Wednesday, May 26, 2010

SAR #10146

This is not a rehearsal.

Yo-Yo Mas!  The Dow slipped below 10,000 yesterday and stayed there until the home stretch, when TPTB came in and ran it up at the bell.  This happens so regularly it's expected.  The current 'excuse' is that Washington has decided that banks can keep mucking about with derivatives until the next crash.

Rooms to Let:  Defaults on apartment mortgages are leading the rest of the commercial real estate sector downward.  Now at 4.6%, they are twice what they were a year ago.  Commercial-mortgage defaults also rose in the first quarter for loans against office, retail, hotel and industrial properties. CRE seems to be a slow-motion wreck in progress.

Progress:  The US hasn't so much drawn down its troop presence in Iraq as shuttled them to Afghanistan.  Same troops, same futile mission.

Down to Cases:  The Case-Shiller house price report was another downer, with another quarter of declines. T heir index is now at its lowest level since Q4, 2002.   The rebound turned out to be a dribble.  Even huge tax credits and historically low mortgage rates have failed to lift home prices.

Best Defense:  Obama is dispatching 1,200 National Guard troops to the US-Mexico border in order to repel attacks by the GOP.  He's also asking for $500 million to be spread around to various law enforcement agencies to give the impression of doing something.

Dueling   Headlines:  Exhibit One: “Anyone Who Is Still Bullish On Housing Clearly Isn't Paying Attention To The Real Numbers.”   Exhibit Two: “Realtors Say The Housing Fall Is Over”

$104,350.  That's each US household's share of the economic loss brought to us by Wall Street's unregulated greed.  $7.4 trillion in lost stock wealth, $3.4 trillion in evaporated real estate wealth.  At least 5.5 million extra lost jobs & lost incomes.

Revival Revised: If housing is recovering, why is the government still propping up the market? FHA loans exceed even Fannie and Freddie in encouraging a new bubble supporting the housing market.  Non-government backed or insured mortgages are essentially non-existent – but if business is so good, why aren't the banks and Wall Street out there scooping up the profits?  “This is a market purely on life support, sustained by the federal government. Having FHA do this much volume is a sign of a very sick system.” Federal Housing Commissioner David Stevens.

Drug Paraphernalia:  Washington State drug police have seized a large stash of petitions urging the legalization of marijuana.  Describing the petitions as a dangerous first step in the downward spiral leading to an addiction to democracy, the police said that the constitutional right to assemble and petition the government was being misused by the pot-heads.


Anonymous said...

Yo-Yo Mas:So what happened today, genius? Do you know ANYTHING about the market other than your meme that it's all rigged?

Anonymous said...

So it's 100% Wall Street's doing? Look up Fannie and Freddie, both of whom were unsurprisingly excluded from the so-called finance reform bill. Anything to protect your beloved liberal politicians, I guess.

kwark said...

Anonymous 6:26 - you mean it's NOT? OK, OK it has devolved into a pointless gambling den where the big boyz fleece as many as possible. I fail to see the difference.

Anonymous 6:37 - Fannie and Freddie are a liberal thing? Ballocks. They're about bankrolling the housing/finance biz - always have been even when they were sold as a means of making housing affordable to the masses. And EVERYONE knows what a bastion of liberality home builders are, bunch of freekin'commies. The entire housing mess was probably a commie homebuilder plot to destroy Amurika! I bet the Toll Brothers gandpa was pals with Stalin.

Anonymous said...

Anon 7:55, have you been in a coma? The Dems own Washington, and won't get near reigning in those two bloodsucking institutions.

And what do any of the home builders have to do with the housing bubble?

Go back to sleep.

Charles Kingsley Michaelson, III said...

Dear All:

Of course the markets are rigged - it's just that sometimes the big deus ex machina rescues are a little overwhelming.

If you (individually or collectively) think that Fannie and Freddie (and the FHA) were/are committed to protect liberal politicians, there's no help for your condition. The GSE's only function is to re-inflate the housing bubble and to keep the big Wall Street institutions from taking losses on MBS.

And kwark, at least I understood the sarcasm in the riff on the "commie homebuilders". Those on the right don't seem to understand the concept of sarcastic humor.

But let's not get taken too far afield; the general point is that - at least on this blog - it is us verses them. Us being my point of view and 'them' being those who can't put their disagreements into a coherent diatribe.

AH, I gotta go stir up tomorrows soup.