August 27, 2008

Living La Vida Loca Casa Verde (Loca)

La Casa Verde: Courtyard (Image Source: lacasaverde.com)

A notice of default might have been filed, but it’s another tipster that notes “La Casa Verde” continues to advertise: “Perfect for corporate meetings, luncheons, cocktail parties, film and photo shoots, receptions, spa parties and much more!” Be careful with those deposits.

Also noted, design credits according to the Sunset “Idea House” site:

Architect: John Lum Architecture
Builder: Meridian Builders and Developers
Interior Design: John Lum Architecture
Landscape Architect: Arterra LLP
Green Mechanical Design: Meridian Builders & Developers, Inc., and Sustainable Spaces
Charity Partner: One Brick

And design credits according to “La Casa Verde”:

Architect: Meridian & Whirliegig Inc.
Builder: Meridian Builders and Developers
Interior Design: Meridian Builders & Developers Inc.
Landscape Architect: Meridian Builders & Developers Inc.
Green Mechanical Design: Meridian Builders & Developers, Inc.
Charity Partner: One Brick

No word on whether or not Meridian has plans to become the charity partner as well...

La Casa Verde, San Francisco [lacasaverdesf.com]
It's Not That Easy Being Green For “La Casa Verde” (3027-3029 25th) [SocketSite]
2007 San Francisco Idea House [sunset.com]

First Published: August 27, 2008 7:30 AM

Comments from "Plugged In" Readers

I must say, that is a BEAUTIFUL garden....hopefully it will be priced right when it goes on the market and someone can get a nice house for cheap.

Posted by: tom at August 27, 2008 9:01 AM

Tom,

It already (sort of) went on the market and fared poorly because it was priced horribly wrong.

Posted by: fluj at August 27, 2008 9:05 AM

"It already (sort of) went on the market and fared poorly because it was priced horribly wrong"

Of course it would break a realtor's heart so say it was priced "too high" since nothing in SF is ever priced too high according to the wisdom of the trade. So it was only priced "horribly wrong". Great one. LOL

Posted by: anon at August 27, 2008 9:49 AM

Of course it would break a realtor's heart so say it was priced "too high" since nothing in SF is ever priced too high according to the wisdom of the trade. So it was only priced "horribly wrong". Great one. LOL

I was on record questioning the logic of pricing an Inner Mission TIC for twice as much as the market had ever previously supported. Many other realtors did the same. Your snideness, cynical remarks, misuse of quotations, and general writing style informed by a council of one, yourself, were all duly noted. Thank you for reading.

Posted by: fluj at August 27, 2008 9:58 AM

"Of course it would break a realtor's heart so say it was priced "too high" since nothing in SF is ever priced too high according to the wisdom of the trade. So it was only priced "horribly wrong". Great one. LOL"

LOLx2! My favorite realtor/flujism is the house was priced "ahead of the curve" to reinforce the idea that prices always go up. For instance:

"This one was originally priced at 989K -- and that would have been way out ahead of the curve. Now it is a short sale for 899. [snip]

Posted by: fluj at August 21, 2008 9:08 AM"

http://www.socketsite.com/archives/2008/08/the_comps_they_are_a_changing_the_short_sale_of_2924_19.html

Posted by: Satchel at August 27, 2008 9:58 AM

Mission TICs have gone up quite a lot over the past few years Satchel. They will continue to do so in my opinion. But that wasn't what I was getting at and I'm sure you know it. Was I somehow unclear in expressing this one was grossly expensive? I think you understood my meaning very clearly. However I do have to thank you for not using quotations incorrectly!

Posted by: fluj at August 27, 2008 10:04 AM

Oh, wait a minute. I take it back. You took a quote from me about a different property all together and placed it within the context of this thread.

Let's have a roundtable discussion about the etymology of the expression, "ahead of the curve." Shall we? Won't that be fun!

Step off, Satchmo. That was really poor even by your unselfcritical standards.

Posted by: fluj at August 27, 2008 10:08 AM

Girls! Girls!

You're BOTH pretty.

