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  • #61
    Re: Boom in the Doom

    Originally posted by FRED View Post
    You're on the right track. In the context of iTulip Ka-Poom Theory going back to 1999. looks like the US gets a Japan style grinding debt deflation workout but inflationary vs deflationary due to US net debtor status vs Japan net creditor status.

    We do enjoyed sparring with the Deflationistas, though. They are very entertaining.



    If deflation is a threat anywhere on the planet, wouldn't someone be talking about it? Here's a googletrends analysis of instances of the words "deflation" and "inflation" in news stories worldwide since 2003.


    On a contrarian basis, deflation might be in the picture. You know like lemmings and the madness of crowds behaviors.

    I'm not smart enough to argue there is deflation laying ahead. I tend to find little fault, in any, with EJ's thinking, but when everyone is on the same side of an argument, it truly makes me want to run away from the crowd.
    Jim 69 y/o

    "...Texans...the lowest form of white man there is." Robert Duvall, as Al Sieber, in "Geronimo." (see "Location" for examples.)

    Dedicated to the idea that all people deserve a chance for a healthy productive life. B&M Gates Fdn.

    Good judgement comes from experience; experience comes from bad judgement. Unknown.

    Comment


    • #62
      Re: Boom in the Doom

      Originally posted by Jim Nickerson View Post
      On a contrarian basis, deflation might be in the picture. You know like lemmings and the madness of crowds behaviors.

      I'm not smart enough to argue there is deflation laying ahead. I tend to find little fault, in any, with EJ's thinking, but when everyone is on the same side of an argument, it truly makes me want to run away from the crowd.
      Too bad googetrends data don't go back ten years. I bet they'd show a spike in the occurrence of the word "deflation" in the 2001 - 2002 period before Greenspan: Deflation dead.
      Ed.

      Comment


      • #63
        Re: Boom in the Doom

        Jim -

        As a critical complement to technical indicators and contrarian formulas, it's often also useful to just take a glance around the world.

        Inflation fans out across the globe - Asian Bubble Watch:

        February 1 - Bloomberg (Shamim Adam): "Inflation is accelerating in Asia as South Korea, Indonesia and Thailand join regional counterparts in reporting rising prices that are making it harder for their central banks to follow the U.S. in cutting interest rates. Consumer price gains in Sri Lanka exceeded 20% in January, while those in Australia reached levels not seen in 16 years. Inflation is accelerating even as China, India and Australia today reported a slowdown in manufacturing in January."

        February 1 - Bloomberg (Seyoon Kim): "South Korea's inflation accelerated in January at the fastest pace in more than three years as costs of industrial goods and fuel rose following a surge in crude oil prices. The consumer price index rose 3.9% from a year earlier..."

        January 28 - Bloomberg (Yu-huay Sun): "Taipei fruit prices jumped 70% from a year earlier because typhoons reduced supplies by about a fifth, the China Times reported..."

        January 28 - Bloomberg (Glenys Sim): "Singapore's overall concern in 2008 is inflation on the back of high oil prices and rising food costs, the Business Times reported, citing Tony Tan, deputy chairman of Government of Singapore Investment Corp."

        India Watch:

        February 1 - Bloomberg (Kartik Goyal): "India's exports rose to $12.3 billion in December from a year earlier as companies shipped more gems, machinery and fuel products to overseas markets. Shipments increased 16%... Imports advanced 18.1%."

        February 1 - Bloomberg (Anil Varma): "Indian banks' loans rose 203.3 billion rupees ($5.2 billion) in the two weeks ended Jan. 18... Credit climbed 22.5% in the 12 months..."

        January 31 - Bloomberg (Kartik Goyal): "India's economy expanded 9.6% last fiscal year, the fastest pace since 1989, as rising incomes spurred demand for cars, mobile phones and motor-bikes."

        Unbalanced Global Economy Watch:

        January 31 - Financial Times (Ralph Atkins): "Eurozone inflation has soared to a 14-year high of 3.2%, adding to the European Central Bank's case a hard-line stance on future interest rate moves. The unexpected rise from 3.1% in December suggests that the 'hump' in inflation caused by higher energy and food prices will prove larger and longer-lasting than anticipated by the ECB. January's rate was the highest since the Frankfurt-institution took responsibility for monetary policy in the region in 1999."

