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And I Thought You Were My Friend...

By SP follow SP   2007 Oct 11, 5:08pm 19,850 views   227 comments   watch   nsfw   quote   share    

I thought you were my friend...

I noticed that every housing-related article in my rss-feeds today has a negative headline. Negative reports on housing sales, housing starts, home-builders, mortgages, and housing prices. If they aren't predicting further drops, then they are blaming slow retail sales on housing and mortgage problems. In more and more articles, the REIC are being fingered as accomplices to fraud.

Boston Globe: "The US housing bust is like a leaking ship."
Bloomberg: "Retail Sales Slowed as Housing Fell"
Valley Tribune: "Realtor faces trial in alleged scam"
NBC: "Officials Say Mortgage Fraud Is Growing Problem"
AP: "Bear Stearns Predicts Ripple Effect of Real Estate Decline"
Bakersfield Californian: "Realtor Offices Raided By FBI"
Los Angeles Times: "Home prices expected to drop"
and so on.

When they actually quote from a shill - either a realtor, or a NAR-dummy, or a home-builder - it is invariably with a counterpoint from a more credible source.

Has the MSM has finally clambered on to the bandwagon and left the REIC to fend for itself?

Should Patrick start reporting on articles that are still bullish on housing? Those are becoming harder to find!



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188   OO   ignore (0)   2007 Oct 16, 4:16pm     ↓ dislike (1)   quote   flag      


The answer may be, the Fed itself. I know I know, I start to sound like a lunatic conspiracy theory believer. But lots of the add-ons were coming from British Virgin Islands where buyers' identity could be hidden (2006 data). I highly doubt if there are so many patriotic or dumb super-riches buying these bonds.

Don't worry, I will be proven right or wrong within 2-3 years.

189   OO   ignore (0)   2007 Oct 16, 4:26pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

The 17th Commie Powwow at Bejing just declared: the government will make it easy for Chinese people to benefit from non-salary source income (aka stock and house flipping).

The Chinese government kept giving the same lip service as they vowed in public to mop up the liquidity. In fact, they won't ever want to mop up the liquidity if that is what is keeping the country going, because what the commie has left to justify the regime is economic growth alone, at whatever cost it takes to sustain. As soon as the growth stalls, China will be in big big trouble.

Just for the record, Chinese monetary growth just went up 20.94% and 18.48% for M1 and M2 respectively for July 07 compared to July 06. If anything, the PROC want this party to go on forever. Mop up my ass.

190   SP   ignore (0)   2007 Oct 16, 4:39pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

StuckInBA Says:
Indian stock index plunged as much as 9% today triggering trading halts.

What's happening with real-estate there? I have a neighbor who CANNOT shut the f*ck up about how much his apartment in Bangalore has gone up since he bought. I am wondering if he is going to pipe down anytime soon.


191   OO   ignore (0)   2007 Oct 16, 4:41pm     ↓ dislike (1)   quote   flag      

PROC=PBOC want=wants

192   DinOR   ignore (0)   2007 Oct 17, 12:15am     ↓ dislike (1)   quote   flag      


Thanks for the heads-up. That gave me quite a start. I don't understand why global hedge funds necessarily need anonymity when investing in Sensex "participatory notes"?

193   DinOR   ignore (0)   2007 Oct 17, 12:18am     ↓ dislike (1)   quote   flag      


After years of battling to contain "domestic smugness" this new strain appears to be very stubborn?

194   StuckInBA   ignore (0)   2007 Oct 17, 4:38am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

SP :

What’s happening with real-estate there?

The RE in India exploded where software centers were based. Since this was a combination of mania plus actual wage increases, the bubble is not half as bad as ours here.

There are speculators that are under water. People who have booked multiple apartments are going to lose their deposits. Indian Govt officially gives a rats ass about these and have persistently increased interest rates to break the back of RE speculation. They succeeded in doing that. But as a result INR became strong. Some sudden inflows of foreign funds resulted in BSE index gonig from 14K to 19K in a month and half - that is like 30% in 45 days. And this is a slower index like DJIA - some stocks have done double that.

Indian economy is dependent on exports, but internal growth is getting stronger and stronger. Couple that with high inflation, the RE prices are not in danger of free fall as here. So your neighbor is not going to quiet down soon. But you can tell him that he should have bought in Hyderabad instead ! People feel far more strongly about missed even more gains than realized profits ;-)

195   Duke   ignore (0)   2007 Oct 17, 4:39am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

New thread time.

Who can start one?

