As is becoming tradition, I would like to share with you some interesting blog posts I read this week at The Housing Chronicles Blog, and at the site of local realtor, Shevy Akason, who has been profiling OC properties at or below rental parity.
In other news, IrvineRenter was mentioned on Portfolio.com on Wednesday: Six Bloggers of the Apocalypse.
Welcome to the Jungle — Guns n Roses
Welcome to the jungle
We got fun ‘n’ games
We got everything you want
Honey we know the names
We are the people that can find
Whatever you may need
If you got the money honey
We got your disease
In the jungle
Welcome to the jungle
Watch it bring you to your knees, knees
I wanna watch you bleed
I know I am not the only one who is thrilled to see the government move to tax the recipients of AIG bonuses. Welcome to the Jungle, baby. I get a schadenfreude overdose from that story.
What ever happened to performance bonuses being linked to good performance? The AIG bonuses were justified by the idea that the people who made this mess are the only ones who understand it, so we need to keep them around. Doesn’t this entrench incompetence? Have you ever worked with someone who developed a way of doing things only they could understand because they thought it gave them job security? I have, and it doesn’t.
Since I reviewed another Stick Figure book this weekend, I thought it might be interesting to see where stick figures went wrong…
In unrelated personal news, close personal friends of mine have been on an emotional rollercoaster ride for the last year. Their baby was born at 17 ounces. He has survived the whole year, and it looks like he is going to make it. Check this out: Tiny survivor defies the odds, inspires others
listen to them when they said the economy was headed off a cliff.
Should you listen now that they’re predicting the end of civilization?
If you spend enough time surfing the Web, you might think Nouriel Roubini, the pessimistic economist profiled in the April issue of Condé Nast Portfolio, is taking a walk on the sunny side of the street. There are bloggers who have been forecasting much worse for several years.
While bankers were still ordering $1,000 bottles of wine in trendy
Manhattan restaurants, these internet Sybils of the impending economic
apocalypse were already prophesizing food shortages and endless gas
Some are on the right side of the political spectrum,
others on the far left, but they all share one thing—traffic on their
sites has increased exponentially since Wall Street began to implode
We caught up with a few of the more provocative
doommongers to see what they think is coming next. Hint: Before reading
further, you may want to uncork your most expensive bottle of wine.
You’ll need it.
James Howard Kunstler
and journalist James Howard Kunstler is the leading popular voice of
peak oil, the theory that says we have gone through more than half the
world’s supply of this much-needed resource. Kunstler’s regular Monday
morning posts foretell a world beset by oil shortages, which he
believes will lead to everything from financial shenanigans (sound
familiar?) to food riots, not to mention attacks on the wealthy,
abandoned suburban housing developments and a forced return to
Prediction: High potential for civil unrest and violence. “It won’t be good for your health to be a conspicuous consumer.”
a blogger per se, trends researcher Gerald Celente publishes his
predictions for the future in a quarterly journal. In December 2007, he
called “The Panic of ’08,” featuring “failing banks, busted brokerages,
toppled corporate giants, bankrupt cities, states in default…. When
the giant firms fall, they’ll crush the man on the street.” The journal
is by paid subscription only, but Celente makes frequent radio
appearances, which his many fans record and post online.
Prediction: The current economic crisis will be worse than the Great Depression,
with a rise in alternative living arrangements. He’s thinking
self-storage units. “People are going to self-store themselves.” FYI,
Roubini’s offices just happen to be located in the same building as a
Manhattan Mini Storage facility. Coincidence? You decide.
site run by Carolyn Baker, an adjunct professor of history in Vermont,
is structured her site like an Utne Reader of global collapse lit, with
links to sites ranging from the very mainstream Marketwatch.com to some
of the bloggers on our list. Her goal is to connect the dots between
peak oil, global climate change, financial collapse and other ongoing
trends and debates. The common thread: Our way of life cannot be
sustained. And it will all end badly.
Prediction: “It’s not going to be like falling off a cliff but a slow descent with
tipping points. There are going to be different kinds of Katrinas,
economic crises, natural disasters, and nuclear exchanges—but I really
hope I am wrong about that.”
a computer consultant, analyzes previous and current generations in
American history to predict catastrophe to come. He believes the exit
of the Greatest Generation from the workforce in the 1990s set the
stage for disaster as Baby Boomers, who are uncomfortable with
authority, fell prey to the amoral Gen Xer’s right behind them. The two
groups combined to bring us the current financial crisis as the Baby
Boomers want money badly enough not to ask many questions about its
provenance, while the equally greedy Gen Xer’s are nihilistic enough to
do what it takes to get it.
misbegotten combination of the Boomers and the Gen Xers will continue
to cause trouble for several more decades, leading to complete
financial collapse and war before Xers are able to turn things around
in their old age. Says Xenakis, “I don’t expect to live through it.”
an investor and analyst, first started Itulip at the height of the tech
bubble. The tulip is, of course, a reference to the infamous Dutch
tulip bubble of the 17th century. He retired the site when the Internet
bubble burst, only to return in 2006, when he saw a housing bubble
developing. Janszen predicted it would end badly, with a mass deflation
leading to a multi-year economic crash. Parts of the site—including its
many reader forums—are subscription only.
Prediction: The United States will, over time, right itself, but will first have to
survive a period where one million folks will be added to the
unemployment rolls every month by the end of 2009.
bloggers are writing about the housing bust but perhaps Larry Roberts,
a.k.a. IrvineRenter, has found the best way to demonstrate how everyone
from the lowliest buyer to the highest paid financier was implicated in
the bubble. Almost daily, he posts a house for sale in Irvine,
California, taking readers on a journey through the home’s recent
financial history. He reveals the price the home was originally
purchased for, how much money was taken out of the home during various
re-financings, and what the potential loss to the bank is if the house
sale goes thru. Needless to say, sardonic comments abound.
Prediction: Roberts is the cockeyed optimist of our bunch. He plans to change his
handle to IrvineHomeowner in 2011, when he believes the housing market
will bottom out.