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The Financial Burden Of Lockdowns Laid Bare The Enormity Of The Bubble

A report from KTNV in Nevada. “Homes were selling left and right in the valley as recently as 2021, when the Las Vegas Realtors trade group reported a record 50,000 sales. However, it was very different in 2023. Last year, less than 30,000 homes were sold here. Chris Perron, a loan officer for Guild Mortgage in Henderson, said he’s noticed more open houses lately around the valley. ‘I see more open houses for [Saturday] than I’ve seen in years,’ Perron said.”

From “Things are starting to look up for Jefferson County homebuyers this year, according to a recent market report. ‘My buyer purchased a home with some deferred maintenance and strong pet smells,’ local real estate agent Chris Prichard. wrote in an email. ‘There was nobody clamoring to purchase it, but it was perfect for my buyers, who paid $1,500 above list price but also got the seller to do over $10,000 in repairs and pay $7,000 toward closing costs. This was on an under $150,000 house. So those were pretty significant seller concessions.’ The couple was also able to save on closing costs despite paying above asking price, Prichard said. ‘Due to the way we structured the offer, my buyers ended up putting nothing down and actually got a $500 check written to them at closing (how’s that for no closing costs?),’ she wrote.”

The New York Post. “Home prices along Florida’s southwest coast have plummeted as excess inventory soars due to the ongoing insurance crisis that has gripped the Sunshine State. Realtors said that the soaring cost of home insurance has scared off would-be snowbirds from buying properties in the popular corridor between Sarasota and Naples. Marlissa Gervasoni, president of the Royal Palm Coast Realtor Association, told Bloomberg that in Fort Myers, ‘we’re seeing anywhere from a 50%-to-100% increase in spending [on insurance costs] depending on the age of the home.’ Gervasoni said that local residents are eager to sell due to the inability to afford homeowners insurance, but the pool of potential buyers has shrunk for the same reason.”

“The number of active listings for single-family homes in the Punta Gorda-Port Charlotte-North Port area more than doubled in the past year, rising to 1,900 as of last November from 789 in December of 2022, according to data cited by Bloomberg News. In the Cape Coral-Fort Myers area, the number of listings jumped from 3,900 in December of 2022 to 6,200 a year later. The excess inventory has led to falling prices as homeowners have struggled to sell their properties. In the fourth quarter of 2023, prices in Punta Gorda, which is 100 miles south of Tampa, home prices fell 5.5% year-over-year. Home prices in Naples fell by nearly 6% year-over-year in the fourth quarter, according to data from the National Association of Realtors. In the Cape Coral-Fort Myers area, home prices dropped 3.5%.”

WFTV in Florida. “New data from the Orlando Regional Realtor Association shows home prices dropped at the beginning of 2024. New home listings in the market rose 46.3% from Dec. 2023 to Jan. 2024, with 3,524 new homes on the market in January. According to the Orlando Regional Realtor Association, there was a record inventory for January with 8,217 homes. The median home price for the new year is about $360,000; this is the third month in a row when the median price fell. The ORRA said the median price has dropped by $17,000 since Oct. 2023. According to the association, January marks the eighth month in a row that home sales have fallen.”

The Star Telegram. “Fort Worth home prices dipped to their lowest levels in almost three years in January, a symptom of flagging demand. The Greater Fort Worth Association of Realtors’ January 2024 housing report, published this week in conjunction with Texas A&M and Texas Realtors, found that median housing prices in the city slipped 1.6% year-over-year to $315,000, the cheapest since the fall of 2021. ‘The homes that are available are staying on the market a little longer than usual,’ the report noted.”

From Market Place. “In the office of Extra Space Storage — the chain with the green signs — in Timonium, Maryland, Tasha Brown was buying boxes and inquiring about storage for an unexpected move. Her landlord had stopped paying the mortgage and lost the property to foreclosure. After renting the place for six years, Brown had just a few weeks to find new housing. ‘Very unfortunate, but I have to get boxes to pack up my stuff and my children,’ she said.”

The News Tribune in Washington. “Point Ruston’s lawsuits and financial woes now include legal action from condominium associations representing residents at the site. On Jan. 25, five condominium associations representing building residents at Point Ruston filed a petition in Pierce County Superior Court against the Point Ruston Owners Association. The condo associations are seeking a custodial receiver to take over the governance, finances and management of PROA, citing, among other issues, conflicts of interest, a lack of accountability and escalating assessments to cover environmental expenses, marketing and the site’s legal bills. Online marketing indicates more than 400 total condo units are located in the buildings.”

“In December, The News Tribune reported that AURC III was one of two major lender-investors seeking to recoup tens of millions of dollars in unpaid loans among various LLCs tied to the Point Ruston development via foreclosure and sales of properties. AURC III represents a group of foreign investors through the American United EB-5 Regional Center of Portland, Oregon. Maria Lee, media representative for the city, told The News Tribune in response to questions that Tacoma brought the lawsuit for delinquencies in the 2022 and 2023 LID payments. If Point Ruston LLC does not answer the lawsuit, ‘the city will ask the court for a default order and issue an order of sale for the two parcels,’ she told The News Tribune. ‘If they do answer, then Tacoma will file a motion for summary judgment to foreclose.'”

The Hollywood Reporter in California. “It’s the 30-story elephant on the Los Angeles skyline – and seemingly no one, including Mayor Karen Bass, has decided what to do about it. The Oceanwide Plaza luxury development has stood next to Arena vacant and half-finished since 2019, when its Chinese developer, having already spent $1.1 billion on it, ran out of money. In December, three L.A. taggers broke into the highest of Oceanwide’s three towers and spray-painted their names across its floor-to-ceiling windows. The daring stunt served as a bat signal to the rest of L.A.’s graffiti community. The question now is what will become of the towers. Should they be demolished? Should the city seize them, complete them, and turn them into public housing? Or will they stand for decades as ‘ghost towers,’ the kinds that loom over economically ravaged cities as a constant reminder of what could have been?”

“One problem: Oceanwide is now bankrupt, part of a massive real estate market crash in China valued in the hundreds of billions of U.S. dollars that also took down Evergrande, the country’s largest real estate developer. Rick Caruso, 65, the billionaire developer, blames the Oceanwide situation on ‘a lot of bad policies’ that have been going on for years: ‘I expressed this to Mayor Garcetti many, many times: L.A. is overly dependent on money coming in from China. The housing markets in downtown, especially around South Park, was mostly Chinese money. To have one of the great cities in the world dependent on one source of development dollars is really bad. That’s not the way great cities are built.'”

Boston 25 News in Massachusetts. “The persistent popularity of remote work and high interest rates have combined to form an ‘economic act of God’ that puts Boston at risk of losing a chunk of its tax base by the end of the decade, according to a new report. Warning about the prospect of a ‘permanently diminished city,’ think tank analysts said a sharp and steady drop in the value of office buildings could soon punch a hole in commercial property taxes, which make up a large share of the revenue that Boston uses to fund education, law enforcement, parks and other services. The Boston Policy Institute, a non-partisan think tank that launched late last year, and the Center for State Policy Analysis at Tufts University did not mince words in its assessment of the financial risks that the state’s capital and largest city faces.”

“‘The annual gap over this window is not constant but slowly expanding as the new reality of commercial real estate trickles through the appraisal process and into the tax system,’ wrote Evan Horowitz, the executive director of cSPA and the report’s author. ‘The end result is a new normal where the city collects $400 million to $500 million less each year than the long-term trend implies, amounting to an annual reduction of roughly 10 percent of total revenues.'”

Business Insider. “New York City-based developer Vornado Realty Trust is considering using a plot of land near Madison Square Garden and the Empire State Building to house a 150-foot tall billboard, among other options. The project is called ‘The Penn Platform’ and was previously reserved for a 56-floor office tower. But the commercial real-estate sector is in serious trouble, and now, Vornado is rethinking that plan. Steven Roth, the CEO of Vornado, did not mince words when it comes to the current state of the commercial real estate market. ‘We have a CBD office apocalypse involving the work from home threat and the total blacklisting of office in the capital markets,’ Roth said in an earnings call on February 13.”

9 News in Colorado. “With more employees working from a home office, commercial properties are in need of turning offices into homes. State Rep. Alex Valdez, D-Denver, has proposed HB-24-1125, which would set aside up to $5 million a year starting in 2026 for companies to receive tax credits to convert commercial space into residential. ‘This particular zip code is one of the most affected zip codes as far as vacancy is concerned,’ Valdez said from an office building overlooking downtown Denver. ‘If we don’t do it, and we don’t advocate for change of use and a reuse of an existing building, we’re going to end up with a lot of vacant buildings in our downtowns that have no use,’ said Melissa Rummel, vice president of development for Nichols Partnerships.”

The Globe and Mail. “Britain sank into recession this week. So did Japan, with its decline so bad that it lost its spot as the world’s No. 3 economy. It is increasingly apparent that the world economy is showing some of the chronic weakness we associate with long COVID. It appears the pandemic left some deep wounds in the economy – something few economists saw coming.”

