Wednesday, October 31, 2007

A licence in every illegal pot

So Auntie Hillary Clinton now supports giving illegals licences in the state of NY. She said it in the latest Dem debate and said it again just to clarify her position. Uhm Hills, I think you screwed the pooch on this one. I don't know too many Democrats and so can't accurately judge the mood of real-life Dems. My in-laws are Dems of the old school Democratic party i.e. JFK Democrats and not the anti-American socialist cesspool the party has become today. They're no fans of Bush but are not lifelong members of the Michael Moore fan club either. Not very political either but political enough that they vote every election. This evening my wife told me her mother told her she heard about Hillary's licence for illegals scheme and can't believe it. Ditto her dad. Not very happy campers to say the least.

Yes I know it is only 2 people and I shouldn't read too much into it. But somehow I doubt they are alone in their feelings. In a 50/50 election any the slightest defection from your side hurts. Remember Bush won Florida by 537 votes in 2000. That's only 269 switched votes. Looks like 2 down and 267 to go.

Happy Halloween Everyone

Yep that's me.

Before you start celebrating your investing genius

Take a look at this chart. Shows the dollar's decline relative to the s&p500's rise. Dollar down by about the same as the s&p500 is up. Break even right? Wrong. Unless you have every dollar in your possession invested in the stock markets, you are a net loser of wealth.

On the other hand, owning silver and gold like I do yields this chart.

The war on savers started a long time ago. Now this war has been extended to the USD.

Invest accordingly.

Carefull what you wish for

As I am reading about the upcoming round of soak the rich tax increases from Auntie Hillary and Uncle Charlie (Rangel) I can't help but think a lot of bluer than blue middle class people will be hit hard. The so-called progressives in New York, Boston, Seattle and San Francisco come to mind. In those cities $100K a year is barely middle class. Secretaries make $75K in many instances. What is considered "making it" in 80% of the country is considered barely getting by in coastal cities. It is also where tolerant and progressive Democrats win elections by 45% margins over kitten-eating Republicans.

However if you listen to the rhetoric, according to Auntie Hillary and Uncle Charlie anyone making over $75K a year is no different than Bill Gates. Both are rich and need to be taxed more. Both are rich and need to pay their fair share. Auntie Hillary and Uncle Charlie want to raise both income and payroll taxes on these "rich" people. Now of course that $75K a year lifelong Kennedy voting Boston secretary doesn't think she's rich. Nor does the Palo Alto, CA $115K a year engineer who drives a Prius with a RE-elect Gore bumper sticker. Both of them shout Amen when Edwards or Auntie Hillary talk about bringing equality to the people. Both praise Jesus when Obama talks about tax fairness and raising taxes on the "rich" in order to fund daycare or national health care for the nation's urchins. What the two don't realize is that they are the ones who will be taxed. They are the "rich" in the Hillary/Edwards/Obama/Rangel narrative.

It will be interesting to see what happens when Judy Secretary's paycheck magically has $500 missing from it starting sometime in mid-2009. Wonder what she'll think about it. And I wonder what Bobby Engineer's reaction will be when $800 goes missing from his paycheck. It'll make that $7 Mocha Frappucino a little harder to swing every day dontchathink?. Auntie Hillary will be in the White House and Aunt Nancy and Uncle Harry will be leading Congress. So the reflexive BLAME BUSH for all your troubles will no longer be an option. Quite a conundrum for these two paragons of progressive thinking I dare say.

Contrast and Compare

$US vs. $CAD


Gas is up 85% in the past 5 years.

Dollar is down 65% in the past 5 years.

Next time you curse Exxon, or next time you hear a politician talk about "doing something about gas prices" think about this. Politicians can tax Exxon at 100% and it won't make a damn bit of difference. As long as the US continues to live on borrowed money, the dollar will slide and gas prices will go up.

GDP up 3.9%

GDP came in at 3.9% for the last quarter. Great. Then the reasoning for cutting rates just flew out the window. If Bernake still cuts after a 3.9% GDP jump he will join Carter and Bush Jr. in the list of "Worst Ever".

3.9% is pretty good growth. Not super duper great, but decent. It is absolutely not the kind of growth that requires rate cuts. All I have been reading/hearing over the past month is how the economy is in a recession or about to be in one and we need rate cuts pronto. Well at 3.9% that is simply not the case. Anything over 2.5% is considered strong growth and we sure as hell do not need a rate cut.

Stupidest sentence of the year award goes to....

"WASHINGTON (AP) -- With oil prices soaring and the housing market sinking, the Federal Reserve is likely to combat the economic turmoil with more interest rate cuts." courtesy of Martin Crutsinger, AP Economics Writer. Any economics writer who writes what he wrote should be fired and banned from economics writing for life.

What he wrote is this "with a house fire raging out of control, gasoline is likely to be doused on the fire to combat the smoke."

Once again for those of you in the MSM with a B.Sc in Stupidity:

Lower interest rates causes a weaker dollar. Oil is priced in dollars. A weaker dollar raises oil in dollar terms. Therefore cutting rates to alleviate economic turmoil brought on by high oil prices is completely the wrong thing to do. How hard is this concept to understand?

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Jay Leno

Ron Paul will be on his show tonight. I don't know if anyone actually watches Leno or Letterman anymore. If you do, take a look tonight. This guy sounds and looks a little wacky but his view are right on. He is what the Republican party used to be about...low taxes (he wants to eliminate the income tax), shrink the government, secure the borders and get rid of the damned welfare state. In other words nothing like what today's GOP has morphed into and about 100 light years away from Hillary and the rest of her socialist cohorts in her party.

Take a look. Take a listen. Take a read.

Sorry Amigos

Another boo-hoo story making the rounds. Illegal immigrants getting deported after living in the US for 17 years ILLEGALLY. Their kids - Juan and Alex Gomez - graduated from high school. They are swell people. How dare they get deported. Everyone, all together....AWWWWW.

Well sorry Gomez family. I have no sympathy. You broke the law. Just because you didn't get caught for 17 years doesn't mean you get a free pass. As for the kids, hey it sucks but again, too bad. You are here illegally. I don't care if you went to high school. I don't care if you were captain of the football team, got a 4.0, dated the hottest girl in school and saved a schoolbus full of kids from a burning are still illegal.

Good luck in Colombia boys.

Why oh why does the MSM lie

Just once I wish the MSM would report something resembling the truth instead of outright lies like these. Hey Marya Roney, I know I'm asking a lot, but how about some fact checking?

Here is the week to week inventory for Dallas: This is straight of the MLS, no data manipulation, just raw data. Sept 2006 inventory was 40,694. Today it is 41,577. That is an increase of 2.2%. Yet here is what the MSM story says:

luckily, inventory levels have fallen 2.4% in Dallas since September, 2006.
How? Who? Where do you get these number from? Can you do simple math Marya? Did you mean to say an INCREASE of 2.4%? Does anyone at CNN Money edit these stories?

Marya continues:
In the second quarter of 2007, the median home price was up 1.7% in Chicago, 1.7% in Dallas, and 1.4% in Houston, compared to a national decline of 1.5% in the same year-over-year period.
Really? Housing is booming in Texas? No shit. Here I was thinking it was tanking. My bad. But just one question. Why I wonder do builders need to resort to huge incentives in order to move inventory in Dallas when the market is booming. Here is a story from 2 weeks ago about builders in Dallas giving away free pools with homes and up to $150,000 DISCOUNTS. Have you ever seen any business give away freebies in order to move a product that is selling well? Nope, neither have I.

