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"The American Dream Is Dead For Everyone But A Happy Few"

Tyler Durden's picture


$250 Million homes in Europe, $150 Million homes in the US, and as Bloomberg notes Million-dollar homes in the U.S. are selling at double their historical average while middle-class property demand stumbles, showing that the housing recovery is mirroring America’s wealth divide. As CoreLogic notes, "the real estate market is the ultimate reflection of confidence, wealth and income," as purchases costing $1 million or more rose 7.8% in March, while sales of homes costing less than $250k plunged 12%, as "the same factors driving the income stagnation in the middle are driving the income momentum at the top." The luxury markets are indeed on fire as foreign (and domestic) super-wealth floods into real estate but as NewEdge's van Batenburg notes, echoing ur very words, "The American Dream is dead for everybody but the happy few who have enjoyed the tailwinds of the appreciating stock market."



As Bloomberg reports, million-dollar homes in the U.S. are selling at double their historical average while middle-class property demand stumbles, showing that the housing recovery is mirroring America’s wealth divide.

Purchases costing $1 million or more rose 7.8 percent in March from a year earlier, according to data released last week by the National Association of Realtors. Transactions for $250,000 or less, which represent almost two-thirds of the market, plunged 12 percent in the period as house hunters found few available homes in that price range.




“The real estate market is the ultimate reflection of confidence, wealth and income,” said Sam Khater, deputy chief economist at Irvine, California-based CoreLogic Inc. “The same factors driving the income stagnation in the middle are driving the income momentum at the top.”

And here's the thinking that is driving that...

Gary Wasserman, CEO of Troy, Michigan-based Allied Metals Corp., is considering selling two homes in Florida -- one in Naples and another in Miami Beach -- to take advantage of rising prices in the area. He’s also buying a 5,000-square-foot (465-square-meter) condominium in a project under construction in Miami’s Coconut Grove section.




“The stock market is very strong and this is a way to monetize and concretize some gains,” said Wasserman, 64. “We had quite a shock to our collective confidence in 2008 and 2009. The resurgence of the economy has underscored for us that this country remains a very strong place and that the future remains strong.”

But it isn't all shits and giggles in reality... as U.S. home prices climbed 12.9% in the year through February and wages rose only for the top U.S. earners and fell for the bottom 90 percent,

“With the mortgage headwinds and the lack of job growth and everything else that we dealt with through this housing cycle and now into the recovery, the typical first-time buyer got kneecapped,” Jeff Mezger, CEO of the Los Angeles-based company, said on a conference call in March. “So there is no demand there, and we found a way to go flex up and change product and move as quickly as we could to where the demand was.”




“First-time homebuyers are paying retail price, investors are getting wholesale pricing,”




“The American Dream is dead for everybody but the happy few who have enjoyed the tailwinds of the appreciating stock market,” said Robbert van Batenburg, director of market strategy at New York-based Newedge, a multi-asset broker-dealer that published a note to clients last month on the unequal housing recovery. “On the low end, home sales are still making fresh lows every single month.”

The bottom line is that unless you made a fortune in unrealized wealth in stocks over the past few years, you are now priced out of buying a home... and even those with gains are 'rotating' into the real estate market lifting the dream further away and on more and more fragile stilts...


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Mon, 05/05/2014 - 19:56 | 4730239 thamnosma
thamnosma's picture

The new feudalism.

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 20:03 | 4730268 TeamDepends
TeamDepends's picture

Hobosexuals have taken control, what are you going to do except say, "yessir"....

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 20:11 | 4730288 Yes_Questions
Yes_Questions's picture




When a hobosexual couple marry, does a larger-cardboard-box-tree fall in the forest?


is Thunder Bird on the wine list?

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 20:24 | 4730295 Shocker
Shocker's picture

You have the bottom 90% that continue to take the brunt of this poor economy.

Layoff / Closing List:


Mon, 05/05/2014 - 20:16 | 4730314 centerline
centerline's picture

your wine list sir.

