Debt

Econopocalypse Looming Again?

Stock market and debt troubles could mean bad news for this presidential election year, giving Trump and Sanders both more traction for their respective bad ideas.

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While those who strongly doubt the core solidity of our modern financial system have, as is often joked, predicted 30 of the last one huge economic downturns, and past results are no performance of future guarantees, and you can't win if you don't play and all that, this week sure isn't looking too great for "the system."

The stock market, as noted in P.M links here, hit a one-year low, and in this first 20 days is having its official worst year in history, and has lost the past couple of years in gains.

If you believe the theory that Federal Reserve QE policies were a large cause of the past few years upswings, as has been discussed here, then seeing this downturn after the Fed finally started edging up interest rates is not super surprising.

And Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, reporting from Davos for the UK Guardian, warns us that (especially in a world facing possible growing interest rates) that world debtpocalypse verging on debtgeddon looms:

William White, the Swiss-based chairman of the OECD's review committee and former chief economist of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) [says] "Debts have continued to build up over the last eight years and they have reached such levels in every part of the world that they have become a potent cause for mischief," he said.

"It will become obvious in the next recession that many of these debts will never be serviced or repaid, and this will be uncomfortable for a lot of people who think they own assets that are worth something," he told The Telegraph on the eve of the World Economic Forum in Davos

Mr White said Europe's creditors are likely to face some of the biggest haircuts. European banks have already admitted to $1 trillion of non-performing loans: they are heavily exposed to emerging markets and are almost certainly rolling over further bad debts that have never been disclosed….

And the blame lies largely on the very forces we are told to rely on to keep all copacetic:

Mr White said stimulus from quantitative easing and zero rates by the big central banks after the Lehman crisis leaked out across east Asia and emerging markets, stoking credit bubbles and a surge in dollar borrowing that was hard to control in a world of free capital flows.

The result is that these countries have now been drawn into the morass as well. Combined public and private debt has surged to all-time highs to 185pc of GDP in emerging markets and to 265pc of GDP in the OECD club, both up by 35 percentage points since the top of the last credit cycle in 2007….

Mr White said QE and easy money policies by the US Federal Reserve and its peers have had the effect of bringing spending forward from the future in what is known as "inter-temporal smoothing". It becomes a toxic addiction over time and ultimately loses traction. In the end, the future catches up with you.

Also: don't forget to panic over plunges in the Baltic Dry Index (which measures price of international shipping) and oil prices, as many nervous folk are, though I've never fully understood from a full-circle economic perspective why needed things becoming cheaper should be a long-term worry.

That said, banks who have loaned tons of money to institutions depending on high oil prices to stay solvent and manage their debts are not happy. (See above about the domino danger of debt.)

As I once explained on a tense hour-long episode of Glenn Beck back in 2009 (which I entered thinking I was doing a 8-minute segment), this financial stuff can be a mess but at root involves a shifting of ownership claims over what is actually key to economic health: the flow of income and productivity of human beings and their tools and their knowledge (and, yes, their needs, for you demand-side freaks), all of which will (barring even bigger troubles I don't know about) continue to exist.

But 2016 might look more like 2008-09 than we'd like.

And that's bad news for this presidential election year. Such troubles will likely make both general bloviating economically ignorant strongmanism (Trump) and "now the government needs to give you more free stuff than ever" (Sanders) even more appealing than they unfortunately already are.

NEXT: [*Update: Vote on Justification of Shooting Was Held] Tamir Rice's Grand Jury Never Actually Voted on Charges

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  1. But 2016 might look more like 2008-09 then we’d like.

    But president Obama just told us during the last State of the Union Address that those who talk about a stagnant economy and doom and gloom are part of a vast political conspiracy to make his reign look bad. And he said that on Tee Vee, so it must be true.

