Shall we parse the Bulletin again? I figure it's a lot like Kremlinologists in the 50's and 60's: trying to figure out what the dirty rotten commies were really saying, who was up and who was down, required a good deal of analysis.
Since I've lived in Bend my whole life, and have been reading the Bulletin probably since about 1970 or so, you can call me a Bulletinologist.
I know I'm in the minority among bubble bloggers in that I think the Bulletin is a pretty good paper. Much better than average, in my opinion, but....it has it's quirks.
So the usual upbeat or at least neutral headline (more neutral than upbeat these days), the usual upbeat first and last paragraphs, and the usual real information in the middle.
The bad news is there, it just isn't really pointed out. They leave that to the reader....to the Bulletinologists.
Local bank shares don't reflect the 'real' health of the banks, so pay them no mind -- and oh, by the way, the shares went 'up' last week. (Contradiction #1). The banks are healthy -- unless there is an 'extended' downturn. (Contradiction #2). Banks are "healthier than they appear", which is not exactly the same thing as saying they are really healthy. (Contradiction #3). Local banks have had a good 5 to 10 years, and have built reserves, but they invested "heavily in markets such as Central Oregon, where real estate values may continue to drop." A 'negative' reserve, if you will. (Contradiction #4.) I'm barely past the first couple of paragraphs, and could go on and on with this.
Anyway, I'm already worn out -- suffice it to say that the actual substance of the article is anything but rosy.
The second article about local builders again was more downbeat in substance than in tone. Sure, if you go out and pick top builders of custom homes, who are finishing off projects financed by wealthy owners, things look pretty good.
Never mind that there are very few of these jobs available at the top, and probably very few wealthy owners who can finance their own houses left in the pipeline.
The editorial about how the economy will turn around? But of course! But when? And I think when you make the comment that it's not as bad as in the past, you need to add the word "YET." But they are probably right -- because the 80's were truly horrid. A The 80's were more like the Great Depression in Bend, than any other recession, even a severe one.
Anyway, the Bulletin is slowly coming around. I think they don't want to spook anyone. But I also think they truly believe this is a normal downturn (like my nemesis RDC) that we'll get back on track soon and Bend is just so great that we're just great. It's great that we're great. So there.
6 days ago