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The Only Way Out Is Up

A weekend topic starting with the Star Tribune in Minnesota. “Why does Duluth have a housing shortage if the population is barely growing? ‘I don’t necessarily accept the narrative that Duluth isn’t growing given all the complex factors,’ said Noah Hobbs, lending director with One Roof Community Housing in Duluth. ‘We need more units in 2021 than we had in 1960,’ even though the city had 20,000 more residents 60 years ago. The record median home sale price set in June, $249,900, dropped to $215,000 last month, according to LSAR data.”

“Affordable housing is in short supply across the country, and the latest report from Harvard’s Joint Center for Housing Studies said current trends make for an uncertain long-term outlook. ‘Falling birthrates, sharply lower immigration and higher-than-expected mortality rates have already left population growth at its lowest level in 100 years,’ the report said.”

The Payson Roundup. “Rim Country real estate remains pedal to the metal, while the rest of the state and nation taps the brakes. Arizona’s rural mountain communities attract retirees and folks from the Valley interested in a mountain cabin. ‘The second home buyer and seller from Maricopa has a much bigger effect (locally),’ said Gary Nelson, the 2021 president elect of the Arizona Association of Realtors. ‘I’ve been a Realtor for over 27 years in Flagstaff … more than 50% of my sales are second homes.'”

The Aspen Daily News in Colorado. “A Saturday afternoon search for two guests to stay in Aspen from Aug. 20-22 on Airbnb netted 13 pages of results — 236 properties. ‘Money flows into residential because there’s very little obstacle there; residential converts to lodging whenever it wants. But something that is zoned as a lodge has a very different set of obstacles that it must overcome to come back to life as a lodge,’ said Michael Miracle, director of community engagement.”

From Denverite in Colorado. “Here’s something else that deserves a deeper look: vacant units, of which there were over 27,000 recorded in the Census. In the meantime, here’s a map of where they were concentrated. Golden triangle, where all those luxury units have been built, had the second-most empty units on the list. The tract with the most was a southern bit of Five Points, where high-rises also continue to grow along Welton Street.”

The Post Independent. “Now comes the Great Meltdown of 2008, aka the The Great Recession, aka the Financial Crisis. We find the same thread connecting the S&L crisis of the mid-’80s and the 2008 crash, and we see that thread dangling out of the isolated incidents of banking booboos, such as the recent Credit Suisse debacle. A surfeit of money on the table just lying there for the taking, drove banks off the bridge in 1985 and 2008.”

“In both cases, an enormous amount of money was rapidly made available, and there was plenty to go around, which created mortgage assets, which triggered a construction frenzy, which resulted in too many houses backing too many mortgages, and the law of supply and demand was, once again, dramatically demonstrated.”

“Nobody had the courage to say that the emperor had no clothes. All, from the mortgage-backed securities people at Bear-Stearns, Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch, to the regulators at the FDIC and OCC, mortally feared rocking the boat. So they did the only thing they could do, like dinosaurs waiting for the weather to change. They created more mortgages.”

“I remember the words of a senior exec of a small bank that had bet the farm on one business line: producing a high volume of loans nationwide through a network of loan production offices: ‘The only way out is up.’ Meaning that the source of salvation is more mortgage production, more fee income that could bolster the balance sheet against failure.”

“It worked just like you’d expect if a wildfire was threatening Downriver, Montana, and the boys at the Volunteer FD mistakenly filled up the pumper truck with gasoline instead of water; a lot more bad loans didn’t help a bit.”

Two articles from the Globe and Mail. “The rising tide of policymakers who appear more comfortable with a quicker timeline for tapering and possibly raising the Fed’s benchmark overnight interest rate from its near-zero level could force Powell to act sooner rather than later to keep the core of the committee onside. If so, it would be history repeating. In 2013, Powell and two other would-be dissenters on the Fed board – Elizabeth Duke and Jeremy Stein – worried that markets were beginning to believe the Fed would keep buying bonds forever.”

“While the market recovery appears to have stalled in recent days, money manager Jason Del Vicario doesn’t believe it’s pricing in a slowdown – at least not yet. ‘Investors have now been conditioned to know that, when things slow down, central banks are going to start printing more money,’ Mr. Del Vicario said, which he sees as a ‘dangerous scenario.'”

From News.com.au. “The Australian economy is a simple machine that runs on two motors. The two engines are commodities and household debt. We might call these miners and banks. Or, iron ore and house prices. The machine is fuelled by commodity income derived offshore. This is then leveraged up in global markets via bank borrowing. The debt is channelled into rising house prices that drive consumption.”

“At least, that’s how it used to work. Since the pandemic began, the machine has instead leveraged commodity income via bank borrowing from the Reserve Bank of Australia. The likelihood is that the mining income engine will be shut off throughout 2022. The RBA will therefore need to rev its other engine, the housing market.”

“But how can it do that when interest rates are already at effective zero and prices high? It is possible. Either the RBA will have to cut its cash rate negative. Or, it will have to print more money for the banks offered up on negative yields. The European Central Bank has been doing both of these things for many years. The RBA says it will never do these things. But it always says that. When the master alarm goes off in its economic cockpit and the ominous voice declares ‘pull up terrain,’ it will have no choice.”

