Monday, January 21, 2008

Bend Oregon: Real Estates New "Britney"

OK, here's a chart of 3 data points. Imagine it's the sales for 3 different stores. Which store would you rather be?

USA (yellow), Oregon (red), and Bend MSA area (blue) unemployment rates from 1990 to Now. (y-axis inverted)

Welp, it's actually the unemployment rate for Deschutes County (blue line), Oregon (red line), and the US (yellow line), going clear back to 1990, the first year all three stats are available.

A few things become obvious right away.

First, and by far the most important, is the wild cyclicality of Bend. Some of those years in the 90's swung from about 11% on the bad side, to 5.75% to the good. You see Oregon doesn't swing nearly as much as Bend. And the US as a whole does not swing nearly as wild as Oregon.

This goes to the point I made repeatedly on this blog, and way back on BEM's: Bend is extremely "high beta". When things are going poorly, or even if they are going so-so, Bend is in the shitter. Look at that initial 4 year plunge starting in 1990: From just about 4% unemployment, and then a series of lower lows & lower highs, culminating in 11.1% unemployment in Feb 1994.

Now look at the Good Times: In 2000, unemployment reached a low of 4.5% in September, before beginning a relatively brief "2 cycle" ratchet lower to 9.6% unemployment in Feb 2002. Notice also that when unemployment is relatively low, it "compresses"; the swings from high to low have less amplitude.

The beginning of the graph is more indicative of the severe drops that have been experienced by the Old Timers (aka Duncan). That 1994 swing appears to be the largest in the past 17 years, although I'll bet there were times in the 80's when the swings were wilder, and the figures got far bleaker.

The reason I ask if you could choose one, and act as if it's a store, is to bring out that point that The Severity of the swings, is probably going to be more important than the absolute levels.

This is what I find interesting about Duncan's store in particular vs Bend: He runs an almost pure fad business (at least as faddish as you'll find alive around here), but he has diversified into several fads. He's employed a "portfolio management" approach to managing his store. You can sense it in his yearly updates & store rules:

  • Carry all the classics, cult, personal interest/and/or books you like.
  • If you've ever been in my store, you know what my focus is on -- inventory, inventory, inventory.
  • But what I carry, and how much? Totally under my control, baby.

Same goes for managing a stock portfolio: Buy a little of everything, and all the little wild swings of the individual components cancel each other out. Which leads to Paul-doh's rule of running a town, a store, or a stock portfolio:

DIVERSIFY

If you do not diversify your "stock", be it shares in a company, comic books, ski resort, an entire downtown area, or what have you, they will ultimately carry you out.

That's why I was sort of surprised that Anime Mountain lasted so long: They took a "1 stock" approach to a fad business. And realize that MOST BUSINESSES ARE FAD BUSINESSES. There are exceptions like GE and Johnson & Johnson. But most successful businesses have a definitive End Date.

And you can measure the Faddishness of Bend by looking at it's wild swings in unemployment. And being fad-based is EXTREMELY EXPENSIVE. Every year, you MUST layoff Good People, suffer thru the Hard Times, and then ATTEMPT to hire back the good ones again, usually unsuccessfully. All that mind share just goes away every year, and you have to hire a new crew.

In some industries, like Hospitality & Restaurants, this is less important. They expect high turnover. But in Real Live Businesses, it's INCREDIBLY EXPENSIVE. Look at Pegasus itself: Retail isn't exactly an industry breaking down the doors with Intellectual Property, but you can already tell that Dunc is getting used to living the "Pat Lifestyle", and losing him would be hell. Although it's clear much of the hard-won experience of running Dunc's business is embodied in Duncan himself.

How do you think it'd be in other industries like accounting, software, law, and other higher level intellectual property-based businesses. In the most extreme circumstances like real estate, the people ARE THE BUSINESS. You should never, EVER buy a business like that when 100% of the intellectual property walks out the doors at 5:00.

And therein lies Bend's Biggest Liability: We are wildly high beta, which means we are wildly expensive in an area that is probably more important than just cost inflation: The most valuable asset in many businesses are forcibly blown out the hatch each year, and we then start ALL OVER the next Summer, all training & knowledge-based experience, LOST.

But WAIT. Look at the graph! We're having some sort of Bend Renaissance! Our unemployment actually went BELOW the national average for the first time EVER, in recent history! That's gotta count for something, right?

Maybe. Maybe it would had we followed Paul-doh's single rule for running a store, town or stock portfolio. What's that rule again? Oh right:

DIVERSIFY, DAMMIT!

Unfortunately, we did not follow this rule, and we in fact did the opposite: We doubled down on our winner with each and every bonanza. And we did it to hella good effect, too. Bend probably actually is a far more vibrant town that it would otherwise be, had we plowed money back into industries with lower interim returns than RE. So our doubled-own mentality has worked.

Until now. We made a bargain with the Devil that we'd give our souls to be the bleeding edge, top of the heap town for 3 years, and now it's time to pay. Check the graph: Our "high" on this recent cycle was lower. We will make a new low next month, we always do. And December is already lower, so the cycle of lower highs & lower lows has begun. The devil wants his money, NOW.

Poor Bend, we are not only stricken with vicious yearly cycles, but "long-wave" cycles; waves within waves. Just draw a line thru the middle of our yearly cycles. You can see that the 90's were a giant bowl shaped cycle. The swings get hella wild (ie EXPENSIVE) on the lows, and when things turn up as they have in the past 6 years, the swings become tempered, and we approach, dare I say it, normalcy. There's a feeling of an Economic Renaissance, where the vicious cyclicality of the past is banished forever, and Bend becomes a Real Town, not a giant T-shirt shop.

A town where people's intellectual capital survives The Yearly Cycle. A town where workers are valuable ALL YEAR, not just when it's warm. A town where half the businesses owners DO NOT consider closing up shop. A town where you can actually pay your bills in January. A town where half the Winter income is not paid in Bachelor barter exchange.

Then apply this yearly swing, to the longer waves. There is a periodic purge of Bend on longer time scales, where entire industries are blown away. Timber first. Now we have a behemoth RE industry, built on the premise of DOUBLING DOWN NEVER LOSES. Unfortunately, this is wrong. Doubling down ALWAYS loses, it's just a matter of when. Well, it's now.

I think some people think we'll do a short cycle down, and pop right back up the New Highs. Well, maybe if we'd had Duncan running the show -- maybe. But we are The New Britney. Or should I say, we are the older, dumpier, lip-synching, snatch-flashing, coked-up Britney.

We are past our prime, unfortunately. The Old Britney, dead-smokin hot in a Catholic schoolgirl out fit, just isn't coming back.

We're on The Long Wave down, I'm afraid. Lower yearly lows, and lower highs. Wasted human capital, a condition that just gets more severe every year.

And not to rub salt in the wounds of the True Believers, but do you recall Paul-doh saying that the imploding RE market would infect every corner of our economy to a degree not seen in modern history? And I don't want to remind everyone that I don't think it'll stop at a mild recession, then we're on to bigger & better things. I think that the US itself will be supplanted as The World Superpower. Time to learn Chinese...

Look at the frantic Fear In Their Eyes:

  • George Bush reschedules an economic press conference forward 10 days, because it CANNOT WAIT 10 DAYS.
  • Citigroup (and others) goes begging in the Middle East for capital TO KEEP THE DOORS OPEN.
  • Not just banks, but ALL financially leveraged companies are imploding towards bankruptcy.
  • Stock market plummeting

Look at this chart of MBIA, bond insurer extraordinaire:


From $70/sh to damn near $7 in 3 months. These guys are in the perilous business of paying off debts when others default. I won't bore you with another CACB chart showing a 67% loss in the past year.

So what's the Bad News? Well, we've started a Long Wave down in Bend, which is simply lower lows & lower highs. And I say again: There is NO INDUSTRY IN BEND immune from it's deleterious effects. A rising tide carries all boats, but a falling tide grounds them all too. Mark my words, we'll see 12% unemployment one of these next 5 Winters. We doubled down, and now they'll carry us out.

The Good News? Bend's yearly cyclicality ends in February, mercifully. Things are about to do their yearly upturn.

But we WILL NOT hit the recent peaks again. FOR YEARS. If you are having troubles now, you ain't seen nut'n yet. If you own a business with a lease coming up for renewal, and you're doing some major 401K-to-payroll transfers, you'd better think hard about whether you want to squander your retirement on a Dream. Look at the Unemployment Chart ONE MORE TIME. It's gets DAMN BAD HERE WHEN IT GETS BAD.

Can you survive, is the question. I know a LOT of people who watched the money pile up over the past 3-4 years, and have a decent slug in the bank, and are plenty comfortable waiting out this "temporary slowdown", having enough to easily make it 2-3 years. But what about a long, protracted Depression, lasting WELL OVER 10 years?

This is Bend's specialty: Running your 401K down to NOTHING, while you wait for the Sun to Come Out Tomorrow. If you want Real Advice, FUCK THIS BLOG, go talk to someone who hasn't just survived 1 or 2 LONG WAVE tsunami's, but damn near all of them.

In response to Buster, Duncan say:

My dear boy,

This is nothing. If you had walked up to me on the sidewalk in 1992 and blown in my face I would've fallen over.

15 years ago, I was operating with no assets, huge debt, and sales dropping in half. Half, I tell you! It was a near business death experience, which it seemed I fought my way back from one inch at a time.

Not to mention the wasteland that was downtown Bend from 1982 - 1987.

Or the second time sales dropped in half from 1995-1997.

No. This is like having been on the Russian front for a few years, and coming back to the National Guard for storm duty.

I'm only worried that I won't make the profits I was hoping for. Profits that would make me feel much more secure about my next lease negotiation.

January 18, 2008 8:48:00 PM PST

BUSINESS TURNS DOWN IN BEND. Always has, always will. Try to divorce from your mind that BendBust or I are trying to Scare You Outta Bend. Is Duncan trying to? I'm not trying to scare anyone, but I'm trying to ask people to reassess their own financial situation: Can you & your business (and by extension, your job) survive an Extended Long wave DOWN?

Assess whether you will take the tsunami head on (RE, development, mortgage, etc), or get pounded by the far less severe secondary waves (upscale restaurants & "boutiques"), or the far less damaging tertiary waves (basic necessity providers, medical, and must-have business supplies).

Here's my advice:

If you are in the Tsunami Head On group, Get Out. Or you will end up like the people who thought they could "beat" St Helens exploding and hunkered down. You can't "beat" this thing. It is an overwhelming force. It will carry you out, no matter your resources. It will scour the ground clean, and your corpse will simply be floating in the ocean in a year or two. Get Out Now.

If you are in the second group, look at your personal finances. How many years (months?) can you survive at a permanently lower level of sales, with constant or possibly HIGHER expenses? How bad do you REALLY want to dissipate your savings to wait for a Long Wave top that may be 15 years away?

The third group should simply hunker down. Some will not feel much of a beating, medical being the biggie. Entertainment is another. But they WILL feel something. EVERYTHING will. This thing is country wide. It's just going to be extraordinarily severe here.

DIVERSIFY

Deep? You're Dead.

Bend Medical Center? You'll live.

Downtown Art Gallery? Dead.

Dandy's Drive In? Alive.

Sisters? Dead.

Regal Cinema? Alive.

Half the retail at The Old Mill? Dead.

Overly targeted faddish bullshit retail? Dead, bigtime.

Pegasus? Bruised, but alive.

Downtown Redmond? Dead.

Grocery Stores? Alive.

Upscale Shoe Stores? All dead.

Normal people shoe stores? Alive.

You can survive, but you'd better realize that NOW is the time to HUNKER DOWN. Eternal Optimism will leave you DEAD ON THE SLOPES OF EVEREST. Even if you are hunkering down, The Largest Threat to your survival is the Delusional Perceptions Of Your Landlord. Some are pricing downtown like it's The Ginza in downtown Tokyo. Of course, most will DIE ON THE SLOPES OF EVEREST by doing this. In the process they'll simply kill half of downtown.

We're in the long wave down folks. We're the New Britney. How many Britney albums would you buy if they cut the price in half? That's just a weird question, as it assumes dropping price will have some ability to put Britney back on top. It won't. She is over, and you could give away her shit, and there'd be few who'd ever expend the money to drive to the store to pick it up for free. Here's how BEM put it:

With the number of houses on the market today, sales of 74 houses in December means that BUYERS ARE WISE that you'd have to be a fool to pay anywhere NEAR asking price for ANY home in Bend. 74 houses sold out of 1500+ offered means that very, very few people are saying "let's just buy this place. Sure it's a bit more expensive than we'd like, but we love it."

Realtors like to describe this situation as "buyers on the sidelines" or "vultures circling." That's actually optimistic, I think. I think that there's no one on the sidelines and no vultures anywhere near. I think if you lopped 50% off of the price of all real estate in Bend, it would still take MONTHS to sell. People (including lenders) have caught on to the notion that we're in the early stages of a MULTI-YEAR downturn.


This exactly our situation. Cut price 50%, and almost nothing would happen. And I've put it out there, that due to The Cult of Bend, and the Kool-Aid factor that No One Will Lower Their Price. This is only half the picture.

There is the even worse circumstance of MANY in Bend who CANNOT lower their price. They do not have the assets to cover a short sale, and going BK means 10 years of FICO bad luck. F'd if they do, and F'd if they don't. I believe I've heard this mantra before. Who was it? Oh right, Buster:

Bend is FUCKED

I know, it's easy to dismiss this as the ravings of a lunatic. Maybe that's because that's sort of what it is. But that don't mean it's wrong. He's dead right. Dammit. There is no better way to summarize the plight of this town. Half WILL NOT do what has to be done to jumpstart our economic engine. The other half CANNOT do it. Hence, we're headed for the WORST OF ALL WORLDS: Stagflation. The stagflation the US will suffer will PALE in comparison to what will happen to Bend.

Our city coffers are damn near bare. We are FIRING COPS because we wanted homes, and to hell with REALISTIC SDC charges. We can't patch the potholes. Our vast unfinished developments are damn near 100% VACANT. We are on the hook for millions in improvements, mainly in the JR area. Jump starting that are will take a MINIMUM $200 MILLION. We ain't got $2 million. "Bend is fucked", is dead right.

We're the New Britney. We're Flint, MI. Marking down price won't do shit. We're headed for the tsunami hit. Not lasting for a year or two. Decades. Your ENTIRE ADULT LIFE. It's time to REALLY REASSESS if you are willing to sacrifice IT ALL to stay here, because you will have to.

Ask yourself: Where are you in the path of the tsunami? If it'll hit you head on, are you going to uproot everything, move on, and survive, or will you take the hit, and watch EVERYTHING get stripped away?



What does a bursted has-been bubble look like 10 years hence? Well, kinda like this.


257 comments:

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IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

Anyone notice the DISTINCT LACK OF COVERAGE by Bend media of the Year-End RE scene? Typically there would be 4-5 early Jan pieces GLOWING about how wonderful our market is.

So far this year? Nada.

Q: Bend media approach to THE biggest & most catastrophic bad news to ever hit Central Oregon?

A: Head FIRMLY in the sand.

Good job.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

On Friday, there was a piece on Decembers unexpectedly sharp rise in unemployment in Deschutes County. You'd expect they'd post December unemployment figures, right?

WRONG.

They do post the COMBINED unemployment of Crook, Deschutes, and Jeff counties.

"Well, sure it's high. It's got those God-awful wanna be counties full of hick rednecks."

They also post the YEARLY unemployment for 2007 as a whole, 5%.

"Well, 5% is actually one of the best full-year rates ever, Honey! Things are still good!"

Uh huh. Don't hurt yourself bobbing for Kool-Aid apples.

December's unemployment for Bend was 6.1%, folks. Versus 4.5% for the previous December, or a 36% INCREASE IN UNEMPLOYMENT IN DESCHUTES COUNTY.

The Bulletin wants you to read that thru a thick schmear of Vaseline on the lense. Give our unemployment figures The Elizabeth Taylor treatment.

It's ugly. And it's going to get FAR WORSE. We bottom in Feb, always have always will.

timothy said...

And let's not forget that our rate of population growth fell by half (numbers tracked summer-to-summer).

People are crazy if they think all the trends keep going. Every steep slope will end some time.

Duncan McGeary said...

IHTBYB

Has posted a kind of scary post. He quotes me as if I know what I'm doing.

But, one thing I will point out that's salient. I always take the biggest selling product profits and reinvest it in longer term projects.

And Bend didn't do that, really. They doubled down on what was working, which just made the bubble bigger. The trick is to not follow the bubble to the top, but start reinforcing the less sexy selling stuff...

Besides, I kind of like the chubby Britney....

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

Has posted a kind of scary post. He quotes me as if I know what I'm doing.

PAUL-DOH KNOWS ALL & SEES ALL!

TREMBLE BEFORE HIS OMNISCIENCE!

Besides, I kind of like the chubby Britney....

Hey, me too. But I REALLY like Catholic School Britney. Cialis overdose:

"If you experience an erection lasting more than 4 hours... PRAISE JESUS, AND GO GET IT AGAIN!"

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

An awesome piece on the spreading, global financial contagion:

The next banking crisis on the way

Write-downs for high-risk, high-yield corporate debt, known as 'junk,' could dwarf losses in the mortgage mess. And that's when this financial crisis will finally hit bottom.

By Jim Jubak

Is this the quarter when banks finally admit all of their problems?

On Jan. 15, Citigroup (C, news, msgs) announced it would take an $18.1 billion write-down on its portfolio of subprime mortgages and other risky debt, and the bank cut its dividend 41%.

With other banks following suit -- Merrill Lynch (MER, news, msgs) reported $16 billion in write-downs and other charges two days later, and Wells Fargo (WFC, news, msgs) delivered similarly huge losses -- will they throw everything, including the kitchen sink, into their losses? That kind of quarter always marks the bottom in a crisis like this.

Nah. The banks and other financials have more losses from the subprime-mortgage mess on their books that they haven't yet confessed. Worse, the mortgage debacle has spread to other types of debt, with banks and other financial companies reporting mounting losses in their credit card and auto loan portfolios. And worst of all, the next big leg of the crisis -- the one I think will mark the true bottom -- has just started.

As the economy slows, the default rate is rising for corporate debt, especially for the high-risk, high-yield corporate debt called "junk" by many of us. That's opening a Pandora's box of potential write-downs that could dwarf the losses in the mortgage market.

* Talk back: Do you think we've seen the worst for financial stocks?

If that's true, it would push off the kitchen-sink bottom until the second or third quarter of 2008, depending on how bad the economy gets and how long it stays in the dumps. (See my Dec. 28 column, "Don't count on a 'normal' recession.")

A brief history of bubbles
It's not surprising that it will take so long to work through this mess, if you remember how it all began. The current crisis is yet another in a string of financial bubbles -- the tech bubble that burst in 2000, the housing bubble that burst in 2007 and the debt-market bubble that's bursting now. Behind each bubble stands a global flood of cheap money created by:

* Central banks running their printing presses to fend off economic slowdowns or financial-market crashes.

* A weak yen that let traders and speculators borrow for almost nothing in Japan in order to buy stocks and bonds in other markets.

* A huge surge of exports from countries such as China determined to hold down domestic consumption.

* Soaring oil prices that gave oil producers billions of dollars to invest somewhere.

All of those dollars chased a limited supply of real assets and traditional stocks and bonds, bringing down returns just as a falling dollar and signs of inflation lowered real returns more.
Everyone wanted something as safe as U.S. Treasurys that paid more than Treasurys.

Everyone wants to believe in magic

Wall Street obliged by packaging and then slicing debt backed by mortgages, so that even the riskiest mortgages could earn a safe AA or AAA rating from Standard & Poor's, Moody's (MCO, news, msgs) or Fitch. It performed the same magic with credit card debt, with auto loans and finally with corporate debt -- even the riskiest kind, called high-yield because it pays out a higher dividend to compensate for its higher risk. It's known as junk because in hard economic times it can become worthless. (See my Aug. 10 column, "How Wall Street got into this mess.")

Everyone wanted to believe that Wall Street's magic worked. Investors from Citigroup to the Hillsborough County Public Schools in Florida (exposure: $573 million) bought in. The more investors who bought in, the more of these new products Wall Street could sell and the more money it was willing to lend to home builders, home mortgage lenders and credit card companies; to the savings and loans and banks that created the raw materials (mortgages, credit card debt, auto loans) that Wall Street needed to manufacture its products; and to the hedge funds and structured investment vehicles that bought what Wall Street produced.

It worked out just fine until reality stuck a pin in the bubble. It turns out that you can't lend more and more money to less- and less-qualified home buyers without driving up the number of borrowers who pay late or can't pay at all.

On Jan. 9, Countrywide Financial (CFC, news, msgs) reported that the foreclosure rate on its 9 million mortgages had climbed to 1.44% in December, double the 0.7% rate of December 2006. The delinquency rate had climbed to 7.2% of unpaid balances, up from 4.6% in December 2006. The rates were the highest ever for Countrywide, which entered the mortgage business in 2002.

Within a week, as bankruptcy rumors swirled around Countrywide, Bank of America (BAC, news, msgs) agreed to acquire the company for $4 billion.
Damage goes beyond mortgages
But the cause of this mess stretched far beyond any problems specific to the mortgage sector, so the damage wasn't limited to that part of the debt markets. On Jan. 10, for example, American Express (AXP, news, msgs) announced that credit card debt at least 30 days past due had climbed to 3.2% of its portfolio from 2.9% in the third quarter, and write-offs of bad debt had climbed to 4.3% from 3.7% in the same period. In 2008, American Express expects write-offs to average 5.1% to 5.3%.

How about auto loans? On Jan. 15, Sovereign Banc (SOV, news, msgs) said it would take $1.6 billion in charges for the fourth quarter of 2007, including a $600 million write-down on consumer and auto loans. The company had aggressively expanded its auto loan business in Arizona, California, Florida, Georgia and Nevada in 2006 and 2007 -- just in time to get hit by the cooling of the hot real-estate market in those states. The company has pulled out of the auto loan market in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Nevada, North Carolina, South Carolina and Utah because of rising default levels.

But it's the emerging problems in the corporate-junk-bond market that really worry me. The sector and the problems are big enough to produce another big setback for financial companies and the economy as a whole.

The real concern: Credit-default swaps

Actually, I'm worried not so much about the junk-bond market itself as the huge market for a derivative called a credit-default swap, or CDS, built on top of that junk-bond market. Credit-default swaps are a kind of insurance against default, arranged between two parties. One party, the seller, agrees to pay the face value of the policy in case of a default by a specific company. The buyer pays a premium, a fee, to the seller for that protection.

This has grown to be a huge market: The total value of all CDS contracts is something like $450 trillion. Because buyers and sellers of insurance usually create multiple "policies" as they attempt to control risk, that number includes a lot of duplication. Real exposure, says the Bank for International Settlements, may be only 20% of that, or $90 trillion. Some studies have put the real credit risk at just 6% of the total, or about $27 trillion. That puts the CDS market at somewhere between two and six times the size of the U.S. economy.

The CDS market has been a good place to make money in the past few years because default rates in the junk-bond market have been historically low. The default rate for all junk bonds declined to 1.7% in 2006. That's the lowest rate since 1996. With defaults that low, sellers were paid insurance premiums but didn't have to cough up much in return.

But that default rate started to rise in 2007, climbing to 2.6%. And Standard & Poor's projects the rate will climb to 3.4% by October. At that rate, 56 bonds would go into default in 2008, compared with 14 in 2007.

That level of default isn't likely to inflict too much damage on the CDS market. The historical rate for defaults by corporate junk bonds has averaged 5% a year since 1980. But the default rate has run as high as 12.7% in previous recessions.
Will investors walk or run for the exits?
The junk-bond market isn't in a panic yet, but the fear is climbing. The spread between the yield on the safe U.S. Treasury bonds and comparably risky high-yield bonds climbed by 0.81 percentage point in the few trading days up to Jan. 9. That's the biggest increase in the spread in the first days of January ever measured.

I'd say that junk-bond investors, taking a clue from the 30%-to-50% losses suffered in the subprime-mortgage market by investors who held on too long, are moving toward the exits with all due speed. They also know that in the CDS market it's very hard to tell who is ultimately holding the long or short end of any deal. And it's even harder to judge the financial strength of the ultimate holder of any individual insurance contract. If the mortgage crisis is a guide, some of that insurance may turn out to be worthless because it's held by an investor without the ability to pay.

Whether that exit continues at a purposeful walk or turns into panicked flight largely depends on the speed with which the economy slows and on the duration of any slowdown. Wall Street continues to talk as if all we're facing is a two-quarter downturn, although perhaps of some severity, but the early money is starting to behave as though things are likely to be worse than that.

On Wall Street, fears have a nasty tendency of becoming self-fulfilling prophecies.

All it takes is enough investors behaving as if the short-term, asset-backed commercial-paper market is risky for that market to freeze into immobility, which leaves companies with less-than-sterling credit ratings without a source of short-term working capital.

All it will take in the CDS market is enough buyers and sellers deciding they can't rely on this insurance anymore for junk-bond prices to tumble and for companies to find it very expensive or impossible to raise money in this market.

And that would be enough to make any economic downturn both longer and deeper than stock prices yet reflect.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

And I love The Crue as much as anyone, but can you imagine someone making a serious music career looking like Vince Neil, or the dudes from Whitesnake?

Busted fads always just look ridiculous.

And Bend is a busted fad.

Anonymous said...

Good post homer.

Yes, I wouldn't want to be in retail in bend in this cycle.


For me the highlight of the week was a monday night conversation I had with a 'builder' at Dechutes. He was happy as a clam, he was getting a full frame for $1/sq-ft. Now let's put this in perspective, he was doing a 3,000 sqft house, and last year this time the framing was costing $15k, $5/sq-ft, a few months ago people were taking $2/sq-ft, he told ME ALL the bids this month came below $2/sq-ft, and he took one for $1/sq-ft. I simply said "How do the framers make any money", he said "They have to work".

There you have it, people go through motions, and continue to build, its costing next to nothing for labor or materials.

I find this fascinating, the most fascinating thing this week of what's really going on in this town. Today.

Anonymous said...

Has posted a kind of scary post. He quotes me as if I know what I'm doing.

But, one thing I will point out that's salient. I always take the biggest selling product profits and reinvest it in longer term projects. - duncan


*


It's good time to time, for Ned & Homer to come clean.

I think complete honesty is the way to get the picture of Bend.

What can the BULL or SORE really do? They can't tell Bend its fucked like I do, or Homer says I say. It's not crazy to call things as they are. The BULL & SORE sell the future, advertising is an investment in the future. How much $$$ does Ned ( duncan ) waste on advertising right now ?? I'll bet you nuttin, and why?? Cuz, its a waste.

If the BULL & SORE were to come clean, they would basically shoot themselves in the head. I predicted a year ago to date that the BULL would have layoffs by xmas-07, we haven't heard a confirm, in fact as homer says, we haven't heard anything.

About two weeks ago the SORE took to deleting almost all comments on there posts, most telling was the subject of how low will it go, I posted my normal -50% from the 2006 high, and why, and they quickly deleted, and note there was NO potty talk. Ever since xmas the SORE has been deleting everything that's not positive.

Thus its full circle back to us, if you want to know the truth, then this is the forum. I also note lately that BENDBB is deleting less than he used, he seems to be letting more negative news hit his site.

I don't relish human suffering, but the first step to get past this bullshit, is to admit we're waste deep in shit.

Anonymous said...

So what's happening Bend right now?

Here's what I'm seeing.

Rents are collapsing, we're going to see me old average from the 80's soon, $750/mo for a house will be typical, if you want to rent the house.

Wages will collapse to sub-min wage, when a framer takes $3k to do a job that he was getting $15k a year ago for and paying $25/hr, that means now its $5/hr, which is below min-wage, but like duncan when your paying yourself or family, the law doesn't count. An under the table sub-con right now is damn glad to get $5/hr, its better than living in Baker-City for $8/hr.

Building materials will drop to below cost. So there you have it, blue-collar wages falling below MIN, and materials dropping below cost. Like RE, everyone now just wants to un-load their inventory.

I don't even hear anyone anymore talk about when its over, now its just survive month-to-month.

On the other hand food is up 2X, FUEL IS UP 2X, ... insurance is UP, for auto & homes, all my INSUR for my rentals has gone from $250/yr, to $500/yr, during this year. ...

Things that are in Bend, materials and labor have no value, imports cost a fortune. HOMER do you realize I have just defined a third-world country??

Bend is now a third-world nation, an isolated Island dependent upon tourism, and they're no long coming. The natives are starving, and will work for nothing, and they'll trade what they have ( inventory ) for nothing. Anything off Island costs a fortune.

How low will it go? The SORE asked that question to weeks, but deleted everything that got posted in response. We're already there now.

Real Estate is of course in paralysis. For all intention, we are Japan, its just going to be a slow drop for a long time.

Anonymous said...

On Jan. 9, Countrywide Financial (CFC, news, msgs) reported that the foreclosure rate on its 9 million mortgages had climbed to 1.44% in December, double the 0.7% rate of December 2006.

Within a week, as bankruptcy rumors swirled around Countrywide, Bank of America (BAC, news, msgs) agreed to acquire the company for $4 billion.

*

It's not going to happen, the deal is dead, after the BA accepted the deal, the big-wigs at CW gave themselves all bonuses. That really pissed off BA.
CW is insolvent, its going down, and nobody is going to save it.

Anonymous said...

So what's the solution? The best way to protect your portfolio, retirement nest egg and your family's assets? Let's review the 2008 forecasts from one of America's leading economists, Gary Shilling, Forbes columnist and editor of "Insight," a financial newsletter. Shilling is a contrarian who's been telling it like it is for 45 years. Back in 2004, Shilling predicted: that "subprime loans are probably the greatest financial problem facing the nation in the years ahead." Greenspan, Bernanke, Paulson and Wall Street's greedy, delusional CEOs totally missed that warning until it exploded in their faces last summer.

Every January, Shilling forecasts the upcoming year's major themes. In his latest newsletter he focuses on thirteen recommendations for stock investors facing a long bear/recession. The first five are directly linked to the subprime mortgage meltdown:

* Sell short home builder stocks and bonds.
* If you plan to sell your home, second home or investment houses anytime soon, do so yesterday.
* Sell short subprime mortgages.
* Sell short housing-related stocks.
* Sell short consumer discretionary spending companies."

Like I said, you'll hear the word "sell" a lot. You'll hate it, get angry, and dismiss his advice. Why? Optimists can't handle conflicting data. Remember, as Thaler warns, if you "do something repeatedly stupid there are many professionals happy to take your money." Consider the $8 trillion in losses between 2000 and 2002.

The next five recommendations focus on the out-of-control speculation triggered by years of easy money. "Oceans of liquidity are evaporating into small puddles and the zeal for high yield is being replaced by worries over solvency," Shilling says.

"Leaping volatility in many markets is telling investors, painfully, just how far out the risk spectrum they had climbed. So the de-leveraging of the many areas of intense speculation beyond housing is at hand."

His next five strategies counterattack this rampant speculation:

* Sell low-grade fixed-income securities." Junk is junk, so dump!
* Sell or avoid most commercial real estate." During the 1974-1979 recession, I was at Morgan Stanley helping REITs, banks and developers work out huge problem portfolios. Today smells worse.
* Short commodities: Long run, we're bullish," Shilling says. But short run "as global demand falters with a global recession, commodity prices will fall."
* Sell short emerging market equities." If you think foreign stocks will do better than domestic, think again. "Major stock markets tend to move together, particularly on the downside." Plus, China's P/E ratios exceed 50.
* Sell emerging country bonds.

