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The Dutch Had A Similar Lolly Scramble Didn’t They?

A weekend topic starting with the Vancouver Sun. “‘If we can find a bunch of billionaires from around the world to move here, that would be a godsend. Because that’s where the revenue comes to take care of everybody else.’ — New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, 2013.”

“The torrent of foreign capital pouring into housing in desirable cities around the world is contorting how they physically look and how residents relate to each other, says an exceptional new book by Prof. Matthew Soules of the UBC school of architecture. New York, London, Vancouver and Toronto top the list of cities most sought after by the world’s rich — who own an average of three homes each for their personal use, Soules writes in Icebergs, Zombies and the Ultra-Thin: Architecture and Capitalism in the Twenty-First Century.”

“Soules said many politicians in Vancouver and across Canada follow the same neo-liberal beliefs as former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg in trying to lure rich foreigners, hoping their extreme wealth will trickle down to the masses through development fees and taxation. He shows how the global emphasis on housing as just another commodity, not as shelter, is skewing housing design across North America, Europe, Oceania and Asia. It’s creating ‘iceberg’ mansions in which much of the living space is deep underground, ‘zombie’ neighbourhoods with costly but largely empty houses and a spate of ‘ultrathin’ residential towers.”

“Metro Vancouverites are by no means the only ones worried about rich people buying properties and leaving them mostly empty, creating ‘Zombie’ neighbourhoods and towers. ‘Much of HNWI property is scarcely inhabited,’ writes Soules. New York City recently found 75,000 vacant pieds-a-terre. ‘The latest Canadian census indicates nearly 100,000 vacant or unoccupied housing units in Toronto.’ Sixty per cent of condos in Miami are secondary residences.”

“A study in China, Soules writes, ‘found a shocking 31 per cent’ of all residential purchases were of a third home. And a 2017 China Housing Finance Survey concluded ‘roughly 21 per cent of housing units sat empty in urban areas of China.'”

“‘I believe Vancouver was actually an early incubator for the slender condominium tower that has since spread around the world. Slender towers are an integral ingredient in ‘Vancouverism.’ And I argue that finance capital prefers this architectural form,’ he said. ‘While Vancouverism purports to be about livability, it is at the same time a completely neo-liberal construct that works perfectly with the logic of finance capitalism. It can be said that the pencil towers of Manhattan are a logical conclusion to the slenderness that occurred earlier in Vancouver.'”

“The idiosyncratic Vancouver House, which looks like it’s about to fall over, is emblematic of what happens to housing when it is marketed almost entirely to the global rich. First, Vancouver House is quite skinny. Second, Soules writes, ‘it will probably be mostly vacant.’ Third, it has been marketed through presales, which is the buying and selling of condo units before they’ve been completed.”

“The relatively new phenomenon of presales is ‘remarkable’ in history, says Soules, since it relies on humans buying a dwelling that doesn’t actually exist, like a speculative stock option. Fourth, Vancouver House was marketed almost entirely offshore — advertised through ‘multi-language websites, billboards in cities such as Taipei and physical sales centres in major cities across Asia.'”

“According to Christie’s International Real Estate, luxury residential purchases made by non-local buyers amounted to 60 per cent of sales in London, 45 per cent in Miami and 40 per cent in San Francisco. Soules is not the only one left wondering: ‘How extreme does the wealth gap have to become for the entire system to break down?'”

The Sonoma Index Tribune in California. “A well-financed Bay Area startup real-estate company called Pacaso is in the process of buying its first three Sonoma houses, with plans to immediately resell the properties to groups of six to eight co-owners, using a new model of second-home ownership. The red-hot housing market in Sonoma Valley is driven by a shortage of inventory and an abundance of demand – particularly for second homes.”

“What effect Pacaso’s fractional home ownership real-estate model will have on Sonoma is sparking heated debate – and a group of neighbors has organized a campaign to stop such deals, which they and local housing advocates, like the the Sonoma Valley Housing Group, describe as an end-around scheme to skirt laws regulating commercial vacation rentals.”

“Pacaso CEO Austin Allison told the Index-Tribune Tuesday that Pacaso can actually help alleviate the local housing shortage. ‘In Sonoma, we are only offering high-end, luxury houses that are priced three-to-four times above the median,’ he said. ‘We are taking a group of eight people who might each remove a $730,000 house from Sonoma’s inventory and instead pooling their resources so these buyers can afford a really high-end luxury house together.'”

“Sonoma Mayor Logan Harvey disagrees. ‘Pacaso is the newest addition in a long line of vulture capitalist companies here to put the final nail in the coffin of Sonoma’s middle class,’ he said. ‘The advent of Pacaso and other horrific ‘innovations’ in the housing market are more examples of the growing chasm between the wealthy and the working class.'”

“Regardless of the company’s impact on Sonoma’s housing market, Old Winery Court homeowner Brad Day says most people just don’t want to live next to a co-owned house. Day says this isn’t NIMBY-ism. ‘Pacaso is starting to look at homes all over town and overpaying for properties, which in no way helps our housing market,’ he said. ‘This purchase is just the tip of the iceberg.'”

From in Australia. “Property markets are hot. I was at an auction the other day where the place sold for $375,000 over the top of the advertised range. Aussies are making the most of very low interest rates and buying houses in a frenzy. This is driving up prices across the country, as the next graph shows. Bizarrely, the city with the fastest house price growth – Melbourne – is also the one with the most empty homes. As the next graph shows, Melbourne has the country’s worst rental vacancy rate. 28,000 rental properties sit vacant – which is more than Sydney and over 4 per cent of all rentals in Melbourne.”

“Sydney’s strong house price growth is also happening despite high rental vacancy, while in Canberra and Hobart strong property price growth looks more logical. What distinguishes Melbourne and Sydney of course is high rise towers full of apartments which are usually occupied by students, tourists and temporary workers from overseas. Those apartments are more vacant than usual as the borders are closed. In Melbourne’s CBD, the rental vacancy rate in February was 7.5 per cent, according to SQM. No wonder it seems empty on the streets there.”

“Since December, house prices have kept rising. Property price data company CoreLogic says prices in Sydney have now set a new record. ‘The fresh record high is great news for Sydney homeowners, but highlights the challenges for non-home owners looking to participate in the housing market as values rise faster than incomes,’ says Tim Lawless, director of CoreLogic.”

“Does this make sense?”

From the comments to this Interest New Zealand article. “Interest Only loan is the reason many Speculators are able to indulge in speculative activities. This is not a silver bullet but closest to silver bullet in targeting speculative demand and is the very reason that Mr Orr is hesitant to stop IO as the ponzi may actually stop.”

One said, “Can’t people just take the hint and buy investment property? The government and Reserve Bank want to make you wealthy. This is the greatest lolly scramble in a generation, prices and affordability don’t matter…just buy.”

A reply, “The Dutch had a similar Lolly scramble didn’t they? Lollies are never good for you long term.”

The Globe and Mail in Canada. “The Bank of Canada has a stark message for Canadians: Interest rates are guaranteed to increase but home prices are not. With the pandemic’s low interest rates pushing over-leveraged borrowers to pile on mortgage debt, the central bank ranked household indebtedness and accelerating home prices among the biggest threats to the economy in the medium term.”

“The average home price in the country has jumped more than 30 per cent during the health crisis, with prices climbing at a faster pace in the Toronto suburbs and smaller Ontario cities. The bank itself has played a role in stoking demand for real estate by holding interest rates at record lows over the past year, and promising not to raise them for some time.”

“‘Some people may be thinking that the kind of price increases we have seen recently will continue. That would be a mistake,’ Bank of Canada Governor Tiff Macklem said at a news conference on Thursday. ‘Interest rates are very low. That means there is more potential for them to go up.'”

“In its latest Financial System Review, the central bank warned that household vulnerabilities have intensified with the quality of borrowing deteriorating and speculative buying increasing. The bank found that the share of highly indebted households taking out mortgages is up significantly and now represents 22 per cent of all new mortgages.”

“That is higher than during the 2016-2017 real estate boom, when spiking mortgage debt triggered stricter lending rules from Ottawa. In addition, highly indebted borrowers are making down payments that are less than 20 per cent of the purchase price of the property. The bank said this combination has been ‘associated with a greater risk of falling behind on debt payment.'”

“Mr. Macklem defended the central bank’s decision to keep interest rates near zero for at least another year and repeated that monetary policy applies to the entire economy, many parts of which remain depressed. Ksenia Bushmeneva, economist at TD, said Mr. Macklem was right to be concerned and flag the risk of high household indebtedness. ‘I felt that the governor has sent a strong message to Canadians, but I think the [central] bank has limited scope to play a larger role in cooling the housing market,’ she said.”

“Very little has been done to slow the real estate boom.”

From KTAR News in Arizona. “All week long, KTAR News 92.3 FM has brought you stories of buyers, builders and leaders who have described the agony of trying to find homes in an increasingly expensive market. Experts offer no easy fixes, but fear not as they still offer solutions. The real estate market will correct itself eventually, but not by much. ‘When that time comes, I don’t know if it’s a year out, or six quarters out,’ said Chris Camacho, CEO of the Greater Phoenix Economic Council.”

“Camacho calls for more homebuyers’ credits and access to equity. Meanwhile, Arizona desperately needs builders and skilled workers — and schools to train more of them — as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic. ‘As the stimulus burns off, I hope that we head back to under 6% unemployment,’ Camacho said.”