        January 28 - Bloomberg (Gabi Thesing): "Money-supply growth in the euro region cooled in December more than economists forecast, led by a slowdown in overnight deposits. M3 money supply...rose 11.5% from a year earlier, after gaining 12.3% in November..."

        January 30 - Bloomberg (Christian Vits): "German retail sales fell for a fourth month in January as surging inflation eroded spending power, according to the Bloomberg purchasing managers' index... 'Pressure on disposable incomes from rising food, fuel and utility bills continued to exert a downward influence on consumer expenditure,' NTC said... German households curbed spending after inflation accelerated last year to the fastest pace since records began in 1996, driven by a higher sales tax and rising energy prices."

        January 29 - Bloomberg (Thomas Mulier): "Swiss watch exports increased 16% last year, the fastest pace in 18 years, as a surging Chinese stock market fueled consumption in Hong Kong."

        January 28 - Bloomberg (Jonas Bergman): "Swedish household credit growth slowed in December from a five-month high as higher borrowing costs and slipping real estate prices crimped demand. Total household lending grew an annual 10.8% in December, down from 11.9% in November..."

        January 29 - Bloomberg (Alex Nicholson): "The cost of goods leaving Russian factories and mines rose at the fastest annual pace in almost three years in December as global energy and metals prices soared. Producer prices in the world's biggest energy exporter increased 25.1%, up from 22.2% in November..."

        January 28 - Bloomberg (Massoud A. Derhally): "Jordan's inflation rate will probably jump to the highest in 18 years in 2008 as the government ends oil subsidies and increases expenditure, Finance Minister Hamed al- Kasasbeh said. Inflation will accelerate to between 8% and 9% from 5.4% last year..."
        January 30 - Bloomberg (Nasreen Seria): "South African inflation accelerated to an annual 8.6% in December, exceeding forecasts and staying above the central bank's target range for a ninth consecutive month as food and gasoline costs rose."

        Crude Liquidity Watch:

        January 29 - Bloomberg (Matthew Brown): "Persian Gulf states, including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, may create an 'inflationary spiral' as governments boost spending in response to higher prices, Moody's... said. Increased government spending on salaries and subsidies, aimed at alleviating the effects of inflation, may stimulate demand, leading to further price rises, said senior analyst Tristan Cooper... Inflation accelerated to records in all six Gulf Cooperation Council states during the past year... 'The danger is that governments across the GCC may find it increasingly difficult to limit expenditure growth in the face of rising inflation, thereby locking themselves into higher and higher oil prices in order to balance their budgets,' Cooper said..."

        January 29 - Bloomberg (Matthew Brown): "Kuwait's annual M3 money supply growth, an indicator of future inflation, slowed to 19% in December from 20% in November. M1 money supply growth increased to 21% in December from 18% in November, while M2, which includes savings and investment instruments, fell to 19% from 20%..."

        ____________

        PS - Yes Jim, it is indeed Doug Noland. My omission was inadvertent. The little "BLOOMBERG" tag on each posted news quote might however be considered helpful?
        Last edited by Contemptuous; 02-09-08, 07:11 PM.

        Comment


        • #64
          Re: Boom in the Doom

          Originally posted by Lukester View Post
          Jim -

          As a critical complement to technical indicators and contrarian formulas, it's often also useful to just take a glance around the world.

          Inflation fans out across the globe - Asian Bubble Watch:

          February 1 - Bloomberg (Shamim Adam): "Inflation is accelerating in Asia as South Korea, Indonesia and Thailand join regional counterparts in reporting rising prices that are making it harder for their central banks to follow the U.S. in cutting interest rates. Consumer price gains in Sri Lanka exceeded 20% in January, while those in Australia reached levels not seen in 16 years. Inflation is accelerating even as China, India and Australia today reported a slowdown in manufacturing in January."

          February 1 - Bloomberg (Seyoon Kim): "South Korea's inflation accelerated in January at the fastest pace in more than three years as costs of industrial goods and fuel rose following a surge in crude oil prices. The consumer price index rose 3.9% from a year earlier..."

          January 28 - Bloomberg (Yu-huay Sun): "Taipei fruit prices jumped 70% from a year earlier because typhoons reduced supplies by about a fifth, the China Times reported..."

          January 28 - Bloomberg (Glenys Sim): "Singapore's overall concern in 2008 is inflation on the back of high oil prices and rising food costs, the Business Times reported, citing Tony Tan, deputy chairman of Government of Singapore Investment Corp."

