Thursday, November 17, 2011

Crazy money.

I don't think the economy has recovered in Bend.

The more time passes, the more I think people assume that it has stabilized. But a lot of the surplus cash that was floating around when the boom went bust has probably dried up by now.

We've gained very little population in the last few years, though our city government is still acting like we're still growing rapidly. I suppose they think we'll grow rapidly in the future -- but I don't think that is any sure thing. Like, where are the jobs coming from? If it's all retirement folk, how likely are they to vote in favor of infrastructure improvements? (Hey, I'm for long term planning, but I think sometimes you have to wait for a few more confirmations about what the long term is likely to bring.)

I usually don't comment on other people's misfortune, but there are some things about the Blacksmith's bankruptcy that were interesting.

One -- the amount of money that was being invested, even recently, here in Bend -- when, like I said, I don't think the economy is going anywhere. 2.5 million dollars is a whole lot of meals, and I wonder where that money was going to come from? In that debt, was an investment from another restaurateur that I would've thought was sufficient to start a whole new restaurant or two or three.

I'd like to know more, but The Source has blocked comments -- which I think is a questionable move on the part of a public media. Public comment should be at the source of what they do. KTVZ has a few comments.

Anyway, from what little I can glean, it appears to me that all the debts are being piled on the "personal" side of the ledger, in hopes of keeping the restaurants open. I have a feeling that probably won't wash. If I was a debtor, I'd think I was more likely to get pennies on a dollar from a couple of restaurants than from a guy who has a foreclosed house and is driving a 2001 pickup.

Still, if true, I give Gavin credit for putting his entire personal life on the line, unlike some other situations where it seemed the debt accruer walked away with a nest egg.

Like with the Merenda, it isn't that hard to break out a calculator and figure out how many full meals a place has to serve to break even, much less pay off a profit, much less pay off the original investment. I don't know the dynamics of a restaurant, but it seems like overblown is overblown.

I don't think that it's just that I think small. I don't doubt that the Deschutes Brewery has gained enough market share and capacity to expand the way it has, for instance. But when the money figures I read for opening a market in the Northwest Crossing, or The Decoy, or Volo, or this 2.5 million, it always seems kind of excessive. Like I said, I break out the calculator and start figuring how many meals they have to serve, and it always seems like an unreachable number.

At least they leave a beautiful shell for someone else to come along and occupy.

Crazy money.


H. Bruce Miller said...

"our city government is still acting like we're still growing rapidly. I suppose they think we'll grow rapidly in the future -- but I don't think that is any sure thing."

It isn't a sure thing -- nor is it necessarily a desirable thing.

What would happen if Bend stopped trying to be as big as it could be and concentrated on being as good as it could be? If the citizens and government of Bend decided it was better to be a pleasant, livable small city than a sprawling, traffic-choked big one? If they decided the goal was to have a sustainable economy rather than a boom-or-bust one?

For one thing, the realtors, builder and developers wouldn't make as much money -- which is why it will never happen. You saw what happened to that latest "visioning" group; its "vision" got buried just like all the "visions" before it (I can remember three or four of them) got buried. The Realtor/Builder/Developer Axis calls the shots in this town. Always has, always will.

Leitmotiv said...

The Source has done a lot of questionable things regarding it's reporting policy. They, like the Bulletin, are biased.

I remember when they reported on the Super Wal-Mart coming to Bend. They did an article on the community hearing at the Holiday Inn Express. The way the portrayed the community hearing was completely opposite of how it went down. They made it look like everyone was against it. But really, most everyone at the meeting was FOR Super Wal-Mart moving. Sad, but true.

Duncan McGeary said...

I've decided The Source is mostly an entertainment posting, sophomoric commenting (look who's talking....heh) -- with the occasional 'news' article.

Anonymous said...

What would happen if Bend stopped trying to be as big as it could be and concentrated on being as good as it could be?

We do agree on a number of thing and this is one of them.

We are no where near the bottom or a turning point. We're not unique in that problem but to think that the RE market is on the mend or the local economy is worth another $2.5 million roll of the dice is to be parting with your money in rapid fashion. As I've stated repeatedly on HBM's blog, I love this place but I'm not blind to our issues.

Collectively we do continue down this same road, with our pipes packed full of real estate hopium. People keep holding on and there is no relief in sight. In fact, it's about to get worse. The powers that be have a big can kicking machine but eventually they're going to have to reveal the monster in the closet. We have our local issues for sure but the global issues are going to clobber us so bad we'll forget about our local issues. My guess is we'll be glad to be here as there is a small buffer between us and any major metro area.

I really hope I'm wrong but if you're thinking your 401K, RE equity are coming back or that the economy & the job market are on the mend, you're in for some disappointment.

Anonymous said...

You ain't seen nuttin boyz, 2012-2013 is going to make 2008 look like a bed of roses,

I have been writing about 'occupy wall-st' for months, and this thing is going to get BIG and violent, civil war. Bend will be safe, cuz its a RUSH-LIMBAUGH nation with lib's hiding in their shadows, but the war will be fought in the urban combat zones.

Which gets back to the old theory about 'why iraq?' prior to iraq the US soldier knew NOTHING about urban-combat post-vietnam, now our soldiers after 10+ years are ready to fight in the streets and let the blood of US children aka Kent-State flow.