“He also puts forth an unpopular solution — raising mortgage interest rates to reduce buyer demand and increase housing supplies. ‘The Fed is trying to help balance this, help people recover from this pandemic, and at the same time, create the right type of monetary policy to ensure that we see the right type of balanced growth going forward,’ Camacho said.”

This Post Has 138 Comments
  1. The chaotic history of the lolly scramble in New Zealand

    ‘Legend tells of an impromptu lolly scramble that rocked the Wellington art scene in a matter of seconds. The year was 2003, and the week-long installation at an unnamed gallery had attracted a decent opening night crowd. The free sauvignon blanc was flowing, the live band was grooving and the room was abuzz with conversation. Bags of lollies were discreetly handed out to a choice few patrons. The crowd didn’t know what was, literally, about to hit them. From every angle. At speed.’

    “I thought a lolly scramble might be a good way to enliven the space that night,” the unnamed artist recalled. “Unfortunately it backfired.” As the first rock-hard wrapped lollies careened through the air without warning, they appeared to activate a primal fight or flight response from the people in the room. “It didn’t really turn out to be the scenario I had imagined… people grabbed more bags of sweets and really pelted them out hard so that they bounced off walls and into the crowd. It got out of control I think.”

    ‘The room quickly emptied, leaving only unwanted Fruit Bursts and Milkshakes scattered across the floor.’

    ‘Lolly scrambles have a rich social history here in New Zealand. Since the late 1800s, birthday parties, A&P shows, fairs, prize-givings, fundraisers, sports events and Christmas parades have all featured the chaotic ritual as a highlight. The premise is simple: an adult releases a large amount of lollies into the air and a group of children go absolutely feral trying to pick up as many as they can. It’s a piñata without the admin. A treasure hunt without much of a hunt.’

  2. ‘The relatively new phenomenon of presales is ‘remarkable’ in history, says Soules, since it relies on humans buying a dwelling that doesn’t actually exist, like a speculative stock option’

    This is an interesting point on the larger issue which I’ve documented all along: safe deposit boxes in the sky, etc. It spread all over the world. The REIC media hardly mentions it, except for virtue signalling “inequality” horse sh$t and the common, “oh man, that guy took a royal a$$ pounding on that airbox!”

  3. Burning coal, mining pollution, and toxic waste, but somehow still a virtue signal.

    Colorado Sun — Coloradans looking for EV battery recycling don’t have many places to go (5/21/2021):

    “At the moment, the state is not well situated to deal with an influx of lithium ion batteries,” said Matthew Groves, vice president of legal, regulatory and compliance issues for the Colorado Automobile Dealers Association. Groves co-chairs a battery-recycling subcommittee of the Colorado Energy Office’s EV Committee.

    “Disposal of EV batteries will become an urgent issue as the United States achieves large EV market penetration,” according to a late-2020 study by University of Colorado’s Renewable and Sustainable Energy Institute called “Accelerating the U.S. Clean Energy Transformation.”

    1. The great thing about the clean energy crazy is that it is freeing up coal-fired electrical generation capacity for mining Bitcoin.

      1. The Wall Street Journal
        Bitcoin Miners Are Giving New Life to Old Fossil-Fuel Power Plants
        The lofty prices of cryptocurrencies have investors sinking money into electricity generation, risking a backlash
        By Brian Spegele
        and Caitlin Ostroff
        May 21, 2021 7:00 am ET

        Across America, older fossil-fuel power plants are shutting down in favor of renewable energy. But some are getting a new lease on life—to mine bitcoin. In upstate New York, an idled coal plant has been restarted, fueled by natural gas, to mine cryptocurrency. A once-struggling Montana coal plant is now scaling up to do the same.

        The lofty price of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies has investors pouring money into power generation—and risking a backlash. Elon Musk tweeted last week that Tesla Inc. would no longer accept bitcoin as payment for vehicles over concerns about fossil-fuel use in bitcoin mining. That rocked the market; bitcoin prices are now down around 25% since last week.

        The drive for power has its roots in bitcoin’s intractable mathematics: To operate securely, the cryptocurrency’s network relies on computers solving puzzles; in return the solvers get fresh bitcoin. The higher the bitcoin price, the more of these miners compete to solve the puzzles—a process that chews up electricity. The more competition, the harder the puzzles get and the more electricity is used.

        A University of Cambridge index pegs the annual power consumption of bitcoin mining at around 130 terawatt-hours, more than three times higher than at the beginning of 2019. That would be more than the power consumption of Argentina.

        Up Next
        U.S. vs China: The Battle for Bitcoin Mining Supremacy
        Chinese bitcoin miners have long dominated the global processing power that runs the bitcoin network with sophisticated equipment and access to cheap electricity. But now, a group of U.S. miners with deep pockets wants to conquer a greater share of the industry. Photo: Adam Chapman for The Wall Street Journal

    2. Recycling is just virtue signaling. They stopped curbside recycling of glass in my little burgs years ago, because it’s inconvenient to process (the glass breaks and mixes up with the other stuff). Plus we now know that everything, except for metal, winds up in the land fill anyway.

    3. Clownifornia has now made it almost impossible to dispose of pressure treated wood. But they’ll sell it to you by the truckload. When it comes time to dispose of it, they prefer you litter other states, or just find an illegal dump site on public lands.

      They also don’t allow retailers to sell certain types of bottom paints for boats. But get this – they are manufactured in CA, you just can’t sell them. Clownifornia gonna clown.

  4. I’ve long said New Zealand comments show them to be pretty honest on the mania. Most places are more honest than the US IMO.

    ‘Can’t people just take the hint and buy investment property? The government and Reserve Bank want to make you wealthy. This is the greatest lolly scramble in a generation, prices and affordability don’t matter…just buy’

    If guberments could make everybody rich, they might, or one of them would have. Fact is shacks can’t. Never will. It’s just a vehicle to paper over the failings of “neo-liberal” (it’s not new, and it’s not liberal) globalism.

    Globalism has failed. It’s done.

    ‘The Dutch had a similar Lolly scramble didn’t they?’

    Was there any other way the Tulip mania could have ended? That’s why I don’t care about the “it’s not a bubble!” crap. This thing is collapsing and it can only collapse.

    BTW, central banks and globalists don’t want you to be rich. They want you to shut up and submit and give all yer power to them.

    1. “BTW, central banks and globalists don’t want you to be rich. They want you to shut up and submit and give all yer power to them.”

      Nailed it.

      1. Here is part of what Wikipedia has to say about “financialization” …

        Michael Husdon described financialization as “a lapse back into the pre-industrial usury and rent economy of European feudalism” in a 2003 interview:[2]
        “only debts grew exponentially, year after year, and they do so inexorably, even when—indeed, especially when—the economy slows down and its companies and people fall below break-even levels. As their debts grow, they siphon off the economic surplus for debt service (…) The problem is that the financial sector’s receipts are not turned into fixed capital formation to increase output. They build up increasingly on the opposite side of the balance sheet, as new loans, that is, debts and new claims on society’s output and income.

        [Companies] are not able to invest in new physical capital equipment or buildings because they are obliged to use their operating revenue to pay their bankers and bondholders, as well as junk-bond holders. This is what I mean when I say that the economy is becoming financialized. Its aim is not to provide tangible capital formation or rising living standards, but to generate interest, financial fees for underwriting mergers and acquisitions, and capital gains that accrue mainly to insiders, headed by upper management and large financial institutions. The upshot is that the traditional business cycle has been overshadowed by a secular increase in debt. Instead of labor earning more, hourly earnings have declined in real terms. There has been a drop in net disposable income after paying taxes and withholding “forced saving” for social Security and medical insurance, pension-fund contributions and–most serious of all–debt service on credit cards, bank loans, mortgage loans, student loans, auto loans, home insurance premiums, life insurance, private medical insurance and other FIRE-sector charges. … This diverts spending away from goods and services.

        1. Dumb ’em down, and profit. Here is a snip from an interview with Michael Hudson …

          You don’t need an army to destroy a country any longer. All you need to do is to teach it American economics.” Michael Hudson

          A question from Pepe regarding the economies of North East Asia, South East Asia, the Asia Crisis and currently further integration with Russia, resulted in this very cogent quote from Michael Hudson.

          “The current mode of warfare is to conquer the brains of a country, to shape how people think. If you can twist their view into unreality economics, to make them think you are there to help them and not to take money out of them, then you’ve got them hooked. You need to lend them money, and then crash it.” Michael Hudson.

          Rentiers a bunch of gangsters | Michael Hudson

          1. “There are two ways to enslave a nation. One is by the sword, the other is by debt.” John Adams

      2. I think of it as slavery in the form of debt servitude, with at least the overt racism removed.

    2. BTW, central banks and globalists don’t want you to be rich. They want you to shut up and submit and give all yer power to them.

      Why doesn’t somebody take Powell’s head off?

      1. Why doesn’t somebody take Powell’s head off?

        You can be certain that Powell and all the other bankers and globalists have the best protection money can buy.

  5. ‘He also puts forth an unpopular solution — raising mortgage interest rates’

    Yer, despite the crocodile tears the REIC cries everyday about the “poor first time buyers!” we could end this in one afternoon by getting the guberment and central banks at the end of a rope, er, I mean out of the shack loan biz.

    Let’s re-examine just how far down the rabbit hole we’ve gone. In the 80’s it was common for central bankers to say, “the Fed doesn’t set long term rates.” True or not, it’s what they said. Now we just accept the complete abomination of interest rate dictatorship from this un-elected cabal. These people are dogs who won’t stop this crap until we make them.

