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A Pig Moving Through A Python

A report from the Wall Street Journal. “An unusually high number of homes across the country are being appraised below their agreed-upon sales prices, causing a number of deals to collapse. In recent months, during the height of the boom, many buyers waived their right to terminate a contract due to a low appraisal in an effort to make their offers stand out, which meant they were willing to pay cash to make up the difference. This tactic is becoming slightly less common as the market is cooling.”

“Earlier this year, ‘we weren’t having to worry about appraisals, because people were willing to waive them,’ said Jennifer Wauhob, a real-estate agent in Katy, Texas. ‘Now that they’re back on the table, we’re definitely feeling it.'”

From Hawaii Public Radio. “The median price of a single family home in Maui County in September was $996,500 — the first time it’s been under a million dollars since April. ‘I think the prices are leveling off but as the supply goes down, you know, I mean it’s simple economics right, the prices are going to go up. But you know how far can they go up?’ Keone Ball, 2021-2022 president of the Realtors Association of Maui, said.”

“Properties continue to hit the market, with nearly 120 homes and 130 condos listed last month.”

The Daily News Record. “‘We’re going to see this extreme price growth moderate in 2022, so this double-digit price appreciation over the last year, that’s going to slow down,’ said Lisa Sturtevant, chief economist of the Virginia Realtors. ‘It’s not a bubble bursting. It’s not a decline in prices, but the pace of growth will slow and will be more in line with incomes growing.'”

“Sturtevant said the forecasted subdued price increases will be a result of several factors: rising mortgage rates, increasing inventory of homes for sale and for rent, and decreased demand. ‘I understand [Sturtevant’s] predictions in saying that surely this can’t keep going,’ said Bob Hill, CEO of the Harrisonburg-Rockingham Association of Realtors. ‘It’s got to start coming down at some point.'”

From Bankrate. “After a few extensions, the mortgage payment pause officially ended – or will be ending soon – for 1.2 million out of an estimated 1.7 million loans that remained in forbearance as of August, according to CoreLogic. When the pandemic hit, Carl Johnson had to stop working as an entertainer at children’s parties. The Cincinnati resident knew he wouldn’t be able to keep up with his mortgage payments, so he went into forbearance 18 months ago.”

“Like millions of other borrowers, Johnson said his forbearance protections ended Sept. 30, and now he’s faced with having to catch up on his missed payments or possibly sell his home. He wishes he’d been better informed about how forbearance programs end before he applied. He expected to be able to go into deferment after his forbearance ended and make up the missing payments at the end of the loan. Instead, Johnson’s lender said he doesn’t have enough income currently for a deferment, and is encouraging him to consider a short sale or deed in lieu of foreclosure. And Johnson is hardly alone in facing some tough decisions now that CARES Act forbearance protections are ending.”

“‘This is the point that we’ve been worried about,’ said Selma Hepp, deputy chief economist at CoreLogic. With so many borrowers exiting forbearance in the next few weeks, lenders may have backups on their customer service lines. ‘There is like a pig moving through a python. It may be hard to reach some of the lenders,’ Hepp said, but emphasized that persistence is key. ‘Don’t give up, continue to call, continue to stay on top of this, it’s critical at this point.'”

“For some borrowers like Johnson, however, being in touch with their lender is no guarantee of an optimal outcome. ‘If they would have explained the options in any letter I would be OK, but my letters said, ‘We have options, deferment, etc., etc., not, ‘if you don’t make the income you have to sell for the most part,’ he said.”

The New England Real Estate Journal. “As I head into my 37th year as a Real Estate Appraiser, it is evident to me that this real estate market continues to be the hottest I’ve ever experienced. We do not set the market, we report it. Why then are there still appraisers not doing upward time adjustments when it is warranted? Two years ago, when I interviewed a few of them I got some disturbing answers, none of which made any sense or justified their position. Some appraisers have since figured out that they were inaccurately reporting. Others are still stuck behind the times, sometimes letting a stubborn ego get in the way.”

“Over the last year I have discussed the issue with many lenders, underwriters and reviewers. Their concern is that if appraisers aren’t keeping up and telling them that the market is increasing on reports and applying time adjustments, will they be able to recognize when the market is softening, stabilizing and ultimately declining as happens in the cycle of real estate.”

“Most Appraisal Management Companies (AMC) couldn’t do more wrong to work efficiently and make more money. It is frustrating to watch. It is comparable to how most lenders handle foreclosures and short sales. They couldn’t do more to lose money. The system is broken. Lenders and appraisers generally hate the current system.”

