Women’s March Wrapup: LA, Chicago, DC, NY, Antarctica; How Feminists Miss the Boat

The Women’s march in D.C. and Chicago got most of the press, but Los Angeles, hundreds of other cities, and even Antarctica were involved.

Lets take a look at various protests, then I offer comments on “How Feminists Miss the Boat”.

Intercept on D.C.

The Intercept reports “Welcome to Your First Day. We Won’t Go Away” — Scenes From the Women’s March in D.C.

The Intercept’s Jeremy Scahill describes the extraordinary scene from the middle of the Women’s March on Washington. “This is a good indication of the kind of resistance that we’re going to see going forward,” he says.

I am a huge Intercept fan, but that strikes me as nonsense. He does not know, and neither does anyone else how much resistance we will see.

Furthermore, I have to ask “resistance to what?” Trump? Bigotry? Something else?

Nonetheless, it was a huge success, for at least a couple days. There were over 700 sister marches in other cities in the U.S. and around the world.

‘We’re Not Going Away’ New York Highlights

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The New York Times reports ‘We’re Not Going Away’: Women’s March Highlights as Huge Crowds Protest Trump.

Hundreds of thousands of women gathered in Washington on Saturday in a kind of counterinauguration after President Trump took office on Friday. They were joined by crowds in cities across the country: In Chicago, the size of a rally so quickly outgrew early estimates that the march that was to follow was canceled for safety. In Manhattan, Fifth Avenue became a river of pink hats, while in downtown Los Angeles, even before the gathering crowd stretched itself out to march, it was more than a quarter mile deep on several streets.

Begun as a Facebook post just after the election, the march is the start of what organizers hope could be a sustained campaign of protest in a polarized America, unifying demonstrators around issues like reproductive rights, immigration and civil rights. The movement has also encountered divisions.

The Times had journalists covering the marches in Washington; New York; Boston; Atlanta; Denver; Los Angeles; Phoenix; St. Paul, Minn.; and Key West, Fla. Check out what they posted on Twitter and what readers asked of them live. See photos from marches around the world, too.

“The president is not America. His cabinet is not America. Congress is not America. We are America! And we are here to stay,” said actress and activist America Ferrera.

I have a question, “Who the hell is she (or anyone else) to say who is and who isn’t America?”

Questions aside Gloria Steinem, Michael Moore, Ashley Judd, Scarlett Johansson, Janelle Monae all gave speeches.

Future is Still Female

future-is-female

Forgive me for pointing out the blatant sexist nature of those signs.

The New York Times also had images from Phoenix, Atlanta, Denver, and St. Paul.

Nasty Woman

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Forgive me for asking another question: Does that poster remotely convey the message “Don’t Grab”?

Women’s March Reaches Antarctica

The Hill Reports Women’s March Reaches Antarctica.

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Elsewhere Around the World

Time Magazine says See the Women’s Marches Taking Place Around the World in Solidarity With Washington D.C..

In Sydney Australia, demonstrators waved placards reading slogans that included “hands off my bloody pussy”.

There were marches across Europe, in cities including Berlin, Paris, Rome, Vienna, Geneva and Amsterdam. Around 2,000 marched in Vienna, Austria, but the crowds quickly thinned due to sub-zero temperatures, Reuters reports.

Failure to Understand

Baffled? Consider this chain of tweets.

baffled

Here is the Twitter Chain if you care to chime in.

Final Comments

For starters, I am a strong supporter of Planned Parenthood and have been for years. I donate money to the cause every year.

And lest anyone get the wrong idea, I am not a huge Trump fan. I voted for him despite his obvious sexism.

Why? Because I am extremely anti-war, and Hillary along with Senator John McCain, never met a war they did not like.

Hillary supported the war in Iraq and US drone policy. The neocons were all comfortable with Hillary. They openly said so.

The most anti-human policy on the planet is US drone policy. Our drone policy alone has killed thousands of innocent men, women, and children.

Hillary was the architect of a disastrous campaign in Libya bragging in regards to Muammar Gaddafi “we came, we saw, he died”.

Now the country is in a state of civil war. Hillary wanted a no-fly zone over Syria rising confrontation with Russia. How nuts is that?

People claim, likely accurately, “we don’t know what Trump will do”. I agree. But we likely do know what Hillary would have done: lead the country into more wars.