Also, don't count on Fed cuts rescuing Wall Street. They'll ease the collapse for a few minutes, and then reality sets in again. The recession must run its course. So here are Shilling's final three strategies as he looks deep into America's soul at the rough days ahead:

* Sell short U.S. stocks in general.
* Buy long Treasury bonds." They will "rally as the recession unfolds."
* Buy the dollar before long," Shilling says. "The buck has been weak recently because the U.S. is the first major economy to slip into recession, the Fed is the first central bank to cut rates, and the U.S. housing bubble is the first to break, all of which make America a relatively unattractive place for investment. ... The recession that we believe is now starting in the U.S. will spread globally in about six months as U.S. imports weaken and the global credit crunch curbs financial activity worldwide. Then the dollar will probably rally as it plays its usual role as a safe haven. Since markets anticipate events, the turn in the buck could be close at hand."

Bend Economy Man said...

Bend is now a third-world nation, an isolated Island dependent upon tourism, and they're no long coming. The natives are starving, and will work for nothing, and they'll trade what they have ( inventory ) for nothing. Anything off Island costs a fortune.

Well a lot of people here with low post-boom incomes certainly have garages full of expensive, quick-depreciating items like cars, boats, kayaks, mountain bikes, climbing equipment, snowboards and snowmobiles. Can probably get some good deals in Bend on that stuff right about now.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

Another good Bulletin piece on Friday, is just par for the course:

A Healthy Start in tough times

In its first 90 days of High Desert Banks inaugural debut, it's blown $500K of it's initial investors $8MM.

But wait, there's good news! It's "logged $15.8MM in closed loans and collected $4.7 million worth of deposits. Both figures, he said, are about 50% higher than initial projections...."

2 things:

How do they loan more than they have in deposits? Oh right, financial voodoo with "brokered deposits".

And 2, you can come in WILDLY above ANY projected deposit amount (by paying exorbinant rates), or get TRILLIONS in closed loans (BY GIVING AWAY THE MONEY).

Another bought & paid for PR piece by The Bulletin that is whitewashing the economic meltdown that is Bend.

Anonymous said...

Can probably get some good deals in Bend on that stuff right about now. - bem

*

I saw a good ebay quote the day after xmas.


"Over 1 Million Xmas items were put on ebay the day after xmas."

You can sell old dirt-bikes on ebay, or perhaps a kayak on craigs, but this is just beer money. Its not going to pay the rent.


It's getting harder&harder to sell stuff.

Anonymous said...

OK, Homer, tell people what you mean by 'diversify'.

For people that have doubled down their bets on Bend RE for the past five years, its sort of hard to diversify in a market where there are no sales taking place?

Is there another form of 'diversification' that I'm not aware of??

The thing to do with 'liquid assets' was posted earlier, good advice on how to survive the crash.

Today's post advocates 'diversification', but sadly, I think most people in Bend have all their egg's in the Bend RE, after all they were going to get 30%/yr forever.

Bend is/was exceptional, it only goes up, RE has never gone down, ... You can't lose money on Bend RE.

Anonymous said...

Below is a good reprint of the same-old lately press release. Bend is a secret that nobody knows about. City of Bend written all over it. This is the cheapest kind of PR&Marketing you can get, how do you spell desperate??

***

Holidays: Things to see and places to go
Andrew Stratton
20 January 2008 (c) American Chronicle

By Andrew Stratton
January 20, 2008
Choosing a place to go for holidays is much more difficult now in one sense, but more simple in another. Picking a place to travel for the holidays is more difficult, simply because available transportation allows travel many more places in the world than were previously available to the average traveler. At the same time, even though the multitude of choices make settling on a holiday site difficult, once the choice is made, getting to the location is much simpler than ever before.

If you are looking for someplace different to go and something different to do, you can start by thinking about what things you have always thought you would like to try but never managed to find the time and use that list as a basis for holidays ideas that you can do. Why not sit down with a paper and pencil and dream a little bit about what your goals are for the future. Then find a ways to incorporate those goals into your holiday plans. For example, if you want to learn to ski or swim or scuba dive those are rather easily included in a plan for a vacation by going to a ski resort or a beach resort respectively.

But what if you can't afford the expensive resort. In the wintertime, try a vacation package at one of the lesser known ski resorts. You don't have to travel to Vail or Telluride in order to enjoy fresh powder and evening activities. Mt Bachelor near Bend, Oregon with 71 trails is one example. Mad River Glen resort in Vermont is another well-kept secret amongst skiers.

Summertime holidays can incorporate a trip to a beach resort where snorkeling or scuba lessons are available or you can use the same monies to take a class at a local YMCA or community college that will help you learn how to do the same thing. Often classes include day trips to help you gain your proficiency certificate in diving.



How about some other educational opportunities? Check out summer classes that are offered locally in other subjects. You may enjoy photography, weaving or art. Perhaps your taste lies in cooking or sculpture. Maybe you just want to know how to get the best use of your spreadsheet program or learn to play a musical instrument. Why not plan a holiday that will give you enjoyment and growth year around?

If you have your heart set on a vacation at a well-known resort, try to take your holidays during the off season. Not only will the prices likely be lower, you will be less plagued by crowded attractions. Of course you may have other restrictions on your time so that you can't travel during certain periods.

Another way to get to travel to unusual vacation sites is to volunteer to help out with a building program or other project. Many worthy nonprofit organizations have locations in various sites and desperately need volunteers to help out with aspects of their programs.



Andrew Stratton, a staff member of Search Influence firm located at New Orleans in Lousiana, United States of America, writes web content, articles, news articles, blogs for various topics including electronics, health, finance, fitness, pharmacy, seo, sem, advertising, computers and etc...

Company Profile:

Search Influence LLC
Andrews Stratton
Web Content Writer
New Orleans
Lousiana
United States of America

Anonymous said...

In its first 90 days of High Desert Banks inaugural debut, it's blown $500K of it's initial investors $8MM

*

Excuse me Homer, but when they or you say 'blow' are we talking a loss? Isn't the correct word, they have 'invested' $500k?? To have blown it means its gone, or perhaps they spent it on good-will, aka wine, women, and song. ( What city of Bend, calls PR&Marketing )

I'll say one thing, if you 'blow' enough money, then you could get $5M in deposits, not a bad return, 10X. Spend $500k, and get $5M back.

Let's just hope now they don't 'blow' the next $13M ( $8M + $5M ). Over at Country Wide, when someone blows money, others call it a golden parachute or a bonus. The things that banks do, perhaps when they say 'blown', maybe what they mean is they spent $500k on cocaine, to get that $5M in deposits. Bend is about Cali's, and they will not come, unless you throw a party as good as where they came from.

timothy said...

>>Building materials will drop to below cost. So there you have it, blue-collar wages falling below MIN, and materials dropping below cost. Like RE, everyone now just wants to un-load their inventory.

I had an argument with my neighbor last year. He said the prices wouldn't come down below costs. I said, hey man, supply and demand. Doesn't matter what the thing cost if no one wants it.

Retailers blow out old shit no one wants for less than cost because they know it'll sit there forever if they don't. They have to make space for stuff people want today.

No different with houses. If you want to sell it and no one will buy it for more than $250k, it doesn't matter that it costs $280k to build or that you paid $400k for it.

Also, costs come down when people don't want stuff. Timber, metal, whatever. (Unless the Chinese are buying it up, of course. But we'll see what happens to China's boom during our recession.)

timothy said...

>>Bend is now a third-world nation, an isolated Island dependent upon tourism, and they're no long coming. The natives are starving, and will work for nothing, and they'll trade what they have ( inventory ) for nothing. Anything off Island costs a fortune.

Time to pitch "Survivor: Bend" to the networks.

timothy said...

And now, the rents.

http://money.cnn.com/2008/01/16/real_estate/rents_flat/index.htm?postversion=2008011710

More fallout from the current housing slump - the cost of renting a home stagnated in 2007, according to an exclusive report for CNNMoney.

Anonymous said...

Just an observation but even before the bubble I couldnt fathom
why people would risk their investment building huge square footage in Central Oregon. It seems like a hard re-sale even in
the best of times. There are still
lots & acreage where other folks with deep pockets would rather build their own "dream homes". I
figure even if they can afford to stay but had wanted to move they are really stuck. I moved here in
71 .

Anonymous said...

(Unless the Chinese are buying it up, of course. But we'll see what happens to China's boom during our recession.) - timmy

*

Agreed, read the above report, China has a MIN P/E now of 50. There is a feeling now the the US was the first to catch the implosion-flu. The chinese will be looking for 'safe' investments very soon. If there is anyone hoping that China will 'save' Bend, they're going to be disappointed.

Anonymous said...

I had an argument with my neighbor last year. He said the prices wouldn't come down below costs.

*

It's fairly obvious, if your sitting on 10,000 2by4's rotting in the sun. Building has stopped, its cheaper for Canada to buy them back from US, than it is for Canada to cut them down. Trouble is you can't afford to ship them back to Canada.

Let's say you got 2by4's but no money for food or gas, those 2by4's can't sit until 'IT comes back', you will at cost, or lower sell, its all you have to sell.

People take a loss all the time, the fact is you can't let the stuff sit, out here in the desert, once it loses enough water content its worthless. Thus YOU have to sell it, for any price, before its firewood.

Most things rotting in the desert are this way, tires, wood, homes, ... the desert is cruel. The cost of maintenance is HIGH, you sell it today before its worth ZERO.

Anonymous said...

timothy said...
And now, the rents.
http://money.cnn.com/2008/01/16/real_estate/rents_flat/index.htm?postversion=2008011710
*
That's sort of a tired story, about how its cheaper to BUY a home for $500 down, and $350/mo payments than rent, ... trouble is they didn't mention the price, what if it was $500k for a $50k house, You got to look at the real cost.

I'm a landlord, and thus I'm front and center on this issue, rents are collapsing right now about 5% a month. You haven't been able to pencil a rental since the 1990's anywhere in Oregon. Until homes cost less than rent, e.g. until MTG-payments fall below rent, its a better deal to rent, of course thats in a neutral appreciation market, in a FALLING-KNIFE market like today its FUCKING-STUPID to buy.

I know you all hate the word "FUCK", but lets be honest here, bend is really fucked up.

The rental biz is about having the renter pay your payment. Years ago, everyone was doing this say, the 1960's and rent could often cost more than a MTG, and thus it was 'smart' to buy, since the 1990's on the west-coast its, been smart to rent.

I'm assuming here you have the discipline, to plow the difference into a diversified 'homer' investment, however MOST humans don't have this discipline and will squander the difference on Walmart, autos, and dining, Mt-B lift tickets, ...

This article, while I love timmy dearly, is just a fucking plant, they give no information. Until homes fall to $100k, it makes no sense NOT to rent.

For over a year now I have been saying 4X, even as landlord, if your renting a house for $500/mo, I want to see $2k/mo income. That's $500/week, sort of hard to do on $5/hr, or even $8/hr. Rents are going to come DOWN big-time in Bend. If sub-cons right now are willing to work for $200 week, under the table, and live in a mobile, ... If & When they're ready for a solid building, you can expect them to pay more than $500/mo assuming there are two people.

I really think on the rent deal, we're looking towards SERIOUS deflation. Remember homes, labor, and materials are cheap here on this desert Island we call Bend, but everything imported costs a fortune.

Yeh, I know your all going to rent your homes by the week to the tourists,...

Just my two cents on the rental biz, p.s. My property's are free & clear, and I don't give a fuck what rent I get, as long as the homes aren't empty.

Our mission here is like the elephant & the blind men, we all tell what we see. We share, this is why I wanted duncan to tell us what he was seeing, on his end of the elephant.

We don't know where this is going, and nobody can call peak or trough until its over. Enjoy the ride.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

Here's a piece in the Sandy Post about the 100% FAKE Buena Vista auction:

Buena Vista sells 28 Sandy homes

Buena Vista Custom Homes sold 141 homes during the builder’s Dec. 15-16 auction at the Oregon Convention Center, including 28 homes from Sandy’s Cascadia Village and Hamilton Ridge subdivisions.

The auction – billed as the largest in Oregon history – drew 2,209 attendees and generated a total of $65 million in sales, Buena Vista reported. (Local charities received $250,000 of the total proceeds.)

The homebuilder’s entire unsold inventory from across Oregon and southwest Washington, 240 homes, was up for grabs at the auction.

The lowest-priced house sold at the auction was a three-bedroom, 2.5-bath house in Sandy’s Cascadia Village neighborhood, which went for $195,000. The most expensive house was a 5,073-square-foot home in the Shadow Ridge subdivision in Happy Valley, which sold for $510,000.

Buena Vista spokesman Mike Higgins said the Sandy homes sold “pretty consistently” 10 to 15 percent below the unpublished reserve prices.

“Those homes in Sandy were bid on real aggressively and were very popular in the sale,” Higgins said. “We were real pleased.”

Virtually all areas were strong sellers with two exceptions – the 29 homes that were offered in Bend and Buena Vista’s portfolio of rental homes.

None of the homes in Bend sold, and few of the rentals found buyers. Four of the unsold homes were in the Hamilton Ridge subdivision.

“(The bids) weren’t as high as the seller would accept,” Higgins said when asked why the houses didn’t sell.

Buena Vista set “reserve” prices prior to the auction to reflect the homebuilder’s costs. The company announced after the auction that 96 percent of the 141 sold homes were sold below the reserve price.

“We came to the auction to sell, and we did just that,” Buena Vista owner Roger Pollock said in a written statement. “To sell 141 homes in less than 48 hours is truly remarkable.”

Sandy resident and home seeker Luke Lyons attended the auction in hopes that he might walk away with a deal in the Hamilton Ridge subdivision.

Lyons, who stayed only for the auctioning of the first six Sandy houses, said he quickly realized that he wasn’t going to buy a home Dec. 15.

Lyons said the auction was very fast-paced and efficient.

“It was just amazing how rapidly the bids went up,” Lyons said, noting that homes quickly blew past his predetermined price range and didn’t stay on the block longer than two minutes.

“I don’t think anybody saved any money,” Lyons said.

Worse than that, he said some people probably overpaid.

Lyons said he has been interested in the Hamilton Ridge subdivision for a couple years – “before they built any houses there,” he said – and always had picked up fliers from the homes for sale.

He said he watched prices start at around $259,000 and top out at around $300,000.

The cooling real estate market saw prices drop most recently to $279,000, just before the auction, he said.

But once the auction was announced, all the fliers were taken away, and Buena Vista announced that the homes were valued at about $350,000.

Indeed, a four-bedroom, 2.1-bath, 2,261-square-foot home in Hamilton Ridge was advertised with a “list price” of $348,950, while a nearly identical home down the street sold in October for $267,950. Another comparable Hamilton Ridge house that had slightly less square footage sold for $262,651, according to real estate records.

Yet another house down the street sold for almost $221,000.

Lyons thinks Buena Vista raised the list price before the auction to drive bids higher.

“It seems to me like that was put there so that if people started doing research on Hamilton Ridge for the auction, they’d think they were worth a lot more,” Lyons said. “I think they did it to make people think they were getting a bargain when they were paying $275,000 or $250,000.”

While Buena Vista announced that it sold 96 percent of its inventory below the “acceptable” reserve prices, Lyons says don’t feel sorry for them.

“I had done my research and seen that they had accepted offers at $220,000,” Lyons said. “The price shot past that (at the auction) in under 10 seconds. These people thought they probably saved some money, but they didn’t. There’s no doubt in my mind (Pollock) made money on the houses he sold.

“If I had known people were going to be this crazy, I would have made an offer beforehand,” Lyons continued, “and saved myself a lot of trouble. I just didn’t expect people to be that careless or carefree with such a serious matter.”

Now that most of its standing inventory has been liquidated, Buena Vista plans to move to a more conservative model of offering few finished homes, built on speculation of future sale, and more pre-sold to buyers.

“We will still be an aggressive player in our market,” Pollock said. “The sale of the homes from the auction puts us in a great position as a buyer.”

So who made out in the auction? Lyons says he thinks Pollock did, and so did “the guy who bought his house for $220,000 … that just raised his equity.”

Lyons says he thinks auctions like Buena Vista’s will become more common in this uncertain housing market. His advice: “Do some research. Find out what houses sold for, not what they’re listed at. Drive by and collect fliers.”

Higgins said that because of the 1-percent deposits that will be due soon for auction winners, it’s likely that a few of the deals will fall through. And when they do, he said the houses will be back on the market.

“And then I’ll walk down and offer $220,000,” Lyons said.


The people who dodged this bullet are already rejoicing in their good fortune to have NOT WON any bids on those BV shitholes.

They didn't sell any Bend properties because they supposedly only received bids BELOW COST ON ALL OF THEM. THAT is the lowly state of anyone who built after 2006. It's ALL SALABLE ONLY BELOW COST.

Not gonna do it... so it'll just sit & go to seed.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

Is there another form of 'diversification' that I'm not aware of??

1) Move the fuck outta Bend.

2) Cash.

I personally am doing the latter.

timothy said...

>>We don't know where this is going, and nobody can call peak or trough until its over. Enjoy the ride.

No matter how nasty and bad it is, it is interesting. Mostly in seeing how the things people say changes.

do tell said...

Okay Paul D,

I can't take it any longer -- who the hell are you? I'm not asking, like the psychologist: Why do you write this blog? I'm asking WHO are you? You are uncommonly brilliant. I don't care about the rednecks who say you just slap this blog up every Sunday in 30 minutes or whatever. I can tell there's much more intelligence and thought involved. So please a few clues. Are you highly educated formally or informally, or are you just some sort of prodigy? I've been reading this stuff for months and I can't stop wondering who you are. You once mentioned "hanging eaves," so are you just a super-smart blue-collar worker, or what!!?? (I don't mean I expect to meet you on the street, but want to understand the brain behind the blog.) You obviously did something to stockpile that cash that seems to make you relaxed in the coming tsunami -- so did you make a bundle through steady manual labor or what.

Also, regarding: 1) Move the fuck outta Bend: where the Fuck are people supposed to go? What place is the US isn't fucked? Please advise.

Thx in advance to some-sort of insightful answers to both questions.

timothy said...

>>That's sort of a tired story...

Yeah, the story's no good. But what caught my eye is that every single thing that optimists said a year ago is being casually refuted in headlines daily now.

Less than a year ago, a guy I knew (acquaintance, not friend) bought a house after it came down $20k. Why? Instant equity. As if it was going to pop right back up.

I gotta think that all these people that caught knives must really hate the drumbeat of the press now.

Anonymous said...

I gotta think that all these people that caught knives must really hate the drumbeat of the press now.

*

yes, but here in Bend there is no drum beat, complete pathetic silence.

Anonymous said...

Thx in advance to some-sort of insightful answers to both questions.


*

Don't do it Homer, they want to shut you down, and you anonymity is the key, don't let the ego get involved.

Keep the mystery, tell them nothing.

Better yet feed them fucking bullshit.

Anonymous said...

No matter how nasty and bad it is, it is interesting. Mostly in seeing how the things people say changes.

*

Like Mark Twain said, "Truth is stranger than fiction".

Yes, its good to see the gilded class of Bend get fucked, its very good.

I would like to see Costa fall, the BULL close it doors, the city-hall rats resign en-mass, ... the DVA/VCB Pr/Marketing budget get yanked, the Bend-Film get de-funded. The whole Bend Flim-Flam is going to be too much fund watching it slowly implode, and the best part is these parasites that run this town, have no backup.

timothy said...

Realtors seem to be putting a lot of ad money into the Bulletin still. Those four-color ads are $$$.

When that dries up, it'll leave quite a revenue hole.

Anonymous said...

But what caught my eye is that every single thing that optimists said a year ago is being casually refuted in headlines daily now.

*

Well NAR has replaced their main whore, and the cheer-leaders of bend are silent.

A Bend optimist, has one been seen lately?

The national news has almost too much over-played for too long.

Bend is ground zero for toxic sub-prime deflation, but there are lot of places that aren't over-priced or over-valued.

Not all of the USA is fucked, there are many places that will do fine. There is a lot of 'real' money out there.

Bend is fascinating because they ( city-hall ) were able to use taxpayer money to market this place as #1 resort in the USA, and drove the prices up to the highest in the country. By 2005 the PR/Marketing folks of Bend were on the circuit giving speeches, writing their own ticket.

Yes, Homer is right, get out, and quick, with as much cash as you can. I think thats why the MTBF for our film-director is now 6mo. It doesn't take long, to figure out where this town is going.

Hey, PR/Marketing people, you don't want BEND on your resume from 2006 to 2012, cuz your going to be associated with a big loser. Find your self a little town that hasn't been discovered and make some money. The only people coming to Bend, in the future are federal marshals and special prosecutors.

do tell said...

Keep the mystery, tell them nothing.

Better yet feed them fucking bullshit.

****
shut up buster -- or who ever the hell you are! Let THE MAN talk. I'm not asking for his address, phone number, and photographc. I'm just asking how did he get so smart. I'm sure Paul D is smart enough to give some good answers without giving away the store.

BTW, I'm not a "them" and I couldn't shut down a hotdog stand. I'm just me -- a reader -- growing more curious by the week about Mr. Paul d's brain.

Anonymous said...

Realtors seem to be putting a lot of ad money into the Bulletin still. Those four-color ads are $$$.

When that dries up, it'll leave quite a revenue hole.

*

Yes, and the BULL knows that, telling its readers the truth would kill the cash cow. I think pollocks used to call it "Pissing in your own soup".

There's a time to keep your fucking mouth shut, and let the money keep coming in, yes I'm amazed at what realtors will spend, well its all they know, its like what has been said here about doubling the game, the game of course in Bend, and still is that "marketing works", of course if you have read this blog for at least 6 mo, you would know that we pretty much here think that Bend has sucked the blood out of any possible marketing advantage, ...

Ok, lets go Marketing-101, I'm an old entrepreneur.

Marketing is created a need, trouble is Bend isn't the solution, folks don't need to come to Bend and buy a condo anymore, cuz its the financial equivalent of a death sentence, sort of like fucking an HIV gal without a condom at a whorehouse, this Bend, and the WHOLE-WORLD knows, ...

Nobody needs to die of Aids, but that is the product that Bend has to offer.

Ok, back to the BULL, realtors are fucking DUMB, we know that, and they'll dump their fucking 401k to the end to market their listings, ... and the BULL will keep taking that cash, but that cash is going to run dry and soon.

What will the BULL do then? Anybody's guess, like we say, and its actually Warren Buffets quote "We don't know the top and/or bottom, until we have seen it". The day of no more PR/Marketing $$ for the BULL is coming soon, I can smell it in the air, hell look at rentals, its already gone to Craigs-List, and so has property, and it ain't selling, ... Nothing is selling, cuz nobody wants to get Financial AIDS in Bend, Oregon.

Anonymous said...

I want to know about Paul D's Dick, how big, are there pic's??

Tell us Paul, tell about your prick.

Fuck You Buster, we don't care about your dick.

Anonymous said...

Let THE MAN talk. ... I'm just asking how did he get so smart. I'm sure Paul D is smart enough to give some good answers without giving away the store.

*

Well paul was it the wheaties? Were you the only kid in your class that could write HTML? Perhaps its those fancy graphs, it must be causing the hair-lips to scratch their ass. Are you some kind of geni-ass? Did you make it through high-school? I have been in Bend for 80 years, and ain't seen nobody go to school beyond the 8th grade. You must be from somewhere ale-se?? Did you take Ale-gebra in school? Did you know einstein? You must be the smartest Man in Bend.

Do you sell your semen? Have you thought about cloning yourself? I would be proud to offer my daughter as a host for your semen. I really think you should donate your brain to science when your done with this blog. Your an amazing man Paul Doh.

Do you know Britney? Where do you find these pic's?? Fuck these negative people with a man like Paul Doh running Bend, we're on our way to recovery.

Anonymous said...

Fuck You Buster, we don't care about your dick.

*

There's that F-word again, you know that this is a family channel.

do tell said...

Tell us Paul, tell about your prick.
**
Well paul was it the wheaties?
**
hey all you non-Paul D's ... Jealous Much??

Sorry no one is asking about your brains -- I'm not saying you're dumb: but come on, you ain't no PD.

not-your-average-anonymous said...

BTW, I'm not a "them" and I couldn't shut down a hotdog stand. I'm just me -- a reader -- growing more curious by the week about Mr. Paul d's brain.
----------------

Me too. No sock puppet here (check my IP address).

This blogmaster is no trailer-trash renter. He has money. He lives nice. No red-neck. All that shit is a decoy.

He knows Beta. He knows IP (both protocol and property). He knows knives. He knows lots a shit, more than he lets on.

Bottom line: He is a Money guy. And he don't like the real estate hicks who have been here a while.

My guess: This blog-miester is BV himself. Mr Feb 14th. The Cupid Ventures dude!

And if the blogstorm hits me like a tsunami-shit-storm, them you know that I will have been proved correct.

Renter my ass. This guy has money. Smart money. And he lives well.

do tell said...

Renter my ass. This guy has money. Smart money. And he lives well.
***
Thank you!

He says he arrived in Bend about 2001, bought a house, flipped it a year or two later -- so probably made a bundle. (did I say, he's not dumb)

He might even be a cali who made a bundle before arriving selling some house there for mega-bucks.

He says he's renting, but that doesn't seem logical. However, even if he's renting it's by smart choice.

He also likes to play the redneck. One of his buds already said "feed them BS," so maybe the whole "dropping eaves" was one of the BS nuggets dropped to throw us off his trail.

This guy is not just the redneck next door. He has been on the inside at some point. If not in Bend then maybe in Cali.

PD -- not trying to take you out of the conversation. Also I'm not expecting to completely bust your well-earned anonymous cred. But what am I supposed to do about my burning curiosity.

You know you are smart and you play it so cooool! You rarely get rattled by anything.

And you're sure not sweating the economic storm. You are just sitting pretty watching it do it's thing.

You d'oh man, no doubt!

Quimby said...

Ok, got a real login after lurking for 6 months. Buster, I'm the poster from last week nitpicking political parties of rednecks.

I think you should be renamed to Monty Burns, Moe or Groundskeeper Willy.

......vote Quimby.......

Quimby said...

Listening to the KLRR 101.7 radio station....lately it seems they are playing more "bust" songs. In the past few days:

Get Out of This House - Shawn Colvin

We Can't Make It Here - James McMurtrey

Rain on the Scarecrow - John Mellencamp

Maybe I'm just more aware of these songs since the gathering storm is on my mind, or the DJs are doing their part to help Calis south.

Anonymous said...

Maybe I'm just more aware of these songs since the gathering storm is on my mind, or the DJs are doing their part to help Calis south.

*

Just maybe there is a baby jeebus, who is looking out for us, and maybe the cali's will get the signal.

Anonymous said...

This blog-master is no trailer-trash renter. He has money. He lives nice. No red-neck. All that shit is a decoy.

*

Homer never said he was 'trailer-trash', always said he was an MBA. He's not particularly intelligent, obviously has the time, much of his postings every sunday are redundant. He is funnier than hell, which is why I love him.

He rents, but like he says, he has the discipline to save the difference he would be giving to the bank. Most people don't have that discipline.
It takes effort to ignore the personal attacks here, I of course don't give a damn. But Homer needs to stay on the ball, and the ball is the Bend Bubble.
Every time we discuss bruce, buster, homer, dartgnan...Bendbb we're off the ball.

The goal here has always been to debate the bend-bubble, and its ramification for survival.

The fact is personal information is boring, the size of Homers brain or dick is boring. What is interesting is when we all share our insights of the collapse of Bend's economy.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

I can't take it any longer -- who the hell are you?

I ain'ts no one in puh-tickler.

Let's just say I BARELY managed to grad-jeeate college, and have have largely been a self-starter since, and I found the Central OR economy a tough nut to crack. Weird ass shit happens here that doesn't happen anywhere else.

I made a pile here on my first house, and am now Working (ahhhhhh!) for my money. Not as sexy as flipping houses, but I'm just going to pile it up, for now. Again, you check any graphs I post here & you see that I'm interested in the long haul & the long haul don't look good.

RE: Diversify elsewhere? See, I don't think it's going to be "GOOD" anywhere in the US, except maybe Texas. Look at where GWB came from & then look at a chart of Exxon. Moving away from Bend means just moving from The Fire into the Frying Pan. It won't be good anywhere else, but it sure as hell won't be as bad as it is here.

You think I'm smart? Hell, you shoulda been around when BEM was busting it out! Timmy too. Timmy won't agree, but me & him are birds of a feather. Buster smart too, 'cept there the problem with him referring to you as a "smelly cunt" 24/7, which he'll later tell you is a compliment.

Still, you want my Best Advice for surviving in Bend?

RENT & INVEST THE DIFFERENCE

Put it in a bank that ain't going down. When your banks stock is down 90+% from the top, take out the stuff above 6 figures. RARELY is cash worth a shit... but THIS is one of those times when it is.

Anyway, thanks for the compliment. Read the comments... that's where the goodness is.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

He's not particularly intelligent, obviously has the time, much of his postings every sunday are redundant.

Don't I have a smelly-ass cunt?

Anonymous said...

DJIA down to 12k, Asia market's imploding, ... Yeh the Chinese are coming save Sisters, Or.

***
Asian Markets Whomped

By Daniel M. Harrison
Special to TheStreet.com
1/21/2008 7:50 AM EST
Click here for more stories by Daniel M. Harrison


The Bombay Sensitive Index plunged 1408 points, to 17,605, after recovering from as much as a 10% drop earlier in the day.

In China, the Shanghai Composite Index dived 266 points, or 5.1%, to 4914, while the Hang Seng plummeted 1383 points, or 5.5%, to 23,818, falling through the key 24,200-level and ending only 400 points away from the 23,400 benchmark that many agree puts the index officially in a bear market.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

And Bruce & Duncan SMART too!

Bruce is probably the only person actually doing footwork for info.

And I didn't nominate Dunc for Mayor, for nut'n.

HE KEEPIN IT REAL!

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

Asian Markets Whomped

India's main index tumbled 7.4% Monday, after other Asian markets hemorrhaged into the red. The heavy, region-wide selling was triggered by indices in China and Hong Kong tumbling through key technical support levels.

The Bombay Sensitive Index plunged 1408 points, to 17,605, after recovering from as much as a 10% drop earlier in the day.

In China, the Shanghai Composite Index dived 266 points, or 5.1%, to 4914, while the Hang Seng plummeted 1383 points, or 5.5%, to 23,818, falling through the key 24,200-level and ending only 400 points away from the 23,400 benchmark that many agree puts the index officially in a bear market.

In Japan, the Nikkei slid 535 points, or 3.9%, to 13,325 points. The yen rose to 106.08 vs. dollar, its strongest level in four months, after investors unwound carry trade positions on fears that the $145 billion economic stimulus package in the U.S. may not be enough to curb a recession.

"It's a mixture of reasons, I won't say this is only a short-term correction," says Jayesh Shroff, who manages $6 billion for SBI Mutual Fund in Mumbai. However, Shroff also points out that heavy buying and selling cycles have come in short-term ranges over the last year in India, so says the market may languish now for some time, rather than selloff further.

Financials were sharply lower, as ICICI Bank (IBN - Cramer's Take - Stockpickr) shed 5.8%, to 1245 rupees, and HDFC Bank (HBD - Cramer's Take - Stockpickr) followed, down 4.3%, to 1575 rupees. Tech shares also lost, with Infosys (INFY - Cramer's Take - Stockpickr - Rating) off 5%, at 1390 rupees, and Wipro (WIT - Cramer's Take - Stockpickr - Rating) 1.1% lower, at 455 rupees.

The big blue chips were the worst hit in Hong Kong. Shares of CNOOC, Petrochina and China Shehua Energy experienced deep short selling and Asian hedge funds unloaded big positions.

