March 9, 2013

Bits Bucket for March 9, 2013

Post off-topic ideas, links, and Craigslist finds here.

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Comment by you're my boy, blue
2013-03-09 02:17:41

Bubba Watson, the 2012 Masters champion, said Friday at the WGC-Cadillac Championship in Doral, Fla., that he bought the former world No. 1’s home in the gated Isleworth community in Windermere, Fla., according to multiple reports.

“We closed last summer and we’re moving in next Thursday or Friday,” Watson told

Watson, a four-time PGA Tour winner, shot a 69 on Friday at TPC Blue Monster and is tied for fifth at the Cadillac. He trails 36-hole leader Woods by four shots.

According to public records, Woods originally bought the home for $2,475,000 in July 2000, and it had an assessed value of nearly $2.2 million in 2012.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2013-03-09 02:23:11

That property has bad karma.

Comment by Ryan
2013-03-09 06:51:39

The bad karma is incalculable.

Comment by Skroodle
2013-03-09 13:55:07

Karma is reflected in the loss on the property.

Comment by Pimp Watch
2013-03-09 07:14:30

Why wouldn’t it be worth less today than 12 years ago????

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2013-03-09 08:10:00

Value in 2000 $2,475,000
Value in 2012 $2,200,000

Change in nominal value 2000-2012:

(2200/2475-1)*100 = -11.1 percent

Change to inflation-adjusted value? Incalculable

Comment by In Colorado
2013-03-09 10:44:34

He probably blows that much on Scandinavian bimbos every year.

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Comment by hazard
2013-03-09 06:08:07

Michael Bloomberg nanny state: has the mayor gone too … - YouTube - 216k - Cached - Similar pages

Comment by hazard
2013-03-09 06:18:33

Banks dawdle in foreclosure court

By Kimberly Miller
Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
Posted: 8:06 a.m. Friday, March 8, 2013

The state has a backlog of 366,250 foreclosure cases and expects 680,000 more to be filed in the next three years, Goodner said.

“There doesn’t seem to be any motivation on the part of the plaintiffs (banks and mortgage servicers) to move the cases forward, and, as you can imagine, there is no motivation on the part of the (homeowners) to move the cases,” Goodner told the Senate appropriations subcommittee

Palm Beach County pending foreclosure cases by year filed

2007: 323

2008: 2,830

2009: 5,822

2010: 5,808

2011: 4,172

2012: 10,807

2013: 1,284

Source: Palm Beach County Clerk & Comptroller

Comment by palmetto
2013-03-09 06:27:00

“There doesn’t seem to be any motivation on the part of the plaintiffs (banks and mortgage servicers) to move the cases forward, and, as you can imagine, there is no motivation on the part of the (homeowners) to move the cases,” Goodner told the Senate appropriations subcommittee”

So everybody’s happy with the status quo. Problems have a way of working themselves out sometimes. Nice!

Comment by Combotechie
2013-03-09 06:34:57

So the foreclosures have been put on hold. What a surprise!

The FBs don’t want to be foreclosed on (natch) and the banks don’t want to foreclose on the FBs because then the banks would end up with an empty house. So not foreclosing is a win both for the FBs and a win for the banks.

Another win for the banks by not foreclosing is that it limits the inventory of houses that need to be put up for sale. Create a shortage of houses for sale (real or imagined - it doesn’t make all that much difference; perception is what makes the difference) and at the same time fire up some intensity of buying interest and - presto! - you have the beginnings of a buying panic.

A buying panic for houses raises prices the prices of ALL houses, the ones put up for sale and the ones not put up for sale - aka the comps. If the ones not put up for sale have mortgages on them then the mortgage gains value as the price of the house gains value. If the banks are the ones that hold the mortgages then the banks get to enjoy a win.

Comment by Combotechie
2013-03-09 06:44:36

Love the NAR and save the banks. The NAR folks have to work harder to make their bucks if the numbers of houses put up for sale is lean because they work on commission and commissions on few sales is less than commissions of many sales.

Unless, of course they can get the prices of the houses that they do get to sell up quite a bit. Get the prices up and their commissions also go up - AND the value of the mortgages held by the banks also go up.

The banks screw the NAR folks by holding back inventory, the NAR helps the banks by pumping up the prices on the few houses they are given to sell, and these pumped up prices pumps up the prices of the comps.

Comment by Combotechie
2013-03-09 06:54:00

Plus, because the NAR is working so hard to pump up prices, any FB that was thinking of walking because prices were down just might hang on, just might decide to stay and pay instead. And if this is what the FB decides to do then the bank again benfits because not only does the bank not have to eat another foreclosure it also get to receive some payments that it would not otherwise receive.

Paying and staying benifits the banks and furthur screws the NAR people because paying and staying means the house does not end up being put up for sale. And not being put up for sale means some realtor doesn’t end up with a commission.

See? It’s all good.

Comment by hazard
2013-03-09 07:05:19

Comment by ecofeco
2013-03-08 17:44:12

Comment by ecofeco
2013-03-09 09:58:44

Thanks hazard. I was just about to repost that again today.

Damned scary stuff.

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Comment by hazard
2013-03-09 10:04:18


Comment by hazard
2013-03-09 10:10:28

To The FEMA Re-Education Camp With You! in [Market-Ticker] - - Cached - Similar pages
1 day ago … Jane Wells: “Wow. Just attended forecast dinner for San Diego CFA. Bottom line, central banks are literally papering over everything and it’s all …

Comment by PeakHubris
2013-03-09 17:42:39

What’s scary is she works at CNBC and it took her this long to figure out what we’ve known for years. Are those shills really that stupid?

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Comment by polly
2013-03-09 07:06:23

The banks are servicers of the loans, not owners. If they foreclose, they stop getting paid for servicing the loans. The bond owners don’t have the coordination necessary to vote to change the servicing agreement since they probably need votes by a majority or even a super majority of all the tranches to take any action at all. I’m not even sure how a major owner of the bonds would find out who all the other bond holders of all the tranches of the securitization pool are.