“Necessary changes had to be made to stop the collusion and fraud by mortgage originators and appraisers. However, the current system has had a lot of negative unintended consequences. The market is now softening in certain pockets of the market. It is wise to actually get the other offers agents are stating they got on a property. Often there aren’t as many as there used to be. There aren’t as many people at some of the open houses. We have seen a lot of sales fall through and come back on the market, sometimes a concerning number of sales. Are they falling through at home inspection, are there cases of buyer’s remorse, or did they lose financing? If so was it due to the appraisal or something else?”

The Star Tribune in Minnesota. “A downtown Minneapolis penthouse for $200,000 — can that be right? It’s true. The 23rd floor unit of a building near Loring Green that overlooks Nicollet Mall is now available for about the price of a Manhattan parking space, thanks to the latest price drop. So, what’s the catch? Well, built in 1979 during the denouement of Jimmy Carter’s presidency, it could use some updates. And it has a $2,344 monthly HOA fee, although the seller will cover those for six months.”

The Sydney Morning Herald in Australia. “Buyers of apartments in two 22-storey Parramatta towers found to have serious defects say they are trapped in a nightmare, with some no longer able to get loans from banks to settle on their purchases. They have been prevented from terminating contracts for units in the Imperial, and getting back deposits they put down years ago. Oliver Burgess, who signed a contract about four years ago for a unit in the Imperial, said the changes to the orders had ‘unfairly damaged’ the purchasers, leaving them in limbo.”

“Mr Burgess said some buyers of units off the plan in the complex could no longer get loans from the big four banks because of publicity surrounding the defects. Purchasers were also locked into a highly inflated price for apartments which, if they attempted to sell, would be worth ‘a lot less.'”

“Patrick Wang, who signed a contract for a two-bedroom apartment five years ago, said he was left in a situation where he was unable to settle or exit his contract. His application for a loan on the unit in the Imperial which he had paid a deposit for was declined after its valuation was changed due to the emergence of defects in the building. Mr Wang, whose father has also purchased a unit off the plan in the building, said there needed to be ‘fairness and clarity’ for purchasers if sunset clauses could be altered in favour of vendors.”

The South China Morning Post. “Few buyers are likely to step forward to buy China Evergrande Group’splot in the northern New Territories, which falls under the planned Northern Metropolis, because of the high land cost and lack of a detailed blueprint for the mega project, industry observers say. Despite Evergrande’s offer to sell it for HK$8 billion, or a loss of HK$900 million, no buyer seems interested, according to market observers.”

“Tom Ko, Cushman & Wakefield’s executive director of capital markets in Hong Kong, said prospective buyers could be waiting for a bigger discount as Evergrande could get increasingly desperate to offload the asset as debt payment pressure mounts. Leo Cheung, adjunct associate professor at the department of real estate and construction at University of Hong Kong, said the benefits to Evergrande’s parcel from the railways link remains to be seen as there is no detailed blueprint yet.”

“‘That place is out in the middle of nowhere after all,’ Cheung said.”

From Bloomberg. “Chinese builders are looking to payment extensions or debt exchanges to avoid default on imminent bond obligations as liquidity conditions tighten for the real estate sector. Investors are still waiting for clarity from Evergrande over a potential restructuring or solution for its liquidity crisis which some analysts say could drag on for months. Some of the firm’s bondholders fear Evergrande may sell assets that they’re counting on to back up their claims if the company collapses. It has $148 million due Monday involving three dollar-bond coupons, Bloomberg-compiled data show, after having given no signs it made interest payments expected in September.”

“More defaults from Chinese property firms are expected under Beijing’s deleveraging campaign, said Kenneth Ho, Goldman Sachs Group Inc.’s head of Asia credit strategy. The sector ‘needs some kind of policy change in order to restore confidence.'”

This Post Has 88 Comments
  1. ‘Johnson had to stop working as an entertainer at children’s parties’

    That’s some rock solid lending right there.

    1. He couldn’t afford it then anymore than he can afford it now.

      Paying more than $50 a square foot for a rapidly depreciating asset like a house is never a wise idea.

      Shirley, MA Housing Prices Crater 35% YOY As Boston Market Seethes In A Cauldron Of Soaring Mortgage Defaults And Soaring Housing Inventory

    2. “When the pandemic hit, Carl Johnson had to stop working as an entertainer at children’s parties.”

      On the plus side he doesn’t have to patronize the Men’s Warehouse for his business attire, and he only works weekends; no swing or grave shifts.

