Monday, December 31, 2007

MSM / NAR Lying Headline of the Day

Existing Home Sales Edge Up 0.4 Percent

screams the corrupt MSM headline.

Read a little further and you see this

The National Association of Realtors reported Monday that sales of existing single-family homes, condominiums and townhouses rose 0.4 percent in November from October, to a seasonally adjusted annual rate of 5 million units. Over the last 12 months, however, existing home sales have plunged 20 percent, underscoring the troubles in the housing sector.
Now what is more substantial? A 0.4% increase month over month or a 20% decrease year over year? Month to month data is meaningless. It is comparing apples to oranges. It is like saying temperatures decreased 12% from October to November. Factually true, meaningless in forecasting temperature trends over the long term.

But why let logic get in the way of perpetuating the NOW IS A GREAT TIME TO BUY lie? That is the only conclusion I can draw for why the headline screams good news when in reality the bad news is only getting worse.

I see stupid people

Not content with overspending on housing, Americans are hell bent on overspending on cars as well. This article confirms what I have thought for a long time. All those shiny new BMWs, Hummers and Escalades out there are driven by broke - and very stupid - people.

When Jennifer and Bobby Post traded in their 2001 Chevy Suburban last year for a shiny new Ford F-350 turbo diesel with an extended cab, it seemed like a great deal. Even though they still owed $9,500 on their SUV after the trade-in value, they didn't have to put a penny down.The dealership, near the Posts' home in Victorville, made it easy; it just added the old debt to the price of the new truck and gave the couple a seven-year, $44,276 loan.
If you've ever been in Victorville, you wouldn't be surprised. WhiteTrashville would be a very appropriate name. Hey ma lookey here, we can get one o' dem shiny new F-350s with nothing down. And WTF does anyone need an F-350 for? Unless you're towing some serious shit - like 15,000 lbs - you do not need that much truck. Seriously people, what the hell is wrong with you? I cannot possibly fathom taking out a loan for $44K on a car. But even if I were on some really trippy drugs and did that, I would still know that a 7 year car loan is suicidal as you are upside down pretty much the entire length of the loan.

"I didn't realize how much debt was in it," said Jennifer Post, who has since moved with her family to Iowa. Now, she'd like to get rid of the truck but can't, because there's so much debt that she'd literally have to pay someone to take it off her hands.

What? Didn't realize how much debt was in it? Hey Jenny, did you graduate from 4th grade? Since that is the level of arithmetic needed to figure out this stuff. And doesn't this sound familiar to everyone? As in "I didn't realize my $800K mortgage would cost me $5000 a month, nobody told me". I smell a federal government bailout coming for these poor, poor "victims".

And no Jenny is not the only complete moron out there. Unfortunately the majority of her countrymen and women are in the same boat.
At the same time, the amount of money drivers owe on their cars is soaring. In October, the average amount financed hit $30,738, up $3,500 in just a year and nearly 40% in the last decade, according to the Fed. More troubling, today's average car owner owes $4,221 more than the vehicle is worth at the time it's sold -- up from $3,529 in 2002, according to industry analyst Edmunds.
I encountered this when buying my last used car. I'd see a car with an asking price of $18K. I'd offer $12K which was the true value. Seller would come back and say he has to get $18K since that is what he owes. My reply was of course, I don't give a fuck what you owe, your car is worth $12K. The car I ended up buying was from a dealer. Asking price was $17K. After a week of negotiating by email I bought it for $11K and had them do about $450 worth of repairs that my mechanic found during the inspection. The dealer probably paid $8K at auction so everyone was happy in the end I suppose. Well everyone except the doofus who owed $20K on it. I don't know exactly what he owed, but I do know the previous owner defaulted on the loan. One man's idiocy is another man's gain.

I got a great deal on financing too. $0 a month with 100% down. I did this weird thing where I bough something with cash and didn't go further into debt. I am a horrible American, I know. What I should have done was take out a $50K loan and buy the 2007 version of the car with all the options, including the 19" $3000 wheels. Gotta impress those neighbors you know. According to CNBC I would be a good American as I would be helping the economy. But I didn't. I acted responsibly, lived within my means. And according to Larry Kudlow and Jorge W. Arbusto, I believe I allowed the terrorists to win.