Ahhh and there's yet another MSM lie. When a builder sells house X for $250K in 2006 sans pool and with a pool for $251,000K, the MSM treats that as a gain in price. In reality the $30K value of the pool makes the selling price $221,000, comparing apples to apples. This concept flies right over the MSM's pea-brained head.

Amazing that in the same market where all is well, prices are surging home builders are slashing $150K off homes and giving away free pools. Congrats Dallas, you have managed to single handedly turn the very basic laws of supply and demand on its head. For your next trick, can you suspend gravity?

Monday, October 29, 2007

She really did say this

"Many of you are well enough off that ... the tax cuts may have helped you. We're saying that for America to get back on track, we're probably going to cut that short and not give it to you. We're going to take things away from you on behalf of the common good."

- Hillary Clinton 06/28/2004 in San Francisco (where else)

Be scared. Be very very scared.

Social Security Garbage

This article encapsulates every socialist stupid suggestion on how to save SS.

My first question whenever reading anything about saving the beast is why? Why save something that should never have existed to begin with? SS is the ultimate Ponzi scheme. If you were lucky enough to get into the game in the 30s or 40s you are sitting pretty. You got out a lot more than you put in, ie you were at the top of the pyramid. Were you to get in on the scam in the 50s, 60s or 70s you'll break even. Anyone like me who joined the scheme in the 90s...well say hello negative return. I'll be paying 12.4% of my income forever so Grampa Joe can play golf 24/7/365 in Florida. Were I to do what the federal govt does in the name of SS, I would be arrested and rightfully sent to jail.

All that aside it is always the same story on how to "save" it. Tax the rich of course. Guys like Robert M. Ball are talking out of both sides of their mouths. On the one had they glowingly speak of SS as a program everyone loves. Well sure they love it since they think they are getting back what they put in. But what if you dare make over $100K a year. And what if one day you pay 12.4% on all your earnings but get back only the amount as if you were making $100K.

That is what the great solution is. Tax me on my entire income but only give me credit for the first $100K when you calculate my benefits. Hey but why should that bother me. I am in a small minority of only 6%. I won't care. And if I do care, so what. I'll be outvoted by the other 94%. In other words SS will become just one more welfare program where I subsidize others. Soon enough it will be a fully fledged welfare program where anyone making above $100K or so will be inelgigible to collect any benefits because well, we're so damned rich. In addition I can see a day when if you have any substantial assets, like say a 401k balance of $250,000 you get no SS benefits. Doesn't matter if you have contributed all your life. You are rich and are shit out of luck.

You think there is tax evasion now? Just wait until every dollar over $100K is taxed at 50%+ when you include federal/state/social security and medicare taxes. There won't be an IRS building big enough to employ all the agents that will be needed to track down all the undeclared income if this insanity takes hold.

Once again those that succeed are penalized. Those that fail are rewarded. Work hard and your reward is a big fuck you from the government. Do nothing all your life and your reward is a big monthly check from the government. Anyone who thought capitalism won the cold war was dead wrong. We won a battle but we are losing the war. Karl Marx is smiling right now.

MSM gets it finally

Hey CNN welcome to the club. I have been saying this for weeks, ney months, nice to know someone in the MSM gets it.

Simple really:

Lower rates.

Kill dollar.

Make oil more expensive.

They teach this stuff around October during freshman economics. I only got a BA in econ and I know this. Bernake has a PhD and he either doesn't know or doesn't care. Either way that's bad news for all of us...well all unless you are the CEO of an investment bank in which case you just made an extra $15M bonus this year. Who cares if gas is going to $5? Sure it'll cost a little more to run that 80' yacht in the Hamptons next summer, but oh well.

So once again the top 0.1% gets the spoils of war while the rest of us plebs get raped. $5 gas. 20, 30% rise in heating costs too. And as we learn in November freshman year, oil is inflationary throughout the economy. More expensive gas means truckers charge more which means everything that is moved by truck costs you more. You need to pay more for your goods, so you demand more money from your employer. Your employer pays you more and raises the price of his goods/services. And on and on. It is what caused the inflation of the 70s.

What we need is a new Paul Volker. He was the Fed Chairman from 1979 to 1987. He did what the Fed is there to do...kill inflation. And yes he was loathed by Wall St. But he brought inflation from double digits to low single digits. Unfortunately today the Fed's mission is to make Wall St millionaires into Wall St billionaires and it is disgusting.

So when you pay $100 to fill up your tank say thank you Mr.B.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Bernake to Dollar: DROP DEAD

Well it looks like another rate cut is a done deal. Wall St loves it of course. Get ready for $5 gas next year as the dollar will probably slide to 0.60 territory. I'm loading up on silver and gold.

Contrast and compare gold, silver and the S&P500. When rates are cut, stocks do well. But metals do even better. If the federal govt is hell bent on destroying its currency, nothing I can do about it. Nothing you can do about it. However you can profit from it and metals is the way to do it.

This will be a short pop and silver/gold will skyrocket. Buy now, sell a week from today. By next Monday people will once again realize that a rate cut will not solve any of the fiscal/monetary issues plaguing us right now. Sub-prime will still be here. The war and it's never ending costs will still be here. The $10T debt will still be here. The negative US savings rate will still be here.

Invest wisely and profit from this madness.

AIG loses $10B, Countrywide loses $1.2B..Stocks up big

Microsoft comes out with good numbers and the blinders come on. Ignore this. What's $10B in losses among friends? Move along folks, nothing of importance here. Don't you know iPhones and Halo 3 are selling so all is well.

And for today's funniest headline: Countrywide to be profitable next quarter. If anyone believes this, I have a bridge in NY I'd like to speak to you about. Shares are up 16% today. A better short has not existed for a long time.

Socialism creep

Here is a recent poll taken by the LA Times about health care that should disturb any capitalist. Asked whose responsibility it is to pay for one's health care:

29% - Government
24% - Individuals
23% - Employers

So over 50% of Americans now believe someone else is responsible for their well being. Makes sense I suppose. Government is responsible for the education of their kids. Government is responsible for their retirement. Makes perfect sense that government (or their employer) should now be responsible for their health care as well. God forbid people be responsible for taking care of themselves. No, no, no. Not in 21st Century America. That is old fashioned, mean spirited, (and probably racist/sexist/homophobic) thinking.

When will this ever end? Should government be responsible for every aspect of my life? Why not? All we have to do is tax the rich at 90% and all our problems will be solved. Can't afford cable? No worries Hillary will get it to you free of charge. After all cable is an educational tool for the urchins of America and should be mandatory. Running low on funds to take the urchins to Chuck E Cheese this weekend? Hillary's new $5000 per kid should do the trick quite nicely. Maybe even have a little left over for a pair of $300 Nike shoes.

So just keep voting for socialists and your life will be perfect. You will not need to worry about a thing. Auntie Hillary will run your life for you and you can just relax.

About lighting cigars with $100 bills

Soon enough that may actually be sound financially speaking. The dollar has hit yet another low against the Euro and still there is serious talk of lowering interest rates further. Amazing.

I'm no conspiracy nut but I have to start wondering what in the hell is are Bern Bernake, Hank Paulson, etc up to? I can see lowering the 1st time in August when it looked like a stock market crash was upon us. OK. You lower, you calm people down. It wasn't the ideal thing to do, but I can see the reasoning. But ever since, it's like they are purposely trying to make the $US worthless.

