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You Can See This Isn’t Sustainable For Anyone

Part two of the weekend topic, starting with Intellinews on Russia. “Almost as soon as the double whammy of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic and a concurrent collapse in oil prices hit Russia’s economy last March, the government reacted by introducing a mortgage subsidy programme that cut the effective rate for would-be homeowners buying newly built residential housing to 6.5%. The programme has been a resounding success; in fact maybe a little too successful, as the Central Bank of Russia (CBR) is worried that a housing bubble may be forming as demand for new apartments has ballooned.”

“The Kremlin’s long-term goal of increasing homeownership got a boost too, as it acts as ‘social cement’ and improves the average quality of life. Owning property, so the argument goes, makes people less likely to protest, as well as more subordinate to the state thanks to the dependence on state services and their personal investment into bricks and mortar. Russians jumped at the deal.”

“Since the mortgage market appeared in about 2003 – the first mortgages were offered by Delta Bank, a USAID funded initiative, as growth of mortgage use is equated with promoting democracy by the US government for many of the same reasons that appeals to the Kremlin – the market really only took off in around 2008 and has been growing very strongly ever since.”

From Dmarge on Australia. “There’s precious little in the world more helpless than a Sydneysider in the depths of housing market FOMO… especially when the chips are stacked against them. Speaking to James Whelan – Investment Manager at VFS Group in Sydney – DMARGE recently learned there is a big difference between how financial advisors and real estate agents are regulated.”

“The property advisory market, ‘Is not subjected to the same level of education or stringent requirements you need to advise people and yet they are advising mums and dads and young people on the biggest investment of their entire life.'”

“This is particularly risky in a climate where more and more Australians want to get in on property market action. Take, for instance, the phrase, ‘I think you should buy.’ Mr Whelan tells us: ‘I can’t say that to most people regarding a $5,000 trade on BHP and yet a 5 million dollar place in Bondi – they’ve got no problem…But if you took that away the market would probably collapse.'”

“‘The trend of skipping building and pest inspections to get property will be taken advantage of by a barely regulated group of unethical sharks,’ Mr Whelan posted to Twitter in April, promoting comments from other Twitter users like: ‘Looking forward to the ‘I bought a house riddled with termites, agent didn’t tell me, what recourse do I have?’ posts on the Facebook groups.”

The Globe and Mail in Canada. “As home prices have set new records this year, increased scrutiny on the impact of bidding wars on affordability has raised questions about the loose regulations that govern them. Bidding wars in Canadian real estate typically involve a blind-bidding process where only the seller knows what the competing offers are. They have been criticized for driving prices higher by economists at The Bank of Montreal, among others.”

“Regulators and real estate lobbyist are also operating in a data vacuum, reliant on buyer and seller anecdotes as there is no way to know how often bidding wars even happen, or what the average price per bid is. The only data Ontario realtors are required to collect under the regulations is a record of how many registered bids there were, nothing about the price or conditions in those bids.”

“‘The part I hate is the second round [of a blind offer day], where you are told you are ‘close’ and you don’t know what close is,’ said Scott Ingram, with Century 21 Regal Realty Inc. A buyer who doesn’t know they had the highest offer may resubmit and go higher still. ‘You may be bidding against yourself. Even if 90 per cent of agents are on the straight and narrow, and wouldn’t let you bid against yourself, why allow the bad actors to operate?'”

“Tim Hudak, CEO of the Ontario Real Estate Association (OREA), notes that the last time the government re-wrote real estate regulations the process took almost five years across two governments. ‘I’ve been in that chair and doing the regulatory process … particularly around something as sacred to Canadians and as expensive as your home you need to make judicious decisions,’ he said. OREA lobbied the government to change the bidding rules in 2019. One white paper from his organization was firm: ‘Bidding blind can create suspicion and mistrust. … In the end, the winning buyer may feel they ‘overpaid’ because they were the successful offer.'”

The Calgary Herald in Canada. “After years of stagnation, Calgary’s housing market is suddenly and unexpectedly on fire. Realtors and buyers tell stories of show home lineups stretching down the block, of houses selling within hours of being listed, of frenzied bidding wars, unconditional offers and emotion-filled pleas.”

