Saturday, May 31, 2014

All Your Data Are Belonging To US (as in the FedGov)

Washington Examiner excerpt:

Earlier this year, Cordray tried to assuage concerned lawmakers during a Jan. 28 hearing of Hensarling's panel, saying repeatedly the database will only contain “aggregate” information with no personal identifiers.
But under the April register notice, the database expansion means it will include a host of data points, including a mortgage owner’s name, address, Social Security number, all credit card and other loan information and account balances.
The database will also encompass a mortgage holder’s entire credit history, including delinquent payments, late payments, minimum payments, high account balances and credit scores, according to the notice.
The two agencies will also assemble “household demographic data,” including racial and ethnic data, gender, marital status, religion, education, employment history, military status, household composition, the number of wage earners and a family’s total wealth and assets.


FedGov got your back... and your front and your sides and your data.  The master control program (MCP) will encompass some 95% of all outstanding mortgages.  Now you know why the 1% are paying all cash. 

New Employment Record?

Next week's BEA report is expected to tout an all time high in civilian employment. Here are two graphs to keep in mind while digesting that tidbit.
Total hours worked per working age adult.
FTE estimate.  Employment plus 1/2 part time for economic reasons. 

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Late Spring

Funny how we never hear much about things like the second latest Washington D.C. cherry blossom bloom this year 
Year Green Color in Buds Florets Visible Extension of
Peduncle Elongation Puffy White Peak Bloom
2014 3/16  3/23 3/31 4/4 4/7 4/10
2013 3/11 3/17 3/26 3/31 4/4 4/9
2012 2/29  3/8 3/12 3/14 3/15 3/20
2011 2/28 3/9 3/16 3/19 3/22 3/29
2010 3/14 3/19 3/21 3/23 3/26 3/31
2009 3/8 3/12 3/18 3/23 3/27 4/1
2008 2/19 3/11 3/17 3/19 3/24 3/29
2007 3/5 3/20 3/25 3/27 3/28 4/1
2006 2/28 3/13 3/14 3/16 3/22 3/30
2005 3/7 3/22 3/31 4/3 4/4 4/9
2004 3/4 3/12 3/15 3/22 3/27 3/31
2003 3/17 3/23 3/25 3/27 3/29 4/2
2002 3/7 3/14 3/18 3/20 3/27 4/2
2001 2/26 3/11 3/20 3/25 3/30 4/6
2000 2/29 3/8 3/9 3/10 3/14 3/17
1999 3/16 3/22 3/26 3/30 4/1 4/5
1998 2/13 3/1 3/8 3/10 3/23 3/27
1997 2/21 3/2 3/10 3/13 3/20 3/26
1996 2/29 3/15 3/18 3/25 3/30 4/4
1995 3/8 3/17 3/20 3/22 3/27 4/2
1994 3/8 3/20 3/25 3/29 4/1 4/5
1993 3/15 3/22 3/28 4/2 4/5 4/11
1992 3/7 3/15 3/23 3/31 4/1 4/5

or the snowstorm in SoCal last week:

or all the ice still on Lake Superior over Memorial Day.

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Flips Failing Again

What was old is still old.  This time it is paying too much on the purchase and still expecting a profit.

1619 Linnet Rd Wrightwood, CA 92397


May 22, 2014
Price Changed

Apr 23, 2014
Price Changed

Mar 19, 2014
Listed (Active)

Dec 12, 2013
Delisted (Withdrawn)

Dec 03, 2013
Listed (Active)

Nov 25, 2013
Sold (Public Records)
This home was

Dec 01, 1989
Sold (Public Records)
Public Records


Six months of no interest.  Smallish, ordinary, expensive.  Seems even low interest rates are no longer enough. 

Mian and Sufi Aren't Even Sloppy

Sebastian of HCN posting repute has become a believer in these two.  Even Calculated Risk has promoted them to sidebar status.  Me?  Not so much.  Here is a recent example:

Mian and Sufi have done what CR has never done.  Produced a graph that doesn't start at zero without a note to that effect.  Here it is:

Pretty damming of the growing inequality trend eh?  Not when redrawn with the zero:

And how about those choices?  First quintile versus third quintile.  Well obviously you don't pick or include the fourth or fifth cohorts.  They never had any assets by themselves.  And including them with the middle 20% would flatten the curve M&S are seeking to draw.  Same thing for not using the top two segments in the wealthy numerator.  It too would drag down the inequality curve. 

Sure, keep reading M&S just don't trust them. 