  2. ‘Some of the firm’s bondholders fear Evergrande may sell assets that they’re counting on’

    Gosh, doing trillion$ in business with a country that throws people out of windows might have a downside?

  3. ‘Most Appraisal Management Companies (AMC) couldn’t do more wrong to work efficiently and make more money. It is frustrating to watch. It is comparable to how most lenders handle foreclosures and short sales. They couldn’t do more to lose money’

    I’ve often said, the foreclosure biz is stuck on stupid.

    ‘The market is now softening in certain pockets of the market. It is wise to actually get the other offers agents are stating they got on a property’

    Hmm, so let’s find out if one idiot overpaid?

    ‘Often there aren’t as many as there used to be. There aren’t as many people at some of the open houses. We have seen a lot of sales fall through and come back on the market, sometimes a concerning number of sales. Are they falling through at home inspection, are there cases of buyer’s remorse, or did they lose financing?’

    Check, check and check Maria!

  4. ‘rising mortgage rates, increasing inventory of homes for sale and for rent, and decreased demand’

    Turn that frown upside down Lisa!

  5. ‘Wang, who signed a contract for a two-bedroom apartment five years ago, said he was left in a situation where he was unable to settle or exit his contract’

    Well it was cheaper than renting Pat. They got yer dad too eh?

    1. Fauxvaxx mandates are destroying the economy. The Biden Coup is the biggest disaster in the history of the USA.

  6. “In recent months, during the height of the boom, many buyers waived their right to terminate a contract due to a low appraisal in an effort to make their offers stand out, which meant they were willing to pay cash to make up the difference.”

    These pukess were the highest bidders, the dumbest of the dumb, and the stupid prices they paid set the values for the comps.

    Another set of dummies, the owners of the comps, saw the amount of equity in their homes miraculously moving up so at their first opportunity they flocked into the banks and borrowed out as much of this equity that they could and spent it so as to make our economy hum.

    Now things have gone into reverse and now is when the real fun begins.

    1. “After a few extensions, the mortgage payment pause officially ended – or will be ending soon – for 1.2 million out of an estimated 1.7 million loans that remained in forbearance as of August, according to CoreLogic.”

      This is another hit our stupid debt-based economy will have to absorb. Those forbearance thingys will force stupid borrowers to dump their holdings which will put downward pressure on housing “values” everywhere and thus will chew through enormous quantities of home equity, both for the buying pukes and for their numerous neighbors.

  7. $2300 monthly HOA fee!? That’s insane- unless you need to hire your own police force because the city you live in effectively doesn’t have a police force any longer. But I’m sure you get a huge break on taxes since the city doesn’t pay for unnecessary things like police any longer. Right?

  8. Millions of Democrat-on-Arrival illegals swarming in means the DNC won’t have to come up with nearly as many fictitious votes for unpopular and tyrannical future candidates.

    Border left ‘wide open’ after red states pull National Guard and police

    MCALLEN, Texas — The swarm of National Guard soldiers and state police that governors sent to guard the Texas-Mexico border earlier this summer are gone, leaving the border effectively unmanned with just 6% of the reinforcements left behind.

    “We used to have a National Guard posted there,” Border Patrol agent Chris Cabrera told the Washington Examiner while driving along a dirt road that runs parallel with the border near the Hidalgo port of entry late one evening recently. “There was another one right over here, but they took that guy, too.”

  9. ‘I think the prices are leveling off but as the supply goes down, you know, I mean it’s simple economics right, the prices are going to go up. But you know how far can they go up?’ Keone Ball, 2021-2022 president of the Realtors Association of Maui, said.”

    The real question is, Keone, how far and fast can they crater once the Fed’s Everything Bubble bursts?

  10. Tulsi Gabbard was literally the only truth-teller in the Democratic Party. Of course that doomed her political aspirations.

    Tulsi Gabbard accuses Biden’s Homeland Security Sec. Mayorkas of boldly lying to Congress

    Former congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard slammed President Biden’s immigration policies on Saturday during “Justice with Judge Jeanine,” which she said had serious humanitarian and national security consequences.

    “The Biden-Harris administration has an open-door policy at the borders,” the Hawaii Democrat said. “The reality is that people are being let in and crossing the border every single day.”

  11. US headed into another recession if consumer sentiment trend continues, economists say | Fox Business

    “Economists predict ‘every likelihood’ US economy enters recession at end of 2021”

    (snip snip snip)

    “The U.S. economy appears to be sliding into another recession based on declining consumer sentiment – even though employment and wage growth suggest otherwise, according to two academic economists.

