.comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}
Visit Freedom's Zone Donate To Project Valour

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The Day After

Well, the Chief lived through Christmas. He's got a heart problem and he came down with what seems to be flu on Christmas Eve. I thought I was going to have to take him to the hospital yesterday. But he seems to be coming out of it. Hopefully this week we'll get the full results from the last of the heart diagnostics and get an idea of what can be done. I am a little wobbly personally.

But at least I'm not one of these big banks holding crappy CRE and residential mortgage portfolios. Things, I suppose, could have been worse as of Dec 20th:


But not much worse:
The Standard & Poor's/Case-Shiller year-over-year index of 10 metropolitan areas fell to 209.68 in October, a drop of 6.7 percent from a year earlier. The decline surpassed the 6.3 percent drop in April 1991.

The firm's newer, composite home price index on 20 metropolitan areas declined to 192.89 in October, down 6.1 percent from a year ago.
Now the regionals get hit. If you can afford to ignore it, I would ignore financial news until about Jan 5th or so. US news doesn't really matter that much right now for the long term. What happens in the US economy (aside from the bad stuff we already know about) will be determined by global growth.

What matters most for global growth will be what happens in Europe, and I sure hope the UK isn't giving us a preview of that:
The UK housing market has become a speculative merry-go-round. There are virtually no first time buyers in the market.

What accounts for the vast majority of home sales these days? People who own property are selling their overpriced properties to other people owning property. The market is now driven by speculators trying to squeeze out capital gains from each other, with transactions being financed by banks.

The statistics on disappearance of first time buyers are shocking:

# Average house prices are unaffordable for first time buyers in 466 out of 483 towns
# In 2007, the average first time buyer in 8 out of 12 UK regions paid stamp duty.
# The number of first time buyers is at its lowest since 1980.
That is an ugly description of the situation!


Comments:
There is a particularly nasty virus going around, that has been causing pneumonia in young people. (We had it back during the summer and I missed two days work. Fortunately, we'd both had pneumonia shots.) I really hope they can get him up and about soon.
 
Hope the best for you all.

As to the other, the Great Unwinding seems to be still unwinding.

Hopefully we will be all observers and not participants.
 
I hope it works out.

Thanks for the info, it's amazing to watch it come a part.
jo6pac
 
My thoughts and prayers are with you both, hang in there!!!
 
Thanks to you all. I hope you had a less tense holiday than I did. The Chief seems to be improving. Teri, the flu was always a killer of the young. We tend to forget that. I know the blah-blah CW is to avoid antibiotics, but in my experience using them early during flu prevents a lot of severe infections. The body is just so overcome fighting the virus that the overwhelmed immune system will allow any minor bacterial infection to suddenly explode.

As for the economy, the Great Unwinding is progressing very rapidly. Within the next few weeks, you'll see an abrupt turn in sentiment amongst the economists. It will be almost funny.
 
I have mixed emotions on antibiotics. In my case, my respiratory system tends to be compromised so early antibiotics do tend to keep bad things away.

OTOH, frequent use of antibiotics creates resistant bacteria and the lack of challenge to the immune system creates an immune system that is unable to resist as well.

There was some study done where farm kids were found to be more resistant to disease than city kids due to less intervention.


The next thing to look for is stress in the Credit Cards arena. When marginal folks cannot fund consumption via credit cards, then that will be significant as the last non wage source of funds has run out.
 
Vader, CC debt defaults have been going hockey stick since October.

The ability to securitize the CC pools is ending too.

The Great Unwinding continues, and Benazir Bhutto's assassination just threw kerosene on the fire of the declining living standards of the Muslim street.
 
The UK housing market has become a speculative merry-go-round. There are virtually no first time buyers in the market.

What accounts for the vast majority of home sales these days? People who own property are selling their overpriced properties to other people owning property. The market is now driven by speculators trying to squeeze out capital gains from each other, with transactions being financed by banks.


i.e. Flip That House, British-style.

Die.
Flipper.
Scum.
 
The next thing to look for is stress in the Credit Cards arena. When marginal folks cannot fund consumption via credit cards, then that will be significant as the last non wage source of funds has run out.

Anybody remember those VISA commercials that are everywhere, with the Busby Berkely musical number of Shiny Happy Card Swipers suddenly disrupted by the one Traitor/ThoughtCriminal who gets out a wallet and tries to pay in CASH?

Every time I see one (and they're EVERYWHERE!) I want to end with a voice-over in reverb:

"AND NO ONE COULD BUY OR SELL, EXCEPT THEY HAD THE MARK OF THE BEAST."
 
In this case, Headless, it's the Mark of the Dummy. Not quite as bad. Call it the Tat of Doom.

Still, the proposal for money-tracking to fight terrorism involves biometrics and universal ideas, and if that isn't the Mark of the Beast I don't know what would be.

(What is it with the tattoos, anyway? I saw this very attractive young woman in a grocery store this summer. She had one of these 70's redux hip-hugger pants with the tight high shirt combos on. It made her look fat, and she'd already had one child. The stretch mark on her stomach ran right through a tattoo. Sad.)
 
Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link



<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?