“‘There are lots of letters being written. I’ve never seen so many family photos of kids and dogs, talking about the wonderful life they’re going to live in the home,’ said Rachel Vanderveen, a Realtor with eXp Realty. ‘We’re seeing lots of just plain begging.'”

“What is happening in Calgary is not an isolated phenomenon. Across Canada, the national average home selling price soared 31.6 per cent year-over-year in March, hitting a new high as sales also climbed to a new all-time record, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association. Home sales are also surging in the U.S.”

“‘We’re seeing a higher number of offers fall apart,’ said eXp Realty’s Vanderveen. ‘I think one reason is people are being forced to make an emotional decision. They’ll view a home and then they’ll have maybe two hours to make a half-million-dollar decision. And they wake up the next morning with buyers’ remorse and cancel the deal.'”

The Oklahoman. “Jake and Kristin Fisher started out their marriage by buying a house — because they didn’t know any better. ‘We felt like that was what we were supposed to do,’ Jake Fisher said. ‘That’s what a married couple did.’ Now they rent an apartment — by choice. Others may feel ‘stuck’ in an apartment while home prices spike across the Oklahoma City area. In the past year, prices jumped 15%, according to the Metro Association of Realtors. But apartment rents have risen here no more than usual.”

“The government wants the Fishers — and you — to own a home, not rent an apartment, especially since the national homeownership rate hasn’t recovered from the housing crash and Great Recession of 2007-2009. The mortgage interest tax deduction is just one of many policies at all levels of government promoting home ownership. Entire agencies, federal and state, support it, although they also aid in the development of rental property, because homeownership lends stability to neighborhoods — by extension, to society in general.”

“Proponents say homeownership is the main way many people accumulate wealth, building up equity over the years, partly paying themselves each month rather than a landlord. John Arnhart has been there, done that, and is done with it. Arnhart, 50, owned a home for 20 years, rented an apartment the past five years, and has no intention of buying again. ‘It was my wife and I. When we split, I didn’t want another one,’ said Arnhart.”

“But the downside to owning, to Arnhart, is what many people consider the main upside to homeownership: growing wealth. Whatever equity accumulates is hard to access, he said, and it doesn’t add up as much as people think considering the expenses of owning and maintaining a house over time. ‘I save liquid money instead of giving it to the bank,’ he said, meaning a mortgage lender. ‘Actually, I’m saving money, but it’s in the bank,’ he said, meaning his own bank account.”

“Chad Straub has been on all sides of housing because of different dynamics: He was a homeowner, then an apartment renter and now rents a house. He bought his first house in 2009, a three-bedroom house built in 1954 in Oklahoma City. ‘Oh, it’s the American dream! I needed to get my piece of the American dream,’ he remembers thinking. In 2015, he sold the old house and used his equity and credit to buy a new one. Then came a nightmare.”

“Straub was working in banking regulatory compliance. He quit his job and started a business — but it failed. He had to sell his house to get by. With his job went his credit, so he couldn’t even borrow against the suddenly illiquid wealth in his own property. ‘All my nest egg I had left was tied up in the equity I had in my house. I really had no choice,’ he said.”

“He moved into an apartment. Now, he’s renting a house to get away from the noise of apartment neighbors, and for its fenced back yard for Sophie, his 11-year-old long-haired Dachshund. As a renter, Straub is living an irony: He works selling houses as a real estate agent.”

From Stuff New Zealand. “It will be cheaper to build on Mars than buy in New Zealand by 2040 if recent house price increases continue, according to a piece of tongue-in-cheek research conducted by a data consultancy owned by Stats NZ. Data Ventures executive director Drew Broadly said the team conducted the analysis, in part, to stop arguments between home-owners and renters in the office about the sustainability of the market.”

“The research was part of a monthly training exercise in out-of-the-box thinking done by Data Ventures to develop staff’s ability to find new ways of attacking complex problems.”