The Larry Kudlows of the world along with every talking head on CNBC never mentions this stuff. They just gibber jabber about consumer spending. Oh how wonderful, consumer spending was up 0.5% last month. Sure it was up 0.5%, but it was all due to taking on extra debt. An economy cannot run on this model. You cannot just keep taking on more and more debt to buy more and more things you don't need. At some point that debt needs to be paid back.

Sunday, December 30, 2007


Hillary will be president. As the economy enters recession her socialism will become very appealing and she will win with 57% of the popular vote. Democrats will also have a veto-proof Senate. Get ready for unimaginable tax and spend increases in 2009.

Housing will continue to crash. Median price down another 15-20% nationally from today's level.

Stocks will be down severely as a Hillary landslide becomes more and more of a reality. Hardest hit will be drug, health insurance and defence sectors.

As Ben Bernake continues to kill the dollar with lower interest rates, oil will break through $100 and gold will hit $900. Stagflation will be a bitch. I just got a notice that my water rate will go up 11.5% starting January 1st. Are you listening Benny B?

There will be another attempt to give amnesty to illegals. It will fail. Hillary will vote against it before she votes for it before she forgets about how she voted and blames evil white men for ganging up on her.

A natural disaster will occur somewhere in the world. Bush will be blamed for it.

During the summer there will be a week long heat wave with record breaking temperatures. Al Gore will use it as one more example of global warming. CNN will have a "HEAT CRISIS" banner on the screen for the duration of the heat wave.

During the winter there will be a week long cold snap with record breaking cold temperatures. The MSM will say nothing. Al Gore will be silent.

A Trip in the Wayback Machine

All the way back to November 2006. Back then there were still people who publicly said there was no housing bubble and no imminent housing crash. Ahh the good old days for members of the real estate industry. Here is what so-called experts were saying about Las Vegas:

Larry Murphy of SalesTraq and Steve Bottfeld, who monitor housing trends in the Las Vegas Valley, handed out their latest predictions at their quarterly Crystal Ball seminar. Murphy discounts predictions of others and maintains no housing bubble exists in Las Vegas. He points to the median price of existing homes remaining steady.

Bottfeld said he doesn't believe the increasing number of homes entering foreclosure signifies a problem. He said a change in laws that makes it more difficult to declare bankruptcy is the likely reason for more foreclosures.

Hmmm. No housing bubble eh? No need to worry about foreclosures eh?

This is the percentage change in median price for Las Vegas homes according to since their dismissal of a housing bubble. (NOTE: I didn't take Larry's advice and sold my home when it was down only 2%).

And you'd think after getting it so flat out wrong, the media would ignore anything Steve and Larry have to say. You'd think. Nope. Both the Las Vegas Review Journal and In Business magazine often use Larry and Steve as "experts" on housing.

In today's edition of the R-J Larry Murphy has this to say:

November's median new-home price fell 20 percent from a year ago to $271,228; existing home median prices are down 10.5 percent to $257,000. These are near 2004 levels, Murphy said.

But Larry, what happened to your prediction old boy? Just a year ago all was A-OK. I wonder how many poor saps read your predictions and decided to buy a house only to be wiped out financially. No mention anywhere about how absolutely wrong Larry was with his predictions last year. It's as if it never happened. The situation is like in the novel 1984. Just wipe away the records and pretend it never happened. Once again shows how corrupt the real estate industry is and how the MSM cannot be trusted.

And so what is the prediction for next year?

Global Insight and NationalCity estimated that Las Vegas housing has moved from about 30 percent overvaluation in third quarter 2006 to near 20 percent a year later, Schwer said. The firms' overvaluation estimates suggest that Las Vegas will be back in balance once prices return to levels of 2004, when median prices ranged from $196,000 to $248,000.

Finally some realistic predictions, only a year later and still way too optimistic. Median household income in Las Vegas is just shy of $50K. Using the traditional 3 to 4 times income rule, median prices should be between $150K and $200K.

In 1990 the median price in Las Vegas was $106K. In 1990 median household income was $28,500. The ratio of price to income was 3.71. In 2000 median price was $137K, median income was $44K. Again a ratio of 3.1, right in that 3 to 4 historical range.

