February 4, 2008

Bits Bucket And Craigslist Finds For February 4, 2008

Please post off-topic ideas, links and Craigslist finds here.

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Comment by txchick57
Comment by Leighsong
2008-02-04 05:37:47


I believe it was you that predicted alternative energy as the next bubble a while back?

I could see that, and actually, why not. We must get our act together on energy, the sooner the better IMO!


Comment by Zionrenter
2008-02-04 06:16:35

I agree that alternative energy is the next bubble, heck all the pres pres hopefuls speak of it. Now you just have to find a good way to get in early. Is it the technology, builders, utilitys, or all the above. I say all the above and go with this one http://www.fplenergy.com/

Comment by Professor Bear
2008-02-04 06:17:09

Some folks sadly never learn the lesson that playing with FIRE can be dangerous.

Comment by Suzanne, I researched this!
2008-02-04 06:30:55

And profitable. Hence one bubble after another. Las Vegas is still in business. Wall Street won’t close up shop either. Just make sure you are a Kennedy and not a shoe shine boy.

Comment by txchick57
2008-02-04 06:32:44

Bingo. Same thing with the fed/ppt. If you know they’re gonna do it, take the ride for a bit and make some $$ from it.

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Comment by Professor Bear
2008-02-04 08:47:11

ppt = MIA, and it will not help stocks that the l-t T-bond yields are rising at the same time stocks are falling. The easy explanation is that bond traders smell inflationary monetary and fiscal policy going forward.


Comment by Professor Bear
2008-02-04 10:15:16

I am eagerly awaiting the next opportunity to buy the dip (though my definition of a dip involves a 10 pct + decline in headline U.S. stock market indexes and plays out over a period of months…).

Comment by rms
2008-02-04 11:57:09

“Just make sure you are a Kennedy and not a shoe shine boy.”

The Kennedys have spent most of Joseph P’s money; today they use taxpayer’s money.

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Comment by Affordability
2008-02-05 17:01:26

kennedy’s have given more to this planet and people than most rich families - they have a conscious and understand how helping others is a good thing

Comment by Lip
2008-02-04 06:38:55

The Biofuel Follies - To avoid drilling for oil in ANWR, the planet savers evidently prefer destroying forests that absorb greenhouse gases.

ANWR’s 10.4 billion barrels of oil have become hostage to the planet’s saviors (e.g., John McCain, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama), who block drilling in even a tiny patch of ANWR. You could fit Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island, Connecticut and Delaware into ANWR’s frozen desolation; the “footprint” of the drilling operation would be one sixth the size of Washington’s Dulles airport.


Biofuels, generated by growing corn, which required using tractors to till the soil and harvest the corn, don’t seem to be the next alternative bubble. Or does it?

Comment by Incredulous
2008-02-04 08:18:06

But, it’s making the corn-growers rich. Corn is a terrible, inefficient source for ethanol, but this country has been paying lots of farmers (and corporate farms) fortunes for generations not to grow crops, so what else is new? Maybe they could hook up the harvest machinery to SUVS instead of tractors and kill two birds with one stone.

Comment by Bad Chile
2008-02-04 09:06:11

Not to mention the use of the extremely limited supply of potable water (a substance we can’t live without) to make synthetic fossil fuel (a substance we can live without) is such a short sighted folly that of all the species, only humans could possibly think it is a solution to the problem of growting energy consumption in the face of declining oil extraction in the 21st century.

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Comment by hwy50ina49dodge
2008-02-04 10:28:06

“…extremely limited supply of potable water”

Ever been to Niagara Falls? Oh, and….the ice is melting, everywhere…I’m so scared…the MSM is tormenting me with…Brittany, the writes strike & Jerry Springer: “The Movie” ;-)

Comment by hwy50ina49dodge
2008-02-04 11:03:52

For Aladininsane,
I know your like Joe Friday: Just the facts Ma’am”

Height: 176 feet (due to rocks at the base actual fall is 70 feet)

volume of water: 150,000 U.S. Gallons per second

How much “fresh” water is that in 1 hour Mr. Bear? And why is America giving so much free water to Canada..are we just plain “Looney” ;-)

Comment by aladinsane
2008-02-04 11:25:06

Gravity rules…

Comment by creamofthecrap
2008-02-04 20:29:39

@ hwy50ina49dodge, others:

Niagara Falls humor aside, aquifer depletion is a serious problem. Google it. If irrigation for corn cultivation is done in a non-sustainable manner, then it’s pure folly to produce ethanol by this means as Chile points out.

Comment by aNYCdj
2008-02-04 09:21:36

2 things had we built the Alaska pipeline on schedule the 1972 Arab cut off of oil, would have ALL been replace by the alaskan oil….and no OPEC…Thank you Sierra Club for the $3+ gas!

And why did the Morons in CONgress waste our countries future on ethanol from corn when Brazil uses sugar beets and cane? Aren’t they the REAL experts on ethanol?

Comment by hwy50ina49dodge
2008-02-04 10:38:14

“…Thank you Sierra Club for the $3+ gas”

How silly…if “they” had been effective…gas would be $12.00 + per gallon…but hey, how many wealthy CEO’s can America tolerate? I suspect that if you are correct about the Sierra Club’s ability to influence the price of gasoline…they will be getting LARGE $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ contributions from ExxonMobilTexacoChevronUnion76SinclairValero in the very near Future. ;-)

“For the second year in a row, Exxon Mobil Corp. has set a corporate record for annual profit, riding the dramatic runup in oil prices to a staggering $40.6-billion (U.S.) for 2007″


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Comment by Evil Capitalist
2008-02-04 16:05:26

Now calculate the amount of money the US government made of that gasoline via taxes. It surely drawrfs Exxon’s corporate profits.

Comment by creamofthecrap
2008-02-04 20:32:28

In spite of the taxes, the US gov’t is a long ways from profitability :-)

Comment by Desertdweller
2008-02-04 21:07:43

THREE TRILLION DOLLARS Budget… yep I would say we are a long long way from being profitable..just ripped off.

Comment by Desertdweller
2008-02-04 11:52:08

FOllow the MONEY and it aint Sierra Club. It is the same old adage…
FOLLOW THE MONEY and you will see exactly Who is behind the $3.00 gas.

it aint the tree huggers. When was the last time you saw ‘them’ shopping on Rodeo drive?
Check all White Houses and houses on pennsylvania streets and who was it that had Private mtgs with the Enron types at the beginning of this admin? It goes a long long way back.

Good book Desert Queen. true story.

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Comment by edhopper
2008-02-04 10:07:24

George Will as a legitimate news source? Nice try.
By footprint he refers to the tiny spot where the supports for the pipeline actually touch the ground. Not the hundreds of miles over which the pipeline runs. A spill from the pipeline would contaminate hundreds of square miles and the pipeline will disrupt animal life throughout the preserve.
Oh yes, total oil in ANWR, less than one year supply for the country.
Biofuel NOT from corn are a very good idea.

Comment by Olympiagal
2008-02-04 10:27:01

Thanks, hoppy. You beat me to it.

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Comment by hwy50ina49dodge
2008-02-04 10:19:14

“…ANWR’s frozen desolation; the “footprint” of the drilling operation would be one sixth the size of Washington’s Dulles airport.”

Yeah, the drunken captain of Exxon Valdez left a “small footprint” ;-) Oh, I forgot… sh#t doesn’t happen with oil…let’s be “globally” “collectively creative” and build better nuclear power plants…:-)

Got Halliburton?

Comment by Incredulous
2008-02-04 11:25:24

Boy, everyone is funny today. Poor George Bush probably still thinks he’s the life of the party, and the most adored man on Earth, next to his daddy, of course. Trying to appoint Michael Baroody, the chief lobbyist for the National Association of Manufacturers, to head up the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission last year pretty much sums up what this embarrassing dufus is all about.




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Comment by flatffplan
2008-02-04 08:13:49

bush bad bush bad bush baaaaaaaaaad

Comment by hwy50ina49dodge
2008-02-04 10:45:15

I would say he’s “Bad to the Bone” but, …Jesus is his hero, so he gets a get out of Hell for free card & he collects $200.00 for passing GO.

Comment by hwy50ina49dodge
2008-02-04 10:22:40

“…George W. Bush, he says, will soon outstrip Herbert Hoover for the unwanted designation of worst presidential economic steward in modern American history”

Now there’s proof of a myopic mind: he only envisions shrub’s failure in regards to “economics” ;-)

Comment by edhopper
2008-02-04 13:40:27

I think he was just stating one of the many categories where Bush will be defined as worse President ever.

Comment by Jingle
2008-02-04 05:06:08

O.K., the Superbowl is over. Time for the spring selling season to begin. Who has a forecast on how much the market will pick up? I am thinking that by May, the banks will be stuck with more inventory and prices in Sacramento will be taking another round of serious drops.

Comment by exeter
2008-02-04 05:24:40

Dunno but inventory is already elevated considerably over Feb 07. Watching Bloomberg TV in Atlantic City over the weekend and there was a blurb about a hedgefund manager re-entering subprime market because of the depressed price structure of housing. The name Delvaney comes to mind but I don’t recall all the details.

RE dumb asses talking about all the bargains to be had. They get all silent when I say there aren’t any bargains yet.

Comment by mgnyc99
2008-02-04 05:38:33

hey exeter my good friend is a cerberus employee and when i was hanging with him last week he was reading a book on trading mbs-securities -they are vultures and will buy that crap for pennies on the dollar

anyway with all the money ny’ers won on the superbowl i am sur ethey will buy overpriced real estate with it

btw what a game!

great win for the giants

Comment by txchick57
2008-02-04 05:51:40

Cerebrus has taken a couple of nice hits already as you know. They can be pretty sleazy, especially back in the 1999/2000 time frame.

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Comment by mgnyc99
2008-02-04 06:10:14

yes tx- i spoke to my friend about that and he said they are fine, the $100 million or so they paid to squash that deal was the best money they have spent in a while were his exact words.

Comment by Tom
2008-02-04 06:14:07

Robert Nardelli and Cerebrus. Clearly made for eachother.

Also, that was one helluva Super Bowl. One of the best ever.