The Hong Kong Standard. “In financial markets, is ‘too big to fail’ a more reasonable concept or is ‘too big to control’ more worthy of attention? There is no definite answer because it all depends on timing. In fact, the antecedent of ‘too big to fail’ must be ‘too big to control’ – that is, if there were no ‘too big to control’ enterprises, there would be no ‘too big to fail’ problem. The best example of this can be found in the global financial crisis of 2007-2008.”

“This is the dilemma that regulators now face with the embattled developer China Evergrande. Under these regulations, Evergrande and other indebted developers have to sell assets to reduce their debt. Of course, this action was clearly aimed at preventing the bad debt bubble from further expanding and exploding. Because if the market is not able to bear the load before the blast, it can cause serious systemic risk. But while the new rules are clear and make sense, if every highly indebted developer is forced to reduce debt and sell assets, will the market be able to digest these assets?”

“And while China’s recent reform and rectification drive makes sense, there are many who worry that the continuing monetary easing and explosion of debt in the western world, led by the United States, may lead to a bigger problems in the future. Now this might have prompted China to speed up the pace industry regulation and reform, but if the ‘bomb’ is dismantled too hastily, it could lead to a disaster.”

The Sun Daily. “Most Malaysians cannot afford local housing anymore, which is ironic, given that the nation’s housing supply glut is at an all time high. Between 1990 to 2019, average home prices have increased by 5.6 times, or a 460% capital appreciation. In contrast, real GDP per capita income has grown by only 2.8 times, or 180%. Where in 1990, the price of the average home was equivalent to about 4.7 years of per capita income, today it has nearly doubled to 9.5 years.”

“This is symptomatic of a policy problem that has rippled across the economy, transforming homes into commodities and ‘asset-class investments.’ The problem with the loan moratorium is that payments are merely delayed, not cancelled, which could create a debt overhang in the future. This has the effect of keeping borrowers in debt for longer.”

“According to a media report, many private developers in the country have been artificially inflating house prices stated on the sales and purchase agreement (SPA), which is then used by the banks to determine the size of the mortgage. The real price paid by the purchaser is usually substantially discounted. This forms a powerful incentive for potential homebuyers because this way, they can effectively obtain 100% financing.”

“There is a dark side to this seemingly ‘win-win’ situation: Artificially keeping prices high prevents the market from adjusting to demand-supply dynamics. Under normal circumstances of excess supply, prices would fall to re-establish a new equilibrium. However, this process is distorted in Malaysia, and increasingly puts home ownership out of reach for many people.”

Two reports from Stuff New Zealand. “Sharon Zollner,​ chief economist at ANZ said a drop in house prices could be on the horizon. ‘The direction of travel for macroprudential thresholds highlights that the Reserve Bank thinks risks are elevated at the moment. Of course, they are, we have never seen house prices go up this fast,’ Zollner​ said. Zollner​ said the long period of low interest rates might have lulled many house-buyers into a false sense of security. ‘It would be too simple to think the Reserve Bank has always got your back when it comes to what house prices might do. The central bank are not magicians, and they can’t eliminate risk,’ Zollner​ said.”

“Reserve Bank governor Adrian Orr feels he has good reason to think a fall in house prices is on the horizon. ‘We’ve had phrases such as ‘irrational exuberance’, talked about,’ he told the select committee. ‘And this is what is happening on a global basis with housing at the moment. The one most common factor when I’m sitting here chatting with central bank governors around the world, which is regular, is the rapid rise in ouse prices – asset prices – globally; both equity prices and house prices. I don’t want to call things bubbles, I don’t know if it’s helpful at all. I would say house prices are above the sustainable level.'”

“But the overall messaging was clear. High house prices are not the Reserve Bank’s fault and the ‘market’ is about to ease the problem a little. Orr dismissed the suggestion the bank had ‘turned on the monetary hose too hard’ last year. ‘I stand by everything we’ve done and I’m incredibly proud of everything we’ve done which has been critically necessary,’ he told MPs.”

“If the monetary policy response to Covid does contribute to some people who timed purchases unluckily losing out in a correction, that was not within the bank’s control, Orr indicated. ‘Some households, more recently, who chose to invest in housing, or buy housing, because of the emotive behaviour we have talked about may find themselves under some financial stress. We cannot operate monetary policy to the suitability of every household,’ he said.”

From NPR. “The average price of American homes, in real terms, is now the highest it’s ever been — even higher than the peak of the housing bubble in 2006, before it crashed 60 percent and bottomed out in 2012. Now that home prices have surpassed the peak that preceded the 2000s housing crash, many people are worried. Are we in another bubble? Or maybe the housing bubble a couple decades ago wasn’t really a bubble? If so, then why was there a crash?”

“A new study by economists Gabriel Chodorow-Reich, Adam M. Guren & Timothy J. McQuade helps to explain the dynamics of our bonkers housing market. It has the perfect title: ‘The 2000s Housing Cycle With 2020 Hindsight.’ Chodorow-Reich and his colleagues see something similar in the boom and bust in America’s housing market between 1997 and 2012. The fundamental value of living in places like San Francisco and New York and Boston and other superstar cities really did change. Tech boomed. Finance boomed. All kinds of other industries boomed. Meanwhile, there wasn’t enough housing supply to accommodate this new demand.”

