Monday, September 29, 2008

Fear Nation

Want to submit a piece to BendBubble2?

Send to:

Well, I'm going to do a short entry to break up the comments. And call me stupid, but as I noted earlier this week, there is a Big Element of Fear to Gee Dub's agenda.

This credit crunch is The Third Big One: First, the Iraq "War". And I always try to use quotes around "War", cuz it was never really a war, but more the annihilation of a country for oil, and a little payback for wanting to kill Daddy Bush, which I can understand.

Second, I group into Katrina Fear, but it's really the fear of natural disasters, Katrina just made it possible.

Third is this credit crisis. And this seems to be The Big One. I've heard such crap as we will be thrown into a Second Great Depression by today, if the Monster Pork Barrel $700bb bailout doesn't pass. THAT is how bad Wall Streeters want this thing.

I guess I don't know what The Bush Doctrine is either, outside of this Rule By Fear Agenda he's got going. Is this what Hitler did? Seriously. This is starting to feel like some sort of whacked dictator is running things.

And contrary to what hbm, Brucey, and Dunc think, I am a Repug that can think for himself. And if I had my druthers, McPain would come in Dead Last in the election, Osama would come in second, and some other Decent Candidate would win. Maybe Ron Paul, or someone. But that ain't gonna happen. It'll be one of these 2 ididots, both of whom are sellouts, and I suppose of the 2, I'd rather have Obama.

So I can think for myself, which is more than I can say for a lot of people. I'm thinking of registering Independent. The Dem's and Repug's are turning into twisted abominations, that aren't even about representing this countries people, but are more about hating each other.

Oy, this Fear Nation Rule has just reached a fever pitch, and there is no precedent for it. At least The "War" had 9/11. The hurricane fears had Katrina. I guess this bailout has...What? Bear Stearns going bust? Lehman? I mean, Who Cares? These things are MEANT to go down, if they have killed themselves.

It starting to feel like we, and I mean the U.S.A. are The Next 800 trillion lb Elephant ready to fail. They are really afraid of something I said well over a year ago to much guffaw, that This Housing Collapse will bring down this country. We're starting to hear that from our "leaders".

Maybe there is precedent. Maybe they do know we are knocking on Death's Door. Maybe this is The Big One, the one from which we will never really recover. Maybe we are, right now, The World's Fannie, Freddie, AIG, WaMu and a whole lot yet to come, All Rolled Into One. We are The World's Too Big To Fail Institution. Maybe the rest of the World wants us saved, because if we go down, so do they.

OK, there's a pretty good piece about the rising vacancy rates in Bend commercial property today. Watch for the "Zingers", the Games People Play That Don't Make Sense.

For businesses, a renters’ market
By Jeff McDonald / The Bulletin

With vacancy rates for Bend’s commercial office space at 13.5 percent — more than double the empty space available early last year and a number that is expected to rise — landlords are offering incentives that range from rent reduction to tenant improvements to handing out cash.

The latest incentive for businesses looking to expand is geared toward helping companies overcome the financial hurdles resulting from the credit crunch; namely, the lack of financing available upfront for overhead costs such as new office computers and other equipment, and tenant improvements, said Brian Fratzke, principal broker for Fratzke Commercial Real Estate in Bend.

“A lot of landlords will take the first tenant with a pulse and a pocketbook,” he said. “But when this thing turns around, they’re going to say, ‘Darn, I’ve just devalued my building.’”

Instead of lowering lease rates, which devalues the building over time, one of Fratzke’s clients, owner of the 2,800-square-foot RedBend Office Building near the Redmond Airport, will give the tenant the first six months of rent free, up to $27,000, Fratzke said.

This is equal to giving a free month’s rent at move-in and one every 12 months thereafter, which is a common incentive, Fratzke said.

“What often happens in rent abatement is tenants will get one month free every 12 months,” Fratzke said. “Over the course of a five-year lease, that adds up to six months free. What we’ve done is offer the six months free upfront, so that the tenant can pay for their move-in and overhead costs.”

Commercial brokers are offering more incentives to get deals done, trying to ease concerns about expanding during tight economic times, said Eric Strobel, business development manager at Economic Development for Central Or-egon, which promotes business growth in the region.

“Anything that can be done on the commercial broker side to alleviate pressure on the company is helpful,” Strobel said. “Any help that can be given on the front end is a huge decision-making factor for the company.”

While tight credit sometimes makes it difficult for a company to expand, that’s a better problem to have than needing more credit to survive, Strobel said.

The slowdown in the commercial office sector has put growing companies in the driver’s seat when it comes to renegotiating lease terms or moving into new buildings, said Darren Powderly, a broker with Compass Commercial Real Estate Services in Bend.

“If a client says to me they will pay the asking price, without tenant improvements, but they want a check for $10,000, we’ll look at that,” Powderly said. “Obviously we want to look at their creditworthiness, and get corporate and personal guarantees (that they will stay for the length of the lease). If they walk a month later, you’re not looking very smart.”

Other trends include significantly cutting the rates on the first two years of a lease deal, Powderly said.

“Ironically, the tight credit market is helping leasing,” he said. “Even if the company thinks they’re in a great position to buy, they can’t get a mortgage. There’s no other option but to lease. It’s added some activity that would otherwise go toward purchasing.”

Bill Moseley, president of GL Suite, a software development company in north Bend, had planned to construct a new building in the NorthWest Crossing industrial area and move there when his lease expires in April.

But the slowdown in the commercial office market, along with higher costs of construction, has made it more expensive to put up a new building than to buy an existing one, Moseley said.

That, coupled with shrinking demand for space from real estate-related firms and several new, still-vacant buildings that have come online this year, makes leasing a no-brainer, Moseley said.

“It’s been bad for everyone else, but if you’re someone leasing or considering buying a building, there’s no better time.”

The Bulletin, Always Selling RE. Just can't help it.

Vacancies rising? Hell, that's Great News!

Vacancies falling? Hell, that's Great News!

I like how giving 6 months Free Rent at an inflated rent rate makes the building More Valuable. Here's a pic of a Realtor & his reading material, who believes such tripe:
Please, don't drop your monthly rate, just give 6 free months rent instead! That doesn't hurt property values! Now I have to go read something important that's been confusing me...

Another good piece this week is by Fleckenstein.

What's next, a ban on stock sales?

Prices aren't to the government's liking, so it's changing the rules on the fly, and no one knows where or when new lines eventually will be drawn.
By Bill Fleckenstein

The Securities and Exchange Commission has a list, and it's checking it twice. It's a compendium of nearly 1,000 companies the so-called watchdog has now pronounced off-limits to short-selling.

If this do-not-short list weren't such a travesty, it would be hilarious. Among the companies the SEC wants to "protect" are the ones -- Moody's (MCO, news, msgs) and McGraw-Hill (MHP, news, msgs), to name just two -- that did such a horrendous job rating the mortgage paper that helped cause this debacle in the first place.

The Cox virus unleashed

In the end, SEC Chairman Chris Cox and friends will discover that this will turn out to be an epic example of the law of unintended consequences. They've probably just succeeded in blowing up a tremendous number of quantitative-oriented money managers and hedge funds. In essence, this targets anyone who runs a long-short fund or arbitrage fund of any kind, and anyone who manages any sort of stock basket.

To distill those gory details down to their essence, what the SEC has done is guarantee that less liquidity will be available for markets.

I suppose that if this doesn't work, the next step will be to just outlaw selling altogether. After all, that does seem to be the government's response to prices it doesn't like. There was a witch hunt for speculators in commodities on the long side when oil (and various food items) went higher over the summer. Obviously, we've seen that lower stock prices have also precipitated a government response.

So when the bond market eventually revolts -- because of the cumulative effect of the Federal Reserve’s monetizing any and all pieces of paper the Treasury buys -- is the government then going to ban the short-selling of government bonds? Will it eventually say you can't sell dollars? How is any rational person supposed to plan for where the government may draw the line as to what sort of "manipulation" it may condone?

Meanwhile, one item you'll likely never see on the SEC's to-do list: leading the charge on reforming financial statements. Scrutiny of IBM (IBM, news, msgs) would be a perfect start, as the company has shown itself to be a financial engineer of the first order. Nevertheless, IBM last Tuesday begged its way onto the do-not-short list.

This happened even as IBM has been borrowing money to buy back its own shares while it crows about what good shape it's in. The stock is off only about 15% from the highest price it's ever traded at. And it sports a short interest of 10 million shares -- not that much more than IBM trades on any given day and microscopic relative to the 1.354 billion shares it has outstanding.

Any real, untroubled company would be completely embarrassed to be on that list. Thus, in my opinion, IBM's actions are perfectly fitting with how it operates.

The on-closer-inspection rejection

Of course, anyone with any knowledge of history and an IQ above room temperature knows that many of the financial institutions now in trouble have themselves, not the short sellers, to thank for their plights. I'd like to offer the following example, via a recent Bloomberg story headlined "Ten days changed Wall Street as Bernanke saw 'massive failures'":

"The storm in the markets began with a long-deferred nod to reality by Lehman. The 158-year-old, New York-based firm had possible acquirers inspecting its books. They discovered that Lehman hadn't yet written down its portfolio of subprime mortgages . . . as aggressively as some other Wall Street firms."

So, in all likelihood, what the short sellers are being blamed for is the harsh reality that Lehman shareholders would just as soon not take "ownership" of. That is not to say there wasn't any short-selling, but rather that short interest in Lehman was never large. In fact, short-selling was rather modest. As of the last reading, it had dropped to just less than 28 million shares from almost 54 million in June. (For reference, the company had 689 million shares outstanding.)

