July Stats Preview: “Where did the buyers go?” Edition

Time for our monthly stats preview now that July is behind us. Most of the charts below are based on broad county-wide data that is available through a simple search of King County Records and Snohomish County Records. If you have additional stats you’d like to see in the preview, drop a line in the comments and I’ll see what I can do.

First up, total home sales as measured by the number of “Warranty Deeds” filed with the county:

King County Warranty Deeds

Warranty Deeds plummetted 31% from June to July, (compared to just a 3% MOM increase June to July 2009). YOY Warranty Deeds were down 22%. If the recent relationship between WD and NWMLS closed sales holds, we can expect to see about 1,250 closed SFH sales in King County this month. That would be the slowest July on record.

Here’s a long-range view of King County Warranty Deeds, to give you a little more context:

King County Warranty Deeds

Here’s a look at Snohomish County Deeds, but keep in mind that Snohomish County files Warranty Deeds and Trustee Deeds together under the category of “Deeds (except QCDS),” so this chart is not as good a measure of plain vanillla sales as the Warranty Deed only data we have in King County.

Snohomish County Deeds

Similar drop in Snohomish County.

Next, here’s Notices of Trustee Sale, which are an indication of the number of homes currently in the foreclosure process:

King County Notices of Trustee Sale

Snohomish County Notices of Trustee Sale

Month-to-month increase in King, decrease in Snohomish, but both came in well over where they were a year ago.

Here’s another measure of foreclosures for King County, looking at Trustee Deeds, which is the type of document filed with the county when the bank actually repossesses a house through the trustee auction process. Note that there are other ways for the bank to repossess a house that result in different documents being filed, such as when a borrower “turns in the keys” and files a “Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure.”

King County Trustee Deeds

New high in actual foreclosure repossessions in King County.

Lastly, here’s an approximate guess at where the month-end inventory was, based on our sidebar inventory tracker (powered by Estately):

King County SFH Active Listings

Snohomish County SFH Active Listings

Looks like King County may surge over 10,000 listings for the first time in two years.

Stay tuned later this month a for more detailed look at each of these metrics as the “official” data is released from various sources.

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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.

94 comments:

  1. 1

    Listings Up

    And even the foreclosures keep on a steady rise.

  2. 2
    Scotsman says:

    What??! Sales down 31% from the previous month, 21% YOY?! But. . Pfft said the bottom was in! Oh, I know, this is just the seasonal swing.

    Over on TickerForum we get this report from St. Louis:

    “Like we knew they would. Statistics from my local MLS show that July sales were down 48% MOM for June/July with sales prices falling 2% in one county. The other major county shows a decline in sales of 37% with sales prices falling 6% for the same MOM period. I would guess that the St Louis market here is as good a barometer as any in the nation for how the entire nation reacts to this also.”

    So, it could be worse. This is not the bottom.

  3. 3
    Sniglet says:

    I don’t know if these statistics are all that useful. From what professionals like Kary have been saying in discussion threads this last month, they haven’t seen any decline in activity. I certainly don’t seem to be hearing of any serious local market problems (compared to several months ago) from the individual real-estate professionals I talk with.

  4. 4

    RE: Sniglet @ 3 – But I also said that the experience of one agent at one point in time doesn’t mean that much (anything). And the last time I said that I think I even pointed out I was really busy during what was one of the worst months prior.

    That said, I did have one of the busiest open houses ever about 3 weeks ago. But yesterday I had a rather dead one.

  5. 5
    Scotsman says:

    Greenspan ( old guy with some credibility left- but not much) preps the peeps for what may come:

    “Former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan said the slowing economic recovery in the U.S. feels like a “quasi-recession” and the economy might contract again if home prices decline.

    “We’re in a pause in a recovery, a modest recovery, but a pause in the modest recovery feels like a quasi-recession,” Greenspan said in an interview on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

    Asked if another economic contraction, a so-called “double dip,” was possible, Greenspan said, “It is possible if home prices go down. Home prices, as best we can judge, have really flattened out in the last year.”

    Slowing economic growth, and a decline in housing activity following the expiration of a government tax credit, have raised fears that the economy could return to a recession before completing its recovery from the worst downturn since the 1930s.

    The former U.S. central bank chairman said that most economists expect “a small dip” in home prices. The National Association of Realtors reported that the pace of home sales fell in June for a second month. Homes are selling at an annual rate of 5.37 million, and the group’s chief economist Lawrence Yun said transactions will be “very low” in coming months.

    “If home prices stay stable, then I think we will skirt the worst of the housing problem,” Greenspan said. “But right under this current price level, mainly 5, 7 or 8 percent below, is a very large block of mortgages, which are under water, so to speak, or could be under water. And that would induce a major increase in foreclosures, foreclosures would feed on the weakness in prices, and it would create a problem.”

    Read that last paragraph again, and ponder. Inventories up, sales down, who can tell me what should happen next? Any new government programs on the horizon to boost sales?

    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2010-08-01/greenspan-says-decline-in-u-s-home-prices-might-bring-back-the-recession.html

  6. 6
    HappyRenter says:

    I guess this had already been explained in the past. What is the difference between Warranty deed and closed sale?

  7. 7

    RE: HappyRenter @ 6 – You need some sort of a deed to transfer ownership (to close the sale). Most regular sales are closed with warranty deeds. Some trustee deeds are actually regular sales too. There are even sometimes quit claim deeds that are regular sales. Depending on the county, those other deeds may or may not show up in Tim’s stats.

  8. 8
    Still Anonymous says:

    But I hear realtors are experiencing a lot more walk-through traffic, and people are taking the fliers from the boxes, so that’s a clear indicator that we are poised for a massive explosion in sales in Q3. Anyone without a house better get one quick if you want to take advantage of the likely 25% appreciation that’s coming!

  9. 9

    RE: Still Anonymous @ 8 – It will be interesting to see what the mainstream media does with the median price information that comes out this week. They could start a round of panic buying! :-)

  10. 10

    Tim, do you have historical stats on how July sales do compared to Jan & Feb, or is that going to have to wait for the NWMLS data? Clearly there was a rush the last 2-3 months the credit was active, but I’m wondering how July compared to the earlier months.

  11. 11
    Drshort says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 9

    If the median price does bounce up, it will be brushed aside as a mix shift (few first time buyers in July data). But, that will beg the question: is the the current median inflated by the mix or has it been deflated for the past 18 months by the over representation of first time buyers?

