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All Of A Sudden Sellers Are Realizing, Damn, I Kind Of Missed The Boat

It’s Friday desk clearing time for this blogger. “Until recently, experts haven’t widely supported the possibility of a housing bubble about to burst, especially in states like Utah. Dejan Eskic, at the University of Utah told the Deseret News on Thursday that Utahns shouldn’t panic or jump to hasty conclusions from the new report. ‘For prices to really crash,’ Eskic said, ‘you need some black swan economic frenzy event and people can’t make their monthly payments.'”

“Purchase mortgage applications are down an astounding 40% from a year ago, according to the Mortgage Bankers Association. ‘We are at a turning point in the market. Offer activity is slowing,’ said Patrick Veling, CEO of Real Data Strategies. ‘Homebuyers, especially in the $1.1 million to $1.4 million price range, are saying we’re mad as hell and we’re not going to take it anymore.'”

“Supply is up in the Inland Empire, rising 31% in San Bernardino County and 4% in Riverside County. Could we soon see 5% fixed rates? We’re not far off. If the exotic mortgage market is any indication, we are going to hit 5% and then some in the conventional mortgage market. The outside-the-box, so-called non-qualified mortgages are already north of 6% for a 30-year fixed. Yikes.”

“Mortgage rates are shooting up at the fastest pace in history, sending the typical monthly mortgage payment for a homebuyer up more than $500 since the beginning of this year. As of this month, Redfin has started receiving fewer requests than a year ago for agents’ service in pricey coastal markets including Seattle, San Diego, Boston and Washington, D.C. Declines in searches, touring, and mortgage applications are larger in California than elsewhere. ‘I’m starting to see early signs that the housing market is letting off some steam—something I wouldn’t have said a month ago,’ said Aaron McCarty, a Redfin real estate agent in the Bay Area. ‘A house that might’ve gone for $700,000 over the list price two months ago may now go for $300,000 or $400,000 over.'”

“Demand for second homes in the U.S. is plummeting as mortgage rates climb steeply. Contracts to buy previously owned homes declined for a fourth straight month in February as the inventory shortage restricted deals, the National Association of Realtors said last week. Would-be buyers of vacation homes face another potential obstacle: a fee increase ranging from an additional 1% to 4% on second-home loans backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac. That could tack on as much as $12,000 to a $300,000 mortgage, payable upfront or rolled into the loan.”

“While the increase officially doesn’t take effect until April 1, the fees have been priced into loans for almost a month, so that may have deterred some buyers already, according to Rebecca Richardson, a broker at Wyndham Capital Mortgage in Charlotte, North Carolina. Combined with rising rates, the fee increase ‘has definitely dampened the enthusiasm’ among her clients, Richardson said. ‘It’s becoming a much weightier decision versus last year.'”

“BMO senior economist Robert Kavcic wrote in a note to clients that ‘there is now a full-scale attack on Canadian home prices across various levels of policy.’ He cited marked expectations of surging interest rates in the months ahead and new or higher taxes on real estate speculators and non-resident buyers in some provinces as the biggest factors that could see home prices take a hit in the year ahead. ‘They’re an inflation-targeting central bank and their first job is to get inflation back down into that one three per cent range. And if lower house prices are a byproduct of that, they’re going to have to just let it go.'”

“Sydney vendors are asking less for their properties as news of the downturn begins to hit home. It represents a pivotal moment in Sydney’s ‘softening market,’ said SQM managing director Louis Christopher. ‘Vendors hate reducing their asking prices,’ Mr Christopher said, explaining that it usually takes three to four months of decline before home sellers lower their expectations. ‘You’ll literally see, as what we have seen in our data, vendors continue to try and lift their asking prices. Then finally, they get it that the market has slowed and they’ve heard it from more than one source. They’re not moving their property and they’re finally willing to ask less.'”

“There are signs of a housing market slowdown, with CoreLogic data showing median house values have fallen in 150 out of 900 suburbs around the country in the last three months. After a two-year search, first home buyers Stephen Pipe and his wife have managed to buy a house in Bombay – on the cusp of Auckland. ‘We continually felt like every time we made an offer and it wasn’t accepted, something better came up and I feel like that’s the trend that we’re getting into now. We are truly getting into a buyers’ market. Sellers are actually starting to get a little bit more desperate, all of a sudden they’re realising, damn, I kind of missed the boat.'”

