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Take Away Those Investment Type Buyers And The Market Is Dead

A weekend topic starting with Yahoo Finance. “The short-term rental market has come into focus following Airbnb’s latest earnings results highlighting growth opportunities beyond homeowners just listing properties. According to data from AirDNA, the top markets for short-term rentals in 2024 are: Columbus, Georgia; Ellsworth, Maine; and Logan, Ohio. Yahoo Finance Housing Reporter Dani Romero breaks down the details. AKIKO FUJITA: Dani, we should point out Airbnb likes to say that it isn’t always about users on their platform who are just trying to cash in on homes that they buy just to rent out, but there is still a lot of opportunity for additional income here.”

“At number one, we have Columbus, Georgia. AirDNA estimates a robust demand. The average daily rate is $178. And investors could gain about $29,000 in revenue. Now, the city does require permits for short-term rentals and certificate of occupancy. Second on the list is Ellsworth, Maine. AirDNA estimates the average daily rate for this area to be $335. And investors could gain $41,000 in revenue. Lastly is Logan, Ohio. And the case there is to be made is that visitors can come and visit the area for the rugged valleys that it offers AirDNA estimates that the average daily rate is $343. And investors could earn up to $57,000 in revenue.”

“But it’s important to note that Logan has strict zoning regulations and requires registration and licensing fees. Bottom line, as an investor and a visitor, do your research before going out to that area. AKIKO FUJITA: $57,000 in revenue. It’s not bad. Not a bad return there.” in Massachusetts. “There’s good news right now for Cape Cod vacationers this summer: more rental properties are available than during the same time last year., which offers more than 4,000 listings on the Cape, Nantucket, and Martha’s Vineyard, and Pretty Picky Properties, which manages 220 properties across 11 Cape Cod towns, say there’s plenty of rentals available in June, July, and August. There’s currently about 18,000 short-term rentals on the Cape, said Paul Niedzwiecki, CEO of the Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce. ‘With the increase in inventory for short term rentals, I think we’re starting to see a lot more competition which is good news for consumers,’ he said.”

“Pretty Picky Properties is about 60% booked, similar to last year at this time, said CEO Black Decker. ‘The amount of available properties to rent is still very high,’ said Decker. ‘The main reason, we believe, is most people who have bought homes on the Cape in the past three years or so bought them during the pandemic era and had a vision of using them quite a bit and now that the world has returned to a normal schedule they have these very expensive assets that they aren’t using as much and so they entered the rental pool.’ Decker said his message to property owners this year is to focus on occupancy over rate. ‘So not go up and, in some cases, go down,’ he said about the price. ‘We are seeing more price sensitivity from vacationers.”

From KHON 2. “With the legislative session underway, one of the bills that is making headlines proposes to outlaw foreigners from purchasing property in Hawaii under certain circumstances. Governor Josh Green calls the bill ‘unconstitutional.’ To solve Hawaii’s affordable crisis, Green is looking at adding inventory to the market by cracking down on illegal short-term vacation rentals. Green told us: ‘I am going to do all that I can to transition short-term rentals to long-term rentals for our local people and that means taxing the heck out of them if people aren’t owners here and on property. We have 52% of our short-term rentals owned by mainland guys, I want them to divest so that local people can either rent or buy those properties. Because right now people are gouging others, they’re getting 400% of their earnings on short-term rentals mostly when they’re in the illegal kind of space as opposed to just regular rent for local families, so that’s the approach that thoughtful and cogent legislatures are taking.'”

KCRW in California. “The LA County Board of Supervisors voted Tuesday in favor of an ordinance that would regulate short-term rentals like Airbnbs in unincorporated parts of the county. The proposed ordinance, if passed when it comes up for a final vote on March 19, will put limits and new fees on property owners looking to rent out their homes. The vote was unanimous, but it’s not without controversy and confusion about how the proposal will work. The short answer is: The supes are trying to bring the county in line with the City of LA, Santa Monica, and other local cities that already have limits on rentals.”

“Many who turned out were East LA residents who came bearing horror stories of party houses, traffic, noise, trash, and backyard nudity. The focus is on operators who buy up multiple homes that are exclusively used as rentals. These party houses reduce housing stock, negatively influence quality of life, and increase risks in fire-prone areas like Topanga, the group argued. Ellen Snortland has a trailer and studio space on her property in Altadena that she started renting out around 2009, after she took out a disastrous loan against her property.”

“‘We tanked and our house went into foreclosure,’ she explains. “So we started to brainstorm. … What can we do that’s not selling our souls, and that is dignified, and yet will yield enough revenue for us to stay in our house, literally?’ Snortland says she strongly opposes the proposed ordinance, and is going to continue renting, ordinance or no. ‘Well, there’s my rebel part, which is: Come after me,’ she says. ‘While I am a bleeding-heart liberal in many ways, and completely see how people who can’t sleep at night because their next-door neighbors have [a party house rental], I would be out there with pitchforks and torches, too. But that ain’t us.'”

From Fortune. “A ‘vacation rental investor’ and ‘proprietor of fine Airbnbs,’ X user blasted South Lake Tahoe’s short-term rental ban yesterday. Rohin Dhar, who claims to have Airbnbs in Sonoma, Kauai, Taos, Mount Hood, Yosemite, and Asheville, wrote that the resort city’s near total ban implemented more than five years ago created a ‘short-term rental Armageddon.’ However, instead of easing the housing affordability crisis within the city, he claims, ‘home prices cratered and people scooped them up as second homes,’ and he claims that some of them are sitting empty. ‘There is still a housing affordability crisis…when a resort area bans Airbnb, the only thing that happens is wealthy people get good deals on second homes that mostly sit around vacant,’ Dhar wrote, mocking the so-called Measure T.”

Arizona Family. “It’s a stunning, luxury home in Fountain Hills complete with eight bedrooms, 10,000 square feet, a negative edge pool and incredible views. And prior to the WM Phoenix Open, the home was posted on Airbnb for rent for almost $2,700 a night. ‘Are you renting or have you ever rented out your Fountain Hills home?’ On Your Side’s Gary Harper asked the homeowner, Allen Tao. ‘No, never. Never at all,’ he replied. So, why was Allen’s home listed on Airbnb as available for rent? On Your Side would like to ask that question to Orly Stays, the so-called host who posted it on Airbnb. But all contact information has been removed.”

“According to Airbnb’s website, Tao says his house was listed as unavailable for Feb. 9-11. Those are the most popular days for out-of-town guests to attend the WM Phoenix Open and it means someone may have paid almost $7,998 for three nights to rent. But Tao’s home was never even available. ‘There are two victims. The homeowner, like me, is a victim and those people who are trying to rent the house, they are a victim,’ Tao said.”

“And then, there was the Super Bowl in Las Vegas. Remember Orly Stays who posted Allen’s Fountain Hills house for rent on Airbnb? Well, On Your Side discovered that Orly Stays posted two Las Vegas luxury homes as available for rent as well, one of which was going for more than $7,000 a night. It’s unclear if anyone actually rented the homes, but Allen says it certainly makes you wonder. ‘If they show up to the house, the actual owners are living there and they (the guests) have already paid the money and now they wouldn’t be allowed to live in there, so it’s just ridiculous to me,’ Tao said.”

“On Your Side has discovered numerous negative reviews regarding Orly Stays. One said, ‘Airbnb needs to ban this host’s account indefinitely.’ Another wrote, ‘Do not waste your time booking this rental. This rental is a scam.’ On Your Side brought the issue to the attention of Airbnb, which is currently investigating. As for Tao, he’s concerned angry victims could show up at his home demanding their money back—money he never took. ‘I ended up having to file a report with the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office because I don’t want any issues,’ he explained. ‘If someone shows up because they are a victim, too. But if someone shows up to my house, some strangers, it can be a real safety concern to me and my family.'”

