Weekly Open Thread (2015-02-09)

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Here is your open thread for the week of February 9th, 2015. 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.

Note: The comment limit in open threads is 25 comments per person.

NOTICE: If you have comments to make about politics or economics that do not somehow directly relate to Seattle-area real estate, they may be posted in the current Politics & Economics Open Thread.  If you post such comments here, they will be moved there.

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About The Tim

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

33 comments:

  1. 1

    Cheap Oil Regardless in the Seattle Area

    “…A pullback in production isn’t likely until the third quarter, Morse said. In the meantime, West Texas Intermediate Crude, which currently trades at around $52 a barrel, could fall to the $20 range “for a while,” according to the report. The U.S. shale-oil revolution has broken OPEC’s ability to manipulate prices and maximize profits for oil-producing countries….”

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/citi-oil-could-plunge-20-172206724.html

    Will the $750/yr saved on gas mean more money into Seattle real estate? Well, it can’t hurt, but so far, most of the “limited” extra cash is just being socked away into savings accounts.

  2. 2
    Blurtman says:

    RE: softwarengineer @ – It’s a boost to the local ganja industry.

  3. 3
    One Eyed Man says:

    Hey Blurt –

    Question: What’s the difference between a former head of the International Monetary Fund and “Dodo the Pimp”?

    Answer: Apparently not much

    http://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-31318120

    If you figure out the difference between “aggravated pimping” and just plain old pimping, let Janet Yellen know cause I’m sure she wouldn’t want to aggravate her biotch members unnecessarily.

  4. 4
    Blurtman says:

    RE: One Eyed Man @ – Que cabra vieja! Needdless to say, my admiration only grows.

  5. 5
  6. 6
    Blurtman says:

    Warren Opposed Audit the Fed Bill

    “For all that is pure and holy, please do not go there.” pleaded Senator Warren when asked about the audit the Fed bill. “We cannot open that Pandora’s box, lest we all be destroyed by what is inside.”

    http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2015-02-10/warren-opposes-congressional-meddling-audit-fed-bill?page=31#comment-5769913

    FWIW, so did libbies Patty Murray and Bernie Sanders regarding a similar bill a few years back. What ARE they afraid of? Removal of the government teat?

  7. 7

    RE: johnnybigspenda @ – Now we know why pfft likes Obamacare. Here I thought it was because it gave him free insurance.

  8. 8

    There’s Jobs in Them Their Economy, Will They All Rush Out to Buy Seattle Homes?

    “…Most of the job openings projected by the Bureau of Labor Statistics over the next decade are in retail sales, food preparation and cashiers. Workers in these professions have homeownership rates below the national average….”

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/why-jobs-dont-translate-homeowners-162640243.html

    I’m also wondering how these type of jobs even afford the rent around here….or will it be just like downtown San Francisco, 4 workers to a $2200/mo 1 bdrm apartment? Small refrigerators with locks can solve the “food stealing” fights. Individual cell phones can solve the phone bill fights…bunk beds are the “cat’s meow” BTW…I get the top one!

  9. 9

    RE: Blurtman @

    Actually Blurtman

    Pot sales in Washington are well below predicted….sounds like the Seattle real estate bulls on inventory….LOL

    There’s a huge friggin’ glut of pot in Washington. Hooooray!!!! We won the War on Drugs, we legalized it. Amsterdam found out the same thing, legalize it and use goes down; but FAR more importantly, hard drug use dropped fast too….its not mixed in with pot sales anymore, since legalization. Who would have guessed?

    I also hear the Mexican Drug Cartel is losing billions of pot money since it began getting legalized in America….IMO, that’s what’s stalling California pot legalization, the Mexican Mafia invaded California and “through hook or crook” is keeping it illegal. They probably have weekly planning meetings with “hidden envelopes containing payoff money” to stop pot legalization with California state representatives….LOL

  10. 10
    Blurtman says:

    RE: softwarengineer @ – Amsterdam was way out front with sex ed and treating drug addiction as a disease. Very low HIV rate compared to more neanderthal countries (not naming any names), lower teenage pregnancy rate, etc.

    I remember the first time I visited a coffee shop there in the early ’90’s, the fellow next to me (who looked like Joe Cocker) offered me a hit of his hash which almost knocked me out of my chair. I am just now recovering.

  11. 11
    pfft says:

    kary what happened to your costs spirally out of control?