Posted by: badlydrawnbear at August 27, 2008 10:25 AM

I agree with fluj.
Regardless of semantics, pricing "ahead of the curve" is the same as "overpriced". we all knew what s/he meant.

I respect it when a realtor acknowledges up front that a property is overpriced, no matter how they word it. (as opposed to when they only say it when the property is up for resale at a lower price).

doesn't matter if fluj said "the price is hella-high" or "it's too high" or "their out of their minds with this price" or "they're ahead of the curve" or "priced horribly wrong". it all means the same thing. overpriced. and we all understood it.

Posted by: ex SF-er at August 27, 2008 10:27 AM

I recall fluj stating that a property was overpriced on several occasions.

Heck, my own agent has agreed with me that certain properties were overpriced.

What's up with this constant meme here on SS that RE agents want to see high prices ? They don't. They want properties to be priced to sell quickly.

It's the sellers who want high prices. Now when the agent is the seller you've got a different story.

Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at August 27, 2008 10:36 AM

ex SF-er,

In a market that was falling, and was expected to CONTINUE falling, wouldn't "behind the curve" mean "overpriced"? Wouldn't "ahead of the curve" mean even LOWER in that type of market?

The plain meaning of "ahead of the curve" is, well, plain. Wait long enough, and the market will reward you. The price might seem a little high now, but that's just because it is "ahead of the curve". I don't see what I wrote as particularly controversial. "Ahead of the curve" means the price is too high IF the curve is pointing up. That's the message the realtors want to get across. Curve up. Always. But sometimes for a year or two you might find yourself a little "ahead of the curve" in which case you just have to wait a little and you'll be fine.

About whether realtors want higher prices? Of course that's true. It doesn't have much to do with the commission. It's psychology. People are loss averse. They are reluctant to see when prices go down, because that means they have to admit a loss. This is a well known phenomenon in behavioral finance.

Reluctance to sell => decrease in transactions => less commission $$ for the realtors.

So, better to try to paint a happy picture wherever possible, ESPECIALLY on a public board (good realtors of course in private should "level" with their clients, and some probably do, if only because once they have snatched the listing by promising the sky, now they have to "talk down" the seller client on pricing to ensure the commission $$ - or "talk up" the buyer client, again to ensure the commission $$).

What's so controversial about this idea? I mean, these guys are commissioned SALESPEOPLE. They're not paid for being right, for having good analysis, for being smart, for having perfect hair, being pretty, etc. (although these characteristics no doubt help in many instances - especially the hair). Thay are paid for SELLING. And anything that encourages SELLING leads to $$ and success. No different from sell side Wall Street brokers, although the talent pool for Wall Street is of course much deeper.

Posted by: Satchel at August 27, 2008 11:10 AM

Never ask your barber whether you need a haircut.

Never ask a Ford dealer whether now is a good time to buy an expedition.

Never ask a realtor (TM) whether now is a good time to buy a house.

Posted by: diemos at August 27, 2008 11:23 AM

Lets hope that Meridian and/or Whirliegig have a licensed Architect on staff since they are claiming that they were the "Architects" Because if they didn't they would be in violation of the California Practice Act Article 5 Section 134 and someone might be motivated to call the Department of Consumer Affairs at 916-445-3393 and report them for advertising that they provide Architectural Services without a license.... jus' sayin'. It certainly would be a shame...

Posted by: real artichoke at August 27, 2008 11:23 AM

say what you want about this house. robin wilson has a fantastic rack.

Posted by: green machine at August 27, 2008 11:25 AM

say what you want about this house. robin wilson has a fantastic rack.

Posted by: green machine at August 27, 2008 11:27 AM

I think we're learning the curve doesn't always trend up! It does trend the wrong way some times. (Of course, not in real SF)

:)

(Just kidding! Put the keyboards away!)

Posted by: chuckie at August 27, 2008 11:29 AM

well, I guess Robin is proof that a "fantastic rack" can't get you everything.

Posted by: sf_housedude at August 27, 2008 11:30 AM

anon - you are going to have to come up with a better moniker that that. From reading your previous posts I was going to suggest "contra-Satchel." Now I'm not so sure as it appears you have broadened your contrarian posts to others. Perhaps "contrariansanssubstance."