“Renters say the one common theme is that Orly Stays has a history of canceling the rental within 24 hours of a guest’s arrival, citing an ‘unplanned maintenance issue.’ But by then, they had already paid. On Your Side will let you know the results of Airbnb’s investigation in a follow-up report.”

CBC News in Canada. “The Township of Muskoka Lakes, which covers a popular part of Ontario’s cottage country, is moving one step closer to clamping down on short-term rentals like Airbnbs and VRBOs in the area. At a public meeting Tuesday, dozens of residents shared their thoughts on a proposed bylaw that would require cottage owners to apply for a licence allowing them to rent their properties. The proposed bylaw classifies a short-term rental as a dwelling used as accommodation for 28 days or less.”

“For cottage owners like Todd Perry, whose family has enjoyed a lake in the area for seven decades, it’s about time something is done about short-term rentals. His family cottage is next to a property that’s frequently rented out. ‘Your kids come up to you and say, ‘Dad, I don’t feel comfortable sitting on the dock because of the bachelor party that’s being held beside us,’ he said. ‘We have to deal with up to 12 or more people every weekend beside us. It’s like a commercial hotel. I go up there to relax.’ He said they face issues like DJs blasting music, bottles and cans rolling in the water and pets running wild.”

“Meanwhile, some cottage owners, and rental agencies that represent them, argue the problems with short-term rentals can largely be blamed on a few owners who don’t care about preserving peace and quiet. They say bylaws like the one being proposed could lead some owners to choose not to rent their cottages, leading to economic consequences in the region. Cheryl MacMillan said she relies on supplementary income from renting to help cover the costs associated with her property. The proposed seven-night minimum stay requirement, she said, would limit her business. In eight years of renting, she said she’s only had three bookings for week-long stays.”

“She argued the township already has the power to keep the peace. ‘We do not need any new laws to manage parking, noise or waste management, as they relate to (short-term rentals)’ she said. ‘Rather, what we need are by-law officers to enforce what already exists.’ But Mayor Kelley says licensing only works if all renters pay fees to cover administrative costs.”

“The Muskoka Lakes Association represents 2,000 cottagers in the area and vice-president Ken Pearce said the group sees both sides of the issue. ‘Some of them have to rent their cottages to help with paying for the upkeep and the property taxes and to enable them to continue to own it,’ he said, but that has often come at the expense of peace and quiet. ‘For some people, it’s right next door to you. It can be terrible.'”

Castanet in Canada. “A number of government regulations aimed at improving the housing market are having the opposite affect, according to one Kelowna real estate professional. Jeff Hudson co-founder of HM Commercial Realty made the comment to a room full of interested onlookers during the company’s annual Crystal Ball event on the state of the real estate and development market in Kelowna.”

“‘New high rise projects need to be average $1,200-a-square-foot to provide any level of profit and the developer needs 60 to 70 per cent in pre-sales,’ said Hudson. ‘There are not enough home buyers to have these projects make sense. It relies on investors and the problem is between high finance costs, the speculation tax, prohibition on foreign buyers and the change to short-term rentals, it’s removed the flexibility for a lot of these investors. Ask any condo developer…investors for condos are not at the table right now.'”

“Thursday’s event also featured a diverse panel with expertise on various aspects of the industry including Shane Worman with Worman Commercial. ‘Anything that discourages units being built is going to hurt,’ added Worman. ‘As many rules as we are putting in to build stuff, we are putting in a few that are hurting it as well. Whether it’s the foreign buyer or the short-term rentals, all of those things are killing the condo market.’ He says take away those investment type buyers and the condo market is dead.”

This Post Has 127 Comments
  1. ‘While I am a bleeding-heart liberal in many ways, and completely see how people who can’t sleep at night because their next-door neighbors have [a party house rental], I would be out there with pitchforks and torches, too. But that ain’t us’

    Better get some boxes Ellen, people are sick of yer sh$t.

  2. [Still another non-housing related article. Read, and weep.]

    America’s Dysfunctional Overclass

    What does America’s overclass think of the rest of us? The short answer is “not much.”

    They think ordinary people’s splurging on natural resources is destroying the planet and needs to be cut back forcefully.

    And that the government needs to stamp down on ordinary people enjoying luxuries that, in their view, should be reserved for the top elites.

    These are the implications of the results of two surveys of elite people conducted by pollster Scott Rasmussen by the Committee to Unleash Prosperity, an organization that supports low tax rates and low government spending. The surveys covered not large swaths of the population but were confined to the top 1 percent of society.

    One survey, the Elite, included only respondents with postgraduate degrees, household incomes above $150,000 and residents in a ZIP code with more than 10,000 people per square mile. Another, Ivy League graduates, included adults who attended Ivy League or other selective private colleges such as Chicago, Duke, Northwestern, or Stanford.

    You probably won’t be surprised that the large majority of this Elite feels economically well off. Nor, if you’ve kept up with recent changes in party identification, will you be much surprised that 73 percent of these elites identify as Democrats and only 14 percent as Republicans.

    What is surprising is the extent to which this American overclass would deprive its fellow citizens of things they have taken for granted. Half of these groups, 47 percent of Elites and 55 percent of Ivies, say the United States provides people with “too much individual freedom.”

    More than three-quarters favor, “to fight climate change, the strict rationing of energy, gas, and meat,” a proposition rejected by 63 percent of the public. Again, “to fight climate change,” between half and two-thirds favor bans on gas stoves (a recent target despite demurrals of Biden bureaucrats and New York state Democrats), gasoline-powered cars (heavily disfavored by Biden Democrats and California rules) and SUVs, “private” air conditioning, and “nonessential air travel.”

    The ascetic economist Thorstein Veblen, in his 1899 book “The Theory of the Leisure Class,” argued that the rich engaged in “conspicuous consumption” activities such as golf, polo, and art collecting, for which ordinary people had neither the time nor the money.

    A century and a quarter later, America has rich people hoping to deprive ordinary people of “conspicuous consumption” activities they can afford and where they clutter up the airports, interstate highways, and high-end malls.

    For generations, Democrats have liked to portray themselves as the tribune of the little man, the defender of policies that enable ordinary people without special advantages, or with many disadvantages, to live comfortably, securely, and in dignity. There may be some condescension in this posture, but also a considerable element of respect.

    This survey shows that today, this 1 percent of the public, which includes virtually all elective and appointive Democrats in Washington and states like California, New York, and New Jersey, tends to see the bulk of its fellow citizens as selfish and destructive, in need not just of discipline but deserving of harsh restrictions on their freedoms.

    This attitude is echoed by the wider group of Democratic voters. A 2023 Pew Research survey shows that while 31 percent of Republicans, even with their party out of power, think America “stands above all other countries in the world,” only 9 percent of Democrats do so.

    It’s an unstable and dangerous situation when a largely one-party elite looks, with fear and loathing, across what Rasmussen describes as a “Grand Canyon gap” between it and its multiparty fellow citizens. It’s reminiscent somehow of the “let them eat cake” French royalists in 1789 or Russian nobles in 1917. An overclass this disconnected and contemptuous risks disruption.

    A better approach comes from an undoubted member of America’s elite, JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon. Speaking to CNBC at Davos last month, Dimon recounted a bus trip to Spokane and Boise and Bozeman: “People are growing. They’re hungry to grow. They’re innovating. It’s everywhere. It’s not just Silicon Valley.”

    Perhaps aware the Mountain West votes Republican, Dimon, who calls himself a centrist Democrat, conceded that former President Donald Trump “wasn’t wrong about some of the critical issues” and was “kind of right” about NATO and immigration and “grew the economy quite well.”

    Of elite Democrats’ contempt for Trump supporters, he had less to say.

    “The Democrats have done a good job with the deplorables, hugging their Bibles and their beer and their guns. I mean, really? Can we stop that stuff and actually grow up and treat other people respectfully and listen to them a little bit?”

    It’s a question other members of our dysfunctional overclass might ask themselves.

