RealtyTrac: "Institutional Investor Housing Purchases Plummet Nationwide"

Concluding the trifecta of today’s housing data, we present perhaps the most authoritative report on what is actually going on in the market, that by RealtyTrac. What RealtyTrac has to say is in direct contradiction with both the Permits and Case-Shiller data, both of which are now openly reliant on yield-starved institutional investors dumping cash into current or future rental properties. In fact it’s worse, because if RealtyTrac is accurate, the great institutional scramble for any housing is now over – to wit: “Cash Sales Pull Back From Previous Month, Still Represent 44 Percent of Total Sales Institutional Investor Purchases Plummet Nationwide…  Institutional investor purchases represented 6.8 percent of all sales in October, a sharp drop from a revised 12.1 percent in September and down from 9.7 percent a year ago. Markets with the highest percentage of institutional investor purchases included Memphis (25.4 percent), Atlanta (23.0 percent), Jacksonville, Fla., (22.2 percent), Charlotte (14.5 percent), and Milwaukee (12.0 percent).” And plunging.

Some other observations from RT’s October 2013 Residential & Foreclosure Sales Report, which makes one thing clear – while prices may still be going up, transaction volumes have cratered:

Despite the nationwide increase, home sales continued to decrease on an annual basis for the third consecutive month in three bellwether western states: California (down 15 from a year ago), Arizona (down 13 percent), and Nevada (down 5 percent).

 

The national median sales price of all residential properties — including both distressed and non-distressed sales — was $170,000, unchanged from September but up 6 percent from October 2012, the 18th consecutive month median home prices have increased on an annualized basis.

 

The median price of a distressed residential property — in foreclosure or bank owned — was $110,000 in October, 41 percent below the median price of $185,000 for a non-distressed property.

 

“After a surge in short sales in late 2011 and early 2012, the favored disposition method for distressed properties is shifting back toward the more traditional foreclosure auction sales and bank-owned sales,” said Daren Blomquist,vice president at RealtyTrac. “The combination of rapidly rising home prices — along with strong demand from institutional investors and other cash buyers able to buy at the public foreclosure auction or an as-is REO home — means short sales are becoming less favorable for lenders.”

 

More in the full report


    



via Zero Hedge http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~3/sN66tKt5WFg/story01.htm Tyler Durden

Vid: If You Like Your Plan You Can Keep It: The Rap (w/ Remy)

“If You Like Your Plan
You Can Keep It: The Rap” is the latest collaboration from Remy and
ReasonTV. 

Watch above of click the link below for full text, links,
downloadable versions, and more. 

View this article.

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/11/26/vid-if-you-like-your-plan-you-can-keep-i
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Baffle With BS Continues As House Prices Beat And Miss At Same Time; Detroit Home Prices Go Parabolic

It’s a full-on “Baffle with BS” onslaught this morning. On one hand, the Case-Shiller Top 20 Composite Index rose by 13.3% Y/Y, better than the 13.00% expected, and the highest annual price increase since 2006. Unfortunately, the ramp is coming to an end, especially since the touted NSA data shows that monthly price increases have slowed for the fifth consecutive month, and stood at just 0.7%. At this rate the sequential price change in October will be negative. This is further reinforced by today’s “other” housing report: the September FHFA House Price Index, which unlike Case-Shiller rose 0.3%, below expectations and in line with last month. So on one hand home prices are better than expected, on the other: worse. Clear as mud.

 

But one thing is certain: the surge in the housing market of bankrupt Detroit has never been stronger, and the Y/Y price change just picked up once again, rising to a 3 month high of 17.2% compared to last year.

Perhaps all US cities should just file bankruptcy and see their home prices go through the roof?


    



via Zero Hedge http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~3/XWedj0_Zvhg/story01.htm Tyler Durden

Housing Permits Print At Highest Since June 2008 Entirely On Surge In Rental Units

Call it the last hurrah for Private Equity and hedge funds as they scramble to “telegraph” that there is still some interest in rental property conversions. Despite ever louder cries that the REO-to-Rent and the general surge into rental properties is over (see our report on RealtyTrac’s latest data due out shortly), as many PE firms seek to cash out and to flip their existing exposure, today’s Housing Permits number for October showed just the opposite.  Because while permits for single-family housing units was virtually unchanged month over month, barely rising from 615K to 620K on a seasonally adjusted annualized basis, it was the structures with 5 units or more, aka rentals, that exploded by the most in the past two months going back all the way to 2008.

