Sunday, March 29, 2009

Bend -- Uncertainty Capital of the U.S.A.

Wow, what I thought would be The Big News Of The Year, seemed to get the collective yawns of everyone in Bend.

16.1% Unemployment in Bend

No one seemed to really care about that. Well, here it is in graph form:
Bend Unemployment, unadjusted -- Jan 1990 to Feb 2009

Folks, something is seriously wrong with that.

This isn't some run-of-the-mill downturn, you can see one of those culminating around 2001, where unemployment locally almost hit 10%.

This doesn't look or feel like a little cyclical downturn, and I suppose it'd be odd if I said it did, considering the reason I started this blog... cataloging the worst financial catastrophe of our generation.

No, you can see that Bend's Small Wave days are over. The nominal yearly tops & bottoms that change with the seasons around here used to be bounded by peaks & bottoms that were between 2-4% apart.

You can easily see this on the graph. The sharpest turnaround to date was the plummet in unemployment from 11.1% in Feb 1994 to a mere 5.5% the following September.

You can see what is happening now is unheard of in modern Bend history.

The absolute low in unemployment in modern Bend history was reached October 2006, 3.8%.

There was the usual seasonal jump to 5.7% in Feb 2007.

Then something very strange happened: The usual yearly cycle of peaking unemployment in Feb & bottoming in September began to break.

The subsequent low in unemployment for 2007 didn't happen in September, as it usually does. It happened in May at 4.3%.

In Feb 2008, unemployment reached 8.1%, which proved to a high water mark that was actually breached later in the year. You can see it on the above graph.

After a short jaunt down to 6.4% in May again, unemployment figures in Bend did something they have rarely done in recorded history: They breached the standard seasonal highs that are virtually always set in February.

The high water mark for unemployment for 2008 was actually set in December at 11.9%.

Look at the graph, look at where the peaks are: They are just right after the vertical bars, which I think are December.

Unemployment peaks in February in Bend like it has eyes. It's such a reliable cycle, you can set your watch to it.

But look at 2008-2009: The cycle breaks horribly.

Here's a look at this graph, with a YoY comparison thrown in:
Bend Unemployment, with YoY comparison.

That red line is just the current months unemployment divided by the unemployment rate 12 months prior. Then I subtract 1, to get a percentage, then I multiply by 5 so that it doesn't end up being a tiny squiggly line right around zero.

So when the red line is at zero, it just says that this years unemployment is the same as last year. When it's above zero, it means this years unemployment is higher than last year, possibly indicating a downturn in the economy. And the converse when the line is below zero.

You can see there have been 3 fairly typical downturns since this series began, 1991, 1995, and 2001. The upturns were in 1994, 1997, and 1999.

The Long Boom, starting in 2003, and ending in 2007 was itself a curious anomaly. Most of Bends cyclical turns were fairly benign & short-lived. But these Bubble Years certainly made it feel like This Time It's Different.

It wasn't that the peak was so sharp, it's that it was so durable. Things seemed to get better every single day. For years. Unemployment never seemed to get worse than it did during the previous year. Only better. For 4 solid years.

And you can now see the price we will pay: An explosion in unemployment to rival anything this area has seen in modern, and probably not-so-modern history.

You wonder why I dismiss talk about How Bad This One Is Versus The Last Bust: This One Is Nowhere Near Over. This one may very well still be getting worse.

We can talk about that when the red line hits zero again. Well, actually when it is well below zero, we can talk about recovery. Because even if unemployment goes back to a yearly average of 12%, that's going to look like a recovery compared to a 15% year.

But that won't be much of a recovery. Which is what I've been trying to convey for a long time now. That blue line isn't coming down anytime soon. And it'll probably NEVER come back to where it was only 2 years ago.

It's going to stay up in it's new rarefied plateau, well above 10% for years. And years. The best of the future's seasonal upturns, will actually be WORSE than the worst downturns we've seen in the past 20 years.

We'll start becoming THRILLED with yearly low unemployment figures at 10-11%!

This graph says it all: The past 20 years of comforting cycles, up & down like gentle waves on a beach, have been replaced by a tsunami.

And possibly worse than the outright level of unemployment itself, is the yearly amplitude will increase markedly. There will be wild swings each & every year.

This is manifested in UNCERTAINTY. People will never know, from year to year, is this My Time? Will I lose my job?

This cyclicality will drive people out over the long haul, probably as much or more than the outright level of the seasonal bottoms. People HATE uncertainty. And folks, Bend is the Uncertainty Capital Of The U.S.A. for the coming 20 years.

People will leave when their job has been gone for a year. But the real outmigration will be because of the never-ending uncertainty. That's what is not going away.
BB2 Be The Best Pimp Ever!


IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

What you learn when big money goes away

As a rookie broker at a mom-and-pop mortgage company in Federal Way, Rob Collins had a killer month writing loans in the frothy, frenzied 2005 housing market.

He made $37,000. So he took $5,000 in cash and his fiancée, Heidi, to Bellevue Square.

“I told her, ‘We’re not leaving here until we spend it all,’” Rob recalled this week.

They spent it all right. Heidi bought a pair of designer Richmond jeans, diamond stud earrings, and some odds and ends to supplement her wardrobe. Rob, always impeccably dressed, bought clothes too, including an Italian leather jacket.

Over the following 18 plentiful months, Rob bought a used BMW M3 high-performance sports car, upgraded to a better mortgage company, bought a Hilltop house in Tacoma with Heidi, then married her.

Not bad for a kid from Tumwater who had six heart surgeries before graduating from high school to fix a miswired aorta.

He thought life couldn’t get much better than that.

It didn’t.

Last June, Rob, 29, lost his job writing mortgages for U.S. Bank because he couldn’t write enough approved loans to reach the $1 million minimum his bosses set for him. He sold the M3 immediately and hasn’t owned a car since. He and Heidi, 26, have fallen four months behind paying Countrywide, which owns the loan on their home. Countrywide calls every day asking for its money.

By chance, on a trip to Starbucks in Federal Way last month, I found Collins sweeping the floor before his turn taking orders at the drive-through window. He rides the bus to and from work.

“Starbucks is a great place to work,” Rob said. “I make $8.65 an hour. But I’m up for a raise here shortly.”

Rob, who dropped out of Pacific Lutheran University two years into a music major, picks up a little extra cash now playing French horn for Tacoma Urban Orchestra gigs.

“It’s ironic,” Rob said. “I dropped out to work, because, as a music major, I didn’t want to be a starving artist. Now, here I am a starving artist.”

And Heidi? She just took a third job. Rob calls the job “swimsuit model.” The wisp of a woman walks the edge of the boxing ring at the Tulalip Casino Resort in Marysville between rounds holding up a placard with the number of the next round.

How are you doing with all this? I asked her.

“Not well,” Heidi said. She choked up. She doesn’t like to talk about it much. The mental and emotional strain, at times, becomes unbearable.

“We are doing everything we can to save this house,” Rob said. “That’s our focus. We want to keep our home.”

We sat at his dining room table. You know, I told Rob, plenty of people will read this and won’t have any sympathy for you. They’ll blame you for getting yourself into this mess.

“I understand,” Rob said. But he wants to share the story because he has become an evangelist of sorts preaching against deceptive practices of some in his former industry. He speaks well of U.S. Bank, which earned a positive national reputation for not jumping on the subprime bandwagon.

Rob takes out a notepad and draws me a picture that shows how lending companies provide kickbacks to mortgage brokers who write loans at higher interest rates for less-than-ideal borrowers.

“The more rebate the broker could obtain is directly related to the higher (interest) rates he charges the customer,” Rob said. “And the amount grows exponentially.”

The transaction, which lenders call an “overage,” doesn’t always show up on loan documents. If it does, you might see “Yield Spread Premium” or “YPS.”

But the bad news for Rob and Heidi has nothing to do with kickbacks.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development reported recently that delinquency rates on home mortgages last year rose 20 percent over 2007 and foreclosures rose 22 percent.

Some of those problem mortgages stem from exotic adjustable-rate loans written for home buyers who figured they could refinance later as their homes’ values continued to rise.

Count the Collinses among them.

Life and the housing market haven’t kept going up.

Rob and Heidi picked out the 1890-vintage, three-story charmer in the Hilltop neighborhood near Mary Bridge Children’s Hospital for two reasons – one practical and one romantic.

They wanted to join the Hilltop’s reawakening as an emerging destination for young professionals buying their first homes. The house also sits 0.9 miles from Engine House No. 9, the historic Sixth Avenue eatery where Rob and Heidi met.

“I was living in Olympia and commuting to Southcenter, and I’d stop at E-9 on the way home to throw darts and have a beer,” Rob said. “And there she was.”

Heidi, in her final year of a psychology degree at the University of Puget Sound, and Rob hit it off right away.

When they bought the house in April 2006, they opted for an exotic loan known as a W-2. The early years you pay interest only at a fixed rate, then the loan kicks into an adjustable rate.

Countrywide didn’t ask how much the Collinses made. Heidi needed a letter of employment, her transcripts from UPS and proof that she kept a bank balance over $5,700 for at least two months.

Why not a simple 30-year, fixed-rate mortgage? They would have qualified. Rob alone made $76,000 that year. But the exotic mortgage saved them $54 a month.

The problem? Their home has a market value today at closer to $150,000 than the $260,000 they paid for it or the $320,000 at its peak value. They can’t refinance.

“It was a high-risk loan. I know it was, because I was a loan officer,” Rob said. “It was widely accepted at the time. In retrospect, the types of loans such as Heidi and I got are directly responsible, in part, for the widespread depreciation we’ve seen in home values.”

Now, their paperwork shows, they owe 9.5 percent on a first mortgage and 11.125 percent on second for a combined monthly payment of $2,496.

“If I knew then what I know now, I never would have done it,” Rob said. “I’m furious. … I feel guilty. I’ve been battling a lot, doing a lot of soul searching battling who I am now.”

They have asked Countrywide to allow them to enroll in a federal bailout program that reappraises a home at its current market value and restructures the loan to a fixed rate. Countrywide, which got itself into financial trouble selling subprime mortgages and later got bought by Bank of America, has refused – even though they qualify.

They have sought help from the state Attorney General’s Office, and relatives who live in Washington, D.C., have contacted our state’s senators. Not just for themselves, but because the boat they find themselves in has many passengers – and it’s sinking.


Rob, while mixing lattes and blowing the French horn, has mulled over finishing college – studying socioeconomics at The Evergreen State College.

Heidi works at a North End Tacoma psychiatric lockdown facility for children, performs contract work for a state family preservation program and walks boxing rings in her swimsuit.

Says Rob: “My grandfather, who’s helping me through this, says, ‘The majority of people on this planet live at the end of their means when we should live beneath our means.’ I know what he’s saying.”

tim said...

>>Wow, what I thought would be The Big News Of The Year, seemed to get the collective yawns of everyone in Bend.

A yawn because we all know things have gone to hell.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

And I think the way to think about the unemployment graph with the YoY red line is this: The red line peaks when the speed of deterioration is at it's maximum.

So the peaks & valleys don't really mark the bottoms & tops... it just means things aren't getting bad/good as fast as they did last month.

Any sort of recovery is usually marked when the red line crosses below the zero mark. Any sort of bust is typically signaled when it crosses above.

The slow, plodding nature of this graph series makes it fairly simple business to figure out where we are in the Big Picture.

And I don't think ANYONE could say with a straight face, that they expect that red line to plunge back to zero anytime soon.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

A yawn because we all know things have gone to hell.


What would have astonished Bendites 8-9 months ago is standard fair today.

Strange times when 16% unemployment gets yawns....

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

So the peaks & valleys don't really mark the bottoms & tops... it just means things aren't getting bad/good as fast as they did last month.

I should say that after a peak or valley when the line is returning to zero, things aren't getting as bad/good as they were in the previous month...

IHateToBurstYourBubble said... seems to be down...

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

One in four Jefferson residents on food stamps

Posted: March 27, 2009 05:11 PM

Stunning figure sign of troubled times

By Molly Hendrickson, KTVZ.COM

Surprisingly, for a Friday afternoon, the state WorkSource office in Madras is unusually quiet.

It comes as a welcome relief for staff who have been overwhelmed fielding calls and helping families in desperate need of help, including food stamps.

"We have been very busy," said Xochitl Perez, a Jefferson County Department of Human Services specialist.

"We've seen a large number of new families coming through our doors, families who have never been on services and are just having a hard time," Perez said.

That includes families like the Wolfes, who are applying for food stamps for the first time.

James, his wife and their two daughters were forced to move back in with his mother when his hours were cut at Warm Springs Composite Products.

Then in February, his mother was laid off.

"It's tough right now, I've got a lot of bills, so I'm just trying to get all the help I can," James said.

He is just one of many who have fallen victim to the crumbling economy that's rattled Jefferson County. Its unemployment rate skyrocketed to 14.4 percent in February.

Recently, 13 businesses shut down in Madras. Parr Lumber was one of the latest victims.

"A lot of the local area places are going out of business," Perez said. "A lot of our stores have closed, and for a lot of families, that was their source of income."

That, compiled with hundreds of layoffs at the wood manufacturing company, Bright Wood, and Jefferson County is hurting.

"Since Bright Wood started going downhill, so did everything else in Madras, because they're pretty much what held the community together," said resident Lionos Nevarro.

As for James, he hopes things will turn around, and soon. With four mouths to feed and another child on the way, this Madras family is barely staying afloat.

Anonymous said...

Think of Bend as Hawaii. Hawaii is a big rock, in the middle of nowhere.Unemployment is rapidly growing. No large company is moving there to "save" the jobs.It is difficult to get there, and expensive once you are there.
If you choose to stay in Hawaii, or Bend, your economic future is extremely limited. Your prospects for a high paying job, is non-existant.
We live in a free country. Pack up your car, and head for a better place. Things here are only going to get worse.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

PERS fund in familiar spot: billions short again
by Ted Sickinger, The Oregonian
Saturday March 28, 2009, 9:15 PM

The Oregon Public Employees Retirement System is back in a deep hole.

After riding 2003 legislative changes and boom-time investment returns to erase a $17 billion deficit and become one of the best-funded public pension systems in the country, PERS has seen its net assets plummet from more than $60 billion in late 2007 to less than $40 billion at the end of February.

Everything is down at once, even the investments that were supposed to be counter-cyclical. And the system's deficit is now in the neighborhood of $18 billion, not counting some of the losses the fund experienced in the first three months of the year or the spike in the market during the past three weeks.

Unless the stock market stages a major recovery, bringing the system's assets and liabilities back into balance, taxpayers will have to pony up more money to cover the guaranteed benefits of many of the system's 320,000 public employee participants.

Just a year ago, Oregon's public pension system was the envy of its peers because its investment strategy produced higher returns than those in other states. That meant Oregon public employers had to contribute less to fund the system. But Oregon's public pension is also more dependent on investment returns than most, which has left those agencies -- and the taxpayers who finance them -- vulnerable to major cost increases if the market doesn't rebound significantly in the next two years.

Managers in the Treasury Department's Investment Division are cautiously optimistic. They say the stock market is "oversold," trading more on emotion than economic fundamentals. They hope this month's bounce in broad stock market indexes such as the Russell 3000 is evidence of a possible market bottom and recovery.

Still, there's a long way back to the system's fully funded comfort zone. Including preliminary estimates of private equity and real estate investment losses last year, Oregon PERS had about 68 cents in assets for every dollar in promised benefits at the end of February. And that includes more than $5 billion in prepaid contributions by state agencies, school districts and municipalities, which issued pension obligation bonds during the previous system crisis to offset their growing liabilities.

This time, the gaping hole in the system has a slightly different cause from five years ago, when a $17 billion actuarial black hole prompted a series of legislative changes to the system. Those changes, and year-end balances, improved the deficit by the end of the year, which is why the gap isn't evident in the chart above.

Back then, PERS officials insist, the underlying problem was the runaway growth in the system's liabilities. All public employees hired before 1996 are guaranteed an 8 percent return on their pension accounts. And before 2003 changes took effect, the system's governing board routinely credited employees' accounts with far more than that during years of strong investment returns instead of funding the system's rainy day reserve.

This time, changes have limited overall liability growth, and the system's immediate deficit has been dug by the meltdown in financial markets.

Oregon PERS is highly dependent on investment earnings to pay promised benefits and keep itself in balance -- the most dependent among 11 Western states analyzed by the system's actuary, Mercer Human Resources Consulting. That's because it has the lowest active employee-to-retiree ratio and the lowest contribution-to-benefit payment ratio among those 11 states.

"About 73 percent of our revenue comes from investment returns, said Dale Orr, an actuarial analyst with PERS. "If investment returns decline, that makes employer rates more volatile."

Last year's market decline wiped out the rainy day reserve that PERS usually relies on during bad market years to keep crediting its older member accounts with a guaranteed 8 percent return. And the net cash outflows from the pension fund to cover benefits over the next five years now represent more than 20 percent of the system's assets.

If employers' rates were adjusted today based on the funded status of the PERS system at the end of 2008, they would spike dramatically. But that won't happen, thanks to an 18-month lag in the system's calculation of employers' rates.

In fact, the rates paid by state agencies, municipalities and school districts to cover benefits are set to go down 2.5 percent July 1 because they're based on the system's funded status at the end of 2007. Back then, the system was coming off a five-year streak in which investment returns averaged more than 15 percent, and PERS had $1.12 in assets for every $1 in liabilities.

PERS' actuary has recommended eliminating the 18-month lag in rate adjustments to better balance the system. But that hasn't happened. And when the impact of last year's market declines are built into rates in 2011, any increase in employer rates will be limited to 6 percent because of collars adopted to soften rate volatility.

PERS managers hope market returns in the interim will soften or eliminate the need for any rate increase. But they're aware that this downturn and recovery may be different, and are wrestling with whether to adopt a more conservative investment mix.

That's something of a Catch-22.