“‘It’s becoming so bad moving to Mars should be something you should seriously consider,’ Broadly said. Comparing house price trajectory to the predicted cost of building on Mars also allowed a ‘light-hearted approach’ to analysing the market, rather than the ‘deeper, more anger-type arguments’ that could spring up, Broadly said. ‘Kind of our underlying joke is that’s how bad we think it is, that rather than saying renters vs. homeowners let’s take it to a whole different argument that doesn’t bring that political lens to it. You can see this isn’t sustainable for anyone.'”

This Post Has 75 Comments
  1. ‘it acts as ‘social cement’ and improves the average quality of life. Owning property, so the argument goes, makes people less likely to protest, as well as more subordinate to the state thanks to the dependence on state services and their personal investment into bricks and mortar’

    Where do I sign up for subordination and dependency?

    ‘Since the mortgage market appeared in about 2003 – the first mortgages were offered by Delta Bank, a USAID funded initiative, as growth of mortgage use is equated with promoting democracy by the US government for many of the same reasons that appeals to the Kremlin – the market really only took off in around 2008 and has been growing very strongly ever since’

    You read that right, the US guberment is subsidizing bubbles in Russia. Has been for years.

    1. “Where do I sign up for subordination and dependency?”

      Your first stop should be your local bank branch.

      1. My Dotted Line Special tends to redefine the term “dependency clause”. Come to my bank for a demonstration and (possibly) enjoy for yourself a free cup of coffee.

        (Be sure to bring with you a complete list of your marketable body parts.)

      2. Your first stop should be your local bank branch.

        No one goes to a “bank” anymore to get a mortgage. Now, thanks to technology, you can get into crippling debt without ever leaving the comfort of your place of residence.

        There’s an app for that now.

  2. ‘It’s becoming so bad moving to Mars should be something you should seriously consider’

    I’ll leave it to you to dig into the math. The short of it is these price increases will not hold. Tomorrow we can go back to “the a$$ poundings continue”:

    ‘Regulators and real estate lobbyist are also operating in a data vacuum, reliant on buyer and seller anecdotes as there is no way to know how often bidding wars even happen, or what the average price per bid is’

    Canadia REIC is as corrupt as they come. Did you know the money laundering never stopped? They do, and so do the so-called regulators. These bubbles are policy:

    https://betterdwelling.com/canada-says-property-bubble-not-great-for-locals-good-for-foreign-investors/#_

  3. ‘All my nest egg I had left was tied up in the equity I had in my house. I really had no choice,’ he said.”

    “Nest eggs”… “equity”…. all code language for dead broke and always will be.

  4. ‘The trend of skipping building and pest inspections to get property will be taken advantage of by a barely regulated group of unethical sharks,’ Mr Whelan posted to Twitter in April, promoting comments from other Twitter users like: ‘Looking forward to the ‘I bought a house riddled with termites, agent didn’t tell me, what recourse do I have?’ posts’

    Happening all over the US. UHS are liars.

    ‘you are told you are ‘close’ and you don’t know what close is’…You may be bidding against yourself.

    The winnah!

    ‘Even if 90 per cent of agents are on the straight and narrow, and wouldn’t let you bid against yourself, why allow the bad actors to operate?’

    90% are probably crooks. One of the benefits of owning yer own blog is you can say stuff like that.

    1. ‘Even if 90 per cent of agents are on the straight and narrow, and wouldn’t let you bid against yourself, why allow the bad actors to operate?’

      These straight-and-narrow ones are destined to starve.

      1. The REIC is an industry of dissemblers. The sheeple who trust them or the MSM are purely and simply going to get everything they deserve, good and hard.

      2. Selling is the game of words, which are cheap. Say the right words to a mark and you get to land a commission. Say the wrong words and you wont.

        Bottom line: You use the words that work.

    2. ‘I bought a house riddled with termites, agent didn’t tell me, what recourse do I have?’

      Maybe this explains why our landlord doesn’t worry about the termites we keep mentioning. If he can eventually sell the place without an inspection, who cares?

      1. “sell the place without an inspection”

        Buyers who waive inspection when they buy decades old shacks that need electrical work, ideally a service change and many other things repaired or replaced, are money in my pocket.