Whether this is merely an attempt to game the system and buy virtually zero-cost permits by the boatload, thus engineering a last-minute momentum push in the rental market, offloading existing properties to the last and dumbest money around, remains to be seen. However, one thing is clear: the rebound in the conventional, single-family housing market is over, and the only variable remains rental. The variable will become a constant once it becomes clear that increasingly fewer Americans can afford all time record high rent payments.


    



via Zero Hedge http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~3/rZT9CyAP9cQ/story01.htm Tyler Durden

A.M. Links: John Boehner Signs Up For Obamacare, All US Troops Could Leave Afghanistan Next Year After All, Bitcoin Black Friday a Thing

  • firstSpeaker John Boehner signed
    up
    for Obamacare; he’ll see his monthly premium double even
    with a federal contribution. A special election for a vacant House
    seat in Florida
    could
    provide an example of how voters will react to
    Obamacare.
  • All US troops could be
    leaving Afghanistan next year after all, as the Afghan president is
    declining to sign a security agreement that would keep some of them
    there after the planned combat troop withdrawal in 2014.
  • A group of bipartisan senators is
    drafting
    legislation on new sanctions against Iran, just in
    case.
  • An actress from Texas accused of sending ricin to President
    Obama and other public figures in an attempt to frame her husband
    will
    take
    a plea deal from prosecutors.
  • The commander of the Free Syrian Army
    says
    the rebel group will not join January peace talks in
    Geneva. He wants weapons for his fighters instead.
  • Anti-government protesters in Bangkok have
    seized
    portions of several state buildings in month-long
    demonstrations against Thailand’s prime minister.
  • A UN deputy secretary general
    warned
    that the Central African Republic is descending into
    “complete chaos.” France will
    send
    1,000 troops for a planned UN mission in the country.
  • Bitcoin Black Friday is a
    thing
    this year.

Follow Reason and Reason 24/7 on
Twitter, and like us on Facebook.
  You
can also get the top stories mailed to
you—
sign
up here.
 

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from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/11/26/am-links-john-boehner-signs-up-for-obama
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China Bond Yields Soar To 9 Year Highs As It Launches Crackdown On “Off Balance Sheet” Credit

As we showed very vividly yesterday, while the world is comfortably distracted with mundane questions of whether the Fed will taper this, the BOJ will untaper that, or if the ECB will finally rebel against an “oppressive” German regime where math and logic still matter, the real story – with $3.5 trillion in asset (and debt) creation per year, is China. China, however, is increasingly aware that in the grand scheme of things, its credit spigot is the marginal driver of global liquidity, which is great of the rest of the world, but with an epic accumulation of bad debt and NPLs, all the downside is left for China while the upside is shared with the world, and especially the NY, London, and SF housing markets. Which is why it was not surprising to learn that China has drafted rules banning banks from evading lending limits by structuring loans to other financial institutions so that they can be recorded as asset sales, Bloomberg reports.

Specifically, China appears to be targeting that little-discussed elsewhere component of finance, shadow banking. Per Bloomberg, the regulations drawn up by the China Banking Regulatory Commission impose restrictions on lenders’ interbank business by banning borrowers from using resale or repurchase agreements to move assets off their balance sheets. Banks would also be required to take provisions on such assets while the transactions are in effect. Ironically, it may be that soon China will be more advanced in recognizing the various exposures of shadow banking than the US, which is still wallowing under FAS 140 which allows banks to book a repo as both an asset and a liability. 

Recall from a Matt King footnote in his seminal “Are the Brokers Broken?”

Quite apart from the fact that FAS 140 contradicts itself (with paragraph 15 (d) making borrowed versus pledged transactions off balance sheet, and paragraph 94 making them on balance sheet, a topic complained about by many broker-dealers immediately after its issue), there seems to be little consensus as to who is the borrower and who is the lender. As far as we can tell, terms like ‘borrower’ and ‘lender’ are used in exactly the opposite sense in the accounting regulations relative to standard market practice. The description above follows common market practice. The accounting documents seem to refer to this the other way around, a source of confusion commented upon in some of the accounting literature

So while in the US one may be a borrower or a lender at the same time courtesy of lax regulatory shadow banking definition (depending on how much the FASB has been bribed by the highest bidder), in China things will very soon become far more distinct:

The rules would add to measures this year tightening oversight of lending, such as limits on investments by wealth management products and an audit of local government debt, on concerns that bad loans will mount. The deputy head of the Communist Party’s main finance and economic policy body warned last week that one or two small banks may fail next year because of their reliance on short-term interbank borrowing.