“On the contrary, back in the early months of the pandemic, some of them were growing breathless with excitement that when the lockdowns were lifted, a new Roaring Twenties would erupt. Central banks were pumping trillions of dollars into the financial system and governments were handing their citizens trillions more in support. But that didn’t happen. A repeat of the 1920s was never on the cards, since the world had changed so much in the intervening century. Instead, we got a big bump in 2022 followed by a reversion to the mean last year, the average for the decade. Even more surprising is that the mean seems to have fallen. If the world economy is back on track, it’s apparently a slower track.”

“Last month the World Bank released its updated report on Global Economic Prospects. It drew a gloomy picture of slowing growth, marking what it calls a ‘wretched milestone’ – a world economy that is expected to grow at its slowest rate in three decades. The mistake made by those who imagined we’d come roaring back to life was to assume the post-COVID economy would resemble the pre-COVID one, just with more money sloshing around. But the pandemic brought changes to global labour markets and supply chains whose impact has been inflationary, particularly in the aging societies of the West.”

“With Western governments having added an average of a quarter of GDP to their debts, most now are hesitant to borrow more to invest in fixing the problems they had let fester before the pandemic, whether a it’s lack of housing, decaying infrastructure or struggling health care systems. Moreover, a lot of the money pumped by central banks into the financial system ended up fuelling asset bubbles, from corporate bonds to crypto and real estate. These bubbles have now become obstacles to growth.”

From Essa News. “A key decision by Chinese authorities in recent weeks was the official declaration of bankruptcy for Evergrande, a titan in the real estate market. The Hong Kong court announced the judgment, confirming what other players in the Chinese market had feared. ‘After nearly three years of struggle, bids, inquiries, and speculation, it has become evident that the ‘too big to fail’ principle does not apply in contemporary China’ – highlights Professor Bogdan Góralczyk.”

“The professor elaborates that the construction industry constitutes one-third of China’s GDP, which isn’t particularly good news. ‘Excessive construction has occurred, as numerous new apartment buildings, even entire settlements, were instantaneously dubbed ‘bearded’ because they were either barely or not occupied at all, leaving wind to whistle through the vacant structures’ – explains the author of the analysis.
He also points out the reasons behind China’s construction gigantism. Following the 2008 crisis, China allocated $610 billion (4 trillion yuan) towards investments. ‘Ghost towns sprouted, like the architecturally intriguing Ordos (Kangbashi), a city classified as an urban prefecture in China, in the Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region. The city was fully equipped with infrastructure, yet no one resided there permanently.'”

“‘Local officials and individual developers swiftly became wealthy as fortunes increased, while regular citizens, especially the young, had increasingly tougher hurdles to overcome in order to secure a new apartment. Granted, there was a vast supply, but the prices were also grotesquely high,’ writes the article’s author, pointing out that renting an apartment in Beijing or Shanghai is more costly today than in New York.”

“‘Over the past few years, it became clear that a company managing 1,300 developments across 280 cities simply couldn’t collapse without potential social unrest from those who had invested in the company’s real estate projects. So why did the Chinese authorities ultimately allow Evergrande to fail? – The financial burden of lockdowns laid bare the enormity of the bubble that had formed within the local real estate market during prosperous years – the article’s author reports.”

“‘In December 2023, the Shenzhen Stock Exchange decided to extend its shareholding for another year, and what lies beyond that period remains uncertain. […] Although the court’s judgment was delivered in Hong Kong, mainland authorities will not permit the effects of the bankruptcy to impact the company’s customers. The only outstanding question concerns how and who will assume control and management of the bankrupt estate? No one knows as yet, due to the unprecedented scale of the situation’ – writes Prof. Góralczyk.”

This Post Has 113 Comments
  1. ‘In the office of Extra Space Storage — the chain with the green signs — in Timonium, Maryland, Tasha Brown was buying boxes and inquiring about storage for an unexpected move. Her landlord had stopped paying the mortgage and lost the property to foreclosure’

    I’d never heard of this sh$thole:

    ‘Etymology. Timonium takes its name from the Timonium Mansion, the home of Mrs. Archibald Buchanan, who, in melancholia due to the loss of eyesight and the death of a close friend, felt her life was like that of Mark Antony after the Battle of Actium.’

    1. Brown had just a few weeks to find new housing.

      There is a lot left out of the story, didn’t the banks keep people in foreclosed property in the last collapse? Did she go to court or get eviction signed by a judge…..

    2. Timonium is due north of Baltimore, just outside the Baltimore beltway, and is probably most known for hosting the Maryland State Fair. I haven’t heard of most of the towns in the HBB articles too. Yay for Google Maps.

  2. ‘I expressed this to Mayor Garcetti many, many times: L.A. is overly dependent on money coming in from China. The housing markets in downtown, especially around South Park, was mostly Chinese money. To have one of the great cities in the world dependent on one source of development dollars is really bad. That’s not the way great cities are built’

    That’s just as well Rick cuz LA isn’t a great city. It’s a great big sh$thole.

    1. I believe many US cities, not just LA, saw huge influxes of money from China into residential and commercial real estate investment.

      Now that China is headed for the bottom of the CR8R, what is propping up prices in these markets?

      1. ChatGPT 3.5

        What is the Cockroach Theory in finance?

        The Cockroach Theory in finance is based on the idea that if you find one problem or issue in a company’s financial statements or operations, there’s likely more lurking beneath the surface. Just like spotting one cockroach in a room suggests there are likely more hiding, discovering one financial issue may indicate deeper problems within the organization. It emphasizes the importance of thorough due diligence and investigation in financial analysis to uncover potential risks.

        Can the Theory apply on a macroeconomic level?

        Yes, the Cockroach Theory can also apply on a macroeconomic level. If there are signs of economic trouble or instability in one sector or region, it could indicate broader systemic issues affecting the entire economy. Just as with a single company, identifying problems in one aspect of the economy may suggest that there are more widespread issues that need to be addressed or monitored. This theory underscores the importance of being vigilant and proactive in assessing and addressing potential risks to overall economic stability.
        Is this conversation helpful so far?

        ChatGPT can make mistakes. Consider checking important information.


      1. A city that has grown like a cancer. When Walt Disney built Disneyland, he chose Anaheim because it was undeveloped. It was also far from where people lived and he placed it next to the then under construction San Diego freeway to make driving there easier. Fast Forward to today: the place is in the middle of an urban jungle, surrounded by millions of people.

    2. It’s a great big sh$thole

      I’ve been watching old reruns of shows, like Columbo, which is full of vistas of LA, Even back then LA was an eyesore. Granted, there were no homeless or feces on the sidewalks, but most of it, outside the tony neighborhoods, was an eyesore.

      1. You need to go further back in time to Dragnet TV series and some old Hollywood movies especially the noir genre

  3. ChatGPT 3.5

    Has irrational exuberance returned to the US stock market?

    The concept of “irrational exuberance” coined by former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan refers to excessive optimism that can lead to unsustainable asset price increases. While market sentiment can fluctuate, it’s challenging to determine definitively whether irrational exuberance has returned without a thorough analysis of current market conditions and factors driving investor behavior.

    Just how overvalued are US stocks?

    Assessing the valuation of the entire US stock market is complex and depends on various metrics such as price-to-earnings ratios, price-to-book ratios, and others. Some metrics may suggest that stocks are overvalued, while others may indicate they are fairly valued or undervalued. It’s crucial to consider multiple factors, including economic indicators, corporate earnings, interest rates, and geopolitical events, to form a comprehensive view of market valuation. Consulting financial analysts and experts can provide more nuanced insights into the current valuation of US stocks.

    How high is the Buffett indicator?

    The Buffett indicator, also known as the total market capitalization-to-GDP ratio, compares the total market capitalization of all publicly traded stocks in a country to the country’s GDP. As of my last update, the Buffett indicator for the US was historically high, indicating potential overvaluation of the stock market. However, I don’t have real-time data, so I would recommend checking with financial sources or platforms for the most current information on the Buffett indicator.

    How high is Shiller’s valuation metric?

    As of my last update, Robert Shiller’s cyclically adjusted price-to-earnings (CAPE) ratio for the US stock market was historically elevated, suggesting that stocks were relatively expensive compared to their long-term earnings. However, I don’t have real-time data, so I recommend checking with financial sources or platforms for the most current information on Shiller’s valuation metric.

    ChatGPT can make mistakes. Consider checking important information.


    1. ChatGPT 3.5

      What is Stein’s Law in economics?

      Stein’s Law in economics is a principle named after economist Herbert Stein. It states, “If something cannot go on forever, it will stop.” Essentially, it highlights the idea that unsustainable trends or situations will eventually come to an end, either through voluntary adjustments or forced corrections. This principle is often invoked to remind policymakers and economists of the limits of perpetually unsustainable economic situations.

      ChatGPT can make mistakes. Consider checking important information.