  12. 12
    Sniglet says:

    I know I am little more than a broken record, but I would love to see monthly status for mortgage delinquencies by county (both 30 and 90 day). I gather that this data isn’t available anywhere, so I won’t beat Tim up about it. Still, I maintain this would give a much better feel for predicting future market direction than anything else.

    If delinquencies are falling we can be pretty confident that the pipeline of distressed home sales will slow down (and vice versa).

  13. 13
    deejayoh says:

    By Still Anonymous @ 8:

    But I hear realtors are experiencing a lot more walk-through traffic, and people are taking the fliers from the boxes, so that’s a clear indicator that we are poised for a massive explosion in sales in Q3. Anyone without a house better get one quick if you want to take advantage of the likely 25% appreciation that’s coming!

    House across the street from me had an open house yesterday. I lookie-loo’d and the agent told me it’s been pretty dead.

    that said, it’s been postulated many times here on this blog that the Tax Credit pulled sales from the future, so I don’t think anyone should really be surprised that sales are down this month vs. last

  14. 14

    By Drshort @ 11:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 9

    If the median price does bounce up, it will be brushed aside as a mix shift (few first time buyers in July data). But, that will beg the question: is the the current median inflated by the mix or has it been deflated for the past 18 months by the over representation of first time buyers?

    I think you may be giving too much credit to the media. ;-)

    Agents still can’t do stats, but the distressed were clearly holding now the median.

  15. 15
    RoflCatDown says:

    I wonder if there’s some sort of statistical comparison between who bought the homes earlier than they would have because of the 8K incentive vs how long it would have taken them to save up that money on their own and then purchase an entry-mid level home? If so, would that possibly provide a prediction on when the market should move off of a downward or flat trajectory and begin to recover without government assistance?

    Really I’m just curious if anyone has done the math on this, or if there’s any validity to the question at all.

    Obviously the stock markets are tied to how secure people feel in their incomes, and is there something that makes people feel more insecure than possible job/home loss? You know, other than being bombarded with those increase your penis size and mail-order viagra e-mails.

  16. 16
    Drshort says:

    RE: deejayoh @ 13

    We had a similar law induced spike, then lull in foreclosure notices last year. And Tim was nice enough to walk everyone through why the forclosure notices were so high in July and why they’re going to be low in following months. The monthly foreclosure post for months after mentioned the law induced lull in notices.

    But with this law induced lull in closed sales, no mention of the credit impact at all?

  17. 17
    Scotsman says:

    RE: Still Anonymous @ 8

    Get your check books out!

    There was a bump up in visits to the house across from me that’s been for sale for a couple of years. They dropped the price, offered (I believe) a special incentive to the realtor who sold it, and the traffic picked up for about three days. It’s still for sale though. No serious lookers, just hits from realtors hoping for a luck strike?

  18. 18

    RE: Scotsman @ 2

    More on St Louis, or Errr, Uhhhh, Seattle 2011

    “…..East St. Louis has been crippled by crime and poverty for decades. Police officials say the cuts will mean fewer officers for patrols, investigations and juvenile cases. Fire officials said the region should be upset because the department will have fewer people at the ready to fight fires on some of the region’s major highways and bridges….”

    http://www.stltoday.com/news/local/illinois/article_dfb230c2-9bf3-11df-9731-0017a4a78c22.html

  19. 19

    RE: Sniglet @ 3

    Get Your Base From 2007

    Using a 2009 depression base to compare YOY to a slightly improved “artificially debt stimulus fed” 2010 depression base is a joke.

  20. 20
    Drshort says:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 18

    The Seattle public will be outraged when they see there’s no more money left for lap dance investigations.

  21. 21

    RE: Scotsman @ 5

    And Like Ira Noted

    The bank owned disasters are kept off the market or money poured into them before listing(s), to give the short-term illusion that fixer uppers in the Seattle area haven’t really crashed 50% in value before horrifying money pit remodeling costs. LOL

  22. 22

    RE: Still Anonymous @ 8

    Maybe realtors are taking the flyers out of the boxes in bunches to give that illusion?

  23. 23
    Sniglet says:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 18

    East St. Louis has been crippled by crime and poverty for decades. Police officials say the cuts will mean fewer officers for patrols, investigations and juvenile cases.

    I don’t understand why they need to cut any services. Why not just declare bankruptcy and have the union contracts declared void. In particular, getting out from under the pension obligations to retired policement and firemen will save the city a FORTUNE. Pensions are the real killer to municipal budgets these days, and bankruptcy is a nice simple way to escape from under that suffocating death grip.

    Hey, a lot of cities are just firing their whole police force these days and outsourcing to the county Sheriff’s department. I’ve read about towns in California who outsourced to the sheriff, and shut down their police forces, who have seen service levels (and citizen satisfaction) improve! I would certainly be irate at any cuts in fire or police that my city would try to make and would lobby to no end to encourage my town to declare bankruptcy before cutting them.

  24. 24

    RE: Sniglet @ 23

    There’s Always a Ying for a Yang

    Me thinks you’re still fairly young, but taking money out of the retirees’ pockets does two slamdunk things to the economy:

    1. Keeps the retirees from retiring, so a lot of you kids have no jobs.
    2. Keeps the retirees from spending money in St Louis or any city.

    Sounds like a big mess too, perhaps likely far worse, if you’re a younger professional job seeker. ;-)

  25. 25
    Sniglet says:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 24

    1. Keeps the retirees from retiring, so a lot of you kids have no jobs.
    2. Keeps the retirees from spending money in St Louis or any city.

    I fail to understand that logic. Taking this logic to it’s natural end we would have a situation where cities pay ALL older people to just retire and live on comfy pensions. This is clearly bunk, and it would bankrupt municipalties if they had to provide healthy pensions to all older citizens. The argument about keeping jobs from younger people doesn’t make sense either. That’s the same scare tactic used to suggest we stop immigration.

    I am certainly not against retirees spending pension money, so long as it isn’t coming from my pocket. All those St Louis pensioners are welcome to move to Seattle to spend their stipends. We just shouldn’t be giving pensions to any of our own local civil servants.

    In case you haven’t noticed, I am very much opposed to pension schemes, particularly for puclic sector employees, and absolutely not the pay-as-you go variety (i.e. where liabilities get passed off to tax-payers in the future).

