Bits & Pieces (Tuesday, March 26th, 2013)

Patrick Swayze selling us Pabst Blue Ribbon back in 1979 (Remember back when 60 second commercials were actually common place? They were little movies. I like to think of this as a precursor to Dirty Dancing):

Or, as Dennis Hopper would say: Heineken? F**k that sh*t! Pabst Blue Ribbon!

I found this very, very humorous.

I love Bad Lip Reading.

When I’m feeling discouraged, I like to think back to this scene in Return of the King. “Not this day!” Awesome speech by Viggo Mortensen. What kind of name is “Viggo”?

•••

I recently saw a movie I quite enjoyed. It’s Tell No One (Ne le dis à personne, in French). It’s a French movie based on American mystery writer Harlen Coben’s 2001 novel, Tell No One. His novel was set in New York and Maine, mostly, but the movie is set in Paris and the French countryside. The idea of watching a subtitled French movie based on an American mystery novel intrigued me, so I watched it, and was not disappointed. It is currently available to watch streaming on Netflix.

•••

“Whites Only Laundry” . . . heh.

I think I’ve shopped at some of the places in the Thrift Shop video. If you’ve heard the song on the radio, I find it easier to understand when I watch the video. But mostly I love it because I’ve loved thrift shopping for about a million years. “Found a broken keyboard, bought a broken keyboard” . . . that’s totally me.

Yo, that’s $50 for a T-shirt.

•••

Senate passes the Monsanto Protection Act. Which apparently requires that the USDA rubber-stamp sales of genetically modified seed?

IRS busted for wasting money on Star Trek parody video. Really, this is the best example of government waste we can find?

Bono still hasn’t found what he’s looking for, but he does suggest poverty is getting better.

•••

This Bits & Pieces brought to you by Olivia-Newton John in 1978.

Morning Report – Case-Schiller 03/26/13

Vital Statistics:

  Last Change Percent
S&P Futures  1550.2 3.3 0.21%
Eurostoxx Index 2637.9 -11.4 -0.43%
Oil (WTI) 95.58 0.8 0.81%
LIBOR 0.284 0.001 0.18%
US Dollar Index (DXY) 82.87 0.039 0.05%
10 Year Govt Bond Yield 1.93% 0.01%  
RPX Composite Real Estate Index 191 0.2  

Markets are higher this morning after a positive durable goods report, which showed orders increased 5.7% in Feb. January was revised higher.  Bonds and MBS are down small.

The S&P / Case-Schiller index of home values increased 8.1% YOY , better than the 7.9% estimate. The month on month index rose as well.  For the first time since the housing bust, we have not seen a seasonal drop in house prices.  The New York MSA finally reported positive returns. House prices are back to their Autumn 2003 levels.

CoreLogic reported that shadow inventory (the number of homes that are seriously delinquent, in foreclosure, or REO, but not listed on the MLS) is down 28% from its peak three years ago when it stood at  3 million units. The current 2.2 MM units is down 18% from last year and represents 9 month supply.FL, NY, CA, NJ, and IL account for half of the shadow inventory. 

The Cyprus rescue, while small in actual dollar terms, may have reverberations all across the euro zone. Under the rescue plan, senior Cypriot bond holders will take haircuts and uninsured depositors will be wiped out. This sets a precedent – that all stakeholders can be targeted – which will probably cause even bigger outflows the next time another Euro country gets in trouble. Given that Cyprus instituted capital controls so that investors can’t take money out means that the exit door will be very narrow the next time someone gets in trouble.

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