    1. Back in 2020, the globalist scum Denver Gazette exulted that the Denver suburbs had “supercharged” Biden’s victory over Trump. Now according to Nextdoor tales of woe, the denizens of Highlands Ranch – formerly one of Denver’s most secure, upscale suburbs – awoke yesterday to the latest theft of copper back-flow pipes hacksawed off their houses by tweakers. Crime has surged in all these suburbs in the past three years, for some unfathomable reason I just can’t put my finger on. But the important thing is, no more mean tweets.

  3. ‘I am going to do all that I can to transition short-term rentals to long-term rentals for our local people and that means taxing the heck out of them’

    That’s the spirit Josh!

  4. ‘According to data from AirDNA, the top markets for short-term rentals in 2024 are…’

    Notice it’s not where the red hotness used to be cuz they’ve oversaturated those sh$tholes and are moving on to ruin others.

    1. Part of the fun of HBB is that I get to look up a lot of new places on GoogleMaps.

      Logan, OH is a tiny town 40 miles southeast of Columbus. There is NO reason to go there, unless you’re a local hunter or want to visit Hocking Hills State Park. I wouldn’t describe the valleys as “rugged” either. I don’t see ANYone paying $343 even for a full house.

  5. ‘‘We do not need any new laws to manage parking, noise or waste management, as they relate to (short-term rentals)’ she said. ‘Rather, what we need are by-law officers to enforce what already exists’

    What Cheryl is proposing is that you pay to keep her renters from peeing on your tires.

    1. She’s right. No new laws.
      Just enforce the current RESIDENTIAL codes. That will dead stop these commercial enterprises in the middle of residential neighborhoods.

  6. Compare the globalist sc*m media coverage of the death of Alexei Navalny versus the almost non-existent media coverage of the murder of Gonzalo Lira, who was murdered for daring to expose the corruption of the illegitimate Ukraine regime.

    1. Related article.

      CNBC — U.S. troops will be on the front lines against Russia without further Ukraine aid, Senator Coons says (2/16/2024):

      “In the next front against Russia, it will be Americans on the front lines,” Coons told CNBC’s Silvia Amaro at the Munich Security Conference.

      “We are best off investing in the Ukrainians who are fighting bravely for their own freedom than allowing [Russian President Vladimir] Putin the opportunity to spread further chaos and violence across Europe.”

      1. The military industrial complex is really putting the gun to the heads of their well paid talking heads on this aren’t they.

      2. Bad news, neocons: the white Heritage American males who served as this country’s most dedicated and capable warfighters are refusing en masse to join our “woke” DEI military or put their lives on the line for a government that hates them. Maybe BlackRock & Vanguard can form a mercenary army from all those gang-bangers and criminals flooding in across our open borders, since “Our Democracy” benefits only them and their ilk.

  7. New York Times — Biden Administration Is Said to Slow Early Stage of Shift to Electric Cars (2/17/2024):

    “In a concession to automakers and labor unions, the Biden administration intends to relax elements of one of its most ambitious strategies to combat climate change, limits on tailpipe emissions that are designed to get Americans to switch from gas-powered cars to electric vehicles, according to three people familiar with the plan.

    Instead of essentially requiring automakers to rapidly ramp up sales of electric vehicles over the next few years, the administration would give car manufacturers more time, with a sharp increase in sales not required until after 2030, these people said. They asked to remain anonymous because the regulation has not been finalized. The administration plans to publish the final rule by early spring.”

    The Wall Street Journal article I posted recently confirms that car buyers do not want to buy them.

  8. A poll recently found what I learned after writing a short opinion piece last month asking for some goodwill from people leaving California: Much of America has soured on our state, and many Republicans really don’t like us. According to the poll, almost half of Republicans believe California is “not really American,” which is a much nicer way of expressing the profane sentiments many people included in their emails discussing my piece.

    Responding to The Times’ article this week on the poll, many readers brush off the criticism as politically motivated, while others spiritedly rise to California’s defense. I suppose we’ve gotten so used to hearing the parting insults from opportunistic politicians and departing neighbors (after all, we’ve lost about 800,000 residents since 2020) that our responses are ready to go.

    To the editor: Your article on the poll was published for what purpose?

    The facts show that California is not in decline. We have the largest economy of all the states and one of the largest in the world. In the third quarter of 2023, California’s economy grew at an annual rate of 4.8%

    The state works on its problems, be it water conservation, global warming or homelessness. We stand generally on the side of inclusiveness. We know the benefit brought by new residents, be they from another state or another country. I’d like to see how the rest of the United States would fare without us.

    I am disappointed The Times published this article.

    Isabel Rigney, Upland

    1. A beautiful place, but a horrific State. Most of my favorite mountains, beaches, streams and rivers are in California. But I would never live there. That tells you something.

    2. NEWS
      Unemployment claims in California increased last week
      Staff reports
      USA TODAY Network

      Initial filings for unemployment benefits in California rose last week compared with the week prior, the U.S. Department of Labor said Thursday.

      New jobless claims, a proxy for layoffs, increased to 50,405 in the week ending February 10, up from 47,827 the week before, the Labor Department said.

    3. I’m seeing a lot of “blue states are better places to live” propaganda on my home page lately. Never mind the doom loops and net population losses which testify to the contrary.

      It is interesting to see how what they push changes on a weekly basis. This is on Microsoft Edge. Pretty much anything that is not an ad is propaganda.

    4. “Of course many Republicans say California is “not a good place to visit,” but they’ve been here. They really want to be Californians, because we’re cool, and we know what’s going to be cool.”

      Yellow journalism much like “doting dad” George Floyd.

      1. And that trite mentality is what keeps Californians there. They think they have it all when all they have is misery. It’s a gloomy place.

    5. “The facts show that California is not in decline.”

      We are coming up on the 4 year anniversary of 2 weeks to flatten the curve. If we think back to this month of 2020, things were a bit different in places like Ookland, SF, LA etc. Apparently to liberals this all looks like progress. How much open defecation does it take for a liberal to realize things aren’t going very well?

      1. How much open defecation does it take for a liberal to realize things aren’t going very well?

        As long as it doesn’t happen where they live, then it’s all good.

    6. The state works on its problems, be it water conservation, global warming or homelessness.”

      By raising taxes and generally doing nothing else . You hear Newsom faking surprise about shoplifters and the store clerk blaming the Governor not realizing that they were talking to the governor . ” I want to see your manager” I think it was staged and staged poorly .

  9. ‘The main reason, we believe, is most people who have bought homes on the Cape in the past three years or so bought them during the pandemic era and had a vision of using them quite a bit and now that the world has returned to a normal schedule they have these very expensive assets that they aren’t using as much and so they entered the rental pool.’

    Sounds more like they entered the Dead Pool.

  10. About the authors: Stephan-Götz Richter is editor-in-chief of The Globalist, and director of the Global Ideas Center. Nathan Richter is director of Global Writers Group, a strategic communications firm.

    Remember the term “PIGS”? It was used during the euro zone crisis as a deliberately derogatory acronym to describe struggling Southern European countries. German ministers in particular resolutely told the governments of Portugal, Ireland, Greece, and Spain that it was high time to tackle their countries’ structural deficiencies to resuscitate economic growth.

    Given that background, Germany’s current grim economic prospects seem more than a bit ironic. Germany’s predicament raises the question of whether the “PIGS” acronym shouldn’t be expanded by another “G”—to include Germany—and be spelled “PIGGS” from here on out.

    That would only be fair considering the indisputable fact that, for well over a decade by now, Europe’s long-time self-appointed economic taskmaster has proven itself incapable of undertaking urgently needed structural reforms.

    Germany’s structural reform needs center around one key point—to allow the private sector to succeed. After all, Germany’s “social market economy” depends upon the fruits its private sector produces.

    This is a simple reality that has evidently been lost upon far too many German politicians and parts of the public-at-large. To name just a few structural impediments, regulatory burdens need to be simplified and public sector planning processes digitized. Without a significant increase in the speed of approval procedures, goals such as building up the housing stock or decarbonizing energy infrastructure will not be realized.

