CRE: "Almost FREE"

in

No rent but cover the property taxes? I guess that could be classified as "free"

Free of the burden of holding crappy retail space?

Also late to the party, but congrats on the GB thang, CR. Glad to see that we hang out with the man of the "scariest" economic pr0n. Party

Sigh,

It is C town; hope and change?

The lies continue and many still want to believe.

W told what he believed (hmm, ...), this group, again, sigh

OT: From the last thread before last,
From Reuven Glick and Kevin J. Lansing at the San Francisco Fed: Global Household Leverage, House Prices, and Consumption (ht Amir)

Reuven and his buddy , Kevin, at the Fed Res wrote this, as posted by CR:

"In the years leading up to the crisis, a combination of factors, including low interest rates, lax lending standards, a proliferation of exotic mortgage products, and the growth of a global market for securitized loans fueled a rapid increase in household borrowing."

The aspect which galls me no end is that those two academic jerks are saying now what was posted here repeatedly, by many of the posters who still post here. Only they're saying it as if they are delivering a tome of knowledge and import. Bullogna.

Instead, I had hoped to see their resignations from their academic faculties and removals from the Fed Reserve, in lieu of the more common Japanese style of societal apology.

These men are assholes. They have wronged everyone of America's citizens. Their silence at the time of the events is not only unappreciated, it is the symbol of a feckless government, a failed education system, a self-serving desire to protect their livelihoods, a diametric oppostion to those who assumed major life risk in order to protect the sanctity of their society. They're not Patrick Henry. They're the people he described then as those deserving intense and unceasing society approbrium.

"Almost Free"?

Is that like "Kind of Pregnant"?

Hmmm..... Lots of options if you go back to basic math...

positive rents (you pay them $X/month) - zero rents (you occupy and pay nothing) - negative rents (you occupy and they pay you $X/month)

It's only free at "zero". Almost free could be either positive or negative... I love math!

Is Case Shiller prepared to handle negative home prices?

Slumdog wrote:

it is the symbol of a **feckless **government

You rang? Needs More Cowbell

ROFLOL. That chart has really gotten around. At least it is a good one! I always appreciate the mention - and it was nice of Fox to give me credit - although I do wish we had the monthly data for the Depression (not 1948!) ... that would make everything else look like a walk in the park!

best wishes

Detroit is a glimpse of the future for many other portions of the country. One trick pony cities are not a novel phenomenon.

Comrade Misean is Dope wrote:

Could you go lower please?

I would ask for 20% off of free on principle. Never take the first offer.. that's just silly...

Do they even have a professional team that plays at Wrigley anymore?

CalculatedRisk wrote:

I always appreciate the mention

Today Glenn Beck; tomorrow Sarah Palin. Sick

Sams clubs closing? That there is a depression.. Looks like mostly in Cali....

Be nice to see this in west LA. Based on my local observations, mall traffic, restaurants, and attempts to find reasonable commercial space and housing, there is no recession here. Everything's just fine. My Head Just Exploded Pitchforks and Torches

That sort of retail space in my city is dead. I'm not familiar with Chicago but it would seem to me in most cities those old storefronts only support payday loans, barber shops, kwikEmarts and various "businesses" that have some inventory but mostly sell weed.

longwaver wrote:

Looks like mostly in Cali....

CA leads the trends for many social and economic trends in our country. If Sam's Club is closing up shop in CA, what is the over/under until it starts playing out in other parts of the country?

longwaver wrote:

I would ask for 20% off of free on principle. Never take the first offer.. that's just silly...

Well, I'd like some of the lease hold improvements done by the landlord at least.

"although I do wish we had the monthly data for the Depression (not 1948!)"

Maybe Palin will interview CR? My Head Just Exploded

yagij wrote:

Sam's Club is closing up shop in CA

Irvine is a surprise, as the city is well managed, has lots of jobs, and is still growing.

Maybe CR should interview Palin? Now that I'd watch just to see her her My Head Just Exploded

JBR wrote:

Everything's just fine.

Survivor's bias? If you were truly down and out, would you be at a mall or restaurant or looking at housing?

ROFLOL. Somehow I doubt it ... I've never wanted to be on tv.

best wishes

Glen Beck is very representative of a lot of people in the Tea Party movement. He's very angry, but he's not quite sure what he should be angry at. Just google his semi-incoherent rant on Goldman Sachs. As such, I'm glad that he started reading blogs like this one so he can filter out the Tinfoil Hat crazy talk and focus his anger(and his audience's anger) on the very real issues that are out there right now.

I have to admit though that I refrain from posting CR links to Hotair.com even though I lean conservative because I don't relish the thought of these threads being overtaken by fanatical Randians.

Isn't Chicago the city with 10,000 or so new condo's coming online in the next 1-2 years and weren't they selling at a rate of 250 a quarter recently?

Principal reductions are occurring en masse. I don't know why there hasn't been more reporting, except that the people engineering them realize that the opposition is in direct proportion to the publicity.

Here is a sample from the Piggington website, of San Diego, from the contributor named "flu":

" P.S., my neighbor, the one that was in the process of being in dire financial stress, just got bailed out...Talk about a large 1st from Bofa and a HELOC from Countrywide.....Looks like the HELOC just got wiped clean and the first just got modded. I'll see if I can get details...Also the property tax (3 years behind now just got paid fully with penalty with the loan forgiveness)...Also saw a brand new 60" LCD....Good times are here again.... "

the Fed is unlikely to step in again | Piggington's Econo-Almanac | San Diego Housing Bubble News and Analysis

Oxtail wrote:

I have to admit though that I refrain from posting CR links to Hotair.com even though I lean conservative because I don't relish the thought of these threads being overtaken by fanatical Randians.

On behalf of the Commentariat, thank you.

Oxtail wrote:

I have to admit though that I refrain from posting CR links to Hotair.com even though I lean conservative because I don't relish the thought of these threads being overtaken by fanatical Randians.

Please don't. We already have enough from the same type of site (the Daily Kos).

yagij wrote:

I have to admit though that I refrain from posting CR links to Hotair.com even though I lean conservative because I don't relish the thought of these threads being overtaken by fanatical Randians.

Objectivise that!

I've often thought that that IS the scariest jobs chart available...........no question...........the biggest, deepest, longest no-jobs pit out there.......had you turned it around, CR, this unemployment job-loss mountain would have looked stupendous!

I lean conservative because I don't relish the thought of these threads being overtaken by fanatical Randians.

That is what the Ignore button is for. Although kcoop might want to consider a "whitelist" feature as well. So, I don't have to be tormented by their Faux News talking points even once before added to the Ignore list, which I use quite liberally on conservatives.

Office space like that might make decent residential space if the plumbing is in there. Open a used book store in the front for the tax deduction?

yagij wrote:

Glad to see that we hang out with the man of the "scariest" economic pr0n

Does that mean CR is an economic terrorist?

Chicago has thousands of unsold condos and houses. 6000 new ones downtown is last few years, and tons of infill in neighborhoods (4-20 unit buildings). Not selling well.

Badger boy wrote:

That is what the Ignore button is for.

I don't know. The "Fanatical Randians" may be worth something in entertainment value. They are right that more government is not the solution to the problem, but you never know. One of 'em might be able to help a thread without going Galt on us.

broward wrote:

Does that mean CR is an economic terrorist?

Yes. Just as much as we are econ pr0n degenerates.

Not sure about Daily Kos, after that article deriding Obama's plan for our 401k's (per the article posted yesterday from them that the MSM is merrily ignoring). Perhaps there is hope for them yet.

