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Monday, June 3, 2013

A Kindred Ideological Spirit on US Housing care of the Guardian UK

We said all last week as the corporate media was trumpeting housing recovery, that it was all essentially bullshit..  That actually it was worse-- it was a ruse.

Its nice to see someone else in the media openly say it too...

Not the US media.. Oh God No.. Never expect honest reporting on this recession-depression from them-- interests are too economically and politically vested...  Too incestuous.

No, to get truth, you often need to go to sources outside the US spinzone such as Heidi Moore, U.S. finance and economics editor at the Guardian UK.
Because the entirety of her article in the Guardian on May 29th is so wonderfully 100% dead on the money accurate and reinforces Everything we've written last week, we are presenting a lot of it here (in blue font) with commentary by us in standard black font as necessary.

To read the original article in full, click on the link:

Needless to say after reading this, we feel like we found an ideologically kindred spirit..
We warn for those with short attention span that this overall post is quite long but you will not find a more honest assessment of the housing market as it relates to this faux 'recovery' and reaffirmation of all we've said, as what Moore writes...

So do try to stay focused-- its for your benefit..

We already possess the knowledge.

Don't be fooled by the false economic recovery  -- "We all want to believe a recovery is here, but indicators are that it's not. We're getting swindled again by banks and politicians"
Can you imagine a US based news source being so blunt.. Especially in its header and first sentence?? Usually if there's any truth, its buried in paragraph 12...


"After five years of unemployment, government deficits and financial struggle, every American wants to call it a recovery and call it a day. That's why some optimistic economic data this week seem to have messianic importance, in the ever-optimistic belief that higher consumer confidence and rising home prices will deliver us from economic evil..."

This is part of the perpetual, never-ending con game which government and finance play upon the everyday simple folk, especially those hard-line optimists who refuse to accept reality and often need some sign of hope;  some sign that someone in mythical 'Oz' gives a shit about them and is fixing the problem to get through their day..
We're fed lies daily and some know it to be true but most actively gobble it up; an economic Stockholm Syndrome where captor and captive work together...

"But if evil has one power, it is the power of illusion, to mask reality. And, in this case, that is also the power of the positive economic data.

Take the consumer confidence numbers, which are measured every month by the Conference Board and act as one of the more foolish hinges on which to hang our hopes. Consumer confidence in May jumped to 76.2, on a scale of 100. In the popular interpretation, that indicates that consumers believe the economy is improving...
As Michael Santoli at Yahoo Finance points out, the average consumer confidence number during a recession is about 79, and even with our recent boost, we're still lagging below that low bar.

There is more evidence that Americans lack psychic economic ability. The May data shows the highest measure of consumer confidence since February 2008. That was a time in which a housing crash was already well underway, and only a month before before Bear Stearns collapsed and confirmed that the country was in a financial crisis. 

At least six months before that, in August 2007, three major hedge funds invested in subprime real estate had to be bailed out by the French bank BNP Paribas, and the Federal Reserve and other central banks started pumping $300bn into the global banking system. 

Any collective confidence back in February 2008 was foolish and unwitting of the crisis that had already started in the higher rungs of finance."
In other words most Americans wouldn't have the slightest clue what a recovery or recession looks like outside of their very narrow worldview of themselves and possibly friends and neighbors.

Its like the weather-- if you're cocooned up in your home all day and night watching TV, how would you know if its sunny or rainy or hot or cool unless the TV told you?  And for many, looking out the 'window' both figuratively and literally is a chore...

"Housing prices have risen at the fastest rate in seven years, as the Case-Schiller Index of national housing prices showed today. However, the sources of that rise - as with all sudden booms - are dubious. While house prices are rising, incomes, purchasing power and lending are not keeping up.
The housing recovery, for instance, seems to be just another stage of the foreclosure crisis. Note that the areas where house prices have risen the most - Arizona, Las Vegas and California - are all areas that were hurt most deeply by the housing crash. So pry between the boards of the housing recovery and the termites start crawling out. 

Here, you'll find some old villains of the last housing bubble, crawling on the same properties. There are the house-flippers and the financial institutions, the foreclosure players that regenerate whenever there is a boom.

In this case, they may be creating the boom themselves. House-flipping in California has reached levels not seen since 2005, according to the Wall Street Journal. This rise in price is, by all accounts, artificial."
Just like we told you last week.. those GD parasite house flippers are main culprits in this artificial i.e. Fake housing recovery..

They swarm in like carpetbaggers in the post Civil War south, exploit others' misery by practically stealing homes at pennies on the dollar then do a quick turn-around for 5-10% profit usually to another flipper who does the same.. then again..and again..

