Mid-Week Open Thread (2012-07-04)

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Here is your open thread for the mid-week on July 4th, 2012. 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.

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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.

35 comments:

  1. 1

    Happy 4th of July everyone!

    Here’s a test to see if you could pass the test to become a citizen.

    http://usnews.msnbc.msn.com/_news/2012/07/03/12546953-could-you-pass-the-us-citizenship-test?lite

  2. 2

    Carrying the idea that the world owes you something, and lack of personal responsibility to extremes.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-europe-18701975

  3. 3
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 2 – Perhaps the demented gunman could have become a Wall Street banker, demanded his bailout through threats, and killed more people.

  4. 4
    Rachel says:

    Does anyone have experience with Nationstar? We have rentals and just got letters from two different lenders saying that the loans are transferring to Nationstar. I googled them and turned up all kinds of horror stories about them claiming not to receive payments and messing with escrow accounts. Any feedback would be most appreciated!

  5. 5

    RE: Rachel @ 4

    On Bank Class Action Suits

    Nationstar seems to do nothing yet still gets paid.

    http://bankclassactions.com/articles/?cat=43

    Not to worry, there were no comments on this news article.

  6. 6
  7. 7

    RE: Scotsman @ 6 – Are you serious or being sarcastic? Rent control is something suggested by people who don’t understand economics or how the world works. That’s not something I typically associate with you.

  8. 8
    Scotsman says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 7

    Rent control is something that protects the poor and middle class from the greed of the rich. If you don’t think we need it now then you are a soul-less tool of the republican party. But what would we expect from a rich member of the real estate cartel?

    pffffft needs shelter too, and more than just a box or his mother’s basement.

  9. 9
  10. 10

    By Scotsman @ 8:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 7 – Rent control is something that protects the poor and middle class from the greed of the rich. If you don’t think we need it now then you are a soul-less tool of the republican party.

    I take it back. Apparently you are the type that doesn’t understand economics or the way the world works.

    Rent controls simply lead to fewer properties being rented, and some tenants effectively cheating to preserve their rights. It forces people to stay in conditions they don’t like, and means less choice when they do move.

    Apartments are being built in large numbers right now. The idea that we need to have rent controls is absurd at best.

  11. 11

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 10
    C’mon Kary. Scotsman was being his usual sarcastic self. He kids because he loves.
    He’s as much a supporter of rent control as I’m a fan of Newt Gingrich.

  12. 12
    Pegasus says:

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 11 – Hey didn’t Obama promise free rent for everyone? They were giving away free money in Seattle yesterday so free rent, health care, food and beer fit right in.

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/ABPub/zoom/html/2018605375.html

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/localnews/2018604851_money05m.html

  13. 13
    Scotsman says:

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 11

    “I’m a fan of Newt Gingrich”

    I knew you would come around- the smart ones always do. ;-)

    P.S. Kary and I are going snipe hunting later if anyone wants to come along . . . for the ride.

  14. 14

    Despite the much lower gas prices, West Coast inventories continue to rise.

    http://205.254.135.7/dnav/pet/hist/LeafHandler.ashx?n=PET&s=WGTSTP51&f=W

    Apparently everyone is out of work, and no one can afford to buy gas. /sarc

  15. 15
    Pegasus says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 14 – Thank god Maria shined a light on those cockroaches and saved us.

  16. 16

    RE: Pegasus @ 15 – I’m thinking her expert might actually know something, and told her when to grandstand.

  17. 17

    New NWMLS numbers are out. King County SFR median at 380,000, which is the highest since August, 2010. Volume 2117, which is the highest since August, 2007.

    Numbers from NWMLS source, but not guaranteed.

  18. 18
    Pegasus says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 16 – Probably was working with Defazio too:

    While the BP refinery facility stood idle, at least five California refineries coincidentally reduced production because of “scheduled maintenance.” The substantial decline in refinery production over such a short period on the West Coast is suspicious at best and predatory at worst. Why five California refineries would plan maintenance for the beginning of the summer when Americans drive the most, when refined oil is at the highest demand, when there is no physical shortage of crude oil, and when the third largest refinery on the West Coast is not producing – is difficult to explain.

    One obvious reason is that oil companies know they can make more money by making less gasoline – even if that comes at the expense of American consumers and small businesses.

    I recently learned my letter to the Oil and Gas Price Fraud Working Group was referred to representatives of the Working Group, including the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, the Federal Trade Commission, the Department of the Treasury, the Federal Reserve Board, and the Securities and Exchange Commission. I also understand my letter is being reviewed by the criminal, civil, and antitrust divisions of the Department of Justice.

    http://www.defazio.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=784:defazio-asks-president-to-support-investigation-into-west-coast-gas-prices&catid=69:2012-press-releases

  19. 19

    By Pegasus @ 18:

    RE: – Probably was working with Defazio too:

    While the BP refinery facility stood idle, at least five California refineries coincidentally reduced production because of �scheduled maintenance.� The substantial decline in refinery production over such a short period on the West Coast is suspicious at best and predatory at worst. Why five California refineries would plan maintenance for the beginning of the summer when Americans drive the most,

    Seriously, the source you are quoting doesn’t understand that?

