As expected, a pretty good housing report today from S&P/Case-Shiller:

New York, January 26, 2016 – S&P Dow Jones Indices today released the latest results for the S&P/Case-Shiller Home Price Indices, the leading measure of U.S. home prices. Data released today for November 2015 show that home prices continued their rise across the country over the last 12 months. More than 27 years of history for these data series is available, and can be accessed in full by going to www.homeprice.spdji.com. Additional content on the housing market can also be found on S&P Dow Jones Indices’ housing blog: www.housingviews.com.  

Year-over-Year  The S&P/Case-Shiller U.S. National Home Price Index, covering all nine U.S. census divisions, recorded a slightly higher year-over-year gain with a 5.3% annual increase in November 2015 versus a 5.1% increase in October 2015. The 10-City Composite increased 5.3% in the year to November compared to 5.0% previously. The 20-City Composite’s year-over-year gain was 5.8% versus 5.5% reported in October. 

Portland, San Francisco and Denver continue to report the highest year over year gains among the 20 cities with another month of double digit annual price increases. Portland led the way with an 11.1% year-over-year price increase, followed by San Francisco with 11.0% and Denver with a 10.9% increase. Fourteen cities reported greater price increases in the year ending November 2015 versus the year ending October 2015. Phoenix had the longest streak of year-over-year increases, reporting a gain of 5.9% in November 2015, and the twelfth consecutive increase in annual price gains. Detroit posted a 6.3% year-over-year price, up from 5.1%, the largest annual increase this month. 

Month-over-Month Before seasonal adjustment, the National Index posted a gain of 0.1% month-over-month in November. The 10City Composite was unchanged and the 20-City Composite reported gains of 0.1% month-over-month in November. After seasonal adjustment, the National Index, along with the 10-City and 20-City Composites, all increased 0.9% month-over-month in November. Fourteen of 20 cities reported increases in November before seasonal adjustment; after seasonal adjustment, all 20 cities increased for the month. 

A number of readers have noted that “housing is the last to recover” from recession.  However, that could be a statistical artifact:  Look at today’s report:  This is November we’re getting data on.  If you don’t count commission costs, prices are back to 2005 levels – where we were 11-years ago.  Yes sir, that’s some recovery, ain’t it?

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Japan as in Jell-O, Eurabia as Confused

Japan’s markets were shaking like Jell-O overnight, again, though I can’t tell if it was the green flavor of raspberry from here.  Come to think of it, I’m not sure which flavor would shake off 2.4% of its value in one sitting.  Perhaps the green with a few cans of fruit and carrot shreds of the big potluck dinner variety.

China was down 2 and a half percent, as well.

But denial runs strong in Eurabia (formerly the EU prior to the invasion):  The major indices were down generally less than one-half of one percent.  There were rumors overnight that housing would be improving in the US report this morning.

Obama by Decree:  He’s At It Again

President Obama is off making up rules, again.  This time he is barring solitary confinement for juveniles in federal custody. 

While this is sure to gain points with the liberals, please try to remember that there are some really sick people and the only thing they understand is power.  To give those under 18 a pass on “do the time if you do the crime” is yet another spectacular gap between the reality of the Street and what it looks like to the privileged.

Obama does admit that we have some sentencing issues “…nonviolent drug offenders, are serving unnecessarily long sentences….” Agreed.

But instead of decriminalizing pot and putting it on par with alcohol, which is where it belongs (although it is likely less dangerous than booze from a health standpoint) we get a grandstand on juvie.  On the Kaleif Browder case, which made headlines in liberal circles last summer.

Great leaders actual solve problems.  What doesn’t get cited is how many times this example juvenile might have been busted on other crimes.  Screwed up as law enforcement may be, Riker’s is not a first-time route.

But most people won’t look that deeply into the matter.  If they had, the grandstanding would be more apparent.  The NY Times reported last June that:

Mr. de Blasio’s administration in December did away with solitary confinement for 16- and 17-year-olds, citing the damaging effects that prolonged isolation can have on their mental stability.

While the Browder case is tragic, when we looked into the background press, we arrived at this part of a The New Yorker piece (2004) that supports my contention that Riker’s isn’t a “first stop” for all kids:

Browder had already had a few run-ins with the police, including an incident eight months earlier, when an officer reported seeing him take a delivery truck for a joyride and crash into a parked car. Browder was charged with grand larceny. He told me that his friends drove the truck and that he had only watched, but he figured that he had no defense, and so he pleaded guilty. The judge gave him probation and “youthful offender” status, which insured that he wouldn’t have a criminal record.

So what’s going on?  Well, apparently juvenile incarceration for repeat offenders is a higher priority for this administration than getting the Justice Department off the dime on former holders of high office mishandling national secrets.

But then, somehow, I’m not surprised.

Meantime, Cuban refugees are swarming to America.

Trump’s Commanding Lead

With this kind of thing going on is not surprising.

Meantime, Clinton is off promoting her record, to which we only have one question:  What record?

While out promoting his new dual-deck solitaire app, former SecDef Donald Rumsfeld admitted the other day that Trump has touched something in the country.

As to what it was he touched, we see an outline in the CBS story about the growing public resentment toward the federal government.

Global Pandemic in the Wings

Every time we see a story about pandemic disease, we wonder why the U.S. (or any other country with an above room temp IQ) wouldn’t keep plans to seal off all air and ship travel handy because we live in a world of both naturally occurring and engineered diseases.

Latest case in point is Zika, a nasty bugger of a bug making the rounds in Brazil presently. 

There, troops are going door-to-door.

The major risk of the virus is babies infected with the virus are born with small heads.

It leaves us scratching ours and wondering how hard it would be to spot an outbreak on Capitol Hill.

Speaking of Diseases:  Political Correctness Outbreak

This from the Hollywood Reporter is just dandy, if like us, you really enjoy seeing how the Political Correctness Police often shoot themselves in the foot  (which may drive some of their gun control mania, come to think of it…)

Gay Latino Oscar Voter Pens Letter to Academy President: “Are You Saying I Am Racist?”

This as quota-counters wonder where the black representation is.