    For the first time in a decade, Americans say health care is getting more affordable
    http://www.vox.com/2015/1/15/7551731/obamacare-affordable-doctor

  12. 12
  13. 13

    RE: pfft @ – That’s a poll of how many people are having difficulty paying their medical expenses. When you add a program which gives people insurance coverage for free or at greatly reduced rates, and greatly increase the number of people on Medicade, what do you expect to happen to that statistic?

    That ignores entirely the fact that that article doesn’t cover at all what I was talking about–the amount paid to doctors and pharmacists. Why don’t you go research what has been happening with prescription drug costs.

  14. 14

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @

    Yes Kary

    I recently talked to an owner of an adult family care facility. Most of the disabled tenants have Medicaid. It simply does not cover doctor choices, dental and available prescriptions like the old heydays before ACA watered Medicaid down with America’s uninsured.

  15. 15
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ :

    RE: pfft @ – That’s a poll of how many people are having difficulty paying their medical expenses. When you add a program which gives people insurance coverage for free or at greatly reduced rates, and greatly increase the number of people on Medicade, what do you expect to happen to that statistic?

    That ignores entirely the fact that that article doesn’t cover at all what I was talking about–the amount paid to doctors and pharmacists. Why don’t you go research what has been happening with prescription drug costs.

    why don’t you just post what is happening?

    “When you add a program which gives people insurance coverage for free or at greatly reduced rates, and greatly increase the number of people on Medicade, what do you expect to happen to that statistic?”

    thanks for admitting it’s working.

    you were wrong, admit it.

  16. 16

    RE: pfft @ – Wow. That’s rich. Asking me to admit I was wrong when I clearly pointed out you were wrong.

    What people have to pay for subsidized insurance, or free Medicaid, is clearly different than what I was talking about–the increased amount of insurance coverage driving up the costs of products (drugs) and services (doctors, hospitals, etc.). But hey, keep on trolling.

  17. 17

    You Won’t Believe SWE’s Advice This Morning

    Go out and spend all your money on lavish things: giant over-priced Seattle homes, planes, boats, diamonds, etc…within 6 moths it won’t matter anymore?

    http://moneymorning.com/ext/articles/rickards/cia-insider-breaks-silence-on-global-currency-wars.php?iris=330927

    I hear Obama planning for the big one too:

    I can’t open this website, maybe you can?

    .

    Obama and the plan for World War 3: Best documentary of the …

    survivingthebig1.com/obama-and-the-plan-for-world-war-3…Cached

    Obama and the plan for World War 3: Best documentary of the Year 2014 (Please Share this video) … Kansas February 12, 2015; M 4.5 – 139km SSW of Severo-Kuril’sk, …

  18. 18

    Will WWIII result in lower long term carbon emissions?

  19. 19
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ :

    RE: pfft @ – Wow. That’s rich. Asking me to admit I was wrong when I clearly pointed out you were wrong.

    What people have to pay for subsidized insurance, or free Medicaid, is clearly different than what I was talking about–the increased amount of insurance coverage driving up the costs of products (drugs) and services (doctors, hospitals, etc.). But hey, keep on trolling.

    you still haven’t posted any evidence. and you accuse me of trolling? you said costs would spiral out of control. you said obamacare would wreck the healthcare system. it clearly hasn’t.

  20. 20

    RE: pfft @ – We’ve gone over this before. It’s going to be a long term thing, and Obamacare has only been in effect approximately a year.

    But I’m sorry if you’re not following the news from balanced sources. If you were you would already know what’s going on. Since you’re not following it:

    http://www.fiercepharma.com/press-releases/americans-faced-double-digit-increases-prescription-drug-prices-2014-accord-0

  21. 21

    The pharmaceutical sector is perhaps the biggest driver of the current uptick in spending. It grew by 10.9 percent between November 2013 and 2014. But hospital spending also grew by 5.9 percent. By contrast, physician and clinical services grew by only 2.3 percent during that same time period.

    Altarum officials believe that the ushering in of major components of the Affordable Care Act accounted for much of the spending growth, as providers began caring for millions more insured patients. And they cautioned that this may be the beginning of a new trend, with the data “suggesting that the long-expected acceleration in health spending may have begun.”

    But it might have been even worse if the economy being so bad (yet another fact you’re probably not aware of).