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 22:45 | 4730717 deflator
deflator's picture

 I don't like it cuz it's cheap, I like it cuz it's sweet.

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 20:18 | 4730316 thamnosma
thamnosma's picture

Thunderbird is not on MY wine list...

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 21:58 | 4730592 Offthebeach
Offthebeach's picture

I've come across some type of waxed heavy cardboard. Real slippery.

I should do field testing of this type and other cardboard. See if young American families, vets, retired can get a couple of months shelter.

We might be able to take regular cardboard and treat it. Say acetone thined epoxy carried into the fibers. Even floor wax, mineral spirit thinned into the material. Then blue tarp.

I should get a HUD grant.

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 20:12 | 4730292 Shocker
Shocker's picture

what a mess

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 20:07 | 4730275 aVileRat
aVileRat's picture

Yup. It's going to really suck balls when half the savings assets move beyond the annualized savings rate for US productive classes.

Not threadjacking, but I found this amusing and would love to be a fly on the wall at Air France's boardroom tonight. Hell, given how close friends most of the Air France senior execs are, how did this fly under the radar for so long (sic). Will they under oath testify or state which other corporates/companies run in-house call girl rings ? Does someone want to join me on the over/under on a major NY fashion magazine who used to employ a guy named Terry ? Or perhaps a major US Film company ?

Odd how this was glazed over in the media cycle:


Mon, 05/05/2014 - 20:10 | 4730284 thamnosma
thamnosma's picture


Mon, 05/05/2014 - 23:09 | 4730781 The_Ungrateful_Yid
The_Ungrateful_Yid's picture

Living the american dream is getting the fuck out now...still a dream.

Tue, 05/06/2014 - 08:28 | 4731322 drendebe10
drendebe10's picture

For making this happen, a round of ovation for the corrupt aroogant narcissistic lying sociopath fudge packer in chief living its grand imperial golf life style at tax paying US citizen serfs amd peasantsvexpense.

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 19:57 | 4730242 autofixer
autofixer's picture

So?  They voted for it. <sarc, sort of>

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 19:59 | 4730253 surf0766
surf0766's picture

Having a home is a civil right

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 20:15 | 4730308 Grande Tetons
Grande Tetons's picture

Convincing people to self impose the putting of an Albatros around one's neck was pure magic. 


Mon, 05/05/2014 - 19:59 | 4730254 Milton Waddams
Milton Waddams's picture

Long gated communities, personal security detail and armored cars

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 20:22 | 4730326 J Pancreas
J Pancreas's picture

Large swaths of Florida and SoCal already look like areas you'd see in Colombia or Brazil. No shantytowns yet because camping bags and tents are still priced alright.

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 20:38 | 4730366 thamnosma
thamnosma's picture

That's absolutely a fact, at least in Southern California.  It ain't all glitter.

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 20:04 | 4730258 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

i have spent the past few years learning to think like a retard and it has paid off big time


top picks - brawndo the thirst mutilator, carl's junior brought to you by carl's junior, starbuck's gentlemen's lattes...

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 20:02 | 4730265 oklaboy
oklaboy's picture

PBS's new show, " This Old Shack"

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 20:06 | 4730274 mophead
mophead's picture


Mon, 05/05/2014 - 20:10 | 4730283 kensuneit
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Nice Avatar, Mophead!!

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 20:12 | 4730293 Grande Tetons
Grande Tetons's picture

Mophead is my favorite poster. Although, I can not remember anything he was written. 

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 20:28 | 4730343 Yes_Questions
Yes_Questions's picture



Some of these Avatars are testing to see whether I'm a replicant, or a lesbian..

I swear.


Mon, 05/05/2014 - 21:05 | 4730445 TeamDepends
TeamDepends's picture

As long as you check the "hobosexual" box you will be able to begin again, in an off-world colony....

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 21:16 | 4730473 seek
seek's picture

One of my ZH pastimes is to run google image search on the avatars and find progressively larger and larger versions of the pictures. There's some nice eyecandy to be found along with the weirdness.