    2. Financial Times
      Opinion The Long View
      Bubble talk builds in frothy US stocks
      The surge in shares such as Nvidia spark concerns over ‘irrational exuberance’
      Katie Martin
      It was former Federal Reserve chair Alan Greenspan who apparently dreamt up the phrase ‘irrational exuberance’
      Katie Martin February 16 2024

      Not to worry anyone, but the phrase “irrational exuberance” keeps cropping up conversations with investors. This is not normal, and not a great sign.

      The famous term was apparently dreamt up in the bath by former Federal Reserve chair Alan Greenspan, and unleashed in a televised speech he delivered in 1996. At the time, the ill-fated dotcom bubble was in full swing, with the share price of dozens of untested, unprofitable tech companies soaring to the moon, often on the flimsiest of rationales.

      “Lower risk premiums imply higher prices of stocks and other earning assets . . . ,” Greenspan said on that fateful day. “But how do we know when irrational exuberance has unduly escalated asset values, which then become subject to unexpected and prolonged contractions as they have in Japan over the past decade?” Markets dropped sharply in response to what was clearly, in retrospect, an early skirmish in the ugly market collapse in the following years.

      One does not need a tinfoil hat or a particular fondness for hyperbolic finance bro YouTubers to spot echoes of that period of financial market history today, given the blistering rally in tech stocks including Meta, Microsoft and Nvidia. And you would need to have been living under a rock for the past year or so to fail to understand why these three stocks are so crucial to the wider market. Between them, they account for about half of the gains in the entire S&P 500 so far this year, according to calculations by Deutsche Bank, and together with Apple, Alphabet, Amazon and the stumbling Tesla, they account for more than a quarter of the index’s entire market capitalisation.

      The concentration is, in itself, enough reason to give many investors pause, although Deutsche Bank also calculates that if anything, performance concentration is even more extreme in Europe, where just three stocks — ASML, Novo Nordisk and SAP — account for more than all the gains in the Stoxx 600 this year. Without them, that index has dropped by 0.3 per cent.

      But it is the glassy-eyed belief that these US stocks’ ascent represent some kind of new revolutionary productivity paradigm, led by artificial intelligence and spilling its bounty across corporate America, that is really stirring memories of the dotcom boom and bust.

      “We’ve been here before,” said macro strategist Benjamin Picton at Rabobank. “New era thinking is certainly not new, and eye-watering valuations on stocks with a compelling narrative behind them is a tale as old as time. For most of us, the dotcom boom happened during our lifetimes. Before that was the Nifty Fifty, and the Roaring Twenties before that, and the Railway Mania, and the South Sea Bubble, and John Law’s Folly, and Tulip Mania and so on.” None of them ended well.

    3. ChatGPT 3.5

      What was the financial crash referenced in The Age of Innocence?

      The financial crash referenced in “The Age of Innocence” by Edith Wharton is the Panic of 1873. This economic downturn was caused by a combination of factors, including railroad overbuilding, excessive speculation, and the collapse of several major banks. It led to a severe economic depression that lasted for several years and had significant social and economic repercussions. Wharton uses this historical event as a backdrop for her novel to explore the societal norms and constraints of New York’s elite during the late 19th century.

      Is there any similarity between the current US financial era and the period leading up to the Panic of 1873?

      While there are always differences between historical periods, some similarities can be drawn between the current US financial era and the period leading up to the Panic of 1873:

      Speculation: Like in the period leading up to the Panic of 1873, there have been instances of speculation in various sectors of the economy, such as real estate, technology, and cryptocurrencies. Speculative bubbles can contribute to market instability.

      Debt levels: High levels of debt, both at the consumer and government levels, have been a concern in both periods. Excessive debt can strain financial systems and contribute to economic downturns.

      Asset bubbles: The presence of asset bubbles, where the prices of assets become detached from their intrinsic values, can be observed in both periods. This was evident in the railroad overbuilding and subsequent collapse in the 1870s, as well as in more recent phenomena like the housing bubble leading up to the 2008 financial crisis.

      Income inequality: There have been concerns about rising income inequality in both periods, with wealth becoming increasingly concentrated among a small segment of the population. This can contribute to social tensions and economic instability.

      However, it’s essential to note that there are also significant differences between the two periods, including the structure of the economy, regulatory frameworks, technological advancements, and global interconnectedness. While historical parallels can provide insights, each period has its unique dynamics and challenges.

      ChatGPT can make mistakes. Consider checking important information.


    4. George Soros’s Former Co-Founder Sounds Economic Alarm Saying, ‘The Next Problem Has To Be The Worst In My Lifetime’ — Waiting For Right Time To Go Short
      Caleb Naysmith
      Fri, February 16, 2024 at 1:00 PM PST·3 min read

      The Quantum Fund’s historical performance is most often associated with Co-Founder George Soros. The fund achieved an average annual return of 30% from 1970-2000.

      Perhaps Soros’s most famous bet came against the pound in 1992 when it netted his fund about $1 billion in one trade, considered by some to be the greatest currency trade of all time.

      However, Soros didn’t start the Quantum Fund alone. Instead, he founded it alongside another now-famous investor, Jim Rogers. While Rogers left the fund in 1980 to “retire” and travel around the world on his motorcycle to search for international investment ideas, eventually turning his travel experiences into a best-selling book called “Investment Biker,” he continued to share his thoughts on the market.

  4. ‘two major lender-investors seeking to recoup tens of millions of dollars in unpaid loans among various LLCs tied to the Point Ruston development via foreclosure and sales of properties. AURC III represents a group of foreign investors through the American United EB-5 Regional Center of Portland, Oregon’

    And another EB-5 Chinese money laundering scheme falls apart. The Oceanwide thing in LA was one too. The US guberment has always facilitated money laundering – just look at this ‘program’ that’s received zero scrutiny despite many obvious frauds over decades.

  5. ChatGPT 3.5

    What will beccome of China’s Ghost Cities in the coming years?

    The fate of China’s ghost cities will depend on various factors such as economic development, urban planning strategies, and demographic shifts. Some ghost cities may gradually be populated as urbanization progresses, while others might remain largely empty or be repurposed for different uses. Continued government policies aimed at stimulating growth in these areas could also play a significant role in their future.

    Could you kindly quote Shelley’s poem, Ozymandias, for me?

    Of course! Here’s a quote from Percy Bysshe Shelley’s poem “Ozymandias”:

    “Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!”

    No, you chatbot idiot, the entire poem!

    My apologies for misunderstanding your request earlier. Here’s the complete poem “Ozymandias” by Percy Bysshe Shelley:

    I met a traveller from an antique land
    Who said: Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
    Stand in the desert. Near them, on the sand,
    Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown,
    And wrinkled lip, and sneer of cold command,
    Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
    Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
    The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
    And on the pedestal these words appear:
    ‘My name is Ozymandias, king of kings;
    Look on my Works, ye Mighty, and despair!’
    Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
    Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare
    The lone and level sands stretch far away.

    Thank you.

    You’re welcome! If you have any more questions or need assistance with anything else, feel free to ask.

    ChatGPT can make mistakes. Consider checking important information.


  6. “Central banks were pumping trillions of dollars into the financial system and governments were handing their citizens trillions more in support”

    Thus accelerating the actual worth of fiat currency to its intrinsic value, which is zero.

    “We’re all in this together”

  7. Arapahoe County says NO.

    Denver7 — Aurora considering resolution that would halt support of migrants, unhoused without prior agreement (2/16/2024):

    “Aurora city leaders are considering a proposal that would halt support of migrants and people experiencing homelessness who are brought into the city unless an organization agrees to cover the costs.

    The resolution was presented during the city council’s Federal, State and Intergovernmental Relations (FSIR) Committee meeting on Friday and will move to the full city council for a study session debate.

    The resolution states while the city is “proud of its identity as the most diverse and Global City in the state,” its “financial resources or other local resources are limited and offering sanctuary or support is impossible.” The City of Aurora declared that it was not a sanctuary city through a resolution in May 2017.

    “We are not going to shut down our rec centers. We are not going to cut our police budget. We are not taking anything out, and that includes staff resources,” said Councilmember At-Large Danielle Jurinksy, who co-sponsored the resolution along with Councilmember Steve Sundberg (Ward II).

    “We have a fiscal responsibility to our citizens, residents that we have to live within our means, and we can’t over-promise and under-deliver,” said Sundberg.

    Keep it in Denver, virtue signallers. Nobody wants them here.

    1. Related article, because the Homeless Industrial Complex is a growth industry.

      Denverite — Denver’s new immigrant response has a new leader (2/15/2024):

      “Mayor Mike Johnston has hired immigrant rights advocate Sarah Plastino to head up the Newcomer Program for the Department of Denver Human Services, leading a gargantuan effort to help the thousands of new immigrants who continue to arrive in Denver.

      She will be overseeing the response to what the Johnston administration acknowledges is its greatest challenge yet: the arrival of newcomers, many unable to work and currently living without homes in a city where he’s trying to end homelessness.