CNOOC (CEO - Cramer's Take - Stockpickr) slipped 6.4%, to HK$11.06, while PetroChina (PTR - Cramer's Take - Stockpickr) tumbled 8.4%, to HK$11.30 in Hong Kong, and 5.5%, to 27.48 yuan in Shanghai. China Shenhua Energy (CUAEF - Cramer's Take - Stockpickr) was 3% lower, at HK$42.

Among financials, China Life Insurance (LFC - Cramer's Take - Stockpickr) plunged 9.5%, to HK$32.85, while rival Ping An (PIAIF - Cramer's Take - Stockpickr)dipped 6.3%, to HK$68.05. Hong Kong Exchanges (HKXCF - Cramer's Take - Stockpickr) dropped 5.9%, to HK$173.40.

Telecoms were also some of the big decliners of the day. China Netcom (CN - Cramer's Take - Stockpickr) fared worst, shedding 8.8%, to HK$23.45, while China Telecom (CHA - Cramer's Take - Stockpickr) lost 7.8%, to HK$6.04, and China Unicom (CHU - Cramer's Take - Stockpickr - Rating) fell 7.2%, to HK$16.52. China Mobile (CHL - Cramer's Take - Stockpickr), the Hang Seng's biggest single stock weighting, dived 4.3%, to HK$117.70.

Many in Asia are now debating whether the selloff is a longer-term correction, or whether markets are headed for a rebound soon. A report issued by Citigroup in Hong Kong Monday pointed out that the worst of selling activity may not yet have materialized, since total selling to date is $3.4 billion vs. $4.9 billion in the market correction in June 2006, and $4.5 billion in March last year. The report also said that outflows may reach $8 billion before markets rebound.

Market participants also expect the big sell-off to impact mainland companies listed in New York Tuesday, known as Chinese "N" shares. Last week, when the Hang Seng shed 6.2%, Baidu.com (BIDU - Cramer's Take - Stockpickr - Rating) lost 20% of its value, to $273, while rival Sohu.com (SOHU - Cramer's Take - Stockpickr - Rating) fell similarly, down 18%, to $42.05.

"The scenario for a massive selloff to 20,000 [for the Hang Seng] is building, and a 75 basis point rate cut will count for nothing - the die is cast," says Andrew Clarke, a trader for SG Securities in Hong Kong.

A recession in the U.S. would most affect Japanese exporters, as lower consumer spending directly impacts their bottom line.

Sony (SNE - Cramer's Take - Stockpickr - Rating) fell 2.1%, to 5490 yen, while Canon (CAJ - Cramer's Take - Stockpickr - Rating) shed 1.6%, to 4440 yen, and Nintendo (NTDOY - Cramer's Take - Stockpickr) dived 3.8%, to 52,900 yen. Dealers noted however that several large funds have been accumulating shares in Nintendo throughout the last week, as the stock has consistently flailed.

Megabanks also fell. Mitsubishi UFJ (MTU - Cramer's Take - Stockpickr - Rating) lost 6.2%, to 915 yen, and Sumitomo Mitsui Financial (SMFJY - Cramer's Take - Stockpickr) eased 1.4%, to 579 yen.

Markets in Taiwan and South Korea were also lower. The Taiex gave back 74 points, or 0.9%, to 8110, while Kospi fell 51 points, or 2.95%, to 1683.


Shit. It's starting to fall apart. Never buy mortgage debt from a country that constantly spends more than it makes.

Anonymous said...

Don't I have a smelly-ass cunt? - homer

*

Homee, I thought we were done with the trailer party's after bendbb married garzini? That is past, the future is debating the bend-bubble.

Some say this blog-site has no credibility because of the potty-talk, tell us what you think on this subject homer?

All this talk of beta, diversification, and stagflation would be pretty boring without color photos of anal staph infections.

My humble opinion is 'humiliation' is the only weapon we have in our fight against the destruction of Bend by the Boss Hoggs. We can't win office, we can't outspend ( they're using our money ) them, or out lawyer ( they hire lawyers with our money ) them, all we can do is microscopically analyze them and humiliate them.

xxx-oooo-xxx

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

An awesome piece about how Osama & his ilk are trying to scoop up the USA on the cheap, by bailing us out.

The invasion of the sovereign-wealth funds

The biggest worry about rich Arab and Asian states buying up Wall Street is the potential backlash

BEN BERNANKE once spoke of dropping money from helicopters, if necessary, to save an economy in distress. The chairman of the Federal Reserve probably did not envisage that choppers bearing the insignia of oil-rich Gulf states and cash-rich Asian countries would hover over Wall Street. Yet just such a squadron has flown to the rescue of capitalism's finest.

On January 15th the governments of Singapore, Kuwait and South Korea provided much of a $21 billion lifeline to Citigroup and Merrill Lynch, two banks that have lost fortunes in America's credit crisis. It was not the first time either had tapped the surplus savings of developing countries, known as sovereign-wealth funds, that have proliferated in recent years thanks to bumper oil prices and surging Asian exports. Since the subprime-mortgage fiasco unfolded last year, such funds have gambled almost $69 billion on recapitalising the rich world's biggest investment banks (far more than usually goes the other way in an emerging-markets crisis). With as much as $2.9 trillion to invest (see article), the funds' horizons go beyond finance to telecoms and technology companies, casino operators, even aerospace. But it is in banking where they have arrived most spectacularly. They have deftly played the role of saviour just when Western banks have been exposed as the Achilles heel of the global financial system.

Moneymen or mischief-makers

At first sight this is proof that capitalism works. Money is flowing from countries with excess savings to those that need it. Rather than blowing their reserves on gargantuan schemes, Arab and Asian governments are investing it, relatively professionally. But there are still two sets of concerns. The first has to do with the shortcomings of sovereign-wealth funds. The second, bigger, problem is the backlash they will surely provoke from protectionists and nationalists. Already, Nicolas Sarkozy, the French president, has promised to protect innocent French managers from the “extremely aggressive” sovereign funds (even though none has shown much interest in his country).

Although sovereign-wealth funds hold a bare 2% of the assets traded throughout the world, they are growing fast, and are at least as big as the global hedge-fund industry. But, unlike hedge funds, sovereign-wealth funds are not necessarily driven by the pressures of profit and loss. With a few exceptions (like Norway's), most do not even bother to reveal what their goals are—let alone their investments.

For the bosses at the companies they invest in, that may be a godsend: how nice to be bailed out by a discreet “long-termist” investor who lets you keep your job, rather than be forked out in the Augean clean-up hedge-fund types might demand. A quick glance back at “long-termist” nationalised industries shows what a mess that leads too. And it is not just a matter of efficiency. The motives of the sovereign moneymen could be sinister: stifling competition; protecting national champions; engaging, even, in geopolitical troublemaking. Despite their disruptive market power, their managers have little accountability to regulators, shareholders or voters. Such conditions are almost bound to produce rogue traders.

So far there is no evidence of such “mischievous” behaviour, as the German government calls it (curiously, from another country yet to attract the sovereign-wealth crowd). And weighing the risk of such eventualities against the rewards of hard cash, on the table, right now, makes it clearly daft to raise too much of a stink. America is either in recession or near one; Mr Bernanke has all but promised more aggressive rate cuts, but confidence in the banking system is low. There is a wise old proverb about beggars and choosers.

The relatively friendly welcome sovereign funds have found in America may be temporary. Before the credit crunch American politicians objected to Arabs owning ports and Chinese owning oil firms. On January 15th Hillary Clinton said: “We need to have a lot more control over what they [sovereign-wealth funds] do and how they do it.” Once an emergency has passed, foreign money can often be less welcome. One of Singapore's funds, Temasek, has learned that lesson to its cost in Indonesia.

In politics, appeals to fear usually sell better than those to reason. But the hypocrisy of erecting barriers to foreign investment while demanding open access to developing markets is self-evident. Host countries should not set up special regimes for sovereign wealth. Although every country has concerns about national security and financial stability, most already have safeguards for bank ownership and defence.

Until East and West even out the surpluses and deficits in their economies, sovereign-wealth funds will not go away. Ideally, the high-savings countries of the Middle East and Asia would liberalise their economies, allowing their own citizens to invest for themselves, rather than paying bureaucrats to do it for them. But do not expect miracles. In the meantime, what should be done to keep the rod of protectionism off their—and the world's—backs?

Shed light or take heat

For a start, more transparency would go a long way towards easing concerns: an annual report that discloses the fund's motives and main holdings would be a start. Investments through third parties, such as hedge funds, help too, providing an additional layer of protection against the misdeeds of rogues. Ideally, the funds would eventually take fewer stakes in individual companies, which expose them to the inevitable risks of stockpicking and political pressure. Investing across indices provides more diversification anyway.

At a time when Western governments have at last learned to let the private sector run banks (however lousily it is sometimes done), it is far from ideal that state-owned funds from emerging economies should be buying stakes in them, even minority ones. On the other hand, such cross-border bargain-hunting gives developing countries a bigger direct stake in capitalism's future. The chief danger will not lie with them. The problem is likely to be in the rich world—and a rising nervousness about foreign money.


"Sovereign wealth funds" is just code for towel-heads like Osama, and other religion-based nation states. Check the graphs in the Economist print edition... these bitches have TRILLIONS. And they LOVE buying American banks when the shit hits the fan, which it do about every 7-8 years.

Hell, we might even have another Osama-fueled reflation of trophy real estate, ala The Jap-fueled 90's! Those little nippers LOVED buying US golf courses... even when they lost a cool billion in the deal.

Anonymous said...

And Bruce & Duncan SMART too!

*

Everyone here is smart, except for 'dartagnan', whom I think is pseudonym for 'homer'.

Smart is a dime a dozen, 1 out of 100, on average has an IQ over 148, which is Stanford Binot definition of a genius.

On the subject of smart, for those that read 'grand popular delusions and madness of the crowds', do you all know that Sir Isaac Newton the the greatest mind in the history of the world, nearly lost ALL of his money by investing in the South Sea Bubble!!!!!!!

Duncan is cool, our inquisitor this week praises you for coolness, but I think duncan keeps his cool, way better, you have blown up from time to time.

I myself of course just have a few beers on monday at Deschutes, and then come home and type shit. ( $3 beers on monday, after 4:30 pm )

Hey this is a village, and it takes all kinds.

I know bruce is smart and has a good heart, but I think he really doesn't understand how systemically evil Bend is when he say's that people will love him for what he's doing. I suspect we need folks like Bruce, hell if everyone had my attitude, it would be fucking depressing. Bruce, is no doubt a progressive.

The reason that I feel anonymity is important, is because I know how evil Bend is, I have been in Oregon too long, and been involved in politics too long. I have seen too many people destroyed, and its usually the innocent.

Keep up the good work, and don't let the ego get involved. I think this is where bruce is going to have problems. All my years in Oregon Muck-Raking has taught me at the end of the day, nobody gives a fuck.

do tell said...

Homer ... always said he was an MBA.
***
The fact is personal information is boring...
***
Okay Paul D — I hear ya — I knew you'd answer somehow (anonymously).

I'm at least glad to now know you are an MBA - somehow I missed that. Thanks for answer.

Yeah, your gang members add something to the party -- but you have a particular style that is unique : intelligent, funny, calculating, spot on, sometimes out of left field, but amazingly still scintillating. That is a talent most professional writers would kill for -- it's rare and if the others downplay it, then they aren't smart enough to see it.

I do find it interesting that you are not leaving Bend. That means that it has something to offer you, besides critiquing RE and local gov. So -- why are you staying put?

Also, how much cash is enough? (BTW,I'm a kindred spirit in the savings dept. I got me a little pile, but how much is enough?)

Anonymous said...

The biggest worry about rich Arab and Asian states buying up Wall Street is the potential backlash

*

The 'backlash' from whom? The republicans created the mess, they're bringing DUMBYA's 'Bin-Laden' family in to BUY the assets for penny's on the dollar. Some Perot or Buchannan might step in and get some air-time on Fox, but I don't see it happening. The Dem's might all of a sudden start asking why 'Bin-Laden' now owns the USA?

Then again, when a country give's 10% of its gross for OIL, over a 100 years, its not rocket science to figure out the outcome, ... That the person selling that OIL, in the end gets all the money.

That said, lets remember that CIA/MI5 (post wwii) largely drew the line in the sand, and made all these gulf-oil states, Dubai, ... is largely a creation of Team-DUMBYA going back to WWI.

Homer, says 'texas', not a bad call, DUMBYA has made oil very valuable, I can see a new Houston boom, ... I worked in the 70's for BIG-OIL, I remember those days. People were in gas lines, and they filled my car in the lot, I never sat in a gas line once. There were odd&even days when I was visiting cali, and they would fill my rental car while it was in the lot.

The USA now has Iraq, lets look at what we DONT OWN. We don't own Venezuela, and IRan, we do OWN everything else. By "OWN" I mean control. We control the Rag-Head puppet governments, they have cash, we ( team-dumbya ) enabled their position to obtain that cash, Dubai has the best young warren-buffets on the planet working their figuring out how to invest the petro-dollars, ...

Here's the real issue, BIG-OIL knows peak-oil has past, and they're doing basically what tobacco has been doing, DIVERSIFY.

Let's just say that TEAM-DUMBYA drove up oil prices, and causes a world wide recession, and buys all the worlds assets for penny's on the dollar, and then BIG-OIL can rule the world for another 100 years, even after the peak-oil, ...

Anonymous said...

how much cash is enough? (BTW,I'm a kindred spirit in the savings dept. I got me a little pile, but how much is enough?

*

Thoreau long ago said, "Its not what you got, but what you spend".

Focus on your spending, not on your savings.

timothy said...

Only weeks ago I was still hearing the world "decoupling" story, where the US could suffer a recession and the rest of the world could move along thanks to its newly expanded consumer class.

Two weeks of BAD news and performance in the markets around the world have amazingly quickly destroyed that fairy tale. Foreign markets are plunging.

Could still be the case that when we catch a cold they catch pneumonia.

And if we catch pneumonia...

news from tx said...

Homer, says 'texas', not a bad call ...
***
I'm in Austin and you can hardly tell there's a recession brewing. It's booming here. Whille RE prices are somewhat stagnant, they are not plummeting. And they are building like crazy.

In the 80's I lived in Atlanta and we never felt even an outter-ring ripple of the nation's economy dry spell during that time, because Atlanta was booming.

It's hard these days for everyplace not to get pulled down together (look at the global issues), but if any state is going to ride higher than the rest, it just might be Texas. Austin is nice, but is now turning into Dallas with all the growth. Like Bend, it's rapidly on it's way to losing its unique charm.

BTW, I'd rather be in Bend -- but you guys have scared me off.

Anonymous said...

BTW, I'd rather be in Bend -- but you guys have scared me off.

*

But Austin is a college town, and that is 'life',

Bend ain't got nuttin, ...

We got realtors, & MTG brokers, ... and un-employed sub-contractors.

Even Flagstaff in mid 80's was a shit-hole, but still had UofAz.

That's why even Eugene when its bad, is still got color from UofO.

But Bend, ... when its 1983, in Bend, what you got?

Given that Old Mill District is going to Ghost-Town, I still want to see that become a UNIV District, and then maybe, just maybe Bend could become something, sadly it will be generations before the State of Oregon can fund this project.

Austin is cool, the music is cool, the Univ is cool, the brewpubs are cool, There is NOTHING cool about Bend.

Anonymous said...

Two weeks of BAD news and performance in the markets around the world have amazingly quickly destroyed that fairy tale. Foreign markets are plunging.

*

Massive transfer of wealth, like was posted here yesterday Asia stocks P/E is over 50, ... The USA is a bargain.

They lost on Dot-Com, they lost on RE, and now they're going to lose their retirement on foreign-funds. A massive redistribution of wealth, but what do you expect?? The baby-boomer's got it all, and if the system doesn't redistribute it, then the next generation will be paupers.

Read the "Richest Man in Babylon", great book, how in all civilizations all the money always ends up in a few hands, and how 2% always do fine, and 98% beg, ...

timothy said...

>>Read the "Richest Man in Babylon", great book, how in all civilizations all the money always ends up in a few hands, and how 2% always do fine, and 98% beg, ...

A wonderful book. I've given it as a present to maybe a dozen or so young people.

Anonymous said...

timothy said...

Only weeks ago I was still hearing the world "decoupling" story, where the US could suffer a recession and the rest of the world could move along thanks to its newly expanded consumer class.

*

Yeh, Its starting to appear that USA could be looking like a 'safe' investment, ... A lot of places aren't Bend, OR. There are bargains, money will find these good investments.

It's an election cycle, they always do great stuff during election cycles. The republicans are fucked, if they let the economy collapse.

That said, nobody can put Bend, back together again, not even "Humpty-Dumpty".

I have for months thought that the negative national news has gone over-board, that said we still might see a 7k DOW, but so what.

More needs to be done in analyzing this 'consumer class' theory. The USA with military, and prison industrial complex, is enjoying more incarceration, and less freedom. More wealth is spent on war & law-enforcement than anytime in our history. Our consumer economy may very well be going the way of the dodo.

We're are a NATIONAL-SOCIALIST state, e.g. Nazism. Our dear-leaders don't want fickle consumers controlling their destiny.

I would like to see less money for the government so they could end the war on drugs, the war on people, and war on freedom, ... but that is not the trend, the trend is spying, cameras, prisons, ... This is not the stuff of a 'consumer economy', this is the stuff of a planned NAZI economy.

Anonymous said...

But Bend, ... when its 1983, in Bend, what you got?

*

When I say Bend, I'm talking the city limits, I'm well aware that there is skiing, hiking, and biking just out of town. All for free.


It's the town of Bend, with its over-built density, and its traffic, and all the cali's driving 40mph in the roundabouts, ... It's not the Bend of 15k, except perhaps early on a sunday AM. I have hated I97 since the 1980's I always stay away, reminds of me southern california.

Bend doesn't have jobs, doesn't have a nice school in the center of town. I mean what a fiasco COCC is up on the hill, and during the winter, inaccessible.

Todays Bend is all froo-froo over-priced ASPEN tourist items, and condo time-share shops. Good news is this will all implode.

I'm fond of the Bend as a small desert town, where nobody is in a hurry. Like the bypass (I97) the speed limit is 45MPH, yet they're all going 70mph, ... Where the hell are they going? In town all streets are 20mph, and they're going +45mph, ... during the holidays its 1/2 cali plates, and drive like they're still in cali, ... always in a hurry, like a hamster in a wheel.

The above is the Bend, that is fucked.

I guess the 'pleasantville' is forever gone, but maybe not, Bend is going to implode, and given there is no where to go, what might be the hurry? If most can only afford to walk or bike, because they can't afford $10/gal for fuel, ... Certainly the cali's will not be commuting up here on the weekends,

Anonymous said...

Homer,

You might want to follow up on this, not my gig.

But Pollock of BV has just put up two websites, to promote himself and his company as the most pc & green & progressive builder in Oregon, ...

My comment is, 'THEY' know that the BULL is dead, and these days to compete they need to have a website, to tell their side of the story.

timothy said...

>>But Pollock of BV has just put up two websites, to promote himself and his company as the most pc & green & progressive builder in Oregon, ...

An interesting move. You sell 0% of your Bend houses in an "auction." So you have to figure out how to make your unappealing homes appealing. Simple, make them the "Prius" of homes. Appeal to the guilty and the smug

Anonymous said...

>>Read the "Richest Man in Babylon", great book, how in all civilizations all the money always ends up in a few hands, and how 2% always do fine, and 98% beg, ...

A wonderful book. I've given it as a present to maybe a dozen or so young people. - tim

*

I always mention this book here, because my hope is that everyone who participates in this blog-site becomes one of the 2%. Yes, young people who don't want to live in squalor past 40 years of age, should read this book.

I especially think this is valuable now given that our high-tech economy has basically put anyone over forty to pasture. More now than ever, a young person needs to start getting stuff setup in their early 20's, and be done by 40. Unless they're lucky enough to be a doc, cpa, or dentist, ... lawyer. Even those professions I'm not so sure for instance if hilly-care comes doc's & dentist's will be leaving this country by the boatload.

I think CPA's will always do fine, the IRS will never go away. Lawyer biz is like the lottery, most don't make shit, you only hear about the ones that hit the jackpot.

timothy said...

Futures markets for US indices falling like Bend Realtors. Dow futures now down over 5%.

Today could have been the worst crash in many years if Dr. King had not saved us from it.

If world markets don't recover tonight, tomorrow could very well be the day every agrees we're in a bear market. Even Larry Kudlow, who nearly capitulated to accepting the recession last week.

is there an upside? said...

When I say Bend, I'm talking the city limits, I'm well aware that there is skiing, hiking, and biking just out of town. All for free.
****
Right!! And when I say Bend I mean everything that goes along with it, including glorious mountain trails for hiking, a few hours to the ocean, cross country skiing, local mt biking, that kind of thing.

True Austin has the "creative class" element, but they call an ant hill a mountain out here. For a nature girl it's slim pickings after 14 years.

I lived in Seattle, but hate the rain -- so Portland doesn't sound good either.

But if the local Bend area has gangbangers, methed-up beggers, and angry RE losers, then that kinda ruins the upside.

Anonymous said...

a few hours to the ocean

*

WHOA BIG BOY, MAKE THAT FIVE, FIVE FUCKING HOUR's BY CAR TO Lincoln City, if you want to call that 'ocean', as you'll need to dry-suit, to go in the water all year round,

Anonymous said...

Bend I mean everything that goes along with it, including glorious mountain trails for hiking, a few ..., cross country skiing, local mt biking, that kind of thing.

*

'Bend' doesn't have any thing to so with the above things,

You can do all of the above anywhere in Eastern Oregon or Washington.

'Bend' is just a crowded little city, that has all been put up in the past five years by a perfect-storm gold-rush. Todays Bend, is a ten-mile (HWY I-97) strip mall of Walmarts, costco, home-depots, ... winco's, ...

You can say the same thing about Prineville, hiking, xc-ski, ... all out your door, ... its always been there, in Baker City, and Antelope, and French-Glen, ... Joseph, ... Anywhere east of the cascades you can ski, hike, fish, ... always have, and its got NOT a fucking thing to do with Bend.

Today's Bend is Southern-California Strip-Mall in Eastern Oregon.

Bend is NOT a resort town, and yes its 1/2 drive when there is no traffic from a ski-lift, so what, nobody can afford to ski there, and those who do are on COMP.

I think when people hear 'BEND' they get an image of a Cascade Stream, ... Metolius Head-Water's, when I hear "BEND" I see Walmart, Costco, Winco, ... endless miles of strip-malls and traffic.

BEND doesn't have a FUCKING THING to do with the NATURE east of the Cascades, if anything Bend is a CANCER whose only desire is to DESTROY the Nature east of the cascades.

Anonymous said...

If world markets don't recover tonight, tomorrow could very well be the day every agrees we're in a bear market. Even Larry Kudlow, who nearly capitulated to accepting the recession last week. - tim

*

The recession started in May 07, it generally takes two bad quarters for the 'rulers' to fess up, ... It's here, but so what, everyone here already knew that we're in a recession.

Hillary Clinton ( Cheney in Drag ) will soon tell us we're in a recession, and that its DUMBYA's fault, then you see the BULL come out and cry crocodile tears.

Anonymous said...

>>is there an upside? said...
When I say Bend, I'm talking the city limits, I'm well aware that there is skiing, hiking, and biking just out of town. All for free.<<
****
There are several ex-Austinites here in Bend that I know of(I did 3 years in Austin) Most of them love it here (including my ex-fiancee) and will probably never leave. Please don't base your opinion of Bend based on what you read here. There is still plenty of upside. Real estate just doesn't happen to be one of them, but that is a good thing. And if you think this town is all "gangbangers and methed-up beggers" you've been reading this blog for too long. And the guy complaining about the traffic...that it is going to fast?...try living in Seattle where 20mph is the average on the freeway or Austin where a road project takes years to finish.

Anonymous said...

Timmy, The following is a good report coming out of Australia, on the imminent insolvency of the US economy.

Remember folks what Homer said "DUMP YOUR BEND RE", and "HOLD CASH". Diversify.


***

Iceberg ho!

The Australian Government is the band playing as the Titanic sinks.

This morning we read two stories that leave us thinking that we must be living in some Down Under parallel universe: European stocks fall 5.5 per cent on the worst day since 9/11 in anticipation of a global recession; and Prime Minister Kevin Rudd declares that the Budget surplus for 2008/09 will be 1.5 per cent of GDP, or $18 billion.

One of the reasons stocks collapsed last night was scepticism over President George Bush’s fiscal stimulus package. Meanwhile in Australia, the Opposition criticises the Rudd restraint package as “unambitious”.

If the Australian Treasury actually books a surplus of $18 billion in the year to June 30, 2009, as opposed to simply predicting one in May, it will be a miracle.

Equities are now officially in a bear market. European markets are 20 per cent off their peaks, which is the dictionary definition of a bear market, and although Wall Street was closed last night, the March Dow Jones futures contract fell 522 points, suggesting a decline from peak of 18 per cent. The Australian index has already fallen 18 per cent and is set to whiz past 20 per cent today before the courageous bargain hunters emerge.

The Baltic Dry index for bulk shipping freight has fallen 42 per cent from its peak in November and is down 30 per cent this year, which is clearly signalling global recession.

Markets are not always right about the economy, but any Government that is talking about big surpluses, as Australia’s is, and any central bank that is still talking about hiking interest rates to battle inflation, as Australia’s is, might want to think again.

Stockmarkets have now moved into Sub-prime Alarm Phase 2. It isn’t about the mortgage defaults any more, since they are more or less understood. It’s about the monoline bond insurers, Ambac and MBIA.

These companies are sitting in slightly different Titanic deck chairs – MBIA has raised capital and its AAA ratings have been confirmed for the moment, while Ambac didn’t find capital and had its rating cut – but both are at the teetering point of a colossal inverted pyramid of bond insurance that is threatening to topple.

Without the fig leaf of MBIA’s and Ambac’s AAA ratings, provided by an absurdly inadequate capital base, many bond investors would be forced to sell because they are required to hold only AAA securities.

This is a direct consequence of the sub-prime crisis, since neither firm has sufficient capital to meet the expected default claims, but as my colleagues, Robert Gottliebsen and Stephen Bartholomeusz have been clearly explaining here in recent weeks, the threatened collapse of the monoline bond insurers takes the crisis to a whole different level.

Last night in Europe the index of 125 top-rated corporate credit default swaps, which are instruments that are used to trade on a company’s ability to repay its debts, jumped 14 per cent to its highest level since the index began in 1994 (the higher the price, the greater the chance of default).

Credit default swaps on Ambac have now soared in price such that they are predicting a 70 per cent chance of default within five years.

“The major risk for credit markets remains forced selling on the back of downgrades of the insurers,” a fixed interest analyst for an Italian bank told Bloomberg this morning.

The other problem for Australia is that commodity prices are sinking as well. Zinc fell 5.2 per cent last night and copper 4.5 per cent. Combined copper stocks on the LME, Shanghai and Comex in New York now stand 20 per cent higher than two years ago.

bruce said...

From the Clusterfuck Nation Blog
by Jim Kunstler

Fullblown Panic

January 21, 2008

Knees knocked last week from sea to shining sea as the shape-shifting monster of economic reality cut a swathe of destruction through the markets and financial ranks. The exact nature of this giant beast still remained largely concealed in a fog of accounting gambits, policy blusters, and reporting dodges, but a few intrepid scouts who glimpsed the behemoth up close said it looked like Godzilla with Herbert Hoover's face.

George W. Bush, tried to appease the beast by offering each American adult the dollar equivalent of half a month's mortgage payment -- with the exhortation to drive forthwith to the nearest WalMart and blow it on salad shooters and plasma TV's -- but Hooverzilla just laughed at the offering and pounded the equity markets further into the dust of loss, while the "bank-like" guardians of wealth lay in the drainage ditches bleeding from their ears and eyes.

My favorite moment was seeing Treasury Secretary Paulson and one of his fellow shaved-head deputies at a press conference rostrum frantically trying to calm the news media rabble like a couple of extraplanetary high priests from a Star Trek episode -- the batteries having run down in their laser wands, and their incantations ("liquidity! liquidity!) veering into mystifying glossolalia.

I resort to such admitted extreme hyperbole because it may be the only language that an infotainment-drunk society can still process in the face of an epochal calamity that will transform the lush terms of everyday life as we've known it into something like a bleak surrealist landscape in the manner of Tanguy. That crashing sound out there is the armature of confidence needed to support an economy based on faith that borrowed money will be paid back. It's as simple as that. (Doesn't seem so exciting now, does it?)

The United States is so broke, its people at every level from the Federal Reserve on down don't know whether to shit or go blind. The homeowners cringing in the media rooms of their 5000-square-foot personal family resorts don't know how long they can stay put microwaving pepperoni hot pockets with the default clock ticking. The mortgage "servicers" don't know how they will persuade interested parties like, say, the Illinois State Cafeteria Workers' Pension Fund (holder of X-amount of mortgage-backed securities underwritten by, say, Merrill Lynch or Deutsche Bank) to foreclose on properties scattered everywhere from Key West to Bainbridge Island -- or if there is actually any legal mechanism known to man that would make it possible to "work out" the sliced-and-diced collateral. The millions of maxed-out credit card holders and the issuers of their plastic are stuck together paddling a leaky tub in a sea of troubles every bit as wide, deep, and polluted as the one the mortgage junkies and their enablers are sinking in. The developers of malls, office parks, and power centers are weeping into their filing cabinets as the harsh daylight of insolvency stops the orgy of "consumption" and the retail tenants pack up their unsellable goodies for the liquidators, and the rent checks stop arriving in the mail, and the notes on this mall and that mall enter the eerie realm of "non-performance." And, of course, there are the genius wonder boyz and Wall Street playerz whose algorithms and turpitudes underwrote the script of this horror show -- for all I know they'll end up laughing into sugary skull drinks on a beach in the Cayman Islands, or doing Chinese fire drills in federal prison (or simply ass-fucked on the granite countertops of their Tribecca aeries by mobs of angry, repossessed, swindled former American dreamers pouring into Manhattan from the tract house dormitories of New Jersey and Long Island).

There's a lot to be concerned about out there. I don't mean to be too cute about it. But, as the master once said, nothing is funnier than unhappiness.

A whole closet full of "other shoes" is now waiting to be dropped. Surely the biggest clodhoppers in the closet belong to the hedge funds, representing trillions and trillions of dollar-denominated "positions" which, however hallucinatory, had previously yielded enough real "money" year-by-year to keep all the realtors and Humvee dealers in the Hamptons goose-stepping to Goldman Sachs's drumbeat. These "positions" can't help now from moving into counterparty crisis territory, especially as the bond insurers such as MBIA and Ambac go up in a vapor, and if that happens the damage could be so colossal globally that Stephen Hawking might have to be brought in to run the Federal Reserve.

This is going to be a rough week. Fastening your seat belts may not be enough for this ride. Better superglue yourselves to the floorboards and pray for God's mercy.


Source: http://jameshowardkunstler.typepad.com/clusterfuck_nation/

Anonymous said...

Bend I mean everything that goes along with it, including glorious mountain trails for hiking, a few ..., cross country skiing, local mt biking, that kind of thing.

*

Bend is a 'brand' marketed and PR'd by the City of Bend, and paid for by the taxpayer.

Everything that Bend touches turns to shit.

Bend doesn't have a fucking thing to do with the nature nearby that hasn't been destroyed by the tandem dump-trucks of Bend that run 24/7. Knife-River ( Hap-Taylor ) Capell, thanks.

Bend's only purpose in life is to cover the world with strip-malls and pavement. The Bend PR/Marketing firms ( VCB/DVA whose hubby Costa runs the BULL ) likes to Brand Bend as the #1 resort in the Western USA. Sadly, this is NOT what Bend is, Bend is a little gold-rush RE town that sells over-priced over-valued time-share condos to out of town suckers.