Tue, 05/06/2014 - 03:02 | 4731048 Alcoholic Nativ...
Alcoholic Native American's picture

Pop Quiz!

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 20:07 | 4730276 Yes_Questions
Yes_Questions's picture



The resurgence of the economy has underscored for us that this country remains a very strong place and that the future remains strong.


Somewhere in Michigan, a village is missing its kool-aid junkie.

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 20:14 | 4730289 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

one of these days that guy is going to step away from his three screen trading platform, open the front door of his house, stare out into the desolate wasteland that lies beyond and say wtf?

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 20:09 | 4730278 asa-vet52
asa-vet52's picture

This article is so NOT true.   Who is to say what the Amercan dream is anyways?

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 20:13 | 4730300 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

Well if the American Dream is living in squalor on public assistance the article is not true.

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 20:23 | 4730327 asa-vet52
asa-vet52's picture

There are still people living a good life and not buying million dollar mansions. And not living in squalor. The middle class isn't completely dead like some pundits would have you believe.

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 20:42 | 4730380 Vampyroteuthis ...
Vampyroteuthis infernalis's picture

 The middle class isn't completely dead like some pundits would have you believe.

asa, what most people on ZH believe is in the future. Edited for your sake, " The middle class will soon be completely dead like some pundits would not have you believe."

Tue, 05/06/2014 - 05:13 | 4731121 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

O.K.  The American Dream is dead for me and I no longer believe in America; does that work for you?

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 20:10 | 4730285 intric8
intric8's picture

The american dream is part of the debt system created to keep americans in servitude all their lives. People are so pooped after a hard days work that they watch programming that doesnt require any thinking like the kardashians. Do a porn film and get rich and famous, that is the american dream. It certainly isnt our dream of having real freedom, liberty, and seeing the sanctity of our constitution upheld. no siree.

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 20:15 | 4730309 Yes_Questions
Yes_Questions's picture





Now where's my fucking CHEESE?!?



Mon, 05/05/2014 - 21:32 | 4730514 crazzziecanuck
crazzziecanuck's picture

Idiocracy is already here.  Didn't even take 10 years for most of it to materialize.  lol

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 22:31 | 4730687 JuliaS
JuliaS's picture


Mon, 05/05/2014 - 20:11 | 4730290 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

The FED accomplishing it's dual mandate of equity inflation and generational unemployment.

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 20:14 | 4730304 centerline
centerline's picture

Whatever.  Captain Obvious stuff for the ZH crowd.  Post this on Facebook for my wife to read please.

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 20:18 | 4730315 buzzsaw99
buzzsaw99's picture

You are an unfit mother. Your children will be placed in the custody of Carl's Jr.

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 20:24 | 4730334 Miffed Microbio...
Miffed Microbiologist's picture

Front page news in San Diego is how our local Casinos have revitalized our economy and our home prices were leading the nation. I burst out laughing when I read this but wasted time trying to explain it to everyone in the room. Just 10 dull stares.

I guess to connect with people today you must discuss the fascinating tidbits and celebrity gossip found in the Entertainment Section. Life outside of the Matrix can be quite lonely at times.


Mon, 05/05/2014 - 20:28 | 4730346 Grande Tetons
Grande Tetons's picture

Ask them how your ass looks in your new jeans. 

People love to talk about asses and the weather. They are  today's safe zones. 

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 21:45 | 4730553 Miffed Microbio...
Miffed Microbiologist's picture

Not when you can still fit your ass in your high school jeans and they must have industrial strength elastic waistbands. In my case, ass is a touchy subject. ;-)

I'm tired of hearing admonishments I shouldn't trail run anymore because I could slip and fall or power yoga is too much effort. The newest thing is petitioning management for an elevator for our building. We only have one flight of stairs.