  26. 26

    RE: Sniglet @ 25

    I Know, You Probably Hate the UAW American Managed/Engineered Products Too

    You and a lions’ share of MSM and corporist political campaign contributers. The factory rats assembling your non-union foreign managed/engineered units can live on $10-15/hr with no pensions and still buy your houses? LOL

    Let’s put it this way Sniglet, you and I totally understand each other’s view points and there’s no hard feelings. So be positive, laugh long and live long too :-)

  27. 27
    Sniglet says:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 26

    Actually, I have no problem with private unions. At least there is a dose of reality that creates a healthy check and balance (i.e. if the employees get paid too much the enterprise might go out of business). My only disatisfaction with private unions is when tax-payers are asked to pick up the tab for a failed business. It is simply unconscionable that the US government is bailing out auto-makers, and providing guaranteed insurance schemes for private pension plans.

    Public unions are where my true animosity comes to the fore. There is no check on the greed of public sector unions since governments can always just go back and raise taxes to meet whatever new demands are made. It is never in the interest of any politician to fight the unions (i.e. they will get blamed for service stoppages) when the primary benefits are many years down the road.

    It is no coincidence that the majority of gains unions have made are in the realm of pensions. This is because a politician can sign off on improved pensions with little immediate impact to budgets. It is the poor saps 10 or 20 years later who will wind up paying for the pension extravagances.

  28. 28
    RoflCatDown says:

    RE: Sniglet @ 27 – Even public unions have a place. The problem is when/if/where the union stops being truly necessary and becomes both an excuse for the officers behaviors and/or is actively harming its constituents employer in an attempt to appear to still be required and relevant.

    Government employees historically trade good pay for steady employment and good benefits/retirement plans. I know that my parents sure did.

  29. 29
    Sniglet says:

    Government employees historically trade good pay for steady employment and good benefits/retirement plans.

    This has not been the case for the last decade or so. I have read many studies showing how public sector wages and pensions have greatly exceeded private sector increases for about 20 years (with private sector pay taking a huge dive, with almost no increases while public sector pay kept growing, in the last 10 years).

    Here is just one article that focusses on the comparison between Federal workers and the private sector. There are other studies that find similar things more broadly across the entire public sector.

    what’s really shocking is that the gulf between the total compensation (wages plus benefits) enjoyed by federal workers and private-sector workers has increased since 1990.

    http://economix.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/10/13/are-federal-workers-overpaid/

    I should stress that these are aggregate studies. I am sure there are some municipal workers in some small towns who get paid very little, and who don’t have much of a pension either. But then, so to are there completely lousy private sector jobs that pay nothing but minimum wage.

  30. 30
    CCG says:

    By softwarengineer @ 22:

    RE: Still Anonymous @ 8

    Maybe realtors are taking the flyers out of the boxes in bunches to give that illusion?

    Wouldn’t surprise me. It’d fit right in with this make-believe world we now live in.

  31. 31
    CCG says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 2

    I don’t bother arguing with bulls any more. What will happen will happen, and I’ll save lots of time and energy in the meantime.

    “D–n it, Morpheus, not everyone believes what you believe!”
    “My beliefs do not require them to.”

  32. 32
    Scotsman says:

    RE: Sniglet @ 23

    “I don’t understand why they need to cut any services. Why not just declare bankruptcy and have the union contracts declared void. In particular, getting out from under the pension obligations to retired policement and firemen will save the city a FORTUNE. Pensions are the real killer to municipal budgets these days, and bankruptcy is a nice simple way to escape from under that suffocating death grip.”

    Agreed- but I don’t think people are ready for that . . . yet.

  33. 33
    Sniglet says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 32

    I don’t think people are ready for that

    Perhaps the politicians just haven’t realized how much of a vote winner this could be. Maybe all it takes is someone running on a platform of bankruptcy to nullify pension obligations to open the eyes of voters to how attractive this option really is. If the only thing the opponents can offer are cut-backs and higher taxes then the candidate championing bankruptcy starts to look really appealing.

    So what if this person becomes enemy number 1 to the municipal employees, if the voters are behind her then it doesn’t matter.

    Hey, I’d run on this platform! I am started to get excited about it already.

  34. 34
    Still Anonymous says:

    By RoflCatDown @ 28:

    RE: Sniglet @ 27 – Even public unions have a place.

    Sure…after all, what other multi-person entities exist that can donate 99.999% of political contributions to a single political party? Public unions make the NRA seem downright bipartisan!

  35. 35
    RoflCatDown says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 32 – And then there’s the part where it transfers the pension debt off of the city and onto the federal government. So, the people end up paying for it one way or the other. And that it’s a shady way for a municipality to wiggle its way out of an agreement it made in good faith. But hey, why should anyone play by the rules, may off their mortgages, pay their taxes, not declare bankruptcy every other year.

    It’s not real money, it doesn’t hurt anyone right?

  36. 36
    Sniglet says:

    And then there’s the part where it transfers the pension debt off of the city and onto the federal government.

    Is this really the case? I haven’t heard this happening in Valejo, or some other cities which have declared bankruptcy. So long as it is primarily the public sector pensioners who take the hit then I don’t mind.

  37. 37
    Scotsman says:

    RE: Sniglet @ 33

    “how much of a vote winner this could be.”

    I don’t know, what with the huge numbers of people working at all levels of government and the power of therir unions. I think getting rid of public unions would have to be a first step.

  38. 38
    Scotsman says:

    RE: RoflCatDown @ 35

    I’m pretty sure the Feds don’t get stuck with the debt this time. Bankrupt is bankrupt, unless there is some new legislation brought up.

  39. 39
    ray pepper says:

    Where are all the Buyers?

    Hmmm..My guess is:

    A. In Loan Modification

    B. Contemplating Short Sale or actively pursuing it.

    C. In Foreclosure process and living for FREE

    D. Unemployed or LACK of F/T employment

    E. Poor credit

    F. No cash

    G. Renting and staying put….

    H. Saving their cash like they NEVER have before.

    So many more……Bring em all back and lets start again!!!

  40. 40
    Mikal says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 37 – Hey spelling Nazi, the word is spelled their.

  41. 41
    Blurtman says:

    Patty Murray is now running an attack ad on Dino Rossi, accusing him of being in bed with the Wall Street banks. I am no Rossi fan, and will not vote for him, but Murray’s latest and awfullest is exactly what is wrong with the USA today.

    Murray ignores the will of the majority of her constituents to vote for the Wall Street bailouts (TARP).