“‘Work hard when young or enjoy no reputation later in life.’ So goes a famous saying from China’s Fujian province. Ou Zongrong stood by it, building a property empire with its roots in the province. At first, things worked out well. Now the tide has turned. In February, Ou’s Zhenro Properties Group Ltd. spooked investors by saying it may not have cash to redeem a perpetual note, just weeks after promising it would. In fact, it said it may not have enough liquidity to repay other near-term maturities.”

“That was a shock for investors in a developer that had been weathering China’s massive real estate crisis relatively well, never missing a public debt payment until then. ‘Fujian-based developers such as Ronshine, Yuzhou, Zhenro have been aggressively funding land acquisitions with debts,’ said Dan Wang, a credit analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence. ‘This has left them vulnerable in a property market downturn and in a scenario where capital markets shut down.'”

“The slump has cost the Fujian bosses billions. Shimao’s Hui Wing Mau, Zhenro’s Ou and Lin Zhong of CIFI have all seen their fortunes slump. Ou is no longer a billionaire, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.”

This Post Has 111 Comments
  1. Russia Today — Russia presents new evidence on Ukraine biolabs (3/31/2022):

    “The Russian military has presented documents showing Ukraine’s interest in using drones to deliver weaponized pathogens developed in US-funded biolabs. Names of US officials involved in the biolabs projects, and the role the current US president’s son played in the program, were also made public during the special briefing on Thursday.

    One of the key pieces of evidence was a letter from the Ukrainian company Motor Sich to the  Turkish drone manufacturer Baykar Makina – makers of the Bayraktar TB2 and Akinci UAVs – dated December 15, 2021. The Ukrainians specifically asked if the drones could carry 20 liters of aerosolized payload to a range of 300 kilometers – putting them in range of a dozen major Russian cities and almost all of Belarus. 

    “We are talking about the development by the Kiev regime of technical means of delivery and use of biological weapons with the possibility of their use against the Russian Federation,” said Lieutenant General Igor Kirillov, commander of the Russian Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Protection Forces.”

  2. ‘Would-be buyers of vacation homes face another potential obstacle: a fee increase ranging from an additional 1% to 4% on second-home loans backed by Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac’

    They sprung this on shack gamblers but the “lending community” already knew and had been jacking up rates. I haven’t got to all the details but they are gonna break it off on the jumbo markets a$$ too. Surprise!

    1. At least it sounds like inflation is going to be contained in the housing market. Affordability improvements are a good thing, right? Maybe my kids will have some hope of future home ownership after all.

    2. “And if lower house prices are a byproduct of that, they’re going to have to just let it go.’”

      Housing speculators will soon realize, and far too late, that their relationship with central bankers was a one night stand.

  3. ‘A house that might’ve gone for $700,000 over the list price two months ago may now go for $300,000 or $400,000 over’

    The winnahs!

    1. They sprung this on shack gamblers but the “lending community” already knew and had been jacking up rates. I haven’t got to all the details but they are gonna break it off on the jumbo markets a$$ too. Surprise!

      Buy a house now to lock in those losses!
      The idiocy is beyond astounding. Even younger idiots buying homes now must have lived thru, or at least heard of, all the pain caused just 12 short years ago when the last housing bubble popped. This one popping will be no less brutal, especially considering how much more levered up everyone is on all kinds of debt.
      More stimmiez and forebearances and handouts and bailouts incoming soon I’m sure.

  4. ‘Supply is up in the Inland Empire, rising 31% in San Bernardino County’

    Wa happened to my shortage California?!

    ‘Could we soon see 5% fixed rates? We’re not far off. If the exotic mortgage market is any indication, we are going to hit 5% and then some in the conventional mortgage market. The outside-the-box, so-called non-qualified mortgages are already north of 6% for a 30-year fixed. Yikes’

    Outside-the-box, so-called non-qualified mortgages = subprime.

    1. A flight-to-quality is playing out in mortgage lending, and most folks with good credit are already homeowners who don’t want to catch themselves falling knives by purchasing investment properties as prices are about to reverse.

      Intresting times lie ahead!