Comment by txchick57
2008-02-04 06:28:19

that’s not the only one. I’m sure they’re marking to model themselves ;)

no, there are other things they were doing back then

Comment by exeter
2008-02-04 06:34:39

Incredible. Turn the game around with 35 seconds on the clock? Beautiful. Lots of unhappy peppermint Patties today…… boohoo…. lmao.

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Comment by palmetto
2008-02-04 07:39:13

How about that Belichick? Can you say “bad sport”? I mean, I can understand his disappointment and all, but geez…

Comment by exeter
2008-02-04 07:42:27

I could give a crap either way as I’m a New Englander living in NY but it sure is interesting to watch the fanatics as if they were facing life or death.

Comment by gather no moss
2008-02-04 11:25:58

My six year old was actually crying this morning when he heard the Pats lost.

Comment by Desertdweller
2008-02-04 12:01:41

During wind storm, electricity went down for 1 hr… came on just in time to see last 30 minutes.
My vote? Skip the middle and get to the end of game, fast. Same with the Housing issues. This whole thing is drawn out just to save a few corps, and vested wealthy owners.

Comment by JudgeSmales
2008-02-04 05:36:56

Super Bowl’s over. Ready ….. set …… buy a house!

C’mon, gang. Did you hear me? I said buy! Anyone out there?

Oh-oh, I think something happened to Yun’s “pent-up demand.”

– Judge Smales
“You’ll get nothing and like it!”

Comment by ozajh
2008-02-04 05:47:02

I wonder if folks in the Boston area are going to feel more pessimistic after the Patriots lost a Superbowl they were expected to win.

This might lead to a drop in prices. Don’t laugh, it wouldn’t be the first time a sports result has had a disproportionate impact on an area.

Comment by Northeastener
2008-02-04 08:03:57

Have a friend on the South Shore (Ma), had his 2br1ba condo on the market for 6 months last year, no sale. Just put it on the market last week, had it sold in 3 days. He listed the unit for around $220K, sold for $207K. This is the same complex where I sold my condo for $220K in 2003. These units were going for $130K-150K in 2000.

I think I’ve convinced him to rent while waiting for prices to drop, but the wife is itching to buy. The SFH’s he’s looked at have all been overpriced.

Bottom is not here in Mass yet, but we’re getting a little closer every day.

Comment by Desertdweller
2008-02-04 11:58:17

Spring Selling Season.

During the Superbowl, MASSIVE wind storm in Coachella valley, and one part or zone in particular that still seems to get sold won’t be selling for awhile, I predict.
WInds knocked over massive 40old trees from their roots onto condos. Already a problem with HOA costs soaring and an insurance “issue” that NOW will IMHO go even further up.
6 condos broken down the middle + more big damage.
Wonder what that will do to sales. Neighbor thinks HOA goes way up, which covers roofs, more units to be in the Selling season offerings.
Or will there be a AS IS sale?

Comment by Professor Bear
2008-02-04 13:02:00

Who’da thunk downgrades would trump a Giant’s Superbowl win?

Countdown to the close:59min31sec
February 4, 2008 3:00 P.M.EST
Downgrades sack the bulls

Stocks give back last week’s gains as investors largely ignore the Super Bowl’s bullish indicator. Financials, tech lead indexes lower.


Comment by Professor Bear
2008-02-04 13:05:02

U.S. Stocks Drop on Bank Downgrades; American Express Declines
By Eric Martin

Feb. 4 (Bloomberg) — U.S. stocks declined for the first time in three days after analysts told investors to sell American Express Co., Wells Fargo & Co. and Wachovia Corp. on concern a recession will boost defaults among consumers.


Comment by Professor Bear
2008-02-04 14:14:48



Super yawn
Commentary: Investors unimpressed by Super Bowl Indicator and Giants’ win
By MarketWatch
Last update: 11:25 a.m. EST Feb. 4, 2008

ANNANDALE, Va. (MarketWatch) — With the New York Giants’ stunning upset in Super Bowl XLII, the Super Bowl Indicator finds itself unexpectedly flashing a bullish signal for the stock market in 2008.

And yet, the stock market lost ground early Monday, with the Dow Jones Industrial Average (4:02pm 02/04/2008 $INDU 12,635.16, -108.03, -0.8%) down nearly 100 points at one point.


Comment by krazy bill
2008-02-04 05:10:27

Droll piece from the L.A. Times.
“An empire that believes spending is a patriotic act is perilously close to its end. But at least we will have left future civilizations the invention of the 10-year interest-only adjustable-rate sub-prime mortgage.”


Comment by JudgeSmales
2008-02-04 06:27:06

Joel Stein is a terrific writer. Here is his intro paragraph:

“The government should not be in charge of the economy. The government is super-insecure and desperate to be liked, as anyone would be if his or her popularity got put to a public vote every few years. So when the government senses you might blame it for something — such as the fact that you spent $1 million on a three-bedroom house, and now you owe a ridiculous $1 million for a lousy three-bedroom house — it panics like a grandparent and sends you a small check in the mail. It calls this “fiscal stimulus”; my grandma called it, oddly, “gambling money.” Same idea. They both want a kiss.”

Stein’s piece is merely preaching to the particular choir on this blog, but you’ll enjoy it away. Click the link.

– Judge Smales
“You’ll get nothing and like it!”

Comment by bicoastal
2008-02-04 11:39:17

When I used to leave a $20 on the kitchen table for my first husband I called it “drinking money”…

‘It calls this “fiscal stimulus”; my grandma called it, oddly, “gambling money.” Same idea. They both want a kiss.’

Comment by Professor Bear
2008-02-04 06:43:08

“…we will have left future civilizations the invention of the 10-year interest-only adjustable-rate sub-prime mortgage.”

Not to mention the practice of repackaging yesteryear’s financial folly (e.g. interest only financing of homes the buyer cannot afford) as today’s “financial innovation.”

Comment by Leighsong
2008-02-04 05:19:50
Comment by ozajh
2008-02-04 05:23:14

Since when is that China’s middle finger???

It’s the US’s middle finger to China and Japan.

Comment by sd renter
2008-02-04 05:27:53

Good article Leigh!

Comment by Craven Moorehead
2008-02-04 06:10:41

The $1.4 Trillion Question


America’s greatest economic threat may come from a Chinese populous tired of seeing Americans live large while Chinese school children go without heat.

Comment by Yo Momma
2008-02-04 06:19:58

You are going to see the biggest boom when China decouples theirselves from the United States and starts enjoying the fruits of their own labor. A 35% savings rate on a currency thats value will increase substantially will buy you a lot of consumer goods.

Good news for us is that NA superhighway is likely after the drawing board.

Comment by Yo Momma
2008-02-04 06:21:29

However, I’m afraid the cancellation of a superhighway might be the ONLY good news :(.

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Comment by Skip
2008-02-04 08:52:08

Good news for us is that NA superhighway is likely after the drawing board.

Not too sure how that would be good news…the Governor of Texas wants to build a super highway and then sell it to a foreign company. For some reason the people of Texas are against it. But hey, bribery is legal for the most part in Texas, so I am sure it will be built and sold to some foreign company.

Who are we to stand in the way of progress?

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Comment by TexasFarmer
2008-02-04 13:02:50

We’re not even going to build it before selling it to the foreign company; we’re just going to have the foreign company build it for us while paying the state for the future rights to charge tolls, develop all the merchandising along said highway, and who knows what else. Many of us are against what will amount to a half million acre land grab by the government should the entire Trans Texas Corridor be built.

Comment by Evil Capitalist
2008-02-04 16:25:07

Not going to happen any time soon. China, in essence, has two economies. A gigantic state controlled one that employs the vast majority of population. This purpose of this economy is to keep population busy - we are talking about well over a billion people. The second economy is the small but extremely profitable private sector peddling chinese products on open market -cheap-. That’s the part of chinese economy that keeps China afloat. Should de-coupling occur any time soon China will suffer immediate economic collapse due to the burden of the state controlled part.

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Comment by WT Economist
2008-02-04 08:37:28

This is a very good article. China’s policies make as little sense as ours do. Hopefully there will be an adjustment instead of a disaster.

Comment by hwy50ina49dodge
2008-02-04 11:30:26

“…Hopefully there will be an adjustment instead of a disaster”

With that statement your could get hired at the FED ;-) Sometimes “Mother Nature makes an “adjustment” and it becomes a disaster, but aladinsane would know more about this this phenomena…

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Comment by aladinsane
2008-02-04 12:25:27

Mother Nature always takes the path of least resistance.

Comment by hwy50ina49dodge
2008-02-04 13:09:35

“Mother Nature always takes the path of least resistance.”

Really? Well that gives clarity to Human Evolution…

Comment by yensoy
2008-02-05 04:15:57

This is an EXCELLENT article! Being a resident of China now for several months, I have been amazed at the way things seem to work there and this article explains a lot of it.

For those who did read it, I have a question - the exporter surrenders their $ and the bank (as a proxy for the government) gives them RMB. The $ basically goes into China’s SWF. The question is, where is the RMB coming from? Isn’t that being created out of thin air (for the most part), and will this not fuel crazy inflation?

From anecdotal evidence, I can assert that inflation is a major problem in China. Honestly, I can’t see the cost savings in doing pretty much any white collar operation in Shanghai. As long as the economy is on a growth path, inflation may be tolerated. But as we know, inflation hurts the poor while growth benefits the rich. The former can be mitigated by price controls on essentials, which is what China is doing. I’m not sure what the downsides are, but I fully expect there is some bad karma in the process.

Comment by Lou Minatti
2008-02-04 06:40:45

I think America has a brighter future than China. Particularly since China is run by a brutal, corrupt Communist regime. China is the biggest bubble of all, destined to collapse in a spectacular fashion in the near future, perhaps as early as this year. Should China become a free and open democracy, the situation will change.

Comment by Yo Momma
2008-02-04 07:45:14

Investment superstars like Jim Rogers and Peter Schiff disagree. Both have pretty near 100% track records for their long term perspectives on the US economy.

While China has a command/control structure that is intolerable to those of us who are used to freedom in our country, their citizens won’t care once they enjoy the economic “good life”.