    Murray votes to confirm Bernanke and Geithner, architects of the AIG bailouts, and criminal Wall Street front men,

    Murray votes against the more serious audit the Fed bill, and joins fellow sleezeball Richard Shelby and every other US Senator to vote for the token watered down audit the Fed bill.

    And she hs the gall to claim on her website that she is tough on Wall Street!

    Her advertising campaign: Yes I am crap, but my opponent is a turd. Crap is beter than turd. And you, my constituents, are morons.

  42. 42
    Ryan says:

    By RoflCatDown @ 15:

    Obviously the stock markets are tied to how secure people feel in their incomes, and is there something that makes people feel more insecure than possible job/home loss? You know, other than being bombarded with those increase your penis size and mail-order viagra e-mails.

    Are you able to cite anything that would back this claim up? Aside from what you may consider to be common sense, I would argue that the stock market in its present form moves in inverse fashion to how one feels about their economic security.

  43. 43
    Ross says:

    By Sniglet @ 33:

    RE: Scotsman @ 32

    I don�t think people are ready for that

    Perhaps the politicians just haven’t realized how much of a vote winner this could be. Maybe all it takes is someone running on a platform of bankruptcy to nullify pension obligations to open the eyes of voters to how attractive this option really is. If the only thing the opponents can offer are cut-backs and higher taxes then the candidate championing bankruptcy starts to look really appealing.

    Well, lots of municipalities going bankrupt would have other effects too:

    – Bond default – these are being held by pensions, mutual funds and so on and generally thought to be quite secure (by the reasoning that municipalities should be able to tax their way out of a mess)
    – Higher future borrowing costs. i.e. building that sewer system, or pool system or whatever else the city wants to do goes up in price. So longer term taxes could rise (not counting savings from defaulted debt)
    – Pensioners screwed. I agree that some unionized workers have excessive benefits, perhaps including pensions. There’s also many government workers who are underpaid and have a pretty meager pension. It’s not right to walk away from that commitment when these folks are at retirement age
    – State or Federal government would anyways probably have to pick up some or all of the tab, possibly cascading the debt trap
    – It sends a bad message to the people. Hint: Mass default is not a sustainable way out of this mess.

  44. 44
    Sniglet says:

    RE: Ross @ 43

    Mass default is not a sustainable way out of this mess.

    Actually, mass default is likely the healthiest thing that can happen. The economy won’t recovery until most debt is purged from the system, and this is only going to happen through default. We can either wait for decades to slowly let the debt be eliminated with persistent pain much the same as Japan has experienced, or we can just have huge defaults in short order, allowing the system to truly get back on it’s feet again without the unsustainable liabilities.

    By the way, pensions don’t have to be completely eliminated. The great thing about municipal bankruptcy is that the judge can just arbitrarily reduce the obligations and liabilities of the town to the point where they are sustainable. There is no need to waste time with fractious collective bargaining sessions, or face the prospect of strikes or work stoppages. Once the town is in bankruptcy the details are out of the policy maker’s hands. The unions can strike all they want, but it certainly won’t make the judge more ammenable to their demands.

  45. 45
    Scotsman says:

    RE: Mikal @ 40

    Snark. That’s clearly a typo, as anyone can see. Nice try though. ;-)

    Do you really wait around, day after day, waiting for me to make some error you can point out? You need a new hobby. Why don’t you just post every other day or so calling me a few choice names. I can take it, and your fan base will probably expand.

  46. 46
    Scotsman says:

    RE: Blurtman @ 41

    Keyboard clean-up, desk #2. Tell us how you really see it.

  47. 47
    Ross says:

    By Sniglet @ 44:

    RE: Ross @ 43

    Mass default is not a sustainable way out of this mess.

    Actually, mass default is likely the healthiest thing that can happen. The economy won’t recovery until most debt is purged from the system, and this is only going to happen through default.

    No. The way to get out of too much debt is to be productive and pay it off. This means one one hand reducing consumption, expenses waste and on the other increasing income.

    For government this means cutting services and raising taxes.
    For individuals this means things like eating out less often, reducing # of cars, reducing size of home, reducing junk bought at walmart etc. along with retraining/new careers.

    Mass default is not the way out. It should be obvious, but you can’t default your way to riches. Japan’s situation is/was very different from the US.

  48. 48

    RE: Ross @ 47 – I’m not familiar with municipal bankruptcy, and what a bankruptcy judge can and cannot do. Note though that they don’t always do the right thing.

    And in any case any benefits will be temporary. The politicians will soon spend more money they don’t have. Look at California. Horrible budget issues, but they apparently still have tax credits for people to buy electric cars.

  49. 49
    Sniglet says:

    RE: Ross @ 47

    Mass default is not the way out. It should be obvious, but you can’t default your way to riches.

    I beg to differ. The elimination of debt through default is the primary way economies get themselves back on their feet after credit bubbles. This is what the great depression was all about, this is what Japan’s 20 year sojourn with deflation has been about, and this is what the current global recession is about.

    The author of this article is using hyperbole to make his point (i.e. by quoting a hypothetical Japanese treasury official), but I think you’ll get the idea.

    “In my experience deleveraging is a fantasy in the aftermath of an extreme credit bubble. Now I know that. A long time ago we should have done a debt massacre. We should have done a massive write-off. Our job was to instigate systemic bankruptcy. We needed bank failures and insurance company failures. Our job was to ruin the life savings of millions of people and thousands of companies. Yet every year we are still waiting to do what we should have done. What appeared to be very cruel then we know now would have been very smart very courageous. We know our wealth today would be much greater. We know our debt would be much less. If we had taken radical action in the early nineties, our economy would be leading the world now. Instead we lied about the solution. Now we have been fighting a monster and our hands are tied behind our back. Every year the catastrophe gets worse. And if you say the word ‘stimulus’ in my presence I promise to bury you with a thousand perfect virgins. They are already buried in our beautiful immaculate streets paved with our blood and sweat, diamonds and gold, and fantastic sovereign debt. Remember this reader. Mark my words. We can’t be helped you ridiculous idiot.”

    http://housingdoom.com/2010/08/02/could-debt-destruction-save-us/

  50. 50
    David Losh says:

    Absolutely we need government defaults, and bankruptcy. The amount of debt in the world is completely unsustainable. The number of banks, the amount of assets they hold, is exactly what is preventing further growth.

    For businesses to borrow money, today, is a suckers bet. I can see a group of executives pocketing the cash, but don’t see a five, ten, or twenty year plan for repayment that would be based on sound economic reasoning.

