November 5, 2008

HousingPANIC took it from Euphoria all the way down to Panic, Capitulation, Despondency and Depression. Soot & Ashes picks up the story from there.

For three years HousingPANIC documented the housing bubble, and then the obvious crash. Three years. Thousands of posts. Millions of views.

The HP community tore down the Real Estate Industrial Complex, and its army of thieves, including the realtors, bankers, mortgage brokers, builders and appraisers.

We tore down our corrupt politicians on both sides of the aisle, Democrat and Republican alike. The REIC bought 'em, and they went out and f*cked America.

The housing market crashed. The stock market crashed. The economy crashed. The world crashed. And it's not over -it'll keep crashing for some time to come.

But this blog is about redemption, reform and hope. This blog is less about tearing down, and more about building up.

If you're a perma-bear, you won't like Soot & Ashes. If you're a hard-core Democrat or Republican, you'll hate Soot & Ashes.

But if you're a free-thinking, open-minded, independent and hopeful person, you'll dig it here.


Let's get to work.


Charles Mackay said...

We're nowhere near HOPE yet... probably somewhere just past fear on the downside. The people that chided me during the housing bubble are suddenly bullish again. Nope...way to early... years away from capitulation!!!!

Anonymous said...

You are wrong. We are not in Depression yet.

Mammoth said...

Still not at the bottom of the curye yet.

Today's glow of hope will soon fade into despondency as we continue our slide down.

vanilla ice said...

I believe we're in fear. The credit markets are still frozen solid.

Anonymous said...

I see youve already attracted many of the permabears keith.

Good for you, on changing your outlook. It shows true honesty in your blogging and the ability to adjust to changing conditions - permabears cant do this, pollyannas cant do it either.

For a while I was unsure about you, whether you were able to change your views - the answer is yes. Many of your fellow bloggers (the permabears) cannot do this, they will always see more gloom on the horizon - their comments will be little more than an echo chamber.

I am currently a bear and think we still have some time to go (I think you are a bit early on the emotions stage). I am not however a permabear and am hopeful we are getting close to the dreaded BOTTOM that all permabears refuse to acknowledge. I will sometimes agree with you, sometimes disagree, but I remain optimistic for the future of this country and look forward to learning a thing or two!

vanilla ice said...

This looks like it could be a cool blog.

vanilla ice said...

Should GM be bailed out?

Anonymous said...

Yeah, here in MD we're maybe hitting panic ...

Tom Grey said...

Thanks for your great HP blog.(didn't you ever get an Instalaunche from Glenn? I missed it, if so.)

[First visit here, just a few at HP!]

The internet has destroyed the prior newspaper business; it has also done a big number on 'classic banking'.

There are far too many bankers and banks.
I'd guess we're still a year from the bottom, because the Paulson bailout is going to be mostly wasted on saving the 'should be dead' Big Banks.

On a happier idea note -- replace the housing interest deduction with a flat 35% tax credit, maximum $50 000 per year, maximum 10*median (not average) income according to prior IRS tax returns filed.

Currently that's about $28k or $280 000 lifetime tax credit max. To go up slowly with median income.

redondo_beach_dude said...

Here at the South Bay beaches 20 miles SW of L.A., Manhattan Beach is still in denial. Some price cuts, increasing inventory, not much fear, YET. Hermosa and Redondo a little further down the slippery slope.

Anonymous said...

Dude, we haven't even had the crash yet, ya dumbass!!

Anonymous said...

please erase the molotov solution to local politics columns as homeland security does not understand the applications of sarcasm!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Autotech said...

"Should GM be bailed out?"

Good question. I test drove the new Malibu and I like it so much I will probably get me one. They are taking a HUGE gamble on the VOLT concept. If rescued , I think their new "state of Mind" will be fantastic. I lean toward YES. Let's do it. They truly are a new car company with a true desire to make better than the other world automakers. The new Malibu was designed and engineered to kill the Camry. I believe it CAN !!

Anonymous said...

Diana Olick for president!

David said...

I applaud your hopeful spirit ... unfortunately, the cleanup after the last 8 year "Fear Party" is not going to be quick. I'm not a "permabear" - whatever that is, perhaps someone in need of medication - but I did hear Obama say last night that the recovery is going to take more than one term.