If you can live anywhere, and really like to ski, hike, and MUST do Eastern Oregon ... then think about Baker or Joseph, or Enterprise, places that have beauty, and aren't fucked up.

Why fucking live in Eastern Oregon that is a mirror copy of San Fernando California?? If your going to move to Eastern Oregon, do the real thing, and move to Baker City, or Enterprise, ... or John Day.

Bend is mirror copy of California call's the "ARMPIT of CALI", e.g. Southern Cali, Bend has turned a small washed up logging town into a Southern Cali Armpit Strip Mall. No intelligent person should fall for their branding. I'm sure that folks in San Fernando Valley, CA will be soon calling the 'valley' a resort. Bend gets away with it, perhaps anyone can, as long as you get the taxpayer to pick up the bill, why not?

Anonymous said...

Thanks bruce that was really funny.

We know something is up, I still say, we're close to a contrarian play, I just don't see the news getting any worse, ...

The next thing you might see is Costa of the BULL dropping the big shoe, anyone want to place bets??

The news really can't get much worse, we'll soon have DOW @ 7k, but then what??

Remember, there is still a lot of money out there, and also has Homer keeps saying, a lot of people of had a lot of time to go cash.

None of this shit should have caught anyone off guard, who was fucking paying attention.

Anonymous said...

Clusterfuck Nation by Jim Kunstler

*

This guy is funny, but I have a question for all, we're constantly told here in Bend, not to use the F* word, but this guy say's it like it is .. "Cluster Fuck Nation". ...

I mean that is so fucking apt, that even Ned Flanders would have to agree.


We are a cluster-fuck, and Bend is a ground-zero radioactive cluster-fuck epic neutron bomb. When the Bend Bubble is played out we'll have lots of RE gone to seed, but very few people.

The good news is lots of homes for chipmunks, cuz those little rats are going to be our food source, and nothing like a crap-shack for raising 'Bend Chickens'.

Anonymous said...

One thing the Bend public doesn't get about our housing debacle is that it is not just the low point in a regular cycle -- it is the end of the Siberian Suburban phase of Deschutes County history.

We won't be building anymore of it, and those employed in its development will have to find something else to do.

*

What part of Bend, reminds you most of Nero Fiddling and Rome burning??

I can honestly say by summer that the vast majority of builders and sub-contractors in Bend will either be working for food ( free or equvalent ), or will have moved on.

Anonymous said...

There is still plenty of upside. Real estate just doesn't happen to be one of them, but that is a good thing. ...try living in Seattle where 20mph is the average on the freeway ...

*

So there you have it, the only notable upside of Bend is the ability to speed.

Bend is a remote desert Island, unless your sitting on a ton of cash, which will enable you to hire natives to serve you for very little there is no upside. If speeding is life's most notable pleasures then 15 minutes out of town, you can be in the desert and burn as much fuel as you wish.

If you truly are full of cash, and can go anywhere, there are lots of better places than Bend, Oregon.

Most people came to Bend in the past five years, because the economy was booming, its over now, and will be over for a generation. Most people will now be leaving.

timothy said...

>>Most people came to Bend in the past five years, because the economy was booming, its over now, and will be over for a generation. Most people will now be leaving.

Makes sense. People who came to Bend are people who like to move. If Bend is a bummer all of the sudden, bye bye Bend.

Anonymous said...

Forecast for 2008

For the tiny fraction of people who actually pay attention to real events -- those, for instance, who know the difference between Narnia and Kandahar -- the final hours of 2007 leading into the fog-shrouded abyss of 2008 must induce great racking shudders of nausea. Has there ever been a society so exquisitely rigged for implosion? The whole listing, creaking, reeking edifice stands like one of those obsolete Las Vegas pleasure palaces awaiting a mere pulse of electrons to ignite a thousand explosive charges perfectly placed to blow away the structural supports.

The inertia holding everything together that I described in last year's forecast finally melted away at mid-summer and events began spooling out of control. Specifically, the massive tonnage of debt-backed securities circulating through the financial sector stood revealed for the mostly worthless bales of paper they truly are, and the investment community was left suspended in mid-air, grinning unconvincingly, like Wile E. Coyote thirteen yards beyond the edge of the mesa, with a sputtering grenade in each hand and an anvil tied to his ankles.

The whole second half of 2007 in the ranks of finance was a desperate rear-guard action to stave off the inevitable work-out. The fiasco over at Bear Stearns was instructive. Not long after two of their hedge funds blew up in August, the company announced that the funds had been chartered in the Cayman Islands and were therefore beyond the reach of official US legal machinery -- meaning, forget about lawsuits, you losers, chumps, and suckers who bought into our jerry-rigged scams... submit your complaints to the Tough Noogies desk and begone with you! This dodge might have benefited Bear Stearns in the short term, but in the long term it's hard to see why anybody would ever after cast one red cent in Bear Stearns' direction (in the life of this universe or several like it).

The summer's blow-ups were followed by truckloads, boatloads, and helicopter loads of rescue "liquidity" delivered through autumn by the Federal Reserve and other central banks in a continuing effort to allow investment houses, mortgage originators, reinsurance firms, and other companies trafficking in suspect paper to avoid declaring greater losses. Then the foreign sovereign wealth funds jumped in with five billion here, ten billion there, coming away with big chunks of ownership, but of what? Of companies with liabilities in excess of assets? Mostly, these desperation moves worked to paper over virtual bankruptcy through the crucial Christmas holiday, when yearly bonuses are doled out, which spared the boards of directors from having to explain why executives were lined up at the loading docks filling their Lincoln Navigators with stupid dope piles and knots of the shareholders' loot.

On the ground out in the heartland, in the anxiety-drenched, over-valued beige subdivisions of California and the ennui-saturated pastel McHousing tracts of Florida (not to mention the pathetic vinyl outlands of Cleveland and Detroit) a mighty keening welled forth as mortgage rates adjusted upward, and loans stopped "performing," and "for sale" signs failed to turn up buyers, and sheriff's deputies showed up with the rolls of yellow foreclosure tape, and actual ownership of the re-poed collateral entered a legal twilight zone somewhere north of the Florida State Teacher's Pension Fund and south of the Norwegian Municipal Councils' investment portfolios. What a mighty goddam mess was left out there by the boyz at the Wall Street genius desks, who engineered a magical system for eliminating risk from the capital markets -- only to see it leak back in from a million holes and seams and collapse the greatest bubble ever blown.

In the background, the US dollar sank to record lows against the euro and the pound sterling, the price of oil jumped 56 percent across the year just grazing the $100-a-barrel mark, drought punished the American southeast and Australia's grain belt, floods ravaged Texas and England, the polar ice shrank dramatically, but the US escaped any major hurricane action for a second year in a row.

Except for the murder of Mrs. Bhutto just a few days ago, the international scene was supernaturally quiet. Even Iraq fell into a torpor, variously attributed to utter exhaustion among the warring factions or to the US troop "surge" under general Petreus. Iran got a surprise clean bill-of-health on its nuclear bomb-making activity from America's own investigators, to the consternation of Mr. Bush & Co. The non-human denizens of Planet Earth didn't have such a good year. Honeybees, Yangtze river dolphins, and house sparrows took big hits, and Al Gore went up another suit size (as well as winning part of the Nobel Prize for his Powerpoint show). Which brings us finally to the heart of the matter: what's coming down the pike starting tomorrow, January 1, 2008?


Down and Dirty
I shudder to imagine how things will play out now as we turn the corner into 2008. Not to put too fine a point on it, but my little walnut brain can't imagine any scenario in which the US economy doesn't end up on a gurney in history's emergency room. It's not necessary to rehash the particulars of the Greenspan bubble-blowing disaster. The outcome is what concerns us. The web cables have been blazing for months with arguments as to what form the workout will take. There's little disagreement about the fundamentals at the housing end of things.

The housing market is in a death spiral. Eventually, the median price of a house will have to fall back to the median income, and it has a very long way to go, perhaps 50 percent. Until that happens, houses will be generally unsellable. At the same time, of course, an anxious finance sector will be offering fewer mortgages and on much more rigorous terms, so there will be far fewer qualified buyers even for distress sales. And the median income itself may soon not be what it has been. The whole equation has changed. As the painful re-pricing process plays out, many owners/sellers will be upside-down and under water in what they owe on the mortgage in relation to the value of the house they occupy. Quite a few may have lost jobs and incomes along the way. Most of these unfortunates would be better off just mailing in the keys and walking away. But in so far as these awful liabilities are peoples' homes, full of all their stuff and their childrens' stuff, not to mention being the repository of all their previously-imagined wealth, as well as their hopes and dreams, walking away is psychologically more easily said than done.

Surely in this election year, schemes will be advanced to bail out these poor suckers. But the beneficiaries of such a putative bail out would be far outnumbered by the home-owners still making mortgage payments, plus property taxes jacked up during the recent orgy by greedy public officials, and I don't think this majority would stand for the unfairness of seeing their neighbors simply let off the hook on their obligations. Perhaps the one thing that congress could do is change the insane law that treats foreclosures like some kind of bizzaro capital gain and piles additional huge tax demands on people who can no longer afford to buy their kids a frozen burrito. The issue of what to do about the dispossessed will be so politically red-hot that it could upset the election process --but I get a bit ahead of myself.

One thing the public doesn't get about the housing debacle is that it is not just the low point in a regular cycle -- it is the end of the suburban phase of US history. We won't be building anymore of it, and those employed in its development will have to find something else to do. Now, unfortunately the whole point of the housing bubble was not really to put X-million people in so many vinyl and chipboard boxes, but rather to ramp up a suburban sprawl-building industry as a replacement for America's dwindling manufacturing economy. This stratagem ran into the implacable force of Peak Oil, which not only puts the schnitz on America's whole Happy Motoring / suburban nexus, but implies a pervasive trend for contraction in everything from the daily distances we can travel to the the very core idea of regular economic growth per se -- at least in the way we have understood it through the age of industrial capital.
But to return to my point, something like 40 percent of all new jobs after the year 2000 were created in the final burst of suburban expansion -- everything from the excavators to the framers to the sheet-rockers, and then the providers of granite countertops, the sellers of appliances and furnishings, and cars to service the far-out new subdivisions, and so on. This is the end, therefore, not only of the production "home-builders," but perhaps everything from Crate and Barrel to WalMart, too, eventually.

By the way, the housing collapse was only one phase of a more generalized real estate debacle, because the commercial side of the business has also begun a nauseating slide into non-performance and equity destruction. In other words, we built way too many strip malls, power centers, and office parks. God knows what will happen to the owners of these white elephants, or the mortgage and lien holders of these things -- but as one wag remarked to me some years ago as we both gazed upon a forlorn abandoned strip mall outside of Tulsa, "...we don't need that many evangelical roller rinks...."

What happens out there on the housing market scene will certainly redound in banking and finance and whatever still constitutes the US economy generally. The fears and uncertainties surrounding all credit-backed tradable securities derive first from the millions of troubled home mortgages dangling slowly in the wind. These fears and uncertainties will multiply as defaults commence in commercial real estate, and desperate individuals next enter a wave of credit card default, all of it, too, securitized and sprinkled all over the world. None of this stuff has yet been priced into the public disclosures of the many troubled banks and bank-like companies holding it. Nor does anyone really know how this is affecting the hedge funds, and their staggering leveraged positions in things that are looking more and more like quicksand. I can't imagine that quite a few major banks will not collapse in the first half of 2008. It is hard to escape the conclusion that many hedge funds will also blow up, given the unsoundness of their counter-parties' positions, not to mention the frailty of the bond reinsurers. But the death of more than a few hedge funds could easily unwind the entire global finance system -- meaning a period of destructive chaos followed by a set of severely different institutional arrangements, with untold loss of imagined capital wealth along the way and big changes in everyday life. The world has never really been in a situation like this before and it is impossible to say what it might lead to. But there is no doubt that the American public has enjoyed an artificially high standard of living in relation to the value of what we actually produce -- fried chicken, hair extensions, and the Flaver Flav Show -- so the conclusion is pretty self-evident.

Others have said (and I concur) that 2008 will be the year that the issue of Peak Oil not only takes stage in the forefront of American politics, but pushes global warming aside as the most immediate threat to the "modern" way-of-life. There is every reason to believe that the world has arrived at its all-time oil production peak -- and some statisticians would even pin-point the exact moment as July 2006. Since then a few new and crucial story-lines have emerged to allow us to understand what is happening out there on the world oil scene.

One story-line is that only "demand destruction" among the world's poorest nations has kept the oil markets functioning "normally" among the OECD nations and the rising Asian players. Even so, oil priced in US dollars more than doubled in 2007. It remains to be seen whether demand destruction in a wobbling US economy -- with the suburban builders crippled -- will keep oil prices from jumping into the uncharted territory beyond $100-a-barrel. But two other forces are in operation now.

One is the growing oil export problem, soon to be a crisis. It now appears that exports, in nations with surplus oil to sell, are going down at an even steeper rate than production declines. Why? They are using more of their own oil. The population is growing robustly. The Saudi Arabians are building the world’s largest aluminum smelter and many chemical factories. This takes a lot of oil. Russia, another big exporter, saw its car sales jump by 50 percent in 2007. Mexico is depleting so rapidly, and using so much more of its own oil, that it might be out of the export game altogether in three years. That will be bad news for the US, since Mexico is tied with Saudi Arabia as America's number two leading source of oil imports. Remember, the US now imports close to three-quarters of all the oil we use.

The second new factor on the Peak oil scene is "oil nationalism." It is prompting countries like Norway and Russia to husband more of their own resources as the awareness hits that they are past peak and might want to keep their own motors humming further into the future. Oil surplus nations are also trending more toward selling their oil on the basis of long-term contracts with favored customers rather than just auctioning the stuff off on the futures market. This makes oil a much more important element in geopolitical power politics. Note that the US may not enjoy "favored customer" standing among many of these nations.

Matt Simmons, the leading investment banker to the oil industry, predicted at a major conference in October that the US is much closer to encountering a problem with chronic spot shortages of oil (and gasoline, of course) than the public realizes, and Simmons says that this supply problem will be extremely disruptive in every imaginable way -- economically, politically, and socially. Most of the commentators I take seriously see the price of oil oscillating in 2008 between $80 and $160-a-barrel. Simmons says Americans will keep sucking up the price increases, but they will probably freak out over spot shortages.

I have no idea how presidential election politics will play out in 2008. It must be obvious that so many nasty pitfalls lie out there in the months ahead that something's got to shake up the current scripted mummery among the contenders. The current batch of candidates will soon find their story-lines and pre-cooked messages out-of-date as the nation faces crises in finance and energy (at least). Given the uneventful geopolitical scene of the past 18 months (since the Hezbollah-Israel War and up to the murder of Mrs. Bhutto in Pakistan), odds are that the US will have more rather than less trouble from the rest of the world in 2008-- especially if our own financial recklessness trips up the global economy.

Back in the early days of George W. Bush, even before 9/11, I used to joke with my friends that Bill Clinton would return as the Emperor Bill the First. The joke doesn't seem so funny anymore with Hillary off and running. I never liked the way she muscled her way into a US senate seat -- sending the message, in essence, that there was not one genuine New York resident qualified for the job. But there is so much more about her I dislike now, starting with her presumption of dynastic entitlement to the annoyingly phony way she nods her head (like one of those old "drinky-bird" toys) to put across the idea that she is a fabulous "listener." I write this a few days before the Iowa caucuses and then the New Hampshire primary. New York's Mayor Bloomberg is suddenly making noises again about entering the race as an independent. That might lead to a situation as fractured as the one in 1860 that saw a multi-party scuffle send Lincoln into office (or the election of 1912 when Teddy Roosevelt made a credible run on the independent Bull Moose line). At the moment, I'd like to see both John Edwards and Barack Obama roll on. The mere thought of a president Huckabee gives me the chilblains, and the rest of the Republican pack I would not want to have as my county supervisor.

In any case, whoever ends up in the oval office will preside over one king-hell of a clusterfuck. In the immortal words of TV's erstwhile "Mr. T," I pity da fool who gets elected into this mess. There will be a whole continent full of bankrupt, re-poed, and idle former WalMart shoppers, many of them with half of their skin tattooed and many of that bunch all revved up to "roll heavy and gun up" against the folks who screwed them.

Which leads me to my penultimate observation of the moment: 2008 will be the year that celebrity wealth goes into hiding. A land full of people crying into their foreclosure notices will take a dim view of the Donald Trumps and P. Diddys luxuriating out there and may come looking for scalps -- though in the case of Mr. Trump they'll be sorry they woke up the wolverine that lives on his head. Basically, though, I'm not kidding. Conspicuous displays of wealth will be so "out" that Mr. Diddy might take to club-hopping in a 1999 Mazda. Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton may have to double-up living in a minuteman missile silo to keep the angry mobs of fans-turned-vengeful-berserkers away.

Okay, my final comment. After being chastised endlessly about mis-calling the DOW in 2006 (I said 4000), I have learned my lesson about making numerical predictions for the stock markets. So let's just say there is no fucking way that the DOW, the NASDAQ, and the S & P will not end the year 2008 absolutely on their asses. The charade of permanent prosperity based on getting something for nothing is over. That sound you hear out there is reality knocking on the door. It has been standing out in the cold for a long time and it is not happy with us.

Quimby said...

>> The Richest Man in Babylon

***

The Golden Nugget:

PAY YOURSELF FIRST!

looking for a new hometown said...

... then think about Baker or Joseph, or Enterprise, places that have beauty, and aren't fucked up

***

Holy Mother -- these places are gorgeous. Especially Baker City. Why did I think eastern Oregon was flat? Man I hope the cali's don't find these places.

Thanks

Anonymous said...

Makes sense. People who came to Bend are people who like to move. If Bend is a bummer all of the sudden, bye bye Bend.

*

The people that came to Bend, were poor people, young people looking for an affordable Aspen, ...

The people that we were told they were marketing Bend to, were the rich. These rich in fact were cali suckers that were sold $1.5M mcMansions on CREDIT, that now will not even sell @ Jumbo( $417k).

So what do we have today in Bend, a lot of 'movers' that need to find a new gig, and a lot of 'riche' that are so fucking far under water, that like above, all they have is costco micro-wave food, and 4,000 sq-ft TV-room, and a ton of debt.

Group A, the young movers are already exiting, hell the Grove just closed, the music scene in Bend is dead, the hip in my mind left years ago. ...

Group B, the boomer who bought the $1.5M mcMansion that was going to go to $3M, but now will not fetch $500k, if zero, ... they're fucked, nothing more to say, burn your 401K, ... you can't even go home to mom.

Group C, those with cash, that have a home paid for, or can rent, and live cheap, ya you'll be ok in Bend, but why Bend, you could be anywhere?

Group D, those 1,000's of telecommuters, you know there's going to be layoffs, and things are going to slow down, more power to you, ... I hope you have lots of savings, ... cuz you'll need it to stay in Bend.

Did I miss anybody??

Group 'A' a lot of young builders, like dot-com, people that built crap-shacks, but every likely will never find these jobs again in their lives, the great 50 yr suburban build is over, just like everyone being a website designer is over.

Group 'B', your fucked, your working is over, your career is over, you came to Bend to retire. You got sucked up into the delusion, and image of Bend as a retirement perpetual youth money making Disneyland, and what you got was FINANCIAL AIDS. Your going to die, but will it be Bend, can you afford to die here? It's NOT coming back in your lifetime.

Group C, watch your spending.

Group D, start your own business, and see if you can stay, there's going to be a lot of competition in the telecommuting biz, your competing with everyone in the world.

Anonymous said...

Man I hope the cali's don't find these places.

*

I don't think many cali's will be coming anymore, word is already out that there are no jobs in Oregon.

Oregon with the exception of the great post WWII logging boom, was never really a working-mans 'town'.

Easy HELOC, suburban flipping, cheap fuel, allowed suburban rats to migrate to Oregon, but the horror story's will end the migration.

My point of 'AUSTIN', who I assume is a nice 'outdoor girl', is that if you can go anywhere, and have a skill ( hairdresser, nurse,... ) or even a little money, and really love the outdoors, don't fuck with Bend, go to Joseph, Enterprise, ... Places that rival Yosemite, without the people.

It's over, the RE gold-rush in Oregon is over. People that move north now, and who survive will only be those that work, and provide a service that's needed.

Something else I have been saying for years, but the time to hide your ostentatious cali wealth is NOW, folks that have nice shit are going to become targets in this new age of have-not's, crime will skyrocket. Good time to be driving a 20 yr old subby in Eastern Oregon, with old yellow plates, and when they ask where your from, just keep your mouth shut.

timothy said...

>>the hip in my mind left years ago. ...

When I moved to Bend a few years ago, my uncle (an itinerant salesman and shadow culture dude) said, "Oh yeah, that place was hot five years ago." I said, "Hey, people are still moving here! It's hot now!," and he said, "Yeah, but those are the followers, not the leaders." I didn't know what the hell he was talking about. But I guess he's my uncle and he SHOULD know a bit more than I do.

timothy said...

>>Group D, start your own business, and see if you can stay, there's going to be a lot of competition in the telecommuting biz, your competing with everyone in the world.

And you better be twice as good, because the dude in Tennessee has half your expenses and a sweet $220k house on the golf course, with pool and tennis courts.

Anonymous said...

The Panic is ON, moving beyond Britney Spears, ...

***

The Panic is "ON": Economic 9/11


RHINEBECK, NY 21 January 2008 - The economic news keeps getting worse. Just today, equity markets around the world took their biggest hits since the September 11, 2001 terror attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon. Three weeks into the New Year, and over $5 trillion has been lost in global stock markets. (See "Economic 9/11," The Trends Journal, December 2007.)

But despite the daily onslaught of dire data staring them in the face, America's business news still debates the odds of recession, none of the front running presidential candidates have declared it, and most economic pundits won't predict it. For their mass media - trapped in its Britney Spears' state of mind - the global meltdown underway is much too heady to report and warnings of the many perils that lie ahead are childishly dismissed as "gloom and doom."

Hong Kong's Hang Seng, China's Shanghai, Europe's Dow Jones Stoxx 600, Latin America's regional benchmark, Japan's Nikkei ... all the indexes are down 20 percent or more from last year's highs, and all are wallowing in bear market territory. The Australian equities market, on its longest losing streak in 26 years, is 18 percent below its November peak. The Bombay Stock Exchange Sensitive Index has fallen 16 percent from its January 8 record close.

The S&P 500 is off to its worst start in history. In the 13 trading sessions of the New Year, the Dow, down nearly 9 percent has already given up all 2007's gains and is sinking to its lowest level since October 2006. The anemic tech-heavy Nasdaq, dropping 12 percent in the same span, is at less than half its March 2000 dot-com high.

Down more than 20 percent from their market peak - transports, retailers, semiconductors, homebuilders and financials are officially stamped bear-grade quality. In just the last week the nation's biggest bank, Citigroup, reporting its largest loss in its 196-year history, took a 14 percent hit, while Merrill Lynch, the world's largest brokerage, plunged 5.2 percent. Reporting quarterly losses in the tens of billions, and with fears of bigger losses to come - and concern that more serious damage is being hidden under the covers of writeoffs and writedowns - the financial sector is suffering its worst profit decline since the Great Depression.

Desperate for money to keep their firms from sinking, the cream of America's financial crop continued to rummage the globe begging for bailouts. Having already sold off big chunks of themselves over the last 90 days to overseas buyers, last week Citi and Merrill raised an additional $12.5 billion and $6 billion respectively from Kuwait, Japan, Singapore, Saudi and Korean governments and foreign investors.

The United States' housing depression keeps growing deeper. The Commerce Department reported that new-home building slumped last year by 24.8 percent, the biggest drop in 27 years and the second biggest annual decline on record, exceeded only by a 26 percent plunge in 1980.

Joining the growing list of big companies announcing massive layoffs, in a sign of the times, Sprint Nextel fell 25 percent in one day on frightening forecasts from the telecommunications industry of declining subscriber bases and increased late payments from customers.

Strong Denial - Little Trust
The once revered Federal Reserve Bank has lost its luster and now, when its Chairman speaks, Wall Street worries. Rather than providing calm and trusted guidance, as Fed Chief Ben Bernanke spoke to Congress last week warning of a slowdown while stating "we are not currently forecasting a recession," the Dow tanked 307 points.

The economic dangers are real and the mountains of evidence are clear, but either scared of what they see or unable to see it ... the government won't say it, the press won't print it, the politicians don't know it, and people won't admit it: The Panic is on.

Afraid of the facts, praying for hope, blinded by the truth and frozen in denial, even speaking of recession is strictly taboo. Following last week's 678-point market plunge, Leon Rousso, a certified financial planner, said to The New York Times, "The R-word is really scaring investors. I've been holding hands and comforting people to get through this and not to panic."

Admitting that the US may now be in the "panic stage" of the "current credit crisis," Saturday's Wall Street Journal editorialized that "a crash is far from inevitable if politicians and economic leaders keep their wits about them and focus on the proper remedies."

To be bailed out by politicians with Katrina quality rescue skills or rely on the same "economic leaders" that engineered the economic crisis to "keep their wits about them and focus on the proper remedies," is twisted logic and wishful thinking. Lacking the integrity, skill base, tools and means, there is nothing that Washington or Wall Street has proposed that will prevent the Panic of '08 or soften the crash.
Trendpost
Think for yourself and prepare for the future with an open mind. Be guided by common sense and acquired knowledge. Taking proactive measures now to secure assets and seek alternative revenue streams in anticipation of the worse to come will cost little but can save plenty.

We strongly recommend taking time each day to keep abreast of socioeconomic and geopolitical news and events. For example, regardless of the favored team, Israel has ratcheted up the stakes and has received UN condemnation for blockading much of the food, fuel and medicine going into Palestinian Gaza. And, today, Lebanon's military opened fire on Israeli warplanes flying over Lebanese airspace. Israel calls them "reconnaissance missions." The Lebanese call them violations of the 2006 UN-brokered cease-fire.

Should Mid-East tensions once again violently explode, the events may be a prelude to broader war with global implications that could rattle the financial world.

timothy said...

Why can't we just get Britney on Larry King Live and have him ask her if she thinks the US is in recession?

bruce said...

Re: Is there another form of 'diversification' that I'm not aware of??

1) Move the fuck outta Bend.

2) Cash.

I personally am doing the latter.


Number 3) Green/alternative/distributed energy and conservation plays. Especially projects you can own.

Oil is on its way out, so it will get ever more expensive. And you know things are really fucked up when we start burning food to drive our fucking SUVs, i.e. ethanol.

Also, consider that since the dollar has dropped so far in relation to most other currencies, the US has been hit the hardest by higher oil prices, because it's bought and paid for in dollars. If your currency is euros or something else, you are paying less of a premium than we are.

And that oil cost is passed on in higher costs for everything from plastic grocery store bags (which China is banning) to fertilizer to the fuel costs for transport of goods and people. Can you say "systemic inflation"? Of the kind that a cut of a half or full point in the Fed Funds rate is not going to cure. We are going to see systemic changes over the next decade.

As this excerpt from post before the one I put up above states over at the Clusterfuck Nation Blog (I love that name):

The "housing bubble" implosion is broadly misunderstood. It's not just the collapse of a market for a particular kind of commodity, it's the end of the suburban pattern itself, the way of life it represents, and the entire economy connected with it. It's the crack up of the system that America has invested most of its wealth in since 1950. It's perhaps most tragic that the mis-investments only accelerated as the system reached its end, but it seems to be nature's way that waves crest just before they break.

This wave is breaking into a sea-wall of disbelief. Nobody gets it. The psychological investment in what we think of as American reality is too great. The mainstream media doesn't get it, and they can't report it coherently. None of the candidates for president has begun to articulate an understanding of what we face: the suburban living arrangement is an experiment that has entered failure mode.

....

A reader sent me a passle of recent clippings last week from the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. It contained one story after another about the perceived need to build more highways in order to maintain "economic growth" (and incidentally about the "foolishness" of public transit). I understood that to mean the need to keep the suburban development system going, since that has been the real main source of the Sunbelt's prosperity the past 60-odd years. They cannot imagine an economy that is based on anything besides new subdivisions, freeway extensions, new car sales, and Nascar spectacles. The Sunbelt, therefore, will be ground-zero for all the disappointment emanating from this cultural disaster, and probably also ground-zero for the political mischief that will ensue from lost fortunes and crushed hopes.

From time-to-time, I feel it's necessary to remind readers what we can actually do in the face of this long emergency. Voters and candidates in the primary season have been hollering about "change" but I'm afraid the dirty secret of this campaign is that the American public doesn't want to change its behavior at all. What it really wants is someone to promise them they can keep on doing what they're used to doing: buying more stuff they can't afford, eating more shitty food that will kill them, and driving more miles than circumstances will allow.


BTW, I haven't had time to look at the flames following up my rants the other day, so I'll have to go back and check them out. I'm almost over the Packers, which I had anticipated with such glee over the last few days ;)

bruce said...

Re: I know bruce is smart and has a good heart, but I think he really doesn't understand how systemically evil Bend is when he say's that people will love him for what he's doing. I suspect we need folks like Bruce, hell if everyone had my attitude, it would be fucking
depressing. Bruce, is no doubt a progressive.

The evil ones don't, that's for sure. I was getting the evil eye a few times at the last CC meeting.

But a couple of points: 1) I don't care that much about what other people think, although I can rant with the best of them, 2) I really do think we will be better off in the long run around here if I can shine some sunlight in the darker places, even of only incrementally, and 3) it's just the way I'm wired. There's not a fucking thing I can do about it.

As someone noted above, this is one of the few places that we can really get a wide range of truthful information.

I've been spending an inordinate amount of time on the next release of my XPlayer slo-mo video player, but that should be done by the end of the month and I can get back to digging more.

leaving tx said...

My point of 'AUSTIN', ... don't fuck with Bend, go to Joseph, Enterprise, ...
***
Whoever recommended the various NE Oregon towns -- thank you !!! I'm in love with that area. I had no idea about the mountains, lakes, and rivers out there. Baker and Enerprise are breathtaking. I had an old nostalgic attachment to Bend from childhood, but don't like the current downside of the town at all (especially the corrupt local gov).

I have a small nest egg and a portable skill. So I'll be visiting NE Oregon and hopefully finding a place within a year. Wow!

bruce said...

Re: NE Oregon

Also, the access to Hells Canyon in that area, another benefit.

Baker is well worth the look. And I've always been partial to any town named Halfway.

timothy said...

>>Halfway.

I thought it was Half.com.

bruce said...

Get ready for a bloodbath on Wall Street tomorrow.

CBS Marketwatch:
Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index slumped 6.2% to 22,347.02 in the early minutes, after tumbling 5.5% in the previous session. The Hang Seng China Enterprises Index plummeted 8.1% to 12,440.57.

Japan's Nikkei 225 average tumbled 3.9% to 12,800.90, while the broader Topix index skidded 3.5% to 1,248.61. Australia's S&P/ASX 200 extended losses into the 12th straight session, slumping 5% to 5,303.70 and New Zealand's NZX 50 index lost 2.6% at 3,553.20, while South Korea's Kospi shed 3.9% at 1,617.23.

China's Shanghai Composite, which fell more than 5% in the previous session, sank 2.6% to 4,783.42, while Taiwan's Weighted index tumbled 5.6% to 7,658.71.


And this, from before the above news hit:
If futures contracts traded on a day when U.S. stocks weren't even due to open are anything near accurate, then markets will be in for a major decline on Tuesday, with concerns about bond insurers and the health of financial institutions dragging markets lower.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average futures contract was recently off 520 points at 11,586, the Nasdaq futures were at 1773.25, down 76.25, and the Standard & Poor's 500 futures recently were at 1265, down 60.3.

