Weekend Open Thread (2010-04-30)

Here is your open thread for the weekend beginning Friday April 30th, 2010. You may post random links and off-topic discussions here. Also, if you have an idea or a topic you’d like to see covered in an article, please make it known.

Be sure to also check out the forums, and get your word in the user-driven discussions there!

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About The Tim

Tim Ellis is the founder of Seattle Bubble. His background in engineering and computer / internet technology, a fondness of data-based analysis of problems, and an addiction to spreadsheets all influence his perspective on the Seattle-area real estate market. Tim also hosts the weekly improv comedy sci-fi podcast Dispatches from the Multiverse.

45 comments:

  1. 1
    David Losh says:

    Scotsman keeps going on about how the Federal government of the United States of America is so screwed that I want to explore that. In particular in relation to housing, or your purchase of housing as opposed to be subject to the whims of your Land Lord.

    The real question is how you, and your family, are going to survive what, from Scotsman says, will be an imminent economic crash.

    Owning a Real Estate is essential to your road to financial freedom. The second thing is that cash is king. Being debt free is the first sign of wealth, that includes your mortgage. The third thing is sustainable income. Real Estate, as it so happens, is one way to get that sustainable income if you maintain your properties, and keep rents desirable. I personally like having my own small business.

    To me, being my own financial security makes the most sense. From that perspective I could ride out a collapse of the Greek government, or our own spiral into anarchy.

  2. 2
    Green Machine says:

    RE: David Losh @ 1 – Interesting post, David. Historically speaking, private property ownership is what differentiates between a slave and a free individual.

    What’s necessary to understand is that the international central bankers, under the UN’s Agenda 21 and its associated legislation, have classified private property ownership as a “threat to the environment” (which is ultimately an international security threat). This helps to ensure that all or most land will one day be managed by the subsidiaries of the central bankers. This is the ultimate goal, it will take many years if not decades to fulfill this plan, and the plan is unfolding as I write this. If you want details, lookup “Agenda 21 Smart Growth” and the “Agenda 21 Wildlands Project.”

    Backing off from the macroscopic plan related to real estate, we have other elements of Agenda 21 that are worth mentioning since they, too, will impact American families in a big way. Agenda 21’s scope is not simply economic in nature — it includes agriculture, religion (including Maurice Strong’s vision for a one-world “Gaia” religion — lookup the “Club of Budapest”), energy and the world political structure (which includes the creation of the North American Union, the Asian Union, and well… the EU is already here and it now has its own president and constitution, or Lisbon Treaty).

    To be blunt, the plan seeks to culturally integrate China with the world, since China is fast becoming the next first world country. In the 70’s, even David Rockefeller was writing enthusiastically in the Washigton Post about how the Chinese model should be applied to the West. Now we’re actually seeing decades of work unfold before us, in the public spotlight.

    Currencies are expected to devalue in relation to the Chinese yuan, which will facilitate the creation of the new world consumer focal point — the Chinese middle class. US workers will be working for lower wages and dealing with higher taxes and consumer prices, while we export goods overseas once again. China will gradually balance imports and exports, over time, as its middle class grows.

    Agenda 21 is very explicit about transferring wealth from existing first world countries (Europe and the US) to developing nations, under the auspices of protecting the environment. Economic balance and reform will further solifidy stability and therefore solidify power/control. The US and Europe (especially the UK) are in the unfortunate situation of having their own high tech infrastructure being used against its own citizens, to ensure compliance.

    I could go and on… learn about Agenda 21 as it’s your future and your great grandchildren’s future, and without any knowledge of it, you will be completely surprised (and perhaps financially devastated) by what is happening in the world. To ignore it, or deny it — that’s similar to denying that the sun comes up every morning… not even worth arguing about.

    It’s difficult to talk intelligently with Americans about these topics as they are mostly intentionally disinformed by the very news media they rely on to stay informed. So, education is the first step to preserving one’s own skin. The next step is to organize and share information, so that community wealth may be preserved. You don’t want to be caught without wealth when a Medieval feudal banker lord wants to ransack your slave dwelling because you couldn’t pay your health care tax, do you?