Comment by palmetto
2008-02-04 07:52:05

“their citizens won’t care once they enjoy the economic “good life”.”

Through their breathing masks.

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Comment by Yo Momma
2008-02-04 07:58:03

You’ll be surprised at how much citizens are willing to sacrifice in terms of intangibles like environmental quality, liberty and freedom for some economic prosperity, be it fundamentally flawed or real.

Look at the very topic we discuss on this blog.

Comment by palmetto
2008-02-04 08:09:21

I would say you can’t have prosperity without health and quality of life to enjoy it, but that’s just me.

Comment by In Colorado
2008-02-04 08:23:28

Once they have steak on the dinner table, then they will start to worry about the environment.

Comment by peter m
2008-02-04 09:22:44

“You’ll be surprised at how much citizens are willing to sacrifice in terms of intangibles like environmental quality, liberty and freedom for some economic prosperity, be it fundamentally flawed or real”

China has serious pollution problems. I have taked with someone from foshan-near Guandzhou- and she admits to the bad qualities of the air there. China uses too much coal for power generation: they should go more nuclear and more to cleaner natural gas to power their grid.
China has achieved rapid economic & industrail infrstructure growth at cost to it air & water quailty . 1.3 billion people is a big big problem. Imagine living in Guandzhou/ Foshan /Shenzhen/ HK/pearl delta region with 50 million + crammed into an area no bigger than LA county.
It is too bad that China is razing/ bulldozing it cities and land to achieve rapid economic growth at cost not only to envirinment but the disappearance/submersion of 1000’s of ancient historical sites. including temples , pagodas, archeological digs, cave grotto’s, ancestral homes spanning more tha 4000 years of recorded chinese history.

Better visit china now before all the ancient sites dissappear.

Comment by Yo Momma
2008-02-04 07:49:31

Forgot to allay my rebuttal on China’s economic bubble.

Put it bluntly, I don’t see it. When you suppress a currency and then let it go, it’s value increases. Similarly, the citizens of China have suppressed their own lifestyles to ship crap to us. Once that ends, they’ll consume their own goods with their more valuable currency or ship them to Eastern Europe/Australia/Japan et al.

Yeah, a short term hurt for China while de-coupling, definitely. Long term the best thing that could’ve happened to them.

Comment by palmetto
2008-02-04 07:55:05

“they’ll consume their own goods”

Thank God.

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Comment by Yo Momma
2008-02-04 08:01:54

Yeah, there’s a silver lining to China’s future restriction on imports. Of course, foreigners have already begun the process of playing the repo man by buying a stake in Citi, Aspen condos, and luxury boats.

When you’re fighting with five others over the last sweater in a store due to our hollowed out manufacturing base, you might wish that you had a few Chinese imports in the clothing rack.

Comment by palmetto
2008-02-04 08:14:12

“When you’re fighting with five others over the last sweater in a store”

Never done that. Being a cheapskate, I shop at thrifts and estate sales, but I draw the line at underwear, so maybe I’ll be fighting over that last sixpack in assorted colors at WalMart or Costco.

Comment by In Colorado
2008-02-04 08:25:56

When you’re fighting with five others over the last sweater in a store due to our hollowed out manufacturing base, you might wish that you had a few Chinese imports in the clothing rack.

Look for almost as cheap Mexican and Central American sweaters to replace the Chinese ones.

Comment by In Colorado
2008-02-04 08:27:58

Instead of building houses no one needs, Juan Six Pack will be making crap for WalMart.

Comment by Yo Momma
2008-02-04 11:46:51

Last I recall, Mexico didn’t have a huge productive capacity. Even if they accepted our increasingly counterfeit money, would they have the incentive to sell to us in exchange for IOUs, or perhaps to cash rich Europeans/Asians?

Now that I think about it, that superhighway might be useful for the Chinese and Mexicans to repossess our borrowed assets. As a sick irony, maybe the boats will arrive here empty and go home full.

Hooray for our export industry!

Comment by AbsoluteBeginner
2008-02-04 11:50:48

I don’t suppose anybody here in the US would want to make sweaters? Sounds like a troll response, but I scratch my head on how spoiled we can get here. We have plenty of land and resources and labor. We just have a pricing problem IMHO.

Comment by In Colorado
2008-02-04 12:35:13

I’m sure that there are plenty of folks in the Carolinas that would love to once again make garments and furniture.

Comment by In Colorado
2008-02-04 12:37:05

Last I recall, Mexico didn’t have a huge productive capacity.

Neither did China. And Mexico is far more modern than most Gringos think it is.

Comment by hwy50ina49dodge
2008-02-04 13:13:59

“they’ll consume their own goods…” ;-)

Have they made a remake in Chinese of this movie?:


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Comment by MrBubble
2008-02-04 09:27:17

“China is run by a brutal, corrupt Communist regime.”

Brutal, sure. Corrupt, fine. But Communist? I think that these guys jumped from the Marx-Engels boat a while back and are rolling with more “show me the money”.

Comment by technovelist
2008-02-04 16:14:53

I think America has a brighter future than China. Particularly since China is run by a brutal, corrupt Communist regime.

Yes, it’s much better to be run by a brutal, corrupt fascist regime!

Comment by Leighsong
Comment by Leighsong
2008-02-04 05:32:17

This AZ property owner spamming Milwaukee Craigslist



Comment by txchick57
2008-02-04 05:34:44

I flagged it off. I can do that ;)

Comment by sd renter
2008-02-04 05:37:46

Quit teasing us. I wish you would have copied and pasted it.

Comment by Leighsong
2008-02-04 05:41:28

14653 N Armijo Dr, Fountain Hills, AZ

3 Bdrm Single Family House offered at $335,000
Year Built 1973
Sq Footage 2,558
Bedrooms 3
Bathrooms 2 full, 1 partial
Floors 1
Parking 2 Car garage
Lot Size 15,960 sqft
HOA/Maint $0 per month


Property in good condition! Move in ready! Kitchen updated with white cabinets. Family Room has dual sided stone fireplace. Pool has self cleaning system. Extra Bonus room off side of garage with wall a/c unit- not included in assessor sq ft.

EXTREME DISCOUNT PROPERTY! Other similar recent comps as high as $544,000!! Assignable contract. *If conventional financing is needed the price will increase by $5K.

see additional photos below
Central A/C Fireplace Family room
Living room Bonus/Rec room Dining room
Dishwasher Refrigerator Stove/Oven
Microwave Washer Dryer
Balcony, Deck, or Patio Swimming pool


Mountain Views, Fenced Pool, RV Parking & RV Gate

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Comment by Dave of the North
2008-02-04 05:58:28

That update to white cabinets must be worth an extra $ 50,000 easy… :-)

Comment by Leighsong
2008-02-04 05:42:48

My flag finger is sore, I’ve taken to reporting the suckers to Craigs abuse!


Comment by watcher
2008-02-04 05:39:04


The leveraged loan market begins the week in “disarray” following the collapse of efforts to syndicate $14bn of the debt used to finance the $27.8bn buy-out of Harrah’s Entertainment, bankers say.


Comment by txchick57
2008-02-04 05:53:04

still think gold isn’t a short? at least for awhile?

Comment by watcher
2008-02-04 05:56:33

There are other, weaker things that I want to short, though if homebuilders rise again today I will probably get stopped out at a small loss. Shorting gold IMO is like picking up nickels on the freeway; too risky for me.

Comment by txchick57
2008-02-04 06:26:44

think about a possible rotation/unwinding of last year’s trade. short fins/hb etc./long eem and technology. I got religion on those from looking at charts this weekend. fins may be the place to be for awhile as long as the january lows hold.

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Comment by tl
2008-02-04 08:47:42

I am hearing way too many people saying that the worst is over for financials. That’s unlikely. Perhaps financials can rally temporarily on a technical basis, but that can turn in a hurry once investors AGAIN realize that the worst is not behind us.

Comment by FB wants a do over
2008-02-04 09:00:20

Also reviewed fins, hb and commercial re charts this weekend - all appear short candidates near term. Suspect the next leg down is very close by if, as txchick says, the market cooperates.

Still treading carefully here in case Hoz gets his 13,000 top on the DOW ;-)

Comment by FB wants a do over
2008-02-04 09:39:14

Couple charts if anyone’s interested.


Comment by FB wants a do over
2008-02-04 09:53:54

This was a keeper.

Comment by FB wants a do over
2008-02-04 12:03:14

The S&P has broken down decisively from a bearish head-and-shoulders pattern. The “left shoulder” is defined by the July high, while the October peak marks the “head” and the December high defines the “right shoulder.”
Meanwhile, the pattern’s “neckline” holds around the November low of 1,406 (the August closing low also held at 1,406).
Given the severe January breakdown, rallies to the S&P’s neckline - the 1,400 area - will likely draw sellers.
So on one level, the U.S. markets’ technical backdrop is incredibly straightforward: The S&P 500 has broken down severely to start 2008 and it needs to reclaim the 1,400 area to begin repairing recent damage.


Comment by Tom
2008-02-04 06:17:38

I think what smart people do in the beginning fools do in the end. Pretty soon all the smart money will be out of Gold if it already isn’t. They aren’t buying RE either yet. I wouldn’t be surprised to see their money parked in cash in some foreign currency like the Yen or Euro. Eventually the Dollar’s slide will have to halt and that is when they will jump back into Dollars and by that time the assets here will be pretty distressed.

Comment by txchick57
2008-02-04 06:30:20

Short’s working so far but at some point another buy will set up. That’s the uptrend from hell in gold.

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Comment by technovelist
2008-02-04 16:29:37

I don’t ever want to be short gold. It can explode upwards without warning. The comment about picking up nickels in front of steamrollers is quite apropos.

Comment by Leighsong
2008-02-04 05:54:51

Off to the shower…g’day!

Leigh ;)

Comment by Professor Bear
2008-02-04 06:22:04

How do the major candidates’ REIC ties stack up? I was quite shocked to hear MR making a preemptive defense for NY financial firms’ involvement in the subprime mess (in an audio link someone posted to yesterday’s bits bucket), in contrast to JM’s apparent interest in first assessing what actually happened and whether foul play may have been involved. My preference to vote for the latter gentleman instantly went up.

