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Thu, 27 Jan 2022
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Unbelievable! Housing: One chart tells the grim story

Get a load of this chart from DataQuick's National Home Sales Snapshot. It'll tell you everything need to know about housing.
US housing chart
© DataQuick/DQNews.com
(Note: MSA=metropolitan statistical area)

As you can see, prices are flatlining or drifting lower while sales are sinking like a stone. That's the whole ball of wax, isn't it?

Sure, sales will increase in the spring (as they always do), but judging by the sharp dropoff in last year's hottest markets, this could be the crappiest spring selling season since the crash.


Because prices are too high, rates are too high, "organic" demand is too weak, credit is too tight, and the pool of potential buyers has shrunk to the size of a walnut, that's why.

The banks have reduced the percentage of distressed homes (foreclosures and short sales) on the market to roughly 11 percent from 59 percent in 2009. Fewer distressed homes mean higher prices, but higher prices mean fewer sales. It's a trade-off. The banks get their money, but the market goes to hell. That's how it works. According to most estimates, there are roughly 4.5 million homes in some stage of foreclosure. That means that - at the present pace - we should get through this Housing Depression a few weeks before Judgment Day. But don't hold me to that.

Did you catch this gem on Bloomberg last week? It's about the big private equity guys exiting the market. Take a look:
"Blackstone Group LP is slowing its purchases of houses to rent amid soaring prices after a buying binge made it the biggest U.S. single-family home landlord. Blackstone's acquisition pace has declined 70 percent from its peak last year, when the private equity firm was spending more than $100 million a week on properties, said Jonathan Gray, global head of real estate for the New York-based firm...

"The institutional wave has passed," Gray, who oversees almost $80 billion in property investments, said in a telephone interview. 'It's at a much lower level than it was 12 or 24 months ago.'

Private-equity firms, hedge funds, real estate investment trusts and other institutional investors have spent more than $20 billion to buy as many as 200,000 rental homes in the last two years. They snapped up properties after prices fell as much as 35 percent from the 2006 peak...

American Homes 4 Rent and Colony American Homes, the second- and third-largest single-family landlords, also have been scaling back as bargains dry up...

"We're going to have to probably slow down a little bit on our acquisition pace until we have a better view or actual certainty of the capital being available," (Chief Executive Officer David ) Singelyn said.

Colony Financial Inc. (CLNY), a REIT that invests in Colony American Homes, slowed its funding for acquisitions last year to focus on improving operations, CEO Richard Saltzman said in a November conference call...

American Residential Properties Inc. (ARPI), a landlord with 6,000 homes, slowed acquisitions by almost half in its latest quarter ending Dec. 31. It invested $104 million in 633 homes compared with $204 million on 1,251 homes in the previous quarter, the Scottsdale, Arizona-based company said in a statement." (Blackstone's Home Buying Binge Ends as Prices Surge, Bloomberg)
Okay, so the speculators are getting out of housing. How's that going to effect the market?

Eiffel Tower

Paris, France: Amid soaring pollution, limits placed on vehicle use

France is limiting vehicle use in the capital Paris on Monday amid a spike in pollution to health-threatening levels, only the second time the drastic measure has been introduced in nearly two decades.

A system of "alternating traffic", whereby vehicle use is restricted to alternate days depending on licence plate numbers, came into effect in Paris and its 22 surrounding suburbs at 5.30 am (04.30 GMT) on Monday, as the city tries to curb dangerous pollution levels.

The radical move has seen around 700 police officers deployed to 60 checkpoints around the French capital to ensure that only cars with number plates ending in odd numbers are out on the streets.

Parking is free on Monday for vehicles with even number plates, the Paris city hall said, calling on residents to consult carpooling or car-sharing sites to work out their travel plans.


Helmet cam footage shows cops murder a man for "illegally camping"

38 year old James Boyd had been camping in a spot that the state deemed "illegal." Trigger happy officers were dispatched to the scene and Boyd was murdered by them.

Boyd was being cordial and surrendering and he started walking down the mountain. At this point the aggressive and violent escalation by police led to a flash bang grenade and then shots fired.

