The broadest measure of the current real estate/credit/economic crisis can be found in the foreclosure data. And just how improved is that data series these days?

Not very:

“More than 800,000 properties received foreclosure filings in the first quarter of 2009, according to RealtyTrac’s latest foreclosure report, released today. That was the highest quarterly total since RealtyTrac began issuing its numbers in the first quarter of 2005 despite a 13 percent decrease in bank repossessions (REOs) from the previous quarter. The increase was driven by a jump in default and auction notice filings on the front end of the foreclosure process, particularly in March when default notices were up 20 percent from the previous month and auction notices were up 29 percent from the previous month.”

Bloomberg adds:

“A flood of bank-owned properties is hitting the housing market as the U.S. recession deepens. The unemployment rate jumped to 8.5 percent in March, the highest since 1983, as 663,000 jobs were lost, according to the Labor Department. Home prices fell 19 percent in January from a year earlier, the fastest drop on record, according to the S&P Case/Shiller Index of 20 U.S. cities. The measure has fallen every month on a year-over-year basis since January 2007. Mortgage applications declined last week for the first time in a month, a sign that even with borrowing rates below 5 percent may not be enough to spur a housing recovery.”

So much for the vaunted bottom in Real Estate — and the broader economy . . .

>

Previously:
Voluntary Foreclosure Abatements Ending (April 2009)

http://www.ritholtz.com/blog/2009/04/foreclosure-abatements-ending/

Sources:
Foreclosure Activity Hits Record High in First Quarter
darenb
Foreclosure Pulse, April 16 2009

http://www.foreclosurepulse.com/blogs/mainblog/archive/2009/04/16/foreclosure-activity-hits-record-high-in-first-quarter.aspx

Foreclosure Filings in U.S. Climbed to Record in First Quarter
Dan Levy
Bloomberg, April 16 2009

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601213&sid=aRDQUt6RM.FE&

Category: Markets

Please use the comments to demonstrate your own ignorance, unfamiliarity with empirical data and lack of respect for scientific knowledge. Be sure to create straw men and argue against things I have neither said nor implied. If you could repeat previously discredited memes or steer the conversation into irrelevant, off topic discussions, it would be appreciated. Lastly, kindly forgo all civility in your discourse . . . you are, after all, anonymous.

187 Responses to “Foreclosures Hit Record High in Q1”

  1. Steve Barry says:

    In Miami, I hear of condo prices down 80%….in Manhattan, commercial space is now $65 a sq.ft vs. $100 at the peak. And, per my simple extrapolation of Case Shiller, which is right along the path projected back in December, we won’t bottom till 2015 if we are lucky. But then again CNBC says the pace of the slowdown is SLOWING. You have to understand though what the lower home prices will do to the amount of home equity in the US…and what it will do to the derivative WMDs. Does anybody have a link to home equity data…how many homes are under water?

    (Barry, I have an updated, more accurately scaled extrapolation which I will email you)

  2. “From Publishers Weekly
    The only thing missing from this half-time speech of an investment book is an exhortation to buy stocks for the Gipper. Despite the sensationalist title, Glassman, a syndicated columnist, and Hassett, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute who used to be an economist at the Federal Reserve,…”
    http://www.amazon.com/Dow-36-000-Strategy-Profiting/dp/0609806998/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1239879120&sr=8-3

    the cover blurb from Kiplinger’s is, equally, as enjoyable..
    ~~
    “…While most of the talk about the ongoing recession has focused on foreclosures and other problems for homeowners, renters have been pummeled too.

    Half of all renters in the Lehigh Valley area don’t make enough money to afford a basic two-bedroom apartment, according to a study released this week by state and national housing advocates.

    Liz Hersh, executive director of the Housing Alliance of Pennsylvania, said the emphasis on home ownership in the years before the current recession meant there was little incentive for people to build the types of modest rental units many low- and middle-income people need.

    ”The foreclosure crisis is the tip of the iceberg,” she said. ”This is just one more indication that the growth in the market has been very lopsided.…We need a housing market that’s more in sync with the real wages that people earn.”…”
    http://www.mcall.com/news/local/all-a1_5rent.6856300apr16,0,4646078.story

    in other news, Sam Zell, is regretting his purchase of The Tribune Cos.–proud owner of The Morning Call–that managed to make a bad Newspaper, Worse..

  3. Steve Barry says:

    Jack Welch on CNBC, telling a heart warming story of an auto dealer who took half his life savings and bought GE at 5.75…thank the lord of CNBC in these tough times. So fair and balanced. No hidden agendas there. They are there to help the people, like Cramer says…and evil villains like John Stewart , they know nothing!!!!! They are under taking ad hominem hatchet jobs. Now Welch is telling us about the great book written by Suzy Welch to help investors…I’m choked up. This is a hard hitting interview.

  4. VennData says:

    Red Buttons might have put it this way: All those foreclosees who would be overjoyed to have enough income to pay “higher” taxes… and their mortgage. Never got a dinner! …or even got a “Tea Party”

  5. “…I had read Nothing Down books and there were good nuggets of truth hidden in them (like negotiating a low price). Most seasoned investors that I had talked with said the cases laid out in the book were 1 out of 100. Being an investor myself now, I can attest to this. In fact, nothing down was a way to get broke people to attend seminars and line the pockets of those conducting the event. Mind you the people I spoke with at the time had decades of real estate investing under their belt. Yet this joke that we laughed about suddenly became the way of life in California….”
    http://www.doctorhousingbubble.com/
    http://housingdoom.com/category/aei-subprime-seminars/
    “There were many investors questioning the rational of the tech boosted rally. Like any bubble this one popped and we were in a recession come 2001. 2001 was a quite year in the first half. If many can recall the case of Chandra Levy, the D.C. intern was big news. That is of course until 9/11 hit. At this time, the Federal Reserve decided to drop interest rates to historic lows and spurred the bubble of a lifetime:…”
    from drhousingbubble link–

  6. Transor Z says:

    Anybody else have the feeling that something big is about to go down? Neocons in full-court press via “grassroots” tea parties, MSM media appearances hitting the dems on deficit spending, foreign policy, etc. Embedded in the talking points is a breezy “let’s not blame past administrations.”

    Dumb-ass partisanship business-as-usual or something else?

