Detail, east Portland photo, courtesy Miles Hochstein / Portland Ground.



For old times' sake
The bojack bumper sticker -- only $1.50!

To order, click here.







Excellent tunes -- free! And on your browser right now. Just click on Radio Bojack!






E-mail us here.

About

This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on April 4, 2010 12:52 PM. The previous post in this blog was Another gushing travel guide to Portland. The next post in this blog is Saint Godwin, pray for us. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.

Archives

Links

Law and Taxation
How Appealing
TaxProf Blog
Mauled Again
Tax Appellate Blog
A Taxing Matter
TaxVox
Tax.com
Josh Marquis
Native America, Discovered and Conquered
The Yin Blog
Ernie the Attorney
Conglomerate
Above the Law
The Volokh Conspiracy
Going Concern
Bag and Baggage
Wealth Strategies Journal
Jim Hamilton's World of Securities Regulation
myCorporateResource.com
World of Work
The Faculty Lounge
Lowering the Bar
OrCon Law

Hap'nin' Guys
Tony Pierce
Parkway Rest Stop
Utterly Boring.com
Along the Gradyent
Dwight Jaynes
Bob Borden
Dingleberry Gazette
The Red Electric
Iced Borscht
Jeremy Blachman
Dean's Rhetorical Flourish
Straight White Guy
HinesSight
Onfocus
Jalpuna
Beerdrinker.org
As Time Goes By
Dave Wagner
Jeff Selis
Alas, a Blog
Scott Hendison
Sansego
The View Through the Windshield
Appliance Blog
The Bleat

Hap'nin' Gals
My Whim is Law
Lelo in Nopo
Attorney at Large
Linda Kruschke
The Non-Consumer Advocate
10 Steps to Finding Your Happy Place
A Pig of Success
Attorney at Large
Margaret and Helen
Kimberlee Jaynes
Cornelia Seigneur
Mireio
And Sew It Goes
Mile 73
Rainy Day Thoughts
That Black Girl
Posie Gets Cozy
{AE}
Cat Eyes
Rhi in Pink
Althouse
GirlHacker
Ragwaters, Bitters, and Blue Ruin
Frytopia
Rose City Journal
Type Like the Wind

Portland and Oregon
Isaac Laquedem
StumptownBlogger
Rantings of a [Censored] Bus Driver
Jeff Mapes
Vintage Portland
The Portlander
South Waterfront
Amanda Fritz
O City Hall Reporters
Guilty Carnivore
Old Town by Larry Norton
The Alaunt
Bend Blogs
Lost Oregon
Cafe Unknown
Tin Zeroes
David's Oregon Picayune
Mark Nelsen's Weather Blog
Travel Oregon Blog
Portland Daily Photo
Portland Building Ads
Portland Food and Drink.com
Dave Knows Portland
Idaho's Portugal
Alameda Old House History
MLK in Motion
LoveSalem

Retired from Blogging
Various Observations...
The Daily E-Mail
Saving James
Portland Freelancer
Furious Nads (b!X)
Izzle Pfaff
The Grich
Kevin Allman
AboutItAll - Oregon
Lost in the Details
Worldwide Pablo
Tales from the Stump
Whitman Boys
Misterblue
Two Pennies
This Stony Planet
1221 SW 4th
Twisty
I am a Fish
Here Today
What If...?
Superinky Fixations
Pinktalk
Mellow-Drama
The Rural Bus Route
Another Blogger
Mikeyman's Computer Treehouse
Rosenblog
Portland Housing Blog

Wonderfully Wacky
Dave Barry
Borowitz Report
Blort
Stuff White People Like
Worst of the Web

Valuable Time-Wasters
My Gallery of Jacks
Litterbox, On the Prowl
Litterbox, Bag of Bones
Litterbox, Scratch
Maukie
Ride That Donkey
Singin' Horses
Rally Monkey
Simon Swears
Strong Bad's E-mail

Oregon News
KGW-TV
The Oregonian
Portland Tribune
KOIN
Willamette Week
KATU
The Sentinel
Southeast Examiner
Northwest Examiner
Sellwood Bee
Mid-County Memo
Vancouver Voice
Eugene Register-Guard
OPB
Topix.net - Portland
Salem Statesman-Journal
Oregon Capitol News
Portland Business Journal
Daily Journal of Commerce
Oregon Business
KPTV
Portland Info Net
McMinnville News Register
Lake Oswego Review
The Daily Astorian
Bend Bulletin
Corvallis Gazette-Times
Roseburg News-Review
Medford Mail-Tribune
Ashland Daily Tidings
Newport News-Times
Albany Democrat-Herald
The Eugene Weekly
Portland IndyMedia
The Columbian

Music-Related
The Beatles
Bruce Springsteen
Seal
Sting
Joni Mitchell
Ella Fitzgerald
Steve Earle
Joe Ely
Stevie Wonder
Lou Rawls

E-mail, Feeds, 'n' Stuff

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Dead zone

Here's some sad news about Portland from the other day: Our metropolitan area is no. 6 in the country in commercial bankruptcies. No wonder the city's about to report yet another $20 million budget shortfall -- there's hardly anybody left to pay taxes. It appears that pretty soon we'll have more bike boulevards than employers.