Tue, 05/06/2014 - 09:37 | 4731563 intric8
intric8's picture

If real vacant stares out of a group will entertain you further, ask em if they think fractional reserve banking will be the end of us.

change the subject, ask em if your pants emphasizes your bulge quite nicely. seque that into hipster culture. tell em hipsters only read sources that are anti propaganda. Bing! Next thing you know they're all reading zh like they should be

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 20:33 | 4730362 ebworthen
ebworthen's picture

Wow, being next to the Pacific Ocean and having an average temperature of 70 degrees isn't enough anymore?

How sad they have resorted to gambling to prop things; spent some formative years in San Diego and it was a nice place.

Tue, 05/06/2014 - 13:32 | 4732505 Monty Burns
Monty Burns's picture

Yes, it was really nice but even as far back as the mid-nineties it was beginning to take on a Mexican look, especially as you went inland. Guess in 20 years time they'll be saying the same thing about the rest of the country....

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 20:51 | 4730415 Dr. Destructo
Dr. Destructo's picture

You handled it better than I did -I gave a blank stare at first, then when my brain processed the shock I wailed in the closet for 30 minutes.


Tue, 05/06/2014 - 13:28 | 4732478 Monty Burns
Monty Burns's picture

I guess to connect with people today you must discuss the fascinating tidbits and celebrity gossip found in the Entertainment Section.


That's the whole point. Dumb them down and distract them with bread and circuses.  Then they'll be as unlikely as cattle to revolt against their fate.

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 20:25 | 4730337 Dr. Destructo
Dr. Destructo's picture

Let me know when people start getting pissed enough to actually do something about it.

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 20:29 | 4730352 401K of Dooom
401K of Dooom's picture

It's only working for the HFT traders of Wall Street and Illegal Aliens. 

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 20:33 | 4730360 yogibear
yogibear's picture

The oligarchs created a debtor's prison with all those non-default able school loans.  

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 20:44 | 4730387 Walt D.
Walt D.'s picture

America's Dream has become Obama's Dream. Marx postulated that since Socialism was much more efficient than Capitalism, Socialist societies would transform into the Communist where there would be plenty for everbody, with just a few people needing to work. Hence Obama's push to get as many people as possible on Food Stamps and long term unemployment benefits - its the start of the Marxist Dream.

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 22:28 | 4730649 sylviasays
sylviasays's picture

Marxist dream quickly becomes Marxist nightmare with plenty of nothing for everybody (except for Obozo and his cronies)

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 20:53 | 4730416 I Write Code
I Write Code's picture

Transactions for $250,000 or less, which represent almost two-thirds of the market, plunged 12 percent in the period as house hunters found few available homes in that price range.

Well then how about houses in the $250k to $350k range?  Maybe they're just inflating out of the old range.  $250k in Los Angeles won't buy anything you'd want to live in, well, maybe a two year old Bentley.  And a million dollars would buy you half a 60x120 vacant lot in a modest area - or a decent old house in a decent area 30 to 50 miles from work.

I'm not really arguing with the assertion, just reviewing the numbers and wondering what $250k buys you these days out where the buffalo roam.

Also, always doubt the numbers.  I wonder how many of those sub-$250k homes over the last five years were foreclosures?  Slow down the foreclosure rolls and the average prices appear to spike, though it's mostly an illusion.




Mon, 05/05/2014 - 20:58 | 4730426 thamnosma
thamnosma's picture

And just how many people can afford $500K bungalows in Los Angeles outside of the lawyer and entertainment class?  Either we're back to giving migrant workers no-doc loans or sales are dropping.   Something is odd about all this.  Fact is that the housing market was never permitted to have its required wash-out as prices were propped up by Obama and the Fed to "keep people in their homes".   No way do L.A. home prices reflect the underlying earning power of those managing to get into homes.

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 22:28 | 4730681 sylviasays
sylviasays's picture

Inflated home prices in certain parts of L.A. reflect hot money parked in real estate by the weathly from around the world.