  5. ‘Fujian-based developers such as Ronshine, Yuzhou, Zhenro have been aggressively funding land acquisitions with debts…This has left them vulnerable in a property market downturn and in a scenario where capital markets shut down’

    They aren’t vulnerable Dan they’re fooked.

    ‘The slump has cost the Fujian bosses billions. Shimao’s Hui Wing Mau, Zhenro’s Ou and Lin Zhong of CIFI have all seen their fortunes slump. Ou is no longer a billionaire’

    Easy come easy go.

    1. The Housing Bubble
      US employment
      US economy gained 431,000 jobs in March as tight labour market persists
      Unemployment rate falls to 3.6% in latest data suggesting Fed will intervene to prevent overheating
      Commuters arrive at Grand Central station during morning rush hour in New York, US
      US businesses are rushing to fill a near-record number of job vacancies — for every unemployed person in the US there are roughly 1.7 openings
      © Bloomberg
      Colby Smith in Washington and Peter Wells in New York
      28 minutes ago

      The US recorded another month of jobs growth in March as higher wages lured more workers back to the labour force, giving the Federal Reserve another data point supporting an aggressive tightening policy to tame inflation.

      Employers in the world’s largest economy added 431,000 jobs last month, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, a cooler pace than the upwardly revised 750,000 positions created in February and less than Bloomberg’s consensus forecast of 490,000 jobs.

      The unemployment rate was 3.6 per cent, a 0.2 percentage point drop from the level in February and the lowest level since before the pandemic.

      1. This morning on the radio they said it was a good jobs report despite inflation, gas prices, war, covid, and a bunch of other things. I said well if it sounds too good to be true……Biden has politicized every gov institution for left wing advocacy, why would I trust something so obviously suspect?

      1. By now, these extra boosters should be approved by prescription only. Yes, there are some immuno-compromised or co-morbid patients that do need a booster, but that should be a doctor’s decision and under supervision. Approval should not be a blanket license for states or schools to mandate perpetual shots for millions/billions of healthy population.

        And wasn’t $fizer supposed to come out with an Omicron-specific booster by now?

          1. the booster business model yet.

            CDC data suggests those J&J takers should go get a couple of mRNA shots, according to “The Hill” a few days ago.

    2. I remember taking a close look at some unemployment rate data a few years ago. What I learned was that every historic period since WWII when rates dropped near current levels ended in a recession with a large spike in unemployment rates within the next couple of years.

      I can’t explain why. Maybe labor economists understand these things?

      1. Maybe labor economists

        Well, we’re not that, but it sure seems like loose credit causes busts. A deep prolonged recession is long overdue or perhaps long hidden.

        1. Agreed. And it is entirely possible that loose credit serves to temporarily drive down unemployment.

          The part I don’t understand is why low levels of unemployment tend to immediately precede large and rapid increases in the unemployment rate. It almost seems like someone fires a gun, and employers are off to the races to eliminate staff. I’ve been through a couple of periods of downsizing, and don’t recall them as fun times.

          1. “The part I don’t understand is why low levels of unemployment tend to immediately precede large and rapid increases in the unemployment rate.”

            Follow the money. When money is easy then people spend lots of it and this spending supports jobs (think: Consumer-based economy). When money is tight the spending slows and hence the support for jobs evaporates.

          2. The part I don’t understand is why low levels of unemployment tend to immediately precede large and rapid increases in the unemployment rate.

            Cause and effect of the easy-money Virtuous Cycle topping out and the Vicious Cycle just ramping up.

            Most Duhmerikans have been spending borrowed sums like drunken sailors for years now, and that how-much-a-month mentality soon leads to the realization that they’ve borrowed too much and can’t make all the payments, which leads to a drop in consumption, which leads to job losses in this idiotic “service economy”, which leads to default, bankruptcy, and schadenfreude by all of us HBBers. LOL
            I’ll be heavy into fear, shorts, and PMs at that point. Still waiting for that Lehman Moment, but figure we’ll see the large cracks in the lenders very soon.

          3. Employment has always been a lagging indicator. Companies hire at peak, thinking that the good times are here to stay. Kinda like getting on the cover of Sports Illustrated.

      2. Steve Keen’s theory of the growth of private debt applies here. Most of the jobs are funded by debt rather than real supply and demand.

        1. That makes sense, especially in the present QE-driven drop in unemployment and spike in inflation.

        2. “Most of the jobs are funded by debt rather than real supply and demand.”