    Individuals, no matter if they have equity in property, or not, are just holding onto the family home for emotional reasons. There is no up side to making payments for 30 years on an asset that is declining in value.

    We need European countries to default. California should default, and bankrupt, there’s no question about that. Individuals should be sending property back to the banks in droves.

    Debt is a burden that will keep the economy from doing anything positive.

  51. 51
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 46

    Sorry, but it is incredible to see someone who ignored the will of the majority of her constituents in voting to bail out Wall Street run an attack ad implying that her opponent favored the bailouts.

  52. 52

    RE: Sniglet @ 29

    I Agree With You

    I totally abhor the SEIU’s “nanny state bent socialist give-away attitude”, but if I was a caregiver, would I belong to SEIU? You bet, they get vacations, cheap health benefits, attorney help if needed and YOY pay increases because of SEIU.

    The federal government’s highly skilled four year degreed engineering, attorney and nurse workforce are lucky to get private sector pay in the government, generally they do not. The business majors and bachelors of arts graduates get 20-40% more pay in government than private industry….because they pay them the same as their engineers and attorneys…LOL

  53. 53

    RE: Blurtman @ 41

    I’m Independent

    But give me a mediator like Scoop Jackson or Slade Gorton that kept Boeing in Seattle growing.

    I know that it was government/Boeing corruption that killed the Tanker deal, but why wasn’t Patty Murray and Marie Cantwell on the phone effectively communicating fraud risk prevention to both the government and Boeing, to prevent the mess in the first place? This “can’t do” attitude by both Democrats and Republicans got us in the messes worse, IMO.

    That’s why I want new blood. Maybe they’ll work harder, knowing failures aren’t just swept under the rug.

  54. 54

    By softwarengineer @ 53:

    I know that it was government/Boeing corruption that killed the Tanker deal, but why wasn’t Patty Murray and Marie Cantwell on the phone effectively communicating fraud risk prevention to both the government and Boeing, to prevent the mess in the first place? .

    I’ve never understood this line of thinking. There probably weren’t 5 people inside Boeing that knew of the problem. To expect a Senator to know of it, well to say that would be completely unreasonable seems to be an extreme understatement.

    Politicians are not even typically very bright (which is an understatement when it comes to Cantwell), so why expect them to be all-knowing Gods?

  55. 55
    RoflCatDown says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 38 – Actually, the federal government insures several types of pension plans. I’m not sure if state or city/municipalities are included, but there are federal safeguards in place for pension plans.

  56. 56
    Blurtman says:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 53

    I am a life long Democrat. Never voted Republican. But I won’t vote for Murray. Nor Rossi.

    Murray seems to be known for one thing, though – bringing home the bacon. Her ads are amazing – I got money for you, for your company, so vote for me.

    I feel like I am in Chicago.

  57. 57
    Sniglet says:

    RE: RoflCatDown @ 55

    the federal government insures several types of pension plans

    True, there is a national pension security scheme. Just like the FDIC the pension insurance system is theoretically funded by funds it insures, not the government. In reality, however, most people expect that the Federal government will pick up the tab if the insurance pool runs dry.

    The good news is that the liabilities this insurance fund is being stuck with are SO huge that it is pretty much inevitable that the Feds will have to let it just fail on it’s own, eventually. The federal government is gradually approaching the point at which it simply won’t be able to bail out the creditors anymore, as the growing ranks of debtors (i.e. in this case bankrupt municipalities) default.

  58. 58
    RoflCatDown says:

    RE: Ryan @ 42 – You mean other than the fact that the DJIA swung from an all-time high of 14,164 to 6,547 in a year due to layoffs, bankruptcies, huge spikes in unemployment, the credit market drying up, banks failing left and right, massive government propping up of financial institutions? That’s a drop of greater than 50%, and we’ve recovered less than half of that drop. Which sets us back to about 1999 values.

    Or, was that all a fluke and people were overly secure in keeping their jobs, homes, and lifestyles so the market just tanked?

    While money can be made in times of volatility, times of panic induced free-fall only benefits those with the funds to buy at the low and wait it out while the market recovers. The reasons Bush, (And McCain, and Obama) kept saying our economy was strong wasn’t because he was stupid. It was to keep people from panicking and making the problems worse.

  59. 59
    Ryan says:

    By RoflCatDown @ 58:

    RE: Ryan @ 42 – You mean other than the fact that the DJIA swung from an all-time high of 14,164 to 6,547 in a year due to layoffs, bankruptcies, huge spikes in unemployment, the credit market drying up, banks failing left and right, massive government propping up of financial institutions? That’s a drop of greater than 50%, and we’ve recovered less than half of that drop. Which sets us back to about 1999 values.

    Or, was that all a fluke and people were overly secure in keeping their jobs, homes, and lifestyles so the market just tanked?

    While money can be made in times of volatility, times of panic induced free-fall only benefits those with the funds to buy at the low and wait it out while the market recovers. The reasons Bush, (And McCain, and Obama) kept saying our economy was strong wasn’t because he was stupid. It was to keep people from panicking and making the problems worse.

    My original post pointed out that you said specifically that one’s insecurity in their home and income is directly correlated to the stock market and you have yet to provide a response to this. Instead, you throw out a bunch of reasons (valid or not) as to why the market dropped but you don’t give a reason for the market to even come back as much as it has. Following your logic, the market has rebounded b/c people are feeling better and better about their economic position, no? I think we can agree that people are not feeling any better today than they were a year ago so how do you explain the no volume meltup in the dow we see each week?

  60. 60
    eastsidemom says:

    RE: ray pepper @ 39 – My vote for H and I: waiting for prices to come down, based on what we want to spend and can afford. It’s subjective, but next house we buy, we are not planning to move for at least 10 years.

  61. 61
    Sniglet says:

    the market has rebounded b/c people are feeling better and better about their economic position

    Actually, this is likely the best explanation as to why over-all markets move the way they do: the over-all mood of society. Events do not drive the stock market (or economy), but rather it is the other way around.

    Attempts to try to explain why markets rise or fall based on “fundamentals”, or particular happenings (e.g. stimulus, increased/decreased taxes, tarrifs, etc) will come to eroneous conclusions. Almost any kind of event you can find will have examples of either positive or negative correlation when you look at historical examples. I laugh sometimes to see how the business press tries to explain rises and declines in the dow on the SAME piece of news in the same week. I have seen stories that say stocks are up one day because the market thinks the fed might raise interest rates and the very next day there are articles saying that stocks are down because the market is worried the Fed might raise rates.

