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June 19, 2019 | The Most Splendid Housing Bubbles in Canada, May Update

Vancouver housing bubble sags. Toronto down 3.4% from peak. Calgary and Edmonton back to 2007. Montreal sets new record. National index ticks up the least for any May in 21 years of data. Home prices across major metros in Canada ticked up 0.5% in May from the prior month, the slowest rise for any May […]

June 14, 2019 | The State of the Canadian Debt Slaves, and How They Compare to the American Debt Slaves

This, despite still ultra-low interest rates and the highest disposable income ever. Canadian households are known around the world for their uncanny ability to pile on debt. And American debt slaves, who’d gotten trampled during the Great Recession, turn out to be lackadaisical these days in comparison. The share of disposable income (total incomes from […]

June 10, 2019 | Used-Car Wholesale Prices Surge, Retail Volume Drops. New Cars Sink Deeper into Carmageddon

The Chart of Carmageddon. Prices of used vehicle that were sold in May at wholesale auctions rose 4.0% compared to May last year, according to Manheim, the largest auto-auction house in the US, running about 8 million vehicles through its venues a year. The chart of the Manheim Used Vehicle Value Index, which is adjusted […]

June 8, 2019 | Amazon Gets Booted by FedEx

Ecommerce is drawing up new battle lines – in the transportation sector. Amazon is aggressively butting in on freight carriers with its own planes, trucks, and delivery infrastructure, and is at the same time aggressively pushing for faster and cheaper service from freight carriers such as FedEx, UPS, and the US Postal Service. And FedEx […]

May 31, 2019 | American Consumers Prop Up the Economy. Wall Street Clamors for Multiple Rate Cuts. Fed Blows Off Wall Street

The economy is in a “very good place,” says Trump’s man at the Fed. And the Fed’s favorite inflation measure ticks up. The Fed’s message has been that it may consider cutting rates if the economy deteriorates, or if inflation falls further, but the economy is currently in a “very good place,” it says. And […]

May 22, 2019 | Subprime Profit-Machine Hiccups: Credit-Card Charge-Offs Rise Across Banking System

Impact felt by the real economy and the most vulnerable consumers. In the first quarter, the credit-card “charge-off” rate at the 4,650 or so smaller US commercial banks – all banks other than the largest 100 banks – ticked down to 7.37%, the sixth quarter in a row above 7%. During the peak of the […]

May 18, 2019 | Here’s What Happened in the Service Sector in Q1

Finance & Insurance, Which Dominates the US Economy, Has Blistering Q1. Huge Services Sector Not Yet Hit by Slowdown in Goods. Revenues in private-sector services in the US rose 5.6% in the first quarter of 2019, compared to a year ago, to $3.94 trillion, according to the Commerce Department’s Advance Quarterly Selected Services Report released […]

May 7, 2019 | Vancouver Housing Bust Steepens, Bank of Canada Welcomes “Froth” Coming Off

“It is their interaction with froth that matters most. How much a housing market adjusts depends on how much froth there is”: Poloz Across Greater Vancouver, British Columbia, sales of all types of homes so far this year through April plunged to 6,212 homes, the lowest count since 1986, as the market is freezing up. […]

May 2, 2019 | Update on the Less-Splendid Housing Bubbles & Crushed Markets in America

House prices set post-collapse record in Miami, flatten out in Las Vegas, Phoenix & once red-hot Charlotte, linger below Oct 2018 levels in Washington, DC & Chicago. Cincinnati & Detroit in a show of their own. On one side, there are “The Most Splendid Housing Bubbles in America” – the San Francisco Bay Area, the […]

April 27, 2019 | China Tries to Muscle in on Dollar as Dominant ‘Payments Currency,’ But It’s a Thankless Slog

Dollar Hegemony is a tough nut to crack. China is taking another baby step in promoting the internationalization of the renminbi and nibble on the hegemony of the US dollar: It’s pushing a proposal to add a pile of yuan to the $240 billion currency swap agreement between ASEAN plus China, Japan, and South Korea, […]

April 17, 2019 | House Prices in 12 of California’s Most Expensive Coastal Counties Fell in March from a Year Ago. Here are the Charts

Despite “the lowest interest rates in more than a year.”   In California, the median house price in March was essentially flat with March last year at $565,880, according to the California Association of Realtors. But among the most expensive 16 coastal counties – those with a median price for a single-family house above $500,000 – […]

April 7, 2019 | Update on the Deepening Housing Bust in Vancouver, Canada

Market for houses freezes up. House & condo prices drop. High end hit the hardest. In the City of Vancouver, British Columbia, in March, sales of detached houses fell 14% from March 2018, to merely 117 houses, down 50% from March 2017 and down 74% from March 2016, to the lowest number of sales since […]

April 2, 2019 | Q1 Carmageddon for GM, Fiat-Chrysler, Toyota, Nissan, Mercedes, Mazda…