          Close. Most of the jobs are funded by SPENDING and most of this spending is funded by debt.

          The masses need to be (and are) conditioned to be willing to take on huge amounts of debt in order to keep the necessary spending going. This was not always the case: During the dark days of the Great Depression people would not borrow to spend because of fear so the PTB decided to have the federal government do the borrowing and spending to take up the slack.

          And, so, here we are.

          And here I am. 😁

  6. The globalists & their Quislings want to turn the entire planet into one big Epstein Island, where unfettered perversion & exploitation will be the order of the day.

    ‘Epstein fed off the terror of a girl being scared’: Victim reveals she was raped three times a day on private island where paedophile ran a ‘factory of abuse’ and kept a bizarre painting of a girl being violated by a walrus

    1. Sounds like a Democrat Party thing.

      And LOL@ Kevin Spacey and Bill Clinton on the Air Force One flight logs together flying the Lolita Express down to Epstein Island.

      “They’re not sending their best”

      1. The DoJ & FBI will get right on that, just as soon as they finish up with those “domestic terrorist” parents objecting to globalist agenda-pushing in our NEA indoctrination mills.

      2. Bill Clinton is a Teflon Man. Venereal diseases and corruption charges slide right off of him.

  7. What happens when the FBs who massively overstretched to “get up on that housing ladder” – cuz shack prices only go up – start having to choose between paying the gas & electric bill, or their mortgages?

    Money down the drain! Man’s fury at wife’s ‘£1.65-an-hour shower’ after biggest energy bill rise in living memory sends costs soaring to £2,000 a year – as report warns one in three will struggle to heat homes if October price cap hits £2,700

    1. One thing that struck me about the UK was how, with a few exceptions, expensive everything was when I last visited. I couldn’t fathom how the average Joe could make ends meet. And now their heating and electric bills, which were already high, are shooting into the stratosphere.

      1. “…I couldn’t fathom how the average Joe could make ends meet…”

        Ditto here in SoCal. (Orange County).

        From what I can tell, 90%+ of all households are living in WallyWorld.

        People are just plain delusional. They think that ‘owning’ R/E is just like having your own private bank vault.

        Here, the local utilities, (SCE, SoCal Gas, IRWD) have been playing games by disguising rate hikes behind ‘energy saving’ tiers and ‘green’ providers.

        Factor in outrageous gas and grocery prices, average Joe doesn’t stand a chance.

        Joe doesn’t know it yet, but the HELOC money machine is grinding to halt.

        1. SoCal has been expensive for a long time. But what I observed in the UK was that everything was expensive everywhere, even in the tiniest hamlet the cost of living was out of control. And this was 5 years ago. I can only imagine how bad it must be there now.

    1. “globalist-sponsored rioting and looting”

      Easy solution, move far away from them and let them burn their own cities down. That’s my plan.

    1. So what happens

      As the ladies are finding out the hard way, it depends if your opponent is above or below you on the victimhood totem pole.

  8. Oh dear…failure to produce financial reports doesn’t sound reassuring.

    Hong Kong Trading Halts Freeze $15 Billion After Earnings Delays

    Trading in 33 Hong Kong-listed stocks was halted on Friday after a number of firms missed a deadline to report annual results in a move that’s expected to affect some $15 billion worth of shares.

    Troubled Chinese developers including Sunac China Holdings Ltd. and Shimao Group Holdings Ltd. were among the stocks suspended. China Aoyuan Group Ltd.said publishing unaudited results at this stage could “potentially be misleading to the shareholders and potential investors.” This year’s number compares with 57 for 2021 and at least nine for 2020.

    1. America, a country so racist that 95% of the hate crimes turn out to be hoaxes. Except the ones where the perpetrator is not white- most of those actually happened. But then if the perpetrator isn’t white, can it even be a hate crime?

  9. ‘For prices to really crash,’ Eskic said, ‘you need some black swan economic frenzy event and people can’t make their monthly payments.’

    Maybe a pandemic would do?

      1. This must be an April Fools day post, right?

        Are the renters who are currently living in free housing supposedly going to owe back rent when the moratoriums end? And what if unemployment goes up from record low current levels? Will the exemption extend to people who are unemployed for other reasons besides the pandemic?