    However, Altarum also concluded that “low economy-wide inflation continues to exert downward pressure on healthcare prices,” suggesting that it may counterbalance the uptick in spending and keep healthcare inflation in check–for now.

    http://www.fiercehealthfinance.com/story/healthcare-spending-picks-again/2015-01-22

  22. 22
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ :

    RE: pfft @ – We’ve gone over this before. It’s going to be a long term thing, and Obamacare has only been in effect approximately a year.

    yet you’ve been criticizing it and blaming it for everything for well over a year.

    fierce healthcare kary? can’t find a real source? no newsmax?

  23. 23

    RE: pfft @ – Again you have a memory problem. The reason I said health care costs would increase was because of the mandatory insurance provisions. That has been in effect only about a year.

    If you’re not a troll, then you really have a memory problem. Why do you want to cover the same things over and over and over?

  24. 24
    Blurtman says:

    Say, what are senators Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum saying about Lynch’s bungling of the HSBC prosecution? I do know that both will not admit to voting to confirm criminal Hank Paulson’s appointment as Treasury Secretary. Yet another reason I am not voting for candidates from either party.

    Vote on Lynch delayed in wake of HSBC revelations
    Nominee questioned about 2009 prosecution of banking giant

    The Senate Judiciary Committee has delayed a vote on the nomination of Loretta Lynch to become U.S. attorney general amid questions about how she handled the money laundering prosecution of British banking giant HSBC in 2012.

    The delay comes after revelations that the Swiss arm of the bank may have helped individuals and companies worldwide hide their money from tax authorities.

    http://www.publicintegrity.org/2015/02/12/16753/vote-lynch-delayed-wake-hsbc-revelations

  25. 25
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ :

    RE: pfft @ – Again you have a memory problem. The reason I said health care costs would increase was because of the mandatory insurance provisions. That has been in effect only about a year.

    If you’re not a troll, then you really have a memory problem. Why do you want to cover the same things over and over and over?

    you didn’t say costs would increase, you said our healthcare system would collapse. you were blaming everything on obamacare before it went into effect and now all of a sudden it’s only been 1 year. early this year you blamed a bad GDP report on obamacare but now it hasn’t been in effect long enough. who is the troll?

    btw, costs are coming in lower than expected even accounting for the great recession.

  26. 26

    RE: pfft @ – How about we just say this is over your head and leave it at that. I never said that the inflation in health care would be so great after only one year of mandatory insurance that the system would collapse.

    Back when Washington passed a law making it illegal for insurers to preclude pre-existing conditions, it took about 2-3 years for the private insurance market to virtually disappear. They then repealed that law before the last carrier pulled out of the state. I thought that cause/effect situation was rather obvious. The effect I’m talking about with Obamacare would take even longer.

  27. 27
    Blake says:

    RE: pfft @
    Love this!
    If you zoom in on that graph you can see that the last recession officially started in Dec 2007. In Nov 2007 the recession probability was 3.6%!! A month into the recession the probability had risen to 28%… Great metric pfft!
    Let’s see… US consumer spending dropped .9% in January after dropping .8% in December despite all that extra money in their pockets due to cheap oil… Europe is mired in a depression worse than the 30s, Japan is stuck in a deflation trap (and exporting their deflation), a full blown currency war threatens to spread deflation worldwide, and China is headed towards a hard landing after years of policies that make Japans’ lost decade look moderate… But the St Lousi Fed says the odds of a recession here is 0.06%! Hah ha hah ha hah hah…
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/comment/ambroseevans_pritchard/11391211/Devaluation-by-China-is-the-next-great-risk-for-a-deflationary-world.html
    There will undoubtedly be a long series of cuts before China sweats out its hangover from a $26 trillion credit boom. Debt has risen from 100pc to 250pc of GDP in eight years. By comparison, Japan’s credit growth in the cycle preceding its Lost Decade was 50pc of GDP…
    David Woo, from Bank of America, says Beijing may be forced to join the currency wars to defend itself, even though this variant of the “Prisoner’s Dilemma” leaves everybody worse off. “We view a meaningful yuan devaluation as a major tail-risk for the global economy,” said. If this were to happen, it would send a deflationary impulse worldwide. China spent $5 trillion on fixed investment last year, more than Europe and America combined, increasing its overcapacity in everything from shipping to steels, chemicals and solar panels, to even more unmanageable levels.
    http://www.wsj.com/articles/BL-CJB-25896
    …deflation in the producer-price index, which tracks prices paid at the factory gate, may have continued to worsen in January, falling 3.7% on-year after a 3.3% drop in December, economists said. That means China has seen industrial deflation for nearly three years. (end quote)