    1. It’s Bush’s fault.

      1. Well, 1/4 of it. Maybe 2/5. Howver, the reaction to the problem has been, of course, the problem.

    2. 2016 might look more like 2008 than we’d like, but then again, 2012 looked an awful lot like 2008, didn’t it? I’m telling you – Hillary gets indicted, Joe gets elected on “If you like your Obama, you can keep your Obama”. Joe might be retarded, but he ain’t stupid. Promising to be just like Obama worked for the Dems in 2012, why not in 2016?

      1. Not Biden. Get used to saying President Chewbacca.

      2. Joe might be retarded, but he ain’t stupid.

        Dude, Joe is criminally indictably stupid.

    3. I actually saw a huffpost video that basically made that claim. They showed somebody despairing over America’s debt problem and anemic employment and then cut to Obama’s SOFU as if it actually addressed that problem

  2. Structural bear market combined with a two term Democrat in the White House says. ..

    Democrats are screwed this election cycle.

    Better hope Cruz can pull it together or we’ll all be looooooooosers.

    1. As if Cruz winning wouldnt guarantee we are all losers…

      1. Well I’d prefer Rand, but if I have to pick between the toupee with a bad attitude and somebody who actually acknowledges we have a Constitution. ..

        1. What if it’s between the toupee with a bad attitude and the daffy old Bolshevik from Vermont?

          1. Go long on cyanide?

  3. There’s a 1984 Econoline van looming outside my house. I’m more worried about that.

    1. Does it say One Direction Concert Shuttle on the side?

    2. Is Crusty driving?

      1. He can’t drive and juggle.

      2. No; Old Man With Candy is.

        1. This is what it looks like. But I’m not due for a candy delivery, I don’t think. The price is right though…

          1. Don’t you know about economics? If you charge for the candy you’ll attract a better quality of victim.

            1. It’s about quantity, not quality.

              1. Quantity has a Quality all its own.

          2. My kid would totally jiggle over there. I’m not saying he’s Augustus Glump, but a molester could give himself a hernia if he doesn’t lift with his legs.

              1. Not. Clicking. That.

          3. “It’s not a rape van! It’s a spy van!”

    3. There’s a 1984 Econoline van looming outside my house. I’m more worried about that.

      I feel ya, man. I’m pretty damn sure I got a van looming in my future, too. I just hope there’s still a spot down by the river for it.

    4. 1984 you say?

  4. Like is said, it’s only going to get worse. Politically worse. Economically worse. The last 16 years (or so) have created a giant quality suck on nearly every aspect of American Existence (except for TV, that’s gotten better).

    1. *channeling Warren*

      DOOM

    2. You are correct, tv had gotten better, mainly in on the cable and direct to consumer channels, which are less government regulated then the big networks, coincidence?

  5. The massive piles of debt is, I think, most worrying. Does anybody own anything of value that isn’t attached to some lien or mortgage? Those liens are, in turn, sold to another party.

    At some point, some investment bank gets its hand on the liens and securitizes these liens (after paying for a nice A-grade from a ratings agency), neglects to mention that the underlying asset could be beat up ’98 Ford Tauruses with 115K miles on it in the offering statement, and sells them around the world.

    Can’t see any problems with this.

    1. As long as no one blinks we will all be fine.

    2. We will not be stable until the bad debt is liquidated. The push since 2008 has been to avoid that scenario as much as possible and it’s only gotten worse.

      1. Yep. It’s going to get ugly for other people. I don’t forsee a collapse… just a long, hard painful stagnation.

      2. This is why I’m hurrying to liquidate my debts and feeling like a champ for not embargoing 8% of my income in 401(k) that won’t do shit for my family in the next 3 years when money in hand will be worth more because leverage will be harder to come by.

        1. I skipped my IRA contribution this year. Thanks, Obama!

    3. Nah, “Cash for Clunkers” made sure no car older than 2006 is held under lien in the US.

    4. “The massive piles of debt is, I think, most worrying.”

      The American public has less debt today than in 2008. Canadians have, on the other hand, been loading up debt like the apocalypse is coming tomorrow.

      https://goo.gl/IkPiMD

      1. “Won’t that be nice.”

