From Houston comes word that more and more Americans – already the hardest working race on the planet – are giving up old-fashioned vacations. Either they don’t want them…or they can’t afford them. And even when they do go off for a while, they take their portable phone and portable computer with them so they can keep up with work while they’re away.
And now oil prices are rising again. They’re just pennies away from the record high set last August…and Goldman says a barrel of oil may go to US$95.
Meanwhile, analysts are now projecting that the housing slump could last for years – that there is a ‘second wave’ of housing hurt coming our way.
Our friend and colleague, Porter Stansberry reports:
“The number of US home foreclosures rose 87% in June year over year. There were 164,644 loan default notices, scheduled auctions, and bank repressions, led by California, Florida, Ohio, and Michigan. If you assume that each of these homes is worth the median US home price, that’s US$36 billion in defaults. And if you assume the banks, hedge funds, and bond managers that own these debts will recover 75% of this value, that’s an estimated US$9 billion in losses…in one month.”
“We’re trying to sell our old house in Maryland,” said an associate in Baltimore, “because we bought a new house and have already moved in. Right now, we’re paying two mortgages, so we want to get rid of the old place as soon as possible. So far, we’ve had a few people look at it. And we’ve actually had a couple of offers…but they were both contingent on the buyers being able to sell their houses. So we looked on the Internet to find out what the odds of them being able to sell quickly really were…and we found, in both cases, that they were trying to sell houses in areas where there were hundreds of houses just like theirs for sale. It didn’t look good for them…and it doesn’t look good for us. For us it’s not too much of a problem, because we bought our house many years ago. We have a lot of equity and a small mortgage. But I don’t know what other people do in this situation…”
We don’t know either…but, as always, we’ll find out.
Markets and Money