    “New research published last week by David Blanchflower of Dartmouth College and Alex Bryson of the University College London suggests that consumer expectations indexes from the Conference Board and the University of Michigan tend to predict economic downturns up to 18 months in advance in the U.S.

    “Every recession since the 1980s has been precipitated by at least a 10-point drop in the expectations indices, they found. Other reliable indicators include a single monthly rise of at least 0.3 percentage points in unemployment and two consecutive months of employment rate declines.

    “‘The economic situation in 2021 is exceptional, however, since unprecedented direct government intervention in the labor market through furlough-type arrangements has enabled employment rates to recover quickly from the huge downturn in 2020,’ Blanchflower and Bryson wrote. ‘However, downward movements in consumer expectations in the last six months suggest the economy in the United States is entering recession now (Autumn 2021).'”

    “The ‘clear downward movements in consumer expectations’ over the past six months are evidence the U.S. is currently heading into a recession, the economists said. Although that’s not reflected in the hiring situation – the unemployment rate is falling and the economy is adding jobs, albeit at a slower-than-expected pace – that’s likely because the U.S. government has played a large role in propping up the labor market.”

    “It seems to us that there is every likelihood that the US is entered recession at the end of 2021,” they wrote.

      1. CA is going to spectacularly self destruct and take down anything and everything attached to it. At this point it might be better for freedom loving states to find a way to peacefully separate.

        1. The cultural marxists of CA are not going to be satisfied with just destroying their own state. Like all marxists they won’t be satisfied until they’ve destroyed everything within their reach…everything they can see, hear, touch, smell, or feel. They will use everything lever of power they have to export the agenda of total destruction to everything and everyone they associate with.

      2. When the lights go out because of a natural disaster or because of the catastrophically mismanaged energy and power infrastructure, you won’t be able to buy a gas or diesel generator.

        1. Haha!

          My grandma had a plackard on her kitchen wall with that saying on it. She’s been gone for almost thirty years now. I wonder if I can track it down and get my hands on it…

  12. R u worried that your stonks are going to crater on growth concerns, inflation fears, or Evergrande contagion risks?

    1. October 10, 2021 1:02 PM PDT
      Last Updated a day ago
      United States
      Goldman cuts forecast for U.S. economic growth in 2021 and 2022
      1 minute read
      A construction worker climbs above a line of fencing at the site of a large public infrastructure reconstruction project of an elevated roadway and bridges in upper Manhattan in New York City, New York, U.S., April 22, 2021. REUTERS/Mike Segar

      Oct 10 (Reuters) – Goldman Sachs cut its U.S. economic growth target to 5.6% for 2021 and to 4% for 2022 citing an expected decline in fiscal support through the end of next year and a more delayed recovery in consumer spending than previously expected.

    2. Company News
      October 11, 2021 5:51 AM
      Updated 5 hours ago
      US STOCKS-Wall Street set to slide on inflation worries
      By Shreyashi Sanyal

      * Energy stocks boosted by rising oil prices

      * Southwest falls on canceling many flights

      * Big banks set to start reporting from Wednesday

      * Futures down: Dow 0.05%, S&P 0.22%, Nasdaq 0.49% (Adds comments, bullets; Updates prices throughout)

      Oct 11 (Reuters) – U.S. stock indexes were set to open lower on Monday as surging commodity prices added to inflation worries, clouding expectations for third quarter earnings season set to start with Wall Street banks later this week.

      Rising raw material costs, labor shortages and other supply chain bottlenecks have raised concerns of elevated prices denting corporate profit.

      U.S. oil rose nearly 3% and touched a seven-year high as an energy crisis gripping the major economies showed no sign of easing.

    3. News
      More Chinese Developers Nearing Bond Defaults As Evergrande Contagion Spreads
      National Economy
      October 11, 2021
      Matthew Rothstein, Bisnow East Coast
      Flickr/V.T. Polywoda
      Apartment buildings under construction in the Eastern China city of Anyang in 2015

      So far, it appears that the debt-induced collapse of Evergrande Group will indeed drag down a significant portion of China’s real estate market.

      About two-fifths of Chinese development companies are at risk of defaulting on bonds sold to international investors, according to research from Japanese financial services firm Nomura Holdings reported by The Wall Street Journal. Less than a year after President Xi Jinping instituted measures to curb overleveraging among the country’s private developers, many of those companies appear unlikely to meet all their debt payment obligations, which lowers investors’ outlook for the sector and compounds the liquidity crunch.