196   DinOR   ignore (0)   2007 Oct 17, 4:53am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

"your neighbor is not going to queit down soon"

Oh great! "Drug resistant i-m-p-o-r-t-e-d smugness". Just what we need! Could it be that traditionally, in India there hasn't been (until recently) any way to "make payments" on a house? I thought (and I could be wrong here) that consumer finance is a VERY recent development there?

197   DinOR   ignore (0)   2007 Oct 17, 4:54am     ↓ dislike (1)   quote   flag      


198   StuckInBA   ignore (0)   2007 Oct 17, 6:17am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

DinOR :

Yes and no. Home Loans were not easily available when my parents purchased theirs. Only loan they could get was from the employer, which didn't cover much of the costs. Because most of the payment was "in cash only". Completely illegal. It was no secret either. The builder would quote you 2 amounts - they used to be called black and white.

This practice has not disappeared by any means. But the larger builders, which are public corporations now - use only "white" payments. That's why they have to charge a lot more. But it helps buyer get loans. And there are many legal avenues for taking a home loan.

So my parents took loan for the "black" portion from friends, relatives etc. The going rate for such loans those days was 25%. Yes, it was that horrible. So they did "make payments" on the house. But they could not take MID on that part ;-)

199   GallopingCheetah   ignore (0)   2007 Oct 17, 7:07am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

Hey Guys,

Boring topics and convs. Anything fun and interesting?

BTW, I looked around for a nice writing desk and couldn't find any! I went to the top producers, the heirloom makers. There are a couple good ones, but they are all big (60+ inches wide). The only one that really struck my heart (and fit my room) is selling for $8000 after heavy discount. My furniture dealer gently told me that the maker furnishes palaces and embassies. The only reason that I don't shell out $8000 for the desk is that I'm going to use the same room as my amateur art studio and chances are I'll scratch and soil the desk within weeks.

It sucks. I can't find a good desk -- not the executive desks, but the 18/19-th century writing table; besides, who wants to be reminded of a boring businessman's (or taking-himself-too-seriously-running-from-here-to-there entrepreneur 's) life at home -- for under $4000. Most furniture pieces are utterly tasteless and grotesque. I can't believe people (mostly housewives) buy them.

I'm thinking of becoming a furniture designer at some point in my life.

200   HelloKitty   ignore (0)   2007 Oct 17, 7:39am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

Cheetah your furniture comment is funny. My 'desk' philosophy is opposite.
I buy a cheap $99 laminate tabletop desk w/no drawers. Then when I move or tire of it I toss in garbage.

This type of furniture is cheap and I consider it disposable. Disposable everything is nice since you dont have to worry about keeping it nice, theft,fire, etc.

201   DinOR   ignore (0)   2007 Oct 17, 7:53am     ↓ dislike (1)   quote   flag      


Thanks for filling in some of the gaps in our understanding as to the mechanics of financing there. I'd noticed after years of "cash on the barrel head" even the Philippines are offering "financing schemes" that are... pretty reasonable! I guess they are trying to get Manila to move UP (Lord knows they can't go any further OUT!)

202   HiThere   ignore (0)   2007 Oct 17, 7:55am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      


I understand where you are coming from when you mention 99 desk. There was a stage in life I did exactly what you said. Then you come to a point when you think you are more affluent and well settled in life (though it's a state of mind, you may never settle) and start looking at finer things in life like a nice house, expensive car, nice furniture etc. The order in which you procure them might be different. At one stage in life I though twice to buy a 99 dollar desk but recently I bought a desk for $4800 without thinking twice.

203   HiThere   ignore (0)   2007 Oct 17, 7:56am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

though = thought

204   DinOR   ignore (0)   2007 Oct 17, 7:56am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

Since they should have my "new" (actually refurbished historic bldg.) office finished in January I figured it wasn't too early to shop for furnishings? I was hoping for that "Mike Hammer Investigations look".

The building is actually from the late 1800's and I'm open to suggestions!

205   GallopingCheetah   ignore (0)   2007 Oct 17, 8:10am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      


We are not that different. Either the cheapest or the most equisite. Anything in between, what they call the value items, is abominable. I would put together a few cardboxes and use them as my table.

206   GallopingCheetah   ignore (0)   2007 Oct 17, 8:21am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

A beautiful house I can't afford right now. Actually, it really doesn't make any sense for a single man to live in a house, unless he can staff it with servants. If he were to have roommates, he would not be able to frolic around with his mistresses. So a beautiful condo/co-op (such as this one http://www.johnlscott.com/PropertyDetail.aspx?GroupID=53084101&ListingID=29368047) makes a lot of sense. Unfortunately, I can't afford it.