If the system has lost $20 billion since 2007, said Ron Schmitz, chief investment officer with the state Treasury's investment division, "how long is it going to take to make that up if we get more conservative?"

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

Unless the stock market stages a major recovery, bringing the system's assets and liabilities back into balance, taxpayers will have to pony up more money to cover the guaranteed benefits of many of the system's 320,000 public employee participants.

Wonderful. Whether I like it or not, as a taxpaying citizen, I am playing the market.


Gotta love it.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

Last year's market decline wiped out the rainy day reserve that PERS usually relies on during bad market years to keep crediting its older member accounts with a guaranteed 8 percent return. And the net cash outflows from the pension fund to cover benefits over the next five years now represent more than 20 percent of the system's assets.


We're the New General Motors! On our way to insolvency to pay retiree's! HURRAH!

Anonymous said...

Yes it is very dismal out there, everyone i know in my field construction has little or no work. I myself being raised in eastern oregon know what slow is. Luckily we have little debt my house payment is cheaper than rent 290.00 a month taxes and ins 150 and it is a nice house not a piece of junk.we are both employed part time and doing fine. I have always tried to keep our expense down to I can live on min. wage part time and now it is paying off. we always pay cash for cars and then i fix them up. buy in bulk have a garden ect. and savings for the rainy day the .oregon lifestyle seeing that my great great grandfather homsteaded in east oregon in the 1880's every generation has been within your means was pounded into me from day one

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

Awesome chart of the Standard Oregon Lifecycle, PERS-style!

Long crushing downturns, followed by shortlived upturns, where all is declared FIXED FOREVER.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

Umpqua Bank considers returning $214 million in federal bailout money
by Jeff Manning, The Oregonian
Friday March 27, 2009, 7:23 PM

A hefty chunk of change courtesy of the U.S. taxpayer has become an albatross around the neck of Umpqua Bank, its CEO says.

Portland-based Umpqua Bank is considering returning the $214 million it received in December from the U.S. Treasury because of the "stigma" associated with the money.

"We have been put in the same bucket with all the institutions that have failed, these companies that are being bailed out," said Ray Davis, Umpqua CEO and chairman. "I've gotten calls from shareholders and customers (who say) 'You dirty dog, you shouldn't have done this.'"

Davis takes pains to point out that Umpqua doesn't need bailing out (it's profitable and well-capitalized). The Treasury distributed some of the bailout money to healthy banks to jump-start lending, and Umpqua is required to repay the loan. It also has to pay a 5 percent annual dividend.

Umpqua is still lending money as well, Davis said. The bank finished 2008 with $6.1 billion in total loans and leases, a small increase from the prior year.

Nevertheless, Davis finds himself and his bank lumped in with the AIGs and Citigroups of the world, whose reckless bets on exotic financial instruments pushed them to the edge of insolvency.

Following the Bush administration's lead, President Barack Obama pledged trillions of dollars to prop up the struggling companies, reasoning that their demise would further damage the economy.

The giant bailout has not been enough to fend off a deep recession, and it has raised the federal deficit to new heights. It has also fueled a public backlash against Wall Street, which reached a crescendo in recent weeks with revelations that AIG diverted some of its $80 billion in federal bailout money into fat bonuses for some executives.

Davis himself is livid over Wall Street's behavior. "People need to go to jail," he said. But community banks had nothing to do with the toxic Wall Street behavior, he argues.

Nevertheless, legislation proposed in Congress and in the Oregon Legislature lumps Umpqua with AIG and the rest of the bad Wall Street actors. Most of the proposed legislation would impose a heavy tax on executive bonuses paid by firms that receive bailout money.

Although community banks were generally not players in Wall Street's machinations, they too have contributed to the economy's problems. They got caught up in the housing hysteria that overtook much of the country this decade, committing billions of dollars to an overheated, unsustainable residential development and construction industry.

Now that the boom has turned to bust, community banks' over-reliance on construction and development has become a big problem. Dozens of banks across the country, including three in the Portland area, have failed since January.

These bulging portfolios of bad construction loans have worsened the credit squeeze because some banks are devoting so much time to cleaning up their internal mess.

"What we have learned is just like the old saying, 'If it seems too good to be true, it probably is,'" Davis said. "The notion that housing would go up forever was too good to be true. We should have seen that. But we were too greedy."

Davis recalls a couple of years ago driving on Interstate 5 through the Sacramento area, where Umpqua had recently bought two banks. He grew alarmed at the seemingly endless acres of new subdivisions, many of which, he knew, Umpqua had bankrolled.

Like many other bankers, and even some builders, the economic downturn has made Davis a big believer in Oregon's land-use planning process, particularly the urban growth boundaries that ring most metropolitan areas in an effort to limit sprawl. If not for those growth boundaries, Oregon's already swollen inventory of unsold homes could resemble California's Central Valley, Davis said.

Umpqua has dealt with its troubled residential loans more quickly than most. That's a big reason the federal government contacted the bank last fall and asked it to apply for its so-called Capital Purchase Program.

Days later, Umpqua found itself with $214 million fresh from the U.S. Treasury.

It is one of more than 300 banks to take federal money. The two other Oregon banks that have received federal money, PremierWest Bank in Medford and Capital Pacific Bank in Portland, said they have made no decisions yet what to do with the funds.

Umpqua has been given the clear by Treasury officials to return the money if it chooses to do so. The bank is holding off until it gets a better idea of where the economy is headed. If further deterioration lies ahead, the bank might have to keep the $214 million.

"I want to pay it back, but I'm not going to do anything irresponsible," Davis said.

Anonymous said...

by Peter Schiff

For a few fleeting, horrifying moments this past week the fault lines that underlie the global economic crisis erupted into plain view. With deft and quick effort leaders in Washington, Europe and Asia papered over the fissures and fears largely subsided. But the shock of plain truths which resulted in violent currency movements are the latest reminder that the 21st century economic order will bear little resemblance to the world we now know.

The tremors began in Beijing, where an essay from the governor of the People’s Bank of China seemed to favor the creation of an IMF currency to replace the U.S. dollar as the world’s reserve. In Europe, the rotating president of the European Union, outgoing Czech Prime Minister Mirek Topolanek, characterized America’s plan to combat the widening global recession as the “road to hell.” At the same time, British Member of the European Parliament Daniel Hannan made headlines the world over with his stinging rebuke of the inflationary and debt-focused policies of the current UK government.

As a result of these clearly voiced frustrations, the U.S. dollar suffered a drubbing. However, Treasury secretary Geithner and his ministerial counterparts in Berlin, Paris and London did their best to convince everyone that the world is pulling together as one to combat the economic crisis. The charm offensive was effective in restoring calm.

Given the size and scope of the remedies that the Obama Administration is cajoling the world to adopt, it is likely that the unease will grow until many countries emerge in open revolt to America’s plans.

President Obama and the majority of our leadership on both sides of the aisle are confident that the right mix of monetary and fiscal policy can restart the spending party that defined America for a generation. And as the bleary-eyed revelers wisely reach for a cup of black coffee or stumble into a rehab center, Obama is pouring grain alcohol into the punch bowl hoping to lure the walking zombies back onto the dance floor. Europe and Asia fully understand that Obama will ask them to lend the booze.

Washington is telling us that our problems result from a lack of consumer spending. Therefore, the solution is for government spending to pick up the slack. However, if Americans are too broke to spend, then how can our government spend for us? The only money they have is taken from us through taxation. To postpone immediate tax hikes (adding interest for good measure), Washington plans to borrow more from abroad. However, if our foreign creditors refuse to pony up, much of the money will simply be printed instead.

Printing money is merely taxation in another form. Rather than robbing citizens of their money, government robs their money of its purchasing power. Many people assume that if government provides the funds we can spend our way back to prosperity. However, it’s not money we lack but production. If the government simply prints money and doles it out, we will not be able to buy more stuff; we will simply pay higher prices. The only way to buy more is to produce more. It is production that creates purchasing power, not the printing press!

Our current predicament resulted in part from our efforts to maintain consumer spending at unsustainable levels, primarily by the reckless extension of consumer credit. Pushing up consumer credit to levels not supported by market realities required government subsidies and guarantees. In addition, Wall Street pitched in with securitization and credit default swaps, which created a false sense of confidence among our creditors that high-risk consumer loans could actually be repaid. However, now that all those gimmicks have blown up, the entire farce has been exposed. There is simply no way to sustain an economy based on consumer credit.

The Administration argues that more debt will restore growth which will then allow the repayment of borrowed money. First, our government has never, and will never, repay anything. Second, the assumption that additional borrowing and spending will restore growth is flawed. In fact, more consumer debt and government spending will undermine our economy and restrain growth.

To solve our problems we must first come to terms with their source. That is what the voices from abroad are telling us. We borrowed and spent ourselves to the brink of bankruptcy, and now we must save and produce ourselves back to prosperity.

Of course, this simple solution is rejected by Keynesian economists who insist that we must keep spending. The “paradox of thrift,” as they call it, holds that if we stop spending the recession will worsen. While this is true, it is hardly a paradox. As they say in the fitness game, “no pain, no gain.” No one said this was going to be easy, but the only way to rebuild a viable economy is to let the phony one collapse. If we follow the Keynesians, the fault lines will continue to widen until our wealth, our lifestyle, our very ability to prosper is swallowed up. The calls from abroad will only get louder until we face this ugly truth.

March 29, 2009

Peter Schiff is president of Euro Pacific Capital and author of The Little Book of Bull Moves in Bear Markets and Crash Proof: How to Profit from the Coming Economic Collapse.

Copyright © 2009 Euro Pacific Capital

Peter Schiff Archives

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

He grew alarmed at the seemingly endless acres of new subdivisions, many of which, he knew, Umpqua had bankrolled.

Don't forget The Plaza!

People seem to forget, THESE BAILOUT FUNDS ARE LOANS, NOT GRANTS, and the US Govt will want it's money back, WITH INTEREST.

These banks are merely (supposed to be) pass-thru agents, but the fact remains, these loans have to be paid back. All that's changed is the holder of the collateral is the US Govt, not a bank.

Banks are failing now, the US Govt will soon realize why: WE will start defaulting on these bailout funds, and the US Govt will go bust.

Well... if they were bound by standard economics... they'll just print the fuck outta money, and we'll be the New Brazil!

U.S.A., Best Third World Country EVER!

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

President Obama and the majority of our leadership on both sides of the aisle are confident that the right mix of monetary and fiscal policy can restart the spending party that defined America for a generation. And as the bleary-eyed revelers wisely reach for a cup of black coffee or stumble into a rehab center, Obama is pouring grain alcohol into the punch bowl hoping to lure the walking zombies back onto the dance floor. Europe and Asia fully understand that Obama will ask them to lend the booze.

Good one.

PopGoesBend said...

Full Commanding Denial

If central casting called for a poised, straight-talking, and capable-seeming president, it would be hard to come up with someone better than the Barack Obama who walked and talked around the White House grounds with Steve Croft on "60-Minutes" Sunday night. He may perfectly represent the majority who elected him, though, because he also appears to be in full commanding denial of the realities overtaking our American experience.
Those realities include the fact that we can't possibly return to the easy credit and no money down "consumer" economy no matter how many nominal dollars get shoveled into the fiery furnaces of banks too-big-to-fail. As Treasury Secretary Geithner's underling, Stephanie Cutter, said last week, "Our singular focus is on increasing lending to support economic recovery. Everything we do to stabilize the financial system is done with that goal in mind."
Lending on the scale that became normal over the last decade is for sure the one thing that we will not recover. We turn around in 2009 to find ourselves a much poorer nation than we thought we were a year ago, especially among that broad range of formerly middle-class wage-earners who lived so luxuriously until yesterday. The public can't process this reality and the president, for all his relaxed charm, is either not ready to articulate it, or can't process it himself.
Everything that we're doing right now is engineered to avoid reality, to sustain the unsustainable, to recover the unrecoverable, when the mandate of reality compels us to face our losses in order to move on to the next chapter of a collective American life. The next chapter would be a society that runs on a much more local and modest scale, centered on essential activities like growing food, requiring harder physical work, and focused attention -- in other words, the opposite of a society lost in abstractions, long-range daisy chains of off-loaded responsibility, and incessant pleasure-seeking.
In retreat from this reality, we've set in motion two forces that are pretty certain to bring us to grief. The first proceeds from the fateful FMOC decision last week at the Federal Reserve Bank to begin buying massive amounts of our own treasury bonds and bills. This is predicated on the idea that the mechanisms of wealth production -- even of illusory wealth, such as the fortunes created by trading securitized unpayable debt -- can keep chugging along, spinning off limitless additional suburban villas, chain stores, car trips, and deep-fried snacks. It would be sententious to explain how this destroys currencies, but wherever "monetizing debt" has been tried before in history, that is the outcome. The result would be ruinous at every level and would lead straight to the second terrible force: social upheaval brought on by the conversion of economic problems into political turbulence.
Those two forces are underway right now, in fact, since the overt monetizing of last week was preceded by the shoveling of bail-outs, which tacitly guaranteed a collapse of credibility in US debt instruments. I'm not in favor of violence and anarchy, but after the AIG bonus affair, it's hard to imagine that we are not one more corporate misdeed away from a rocket-propelled-grenade, or something like that, being fired into a glass office tower somewhere -- and then the "first-broken-window" rule of social disintegration comes into play. Meanwhile, I stick to my time-table of six-to-eighteen months before the reckless creation of new money-for-nothing filters through the system, overcomes even compressive mass bankruptcy, and starts expressing itself in the sinking value of dollars and the revved up velocity of their circulation in pursuit of tangible commodities.
We're already seeing the first twinges of that in the up-creep of oil prices, busting through the $50-a-barrel barrier last week. Since scarcity tends to express itself in gross volatility, it's easy to imagine oil prices rising swiftly beyond the $147-per-barrel record level of last year. As that occurs, the most basic premises of everyday life in the USA will be called into question. If you think car sales have been bad lately, with oil in the $35-a-barrel range most of the winter, just wait. The newly-minted unemployed will be marooned in their subdivisions. They will not be buying GMC Yukons on 48-month installment contracts, let alone X-boxes on their Visa cards. They might be very very hungry, though. All bets are off as to how these social classes may organize themselves to alleviate their hunger (and express their anger about it).
Given all this, it's kind of hard to believe that the savvy, thoughtful Mr. Obama is going along with such a disastrous program as the one his "team" is rolling out. Perhaps his ease and confidence masks a tragically conventional world-view, an incapacity to imagine "change" outside a very narrow range of possibility. I must say I doubt this is the case. I think, he is going along, for the moment, with a consensus of wishes to prop up life as we know it at all costs. This consensus emanates from the top down and the bottom up. The millions of "Joe-the-Plumber(s)" out there don't want to rethink the terms of existence anymore than the lords of Goldman Sachs. I also think that circumstances will force Mr. Obama's hand before long -- specifically that a moment will arrive when he goes on TV and tells the American public that things have changed way beyond the scope of what they even imagined when they pulled the levers last fall and voted for an uncharted future.
Capable observers are calling, meanwhile, for a robust bear market rally moving through Spring, on technical grounds that have little to do with the greater forces roistering in the background. Reality is a cruel mistress. If the stock market rally rolls out as predicted, it will surely fake-out the mainstream media. They'll conclude wishfully and foolishly that something like "recovery" is underway. They may even interpret rising oil prices as a "positive sign" that the great groaning enterprise of the something-for-nothing economy is back "on track."
They'll be shocked sometime after Memorial Day when it all comes off the rails again. We have a lot to sort out and very little time to get on with job. Notice, I haven't even mentioned the potential for mischief and instability coming out of the rest of the world -- enough black swans to blot out the sun. Want some concrete advice? For those of you sitting on US Treasury bonds and bills, now would be a good time to get out.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

I also think that this may be the all-time top for the Red Line. I just don't think things can get worse than they are now, at the same rate as the last 12 months.

We'll probably start heading back to zero in quick order... but that just means things will stay as bad as they are now. Well, they will get worse, but things will mercifully level out at Olde Bend levels... 15-20% unemployment all year round.

It'll be glorious! Subsistence living, meth killings, ramshackle cracker shacks, hot & cold running illegal aliens to deal meth, Buster armed to the teeth... my God, it'll be hillbilly heaven.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

Full Commanding Denial

Great piece!

Anonymous said...

And it's not like you're in inner Detroit, where you have to worry about getting mugged every time you go out.


I disagree with that statements, there will be more muggings in parking lots and parks come this summer in Bend, more break-ins at trailheads, given that so many people will be camping in the bush. More fires causes by folks living in the bush. ...

A rural Detroit is Bend, but still Detroit. Some hoods in Bend will be good, cuz some folks care, and are well armed vigilantes, but most of Bend will be like Detroit, empty and boarded up, with nobody who cares.

Anonymous said...

So everyone wants to RETURN their CARP? Who would have guessed?

Mandating a cap on publicly traded companys salarys and bonus?? How many minutes before the money is returned?

Who would have known?

Nothing more powerful than greed.

Still awaiting for Umqua to buy the bitch bank CACB. Now that CACB has the new Umqua Software the transfer should go easy.

CARP is sort of a joke, we hear about $700B, but the back-door of the FED-RES has unleashed over $12T since summer of 2008, and thus there is really no reason to feed on CARP, cheap money is available.

Let's NOT forget that while for HOMER & KUNTS the world is coming to an end, and that while there is say 25% real un-employment in BEND, that 75% are just fine.

"Armed to the Teeth", I think it goes without saying that buster&marge never were dis-armed to the gum.

Like Samuel Colt ( inventor of the colt self-loading pistol ) said in 1880, "There have always been big men, and little women, I made em all equal".

Bend will return to what it always was, a place for wealthy to recreate, and for everyone else to change our bed-pans.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

there will be more muggings in parking lots and parks come this summer in Bend...

Yeah, I think this Summer will be a time when it hits a lot of people... Bend AT IT'S BEST is not going to be that great. In fact, it'll be downright awful. We'll have Summer Unemployment not seen in our lifetimes.