That's four years before we start on the upslope people. And that's only - ONLY - if we have a national recognition that it's going to take everyone changing the way they live, and getting rid of the ceaseless, mindless worship of consumerism & blowing money on shiny toys with no regard to the future.

Expect a lot of temper tantrums from the immature narcissists masquerading as libertarians, when they are told they can no longer just rack things up on the national credit card with no thought given as to when it's all going to get paid off...

George L said...

I still think we'll have an 18 month recession housing at least here in los angeles will come down another 30%.but it doesn't suck as much anymore since bush will be gone.he was a real drag on us for the last 8 years.

buying silver,long term.
stocks I'll wait a little more but will buy alternative fuel stocks starting next year except for ethanol.

Anonymous said...

Kooooooool Aid!!!

I think you should have started a new blog called

"Keith's Hope and Kool-Aid Blog"

I can't believe how much of a pathetic thumb-sucking, soy-latte-sipping, incense-burning socialist you've become.

I would just love to see a list of the things you Obama-nauts expect to see from Obama during the next four years. What exactly are you expecting here?

We know from his own speeches that he is pro-war and not a pacifist of any kind. He's for all out intervention in Afghanistan, Paki and even the Sudan.

We know that his economic ideas are a total inflationist, banker bailout, Keynesian and socialist disaster.

He talks about the "sacrifice and service" we have to make to America (meaning the State and the corporatocracy).

So what is this change?

Can any of you fawning dolts be a bit more specific? There are some of us that like to engage in fact rather than feelings of Hope and Change.

gutless and lazy said...

With the new blog, I think I need a new Identity.

How about "Wicked Smug Bastard"?


JR said...


You've been on the right side of the housing debacle, however, you're on the wrong side of the Obama divide. Obama's a nice guy and I'm sure he'll do some good things for America, but Rahm Emmanuel? Seems that "change we can believe in" was no change at all. Same ol' "Israel First" policies - ho hum.

Why don't we just drop to our knees and wet our lips in anticipation of the collective American blowjob we're about to bestow upon AIPAC?

Your first mistake of a deluge to follow. It's going to come as quite a shock when you hear "I told you so", for the first time; particularly given the fact that you were normally the one doing the finger wagging.

realist said...

GM Bailout? I say no, but will accept maybe in a pinch.

I totally agree with autotech on some of their cars being worth while though -- I have not seen the Malibu, but I drove a new Cobolt for a couple of days and really liked it. Good power (all rentals are optioned with the largest available engine it seems), quiet, good gas milage (30+ mpg at 75 mph), nice ride, and excellent turning radius (rivals my 93 Miata).

The devilish details of a bailout are tough to work though -- what they really need is a cap on their liabilities for retirement.

Alex3191 said...

Hey ... let's get to work ... like 2013 or something, we'll keep going down (at least till all ALT-A loans reset).
Glad to have you back :)

Mammoth said...

"...getting rid of the ceaseless, mindless worship of consumerism & blowing money on shiny toys..."
Sorry to burst your bubble, but that ain't going to happen.

Psycho said...

Hey Keith,
According to the graph what Happens after all this Obama Euphoria?

Anonymous said...

"Keith's Hope and Kool-Aid Blog"

How about a "days till the public realize they were duped" countdown.

jaws said...

Happy to see this site!
I'll miss HP. Looked forward to it regularly.
Here in Las Vegas, there's no depression yet. Hummers and other monster vehicles darned near run me over daily.
I did let one LA realtor know that I'm checking out the listings for an investment property over there and she emails me gobbs and gobbs of listings daily, without any due diligence as to what she's sending me. Just a pile of junk. Kinda funny.
I think I'm going to have fun from here on out.

sandman said...


Checkin' out the new place. Like some others I do not believe we've hit capitulation.

But I'm willing to offer ideas and help once we actually do.


PS I never saw good ole' andrew hac post any final HP comments on the last post.

Anonymous said...

to hear you talk, you'd think that we elected a president who was against the bailout. what do you think he'll deliver on?

he and his team are already trying to turn down the expection level. in his acceptance speech he basically said that his promises won't be fulfilled in the next four years. interesting to campaign as the messiah and then point out that he's just one man after election.

Anonymous said...


not yet. that won't happen until obama takes office and he tries things to stop the sinking and people eventually realize obama will not be able to make a difference using the same failed policies of past republican and democrat administrations.

i think you need to draw in a sucker's rally in your chart, right around depression that shows an uptick (due to obama's election) to fear or denial levels, a leveling off, then a plunge down to despondency.