Comments (16)

There is something off in that- 117K filings in 2009 for Portland/Vancouver with a total population around 2.1M. Carve out 20% under 18 and you have a 2009 bankruptcy for every 14 adults. Doesn't seem plausible.

Whatever statistic it is, it confirms that Portland has little economy left except for government work.

Since one person can have multiple businesses, and a person with one bankruptcy is likely to have several bankruptcies, not sure there's anything unreasonable about 117k filings in a metro area like Portland's.

"Equifax said it analyzed Chapter 7, 11 and 13 filings for its analysis."

It appears to include personal bankruptcies of self-employed individuals.

Chapter 13 is for wage-earner bankruptcies.

"Whatever statistic it is, it confirms that Portland has little economy left except for government work."
===

That is the best economy to have. Government work is the most resilient in a bad economy, especially when you have an electorate that can raise more taxes ala M66/67. The Portland planners knew what they were doing when they went for a government based economy. If Portland could just do more of that, they would wipe out the unemployment, and have lots of high wage, high benefits jobs, where the workers could all go by streetcar or bicycle.

Whatever statistic it is, it confirms that Portland has little economy left except for government work.

Unless the statistic itself is invalid, in which case it confirms diddly.

If the "business" is a holding company or a financial instrument that existed as a legal entity but had no employees, for instance, its real effect on the local economy is nil. All of the CDOs and credit default swaps that went bankrupt in the subprime meltdown were separate corporations. But they didn't employ anyone.

"All of the CDOs and credit default swaps that went bankrupt in the subprime meltdown were separate corporations."

CDOs and swaps are securities and contracts, "financial instruments", but not legal entities or "separate corporations." Of course they don't employ anyone; when they go into default, the instruments themselves do not 'go bankrupt' - but their holders might.

Unless the statistic itself is invalid, in which case it confirms diddly.

You're right. Maybe the whole story is wrong. Maybe everything is fine in the Portland economy. Maybe all the vacant storefronts are a mirage. Maybe we should listen to Sam Adams's toy boy staff instead of invalid statistics like bankruptcy filings.

Portland has a lot more retail square footage in the metro area relative to our population base than other comparable size metro areas - I'm going by memory of old numbers here, but I recall at one time in was 50% more. I believe the reason is that we have no sales tax here, and we can therefore draw consumers from other areas who see us as a bargain. But this situation can hit us harder in a retail/housing downturn, which is what this has turned out to be.

"Atlanta-based Equifax (NYSE: EFX) said total commercial bankruptcies rose from 77,638 in 2008 to 117,659 in 2009, and the numbers reflect a consistent increase from the all-time low of 32,293 filings in 2006."

Sounds to me like the 117k is the total nationwide, not in Portland.

The official summary from Equifax is here. A detailed press release (but alas, not the underlying data) is here.

Well even if you doubt the bankruptcy statistics posted in this story; according to the NY Times, March had the highest number of bankruptcy filings since the Bankruptcy Laws were changed in 2005.

"Portland has a lot more retail square footage in the metro area relative to our population base than other comparable size metro arEA."

I'd disagree, the guy who was going ot develop the dump next to the OC Home Depot thought we didn't have enough retail in the area. Besides, I don't see WashSq or Clack TC hurting for customers, their parking lots are full.

However, I'll say downtown has waaay too much retail space since it is really not a shopping area (since Macy's scaled down, Saks moved out and about 1/2 of Pioneer Place is empty.)

I think Mr Bog's figures, though, are pretty representative of the collective acumen of our local pol's ability to attract business.

I mean the hubris to start saying stuff like we only want certain business types when they can't pull any business here?

Commercial bankruptcy, if equifax is using the term correctly, is a term of art used to describe bankrupt debtors whose debts are primarily non-consumer debt. I think the general rule is over 50%.

The breakdown by chapter would be interesting. Most individuals, whether small business owners or not, file either a chapter 7 or chapter 13 and most are characterized as consumer cases (if you have a small business owner with business debt of $300k, but carrying a home mortgage of $350k, then techincally that isn't a commercial bankruptcy). If an individual owns a corporation, more often than not, the corporation won't even bother to file a bankruptcy, it will just dissolve (and hey, if your a creditor of one of these small business who fail, good luck collecting on the debt - the owner will just start up a new company that does the same business at the same location using the same assets - hey, its the entrepreneurial spirit at its best).