          India Watch:

          February 1 - Bloomberg (Kartik Goyal): "India's exports rose to $12.3 billion in December from a year earlier as companies shipped more gems, machinery and fuel products to overseas markets. Shipments increased 16%... Imports advanced 18.1%."

          February 1 - Bloomberg (Anil Varma): "Indian banks' loans rose 203.3 billion rupees ($5.2 billion) in the two weeks ended Jan. 18... Credit climbed 22.5% in the 12 months..."

          January 31 - Bloomberg (Kartik Goyal): "India's economy expanded 9.6% last fiscal year, the fastest pace since 1989, as rising incomes spurred demand for cars, mobile phones and motor-bikes."

          Unbalanced Global Economy Watch:

          January 31 - Financial Times (Ralph Atkins): "Eurozone inflation has soared to a 14-year high of 3.2%, adding to the European Central Bank's case a hard-line stance on future interest rate moves. The unexpected rise from 3.1% in December suggests that the 'hump' in inflation caused by higher energy and food prices will prove larger and longer-lasting than anticipated by the ECB. January's rate was the highest since the Frankfurt-institution took responsibility for monetary policy in the region in 1999."

          January 28 - Bloomberg (Gabi Thesing): "Money-supply growth in the euro region cooled in December more than economists forecast, led by a slowdown in overnight deposits. M3 money supply...rose 11.5% from a year earlier, after gaining 12.3% in November..."

          January 30 - Bloomberg (Christian Vits): "German retail sales fell for a fourth month in January as surging inflation eroded spending power, according to the Bloomberg purchasing managers' index... 'Pressure on disposable incomes from rising food, fuel and utility bills continued to exert a downward influence on consumer expenditure,' NTC said... German households curbed spending after inflation accelerated last year to the fastest pace since records began in 1996, driven by a higher sales tax and rising energy prices."

          January 29 - Bloomberg (Thomas Mulier): "Swiss watch exports increased 16% last year, the fastest pace in 18 years, as a surging Chinese stock market fueled consumption in Hong Kong."

          January 28 - Bloomberg (Jonas Bergman): "Swedish household credit growth slowed in December from a five-month high as higher borrowing costs and slipping real estate prices crimped demand. Total household lending grew an annual 10.8% in December, down from 11.9% in November..."

          January 29 - Bloomberg (Alex Nicholson): "The cost of goods leaving Russian factories and mines rose at the fastest annual pace in almost three years in December as global energy and metals prices soared. Producer prices in the world's biggest energy exporter increased 25.1%, up from 22.2% in November..."

          January 28 - Bloomberg (Massoud A. Derhally): "Jordan's inflation rate will probably jump to the highest in 18 years in 2008 as the government ends oil subsidies and increases expenditure, Finance Minister Hamed al- Kasasbeh said. Inflation will accelerate to between 8% and 9% from 5.4% last year..."
          January 30 - Bloomberg (Nasreen Seria): "South African inflation accelerated to an annual 8.6% in December, exceeding forecasts and staying above the central bank's target range for a ninth consecutive month as food and gasoline costs rose."

          Crude Liquidity Watch:

          January 29 - Bloomberg (Matthew Brown): "Persian Gulf states, including Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, may create an 'inflationary spiral' as governments boost spending in response to higher prices, Moody's... said. Increased government spending on salaries and subsidies, aimed at alleviating the effects of inflation, may stimulate demand, leading to further price rises, said senior analyst Tristan Cooper... Inflation accelerated to records in all six Gulf Cooperation Council states during the past year... 'The danger is that governments across the GCC may find it increasingly difficult to limit expenditure growth in the face of rising inflation, thereby locking themselves into higher and higher oil prices in order to balance their budgets,' Cooper said..."

          January 29 - Bloomberg (Matthew Brown): "Kuwait's annual M3 money supply growth, an indicator of future inflation, slowed to 19% in December from 20% in November. M1 money supply growth increased to 21% in December from 18% in November, while M2, which includes savings and investment instruments, fell to 19% from 20%..."
          Did you search out all those headlines yourself or just copy and paste someone else's work without the respect for attribution?

          If something is so widely, universally known, it would be truly amazing if most of the market participants have not already factored it into their thinking. Your post from wherever it was derived tends to prove the same thing FRED's googlism proved.