Anonymous said...

unfortunately, the cleanup after the last 8 year "Fear Party" is not going to be quick. I'm not a "permabear" - whatever that is, perhaps someone in need of medication


8 years? this crash has been in the making for 16 years. Clinton pushing fannie and freddie to make loans available to the lower income brackets lit the fuse to the powder keg that was created by administrations prior to clinton.

the powder keg is multiple things, one of which was going off the gold standard.

Anonymous said...

Even though I voted for the Libertarian party (Bob Barr), I feel very proud of this moment in history. I hope that Barack Obama can deliver. He is a great orator and can motivate people. I am just glad that the Bush years will pass and he will be remembered as a very unpopular President.

Devestment said...

I like it here at the new blog!

It’s cheery!

Now the good news!
The bill is in the mail.
Get ready for high taxes, base closures with military spending cutbacks that destroy nearby towns, big layoffs, corporate site cutbacks, trickle down poverty, and the financial reassignment of the undereducated nonessential middle class.

The fundamentals of cause and effect dictate that taxation of the wealthy will result in a trickle down reduction in spending, mainly in sectors that thrived in the devil may care economy of the past several years.

These same fundamental truths hold to cuts in military and all other forms of government spending that force newly created money into the economy.

I've had it said...

I am not an obama supporter at all (he's going to destroy the country more than bush), but I will say that his election is truly a milestone for America. It may, however, have unintended consequences for the racialists who will continue to say that America is an inherently racist country. It will be a lot harder for them to say that now that a black man is the most powerful man in the world.

As for housingpanic, we still have a ways to go. i hope, keith, you will periodically post threads about this since it will loom large for a long time.

While I did not frequent AmericaPanic, I'll check out sootandashes to see what it brings. If it's just a place for crazy, anti-american liberals (that's redundant by the way) to rant then i'll take a pass. if it's more of a constitutionally-minded site then i'm sure i'll post.

Anonymous said...

Have we even SEEN capitulation?!

Come on Keith! Be serious man.

Paul E. Math said...

Alright dude, you got me, I'm here.

But I still say you're at least a year ahead of the cycle.

Maybe I'm a permabear but I certainly don't think of myself as one. While house prices are still well above their historic relationship to rents and incomes, I can't see this thing bouncing right back.

All our government seems able to do is manufacture bailouts and 'stimulus packages' - how is this anything but more of the same?

I would love to think we can start to rebuild from here but, as Jim Rogers says, 'be realistic'. You don't just plateau for a while after a bubble - you crash. We have yet to see the real crash.

Tyrone said...

You do understand that...

The Implode-o-Meter HIT 300 TODAY!!!!

Right on Queue!! You couldn't have scripted it better, given the departure of HP.

Anonymous said...

I think you're about 2 years early. Housing market in the U.S. hasn't bottomed, housing prices have only just begun to drop in Europe. The recession that started in December 2007 or January 2008 isn't even one year old. You sure you want to be calling a bottom right here and now?

We haven't capitulated yet. Stocks rally for a week and suddenly everybody's calling for the end of bear market. No, this is a suckers' rally. Valuations are still too high.

Also, Obama can't work miracles, even if he proves to be ten times the president Bush is/was. The damage to the world economy and financial system is too great. We might have a good president now, but we're still headed for much tougher times.

That said, even though you may be one or two years early, this is a ballsy move. You're definitely going against the majority opinion of your readers...

Anonymous said...

Perhaps a Phoenix will rise from the ashes?

Jersey Girl

Anonymous said...

I'm still getting over losing HP, but here we go! Looking forward to more years of commentary from Keith and all the usual suspects. HP was the reason why I sold my home at the top, and I'm hoping everyone here gives all their thoughts pro and con about the issues, I love to hear all sides, even when I disagree! Cheers to everyone, and like Keith says, let's get to work!

Roccman said...


Now Keith - we can discuss the real

Overshoot - Catton

Peak Oil

See - housing was only the warm up show.

We will have some fun here.

Chris said...

"I am not an obama supporter at all (he's going to destroy the country more than bush)...."

You're gonna have to be more specific. Let's see...

Didn't do anything to stop 9/11 when the signs were there? Check.

Led a "dumb war" in Iraq? Check.