Posted by: Publius at August 27, 2008 11:32 AM

Aw naw. No he dih-ent. He did? A literal deconstruction of a figurative term! When he knew what I meant! Clearly!

(Read in your best Marv Albert voice) Yess!

Posted by: fluj at August 27, 2008 11:53 AM

that's true, housedude, but it should.

Posted by: green machine at August 27, 2008 11:54 AM

Never ask your barber whether you need a haircut.

Never ask a Ford dealer whether now is a good time to buy an expedition.

Never ask a realtor (TM) whether now is a good time to buy a house.

Never ask an internet crab jack shit.

Posted by: fluj at August 27, 2008 11:58 AM

"Never ask an internet crab jack shit"

Don't forget fluj, you are one of them internet crabs :-)

Posted by: anon at August 27, 2008 12:22 PM

""Never ask an internet crab jack shit"

Don't forget fluj, you are one of them internet crabs :-)"

Indeed I am and I freely admit to crabby behavior on more than one occasion. This thread is very funny to me. Like LOL for real. Because every realtor in town said this thing was priced too high and there is ample evidence of that all over the internets. Yet still the same tried and true bash-isms*.

*Well, to be fair Satchel's euphemism deconstruction is new territory.

Posted by: fluj at August 27, 2008 12:28 PM

Fluj, why didn't you just say "overpriced"? That's shorter and clearer. You wanted to apply spin, no? "Ahead of the curve" sounds so much more pleasant. That's fine.

To the dudes who expect clear, succint speech from salespeople: GET REAL. Would you expect clear writing from a Wall St analyst? You gotta play the game.

Why the temper?

Posted by: Sb at August 27, 2008 12:29 PM

Temper? No. I'm trying to express disdain, not anger, in a humorous manner. I'm over it. It's actually funny to me. Tell you what tho. I'm pretty sure most people actually would react with a whole lot of anger if their livelihood was insulted baselessly, artlessly, and out of context by people who rarely know what they're talking about.

I'm pretty sure I never even said, "ahead of the curve" about this property. Satchel pulled it from another thread.

Here's what I said on October 19, 2007:

"Four million dollars, for Alabama street, next to a Norteno stronghold. Riiiigggghhhhht."

Would you please explicate the devious spin tactics utilized therein, sb? Thanks in advance.

Posted by: fluj at August 27, 2008 12:43 PM

Sb - I think much of what is said here is tongue-in-cheek. At least, that is how I take it.

Also, it is great to know that Satchel has not completely forsaken his legal education. He makes a plausible argument even though it's not a winner. I'm very proud.

Sorry Satchel - I usually concur with your posts, but the "curve" analysis omits one salient factor. Any trend analysis must be related to time. At any given point a trend could be up or down depending how long you are looking at the data. For instance housing is down in the last several years nationwide, but is up if you look at it over the last 20 years (I know I am setting myself up for the nominal v. real value lecture). :) I'm sure if one where to wait long enough the trend would continue up (maybe not for 10 to 20 years though).

That said, I also have an aversion to realtor speak. I cringed a little when fluj wrote "timing the market" the other day.

Posted by: Publius at August 27, 2008 12:44 PM

I would have more sympathy for the current state of the market had my mortgage broker not laughed at my income and credit score when I was applying for a loan.
I have been happily enjoying my home purchase for a few years now and the broker...well he is out of a job and his house is on the market.

Posted by: anan at August 27, 2008 1:15 PM

Satchel - right-O about the selling psychology. What I was referring to was that RE agents don't intentionally overprice a property to gain a higher commission. That would work against their transaction volume.

Of course when a declining market occurs listing agents are put in a tricky position. A seller wants $1.2M but the broker knows that it will only fetch $1M. What to do ? You either advise pricing to sell and risk losing a client. Or you list at the client's chosen price, let it sit with no interest for a month or so and then counsel to lower the price. Perhaps the latter is what is happening now.

Back to the topic, I'll bet Robin (and she does read SocketSite is plenty happy that this thread has diverted away from the failure of this project apparent website misrepresentation. Nice smoke screen.