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 21:39 | 4730536 Walt D.
Walt D.'s picture

You should move to New York city - there, by Mayor de Blasio's definition, $1 million buys you a mansion. I kid you not.

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 20:58 | 4730427 mercy
mercy's picture

"There's a reason they call it the American Dream, because you have to be asleep to believe in it."


George Carlin


The American Dream was never a thing, thus it cannot be dead.

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 21:09 | 4730456 novictim
novictim's picture

Thomas Picketty's book "Capital in the 21st Century" describes the inbuilt flaw in our system that funnels unearned wealth into the hands of a ever smaller number of oligarchs and their heirs.

The outcome of the system we are all battling each other in, from Moscow to Washington to London to Beijing is evident in the disparity of GDP growth as a whole to Stock-market dividends.  

The wealthy and lucky few, ever fewer year by year I might add, take home 3 and 4 times the rate of GDP growth as dividends and this disparity manifests directly as the growing wealth gap.

The system we have breeds an unfair distribution of wealth...a situation where hard working, dedicated workers (Doctors, Nurses, Bakers, Fry cooks, janitors, steel mill workers...all of those who live off pay from work) toil and sweat and use their skills to generate the goods and services while those in the ever increasingly small Aristocracy take in all the gains from increased productivity.  There is no sharing.

But worse for the system itself, the misappropriation of wealth to the parasites, the children of the great capitalists of the past sucks the purchasing power out of every economy of the Earth, from EVERY nation, leading to STAGNATION and eventual economic collapse.

That is where we are NOW, TODAY.  When will it all come to a collapse?  No one is ever quite sure of this.  But since the Oligarchs in the USA and Europe and Russia and China have hijacked their respective political systems to protect the status quo and prevent needed change, we can expect disaster anytime.  That is assuming global warming or WWIII don't come first.

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 21:43 | 4730548 Walt D.
Walt D.'s picture

Move to Cuba, Venezuela or Argentina if you think things are bad here.

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 21:51 | 4730573 besnook
besnook's picture

a beacon of light, an intellectual titan, a deep still pool of thought, brilliant. if anone tries to describe you using any of these words, be careful. they are trying to steal something from you.

Tue, 05/06/2014 - 13:38 | 4732528 Monty Burns
Monty Burns's picture

Really, that's a pathetic response.  It's the knee-jerk reaction to anyone who claims that things are not 100% wonderful in the USSA.

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 21:15 | 4730470 sondernauch
sondernauch's picture

The Chinese, especially the Taiwainese, have absolutely no trouble affording the big houses. They live several generations to a house, they are mostly entrepreneurial, they are very secretive about their money, and they network like crazy, even more than Jews. White people better get a clue, and fast.

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 22:23 | 4730672 NemoDeNovo
NemoDeNovo's picture

LOL, White people are far too divided to 'figure it out' at this point, IMO.  But I may be wrong.........

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 22:35 | 4730699 sylviasays
sylviasays's picture

Most of them voted for hope and change while being told they are R A C I S T

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 22:16 | 4730647 kchrisc
kchrisc's picture

I have achieved the new American Dream: A guillotine in every yard or lot.


"It's sure going to take a lot of guillotines to clean up this mess."

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 22:49 | 4730732 Freedumb
Freedumb's picture

The American Dream is not dead, on the contrary, the American Dream has merely moved to different locations, those being Bermuda, Luxembourg, Cayman Islands, British Virgin Islands, Anguilla, Bermuda, Jersey, Guernsey, Hong Kong, Dubai -- though this list is getting shorter as countries capitulate to IRS / FATCA bullying such as Switzerland, or get nailed with bail-ins like Cyprus. And your job is going to be something morally bankrupt, rather than producing anything with real value.

Eventually there is going to be a mountain of money (granted, pretty much just paper / fiat money, or perhaps mere electronic records thereof) in one or two last tax havens and our feudal overlords will rule over us all from there. No room for making an honest living anymore in this economy.