If you were a bank, and you were being paid to do nothing except occasionally generate a letter informing a person how behind they are on their mortgage. You get to take your fee first out of any money that is being paid by any borrower at all. Good gig, right? Now, how excited would you be to spend hundreds of hours of employees time and pay all sorts of fees to outside counsel to foreclose on the house and end that stream of fees that you get for doing essentially nothing.

Comment by azdude
2013-03-09 08:03:39

Good point. I guess bank of new york mellon was a trustee for a lot of the securitized loans originated by countrywide. The servicer does nothing but collect payments. So techincally it would be the trustee who initiates a foreclosure. I guess its fairly easy to substitute a trustee also. On a deed of trust I had the title company was the trustee. A one page document signed by the benificiary can substitute a new trustee which can then handle the foreclosure or even a deed of reconveyance if they note has been paid in full.

So if the house was securitized and in one of these pools are all the owners of the traunch owners of the house? How many of them does it take to initiate foreclosure?

In a deed of trust it is the benificiary who instructs the trustee to start foreclosure.

I wonder if payments in the traunch are missed if all the owners payments are deducted the same since there are multiple owners ?

Now what if that mbs security underlying the house was sold to the FED? original investors paid off. Wouldnt the FED now be the one taking the losses for lack of payment and now be the benificiary and have the option of not foreclosing?

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Comment by Salinasron
2013-03-09 07:44:49

Setting in a house and not paying the mortgage is ‘income’ and should be reported as such and taxed as such. Not doing so is another slap in the face to renters and all others in the state as these dead-beats are not paying their share for the services they use in the community and in the state. Renters should start a movement for such policy!

Comment by 2banana
2013-03-09 07:49:04

The free sh*t army says no.

Now get back to work and pay your fair share.

Not doing so is another slap in the face to renters and all others in the state as these dead-beats are not paying their share for the services they use in the community and in the state.

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Comment by azdude
2013-03-09 08:15:46

the deadbeats are buying new cars and going to the mall stimulating the economy. Its really a bailout but you only get the free cheese if u stop paying.

Comment by aNYCdj
2013-03-09 08:27:21

and what has ohbewaana said about deadbeat homeowners??

4 more years of Middle Finger Management…..

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2013-03-09 08:12:58

With a million foreclosure cases anticipated over the next three years in FL, I wonder how much worse the real numbers look for the much larger underwater state of California?

Comment by Blue Skye
2013-03-09 08:40:21


Comment by azdude
2013-03-09 08:59:54

“And with the Fed targeting mortgages, it is clear that it views housing as the transmission mechanism for its objective of strengthening the jobs market. “

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Comment by PeakHubris
2013-03-09 09:09:29

Thank the suspension of mark to market. The banks will never unload these properties until it is financially beneficial to them.

Comment by scdave
2013-03-09 11:48:01

Thank the suspension of mark to market. The banks will never unload these properties until it is financially beneficial to them ??

Yep…Lower interest rates to zero….Suspend accounting rules…And then wait….For how long…Who knows…

Comment by lumpy gravy
2013-03-09 06:26:19

Bloomberg - World’s Richest Add $29 Billion as Dow Hits All-Time High:

“The 100 wealthiest people on the planet added $28.7 billion to their collective net worth this week after the Dow Jones Industrial Average surged to a record, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.

“Even today, despite the snowstorm, the market is trending higher,” John Carey, a fund manager with Boston-based Pioneer Investment Management Inc., said in a telephone interview. His firm oversees $200 billion. “Keep in mind, the market isn’t all that strong relative to where it was at the beginning of the century in terms of multiples, earnings momentum and popularity of stocks.”

The Dow closed yesterday at 14397.07, its highest level since May 1896, as U.S. employment rose 236,000 last month, according to Department of Labor figures. The jobless rate dropped to 7.7 percent, the lowest since December 2008, from 7.9 percent. About $10 trillion has been restored to U.S. equities in the past four years as retailers, banks and manufacturers led the recovery from the worst bear market since the 1930s.

The Standard & Poor’s 500 Index gained 2.2 percent during the week to close at 1,551.18 in New York. The Stoxx Europe 600 Index rose 2.3 percent, closing at 295.55.”

Comment by azdude
2013-03-09 07:40:52

Will the FED help mom and pop investors when the stock market crashes again? When the stock market crashes will they try even harder to inflate another real estate bubble? seems like we keep rotating from the two asset classes.

Comment by 2banana
2013-03-09 07:44:04

Depends who is in power.

With our current crop of politicians.

No and Yes.

Comment by AmazingRuss
2013-03-09 09:29:05

…as did the previous crop, and will the next.

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Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2013-03-09 08:17:27

“World’s Richest Add $29 Billion as Dow Hits All-Time High”

Are these the folks Ben Bernanke meant to help?

Comment by azdude
2013-03-09 08:21:13

u bet it is. rub my back i’ll rub yours?

Comment by ecofeco
2013-03-09 10:03:01

QE is and was, never meant to help anyone but the rich.

Comment by Bill in Los Angeles
2013-03-09 10:29:33

Many middle class added to their wealth too. Thanks to Bernanke, my 401k return since January 1 2009 is 80%. That does not include additional principle I invested.

Comment by azdude
2013-03-09 11:50:57

how much was inflation during that period?

Comment by Rental Watch
2013-03-09 11:56:37

Anywhere from 8% to 40%, depending on who you listen to…

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Comment by Pimp Watch
2013-03-09 19:10:10

Wages went up 8%-40% from 2009 to current?

You’re an idiot too.

Comment by ecofeco
2013-03-09 15:12:19

Many did, but the majority did not.

And that’s all that matters.

Comment by Carl Morris
2013-03-09 23:20:49

Many middle class added to their wealth too.

On paper. How many will actually cash out and not ride it back down?

Comment by lumpy gravy
2013-03-09 06:45:43

Globe and Mail - How Canada became a country drowning in debt:

“Canada’s overseas-bound central banker suggests he’s got the country’s debt problems licked. Those left behind may feel less jaunty.