If you were truly down and out, would you be at a mall or restaurant or looking at housing?

Of course not... Just that, in west LA, malls are full of shoppers, restaurants are full... not mobbed, but full. And there's a lot of commercial vacancies, but nobody's really lowering rents. Strong, kool-aide fueled belief that the worst is over. They're still starting retail and condo projects here. Once again My Head Just Exploded

yagij wrote:

I don't know. The "Fanatical Randians" may be worth something in entertainment value.

Oh they are! They get all in a lather when you twist em up on the whole "So, um, just where did the objective value thingy come from?"

Loads O' fun...gotta maneuver up on it all subtle like though.

Other than that, as long as their not psycho's, they ain't half bad..

yagij wrote:

Just as much as we are econ pr0n degenerates.

Then we need an appearance on Jon Stewart.

Kindly notice that CR's response about "not appearing on tv" is past tense, not present. Smile

Freudian slip?

How about a CR internet radio show?

JBR,

The same is true for No. VA. My wife just looks at me, laughs, and says "What's this recession you keep talking about?"

The space is definitely vintage but it is in a high traffic area so typical businesses are a little more upscale than what you described. Vacant spaces in the area were rare to non-existant a couple years ago--not anymore.

Lobbyist Ben Dover wrote:

How about a CR internet radio show?

Only if CR can squeeze some goldline ads in the middle.

Lobbyist Ben Dover wrote:

How about a CR internet radio show?

Damn, that's not a bad idea.

Remember Casey Serin's appearance on a few Internet radio shows?

I know Dawg remembers.

I have this little problem with not ever being allowed to forget anything, and i'm attracted to the novel Atlas Shrugged, because Ayn Rand foretold the future in an interesting way, and she nailed it.

It's just a book.

"Only if CR can squeeze some goldline ads in the middle."

Speaking of squeeze, perhaps some of the Danika Patrcik godaddy.com adds too!

Does this meet my 150 dollar target? Taxes? WTF are those? Arnt they quaint relics?

I like the idea of a CR show with a format like a late night show. CR could have guests come on. A band. Maybe a CR bunny. Maybe JD could sit at the end and shout out "Hoooocouldnoodleeee!" every once in a while.

JBR wrote:

Just that, in west LA, malls are full of shoppers, restaurants are full... not mobbed, but full. And there's a lot of commercial vacancies, but nobody's really lowering rents. Strong, kool-aide fueled belief that the worst is over. They're still starting retail and condo projects here.

The Great Recession just hit here recently. It will take some time for rents to fall - you need extended vacancies before most landlords will start trying to cut their losses by lowering prices. Remember, most of the public thinks that the recession is over...

The same is true for No. VA. My wife just looks at me, laughs, and says "What's this recession you keep talking about?

Nova, with all due respect, aren't you in the market for a high end second home? For most people, unless you seek out this information, or reality delivers it to you whether you like it or not, they don't notice a difference in day to day life. So, I wouldn't expect someone shopping for a second home in NoVa to feel it.

If I found this sign here in Georgia, I would give the number a call, offer them 150 bucks, and if they refuse, bust the windows, move in, and wait for the police.

Yall think im bullshitting about my 150 dollar rent target.

I missed the last thread but the comments about the cash buyers being flippers solely servicing FHA buyers seems to be correct here in San Diego. The current market is beyond frustrating. Low end zip codes I am looking to buy in have zero reasonably priced properties. All reasonable listings are short sales with little chance of getting an offer accepted. Foreclosures that are listed are in exceptionally poor shape, not really liveable without major work. All the decent homes are flips. Here is one recent example:

6173 Fulmar St 92114
Sold August 10, 2009 for 131,000 (cash)
Sold December 16, 2009 257,000 (FHA presumably)

That is an insane amount to make on a low end deal but seems to be common. I visited this property before it was flipped and I can say with certainty this flipper made 100k courtesy most likely of the government. Cash is king and non distressed inventory is nonexistent. Without the FHA the prices wouldn't be doing the moon shot they are.

Nothing under 200k unless you have all cash. If you have to take a mortgage to buy you are paying a huge markup. I can't understand how properties are appraising for 100k more just a few months later. New carpet, some paint, granite and you are good to go....

heh... based on the number visible in the photo, that's really close to me.

12th Percentile

Not high-end. Yet, I understand what you're saying.

I've been wondering about that for awhile, thinking about the Lighthouse of Alexandria.

not_going_to_post wrote:

Nothing under 200k unless you have all cash

Wow, we're already back to a game of musical chairs.

broward wrote:

Wow, we're already back to a game of musical chairs.

Sadly, we are no longer on the Titanic, but playing the game on a leaky tug boat with a storm heading our way.

On the bright side, my mutual fund investments from 12/15/2009 are already in the green.
.
Thanks energy & commodity buyers!

The Great Recession just hit here recently...

True, I guess that's the maddening thing. We haven't really even got rolling and yet...

... most of the public thinks that the recession is over...

Which is crazy. Everyone in LA thinks LA is immune due to all the high paid movie types. Well. I'm a high paid movie type, and this biz is downsizing in a fairly major fashion. Top to bottom. But no one outside of the industry sees it. Same is true for the legal profession, real estate, finance, etc. So uh... what's that leave going forward? Tourism? Manufacturing? Just Pullin' Yer Leg The stupid money days are over, but nobody wants to believe it. Therefore, it isn't true and I'm a crazy doomer. Laughing out loud

Sadly, I'm losing faith that the much anticipated storm will ever arrive.

Just viewed that Glen Beck clip, and did not see CR acknowledged…. Oh, I see it at the bottom of the slide.

Had to review with the sound off—my max tolerance for US TVspeak has disappeared over the years, and this Beck gentleman has got that “no question about it” Columbia School of Broadcasting projection going on.

As for a televisual CR, let’s be clear there is a set of TV tricks to be mastered before even thinking about accepting an interview invitation. Especially if you know what you’re talking about, the message won’t come across without vidiotic leavening agents. I would think our host would have more savory fish to fry than undertake the type of media training required.

But then there are naturals— say, that Mr. “I never miss a chance to have sex or appear on Television” being one.

not_going_to_post wrote:

Sadly, I'm losing faith that the much anticipated storm will ever arrive.

Patience, none-posting one.
.
Remember it wasn't until 1933-1934 that the GD was as we collectively remember it. So far, we are only at the equivalent of Winter 1930-1931.

Sadly, I'm losing faith that the much anticipated storm will ever arrive.

Yep. Countries are sticky on the way down.

,rad JBR,

Tell us some insider movie econ biz stuff, but no celeb hooha please. ha

JBR,

Is it true the Sound of Music is going to be redone in 3-D?

nova wrote:

Is it true the Sound of Music is going to be redone in 3-D?

As p0rn?

Something tells me I better keep a low profile next time we visit China. No clubbing for me
Yahoo!:

yagij wrote:

Remember it wasn't until 1933-1934 that the GD was as we collectively remember it. So far, we are only at the equivalent of Winter 1930-1931.

It's not going to get like that. The gold standard and the hard money policies it enforced was the reason the GD was so intense. Most other countries had it much easier than the US because they either already had a wobbly gold standard or devalued earlier. This will be more like the Japanese Long Depression although quite possibly worse.

nova wrote:

Is it true the Sound of Music is going to be redone in 3-D?

Heh. Anything is possible.
But I saw a scene from Casablanca that had been converted to 3D as a demo - five years ago.