  10. I wish every day was April Fool’s Day. People might be a bit more skeptical about what they see on the news.

  11. Recent statements by Black rock CEO and WEF Globlist Larry Fink.

    …”corporations must work harder too ‘ force’ people to change behaviors.”
    ” Black rock President calls Americans “Entitled” for wanting grocery stores filled with food.”
    …………..”corporations should form partnerships with government.”

    Since most people don’t live on a farm, , they go to grocery stores to get their supplies. I wouldn’t call it entitlement, but its the way the systems work.
    In other words, the Globalists who are wanting to deprive populations and reset the systems , make it a problem caused by their victims . How dare you feel entitled to food supplies.

    His comment about governments partnering with corporations, has already occurred by the infiltration and corruption of governments and the fact that Private Parties are trying to advance a One World order by Corporate Governance.

    His comment about Corporations forcing behavior change is a statement of a tyrant wanting to force their agendas and take consent by force.

    Whenever I hear one of these Globalists talk it is amazing how much they demean people and dismiss their right to freedoms and pursuit of happiness, or even basic necessities like food.
    Klaus Schwab adviser Dr Harris is especially obnoxious in his statement that free will is over, because these attackers have technology to hack humans. His judgement of mankind is that they need to be altered , and he and his kind are Gods that will bring about that trans humanism change.
    The ultimate judges of changing people to the perfect slave without free will by technology.
    Bill Gates vision of the globe injected repeatedly, and a call for fake beef and bugs being the mainstay diet. Klaus Schwab suggesting that people will have nothing and like it.

    Just saying that what is it about the Globalist visions that don’t constitute a new form of slavery by slave masters .

    1. The comments were made by BlackRock President Robert Capito, not Black Rock CEO Larry Fink. I can’t find an exact transcript, but this is the closest:

      “For the first time, this [very entitled] generation is going to go into a store and not be able to get what they want…And we have a very entitled generation that has never had to sacrifice.”

      When he said “entitled,” I don’t believe he was referring to basic foodstuffs. Likely he was referring to out-of-season produce, or 1/2 an aisle reserved for 60 kinds of salad dressing, or clothing in every size, style, and color. If we have to, almost all of us can live on basic foodstuffs like eggs, chicken breast, kale, apples, and potatoes. And wear our old clothing. (I know some of you can’t eat eggs.)

  12. Free sh*t article for the free sh*tters:

    “In California, the first reparations panel in the nation has spent two years trying to decide which African-Americans are eligible for reparations.

    Since it was first fomed in June, some of the panel’s nine members have argued that only direct descendants of actual slaves prior to the Civil War should receive handouts, while others call for a more liberal distribution of funds to every black American. The warring factions led to the panel delaying its originally-planned vote last month.

    Despite having existed for two years, the panel has no concrete plan yet for what their reparations would look like.”

    Note to self: do not pay state income tax to or property tax in the state of Clownifornia.

    “They’re not sending their best”

    1. Elon Musk should have stayed in California since he’s an African American and therefore eligible for reparations.

        1. Here’s Elon’s African American scorecard:

          Born in Africa: Check
          Naturalized U.S. citizen: Check

          Notwithstanding lack of knowledge on Elon’s like or dislike of fried chicken and watermelon, he is an African American.

  13. Laguna Hills, CA Housing Prices Crater 28% YOY As Southern California Submerges In A Cauldron Of Soaring Housing Inventory And Mortgage Defaults

    As a noted economist stated so eloquently, “Nothing accelerates the economy and creates jobs like falling prices to dramatically lower and more affordable levels. Nothing.”

      1. It does seem smarter than Nixon’s stupid gas lines due to price caps on gasoline.

        1. It does seem smarter

          Strategic Petroleum Supply. Who knew that the emergency would be low poll ratings.

          1. One problem with this is that the short term effect of lower prices will trigger still more gasoline consumption and oil dependence, making the real shortage worse, especially if the emergency response doesn’t outlive the global shortage.

            I wonder if anyone considered that.

          2. With apologies to St. Greta, there will also be more greenhouse gas emissions due to supply-driven gasoline price reductions, but we don’t have to worry about that during a crises.

