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Case-Shiller Posts 9th Consecutive Increase Driven By Phoenix, Detroit - Back To 2003 Levels, NSA Drops

Tyler Durden's picture


As was expected, the October Case Shiller data showed that the recent transitory pick up in the housing sector, now that both REO-to-Rent and Foreclosure Stuffing, not to mention unparalleled debt forgiveness by virtually every bank has been thrown at the housing problem, continues with a ninth consecutive month in Top 20 Composite Index increases, rising 4.3% in October. On the other hand, based on the NSA data, the 4th consecutive dead cat bounce may be coming to a much expected end with October NSA data posting the first sequential decline since March. What drove the pick up in Seasonally Adjusted data? Nothing short of yet another housing bubble in the much beloved speculative areas such as Phoenix and Detroit, where home prices rose by 21.8% and... 9.9%. Yes: apparently one can pay for mortgages with foodstamps now.

Other places such as Chicago and New York were not so lucky, with the average price declining by -1.3% and -1.2% in the past 12 months. What remains unsaid - very much on purpose - is that the shadow inventory problem is only getting worse, as we reported a week ago, when we showed that nearly half the market cap of Bank of America is in 6 month + delinquent mortgages, or mortgages that are not yet in foreclosure but virtually certainly will be, and will also be discharged.

Why are banks stuffing foreclosure inventory from hitting the market? Simply: to create an indirect housing subsidiy, by removing inventory from the market. And with trillions in excess reserves sloshing on bank balance sheets, banks can for the time being, avoid any accounting of the lost cash flow and merely hope and pray that by delaying the avalanche of shadow inventory hitting the market, the price will rise enough to where millions of houses can once again be placed on the market quietly and efficiently. That this idiotic plan will blow up in the bankers' faces (not to mention all those funds who jumped on the REO-to-Rent bandwagon) goes without saying, but for now the music is still playing so one must dance.

The recovery in context: back to 2003 levels.


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Wed, 12/26/2012 - 10:32 | 3096023 azzhatter
azzhatter's picture

If they say boom enough it will be true

Wed, 12/26/2012 - 10:48 | 3096061 Eireann go Brach
Eireann go Brach's picture

But all those really smart and educated, well trained and very informed realtors tell me on facebook that now is a great time to buy and don't miss out!

Wed, 12/26/2012 - 11:46 | 3096202 SafelyGraze
SafelyGraze's picture

headwinds for new home ownership

no job = no house
new job = repair credit score (but no house)

higher tax = fall behind on mortgage = no house
lower tax = buy more gadgets and cars (but no house)

higher interest rate = no new house
lower interest rate = 3% was too high? (still no house)

high student debt = not qualify for loan = no house
low student debt = didn't finish college = no job = no house

get my free newsletter

you'll have to provide your own content though


Wed, 12/26/2012 - 12:54 | 3096391 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

Even if the data being reported were accurate (it is not), it would be completely meaningless, given the level of radical, unprecedented interventionism by the Federal Reserve, GSEs such as Freddie & Fannie, and Big Gov dot org in general, as Big Gov is macromanaging just about everything, from FHA mortgage rates and rules, to the rate at which delinquent mortgage holders are threatened with the filing of foreclosure actions, and the rate at which foreclosures are allowed to be repossessed, vacated and trickle onto the "market."

The shadow inventory is massive, the government has broken all price discovery through its control or innfluence over the FHA, GSEs and banks.

Good luck to any non-connected-at-very-high-levels (aka KronyKapitalistKomrades) who wish to "invest" in a broken housing market waiting on true clearance events/liquidation sales.

Wed, 12/26/2012 - 14:16 | 3096618 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

The author of that article is a moron of the highest order (and that's saying quite a bit).

"Housing formation" is not the key to an economic recovery. Availability & Quality of JOBS (J-O-B-S) are.

Why do so many financial "pundits" (self-acclaimed or otherwise) get such a BASIC FACT so wrong?

Why do so many put their chickens before their eggs?

Repeat after me:  Jobs & Wages. Jobs & Wages. Jobs & Wages. Jobs & Wages.