Bank of Canada governor Mark Carney, who will move to the Bank of England later this year, implied this week that the need for higher interest rates is less imminent as Canadians heed the call to curb borrowing.

But households are still sitting on record levels of debt. And Mr. Carney’s usual ally, Finance Minister Jim Flaherty, criticized the Bank of Montreal this week for reducing mortgage rates, saying, “I encourage responsible lending.”

Given muted wage growth, tough choices lie ahead: It seems 2013 might turn out to be the hangover after the great Canadian debt party.

A new analysis paints a picture of just how pinched households have become, at a time when house prices are expected to fall and amid weak income gains, poor job prospects for young people and growing income inequality.

Since the recession, Canadians have been saving much less, at rates about a quarter of what they were in the early 1990s. Household debt levels have soared past those of the U.S. and the U.K. in recent years, reaching an average of just over $110,000 dollars per household in the third quarter of last year – more than double the level of $50,691 in 1990.

Meanwhile, disposable income hasn’t changed much since 2008. Which means one thing: “Debt that’s been created by boomers and older people is coming to roost,” Mr. Sauvé says.

One central factor in this is real estate: Canadians have bought pricey homes, taken out big mortgages and used them as cash machines by drawing on home-equity lines of credit to pay for renovations or other purchases.”

Comment by 2banana
2013-03-09 07:25:32

Same script - different place.

It will end. And it will end in disaster.

The Canadian banks already have a built in TARP so they really don’t care. Ride it to the end. They won’t get hurt.

I foresee some cheap vacation in Canada in the near future…

One central factor in this is real estate: Canadians have bought pricey homes, taken out big mortgages and used them as cash machines by drawing on home-equity lines of credit to pay for renovations or other purchases.”

Comment by Skroodle
2013-03-09 14:04:33

I bet Goldman and AIG are heavily exposed again.

Comment by Salinasron
2013-03-09 07:49:24

Heed the call to stop borrowing? Such Bull crap! You just don’t lend to people who can’t afford to take on debt!

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2013-03-09 08:19:51

A banker is a fellow who lends you his umbrella when the sun is shining, but wants it back the minute it begins to rain.

– Mark Twain

Comment by Overtaxed
2013-03-09 15:33:16

“Globe and Mail - How Canada became a country drowning in debt:”

You don’t need to read this article. Just watch House Hunters anytime they are in Canada. It will take about 5 minutes to figure out how they are drowning in debt.

Comment by lumpy gravy
2013-03-09 06:50:45

Globe and Mail - Will nervous first-time buyers make this spring housing market bloom?

“With the spring selling season approaching, all eyes are on a crucial segment of the real estate market – the first-time home buyer.

It’s a group that includes people such as Tyler Padley and his wife Jamie McGovern, who have been renting in the west end of Toronto and are now looking to buy their first house and start a family. Like many prospective homeowners, they are struggling to find what they want at a price they can afford – even though they’ve saved up a sizable down payment. With the average home price hovering at around $510,000, they’re realizing they may have to settle for a place that’s smaller or further from the city’s core than they wanted – assuming they take the plunge at all.

Data from seven large cities suggest that last month’s sales nationally are about 12 per cent lower than a year ago, BMO Nesbitt Burns economist Douglas Porter said in a research note this week. “It still seems that the much greater risk is that sales weaken further, not that they surprise to the high side,” he wrote.

Prices remain stubbornly high in most urban markets. Fitch, a ratings agency, said this week that prices nationally are about 20 per cent too high. Such headlines add to the fear among first-time buyers that, even if they can afford to get into the market, now might not be the time.”

Comment by 2banana
2013-03-09 06:56:42

Mortgage Spreads Rise Most Since May 2012 With More Part-time Jobs
Confounded Interest | 03/08/2013 | Anthony B. Sanders

Today’s job market report showed a better gain in jobs than forecast. Even though full-time jobs declined and part-time jobs increased, the market interpreted this news as positive.

But along with the “positive” jobs news, we also saw a rise in the US Treasury 10 year yield. It has generally been increasing since November 2012.

Comment by palmetto
2013-03-09 07:08:34

“part-time jobs increased”

Yeah, all those seasonal garden department jobs at the big box stores. Awesome.

“Hey, Mrs. Gotbucks, have an orchid”.

Comment by 2banana
2013-03-09 07:14:22

Hope and change


Why we have a jobless recovery


What Obama Is Doing to the Job Market ^ | March 9, 20013 | John C. Goodman

Firms are awash with cash, but they’re not hiring. What’s going on? One place to look for an explanation is the policies of the Obama administration.

President Obama’s proposal to increase the minimum wage and the health insurance employer mandate are combining to destroy job opportunities for young, unskilled workers in cities and towns across the country.

The minimum wage, currently set at $7.25 an hour, will jump to $9 an hour and be indexed going forward if the president gets his way. The Affordable Care Act (ObamaCare) is already the law of the land and its effects are being felt right now, even though the employer mandate doesn’t go into effect until next January.

With respect to the new health law, the Congressional Budget Office estimates the cost of the minimum benefit package that everyone will be required to have will be $4,750 for individuals and $12,250 for families. That translates into a minimum health benefit of $2.28 an hour for full time single workers and about $3 an hour for someone working 30 hours a week. For family coverage, the cost is $5.89 an hour for a 40-hour-a week employee and $7.85 an hour for a 30-hour-a-week employee.

These are not small changes. They can double the cost of labor in some cases.

Employers have four ways to reduce this burden: (1) the mandate doesn’t apply to firms with fewer than 50 workers, (2) the mandate doesn’t apply to employees who work fewer than 30 hours, (3) the employer doesn’t have to offer or subsidize family coverage and (4) rather than provide health insurance, the employer can pay a $2,000 per (full-time) worker fine.

