• Tim Knight from...
    10/21/2014 - 18:16
    Want to live near the 0.1% and their problems? May I present to you 258 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto, California, which is located within walking distance from my house and is a mere $1,800,000 (well...

Housing Market

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Frontrunning: July 1





  • Ceasefire over, Ukraine forces attack rebel positions (Reuters)
  • No Good Iraq Options for Obama as Russia, Iran Jump In (BBG)
  • Japan’s Cabinet Agrees to Allow Military to Help Defend Allies (BBG)
  • Obama says to reform immigration on his own, bypassing Congress (Reuters)
  • South Stream Pipeline Project in Bulgaria Is Delayed (NYT)
  • Foreign Banks Still in the Dark About Missing Metals in China (WSJ)
  • Quelle indignity: several bankers at French bank BNP Paribas will face demotions and cuts to their pay and bonuses (FT)
  • Symantec Warns of Hacker Threat Against Energy Companies (BBG)
  • Shrinking Office Spaces Slow Recovery (WSJ)
  • Rand Paul Slams ‘Fat Cats’ With Hedge Fund in Top Donors (BBG)
 
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California Housing And The Bubble At Hand





Janet Yellen is an officious school marm. She constantly lectures us on Keynesian verities as if they were the equivalent of Newton’s Law or the Pythagorean Theorem. In fact, they constitute self-serving dogma of modern vintage that is marshaled to justify what is at bottom an economic absurdity. Namely, that through the primitive act of banging the securities “buy” key over and over and thereby massively expanding its balance sheet, the Fed can cause real wealth - embodying the sweat of labor, the consumption of capital and the fruits of enterprise - to magically expand beyond what the free market would generate on its own steam. Dr. Yellen, of course, claims there are no financial bubbles to worry about because the Keynesian bathtub of potential GDP has not yet been filled to the brim. Perhaps she would like to put in a bid for one of these homes...

 
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Laundering Illegal Money? There's Ultraluxury New York Real Estate For That





Today, we can finally end any debate on the topic of just where the world's illegal money comes to roost. The answer: ultra-luxury real estate, primarily in New York, courtesy of a report in New York magazine that catches up with what we first said in the summer of 2012, and which is titled, appropriately enough: "Stash Pad."

 
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Frontrunning: June 30





  • Facebook Researchers Manipulated News Feeds in 2012 Study (BBG)
  • Argentina at Brink of Default as $539 Million Payment Due (BBG)
  • Hedge fund correlation risk alarms investors (FT)
  • As China Flexes Muscle, Obama Frets Over Rival’s Weakness (BBG)
  • As caliphate declared, Iraqi troops battle for Tikrit (Reuters)
  • Dubai Caps Worst Month Since 2008 as Real Estate Stocks Tumble (BBG)
  • Russian Advisers Ready Iraq to Use New Combat Aircraft (BBG)
  • Blackstone Readies Big-Bet Hedge Fund (WSJ) - so what was GSO?
  • Pope says communists are closet Christians (Reuters)
  • Thomson Reuters revising FX trading standards (Reuters)
 
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Frontrunning: June 27





  • Yellen Spending Recipe Lacking Key Ingredient: Bigger Wage Gains (BBG)
  • Ukraine signs trade agreement with EU, draws Russian threat (Reuters)
  • GM Documents Show Senior Executive Had Role in Switch (WSJ)
  • Australian Report Postulates Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 Lost Oxygen (WSJ)
  • World’s Biggest Debt Load Lures Distressed Funds to China  (BBG)
  • GPIF Rushing Into Riskier Assets Before Ready, Okina Says (BBG)
  • Japan Prices Rise Most Since ’82 on Tax, Utility Fees (BBG)
  • Italian Debt Swells to Rival Germany as Bond Yields Slide (BBG)
  • China’s Manhattan Project Marred by Ghost Buildings (BBG)
  • BOE's Carney Says Rates Won't Rise to Levels Previously Considered Normal (WSJ)
 
