Thursday, April 23, 2009

Open forum

Feel free to make comments, hold a discussion, share links, etc here.

Don't Trust Earnings New Accounting Rules, Stress Test is a SHAM!

Bank Stress tests are a Sham states William Black, law and economics professor at the University of Missouri and a former U.S. bank regulator.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Links of potential interest

While taking my hiatus, thought you may be interested in checking out a few other links - enjoy!

FOFOA's Blog - newest post: Martin Armstrong on Goldman Sachs

Jerry's Blog - Eye On Washington:

Karl Denninger's Site: The Market Ticker

GIM Forum: General discussion

321Gold - Link

DollarCollapse - Link

Monday, April 13, 2009

Where's Randy?

I've received several concerned inquiries as to my whereabouts of late, as I haven't been posting. My apologies for not saying anything sooner, but I am certainly alive and well - 1) just taking a breather 2) working on some personal issues 3) and trying to enjoy life a bit...

Only checked email thrice over the last 10 days or so and it felt pretty good...

What many of you may not know is: I'm a "type-A", self-driven individual who often establishes too many "self-imposed" taskers/goals - most of which I accomplish, but sometimes at the detriment of other areas of life. With a full-time job (50+ hrs week), family and a fitness buff to boot, there isn't much time left for much else, yet I still drive myself to answer various email, read about the day's events and try to find interesting things to post about when home - sometimes quite tiresome...

Bottom line: I'm burned out and taking a breather for a bit - hopefully a short-term thing while I establish a new bearing and try to garner a renewed zest for this thing - trust many of you can relate/understand.

Anyway, I really appreciate all the genuine concern for my well being and I hope to be back at this soon...

Best Regards


Wednesday, April 01, 2009

South Park takes us through the economic crisis

I don't watch South Park (or much of any TV for that matter), but someone emailed this video to me and it's absolutely hilarious - RLMAO! I hope you enjoy it as well.

The Great American Swindle is Obama's Big Mistake

Fantastic new read over at Jerry's Blog: EyeOnWashington


Las Vegas Housing Price Update - April 09 Post

Case-Shiller (CS) Home Price information was released yesterday (for Jan 09) and the data suggests the housing market has yet to find a bottom.

Extracts from yesterday's CS Press release:

New York, March 31, 2009 – Data through January 2009, released today by Standard & Poor’s for its S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, the leading measure of U.S. home prices, shows continued broad based declines in the prices of existing single family homes across the United States, with 13 of the 20 metro areas showing record rates of annual decline, and 14 reporting declines in excess of 10% versus January 2008.

The three worst performing cities, in terms of annual declines, continue to be from the Sunbelt, each reporting negative returns in excess of 30%. Phoenix was down 35.0%, Las Vegas declined 32.5% and San Francisco fell 32.4%. Dallas, Denver and Cleveland faired the best in terms of annual declines down 4.9%, 5.1% and 5.2%, respectively.

The rates of decline from the individual heights of each market are evidence of how much each market has taken back in terms of the gains earned in the past 10-15 years. All of the 20 metro areas are in double digit declines from their peaks, with nine of the MSA’s posting declines of greater than 30% and five of those (Las Vegas, Miami, Phoenix, San Francisco and San Diego) in excess of 40%.
The following chart was extracted from the same release and depicts the annual returns of their 10 and 20-City Composite Home Price Indices. Note: the 20-City Composite wasn't started/tracked until the year 2000.

Click chart for sharper image

Moving on to Las Vegas

I created the following two charts using this newly released CS data. The first chart depicts Las Vegas home price history vs. the CS 10-City Composite (all the way back to 1987) and the second chart compares all three - starting in 2000. (Note LV's early lag, followed by a quicker run up and sharper decline)

Click charts for sharper image

Another source I like to use for tracking home price data is

Their recent release (which includes SF homes AND condos) suggests that Las Vegas home inventories are increasing (nearing 30,000) and prices (when including condos) are falling even faster than the CS data/depictions above - A whopping 41% YoY decline - LV Housingtracker data.

And to think... There were 2,800 NOD's in my zip code ALONE last month - soon to add to these massive inventories...

Why all the new NOD's? Well, do you remember the Holiday foreclosure moratorium? It's over now and the notices are flying!

Anyway, I have many more LV Housing Charts (AND information regarding the 58% of upside-down mortgage holders in the Valley) - at this link

Additionally, in Febuary I wrote (LV housing crash continues) that the median home price in LV was down 53% from April 2006.

That number however has now increased to a 54.2% price drop since the peak (April 2006 Median=$344,900; Today's Median=$157,990)

Bottom Line:

New data from both Case-Shiller and Housing Tracker illustrate that we are no where near a bottom for Las Vegas home prices... Though mortgage rates are quite low and home sales seem to be picking up steam, the economy is still in a deep funk and local unemployment is rising swiftly/significantly (LV Unemployment currently at 10.1%).

These issues above coupled with increasing foreclosures, tighter lending standards and a huge new wave of Alt-A Mortgage resets - in the Hundreds of Billions nationwide; used largly in the bubble states - will prevent us from finding a floor for quite some time.



Reminder: Teabags to Washington 1 April

If you want to send our representatives a statement of your discontent with their policies remember to Send a Teabag to Washington - TODAY

Send teabag to:
1600 Pennsylvania Ave
Washington , D.C. 20500

Return address:
John Galt
PO Box 1776
Your City, Your State, Your Zip

BTW (from Wikipedia): John Galt is a fictional character in Ayn Rand's novel Atlas Shrugged and is the subject of the novel's oft repeated question, "Who is John Galt?", and the quest to discover the answer.

As the plot unfolds, Galt is acknowledged to be a creator and inventor who embodies the power of the individual. He serves as a counterpoint to the social and economic structure depicted in the novel. The depiction portrays a society based on oppressive bureaucratic functionaries and a culture that embraces the stifling mediocrity and egalitarianism of socialistic idealism. He is a metaphorical Atlas of Greek mythology, holding up the world.

An engineer by trade, Galt's actions include withdrawing his talents, "stopping the motor of the world," and leading the "strikers" (in this case the captains of industry) against the "looters" (in this case the mob rule of strikers and the common man).