Friday, August 29, 2008

A Winchester Thru the Cranium

This is a Winchester repeating rifle.

This is the Winchester County Club:

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What can you say about an ultra high end luxury golf course development in a location best described as a remote suburb of Folsom? I present the Winchester Country Club at 3030 Legends Drive · Meadow Vista, CA.

Why does anyone care? At least three reasons.

One. The high end is not immune. At every economic turn, landowners, developers, buyers all command resources that are are deeper and more deployable. Normally even if they get in trouble at the same time as the lower classes they are still able to conceal their predicament. Concealed until the whole facade collapses.

Two. This disaster raises the spectre of exurban declines leading the way. Now that isn't true but it is getting said so often these days I find it necessary to explain the process yet again. The places built most recently and most unlike a modest suburban tract home are the most exposed to this particular downturn. Thus high rise condos and Las Vegas boomburgs are getting crushed despite having very little in common.

Three. Containment. I'm learning to love this word. It is like as ecret password/test. Use it and you fail.

Craigslist Trolling

1994 CAMARO Z28!!!!!!! 450 HORSE! $5400 obo - $5400 (ventura)

i have a 1994 camaro z28 in perfect condition with 35k miles, its a track car so the engine is rebuilt every 6 monts and the tranny every 8 months. this car is tooo fast! its got a full msd ignition ignition system, msd pro billit distributor, accel 40lb injectors, edlebrock lt4 intake manifold, 58mm FAST throttle body, holley tpi airfoil, Vortech intake elbow, slp cold air intake, bosch platinum ir fusion sparkplugs, granatelli mass airflow sensor, jet stage 3 computer chip, hooker super comitition long tube headers, trudual flowmaster 40 series mufflers, rebuilt tranny with all bbk and hurst parts, 4.10 gears. i have a BRAND NEW $1600 braking kit that i will sell to you for $500 and i also have a nitrus kit that i will sell to you for $200. i need this car GONE cause my house is in forclosure. e-mail me ASAP if interested! u know this car will sell FAST!

Good luck with a no- streetable boyracer there buddy. Not even good for parts anymore.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Craigslist Trolling

'78 450SL BENZ - $11800 (CITY OF OXNARD)



ROSA nnnnnn
CELL 377-xxxx

What do you want to bet Rosa's $11,800 hasmoreto do with her mortgage than the actualvalueof the car. Call this "wishing price contagion."

Craigslist Trolling

$45000 note for sale on 4 bdrm. 2 bath 1419 sq. ft. Decent house (1520 Brookside Av. Oxnard)
I own the second deed of trust on a 1419 sq. foot 4 bedroom 2 bath house at 1520 Brookside in Oxnard, And I'm willing to sell it to the best offer over $45,000.
This was a $75,000 2nd deed of trust recorded on October 30, 2007 and Countrywide owns the 1st.
The remaining principal balance on the 1st is $257,363.55, and it is in foreclosure, but no auction date has been set yet.
To catch up on the debt on the first the current fee is: $13,185.16, and once that is paid the owner of the 2nd can foreclose and move towards assuming title.
This is a decent house and worth it.
Serious inquiries only: tel.: (805) 218-xxxx ~~~Gordon

Do da math numbnutz. A $257k first will be $280k after expenses. Pay $45k for a $75k note makes the "asset" valued at $325k. Let's see zillow on this home already in foreclosure: $346k. We all know the big "z" is way behind the price drops in bubblezones.

Here's a better idea™ Gordo; we investors let it go to the courthouse steps for $240k and save 25%.
Truly amazing how the sheeple miss the market turns. The problem here is that Gordon thought he was shepard.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Democratic Convention Drinking Game (2008 ed.)

Unfortunately the rules of any normal drinking game would kill me so I am forced to live vicariously through these rules.