Comment by Professor Bear
2008-02-04 06:28:45

Also bothered by MR’s claim to being the best man for the job because of his business experience. When the business in question is in the financial services sector during a period when fraud and corruption seem to be a driving factor in the direction of the industry, I get very suspicious by apologists.

I also feel compelled to point out that JM has other experience which may prove very valuable — for instance, given his time in a POW camp, I cannot imagine him waffling on the question of whether WB is t0rture.

Comment by txchick57
2008-02-04 07:24:47

I can’t tolerate either one of them. As a Republican, I am very depressed.

Comment by Ben Jones
2008-02-04 07:31:00

‘I am very depressed.’

When I was a kid and the local pro football team lost, I’d feel the same way. I finally figured out that politics is about as meaningful, and waste no energy on it, much less get depressed. Have a good day!

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Comment by txchick57
2008-02-04 07:44:12

Gotcha but does your blood pressure shoot up 100 points every time the witch appears on TV? Imagine if she were president.

Comment by NoSingleOne
2008-02-04 08:22:02

I think the opposite of Ben…if J6P actually cared about politics and participated, then we would have much more accountability from politicians. The pols know that the only issue that will get voters to react to government policy is when there is less money in their pockets.

Comment by Captain Credit Crunch
2008-02-04 08:24:36


I’m pretty dispassionate about politics myself, but my wife wants HC to win and she just doesn’t understand the dislike by a lot of people. Can you calmly and rationally share your disdain so I can help her understand what at least one person’s gripe is?


Comment by NoSingleOne
2008-02-04 08:30:59


Comment by NoSingleOne
2008-02-04 08:34:26

Geez, I was just saying that I have a different viewpoint and wish that J6P would actually participate in politics. That would result in a more responsible and transparent gov’t.

Comment by Professor Bear
2008-02-04 08:40:51

“…does your blood pressure shoot up 100 points…”

Oh contraire — my blood pressure has been steadily declining lately as OB’s star has risen. Sorry David Cee’s campaign dollars all went to waste…

Comment by vthousingbear
2008-02-04 08:43:06

I’ve come to look at politics as just an extension of the popularity contests that used to be class elections in high school….except the ones picked are done so by the banks and corporations.

Do I believe in American democracy any more? Hell no. And I’ve found that I no longer get worked up and depressed by a system in which my opinion means naught.

Comment by vthousingbear
2008-02-04 08:45:37

Oh, one more interesting tidbit. My brother was pointing out the other day that approximately 22% of the American population has lived their lives under only a Bush or Clinton. If Billary gets elected that number will jump to a whopping 33%.

Democracy indeed. The CFR is having a field day with us.

Comment by Northeastener
2008-02-04 08:47:46

Gotcha but does your blood pressure shoot up 100 points every time the witch appears on TV?

Stop watching TV…

Comment by Ben Jones
2008-02-04 08:50:03

Ah, yes, the days of getting mad at the TV. Don’t do that anymore either.

Comment by Lafayette
2008-02-04 09:28:54

Don’t worry, DIEBOLD gets to choose who the winner is in “the greatest democracy in the WORLD”

Comment by aladinsane
2008-02-04 09:35:28

Tv is ok in small doses…

Watching a commercial during the superbowl, I learned if you buy a dell laptop, paparazzi and beautiful women will fawn all over you.

Comment by phillygal
2008-02-04 09:43:08

Gotcha but does your blood pressure shoot up 100 points every time the witch appears on TV?

No, but when I see her on TV, I see: a PTA president, or a City Alderman, but not a POTUS.

She just doesn’t look like a POTUS

Comment by Not_In_Montana
2008-02-04 09:49:39

I get to vote in our caucus tomorrow and did a quick straw poll of my precinct..most had no clue, with a slight edge to McCain. No one for Ron Paul. I’ve done lots of phoning in the past and politics just is not on J6P’s radar, and we can’t make him pay attention.

Comment by phillygal
2008-02-04 10:09:30

or maybe she looks like a Wage Garnisher-in-chief

Comment by CarrieAnn
2008-02-04 11:03:13

“She just doesn’t look like a POTUS”

When I look at her she doesn’t look POTUS until I consider Margaret Thatcher. I could see Hil going Thatcher for us. I think the warm and fuzzy Hil is just for votes cause most of this country just can’t deal with a tough women w/o linking her with the B word. I think that woman could be as hard as nails in a pinch.

I personally believe we could use a few more of that type but I won’t be voting for her for other reasons.

As Herb Greenberg was saying on MSNBC this a.m. I think this country will be needing a populist, someone to lead them through the clouds of panic as things unfold. That person is not Hillary….nor is it John McCain. As Herb added, even Wall Street will enjoy the fruits of someone keeping the masses and the rest of the world calm.

Comment by CarrieAnn
2008-02-04 11:06:21

“I’ve done lots of phoning in the past and politics just is not on J6P’s radar, and we can’t make him pay attention.”

Wow! Even this year? Now that makes me very depressed.

Comment by Gulfstream-sitter
2008-02-04 13:52:55

In defense of J6P….

It’s not on his radar because they have been working 60 hour weeks trying to keep even with monetary inflation, and they have better things to do than waste their time on elections where there is not a nickel’s difference between what their so-called representatives say they will do (campaign committments/promises notwithstanding), and what they actually end up doing.

Life is too short to get twisted up worrying about what sleazeball politicians are going to do…….just make an educated guess as to what they will do, and make your plans accordingly.

Comment by Sekar
2008-02-04 08:41:15

figured you would be an indy by now tx. anyhow the parties aren’t all that different. Their all bought and paid for by wall street, NAR and other PTB.

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Comment by Arwen_U
2008-02-04 10:43:34

I’m wondering if we’ll have a historic brokered convention on both sides. I’m leaning toward (coldy, calculatingly) voting for the underdog (Huckabee) on the Republican side. It’s my way of voting for a brokered convention, at which point a different candidate might be chosen (I wanted Thompson). It’s probably a complete impossibility, but so are the current candidates.

And, I’d get to have fun eating popcorn watching all the media angst.

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Comment by aladinsane
2008-02-04 10:59:20

Thompson will do just fine, going back to his old job of being a convincing, fake district attorney.

Comment by Not_In_Montana
2008-02-04 11:19:55

Don’t be surprised tomorrow if Montana goes Ron Paul. They’ve really stacked the central committees here. Still don’t know how I’m going to vote.

Comment by az_lender
2008-02-04 12:11:46

An actual win (somewhere) for RP would be very good. Keep his message under discussion to some extent. If tx is R, doesn’t she want to beat HC/BO? Ergo, JM.

Comment by bill in Maryland
2008-02-04 18:00:40

Could be Maine might belong to Ron Paul on Tuesday.

Comment by polly
2008-02-04 07:01:53

At least on of MR’s sons is a “real estate developer.”

Comment by aladinsane
2008-02-04 07:51:08

MR strikes me as a corporate ‘tard that will gladly say or do anything to get elected.

I am quite enjoying watching him throwing away the corpse’s money.

Comment by cynicalgirl
2008-02-04 07:53:49

Hopefully business will pick up before dad spends all his inheritance.

Comment by Professor Bear
2008-02-04 14:06:02

The inheritance is already spun off into a trust fund.

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Comment by sagesse
2008-02-04 09:14:53

And one of W’s brothers was too, an S&L profiteer, and during first campaign, the MSM were dead silent about it, while trying to blow up a smudge of snoot to elephantous proportions in other cases.
As to MR and JM, both strike me mainly as disgustingly vain, as very narcissistic, in a kind of juvenile way. Would have thought that the voters will go for the hair oil look. Why does that old man McC not retire and play golf.

Comment by Affordability
2008-02-05 17:12:30

McC still needs to justify being tortured for six years in the previous wasted war and taxpayer money that could have been used to fix bridges, roads, levees, and yes health care for all - usa has spent much more than it would cost for health care on this useless war of someone’s choosing while funding and giving arms to the country that supplied the attachers (Saudi Arabia) go figure - the media seems to be who picks the president and not the people anymore anyway

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Comment by Professor Bear
2008-02-04 06:36:04

Luckily for BO, David Cee has already topped out on his campaign contribution limit…

Obama Closes In on Clinton
As McCain Lengthens Lead
In California Race,
Poll Puts Democrats
Nearly in Dead Heat
February 4, 2008; Page A1


Comment by Rich
2008-02-04 07:45:48

I live in CA and for the past 6 days the OB people have been calling my house non stop. Yesterday they called again before the game and I just blew a gasket and was cussing and screaming into the phone “STOP CALLING MY F’N HOUSE” I hung up the phone and not 5 minutes later the phone rings again and guess who ? OB people, Any other Cali people going through this ?

Comment by cynicalgirl
2008-02-04 07:56:55

Robo calling should be illegal. Too bad the politicians who do it are the ones who would have to make it illegal!

Comment by Incredulous
2008-02-04 08:39:03

It is illegal, if you put your number on the federal do not call list. After I did it with my number, the sales calls stopped completely. The politicians, however, have exempted themselves and non-profits, so you can still get pleas for political contributions and “charities,” which we all know are FOR THE CHILDREN.

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Comment by Incredulous
2008-02-04 08:53:18

Wait, perhaps I misread. What are OB people?

Comment by mgnyc99
2008-02-04 08:58:33

barack obama

Comment by Incredulous
2008-02-04 09:18:27

In which case, the calls cannot be stopped (see my letter above). Unplugging the phone and letting the answering machine pick up (with the sound turned all the way down) works great, through it can annoy some friends and relatives.

I don’t know why people think they have a right to call perfect strangers and invade their privacy to hawk this or that. Ditto for those dorks who send buckets of junk mail. One way of dealing with this is getting a ink stamp that says “Unsolicited Junk Mail, Please Return to Sender,” and stamping every piece of junk mail, and putting it back in the mailbox. The return postage is full rate, not bulk rate, and the original sender is billed by the post office. You can even glue the junk mailing envelope to a brick or anything heavy, and send it back, and that will costs the original sender a lot.