Tell us some insider movie econ biz stuff, but no celeb hooha please. ha

Well, Lindsey Lohan was spotted recently at... oh... not that? Tongue

It's really nothing different than any other industry. After all, all the Big Studios are just little divisions of giant corporate entities now. They're not making as many movies. Marketing budgets are being slashed. That causes layoffs in all the vendors that provide production and marketing services. Friend of mine, an exec at a major studio, recently had all their magazine subscriptions cancelled. Nickel and dime-ing. A lot of businesses were started in the last 10 years based on piles of money being thrown around. That model is no longer operative, and a lot of well paid folks are finding out the hard way.

Lindsey Lohan will do just fine though. Currently Smoking Cannibis In Vino Veritas

JBR wrote:

Everyone in LA thinks LA is immune due to all the high paid movie types. Well. I'm a high paid movie type, and this biz is downsizing in a fairly major fashion. Top to bottom. But no one outside of the industry sees it.

Even some people in the industry don't really believe that the change is permanent.
It's going to take a long time to figure out what the "new normal" is for the "biz" in LA.

12th Percentile wrote:

That sort of retail space in my city is dead. I'm not familiar with Chicago but it would seem to me in most cities those old storefronts only support payday loans, barber shops, kwikEmarts and various "businesses" that have some inventory but mostly sell weed.

Can't make out the second digit for sure--is that 2658 or 2858?

Googling 2858 turns up a recently closed clothing store, so I'm guessing that might be it. If so, this will give you an idea of the kinds of stores you'd find in this sort of building here:

2858 N. Clark St. - Google Maps

It's a lot more upscale than what you've described; there's a lot of foot traffic and in better times there'd be a goodly amount of spending money (lots of professional couples who haven't yet started families).

"Duke of Perth" visible at the top of the map is one my favorite eateries.

Yalt, It definitely appears to be 2858 on the larger image Doug sent me (I had to use my NSA tools to enhance the image) (Note to NSA: Just kidding - please not another DDoS attack like this morning!)

I just like the sign "Almost FREE". I'm sure they are getting a few calls.

best wishes

Fair Economist wrote:

This will be more like the Japanese Long Depression although quite possibly worse.

10%+ of UE plus crushed savings is pretty bad no matter how you slice it. I didn't mean that we are replaying the GD I Opera but that we are only in the beginning stages of this depression. Just because prices haven't come back to reality in 24+ months doesn't mean that it is V for Victory and we get sent back to a 2001 era economy.

Enjoy this Video, Geithner Must Go. Thanks to Dylan Ratigan.

Geithner Must Go - The Market Ticker

energycon,

I read the link you posted and the comments. We will never know but a tip of this iceberg.

It is obvious to me that the level of fraud, looting, and stupidity are beyond my comprehension.

what....you guys don't have a "secret vault"?

Even some people in the industry don't really believe that the change is permanent.

Yep. All you gotta do to see it is drive down La Cienega South of WeHo on a weekend. mmmm... Area. Madness. On the plus side, the're keeping all the overpriced fashion and furniture boutiques busy. Snark For now...

Jan. 11 (Bloomberg) -- President Barack Obama may propose a fee on financial-services companies as a way to fulfill a vow on cutting the budget deficit in half, administration officials said. The officials declined to give specifics about how the fee would be structured. One official, who wouldn’t be identified by name because the proposal is still being discussed, said it may be included in the administration’s budget to be released next month. The proposal won’t include a tax on Wall Street bonuses or financial-services transactions, Politico reported today, citing unidentified officials.

You think maybe Team Obama needed an anti-Wall St. headline today?

what....you guys don't have a "secret vault"?
I thought getting access to the secret forum was a major milestone...

and various "businesses" that have some inventory but mostly sell weed.

heh, here in LA, long vacant stores are being rented to shops that openly sell weed! Uh, I mean dispense "medicine" to their "patients". Cool

All I can do is try to keep up with the deceit.

It's like a hockey game, and the refs swallowed their whistles, and anything goes-no penalties.

JBR wrote:

heh, here in LA, long vacant stores are being rented to shops that openly sell weed! Uh, I mean dispense "medicine" to their "patients".

Almost 800 of them inside the LA city limits.

I trust you'll get a nice commission, if it gets rented.

automated transfer mechanism

i think there's an acronym availble...i just can't come up with it?

poic wrote:

Something tells me I better keep a low profile next time we visit China. No clubbing for me

You better! In the bay area, I see pretty Chinese nubile women as often with non-Chinese men as not! Smile

Enjoy this Video, Geithner Must Go. Thanks to Dylan Ratigan.

Thanks, that is good. But Dylan used my term "Christmas Eve massacre" without giving me credit!

Yalt

On that Google line i see

Gabby's Barber Shop
Sushi Cafe
Frank's Jewelry and Watch Repair
HnR Tax Prep
Yummy Yummy Asian Cuisine
Vogue Nail Salon

I forgot to add nail salons, Asian cuisine and tax prep rip off artists like H&R, Jackson Hewitt and local copy cats.
Frank's will probably move to a mall or retire soon.

In my city, the stretch I describe has one kind of thriving business. Really good asian food. I know some of the people working in the restaurants. Family run, immigrants, good food for cheap ands these neighborhoods are nothing compared to what you would see back home.

So, I would expect Chicago to be nicer than Albany, NY, but it is the same sort of mix.

BTW, clothing stores here open up in all of these vacant fronts and some even make 6 to 9 months before shutting down. If i wanted to start a storefront business in the main drag in my city I could pick from probably 15 vacant storefronts in a very small area. Unfortunately, I believe we have reached a point of no return.

if you ain't selling lotto, liquor or cigarettes, you have no customers.

OT but worth it
Backsliding Ben Bernanke Beaten Badly

The Fed has returned to its old view, maintained during the Greenspan years, that bubbles cannot be recognised ex ante. Nor does the Bernanke Fed accept that glaring macroeconomic imbalances that characterised the last decade – such as the rapid growth of private sector credit, the falling savings rate, and the gaping current account deficit of the mid-2000s – were useful leading indicators of an approaching crisis.

It seems incredible that Mr Bernanke and his colleagues have learnt so little from the recent calamity.
**
Solution: can his ass ( and Geithners ) for the good of 99% of Americans**

It's hard to imagine Hollywood not wasting money, interesting new normal. Thanks~

Magazines are pleading for subscriptions, seemingly losing money, just to get the numbers.

Like $10-15 a year.

rich wrote:

You think maybe Team Obama needed an anti-Wall St. headline today?

It's a good talking point even if wall street firms are asked to pay a million dollars towards the deficit.

Crude oil’s four-week rally hasn’t run its course and prices will reach at least $85.55 a barrel in New York, according to technical analysis by Barclays Capital.

Juvenal Delinquent wrote:

Like $10-15 a year.

Daily Variety is about $300/year. They are going to have to make a few adjustments.

Think I pay $22 a year for the New Yorker.

Face value is $5.99 per issue.

Prices are going up too for steel supposedly...As in 10%...

Asia's big steel mills should post solid fourth-quarter earnings as strong growth in the region's emerging economies boosted demand and raised prices, leading most of the big mills to operate at full throttle. China-related fears have subsided, at least for now, as the country's surprisingly resilient demand for steel has lifted pessimism on the risk of oversupply.

I'm with nova. Here in Mordor-on-Potomac, the only evidence of the Depression I see are the influx of out-of-state license plates.

actually, as I pan out on that map, there is some pretty high end retail a few blocks away. Nothing like what i'm describing.

I think if i was in lease negotiations I probably would have that photo in my back pocket as the trump card.

influx of out-of-state license plates.

Yep. I think you can see 30 different states just on the commute in now.

Think I pay $22 a year for the New Yorker.