I would suspect that the bump in commercial filings was due to an uptick in chapter 11 filings (larger entities seeking to reorganize). That doesn't bode well if true.

Morbius says: CDOs and swaps are securities and contracts, "financial instruments", but not legal entities or "separate corporations."

A CDO is a security made up of a portfolio of fixed-income assets like subprime mortgage bonds. A CDS is a contract similarly based on assets like bonds.

From Michael Lewis's current book out on the subprime mortgage scemes of the past decade (The Big Short: Inside the Doomsday Machine, p.27):

Every mortgage bond came with its own mind-numbingly tedious 130-page prospectus. If you read the fine print, you saw that each was its own little corporation. [Michael] Burry spent the end of 2004 and early 2005 scanning hundreds and actually reading dozens of them, certain he was the only one apart from the lawyers who drafter them to do so — even though you could get them all for $100 a year from 10K Wizard.com.

Michael Burry, by the way, had an op-ed yesterday in The New York Times ripping into Alan Greenspan.

Jack Bog says: You're right. Maybe the whole story is wrong. Maybe everything is fine in the Portland economy.

I was laid off from my last job in 2007. I took that job in 2005 because my freelance business had started to dry up after the dot-com bust. So far as I'm concerned, the whole last decade's been crappy. But unless you know what kind of commercial operations those bankruptcies represent, Jack — unless you know that they're actual businesses — then the number is meaningless.

For instance, how do you get 117,000 bankruptcy filings in the metro area when (according to the census) the total number of firms in the entire state of Oregon in 2002 was just under 300,000? The total number of firms in Multnomah County in 2002 was 63,758, according to the same source. Has every company in the county filed twice? Or do some of those bankruptcies represent something other than regular businesses?


Sponsors


As a lawyer/blogger, I get
to be a member of:

In Vino Veritas

Balboa, Rose of Grenache 2015
Ontañón, Rioja Reserva 2015
Three Horse Ranch, Pinot Gris 2014
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
Nelms Road, Merlot 2013
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Pinot Gris 2014
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2012
Conn Creek, Cabernet, Napa 2013
Villa Maria, Sauvignon Blanc 2015
G3, Cabernet 2013
Chateau Smith, Cabernet, Washington State 2014
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #16
Willamette Valley, Rose of Pinot Noir, Whole Clusters 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Ca' del Baio Barbaresco Valgrande 2012
Goodfellow, Reserve Pinot Gris, Clover 2014
Lugana, San Benedetto 2014
Wente, Cabernet, Charles Wetmore 2011
La Espera, Cabernet 2011
King Estate, Pinot Gris 2015
Adelsheim, Pinot Gris 2015
Trader Joe's, Pinot Gris, Willamette Valley 2015
La Vite Lucente, Toscana Red 2013
St. Francis, Cabernet, Sonoma 2013
Kendall-Jackson, Pinot Noir, California 2013
Beaulieu, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2013
Erath, Pinot Noir, Estate Selection 2012
Abbot's Table, Columbia Valley 2014
Intrinsic, Cabernet 2014
Oyster Bay, Pinot Noir 2010
Occhipinti, SP68 Bianco 2014
Layer Cake, Shiraz 2013
Desert Wind, Ruah 2011
WillaKenzie, Pinot Gris 2014
Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2013
Des Amis, Rose 2014
Dunham, Trautina 2012
RoxyAnn, Claret 2012
Del Ri, Claret 2012
Stoppa, Emilia, Red 2004
Primarius, Pinot Noir 2013
Domaines Bunan, Bandol Rose 2015
Albero, Bobal Rose 2015
Deer Creek, Pinot Gris 2015
Beaulieu, Rutherford Cabernet 2013
Archery Summit, Vireton Pinot Gris 2014
King Estate, Pinot Gris, Backbone 2014
Oberon, Napa Cabernet 2013
Apaltagua, Envero Carmenere Gran Reserva 2013
Chateau des Arnauds, Cuvee des Capucins 2012
Nine Hats, Red 2013
Benziger, Cabernet, Sonoma 2012
Roxy Ann, Claret 2012
Januik, Merlot 2012
Conundrum, White 2013
St. Francis, Sonoma Cabernet 2012
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2012
Decoy, Cabernet, Sonoma 2013
Marqués de Murrieta, Reserva Rioja 2010
Kendall-Jackson, Grand Reserve Cabernet 2009
Seven Hills, Merlot 2013
Los Vascos, Grande Reserve Cabernet 2011
Abbot's Table, Columbia Valley 2014
Forlorn Hope, St. Laurent, Ost-Intrigen 2013
Upper Five, Tempranillo 2010 and 2012
The Four Graces, Pinot Gris 2015
Topsail, Syrah 2013
Jim Barry, The Lodge Hill Shiraz 2013
Robert Mondavi, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2012
Adelsheim, Pinot Gris 2014
Boomtown, Cabernet 2013
Boulay, Sauvignon Blanc 2014
Domaine de Durban Muscat 2011
Patricia Green, Estate Pinot Noir 2012
Crios, Cabernet, Mendoza 2011
WillaKenzie, Pinot Gris 2014
Dehesa la Granja, Tempranillo 2008
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #15
Selvapiana, Chianti Ruffina 2012
Joseph Carr, Cabernet 2012
Prendo, Pinot Grigio, Vigneti Delle Dolomiti 2014
Joel Gott, Oregon Pinot Gris 2014
Otazu, Red 2010
Chehalem, Pinot Gris, Three Vineyards 2013
Wente, Merlot, Sandstone 2011
Abacela, Fiesta Tempranillo 2012
Monmousseau, Vouvray 2014
Duriguttti, Malbec 2013
Ruby, Pinot Noir 2012
Castellare, Chianti 2013
Lugana, San Benedetto 2013
Canoe Ridge, Cabernet, Horse Heaven Hills 2011
Arcangelo, Negroamaro Rosato
Vale do Bomfim, Douro 2012
Portuga, Branco 2013
Taylor Fladgate, Late Bottled Vintage Porto 2009
Pete's Mountain, Pinot Noir, Kristina's Reserve 2010
Rodney Strong, Cabernet, Sonoma 2012
Bookwalter, Subplot No. 28, 2012
Coppola, Sofia, Rose 2014
Kirkland, Napa Cabernet 2012
Trader Joe's Grand Reserve, Napa Meritage 2011
Kramer, Chardonnay Estate 2012
Forlorn Hope, Que Saudade 2013
Ramos, Premium Tinto, Alentejano 2012
Trader Joe's Grand Reserve, Rutherford Cabernet 2012
Bottego Vinaia, Pinot Grigio Trentino 2013
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2011
Pete's Mountain, Elijah's Reserve Cabernet, 2007
Beaulieu, George Latour Cabernet 1998