Big outmigration this Summer. Greener pastures, less uncertainty. Get the kids & GO.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

A good piece is The Source, that may not have gotten much play:

Cutting Their Loses: As sales plunge, some shop owners opt to pack it in

After a couple of years watching merchants come and go, Bend Downtowners Association Executive Director Chuck Arnold has come up with a term to describe people who jump into the local commerce game with more inspiration than perspiration: recreation retailers.

These are the folks who open up personalized dog sweater shops and stores that sell 100 kinds of balsamic vinegar and nothing else.

Anonymous said...

The newly-minted unemployed will be marooned in their subdivisions.


Somebody else used my analogy today of Bend being a remote desert ISL, inhabited by 'cargo-cultists' ( google this term ), ... so we have ten's of 1,000's of rotting STD's, with 50% occupancy of un-employed in remote siberian sub-divisions of Bend.

What will come?? I predict 'mexicans' will fill them and white-trash, and think garages as being flea-marts, where every home will sell stolen goods, or 'to-go food'.

Drugs will be rampant, Prostitution will flourish, STD BEND will be a destination for all the Highland Bend Riche children to get laid & stoned. Cops will be spending more time patrolling 'siberian bend' than they do I97.

I think KUNSTLER is wrong about fuel, people will be giving up their auto's, the trend across the country today with cameras is flag 'un-insured autos', soon most 'poor' will be un-able to afford to drive, and the when they do drive the cops will nab them instantly, new camera technology can determine whether they're insured, speeding, verification of ID by facial-context, ... finding people with outstanding warrants, criminals will quit using the car, preferring to bike or hike or bus.

The end result will be a drastic drop in fuel consumption, that said if CHINA, or other 'progressive' nations boost fuel usage, like the new $2k car 'Tata' in India, then that demand may increase fuel, also of course with the DOLLAR becoming 'worthless' that will increase the cost of fuel.

The New World Order, 1984, Brave-New-World is BEND-HERE.

Cameras everywhere, every trail-head, every bathroom, just like UK with over a million cameras. BEND will put up 100k cameras in the coming months just to create new income revenue on people passing through town on I97.

Camera technology now can tag people on dozens of 'infractions' and 'paper-work', ... warrant, suspension problems. GPS info is sent to a cop, and he can have the person pulled over before they're even out of Bend.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

And go pick up a Source paper version, if for no other reason than the chick on the cover is WEIRD HOT.

I mean, damn... SHE HOT.

Anonymous said...

Armed to the teeth.

I have met several women of late, that are packing and in fear of parking lot robberies. Most are not carrying in their purses either. That bulge in their pants ain't no big swinging dick it's a 9mm.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

soon most 'poor' will be un-able to afford to drive...

I'm actually NOT going to buy a new car until I can EASILY pay cash. I'm just not going to.

I haven't used a CC in 18 months.

Life's a little more "austere" this way, but what I've lost in Ornamental Materialism, I've gained in Peace of Mind.

Mushy, right?

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

That bulge in their pants ain't no big swinging dick it's a 9mm.

Damn, that's hot.

Anonymous said...


Kevin T. and Tamara L. Sawyer to Janet McDonald, NorthWest Crossing Phase 8, Lot 387, $411,931.27

Anyone know what this is about?

Anonymous said...

On being anonymouse:

Blogger's identity outed by AK politician - Updated
March 28, 2009, 4:35PM

The outing of one anonymous Alaska blogger (AK Muckraker) - by a politician (Mike Doogan), using an official political newsletter, is an ominous sign of "big brother watching" and an outrageous offense against all of us who guard our privacy by using a self-chosen, anonymous moniker on the web.

After a 4-month effort to hunt down a blogger's identity, this Alaska state representative, without any provocation, except his view that no one should be allowed to speak out anonymously, published the blogger's name - using an official political e-newsletter, mailed out to many, many recipients.

Yet once again, a simple google search for anonymous free speech yields nearly 3 million links - and clear evidence of a constitutional right. Including this:

In McIntyre v. Ohio Elections Commn., 514 U.S. 334 (Supreme Court of the United States, 1995), a woman was fined in violation of the Ohio Elections Commission Code for composing, printing, and distributing anonymous campaign literature which expressed her views on a proposed school tax. The Supreme Court held:

"Under our Constitution, anonymous pamphleteering is not a pernicious, fraudulent practice, but an honorable tradition of advocacy and of dissent. Anonymity is a shield from the tyranny of the majority. It thus exemplifies the purpose behind the Bill of Rights, and of the First Amendment in particular: to protect unpopular individuals from retaliation -- and their ideas from suppression -- at the hand of an intolerant society."

It is not a good sign when an elected representative chooses to play judge and jury and to mete out a sentence (loss of privacy), simply for exercising the right to free speech and choosing to do so anonymously. The man who did it is an elected Alaska state representative. Presumably he took an oath of some type. I wonder what that oath says. I wonder if he understands that as an elected representative he has a fiduciary duty to citizens. I wonder if he realizes that, in effect, he has indicted someone - without cause - simply for speaking out in a public blog. His explanation for "outing" the blogger seems to based on his belief that no one should be allowed to speak anonymously. And instead of inquiring if anonymous speech was prohibited by law, he instead made that assumption and took the law into his own hands. He presumed some type of "guilt". He decided on a punishment. And he meted that out - just like vigilantes do - in the absence of any judicial proceeding - simply for blogging anonymously.

I personally hope that AK Muckraker and family decide to pursue this. It is an infringement of the constitutional right to speak as one chooses to speak. An infringement of a federally guaranteed right - by an elected official of a state. Not a judge. Not a jury. There's been no investigation here by any duly authorized investigating body. But without consulting any judicial authority, this politician took things into his own hands.

There is a long history in the United States of anonymous political writing. Dating back to pre-revolutionary days. And specifically upheld in recent years by the Supreme Court.

This "outing" of a blogger's real name is an action which affects every citizen who chooses to post on the web. It is vital, in my view, that our constitutional rights be upheld and protected. And that when violated, those who disregard them should be held to whatever penalties the law may require. Something precious has been stolen from AK Muckraker. Something precious which can never be restored.

And I, for one, am appalled. I am irate. And I am ready to join in whatever can be done to bring justice to this matter.

You can read more about all of this at AK Muckraker's blog, The Mudflats. And you can follow links to the Mudflats' Forum or posts by other bloggers related to this issue as well as places where you can register your own concerns about this matter.

Update #1:

Elected representatives of the State of Alaska take an oath to both the Constitution of the United States and to the State of Alaska. As we know, the US Constitution guarantees the right to free speech (and anonymous free speech has been part of our nation since before its inception). Plus, the Alaska Constitution specifically guarantees the right to privacy (Article # 22, Declaration of Rights).

This legislator has violated his oath of office.

Once he knew the identity of the blogger, he would have known that divulging that identity would have had consequences. (see below for a comment by SlappyOC) I am not a lawyer, but it would appear that by this man's violation of his oath, his perfidious behavior may have had serious consequences, for which he may be held liable. This is a dark time in America!

I am deeply distressed.

Update #2:

There seems to be some confusion about the right to privacy and when it is possible for government to lawfully intrude on that: only with a warrant or some evidence that the citizen is breaking the law.

From a comment of mine below:

If there is a credible reason to look into someone's identity, like the commission of a crime, then the government can seek a warrant to investigate. A warrant is the only way the government can intrude on our privacy.

No crime was committed by the blogger. The legislator had sworn to uphold the law and thus to protect the privacy (that's how it's written in Alaska, that the legislature is responsible for protecting privacy). But instead a duly sworn and elected official, on his own, without any charge, without any warrant, did an investigation, found out who she was, and contrary to his oath of office, divulged that!

This is an egregious breach of public trust on the part of the this public official, Doogan.

The govt is not supposed to spy on people. That's a no-no. That's why we're upset with bush! Absent a warrant, it's not legal! And to get a warrant you have to show cause. Some crime.

Update #3:

If you read AKM's blog, you will find a post by Bob Poe, someone who knows Googan, the guy who outed AKM. Bob, to my mind, appears to be trying to explain and even excuse Googan's behavior - via explaining that Googan used to be a journalist and is annoyed that bloggers (as opposed to journalists) often write without disclosing their names. Well, this is a side issue.

The issue is not that AKM chooses to write anonymously. The issue is not AKM!

Instead the issue is Googan! Googan is a duly sworn public official. His duty is to uphold the law. The US Constitution. And the Alaska Constitutuion. His duty is to the voters and citizens of Alaska. He has failed in his duty as an elected official who has taken a public oath! He has abrogated his oath. He has harmed a citizen. He forgot his role - his role to protect the public. And to my mind he deserves whatever approbation or censure he gets.

Much of what Mr. Poe writes I can agree with. But his analysis of where the problem lies is wrong. AKM is not a journalist, but a private citizen, entitled to speak her mind. Just like me!


I'd like to take this opportunity to thank all who have respected my own need for some time away from blogging, which may yet continue or be lessened. Your heartening comments are much appreciated, and I extend my thanks and best wishes to all who blog here. I break my silence today only because this matter is so pressing and relates to anyone's need for privacy, yours and mine as well. I am concerned about each of us personally, our community here at TPM Cafe, and the fate of our nation at this time of crisis. And I will be posting something related to that in the near future, when the time is right.

tim said...

Hey Butter, do you have your x-axis mislabeled? Looks like it goes through Feb 2008, but you say it goes through Feb 2009.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

Hey Butter, do you have your x-axis mislabeled? Looks like it goes through Feb 2008, but you say it goes through Feb 2009.

No, unfortunately it labels every 12th month, which is December in this case. Looks screwy, I know.

But it is definitely thru Feb 2009.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

tim said...

>>Looks screwy, I know.

Way to violate everything people know about reading graphs. :-)

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

Wow... the outing of that Blogger is HUGE NEWS in AK. That Doogan fucker will go down for it....

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

I sent this douche an email suggesting he resign.

What a fucking lunatic.

tim said...

He's an asshat. Outing a blogger is a lot more trouble than any trouble a blogger could have created for him.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

Double-digit unemployment looms, OECD tells G8

ROME (Reuters) – The global economic crisis will hit jobs hard, with unemployment set to reach double digits in many developing and advanced countries, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) said on Sunday.

"By the end of 2010 the unemployment rate could be approaching double digit figures in all G8 countries with the sole exception of Japan, as well as in the OECD area as a whole," the OECD forecast in a background paper to G8 labor and employment ministers gathering in Rome.

In new projections to be issued on Tuesday the OECD will forecast growth in the 30-nation bloc will contract by 4.2 percent this year, the Paris-based body's general secretary, Angel Gurria, told reporters on Friday.

The OECD had earlier predicted a 0.4 percent contraction, in November.

The paper released to reporters on Sunday projected that joblessness in the OECD area would increase in the three years to 2010 by more than it rose in the 10 years to the early 1980s, which included two oil shocks.

It forecast the area's economy would stage "a rather muted recovery" in the first half of 2010 if a series of conditions are fulfilled.

"Even this muted recovery rests on the assumption that tensions in financial markets dissipate toward the end of 2009, monetary and fiscal policies continue to be supportive and that growth will pick up in the non-OECD area," it said.

The OECD urged G20 leaders meeting in London this week to "intervene quickly and effectively to avoid the financial crisis becoming a full-blown social crisis with scarring effects on vulnerable workers and low-income households."

In a separate document prepared for the Rome G8 "social summit," which runs until Tuesday, the International Labour Organization warned that global unemployment could rise by 50 million this year, after an increase of 11 million in 2008.

John Evans, the leader of the trade unions in the OECD bloc, told reporters that workers' organizations should have formal representation at the London G20 to ensure that safeguarding employment is near the top of the agenda.

"Workers are paying the price of the crisis and anger is going to mount unless we get clear answers," he said.

The 30 nations which fund the OECD include the United States, Japan and the rich industrialized nations of Europe, while the narrower G8 is made up of the United States, Japan, Germany, Britain, France, Italy, Canada and Russia.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

Double-digit unemployment looms, OECD tells G8

My dyslexic brain sees "OECD", and my brain thinks EDCO.

I've been here too long.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

Outing a blogger is a lot more trouble than any trouble a blogger could have created for him.

Makes him appear "unstable", and an enemy of those he would serve. What a nut.

Bewert said...

In Exposing the Identity of Mudflats, Rep. Mike Doogan Exposes Himself.
27 03 2009

Anonymity is an interesting thing. Anyone who has read my “About” page knows that Mudflats popped out of my head and on to my keyboard last May. I, like many of you, get frustrated with my government. There isn’t anyone who pays attention, on either side of the political spectrum, who doesn’t at some time feel like they need to get something off their chest.

I wasn’t quite sure what this whole blogging thing was about, but a dear friend of mine who is a brilliant writer was doing some work for the American Cancer Society blog, and urged me to start one of my own. And so, one evening after some crazy shenanigans from Don Young and a glass of shiraz, the first post went up on Mudflats. It was a strange sensation to write, and then click on that blue oval button that said, “Publish”. With that click, I was putting my opinion out to the world. I was giving permission for people to peek into my brain, and read my diary, as it were. I had no particular desire for anyone to know it was coming from me, and why should they care, anyway? I’m just….me. I’m not a politician, nor a writer, nor a journalist, nor a state or federal employee, nor a lobbyist. I was just a citizen who was paying attention, feeling frustrated, and liked getting stuff off my chest.

I checked my blog statistics later in the day, and noticed that two people had clicked on my article. I sat there utterly amazed. I called to my spouse, “Look at this! Two people read it!” Then, the next day, eight people had read it. I was getting about a dozen hits a day the next week. I didn’t know where they were coming from, but I imagined my little group of a dozen people who enjoyed Mudflats enough to come back and read more. Then twenty people. And by the end of the summer, about 250 a day. Maybe they liked feeling like somebody was speaking their particular truth. Maybe they liked it. It was a good feeling.

The day that Sarah Palin got nominated to be John McCain’s Vice President, life changed. My sister called me at some pre-dawn hour and said, “Did you hear?” I, like many Alaskans, was completely stunned. Sarah Palin? Was I still dreaming? Really? I knew I had to take the day off. I made a pot of coffee, and thought to myself, that my 250 people might not be the only ones interested in this VP pick. Now, many people adored Sarah Palin, and maybe some of them had blogs too….I had never checked, but they must be out there somewhere. But I knew some things about her, and her policies and positions that others might not be able to find out so easily. I decided to write my opinion. So I wrote a post, “What Is McCain Thinking? One Alaskan’s Perspective.” And that’s exactly what the piece was - one Alaskans perspective. My perspective. Just in case anyone was interested.

It took me about 45 minutes to crank it out and click Publish. (Yes, I was still in my pajamas at the time) And it turned out that people were interested. Really interested. By the time I’d made myself a couple eggs and toast, and sat back down there were more than 7,000 hits. By the end of the day there were 64,000. The total readership of that post ended up being almost 270,000 with more than 1300 comments. To say I was shocked is putting it mildly. I began to get emails and comments asking me when I was going to post again, asking questions about Palin, and saying that this was the only “real” information they were getting...

More at

Great post.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

I sent this douche an email suggesting he resign.

I told him I was going to douche my grama's corpse, and send him the squeezings.

Too far?

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

knows that Mudflats popped out of my head and on to my keyboard last May...

Was it "mudflats" or "meatflaps"?

Bewert said...

Re: I told him I was going to douche my grama's corpse, and send him the squeezings.


No, fucking brilliant. Best laugh I've had all day. Post it here, along with all the others:,6710.0.html

Bet that line will top pretty much everything, though.

Anonymous said...

Peter Schiff makes some good points but also is lazy about some things, like the Paradox of Thrift:

The Paradox of Thrift states that if everyone saves more money during times of recession, then aggregate demand will fall and will in turn lower total savings in the population because of the decrease in consumption and economic growth.

Saving is beneficial to each individual but deleterious to the general population. This is a "paradox" because it runs contrary to intuition.

One who does not know about the paradox of thrift would fall into a fallacy of composition wherein one generalizes what is perceived to be true for an individual within the economy to the overall population.

Although exercising thrift may be good for an individual by enabling that individual to save for a "rainy day", it may not be good for the economy as a whole.

If money is hoarded (e.g., placed under your mattress) and not converted into profitable investments (e.g., placed in a bank) a "savings" induced recession can occur.

Bewert said...

Visit Bend Wants "All" Its Money

Seems as though we aren't getting the whole story.

Who would have known? Who could have guessed?

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

Looks like CACB's little upswing is over.... it's lost 33% in just over 1 trading day.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

Good stuff over at Bend Gazette

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

Tim's beloved North Carolina is in the Top 10 in unemployment...

7 states see jobless rate top 10 percent
Double-digit unemployment rates hit more states in February; more pain expected

Seven states have unemployment rates that topped 10 percent last month. That's up from four states in January.

"It's spreading like wildfire," said Richard Yamarone, economist at Argus Research.

The U.S. unemployment rate, released earlier this month, rose to 8.1 percent in February, the highest in more than 25 years. Economists predict the national jobless rate will have climbed to 8.5 percent in March when the government releases that report next week. It will probably hit 10 percent by year end even if the recession were to end later this year, they said.

Michigan's jobless rate climbed to 12 percent, the highest in the country. South Carolina registered the second-highest at 11 percent and Oregon came in third at 10.8 percent.

North Carolina came in fourth with an unemployment rate of 10.7 percent, the highest there on records dating back to 1976. California and Rhode Island tied for fifth place at 10.5 percent each. That was an all-time high for Rhode Island. The seventh state with a jobless rate above 10 percent was Nevada at 10.1 percent.

Georgia's unemployment rate rose sharply to 9.3 percent, also a record high. Earlier this week Shaw Industries Group Inc., the world's largest carpet maker, said it would close two plants in the state and lay off about 600 workers....

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

March 29, 2009
Why Are These Renters Smiling?