  7. zell says:

    The MSM and gov’t are orchestrating a Spring Fever campaign. Little Green Shoots are sprouting all over. For those sucked in by this propaganda it’s going to be “live in hope; die in despair.”
    CNBC has always and will always e a crock.
    We all know the problems that the economy faces and there is neither the clarity of mind or strength of will to take on the banks of Wall Street. Foreclosures forever as the unemployment multiplier effect joins the already well established credit calamity/ buble ursting first order effects. We are still in the early innings. Don’t underestimate the undertow which is strengthening monthly.

  8. Steve Barry says:

    Its hard to get an accurate national estimate…but looking at a few sites, it seems that about 20% of all US homes are now underwater…33% of homes bought in the last 5 years.

  9. Steve Barry says:

    America’s mayor, Rudy Guiliani, will be on CNBC this morning…hope he shows off the World Series rings he was given, er, earned, as mayor. I’m sure he’ll have a great seat at the new stadium today. Doubt any Bernie Kerik questions will come up.

  10. ben22 says:

    @Steve,

    What you say about the GE stock story is one reason I just moved back to bearish recently.

    Retail, they are just getting into this rally, in the last week or so. Those stories, are becoming common water cooler talk now. It was either GE at $6, Citi at .45, or insert something else that doubled, tripled, quadrupled, etc. Retail loves GE, they are buying it like Buffett don’t you know? Clueless. And yes, CNBC will now fuel that fire. I didn’t see this, but I can just hear Welch and his accent going on about it while the monkey hosts nod along and say over and over how great it is to have him there.

  11. JustinTheSkeptic says:

    I was always told that the market was suppose to see through all the psydo-hypsters? Mr. Market is given way too much credit. Or is it that the market is giving the media too much power? How does the choke-hold that the media has on the markets get liberated? Somewhere in the decifering powers of the market truth must prevail, or we as a society are DOOMED!

  12. ben22 says:

    OH! and classic here, the hosts are upset, or seem to be, with the knee jerk reaction to JPM #’s. since the Bid is down slightly right now on JPM “not really moving the stock” from yesterday’s close price.

    f-ing kidding me. That stock has more than doubled off the lows. What reaction were they looking for exactly?

    And this is interesting, JPM will not participate in PPIP.

  13. ben22 says:

    to follow up from my post last night about the tea parties, the final conclusion is that they are nothing more than another distraction. Now again this morning Rudy and Jack go on and on about taxes, trotting out the same old lines over and over and over again. Oh, the outrage, yet they have been silent for years.

  14. wally says:

    Negative improvements, but improvements nontheless…. right?

  15. Transor Z says:

    @ben22: So now JPM and GS have broken ranks. Very interesting. Are they hightailing it away from somebody’s imminent cratering?

    I try to keep some objectivity, in the sense that I am convinced that pols from both parties are on the take and are as hypocritical as the day is long.

    But the “tea party” talking points are really pissing me off. Check out this assclown, for instance:
    http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/04/16/feehery.budget.questions/index.html

    John “Soylent Green is People” Feehery.

  16. rktbrkr says:

    Steve B, I heard 1/3 of homes are underwater,SWAG I suspect

    limiting mort help to 5% underwater effectively means no help,25% would be pretty expensive, effectively Uncle Sugar absorbing bank principal writedowns – but we’ve been moving in the direction of nationalization of banks loan losses – but not the banks since this fiasco started

    Obama’s plan permits refinancing only for homeowners underwater by a maximum 5 percent. Rosen recommends raising that limit to 25 percent.

    “The underwater problem is a big one and needs to be solved,” Rosen said.

    At least 7.6 million U.S. mortgage holders don’t qualify for Obama’s plan because they exceed the 5 percent underwater threshold, according to an estimate by Seattle-based online valuation service Zillow.com.

  17. Stuart says:

    Eesh. That oughta help the bank’s balance sheets and any future stress test shouldn’t it…. particularly given we’re already passed what was used as worse case scenarios for most measures. What a complete sham, designed for and sold to fools.

  18. rktbrkr says:

    No interest in tea parties for 8 consecutive years of record Bush deficits but now that we try to find a way out of the Bush depression these people are galvanized into protest? As phony as Santelli’s rant. Most of the funds thus far have been Bush admin initiated conduits to bankers pockets anyway – or Bush appointee,Uncle Ben, printing frenzies.

    OB should ask Uncle Ben and Turbo Timmy to resign, we need new brooms here.

  19. Mike in Nola says:

    You guys are just too cheery.

    Mark: You are right about the luxury apartments. Here in Houston, Braeswood Place is just opening with several hundred new apartments and rents several hundred $ above the market. Good luck to them.

    We live in an older complex near the Texas Medical Center. It is well maintained and they are renovating apartments, but I’ve noticed a number empty. I inquired at the office about renewing our lease and they will be only too happy to renew it for the same rent.

    All the stories are that CRE is also going to hell, e.g. General Growth filing chapter 11 today:
    http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/front/6376296.html

    So why was my SRS getting killed yesterday?

  20. Transor Z says:

    So a next question is how a 25%-30% underwater rate translates to more MBS/CDO default events in coming months. Steve, if your extrapolation remains correct, things will get fugly.

  21. Steve Barry says:

    Here’s an example of why this country is so clueless…on of the leading business people, Jack Welch, is worried that if the economy grows at 2% instead of 4% going forward, we may have a deficit problem.

    Jack, it ain’t going to grow even at 2% and the deficit/debt problem is already so massive on the corporate side we are already screwed.

  22. Marcus Aurelius says:

    When we’re finished defaulting on residential RE (and we’re only about half way there), we can start on Commercial RE. Then credit card debt. We are living “the good old days.”

    Transor Z:

    “Anybody else have the feeling that something big is about to go down?”

    Unless it’s fat boy Karl Rove going down on Dick “Dick” Cheney (I hear he has a 3-foot long vagina), I don’t think so.

    F*ck them NeoCons and their goddamned stupid “conservative” base. They’re the dumbest motherf*ckers on the planet. Not only did they borrow us into oblivion, we didn’t even get anything for it. Now they’re out tea-bagging each other in public. Shouldn’t they be out huntin’ Islamofascists and illegal immigrants?