Wed, 12/26/2012 - 14:35 | 3096657 franzpick
franzpick's picture

And a permanent home price upturn while total mortgage debt continues its -1.2T$, -11%, 4.5 year downtrend, at minus 300B$/year, reflecting lower wages and fewer jobs, will be the recovery of the decade:[1][id]=HHMSDODNS&s[1][range]=5yrs

Wed, 12/26/2012 - 11:43 | 3096209 Snakeeyes
Wed, 12/26/2012 - 11:51 | 3096231 maxmad
maxmad's picture

Who in their right mind would want to live in Phoenix!~  I wouldn't wish Phoenix on my worst enemy!

Wed, 12/26/2012 - 10:36 | 3096025 francis_sawyer
francis_sawyer's picture

Home prices doubled in Detroit... Dey wuz 25 cent a sq/ft. ~ now dey be fitty cent... [Dat's cuz u git a free Obamafone when u close]...

Wed, 12/26/2012 - 10:37 | 3096030 CheapBastard
CheapBastard's picture

"Just walk away."    Banks will simply pass the losses onto the very generous public.

Wed, 12/26/2012 - 10:37 | 3096032 101 years and c...
101 years and counting's picture

all that shadow inventory will remain so.  as long as the Fed is onboarding all those mortgages with freshly printed money, i'd bet anything the Fed will not foreclose.  they'll take the losses.  and they'll pass the losses onto the Treasury in Jan.  And the best part: they'll hide the losses as they give the Treasury back the interest the Treasury pays on the UST the Fed holds. 

Wed, 12/26/2012 - 14:19 | 3096623 asteroids
asteroids's picture

The shadow inventory will never go down. Demographics are working against the FEDs and the banks. The longer they keep up this stupidity the worse it'll be. They should dump the inventory on the market and let it find its own level. Or, they should bulldoze every property they have on the books and keep the land. OR, pick a war with China.

Wed, 12/26/2012 - 10:41 | 3096039 worldlymrb
worldlymrb's picture

Are'nt BoA foreclosed mortgages discharged at the FDIC?

Wed, 12/26/2012 - 11:07 | 3096101 negative rates
negative rates's picture

No, they are held by an entity that is not allowed to bring them to mkt. In the hopes that enough people will pay enough money to keep the prices as high as humanly possible, so the derivatives mkt doesn't implode from a casper like balance sheet freak out.   

Wed, 12/26/2012 - 14:22 | 3096629 worldlymrb
Wed, 12/26/2012 - 10:41 | 3096040 flattrader
flattrader's picture

>>>>>banks can for the time being, avoid any accounting of the lost cash flow and merely hope and pray that by delaying the avalanche of shadow inventory hitting the market, the price will rise enough to where millions of houses can once again be placed on the market quietly and efficiently....<<<

I was in a foreclosed home recently that went through two brutal winter and summer cycles.  The damage was apparent.

It won't be worth shit after a third winter/summer cycle.  The cost to rehab added to the cost of purchase (which the bank is keeping artificially high) will make it unaffordable to even "flippers"

All I could say to the realtor was, "Tell the bank good luck."  He later told me he wasn't bothering to show it any longer.

In another two years these banks will be sitting on heaps of unloadable homes.

Wed, 12/26/2012 - 10:45 | 3096049 gckings19
gckings19's picture

If you dont mind me asking...where was this....the state is sufficient if you dont want ot say too much.

Wed, 12/26/2012 - 11:07 | 3096102 flattrader
flattrader's picture

Wisconsin.  Freeze and thaw cycles are bad news for unoccupied homes.

After a few shingles go missing and the roof leaks, it's only a short time before there are major problems.

Wed, 12/26/2012 - 22:34 | 3097987 TruthInSunshine
TruthInSunshine's picture

Go to Florida and check out some of the foreclosures that are empty. Make sure you bring a gas mask and high level Hazmat suit before even thinking of entering what are homes built during the bubble years, that now have their own ecosystems and tropical jungles inside, complete with black mold, chinese drywall and other organic and inorganic airborne and static toxins.

Each one is like a laboratory, or more accurately, a little shop of horrors. I didn't even know before seeing it with my own eyes that there are species of mold that eat concrete, lumber and other delicious building materials.

Not only will those "houses" have to be torn down, they'll have to irradiate and bleach the phukin' soil.