In Sept, there was no reason to lower. The markets had stabilized, employment has OK - not great but OK - and yet the Fed cut by 50 points on 9/18. And sure enough the dollar went from 0.72 to 0.69 in a month. That means your dollars have 4% less purchasing power than they did a month ago. But your stocks got a lift right?? If you have you money in US stocks like most people, you lose. On Sept 18th the S&P500 was 1476. Today it is 1514. A gain of 2.5%.

Lose 4% to make 2.5%. Sweet huh?

So the question is why the hell are they doing this? Is it sheer incompetence? I doubt it. There guys are no fools. I'm sure someone will see some grand conspiracy involving Haliburton and Elvis and I'd love to hear bout it. The most probably answer is debt elimination. We have $10 Trillion of debt. Devalue the dollar by 50% and that debt magically shrinks by 50% as well. This was the fiscal policy undertaken by African and S. American countries in the 80s and 90s. And we all know how well all that worked out.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Democrat to upper middle class: DROP DEAD

Do you make $150K a year? Guess what, you are officially rich by the new Democrat standard. Congrats. Now get your checkbook out. You will be paying and paying real good like. Not only will your marginal tax rate rise from 28% to 31%, you will now also pay a 4% surtax. You know how it goes, being successful is a crime these days. Anyone making over $40K a year must be cheating or stealing. This surtax is the penalty for you daring to make something of yourself. It is the penalty on your success and hard work. After all we all know that at $150K a year you burn $100 bills to light up Cuban cigars while sipping your 1929 vintage wine all the while toasting evil and the death of baby seals. You can afford an extra $10K in taxes. That's chump change for a high rolling 6 figure earner like you. And besides it's not fair that you make so much while others struggle.

Worry not though, it's all for a good cause. "Low income" people will get even more freebies. More "free" health care. More welfare, more of everything. If Hillary has her way they'll also get $5,000 per kid. Since that is what we need more of...poor people having more kids.

Do Democrats have even a pinky of capitalism left in them? Is there any resemblance left to the party of JFK or FDR? John Kennedy said this on Dec 14, 1962 at a speech in New York:

The final and best means of strengthening demand among consumers and business is to reduce the burden on private income and the deterrents to private initiative which are imposed by our present tax system — and this administration pledged itself last summer to an across-the-board, top-to-bottom cut in personal and corporate income taxes

Is there one Democrat alive who would say that today? Sadly I don't think so and I can't imagine one existing again in my lifetime.

Amnesty Defeated for the 3rd Time

All Democrats voted for amnesty with these exceptions:
Baucus (D-MT)
Tester (D-MT)
Landrieu (D-LA)
Pryor (D-AR)
Byrd (D-WV)
Conrad (D-ND)
Dorgan (D-ND)

Notice Obama and Clinton are not on the list and neither is any Democrat presidential candidate.

Hillary voted for amnesty.
Obama voted for amnesty.
Biden voted for amnesty.
Dodd voted for amnesty.

All Republicans voted against amnesty with these exceptions:

John McCain (R-AZ) - Good luck with the GOP nomination there amigo. This guy is unreal. He says he got the message about amnesty but still won't vote against it. He is either a very dense man or he thinks the GOP primary voters are very dense. Either way not a very good move Senator.

Bennett (R-UT)
Hatch (R-UT)
Coleman (R-MN)
Collins (R-ME)
Craig (R-ID)
Hagel (R-NE)
Hutchison (R-TX)
Lott (R-MS)
Lugar (R-IN)
Martinez (R-FL)

There are 51 Dems. 44 of them support amnesty. That's 86% support for amnesty

There are 49 Reps. 38 of then oppose amnesty. That's 77% opposition to amnesty.

Vote accordingly next time.

Housing Rebounds (err or does it)

Headlines all across the NAR owned and controlled MSM scream that housing is back baby!! New home sales were up in September screams Yahoo. New Home Sales rebound rants CNN. Woo Hoo! Let the good times roll! Now is the best time ever to buy.

Except hold the phone. Sales were up 5% from August but DOWN 23% from Sept 2006. And the MSM stupidity continues by comparing MOM instead of YOY.

Comparing month to month is idiotic for 2 reasons.

1. The obvious volatility shown in any short term data. This applies to housing to stocks to weather, you name it. You can't compare August to Sept and have any meaningful interpretation. August home sales were practically non-existent. It makes sense that when you hit rock bottom even a little bit of activity in Sept would seem like a big gain.

2. New Home Sales reported for Sept are contracts to buy not actual sales. I could go out and sign a contract to buy 100 homes today. I very much doubt I will get financed to buy them all. These contracts are meaningless. Comparing Sept to Sept however compares actual Sales to contracts. And here we see a 23% drop which is meaningful. Of course the MSM barely mentions this and if it does it's all the way at the end of the article.

Suppose you made $10,000 income in Sept 2006. By August your income was down to $6,500. And in Sept it went up to $6,650. Would you be celebrating? Not me. Yet this is exactly what happened and the media is partying like it's 2003.

Up 2%, down 2%, up 2%, down 2%

And the stock market yo-yo continues. Once again the news today is bad. Orders for big ticket items fell. Really? Never could have predicted that. Impossible to predict. And how the hell is that even possible when we have Golidlocks economy and Mari on CNBC says the world has never smelled so sweet?

Oh and Alan Greenspan says there is no recession coming so expect the dow at 198,000 any day now. This is a few months after he said there is a good chance there will be a recession. And a few months after he released his book where he pulled the ultimate Bart Simpson "I didn't do it".

No you did do it Al. You lowered rates too much and held them there too long. You encouraged people to be reckless and borrow too much money. You knew very well what was happning but said nothing. You spoke in tongues that nobody understands and yet made everyone think they knew what the hell you were saying. You caused this mess and history will not be kind to you. Sure you are still somewhat or a rock star among the masses. And if you say no recession is coming, people might feel good for a day or two. Then reality will quickly settle in.

Yeah I know, I'm heartless

I don't care about the fires in California. There I've said it. I must be some insensitive asshole who doesn't care that people are suffering. No, I feel bad for the people in the way of the fires. And I am not minimizing the work the firefighters are doing or the seriousness of it all. I just don't care to watch it 24/7 on CNN.

Natural disasters in general don't interest me. And I think that's because they occur so frequently. They're not newsworthy or interesting. Every year there are a bunch of tornadoes that wipe out a small town in Kansas or Missouri. Tragic? Definitely. Every year a hurricane or two slam Florida (although not this year which the global warming extremists said would be a record year). And every time it happens it's the same thing. Some CNN newbie trying to be the next Arthur Kent dodging scuds instead dodging flying lawn chairs and telling us that it's really windy out there. Repeat for 72 hours ad nauseum then pack up and go home once the sun comes out.

Same with raging fires in California. Again, tragic, certainly. Although given the fact Cali is in foreclosure heaven I have a feeling a few of those "owners" of the burned down homes aren't too sad....see I told you I'm heartless. But all that aside it is nothing new. Raging fires happen in California every year. And every 2-3 years the fires get way out of control and there are mass evacuations. And the CNN lackey is there on the scene every time "reporting" the same story. I mean hell, you could just take the script from 2003, change the dates and rebroadcast it verbatim. Nobody would know the difference. Actually I take that back. In 2003 the fires were caused by nature. In 2007 the fires were caused by Bush. He was working in the same secret CIA lab where he created Katrina....or so the left-wing blogosphere would have me believe.