There are going to be lots of firms that fail to grow beyond 49 employees. But be warned: If an individual owns, say, two or three fast food franchises, the IRS has signaled that it will treat their combined operations as a single business. Also, in calculating the number of full time workers, the IRS is going to count “full-time equivalents.” That means that two workers, each working 15 hours a week, will count as the equivalent of one full-time (30 hour) worker.

As noted, employers are already reacting to ObamaCare. In fact, there was a huge shift to part-time employment in the fast food industry beginning in January. The reason: ObamaCare will employ a 12 month “look back.” In deciding whether a worker is full-time or part-time next January (when the mandate becomes effective) the government will look at the average weekly hours worked in the previous year.

I believe this change is economy wide. As Catherine Rampel noted at The New York Times economics blog the other day: Compared with December 2007, when the recession officially began, there are 5.8 million fewer Americans working full time. In that same period, there has been an increase of 2.8 million working part time.

Employees may be able to work part-time at two different restaurants — both of which avoid the mandate by switching to part-time labor. On the other hand, they may just choose to work fewer hours. The reason: When the effects of the tax law are added to the effects of ObamaCare, a moderate income family will face a 41 percent marginal tax rate.

Comment by 2banana
2013-03-09 07:18:49

Federal Reserve: ObamaCare Leading to Layoffs ^ | march 8, 2013 | Jason Pye

During testimony before the House Budget Committee in February 2011, Doug Elemendorf, director of the Congressional Budget Office, told Rep. John Campbell (R-CA) that ObamaCare would reduce employment by some 800,000 by 2021. The effects of the law on the job market was a point that many policy analysts were making before its passage.

Unfortunately, the Obama Administration and Democrats in Congress weren’t listening. And now, the Federal Reserve has released a report noting that ObamaCare is leading many businesses to layoff workers:

The Federal Reserve on Wednesday released an edition of its so-called “beige book,” that said the 2010 healthcare law is being cited as a reason for layoffs and a slowdown in hiring.

“Employers in several Districts cited the unknown effects of the Affordable Care Act as reasons for planned layoffs and reluctance to hire more staff,” said the March 6 beige book, which examines economic conditions across various Federal Reserve districts across the country.

Comment by ecofeco
2013-03-09 10:07:15

Worst. Troll. Ever.

I’ve been through 5 recessions in my life. After every single one of them, J6P was worse off.

Were those Obama’s fault as well?

Oh wait, they all happened under Republican presidents.

Comment by anon in dc
2013-03-09 12:41:18

It’s not a Republican or Democrat thing. It’s unrealistic expectations by J6P. 1945 - 1980 US standard of living was a historic and economic anomaly. There’s global labor glut. We are return to the norm of subsistence living. All the anger and vilification of “the rich” won’t change this. Can’t legislate supply and demand. A lot of people need to change their expectations. Some will some won’t. You can still get ahead in the US the way people have always done - work hard, spend way less then you earn. Better yet start a business. Despite having Uncle Sam and his with palm constantly out it is possible to create a nice life having your own business. I find it almost comical that the clock punchers are in hissy fit ’cause the easy times are over.

Comment by Bill in Los Angeles
2013-03-09 13:32:36


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Comment by ecofeco
2013-03-09 15:01:57

“It’s unrealistic expectations by J6P.”

A stable job, regular raises to keep up with the cost of living and a pension is unreasonable?

Wow. Just…. wow. Just by saying that means others think the same way and we will NEVER see economic improvement for the middle class within our lifetimes.

Well, until the cities start to burn. Guess you didn’t live through the REAL 60s.

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Comment by PeakHubris
2013-03-09 18:12:12

Right, because everyone can just be a business “owner.” You’re not very smart.

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Comment by Bill in Los Angeles
2013-03-09 15:56:56

I am not sure what this means to consultants at staffing firms. I get no benefits currently. I expect this and prefer no benefits since I prefer to do my own negotiation. And I buy my own health insurance and dental insurance through Incidentally, I find doctors in my own network in any state.

ObummerCare sux.

Comment by lumpy gravy
2013-03-09 07:17:51

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to be discussed now on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal, 7:15EST…

Comment by lumpy gravy
2013-03-09 07:19:53

Oops, 9:15 EST. Call in please…

Comment by azdude
2013-03-09 08:44:09

does the FED only buy agency backed MBS?

Comment by Lip
2013-03-09 07:25:08

A Dangerous ‘New Normal’ in College Debt

“Our national educational aspirations and the debt crisis that they’re creating are colliding. We are on an unsustainable track. This will not end well.

Just another area where the government funding has allowed the prices to expand up to a “bubble state”. I know two people that have college debt in excess of $100k and I think it’s a shame. They’ll work their whole lives just to pay off their education.

Comment by lumpy gravy
2013-03-09 07:41:09

And the “new normal” means those kidz will NOT be “snapping up” all those $350,000 ($500,000 on the coasts) starter homes. There is no “pent-up demand”, the NAR are liars.

Comment by 2banana
2013-03-09 07:45:56

Yes they will.

Welcome to the obama housing bubble v2.0

NINJA and no doc loans are BACK

Comment by Pimp Watch
2013-03-09 08:05:51

How can that be when housing demand is at 1997 levels. And falling.

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Comment by PeakHubris
2013-03-09 18:14:57

“NINJA and no doc loans are BACK.”

I call trollshit on this. While lending standards are still way too loose, NINJA loans are not back.

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Comment by In Colorado
2013-03-09 10:48:54

And the “new normal” means those kidz will NOT be “snapping up” all those $350,000 ($500,000 on the coasts) starter homes.

FWIW, starter homes in my neck of the woods are about 170-180K. Not chump change, but not 350K either.

Comment by Skroodle
2013-03-09 14:13:38

I thought you lived in Boulder?

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Comment by Carl Morris
2013-03-09 23:27:32

No, I do. He’s farther north.