    Instead, I think there are broad waves of mood that permeate societies, oscilating between optimism and fear. Stocks (and the economy) will simply follow these changing patterns in societal attitudes.

  62. 62
    Ryan says:

    Sorry, I still don’t buy it. The stock markets overall move the way the do b/c of how people are feeling? Might have been easier to believe on the way down but there is no way the rebound the markets have seen has anything to do with everyone feeling better…

  63. 63
    Sniglet says:

    RE: Ryan @ 62

    Sorry, I still don’t buy it. The stock markets overall move the way the do b/c of how people are feeling?

    Quite the contrary. The rally we had off the market lows was driven by social mood. People started to feel more comfortable, and greater numbers of investors were willing to take risks again. I remember friends who were chomping at the bit to buy back into the markets the whole time they were tanking in 2008 and 2009. Once some of these “bargain hunters” started jumping in, more and more people started to feel bullish as well. The volume of fools that have been jumping at real-estate to get “deals” in the last couple years is extraordinary.

    But this isn’t new. This is exactly how depressions have proceeded in the past, with a series of up and down cycles. Take a look at the Kondratiev Wave theory (see below). This is an economics concept which postulates that economic cycles run in generational patterns spanning almost 100 years, where the further society gets from the last economic calamity the more risk tollerant people become, until such time that the whole bullish edifice they created comes tumbling down. The cycle then repeats.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kondratiev_wave

    We are all just playing a part in the pre-destined cycle of life, slaves to the herding instincts which govern humanity.

  64. 64

    RE: Sniglet @ 63 – Beyond that, the lows were driven by great fear. Just removing that caused a recovery. It doesn’t mean people are necessarily feeling great.

  65. 65
    Ryan says:

    Thanks for the link sniglet, I will read up on the Kondratiev wave this afternoon. Despite your anecdote about friends wanting to get back in and that leading the rebound in markets, it runs counter to evidence such as the past 12 weeks of domestic equity outflows in the face of a 10% July pop (estimate). Maybe I am spending too much time on ZH but it sure appears that the algos are running the show without regard to anything real.

  66. 66
    Sniglet says:

    it runs counter to evidence such as the past 12 weeks of domestic equity outflows in the face of a 10% July pop (estimate). Maybe I am spending too much time on ZH but it sure appears that the algos are running the show without regard to anything real.

    Don’t get me wrong. I am NOT suggesting that we are at the beginning of a big economic revival and bull run in stocks. Quite the contrary. Heck, I have been the the crazy guy calling for Dow 1000 (in the 2016 time frame)!

    I completely agree that the stock rally since the spring of 2009 is running long in the tooth and that we are very likely to see a drop to even lower lows than those of early 2009.

    That said, I do believe that the both the ups and downs are driven more by the social mood and herding instinct than by anything else.

  67. 67
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 64
    Kary,
    Up around my neck of the woods, dormant developments have seemingly sprung to life. The Crossings is bulding more, and Pine Meadows is bulding homes rapdily and apparently selling them. Any idea what is going on? Are developers grabbing at the last opening in the market? Is it really green shoots time?

  68. 68
    Sniglet says:

    Any idea what is going on? Are developers grabbing at the last opening in the market? Is it really green shoots time?

    I don’t know about those specific developments, but I have read articles about how the FDIC is giving developers the go ahead to proceed with many cancelled projects that were funded by banks it has seized. They figure that they stand to recover more money by having the projects finished than to just see them stopped mid-way.

    Personally, I think the FDIC is just throwing more good money after bad, but what do I know… It sounds like another back-door stimulus effort that tax-payers will eventually have to pick up the tab for when the FDIC goes bust.

  69. 69

    RE: Blurtman @ 67 – That happened about a year ago down in Kent/Renton. I’d assumed it was just tax credit related.

    BTW, I’d have no particular insight into what developers are doing. I don’t deal with any, and very few (if any) of my clients ever express an interest in new construction–even with the price differential having largely evaporated.

  70. 70
    David Losh says:

    RE: Sniglet @ 63

    You brought this up before, but today is different. Let’s leave the theories alone and deal with some of today’s realities. Today we have massive amounts of money in pensions, hedge funds, growth funds, insurance funds, banks, mutual finds, and all of the financial funds available to retail consumers. Institutions are constantly looking for places to get a return. Stocks are a vehicle, bonds are vehicles.

    If what you say is true, and I believe it is, there is a gap between real equity, and pricing of assets. Housing is one thing, Commercial Real Estate is another, but the true make it, or break it, cash, on cash, return is in production.

    For all the talk about consumer spending, and all the people in the middle, the tangible return is in the manufacturing. The building of assets is in the factories. I guess you could include intellectual properties, that seems to be the thing Americans are most interested in.

    The shift seems to be in the middle class, or where it will be, next. The returns in the stock market can be anywhere in the world. My concern would be that our investments may be building more equity in another part of the world while we continue to lose our economic footing.

  71. 71
    One Eyed Man says:

    RE: RoflCatDown @ 55

    The Pension Benefit Guaranty Association only insures private pension plans. Public pension plans are commonly uninsured. Here are two fairly good articles on what the state and local pension fiasco might look like.

    http://whostolemycareer.com/2010/07/15/the-coming-armageddon-bankrupt-states-public-pensions-and-sovereign-immunity/

    http://www.slate.com/id/2246915

  72. 72

    RE: Sniglet @ 3 – I think there are fewer active RE professionals which means that those of us who are left are probably busy

  73. 73
    2kt says:

    RE: Sniglet @ 66

    You can also try record earnings among your reasons, champ. One local Zune and Kin maker reported 22% growth in sales on revenue base of roughly $14 billion/Q (from 2009). Not too bad, eh?

  74. 74
    One Eyed Man says:

    RE: Blurtman @ 67

    Bill Buchan’s plat in that area, called Crofton at Pine Lake, has been selling as presales since it opened last fall. I think its priced at about 700K to 750K for homes in the low 3000 sq ft range. They haven’t had a model home in Crofton since last fall because everything in there sells before its completed. I don’t know how representative that is of other plats on the plateau. Murray Franklin Homes has sold a couple of houses in the new division of Trossachs which opened a couple of months ago. But Bill Buchan hasn’t sold anything there yet and he has a completed model on site as of about 3 weeks ago. I think that development of the lots in that new division of Trossachs was held up for about a year because John Buchan couldn’t get funding for his share of the development costs so Murray Franklin Homes and Bill Buchan bought out his interest.