    1. ‘New York, London, Vancouver and Toronto top the list of cities most sought after by the world’s rich — who own an average of three homes each for their personal use’

      That’s some shortage!

      ‘Icebergs, Zombies and the Ultra-Thin: Architecture and Capitalism in the Twenty-First Century’

      This isn’t capitalism, and that’s why it isn’t working. The cost of borrowing money should be decided in a free market. And it clearly isn’t. Every decision downstream is distorted by this.

        1. The same people who despise the heat. I was raised in the north. I find 100 degree heat to be completely miserable. To each their own.

          1. There are places in between. Plus Toronto does get hot and humid in the summer, so it’s kind of the worst of both worlds.

  6. ‘A well-financed Bay Area startup real-estate company called Pacaso is in the process of buying its first three Sonoma houses, with plans to immediately resell the properties to groups of six to eight co-owners, using a new model of second-home ownership’

    Yeah, time shares are really new. And delivering pizza is high tech! I’d bet these idiots are losing money hand over fist like the ibuyers.

    1. Pacaso raises $75M, goes from launch to unicorn in 5 months

      Former Zillow executives Austin Allison and (CEO and co-founder) Spencer Rascoff came up with the concept of Pacaso after leaving Zillow together about 18 months ago.

      “We realized that owning a second home had been a very impactful luxury in both of our lives. We’re both fortunate enough to have second homes, and it made a huge difference to us and our friends and family,” Rascoff said. “What we set out to do was to try to democratize access to second homeownership so that it can be something that is not just a luxury available to the 1%, but hopefully it can be available to many tens of millions of other people around the world.”

      Pacaso distinguishes its model from the age-old concept of timeshares, which sell the right to use a fixed amount of time in a condo or hotel. Pacaso aims to bring together a small group of co-owners to purchase a share of a single-family home and “enjoy ongoing access throughout the year.”

      1. These start-ups are beginning to look like that homeless guy with a deep voice on Youtube who got a Kraft mac and cheese ad gig.

  7. Kirkland, WA Housing Prices Crater 24% YOY As Seattle And Vancouver, BC Housing Markets Simmer In A Cauldron Of Excess Inventory And Mortgage Defaults

    As a noted economist stated, “I can ask $50k for my run down 10 year old Chevy pickup but where is the buyer at that price? So it is with all depreciating assets like houses and cars.”

    1. Related article.

      Washington Post — Masks are off — which means men will start telling women to ‘Smile!’ again (5/22/2021):

      “Women like Carter have enjoyed a 14-month respite from the murmurs, raised eyebrows and directives to “Lighten up,” or “Gimme a smile!” — mostly from men. Now, though, with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s recent announcement that fully vaccinated individuals can mostly ditch their masks, glowers and frowns are set to make their return to society — and so are the annoying-at-best, threatening-at-worst comments that people often feel entitled to make about them.

      Requests for smiles may seem harmless to some, but they’re often considered to be in line with catcalling, unwelcome gestures and other kinds of harassment, says Kimberly Fairchild, an associate professor of psychology at Manhattan College who researches street harassment. In the worst cases, commands to smile can escalate into scarier situations. But even when a command to smile is just that, Fairchild says there can be a “cumulative effect” if it happens often, as it can in urban areas. “Those things can accumulate in terms of more self-objectification. They can accumulate in terms of making women feel uncomfortable and unsafe being out in public places.”

      Here’s a suggestion. Wear your mask, frown under your mask, radiate bitterness and hostility, and then go home, alone, to your cats, boxed wine, and antidepressant meds.

      1. Remember when I posted the articles talking about a “convergence” of BLM (Marxist rioters) and cancel rent? Take a look at the sign in the photo at the top of the page:

        Cancel the rents, stop all evictions, stop all foreclosures. – Party for Socialism and Revolution.

        There really is nothing new under the sun. These people are communists. This woke sh$t is just mob rule, intimidation, same old commie crap. Now we have to listen to these idiots being pushed by, SURPRISE, bald, wall eyed billionaire shack hoarders!

        1. This shit goes on as a result of the political duopoly. It keeps the appearances going. It got trumped in 2016 until they took him out.

          It’s not over yet.

          1. Toughguy with a megaphone. He gets a solid endorsement at the end from his skank sanctimonious wife too.

            These Bush/Cheney/McCain operatives did a good job at concealing for 4 years. They can’t resist disclosing now.

          2. “Scarborough Has MELTDOWN Over Maricopa”

            So smokin Joe wants 75 million tax paying Trump voters to “just leave!” the country for the sin of doubting the results of the obviously stolen election because he has 75 million social service sucking undocumented immigrants ready to raise their right hand and pledge allegiance to this exceptional country.

        2. “Cancel the rents, stop all evictions, stop all foreclosures.”

          But keep those fat unemployment checks coming.

        3. Party for Socialism and Revolution

          Seems superfluous, since we already have a Marxist-Leninist party: the Democrats.

        1. That’s as cringe as his staged, fake “emerging from the basement” video.

          He’s a clown anchor for a clown audience.

      2. “Here’s a suggestion. Wear your mask, frown under your mask, radiate bitterness and hostility, and then go home, alone, to your cats, boxed wine, and antidepressant meds”

        my mother-in-law.

        no one had been in her house for at least 10 years. after her stroke, we found a horror show;
        mounds of debris reaching to the ceiling of the 3-bdrm house w/tunnels the only way to move around. 15 cats? inside for years. more frozen in death in an agonizing petrified dehydrated screaming rictus. could not hire anyone to clean it because, just like her hoarding ex-husband, she stashed piles of cash around the place.

        you just had to dig through the enormous piles of expired rotted food, stinking clothing, cat towers surrounded by decades old hardened feces, urine, maggots, etc to find it!

        not to mention the thousands of empty cat food cans just
        casually tossed outside the back door like a 15ft high tin can Mt. Fuji.

        i learned from a prior relatives hoarder house & took plenty of pictures so every know-it-all armchair busybody would SHUT THE HELL UP.

        plenty of wine bottles & boxes, needless to say.

      3. considered to be in line with catcalling, unwelcome gestures and other kinds of harassment

        Here’s a secret for you boyz: Catcalling is not an unwelcome gesture. Every woman wants to be catcalled at. What is unwelcome is persistent catcalling. As long as you don’t stop hinder her walking or cause a traffic jam, internally she will like it. Of course externally she might mee-too you to death. 😏

        1. I think it also depends on who is doing the catcalling.

          Recall the Tom Brady office skit on SNL.

          1. Brad Pitt catcalling = extremely flattering, women gushing

            Chris Farley catcalling = sexual harassment, women repulsed

      1. Sometime this past week CT businesses discreetly changed the wording on their verboten bulletin at the entrance to their establishments. Masks optional. Yesterday afternoon I walked into a Fastenal and supermarket without a mouth merkin and the other terrified customers reacted as though I had horns and a tail. One patron glared at me, pointed at his mask and said where’s your mask.

        To which I said, “read the sign at the entrance ..asshole.”

  8. ‘The Bank of Canada has a stark message for Canadians: Interest rates are guaranteed to increase but home prices are not. With the pandemic’s low interest rates pushing over-leveraged borrowers to pile on mortgage debt, the central bank ranked household indebtedness and accelerating home prices among the biggest threats to the economy in the medium term’

    ‘The bank itself has played a role in stoking demand for real estate by holding interest rates at record lows over the past year, and promising not to raise them for some time’

    No sense of irony. Oh this is a big threat! We kinda helped it along, but WE WARNED YOU!


  9. Minnesota libtards have presided over the destruction of what used to be one of the cleanest, safest cities in North America. Enjoy your vibrant cultural enrichment, libtards.

    Two men are killed and EIGHT injured in Minneapolis gunfight as city sees violent crime spiral in wake of George Floyd’s murder and vow to disband its police force

    Two men have been killed and eight others injured after two people in a crowd got into an argument, pulled out guns and started shooting each other in Minneapolis.

    The mass shooting unfolded in the early hours of Saturday morning along the 300 block of North 1st Avenue in the downtown area of the city, reported KSTP.

    The 10 people shot included five men and five women, with all the victims confirmed as adults.

      1. Get ready for the nauseating one year death of Saint Floyd anniversary coverage from Real Journalists.

        I was driving last year and listened to NPR airing the Fentanyl Floyd funeral, it was like hearing the British press covering the death of Princess Diana.

        1. The patron saint of opiods.

          I can’t wait to see how Minneapolis and other vibrants metros celebrate his canonization.

      2. So, vibrant on vibrant violence, I suppose?

        Clearly this is related to ongoing Amish-Mennonite sectarian warfare.

  10. So US taxpayers send Israel $4 billion a year in military aid, then we get to pay for the destruction said aid wreaks on Gaza. No wonder we’re staring bankruptcy in the face.

    ‘They need our help’: Biden says he will put together ‘major package’ for Palestinians whose homes have been destroyed in fighting with Israel ‘without providing Hamas the ability to rebuild their weapons systems’

    President Biden promised to help Palestinians who lost their homes during 11 days of Israeli strikes on Gaza as he offered prayers Friday for a ceasefire to hold.

    During a press conference to mark the visit of South Korean President Moon Jae-in, he insisted he remained committed to Israeli security.

