Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Remarkably unremarkable.

Was reading the Bulletin blog fodder this morning, and it occurred to me that what someday will be remembered as tough times, and what was once predicted would be tough times, has become...simply the reality.

Quiet acknowledgment on the part of the city that it might not be possible to both maintain the Bend Area Transit and the general police and fire services.

No flashy expensive searches for new city manager or new police chief, (hey, we're a big time city and we need big time outsiders!) simply endorsement of the competent people in place.

Realization by the Forest Service that land in Sisters isn't in demand anymore.

The big positive story in the Bulletin, Deschutes Brewery's expansion plans, is really talking about 'planning' and at least a couple of years out.

The article RECOVERY ISN'T LIKELY IN 2009, is the most remarkable in it's mundane approach. Ho, hum. We knew it all along. No big deal.

" real signs of a local economic recovery until 2011." (Remarkable how the headline can use the 'negative' of unlikely recovery in 2009 but the very first paragraph pushes that timeline out two more years...)

Later in the article, this comment. "Rather, Watkins sees a "long, slow crawl out" after 2011."

Terrific. So we are, what? looking at 2012, 2013?

Also buried in the article is this; "....the unemployment projection -- 15% in Central Oregon by the fourth quarter of 2010, was disturbing...."
(Personally, I think that 15% figure will be hit this year....)

Finally, I always love the quotes from Mike Hollern, CEO of Brooks Resources.

"Hopefully, all this government intervention works great, and hopefully we have really smart people making those decisions." (words highlighted by me, but I imagine Hollern muttering them under his breath.)

So the bottom line assessment, in a secondary article in the business section is:

15% unemployment.

No recovery until 2011, that will grind into 2012 or longer.



Anonymous said...

I don't get the double-standard.

Obama talks non-specific, hope, change, ...

Hollern speaks about 'hope' and its under the breath?

Why isn't Obama's? Oh, thats right he was running for election, using the ronny raygun playbook of 'keep it upbeat'.

Hollern knows this crash will outlast his remaining years. But it's good that the BULL still has access, and its good that HOLLERN still has something to say.

The best of HOLLERN was last year when he said "Bend is a town of non-real people, with non-real children, and non-real jobs".

It's about 'hopefully' all about to get very REAL around here.

Orygun has NEVER been a working mans town, and Bend has long been a playground of the rich. Too many people were suckered here to buy 2nd homes ( lifestyles of the rich ) on nothing down, they'll be leaving by the tens of thousands.

Once again, and I say about 2016 Bend will be a town of real people, real children, and real jobs. Until then expect bitching, moaning, and denial.

The rich will live in gated community's far from town, and the real-people close-in. Overtime the nouveau-riche will be bored of their isolated community's and lose millions but the real people care not. Soon nice little westside homes will sell for less than 4X income, and those who can find a the few jobs, will be fine, everyone else will have to move on.

Sure Mayor Eckman will jump&shout about growth, but note she'll not put a nickel of her hubby's money down. The over building of Bend was about the general taxpayer subsidizing the developer/builder/banker by billion's. Bend will file for bankrupcty, and not for a generation will anyone even think about borrowing taxpayer money to make builders rich.

The builders will quit owning city-hall, as there will be nothing left to steal, e.g. the ROI ( return on investment ) will not cover cost.

rotorman said...

"The rich will live in gated community's far from town, and the real-people close-in."

And who will occupy all the Aubrey Butte and Broken Top houses, the 5000sq/fters? Will they all be vacated and sold to the people who work in the tourist industry? Come on. There is pleanty of money in this town that has nothing to do with unemployment statistics. And the people living in these mansions are not leaving any time soon. The only people who will suffer are the ones who always suffer. The bottom of income barrel. The rich will not leave in droves. They will not dump their mcmansions, their trophy, homes for pennies on the dollar. Bottom line is, this town is not going back to 1975. Things may be bad for a while but not for the rich. This town has been forever altered from the mill town it once was and as much as some would like, it is not going back, no matter how much they hope or how bad the economy gets.

PopGoesBend said...

The rate of default on conforming prime loans in Bend is about a third the rate of default on jumbo loans. I'm guessing 1/3 to 1/2 of jumbo loans in Bend will default in the next few years. That's based on numbers I have seen for predictions of nationwide defaults by Credit Suisse (1 in 6) and doubling it since we have the worst foreclosure numbers in the state, and in the coming year will be in the top percentage in the country.

There are true rich, and those who just took out the loan because they could. In the next year or two you will find out which your neighbors really are.

Bend Economy Man said...

I don't buy the idea that there are so many "rich" or "wealthy" people in this town. I think they are very few. A few land-rich old-timers and a few rich people who've come here to be far away from it all.

But I think that most of the people you see in Awbrey Butte houses and Porsche Cayennes are "affluent," which to me means that they might have a high income or high-cashflow business or good credit or some other source of funds to spend, but they don't have a real healthy net wealth.

I think a lot of Bendites' affluence is based on what you might call "cashflow management" rather than "wealth management."

H. Bruce Miller said...

It took 10 years to recover from the Great Depression of the 1930s but it should not take that long to crawl out of the Great Smirky Depression of the 2000s because, for one thing, we have a safety net in the form of Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, unemployment insurance and the FDIC in place, so not as many people are likely to be driven into dire poverty. (And don't forget the right-wingers wanted to take down that safety net. Thank god we didn't let them.)

H. Bruce Miller said...

"I don't buy the idea that there are so many "rich" or "wealthy" people in this town."

Neither do I. It's a myth propagated by the Chamber and COVA and others who tried to hype Bend into becoming "the next Aspen."

This ain't Aspen and never will be. When was the last time you saw Jack Nicholson skiing at Bachelor or Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie window-shopping on Wall Street?