What I would like to the MSM report on is **WHY** these fires are happening in California all the time? There are strong winds and forests all over the country. Why does this sort of thing always happen in California but nowhere else? Why does it never happen in Pennsylvania or Maine or North Carolina? Plenty of forests there yet I can't ever recall a million people being evacuated from Charlotte or Pittsburgh due to a fire. Could it have something to do with the insane enviro laws in California that prevent clearing the forests of brush and using controlled burns? Maybe California's winds and trees are special somehow. I don't know. But these are the kinds of things a "reporter" is supposed to report on. . But no, that would be real journalism and it would take some effort. It's much easier to just say "WOW look at those fires, isn't that incredible?" for a week.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Props to my Mechanic

Any of you folks in the NW Atlanta burbs looking for auto care, I highly recommend Guinn's Tire & Auto in Marietta. Family run business of honest mechanics who won't screw you.

I have no vested economic interest in the company or anything. I'm simply a satisfied customer and I always like to give good companies exposure.

No to sound like a broken record but....

I told you so.

Here we go again. Merrill comes out and says they lost a few more billion due to junk debt. Everyone on Wall St is shocked, shocked I tell you. Who could have known? This is such a surprise. It came out of nowhere. Wow!! And here we were thinking the worst was behind us. No it isn't. The worst is yet to come as I have said numerous times.

No morons, it is not a surprise. I have been saying this for over a year. Peter Schiff has been saying this for many years. Who is Peter Schiff? He's the "crazy" guy on CNBC. The guy who dares say that maybe real estate doesn't ALWAYS go up. Bob Schiller has been saying this. Who's he? Oh nobody special. Just a Yale professor who created a real estate futures exchange on the CME. But why listen to him when Larry Kudlow and Maria "Money Honey" Barturomo keep handing you gallon after gallon of Kool-Aid?

Now is a good time to buy will say Kudlow. Never a better time to enter the market will chime Maria. And of course now (as always) is a great time to buy a house will say the NAR. No it isn't. Now is about as bad a time as any to buy a house and unless you feel like losing money it's a bad time to buy stocks too.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Today US Senators, as in elected US government officials met with a group of illegal aliens, as in people breaking the law, to hear their demands on why amnesty should occur. There are no words strong enough for me to express how utterly insane this is. Hey I know maybe after they get amnesty, the good Senators can pass a new bill giving them free housing. Oh never mind, they've done that already with the mortgage bailout plan.

Yes folks Amnesty Part 3 is back. Democrats and Republicans alike just can't keep this issue away. Same old story. Reps want the slave labor. Dems want the votes. This time around it is called the DREAM act. As in this must be some bad dream because in reality politicians could not be destroying the country willingly the way they are. And it looks like 3rd time's the charm and it will pass. Of course El President Jorge W. Arbusto will sign it and the death of the GOP will be signed sealed and delivered. Serves them right I suppose.

Now where is that Toronto homes guide? I immigrated to the US legally. I played by the rules. And what did I get? A big Fuck You from Uncle Sam. I still don't have citizenship 9 years later. Guess I would have been better off living here illegally, not paying taxes and using the ER as my primary care physician. Hey if the US would rather have millions of uneducated non-English speakers here instead of moi, a college edumacated English speaking tax payer (and lots of taxes at that)...go ahead. When your standard of living drops to the level of 3rd World status don't act too surprised.

Pssst buddy can you spare a gallon of H2O?

So there seems to be a drought going on over here in Georgia. As luck would have it I move here from the desert and bring the desert with me. Sorry. But seriously, the word on the street is that Atlanta could run out of water in three months. Georgia is now suing he Feds to release more water. Alabama is suing Georgia. And I think Florida is suing Georgia too or counter suing. Lots of lawyers are billing lots of hours that's for sure.

All this to avoid the destruction of a mussel. Hey I know the lives of 5 million people don't mean much. We must save the mussel at all costs. Right Mr. Gore?

You get news like that and shouldn't some bells and sirens start going off? I dunno it just seems like everyone is very ho-hum about it since everyone knows there is no way in hell water will be given to the mussels and kept from the people. There are no emergency plans, no information on what to do if the water runs out. People are going about their business like it's no big deal.

Just feels like it's yet another catastrophe in name only. You'd think if the powers that be thought water might actually run out they'd be making evacuation plans. The National Guard would be getting ready to mobilize. The fact that isn't happening tells me this is much ado about nothing. Either that or the powers that be are being grossly negligent. But even in a city as corrupt and incompetent and Atlanta I refuse to believe that would be allowed to happen.


MSM NEWSFLASH: Mortgage adjustment will bring pain. There are billions of dollars of ARMs getting ready to reset. People will be screwed. Who could have possibly predicted that? Not me.
It also turns out that people are raiding their 401(k) accounts to make the mortgage payments. Nice. Hey but whatever it takes to be a home "owner". God forbid you rent and actually use your retirement money for you you, retirement. No, you need that overpriced shitbox that costs $800K so you can impress your equally strapped neighbors. That's what happens when you listen to corrupt real estae industry reps like the NAR.

Nice to see the MSM is finally coming to the party. A little late but hey you made and effort, you put in an appearance. Now that you're here, how about doing your job and actually reporting instead of acting like paid schills for the real estate industry.

I love this quote

"I don't know if there's anything much [borrowers] can do," said Keith Gumbinger of HSH Associates, a publisher of mortgage related information. "Hopefully, they've been prudent about preparing for it, building a nest egg or refinancing the loan."

HA HA HA HA!! Hopefully they've been prudent? Old Keith is either a moron or, well a moron. In case you haven't noticed Keith, there is no such thing as living prudent in 2007 America. Prudent means you only have $18,000 in credit card debt instead of $22,000.

The MSM and the likes of Keith still, after 2 years, don't get it. People who took out ninja loans did so because that was their only choice. Which is why they are ***SUB*** prime. Do you know what sub means? It means below. As in below prime. As in not credit worthy. As in THEY ARE NOT PRUDENT WITH THEIR MONEY. If they had been prudent to begin with they would not have needed a ninja loan. They would have taken out a fixed loan, you know, the way prudent people do. However they did not qualify for that and had to resort to the ninja loan instead.

I have no data on this, but I would put up serious money on a wager that said 95% of all ARM holders have less than $1000 in liquid assets. They spend every penny on the Hummer/Yukon/Denali. They borrow up to they eyeballs to buy the Gucci purses. These people are about as prudent as George W. Bush's immigration policy.

Japan's housing crash took 15 years. It was slow and painful. The reason it took 15 years was because nobody wanted to admit what happened. Government schemes tried to prop up a market that was not sustainable. Japan had 0% interest rates for a while and still the asset bubble deflated. I was hoping the US crash would be faster. What we need is a NASDAQ style correction. 70% drop and capitulation in a year. Lick your wounds and move on to the next thing. Instead we have all these schemes to refinance, bailout, re-adjust mortgages. All in a hope to prop up a market that is not sustainable None of these schemes will do nothing but delay the pain. Just let the market correct on its own. Remember that thing called capitalism? Remember that quaint old concept of risk/reward? Unfortunately the likes of Hillary, Bush, Pelosi and Reid don't. The new paradigm is now socialize the risks and privatize the rewards and it is total bullshit.

Flying Fun

Took a one day trip to Florida yesterday for some bidness. On the way back I sat next to a wrestler named Batista. This dude is huge, enormous huge. I'm 6'3" 220 and I felt tiny next to him. I had no idea who he was but I figured he was somebody since everyone walking by stared at him. One guy asked for his autograph for his kid and he obliged which I thought was cool. This morning I did a google search and realized who he was. So anyway that was my brush with fame yesterday.

Now if I may rant a little about flying....