Posted by: The Milkshake of Despair at August 27, 2008 1:28 PM

"I'm pretty sure I never even said, "ahead of the curve" about this property. Satchel pulled it from another thread."

OF COURSE you did, fluj. You say it a lot. I have a pretty good memory, and tend to remember most of what I read.

Here you are on THIS casa verde house:

"There has never been anything approaching that price in the Central Mission and this was so far out ahead of the curve as to be ridiculous.

Posted by: fluj at June 6, 2008 12:31 PM"

http://www.socketsite.com/archives/2008/06/too_much_green_in_more_ways_than_one_too_soon_for_the_h.html

A simple search will show that you often use the term. It's no big deal. I'm not Derrida and trying to deconstruct everything you say, but I DO think we should all acknowledge that the implication is that prices are on an upward curve. And so - GENERALLY AFTER THE PLACE FAILS TO SELL - you often say that that was because the pricing was "ahead of the curve". The implication is that in a few years - or at least some time in the future - the pricing will be correct. "On the curve" I guess. So, hint hint wink wink, just hang in there and real estate is ALWAYS a good investment.

So, let me put on my Derrida chapeau for a minute. "Ahead of the curve" has a very different subtext than "the place was overpriced". There's no "hope" in the former expression, or - not to stretch the literary references to far - "No Exit". That's why you use the term, though perhaps only subconsciously....

Posted by: Satchel at August 27, 2008 1:37 PM

Not to nitpick, but when I read that, I assume fluj means "ahead of the curve" as far as design, size, concept AND price. This place was so alien to its surroundings that frankly, "overpiced" was only part of the losing equasion.

And i'm sure Robin loves reading about her, uh, anatomy on this site. Classy move, green machine.

Posted by: lefty at August 27, 2008 1:47 PM

Maybe fluj is refering to the inflation curve, future dollars, blah,blah,blah, that we always have to here about. I.E. this will be the correct price in 2078. Way out ahead of the curve.

Posted by: sparky at August 27, 2008 1:59 PM

I agree with lefty I think fluj is including size, finishes, etc. as well.

Posted by: sparky at August 27, 2008 2:00 PM

satchel

as a kindred spirit, I would normally back you, but your thoughts on this 'ahead of the curve' business are bizarre.

i'm with ex sf-er on this one. see above.

Posted by: enonymous at August 27, 2008 2:06 PM

Jesus, fluj and satchel , both of you, STFU already ... post something on topic or GTFO

Both you're comments are becoming more and more useless on every thread because you guys just end up in some junior high bitch fight.

Posted by: badlydrawnbear at August 27, 2008 2:10 PM

The Green House is in an excellent location, it's just too bad that most mexican born immigrants don't have 3 million dollars sitting in the bank to buy this place in their neighborhood.

Posted by: sf_housedude at August 27, 2008 2:11 PM

Satchel,

You actually did go all Foucault on me and you know it. It was beyond boorish. I baited you jokingly. I can't believe you took that bait.

Posted by: fluj at August 27, 2008 2:20 PM

From allwords.com....

definition

ahead of the curve -
1. changing before the average population does
2. Above average; generally performing well.

Can we now move on?

Posted by: satchelfan at August 27, 2008 4:34 PM

Speaking of notices of default,

Wow, did anyone see Moodys is reevaluating all prime jumbo loans made in the last two years because the default rates are up 72% over expectations.

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=a2c71Nq2xb.w&refer=home

I have seen this situation before. The default rates on subprime loans shot up in July of 2007, and I correctly predicted when the investors couldn't figure out how to price the loans because their risk models were shot, they'd stop writing the loans. Within two months, that loan market was dead.

I think the prime, jumbo risk models are shot. The default rates are tiny, absolutely tiny, but it doesn't matter. All that matters is defaults relative to expectations. And when that goes so completely out of whack, no one knows how to price the loans. They'll just head for the exits.

You think it's bad with 25% down, wait until the end of the year.

My prediction last year was dead on true. It's here, at 10:09 am.

http://www.socketsite.com/archives/2007/07/san_francisco_notices_of_default_are_way_up_sort_of.html

This is scaring even me.