Wed, 12/26/2012 - 10:48 | 3096060 Oldwood
Oldwood's picture

All of the unemployed and retired people with evaporated savings will need a place to live. Given the Fed will become the dominate landlord, or slumlord as it were, people will be more than happy to "occupy" those wasted foreclosures.

Wed, 12/26/2012 - 10:53 | 3096073 Winston Churchill
Winston Churchill's picture

Unless the houses go into foreclosure the servicer banks are contractually bound

to pay the income stream to the REMIC trusts whatever. A tenfold problem,maybe even a hundredfold

one,as these Notes on paper are held on average by tem different trusts.

As the original RMBS inverstor money was stolen, and replaced by fractionaly created money,

each foreclosure save the banks ten or hundred times the loan ammount.

Why would they give a shit about the property ?

Its the money.

Wed, 12/26/2012 - 10:54 | 3096074 dick cheneys ghost
dick cheneys ghost's picture

Great Point.........if we could just monetize Black Mold

Wed, 12/26/2012 - 10:54 | 3096075 SubjectivObject
SubjectivObject's picture

Too, yours is an interesting commentary on the quality of materials and construction used to make the house.  Years of cost cutting and china-grade sourcing materials and practices will end in bonfires.

Wed, 12/26/2012 - 10:59 | 3096088 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

My sister is looking for a studio apt in Brooklyn. 600 sq feet. $300,000. It does have very nice coffee shops nearby.

Wed, 12/26/2012 - 11:12 | 3096118 fuu
fuu's picture

Her cost/sq ft is more than an entire months rent on a 600 sq ft studio in Minneapolis. You folks need to get the fark out of that burg.

Wed, 12/26/2012 - 11:19 | 3096142 mayhem_korner
mayhem_korner's picture



Yes, but she can get $350/hr selling her body...prolly triple what they get at Mall of Amerika.

Wed, 12/26/2012 - 11:20 | 3096143 fonzannoon
fonzannoon's picture

It is freaking insane. I bought my house before I truly opened my eyes. Now I am stuck. I am trying to keep her from making the same mistake. I get bombarded with "there has never been a better time" crap by everyone around here.

Wed, 12/26/2012 - 12:27 | 3096343 Fred Hayek
Fred Hayek's picture

And the ironic truth is that there's never been a worse time.  The lower interest rates are the higher price is.  So, the interest rate effect on price will never be worse for buying than it is now.

And the worse the job and wage climate is the worse prices tend to be.  With a possible collapse upcoming, it's a terrible time to take on a huge inescapable debt.  If you could go back in time and you met someone in late 1928 or early 1929 planning to put down their money and buy as much house as they could, wouldn't you try to warn them off of that choice? 


Wed, 12/26/2012 - 10:50 | 3096052 Lucius Corneliu...
Lucius Cornelius Sulla's picture

One thing is for certain, with all the political appointees at FNM and FRE, they will be spared.

Wed, 12/26/2012 - 12:23 | 3096320 emersonreturn
emersonreturn's picture

i'm surrounded by people believing this is a great time to buy property to rent to low income, apparently the govt pays the rent to those that qualify, so the theory follows, it will remain a no-brainer cash cow.  i have a bad feeling about this but haven't any arguments to dissuade them.  can anyone provide a clearer picture?  thank you.

Wed, 12/26/2012 - 10:47 | 3096053 northerngirl
northerngirl's picture

I've noticed that the number of foreclosed homes in my town has started to increase, however, statewide the numbers have declined.  I'm not sure what that means?

Wed, 12/26/2012 - 10:51 | 3096066 Oldwood
Oldwood's picture

It means what the government tells you it means. Never believe your own eyes when you have government generated data at hand. They will tell you when to be concerned and about what and whom to blame. Blame is the most important, not so as to resolve the problem, but to divert attention from causation to revenge.

Wed, 12/26/2012 - 10:47 | 3096054 Schmuck Raker
Schmuck Raker's picture

Bailar pendejos!

Wed, 12/26/2012 - 10:47 | 3096055 Payne
Payne's picture

It is getting harder to get buyers through an escrow in most metros, the banks are so jumpy with taking on a new loan that anything can dump an escrow.  

Wed, 12/26/2012 - 10:47 | 3096059 SheepDog-One
SheepDog-One's picture

All fuel for it now provided by the FED itself.