  3. 3

    RE: David Losh @ 1

    Goldman Sachs Faces Possible Criminal Charges Now, In Addition to the Civil Suit He’s Fighting for Proffitting from the Real Estate Bubble

    Article in part:

    “…The Justice Department has opened a criminal investigation into possible securities fraud in mortgage trading at Goldman Sachs, law enforcement sources said Friday.

    The U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan and the FBI are conducting the probe, which sources said has been underway for weeks. The sources, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation has not been publicly disclosed, said no charges — or a decision on whether to file them — are imminent….”

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/04/30/AR2010043001336.html?wpisrc=nl_natlalert

    Throw him in jail and throw away the key, IMO…..if that happens, there is real justice in America after all.

  4. 4
    matsayswhat says:

    RE: Green Machine @ 2

    I’m honestly not trying to mock you, but your explanation of the implementation of Agenda 21 sounds a little bit like a conspiracy theory.

  5. 5
    pfft says:

    Consumers power 3.2% increase in U.S. GDP
    Private domestic demand strengthens in first quarter; weak spots persist
    http://www.marketwatch.com/story/consumers-power-32-increase-in-us-gdp-2010-04-30?reflink=MW_news_stmp

  6. 6
    pfft says:

    By Green Machine @ 2:

    RE: David Losh @ 1 You don’t want to be caught without wealth when a Medieval feudal banker lord wants to ransack your slave dwelling because you couldn’t pay your health care tax, do you?

    and you wonder why the people have a hard time believing your story?

  7. 7
    pfft says:

    some good commentary by Krugman about Greece, Britain and Europe.

    The Euro Trap
    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/04/30/opinion/30krugman.html?hp

    Why Isn’t Britain In More Trouble?
    http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/04/30/why-isnt-britain-in-more-trouble/

  8. 8
    Scotsman says:

    RE: pfft @ 5

    Yea, consumers brought out the credit cards! Unfortunately, further down, the fundamentals show their ugly little heads:

    “Indeed, there were significant weak spots in the mix of growth in the first quarter.

    Real disposable incomes were flat, the data showed. And after having risen in the third and fourth quarters, investments in homes reverted, falling at a 10.9% annual rate.

    Investments in business structures dropped at a 14% rate, the seventh straight decline. Spending by state and local governments fell 3.8%, the largest decline in 29 years. Export growth slowed.”

    In other words, the foundation continues to deteriorate.

  9. 9

    RE: Scotsman @ 8

    Who Bought What?

    It would be interesting to get a breakdown of what was bought in consumer spending recently and how it was dollar weighted. Like could mainstream consumers even afford it?

    My guess is the stock profitting lately has fattenned some rich elite billfolds, that went a bit lean the beginning of last year….I’m guessing the usual rich elite trinkets, like Lexus, designer clothes, etc, etc made up the lion’s chunk of it…..hades, even ole SWE feels richer from the stock market bubble of late [even my consumer spending is up a bit], but you know, it’s not a strong “fundamental” as Scotsman puts it, when so many are chronically out of work. Perhaps America’s snowballing unemployment shouldn’t be labeled a lagging indicator, how about kitchen leavings conveniently swept under the rug?

  10. 10
    patient says:

    On the subject of the expiring home buyer tax credit, you see more and more comments like these now a days. Perhaps they all read SeattleBubble :-)

    http://www.gather.com/viewArticle.action?articleId=281474978207811

    I couldn’t have said it better myself.

  11. 11
    CrankyPanky says:

    Frontier bank closed today, its my bank so um yea.

  12. 12
  13. 13
    david mcmanus says:

    Rip frontier bank! They just keep dropping like flies!

  14. 14
    David Losh says:

    RE: Green Machine @ 2

    Alrighty, let’s get started with this before we go after the pfft comment about an increase in consumer spending.