Comment by lumpy gravy
2013-03-09 08:02:30

Comment on the article:

“Loan debt affected our timing on children. We didn’t want to have a child while paying off both undergraduate and graduate school debt. I thought we were being responsible. By the time we were more financially stable, I was in my mid-30s. We encountered fertility problems and were never able to conceive. Health issues forced me to have a hysterectomy at 38. We’re trying to move on. It is a bitter pill to swallow knowing that we did what we thought was responsible, but things did not work out for us in the end, family-wise.”

Multiply that by a million. And see also the opening sequence of Idiocracy.

Comment by 2banana
2013-03-09 08:43:44

Moral of the story. Have kids when you want them. You will figure out how to pay for them.

There will be tough times. But you will get through them.

There is no going back.

Comment by ecofeco
2013-03-09 10:09:19

…says the poster who said that you shouldn’t have kids if you can’t afford them.

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Comment by Pimp Watch
2013-03-09 14:06:03

lol….. good point

Comment by Rancher
2013-03-09 17:45:07

An old friend said to me one day, “if you wait
to be able to afford kids, you’ll never have them”‘

Comment by goirishgohoosiers
2013-03-09 09:26:28

A frightening scene. And so true. I know dozens of couples who remind me of Carol and Trevor.

Comment by anon in dc
2013-03-09 12:44:26

You feel bad for these people because they were responsible. BUT sorry. Life does not come with guarantees.

Comment by Bill in Los Angeles
2013-03-09 13:43:53

Rather than lament about not having children, they should turn the sorrow around and think that without children they have less debt and potential to become financially independent earlier than their peers. If only they went to a two year college then finished at a state university. Maybe they would have no more debt than a car loan.

Or they could at least adopt children.

My best friend who just retired and his wife never had kids. I remember her being handed a baby by a colleague at work, as if she had the woman instinct to be so happy to hold the baby. She told me afterward she felt awkward. That was 25 years ago. Now they have a paid off house, no debt, and on their federal retirement pensions and TSPs. That couple always accentuated the positive, so they are on easy street. The world is too crowded anyway. All kids should be wanted and not mistakes. This is only one reason I am pro choice.

Comment by Combotechie
2013-03-09 08:09:33

“They’ll work their whole lives just to pay off their education.”

It used to be one needed an education in order to get a good paying job. Now one needs to get a good paying job because he has to pay for his education.

If enough people are in this fix then the price of educated labor gets pushed down.

Comment by Combotechie
2013-03-09 08:37:24

There seems to be some point where the ROI for an education goes negative.

Comment by Bigguy
2013-03-09 09:23:59

Higher education today is like e company store.

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Comment by Overtaxed
2013-03-09 13:00:35

“There seems to be some point where the ROI for an education goes negative.”

It’s already there for some of the “soft” studies in college. Take education; spend 100K on a private college degree in education to come out and have a lower average salary than a plumber or carpenter. There you have it, negative ROI.

I’d hazard a guess that a significant number (10% or 50%, I have no idea) of college students would be making more today had they not gone to college.

The exceptions, everyone knows. Engineering, science, medicine, business and math. If you’re not going for something that falls in those areas of study, you have a good chance of spending money you’ll never get back from the time you spend in college. Especially when you figure that the 4 years in college could be spent earning income/experience in a trade.

“Moral of the story. Have kids when you want them. You will figure out how to pay for them.”

Moral of this story (IMHO). Kids are for the rich and the poor. The middle class need not apply. Idiocracy indeed.

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Comment by Bill in Los Angeles
2013-03-09 13:56:38

Community college and math, math, math. Oh, did I suggest the importance of math? Foundation of almost all engineering courses.

Two years at a state university to finish the degree. Internship where ones dad or mom works. All very good for the competitive job situation.

This is not unlike the situation I was in as a tail end boomer in the early 80s. The boomers born a decade before me had the best jobs. But I was not aware. I was just happy to earn my first salary. Once into the company, use its resources to support your further education. MSCS for me.

Comment by Skroodle
2013-03-09 14:17:05

The raise in the cap on H1-Bs will make engineering degrees the equivalent of a degree in women’s studies.

Comment by Overtaxed
2013-03-09 15:31:40

MSCS? Microsoft Cluster Server? :) Sorry, I’m joking, but I really don’t know that acronym.

And, I couldn’t agree more. People who tell me “math is hard” and “you’re so lucky you understand it” make me laugh. You think it was easy for me? You think I felt like going to diff eq and hearing someone who could barely speak English try to explain something to me that was barely intelligible to anyone while you got to hear about the Pintdown man from a guy you’d like to hang out with after class? Of course not, and yes, lots of things are far more interesting then math/programming/accounting/finance/etc. But, IMHO, unless you’re independently wealthy, sitting in the interesting classes instead of the “hard” classes that actually teach you something useful is a total waste of time for the vast majority of the population.

Yes, there are jobs where the soft degrees are just fine. But, if you want a “guarantee” (in quotes because this is as close as you’re going to get) of a good job after college you better major in something hard and useful. I can pretty much promise you, there’s not many people who majored in the hard sciences/business at a tier 1/2/3 school and graduated with a BA/BS who are working at MCD today. The same cannot be said for those who majored in history/psychology/English/etc.

They really should start to follow the Indian system in this country, at least, if nothing else, make the harder majors less expensive to complete to encourage more students into them. We need a lot less navel gazing and a lot more math proficient people in this country.

Oh, and by far, the course that everyone should absolutely be required to take in college is statistics. It’s not a hard math, but, wow, is it useful in day to day life. That, probability and some stuff from finance courses are, by far, the most used skills that I learned in college. The hard math stuff, I’ve never used, but, having “jumped the hurdle” it’s certainly helped open doors in my career.

The other thing to remember, people often use college in general, and your specific degree in particular as a way to screen for IQ. If you can go to a decent college and come out with a good GPA in mathematics, you’ve got a relatively high IQ. While employers aren’t allowed to directly screen for IQ, they use college (and certifications, grades, etc) as a screen to try to find smartest employees. Graduating with a math degree from college (which, BTW, I don’t have; I went for computer science which, IMHO, is easier and therefore less IQ heavy) just about ensures your employer that your IQ is 2-3 SD above the mean (120-130). That’s why they like it, even if your job will have nothing to do with math.