Futures contract don't move in complete lockstep to the underlying indexes, but by comparison, the Dow industrials fell 382 points on Sept. 20, 2001, just days after the terrorist attack on the Twin Towers, and by 387 points on Aug. 9, 2007, shortly after the recent credit crunch first emerged.


Any predictions? I think we see the Dow drop 400-500, with almost but not quite as large of drops in percentage terms in the NASDAQ and S&P 500.

Buster is right--cash is king right now.

And I'm still waiting for my burrito :)

bruce said...

Re: Half.com

From http://www.designobserver.com/archives/017370.html

"What Ever Happened to Half.com, Oregon?"

Without an operative site in place, I hit the phones, calling local businesses like the Clear Creek Farm Bed & Breakfast, the Birch Leaf Guest House, the Hillside Bed & Breakfast and the Halfway Supper Club: no answer anywhere. I assumed Angela's Beauty Salon might be open for business on a summer afternoon — yet here, too: no answer. I left a message at Ronda Dillman Insurance Agency. Finally, I tried The Shop ("Need your car checked out? At The Shop, we don't just work on cars, we fix them."). A fellow named Gordon R. Kaesemeyer answered. He told me he was busy , but could give me a few minutes.

I asked him about the town's decision to rename itself Half.com, which, Kaesemeyer told me, turned out to be a rather short-term arrangement. "We just passed a proclamation that lasted for one year." I asked him whether the town actually got the money and computers promised by Half.com: "Yeah, we got our money and some computers," he assured me. " 'Course that just caused some problems like money always does." Encouraged by his answers, I thanked him for his time and asked him to put me in touch with Halfway's mayor.

"That would be me," he replied.


I have a good friend that lives over near there.

Anonymous said...

Buster is right--cash is king right now.

And I'm still waiting for my burrito :)


*

Nah, its homer this week that sez cash is king, but buster wants to sleep with bruce now, more than ever, buster wife making in sleep in garage tonight, something about too many abyss @ deschutes, ...

On that note, Homer is right Cash, but on the first call "sell your Bend RE', me thinks its a little late, ....

timothy said...

Plaza unloaded for 30 cents on the dollar to a Seattle concern, according to someone who posted on bendbb.

What is the deal with these Seattle dorks who think they can come in and get something done in bend? I thought only the Portland guys could rule out town.

timothy said...

>>Get ready for a bloodbath on Wall Street tomorrow.

The Sensex just opened down 11% and got halted. Watch CNBC India (you can find streams of it for free online) if you want to see what a train wreck looks like. Plus, the gals are kinda hot.

Anonymous said...

Baker is well worth the look. And I've always been partial to any town named Halfway.

*

Halfway, Bruce darling, I haven't been there in years, but ah shit, that makes Joseph look like big time, but yes, its everything that Bend isn't,...

Ya, Halfway is paradise, its the Eastern Oregon that ALL the PR in Bend, promotes without the FUCKING Walmart, what a novel fucking idea!

I suspect that the folks in Halfway, are about at the same point as the folks in Paisley, You Talk "Bend my Town Shit", and you better be ready by AM, to be on the fucking road, how does it feel to have a 10 gauge up your ass loaded with double-OO buck?? Nobody, wants their fucking town "Bended", "Don't Bend my fucking town", its synonymous with baby rape.

Bend is fucking Bend, its cali town, but "BEND" any other town in Eastern Oregon, and meet the fucking maker.

I think at this point in time, Bend is a throw-away an Icon of what human parasitic greed can create, but no doubt, the rest of Eastern Oregon is well armed, and even Hillary's Army, the Best Nazi that Federal Reserve Notes can buy, .. will be held at bay.

Anonymous said...

if you want to see what a train wreck looks like. Plus, the gals are kinda hot.

*

Hotter than Friedmans "cascade girlz"?? I heard that michelle is dumb & hot??

Quimby said...

Buster's back from the Big D on a Monday night. Watch out!! It's better than Monday Night Football.

Anonymous said...

Seattle dorks who think they can come in and get something done in bend?
*

Microsoft money came easy, and they all want a piece of 'bend' the 'brand' that is, ... nobody ever said that easy-money, even easy MS money was smart, ...

Good for Homer's girlfriend, becky if it be true that she sold at cost to some fucking bozo whose beckons from Seattle, p.s. Paul Allen is dumb fucking investor, if it be true then good for becky.

Anonymous said...

Hillary's Army, the Best Nazi that Federal Reserve Notes can buy, .. will be held at bay.

*

What's the first thing that Bill did when he became prez?? He unleashed the dog's of war aka Janet-Reno, the ugliest fucking woman in the USA on a collective of Seventh Day Adventists, the rest is history, ... Dozens of children were incinerated, and what came of it ?? ClitorisB got brought up for impeachment over a blow-job from a Jewish PDX 'intern'!

Who say's buster doesn't bust balls on democrats?

Do you see any Hot young Jewish gals suck DUMBYA cock?? I say Not!

bruce said...

I've got to get over and try this mythic Abyss Stout. Sounds real good.

Anyway, some answers to the responses to my progressive populist rants:

We have one minivan and six bikes between us. No-five-I just sold my mountain bike today. Got my eye on a newer, cooler one. Yes, I actually ride a lot around town. Even to the CC meetings. Anyone who works where I sub can tell you that. But my wife has been working at Macy's and dressing in all this black fancy stuff, so she's been driving. We want to get a little Geo Metro or something, and save the minivan for hauling shit when we need to. It's going on 225,000 miles and doesn't look like its going to die anytime soon, and was bought with cash, so might as well hang onto it.

My patents are for interactive video exercise systems, where exercise speed directly controls video playback speed in realtime. See exerscape.com if you care. We also do the XPlayer, using the core technology with a menu slider interface to control the speed. Great for inspecting Homer's porn collection. Free download at exerscape.com/html/xplayer.html

On the city's books--people get in big doodoo if they fuck with the publics money. So, yes, I have actually been reading the line items in the budget detail report. For instance, I didn't see the Les Schwab payment where I expected it, under "Proceeds from Sale of Real Property" in the General Fund ledger. It was stuck in the BURA Juniper Ridge Construction Fund ledger under "Proceeds From Sale of Fixed Assets". Which is a little odd.

I have a few things I'm going to ask Sonia about when I get the chance, this being one of them, along with questions on the upcoming $5M bond issuance. Sonia told me at the last CC meeting the City has received an A rating, which isn't all that great.

On the level of debt the city is taking on, note that if you search on Debt Service in the Detail Budget, you get an awful lot of hits. As long as this service is being paid by identifiable revenue streams, like the BURA funds are, it's no big deal. It's when it gets paid from the General Fund that it gets problematic in down times. Right now we have over $7 million reserved for future debt service, and hundreds of thousands in current debt service being paid from the General Fund for things like fire stations, road work, etc. I'm curious to see how another $5M in pricey debt is going to affect us going forward.

As far as bus grant, that was last year and it would be pretty easy to go back to the mid-Jan. 07 CC packet and download the budget detail to find out what went where.

And, trust me, I've been called way worse than "pussy" :)

Anonymous said...

Why can't we just get Britney on Larry King Live and have him ask her if she thinks the US is in recession?
*

Because then the BULL would have to cover, and even Britney knows that when the BULL signs, its game-over.

Anonymous said...

I have a few things I'm going to ask Sonia about when I get the chance, this being one of them, along with questions on the upcoming $5M bond issuance. Sonia told me at the last CC meeting the City has received an A rating, which isn't all that great.

*

Is sonya hot? I mean is she as hot as becky? or hotter than Mrs. Tetherow aka Heidi? Is she as hot as Norma?? Who is the hottest MILF in Bend??

Homer where are you???

Anonymous said...

Bruce,


Given that Kunstler is so HOT on alt-energy investments, and you are too, and one of my goals in this forum is that we find alt investments other than staus quo, do you see any alt-investments in energy other than capstone?

Your Kunstler (?) seems to be non-specific, I personally think we'll all be long dead before status-quo let's some new from of energy replace the existing order, ... and thus alt-energy will not be hot in our life time, please show an old dog wrong, ...

Anonymous said...

And, trust me, I've been called way worse than "pussy" :)

*

You haven't been called a slimey-pussy by homer, that's a double dog dare, ...

p.s. the second ugliest woman on the planet after Janet Reno is retiring, ..
EBay CEO Meg Whitman is preparing to retire, and John Donahoe, president of eBay's auction business unit, has emerged as the leading candidate to succeed her.

bruce said...

Re: Is sonya hot?

If you like trim little Asian girls, very.

bruce said...

Re: Alt energy investments other than CPST...I personally think we'll all be long dead before status-quo let's some new from of energy replace the existing order, ... and thus alt-energy will not be hot in our life time, please show an old dog wrong, ...

I think that over the next 10-15 years we are going to see oil jolts to our economy unlike anything we have experienced yet. As I was just reading earlier today, the largest oil exporters, like Russia and Mexico (our second largest supplier) are keeping more and more of their oil at home as their economies grow. On top of the great increases in oil usage n SE Asia, in China and India in particular, both of which are far more populous than the US, we are going to go past equilibrium in supply and demand in the very near future, i.e. 12-24 months, unless the whole world goes into a longer recession. The only thing that will bring us back into equilibrium is pricing, meaning higher, much higher, pricing. This will bring some barely viable production back into service, but the pure numbers of consumers in China and India (close to 2 billion compared to our 300 million) are simply going to overwhelm global oil production.

This will make alternative energy more feasible, as well as force other systemic changes as so much of our economy is based on oil, in production as well as in transportation. Wind is a good place to look around, as it is already viable in many areas.

I personally like the idea of setting up a structure that can build distributed energy plants that take full advantage of all incentives and create an ongoing revenue stream. Going to me, of course. These can be sited in places where they naturally fit. Like Capstone C65's at wastewater treatment plants, landfills, and large dairies, pig farms, etc. Wind can also be done this way--why doesn't someone take advantage of the howling wind up by the top of Pine Marten lift at MtB, for example?

There are myriad small players in different alt energy areas. I'll dig around give you a few links to peruse. Many are still in the VC stage and haven't gone public yet. Some are hyped, some are not.

Nanosolar is a good example of a still private company with interesting technology and a definite market advantage in solar if they can pull it off. They will go public at some point.

The American Wind Energy Association has a member list that is worth looking at: http://www.awea.org/

The DOE has an alt energy page at http://www.eia.doe.gov/fuelrenewable.html

Pay attention to the legislation being proposed, too, as that can give some types an financial advantage through incentives.

CPST is in a unique spot with their technology and IP. They seem to be getting on a roll, and just announced a new Chinese distributor last week. I'll know a lot more about them in the next month or so.

timothy said...

>>the largest oil exporters, like Russia and Mexico (our second largest supplier) are keeping more and more of their oil at home as their economies grow.

Saudi Arabia has passed up the US as the #1 per capita user of oil.

But I hate alternative energy as an investment.

Anonymous said...

Foreign markets crashing ....

Boy those doomsday money types are in for a world of hurt -- they've been telling everyone to invest, invest, invest in foreign stocks to ride out the US tumble.

Who could be so stupid? Well, I guess the people who bought all their books — then purchased the foreign stocks. Sounds like a typical Bendite.

bruce said...

FED HAS EMERGENCY MEETING, CUTS KEY RATE .75% AFTER DOW PLUMMET 400+

Jan. 22 (Bloomberg) -- The Federal Reserve lowered its benchmark interest rate in an emergency move for the first time since 2001 after stock markets tumbled from Hong Kong to London and the U.S. economy showed increasing signs that it's headed into a recession.

The central bank cut the target overnight lending rate to 3.5 percent from 4.25 percent, the Federal Open Market Committee said in a statement in Washington. Policy makers weren't scheduled to gather until next week. It's the biggest single reduction since the Fed began using the rate as the principal tool of monetary policy around 1990.


More at source, with six and counting updates: http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601103&sid=a.MZINBFglTY&refer=us

Stocks Plummet After Surprise Cut,
Huge Declines in Overseas Markets


U.S. stocks appeared headed for a bear market, as a deep, eleventh-hour rate cut by the Federal Reserve Tuesday morning initially stemmed, but failed to halt a wave of stock selling spreading from overseas.

Just after the open, the Dow Jones Industrial Average tumbled 422.13, or 3.5%, to 11677.17, the Nasdaq Composite Index lost 95.75, or 4.1%, to 2244.27, and the S&P 500 slid 47.98, or 3.6%, to 1277.21.

The declines follow huge sell-offs overseas Monday on fears a U.S. recession can't be avoided and will weigh on global markets. On Monday, shares in Hong Kong slid 8.7%, Japan's Nikkei 225 Index fell 5.7%, Dow Jones Stoxx 600 Inex off 1.3%, and Germany's DAX-30 Index down 2%.

In early U.S. trade, Bank of America fell 6.3% to $33.71 after the bank posted a 95% drop in fourth-quarter profit as the company recorded a higher-than-expected $5.28 billion in collateralized debt obligation write-downs and said credit costs soared.

Ambac Financial Group added 16 cents, or 2.6%, to 6.36 after the troubled bond insurer swung to a fourth-quarter net loss as the company recorded recorded billions in write-downs on its credit derivatives portfolio, and said it is "evaluating strategic alternatives."


More: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB120101224506206555.html?mod=googlenews_wsj

bruce said...

Yep, it's going to be all us fucking baby boomers fault yet again.

Why Baby Boomers May Bust the Housing Market

Think the current housing downturn and the subprime mortgage mess is the worst of the housing market’s problems? Not so, according to a report published this month in the Journal of the American Planning Association.

About to wreak havoc on the housing market are the 78 million American baby boomers who will “retire, relocate, and eventually withdraw from the housing market,” according to report authors Dowell Myers, a professor of urban planning and demography in the School of Policy, Planning and Development at the University of Southern California, and SungHo Ryu, an associate planner with the Southern California Association of Governments.

Using demographic data to show that individuals in their mid-60s tend to sell more often than buy, the authors contend that when boomers — a “dominant force in the housing market” — start reaching the age of 65 in the year 2011, a market shift will occur. Some retirees will be looking to downsize, others will relocate to warmer climes, while others will move to nursing homes, says Mr. Myers. As they transition out of the housing market or look to sell their homes, in some states there will be “more homes available for sale than there are buyers for them.” Home prices will soften.

The “sell-off” will create a sizeable hurdle for the housing market, because as Mr. Myers puts it, “It isn’t money that buys property, it’s warm bodies. If you don’t have enough warm bodies to fill up the space, the space stays empty.


Homer slaps forehead, exclaims "Duh!"

More at source: http://blogs.wsj.com/developments/2008/01/16/why-baby-boomers-may-bust-the-housing-market/?ref=patrick.net?mod=fpa_blogs

You know, it's absolutely amazing what passes for inciteful analysis these days. And since Rupert now owns the Journal things aren't going to get any better.

bruce said...

FYI--the comments following that Baby Boomer/real estate article are far better than the article itself.

Anonymous said...

Yep, it's going to be all us fucking baby boomers fault yet again.

*

It's not so much the 'boomers fault', its that the boomers are going to get fucked the worst, cuz most of them were counting on that 'equity' as being their retirement.

Everything is going according to plan, this whole thing was planned years ago. Just like clock work.

Anonymous said...

But I hate alternative energy as an investment. - tim

*

Yeh, that's why I asked bruce, and explicitly said "and I don't want to hear about capstone", ... he's like a 24/7 sales-rep for that slut. Like the whole 'progressive' scene and progressive mutual funds, they tend to be losers.

Honestly I think a lot will be done on optimization of diesel engines, ... we'll see 100mpg, ...

I was hoping for a few names of alt-energy, not to be told who was private, or more about capstone, ...

The problem is there is no perpetual motion machine coming down the line, most investments are best played by looking around, ...

There was a guy a few years ago in the valley that was selling chinese generators, that cost $1k, and produced 10kw, and used a few pints of fuel a day on demand, it was quite a contraption. When you start seeing people going off the grid by the ton, ... and see what they're buying, ... then you know to invest in. I didn't buy the chinese generator, cuz I didn't need that level of power. This is for people who go buy 5 acres in 'HALFWAY', and plan to live off the grid. There's a lot folks that mine for gold out there, you can get a claim for free, and then put a little money in the property, those situations are ideal for alt-energy.

When I see these 'chinese' contraptions, that parts aren't available, I run. Usually chinese stuff is all made one time, they sell 100 of 1,000's and then retool the factory for a batch of something else. This is why you can buy Chinese tractors for $5k, but try to get parts in five years.

Bruce, given that I'm a physicist by education, actually I was petroleum geo-physicist before I 'retired' years ago, I have dabbled quite a bit in solar, ... etc

I have found no problem at all in even here in Oregon, to generate all the electricity I need with a couple RV battery's, a few 3A solar panel's, and toss in harbor-Freight 5k inverter that I bought for $120. $10 for good charge-controller, I think my system cost $500 total, and I have used it quite a bit, nowadays I just keep it all around such that if I wanted to go off grid I could, and I have generators which are more useful during temporary power outages, ...

Personally I think the alt-energy is just the simple fact that most people are too lazy to change, if in fact their power bill was the most important thing in their life. Which its NOT, as a percentage of money we pay NOTHING for power.

Take EU, there it can cost $40/room per day to heat, so what we do is only heat selective rooms. No such thing as forced-air full heating, USA things are cheap and wasteful,

Then take China, India, or Mexico, what most people do is just steal some wire, throw tenny shoes over the power line, and steal power, in china there are wires hanging everywhere, ... nobody will be creative in these places until the ease to steal is gone.

In summary progressive investments like alt-energy will probably continue to be loser investments.

Should 'power' become very expensive, there are lots of ways to save money. To me its quite simple.

1.) Have a small house, and keep just the room you hang-out in, heated, ... woodstove, whatever
2.) Have a solar-system, which is cheap, for your lighting
3.) When its cold keep bundled up,
4.) Propane high efficient fridges are the best way to keep food.
5.) Most use of electricity is lighting & electronic consumer crap;

It seems down in No-Arizona that most people I know are off the grid, probably the hardest thing is water, as it takes a lot of HP to raise water up 400-600 feet, there are systems look like the old dunking-horse oil pumps', which can raise the water during the day with little electric motors ... today there are 12v lamps, ... all kinds of stuff so you don't even need an inverter. There are even low current fridges you can find.

The people that are fucked in this energy deal are these +3k sq-ft homes that will cost a MTG to heat and power, which is why they'll be worth NOTHING, ...

Anonymous said...

Re: Is sonya hot?

If you like trim little Asian girls, very.

*

Pic's bruce, Pic's. Homer needs to new pic's.

timothy said...

Sin funds beat socially responsible investing. Why? Because sin is about the NOW.

People who invest in socially responsible funds I call "donors." They are effectively giving away their money.

If you want to be smart, make your money in sin, then use that money to do the good you want to do. That's much more efficient.

People think they'll make money in alternative energy because it's the future. Sure it is, but what's your return on investment? Horrible. You have to wait too long. It's opportunity cost that will kill you.

We've had many new, amazing industries that really were the future, and they gave investors NOTHING. How would you have done if you had invested in every car company or every airline early? Horrible. And those were completely transformational industries.

Forget the damned alternative industries. Nothing but grief there.

Anonymous said...

Sin funds beat socially responsible investing. Why? Because sin is about the NOW.

*

Ok, so what are some good contemporary 'SIN' plays, and NOT capstone??

timothy said...

Easiest play is:

http://www.vicefund.com/

bruce said...

Re Honestly I think a lot will be done on optimization of diesel engines, ... we'll see 100mpg, ...

We are getting close already. Right now the VW TDI's get great mileage, 50+ in many cases. The Jetta Wagon TDI is a great little vehicle. These cars engender great loyalty, as seen at the TDI Club Website.

Another hybrid angle is a small diesel generator powering a small battery pack that drives an electric motor. Peugot is set to introduce this one next year, reportedly getting up to 83 mpg.

Ex-geo-phys, you make many more great points. Until energy is noticeably more expensive, people are too lazy to change. It is getting more expensive and people are starting to notice, but it's going to happen in fits and spurts. Over time it will occur. The EU is already way ahead of us because of the energy taxes they have.

There are just not that many alt energy companies shipping real products that are public right now. And those that are are very immature. VC money went into alt energy big time over the last few years, and those companies will be going public when the market starts coming back in a year or two.

Some companies to check out are Ballard, Active Power, Plug Power, American Superconductor. The PESWiki has a lot of good stuff, too. Much of it is aimed at the do-it-yourself crowd.

I think you have it right on fact that we could do with a lot less energy. Where I live now we have electric in-wall heaters in each room, and we only heat the rooms we are in. We have the stupid vaulted ceiling thing in the living room and dining room, though, which is a waste of heat. I want to put a ceiling fan up there to push the warm air back down to living levels. Also, central water heating--it drives me nuts to have to run the water for 20 seconds (and it's only about 12 feet) to get hot water, and then think about that hot water I just "bought" sitting in the pipe cooling down. Installing on-demand units like we use in the on-course bathrooms at Widgi just makes a lot more sense, although more expensive initially.

Your small solar system, along with a small wind system for after dark, would be adequate for most peoples use. Battery technology is coming along, and with a combination of solar, wind, and diesel generator backup, a person can get along just fine.

But it's just not as easy as wiring your house to the gird, and to the gas if its available. Systemic changes need to occur, which will only be driven by price. Which is occurring every day. The system aggregators that put together systems that can be easily installed will help drive this. A "smart" grid with regulated interconnection so people with home energy systems can feed their surplus back into the system will move things forward as well.

One interesting project on a home scale is this Windbelt technology. I want to get one of their developer kits when they come out. But, alas, yet another private company.

But the whole industry is in such a nascent state that it's pretty hard to invest in without extremely high risk.

But, as I'm sure you are aware, oil is reaching it's end game. It was a hell of a run but in the end it major portion of it will have lasted about 200 years. Pretty wild in the greater scheme of things. Especially considering the societal changes it wrought, both good and bad. Something will have to take it's place, some combination of conservation and distributed energy.

Anonymous said...

Thanks, tim for you insight on 'feel good' funds, I feel the same way, they seem to be a way for people to feel good about losing their money.

I always thought the reason they did so bad, was they were being ran by people who didn't see the world for what it is.

Regarding 'SIN' alcohol isn't holding up, what is?? Gambling? Bad Food? Pornography??

I have always agreed, make your money do what you need to make your money, and then spend that money on ways you wish to improve the world, or your own sphere of influence.

Making money is largely about doing what money-making people do, you can study them, and learn how they do it, and then just do it. In time when you get money, then you can spend it as you wish.

But to hand your money over to some progressive dog&pony 'optimist' generally its just another con game.

It is an interesting question, in times such as these, if there are any interesting investments.

I have always done "CASH", and "REAL ESTATE". Done ok, The dollar has been dropping like a rock for over 20 years, I have made lots of NEW dollars, by holding 'good' money. There's a lot of us that have been assuming for +30 years that the US economy would go into the toilet, for no other reason than everybody wants something for nothing, and everyone feeds at the government pig trough, the USA is a huge pyramid scam, that is-was bound to collapse.

Certainly even in Bend, if you buy homes for CHEAP, and they do come CHEAP every generation or so, and hold for a generation, you can make a lot of money, at least enough so you don't have to have a job.

The smartest folks who ever wrote about money said "Making it is easy, keeping it is hard".

Holding USA cash isn't a good idea, even though Homer say's CASH, I'm sure he really means safe liquidity. Perhaps T-Bills, or whatever,... I'm very leery of the dollar, and have been for +30 years, and so far I have only made a profit on that bet. Given that even today with the 3/4% drop on FED you know the dollar will drop, ...

Eventually we'll have to have 20% rates again, to get them back to the buck.

To me its just these 20 year cycles, BUY LOW, SELL HIGH,

We bitch a lot about Real Estate, but like I have said all along here, folks will always been living around Drake Park in Bend, that siberian suburb shit is fucked, but the inner city nice homes will always have value cuz, people want to live there.

I dabbled a little in the 60's in the stock market and the 70's, always had a problem with brokers following orders, now with automation it might be better, but like Ben Graham said, if your not going to make it a full-time research don't bother, and to me, its simply NOT that interesting.

Besides on the issue of the market, THE best investment is always yourself. Develop and sell your own product, is always the best way to make money, don't give your money to someone else to manage. They say for every $10k you put into Microsoft in 1986 you could have made a million, at the time that wasn't a sure thing, I certainly found that for every $10k, I put into my biz, I made that kind of return, and I didn't have to study somebody else's management, cuz I was managing the biz.

Someone commented the other day on the "richest man in babylon", about paying yourself first, to me that is not the essential issue of the book.

The essential issue is this notion that 98% of all people in all civilization's for all time are fucked, and will always be fucked. That there is ONLY ever 2% that see how the real game is played, and play the game, and get all the chips. You must be one of the 2%, that is the point of the book, simply paying yourself first doesn't make you one of the 2%.

A lot of this is just Discipline as Homer has mentioned. Everyone of my renters I always give the speech. "Your renting a $400k house, for $1k or less, if you were buying this house it would cost you $3k/mo, take the difference and save it, and your ahead of the buyer", ... How many renters follow that advice?? Nada, they never do, cuz they're part of the 98%.

Yes, like tim said, give the book to kids, and some will think about how the game is played, and learn the real rules, and play the game correctly. It's discipline and habit.

Even now in Bend there is money to be made, there is always money to be made. You have to keep your eyes open and see who is making the money, and when your young a good way is to work at successful places and see how they do it, and then start your own biz, and play their game.

Look at our own BendBubble all the cali's ( 98 per-centers ) came up here and bought over-priced crap-shacks. In time the shit will go to zero, but there will be nice prices on nice inner city homes, and folks ( 2 per-centers ) will buy those and put renters in them so they pencil out, ... Buy cheap, get 15yr fixed, and your paid off by the next bubble-peak, you can survive or sell, your in control.


The point of the book "Richest Man in Babylon" to me is to understand why 98% are always fucked, and why 2% aren't and how to become one of the 2%, and NOT be one of the 98% and that is the point of the book.

Anonymous said...

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=733Zn28xxzs&feature=related


This explains it all.

bruce said...

My dream car: http://www.autoweek.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080104/FREE/4970299/1065

Imagine, 500 hp and 738 lb-ft of torque, and probably close to 40mpg on the highway ;)

Watching Audi's R10 kick everyones ass from Le Mans to Sebring really opened up peoples eyes to the performance and economy of diesels. And to imagine the were originally designed to run on peanut oil.

Anonymous said...

Yes I love the TDi, and I thin there is better stuff coming.

In EU all hot water is on demand, your shower head is the hot-water heater, your not heating the house pipes, ...

It's like in remote chinese villages, they generate NO GARBAGE, people talk about conservation the US, but in Chinese villages these people have been generating no garbage for 1,000's of years,

All shit & piss is collected,that is the fertilizer. All food waste is compost, there is NO notion of garbage, a six month child can crawl a village, and never get cut from broken glass or bottle caps, because nothing as such is ever wasted.

America is a RICH country unbelievably rich, and wasteful, we throw way glass bottle's, and everything, in most of the world a glass bottle would be handed down son to father as a treasure.

I don't think USA really needs gadgets to 'solve' the problem(s) of energy. What need is either poverty, or hugely expensive energy, I'm all for $10/gal fuel, always have, trouble is for a lot of biz, it would change everything and thus nobody will allow it. In EU they really do price things so people aren't wasteful, yet food is reasonable, things you need are reasonable, its only things that we think nothing of wasting that are expensive.

I think what I'm saying is that a "GADGET" is really not the solution to the USA's peak-oil problem, the solution is to live simply. Of course this isn't going to happen, ... but there will always be villages even in remote areas of Oreogon, where people will keep things simple and NOT fuck up the place.

In Bend, the place is fucked up, and all the waste, and speed, and generation of garbage, and covering everything with asphalt will destroy that which people came here for.

I don't think the people in Chinese Villages even have a word for 'conservation', its just how they live, and how they have always lived.

I think that even two hundred years ago in America people said "Waste not, want not",

Bend is a wasteful city, needless spending our city-hall wastes our taxation revenue, our citizenry ( knife-river ) wastes our environment, and the more they waste, the more they want.

timothy said...

>>The point of the book "Richest Man in Babylon" to me is to understand why 98% are always fucked, and why 2% aren't and how to become one of the 2%, and NOT be one of the 98% and that is the point of the book.

Right. The key moment comes early in the book. It's the epiphany. The two poor friends are sitting together wondering why the hell they are poor and why the hell their friend from school is so rich.

The friends wonder what the hell has happened to all the money they've made in their lives. For the life of them, they can't see that they have anything to show for their work.

The result of the epiphany is a decision to suck up their pride, stop whining, and learn from rich people how wealth works.

Anonymous said...

Imagine, 500 hp and 738 lb-ft of torque, and probably close to 40mpg on the highway ;)

*

There you have it, Bruce's econo-box.

Perfect for those Bend-Roundabouts.

Let's see you get the weight down to under a 1,000 LB's, and market it as the bruce-rocket. You can compete with those new Indian $2500 Tata's ( or whatever ).

Anonymous said...

The result of the epiphany is a decision to suck up their pride, stop whining, and learn from rich people how wealth works.

*

Thanks, and it has nothing to do with paying yourself first.

It has everything to do with "HOW YOU SPEND YOUR MONEY".

Which is FULL CIRCLE back to Bend Oregon, people who spent their money post 2000 on BEND RE are fucked.

Locked into the 98% forever. Ok, if bought after winter of 2006, and wrote a low-ball, close to the 2005 high, like 50%, then your OK, in my book, but ANYBODY that paid 2000 -> current and pays over 50% of the 2005 high, has locked themselves and their family forever into the 98% loser category.

Not a pleasant picture, but as Tim say's the first step is to quit whining, and study what went wrong, and learn from your mistakes.

Let's remember that 98% of the fellow jack-asses out there are always wrong, all the time. This is why we had a Bend Bubble, and the people that run this town aren't part of the 2% either, the only reason they're eating, is they have figured out how to feed at the public pig trough ( taxpayer parasitism ). The reason that Costa, DVA/VCB, The BULL, City-Hall, et-al, refuse to acknowledge the bubble is over, is that would require them to terminate the feed at the pig trough, thus this city is heading towards bankruptcy, and in the end it will be "we the people who will pay".

Take away Knife-Rivers welfare assistance from the city-of-bend, and make Brooks pay actual cost of SDC's, and all these welfare queens would be broke.

There are ways to make money, and there are real rich people in Bend, but they are far and few, and ain't they got a fucking thing to do with the bastards running this town into the toilet.

Anonymous said...

Let's remember that 98% of the fellow jack-asses out there are always wrong, all the time.

That explains buster all right.

Anonymous said...

Oh brother!

Anonymous said...

The 98% versus 2% has nothing to do with right or wrong.

In all civilizations, there are always a minority that understand money.

These principals are NOT taught in public education, because those that rule from behind the scenes don't wan their children to have to compete.

Even if "Tim" handed a book to every child in Bend, still only 2% would listen, its human nature.

Tim said today, the reason that alt-energy is a bad play is 'sin' people want it now, those are the 98% that want it now.

I never said either was good or bad, what we're doing here is debating the bubble.

Anonymous said...

For those who haven't been to Ned Flanders's site today, we're having a good debate on the culpability of the SORE and its relation to the promotion or anti-promotion of Bend as the #1 tourist resort in the USA. It seems that blame-game has started and the revisionists of the SORE are now says that they opposed the bubble and the promotion, and over-selling of Bend all along. Does this mean the BULL will also be signing the same tune??

This all gets back to Homer's insight this week, and the silence of the BULL. The tide is turning, and a whole new reality is developing before our eyes.

***

Duncan,

Perhaps you can dedicate a thread to this subject.