Posted by: tipster at August 27, 2008 4:44 PM

"This is scaring even me."

Not me. Nothing would be better than a market that requires 50% cash down.

Prices will simply adjust, just as they did in the subprime space. No big deal. As long as your thinking is "ahead of the curve", you'll realize that tomorrow's 50% cash down will be no bigger in real cash than today's 25% down is :)

Posted by: Satchel at August 27, 2008 5:09 PM

words fail

Posted by: fluj at August 27, 2008 5:14 PM

Un crabe d'Internet? Quelle idée! Nom de Sad Sack! Je suis la voix de la raison économique sur le marché du logement.

Posted by: diemos at August 27, 2008 5:38 PM

lol Satchel - And thanks for throwing in the real v. nominal value mention. My day is now complete.

Posted by: Publius at August 27, 2008 7:09 PM

Nothing like watching fluj freak out each and every time you throw him a bone :-)

Keep it up buddy!

Posted by: anon at August 27, 2008 7:12 PM

This is scaring even me.

Default rates rising from 1% to 1.7% scare you? Don't go into the credit card business.

Posted by: NoeValleyJim at August 27, 2008 8:30 PM

"Don't go into the credit card business."

If I did, I wouldn't be charging no 5-8% interest, that's for sure.

What will happen if Moodys downgrades those bonds is the organizations (pension funds and the like) that are required to hold bonds not lower than a certain grade will have to dump them. They have no choice.

At that point, the world will be awash in them, and so the bonds will have to be sold at a loss.

And if you are a local bank who writes loans like that to hold, if can buy them for sixty cents on the dollar, you sure as hell aren't going to write any new ones for 100 cents on the dollar.

It depends on whether and how far Moody's downgrades. To have the losses jump up by 72% was NOT anticipated in the rates the investors paid for them, and so they are all going to get screwed for investing in them, a mistake they won't make twice.

To you it looks like 0.7%, big deal, but to someone who has hundreds of millions of dollars of these things, that can make or break someone's year end results.

If Moody's downgrades significantly, this isn't going to be like watching grass growing any longer. And congress just LOWERED the super-conforming limits, making it clear their appetite for bailing out rich homeowners is not there any longer. By 1/1/09, I think this could be a very different ball game.

We'll have to wait to see what Moody's does to those ratings, but they rarely announce such things in advance unless they are planning something big.

Posted by: tipster at August 27, 2008 10:16 PM

"Nothing would be better than a market that requires 50% cash down".

Imagine, we may return to a city where people buy property to live in and raise a family! This would destroy the real estate industrial complex however, and a lot of used staging furniture and chopped pillows would be available for pennies on the dollar.

Posted by: justin at August 28, 2008 3:45 AM

"At that point, the world will be awash in them, and so the bonds will have to be sold at a loss."

Which is why the Fed made 500B in loans available in exchange for these bonds. Exactly to prevent price discovery in the MBS market and to try to hold together the financial system for a while. "Kicking the can down the road" as it were.

Look for a Japanese style correction where these things are held on the books at par value for 20 years while the financial system slowly digests and writes them off. If they do hit the market all at once then, Second Great Depression.

Posted by: diemos at August 28, 2008 6:04 AM

A change in default rates from 1% to 1.7% looks a whole lot scarier when you are leveraged up (as the banks are) by at least 30x.

The Tier 1 capital ratios for banks - if I am not mistaken - are around 3%, meaning that banks need only hold 3% "real" capital against loan assets (really simplified explanation). And that leverage ratio is BEFORE the off balance sheet games that have been/are being played.

Fannie/Freddie are levered up in excess of 100x, of course to the extent that anyone can figure out what their capital is anymore. (They count things like "deferred tax assets" - noncash benefits that MAY be available at some time in the future - as capital.

The investment banks are even worse.

My guess is that 3-4% losses in the prime and jumbo spaces, coupled with greater than 50% loss severities on the loans, would wipe out the financial system as we know it.

Nice job, Fed (and Congress)! It's nice to see that you two are so much smarter than you used to be in other periods of shining economic brilliance like the late 1920s/early 1930s and mid-1960s through late 1970s!