      “As our city continues to find solutions to a humanitarian crisis, Sarah’s leadership will guide a proactive approach to support new arrivals with the resources they need to succeed,” Johnston said in a statement. “Denver is a city built on diversity and inclusion, and Sarah joins our commitment to ensure all people, regardless of their background, have an opportunity to thrive.”

      According to the position description, the job pays between $110,216 and $187,367. For this, Plastino will establish a vision for the city’s newcomer programming, work with city and state agencies, nonprofits, advocates, philanthropy groups and others to fulfill the program’s goals.

      She will collaborate with research institutions to see how other cities are addressing the arrival of new immigrants and analyze what Denver needs, and she will also oversee funding and contracts, working with all levels of government and the private sector, too.”

      The money churn. Getting paid to attend meetings to discuss scheduling future meetings, in which nothing is ever accomplished beyond the endless, infinite squandering of taxpayer money to “manage” the problem, because solving the problem means these soft hands bureaucrats are all out of a job.

      1. Getting paid to attend meetings to discuss scheduling future meetings, in which nothing is ever accomplished

        And even if the next administration seals the border, her job will remain on the city payroll,

    2. Keep it in Denver, virtue signallers. Nobody wants them here.

      I have an update on the story of the Honduran invader family that had a fatal accident on the interstate in Tennessee which claimed the life of a 12 year old boy.

      -The family had lived in North Carolina for about 8 months
      -They we relocated to North Carolina after crossing the border via airplane.
      – Both the parents and their children were illiterate, even in Spanish
      -They initially received free gibs when they arrived, including assistance to pay the rental house the lived in.
      -The assistance ran out and they were unable to find a another teat to pay for everything. Both parents are unemployed.
      -They had their lights, natgas and water cut for non payment
      -They were evicted for non payment
      -Someone gave them a beater car.
      -Neither parent had a license nor any driving experience.
      -They heard through the grapevine that a place called “Phoenix” had better gibs, so they decided to go there, though being unable to read a map they had no idea of what they were doing,
      -They had two dogs, which they abandoned in their back yard.
      -They crashed in Tennessee. The three survivors were hospitalized at taxpayer expense. The boy who died was cremated, not sure who paid for it,
      -Even though the kids were not buckled up and they were driving with no license, the parents were not charged with any crime.

      And here is the kicker: There was a fundraiser in Tennessee to buy them another beater so they could continue their journey. Upon being explained just how far away Phoenix was and what it was like they decided to turn around and go back to North Carolina, this time to Charlotte, hoping to get new free gibs.

      I wonder if the free beater was given so that they would leave Tennessee?

    3. Just a simple question’ Would it be more cost effective to re-fuel the busses, give the passengers a cold bologna sandwich-a banana and a bottle of warm water and return them back to the Mexican border ?

        1. That doesn’t sound like culturally familiar food.

          That could get tricky as LatAm countries have different cuisines. I recall reading that Venezuelans in New York objected to free meals like spaghetti and meatsauce. I guess they were expecting ethnic Venezuelan dishes.

          The entitlement this batch of invaders is showing is stunning. Just what did the NGO workers tall them back home as they handed out the bus tickets and prepaid visa cards?

          1. objected to free meals

            I have some pretty narrow meal preferences, but I’ve eaten what I was offered in foreign countries like Germany, Japan and Louisiana.

            I didn’t like the eyeballs in Japan much though.

  8. In the fourth quarter of 2023, prices in Punta Gorda, which is 100 miles south of Tampa, home prices fell 5.5% year-over-year.

    These stats don’t take into account the Fed’s debasement of the currency over the same period, meaning the loss in fictitious Yellen Bux “value” is even more pronounced.

    1. Psf is the real measure. Median prices sold is fiction as people bought smaller sf houses.
      I live here in this Florida corridor.
      Prices doubled, tripled and even quintupled.
      A 5 or 6% drop in median price is still multiples of 2019 prices.
      I know, I am looking and waiting.

  9. – Ben, a reasonable request. Please make the HBB an AI-free zone. I have enough trouble dealing with real people an their “lying eyes.” Let’s not drag artificial “intelligence” into the conversation. In my view, it only serves to muddy the waters further. I want to hear real thoughts and opinions from real people.

    1. ChatGPT 3.5

      What did John Maynard Keynes say about words being a little wild?

      John Maynard Keynes famously said, “Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assaults of thought on the unthinking.”

      ChatGPT can make mistakes. Consider checking important information.


  10. AURC III represents a group of foreign investors through the American United EB-5 Regional Center of Portland, Oregon.

    I love the smell of burning housing speculators in the morning. It smells like…victory.

  11. Washington Post — Texas builds base near border where the state is quarreling with feds (2/17/2024):

    “Flanked by armed National Guard members, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) announced on Friday plans to build a base housing up to 1,800 troops in Eagle Pass, close to the riverfront area where state leaders have been at loggerheads with the Biden administration over immigration enforcement.

    The base, planned to house an initial 300 troops by April, is the latest effort by Abbott to curb border crossings into Texas under a mission dubbed Operation Lone Star that he began less than two months after President Biden was inaugurated. Plans for the base come as the country gears up for a presidential election and reckons with the hundreds of thousands of migrants who have illegally crossed the southern border in recent months.

    The base “will amass a large army at a very strategic area. It will increase the speed and flexibility of the Texas National Guard to be able to respond to crossings,” Abbott said Friday during a news conference in Eagle Pass. “This will organize substantial forces also to expand the razor-wire barriers that are going up.”

    The 80-acre “forward operating base” — a phrase the U.S. military used to label many of its camps dotting Iraq and Afghanistan — will sit near the Rio Grande. It will also include command posts, weapons storage rooms, vehicle maintenance bays and a helicopter pad, according to Maj. Gen. Thomas Suelzer, the head of the Texas Military Department.

    Forward Operating Base Eagle, as Abbott called it, will reduce the pricey hotel stays and hour-long commutes some troops have been making each way to fulfill their border duties, the governor said.

    “Before now, the Texas National Guard had been scattered across this entire region in cramped quarters, away from fellow soldiers, and sometimes traveling long distances to do their job,” Abbott said in a statement. “This base camp is going to dramatically improve conditions for our soldiers.”

    Build the wall, deport them ALL.

    1. I’m surprised Abbot didn’t do this sooner. A military base, even at the state level, sends a message. Your move, Arizona.

      1. Has the pace of the invasion really slowed? I know that Eagle Pass is a no go, but the Texas border is huge. Surely they are still streaming into places likes McAllen, Laredo and Brownsville.

          1. All the places mentioned above have bridges over the Rio Bravo/Grande. Not to mention Juarez/El Paso. But I could see invaders choosing to cross into New Mexico, Arizona and Clownifornia instead. I’m not sure what made Eagle Pass/Piedras Negras a special target to block.

          2. reply to InColorado re: why Eagle Pass for crossing? As a proud bearer of a tinfoil helmet here’s my theory: The corrupt FedGov DHS-CBP had gotten word out thru their illegal invader NGO facilitators, that this was a convenient (safe) river crossing with a warm welcome mat.

  12. Property taxes.

    New York Post — Seattle restaurant suffers 23rd break-in, owner admits he has ‘lost all faith’ in city leadership (2/17/2024):

    “A Seattle, Washington restaurant owner said Thursday that he has lost faith in city leadership after his business suffered what he claims is its 23rd break-in since the “defund the police” movement started three years ago.

    “I have lost all faith in the city of Seattle, SPD, Council members, and state elected officials,” he told the Jason Rantz Show on KTTH.

    The owner of the establishment asked to remain anonymous over fear that activists would target him, according to Rantz’s report, which said he was previously inundated with a slew of negative Yelp reviews after speaking out against the crime crisis in the city.

    Last year, Seattle reversed course and increased funding for police for the first time since slashing funding in 2020, which was followed by a surge in crime that included a 24% rise in homicides, 30% rise in motor vehicle thefts and 4% rise in overall crime last year.

    A 2023 national survey shows that Seattle leads the nation in the percentage of people who feel pressure to leave over crime concerns.

    Data from the Household Pulse Survey, conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau and several other federal agencies, shows that “7% of adults in the greater Seattle area” “felt pressure to move” due to crime in the first six months of 2023.

    That 7%, which represents about 227,000 people, is the highest percentage out of the 15 largest metro areas in the country.”

    227,000 is that a lot?

      1. Did the people of Zimbabwe, South Africa, Congo ever acknowledge the factors behind the societal Breakdown? LOL, they just laughed as they destroyed something nice and returned to eating bush meat. The same for the libtards of these blue cities. They will never learn anything.

  13. It appears the pandemic left some deep wounds in the economy – something few economists saw coming.”

    All of these hack “economists” have their paychecks signed by the same globalist scum who were pushing the scamdemic. If there’s one good thing to come out of the last 3 years, it’s that millions of former sheeple will be forever inoculated against ever again trusting “the experts” and the globalist scum media.

  14. War pigs gonna pig.

    The Hill — Cheney says it’s ‘worth’ Johnson losing Speakership over passing Ukraine aid bill (2/18/2024):

    “Former Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.) said it’s worth it for Speaker Mike Johnson (R-La.) to lose the Speakership if he passes a bill approving aid for Ukraine.