Security says, 'Remove your shoes -- and your shorts'

Nonetheless, despite any and all facts to the contrary, the SEC and the government have resolved to pursue their idiotic "solution" in terms of banning short-selling of certain stocks for the time being. They also have demonstrated that rules don't mean anything, because they are willing to change them whenever it suits their purposes, no matter how disruptive or foolhardy those changes may be.

A friend summed up the situation by commenting that we're in an environment where "short sellers . . . are risking private money betting against badly run businesses and governments are risking public money betting in favor of badly run businesses. You don't need a Ph.D. in finance to know which group of folks believe in truth and free markets. . . . You can expect to see all foreign banks move their toxic waste to their U.S. subsidiaries for delivery to Henry's Helpful Handouts."

One wouldn't have to be too cynical to conclude that we now know the real reason Treasury chief Hank Paulson decided he needed a $700 billion bazooka. I don't mind him helping out old friends at Goldman Sachs (GS, news, msgs), and I would prefer that the financial system not implode. But I find this bailout bill completely outrageous. Though I won't hold my breath, I hope it doesn't get enacted as currently proposed.

The silver lining: Halting a money-fund run

If I were to try to find the piece of last week's actions that was least objectionable, I would say it was putting a halt to the run on the money market funds. I know that places at a disadvantage all the people who prudently owned government-only paper, like many of my readers. But just as, when push came to shove, American International Group (AIG, news, msgs) had to be bailed out, a run on the money market funds would have been devastating to too many innocent bystanders.

The bottom line is that the government has decided it doesn't like where the prices of houses are, where the prices of mortgage-related debt securities are, where the prices of commodities are and where certain stock prices are, so it has elected to change them all by fiat. It won't work, and one of these days, the bond market will be absolutely shattered.

If Congress manages to agree on a bailout bill, the financial crisis will probably be over (but I'll reserve judgment until I see the action in all markets in the wake of the legislation).To that extent, the government's actions will keep the economy from getting "extra-worse" on the back of a stock market crash and a run on the money funds.

Having said that, when folks discover just how weak the economy is, especially now that we've blown out all kinds of participants in the stock market, we may still get some sort of a crash or serious sleigh ride south, though it's really hard to draw conclusions at the moment.

We obviously have been close to a crash in the stock market and a seizing up of the financial system. But regardless of what the "experts" say (most of them, after all, saw none of these problems coming), my fear is that the worst is still in front of us.

Keep the plates spinning. Fear Nation. If we don't keep the plates spinning.... What? We'll all have to actually... My God.... Live Within Our Means? Guns, butter, beans, and Gallo?

I don't think we'll collapse into a New Stone Age. We'll simply have to spend what we make, and Stop. And that's it. But to The New Corporate Government, that is Armaggedon. That's The End of the World. There's no point in even surviving such a disaster.

I see the markets are cratering this morning. Citi going to take over Wachovia. Wachovia hasn't opened yet, but pre-market, it is indicated down 90%, from $10 to 90 cents per share.

I really hate saying I told you so, but... well, let's say I was part of a small cadre of people who said this thing would end catastrohically early on. Over a year and a half ago. I said the US would, as a country, actually become Second Fiddle. We would become a has-been. You are watching The Fall of a Civilization. There are a lot of people for whom it will not be apparent until it is over, but it is apparent to me that it is inevitable. It's happening right now. We are bearing witness to a country destroying itself.

It's why I disagreed with BEM & Buster about "doing something" to Save Bend. Bend cannot be saved, it is Far Worse Off than the rest of the country. This country will tear itself to pieces trying to save itself, like a wolverine in a burlap sack thrown into a river. Nothing will help. Nothing will save Bend either.

I've also said that I hoped to position myself Delta Negative for this thing. Hell, that's like standing on the last point of the Titantic to go down. I'm probably only doing well with respect to those that are already in the water. This thing will take us all down.

There's nothing to do about this thing. It's like the tsunami of ~3 yrs ago: It's an unstoppable force. It'll wipe clean everything in it's way. And right now, we are in it's way. This bailout is like building a 1ft tall wall of sandbags against an unstoppable tsunami, 100% futile. It makes The Bulletin's attempts to revive Bend RE pretty laughable. Remind me of yet another recent Fleckstein piece:

Whatever we do, it will be wrong

It's time to start thinking about digging out from this crumbled financial house of cards. With heaps of blame to go around, it's clear that past policies won't help.
By Bill Fleckenstein

Tread lightly and thoughtfully
Events continue to move at a fast and furious pace. I don't think we've seen the last of startling actions. As for the investment ramifications of all of this action and potential future action, I think folks need to understand that amid the crosscurrents and head fakes, the potential to make mistakes is going to be extremely high. Probably the fewer decisions made right now, the better.

However, all decisions should be made with the expectation that the economic and financial environment will get far worse. For those of us who are professionals, a friend suggested that Henry Kissinger's comments about the Balkans should be kept in mind: "Whatever you do will be wrong, including nothing." That seems an appropriate warning.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Just when I thought I was out... they pull me back in

Hey... you hear that?

What is that? What's that sound?

Oh... right... the the disintegration of The Leveraged American Capitalist System.

Wow. I knew it'd be quick, but not that quick.

So we've got Fannie & Freddie a distant memory. Lehman, welp apparently the US Government doesn't like the Jews as much as they pretend.

And then flip-flopping back to bailing out AIG.

Anyone else? Seriously. Stuff is going down the shitter so fast & furious, it's hard to remember. Oh right... Bear Stearns got this party started.

So now we've got what amounts to a bailout of Capitalism itself. They are going to throw $1 trillion at this thing. I think they said it's only $700 Billion... but that doesn't count Fannie Mac, which is probably going to be a few hundred billion for the pair, at least.

Yeah, this bailout, as expected, doesn't keep a single person in their home or anything else (not that I am for such inanity), but is a straight up dumptrucking of cash right into the pockets of hundreds & thousands of multi-million & billionaires. That's it.

Bush team, Congress negotiate $700B bailout

The government must bail out the financial system "because if we don't, it will have a tremendous impact on American consumers, homeowners, taxpayers and the rest," House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said in San Francisco.

Yeah, "the rest". What the fuck is this, Gilligan's Island? The Rest, my ass. This thing is a huge printing press operation for the pure benefit of Paulson's chums.

I mean, this is AmeriKKKa, isn't Bad Stuff supposed to fail? Aren't bad ideas supposed to go down the crapper? We leveraged up at a rate untold in human history... aren't there supposed to be consequences?

Yeah, well don't worry, there will be. I think I've said this before, This fucker is Too Big For Any Organization On This Planet to save, even the US Government. The Cruel Irony of the siutation is we are doing EXACTLY what we told the fuckin Jap's NOT to do, when their property bubble dragged them into a mudpit, one they are essentially still in.

I guess I'll say it again, like I'm a fucking broken record here: This will be so much worse than we thought possible.

But all is no lost. Well, except for Randy Sebastian.

Renaissance Homes faces bankruptcy
by Jeff Manning and Ryan Frank, The Oregonian
Friday September 19, 2008, 9:32 PM

Sebastian promises his company will survive. Though he's learned to never again trust a market boom, he still believes in the Northwest and he still loves building homes.

Anyone else see the irony in this? He'll never trust a market boom again? OK, but he will STILL keep building homes.

Hey, RANDY: You might want to THINK for about 2 fucking seconds about building homes after The Biggest RE Bust Ever Recorded Since The Earth Was A Coalescing Gravity Well of Interplanetary Dust. See, it's a BUST. It's going to be about 63 trillion times harder than it was during the boom.

Renaissance Homes saw its new housing starts decline from 305 in 2006 to 198 the following year. Through June, the company was on pace to build just 32 homes in 2008.

Randy Sebastian, all I can say is that if the cross-armed homo-erotic flesh-eating AIDS doesn't get this motherfucker, his utter stupidity surely will. What a dumbass.

Wow, went through Forum Meadows today, yet another indicator that Valley builders should never set foot on Cent OR soil again, for fear of their financial lives. Forum Meadows, now that it's in receivership, is awash in For Sale signs that were not there just a few weeks ago.

Yeah, see when your in Chap 11, all the game-playing bullshit, like holding back 80% Dark Matter, is blown away cuz the banks want their fucking money. This fucker has TONS of shit for sale.

And ordinarily this is Exactly the Situation that would have me come running. Blood in the Water. But I ain't even thinking about buying. Not even close. 2 reasons.

First, we are still, even after the large price hit we've taken, WILDLY OVERPRICED. My God, I drive by places everyday, where I can see the owners are clueless about what is going on. These houses are 100% too high. Everywhere.

Shame on your cohorts, marge. They need to wake these people up, and simply refuse to take ridiculous listings. They are throwing their OWN MONEY AWAY, as well.

As usual, Cent OR is lagging as far behind as it is physically possible, while still being in the same country. We hit $396K medians one month, about 2 years back. We'll drop 60+% from there. Minimum.

Second reason I ain't buying: The STD's PUKED forth, primarily on the East side, are shitholes. Those things are crap-shit-shacks, and they will begin disintegrating over the next 3-5 years.

These things were barfed out in huge quantities by people who were looking for nothing else but to sell it to someone who had no intention of ever occupying these hovels, and get loaned money by banks who didn't care a wit about whether home buyers had income or not.

In short, the East side, and much of the North & South are littered with deteriorating crappers, that are JUST LIKE MOBILE HOMES: They will actually GO DOWN in value over time.