My outbound flight was scheduled to leave at 8:20. At 7:55 the boarding started. By 8:25 the cattle was still being loaded. This is a 757 for crying out loud and yet it took over 30 mins to load. People, when you get on a plane, get in your damn seat ASAP. The seating is quite simple. Rows start at 1 and increment by 1 for each row. It's not too difficult. And when you get to your row, for the love of man, don't take 15 minutes putting your bag up, taking your coat off, chatting with your husband about who gets the middle and who gets the window....ALL WHILE STANDING IN THE AISLE. Come on, I know you've all flown before and you know this.

Now for my 1st class amigos...when you are flying home at 8:00pm, you can put the blackberry away. Seriously, I don't care how much of a big shot you are, at 8:00pm you don't need to check email. You don't need to frantically open up your laptop the second we touchdown and write email for the 5 minutes we are taxying to the gate.

All around me people frantically typing away emails. At 8:00pm. Jezuz people, you need to unwind a little. I'm guessing there are about 1000 people in the world important enough that they NEED to be online 24/7. I'm guessing most of those are not flying on Delta.

And you especially don't need to check it 3 minutes before takeoff. I know many of you think that because a) you are in 1st class and b) you are self-anointed big shots the rules don't apply to you. But the FAA says you need to turn off the f****g crackberry for a reason. I know in addition to geniuses in the sales/marketing fields you all also have PhDs in physics and you know that in reality cell phones are OK on a plane. Fine. When you fly your own private plane, you go ahead and have 7 devices running. When you are on the same plane as me turn the damn thing off. As important as that "Let's move the meeting to 10:30, does that work for everyone" email thread may be, it is not important enough for screw up the plane's navigation. OK?

Monday, October 22, 2007

Cry me a river

Yahoo Finance tells us how awful life is a for a money manager these days. It's so gosh darned stressful managing $100M. It's so darned stressful some of these multi-millionaires have to turn to drugs and alcohol just to make it through the day. My goodness who knew?

This type of story infuriates me whether it is about money managers or about "working people". If your job is so freaking stressful, quit. This goes for you Mr. Fancy Pants Wall St. Guy as well as for anyone else. Hell I have plenty of stress in my life. Who doesn't? Difference is I don't go crying to the media with my tales of woe.

I do like this quote

The psychic toll extracted by the market is seldom discussed outside the home or
small circles of friends. "Wall Street is supposed to be a tough crowd, and most
people just suck it up," says recruiter Alan Hilliker of executive search firm
Egon Zehnder International.

Real tough crowd eh? When the going gets tough they a) make calls to Ben Bernake for a bailout then b) hit the bottle and finally c) see their drug dealer. I'm surprised there isn't a stamp out honoring the courage of this group.

Hey boys here's a tip on how not to stress out: when there are trillions of dollars of MBS junk out there, you get the f**k out of the markets. You don't delude yourself into thinking all is well. You don't drink Kudlow's Kool-Aid. My little Roth IRA account has beaten 90% of all mutual funds in the past 18 months managed by your truly. No stress here. No addictions here. Lots of common sense here however. Try using some of that and a little less of the alcohol/drugs and you too might just be OK.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Florida GOP Debate

A few thoughts...

If Ron Paul looked and sounded like Mitt Romney he'd be at 20% and not at 2%. Best policy, worst presentation. Only real conservative running from either party. I hope he runs as an Independent. Yes I know it would seal the deal for Hillary, but so be it. We needed a Jimmah Cahtah to pave the way for Reagan. We just might have to have 4 years of Hillary Hell to teach us all a lesson.

I didn't know Huckabee was a Baptist minister. I have nothing against Baptists nor against ministers, but a Baptist minister should not be President. I did like his idea of giving people an option to take their SS money as a tax-free lump sum.

McCain has some funny lines...that tied up line was good. I'll give props when props are due.

Thompson is disappointing me more and more every time I see him speak.

I wish I would hear more of a "No New Taxes" kind of pledge from these guys. I know, I know what happened the last time someone said it. But I get this eerie feeling that aside from Ron Paul, Tancredo and Hunter, none of these guys are committed to lower taxes.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Bobby Jindal

Bobby Jindal is the new governor of Louisiana. He is also Indian. Indian as in his parents are from India not "Native American". And he is also - GHASP- a meanie, kitten eating, Republican. You know the kind of Republican that hates minorities...since as we all know all Republicans are members of the KKK according to the MSM.

Anyone else find this odd? A Republican non-white person was elected governor of a Southern (read racist conservative red state) state. Yet in New York, California, Vermont, Maryland, Connecticut and New Jersey (read tolerant liberal blue states) nothing but rich white men in the governor's mansion. Hmmm.

And the MSM is treating this as an A17 story. Had Jindal had a "D" next to his name and had he been a resident of New York or California, this would be front page news in the NY Times and CNN would have had a 3 hour special on the event.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Not quite 10/19/87 but I'll take it

On this 20th anniversary of Black Friday, we get a fun little mini-crash.

What do you know? Caterpillar warned today because the housing market crash may be worse than "experts"predicted. Well I'm no "expert"but I predicted this crash many moons ago. I am no expert and I have been banging the housing crash drum for over a year while being told I was nuts and over reacting. Housing never falls right Wall St? Housing is the best investment you could ever have right NAR? Goldilocks economy right Larry Kudlow?

Well OK here's your over reaction. S&P down 2.5%. All hell breaking loose on Wall St yet again due to some big surprise about housing. This is just downright comical now. How many warnings does someone need before clueing in? Let me spell it out as clearly as possible. Anything that has to do with housing is toast. Lenders. Heavy equipment. Bricks. Cement. Lumber. Furniture. Appliances. Home Depot. Lowe's. Moving companies. Harley Davidson. GM. Ford. When Home Depot announces yet one more round of layoffs, don't be shocked. When Lennar goes bankrupt, don't be surprised. When Countrywide's CEO is arrested for Enron style shenanigans, do not be stunned. When Bear Sterns announces another $3B worth of MBS bonds are not worth the paper they're printed on don't act surprised. When GM comes out sand says nobody is buying cars anymore don't be surprised. They aren't buying cars and boats and ski-doos and motorcycles anymore because the HELOC magic is gone.

Anyone with 1/4 of a brain could see this coming. But nobody **wanted** to see it coming. The gravy train was too good. The fat was too delicious to imagine it would ever go away. Well it has and it's not coming back any time soon. The emperor's clothes are gone. He is buck-ass naked. Get it now?

On a related note my favorite shorting opportunity made some people a ton of money today. Yes you guessed it FXI. Today was options expiration and FXI fell below $200. The $200 puts expiring today went up over 200% just today, up 400% for the week. I got in on this fun ride a little myself. I bought and quickly sold Feb '08 puts on Thursday. Made a decent return, but nothing close to the grand slam had today. To any of you out there with balls of steel to play the options game so close to expiration...I salute you.

Nothing to see here folks, all is well, go about your business

CNN Money must be a fully owned subsidiary of the NAR, there is no other explanation for this article.

NEW YORK ( -- As housing markets deteriorated over the summer, and a liquidity squeeze buffeted credit markets, delinquencies and defaults jumped. And now one forecast predicts that these numbers will climb even higher over the next six months.
OK sounds good so far.

The Core Mortgage Risk Monitor (CMRM), an index of foreclosure risk compiled by First American CoreLogic, increased by 1.6 percent compared with the three months ended June 30.

And who is this First American CoreLogic outfit? Why none other than a Real Estate firm. And gee what a surprise a Real Estate firm says real estate is a good investment. Who woulda thunk it? By the way CNN, why no mention of this?