All the people who don’t understand how women could possibly vote for Trump, need to reflect on the brutal, anti-male, anti-female warmongering candidate that Hillary was.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock

Anti-Trump Parade in Chicago Cancelled: Too Many People; 250,000 Take Over Downtown; Women in Pussyhats Take Over D.C.

Protesters were out in force in Washington D.C. and Chicago. In Chicago, Police expected 2,000 to 20,000 to show up for a parade. Instead estimates now top 250,000. Organizers, at request of police, cancelled the scheduled parade, but that did not stop the participants.

Please consider Protesters Take Over Downtown Streets Despite Officials Canceling March.

Tens of thousands of people united and protested newly inaugurated President Donald Trump at the Women’s March in Chicago on Saturday.

As crowds swelled Downtown, organizers were forced to cancel the march portion of the event, with organizers announcing the rally would continue.

Women’s March Draws 250,000

chicago-protest

The Chicago Tribune reports Thousands March Through Loop as Part of Women’s March After Rally Draws 250,000

Organizers officially canceled the march portion of the Women’s March on Chicago after the number of participants swelled to an estimated 250,000, but that didn’t stop thousands from taking to the streets — peacefully — of the Loop on Saturday afternoon.

Some said they hadn’t realized the march portion of the march and rally had been canceled while others said they simply didn’t care.

The plan was for a 10 a.m. rally at Grant Park followed by an 11:30 a.m. march west to Federal Plaza, but about 11 a.m. organizers canceled the march after a mushrooming crowd packed the event.

“Our march route is flooded. There is no safe way to march. We are just going to sing and dance and make our voices heard here,” rally and march co-chairwoman Ann Scholhmer told the crowd at Jackson and Columbus drives just before 11 a.m.

Initially, organizers estimated the event would draw 22,000 people and later said it would be closer to 50,000 for the Women’s March on Chicago — one of more than 200-plus such across the globe aimed at sending a message to newly minted U.S. President Donald Trump: that women’s rights shouldn’t be ignored.

“This march, this moment, in this city, is the largest march outside of Washington, D.C.,” said organizer Jessica Scheller to raucous cheers from the crowd.

Organizer Liz Radford also told the crowd: “Michigan Avenue is flooded with marchers. Wabash is flooded with marchers. State Street is flooded with marchers. People are still waiting for trains in Oak Park. We called, and you came. We have flooded the march route. We have flooded Chicago.”

Women in Pussyhats Take Over D.C.

In Washington D.C., Women in Pussyhats Take Over.

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Hundreds of thousands of people painted the nation’s capital bright pink Saturday for the Women’s March on Washington, pushing for a slew of liberal causes as they joined protesters from around the world on the first full day of President Trump’s term in office.

The planned route sent demonstrators chanting slogans such as “No Trump, no KKK, no more racist USA!” “Girls Rule!” and “Hands too small, he can’t build a wall!” past the National Mall and the Washington Monument, ending within sight of the White House.

“Feet on the ground, not backing down,” shouted Alicia Keys as she led the crowd in a chant.

Many used the march to tout a hodgepodge of causes: “White silence is violence,” “We beat Nazis once and we can do it again,” “People over profit,” “Free Melania.”

Some were marching for environmental issues — “The earth doesn’t have 4 more years,” read another sign.

President Trump got a view of the scene from the window of his limousine, when his motorcade passed protesters on its way back to the White House from the National Cathedral, where he attended a morning prayer service.

But the crowd, many wearing pink cat-eared “pussyhats” — a reference to Trump’s claim in a 2005 video that he grabbed women by the privates — had a mostly festive air at odds with its participants’ inflammatory signage.

About 200,000 people had been expected, but organizers told The Post that over double that number could turn up for the day-long event, which kicked off at 10 a.m.

Women’s Anti-Trump March Clogs Washington Streets

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Reuters reports Women’s Anti-Trump March Clogs Washington Streets

Hundreds of thousands of women, many wearing bright pink hats, marched in Washington on Saturday in a mass show of opposition to U.S. President Donald Trump’s agenda the day after the Republican businessman-turned-politician took office.

The Women’s March on Washington was one of a series of street protests throughout the country and the world against the new president’s often angry, populist rhetoric.