So Many Face Palms

Federal dollars will no longer be available to fund a day laborer site in Thousand Oaks, so the City Council will be asked Tuesday night to have general fund money cover the bill.
For 11 years, the city has been qualified to use Community Development Block Grant money for expenses at the site on Royal Oaks Avenue.
Work by the city’s contractor to coordinate activities at the site was classified as code enforcement, which aligned the work with construction work and other improvements in Old Town West. It was “complementary actions to address deterioration in the neighborhood,” according to a report prepared for the council.
With the improvement work now complete, the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development has alerted the city that as of June 30, it can no longer use the block grant money.
City staff is asking the council to approve $36,000 for July 1 through Dec. 31. The money will pay for a contract with Cyrus Urban Inter-Church Sustainability of Oxnard, a faith-based, nonprofit that monitors activities at the day laborer site.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Peak CRE

More evidence that we are getting ahead of demand.

1 WTC tenant looking to halve its commitment

The China Center, the first private-sector tenant to sign on for office space at One World Trade Center, is negotiating to halve its commitment there, according to sources familiar with the organization's real-estate decision making.
The downsizing would bring the group, which aims to give Chinese businesses a foothold in the city by providing them with offices and other amenities like conference and dining space, to about 100,000 square feet.
The firm's decision to slash its space comes after news that the owners of One World Trade Center, a partnership between the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and the Durst Organization, were slashing asking rents in the 1,776-foot tall, more than 3 million-square-foot tower, due to a lack of demand. The Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday that the landlord reduced rental rates to $69 per square foot from $75 per square foot at the tower, which cost a record $3.9 billion to build.


It may be worthwhile to note this is on the heels of recent Chinese industrial spying kerfuffle.  Still.  Look at those numbers.  Insane.  

Obamacare and From NPR No Less

And so they dropped their new plan. They just stopped paying the premium.

That's the takeaway quote from a very damning anecdote reported by NPR this morning:

Frustrated By The Affordable Care Act, One Family Opts Out

Rachel was skeptical, but Nick went online and started shopping. He had trouble getting through the glitchy website at first, but eventually he picked a plan just for his wife. It was a gold plan HMO through Blue Cross Blue Shield for about $375 a month.
In January, as soon as the plan began, Nick printed out a list of obstetricians from the plan's website. ...
Rachel recalls two days in January when she sat down and called every doctor on the list of 28. According to her, most of the practices told her, in one way or another, that they didn't take the plan.
"Some would just come right out and say, 'We don't take Obamacare,' " she says.
"Or the best one was, 'The doctor takes it here at the actual practice, but whatever hospital you use ... does not take that insurance.' "
"It was mind numbing," she says, "because I was just sitting there thinking, 'I'm paying close to $400 a month just for me to have insurance that doesn't even work. So what am I paying for?' "
Louis Adams, a spokesman for , says he went down that same list a month after Rachel had checked. He says most of the 28 obstetricians do take the HMO insurance.


Of course one story does not make a failure.  Right?  

Monday, May 26, 2014

Sunday Night Futures on Monday

I like sleek delivery of information.  It surprises me that in this case CNBC delivers.

Much better than most pages.  Bloomberg is laden with too many ads. 

100 Years Later

With apologies to Katharine Lee Bates
O beautiful for spacious skies,
 [watch the no fly zones and drone corridors]

For amber waves of grain,
 [subsidized ethanol is colorless]

For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America! God shed His grace on thee,
 [Unless your religion forbids mentioning a deity of course]

And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!
O beautiful for pilgrim feet,
 [land grabbing zealots]

Whose stern impassion'd stress
A thoroughfare for freedom beat
Across the wilderness!
 [Federal lands off limits to grazing]

America! America!
God mend thine ev'ry flaw,

 Confirm thy soul in self-control,
 [unless your sins are due to a difficult upbringing]

Thy liberty in law!
 [no comment required]

O beautiful for heroes proved In liberating strife,
 [VA waiting list]

Who more than self their country loved,
And mercy more than life!
 [subject to mandatory sentencing guidelines]

America! America! May God thy gold refine

Till all success be nobleness,
And ev'ry gain divine!
 [For surely God is a capitalist]

O Beautiful for patriot dream
That sees beyond the years
Thine alabaster cities gleam,
Undimmed by human tears!
America! America! God shed His grace on thee,
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!


1913 and look how far we've deviated.  

Memorial Day 2014

Sgt. Andrew C. Edwards polishes the American flag on a Marine Corps memorial for the veterans of the battle for Iwo Jima on the top of Mount Suribachi.