  75. 75

    I’m doing more refi’s than purchases right now… I think it’s a much easier decision–to refi than to buy. BUT with that said, the buyers I’m working with are far more qualified than those of the subprime era… many are first time home buyers who’ve just been waiting for the right home or right rate… and not one has said, “well if my loser sister can qualify to buy a home, so can I” …it’s a much more thought out process…thank God or whoever.

  76. 76
    2kt says:

    RE: Sniglet @ 44

    This is another wild comment. “Good for the economy”? If there will be massive defaults, the banking system will collapse. If that happens, you will really need to acquire different set of skills, my “optimistic bear” friend. I doubt you are very good with AK-47, or are you? Most countries that went through this in the last century are no longer a country.

  77. 77

    By Rhonda Porter @ 72:

    RE: Sniglet @ 3 – I think there are fewer active RE professionals which means that those of us who are left are probably busy

    That’s true. A lot of real estate professionals have slithered away in the last few years.

  78. 78
    Blurtman says:

    RE: One Eyed Man @ 74
    Pine Meadows is a Murray Franklin development, and they seem to have sold a few homes. They’re 3,000 sq. ft. and sellinf for around $650k. The development had been dormant for a few years, and recently sprang to life. (http://www.murrayfranklyn.com/homes/sammamish/pinemeadows/)

    The Crossings is a John Buchan and American Homes development. It has also been dormant for quite a while, after having built maybe 12-15 homes, but again it seems to have sprung to life. Folks that bought $1 million homes there at the peak are under water $100-200k.

    Hence my question, as these two weren;t doing much at all over the last 2-3 years, A third development on 212th that had been clear cut 4 years ago and then nothing is also sprouting a few homes.

    So for some reason, these dormant developments are now in building mode again. Green shoots?

  79. 79
    Jonness says:

    By Sniglet @ 61:

    the market has rebounded b/c people are feeling better and better about their economic position

    Actually, this is likely the best explanation as to why over-all markets move the way they do: the over-all mood of society. Events do not drive the stock market (or economy), but rather it is the other way around.

    Large multinational companies are making great profits compared to last year’s depression. Unfortunately, the U.S. portions of their businesses are not doing well. Because these companies are profiting in China and elsewhere, the stock market bulls are screaming, “v-shaped housing recovery in the U.S.”

    Small businesses are still getting clobbered, and this keeps unemployment elevated. GDP slowed by 35% from Q1 to Q2. Consumer spending is flat as a board. The savings rate is spiking way up again, as is foreclosure pressure. The Fed is out of bullets, and Obama is rapidly losing support for borrowing beyond his means.

    I say it’s time for another magic speech from the Fed saying how they have plenty of bullets left and are ready to pull out the heavy artillery. This should keep the stock market bulls complacent for a few more months.

    The Conference Board’s consumer confidence number was 50.4 in July. That’s down 63.30 this May. And the savings rate is ballooning through the roof. that’s not what I call people feeling confident about their financial positions and going all in on stocks.

    Friday’s jobs data should prove interesting.

  80. 80
    Scotsman says:

    RE: One Eyed Man @ 74

    “in the new division of Trossachs”

    Interesting. A friend bought there in 2007, 3050 square feet for $800K even. Short saled it last year for $590K. That seems to be about where the “older” existing homes have stabilized.

  81. 81

    By Ira Sacharoff @ 77:

    By Rhonda Porter @ 72:

    RE: Sniglet @ 3 – I think there are fewer active RE professionals which means that those of us who are left are probably busy

    That’s true. A lot of real estate professionals have slithered away in the last few years.

    Just to connect up with a comment I just made in another thread, that is good for agents, but not good for firms.

  82. 82

    By Jonness @ 79:

    Large multinational companies are making great profits compared to last year’s depression. Unfortunately, the U.S. portions of their businesses are not doing well. Because these companies are profiting in China and elsewhere, the stock market bulls are screaming, “v-shaped housing recovery in the U.S.”

    Small businesses are still getting clobbered, and this keeps unemployment elevated. GDP slowed by 35% from Q1 to Q2.

    Imagine that. You have a political climate that is extremely hostile to business, and business doesn’t do well. Who’d have thunk it?

  83. 83
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 82
    Kary,
    I would think that an environment that does not prosecute major fraud in the financial sector is not at all extremely hostile to business. Resembling your average banana republic, the USA has had as a recent Treasury Secretary the head of an investment bank that sold billions of dollars of fraudulent securities around the world. Instead of letting such firms face the effects of free market, these criminal institutions were bailed out. No one is going to jail.

    That is not a hostile business environment at all. It is a crime family friendly environment.

  84. 84

    RE: Blurtman @ 83 – The reason the fraud isn’t prosecuted is most likely it isn’t there. Just because Obama spouts off about some wrongdoing, doesn’t mean it exists.

  85. 85
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 84
    Kary,

    You must be living in a cave with only the FOX network to watch to believe that Wall Street fraud is being alleged by Obama. Far from it, it is being coddled by the man. The appointments of Tim Geithner and Larry Summers were a fair indication of Obama’s complicity with Wall Street.

    Recall Goldman Sachs recent settlement of civil fraud charges. Goldman was charged with selling securities to clients without disclosing that they were developed to fail, so that another client could short the mortgage backed securities market. Well, Obama advisor Rahm Emmanuel was involved in an even bigger similar scam at Magnetar Capital.

    Obama’s man Eric Holder is noit presecuting anyone on Wall Street.

    It is the divide and conquer strategy. Have the little guy fight over who is better, the Dems or Repubs, while under either regime, the looting continues.

    It is fraud to sell securities that are crap as triple A. Simple as that.

  86. 86
    RoflCatDown says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 84 – Honestly I think the fraud is actually there, just the proof of malice isn’t there and therefore it is extremely difficult to prosecute. Social studies have already shown that those involved heavily in financial markets are fare more likely to cheat and break laws to get ahead. Not because they want the money, but because it is part of the environment in which they do business. They are scrambling to out-do each other. So far its seems that Madoff is king.

    A few years ago I worked for a company that had cooked its books. (Post Enron) After about a year and a half of investigation internally they fired 12 people down a financial chain of command, re-announced some earnings for a few years, and the very next day we were marched downstairs to shake the hand of the CEO because he was, “retiring”. A year later about 10,000 people lost their jobs and the company was purchased by a competitor after filing for bankruptcy. That was after the hiring freeze and a 33% attrition at the corporate office in the year following the “retirement” of the CEO.