Trump has angered many liberal Americans with comments seen as demeaning to women, Mexicans and Muslims, and worried some abroad with his inaugural vow on Friday to put “America First” in his decision making.

Organizers of the protest had told police they expected 200,000 people to attend but the crowd looked bigger than that.

It stressed the city’s Metro subway system, with riders reporting enormous crowds and some end-of-line stations temporarily turning away riders when parking lots filled and platforms became too crowded.

By midday Saturday the protest rally had been peaceful, a sharp contrast to the day before when black-clad anti-establishment activists smashed windows, set vehicles on fire and fought with riot police who responded with stun grenades.

Give Credit to the Organizers and the Weather

As of 2:00PM it’s a balmy 57 degrees in Chicago with light wind and plenty of sunshine. Had it been a more seasonal 15 degrees with the wind howling, the original estimate would have been more likely.

Not only did the protesters show up, but so did tens of thousands of lookie-lous wanting to see what’s going on. Nonetheless, the organizers deserve credit for pulling this off.

Protest Irony

The irony is these protests is startling, yet none of the protesters see it. Hillary Clinton and her war policies have destroyed more families, killed more people, disabled more people than anything Trump has ever done. Bill Clinton’s policies led to imprisonment of tens of thousands of blacks, for long sentences, on dubious drug charges.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock

Another Day One Action: White House Climate Change Web Page Disappears

Donald Trump is following through on his pledge to act quickly. In yet another day one action, White House Climate Change Webpage Disappears After Trump’s Inauguration.

Less than an hour after President Trump took the oath of office on Friday, the White House’s webpage on climate change disappeared, the latest sign that the new administration will divert resources – and attention – from the issue.

The removal of the page from the White House’s website came around the same time the site and other Executive Branch digital platforms were overhauled to reflect the new administration.

Trump has long denied, or at least questioned, the nearly unanimous agreement among scientists that human activity is causing rapid shifts in the Earth’s climate.

He has also brought into question whether the U.S. will adhere to the United Nation’s landmark climate deal, which went into effect late last year. Trump has indicated that the U.S. could withdraw from the accord, though such a move would take years to accomplish.

That’s Two, Expect More

That’s two quick initiatives by Trump already. The other day one action: Trump Suspends FHA Premium Reduction.

More Obama undoings are sure to follow in the next couple weeks. Healthcare is the biggie on deck.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock

Day One Action: Trump Suspends FHA Premium Reduction; Move Makes Perfect Sense

Donald Trump just made a day one announcement: FHA Premium Cut Officially Reversed; Mortgagee Letter Already Out.

The newly installed Trump Administration has indefinitely suspended a scheduled reduction in the annual premium for Federal Housing Administration (FHA) insurance. A 25-basis point reduction in that premium was announced by then Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Secretary Julian Castro on January 9, scheduled to go into effect on January 27.

Mortgagee Letter 2017-07 was issued about an hour after Donald Trump took the oath of office as President, counteracting the earlier Mortgagee Letter 2017-01.

Move Makes Perfect Sense

Trump’s action makes perfect sense. FHA loans are “government guaranteed”. That of course means taxpayers are on the hook for defaults.

On January 9, House Financial Services Committee Chairman Jeb Hensarling stated Obama ‘Parting Gift’ Puts Taxpayers at Risk of Another FHA Bailout.

Hensarling is correct.

FHA Absurdities

  • FHA loans are known as being one the easiest programs to qualify for. Applicants only need a credit score of 580, and downpayments can be as low as 3.5%.
  • FHA loans have some of the lowest mortgage rates available. Rates on FHA loans are consistently lower than similar conventional loans. This makes FHA one of the best loan programs available.
  • FHA loans are also the most likely of any major loan to get approved.

Over 70 percent of FHA loans closed in May of 2016. Bullet points from Mortgage Insider.

Given the FHA approves loans at lower credit scores and lower down payments than the private market, FHA loans ought to reflect that risk and have a higher interest rates than the private market.

Taxpayers bear this risk.

Government ought not be involved in housing at all. The FHA is best shut down.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock

“From This Moment On, America First”: Protectionism vs. Isolationism; We Must All Wish Trump Success

Donal Trump set the message and the tone of his message today in his inaugural address.
Click on the link for the full text.