Posted by: Satchel at August 28, 2008 6:24 AM

The big difference between us and Japan in the 80's is that if you give American consumers cash they will spend it, instead of hoarding it in their saving's accounts, the way the Japanese did.

Did you see the 2nd Q GDP results just released? 3.3% growth! Some "recession" that is, though no doubt that is partially due to the stimulus checks. Consumer spending is up and so are exports, by a whopping 13.2 percent. This is what will grow our economy out of this funk: export growth. With the weakness in the dollar, America is increasingly the cheap place to manufacture instead of China or Mexico.

President Obama and a Democratic Congress are sure to put more money in the hands of middle-class consumers, who will spend it and stimulate the economy. No Great Depression style meltdown is required to rebalance the economy, just a gradual redistribution of labor to more productive sectors. Mass unemployment would not only cause suffering, it would be wasted productive output. The sector that was most overbuilt in the boom is housing, which has already had its mass layoffs. I think the the finance sector is still too fat, so there are some more hurt to go there, but it looks like manufacturing is picking up the slack.

Posted by: NoeValleyJim at August 28, 2008 8:17 AM

Uncle Hank and Dr. Ben are walking a tightrope.

On one side is the choice not to print money and not to intervene in the financial system. In that scenario the bad debt gets marked to market and the global financial system implodes leading to mass economic unpleasantness.

On the other side is the choice of too much money printing and intervention leading to repudiation of the dollar in the forex markets. Everything we import and export skyrockets in price ($20/gallon gas anyone?) which crushes real economic activity and leads to mass economic unpleasantness of a slightly different flavor.

To stay on the tightrope there needs to be enough intervention to keep the financial system functional while the economy contracts (Which it is, despite any Ministry of Truth pronouncements to the contrary. Rejoice comrades! Tractor production is up 50% this year.) and the dollar slowly loses value.

Contracting economy lowers imports while deflating dollar increases exports. Eventually the $800B/year that we borrow from foreigners to live beyond our means becomes $0B/year and we are once again living within our means.

This would rebalance the economy and put us back into a sustainable situation but giving up living beyond our means leads to a lower standard of living. The gente will not be pleased by this but it's probably the best outcome we can hope for.

Posted by: diemos at August 28, 2008 8:39 AM

You said it better than I could have diemos.

Posted by: NoeValleyJim at August 28, 2008 8:56 AM

"Did you see the 2nd Q GDP results just released? 3.3% growth!"

NVJ, as a fellow armchair economist I'm surprised you fell for this. As always, the devil is in the details.

The USG releases its "real growth" GDP figures by deflating nominal changes in the economy by an inflation measure. (They can't really track even nominal dollar output correctly, but that's another discussion....)

Here are the numbers (nominal, and "deflated" or "real"):

2008q1 14,150.8 11,646.0
2008q2 14,312.5 11,740.3

http://www.bea.gov/national/xls/gdplev.xls

If I'm doing my math right, nominal GDP is up 4.65% on an annualized basis (they report annualized always). Real GDP up 3.26% annualized. To get from 4.6% nominal to 3.3% real growth requires an annualized deflator (inflation) measure of about 1.35%.

So, does anyone believe that broad "inflation" has been running at 1.35% for the past 3 months??

Amazing that people fall for this every time.

I came across a quote a while ago (no idea of the source) that seems apropos of what the USG is doing (diemos, you couldn't be more right! I don't think the Soviet Union ever had a recession - until of course it all collapsed):

"What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one. Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egoism. Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. In 1984, Orwell added, people are controlled by inflicting pain. In Brave New World, they are controlled by inflicting pleasure. In short, Orwell feared that what we hate will ruin us. Huxley feared that what we love will ruin us."

I think Huxley won this debate.

Posted by: Satchel at August 28, 2008 9:45 AM

"Nothing like watching fluj freak out each and every time you throw him a bone :-)

Keep it up buddy!"

Who threw me a bone? The origins of that turn of phrase are easily understood. You a lot of our colloquialisms originate from Olde English gallows humor.

Posted by: fluj at August 28, 2008 9:45 AM

"Nothing like watching fluj freak out each and every time you throw him a bone :-)

Keep it up buddy!"