        Millennial stupidity = money in my pocket.

  5. “Since the mortgage market appeared in about 2003 – the first mortgages were offered by Delta Bank, a USAID funded initiative, as growth of mortgage use is equated with promoting democracy by the US government for many of the same reasons that appeals to the Kremlin
    So now as a taxpayer I get to involuntarily subsidize mortgage loans to Russians so the State can better control them? What a racket.

  6. “‘There are lots of letters being written. I’ve never seen so many family photos of kids and dogs, talking about the wonderful life they’re going to live in the home,’ said Rachel Vanderveen, a Realtor with eXp Realty. ‘We’re seeing lots of just plain begging.’”

    The sheeple have learned nothing from the implosion of Housing Bubble 1.0 and the subsequent 2008 financial meltdown. They are not victims of the coming crash: they are accessories.

  7. “Jake and Kristin Fisher started out their marriage by buying a house — because they didn’t know any better. ‘We felt like that was what we were supposed to do,’ Jake Fisher said.

    A nation of sheep and lemmings. Mr. Banker is going to have a bumper harvest of muppets this year.

    1. As I do every year.

      Every year I tell myself that people just cannot get any dummer, then the next year comes along.

  8. “It will be cheaper to build on Mars than buy in New Zealand by 2040 if recent house price increases continue, according to a piece of tongue-in-cheek research conducted by a data consultancy owned by Stats NZ.

    Straight out of the globalist playbook: create massive intergenerational conflicts by rigging the system in favor of the Boomers, then mobilize the alienated, shafted under-30s to join collectivist movements organized around the idea of legalist theft and “redistribution of the wealth,” i.e. Communism. The successful playbook for the overthrow of Tsarist Russia has been dusted off for re-use to destroy what’s left of Heritage America and bring in The People’s Republic of New Democracy.

  9. Russia staged a huge Victory Day military parade in Red Square today to mark its 1945 defeat of Nazi Germany. Spectators agree the high point of the parade came when a formation of Mi-28 attack helicopters appeared trailing banners which read, “Realtors are liars.”

    1. the next wave of helicopters rained rubles spelling out:
      “its a GREAT time to buy” kicked off by Benavich Bernansky

  10. “Owning property, so the argument goes, makes people less likely to protest, as well as more subordinate to the state thanks to the dependence on state services and their personal investment into bricks and mortar.”

    And that, folks, is the secret to happiness in this world. It’s impressive how Russia is catching up with America in this awareness.

  11. “Others may feel ‘stuck’ in an apartment while home prices spike across the Oklahoma City area. In the past year, prices jumped 15%, according to the Metro Association of Realtors. But apartment rents have risen here no more than usual.”

    It seems like each wave of mania penetrates ever more deeply into the heartland. Some of us are old enough to remember back when Fed Chairman Alan Greenspan opined that there was no national bubble, though some coastal areas were “a bit frothy.” Nowadays the whole country is drowning in froth.

  12. From Dmarge on Australia. There’s precious little in the world more helpless than a Sydneysider in the depths of housing market FOMO… especially when the chips are stacked against them. Speaking to James Whelan – Investment Manager at VFS Group in Sydney – DMARGE recently learned there is a big difference between how financial advisors and real estate agents are regulated.”

    The property advisory market, ‘Is not subjected to the same level of education or stringent requirements you need to advise people and yet they are advising mums and dads and young people on the biggest investment of their entire life.’”

    This is particularly risky in a climate where more and more Australians want to get in on property market action. Take, for instance, the phrase, ‘I think you should buy.’ Mr Whelan tells us: ‘I can’t say that to most people regarding a $5,000 trade on BHP and yet a 5 million dollar place in Bondi – they’ve got no problem…But if you took that away the market would probably collapse.’”