  11. “Soules said many politicians in Vancouver and across Canada follow the same neo-liberal beliefs as former New York mayor Michael Bloomberg in trying to lure rich foreigners, hoping their extreme wealth will trickle down to the masses through development fees and taxation.

    The “extreme wealth” of these globalist oligarchs comes from their vampire-like parasitism on the productive economy and the backs of workers, as well as their control of the central banks and their “No Billionaire Left Behind” monetary policies.

  12. How is life on Planet Crypton so far into the very hairy month of May?

    Seems like lots of government financial authorities have cryptocurrencies in their gunsights and have commenced firing. Is now a good time to buy and HODL?

    1. The Wall Street Journal
      Capital Account
      Cryptocurrency Has Yet to Make the World a Better Place
      An innovation that has failed to catch on for legal transactions proves invaluable to ransomers
      By Greg Ip
      May 20, 2021 10:03 am ET

      A truly consequential innovation is one that makes possible entirely new business models that touch the lives of millions. The car enabled motels and shopping malls, the internet enabled e-commerce, and smartphones and GPS enabled ride-sharing.

      What business model that touches the lives of millions have cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin made possible? American motorists now know: ransomware. In such attacks, hackers encrypt and sometimes steal the victim’s data, demanding a ransom to decrypt and not release the data. Crypto is how Colonial Pipeline Ltd. paid hackers who earlier this month forced offline a conduit that supplies 45% of the East Coast’s fuel.

      A few days after the Colonial attack, Tesla Inc. announced it would no longer accept bitcoin as payment for cars because of the carbon emissions generated by the computer processing necessary to mint new coins.

      The two events underline how an innovation that was supposed to displace the dollar as a medium of exchange has proved largely useless for buying legal things yet frighteningly effective at facilitating extortion.

      You may also like
      Bitcoin Volatility Signals a Long Road to Adoption
      China’s recent warning on cryptocurrency sent the market in a tailspin. WSJ’s Aaron Back explains why the recent shake-ups in the value of bitcoin, dogecoin, ether and other cryptocurrencies may point to obstacles in mainstream acceptance. Photo: Dado Ruvic/Reuters

      1. Meanwhile, crypto nuts and technical traders just keep on keeping on, treating bitcoin as if it’s going to last forever. Basically they’re waiting for it to drop through some support level and then they’re going to back up the truck. Good luck.

    2. May 20, 202112:45 PM PDT
      U.S. Treasury seeks reporting of cryptocurrency transfers, doubling of IRS workforce
      David Lawder
      3 minute read
      Ugur Hakan Cakan, co-founder of Cointral, holds a representation of virtual currency Bitcoin at his cryptocurrency exchange shop in Istanbul, Turkey April 27, 2021. Picture taken April 27, 2021. REUTERS/Murad Sezer
      The United States Department of the Treasury is seen in Washington, D.C., U.S., August 30, 2020. REUTERS/Andrew Kelly/File Photo

      The Biden administration’s tax enforcement proposal would require that cryptocurrency transfers over $10,000 be reported to the Internal Revenue Service and would more than double the IRS workforce over a decade, the U.S. Treasury said on Thursday.

      The plans were part of a Treasury report detailing the Biden Administration’s proposal to invest some $80 billion into the U.S. tax agency through 2031 to improve compliance an revenue collections.

      “As with cash transactions, businesses that receive cryptoassets with a fair market value of more than $10,000 would also be reported on,” the Treasury said in the report, which noted that these assets, are likely to grow in importance over the next decade as a part of business income.

      Cryptocurrency assets currently have a market capitalization of about $2 trillion.

    3. Markets
      Media mogul Barry Diller says cryptocurrencies are a ‘con’
      Published Fri, May 21 2021
      12:20 PM EDT
      Updated Fri, May 21 20211
      2:33 PM EDT
      Jesse Pound
      Key Points
      — “This is nutso,” Diller told CNBC about big crypto investments.
      — Diller’s comments came after a volatile week in the cryptocurrency world.
      — A major sell-off on Tuesday and Wednesday dragged the price of bitcoin down more than 30% to $30,000 at one point before stabilizing near $40,000.
      In this article
      BTC.CM=+1,642.78 (+4.55%)
      ETH=+5.02 (+0.21%)
      Heidi Gutman | CNBC

      Veteran investor and IAC chairman Barry Diller said Friday that he doesn’t trust cryptocurrencies and believes that the digital assets are “a con.”

      “I watch some of the people that you have on and they talk about it – $40,000, $12,000, whatever – I think ‘this is nutso talk,’” Diller said CNBC’s “Squawk Box” after originally indicating he didn’t want to talk about the crypto space.

      Diller’s comments came after a volatile week in the cryptocurrency world, in which a major sell-off on Tuesday and Wednesday dragged the price of bitcoin down more than 30% to $30,000 at one point before stabilizing near $40,000. Other crypto assets, including ether and dogecoin, also declined.

      The dramatic sell-off happened amid increased worry about regulation from the U.S. and China and environmental issues around bitcoin, highlighted by Tesla CEO Elon Musk.

      Cryptocurrencies had surged in price in the past year as big-name investors and institutions began to embrace the new asset class, in particular bitcoin and ether. However, the rise of less serious versions like dogecoin, along with volatile moves in stocks like GameStop that gained traction on social media, have fueled concerns about speculation in financial markets.

      1. Bahahahahahahahahahaha … imagine coupling this:

        “A major sell-off on Tuesday and Wednesday dragged the price of bitcoin down more than 30% to $30,000 at one point before stabilizing near $40,000.”

        With this:

        “Leverage your trades up to five times.”

        Margin Trading Cryptocurrency | Leverage Your Trades Up To 5x | Kraken

    4. Is financial panic too strong a term to describe what is currently transpiring in the cryptocurrency space?

      1. The Korea Herald
        Cryptocurrency panic-selling wipes out W900tr in 24 hours
        By Park Ga-young
        Published : May 20, 2021 – 18:39
        Updated : May 21, 2021 – 11:20
        A digital display shows cryptocurrency prices at Bithumb on Thursday. (Yonhap)

        Cryptocurrency markets continued to experience a sellout on Thursday, triggered by a combination of negative news including China’s latest regulations.

        According to CoinMarketCap, a market data tracker, some 900 trillion won ($794 billion) worth of cryptocurrency was lost within less than 24 hours as of Wednesday night. That is twice as much as Samsung Electronics’ market capitalization, which stood at 474 trillion won Thursday.

        The price of a bitcoin was around 51 million won Thursday afternoon, having fallen 30 percent from 71.74 million won on May 7. Ethereum plunged 20.33 percent on Wednesday, selling for about 3.33 million won Thursday afternoon.

        Analysts attributed the market crash to a combination of several factors, including China’s crackdown, Elon Musk’s tweets and inflation concerns.

        On Wednesday, Chinese financial regulators said they had banned financial institutions and payment companies from providing cryptocurrency services.

        “The concern over a rapid rise in inflation in the US that might result in tapering and excessive fandom of Elon Musk contributed to extreme volatility,” HI Investment & Securities analyst Park Sang-hyun said. Tesla last week suspended a plan to accept Bitcoin payments for its cars, triggering a fall last week.

        Investors and experts are divided over whether Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies have hit rock bottom.

        Ark Investment Management CEO and CIO Cathie Wood on Wednesday told Bloomberg TV that the value of Bitcoin would still rise to $500,000, adding that the digital coin is “on sale.”

        But Kim Ki-sik, the head of the Korea Institute for the Future, urged investors to remain extremely cautious.

        “I can tell you with 100 percent certainty that there will be more plunges, even bigger ones,” Kim, who briefly served as head of the Financial Supervisory Service in 2018, said during a KBS radio show on Thursday.

        “As the influence of cryptocurrencies rises, financial regulators across the world will feel the need to have a tight grip on the digital assets. This alone can drive a selloff.”

        Kim warned that those who jump into the market thinking that digital coins are affordable now might end up losing alot of money.

        1. ‘Cathie Wood on Wednesday told Bloomberg TV that the value of Bitcoin would still rise to $500,000, adding that the digital coin is “on sale.”’


          1. Has anybody else noticed that the hundred millionaire and billionaire crowd has moved heavily into crypto? Tom Brady was Tweeting about “buying the dip.” They’re all just gambling.

      2. The Money Game
        May 20, 2021
        Cryptocurrency Markets Crashed By 50 Percent. What’s Next?
        By Jen Wieczner

        In the life of every cryptocurrency investor, there inevitably comes a time when they watch a significant amount of their money disappear in the span of a few hours or days. Often the wait is not long — crypto crashes are so common there’s even a word for what steadfast believers, steeling themselves, try to do in the face of their inevitable feelings of panic: HODL (the term comes from a typo for “hold”).

        And so it was this week, when bitcoin collapsed from a high close to $65,000 last month to $30,000 shortly after 9 a.m. Wednesday morning — having dropped nearly 30 percent from the previous day — dragging the rest of the crypto market down with it. On Coinbase, the largest U.S. crypto exchange, every single one of the dozens of digital assets available to trade was down an average of more than 20 percent — except for two cryptocurrencies pegged to the U.S. dollar, which rose just slightly to $1. It’s the kind of carnage that made the crypto markets look like the stock-exchange ticker on Black Monday.