    Deflation is a bitch!! … It’s really hard to pay off debts when wages are stagnant and prices stall and fall! And the world’s central banks are now out of bullets. The central banks are considering raising rates a little right now (!!) just so they can have some bullets to cuts rates when the US economy (the last man standing) tips into recession… Currency wars, beggar-thy-neighbor policies… we’ve been here before and it doesn’t end well. Debts have to be written down… but they will not because the creditors are too powerful and too stupid!
    Where is our Solon?
    http://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/Debt-Forgiveness-Ancient-Greece-And-Peak-Energy.html

  28. 28
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ :

    RE: pfft @ – How about we just say this is over your head and leave it at that. I never said that the inflation in health care would be so great after only one year of mandatory insurance that the system would collapse.

    Back when Washington passed a law making it illegal for insurers to preclude pre-existing conditions, it took about 2-3 years for the private insurance market to virtually disappear. They then repealed that law before the last carrier pulled out of the state. I thought that cause/effect situation was rather obvious. The effect I’m talking about with Obamacare would take even longer.

    obamacare fixes that because of the individual mandate. can you name a state, country or any other place that had a mandate system that went bad? 4-5 countries have had it with no problems.

    “How about we just say this is over your head and leave it at that.”

    so far I’ve been a lot more right than you have been so I would drop it too!

  29. 29

    RE: pfft @ – You can’t say whether I’ve been right because you can’t remember squat. We’ve probably gone over these same arguments at least ten times before, but you apparently cannot remember. If you can’t remember, go get medical help. If you can remember, quit being a troll.

  30. 30
    pfft says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ :

    RE: pfft @ – You can’t say whether I’ve been right because you can’t remember squat. We’ve probably gone over these same arguments at least ten times before, but you apparently cannot remember. If you can’t remember, go get medical help. If you can remember, quit being a troll.

    you’ll never admit you were wrong. you’ve also never given an example of a mandate system spiraling out of control even though I’ve asked many times.

    you actually have a bad memory. you claimed that costs were spiraling out of control. you said premiums doubled!

    like I said you’ll never admit you were wrong.

    “We’ve probably gone over these same arguments at least ten times before, but you apparently cannot remember.”

    so what is it? your bogus argument that the costs of drugs will spiral out of control?

  31. 31
    pfft says:

    here is kary saying that obamacare cost almost a million jobs…now of course it hasn’t been with us long enough!

    https://seattlebubble.com/blog/2014/06/30/weekly-open-thread-2014-06-30/#comment-231373

  32. 32

    RE: pfft @ – My premiums did almost double. That happened for most people who were self employed and not entitled to subsidies. There were a lot of press reports about that, and I have posted them (although mainly to the now defunct Trulia site). You claimed that those were “junk policies.” Have you forgotten that discussion too?

    You might want to re-read the healthcare thread here to refresh your recollection of what we have already discussed. You should probably do that before posting anything more on this topic. And since I’m not sure how bad your memory is you might need to do that every time.

  33. 33

    By pfft @ :

    here is kary saying that obamacare cost almost a million jobs…now of course it hasn’t been with us long enough!

    https://seattlebubble.com/blog/2014/06/30/weekly-open-thread-2014-06-30/#comment-231373

    Wow, again something over your head. I was talking about how many jobs would have been created early on if Obamacare had never been enacted during the depth of the great recession. It was an estimate, because no one can go back an change history. That’s an entirely different topic than what I was saying about how it will impact prices.

    So, just to try to say this in a manner you might be capable of understanding . . . back then there was the uncertainty and higher costs that were to be imposed on employers by Obamacare, and that would have detered them from hiring people and starting new projects. That’s fairly obvious to anyone with even a slight understanding of either economics or business.

    What I’m saying about the effect of Obamacare on costs of healthcare and drugs is more insurance removes the constraint of price from demand. More consumers don’t care what things cost because more consumers will have insurance.

    The effect on employment I was discussing back then was because business knew something was coming, but didn’t know exactly what (in part because politicians lied). The part about rising costs needs the insurance to actually be in place for some time measured in years, not weeks or months.

    These are very simple concepts and entirely different. But you don’t understand either, so you think they are the same. Classic pfft.

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