No real surprise to the Case-Shiller/S&P Housing price index just released:
“New York, September 25, 2012 – Data through July 2012, released today by S&P Dow Jones Indices for its S&P/Case-Shiller1 Home Price Indices, the leading measure of U.S. home prices, showed average home prices increased by 1.5% for the 10-City Composite and by 1.6% for the 20-City Composite in July versus June 2012. For the third consecutive month, all 20 cities and both Composites recorded positive monthly changes. It would have been a fourth had prices not fallen by 0.6% in Detroit back in April.
The 10- and 20-City Composites posted annual returns of +0.6% and +1.2% in July 2012, up from their unchanged and +0.6% annual rates posted for June 2012. Fifteen of the 20 MSAs and both Composites posted better annual returns in July as compared to June 2012. Dallas and Washington D.C. saw no change in their annual rates; and Cleveland, Detroit and New York saw their rates worsen in July, with respective returns of +0.4%, +6.2% and -2.6%. After nine consecutive months of double digit annual declines, Atlanta finally improved to a -9.9% annual rate in July 2012, but still the worst among the 20 cities followed by S&P Dow Jones Indices. “
While the Year-on-Year chart is happytalk material for sure, let’s look at prices, not mid-freefall percentages which can be misleading:
So we look for a half-hour moonshot at the open of markets as the happy-buzz flows. And then someone is going to look, as I do here, and notice that housing prices have moved only a few percentage points on a real prices basis since 2009…
Now What? Waiting on Housing Data
Unless there’s a huge shock in the Case-Shiller/ S&P Housing Index numbers in a few minutes, I don’t really expect much in the way of market movement for another few days, and possibly until the end of the week. As Robin Landry noted in a conversation about downside possibilities, be cautious as this is still “end of quarter” window-dressing time until the end of the week.
Fair enough. Check back about 8:15 Texas time for the Housing charts.
Barak Obama is expected to ask the UN to confront the root causes of rage in the Muslim world. But precisely what the roots of that rage are seem just a tad on the fuzzy side. Generalizations about how bad violence is, seem to have little impact on the general direction of history.
As you’d expect there will be some tough words for Iran, which seems bent on pursuing nuclear development beyond peaceful purposes, and there will be some reference to the slain Libyan ambassador.
But instead of cramming all possible meetings with world leaders into his New York time, candidate Obama is spending time on TV shows and other election-oriented activities.
Although he stopped short of endorsing my plan to put major elective offices on eBay (so we can see who’s bidding what, for a change) can’t help but mention that Bill Moyers’ piece “More Money, Less Democracy” hits right at the mark.
Hispanic and Women Farmers Payout
(I may have to change my surname at this rate…the obviousness of the divide and buy Americans’ votes is becoming way too obvious: $1.3 billion seven weeks before an election? Seriously…)
iPhone Riot, Take 2
From our news analyst up on the tropical plains of Winnipeg:
“Does the Foxconn factory unrest reflect a critical flaw in China’s aspirations? Foxconn is owned by global electronics titan Hon Hai Group of Taiwan. Their investment plans do not appear constrained by national boundaries. If multiple Chinese economic sectors discover capital flight, the leadership may require diversions?
This publicly available State Department September 2012 fact sheet notes that the 1951 US-Philippines Mutual Defense Treaty remains in force and is supported by the 2011 Manila Declaration.
By the way, a second Global Hawk drone is joining the HS3 mission fleet to “investigate… hurricane formation and intensity change in the Atlantic Ocean Basin”. You may notice the cutting edge platforms are not being dispatched from The Azores. Perusing this 2004 paper representing a cross-section of science, military and Homeland leadership members, weather engineers wish to better understand the interactions between meteorological events and human health crises, anti-social incidents, and property risk. We do not appear to be watching the first inning at this time.”
By the way, here’s a snip from that Urban Meteorology report which is interesting:
“A considerable number of studies have been devoted to the possible direct influence of weather and climate on mental processes. Studies examined the relationship between year-to-year shifts in temperature and violent and property crime rates in the U.S. A positive relation between temperature and serious and deadly assault was observed, even after poverty and population age effects were statistically controlled. Similarly, other aggressive behavior such as spousal abuse and road rage has been examined with similar findings. Violence, a decreased stress tolerance, and ambient temperature are curvilinearly related. Specifically, ambient temperature was directly associated with the frequency of violence through the mid-80s (Fahrenheit). Beyond this point, however, further increases in temperature were associated with a decreasing incidence of violence.”
All of which gets me to wondering if the term “Hot-headed” was indeed a little bit of folk wisdom that was just ahead of its time. If you’ve got disgruntled people around, turning the air conditioning down seems to make sense. It also explains why not many revolutions happen in the middle of winter.
Safer Bar Glasses
Wired has a very interesting article on some new kinds of glass that are under development by Corning Glass Works. The new material seems to be so strong (if I read this right) that throwing a glass would break what it hits…not the glass itself.
But while this might make dandy barware, “Hello, Houston?” The problem is that we [presently] live in a disposable society. Present-day economics just don’t allow for “forever” products. There’s no money to be made in them.
Just like I am a huge fan of Corel dishes (anything that can last 10-years on a sailboat and still look virtually new is great stuff, right?) I am a huge fan of truly unbreakable glassware.
Not only would be it a lot safer (not breaking in the kitchen for example, thus no risk of injury) but it would reduce replacement costs and one and on…
Why is it, then, that like those traffic signal lights which would last year-after-year, these seem unlikely to make it to the consumer market? The answer is simple: Recurring revenue. And what’s our old saying around here?
Everything’s a business model. So as cool as super glass may sound, I wouldn’t expect to see it anywhere but on disposable electronics for a long time to come. What glassware maker in their right mind would run themselves out of business?
That Didn’t Work Out So Well…
A story that is slowly making its way around the web may be of interest, namely it says that a flu shot may have actually increased chances of people getting H1N1 flu.
Watch List: Coronavirus
Not that you need to stay home, lock the doors and put up sealing tape around doors and windows yet, however. Our consulting medical dude just says Keep an eye on it:
“This new corona virus is no biggie yet. But worth keeping an eye on. Good: doesn’t seem to spread person to person easily. Bad: worse than SARS it attacks kidney & lung; not just lungs...”
That does it: I’m canceling my plans to go to Riyadh for the weekend.
Old and Sexless
Say, here’s one of those “Don’t quite know what to make of it…” stories. On the BBC website is the headline “Eunuchs reveal clues to why women live longer than men…” sounds innocent enough on the surface. But on reading the article seems to get around to male sex hormones tend to cause males to die younger.
Which leaves an interesting question lingering for medical ethicists: Pass on bedding the babes, sing soprano and pay 10-20 more years of taxes? That ought to result in a political-correctness festival.
Once again, I must warn you to be wary of the French! They are trying to keep the use of the word “Chateau” only on wines made in France. But, claims the US, estate-bottled here in America ought to be able to use the same wording.
After all, seems clear here in the Outback that McMansion Bottled just somehow doesn’t have the pizzazz of Chateau Bottled. Such are the problems of Europe and it’s why they’re going down the tube.
We “Be laboring” the Point
But…another one of those controversial fill-in Ref calls last night let the Seahawks win. They didn’t do jack the whole time we lived in the Northwest, but if this is what it takes….
Secretly, we hear there will be no settlement of the Ref’s lockout until ad and beer sales hurt.
More after this…