The real home buyers-- the people who actually plan on living in these homes and raising families end up paying $50-$100k more and saddle themselves with on average $300-$500/month more in mortgage payments because of these flipping bastards & bitches (we're not gender biased-- women can flip as deviantly as the menfolk)
"Housing, like all products, responds to the laws of supply and demand. When supply decreases - when there are fewer homes on the market - then prices will rise. This is what is happening now.

There is evidence that lenders are controlling the housing supply by reducing the number of houses for sale. Last year, AOL Real Estate's reporting suggested that as many as 90% of available properties were not even really on the market, but just polished for sale and being held back to keep supply low.

Then, last month, three major banks, including Citigroup and Wells Fargo, halted all their sales of homes in foreclosure; this also reduced the supply of homes on the market. 
The reduction in housing supply, then, is largely artificial, designed by the banks and institutions that hold thousands of houses and thus have the most to gain from higher house prices.

The result is what looks like a housing recovery to the rest of us, but is, in fact, something of a trap. Fitch, the ratings firm, issued a warning that the alleged recovery in housing is moving too fast and could reverse."

We told you this last week too..   When you read this, not only should you be thinking 'Wow' or 'A&G is once again spot-on' but also how intentionally inept the US media is covering something as important to this..

They'll say whatever it takes to get people in a buying mode and acquire greater amounts of debt.  And as we said before, potential sellers may think this is great for them but it isn't because the vast majority of sellers are also buyers so the inflated values will ultimately bite everyone in the buttocks..  well, accept the Realtor.
"There is one thing that housing prices do accomplish, however: the so-called "wealth effect." Along with a booming stock prices, higher property values make people feel rich. This then encourages them to go out and spend money.

There are enough problems with the wealth effect idea, but let's leave it here: spending real money based on vaporous paper wealth is unwise. Household debt is still high and savings are still low, which has been a persistent problem in the US for years. 

Median household incomes have collapsed since the recession, indicating that most households are making do with less money. According to Robert Reich:

'This is nothing new; it's just more visible in this un-recovery. You can see by this handy income-distribution chart that over the past 44 years, middle-class incomes have barely budged. So it's fair to say that if people are spending more, they're likely to be shelling out money they don't necessarily have (in the form of credit cards, for instance).'"

If you took away everyone's credit card and forced people to pay for all goods and services by cash, check or check-card, the US economy would go into shock, convulse, and quickly collapse upon itself within 48 hours...

That's how dependent we all are to credit cards for survival.

Very few have the means to pay their bills in full on time and its all set up that way on purpose.  The US and global economy can not function unless you and hundreds upon hundreds of millions of people like you borrow at interest to survive.
"There is a persistent unemployment crisis in the United States that has gone un-addressed by either Congress or corporate America. Around 12 million people are unemployed, about 40% of whom have been out of work for six months or more - rendering them unemployable in the near term. 

Poverty is rising so that nearly 15% of Americans are on food stamps. Ben Bernanke, the chairman of the Federal Reserve, didn't bother to pretend the recovery is particularly robust.

Still, why should we question good news? Even if a recovery is made of vapor, it can make people feel good. So why not believe in a recovery if it makes us feel better?
The reason to maintain skepticism of good times a-coming is that an economic recovery can – and is – used to package a lot of political snake oil. 

As long as people believe in a recovery, Congress can keep ignoring the unemployment and equality crises and enjoy ginning up imaginary problems like the plague of corporate tax rates. If Americans believe in a recovery, CEOs can keep claiming that they don't need to invest in the United States or hire American workers."

Absolutely 100% on the mark!!  No need to create legislation to deal with problems if the Fed can successfully con a populace eager to be conned that everything is slowly getting back to normal..
Remember the psychology of standing in a long line..  if you wait forever with no movement, you get antsy and outwardly irritable.. All it takes to make you docile again, is seeing some minor movement at the way front of the line... this creates 'Hope'...

"A recovery allows real estate agents and banks to tell Americans that they can't borrow money for the home they want, that they can't participate in the housing market, while wealth private investors scoop up as much as they can. 

A recovery allows lawmakers to pretend that their destructive policies of deficit cutting and austerity were productive, rather than destructive.

A mythical recovery, in short, gives cover to a lot of irresponsible people hoping that Americans won't look behind the curtain.
There is a momentary discomfort in realizing that the recovery is weak. When the absurd illusion of a "better economy" is gone, lawmakers and CEOs may be forced to stop believing in the myth of a good economy and actually start working to create the reality of it."

And as long as people possess that 'Hope' or 'Faith' or 'Trust' in their leaders which blinds them like love of nation and flag tends to do to people, the masses will never demand anything..  They will accept the lie willingly.