 

“China’s banks and regulators are playing this cat-and-mouse game in which the banks constantly come up with new gimmicks to bypass regulations,” Wendy Tang, a Shanghai-based analyst at Northeast Securities Co., said by phone. “The CBRC has no choice but to impose bans on their interbank business, which in recent years has become a high-leverage financing tool and may at some point threaten financial stability.”

Cutting all the fluff aside, what China is doing is effectively cracking down on the the wild and unchecked repo market, and specifically re-re-rehypothecation, which allows one bank to reuse the same ‘asset’ countless times, and allow it to appear in numerous balance sheets.

The proposed rules target a practice where one bank buys an asset from another and sells it back at a higher price after an agreed period.

The reason why China is suddenly concerned about shadow banking is that it has exploded as a source of funding in recent years:

Mid-sized Chinese banks got 23 percent of their funding and capital from the interbank market at the end of 2012, compared with 9 percent for the largest state-owned banks, Moody’s Investors Service said in June. The ratings company forecast a further increase in non-performing loans as weaker borrowers find it hard to refinance.

And while we are confident Chinese financial geniuses will find ways to bypass this attempt to curb breakneck credit expansion in due course, in the meantime, Chinese liquidity conditions are certain to get far tighter.

This is precisely the WSJ reported overnight, when it observed that yields on Chinese government debt have soared to their highest levels in nearly nine years amid Beijing’s relentless drive to tighten the monetary spigots in the world’s second-largest economy. “The higher yields on government debt have pushed up borrowing costs broadly, creating obstacles for companies and government agencies looking to tap bond markets. Several Chinese development banks, which have mandates to encourage growth through targeted investments, have had to either scale back borrowing plans or postpone bond sales.”

This should not come as a surprise in the aftermath of the recent spotlight on China’s biggest tabboo topic of all: the soaring bad debt, which is the weakest link in the entire, $25 trillion Chinese financial system (by bank assets). So while the Fed endlessly dithers about whether to taper, or not to taper, China is very quietly moving to do just that. Only the market has finally noticed:

The slowing pace of bond sales from earlier in the year is reviving worries of reduced credit and soaring funding costs that were sparked in June, when China’s debt markets were rattled by a cash crunch.

 

The rise in borrowing costs and shrinking access to credit could undercut the recent uptick in China’s economy that global investors in stock, commodity and currency markets have cheered. Wobbly growth in China could undermine economic recovery in the rest of the world.

 

“If borrowing costs don’t fall in time, whether the real economy could bear the burden is a big question,” said Wendy Chen, an economist at Nomura Securities.

 

Chinese bond yields are rising amid a lack of demand among the big banks, pension funds and other institutional money managers, analysts say. These investors, traditionally the heavyweights in China’s bond market, have seen their funding costs rise in tandem with interbank lending rates, which are controlled by China’s central bank. The country’s bond market is largely closed to foreign investors.

 

The yield on China’s benchmark 10-year government bond was at 4.65% Monday, down from 4.71% Friday. Last Wednesday’s 4.72% was the highest since January 2005, according to data providers WIND Info and Thomson Reuters. The record is 4.88% set in November 2004. Bond yields and prices move in opposite directions.

 

“The recent sharp rise in bond yields was mostly due to worsening funding conditions and growing expectations for a tighter monetary policy as Beijing seeks to deleverage the economy,” said Duan Jihua, deputy general manager at Guohai Securities.

 

As government-bond yields have risen, the average yield on debt issued by China’s highest-rated companies rose to 6.21% as of Friday—the highest since 2006, when WIND Info began compiling the data.

In conclusion, it goes without saying that should China suddenly be hit with the double whammy of regulatory tightening in both shadow and traditional funding liquidity conduits, that things for the world’s biggest and fastest creator of excess liquidity are going to turn much worse. We showed as much yesterday:

If the Chinese liquidity spigot – which makes the Fed’s and BOJ’s QE both pale by comparison – is indeed turned off, however briefly, then quietly look for the exit doors.