        It was hard to pinpoint exactly what caused the sell-off. Some blamed Elon Musk, who had turned the market bearish last week when he said Tesla would stop accepting bitcoin as payment, while others attributed it to China’s newly expanded ban on cryptocurrency banking. Still others figured cryptocurrency was just being swept into the plunge in tech stocks as investors tried to dump risky investments amid worries that inflation will soon make a comeback.

        Of course, the crash also came at a time when there were more first-time cryptocurrency investors — from financial institutions and companies that have loaded up on bitcoin to dogecoin buyers — for whom this may have been their first experience with a major dip. Though the crash at the end of 2017 led to a bear market that lasted years (what some in the industry refer to as “crypto winter”), earlier investors remember the mid-2017 drawdown of 25 percent in a single day; the price then stalled around the same level for about six weeks before taking off on an epic bull run. Wednesday’s collapse in crypto prices had many asking: Is this the start of another bear winter for bitcoin, or just a blip of a scare before the next all-time high?

        1. It’s pretty hilarious that the only cryptocurrencies that held their ground last week were those pegged to the much derided dollar. Just goes to show once again that all asset prices are relative.

          “On Coinbase, the largest U.S. crypto exchange, every single one of the dozens of digital assets available to trade was down an average of more than 20 percent — except for two cryptocurrencies pegged to the U.S. dollar, which rose just slightly to $1. It’s the kind of carnage that made the crypto markets look like the stock-exchange ticker on Black Monday.”

          1. Coinbase is an illegal fraud operation. The fact that it’s allowed to even exist, let alone go public on the stock exchange, shows how rotten to the core our globalist captured system is.

            Google “Coinbase stole my money” and you could read for days. It gets less than a 1 star review. There is no regulation and they just steal customer funds at will.

        2. ‘Though the crash at the end of 2017 led to a bear market that lasted years (what some in the industry refer to as “crypto winter”), earlier investors remember the mid-2017 drawdown of 25 percent in a single day; the price then stalled around the same level for about six weeks before taking off on an epic bull run.’

          I haven’t bothered to check yet, but it seems like the market capitalization of cryptocurrencies was tiny back in 2017 compared to its recent ginormous size.

          By comparison to the 2017 dip, a major crater event in today’s bloated cryptosphere seems like it could be systematically important. For a possibly related example, does anyone reading here recall the financial hurricane that was triggered when Lehman Brothers collapsed in fall 2008? That was the main event that dragged down headline stock market indexes in a six months long 50 percent collapse.

          With today’s far superior financial market safeguards, I wouldn’t worry about a repeat.

          1. Opinion
            Will cryptocurrency cause the next financial crisis?
            Ryan Cooper
            May 21, 2021

            Cryptocurrency speculation is all the rage. Aside from the famous bitcoin (which has fallen in value by about a third over the last few weeks, and continues to gyrate wildly), there are thousands of other coins being bought and sold around the world, and new ones launching every day. Probably the most interesting is ethereum, which aside from being a traditional coin is also becoming a sort of platform for organizing all manner of business or other activities.

            To students of the financial crisis, DeFi bears eerie similarity to the shadow banking system that imploded in 2008 and helped crash the economy. Back then, all the big players in global finance had come to rely on this system for their daily operations. But because it had few regulations or protections that exist in traditional banking (like deposit insurance), when the mortgage-backed security market started imploding, panic spread, funding costs skyrocketed, and the whole system seized up — destroying Bear Stearns and Lehman Brothers. The rest of Wall Street would have followed if not for the government bailout.

            Any financial system is vulnerable to panic. One company or market gets into trouble, which causes others to get cautious and stop lending, which causes more fear, and pretty soon the contagion spreads to the real economy. If DeFi grows, then big banks and institutional investors are going to get involved (in fact, they are already doing so), and maybe even come to rely on it. Without government controls, then it’s only a matter of time before some kind of DeFi quasi-bank run gets going. Alternatively, even the manic price gyrations in crypto values pose a threat. If enough retail or institutional investors buy in, there could be knock-on damage if they lose their shirts in some random crash (as happened Wednesday).

            Fundamentally, there is already way too much financial speculation in the United States. We don’t need even more ways for people to make financial gambles on everything under the sun. Finance’s share of corporate profits has increased from about 10 percent in the 1950s to about a quarter today, and it has done this by gradually re-gearing the entire economy around short-term payouts to investors instead of wages or investment. Ordinary people are never going to beat Wall Street sharks at the speculation game — what the working class needs is more jobs and higher wages, not an ephemeral chance at some huge payout gambling on meme coins.

            To achieve anything good with crypto without the downsides noted above, though, is going to take government rules and protections. Luckily, this appears to be starting already, with new rules from the Treasury Department on crypto transfers and reporting requirements. It’s just in time, too; the industry is already scrambling to hire lobbyists and protect their profit streams. The last thing we need is another bunch of financial parasites getting too established to defeat.

          2. “The last thing we need is another bunch of financial parasites getting too established to defeat.”

            This gives me a great idea: Suppose that Wall Street Megabanks invested in cryptocurrencies to a systemically important degree. In this case, any major collapse in cryptocurrencies could potentially bring down the global financial system. Thus cryptocurrencies could be considered too-big-to-fail, making thembailout worthy. They might even need a federal guarantee to protect the global financial system from collapse. This would protect cryptocurrency investors from the risk of loss and make cryptocurrency investment safe for anyone who wants a guaranteed path to untold riches.

            Where’s the downside?

          3. Wall Street and Main Street financial firms embraced bitcoin. Now it’s crashing.
            By Stephen Gandel
            May 22, 2021 / 6:57 AM / MoneyWatch

            Goldman Sachs piled back into the emerging cryptocurrency market earlier this year, when it relaunched its bitcoin trading desk after a short hiatus. Earlier this month, the Wall Street bank began offering an investment service that allows its high-net-worth clients to profit from a rise in bitcoin prices without having to own the digital currency.

            “It’s a great time to be in the space,” John Chow, an executive at cryptocurrency trading firm Cumberland DRW, which is working with Goldman on its new bitcoin investment effort, told Bloomberg.

            Goldman is hardly alone. Fidelity recently filed for regulatory approval to launch a bitcoin fund that the mutual fund and 401(k) giant says is aimed at wealthier individual and institutional clients.

            Crypto for the people

            Other major financial players catering to less moneyed customers have also hopped on the bandwagon as cryptocurrency prices soared. A recent PayPal promotion offered $25 to the first 48,000 customers who bought at least $25 worth of bitcoin using the payment company’s app. And PayPal-owned Venmo last month began allowing users to buy and sell bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in increments of as low as $1.

          4. Where’s the downside?

            Have you considered your hobbies? They can be very therapeutic.

          5. too established to defeat

            I’m pretty sure that this sort of financial hostage-taking is what exactly what Michael Saylor and Raoul Pal have in mind. Both of them pumped it up, even targeting media darling Elon Musk to drum up publicity and returns. Raoul Pal then went all in, saying that there was a “wall of money” that was about to buy in. Raoul was right — he knows full well* that pension funds and institutional funds are so desperate for return, any return, that they would even go to the crypto casino to get it.

            Once the institutions get involved, it’s now a hostage situation. Bitcoin HAS to succeed, right?
            It’s one thing for Cathie Wood’s cult to lose their shirts; they’re young and they’ll recover. But we can’t be having our esteemed teachers and firemen will be eating cat food, can we? Meanwhile Mike and Raoul are quietly taking profits. They’re no better than those Moms4Housing who squat in empty houses.

            *Pal made a few videos on the pension fund crisis and pending crash as early as October 2018, which btw is how I got into the financial realm. Thank you Raoul, but it’s too bad that started guzzling the kool-aid about a year ago.

          6. After a little more reading, I get the impression that the HODLers are on their own in case cryptocurrencies crater with no recovery. Crypto has been deemed too-small-to-bail.

          7. The Financial Times
            Opinion Financials
            Cryptocurrency holders take on central banks at their peril
            The Fed, ECB and Bank of England are scathing about the speculative risks of modish digital tokens
            © Miss Peach
            Katie Martin yesterday

            Take it from someone frequently on the receiving end of their tweets and emails: cryptocurrency fanatics are often of a passionate and paranoid persuasion.

            Some people have jumped into this asset class, or currency, or whatever you want to call it, just for fun. For others, it is a moonshot to make some money, often successfully. It is a hobby, a side-hustle. But for the true believers, crypto is a way of life.

            They deeply love these digital tokens, bitcoin chief among them, in part because of their anarchic nature — their isolation from big government, big banking and big monetary policy. In real life, these people walk among us. Online you can spot them with laser eyes in their Twitter bios.

            The crypto community is exactly that — a community, resilient and bound by an asset with at least some real value, based on mutual trust. As in any community, its members fight. Internecine warfare has broken out since crypto supremo Elon Musk publicly accepted that the energy-intensive way that computers “mine” these coins is a threat to the environment.

            To some, this is heresy. But the real divide is Us vs Them. Coiners vs No-coiners. Academics studying this space and even some professionals working inside it refer to a “tribal” unwillingness to deal with criticism or challenge.

            It is not hard to see where this sense of disenfranchisement comes from. The great financial crisis of 2008 left many with a feeling that the system does not work for them. In crypto, they have found a way to potentially get rich (fair enough) and even perhaps to replace money and payments as we know them.

            Central banks, the believers say, cannot be trusted. They are debasing fiat currencies like the dollar with their money printing. Regulators want to trap ordinary people inside the existing financial hierarchy. Both they and governments are watching closely, poised to destroy an alternative financial system they cannot control.