Mobile homes are like cars, they are worth the most while still on the dealer lot, they lose 15-20% of their value the day they are sold, and they lose about 20%/yr forever after. Sometimes they go NEGATIVE, as they have to be towed away, torched, or used as Army target practice to make way for yet another crap shack. That makes up most of what has been built here in the past 5 years.

Yeah, this is The Big One. It's a testament to the severity of the problem, that we're getting about a 98% reduction in the number of comments regarding Sarah Palin's titties.

Hey, I even came back for a short post! But I'm not sure I'm a good one for chronicling the Implosion of AmeriKKKa. Shit, I wanted to WARN people it was coming. I think they know. Well, mostly. Bend is the absolute last .000001% of the US population that is beer-bonging the Kool-Aid, and a LOT of people here still have their heads planted firmly up their asses.

But they are starting to think. They are starting to read beyond Cascade Business Buttbangers, whose Editor is shown here busting ass with some nunchucks:
The Incredible Hulce! Hi-ya!

Yeah, it is people like this that should serve as a guiding light to our economic problems.

But what the fuck is this?

Good Riddance

Well, Paul-doh is doing me a favor and pulling the plug on his BB2 plog.

It had gotten more and more frustrating to me. I didn't mind the language, or the buster bluster, or the right wing loonies...but I never knew who I was talking to. Constant shifting of names, or no names, or even identity theft.

It was like talking to a hall of mirrors. Pretty useless.

I wouldn't go near the BB3 blog if you pulled a gun on me.

So...that stuff is gone.

Good Riddance.

et tu, Dunc? I mean, damn. Not going near a blog unless you KNOW the identities? Really? I guess that's it for you then. This whole thing is pretty damned anonymousey.

Anyway, I promised myself I'd keep this short, hell I wasn't going to write these anymore, right? But it's hard to resist at least acknowledging that The Greatest World Power Ever is starting to economically disintegrate. And it IS DISINTEGRATING. We won't be out of this thing for 20 years. Don't think so? Look at the Japs.

And if you think NOW is bad? Fuck, it is going to get SO MUCH WORSE. They're trying to push that the losses will be capped at $1 trillion. Bullshit. These things ALWAYS go worse than anyone thought, because the losses are being instituted by a pack of incredible fucking liars. Remember the Iraq "War" was going to cost $80-100 billion? Yeah, that fucker will run us $1 trillion when all is said & done. Minimum.

This thing has a price tag today of a trillion. Expect several times that, maybe $5-10 trillion. Folks, $10 trillion is A LOT OF MONEY. That spells DEPRESSION for this country. I was never real confident of gov't stats, but if we even spend $1 trill on this thing, and we DO NOT go into a near-depression, you will be assured that they are 100% LIES.

We can't LOSE $1 trillion & NOT be in a severe recession, or near-depression. Not possible.

We are looking at Modern Unregulated Finances' 9/11. The S&L crisis was a lot of small planes running into low profile targets. Hundreds failed, mainly in the South. Texas has only recently recovered because of War-ge Bush.

Todays implosion is FAR more DIRE. We have fuel filled disasters hitting 150 story tall behemoths of finance. These fuckers have manufactured derivatives with a notional value many, MANY times the Worlds GDP. There won't be nearly the number of failures we had in the early 90's... there will be 9/11-style failures of the Largest Behemoths Ever.

This is only the beginning.

Whoops... just found this at The Oregonian! Hey! Maybe we're just making the Front Page Bigtime...

Bloggers speculate on developers' deaths in Bend

Bloggers in Bend speculated for weeks this summer about the deaths of three developers including Jay Audia, whose Edge Development Group purchased 38 acres out of foreclosure in January. Last week, the site was empty and still.

As mortgage defaults in Deschutes County soared to levels more often seen in the cratering markets of California, Arizona and Florida, a handful of bloggers raged at the greed that had spoiled their desert paradise, leaving it broke and broken.

Then three Bend developers died this summer, and the bloggers soon spun theories about what would drive men to such desperate measures. Or maybe, the bloggers wondered, the mob was involved. The city at the foot of Mount Bachelor had a bad case of the jitters.

At the end of a dizzying week -- crushing news for financial giants Washington Mutual, Lehman Brothers, Merrill Lynch and AIG amid grave concerns that Wall Street's woes are far from over -- the Bend case shows how easily the Internet can intensify anxiety in worrisome times.

"The Internet speeds up the process of everything," said Michael Rabby, an assistant professor of communication studies at the University of Portland. "People don't get the chance to reflect. And that aspect of it can really change everything. Because the Internet seems more democratic, people are trusting it more. Sometimes they should. Sometimes they shouldn't."

"Thrown under the bus"

The Bend bloggers who speculated on the developers' deaths did not respond to The Oregonian's requests for interviews. On the Internet, they identified themselves by screen names. Among their favorite targets was Bend's daily newspaper, The Bulletin, which the bloggers said merely carried water for the real-estate sharpies.

"They do not want you to hear any bad news about the RE market, and they are willing to manipulate local media to do it," wrote a blogger by the screen name IHateToBurstYourBubble.

The bloggers chewed over their worries with verbose essays land-mined with f-bombs and served up with many hints at sinister behavior. IHateToBurstYourBubble: "You will always be thrown under the bus in Bend, if it means someone can sell a house to someone, even if you are screwed in the process."

Blog posts led to links, which led to more blog posts that led to comments on other blog posts, on and on in a whisper campaign rendered loud and clear with the global megaphone of the Internet.

Still, it was all just talk until the deaths. At first, the bloggers were cheeky. Then they were scared. Then they pointed to accomplices: the mainstream media.

"Closures and Drug Busts and Suicides, Oh My!" ran a headline for a July 26 blog post. Two weeks later: "Bank Mob Hits Claim Lives of Bend Developers." A week after that: "Bend Media is Responsible for Bend Developer Suicide Crisis."

"People have started dying over real estate in Bend," someone named BilboBend wrote Aug. 10, "and you shouldn't just accept the word of the local media, who essentially won't even acknowledge that a death has even occurred."

The thing about conspiracy theories is that underneath the embroidery and the ravings, there can be a kernel of truth.

First, the undisputed facts: Douglas Sokol, 57, a Sisters developer, died June 24 after falling from a height. Lynn McDonald, 58, a former emergency-room physician who had invested in a huge development called The Shire, disappeared July 6 and was found the next day in the Deschutes River. Jay Audia, 48, of Bend, who had recently purchased a 38-acre tract out of foreclosure, shot himself in the head July 19 at his home.

None of their families could be reached for comment.

Investigating the deaths fell to Dr. Chris Hatlestad, Deschutes County's medical examiner. For Hatlestad, the Internet is there-be-dragons territory: "I don't do blogging."

So he wasn't aware of the energetic speculation about the three deaths at the blogs bendbubble2 and bendbubble3: "It's getting awfully strange," offered BilboBend. "Start combing the obits. Audia supposedly shot himself, a crime so easily done by someone else, a 2-year-old could have planned it. McDonald's story just doesn't add up at all."

The bloggers offered no evidence or witnesses for their theories of foul play.

Yet Hatlestad found Audia's death to be clearly a suicide. He called the cause of Sokol's death "undetermined" and said he probably would mark McDonald's the same way. Though he did not rule out suicide, Hatlestad said, there was not enough evidence, so he was perplexed when he learned of the bloggers' speculations.

"I don't know where the heck somebody would get that kind of information," he said. "In my experience and understanding of the world, which I don't claim to have any special privilege of, when times are tough and there's plenty of fear to go around, people will continue to add fuel to the fire."

A kernel of truth

Yet the bloggers' ruminations about a suicide cluster also had an element of truth: Studies as long ago as 1987 and as recent as the mid-1990s show that suicides do increase in troubled economic times.

Emile Durkheim, the 19th-century French thinker considered the father of sociology, concluded in his landmark study that people who fall the farthest in income during bad times develop a high risk for suicide.

Research since then, however, has revealed that no single factor "causes" suicide. Having a suddenly thinner wallet by itself does not drain the last of someone's hope. Other factors working alone or in combination -- alcohol and drug abuse, legal trouble, divorce and mental illness among them -- usually drive suicides.

In the past year, for example, at least five people elsewhere in the nation who worked in the real estate sector committed suicide. At first, the deaths defied explanation. But after the funerals, it turned out that, in each case, law enforcement was closing in.

Separately, a Lake Oswego real estate broker who specialized in lakefront properties apparently was struggling with the downturn and killed himself July 23. As in the Bend cases, there's no hint that authorities had been interested in his business dealings.

In Bend, even with the tough times, the medical examiner said he has not seen an uptick in suicides in Deschutes County. In fact, Lt. Kevin Dizney, head of the sheriff's detective division, said that aside from metal thefts, "I haven't seen the state of the economy having any direct effect on crime, period."

Hatlestad said he wouldn't rule out an increase in suicides, but, "suicide occurs as an impulsive act almost all the time. People have chronic ongoing stresses in a variety of flavors and sizes, and financial is a big one. At what point does somebody decide, this is too much? It's not often very predictable."

Filling information voids

The blogging phenomenon -- thousands more people "publishing" on the Internet -- does pressure news organizations to respond, but it's a tough call. In the wake of the three Bend deaths, the bloggers hammered The Bulletin for sitting on a huge story.

Not surprisingly, given the medium, the bloggers' theories about the deaths spread, prompting a small posting about The Shire and McDonald's death on The Wall Street Journal's Web site on Aug. 14. The Oregonian ran a column Aug. 18 mentioning the deaths in the context of suicide prevention.