The brilliance continues with:

While the national risk average has risen, scores among metro areas vary widely. "It's not necessarily a national problem," said CoreLogic's chief economist, Mark Fleming. "It's focused on local markets."
Uhuh. See here for my retort to this argument to the above and below.

By contrast, the lowest risk markets have low unemployment, high-paying jobs and solid job growth, moderate house price appreciation, low foreclosure rates, and minimal fraud and collateral risk. Overall, the rankings strongly support the assertion that mortgage risk is concentrated in specific regional or local markets.
All real estate is local is total bullshit. We had a national boom from 2001-2005 and now we have a national recession. The odd city here and there where prices are still steady are anomalies. The vast majority of areas are in a housing recession. Many are in a housing depression and that list is growing fast. Atlanta's economy is doing very well, lots of job growth and yet the area is near the top of metro areas with foreclosures.

Continuing with the article..

Less at risk are cities where the economy remains healthy but prices never ran up at breakneck pace. If home prices are still rising, it further reduces risk. That insulates places Salt Lake City
SLC eh? You mean SLC in Utah which according to the FBI is #1 in mortgage fraud? That SLC? And the same SLC where asking prices for homes is down 3% since this time last year? This is the same city that is insulated from foreclosure list? Does anyone at CNN Money check facts? McFly anyone home?

And finally this gem

The fourth market category is made up mostly of what has been dubbed "Superstar Cities," places so attractive that even though homes are very expensive, people still line up to buy them. New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles are good examples.
Los Angeles:

median asking price in April 2006: $579,000
median asking price in Oct 2007: $510,000


median asking price in April 2006: $654,000
median asking price in Oct 2007: $589,000

Oh sure people are lining up around the block. That's why the median price in LA has fallen 12%. And during the same time inventory has gone from 37,000 to 49,000. That's why median price fell in SF by 10%. Yep all those lines to buy houses is leading to increased inventory and falling prices. Does anyone at CNN Money have even a rudimentary understanding of supply and demand?

What the MSM tools still don't get is that this was a Ponzi scheme. People bought homes with the idea that in a year or two they could sell the home for a profit. They didn't buy because it made sense to buy. They bought for the sake of buying. And eventually like all Ponzi schemes you run out of buyers and the whole thing falls apart.

In addition, everyone went HELOC crazy. Doesn't matter if you live in a city where there was minimal appreciation. Your neighbor most likely borrowed against his house to buy the plasma and the Hummer and the boat. So even a slight drop in prices will mean your neighbor is under water. And if your neighbor forecloses, the value of your house falls as well. It is a vicious cycle and it happens very quickly.

This is not even Econ 101, this is Econ 099. And yet reporters from a so-called Money web site still don't understand what is happening.

Do I hear 2.5?

Rush Limbaugh's letter from Harry Reid is at $2.1M now on eBay. While I certainly don't agree with everything the man says, specifically his Bushbotism, he sure knows how to turn lemons into lemonade. And the best part is it makes Harry Reid (my former Senator from the not so great state of Nevada) look like a complete idiot. And that is always a good thing.

Had this letter been sent from John Ensign (the other NV Senator who is a Republican) to some Michael Moore salivating loon on Air America, the story would be on CNN 24/7. But since the liberal is made to look like a fool, you will not see any mention of this story in the MSM.

Once again good thing we have this thing called the interweb....for now anyway. This whole free speech and exchange of ideas is a little too much for the Harry Reids of the world. Don't be surprised if for our own good at some point in the future we will be restricted from reading anything too dangerous and "inappropriate".

SCHIP is dead, long live SCHIP

Much to my surprise the GOP grew a backbone over the past few weeks and held the line on the SCHIP scam. An even bigger surprise was that 2 Democrats voted against this abomination. So I nominate these two as my PEEPS of the week. Jim Marshall (D-GA) and Gene Taylor (D-MS).

Sadly 44 RINOs voted for it. Wonder if any of them are related to Lincoln Chafeee. I nominate that whole group as my COWARDS of the week.

Now let's all be prepared for weeks and weeks of CNN / NY Times sob stories about how Tiny Tim (or more likely tiny Juan) can't get surgery he needs because bad old meanie Ebeneezer Bush hated children (like he hates black people or so says Kanye West).

And of course the braind dead, American Idol worshipping sheeple in this country who couldn't tell you what SCHIP stands for will be outraged. Why,they hate children! How dare they not pay for my urchin's health care? In order for me to do that I will need to drink coffee at home and forgo the $7 Mochachiano at Starbucks. How will I afford the $700 BMW lease if I have to pay $100 for health care. This is an outrage. I'm an American damn it, I have rights. Republicans are too mean spirited. I'm voting for Hillary. She cares.

And on and on it will go until the GOP will once again cave in. And we will take yet one more step to outright socialism.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Health Insurance

As I have mentioned before I have said good bye to the man and have gone independent,working for myself. This of course means I am also saying buh bye to health insurance. I will be one of the 7251 billion UNINSURED or so the figure Michael Moore gives. Goodness me, what will I ever do? I will be dying on the steps of a hospital because those meanie Republicans won't allow the working man access to see a doctor.

Well it isn't quite as dire as old Hillary would have you believe. It is actually not too bad at all. I got a $1500 deductible PPO policy with prescription benefits as well as dental for $150 a month with $0 payments after the deductible.
After the tax deduction that is just over $100 a month. And it is actually cheaper than the premium I had to pay the man for the group coverage he provided me.

So if I have a boo-boo on my finger and need to see the doctor, I'll pay out of pocket for him to fix me up. If I have something really bad happen and need $100,000 worth of work (knock on wood I never do) I'll be covered. And that is exactly how insurance is supposed to work. I pay the small stuff, my insurance pays the big stuff. No different than car insurance. If I have a fender bender I don't call up the insurance company to buff out the scratches on the bumper. I only call the insurance company if serious damage occurs in an accident.

Now granted if I had any medical issues it would cost a hell of a lot more and I might not even get coverage. And that is where I think the government could play a role in subsidizing premiums. I know this makes too much sense and hence I will never hear a politician talk about it.

Win Some, Lose Some

I recently wrote that BAC (Bank of America) would be a good buy. Errr uhm, oops. Down 3% today on bad earnings due in large part to mortgage issues. I am still bullish on it long term and holding on to what I got. I also said BAC would be the better choice of banks compared to Wamu or Wells Fargo. In the past month BAC is down 2%, the others down 4-6%, so realtively speaking BAC is doing OK.

Gold and Silver are both up nicely today yet again. They are definite BUY for me as I wrote here a few times. Past month both are up about 5%.

What's a measly $10 BILLION in Washington?

More MSM lies and spin from a Time Magazine article on the SCHIP bill:

As with so many disputes in Washington, the actual difference is dollar terms is fairly small: Bush supports a $25 billion expansion of SCHIP, while Democrats insist on a $35 billion increase.

Fairly small? HUH? Since when did $10B (10 thousand million for those of you who gradumalated from publik skools) become fairly small? It is amazing that the same members of the liberal media who can tell you to the penny the cost of the war in Iraq, blow off $10B like it's pocket change. I wonder if they would be so non-chalant about a $10B increase in military spending or $10B increase in border security. I believe a border fence could be built for about $10B. But if I recall that was too much money for the editors of Time, NY Times, LA Times and the rest of the usual suspects. But when it comes to government insurance for children whose parents make $83,000 a year and already have insurance....well shit then no expense should be spared.