            A grain of truth lurks inside this way of thinking. The net really does seem to be tightening around a thriving but largely unregulated market.

            Lately the drumbeat has been growing louder. This week brought a spectacular 30 per cent crash and equally eye-popping recovery in the price of bitcoin and related crypto assets after China’s central bank warned financial institutions about accepting crypto for payments. They are “not real currency”, the People’s Bank of China said. Days later, a Chinese province asked residents to blow the whistle on crypto miners through a telephone hotline.

            Also on Wednesday, while the price of bitcoin was in freefall, the European Central Bank lobbed a grenade at the crypto crowd. In its Financial Stability Review, it compared the massive rally in crypto prices in recent months to “tulip mania” and the South Sea Bubble in the 1600s and 1700s. Bitcoin is “risky and speculative”, it said. It has an “exorbitant carbon footprint” and a possible connection to “illicit” activity.

            Perhaps most stinging of all, however, the ECB said that because crypto assets are not widely used for payments and because the region’s financial institutions have “little exposure” to them, “financial stability risks appear limited at present”.

            The message here is: if this market falls over, we see no reason to step in and prop it back up. Cryptocurrency buyers are on their own.

            The very same day, two Federal Reserve officials also said they saw no reason why a drop in cryptocurrencies would upset the broader financial system. “We are all quite aware that crypto can be very volatile,” said James Bullard, president of the St Louis Fed.

  13. ‘While Vancouverism purports to be about livability, it is at the same time a completely neo-liberal construct that works perfectly with the logic of finance capitalism.

    “Neo-liberal” = serfdom on the globalists’ incorporated Neo-fuedal plantation.

  14. ‘We are taking a group of eight people who might each remove a $730,000 house from Sonoma’s inventory and instead pooling their resources so these buyers can afford a really high-end luxury house together.’”

    The idea of sharing a high-end shack is as ludicrous as luxury student housing. Only in a world awash in Yellen Bux hot money flows would such speculative lunacy be possible.

  15. “The Bank of Canada has a stark message for Canadians: Interest rates are guaranteed to increase but home prices are not.

    The Keynesian fraudsters at the central banks blow ginormous speculative bubbles, then warn of same. You can’t make this sh*t up.

    1. They cover their arses when the shtf, which is one of the primary functions of government agencies.

  16. ‘The prison guards tasked with monitoring deceased finance mogul and convicted pedophile Jeffrey Epstein at the time of his death in a New York jail have agreed to a plea deal with federal prosecutors in which they admit to falsifying records from that night, in exchange for community service and no jail time.’

    ‘Prison workers Tova Noel and Michael Thomas kept logs that indicated they made the required wellness checks on Epstein on the night of his death, which is shrouded in controversy. After being charged with falsifying records in 2019, the guards admitted this week “that they ‘willfully and knowingly completed materially false count and round slips regarding required counts and rounds.’”

    ‘The Associated Press reported Friday, “As part of the deal with prosecutors, they will enter into a deferred prosecution agreement with the Justice Department and will serve no time behind bars, according to a letter from federal prosecutors that was filed in court papers Friday. Noel and Thomas would instead be subjected to supervised release, would be required to complete 100 hours of community service and would be required to fully cooperate with an ongoing probe by the Justice Department’s inspector general, it says.”

    1. Nobody was more surprised by Jeffrey Epstein’s suicide than Jeffrey. Nice job tying up the loose ends, elites.

      Jeffrey Epstein’s prison guards who ‘slept and browsed the internet’ the night he killed himself secure deal with prosecutors to AVOID jail time after admitting they falsified documents

      The two Bureau of Prisons workers tasked with guarding Jeffrey Epstein the night he killed himself in a New York jail have admitted they falsified records, but they will skirt any time behind bars under a deal with federal prosecutors, authorities said Friday.

      The prison workers, Tova Noel and Michael Thomas, were accused of sleeping and browsing the internet instead of monitoring Epstein the night he took his own life in August 2019.

      1. Nice job tying up the loose ends, elites.

        If they really tied up the loose ends, they would have gotten to Ghislaine too. She’s probably knows as much or more. She’s currently in the same facility as Epstein was but I guess they have a better handle on her.

      1. I would not be surprised. He had dirt on every single billionaire and head of state that mattered in the world.

        1. Indeed. And we haven’t heard diddly about the blackmail evidence confiscated from Epstein’s safe either.

      2. Still alive and living in Israel. Epstein is a Mossad agent whose job was to collect material to blackmail the rich and powerful. I even wonder if he was ever in prison, at all. Was this just a ruse to make it look like the authoritahs are doing something?

    2. Prison workers Tova Noel and Michael Thomas kept logs that indicated they made the required wellness checks on Epstein
      I wonder if anyone looked for their multi-million dollar offshore accounts?

      1. I wonder if anyone looked for their multi-million dollar offshore accounts?

        More likely they were told they wouldn’t be Arkancided if they cooperated.

        1. Carrot and stick. Show them a carrot and a stick and allow them to decide which one of the two they would like to receive.

  17. It almost seems like government financial authorities fattened up cryptocurrencies for the slaughter, and the reaping is now underway.

    1. Suck ’em in, then shake ’em out.

      Repeat as often as necessary.

      No dollar will be allowed to escape.

      1. The Financial Times
        German and US regulators tighten focus on booming crypto market
        Soaring digital asset prices prompt firms to offer products ranging from loans to futures
        © FT montage; Bloomberg
        Philip Stafford, Eva Szalay and Adam Samson in London
        May 7, 2021

        A pushback against stocks-like products in Germany and tougher talk in Washington suggest that key financial regulators are bristling at cryptocurrency operators’ incursions into tightly-controlled public markets.

        Crypto industry executives and securities law experts around the world are closely scrutinising the tussle between German regulator BaFin and crypto exchange Binance, which deepened this week.

        Binance, one of the world’s biggest crypto firms, has asked BaFin to retract an allegation that it may be breaking securities laws with its new offering of ‘tokens’ meant to mimic a clutch of US stocks — a request the regulator has rebuffed.

        In the same week, new chair of the US Securities and Exchange Commission Gary Gensler, known on Wall Street as a tough operator, told a hearing on Capitol Hill that the “close to $2tn [cryptoasset] market is one that could benefit from greater investor protection”.

        “Right now, the exchanges, trading in these crypto assets, do not have a regulatory framework either at the SEC or our sister agency, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission,” he said. “There’s not a market regulator around these crypto exchanges, and thus there’s not protection against fraud or manipulation.”

        At present, neither the SEC nor the CFTC has powers to supervise cryptocurrency market activity because, in legal terms, bitcoin and its peers are neither a commodity nor a currency. After the blistering rally in bitcoin and rivals like ethereum so far this year, the fast-growing and increasingly sophisticated industry now has the highly-regulated securities markets in its sights, a development that is concerning major watchdogs.

    2. Yahoo Finance
      Cryptocurrency price crash reminds traders of one harsh truth: strategist
      Brian Sozzi
      Fri, May 21, 2021, 9:14 AM·
      3 min read

      The rout in cryptocurrency prices this month underscores one important thing that perhaps slipped the minds of over-anxious traders during the run up in values before May.

      Government looms large as a major headwind to the otherwise unregulated crypto sector.

      “Until recently, regulators and authorities have been reluctant to move too fast into the cryptocurrency space because there has been a lot of innovation. This allowed the financial sector to innovate. Competition and innovation are usually positively correlated. But governments are unlikely to relinquish their monetary monopolies,” said Deutsche Bank analyst Marion LaBoure in a new research note.

  18. Cryptocurrency is not the only meme asset class currently experiencing a major meltdown.

    1. All the current news stories about cratering risk asset bubbles make you wonder how long from now the contagion will spill over into housing. It could already be underway, as what is currently happening in the housing market takes months to show up in the official data.

      1. The Wall Street Journal
        U.S. Economy
        U.S. Home Prices Push to Record High, Slowing Pace of Purchases
        Cost for existing properties up 19% in April from year earlier; supply of homes remains limited
        By Nicole Friedman
        Updated May 21, 2021
        4:51 pm ET

        America’s home-buying frenzy is cooling off for the first time since it heated up last year, as limited inventory and record high prices are excluding potential buyers.

        Existing-home sales fell 2.7% in April from March to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5.85 million, the National Association of Realtors said Friday. April marked the third straight monthly decline, the longest downward stretch since last spring, when Covid-19-related lockdowns eased and have boomed in the past year.

        The forces driving home sales haven’t gone away. Low mortgage rates and the rise of remote work, which sent buyers scrambling to find larger living spaces, are still spurring demand.

        This year started off strong, after 2020 experienced the fastest pace of home sales in 14 years.

        But a deficit of homes for sale relative to intense demand and vertiginous housing prices have started easing the pace of sales. The median existing-home price rose to $341,600 in April, the highest on record, NAR said. The annual price appreciation of more than 19% was the strongest in data going back to 1999.

        Subscribe to Read the Full Story

    2. The Financial Times
      Bitcoin turmoil seeps into traditional financial markets
      Tumbling bitcoin prices pull US stock-index futures lower
      US stock-index and oil futures pull back as cryptocurrency prices plunge this week
      Shifts in price in highly speculative cryptocurrencies rarely if ever impinge on regulated and established markets
      © FT montage; Getty Images; Bloomberg
      Katie Martin 7 hours ago

      A huge drop and snap back in cryptocurrency prices this week rippled into traditional asset classes, potentially offering a taste of what could happen in the event of a more severe shake-up.

