What to Do When You Have To Bear Stomping From Your Neighbor Upstairs?

Ideally, you’ll be living in perfect las vegas apartments with no neighbors upstairs, but in reality that may not be the case. While different buildings can carry noise in a different manner, it can be stressful to bear stomping from your neighbors upstairs and it can’t let you sleep, making you to hate it when you are home. Continue reading →

The Raiders Robbed Las Vegas In America’s Worst Stadium Deal

The Raiders Robbed Las Vegas In America’s Worst Stadium Deal

When the Las Vegas Raiders kick off in 2020, they’ll be playing in the most expensive stadium in the world. The total projected cost of the site checks in at around $1.9 billion, a number topped only by the Rams’ and Chargers’ new complex in Inglewood that will cost approximately $2.1B, though that number reflects the complete redevelopment of a section of Los Angeles including the construction of retail and commercial space. The team’s decision to move to the desert follows a protracted waltz between Raiders owner Mark Davis, the city of Oakland, the NFL, and Las Vegas power brokers like casino magnate and Republican mega-donor Sheldon Adelson. In three years the United States’ 40th largest media market—it sits behind such metropolises as Hartford and West Palm Beach—will be building a $1.9B stadium in the middle of the desert for a team that will take the field eight to 10 times a year. Nevada taxpayers will be shelling out for nearly half of the project.

The Las Vegas stadium is the new champion when it comes to extracting public largesse for private benefit, a distinguished title lineage that includes the Vikings’ new stadium, which was supposed to be paid for with electronic gambling that raised precisely zero dollars in its first year, or $35M less than expected; the new Braves’ stadium, upon which which Cobb County spent money earmarked for public parks; and Marlins Park, the skyrocketing costs of which will be costing Miami-Dade County through 2048.

At $750 million, it’s the largest direct public subsidy for a stadium ever granted, and Clark County will soon be floating a bond to raise all that money and raising hotel room taxes on the Strip by 0.88% in order to pay back their debt holders over the next 30 years. (A thing to keep in mind with all stadium subsidies: Even when the money comes from tourist taxes or a general fund, the opportunity cost of losing what that money could have been spent on is just as real.)

Clark County’s decision to shunt the tax burden onto tourists isn’t the worst tactic in the world—after all plenty of stadiums are built on the back of sales taxes and interest-free loans, which are bald ways of saying “fuck you” to taxpayers. Las Vegas appears to be a good fit for this particular brand of debt vehicle because so much of its economy is based on people who don’t live there permanently. The massive—and constant—influx of tourists pay a smattering of taxes on hotel rooms, gambling, alcohol, and entertainment that account for nearly half of the state’s general fund revenue; hotel room taxes make up nearly 17 cents of every dollar in Nevada’s general budget by themselves.

But here’s the problem: 30 years is a long time and recessions hit the hotel and entertainment industries especially hard—no one wants to pay $200 to see Celine Dion when they’re behind on their mortgage payments. Hotel revenues on the Strip took a nosedive during the 2008 housing crash, only reaching pre-recession levels in 2014, according to a database kept by the UNLV Center for Gaming Research. Another recession—or, really, a set of recessions since we’re talking about three decades—will send those tax revenues south and leave the county and state scrambling to pay their debt installments one way or another. And, since Clark County has forfeited the right to collect any rent, solicit property taxes, or collect additional revenue streams from the stadium they’re shelling out three quarters of a billion dollars to build, that could spell disaster. (Cincinnati had to sell a public hospital in order to pay off loans for the Bengals’ Stadium, so yes, this scenario has embarrassing precedent.)

Even more money will be sunk into this project. The total public cost will eventually balloon by at least another $200M thanks to infrastructure improvements in the area surrounding the site, including reconfiguring intersections and building additional highway ramps to relieve traffic near the stadium. That cost will be paid through another set of bonds backed by gasolines taxes, a dwindling revenue pool that is pledged to transportation projects like roadway maintenance. Nevada voters approved a considerable fuel tax hike that will phase in over the next decade in order to pay for some much-needed maintenance projects back in November of 2016. Two weeks ago, Clark County officials “implored” transportation officials to put the stadium-area improvements on an accelerated schedule.

These sort of ancillary handouts hardly ever get mentioned in the national press due to what I suspect is a genuine disinterest in the minutiae of city planning and traffic studies. (As a professional planner myself I am insulted by that apathy.) But when a stadium gets a dedicated highway exit or a subway stop or a reorganized traffic pattern that lets people enter and exit the grounds quickly, it becomes an indirect subsidy that directly benefits a single business owner at the expense of all taxpayers.

The incompetence—or skullduggery, depending on your perspective—of this deal really comes into focus when you consider how little leverage Mark Davis had in the first place and how badly the citizens of Clark County got screwed by the people elected to represent them.

In December of last year, Oakland officials voted to negotiate the development of a new $1.3B stadium to replace the dilapidated Oakland Coliseum. Alameda county and the city of Oakland only agreed to kick in $350M from public coffers: a land grant worth $150M and infrastructure improvements worth $200M. The deal to stay in Oakland, while still threaded with significant public subsidies, was the only one Davis had on the table at the time, giving Las Vegas and Clark County prime position to push for more concessions. Instead, they tripped over themselves writing the Raiders a check for $750 million and promising a mess of additional revenue streams. “They were negotiating with a team owner who had few other good options,” Neil deMause, editor of the site Field of Schemes and author of a book of the same name, told me via email. “They could have driven a much tougher bargain and didn’t.”

There’s no secret as to why the Raiders are trying to keep every cent the stadium will eventually make: Mark Davis is broke. Well, as broke as an NFL owner can be at least. He’s still worth $500 million, but, unlike Jerry Jones or Robert Kraft, Davis’s team represents almost the entirety of his wealth. (Davis once complained to the New York Times that all the other owners “think I have no money.”) Davis wouldn’t share revenue from personal seat licenses (PSLs) or naming rights or parking because he quite honestly couldn’t afford to, lest he be forced out of the league. So he had his team write up a lease that pointed every revenue stream back to the Raiders and kicked Sheldon Adelson— the billionaire casino mogul with every Nevada politician in his pocket, the guy that was instrumental in securing a $750M public subsidy for a new stadium—to the curb.