It is this kind of attitude that has led to the fiscal mess we're in. $10B here, $3B there, a bridge to nowhere here, a $700,000 study on cow farts there. Hey no biggie, it's all "fairly small". However when you add add thousands of "fairly small" things you end up with a very big thing.

And why is it that Bush only "supports" $25B yet the Democrats "insist" on $35B? Bush is a puppy eating meanie. He is in bed with the kitty eating CEOs of BC/BS and Aetna so his heart is not really into it. On the other hand the adorable, loving, Grandma of 5, Nancy "Sweet Sunshine" Pelosi, insists on insuring every child. I have an idea Nancy. After you're done insuring the kiddies, how about buying them a new Wii for Christmas (oops there I go again, I meant for the non-denominational Winter Festival)? At $300 a piece, all 10 million urchins could get a new Wii for fairly small sum of $3B. Think how many votes you can win with that bribe...err social program.

Ain't the Democrats just grand?

7 Offers

Since about 90% of my mail is junk I usually pile it up and look at it once a week or so. Today was that day. And 90% of it was junk as usual. * Part of the 90% were 7 credit card offers. How nice, one for every day of the week. This is a new record I do believe, 7 in one week.

5 of the 7 were 0% offers which always intrigue me. If someone wants to give me free money for a set period of time I'll listen. Used to be the offers had a $0 balance transfer fee. In which case I would write a $10,000 check to myself, deposit the money in a CD, cash the CD 6, 9 or 12 months later, pay back the credit card, keep the profit and close the card out. I did take a small hit to the FICO for doing that but figured it was worth it since the FICO hit was at most 5 points. That was worth making $500 income for the year. But now the $0 fees seem to be gone. They are 3% of the balance transfered. The math doesn't work anymore. After paying income tax on the interest earned, it's a break even proposition at best.

The other option is to get the card, make purchases and pay off the minimum during the intro rate. That could be profitable as well, but the thought of carrying credit card debt doesn't appeal to me. I know it's no different than a balance transfer technically but I don't want any part of it.

So back to my point about the 7. Their come-ons were essentially the same. With this low-interest rate card I could take that vacation I've always dreamed of (there's that word again, dream). I could buy new furniture. Or I could by that new TV for the family for Christmas. I wanted to throw up reading such drivel.

This is the same idiocy that was used to sell mortgage loans to people with 500 FICOs. If you can't afford to pay the mortgage on a conventional loan, you shouldn't buy the house. Same with the dream vacation. If you can't afford it without going into debt you shouldn't take the vacation. I guess the boys in the dark pinstripe suits still have not learned their lesson which a 4 year old could figure out. Don't lend money to deadbeats, you will not ever see it again. But why should they worry, a credit card bailout will be here soon enough, right after the mortgage bailout is finished.

My other thought was why am I getting all these offers during the so-called credit crunch? Shouldn't a credit crunch mean....uhm...a lack of credit not a flood of credit? Two possibilities. I have perfect credit. Banks are desperate to get people with good credit as customers. So they are all sending people like me offer after offer hoping someone will bite. Second possibility is maybe just maybe people are waking up and they have stopped spending on useless shit. As a result to spur people on to start again, banks are sending out the teaser offers right before Christmas (oops I mean non-denominational Winter Festival Time Period, don't want the ACLU coming after me for offending anyone).

Either reason, does anyone think I need 7 new credit cards? Does anyone need 7 new credit cards? Total current U.S. household debt is $11.4 TRILLION. That's more than the US government debt. I think the answer is a resounding HELLS NO.

* If anyone at Fidelity is reading have sent me about 20 letters telling me you received my request to change my address. You can stop now.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Miami, we have a problem

Median real estate asking price declines compared to this time last year.

Miami down 11.6%

Orlando down 10.0%

Cleveland down 7.9%

Boston down 5.9%

Detroit down 20.0% (no that is not 2.0, that is 20.0)

Las Vegas down 9.1%

New York down 2.4%

San Jose down 8.0%

Irvine, CA down 11.0%

Los Angeles down 7.1%

Riverside, CA down 14.0%

Minneapolis down 6.0%

Baltimore down 9.1%

Salt Lake City down 2.9%

Phoenix down 10.5%

Washington, DC down 11.0%

Oh but the housing crash is only restricted to a few parts of the country. Yeah a few parts like the west coast, mountain region, Midwest, east coast and Florida. Barely noticeable.

You want how much for a sandwich?

I went to Subway last night. Got me a 12" Roasted Chicken with all the 'fixins. Mmmm yummy. Price was $6.49 just for the sandwich, not he meal deal. This same sandwich used to cost $5.19 meaning the price has increased 25%. No you didn't misread, twenty five perecent.

Yep inflation is contained.....unless you have to eat, drive, heat/cool your home.

B-A-I .... B-A-I....B-A-I-L....B-A-I-L-O-U-T

Hank Paulson gave his speech yesterday where he said there will be no housing bailout of f****ed homedebtors about to foreclose. And since he said there will be no bailout and he is a politician, and even more so is a politician in the Bush administration, there is a 99.99% chance he is lying. Therefore we must assume he will do the exact opposite and the bailout is coming. And did I just hear that right, there is a housing crash happening? Who could have predicted that? Not me.

Now I suppose technically you could say there will be no bailout. As in the government won't send a check to every homedebtor. But what it will do will be the same thing. It will allow lenders to write off bad debt and allow lenders to refinance the 1% teasers into 1% 30 year fixed loans. Lenders will be compensated for this loss one way or another. Either through tax incentives or some other scheme. At the end of the day my (and your) tax dollars will be used to allow $14K a year strawberry pickers to own $720K homes.

I sure wish I had borrowed $5.5M to buy that Aspen, Colorado ski chalet I've always wanted. It is my dream. I am an American therefore it is the American Dream. If a $14K a year earner can buy a $720K house, I sure as hell should be able to buy a $5M house using the same price to income ratio. And as the media and El Presidente Jorge W. Arbusto has told me over and over, the American Dream of home ownership must be met at all costs.

And my goodness we can't have 2 million people foreclosed on. Why, if that happens 2 million dreams will be crushed. These people will have to -- GHASP!!! -- move into a R-E-N-T-A-L, yuk. Can you imagine the horror? Can you imagine the psychological impact, especially on the children to do the "r" word? I even heard that renting instead of owning can cause severe side effects like dry mouth, nausea and in rare cases high blood pressure.

It is absolutely imperative that this holocaust never happen. Doesn't matter if 1.5 million of these 2 million should never have been allowed to buy in the first place. Doesn't matter if they lied on their application about how much money they made. Doesn't matter if they never really "bought" anything but used an interest only loan which is no different than renting to begin with.

No, none of that matters. All that matters is that we grow government some more. We spend more tax dollars propping up yet one more special interest foreclosure "victims".

You got a fixed 30 year loan that you could afford? SUCKER!! You didn't lie on your loan application? SUCKER!! You live within your means? SUCKER!! Once again those that play by the rules are thrown under the bus in order to save those who lie, cheat and steal.

America...what a country.

Is Larry Kudlow reading this blog?

Two days ago I had one post which said $100 oil is a good idea. Then on yesterday's show Larry Kudlow had a segment on $100 oil being a good idea. Well my reasoning was sound. His reasoning as usual was moronic. He had the preposterous notion that because both oil and the DOW have risen over the past 5 years it must mean high oil prices are good for stocks.

It is such an idiotic notion as to not even warrant a response.

Of course he once again forgot to mention the out of control inflation that we are experiencing and which makes the DOW at 14K equal Dow 10K in 2000 dollars...but you, my regular readers already know this and I need not bore you with the details.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Es tu Atlanta?