    



via Zero Hedge http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~3/BaaUyN4AYc4/story01.htm Tyler Durden

China Bond Yields Soar To 9 Year Highs As It Launches Crackdown On "Off Balance Sheet" Credit

As we showed very vividly yesterday, while the world is comfortably distracted with mundane questions of whether the Fed will taper this, the BOJ will untaper that, or if the ECB will finally rebel against an “oppressive” German regime where math and logic still matter, the real story – with $3.5 trillion in asset (and debt) creation per year, is China. China, however, is increasingly aware that in the grand scheme of things, its credit spigot is the marginal driver of global liquidity, which is great of the rest of the world, but with an epic accumulation of bad debt and NPLs, all the downside is left for China while the upside is shared with the world, and especially the NY, London, and SF housing markets. Which is why it was not surprising to learn that China has drafted rules banning banks from evading lending limits by structuring loans to other financial institutions so that they can be recorded as asset sales, Bloomberg reports.

Specifically, China appears to be targeting that little-discussed elsewhere component of finance, shadow banking. Per Bloomberg, the regulations drawn up by the China Banking Regulatory Commission impose restrictions on lenders’ interbank business by banning borrowers from using resale or repurchase agreements to move assets off their balance sheets. Banks would also be required to take provisions on such assets while the transactions are in effect. Ironically, it may be that soon China will be more advanced in recognizing the various exposures of shadow banking than the US, which is still wallowing under FAS 140 which allows banks to book a repo as both an asset and a liability. 

Recall from a Matt King footnote in his seminal “Are the Brokers Broken?”

Quite apart from the fact that FAS 140 contradicts itself (with paragraph 15 (d) making borrowed versus pledged transactions off balance sheet, and paragraph 94 making them on balance sheet, a topic complained about by many broker-dealers immediately after its issue), there seems to be little consensus as to who is the borrower and who is the lender. As far as we can tell, terms like ‘borrower’ and ‘lender’ are used in exactly the opposite sense in the accounting regulations relative to standard market practice. The description above follows common market practice. The accounting documents seem to refer to this the other way around, a source of confusion commented upon in some of the accounting literature

So while in the US one may be a borrower or a lender at the same time courtesy of lax regulatory shadow banking definition (depending on how much the FASB has been bribed by the highest bidder), in China things will very soon become far more distinct:

The rules would add to measures this year tightening oversight of lending, such as limits on investments by wealth management products and an audit of local government debt, on concerns that bad loans will mount. The deputy head of the Communist Party’s main finance and economic policy body warned last week that one or two small banks may fail next year because of their reliance on short-term interbank borrowing.

 

“China’s banks and regulators are playing this cat-and-mouse game in which the banks constantly come up with new gimmicks to bypass regulations,” Wendy Tang, a Shanghai-based analyst at Northeast Securities Co., said by phone. “The CBRC has no choice but to impose bans on their interbank business, which in recent years has become a high-leverage financing tool and may at some point threaten financial stability.”

Cutting all the fluff aside, what China is doing is effectively cracking down on the the wild and unchecked repo market, and specifically re-re-rehypothecation, which allows one bank to reuse the same ‘asset’ countless times, and allow it to appear in numerous balance sheets.

The proposed rules target a practice where one bank buys an asset from another and sells it back at a higher price after an agreed period.

The reason why China is suddenly concerned about shadow banking is that it has exploded as a source of funding in recent years:

Mid-sized Chinese banks got 23 percent of their funding and capital from the interbank market at the end of 2012, compared with 9 percent for the largest state-owned banks, Moody’s Investors Service said in June. The ratings company forecast a further increase in non-performing loans as weaker borrowers find it hard to refinance.

And while we are confident Chinese financial geniuses will find ways to bypass this attempt to curb breakneck credit expansion in due course, in the meantime, Chinese liquidity conditions are certain to get far tighter.

This is precisely the WSJ reported overnight, when it observed that yields on Chinese government debt have soared to their highest levels in nearly nine years amid Beijing’s relentless drive to tighten the monetary spigots in the world’s second-largest economy. “The higher yields on government debt have pushed up borrowing costs broadly, creating obstacles for companies and government agencies looking to tap bond markets. Several Chinese development banks, which have mandates to encourage growth through targeted investments, have had to either scale back borrowing plans or postpone bond sales.”