In case you’ve forgotten, Adelson isn’t really the type of guy you just fuck over in Las Vegas. He’s the city’s richest resident, and a guy who has isn’t interested in the gentle science of optics, based on his recent purchase of the Las Vegas Review-Journal, the city’s largest paper. Several senior staff members quit following Adelson’s purchase of the daily, and it was reported by Politico that the paper’s new publisher has been retroactively removing critical facts about the construction and funding of the stadium.

Adelson claims he was kept in the dark when Mark Davis released a bonkers draft lease proposal that siphoned every available revenue stream directly back to the Raiders and demanded the team play in the stadium rent-free for 30 years. “”[The agreement] was certainly shocking to the Adelson family,” Adelson said in a statement days after the lease proposal was handed over to the county commission, “We were not only excluded from the proposed agreement; we weren’t even aware of its existence.”

“Give Mark Davis credit,” said deMause, “He dumped Adelson, the guy who had absolutely everything when it comes to political and financial leverage. Adelson was stupid. He thought they were going to be partners and that they’d figure out how to split the revenues after the stadium deal was done.” DeMause acknowledges that Davis has a reputation around the league for being a dingus, but believes the Raiders owner outmaneuvered some of the most cutthroat folks in America on his way to a cherry stadium deal.

“It was like the shit that happens in a heist movie: the partner shoots the other guy and takes all the money,” deMause said, “Congratulations to Mark Davis who had no way to extract a lot of money from any city and yet managed to play everyone.”

(Davis’s bilking of Adelson was expertly memorialized by Seth Wickersham and Don Van Natta Jr. for ESPN The Magazine back in April. The whole saga is worth your time if only to read about Adelson getting fucked over by a guy who does all his business at the bar at P.F. Chang’s.)

But Davis’s one-sided lease deal is only part of the story. After Bank of America stepped in at the 11th hour to fill Adelson’s funding gap with a $650M loan, Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak openly questioned the source of the bank’s confidence in the Raiders’ ability to repay their debt on schedule. In March, Sisolak told the San Jose Mercury News that “Adelson said he couldn’t get a 2% return on his $650 million. That is $13 million a year. A regularly structured deal on $650 million amortized over 30 years, the principal is $20 million a year. With just a 4% interest rate it would cost an additional $26 million annually,” he said, “Where are they going to get $46 million a year?”

I know you just saw a lot of numbers, so let me try and explain: Adelson likely wouldn’t have walked out on the deal if he thought he was going to get a good return for his family’s investment, even if he wasn’t entitled to other revenue streams like PSLs or naming rights. Sisolak, who was reportedly instrumental in connecting Davis and Adelson, and was a vigorous booster of the Las Vegas stadium project from the outset, is saying here that this stadium is such a bad investment that a 2% return was infeasible. Two percent. That sort of yield is what you’d expect from the most secure debt in the world—think Swedish or Norwegian treasury bills—not from a $1.9B dome in the middle of the desert. Sisolak is claiming, bluntly, that whatever revenue projections the Raiders have come up with are either misleading or ignorant or both.

Sisolak isn’t the only one trying to make sense of the team’s fuzzy math. Roger Noll, director of the Program in Regulatory Policy in the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research and author of Sports, Jobs, and Taxes: The Economic Impact of Sports Teams and Stadiums, has said the stadium plan was the “worst deal for a city” he had ever seen, and that the revenue projections are a “a catenation of optimistic assumptions” with a “probability…pretty close to zero.”

“In order for this deal not to be a direct transfer of $750 million to Mark Davis,” Noll told me, “the numbers need to bear out. The problem is they won’t. So the issue then becomes: How badly do the numbers miss their targets?”

Noll thinks that the new loan deal the Raiders struck with Bank of America was the only way Davis could come out of this with positive cash flow, and that the only conceivable way they were able to secure that much debt would be to put up the same revenue streams that Adelson coveted as collateral. “Davis has no collateral he can put up,” Noll told me, “so he puts up the PSLs, the stadium naming rights, the sponsorships, etc. and you start getting near the loan threshold with all those things.”

And remember, the Raiders will be playing in this shiny new dome completely free during the term of their lease, which dampens the team’s risk even more. “They just need to sell enough tickets and popcorn to break even,” Noll said, “Davis made a deal that allows him to come out on the other side making a lot of money.”

The loan details haven’t been made public, but the NFL’s executive vice president has said the deal is “traditionally structured” which means Davis must have pledged enough collateral to make Bank of America comfortable with the deal. It’s widely assumed that the $650M loan will be paid back with the aforementioned PSL sales and other concessions over the next 30 years. What’s important to understand about the stadium’s funding mechanism is that there is a massive partitioning of risk: Unless the NFL ceases to exist in its current form, Mark Davis and his backers aren’t in serious jeopardy of losing any money. Davis will sell the seat licenses, he’ll overcharge for parking, he’ll get Soylent or Juicero to buy the naming rights, and Bank of America, the League, and the Raiders will come out ahead. The $750M that Clark County is putting up is much more precarious. They’re betting on a single stadium shifting consumer attitudes on a national scale, that tourists will flock to Vegas just to watch Derek Carr go 9-7 for the next half-dozen years. This deal is only risky for one party, and it’s not the one with the $15 haircut.

They say Las Vegas loves a sucker; this time it is the sucker. But is this the single most disastrous stadium deal in American history? Roger Noll at Stanford thinks it just may be, given Nevada and Clark County’s dependence on taxes reaped from the casino industry. “There will be a diminutive effect on hotels and tourism with the new bed tax,” he said, “if these people aren’t spending money on gambling that’s a real hit to the public coffer and the state will lose a significant amount of money.”

The tax hike may be modest but even small shifts in hotel occupancy rates could end up affecting the ability of the stadium authority to pay back its debt holders. “The viability of the project hinges on whether these additional events actually draw new tourists,” Noll said, “and the notion that tourism will be a big part of this is just silly. It was something convince local politicians that it was good for them.”

Noll has spent his career analyzing the economic impact of stadiums, and sees the Las Vegas Stadium project as an especially galling example of sunny projections used to fend off public criticisms. He told the Mercury News in March that, “Every single thing they made an assumption on has no prior experience anywhere else” and questioned the argument that the new stadium would draw considerably more tourists to the desert. “Why would they believe a half a million who would never visit Vegas would suddenly show up because there is a football stadium?”