Comment by Bill in Carolina
2008-02-04 09:50:32

Post office only returns First Class and higher mail. Everything else gets tossed. Do your letter carrier a favor and just toss it yourself.

Comment by Incredulous
2008-02-04 11:27:39

Since when? I used to work for a non-profit (ha, ha), and we got lots of returned mail, all of it costing first-class postage, even though we sent it out for practically nothing.

Comment by Ouro Verde
2008-02-04 08:41:15

Rich, I do the same thing. It feels kind of good to yell.
Last night I got 10 collect calls from a detention center in AZ.
Uh, who do I know in Florence Az?

My dream last night was spent searching for my purse.
I was worn out by the time I woke up.

Comment by bicoastal
2008-02-04 11:47:37

The last election, I was getting the same kind of calls from The Governator. Non-stop. “Phil Angelides is a girlyman.”

Comment by edgewaterjohn
2008-02-04 08:44:10

It seems like money donated to the campaign of a national political figure might be better spent if it was donated to the campaigns of local politicians. They’re more appreciative, and there’s a better chance you’ll get something in return further down the road - at least better services - or maybe even a job if you need it. For the little guy at least, all patronage is local.

Comment by Not_In_Montana
2008-02-04 09:52:51

Exactly. There are a lot more things going on in the political world besides the presidential horse race the media loves so much.

Comment by aladinsane
2008-02-04 16:12:56

It does make for easy diversionary tactics…

I use drudge as my barometer. He can make political mountains out of molehills, like nobody else can.

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Comment by WT Economist
2008-02-04 06:38:38

Funny, but New York Magazine has just published a restrospective of the last really nasty recession in New York from 1989 to 1992, which it says has “eerie familiarity.”


As for the residential real estate part of the story:

“’There were some tax-law changes in the mid-eighties that made it very profitable for landlords to convert their buildings,’ says Fred Peters, the president of Warburg Realty. Profitable, that is, until the supply reached saturation point just as leaner times on Wall Street began to drain the demand. The shock was sudden and painful. ‘It just stopped,’ remembers Peters. ‘The first half of the year was just like ’88, a banner year, and then it just stopped. The Japanese kept buying for another year. But then it just ran aground.’ In a swift reversal of the conversion boom, people who couldn’t sell their apartments started trying to rent them out, often to no avail.”

And the real estate report linked here


says rents are down 7 percent in some Manhattan neighborhoods. Wall Street layoffs (just getting started) are to blame. My guess is the college graduates don’t show up this spring, because they can’t get jobs, and some are going to have to leave, because they are laid off. Some will stick it out, but the worm has turned until 2010.

Comment by HBBLurker
2008-02-04 07:31:34

Talked to a friend over the weekend who works in the city, was disgusted when he told me of a annoying co-worker who’s parents are giving him 200K for downpayment on a 400K+ apartment in the NYC area, this guy makes about 40K a year, even a 200K mortgage + tax’s is gonna be to much for this fool…Parents will loose that 200K eventually, I’m guessing they can afford to, but this spoil brat should’nt even consider asking the parents for that kind of money….

Comment by combotechie
2008-02-04 07:54:48

Real Estate: The Great Wealth Re-Distributator.

Comment by Skip
2008-02-04 09:26:20

He just needs to find a girl whose parents gave her $200k for a down payment…

Comment by Rally
2008-02-04 10:52:49

What can you get for 400K in NYC? Is that even enough for an 8×10 closet?

Comment by Ria Rhodes
2008-02-04 07:12:05

Anyone else here sick and tired of the media bleating on and on about sky-rocketing mortgage rates? I know many of us here remember 7% and higher rates of not so long ago. I have to wonder if todays younger mortgage holders/seekers have been breast feed the sweet milk of low rates for so long that they think low, low rates are the norm?

Comment by Mikey(2)
2008-02-04 07:31:53

The norm is what you are familiar with. Many of today’s young mortgage holders think that housing prices are “normal” today, or even worse, that year-over-year increases in RE values of 15% are normal.

Comment by Ozarkian from Saratoga, CA
2008-02-04 08:06:38

I remember 12%!

Comment by Kim
2008-02-04 08:21:50

How is below 5% on a 15-year fixed considered “skyrocketing”?

Comment by CarrieAnn
2008-02-04 11:24:48

They’re only skyrocketing when your credit is poor or when your ARM adjusts. Those stories are speaking to that crowd.

I do agree. I wish we’d start seeing reaction stories on the savers watching this thing. I have seen some “think you’re safe; think again” stories here and there about how this debacle will impact everyone.

Comment by Sekar
2008-02-04 08:22:19

i remember 17%. Don’t worry..we’ll have higher interest rates when the world gives up on the dollar :)

Comment by Ouro Verde
2008-02-04 08:49:40

Sekar, can you elaborate?

Comment by Northeastener
2008-02-04 09:00:20

Anyone else here sick and tired of the media bleating on and on about sky-rocketing mortgage rates?

Has anyone looked at the latest LIBOR rates? The one-year is 2.96%. My mortgage is based on the one-year + 2.75%. My rate doesn’t reset until 2011, but if it reset now I’d be looking at 5.71%… that is lower than my current 5.85%.

Many Prime and Alt-A adjustables are tied to the LIBOR. This won’t help IO or NEG-AM, but many of the straight ARM’s will be fine as long as employment holds up. Of course, employment seems to be weakening so…

Comment by tuxedo_junction
2008-02-04 11:01:26

LIBOR + 275 seems high to me. When I refinanced in 2002 or 2003 into a 5/1 the reset rate was LIBOR + 175. I sold in 2005 so I never experienced the reset. Was LIBOR +275 the standard when your loan was written?

Comment by Northeastener
2008-02-05 06:40:05

Was LIBOR +275 the standard when your loan was written?

Not sure if 2.75 margin was industry standard or not, but this
was in 2004. The loan was considered a Jumbo and it was for a multi-family (4-family). I know when I shopped around, because of the Jumbo and Multi designations, the rates were higher than standard conforming SFH.

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Comment by Not_In_Montana
2008-02-04 10:07:43

“Anyone else here sick and tired of the media bleating on and on about sky-rocketing mortgage rates? ”

Actually, no. What I’m hearing is “sky-rocketing mortgage foreclosure rates.”

Comment by mrktMaven FL
2008-02-04 07:22:27

America walks:

“In the past, if a household in America experienced financial problems it tended to go delinquent on its credit cards, but kept on paying its mortgage,” says Malcolm Knight, head of the Bank for International Settlements, the central banks’ bank. “Now what seems to be happening is that people who have outstanding mortgages that are greater than the value of their home, or have negative amortisation mortgages, keep paying off their credit card balances but hand in the keys to their house … these reactions to financial stress are not taken into account in the credit scoring models that are used to value residential mortgage-backed securities.”


Comment by WT Economist
2008-02-04 08:40:21

That’s a great article! And the best part is the graphs of defaults, suddenly soaring in prime.

Comment by ylekiot1
2008-02-04 11:34:42

I just realized, without 6 months of mortgage, people can probably pay off their credit cards, preventing them from being stuck with skyrocketing interest rates when the house hits the credit report and by the time the CC companies know about it via the credit report, the card is paid off! Must be nice (while I pay my bills) grrrrr…

Comment by ylekiot1
2008-02-04 11:36:10

skyrocketing interest rates (on balances)

Comment by auger-inn
2008-02-04 12:57:15

So to recap, I could have found a million dollar listing, bid 1.25 million with a quarter mill kickback using 100% financing, taken the quarter mill and stuck it offshore or in gold bars, paid the mortgage (or not) for a few months then stop paying for oh, about a year. Then when all is said and done, walk away with a quarter mill and a rent/mortgage free year in a “million dollar house”? The net affect being a “bad credit report” for a few years? Yeah, I sure feel stupid sitting here with my great credit score when I pay cash for everything and never borrow money. I guess sometimes crime really does pay.

Comment by Lost in Utah
2008-02-04 18:08:44

Wait and see what the FBI comes up with before you feel too bad, auger.

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Comment by mgnyc99
2008-02-04 07:29:07

large scale new development in queens ny

it is being built near old shea stadium which is basically a toxic waste strewn auto salvage graveyard with views of flushing bay that smells like death at low tide

good luck


Comment by edhopper
2008-02-04 10:23:46

2 million dollar penthouse overlooking toxic waste. sheesh!
Just had a freind from Flushing tell me home values will not go down there because of the influx of all the Asian money. “It’s different there”.

Comment by mrktMaven FL
2008-02-04 07:35:41

Leading private equity firms are unlikely to participate in any recapitalisation of Ambac and MBIA, increasing the pressure on banks to come up with a rescue package for the bond insurers.


Comment by tuxedo_junction
2008-02-04 10:53:29

Under-capitalized, possibly insolvent, banks are going to make equity investments in tottering debt insurers? Also, FDIC-insured institutions are highly restricted in the type and amount of equity investments that they can make. The money would have to come from bank holding companies and investment banks. It doesn’t seem likely to me.

Comment by Professor Bear
2008-02-04 08:49:40

How ‘cash’ at companies became risky
Commentary: And they can blame it on the mortgage mess
By Herb Greenberg, MarketWatch
Last update: 7:46 p.m. EST Feb. 3, 2008
This column first appeared in the weekend edition of The Wall Street Journal.

SAN DIEGO (MarketWatch) — If you don’t think cash can go bad, you haven’t been paying attention to earnings reports lately.

This past week, as strange as this may sound, Bristol-Myers Squibb was the latest company to do the equivalent of taking a charge against cash when it announced a $275 million impairment of debt investments that held such things as surprise! subprime and home-equity loans.

Companies don’t really take charges against cash, of course, but investments that double as cash might as well be cash. Auction-rate securities, as these arcane investments are called, were deemed so safe that they sat on the balance sheet not far from Treasurys in a near-cash category called “marketable securities.”