WHEN Whitney Pettyjohn and her 19-year-old sister, Chelsey, moved to Brooklyn last August, the best deal they could find in their price range was a two-bedroom in Bushwick with unreliable heat, nine blocks from the Morgan Avenue stop on the L train. It cost $1,700 per month.

When they looked again this year, they found a very different market. Four weeks ago, they moved two stops closer to Manhattan, into an apartment with more character and more storage for the exact same price.

“We’re one block from the subway,” Ms. Pettyjohn, 24, said. “It’s like living in a dream!”

Rents are down throughout New York. According to the February Manhattan Rental Market Report produced by the Real Estate Group, a New York brokerage firm, rents in the borough have fallen “across the board.”

The biggest drop was in studio apartments in doorman buildings, which have fallen 8.33 percent from the same time last year.

Many people who signed leases in the bubble years are paying much more in rent than what their apartments would get today. So when their leases expire, some New Yorkers are trading up for better deals, finding comparable places for less money or nicer apartments that do not come with a big rent increase.

“No one’s willing to pay more now, because there’s always another deal next door or down the block,” said Georgia Kaporis, an associate broker at Citi Habitats. “They’re just upgrading for less.”

Erika Allen, for example, moved earlier this month from a first-floor studio in the East Village between Avenues B and C. Only through a remarkable New York-style exercise in stacking belongings and maximizing space did Ms. Allen, 21, a journalism student, manage to share the place with her boyfriend, Clark Hassler, 25, a professional skateboarder. (Picture shoe storage above the refrigerator.) They were paying $1,885.

For $15 more a month, the couple now have a one-bedroom five blocks from their old apartment that is closer to the subway, has a working fireplace and, perhaps most important, more privacy.

“I was looking forward to having a bedroom door,” Ms. Allen said. “I love to have people over, but it’s hard when you have to have them sit on your bed. It’s just crazy the things you get used to.”

Though more apartments are becoming more affordable as rents come down from their lofty peak, New York prices might still seem shocking to the uninitiated.

In February, the average rent for a one-bedroom apartment in a nondoorman building was $2,632, according to the Real Estate Group. It was $3,395 for a one-bedroom in a doorman building.

“Probably somebody who’s relocating would still be surprised today: ‘This is the size of apartment I get for this price?’ ” said Caroline Bass, an associate broker with Citi Habitats. “But New Yorkers think this is great right now. Maybe you appreciate it more if you spend more time here.”

Another bonus for New Yorkers concerns the broker fee, which has usually been paid by the renter and can add 15 percent of a year’s rent to the initial cost of leasing an apartment. These days, as attracting good tenants has become more difficult, owners have started paying the broker fees themselves.

According to Halstead Properties, out of 4,230 open and exclusive listings for apartments between Feb. 15 and March 15, 30 percent offered owner payment of the broker fee. Over the same period in 2008, only 8 percent of Halstead’s apartments offered that incentive.

A big jump, but it still leaves the majority of apartments requiring tenants to pay the fee.

“There’s so much media attention paid to no fee, free rent, rental prices coming down, that now everybody has an image that everything is a no fee,” Ms. Bass added. “But it’s not true.”

Liz Sterling, a client and friend of Ms. Bass, stepped up to a larger, less expensive apartment in a neighborhood she prefers, but to do so she had to pay a broker fee. It was, she said, worth it.

“I did not think I could get an apartment as nice as I did,” she said.

When she moved into a studio apartment in Midtown last year, $1,800 was the best deal she could find. “It was the biggest place I looked at that I could afford,” she said.

“I wanted to live on the Lower East Side, but I couldn’t find any place that I could afford,” she said. “I figured if I couldn’t live in a neighborhood I really wanted to, I’d at least live someplace convenient.”

From her Midtown studio, Ms. Sterling, 28, could walk to work at Christie’s, where she is a specialist in the American paintings department, and to Hunter College, where she is studying for a master’s degree in art history.

After moving in, however, she discovered the apartment had some quirks, including little sunlight, the smell of greasy meat from the restaurant below (Ms. Sterling does not eat meat) and an acupuncture parlor down the hall that stayed open very, very late and served a male clientele.

So toward the end of her lease, she began looking elsewhere. When she saw how far rents had fallen, she asked her landlord to drop hers to $1,650 per month. But, she said, “they wouldn’t lower my rent. So I moved.”

She looked at some 25 apartments and finally settled on a large one-bedroom in just the location she’d hoped for, the Lower East Side. “It’s exactly where I wanted to be,” Ms. Sterling said.

According to her broker, Ms. Bass of Citi Habitats, the asking price was $2,400 a month for the apartment. It sat vacant for weeks and the building had several other vacancies to fill, so the landlord was amenable to lowering the price drastically — and throwing in a month of free rent. Ms. Sterling signed a two-year lease for $1,700 per month — $100 less than for the studio that smelled of hamburgers. She moved in this month.

Seven hundred dollars less than the asking price is a striking drop. But Marc Lewis, the president of Century 21 New York, said a lot of surprising things are happening in the rental market right now.

One new experience for Mr. Lewis is being told by landlords that they will accept tenants with bad — even very bad — credit.

“Imagine that, saying, ‘I’ll take anyone,’ ” Mr. Lewis exclaimed. “I’ve never seen that in 36 years.”

Roberta Axelrod, the director of residential sales and rentals at Time Equities, a real estate developer and management company, says that from the owner’s perspective, the important thing is to keep apartments filled.

“Look, we would rather rent the apartments for more than for less if we can,” she said. But, she added, she believes that the rental market will strengthen again in the future. “I wouldn’t panic,” she said.

With great deals available, some renters may be tempted to break their leases. But, said Dov Treiman, a lawyer and the editor of The Housing Court Reporter, they probably won’t have much luck. Landlords are not obligated to let tenants out of a lease.

It’s impossible to know when rents will stop falling. Gregory J. Heym, the chief economist at Terra Holdings, which owns Halstead and Brown Harris Stevens, said there are two key indicators to watch: the for-sale market and the job market.

“When do prices reach the point when people start buying again, or when does the confidence return?” he said. “Also look at hiring, that’s one of the more direct links to the rental market.”

Rents, he said, are unlikely to rise until jobs start coming back, and the Independent Budget Office of New York does not expect the city to add jobs again until 2011.

Dire economic projections like that, of course, make people nervous.

Kiley Bates, 34, a freelance fashion stylist and event producer, and her boyfriend, Patrick Brennan, 28, an editor at Scholastic, decided that in this economy saving money was paramount.

“I’m a freelancer, and I was getting a little worried about work,” Ms. Bates said. So even though she and Mr. Brennan liked the spacious apartment they shared on the border of Park Slope and Gowanus, they realized they could be paying less than $2,350 a month.

“At first I was like, ‘what if we found a place that was $2,000 a month — that’d be amazing!’ ” Ms. Bates said. “But then we saw that there were places that were even cheaper.”

The apartment they moved to this month was another one-bedroom, slightly smaller than their old place, near the Grand Street stop on the L train in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, for $1,775.

Even New Yorkers who feel secure in their jobs are moving to save money.

Elizabeth McKeveny, who works in academic fund-raising, and her boyfriend, Sean Hamel, who works in public relations, were paying $2,800 for a one-bedroom on the Upper West Side.

“It was a good building, good people,” Mr. Hamel said. “We just wanted to find something cheaper.”

Both 27, they moved to a one-bedroom in Midtown last month, in a prewar building with high ceilings and hardwood floors, for which they pay $2,000 per month.

“It definitely felt like things were more, quote-unquote, negotiable, in terms of rent and broker fees,” Mr. Hamel said, comparing their apartment hunt this year with their search last year.

“Prices are still coming down in virtually every sector,” said Daniel Baum, the chief operating officer of the Real Estate Group. “There’s a general theme out there. It’s called ‘Let’s make a deal.’ ”

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

Here's a rental by "Genesis Futures"... isn't that a Sawyer gig?

Anonymous said...

61633 27th Street

2009-008381 IMAGE
DOC TYPE: Notice of Default & Election to Sell DATE REC: 2/27/2009 4:11:03 PM
REFERENCES: 2007-006556

Anonymous said...

Re: ...a Sawyer gig?


Yep, owned by Kevin and received a NOD on 2/27/2009. Renter beware.

If that temp image doesn't work, search recordings at using DALY ESTATES Lot: 5 Block: 1

Anonymous said...

Drove around town this weekend and saw an abnormal amount of for rent signs, even in the core westside neighborhoods.


PopGoesBend said...

>Drove around town this weekend and saw an abnormal amount of for rent signs, even in the core westside neighborhoods.

Did you happen to drive by 15th and Baltimore so you could see the yellow sign, hand written with a sharpie that says "PUBLIC NOTICE: BANK WANTS OFFER"

Nothing says "When it comes to Real Estate, I'm a PRO" like a sharpie.

Anonymous said...

BEND RE HO's have a future in BEND!!!


Ex-Wall Street Analyst NOT Making $160K As A Stripper

“It was very odd seeing a strip club being better run than a major brokerage firm, not to mention I’ve never had problems with sexual harassment at Rick’s.”


“Peter Feinstein, owner of the Sapphire Club on East 60th Street, which opened in January, said, “I am receiving a lot of applications from women who recently lost their jobs — in particular New York City real-estate agents.”

Katie Haverton, 27, is one of them. She worked as a broker for a large real-estate company for three years until January, when she says she hadn’t made a sale in six months and had $2 left in her bank account. She now performs at Flash Dancers in Midtown.

“With real estate, you can work 10 hours a day showing people apartments and you never know when the next sale will be,” said Haverton, who lives on the Upper East Side. “But with dancing, the money is instant. Now that I make better money as a stripper than as a real-estate agent, I’m going to buy my own apartment.”"

tim said...

Yeah, poor NC. Got creamed by changes in the big Charlotte banks, probably.

No where to hide.

tim said...

>>Georgia's unemployment rate rose sharply to 9.3 percent, also a record high. Earlier this week Shaw Industries Group Inc., the world's largest carpet maker, said it would close two plants in the state and lay off about 600 workers....

IIRC, that's a fully-owned company that Buffett bought ten or so years ago.

Jelement said...

There's a lot of Sawyer rentals up right now, most of them just don't say Genesis Futures on them.

It looks like their vacation rental condo down by old mill might be the one that got a NOD last week as well (635 SW Peak View) unpaid since 7/08. But hey, might as well rent it out while you can for the summer, the foreclosure sale isn't until the end of July.

They have another home on 27th that got a NOD the same day as 61633 as well, Daly Estates lot 4 (61647 27th).

Both of those were purchased back in May of 05 for $349k, and according to their NOD's they owe about $485k on each. I don't see how they didn't think things would catch up with them in the end.

Anonymous said...

Homer do you every go to Bangkok? I know that your always posting pic's of asean girls, anyway the below is the best description of the US collapse I have seen, e.g. from the point of view of someone at Soi Cowboy in Bangkok.


Why the Wall Street Collapse is like a stroll on Soi Cowboy

IT'S easy to understand why the world economy is collapsing, if you think of Wall Street as Soi Cowboy: bar girls are the banks; their customers/boyfriends are their investors/shareholders; a Cabinet minister swindles them using credit default insurance scams; the generals are the regulators; the Treasury Secretary is a former bar girl. Here's what happened:

Lek, a bar girl on Soi Cowboy, convinced her foreign boyfriends to lend her money to buy a farm for her family in Si Sa Ket. The boyfriends agreed: they could profit from the interest when Lek paid them back. Land values were rising, so other bar girls borrowed money to buy farms in Isaan, too.

Seeing an opportunity for easy money, a Cabinet minister took Lek to a love hotel and offered to sell her insurance. "You can't lose," he promised. "Even if you can't pay your debts, and default, you'll be covered by my special credit default insurance. It's just like car insurance."

"Is it legal?" asked Lek. "Do we have to pay off the generals?"

"Yes, it's legal. Never mind the generals. It's an over-the counter deal."

Excited about this deal, Lek told the other bar girls, who soon bought the minister's credit default insurance.

Having won their trust, the minister convinced the girls to pool their debts together into a single unit - "collateralised debt".

"It's like having a communal chicken farm," he told them. Then he sold them insurance on that bundle of debt. "This way, we spread around the risk. It's safer for each one of you."

He also hooked them on other financial products like interest rate swaps.

"Derivatives are just like gambling on football. You can bet on goals, corner-kicks, red cards, etc."

The value of the trade exploded. The minister expanded to Nana, Patpong, Pattaya and Patong. He got so rich, he bought a house in London, and a dozen race horses. Soon the whole cabinet was selling insurance to bar girls.

Since the generals were doing nothing to stop him, the minister made deals with everyone: pension funds (mamasans), endowments (ladyboys), foundations (go-go dancers), insurance companies (cops), hedge funds (hi-so minor wives), money managers (pimps), high-net-worth individuals (khunyings), municipalities (government officials), sovereign wealth funds (Middle Eastern government officials) and supranationals (expat writers).

Financially intertwined, everyone assumed they couldn't lose, because land prices were only going up. (Everyone except Warren Buffett, who called these derivatives "financial weapons of mass destruction").

There was one problem. The minister didn't actually have enough money to pay out insurance claims.

"Never mind," he thought. "The bar girls will keep getting rich off foreigners, and they'll never default on their loans. I'll never have to pay out insurance claims."

The girls did get rich, but they spent their money on drink, drugs, cell phones and implants, instead of paying off their farm debts.

Noticing the girls' declining health, some foreigners asked the generals to investigate. But the generals only saw the girls playing cards and watching TV - because the minister had bribed them to keep their mouths shut.

This only hid the problem, and made it worse.

The foreigners, who feared losing their investments in the girls' farms, complained to Khun Yai, the Treasury Secretary.

Problem is, Khun Yai was in fact Miss Nong, the older sister of Lek, and had worked at the "Goldman Bar" before her sex-change operation. So Khun Yai acted behind the scenes to protect his sister and the girls.

At a shareholders meeting, the foreigners demanded the truth.

Lek, drunk, blabbed to them: "Don't worry about me defaulting on the farm. I have an insurance policy with a minister. He will pay for everything."

"Are you crazy?" the foreigners shouted. "What if he has no money to pay you."

When they confronted him on the soi, the minister said, "Don't worry. If you don't trust me, you can sell my wife's body at your bar."

The foreigners panicked. They pressured the girls to sell their land. But with everyone trying to sell, nobody wanted to buy. Land prices, and the economy, spiralled downward. Everyone was losing their shirts.

Mii from Mukdahan (Bear Stearns) and then Fon from Ubon (Lehman Brothers) collapsed. The Treasury Secretary didn't help them because he favoured the girls at the bar he frequented. He moved Lek and her friends (investment banks Merrill Lynch and Morgan) to upscale hostess lounges protected by generals, and put uniforms on them (to dress them up like regular deposit-taking banks).

But many bar girls and customers went broke. Everyone wanted to find the minister, who had taken their money.

Lek finally tracked him down, in exile in London. She showed him the insurance policy. "It says here, you have to pay!"

"No I don't," said the minister, laughing. "I sold the insurance policies to another Cabinet member."

Christopher Johnson is a former Nation staffer and the author of "Siamese Dreams", which takes a high-hearted and romantic look into foreign-Thai relations.

LavaBear said...

Bruce, here is the NOD's chart. I'll update it at close of business tomorrow so it finishes 1Q09.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

TXT going down... only companies on the edge "reaffirm" their cash outlook.

Bye bye Cessna.

Textron reaffirms cash outlook
By John Ittner
Last update: 9:18 a.m. EDT March 31, 2009
NEW YORK (MarketWatch) -- Textron Inc. said Tuesday that it reaffirmed its 2009 cash outlook while announcing that it will further lower 2009 manufacturing production rates at Cessna and its industrial business units. Textron said commercial markets continue to soften in the current economic environment, and credit markets at Textron Financial Corp. remain challenging. The company expects to achieve at least an $800 million reduction in finance receivables by the end of the first quarter, which is well ahead of plan. Furthermore, the sale of HR Textron to Woodward Governor is scheduled to close on April, which will generate approximately $265 million in after-tax cash. Textron expects to end the first quarter with over $1 billion in cash.

Anonymous said...

Does anyone know how to access current bank sales data through MLS? or from another source?


IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

Home values sink at record pace in January

Case-Shiller index down 19% in past year, 29% from the peak

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) -- Home values in 20 major U.S. cities fell at the fastest rate on record in January and are now down a record 19% in the 12 months ending in January, Standard & Poor's reported Tuesday.

The Case-Shiller 20-city home price index fell a record 2.8% in January, with home values in all 20 cities falling at least 1%. Prices in the original 10-city index fell a record 19.4% over the year. Prices fell 2.5% in January in the 10 cities.

Prices are down 29% from the peak in mid-2006, according to Case-Shiller. Prices have fallen to September 2003 levels.

Prices in all 20 cities are down at least 10% from their peak, with prices in Las Vegas, Miami, Phoenix, San Francisco and San Diego down more than 40%.

"There are very few bright spots that one can see in the data," said David Blitzer, chairman of the index committee at S&P.

Falling home values have helped to plunge the global economy into chaos because financial institutions made too many bad bets that U.S. home prices would never fall. Home owners have lost trillions of dollars of wealth.

With prices still falling at a rapid pace, millions of home owners are finding themselves owing more on their house than it is worth. They cannot sell for what they owe, and they cannot refinance their loan. They cannot borrow against their home to finance their consumption.

In January, prices fell more than 4% in seven of the 20 cities, including a 5.5% drop in Phoenix. Large declines were also seen in Minneapolis, Chicago, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Tampa and Detroit. The smallest declines in January were found in Charlotte and New York, where prices fell just 1.2%.

In the past year, prices are down the most in Phoenix, Las Vegas and San Francisco, with prices down at least 32%. Home prices have held up best in Dallas, Denver and Cleveland, where prices are down about 5% in the past year.