Took his eye off Afghanistan? Check.

Spent $10 billion per month on the "dumb war"? Check.

Said "screw it with people's privacy" and enacted the Patriot Act? Check.

Decided some forms of torture are not really torture, so it's okay? Check.

Looked the other way on the housing boom and bust? Check.

After not recognizing the housing crisis, decided that Paulson and Bernanke can spend taxpayer dollars bailing out Paulson's buddies? Check.

To say that Obama will destroy the country more than Bush is like saying that dropping a second bomb on Nagasaki would be worse than dropping the first one.

"It may, however, have unintended consequences for the racialists who will continue to say that America is an inherently racist country. It will be a lot harder for them to say that now that a black man is the most powerful man in the world."

That's actually a pretty smart comment. Not only that, but as one guy said on ABC News, young adults can't blame their problems on not having a father around. Their mothers can just point to Obama and say, "He didn't have his father around, and now he's president of the United States. What's your excuse?"

Lost Cause said...

Soot and ashes is what you get after seeds and stems ;-)

Anonymous said...

I can't wait for the "Radioactive fallout and SHTF" blog. Hi everyone, hi mammoth!

robert said...

Hey kieth, it’s good to see you’re still keeping the keyboard warm. Great job over at housingpanic, didn’t get a chance at a last post over there but I’m glad that it will remain as an archive to that debacle.

Not a perma-bear, but I do think this down turn will last for quite some time. All indicators still point flat or down, and no options have been presented to me to suggest otherwise for the foreseeable future (that’s where I hope this blog will come in). We haven’t even had a thought as to how to put a chip in all the debt (both personal and national), well, other than raising taxes.

And that puts me in the perma-independent camp. My vote was a write in. I refuse to continue to vote for the same two parties over and over again expecting a different outcome. However, I’m perfectly willing to be surprised by Obama. He’s seems like a great person. Great speaker. And he speaks of some of the changes I’d like to see.

However I worry that some of his changes will be even more towards socialism. I’m afraid the housing bailout sets precedence toward socialism and someone with a “spread the wealth” attitude will only get us there faster.

Other posters have already posted opinions on international affairs and how Obama will/may respond. The world keeps spinning. Other nations will need tending, either diplomatically, militarily, monetarily or socially.

But first and foremost, I hope that more efforts are turned inward.

Diplomatically, in that party lines must be crossed, and party loyalty be damned, just do the right thing.

Militarily, in that our Men and Women in uniform must be taken care of. They are a national treasure and are not to be handled haphazardly. They must be well trained, well equipped, well paid, well rested, and well compensated for their sacrifice.

Monetarily, in that our Nations monetary strength must return. Debt is not wealth. We need to trim the pork and get our heads back in the game. We can’t give millions in foreign aid, when we’re billions in debt.

Socially, in that I am my brothers’ keeper. I am to give him a hand up, not a hand out. I am to teach someone to fish. I am to donate to the food bank, not for the deadbeat parents, but for the child whose only good meal of the day may be from the school cafeteria. I am to keep a pair of jumper cables in the trunk for a stranded motorist. I am to be a good steward of the land, not for the tree hugger, but so that future generations may also have food on their plate, and warm hides on their backs. I am to turn the other cheek.

I am to judge not, lest the rod that which I am measured be short, and I am found wanting.

formosan80 said...

Well, I could use some hope. Life state-side has become quite gloomy and many of my in-laws are losing their jobs or have lost their jobs. I am hoping that these past few years can be a learning experience that will be talked about in textbooks for generations to come, so as to serve as a warning against the failure to save money. We need to change our society's reliance on debt.

Anonymous said...

to hear you talk, you'd think that we elected a president who was against the bailout. what do you think he'll deliver on?

bailout II and stimulus II

Anonymous said...

Get ready for high taxes, base closures with military spending cutbacks that destroy nearby towns, big layoffs, corporate site cutbacks, trickle down poverty, and the financial reassignment of the undereducated nonessential middle class.

so what? let them cling to their guns and religion!

Peahippo said...

The "bad news" is still all a FROTH of nasty stuff, having little informative substance. Underneath there's still hope and sunshine and all that other stupidity of the speculators.

Face facts, Keith: This crash will take MANY YEARS to play out. Prices in the USA will either bottom out or stagnate until 2016 at the earliest.