  6. What Brian didn’t mention is the answer, per Ambrose and I assume White: More spending by government! Yes, that’s what we need: Stimulus

    I thought we already spent a lot on stimulus?

    1. Sure, but it’s always just not enough to actually work…

      1. MOAR INFRASTRUKTURE

        1. Don’t forget public art.

          1. And lots of signs saying “THIS PROJECT PAID FOR BY THE SECOND, NO. .. THIRD RECOVERY ACT”

            1. They will quit numbering them when they become perpetual. It’s a different singularity.

            2. Recovery Act of YYYY. That way it’s harder to tell.

            3. It’s 5 year plans all the down.

  7. I have not regretted selling stocks once this year. In fact, nearly every single time I’ve sighed with relief a couple weeks later, when I realize how much worse it got after I sold.

    1. What?! Buy & Hold is the way to go.
      I’ve bought a lot of alcohol and cigars lately…in fact, I am holding a drink in one hand and a cigar in the other.

    2. I don’t sell, in general – but my portfolio is small enough that I’m fairly content to see it go down so I can score a few more shares for my monthly investment.

      I’m secretly hoping for a housing drop as well, because I’m in the market to move from renting to owning and I’m a selfish bastard who likes to buy low.

  8. You mean doing the same thing to “fix” this problem as we did the last several times we had problems is leading to the same problem again? That’s impossible!

  9. So, suppose you’re an absolute cynic like me, and you think America is already doomed to fail (best case scenario: falling to ‘middle nation’ status on the world stage, worse case scenario: economic collapse/civil war/breakup ala the Soviet Union or some combination of all three). The closest thing to a Libertarian Moment you’ll ever get is the daily confession.

    If it’s inevitable, which Presidency would you rather having bring on the death of Pax Americana, Trump or Sanders? I’ve got to go with Trump, because at least he can crack a decent joke. There’s the argument that if Bernie was elected that it might tarnish the whole ‘socialist utopia’ idea, but seventy years of the Soviet Union didn’t really stop that either.

    1. I’d prefer Sanders be captain when the ship goes down. Maybe people would then understand the connection between socialism and failure. Too many people think Trump is a genuine capitalist because he plays one on TV. In real life, he’s a crony crapitalist.

      1. Maybe people would then understand the connection between socialism and failure.

        No chance this will happen. If the Bern is in the drivers seat, it will be at least 4 years of “Congressional Republicans are responsible for the bad outcomes of all Bernie’s promises”. If he fails, it will be due to Kulaks and wreckers, never the fact that both he and his supporters are morons.

        At least with Trump, both parties might discover a minuscule amount of backbone to stand up to the executive on at least something. As horrible as things seem, probably the only even slightly good thing that could come from any of these candidates is to get some legislative branch push back.

      2. Nope. If Sanders is the captain when the ship goes down the CW is going to be: Things were so screwed up by the teathuglicans that even Bernie Sanders couldn’t fix it. Next time, we need to make sure we get a Bernie in there sooner. And kill all those damn teathuglicans.

        If Trump’s the one on deck, you’re right – proof that the teathuglicans are wrong and the free market just does not work. Next time, we need to make sure we get a Bernie in there sooner. And kill all those damn teathuglicans.

    2. Sanders. Most likely to die part way through his term. Most likely to motivate Texas to separate.

  10. “…what is known as “inter-temporal smoothing”….”

    Which is based on the fantasy that the people encouraging the spending *know* there is to be a spike in the future. I think Space X can contribute some jargon here: “RUD”.
    That’s Rapid, Unscheduled Disassembly, or what most of us call “a crash”.

  11. It wasn’t really an hour, it just seems that way when Beck gets on one of his hobby horses.

  12. I have no debts, but I’m the one who’s going to get fucked.

    1. I’m somewhat hopeful. I saw a correct and scathing opinion piece in the WaPo today excoriating the Dem Presidential candidates for citing Glass-Stegal, and then proceed to point out how the repeal of the Glass-Stegal Act had fuck-all to do with the 2008 crash, or today’s problems. It took me aback, it was so sensible.