Here’s an interesting chart of IQ averages by major. I have no idea where this data comes from, but, employers have information just like this, which is why, if you have a physics degree, they are happy to hire you to do just about anything. And, of course, the inverse for a childhood education degree.

Now, of course, there’s an argument to be made that we could all save a bunch of time (and a tremendous amount of money) here and just directly test people for IQ instead of by proxy through educational attainment. However, with very few exceptions, testing for IQ (and even tests that correlate too closely with IQ) are illegal as employment screens. It’s arguable if this is good policy or not (I’m not sure what side I come down on).

Comment by Bill in Los Angeles
2013-03-09 16:14:20

Master of Science in Computer Science. As for Math, I guess I am a real nerd because I found it interesting. I loved advanced algebra (involving upper division mathematics, deriving fields and rings…this certainly is not junior high algebra) and applied math. Differential equations, oddly, was not part of my Math degree. I took D.E. six years later after graduating (one year after getting my MSCS) and earned an A in that class. It was something I was bugged about by the EEs at work that made me decide to take that class as an evening class. Not that I use it in my work, but it made me feel “complete.”

I was not good at stats since I took that class while taking advanced algebra and advanced Calculus, and focused on those abstract classes.

If you can understand proof by induction, you can handle many upper division Mathematics courses. Took me a great deal of effort to understand it.

Comment by Overtaxed
2013-03-09 16:30:49

“As for Math, I guess I am a real nerd because I found it interesting.”

I would put myself in the same category. I found it interesting as well, but, it sounds like I had a harder time with it than you, I really had to work at some of those courses to get good grades, my liberal arts courses were a joke in comparison. I’d often spend my entire time in an English lit class doing work for some math/comp sci course and still do fine in the course I was paying no attention to. :)

It’s funny, shows how we are all different. I found stats to be a cakewalk compared to the abstract math courses. But diff eq I felt like my brain was going to leak out of my ear. Same thing with linear algebra (although, to be fair, I had a horrible teacher for this; after I “got it” I realized that it was much easier than how it was being explained to us).

Just out of curiosity, what kind of work do you do today? I graduated with a BS in CS and work in that field (virtualization and storage primarily) today. I love IT (more than CS honestly, coding was interesting, but even in college, I could see that it wasn’t for me full time). Switches, router, and big servers really make my day. :) Bonus if there’s some fibre channel!

Comment by Bill in Los Angeles
2013-03-09 17:34:11

I also took linear algebra as an elective…eigen values, eigen vecors, that sort of thing. Loved it!

Funny that my undergraduate degree is a Bachelor of Arts, rather than Sciences. Mathematics, with the Computer Science option.

I think Computer Science is more an Art than a science. I consider myself more an artist. It is an art to manipulate data in an efficient way. Elegance comes in at some point. At that point I say it’s an art.

Been writing software on embedded systems since 1985. Avionics, information protection, and other stuff. I am gearing for a move to commercial up in “Silly Cone” valley in three years. Will probably work in the encryption field.

Comment by Carl Morris
2013-03-09 23:30:08

Internship where ones dad or mom works.

And if you’re the first in your family to go to school and try to break into the white collar world? Well…good luck.

Comment by shendi
2013-03-09 08:41:49

True that.

One more thing - the quality of education has also gone down. The student that graduates as an “average” is equivalent to a below-average student from the 1990’s. Eventually, they will get the foreign workers (H1B) to do the same below average job for less salary.

One note: for a skilled and good student (both in practical and theoretical thinking) there will always be a good job. One has to look hard for it or take a torturous path - but eventually it will come!

Comment by ecofeco
2013-03-09 10:11:16

I agree with everything expect the last sentence.

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Comment by In Colorado
2013-03-09 10:54:40

From the article:

“In constant dollars, state and local educational appropriations per full-time student reached their high in 2001, at $8,670. In 2012, those appropriations fell by nearly one third, to just $5,896. ”

In the Centennial State it’s not even $3000 anymore. Back in 2000 in state tuition at our State U’s was about $3000 a year. Now it’s as high as $8000, Though CSU and UNColorado give incoming freshman with high GPAs a $2000 discount (CU does not).

CSU and CU have announced they will increase tuition 9% next year.

Comment by hazard
2013-03-09 07:32:04

It would have worked out better for Custer’s employers if the indians had single shot breech loading Springfield trapdoor rifles and the 7th cavalry were armed with lever action Henry rifles.


Lever-action is a type of firearm action which uses a lever located at the trigger to load new cartridges into the rifle ejecting the spent cartridge and cocking the hammer making the rifle ready to fire again

Oliver Winchester soon took over and with help from B.Tyler Henry they perfected the lever action rifle and made the Henry repeating rifle.

This was the start of the Lever action era, many other inventors such as Christopher Spencer and later John Browning would help the lever action become famous.

The lever action, due to its rapid firepower made it popular with settlers, Indians and outlaws. At the battle of the little bighorn in 1876 the Indians armed with lever action Henry rifles defeated Custer and the 7th cavalry who were armed with single shot breech loading Springfield trapdoor rifles. - 52k -

Comment by Skroodle
2013-03-09 14:19:18

Custer’s employers turned out fine.

His soldiers on the other hand…

Comment by hazard
2013-03-09 16:28:46

“Custer’s employers turned out fine.”

Custer’s employers learned a lesson. They want to make sure that at the next little bighorn their employees will have the repeating rifles and their opponents will have the single shot breech loading rifles and double barrel shotguns.

Comment by Combotechie
2013-03-09 21:12:48

“If you find yourself involved in a fair fight then you did not plan properly.” - U.S. Special Forces saying

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Comment by Carl Morris
2013-03-09 23:34:22

Custer’s employers learned a lesson. They want to make sure that at the next little bighorn their employees will have the repeating rifles and their opponents will have the single shot breech loading rifles and double barrel shotguns.

You just fire the shotgun through the teepee door and everything will work out fine.