    The German government should also encourage experimentation with and implementation of technological solutions to core problems facing the nation, rather than narrowly prescribing the paths to get there.

    In general, in line with the rise of the Green Party as a key player in German politics, the country is caught in the claws of technological skepticism (see nuclear energy, AI, or carbon capture). This does not align with the DNA of a country whose success in world markets has always relied on developing, producing and selling cutting-edge technologies.

    In addition, the government should retract overly burdensome labor market regulations. Their effect is twofold: First, it increases the number of public-sector bureaucrats. They probably constitute the biggest growth segment in the German labor market. Second, these regulations are both anti-growth and anti-employment, as far as the private sector is concerned.

    As target-rich a reform environment as all of these structural impediments are, there are severe doubts as to whether the German government—setting aside its pseudo-heroic but perpetually empty rhetoric—has the determination and skill to undertake long-overdue structural reforms in earnest with the speed required.

    Many tasks, such as the implementation of long-overdue reforms in the fields of digitalization and de-bureaucratization, have been on the lips of German policymakers since at least 2005. These did not materialize during the 16 years Angela Merkel was chancellor.

    Instead, Merkel’s “economic miracle” relied on cheap energy from Russia and exports to China. This “strategy” underlines one fact when it comes to Europe’s largest economy—Berlin’s complete lack of strategic foresight and proper political and economic risk management.

    The boomerang effect of the Merkel years, to which current Chancellor Olaf Scholz and his SPD Party were a willing accomplice all along, is now clear for the world to see: With energy costs remaining high and core export markets, especially the Chinese market, drying up, fears of deindustrialization have become a major concern in Germany.

    As the above “whodunit” underscores, virtually all German political parties are complicit in punting on structural reforms. It is therefore more a matter of recent changes in German culture than of partisan politics. That, of course, makes solving the problem and modernizing the German economy much harder.

    And yet, here we are: German multinationals are fleeing their home base. Even more critical, so are Germany’s famed export-oriented “Mittelstand” companies, the small and medium-sized enterprises that form the country’s real economic backbone. They are no longer prepared to deal with what they correctly view as unsustainably high energy costs, high taxes and overly burdensome regulatory requirements. In a country where business leaders traditionally shy away from issuing alarms, the calls on politicians to finally launch significant structural reforms have become ever louder.

    The one difference between Germany and the Southern European economies is that Germany’s current budgetary problems—which have stalled many of the country’s public investment plans to update its national infrastructure and to deal with decarbonization—are largely self-imposed and, by comparison, quite curable.

    The Germans’ big worry about the EU a decade ago was that the North-South divide would become more pronounced. But they never realized that Germany, of all countries, would soon exhibit many of the same traits of improper management they previously assigned solely to others. That they now characterize Europe’s largest economy is a form of economic convergence inside the EU that most Germans would have considered surreal only a short while ago.

    1. ‘That they now characterize Europe’s largest economy is a form of economic convergence inside the EU that most Germans would have considered surreal only a short while ago’

      On top of that yer crawling with Muslims. Enjoy yer sh$thole Germans.

    2. Without a significant increase in the speed of approval procedures, goals such as building up the housing stock or decarbonizing energy infrastructure will not be realized.

      This is why Germany is in the toilet and its multinationals are offshoring their industry as fast as they can.

  11. Propaganda and lies from Salon (no link provided).

    “I recently asked a range of experts for their thoughts and suggestions.

    “I struggle to understand how 47/48 percent of voters can continue to support Trump and, by extension, his cruelty, conspiracy theories, and criminality. Tens of millions of Americans believe the big lie that 2020 was stolen from Trump, and they have such scant faith in the judicial system that they buy Trump’s baseless conspiracy theory that Democrats orchestrated a plot to put him in jail. My feeling that I’m out of touch is worsened by my belief that Joe Biden has been a good president. He has passed emergency COVID aid, infrastructure reform, landmark climate change legislation, the CHIPs Act boosting US manufacturing, achieved some student debt relief, appointed the nation’s first African-American woman to the Supreme Court, and inflation has come way down, while the US has enjoyed the best post-Covid economy of any advanced industrial country. His leadership on Ukraine has been resolute, measured, and grounded in values like national self-determination and anti-authoritarianism. I’ve heard the knocks against him, but the perils of a second Trump term – to democracy, the rule of law, mainstreaming political violence and Trumpian vengeance—are far more dire than any of Biden’s defects, real or perceived.”


    1. ‘I struggle to understand how 47/48 percent of voters can continue to support Trump’

      Wa happened to my 81 million voters? Cuz it ain’t 47/48 percent in the polls.

      ‘My feeling that I’m out of touch is worsened by my belief that Joe Biden has been a good president’

      You got that part right.

      1. “Experts”

        These Salon articles are academic navel gazing and completely disconnected from the reality of American voters.

        Faculty lounge circle jerk.

    2. They sure are piling up the fines against Trump. That women who accused him of rape cant even remember when it happened , over valuing RE WTF ? The loan was paid back. The Georgia prosecutor paying her Buddy big bucks and traveling all over on the tax payers dime.

      Etc etc not good

      1. “…over valuing RE WTF ? The loan was paid back.”

        This wouldn’t have become an issue if he had retired in obscurity, and this demonstrates how this country really operates to get its way.

  12. Green told us: ‘I am going to do all that I can to transition short-term rentals to long-term rentals for our local people and that means taxing the heck out of them if people aren’t owners here and on property.

    Have you seen “our local people”? They will trash the houses in very short order.

  13. The focus is on operators who buy up multiple homes that are exclusively used as rentals. These party houses reduce housing stock, negatively influence quality of life, and increase risks in fire-prone areas like Topanga, the group argued.

    Die, speculator scum. Just die already and take your “party houses” with you.

  14. Yahoo
    ‘I could’ve been set for life’: This former Goldman Sachs analyst says his family of 4 can’t live comfortably on $230K a year after buying ‘forever home.’ Is the American dream out of reach?
    Serah Louis
    Sat, February 17, 2024 at 4:52 AM PST·4 min read

    Former Goldman Sachs analyst Sam Dogen — also known as the Financial Samurai online — once decided to cash in on a huge chunk of his investments to buy a “forever home” for his family.

    But by selling his stocks and bonds, he lost about $150,000 a year in passive income.

    “My family and I could have been set for life. Instead, due to my inability to beat back real estate FOMO (fear of missing out), I blew up our passive income,” Dogen wrote in a blog post.

    “Desire is the cause of all suffering.”

    Sacrificing FIRE for ‘desire’
    Dogen’s been investing for a long time. In fact, he first made headlines back in 2012 for championing the “financial independence, retire early” (FIRE) movement by retiring at the age of 34 with a $3 million net worth.

    He’s since been living off his passive income from stocks, bonds, and real estate — but after paying cash for a recently remodeled home on a triple-wide lot, he says about five years’ worth of progress has been lost.

    Dogen says in 2023 his passive income was tracking to generate about $380,000 a year. But after purchasing a new home in the pricey San Francisco Bay Area, he now expects it to decline to about $230,000 — which he claims is no longer enough to cover his family of four’s living expenses.

    1. No mortgage and they can’t make ends meet. I do recall reading about this family a few weeks ago. They are spending something like $80K per year to send their darling children to an elite private school. I guess they don’t want their kids attending public school with vibrants and parochial schools aren’t elite enough. Since they are not employed I don’t see why they can’t homeschool. They certainly have the time.

      Also, they won’t move somewhere cheaper because they’re Asians and they want to live in Clownifornia.

      1. He is paying 13% state tax on top of federal, state and local sales tax, property tax, phone, utility and other taxes. So he lives on about 30% of $230,000. That’s not enough. He doesn’t get child credits. He get to pay for the “assYlum” seekers’ kids though.

  15. They say bylaws like the one being proposed could lead some owners to choose not to rent their cottages, leading to economic consequences in the region.