    2. Sucker!! I’m seriously thinking of stopping any and all saving because it will probably hurt me. At this point, I am probably fucked, but my plan is to spend my savings until 70 and then take SS. That should work out, as long as they don’t fuck with people 50 and over when they make the inevitable changes.
      The other plan is to get the fuck out of CA or perhaps even the US.

      1. If you’re going to spend your savings, spend it on guns. At least you can make your money back (or have an inheritance to leave) if you buy ones that will hold onto or increase in their value. And ammo too. Not just so you have ammo to use in your guns, but because it is always a good investment since there will always be someone who wants to buy it.

        1. If you’re going to spend your savings, spend it on guns

          Here’s a man that’s stumbled on to the truth. Two stocks in my portfolio have made me a winner three running in the toughest market in memory. Those Colt M-4’s in the basement? I’ll see the day I make more on them than I did with the first group after Sandy Hook. Ammo is the real universal currency. You’ll never lose a dime on it and if you reload you have a future underground income post apocalypse.

      2. Agreed – we significantly cut-back retirement investment this year (can and will be used against you…).

    3. I have no debts, but I’m the one who’s going to get fucked.

      Duh, where do you think they’ll get the money for the bailouts?

    4. Yes, because your cash savings will be devalued.

  13. Because of low interest rates, saving is a loser. So there isn’t much real money to lend. But the printing presses are running overtime. What could possibly go wrong?

    1. Not necessarily. I had “too much” in a savings account circa 2006-2007. My girlfriend urged me to buy stocks. A few years later, my laziness paid off: stocks dropped tremendously, and my cash holdings looked pretty wise.

      1. This. I had family looking at me askance when they saw I was sitting on a princely sum in my bank account.

        I took about half of it and had it invested by professionals. Half the princely sum is still sitting in a bank account at 100% value (minus inflation blah blah), and the invested sum is anemic as shit (paper loss).

        Oh, and another thing I’d like to point out… starting in late 2013/early 2014, I started noticing my investments were thinning, and then reversing. People here kept saying “it’s just you”.

        Cool, fine.. I can live with that. I was somewhat heavily invested in commodity or commodity-based stocks. Things that depended on oil, housing, construction- industries where men wear denim shirts and hard hats. That shit started to falter in 2014, but no one was talking about it. Now, everyone looks back and says “Oh yeah, the economy’s been slowing since 2013/2014!”

        What I’m getting at is this– if you guys wanna know early if things are going to shit, ask me, I seem to be invested heavily in economic bellwether stocks.

  14. Libertarians should just prepare for President Trump, and do their best to turn that revolution in a libertarian direct. He’s going to win.

    Economic problems in 2016? The businessman beats either the socialist or old lady who want four more years like the last eight.

    2016 will see more terror attacks, more problems with Muslims in Europe (and everywhere). That helps Trump.

    In contrast, what possible news helps Hillary and Bernie? A good jobs report? Ha. No, I think the Democrats are screwed. (As are libertarians, but then we’re always screwed.)

    1. “do their best to turn that revolution in a libertarian direct.”

      Yes, nothing makes for better ‘libertarian direct’ than an anti-immigrant strongman retard.

      “He’s going to win lose to Hillary by a large margin.” -FTFY

      “(As are libertarians, but then we’re always screwed.)”

      There’s no ‘we’. You’re a fascist.

      1. Ah, what would H+R be without the polite and thoughtful insights of Cytotoxic?

      2. Seriously? I’ve been reading PapayaSF’s comments for a while…

        They are a lot of things, but a fascist? No.

        Sincerely,
        Commenter Who Is Skeptical of Cytotoxic but Hadn’t Written Them Off and is Now Considering It

        1. FTR, if someone forced me to bet cash money, I would still put it on Hillary. Ugh.

  15. I think we can trust our own government’s employment statistics. Why would they lie?

    1. We’re the Government: Why would we lie to ourselves??

  16. “But 2016 might look more like 2008-09 THAN we’d like.”