Besides Sy Hirsh (My Lai and Abu Garib), what else in that rag is worth 22 cents per year?

Fair Economist wrote:

yagij wrote:
Remember it wasn't until 1933-1934 that the GD was as we collectively remember it. So far, we are only at the equivalent of Winter 1930-1931.
It's not going to get like that. The gold standard and the hard money policies it enforced was the reason the GD was so intense. Most other countries had it much easier than the US because they either already had a wobbly gold standard or devalued earlier. This will be more like the Japanese Long Depression although quite possibly worse.

There are plenty of other ways to adopt suicidal economic policies
Obama Said to Consider Fee on Banks to Trim Deficit (Update4) - Bloomberg.com
Cuomo Asks Banks About Bonuses - WSJ.com

MrM wrote:

Obama Said to Consider Fee on Banks to Trim Deficit (Update4) - Bloomberg.com

So is Obama going to create a financial Superfund and is AIG going to be the first clean up site?

The Bonus Boom | Mother Jones

The game is rigged and nobody seems to notice....nobody seems to care. That’s what the owners count on. The fact that Americans will probably remain willfully ignorant of the big red, white and blue dick that’s being jammed up their ass everyday, because the owners of this country know the truth. It’s called the American Dream, 'cause you have to be asleep to believe it . . .George Carlin

Well, OK. There's a garden variety urban strip mall across the street (Borders, tanning salon, etc.) There's a neighborhood health clinic where you can get tested for STDs. I also see some good restaurants (several notches up from Yummy Yummy), a high-end stereophile outlet (there's another, better, a couple of blocks south)....

It's a mixed bag, like any healthy urban neighborhood would be.

You talk about "all these vacant fronts" as if they're commonplace. I've been here 25 years and until a year ago we didn't have vacant fronts on blocks like that. Clark St. in Wrigleyville or Lakeview is the very last place I'd ever have expected to see that sign.

Besides Sy Hirsh (My Lai and Abu Garib), what else in that rag is worth 22 cents per year?

Short stories

Of course I don't pay for mine, one of neighbors drops off his old copies so I'm always a few months behind. It makes for fun reading about the economy.

I like to pay for entertaining fiction (even though in this case I don't have to) the stuff on the news doesn't entertain like a good short story.

I'm not sure JBR's neighbors would agree, but I place a high value on good original writing. Now to look forward to a decade of old ideas recycled in 3D while good writers get nowhere.

I want the commentariat to get Sebastian to disclose how much physical gold he owns.

-Sebastian Gold Bubble.

Rajesh wrote:

So is Obama going to create a financial Superfund and is AIG going to be the first clean up site?

Obama has no idea what to do except that he feels the pressure to do something.
That's when big f&*ckups happen.

“'We have a lot of concerns, and hopefully our concerns come from things that we have not seen that will not be incorporated,” Wayne Abernathy, executive vice president of the American Bankers Association, said in a telephone interview.'

A fee would create a “real fairness issue,” since banks are concerned they’ll be forced to pay for parts of bailout that “didn’t work” in addition to paying an “excellent” return to the Treasury, Abernathy said.

Public sentiment has turned against last year’s government rescue of the financial-services industry. Almost two-thirds of Americans believe bailing out the banks was a bad idea, a Bloomberg National Poll taken Dec. 3-7 showed. "

This guy Abernathy has articulated an excellent point. I'm sure if he will not say anything that is negative, it will not make the American people more happy with banksters than they already are (not).

12th Percentile wrote:

I'm not sure JBR's neighbors would agree, but I place a high value on good original writing. Now to look forward to a decade of old ideas recycled in 3D while good writers get nowhere.

How is that different from the previous decades of old ideas recycled in 2D?
Snark

How is that different from the previous decades of old ideas recycled in 2D?

dude, you get glasses, and it's like, 3D, you know? Some people...

MrM wrote:

Obama has no idea what to do except that he feels the pressure to do something.

He knows he needs to find some revenue streams, from somewhere, and PDQ.
Expect a barrage of trial balloons.

JBR wrote:

Of course not... Just that, in west LA, malls are full of shoppers, restaurants are full... not mobbed, but full. And there's a lot of commercial vacancies, but nobody's really lowering rents. Strong, kool-aide fueled belief that the worst is over. They're still starting retail and condo projects here.

Even stranger. I was in Palm Springs recently. You can buy homes for $30-50k, but new retail centers were still opening.

sm_landlord wrote:

How is that different from the previous decades of old ideas recycled in 2D?

It adds a new dimension to the storyline.

yuk yuk.

The SEC Circuit continues

SEC expands charges against BofA - Yahoo! Finance
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Federal regulators have expanded their charges against Bank of America Corp. over billions in bonuses paid at Merrill Lynch, accusing the bank of failing to disclose mounting losses at Merrill before a shareholder vote approving the combination of the two firms.
The Securities and Exchange Commission announced Monday it had asked a federal judge in Manhattan to allow it to file the new charges against the biggest U.S. bank. But the SEC also said it wouldn't charge any individual Bank of America officials, directors or attorneys because they are not alleged to have "deliberately concealed" information from the bank's outside attorneys or otherwise acted with intent to mislead.
That pleased Bank of America, which said in a statement it was glad the regulators had found no basis to charge any individuals or to assert a charge of fraud against the bank. However, it added, "Despite this vindication, we believe the new claims the SEC seeks to bring are without merit and we will oppose this motion."

sm_landlord wrote:

He knows he needs to find some revenue streams, from somewhere, and PDQ.

Expense cutting is out of question, right?

Fair Economist wrote:

It's not going to get like that. The gold standard and the hard money policies it enforced was the reason the GD was so intense.

It can get like that. Push the dollar envelope far enough and the "hard money policies" will be forced upon us.

MrM wrote:

Expense cutting is out of question, right?

This IS the federal government we're talking about.

This is encouraging to see....
Public demand for public data: Special Inspector Gen. for #TARP says website got 26.5M visits in first 9 mos of '09.

sm_landlord wrote:

Remember, most of the public thinks that the recession is over...

I was in LA and Santa Monica last week. It was kind of creepy. There were times that basically no one was on the road. I also was stunned that near the Water Garden in Santa Monica there was 80% empty street parking during work hours.

One of the other things which struck me as odd were a number of people on the bus who appeared to have real office jobs, I would have guessed they made $80k+.

some investor guy wrote:

I was in LA and Santa Monica last week.

Where again is it you reside (generally)?

not_going_to_post wrote:

Nothing under 200k unless you have all cash. If you have to take a mortgage to buy you are paying a huge markup. I can't understand how properties are appraising for 100k more just a few months later. New carpet, some paint, granite and you are good to go....

Oh, I can explain that for you.

It could be a new scam. It involved many of the same parties as the old scams. You need a bank employee, and appraiser, and a buyer who are all in on it. The appraiser tells the lender the house is worth half what it's really worth. The lender, especially an out of state lender, believe him. The unit is sold, especially in bulk or at a poorly advertised remote, inconvenient auction.

Fix, flip, lather, rinse, repeat. The fixup gives plausible deniability.

OT (ZH): The Ultimate Shell Game: The Federal Reserve Funds 91% Of 2009 U.S. Deficit

In the current hodge podge of abstract finance, it is easy to get lost in the numbers and lose sight of the forest for the trees. Which is why we provide the ultimate simplification: In calendar (not fiscal) 2009, the US grew its budget deficit by $1.47 trillion. In the same time, the Federal Reserve grew its securities holdings from $500 billion to $1.85 trillion, a $1.34 trillion increase. Keeping it simple: 91% of the budget deficit increase in 2009, under the authority of President Obama, was funded by the... United States.