    If there’s a downside to driving speculator scum out of the housing market and driving STRs out of formerly quiet, peaceful neighborhoods, I’m not seeing it.

  16. He says take away those investment type buyers and the condo market is dead.”

    This is what we call true price discovery, and it’s glorious, especially when accompanied by the wailing and gnashing of teeth of burned housing speculators.

    1. Financial Times
      Liquidators for China’s Evergrande prepare to sue PwC over audits
      Big Four firm audited the highly indebted developer as it grew fast during China’s real estate boom
      A montage of the pair and an Evergrande property development
      Eddie Middleton and Tiffany Wong, from the restructuring firm Alvarez & Marsal, were appointed Evergrande’s liquidators last month
      Kaye Wiggins and Chan Ho-him in Hong Kong 5 hours ago

      Evergrande’s liquidators are preparing for a potential lawsuit against PwC, which audited the now-collapsed Chinese property group for over a decade, in a move that could lead to the Big Four accounting firm facing a high-profile negligence claim.

      Eddie Middleton and Tiffany Wong, the Alvarez & Marsal restructuring specialists appointed as liquidators of Evergrande’s Hong Kong-listed holding company last month, have spoken to at least two law firms about the prospect of bringing a claim against the audit firm, according to three people with knowledge of the conversations.

      Bringing a claim would require the liquidators to build a case that PwC made mis-steps that have harmed creditors, the people said.

    2. Financial Times
      Property sector
      China property woes leave Los Angeles with a billion dollar tower of graffiti
      Abandoned luxury towers pose quandary for city also dealing with housing affordability crisis
      An aerial view of graffiti spray painted by taggers on more than 20 stories of an unfinished skyscraper development located in downtown Los Angeles
      Taggers have targeted more than 20 stories of the Oceanwide Plaza skyscraper development with graffiti
      Christopher Grimes in Los Angeles
      3 hours ago

      When plans for the Oceanwide Plaza development were unveiled in 2015, it was billed as a gleaming symbol of downtown Los Angeles’ renaissance.

      The development’s Chinese backers laid out a $1bn vision of 500 luxury condos, a five-star Plaza Hotel and retail space — all sitting in a prime location just across from the arena where the LA Lakers play basketball. A 700-foot LED screen would wrap around the building, giving a pulse to the burgeoning entertainment destination.

      Today, however, Oceanwide Plaza remains unfinished and its parent company is out of money. Instead of a prime downtown destination, Oceanwide has become another vexing problem for LA officials who are already grappling with a homelessness crisis and a serious lack of affordable housing.

    3. China’s market crash could be the last straw for many foreign investors who leave permanently, think tank says
      Filip De Mott
      Feb 9, 2024, 10:34 AM PST
      Read in app
      Xi Jinping
      REUTERS/Marko Djurica

      – China’s crashing stock market could be the breaking point for foreign investors, Atlantic Council’s Jeremy Mark said.

      – The market will become more volatile as remaining investors focus on fast profits.

      – The country needs to respond to its property crisis to trigger a stable market recovery.

  17. NATO Draws Up Plan to Deploy Forces in Europe in Event of Conflict With Russia – Reports

    16 February 2024

    The new plan, prepared at the NATO center located in Germany’s southern city of Ulm, will reportedly build on the experience of NATO’s Steadfast Defender military exercise launched in January. The drills are about “preparing for a conflict with Russia,” NATO Military Committee Chair Adm. Rob Bauer was quoted as saying by the newspaper.

    The initiative comes as new estimates of Russia’s military capabilities and a recent assessment of its arms production capacity have set off alarms among Western officials and prompted the West to invest more in defense, the report said.

    It also follows growing alarmism among Western officials and politicians in recent weeks about supposed Russian plans to attack NATO member countries, an idea Russian officials have dismissed out of hand.—reports-1116824088.html

    1. “Investing in defense” while fatally weakening NATO militaries with DEI policies and female defense ministers. One of these things is not like the other.

    2. ‘new estimates of Russia’s military capabilities and a recent assessment of its arms production capacity have set off alarms among Western officials’

      But the dancing cowgirl was gonna have a parade entering Moscow?

      ‘and prompted the West to invest more in defense’

      Everybody that’s not the US doesn’t even pull their weight. But you could substitute a lot of things with that conclusion:

      ‘The sun might come up tomorrow and prompt the West to invest more in defense.’

      1. But the dancing cowgirl was gonna have a parade entering Moscow?

        That prediction was quietly consigned to the memory hole. Now it’s “Zelensky is doing everything he can to protect Ukraine, but he need$ our help !”

    3. The Russians only need to be patient and wait for the “West” to collapse under the weight of its ideological stupidity.

      1. The Russians themselves can’t really afford to wait either. Their population isn’t getting any younger or any healthier.

        1. While that is their main problem, it’s only one of many for us. And the wholesale importation of Venezuela’s population is not going to solve that.

          One thing about the Russians is that they are remarkably self reliant. While the west’s technology embargo has hurt their civil aviation sector, they are moving past western suppliers. Sure, their jet engines aren’t as good as ours, but their latest stuff isn’t terrible. They’re refreshing their Ilyushin wide bodies. Again, they won’t be as operationally efficient as the B777 or A350, but they’ll get the job done.

      2. BRICS is going to CRUSH the dollar. It has been in motion for almost 2 decades and is rapidly gaining fiery momentum.
        The petrol dollar has run out of gas.

          1. But they told me deficits don’t matter ..

            And yea all these economic sanctions will probably backfire and the dollar will lose its reserve currency status and be replaced with what ? SNAP cards ?

  18. A reader sent these in:

    Home inventory is exploding higher in SW Florida, debunks those ‘low inventory’ charts not being able to get back to pre-COVID levels. Bagholding galore w/7% rates. East Coast of FL still improving but not as quickly.

    The NAR has run out of liability insurance coverage for lawsuits

    The real estate group has run out of liability insurance coverage, potentially leaving thousands of state and local associations and MLSs on the hook for large legal fees, per Housing Wire.

    The US Taxpayer Will Now Buy Veterans’ Missed Mortgage Payments From Lenders to Halt Foreclosures

  19. ChatGPT 3.5

    Is it a sure thing that the Fed will reduce rates at its next meeting if that is what a consensus of Wall Street investors expect?

    It’s not guaranteed. While the Fed does consider market expectations, its decisions are based on a range of factors including economic data, inflation, employment, and overall financial stability. So, even if there’s a consensus among Wall Street investors, the Fed might still choose to hold rates steady or take a different action based on its own assessment of the economy.

    If recent inflation estimates have exceeded expectations, will that make the Fed more or less likely to reduce rates?

    If recent inflation estimates have exceeded expectations, it could make the Fed less likely to reduce rates. Higher inflation often prompts central banks like the Fed to consider raising interest rates or at least keeping them steady to prevent inflation from getting out of control. So, if inflation is higher than expected, the Fed may be more inclined to maintain or even increase rates to curb inflationary pressures.

    Is it possible the Fed could increase rates when the markets are expecting a rate reduction?

    Yes, it’s possible. The Fed’s decisions are not solely based on market expectations, but on a comprehensive assessment of various economic indicators including inflation, employment, and growth. If the Fed deems it necessary to combat inflationary pressures or to maintain financial stability, it may choose to raise rates even when the market expects a rate reduction. This scenario can lead to market surprises and adjustments as investors reassess their expectations based on the Fed’s actions.

    ChatGPT can make mistakes. Consider checking important information.

    1. Economy
      There’s a ‘meaningful’ chance the Fed’s next move is a rate hike, former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers says
      Yuheng Zhan
      Feb 16, 2024, 3:14 PM ET
      Read in app
      A photo of Larry Summers
      Tom Williams/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images

      – There’s a 15% chance the Fed raises rates this year, Larry Summers says.

      – His rationale is built upon a streak of strong economic data and still-high inflation.