1. Mention of "change" = sip.
2. Mention of "the middle class" = 2 sips.
3. Mention of "the [endangered/beleagured] middle class" = full swallow.
4. Allusion to any opposition candidate not in the election = chug.
5. Allusion to the past accomplishments of a Democrat not on the ticket = drain glass.
6. Any time a loser, Hillary, Bayh, etc., praises the ticket = consume 2x the amount that of beer that comes out your nose.
7. Pundit mentions unity = sip.
8. Any time a multimillionare berates another multimillionare = pour a snifter of brandy.
9. Any time a participant is referred to by nickname = drain you neighbor's drink.
10. Fist bump = pop a new brew.

What are your suggestions? Please save the far easier targets of the other party until then.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Dead Trees and Dead Trees and Dead Trees

The Bee offered voluntary buyouts to the majority of its full-time employees today and hinted that another round of layoffs is possible as well.

The buyouts represent the latest round of cost cutting at The Bee, which is facing a big slump in advertising revenue. Two months ago the newspaper eliminated 86 jobs as part of an across-the-board layoff ordered by its parent, The McClatchy Co. of Sacramento. McClatchy imposed a companywide wage freeze two weeks ago.

The MSM has been a dead sector walking for a long time. The problem is that the MSM doesn't exactly report honestly on the MSM. But eventually reality asserts all the immutable laws of physics like gravity. The Sacramento Bee has this breaking news:
But Bee executives said today they needed to make more cuts. The economic downturn has deepened and The Bee, like the rest of the newspaper industry, continues to struggle with the migration of business to the Internet and other media.
At The Bee, Melanie Sill, the paper's editor and senior vice president, said buyouts were offered to about 200 of the 240 full-time equivalent staffers in the news and editorial-page departments.
Ad revenue is down more than 22 percent this year at McClatchy's papers in California and Florida, compared to 16.5 percent for the whole company. McClatchy's total revenue, including circulation sales, is down 15 percent.

One ray of hope at The Bee, Dell said, is that the Sacramento area entered the downturn earlier than most markets "and there's a general belief that we'll come out of this earlier."

The parent company is further burdened by slightly more than $2 billion in debt left over from its 2006 takeover of the Knight Ridder Inc. chain.
The Bee terminated 8.1 percent of its approximately 1,000 employees. About half were laid off, and the rest of the cuts came through buyouts and attrition.

Leveraged buyout, outmoded industry, reliance upon real estate revenues and unrealistic real estate asset valuations. And what about that quote above? "One ray of hope at The Bee, Dell said, is that the Sacramento area entered the downturn earlier than most markets..." You can't make this stuff up.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Freddie Mac auction draws plenty of bidders
July 14, 2008 - 5:32pm By STEPHEN BERNARD AP Business Writer
NEW YORK (AP) - Freddie Mac attracted more bidders Monday for a highly anticipated auction of $3 billion in short-term securities than it had nearly all year, a day after the federal government provided support for the mortgage giant.
The bid-to-cover ratio was 3.73, its highest rate since Jan. 14.
Aug 19:

Investors took Freddie Mac's sales of $3 billion five-year reference notes positively as foreign investors still showed up to bid on the auction even amid renewed worries over the viability of the federally chartered Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac. Financial weekly Barron's this week reported that a U.S. government bailout of the two mortgage-finance giants is increasingly likely.

Freddie Mac had to jack up yields to entice investors, however. It sold the notes at 113 basis points over comparable Treasurys, the highest premium it has ever offered for a five-year note. The notes yielded 4.172% at sale.

The appetite for US debt is waning. The last leg of the stool.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Pathos or Self Parody?

As promised.

Man. I watched his video:
Not just drugs, bad drugs. That was honestly hard to endure. It reminded me of nothing more than David Hasselhof begging for more cheezeburger:>
Here's my take:

Wal*mart Requiem

In addition to being downright evil Wal*mart is in fer a whoopin' because its business model broke this year. Cheap transportation and municipal "assistance" for but two legs on their stool are gone, not wobbly, gone. Another leg of their stool, how about cheap goods from China? Oooops. How's that workin' fer ya Ghost of Sam? I can see it in their pricing structure of different goods segments. DVDs cost 4¢-10¢ to manufacture.