    We know that gas prices go up during the summer, generally around Memorial Day, but when do companies start producing these different summer fuels? The EPA defines April to June as the “transition season” for fuel production [Source: EPA]. Refineries switch over to summer-blend production in March and April [Source: EPA]. Gas stations have by June 1 to switch to selling summer-grade gas, while terminals and other facilities “upstream” from pumping stations have to switch by May 1

    http://auto.howstuffworks.com/fuel-efficiency/fuel-consumption/summer-fuel1.htm

    Even without the switchover, doing maintenance before the peak period would be a natural thing to do. You can’t shut them all down during the lowest point, and you shouldn’t have any significant planned shutdowns at the peak.

  20. 20
    David Losh says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 13

    I call shotgun!

  21. 21
    Pegasus says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 19 – BP itself claims that the shutdown has nothing to do with the rise in prices. It went further to say that the refinery would have been closed for this period for maintenance in any case and that no one should have been expecting it to start soon.

    http://seekingalpha.com/article/605061-these-oil-and-gas-stocks-could-sink-on-oil-spills

  22. 22

    By Pegasus @ 21:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 19 – BP itself claims that the shutdown has nothing to do with the rise in prices. It went further to say that the refinery would have been closed for this period for maintenance in any case and that no one should have been expecting it to start soon.

    http://seekingalpha.com/article/605061-these-oil-and-gas-stocks-could-sink-on-oil-spills

    Find a link where they actually say that, not some questionable site interpreting what they said.. Yes the refinery was due to close for maintenance, but that doesn’t mean that the down time wasn’t extended due to the fire.

  23. 23
    apartment boy says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 7
    I appreciate the fact that Scotsman is no longer using ‘/sarc’ after his posts.
    Has he gone loopy….well, that’s for us to ponder.
    Maybe his kids bought him a Mother Jones subscription for Father’s Day?

  24. 24
  25. 25
    Pegasus says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 22 – The down time was extended of course by the fire but was not the primary cause for the huge price bump in May., You can do your own search to find the previous statement by BP. I do recall seeing it along with this one that blows your whole erroneous theory out of the sky:

    While the refinery shutdown has been floated as a possible cause for the recent spike in gas prices,BP spokesman Abendhoff said he could not predict if the refinery’s restart could offer any consumer relief at the pump. He said gas prices in western Washington are dependent on a number of factors, including refineries as far south as California, and would not necessarily be affected by the restart of one facility.

    http://www.thenorthernlight.com/news/article.exm/2012-05-30_cherry_point_refinery_back_to_capacity

  26. 26

    RE: Pegasus @ 25 – I’m sorry, but to deny that a refinery that puts out 20% of our fuel isn’t going to impact prices is absurd. We’d have to have significant excess refinery capacity for that to be the case, and I don’t think anyone takes that position.

    And yes you could predict that the refinery’s restart would impact consumer prices. I even said that it wouldn’t happen right away, but would do so after inventories were rebuilt–which is what occurred.

    Now other things could have intervened, and changed that. The most significant one would have been war with Iran. But all other things being equal, and oil prices staying relatively stable, prices were going to fall after the restart of the refinery and the rebuilding of inventories. And that is EXACTLY what happened. I don’t know why you keep denying the obvious.

  27. 27
    Pegasus says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 26 – Never said that the refinery fire would not have some impact on prices. What I said and you did not was there are whole lot of other factors that need to be considered in examining why prices sky rocketed in May. Predicting $6.00 a gallon while blaming the fire was ridiculous. People that understand the oil industry and distribution know that most unexpected events like a refinery fire get covered by other avenues in about 4 to 5 weeks. You can actually see this in pricing after the Feb. fire. Your Chicken Little response to explain the pricing in May on the fire was ridiculous. BP says you are wrong, you know, the ones who had the fire. The experts say you were wrong. Give it up you were just wrong, wrong, wrong, once again.

    “After the February fire, the company decided to move forward with planned maintenance ahead of schedule and combine it with the needed repairs, Dean said. He said the refinery has drawn on fuel in the Cherry Point reserves and other BP sources to supply fuel while repairs were completed.

    But the shutdown isn’t the sole reason behind the spike in gas prices, said Tim Hamilton, executive director of the Automotive United Trades Organization, an association of independent motor-fuel dealers.

    “Cherry Point was a visible instance … but it wasn’t Cherry Point that put us where we are,” he said.