Wed, 12/26/2012 - 10:56 | 3096063 AynRandFan
Wed, 12/26/2012 - 10:55 | 3096078 Everybodys All ...
Everybodys All American's picture

They no longer have to count the bulldozed acres of homes in Detroit.

Wed, 12/26/2012 - 10:57 | 3096081 j0nx
j0nx's picture

Banks forgiving debt?? Sheeit. Where'd you hear that?

Wed, 12/26/2012 - 14:14 | 3096615 franzpick
franzpick's picture

And as for the Mortgage Forgiveness Debt Relief Act / IRS tax exemption, from 2007 to 2012, IRS forgiveness is over too, and in 5 days homeowners fall off their personal underwater cliff:

Wed, 12/26/2012 - 17:14 | 3097197 Sokhmate
Sokhmate's picture

Bikini Bottom

Wed, 12/26/2012 - 11:04 | 3096097 Seasmoke
Seasmoke's picture

I am amazed anyone is still paying their mortgages. Or are they ?

Wed, 12/26/2012 - 11:09 | 3096105 negative rates
negative rates's picture

If they don't, they will feel the cold steel toe of uncle sam.

Wed, 12/26/2012 - 11:12 | 3096114 chunga
chunga's picture

Sunny Sheu got "Foreclosure - Stuffed" right into his grave.

The Murder of Sunny Sheu - What Would You do for Your Friend?

Not very cheery but this case is ongoing. Will Galison discusses the kidnapping and eventual murder of Sunny Sheu (link above is archive from yesterday).

The Murder of Sunny Sheu

The Death of Sun Ming Sheu: A Government Sponsored Assassination?

On June 26th, 2010, on a secluded street in Flushing, NY, Queens resident Sunny Sheu was found mortally wounded and taken to New York Hospital of Queens, where he died shortly thereafter. The NY Medical Examiner determined the cause of death to be "blunt force trauma to head with skull fractures and brain injuries." and the manner of death is “undetermined”, requiring a criminal investigation under NY law.

Wed, 12/26/2012 - 11:12 | 3096117 monopoly
monopoly's picture

The charade continues....until it doesn't.

Wed, 12/26/2012 - 11:13 | 3096119 larz
larz's picture

wooo hoooo yessss good times are here to stay thanks ben and timmy and you too osamma bin bama and a special shout out to the banksters may your new year be even more prosperous what a frickin country!!! God Bless Linda Green

Wed, 12/26/2012 - 11:14 | 3096121 Cycle
Cycle's picture

The Fed's increasing economic fog is successful in driving investors to misallocate their capital. What could go wrong?

Wed, 12/26/2012 - 11:23 | 3096125 mayhem_korner
mayhem_korner's picture



Bubble, bubble toil and trouble...

The banks can neither forgive debt or unleash (i.e., process) the full inventory of foreclosed homes as that means massive write-downs on their balance sheets (of course, Ben would step in and rehypothecate them to the Fed's 'balance sheet').  But the banks will not run on their swords, of course.

They believe that the housing market will recover if they can bleed enough credit into the market to get the marginal buyers to ignore the foreclosure inventory and giddily sop up whatever stuff the home-builders are slapping together.  Of course, they also can't lend too much money out, because people will not use the credit simply to buy up houses.  They'll buy iCrap and any other semi-durable shot of consumerist hopium they can lay their greasy paws on.  Too much lending of the digi-printed fiat will cause the inflation cauldron to boil over, with interest rates not far behind (the Fed will NOT allow interest rate to go up).

So the banks must lend, but they cannot lend.  It's a still-drying and slowly accumulating tinder-box. 

Wed, 12/26/2012 - 11:35 | 3096184 sold2u
sold2u's picture

The WSJ reported that a new refi program is in the works, which would allow non-GSE underwater borrowers to refi into a GSE loan. 


Probably a long shot since Congress would have to change the GSE's charter, and consumer activists will scream at the safe harbor that will be required to get originators on board. But if it happens, a lot of those dodgy loans are going to get paid back at par.

Wed, 12/26/2012 - 12:23 | 3096321 Fred Hayek
Fred Hayek's picture

The Case-Schiller index doesn't include bank sales or condo sales.  It's a very poor measure of the actual housing market.  Reggie Middleton had an article months back about all its defects.  He also showed that it tended to be about 6 months behind the actual market.  At any rate, I would only wish a jump into the real estate market now on an enemy.