    Deficit spending? I thought deficits didn’t matter.

    As for foreign policy, when you hate all things foreign, it’s hard to formulate a policy that won’t get you into big trouble, at great expense. Unless you can launch a preemptive war that pays for itself – like Iraq. Maybe somebody should ask Joe the “plumber” what we should do next.

    Here’s my answer to these dimwits, should they try to pull “something else”:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IONyLZn0pLI

  23. Steve Barry says:

    I can see a future where 50% of all homes bought in the last 10 years will be underwater…how close is the US consumer to insolvency?

  24. Steve Barry says:

    JPM still leveraged 23 to one…that’s funny.

  25. leftback says:

    A few observations.

    First of all, Jamie Dimon has a very small bazooka in his pocket. Is that all?? After that it is hard to believe that C or GE are going to be able to come out with something that “beats the Street” in a market-moving way.

    Second, the run-up in the REIT stocks has to end soon, and I am sure that SRS is going to have a good run this summer, there is no way that GGP is going to be an isolated case as the CRE bust is just getting started.

    Third, I am really interested in what ben22 says about the return of Johnny Retail. I think we have all been waiting for that as a sign that this rally has run its course. Back at 666.79 (the Leftback Bottom™) almost all retail investors were either in buy & hold “ostrich” mode or curled up in the foetal position, and many hedgies were actually still net short. Fascinating herd behavior.

  26. Todd says:

    On the Tea Party, try explaining why they are out there protesting to your 5 year old.

    It does show that anger and resentment are building, and those are very dangerous and powerful forces.

  27. leftback says:

    Between the rise in foreclosures, the CRE bust and these earnings coming out, it’s not a pretty picture.
    Most of these mid-cap company earnings are awful. Wonder if anyone is paying attention?
    The financial media seem to be too busy blowing the banks today.

  28. Stuart says:

    With what we know about borderline fraudulent accounting practices (often incorporated as models of best practice), and in some cases clearly fraudulent, can anyone even take at face value anything reported by the banks anymore. I sure as hell don’t. And that interview with Welch this morning typified what is so wrong with much of the corporate culture although particularly the financial industry. It also highlighted for the blind to see what is so wrong with CNBC, again. Amazing to see this stuff still going on. The audacious arrogance, the unbridled greed and stark sense of entitlement is a clear heads up, those whose interest it is in to continue pushing this charade are committed to going to the wall. Those who wish to inject new integrity and clean up the culture better be prepared to do likewise. Their opponents are akin to financial Taliban. Despicable but determined. CRE and RE in general are like vices on their books, continuing to squeeze and to place more pressure on their solvency. Given this, I think it is prudent to expect the level of audacious arrogance and reporting fraud to ramp up as matters become more desperate.

  29. Darkness says:

    Dumb-ass partisanship business-as-usual or something else?

    It’s just the Clinton stuff all over again accelerated by new communications and a right-wing captive media class. It doesn’t need a conspiracy to be scary and destructive, if that’s what you are leading to. Someone got smart on the right and made the media types (formerly known as journalists) and pundits rich, which co-opted them without further effort into the right-wing narcissistic “you deserve a stable government and access to expensive services without having to pay for them” worldview.

    What the end game of this is when we are already at this level of mouth-frothing crazytown 3 months in . . . not sure.

  30. ben22 says:

    @ Steve,

    And did you just see that chart on prime mortgage defaults for JPM? Yeah, that looked nice.

    Still, not that I’m putting any money in them but I’m thinking some banks will trend higher from here. Like Whitney Tilson said, as long as these banks earn a little more than they lose, they will probably trend higher over the coming years.

    @ Transor Z,

    Yeah, why are GS and JPM out yet PIMCO couldn’t wait to get in. I may be in the minority here but I can’t stand Mohammed El Erian. I thought When Market’s Collide was rambling and I can’t stand the “who me” attitude he has on tv when people say things like “isn’t PIMCO giving the govt advice on what to do right now” He is a master at talking in circles.

    As for that link you shared above, LOL!

    Is he serious? My favorite though has to be his second “tough” question. Why is it that people spend so much on healthcare right before they die. Hmm, b/c they are about to die… they are probably sick, and need care, which again, is why they are about to die?

    Then goes on to talk about that “eye-opening” data like this:

    older people have more chronic illness, we have a lot of people getting older, therefore, ICU’s will treat more chronic illness moving forward.

    I’m glad a study was conducted to figure all that out. Wonder how much that cost?

    The summary of all of his arguments are why don’t we just take more money from people that are basically poor.

  31. rktbrkr says:

    It’s like the Dust Bowl!

    Top 10 counties are all on W coast except for Deeetroit

    Feldstein said he’s not aware of any historical precedent for numbers like those seen in Yuba County, though it’s possible that there similar situations during the Great Depression in hard-hit regions such as Oklahoma.

    Yuba’s ranking at top of bottom

    Highest percentage of home mortgages exceeding houses’ values nationwide
    April 01, 2009 01:05:00 AM
    By Ben van der Meer/Appeal-Democrat

    Yuba County leads the most populous counties in the nation for “underwater” home equities, according to a report by a New Jersey-based real estate research firm.

    In February, 60.31 percent of all mortgage holders in the county owed more on their loans than the homes were worth, according to the report released this week by SMR Research Corp.

    That percentage holds 77.7 percent of all the mortgage debt in the county, according to the report. Sutter County ranks 13th on the list, with 51.33 percent of all loans being underwater, and that percentage constituting 69.3 percent of all mortgage debt.

    SMR president and co-founder Stu Feldstein said Yuba County experienced two patterns that contributed to its high ranking: People who borrowed with normal mortgages and then saw large housing prices decline, and a high number of people who bought more recently at the top of the market, then saw the values drop.

    “That’s the problem, and it takes awhile for that to correct,” Feldstein said.

    Being so far underwater limits homebuyer options for either refinancing or selling a home, he said, which heigh ens the chance of foreclosures.

    Ruben Ramos, a real estate broker whose main office is in Marysville, said he gets calls a couple of times a week from homeowners with negative equity.

    In one call, a Yuba City couple had a mortgage of $274,000, still owed $212,000 — and had a home now worth $105,000, Ramos said.

    “The family asks, ‘What can we do?’” he said. “I say, ‘If you want to do the right thing, keep riding that horse.’”