Comment by Colorado Shadow
2008-02-04 09:17:05

Looks like the 2005 seller mentality is alive and well here in Colorado. Check out this POS:


For those who do not want to follow the link: a 1360 sqft bi-level (hope you like lots of stairs) located in an exurb of Denver (Parker) which backs to an insanely busy road (Mainstreet) for a BARGAIN of $175/sqft (total $238,900). The road behind the house is elevated about 8ft above the nonexistent backyard so I hope the FB who picks this up enjoys the view of a retaining wall, noise, and the distinct possibility of a FUV crashing through the wood fence (no guardrail of course) and into their house on a steep downward trajectory. Pathetic.

Comment by In Colorado
2008-02-04 10:04:02

Now I see why people commute from Loveland. For that price you can get a much bigger (70-100% bigger) house out here.

Comment by Flatlander
2008-02-04 10:24:43

Yep, and they are getting cheaper every day in Loveland. Here are the Jan. 2008 sales statistics:

“In Loveland, 51 single family homes were sold, as compared with 66 sold in January of last year; new median price $195,000 (down 22.73% in number of homes sold, and down 7.1% in price from the same period last year, when the median price was $209,900). Nine (9) new homes were sold (median price $267,739), as compared with 15 sold in January last year (median price $265,500), down 40% in number of new homes sold, but up 0.84% in median price.

In Loveland, in January, we had 13.69 sellers for every buyer of homes priced under $250,000; 19.27 sellers for every buyer of homes priced between $250,000 and $350,000; 68 sellers for every buyer of homes priced between $350,000 and $450,000; 45 sellers for every buyer of homes priced between $450,000 and $600,000; and 69 sellers for every buyer of homes priced over $1,000,000. No homes were sold that were priced above $675,000, although 84 were available. [Only 5.2% of all available listings were sold, and the ones that sold were on the market for an average of 166 days.]”


Comment by In Colorado
2008-02-04 11:24:48

And as I commented yesterday, a lot of people trying to unload higher end houses here, and many of them are the big truck subcontractors who have finally run out of both residential and commerical construction work.

In the past few years I have seen tons of mansions going up on 5-10 acre lots in the outslirt areas of town. I don’t know who they thought would buy all those houses. Maybe they were betting on the new doctors a the new hospital. In any case they were wrong. Same story in Berthoud.

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Comment by Lost in Utah
2008-02-04 18:12:35

Lest you think this is unlikely, the exact thing happened to my neighbors when I was a grad student in Boulder renting in a nice area, a car came flying through their garage door, lodged itself there at about 4 feet off the ground. I heard the noise, it sounded like a bomb. Nobody hurt, fortunately. Totaled their garage (and the car).

Comment by sagesse
2008-02-04 09:30:00

Why, it has unusual features:

Comment by txchick57
2008-02-04 09:56:28

Ha. Never thought of this:

Judge won’t let homeowners buy loans at
bankruptcy auctions

BYLINE: By PEG BRICKLEY, Dow Jones Newswires


A Maryland homeowner lost her bid Friday to force
American Home Mortgage Investment Corp. to let
homeowners pay off their mortgages at the
bargain-basement prices at which they’re sold to
institutional investors at bankruptcy auctions.

Judge Christopher Sontchi of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court
in Wilmington, Del., said there was no legal reason
why homeowners shouldn’t be allowed to participate in
bankruptcy auctions at which hedge funds and other big
investors buy mortgages for as little as 50 percent of
their face value. But he said it isn’t his job to look
out for the interests of consumers in a bankruptcy

“I’m not sure that I have to consider giving the
consumers a fair shake at bidding on their own loans,”
Sontchi said, turning down a request from homeowner
Paula Rush to let her bid in a Feb. 26 auction of 424
American Home mortgages. The face value of those
mortgages, which are sold in pools, is $152 million.

The collapse of the subprime mortgage market last year
threw dozens of mortgage lenders into bankruptcy,
triggering the transfer of billions of dollars in
mortgages at bankruptcy auctions. In several cases
around the country, homeowners have complained that
the transfer made it difficult for them to identify
who owned their loans and who they should negotiate
workouts with.

American Home, one of the country’s biggest mortgage
lenders, collapsed into bankruptcy last year and is
going out of business. Rush, who lives in Churchville,
Md., has been fighting the company since before the
bankruptcy, alleging she was duped into an expensive
mortgage and denied her legal right to get out of it.
American Home won’t tell her who now owns her loan,
but says it was sold to an investor as part of a big
pool of mortgages.

At bankruptcy auctions, mortgage lenders sell loans in
big packages. Last year, for example, American Home
sold a $1.6 billion package of mortgages at prices
ranging from 54 percent to 91 percent of the
outstanding balance of the loans. Rush, in court
papers, argued that if big investors get to buy
mortgages at such heavily discounted rates, homeowners
should be granted that privilege too.

If homeowners were allowed to participate at such
auctions, she said, they would easily be able to
arrange the financing to pay off their loans. “At 50
cents on the dollar, anyone would buy out their loan,”
she said in an interview Friday.

Lawyers for American Home argued at a court hearing
Friday that it would be too expensive and cumbersome
to allow homeowners to bid for their own loans because
those loans are sold in large packages. “The
administrative cost associated with individual
borrowers bidding on individual loans would be
extraordinary,” said Sean M. Beach, an attorney for
the company.

Another attorney, Mark Power, who represents American
Home creditors, said that allowing homeowners to buy
just their own loans would mean “cherry-picking of the
best loans (and) leaving the rest.”

Sontchi expressed sympathy for Rush. Legally, he said,
there’s no reason why “the one person who is going to
be required to pay the full price” on the mortgage the
homeowner should be barred from bidding in an auction.
But said that his responsibility as a judge is only to
ensure that American Home acts reasonably to get the
“highest and best price” for its assets.

Moreover, he said, it’s “unlikely” that financially
distressed homeowners would be able to outbid big
investors such as banks and hedge funds.

Comment by Va Beyatch from Virginia Beach
2008-02-04 12:29:50

I don’t think it’s right that individuals are banned from bidding on their debt. This type of practice (keep out the small people while the rich benefit) legitimizes home debtors walking away from their properties to me.

Comment by RoundSparrow
2008-02-04 13:42:41

Am I missing something?

Couldn’t a homeowner hide cash (say in a business they own)…. let a house go into foreclosure… then snap it back up at bargain rates?

Comment by Evil Capitalist
2008-02-04 16:46:28

Different auction. Homedebtor is certainly more than welcome to pool her resources with resources of thousands more of home debtors and BUY the loan PACKAGE. It seems that our highly entitled homedebtor thought that she could buy just -her- mortgage at a discount.

Comment by sagesse
2008-02-04 18:15:19

It surely must be less cumbersome to figure out, after a foreclosure, who exactly owns the house.

Comment by Darrell_in _PHX
2008-02-04 09:57:29


“I prefer to be more crass: There is a fundamental and deplorable breakdown in financial responsibility in America today. I’ve been saying it for a long time now; I’m sick and tired of everyone running to bail out borrowers who simply made irresponsible financial decisions.”

She has the correct conclusion, but focused on the wrong end of the snake. She blames people that are walking from debt.

It started with the Fed dropping interest rates WAY below inflation. Economic growth, at all costs. Who cares if savers get hurt.

Savers, including pension funds, money markets, insurance companies, equity funds, state and local governments, businesses, etc. find stocks crashing and all other investments, except MBS, paying suck returns. So, desperate for returns to keep up with market demands, they bought MBS… And repackaged MBS in things like CDO, SIV, etc.

Demand for those bonds created the cascading problems. Falling lending standards, specualtive markets, crazy high prices, super agressive used house sales people and mortgage brokers, fooked borrowers comitting to pay way more than they could ever hope to pay based on fantasy that prices would continue to climb at crazy fast pace….

None of the crazy greed would have been possible without the ability to sell MBS, and the ability to sell MBS would not have happened without interest rates being sooooo low for soooooo long.

The greed started on Capitol Hill where government demanded rapidly growing tax receipts so that they would not have to deal with Soical Security and Medicare. The orders to the Fed were “economic growth at all costs”. The cost of the growth was a fake economy built on bubbles, wages rising slower than inflation, and ever-growing mountains of debt at ever lower interest rates.

You want to blame irresponsible financial decisions??? Start with Capitol Hill and fallow the toxic waste down hill from there.

Blaming the fooked borrowers that are walking from houses that they owe way more for than they can sell them for, are the wrong end of the snake. Blaming them is like blaming the arse for the crud coming out of it…. If you want to look for the real blame, start at the mouth and see what it is consuming!

Deregulation, lack of enforcement, encouragement of bubbles, crazy low interest rates, lower tax rates on the uber-rich than the upper middle-class, refusal to address the disaster that is Social Security and Medicare (health costs in general)…. THERE are your REAL poor financial decisions.

Comment by RoundSparrow
2008-02-04 13:46:49

Deregulation, lack of enforcement, encouragement of bubbles, crazy low interest rates, lower tax rates on the uber-rich than the upper middle-class

Let’s not forget: Basic greed, using house as investment instead of just a place to live (”get rich quick” = “American Dream”)

Comment by packman
2008-02-04 09:57:42

General observation and question. Mortgage rates right now are definitely not following the federal funds rate down, and are in fact climbing instead - at least over the last two weeks since BB’s hatchet job.

Perhaps an indicator that there’s an increased perception of risk in the mortgage market the last two weeks? That the emergency rate cut, at least in the short term, is having the reverse of the desired affect - by causing credit tightening instead of loosening?

Comment by Professor Bear
2008-02-04 10:10:59

This shabby mess needs to be cleaned up before the U.S. housing market can hope to adequately meet the needs of U.S. households for the remainder of the 21st Century. WHICH CANDIDATE WILL GET THE JOB DONE RIGHT???

A shabby mess
WaMu allegations illuminate housing crisis
February 4, 2008

In a dozen different ways, it’s become plain that the toxic combination of greed and dishonesty produced the mortgage and housing crisis that threatens to drag the U.S. economy into a recession.

The latest evidence of this involves Washington Mutual, the nation’s largest savings and loan. Jennifer Wertz, a Sacramento appraiser, is suing WaMu for allegedly blackballing her firm in retaliation for Wertz’s refusal to inflate the value of homes involved in pending loans. In May 2007, Wertz contends, a WaMu manager demanded she change her description of local property values from “declining” to “stable.” Wertz says she refused – and never was hired by WaMu again.