The following week, The Bulletin published a column by Editor John Costa in which he wrote that the bloggers did stir up the talk in town. But when his reporters tracked down what had happened to the three developers, the bloggers' theories didn't hold water.

In an interview last week, Costa said, "I don't think there's anything unusual with people filling information voids. People will fill in a motivation that they can see and that conforms to their master narrative to what's going on in the country. In this day, what's different is that you can take that unfounded and speculative information, and you can spread it around the world.

"Then you have the next question. ... Even if it isn't true, if there's a general belief out there, what is the journalist's obligation? Do we chase the same mirage? It's a very legitimate question. I don't have an absolute answer."

Just so you know, Portlandians, this fucking town is Bank-Mob Run. These fuckers killed themselves for reasons probably VERY SIMILAR to why that Buena Vista contractor was arrested: This ain't CIVIL anymore. Ain't a misdemeanor to lose money around here anymore, it's CRIMINAL. Your ass will SERVE TIME. Either that, or they will find you & shoot you. Or throw you over Benham Falls.

You don't fucking kill yourself over money, you kill yourself over someone whacking your wife & kids, or the idea that your ass is going to JAIL. People are losing BILLIONS in this One-Horse Shithole & they aren't just going to go to the courthouse & file liens & shit to get their money. These fuckers KILL PEOPLE... or make them kill themselves.

Yeah, this is a real fucking paradise. Best NOT amble through town if you're behind on your mortgage payments. Or ever. You can get caught in the crossfire.

Yeah, our "theories don't hold water" cuz Costa is a RE cocksucker that doesn't want to get fucking shot. The theory that he is doing this for his innate LOVE of the RE industry, is about as valid as the idea that he is just one of the rabble, and will get his ass shot otherwise.

Folks, if you are getting close to a point where you are going to be in arrears on your rent or mortgage or business loan, you best do a fucking midnight run. Pack it up & go. Run Lola, RUN!

No one wants to see anyone else dying.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Time To Pass The Baton At BendBubble2

First I have to re-post a great cartoon from over on Dunc's blog:

That about sums it up, right there. Lib's in a festering ball of rage over Palin. BAM! McPain just barely taps the knee to get the reflex-action going.

I throw out a little McPain love, and the Lib-Musketeers of BB2 (Brucey, Dunc, and a variety of hbm's) come out guns blazing.

Duncan McGeary said...

Yeah, but I'm not thinking it's funny.

There are some pretty sick minds here.

I'm with HBM.

"...the troll stink in here is overpowering. Hasta manana, maybe."

Oy. Played like a fiddle. By Buster, no less.

hbm said...

Gotta go -- the troll stink in here is overpowering. Hasta manana, maybe.

And brucey-kins has posted a vast litany of Bush-hatin' goodness:

bruce said...

It's hard to run on your record of the last eight years, six of which you controlled Congress and the Executive. And the last two years you stopped anything you didn't agree with by making the Senate unable to stop filibusters.

When your signature foreign achievement is a multi-trillion dollar quagmire in Iraq, and your signature national achievement is Medicare Part D, with it's prohibition on bargaining over drug prices with the drug companies and a donut hole big enough to sink a blue-hairs Buick halfway through the year, all you can do is run on lies and innuendo, hoping people believe that you will run things differently the next time.

Even when you have the exact same guys behind the scenes. And as long as a significant percentage of Americans watch Faux News, they actually have a chance.

The Homer Simpson channel, run by Reagan/Bush Sr comunications advisor Roger Ailes, will fight for the Repubs right to the bitter end.


What's funny/sad is I have so many bionic-liberal friends (this is Bend, CA after all), who don't even identify with the Democratic Party anymore, because they are moving left at such a rapid speed, that even the Dem's sound like corporate suckups, spewing Nazi bile.

Repugs? Well, they insist they don't even know what the Repug Party is about anymore. White Noise. Some sort of Phantom. Menace.

Diane: Ahhh... this is probably going to be seem a little strange. We hear better on this channel. Don't ask me why. Well... ah... I guess I will call her. Carol Anne. Ah... i t's mommy, sweetheart. Ah, we want to talk to you. Please answer me baby. Please answer me. Please talk to me, bunny.

Marty: Look at the dog.

Diane: Are you with us now? Can you... can you say hello to daddy?

Carol Anne: Hello, daddy.

Steve: Hello, sweetpea.

Diane: It's mommy, sweetheart.

Carol Anne: Hello, mommy.

Diane: Hello, baby. Can you see me? Can you see mommy?

Carol Anne: Mommy? Where are you? Where are you?

Diane: We're home, baby. We're home. Can you find me? Can you find a way to us, baby?

Carol Anne: Mommy, where are you? I can't find you. I can't. I'm afraid of the Light, mommy. I'm afraid of the Light.

This is a standard conversation with my liberal friends. Like talking to a possessed appliance, or something. No one understands it. Even I don't at times.

This is the Achilles Heal of The Lib's, and they don't get it.

The Neo-CON-VICTS are UNAPOLOGETICALLY engaged in RePugnant behavior that would make a fucking billygoat puke, AS USUAL. But they are still engaging MIDDLE AMERIKKKA, that vast bulge of sister-fucking hillbillies, called The Bible Belt.

But the Lib's have gone off on some idealistic race to The Left, to see who can distance themselves from G-Dub's the fastest, and in the most sweeping, radical way they can.

Quoth The Ravin':

Willie Horton Revisited

Written by H. Bruce Miller

Saturday, 13 September 2008

The Fall Slime Season is in full swing. If you doubt it, check out the two new TV ads just put out by Gordon Smith. In a tactic reminiscent of George H.W. Bush’s Willie Horton ad in the 1988 presidential campaign, the Republican senator’s ads try to portray Smith’s opponent, Jeff Merkley, as coddling child rapists.




Willy Week: Smith's Food Plant Hires Illegal Workers
Written by H. Bruce Miller

Thursday, 11 September 2008

Although details are sketchy, Willamette Week is reporting that Gordon Smith’s frozen food plant near Pendleton has been employing illegal immigrants for years.

I repeat:

hbm said...

Gotta go -- the troll stink in here is overpowering. Hasta manana, maybe.

Now, see the problem with this DUMBFUCK STRATEGY is that Lib's are leaving the ELECTION WIDE OPEN TO McPAIN.

The Lib's think this is about BEING RIGHT. The RePUG's know better. It's about WINNING.

The Dem's are moving left, LEFT OF EVERYTHING & EVERYBODY, in an attempt to distance themselves from Gee-Dub, possibly the worst President of the United States, if you don't count Hitler, Satan or Jeebus.

GeeDub's may actually be the reason The Pug's are re-elected.

Imagine a beach, walled off at both ends. And the beachgoers are dispersed absolutely evenly across the beach. This beach has only 2 snack vendors. The vendors are identical in every way, price, products, everything. Pure commodities. There is only one determining factor about which vendor to choose: The distance away from the vendor.

Traditional American Politics resembles this situation quite closely, and it should be no surprise that what is ultimately achieved is a sort of Unstable Equilibrium, where the vendors move towards center, jockeying for position by millimeters in the center of the beach, despite the fact that there is a vast underserved population on the periphery of the beach.

American voters resemble this situation, except they fall more along a bell curve, with right & left wing freaks on the edge, and the Big Fat-Ass Sister Fucking Tubby Middle. For better or worse, this group actually puts people in office.

And the vendors gravitate towards this center EVERY FOUR YEARS. Like clockwork.

But this year, we're going to have CHANGE! Oh yes. Change. So, Oh-Uni decides to make a stand, and move away from The Middle, and goes LEFT... just a little.

And just because he's a little closer to some people wayyyyyyyyyyyy out on the left edge of the beach, and because the other guy has been linked to salmonella, he gains a pretty good flock of new customers in a short time. Some from too far left to frequent either vendor in a long time, they just went without.

Now the other guy sees this, and does nothing. His business was not so great to begin with, and it's still OK, but he feels worse cuz it seems like the other guy just got a bonanza for doing nothing.

So then the other guy goes left a little more. And he gets some more.

Wash, rinse, repeat.

And so it goes with the LEFTY vendor quite a ways from Center & doing pretty well for himself.

But then the guy in the middle decides to move left, because there are some people who are between him & LEFTY that he can EASILY pick up. LEFTY has gone quite a ways left and left a BIG FUCKING GAP IN THE MIDDLE.

So RIGHTY moves LEFT. And he picks up customers. Quite a few, in fact. He was going to MIRROR LEFTY's move, and go RIGHT at first, but then he thought about it: Why cater to those wayyyyyyyy out to the right? Fuck them. Move left. In fact, move left with impunity. Follow LEFTY!

This is a clusterfuck for the Dem's: They HAVE TO appear to be the George Bush Anti-Christ's. Again, Worst AmeriKKKan President since Idi Amin.

But this GAP is what McPAIN & EVERY FUCKING RePug with half a fucking brain is moving into. There isn't a RePug TV spot that doesn't disavow ass-fucking Geo-Dub's EVERY FUCKING DAY for the past 8 years, despite the fact that Lib's & RePug's alike have sucked at the Bush Mega-Cock. Yeah, you fuckers voted into Law the Iraq War just as much as any Newt Gingrich Nazi dumbshit.

Look at the TV: Gordon Smith is running ads 24/7 about how he is GeeDub Hater. Why? Why is he "abandoning" the folks on the beach wayyyyyyyy off to the right?