Our deficit was funded by ourselves? Maybe deficits don't matter if we default on our own debt? Puzzled

km4

yeah george carlin was the man

"Forget the politicians. The politicians are put there to give you the idea that you have freedom of choice . . . you don’t.

You have no choice. You have OWNERS. They OWN you. They own everything. They own all the important land. They own and control the corporations.

They’ve long since bought, and paid for the Senate, the Congress, the state houses, the city halls, they got the judges in their back pockets

and they own all the big media companies, so they control just about all of the news and information you get to hear.

They got you by the balls. They spend billions of dollars every year lobbying . . . lobbying, to get what they want . . .

Well, we know what they want. They want more for themselves and less for everybody else,

but I’ll tell you what they don’t want . . .

they don’t want a population of citizens capable of critical thinking.

They don’t want well informed, well educated people capable of critical thinking. They’re not interested in that . . . that doesn’t help them. That’s against their interests. "

That’s right. They don’t want people who are smart enough to sit around a kitchen table and think about how badly they’re getting fu<&ed by a system that threw them overboard 30 fu< &in years ago."

some investor guy wrote:

I also was stunned that near the Water Garden in Santa Monica there was 80% empty street parking during work hours.

Wow, hoodathunkit? When I had my office over there four years ago, you couldn't find parking even with a permit.
I did notice a bunch of empty "creative space*" in the area recently.

  • "Creative Space" is LA-speak for a junky old warehouse that has been refitted for editing or software development.

I really would like a ---> :Mom & Pop Stores are DEAD: Icon/smiley

Let none of us beat around dead bushes and kick horses (or is that dogs). We as a nation are washed up and finished like so much dirty laundry blowing in a dust-bowl windstorm. Do we have the courage to understand that the economic voodoo that brought us to this point is a toxic process which can't be turned on a dime and made to be honest.

(from a speech I'm writing for Winston Kennedy O'Lardass)

sm_landlord wrote:

He knows he needs to find some revenue streams, from somewhere, and PDQ.
Expect a barrage of trial balloons.

Where did the Obama trial balloons go anyway? The first few months of his administration were like the Albuquerque balloon festival. I figured it was a governance strategy. Now they've virtually disappeared.

sm_landlord wrote:

Even some people in the industry don't really believe that the change is permanent.
It's going to take a long time to figure out what the "new normal" is for the "biz" in LA.

Just last week, the City of LA decided to study having a film commission. LA City Council Votes to Study New Film Commission - ABC News

Fair Economist wrote:

Where did the Obama trial balloons go anyway?

No need to risk the balloons when he got his marching orders?

Even in LA, even in upscale businesses, the economic downturn can be inescapable. I visit a high-end musical instrument shop in West Los Angeles every quarter or so for supplies or work on one of my instruments. On each visit over the past year I've been regaled by the owner--who has run the shop for over 30 years after taking it over from his father--that business has been "dead" and that it is costing him money to stay in business. At a small eatery that I frequent in the Larchmont area, the owner has complained repeatedly of the fall in business while, at the same time, the landlord has refused to adjust the very high storefront rent.

@ yagij (profile) wrote on Mon, 1/11/2010 - 7:59 pm
OT (ZH): The Ultimate Shell Game: The Federal Reserve Funds 91% Of 2009 U.S. Deficit

Wow ! And over next decade US publicly held debt is forecast to more than double to 85 per cent of gross domestic product – the highest rate since the second world war.

“The question then is who is going to finance the U.S. government” Stiglitz said.

@ mock turtle (profile) wrote on Mon, 1/11/2010 - 8:01 pm
km4: yeah george carlin was the man

Yes indeed and his incisive commentary and comedy is sorely missed today....

Sams clubs closing?

A young relative of ours works at a Sam's club, and says it was 'dead' over Christmas.

TJ and The Bear wrote:

Where again is it you reside (generally)?

Sometimes LA, sometimes Dallas.

TJ and The Bear wrote:

It can get like that. Push the dollar envelope far enough and the "hard money policies" will be forced upon us.

Not like the GD. That required a strong contraction in the money supply. Besides, it's the IMF that kind-of-forces tight money and we have far to much control to screw ourselves over that way.

some investor guy wrote:

Just last week, the City of LA decided to study having a film commission.

What a joke.
Maybe someone needs to 'splain to the City of LA that they are located in California.
Or point out any of the other reasons that companies are leaving.

Free Clue: production is not leaving LA because it is hard to get shooting permits. Yes, that's annoying, but there are hundreds of other reasons.

Re: FREE CRE (almost)

This from last night is worth re-posting:

.... Heschmeyer reported that there were nearly 9,700 shopping centers in the U.S. under "distress" -- based on a tally of retail centers with vacancy rates of 60% or higher. As of this week, that number is up to 10,400 centers under distress, representing a 7.3% rise in little more than three months.

Free mall space, free CRE, free TARP bailout $$$

km4 wrote:

“The question then is who is going to finance the U.S. government” Stiglitz said.

Since you cannot devalue the world's reserve currency against itself, I guess the USG is going to finance the USG.
.
Other countries are trying to keep their currency cheap in the meantime with pegged rates (China) or devalued rates (Venezuela).

pavel.chichikov wrote:

A young relative of ours works at a Sam's club, and says it was 'dead' over Christmas.

That seems really strange, given that Sam's is a place to get stuff cheap. I'd think they'd be doing well. My Costco junkie acquaintances seem to still be getting their fixes.

sm_landlord wrote:

but there are hundreds of other reasons.

Let's leave the actors out of this, please.

salina.com - an online service of the Salina Journal

Days after the last Christmas shoppers left with their last-minute purchases, Salina's Central Mall itself was offered for sale.

At the front door of the main lobby of the City-County Building on Dec. 29, the mall was sold in a sheriff's sale. The only bidder was a representative of Wachovia Bank...

sm_landlord wrote:

When I had my office over there four years ago, you couldn't find parking even with a permit.

I parked on the street for free, every weekday last week in Santa Monica. I initially expected that I had missed some obscure rule or sign. Is it possible that people in parking enforcement are making less than $100k there?

That seems really strange, given that Sam's is a place to get stuff cheap. I'd think they'd be doing well.

That's what the kid said (he's in his late 20s). Maybe it has to do with the area.

Chicago isn't Albany. A nice commute from the burbs into Chicago can be upwards of 2 hours one-way. There is a very large non-motorized population. Chicago isn't one of those places where you measure prosperity by the size of the parking lot.

pavel.chichikov wrote:

. Maybe it has to do with the area.

Need money and/or credit to move stuff cheap or the rising cost of the goods were make the stuff not cheap enough?

Hard times, small town discourage anchor stores - Juneau Empire

The mall's tenants have increasingly become service-oriented rather than retailers.
Tenants include a handful of restaurants, a few shops doing alterations or offering sundries and crafts, a military recruiter and a public library branch.
Sears is the largest national retailer in the mall. It is a franchise that is locally owned and run, Bauer said.
"It's more of a community-oriented mall in that tenants provide a service," Bauer said.
Malls across the country are struggling with increasing vacancy rates, said commercial real estate appraiser Kim Wold, who specializes in Southeast Alaska properties.

My guess is that Sams' Club entered a market already dominated by Costco and their failure indicates nothing other than an unsuccessful crack at the membership bulk discount market.

We as a nation are washed up and finished....

I think that's highly exaggerated. But we may have to experience much pain and turmoil before we see our way through.

some investor guy wrote:

I parked on the street for free, every weekday last week in Santa Monica. I initially expected that I had missed some obscure rule or sign. Is it possible that people in parking enforcement are making less than $100k there?