Wed, 12/26/2012 - 14:55 | 3096709 Monedas
Monedas's picture

Seems like the government has many designer/defective indexes .... the man wants a blue suit .... turn on the blue light ?

Wed, 12/26/2012 - 12:29 | 3096347 Oldwood
Oldwood's picture

Cash is looking for a return and housing is appearing to be the least stinky bet at this point. Our government, bankers and elite are doing what they can to prevent the panic that would ultimately ensue if everyone was told in no uncertain terms where we actually are, and the longer they suspend reality, the harsher the people's response will be to it when it is finally pushed in their faces. I fear less what becomes of our economy than the people's response to it. Lead is looking the better investment over time.

Wed, 12/26/2012 - 12:30 | 3096352 AgAu_man
AgAu_man's picture

A $25k house in Detroit was taxed 2.5k/yr last couple of years. Now the City appraised it at $32k and jacked the taxes to $3.2k/yr. We're talking about a property occupied by a Sec. 8 tenant with an oPhone and pays a mere 20% of the rent. And IF you or your LLC were to buy such a property, the new owners won't show up on the tax records for months (6-12). Way to go Detroit, now investors will really be rushing in, where angels fear to tread. :-/

Wed, 12/26/2012 - 12:53 | 3096420 Greater Fool
Greater Fool's picture

Don't you mean "where Anglos fear to tread?"

Wed, 12/26/2012 - 12:56 | 3096428 emersonreturn
emersonreturn's picture

so the sec8, the govt (state or fed?) pays 80%...and as long as the govt prints the owner will receive 100% rent as the govt underwrites the renter and the property owner?  and this can continue for so long as the govt prints?  as well after a set period of time the property owner (the signature on the deed to the bank) can take 80% equity and use it to buy another property?  it's mind boggling...please someone explain?  i can't follow the logic.  thank you.

Wed, 12/26/2012 - 16:47 | 3097102 AgAu_man
AgAu_man's picture

Detroit is "special"...

The State pays (can't print) the Sec. 8 rent portion to owners.  The inner city welfare tenants get a sweat-heart deal.  And as they are not "where Angels/Anglos fear to tread)", they are relatively safe. 

Your logic of future leveraging (the 80% equity) works in theory, but Q= 'What to buy, and where?'  If in Detroit, it's risky at any price.  Unless you re-invest in Michigan anywhere outside of inner city Detroit.  Check the crime rate stats.  There are websites for that.

Let's say you already have Detroit residential rental property.  Things get really 'interesting' if it's a non-Sec.8 tenant, i.e. private tenant, then the fun really starts in the inner city.  Many play the Rental game: they pay rent 2-3 months in full and on time, then... make late partial payment, then none further till they either get evicted (takes time and risk the place getting 'abused') or till you pay them to leave early and in good, clean condition.  The PMC (Property Mgmt. Co.) you 'vetted' and retained, claims to have done its due diligence in screening the tenants.  They are eager to find another 'qualified' tenant and get the 1st mo. rent as rental-agent fee, as this is a multiple of the 10% monthly Mgmt fee they charge.  To boost their low income, these PMC's operate as "turnkey solutions" for out-of-state or foreign investors.  Meaning:  They provide a list of pre-screened homes in 'good' neighborhoods, will prep/rehab and rent it for you (sometimes already has tenants).  If they are selling someone else's property, they flip it on the spot (quick buy & sell) for an instant $5-10k markup.  Beats 10% fee on monthly rental day day, right?  Typically, when it comes to that area, a local Realtor buys the REO at an auction for, say, $5,000 (with or w/o tenants).  He'll flip it to your PMC for $15,000.  They will do minor repair and cleanup, and sell it to you (out-of-town investor) for $25,000-30,000.  Maybe more.  If for $25k, you will be strongly encouraged to rehab the place (new furnace, water heater, plumbing, paint, clean for $5-8k). They will make extra margin on the 'new' furnace and water heater they bought.  Even though they got it on the black market (no pun intended) for a fraction.