“‘Those fundamentals made prices rise — but then homebuyers got over-optimistic about that,’ Chodorow-Reich says. And homebuyers getting over-optimistic became a serious problem because of the big role that mortgages play in financing homes. This debt was like strapping a stick of dynamite to price dynamics. When prices started to dip, a bunch of people started owing more on their mortgage than the value of their house. And, together with a broader recession that killed jobs and hurt incomes, that caused a foreclosure explosion.”

This Post Has 121 Comments
  1. FYI, the servers are acting up this morning.

    I know this is too long, and you can see by the dates I’ve been building this topic for a couple of weeks. I have a lot more that would have fit but this gives you food for thought.

    ‘I stand by everything we’ve done and I’m incredibly proud of everything we’ve done’

    Moral superiority is what a dog resorts to.

    ‘some people who timed purchases unluckily losing out in a correction, that was not within the bank’s control, Orr indicated. ‘Some households, more recently, who chose to invest in housing, or buy housing, because of the emotive behaviour we have talked about may find themselves under some financial stress’

    Translation = we’ve broken it off in yer a$$ but it was for yer own good.

    1. I know this is too long, and you can see by the dates I’ve been building this topic for a couple of weeks. I have a lot more that would have fit but this gives you food for thought.

      – So much cratering! Oh the humanity! If only there had been some sort of warning, such as Housing Bubble 1.0. Oh wait.

      – Thank you for documenting the second housing bubble in less than 20 years. From bubble to bubble.

      “The problem of the modern economy is not a failure of a knowledge of economics; it’s a failure of a knowledge of history.” – John Kenneth Galbraith

      “the speculative episode always ends not with a whimper but with a bang.” – John Kenneth Galbraith, A Short History of Financial Euphoria

      “All crisis have involved debt that, in one fashion or another, has become dangerously out of scale in relation to the underlying means of payment.” – John Kenneth Galbraith, A Short History of Financial Euphoria

      “It’s déjà vu all over again.” – Yogi Berra

      “It would be so nice if something made sense for a change.” – Alice, Alice in Wonderland

      “That men do not learn very much from the lessons of history is the most important of all the lessons that history has to teach.” – Aldous Huxley

      “What’s past is prologue.” – William Shakespeare, The Tempest

      “What has been will be again,
    what has been done will be done again;” – Ecclesiastes 1: 9

      1. Love the quotes!

        Some of us longterm posters regard the present bubble price explosion a continuation of the one that led up to the 2007-2009 financial collapse, hidden from view by over a decade’s worth of Quantitative Easing.

      2. “A house is a rapidly depreciating asset that empties your wallet every day it owns you.” – Professor Emeritus of Economics Wilhelm Soorg

  2. ‘We need more units in 2021 than we had in 1960,’ even though the city had 20,000 more residents 60 years ago’

    DONG!

    ‘The record median home sale price set in June, $249,900, dropped to $215,000’

    Good thing everybody is putting 20% down.

    1. If you Google “japan house price index” and then Google “japan population”, you can see Japan’s house prices rising despite an actual declining population.

      High profile economists have always said “Japan is the model”.

      I always marveled that the central banks always sought to push up shelter prices (housing and with it, rent). Perhaps they can turn their attention to boosting food, clothing and energy prices.

      “We’re impoverishing you so you won’t be impoverished.”

  3. ‘markets were beginning to believe the Fed would keep buying bonds forever’

    ‘Investors have now been conditioned to know that, when things slow down, central banks are going to start printing more money’

    Central bankers used to talk about moral hazard – 15 years ago.

    1. So far it seems like the markets got it right. The Fed shows no signs of a actually ending its bond buying program, beyond talking about it a lot.

      1. Exactly. The FED is bullsh!tting, nothing more. They’re not going to raise rates, they’re going to pump this pig until the country fails.

        1. If the Fed raises rates, pop goes the Ponzi. They’ll jawbone incessantly about supposedly pending rate hikes to prop up the dollar, but have no intention of following through.

    2. ‘markets were beginning to believe the Fed would keep buying bonds forever’

      ‘Investors have now been conditioned to know that, when things slow down, central banks are going to start printing more money’

      Central bankers used to talk about moral hazard – 15 years ago.

      https://realinvestmentadvice.com/did-the-feds-monetary-policy-experiment-just-fail/
      Did The Fed’s Monetary Policy Experiment Just Fail?
      By Lance Roberts | August 20, 2021

      Did the Fed’s “monetary policy experiment” fail? The recent dislocation between consumer confidence and the financial markets may indicate just that.

      “U.S. consumer sentiment dropped sharply in early August to its lowest level in a decade, in a worrying sign for the economy as Americans gave faltering outlooks on everything from personal finances to inflation and employment,” – Reuters

      However, to understand why I am asking the question, we have to revisit what Ben Bernanke said in 2010 to support the idea of a second round of “Quantitative Easing.”