Key Sound Bites

  • What truly matters is not which party controls our government, but whether our government is controlled by the people.
  • For many decades, we’ve enriched foreign industry at the expense of American industry; One by one, the factories shuttered and left our shores, with not even a thought about the millions upon millions of American workers left behind.
  • The wealth of our middle class has been ripped from their homes and then redistributed across the entire world.
  • From this moment on, it’s going to be America First. Every decision on trade, on taxes, on immigration, on foreign affairs, will be made to benefit American workers and American families.
  • We do not seek to impose our way of life on anyone, but rather to let it shine as an example for everyone to follow.
  • We will reinforce old alliances and form new ones – and unite the civilized world against Radical Islamic Terrorism, which we will eradicate completely from the face of the Earth.
  • We must think big and dream even bigger.

Conclusion

Together, We Will Make America Strong Again. We Will Make America Wealthy Again. We Will Make America Proud Again. We Will Make America Safe Again.

And, Yes, Together, We Will Make America Great Again. Thank you, God Bless You, And God Bless America.”

Short and to the Point

Trump’s 15-minute inaugural address was more concise than most swearing-in speeches throughout history, but far from the shortest.
Continue reading ““From This Moment On, America First”: Protectionism vs. Isolationism; We Must All Wish Trump Success”

How Long Will German Businesses Put Up With Merkel’s Cherry-Picking Stance?

At every juncture, EU officials thought, and behaved, as if the UK was bluffing. The big irony is Merkel and the EU are bluffing, not the UK.

How long will German businesses put up with Merkel before her anti-cherry picking charade blows sky high?

Before addressing the question let’s step back and recap how wrong the EU has been every step of the way.

Wrong Six Times And Counting

  1. The EU though Cameron would never hold a referendum.
  2. The EU thought it would never pass.
  3. The EU thought Cameron would never let Brexit happen after the vote was in.
  4. The EU thought that Theresa May would quickly reverse Cameron.
  5. The EU though Theresa May would eventually cave into EU solidarity.
  6. The EU still thinks the UK has more to lose and Theresa May will come to her senses.

Hello EU, the UK Isn’t Bluffing

All along the EU acted as if the UK was bluffing.

If the EU had a little more common sense and a lot less arrogance at step 1, Brexit might not have happened.

That’s all history. We are at point 6 now. But it’s not the UK that needs to come to its senses, it’s the EU.

How many times does one have to be proven wrong before reality sets in?

Touchy-Feely Kumbaya

After the vote, the EU held a big touchy-feely kumbaya with 27 nations all insisting that the UK must adhere to the EU’s “four principles” and that “no cherry-picking” will be allowed.

It was not May’s decision to have a “hard Brexit”, the UK crammed that stance down May’s throat by its negotiating stance. Add that thought to the growing pile of ironies.

“The be-all and end-all is that Europe doesn’t let itself be divided,” said Merkel.

Excuse me, isn’t the UK part of Europe and isn’t it about to split from the EU?

Four Freedoms

  1. The free movement of goods.
  2. The free movement of services and freedom of establishment.
  3. The free movement of persons (and citizenship), including free movement of workers.
  4. The free movement of capital.

For starters, the EU has trade treaties with the US, China, Japan, and elsewhere. It does not impose four freedoms in any other relationship, but it expects the UK to abide by them.

The worst of the hypocrisy is the EU does not honor it’s own rules. I discussed how the EU violates every one of those principles in Brexit is a Religious Battle (And You Can’t Negotiate Religion).

Germany is arguably the worst of the offender, especially in regards to free movement of services. Oops, add that to the list of ironies.

Merkel’s Solidarity

EU officials are unanimous is spouting “the UK has more to lose”. Really?

Separate Ways

EU Prison Run by Germany for Germany

Jean-Claude Juncker and Angela Merkel want to make the EU a prison.

Countries singing kumbaya with Merkel ought to take a good long look at who benefited from European solidarity and who didn’t.

UK Escapes Prison

  1. The EU agricultural tariffs are a nightmare.
  2. The EU rules and regulations are a nightmare.
  3. The EU was never going to be satisfied with a “two-speed” Europe.
  4. There would have been constant pressure for the UK to adopt the Euro.
  5. The UK made a smart move to leave

Brexit Tax

Please consider EU Members Face Paying ‘Brexit Tax’ to Fund Shortfall.

