• Ditto in L.A. In how many of the Case-Shiller index cities are investors buying up huge chunks of inventory (as in yesterday’s story on Tampa), vs. other non-index cities? Is it a coincidence that they are artificially pushing up the bottom line right in time for these pre-election numbers to come out? Everyone I know feels a profound disconnect between reality and the positive economic spin on the news. It’s as if the banks and their allies are keeping values artificially high until the economy actually bounces back, only there doesn’t seem to be an end in sight to the unemployment, underemployment, layoffs, rising cost of living, and precipitously declining wages.