      Overall, the Chinese real estate market accounts for about $5 trillion in debt, which is more than the annual output of the entire Chinese economy, WSJ reports. The wave of bad news has reduced confidence in the sector among homebuyers in China, as well, with September home sales among the 100 largest Chinese developers down 36% year-over-year, and 44% among the 10 largest.

      With payment deadlines on some of Evergrande’s bonds having come and gone without any word on whether the company fulfilled its obligations, Fantasia Holdings Group missed a loan payment of its own last week. Now developers Modern Land and Xinyuan Real Estate, both of which have a presence in the U.S., have asked for extensions and other forms of assistance from bondholders to avoid defaults of their own, Bloomberg reports.

      The current state of affairs has prompted a sell-off in the Chinese junk bond market over the weekend, with China dollar junk bond yields reaching a decade-high 16.9%, Bloomberg reports. With banks directed by the government to cut spending on loans to real estate, the primary funding path remaining to real estate companies is home sales, which are also in decline.

      A common practice among Chinese developers to raise funds for completing projects is pre-selling units in those projects, which is treated by analysts as an interest-free liability, much like when contractors and suppliers perform work for the developers ahead of being paid. Such agreements made up the largest funding source for Chinese developers last year, according to official government statistics reported by the WSJ.

      Both of those transactions have been given the highest priority by the Chinese government to ensure payment, but until the current instability resolves, fewer pre-sales and supplier deals will be possible, the WSJ reports. The cascading effects of funding source after funding source drying up for developers have resulted in analysts cutting their outlook for China’s overall economic growth for this year and next.

      1. The trick to riding a tiger is figuring out how to get off without being eaten. I guess China is going to attempt to solve this puzzle.

        The Great Depression was accompanied by a property bubble:

        The PTB just can’t help themselves and let property bubbles run because they feel so good, until they don’t.

          1. Or, to put it another way, our debt slavery makes the PTB money.

            It’s the PTB’s game, their Big Game. The only way to win at their Big Game is to choose to not play.

            The parasite needs the host more than the host needs the parasite. One will do quite well without the other but the reverse is not true.

      2. One of those left-field, black-swan-ish kind of factors would be the reduction of Chinese money in the US property market. Wonder if that will have any effect, if it comes to pass.

        1. How about a concurrent reduction of Chinese money in the US property market and Fed tapering away from its $40 billion direct purchase of mortgage backed securities?

          It seems like a lot of mad money may dissapear from the U.S. real estate market all at once.

  13. Globalists gonna globe.

    Rolling Stone Is Trying to Cancel Eric Clapton

    Eric Clapton has been a rock legend for longer than I have been alive. He’s an icon in the music industry who has earned respect and admiration from millions over his career. But he’s been making headlines this year for other reasons.

    Since having a severe negative reaction to the AstraZeneca vaccine earlier this year, he’s become an outspoken opponent of the COVID vaccines. He has promised not to perform in venues with vaccine mandates, collaborated with Van Morrison on some anti-vaccine/anti-lockdowns songs, and even bankrolled an anti-vaccine rock group.

    1. I can’t stand this guy, but I love what he’s doing. It’s a beautiful thing because it will hurt their own sports team:

      The Brooklyn Nets appear to be coming to terms with the idea that Kyrie Irving won’t play home games this season because he hasn’t received a COVID-19 vaccine.

      Because of New York City’s vaccine mandates, Irving isn’t allowed to play in home games. San Francisco and Los Angeles are the only other cities with similar rules.

  14. Gosh, I sure hope FBs who overextended themselves financially to buy at the peak of the housing bubble don’t find themselves forced to choose between paying their mortgages or gassing up their SUVs.

    Gas prices skyrocket as the global energy crisis worsens

    New York (CNN Business)The cost of energy was dirt cheap in the spring of 2020 as roads and airports sat nearly empty during the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.

    Energy demand is back today as the world economy reopens — but supply simply hasn’t kept up. That’s why US oil prices have skyrocketed $120 since crashing to negative $40 a barrel in April 2020. Crude is on track to finish Monday above $80 a barrel for the first time in seven years.

  15. The ADV China guys have a new video out:

    China’s Biggest Ghost City – The Military Chased us Out!

    21 minutes. There’s an ad around 7 minutes. you can skip forward a minute. From the description:

    ‘This was filmed during Conquering Northern China before we left China. We got chased out of one of China’s biggest ghost towns by the Chinese military (PLA). But we got tons of footage first! This is never before seen stuff.’

    They patched the big cracks in the freeways.

    1. While our “woke” military stresses diversity and inclusiveness (and loses wars), the Chinese military is stressing unabashed nationalism, patriotism, and manly warrior virtues. If and when we go to war with the PRC, the outcome is a foregone conclusion thanks to the fatal weakening of our military by turning it into a social engineering testbed.

