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  The Chatter Box : Blathering On
"Say Goodbye To Hollywood..." by bIG bLOGGER on 9 August 2008 3:25pm
(with acknowledgement to the BILLY JOEL song,copyright 1981,Columbia Records, Inc./Billy Joel;from the album :"Songs in the Attic").
Well,according to GUARDIAN reporter Jonathan Franklin (Guardian 2;08.08.08),the palm-shaded streets of HOLLYWOOD,florida,USA,(30 kms. north of Miami)are suddenly no longer "paved with gold",even though still brightly sun-dappled in August.
The city was elected "All America City" in 2007 by the National Civil League, as a tribute to its progressive social policies. But,one year later,the debts are piling up;cash to pay mortgage payments is running low;foreclosures(exclusion from further mortgage redemption,and seizure of the property)are mounting every day;new pawnbroker shops are proliferating;and instead of a warming "WELCOME TO HOLLYWOOD",the first sign a visitor now sees typically reads:"Sell your house--Get Fast Cash--call:954-294-5420", where Ricardo Morales will offer you between 25 and 40% of the listed value of your property,for a quick sale. Because of the widespread fall in house prices,many householders in Hollywood who bought in 2005,2006 or 2007,now owe their bank much more than their home is worth, a state of affairs known in Estate Agent circles as "negative equity"...
So...if Southern Florida is at the sharp end of the current credit squeeze--I direct this question of course to our Palin-American contributors--how many times is this scenario likely to be repeated in towns and cities across the whole of America;..and,will this downturn trigger a neo-1929 style Stock Market crash,and a 2009 'Great Depression'??
Re: "Say Goodbye To Hollywood..." by johnnythemonkey on 9 August 2008 4:39pm
Having you noticed that the same thing is happening in England ?
Re: "Say Goodbye To Hollywood..." by kazzzz on 11 August 2008 12:46pm
And in Australia?
Re: "Say Goodbye To Hollywood..." by geordiegirl on 11 August 2008 1:28pm
Well, Peter, pouring cold water on this as usual, in GB it's not quite as bad as it was in the early '90s, economists say economy will be on the up again around 2010, and USA never QUITE hits rock bottom in a widespread way (although of course many poor souls suffer along the way) - so my guess is that a Great Depression is not going to happen.

(Just keep your money away from building societies which demutualised!)
Re: "Say Goodbye To Hollywood..." by bIG bLOGGER on 12 August 2008 5:15pm
(You wouldn't be referring to a certain Building Society-now Bank-called N******* R***,would you?)
Re: "Say Goodbye To Hollywood..." by canaveralgumby on 12 August 2008 5:36pm
My 2 cents (or pence if you like). I used to live in South Florida. Ww lived just west of Hollywood Beach and we went there to GO to the beach.

It is like walking into the year 1960! That is its charm.

It is heavily populated by retirees (or pensioners if you like). Perhaps, as they pass on, and their families attempt to sell their co-ops/condos, no one is buying because the real estate market is so terrible everywhere in the U.S., and in Hwd. Bch. the buildings are old and their fixtures are not updated.

It's the same everywhere in the U.S., from nice semi-expensive neighborhoods to old lower-middle-class ones. There may be pockets of the country where industry in the area is thriving and people are not as affected, but you'd have to research to find them. I THINK the Research Triangle area in North Carolina is one.

But generally, yeah, things suck all over.

["Turnstiles" - great album. That's also got "Angry Young Man" and "New York Stat of Mind" and "Miami 2017".....]
Re: "Say Goodbye To Hollywood..." by bIG bLOGGER on 13 September 2008 3:37pm
Thanks,Cori,glad you like Billy Joel,and have "Turnstiles",a great album.

Recently it was reported that Silver State,the Nevada-based Bank that had John McCain's son on its board until July,has become the eleventh bank in the United States to fail this year, after large losses from souring house loans and land forced regulators to shut it down.Now we have news that Lehman Brothers is in deep difficulties.
Plus,the news this last week of the huge £110 Billion bail-out of leading mortgage providers in the US,Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac (both acronyms)which will have to come from the coffers of US taxpayers,to keep these two giants afloat.In the past year the 2 companies posted losses of 14 Billion dollars.The private investors (shareholders) can expect little return.

Cori,you mentioned pensioners(retirees) and their slow-selling condominiums in South Florida.An article in the London TIMES (July 17,2008) by Suzi Jagger,their New York correspondent,was much on the same lines. She said,the many pensioners who move to the USA's South or South-west areas in winter seeking a warmer climate,are known as 'snowbirds'.States like Arizona have also seen influxes of these migrating elderly folks.The article focussed on a Mr.Scott Coles,48years old,the boss of one of Arizona's chief private lenders to the property industry "Mortgages Ltd",who was found dead on June 2 at his home in Phoenix (believed suicide), after his company ran into severe difficulties this year.Homes in Arizona in the last 4 years have lost as much as 40% of their value,and this is now affecting both the residential and commercial property markets.
Mr.Coles had sought to raise new capital,but had undermined existing investors by the terms he was offering,and some of them--who were refused when seeking to withdraw their funds in April,decided to sue.Lawsuits were pending in the Arizona Superior Court. Then,on June 24,just 3 weeks after Mr.Coles's death,Mortgages Ltd., (President,Laura Martini) filed for Chapter II bankruptcy protection,45 years after the company was founded by Charles Coles,Scott Coles's father.
Maybe Scott Coles's death,tragic as it is, is symptomatic of the current dire state of affairs.

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