Bend will be a place where the 1% hide, ...

Enough Said.

Anonymous said...

They CALL them the SORE & the BULL for a reason, they are NOT your friend, nor have they ever been.

Remember that BLACKSMITH spent a fortune on advertising, it will not be forgotten.

It's an old story, how to you make a small fortune in Bend? Start with a large fortune made in another place.

Bend will not be safe, as we ALL know this town is infested with CALI spawn that are high on METH and bored, and jobless and living at home up in the hills. As HOMER has said most people are still feeling Bend-Riche cuz they haven't paid their MTG for 2 years as all foreclosure is on HOLD, in the next 1-2 years these folks and their SPAWN will be on the streets and in downtown, and the 1% will not be seen from Dunc's window.

Once the 1% is afraid to go downtown, the plywood will go up over-night. :)

Only YOU dunc inferred that things were getting better essentially what's happening is more&more 1% are running away from the population zones to places like Bend, that brings in new money and makes you feel good, but NOTE, once the SHIT hits the fan the money will be gone.

For NOW view EURO as the eye of SAURON is on Europe, and taken its eyes off the US-DOLLAR, but once Europe gets back on their feet the world will once again remember that the US has a debt obligation of $200 trillion and NO hope of repayment, only by monetization, eg. printing money, and nobody wants to be around for hyperinflation.

Anonymous said...

Fools and their Bend-Money(tm) are soon departed.

Anonymous said...


Watch this out of Austrailia, I'm down here for a few weeks and caught this on TV, this guy nails the whole thing in about 1 MINUTE.

Concise and right, ... who runs the show, and how we go forward.

I know some of the dim-witted are saying "But what does this have to do with ameriKKKa?", well boyz, if you watch this when you Bend Over you'll not even have to look who has made entry.

H. Bruce Miller said...

"Real estate hopium" is good.

I was talking with a realtor yesterday. Said we're still a long way from the bottom here.

As for the national economy, it's broken beyond repair. For 30 years, the middle class -- historically the foundation of America's prosperity -- has seen its real income decline, thanks mainly to globalization (a policy disastrously supported by both parties). The real estate bubble allowed us to maintain the illusion of prosperity for a few years, but now that's gone.

H. Bruce Miller said...

Oh well, as a dear departed friend of mine used to say: "There's always the river."

Duncan McGeary said...

"Bend... a RUSH-LIMBAUGH nation with lib's hiding in their shadows..."

Nice line.

H. Bruce Miller said...

"I have been writing about 'occupy wall-st' for months, and this thing is going to get BIG and violent, civil war."

No, it's going to fizzle out when the weather gets nasty ... unless somebody can figure out how to organize it into a viable, ongoing political force. Just continuing to camp in parks is pointless. Worse, as ugly incidents proliferate, the focus increasingly is on them rather than on the message of the movement. Public support for OWS already is dropping -- see

Duncan McGeary said...

I disagree, Bruce. (except maybe about the weather.)

But I think its the very existence of the movement, the very Occupation itself, that calls attention to the problems in the country.

Anonymous said...


I follow this quite closely as I was involved in lots of street shit from 1960's to 1990's in PDX, and I'll tell you this is way bigger than fucking sitting at parks,

It sounds to me that you spend too much time like dunc watching TV.

Why not follow the OWS movement and occupy-pdx itself and find out what's really going on? Just yesterday they took out the brooklyn bridge in NYC, and yesterday shutdown a wells-fargo bank in PDX,

No bruce they have moved on from sitting in parks, they know what must be done, and the authority's are really beating the SHIT out of the kids AND FUCKING THEM BAD. But like Rumsfeld said "we're making enemys quicker than we can kill them", well essentially in pdx and oakland, every kid that gets killed or beaten becomes a martyr and creates 1,000's of new kids willing to put his life on the line.

Why now? I'll tell you why hbm, because now they have NOTHING left to loose, in the past there was always light at the end of the tunnel, the kids now know that if they don't rip the heart out of the beast and KILL-IT, that they have no future, ...

So turn off you TV hbm, and go to pdx or nyc and see what's going on or go to #occupyws or #occupypdx and follow the live-feed.

Anonymous said...

"Bend... a RUSH-LIMBAUGH nation with lib's hiding in their shadows..."

Nice line.


Thanks dunc, at least nobody is arguing anymore that the majority of Bend is not Pug-Thugs.

I always call them Gay-Edgar-Hoover boyz. Hey all go to this weeks Kunstler klusterfuck nation blog, he only talks about football and how these teams have been covering up sodomy on 10 year old boyz for a decade. This is BIG, but essentially hits to the root of the FBI and the cop-shop and the entire US prison industrial complex, that all law enforcement and TV-SPORTS is about sodomy.

Note we're not talking about homosexual love between two grown men like me&bewert :)

This is about POWER-TRIP, like the pirates used to do their slaves.

Any ways when I refer to Rush-Limbaugh and Bend, I'm think more about what brought down fatty-arbuckel, ... or J-Edgar-Hoover, just good old fashion right-wing sexual sadism, ... study Shirer's 'rise and fall of the 3rd rheich', the nazis were every bit into this shit as the fascists running the USA today.