      “This approach eased financial conditions in the past and, so far, looks to be effective again. Stock prices rose, and long-term interest rates fell when investors began to anticipate the most recent action. Easier financial conditions will promote economic growth. For example, lower mortgage rates will make housing more affordable and allow more homeowners to refinance. Lower corporate bond rates will encourage investment. And higher stock prices will boost consumer wealth and help increase confidence, which can also spur spending.”

      What he is referring to is known as “Animal Spirits.”

      Animal spirits came from the Latin term “spiritus animals,” which means the “breath that awakens the human mind.” Its modern usage came about in John Maynard Keynes’ 1936 publication, “The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money.” Ultimately, “animal spirits was adopted by Wall Street to describe the psychological factors driving investor actions.

      Specifically, Ben Bernanke realized that investors would respond to that stimulus and increase asset prices by providing accommodation.

      In other words, as long as individuals “believe” the Fed is lifting asset prices higher, they take action buying stocks and driving asset prices higher. Thus, investor actions deliver the desired outcome.

      Since the Fed began its monetary interventions, the correlation between the asset prices and confidence remains high.

      As noted, the entire premise of monetary policy was to spur consumer spending.

      “However, while the Federal Reserve got the desired outcome of increasing asset prices, “quantitative easing” failed to “trickle down.” Despite the massive expansion of the Fed’s balance sheet and the surge in asset prices, there was relatively little translation into wages, full-time employment, or corporate profits after tax which ultimately triggered very little economic growth.“

      With unemployment levels dropping, and inflation rising, the Fed should be tapering monetary policy.

      However, the reduction in liquidity will trigger a decline in asset prices, hinder consumer confidence, and contract economic growth further.

      It’s a tough choice.

      Currently, investors are highly confident the Fed can support markets against any risk.

      But what if they can’t?

      – The Fed is trapped. Raise rates and reduce their balance sheet = instant crash. Do nothing and continue with the current policies of the past 12 years = the everything bubble continues to inflate until it crashes from a higher level, which isn’t too far from here, IMHO.

      – The Fed couldn’t prevent the either the 2000 dot com crash, or the 2008-2009 GFC (housing bubble 2.0) crash. Is it going to be different this time, or only worse? Humpty Dumpty.

      – Moral hazard? Ha! Ha! That’s so 20th century! Bubble-nomics today, tomorrow, and forever!

      1. The Fed is trapped. Raise rates and reduce their balance sheet = instant crash.

        Without a credible ability to push up mortgage rates, they can’t create FOMO and boost the market.

        So, it’s an interesting conundrum. Rates against the lower bound, and no credible ability to raise them = no urgency to buy. You’re already priced out. If you do actually push rates up, you a) further reduce affordability, slowing the market further and b) push prices down.

        OTOH, with the money bazooka, they do have an ability to make just about any transaction they want profitable. One big thing I’ve learned is the PTB (finance and government) are very sharp and have unlimited cash. The GSEs did partner with big finance companies last bubble implosion to provide funding to buy RE and push up prices. There’s been a lot of publicity about the finance companies doing it again. This continues the descent into feudalism again, where you don’t own anything, just work to keep the business and government elites supplied.

        Finance and government have always had similar interests. Once you remove all political donation restraint, and allow them to turn the money bazooka on themselves, their interests merge they can consolidate a lot of wealth and power by using their central bank.

        I used to think people who a central bank would be used to extract wealth and power from the populace were kooks. In fact, they understood human nature and had to the vision to see how things would play out in the big picture.

  4. ‘the same thread connecting the S&L crisis of the mid-’80s and the 2008 crash, and we see that thread dangling out of the isolated incidents of banking booboos, such as the recent Credit Suisse debacle. A surfeit of money on the table just lying there for the taking, drove banks off the bridge in 1985 and 2008’

    Over the years I’ve pondered many definitions or descriptions of a mania. But can anyone deny there’s more silly, make-believe money than any time in history? This writer is in Colorado. And they got their a$$ kicked by the S&L thing.

  5. ‘I’ve been a Realtor for over 27 years in Flagstaff … more than 50% of my sales are second homes’

    Payson’s a nice place. I worked mucho foreclosures out there. And Flagstaff. Second shacks are pure speculation. And I’ve posted these loanowners contribute about $1500 each a year to the Flagstaff economy. But their economy is built on that? So as I mentioned last decade, why is it that a shack costs a hundred thousand or more in Flagstaff than Phoenix? Guberment loan caps. There’s not really much demand except for people who expect to sell to a greater fool. Like the Aspen shacks. Read the article: there’s too many STR’s.

    1. “Nobody had the courage to say that the emperor had no clothes. All, from the mortgage-backed securities people at Bear-Stearns, Lehman Brothers and Merrill Lynch, to the regulators at the FDIC and OCC, mortally feared rocking the boat. So they did the only thing they could do, like dinosaurs waiting for the weather to change. They created more mortgages.

      Back when I was repossessing cars I scan the attached credit report for the revolving debts. It seemed that whenever couples were going their separate ways, one of them would max-out their joint credit cards before the other could. There was no stopping until the proverbial brick wall happened. LOL!!