    1. The Financial Times
      American motorists press the accelerator despite oil shortfall
      US fuel demand is back to pre-pandemic levels while international watchdog urges conservation
      Marathon gas station at night
      Congress is holding a hearing next week titled ‘Gouged at the Gas Station’
      © Stefani Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images
      Justin Jacobs in Houston
      2 hours ago

      The White House has promised 180mn barrels from emergency oil stockpiles to address a global energy supply crisis. As for reducing consumption, American drivers have not got the memo.

      US oil use this year has averaged almost 21mn barrels a day over the past month, according to preliminary government statistics, up 8 per cent from a year ago and back to pre-pandemic levels. Sales of petrol, diesel and especially jet fuel are all up — and likely to go higher as the summer holidays approach.

      The strong demand in the world’s largest oil consumer is an unheralded factor in the increasingly tight world petroleum market, helping to drive the price of crude above $100 a barrel.

  14. Avg 30yr fixed at almost 5%. This is with only 1 raise in interest rates (although the fed has been jawboning for weeks).

    Guessing at 6% by Sept.

    The rate for the most common kind of mortgage just surged again.
    The average rate on the 30-year fixed mortgage shot significantly higher Friday, rising 24 basis points to 4.95%, according to Mortgage News Daily. It is now 164 basis points higher than it was one year ago.

    “That’s the second time this week, and it puts this week on par with the worst week from the 2013 taper tantrum — a record we didn’t see being legitimately challenged a few days ago,” said Matthew Graham, COO of Mortgage News Daily.

    On Tuesday, the rate had hit 4.72%, a 26-basis-point jump from March 18. The quicker-than-expected rise in rates has weighed on demand for mortgages and refinancing loans.

    The rate surged as the yield on the U.S. 10-year Treasury also took off. Mortgage rates follow that yield loosely, but not entirely. Mortgage rates are also influenced by demand for mortgage-backed bonds. The Federal Reserve is scaling back its holdings of these assets and is also hiking interest rates.

    1. Yep. Return to normalcy is underway, which is going to sink a lot of speculators who thought the good times would continue forever.

  15. “Redfin agents say they’re starting to see some sellers put their homes up for sale earlier than planned because they’re worried they’ll miss out on the market’s peak if they wait.”

    Sounds like people are speculating … don’t you all do it at once!

    1. U.S. Housing Is A Dead Man Walking
      Mar. 30, 2022 11:04 AM ET Garrett Duyck
      There is not a shortage of housing, only a shortage of sellers.
      — New home construction is outpacing population growth and going to lead to overbuilding.
      — Higher mortgage rates are going to cause havoc to this housing market, with the peak appearing near.
      — A picture is worth a thousand words, but a chart is worth a thousand pictures.

  16. the clowning is still ongoing. There are the zombie companies – i.e. those who can barely survive by paying interest on their junk bonds, and there is the out and out fraud like the following.

    I cant figure out if it is money laundering, mob money washing or looking for a bigger sucker.

    Hometown International — that odd, publicly traded company with a market capitalization of more than $100 million despite owning just one small New Jersey deli — has announced plans to merge with Makamer, a private bioplastics start-up firm.

    The money-losing Your Hometown Deli in Paulsboro, N.J., which is owned by Hometown International, will not be operated by the company that will result from the merger with the Los Angeles-based Makamer.

    But a woman who answered the phone at the deli on Friday said, “We’re still going to be open” after the merger is completed.

    The announcement of the tie-up of Makamer and Hometown International comes nearly a year after hedge fund manager David Einhorn in a client letter noted the bizarre disparity between the deli’s extremely modest sales, which were $25,004 for all of 2021, and Hometown’s sky-high stock market valuation.

    As of Friday, Hometown International’s stock price was $14 per share, giving it a market capitalization of $109.2 million, just based on outstanding shares alone.

    Manoj Jain, the founder of Maso Capital in Hong Kong, which is a major investor in Hometown International, declined to comment through a spokesman.

    Maso Capital for more than a year had positioned Hometown International and another related publicly traded shell company, formerly known as E-Waste, as vehicles for private companies to merge with and become publicly traded themselves.

    1. some other choice comments from the article

      Other major investors in Hometown International include the investment funds of two U.S. universities, Duke and Vanderbilt, with those funds having mailing addresses in the same building as Maso Capital.

      The largest shareholders in the deli owner are a group of opaque entities in Macao, China, whose mailing addresses are located on the same floor in the same office building there.