Housing is kicking ass in the Atlanta area. There was no housing bubble in Atlanta, therefore there will be no housing crash. Now is a great time to buy. Housing never goes down. Renting is throwing money down the drain.

If that's the case someone please explain to me why a house in the neighborhood I'm renting just lowered the price from $599,000 to $500,000. You'd think in a non-crashing market like Atlanta, homes would be selling like hotcakes, not dropping the asking price by 17%. How would you like to be the sucker who paid $599,000? But, but, but real estate never goes down.

Just a fluke you might say.

Maybe. Except this one was lowered 22%.

And this one is down 21%

Down 20%

And for any of you who drive on the interstates around Atlanta, have you noticed something different on the GMAC Realty billboards? Those billboards used to say how many homes were for sale. That number kept going up and was around 110,000 a couple of weeks ago. Then one day, poof the number was gone. In it's place pathetic messages like "MOVE NOW" or "BUY SOMETHING".


Will the real Republican please stand up?

I find it funny that Romney and McCain are attacking each other for not being Republican enough. Earth to both of you: NEITHER OF YOU ARE REAL REPUBLICANS.

Romney is a flip flopper that would make John Kerry blush. One day he's for abortion, one day he's against it. One day he's voting for Paul Tsongas, the next he's the mack daddy conservative Republican. One day he says he doesn't want to go back to Reagan-Bush, the next, well he does.
I am pro-choice so I'm not too crazy about Romney for him switching views like that. But I am even more against him for behaving so very Clintonesque by switching his views on a dime

McCain has been the biggest thorn in Republican sides for the past 8 years. He was opposed to tax cuts. He is the McCain in McCain-Feingold. He is Mr. Amnesty For Illegals. He has consistently voted against the 2nd Amendment. He was seriously being considered for Kerry's VP for crying out loud. And yet he has the gall to accuse others of not being real Republicans? Senator you have got to be f*****g kidding me. What have you done to advance a single conservative cause?

You want to be areal Republican? Here are a few tips:

1. Don't vote for liberal Democrats.
2. Don't vote against tax cuts.
3. Don't dis Ronald Reagan.
4. Don't co-sponsor legislation that limits free speech, especially when that speech is
by conservative groups
5. Don't spend the better part of your career in the Senate kissing the ass of the MSM.
6. Don't consistently vote to ban guns.

Disclosure: I gave money to McCain in 2000. I was young, I was foolish and was swept up by him. Hey, we all make stupid mistakes.

Oil at $85

So oil pushed through $85. How long before $100? A week, a month, a year? Who knows. As long as the dollar keeps falling it will happen. I personally don't think that expensive oil is a bad thing. $100 oil will force people to give up their 11 MPG monster SUV in favor of something more reasonable. Don't get me wrong, I am not proposing government confiscation of everyone's Chevy Suburban. What I am hoping though is that once the cost of filling up the Suburban tops $100, people will realize that commuting from the suburbs to downtown in a 5.7L 4X4 SUV is ridiculous.
I made that realization myself and went from a 14/18 SUV (in reality 12/16) to a 25/32 station wagon. I like not sending twice as much money to Saudi Arabia and I also like the idea of using less oil environmentally wise.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

6 - 0

Just Put in on the Macy's charge card

Yesterday I was out and about buying some new threads. The new job I have undertaken will require me to suit up quite often. Seeing how the last time I wore suits to work was 1998, I figured I needed some updating of the old wardrobe. So off I headed to the mall. Not the best place to buy suits I suppose but good enough and Macy's was having some 20% off deal if you made a $5 donation to a charity.

The mall in question was one of those uppity up kinds of malls where 2/3 of the cars in the parking lot are $50K or more and 2 years or newer. You know where rich folk live. Rich of course meaning in debt up to their eyeballs living yet one more VISA offer in the mail.

Throughout the day I overheard the following exchanges:

Couple in their mid to late 40s checking out with men's clothes at Macy's in front of me. Woman's got the $300 haircut and a purse that's $500 easy (or so my wife told me). Total for the clothes comes out to $500ish. Husband says something like I don't know if there is enough left on the Visa for that much. Wife non-chalantly says, oh just put it on the Macy's charge card, there's enough left on that. And so he did.

And to me that is the American consumer in a nutshell. One credit card maxed out, no problem. Just put in on the 28% Macy's card. Is it just me or does anyone else find it pathetic that a couple close to 50 years old doesn't have $500 worth of free cash to pay for clothes and is relegated to using a department store card?

On a related note a friend of mine told a similar story, even more pathetic really. His wife asked a friend of her's if she'd like to go out for drinks. The friend declined citing lack of money. Said friend however drives an almost new luxury SUV that goes for $55K. Gotta love the priorities. Impress the neighbors with your 12 MPG pimped out SUV yet be unable to drive it anywhere and enjoy life.

And then these are the people that cry every 4 years about not getting ahead. These are the people that politicians pander to. There are the so-called swing voters who will swing to the party that promises to give them the most free stuff.

Of course you have nothing saved up for retirement. How can you when you spend 110% of your income? So not worries. The government will be there with a ponzi scheme called Social Security. You are paying $500 for purses and $55K for SUVs. No worries the government will get you the health insurance. No need for you to be responsible and buy your own insurance. Why that would mean living the ghetto lifestyle of driving a Honda instead of an Acura. And what would Misty two doors down think? Unthinkable.

And you bought that $700K house with an adjustable ARM that you can no longer afford. No worries the government will help you out there too with a taxpayer bailout. Heave forbid you live in a house less than 4500 sq ft. That would be criminal. You just go on and max out that VISA. You go on and buy those $500 purses. Don't you dare save a penny. You just spend, spend, spend and the government will be there to help you out.

Socialism will not arrive through a revolution. It will arrive through the stupidity and greed of Americans.

The Game

Enjoy it.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

What happens in Vegas....

Thought I'd share some tales my my old Vegas 'hood real estate wise. I used to live in the general area.

I think you may need a login to see them, if you do and don't feel like signing up here are the highlights.


Asking $364,900. This house was foreclosed in August. Bank bought it back $392,000. Before that the last sale was for $459,000 on 9/22/2004. This is a 21.5% drop in price. And this is assuming of course a buyer will pay $365K...unlikely anyone will pay full asking price.


Listed for $360,000. Previous sale was for $465,000 in July 2004. That is a drop in price of 22.6%, again assuming someone pays full asking price.


Listed for $325,00. Previous sale in August 2006 for $405,000. Ouch less than a year later and it is worth 19.8% less.

These are 3 examples but I could put up 300 examples all showing the same 20-25% drop in value. And the supply of homes is still increasing every week. Look for the $350K homes to be selling for $285K within 6 months.

Once again I will say THANK GOD (even though I don't really believe in him) I sold my house close to the peak and got out of Dodge before the housing crash really took hold.

Friday, October 12, 2007

Not that you'll see this on CNN

Happy Columbus Day.

The real Columbus Day, ie the day Columbus stepped foot on the new continent way back in Fourteen Hundred and Ninety Two. Yes, yes I know he was an evil man that killed babies and ate puppies for brunch. I also know that he didn't discover nothing since there were people here a gajillion years ago and of course there is a 78% chance he was were George Washington, Jesus and King Edward I through VI.

I went to college in the 1990s, I know these things and I was told if I dare question said things, I would be branded as a racist, insensitive crazy person.

But nonetheless happy 515th anniversary to the New World. Here's to 515 more.