My reflection stared back at me faintly this morning in the large plate glass at the front of the Vonn’s supermarket. My family-oriented lifestyle, shall we say, keeps me on the road constantly these days, and this time I found myself with my long bangs flying all over the place. I wasted little time in procuring a new Ace comb and some hairspray to whip my hair into submission.
As I made sure that no hair was out of place, I was mentally transported to a memory that surprised me: when I was a boy of about ten, one of my prized possessions was a bottle of hairspray. I can remember the simple black and white bottle. Growing up in Louisiana, I wasn’t exactly living the life of luxury, and I rarely asked my parents for anything out of the ordinary. At the barber one day, however, I asked for that bottle.
No, I’m not talking about the Dow. This is, in fact, the eighteen thousandth post on the WordPress platform for Slope of Hope. Incredibly, that doesn’t count the platforms Slope was on before. But Slope began its life on WordPress (having been in existence almost three years already) on February 27, 2008. And, boy, we didn’t know what was coming later that year, did we, boys and girls?
Would that the market were behaving in such a way as to inspire an easy, content-rich post analyzing its behavior. Sadly, this is not the case. It’s a testament to the Slope community that, in the face of that red-hot poker stick you see drawn below, we still have a thriving, dynamic blog on what is ostensibly (thanks to your insane host) a bearish blog. Can you possibly imagine this place during a downturn? (more…)
Allow me to start off by sharing a comment posted on ZeroHedge this afternoon which must be the greatest comment ever made over there. It’s a lot of text, I know, but it’s spot-on.
When I was a young boy, growing up in the suburban splendor of Louisiana, I had a very pleasant middle-class childhood. Even at a young age, though, children are able to discern who is more “middle class” than others. My father was a manager at a large international company, and we lived in this house……….
On that chilly January afternoon after school, i walked into the town library, needing to get a couple of books for a school paper I was assigned. I had made it about halfway over to the shelves when I heard a girl’s voice: “Tim!”
I whipped around, surprised to hear myself called. The voice was from a stunningly beautiful girl my own age whom I had known from my prior school. We had our own summer romance a year and a half prior, which she had broken off, and I thought I’d never see her again. And yet here she was.
That was a moment in time that changed a lot of lives. She told me later she wasn’t sure if she should get my attention or not, thinking that perhaps I would be upset with her and just storm off. But in that impulse, that very young woman decided to take a small chance to see what would happen. And, thus, here I am, as are you.
If I was completely dependent on the market for my mental health, I would have made myself into a six foot tall Christmas ornament hanging from a coniferous tree long, long ago. To be sure, the market influences my disposition: I’m about fifty times happier than normal (a very tiny starting figure, certainly) when the market is getting killed. Over the past seven years, this has happened approximately never. Indeed, even the most recent history of the market looks like the chart below: it is either (a) going up quickly, or (b) it’s going up slowly. This is what markets look like when the VIX is approaching single digits, people.
I haven’t done many real estate posts lately, although, as an update to this one (in which an empty dirt lot was being offered for $10 million) I’ll mention that although the For Sale sign seemed to linger longer than usual, it was supplemented with a SOLD sign yesterday. So I guess the Chinese are still buying.
I’ve become quite inured to the lunacy of Silicon Valley real estate, so not much surprises me anymore, but I saw a full page color ad this morning in Gentry magazine (which is a free magazine they distribute around here, packed with a combination of real estate ads, for the tech zillionaires, and plastic surgery ads, for their vain spouses) that demands a post. So I’m writing it, you lucky so-and-so.
The color photographs of this nearly $5 million property featured the most blase, ordinary, McMansion style place you could imagine, but the headline was……. (more…)