This should not come as a surprise in the aftermath of the recent spotlight on China’s biggest tabboo topic of all: the soaring bad debt, which is the weakest link in the entire, $25 trillion Chinese financial system (by bank assets). So while the Fed endlessly dithers about whether to taper, or not to taper, China is very quietly moving to do just that. Only the market has finally noticed:

The slowing pace of bond sales from earlier in the year is reviving worries of reduced credit and soaring funding costs that were sparked in June, when China’s debt markets were rattled by a cash crunch.

 

The rise in borrowing costs and shrinking access to credit could undercut the recent uptick in China’s economy that global investors in stock, commodity and currency markets have cheered. Wobbly growth in China could undermine economic recovery in the rest of the world.

 

“If borrowing costs don’t fall in time, whether the real economy could bear the burden is a big question,” said Wendy Chen, an economist at Nomura Securities.

 

Chinese bond yields are rising amid a lack of demand among the big banks, pension funds and other institutional money managers, analysts say. These investors, traditionally the heavyweights in China’s bond market, have seen their funding costs rise in tandem with interbank lending rates, which are controlled by China’s central bank. The country’s bond market is largely closed to foreign investors.

 

The yield on China’s benchmark 10-year government bond was at 4.65% Monday, down from 4.71% Friday. Last Wednesday’s 4.72% was the highest since January 2005, according to data providers WIND Info and Thomson Reuters. The record is 4.88% set in November 2004. Bond yields and prices move in opposite directions.

 

“The recent sharp rise in bond yields was mostly due to worsening funding conditions and growing expectations for a tighter monetary policy as Beijing seeks to deleverage the economy,” said Duan Jihua, deputy general manager at Guohai Securities.

 

As government-bond yields have risen, the average yield on debt issued by China’s highest-rated companies rose to 6.21% as of Friday—the highest since 2006, when WIND Info began compiling the data.

In conclusion, it goes without saying that should China suddenly be hit with the double whammy of regulatory tightening in both shadow and traditional funding liquidity conduits, that things for the world’s biggest and fastest creator of excess liquidity are going to turn much worse. We showed as much yesterday:

If the Chinese liquidity spigot – which makes the Fed’s and BOJ’s QE both pale by comparison – is indeed turned off, however briefly, then quietly look for the exit doors.


    



via Zero Hedge http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~3/BaaUyN4AYc4/story01.htm Tyler Durden

China Gold Rush Continues – World’s Largest Jeweller Sees 49% Jump In Sales

Today’s AM fix was USD 1,250.75, EUR 923.88 and GBP 773.69 per ounce.
Yesterday’s AM fix was USD 1,231.75, EUR 911.60 and GBP 760.57 per ounce.

Gold rose $5.60 or 0.45% yesterday, closing at $1,248.80/oz. Silver climbed $0.15 or 0.25% closing at $20.02/oz. Platinum rose $3.19 or 0.2% to $1,380.99/oz, while palladium inched up $6.11 or 0.9% to $712.52/oz.


Gold in U.S. Dollars, 3 Days – (Bloomberg)

Gold was trading near a one-week high today and is turning higher for the week, due to short-covering gains and the market questioning the Iran deal.

Comex had to suspend gold futures trading yesterday again – again for 20 seconds due to a massive sell order that led to just a $10 price fall.

Comex trading was halted for December gold futures at 6:02:24 a.m. GMT yesterday, Damon Leavell, a CME Group Inc. spokesman in New York, said in an e-mail. This led to gold falling to a 4 and a ½ month low near $1,225 an ounce before recovering from the massive sell order. Questions regarding gold manipulation continue to be asked including by Bloomberg (see link) overnight.

While the focus of the Bloomberg story is regarding possible rigging on the London AM Fix, regulators in the U.S. including the CFTC may need to reopen their investigation into manipulation of the gold market after the highly irregular trading on the COMEX last Wednesday and again early on Monday morning.

Without the massive sell order that shut down the COMEX for 20 seconds, gold prices would have been higher yesterday. That one trade pushed gold prices lower as European markets opened up and created very significant short term negative sentiment towards gold.  It led to dozens of headlines that flew around the world which said that gold prices had fallen due to the Iran deal.

IN CHINA, THE GOLD RUSH CONTINUES as Chinese people buy jewellery, coins and bars as a store of wealth to protect from inflation.

The world’s largest jewellery group, Chow Tai Fook Jewellery Group Ltd. , established in 1929, saw sales jumped 49% during the first half of 2013.