That criticism is echoed by Neil deMause, though on the question of where this ranks among stadium swindles, he’s more circumspect after covering them for more than two decades. “That’s a tough competition,” he said, “Is the Raiders’ deal worse than the one the Indiana Pacers got where the public gave them a free arena and then paid hundred of millions more in operating expenses to keep the team? Is it worse than the St. Louis Rams ditching their lease agreement? Or the Yankees claiming they would build a new stadium with entirely private money that ended up costing the public over a billion dollars?”

DeMause’s point is well taken. The Las Vegas stadium isn’t some sort of unencroachable peak that public officials will point to and say “well at least we didn’t do that.” It’s just how stadiums are built now. They are direct donations from taxpayers to private industry, handouts to the richest people on earth who think nothing of charging you $13 for a shitty beer. It doesn’t matter whether this stadium is the worst deal in American history, because even if it is, it won’t be for very long.

T.M. Brown is an urban planner and freelance journalist living in New York. You can follow him on Twitter @TM_Brown.

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PHOTOS: Linkin Park Puts On Sold Out Performance to Kick Off CBS Radio’s SPF at The Chelsea Inside The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas

PHOTOS: Linkin Park Puts On Sold Out Performance to Kick Off CBS Radio’s SPF at The Chelsea Inside The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas

Linkin Park Puts On Sold Out Performance to Kick Off CBS Radio’s SPF at The Chelsea Inside The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas

Tonight (Friday, May 19), American rock band Linkin Park performed for a sold-out crowd to kick off CBS Radio’s SPF at The Chelsea inside The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas (Photo credit: Leavitt Wells / Kabik Photo Group / www.KabikPhotoGroup.com).

Linkin Park Puts On Sold Out Performance to Kick Off CBS Radio’s SPF at The Chelsea Inside The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas

Photo credit: Leavitt Wells / Kabik Photo Group / www.KabikPhotoGroup.com.

Tomorrow night (Saturday, May 20), SPF continues at Boulevard Pool with performances by DNCE, Hailee Steinfeld, Jason Derulo, Niall Horan and Post Malone.

Linkin Park Puts On Sold Out Performance to Kick Off CBS Radio’s SPF at The Chelsea Inside The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
Linkin Park Puts On Sold Out Performance to Kick Off CBS Radio’s SPF at The Chelsea Inside The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas

Photo credit: Leavitt Wells / Kabik Photo Group / www.KabikPhotoGroup.com

For a complete list of upcoming events and concerts at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, click HERE.

© 2017, VegasNews.com. All rights reserved.

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New Las Vegas casino-resort pushes opening date to 2020

New Las Vegas casino-resort pushes opening date to 2020

LAS VEGAS (AP) — A years-delayed multibillion-dollar casino-resort project on the Las Vegas Strip that would cater to the city’s Chinese and Chinese-American tourists announced Wednesday that it is pushing back its opening date by another year to 2020.

The new delay is the result of an overhaul of the original design meant to attract younger gamblers, said Edward Farrell, the veteran casino industry executive leading the $4 billion, 3,000-room Resorts World Las Vegas project.

The plans of Malaysia-based Genting Group for the site on the Strip’s northern end include a 100,000-square-foot (9,300-square-meter) casino, dining options of authentic Asian cuisine and retail space.

"The initial drawing had a lot of traditional, older Chinese architecture and elements that were within it," said Farrell, whose appointment was announced Wednesday. "The company has really taken a look at the market in Las Vegas throughout the past couple of years, and it has really shifted to something that’s much more modern."

He described the new design as "much more Shanghai than maybe Beijing, with technology and a modern looking feel."

Genting Group owns resort-casinos around the world and bought the Las Vegas property in 2013 from Boyd Gaming for $350 million. Boyd had started building a hotel complex on the site of the former Stardust casino when the recession hit, leaving the steel-and-concrete skeleton of the project standing dormant.

The original opening date for Resorts World Las Vegas was 2016, but the developer and the top-elected official in Clark County, where the property is located, said they are confident the project will be finished.

"There were a lot of stops and starts with this project, some redesigns, but from the dialogue we had this morning, I’m very convinced that they’ve got a plan moving forward, and they are committed to a specific timeframe," said Clark County commission chairman Steve Sisolak.

Farrell said the company has a list of finalists of potential contractors based in Las Vegas with experience building large Strip resorts.

Construction activity should start within months with the installation of tower cranes to start work on the casino structure and the hotel towers. A 3,000-space parking building has already been completed.

The design changes came as Las Vegas resort companies make changes to their properties in an attempt to lure more young gamblers with money to spend.

Follow Regina Garcia Cano on Twitter at https://twitter.com/reginagarciakNO / More of her work can be found at https://www.apnews.com/search/ReginaGarciaCano

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Mark Cuban Believes Raiders’ Move To Las Vegas Will ‘Backfire’ On NFL

Mark Cuban Believes Raiders’ Move To Las Vegas Will ‘Backfire’ On NFL

Between The Tackles: Patriots Position Battles, LeGarrette Blount UFA Tender

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Between The Tackles: Patriots Position Battles, LeGarrette Blount UFA Tender

Mark Cuban always speaks his mind, especially when it comes to the NFL.

The Dallas Mavericks outspoken owner went on ESPN and critiqued the NFL’s business model, mainly the Oakland Raiders’ move to Las Vegas, saying it will be a bad move for the league.

“Why? There’s just no good reason,” Cuban said, as transcribed by ProFootballTalk’s Michael David Smith. “It’s no disrespect to Las Vegas, it’s a great city and it’s vibrant. But they’re going to a smaller market, it’s transient, and it’s just another example of chasing every last dollar, and that tends to backfire.”

Cuban also famously said the NFL “would go bankrupt in 10 years,” back in 2014.

This, of course, isn’t just a vendetta against the NFL, as Cuban also was one of two NBA owners to vote against the Seattle Supersonics moving to Oklahoma City in 2008.

“It had nothing to do with Oklahoma City, Tulsa or the area here,” Cuban said in 2009, per NewsOK.com’s Darnell Mayberry. “It’s a great area. It wasn’t a reflection of what I thought of the area here. It’s just size.