  17. President Zelensky and his driver were on their way to Kyiv in a car when all of a sudden they hit a pig near a farmhouse, killing it instantly.

    Zelensky told his driver to go up to the farmhouse and explain to the owners what had happened. About one hour later Zelensky sees his driver staggering back to the car with a bottle of Horilka (Ukrainian vodka) in one hand, a cigar in the other and his clothes all ripped and torn.

    “What happened to you?” asked Zelensky.

    “Well, the farmer gave me the Horilka, his wife gave me a box of cigars and their 19-year-old and 21-year-old daughters made mad passionate love to me simultaneously.

    “My God, what did you tell them?” asks Zelensky.

    The driver replies, “I’m president Zelensky’s driver, and I just killed the pig.”

      1. hi Jeff,

        it was putin instead of zelensky when i copied it. but i think the true original was indeed zelensky. however, at this point in the war, who would believe that putin was driving to ‘kyiv’? it must have been zelensky. i think it’s obvious that the leftists changed it because it’s a clever insult, and they want the insulted to be putin.

        when you really examine it, doesn’t it seem that it was really written for zelensky?

  18. People are making comments on YT videos that when filling up, the pump is stopping on its own at $50. If true, 😡

    Make sure your license plates are screwed on tight if they use odd/even again (prob too old fashioned, that would offend their tech-y zeitgeist.) In NYC low-lifes would steal an even set if they had odd. All hell would break loose when stations would run out of gas, many still in line.

    1. The Financial Times
      SoftBank Group Corp
      SoftBank liquidates most of portfolio at ‘Nasdaq whale’ trading unit
      Japanese tech group’s shortlived SB Northstar fund had racked up $6bn to $7bn in losses
      SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son
      SoftBank founder Masayoshi Son disclosed last year that his holding in Northstar had personally cost him about $1.5bn, a figure that will have increased given the further losses
      © NurPhoto/Getty
      Robert Smith and Arash Massoudi in London and Antoni Slodkowski in Tokyo
      30 minutes ago

      SoftBank has liquidated almost all of the positions in its abortive internal hedge fund SB Northstar after racking up between $6bn and $7bn in losses in the unit behind the notorious “Nasdaq whale” trades.

      The writing has been on the wall for the Japanese technology conglomerate’s buccaneering trading unit since November, when SoftBank’s founder Masayoshi Son told investors “the company called SB Northstar . . . is about to come to an end”.

      Akshay Naheta, the former Deutsche Bank trader based in Abu Dhabi who ran the unit, left SoftBank on Thursday, according to a person familiar with the matter. The 40-year-old is known for executing complex derivative transactions and earned notoriety for spearheading SoftBank’s controversial bet on the shares of fraudulent payments company Wirecard.

      Regulatory filings show that SB Management — Northstar’s investment manager — held a little over $1bn in US-listed stocks at the end of 2021, down from more than $17bn one year earlier. The bulk of its remaining positions were in special purpose acquisition companies, including vehicles sponsored by its own Vision Fund, SoftBank shareholder Elliott Management and Vision Fund investor Mubadala.

      The winding down of Northstar comes as SoftBank looks to slow investments across the group as it seeks to raise cash amid falling tech stocks and a regulatory crackdown in China.

      A person familiar with its portfolio said that most of its European investments were liquidated around the same time, including a $5bn bet on Swiss drugmaker Roche that had been profitable. The person added that there were less than a handful of positions left, which had been transferred to SoftBank Group.

      “I don’t think there’s a reason for them to dump anything else immediately, because there are other things that they can sell that are more liquid,” he said, noting that a recent rebound in SoftBank’s Chinese technology stocks had eased pressure on the group to raise cash.

      In its 2021 annual results presentation last month, SoftBank disclosed that Northstar had lost $4.6bn over the course of its brief existence, mainly because of disastrous derivative bets. One person familiar with its trading activity said this would likely climb to $6bn following the liquidation, while another pegged it at close to $7bn.

      SoftBank said: “As Mr Son explained during SoftBank’s earnings presentation last November, SB Northstar’s activities and its portfolio have been significantly reduced.”

    1. FA Financial Adviser
      Awful SPAC Returns Mean More Frustration For Blank-Check Firms
      April 1, 2022 • Bailey Lipschultz

      The SPAC market offered investors only disappointment last quarter, but it may seem like the good old days as regulators crack down on new blank-check stocks and enthusiasm for existing ones wanes.