Gold in U.S. Dollars, 24 Hours – (Bloomberg)

It posted a first-half profit that beat analyst estimates as the drop in gold prices drove strong Chinese demand for gold. Net income almost doubled to HK$3.5 billion ($451.5 million) from a year earlier for the six months ended September 30, it said in a statement to Hong Kong’s stock exchange today.

Jewelers in China and throughout Asia are benefiting from continuing robust demand for gold. This has led Chow Tai Fook and jewellery outlets having to buy gold bars and rebuild gold inventories.

Retail sales of gold tripled across China after the peculiar “flash crash” of April 15-16 when gold fell 10% in two days. Demand has remained robust and the recent weakness has seen continued demand.

Founded in 1929 in the southern Chinese city of Guangzhou, the jeweller was named after its founder Chow Chi Yuen. “Tai Fook” means “big blessing” in Chinese.

Markets await the release of a batch of U.S. economic reports, including  U.S. housing starts and building permits for October, along with two home-price indexes and consumer-confidence numbers.

GoldCore were interviewed over the weekend about the huge increase in Chinese demand for gold in recent years and how it is sustainable. The video can be watched here:
VIDEO: “China’s Insatiable Demand For GOLD Causing PARADIGM SHIFT”


Gold Prices / Fixes / Rates / Vols – (Bloomberg)

Click Gold News For This Week’s Breaking Gold And Silver News
Click Gold and Silver Commentary For This Week’s Leading Gold, Silver Opinion
Like Our YouTube Page For The Latest Insights, Documentaries and Interviews
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via Zero Hedge http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/zerohedge/feed/~3/Pfqq-V36fXs/story01.htm GoldCore

The Boys Who Cried “Munich”

I shit you not. ||| Breitbart.comWas it really only 55 days ago that the
world—including the part inhabited by Republicans—rolled
its collective eyes
at U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry
bizarrely mischaracterizing the decision whether or not to bomb the
regime in Syria as our latest “Munich
moment
,” referencing the deservedly infamous 1938 Neville
Chamberlain/Edouard Daladier hand-over of Western Czechoslovakia to
Adolf Hitler without Czech input and despite the fact that Paris
was a military ally of Prague? Go ahead, watch Kerry haunt our
consciences with the warning that the eventual outcome of the
August/September Damascus deliberations would amount to
“appeasement”:

As conservative Rod Dreher
asked
at the time,

If American cruise missiles don’t fly into Damascus, will Assad
annex the Mideast equivalent of the Sudentenland? I am aware that
he is a nasty piece of work, but I am not aware that he is an
expansionist whose desires for Syrian lebensraum
threatens America’s vital interests.

Not even two months later, Munich is back with a vengeance, and
this time it’s conservatives leading the charge against the

six-country deal with Iran
over its nuclear program.

I'm sure she thought temporarily lifting economic sanctions from Iran was worse than letting Hitler swallow her homeland. ||| WikipediaIn The Wall Street
Journal
,
uber-hawk
Bret Stephens declared the agreement somehow
Worse
Than Munich
,” based on a sliding scale that takes into
consideration the comparative weakness of Britain and France. (As
long as we’re doing historical comps here, it’s worth noting that
2013 Iran is to 1938 Germany what a flea is to a Tyrannosaurus
Rex.) You can calibrate Stephens’s precise level of foreign policy
seriousness with this passage:

After World War II the U.S. created a global system of security
alliances to prevent the kind of foreign policy freelancing that is
again becoming rampant in the Middle East. It worked until
President Obama decided in his wisdom to throw it away.

Over at Breitbart.com, Ben Shapiro also produces a “Worse
Than Munich
” verdict, which suggests that the next Mideast
crisis two months from now will generate such interventionist
headlines as “Twice As Bad as Munich,” or for the
space-conscious, perhaps “Munich Cubed.” Here’s Shapiro’s
Shaperiousness:

[I]n truth, the west’s appeasement of Iran is significantly
worse than its appeasement of Hitler in 1938, for a variety of
reasons. First, as of 1938, Hitler had not yet made clear his plans
to exterminate European Jewry. He was still attempting to ship
European Jews out of Europe; the Final Solution was not formally
adopted until 1941. Iran has made clear its desire to wipe Israel
off the map. Its current leader, supposed moderate Hassan Rouhani,
has refused to acknowledge the Holocaust as historically
accurate, participated
in a rally
calling for Israel’s destruction, and according to
Iranian press reports, stated, “The Zionist regime is a wound that
has sat on the body of the Muslim world for years and needs to be
removed.” Yet the Obama administration wants to pretend he is a
moderate.