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Japanese Economic Collapse Dislodges USDJPY Tractor Beam, Pushes Futures Lower





Abe's honeymoon is over. Following nearly two years of having free reign to crush the Japanese economy with his idiotic monetary and fiscal policies - but, but the Nikkei is up - the market may have finally pulled its head out of its, well, sand, and after last night's abysmal economic data from Japan which saw not only the highest (cost-push) inflation rate since 1982, in everything but wages (hence, zero demand-pull) - after wages dropped for 23 consecutive months, disposable income imploded - but a total collapse in household spending, the USDJPY  appears to have finally been dislodged from its rigged resting place just around 102. As a result the 50 pip overnight drop to 101.4 was the biggest drop in over a month. And since the Nikkei is nothing but the USDJPY (same for the S&P), Japan stocks tumbled 1.4%, their biggest drop in weeks, as suddenly the days of the grand Keynesian ninja out of Tokyo appear numbered. Unless Nomura manages to stabilize USDJPY and push it higher, look for the USDJPY to slide back to double digits in the coming weeks.

 
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Why Financial Reporters Are Clueless: They Copy And Paste Keynesian/Wall Street Propaganda





This morning’s Q1 GDP revision might have been a wake-up call. After all, clocking in a -2.9% - cold winter or no - it was the worst number posted since the dark days of Q1 2009. Well, actually, it was the fourth worst quarterly GDP shrinkage since Ronald Reagan declared it was morning again in American 30 years ago. Stated differently, 116 of the 120 quarterly GDP prints since that time have been better. Even when you adjust for the Q1 inventory “payback” for the bloated GDP figures late last year, real GDP still contracted at a -1.2% annually rate. Still, within minutes of the 8:30AM release, the Wall Street Journal’s news update did not fail to trot out the “do not be troubled” mantra. When the daily narrative is this lame it is no wonder that our happy talk financial system drifts toward the wall. The Cool-Aid drinkers have simply lost touch with reality.

 
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Frontrunning: June 26





  • Minorities Seen Driving U.S. Household Growth (Reuters)
  • GM prepares to recall some Cruze sedans with Takata air bags (Reuters)
  • PBOC Halts Repos as China Money Rate Climbs to Seven-Week High (BBG)
  • Ukraine Optimism Wavers on Peace as Cease-Fire Winds Down (BBG)
  • Economic Rebound Seen Undercut by Weak Pay as Vote Winner (BBG)
  • Cracks Open in Dark Pool Defense With Barclays Lawsuit (BBG)
  • The Survivor: How Eric Holder outlasted his (many) critics (Politico)
  • IBM, Lenovo Tackle Security Worries on Server Deal (WSJ)
  • Militants take Iraqi gas field town, president calls parliament session (Reuters)
  • Carney Surprises Confounding Markets as BOE Manages Guidance (BBG)
 
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Futures Meander Ahead Of Today's Surge On Bad Economic News





Following yesterday's S&P surge on the worst hard economic data (not some fluffy survey conducted by a conflicted firm whose parent just IPOed and is thus in desperate need to perpetuate the market euphoria) in five years, there is little one can comment on how "markets" react to news. Good news, bad news... whatever - as long as it is flashing red, the HFT algos will send momentum higher. The only hope of some normalization is that following the latest revelation of just how rigged the market is due to various HFT firms, something will finally change. Alas, as we have said since the flash crash, there won't be any real attempts at fixing the broken market structure until the next, and far more vicious flash crash - one from which not even the NY Fed-Citadel PPT JV will be able to recover. For now, keep an eye on the USDJPY - as has been the case lately, the overnight USDJPY trading team has taken it lower ahead of the traditional US day session rebound which also pushes the S&P higher with it. For now the surge is missing but it won't be for longer - expect the traditional USDJPY ramp just before or as US stocks open for trading.