Because he can. The Lib's, many, like my friend, so far left, they are dry humping the leftist wall, and can't hear ANYTHING over the humpage. These people are not even going to VOTE DEM! They are going to either vote Cynthia McKinney, who is right there with them, humping the wall. Or, they'll fall back to Old Reliable and vote Nader for the 45th election in a row.

And there appear to be many of these Left Wall-Huggers, which is why the Oh-Uni-Bomber started moving left to begin with. They would HOP OFF THE WALL & VOTE DEM if we JUST MOVED FAR ENOUGH LEFT, GAT DAMMIT!

And so like Howard Dean, they start marching that way. Now, the Oh-Bomber has kept a fucking fork in his pocket to stab himself in the leg every time he gains some traction, unlike Dean who got 6-7 Wall Huggers to jump off, and promptly self-destructed.

The Oh-Uni-Bomber has, to date, done it with a deft skill that puts many of his predecessors to shame. He's slick. He's well mannered. He's racially correct, which for a black dude, means he hasn't killed 3 wives, beat 5 kids to death, and contracted the AID's.

So he is smooth. But the fucker is still moving left. A little persistent voice is still telling him: Distance yourself from Gee-Dub & you shalt be welcomed into The Heavenly Gates.

And so he does. Closely followed by the other guy(s). A whole country moving LEFT, it seems.

But, it's really an illusion. The Vast Middle doesn't give a shit about "faggots, queers, niggers, or dykes", and they never will. They will vote the party FARTHEST away from that shit that they can.

And that party is STILL The Re-Capstone-Butt-Pugs. The bell curve isn't moving, but the parties are moving left, because the right has been poisoned by The Powers That Be.

And Oh-Uni-Bomber is almost to The Left Wall, with McPain, Gordo, and a host of other Re-Pluggers running, not walking, as fast as they can behind him, all trying to distance themselves from The BushCo Nightmare.

That WHOLE RIGHT FLANK is going to start walking to the polls (ie beach vendors) this November, and the first thing they'll find is McPAIN. Even a lot of Centerist Dem's will find McPAIN before they get to Oh-Uni-Bomber.

Think about it Libby's. You're handing it to us on a platter.

OK. I've been writing this crazy mixed-up blog for almost 2 years now. There has been some crazy shit happen since BEM handed the reigns off to.... some dude he didn't even know.

Remember, a fresh-faced CACB Shorter, selling at $32, and then covering at $24 or so, with an almost visible sigh of relief, and a bit of braggadocio.
Cracker Ass Cracker Broke, 2 yr chart

Little did he know this thing would implode down to the $6's.

Even recently, there was the Bear Stearns fiasco. Can't show you a chart because it is largely taxpayer owned, and the gub-ment hates charts.

Or Fannie. Or Freddie. Fannie went from $68/sh to 68 cents over the past 12 months. 99% LOSS on the largest holder of mortgages ON EARTH. DOWN 99%.
Fannie Mae, 1 yr.

Here's a BusWeek piece outlining The Nightmare Scenario:

The Nightmare

So we're golden, right? Well, maybe not. In the vicious-circle scenario, Treasury's intervention ends up being a replay of Japan's ill-fated effort to prop up crippled banks in the 1990s. Increasing the availability of credit delays—but does not prevent—the full price decline needed to clear out the daunting overhang of nearly 4.7 million unsold existing homes as of July.

As the lender of last resort, the government throws good money after bad, first on housing and then on airlines, automakers, and other supplicants. All this against an undeniable backdrop of rising federal deficits: The Congressional Budget Office predicted this month that the federal budget deficit would remain above $400 billion annually from 2008 through 2010, up from about $160 billion in 2007.

In the nightmare scenario, the descent into quasi-socialism balloons the national debt and wrecks foreign investors' faith in the economy. That's the vision sketched out by ultra-bears like Peter Schiff, president of Euro Pacific Capital, a brokerage in Darien, Conn. Schiff is passionate on the topic: "The dollar is going to go through the floor, interest rates are going to spike up, and we're going to have a complete financial meltdown. It's going to be the worst-case scenario."

A different school of pessimists says the housing market actually does need a big adrenaline shot from the government. But they say it's unlikely to get one from either a McCain or an Obama Administration because the risk to taxpayers from a much bigger commitment to housing would be deemed too great. The only real beneficiaries of the takeover are the holders of Fannie and Freddie securities, who are bailed out of their bad investment choices, says Robert I. Kessler, CEO of Kessler Cos., a Denver investment firm. Says Kessler: "It's a great thing for the big banks. I don't see any benefit whatsoever to consumers."

Specifically, the Fan-Fred takeover does nothing to help homeowners who can't refinance a home loan because their property is assessed for less than they owe. It also may not be enough to draw in buyers, who are focused more on the risk of declining home values than on the upside of a slightly lower mortgage rate. "I've sat in open houses, and you just can't get people to make an offer," says Edward Cudahy Spalding, a real estate broker in Fort Lauderdale. "You've got to reinflate values in the housing market. I don't know how you do that."

Without more relief for homeowners and consumers, the housing-led recession is likely to deepen. In this vicious-circle scenario, the housing slump depresses consumer spending, leading to job cuts and thus forcing even more foreclosures and bigger spending reductions—in other words, the mirror image of the virtuous circle. Vulnerable sectors include finance; nonresidential construction, which tends to follow homebuilding downward with a lag; and retail, which has so far lost only a modest number of jobs nationally relative to the size of the sector.

Away from Wall Street, the mood is glum. Douglas S. Bartlett, owner of Bartlett Manufacturing, a maker of printed-circuit boards in Cary, Ill., says competition from China has forced him to cut employment nearly two-thirds since 2000, to 87. He hasn't felt any reprieve from the dollar's recent depreciation against China's currency. Says Bartlett: "Fortunately for us, there's been enough of our competitors going out of business that we're able to pick up their work." In Sacramento, restaurateur Ali Mackani was forced to shut down his fashionable Restaurant 55 Degrees shortly after Labor Day because of slower-than-expected commercial and residential development in the area, which he had been counting on to produce customers.

Today's business failures ripple across the economy, triggering more failures. And when the financial system is crippled by losses, the hoped-for V-shaped recovery can flatten out into a wide-bottomed U, says Dan North, chief economist of Euler Hermes ACI, a North American unit of Germany's Allianz Group (AZ) that insures accounts receivable. North says that because of business failures, the number of insurance claims processed by his company was up 80% in the first six months of 2008 compared with a year earlier.

I actually see this country becoming an also-ran on the Worlds Economic stage. This thing will cripple us.

The title of this piece is, "The Economy: Best- and Worst-Case Scenarios". This alone should make you wonder: Why are these people STILL wondering about a BEST CASE SCENARIO? Has it even happened ONCE?

Fannie Mae & Freddie Mac fucking collapsed last week. Lehman will not survive the day. These fuckers are standing on the deck of the Titanic, at a 45 degree angle, and are debating Best Case & Worst Case Scenarios. Yeah. I'm sure this fucking ship will right itself by magic, and we'll end up safe & sound in NYC Harbor if we just think positive.

The Shire went belly up, Thank God. Soon to be followed by Tuscan Buttplugs of AmeriKKKA, and a raft of other imbecilic ideas. Pollock built what is the Quintessential STD-fest in Forum Meadows, which is probably World-renowned for the Biggest Fucking Weeds ever. Here is a picture I took last week:

House in Forum Meadows, obscured by Worlds Largest Weed

Let's not forget Randy Flesh-Eating-Virus Sebastian.
Hi, I'm Randy Sebastian, and my asshole whistles when the wind blows, cuz I've done been fucked by The Bend Oregon Housing Market (The BOHM)! Plus I got the motherfucking Flesh Eating AIDS!

Can't forget Becky Breeze, the Matriarch of Bend Realty Agents. This woman made her first million through 25 years of hard work, persistence, and persevering through the toughest market in the USA. Then she proceeded to lose it all in 18 months due to RE greed-fueled Kool-Aid overdose, administered by her pimp, Umpqua Bank.

We've watch Desert Skeeze crash through the $100/sf barrier. We saw COBA & Costa ethics vanish like a ghosts fart. We'll soon see many more fall, including our proud City itself, which will soon go broke. We can only hope every fucking City Councilor in Bend is ass-fucked by Gayniggers from Outer Space. In jail.
Where Randy Sebastian? I'm gonna tear that White Shit Up!

And not to mention the THOUSANDS of KICK ASS COMMENTS. All culminating in a hell of a onslaught, the likes of which I certainly have not seen anywhere before.
Holy Shit! We hit The K-Burger...

So we've had Good Times. But there have also been some Bad Times. The Audia - McDonald, et al suicides come to mind. Despite what others think about me -- that I'm a blood-thirsty dingo that would love nothing more than to rush into a neo-natal unit & tear the throats of 20 dying babies -- I am actually bothered when Bad Things Happen To People.

And killing yourself is an indication that people are getting a little too Involved in this thing. Yes, it's an RE bubble, and there'll be some Winners & Losers... but KILLING YOURSELF? I mean, come on. Don't fucking kill yourself over this thing. That's just fucking crazy.

Shit there was even THE OUTTING of IHateToBasteYourButterball! AHHH! I've been OUTTED! OH NOOOOO!

OK, joking aside, it's still sort of weird, cuz someone was hoping some BODILY HARM would just happen to befall yours truly. THAT is how serious these local loons are about their RE. They are willing to KILL or DIE for their cause.

I mean, DUNC (yes DUNC) -- a guy I forwarded as MAYOR -- started spewing like a Playa Hate Uh to ME!