Where did you find a street without meters? Maybe if you parked in a residential area and walked?
Daytime parking is still free in the city garages downtown, but they have metered almost everything else, even Olympic Blvd.

I figure the meter maids make about 70-80K for a four day week, but haven't checked.

I know that I shop Costco before Sam's Club.

Habit, maybe from advertising, I don't know.

Like dryfly said, some competitors dying, survivors picking up their business.

@yagij (profile) wrote (in reply to...) on Mon, 1/11/2010 - 8:08 pm
km4 wrote: “The question then is who is going to finance the U.S. government” Stiglitz said.
Since you cannot devalue the world's reserve currency against itself, I guess the USG is going to finance the USG.
Other countries are trying to keep their currency cheap in the meantime with pegged rates (China) or devalued rates (Venezuela).

Right....the USA in a race against the clock in a tempestuous viscous game of trying to keep countries $ reserves > 50% and keeping them to buy $2B a day so 'extend and pretend' can continue.

How much longer can this shell game go on ?

Doc Holiday wrote:

The mall's tenants have increasingly become service-oriented rather than retailers.

The Commentariat wondered aloud what might happen to all of the big box retailer space that is coming online (or being vacated) over the coming months and years, and this mall's setup might be extended to covering similar setups in the vast open floors of big box-dom. Interesting times we live.

Prime Minister Yukio Hatoyama said today that shareholders should take responsibility “in general” for JAL, moving toward ending support previously provided by Liberal Democratic Party-led administrations. The government will likely approve a court- led restructuring this week that will keep the carrier in operation, according to three people familiar with the situation, likely wiping out investors, including 1.6 million small shareholders who own about 60 percent of the stock.

“The retail pensioner, probably hoping for an LDP slice of honorable support from the government, just lost his kimono,” said Benjamin Collett, head of equities at Louis Capital Markets, Hong Kong Ltd. “Debt holders will be sweating to see what happens next on the restructuring side.”

Japan is being forced by circumstances to innovate new concepts.

Small shareholder responsibility...

Retail pensioner...

You think maybe they'd fly here?

The 'vacancy' sign is out - Peoria, IL - pjstar.com

Even the area's newest full-service hotel, the Embassy Suites, the riverfront facility that opened in East Peoria in 2008 and was later cited as the top performer in the Embassy chain, has suffered, said manager Joe LoMonaco. "It's been tough all over; 2009 was a miserable year," he said.

Fair Economist wrote:

That required a strong contraction in the money supply.

Paper money imploding would be a fair equivalent. I could care less about the IMF; we're not importing anything critical from them.

My guess is that Sams' Club entered a market already dominated by Costco and their failure indicates nothing other than an unsuccessful crack at the membership bulk discount market.

We may have bought something at a Walmart years ago. We're not regular customers. We're once in a few decades customers.

rich wrote:

You think maybe they'd fly here?

Nope. Why hasn't the JAL CEO cut open his stomach yet? No shame in failure?

...the USA in a race against the clock in a tempestuous viscous game...

I could win a race against something viscous, maybe.

sm_landlord wrote:

Daytime parking is still free in the city garages downtown, but they have metered almost everything else, even Olympic Blvd.
I figure the meter maids make about 70-80K for a four day week, but haven't checked.

There are three sets of places near the Water Garden without meters or permit requirements. Two south of Olympic. One north of Olympic and east of the Water Garden.

There have been a couple of scandals about the wild amounts of money meter maid make/made in Santa Monica. Santa Monica Meter Maid Grosses $6 Million in Commissions > The LaLa Times: California Satire, Weird and Bizarre News "Garcia's numbers represent $6 million of revenue for the city. Commission rates were set at 25%, so Garcia will receive $1.5 million on top of her regular salary."

Ahhh 2003, when the City could just screw the living daylights out of tourists and people who didn't read signs. Lucky so many of them weren't residents, because this woman gave out tickets amounting to almost $90 per capita.

I think Walmart's model originally was to go to areas where there wasn't even a K-mart. Over the past 5 years, they have tried to rebrand, but Walmart is still an auto version of the only general store in town.

yagij wrote:

and this mall's setup might be extended to covering similar setups in the vast open floors of big box-dom. Interesting times we live.

Some big box stores will become high-end shelters.

High-end shelters will have beds, a kitchen, a dining area and a basketball court.

pavel.chichikov (homepage, profile) wrote on Mon, 1/11/2010 - 8:21 pm

...the USA in a race against the clock in a tempestuous viscous game...
I could win a race against something viscous, maybe.

Perhaps Sid Vicious - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia Big smile

pavel.chichikov wrote:

I could win a race against something viscous, maybe

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slip_'n_Slide

yagij wrote:

The Commentariat wondered aloud what might happen to all of the big box retailer space...

This is a working model for the future, i.e., lots of space available for lots of businesses and services that will not have a competitive advantage. I think the smart money will stay at home in the form of Mom & Pop running a service business out of the house and on the internet. The malls will also become more of a problem with crime no doubt, so the businesses that trap themselves in these buildings will look for ways out ASAP.

I'm thinking many REIT's will collapse in 2010 because of on-going cash burn problems.

Also see cash burn APRIL 17, 2009: Mall Titan Enters Chapter 11 - WSJ.com

The bankruptcy will have far-reaching implications for the mall industry, including putting pressure on already declining property values of U.S. malls, and subsequently mall mortgages, if General Growth dumps property to pay creditors. It also could consolidate power in the oligarchic mall industry if major players like Simon Property Group Inc., Westfield Group and Taubman Centers Inc. can come up with the capital to pick up choice pieces.

The collapse points to an underlying concern for the commercial real estate industry, too. Developers and property owners that loaded up on debt during the past real-estate boom now face mountains of that debt coming due. But some of those borrowers, like General Growth, lack the cash or the borrowing capacity to refinance or pay those debts. Many lenders are granting cash-strapped borrowers extensions of their payment deadlines, but that only postpones rather than resolves the issue. This year alone, an estimated $248 billion of commercial mortgages will come due, up from $230 billion in 2008, according to real-estate research company Foresight Analytics LLC.

Dooooooooooooooom!!!

yagij wrote:

In the current hodge podge of abstract finance, it is easy to get lost in the numbers and lose sight of the forest for the trees. Which is why we provide the ultimate simplification: In calendar (not fiscal) 2009, the US grew its budget deficit by $1.47 trillion. In the same time, the Federal Reserve grew its securities holdings from $500 billion to $1.85 trillion, a $1.34 trillion increase. Keeping it simple: 91% of the budget deficit increase in 2009, under the authority of President Obama, was funded by the... United States.
Our deficit was funded by ourselves? Maybe deficits don't matter if we default on our own debt?

These are two very different numbers. The Fed moved a lot of private debt on its balance sheet. It could have happened with or without the USG running budget deficit. Similarly, the budget deficit can increase with or without the Fed's balance sheet increasing.

So while the conclusion may be correct (or may be not), more arguments are required then just comparing two numbers.

km4 wrote:

Perhaps Sid Vicious - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Sid would have it his way:
YouTube - The Sex Pistols - My Way 

I could win a race against something viscous, maybe

We have a 'Vicious Cycle' motorcycle shop in the Portland area. But I am having trouble imagining a 'Viscous Cycle' .... perhaps some sort of Jello-30 weight motor oil mix? Sid Viscous, I don't even want to think about.

some investor guy wrote:

Ahhh 2003, when the City could just screw the living daylights out of tourists and people who didn't read signs. Lucky so many of them weren't residents, because this woman gave out tickets amounting to almost $90 per capita.