      1. one of them would max-out their joint credit cards before the other could
        Exact thing happened to a buddy of mine. Funny how she needed all these items immediately. Oh, and expect the checking/savings account to be gone as well.

  6. “The rising tide of policymakers who appear more comfortable with a quicker timeline for tapering and possibly raising the Fed’s benchmark overnight interest rate from its near-zero level could force Powell to act sooner rather than later to keep the core of the committee onside.

    Here we go again with the incessant Fed jawboning about a supposedly pending tapering. There’s no such thing as tapering a Ponzi. Bernie Madoff knew this. So do Jerome Powell & Yellen the Felon. The instant the Fed hikes rates or reduces the flow of financial crack cocaine to its Wall Street bankster cohorts, it’s Game Over for the Fed’s asset bubbles and Ponzi markets. The only way the Fed will hike is if Goldman Sachs, etc. take out massive short positions, then order their Fed stooges to actuate Operation Muppet Reaping by hiking interest rates and imploding these rigged, broken “markets.”

    1. Recently they’ve started talking about not tapering because ***!!!THE DELTA VARIANT!!!*** Central bankers are a globalist freak show.

    2. “The instant the Fed hikes rates or reduces the flow of financial crack cocaine to its Wall Street bankster cohorts, it’s Game Over for the Fed’s asset bubbles and Ponzi markets.”

      Indeed. Whenever I overhear someone in a public place say that the economy is doing fine I sometimes interject, “Then why does a 0.5% interest rate hike trigger a sell-off in the stock market?”

  7. The one most common factor when I’m sitting here chatting with central bank governors around the world, which is regular, is the rapid rise in ouse prices – asset prices – globally; both equity prices and house prices.

    Yet you gold collar criminals keep inflating these insane bubbles with more QE-to-Infinity. We need post-collapse tribunals and swift, summary justice for these Keynesian fraudsters after they implode national and global financial systems.

    1. Our NEA indoctrination mills and the globalists’ media-entertainment complex are achieving their desired results: producing dumbed-down cretins incapable of critical thought who will make ideal lifetime Democrat dependency voters.

      Gen Z is made of zombies — less educated, more depressed, without values

      https://nypost.com/2021/08/21/gen-z-students-are-less-educated-more-depressed-and-lack-values/

      Each new school year Jeremy Adams, a teacher in Bakersfield, Calif., gives the same lesson. When he shows pictures of celebrities like Kendall Jenner or Miley Cyrus to his students on a screen, they immediately recognize them. But faced with photos of policymakers like Mike Pence or Nancy Pelosi, the children stare blankly.

      That ignorance is no joke to Adams, he writes in his new book, “Hollowed Out: A Warning About America’s Next Generation” (Regnery Publishing), out now.

      1. To be fair, when I was in junior high, I wouldn’t have recognized the politicians either, outside of Reagan and possibly Bush 1. At best I would have known someone was a politician just from their suit or the background. But you can bet I knew Madonna and Jon Bon Jovi and William Shatner and Cindy Crawford.

        1. When I was in high school, we were required to read Shakespeare, know the names, faces, and responsibilities of each of the President’s cabinet members.
          We knew our 12x times tables by the end of 4 th grade. I went to a public high school. My father went to a private prep school. He demanded I learn how to think and abhorred any indoctrination that told me how to think.

          1. 12x times tables by the end of 4 th grade

            My 11yo son has no problem with rote learning but because of the Common Core he can’t do this. 😡

      2. That’s a really depressing article.

        What’s even more depressing is that loanowners pay property taxes for this, and keep re-electing the pols that create it.

    1. That’s no way to treat Fidel Castro’s illegitimate son. Are Canadian cucks belatedly realizing that voting for globalist Quislings has consequences?

  8. Do your posts ever disappear while typing? Wondering if it’s my ohone, or if others experience this.

      1. Speaking of phones, mine has taken a dump after more than 7 years. I started searching around and it looks like the chip shortage has hit smart phones. They’re most all on backorder. Oh, joy.

        1. Since cryptocurrency always goes up with Unlimited Quantitative Easing in play, it makes sense there’s a chip shortage, because cryptocurrency mining activity is also steadily increasing.

    1. All kinds of things happen like this morning. The title to this post vanished. I have no idea why. Except odd things have happened across the many softwares and servers I’ve used. The current set up is about as stable as one can expect IMO.

      1. No worries…I figured out a work around the problem. 🙂

        Was just curious if others were experiencing it…

  9. Do worries about growth and the delta covid variant have you searching for a mattress where you can safely stuff your cash?

    1. The Financial Times
      Equities
      Global stock markets unnerved by fears over growth
      Investors turn to haven assets as Covid outbreaks and Beijing’s crackdown on tech ripple across markets
      Company stock price information, including for LVMH, is displayed on screens above the Paris stock exchange
      Stocks in Europe rallied late in the day
      Siddharth Venkataramakrishnan in London and Francesca Friday in New York August 20 2021

      Global stocks recorded their worst week since June as fears of a slower economic rebound and a looming reduction in US stimulus weighed heavily on sentiment.

      The FTSE All-World index fell 1.8 per cent this week, during which China has toughened data privacy rules on its fast-growing technology sector and countries such as Australia and New Zealand have implemented sudden lockdown measures due to coronavirus concerns.