Rights/distribution for places like Wal*mart are a buck or two or three maybe. These have room for using price points to draw and they are. Bins in the aisle full of second rate movies $4 and $5 each. But, slide on over to spark plugs or light bulbs and there is no margin left to cut. Those are little items. Last year big mold blown plastic toys (kiddie teahouses or forts) were inexpensive. This year, let's see; Chinese wage inflation, oil product materials input, transportation, handling. All saw monster price inflation. Christmas this year may not be an orange and new sneakers but it sure ain't gonna be like 2002 either.

Two final points on the evil octopuses' tentacles getting chopped off. They bought a whole lotta CRE for themselves and as anchor (them) adjacent investment in the boom years. Those two don't look so hot going forward. Lastly, is the most important but least quantifiable. Their business model generally relies on externalizing costs and internalizing control. For decades they've been clearcutting and strip mining supplier expertise for uncompensated export to "other" unnamed countries with fewer restrictions on things like human rights and pollution controls. American businesses are wising up to this transfer of expertise and its true costs.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Mandatory Olympic Post

Am I the only one that thinks the stadium looks like a bidet wrapped in barbed wire?

It’s time to get another part time job as a Chippendales model to tide me over until next year!

Fortunately John and I have worked together and I have to say...

Seriously, this asshat has been wrong and lying and misleading and arrogant and downright fascist for years and what does he have to asay about the results of that behavior?
No, without comments my blog is an efficient content management system. Or better yet, it’s a better blog, because now it’s a place where someone who takes credit or blame for his work writes something that may or may not be credit-worthy or blame-worthy. Indeed, as we learn from Joel on Software, a blog is very much a blog without comments, at least according to the guy who invented them.

The most disheartening development over the past few weeks, however, has not been the prevention of anonymous drivel, but the seasonal downturn in the number of web site inquiries from real people.

Sacramento real estate is known by people like this.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Roiling Donuts

Shanps called this to my attention:
Fed says foreclosures will sweep exurbs next
Minneapolis / St. Paul Business Journal - by Jennifer Niemela Staff Writer

Woodbury, Plymouth, Apple Valley and Minnetonka — communities usually associated with wealth and prosperity — may become foreclosure trouble spots, according to an analysis by the Federal Reserve Bank of Minneapolis.

The predictions are based on the number of adjustable-rate subprime mortgages that will reset in 2008. When the interest rates reset on those mortgages, also known as ARMs, monthly payments go up. Many of those borrowers, already squeezed by rising gas and food prices, will be more likely to go into foreclosure. Within the nine-county metro area in Minnesota, the Fed has identified more than 30 ZIP codes where the percentage of subprime ARMs that will reset in 2008 is between 34.9 and 50. This means those areas likely will be the next washed over by the foreclosure wave.

Banks and lenders have plenty of financial data about their customers, so they can easily predict when a borrower might get into trouble. However, because of confidentiality and liability issues, they can’t freely share that information with nonprofit organizations that are trying to help borrowers either as financial counselors or as mediators between borrowers and lenders. Nonprofits have struggled to play catch-up with the waves of foreclosures that have already hit some parts of the metro area and Greater Minnesota.

“Quite candidly, we’re all about two to three years behind the curve,” Hanson said. “There’s no sign on people’s door that says, ‘I’m behind on my mortgage.’ ”

Emerging pattern

The pattern that emerges from the data is that the foreclosure wave started in the central cities will mostly skip the first-tier suburbs, then hit the exurbs next, Grover said.

“It’s like a doughnut,” he said.

The first-tier suburbs may have more stability because home values didn’t increase as quickly as in the exurbs, and because they have a higher rate of mortgages that are paid off, Grover said. “That’s where homeowners have been there a long time and there hasn’t been a lot of housing development.”