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Comment by hazard
2013-03-09 07:55:26

The Watermelon Hunter

Bloomberg-backed anti-gun lobbyist enjoys ‘assault weapons,’ photo shows

BY: CJ Ciaramella
March 7, 2013 4:42 pm

One of New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s top gun-control lobbyists in Colorado appears to enjoy firing the very guns he is working to restrict.

Denver-based Headwaters Strategies lobbyist Adam Eichberg participated at a “watermelon shoot” in September 2012 at the farm of Colorado state Sen. Greg Brophy (R.) where he fired a semi-automatic rifle with a high-capacity magazine.

A picture obtained by the Washington Free Beacon shows Eichberg smiling broadly as he shoulders a DPMS .308 rifle with a 20-round magazine.

“I really hate watermelons,” Eichberg said via email when asked for comment.

Bloomberg’s group, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, hired Headwater Strategies in January to lobby for several gun-control bills under consideration by the Colorado legislature. Those bills would ban the future sale, transfer, or manufacture of so-called high-capacity magazines in the state.

Brophy said it was not just Eichberg who wanted to pop off a few rounds at immobile melon targets. Democratic Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper also asked to be invited to the melon shoot, he said.

“To top it all off, a week after we did the watermelon shoot this last year, the governor was out in eastern Colorado doing a bike tour,” Brophy said. “And the governor comes to my house on Friday night and practically begs to come to my melon shoot next year. A few months later he’s in contact with Bloomberg’s group and planning gun-control measures in Colorado.”

Hickenlooper’s office did not return requests for comment. - 32k -

Comment by ahansen
2013-03-09 10:20:18

It takes five months of labor and 100+ gallons of water to grow a watermelon. Those who blow up food for fun might want to reflect upon those people who would love to be able to have some to eat….

Comment by hazard
2013-03-09 10:38:42

Maybe they are seedless watermelons. It wouldn`t matter to me, although it would probably be fun I couldn`t afford to shoot watermelons seedless or not.

Now if New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg hired me as a gun-control lobbyist I probably could afford it, and a rally nice house with a couple of new paid for cars in the driveway.

Does seedless watermelon taste different from regular watermelon?

Seedless watermelon tastes bland, the texture is mushy in the center. It is a horrible hybrid and nobody seems to sell the natural seeded melons anymore. I like watermelon but I end up throwing away that worthless seedless hybrid they are selling. I like seedless grapes but seedless wmelon is no good. - 73k

Comment by Ol'Bubba
2013-03-09 08:34:28

Revisionist History

The following are actual excerpts from history reports and tests from America’s finest high schools and colleges. Spelling has been preserved.

Ancient Egypt was inhabited by mummies and they all wrote in hydraulics.

The Egyptians built the Pyramids in the shape of huge triangular cubes.
They lived in the Sarah Dessert and traveled by Camelot.

The French Revolution was accomplished before it happened and catapulted into Napoleon. Napoleon wanted an heir to inherit his power, but since Josephine was a baroness, she couldn’t have any children.

Actually, Homer was not written by Homer but by another man of that name.

The next great author was John Milton. Milton wrote Paradise Lost. Then his wife died and he wrote Paradise Regained.

Sir Francis Drake circumcised the world with a 100-foot clipper.

The climate of the Sarah is such that the inhabitants have to live elsewhere.

Solomom had three hundred wives and seven hundred porcupines.

The Bible is full of interesting caricatures. In the first book of the Bible, Guinessis, Adam and Eve were created from an apple tree.
One of their children, Cain, asked, “Am I my brother’s son?”

Moses led the Hebrew slaves to the Red Sea, where they made unleavened bread which is bread made without any ingredients.

Moses went up on Mount Cyanide to get the ten commandments. He died before he ever reached Canada.

The airplane was invented and first flown by the Marx brothers.

Hitler’s instrumentality of terror was the Gespacho.

Queen Elizabeth was the “Virgin Queen.” As a queen she was a success. When she exposed herself before her troops they all shouted “hurrah.”

Noah’s wife was Joan of Ark.

Middle Eastern history was written by Florence of Arabia.

Comment by lumpy gravy
2013-03-09 09:11:08

But they all have “smart” phones.

Comment by ecofeco
2013-03-09 10:13:29

…and thanks to their degrees, eventually land in middle management.

Comment by SV guy
2013-03-09 10:56:17

I am surrounded by ‘Google savants’ at work.

Comment by azdude
2013-03-09 08:38:16

“The drop in the real value of the mortgage due to inflation and rise in interest rates means if the Fed sells the mortgage, it will receive far less than it paid for it. (Remember, bonds drop in price as interest rates rise and vice versa.)

The loss on your mortgage that the Fed suffers is eventually passed on to the U.S. Treasury, which means that the budget deficit gets bigger. The bigger deficit will either cause the Fed to print more money, meaning more inflation, or the government will increase taxes. Either way, the taxpayer gets hit and is made poorer.”

So now that the FED has all this MBS on its balance sheet dont they really have to keep rates low? If rates were to head higher all those bonds would become worth a lot less ( rates up prices down) and they would take huge losses. I just dont see them tightening anytime soon.

Comment by 2banana
2013-03-09 08:47:22

Not to mention that the Federal Government borrow 46 cents of every dollar it spends.

Do the math on how much just interest alone will cost (as a percentage of the budget) if interest rates went back to a “normal” 5%.

Yes, we are bankrupt.

Comment by azdude
2013-03-09 08:50:41

if the FED buys the MBS from frannie and freddie and your house is in that MBS isnt the FED essentially your new landlord with the option to forclose or not?

Comment by GeorgeSalt
2013-03-09 09:29:40

James K. Glassman, co-author of “Dow 36,000″ claims that this week’s Dow high vindicates his ideas.

If you find that hilarious, here’s the punch line: Glassman is the Founding Executive Director of something called the George W. Bush Institute.

Comment by ecofeco
2013-03-09 10:14:52

Delusion. A very large city on the banks of De Nile.