      Some government bonds gained in price on Wednesday, while futures on the US benchmark S&P 500 equities index dipped and oil also pulled back after the price of bitcoin plunged 30 per cent on signs that China was preparing a crackdown on digital tokens. The Japanese yen — a currency often in demand in times of stress — also popped higher.

      Hours later, bitcoin rebounded sharply. But it was unusual for the ructions to catch the attention of mainstream market participants.

      “The catalyst for these moves appears to have been a sudden rout in bitcoin,” wrote Richard McGuire and Lyn Graham-Taylor, rates analysts at Rabobank, in their regular note the following day. “So here we are. Even as august an organ as the Rabo Rates Daily has finally been forced to put cryptocurrencies front and centre.”

      The pair wrote that it “seems hard to conceive of how there can be a direct link between bitcoin’s gyrations and movements on the part of the global financial market”.

      Typically, crypto prices are driven by obscure factors such as tweets from bitcoin enthusiast Elon Musk, whose electric vehicle company Tesla had bought large quantities of the tokens. Shifts in price in highly speculative cryptocurrencies rarely if ever impinge on regulated and established markets.

      But that may be starting to change.

      On Friday afternoon, cryptocurrencies fell sharply again after China’s vice-premier Liu He restated Beijing’s determination to curb cryptocurrency mining and trading.

      The news knocked 12 per cent off the value of bitcoin, 20 per cent from ethereum and 18 per cent from dogecoin. The sell-off appeared to bleed into the US stock market, where the tech-heavy Nasdaq dipped in the last hour of trading.

      At Barclays, credit analyst Soren Willemann also noted that the turmoil in bitcoin had rumbled European corporate bonds. “Direct implications are hard to dream up, but to the extent that the crypto correction correlates with weakness in shares of modern tech companies (not least Tesla’s bitcoin holdings), it matters to European credit, as it is hard for our markets to ignore [S&P 500] weakness,” he said. “That said, we would be buyers on any crypto-induced dip.”

      1. “On Friday afternoon, cryptocurrencies fell sharply again after China’s vice-premier Liu He restated Beijing’s determination to curb cryptocurrency mining and trading.”

        Shouldn’t news of a crackdown on Bitcoin mining make existing Bitcoin even more valuable, due to the implied reduction in the future amount of Bitcoin in circulation?

        Clearly the normal laws of economics don’t work for an asset subject to a speculative mania.

  19. The Wall Street Journal
    SPAC Selloff Bruises Individual Investors
    Investors retreat from companies that have gone public through blank-check firms, including Virgin Galactic
    By Amrith Ramkumar
    Updated May 19, 2021
    9:32 am ET

    Shares of special-purpose acquisition companies and firms they have taken public are tumbling, punishing individual investors who piled into the once-hot sector.

    The Defiance Next Gen SPAC Derived Exchange-Traded Fund, which tracks companies that have gone public through SPACs along with SPACs that have yet to do any deals, has fallen about 30% in the past three months and recently hit a six-month low. Popular firms tied to the sector such as electric-car-battery company QuantumScape Corp. and space-tourism firm Virgin Galactic Holdings Inc. are down 50% or more during that span. SPACs listing splashy firms such as electric-car startup Lucid Motors and personal-finance company Social Finance are also taking a beating.

    The reversal highlights the risks that come with popular speculative trades. It is occurring as investors retreat from technology stocks amid fears that rising inflation will force the Federal Reserve to end its easy-money policies more quickly than anticipated. Those concerns make wagers on rapidly growing companies less appealing. Those related to SPACs have been among the worst hit by the selloff and have been battered by signals that regulators are increasing scrutiny of so-called blank-check companies.

    The swift change in momentum for what was one of the winter’s hottest investments shows how quickly volatile assets from startups to cryptocurrencies can inflict pain on traders. Early this year, nearly all SPACs were rising, even when there was little fundamental reason behind the gains.

    Former athletes and celebrities from Alex Rodriguez to the singer Ciara are involved with SPACs, which made stars out of prolific deal makers such as venture capitalist Chamath Palihapitiya. Now, nearly all companies tied to the space are in a uniform free fall, engulfing names backed by even the most popular SPAC creators.

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    You may also like
    The Blank-Check Boom Poses Pitfalls for Investors
    Private companies are flooding to special-purpose acquisition companies, or SPACs, to bypass the traditional IPO process and gain a public listing. WSJ explains why some say investing in these so-called blank-check companies isn’t worth the risk. Illustration: Zoë Soriano/WSJ

    1. The Blank-Check Boom Poses Pitfalls for Investors

      Once upon a time, investors would do research on their investments, whether individual stocks or mutual funds. They would consult with Morningstar and other publications. Now they hand their money over to con men who say nothing about fundamentals or how the money will be invested.

      1. Fundamentals don’t matter when a rising Quantitative Easing tsunami tide lifts all risk asset prices. And sh!tty assets go up the most.

  20. Oh dear…as a renter I’m trying to feel some vicarious grief for you property speculators, but all I feel is schadenfreude.

    The Aussie suburb that’s SINKING: Devastated homeowners with properties that are falling apart go to war with neighbours whose houses are now plummeting in value despite being perfectly intact

    1. Imagine being an “investor” in that 1000 ft tower in China that is threatening to collapse.

      Also noticed that the Chicoms had to scrub the launch of one of their rockets that is supposed to send a module to their space station. No explanation was given.

  21. Create hostile business laws and this is what you get:

    Coloradans looking for work may be losing out on opportunities because companies will not hire them to possibly avoid complying with a law designed to fix pay inequities.

    Colorado requires any employer with at least one employee in the state to post a salary range with a good faith floor and ceiling for what they are willing to pay. This is in response to the Equal Pay for Equal Work Act that became active this year.

    It’s like they want the jobs to go to Texas.

    “Open to remote work, except in Colorado,” a posting for a human resources job at Nike said.

    Nike has not responded to our request for comment as of this publishing but said they will release a statement in the near future.

    Gotta love it. It’s woke, virtue signaling employers who are refusing to hire in Colorado because of the law.

    1. The Democrat-Bolshevik politburo in Denver cannot grow the party without increasing dependency on gub’mint. Ruining the economy is being done by design by these commies at both the state and national levels. Forward, Soviet!

    2. I’m noticing that jobs in my industry are increasingly “remote only”, but they specify only certain states are acceptable. It will be interesting if WFH stays how this all plays out.

  22. Let’s see how long it takes for this non-Narrative Compliant story to disappear down the Memory Hole.

    Mob Targets Jewish Family with Anti-Semitic Attack, until 2A Patriot Steps In

    A Second Amendment patriot came to the rescue of a Jewish family after they fell victim to an anti-Semitic attack in Florida this week, according to reports.

    Police are investigating the Miami-area incident involving the Orgen family from New Jersey who received help from a gun owner who witnessed the assault as it was unfolding.

    1. Jewish people lack Most Favored Races status on the Democrats’ Diversity and Inclusion preference list, nor do whites nor Asians.

      1. The irony is, gun control measures are being funded almost entirely by Jewish billionaires like George Soros and Michael Bloomberg. Yet when Jews are being harassed or attacked when out in public, who comes to their aid? Why, those loathsome Deplorables! I would think Jews of all people would understand WHY the Founders gave us a 2nd Amendment.

  23. My wife interviewed a prospective client this morning. The woman seemed quite agitated during the course of the conversation. And then it finally spilled out that she was in a hurry because their entire family was rushing off to Del Mar, out on the coast ten miles to our west, for a home showing, “even though this is the worst time ever to look for a house.”

    What is it about a housing mania that creates an irresistible urge to commit financial suicide?

    1. “Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, one by one.”

      ― Charles MacKay, Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds

      1. “Insanity is the exception in individuals. But in groups, parties, nations, and epochs it is the rule.”

        — Friedrich Nietzsche

    2. What is it about a housing mania that creates an irresistible urge to commit financial suicide?

      The fear that it will get even more expensive. And given that nothing makes sense anymore, they probably think that it will go up even more, even though they themselves can see that it is insane.

      1. I am not sure if there is any “thinking” going on. It seems more like a perverse instinct encoded in the medulla oblongata (lizard brain) to obtain a necessity when it is available. The cerebrum, the analytical part of the brain, is usually severely underdeveloped in patients suffering from FOMO, which makes it easily overwhelmed by the lizard brain.

  24. Be careful renting rooms from strangers:

    A 72-year-old man was arrested this week following the discovery of human remains under the floorboards of his home. He has confessed to killing as many as 30 people over the last two decades.

    The gruesome discovery of González’s hacked-up body on a bloody table came during the search for her in Las Lomas de San Miguel, a neighborhood on the western edge of Mexico City.

    Andrés N. rented out rooms in his home to support himself, El Pais reported. Fernando López, his tenant, is a doctor who ran a practice in one of the rooms; he was told by authorities to exit the property as the search began.

  25. Re: empty rentals, of course they are empty. Who in their right mind wants a tenant in a property that doesn’t have to pay rent and can’t be evicted. This is what Endless moratoriums have created.

    1. This is what Endless moratoriums have created.

      As the saying goes, the road to hell is paved with good intentions.

      Pay people to not work, surprise!, they refuse to work.

      Allow people to not pay the rent, surprise!, they don’t pay the rent.

      No one could have seen it coming!