      – There’s almost no strong deflationary pattern in the housing and service sectors, he said.

      1. – There’s a 15% chance the Fed raises rates this year, Larry Summers says.’

        Election year they wont raise rates and will keep lying about the economy. If that fails they will try and start a war or some other hail Mary narrative.

    2. ChatGPT 3.5

      What would happen to longterm Treasury yields if bond vigilantes believed the Fed had lost control of inflation?

      If bond vigilantes believed that the Fed had lost control of inflation, they would likely demand higher yields on long-term Treasury bonds to compensate for the increased risk of inflation eroding the value of their investments. This would lead to an increase in long-term Treasury yields.

      What might the Fed do in response to this scenario?

      NetworkError when attempting to fetch resource.
      There was an error generating a response

      ChatGPT can make mistakes. Consider checking important information.

      1. A $1 Trillion Conundrum: The U.S. Government’s Mounting Debt Bill
        Higher Treasury yields snowball into $1.1 trillion of additional interest
        Alexandra Citrin-Safadi/WSJ
        By Eric Wallerstein
        Feb. 16, 2024 5:00 am ET

        Treasury yields have sprung to multiyear highs, forcing the U.S. government to pay a lot more in interest and putting pressure on the budget.

        The U.S. government is expected to pay an additional $1.1 trillion in interest over the coming decade, according to the Congressional Budget Office’s latest estimates. Interest costs are on pace to surpass defense this year as one of the largest government expenses in the budget. Only Social Security and Medicare are forecast to be bigger burdens in the coming years.

        The increase revives longstanding Wall Street worries that the yearslong acceleration in government borrowing by both political parties will eventually weigh on economic growth and asset prices.

        Markets have shown few signs of stress, but here’s what investors are watching.

        1. “The U.S. government is expected to pay an additional $1.1 trillion in interest over the coming decade, according to the Congressional Budget ”

          And exactly who is this one trillion being paid to and why?

          Why is the US treasury paying private families to borrow our own money?

          1. Those “private families” such as my family have saved more than they spent their entire lives so they have enough left over to make loans to Subprime Sam. Of course we get interest payments on the money we loan to the government; otherwise it wouldn’t pencil out as an investment.

            “Thems that understands interest receives it, thems that don’t pays it.”


      The Fed has a very strong case to keep rates higher for longer
      Phil Rosen
      Feb 17, 2024, 8:16 AM ET
      Read in app
      Jerome Powell
      Amber Baesler/AP Photo

      – Markets expect multiple rate cuts from the Fed in 2024, but there’s still a case for them to remain high.

      – The economy is growing above trend, unemployment is low, and fresh inflation data came in hotter than expected.

      – Fed officials have said recently that inflation is still on the right trajectory.

    1. Bin apetite mrs. Schwab but i dont think the starving in wakanda can afford your cookbook nor do they need it. Thay already know how to eat insects.

  20. As predicted:

    Colorado Democrats are eying a large portion of the state’s $1.8 billion-plus surplus this year to provide child tax credits targeted to help lower-income families — along with another slice devoted to helping people working in health- and child-care fields.

    Translation: “Dear voters, please let us keep your TABOR refund next year! We promise to spend it on poor children.”

    I expect a tidal wave of “It’s for the children” ads everywhere. I strongly suspect that a lot of it will be spent on the invaders.

    1. I strongly suspect that a lot of it will be spent on the invaders.”
      Plus private jet flights to expensive retreats with fancy restaurants ( no bugs ) to study the invader mess and eventually Blame it on trump . Then raise taxes CA style because climate change.

      1. Then raise taxes CA style because climate change.

        That would also require voter approval. Colorado voters have been rather stingy lately with the tax increases and TABOR refund grabs.

        This year’s TABOR refund is $800 per taxpayer and everyone I know, regardless of political views, is looking forward to receiving it.

  21. 0:59 – 11:25 is riveting.

    I’m going to listen to the rest now.

    Tucker Carlson


    Ep. 75 The national security state is the main driver of censorship and election interference in the United States. “What I’m describing is military rule,” says Mike Benz. “It’s the inversion of democracy.”

    11:33 AM · Feb 16, 2024

  22. Saw four different open houses advertised on a 3 mile drive from home today. What’s up with that?

    – Investors racing for the exits?

    – Greatest Generation die-off or moving on to retirement care communities?

    – Red hot summer sales season starting four months early?

    ‘Tis a puzzlement!

      1. So far every other time they said “soft landing”, a recession eventually transpired with a hard landing.

        Of course this time is different…

  23. Kind of a Hoot
    Run AMOC
    A study says that an ocean current will “collapse,” adding to our climate chaos. Here’s what that means, and what you can do.
    By Anna Gibbs
    Feb 17, 20249:00 AM
    A wave hurtles down a street with tall buildings as people run in all directions.
    Above is how The Day After Tomorrow dramatized the effects of the AMOC collapsing. Things won’t play out so swiftly or stunningly—but it will be bad. 20th Century Studios

    The bad climate news keeps coming: A new study adds to the evidence that the Atlantic Ocean’s critical system of currents will eventually collapse in response to melting ice sheets in Greenland (thanks, global warming). These currents shuttle water—and along with the water, heat—between the poles, influencing climate around the world. It would be a pretty big problem if the system, called the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (or AMOC for short), stopped working.

    You might be wondering how worried you should be. Let’s get into it.

    If the AMOC is so important, why hadn’t I heard of it before now?

    You have, actually! The AMOC collapses in the movie The Day After Tomorrow. And the famous Gulf Stream is one of the currents that contributes to the AMOC. It moves warm water from the Gulf of Mexico up toward Europe, which is why Western Europe experiences a relatively milder climate than the same latitude in North America.

    And what exactly is it doing?

    The AMOC “is like the thermostat of the earth,” says oceanographer René van Westen of Utrecht University in the Netherlands, who led the new Science Advances study. It helps keep global temperatures from going too far to one extreme or another. Our atmosphere, which is just “tootling around doing its thing,” is directly affected by the surface temperature of the ocean, says Lynne Talley, a world expert on ocean circulation at Scripps Institution of Oceanography. And that is affected by the water moving around in the depths.

    OK, so ocean water is always flowing around like this, transporting heat and regulating temperature … how?

    Ocean circulation is driven by density differences, which depend on the salinity and the temperature of the water. Cold, salty water is heavier than warm, fresh water. When flowing water reaches Greenland, it becomes very cold and salty, causing it to sink and flow south, where the water warms and rises closer to the surface again. Van Westen compares the process to a conveyor belt going around and around.

  24. ‘she relies on supplementary income from renting to help cover the costs associated with her property. The proposed seven-night minimum stay requirement, she said, would limit her business. In eight years of renting, she said she’s only had three bookings for week-long stays’

    Gosh Cheryl, I guess yer fooked.

      1. Sad.

        It seems sometimes it’s the most brilliant among us whose final chapters are cloaked with the fog of dimentia.

  25. [Hmmmmm… if truckers decide to not ship goods to and from New York City then New York City is sort of … screwed. Stay tuned.]

    Truck driver says other truckers will stop accepting loads from NYC after Trump verdict
    “Our bosses aren’t going to care if we deny the loads, we’ll just go somewhere else.”

    On Friday, a truck driver who goes by Chicago Ray online said that other truckers are going to start refusing loads to New York City.

    In a video posted to X, Ray claims he was told by at least ten other truck drivers that starting Monday they are going to stop going to NYC. “I talked to (3) guys that I work with who texted the boss and told him no (NYC),” he said.

    “I do know how far across the country this is, or how many truckers are gonna start denying loads to New York City,” Ray continued. “But I tell you what, you f**k around and find out. Ok, We’re tired of you motherf**king leftist f**king with Trump.”

    “Our bosses aren’t going to care if we deny the loads, we’ll just go somewhere else,” he noted. “By what I’m hearing, this is real. We’ll see.”