 
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Frontrunning: June 25





  • Obama Administration Widens Export Potential for U.S. Oil (BBG)
  • WTI Pares Gains as U.S. Export Ruling Seen Limited (BBG)
  • Senator Cochran defeats Tea Party rival in Mississippi Republican runoff (Reuters)
  • Militants attack Iraq air base, U.S. assessment teams deploy (Reuters)
  • Maliki rules out national emergency govt (AFP)
  • Koch to Start EU Power Trading as It Plans LNG Expansion (BBG)
  • Obama Said to Ready Sanctions on Russian Industries (BBG)
  • Ghana Sends Plane With $3 Million to Calm World Cup Team (BBG)
  • Ghana’s First Hedge Fund Planned by Ex-Exchange Regulator (BBG)
  • SEC Is Gearing Up to Focus on Ratings Firms (WSJ)
  • Abe Declares Deflation End as Growth Plan Confronts Skeptics (BBG)
 
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These Fake Rallies Will End In Tears: "If People Stop Believing In Central Banks, All Hell Will Break Loose"





Investors and speculators face some profound challenges today: How to deal with politicized markets, continuously “guided” by central bankers and regulators? In this environment it may ultimately pay to be a speculator rather than an investor. Speculators wait for opportunities to make money on price moves. They do not look for “income” or “yield” but for changes in prices, and some of the more interesting price swings may soon potentially come on the downside. They should know that their capital cannot be employed profitably at all times. They are happy (or should be happy) to sit on cash for a long while, and maybe let even some of the suckers’ rally pass them by. As Sir Michael at CQS said: "Maybe they [the central bankers] can keep control, but if people stop believing in them, all hell will break loose." We couldn't agree more.

 
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America's Most Important Housing Market Signals A Red Alert For Housing Bubble Watchers





While today's Case Shiller data was widely disappointing across the board, indicating a significant slowdown in price gains (and on a sequential seasonally adjusted basis, practically a decline), the one market we paid particular attention to was San Francisco. What we found is a red flag for everyone waiting to time the bursting of the latest housing bubble. Because after an unlucky 13 months of posting consecutive 20% Y/Y price gains, the San Francisco bubble appears to have finally burst, posting "just" an 18.2% price increase, the lowest since January of 2013.

 
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New Home Sales Surge By 18.6% In May, Now Only 63% Below Pre-Crisis Highs





While we will have much more to say about the price dynamics in the West in a follow up post, where the Western housing market appears to be appreciated right now is in the just released New Home Sales report, which showed that in May new home sales soared by a whopping 18.6%, orders of magnitude above the 1.4% increase expected, and resulting in some 504K new houses sold, far above the 439K expected, and certainly above the downward revised April print of 425K. What caused this surge? Simple: the West, which saw a 34% surge in new home sales, from 97K to 130K, the highest one month jump since February 2013.

 
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Case-Shiller Index Has Slowest Annual Home Price Increase In A Year





There is a reason why Case-Shiller titled its summary presentation of the April housing market based on its 20-City Composite index "Rate of Home Price Gains Drop Sharply." The reason is simple: in April the housing market, while still preserving some upward momentum, appears to stumbled severely in April, with the Y/Y increase in the 20-City composite rising "only" 10.8%, down from 12.37% the month before, and the lowest annual increase since April of 2013. And this time there is no snow to blame it on.

 
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Guess Who Is Propping Up The US Housing Market





Moments ago the NAR released its May data, which on first blush was widely lauded as bullish: the topline print came at a 4.9% increase, rising from 4.65MM to 4.89MM, above the 4.74MM expected. Great news... if only on the surface. So what happens when one drills down into the detail? As usual, we focused on the last slide of the NAR breakdown, located at the very end of the supplementary pdf for good reason, because what it shows is hardly as bullish. So how does this "housing recovery" in which the NAR has proclaimed the "sales decline is over" look on a granular basis. The answer is below, and it is even worse than the April data.

 
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