They will present a case of making an annual ROI of 20%+.  This assumes:  (1) your ability to get the sky-high property taxes reduced (from 10% of appraised value) via a good lawyer for $500-800 per case, (2) 100% occupancy rate with timely and full payments, (3) no further significant repairs, (4) the PMC is 100% ethical and is not playing creative accounting or shady business practices (they actually forward the full amount on time, rather than cover even bigger holes in their portfolio).  The real ROI is probably in the 1-5%.  That's a lot of risk, paperwork, extra CPA fees, and grief.  Way to much for an 'outside' investor.

And did you/anyone pick up on the astronomical (world record?) property tax rates?  10% per year on the appraised value!!!  So, if you had a $250,000 house in your area of the country and paid these rates, you'd be paying $25,000 a year in taxes.  That's 'De-troy-it' for ya!

And you'll never buy a place for $5k, because then you'd be competing with the PMC's business model, and they'd never take it to manage it for you.  It'll stay empty till you sell it (after it's beeen broken into and the copper plumbing, furnace and water heater stolen and sold to a PMC for a rehab project).

If you're a schmuck outsider and  do buy a place from the PMC, the County will show it as being owned by you (your LLC), but not the City's Tax Office.  Their records are 6-12 months behind.  So they'll show 'your' place being owned 2 owners back.  Good luck in getting timely tax notices. If/when you do, you'll have accrued plenty in late fees and interest.  Thanks, City of Detroit!

Who makes money in this deal?  A:  The Locals... The City (via Title/Deed fees and robber-baron Taxes), Realtor, Appraisers, PMC's and their network of tradesmen.  And the tenants (private or Sec.8). 

Who loses?  A:  1. YOU the investor/job-creator!.  2. The State (Sec.8 payments).  Well, maybe it's not so bad for the State... as they'd pay 10x more if they had to incarcerate some of these welfare people (or their kids) for drugs, theft, etc.  Maybe keeping them at home and at 'school' is cheaper, and is better for the rest of society.

Our advice:  Let the damn Detroit locals buy up and rehab their own 'hoods!  Let the banks write off and convert these moral, financial and social Hazards into green-space.  Playing investor-landlord via remote control does not work here.  Well, it works even less here than anywhere else in the US.  Ok, South Sudan might be worse, but it's not the US.

Happy New Year, and happy investing!  Personally ZH friends, I'm gonna play true to the name of my handle: In-my-hand AG+AU bullions+coins, bought at each price dip (from one of several revenue streams).  If I do buy real estate, it might be a few fertile acres somewhere in the Pac NW (near "Rio Columbia"?) or North O' the border.

Wed, 12/26/2012 - 17:13 | 3097194 emersonreturn
emersonreturn's picture

thank you AA_Man.

Wed, 12/26/2012 - 13:07 | 3096456 Lndmvr
Lndmvr's picture

My little town iowa story. Bought and remodeled house in 2008 just before the crash due to getting older family out of squalor. After they all passed away we leave. Lost about 28k not including taxes for that year. New buyers got 3k prepaids and $500 for incentive. They are now stuck with $1900 tax bill only going up due to The city floating a bond to build a new jail next to the elementary school and fixing up the town owners propeties on the main square. We bought and moved into an RV in friends yard in Florida while licking our wounds. I will not ever be sorry for the loss just to get out from under. Now, no bills, prepping up and Just figuring out how to get away from F'n car insurancw rates. OH  was -1 in Iowa last nite.

Wed, 12/26/2012 - 13:44 | 3096557 houserich
houserich's picture

Larry says the sunshine is on the way for all of us thanks to the housing market. Never doubt the National Association of Realtors.

Wed, 12/26/2012 - 14:49 | 3096693 Monedas
Monedas's picture

Obama has delivered on his promise of a free house in every nigger's garage !  It's not that complicated .... complete Genetic Modification for HUD ! A "New Deal" in housing after the "Great Re-shuffle" !     Monedas     1929     Comedy Jihad Eviction Jubilee World Tour  

Wed, 12/26/2012 - 14:59 | 3096724 Monedas
Monedas's picture

Hard working, traditional Americans are underwater and can't get relief .... meanwhile, even off the boat Haitians get free HUD houses !  Welfare has gone parabolic .... while we are alarmed at the increase in SNAP cards !

Wed, 12/26/2012 - 15:01 | 3096730 Bicycle Repairman
Bicycle Repairman's picture

The government will continue to chip away at this.  See you in 2030.

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