Some guys like NY-style lofts. My personal feeling is that a loft doesn't induce a sense of intimacy and hence poor as a seduction location. Any thoughts on that?

What's the ideal size of an apartment/condo for use as a place of debauchery? 700 sqft, 800 sqft, 900 sqft?

207   GallopingCheetah   ignore (0)   2007 Oct 17, 8:26am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      


It depends on your budget and personal taste. PM me.

208   GallopingCheetah   ignore (0)   2007 Oct 17, 8:54am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

Quote of the day:

I choose my friends for their good looks, my acquaintances for their good characters, and my enemies for their intellects. A man can’t be too careful in the choice of his enemies.

209   HeadSet   ignore (2)   2007 Oct 17, 9:14am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

I choose my friends for their good looks, my acquaintances for their good characters, and my enemies for their intellects. A man can’t be too careful in the choice of his enemies.

I thought enemies were the accumulation of some of the folks you compete with (especially for women), and personality conflicts.

Are you saying: "Gee, you seem like a smart fellow, I'll make you my arch-nemesis." And of course, "We'd be enemies, if you were not such a dimwit."

It also seems you are saying your friends are good looking dumbshits with bad character.

210   skibum   ignore (0)   2007 Oct 17, 9:27am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

Boy GC,
Between the furniture preferences and the house/condo choices you describe, you seem to have the sensibilities of an 80 year old woman, or at the very least someone from the 19th century. If that's your style, maybe you should consider moving to Europe, or at least NYC or Boston.

211   HeadSet   ignore (2)   2007 Oct 17, 9:39am     ↓ dislike (1)   quote   flag      

I noticed that the $1.2 million property that GC linked to was conspicuously marked as sold. Is this a realtor's back door method to show on this blog that properties are still selling?

212   GallopingCheetah   ignore (0)   2007 Oct 17, 9:47am     ↓ dislike (1)   quote   flag      

It also seems you are saying your friends are good looking dumbshits with bad character.

Men like to flip logical switches, spewing out deductions like millions of sperms. I'm afraid that too many people, too often, make the mistake taking human language as something precise.

But in any case, not a bad conclusion. I do often draw good-looking people with a criminal (or rebelious, or devious) bent, especially in my youth.

NYC and Boston are too expensive. I have to slave myself away in order to live comfortably there. I consider work abominal. C'mon, the real reason why I didn't take that Google offer was that it was insufferable for me to work 10+ hours a day in a room with half a dozen smelly computer programmers. My nature is so strong and so untainted/unbroken by this world that I simply cannot work at a regular job, regardless how well it pays. Street begging is better than working at a wall street firm.

213   GallopingCheetah   ignore (0)   2007 Oct 17, 10:04am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

After my quoting Lord Henry, some people suddenly decided to become my enemies.

214   HeadSet   ignore (2)   2007 Oct 17, 10:08am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

Men like to flip logical switches, spewing out deductions like millions of sperms.

Huh? Where men like to "spew" sperm has nothing to do with logic. Most prefer good looking dumbshit women with bad character.

215   Different Sean   ignore (0)   2007 Oct 17, 6:42pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

OO Says:
The 17th Commie Powwow at Bejing just declared: the government will make it easy for Chinese people to benefit from non-salary source income (aka stock and house flipping).

hmm, are they commie or cappie? they also said nice things about the environment, sustainability, and giving up the habit of doing all the polluting for the world combined. "i love the smell of industrialisation in the morning, it smells like profits..."

no govt has ever really been very commie in this world, they have revolutionary marxist commie rhetoric with totalitarian command economy reality...

216   DinOR   ignore (0)   2007 Oct 18, 12:51am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

"Street begging is better than working at a wall street firm"

WTF? What do you think these guys do all day? It's just panhandling (but with a sales script!) Sheesh.

Then again? Maybe I SHOULD have GC decorate my new office!

(Uh... just no "spewing" o.k?)

I.... don't think so.

217   DinOR   ignore (0)   2007 Oct 18, 1:41am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

O.K, so what exactly was it that drove a perfectly happy "work from home" guy to go the trouble and expense of signing a commercial lease and getting an "office"? I just get the sense it's killing you, right?

After the Idon'tknowhowmanieth time at the local tavern with a client and the ultra-hip, been workin' there for 3 weeks server gal comes by (after making sure all her ultra-hip friends were well attended to) she gets around to seeing if we didn't wander in there by mistake?

