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Hullabaloo


Wednesday, June 15, 2011

 
Atlas Slumped

by digby

Like all of you I'm sure, I'm deeply concerned about the revelations that emails were exchanged between Anthony Weiner and a porn star and what that all means for the future of the Republic. (Thankfully, she's finally weighed in on whether or not he should resign for lying about it. I'll be able to sleep tonight.)

Still, this seems a bit troubling as well:

It's official: The housing crisis that began in 2006 and has recently entered a double dip is now worse than the Great Depression.

Prices have fallen some 33 percent since the market began its collapse, greater than the 31 percent fall that began in the late 1920s and culminated in the early 1930s, according to Case-Shiller data.

The news comes as the Federal Reserve considers whether the economy has regained enough strength to stand on its own and as unemployment remains at a still-elevated 9.1 percent, throwing into question whether the recovery is real.

"The sharp fall in house prices in the first quarter provided further confirmation that this housing crash has been larger and faster than the one during the Great Depression," Paul Dales, senior economist at Capital Economics in Toronto, wrote in research for clients.

According to Case-Shiller, which provides the most closely followed housing industry data, prices dropped 1.9 percent in the first quarter, a move that the firm interpreted as a clear double dip in prices.

Moreover, Dales said prices likely have not completed their downturn.


I suppose that could just be a bump in the road, but it feels more like a huge, gaping sinkhole to me.

Not to worry too much though. Society's producer heroes are coming to the rescue:

Candy Spelling's sprawling estate in Holmby Hills, which has bragging rights as the most expensive residential listing in the U.S., reportedly has been sold to a 22-year-old British heiress.

Spelling, widow of legendary TV producer Aaron Spelling, put the 4.7-acre residence up for sale more than two years ago at $150 million, and she held firm to that price despite one of the worst real estate downturns in generations.

Now, Petra Ecclestone, the daughter of British billionaire and Formula One Chief Executive Bernie Ecclestone, is in escrow to buy the property, according to the Wall Street Journal...

The home was completed in 1991 and was built to the Spellings' specifications. Candy Spelling supervised the construction. The mammoth home boasts a bowling alley, a flower-cutting room, a wine cellar/tasting room, a barbershop and a silver storage room with humidity control, among other spaces.

Outside is a tennis court, a koi pond, gardens, a citrus orchard and a swimming pool with a pool house. The motor court can accommodate 100 vehicles and there are 16 carports. A service wing houses the staff in five maids' bedrooms and two butlers' suites. The house is believed to have more than 100 rooms.

Spelling will be moving into a 16,500-square-foot penthouse condo in Century City. She agreed to pay $47 million for the top two floors of a 41-story building in 2008 but subsequently got a price break, closing the deal last year for $35 million.


Maybe the parasites could learn a little something from this and go out there and be creative entrepreneurs. Maybe they too could be 22 year old heiresses some day.

Seriously, every day we see more and more stories of the gluttonous indulgences of the super-rich in the midst of this disastrous assault on the middle class. Allusions to France 1789 are overdone. But not by much.


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