The Case-Shiller index tracks repeat sales on the same properties over time, but it closely tracks only 20 cities, not the whole country.

A similar index from the Federal Housing Finance Agency released last week found prices rose 1.7% in January, the first increase in a year. The FHFA index tracks the whole country, but relies on data from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, so it missed most of purchases financed by subprime loans earlier in the decade.


Here are the price declines in each of the 20 cities over the past year:
Phoenix, down 35%; Las Vegas, down 32.5%; San Francisco, down 32.4%; Miami, down 29.4%; Los Angeles, down 25.8%; San Diego, down 24.9%; Tampa, down 23.3%; Detroit, down 22.6%; Minneapolis, down 20.4%; Washington, down 19.3%; Chicago, down 16.4%: Seattle, down 15%; Atlanta, down 14.3%; Portland, down 14%; New York, down 9.6%; Charlotte, down 8.2%; Boston, down 7.3%; Cleveland, down 5.2%; Denver, down 5.1%; and Dallas, down 4.9

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

Straight up PR piece on keeping Roger Lee in business.

Building a better economy
By Zack Hall / The Bulletin
Published: March 31. 2009 4:00AM PST

When Roger Lee left Baker City to head up Economic Development for Central Oregon, the region was a much different place.

And the Bend-based organization, a private nonprofit aimed at diversifying Central Oregon’s economy by attracting new businesses and retaining established ones, has taken a leading role in growing the region.

The growth in Central Oregon’s economy and population is a source of pride for the 40-year-old Lee, who has spent 14 years of his career working at economic development agencies in Bend, Baker City and Seattle.

“I think that has been one of the really intriguing and challenging things of being in this position in this organization, is the dynamic region in which we are in,” Lee said. “It has been quite fulfilling over those 10 years. I haven’t gotten bored.”

When Lee took over, EDCO was a two-person office in Bend.

Since then, the agency — which is mostly funded by its members — has grown from two employees to eight. And it has created one-person satellite offices in Redmond, Madras and Prineville.

Since 1999, EDCO has helped bring 3,150 new jobs and 112 new companies to the area, and $163.7 million in capital investment since 2003, according to EDCO.

EDCO has received three awards in four years from the Oregon Economic Development Association, the professional organization for the economic development industry in Oregon.

Those awards include: Business Development Success Story (2008), Best Economic Development Web site (2006) and the Partnership Excellence Award (2005).

EDCO takes a “team approach,” and Lee gives much of the credit for the organization’s success to his staff and the community as a whole, he said.

“We’ve tried to be a voice for being more business friendly here in Bend,” Lee said. “And I think that is a voice being heard these days.”

One highlight, Lee said, of the last 10 years has been the growth of air service at Redmond Airport, which helps shuttle business people in and out of Central Oregon. It is a critical component to economic development, he said.

In 2001, there were 156,670 passenger boardings at Redmond Airport. In 2008, that number grew to 247,392 boardings.

“We really had a stagnated situation with our air service,” Lee said. “It has become more and more of a dynamic, fastest-growing area for air service than you find anywhere in the Northwest.”

New things are also on the horizon for EDCO.

Thanks to language inserted into the 2009 stimulus bill, $232,750 will be steered toward EDCO to create a staff position tasked with coordinating the region’s venture capital activities. The position will likely be added later this year, Lee said.

The Bend venture catalyst position also will work to coordinate early-stage economic development opportunities in the region’s promising aviation, aerospace and renewable energy sectors, Lee said.

But EDCO’s job has gotten a bit tougher these days thanks to the recession.

EDCO, though, takes the long view of the recession, and Lee said the agency will continue to sell outside businesses on future opportunities to invest in Central Oregon.

“We have clients who we have worked with for seven years before they make a decision,” Lee said. “So we continue to build those relationships knowing that they are probably not going to happen in the next 12 months necessarily. But when things do turn around we’ve built those relationships and we can actually be closer to landing those projects.

“I think we are busier than ever today trying to make those things happen. And preparing those companies, in some cases, to weather this economy and take advantage of it when it turns.”

Lee responded via e-mail to the following questions:

Q: What are some of the selling points you use to attract businesses to Central Oregon?

A: Companies tend to make location decisions based on the alignment of factors and costs critical to their operation. EDCO’s approach is to understand the hierarchy of these factors by industry and by individual company so we prepare customized pitches rather than relying on generalized brochures.

Many top selling points in the tri-county region are also available statewide: low electric power costs, low worker compensation rates, a general tax climate that is friendly to business, and meaningful incentives. Unique local selling points include: work force availability, lack of transportation congestion, fast-track permitting for facility construction and local or regional incentives like enterprise zones that can make the region more financially attractive.

We have a considerable number of companies in different industries that are doing well competing in the national or global marketplace — that in itself is a powerful sales tool. Still, the quality-of-life appeal plays a more important role in recruitment efforts in Central Oregon than many other parts of the country. One of our great advantages is the diversity of communities and lifestyle choices from which companies can choose within the region.

Q: Are there certain challenges to bringing businesses to Central Oregon that might not be present in other parts of the state?

A: Our relative isolation from other urban areas is both a strength (back to the lifestyle factor) and one of our greatest challenges. Most raw material must be shipped into the region, and the finished product shipped out again, which adds cost our companies pass on to their customers.

Business owners moving from larger metro areas also have an expectation that a certain supply chain will be here as well. Many times those suppliers are here, but we don’t yet have big-city manufacturing infrastructure in place.

An increasing challenge we face is the lack of a robust local higher education system, especially in technical fields. COCC (Central Oregon Community College) does a great job for its charter, but we need more opportunities for our residents to obtain bachelor’s, master’s and eventually PhD degrees here.

The shortage of served industrial property (land which already has all the needed infrastructure) in Bend has been an ongoing hurdle that has limited our ability to compete for some larger projects and driven up land costs in the region’s other cities as well. The economy is certainly mitigating this trend now, but we would like to see a good supply of employment land in all the region’s cities.

Q: Is there a particular industry that you see as a real growth area for Central Oregon in the future?

A: Rather than to just focus on one industry, EDCO’s strategy is to create as much diversity in our manufacturing and high-technology industries as possible to better weather the kind of economic conditions we are experiencing today.

Despite the challenges, Central Oregon has a number of exciting opportunities. We see continuing opportunities in software and renewable/alternative energy — industries that are expected to be strong for 10 to 20 years in the future. Particularly exciting is the combination of these two sectors with electronics that will revolutionize how we generate, distribute, use, and store power.

Our biosciences (medical devices, pharmaceuticals, biotech) sector is still small, but has a great deal of promise as well. Aviation and aerospace are getting hit hard right now, but not universally so. This sector will rebound and grow again within the next three years.

Perhaps one of the most exciting trends on the horizon is our region’s exceptional ability to generate new and innovative entrepreneurial ventures. Our economy relies heavily on many small but healthy employers, and the silver lining of our current recession is that it often forces the formation of new enterprises, many of which are technology-based.

Q: You said that air service is a critical component to economic development. Are there a handful of markets that aren’t already served from Redmond that you believe would really help your mission?

A: Air service plays a more important role in our economy’s success, again because of our relative isolation. Without a major port or interstate, and the fact that we are a two to 10 hour drive to some other major metropolitan areas on the West Coast, air travel is our physical link to the rest of the world.

Our commercial service to West Coast hubs is good today, but we will need more east-bound flights. Future targets could include direct daily service to Minneapolis and year-round daily service to Denver. EDCO has also been working with the Redmond Airport, COVA, and the airlines to retain and improve our current service with larger and faster aircraft.

Zack Hall can be reached at 541-617-7868 or at

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

Thanks to language inserted into the 2009 stimulus bill, $232,750 will be steered toward EDCO to create a staff position tasked with coordinating the region’s venture capital activities. The position will likely be added later this year, Lee said.

Huh? This sounds suspicious.

The $870 BILLION stimulus bill accounts for some nobody in the middle of nowhere to get a huge chunk of change for some bullshit job?

Someone is feathering their nest.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

Since 1999, EDCO has helped bring 3,150 new jobs and 112 new companies to the area, and $163.7 million in capital investment since 2003, according to EDCO.

I think this can be treated like the "$899 BAZILLION" contribution that travel has on the Cent OR economy, so often touted by Alana Audette:


IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

Many top selling points in the tri-county region are also available statewide: low electric power costs, low worker compensation rates, a general tax climate that is friendly to business, and meaningful incentives. Unique local selling points include: work force availability, lack of transportation congestion, fast-track permitting for facility construction and local or regional incentives like enterprise zones that can make the region more financially attractive.

Woof. Mixing truth with lies... nice. We do have a VERY LOW-PAID & AVAILABLE WORKFORCE. That is true.

fast-track permitting for facility construction...

Uh huh. That's cuz there are about 3 building permits per month are filed.

Yup. Bend has all the appeal of a trailer park.

Unemployment galore for your exploitation pleasure.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

Hey Lee, do you tell companies they can get tacos & meth at the local drive thru's?

Drug agents raid Bend taco shop, arrest twin owners

Guns, pickup trucks also seized; Rigoberto's 'major source' of meth, drug agent says

By Barney Lerten, KTVZ.COM

Twin brothers who own Rigoberto's Taco Shop on Bend's Westside have been arrested on numerous drug charges as their restaurant and homes were raided following months of undercover detective work, the Central Oregon Drug Enforcement Team announced Monday.

"During this investigation, it was evident from their actions that Damian and Julian were a major source of methamphetamine at both the street level, as well as the dealer level," Gautney said in a news release.

Yup, Bend is PARADISE!

"We came for the substandard poverty wages, we stayed for the easy drive-thru meth access!

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

The street value on the amount of meth seized, at user amounts, would be more than $22,000, with a dealer value of just over $11,500, the lieutenant said,

There's your standard 100% markup folks.

Meth -- the only way to family wage earnings in Central Oregon!

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

Many top selling points in the tri-county region are also available statewide: low electric power costs, low worker compensation rates...

Good call Lee. Basically you are the reason people go into DRUG DEALING.

"Hey, you know what? You can move here & pay shit wages, and really the only alternative is DRUG DEALING. And Bend being the paradise it is, NO ONE DEALS DRUGS! Except Mexicans. And poor white fuckers. And Bend City Council. And me, and my sister. And the cops.

OK, fine, everyone in Bend deals meth, but that's another great profit center for you & your business!"

Bewert said...

The Bend Urban Renewal Agency will hold a short special meeting on Wednesday, April 1, 2009 at 7:00 p.m. prior to the City Council meeting. The meeting will be held in the Council Chambers at 710 NW Wall Street. The purpose of this meeting is to consider a lease in the Downtown District.

This meeting is open to the public.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

Check the Bulletin classifieds folks, for your chance to turn a local restaurant into a drug-dealing haven!


I just made that up. You can use that. No licensing fees. Seriously.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

The Bend Urban Renewal Agency will hold a short special meeting...

"Short" cuz they won't take questions.

"Special" cuz they'll break Executive Session Laws to do it.

Welcome to Bend!

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

And I should say I think Lee is personally a nice guy. I've met himk, he seems a decent dude.

But he symbolizes a lot of what is wrong with Cent OR: Shameless PR/Promotion that is packed with bravado & lies, whose only aim is to keep his Ponzi Scheme in business another day.

Quarter mill for VENTURE CAPITAL COORDINATOR? Mother fuck, give me a fucking break. That's just shameless wasting of taxpayer resources.

EDCO needs to be shuttered.

Anonymous said...

>>Quarter mill for VENTURE CAPITAL COORDINATOR? Mother fuck, give me a fucking break. That's just shameless wasting of taxpayer resources.

Oh come on. You know they'll pay $50k.

Anonymous said...

Bend Love Meth

300 days of Meth a Year

Best Meth in twenty years

Who could/would have known?

This spring the Meth prices will come back.

Anonymous said...

Earmark sends $232,750 EDCO’s way

Regional nonprofit will direct funds toward staffing to promote venture capital investment, job creation

By Andrew Moore / The Bulletin

Published: March 12, 2009 4:00AM PST

Despite furor over the nearly 9,000 earmarks in the $410 billion spending bill signed Wednesday by President Barack Obama, one of them aims to fuel the creation of more technology startups in Central Oregon by helping to expand venture capital investment in the region.

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., inserted language in the bill that will steer $232,750 to Economic Development for Central Oregon so the nonprofit can create a staff position tasked with coordinating the region’s venture capital activities.

The Bend Venture Catalyst position also will work to coordinate early-stage economic development opportunities in the region’s promising aviation, aerospace and renewable energy sectors, according to Roger Lee, the executive director of EDCO. Those efforts would work in tandem with EDCO’s efforts in those sectors, although EDCO is mostly focused on recruiting and retaining established companies, Lee said.

Lee said the position has been in the works for three years and will provide the region a unique opportunity to foster economic growth, with the ultimate goal of creating jobs. Lee said EDCO hopes to receive the money and begin searching for someone to fill the position within the next three months.

“We’re really excited about this,” Lee said. “There’s this whole continuum of business assistance here in the region and we think it’s very robust, (but) this is one missing component, helping early-stage companies move on to greater success and employment.”

Some Central Oregon startups that have benefited from local investors include PV Powered, a manufacturer of solar power components, and Clear Catheter Systems, a medical device company.

Central Oregon, and Bend in particular, already has a significant entrepreneur community that has benefited from proximity to the technology meccas in Silicon Valley and Seattle, said Tom Towslee, state communications director for Wyden.

“That’s sort of what made this interesting to us,” Towslee said. “You have lots of resources there, and it’s the intellectual resources that exist there in Bend that can create jobs.”

The funding for the position is for a three-year term, after which EDCO would likely be responsible for the position’s funding, Lee said.

Members provide the majority of EDCO’s funds, but it also receives public money from the region’s cities and counties.

Lee said Bend has a thriving entrepreneurial sector as well as many retired or semiretired investors — sometimes called angel investors — willing to seed new companies with capital, as evidenced with the success of the Bend Venture Conference held each October. But the relationship between entrepreneurs and investors is informal and lacks structure, which is one thing the Bend Venture Catalyst position will strive to build.

“This position will formalize that network of experts out there so we can have a real angel network here, versus what we have now, which is a person who knows a person who knows a person,” Lee said. “In addition, this also helps projects that come along that can’t wait until (the Bend Venture Conference).”

The position was proposed by Nori Juba and Dan Hobin, founders of the venture capital firm Bend Capital Partners LLC, who also helped organize the Bend Venture Conference. Juba said Wyden heard about their efforts to bring more venture capital funds to Central Oregon and asked to have lunch with the two in 2005.

“He challenged us to put something down as to how the (government) could help,” Juba said.

The resulting proposal waved in Washington’s legislative winds until it was included in this year’s appropriations bill, which Obama signed Wednesday.

Juba said this is a first-of-its-kind position in Oregon and could go a long way to build the sort of entrepreneurial environment that has proved so successful in Silicon Valley. “You see pockets of success here; it’s emerging, but to get to a more stable place, you need that sort of financial infrastructure of readily available capital from local investors, so (this position) is trying to create that,” Juba said.

Andrew Moore can be reached at 541-617-7820 or at

Anonymous said...

Bend has a thriving entrepreneurial sector as well as many retired or semiretired investors — sometimes called angel investors — willing to seed new companies with capital.


Here in Thailand we have banned this practice as it called 'pederasty'. Older men with money preying on younger men.

Only in ameriKKKa.

THRASHER said...


Quimby said...

>> Quarter mill for VENTURE CAPITAL COORDINATOR? Mother fuck, give me a fucking break. That's just shameless wasting of taxpayer resources.

This bailout/stimulus paradigm has done severe damage to my opinion of my country. Man, am I cynical these days. Hand-outs and back scratches everywhere you look. So much for making an honest buck.

Anonymous said...


I don't think that earmarks are the issue to worry about. It's kind of a red herring.

Earmarks are less than 1% of the federal budget. In most cases, they don’t add to federal expenditures. They just let Congress direct a fraction of program funding that would otherwise be allocated by formula or grant competition.

It's just giving congressmen direct control over the process . . . the money is spent anyway. The alternative is through competitive applications.

Quimby said...

Thanks RDC. It doesn't make me feel any better. It's still wasteful spending of taxpayer loot.

Anonymous said...


What's that BENDBB REHO aka BEBB doing on this site??


Did BEBB get so fucking boring that RDC/BENDBB has to cum to BB2??

Anonymous said...

Rigoberto's that was selling METH is across the street from MAN-WIFE bike-shop. Coincidence? Pussy leaving Bend? Man-Wife leaving Bend?

Anonymous said...

>> RDC? What's that BENDBB REHO aka BEBB doing on this site??

Nah, I'm not RDC. I'm much poorer, based at least on how he likes to describe himself.

LavaBear said...

>>>What's that BENDBB REHO aka BEBB doing on this site??

The other day downtown I ran into BendBB. The conversation went like this:

Lava: "Holy FUCK BendBB what happened to your Face??? Errr...I mean...gosh golly there Bendbb are you ok?"

Bendbb: "Oh hey Lava, I'm fine. I just did a bit of work."

Lava: "Ummmm but your nose is missing..."

BendBB: "I never much liked my nose per se so I cut it off. What do you think?"

Lava: "Ummmm well...isn't that a bit drastic? I mean couldn't you of just changed it somehow? And really I never thought your nose was so bad."

BendBB: "I could have but I had a knife in my kitchen and this was all I could really afford. Anyway we'll see ya around."

Lava: under his breath..."And I thought Buster was a nutjob...fuckin'A that guy has lost it."

Anonymous said...

Buster thinks this should be a mandatory training video at the Bend police academy:

Those BART cops in Oakland have the right idea about how to deal with the nigger problem.

LavaBear said...

Here is the NOD chart thru today.

Quimby said...

>> Nah, I'm not RDC. I'm much poorer, based at least on how he likes to describe himself.

Ehhh, I tried! :)

Anonymous said...

