Wednesday, September 17, 2014


There is nothing better than watching a slow motion train wreck when you have popcorn ready with a good seat. The NFL, ISIS and economists have done things so stupid this week, with such 100% predictable results, that you have to seriously wonder whether how far evolved from monkeys we really are. I mean, come on, a brain damaged three year old could make better decisions at this point. Have we become such a world of brainless morons that even the simplest decisions are beyond us anymore?
Photo: Today's EDITORIAL CARTOON by Darrin Bell: NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and the Ray Rice Scandal

See more cartoons at
Take the NFL, both the leadership and the union. The leadership, which is currently being run aground by the astonishingly slow, Roger Goodell, and helped along by Minnesota Viking owner Rick Spielman and coach Mike Zimmer, decided that alleged child beater Adrian Peterson would play this Sunday after sitting out last week's game. The crushing loss to the Pats last week probably didn't help, but truth be told, the Vikings sucked across the board.

Fans were understandably outraged to which the league gave the usual lip service, business as usual response, forgetting that it is NOT the 1980's anymore and the Internet exists as well as social media. After major sponsors like Radisson heard the "good" news, and not helped by the fact that their logo was splashed all of the screen behind the GM as he announced Peterson's return, told the Viking to cram it with onions and fled with their money. At first, the Vikings said that as Radisson was a "minor" sponsor, they would not chance their minds. Then came word that McDonalds, Anheuser Bush, Visa and Nike were not happy with this either, and suddenly Peterson was out for Sunday (although still getting paid) as these sponsors are worth a combined $250 million dollars. Could they really not see this coming? There is a reason gay people are in this year's St. Patrick's Day Parade in Boston for the first time ever and it is because sponsors like Guinness pulled all their support last year for their anti-gay stance. Beating women, animals or kids is NOT acceptable anymore and people will hound sponsors who continue to not speak out against this behavior.
And then we have the NFL union who said they will appeal Ray Rice's suspension, even though this is exactly the behavior that makes people HATE unions. According to the head of the union, their job is to protect all the players regardless of what they did. NO IT ISN'T, you ass. The job of any union is to protect against employer abuses, fight for equal pay and prevent unacceptable firings. This has none of that. Police unions do the same when the fight tooth and nail against getting rid of some deranged douche who shouldn't be on the force in the first place. When stuff like this happens, it convinces idiots to vote against unions which make all of out lives worse. Way to go, DeMaurice Smith, you dick.

ISIS, on the other hand, is actively trying to end the world. Vatican sources say they have credible threats against the Pope when he visits Albania this weekend and Turkey in November from Muslim extremists. Astonishingly, the Pope says there will be no extra security when he visits, setting the stage for an Archduke Ferdinand moment. That assassin, Gavic Princip, started two world wars and led to the deaths of over 100 million people from war, disease, and poverty. One guy, one domino is all it took. If one lone nut kills the Pope, the world will erupt and Muslims will be the target for every person, religious or not, world wide. The chances for a nuclear war increase dangerously under such a scenario, not to mention a Holocaust of epic proportions, one that will be far worse than the one that befell the Jews, which will spiral out of control. There may easily be a billion dead one year after such an event takes place. Pray ISIS isn't that dumb to condemn the world to it's extinction. But as they seem to have the light bulb wattage of a tiny flashlight, I am not exactly thinking happy thoughts about this one.
And then we have the housing market which is starting to show signs of an epic collapse, ala 2008 all over again. Home prices in the Northeast fell 30% last quarter. Now, prices for August have come out, and they show a steep drop throughout CA right now, in the 10-20% range just last month. Cash purchases, which have fueled this false recovery have dropped hard as equity buyers like the Blackstone Group, have slashed buying sharply as prices have peaked and there is little money to squeeze out of the market. This is from

 1. There’s no more money in the market
Yes, this is literal. There is not more money coming into the California real estate market, there is actually much, much less.
Cash sales totaled 7,547 in August and were 22% of total sales. Cash sales have been steadily declining, down 46.2%, since reaching a peak of 14,028, or 40% of total sales in August 2011.
2. Less cash means less investors
“Hey honey, let’s use our extra cash to buy a home, refurbish it and quickly sell at a profit,” say fewer and fewer people in California.
According to Property Radar, flip sales fell 2.3% for the month and are down 36.5% for the year. Flip sales are defined as properties that have been resold within six months.
Flip sales peaked in October 2012 and have declined 38.2%.
3. Not just the mom-and-pops
California real estate is also quickly losing the attention of corporate money.
Institutional Investor purchases edged up 0.9% for the month but are down 23% from August 2013. As the supply of distressed properties dwindle and prices rise, institutional investor demand has retreated due to the lower return on investment.
In general, institutional purchases have posted consistent monthly declines since peaking in December 2012 and are down 43.9% since then. Trustee sale purchases by LLCs and LPs are down nearly 83.6% from their October 2012 peak.

 Property Radar, CA home sales
Ouch. This kind of plummet is being seen in other places as well and may quickly spread. If it does, expect stock prices to start tumbling with them. You have been warned. Do with it as you will.

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