    Cheney called on Johnson to bring a bill for Ukraine aid to the House floor during an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union” on Sunday. The Senate passed a bill approving funding for Ukraine in a vote last week — a bill Johnson had already rejected last week.

    CNN’s Jake Tapper noted that Johnson could risk a motion to vacate from conservative Republicans if he brings a Ukraine bill to the House floor.

    “Right and what I would say to that is, you know, he ought to understand that it is worth it if he has to lose his Speakership in order to make sure that freedom survives in order to make sure that the United States of America continues to play its its leadership role in the world,” Cheney responded.

    “And again, he’s gonna have to explain to future generations to his kids to his grandkids, whether or not he did what was right, whether or not he was a force for good and aided the cause of freedom, or whether he continued down this path of cowardice and doing what Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin want him to do,” she said.

    Russia is winning.

    1. Related article.

      Russia Today — Americans sick of spending money on Ukraine (2/18/2024):

      “The American public considers wars, and the Ukraine conflict in particular, a bad investment, award-winning US economist and public policy analyst Jeffrey Sachs has said.

      Since the start of Russia’s military operation in the neighboring state, Washington has approved around $113 billion in aid to Kiev, and is currently working on allocating $60 billion more. Speaking to RT’s Oksana Boyko on Worlds Apart, Sachs claimed that the persistently low approval ratings of both Congress and President Joe Biden signal that taxpayers are unhappy with foreign policy decisions made in Washington.

      “The public is sick of this – the American people don’t want our government to spend money on these wars… they see that the budget deficit is huge, the debt keeps rising, they keep being told they can’t have healthcare… or child care for school because the budget is in a crisis,” he said, adding that it has been about 30 years since the US political system has been able to address basic problems on the domestic front in its drive for “world hegemony.”

      The analyst, who is known for serving as an adviser to the Russian and Ukrainian governments following the breakup of the Soviet Union, likened US aid in the Ukraine conflict to gambling, calling it “a lousy investment” and “a waste of money, waste of time and waste of lives.”

      However, the business of war is a trillion-dollar enterprise, he said, and “there’s a group that profits even if it is a disaster” – the military-industrial complex.

      “The senators are by and large agents of the military-industrial complex and they do their bidding,” he continued, explaining how war funding is approved despite public opposition.

      And a reminder that the alleged Republican “conservatives” who vote for this are more interested in conserving the borders of foreign nations than that of the United States.

      Follow the money.

    2. Someone needs to remind Cheney that she’s no longer a politician. She’s what all politicians become, a paid professor of BS.

    3. HarDeHarHar. Liz Cheney speaks upon politicians justifying their behavior to their children and grandchildren. LOLOLs.
      That woman’s nose should have grew three feet on this one.

  15. A report from KTNV in Nevada. “Homes were selling left and right in the valley as recently as 2021, when the Las Vegas Realtors trade group reported a record 50,000 sales. However, it was very different in 2023. Last year, less than 30,000 homes were sold here. Chris Perron, a loan officer for Guild Mortgage in Henderson, said he’s noticed more open houses lately around the valley. ‘I see more open houses for [Saturday] than I’ve seen in years,’ Perron said.”

    – This is classic asset bubble behavior.
    – -40% down in sales is quite a lot. (50k-30k)/50k * 100 = 40%
    – Sales lead prices, but maybe it’s not different this time…
    – More open houses = more inventory hitting the market.


    – From the article, dated 2/16 (yesterday, when rates were 7.14%):

    “Many experts believe that interest rates — around 6.8% for a 30-year mortgage in mid-February — will continue to drop this year. In addition, some buyers might be tired of staying on the sidelines, so even a small dip in rates could trigger a rush of buyers.”

    “I feel like interest rates are going to come down,” says Jasneet Singh, a Realtor with Keller Williams in Las Vegas. “They may not go down a lot, but, moving into spring, we might see some reduction.”

    – How’s that working out for ya? I guess you missed the high inflation CPI (Tue., 2/13) and PPI (Fri., 2/16) reports last week. How about those MBA mortgage applications? How about that U. Mich “Good Time to Buy A House” consumer sentiment? The REIC continue to cheerlead. “It’s always a good time to buy.” It’s worth noting that the number of realtors tracks sales.

    – The current 30 year fixed rate mortgage is 7.14%, not 6.8%. Inflation is still high, because Congress and the Fed have neither stopped the $ printing, nor tightened financial conditions. Just look at fiscal (deficit) spending and the Fed’s balance sheet and their other covert stimulus hocus-pocus. Conditions are still loose right now, in an obvious effort to help Slow Joe’s re-election chances. Good luck with that. More can-kicking. More pain later. Congress representing The People. A-political, but Progressive Fed. Uh-huh. Jay Powell claims to be channeling Paul Volcker. Not seeing it, but I’m sure this will end well just the same.

    “I see more open houses for [Saturday] than I’ve seen in years,” Perron said. “Every corner, every block, there’s somebody showing off a house for sale. I think we’re getting more optimistic with where we’re going this year.”

    “In January, according to Las Vegas Realtors, home sales were up 12% when compared to the same month in 2023, which signals that 2024 is already off to a strong start on the sales side.”

    – So, sales were up 12% last month compared to last year, which were down 40% overall in 2023 from 2021. That sounds like a dead cat bounce to me, vs. organic demand due to actual lower house prices and rates. Knife-catcher phase. This coming traditional Spring selling season will be telling. Not too far away.

    – As I recall, LV, NV was one of the major bubble cities in Housing Bubble 1.0. What’s really different this time? If (when) the next recession comes, there won’t be many visitors there, which is going to hurt the highly tourism-dependent LV / Sin City economy, but again, maybe it’s different this time…

  16. Moneywise
    ‘This is the angriest I’ve ever been’: 24-year-old astrologer lost $440,000 by day trading crypto and now lives on credit card debt. Caleb Hammer responds
    Vishesh Raisinghani
    Sun, February 18, 2024 at 4:13 AM PST·4 min read

    Personal finance YouTuber Caleb Hammer has seen it all — from models who just want to “spend, spend, spend” to 40-year-olds who outright refuse to work.

    But one of the most recent guests on his show, Financial Audit, may have been the most frustrating one yet for the host.

    1. From “half-a-million” to broke

      Racso started trading cryptocurrencies in 2020 with $40,000. He eventually turned that into $440,000. Unfortunately, his day trading was fueled by immense leverage as high as 17 times his equity.

      That’s excessive by conventional metrics, but not unusual in the cryptocurrency industry, where platforms can offer leverage ratios as high as 125. However, excessive borrowing is a double-edged sword, as Racso eventually found out.

      He said he lost 70% of his portfolio when the trading platform FTX and cryptocurrency Terra/Luna collapsed in 2022. Based on his own analysis done via vedic astrology (which focuses on karma​​ over personality traits), the events that happened to Rocso were driven by the “eclipse of Taurus and Scorpio.”

      The Bank for International Settlements (BIS) estimated​​ that more than $450 billion in market value was destroyed when the Terra/Luna project collapsed, while FTX’s bankruptcy dissolved another $200 billion.

      Altogether, the cryptocurrency industry lost $1.8 trillion that year, leaving three-quarters of retail investors (40% of whom were men under the age of 35) with significant losses.

      Undeterred by his failure to predict this market collapse, Racso now believes he can make a living as a vedic astrologer predicting the fortunes of others. He admitted, however, that he isn’t currently earning any income.

      1. Unfortunately, his day trading was fueled by immense leverage as high as 17 times his equity.

        How is this even legal? These crypto mania speculators are creating systemic risks to the financial system, while our captured, worthless regulators and enforcers turn a blind eye.

      2. Can’t help but chuckle at a 24 year old Vedic astrologer losing it all when leveraging up on a collapsing crypto platform.

        It was such a solid plan!

    2. ‘This is the angriest I’ve ever been’: 24-year-old astrologer lost $440,000 by day trading crypto and now lives on credit card debt.

      Stamping yer little feet might dissipate some of the negative energy, crypto baggie.

    3. ‘This is the angriest I’ve ever been’: 24-year-old astrologer lost $440,000 by day trading crypto and now lives on credit card debt. Caleb Hammer responds


      – “24-year-old astrologer…”

      “Nations, like individuals, cannot become desperate gamblers with impunity. Punishment is sure to overtake them sooner or later.” – Charles Mackay, Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds

      “Money, again, has often been a cause of the delusion of the multitudes. Sober nations have all at once become desperate gamblers, and risked almost their existence upon the turn of a piece of paper.” – Charles Mackay

      “I can calculate the motion of heavenly bodies, but not the madness of people.” – Isaac Newton

      – Are we there yet?

  17. From “Things are starting to look up for Jefferson County homebuyers this year, according to a recent market report. ‘My buyer purchased a home with some deferred maintenance and strong pet smells,’ local real estate agent Chris Prichard. wrote in an email.”