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 23:29 | 4730827 McGuffin
McGuffin's picture

Please. The dream being enjoyed by the "happy few" is certainly not American.

Mon, 05/05/2014 - 23:35 | 4730833 Hongcha
Hongcha's picture

You play the hand you are dealt.  I will spend part of the rest of my earning years trying to determine and carry out tactics for separating wealthy Chinese from some of their money.  I will also be spending a significant amount of time protecting my money from the predators inside the walls.  The fed is a malignancy and the nation is slowly turning insane and, actually, retarded.

That is my ticket and I am fine with it.  "Fortune presents gifts not according to the book".  .gov destroyed the thing without my slightest opportunity to halt the progress any more than I can halt a wave off Ocean Beach with a shovel.  So I am just going to go where the money is.

But there is still growth and genius in the United States; we are just going to have to go through a Dark Age to get to it...

Tue, 05/06/2014 - 00:47 | 4730939 Handful of Dust
Handful of Dust's picture

"There has never been a better time then now to be Fleeced in the Housing Market."

Check out the rise in property taxes....some areas outside of Houston I read are higher then 3.5% !! .................and rising !!!!!

Tue, 05/06/2014 - 01:07 | 4730959 Arthur Schopenhauer
Arthur Schopenhauer's picture

I live in a rural area outside of Houston and our taxes have been raised the MAXIMUM ALLOWED BY LAW - 10%. Of course, the county won't fix our roads... they won't clean out the ditches... they won't do shit, except suck more money out of us to finance Houston's "Smart growth" and "Sustainable Communities Initiative", etc.

Tue, 05/06/2014 - 07:09 | 4731198 esum
esum's picture

what is the motivation if a person can clear the equivalent of 60k sitting on their ass with govt free shit... people aren't stupid, why work when its handed to you. wait until mc donalds is staffed by robots, trains are run by robots, bridge tolls by robots, buses and cars automated... and there are no robot jobs left..... robots dont pay taxes so who will support the free shit system.. the wealthy will flee or hide the money and refuse to pay taxes with legal loopholes.. when the middle class is gone there will be a french revolution...guillotine and all.. politicians head the line....

Tue, 05/06/2014 - 08:13 | 4731287 AdvancingTime
AdvancingTime's picture

How do we reconcile the April jobs report that showed 288,000 jobs being created and 806,000 people dropping from the work force with economic reality? The question then arises as to how this will spill over to economic policy.

My take on the recent jobs report is that as spring comes upon us ever optimistic and more desperate Americans are being pushed into making a decision as to whether to leave the work force or take a lower paying job that is often part time. Yes, people are busy scurrying around, but it should be clarified not at a fast pace. More on why we should not be overly excited about this report in the article below.

Tue, 05/06/2014 - 08:16 | 4731290 AdvancingTime
AdvancingTime's picture

I have owned an apartment complex for many years and we are currently experiencing the largest number of vacancies we have ever had. Many houses in the area are empty or under leased. In 2005 and 2006 prior to the housing collapse many people were looking at second homes, for investments or as a vacation getaway.

Today not only have many people shed the extra home many have doubled up with family or friends reducing the need for housing. We are pushing on a string and calling it demand when someone who can barely pay the rent is encouraged by the government to buy a house they can neither afford or maintain. We have a shortage of "qualified" buyers and renters. More on how low interest rates are hurting housing in the article below,

Tue, 05/06/2014 - 13:27 | 4732473 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

Let them pay rent in cake!!

Tue, 05/06/2014 - 08:53 | 4731389 Shizzmoney
Shizzmoney's picture


"The American Dream Is Dead For Everyone But A Happy Jew"

Fixed your headline

Tue, 05/06/2014 - 13:24 | 4732458 MeelionDollerBogus
MeelionDollerBogus's picture

Awwww so sad.
The American Dream is alive, fret not! Happy times! Brought to you  by your host, Freddy Kreuger, and starring your favorite singalong-pal, Jason Voorheese.

Sweet 'american' Dreams...

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