You guys ever go to the water-treatment out by the airport?

The city of Bend has this little 'dirty-harry' SWAT city setup, its pretty east to go in there any time during the week and play Urban Commando.

The got an entire village, and a tower. If you go walk the 'ponds' counter-clockwise you can see the SWAT-CITY from the ponds, but not from the dead-end road where you park.

Regarding it Oakland, its the cops that needs training, not the citizens.

Anonymous said...

Hand-outs and back scratches everywhere you look. So much for making an honest buck.


Yea, but its going to trickle down, besides $1/4M$ in Bend what it buy?? Barely let you live like Sawyer or Bend1031.

These guys are going to hook 'older investors' up with 'young entrepreneurs'. I think that you can say that to be paid in Bend to be a pimp 100% legal is a good life during a depression.

I wonder if somebody we know & love like Costa or equiv get the job, you know its going to be a lucky connected golden.

EDCO, now there's anther COVA equiv black-hole sink for $$$$, hell this is Bend spend PR&MARKETING.

The sad thing is these 'old rich' guys aren't so rich, and when was the last time an 'entrepreneur' in Bend did anything with EDCO holding their dick??

Nope, this is 100% PURE ponzi, anybody that even gets close to these birds has a 100% chance of losing their money. So in the end their going to have to use LOTTO dollars to seed the VC gig, mark my words.

Last time they did this shit during the last recession Craig Berkman running the fund, and ORYGUN PUG chairman used the money to start a breast pump biz. I think Berkman lives in another state these days.

Run the country into the toilet by doing stupid shit, and then let the same people 'fix' the economy by doing stupid shit, who would have guessed?

The good news is we're not even the first inning of this depression, and thus in 2-4 years all this 'easy-money' will be Bend Gone, for now the pigs at the trough had better enjoy. They'll look back at 2009 as the best of days.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

Banks lead Oregon stocks' problems
by Jeff Manning, The Oregonian
Tuesday March 31, 2009, 9:52 PM

Oregon stocks had a generally dismal first quarter reflecting the weak economy and the ongoing struggles of the financial sector.

Banks made up five of the eleven poorest-performing Oregon stocks in the first quarter. Worst among them was Cascade Bancorp, which plummeted 73.6 percent in three months ending March 30. The Bend-based institution, parent of Bank of the Cascades, has been hard hit by the residential real estate meltdown in central Oregon and the Boise area.

Anonymous said...

Best time to invest in Orygun banks in 20 years.

CACB #1 Bank in Orygun, who would have known??

Bewert said...

Back in town. Even though I'm a relative newbie, I do remember stuff:

Re: EDCO earmark

"The position was proposed by Nori Juba and Dan Hobin, founders of the venture capital firm Bend Capital Partners LLC, who also helped organize the Bend Venture Conference. Juba said Wyden heard about their efforts to bring more venture capital funds to Central Oregon and asked to have lunch with the two in 2005.

“He challenged us to put something down as to how the (government) could help,” Juba said.

The resulting proposal waved in Washington’s legislative winds until it was included in this year’s appropriations bill, which Obama signed Wednesday.

Juba said this is a first-of-its-kind position in Oregon and could go a long way to build the sort of entrepreneurial environment that has proved so successful in Silicon Valley. “You see pockets of success here; it’s emerging, but to get to a more stable place, you need that sort of financial infrastructure of readily available capital from local investors, so (this position) is trying to create that,” Juba said."

From 8/19/06 BULL 'New Group May Boost Businesses':

"U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., and a group of investors and business leaders, armed with a $200,000 grant, are launching a new venture to try to fix that.

Bend Venture Catalyst is a microscopically small project by federal standards, but one that Wyden said could spread quickly across the state and nation if it works in Bend. The three-year pilot project would be the first in the nation...The project will be run by Economic Development for Central Oregon, a nonprofit organization that promotes economic growth in the region, and guided by an advisory board that includes representatives from the Oregon State University-Cascades Campus; Central Oregon Community College; Opportunity Knocks, a business mentoring organization; Bend Capital Partners; and EDCO.

Some of the federal money will be used to hire a full-time director to coordinate the details, EDCO Executive Director Roger Lee said."


Wonder whatever happened to this project?

Of course these efforts will help if they truly bring investment money into CO. But, as I noted in an earlier post, the local Venture Conference has awarded its funding to companies outside CO the last two years.

Bewert said...

Re: NOD chart

Thanks, LB. That there is what you call a hockey stick.

Anonymous said...

Gottschalks agrees to liquidation
Bend store, open for less than six months, could be gone as early as July

For Bend resident Delores Pliska, Tuesday’s news from a Delaware bankruptcy court that struggling department store chain Gottschalks is set to liquidate is “sad.”

“I really liked the store,” said Pliska in the Bend store’s parking lot Tuesday. “It was a great addition to Bend shopping — lots of nice ladies clothing that’s not too pricey.”

Fresno, Calif.-based Gottschalks announced Tuesday it has agreed to a proposed liquidation, based on the winning bid submitted at the company’s bankruptcy auction Monday in Wilmington, Del.

Four companies specializing in liquidation formed a joint venture and submitted the winning bid.

The companies involved in the joint venture — SB Capital Group of New York, Tiger Capital Group of Boston, Great American Group of Los Angeles and Hudson Capital Partners of Massachusetts — also conducted liquidation sales for Mervyns and Circuit City, according to a wire service report.

The bid is subject to judicial approval, which is expected today. If approved, liquidation could begin as early as Thursday and end by July 15, according to news reports.

“I’m heartbroken for everybody,” said Yvonne Parker, Gottschalks’ Bend manager. “It’s just a very sad thing, for the employees and the communities we’re all in. We just didn’t have the length of time in this community — it just didn’t work out.”

Parker wouldn’t say how many employees would be affected by the store’s closure, but previous Bulletin reports listed roughly 75 employees.

Gottschalks opened the 58,000-square-foot store in Bend in late October. The company touted it as a prototype for the chain’s future, with a smaller footprint but a greater emphasis on brand-name clothing for mature women and young men.

Gottschalks filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection Jan. 14 in Delaware. The chain, founded in 1904, employs roughly 5,000 people at 58 department stores and three specialty stores in Oregon, California, Washington, Nevada, Alaska and Idaho. Its other Oregon locations are Albany, Eugene, Grants Pass and Klamath Falls.

Gottschalks held out hope a buyer would emerge for the chain before Monday’s auction. But despite strong interest from a Chinese firm, Shandong Commercial Group, that expressed interest in purchasing the company at auction to keep it in business, the winning bid went to one of two liquidators.

“Despite all our efforts at earnest negotiations, we were unable to reach an agreement with our creditors, lenders and bidders to structure a going-concern bid by the court-imposed deadline,” Gottschalks chairman and CEO Jim Famalette said in a press release Tuesday announcing the winning bid. “Regrettably, liquidation is now the only path for our company.”

Despite some reports that the company might keep a few of its better-performing stores in operation, the proposed joint venture “would be appointed by the company to conduct the sale of merchandise located at the company’s retail stores and distribution center and to dispose of certain of the company’s furnishings, trade fixtures and equipment,” according to the press release.

According to the Fresno Bee, the bankruptcy court today will schedule a separate auction for the company’s real estate holdings. Gottschalks owns the Bend store but leases the land it sits on from Equity Growth Management, a Bend development company that built and owns the Pioneer Crossing mall where Gottschalks is located.

“We’ll watch the situation going forward to see if any other retailers are stepping forward in the short term, but we’re disappointed in the outcome and look forward to working with a new owner of the building for replacing Gottschalks with another tenant,” said John Keba, principal of Equity Growth Management.

Gottschalks’ departure will leave a large retail hole in Bend’s south end. Unlike Bend’s north end, south Bend has few big-box retailers, save for Wal-Mart and Fred Meyer.

Pliska, a south-Bend resident, said she liked Gottschalks because it was close to her home.

Darren Powderly, a broker with Compass Commercial Real Estate Services, said a new tenant will likely be found that will be able to move into a “beautiful building in a new, well-designed center” at a competitive lease rate. Powderly said several retailers have expressed interest in the site.

“Somebody will backfill that space,” Powderly said.

Another retailer with a Bend location that liquidated recently was Linens ’n Things, which was located in The Forum Shopping Center on Bend’s east side. The company began liquidating in October following its bankruptcy filing. The 31,000-square-foot location remains vacant.


The record for open and close.

Anonymous said...

Embattled broker settles lawsuit and must pay $43,000

A Bend real estate broker whose businesses are the center of an FBI investigation appeared in court Tuesday to settle a lawsuit against two of her companies.

Starboard LLC and Megan Marie LLC, two companies owned by Tami Sawyer, agreed Tuesday to a judgment of $43,000 to be paid to Redstone Development LLC.

In March 2007, Redstone Development filed a lawsuit against Starboard and Megan Marie alleging it was owed $46,811.13 plus interest for work that Sawyer’s companies never paid for. Tami Sawyer is married to Kevin Sawyer, a recently retired Bend police captain who was previously placed on leave because of the FBI investigation. The FBI will not comment on its ongoing investigation into the Sawyers’ companies.

According to court documents, in 2006 Redstone Development was in the midst of developing 19 single-family lots in Heritage Ranch, a development in Redmond. Starboard owned a property adjacent to Heritage Ranch on Quince Road. The complaint alleges Starboard agreed to pay Redstone Development to install sewer and water main connections to its property but failed to pay that money.

After the work was performed, Starboard transferred the property to Megan Marie, another Sawyer-owned company.

In court Tuesday, Chris Hatfield, representing the two Sawyer companies, told Judge A. Michael Adler the companies agreed to the settlemeent.

“Starboard and Megan Marie admit to a claim of $20,925.69, and the remainder that was claimed they continue to deny liability” but agree to the settlement in an effort to bring the case to a close.

According to Redstone Development’s lawyer, John Berman, the total owed including interest was about $62,000.

“Hopefully, they’ll sell the property and (my clients) will get paid,” Berman said, noting the $43,000 settlement was a compromise. “We’ll be happy to get that much considering their situation.”

Starboard has three other civil suits open against it in Deschutes County Circuit Court.

Last week, Sawyer signed a confession of judgment on behalf of Starboard conceding the company owes a Bend couple more than $808,000.

Two other suits against Starboard, filed by Parris Menoni and Michael and Ondi Hibbs, allege the company owes them money it borrowed.

Anonymous said...

Olive Garden files for Bend building permit

The Olive Garden restaurant submitted plans with the city of Bend on March 16 to build a 7,441-square-foot restaurant just off U.S. Highway 97 at the north end of the city, according to Amy Barry, associate planner. The plans were incomplete, but Barry expects Olive Garden to submit a complete package within days. Olive Garden also filed for a building permit the same day, she said.

The restaurant chain, which is owned by Orlando-based Darden Restaurants Inc., plans to open approximately 70 new restaurants this year, according to its most recent earnings report, released March 17. “At this point, Olive Garden does not have a contract to put an Olive Garden in the Bend community,” said Mara Frazier, a company spokeswoman. Frazier declined further comment.

The restaurant would be located southeast of the Staples store, on the west side of U.S. Highway 97, according to plans filed with the city.

Quimby said...

>> Olive Garden files for Bend building permit

I overheard my wife watching local TV last night. The noise box said that Olive Garden has a "training kitchen" for their chefs in Italy. Oh man, I can't wait to go visit that next time I'm over the pond. I'm already salivating over the thought of watching them slicing open bags of pre-made sauce and re-heating......oh, heaven!!!

Anonymous said...

Times are tough? Short on cash? Some Oregonians are opening mobile porn studios......

Neighbors, police had their eye on suspect before Tuesday standoff


Corvallis Gazette-Times

Officials say Lenahan’s van was a mobile porn studio

Mid-valley law enforcement officials had their eye on Nathan M. Lenahan for months before his arrest in Corvallis on Tuesday and had warned his neighbors to watch out for him.

Lenahan — known to residents on Oregon State University’s Greek Row as “creepy van man” — came to the attention of Albany police in September, when they received a flurry of calls about a male who was attempting to lure young women into his van for videotaped “interviews.”

When officers inspected Lenahan’s cream and gray Dodge Ram van last fall, what they found was essentially a rolling porn studio.

“It’s actually set up for videotaping in the van,” said Sgt. Brad Liles, who heads the detective division of the Albany Police Department.

The interior of the oversized passenger van was lined with plywood to screen it from outside light.

“Also in the van it appeared there was a collection of adult toys — handcuffs, duct tape, that sort of thing,” Liles said.

Other items listed in the incident report included pornographic movies, sex toys, ball gags, leg shackles and a Taser.

“If you were in the adult film industry, you might term this as some S&M equipment. In other lines of work, I would be very suspicious of why a guy would drive around with all this stuff,” Liles said. “Unfortunately, it’s eerily similar to an abduction type of scenario,” he said.

The search of the van — which Liles said was performed with Lenahan’s consent — happened on Sept. 7, after a 17-year-old girl called police to report a suspicious incident that happened around 7 p.m. in front of Liberty Elementary School in Albany.

“The girl told the officer that a white van had pulled up next to her and (the driver) pulled out a videocamera and started videotaping her,” Liles said. “She yelled at him and told him to stop.”

At that point, the girl told police, the man asked her to get in the van, but she refused. Another motorist stopped to ask what was going on, and the van left the area.

An Albany patrol officer stopped Lenahan in the Dodge Ram van on Pirtle Drive, a rural road south of town, questioned him about the incident and examined the van. He was not charged with any crime.

“We just told him, ‘We’re keeping an eye on you,’” Liles said.

Three days later, Albany police got a report from a 19-year-old woman who said she had met Lenahan on that same stretch of rural road to audition for a movie part in his van.

According to Liles, the woman said she had responded to an ad on craigslist offering $300 for videotaped interviews to be used in a film spoof. After an initial meeting Sept. 4 at an Albany McDonald’s restaurant, she agreed to be interviewed on camera in Lenahan’s van on Sept. 9.

Rather than ride with him to the Pirtle Drive location, she and a girlfriend followed him in a separate car. Once there, Liles said, the young woman and her friend got into the van, and Lenahan began taping.

“He had numerous scripts for her to read in the van,” Liles said.

At first, the woman told police, the material was innocent, but it became gradually racier until it was overtly sexual in nature. She refused to continue and accused Lenahan of filming pornography.

“He told her it’s art,” Liles said.

Once again, there was no evidence of a crime and Lenahan was not charged, Liles said. But he assigned one of his detectives, Dan Jones, to investigate further.

Jones found a third woman who had been approached by Lenahan, this one in Corvallis.

The woman, who was 18 or 19 at the time, responded to an ad about a possible movie role and met Lenahan at the Fred Meyer store in Corvallis. They talked about a film project, Liles said, “but she got a weird feeling about him” and turned it down.

Jones contacted the Corvallis Police Department to pass on Albany’s concerns about Nathan Lenahan, and the word clearly seems to have gotten around.

On Tuesday, many of Lenahan’s college-age neighbors said they were aware of the “creepy van man,” and members of two sororities told the Gazette-Times that neighborhood Greek houses had been warned by law-enforcement authorities to be wary of him.

“We heard about him fall term,” said OSU sophomore Diana Simpson, who lives in a sorority house a block away from Lenahan’s Northwest 25th Street apartment. “We’ve never seen him, but we’ve seen the van. We try to walk on the other side of the street.”

Junior Brian Bolduc lives a few blocks away, at the Sigma Pi fraternity, but he has friends in the 25th Street sorority houses.

“I know the girls here are kind of concerned about it. Whenever the girls here come over at night, we always walk them home,” he said. “Who knows what goes on in that van?”

Lt. Dave Henslee of the Corvallis Police Department said that officers visited the neighborhood in the fall to find out information about Lenahan, but did not put out a statement or formally warn people about Lenahan.

But Liles said his department issues such warnings whenever it seems appropriate.

“It wouldn’t be uncommon for my unit to go say, ‘Hey, this is a person of interest in your neighborhood — let us know if there’s any suspicious activity,’” Liles said.

“We’ll warn the public about people like this.”

Bennett Hall can be reached at 758-9529 or

Read more:

Police arrest man barricaded in basement

Anonymous said...

Sounds like BendBB has got wheels for his trailer and moved over to Corvallis, no wonder bebb is so quiet these days.

Anonymous said...

Bewert said...

Response From Visit Bend

Bewert said...

Rather interesting juxtaposition...

Anonymous said...

no wonder bebb is so quiet these days

Hey, this site is so quiet I hear the crickets chirping tonight!

Everyone is dutifully reading Brucey's manifesto.

[right after they got done with bangbus of course]

LavaBear said...

>>>[right after they got done with bangbus of course]

How could you get done with bangbus? It goes on forever......

Bewert said...

The sound of apathy. I'm feeling it, too. When our fearless city staff spends $400K one week and a couple of weeks later comes forward with a big rate increase, who cares. If you plan on leaving, anyway.

From last night:

Bend City Council Meeting Highlights

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Work Session

Discussion of proposed amendment to the contract between the City of Bend and Visit Bend for tourism promotion

Doug LaPlaca from Visit Bend discussed proposed amendments to the contract. The proposed modifications to the contract will provide for the transfer of 30% of the actual receipts (less city overhead and repayment to the General Fund for any previous shortfalls), thereby removing an obligation on the City to cover the Visit Bend budget when TRT receipts are below projections.

Council supported modifications to the contract as proposed.

Water/Sewer Operating and Capital Needs and Rate Discussion

The Powerpoint presentation materials have been added to the City’s website. Paul Rheault, Public Works Director, explained critical needs and priorities as well as what is being done and planned to reduce operating costs.

Finance Director, Sonia Andrews, explained funding of the utility system and what is driving the need for rate increases. Higher operating and maintenance costs are anticipated in FY09-11 due to retrofitting meters and other repairs and maintenance needs. Capital needs were identified and explained. The City is pursuing State and Federal grants and loans.