Apparently cops wearing cameras does not deter them from murdering people.

According to ABQ Journal, The illegal camper shot by Albuquerque police this week was turning away from officers when they fired at him, according to video released by Chief Gorden Eden on Friday.

The shots come after a confrontation in which the man, identified as 38-year-old James Boyd, tells police he's going to walk down the mountain with them.

"Don't change up the agreement," Boyd says. "I'm going to try to walk with you."

He tells officers he's not a murderer.

Boyd picks up his belongings and appears ready to walk down toward officers. An officer fires a flash-bang device, which disorients Boyd.

Boyd appears to pull out knives in both hands as an officer with a dog approaches him. He makes a threatening motion toward the officer, then starts to turn around away from police.

That's when shots ring out, and Boyd hits the ground. Blood can be seen on the rocks behind him.

Of Course the Albuquerque police said officers were justified in murdering this man because he had made "threatening moves" from 30 feet away.
police cam
© Youtube

2 + 2 = 4

Blaming the victim: School joins in bullying 9-year old over "My Little Pony" lunch bag

Noreen Bruce sits next to her son Grayson.
Grayson Bruce, 9, needed a new lunch box.

So he picked a sack with a "My Little Pony" theme - Rainbow Dash.

"I had no idea the fire storm it would start," Grayson's mother Noreen Bruce wrote on Facebook.

Turns out that Grayson's a fan of the cartoon and its characters - and for that he's been bullied at at his North Carolina school where his classmates say "My Little Pony" is for girls.

"They're taking it a little too far...punching me, pushing me down, calling me horrible names, stuff that really shouldn't happen," Grayson told WLOS-TV in Asheville, acknowledging that "most of the characters in the show are girls, and most of the people put it toward girls, most of the toys are girlie."

When the bullying came to a head and Noreen Bruce got involved, she said school officials blamed Grayson's open appreciation for "My Little Pony" rather than punishing the bullies.


Referendum may see Venice elect to secede from Italy

© Telegraph
Voting began Sunday on a referendum on whether Venice and its surrounding region should secede from the rest of Italy, in an attempt to restore its 1,000-year history as a sovereign republic.

La Serenissima - or the Most Serene Republic of Venice - was an independent trading power for a millennium before its last leader was deposed by Napoleon in 1797. The republic encompassed not just Venice but what is now the surrounding region of Veneto and it is there that the vote will take place from Sunday until Friday.

Campaigners have been inspired by the example of Scotland, which will hold its referendum on independence in September, and Catalonia, where around half the population say they want to break away from Spain.

Activists say that the latest polling shows that 65% of voters in the Veneto region, which includes historic cities such as Treviso, Vicenza and Verona, are in favour of cutting ties with Rome.

Cupcake Pink

Happy Mondays' Bez to stand for UK parliament on anti-NWO ticket

© Unknown
Happy Mondays star Bez has reportedly announced plans to stand for parliament at next year's general election.

The wacky dancer said he hopes to become MP in his home town of Salford, and plans to run on a platform of redistributing wealth, tackling cancer and dementia, and an end to all war.

The 49 year-old, best known for shaking the maracas with the 1980s band, told the Manchester Evening News he plans to "stir things up" in his bid to succeed former Labour cabinet minister Hazel Blears.

He told the paper: "I've been saying we need a revolution, and there's no good shouting about it when you're not actually doing anything.

"If you want to do something about things you've got to get into the corridors of power and take them on."

The 2005 Celebrity Big Brother winner accused the political establishment of operating a policy of "divide and rule" and vowed to create a "new world order".


And so it begins: Psycho Ukrainian MP beats media chief, forces him to resign

The Violence starts around 4:40

Rights and media professionals groups condemned an attack by Ukrainian MPs on the acting head of national TV. The attackers leader justified the action by "circumstances of war" while the General Prosecutor's office pledged to conduct an impartial probe.

