Carpe Diem

Tuesday morning links

1. In the latest sign of a burgeoning recovery in the U.S. housing market, the number of metropolitan areas on the NAHB Improving Markets Index rose for a fifth consecutive month to 242 in January, up from 201 improving markets listed in December.

2. The median sales price for Seattle-area homes sold in December was up 18.8% vs. last year, as the inventory of homes for sale fell to only a 1.7 months’ supply.

3. Top 10 Turnaround Housing Markets In 2012

4. Forbes List of The Top 10 Least Stressful Jobs Of 2013 – #1 is University Professor.  Angus responds.

5. 2012 National Geographic Photo Contest Winners

6. From Reason, Lanny Ebenstein’s new book “The Indispensable Milton Friedman” based on neglected articles, interviews, and lectures.

7. Markets in Everything: Chinese man hires virtual “assassins” for a “hit job” on his son’s online WoW avatar.

8. IBD editorial: Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez’s expected demise will be due to Cuban health care and his gullibility to leftist propaganda.

 

10 thoughts on “Tuesday morning links

  1. 7. Markets in Everything: Chinese man hires virtual “assassins” for a “hit job” on his son’s online WoW avatar.

    Ok, first off, in World of Warcraft, two players cannot fight each other unless both agree to do.

    Second, players re-spawn (in other words, when a character dies, he is just transported to the nearest graveyard where he gets his body back. Death is not a problem).

    So, Dad’s plan was flawed from the start (and the assassins are probably laughing it up).

    But did Dad ever try, you know, cutting his son off? “Son, I’m not going to pay for your game unless you get a job.” That sort of thing.

    It just seems to me that he went right for the hard route while ignoring the easy one.

  2. The memo reveals that when the film was shown to a group of Cuban doctors, some became so “disturbed at the blatant misrepresentation of healthcare in Cuba that they left the room”.

    Castro’s government apparently went on to ban the film because, the leaked cable claims, it “knows the film is a myth and does not want to risk a popular backlash by showing to Cubans facilities that are clearly not available to the vast majority of them.”…

    The cable describes a visit made by the FSHP to the Hermanos Ameijeiras hospital in October 2007. Built in 1982, the newly renovated hospital was used in Michael Moore’s film as evidence of the high-quality of healthcare available to all Cubans.

    But according to the FSHP, the only way a Cuban can get access to the hospital is through a bribe or contacts inside the hospital administration. “Cubans are reportedly very resentful that the best hospital in Havana is ‘off-limits’ to them,” the memo reveals. — “WikiLeaks: Cuba banned Sicko for depicting ‘mythical’ healthcare system”, The Guardian

    Moore, like P.T. Barnum, has made a fortune from understanding just how gullible his target audience is.

  3. Filmmaker Michael Moore received $841,145 in tax incentives from the State of Michigan to make Capitalism: A Love Story, a documentary against corporate welfare, the New York Times reports — Political Wire

    “Well, capitalism did nothing for me… The system is not set up to help somebody from the working class make a movie like this and get the truth out there.” — Michael Moore, filmmaker of working class origin. Estimated fortune: $50,000,000.

    John Stossel confronts the “bloated one” about the lies he tells in “Sicko”. Moore’s retort? He told fewer lies about Canada and the U.K., can we talk about them?

    Of course, he does inspire people:

    A teenager accused of plotting a Columbine school-style massacre said his interest in the killings was sparked by a Michael Moore documentary. Matthew Swift, 18, began imitating killer Eric Harris – whom he believed was “misunderstood” – after watching the film Bowling for Columbine. — BBC

    • Increased production of domestic oil should lead to lower, or stable prices, not higher prices. Doesn’t a bubble usually refer to unsustainable, rising prices, and not falling prices????? And people don’t finance their purchases of gas with “cheap loans,” so the analogy here seems a little far-fetched.

      • Increased production of domestic oil should lead to lower, or stable prices, not higher prices.

        Only if the production is sustainable and can generate positive cash flows. So far, it doesn’t seem to be.

        Doesn’t a bubble usually refer to unsustainable, rising prices, and not falling prices?????

        The bubble is in the energy shares and their debt, not their product. The fact is that they have admitted that they cannot generate a profit at anywhere under $4 per Mcf (and that does not include the full and proper costs) yet you keep ignoring the fact.

        And people don’t finance their purchases of gas with “cheap loans,” so the analogy here seems a little far-fetched.

        They finance the drilling and land acquisition with cheap loans. From what I can tell the companies and their bankers are trying to repackage those land packages after claiming that production is viable and sell them off to the type of people who read the hype and want to get back their losses from previous misadventures in the markets. Expect your broker to call you up and recommend a new way to play the gas boom some time in the near future. If s/he does, hang up the phone.

        For an economics professor you sure seem reluctant to look into the economics of the very activities that you are promoting. Why is that?

    • We’re already in another housing bubble, considering how huge the price increases in various cities have been!

      Just don’t never ever do any comparisons taking inflation into account, the whole spin falls apart and goes boom.

      My family just got back from a seven day cruise to the Caribbean and a week of vacation in Florida. One of the families that came with us looked at three condos in Orlando as possible investments. All were less than 50% lower than the peak and still selling for less than replacement value. That has the feeling of a dead cat bounce to me, not a new bubble. We will see what happens once the refinancing that is being driven by record low rates runs its course.

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