It seems to me the theme here is that the SORE was somehow opposed to the Bend Bubble, and was not involved in the promotion of Bend.

I find this confusing, as my recollection is that Aaron who owns the SORE has made his career since he moved here and bought the SORE to 24/7 promote events in Bend, including your favorite street closures.

Today the essence of Bike's argument, is that writers for the SORE were opposed to the development and growth of Bend that is causing today's problems, which is largely that there are too many users in our recreational system, compared to say twenty years ago.

I ask all for the humble judgment, was the SORE part of the problem, or did they ever offer a solution?

Regarding "NO BOB", I think, I'm sure philosopher Duncan knows, that during these RE bubble implosion, the blame game comes front and center. These games are always irrational, but then the bubble was irrational.

What was the SORE's role in during the irrational bubble years?

Anonymous said...

The result of the epiphany is a decision to suck up their pride, stop whining, and learn from rich people how wealth works.

*

You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink.

Oh well, you can't say we didn't try.

The great bend-bubble debate move's on, ...

My problem, is that City-Hall by bankrupting our town, is in effect polluting our water source, and thus all of us horse's are going to get sick, even though many of us had nothing to do with the the Great Bend Pig Trough Feed of 2000->2008.

Again I have defined 'pig trough' feed as all those who feed on the city-hall dole, and that's a lot of people in this little town, when this ponzi/pyramid collapses there is going to be lots of pain in Bend.

timothy said...

>>These principals are NOT taught in public education, because those that rule from behind the scenes don't wan their children to have to compete.

Try to find a single teacher who understands wealth.

You know what teachers think? That your goal is to get as much education as you can and go work for the man for a super-successful winning life.

Anonymous said...

You know what teachers think? That your goal is to get as much education as you can and go work for the man for a super-successful winning life. - tim

*

Your giving them more credit, I know a lot of teachers, and you know what they think? Get through 30 yrs ASAP, and start collecting your PERS pension. I know there are exceptions, but ALL the teachers I know, this is how they think, and act. Public education is a pig-trough for those politically connected, and nothing more. It's not a Jeffersonian Model, that is only a myth. Modern USA public education is a racket, like our medical system, we spend the most and get the worst results. To quote Bruces "Kunstler" ( or whatever ) everything is a 'cluster fuck".

Sadly like most things in life its not how it appears, and I think woody-allen said it best "Those than can't do teach, and those that can't teach, teach PE".

Enough said.

The reason I mention the teaching of the true principles of wealth, is in my years I have crossed paths with 'billionaires', and over beers they have expressed to me their greatest fear is having THEIR children COMPETE with children from the poor areas.

The principles of wealth don't require intelligence. The wealthy know that they're offspring are not endowed on average with any advantage in intelligence.

All things being equal, most great treasures created by grandpa, are always liquidated by the time grand-chilren are running the company, unless there are strong-trusts, which do exist.

Which gets back to our Bend-Bubble, the ease of easy money and debt, essential creates a class of perpetual peasants, ... Deja-Vu.

Anonymous said...

The BULL has a story, new company, 20 employees, Bends problem solved Recession over.
***

Wash. 'clean energy' firm moving HQ to Bend


Economic Development for Central Oregon announced Tuesday that Integrated Environmental Technologies LLC, the premier provider of plasma-based clean energy technology with about 23 employees, has selected Bend for the relocation of its headquarters operation.

IET has developed patented technology solutions to convert waste into ethanol, methanol and other clean fuels and commercial products, providing a low cost and environmentally sound solution to the accumulation of waste and need for clean renewable fuels.

"We're pleased to relocate our headquarters and key professional staff to Central Oregon," said IET President and Chief Executive Officer Jeff Surma. "We believe there's broad based support for providing clean, high tech solutions to our country's energy needs and issues with waste disposal."

The company's Bend headquarters site, a 3,400 square foot facility located at 595 SW Bluff Drive, will house the company's officers, financial, project management, and administrative staff. IET intends to retain its Technology Center in Richland, Washington but may consider opening a second R&D facility in Bend to support its growing operations.

Quimby said...

>> Wash. 'clean energy' firm moving HQ to Bend

The CEO & Execs "bought" the Bend Brand. Hope they're privately held because this would never fly with a public company. Hmmmm, move from a MAJOR metro area with all the necessary infrastructure to BFE.......

Anonymous said...

Why do you guys pick on the niggers? They used to pick your cotton and this is how you pay them back?

Anonymous said...

Lived in Bend from 1975-1990, was a lot smaller friendlier town back then. Went through the 1978-1982 bust , wow can it get ugly. Bought a really nice house in 1983 for $85K when I thought the economy was recovering. It took until 1988 for the value of the house to recover back to what I paid for it five years earlier. Bend's economic cycle this time will be deeper, longer and more despairing than any Bend newbie can imagine. Put your crash helmet on and strap in, it'll be a real exciting ride.

Anonymous said...

The CEO & Execs "bought" the Bend Brand.

<<<<

Get to work bruce, find out how many ten's of millions of taxpayer debt this 20 person company is going to cost us.

Did the CEO get promised to get laid into perpetuity by Friedman Girls? What's the catch? Where's the cash, who blew who??

Nobody comes to Bend without getting lots of pork.

Anonymous said...

"Those that can't, teach and those that can't teach, teach PE."
-----

The teachers learned early on how to suck Momma's teat. And when Momma threw them out on their own, they found a new Momma, the US Government. Public School Teachers (K12 up thru college) are all about sucking on the sweet milk from Momma's teat. PERS is the sweetest milk around. As the schools get more and more mediocre, with lousy teachers, bigger class sizes, and shorter school years, PERS gets richer and richer.

I takes raping a Village to feed a Teacher. Screw the kids.

And teachers are all Fucking Democrat Socialist public trough feeding leaches. No Dumbya's here. Fucking Doh!

bruce said...

Re: I takes raping a Village to feed a Teacher. Screw the kids.

So, your solution is?

I know a lot of teachers. I work with them regularly. Most of them actually do care. The don't make that much, about $30-45K per year.

Is actually having a pension program that works, that hasn't been taking away from them, something awful for society as a whole?

So, again, what exactly is your solution? Or is education just as stupid as universal healthcare?

You know, they are both sucking from the public teat.

Like Halliburton, Bechtel, ExxonMobil, etc. isn't...

bruce said...

About our new company:

Creating Ethanol from Trash
Researchers find a way to make liquid fuels from waste cheaply and without the pollution produced by earlier methods.

A new system for converting trash into ethanol and methanol could help reduce the amount of waste piling up in landfills while displacing a large fraction of the fossil fuels used to power vehicles in the United States.


The technology, developed originally by researchers at MIT and at Batelle Pacific Northwest National Labs (PNNL), in Richland, WA, doesn't incinerate refuse, so it doesn't produce the pollutants that have historically plagued efforts to convert waste into energy. Instead, the technology vaporizes organic materials to produce hydrogen and carbon monoxide, a mixture called synthesis gas, or syngas, that can be used to synthesize a wide variety of fuels and chemicals. The technology has been further developed and commercialized by a spinoff called Integrated Environmental Technologies (IET), also based in Richland, WA. In addition to processing municipal waste, the technology can be used to create ethanol out of agricultural biomass waste, providing a potentially less expensive way to make ethanol than current corn-based plants.


More at the source: http://www.technologyreview.com/Energy/18084/

Anonymous said...

The BULL Speaks - There you have it, here is what you have been waiting for "Bend's Future is Lowcost Housing", What you say Homer $180K/home, and that is ASK, BUY will be $120K, and they'll still make money. Land is next to free post foreclosure, labor is less than $5/hr, and materials are free. Keep building, and section-8 low-income folk will come. The future of Bend is welfare.

***

Low-cost houses in Bend's future
Big question is whether development will portend a drop in land prices
By David Fisher / The BULL

A bank foreclosure on a 38-acre chunk of land in northeast Bend has dropped land costs to the point where a group of Bend developers say they’ll be able to sell new houses again this summer for as little as $189,900 apiece, or a little more than half the 2007 median Bend sale price of $349,000.

Whether buyers will buy remains to be seen: At the moment, they’re not snapping up Bend houses very quickly at any price.

But developer Jay Audia said he and his partners are confident that they’ve found a price range that will attract first-time buyers to a market that was skewed by a three-year bubble that pushed local home prices to record heights, at least partly due to soaring land prices.

“I see a lot of people trying to find a bottom,” Audia said Tuesday. “They’re dropping their prices maybe $5,000 here, then $10,000 there. But we’re jumping ahead of the market, and this is going to find the market.”

One thing is certain — Audia and his partners in Edge Development Group, including Jim Yozamp, owner of Bend-based Pacwest Homes, and Clackamas developer Jim Robinson, got their land at a price well below the market’s frenzied peak. And, depending on how things go, Audia said, it may presage a general drop in raw land prices, with a potential lowering of new home prices throughout much of the city.

The land, on the southwest corner of Butler Market and Eagle roads, sold to a partnership called Proterra Development Ventures out of Vancouver, Wash., in January 2006 for $16.5 million, or about $429,352 per acre, when the bull market in Bend residential real estate was at its peak, according to records on file in the Deschutes County Clerk’s Office.

Umpqua Bank filed a pre-foreclosure notice on the property in May 2007 when the partnership failed to pay back its $10 million loan, plus interest, according to the records.

The bank sold the land for $10 million to Edge Development in October, according to the records, getting back the amount of its original loan to Proterra, but not much more.

Proterra’s Washington state corporate filings showed the corporation as “inactive” Tuesday and no representatives of the group could be located for comment. The company has no relationship to the similarly named Proterra Bend I and Proterra Bend II partnerships.

Meanwhile, Edge Development ended up with a chunk of land — one of the largest left within Bend’s existing city limits — for a little more than $260,000 per acre.

‘Work force housing’

The property came with city approvals for 265 new houses. The drop in land prices cut the per-house cost of the raw land from about $62,260 to around $35,735 — a huge reduction that Audia and Yozamp said will let them build “work force housing” on a large scale, with no government help.

Prices in the new subdivision, dubbed Mirada for its mountain views, are expected to range from about $189,900 for a two-bedroom, two-bathroom house with about 1,150 square feet, up to about $249,000 for the largest four-bedroom, 2.5-bath model with closer to 1,900 square feet.

That would price the houses — each with two-car garages and a few upscale touches, like hardwood floors in the entryways and kitchens, and higher-quality wood doors in the interiors — at between $164 per square foot for the smallest model to about $131 per square foot for the largest.

The median price per square foot for homes that sold in Bend last year ranged from $195 for homes that sold in June to $157 for those that sold in December, according to Central Oregon Multiple Listing Service data compiled by Bratton Appraisal Group’s Mike Caba.

In terms of general affordability, houses in that price range would probably be considered “affordable,” by most measures, to families making between 100 percent and 120 percent of Deschutes County’s median income, said John Gilbert, a partner in Acadia Properties and a co-developer of a pair of affordable senior housing projects on Bend’s west side. The median income for a family of four is currently pegged at about $58,800.

Will they sell?

Only 78 single-family homes on urban lots sold in Bend in December, according to Caba’s analysis. That made it one of the slowest sales months in recent years, and January is starting even slower — 32 sales were reported to the MLS through last Saturday, even though 30-year mortgage interest rates have dipped to around 5.4 percent.

Yozamp said his Edge group is taking no chances.

Construction is planned in three phases, with the first five or six homes reaching completion possibly as early as July, Edge land use planner Deborah McMahon said.

Altogether, Edge hopes to build 40 to 50 homes in the subdivision this year, Yozamp said, if sales justify that pace.

The partners figure that will take some work.

“We are not overconfident that this stuff is going to market itself,” Yozamp said. “They’re still going to have to be marketed.”

Mirada’s homes will come with a small homeowners association, which will keep its grass medians mowed and its entrance signs kept up, Yozamp said, and it will leave no doubt who its target market is: The current plans call for naming the subdivision’s housing models after Cessna airplane models in an appeal to draw attention from what is expected to be the airplane maker’s expanding work force at the Bend Municipal Airport a couple of miles away.

Whether Mirada’s houses jump-start a sluggish market remains to be seen, said Steve Scott, who’s been selling Central Oregon real estate since the 1980s.

“… The magic word is ‘absorption rate,’” Scott said. “How many per month are they going to sell?”

There’s also the question of whether the relatively low land price that Edge ended up paying will touch off a general pullback in raw land prices, along with new price competition on the lower-priced end of the new home market.

Audia said Edge’s Butler Market and Eagle Road tract is likely not the only parcel that will emerge from a foreclosure action with a lower per-acre price on it this year, although it will almost certainly be the largest within city limits.

Quality of life

George Hale, president of one of Edge’s competitors, Woodhill Homes, said he views the Edge land sale as more of “an anomaly,” because of the foreclosure factor, and it remains to be seen whether the developers will be able to hit their low home price predictions by the time their projects are out of the ground.

Still, Hale said, “I guess the good news is that people who have been shut out of the market over the past several years are going to have opportunities to buy houses again, and that just goes to help the overall health of the town.”

Cessna spokesman Doug Oliver said he tended to agree. Oliver said he’s not familiar with the Mirada project specifically, but the consensus at Cessna’s Wichita, Kan., headquarters is that its Bend plant is destined for growth in its work force, and anything that makes it easier to attract workers from outside the area, if that becomes necessary, will help its future here.

“I think what we would say is there are a number of things that make a community attractive, and certainly quality of life — and that includes affordable housing — is a big part of what we look for,” Oliver said. “And we think that would be a huge benefit to being able to attract people as the business grows.”

Portland-based Umpqua Bank, meanwhile, is still committed to lending in the Central Oregon market in the long term, said Brad Copeland, chief credit officer, although “we’re just going to be cautious with our underwriting of residential development.”

“It’s a challenging economy over there, for sure,” Copeland said from his Eugene office Tuesday. “But with as desirable a place as it is to live, I have to think the market will regain its footing someday.”

Anonymous said...

The property came with city approvals for 265 new houses. The drop in land prices cut the per-house cost of the raw land from about $62,260 to around $35,735 — a huge reduction that Audia and Yozamp said will let them build “work force housing” on a large scale, with no government help.

*

What in the FUCK is the differnce between 'work force housing', and slave labor camp? or debtor prison?

Note, if I buy one these for $150k, and IF I can find a renter ( sucker ) for $1k/mo, I can make this bitch pencil. This is something that hasn't happened in Bend for years, and this will be the new stuff.

"Work Force Housing", somebody smells federal work projects coming, note the word "Force", they say no federal aid will be needed, but the "Work" will be Federal, and the projects forced, but is this enough to rescue the City of Bend.

So fucking what, builders will keep building, so long as idiots keep loaning, but does anyone really think it well sell?

Anonymous said...

Bruce,

You did it again, you have piss off Buster.

How do you do it? Why do you always stick up for the status quo? and defend them? From the very start I have always been suspicious of you.

"Ethanol from Garbage", Bruce says its a good thing.

I'm a scientist, so I know what they're doing, but lets look at the facts, you can't take raw garbage it has to be broke down into components. Who is going to do that? Oh I know @ Juniper-Ridge, we'll have 1,000's of low-paid garbage sorters.

Garbage NO problem, all the garbage in the NW is hauled to Arlington, OR, it would be simple to haul it all down I97 to Juniper-Ridge. Then we can make 'Ethanol' The DUMBYA solution to all fucking problems, even if it is the most in-efficient means of energy production in the history of man.

Let's quote your boy 'kunstler', he would call this garbage to ethanol a typical 'cluster fuck'.

Me and you agreed the other day 100mpg super-TDi's was the way to go, with lightweight bodys, ...

More 'ethanol', and what about the millions and zillions of tons of garbage component that can't be used?? In all these processes there is always a catalyst that will invigorate or destroy the process.

My reading of this 'giant' 20 person company is that there just a little lab, and they'll take investor money and go NO WHERE, I hope to tell they don't setup your 'progressive' fucking pilot program at Juniper Ridge, and start importing the fucking garbage that Arlington is swimming in, that would be perfect for JR, tires from LS, and Garbage from everywhere, just piling up on 1500 acres.

Fucking Brilliant.

Anonymous said...

“It’s a challenging economy over there, for sure,” Copeland said from his Eugene office Tuesday. “But with as desirable a place as it is to live, I have to think the market will regain its footing someday.”

*

There you go Homer from Umqua, the words of the day "Challenging", and "Someday".

Challenging is your quad running in Boston Marathon, and Someday is Hollerns 20 years.

Anonymous said...

MIT REPORT: Ethanol From 'Waste'

A new system for converting trash into ethanol and methanol could help reduce the amount of waste piling up in landfills while displacing a large fraction of the fossil fuels used to power vehicles in the United States.

The technology, developed originally by researchers at MIT and at Batelle Pacific Northwest National Labs (PNNL), in Richland, WA, doesn't incinerate refuse, so it doesn't produce the pollutants that have historically plagued efforts to convert waste into energy. Instead, the technology vaporizes organic materials to produce hydrogen and carbon monoxide, a mixture called synthesis gas, or syngas, that can be used to synthesize a wide variety of fuels and chemicals. The technology has been further developed and commercialized by a spinoff called Integrated Environmental Technologies (IET), also based in Richland, WA. In addition to processing municipal waste, the technology can be used to create ethanol out of agricultural biomass waste, providing a potentially less expensive way to make ethanol than current corn-based plants.

The new system makes syngas in two stages. In the first, waste is heated in a 1,200 °C chamber into which a small amount of oxygen is added--just enough to partially oxidize carbon and free hydrogen. In this stage, not all of the organic material is converted: some becomes a charcoal-like material. This char is then gasified when researchers pass it through arcs of plasma, using technology developed in the 1990s at MIT's Plasma Science and Fusion Center. The remaining inorganic materials, including toxic substances, are oxidized and incorporated into a pool of molten glass, made using PNNL technology. The molten glass hardens into a material that can be used for building roads or discarded as a safe material in landfills.

The next step is a catalyst-based process for converting syngas into equal parts ethanol and methanol. Ethanol is now widely used as a fuel additive, and it can also be used as a substitute for gasoline in some vehicles. Methanol is important for producing biodiesel and is currently made from methane in natural gas.

There is enough municipal and industrial waste produced in the United States for the system to replace as much as a quarter of the gasoline used in this country, says Daniel Cohn, a cofounder of IET and a senior research scientist at the Plasma Science and Fusion Center.

According to Jeff Surma, another cofounder and the CEO and president of IET, the multistage system makes it possible to produce fuels from waste at competitive costs. The economics look even better when including the fact that cities and manufacturers will pay to have waste removed, he says. This makes possible costs of between 10 and 95 cents per gallon of fuel, depending on the size of IET's system and how much it is paid to take waste. IET is currently in talks with a major Midwest utility and several municipalities interested in employing its technology, Surma says.

But George Sterzinger, executive director of the Renewable Energy Policy Project, an advocacy group in Washington, D.C., cautions that IET shouldn't rely too much on being paid for its feedstock. It will face stiff competition from landfills, which have an economic stake in keeping the waste to themselves, he says.

At this stage, multiple new approaches for transforming waste into biofuels are being explored, and the winner is not yet clear. IET's success will depend in large part on how it scales up its technology and develops a complete system, from getting the waste in the first place to distributing the fuel that it makes

Anonymous said...

Is actually having a pension program that works, that hasn't been taking away from them, something awful for society as a whole?

[ Yes, bruce, but IN OREGON, of which YOUR NOT from, the PUBLIC union PERS stood buy and said NOTHING when PERS money was USED to setup KKR which Robbed privated pensions, read the fucking book "America what went wrong", Bartlett&Steele 1987 If you going to play in Oregon bruce, learn our fucking history ]

You know, they are both sucking from the public teat.

[ Yes, bruce virtually EVERYONE in Oregon is sucking from the public teat, and feeding at the public pig trough. ]

***

Fuck you 'progressives' with "WHERE IS YOUR SOLUTION BITCH". Since WWII public-education has been taken over by the fucking unions cunt-bruce, so the first fucking step is MAKE education goal#1, and NOT enriching UNIONS, but then unions pick presidents HILLYPOOH, and UNIONS run public-ed, and thus until UNIONS are shutdown, and I'm ONLY talking PUBLIC-UNIONS, until they're shutdown, public-ed is fucked.

Everyone here knows that NAR is a cluster-fuck, well so is the NEA.

First fucking step to your solution bruce, you can't fix public-ed until NEA is fucking dead. To date all solutions involve NEA, the source of the problem.

One last thing Bruce, learn your fucking Oregon history, the public unions in Oregon, setup KKR the biggest junk-bond fund in the world, seeded with Oregon PERS money, and they made a fortune for themselves, so much fucking money they passed a law in Salem that said 15%/yr forever guaranteed, that almost bankrupted the State.

All managed, controlled, and ran by Public Unions. Having seen NO FUCKING public employee standup and defend the theft of private-penions for over 20+ years I have NO FUCKING sympathy for public employees, they're all fucking parasites, and hypocrits, and common fucking criminals.

Yes, the teachers we all know are 'good people', but they're all waiting to collect their PERS.

Anonymous said...

Batelle Pacific Northwest National Labs (PNNL), in Richland,

*

Most evil folks in the PNW, made zilions of tons of waste in making nuclear bomb material at Hanford site for fifty years, and then made billions of dollars trying to get rid of bomb waste.

Finally after spending 100's of billions of dollars fixing the problem they created, they found they could turn toxic waste into glass, and bury the shit in Nevada.

Now like all sick fucking whores with nothing to do, they say we can turn our 'garbage' into glass, and us it to pave our streets. Note the 'good' waste goes to 'ethanol', but the 'bad' waste goes to glass, and the glass will be used to build, build low income housing. Just like Iraq, we'll put our poor in depleted uranium housing. The streets will be paved with toxic glass, hell kids eat paint chips, and homes are fucked from 50 years ago from lead, what will be the future when our streets are covered with toxic amalgams that are far more dangerous?? Good news is that given this is all coming from DOE, it means they're exempt from lawsuit,

CLUSTER FUCK BRUCE, CLUSTER FUCK

bruce said...

Re: CLUSTER FUCK BRUCE, CLUSTER FUCK

Whenever I hear about creating energy using extremely high temps, I start to wonder just how much net energy you end up with...

bruce said...

Re: You did it again, you have piss off Buster.

See my comment above. I'm totally in agreement with you on this one, Buster. Not much "there" there.

PS I love reading your flames. They're pretty funny. I might have to go try an Abyss out since my wife is at a trade show for the week. You going to toss a few back one of these days?

Anonymous said...

Whenever I hear about creating energy using extremely high temps, I start to wonder just how much net energy you end up with...

*

I love the fact that the first thing they say is "We're NOT incinerating"

They're not burning the material's, they're using "plasma physics".

Plasma-physics is what goes on up there in the sun, here on earth it takes money to get stuff that hot. A lot of money, and a lot of energy. All these boon-doggles are a net loss of energy, but who cares, it creates jobs for retired DOE/PNW-Batelle exec's, and besides you might even get some investors to dump their life-savings.

I think that what was I was getting to on Dumbya's 'ethanol' program, cluster fuck waste, they spend more money hauling the corn around, and the water, the water that is wasted is phenomenal.

In this program, its the OLD NAZI program of turning COAL into liquid fuel, what they're doing is turning "GARBAGE into Coal", but all processes of turning coal into liquid fuel ( ethanol ) require water. The Batelle (DOE) innovation here is turning 'garbage/waste' into coal, but the liquification, is PURE Adolf Hitler.

No problem, we got Arlington garbage, and we got columbia river water, then we got the bend-city hall with an aggregate IQ in the single-digits, and get 'cluster fuck'.


The most in-efficient energy ever, 'cluster-fuck', its like you have to hire people with PHD's, and start a think-tank and say "We need to do things as most wasteful as possible".


DUMBYA, Nazis, Coal-Liquification, its a sordid tale, but hell its Bend.

bruce said...

Re: ethanol

This has got to be the biggest clusterfuck ever, brought to us by Archer-Daniels-Midland and millions of dollars in lobbying.

We are going to burn our food in our SUVs? It just doesn't begin to make sense to me.

But then I'm not making millions selling the seed and fertilizer. Fertilizer which is made from oil...

Anonymous said...

Sally Heatherton is dead, long live Sally. Rest in Peace Sally

***

Deputy kills cougar in La Pine backyard
Bend Weekly, OR - 2 hours ago
OSP took the dead animal, estimated to be 7-feet long weighing over 100 pounds, to ODFW in Bend for scientific study and education purposes.

Anonymous said...

RIP Sally

http://www.alidaaugen.com/images/headshot---3.jpg

Anonymous said...

Bruce-pussy snorts:
"I know a lot of teachers. I work with them regularly. Most of them actually do care. The don't make that much, about $30-45K per year."
----------

Entry level teachers in Central Oregon start at $29-30K in salary. The long timers are making $50-60K in salary. Plus overtime, extratime, etc. Plus Benefits (massive healthcare benefits, about $1000/mo), plus retirements (PERS) also about $1000/mo. And that is for a work week that is not 40 hours long, and work year that is not 50 weeks long. (Brucey-pussy, cry me a river on how many teachers REALLY take papers home to grade, and are REALLY buying crayons out of their own pocket!)

So, those of you who are still with me... $30K starting salary, plus $12K healthcare, and $12K PERS is about $54K per (short school) year. That would have to equal about $60-$70K per full 50 week year in the private sector. And that is for a starting teacher with a MS degree.

How many Bend Redmond Sisters teachers are newbies? Very few, my friend (I know, I am an insider, I have seen the numbers, and the salary scales). Most are in the 3rd highest and 4th highest quadrant (ie 50-75%; and 75%-99%) on the pay scale. Oh, yeah, the pay scale. Brucey-pussy, have you heard of step increases? Fog a mirror for another year, and you go up 3-4%. In addition to COLA, which is 1.3%-3.5%, depending upon inflation. And then add raises to the mix.

So, what's it all add up to Brucey-pussy? Well, net-net, the begginer teachers would have to make $75K in the private sector to equal what the taxpayer is spending on these folks. But most teachers in Bend Redmond Sisters are banking a salary of $55K-65K in salary, with District Staff & Principals banking $75-90K in salary. But you gotta add in healthcare and PERS (+$24K), so now experienced teachers are pulling down $79-89K salary and benefits; and the administration is grabbing $99K-$114K in salary and benefits. And then we give them summers off to work or play as they see fit, since they are only employed 85-88% of the work year.

What is that cost, of summer vacation? Minimum another 10%, so bump up starting teachers to $80-85K; experienced teachers $88-98K in salary, benefits and vacation. And the wonderful administration is costing taxpayers $110K-$125K for the fully costed salary, benefits and vacation. Hows that looking to ya, Brucey-pussy?

Now, Bruce, being the business owner that you are, every year you give your employees a COLA raise, and a step increase raise, correct? I mean, they are still alive, are they not? They can fog a mirror, can't they?

That is what they do with the collective bargained teachers union. Yes, those starting teachers join the "step increase" wage scale. That is how the older teachers got up in pay scale. They did their 'continuing ed' credits (seminars in the summer) to 'earn' their big step increases.

About 65-70% of Bend Redmond Sisters teachers are in the upper half of 'step increase' scale. Add in COLA, the step, and other increases, and each teacher is getting 6-8.5% annual increases in salary. Then add in healthcare and PERS cost increases. The schools just last year added another $100/month in additional coverage for healthcare paid by the district. Each teacher pays little to nothing for their healthcare.

In the private sector, if you have healthcare, you pay $350-600/month for the coverage. And retirement? All private companies have their own PERS plan, where each employer pays $1,000/month into each employee's retirement 401K, right Bruce-pussy? LOL NOT! Only about half will match the first 2% that each EMPLOYEE pays outta their own pocket into their own 401K.

So, Bruce-pussy, the union money grabbers are what our school taxpayer money is spent on. That is why Oregon class sizes are the nation's largest, Oregon school days and years are the nation's shortest, and the Oregon education our kids get is in the worst half (maybe the worst quarter) of all states in America.

Chew on that, Brucey-pussy, while you swill your beer, thanking your lucky stars you don't have any kids in our schools.

Anonymous said...

CACB #1 bank, in #1 area, in #1 pickle.

CACB real good bank, in real good area, in real good economy, CACB #1.

****

BEND, Ore., Jan. 23 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Cascade Bancorp ("Cascade") reported 2007 full year Diluted Earnings Per Share (EPS-diluted) at $1.23 per share down 8.4% as compared to 2006 with Net Income at $35.0 million versus $35.7 million for 2006. As pre-announced on January 3, 2008, the Company confirmed it recorded a $7.5 million (pre-tax) provision for credit losses for the fourth quarter of 2007 to increase the Company's level of credit reserves primarily related to its residential land development loan portfolio. This resulted in a full year 2007 provision of $11.3 million versus $6.0 million in 2006. Fourth quarter 2007 earnings per share were $0.19 per share on $5.3 million of net income, compared to $0.36 per share and $10.2 million for the year ago quarter and as compared to $0.35 for the linked-quarter. The Company also confirmed its pre-announced fourth quarter net-charge-offs of approximately $3.9 million, a majority of which were against loans affected by the real estate downturn.

"It is prudent that a well-capitalized and solidly profitable company take appropriate measures to reserve against the heightened risks posed by the continued downturn in real estate," said Patricia L. Moss, CEO. "In this context we charged $7.5 million to our provision for credit losses and took other actions described in this release during the fourth quarter."

Return on Equity was 7.42% for the fourth quarter and 12.76% for the full year of 2007. Return on Tangible Equity was 12.44% for the fourth quarter and 22.01% for the full year, while Return on Assets was 0.88% for the fourth quarter and 1.50% for the full year.

LOAN PORTFOLIO AND CREDIT QUALITY:

At December 31, 2007, Cascade's Loan Portfolio had grown to $2.05 billion, up 8.5% compared to a year ago. However, due in part to the seasonal slowing in the pace of construction and real estate activity during the fourth quarter, loan volumes were essentially flat when compared to the linked quarter.

The Company confirmed its credit quality metrics as pre-announced on January 3, 2008 for the quarter ended December 31, 2007. Cascade's provision for credit losses was $7.5 million for the fourth quarter, bringing the full year provision to $11.3 million. Net loan charge-offs were $3.9 million or 0.76% (annualized) of total loans for the quarter compared to 0.31% (annualized) for the linked-quarter. Non-performing assets (NPA's) were modestly higher than pre-announced at $45.7 million as of December 31, 2007, or 2.23% of total loans compared to $21.5 million or 1.05% of total loans for the linked-quarter. Of this NPA balance, assets classified as 'other real estate owned' totaled $7.1 million. Current NPA's are primarily comprised of residential land development and construction related credits in the Boise, Idaho and Southern Oregon markets.

The Reserve for Credit Losses totaled 1.54% of loans at year end, compared to 1.42% a year earlier and 1.37% for the linked-quarter. Of this aggregate amount, the portion classified as a reserve for loan commitments is approximately 0.15% of gross loans. Management believes reserves are at an appropriate level based upon its current evaluation and analysis of portfolio credit quality and prevailing economic conditions. With uncertainty as to the depth and duration of the real estate slowdown and its economic effect on the communities within Cascades' banking markets, no assurance can be given that the reserve will be adequate in future periods. If the real estate economy continues to deteriorate, an elevated level of loan loss provisioning may be required in the future.

RESIDENTIAL LAND DEVELOPMENT PORTFOLIO -- ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

The fourth quarter 2007 increase in credit reserves and NPA's recognized by the Company were mainly due to heightened credit risk in its residential land development portfolio. At December 31, 2007, this portfolio totaled approximately $312 million or about 15% of total gross loans. Of this amount, approximately $107 million or 37% represents loans for unimproved raw land and $205 million or 63% relates to acquisition and development of residential lots. Geographic distribution of this portfolio is approximately 50% Idaho, 35% in Central Oregon with most of the remaining 15% in Southern Oregon.