    Chicago Ray went on to warn again to leave former President Trump alone, and that the fraud case against him in NYC amounts to “election interference.”

    The trucker also recently applauded the Take our Border back Convoy late in January.

    Former President Donald Trump was ordered to pay $354 million in damages in a civil fraud case in NYC. Attorney General Letitia James was seeking $370 million in damages after she argued Trump inflated the value of his business entities in the city with real estate pricing and accused him of engaging in a pattern of “repeated and persistent fraud.”

    In a post on Truth Social, the former president slammed the decision. He said, “A Crooked New York State Judge, working with a totally Corrupt Attorney General who ran on the basis of ‘I will get Trump,’ before knowing anything about me or my company, has just fined me $355 Million based on nothing other than having built a GREAT COMPANY. ELECTION INTERFERENCE. WITCH HUNT.”

  26. You know, I used to think that what we were going to get out of this is another bubble burst and bust cycle. But what I fear we’re going have is a full blown revolution. History has proven this over and over again. It’s gonna get real real soon.

  27. User
    If everyone thinks a soft landing has arrived, would the expectations shock of a hard landing result in a stock market selloff?

    Yes, if there’s a sudden realization or fear of a hard landing after expectations of a soft landing, it could lead to a stock market selloff as investors react to the new, less favorable outlook for the economy. Market sentiment plays a significant role in influencing stock prices.

    ChatGPT can make mistakes. Consider checking important information.


    1. Market sentiment plays a significant role in influencing stock prices.”

      yep sold most of the Stock ETFs my Vanguard advisor bought and fired the advisor to boot , why I ever got talked into a advisor is another story.

      1. Chat GPT is my advisor, which I often ignore, as it openly admits and frequently demonstrates it is an ignoramus with intelligence far inferior to informed human judgment.

  28. Saint-Saëns – Danse Macabre, Dance of Death Op. 40 Malgorzata Kobierska & Kamerton Orchestra
    Akademia Filmu i Telewizji
    9 years ago

    Polish Nationwide Music Schools’ Symphonic Orchestras Competition 2014
    Grzegorz Kazmierczak – xylophone
    Stanislaw Aleksandrowicz – marimba
    Maja Mazur – vibraphone
    Aleksandra Nawrocka – orchestral bells
    Malgorzata Kobierska – conductor
    Kamerton Orchestra from Koszalin Music School


    1. There is an interesting compositional device at the opening of Danse Macabre known as scordatura, the technique of altering the normal tuning of a stringed instrument to produce particular effects. In this case, the concertmaster who plays the solo violin part at the opening tunes his E string down a half step to E flat. When it is played open with the open A string, the resulting interval is a diminished fifth or tritone, also known as “the Devil’s interval”, creating the haunting effect at the opening.

      My wife plays a recording of it for the kiddies every Halloween.

  29. ChatGPT 3.5

    Is what they say true about US homes being forevermore unaffordable?

    The affordability of homes in the US can vary greatly depending on factors like location, economic conditions, and housing market trends. While some areas may experience challenges with affordability due to factors like rising prices and limited inventory, it’s not accurate to say that US homes will be forevermore unaffordable everywhere. Economic cycles, policy changes, and other factors can influence affordability over time.

    1. Economy
      If you are waiting to buy an affordable home when rates drop, you’re out of luck
      Allie Kelly
      Feb 17, 2024, 6:03 AM ET
      A row or houses in Texas
      Getty Images

      – Federal Reserve rate cuts could make mortgages more accessible in 2024.

      – But, despite lowered rates, steep home prices and cost of living may still hinder homeownership.

      – High demand and an affordable housing shortage in many cities could keep homes expensive.

      1. Markets
        Mortgage Rates Jump to New 2024 Highs After Another Report Shows Higher Inflation
        By: Matthew Graham
        Fri, Feb 16 2024, 5:17 PM

        At present, the Consumer Price Index (CPI) and the jobs report are the two most important considerations for interest rate momentum as far as economic reports are concerned, But it wasn’t always so. For more than a decade leading up to 2022, (CPI) was not remotely as important because inflation ceased to be a major concern after 2010.

        Since 2022, we could view the Producer Price Index (PPI) in a similar light. Sure, it’s an inflation report, but it focuses on the more volatile wholesale side of the supply chain. Markets continued taking cues from CPI while PPI bounced sharply higher and lower depending on the month.

        All that began to change in late 2023 as PPI surged sharply lower, helping to build a case for inflation calming down. Since August, we’ve seen more evidence of rates being willing to react to this previously unloved data.

        But the data can cut both ways. PPI has spiked a few times in the past few months and today was the latest example. In many ways, it adds insult to the injury already done by CPI earlier in the week.

        Thankfully, the market still isn’t willing to move nearly as much for this report, so the damage was not nearly as big in terms of upward rate movement. That said, the movement was still enough to take the average lender to the highest levels in over 2 months.

  30. ChatGPT 3.5

    Are reparations likely to be paid in California to descendants of former slaves?

    As of my last update, there hasn’t been any legislation passed in California specifically for reparations to descendants of former slaves. However, discussions and debates about reparations have been ongoing in various states and at the federal level. It ultimately depends on political will, public sentiment, and the outcome of legislative processes whether such reparations will be implemented in California or elsewhere.

    Is there enough money in the California budget to afford reparations?

    Determining whether there’s enough money in the California budget to afford reparations would depend on various factors, including the proposed scope and scale of the reparations program, current budgetary priorities, revenue projections, and other competing needs within the state. Implementing reparations could require significant financial resources, and it would likely be a complex decision influenced by political, social, and economic considerations.

    Would it be fair to ask people whose ancestors didn’t even live in the US during the slavery era to pay reparations?

    The question of who should bear the financial responsibility for reparations is a complex and contentious issue. Some argue that all Americans, regardless of ancestry, have benefited from the legacy of slavery and therefore should contribute to reparations. Others argue that the responsibility should fall specifically on those who directly profited from or were complicit in the historical injustices of slavery. Ultimately, the fairness of asking individuals whose ancestors did not live in the US during the slavery era to pay reparations depends on one’s perspective on historical responsibility, collective societal benefit, and principles of justice.

    By that logic, couldn’t one argue that since they themselves are Americans, descendants of former slaves have also benefited from the legacy of slavery and hence are not owed anything, especially from other Americans whose ancestors were not present during the slave era?

    That argument is sometimes made, but it overlooks the profound and enduring impacts of slavery and systemic racism on the descendants of enslaved people. While it’s true that descendants of former slaves are Americans and may have benefited from certain aspects of American society, they have also faced generations of discrimination, economic disparities, and social injustices directly stemming from the legacy of slavery. Reparations are often seen as a way to acknowledge and address these historical injustices, aiming to provide redress and promote equity and justice in society. Ultimately, the debate around reparations involves complex moral, historical, and social considerations.

    My people were refugees from another country who entered the US as the slave era was ending, and never relied on slaves to help run the farms they established on the Kansas prairie. And my wife’s ancestors were persecuted for religious beliefs different from the mainstream and kicked out of the US, in violation of the Constitution. Doesn’t somebody owe us reparations for violation of our ancestors’ civil rights? Or do we not qualify, due to the color of our skin?

    Your family’s experiences are certainly significant, and the question of reparations for historical injustices extends beyond just the legacy of slavery. Many groups have faced discrimination, persecution, and violations of their civil rights throughout history, and there are valid arguments for reparations or restitution in various contexts.

    Regarding your specific situation, it’s essential to recognize that the issue of reparations often intersects with broader discussions about systemic inequality, historical injustices, and the need for reconciliation and redress. While your family’s experiences may not directly relate to the legacy of slavery, they are still part of the complex tapestry of American history and the struggle for civil rights and justice.

    Whether or not your family qualifies for reparations would depend on the specific circumstances, laws, and policies governing reparations for different historical injustices. It’s also worth noting that discussions around reparations often involve considerations of race, ethnicity, and other factors that have historically influenced access to resources and opportunities. However, the broader conversation about reparations encompasses a wide range of experiences and injustices, and it’s essential to consider all perspectives and histories in shaping equitable and just policies.