Comment by hazard
2013-03-09 11:01:59

“Bottom line, central banks are literally papering over everything and it’s all a lie.”

Comment by hazard
2013-03-09 11:51:55

To The FEMA Re-Education Camp With You! in [Market-Ticker] - - Cached - Similar pages
1 day ago … Jane Wells: “Wow. Just attended forecast dinner for San Diego CFA. Bottom line, central banks are literally papering over everything and it’s

Comment by Rental Watch
2013-03-09 12:12:26

Saw an interesting graph of the Dow the other day (in round numbers).

Step 1. Increase of 100% going into the dotcom bubble;
Step 2. 50% crash;
Step 3. Increase of 100% going into the housing bubble;
Step 4. 50% crash;
Step 5. Increase of 100% going into Fed induced stock market bubble;
Step 6. ???

One person in the audience noted however that the earning of public companies are far higher now, which may actually support current pricing.

The main question seems to be “How much is the Fed propping up earnings? A lot? Or a little?”

Your answer to this question (and what you believe the Fed will do) should determine whether you are in the market, and what you hold.

Comment by Cantankerous Intellectual Bomb Thrower™
2013-03-10 02:27:49

“Step 1. Increase of 100% going into the dotcom bubble;
Step 2. 50% crash;
Step 3. Increase of 100% going into the housing bubble;
Step 4. 50% crash;
Step 5. Increase of 100% going into Fed induced stock market bubble;
Step 6. ???”

This pattern could continue until the day we all die with two results:

1) The little people’s buy-and-hold stock market portfolios double than get cut in half repeatedly, with a long-term capital gain of

(2*0.5*2*0.5*2*0.5…-1)*100% = 0%.

2) Megabank, Inc, hedge funds and other volatility traders milk tons of dough on the ride up and on the ride back down again.

Comment by aNYCdj
2013-03-09 14:25:19

Even Drudge screws up a headline:

CA school board member adimts to being a pimp…

Comment by ecofeco
2013-03-09 15:05:56

I’ve said it over and over: the REAL problem with education are the school boards

A good school board keep costs down, doesn’t let the unions overreach, and provides a consistent quality education for the kids and the teacher, thus discouraging union overreach.

That said, never forget that they are ELECTED. People have no-one to blame but themselves.

No one.

Comment by Bigguy
2013-03-09 16:56:22

I’ll admit I’m not very well educated on this issue, but don’t the locals have to deal with state and federally mandated/imposed nonsense that drives the costs up, like all those IEPs for kids who are suffering from the disease of poor parenting?

Comment by frankie
2013-03-09 16:01:31

The tracks of my years: Photographer captures a decade-long adventure spent travelling across America on freight trains

Self-taught photographer Mike Brodie, 27, rode with America’s impoverished youth for thousands of miles
Beautiful images provide portrait of curious sub-culture which remains alive a century after it came to prominence

Read more:
Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

May be of interest to the photographers amongst us.

Comment by ahansen
2013-03-10 21:50:26

Great pieces in here, Frankie. Thanks for posting

Comment by hazard
2013-03-09 16:12:49

Well I am just shell shocked!

So now PTSD is a product of the Iraq War and 170 million Americans are going to lose their jobs when the sequestration cuts take effect.

SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN: “The problem with expanding this is that, you know, with the advent of PTSD, which I think is a new phenomenon as a product of the Iraq War,”

Mar 9, 2013

Excerpted from Real Clear Politics:

At a Senate Judiciary Committee meeting on Thursday, Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-California) opposed an amendment to her Assault Weapons Ban legislation that would allow military veterans to continue to buy the firearms that would be banned. Feinstein says a veteran may be mentally ill and should be prevented from purchasing firearms.

SEN. DIANNE FEINSTEIN: If I understand this, this adds an exemption of retired military. As I understand our bill, no issue has arose in this regard during the 10 years the expired ban was in effect and what we did in the other bill was exempt possession by the United States or a department or agency of the United States. So that included active military.

The problem with expanding this is that, you know, with the advent of PTSD, which I think is a new phenomenon as a product of the Iraq War, it’s not clear how the seller or transferrer of a firearm covered by this bill would verify that an individual was a member, or a veteran, and that there was no impairment of that individual with respect to having a weapon like this.

So, you know, I would be happy to sit down with you again and see if we could work something out but I think we have to– if you’re going to do this, find a way that veterans who are incapacitated for one reason or another mentally don’t have access to this kind of weapon. - -

Although PTSD-like symptoms have also been recognized in combat veterans of many military conflicts since, the modern understanding of PTSD dates from the 1970s, largely as a result of the problems that were still being experienced by US military veterans of the war in Vietnam.[201]

Previous diagnoses now considered historical equivalents of PTSD include railway spine, stress syndrome, shell shock, battle fatigue, or traumatic war neurosis.[202]

Comment by CRATER!!!!
2013-03-09 19:37:38


Comment by Pimp Watch
2013-03-09 19:54:04

“Liberal Patronizing” (should have been titled partisan patronizing)

*I should note that the partisan patronizing is intentional to keep us all divided. And it begins and ends with the Cult of Personality rather than seeking the truth.

ehh…. by the way….. Rand Paul championed the truth.

Comment by Bill in Los Angeles
2013-03-10 08:32:26

Great article. In general most elected people, Democrat or Republican have one or two things I agree strongly with. But their other stands terrify me.

A few months ago a Facebook friend and I got into a discussion about force, which then led to my question to her when is it ever right to initiate force or the threat of force? She could not answer. Nevertheless I did not convince her to become a libertarian.

Most of us are really libertarians, just a click or two away. When they are stumped and could not refute the non-aggression principle, it just takes some event for them to become convinced.

As an atheist, I like the saying, most of us are atheists about the existence of multiple Gods. Some of us just go one God further. As a libertarian I say most of us naturally want to leave strangers alone and be left alone from other strangers. Some of us just extend that habit to agents we call government, and refuse to have agents aggress against strangers.

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