Good grief, I hadn't heard of that insanity.
But that sort of thing is one of the reasons that I am preparing to bail out of here. Not looking forward to being an absentee landlord, but it's time to go.

I expect prices will level off at half of their peak value,” said Kearney. “Some types of property, such as retail, might go lower. We have a mall in West Palm Beach that is essentially shutting down and a lifestyle center in Palm Beach Gardens that recently sold for one-fifth of its previous price. Some shopping centers are half empty.”
The Palm Beach market is suffering because the unemployment rate continues to rise, hitting 11.7 percent in November 2009. And home prices are going down, reaching levels in November 2009 not seen in the previous six years. Couple those factors with bank foreclosures on all types of properties and commercial real estate has been hammered, Kearney said.

The state of the market will also depend on whether lenders will refinance an estimated $1.4 trillion of commercial real estate debt nationwide that is scheduled to mature over the next five years. Some of that property is worth less than the mortgage and therefore could face foreclosure. At some properties, rents have declined to the point where owners can no longer afford monthly payments.
“The banks can make a big different in just how fast we will get out of this downward price spiral,” said Kearney, who is managing partner Kearney Commercial Realty/Sperry Van Ness. “If they are in a position to work with borrowers, we could see fewer foreclosures, which would help stabilize prices.”
Delinquencies for commercial real estate mortgages held by banks may rise to 5.6 percent in the fourth quarter and reach as much as 8 percent next year, according to Moody’s.

yagij wrote:

Nope. Why hasn't the JAL CEO cut open his stomach yet? No shame in failure?

Sometimes you are a real bakayaro, the chinpira were taking over from the gokudo before the bubble had even burst and in the time since, their shameless incremental marginal profits were the keys to power in the era of sideways

Incidentally, no empty big box retailers in the Portland Or area at the moment. Lots of strip mall and regional mall vacancies - even of brand new malls. And some have been abandoned in-situ. Oh, and a big 20 story condo building downtown, stopped about at ground level. Lots of empty high rise condos. New buildings ... condo 'see throughs.'

The malls,. and especially Walmart, have absolutely destroyed small retail in my wife's home town, which may have peaked in population at about 8,000 - it's now a suburb of a small city of 40,000.

Small retail was an important part of the life of a small town. Not only did they sell goods, but they helped support the local Little League, charities,and social events.

The main street is devastated, and if the town were not a county seat, with a courthouse, it might be a ghost town. At least the lawyers buy lunch there.

Actually, people would still live there, but as of now they can't shop there for much.I believe you can still buy a trumpet at the music shop, or get your dog groomed down the street. Pizza is available.

EvilHenryPaulson wrote:

Sometimes you are a real bakayaro, the chinpira were taking over from the gokudo before the bubble had even burst and in the time

No, I'm mostly a yabanjin in the ways of Japanese society and custom. I'm aware of the Yakuza moving in on the corporate interests of the 1980s (and earlier). Also, my question was mostly snark in nature.
.
JAL should've been restructured ages ago, but older airlines the world over are mostly buried under legacy problems waiting to explode so JAL's situation isn't that unusual. The fact that the government is now finally willing to restructure it is interesting given the current global economic climate.

According to current statistics, U.S. REITs need to refinance approximately $20 billion of debt in 2009 and $33 billion to $40 billion in 2010, 2011, and 2012 each.

IMHO, these idiot retards are using the same economic models that they used in 2001 and this is why the future is going to be very bleak, because I seriously do not see increased consumption coming back on line, in a normal historic context! These guys are ready to build for the next bubble and expand development .... which really has to make you wonder about the existing shit that is in the process of failing, along with the vast landscape of vacant buildings and the savings accounts of wiped out Americans! WTF are these retards thinking?

My wife observed that on the main street of a city of 10,000, the two photography studios had been replaced by tattoo shops. Maybe I should get into that. How similar is that to IT anyway?

no problem, talk to timmay and the benster. they'll hook ya up!

What Stimulus? Road Projects Aren't Boosting Jobs Much - CNBC

Local unemployment rates rose and fell regardless of how much stimulus money Washington poured out for transportation

YES WE CAN! SI SE PUEDE! HOPE! Change! Just Pullin&#039; Yer Leg

Andy Bogdanoff, founder and chairman of Scottsdale-based Remington Financial Group, offered one of more grim outlooks with the following quotes:
Remington Financial Group

“The commercial real estate industry is a disaster waiting to happen. With U.S. banks in a deep and continuing liquidity crisis and with $1.2 trillion in commercial debt due to mature by 2013, thousands of real estate owners and developers across the country will soon find themselves between a rock and a hard place when their loans mature.

“Even if bank liquidity weren’t an issue, estimates are that two-thirds of the securitized loans and half of the whole loans due to mature between 2010 and 2013 would not qualify for refinancing due to today’s more stringent banking standards.The Dude Abides

Bogdanoff added that the unprecedented high cost of funds, coupled with a 40% decline in real estate values since 2007, further compounds the problem. “With property values less than the original debt, thousands of owners and developers may have no choice but to sell their properties at a loss or face bankruptcy when their loans mature. If the problem isn’t solved soon, the result could be a disaster for the commercial real estate industry and the U.S. economy as a whole.” Dooooooooooooooom!!!

Tim waiting for 2012 wrote:

YES WE CAN! SI SE PUEDE!

Ominous sign, the "Obama as Uncle Tom" meme.

Still too low to take seriously but the fact it's even started is bothersome.

Trend Search

TJ's mention of Slip-'n-Slide caused me to associate and hence a story.

A little over ten years ago I was at the airport in Bethalto, Illinois where McDonnell-Douglas was demonstrating a new model fighter for some highrollers, Saudi, I think.

Anyway, the test pilot, whose name I no longer remember, spent the entire day doing un-natural things with this airplane, both on and off the perimeter, in a populated area, and in disregard of every FAA regulation. I spoke with both the airport manager and the tower personnel, to no avail.

At about 2:00 PM in the afternoon, I heard him flame-out. He was about 1/2 mile due west of the airport. I got in a car and headed in the direction of the smoke. According to witnesses, the aircraft flamed out at about 400 feet, flipped over, then hit the ground where about a half dozen children had been playing on a, you guessed it, slip-'n-slide. The wreck plowed through an adjacent 2-car garage and burst into flame, having just been refueled. The children went into the house--literally less than one minute--before the crash because they were afraid of the airplane overhead.

So, folks, stupid shit happens all the time. In this case, the children were a little smarter than the hot dog pilot, who got turned into a hot dog.

How do I know all of these things? I was there and spoke with the children. And the local papers praised the pilot as a hero, for not having killed anyone on the ground.

Now you have, as Paul Harvey said, "the rest of the story."

Doc Holiday wrote:

If the problem isn’t solved soon, the result could be a disaster for the commercial real estate industry and the U.S. economy as a whole.

I'd argue that having landlords with the ability to provide adjustable rents that reflect our current reality would be better for the economy than holding their renters' feet to the fire in hopes of making their bond payments, yes?

Here is an example of a job that could be done inside a mall:

YouTube - The Jeannie Tate Show - Bill Hader

badger wrote:

Chicago isn't Albany. A nice commute from the burbs into Chicago can be upwards of 2 hours one-way. There is a very large non-motorized population. Chicago isn't one of those places where you measure prosperity by the size of the parking lot.