    Maintaining their mortgage until prices come back — which could be years away — is a better option than ditching the house or doing a short sell, Ramos said.

    Yuba County’s numbers get even worse in SMR’s study when examining owner-occupied homes where the mortgage is 95 percent or higher of the home’s value. That describes 63.4 percent of all owner-occupied homes, and Feldstein said those people were to try to sell their homes, fees and other associated costs would probably result in a net loss.

    Feldstein said he’s not aware of any historical precedent for numbers like those seen in Yuba County, though it’s possible that there similar situations during the Great Depression in hard-hit regions such as Oklahoma.

    But as more homes are foreclosed and their corresponding high-flying mortgages are wiped off the books, the situation will improve in the Mid-Valley and elsewhere.

    Tuesday, First American CoreLogic, a group that tracks foreclosure data, noted that in February the foreclosure rate in the Yuba City area — usually defined as including both Yuba and Sutter counties — was 2.2 percent, the same as a year earlier.

    That was still higher than the national rate of 1.7 percent. And the mortgage delinquency rate in the area was 8.3 percent, up from 6.4 percent a year earlier. First American Core-Logic defined mortgages that were 90 days or more behind as delinquent.

    Feldstein said that while it’s possible the rise in unemployment and decline in wages could mean more people won’t be able to afford their homes, it’s also possible that housing prices will stop falling this year.

    “The housing bubble is gone,” he said. “What we have now is an extraordinary buying opportunity, if anyone still has the money.”

    Though many potential buyers are staying on the sidelines because they see more incentives to buy coming down the line, Feldstein said, the situation will change once people believe they may miss buying at the bottom.

    Because its numbers are so high, however, Yuba County might take longer to recover.

    Still, Feldstein said, a homebuyer can get a 30-year mortgage with a 4.5 percent interest rate now on a Mid-Valley home that’s half the price of a few years ago.

    “Nobody would’ve ever guessed that was possible,” he said.

    Ramos echoed that, but said too few buyers understand the situation.

    “Right now is a buyer’s market that I never thought I’d see,” he said.

    By the numbers

    In a study of most of the most populous counties in the United States, these were the top 10 for percentage of mortgage holders who were liviing in the home and who owed more on the home than it was worth.

    1. Yuba County

    2. Clark County, Nev.

    3. Pinal County, Ariz.

    4. San Joaquin County

    5. Merced County

    6. Nye County, Nev.

    7. Stanislaus County

    8. Wayne County, Mich.

    9. Lyon County, Nev.

    10. Riverside County

    * Sutter County ranked 13th.

    Source: SMR Research Corp.

  32. H.T. says:

    More bad numbers–more postive futures.

    This market seems to want to go up, and although I sympathize with Steve Barry [and unfortunately am net short], it may very well be we hit my target of 1050-1100 on the S and P [the Fib retracement from high to 666]

    The anecdotal chatter about retail investors is also of note, as i believe i wrote before this part of the “W” recovery [for chart pattern, not Bush] will be started by speculators by 1/3 up, Joe average fund manager by next 1/3, and then retail by 1/3 as the last leg, as the first group sells to them. That may get the 1050-11100 mark. It is needed for this bear to cause the most damage which i believe it “wants” to do. It has to make people believe that for no no good reason [but there's always a few "bright spots"] the market is going back to 1600.

  33. Steve Barry says:

    We are arguably on the cusp of a depression….and today, the Yankees open a 1.5 billion dollar stadium with seats as high as $2500 per seat – yes…10 grand to take a family of 4 to ONE FREAKIN GAME…in 1970, this would have cost you $20…and CNBC will have power lunch at the 4 seasons. Wake up America.

  34. batmando says:

    Waiting to pull the trigger on FAZ?
    Entry points, anybody?

  35. DeDude says:

    Ben22 @ 8:09

    “Oh, the outrage, yet they have been silent for years”

    Maybe I am naïve but I think that particular point is so obvious that only the dumbest of the dumb look at the GOP as having credibility on the issue of government spending. Some of these events featured both the demand for lower taxes and for not passing debt on to the next generation. I mean talk about an obvious spoiled brad wanting to “eat your cake and have it to”. At the other side of their mouth they are yelling about destroying our military by cutting government spending on it. Such a complete joke that even J6P can see it.

  36. ben22 says:

    lefty,

    I got bullish right around the time you did, did not call the exact bottom though. I was actually looking for an even 600 handle, which of course we could/probably will still get. I was looking for the same thing for when to go short again, or in my case buy puts and raise cash, I knew retail would jump in on this one, at almost the exact moment when the shorts would get set up to take their money away from them. They are getting person after person telling them that the market will go up before the economy does, that WB is buying stocks, that you always buy after a big drop, but most important, they know someone that made some money really quick on something recently.

    As another piece of evidence, there are major jumps going on in things like Ameritrade applications, so retail is now going to “trade” b/c it’s easy to “double your money now since so many stocks are cheap”

    And of course, that’s the wrong use of cheap, what they don’t realize is the price is low but not cheap.

    I have talked with many fa’s that manage retail assets in the last two weeks and they are seeing same as me, retail rushing back to the market. The main stock interest I have heard of is in C and F, which would be typical for the retail crowd, but again this is recent, this wasn’t at <$1 on C, but some of the others I talked to said people wanted tech and of course infrastructure “because of the stimulus”, and then some of the other big banks (WFC, JPM, or BAC, typically in that order)

    I agree, this GGP deal should set up SRS for a run over the summer. I’m back in it as I was stopped out very quickly about two weeks ago. Hope this time around goes better than the last.

  37. Clay says:

    On a side note, by one estimate per the San Francisco Chronicle, there may be around 600,000 foreclosed homes in “shadow inventory” of the mortgagors in the U.S., which have yet to be put on the market for sale by these banks.

    http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2009/04/08/MNL516UG90.DTL&feed=rss.news

    And this yesterday from Reuters: “General Growth Properties Inc, the second largest U.S. mall owner, filed for bankruptcy protection on Thursday in one of the biggest real estate failures in U.S. history.

    Ending months of speculation, the Chicago-based mall owner, which listed total assets of $29.56 billion and total debts of $27.29 billion, sought Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection from creditors along with 158 of its more than 200 U.S. malls, while it seeks to restructure some of its debt.”