“In a business where 100,000 viewers can make a difference between your television partners having great ratings or not having great ratings, losing a team in a larger market to me is a challenge. That’s really what it came down to.”

Only time will tell if Cuban is right, but unless the Raiders’ new stadium in Las Vegas is empty, we think the NFL will be just fine.

Thumbnail photo via Jerome Miron/USA TODAY Sports Images

WATCH: The 2-Minute Ritual That Can Burn 1 Pound Of Fat Every Day

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How To Make The Most Of Your Trip To Las Vegas

How To Make The Most Of Your Trip To Las Vegas

Las Vegas is a great place to visit and it is packed with things to do and see. It is also affordable and you can enjoy an amazing vacation without having to spend too much money. If you are thinking about spending some time in Las Vegas, follow these tips so you will get the most out of your vacation.

One of the first things you have to pay attention to when you are planning your trip to Las Vegas is your budget. It helps to have a budget that is set in stone before you start planning your trip. This saves time and makes it easier to choose hotels and activities.

You can usually find affordable flights to Las Vegas and the hotels are cheap. Spending the week touring the different casinos and their attractions are fun as well. Las Vegas has enough to do to keep anyone satisfied and you are never going to run out of things to do when you go.

Whether you want to gamble, watch shows, or eat some of the best food in the country, you can do it all in Las Vegas. Going to Las Vegas is fun and it is a place where you can let loose and really enjoy yourself. You can often find the best deals on hotels by using a travel website that allows you to compare hotel rates so you get the lowest one possible. You can compare customer reviews to see which hotels have the best reviews and still offer the price that you want.

If you are looking for an affordable vacation, you will definitely want to consider going to Las Vegas. You will find the best deals and you won’t have to spend too much money.

26-year-old Las Vegas woman fights to recover from paralysis

26-year-old Las Vegas woman fights to recover from paralysis

Jasmine Paule, who is partially paralyzed, is assisted by physical therapy assistants Lotty Caro, left, and DeeDee Ulsh while using an anti-gravity treadmill during a physical therapy session at Spring Valley Hospital in Las Vegas on Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Chase Stevens Las Vegas Review-Journal @csstevensphoto
Jasmine Paule, who is partially paralyzed, prepares to use an anti-gravity treadmill during a physical therapy session at Spring Valley Hospital in Las Vegas on Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Chase Stevens Las Vegas Review-Journal @csstevensphoto
Jasmine Paule, who is partially paralyzed, prepares to use an anti-gravity treadmill during a physical therapy session at Spring Valley Hospital in Las Vegas on Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Chase Stevens Las Vegas Review-Journal @csstevensphoto
Jasmine Paule, who is partially paralyzed, is assisted by physical therapy assistants Lotty Caro, left, and DeeDee Ulsh while using an anti-gravity treadmill during a physical therapy session at Spring Valley Hospital in Las Vegas on Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Chase Stevens Las Vegas Review-Journal @csstevensphoto
Jasmine Paule, who is partially paralyzed, uses an anti-gravity treadmill during a physical therapy session at Spring Valley Hospital in Las Vegas on Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Chase Stevens Las Vegas Review-Journal @csstevensphoto
Jasmine Paule, who is partially paralyzed, uses an anti-gravity treadmill during a physical therapy session at Spring Valley Hospital in Las Vegas on Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Chase Stevens Las Vegas Review-Journal @csstevensphoto
Jasmine Paule, who is partially paralyzed, uses an anti-gravity treadmill during a physical therapy session at Spring Valley Hospital in Las Vegas on Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Chase Stevens Las Vegas Review-Journal @csstevensphoto
Jasmine Paule, who is partially paralyzed, is assisted by physical therapy assistants Lotty Caro, left, and DeeDee Ulsh while using an anti-gravity treadmill during a physical therapy session at Spring Valley Hospital in Las Vegas on Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Chase Stevens Las Vegas Review-Journal @csstevensphoto
Jasmine Paule, who is partially paralyzed, exercises with the help of Kyle Vaughn, doctor of physical therapy, during a session at Spring Valley Hospital in Las Vegas on Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Chase Stevens Las Vegas Review-Journal @csstevensphoto
Jasmine Paule, who is partially paralyzed, exercises during a physical therapy session at Spring Valley Hospital in Las Vegas on Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Chase Stevens Las Vegas Review-Journal @csstevensphoto
Jasmine Paule, who is partially paralyzed, works on alternating limb lifts with the help of Kyle Vaughn, doctor of physical therapy, during a session at Spring Valley Hospital in Las Vegas on Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Chase Stevens Las Vegas Review-Journal @csstevensphoto
Jasmine Paule, who is partially paralyzed, works on alternating limb lifts with the help of Kyle Vaughn, doctor of physical therapy, during a session at Spring Valley Hospital in Las Vegas on Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Chase Stevens Las Vegas Review-Journal @csstevensphoto
Jasmine Paule, who is partially paralyzed, exercises during a physical therapy session at Spring Valley Hospital in Las Vegas on Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Chase Stevens Las Vegas Review-Journal @csstevensphoto

When 27-year-old Jasmine Paule walks into a physical therapy center today wearing a skirt and blouse, knee brace and a broad smile, she looks as if she could be a not too seriously injured point guard for a women’s basketball team.

“Hey, everybody, how’s it going?” she says, giving therapists an upbeat wave before heading quickly to a restroom at Spring Valley Hospital to change into workout clothes.

Just 15 months ago, Paule was anything but upbeat. A spinal cord injury kept her from moving, or feeling anything, beneath her shoulders. She couldn’t get out of bed. Living the rest of her life in a wheelchair, paralyzed, was a real possibility.

A seemingly unremarkable fall from a snowboard had turned out to be anything but.

“The first nine months of my injury, there wasn’t a day when I didn’t wish I’d die from it,” she says.

How her incredible transformation has come about is yet another affirmation of the power of the human spirit.

The fall

Paule’s fall at Brian Head Ski Resort in Utah on Feb. 20, 2016, was so unexceptional she kept on snowboarding. “It was a gorgeous sunny day, ” she recalls. “When I fell backward, it didn’t even really hurt. I just hit snow.”

The three-hour drive back to Las Vegas with friends Raquel Castillo and John Torres was uneventful. “We were just joking around and having a good time,” Castillo remembers.