    “‘The trend of skipping building and pest inspections to get property will be taken advantage of by a barely regulated group of unethical sharks,’ Mr Whelan posted to Twitter in April, promoting comments from other Twitter users like: ‘Looking forward to the ‘I bought a house riddled with termites, agent didn’t tell me, what recourse do I have?’ posts on the Facebook groups.”

    https://www.abc.net.au/news/2021-05-08/single-parents-assistance-buying-home-new-budget/100126040

    Single parents to be given assistance to buy property under new budget measures
    By political reporter Jacob Kagi
    Posted 1day ago, updated Yesterday at 1:28am

    Key points:

    The scheme will allow single parents with dependent children to purchase a home with a deposit of just 2 per cent

    The New Home Guarantee will also be expanded to run for another year, with an additional 10,000 places made available

    But the Opposition warned the scheme did not go far enough

    The government will provide a guarantee of 18 per cent of the purchase price for single parents with dependent children, with the scheme available to 10,000 people.

    It will allow single parents with dependent children to purchase a home with a deposit of just 2 per cent.

    – The Central Bank/Keynesian/Globalist plague has swept over the entire planet and there’s apparently no vaccine. There’s little difference between AU and US housing markets, or housing markets in most other OECD countries for that matter.

    – Since globalists offshored good paying manufacturing jobs elsewhere, leaving domestic labor without a living wage, they’ve filled they void with mortgage debt and housing speculation. All of this while they continue to strip mine the 99%.

    – The global housing market is similar to the U.S. stock market, but on a larger scale. Housing must be kept inflated at all costs, since it’s such a large part of the economy now, even though people buying and selling houses to each other doesn’t really create wealth, but it does make them feel wealthier. Remember that debt isn’t wealth.

    – In order to keep the game going, lending standards are being relaxed. No more 20% down and 3x income. Historically low interest rates are boosting prices, but at the cost of a) higher prices, and b) commensurately higher property taxes. TPTB have no choice, since housing is the only game in town. Once it stops the global economy grinds to a halt, which could reflect badly on those who are responsible for this mess (soon to be bigger mess, since asset bubbles always pop).

    – “It’s a Wonderful LIfe” reference: Are we now closer to Bedford Falls or Pottersville? You decide. Socialism: You wait (in line) for bread. Capitalism: Bread waits for you. Vsego khoroshego, Comrade!

    “We must make our choice. We may have democracy, or we may have wealth concentrated in the hands of a few, but we cannot have both.” – Louis D. Brandeis – h/t Aaron Layman

    1. “It will allow single parents with dependent children to purchase a home with a deposit of just 2 per cent.”

      Sounds like a great recipe for longterm economic dependency on the welfare state.

  13. ‘The part I hate is the second round [of a blind offer day], where you are told you are ‘close’ and you don’t know what close is,’

    Sounds like an excellent mechanism to get panicked, bewildered buyers to overpay.

  14. Just another day in Joe Biden’s America:

    “The driver who was nearly killed by armed #BLM in Portland was interviewed by @CamilaOrtiTV. The protesters shut down the streets & assaulted drivers. He was returning home from work when he was boxed in, beaten & robbed. He says he will shut down his business & leave Portland.”

    https://twitter.com/MrAndyNgo/status/1391129579482349568

    “shut down his business & leave Portland”

    Will the last taxpayer leaving Portland please turn out the lights.

    1. Heads I win tails you lose for the Social Justice Warriors.

      They can stop traffic, threaten people with guns, beat them without fear of arrest but if that dude runs them over or shoots them in self defense he is a white supremacist Trump voter who would be charged with murder and a hate crime.

    2. “The protesters shut down the streets & assaulted drivers.”

      Is that legal, if done in the name of BLM?

      1. In Portland, yes it is legal.

        When you pay property taxes or sales taxes to the City of Portland, you are not paying for the police to protect law abiding citizens. You are paying for the District Attorney and prosecutors to aggressively prosecute and imprison anyone who tries to escape or defend themselves.

  15. “He moved into an apartment. Now, he’s renting a house to get away from the noise of apartment neighbors, and for its fenced back yard for Sophie, his 11-year-old long-haired Dachshund.”

    since reading between the lines has become an art form, I will personally confirm that I have NEVER met a quiet dachshund. Those things were bred to hunt animals in burrows, and to alert the owners when found.
    As such, they are by nature NOISY!