          Six months ago there was a nadir in FRED'S chart, though it wasn't stated what "B" meant. Back then might have been a better point to be worried and acting about inflation. A lot has happened in the markets since then, and now "inflation" concerns might be described as rampant. Thus the behavior of crowds and lemmings.


          My contrarian point has nothing to do with technical analytical tools or contrarian formulae (I don't even know any of the latter I don't think), it simply has to do with opening one's eyes and looking around.
          Jim 69 y/o

          "...Texans...the lowest form of white man there is." Robert Duvall, as Al Sieber, in "Geronimo." (see "Location" for examples.)

          Dedicated to the idea that all people deserve a chance for a healthy productive life. B&M Gates Fdn.

          Good judgement comes from experience; experience comes from bad judgement. Unknown.

          Comment


          • #65
            Re: Boom in the Doom

            jim, i haven't checked, but based on the labels and style, i assumed that lukester's post was excerpted from doug noland's credit bubble bulletin at prudentbear.com. he may have assumed that others would know that [assuming i'm correct], but i agree that attribution would be a good idea. on contrarianism, i think you have to be very careful. it only works at extremes. it was truly contrarian to think about ultimate inflation and buy gold in 2000. but since that time there is a growing acceptance of these themes. we need a growing acceptance for the price to keep rising, as more and more purchasers are recruited. it is only after all possible recruits have "enlisted" and bought that the top is reached. in the meantime, expect increasing mentions of inflation and gold.

            Comment


            • #66
              Re: Boom in the Doom

              In my attempt to try and see through all the short term noise signals and instead focus on the long term big signal picture is where I think this whole divide lies. Yet the effort to see the forest as a whole with all the new-fangled growth of the tree's global branches, imbalances, and unwinding of bad debt and bets gone wild threatening to clear cut the entire forest is not easy.

              The Deflationistas presume the economic forest system is so imbalanced as to be beyond control or containment, all of which is readily reinforced by their daily raking over of the trees going up in smoke. Hence where there is smoke there is fire, and in this, by their reckoning, forest filled with deadwood the conflagration underway can not be mitigated.

              In some respects I think their alarm is entirely merited, but their extended belief that it is now an inescapable uncontrollable end game is a projection of no absolute certainty.

              This is where iTulip attempts to offer an alternate take on the outcome, particularly as they are mindful, despite all the threatening flames present and potential, that there are very substantial and interlocked other vested entities and interests involved here. Whether they can coordinate or otherwise act in such a way to off-set, tame and mitigate the debt deflation now underway is unknown, but I have little doubt they will try to do what they can or see as necessary.

              A deflationary spiral and catastrophic one at that may well befell us all globally in the future, which by the Deflationistas reckoning is settling in upon us now. Not that I am particularly optimistic about our future prospects but I'm inclined to suspect their vision of this happening without every conceivable and some presently unconceivable efforts to postpone or forgo this event is blinkered.

              They may well prove correct, but just how long this may take is worth considering. In this I am inclined to believe it could well take a lot longer to unfold than they seem to imagine, as in: Folks, it's all a done deal right now!

              The main supporting corollary belief in this is that all governments suck, especially when they meddle in free markets, CBs and their fiat based schemes of re-inflation is dead, and anyone who doesn't agree with us is a poopy-head!

              Not with standing the relative merits of such beliefs, the point remains that governments and CBs, and whatever other array of players known as TPTB one wants to include, will nonetheless attempt to do whatever they can! And I'm supposing, along with iTulip, that it might well be just enough to stem and deflect the tide of an end-game deflationary wolf howling in the forest.

              In this I think EJ's belief that "Investors do not want to give up on USA, Inc. for to do so is very expensive", and with the election process underway there is still a window of opportunity to use the Box-of-Tricks to be had out there by all concerned system wide overseers and investors.

              At least iTulip tries to reconcile such an outlook with the smoke signals as they unfold, of which I have no real advice or insight to offer. Only this interjectory ramble, which for a variety of unstated reasons (global economy is huge and should stumble along; BRIC, Persion Gulf state, Russian growth pull; Govt/CB tricks of triage debt deflation and currency depreciation; combined vested interests, etc.), I'm guessing this game's end-life isn't pre-determined yet.

              Still it does seem to depend on how hard and fast as opposed to sluggish and less swift the debt deflation goes this year and any ensuing panic. Should we make it thru this year without crashing the banking system or the stock market, who and how the next US government responds leaves us largely in the dark until next year.