The thrift is far from the only lender whose ethics are in question. A study published last year showed a stunning 90 percent of appraisers felt pressured to make dishonest valuations in recent years, when housing values soared from coast to coast.


Comment by Professor Bear
2008-02-04 10:13:24

My subjective impression is that the BB Fed would take stagflation over deflation any year of the century.

The worst of all possible worlds is stagflation,” said Janna Sampson, director of portfolio management at Oakbrook Investments.

Stagflation happens when the economy weakens at the same time prices are rising. It’s a problem that can’t be solved with rate moves; rate cuts spur inflation but boost growth, while hikes control inflation but also dampen growth.


Comment by takingbets
Comment by Professor Bear
2008-02-04 10:31:23

Guess it is a good thing stimulus is on the way?

Comment by hwy50ina49dodge
2008-02-04 12:11:12

“Guess it is a good thing stimulus is on the way?”

“I resemble that remark!” Opps… ;-)

Comment by bizarroworld
2008-02-04 11:09:47

To head off more defaults, Countywide sent out letters to 122,000 homeowners last week informing them that their home equity credit lines were shut down since their estimated home values had dropped below their loan amounts.

An other attempt to stretch out the inevitable.

Comment by Professor Bear
2008-02-04 10:28:50

Is the big problem at hand really the foreclosure crisis, or is it the other crisis nobody wants to talk about, related to the near-shutdown of international credit markets? Ya gotta love the way politicians always try to confine the scope of problems to a sufficiently small-minded focus that might appeal to J6P voters.

US urged to focus on housing crisis
By Jeremy Grant in Washington
Published: February 3 2008 19:59 | Last updated: February 3 2008 19:59

Only 11 days after the White House and House of Representatives agreed a $150bn economic stimulus package for the US economy, a Senate version is expected to reach the floor of the chamber for a vote on Monday.

But lawmakers are questioning whether it will do more than send a message that Washington is trying to forestall a full-blown US recession.

Instead of borrowing to fund tax rebates , some suggest there should be a focus on tackling a worryingly high home foreclosure rate. “To the extent this economic crisis has a face: it’s housing. And to the extent there’s a face on the housing crisis, it’s the foreclosure ­crisis,” said Christopher Dodd, Senate banking committee chairman, last week.


Comment by Darrell_in _PHX
2008-02-04 11:32:20

All the economy needs is for the medain U.S. household to be able to continue to spend 10-20% more than it makes… forever.

Wages have not kept up with inflation. This has been GREAT for corporate profits. It was made possible by ever larger mountains of debt.

Well, the debt is to the level where minimum payments can’t be made, so the debt is being cut off, so housing is shutting down and consumer spending is slumping.

$150 billion “stimulus” isn’t even enough to make up for the loss of $600 billion a year in MEW. It certainly isn’t enough to help make the payments on the doubled debt load that has been run up over the last 7 years.

There is one way out of this…. Nationalize a huge portion of the debt though cash hand-outs to all Americans (like $2 trillion minimum, used to pay down debt if you have debt or passed out as spendable cash to those not in debt), while reinstituting regulation and usuary laws on the debt industry.

We can’t just go cold turkey. If we try, all banks plus the GSEs will be isolvant. Govt. will be forced to print the money anyway (hyper-stagflation), or let the losses be passed on to depositors and bond holders(global depression).

Comment by Hoz
2008-02-04 13:18:55

Is the 2007 U.S. Sub-Prime Financial Crisis So Different? An International
Historical Comparison*
Carmen M. Reinhart
University of Maryland and the NBER
Kenneth S. Rogoff
Harvard University and the NBER

“…Another parallel deserves mention. During the 1970s, the U.S. banking system stood as an intermediary between oil-exporter surpluses and emerging market borrowers in Latin America and elsewhere. While much praised at the time, 1970s petro-dollar
recycling ultimately led to the 1980s debt crisis, which in turn placed enormous strain on money center banks.3 It is true that this time, a large volume of petro-dollars are again flowing into the United States, but many emerging markets have been running current account surpluses, lending rather than borrowing. Instead, a large chunk of money has effectively been recycled to a developing economy that exists within the United States’ own borders. Over a trillion dollars was channeled into the sub-prime mortgage market, which is comprised of the poorest and least credit worth borrowers within the United States. The final claimant is different, but in many ways, the mechanism is the same.

Finally, we note that although this paper has concentrated on the United States, many of the same parallels hold for other countries that began experiencing housing price duress during the 2007, including Spain, the United Kingdom and Ireland. There can be similarities across unhappy families, too….”

Comment by Ria Rhodes
2008-02-04 10:32:36

Comment by txchick57
“Gotcha but does your blood pressure shoot up 100 points every time the witch appears on TV? ”

TV-less since early 90’s. Still, you can hear her decrees on the radio. What riles me is that ‘holier than thou’ tone of hers, coming from basically a dowdy Arkansas lawyer who reinvented herself as a Westchester, NY transplant who believes she is the savior to the masses yearning for her snippets of wisdom. Gag!

Comment by txchick57
2008-02-04 10:56:27

I don’t watch TV either. Ever. But my husband does and sometimes I walk by and see that screechy witch.

To CCC: I think what annoys me the most is her sanctimonious manner and the fact that she is thrown up to the rest of women as some sort of role model to emulate when in fact, all of her national accomplishments are a direct result of who she married. There are many similarly talented female lawyers who are not married to U.S. presidents and I don’t see any of them being offered to us as the first female president. I literally cannot stand the sight of that woman.

Comment by watcher
2008-02-04 11:08:28

tx, gold is catching a bid here. If it holds over 900, bullish.

Comment by takingbets
2008-02-04 11:13:24

we need to start a campaign inplying to “break the cycle” to save our country. kinda like that “break the cycle of violence” campaign they had a while back, in the 90’s i think.

Comment by Kandy Kane-DelMoir
2008-02-04 11:42:23

Dowdy? If people are basing their decisions on the relative dowdiness of the candidates then it’s Mitt in a landslide.
*Barack can’t win because his ears stick out and give everybody a subliminal W whiff. That earstyle is never going to be presidental again.
*McCain, pas chic. He is fivehundred years old and his “tolerance for the little brown people” accessory choices that he thought would hearken back to the first Bush and add “retro sparkle” in fact clash abominably–he should have chosen a contemporary, relaxed, neutral “burn all wetbacks” stance to harmonize with the rest of his ensemble.
*On the news this AM I heard where Huckabee announced that he eats fried chicken with the skin on. If he lost 100 lbs eating skin-on fried chicken, he obviously musta got gastric bypass surgery. Stapling your stomach is OUT. Wearing magic chastity underwear and shellac on your head are IN.

Remember in November: if it hinges on “dowdy,” we get Mitt Romney.

And she’s not “screechy.” She’s not “shrill.” She’s got a hard, loud voice and an Illinois accent, which may bother people, but her voice is low; she’s practically a tenor. “Shrill” and “screechy” say more about you and your creeped-out-cause-ew-it’s-a-lady biases than they say about Hilary. As does “dowdy.” She sucks because she wants to bail out the flipping idiots and sell us all down the river, not ’cause she’s a lady.

Comment by hwy50ina49dodge
2008-02-04 11:54:57

“she is thrown up to the rest of women as some sort of role model to emulate”

Oh come on now…Brittany Spears / Leona Helmsly / Anna Nicole Smith / Oprah / Ann Coulter / Martha Stewart / Paris Hilton / did I miss anyone? …Just how many “Role Models” do women need anyways?

God… could have broke the mold… if only “She” had combined Phylis Diller with Doris Day :-) ;-)

Comment by Mary Lee
2008-02-04 18:52:51

….past her patronizing attitude, some of us aren’t fond of her board membership at WalMart, nor her Monsanto stance, which was to utter nary a word against GMO incursions.

Comment by Kandy Kane-DelMoir
2008-02-04 11:31:48

She sounds midwestern to me. Anyway, what’s “dowdy” have to do with anything? If people are basing their decisions on the relative dowdiness of the candidates then it’s Mitt in a landslide.
*Barack can’t win because his ears stick out embarrassingly and ruin his look, plus they give everybody a subliminal W whiff. That earstyle is never going to be presidental again.
*McCain, pas chic. He is fivehundred years old and his “tolerance for the little brown people” accessory choices that he thought would hearken back to the first Bush and add “retro sparkle” in fact clash abominably–he should have chosen a contemporary, relaxed, neutral “burn all wetbacks” stance to harmonize with the rest of his ensemble.
*On the news this AM I heard where Huckabee announced that he eats fried chicken with the skin on. If he lost 100 lbs eating skin-on fried chicken, he obviously musta got gastric bypass surgery. Stapling your stomach is OUT. Wearing magic chastity underwear and shellac on your head are IN.

Remember in November: if it hinges on “dowdy,” we get Mitt Romney.

Comment by crispy&cole
2008-02-04 11:32:20

Is Tom DeLay and his ilk (right wing nut jobs) any better - No way. They are all crooks!

Comment by patient renter
2008-02-04 14:00:18

I was amused the other day when during the MTV debate/thing she said “all the Republicans are for the war”. All but one, of course, who happened to vote agaisnt the war whereas she voted for it. Given this, I can see why she pretends he doesn’t exist.

Comment by aladinsane
2008-02-04 11:12:47

1930’s: Hoovervilles

2000’s: Bush Leagues

Comment by hwy50ina49dodge
2008-02-04 11:44:05

Between you & me… :-) there’s a town called “WeedPatch” ;-)… just East of Bakersfried ;-)

Comment by neuromance
2008-02-04 11:25:04

Chris Dodd is proposing the creation of the “Home Ownership Preservation Corporation”. Dodd wants this government agency to buy distressed subprime loans from lenders.

They’re talking about a simple 15-20 billion for starters. If they succeed in creating an actual government agency to do this, it could be start of something very large and persistent.

I think an agency like this would reward the behavior that led to the subprime meltdown, and perpetuate it, not dissuade it.

Do a Google search for on “Home Ownership Preservation Corporation”. I’d post a link but my posts have not been going through and a possibility might be the links.