Sure, Hitler demanded—successfully!—that whole swaths of other
countries be ceded to him without their consent, and yes, if Iran
tried that with a neighbor it would be blown to smithereens by
history’s most powerful military, but that Rouhani character
participated in a rally!

This illustration is more intellectually serious than the blockquoted text to its left. |||Heritage Foundation foreign
policy VP James Carafano headlines his National Review
objection as “Munich
II
.” Watch Carafano’s tank think:

The British think the deal with Iran makes sense. Then, again,
it was a British government that believed Munich meant we could all
get a good night’s sleep now.

The Russians laud the deal. But it was a government in Moscow
that believed the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact solved all its
problems.

Our White House likes this deal. But, our White House also
thinks its policies in Iraq, Libya, Egypt, and Syria have been just
super.

I happened to be on The Blaze network with Carafano the other
week talking about this very subject (he sincerely believes we’re
heading for a nuclear winter in the Middle East), and I had the
chance to ask him: OK, President Carafano, what would YOU do to
more boldly confront this situation?
His answer? Give
sanctions more time to work. While I appreciate an answer that
doesn’t involve immediate U.S. bombardment, the Hitler
analogy begs the question: If Nazis they truly be, how can anything
be appropriate short of war?

Establishmentarian hawk Charles Krauthammer engages in neither
grade inflation nor apples-to-apples comparison; instead, simply
It
is the worst deal since Munich
.” 

Of course, it is no such thing. The Yalta Conference of
1945
consigned a whole half-continent to subjugation under an
evil communist empire, and American diplomats have been apologizing
ever since
. Agreeing to temporarily lift economic sanctions on
a single country is not within the same moral time zone as
sentencing entire nations to a half-century of abject
misery. 

More Munich/Chamberlain/appeasement talk from
Rep. Tom Cotton
(R-Arkansas), William
Kristol
,
John Bolton
,
Cal Thomas
,
Daniel Pipes
, and Beverly Hills Courier Publisher

Clif “One F” Smith
. More historical Reason pushback on
the analogy, and the unsound places it has taken U.S. foreign
policy, here.

Ach, yo. ||| Radio PragueBad historical analogies do not convert the
targets of their criticism to good international decisions. But
they do suggest an
intellectual rot
among those who are once again
banging the drums
for preventative Middle Eastern war. All
recent history points to treating their most recent claims with a
prophylactic skepticism, and recognizing their go-to
analogy
as a crude, ahistorical gimmick to escalate military
confrontation.

Bonus cinematic history trivia: Did you know
that the great Czech movie director Miloš Forman was
this close
to making a French-financed film about the
ill-fated agreement, titled
The Ghost of Munich
, with a screenplay co-writing
credit by Václav Havel himself? Alas, the 2008 financial crisis
doomed the
thing
.

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/11/26/the-boys-who-cried-munich
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The Boys Who Cried "Munich"

I shit you not. ||| Breitbart.comWas it really only 55 days ago that the
world—including the part inhabited by Republicans—rolled
its collective eyes
at U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry
bizarrely mischaracterizing the decision whether or not to bomb the
regime in Syria as our latest “Munich
moment
,” referencing the deservedly infamous 1938 Neville
Chamberlain/Edouard Daladier hand-over of Western Czechoslovakia to
Adolf Hitler without Czech input and despite the fact that Paris
was a military ally of Prague? Go ahead, watch Kerry haunt our
consciences with the warning that the eventual outcome of the
August/September Damascus deliberations would amount to
“appeasement”:

As conservative Rod Dreher
asked
at the time,

If American cruise missiles don’t fly into Damascus, will Assad
annex the Mideast equivalent of the Sudentenland? I am aware that
he is a nasty piece of work, but I am not aware that he is an
expansionist whose desires for Syrian lebensraum
threatens America’s vital interests.

Not even two months later, Munich is back with a vengeance, and
this time it’s conservatives leading the charge against the

six-country deal with Iran
over its nuclear program.