  17. Energy and commodities keep getting cheaper and cheaper, and I’m supposed to worry about that?

    The scary thing is that people keep piling into dollar denominated debt–’cause we’re the prettiest horse in the glue factory. It’s hard to make voters understand why we need to make serious changes in our spending habits when the rest of the world keeps falling all over themselves to lend us all the money they can for a song.

    The yield on the ten year treasury is down below 2% again.

    You have to be real principled to understand why we shouldn’t be taking advantage of those rates and spending more. And let’s face it. The American voter just isn’t that principled.

    1. “The yield on the ten year treasury is down below 2% again.”

      Free money! They’re paying you to take it.

      1. It’s just that we’re the prettiest horse in the glue . . .

        We’re in line to get turned into glue, too. It’s just that we’re further back in line to be slaughtered.

        If it ever gets so bad that the U.S. dollar isn’t a safe harbor anymore, the Europeans might go crazy and try capitalism.

        Maybe.

        Only when there are no other options left on the table.

        1. And interrupt those long vacations they love to smugly lord over us? Never!

  18. Trump economically ignorant? That is why he is a billionaire and you are . . .

    1. You must be joking.

      Economists are a laughing stock on Wall Street, and very few economists have what it takes to open a business and run it successfully.

      You think Steve Jobs was an amazing economist?

      That the economists at MIT, U of Chicago, or Harvard could run a commercial real estate empire?

      You must be joking.

    2. This is one thing that really makes me laugh: He’s stupid, he’s ignorant, he’s blah, blah, blah.
      BUT he’s really rich and made the vast majority of the money on his own. Not sure how he can be THAT ignorant.

      Wow, I wish I was as stupid/ignorant (and rich) as he is…

      1. And he’s running a presidential campaign that the mainstream media is paying for. Read Scott Adams’ blog on Trump. He thinks Trump is going to win in a landslide. I was skeptical, but it increasingly looks like it will happen.

        1. Clearly we should all get our political forecasts from cartoonists.

          1. I’ve offered to bet you on this, but you’ve ignored me. Wanna bet? Since you are so entirely sure that Trump will never win, I should get good odds, right? So what’s your offer?

          2. Mensa-member, UC-Berkeley MBA. Adams is a smart guy. But I’ll let him explain:

            http://blog.dilbert.com/post/1…..ts-of-2015

            As regular readers know, 100% of my political predictions for 2015 were correct, thanks to the Master Persuader filter. For example, I predicted?

            [redacted predictions: read them yourself]

            By this time of the year you would expect a list of “Best Political Pundits of 2015? to pop up somewhere. Try a Google search and discover that it doesn’t exist, because if it did, the only name on it would be mine, and that can’t happen in the 2D world. That would be like stock brokers admitting that index funds are a better bet.

            As I hinted in a prior post, Trump isn’t just changing politics. He is changing our understanding of reality by brushing aside the illusion that humans use reason to make important decisions. This extends well beyond politics.

            I remind new readers that I do not endorse Trump or anyone else for president. I’m not smart enough to know who would do the best job. All the candidates look qualified to me, assuming their health holds out.

            But I am a certified hypnotist with decades of study in the field of persuasion. My predictions are based on my knowledge of that skillset and the recognition that Trump has mastered those tools.

      2. Donald Trump is an excellent promoter.

        So is your local used car salesman.

        There are times when the economy makes people look like they’re smarter than they are.

        Anybody who bought or built real estate in New York City in the late ’70s / early ’80s (when the city was at its bottom) did really well.

        That’s saved Trump from all of his mistakes–which have been enormous and frequent.

        Take it from someone in commercial real estate. No one in the industry idolizes Donald Trump.

        If we had a hero, it would be Sam Zell.