    Do I think there was malice in what the banks were doing? Some. Mostly I think they were in a game of one-upmanship. They’re doing it, and they’re hurting our business, we’d better do it too, only more! And round and round it went. Banks granted loans to people who couldn’t possibly pay them back. Let alone people who could pay the loans as long as nothing bad happened that lasted longer than a month or two.

    There’s a lot of blame, but the market drop bounced off the bottom because of fear. If you run face first into a brick wall, you don’t just stop. You bounce off of it. As people unclenched their sphincters the market eased up a little. The idea that the government was doing something helped the emotional state, even if it didn’t actually solve anything. I get the feeling that much of monetary policy is about making people feel OK with things rather than actually affecting meaningful lasting change through policy decisions. I think the banks were bailed out because the fear could have caused a domino collapse of major financial institutions in the US. I think that GM was bailed out because it was a relatively cheap jobs program that could keep people employed which created a stabilization point for the unemployment rate.

    I even think that Dubyah wasn’t spouting off about a sound economy because he was stupid. I think he was spouting off to keep the panic to a minimum. The rhetoric between McCain and Obama didn’t vary much from that official line either.

    If markets were not driven by fears, then pump and dump stock schemes wouldn’t work. You prey upon a company, build it up, promote it, and ease the fears of potential investors. Then you sell your stock and move on to the next schmuck.

  87. 87

    By Blurtman @ 85:

    <Recall Goldman Sachs recent settlement of civil fraud charges. Goldman was charged with selling securities to clients without disclosing that they were developed to fail, so that another client could short the mortgage backed securities market.

    You do realize that when someone buys a security, someone else sells it, right? And that when there’s a long position taken in a derivative, there’s a short position too, right?

  88. 88

    By RoflCatDown @ 86:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 84 – Honestly I think the fraud is actually there, just the proof of malice isn’t there and therefore it is extremely difficult to prosecute.

    I would agree. I’m just complaining about Obama painting everyone in a company or industry with the same brush. For example, Obama practically single-handedly destroyed whatever value was left in AIG, at the point in time the government owned virtually all of AIG. It’s the type of thing you would expect of political hacks, like Maria Cantwell.

  89. 89
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 87
    Kary,

    Pauslon was short, the dupes were long. The Goldman case was not about short and long, but a failure of disclosure. One can take one’s chances as long as the market maker correctly discloses relevant risk information, which Goldman did not.

    “And so, you know, when you’re selling somebody this stuff, and they think that the people who chose it are long, when they’re actually short, well, that’s—you know, to say that they just overlooked it and they forgot to include that fact is—you know, it’s a major, major omission.”

    Further,to the point that Obama is as complict in coddling Wall Street fraud.

    “Well, the number two guy at the Treasury, Mark Patterson, is a former Goldman Sachs employee. You know, there are people in the Obama administration who are very close to Robert Rubin, who used to be a head of Goldman Sachs. Timothy Geithner is a former Rubin aide, and he’s the head of the Treasury. The head of the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, Gary Gensler—they’re the people who regulate commodities—he’s a former Goldman Sachs banker, …”

    http://www.democracynow.org/2010/7/16/goldman_sachs_settles_civil_fraud_case

    In spite of the fact that the major ratings agencies were complict in fraud, they are still used by the Fed and Treasury to rate crap that taxpayers are on the hook to pay off.

    Crime pays, and the US model of capitalism is a fraud.

  90. 90
    Jonness says:

    By Blurtman @ 85:

    It is the divide and conquer strategy. Have the little guy fight over who is better, the Dems or Repubs, while under either regime, the looting continues.

    That’s the wonderful thing about democracy. You give the population a Stanford-Binet IQ test, and only 15% of them turn out to be above average intelligence. These 15% can never successfully vote against the mindset of the 85% who are average intelligence or below. Thus, politicians need simply spout mindless propaganda and never need worry about providing elegant solutions to complex issues that endanger the U.S.

    Meanwhile, the 85% happily pay for it all. I interpret this to mean, most people are masochists. :)

    OK, I apologize. I’m being a horse’s arse. IQ tests don’t mean a whole lot in my book. But there is something to the whole Bell curve aspect of this idea using a different data set.

  91. 91
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 88
    The AIG bailouts occured under George W. Bush, who stated that he had to ditch the laws of the free marketplace to save the free marketplace. Hank Paulson, whoi should be serving time for fraud, was quite active in saving his former company, Goldman Sachs, and his equity position in the company, via the AIG bailouts.

    It is especially upsetting that in bailing out AIG, we bailed out investment banks who purchased naked CDS from AIG. Not that they were legitimately hedging investments, but that they were gambling, placing unsecured bets. Fine, but if you lose, or the bookie goes bust, don’t expect taxpayers to pay off your fraudulent bets. But that is not what George W stands for. Nor, Barack Obama.

    Tim Geithner when faced with the fury over AIG bonuses, stated publically that he first learned of the bonuses in March, 2008. But this news had been all over the internet several months earlier.

    It is not a matter of Dem or Repub, but a matter of who is running the USG. There are laws for the little guy, and then there are laws for the priveleged class who run things.

  92. 92

    RE: Blurtman @ 91 – I don’t necessarily disagree with any of that, but it doesn’t have a thing to do with Obama being blatantly anti-business and publicly trying to tar and feather anyone who works for a given company just because a few in a company created problems for the company that brought it down or caused other problems for society.

    Now it he were willing to do that to politicians, and come out and say that anyone who was in Congress in 2006 should not be re-elected, that I wouldn’t disagree with (although there probably are a couple that should be spared as having actually tried to do something to prevent the financial melt-down).

    BTW, I don’t have a problem at all with the bonuses. Companies in trouble often have to pay bonuses to retain key people. Beyond that, in certain industries bonuses are a key component of competition, and if a company ceases to pay bonuses it will lose its most productive employees and eventually fail.

  93. 93

    […] Bubble Data Post RoundupStats Preview: county records pull of sales, foreclosures, etc. (example)Cheapest Houses: top five least-expensive homes for sale (example)Monthly NWMLS stats: median […]

  94. 94

    […] to Surge around SeattleBy The Tim on August 12, 2010 | Leave a responseLet’s expand on our preview of foreclosure activity with a more detailed look at July’s stats in King, Snohomish, and Pierce counties. First up, […]

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