The poor are getting poorer but the rich, it appears, are no longer getting richer. With apartment vacancies at 9-month highs, Bloomberg reports that Manhattan's luxury-home market is rapidly losing its luster. Prices have been dropping every month since February, when they reached their highest point on record, and, as one analyst notes, "the downward trend in that decline hasn’t abated, and we haven’t seen it wavering in any way."
China Proposes A Fix For Its Crashing Housing Market: "Transplant" 100 Million Farmers Into Its CitiesSubmitted by Tyler Durden on 12/24/2015 07:46 -0500
There is just one very big problem with this "solution"...
After a furious three day "dash for trash", no volume, no breadth, commodity-driven rally, even Santa is now exhausted and overnight US equity index futures were little changed with European and Asian shares mixed. The dollar has declines as gold, silver gain, with WTI initially continuing its recent meteoric rise (up over 8% in the past three days, nearly hitting $38), only to reverse and give up all overnight gains moments ago. Copper falls after Chinese stocks see a second day of weakness, down 0.7% while an unexpected tumble in the USDJPY to 7 weeks lows has dragged the Nikkei (-0.5%) and its futures down.
This Is Canada's Depression: Surging Crime, Soaring Suicides, Overwhelmed Food Banks "And The Worst Is Yet To Come"Submitted by Tyler Durden on 12/23/2015 23:44 -0500
The news out of Canada - and especially out of Alberta, the heart of the country's oil patch - has just gone from disturbing to downright terrifying.
It's grim up north... and getting grimmer. Amid soaring suicide rates, Canada's once-booming oil patch is rapidly accelerating its downward trajectory. "Canadians should be concerned in times like these," warned Tim McMillan, president and chief executive of the Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers, noting that the oil and gas sector will see 100,000 job losses by the end of this year. Apart from the protracted price declines, Alberta’s oil and gas sector has also had to contend with a 20 per cent hike in corporate taxes, increased provincial royalties, a carbon tax and new regulatory policies to limit rein in carbon emissions... and now a new competitot from US exports.
The 10.5% crash in existing home sales is the worst November drop ever. Against expectations of a mere 0.2% drop, this is the largest miss in history asnd tumbles SAAR sales to the weakest since March 2014. The collapse in sales was across all regions, and ironically was accompanied by a rise in median home prices across all regions. Of course there was plenty of blame to go around, from inventory constraints to weather but most of all - paperwork - as new regulations - Know Before You Owe initiative, has meant longer closing times. In other words, wait til next month, it will all be great!?
On Dec 16, Federal Chair Janet Yellen announced the Fed was raising the federal funds rate by 25 basis points. She will have to take it back.
FIRPTA was implemented during a better era for Americans in response to international investors in the late 1980s and early 1990s buying U.S. farmland, as well as the more publicly visible buying of trophy U.S. property by the Japanese. The US government has now expediently waived FIRPTA.
The Fed is now - for the first time in adult memory for half the world’s traders and money managers - tightening rather than loosening monetary conditions. A quick look at financial history is all it takes to lead anyone with leveraged money at risk to lighten up. Equally important - and vastly more strange when you think about it - this tightening comes at a time when major parts of the global economy are either grinding to a halt or imploding.
If you had any doubt about whether the doomsayers were telling the truth about soaring NPLs in China, look no further than Huarong Asset Management Co, which is set to auction some $8 billion in sour loans on Taobao. As Barclays notes, "AMCs in general will more frequently resort to a “wholesaling model” for distressed asset disposal, given the increasing NPL supply amid the current credit cycle."
“To the intelligent man or woman, life appears infinitely mysterious, but the stupid have an answer for everything.” ~Edward Abbey
In December 2013, in a sign of robust global trade driving demand for container ships, the Baltic Dry Index peaked at 2,330. By July 2014, rates had collapsed to 730. Today, rates have fallen to 471, the lowest since the recession began (in fact, the lowest ever). The BDI is a leading indicator pointing to worse trade conditions. Just as the 2014 collapse in the BDI reflected a collapse in global trade, the recent erosion in the BDI signals further trade weakness to come. Here's a snapshot of the meltdown.. and the pain is getting worse.
"In a worst case scenario, the real economy effects of the oil sector and the earnings slowdown hit the frothy commercial real estate and REIT sector, which in turn begin the widening of the contagion begun by energy high yield. Combine this with the sudden stop to lower quality energy credits I believe is inevitable and you likely have stall speed – or even recession. And that’s where subprime auto ABS, student loan securitization and US munis come into the picture for the US domestic economy. Those markets get hit in recession."
Moments ago, the House of Representatives just passed the $1.15 trillion spending bill that includes a $680 billion package of tax-break extensions, in a 316 to 113 vote, and will now move to the Senate, where its passage is likewise assured and will be signed by the president over the next few days. For those wondering what are the main components of the spending bill, here is a quick summary.