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Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Hardtimes Roundup

Worst Decade Ever for U.S. Jobs:

Empty Chinese Skyscrapers

Abandoned Detroit Skyscrapers

CNN Money:
Can farming save Detroit? -- Yes, a farm. A large-scale, for-profit agricultural enterprise, wholly contained within the city limits of Detroit...

This is possibly not as crazy as it sounds. Granted, the notion of devoting valuable city land to agriculture would be unfathomable in New York, London, or Tokyo. But Detroit is a special case...

The massive Renaissance Center office and retail complex, built in the 1970s, mostly served to suck tenants out of other downtown buildings. (Today 48 of those buildings stand empty.)...

Virginia Pilot:
FBI deluged by fraud cases from real estate bubble -- The criminal cases against Brian W. King and Ronnie E. Brodie are typical of what the FBI is seeing as a result of the rise and fall of the real estate market.

King, 42, of Virginia Beach, pleaded guilty this month to falsifying mortgage applications, obtaining more than $700,000 in loans he never should have qualified for by inflating his income.

Brodie, in an unrelated case, will be arraigned Wednesday on similar charges of lying on her mortgage papers. Like King, the 36-year-old from Virginia Beach is accused of inflating her income.

Cases such as King's and Brodie's have become commonplace in U.S. District Court in Norfolk, as the FBI and other federal agencies begin seeing the fruits of mortgage fraud investigations that started three years ago just as the real estate market began deteriorating...

James Howard Kunstler / CF Nation:
Forecast 2010 -- The Long Emergency is officially underway. Reality is telling us very clearly to prepare for a new way of life in the USA. We're in desperate need of decomplexifying, re-localizing, downscaling, and re-humanizing American life. It doesn't mean that we will be a lesser people or that we will not recognize our own culture. In some respects, I think it means we must return to some traditional American life-ways that we abandoned for the cheap oil life of convenience, comfort, obesity, and social atomization...

Kevin Depew / Minyanville:
Five Themes for 2009: The Final Reckoning --

Calculated Risk

MishTalk - Mike Shedlock

Paul Krugman - NY Times

The Big Picture - Barry Ritholtz

naked capitalism - Yves Smith

Pragmatic Capitalism

Washington's Blog

Safe Haven

Paper Economy

The Daily Reckoning - Australia