On Tuesday, several members of the Ukrainian parliament from the nationalist Svoboda party, headed by MP Igor Miroshnichenko, came with a group of supporters to the office of acting head of Ukrainian national television, Aleksandr Panteleymonov. The assailants insulted and bullied the journalist, eventually forcing him to sign his resignation.

The nationalist lawmakers' ire was caused by the TV station reporting on a ceremony in Moscow, where the leadership of Russia and Crimea signed a treaty on the former Ukrainian region's joining the Russian Federation. Miroshnichenko cited his membership in the parliamentary Committee on freedom of speech as justification for the attack.

Comment: What else would you expect from a psychopath? Some people are saying: "Why did they film it? It must be fake." But you need to remember how the psychopathic mind works, and how propaganda works. Like a serial killer collecting trophies of his victims, the psychopath likes to have proof of his tortures, his murders, his scams. Ultimately he wants people to know how clever, strong, brutal he or she is. It's like Nazi Concentration camp guards, taking pictures of and with their victims. As difficult as it is for most normal people to believe, they are as proud of their violence and abuse as you are of your child's finger painting.

Remember Svoboda Party in the Ukraine are Nationalist Socialist, they are essentially Nazis. There are a plethora of images showing them doing the Nazi Salute, a plethora of anti-Semitic writings. These guys are truly malevolent.

Chart Pie

From terrorism to sex attacks to shoplifting, Twitter crimes soar by 390 percent

© Reuters/Regis Duvignau
Crimes linked to Twitter have soared fourfold in the past three years, new figures reveal.

Offences ranging from terrorism to sex attacks to shoplifting, and with some connection to social media, have been investigated by police.

Cases where Twitter has played a part have surged by 390 per cent from 174 in 2011 to 852 in 2013.

Reports of crimes involving Facebook increased by a quarter in the same period to 12,803 last year.

Some experts think more should be done to tackle the growing issue of crime online but privacy campaigners fear police are spending too much time snooping.

Nick Pickles, from Big Brother Watch, said: 'Police forces have been prone to heavy-handed reactions simply because something has been posted on Twitter or Facebook when, if it happened in the street, it would be ignored. This risks seriously chilling freedom of speech.'

Arrow Up

Soaring cigarette taxes have led to boom in illegal smuggling

More than half of the cigarettes sold in New York State are smuggled in from other places to avoid the Empire State's taxes on smokes, which have soared nearly 200 percent since 2006, according to a report issued by the conservative Tax Foundation.

New York is the highest net importer of smuggled cigarettes -- illegal smokes account for 56.9 percent of the state's total market. New York's cigarettes tax is $4.35 per pack, the country's highest. The situation there isn't unique. The Tax Foundation also cites a study that found that 58.7 percent of discarded cigarettes found in five Northeastern cities lacked proper tax stamps.

Taxes on cigarettes, which are designed to discourage smoking, vary widely. States such as Missouri, North Carolina and Virginia have levies of less than a $1 per pack. These wide differences make smuggling "both a national problem and a lucrative criminal enterprise," according to the Tax Foundation.

Antismoking activists have long argued that fewer people will buy cigarettes if they're expensive. Chicago recently raised its cigarette taxes for that reason. Combined with state and local levies, the total is now $7.17 a pack.


Australia says suspected plane debris may have sunk

Satellite imagery provided to Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) of objects that may be possible debris of the missing Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 in a revised area 185 km (115 miles) to the south east of the original search area in this picture released by AMSA March 20, 2014
Two weeks after a Malaysia Airlines airliner went missing with 239 people on board, officials are bracing for the "long haul" as searches by more than two dozen countries turn up little but frustration and fresh questions.

The international team hunting Flight MH370 in the remote southern Indian Ocean yielded no results on Friday, and Australia's deputy prime minister said suspected debris there may have sunk.

Aircraft and ships have renewed the search in the Andaman Sea between India and Thailand, going over areas that have already been exhaustively swept to find some clue to unlock one of the biggest mysteries in modern aviation.

Malaysian officials have been realistic about their ability to lead the operation with a global dynamic that some have said is beyond the country's technical capabilities and expertise.