Three days after her fall, Paule felt what she thought were strained muscles in her back. As she took a bath to loosen up, her hands started tingling and feeling numb. Pain shot through both arms.

She thought she might have a pinched nerve so she asked friends to take her to an urgent care. The numbness got so bad she had to be placed in a wheelchair. Soon, she was wheeled into the nearby Spring Valley Hospital emergency room.

“She couldn’t feel anything from the chest down,” says Danny Sanchez, a friend who was with her. “It was terrifying.”

Paule understood the seriousness of her condition when she had no control of her bladder and no pain when a patient in a wheelchair ran over her foot.

“Before I thought they’d just treat my pinched nerve,” she says.

The injury

Las Vegas neurosurgeon Dr. Bradley Marcus describes Paule’s injury as a contusion or bruise of the spinal cord in an area associated with the midsection of the cervical spine. Over a period of days, her spinal cord began to swell from effects of the fall. Such an injury can bring paralysis in hands, torso and legs and also cause problems with bladder and bowel function.

“She has no gross mechanical damage of the spinal cord, so she has a much better chance of recovery,” Marcus notes. “It’s not your typical injury, so she can have continued progress if she keeps working hard.”

For about a month Paule stayed at Spring Valley, doing three hours of physical therapy every day to make her strong enough to at least get around in a wheelchair.

“She had a great attitude, so positive,” recalls physical therapy assistant Lotty Caro, who worked to have Paule sent to Craig Hospital in Englewood, Colorado, which specializes in spinal cord injuries.

Paule, whose left side remains weaker than her right and who still can’t grip anything with her left hand, admits her attitude wasn’t as good as it appeared.

“I wasn’t showing how I really felt,” she says. “I had so many experiences where I couldn’t make it to the restroom. It was so dehumanizing. There wasn’t a day I didn’t dream of being my old self again.”

Paule’s mother, Elvie, came from the Philippines to be with her daughter both in Las Vegas and Colorado.

“I probably wouldn’t have made it without her. She was there every minute of every day. She was so positive about me getting better. She bathed me, cooked for me, dressed me, helped me use the restroom. I essentially was a baby again.”

Paule’s message to her mom for Mother’s Day reflects just how important she was in her struggle to walk again.

Thank you for stopping your life to take care of mine. For being positive and strong when I was at my lowest and weakest. Even though watching me struggle, I’m sure, was more hurtful for you than I.

How God decided I was worthy to be your daughter, I’ll never know… I love you, Mom.

Elvie Paule made a visual history of her daughter’s treatment so the family could one day see how hard she worked to get well again. Jasmine never let her mother see her break down.

“I thought that would hurt her too much. I only did that with Danny. We’d cry together. I’d go into the restroom so my mother wouldn’t see me cry. ”

Recovery continues

At Craig Hospital for nearly four months, Paule participated in grueling therapy for eight hours a day. Electrical stimulation, pool therapy and exercise programs were all designed to help restore routine functions such as dressing herself, combing her hair, cooking, walking and using the restroom.

“She worked hard to meet goals,” Craig occupational therapist Rachel Unick says.

By the time she left Colorado almost a year ago, she said her positive attitude was positively real. She realized the friends who spent time with her truly loved her. Caesars Entertainment welcomed her back — she’s in marketing. Therapists from both Nevada and Colorado call her to stay in touch.

Though she needed a cane and often a wheelchair after being discharged from Craig, the tough exercise regimen she’s been on since then has made it possible for her to get around on foot. Even though she has a continual burning sensation on the left side of her body, she’s no longer on pain pills, just bladder medication.

To give her use of her left hand, Dr. Marcus has made it possible for her to soon get a tendon transplant in San Diego. No longer on Paule’s insurance plan, he paid his own way to take her to a consultation.

“Doctors can’t tell me definitively how far I will come back,” Paule says after completing a workout. “I truly believe anything’s possible now if I work at it. Before I couldn’t even get up from bed. I truly believe I’ll dance and run again.”

Inspiration to fight

Jasmine Paule says she heard “Fight Song” by Rachel Platten during a therapy session at Craig Hospital in Englewood, Colorado. The lyrics helped her decide to devote every bit of her energy to her rehabilitation.

“This is my fight song

Take back my life song

Prove I’m alright song

My power’s turned on

Starting right now I’ll be strong

I’ll play my fight song …”

Contact Paul Harasim at pharasim@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-5273. Follow @paulharasim on Twitter.

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Raiders Las Vegas stadium construction timeline is very tight

Raiders Las Vegas stadium construction timeline is very tight

Last week the Raiders closed escrow on the site for their proposed 65K seat stadium in Las Vegas. They got the site they wanted most; a 62-acre lot North of Russell Road on the east side of I-15. With that hurdle cleared, they were able to put together a timeline for construction.

In that timeline, construction would begin in January and would be expected to take 30 months to complete, finishing up in June of 2020. That would then allow the Raiders 3 months to move into the stadium in time for the first preseason game in August.

The timeline will be discussed this week at the Stadium Authority meeting on May 11.

The January start time is a bit later than originally planned and the timeline is two months shorter than previous estimates as well.

Initially Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak pegged a December ground breaking, and even called that a small window.

“It’s a tight timeline — 32 months. Backing away from August 2020, that gets us until December of this year to break ground,” said Sisolak in early April. “By the end of the year we’ve got to have them out there getting to work on the property. They know that and they’re committed to that, and they got to take it step by step.”

If 32 months was tight, 30 months is very tight. In fact, as Rick Velota of the Las Vegas review Journal noted, it’s a smaller window than recent new stadiums had. The Vikings’ new US Bank Stadium took 32 months to complete and the Falcons’ new Mercedes -Benz Stadium has already taken 36 months.

The stadium being built in Inglewood for the Rams and Chargers also has a 32-month timeline, having begun construction last November with an expected opening for the 2019 season.

Yeah, maybe schedule the first couple 2020 preseason games on the road just to be safe.