The European Union could impose taxes on citizens of member states under radical proposals to help make up a funding shortfall in the wake of Brexit.

Brexit is a key factor driving the proposed reforms as the EU looks to fill the gap in its budget that will be left by the UK’s contributions, an estimated £8bn a year.

One proposed tax in the report is EU-wide VAT of 1 or 2 per cent, which would be deducted from national VAT and paid directly to Brussels.

Germany Investment in UK Will Go Poof

The UK’s €8 billion annual contribution to the EU is peanuts compared to €120 billion German businesses invested in the UK.

From Der Spiegel, translated from German:

An Great Britain exit from the EU would hit German companies hard. They invested around 120 billion euros in the country. A large part of this would be lost through a Brexit, warned Volker Treier, the deputy chief executive of the German Chamber of Industry and Commerce (DIHK). To date, German companies have set up production and operations in the UK worth 120 billion euros, employing some 400,000 people there.

Who Has More to Lose?

  1. German businesses: €120 billion in investments.
  2. EU budget: €8 billion.
  3. Germany runs an export surplus to the UK to the tune of €51 billion.
  4. The rest of the EU runs another €40 billion or so trade surplus with the UK.
  5. The UK has already lowered its corporate tax rate to the EU’s ire and may do so again if Brexit talks turn nasty.
  6. France wants to take London bank jobs. There were announcements on Thursday. But are French banks in any shape to go on a lending spree? The entire Eurozone banking structure is suspect. The may take some London jobs, but what about lending?
  7. Euroscepticism is on the rise in Italy, France, Greece, and even Germany. In particular, Italy is a huge tinder pile of  fat-wood waiting for Beppe Grillo to light the match. Trade wars will not help one bit.

The amazing thing is the EU talks as if it has the upper hand. Are they really that stupid or is it a transparent bluff?

Regardless, the above list is one hell of a price to pay to insist on “four principles” that Germany and the rest of the EU don’t even honor themselves.

So, how long will it be before German businesses pound some sense in Merkel’s head?

Mike “Mish” Shedlock

NYT on Snowden: Right in 2014, Right Today

I do not often agree with the New York Times editorial board. But when it comes to Edward Snowden, the editorial board took a correct position in 2014 and again today.

JAN. 1, 2014: Edward Snowden, Whistle-Blower.

Considering the enormous value of the information he has revealed, and the abuses he has exposed, Mr. Snowden deserves better than a life of permanent exile, fear and flight. He may have committed a crime to do so, but he has done his country a great service. It is time for the United States to offer Mr. Snowden a plea bargain or some form of clemency that would allow him to return home, face at least substantially reduced punishment in light of his role as a whistle-blower, and have the hope of a life advocating for greater privacy and far stronger oversight of the runaway intelligence community.

JAN. 18, 2017: President Obama’s Last Chance to Show Mercy

President Obama did the right thing in granting clemency to Chelsea Manning, who was sentenced to 35 years in prison for leaking huge amounts of classified information about American diplomatic and military activities in 2010. Ms. Manning, who has served nearly seven years, is to be released on May 17.

Of course, it was Mr. Obama’s overly aggressive Justice Department that sought, and in 2013 won, that absurdly long sentence in the first place. The average sentence for those convicted of leaking classified material is one to three years.

No similar mercy, so far, for Edward Snowden, the former intelligence contractor who leaked top-secret information about vast government surveillance programs and now lives as a fugitive in Russia. A White House official said the documents Mr. Snowden revealed were “far more serious and far more dangerous” than Ms. Manning’s. But like Ms. Manning, Mr. Snowden acted in the spirit of a whistle-blower. His disclosures led to significant debate and reforms. He should be offered at least a plea agreement that would allow him to return home.

At Least a Plea Bargain

That describes how I best feel, but a plea bargain with no more than a one year sentence that counts time in exile would suffice.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock

Ideological Civil War in Davos: Dutch Premier Labels “Political Union a Dangerous Romantic Fantasy, Gone, Buried”

“The whole idea of an ever-closer Europe has gone, it’s buried,” said Dutch premier Mark Rutte, dismissing calls for full political union as a dangerous romantic fantasy.

