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  • Real Estate Prices Still Appear to Have Bottomed [View article]

    Apparently you didn't read the analysis that came with the chart (or chose to ignore it). It goes as follows:

    "The price increases which began in November 2009 may have been due in part to the bifurcation of the market between high and low quality properties. While interest in high quality properties appears to be picking up, transaction activity in the core of the commercial real estate market remains muted. Also, it is interesting to note that distressed sales dipped in the three months that showed an increase in prices, and this month’s jump in distressed sales to the highest level in over three years no doubt contributed to the current price decline. The high-low split in the market, together with the effect of distressed sales on overall price levels, will likely cause markets to bounce up and down over the near term. We do not expect prices to establish a clear trend until volume picks up and market-clearing prices are established for distressed properties."

    This tells me that premium properties are catching a bid (although at a much lower price), but distressed properties of average quality and lower are driving the averages down when they sell.

    Odds are better than even that Nov-Jan were a dead cat bounce.
    Apr 19 09:23 PM | 17 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • New Jersey's Pension Crisis: A Canary in the Coal Mine? [View article]
    This is a problem all over the world, more so in Europe, less so in Japan (very high savings rate).

    As the developed world ages and doesn't produce children even to the replacement rate, there will have to be a mass migration from LDC's, or a massive cut in retirement/healthcare benefits.
    May 22 01:02 PM | 11 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Apple's Decline: Thanks, iPad Mini [View article]
    One of my kids is going to university in England, where he has 8 different UK wide carriers to choose from. His plan? Unlimited data and text, 400 voice min a month (not that any kid talks on the phone anymore). all for 10 Quid, or $16 a month.

    The USA has the most expensive cell service in the developed world. It's ridiculous...
    Dec 9 12:24 PM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Ugly Chart of the Day: Lumber As Housing Proxy [View article]
    I couldn't figure out why lumber got up to 320 in the first place, doubling in 6 months. Lack of production and unanticipated demand? Traders taking advantage of a thin market? Any other ideas? No way it was the recovery of the housing market.
    Jun 23 12:53 AM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • In Defense of Economic Optimism [View article]

    A V-shaped recovery of financial conditions does not equal a V-shaped recovery in the economy. There are many headwinds to "recovery-type growth" that you never touch on.

    Half of GDP growth from 2003-2007 was the direct result of home equity spending. Half.

    We are at the same spot demographically Japan was in 1989. If our boomers save at 1/3rd the rate that Japan's did, then the consumer will become 60-63% of GDP, down from 70%.

    We built 15 years of housing demand in 5 years. All of the jobs related to residential and comercial construction, design, financing, etc, won't be coming back for at least 3-5 years.

    I could go on, but it would be pointless. Once stimulus is over, the economy will reset to some sustainable GDP number, and grow slowly from there.
    Feb 25 07:03 PM | 10 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Brent Crude And WTI: When The Same Thing Becomes Very Different [View article]
    That's a lot of words and calculations to not mention 2 simple facts:

    1) WTI is landlocked and
    2) LLS trades right with Brent.

    Not being able to export crude currently has nothing to do with it, as the US is still importing oil on both coasts and the Gulf.

    Lack of pipeline capacity and transportation costs are the real culprit.
    Mar 21 11:15 AM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Housing Market Continues to Stabilize [View article]
    Haha, the article in the link you posted has this little gem from Scott on April 6th, 2009:

    "If you have been thinking of buying a home, don't delay much longer."

    His articles are like a car wreck, you don't want to look but you just can't help yourself.

    Jun 22 09:51 PM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Mysterious CAFRs: How Stagnant Pools of Government Money Could Help Save the Economy [View article]
    Comparing CA to ND is just ludicrous. ND has 650,000 people, oil revenues and no debt, and actually had a budget surplus of 1bln in 2009.

    Giving CA politicians the opportunity to kick the can down the road by spending more money that they don't have will only ensure bankruptcy in the future.
    May 24 04:25 PM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • New Homes: Double Bottom? [View article]

    Thanks for the work.

    I ratio I've been looking for but haven't found is historical housing units to households (units less vacancy rate) and where we are now, overlaid with current housing units to households (remembering that households formed decreased 1.2mm from '05-'08).

    We've all read that shadow inventory is enormous, but a quick comparison could really focus the numbers.
    Apr 23 08:34 PM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • More upside surprises lie ahead for the "new normal" crowd, Brian Wesbury and Robert Stein say. The consensus still underestimates the resilience and robustness of the U.S. economy, but productivity is strong, monetary policy is (and will continue to be) easy, inventories are razor-thin and corporate profits are growing rapidly.  [View news story]
    Consumer debt is down not because it's being paid down, but written down by the banks. There is not an increase in buying power.
    Mar 16 03:56 PM | 9 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Energy Secretary Chu's Overdue Departure Could Be Bullish For Natural Gas Transportation [View article]
    Mike, somehow i knew you would be the first to write on SA about Chu's departure. Good riddance I say. You can't run the DOE on unicorns and pixy dust...
    Feb 3 06:59 PM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Cliffs, Nightmares, And Hidden Taxes [View article]
    skiman, banks are calling their own bonds at an alarming rate (BAC $52 bln in Q2 alone) and buying treasuries because they have nothing else to do with the money. Qualified companies aren't borrowing because they see no growth in final demand and under stricter regulations, individuals don't qualify. This is a de-leveraging cycle, get used to it.
    Jul 21 08:36 PM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • $5 Gas: Play It Again Sam [View article]
    Not true. We exported more refined product than we imported, but we still imported a net average of around 8 mln barrels of oil per day.
    Mar 2 11:59 AM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Tesla Stock Collapses But Looks Massively Oversold [View article]
    It is never a non-event when your chief engineer quits...
    Jan 14 05:15 PM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The June Decline in Confidence Is Nothing to Worry About [View article]
    He's gotta be doing this to get a reaction from the commenter's here, like a little brother trying to get your goat. He's tried to spin just about everything
    Jun 29 04:17 PM | 8 Likes Like |Link to Comment