Who threw me a bone? The origins of that turn of phrase are easily understood. You know a lot of our colloquialisms originate from Olde English gallows humor.

Posted by: fluj at August 28, 2008 9:46 AM

this is boring. can we talk about robin's rack again?

Posted by: green machine at August 28, 2008 9:53 AM

When is the foreclosure sale?

Posted by: Anon at August 28, 2008 9:54 AM

@Satchel

Wait - I'm confused. Prices of the things I buy seem to be inflating faster than 1.35%, but it also seems like just about every asset out there is deflating. Which notion of inflation do you use to bridge from nominal to real? Isn't the playbook Japan?

Posted by: confused at August 28, 2008 10:04 AM


For those that are interested, the Big Picture has three posts up on the Q2 GDP numbers. They essentially reiterate Satchel's points...

Posted by: Tom at August 28, 2008 10:12 AM

"Wait - I'm confused."

Me too. Ask the USG how they figure it (hehehehe).

Actually, I have seen some work that tries to correlate CPI with broad deflator measures, and they generally track pretty well, except now of course!

I'll try to look some of that up later, but I know no one really cares too much about this stuff (me neither - I bought back all my short calls 3 days ago, knowing that the USG would headfake everyone again).

I think the Huxley/Orwell stuff is more relevant!

Posted by: Satchel at August 28, 2008 10:14 AM

GDP only measures domestic production, so imports are not included. Most of the inflation we have seen is in imported goods, namely oil, so CPI and the GDP deflator are quite a bit different right now.

I haven't had a chance to go over the numbers, but I am guessing that imputed rent is down in Q2, helping to keep down the GDP deflator (and actual consumer inflation as well).

Inflation is a funny topic, we have to measure an average inflation and of course no one is average, so everyone experiences it differently. If you are in the market for a new home in Vallejo inflation is negative for you, while if you have already bought your home but spend a lot of miles driving it is up substantially.

People tend to notice the price of things they buy often in small amounts (gasoline) much more than things they buy rarely (autos). So subjective inflation is probably higher than it really is in our present environment. Aren't car and home prices plummeting right now?

Posted by: NoeValleyJim at August 28, 2008 11:29 AM

Heres a quote from a guy called Anirvan Banerji of the ECRI ( http://www.businesscycle.com/ )

These guys are notable because they were the first grp to correctly forecast a recession in 2001 (if i remember correctly) They have a lot of credibility. (copied from Realmoney.com)

"....but global growth is falling apart, especially in Europe. At ECRI, we regularly monitor 19 economies including the G7 countries plus China and India. Our long leading indexes do not include stock prices because their lead times are too short for our purpose. Looking beyond the market consensus, they are painting a truly dire picture that is likely to overwhelm any help lower commodity prices can possibly provide for the global economy. And by the way, growth in our U.S. Weekly Leading Index, which fell last year to its worst reading since the 2001 recession, has now dropped to a 28-year low, the worst since the 1980 recession. Now that, not GDP, is forward looking data. "


Another quote of his with respect to GDP this AM. Read espc his reference to the definition of recession as 2 b/b quarters of down GDP. This grp is neither bearish nor bullish as a rule. They just look at their own indicators.

"....on the contrary, the GDP data is the real headfake. Remember, Q2 GDP got a temporary boost from the tax rebates, which are over. Another major factor was the boost from exports, which is set to largely disappear as overseas growth falls apart. Of course, the new data showed a smaller decline in inventories, suggesting that there is less impetus for any inventory rebuild in the current quarter. There is way too much attention paid to the false definition that claims that a recession is technically "two down quarters of GDP" (in which case we didn't have a recession in 2001 despite the loss of nearly 3 million jobs and half the value of the Nasdaq). Most importantly, we should be judging the economic outlook based on forward-loking indicators, which are worsening, not improving."

Posted by: mac at August 28, 2008 12:59 PM

I still can't believe Meridian picked this location to put million dollar TICS. How much have they spent on the project? 2.9? Are they crazy? I drove by again yesterday, shook my head and drove on.

Posted by: Anon at September 1, 2008 9:45 AM

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