If anything the correlation goes the other way--you don't waste prime space on parking, since your target customers are on foot anyway. If you see a building on that satellite view with a parking lot it's probably chain-store garbage (well, except for Binny's Beverage Depot--that's a special case). Even Wrigley doesn't bother with parking.

I worked for a company that had its office in downtown Cedar Rapids. They gave a parking allowance. I'm sure some places in Chicago do it, but at the same time, I doubt a prospective employee in Chicago goes, "What, you ain't got parking?"

Downtown parking runs $14/day at the cheap end; round trip on the L is now $4.50 after the last round of fare hikes. I'd never drive unless I was going somewhere straight from work and needed the car.

MrM wrote:

he Securities and Exchange Commission announced Monday it had asked a federal judge in Manhattan to allow it to file the new charges against the biggest U.S. bank. But the SEC also said it wouldn't charge any individual Bank of America officials, directors or attorneys because they are not alleged to have "deliberately concealed" information from the bank's outside attorneys or otherwise acted with intent to mislead.

Absolutely ridiculous. Make the shareholders pay for losses that the shareholders suffered for, and let people like Ken Lewis who made the decisions that lost the money off the hook. The pretense at punishment of the guilty is ridiculous. But it feeds a lot of well-paid lawyers, and makes it easier for the SEC to look like they are punishing someone.

Yalt wrote:

Downtown parking runs $14/day at the cheap end

That is bumper to bumper parking by an attendant who pleasure cruises the best rides all day before parking them just before you return to pick them up and then you get to drop a fat tip for a runner to actually go get your car. I know how Chicago works.

Doc Holiday wrote:

Bogdanoff added that the unprecedented high cost of funds, coupled with a 40% decline in real estate values since 2007, further compounds the problem. “With property values less than the original debt, thousands of owners and developers may have no choice but to sell their properties at a loss or face bankruptcy when their loans mature. If the problem isn’t solved soon, the result could be a disaster for the commercial real estate industry and the U.S. economy as a whole.”

Whose problem? The idiots who made the most risky loans? I don't care if they have a problem. And I'm OK dealing with the trickle-down effect of having them blow up with zero govt/taxpayer support.

Do you already know where you're going?

"Undergoing tests" is a bullshit cover story. There were two limousines parked on the west side of the airport next to a fuel truck. They had their damned lawn chairs out and the people were obviously from the Mideast.

He may have been practicing, I'd heard that story but, again, he was in violation of every rule in the book, not counting common sense.

If I'd been an FAA inspector, I would have put a stop to it right then and there.

The types of maneuvers he was executing with that airplane were extremely dangerous. The airplane wasn't designed for it and he was doing it in a populated area.

Extremely poor judgment.

mp wrote:

Now you have, as Paul Harvey said, "the rest of the story."

Sobering story, even if you get "the rest of it" first!

"And I'm OK dealing with the trickle-down effect of having them blow up with zero govt/taxpayer support. "

If it looks like piss, smells like piss .... well you know

"If it looks like piss, smells like piss .... well you know"

Its Tsing Tao Beer

Doc Holiday wrote:

thousands of owners and developers may have no choice but to sell their properties at a loss or face bankruptcy when their loans mature. If the problem isn’t solved soon, the result could be a disaster for the commercial real estate industry and the U.S. economy as a whole.”

I wonder if CRE lenders were actually dumber than those who did single family homes.

if "dumber" translates to "more optimistic", then yes.

Well, my point with the airplane story is that shit happens, and that's what usually causes disasters.

Airplane crashes, financial crises, car wrecks, it doesn't matter.

People get up in the morning and leave their brains behind.

People die.

In this case, I told everyone who would listen that at least one person was going to die that day and what did I get for the effort?

I got blown off. "Oh, that's McDonnell Douglas out there. They know what they're doing."

Yeah, right.

hal5280 wrote:

That is bumper to bumper parking by an attendant who pleasure cruises the best rides all day before parking them just before you return to pick them up and then you get to drop a fat tip for a runner to actually go get your car. I know how Chicago works.

Actually, no, what you're describing is the expensive parking. $14/day gets you into Monroe Street--go into the Millennium Park garage but turn the opposite way when you get inside. Self-parking; never full.

What you said really does happen. One day when I was working at the U of C Hospitals the entire parking crew was changed overnight (it was kind of noticeable because the new guys were from an entirely different ethnic group). Turns out the former crew had taken a VP's car out for the day and crashed and totaled it somewhere in the far western suburbs.

Remember when it looked like Obama may have had promise? It's sad how money from Wall Street changed him within hours...

Executive Order -- Presidential Records | The White House

I wonder if CRE lenders were actually dumber than those who did single family homes.

.....I'd guess less boilerplate lending in CRE........shouldn't be as ugly - less "just sign here" involved.

JBR wrote:

Be nice to see this in west LA. Based on my local observations, mall traffic, restaurants, and attempts to find reasonable commercial space and housing, there is no recession here. Everything's just fine

I'm just around the corner, proverbially, from you in one of those toney destination towns, and the UPS driver told me just yesterday that he's still working 12 hr days, and that volume has not dropped from last year. This place hasn't seen a hint of recession. A new restaurant opened about 2 months ago ($25 for lunch without alcohol), and it's full at lunch and dinner. But the RE has been hit by about 25-30% and at the high end, that means BK and foreclosures galore. The banker at BofA discussed it with me today. The RRE and CRE markets suck, but the ordinary income continues to roll on, seemingly unaffecting those who are in the upper 5 percent.

I would like to add upcoming leveraged loan maturities to the doom set of RMBS resets/recasts and CMBS refinancing disasters.

During the last decade, companies were taken private by private equity limited partnerships. The general partners were betting that they could siphon cash flows from the firms to cover their 2% management fees and other expenses and then take the companies public again to pay off the loans and harvest their 20% performance fees on the capital gains.

Many of these LBO loans are coming due in the next few years.

What are the chances of the loans being refinanced in this environment or the IPO being sufficient to cover the outstanding debt and generate a profit on the deal?

yagij
oh, well I don't even know what a yabanjin is. I just wanted to use the word chinpira which I had just remembered, not to literally associate JAL with the Yakuza but to draw a parallel between the changing corporate ethos of each group. It's interesting to see the plain old bankruptcy, wonder how far the current government gets before there is some big push back

hal5280 wrote:

That is bumper to bumper parking by an attendant who pleasure cruises the best rides all day before parking them just before you return to pick them up and then you get to drop a fat tip for a runner to actually go get your car. I know how Chicago works.

I generally avoid valet. I've gotten my car back almost empty, on a foreign language radio station, and smelling like fried chicken.

mp wrote:

If I'd been an FAA inspector, I would have put a stop to it right then and there.

That's the beauty of everyone having vidcams these days -- incontrovertible evidence of wrongdoing. Think of how your observations would've gone over on the local nightly news had they been recorded in HD?

Black Star Ranch wrote:

.....I'd guess less boilerplate lending in CRE........shouldn't be as ugly - less "just sign here" involved.

Maybe, but using pro-forma income statements and projections to qualify borrowers was the CRE equivalent of the stated-income loan (and from my experience was about as common), and the rates left less margin for error.

When I lived there I drove into the city only occasionally. So I was ripe to be abused.

Usually took the northwest metra line if I could.

The multiple hour drive can be abusive. oh, what memories of the Kennedy. . .

Yalt wrote:

using pro-forma income statements and projections to qualify borrowers was the CRE equivalent of the stated-income loan (and from my experience was about as common), and the rates left less margin for error.

If you love flakey pro-forma based lending, you should review the documents for many of the LBOs from the 2000-2007 period. Think Clear Channel, etc.

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