      In response investors have turned to haven assets such as the dollar, while selling commodities. The US dollar index, which measures the greenback against other big currencies, rose 1 per cent for the week, its best in two months. Brent crude oil, the global benchmark, fell about 7.7 per cent over the week on concern that demand will be curbed.

      “Some time ago the planets all started aligning — we had very strong economic momentum worldwide, expectations that central banks wouldn’t move for a long time, and strong [equity] valuations,” said Olivier Marciot, senior portfolio manager at Unigestion, the asset manager. “Step by step the planets have dealigned, creating stress in the market.”

    2. Europe Markets
      European stocks post biggest weekly decline since February
      Published Fri, Aug 20 2021 2:14 AM EDT
      Updated Fri, Aug 20 2021 11:41 AM EDT
      Silvia Amaro
      Key Points
      — The pan-European Stoxx 600 ended the Friday session up 0.3% with retail stocks leading the gains.
      — The German DAX closed up 0.17% after a bigger-than-expected jump in producer prices, which saw a 1.9% increase month-on-month in July.

      https://www.cnbc.com/2021/08/20/europe-stock-markets-friday-from-open-to-close.html

    3. Asia stocks fall as delta variant worries take center stage
      Asian stock markets are falling as worries surrounding the spread of the delta variant again take center stage
      By AP
      Friday, Aug. 20, 2021 1:00

      SINGAPORE (AP) – Asian stock markets fell Friday as worries surrounding the spread of the delta variant again took center stage.

      Tokyo’s benchmark Nikkei 225 lost 1% to 27,013.25 and Seoul’s Kospi fell 1.5% to 3,050.48. The Hang Seng in Hong Kong slipped 1.6% to 24,918.36 in afternoon trading.

      The Shanghai Composite Index gave up 1.3% to 3,421.81. Australia’s S&P/ASX 200 was down 0.1% at 7,460.90.

      Traders are watching mounting infections around the world, including in New Zealand, which is in lockdown after reporting its first outbreak in six months.

      “With the number of COVID-19 infections on the rise, especially in the U.S., the threat from the delta variant is becoming more apparent spurring cautious risk sentiment,” said Venkateswaran Lavanya of Mizuho Bank.

      https://www.durangoherald.com/articles/asia-stocks-fall-as-delta-variant-worries-take-center-stage/

  10. I think I might vote for Larry Elder in California to replace that joke of a Governor. Does anybody know of a better one out of that long list ? Elder said he wouldn’t have vaccine mandates. No vaccine mandates is a big deal to me.

    1. He’s the choice among the people I talk to. Make sure to insert your ballot so you don’t see the recall bubble through the hole in the envelope!

    2. The Democrats are trying very hard to do a character assassination of Elder in the press, which makes me suspect he’s the candidate they most fear: a conservative black Republican with an Ivy League education and a U. of Michigan law degree. In other words, he is the diversity and inclusion alternative to Newsom.

        1. Ward Connerly was a black member of the California Board of Regents who took a stand against race-based college admissions, misleadingingly known as “affirmative action”, back when I was a student at Cal. As a black conservative who didn’t agree on basing college admissions on racial discrimination, he was similarly demonized for his views to what Elder is going through today.

          https://www.wsj.com/articles/the-duo-that-defeated-the-diversity-industry-11605904415

          1. Re Affirmative Action the misnomer — it has been 50 years of reparations paid for by those who were not at fault.

    3. No. Finally was able to leave that crap state. Was living in San Francisco when Nancy Pelosi did a coup on City Hall. Watched it in real time. Now she has done one on the nation.

    1. I’ve been enjoying a wide variety of new ice creams and gelatos ever since I quit buying woke Ben and Jerry’s and Haagen Dazs over a year ago. It actually enhanced my life. Nike has been out for many years, too. I won’t give any woke business my money.

  11. Used to date a young lady from Duluth, MN. Seems like it was always cold, overcast and windy whenever she’d visit family. Little wonder that she loved the San Francisco Bay Area.

  12. $589,000
    Price cut: $50K (8/19)
    6485 E Crumb Rd, Kingman, AZ 86401

    8/19/2021 Price change $589,000 (-7.8%) $222/sqft
    8/14/2021 Price change $639,000 (-3%) $241/sqft
    7/17/2021 Listed for sale $659,000 (+186.5%) $249/sqft
    9/6/2016 Listing removed $230,000 $87/sqft
    8/22/2016 Price change $230,000 (-4.5%) $87/sqft
    8/9/2016 Price change $240,900 (-3.6%) $91/sqft
    6/15/2016 Price change $249,900 (-3.3%) $94/sqft

    https://www.zillow.com/homedetails/6485-E-Crumb-Rd-Kingman-AZ-86401/8345703_zpid/

    Tally hoooo!

  13. Biden calls Georgia voting law ‘Jim Crow in 21st century’

    by AAMER MADHANI | Associated Press
    Friday, March 26th 2021

    Biden: Georgia voting restriction law is ‘atrocity’

    Published
    27 March

    “Instead of celebrating the rights of all Georgians to vote or winning campaigns on the merits of their ideas, Republicans in the state instead rushed through an un-American law to deny people the right to vote.”