Staff reviewed Bend’s rate history and provided comparison to rates in other communities. A rate study conducted in 2008 recommended an 8.25% increase in water rates and a 14.5% increase in wastewater rates. The study anticipated greater revenue from system development charges than has been realized. Recommended rate increases would result in an average increase per household of $7 to $9 per month. The average household bill for water, sewer, and storm would be $70 to $90 per month. Rate increases will be presented for Council consideration in June.
Regular Meeting

Visitors spoke about Bend Area Transit, Mirror Pond, and the transient population in Bend.

Cheryl Howard gave a report on the activities of the Orchard District Neighborhood Association.

Through proclamation Council declared April as Child Abuse Prevention Month.

Through proclamation Council declared the first week of April as Arbor Week. Bend was recognized for its 10th year as a “Tree City.”

Council unanimously adopted an Ordinance Amending Ordinance No. NS- 2084 Issuing Street Names and House Numbers (Bend Code Section 10-9.1 through 10-9.12)

The ordinance removes Exhibit A from the existing ordinance. Removing Exhibit A will allow staff to make minor addressing adjustments and avoid taking minor changes to the City Council. Ordinances become effective 30 days after adoption.

Council unanimously adopted an Ordinance Amending the Bend Urban Area Zoning Map and General Plan Map by Changing the Zoning and Plan Designation of Two Parcels of Land Totaling 4.9 Acres Located at the Northeast Corner of U.S. Hwy 20 and Dalton Street from Residential Urban Standard Density (RS) to Residential Urban High Density

In February 2005, the City Council passed a Resolution of Intent to change the General Plan designation and the Zoning Map designation of 4.9 acres of land located at the northeast corner of Highway 20 and Dalton Street from Residential Standard Density (RS) to Residential High Density (RH). The conditions, stipulations, and limitations contained in the Resolution of Intent have been fulfilled. Therefore, the Resolution of Intent is binding, and the ordinance will enact the new General Plan and Zoning Map designations in accordance with the agreement with the owners of this property. Ordinances become effective 30 days after adoption.

Council adopted an Ordinance amending Bend Code Chapter 6, Section 6.345 establishing the penalty for violations related to roller-skating, skateboarding or using sleds or similar devices. Councilor Clinton voted in opposition to the ordinance.
Bend Code Chapter 6 has contained Section 6.345 for many years and in 1988 was amended to include a prohibition against skateboarding in the Downtown District. When the code was amended, the penalty section was not included. This amendment is intended to correct that omission. Ordinances become effective 30 days after adoption. One citizen spoke in opposition to this ordinance. The ordinance will come back to Council at a future date with language clarifying the intent.

A public hearing was held on an Ordinance Amending the City of Bend Development Code (Ordinance No. NS-2016) by removing the Text “Church Park 2.4 ac” and Park Shading from Figures Contained in Section 2.7.300 of the Bend Development Code – Applicant: Westside Church

The applicant has proposed amendments to the text of Section 2.7.300 Northwest Crossing Overlay Zone of the BDC. The amendment will clarify that the maps were illustrative only and placed no use restrictions on the subject property. The property will be able to be developed with any use permitted within the Residential Standard (RS) zone. On January 27, 2009, the Hearings Officer issued a recommendation that the City Council approve the proposed amendment to the text of the Bend Development Code.

Numerous citizens spoke in support and in opposition to the ordinance. The public hearing was closed. The record will remain open for written comments for seven days. Rebuttal will be allowed until the following Monday. The ordinance will be placed on the Council agenda for April 15th.

Immediately following the City Council meeting, a Bend Urban Renewal Agency meeting was held.

Council approved execution of a lease with McKenzie Shoes and Apparel at 740 NW Wall subject to review by the City Attorney.

Space at 639 Franklin is currently occupied by City staff. Due to staff reductions and relocations, the space will be vacated June 30th and will be marketed.

Space at 61 Oregon will be vacated and marketed.

An RFP (Request for Proposal) will be issued in the next few weeks for contracting for real estate services.

For additional information, please refer to the City Council packet available on the City’s website.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

Deschutes notices of default jump 156% from a year ago

By Andrew Moore / The Bulletin
Published: April 02. 2009 4:00AM PST

The number of pre-foreclosure notices filed in Deschutes County continues to rise, despite a federal housing bailout that is still too new to have any appreciable impact, according to local real estate professionals.

A total of 827 notices of default, a legal document that initiates foreclosure proceedings, were filed in the county in the first three months of the year, an increase of more than 32 percent compared with the last three months of 2008, and a jump of more than 156 percent from the first quarter of 2008.

As the recession continues to take its toll, there are fewer families and individuals able to make their mortgage payments, said Kenny LaPoint, a housing specialist with NeighborImpact, a Redmond-based nonprofit and federally certified housing counseling agency.

And until the job market improves — Deschutes County’s unemployment rate hit 12.6 percent in February — LaPoint believes the federally announced loan modification and loan refinancing programs aimed at lowering mortgage payments aren’t going to amount to much.

“Until our job market changes, it doesn’t matter what stimulus plans come out because if there’s no (household income), it doesn’t matter what your mortgage payment is,” LaPoint said.

A notice of foreclosure typically is filed when a homeowner falls three months behind on his or her mortgage. It enables a bank to put the home up for auction at a later date. If it’s not purchased at auction, the bank typically forecloses on the property and takes possession.

A notice of foreclosure doesn’t necessarily mean a home will be foreclosed upon.

The mortgage can be brought up to date or paid off in its entirety, or the home can be sold.

Deschutes County does not track actual foreclosures.

For February, Deschutes County had the highest number of housing units with foreclosure filings in the state, or 1 for every 167 housing units, according to the latest data available from RealtyTrac, an Irvine, Calif., company that lists foreclosed properties for sale.

Jackson County, home to Medford and Ashland, had the second-highest ratio in the state, or 1 for every 282 units.

Nationally, Oregon in February ranked ninth in the country for properties with foreclosure filings, according to RealtyTrac.

“We’ve been pretty busy,” said Paul Helikson, the president of Tri County Legal Process Service Inc., a Bend company that serves notices of default and other legal documents. “It’s definitely the most of I’ve seen in 20 years of doing this, and they are in every part of the community, from the poorest to the richest.”

Government efforts

So, has the housing bailout President Barack Obama announced in March had any impact? It’s too soon to tell, said Lana Strom, a mortgage banker with the Evergreen Ohana Group, in Bend, and the president-elect of the Oregon Association of Mortgage Professionals.

“I don’t think we’re seeing huge impact yet,” Strom said. “I think lenders are interpreting how it works, (but) these things take time to put into place.”

The president’s plan has two prongs and was estimated by the administration to help 7 million to 9 million Americans keep their homes.

The first prong is a loan modification program that could help eligible borrowers lower their mortgage payment to 31 percent of their income if they face significant hardship, such as the loss of a job or sudden medical bills.

The second prong is a loan refinancing program geared to help those borrowers who are current on their loans but who owe more on their mortgage than what their home is worth. These “underwater” borrowers generally have been unable to refinance and take advantage of historically low interest rates because they no longer have equity in their homes. That requires them to pay mortgage insurance if they want to refinance, likely leading to a higher mortgage payment than what they had before.

For both aspects of the housing bailout, eligible homes must be a borrower’s primary residence. That’s exacerbating the foreclosure problem in Deschutes County, with its large number of vacation homes, second homes and homes purchased for investment purposes, LaPoint said.


LaPoint works primarily to help borrowers renegotiate their mortgages with their lenders. His position is funded by a federal grant from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

However, LaPoint said banks are becoming more responsive to borrowers in trouble, not necessarily in response to the government’s housing bailout but out of concern that their balance sheets are becoming too burdened by real estate assets.

“With a free-market economy, it’s really hard for the government to tell (banks) what to do,” LaPoint said. “If they accept bailout money, they are supposed to do stuff, and some places are cooperating, (but) I had 45 messages on my machine this morning from when I left last night” from people seeking housing counseling. “I don’t see how I am going to get to everybody.”

More homes being foreclosed on means more homes will be dumped on the market, driving down home prices as inventory increases.

The median price for a single-family home in Bend in February was $215,000, down 45.7 percent from the peak median price in May 2007, according to the monthly Bratton Report, a locally produced analysis of real estate sales data by the Bend-based Bratton Appraisal Group.

For homebuyers who are in the market, it’s a significant opportunity, said Barbara Myers, the president of the Central Oregon Association of Realtors.

The president’s housing bailout does include an $8,000 tax credit for first-time homebuyers, and Myers said she’s hearing from member agents that there are buyers taking advantage of it and historically low interest rates and home prices.

Freddie Mac’s weekly mortgage rate survey, released every Thursday, listed the average 30-year fixed rate mortgage at 4.85 percent as of March 26.

“At certain price points, it looks like we’ve hit bottom,” Myers said. “I’ve not ever seen them this low in a long time.”

Andrew Moore can be reached at 541-617-7820 or at

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

As the recession continues to take its toll, there are fewer families and individuals able to make their mortgage payments, said Kenny LaPoint, a housing specialist with NeighborImpact, a Redmond-based nonprofit and federally certified housing counseling agency.

And until the job market improves — Deschutes County’s unemployment rate hit 12.6 percent in February — LaPoint believes the federally announced loan modification and loan refinancing programs aimed at lowering mortgage payments aren’t going to amount to much.

“Until our job market changes, it doesn’t matter what stimulus plans come out because if there’s no (household income), it doesn’t matter what your mortgage payment is,” LaPoint said.

I like this guy.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

“At certain price points, it looks like we’ve hit bottom,” Myers said. “I’ve not ever seen them this low in a long time.”

The words of someone who moved to Bend after 2004.

Anonymous said...

"The number of pre-foreclosure notices filed in Deschutes County continues to rise, despite a federal housing bailout that is still too new to have any appreciable impact..."


You'd expect a program that's "too new" to have an effect to have an effect?

Come on, Mr. Moore. You're killing me.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

The median price for a single-family home in Bend in February was $215,000, down 45.7 percent from the peak median price in May 2007, according to the monthly Bratton Report, a locally produced analysis of real estate sales data by the Bend-based Bratton Appraisal Group.

For homebuyers who are in the market, it’s a significant opportunity, said Barbara Myers, the president of the Central Oregon Association of Realtors.

Note the last paragraph is 100% PARAPHRASED. These are COSTA'S WORDS.

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...


Awesome. Is that you Tim?

IHateToBurstYourBubble said...

For both aspects of the housing bailout, eligible homes must be a borrower’s primary residence. That’s exacerbating the foreclosure problem in Deschutes County, with its large number of vacation homes, second homes and homes purchased for investment purposes, LaPoint said.

A HUGE reason we are screwed. Incredible that The Bully printed this.

Anonymous said...

March 09 stats:
SFR's 85 sold $221k median

March 08
93 sold @ $293k median

1185 active listings.

Not the bottom yet.

Anonymous said...

Haha. Yeah, "despite" complaint was mine. I'm on a different computer not logged in.

Causation is not well-understood in Bend. As a result we get all these weird, hard-to-parse sentences with no strong idea underneath.

Anonymous said...

“Until our job market changes, it doesn’t matter what stimulus plans come out because if there’s no (household income), it doesn’t matter what your mortgage payment is,” LaPoint said.

I like this guy.


What have I said here since day one on Bend RE prices? I said 4X is what to look for, where X is yearly household income, right now around $40k. In theory, closer to zero when you think that 25% are out of a job, and 1/2 of Bend is second home of people who MUST sell.

So what we have today in term's of 'X' where 'X' is income? Real people close to $40k, stat's say $60k for house-hold, but what the hell is that? Two parents, both working with kids? Most households I know are 'retirees' with about $40k income or less.

So what the FUCK is Bend income today? With un-employment, and ... all the other variables?? Probably $30k +- $10k, so $120k would be an affordable zone for the standard shit-hold STD, ...

That said a premium for sweat shit around Drake Park around $180k, but I'll buy for $200k, cuz I don't care about nickels and dimes.

Bewert said...

LB, can you punch out a NOD line chart of 2005 on? For a closer look.

Bewert said...

Chomskey: "It should be remembered that Germany went to the depths of barbarism in 10 years"

Video interview:

LavaBear said...

>>>LB, can you punch out a NOD line chart of 2005 on? For a closer look.

Here it is.

Bewert said...

Press Release of Senator Wyden

Wyden to hold Town Hall Meeting in Deschutes County

County residents invited to meeting on April 6 in Bend

Monday, March 30, 2009

Portland, OR – U.S. Senator Ron Wyden will host a town hall meeting in Bend on Monday, April 6, 2009. Residents of Deschutes County are invited to attend the open forums to ask questions and voice their concerns. Senator Wyden has been holding town halls in each Oregon county every year since 1996. The event in Bend is town hall number 509.

Deschutes County Town Hall Meeting

Date: Monday, April 6, 2009
Time: 12:30 p.m.
Location: Bend Elks Club
63120 Boyd Acres Rd. (Off of Empire Blvd)

Anonymous said...


Without Rigoberto's next door how will man-wife get her tacos?

Anonymous said...

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PopGoesBend said...

PMI just released their new report of Economic Real Estate Trends and they rate Bend as having a 98.6% chance of houses being cheaper in two years, up from the 78.2% chance they said last year at this time. The Bend data is in the appendix PDF.



Anonymous said...

Rigoberto's still looks open. Surprisingly.

Bewert said...

Re: BP,

Without Rigoberto's next door how will man-wife get her tacos?


From Longboard Louie's, as usual.

We've never been in Rigo's. Closest we've come was when a black lab pup owned by one of its employees dug its way out of the garage it was left in at the house across the street from Rigo's. He had left the lab with a bag of food and a bucket of water. Dog wandered across street looking for owner and ended up rescued by pedestrian and taken to bike shop.

Lab had eaten all food before tunneling out, and ended up spending the night on our floor, making a giant mess. It looked like some starving African. Lab was feeling so horrible even our 16-yr old cranky Jack was licking it in sympathy.

Sometimes T's just too nice.

Especially when she gave the guy his dog back.

That place was flaky.

Bewert said...

Comment posted today on JRInfo, re: Summit 1031:

"This is my first post here and also having lost significantly in the mess, I agree that it is the economy. If you're getting a return on your money that is being held in a 1031 exchange, which Summit paid, you also had risk. Just like with your bank if you're over this year's $250K FDIC limit which most exchangers were. Summit was actually a lot more conservative than how your own bank uses your money, but as we've seen the best intentions don't always work. 1031's drying up is much like a run on a bank and few banks could survive that on accounts exceeding the FDIC limit. I know these guys. They have helped this community and so many people personally so much. Their hearts were not to hurt but to help others. But like most investments and businesses right now, it didn't work out as expected. Sign me as a former multimillionaire now on food stamps that would do business with them again in a heart beat."


Don't really know what to say...

Bewert said...



I am still waiting for any top level folks to bring up all the CDS derivative bets rather than the sub-prime bundled mortgage strawman.

Doesn't look like it's happening.

Greatest transfer of wealth in history. And we are still transferring it, except now we are sending our grandkids wealth away.

Which fucking sucks.

Anonymous said...

>>Don't really know what to say...

Someone doesn't want to admit that he handed over his money to cheats. He's rather think they were all victims of circumstance.

Anonymous said...

>>PMI just released their new report of Economic Real Estate Trends and they rate Bend as having a 98.6% chance of houses being cheaper in two years, up from the 78.2% chance they said last year at this time. The Bend data is in the appendix PDF.

Why not report this as a 1.4% chance that prices will be higher? Why the constant need to be so negative?

PopGoesBend said...

>Why not report this as a 1.4% chance that prices will be higher? Why the constant need to be so negative?

Technically it would be a 1.4% chance that prices would be the same or higher.

Anonymous said...

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General Anesthesia On Request
Sigmoid Colon/ Rectosigmoid Vaginoplasty/ Rectosigmoid Colon Local Anesthesia
General Anesthesia On Request


So if we cut off my dick, and call my colon a pussy, would BB2 make me feel like home??

Anonymous said...

Bend as having a 98.6% chance of houses being cheaper


That would be the trend, that probability essentially says if you flip a coin, damn near 100% you'll get heads "Bend goes Down",..

Sure you could also say 0% chance Bend will go up, but that would be a a confusing stat.

Too me its best to imply the biggest stat, .e.g. the most likely probability and indicate the outcome.

The real issue here is there anyone who things other wise?? That there is NOT a 100% certainty that Bend RE will go down in the future??

We already know that Bend is still 25-50% over-priced.

Last good numbers were that Bend was 4-6X above median historic income. In a town with 25% 'real' unemployment what's left to say? In a town of second homes, where second homes are NO LONGER seen as an investment, what needs to be said??

Anonymous said...

Don't really know what to say...


I agree BP this looks like Bait, like some fucking lawyer is trolling here in BEND-OVER.

Then there is this total fucking bait of 'Conservative', the ONLY thing conservative about Bend-1031 is the ton of money they paid to the RNC to deregulate and KEEP 1031 deregulated, so they could park commingled 1031 money in private pork barrels.

I could use many words to describe 1031 and 'conservative' would not be one of them, and what year does our TROLL here suggest he lost his Bend1031 money?? Hell by 2005, if you simply googled '1031 fraud' you would have gotten 1,000's of hits, 1031 & Fraud go to together like BEND & RE and REHO's&AID's.

Anybody that gave their money to a 1031 during the boom was play a tax fraud and/or tax-shelter, and will get little to no sympathy more interesting in BEND was that all the REHO's were 'feeders' for 1031, and that nobody bothered to do their own research .e.g. Google "1031 fraud".

Lastly, there is the jeebus freak christian angle to 'conservative' 1031 that makes it even more spiritual, well to a psychopath, or I should say sociopath.

Anonymous said...