    Agenda 21 is about preserving the planet. Rather than watching the debt clock we should be watching the population clock. In 1991 that was the basis of the concern for things like Global Warming. As it so happens, it’s also the basis of consumerism.

    More people, more tax dollars, more economy, more to manage, more profits to be made. It’s a Catch 22, pun intended.

    Your point, which I do want to advance, is that of a feudal system. When we say have, and have nots, in my opinion, we are talking about land.

  15. 15

    RE: patient @ 10 – I’m actually glad that credit is expiring.

  16. 16
    pfft says:

    By Scotsman @ 8:

    RE: pfft @ 5

    Yea, consumers brought out the credit cards! Unfortunately, further down, the fundamentals show their ugly little heads:

    “Indeed, there were significant weak spots in the mix of growth in the first quarter.

    Real disposable incomes were flat, the data showed. And after having risen in the third and fourth quarters, investments in homes reverted, falling at a 10.9% annual rate.

    Investments in business structures dropped at a 14% rate, the seventh straight decline. Spending by state and local governments fell 3.8%, the largest decline in 29 years. Export growth slowed.”

    In other words, the foundation continues to deteriorate.

    you can explain it away if you want to but the numbers are the numbers. this is a global recovery.

    Canada GDP up 0.3 pct in Feb.
    http://www.upi.com/Business_News/2010/04/30/Canada-GDP-up-03-pct-in-Feb/UPI-17971272653779/

  17. 17
    BillE says:

    It’s midnight. Buh bye tax credit carrot!
    I’m having a beer just for that reason.

  18. 18
    TK says:

    Don’t worry about the expired home buyer tax credit, now there is the do-it-yourselves stimulus.

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/36828305

  19. 19
    BillE says:

    I kept a section of the paper today. It’s got a housing ad that’s been in the paper a lot lately. The top of the ad says, “Do you really want to throw away $8000 in free money?” Finally, I won’t have to see it anymore. It will make a nice souvenir when I finally do buy a house.
    It was in the same section of the paper as most of the NTS pages.

  20. 20
    BillE says:

    I just got my daily updates from Redfin and what’s the most common update I see? “The status was ‘Pending’ and changed to ‘Active'” So sorry, your tax credit buyer just got rejected.

  21. 21
    David Losh says:

    RE: pfft @ 5

    GDP is up, but consumer confidence is down due to unemployment. Let’s talk about where jobs are going to come from. What do we need in today’s economy?

    Let’s pretend you are putting your money back in the stock market. What are the performers going to be? All business is on the ropes because the Institutional Investors inability to find new havens for cash. Where’s the next big driver of the economy?

    Tech gone, housing gone, securities suspect. Banking, financial, health, welfare, environment, education, and government are all maxed out. There is no more because the consumer needs jobs that pay.

    One thing that has become clear in the past few years is the massive amounts of cash in global funds that people play with. Cash comes in, and gets invested in other cash return funds, to make more profits, that make more cash to be invested. Ultimately it is based on the consumer spending, paying more cash, and paying more taxes.

    The GDP is missing the consumer’s part. The consumer, here in the United States, has the right, in the Constitution, not to pay. Our founding fathers used this right not to pay. In the past ten years they tried to dilute our bankruptcy laws, but who cares.

    That left the emerging markets. They have been mercilessly raided for interest income. The problem is that when that is being enforced people have fought back, with guns, and shadow economies, like drug trade.

    Now we can talk GDP all day, and pretend we are going to get somewhere, but until the consumer has confidence, until the consumer has money to spend, it’s over. It’s pension funds, hedge funds, insurance funds, big dollar funds trading dollars.

    At some point, some one, other than the governments around the world, are going to have to say, OK we’ll take a little less, and pay wages.

    Wages that are good wages. Looking for cheap labor has already been done. We tapped that, it’s over. The people in China, South America, Africa, have computers, they know they are being paid carpola. They want cars, cloths, and sun glasses. That’s consumerism, but it takes wages.

