Your new model home!Sometimes the stock market is more “faith based” than a mall-church full of unemployed white trash. The Dow did a triple-digit plunge this morning, because the world is actually ending, especially the “making money” part, but it suddenly did a 200-point turnaround on month-old data suggesting a whole 4,000 heavily marked-down new homes sold in September, before the complete collapse of all American and Global stock markets. What?

This is how desperate investors are for any kind of good news, and it’s tough to blame them for wanting a little positive sign we might be somewhere near the bottom. But they’re still stupid.

We can blame all sorts of idiots, con-artists, bad morals, clueless “consumers” and a basic rottenness at the diseased heart of America — for example, the fifth installment of an infantile yet gruesome torture pornography movie called “Saw,” as in “sawing up alive people while they scream,” topped the weekend box office alongside a live-action Disney movie about an idealized nation where American kids are attractive, wealthy and speak in adult sitcom sentences.

But mostly, we can blames housing. Your greater issue might be an addiction to dirty whores, but first you need the penicillin to kill the syphilis, before it kills you.

So even a 2.7% uptick in new-construction (or “houses built two years ago and still sitting empty”) housing sales should be super good news, right? That means there are only 394,000 vacant never-lived-in tract homes in America instead of 398,000! It’s a Halloween Miracle!

The prices are also down to four-years-ago prices, and these places are only moving with huge piles of “incentives” that would make the prices much lower if people were asked to pay for all the faux-fancy add-on crap developers used to make an extra 20% on, like those ghetto granite countertops and tacky window coverings and landscaping and even free swimming pools.

The regional numbers follow the resale numbers released last week: In the battered West, there are bigger increases in sales as house prices have dropped as much as 40% this year. In the rest of the country, sales are still way down or flat. (Nobody buys a house in the Northeast even when times are pretty good, because everyone is in their heating-oil hobbit hole until Bill Murray rescues the groundhog from Pennsylvania bitters after Barack Obama declares same-sex socialism for all.)

But it doesn’t matter, as this tiny positive number is barely 1% of the national inventory of empty tract homes that will probably all fall apart and blow away before America comes out of its Great Big Depression.

These sales happened in September, before the country was even in official recession territory, and before the spectacular collapse of capitalism that capped off 18 months of slow-boiling real estate/credit/investment/insurance/securities crises. Who knows if those 4,000 new “homeowners” even made their first payment?

Can you imagine anybody putting whatever cash they might have left down on a house this month?

UPDATE 1-US Sept new homes sales up; inventory, prices fall [Reuters]

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  1. Off topic Mr. Layne, but can we have something this week in terms of the “Best of Sarah” or some shit like that. Like one last song from the band before the Titanic sinks forever in an icy cold place. By next February, she’ll just be another pregnant GILF.

  2. Sometimes I think the stock market is that moody girlfreind who throws a fit no matter what you do. Forget to pass a bailout bill? Plunge 800 points. Pass the bailout bill? Plunge again, because this time you didn’t mean it. Jump 500 points in make up sex, but only to set you up for a 700 point slump because Britain took its market out for dinner and USA didn’t.


  3. The market is still in denial. They still bitterly cling to the belief that the Invisible Hand is really Ayn Rand’s and still capable of giving hand jobs instead of the harsh reality of Alan Greenspan sandpaper covered fist (named “Exuberance”) being shoved up their collective asses.

  4. FWIW, this is really a great buying opportunity if you can stomach staying in for the next 10 years or so. You know, the whole “buy low / sell high” nonsense. Whatever.

    Moving on, does anyone have any idea on how to stop the scumbags that are stealing Obama signs in my neighborhood? Webcams suck because the resolution is piss poor, and you can’t identify anyone. I’d love some sort of “shaming” if possible. Please advise.

  5. [re=150457]Mara47[/re]: Parsnips? aren’t those white carrots? jeeze. do they taste like carrots? or just like some root you dug up? hell, i’ve got privet roots I’m getting rid of. cripes. i’ll be grateful for rutabaga before this is over. Maybe I should read The Siege of Leningrad Cookbook. All kinds of stuff there. shoes. briefcases. dirt.

  6. Bah — it’s a well-established fact that nobody knows what the cause of day-to-day stock market fluctuations is. When people explain why the Dow goes up or down on a particular day (much less a particular hour) they’re really just picking the most credible post hoc explanation out of a hat. I program computers for a living, and I’ll guarantee you some percentage of every market fluctuation is due to bad code: The Dow dropped 400 points today, mostly because some bastard who wrote an arbitrage program passed a string variable to a subroutine that was looking for an integer. Try fixing that with an investment bank bailout.

  7. I must take issue with the first sentence of this post. Because it clearly implies that “sometimes”, the market behaves in a purely rational fashion. When obviously it has all the rationality and cool decisionmaking abilities of a toddler after a couple of Cokes and no nap for 14 hours.

  8. [re=150464]ManchuCandidate[/re]: Thats some macro analysis one doesnt see everyday.
    Just remember I called bottom today (with the option for three re’dos)

  9. Oh come on, Ken! I think we all know that the success of the fifth iteration of a torture porn film at the box office is a sign of a healthy society…

  10. Our hilarious bi-polar market just saw a puppy outside its window and was distracted long enough to stop thinking of misery and sorrow.

    But soon its iTunes will cycle over to a gloomy goth song and then it’s back to cutting itself.

  11. Look naysayers, Lawrence Yun said the housing crisis is over. He said that in 2006, so it’s been over for two years. And again in 2007, so it’s been super over for one year. Needless to say, the housing market is looking great!

  12. “A basic rottenness at the diseased heart of America”: so true.

    I volunteer a couple times a week to teach writing to a second grade class. Today, one of the kids was telling me all about how he watched Saw V last night. As best as I can tell, his parents are using his little broken brain like a vomit rag.

    On the plus side, after the new great depression kicks in, we’ll be harvesting America’s idiot surplus for food.

  13. Don’t fret, Ken. The traders and investors will let the recession panic that killed the asian markets earlier hit them before end of day. Irrational Exuberance cannot overcome the realization that you will be living in a refrigerator box by Xmas.

    Am I the only one who wishes they could kick this guy’s ass?

  14. My son’s in Korea, teaching English to elementary school kids.

    The Korean government reimbursed him for his plane ticket in won, but they’ve been devalued, so it didn’t cover the cost of the ticket, so I needed to front him some American dollars to cover the rest.

    I’m subsidizing the Korean government’s teaching THEIR kids English.

    Those are some very clever people.

  15. I am actually one of those tards who bought a house in September, can you believes it?! I think first-time buyers are THE ONLY demographic benefitting from the collective economic shit the planet is taking, because we don’t have to unload one valueless property in order to buy a different one.

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