The Spanish housing boom goes bust.
"Some 65km from Madrid, in the quintessentially Spanish heart of a country riven by competing regional identities, Valdeluz – the notorious ciudad fantasma (ghost town) of the crisis – was conceived at the height of what is sometimes called Spain’s economic miracle. In a Catholic nation, whose faith has declined substantially during its three decades of democracy, there is an increasing reluctance to believe in miracles of any kind."
posts incredulous commentary about outrageously overpriced real estate listings in Toronto. Look at the run-down bungalows -- in North York
! -- listed for a million dollars and despair. Canada's housing bubble
, on full display. Via Maclean's
The most curious was on a chariot that carried the most singular music that can be imagined. It held a bear that played the organ; instead of pipes, there were sixteen cat heads each with its body confined; the tails were sticking out and were held to be played as the strings on a piano, if a key was pressed on the keyboard, the corresponding tail would be pulled hard, and it would produce each time a lamentable meow... the cats were arranged properly to produce a succession of notes from the octave…
Sixteenth-century Europe, Jingle Cats, and the 2008 Housing Bubble: The Birth of Sampling [more inside]
The People vs. Goldman Sachs
. Matt Taibbi's latest magnum opus (previous coverage
) lays out the full case for federal prosecutions against the Vampire Squid according to Sen. Carl Levin's Senate Subcommittee on Investigations. [Wall Street and the Financial Crisis: Anatomy of a Financial Collapse 650 page pdf
Earlier this week, Toxie, NPR's cutest toxic asset died
. One of the mortgages bundled into this asset was an investment property in Bradenton, Florida, which, like many Florida homes, has never been occupied or served as anything other than a financial instrument. Boston.com's Big Picture recently took a look from above
at the effects that this (and previous) housing bubbles have had on the development of Florida's cities and landscapes. How do you design a city that nobody plans to live in? (Previously
"The Great Housing Bubble cultivated a gentility of entitlement, a sordid societal residue, a system of reliance, a conviction among people that they may possess anything they wish just because; deserving without earning; Grace."
The Irvine Housing Blog has been documenting the housing bubble in Southern California since 2006. Highlights include an analysis of why "the California economy is dependent upon Ponzi borrowers."
Now, as the term "strategic default" (discussed previously here
) continues to trend upward
, the stars of Bravo Network's reality television series The Real Housewives of Orange County are confronting realities of a different sort including bankruptcy
, short sales
and loan modifications
Discussion boards are filling up with legal talk
concerning recourse vs. non-recourse loans, 2nd and 3rd lien holders and the prospects of settling 2nd lien debt at 4 cents on the dollar.
Given the decreasing societal stigma associated with the issue of strategic default, many are speculating that this trend is in fact acting as an economic stimulus
of a different kind
Tent cities spring up in L.A.
With foreclosures rates still rising
, shantytowns have started springing up in Los Angeles.
What's the link between:
1) the quickly-growing number of American homeowners becoming unable to pay their mortgages after their ARM's reset (a trend nicknamed "ARMageddon"
-- applicable in the UK
too), which is translating into soaring foreclosure rates
, and in turn forcing at least 60 US semi-shady mortgage brokers
to go belly-up in the past year (i.e. the "subprime meltdown"
2) the recent implosion and impending financial bailout
-- which may become the biggest since the Long Term Capital Management fiasco
of 1998 -- of two Bear Stearns hedge funds which dealt in mortgage securities? [more inside]
Home Prices Do Fall
A look at the collapse of the 1980's real estate bubble through the eyes of The New York Times
Better with Times select. Also better with Firefox's fetch text extension