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20090416/bs_nm/us_generalgrowth_bankrupcty

    The hits just keep on coming…………and they will continue to do so for quite some time.

  38. ben22 says:

    DeDude,

    yep, exactly.

  39. DeDude says:

    Steve Barry @ 9:14

    > JPM still leveraged 23 to one…that’s funny.<

    Yeah they don’t need no stinkin’ TARP if its going to prevent their leaders from harvesting some well deserved zillion dollar bonuses before the ship sinks.

  40. franklin411 says:

    It’s so nice that Barry can decide the state of the entire economy on the basis of a single data point. Life is so much easier when complex issues are reduced to absurd simplicities.

    /sarcasm

  41. Steve Barry says:

    Think the market is back to uber frothiness? yesterday at 12:50, John Najarian said on CNBC that he thought GOOG will announce good earnings and the stock might rally from 364 at the time to 400. The stock immediately made a sharp left hand turn and is now 385…it may hit the 400 just on this guy’s utterance, before the earnings even come out.

  42. Bruce N Tennessee says:

    Foreclosures hit record high?

    Didn’t they “foreclose” on Circuit City?

    And I just bought a new laptop!

    http://www.cnbc.com/id/30243198

    Best Buy Cuts Wages, Jobs in its Stores

    This cutting wages thingy…it seems to have legs…

  43. ben22 says:

    Bruce,

    Yes, the wage cuts do have legs, jobs data has now become a leading indicator IMO. lots of people that are still working aren’t creditworthy and those that aren’t working, aren’t spending at all.

  44. KyleNYC says:

    Marcus Aurelius:

    You are so right. I’m a Commercial Real Estate Appraiser in New York and already banks are starting to ask us to appraise properties “As-Is” and with a LIQUIDATION VALUE. “Plan B”, anybody???

    Also, don’t know if this works, but I’ve heard that if you’re going into foreclosure, you can challenge the lender/bank/robber barron to “produce the note”. Anyone know the validity/efficacy/worthiness of this?

  45. leftback says:

    Two options. A double top develops here at SPX 860, or we go up into firm resistance at SPX 875 and that should bring out a lot of sellers. I hear the case for a rally up to 975-1000 but I think it is less likely.

    The XLF 11 – 11.50 area looks to constitute pretty serious resistance. JPM is hitting a ceiling here too around 34 and so is C above 4 and GE about 12. Perfect really. Technical picture looks good here for entry into FAZ, SDS and SRS. Now I just have to worry about Pandit and Immelt lurking behind me, not Dimon.

    Most likely I will watch and wait for a little rally to develop and fail – then get short into Friday.

  46. plantseeds says:

    “Oh, the outrage, yet they have been silent for years”

    So have the derivative/MBS /CDO/CDS etc.. regulators and watchdogs. Maybe they should STFU too because after all, where have they been for the last 8-10 years?

    Like it or not, agree or disagree it’s nice to live in a country where such protests don’t get you locked up or killed, enjoy it while it lasts.

    Also, I would love it if someone could tell me why CNBC critics are always watching CNBC.
    I suggest music and if you must, CNBC on mute.

  47. Bruce N Tennessee says:

    Well, Ben22..

    This seems kinda like one of those movies (the present economy, I mean) where the studio (O and Timmaayyyyy) have decided they have a bomb on their hands, so the trailers show every good scene and they do their best to talk it up…but having managed to lose my fair share of profits that I made and gave back in the market over the years…with what I see as the underlying “strength” here…I still don’t mind getting to the party a little late…if the adults are eating at the big table and putting their money in..well, I’ll just eat at the kids’ table this feast…maybe I can move back to the big guys’ table late this year…I do know that one of the secrets of having money is don’t lose what you have. I think that is both rules 1 and 2 in the 2 rule handbook..

  48. DeDude says:

    >> Maintaining their mortgage until prices come back — which could be years away — is a better option than ditching the house or doing a short sell, Ramos said<<

    And I guess it is not the job of a journalist to ask simple questions like “why?” when their commercial masters have a message to convey

  49. franklin411 says:

    Headlines today look pretty good to me:

    JPMorgan Chase Posts Better-Than-Expected Profit
    New jobless claims fall unexpectedly to 610K
    Falling housing starts dampen hope on recovery (Note: Not adding supply is a GOOD thing!)

    No headline yet but the Philly Fed improved markedly, coming in at -24.4 in April vs -35.5 in March. Per the Philly Fed:

    Most of the survey’s broad indicators of future activity improved notably this month, suggesting that the region’s manufacturing executives expect declines to bottom out over the next six months.

    I don’t see anything underpinning the apocalyptic attitudes on this blog.

  50. Transor Z says:

    @Darkness:
    What the end game of this is when we are already at this level of mouth-frothing crazytown 3 months in . . . not sure. Exactly. I’m more WTF??? than tin-foil on this PR blitz. By “big” I was thinking in economic terms — C cratering — as opposed to “Seven Days in May” military coup.

    @ben22: Yeah, it was all of those low income types that GWB let off the tax rolls that got us into this mess. LMAO. I’m glad you think Feehery just wants to take money from the dying. I was afraid he wants to sell their good-for-nothing carcasses to RJR Nabisco and serve them up with cheese whiz. :)

  51. Steve Barry says:

    Franklin411 must be the guy that was always bullish on this blog…I honestly forgot his name (not trying to be funny).

    franklin…JPM’s 1Q net fell 10% on surging credit costs…continuing claims are over 6M (an all-time record)…and Philly Fed was -24, a horrific reading.

  52. Transor Z says:

    Sorry, showing my age. Selling to Kraft. ;)

  53. leftback says:

    ALL RIGHT, “franklin” (actually Lloyd Blankfein): CHEW ON THIS LOT.

    Jobless claims – it was a four day week, mate. Can’t you count?
    The Baltic Dry is declining, that’s not really a recovery is it old chap?
    Credit spreads are not coming in much and short-term Treasuries are finding a bid.
    Bondholders in GM are going to get their weenies chopped off as well as a haircut.
    Pension funds need to liquidate to meet their expenses.
    Hedge funds need to liquidate to meet redemptions.
    Retail investors are hot to trot for the “V-shaped recovery”
    Banks will use this little hiatus to issue more common.