Art galleries in Las Vegas

Art galleries in Las Vegas

TH1223 by Julie Oppermann. Process. An exhibit at the Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art on February 8, 2017. (R. Marsh Starks / UNLV Creative Services)


Curated by Los Angeles gallery director Matthew Gardocki, the exhibition from the Mark Moore Fine Art Gallery in Orange County, California, features paintings, photography, mixed media and sculptures by 10 contemporary American artists. Main Gallery at UNLV’s Marjorie Barrick Museum of Art, 4505 S. Maryland Parkway. 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Fri. (to 8 p.m. Thu.), noon-5 p.m. Sat. 702-895-3381; unlv.edu/barrickmuseum

Elks Helldorado Days Art Show

The free annual art show auction, featuring a meet-and-greet with more than 50 artists and a wine-and-cheese reception, will be from 2-5 p.m. Sunday at the Neon Museum’s NE10 Building located on the northeast corner of Stewart Avenue and Las Vegas Boulevard. The winners exhibition will open Monday on the second floor outside City Council Chambers at Las Vegas City Hall. elkshelldorado.com/citywide-events/art-show-auction

‘Thank You, Gracias, Have a Nice Day’

Exhibition of mixed-media artwork created by GULCH, a collective of Nevada artists including Justin Favela, Jennifer Kleven, Krystal Ramierez and Mikayala Whitmore. Nevada Humanities Program Gallery, 1017 S. First St., No. 190. 1-5 p.m. Mon.-Fri. (to 9 p.m. First Friday). 702-800-4670; nevadahumanities.org

‘Ink and Alcohol’

Art installation of Alan Hunter’s paintings, and a fundraiser for the Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth, on display through Thursday. Ascaya, 1 Ascaya Blvd., Henderson. 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Mon.-Thu. inkandalcohol.com

‘Rematerialized: Fiber Art’

Rosanne Giacomini’s exhibit of contemporary fiber paintings. Priscilla Fowler Fine Art, Art Square, 1025 S. First St. Noon-6 p.m. Thu.-Sat. Preview Thursday 5-9 p.m. First Friday 5-11 p.m. 719-371-5640; priscillafowler.comran

To submit gallery listings, email mrhynes @reviewjournal.com.

‘Mexico Es Grande’

Exhibition of paintings by Gilda Garza. David Kairy Gallery Shops at Crystals, 3720 Las Vegas Blvd. South. 10 a.m.-11 p.m. daily. 702-895-9529; facebook.com/davidkairygallerylv

‘The Fabric of Rhythm’

Exhibition of photography by Steve Smith of Journey. Smith will make appearances at the gallery from 6 to 8 p.m. on Thursday and May 18. Gallery of Music & Art in the Forum Shops at Caesars, 3500 Las Vegas Blvd. South; 10 a.m.-11 p.m. daily. 702-366-9904; gma-lv.com

‘Primer: Art of Weaponry’

Fine art photographer Jon Rouse’s high-resolution modern art collection of rare firearms, ammunitions and explosives. Centaur Art Gallery, 4345 Dean Martin Drive, Suite. 200. 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Mon.-Sat., and 11 a.m.-5 p.m. Sun. 702-737-1234; centaurgalleries.com

‘California Expressions’

Bobby Wheat’s large-format film photography exhibition features photos taken throughout California. Bobby Wheat Gallery at Downtown Summerlin, 1825 Festival Plaza Drive. 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Mon.-Thu., 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Fri.-Sat. and 11 a.m.-6 p.m. Sun. 702-569-7080; bobbywheat.com

International Masters Exhibition

Exhibition of paintings and photography by artists whose works appear in the “International Contemporary Masters” art books. The Metropolitan Gallery of Las Vegas on the second floor at Neonopolis, 450 Fremont St. Noon-5 p.m. Wed.-Sat. 702-382-2926; mglv.org

‘I Am the Greatest’

Exhibition showcasing the life and legacy of boxer and activist Muhammad Ali. Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art, 3600 Las Vegas Blvd. South. 10 a.m.-8 p.m. daily. 702-693-7871; bellagio.com

‘Bringing It Home’

Exhibition of iconic Las Vegas souvenirs, including swizzle sticks, chips and more. Clark County Museum, 1830 S. Boulder Highway, Henderson. 9 a.m.-4:30 p.m. daily. 702-455-7955; clarkcountynv.gov

‘Les Folies Bergere’

The Las Vegas News Bureau and Nevada State Museum exhibition of the long-running Tropicana show features rare photographs, costumes and personal narratives from performers to costume designers. Nevada State Museum, 309 S. Valley View Blvd., next to the Springs Preserve. Open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tue.-Sun. 702-486-5205; nvdtca.org/nevadastatemuseumlasvegas

‘Branding Las Vegas, 1941-1958’

An exhibit showing how the Strip’s first 13 hotel-casinos branded themselves featuring the Richard and Nancy Greeno Collection of Las Vegas memorabilia and photographs. Nevada State Museum, 309 S. Valley View Blvd., next to the Springs Preserve. Open 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Tue.-Sun. 702-486-5205; nvdtca.org/nevadastatemuseumlasvegas

‘Ready to Roar’

Curated in conjunction with UNLV, the Prohibition-Era fashion and culture exhibition illustrates the impact of the era on women’s fashions, their rights and freedoms. The Mob Museum, 300 Stewart Ave. 9 a.m.-9 p.m. daily. 702-229-2734; themobmuseum.org

‘It’s a Girl’s World’

British illustrator Des Taylor’s new collection of hand-painted artwork, original illustrations and new limited editions. Skye Art Gallery in the Forum Shops at Caesars, 3500 Las Vegas Blvd. South. 10 a.m.-11 p.m. Sun.-Thu. and 10 a.m.-midnight Fri.-Sat. 702-836-3538; skyeartgallery.com

‘Tilting the Basin: Contemporary Art of Nevada’

Presented by Nevada Museum of the Art and the Art Museum of Symphony Park, featuring artwork by more than 30 artists. Pop-Up Gallery, 920 S. Commerce St. 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Wed.-Sun. (to 9 p.m. Fri.). nevadaart.org

‘Think Before Extinct: Nevada’

A pottery exhibit by members of Clay Arts Vegas, a locally owned and operated pottery studio, clay distributor and gallery. The gallery at Sahara West Library, 9600 W. Sahara Ave. 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Mon.-Thu. and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Fri.-Sun. 702-507-3630

‘Paiute: A Journey through Traditional & Contemporary Art’

An exhibition of artwork by artists representing the Las Vegas Paiute, Big Pine Paiute and Shivwits Paiute tribes. Old Las Vegas Mormon Fort, 500 E. Washington Ave. 8 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Tue.-Sat. 702-486-3511; friendsofthefort.org

To submit gallery listings, email mrhynes@reviewjournal.com.