    So its “annoying racket” when the neighbors make it but yer
    precious dog is exempt, and the dog owners never seem to be aware, cognizant, or bothered by non-stop dog barking!

    priceless

  16. – Oh Canada!
    – This is completely normal.
    – Are we “there” yet?
    – There are only a few RE blogs that are realistic in describing and documenting the absurd craziness of these late stages of (global) housing bubble 2.0, with Ben’s HBB site being one of them. Thank you Ben for “keeping it real!”
    – Here’s another one from our neighbors to the north, but it could be AU or US:

    https://www.greaterfool.ca/2021/05/09/the-wages-of-war/
    The wages of war
    Garth Turner
    May 9th, 2021

    “If you haven’t tried to buy a house lately, don’t bother. It’s a war.”

    “For example, there’s the 5% Rule. Realtors are goading their clients into adding 5% to the price a seller is asking for every other bid that is registered. So on ‘offer day’ if eight other desperate buyers materialize, the idea is to revise your price so it’s 40% above the ask. Suddenly that $960,000 townhouse turns into a $1.344 property. Add in double land transfer tax (in Toronto) and the price swells to $1.392 million.”

    “Oh, and then there’s the escalator clause.”

    “This nuclear weapon is being detonated more often lately by buyers who have no intention of losing a bidding war in a blind auction. Their offer simply states they’ll pay $5,000 (or $50,000, or whatever) more than the highest bid from another party. No conditions. The upside price is therefore unlimited. Yikes. But they ‘win.’

    Meanwhile the winning bidder pays a premium. The losers become desperate and frustrated, likely to act more extreme on the next offer. Affordability crashes as prices inflate. Average income-earners can no longer afford average homes. More and more net worth is concentrated in one asset. Household debt climbs to new levels of absurdity. The economy becomes more dependent on a single sector. And realtors grow more insufferable.”

    “Well, this can’t last. And it won’t.”

    “By forcing prospective buyers into making hyper offers when flying blind on offer night, we push the entire market farther into bubble territory. That builds the risk of a collapse.”

    1 Timothy 6:9-10
    False Teachers and the Love of Money
    9 “Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction. 10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.”

      1. Imagine what would happen to prices if two of these crazies end up bidding against each other. Imagine all the equity wealth that would be magically created for the comps. Then imagine the hefty fees the lenders will extract from all the equity cash outs that will ensue.

        I like it.

    1. Canada is in the last stage of crazy-buying…..And their houses are built cheap too, should be an interesting summer up there, and all locked down tight,too, they’ve always been sheeple when it comes to government decrees,

    1. May 9, 2021 12:40 PM PDT
      Technology
      Dogecoin tumbles after Elon Musk calls it a ‘hustle’ on ‘SNL’ show
      Alden Bentley, Gertrude Chavez-dreyfuss
      4 minute read
      Tesla CEO Elon Musk speaks during the E3 gaming convention in Los Angeles, California, U.S., June 13, 2019. REUTERS/Mike Blake

      Dogecoin lost more than a third of its price on Sunday, after Tesla chief and cryptocurrency supporter Elon Musk called it a ‘hustle’ during his guest-host spot on the “Saturday Night Live” comedy sketch TV show.

      Dogecoin was quoted as low as $0.416 on crypto exchange Binance, down 36% from levels around $0.65 before the show.

      The billionaire Tesla Inc chief executive hosted the SNL show at 11:30 p.m. EDT on Saturday (0330 GMT on Sunday).

      Cryptocurrency enthusiasts had for days been eager to see what he would say, after his tweets this year turned the once-obscure digital currency, which began as a social media joke, into a speculator’s dream.

      Asked ‘what is dogecoin’, Musk replied, “It’s the future of currency. It’s an unstoppable financial vehicle that’s going to take over the world.”

      When a show cast member Michael Che countered, “So, it’s a hustle?”, Musk replied, “Yeah, it’s a hustle,” and laughed.

  17. How can you tell Bitcoin is a scam?

    For one thing, every MSM story about it shows a photo, even though it’s an imaginary electronic currency that doesn’t physically exist.