Ford wisely kept its mouth shut. The problem with Mercedes and BMW is that they don’t yet sell luxury pickups, though they’re finally figuring it out. The first quarter was not pretty for new-vehicle sales in the US. Deliveries fell 3.2% from Q1 last year, to 3.99 million vehicles. Unless a miracle happens – and […]

March 22, 2019 | Worsening Inventory Pileup Rattles Goods-Based Economy

And how it compares to what happened during the Financial Crisis. The goods-based segment of the economy is heading for rough waters, and it is further diverging from the path of the services-based segment of the economy that is still growing at a solid rate: that’s what the current inventory pileup tells us. When inventories […]

March 16, 2019 | The Most Splendid Housing Bubbles in Canada Deflate

How do they stack up against the most splendid housing bubble in America? Holy cow! Canadian housing markets are in a category of their own. No housing market in the US – no matter how crazy Housing Bubble 1 was, which began to implode in 2006, or how crazy Housing Bubble 2 is or was […]

March 9, 2019 | State of the World’s Biggest Debt Slaves: Americans Wimp Out in 11th Place

And where do Chinese consumers fit in? Americans are infamous for their eagerness to spend money they don’t have. A whole industry has grown up around making that happen, from payday lenders to the government that guarantees or insures a large portion of the mortgages so that lenders and investors don’t have to carry the […]

February 26, 2019 | The Most Splendid Housing Bubbles in America Get Pricked

San Francisco Bay Area & Seattle lead with biggest multi-month drops since 2012; San Diego, Denver, Portland, Los Angeles decline. Others have stalled. A few eke out records. San Francisco and San Diego are catching the Seattle cold, and others are sniffling too, as the most splendid housing bubbles in America are starting to run […]

February 20, 2019 | Forced End of “Ponzi-Like Leverage” & “Fraudulent Lending” Turns Australia’s House Price Bubble into “Property Bloodbath

What banks & housing markets in Sydney and Melbourne are facing in 2019. As investors are fleeing Australia’s housing bust, sales of new houses have plunged to record lows, and home prices in the Sydney and Melbourne metros have dropped 12% and 9% from their respective peaks in mid and late 2017. Combined, the two […]

February 13, 2019 | Mortgage Applications Drop Despite Lower Mortgage Rates: Industry is Baffled

The hope in early January has been unwound. A month ago, mortgages reappeared in the housing-hype circus, when it was widely reported that mortgage applications “soared” and “jumped.” Both types of mortgage applications did so: those used to purchase a home (purchase mortgages) and those used to refinance an existing mortgage (refinance mortgages). The jump […]

February 6, 2019 | Phenomenal Trucking Boom Ends, Trucking Bust Starts

So that U-turn was fast, even for the legendarily cyclical trucking business. In January, orders for Class-8 trucks — the heavy trucks that haul trailers with goods of all kinds across the US — plunged by 58% from a year ago, to just 15,642 orders. It was the lowest number or orders since October 2016, […]

January 29, 2019 | The Most Splendid Housing Bubbles in America Shrink

Seattle prices drop 5.1% in five months, most since Housing Bust 1; San Francisco Bay Area, Los Angeles, San Diego, Denver, Portland all decline. This is the most obvious one: Seattle. House prices in the Seattle metro dropped 0.7% in November from prior month, according to the Case-Shiller Home Price Index released this morning. It […]

January 14, 2019 | China’s Consumers Rattle Global Automakers as Sales Plunge

Welcome to the Big Club of Saturation & Decline. For the month of December, light new-vehicle sales in China plunged 13%, compared to a year ago, to 2.23 million vehicles, the China Association of Automobile Manufacturers (CAAM) announced on Monday. Sales through June had risen 6%, but then came July, and now there have been […]

January 2, 2019 | iPhone Sales Croak, China’s Economy Deteriorating Faster than Expected, Apple Warns. Shares Plunge

“We did not foresee the magnitude of the economic deceleration.” Oh dude, starting the year out on the right foot. On Wednesday after the market closed, Apple released a letter to shareholders in which it said that revenues are going to be a lot worse in the quarter ended December 29 than its guidance two […]

December 26, 2018 | The Most Splendid Housing Bubbles in America Decline

Seattle house prices drop 4.4% in four months, biggest drop since Housing Bust 1; Prices deflate in San Francisco Bay Area, San Diego, Denver, and Portland. Some of the markets in this select group of the most spending housing bubbles in America have turned the corner, according to the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller Home Price Index, […]

December 22, 2018 | Nothing Goes to Hell in a Straight Line, Not Even Stocks

But a whole generation of investors has never been through a Nasdaq-bubble unwind, and they’re shocked. I just dug out my “Dow 20,000” hat, but I might not need it for a while because nothing goes to hell in a straight line. And I still have my “Dow 10,000” hat somewhere just in case, though […]

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