Watch Race Day LIVE for the Las Vegas Supercross

Watch Race Day LIVE for the Las Vegas Supercross

The Monster Energy Supercross riders roll into Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas this weekend for the final round of the 2017 season.

While Justin Hill won the championship in the 250SX West class, the 450SX and the 250SX East titles are still up for grabs.

Watch qualifying and get up to date on all the off-track news and stories ahead of Saturday night’s event with Race Day LIVE below (starting at 3:50 p.m. ET). Then tune in to FS1 at 10 p.m. ET for all of tonight’s heat race and main events.

Chris McGaha Wins Pro Stock Final at Charlotte | 2017 NHRA DRAG RACING

Las Vegas is a wretched hive of realtor scum and villainy

Las Vegas is a wretched hive of realtor scum and villainy

All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

As many of you know, I went out to Las Vegas to purchase rental homes. Back in August of 2010, I wrote the post Buy Las Vegas real estate where I made the case for buying undervalued homes and holding them for cashflow and appreciation. Not long after that, Wall Street also came to believe this was a good idea, and the REO-to-rental business model took off. The activity of investors like me and the Wall Street giants helped form a bottom in the Las Vegas housing market and other markets across the country.

To buy a large number of homes, renovate them, and either flip them or hold them, I needed to form business relationships in Las Vegas. Jacki, My Lieutenant out there, has known my wife for over 20 years, and despite the occasional mishap, she has been reliable and trustworthy. We’ve had contractors come and go, but we’ve used one title company for four years, and most of the professionals we’ve needed to rely on have been adequate to the task. Unfortunately, I didn’t enjoy the same success with the realtors out there.

If it was just one bad apple, I could ignore the problem as bad luck. But when three different realtors go to outrageous lengths to cheat and steal, it makes me jaded on the whole profession. Perhaps I am predisposed to judge realtors harshly. Everyone knows I think their association is horrendous, but when working with agents, its the character of the individual that matters. I have worked with Shevy for over eight years now. I’ve consistently found him to be honest, moral, and deeply conscientious about ethics. I’ve met many other agents whom I admire and respect. The three you’re about to read about are not among them.

Geke Dramaqueen

Geke has known Jacki for 15 years, and he’s been an agent for over 20. When I asked Jacki for a reliable agent I could refer buyers to, she recommended Geke, a nice and personable man, but a bit emotional and overly dramatic.

I explained to him that I had many potentially interested buyers that read my blog, and I wanted to find a trustworthy agent who I could refer people to. Further, I expected to be paid a referral fee on any closed deals. He wrote me a nice email thanking me for the opportunity and promising to pay a referral fee at a stated amount.

For a few years, I sent several potential buyers his way. As the inventory dried up, I stopped pushing the Las Vegas investment opportunity because it didn’t do any good to get everyone excited about a product nobody could find, so the lead flow dried up too. I didn’t hear from Geke for a long time, so I assumed the investor work was done.

As it turns out, one of the investors I referred to Geke did buy a house. The only reason I found out was because the investor asked Jacki to help him find a property manager. When Jacki asked Geke about the referral fee, Geke replied that he didn’t owe one because it was not one of my investors. I forwarded the email from this investor that I was copied on from two years ago with the subject line that said “Referral from Larry Roberts.” It was tough to deny.

Not willing to admit defeat, he then responded that he had no agreement with me to pay a referral. WTF? Why deny he was one of my investors if we didn’t have an agreement? (He knew we did.) I went back into my email archives and pulled out the email where he succinctly stated we had an agreement. When confronted with that, he finally relented, whined like a drama queen about how little he was going to make, and offered to send me a check.

For as ridiculous as that ordeal was, at least Geke has a conscience and a sense of ethical conduct. He may have tried to dodge his responsibilities, but when his nose was rubbed in it, he finally did the right thing. Not so with our next two realtors.

Shitforbrains Brazenthief

An intelligent thief will make some efforts to cover their tracks. Shitforbrains Brazenthief is both shockingly open and audacious about her theft.

On one of the houses my parents purchased in Las Vegas, at the last minute the buyer’s agent who we were going to use pulled out. We had arranged a $1,000 flat fee with the rest refunded to my parents out of escrow (this was better than the 1.5% they would have gotten back from a discount brokerage).

At the time, I couldn’t use my license to do this, so we had to find another agent. Jacki had known this agent for several months who wanted to be Jacki’s partner and handle property management and some agent work. This seemed like a good opportunity for her to get involved.

We explained the deal to her, and she readily agreed to make $1,000 for filling out a few papers. Shitforbrains was going to prepare the HUD with escrow instructions including the refund to my parents. A week later, my father is looking over the final HUD, and sees a 3% commission on the buy-side, so he asks me why he wasn’t refunded some money which would have reduced his down payment. I thought he had been.

When Jacki and I looked into it, we found that Shitforbrains Brazenthief paid herself a full 3% commission rather than $1,000. When confronted with this, Ms. Brazenthief replied that was never the deal. WTF? Never the deal? Does Shitforbrains frequently get full commissions from buyers she’s never worked with and doesn’t know?

I blame myself. If I had my paperwork processed then, I could have been the buyers agent and refunded the entire commission. I felt bad enough about them having to pay $1,000 extra, but a full 3%?

It gets worse.

Shitforbrains asks my dad for a meeting a few days later. We wonder if she has decided to do the right thing and fork over her ill-gotten gains. Nope. Shitforbrains had the temerity to ask my parents if they would sign on with her to manage all their properties. So after stealing my parents’s money, Shitforbrains Brazenthief asks if she can get more money from them by managing their properties.

Is she insane? I can’t believe she had the nerve to ask. I give my father Kudos for not hospitalizing her. I might have.

Shitforbrains never did hand over the money. She betrayed me, Jacki, and my parents. Since our instructions to her were verbal, and since my parents didn’t catch it when they reviewed the preliminary HUD, even if they wanted to bring a proceeding against her, Shitforbrains was going to get away with it. Knowing that is probably what made her so audacious and shameless.