The Occasional Book

Ryan Holiday - The Obstacle is the Way
Ruth Sepetys - Between Shades of Gray
Richard Adams - Watership Down
Claire Vaye Watkins - Gold Fame Citrus
Markus Zusak - I am the Messenger
Anthony Doerr - All the Light We Cannot See
James Joyce - Dubliners
Cheryl Strayed - Torch
William Golding - Lord of the Flies
Saul Bellow - Mister Sammler's Planet
Phil Stanford - White House Call Girl
John Kaplan & Jon R. Waltz - The Trial of Jack Ruby
Kent Haruf - Eventide
David Halberstam - Summer of '49
Norman Mailer - The Naked and the Dead
Maria Dermoȗt - The Ten Thousand Things
William Faulkner - As I Lay Dying
Markus Zusak - The Book Thief
Christopher Buckley - Thank You for Smoking
William Shakespeare - Othello
Joseph Conrad - Heart of Darkness
Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything
Cheryl Strayed - Tiny Beautiful Things
Sara Varon - Bake Sale
Stephen King - 11/22/63
Paul Goldstein - Errors and Omissions
Mark Twain - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Steve Martin - Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
Beverly Cleary - A Girl from Yamhill, a Memoir
Kent Haruf - Plainsong
Hope Larson - A Wrinkle in Time, the Graphic Novel
Rudyard Kipling - Kim
Peter Ames Carlin - Bruce
Fran Cannon Slayton - When the Whistle Blows
Neil Young - Waging Heavy Peace
Mark Bego - Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul (2012 ed.)
Jenny Lawson - Let's Pretend This Never Happened
J.D. Salinger - Franny and Zooey
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol
Timothy Egan - The Big Burn
Deborah Eisenberg - Transactions in a Foreign Currency
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - Slaughterhouse Five
Kathryn Lance - Pandora's Genes
Cheryl Strayed - Wild
Fyodor Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov
Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
Jack Walker - The Extraordinary Rendition of Vincent Dellamaria
Colum McCann - Let the Great World Spin
Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince
Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus - The Nanny Diaries
Brian Selznick - The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
F. Sionil Jose - Dusk
Natalie Babbitt - Tuck Everlasting
Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 155
At this date last year: 241
Total run in 2015: 271
In 2014: 401
In 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
In 2008: 28
In 2007: 113
In 2006: 100
In 2005: 149
In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269


Clicky Web Analytics