So DENIAL is the stage that we're firmly in on average. Didn't the news contain yet another gem about a survey that showed that a strong majority of "homeowners" still thought their house prices were solid, even rising? The media is pushing the froth as a sole product, and they're plainly hoping to get past all this unpleasantness ... which is a clear denial of reality since the BULK of the foreclosures have YET to occur, and looking at all the empty houses that have yet to see listings or auctions, that's a ways off.

Keith, I'm attending these auctions like mad, looking for house in the sub-$20/sf range. The auctioneers and realtWHORES are heavily in denial. All thet EVER talk about is "investment" for the sales they're trying to arrange. Only a few of them admit later that living in the house in question is an actual option. Literally, small mobs of HGTV-brainwashed hicks in Toledo, Ohio are going around thinking they can bid on a house for $30K and then turn around and rent it out for $800/mo.

THE SICKNESS RAN TOO DEEP, KEITH. It's a RELIGION, now. And par for religions is a deep denial of what clear evidence shows you.

What FEAR that does exist around here is mainly being felt by the "stuck sellers" -- the people who MUST sell at a high price due to bills and HELOCs and stranded down payments. The "walked sellers" are of course gone from those houses anyway -- they are numerous, hence seller fear hasn't yet infected the population as it should.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous said..
So what is this change?

Can any of you fawning dolts be a bit more specific? There are some of us that like to engage in fact rather than feelings of Hope and Change.

Keith said he wants this blog to be "positive" and constructive. No negativism. We will just be happy smilers here at Soot & Ashes.

Soot & Ashes will apparently begin the tough job of rebuilding America now, one happy keyboard at a time.

Anonymous said...

Now the corporate espionage begins.

Anonymous said...

Create jobs, demand transparency and help your neighbor.

I hired my best friend to help me insulate a room before winter to keep him out of jail for being unable to pay his child support. And I live in an affluent capital city.

Come want help fix the your neighbor...check on people and start thinking really hard about big ideas that will get our entire country out of this mess. Then write it down on this blog!

Anonymous said...

Don't we have a bunch of damn that don't really do anything except hold back water?

Let's hire people to rebuild those so that they contribute electricity or cleaner water or more environmental imporovement. Let's do something, even it's wrong.

Anonymous said...

Transparency. Transparency. Transparency.

Anonymous said...


Just because Obama got elected president is no reason to proclaim we're in the hope stage and it's all going to go be all right now. Why did you suspend the arrest watches?

A house in my upscale neighborhood in the greater NY area was just listed for $729K, this is where people make $100K-$150K/year at best. Realtwhores are in deep denial, fear at best.

The MSM is barely beginning to talk about plummeting housing and how it's beneficial to allow housing values to collapse. It's going to be a long and tough way down.

Other stuff to think about is the college tuition bubble, the diseasecare system disaster, the exorbitant prices of brandname drugs of questionable safety, ...

Anonymous said...

So happy you have a blog to replace HP.

HP kept me sane while everyone around me was living high off the hog.

Even my mom, who wondered what she had done wrong to produce such a pessimistic offspring, kept on recommeding I see a shrink until she started seeing the financial devastation on Oprah.

deepcgi said...

We aren't even out of into "fear" yet. The left is still having it's post-election orgasm plateau. The housing bottom is out in least. The disinflation period will be raging for several more months and we've not even seen inflation begin. Things are going to be horrible one year from now and impossibly ugly the year after that. Obama's got a trillion dollar deficit to run up (not including Iraq).

deepcgi said...

"it's going to take everyone changing the way they live, and getting rid of the ceaseless, mindless worship of consumerism & blowing money on shiny toys with no regard to the future."

Wow! You realize that is fiscal conservatism, right? You realize that was Ron Paul's platform not Obama's, right?

Obama will be encouraging more consumerism. He will give more and more people government jobs to help fuel it. Count on it.

Anonymous said...

Orange County, CA Beach Cities still in denial by 51 percent ratio

Bear in Cali said...

Hello all,

Just checking out the new place.

Missing HP...probably cuz I'm obsessed with housing. Everything else is secondary, at least for me.

What's this talk of another stimulus. I will be watching Obama to see if he really has the right judgement to go against Pelosi. It's a wasteful, idiotic idea.

Jeff D said...

We never got to total panic, so we certainly haven't seen capitulation, despondency, depression.

I'd say, we're still a country in DENIAL.........