I can’t find any redeeming qualities in Shitforbrains Brazenthief. She is without morals or conscience. Shitforbrains is a realtor.

No’ethics Docuforge

When I first began in Las Vegas, I was buying properties at auction, fixing them up, and flipping them. Since we were doing such high volume, Jacki needed help from an agent to process the offers and counteroffers on all our properties.

For the three or four years prior, Jacki had gotten to know No’ethics Docuforge through her church. This woman was active in Bible study, and had what appeared outwardly to be a vibrant real estate business. She had been an active agent for over 25 years. Based on those credentials, she seemed like a good candidate.

Jacki arranged for her to be our agent for $1,000 per transaction. Since we were doing such high volume, and since she didn’t have to do anything to get the work, the deal was appealing to her.

Unbeknown to us when we started, all was not well for No’ethics financially. The crash in Las Vegas real estate had nearly wiped her out financially, and she was on the edge of bankruptcy. When she started making demands on Jacki for more money, we explained to her that we could find other agents who would handle our listings for even less (we ultimately went to Geke Dramaqueen for $500 per listing for a while). No’ethics didn’t want to hear it. We decided to move our business elsewhere.

That’s when it got interesting.

When we informed No’ethics we were cancelling our listings and moving our business, at first she filled out the paperwork to comply with our wishes, but then she changed her mind. She wasn’t going to release our listings. WTF? Who does that? What agent would want to work with a client who wants to fire them?

It’s not like she spent any money on advertising or promotion on our properties. Basically, she just wanted the money — no, she needed the money.

It gets worse.

No’ethics didn’t just want $1,000 per listing, she wanted a full 3% (where have I seen this drama before?). When Jacki pulled our contracts with her, they had all been changed to show a 3% commission rather than $1,000. So how did that happen? This realtor changed the terms and forged the signatures on the contracts.

Jacki had been using Docu-sign an online document signing program at No’ethics’s office. No’ethics hacked into Jacki’s account and created a number of contracts showing a 3% commission rather than $1,000. No’ethics Docuforge originally claimed Jacki filled out these contracts.

Fortunately, each of these is timestamped, so we knew exactly when this happened. Unfortunately for No’ethics Docuforge, just by chance, she picked a time when I was in a meeting with Jacki in Las Vegas with another witness who happened to be an officer of the court (a Las Vegas police officer who runs a property management business part-time was soliciting our business). We could prove Jacki didn’t create those contracts.

When confronted with fraud and forgery, how did No’ethics respond? A wise person would have quietly settled for what we offered and hope we didn’t sue her, report her to the Department of Real Estate and the local district attorney. That’s not what she did.

No’ethics Docuforge claimed Jacki had stepped out of our meeting, called her, and authorized her to make the contract changes. Apparently, she put this phone conversation on a speaker phone and even had a witness to the call (a friend willing to commit perjury). Really? Does she often put private phone conversations with clients about financial matters on speaker phone for others to hear? And what about the fact we were witnessed being in a meeting with an officer of the court? (Her transparent lie prompted the DRE and DA not to pursue proceedings against her due to “reasonable doubt”.)

Despite the overwhelming evidence my attorney recommended we settle. The cost of taking No’ethics Docuforge to court would exceed what I could reasonably hope to recover, particularly since she was on the brink of bankruptcy and had no unencumbered assets. We settled with her and ended up paying about $2,000 per property, plus my attorney’s costs. I came out under 3%, but not by much. Further, No’ethics Docuforge was rewarded for committing fraud and forgery.

It still pisses me off when I think about it.

Truth or Fiction

I started this piece with the fiction disclaimer. Obviously, I have changed the names, not to protect the innocent, but to protect myself from lawsuits from the guilty for potentially defaming their “good character”. I know who they are, and I know what their character is all about. I can’t tell you who they are, but now you know what a Motley Crew of realtors operates in the Las Vegas real estate market.

So how much of this post is the truth, and how much is fiction? I’ll never tell. I’ll let you ponder how creative a fiction writer you think I am.

Published by Irvine Renter

Hello Everyone, I would like to say a special "thank you" to Zovall and IrvineSingleMom for inviting me to join them as a poster on the Irvine Housing Blog. I have not been a reader or contributor to housing blogs very long; in fact, my wife regrets ever showing me these blogs as I spend too much time with them. I would like to take this opportunity to tell you a bit more about myself and summarize my outlook for the Irvine real estate market. First, I need to remain anonymous. I will share some facts about myself and some generalities, but for reasons of paranoid self-preservation (I wear a tinfoil hat); I must keep my identity a secret. I…[READ MORE]

Below is the post in its entirety: The California Foreclosure Rules or “So What Happens If I Let My California House Go Back To The Bank?” I get this question a lot. The answer is, IT DEPENDS. That’s a slippery lawyer’s response (someone called me that yesterday) but the outcome in your situation could be 1. You still owe the bank a big slug of money; 2. You have a big income tax bill with no cash to pay it; 3. You owe the bank a big slug of money and you have a big tax bill ; or 4. You owe the bank nothing and you do not have a tax bill. Everyone wants to be the last case.…[READ MORE]

Have you ever stopped to ponder the issue of moral hazard? At its most basic, moral hazard is any change in behavior that comes about when people believe their actions have no consequences. The housing bubble was built on moral hazard. None of the parties to the real estate transaction believed they had any risk. Borrowers and lenders both believed real estate always goes up, so there was no market risk. Some savvy borrowers realized that 100% financing was transferring all the risk to the lender, so they risked nothing other than their credit score. Most lenders believed they were transferring the risk either to investors or counterparties to their credit default swaps. The people assuming these risks ran their…[READ MORE]

Desire, greed, avarice: house prices rose at unprecedented rates because people motivated by greed were enabled by lenders (who were also motivated by greed) to bid prices higher and higher. There is a certain Karmic justice to the idea of the market perishing in fire. Those who were motivated from desire should suffer in direct proportion to the greed to which they succumbed. In fact, all moral hazard problems emanate from this relationship. If people are not punished by this behavior, it is magnified in the next generation as more and more people choose to behave unwisely. In short, each bubble grows bigger than the last because the survivors tell their tales. If you don’t believe this is true, take…[READ MORE]