As background, this portfolio represents loans made to developers for the purpose of acquiring raw land and/or for the subsequent development of residential lots. The nationwide downturn in real estate has slowed lot and home sales within the Company's markets. This has impacted certain developers by lengthening the marketing period of their projects and negatively affecting borrower liquidity and collateral values. Accordingly, at December 31, 2007, those land development loans adversely rated through our internal risk-rating process totaled approximately $151 million or about 48% of the land development portfolio. Generally when a loan is adversely rated, an elevated level of credit reserve may be allocated based upon current facts and circumstances. In part, the higher provision for the fourth quarter represents the outcome of this ongoing process.

DEPOSITS:

At December 31, 2007, Customer Relationship deposits(1) were up 7.2% compared to a year ago but decreased 2.9% on a linked-quarter basis. This decline in part reflects the end of the peak summer and fall tourism and construction season wherein deposit balances typically ease through the winter quarter. However, management also believes a general slowing in real estate activity has contributed to this trend, as deposits in real estate related business accounts show a reduction in average and end of period balances as compared to the prior year and quarter. This is particularly evident in a decline in non-interest bearing deposits where customer retention was strong, but average balances fell $31.2 million or 6.5% between the third and fourth quarters of 2007. The declines were largely in Central Oregon where the Company has nearly 28% share of in-market deposits. Total Deposits at December 31, 2007 were $1.7 billion, up 0.3% compared to a year ago and down 7.0% on a linked-quarter basis, as brokered deposits declined $48.3 million during the quarter. The fourth quarter decline in non-core deposits were mainly because management tactically replaced higher cost brokered deposits with lower cost borrowings.

NET INTEREST MARGIN & INTEREST RATE RISK:

Cascade reported a decline in its Net Interest Margin (NIM) to 4.94% for the fourth quarter of 2007, compared to 5.24% for the preceding quarter and 5.54% for the year ago quarter. Three factors contributed to the lower NIM for the quarter including interest forgone and reversed on NPA's, lower average balances in non-interest bearing deposit accounts for the quarter, and the effect of lower market interest rates on the Company's asset and liability mix.

Yields on earning assets during the fourth quarter of 2007 were lower at 7.86% compared to 8.29% in the linked-quarter and down from 8.28% in the year ago quarter. Lower yields were a result of the Federal Reserve's action to reduce short term market rates as well as the effect of interest forgone and reversed on non-performing loans.

The average cost of funds paid on interest bearing liabilities decreased during the fourth quarter of 2007 to 3.84% as compared to 4.11% for the linked-quarter, and were flat compared to 3.85% for the year ago quarter. The overall cost of funds (including interest bearing and non-interest bearing) for the fourth quarter of 2007 was 3.02% as compared to 3.15% in the linked quarter and 2.81% for the year ago period.

Looking forward, with the recent aggressive lowering of market interest rate expectations, (Fed Fund futures now suggest a 2% rate by the third quarter of 2008) the NIM will likely continue to compress as yields decline against an already low cost of funds. The NIM may be further affected by competitive pricing pressures, loan prepayment behavior, and the rate and mix of loans, deposits and funding sources. Because of its relatively high proportion of non-interest bearing funds, Cascade's NIM is most adversely affected in the event short term market rates fall to a very low level. See cautionary "Forward Looking Statements" below and in Cascade's Form 10-K report for further information on risk factors including interest rate risk.

NON-INTEREST INCOME AND EXPENSE:

Non-Interest Income for 2007 was $21.1 million, 16.4% above the prior year, including service fee income which was at $9.7 million, up 20.2% from the prior year mainly because of increased activity and attendant full year effect of additional volumes from the April 2006 acquisition of the F&M bank in Boise, Idaho. For the full year 2007, residential mortgage originations totaled $170.1 million, down 3.2% when compared to $176.6 million in 2006. Related net mortgage revenue was $2.7 million, a decrease 0.1% compared to $3.0 million for the previous year. Fourth quarter net mortgage revenue was $.7 million, slightly less than the third quarter of $.8 million. Note that delinquency rate within Cascade's nearly $500 million portfolio of serviced residential mortgage loans remains substantially better than national norms at only 0.19% in Oregon and 0.42% in Idaho.

Non-Interest Expense for the year increased 18.0% compared to 2006 and fourth quarter expenses were 4.5% above the year ago quarter. The year-over-year increase was primarily due to higher human resources costs in support of Cascade's ongoing growth and infrastructure investments. Importantly, the Company successfully converted to a more robust core information technology system during the fourth quarter, providing an enhanced platform to support growth in the years ahead. As the Company adjusts to a lower level of real estate related business activity, management anticipates a very modest increase in non interest expense for 2008.

STOCK REPURCHASE PROGRAM

In August of 2007, the Company approved a stock repurchase program of up to 5% of the Company's issued and outstanding common shares with purchases to occur at managements discretion over a two-year period. Through December 31, 2007, the Company has acquired 483,100 shares (or about 34% of the shares approved for possible repurchase) at an average price per share of $19.55.

BUSINESS STRATEGY:

Operating in some of the fastest growing markets in the nation, Cascade Bancorp (headquartered in Bend, Oregon) and its wholly-owned subsidiary, Bank of the Cascades, operates in Oregon and Idaho markets. In terms of banking growth markets, Cascade ranks as the top community bank footprint in the Northwest and among the top ten banks in the nation(2). Cascade has a business strategy that focuses on delivering the best in community banking for the financial well-being of customers and shareholders. The Bank implements its strategy by combining outstanding service, competitive financial products, local expertise and advanced technology applied for the convenience of customers. Founded in 1977, Bank of the Cascades offers full-service community banking through 34 branches in Central Oregon, Southern Oregon, Portland/Salem and Boise/Treasure Valley. The Bank has been repeatedly named among the top performing banks in the nation by industry publications. The Bank is honored to be among the top 40 of Oregon's 2007 "Best 100 Companies to Work For", as compiled by Oregon Business Magazine. And recently, Bank of the Cascades was named by the Portland Business Journal as one of Oregon's Most Admired Companies in the Financial Services category, as chosen by Oregon CEOs. For further information on Bank of the Cascades, please visit our web site at http://www.botc.com.

FORWARD LOOKING STATEMENTS

This release contains forward-looking statements that are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause actual results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties may include but are not necessarily limited to fluctuations in interest rates, inflation, government regulations, credit quality and concentrations, general and local economic conditions and competition within the business areas in which Cascade is conducting its operations. These statements include, among others, statements related to future profitability levels and future earnings. For a discussion of factors, which could cause results to differ, please see Cascade's reports on Forms 10-K and 10-Q as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission and Cascade's press releases. When used in this release, the words or phrases such as "will likely result in", "management expects that", "will continue", "is anticipated", "estimate", "projected", or similar expressions, are intended to identify "forward-looking statements" within the meaning of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995 ("PSLRA"). Readers should not place undue reliance on the forward-looking statements, which reflect management's view only as of the date hereof. Cascade undertakes no obligation to publicly revise these forward-looking statements to reflect subsequent events or circumstances. This statement is included for the express purpose of protecting Cascade Bancorp and PSLRA's safe harbor provisions.

(1) Customer relationship deposits include core deposit transaction
accounts such as checking, money market and savings, while excluding
all wholesale or brokered deposits and time deposits greater than
$100,000.

(2) Projected MSA population growth 2005-2010, weighted by bank deposits;
Includes all public banks with assets $2B - $10B (ex-M&A targets);
Source SNL Financial LC / ESRI



CASCADE BANCORP
Selected Consolidated Financial Highlights
(In thousands, except per share data and ratios; unaudited)

Year over Year
4th Qtr 4th Qtr %
Balance Sheet Data (at period end) 2007 2006 Change
Investment securities $87,015 $106,923 -18.6%
Loans, gross 2,046,804 1,887,263 8.5%
Total assets 2,398,641 2,249,314 6.6%
Total deposits 1,667,138 1,661,616 0.3%
Non-interest bearing deposits 435,503 509,920 -14.6%
Customer relationship deposits(1) 1,566,220 1,461,537 7.2%
Total shareholders' equity (book) 280,098 261,076 7.3%
Total shareholders' equity
(tangible) 165,549 144,947 14.2%
Income Statement Data (2)
Interest income $42,576 $42,047 1.3%
Interest expense 15,886 13,973 13.7%
Net interest income 26,690 28,074 -4.9%
Loan loss provision 7,500 1,500 400.0%
Net interest income after loan loss
provision 19,190 26,574 -27.8%
Noninterest income 5,122 4,725 8.4%
Noninterest expense 15,841 15,153 4.5%
Income before income taxes 8,471 16,146 -47.5%
Provision for income taxes 3,149 5,923 -46.8%
Net income $5,322 $10,223 -47.9%
Share Data
Basic earnings per common share $0.19 $0.36 -47.6%
Diluted earnings per common share $0.19 $0.36 -47.1%
Book value per common share $9.99 $9.31 7.3%
Tangible book value per common share $5.91 $5.17 14.3%
Cash dividends declared per common share $0.10 $0.09 11.1%
Ratio of dividends declared to net income 52.66% 24.82% 112.1%
Basic Average shares outstanding 28,026 28,198 -0.6%
Fully Diluted average shares
outstanding 28,280 28,751 -1.6%
Key Ratios
Return on average total
shareholders' equity (book) 7.42% 15.93% -53.4%
Return on average total
shareholders' equity (tangible)(3) 12.44% 29.37% -57.6%
Return on average total assets 0.88% 1.80% -51.1%
Net interest spread 4.02% 4.44% -9.5%
Net interest margin 4.94% 5.54% -10.8%
Total revenue
(net int inc + non int inc) $31,812 $32,799 -3.0%
Efficiency ratio (4) 49.80% 46.20% 7.8%
Credit Quality Ratios
Reserve for credit losses 31,553 26,798 17.7%
Reserve to ending total loans 1.54% 1.42% 8.6%
Non-performing assets (5) 45,696 3,005 1420.7%
Non-performing assets to total loans 2.23% 0.16% 1302.1%
Delinquent >30 days to total loans 0.47% 0.18% 163.3%
Net Charge off's 3,902 790 393.9%
Net loan charge-offs (annualized) 0.76% 0.17% 353.3%
Mortgage Activity
Mortgage Originations $36,666 $47,099 -22.2%
Total Servicing Portfolio (sold loans) $493,969 $494,882 -0.2%
Capitalized Mortgage Servicing
Rights (MSR's) $3,756 $4,096 -8.3%
Capital Ratios
Average shareholders' equity to
average assets 11.86% 11.48% 3.3%
Leverage ratio (6) (Est Q4-07) 10.12% 9.82% 3.1%
Total risk-based capital ratio (6)
(Est Q4-07) 11.34% 11.26% 0.7%


Linked Quarter
4th Qtr 3rd Qtr %
Balance Sheet Data (at period end) 2007 2007 Change
Investment securities $87,015 $97,857 -11.1%
Loans, gross 2,046,804 2,041,573 0.3%
Total assets 2,398,641 2,403,717 -0.2%
Total deposits 1,667,138 1,792,301 -7.0%
Non-interest bearing deposits 435,503 471,140 -7.6%
Customer relationship deposits(1) 1,566,220 1,612,950 -2.9%
Total shareholders' equity (book) 280,098 284,737 -1.6%
Total shareholders' equity
(tangible) 165,549 169,793 -2.5%
Income Statement Data (2)
Interest income $42,576 $43,956 -3.1%
Interest expense 15,886 16,232 -2.1%
Net interest income 26,690 27,724 -3.7%
Loan loss provision 7,500 1,750 328.6%
Net interest income after loan loss
provision 19,190 25,974 -26.1%
Noninterest income 5,122 5,198 -1.5%
Noninterest expense 15,841 15,319 3.4%
Income before income taxes 8,471 15,853 -46.6%
Provision for income taxes 3,149 5,835 -46.0%
Net income $5,322 $10,018 -46.9%
Share Data
Basic earnings per common share $0.19 $0.35 -46.3%
Diluted earnings per common share $0.19 $0.35 -46.1%
Book value per common share $9.99 $10.16 -1.6%
Tangible book value per common share $5.91 $6.06 -2.5%
Cash dividends declared per common share $0.10 $0.09 11.1%
Ratio of dividends declared to net income 52.66% 25.46% 106.8%
Basic Average shares outstanding 28,026 28,340 -1.1%
Fully Diluted average shares
outstanding 28,280 28,673 -1.4%
Key Ratios
Return on average total
shareholders' equity (book) 7.42% 14.25% -47.9%
Return on average total
shareholders' equity (tangible)(3) 12.44% 24.26% -48.7%
Return on average total assets 0.88% 1.69% -47.9%
Net interest spread 4.02% 4.18% -3.8%
Net interest margin 4.94% 5.24% -5.7%
Total revenue
(net int inc + non int inc) $31,812 $32,922 -3.4%
Efficiency ratio (4) 49.80% 46.53% 7.0%
Credit Quality Ratios
Reserve for credit losses 31,553 27,955 12.9%
Reserve to ending total loans 1.54% 1.37% 12.6%
Non-performing assets (5) 45,696 21,474 112.8%
Non-performing assets to total loans 2.23% 1.05% 112.3%
Delinquent >30 days to total loans 0.47% 0.09% 450.6%
Net Charge off's 3,902 1,554 151.1%
Net loan charge-offs (annualized) 0.76% 0.31% 144.4%
Mortgage Activity
Mortgage Originations $36,666 $38,810 -5.5%
Total Servicing Portfolio (sold loans) $493,969 $493,638 0.1%
Capitalized Mortgage Servicing
Rights (MSR's) $3,756 $3,841 -2.2%
Capital Ratios
Average shareholders' equity to
average assets 11.86% 11.85% 0.1%
Leverage ratio (6) (Est Q4-07) 10.12% 10.52% -3.8%
Total risk-based capital ratio (6)
(Est Q4-07) 11.34% 11.58% -2.1%


Full Year over Full Year
%
Balance Sheet Data (at period end) 2007 2006 Change
Investment securities $87,015 $106,923 -18.6%
Loans, gross 2,046,804 1,887,263 8.5%
Total assets 2,398,641 2,249,314 6.6%
Total deposits 1,667,138 1,661,616 0.3%
Non-interest bearing deposits 435,503 509,920 -14.6%
Customer relationship deposits(1) 1,566,220 1,461,537 7.2%
Total shareholders' equity (book) 280,098 261,076 7.3%
Total shareholders' equity
(tangible) 165,549 144,947 14.2%
Income Statement Data (2)
Interest income $171,228 $138,597 23.5%
Interest expense 62,724 40,321 55.6%
Net interest income 108,504 98,276 10.4%
Loan loss provision 11,300 6,000 88.3%
Net interest income after loan loss
provision 97,204 92,276 5.3%
Noninterest income 21,140 18,155 16.4%
Noninterest expense 62,510 52,963 18.0%
Income before income taxes 55,835 57,468 -2.8%
Provision for income taxes 20,792 21,791 -4.6%
Net income $35,043 $35,677 -1.8%
Share Data
Basic earnings per common share $1.24 $1.37 -9.4%
Diluted earnings per common share $1.23 $1.34 -8.4%
Book value per common share $9.99 $9.22 8.4%
Tangible book value per common share $5.91 $5.11 15.6%
Cash dividends declared per common share $0.37 $0.31 19.4%
Ratio of dividends declared to net income 29.82% 22.65% 31.7%
Basic Average shares outstanding 28,243 26,062 8.4%
Fully Diluted average shares
outstanding 28,584 26,664 7.2%
Key Ratios
Return on average total
shareholders' equity (book) 12.76% 17.48% -27.0%
Return on average total
shareholders' equity (tangible)(3) 22.01% 29.81% -26.2%
Return on average total assets 1.50% 1.86% -19.4%
Net interest spread 4.20% 4.65% -9.7%
Net interest margin 5.21% 5.73% -9.1%
Total revenue
(net int inc + non int inc) $129,644 $116,431 11.3%
Efficiency ratio (4) 48.22% 45.49% 6.0%
Credit Quality Ratios
Reserve for credit losses 31,553 26,798 17.7%
Reserve to ending total loans 1.54% 1.42% 8.6%
Non-performing assets (5) 45,696 3,005 1420.7%
Non-performing assets to total loans 2.23% 0.16% 1302.1%
Delinquent >30 days to total loans 0.47% 0.18% 163.3%
Net Charge off's 6,495 1,282 406.6%
Net loan charge-offs (annualized) 0.33% 0.08% 308.5%
Mortgage Activity
Mortgage Originations $170,095 $176,558 -3.7%
Total Servicing Portfolio (sold loans) $493,969 $494,882 -0.2%
Capitalized Mortgage Servicing
Rights (MSR's) $3,756 $4,096 -8.3%
Capital Ratios
Average shareholders' equity to
average assets 11.74% 10.71% 9.7%
Leverage ratio (6) (Est Q4-07) 10.12% 9.82% 3.1%
Total risk-based capital ratio (6)
(Est Q4-07) 11.34% 11.26% 0.7%

Notes:
(1) Customer relationship deposits include core deposit transaction
accounts such as checking, money market and savings, while excluding
all wholesale or brokered deposits and time deposits greater than
$100,000.
(2) Adjusted to reflect a 25% (5:4) stock split declared in October 2006.
(3) Excludes goodwill, core deposit intangible and other identifiable
intangible assets, related to the acquisitions of Community Bank of
Grants Pass and F&M Holding Company.
(4) Efficiency ratio is noninterest expense divided by (net interest
income + noninterest income).
(5) Nonperforming assets consist of loans contractually past due 90 days
or more, nonaccrual loans and other real estate owned.
(6) Computed in accordance with FRB and FDIC guidelines.
Total Shares Outstanding as of 12/31/07: 28,034,172



CASCADE BANCORP (CACB)
CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED STATEMENTS OF INCOME
(in thousands, except per share amounts)
(unaudited)
Full Year over Full Year
%
2007 2006 Change
Interest income:
Interest and fees on loans $165,360 $132,525 24.8%
Taxable interest on investments 5,160 4,919 4.9%
Nontaxable interest on investments 283 292 -3.1%
Interest on federal funds sold 187 510 -63.3%
Interest on interest bearing balances
from FHLB 195 344 -43.3%
Dividends on Federal Home Loan
Bank stock 42 7 500.0%
Total interest income 171,227 138,597 23.5%

Interest expense:
Deposits:
Interest bearing demand 30,727 19,608 56.7%
Savings 202 216 -6.5%
Time 15,804 8,108 94.9%
Junior subordinated debentures and
other borrowings 15,991 12,389 29.1%
Total interest expense 62,724 40,321 55.6%

Net interest income 108,503 98,276 10.4%
Loan loss provision 11,300 6,000 88.3%
Net interest income after loan loss
provision 97,203 92,276 5.3%

Noninterest income:
Service charges on deposit accounts 9,710 8,034 20.9%
Mortgage loan origination and
processing fees 1,744 1,960 -11.0%
Gains on sales of mortgage loans, net 898 1,055 -14.9%
Net mortgage loan servicing fees 88 9 877.8%
Gains (losses) on sales of other
real estate owned (85) 10 -950.0%
Gains on sales of investment
securities AFS 260 590 -55.9%
Card issuer and merchant services fees, net 3,930 3,427 14.7%
Earnings on bank-owned life insurance 1,574 761 106.8%
Other income 3,021 2,309 30.8%
Total noninterest income 21,140 18,155 16.4%

Noninterest expense:
Salaries and employee benefits 36,344 32,082 13.3%
Occupancy & Equipment 6,688 5,552 20.5%
Communications 1,988 1,607 23.7%
Advertising 1,301 989 31.5%
Other expenses 16,188 12,733 27.1%
Total noninterest expense 62,509 52,963 18.0%

Income before income taxes 55,834 57,468 -2.8%
Provision for income taxes 20,792 21,792 -4.6%
Net income $35,042 $35,676 -1.8%

Basic net income per common share $1.24 $1.37 -9.4%
Diluted net income per common share $1.23 $1.34 -8.4%


Year over Year
4th Qtr 4th Qtr %
2007 2006 Change
Interest income:
Interest and fees on loans $41,245 $40,348 2.2%
Taxable interest on investments 1,215 1,407 -13.6%
Nontaxable interest on investments 61 82 -25.6%
Interest on federal funds sold 38 79 -51.9%
Interest on interest bearing balances
from FHLB 2 125 -98.4%
Dividends on Federal Home Loan
Bank stock 14 6 133.3%
Total interest income 42,575 42,047 1.3%

Interest expense:
Deposits:
Interest bearing demand 8,125 6,315 28.7%
Savings 45 65 -30.8%
Time 3,464 3,310 4.7%
Junior subordinated debentures and
other borrowings 4,252 4,283 -0.7%
Total interest expense 15,886 13,973 13.7%

Net interest income 26,689 28,074 -4.9%
Loan loss provision 7,500 1,500 400.0%
Net interest income after loan loss
provision 19,189 26,574 -27.8%

Noninterest income:
Service charges on deposit accounts 2,415 2,189 10.3%
Mortgage loan origination and
processing fees 381 489 -22.1%
Gains on sales of mortgage loans, net 217 294 -26.2%
Net mortgage loan servicing fees 67 24 179.2%
Gains (losses) on sales of other
real estate owned (75) 10 -850.0%
Gains on sales of investment
securities AFS - - 0.0%
Card issuer and merchant services fees, net 942 943 -0.1%
Earnings on bank-owned life insurance 591 197 200.0%
Other income 584 579 0.9%
Total noninterest income 5,122 4,725 8.4%

Noninterest expense:
Salaries and employee benefits 9,083 9,031 0.6%
Occupancy & Equipment 1,736 1,534 13.2%
Communications 476 437 8.9%
Advertising 341 266 28.2%
Other expenses 4,204 3,885 8.2%
Total noninterest expense 15,840 15,153 4.5%

Income before income taxes 8,471 16,146 -47.5%
Provision for income taxes 3,149 5,923 -46.8%
Net income $5,322 $10,223 -47.9%

Basic net income per common share $0.19 $0.36 -47.6%
Diluted net income per common share $0.19 $0.36 -47.0%


Linked Quarter
3rd Qtr %
2007 Change
Interest income:
Interest and fees on loans $42,547 -3.1%
Taxable interest on investments 1,290 -5.8%
Nontaxable interest on investments 66 -7.6%
Interest on federal funds sold 41 -7.3%
Interest on interest bearing balances
from FHLB 1 100.0%
Dividends on Federal Home Loan
Bank stock 11 27.3%
Total interest income 43,956 -3.1%

Interest expense:
Deposits:
Interest bearing demand 8,388 -3.1%
Savings 49 -8.2%
Time 4,369 -20.7%
Junior subordinated debentures
and other borrowings 3,426 24.1%
Total interest expense 16,232 -2.1%

Net interest income 27,724 -3.7%
Loan loss provision 1,750 328.6%
Net interest income after loan loss
provision 25,974 -26.1%

Noninterest income:
Service charges on deposit accounts 2,597 -7.0%
Mortgage loan origination and
processing fees 423 -9.9%
Gains on sales of mortgage
loans, net 183 18.6%
Net mortgage loan servicing fees 23 191.3%
Gains (losses) on sales of other
real estate owned 260 -128.8%
Gains on sales of investment
securities AFS 260 -100.0%
Card issuer and merchant
services fees, net 1,038 -9.2%
Earnings on bank-owned life insurance 140 322.1%
Other income 534 9.4%
Total noninterest income 5,458 -6.2%

Noninterest expense:
Salaries and employee benefits 8,925 1.8%
Occupancy & Equipment 1,725 0.6%
Communications 491 -3.1%
Advertising 330 3.3%
Other expenses 3,848 9.3%
Total noninterest expense 15,319 3.4%

Income before income taxes 16,113 -47.4%
Provision for income taxes 5,835 -46.0%
Net income $10,278 -48.2%

Basic net income per common share $0.35 -46.3%
Diluted net income per common share $0.35 -46.1%



CASCADE BANCORP (CACB)
CONDENSED CONSOLIDATED BALANCE SHEETS
(Dollars in thousands)
(unaudited) Year over Year Linked Quarter
4th Qtr 4th Qtr % 3rd Qtr %
2007 2006 Change 2007 Change
ASSETS
Cash and cash equivalents:
Cash and due from banks $62,470 $54,962 13.7% $60,363 3.5%
Interest bearing
balances due from FHLB 3 47 -93.6% 72 -95.8%
Federal funds sold 668 650 2.8% 807 -17.2%
Total cash and
cash equivalents 63,141 55,659 13.4% 61,242 3.1%
Investment securities
available-for-sale 83,835 103,228 -18.8% 94,675 -11.4%
Investment securities
held-to-maturity 3,180 3,695 -13.9% 3,182 -0.1%
Federal Home Loan Bank
stock 6,991 6,991 0.0% 6,991 0.0%
Loans, net 2,018,414 1,863,677 8.3% 2,016,781 0.1%
Premises and
equipment, net 38,062 40,553 -6.1% 38,878 -2.1%
Goodwill 105,047 105,047 0.0% 105,047 0.0%
Core deposit intangible 9,502 11,082 -14.3% 9,897 -4.0%
Bank-owned life
insurance 33,304 31,730 5.0% 32,713 1.8%
Accrued interest and
other assets 37,165 27,652 34.4% 34,311 8.3%
Total assets $2,398,641 $2,249,314 6.6% $2,403,717 -0.2%

LIABILITIES &
STOCKHOLDERS' EQUITY
Liabilities:
Deposits:
Demand $435,503 $509,920 -14.6% $471,140 -7.6%
Interest bearing
demand 936,847 791,768 18.3% 949,162 -1.3%
Savings 37,720 46,522 -18.9% 41,142 -8.3%
Time deposits 257,067 313,406 -18.0% 330,857 -22.3%
Total deposits 1,667,137 1,661,616 0.3% 1,792,301 -7.0%
Junior subordinated
debentures 68,558 68,558 0.0% 68,558 0.0%
Federal funds purchased 14,802 15,177 -2.5% 15,035 -1.5%
Other borrowings 327,867 171,290 91.4% 200,799 63.3%
Customer repurchase
agreements 18,614 44,018 -57.7% 16,581 12.3%
Accrued interest and
other liabilities 21,565 27,579 -21.8% 25,706 -16.1%
Total
liabilities 2,118,543 1,988,238 6.6% 2,118,980 0.0%

Stockholders' equity:
Common stock, no par
value; 156,961 162,199 -3.2% 164,201 -4.4%
Retained earnings 122,604 98,112 25.0% 120,149 2.0%
Unrealized gains on
investment securities
available-for-sale, net
of deferred income taxes 533 765 -30.3% 387 37.7%
Total stockholders'
equity 280,098 261,076 7.3% 284,737 -1.6%
Total liabilities
and stockholders'
equity $2,398,641 $2,249,314 6.6% $2,403,717 -0.2%



CASCADE BANCORP (CACB)
ADDITIONAL FINANCIAL INFORMATION
(Dollars in thousands)
(unaudited)
% of % of
gross gross
Loan portfolio 12/31/2007 loans 9/30/2007 loans
Commercial $610,856 30% $614,509 30%
Real Estate:
Construction/lot 687,707 34% 689,500 34%
Mortgage 88,509 4% 86,490 4%
Commercial 612,694 30% 601,474 29%
Consumer 47,038 2% 49,600 2%
Total loans 2,046,804 100% 2,041,573 100%
Less reserve for loan losses 28,390 24,792
Total loans, net $2,018,414 $2,016,781


% of % of
gross gross
Loan portfolio 6/30/2007 loans 12/31/2006 loans
Commercial $592,164 30% $560,728 30%
Real Estate:
Construction/lot 629,197 32% 588,251 31%
Mortgage 83,796 4% 80,860 4%
Commercial 603,804 31% 606,340 32%
Consumer 50,070 3% 51,083 3%
Total loans 1,959,031 100% 1,887,262 100%
Less reserve for loan losses 24,597 22,612
Total loans, net $1,934,434 $1,864,650


Three months ended
December 31,
2007 2006
Reserve for loan losses:
Balance at beginning of period $24,792 $22,516
Loan loss provision 7,500 1,500
Recoveries 279 196
Loans charged off (4,181) (987)
Balance at end of period $28,390 $23,225

Reserve for unfunded commitments:
Balance at beginning of period $3,163 $3,573
Provision (credit) for unfunded
commitments - $ -
Balance at end of period $3,163 $3,573

Reserve for credit losses:
Reserve for loan losses $28,390 $23,225
Reserve for unfunded commitments 3,163 3,573
Total reserve for credit losses $31,553 $26,798



CASCADE BANCORP (CACB)
ADDITIONAL FINANCIAL INFORMATION
(In thousands)
(unaudited)
Year over Year Linked Quarter
4th Qtr 4th Qtr % 3rd Qtr %
Three Months Ended: 2007 2006 Change 2007 Change

Average Assets $2,399,260 $2,186,609 9.7% $2,354,256 1.9%
Average Loans 2,051,663 1,809,905 13.4% 1,997,010 2.7%
Average Deposits 1,759,800 1,600,041 10.0% 1,802,099 -2.3%
Average Investment
Securities 92,266 129,536 -28.8% 101,244 -8.9%
Average Other Earning
Assets 10,636 11,745 -9.4% 10,507 1.2%
Average Non Interest
Bearing Deposits 445,510 565,757 -21.3% 476,707 -6.5%
Average Customer
Relationship Deposits 1,608,956 1,476,905 8.9% 1,584,492 1.5%
Average Earnings Assets 2,154,565 1,951,186 10.4% 2,108,761 2.2%
Average Interest
Bearing Liabilities 1,641,756 1,345,386 22.0% 1,567,474 4.7%
Average Borrowings 327,466 311,102 5.3% 242,082 35.3%
Average Common Equity
(book) 284,492 245,072 16.1% 278,995 2.0%
Average Common Equity
(tangible) 169,713 128,342 32.2% 163,816 3.6%



December 31, December 31, %
Balances as of: 2007 2006 Change

Mortgage loans held
for sale $4,306 $3,027 42.3%
Intangibles & goodwill 114,549 116,129 -1.4%

Loans past due >90 days,
not on non-accrual 51 - 100.0%
Loans on non-accrual status 38,591 2,679 1340.5%
Total non-performing Loans 38,642 2,679 1342.4%
OREO 7,054 326 2063.8%
Total Non-performing assets 45,696 3,005 1420.7%

Shares Outstanding (actual) 28,034 28,330 -1.0%

timothy said...

Finally sat down with today's WSJ and Bulletin.

Amazing how much bad news David Fisher packs into the Bulletin article on the new neighborhood. The land was another massive Umpqua default FAIL (as was the Plaza, which I eagerly await to read about in the Bulletin).

And January is doing even worse than the spectacularly bad December. I think it's 32 sales as of last Saturday. Yuck.

The bad news comes mostly at the end of the article after the page jump continuation. This is how they get the word out. Bad news sprinkled amid relatively optimistic articles about someone's bold new construction.

Anonymous said...

The SORE, after sitting for TWO months on the INNof7thMTN, printed the story today, its 100% from the point of view, of MAYOR FRIEDMAN aka Ridgewater/Cascade Theft Assn,...

The SORE has proved once and for all it is INCAPABLE of objective journalism, they could have got any part of the real story from the owner's website, and in fact they had been in discussion with them for months.

But NO, the SORE had to cover MAYOR FRIEDMANS jailhouse ASS.

THE SORE is fucked, if I were Aaron Switzer I would be looking for a buyer, and thinking about finding a new town to organize street closures, as this is where the bitch makes his money.

bruce said...