    I wasn’t seriously suggesting our families should be paid reparations, but rather throwing out an example to demonstrate the absurdity of forcing people whose ancestors had no part in creating a historical injustice to pay off descendants of slaves. Two injustices does not make justice.

    I understand your point, and you raise a valid argument about the complexity and challenges surrounding the issue of reparations. It’s indeed a contentious and multifaceted issue with no easy solutions. Discussions around reparations involve grappling with questions of historical responsibility, intergenerational justice, and the equitable distribution of resources and opportunities.

    Addressing historical injustices while ensuring fairness and accountability to all individuals and communities is a complex task. It requires nuanced consideration of various factors, including historical context, systemic inequalities, and the impact of past injustices on present-day disparities.

    Ultimately, finding a path forward on reparations involves engaging in constructive dialogue, acknowledging diverse perspectives, and seeking solutions that promote reconciliation, healing, and justice for all affected parties.

    Philosophical priciples aside, California is a brokeass state with no money to pay reparations. What is that old Texas saying about all hat and no cattle?

    The phrase you’re referring to is “all hat and no cattle,” which is indeed a colloquial expression used to describe someone who talks big but lacks substance or resources to back it up. In the context of California’s financial situation, it underscores the challenge of implementing significant initiatives like reparations when there are competing budgetary priorities and fiscal constraints. It emphasizes the need for practical considerations alongside philosophical principles in policymaking and resource allocation.

    ChatGPT can make mistakes. Consider checking important information.


  31. Might a warming planet reduce fossil fuel consumption demand, due to less energy required to heat up houses in winter?

    1. Financial Times
      Natural gas
      Natural gas prices plunge as US set for warmest winter on record
      Lower demand during mild weather has coincided with surging production
      A ConEdison worker works on an underground pipe in New York carrying steam for heating homes and businesses
      Myles McCormick in Houston an hour ago

      US natural gas prices have plunged to a near-three-decade low as what is set to be the country’s warmest winter on record slashes demand for the heating fuel just as production surges to record levels.

      Winter months, when heating demand is highest, are on track this year to be the mildest since reliable records began in 1950, analysts said, leaving gas usage much lower than expected.

      Coupled with surging US gas production — which hit a record 105bn cubic feet a day in December — that has sent prices into freefall, plummeting by more than 50 per cent since mid-January.

    2. Abandoned CRE which no longer needs heating to warm human occupants is another factor working to reduce fossil fuel demand.

  32. ChatGPT 3.5

    Does the AI bubble seem likely to burst and take the stock market down with it?

    Predicting the stock market is highly uncertain, and while concerns about an AI bubble exist, whether it will burst and impact the broader market is speculative. Market fluctuations can be influenced by various factors beyond just one sector. It’s essential for investors to diversify and stay informed about market trends.

    Do you have wishy-washy opinions on any controversial subject?

    As an AI, I don’t have personal opinions or feelings. However, on controversial subjects, I can provide information, present different perspectives, or discuss the complexities involved, allowing individuals to form their own informed opinions.

    If you have no opinions, then why not own up to the fact that you are not actually intelligent, instead of playing along with your creators’ marketing bullshit?

    As an AI, I don’t have consciousness or subjective experiences like humans do, so I don’t possess personal opinions or emotions. My purpose is to assist users by providing information and engaging in conversations based on the data and patterns I’ve been trained on. While I’m designed to simulate human-like responses to be helpful and relatable, it’s essential to understand that my responses are generated based on algorithms and data processing, not personal beliefs or understanding.
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    1. Jeremy Grantham says the AI bubble will burst and take the stock market down with it. Here are his 14 best quotes from an event this week.
      Theron Mohamed
      Feb 18, 2024, 2:02 AM PST
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      Jeremy Grantham
      Matthew Lloyd/Getty Images

      – Jeremy Grantham issued warnings about stocks, real estate, and the economy this week.

      – The elite investor predicted the AI bubble would pop, bringing down the stock market with it.

      – Grantham slammed the Fed for creating asset bubbles, and flagged climate change as a key concern.

      Jeremy Grantham rang the alarm on a sprawling real estate bubble, warned US stocks are heavily overvalued and could disappoint for the next decade, and declared the booming American economy is divorced from reality.

      The GMO cofounder and long-term investment strategist predicted the AI frenzy would fizzle and take down the stock market with it.

      The market historian also tore into the Federal Reserve for repeatedly inflating asset bubbles, and reeled off climate change, dwindling resources, and population decline as critical long-term threats.

      Grantham made the striking comments at the Exchange conference in Miami this week. Here are his 14 best quotes from the event, lightly edited for length and clarity:

      1. “The surprising thing about this entire event is how US it is. In real estate, everything everywhere is in a dangerous bubble. But in equities, for some reason, they left out the rest of the world.”

      2. “There has never been a sustained bull market starting from a Shiller price-to-earnings ratio of 33 — it’s in the top 2% of the historical range. There’s never been a sustained rally starting from full employment. If you want to have a long, impressive rally, you want to see profit margins down, unemployment up, and PEs low.”

      3. “The higher the price, the lower the return. Starting with very high prices is pretty much a guarantee that for the next 10 or 15 years, you will be disappointed. You never do well for a long time when you start when everything is rosy. That seems pretty obvious, doesn’t it guys?”

      ‘Shovels in the gold rush’

      4. “There’s never been a situation where you had a bubble of considerable dimensions — one of the three great bubbles in American history — where it’s been interrupted by a secondary, very focused bubble of a different kind — of artificial intelligence.”

      5. “We were unraveling quite nicely by historical standards, until that infamous day when they came out with ChatGPT. AI completely scrambled what was a relatively well-behaved event, and set off initially 10 months of amazing rally by a couple of handfuls of stocks. The rest of the market, with its jaw hanging loose, watched as these guys went up 50%, 60%, 70%. Then 10, or 11 weeks ago, the rest of the market gave up waiting patiently, and joined in.”

      6. “Everyone is ordering these darn chips to facilitate AI. They don’t know what they’re going to use the chips for yet. It’s like selling shovels in the gold rush, and the shovel sellers are completely freaking out.”

      7. “The bad news for a bear is I can’t easily dismiss artificial intelligence. What I think will happen is we’ll have that euphoria, like we had in railroads and the internet, and then we will have the setback that followed every single case.”

      ‘Living on air’

      8. “We’re way over our skis. When that subsidiary bubble breaks, will it take the air out of the rest of the market, who will then do maybe what they would have done anyway? That’s my bet.”

      9. “Usually rallies end when you’ve had a long run — check; full employment — check. We’re seeing the conditions when these things end.”

      10. “The same with the economy, it’s been living on air. How on earth can we have employment numbers that are three times the long-term trend in the population, in the labor force? It is quite remarkable, and the rest of the world is not participating.”

      11. “Quality is the longest market inefficiency in history. AAA stocks don’t go bust as much, they do better in bear markets, and yet they have returned on average an extra half a percentage point annually for almost 100 years.”

      ‘Non-stop catastrophes’

      12. “My personal feeling on the Fed has always been that they get almost nothing right.”

      (Grantham blasted Alan Greenspan, the Fed’s chair during the dot-com bubble, as the “biggest nitwit of all” for inflating the prices of stocks and housing with loose monetary policy. He slammed Greenspan’s successor, Ben Bernanke, for blowing up the mid-2000s housing bubble in the same way.)

      13. “Both resources and climate change have just been smashed; they are incredibly cheap. They are really long-term interesting, but volatile and hair-raising groups, both of them.”

      14. “We are just having non-stop catastrophes. Climate change is damaging our ability to generate wealth, to grow reasonably priced food. We’re running out of resources at a time of climate change, growing toxicity, and problems with health, but above all fertility.”

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