              Accordingly, it's hard to make predictions, especially about the future in such matters where profitability and panic meet.

              Comment


              • #67
                Re: Boom in the Doom

                Godraz -

                Your avatar looks like he was just hauled into the local police precinct for disturbance of the peace, after a week-long bender. Or maybe he's the "grand-duke" of juvenile delinquents, hauled in for running cigarettes and booze contraband on the rough side of town? That is one sinister looking mug-shot pal.

                Comment


                • #68
                  Re: Boom in the Doom

                  Originally posted by jk View Post
                  on contrarianism, i think you have to be very careful. it only works at extremes. it was truly contrarian to think about ultimate inflation and buy gold in 2000. but since that time there is a growing acceptance of these themes. we need a growing acceptance for the price to keep rising, as more and more purchasers are recruited. it is only after all possible recruits have "enlisted" and bought that the top is reached. in the meantime, expect increasing mentions of inflation and gold.
                  Perhaps I am going to take this discussion out of the realm about which it is directed; nevertheless, here goes.

                  When is a market at an extreme? It is not always easy to discern that in real time as opposed to looking back through the great retrospectroscope.

                  Are the equity markets at an extreme now? Are the precious metals at an extreme now? As Reagan answered when asked whether he wore briefs or boxer shorts, "Depends." The answers to my two questions similarly "depends" on what happens next. If equities go lower from here, then they are not at the extreme. If gold goes higher here it is not at its ultimate or intermediate extreme (nominally). But if the reverse in each case comes to past, then equities are at an extreme (perhaps momentary) low, and gold is at an extreme (perhaps momentary) high.

                  The problem for me with a bent toward trading the shorter trends is determining where we are now and which way will things break?

                  In looking at equities, which is where I guess most regular sorts of "investors" are focused as opposed to perhaps how managers of other people's monies who have more knowledge and methods available (Jeremy Grantham in Barron's today said he was happy owning a packet of emerging market currencies with a time horizon of several years--shit, I can't do that I don't think) may be focused, today I noted an interesting datum.

                  From today's Barron's the put/call ratio on the OEX (S&P 100) is 0.65. http://online.barrons.com/public/pag...et_report.html Subscripton.

                  Barron's explains in the table where these data are reported: "Investors rely on the equity put-call ratio, which tends to track individual trades, and the index put-call ratio, which reflects professional and institutional strategies, as contrary sentiment indicators. The higher the put trading, the more bullish the indication and vice-versa. Readings in the CBOE equity put-call ratio of 60:100 and in the S&P 100 of 125:100 are considered bullish, for instance. Bearish signals flash when the equity put-call level reaches the vicinity of 30:100 and the index ratio hits 75:100."

                  The "index put-call ratio" remarks refer to the OEX or S&P 100. If one wishes to see it, here is a chart of the OEX http://bigcharts.marketwatch.com/int...x=25&draw.y=12

                  I only have weekly data on the OEX put-call ratios back to 11/5/99. The reading 0.65 is the lowest it has ever been in this time frame (assuming I have collected the data correctly, and that the data have been reported correctly, and I haven't screwed up my spreadsheet at any point since then).

                  If one uses the explanation offered by Barron's that put:call readings below 0.75 (75:100) are bearish when interpreted with a contrarian eye, then one would expect such a case to be true when markets are seemingly near tops, and thus those betting on the OEX to continue higher would result in a low put/call ratios--and contrary opinion would have it that they are wrong.

                  In my data there are two previous readings of OEX put-call ratios below 0.70--that is over 8+ years: 0.67 for weekending 1/12/01, and 0.68 for weekending 7/2/04.

                  If this is the least bit interesting to anyone, go back to chart in the last link above and under Chart Options choose "1 Decade," and you'll see that low reading on 1/12/01 was associated with a significant top occurring 12 market days later. So on one hand, the low reading could be considered wrong on a contrarian basis, but it took 12 days to happen and during which 12 days the OEX went up 4.6%--so the bullishness of those playing OEX put-call game was correct for 12 days.

                  The 0.68 reading from 7/2/04 occurred 10 points off a high and was clearly wrong as the market decreased from then until 8/12/04, never being higher than it was on 7/2 for even a day, and losing 5%.