    ““Things are starting to look up for Jefferson County homebuyers this year,…”

    in combination with…

    ‘My buyer purchased a home with some deferred maintenance and strong pet smells,’

    – So, “Things are starting to look up,” as long as buyers can hold their nose, get past the maintenance and odors, and catch themselves a falling knife. Try explaining that to your wife as you move in to your new home “sweet” home, er pet kennel. Who knows what other skeletons they may find?
    – The winners!
    – Sweet Home Alabama?

    1. “If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks…will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their fathers conquered…. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs.”

      – Thomas Jefferson in the debate over the Re-charter of the Bank Bill (1809)

    2. Q: What is the crime rate for Jefferson County, AL?

      A: Jefferson County has an overall crime rate of 4,881 per 100,000 residents. This is moderately more dangerous than the rest of the United States, but still about average. This means that your chances of becoming a victim of any type of crime in Jefferson County is 1 in 20 if you reside there for a year.

      1. Q: What is the crime rate for Bessemer, AL?

        A: With a crime rate of 92 per one thousand residents, Bessemer has one of the highest crime rates in America compared to all communities of all sizes – from the smallest towns to the very largest cities. One’s chance of becoming a victim of either violent or property crime here is one in 11.

        1. Like I often repeat, GET CONTROL OF YOUR DAMN KIDS, its the kids 15-25 in these ‘hoods causing all this crime. It’s their nephews, grandkinds, baby daddies, etc, that is the cause of societal breakdown. GET YOUR KIDS UNDER CONTROL

  18. DAVID BLACKMON: The Billionaire Class Is Fueling The War Against Abundant American Energy


    It has been an open secret for years now that big foundations funded by billionaire families like the Gates, Getty, and Rockefeller clans have played a big role in funding the various climate alarmist campaigns to vilify so-called “fossil fuels.” Lesser known until recently is the role these billionaire foundations play in convincing various government entities to travel down the same path.

    Fox News reported this week that several billionaire interests, led by the Rockefeller Family Fund, put pressure on the New York Attorney General’s office during 2015 to target ExxonMobil with a subpoena for records related to an investigation into the company’s early research related to global warming. A series of leaked emails between Lee Wasserman, long-time director for the RFF, and then-New York attorney general Eric Schneiderman’s office first pitched the idea in early 2015. Schneiderman ultimately responded to the pressure, sending an initial subpoena to ExxonMobil in November that same year.

    The RFF’s involvement in the push to pursue ExxonMobil extended into influencing and paying for media coverage. In September, 2015, Inside Climate News published the first in a series of articles under what it called its “Exxon Knew” series. The RFF funded that effort via multi-million-dollar grants to ICN and its parent, Lost Light Projects, as reported in the Daily Caller in 2016. In October that same year, RFF grants were also behind a series of articles jointly published by the Los Angeles Times and the Columbia School of Journalism, demonizing ExxonMobil. (RELATED: DAVID BLACKMON: Another Green Vehicle Pipe Dream Explodes Like The Hindenburg)

    “We’ve spent years tracking the nexus between left-wing environmental groups and their billionaire funders, and this once again proves the connection between the financial, ideological, and political influences on the widespread legal attacks on the American energy industry,” Tom Pyle, president of the Institute For Energy Research, said in an email. “It’s clear that anti-oil sentiment in this country is being driven by this network of billionaires, activists, and politicians who show little concern for how their political campaigns hurt everyday Americans.”

    The strategy behind the New York AG’s investigation evolved out of a meeting of climate activist organizations held in La Jolla, CA in 2012. There, a playbook was developed to attack the oil and gas industry using the same tactics that had been deployed against the tobacco industry starting in the 1980s. The plan’s success hinged on identifying and co-opting a “sympathetic state attorney general” willing to play the lead role in kicking off what would become an ongoing series of lawsuits targeting the industry.

    The activists ultimately landed on Schneiderman as their most likely and most willing partner. When Schneiderman was forced to resign due to a personal scandal, his successor, current AG Letitia James, eagerly took up the torch. But the case was ultimately thrown out of court by the New York state Supreme Court, which characterized its claims as “hyperbolic.”

    The RFF was in the news earlier this month when, on Feb. 8, The Wall Street Journal reported it and other left-wing billionaire interests – including Michael Bloomberg – were instrumental in pressuring the Biden White House to implement its January “pause” on the permitting of proposed new liquefied natural gas export facilities.

    Citing sources “familiar with the effort,” the WSJ writers detail a billionaire-backed campaign that began four years ago to co-opt and organize local community activist groups to oppose new LNG export capacity even as U.S. LNG became such a crucial supply source for American allies in Europe in the wake of Russia’s war on Ukraine. The activists then worked to “buttonhole” administration officials at conferences and meetings around the world, pressuring them to freeze the process based on flimsy, hyperbolic climate alarm arguments similar to those behind the case against ExxonMobil.

    “They got our attention,” one unidentified White House official is quoted as saying by the Journal.

    Well, yes, they did, but to what end? While they are all promoted using lofty propaganda depicting these campaigns as efforts to curb the malleable concept of “climate change,” what these and other efforts by the RFF and their billionaire collaborators invariably boil down to is increasing the cost of energy for the masses, diminishing U.S. energy security, and making our country increasingly reliant on China.

    Eventually, the only reasonable conclusion to make is that those outcomes are in fact the plan.

  19. Whenever I ask AI a question it refuses to answer. That tells me that AI is bias and has been programmed to promote narratives by who controls or programs the AI.
    So what good is intelligence that has a blind spot to truth and reality.
    Klaus Schwab has said “who controls technology controls the world.”
    IM sure they said at one time that whoever get the Nuclear bomb first controls the world.
    AI has been rolled out, with the potential to control the World, and put humans in a inferior position.
    They are already projecting that AI and robots are going to replace 50% of jobs within 10 years. No talk about what social ills would result from that displacement.
    AND the nuts from their towers talk about humanity merging with machines, and to who will this benefit.
    Just roll it out.

  20. Washington Examiner — Government doing a bad job dealing with influx of immigrants (2/17/2024):

    “Four-fifths of Americans say the federal government is doing a bad job handling the influx of immigrants at the southern border, according to a Pew Research Center poll released Friday.

    While dissatisfaction was more prevalent among Republican respondents at 89%, nearly three-quarters of those who identified as Democrats also said the government is doing either a “somewhat bad” or “very bad” job dealing with the large number of immigrants at the border. All marks, total and in both parties, are the highest they have been during President Joe Biden’s administration.

    The data also revealed that there is a strong partisan divide in labeling the severity of the matter. More than two-thirds of Republican respondents said it constituted a “crisis,” compared to just 22% on the Democratic side. Those in the latter group were more likely to refer to it as a “major problem” at 45%.

    The poll comes days after House Republicans impeached Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas for the Biden administration’s handling of the record number of immigrants encountered at the southern border. He became just the second Cabinet member ever to be impeached.”

    1. The billionaires know that London is a third world cesspool that will explode any day now, so if they are wise they will stay away, abandoning property if they must.

  21. YouTube has been the most zealous of all the globalists’ creepy Orwellian tech companies when it comes to censoring and de-platforming truth-tellers who post non-Narrative Compliant content, such as pointing out the immense harm to the nation from Biden’s open borders or exposing the truth about the scamdemic. Maybe if the so-called elites are personally impacted by the globalist agendas they’re promoting, they might change their tack – but probably not.

    1. She’s a pawn, a very well paid pawn, but a pawn nonetheless. She knows that if she were to make a stink about the non-existent border that she could lose everything, possibly wind up in jail and maybe even be Arkancided.

    2. Vox Day thinks his death might be jab related. Of course there is no way the coroner will report that he had myocarditis,

    3. All the woke-tards raise totally F’d up kids with drug problems and other issues. It’s a pattern widely seen. My local woke congressman’s kid aged 16 died mysteriously too. The kid either died of the clot shot or OD’d at 16. Either way, woketards raising children is a danger.

  22. Last Saturday, a mob in San Francisco surrounded a driverless car, smashed its windows, placed fireworks inside, and torched it. The vehicle, which had no passengers in it at the time, was owned and operated by Waymo – the autonomous driving unit of Google’s parent company Alphabet – and was one of the world’s first fully autonomous taxis. Some believe it was also a symbol of the growing resentment against AI and Big Tech.

    It was the latest incident in a spate of attacks on self-driving vehicles in the city, with a group of activists disabling robotaxis last summer by placing traffic cones on their bonnet. Frustrations against the technology come from a wide range of San Franciscans: from city officials who complain they obstruct emergency vehicles to taxi unions who say they will cost human drivers their jobs.

    An even bigger fear is that they are putting people’s lives at risk. Writer Rebecca Solnit, who lives in San Francisco, describes their behaviour as “erratic, unpredictable, and unsettling” for other road users. “I also have yet to see a good answer to why we need them,” she wrote on Twitter/X following the torching.