There's several interesting ideas being floated here. First is their reluctant and sideways acknowledgment that the core areas are suffering first. They aren't really but always remember the context of reportage. Urbanists with big city imaginations even when those big cities are Minneapolis / St. Paul.

To reiterate; the places worst hit are/will be primarily the most recent and most expensive relative to long term values. That means those McMansions in Corona but it also mean those luxocondos in downtown. Secondarily it is/will be the places least like the SRF with white picket fence and those who were purchased for whatever reason 2003-2007 with less than 80% LTV conventional loans.

There's no subregional preference being revealed here. It is all bubble and squeak.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Hedges of Hell

How many times has a really big thing started with a minor article in Bloomberg?
Hedge funds are concerned for the first time about risks related to prime brokers after Bear Stearns Cos.' forced merger with JPMorgan Chase & Co., said Hufschmid, 52, whose London-based company is administrator to funds managing about $104 billion.

Banks and brokerages have written down $495 billion and raised $356 billion in capital since the start of 2007 as the U.S. subprime mortgage market collapsed. Banks' increasing reluctance to lend has hurt hedge-fund operations, Hufschmid said in a telephone interview yesterday.

``Hedge funds live on credit and leverage and the ability to finance esoteric positions for a long time,'' said Hufschmid. ``To the extent liquidity is drying up as it is now, that becomes more difficult.''

Riddle me this. Where did they "get" $356b in new capital? Since when does a third of a trillion dollars lie around waiting for the right vehicle and that vehicle of choice is an over-leveraged hedge position?

Thursday, August 07, 2008

New Paradigm Golf

Bottomless equity traps.

Everything is a long drive.

Doglegs, it's what's for dinner.

Everyone's score is 35% less by the end of the round.

Instead of a "Mulligan" you get a "Sheila."

In a reversal the participants sponsor a bank.

If you play honestly you finish behind all the cheaters.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

What No Moat?

A man's home is his castle. This poor schmuck has got to have some serious debt to need this price. $550/sf? According to Zillow he purchased his predialian manse for the princely sum of $318,000. Nothing like praying for a 5 bagger to bail out your ass.

What do I mean by a "5 bagger?" How about needing to quintuple your money in 7 years. This gem is in my favorite "canary in the coal mine" Wrightwood, CA. Beautiful little mountain community. A fantastic microcosm to watch the housing pustule ooze and ultimately burst.

What does Zillow have to say about this particular home?
Sold (01/13/2000): $318,000
home 92397 WRIGHTWOOD San Bernardino CA US
30 days -2.7% -4.0% -4.0% -6.2% -2.8% -1.0%
1 year -28.8% -19.3% -19.4% -29.6% -20.4% -6.9%
5 years -10.5% 28.8% 28.9% 31.8% 17.3% 28.6%
10 year 84.5% 110.4% 110.0% 146.4% 120.1% 95.5%
Last 103.3% 97.3% 97.6% 120.8% 88.5% 76.6%

But don't let Zilllow fool you. Here's the listing:

1801 Ash Rd
Wrightwood, CA 92397
MLS ID# 338638

3 Bed, 2.5 Bath
3,257 Sq. Ft.
0.61 Acres

Keep the hope alive.

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

White Rabbit - Jefferson Airplane:

White House - Rob Dawg:
One raise makes you larger
And one drop makes you small
And the ones that mother government gives you
Don't do anything at all
Go ask Ben
When he's ten feet tall

And if you go chasing containment
And you know you're going to fall
Tell 'em a hookah smoking petrodollars
Has given you the call
Recall Congress
Before we fall

When men on the chessboard
Get up and tell you where to go
And you've just had some kind of inflation
And your mind is moving slow
Go ask Volker
I think he'll know

When logic and proportion
Have fallen sloppy dead
And the White Knight is talking backwards
And the Red Queen's "off with her head!"
Remember what the dormouse said;
They'll bleed you dead"