“The fastest way to dismantle the EU is to continue talking about a step-by-step move towards some sort of superstate,” he said at the World Economic Forum.

His comments went to the heart of a fierce battle under way for control over the EU project, and provoked an impassioned counter-attack from Martin Schulz, the European Parliament’s president.

Mr Schulz called it profoundly misguided to give up the dream of political union and retreat to the nation state. “If it’s Angela Merkel, or Mark Rutte, or whoever else, they must have the courage to say that we need ever-closer union more than ever in the 21st century, and without it the EU has no future,” he said.

“We have some members sitting inside the European Parliament trying to destroy the EU from within. They are drawing EU salaries, and one of them is running for the presidency of France,” he said.

Professor Hans-Werner Muller from Princeton University said the EU was unlikely to disintegrate in any formal sense but there was a real risk that it will instead dissolve from within. “We will still have the Treaties, but they will not be observed,” he said.

He accused Hungary and Poland of acting like rogue states inside the EU, abusing the rule of the law with a “brutality” not seen in democratic Europe since the Second World War. “For them it is even better than Brexit. They get all the money, but they don’t obey the rules. If the EU does not do anything about it, trust is going to break down,” he said.

Italy’s finance minister Carlo Pier Padoan has repeatedly blamed the EU authorities for pushing Italy into a banking crisis that could easily have been avoided. “The problem with Europe, is Europe,” he told Davos earlier this week.

Emma Marcegaglia, head of the pan-EU federation BusinessEurope, told the Telegraph that it sticks in the craw to hear some countries talk about EU rules. Germany has been running a chronic current account surplus of 9pc of GDP in open breach of the EU’s ‘macro-imbalances’ edict, damaging to the cohesion of monetary union. Nothing is ever done.

Why isn’t Germany being punished? We can’t go on like this, it’s not sustainable. Some people say Germany should leave the euro,” she said.

Drunken Alex Jones Goes On Air, Discusses Dinosaurs, Makes Fool of Himself

“Info Wars” host Alex Jones went on the air, incoherent, totally drunk, and burping. His site was among those deemed to provide “fake news”, a generally accurate assessment. The following video is painful to watch.

It does not help your cause to look this way. Why would his team put this out?

Mike “Mish”

Multi-Family Housing Starts Jump 57%, Single-Family Starts Decline 4%: What’s Going On?

For the fourth consecutive month, housing stats provided a wild ride. For December, starts rose 11.3%, but that was thanks to a 57% jump in multi-family.

Mortgage News Daily reports Construction Starts Bounce Back, Permits Remain Constrained.

Housing starts continued their see-saw pattern in December, rising 11.3 percent from November when they had fallen significantly after a sensational October. The increase this time, however, was due solely to a surge in multi-family construction. Meanwhile, housing permits turned in another lackluster performance.

The U.S. Census Bureau and the Department of Housing and Urban Development reported that residential housing starts were at a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 1,226,000 in December, up from a revised rate of 1,102,000 in November. The November estimate was originally reported at a rate of 1,090,000. The December estimate put housing starts up 5.7 percent from the level in December 2015.

Single-family housing starts were at a rate of 795,000, a decline of 4.0 percent from the November figure of 828,000 and 3.9 percent higher than a year earlier. There was an increase of 53.9 percent in unit starts in buildings with five or more units, to an annual rate of 417,000 compared to 271,000 in November. Multi-family starts are running 10.3 percent ahead of the December 2015 level.

Starts vs. Permits

starts-vs-permits

Although it takes a permit to do a start, potential long delays between the two makes speculation over permits risky.

I discount permits in favor of starts as the latter takes a commitment from an owner while the former reflects builder optimism.

Single Family Starts

housing-starts-2017-01-19

The above chart puts a much-needed perspective on mainstream media and realtor cheerleading.

Single-family housing starts are at or below levels seen in eight of the last eight recessions. Starts barely moved during the 2001 tech-led led recession.

Curiously, at no point in the 1960 recession were starts as low as they are today.

What’s Going On?

Demographics, affordability, and attitudes of millennials all come into play.

  1. Retiring boomers downsize
  2. Home prices are not affordable
  3. Millennials have far different attitudes towards debt, housing, family formation, and mobility than their aging parents

Point number 3 is the key driving force.

Mike “Mish” Shedlock