    Last week, a Waymo taxi collided with a cyclist in San Francisco, in what was the ninth autonomous vehicle collision in California since the start of the year, according to records kept by the state’s Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV). Last year, there were more than 130 incidents, with some resulting in injuries – and even the death of a dog.

    Two of those incidents in 2023 have just prompted the first ever recall for Waymo’s robotaxi fleet. In a bizarre sequence of events last December, two separate Waymo taxis crashed into the same truck within minutes of each other in Phoenix, Arizona. Waymo blamed a “rare scenario” caused by the angle of the truck on the road, which caused the driverless cars to “incorrectly predict the future motion” of the vehicle.

    The voluntary recall follows a compulsory recall for Waymo’s rival Cruise, after California’s DMV revoked the licence of the autonomous taxi operator. The ban last November came after one of the vehicles dragged a pedestrian down a San Francisco street.

    The state ban led to Cruise’s services in other cities coming to a halt, including Phoenix, which was one of the first two cities in the US alongside San Francisco to legalise the use of robotaxis on public roads. Just like San Francisco, Phoenix is also experiencing its own pushback. Vigilante citizens have also been seeking retribution against the vehicles: slashing tyres, throwing rocks and even pointing guns at them over the past two years.

    As driverless ride-hailing trials begin to roll out in Los Angeles and Austin, the discontent against the technology also appears to be spreading to a broader audience.

    Prominent AI scientist Yann LeCun described the car burning as an “apocalypse *of* the robots, not *by* the robots”, while California-based tech commentator Brian Merchant said the situation in San Francisco was a “tinder box”, and, “someone struck a match”.

    “So many people wanted to tear this thing apart, and were willing to do so, publicly and without restraint,” he wrote in a thread on Twitter/X. “This is not mere hoodlumism. It’s not even merely antipathy for driverless cars; [it’s] building on a foundation of activist resistance, and tapping into a wider anger at the totality and unaccountability of Big Tech.”

    Just like the machine-smashing luddites in Britain during the industrial revolution, the latest incidents are not necessarily a rebellion against the new technologies, but rather the powers that control them. And just like the industrialists of the 18th and 19th centuries, Big Tech may well be facing its own reckoning.

    1. The solution is to design cities around autonomous vehicles, not design autonomous vehicles around existing cities.

      Suburbia is already half-way there, many suburbs would handle autonomous vehicles and pull into subdivisions with no problems, but the tech industry think suburbs are ‘passe’ and want them to replace ubers in cities rather than soccer moms in Wilmette.

    2. This is an awesome harbinger of what is to come. Just wait until driverless taxis kill a few customers or run down some pedestrians…you ain’t seen nothing yet from the latter-day neo Luddites.

  23. When normal cities lose a Super Bowl, mobs sometimes riot, flip over a couple of parked cars, and light them on fire. San Francisco is far from a normal city. Imagine my surprise when I woke up to a Monday morning news story that vandals in the Golden Gate City had painted, smashed, and burned a self-driving Waymo car. This seemingly random act of violence may actually tell us a lot about our relationship with self-driving cars.

    It turns out that this mob of vandals was moving through San Francisco’s crowded Chinatown neighborhood late on Saturday night. They spray painted various businesses and other buildings in the area. Then, they converged on a self-driving Waymo car, a white Jaguar I-PACE crossover modified with cameras.

    These vandals’ response reveals our subconscious feelings towards self-driving cars: They are creepy, dangerous, and we’re honestly getting a bit sick of them.

    The vandals marked up the car, painting it like the buildings. Then they used something–perhaps a rock–to smash the windows. In bystander video, you can see vandals using their skateboards to pry out the rest of the glass. Later videos show the car engulfed in a rising column of flames. Authorities suspect someone threw fireworks into the car.

    1. Canada is very busy importing Nuevos Canadienses . Its population is growing 5% per year and it’s mostly imports. And I’ll bet every single one of those “newcomers” is being naturalized as quickly as possible and are voting for Trudeau.

      The Canucks need to take their country back right now, before it’s too late. They need to run Li’l Fidel and his cronies out of town, perhaps even jailing them (one can dream).

  24. Would now be a good time for Boomers to cash out of their real estate gold mines, before a silver tsunami wave of listings crashes the market?

    1. Yahoo Finance
      ‘It’s going to be a cat-and-mouse game’: ‘Oracle of Wall Street’ forecasts silver wave as baby boomers begin listing their homes to cash in on wealth gains. Is now the ideal time to sell?
      Serah Louis
      Sun, Feb 18, 2024, 3:41 AM PST
      4 min read

      Meredith Whitney — famously known as the “Oracle of Wall Street” for her forewarnings of a financial crisis back in 2007 — is confident that older homeowners will start listing their homes, opening up opportunities for hopeful young buyers across America.

      Whitney, the CEO of investment research firm Meredith Whitney Advisory Group, points to the cost-of-living crisis and higher consumer prices, which could lead some homeowners to cash in on their equity by selling and moving into smaller homes to enjoy a more comfortable lifestyle.

      She believes this will lead to an excess of inventory, driving home prices down.

      “I say all this almost as a public service announcement in terms of, if people want to sell, be better positioned to sell earlier as opposed to later,” Whitney said in a recent interview with Business Insider.

      On the flipside, Whitney advises buyers to wait for prices to come down as inventory swells.

      “It’s going to be a cat-and-mouse game,” she says.

  25. Canadians are beginning to push back against the federal government’s constant haranguing and preaching on climate change

    According to internal polling by Pierre Poilievre’s party, the federal environment minister is an enormous drain on Liberal popularity everywhere, except in Montreal and Toronto.

    So, it’s not surprising, in a party desperate for broader support, that Guilbeault climbed down (sort of) from his pledge to stop giving federal money to new highway construction and is now also backpedalling on his net-zero power grid rules.

    No concessions yet on his EV mandate (that only electric vehicles will be available for sale in Canada by 2035), but I am sure that’s coming.

    This has been quite a week for the Trudeau Liberals’ “green” agenda. It’s clear Canadians are beginning to push back against the federal government’s constant haranguing and preaching on climate change and its hypocritical application of the carbon tax.

    On Monday, Guilbeault told a conference of transit planners from across the country that the Liberals had decided the country’s current network of highways is “adequate.” Therefore, Ottawa would no longer be handing over cash for new construction.

    Of course, by Wednesday, after Canadians had thoroughly mocked Guilbeault’s proposal, the minister insisted he hadn’t said what he very clearly had said in front of cameras and witnesses.

    The point is, someone at Liberal HQ or the PMO was making the radical eco-minister back down, even if only a bit.

    Then on Friday, Guilbeault hinted he might soften his net-zero power grid regulations, too, released just before Christmas. He told premiers and other critics “they have been heard” and he soon expected to outline as many as a dozen “major changes.”

    The Liberals’ polling must be revealing what the Conservatives’ is – namely that voters outside the blinkered “progressive” bubbles in Montreal and Toronto have had enough of expensive, inconvenient, “green” pipe dreams.

    Indeed, a survey of Canadians’ attitudes, conducted by the very pro-Trudeau, very “green” Privy Council Office, found 70% of Canadians “strongly or somewhat agree environmentally friendly options are too expensive.”

  26. A reader sent these in:

    Sounds like a joke, but it’s real..
    We are ruled by the lowest among us.
    Remember friends, in politics, shit rises to the top.

    Will the Fed taper QT or end it in ’24?
    In effect they already have.
    The Fed’s balance sheet has dropped by a mere $48B since Jan 3. In Feb there’s been no drop at all, rather a small expansion while BTFP, RRP & reverse balances add massive net liquidity.
    There is no tightening.

    Here is a classic example of real estate data dishonesty.

    One of the PhDs on this piece was a data scientist at AirBNB. Data findings and ‘research’ are sold to the highest bidder in the research community. Sad state of academia & AirBNB is one of the most crooked orgs around.

    Let me fund my own research on why the real estate industry & their comrade lobbyists and puppet politicians have been a core reason for our massive demographic fallout. They’d rather import the entire Global South to fill up their shit matchbox multifamily housing than see Americans thrive.


    Chinese 🇨🇳 Car 🚗
    prices are collapsing

    1. Chinese 🇨🇳 Car 🚗
      prices are collapsing

      I am surprised that they aren’t selling them in the USA, especially given the high price of new cars. The cars need not be good, they just need to have every conceivable bell and whistle, which is what seems to matter the most to American drivers.. That and much lower prices could get them a foothold in the US.

    February 17th 2024, 1:24 pm

    “What I’m describing is military rule. It’s the inversion of democracy,” former State Dept. Cybersecurity official Mike Benz tells Tucker Carlson.

    Former State Department Cybersecurity official Mike Benz joined Tucker Carlson to break down how the U.S. military has spearheaded a far-reaching censorship campaign to quell the MAGA movement beginning in 2016.

    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.”

    7:43 PM · Feb 16, 2024

  28. There’s a ‘meaningful’ chance the Fed’s next move is a rate hike, former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers says

    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.
    A wave of inflationary signals means that the Federal Reserve’s next move could be a rate hike, former Treasury Secretary Larry Summers said.