      1. The biggest challenge for any military is to carry the fight and maintain logistics over long distances. That said, I’m sure the Japanese are fearful of these developments.

    2. “Ghost town” seems like a misnomer. When used in the U.S., it refers to a location where now-empty buildings once were occupied and used for economically productive purposes. When the economy died, a ghost town was left behind.

      By contrast, these Chinese ghost cities were dead on arrival, as nobody ever occupied them since when they were first built. It’s hard to claim ghost status where life never existed. Perhaps “stillborn city” would be a more apropos moniker?

    3. What will China do with all of those empty, unused, abandoned high rise buildings? It boggles the mind to think about it…

      1. There’s a real tragedy in here, which is that the resources used in this Chinese construction binge, including labor, building materials and energy, were wasted on worthless investments, rather than anything of use to humanity. And now they have a huge mess on their hands that will require still more resources to clean it up. This is Keynesian ditch digging taken to the negative limit.

  16. Spin this, globalists.

    Cases skyrocketing in heavily vaccinated Singapore as locals beg for more freedoms

    Singapore reached a milestone last week when more than 80 per cent of its adult population had received two doses of a Covid-19 vaccine.
    But the good news was soured by case numbers that have climbed exponentially since 29 local cases were reported in the Asian nation on August 22.

  17. Do you get the feeling that you may have been throwing away your money on purchasing a worthless fake currency?

    1. SPEND
      Jamie Dimon says bitcoin is ‘worthless’
      Published Mon, Oct 11 2021 1:26 PM EDT
      Updated 2 Hours Ago
      Taylor Locke
      Jamie Dimon, chief executive officer of JPMorgan Chase & Co.
      Giulia Marchi | Bloomberg | Getty Images

      Jamie Dimon, JPMorgan Chase chairman and CEO, isn’t a fan of bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency by market value.

      “I personally think that bitcoin is worthless,” Dimon said during an Institute of International Finance event on Monday, CNBC Pro reported.

    2. Fintech News
      Opinion: Buying bitcoin or any other crypto is a huge leap of faith and you don’t want to be the ‘greater fool’
      By Aneta Larkins
      October 8, 2021

      Investors in cryptocurrencies exhibit breathtaking leaps of faith that make stock buyers look like they never take risks.

      This isn’t to say that leaps of faith aren’t required to trust that companies won’t cheat shareholders. Enron and Worldcom, for example, are strong reminders that trust in publicly traded corporations must be verified.

      Nor should we forget the level of trust required to believe that the Federal Reserve won’t debase the U.S. dollar. The dollar’s fundamental value has suffered over the past 15 years at the hands of the Fed’s multiple rounds of quantitative easing and efforts to keep interest rates low. In the process, the Fed’s balance sheet has ballooned from $800 billion in 2006 to more than $8 trillion.

      Cryptocurrencies were supposed to be better than this. Bitcoin,
      ethereum, and other cryptos were born out of resistance to blind faith in corporate and monetary authorities, built instead on a foundation of anonymous and decentralized trust. How ironic that the crypto world has, in the process, developed in ways that require an even greater amount of blind faith.

  18. Lee Greenwood has no comment.

    Straight-A student, 16, is HANDCUFFED and led to jail by cops for trespassing on school grounds after being suspended for refusing to wear a face mask

    A Wyoming teenager who believes that mask mandates violate her constitutional rights was arrested for trespassing after she refused to leave school grounds Thursday – and she’s since raised $53,000 in donations.

    Grace Smith, a 16-year-old junior at Laramie High School in the city of Laramie, was handcuffed and taken to jail after a 90-minute schoolwide lockdown.

  19. The Financial Times
    Capital markets
    US mortgage bonds feel strain of Fed pullback plans
    Tapering signals have pushed yields in market to their highest levels since March 2020
    A For Sale sign outside a house
    Low interest rates prompted homeowners to pre-pay their mortgages early and refinance, cutting the amount of interest earned by investors in bonds backed by consumers’ mortgage payments © AFP via Getty Images
    Kate Duguid and Joe Rennison in New York yesterday

    The $7.2tn US mortgage market is on course for its worst showing in almost a decade, with analysts predicting that an imminent pullback in support by the central bank could exacerbate its poor performance this year.

    The Bloomberg Barclays US Mortgage Backed Securities index has so far this year delivered a total return of minus 0.7 per cent — a reading not seen since 2013, when the Federal Reserve last spooked financial markets with plans to trim its previous bond-buying programme.