    Who’s going to pay? Who will be stupid enough to pay good wages? The government’s tapped. Where’s it going to come from?

  22. 22

    By BillE @ 20:

    I just got my daily updates from Redfin and what’s the most common update I see? “The status was ‘Pending’ and changed to ‘Active'” So sorry, your tax credit buyer just got rejected.

    Probably short sales, and might not have anything to do with the credit. Any short sale buyer would have known quite a while ago that they weren’t going to close in time to get the credit because it doesn’t close immediately on bank approval, and allowing the offer to stay pending to the end if that was a concern would have been extremely foolish.

  23. 23
    Lurker says:

    RE: BillE @ 20

    My Redfin update showed more places going pending. Dumpy places selling at the last minute with competing offers by people rushing to get $8K.

    I AM SO GLAD THIS TAX CREDIT IS OVER!

    Now I just have to wait a few more years (or more) for prices to get reasonable.

  24. 24
    David Losh says:

    RE: Lurker @ 23

    It won’t take years. It will be months before the dumping begins.

  25. 25
    buystocks says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 22
    I also saw more things go pending on my redfin update. Kary, isn’t inability of the buyer to secure financing one of the potential reason for these active->pending->active toggles.

  26. 26

    RE: buystocks @ 25 – Financing could be a reason, but since 9/2007 when the “mortgage crisis” started, we’ve only had one deal fall apart on financing, and that was a mistake that the buyer’s agent noticed right away, before the inspection was even conducted. We have had a handful of deals delayed less than a week, but that’s usually where we had some concerns going in.

    If it’s our buyer we try to make sure they are using a decent lender. If it’s our seller, we will ask questions about the lender and even have that affect our response to an offer. And I recall that during one of the critical times, our office at the time was practically completely unscathed from financing falling through on any of its transactions. If a seller was really desperate, or their agent didn’t check into such things, the fall through rate could be higher.

  27. 27

    FWIW, for April we’ll almost certainly top 1,500 sales and maybe 1,600. The median will probably be flat (again), but perhaps slightly down from last year since April peaked up slightly last year.

  28. 28
    Daniel says:

    By pfft @ 16:

    you can explain it away if you want to but the numbers are the numbers. this is a global recovery.

    Maybe we should:
    1) Discuss what we define to constitute a recovery.
    This is most likely where the one-way discussion comes from. Throwing numbers like GDP numbers (that are a notoriously bad metric for economic prosperity) at each other is futile if we all have a different definition of “recovery”. I bet we will not even be able to agree on what recovery would be. For me recovering from the illusion that one should strive to increase those meaningless numbers would be one step =)
    2) Discuss what kind of information would be suitable to assess if what we defined as recovery is taking place.
    3) Only after that show glee, as we actually had a discussion rather than burping numbers at each other.

  29. 29
    sleepwalker says:

    RE: David Losh @ 21

    How is tech gone? That’s my only area of expertise and at least stock-wise; it’s been skyrocketing lately.

  30. 30
    David Losh says:

    RE: sleepwalker @ 29

    Business can buy as much software as they want, with cash, and boost the GDP, or stocks associated with it, but your job is a specialty.

    A lot of the sectors that I listed are specialty job sectors. When people talk main street they are talking plumbers, crafts people, labor, auto workers.

    I made the comment on May 1st with an intent on making a point. Just because you have dollars being traded between large financially sound groups, it’s much different than having a robust economy.

  31. 31
    softwarengineer says:

    RE: David Losh @ 30

    Exactly David

    Until America starts making something they can hold in their hand and uses it’s own subcontracts and materials too….it’s over.

    Tech folks can pretend they’re immune from outsourcing/insourcing for 1/10th the labor costs, but reality is their jobs are on the New World Order butcher axe block too. Corporations will call it survival and yes, their stocks sky rocket as higher paid Americans are laid off….look at the actuals the last year.

    A caveat though, even Ford knew this in the 20s….eventually, when there is no more higher wages anywhere in the world anymore, the stocks will suffer….no one will buy anything anymore.