CASH FOR KEYS . . . that's going to be the big thing. Never been a better time to do R.E.O. Nordine's system is the one to watch. Coming to a neighborhood near you . . . this guy made $500,000 a year in the 1980s, lost it all by 1990, then became a foreclosure specialist. Now cleaning up like you wouldn't believe.

Cash for Keys

L. A.’s go-to guy on foreclosures.

by Tad Friend
April 6, 2009

ABSTRACT: LETTER FROM CALIFORNIA about Leo Nordine, who sells foreclosed houses in Los Angeles.

In 2006, Leo Nordine sold seventy-five houses for the banks; in 2008, he sold two hundred and eighty-two. This year he expects to sell a house a day.

Nordine, forty-six, is one of Los Angeles’s leading R.E.O. brokers (bank-derived shorthand for “other real estate owned”). He has a knack for pricing houses aggressively, so they sell fast.

There is almost always a complication: the second house on a property that somehow vanished; the duplex where a neighbor donned a black mask to frighten off buyers; the doctor in Burbank who brandished a knife at one of Nordine’s field representatives. Describes Nordine negotiating with the tenants of a foreclosed house in South Gate.

Since 2005, new foreclosures have more than tripled, to 2.2 million in 2008. This year, the figure could go higher. The collapse has come as a particular shock in the Golden State, where flipping houses was a sport and a pastime.

Eight of the nation’s top fifteen subprime lenders were based in Southern California. The correction has been severe. Sixty per cent of the homes sold in California in January had been foreclosed in the previous twelve months. Writer visits Nordine at his home in Hermosa Beach, where he lives with his wife, Molly, and his son, Nate.

The R.E.O. broker’s first task with a new listing is to determine whether the owner, or a tenant, is still living at the property, and, if so, offering him “cash for keys,” known as C.F.K., to vacate fast. Nordine typically presents the borrower’s options candidly.

In one case overheard by the writer, Nordine told the borrower he could either wait to be evicted, which can take four to six months, or accept the bank’s offer of up to four thousand dollars and leave the house in thirty days.

Even when he’s selling a “dog” of a house, Nordine finds some feature to highlight in his listing. Yet certain properties defy his descriptive powers. Writer goes out to dinner with Nordine and his family. Tells about Nordine’s childhood, his first marriage, and his early days as an R.E.O. broker.

Describes a number of uncooperative tenants and owners Nordine and his associates have dealt with, including a man who attempted to avoid foreclosure by calling himself Leo Nordine and moving from unit to unit within a property.

FULL ARTICLE - Regristration required

Bewert said...

Rush on anal poisoning:

Anonymous said...

Injunction filed against Bend 1031 exchange

PORTLAND — A preliminary injunction was filed Thursday in U.S. Bankruptcy Court against the four principal officers of Summit 1031 Exchange, a Bend company that filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in December after revealing it didn’t have enough cash to complete its clients’ real estate transactions.

The order prevents Mark Neuman, Brian Stevens, Lane Lyons and Timothy Larkin, all of Bend, from exercising control over any property they own or is owned by other entities they control wholly or in part, with exemptions for some personal property, according to the case’s court-appointed bankruptcy trustee, Kevin Padrick.

The injunction also prevents Summit’s creditors from filing separate claims against the principals unless first coordinated with Padrick.

In addition, the order would attach liens in favor of the bankruptcy trustee against those properties not exempted. According to the proposed liquidation plan for Summit, such properties would be placed in a trust for liquidation to repay creditors.

The exact language of the order had been a stumbling block between the parties involved.

Summit Accommodators Inc., doing business as Summit 1031 Exchange, specialized in 1031 exchanges, which refer to the section of the federal tax code that allows property owners to defer capital gains taxes when selling a piece of property as long as a new property with equal or greater value is purchased within 180 days of the sale.

Summit, as a 1031 company, also called a qualified intermediary, was responsible for holding the sale’s proceeds and using the money to arrange the purchase of the new property because the Internal Revenue Service forbids the property owner from touching the sale proceeds.

Qualified intermediaries generally deposit the proceeds in bank accounts or other liquid assets that can easily be converted into cash when clients request the money be applied to the new property. There are no regulations regarding how the money is to be held.

According to the proposed Modified Disclosure Statement for the Modified Joint Plan of Liquidation of Summit Accommodators dated March 31, Summit funneled money from its clients to Inland Capital Corp. without their clients’ consent or knowledge.

Inland Capital lists Lyons, Neuman and Stevens as officers, according to the Oregon Secretary of State.

Inland then loaned the money to one or more of the principals and other entities for the purchase of investment property, according to the disclosure statement. Money also was loaned to third parties for purchase of investment properties, according to the disclosure statement. Most of the properties were in Central Oregon.

As the real estate market soured, Inland found it difficult to sell its investment properties as well as collect payments from its borrowers, according to the disclosure statement.

Objections to the statement must be filed with the Bankruptcy Court by April 29.

When the company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, it claimed it was short approximately $14.2 million out of a total of $27.8 million due its clients.

According to the filing, the principals are under investigation by several state and federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Justice.

A hearing will be held May 6 in U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Portland to approve the trustee’s liquidation plan.

Attempts to contact Neuman, Stevens and Larkin were unsuccessful. Lyons said he was unable to comment.

Anonymous said...

Central Orygun aka BEND declared DEAD by PDX aka OPB, Does City Hall of Bend?? Know that Bend is Dead??

Trends Signal Slowing Population Growth In Bend


Bend, OR April 3, 2009 8:44 a.m.

For years, Bend has been the fastest growing city in the state -- and one of the fastest-growing in the country.

But in the recession, that development and growth has turned into a high number of foreclosures and job losses.

Now, a series of statistics have begun to trickle out that signal many people are leaving the region to find a better life elsewhere.

From Bend, Ethan Lindsey reports.

On the northwest edge of the city, visitors driving into town are greeted by the standard green-and-white road sign, proclaiming: ‘Welcome to Bend. Population 80,995.’

Just a few months ago, the sign announced a population of 75,000.

The new number comes from Portland State’s Population Research Center.

And the growth means Bend was one of the state’s fastest-growing cities last year.

But, the rate of that growth has slowed dramatically. And perhaps flattened.

Jason Pigot owns American Moving Services, based in Bend. I caught up with him on the road.

Jason Pigot: “I’m outside Laramie Wyoming, it’s intermittent snow. The highway’s been wet, but the highway’s dry where I am now.”

Pigot spends a lot of his time driving.

He started his business in the middle of Bend’s growth, and back then, a large part of his business was just unloading trucks packed by brand-new Oregonians.

Jason Pigot: “I don’t do a lot of unloading these days, to be honest.”

On this trip, his 26-foot-long truck is loaded full of belongings from a million-dollar-house in Bend, whose owner is moving to Denver.

Jason Pigot: “It’s pretty standard. Load, and then drive it, and then unload. People are moving out of state, long distance. I don’t see as many people moving in from California. I think there’s more people moving out than moving in.”

He’s moved people out countless foreclosed homes, he says.

At Bend High School, the hallways remain crowded. But, a little less so than in the past few years.

The front office says the school has about 100 fewer students than this time last year.

The trend holds true at the district level as well.

There are about 250 fewer students in the system today, than one year ago, a drop of more than 1%.

Ron Wilkinson: “For us, it’s a matter that a lot of that construction industry is unemployed or has moved elsewhere. It’s certainly impacted the economy and the entire community.”

Ron Wilkinson is the superintendent of the Bend-La Pine School District.

Ron Wilkinson: “Without any question, Bend is in a situation of flattened growth. And when you’ve been on this pattern of almost straight-up growth on the charts, it feels like a significant decline.”

The economic health of the student population has also changed.

For one thing, about 500 more students are getting free or reduced school lunch – an indication of growing need.

And there’s been a big surge in the number of students taking the bus the school.

Some in the district theorize that may because their parents have been laid off, and aren’t dropping kids off in the morning, on their way to the office.

North of Bend, the Redmond School District feels it as well.

Vicki Fleming: “We have a lot of families that we understand are moving to Texas, and Arizona, and California, just seeking employment.”`

Superintendent Vicki Fleming says a smaller student population will mean less money for the district from the state.

Vicki Fleming: “Really, a flat enrollment means that you are losing money. When you look at year-to-year, your costs increase, and it if you don’t have an increase in revenue as a result of additional kids, what you end up doing is cutting people and programs.”

Out at the Bend "welcome" sign, cars enter and leave town as they always have.

Still, according to the Oregon Department of Transportation, the number of trips into and around town is down from the highs of 2007.

Taken together, the trends in the city lead many to assume the growth is slowing, and the cutbacks are coming.

Anonymous said...

What I love about the OPB article above is that COVA & EDCO march on, spending taxpayer money, ... Bend is all dressed up with nobody to blow.

We have created the best little REHO house in ameriKKKa, then OPB bitch slaps the central-orygun media to tell them that cali's are no longer cummin to Bend.

Who would have guessed.

Note the last comment, 'when will city hall cut back & retrench'??? Seems like Eckman & Co still think that they can Bend PR&MARKET their way out of this total fucking 100% implosion of bend.

Good thing they're not burning real money, or their own money.

Anonymous said...

Taken together, the trends in the city lead many to assume the growth is slowing, and the cutbacks are coming.


yes, OPB, yes, but when? When is somebody going to tell the Bend city-hall/staff that the emperor of BEND aka COVA&EDCO have no clothes??

Note I dont' even mention HOLLERN any more, he don't even interview with the BULL anymore, he only speaks public now through his lawyer, thus HOLLERN is even now persona-non-grata, the real smart people in BEND are now invisible, and keeping their mouth shut, only the fucking PIMPS running COVA&EDCO are now public and WHORING.

WHORISTS today rule Bend.

Anonymous said...

What does one expect of a town of fake boobs, where money is the christian god, then one morning their 'god is dead', the Bend money is gone, 100% gone, ... then the flocks of Bend christians start wondering away in mass, for a new house of worship, ...

Anonymous said...

the rate of that growth has slowed dramatically. And perhaps flattened.

Growth may have slowed . . . indeed, growth may have "flattened" (a technical word).

But there's still "growth"!

I mean, towns never fall in population, right?

Bewert said...

Study shows upwards of 80% of hedge fund employees never actually knew what the word “hedge” meant

Chicago, IL—A recent study conducted by the Gallop Group showed that of 5,000 hedge fund employees surveyed during 2006-2007, 83% of respondents were unable to correctly define the word “hedge.”

“It’s just like, you know, part of the title” said one trader confidently. “Another way of saying ‘badass’ fund or ‘rockstar’ fund.” “My Range Rover is hedge,” he insisted, as if to corroborate. Other responses were equally absurd, ranging from “a Greek word” to “some Jewish dude’s last name.”

When told that hedging involved systematically eliminating risk, most subjects just stared ahead blankly. Others checked the time. Several respondents were able to eventually grasp the concept, but they found it quite novel. “Ohhh…you mean that…” said the portfolio manager of a $500M fund, as if a light bulb had gone off inside his head. He then added: “Yeah, we didn’t do that shit at all.”


Ah, yes--that shit.

Anonymous said...

Didn't any of your network of idiots notice this today?

Bank of the Cascades is peddling half its ass to some guy from Florida for chump change -- I assume it's either that or face the FDIC's Men in Black squad?

Actually I'm not surprised that your band of idiots missed this, but Bend Economy Bulletin Board's cast would once have picked it up. Why has that site grown so freaking lame?

Anonymous said...

Didn't any of your network of idiots notice this today?


Morons, is the correct words, there are no idiots in Bend.

Anonymous said...

If I move to Bend Oregon, do I have to have bigger tits? Do I have to enlarge my penis?

Reading this blog makes me think that being in Bend is very conditional.

I just want to be loved.

Anonymous said...



He's a very generous philanthropist and his money would be better spent on hospitals, schools and charities rather than throwing it down the BOTC rathole.

David F Bolger
435 L Ambiance Dr #J904
Longboat Key, FL 34228

David F. Bolger
Bolger & Co., Inc.
79 Chestnut St., Ste. 202
Ridgewood, NJ 07450

Cascade Bancorp asks shareholder to invest $25M
By Andrew Moore / The Bulletin

Published: April 04. 2009 4:00AM PST

Cascade Bancorp, the publicly traded parent company of the Bank of the Cascades, is seeking a $25 million investment from David Bolger, its largest single shareholder, that could potentially give Bolger ownership of more than 50 percent of the company, according to a filing Thursday with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Bolger, of New Jersey, currently owns 21.33 percent of the company’s common stock, according to the company. Bolger was the lone shareholder of Boise, Idaho-based Farmers & Merchants State Bank, which Cascade Bancorp bought in 2006.

In exchange for his investment, Bolger would be issued new shares in the company, according to the April 2 Schedule 13D amendment filed by Bolger with the SEC. The company had 28,088,110 shares outstanding as of Feb. 28, according to its most recent annual report.

A representative for Bolger said he would be unable to comment for this story.

The new share issuance would dilute the value of existing shares, said Joey Warmenhoven, a community bank analyst for McAdams Wright Ragen Inc. in Portland. Despite the dilutive effect, Warmenhoven views the potential investment as a “very positive thing” for shareholders.

Warmenhoven said the investment could be perceived as a vote of confidence in the company — which is facing “serious financial difficulties,” according to the filing — and could help it attract additional investors in the hopes of recapitalizing the bank enough for it to receive federal bailout money.

“If they get $25 million from him, my guess is they’ll get another $15 to $20 million from other investors and then they can get the (Capital Purchase Program) money from the Treasury,” said Warmenhoven. “If he puts that money in, it really could help the bank make it.”

According to the filing, the proposed investment would be conditioned on an additional public stock offering by the company and the issuance of a “substantial amount” of preferred stock to the Treasury under its Capital Purchase Program.

The company applied for $67 million from the Capital Purchase Program, part of the Treasury’s Troubled Asset Relief Program, in November.

Patricia Moss, the company’s president and CEO, and CEO of the Bank of the Cascades, said the bank initiated the investment proposal with Bolger as one of several different opportunities it is exploring to shore up the bank’s finances.

The company remains “well-capitalized,” according to the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp., but has struggled with nonperforming loans, primarily in real estate development. The company reported a loss of $134.6 million for 2008.

“I think the whole economy is facing serious financial difficulty…,” Moss said. “We had a big loss last year, so it’s indicative of the economic environment we’re in. We’re very pleased that (Bolger) is contemplating this and it’s one of the things we’re certainly looking at. I think this is a very good thing for the bank.”

Moss said shareholder concerns about stock dilution could be remedied by a public stock offering to be held after Bolger’s proposed investment, thereby giving shareholders a chance to buy additional shares to avoid dilution.

Additionally, Moss said Bolger is “a supportive and knowledgeable investor” and that she is not concerned about him owning more than 50 percent of the company’s stock and a controlling stake in the company.

“He’s already our largest shareholder by far, (so) I wouldn’t expect for shareholders to feel a difference between his (current) percentage or any amount greater than that,” Moss said.

Warmenhoven said Bolger was a “pretty passive” investor with Farmers & Merchants State Bank and believes he has a good relationship with Cascade Bancorp’s board of directors.

Bolger is the founder and president of Ridgewood, N.J.-based Bolger & Company Inc., a real estate development firm, according to a bio of Bolger found on the Web site of the Northfield Mount Hermon School in Gill, Mass. In June 2006, Bolger donated securities valued at $10 million to the school, his alma mater.

A Sept. 28, 1987, New York Times article about Bolger, which listed his age then at 55, recounted his successful efforts to recapitalize a Pittsburgh bank, Equibank.

Founded in 1977, Cascade Bancorp operates 33 branches in Oregon and Idaho.

Company shares closed Friday at $2.08, up 25 cents, or 13.66 percent, in Nasdaq trading.

Anonymous said...

Somebody here should do some serious 'googling' on Bolger, we have written about him many times over the years and his relationship with CACB, and his cover for MOSS.

A lot of words for Bolger, but 'philanthropist' is not one of them.

Anonymous said...

No CARP for CACB, but instead private 'blood money', who could have guessed?

Private mob money for CACB, then when the Bend RE house of cards goes cali south, who will be found dead?

Same bat channel, same bat time.

CACB obviously cannot accept CARP that would mean limits on exec pay, can't have that in a mob town.

Anonymous said...

Only Bolger I know of is a strawman.

Bewert said...

Re: Didn't any of your network of idiots notice this today?

Bank of the Cascades is peddling half its ass to some guy from Florida for chump change -- I assume it's either that or face the FDIC's Men in Black squad?


Who's the moron, dumbass. Bolger is the guy who sold the Idaho bank to CACB. Or doesn't your memory go back that far?

Cascade Bancorp acquires Idaho banks

Cascade Bancorp is buying and F&M Holding Co.

Bend-based Cascade (NASDAQ: CACB) will acquire F&M for cash and common shares of Cascade. F&M's banking subsidiary, Farmers & Merchants State Bank, which has 11 branches in Boise, Idaho, and surrounding markets, will continue to operate as Farmers & Merchants State Bank in Idaho.

Cascade will pay $22.5 million in cash and issue 5,325,000 shares of common stock. Based on Cascades' closing price of $23.39 on Dec. 23, the value of the stock consideration is approximately $124.6 million and the transaction value is approximately $147.1 million.

The acquisition is subject to approval of Cascade shareholders and banking regulators and is expected to close early in the second quarter of 2006.

The seller is David F. Bolger, president of Bolger & Co. Inc. of Ridgewood, N.J. Bolger will be named to the position of director emeritus of Cascade. Clarence Jones, Farmers & Merchants State Bank chairman and former CEO, and Thomas M. Wells of F&M's current board of directors will be added to Cascade's board of directors. Michael Mooney will continue as president of the Farmers & Merchants State Bank operation.


Bolger is going to end up owning CACB, waiting for the return of Bend. Could be a long wait.

LavaBear said...

>>>Didn't any of your network of idiots notice this

Since it is now posted then obviously an idiot did find it and post it. So the answer to me is yes, one of the network idiots found it and posted it. Thanks.