No sister, I assure you it was not a mistake. See... I've coming to this bar (like my father before me since....) Oh Ya' Know, just forget it! I'll get MY OWN fricken "bar". And thus it started. I don't know how many of you folks have been through the same... BS but I happen to think it's a great idea! The monthly expense (including utilities) is around $225. Park on the street.

Just get a "Headset Consulting" or "SP Engineering" decal up on the door and start having fun! Cigars, the game and a wet bar. Oh and no more sugar daddy tips for so-so service. Why!? In three weeks there will be a NEW "been there for three weeks" gal!

Whadda' ya' say?

218   HeadSet   ignore (2)   2007 Oct 18, 2:42am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      


So your getting an office had nothing to do with the wife? "I married you for better or worse, not lunch. You go find a place to work and get out of my hair!"

"HeadSet Consulting" sounds good ("con" plus "insult" equals "consult"), but I am hoping property values fall enough for me to pick up a few rental houses. That way my shingle can say "HeadSet Properties." After all, renting will be the new "black." Former FBs will espouse how clever renting is over owning, and actually quote Patrick at their trendy parties.

219   Bruce   ignore (0)   2007 Oct 18, 2:53am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      


Your historic office sounds interesting - I got a quick visual of Jake Giddis's office in Chinatown.

In SF, you'd find craftsman or mission making a certain sense, if a little stiff, but OR has me stumped. Where in conniption is SFWoman? Bet she'd have great ideas.

220   DinOR   ignore (0)   2007 Oct 18, 3:00am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

Headset Consulting,

There were a few clients that I ran out of excuses and places to meet. "So gee DinOR, when are you getting a "real" office?" I kind of got tired of the... snide remarks and people saying "I'd refer so and so to you but they're... you know, "old fashioned".

Since I'd been greatly humbled by a bear mkt. that lasted THREE times longer than historic norms I've learned to live with "smug" remarks. (Who here hasn't?) Now we even have "imported smugness".

Alas, it was the Mrs. that insisted I get an office "big enough for the two of us" when she leaves the trad. workforce in the next few years. And... actually you're right (I was thinking "big enough for a pool table) so you got me there. :(

It wasn't my intent however to imply that a) this would be TOTALLY "a guy thing" b) you can't have ANY fun w/ females present and c) that I haven't been snubbed by an equal number of male servers for not expressing interest in the 'wine list' and insisting on... whatever's on draught!

221   DinOR   ignore (0)   2007 Oct 18, 3:10am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      


Great minds must think alike!? We have quite a bit of mission furniture in storage and I'd considered rummaging through it and perhaps dusting it off. I fear, however, that the kindly gentleman who is doing the renovation has a wife that has already reserved the "cat bird" office and I find myself wondering...? Now why would she do that? Oh I get it, he does the "reno" and she does the... interior design "consulting"?

Welcome to small town Oregon! So, I can have my wife decorate it (and say good-bye to Mike and Jake) yet keep peace in the family or embrace the ideas of my LL's wife and win over a new client? WWMHD?

222   Bruce   ignore (0)   2007 Oct 18, 3:23am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

DinOr . . .

What would Mata Hari drink? Scotch, I bet.

Nice choices there, guy. Peace at home v client schmooze. Bet you figure out a way to do both. Personally, I think designers are a little scary.

We will want pictures, you know.

223   DinOR   ignore (0)   2007 Oct 18, 3:31am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      


And "straight" to be sure! I'm sure a man's man like Mike Hammer wouldn't give a rip about what some w-o-m-a-n thought of his "place of business". I however, am not Mike Hammer. (Damn)

I'd say more broadly "conultants" in general are scary. (But this builder is after all... quite successful) Hmm...?

224   Bruce   ignore (0)   2007 Oct 18, 3:43am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

I'm waiting for the thunderclap.

Someone here just said "successful builder"!!!1!!1! Heh.

225   GallopingCheetah   ignore (0)   2007 Oct 18, 6:06am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      


I have a desk for you:


226   GallopingCheetah   ignore (0)   2007 Oct 18, 6:06am     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      


I have a desk for you:


227   SP   ignore (0)   2007 Oct 18, 1:33pm     ↓ dislike (0)   quote   flag      

@DinOR said:
SP Engineering

Sounds like a plan - so what exactly would we do? Or is that not that important? I know a couple of people who followed this plan:
Step 1: Form a company, design a "cool" logo get cards and stationery
Step 2: T.B.D.
Step 3: Complete global domination

It is a great plan, but they are still stuck on step 2. :-)


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