Re: Chew on that, Brucey-pussy, while you swill your beer, thanking your lucky stars you don't have any kids in our schools.

So the special ed teacher in Bridges program at Bear Creek that I worked with today who needed to go to the doctor (big flu bug going through Bear Creek Elementary right now) but couldn't afford the co-pay, she has those high buck benefit, right?

Or Connie over at Highland Magnet school, who could afford to have her four kids see a dentist but not her or her husband, they've got them, too, right?

The money is going somewhere, you're right about that, but I don't see very many teachers all that well off.

And, yes, the paperwork, especially in special ed, takes up way more time than they are paid for. Ever do an IEP? Ever maintain the reporting on one?

Or should we just kick those kids to the curb and let them die off as quickly as possible. After all, they are just going to suck resources out of society for their entire lives.

Vegas Investor said...

"Bend is #1 toxic in USA"

Next time I want to hear you say that with ENTHUSIASM!

Yeah, of all the markets Craigslist covers Bend is easily the "Most Depressing". Why?

Sure Vegas and SD are getting hammered but at least they have economies OUTSIDE of playing musical houses?

"Right on the Golf Course!"

So f@cking what? Oh that's right, people in Bend don't need jobs!

bruce said...

Re: Cascade Bank

Accordingly, at December 31, 2007, those land development loans adversely rated through our internal risk-rating process totaled approximately $151 million or about 48% of the land development portfolio.

Half of their land dev loans are fucked? By their own standards?

That's stunning.

Anonymous said...

"...but couldn't afford the co-pay, she has those high buck benefit, right?"

and also:

" who could afford to have her four kids see a dentist but not her or her husband, they've got them, too, right?"
------------

Okay, so your argument is that Oregon does not provide good enough healthcare benefits for their teachers, is that right?

Wow. Good luck with that one. You will get laughed off even from your most progressive friends.

The studies have shown that Oregon provides one of the nation's highest benefit packages to their teachers. Go ahead and have a look. Too bad your two examples struggle with their healthcare payments, but if you talk with any benefits professional, they will tell you that you can not get much better than the benefit package that Oregon Teachers get, unless maybe you are a US Senator.

As for the Special Ed teachers, I agree with you there. That is one of the toughest jobs, even without the onerous paperwork and all the regulations. And no, I was not advocating that we kick out the special ed students, although that was quite the strawman that you just took out.

But back to the quote I took exception to: "The don't make that much, about $30-45K per year."

Is that "the special ed teacher in Bridges" or "Connie over at Highland Magnet school"? $30-45K?

Does that include healthcare benefits? ... and retirement? ... and the time off after the school year ends?

Public teacher's salary data is public information, and I am sure that there are not that many Connie's over at Highland. Is Connie a new hire or has she been there a while? Again, $35K?

I guess if you are too afraid to back up your previous statements, I could do some digging around and get the real facts. Maybe she was just playing you for a sucker, with her sad story...

Anonymous said...

There is NO affordable housing problem in Bend. Today you can rent a brand new $500k home in Bend for $800/mo ( see craigs ) , why??

Because there are 1,000's of empty houses in Bend.

The 'problem' in Bend, is they have ran out of suckers to buy houses.

That is not an affordable housing problem, it is a greatest-fool problem, the sad fact is fools are no longer coming to Bend.

Anonymous said...

48% of the land development portfolio.

Half of their land dev loans are fucked? By their own standards?

That's stunning.

*

No that's Bend.

Bend is exceptional, Bend is #1.

Bend is FUCKED.

Anonymous said...

Re: I guess if you are too afraid to back up your previous statements, I could do some digging around and get the real facts.

Please do. Connie spends her mornings at Bear Creek and her afternoons at the Transition to Bridges program Heather Van Dusen runs at Highland Magnet School.

Do you have links for your facts on comparative salaries and benefits? I would love to check them out.

Do you have actual pay stubs showing the withholding, and the actual amounts put into PERS and health insurance above that amount?

Yes, teachers, city employees, county employees, state employees, and federal employees have good benefits. Far better than the average corporate employee, especially if that corporation is not in the S&P 500.

I can only wish corporate employees had the same benefits.

And as for my employees, I have none. I hire contract workers when I need them. Otherwise, I do it myself. I'm not much at "management". One of my biggest flaws, really.

But when I have a supposedly "autistic" kid leaning on me and reading to me in a quiet, halting voice, somehow I feel a deep joy.

bruce said...

Britney explaining the Bend RE:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=733Zn28xxzs&feature=related

Priceless.

Anonymous said...

Re: I guess if you are too afraid to back up your previous statements, I could do some digging around and get the real facts.

Please do.
----------------

The data that I got is from OSBA web site at:

http://www.osba.org/lrelatns/salary/index.htm


A quick summary:
Salaries: Deschutes Co ave is $48,747 per year.

State range is $26K to $70K

Add Healthcare: state ave $859.42/mo or $10,308 per year

Teachers pay only $112.76/mo

Add PERS:
State pays 16.97% (Employer Contribution) = $8,272
State also pays 6% (Employee Contribution that Unions negotiated to be paid by School Districts) = $2,924

Total PERS = $11,196

Salary $48,747
Healthcare $10,308
PERS $11,196

Total Comp $70,251

Not including summer vacation credit of between 9% and 15% equals $76,573 up to $80,788.

That is Average for teachers, some higher some lower. District staff and Principals are much higher.

Anonymous said...

Teacher pay??

"The don't make that much, about $30-45K per year."

versus the real facts:

Salary $48,747
Healthcare $10,308
PERS $11,196

Total Comp $70,251 (for 10 months)

bruce said...

So teachers might actually be able to buy a house in Bend, if it's less than $250K or so. Or $320K or so if you want to go to 25% of income for payments.

Is that something awful?

Or is it just an example of how fucked up local RE is?

bruce said...

RE: Salary $48,747
Healthcare $10,308
PERS $11,196

Total Comp $70,251 (for 10 months)

For the people who are ensuring a continuing of our legacy of actually having a brain.

And they can afford a house below the local median.

There has got to be a conspiracy theory there, the fuckers.

Anonymous said...

"There has got to be a conspiracy theory there,"

Nope. Just the facts.

If your heart bleeds for the Teachers making over $70K, then you must really feel for the average private sector Joe making just $40K, who can only afford a $160K house.

And then you must really really bleed for the Renter Guy making less than $30K.

Next time you are talking to your friends, you can teach them a thing or two about Teacher compensation, eh Bruce?

about $30-45K per year versus $70K!

Anonymous said...

"We never intended to provide any parking at the Old Mill, the present day parking, was always temporary".

***

Orvis will occupy site of Old Mill parking lot
By Anna Sowa / The Bulletin
Published: January 24. 2008 5:00AM PST

Country lifestyle outfitter Orvis will replace a parking lot at The Old Mill District’s north end when its 10,500-square-foot building goes up this fall.

The Bend Orvis will be the first Oregon store for the Manchester, Vt.-based company, whose stores offer a full line of men’s and women’s clothing and other merchandise, including fly-fishing and hunting gear, furniture, gifts and pet items.

The north-end parking lot was always destined to become a retail building, said Old Mill spokeswoman Noelle Fredland, adding that developers created the parking lot in the interim.

Parking is more than adequate for the shops, Fredland said, adding that the Old Mill has five parking spaces per 1,000 square feet of retail space. That’s more than the city requires, she said. The Old Mill also has parking lots across the Deschutes River on Columbia Street and near the AmeriTel Inn on Southwest Bluff Drive.

The stand-alone Orvis will soon be surrounded by other new retailers to the Bend development.

Allyson’s Kitchen is expected to open in February, Flatbread Community Oven and Pizzeria is expected in June and Pastini Pastaria is expected in July, all on the shopping center’s newly constructed north end.

Phase two of the development opened in fall 2007 with Acadia Footwear, Ann Taylor Loft, Cafe Yumm!, Chicos, Desperado and White House Black Market.

Anonymous said...

RE: Salary $48,747
Healthcare $10,308
PERS $11,196

*

The real average income in Bend, is closer to $40k/household, which is why all along in this silly forum I have said that $160k homes, is where this will all end up.

Our teachers that make $90k/yr in terms of real (12mo) income, make more than 2X of the typical Bend loser.

Guess what, with things going to shit our 'teachers', and other government employees will be 'kings'.

No need for crocodile tears for teachers, their unions are the reason for the self pity, there is no amount of wealth in the universe to satisfy the teachers unions.

There is NO CORRELATION of student education of teacher pay and student success. Modern public teaching is NOT about students, it is about liberal comfort ( bruce types ), sadly but here it goes ...

"Public education is welfare for people with liberal arts degrees".


The solution is to KILL the teachers unions.

Bruce-Pussy hasn't even been in this town for six months and he is determined to run for political office and is setting himself up as a bleeding heart liberal who will line the pockets of all. 'progressives' with taxpayer money. Guys like him are a dime a dozen, which is most boring is use of the same old Hillary Clinton parables.

Anonymous said...


The Feud at the Seventh Mountain: Condo owners, prominent Oregon family fight over repairs to Inn

Written by H. Bruce Miller
Wednesday, 23 January 2008

The venerable Inn of the Seventh Mountain on the road to Mt. Bachelor has been through a lot in its 35-year life, and it shows. The dark wood siding on its condos is weathered and deteriorating. Roofs leak. Uninsulated water pipes freeze.

New-skating-rink-is-one-of-the-improvements-the-Papes-made
New skating rink is one of the improvements the Papes made
Nobody argues that the old place needs a little TLC – well, a lot of TLC. But the questions of who’s going to pay for it, and how and when, have touched off a civil war between a group of condo owners and the wealthy Pape family of Eugene.

Right in the middle of the war is Bill Friedman, a Bend city councilor and former mayor, who as owner of Cascade Bookkeeping manages the affairs of the condo owners’ association and is under attack from disgruntled owners who claim he’s been unfairly favoring the Papes.

The Pape family – which made a fortune selling heavy construction equipment – controls a majority of the seats on the condo owners’ association board of directors. Or it used to. Or maybe it still does, depending on how things play out in court. But we’re getting ahead of the story.

Condos at the Inn are showing their age
Condos are the Inn are showing their age
In 2003 the Papes, through INNspired LLC, a family-owned corporation, leased the Inn’s commercial facilities – the restaurant, convention center, skating rink and others – from the Association of Unit Owners (AUO) and put some $6 million into repairing and upgrading them. The Papes eventually acquired more than a third of the condo units at the Inn, giving Jordan Pape and his sister Susie Pape two of the seats on the nine-member AUO board. Four Pape allies were elected in October, giving the Papes two-thirds of the seats on the nine-member board.

The AUO board hired RDH Building Sciences from Vancouver, BC to evaluate the work that needed to be done on the condos. RDH came back with a jaw-dropping cost estimate of $30 million. The board asked the engineers to scale back the scope of the work and come back with a revised number, which they did: $17.7 million.

That’s when the civil war broke out.

The Pape faction on the board wanted to go ahead with the work and called a special meeting for Nov. 25 to authorize a special assessment on condo owners to pay for the renovations. The cost to the owners would range from $11,000 to more than $100,000, depending on the number and size of units they own.

Peter-Bours-(with-Joan-Moss)-leads-dissident-condo-owners
Peter Bours (with Joan Moss) leads dissident condo owners
But a dissident faction of owners, led by Dr. Peter Bours, a Forest Grove physician, wanted to put the brakes on.

“We all want to see this place fixed up, but not based on some obscure engineering firm’s walk-through,” Bours said. “We want to get a builder in here that does this kind of work.”

The dissidents also challenge the board’s decision to structure the assessment in a way that would financially benefit the Papes. The details are complicated, but the gist of it is that if the assessment is approved by the board before Dec. 31, 2007 the payments to INNspired will be accelerated, meaning INNspired stands to get about $7 million more.

Although the Papes have offered to let the condo owners spread out payment of the assessment over three years at 4% interest, the owners say the cost is still much more than many of them can possibly afford. And they don’t relish the prospect of trying to sell their condos in the middle of one of the worst real estate slumps in decades.

One owner who didn’t want his name used said the assessment on his two condos is about $65,000 on one and $55,000 on the other, “so we owe, as it stands right now, $120,000 in special assessments. I can’t afford to [pay it]. I don’t have an extra $40,000 a year lying around. What will I do? I don’t know, honestly, at this point and time. I stand to lose over $380,000” in what he’s invested so far in his two units.

In a last-ditch effort to block the assessment from going through, the dissident owners moved aggressively. They contacted all the unit owners they could find and asked them to turn in voting proxies to unseat the Pape faction on the AUO board.

“We all received a rapid education in using the Internet to find people,” Bours wrote on the dissident owners’ website, innof7thmtn.com. “The … assessment notices had grabbed owners’ attention and our position was an easy sell. We began to feel guardedly optimistic.”

Then the dissidents got word that representatives of the Papes were contacting owners trying to buy their units, thereby increasing their number of votes in the hope of staving off the attempted board coup. The Papes “bought up five condos right before Christmas,” Bours said.

Nonetheless, Bours said, the dissident faction managed to collect enough proxies to give it 50.8% of the votes and kick the Pape faction off the board.

But things didn’t go smoothly. At a special board meeting on Dec. 31, the dissidents cast their proxies and voted off the six members of the Pape faction. But the Papes and Friedman – who was charged with supervising the election – are claiming that, for a couple of technical reasons, the Papes actually won.

For one thing, the Pape faction claims it won on the basis of “cumulative voting.” Under that procedure, an owner who’s entitled to, say, six votes can cast them all for one candidate or split them up. The Pape faction used the cumulative voting process to take their votes away from one of their six board members and throw them all to the other five in an effort to maintain a slim majority.

“The bylaws simply saw that cumulative voting is allowed in all elections and recalls of board members,” Friedman said.

Not so, claims Bours. Cumulative voting “is the system we’ve used to elect boards, but this wasn’t the election of a board – this was a special election to remove the board.”

Another issue on which the legitimacy of the vote turns is whether all the proxies Bours and his allies collected were properly cast. Friedman claims four of them were properly rejected on legal grounds.

“One of those proxies came from an owner who, after he signed the proxy, sold his unit to another individual,” Friedman said. “Our attorney believed that under that set of circumstances the ballot could not be counted. Three of the proxies were later revoked in writing by the person who sent in the proxies, and our attorney advised me that was a correct revocation and I should not vote those ballots, and that’s what I did.

“When the dust settled, the proxy ballots that I cast plus three other ballots cast at the meeting in favor of recall amounted to less than 50% of the possible votes.”

But according to Bours the deadline for turning in proxies was Dec. 26, and the bylaws say proxies can be revoked after the deadline only if the owners show up at the meeting in person to do it – which didn’t happen.

So now there are two AUO boards – for convenience, we’ll call them “the old board” and “the new board” – each claiming to be the legitimate one. Which one really is will most likely be determined in court.

The new board and its supporters are still angry with Friedman, who they say tipped off the Papes to their coup attempt and has dragged his feet when asked to provide them with information they’re entitled to, including contact information for condo owners in advance of the Dec. 31 meeting.

“We are really unhappy with Bill Friedman,” said Bours. “There’s absolutely no transparency. We can’t get anything out of him, even as a board member. … He still hasn’t released the voting data [from Dec. 31] to us – he’s just completely in their pocket. He’s supposed to be representing all of us.”

“There are certain records that are open to homeowners, and whenever they were requested we provided those,” Friedman said. “What they were specifically looking for was contact information including telephone numbers and e-mail addresses, and our attorney has instructed us, absent the board’s direction otherwise, to treat such information as confidential.”

Who does Friedman consider himself to be working for – the Papes or the condo owners?

“Good question, and one that’s really clear,” he replied. “Under every homeowners association and condo association declaration, the business of the association is conducted by a board of directors, and the board of directors has the ability to hire folks to perform certain tasks. So in this case and every other association we represent – and there are 30 or 40 of them – we are employed by the association through the board of directors.”

And as far as Friedman is concerned, the old board is still the one he’s employed by. “Other than a letter from some folks purporting to be a new board, I have no evidence that anything has changed,” he said.

The new board’s attorney, Bruce Cahn of Ball Janik LLP, sent a letter on Jan. 4 to the attorney for the Papes, Tamara McLeod of the Bend law firm of Karnopp Peterson LLC, demanding that she and Friedman “immediately turn over all files and materials owned by the AUO and … instrumental to the operations of the AUO, including but not limited to all owner contact information, all vendor materials, all financial records and any other documents pertaining to AUO business.” As of Monday there had been no response, and the Source was unable to reach McLeod for comment.

In the meantime, plans for repairs to the Inn are up in the air, as is the question of who will pay vendors, contractors and employees – including Friedman.

“We’re trying to decide what we can do,” said Bours. “We haven’t worked out all the moves. Basically we want to get the board situation in front of a judge as quickly as possible. … Now I think we’ve gotten a foot in the door and they [the Papes] will have to deal with us, because you can’t run an organization like this with two boards. So we’re feeling reasonably comfortable compared with where we were two weeks ago.”

Despite the bad blood between him and the condo owners, Friedman says he’d like to try to broker a deal between the dissident faction and the Papes. One possibility, he indicated, is to stretch out the payment period for the assessment over more than three years.

“Many of the owners believe the board manipulated the date of the assessment” to speed up payment to INNspired, he said. “So if we want to move to solutions, the way is to talk with INNspired [about] over what period of time will they agree to take this money. So there’s a solution in there. It’s a matter of how long it takes for tempers to cool down.”

“It’s unfortunate that all of this has occurred,” he added. “The primary thing behind us is difference of opinion related to how to move forward with the payment of an obligation [the condo owners] have. Boards up until recently – and I mean over a 30-year period – have chosen to keep the dues low and not put aside money for these needed repairs.

“There’s no disagreement that the buildings need to be fixed. The disagreement comes about because some owners believe that somehow, magically, they ain’t gonna have to pay for it.”

bruce@tsweekly.com

bruce said...

Just the facts, from your own OSBA link:

2005-06 ODE Avg. Teacher Salary Figure: (based on 27,509 teachers, 197 districts)

Including PERS employee contribution: $50,048.39

Without PERS employee contribution: $47,215.46

But since you are so anti-union, there is really no need for a middle class, is there. Best not to pay anyone more than Chinese wages, because we want to buy more cheap crap from Walmart. Walmart is actually a good wage model: just above minimum wage, keep everyone part-time, offer the bare minimum of benefits. After all, that's the only way we can possibly be competitive in this world, right?

Anonymous said...

But since you are so anti-union, there is really no need for a middle class, is there

*

ANTI 'PUBLIC-UNION' bruce pussy.

bruce said...

RE" "Public education is welfare for people with liberal arts degrees".

SO what is your fucking solution?

Zero education?

Pay to play education?

$8/hr "teachers" with a GED?

Put up or shut the fuck up, asshole. You sound like you listen way too much to Limbaugh and O'Reilly. And anything else on that network that went to court to prove that it didn't have to be true to call it "news".

My beef isn't with the teachers, the garbagemen, the sewer workers, the water treatment plant operators, etc. It's with these fucks: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/01/17/AR2008011703050.html

So tell me again, why did we lower their tax rates? Did they bring something so swell to society's table that we have to reward them?

Oh, that's right, they brought us the credit bubble, Structured Investment Vehicles, and ongoing meltdown.

I'm off to teach autistic kids to read, write and count. The basics.

timothy said...

The teachers' union is a parasitic special interest organization. It's the reason that the old lousy teachers get paid a lot and the young promising teachers don't.

If teachers were paid by performance, you wouldn't have the best teachers dropping out to go into private sector, which is what happened to the best teachers I have known.

It's no wonder teachers don't know how to teach children about wealth, given the rusted twisted union system they endure. Their experience is nothing like the reality the rest of us find ourselves in.

Anonymous said...

Bruce,

Remember our goal here is the bendbubble, and debating its effects.

We'll never fix public-education, or public-health care in this forum.

Every argument you post is right out of Hillay's dialogue, nobody here listens to Rush either, this is your world.

We who have lived here in Oregon forever, know our history.

You bruce need to learn Oregon history.

Nobody has said that teachers should get min-wage, or not be educated these are all 'solutions' that you pulled out of your ass, and this technique of yours, of posting not what people said, is why you will always be bruce-pussy.

Anonymous said...

Notes from the January 12, 2008 OLD BOARD Meeting.
January 18th, 2008

Les & Diane Cunningham

The meeting was called to order by Jordan Pape and Peter Bours made a motion to adjourn the meeting due to the fact that the old board was voted out at the December 31, 2007 meeting and was now invalid.

There were approximately 35 owners that attended the meeting.

The Project Committee reported that they are narrowing the project manager position down to Sun West Builders. Sun West has done several projects in
Central Oregon. They did the “remodeling” of most of Pape’s (INNspired) condominiums. The people who supported this decision, especially John Lietz, Susie and Jordon Pape were asked by an owner if Sun West had ever done a job of this magnitude. Their weak response indicated that Sun West never, has. The question of bonding was also side-stepped by a long description of an insurance policy instead of a bond. So is Sun West bonded? After the project report was given by John Lietz, one owner expressed that he was neither for or against the new or old board, but that he did have concerns about the way the assessment and other items were being handled. He is in the profession of construction and validated that the repairs needed to be done.

\

Peter Bours made motions against construction contract or matters that pertained to the project due to the fact that the old board was not in a position to sign a contract or go forward with any issues while the board legitimacy is being contested. He reminded the board that contractors would not be willing to sign with the
INN while the board issue is in court.

The board suggested a process for reviewing INNspired’s credit tender. It was suggested that the fee would be around $10,000. There was a discussion about the accounting firm having accountability for the review and also someone who was not an INNspired owner to be the spokes person. The board decided that the accounting firm would be nation firm to tabulate INNSpired receipts and to justify their $7 million credit. Thus it was suggested that INNspired owners not be part of the review.

The staff reported on the board member replacement discussion. Several options were proposed, for example, using the proposed names that were given at the last opening. The Cascade bookkeeping firm seemed to think that they didn’t keep those names. The discussion involved how members got on the board that were partial share owners and mostly Pape’ people. Bill Friedman is going to send out information that there is an opening. They will appoint a replacement.

Rich Tanguay talked about the website and had indicated that he was told to stop the creation due to the cost. Others proposed other ways in which to communicate and that whatever website AUO had that there was to be no advertising of the rental business or other revenue producing companies. The website propose is for communication of information between owners.

The
Forest Service update was the land above the lake is officially listed with the Forest Service for sale to the Forest Service or a trade in land. Owners have never voted on this and so the question is, “Who determines the future of this property?”

Peter Bours made appropriate motions that were seconded by Rich Tanguay to veto any action that the old board proposed to determine the future of the
INN.

Concerns of owners:

* Bill Friedman & Tammy, the new attorney, are blocking all owners’ rights to see the final vote of Dec. 31, 2007 and are questioning the legality of the vote.
* Lack of trust and integrity of board, INNspired, & Pape’s i.e. Law suite
* The construction work is a give but the issue is the lack of transparency involving INNspired and how this is being handled.
* The timing of shares acquired by INNspired and the voting of the removal of the old board.-50.8 or 48% of voting.
* How the new board members’ positions are filled and why there are so many Pape’ and INNspired people on the board?
* How the voting shares are counted and assessments made to owners. Does this include assessments and voting rights to the core builds that house INNspired?
* How the INN and credibility is being portrayed by the medial. Will this hurt the business to the INN?
* Are we headed for another bankruptcy?
* Concern for the money spent in legal battles rather than repairs.
* Remodeling done by individual owners and now a large assessment – does this apply to INNspired as a condo owner of the cor

timothy said...

>>Parking is more than adequate for the shops, Fredland said,...

Wow. The Old Mill is an absolute disaster as far as car/pedestrian traffic goes. I have always said (starting back on the original blog) that the Old Mill is ass-backwards. The way it works now, you have a strangled passageway for cars right through the center of the shops. It's as if an indoor mall opened up its main walkway for cars. Watch people hold onto and yell at their kids as the cars go by above the speed limit. The river has the view of the butts of the stores. Parking sucks along the main drag.

The way it should work is the river should be in the middle with walking paths along it and several bridges across it. There should be stores on both sides of the river and the cars should be on the ass side of the stores.

That way [parking is easy, walking is comfortable, and the view coming in and out of the stores is gorgeous.

Anonymous said...

timothy said...

The teachers' union is a parasitic special interest organization. It's the reason that the old lousy teachers get paid a lot and the young promising teachers don't.

*

Tim, At times I really think your the only rational, intelligence person here who grasps the big picture of what goes on.

Anonymous said...

The old-mill is just selling out, and filling it up, so the owner can cash and run with a full lease on sq-ft.

In 2-3 years this place will be the a ghost-town.

Then hopefully some strong politician can get some money to make the old-mill in to a campus.

Yes, they need to shut down the traffic that runs in front of the REI.

timothy said...

>>Tim, At times I really think your the only rational, intelligence person here who grasps the big picture of what goes on.

I just listen and try to learn. Anyone can do it, if they want to.

timothy said...

>>Then hopefully some strong politician can get some money to make the old-mill in to a campus.

If it becomes a campus (and it would be a beautiful one--you could take it all the way to the edge of Farewell Bend Park), it should be like I said. A sandwich.

Road, buildings, walkway, river, walkway, buildings, road.

bruce said...

Re: The teachers' union is a parasitic special interest organization. It's the reason that the old lousy teachers get paid a lot and the young promising teachers don't.

What I bolded I can agree with, because I see it sometimes.

But unions are what brought us a middle class. The bashing of unions has been fed to us by the corporate media. Corporations are the ultimate parasitic special interest group. Unions are little people banding together to help each other. And, yes, when enough of them band together, they can get pretty big and powerful.

But at least they fight to keep jobs here, rather than ship them Asia.

Smart people will always make more money in the private sector, as no one will pay them over $100,000/year just to "teach".

BTW, Anonymouse, it's not Hillary's playbook, it's John Edwards.

It is rather stunning that people with college degrees that are responsible for the next generation being smart enough to move our society along get bitched at for making more than $50,000 a year.

And, yes, I do need to learn more about Oregon history. The PERS/KKR saga especially.

And, no, I really don't believe that "Richest Man in Babylon" is the end all and be all of why everyone isn't wealthy. It's tough to save anything when you are trying to raise kids on $3000 a month after taxes, with limited health insurance. And most people would much rather have a job with a steady, budgetable paycheck than be entrepreneurial with the chance to go big. It has some good platitudes, but the most important one is the same as "The Millionaire Next Door": Don't buy a lot of stupid shit, and especially don't get in debt to do it. Live frugally, and save everything you can.

But that just doesn't work to make a true "growing economy", one where sales grow faster than the population, so the corporate media tells everyone that to be happy we need that stupid shit.

/rant off

Anonymous said...

But unions are what brought us a middle class. The bashing of unions has been fed to us by the corporate media.

*

GOD-DAMN READ BRUCE PUSSY

NOBODY bashed private unions, we bashed PUBLIC UNION.s

Read the fucking book "America What Went Wrong", Bartlett&Steele 1987,

Until then shut the fuck up, learn how oregon PERS with OREGON PUBLIC UNION MONEY created KKR, and destroyed the FUCKING US PRIVATE PENSION SYSTEM.

BRUCE YOUR A FUCKING TRAITOR.

Anonymous said...

oregon PERS with OREGON PUBLIC UNION MONEY created KKR, and destroyed the FUCKING US PRIVATE PENSION SYSTEM.


*

Oregon PERS starting in the early 80's used PERS money to finance KKR, which bought private companys and replaced the pension cash with IOU's.

The public union made ten's o 100's of billions and public union and teachers went along because they made a fortune.

The PUBLIC UNIONS fucked, stole, and robbed the PRIVATE UNIONS.

FUCK YOU BRUCE, you can't have it both ways.

Anonymous said...

BTW, Anonymouse, it's not Hillary's playbook, it's John Edwards.


*

It doesn't matter bruce, its boring. You repeating it cheapens the debate.

I'm sure that when the rubber meets the road the reason you quote hilly or eddy's playbook is that you know it works, and your goal is some political office, ...

I don't give a fuck, you have my vote, I'm sure you'll be no worse than the other fuckers running this town.

Besides, we need a few real progressives to balance this fucking city.

Trouble is bruce, you need to learn some fucking Oregon history.

Anonymous said...

I really don't believe that "Richest Man in Babylon" is the end all and be all of why everyone isn't wealthy.

*

It's not, and you haven't read it,

The only reason I bring the book up is NOT about wealth, but the fact is in all civilizations, in all time, 98% of all people are losers.

You included bruce. You don't hear me or time whine about health care.

Why?? because we're one of the 2%.

I'm not saying health care isn't fucked, what I'm saying bruce is that if you get sick and don't have a lot of money, your going to die.

timothy said...

>>But at least they fight to keep jobs here, rather than ship them Asia.

I believe you are projecting your admiration for heroic historical union movements onto the teachers' union.

Are you worried that the teachers' jobs will be sent to Asia? I'm not. The teachers are not low-skilled factory workers.

timothy said...

>>And, no, I really don't believe that "Richest Man in Babylon" is the end all and be all of why everyone isn't wealthy. It's tough to save anything when you are trying to raise kids on $3000 a month after taxes, with limited health insurance. And most people would much rather have a job with a steady, budgetable paycheck than be entrepreneurial with the chance to go big.

In a sense I agree with you. But it's not just a matter of saving. It's a matter of avoiding credit cards, payday loans, and rent-to-own. Three addictions of the the lower classes that come from buying into consumerism.

I've seen "poor" people with DVD players, 3 TVs, and new cars. They say, "I just can't afford my food."

I do know a couple poor people that are smart. They buy almost no crap at all.

Anonymous said...

It has some good platitudes, but the most important one is the same as "The Millionaire Next Door": Don't buy a lot of stupid shit, and especially don't get in debt to do it. Live frugally, and save everything you can.

*

I agree what you write above isn't a new idea, but thats' NOT why I brought up the book (babylon), The reason I brought the book is that it develops the novel idea that 98% of all people in all time in all civilizations are whining losers.

I concur with Tim, it wouldn't play well for public-ed to teach this to children.

The book doesn't tell you how to get rich, it just makes the point that most people are always poor, and will always be poor.

My CPA 40 years used to always say "If it were easy to be rich, everyone would be rich".

It's NOT easy, never has been, never will be.

The 'Millionaire next door' to me is more of an Oprah Winfrey 'table chat' book, but it does tell the truth, the average US millionaire drives an old pickup, and has been married to the same women for over 20 years, and probably didn't flip houses, and move every year, ...

Again, and with you I always have to keep repeating the same fucking thing over&over, the reason I brought up 'babylon' is that it teaches that 98% of all humanity are fucked. Which is why we have our bend-bubble, because 98% of all people in all times, in all civilizations always want something for nothing, but in the end they get nothing.

Most modern books would NEVER tell it like it is, cuz that doesn't sell books. This is the reason I like "Babylon", because its PRE political correctness.

You bruce are PURE political correctness 24/7, which drives me fucking crazy.

Anonymous said...

NEWS ALERT
from The Wall Street Journal


Jan. 24, 2008

Congressional aides said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and House Minority Leader John Boehner reached an "agreement in principle" in meetings last night on a bill to provide roughly $100 billion in tax rebates to a broad group of workers and about $40 billion in tax breaks for business. The details still were being vetted with lawmakers, and Democrats and their allies already were raising concerns that the agreement does not include added spending on unemployment benefits or food stamps.

The rebates would be at least $300 for anyone who earned at least $3,000 in 2007, with $300 bonuses for children. People who owe income taxes would receive gradually more, up to $600 for individuals and $1,200 for couples. The rebates would be available to those below a certain income cap, likely $75,000 adjusted gross income for individuals and $150,000 for families.

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