I'm sure she thought temporarily lifting economic sanctions from Iran was worse than letting Hitler swallow her homeland. ||| WikipediaIn The Wall Street
Journal
,
uber-hawk
Bret Stephens declared the agreement somehow
Worse
Than Munich
,” based on a sliding scale that takes into
consideration the comparative weakness of Britain and France. (As
long as we’re doing historical comps here, it’s worth noting that
2013 Iran is to 1938 Germany what a flea is to a Tyrannosaurus
Rex.) You can calibrate Stephens’s precise level of foreign policy
seriousness with this passage:

After World War II the U.S. created a global system of security
alliances to prevent the kind of foreign policy freelancing that is
again becoming rampant in the Middle East. It worked until
President Obama decided in his wisdom to throw it away.

Over at Breitbart.com, Ben Shapiro also produces a “Worse
Than Munich
” verdict, which suggests that the next Mideast
crisis two months from now will generate such interventionist
headlines as “Twice As Bad as Munich,” or for the
space-conscious, perhaps “Munich Cubed.” Here’s Shapiro’s
Shaperiousness:

[I]n truth, the west’s appeasement of Iran is significantly
worse than its appeasement of Hitler in 1938, for a variety of
reasons. First, as of 1938, Hitler had not yet made clear his plans
to exterminate European Jewry. He was still attempting to ship
European Jews out of Europe; the Final Solution was not formally
adopted until 1941. Iran has made clear its desire to wipe Israel
off the map. Its current leader, supposed moderate Hassan Rouhani,
has refused to acknowledge the Holocaust as historically
accurate, participated
in a rally
calling for Israel’s destruction, and according to
Iranian press reports, stated, “The Zionist regime is a wound that
has sat on the body of the Muslim world for years and needs to be
removed.” Yet the Obama administration wants to pretend he is a
moderate.

Sure, Hitler demanded—successfully!—that whole swaths of other
countries be ceded to him without their consent, and yes, if Iran
tried that with a neighbor it would be blown to smithereens by
history’s most powerful military, but that Rouhani character
participated in a rally!

This illustration is more intellectually serious than the blockquoted text to its left. |||Heritage Foundation foreign
policy VP James Carafano headlines his National Review
objection as “Munich
II
.” Watch Carafano’s tank think:

The British think the deal with Iran makes sense. Then, again,
it was a British government that believed Munich meant we could all
get a good night’s sleep now.

The Russians laud the deal. But it was a government in Moscow
that believed the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact solved all its
problems.

Our White House likes this deal. But, our White House also
thinks its policies in Iraq, Libya, Egypt, and Syria have been just
super.

I happened to be on The Blaze network with Carafano the other
week talking about this very subject (he sincerely believes we’re
heading for a nuclear winter in the Middle East), and I had the
chance to ask him: OK, President Carafano, what would YOU do to
more boldly confront this situation?
His answer? Give
sanctions more time to work. While I appreciate an answer that
doesn’t involve immediate U.S. bombardment, the Hitler
analogy begs the question: If Nazis they truly be, how can anything
be appropriate short of war?

Establishmentarian hawk Charles Krauthammer engages in neither
grade inflation nor apples-to-apples comparison; instead, simply
It
is the worst deal since Munich
.” 

Of course, it is no such thing. The Yalta Conference of
1945
consigned a whole half-continent to subjugation under an
evil communist empire, and American diplomats have been apologizing
ever since
. Agreeing to temporarily lift economic sanctions on
a single country is not within the same moral time zone as
sentencing entire nations to a half-century of abject
misery. 

More Munich/Chamberlain/appeasement talk from
Rep. Tom Cotton
(R-Arkansas), William
Kristol
,
John Bolton
,
Cal Thomas
,
Daniel Pipes
, and Beverly Hills Courier Publisher

Clif “One F” Smith
. More historical Reason pushback on
the analogy, and the unsound places it has taken U.S. foreign
policy, here.

Ach, yo. ||| Radio PragueBad historical analogies do not convert the
targets of their criticism to good international decisions. But
they do suggest an
intellectual rot
among those who are once again
banging the drums
for preventative Middle Eastern war. All
recent history points to treating their most recent claims with a
prophylactic skepticism, and recognizing their go-to
analogy
as a crude, ahistorical gimmick to escalate military
confrontation.

Bonus cinematic history trivia: Did you know
that the great Czech movie director Miloš Forman was
this close
to making a French-financed film about the
ill-fated agreement, titled
The Ghost of Munich
, with a screenplay co-writing
credit by Václav Havel himself? Alas, the 2008 financial crisis
doomed the
thing
.

from Hit & Run http://reason.com/blog/2013/11/26/the-boys-who-cried-munich
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