Duncan McGeary said...

Yeah, but I'm not thinking it's funny.

There are some pretty sick minds here.

I'm with HBM.

"...the troll stink in here is overpowering. Hasta manana, maybe."

WHAT! He's talking MEXICAN! Oh no! What the hell's he saying? OH SHIT!

And I am starting to read general economic pieces that exceed mine in their dire prognostications:

Bailouts Will Push US into Depression

"We expect a depression in the United States. We expect a depression, very possibly, also in Europe," Hennecke said on "Worldwide Exchange."

Admittedly, this is a fucking dumbass frog, and the sort of Depression France should go through is one caused by a volley of fucking THERMONUCLEAR WARHEADS that we rain down on their ass. Fuckers. I WILL NOT forget Libya.

Anyway, it's been a pretty weird couple of years. The RE Bust when from a DENIERS sort of phenomenon to Story One on the National News every night, as well as the Number 1 political hot potato. For the love of Christ, The Bulletin & KTVZ are actually running negative piece once in awhile. That's a fucking miracle.

Cascade Business News is not. And I do not expect them to. Ever.
Pamla The Incredible Hulce Andrews: Super Retard to The Rescue!

But I think I've said my piece. It's time for someone else to have a go. Besides, as I've said before, I sort of "positioned" myself Delta Negative on this Housing Bust. So I started out this thing with not a lot of work & a whole lot'a bloggin'. But the tables have turned, and I am working more hours than I ever have in my life. And sometimes I hit the keyboard at the Wii hours of a Sunday morning to bust out a post, cuz I'm working like a dog, even on weekends.

But fear not, I'm going to leave BB2 up, alive & kicking. My plan is to do a few more "Open Post" weeks, where I just have a token post entry to break up the comments into more manageable sizes. Thousand fucking comments is a lot to sort through. But pretty soon BB2 will go the way of the doo-doo. Yes Timmy, I said DOO-DOO.

My hope is that someone starts BB3, or the like. It's still a hell of a popular topic. Fuck.... 1,000 comments in a week in a little po-dunk town like Bend, on a topic as narrow as the RE bubble? That shit is begging for an outlet. And the failure of Big Bend Media, despite their acknowledging it, is still grossly inadequate.

I took over this thing from BEM, wayyyyy back in late 2006, back when BEM wrote these word on Dec 17, 2006:

A transitional period

Soon enough this blog will be shut off. Not because I'm less interested in Bend's economy, but because the level of attention I was paying to it was unsustainable.

I guess the same goes for me. I don't want to start neglecting this crazy thing. I've had a hell of a time with it. Shit... I had no idea I could write so much. Or maybe Buster is right; I wrote the same fucking thing 200 different ways. I don't know.

I guess I had a great time responding to BEM & others at his blog. He would start a thread & there would be a hell of an exchange. Well, back in the Dark Ages of blogging in Bend circa 2006, BEM's blog would get 45 comments & we thought we were Kings of the World. It was awesome!

But I think I've taken a lot of what was in my head, we have thrashed the hell outta the topic, and then we moved on. But I think someone else needs to "start the threads" for awhile. At least I hope someone will.

And I guess I should put forth what are principles that worked for me: I started this blog with the idea that there would be ZERO INTERVENTION in the comments. I never deleted a single comment, EVER. I'm really not sure how I'm seeing some of those "Deleted by author" placeholders in the comments. I didn't think that was possible. Maybe you guys see something I don't. I don't even know how to delete my own comments.

Hmmmm, point is, there is another Skywalker... nope wait, there is another blog on roughly the same topic, but for some whacked reason, it's moderators feel the need to collect IP's, and ban people, and, well, basically MEDDLE. I hate that. And as we saw with THE BECKY BREEZE FIASCO, it never works. If you're going to start something, open 'er up. It's going to hurt, cuz folks are going to stick a White Hot Poker up your babies ass. OK, that's just part of the deal.

But if you don't open things up, you'll end up with dogshit. Not to point fingers, I'm just saying. Even encourage "flowery:" comments: I have personally used the terms "smelly fucking cunt", "who's got the trench cunt", and "your cunt smells like a hobo died taking a shit in an open-pit sewer" at least 100X on this blog so as to let the guard down of commenting women, children, and Buster, a well-known Super Cunt.

Think about it: What has been the cornerstone for this blog's "success"? My riveting posts? My Lord, no. No, it's because Buster, brucey, Tim, hbm, et al can actually carry on an open, honest debate without FILTERS. Without bullshit. That Buster calls all of us stinking cunt losers is just a bonus.

Just think. It's going to be real tempting to moderate comments FOR THEIR OWN GOOD. You're thinking it right now, Brucey. Lib reflex. Would you have liked it if I DID THAT? OK? Don't moderate. People will just go to BendBB.

Anyway, I also suppose I don't want to end up like one of those fuckers that hangs on too long and keeps going long past their prime. Like Lance Armstrong, Michael Jordan, or Rush Limbaugh. I can tell it's time for someone else to take over....

What a long strange trip it's been. And I have had a hell of a time. But it's time to hand the reigns to someone else.

Truckin got my chips cashed in. keep truckin, like the do-dah man
Together, more or less in line, just keep truckin on.

Arrows of neon and flashing marquees out on main street.
Chicago, new york, detroit and its all on the same street.
Your typical city involved in a typical daydream
Hang it up and see what tomorrow brings.

Dallas, got a soft machine; houston, too close to new orleans;
New yorks got the ways and means; but just wont let you be, oh no.

Most of the cast that you meet on the streets speak of true love,
Most of the time theyre sittin and cryin at home.
One of these days they know they better get goin
Out of the door and down on the streets all alone.

Truckin, like the do-dah man. once told me youve got to play your hand
Sometimes your cards aint worth a dime, if you dont layem down,

Sometimes the lights all shinin on me;
Other times I can barely see.
Lately it occurs to me what a long, strange trip its been.

What in the world ever became of sweet jane?
She lost her sparkle, you know she isnt the same
Livin on reds, vitamin c, and cocaine,
All a friend can say is aint it a shame?

Truckin, up to buffalo. been thinkin, you got to mellow slow
Takes time, you pick a place to go, and just keep truckin on.

Sittin and starin out of the hotel window.
Got a tip theyre gonna kick the door in again
Id like to get some sleep before I travel,
But if you got a warrant, I guess youre gonna come in.

Busted, down on bourbon street, set up, like a bowlin pin.
Knocked down, it gets to wearin thin. they just wont let you be, oh no.

Youre sick of hangin around and youd like to travel;
Get tired of travelin and you want to settle down.
I guess they cant revoke your soul for tryin,
Get out of the door and light out and look all around.

Sometimes the lights all shinin on me;
Other times I can barely see.
Lately it occurs to me what a long, strange trip its been.

Truckin, Im a goin home. whoa whoa baby, back where I belong,
Back home, sit down and patch my bones, and get back truckin on.
Hey now get back truckin home.

Rock on, my brothers.

Feel FREE to use the comments to organize, link & otherwise coordinate BendBubble3, or some such, to your hearts content!

Saturday, September 6, 2008

MC Hammer vs Bay-Watch-Rock Oh-Uni-Bomber. Advantage: The Hammer

Seems like the topic of interest was the unveiling of the McPAIN ticket.

OK, say what you want about this gal on a personal level, and most of the knee-jerk lib's quickly revealed themselves as such when she was tapped, but it was a masterful strategic choice by the Repug's. They could NOT have made a better choice.

OK, the situation was that Oh-Uni-Bomber was in an almost insurmountable lead, touting change, whatever the hell that means... I guess to lib's it means No More Bush. So then, even McCain jumps on the Change Bandwagon.

See, that's a loser for McCain: He White, he Old, he Repugnant, he More Of The Same. Change does not work for him, no matter what he does. Oh-Uni-Bomber can legitimately tout change, McCain can't.

Then what? Well, of course, Oh-Uni-Bomber tries to shore up his weakness, Experience, by choosing Joe Carpet-Bomber Biden. Oh-Uni-Bomber moves away from Change to a more Centerist ticket.

There are two wonderful chances for the Pug's to take advantage of lib hot-bloodedness, their typical weakness, and why the Re-Pugsters typically kick their ass: Superior Strategic Game Play. First, Repug's have second mover advantage. Two, they know Oh-Uni-Bombers move.

This race is like a sailing race, and the Uni-Bomber's boat looks thusly:
Uni-Bomber sailboat, circa Aug 1, 2008

And here is the McCain ticket:
McCain Garbage Barge, pre-Palin

See, when you're in a sailing race, and you have a huge advantage, you DO NOT try to keep winning, you don't try to GAIN on second place. You HOLD. You MATCH the loser, you match Second Place. You look BACKWARDS, and you do what they do.

Well, when Oh-Uni-Carpet-Bomber looked back, all he saw was McCain flailing around, looking ahead, trying to do what The Bomber was doing. Change was being flogged for all it's worth by both ships. This is Good for The Bomber.

But then the Dem's tried to cover their weaknesses by dragging Angry White Dude onboard, cuz Whitey loves to sail. He also loves to hurl black dudes over the side, but that's another story. So Uni moves centerist, by dragging Carpet-Bomber aboard.

Uni-Bomber stops flogging CHANGE, and goes Old Skool Whitey. Uni, who has been flogging Change from Day 1, moves Away From Change, that which got him here in the first place. Strategically though, this is a game-theory dominant play. He looks backwards, and he see Whitey. He sees Whitey for 250 years. He needs Whitey.