  32. 32
    pfft says:

    By softwarengineer @ 31:

    RE: David Losh @ 30

    Exactly David

    Until America starts making something they can hold in their hand and uses it’s own subcontracts and materials too….it’s over.

    exports are on the order of $150 billion a month.

    all those foreclosed homes need about $5000 on average when someone buys them. that is a stimulus plan!

  33. 33
    pfft says:

    excellent article.

    “I’m getting a little tired of confirmation bias and lack of falsifiability among bears. It doesn’t matter what data point comes out — inventories, housing, rail traffic, GDP, jobs, etc. — bears continue to find ways to deny twelve months of market advances, while spinning compelling stories of imminent collapse.”

    http://paul.kedrosky.com/archives/2010/04/karl_popper_bea.html

    Macro Overview: Economy & Markets
    http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2010/04/macro-overview-economy-markets/

    nothing will convince the bears. I know I used to think I knew it all. I was never bullish from 2002-2007. I was a bear from 2000(yes the year 2000) to the summer of 2009!

  34. 34
    pfft says:

    no recovery huh?

    Berkshire reports $3.6 billion 1Q net income
    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Berkshire-reports-36-billion-apf-2312715829.html?x=0&sec=topStories&pos=9&asset=&ccode=

    “Buffett says Berkshire’s results show the economy is improving because manufacturing and retail income grew 85 percent to $477 million.”

    who knows better than warren?

  35. 35
    TK says:

    Anybody knows what is the percentage of bears in the market? Hard for me to believe there are many of them.

  36. 36
    SammamishRenter says:

    What is the implication on local buyers (hence market)?
    Does it mean 35% of the buyers will vanish because of
    the tax credit expiration? Does anyone know where to
    get the full report from Prudential ?
    ============================================
    http://www.trexglobal.com/property-management/real-estate-news/news/end-of-home-buyer-tax-credit-unlikely-to-deter-most-real-estate-buyers

    http://www.heraldtribune.com/article/20100502/COLUMNIST/5021006/2055/NEWS

    Prudential Real Estate and Relocation Services conducted a national consumer survey last month to determine the expiring tax credit’s likely impact on the real estate market.

    “For 65 percent of people looking for homes, its expiration won’t make a difference,” according to Prudential. “The survey reveals that price, interest rates and the risk of unemployment are much more important concerns.”

  37. 37
    EconE says:

    I’d like to see Pffft point to a single time in the past where he/she/it was demonstrably bearish in the past. It seems that he/she/it has only started posting within the last year. Perhaps Pffft is trying to sell his/her/its condo before the optionARM resets?

    Go ahead pffft..prove those “bearish credentials” that you claim were “impeccable”

  38. 38
    David Losh says:

    RE: pfft @ 33RE: pfft @ 32

    Obviously you don’t read the links you post all the way through.

    There are a couple of things that say the recovery is shallow. Even though GDP is up by 3.2% it needs to be closer to 5% to 7% to help unemployment. There was also a part in there about the stock market’s role in the economic recovery of 1982. We had two decades of growth from that time. There is no foreseeable growth of that kind in today’s market place. There are no junk bond types of trading that will produce huge profits. As a matter of fact derivatives being exposed as the toxic investment pool that they are is going to seriously curtail stock market growth.

    I could really go on, and on about how screwed up the stock market is, but Berkshire is the perfect example. Yes they make tons of cash. They also manipulate market sectors to make those profits. It’s not like they are selling a better mouse trap, and Oh Golly they are adding to production. They are trading on what might be good investments, and taking money from other parts of the economy. It’s like a chain store concept, like a Wal Mart. When they move into a failing retail location they expand sales, and make profits. They may take out other retailers along the way. They stimulate more sales, the production looks good on paper, but the net result is a wash.