Comment by Professor Bear
2008-02-04 12:06:59

My hunch is that it’s all about shifting his constituents’ (NYC and Greenwich financial corporations) bad debts on to the U.S. federal tax base, under the guise of a populist “Home Ownership Preservation” label.

Comment by hwy50ina49dodge
2008-02-04 12:15:55

“…bad debts on to the U.S. federal tax base”

Mr Bear…with truth statements like that…you will never get a job as a “journalists” or land a gov’t pension… unless you can convince the majority to vote you into office ;-)

Comment by Darrell_in _PHX
2008-02-04 12:09:05

Let’s say the MBS for a batch of loans is trading at $.50 on the $1. It would be doing this because of a presumed high default rate and low recovery rate.

Well, the proposal is to buy up all the pieces at the $.50 price, and then refi all the “at risk” loans in the package. Then, once all the loans are “fixed” resell the package again at teh reduced purchase price, and take that money to do the next batch of MBSs.

3 problems:
1) Buying up all the pieces. You can’t just buy one MBS. You would have to buy up all the pieces. Once you start buying, the holders of the other pieces are going to want more than the price when you started buying. Each piece bought makes the remaining pieces more expensive. Oh… you need this one last piece??? that will be $.90 on the $1 thanks…

2) Banks still hold most of this stuff as level 3 (hard to value). Once the govt starts buying and creates a “value” the banks would have to mark to market… and that will break them. Everyone want’s to know the true value, as long as the true value is greater than $.90 on the $1. If the true value is less than $.90 on the $1, then they DO NOT want to know the true value.

3) Reselling. Once you fix the loans and go to sell this off, there will still be built in assumptions. You will have to assume a certain default rate and recovery rate of the fixed loans. I think it will be tough to get people to buy these newly repackaged MBSs, since the assumptions could (likely would) still be flawed.

Comment by Professor Bear
2008-02-04 12:34:31

4) Dangling the prospect of taxpayer-funded bailouts in front of the banks that created to toxic debt tends to freeze up the market, as they feel no need to sell at market value if a higher govt-funded resale value is in the offing. Ditto for would-be sellers of white elephants now sitting empty and listed at prices the market cannot bear.

Comment by Evil Capitalist
2008-02-04 16:55:41

As long as government pays 10-15c on a dollar, why not?

The issue is that Dud (yes i know it is not spelling of his name) wants to have this corp to buy debt at a face value effectively bailing out lenders.

Comment by aladinsane
2008-02-04 11:57:52

Jingle Mail = Self-Debt Forgiveness

Comment by Professor Bear
2008-02-04 12:04:50

So much for the Souper Bowl factor…

February 4, 2008 2:03 P.M.EST
Giants’ win should have been bullish … what happened?
Bears feeling oddly super

Super Bowl XLII’s outcome is supposed to be a bullish indicator for Wall Street, but you couldn’t really tell from Monday’s action. Yahoo, Microsoft and Google remain a key focus for investors.


Comment by aladinsane
2008-02-04 12:23:52

“Whenever the Republicans talk of cutting taxes first and discussing the national security second, they remind me of a very tired rich man who said to his chauffeur: “Drive off that cliff, James, I want to commit suicide.”"

Adlai E. Stevenson, Jr.

Comment by Hoz
2008-02-04 12:35:06

The Parable of the Dagger

Once upon a time, there was a court jester who dabbled in logic.

The jester presented the king with two boxes. Upon the first box was inscribed:

“Either this box contains an angry frog, or the box with a false inscription contains an angry frog, but not both.”

On the second box was inscribed:

“Either this box contains gold and the box with a false inscription contains an angry frog, or this box contains an angry frog and the box with a true inscription contains gold.”

And the jester said to the king: “One box contains an angry frog, the other box gold; and one, and only one, of the inscriptions is true.”

The king opened the wrong box, and was savaged by an angry frog.

“You see,” the jester said, “let us hypothesize that the first inscription is the true one. Then suppose the first box contains gold. Then the other box would have an angry frog, while the box with a true inscription would contain gold, which would make the second statement true as well. Now hypothesize that the first inscription is false, and that the first box contains gold. Then the second inscription would be -”

The king ordered the jester thrown in the dungeons.

A day later, the jester was brought before the king in chains, and shown two boxes.

“One box contains a key,” said the king, “to unlock your chains; and if you find the key you are free. But the other box contains a dagger for your heart, if you fail.”

And the first box was inscribed:

“Either both inscriptions are true, or both inscriptions are false.”

And the second box was inscribed:

“This box contains the key.”

The jester reasoned thusly: “Suppose the first inscription is true. Then the second inscription must also be true. Now suppose the first inscription is false. Then again the second inscription must be true. So the second box must contain the key, if the first inscription is true, and also if the first inscription is false. Therefore, the second box must logically contain the key.”

The jester opened the second box, and found a dagger.

“How?!” cried the jester in horror, as he was dragged away. “It’s logically impossible!”

“It is entirely possible,” replied the king. “I merely wrote those inscriptions on two boxes, and then I put the dagger in the second one.”

The Moral is do not fade the Fed.

Comment by ahansen
2008-02-04 15:09:39

That was wonderful, Hoz. Thank you.

Comment by vozworth
2008-02-04 20:57:40

logic has no meaning in the face of the current pardigm.

Comment by Ria Rhodes
2008-02-04 13:40:44

Did I say ‘dowdy’!? I’m so terribly sorry. She’s ravishingly stunning in those custom-tailored, perky l’il ensembles, and I suppose she doesn’t eat skin like the he-man Huck either (how’s she stay so slim on the fast food circuit?). Word is that those gastric bypass charcoal underwear filter pads are expensive, so I hope Huckabee’s saving some cash for refills.

Comment by Professor Bear
2008-02-04 13:51:52

Layoff announcements jump 69% in January
By Rex Nutting, MarketWatch
Last update: 7:30 a.m. EST Feb. 4, 2008

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) — A fresh surge in financial-sector layoffs contributed to a 69% increase in corporate job-cut announcements in January, according to the latest tally compiled by outplacement firm Challenger Gray & Christmas released Monday.

U.S. corporations announced 74,986 job reductions last month, up from December’s 44,416 and 19% higher compared with the previous January, Challenger Gray reported.

The financial sector cut 15,789 positions, accounting for more than a fifth of the documented job cuts for January.

Job cuts remain below levels seen in the 2001 recession, noted John Challenger, CEO of the firm that bears his name.

“If the economy dips into a full-blown recession, it will likely be caused by a drop in consumer spending and the effects of the high price of energy,” Challenger said in a release. “In that case, we would expect to see job cutting in areas such as retail, consumer products, and transportation.”


Comment by mrktMaven FL
2008-02-04 14:01:35

Surprise! Fed survey says banks are tightening lending standards, particularly for RE.


Comment by Dinasmom
2008-02-04 14:31:00

Way off topic- but did anyone here get sick after taking a flu shot this year… and if so, what kind of “sick” We recently spent thousands on my husband from a mystery illness that came up a week after he got his free flu shot. Where’s Dr. House when you need him?

Comment by Lost in Utah
2008-02-04 18:20:15

Uh oh, flashing back to swine flu shots.

Comment by Hoz
2008-02-04 15:02:47

OC Renter

I think you asked me how to invest in Cobalt metal. You can go through Credit Suisse, which has a fund that is invested solely in the metal. The agio is not to dear and they seem to have positioned holdings around the world.

For larger purchases, you can also try mineweb.com and cobalt.bhpbilliton.com or AMM.com
for general information the Cobalt Development Institute.

Cobalt treated me well as an investment. I think it is as bogus as corn ethanol in the long run. MHO

Comment by alta
2008-02-04 15:58:03


“Santa Cruz Association of Realtors finds new CEO in Beverly Hills

Kathy Hartman has worked in Southern California for 30 years, but she said her new job running the Santa Cruz Association of Realtors will be like coming home….

Hartman is enthusiastic about the house she is _RENTING_ in Capitola….”

I think the R-word tells it all.

Comment by bill in Maryland
2008-02-04 18:08:30

On FBC tonight Cavuto had Peter Schiff. The more that Peter Schiff is on Cavuto, the quieter (in the sense of being “stunned”) Cavuto gets. And Cavuto is honest to say that Peter Schiff has a good track record and has been right the last few years.

So tonight, Schiff said the “RP” phrase. No, he was not censored off of Fox. He did mention Ron Paul before. He was not shy about his support for Mr. Paul. Also, Peter Schiff and Jonathan Hoenig (who is also Schiff-like) have blasted the Health care proposals of candidate Hillary Clinton. Mr. Schiff also did not mince words as he predicted that house prices in the hot areas of California, Florida, Arizona, and Nevada are going to drop 50% from their peaks, and some of them will drop 60% or 70% from their peaks. Fox Business Channel and Neil Cavuto cannot be said to be real estate shills.

Comment by Professor Bear
2008-02-05 01:26:17

The Fed seems flummoxed by the dawning realization that they are pushing on a string. This is a natural consequence of the implosion of the biggest housing bubble in history, which reached gargantuan proportions partially in response to the Fed’s own policies. It is rather as though they have shot themselves in the foot, and are puzzling over the red liquid that is oozing forth onto the ground.

Banks getting much stricter on loans, Fed says
By Rex Nutting, MarketWatch
Last update: 2:18 p.m. EST Feb. 4, 2008

WASHINGTON (MarketWatch) - Banks are putting a stranglehold on credit, the Federal Reserve reported Monday.

Banks are raising their credit standards for mortgages, consumer loans and commercial real estate loans at a pace never seen in the 17-year history of the Fed’s quarterly survey of senior bank loan officers, the Fed said.

Plain-vanilla business loans were also much harder to obtain, the Fed said.

Banks expect more delinquencies and charge offs for most types of loans to consumers and businesses, the survey said. Banks said they were tightening their lending standards in response to weaker economy, reduced tolerance of risk, and decreased liquidity in secondary markets.

The survey backs up the Federal Open Market Committee’s comments last week that credit conditions had tightened considerably, a factor that led to the FOMC to slash interest rates by an unprecedented 125 basis points in two weeks.


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