Now, Garbage Barge McCain sees this, more accurately The Strategically Superior Game Playing Repug's see this, and realize The Weakness:

  • They are HOPELESSLY behind.
  • They are sailing in a tub of shit
  • They are flogging Change, but it comes out as Hypocritical Bile
  • Their Captain is a bumbler

Someone, whether it was McCain or not, is debatable, but Someone sees the situation and divines some critical requirements:

  • Uni-Bomber has chosen his Path in the Woods, by moving first. He has chosen The Path MORE Taken.
  • McGarbage CANNOT compete head-to-head, he sails a Waterworld piece of shit.

The Uni-Bomber has made a potential mistake, and abandoned Change. He really had no choice. The question is: Can McGarbage capitalize?

This is EXACTLY where we beat you hbm, every time. The Repug's are a repellent lot, usually have a boring, uninspiring message, and lie like rugs. But the fuckers can analyze a situation, and capitalize in cold, calculating form, almost every time.

For this little scenario to work, McGarbage needed several things:

  • He needed to steal the Change Thunder.
  • He needed LESS of himself on his ticket, and more of the other guy.
  • He needed to Take The Path LESS traveled.
  • He needed to scoop up The Abandoned.

My God, there is no argument he did it in commanding style.

His choice could have been a weak, me-too shot across the Uni-Bomber bow. That would have been The Death Knell. Lieberman? Death knell. No-name Whitey Senator? Game Over. There were a plethora of Bad Choices. And Business As Usual lib's in the same spot probably would have fucked it up.

But Palin was just an inspired choice, and her "delivery" to the AmeriKKKan People was a masterpiece. Even her unveiling could have lost the Race, easily.

The Change Thunder was convincingly torn from Oh-Bomber.

"Change"? Oh-Bomber's NO-CHANGE choice was pushed right back in his face in a mega-stuff.

McCain handlers KNEW that More Old Man Whitey was a dead-bang loser. Hot Young Sexpot was a Hail Mary. Admittedly, like most Hail Mary's, Palin had a hell of a chance of blowing up on McCain.

But her speech was also PERFECT. It was flowery, devoid of detail, dodged issues, and almost certainly full of lies.

But it worked, cuz it grabbed Hilary-voters by the boatload. Women voters will flock to this woman. She is flawed IN ALL THE RIGHT WAYS. And she knew it, and pressed all the right buttons. She scooped up The Abandoned.

McCain took The Path LESS traveled, and believe me, the Road To the White House is almost ALWAYS won by taking The Road More Traveled. Someone figured out that if he followed the Uni-Bomber, he would never win: The Bomber would just look backwards, match the loser, and coast in to an easy victory.

But now he can't look back: McPain has taken a different route & is off the map.

Man, and you could see it in the Oh-Uni-Bombers face after the RNC: he was complainy, backpeddling, listless. In short, his thunder was gone. He looks tired. McPain is fucking on fire.

Again, it does NOT matter who you are for: This thing is a study in Strategic Game Play Mastery. McCain was a hopeless loser, losing ground, bailing water, a sinking garbage barge.

Now? He has singlehandedly ensured this will be a historic election: A woman or a black dude will either be Prez or runner-up. There was almost certainly HUGE pressure to go Old Man Whitey by McCain. Palin was the gutsiest, boldest, Hail-Mary, Road LESS Traveled play out there, and his only real chance, and he took it, despite the fact that it Almost Never Wins the White House.

Now? He's got a chance. Palin brought him to even, plus or minus. She was PERFECT. Again, she is FLAWED in all the right ways. She's Spunky Porno Queen to McCains Grim Reaper Death Mask. She Hot, he ass-ugly. Those two are a dream team.
Vote McPain, and no one gets hurt. And I'll do a pole dance.

They may not win, but before the RNC McCain had ZERO CHANCE. I had NO PROBLEM jumping ship from my Repug-Independent stance, and put McPain back in the race for my vote. Palin brings a HUGE number of alienated Repugs back into the fold. She also appeals to the Lib-strong, Welfare Crowd, with her pro-breeding, unmarried statutorily-raped children.

Retards? Again, what a masterful stroke. Redneck husband? Check.

And top it off that she is a Hot As Hell MILF. Dudes vote for that shit. Check Starz. Better yet, check Marz.

When I watched this woman's speech, I got chills. Why? Was it cuz she was hot & I like The Hotness? Well, in small part, maybe.

No, it was because I KNEW I was watching a hopelessly lopsided blowout, turn into a nail-biter with 2 minutes to go. Palin turns this thing from a boring, business-as-usual crapfest, into something I actually am interested in.

I look at McCain with New Respect. Someone there is on the ball. Someone KNEW what had to be done. Go WAY off the Beaten Path to the White House, and just go into one of those plays where guys lateral the ball 20-30X because they are on the last play of the game, and crazy-ass shit is their only hope. And it is working. And you can see The Whites of The Libs Scared-Ass Eyes.

They had a Sure Thing in Oh-Uni-Bomber, it was a slam dunk. Palin reeled in the disaffected Repugs. She reeled in Hillary Humungous-Mega-Cock Followers. She reeled in The Special Olympics. She reeled in White Trash Welfare Single Mothers with 6 mongoloid illegit children fathered by 19 black dudes. That alone is about half the women in the Midwest.

Again, it was a sight to behold. A gaping maw, an insurmountable lead, a smug presumptive winner, a sullen doomed loser, Game Over. All UNDONE in one night. The lib's quivered under The Hammer Stroke of Palin. You could smell the fear in the comments. McCain went from Inevitable Loser to seeing the whites of their eyes. And the libs quaked in their boots. The Oh-Bomber was visibly rattled.

This thing went from Yawner to a Dog Fight in One Day. Again, it was due to Masterful Strategy by McHammers handlers. They saw a Lost Cause, and pulled a Desperation Hail Mary out of their hat, and it worked. I didn't find a SINGLE WOMAN who was not inextricably drawn to McPalin the next day. They were lib's. They were in Oh-Bombers pocket. Now, they were thinking. God, it was great.

And I know this diatribe will bring out cries of IHTBYB IS A REPUG WHORE. OK. That's fine. But remember I like the Olympics, regardless of country, winner or loser. I like competition, I like a good fight. And McPain brings this thing from 100% Yawner blowout, to Close Call in one shot.

I had 100% intention of going Oh-Bomber. Now? Palin is whackier, weirder, changier, and hotter than anything Oh-Bombers got. He chose angry Carpet-Bomber. Palin's got boobs. Again, a master stroke of Hail Mary game play. I'm thinking again, and last week I was not.

You can gauge the effectiveness of MC Hammer-Pain by the vitriol of the lib's in the comments. They will whine, bitch, moan, and turn into Sullen Turds. Haven't learned a FUCKING THING. Start thinking, you hot-blooded dumbfucks. Repuggers stole your thunder via Superior Strategic Thinking. Start DOING THE SAME. Don't fall into your familiar rut. You emotional fuckers get completely worked up, rubbed into a lather by the Repugs, you can't subdue your Bush-hatred for 5 fucking seconds, and THINK.

But you won't. You'll rant in the comments about my love of Nazi's or some shit, and lose the chance to put your guy in office. We're PLAYING YOU AGAIN. And you'll get played. Cuz we know you better than you do.

Know thyself? Fuck that. Know thy enemy. That's where the Repugs steamroll over the lib's. We play you like the emotional puppets you are.

You're at Even now. And it is Standard Op Procedure for Dem's to start their BITCHING, MOANING, and WHALING at Even. Look Bay-Watch-Rock: He's already STARTING.

Know thy Enemy. Fuck, when the lib's pull their head out & learn that, they'll be unstoppable. Look at the FuckStick that's been in office for nearly a decade. We elected this cocksucker TWICE. Repugs played us like a fiddle. TWICE. Fuck, the Repugs have a leaden anchor in the form of Bush-Whacker, and we are PROBABLY GOING TO WIN THIS THING. AGAIN.

Fuck me. This is like 9/11 all over. We had overwhelming World-wide support & empathy. There was NO COUNTRY on Earth that wasn't "For" the U.S.

Today? Due to BushWhacker, we are the Worlds Pariah. We are Has Beens. We are The Worlds Warmongers. No one feels sorry for the U.S. Even our staunchest allies are on the fence.


Hello, Bay-Watch-Rock Oh-Uni-Bomber. Same shit, different day. Fuck. The Repugs ain't smart. But they are smarter than you. This is the Lib's 9/11. Fuckers will turn Worldwide support into a cluster fuck.

Pull your fucking heads out. That's you & your kind, hbm. Play it cool, aloof, emotionless, instead of sticking your fucking cocks in the Repug Glory Hole, and wondering why we put dobermans there instead of Starz strippers, like we said we would. Fuck. Wake Up White Peepul.

Lib's: "Gee, I hope there ain't murderous fucking doberman's in there again. But my Repug friend told me there definitely won't be, it'll be strippers this time. Is that Bay-Rock in the white van? It looks like Hillary is fucking him in the ass again with her Humungous Mega Cock. Cool."

Folks, the Dem's could win this fucker, but you watch: Brucey's cries of "McSame!" will start to appeal less than Palin's thong. hbm's cries of "I'm Scared!" will be drowned out by MC Hammers You Can't Touch This. Wash, rinse, and repeat... country-wide.

They will stick their fuckin cocks in the Glory Hole, and wonder why they pull out Chicken Fried Steak. No thinking, just cram'er in there. Dumb fuckers. They need $10K for granny's operation, and Bob Barker is asking if they want to keep the $20K he's handing them... or take what's in the fucking little blue box.