        Sam Zell actually is the success average people think of when they think about Donald Trump. Sam Zell is all that and more.

      3. Mostly, it takes more huevos than I possess to leverage myself to the last bent penny to buy property that will be worth more than I owe but less than I can tote the note on if one tiny thing goes wrong. I owe less than I will take home after taxes this year and less than I have put back in retirement funding, assuming my house becomes worthless, and I’m still scared about not being liquid enough. That world is not for me.

          1. I can’t blame them. I’m a risk adverse motherfucker. Plus I lost my ass in stocks in 2000 and have a house that is worth about 70% what I bought it for, purchased in 2006. I’m pretty sure my timing is as bad as my luck.

            1. My luck is how I ended up with 3 kids when I was aiming for 1.5.

              1. Zero pregnant days in 2016 is our hope. I met my wife in November of 2012, and so far 2012 is the only other year that has had zero pregnant days. We’re pretty much fucked.

              2. My parents assured me we had at least 2 other siblings who had behaved poorly and were consequently sold to gypsies.

                You have no idea how disappointed i was to learn this was false. It ruined my personal sense of accomplishment, as well nixed my own plans on how to dispose of my own future progeny.

      4. Figuring out how to make a lot of money takes a certain kind of intelligence. Bill and Hillary made a lot of money being humble public servants, for example. (And really, don’t they deserve that kind of money for their sacrifice in being humble public servants?) But Donald Trump is still a jackass. And he made his money in NYC real estate development- which is a regulated utility in all but name. The intelligence required to make money in NYC real estate development consists mostly of knowing who gets how much and in which denominations.

        1. Yep. I have a relative by marriage who was very smart and earned his millions early on. His billions, however, were all cronyism. I believe he’s still on the New York board of real estate, or whatever the hell it’s called.

        2. “The intelligence required to make money in NYC real estate development consists mostly of knowing who gets how much and in which denominations.”

          The difference between being an economist and an entrepreneur is the difference between understanding the physics behind passing a football and being a successful quarterback like Tom Brady or Peyton Manning.

          Except, like I said, with Trump it was timing. Anybody that randomly bought or built any commerical real estate in NYC during the NYC’s worst period in the late .70s / early ’80s made out like a bandit during its recovery in the 80s and 90s.

          Except Trump also made ridiculous mistakes.

          Trump went through four bankruptcies. His businesses were largely run by his creditors.

          Buffet has a saying about how you should only buy a business that’s so good an idiot could run it because sooner or later one will.

          Trump is an excellent promoter. I’ll give him that.

          When things are going great in real estate, it’s hard to make a bad move. My folks bought a pretty big place in Rancho Bernardo back in the early 80s. It’s value has exploded since then. They didn’t buy it because they’re prescient geniuses. They bought it because they moved to San Diego and they needed a house to live in.

          Trump’s like that.

          1. When things are going great in real estate, it’s hard to make a bad move.

            This. My impression is that the real estate agents in San Diego who have done really well for themselves didn’t get that way by being super smart, they got that way by persevering through the downturns. Make it through the lean times and the boom times take care of themselves. Hard work trumps overthinking.

      5. It’s almost like, in addition to being intelligent in a biological way, he also lacks all moral sense and decency, advancing only himself at the expense of all others. And was born rich, and with access to the social networks that come from that.

        Strangely, such a man seems to become rich, and often powerful, in all societies ever. Usually after declaring paper bankruptcy a thousand or so times. Hooray for him, what a towering achievement.

    3. Trump has first hand experience with bankruptcy and seems to have no moral qualms about it. I’m wondering if that’s part of his national plan. He sometimes mentions the national debt as if it’s crazy to think we could ever pay it back.

    4. He’s a billionaire because he inherited a ton of money and put it into shitty investments that did worse than an S&P index fund.

      1. You check your sources on that. The one I saw indexed it to 1972, before he received his inheritance. Also, no one really knows how much he inherited.

