Weekly Twitter Digest (Link Roundup) for 2012-02-25

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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.


  1. 1

    As to the foreclosure/inspection issue, the problem with that article is they don’t define foreclosure. If they mean a trustee’s auction, then yes it’s likely it’s bought without inspection. If they mean an REO, then no that would not be correct. With most banks even if you submit an offer with no inspection addendum, the bank’s addendum which comes back will have inspection rights.

    As to the overall point of that article, the only way I would see new construction being cheaper than an REO (or trustee’s auction) would be if the new construction was in a new neighborhood designed to look like total crap in 10 years.

  2. 2
    Pegasus says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 1 – That explains it. When I saw Tim’s comments I was confused as I know it is rare that someone gets a chance to inspect a home prior to the foreclosure auction. I guess he was just thinking after the foreclosure or just maybe there is a dark side to Tim?……..http://www.businessinsider.com/foreclosure-scout-reveals-the-dirty-ins-and-outs-of-his-job-2012-2?op=1

  3. 3

    RE: Pegasus @ 2 – That was an interesting article. He mentioned making sure the property is the right property because people sometimes change their addresses. That would be a great strategy if you had a run down house and a second mortgage. Just get one of your neighbors to change their address to your address!

    He mentioned using IRS maps to find the right property. I wonder what that would possibly be–county assessor maps? Also he was worried about IRS “leans.” Ignoring the spelling error, those liens would typically (but not always) be junior, but they have redemption rights. When you want to get the house flipped in two weeks (his goal), that would be a major issue! The IRS seldom redeems, but I’m not sure you could get a new loan against a house with redemption rights. I don’t remember how long those rights last, but assuming it’s six months that would be just as bad as an amateur flipper taking six months to remodel.

  4. 4
  5. 5
    Pegasus says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 4 – One of your favorites speaks out about speculators driving up oil prices and the story has some current oil contract figures explaining what is affecting oil prices for the dense. Toward the end of the article it even mentions your local favorite, Maria.


  6. 6

    RE: Pegasus @ 5 – Apparently the author of that piece also doesn’t know about the refinery fire here in Washington. He didn’t mention it when noting the price of gas went up 25 cents down there. I see conflicting reports on the effect of that. Some reports say it is 20% of the west coast’s output, and some 20% of Washington’s output. I suspect it’s the former, because I don’t know where the other 80% would be from it it were Washington only.

    Also, I think his “oil should cost $75” is also based on the nothing less than completely and totally moronic analysis of what it cost to produce Canadian oil. If the Canadians can produce oil for $75 and the market is willing to buy it for $110, they will sell it for $110. High efficiency producers make more money than low efficiency producers.

    Finally, there is nothing there which explains how speculators drive the price up. If you think there is something there–quote it here.

  7. 7
    Pegasus says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 6 – Wrong, wrong, wrong again. The $75 number is actually higher than some industry insiders claim is fair value, the refinery has a small impact in pricing and is probably localized at the most. I am sure it is not really affecting international oil prices. It amounts to 8.7 percent of only the West Coast production, there are other idle units that can be started and the shutdown is only temporary. Canadian oil prices are based on the international price and the quality of their oil. Real demand is declining, at least it was before the recent media blitz, and the more buyers whether they are speculators or not can definitely change prices. The article pointed out for the dense that speculators buying oil are at a near a all-time high:

    “A McClatchy review of the latest Commitment of Traders report from the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, which regulates oil trading, shows that producers and merchants made up just 36 percent of all contracts traded in the week ending Feb. 14.

    That same week, open interest, or the total outstanding oil contracts for next-month delivery of 1,000 barrels of oil (about 42,000 gallons), stood near an all-time high above 1.486 million. Speculators who’ll never take delivery of oil made up 64 percent of the market.”

    Pretty simple to understand. In 2008 after the same game and the price collapsed because there was no true demand we had full tankers of oil parked at sea waiting for the price to get back up to fair value for about 9 months.I know you will never admit you are wrong and that you are painfully clueless about the commodity market but at least stop posting nonsense that is easily refuted. Its making you look really stupid.

  8. 8

    RE: Pegasus @ 7 – You’re mixing apples and oranges. The $75 dollar number is oil and the refinery is gasoline. As to the $75 claim, I can pull a number out of my butt too, but that won’t make it valid. As to the refinery thing, even 7% would have a huge impact on prices, especially close to the refinery (W WA).

    As to the 36% figure, who cares? The speculators will still have to sell their positions at some point. That’s what makes the whole speculation thing nonsense. And in any case, I doubt that number would ever be higher than 50%. That would require a producer and consumer to contract together, which probably happens very seldom due to market makers. And in reality it doesn’t matter. In the stock market probably less than .00001% of the transactions involve putting money into corporations (IPO and later stock sales). The 99.9%+ of other transactions provide the liquidity for those transactions which do provide capital. That’s the point of having a market.

  9. 9
    Pegasus says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 8 – Nonsense… you are now just making up baloney trying to defend your lack of knowledge. Since when do executives and insiders of the oil industry not outweigh your uneducated and almost always wrong opinion? Since when do speculators buying up about 2/3 of the entire trades, way beyond any monthly usage of oil not have an impact on price? NEVER. What a maroon!

  10. 10
    Pegasus says:

    RE: Pegasus @ 7 – ExxonMobil CEO Says Oil Price Should Be $60 To $70 A Barrel….Kary says these guys don’t know what they are talking about because he knows everything….