    1. The Financial Times
      Financial services
      Bitcoin: too good to miss or a bubble ready to burst?
      If retail investors buy, they need to accept that cryptocurrencies come with big risks
      Eva Szalay
      April 29 2021

      The problem with investing in bitcoin is that it instinctively feels too good to be true.

      The largest cryptocurrency by volume is worth 600 per cent more today than a year ago, soaring from about $7,000 per bitcoin to $54,000 this week, along the way becoming one of the best performing financial assets of 2020. Despite including some extreme price swings, the year-long rally has so far defied fears of a repeat of bitcoin’s spectacular price crash of 2018.

      Eye-popping returns are making it difficult for even hardened cryptocurrency sceptics not to consider putting money into bitcoin and many long-term doubters are crumbling. Jamie Dimon, chief of US banking giant JPMorgan, is just one prominent crypto bear who turned bullish in recent years. Recently emerged cheerleaders include Tesla chief Elon Musk and a number of billionaire hedge fund managers who are convinced that as the digital equivalent of gold, bitcoin’s exchange rate against conventional currencies has even further to soar.

      So is bitcoin just a big Ponzi scheme or a genuine investment opportunity? Should retail investors give in to the temptation to pile in? FT Money has spoken to finance professionals inside and outside the cryptomarket and found that opinion remains sharply divided. The recent stellar performance has turned some bears into bulls. But hardcore naysayers warn that a bubble that has grown bigger is still a bubble.

      Even ardent crypto fans are reluctant to wager their life savings on an asset associated with hair-raising levels of volatility. Even among these enthusiasts, many limit their investments to 1-2 per cent of their portfolio.

        1. Even the Doge Father openly acknowledges that…but FOMO prevents the cryptofaithful from hearing or heeding the warning.

      1. Can’t burn it, can’t snort cocaine with it, can’t make jewelry with it, too volatile to be a store of value or medium of exchange, depends on a steady supply of electricity, can’t even stuff it into a stripper’s G string. Crypto fails all of the tests to be money.

    2. For one thing, every MSM story about it shows a photo

      I’ve had to explain that to more than a few people.

    1. Would you be willing to buy your seller a pony to get the home of your dreams for only a little more than $50,000 over asking?

  18. Quite a video.

    Females told to ‘be quiet’ on transgender issue – ex-weightlifter

    Reuters
    May 7, 2021
    11:27 AM EDT

    Former Olympic weightlifter Tracey Lambrechs says females are being told to “be quiet” when they complain about the fairness of transgender New Zealand athlete Laurel Hubbard competing in women’s competitions.

    Hubbard is on track to become the first transgender athlete to compete at an Olympics after the International Weightlifting Federation (IWF) modified qualifying requirements for the Tokyo Games on Wednesday.

    The 43-year-old still has to satisfy the New Zealand Olympic Committee (NZOC) of her fitness and performance standards before selection for the team but the prospect she will compete in Tokyo has already raised hackles.

    “I’m quite disappointed, quite disappointed for the female athlete who will lose out on that spot,” Lambrechs, who won a bronze medal for New Zealand at the 2018 Commonwealth Games, told TVNZ.

    “We’re all about equality for women in sport but right now that equality is being taken away from us.

    “I’ve had female weightlifters come up to me and say, ‘what do we do? This isn’t fair, what do we do?’. Unfortunately, there’s nothing we can do because every time we voice it we get told to be quiet.”

    https://www.reuters.com/lifestyle/sports/females-told-be-quiet-transgender-issue-ex-weightlifter-2021-05-07/

  19. Kardashian cosmetic surgeon Raj Kanodia cuts price of $180 million nine-bedroom ‘glass palace’ LA mansion to $99 million

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-9560043/Kardashian-cosmetic-surgeon-Raj-Kanodia-lists-nine-bedroom-LA-megamansion-99-million.html

    Celebrity plastic surgeon Raj Kanodia, beloved by Hollywood stars like Kim Kardashian and Jennifer Aniston, has put his massive and glamorous Bel Air mansion on the market for $99million after struggling to flip the extravagant home for a profit.

    Kanodia had originally placed it for sale for $180 million.

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