    This time around, analysts and traders say the Fed’s careful communication has avoided another tantrum. But it has still been a tricky ride for those invested in the market.

    The Fed is expected to announce a reduction to its $40bn of monthly purchases of mortgage bonds alongside $80bn of Treasuries in November, removing one of the biggest buyers in the market and last month helping to push the yield on mortgage bonds to its highest level since March 2020. Bond yields rise when prices fall.

    “The MBS market is getting ready for the taper. It’s the one place you can see the taper being priced in most clearly,” said Edward Al-Hussainy, strategist at Columbia Threadneedle Investments. “Things are getting cheaper because the Fed is going to step down.”

    Tapering is just the most recent hit to a market that has struggled under pressure from volatile interest rates this year.

    Historic lows in interest rates prompted homeowners to pre-pay their mortgages early and refinance at new, lower interest rates, according to data from the Mortgage Bankers Association, cutting the amount of interest earned by investors in bonds backed by consumers’ mortgage payments.

    As benchmark US Treasury note yields, which underpin mortgage rates, have begun to rise, prepayments have fallen, pushing out expectations of how long it will take homeowners to repay their mortgages. This particularly hurts low-coupon bonds that decline in price to compete with new, higher-coupon debt offering a better return to investors.

    1. Personal Finance
      Published 11 hours ago
      30-year mortgage rates hit 6-month high: Look to shorter terms for a deal | Oct. 11, 2021
      By Chris Jennings Credible

      Check out the mortgage rates for Oct. 11, 2021, which are a mixed bag from last Friday. (iStock)

      Based on data compiled by Credible, mortgage rates jumped for the longest repayment term, fell for the shortest, and held steady for mid-length terms since last Friday.

      — 30-year fixed mortgage rates: 3.125%, up from 2.990%, +0.135
      — 20-year fixed mortgage rates: 2.750%, unchanged
      — 15-year fixed mortgage rates: 2.250%, unchanged
      — 10-year fixed mortgage rates: 2.125%, down from 2.250%, -0.125

      Rates last updated on Oct. 11, 2021. These rates are based on the assumptions shown here. Actual rates may vary….

  20. Arrived at salon for haircut. Very nice young girl dutifully checked my temperature and asked if I had a cough or any flu-like symptoms. I told her no, but I do have syphilis, but that’s okay. She burst out laughing and I said “and the clap, too” (actually just clapped my hands together) and she laughed even harder.

    Alinsky Rule 5: Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon. It’s hard to counterattack ridicule, and it infuriates the opposition, which then reacts to your advantage.

    Actually the receptionist didn’t need any edumacatin’, very informed and liberty minded. Stylist (currently well into intense firearm training) says she’s leaving company rather than be vaxxed (over 100 employees.)

    1. If I cough in public, I apologize and explain that I don’t have Covid, it’s only my tuberculosis. That doesn’t seem to alarm anyone.

  21. The New York Times
    Special offer: Subscribe for $1 a week.

    In China, Home Buyers Who Went All In Say They Want Out
    China Evergrande Group’s financial troubles, and the government policies that helped push it to the brink of collapse, have threatened an important economic driver: home sales.
    People once lured by Evergrande’s slick sales offices and impressive marketing are staying away.
    Credit…Gilles Sabrié for The New York Times
    By Alexandra Stevenson and Joy Dong
    Oct. 12, 2021, 5:00 a.m. ET

    China is trying to cool its costly and dangerously debt-ridden housing market, where high prices and go-go levels of borrowing and spending are increasingly seen as a national threat.

    But as the troubles of a major property developer and its $300 billion mountain of debt drive a government effort to contain the peril, Beijing risks hurting a major driver of its crucial economic growth engine: home buyers like He Qiang.

    Mr. He was so optimistic about property in China that he bought an apartment from that property developer, China Evergrande Group, then became a real estate agent himself, selling the company’s apartments to hundreds of other families. “It was the peak of Evergrande’s glory,” Mr. He said.

    He is much more pessimistic these days. Mr. He, who is from the southern city of Yueyang, has yet to move into his apartment because Evergrande has stopped construction. So many other people are nervous about buying homes, he said, that he’s considering going back to selling cars.

    “People aren’t in the mood to buy property anymore,” Mr. He said.

    The real estate boom that once attracted young professionals like Mr. He is experiencing a dramatic overhaul. At one point, buying was so frenzied that properties would sell out within minutes of being offered. Speculation sent prices soaring. Real estate grew to provide more than a quarter of the country’s economic growth by some estimates, with homes becoming the main savings vehicle for Chinese families.