    Now you hit my area of expertise in your comments by mentioning the work that foreclosures need. It’s true, properties are an absolute mess. There is so much bad construction, remuddle, fixing, and deferred property care that our companies could stay busy for the next ten years. Who’s going to pay? Where’s the money coming from? If the home is the ATM, fine, but for cash, where are the home owners getting the money to pay?

    We will of course come up with a program to be able to profit, but it will be small, and the margins extremely tight. Home owners will need to budget for repairs.

    Let me use house painting as an example. Every town home in Seattle needs a paint job inside, and out. Paint on new construction only has to last a year. Construction grade paint relays heavily on Georgia Clay to get the best coverage in the least number of coats. The paint is only guaranteed for a year with factory warranty of five years. The cost of a painting company to put a team of three in the field is about $1000 a day, yes, a day, plus materials. Average unit takes three days, paint cost at $750 you’re at $3750, plus the company needs a profit. Let’s call it $4000 to $6000. How will that be playing out? One home owner spends $4000, how about the person next door?

    Let’s leave that for a minute and just stick with the foreclosures which typically take $5000 to put into condition. Any bank owned needs about $3000 to $5000 to make market ready. It’s all nickles and dimes, but I have this rule of not spending more than $10000, after that there’s no point to improve, and I recommend price reductions until the property sells. Well some one still has to pay the $10000. Where’s the new happy homie getting that kind of cash out of the gate?

  39. 39
    Daniel says:

    By pfft @ 33:

    It doesn’t matter what data point comes out — inventories, housing, rail traffic, GDP, jobs, etc.

    For me all of those except maybe jobs (depending on the issue) are meaningless as they are based on false premises.

    Inventory is meaningless unless compared to need for whatever is measured. Most things we buy we do not even need and people would be happier if they realized that their attachment to useless garbage is burdening them rather than helping them.

    Housing clearly is still deep in the woods, so I need not argue. Nevertheless a small but functional home would work the same well for most of us, provided people stop their packrat mentality.

    Rail traffic like any other traffic should rather be minimized than maximized. After all if we could keep the same standard of living with less energy consumption that would be desirable, wouldn’t it?

    GDP is a terrible indicator for prosperity and should not be used to base decisions on.

    At the same time the infrastructure is rotting, 90% of the population have effectively a shrinking income and the US burns more money on defense related expense (which contributes to the GDP but does not raise anyone’s standard of living) than the next ten biggest spenders combined.

    But sure: the meaningless numbers say we have a recovery!!!1!!!!111!

  40. 40
    buystocks says:

    RE: Daniel @ 39
    I know it’s tough on the forearms, but try to keep that shift button down…

  41. 41
    pfft says:

    By EconE @ 37:

    I’d like to see Pffft point to a single time in the past where he/she/it was demonstrably bearish in the past. It seems that he/she/it has only started posting within the last year. Perhaps Pffft is trying to sell his/her/its condo before the optionARM resets?

    Go ahead pffft..prove those “bearish credentials” that you claim were “impeccable”

    I am still bearish on housing, although not as much as in the past.

    the futures say housing will bottom sometime next spring or summer.

    http://www.commoditycharts.com/quote.asp?sym=J0

    I’ve been posting for awhile but you probably didn’t notice because I was possibly expressing the same view you had?

  42. 42
    pfft says:

    By Daniel @ 39:

    By pfft @ 33:

    It doesn’t matter what data point comes out — inventories, housing, rail traffic, GDP, jobs, etc.

    For me all of those except maybe jobs (depending on the issue) are meaningless as they are based on false premises.

    you basically proved the premise of the article. all of that data reflected the recession and now it’s reflecting recovery.

    the job losses have stopped and now we are adding jobs. we’ve added jobs something like 3 out of the last 5 months.

  43. 43
    pfft says:

    By David Losh @ 38:

    RE: pfft @ 33RE: pfft @ 32

    Obviously you don’t read the links you post all the way through.