                  Now go back to the OEX chart and put in 6 month time-frame. Is there any argument as to where the market is relatively now? It is not a market that has just been recently achieving new highs--at least that is how I see it. So the most extreme incidence of actual bullishness in the OEX put-call ratio in over 8-years is at a time in which the market in four months has lost 16% from closing high to closing low and is less than 2 points off its recent closing low, and the "correction" so far has been the biggest in 6 years (I didn't actually check this to know it is correct, but based on behavior of all other indices I follow, it should be correct.)

                  Now to interpret the actual bullishness of the 0.65 reading contrarily and say it is a negative for the market right now to me would be a serious error.

                  Let's see, this was about extremes in awareness of inflation and deflation. I think those inflationista's think the world is doomed--EJ has put in a call to short the markets, and the world may be doomed, but for the moment I think the contrarian bet is that equities are going to go up a while and PM's down a while.

                  What's a "while." A "while" could be a 50% retracement of the 254 point loss of the SPX on closing bases, so that might be a gain of 9.5% off the 1/23 low or about 8% from here, but hey, that is just a wild-assed guess with regard to the future playing out.
                  Last edited by Jim Nickerson; 02-09-08, 10:41 PM.
                  Jim 69 y/o

                  "...Texans...the lowest form of white man there is." Robert Duvall, as Al Sieber, in "Geronimo." (see "Location" for examples.)

                  Dedicated to the idea that all people deserve a chance for a healthy productive life. B&M Gates Fdn.

                  Good judgement comes from experience; experience comes from bad judgement. Unknown.

                  Comment


                  • #69
                    Re: Boom in the Doom

                    you may well be right, jim. i just can't feel confidant enough about my short term analyses to put real money at stake. i trade a bit by adding and subtracting to my put positions. but i feel much more strongly about longer term trends and allocate my assets on that basis.

                    each of us has to find an approach with which we're comfortable. bart, for example, is a very short term trader - you can see the evidence in his blog comments at his website. finster is more of an intermediate-long term investor, from what i gather from his comments. to each his own.

                    Comment


                    • #70
                      Re: Boom in the Doom

                      jk, I don't think I was arguing that others should act upon the analysis of the three data points at which I looked. Actually writing that up was a good exercise for my thinking, as when I first saw the 0.65 yesterday AM I didn't know quite what to make of it.

                      On dreaming about this over night, I believe in deciding to go long or short on a single issue we face making decisions about where the entity is we wish to buy or sell relative to where it has been and may be going. Buying a stock may be different from buying an index, but besides the price action it is nice, or theoretically would be nice, to have other indicators to access in reaching a decision.

                      Sentiment, breadth, RSI, MACD (and of course many other things that I don't know about, understand, or use) all may provide insight about when to pull the trigger. For sure, one cannot trade RSI's, MACD's and breadth, so their value is to help estimate where the entity is and how to act upon it--long or short--that may provide us with gains.
                      Jim 69 y/o

                      "...Texans...the lowest form of white man there is." Robert Duvall, as Al Sieber, in "Geronimo." (see "Location" for examples.)

                      Dedicated to the idea that all people deserve a chance for a healthy productive life. B&M Gates Fdn.

                      Good judgement comes from experience; experience comes from bad judgement. Unknown.

                      Comment


                      • #71
                        Re: Boom in the Doom

                        Deep home discounts dream for some, worry for others


                        D.R. Horton Inc., a national homebuilder based in Fort Worth, Texas, is selling homes at up to a 50 percent discount in 23 Southern California developments starting this weekend. Bakersfield's Contessa's Vineyard II and Lavender Trails neighborhoods, both located in the larger City in the Hills development, are part of the first-come, first-served sale.

                        One home plan, formerly listed for $380,000, has been reduced 48 percent to $199,990, according to a company sales flier.

                        [..]

                        Jon Hess, a 29-year-old flight instructor, is betting on securing one of those bargains. He set up camp in front of the Contessa's Vineyard II sales office Sunday, and was still in line Friday afternoon, with the goal of buying a specific floor plan for his wife and three kids.

                        "I think it's a good value," Hess said of the model home he had in mind. "I like the area. It's better than the northwest."

                        Still, he was realistic about what this kind of sale might say about the health of the real estate market.

                        "Who knows?" Hess said. "Maybe by this time a year from now it's going to be worth half of what I paid for it."

                        Comment

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