    “There’s a meaningful chance, maybe it’s 15%, that the next move is going to be upwards in rates, not downwards,” Summers said during an interview on Bloomberg TV on Friday, adding that the Fed has to be “very careful.”

    His read on recent key inflation indicators in January, including a 3.1% year-over-year increase in the consumer price index and a 0.9% rise in the producer price index, formed the basis of his rationale. He added that the “soft-landing paradigm” has been called into question.
    “It’s always a mistake to over-interpret one month’s number — and that’s especially true in January, where calculating seasonality is difficult,” he said. “But I think we have to recognize the possibility of a mini-paradigm shift.”

    When it comes to identifying deflationary trends in shelter prices, Summers noted that many economists tend to focus solely on rental markets. Instead, they should shift their focus to owner-occupied houses situated in suburban areas, where he said there’s been little sign of deflationary moves to date.

    Another key concern is core services prices, which have been pushed up by higher wages. “It sure looks like super-core was explosive in January,” he said in reference to that measure, which leaves out food and energy costs.

    Rate-cut bets have been top of mind for Wall Street this year. The timeline has been continuously pushed back later in the year as inflation remains high and the economy looks to be on solid footing. After pricing in strong odds for a March cut, many forecasters have now placed the first move down in rates at June the earliest.

    Summers noted that the Fed isn’t going to want to let up too soon and risk cutting rates while inflation is still a problem.

    “The worst thing you can do when the doctor prescribes you antibiotics is finish part of the course, feel better, give up on the antibiotics because you don’t like taking them and see what happens. The disease tends to come back and it tends to be harder to go after the second time.”

  29. ‘found that median housing prices in the city slipped 1.6% year-over-year to $315,000, the cheapest since the fall of 2021’

    We can see that a big chuck of the minor respiratory illness has been washed away in Fort Worth. IIRC they were pushing 400k. But it’s a huge shithole with lots of different shanty’s.

  30. ‘considering using a plot of land near Madison Square Garden and the Empire State Building to house a 150-foot tall billboard, among other options. The project is called ‘The Penn Platform’ and was previously reserved for a 56-floor office tower’

    You can charge some food trucks to park under that billboard Steve.

  31. Laura Loomer


    Today I went inside a migrant camp in Darien Gap in Panama.

    Inside the migrant Camp, I encountered a group of Islamic Somali men who told me they plan to illegally enter the United States via the Texas border. They just arrived in the Darien Gap today.

    Listen to what these Somali illegal aliens told me about
    @Ilhan Ilhan Omar and Joe Biden @JoeBiden
    Feb 18, 2024

  32. New York Times reporter faces backlash over ‘sophisticated, vaccinated crowd’ comments about Obama party (8/8/2021):

    “New York Times White House correspondent Annie Karni discussed the controversy surrounding Obama’s much-criticized Martha’s Vineyard celebration where he was seen not wearing a mask and used the term “sophisticated” crowd, saying that the guests were “following all the safety precautions.”

    Obama had said that his party, which was originally going to entertain over 500 people, was “scaled back” due to the spread of the delta variant. However, the president was widely panned on social media after images from the party surfaced showing a massive tent and photos of maskless attendees.”

    1. That dude Mike Benz in the Tucker Carlson piece above had a bunch to say about the Obama administration along with how our fathers of the CIA started out stealing an election in Italy in 1948 so the “Communists” wouldn’t win or Italy would have never been a “Democracy” again, along with how they eventually used Universities and companies like Google to turn the guns on the United States, which at in the beginning was off limits, all culminating in the 2020 election and where we are now.

  33. Biden administration considering delaying switch to electric vehicles: Report

    The Biden administration is preparing a regulatory change to slow the country’s switch to electric vehicles (EVs), The New York Times first reported Saturday, citing three people familiar with the plan.

    The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rule change would lessen regulation of vehicle tailpipe emissions, the Times reported, allowing car manufacturers to delay the switch to EV production currently slated for 2030.

    The rule change would be a win for car manufacturers and labor unions, allowing the industry more time to boost its EV production and charging infrastructure before regulations encroach on the gas-powered vehicle market.

    The EV market has swelled in recent years, but not as quickly as some had anticipated. More consumers turned to hybrid cars instead of fully electric vehicles in 2023. EV sales made up just 7 percent of the market last year, The Associated Press reported.

    That pales in comparison to the Biden administration’s future projections, which anticipate EVs making up as much as two-thirds of sales by 2032. The Congressional Budget Office also increased its projected cost for the Inflation Reduction Act last week, citing a greater-than-anticipated number of Americans claiming EV tax credits.

    A rule change could also smooth over political concerns from the United Auto Workers union about President Biden’s reelection campaign. The union finally endorsed Biden last month after months of politically challenging the president and warnings about pursuing a switch to EVs too quickly.

    The EPA first proposed the strict tailpipe standards last year, so strict that they would effectively force manufacturers to sell mostly zero-emissions vehicles by 2030. The House GOP passed an effort to repeal the rule in December, and car dealers also put up mass opposition last month.

    The Times reported that the Biden administration is expected to announce the change this spring.

  34. 2024: The Year from Political Hell – Martin Armstrong

    Legendary financial and geopolitical cycle analyst Martin Armstrong is predicting political turmoil, civilian unrest, war and a big economic downturn in 2024 in a new report called “The Year from Political Hell.” It’s not just a US election year, but it is an election year for more than half of the world. This is a global phenomenon which no one can be sure of the outcome. Armstrong explains, “This is not just the United States election. This is what you hear on the news locally. However, step outside this country, and, for example, Indonesia just voted in a leftist government. You have the EU going for elections. You have on May 2nd all the local elections in Britian. You have Russian elections on May 7th. 60% of the world is going to the polls in 2024 to vote for a new government. You might as well throw them into a tumbler, shake well and see what comes out. I mean it’s all over the place.”

    On the war front, get ready for more mass killing, and don’t be surprised if it goes nuclear. Armstrong predicts, “There will be nuclear weapons. The neocons keep telling people on Capitol Hill that Russia would never use a nuke because they know we would use them back. That is nonsense! If you are about ready to conquer somebody, and this is all they’ve got left, they are pushing the button. . . . These people, all they want is war. They don’t care. They really do not care. They don’t care about the economy. They don’t care about anything.”

    Armstrong says the coming war will make the economy “crash in 2024” as people get scared, spend a lot less and save a lot more. Armstrong says, “What we are looking at is a contraction in spending because of uncertainty. This is what these neocons are creating, and they don’t want to listen to anybody, and it is just their agenda, and they don’t care what happens to the country. . . .We are looking for a contraction of 12% to 18%. GDP is not going to be rising, but you are going to find inflation still rising.”

    Armstrong also says to look for “a rebellion in government debt” as people lose faith in governments around the world. This rebellion in government issued debt will include US Treasuries, according to Armstrong. This means interest rates will continue to trend upward and not downward.

    On volatility in the markets, Armstrong predicts, “Look for volatility to start around July, and there may be some false flags too.”

    Armstrong continues to say Trump is still looking like he can “win in a landslide in 2024,” but expect the Deep State to pull every dirty trick in the book to keep him out of office. Armstrong points out, “If Trump gets back in power, they are all fired. . . . They know they are losing power. Instead of reforming and doing the right thing, they clamp down and they think they can retain power by pressing us even more. Sorry, but that’s what creates revolution.”

    In closing, Armstrong says, “Pretty much everything is going wrong for the Deep State. . . . confidence in government has collapsed everywhere.”

    This is what makes the Deep State Dems, RINOs and Neocons very dangerous.

    A broke Chinese real estate developer left Los Angeles with empty, graffiti-covered towers and a billion-dollar bill
    Katherine Tangalakis-Lippert and Hannah Getahun Feb 18, 2024, 6:08 PM ET
    27 Floors Of Unfinished L.A. Luxury Skyscraper Tagged With Graffiti
    Mario Tama/Getty Images

    – A Chinese firm started to build a massive tower plaza in Los Angeles but ran out of funds in 2019.

    – The Oceanwide Plaza towers are now mainly used by graffiti artists and base jumpers.

    – LA’s City Council estimates it’ll take $2 billion to buy the property and complete the project.

    1. Financial Times
      Pinned Post
      an hour ago
      Foreign direct investment into China slows as investors pull out money
      Cheng Leng in Hong Kong

      China reported its smallest annual foreign direct investment since the 1990s, as foreign companies pulled money out of Asia’s largest economy amid slowing economic growth and higher interest rates available in overseas markets.

      China’s direct investment liabilities, which combines foreign business earnings retained in China and investments into the country’s capital markets, rose by $33bn in 2023, according to data released on Sunday by the State Administration of Foreign Exchange.

      The figure, which is more volatile than other direct investment indicators as it includes equity investments, marked an 82 per cent decline from the previous year. It was also the lowest annual increase since 1998, according to historical data available from Wind, a Chinese financial database.

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