    There are a couple of things that say the recovery is shallow. Even though GDP is up by 3.2% it needs to be closer to 5% to 7% to help unemployment. There was also a part in there about the stock market’s role in the economic recovery of 1982. We had two decades of growth from that time. There is no foreseeable growth of that kind in today’s market place. There are no junk bond types of trading that will produce huge profits. As a matter of fact derivatives being exposed as the toxic investment pool that they are is going to seriously curtail stock market growth.

    I could really go on, and on about how screwed up the stock market is, but Berkshire is the perfect example. Yes they make tons of cash. They also manipulate market sectors to make those profits. It’s not like they are selling a better mouse trap, and Oh Golly they are adding to production. They are trading on what might be good investments, and taking money from other parts of the economy. It’s like a chain store concept, like a Wal Mart. When they move into a failing retail location they expand sales, and make profits. They may take out other retailers along the way. They stimulate more sales, the production looks good on paper, but the net result is a wash.

    Now you hit my area of expertise in your comments by mentioning the work that foreclosures need. It’s true, properties are an absolute mess. There is so much bad construction, remuddle, fixing, and deferred property care that our companies could stay busy for the next ten years. Who’s going to pay? Where’s the money coming from? If the home is the ATM, fine, but for cash, where are the home owners getting the money to pay?

    We will of course come up with a program to be able to profit, but it will be small, and the margins extremely tight. Home owners will need to budget for repairs.

    Let me use house painting as an example. Every town home in Seattle needs a paint job inside, and out. Paint on new construction only has to last a year. Construction grade paint relays heavily on Georgia Clay to get the best coverage in the least number of coats. The paint is only guaranteed for a year with factory warranty of five years. The cost of a painting company to put a team of three in the field is about $1000 a day, yes, a day, plus materials. Average unit takes three days, paint cost at $750 you’re at $3750, plus the company needs a profit. Let’s call it $4000 to $6000. How will that be playing out? One home owner spends $4000, how about the person next door?

    Let’s leave that for a minute and just stick with the foreclosures which typically take $5000 to put into condition. Any bank owned needs about $3000 to $5000 to make market ready. It’s all nickles and dimes, but I have this rule of not spending more than $10000, after that there’s no point to improve, and I recommend price reductions until the property sells. Well some one still has to pay the $10000. Where’s the new happy homie getting that kind of cash out of the gate?

    “There are a couple of things that say the recovery is shallow.”

    I didn’t make a qualitative judgement on the recovery in GDP.

    “I could really go on, and on about how screwed up the stock market is, but Berkshire is the perfect example. Yes they make tons of cash. They also manipulate market sectors to make those profits. It’s not like they are selling a better mouse trap, and Oh Golly they are adding to production. They are trading on what might be good investments, and taking money from other parts of the economy.”

    berkshire has almost 250,000 employees. it purchases whole businesses. berkshire does make money shuffling money around but who cares?

    “Now you hit my area of expertise in your comments by mentioning the work that foreclosures need. It’s true, properties are an absolute mess. There is so much bad construction, remuddle, fixing, and deferred property care that our companies could stay busy for the next ten years. Who’s going to pay? Where’s the money coming from? If the home is the ATM, fine, but for cash, where are the home owners getting the money to pay?”

    not everyone is broke. not everyone is out of work. not everyone has no money to purchase a house or a car. even during the great recession people still bought cars by the millions and homes by the hundreds of thousands(at least).

  44. 44
    Daniel says:

    By buystocks @ 40:

    RE: Daniel @ 39
    I know it’s tough on the forearms, but try to keep that shift button down…

    I hope you noticed it was purposeful =)
    I would not be caught dead using multiple exclamation marks in any other way. After all: “Multiple exclamation marks[, said Arthur,] are a sure sign of a diseased mind.”

  45. 45
    Daniel says:

    By pfft @ 42:

    By Daniel @ 39:

    For me all of those except maybe jobs (depending on the issue) are meaningless as they are based on false premises.

    you basically proved the premise of the article. all of that data reflected the recession and now it’s reflecting recovery.

    What point? That people other than you are to shallow to understand that those metrics are meaningless?

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