Real estate

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Why Hedge Funds Have Rarely Been More Bearish: Highlights From The SALT Conference





Following last week's Sohn Conference, where the overarching theme was one of prevailing bearishness topped by Stanley Druckenmiller's near-apocalyptic forecast that only gold will be left standing after all confidence evaporates in the "magic people" known as central bankers,  yesterday some 1,800 hedge fund industry executives gathered in Las Vegas at the SkyBridge Alternatives Conference or SALT, where the prevalent concern about the future of the world continued, driven primarily by worries about China.

 
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Getting It All Straight - Trumpism, Nationalism, Patriotism, & Libertarianism





Speaking very generally, American libertarianism is consistent nationalism: not the expansionist, militaristic nationalism of Europe, but that of the Founders. In this country, a nationalist necessarily upholds the American tradition of limited government, the rule of law, and – yes – “isolationism” (“She goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy”). No wonder John Kerry preaches the virtues of a “borderless world,” and warns graduating students of the dangers of “looking inward”! Empires aspiring to world hegemony don’t recognize the legitimacy of borders, and as for looking inward – why do that when we have a whole world to conquer?

 
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In China, Nobody Wants To Be A Bagholder





With the frenzied speculation that drove levels and volumes in Chinese commodities off the charts having dawned on everyone from Cramer to Chinese Securities regulators as 'not real', it appears everyone is scrambling to not be the bagholder for this bubble as authorities crackdown on Chinese asset managers pooling retail investor funds, warning of the rise of "ponzi schemes." While nobody knows for sure how much of the trading surge has been driven by individuals, but the evidence suggests retail punters are playing a big role, and as Bloomberg reports, the average holding period for contracts including rebar and iron ore was less than 3 hours in April!

 
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What Manipulation Does To The Free Market





Had the federal government held a constant measuring stick rather than "tinkering, engineering, distorting" key government calculations such as the size of the economy (GDP), the rate of inflation, level of unemployment, or size of federal deficits and federal debt...the reality we face would be plain and honest choices needed.  Instead, the responsibility of those working for "the people" has been breached via falsifying and distorting each of these (over decades).  This consistently improves the output and does not allow a true means to quantify and qualify the nations health.  Simply put, the government has continually tinkered, tampered, and distorted the accounting so as to mislead or create a falsely positive appearance. 

 
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In Dramatic Reversal, Trump Is Now Tied With Hillary In Latest National Poll





When it comes to Donald Trump, the mainstream media has had a habit of being repeatedly wrong in its forecasts. Most recently, in the aftermath of Trump's effective victory in the GOP primaries, the conventional wisdom was that the real estate billionaire would "never" be able to catch up to Hillary's support at the national level. This too now appears to have been a mistake. According to the latest just released Reuters/Ipsos poll, Donald Trump's support has surged and he is now running about even with Democrat Hillary Clinton among likely U.S. voters, in what Reuters describes as "a dramatic turnaround since he became the Republican party's presumptive presidential nominee."

 
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China Stops Trying To Fool The World; World Is Sorry





China is the latest in a growing line of “command and control” economies that have risen to prominence, captured the imagination of people who find free markets too messy for comfort, and then blown up when it turns out that dictators have no idea how to allocate capital.

 
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Global Stocks Jump; Oil Rises As Yen Plunges After Another Japanese FX Intervention Threat





In what has been an approximate repeat of the Monday overnight session, global stocks and US futures rose around the world as oil prices climbed toward $44 a barrel, with risk-sentiment pushed higher by another plunge in the Yen which has now soared 300 pips since the Friday post-payroll kneejerk reaction, and was trading above 109.20 this morning. At the same time base metals regained some of Monday’s steep losses following Chinese CPI data that came in line while PPI declined for 50 consecutive months however showed a modest rebound from the prior month on the back of China's recent, and now burst, speculative commodity bubble.

 
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HSBC’s London Gold Vault: Is This Gold’s Secret Hiding Place?





HSBC’s main gold vault in London regularly comes under the media spotlight for a number of reasons. These reasons include: a) the HSBC London vault stores a very large amount of gold on behalf of the well-known SPDR Gold Trust (GLD); b) along with the Bank of England vaults and JP Morgan vault, the HSBC vault is one of the 3 largest gold vaults in London; c) the location of the HSBC vault in London is not publicised and so the secrecy creates intrigue; d) HSBC every so often throws out some visual or audio-visual media bait about the vault, most famously in the case of CNBC’s Bob Pisani; Despite all of the above, no one seems to have ever tried to figure out where this gold vault is actually located. Until now.

 
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"Love The Communist Party" - China Threatens Its Entrepreneurs Not To Become "Trumpeters Of Western Capitalism"





China’s entrepreneurs shouldn’t simply make money. They must “love the motherland, love the people, love the Communist Party, and actively practice socialist core values,” President Xi Jinping told businessmen in March. The latest to discover this is Ren Zhiqiang, a retired real estate tycoon who must serve a one-year probation for publishing “erroneous views” that “seriously violate the Party’s political discipline." A party member, he got in hot water after questioning the president’s call for tighter controls over the media.

 
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Zynga's Headquarters Is Worth More Than The Actual Company





Shortly after it first went public, Zynga hit a market cap of $9 billion. Since then, the company which had such one time hits as Farmville and Words with Friends has seen its valuation crater, with its public stock now valued at roughly $2 billion. However, excluding the company's $1.5 billion in cash implies that its underlying operations are valued at about half a billion dollars. Which is ironic because that is less than the value of the San Francisco-company's based headquarters.

 
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Wall Street Is Falling Off A Cliff (And The Bottom Is A Long Way Down)





For the past 50 or so years, the quickest way for a sharp young sociopath to get rich has been to join an investment bank or hedge fund. The former were riding a “regulatory capture” gravy train that became ever-more-lucrative as new government agencies morphed into subsidiaries of Wall Street. Said another way, when financial assets are being artificially inflated by excessive liquidity, it’s easy to make money by shuffling this ever-appreciating inventory back and forth, and to look very smart while doing so. But those days are ending with a bang...

 
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"The Insanity, It Seems, Is Not Over" - Vancouver Home Prices Are Now Literally "Off The Chart"





Today we step back from the micro to look at the bigger Vancouver real estate picture. What we find is that"the insanity, it seems, is not over." Indeed, as the chart below shows, BMO really needs a bigger chart, as the growth in Vancouver home prices is now quite literally "off the chart."

 
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China's Bad Debt Problem Is Much Deeper Than Just Real Estate





Among the bigger financial problems covered in depth on Zero Hedge over the past several years, were China's massive amount of newly created credit adding to an already unsustaimable debt load, its rapidly growing bad debt pile (what we call China's "neutron bomb" which as we first estimated last October is about 20% of total bank debt), and its sub-prime real estate bubble. Lately many others - especially Kyle Bass - have also started looking the same problems and asking a simple question: what is the real repayment ability of Chinese corporates now that this credit monster has been unleashed, and is the NPL problem isolated to just real estate. For those answers, we look at a recent Natixis report.

 
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