    What does the new law do?

    The key elements of the legislation:

    Ensure new ID requirements for requesting mail-in ballots, replacing the current system which simply requires a signature

    https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-56546480

    No shot, no proof, no service: NYC businesses begin checks

    New COVID-19 measures in New York City are putting restaurant servers, bartenders and ticket agents on the frontline of enforcing vaccination rules

    By BOBBY CAINA CALVAN Associated Press
    August 17, 2021, 4:22 PM

    “We didn’t know we had to bring it,” he said. The server appeared relieved when Lama and his family presented copies of their vaccination cards on their phone, Lama said.

    The vaccination mandate, announced two weeks ago by Mayor Bill de Blasio, aims to persuade more people to get vaccinated or else miss out on city amenities like restaurants and bars, movie theaters, bowling alleys, concert halls, indoor sports arenas, and other entertainment venues.

    Employees of those businesses also must be vaccinated, with holdouts facing the possibility of being fired if they refuse.

    https://abcnews.go.com/Health/wireStory/nyc-begins-requiring-proof-vaccination-eateries-gyms-79499763

    1. The vaccination mandate, announced two weeks ago by Mayor Bill de Blasio, aims to persuade more people to get vaccinated or else miss out on city amenities like restaurants and bars, movie theaters, bowling alleys, concert halls, indoor sports arenas, and other entertainment venues.

      New Yorkers, being libtards, can be counted on to meekly bend over on demand for Big Brother. But if the Bolsheviks try to impose such draconian, unconstitutional edits elsewhere in the country, I suspect there is going to be some pushback.

      1. Or, some avoiders. It could be that all we need to do to reach critical mass is wait for three years, the ‘expiration’ date announced by Gates himself.

  14. I know this is off topic, but I wanted to get some opinions here. I am a frugal guy. I use things until they are absolutely finished. My laptop is now 9 years old, and it is really becoming a piece of crap. It works fine, but the whole case is broken, so when I open it the screen is trying to fall off. I replaced the fan some time ago, but it keeps getting bits of broken plastic in the blades, then locking up causing errors because the computer is saying the fan isn’t working.

    I took the case off and it is irreparable. Also, one of the hinges is stripped out so the screw will no longer even thread into it. This means that even with a new bottom case, I’d have to replace the hinge assembling which appears glued in. And I’d need another fan. This says nothing of the fact that the screen is burned in from so much use. It’s been the best laptop I’ve ever had.

    But I can’t help but think it’s not worth trying to cobble it back together. What do you guys think? If I need a new one, I was thinking of trying to build my own with good parts as it seems to be highly recommended. Or, any suggestions on brands of high quality laptops? I like to buy near the best available and then use it for a decade.

      1. “A 9-year-old laptop is the Biden of computing.”

        You come in from doing a good afternoon’s work in the hot (just the same as it was in 1982 no matter what the Climate Change peddlers say) Region IV sun and you read that. Now I have Gatorade all over my keyboard and I may need a new laptop.

      2. Get a MacBook Air or Pro

        +1. My last….3 computers I believe have been used macbooks that I’ve gotten a good 5-7 years out of each. The 13″ ones are a great size.

        1. My first Mac (1995?) was not a Mac, it was a Power Computing clone. It was great, you could upgrade anything within, as I recall. Left it behind in 2006, still was fine.

    1. Honestly I think the poor thing has given up the ghost. Maybe you can donate the good parts to some nerds who would want to play with them. Laptops are pretty cheap these days so frugality is not really an issue. If this one lasted this long, you can’t go wrong with the same brand.

    2. My last cheap laptop was replaced this year with another after 11 years. It didn’t fail actually, but I wasn’t getting good video/audio on Zoom meetings with my woodturning club.

    3. which laptop brand to replace it with?
      well, I suppose whatever brand that can stand up to being used as a doorstop / cutting board / beer pong backstop . .. !?!
      seriously, 46&2, what the HELL are you using it for? obviously NOT as a COMPUTER!
      get a Panasonic Toughbook if possible then you can have a hot plate holder / tire jack-stand base / beer coaster while relaxing to only fans.

      dont forget that password. the r.v. gets lonely. trust me

    4. Last go round I bought my two college students Dell Inspiron laptops. I spec’d 15″ screen, a 512Gb solid state M.2 drive, 16Gb ram memory and second to the fastest CPU that would get more battery life. Every three years their laptops get better and faster, yet the price remains roughly unchanged!

      1. IMO yes, but you’re welcome to assess their credibility and information yourself. Sources are provided. Dr. Malone is jeopardizing a Nobel Prize speaking out against the COVID jabs.

      2. Pharma has captured MSM via advertising. Pharma as well as other stakeholders using foundations have captured our public health agencies via public-private partnerships. What you think is reliable or credible is not if you follow the money.

  15. Q? When was there a time when the “Man on the Street” said —- Housing affordability is just right!

    1. I’ve had medical doctors tell me that high fructose corn syrup is no different than sugar in terms of negative health effects. But my body tells me otherwise, so I ignore the doctors and avoid high fructose corn syrup like the plague.

