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For Speculators: A Special Place in Hell

The situation's gotta be bad when it makes international press: the Financial Times spotlights Merced, which is apparently competing with Stockton and Modesto for a spot on the subprime wall of shame. The cities' respective proximities to San Francisco and the Bay Area — called "commuting distance" — are cited as reasons for their properties getting snapped up by speculators, and then mercilessly dumped. Says Merced's city manager: "There should be a special place in hell for those people."