    5. I suspect Trump’s wealth is smoke and mirrors.

      Still, that doesnt make him economically ignorant.

  19. The simple fact is, we’ve seen no plans for how to solve this $20T+ debt problem. No candidate has put forward a reasonable plan. So we’re left with strategies for avoiding the elephant in the room. Thus the craziness all around: ISIS crisis! Heroin crisis! Immigrant crisis!

    1. Carly Fiorina did make a couple of comments about the subject. And how the GOP who used to love talking about the debt and the deficit and lower taxes and down-sizing government for hours on end didn’t seem to be talking about that quite so much these days.

  20. …and the Greeks will totally pay off those loans.

    Did we forget about them?

  21. Eventually, if Hillary doesn’t wind up in jail and wins the nomination, we’re gonna hear the sad story about a white girl from Wellesley, who went to Yale Law and screwed her way to the White House.

    That sad story’s so ridiculous, it just makes me laugh. The one about Trump makes me crazy. The man is a shithead. I wouldn’t work for him unless he was paying me a big bundle.

    But you want to hear a legit amazing story about someone in commercial real estate?

    1. “While in school, Zell managed a 15 unit apartment building in return for free room-and-board and was soon managing the owner’s other properties.[2] Joined by his fraternity brother Robert H. Lurie, he won a contract with a large apartment development owner in Ann Arbor who was impressed with Zell’s knowledge of what students wanted. By the time he graduated with a J.D. from the University of Michigan Law School in 1966,[5] he and Lurie were managing over 4,000 apartments and owned 100-200 units outright.[6] After school, he sold off his interest in the management company to Lurie and moved to Chicago.[2]

    2. “After graduation, he worked as a lawyer for one week before deciding that the profession was not for him. Despite abandoning the firm, one of the senior partners who admired his zeal, decided to invest with him, allowing him to purchase an apartment building in Toledo.[2] In 1967, Zell founded Equity Group Investments and was joined two years later by his former partner, Robert H. Lurie. Together, they went on to grow the small firm into a vast enterprise, until Lurie’s death in 1990. Equity Group Investments was the genesis for three of the largest public real estate companies in history,[7] including: Equity Residential, the largest apartment owner in the United States; Equity Office Properties Trust, the largest office owner in the country; and Equity Lifestyle, an owner/operator of manufactured home and resort communities. With their entry onto the public markets in the 1990s, Zell became recognized as a founding father of the modern real estate industry.[citation needed] In addition, Zell has created a number of public and private companies in various other industries.

      In 2007 the Blackstone Group completed its purchase of Zell’s Equity Office Properties Trust for $39 billion”

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sam_Zell

      There was a time in my life when I would have paid to work for Sam Zell.

      Donald Trump is a shithead.

      1. B-B-but MASTER PERSUADOR /yokel

  22. At work so I can’t link it, but some Harvard economist floated the idea that the zero bound, negative int rates, could be breached and still have people leave their money in the bank. The fed would randomly choose bank note #’s and make them void. He suggested about 10% of all notes. That would keep them from hoarding cash under the mattress.

  23. Cryptocurrency looking better everyday.

    Honestly, if it’s down to Hillary vs Trump, it’s time for the folks here and young Americans in general to pull the plug and abandon ship. Leave the US or even North America at least temporarily. Panama’s nice. ZEDEs should be up and running any freaking day now.

    1. Sure, if you’re swimming in money and have connections in places like Panama.

      Most of world has already reached what America would be under a socialist president.

    2. Panama’s nice

      Spoken by someone I can only assume has never been to Panama. Can’t you find us a more tolerable shit hole to squat in, say Costa Rica, that bastion of progress?

  24. The stock market, as noted in P.M links here, hit a one-year low, and in this first 20 days is having its official worst year in history, and has lost the past couple of years in gains.

    I wonder where the Plug is? Shouldn’t he be here explaining to us how this is all still BOOOOOOSSSSSHHH’S fault and the lightbringer will turn it around? And something about the price of gold?

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