is Russia trying to influence how Americans vote in this election, and we believe strongly that Americans need to be aware of this.”

    Nick Shapiro, a former top aide under CIA director John Brennan, provided POLITICO with the letter on Monday. He noted that “the IC leaders who have signed this letter worked for the past four presidents, including Trump. The real power here however is the number of former, working-level IC officers who want the American people to know that once again the Russians are interfering.”

    https://www.politico.com/news/2020/10/19/hunter-biden-story-russian-disinfo-430276

    Hunter Biden, In CBS News Interviews, Describes Family Intervention, Says Laptop “Could Be” His

    By Ted Johnson
    April 2, 2021 7:09am

    Tracy Smith interviewed Biden for CBS Sunday Morning, set to air on Sunday, and Anthony Mason talked to him for CBS This Morning, set to air on Monday.

    In one excerpt, Smith asked Biden about a laptop that he is alleged to have left at a Delaware repair shop. Its contents contained emails that were at the center of the Post series, which focused on his business dealings in Ukraine and elsewhere.

    When Smith asked Biden whether that laptop was his, he said, “I really don’t know.” She pressed him on whether it could have been his, and he said, “Of course certainly … There could be a laptop out there that was stolen from me. It could be that I was hacked. It could be that it was the– that it was Russian intelligence. It could be that it was stolen from me. Or that there was a laptop stolen from me.”

    https://deadline.com/2021/04/hunter-biden-laptop-intervention-joe-biden-2020-presidential-campaign-1234726695/

    1. The Financial Times
      IPOs
      Chinese tech groups scrap IPOs at record pace after Ant listing pulled
      Companies cancel plans to sell shares on Shanghai’s Star Market as regulatory scrutiny rises
      A sign for Shanghai’s Star Market
      A record 76 companies suspended their applications to list on the Star Market in March
      Hudson Lockett in Hong Kong and Sun Yu in Beijing April 3 2021

      A record number of companies are abandoning attempts to list on China’s answer to the Nasdaq, as regulators increase scrutiny of technology businesses after scuppering Ant Group’s $37bn initial public offering.

      A Financial Times analysis of figures released by Shanghai’s Star Market, which was launched to fanfare in July 2019, shows a record 76 companies suspended their IPO applications in March, or more than double the previous month.

      The flurry of cancellations pushes the total number of aborted attempts to list on Star to more than 180. In November, the month that Beijing pulled Ant’s listing due to concerns over its lending business, the total number of cancelled IPOs stood at just 12.

      The cancellations could complicate China’s efforts to develop its onshore capital markets — long a policy priority for Beijing which has been made more urgent by a US law passed in December that could force Chinese groups to delist from Wall Street.

      They also point to a U-turn by Chinese authorities, who had committed to a so-called registration-based system when Star launched with the personal backing of President Xi Jinping.

      Under the system, companies could list quickly on Star as long as they submitted the necessary financial statements to the China Securities Regulatory Commission. But experts say the CSRC is now walking back that commitment.

      “The Star [Market] was genuinely meant to be a step in the direction of reform — what’s happening now is most certainly not,” said Fraser Howie, an independent analyst and expert on Chinese finance. “That has to be a worry in that even in China’s financial space, which was becoming more open and more market-driven, some of that is rolling back.”

      Investment bankers in China say that in the wake of Ant’s failed dual IPO on Star and in Hong Kong, which would have been the world’s largest, companies seeking to list on the former exchange are facing stricter regulatory demands.

      1. A banker is a fellow who lends you his umbrella when the sun is shining, but wants it back the minute it begins to rain.

        — Mark Twain

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