    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2018209653_gasprices15.html

  28. 28
    Tatiana Kalashnikov says:

    For years, every time there has been a huge run up in gas prices democrats have launched an “investigation” to determine what type of devious shenanigans caused the prices to go up. But they have never found anything – nothing at all. The last time I saw it in California was when the bloated Atty General Locklear started an investigation that of course went nowhere. Sure, wealthy people speculate on the price of oil. But so do 401k funds that many of us belong to. The best thing the US could do would be to go after all the oil that is in the ground right below our feet. We would no longer be beholden to the middle east for oil. But the greens and libs ring their hands because fracking harms the earh. That’s so pathetic.

  29. 29
    Scotsman says:

    RE: Tatiana Kalashnikov @ 28

    You have WAY too much common sense for this crowd. Frustration lies ahead.

    Fracking is, apparently, completely harmless to the environment. It can however be quite destructive to ones beliefs and sense of identity if (soylent?) green is your touch-stone.

    http://hotair.com/archives/2012/07/01/video-truthland-is-the-answer-to-gasland/

  30. 30

    RE: Pegasus @ 27 – If you understood how shortages affect pricing, you wouldn’t be saying or believing the things you say and believe.

  31. 31
    Pegasus says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 30 – That is the kind of response I expect to get from someone that has just been proven wrong on his false theory of why gas prices were exceptionally high in Washington and who has no other option except to spin the baloney machine, once again.

    “Even if Cherry Point were to get restarted soon, it probably would not lead to a drop in prices in this region, said Tim Hamilton, executive director of a gasoline dealer group called Automotive United Trades Organization. Other refineries along the West Coast are scheduled to curtail operations for planned maintenance work in the coming weeks, further putting pressure on gasoline inventory.

    “It (a Cherry Point restart) will just keep the prices from going higher,” said Hamilton, adding that he would expect prices on the West Coast to remain higher than much of the nation during the summer months.

    Read more here: http://www.thenewstribune.com/2012/05/14/2144421/bellingham-area-gas-prices-soar.html

  32. 32
    Pegasus says:

    RE: Tatiana Kalashnikov @ 28 – You need to look at who is doing the investigations and their relationship with the people that they are investigating. The FERC has done somewhat of a more credible job in recent years in their investigations of energy company manipulations compared to the FTC. In 2005, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) received authority and responsibility from Congress to police and prevent manipulation of the electricity and natural gas markets. To date, FERC has successfully conducted 199 investigations resulting in 61 settlements and civil penalties of $302 million and disgorgement of profits totaling $155 million. Kary Krismer’s favorite bank JPMorgan Chase is now under investigation by FERC for price manipulation in electricity markets in California and the Midwest but they are refusing to turn over their emails.

    “The FERC tangle threatens to become another dent in JPMorgan Chairman Jamie Dimon’s once sterling reputation, although the real cost is almost certain to be negligible compared to the bank’s disastrous “London Whale” derivative trades that may cost it $4 billion to $6 billion. However, if the agency presses ahead with a formal enforcement effort it may deepen the damage by evoking memories of the California power trading scandals a decade ago.”

    http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/07/06/us-utilities-jpmorgan-ferc-idUSBRE8620LK20120706

  33. 33

    By Pegasus @ 31:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 30 – That is the kind of response I expect to get from someone that has just been proven wrong on his false theory of why gas prices were exceptionally high in Washington and who has no other option except to spin the baloney machine, once again.

    Give it a rest troll. I’ve hardly been proven wrong. What I said would happen happened. When prices rose, that they would drop, and when they would drop. You just can’t admit it.

    Just remember, you’re an admitted troll. Resist the urge to troll. I know it’s hard for you.

    https://seattlebubble.com/blog/2012/01/02/the-tims-top-ten-of-twenty-eleven/comment-page-1/#comment-153139

  34. 34

    By Pegasus @ 31:

    “Even if Cherry Point were to get restarted soon, it probably would not lead to a drop in prices in this region, said Tim Hamilton, executive director of a gasoline dealer group called Automotive United Trades Organization. Other refineries along the West Coast are scheduled to curtail operations for planned maintenance work in the coming weeks, further putting pressure on gasoline inventory.

    BTW, I said much the same thing, but added in needing to rebuild inventory before prices would drop. Even without the other refineries going into scheduled maintenance, the restarting of the refinery would not result in an instant price drop. I’m not sure how you think that proves me wrong. That you quote that just indicates you still don’t understand economics or business.

  35. 35

    By Pegasus @ 32:

    Kary Krismer’s favorite bank JPMorgan Chase is now under investigation by FERC for price manipulation in electricity markets in California and the Midwest but they are refusing to turn over their emails.

    Again with the trolling. Bad troll!

    https://seattlebubble.com/blog/2012/01/02/the-tims-top-ten-of-twenty-eleven/comment-page-1/#comment-153139

    In any case, my position on that is clear. Wait for the results of the investigation to form an opinion. You in contrast just have a knee jerk reaction to any allegations, assuming they are true.

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