      1. Just saw this in the Colorado Sun:

        A highway contractor in New Mexico said they start everyone at $18.70 per hour and offer training to workers with no skills. The gross weekly wage is $748. “People on unemployment here make $700 a week gross,” and are not interested in working, this person wrote. “It’s only human nature.”

        Laurie Cadwell, who owns the Big City Burrito in Fort Collins, said she’s never had such a hard time finding enough workers, who start at $14 an hour. She’s so short on staff that the eatery has had to close for lunch often. “We do not allow customers to dine in and employees must double mask. I was getting pretty good employees hired for a while but THE WEEK the extra unemployment started, that totally dried up,” she said in an email.

      2. So, what do you think will happen when the extra unemployment bennies expire? Will the Dems borrow another trillion and extend them, inflation be d*amned, or will they yell “party’s over, every one out of the pool!”

  26. Are the cryptocurrency HODLers deluding themselves into thinking the regulatory crackdown won’t pop their bubble?

    1. Sold Short Homepage
      Jacob Silverman
      May 19, 2021
      Bitcoin Keeps Falling, but Everything Is Fine Among the Crypto True Believers
      As Bitcoin’s price fell by up to 30 percent, its partisans went on Clubhouse and Twitter to offer reassurances and advice to “go outside, go exercise—just don’t follow the swings.”
      Chris McGrath/Getty Images
      A woman stands next to a Bitcoin ATM.

      It was almost cryptocurrency’s Black Wednesday. In the space of a few hours, Bitcoin’s price fell by up to 30 percent, from about $43,000 to around $31,000, before rebounding. As of now, it’s far from its all-time high of more than $63,000, reached just last month, and has lost about 27 percent of its value in the last week. The rest of the top cryptocurrencies are a sea of red; at one point, about 20 percent of the entire market’s value had been wiped out, according to CoinMarketCap. Crypto-connected stocks like Tesla and MicroStrategy declined. The exchanges Coinbase, Kraken, and Gemini all had technical issues that hindered trading. Equal measures of fear and resolve spread through Twitter and other social media, as true believers separated themselves from panic sellers.

      In a Clubhouse room called “Thought this was easy? Hodling Bitcoin ain’t easy,” about 1,400 people assembled Wednesday morning to hear their fellow coiners promise that everything was just fine. There was little dissent in the room—some hypothetical questions about how to answer common criticisms of Bitcoin were shouted down as so much more “FUD,” or fear, uncertainty, and doubt. There was plenty of searching for coping mechanisms.

      We’ll get through this. “Inflation is the real problem,” someone said. Go to sleep, go outside, go exercise—just don’t follow the swings of the market. “I’m not going to be concerned about Bitcoin,” he said. “It’s going to be fine.”

      Another man talked about his cold storage wallet—often, a hard drive that contains an access key for one’s Bitcoin—and said it was buried under concrete, like in a John Wick movie. He didn’t want to even think about selling his Bitcoin.

      No matter how you parse it, now is a rough time to be a cryptocurrency investor. After reaching its epic April high, Bitcoin’s price has been sliding for a month, losing about 27 percent of its value in the last week. While Bitcoin partisans claim that they are holding for the long term and these are merely momentary blips, Bitcoin’s recent profound volatility signals the essential vulnerabilities of cryptocurrencies: namely, they are unstable assets built on speculation and market manipulation—including ad hoc social media campaigns designed to keep skittish investors from engaging in a mass selloff that would further tank prices. Requiring constant public urging from prominent influencers to keep retail investors engaged, cryptocurrencies may never be ready for the kind of widespread adoption their fans believe is inevitable.

      But don’t tell that to the incorrigible optimists—or however you’d like to describe them—of the Bitcoin community. Elon Musk may have turned against the preeminent cryptocurrency; Chinese regulation may imperil a significant portion of Bitcoin mining and trading; and Tether, a stablecoin that’s the most traded cryptocurrency by volume, faces a legal deadline in which it’s expected to provide evidence clarifying its rather opaque mix of asset reserves to the New York attorney general. Any one of these items could trigger market trouble, but the combined effects were, at least for one wild morning, immensely destabilizing.

      For crypto believers, though, today was merely a “correction,” a market stress test. Some portfolios will survive, some won’t. Promoters of so-called altcoins or shitcoins (as most coins outside of the top few are called) may have little rhetorical ballast to support their positions—many traders would admit that they’re looking for quick gains, not investing for the long term, and that now they’re reaping the consequences of their decisions. But the same can’t be said of Bitcoin fanatics, who despite facing enormous losses over recent weeks, with volatility to match, have taken to expressing overwhelming confidence in their positions. “I’m not selling,” tweeted Michael Saylor, a tech executive who’s emerged as a top Bitcoin mandarin. He and others claim that they are HODLing: hoarding their Bitcoin for the long term. Anthony Pompliano, one of the most voluble Bitcoin influencers, complained that clogged exchanges made it difficult to buy more Bitcoin today. (Pompliano, who might politely be called the rise-and-grind hustle-king of Bitcoin, yesterday launched something called Bitcoin Pizza, a “Bitcoin-themed pizza service” that only accepts dollars.)

      You see? Things are fine. Or at least this is what they’re telling one another.

  27. Antifa Activist Who Sold Footage Of January 6 To CNN, NBC, Had $90,000 Seized By Feds

    May 22, 2021

    John Sullivan, the Antifa and BLM activist who stormed the Capitol on January 6 while disguised in Trump 2020 gear and captured video of the Capitol Police shooting of Ashli Babbitt has had $90,000 – ostensibly the funds he was paid by mainstream media outlets for his viral footage from the day – seized by the federal government.
    Sullivan, who posted videos watermarked with Jayden X on social media, claims he stormed the U.S. Capitol – disguised as a supporter of President Donald Trump – in an effort to “document” the civil unrest. “I wanted to be able to tell a part of history,” Sullivan claimed in January. Speaking to the media, he seemingly acknowledged that Black Lives Matter and Antifa were present during the civil unrest, but claimed that “It’s just recording, solely, and not being active in it.” It was later reported that Sullivan sold his footage of the civil unrest to both CNN and NBC for $35,000 apiece.

  28. I think Covid 19 exposed just how much modern Pharmaceutical theory was a creation based on profit , and dependency on snake oil magic pills ,with disregard to life style as the main factor in health.
    They never isolated the Covid 19 under a microscope , and the PCR tests weren’t accurate. This should cause any thinking person to question the entire foundation of Pharmacy Meds that the industry openly admits causes 250 thousand deaths per year , taken as percribed.
    Who developed the tests to begin with that determine the need for a long term medication?

    Rockefeller, the greatest monopolist of all times ,set the foundation of Modern Medicine, eliminating all competition in favor of this mysterious World of magic pharmaceutical pills the human species can’t live without, in spite of the long list of side effects and yearly death toll .

    Now this Pharmacy Monopoly claims you have to take a experimental vaccine to control a virus that only is a danger to under one per cent of the population. Contrary to Science, they claim we have millions running around without symptoms that are Covid cases, based on a fake test ,based on no isolation of the culprit virus.
    The best that can come out of this is a final scrunty of a Industry , that has a lot of good, but how much bad needs to be examined and seen as unsusttainable looting of Society, along with damaging health.
    Where is the proof that putting younger and younger segments of the population on Pharmaceutical and vaccines produces health and lifestyle doesn’t matter. Where is the examination of the food industry , processing foods, and the roll toxins play in health?
    The power to lockdown Nations and mandate useless mask wearing , to somehow make the invisible enemy more real , where somehow they can’t even claim where the origins of this virus came from , where all is based on theory, not Scientific proof.
    The destruction of small business while Big Monopoly Business is labeled essential, and a safe place to go if you wear useless masks and stay 6 feet apart. Like money being filtered to Monopolies wasn’t the idea in this contrived Pandemic, that ensured a criminally rigged election , and Medical Tyranny to take freedoms based on Fraud.

    Fake news censoring any dispute to this Innsurrection, that corrupted Government and agencies, in favor of fraudulent narratives to advance a power grab of epic proportions. The agendas of elites, rival Nations , secret Societies, Gates, Soros and Klaus Schwab, and forces that have always been trying to disrupt and destroy the American Constitutional Republic.
    Fake attack on white race, and at least half the population being terrorist who don’t agree with this Communist like power grab with One World Globalist Top down rule , based on fraud to control all resources and destroy any freedoms or power by the populations.

    They have shown their true colors as being fraudsters,bribers, power mongers, looters, psychopaths, and maybe capable of mass murder. Nothing different than Stalin, Hitler or Mao in methods.
    In spite of making great headway right now , by putting the Puppets in key Government positions, in a concerted effort to destroy anything the US represented, I believe they will fail eventually . Can’t say how it will happen , but they are now in the open to be examined, while before they were more secret in their hijacking of the USA.
    It should of been obvious when the manufacturing and job base of the US was outsourced step by step , that it was a open attack on the US as a sovereign Nation, with the citizens being in control of their destiny verses a One World Order of Monopoly rule.

  29. Tuplipmania: “The Dutch then began breeding new varieties that were progressively more and more beautiful. For reasons that really have no logical explanation, a frenzied financial buying and selling bubble began around 1636. It was much like the famous “Mississippi Bubble” that occurred in France in the early 1700s and the British “South Seas Bubble.” There was no real economic basis for it. People just thought that demand and prices could increase forever. Fortunately for the Dutch, the overall financial impact of the collapse on the national economy was minor.”

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