    It’s all going to go pear-shaped again very soon. Now stop shorting gold, will you?

  54. phb says:

    ….But, NPR keeps telling me that the worst is over and that green shoots are sprouting everywhere? Who should I believe, who should I believe????

  55. Marcus Aurelius says:

    KyleNYC:

    Commercial RE will crush the already crumbled financial system to a fine powder – CC debt will atomize it.

    There’s lots of old posts on proof of debt owed over at Calculated Risk. While a few folks there (prime among them the late, great Tanta) dismiss the idea the a debtor can get out of paying because there is no paper trail for many of the loans that were hurriedly securitized, they say it’s not that hard to retroactively establish the liability for the loan. A few judges have disagreed. It will become increasingly difficult to do, should layoffs continue and loan originators go teats-up (how neat is your filing cabinet?). There’s also the fraudulent nature (on the part of both borrower and lender) of many of these docs – the last thing anyone will want is scrutiny.

  56. Steve Barry says:

    I’m telling you people are loony…Merrill guy on CNBC claiming fund managers see a surge in global growth coming…all this while we have this out today:

    http://www.fundstrategy.co.uk/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=184630&d=560&h=527&f=518

    “According to Nouriel Roubini, a professor of economics at the Stern School of Business at New York University and the chairman of RGE Monitor, China’s fourth quarter GDP growth of 6.8% translated into a figure of zero, measured on a quarter-over-quarter basis.”

  57. John Reeder says:

    At this point, I think we’ve all become bottom fetishists. Is this the bottom, is this not the bottom? I’m going to forget about it as it relates to real estate. There are about 10 different things to track that make up a market, so I hate to look at just one data point. I think it would be cool if someone put together an index that tracked all of the following: re-sales pricing, re-sales volume, new home volume, new home pricing, total building permits, apartment effective rents, rental vacancy, SFR inventory.

    Put all of those items into one metric that could be tracked vs. only the prior 12 months average. Then you would get a sense as to the strength of any market recovery. Because following one data point doesn’t tell the whole picture.

    I looked at vacancy recently for rental units and I was more than a little concerned to see that we are hovering well above the long term average that we saw in the 1990′s. That post is here:

    http://realpropertyalpha.com/2009/04/11/multi-family-and-single-family-recovery-require-absorption-of-excess-space/

  58. leftback says:

    Amazing that someone can float an IPO like Rosetta Stone in this environment, we really have not had anything close to enough pain. All the B&H* artists think that they have got away with it and the market is gonna come back big and refloat their 401K, house, boat and the diamond bracelet they promised the mistress.

    *Buy-and-hold artists = practitioners of bensteinery.

  59. MRegan says:

    F411″It’s so nice that Barry can decide the state of the entire economy on the basis of a single data point. Life is so much easier when complex issues are reduced to absurd simplicities.”

    BR: “The broadest measure of the current real estate/credit/economic crisis can be found in the foreclosure data. And just how improved is that data series these days?”

    I spent a bit of time contrasting these two notions and taking into account F411′s follow-on list of headlines, I have to say that:
    1. The continued cratering in RE is like a vortex. It is still destructive and it still damages the broader economy.
    2. F411′a headlines are bearish in their implications, just slightly less so.
    3. It is worth taking time to consider counterarguments. Orthodoxy isn’t going to get you into market heaven.
    4. It’s all a question of a meeting our bottom, we don’t know the day or the hour, but be assured we must our bottom before we can turn around.

    Also, can anyone tell me about other protests wherein the poor protested in defense of the interests of the rich?

  60. DeDude says:

    Plantseeds,

    Sorry the deficit spending has been out there in the open for all to see. Any J6P could take a simple look at the total national debt and get a clear idea of the outrageous overspending/undertaxing that the GOP regime was forcing upon our grand-children in the last decade. The finaincial issues were hidden such that only a small number of experts had the ability to understand what was actually going on.

    Yes it is wonderfull that we live in a country where people can make fools of themselves by suddenly getting very upset and starting to protest something that has been going on in plain sight for a decade without them ever saying a peep.

  61. ben22 says:

    @ plant seeds,

    with this:

    Like it or not, agree or disagree it’s nice to live in a country where such protests don’t get you locked up or killed, enjoy it while it lasts.

    Sorry, I disagree we have that. Maybe these people aren’t getting thrown in jail or killed, because nothing they do at these tea parties actually matter, the people at them, they don’t matter either. But if you make a real complaint, and someone actually hears your complaint and you are someone that others will really listen to. Well then, you get this:

    http://www.scribd.com/doc/14252264/Martin-Armstrong?

    @Bruce,

    Maybe we can buy the final version of this movie on BluRay. We will be able to see it very clearly then.

  62. MRegan says:

    EDIT:
    4. It’s all a question of meeting our bottom, we don’t know the day or the hour, but be assured we must our meet bottom before we can turn around.

    Freakin’ heck, I guess I picked the wrong day to quit snorting tea.

  63. Marcus Aurelius says:

    leftback:

    I overheard a middle-aged chick talkin’ that book last night in a hotel bar. Among other things she disclosed, she said, “I have 15 years until retirement, and I think that if I hold my 401K investments until then, America will fight its way back, because we have a can-do spirit.”

    Someone should have bought her a shot of cheap tequila.

    What’s missing from that scenario is the massive social reorganization that will most certainly take place when the middle class wakes up to find that it’s now the lower class. The times they are a’changin’ (again).

  64. MRegan says:

    How about the people in the Twin Cities who were arrested before they even protested? Or Amy Goodman who went to see why the cops were going gorilla on one of her producers (who had press credentials)?

  65. Darkness says:

    But, NPR keeps telling me that the worst is over and that green shoots are sprouting everywhere? Who should I believe, who should I believe????

    NPR has jumped the shark. The last couple of times I listened, the interviewee (often one of these people who have been wrong for a decade or more and should have long since lost a voice in national matters) says the stupidist thing and the interviewer just lets it lie there and goes onto the next question. It turns it into a kind of laissez-faire Fox Lite. Blech.