    Rex Tillerson, the boss of ExxonMobil admitted last week that the price of oil–based purely on supply and demand- should be in the $60 to $70 a barrel range. The reason it’s above $100 a barrel, Tillerson explained, is due to the oil majors using futures contracts to lock in current high prices, and speculation that is engineered by the high-frequency trading of quantitative hedge funds. The average cost of producing 1 barrel of oil was $11


  11. 11

    By Pegasus @ 9:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 8 – Nonsense… you are now just making up baloney trying to defend your lack of knowledge. Since when do executives and insiders of the oil industry not outweigh your uneducated and almost always wrong opinion? Since when do speculators buying up about 2/3 of the entire trades, way beyond any monthly usage of oil not have an impact on price? NEVER. What a maroon!

    You’re slipping back into troll mode. Knock it off.

    First, I’m only addressing the $75 theory mentioned. That sales price is somehow determined by cost to pump in a manner which would limit the price to $75. Total nonsense. Only someone completely ignorant about business and economics would think such a thing.

    Second, industry insiders are often wrong. Look at WPPSS. They thought that we needed all those nuclear plants, when in reality at the prices electricity would have to sell at to pay for them, we wouldn’t, and we still don’t. But hey, they were industry insiders, so in the world of Pegasus, we’ve been having rolling blackouts for 20 years, because we don’t have the nuclear plants that the insiders thought were necessary.

  12. 12

    RE: Pegasus @ 10 – That’s his opinion. He doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

    Do you understand what an opinion is? Just because someone says something, that doesn’t make it true.

    Also, do you have a clue as to motivation? He’s trying to deflect blame, and more importantly, keep the tax breaks his industry receives. No better way to do that than to blame someone else for the current situation.

  13. 13
    Pegasus says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 11 – Once again you are proven wrong and it suddenly is trolling? That is your usual defense after you have made a complete fool out of yourself. WPPSS was destroyed by horrific cost overruns and had nothing to do with price manipulations and speculators or insiders from the oil industry. It also was a quasi-governmental organization using unrestrained municipal financing without proper scrutiny which tells you all you need to know. Next pointless, diversionary, twisted and irrelevant response, please.

  14. 14

    RE: Pegasus @ 13 – Learn to read! I didn’t address what happened to cause WPPSS downfall. What I was addressing was the insider’s incorrect analysis of whether we even needed the plants in the first place.

    Newsflash: Nuclear power is very expensive. Hydropower is very cheap. In between you have fossil fuels. What we needed was more conventional power plants. If they’d priced electricity to pay for all the nuclear plants they planned to build, they wouldn’t have been able to sell the electricity because we were used to paying very low rates at the time.

  15. 15

    RE: Pegasus @ 10 – BTW, that you believe this just proves how gullible you are.

    ExxonMobil owns a lot of oil. They profit greatly when the price of oil is higher, and their stock value goes higher because of the value of their reserves.

    If speculation was really causing a 80% increase in the price of oil, do you really think that their CEO would be in front of Congress suggesting for a change which would cut well over half of their profits? Again, he’s just trying to preserve the tax breaks that the industry gets. He knows that if Congress does something about speculation it will have little to no effect on oil prices.

  16. 16
    Pegasus says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 12 – Ahh…he did not have to deflect blame. At that point everyone except for you knew the oil market had been manipulated. Congress attempted to rectify this manipulation by trying to strengthen the CTFC to control it but in the end did almost nothing as they did what they usually do. They sold out to the banksters again. Try reading and educating yourself before expounding endlessly about something you know nothing about.

  17. 17

    RE: Pegasus @ 16 – Still being gullible. Yep, the CEO was testifying for something that he thought would slash their profits. He does that all the time.

    I bet when BP was testifying in front of Congress they stood up and said: “Yes, this oil spill is 100% our fault.”

    I bet when the cigarette people were testifying in Congress, they stood up and said: “We’ve known for years cigarettes cause cancer.”

  18. 18
    ray pepper says:

    RE: Pegasus @ 5

    here we go again Tim..I love Pegasus but just to prove my POINT on how SLANTED you were on the information I posted on Red Fin and how you sent it off to OPEN THREAD because it was not “on topic” …

    How the heck is all this talk of oil NOT ON OPEN THREAD!…We always go on Tangents here but I get singled out in white because of my opinions on Future of Red Fin in this deteriorating asset environment??????

    very nice…

  19. 19
    ray pepper says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 6

    Tim, this is really “on topic” too! Don’t you think?

    Very nice…

  20. 20
    ray pepper says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 8

    oh yes..and this sure related to the 3 topics on hand as well? right Tim?

  21. 21
    ray pepper says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 17

    Tim, # 11-17 ALL OFF TOPIC! …In fact NEARLY this entire THREAD is OFF TOPIC……………? Are you not manning the ship this weekend or when a Topic is brought forward that you do NOT like it is determined to be “off topic.?”

    Or on Weekly Twitter Digest is that considered Open Thread where I can post on whatever I desire?? Not according to the rules you set forth..

  22. 22

    RE: ray pepper @ 19 – This is the weekly news thread. I’ll often post articles I think Tim might have missed (usually something from the Seattle Times). Go back and check prior threads. I probably do it more than half the time.

    I could have posted that in the gas price thread from last week, but I opted for the current news thread because it’s news, and as Tim pointed out by having a thread on gas prices last week, some people think gas prices affect housing.

  23. 23

    Odd voting. Right now I’m less popular on the posts which don’t violate Ray’s “on-topic” rule, than I am on the off-topic posts. And Ray isn’t popular at all, trying to keep things on-topic. Apparently people don’t like things to be on-topic! ;-)

  24. 24
    Dorothea says:

    Stop it, you two! Like two old married people, I’m telling you.

  25. 25
    David Losh says:

    and hilarity ensues.

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