    2. The paleo/keto community has a different take on this:

      Other starches and sugars are handled by insulin in the blood, but fructose can only be processed in the liver. Too much HFCS decreases the efficiency of the liver, which can cause obesity. On a semi-related note, there is another theory that seed oils (cottonseed, canola, corn, soybean, safflower, sunflower) also negatively affect the liver, contributing to obesity.

      I believe that the introduction of HFCS and seed oils (plus snacking) explains why we see so much obesity in children. Eating too many starch carbs, too often, causes insulin resistance, which causes obesity. However, insulin resistance to starch takes decades to develop. That’s why kids and young adults are thin and only start getting fat when they turn 40. But these seed oils and HFCS are unnatural substances, and affect the liver. Instead of taking years to develop, obesity begins to manifest right away, even when we are still children.

        1. 😎🍷
          The keto community says that upwards of 1/3 of the US suffers from NAFLD — non-alcoholic fatty liver disease. Basically, they have the liver of a drunk without drinking, just from eating the wrong stuff. Fortunately, it’s reversible. Just ditch the carbs and crap oils and switch to saturated fats like coconut oil and animal fats.

          1. A liver is a terrible thing to waste on high fructose corn syrup sweetened foods that make you feel ill and get fat.

          2. Basically, they have the liver of a drunk without drinking

            This is great — now I know what to tell my doctor/can ensure I can get another liver to keep up with my wine habit! 😉

    1. but nobody has put 20% down since, uh, 2002, maybe?

      I doubt that there are many first time buyers who put 20% down; but just about everyone I know who has traded up has (and more). Granted, after the crash, even those who put 50% down might be underwater.

      1. “just about everyone I know”

        If that were the case, the avg downpayment in the US would be…… 20%+. The reality?

        6%.

  16. I got to say that based on the evidence, a co!!usion of One World Order Globlist Monopolies conspired to staged a unjustified Panademic of Medical fraud to rig a election and use fraudulent Medical tyranny to force untested vaccines and mass vaccinations on the globe.. They sought to impose a police state to take over US and other Countries by corrupted Governments that are in collusion with the take over, operating in lockstep based on this Medical fraud.
    The monopoly fake news operating in collusion with this power grab sought to fraudulently censor facts and dispute to this medical fraud Panademic ,used as a weapon of horrific harm to usher in a dictorship by these forces.
    Some Doctors say that the deliberate suppression of cheap drugs that worked, murdered 450 thousand people in US alone , who could of been saved , rather than the one solution untested vaccines .

    Fake PCR tests, and fake computer projections of death toll , fake and censored news , while Hospitals were bribed and extorted to not administer Covid treatment , for the one solution
    untested new technology vaccine was evident.

    The evidence shows by the adverse reactions and death caused by the vaccines that they should of had them pulled off the market by now. But the corrupted FDA is failing to protect the public from the harm of the untested safety of this new technology vaccine. Now illegal force of vaccine by mandate and passports , threat of job loss, can’t engage in commerce, or even prison camp threat is emerging.

    The deliberate destruction of small business by unjustified lockdowns so Monopolies could become more powerful, as they looted the tax coffers by relief packages directed to them is obvious.

    This was a exercise in how to destroy the competition for a One World Order Monopoly rule.
    Destroy the competition of cheap drugs that worked for unjustified emergency used of untested vaccine. Destroy small business competition to make Monopolies stronger.
    Monopolize fake and censored news to defraud the public into one fraudulent message of fear mongering, suppression of drugs that worked, for untested vaccines that don’t pass safety standards.

    The Monopoly is one of the most evil constructs to consolidate power for evil. The business model of John D. Rockefeller , who set up the Medical Monopoly is now being used as a weapon of take over of freedoms and rights.

    These criminals now occupy the White House, Congress and Senate with their Puppets, and the FDA, and corrupted agencies are working on behalf of this One World Order Monopoly takeover.

    These forces are working in collusion with Foreign rival like China in this take over. This is a Innsurrection that they have planned for years to destroy the US Constitional protected Government for a One World order Monopoly Dictorship ,

    This power grab is evil and they are willing to murder, injure, destroy , create chaos and mayhem , and do so by epic fraud and deception by ongoing fake and censored news.
    Anybody that doesn’t see how all systems have been corrupted to advance the agendas of these Entities that are murderous, fraudulent and destructive of freedoms , life and liberty of Citizens , isn’t paying attention.

    Their biggest tool is fraud , deception and fear mongering, along with censorship of dispute to their massive harm.
    This slandering and cancelling of anything but their fake narratives seems like a gross violation of the first amendment , but isn’t fraud to harm and deceive by Monopoly fake and censored news a crime, especially if its to aid a criminal take over Innsurrection of the County.
    The notion that Monopoly news is allowed to be fake because they are entertainment is the Judicial case law they use to have a licence to deceive.
    Just like Big Pharmacy has no liability on harm from vaccine, Fake News thinks its immune from epic collusion and fraud to the public.

    A critical mass of Citizens have to realize that they have to take back their freedoms and rights from this power grab Innsurrection by One World Order Globalist Monopolies invading the US and other Countries.

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