    Nearly three-quarters of household wealth in China is now tied to property. The loss of confidence in the market could spill over to lower sales of cars and appliances, further hurting the economy. Already, weak retail sales in China have signaled that consumers are feeling increasingly insecure. As more buyers shy away from home sales, experts say Beijing’s decision to intervene in the market and curb debt may risk overall growth.

    “We are indeed seeing a very serious slowdown in the property market, with falling prices, sales and construction activity, and this is likely to drag down economic growth in the next couple of quarters,” said Arthur Kroeber, managing director of Gavekal Dragonomics, an independent economic research firm.

    1. The Fed’s “too big to fail” doctrine is hanging over the Evergrande saga like the Sword of Damocles.

      1. From the NY Times:

        ‘Even as prominent investors question whether an Evergrande collapse could lead to China’s so-called Lehman moment, referring to the investment bank that triggered the 2008 global financial crisis, Beijing has been largely silent, having vowed to no longer rescue companies once considered too big to fail. Many local officials have been left on their own to respond to the growing frustration.

        Local governments in cities as far and wide as Shiyan, Shenyang and Chongqing have each set up special task forces to help manage the potential fallout. One official in the southern city of Shifang, responding to complaints on a government forum, said the local construction regulator, the police and other government bodies met and informed the developers and contractors of “the grim consequences” they faced because of delayed construction.

        The regulators who engineered the property slowdown have started to make moves to bolster the sector if things get worse. China’s central bank last month issued a rare comment saying it would monitor the real estate market. While a reckoning in the financial markets is unlikely, the central bank has also opened emergency spigots to make it easier for local banks to draw more money, just in case.

        “It is preparing the firefighting equipment,” said Dinny McMahon, an analyst for Trivium, an advisory focused on China. “Clearly financial regulators are starting to get a bit nervous about the way things are going.”

        Without a clear message that Beijing will help Evergrande and other developers continue construction projects and deal with the enormous debts, many Chinese families are holding on to their money and holding off buying new homes.’

      2. The Financial Times
        Evergrande Real Estate Group
        Evergrande bondholders say they have not received $148m interest payments
        Yields on China corporate junk bonds trade at decade highs as deadline for three coupons passes
        The Evergrande Center building in Shanghai
        Evergrande’s unfolding liquidity crisis has triggered a reckoning over the health of the wider Chinese property sector © Hector Retamal/AFP/Getty
        Thomas Hale in Hong Kong yesterday

        Evergrande bondholders said they had not received interest payments on three offshore bonds ahead of a deadline on Tuesday, as yields on risky Chinese corporate debt traded near decade highs on concerns that a growing number of developers faced default.

        The world’s most indebted developer was due to make interest payments totalling $148m on dollar-denominated bonds by midday on Tuesday in Hong Kong, but bondholders had not received any funds, according to two people familiar with the matter. The bonds were last trading at 21-22 cents on the dollar.

        Evergrande originally missed a crucial $83.5m interest payment late last month on a bond maturing next year. The missed payment triggered a 30-day grace period before the company formally defaults. It has now missed at least five bond interest payments.

        The developer’s unfolding liquidity crisis has triggered a reckoning over the health of the wider Chinese property sector, as sales slow and Beijing presses developers to reduce debt, with many of Evergrande’s peers also approaching default.

        Asia’s high-yield bond market, in which Chinese developers are among the largest issuers following decades of rapid urbanisation in the country, has been roiled by panicked trading in recent days that has pushed yields sharply higher.

        Since Friday, yields on an ICE index tracking Chinese corporate issuers in the Asian dollar high-yield market have soared to 22 per cent, the highest since 2009, compared with just 13 per cent at the start of September and 10 per cent in June.

        Sinic Holdings, a Chinese developer, said on Monday evening that a default on bonds coming due this month would “likely occur” because the company did not have enough “financial resources”. The bonds are trading at about 25 cents on the dollar.

        Last week, luxury developer Fantasia, which was founded by a niece of former Chinese vice-president Zeng Qinghong, defaulted on a $206m bond.

        Credit default swaps on five-year Chinese sovereign bonds have so far this week risen 8 basis points to 59bp, their highest level since April 2020, with analysts suggesting the move was linked to the property sell-off.

        “The problems in the Chinese property sector are now impacting upon investors’ general view of systematic risk,” said Charles MacGregor, head of Asia at Lucror Analytics. He added that Chinese high-yield bonds were “under extreme pressure given a dearth of buyers”.

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