The real estate market is so awful that buyers are now scooping up homes for as little as $1,000.
There are 18 listings in Flint, Mich., for under $3,000, according to Realtor.com. There are 22 in Indianapolis, 46 in Cleveland and a whopping 709 in Detroit. All of these communities have been hit hard by foreclosures, and most of these homes are being sold by the lenders that repossessed them.
With prices this low, lenders aren’t looking to make any money on these deals. They just want to get these houses off their books, so they don’t have to bear the cost of maintaining them and paying property taxes.
english readers note: dutch word for “a decrease in employer-paid premiums for social security for employees hired under certain circumstances, such as age > 54.5, or from certain unemployed situations” – and it’s today’s word because the regulations changed as of Jan 1th, and I’ve been rewriting some software because of it.
How bad is it? “An average recession is one in which we lose about 3 percent of GDP. Three percent of GDP is about $500 billion,” UCLA economist Lee Ohanian told Salon. “It’s not inconceivable that this could be twice as worse, which would be close to a trillion.”
How much poorer are we going to get before we start getting richer again? Here are some (scary, morbid, gruesome) clues.
Expected shortfall of gross domestic product below normal growth path in 2009: $900 billion
Decline in the Dow Jones Industrial Average from its decade high to its value at the close of business, Jan. 7, 2009: 5,394.83, or 38.1 percent
Number of manufacturing jobs lost since 2000: 3.78 million
Real median household income according to the 2000 census, adjusted for inflation: $51,804
Real median household income as of August 2007: $50,233
Of course, the government didn’t sit idly by while our financial future was disappearing down the drain. Instead, the feds have pumped in hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars, hoping to juice lending and public spending.
Cost of finance industry bailout: $350 billion, with another $350 pending congressional approval
Cost of auto industry bailout: $17.4 billion, so far
And even though there’s widespread agreement among economists that the government needs to be spending a large sum of money on an economic stimulus package, it still won’t look pretty on the public balance sheet.
National debt: $10.6 trillion
Amount of that debt owned by China: At least $800 billion
he U.S. federal budget deficit will reach at least $1.2 trillion in 2009, almost triple its level last year, and could soar several hundred billion dollars higher with the expected passage of a massive economic stimulus package being touted by president-elect Barack Obama.
And that last number is not only without counting the economic stimulus package, it’s also without the rest of TARP and possible new bailouts. I won’t be surprised if the real number reaches 2T.
In 1996, Israeli jets bombed a UN building where civilians had taken refuge at Cana/ Qana in south Lebanon, killing 102 persons; in the place where Jesus is said to have made water into wine, Israeli bombs wrought a different sort of transformation. In the distant, picturesque port of Hamburg, a young graduate student studying traditional architecture of Aleppo saw footage like this on the news [graphic]. He was consumed with anguish and the desire for revenge. As soon as operation Grapes of Wrath had begun the week before, he had written out a martyrdom will, indicating his willingness to die avenging the victims, killed in that operation–with airplanes and bombs that were a free gift from the United States. His name was Muhammad Atta. Five years later he piloted American Airlines 11 into the World Trade Center.
On Tuesday, the Israeli military shelled a United Nations school to which terrified Gazans had fled for refuge, killing at least 42 persons and wounding 55, virtually all of them civilians, and many of them children. The Palestinian death toll rose to 660.
You wonder if someone somewhere is writing out a will today.
President-elect Obama said he often reads bad press about himself and avoids the good press so that he can stay outside the information “bubble.”
“I think it’s important not to live in the bubble, so you’ve got to be open to outside information, particularly criticism,” he told CNBC on Wednesday. “I’ll tell you, I very rarely read good press. I often read bad press, not because I agree with it, but because I want to get a sense of, ‘Are there areas where I’m falling short and I can do better?’”
When CNBC’s John Harwood pointed out that he hasn’t gotten much bad press, Obama said he’s sure it’s coming.
For me, the ideal lumpy number is 37. It’s like porridge.
A sign of the times: a surge in filings for unemployment benefits has apparently crashed online application systems in four states this week. Phone systems appear to be faring even worse in handling the logjams in jobless claims.