Fuckers ALWAYS choose the little blue box. Like fucking clockwork. Repug's worked them into a lather, and they are already unzipping and walking towards the Glory Hole the second they saw Palin's titties. Pavlovian bitches. You watch.

I'm trying to wake you fuckers up, but you will, as always, take personal affront, and cram'er in the Glory Hole, not thinking a wit.

Think McFly. THINK.
Repugs grab Lib's by the cock and lead them to the Glory Hole.

Dem's remind me of people who troll the parking lot for 20 minutes to get a front row spot, and Bend home sellers who simply refuse to list or sell their home anywhere near market value: These people have forgotten Life's Objective Function.

I LOVE people who do this in a parking lot. They will either wait right near the front row, or block traffic waiting while someone goes through the whole rigmarole of unloading their stuff, and getting ready to drive off, something that can take 15 minutes.

And these fuckers don't give a fuck about the inconvenience they cause others or themselves. They've forgotten what the fuck they are really trying to do: Get in and out of the store with the smallest hassle & time expenditure.

They will wait and wait and wait for a front row spot, but when it comes time to leave the store, they will still make the round trip to drop off their shopping cart at the nearest little cart depot. They make the round trip to one of these things in the end anyway.

That's why I always park on the "edge" of parking lots, as close to a cart dropoff point as possible. I avoid the front row lunatics who clog the center, and I'm going to make a trip to the dropoff anyway, so I just park near one. I do this even when I can get a front row spot, because I feel that all the activity and franticness of front row headbangers increases the chance that my car will be scratched or hit.

Same logic goes for most of Bend's current lot of home sellers: They are going to get MORE than they paid for their house, by God, or they just won't sell. Or they are going to get that 2006 fixated high price they can't let go of. Or some dumb shit. These people have lost sight of Life's Objective Function: Like front row trollers, they believe that extracting Their Price from the World is the best way to achieve their end of maximizing their income or net worth, or whatever.

But they don't take into account the opportunity costs of NOT receiving a sensible sale price. They don't take into account possible lost wages from unemployment here, and compounding that with NOT being able to have a job elsewhere. They don't realize they will maybe NEVER get their unreasonable sale price, and if they just took market prices today, they could invest & have more in 3-5 years. They forget that in a market gone to shit, they MUST take a lower price... AND they will also pay less on whatever they buy next.

And again, Lib's fall into this same trap. They FORGET that beating up the other guy, bitching, moaning, and complaining NEVER will get their guy elected. Bitching about McPain and telling people NOT to vote for him won't get Obama elected.

Remember G Dub II: I mean Bush was loathed by the AmeriKKKan people, and Lib's just harped on the point, thinking that would win them the election. No. They forgot one little thing: Repuggers actually implore people to go out and... wait for it... VOTE FOR THEIR CANDIDATE. I know. A miracle of logic.

Lib's Objective Function always seems to turn to beating up the other guy, while stupid old Whitey Repugs stay on target, and hound their base & borderline Repugnants to actually go VOTE. This is why Lib's always end up in the parking lot, when Repuggers are inside the door.

OK, enough of that.

From marge's blog:

The Notices of Defaults in Deschutes County tops the sales. In August 211 Nod's were filed and there were 188 sales of all types of Residential real estate.

Stats as of 9/2/08 for August 08:

SFR, Bend Sold=89 at a Median price of $278,800
SFR, Bend July Sold=103 at a Median of $289,000

August 07 Sold=145 homes @ $350,000 Med.
August 06 Sold =196 homes @ $377,000 Med.

And you see from the recent National City survey, that at $285K medians, we are still 46% overvalued, the second highest in the country. That's a fair value around $195K.

I remember near the middle of 2007, a fresh-faced, feisty BendBB took my bet that medians would go below $300K by the end of the year, a bet I narrowly lost. But here we are at $280K medians, and we are blithely getting predictions like this:

Anonymous said...We were openly condemned here 2+ years ago when buster & homer said $180k, now we can argue how far below $180k.

tim said...

>>I agree that we will over correct however I don't believe it will go below $150k.

Oh Marge, they will. How can they not?

As I recall, most were fairly dubious of my thinking that we'd sink below the magical $300K mark (no one else took this bet), but what a difference a year makes. I guess you'd expect a lot of people on this blog's comments to have dire predictions of doom, but I am starting to hear this sort of thing out in The World.

I have work acquaintances who are predicting absolute doom in Bend housing. Many times their accompanying remarks include the absolute shameful mismanagement of the City of Bend, and what they think is an inevitable BK by the City. They talk about the $40MM we'll have to spend at Cooley/97, $40 mill we clearly do not have. And they wonder how the hell SoniaCo can make revenue projections that include JR land sales, if we will never finish Cooley/97? And usually either they, or several friends of theirs, are losing their house or going BK.

Seriously. Topics that drew baffled stares a year or two ago are actually being initiated by the general public. They're "informed" all of a sudden. They know about mounting financial issues in this town. And they are fucking pissed. People are starting to unveil the Kool-Aid fueled regime that has run this place for so long, and they are waking up & questioning what the fuck is really going on. They've been told every fucking day for years that Things Are Great, and they now KNOW that is 100% bullshit.

This is a place where the media WANTS you to forget Your Life's Objective Function. OK, it should be something along the lines of "I want to maximize my net worth over time.", or something like that. That's a Financial Objective Function, but you get the idea. Bend media doesn't really give a shit about fucking you over in any other way than financially.

But, stop for just a sec and think about this: Do you remember right after the top & prices were starting to drop a little, and people actually started making BUYING PLANS when medians hit $300K? Or $275K? Or whatever?

Well, we're there. And what's funny is NO ONE is still talking about buying. Everyone is talking about selling & how much lower things will go. And there is a bone in my head that makes me BUY in the stock market when I hear this.

But this ain't stocks. Stocks requires I HAVE MONEY to buy stocks when I get this feeling. This is housing. And for 9 out of 10 people, when they want to buy, someone HAS TO loan them the money, they don't have that much cash lying around.

That's why this is different, that's why this thing will continue to go lower & traditional "contrarian" thinking won't work. It's a deflating bubble, and it'll carry on farther than most people think possible.

And the lenders are going away:

bruce said...

Timmy, what do you think the odds are on Fannie and Freddie making it to Monday? 50/50?

I mean, WTF? Did anyone even think that this would be a sentence that would ever be uttered? The answer is NO. Fannie & Freddie, the object of my last derisive post, are actually going away, make way for UnKKKle Sam. We might wake up one day this week & find these behemoths GONE.

Housing is fucking dead meat. And if housing is dead meat, Bend is fucked. Dead. This place will wipe out BILLIONS & BILLIONS of homeowner net worth in the next decade, and you don't just shrug that off, with no ill-effects.

This place will actually start shrinking. I had occasion over the Summer to travel a bit, and happened across Idaho Falls. Nice place, 50K people or so. Close to the Tetons & Yellowstone. And it was like seeing Bend circa 2015.

Abandoned malls. Everything in a low-grade state of disrepair. You could see the outer-reaches had gone to seed. Close-in, downtown? Still in relatively good shape. Hell, great shape compared to the Circle Of Death that ringed this place. There was just no sign of prosperity, and there seemed no real way to achieve it. People had this look of resignation on their faces. It was pretty depressing.

We're on our way. The gleam will come off of some of our shiny, metal hulks on Colorado Ave after years of vacancy. Public works projects will just be abandoned or left in disrepair. Of course, we'll go broke. Weeds in all corners.

Just as an aside, I went through Forum Meadows yesterday, and there is a hell of a Weed Grow Operation going on there. And it's the bad kind, not The Good. Yeah, the front yard kind that pushes down house values. Forum Meadows is AWASH in abandoned homes. HUGE fucking weeds. There is one in particular that actually is starting to look like a small tree. Seriously, it obscures the entire front of the house, it's HUGE. Go have a look, if only to witness a curiosity born of what has probably been the greatest weed grow conditions you'll see anywhere on Earth.

Anyway, we're on our way to becoming Idaho Falls. And folks, when you're in a town like that, you FULLY UNDERSTAND why their median home prices are $140K or so. There's NOTHING to prop it up. No one makes anything. There's no way to pay for a really nice, expensive house.

Kind of funny, but we have been so shot full of Kool-Aid in this place for so long, that most people have forgotten that INCOMES EQUAL PRICES ultimately. Someone on BendBB uses that in their signature.

Almost EVERYONE I know whose bought a house in the past 4-5 years bought DESPITE the full knowledge that it was TOO EXPENSIVE, and out of their price range. But... remember.... "if you don't buy NOW, you may NEVER be able to afford a house!" Uh huh. I remember that well. And I remember how many people fell for it. That was the rallying cry for almost every single home sold in bend between 2004 and 2007. And that is a shitload of homes.

tim said...

>>I agree that we will over correct however I don't believe it will go below $150k.

Oh Marge, they will. How can they not?

What a difference a year makes. But you think it's bad now? Fuck, this is nothing. Bend still has a nice polish on it. Wait for a few years of deferred maintenance on EVERYTHING. We'll look like a tired old, worn out mountain town in no time. Man, and if you wanna see where there are a shitload of desperate sellers, go into little dinky ass mountain towns. Half the people are broke, the other half are on their way.

Fannie & Freddie gone. 46% overvalued. City on it's way to BK. Billions & BILLIONS of net worth wiped out. 40% vacancy downtown. Mass personal BK's.

We are on our way to being another sad little town. And with incomes like ours, we're on our way to $140K medians.