  66. Mike,

    see: “types of modest rental units many low- and middle-income people need.”
    “We need a housing market that’s more in sync with the real wages that people earn.”…”

    she ain’t talking about Pennsylvania Ave., she’s talking about Oriental Ave..

    the only thing would vaguely approximate the Apartment Towers in Houston, is the, again, talked about re-purposing of Martin Towers–Bessie Steel’s old HQ building–into ‘apartments’–all with ‘Gov’t re-development’ fundz added in, of course..

    though, what’s really sad is, when you tell peep that you construct Housing from used shipping containers they think, if anything, at all, that you’re making a mocking reference to the movie “I,Robot”

    the Idea is so old, that even Bob Vila is on to it..
    http://clusty.com/search?input-form=clusty-simple&v%3Asources=webplus&query=shipping+containers+into+housing

  67. Mannwich says:

    I’m noticing more and more homes languising on the market in my neighborhood here in SW Mpls too. If they don’t sell by summer, they likely won’t sell until at least next spring. Am curious to know how many need to sell now though.

    But, no worries, Barry. Don’t you know the Depression is over and we’re on our way to another bull market? Phew, thank God it’s over. And I thought maybe I was looking for too much instant gratification with such a quick turnaround. Now back our regularly-scheduled market manipulation.

  68. Mannwich says:

    That’s “languishing”. How I long for a preview feature.

  69. But, NPR keeps telling me that the worst is over and that green shoots are sprouting everywhere? Who should I believe, who should I believe????

    it isn’t called National Propaganda Radio, without Reason..

  70. karen says:

    John Reeder, the broadest measure of the US economy is supposedly the $wlsh; for the world economy it may be $copper… the base on $copper is something to behold… both are in an uptrend as for as the 13/34 moving averages go..

  71. ben22 says:

    Karen,

    Are you doing anything with FXI? I’ve been long a few months.

  72. franklin411 says:

    @Lefty,
    I have an all day engagement today. Plus the helo is warmed up and waiting for me. I would note that most people did not get Friday off–it was a full work week. Only Wall Street got Good Friday off.

    Now I g2g…Vikram and Jamie are already hitting the beach, and Timmy G says “wutwut??”

    –Lloy…I mean Franklin!

  73. Marcus Aurelius says:

    ben22 Says:

    “Yes it is wonderfull that we live in a country where people can make fools of themselves by suddenly getting very upset and starting to protest something that has been going on in plain sight for a decade without them ever saying a peep.”
    ________

    Saying a peep? Hell, they cheered it on! The “conservative” (the word is not accurate, but that’s what they call themselves) middle class held the door while their elected representatives looted the treasury, disenfranchised them, and set the nation firmly on the road to ruin. Now they’re wondering how they got pregnant, and blaming anyone but their baby’s daddy and/or themselves.

    Mass attention deficit disorder and trailer park dysfunctionality run amok.

  74. karen says:

    Ben, no, i’ve been out of fxi… only did that one trade for 4pts… i can’t do much this week or next as i’m waiting for trades to settle and my tax checks to clear : (

    Bruce, did you get a macbook?

  75. MA,

    w/this: “What’s missing from that scenario is the massive social reorganization that will most certainly take place when the middle class wakes up to find that it’s now the lower class. The times they are a’changin’ (again).”

    we’ll be lucky if it stops at 1/9/20/70, instead of 1/9/90–the “typical” Banana Republic socio-economic splits. Far from the 10/80/10 of mythic yore..

    lb,

    this: “All the B&H* artists think that they have got away with it..” seems spot-on, here, too.

    as an aside, you should heard these jockeys http://www.federalnewsradio.com/ cooing about how well their “Thrift Savings Plan” fundz have been doing–just this AM..

  76. leftback says:

    Marcus said: “I overheard a middle-aged chick talkin’ that book last night in a hotel bar. Among other things she disclosed, she said, “I have 15 years until retirement, and I think that if I hold my 401K investments until then, America will fight its way back, because we have a can-do spirit.”

    B&Hers may find they have a 101K before this sucker is over.

    Wow. That’s awfully familiar. It must have been my ex- . Well, one of them.
    You should have bought her a shot of tequila. :-)

  77. leftback says:

    Kudlow and Kneale are going to go crazy over GOOG:

    GOOG trading at P/E = 29. Buy tech !!!
    Stocks are cheap. Mustard seeds….!!!

    (Larry, it’s time for your medication….)

  78. Steve Barry says:

    Roubini says China’s growth is ZERO…stunning.

    http://www.fundstrategy.co.uk/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=184630&d=560&h=527&f=518

    The market should trade about half of where it is. No joke.

  79. karen says:

    I would also keep on on eye on $tran… it’s made 3 failed attempts thru 3000 this month, including today..

  80. rktbrkr says:

    No love lost between Dimon, Jim and Tiny Tim. Is Dimon trying to torpedo Tim’s scheme by publicly announcing he won’t be a buyer or seller? If any participants were on the fence this will knock them off.

    http://www.businessinsider.com/did-jamie-dimon-kill-the-public-private-partnership-2009-4

  81. ben22,

    you go with: “but I can’t stand Mohammed El Erian.”

    I don’t know Who would buy a used Mutual Fund from that guy, he makes most Car Dealers look like pillars of rectitude..

    lb,

    all those that are shouting about ‘Mustard Seeds’ are going to be left w/ Senf –if, of course, they are, indeed, that fortunate..
    http://www.saar-senf.de/saarsenf.html

  82. MRegan says:

    Mark-

    The sync thing is everything. What cost does hyperfinancing impose on our economy? It seems to me that huge inefficiencies were inserted into the housing sector. The projects that I have seen up close had tax credits as their principal raison d’etre, and the quality was garbage.

    As an aside, a bit of advice to anyone reading here. Avoid buying stick-built housing between 2001 and 2008. Soft pine, not kilned and the killer is that the ‘carpentry’ practices of many of our ‘hermanos’ from San Luis de Potosí etc was to shoot 8 or nine nails into 2x4s when 2-4 was plenty. They basically pre-pulped the ends of the studs. And the sheathing, forget about it. Those guys worked under a labor system with imposed a piece-work approach so they all worked ‘al destajo’.
    Somebody needs to write a book about the labor brokers who ruled the game at the height of the building boom in 2004– 2005. Here’s a starting point: Esteban Gomez- Charlotte NC.