      The IPOX SPAC Index fell 9.5%, the worst performance since its July 2020 launch, and has lost more than 22% over the past three quarters. There are 610 special-purpose acquisition companies hunting for deals or racing the clock to find one, and some existing transactions are falling apart. SPAC warrants, which hold the promise of future windfalls, are trading at a fraction of year-earlier levels.

      Heavyweight sponsors are pulling plans for new offerings. And that was before the Securities and Exchange Commission laid out plans for new rules Wednesday, putting the industry on notice that the era of bringing private companies public with overly rosy forecasts is over.

      “Irrespective of these new SEC proposals, the SPAC market has really been retrenching,” said Jay Ritter, a University of Florida professor who tracks new issues. “We’ve had 54 SPAC IPOs this quarter, and I’d be shocked if any of the quarters for the remainder of the year hit that level.”

    2. Politics
      SEC targets SPACs with rules on inflated business forecasts, merger disclosures
      Published Wed, Mar 30 2022 11:30 AM EDT
      Updated Wed, Mar 30 202211:40 AM EDT
      Thomas Franck
      Key Points
      – The SEC debuted new rules for SPACs that would mark one of the broadest attempts to date at cracking down on blank-check companies.
      – The proposed rules would amend safe harbor rules and leave SPACs open to investor lawsuits for excessively rosy business forecasts.
      – “Investors deserve the protections they receive from traditional IPOs, with respect to information asymmetries, fraud, and conflicts,” SEC Chair Gary Gensler said of SPACs.

    1. The Financial Times
      Markets Briefing
      Sovereign bonds
      US yield curve re-inverts following strong jobs report
      Sale of Treasuries comes after another month of strong jobs growth in March
      The US Federal Reserve building
      Investors are looking ahead to the Federal Reserve tightening monetary policy to curb surging inflation
      © Joshua Roberts/Reuters
      Kate Duguid in New York, George Steer in London and William Langley in Hong Kong

      US government debt came under fresh selling pressure on Friday after data showed booming jobs growth in March, inverting the Treasury yield curve for the second time this week.

      The yield on the two-year Treasury note rose above that on the benchmark 10-year note, a so-called inversion of a segment of the Treasury curve that is closely watched by investors and policymakers. A yield curve inversion, which happened on Tuesday for the first time since 2019, is typically a sign of a coming recession, …

      The two-year yield, which moves with interest rate expectations, rose as investors priced in an even more aggressive pace of interest rate rises from the Federal Reserve after the Bureau of Labor Statistics reported strong jobs growth in March. The yield on the two-year note added 0.12 percentage points to 2.45 per cent.

    1. Kiplinger
      Why Inverted Yield Curve Panic Is Overdone
      Yes, a 2-and-10 yield curve inversion has predicted many past recessions. But it’s an imprecise signal – and one that leads equity investors astray.
      Dan Burrows
      March 30, 2022
      Concept art for bonds, yields, investing
      Getty Images

      In case you haven’t heard by now, the “2-and-10” yield curve momentarily inverted this week. Some market participants and financial media have responded with alarm, and given this signal’s singular track record of predicting U.S. recessions, that’s not exactly the wrong reaction.

      But it’s not necessarily helpful, either.

      Although an inverted yield curve is as reliable an indicator of looming economic downturn as we have, no one data point is ever infallible. It’s also the case that inverted yield curves are wildly imprecise at forecasting the onset of recession.

      Further complicating matters is that while the four most dangerous words in investing are “this time it’s different,” some experts argue that this time, it really is different.

      1. “Don’t fear yield curve inversion,” writes Ethan Harris, head of global economics research at BofA Securities. “It is not the standalone indicator of recessions as it once was.”

        By thinking like academics, these guys are missing why it really is different this time, as the Fed is caught between the rock of unacceptably high inflation and the hard place of higher interest rates and lower stimulus needed to rein it in. And oil prices on the boil are an exogenous driver of inflation they can’t control.

        The early 1970s may be a good reference period for what happens next. Seems like Wall Street stocks dropped by 50% or so in one of those years…don’t recall which.

        1. Well, thank goodness it IS different this time, I’m gonna buy all the stonks now.

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