How bad is it in Detroit?

Is this is any indication?

Nearly 35 years after taxpayers spent $55.7 million building the Pontiac Silverdome and a year after a $20 million sale fell through, city officials have sold the arena once called the most desirable property in Oakland County.

The price: $583,000.

“This was a giveaway,” said David J. Leitch, a broker with an Auburn Hills based realty firm.

By my calculations, that’s about 1% of the actual cost to build the dome.

The winning bidders also got the surrounding 127 acres thrown in for free.

So, how bad is it in Detroit?

Scary bad.

Waiting on the big squeeze

Articles like this one seem to be the rule rather than the exception these days.

Brace yourself: The recession is projected to worsen this year.

I’m getting the same sort of feeling that I get when watching a big hurricane spinning around in the Gulf. Except, instead of trying to prepare for several days of turmoil, I get the feeling that this may be impossible to prepare for: the damage too great, the recovery period too long.

I hate this.

Peeling back the onion

The Dow closed below 8000 today for the first time in over 5 years. As the economy continues its downward spiral, another 5% in market cap has been peeled away. October consumer prices also fell by their largest margin margin in 60 years.

Here’s an economic stimulus idea for Congress. How about getting busy buying some long term oil contracts and begin refilling the Strategic Petroleum Reserve. The Democrats voted to stop filling the SPR over 6 months ago in order to put an additional 70000 bbs/day on the market. Ostensibly, this would help bring down prices. Well, oil prices are definitely down, and filling the SPR would make sense from an economic as well as national security standpoint. This is something that even a lame duck session could accomplish.

As prices for consumer products and commodities continue to fall, fears of a deflationary cycle have caused the Fed to forget about inflation. You may have also noticed a word that I’ve begun hearing more often than I can ever remember: depression as in “The Great.” I’ve wondered what a sure-enough depression would look like in 21st century America. Drake Bennett has too. His article in The Boston Globe is worth reading. Here is the link


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