"barry ritholz"

Economists reverse claims that $15 Seattle minimum wage hurt workers, admit it was largely beneficial

Earlier this year, a group of business school researchers from the University of Washington and NYU, as well as Amazon, published an influential paper claiming that the rising Seattle minimum wage had decreased take-home pay for workers by 6% due to cuts to work hours -- the paper was trumpeted by right-wing ideologues as examples of how "liberal policies" hurt the workers they are meant to help. Read the rest

If you bought shares in all the companies Trump trashed since taking office, you beat the market

Barry Ritholz maintains two stock indices: the Oligarch Index contains "companies that Trump liked" in his public communications; the Drain the Swamp index has "companies that Trump trashed." Read the rest

11 percent of American homes are vacant -- UPDATED

UPDATE: Barry Ritholz sez,

In this case, what she wrote is not technically incorrect, but its very misleading. The lowest this rate has been over the past few decades is 8.5%. So while 11% sounds shocking, it is only somewhat elevated after the worst housing crash in the US since the Great Depression.

The typical data point used to describe vacant homes is the Home Ownership Vacancy Rate. In the US, that number is 2.7% for owner occupied houses and 9% for rental properties, apartments, etc.

The sensationalistic number referenced in the CNBC story (repeated by Consumerist) is not commonly used -- indeed, its towards the end of the Census Bureau release that reports such things.

What it references is the total number of structures that are unoccupied -- this includes a whole laundry list of empty properties -- abandoned old farm houses, (Not sure if vacation properties/second homes are included -- I need to check that). No one usually pays much attention to this number, as it provides very little useful insight.

Welcome to America after the housing bubble, where, according to the census, 11 percent of homes are vacant:

Now to vacancies. There were 18.4 million vacant homes in the U.S. in Q4 '10 (11 percent of all housing units vacant all year round), which is actually an improvement of 427,000 from a year ago, but not for the reasons you'd think.

The number of vacant homes for rent fell by 493 thousand, as rental demand rose. 471,000 homes are listed as "Held off Market" about half for temporary use, but the other half are likely foreclosures.

Read the rest

Infographic: all US one-time expenditures vs the bailout

Barry Ritholz sez,

It is exceedingly difficult to convey exactly how much we are spending o bailouts. Start talking trillions (versus mere billions) and you get puzzled looks from people.

Humans have a hard time conceptualizing any number that large. I wanted a graphic way to clearly show how astonishingly ginormous the amounts involved were.

This Bailout Nation graphic shows the the total costs to the taxpayer of all the monies spent, lent, consumed, borrowed, printed, guaranteed, assumed or otherwise committed. It is nothing short of astonishing.

In one short year the bailouts managed to spend far in excess of nearly every major one-time expenditure of the USA, including WW2, the moon shot, the New Deal, Iraq, Viet Nam and Korean wars -- COMBINED. 206 years versus 12 months.

Bailout Costs vs Big Historical Events

(Thanks, Barry!) Read the rest

:)