Tags: Housing Market

It’s About Time: JP Morgan Enters the Housing Slumlord Trade

It was just a matter of time before the most powerful crony capitalist bank in America decided to join the housing trade.  Making money running the food stamp program just wasn’t enough for Your Crony Highness Jaime Dimon and company, it’s time to join his financial oligarch brothers in the bidding war to corner the housing market and become your overlord.  That way they can control how you eat (food stamps) and where you sleep.  It’s become very clear what the large financial interests in these United States are attempting.  Funnel all the low interest crony American money, with a dash of Chinese laundered money, into the “housing recovery.”  From Bloomberg:

JPMorgan Chase & Co. (JPM) is giving its wealthiest clients the chance to invest in the single-family rental market after other investments linked to the U.S. housing recovery jumped in value.

The firm’s unit that caters to individuals and families with more than $5 million, put client money in a partnership that bought more than 5,000 single family homes to rent in Florida, Arizona, Nevada and California, said David Lyon, a managing director and investment specialist at J.P. Morgan Private Bank. Investors can expect returns of as much as 8 percent annually from rental income as well as part of the profits when the homes are sold, he said.

The bank’s wealthy clients are joining a growing number of private-equity firms and individuals buying rental homes in the regions hardest hit by the U.S. housing crash. Blackstone Group LP (BX) has spent $2.7 billion, and said last month it accelerated purchases as home prices rise faster than anticipated. Even after home values in November gained by the most in six years, investors are wagering on rental properties as an alternative to housing-related stocks and mortgage debt that’s already soared.

The strategy is similar to institutional buyers including Blackstone, the world’s largest buyout firm, Thomas Barrack’s Colony Capital LLC, and Oaktree Capital Group LLC. (OAK) They’re aiming to profit from low prices on distressed properties, often those in foreclosure and sold at auction — and the demand for rentals from people who don’t want to own a home or can’t qualify for a mortgage.

Now here’s where the article gets really interesting.

“It’s hard to find a private-equity firm on the planet that doesn’t have a strategy in this space,” Gary Beasley, chief executive officer at Waypoint Homes, said last week at the American Securitization Forum’s annual conference in Las Vegas. The Oakland, California-based company has bought homes in California, Arizona, Illinois and Georgia.

Sure seems like the right time to buy housing.  You know, after every single pool of aggressive private capital in the nation and abroad is already bidding.

Now take a look at how poor the returns are.  This is what happens when things get too crowded.

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It Never Ends: Top Obama Housing Advisor Jumps Ship to Wells Fargo

No one should be surprised by this, particularly since Wells Fargo is the favored financial vehicle for America’s top crony capitalist – Warren “I’m just like you because I drink cherry coke and eat hamburgers” Buffett.  The person in question in the latest payoff revolving door move is Bob Ryan who is currently a senior advisor to Shaun Donovan, the secretary for Housing and Urban Development.  From the Wall Street Journal:

Mr. Ryan is currently a senior advisor to Shaun Donovan, the secretary for Housing and Urban Development. He joined HUD in 2009 as the first ever chief risk officer at the Federal Housing Administration and served briefly last year as the agency’s acting FHA commissioner. He previously spent 26 years at Freddie Mac.

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My First In-Studio Interview on Capital Account is Out!

I just recorded my first live, in-studio interview on the fantastic financial program Capital Account with Lauren Lyster! It was also the first time I ever had makeup put on me.  In any event, it went great and we discussed the Global Spring coming in 2013, the faux housing recovery and marijuana legalization.  Take a watch and please share with everyone!



Thought of the Day – House Flipping in Colorado

I overheard a very interesting conversation in a local coffee shop today between a realtor and a prospective client.  It was the sales pitch that really shocked me as I could have sworn I was transported back to early 2005.  She was using lines like “you’d be a fool not to buy with rates this low,” while also peppering the conversation with anecdotes about this “person she knew” that had just flipped a home for a 40k profit in just a few weeks.  America is back folks.

Does this conversation translate into any actionable investment ideas?  Not really, but it relates back to what I wrote several weeks ago regarding the equity markets.  That people that know better are once again drinking the kool-aid.  The one thing I do feel strongly about is despite ubiquitous prognostications of real estate brokers everywhere, housing is going to be in a deep slump for a very long time (unless we get hyperinflation of course, where anything is better than paper dollars).  Despite all attempts to revive housing and trillions of dollars printed and then spent by the government, all housing has done is bounced around the bottom.  Ex-hyperinflation I expect another major leg down within the next couple of years and even in hyperinflation I expect real estate will do poorly in real terms (ie versus gold).

It is at this point that I’d like to direct you to read a piece I wrote in March 2010 titled: Residential Housing: Why it Doesn’t Stand a Chance.  One of the focal points of this piece was that Americans would become a lot more like the Madrilenos that I lived with during my study abroad in Spain.  Basically a huge percentage of the population lived at home until marriage or even after and there is no reason that cannot happen here.  Not to mention the fact that the youth in America are not only likely to rent but also to simply shove more people in the same space.  All of the secular trends I identified back then hold true today and with over $1 trillion in student debt you better believe it is only going to get worse.  There is also the fact that household formation generally, ie marriage, is also likely to enter a secular decline much like has happened in Japan.  It has been and is my view that household formation in America is about to take a drastic turn lower and this will be the biggest headwind for the market.

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Central Planning for Dummies: There Will Be QE

The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent private meetings and conferences. The apex of the system was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world’s central banks which were themselves private corporations.

 Each central bank… sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world.
– Carroll Quigley (Bill Clinton’s mentor at Georgetown) from his 1964 book Tragedy and Hope

Crime Once Exposed Has no Refuge but in Audacity.

– Tacitus

Central Planning for Dummies: There Will Be QE

For several years now I have been sounding the alarm that if you want to be engaged in the financial markets you need to assume that markets are being managed (rigged) more aggressively than at any moment in any of our lives.  The Bernank and others on Wall Street and the District of Criminals understand that the situation is pretty much hopeless.  Ever since 2008 they have had one strategy.  From a monetary and fiscal standpoint, that strategy has been to pump massive amounts of liquidity into the system while at the same time borrow enormous amounts of money.  The thinking was that this would stabilize the situation, create confidence and thus ultimately a dynamic sustainable recovery.  They certainly bought a few years with this plan but confidence has not returned, nor has there been any sustainable recovery.  What we need to understand at the moment is that The Bernank and all of his fellow Keynesian Central Planning magicians know that they have failed.  This is why he is running around on college campuses presenting his sad and intellectually dishonest presentation of propaganda that even a six year old could refute.  In fact several people have done just that.  Here is one good article on it.  Moreover, Jim Grant recently gave an incredible speech at the belly of the beast itself -The New York Federal Reserve –where he completely undresses the Fed right to their face.  You must read this one.

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