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Confidence is High

Hoisting up this photo of Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen from this Fortune story today about how the central bank is, basically, flying blind when it comes to inflation since the Phillips Curve stopped working … well, it just seemed like a good idea this morning in advance of today’s expected non-action on interest rates from the Fed.

Here’s a simple suggestion – since it is now clear that newly created money from the Fed goes exclusively into financial instruments rather than anything that factors into consumer prices and, certainly, not workers’ wages (and “trickle-down” appears to be broken too), maybe the braintrust in the Eccles building should look more at stock prices (way up), bond prices (way up), home prices (way up), etc. to gauge whether or not they’ve done enough.

There’s also this rather embarrassing graphic via Marketwatch today:

Silicon Valley Housing Bubble 4.0?

I remember way back in 2000 when I began working for a tech company in Southern California that they had a rip-roaring housing bubble at that time up north, eyes popping amongst the Angelenos when we heard stories about how small, run-down houses routinely sold for a half million dollars, due to the original internet bubble. Counting the state-wide late-80s housing bubble and the mid-2000 nationwide home price surge, this makes four, but there are probably more if you go back a little further – all the way to the gold rush?

From this SF Gate story that serves as a timely reminder that the world is still kind of nuts.

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U.S. Housing Market Heating Up

After yesterday’s five-year high in existing home sales and fresh record high in median sales price, here’s a quick look at where home values are rising the quickest and where bidding wars are common via this WSJ story from a couple days ago.

California is sure running hot (Silicon Valley) and cold (Central Valley, a notable exception being Merced). Interestingly, Zillow puts the value of our California home about $20K higher than what we sold it for about 10 years ago (and we sold a couple years prior to the peak).

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Housing/Internet Bubble 2.0

Maybe it’s just me, but I got a headache after listening to these two talk for just a couple of minutes about the San Francisco housing market- you’ve been warned…

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This story at The Nation about Baltimore’s economic ills that have led to this city being the country’s latest hotspot on police conduct and inequality points to a Pew Research poll from a couple of years ago that provides the following take on how vastly different household assets and debts are between blacks and whites in the U.S.

Note that these are averages, not medians, and the latter would show a much more accurate picture of the “typical” black or white American.

Nonetheless, the asset-to-debt ratios and the components of each offer compelling evidence of just how broad the economic/financial divide currently is between races.

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