  83. Onlooker from Troy says:

    “I looked at vacancy recently for rental units and I was more than a little concerned to see that we are hovering well above the long term average that we saw in the 1990’s. That post is here:”

    Yes indeed, it’s becoming more and more obvious that there’s a real overhang in the housing stock (including apts, condos, etc.) in this country. Much of the building in the last several years was chasing the bubble and apparently was sitting empty as it was flipped from one buyer to the next. This will have to be absorbed before the market stabilizes. It’s a long way to being over. Dr. Housing Bubble Blog is an excellent read, even though it’s focused on the CA market, he’s (she’s?) got great insight into housing and has been on the story for years.

  84. ben22 says:

    @Marcus,

    I didn’t actually say that, dat was De Dude.

    I just posted right below that.

  85. leftback says:

    Shocking. I would have expected TOP QUALITY from Toll Bros, Pulte and all..
    Not to mention those Chinese builders with one truck that were putting up piles of bricks in Queens.
    Here today, gone tomorrow. Take the money and run.

    There are a sh*tload of huge Spec homes on sale in Greenwich and environs between $1-2M. No buyers.

    For stick style houses, I would suggest you “stick” with the 1880s, San Francisco style.

  86. Onlooker from Troy says:

    “As an aside, a bit of advice to anyone reading here. Avoid buying stick-built housing between 2001 and 2008. ”

    Interesting point, and one I’ve thought about too. As the market got frothy the home building industry was really reaching and trying to get as much up and sold as possible before it imploded.

    But hey, it’s bullish for home builders in the intermediate term because all that housing stock won’t last very long!

    And all those foundation repair companies that have been doing so

  87. ben22 says:

    @Mark,

    I’m glad someone agrees. Seems like El Erian is very popular, I can’t figure out why.

    I remember last year in October, one of the days when the futures were down like 500 in the morning, he made a statement on CNBC along the lines of:

    ” I told my wife it was going to be a very interesting day, and I couldn’t wait to get to the office”

    I found that to be odd. It’s not like PIMCO set up some massive short in some of those Allianz equity funds. I took it more as, oh great, things are melting down, now we can really gain some control over the future.

    Yet, as I said above, when people say stuff to him about how PIMCO is giving the govt advice, he gets that sort of blank stare like, I just have no idea what you mean by that, not us, not PIMCO, not me. And all the idiots sit there and smile at him.

    If I were so lucky to be a host on CNBC. I would just ask him a good question like:

    “Is it fun being rich?” I’d fit right in on that set.

  88. Onlooker from Troy says:

    Oops, inadvertant submission caused fragment

    “As an aside, a bit of advice to anyone reading here. Avoid buying stick-built housing between 2001 and 2008. ”

    Interesting point, and one I’ve thought about too. As the market got frothy the home building industry was really reaching and trying to get as much up and sold as possible before it imploded.

    But hey, it’s bullish for home builders in the intermediate term because all that housing stock won’t last very long!

    And all those foundation repair companies that have been doing so well due to shoddy construction (at least here in the midwest) will continue to thrive and expand. Unless, of course, people don’t even bother to fix them as they’re flat broke.

  89. ben22 says:

    You know, I don’t really know much about building materials but not long before my dad passed away he warned me of that same thing, about the garbage they were building houses with. He built the house I grew up in with my grandfather so I feel like he was pretty qualified to comment on it.

  90. DL says:

    ben22 @ 10:46

    If the S&P tanks, FXI won’t be immune.

  91. karen says:

    anyone take note of sherwin williams today? volume 4 x average.. some covering of the 10% short position i imagine… SHW if you want to watch : )

  92. MR–

    re: building practices, that’s exactly how ~80+% of that G*rbage was put up.

    those stick ‘n wrap(Tyvek) ‘houses’ are the credit-money doppelgangers to the hard-money Brownstones–speaking of the 1880s..

    to think that ‘someone’– how many ‘someones’, per property, would be an interesting episode of “Where in the World is Carmen SanDiego?”, all by itself–thought they were 30-yr Assets

    and, yes, re: Tax Credit/Tax-Payer subsidized financing motivation, and the resultant Quality thereof–it’s, largely, flippin’ Trash with new Wallpaper and fancy Brochures..

    What’s really Sad is, now, for ‘Change’, we get to go back and pay to for it all over again-in the name of ‘Energy Effiency’ & Saving the swimminest land Mammals of the face of the Earth–Polar Bears.

    and, w/this: “that huge inefficiencies were inserted into the housing sector.”, remember, all that Coke had to be paid for, and laundered, somehow, you know..

  93. Mannwich says:

    @ben22: I bought some FXI at ~$25 and sold at ~$31.

  94. ben22 says:

    @DL,

    Yes I’m thinking about selling. I’m up 43% on my purchase of it. I was hoping to do some buy and hold on that one. What the hell was I thinking.

  95. DL says:

    ben22 @ 11:43

    The chart of FXI does look better than that of the SPX over the last few months.

    Once the U.S. market does hit bottom, I think China will be one of the best performing markets. Brazil is another one I may go into. But not yet.

  96. Stuart says:

    For the map hounds like myself…. horrible message but cool map

    http://www.slate.com/id/2216238/

  97. Bruce N Tennessee says:

    “I don’t see anything underpinning the apocalyptic attitudes on this blog.”

    Franklin 411…

    That is the good think about Barry’s blog…he allows everyone in…I myself was kidnapped by aliens about a year ago…my brain was shrunk to about 1/2 its former size (Pea Brain is my new nickname)…and I was instructed to always remember that we are in an economic meltdown from which we might never recover..

    …..OR…I might just be a little cautious about letting big government be the only real spigot of liquidity here..housing starts only 510k…? What are we doing with a number like this when all the green shoots are sprouting?

  98. leftback says:

    @DL. Agreed. Once we hit bottom again, it’s $ collapse time and the Peter Schiff/Marc Faber plays are on.
    Next time down, EWT, EWS, EWH (indirect China plays), plus EWZ, RSX and EPI.

    Lots of stuff churning under overhead resistance here: SPX, XLF, C, GE, JPM and JNK.
    That’s bearish folks…

  99. karen says:

    okay, ben, if you sell on the next pullback, maybe i’ll buy your shares…