During the 2001-2006 period, house prices doubled yet income barely moved. And yet so-called experts thought this was perfectly normal. As anyone with an IQ over 50 could figure out, this was not sustainable. And we are now in the correction phase which will bring prices back in line with historic averages.

As for the argument that Las Vegas is different. No it isn't. It is a city built on gambling just like it always has been. It is a blue collar, heavily unionized city just like it has always been. There are no real corporate jobs. The vast majority of jobs are low end service level jobs. For every bartender making $2000 a night on the strip there are 25 people making $10 an hour throughout the city. The only way these people will ever buy a house is if the house is affordable. They bought in 2001-2006 using ninja loans. We all know what happened to those loans. It's not a coincidence Nevada has been in the top 3 states for foreclosures since early 2006.

Las Vegas had its fun in the sun so to speak. Everyone thought they'd hit the jackpot with their house. They were all rich and were gonna be even richer in the future. Now it's back to realityville of a lower middle class, blue collar existence. The BMWs are being repossessed and are being replaced with Honda Civics. Oh well, all good things come to an end eventually.

Saturday, December 29, 2007


As the MSM gives up 24/7 coverage of the execution and then 24/7 coverage of the reaction to the execution, followed by 24/7 coverage of the reaction to the reaction of the execution, I think to myself...YAWN, and flip over to see the latest '07 Patriots comparison to the '86 Bears or '89 49ers.

Yes it was a newsworthy event. But let's put things into perspective.

First off she was the opposition leader,not the president or prime minister. It would be as if in 2004 John Kerry were assassinated a month before the election. Not exactly the same thing.

Second this was the 3rd attempt on her life this year. It shouldn't have come as a shock to anyone that this event might happen. And judging by the plethora of "experts" the MSM had ready to go, looks to me like they were ready.

Finally, it is fucking PAKISTAN. Politicians get executed often. One thing that the MSM has for the most part ignored is that 2 of Bhutto's brothers were also murdered, one in the 80s, one in the 90s. In Pakistan politics is a blood sport and has been since the country's infancy.

The best indicator that it's not that big of a deal is the reaction in financial markets. Stocks were down about 1.5% on Thursday. And a lot of that had to do with non-Bhutto related news, especially oil inventory numbers. And oil only rose about $1 Thursday as well, again due to inventory numbers more than anything else.

The most ridiculous chatter now is how will this affect the primaries. My take is it will affect the primaries about as much as whether the Patriots go 16-0 tonight.

Is there a voter in Iowa or NH right now thinking "hmm you know I was going to vote for Huckabee since I am a religious nut, but due to circumstances in Pakistan, I will change my vote to McCain since he has more foreign policy experience". Or how about "I think Obama is the kind of change I am looking for but since Hillary personally knew Bhutto and she lived in the WH for 8 years, she will now get my vote".

People who think terrorism is a threat before Bhutto died still think it's a threat today. People who think terrorism is a George Bush made up issue still think it's a George Bush made up issue. I honestly doubt anyone is going to change their vote because of this event.

We live in a world where things like the execution of a political figure in a Muslim country is common. It's tragic but it's not worthy of 24/7 coverage for 3+ days and certainly not a deciding factor in the primary elections.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Oracle at a 6 year high

Woo hoo!! High five everyone. CNBC orgasm time. That's right Oracle is at a 6 year high. It is trading at $23 a share the highest since 2001. BBBBooo YAH!!

OK now put the Kool-Aid down for a second and think of what that means. It means that the tech bubble bust was so severe that six years later share prices are finally starting to crawl back up to bubble levels. And I mean crawling, since Oracle was trading at $45 in 2000. Seven years after the bubble burst and Oracle - the new darling of Wall St - is still 50% below peak in nominal dollars. Factor inflation into it and Oracle is anywhere between 70% and 80% lower than 2000 peak pricing in real dollars, depending on whose inflation numbers you believe.

The peak for Oracle was in August 2000 at $45. In August 2004, the stock was trading at $10.

The peak for housing related stocks was mid 2005 to early 2006. For financials it was late 2006 to early 2007. Yet the so-called experts - the ones saying Oracle was a STRONG BUY in 2000 - are saying the bottom is here for both financials and housing related stocks.

Fool me once shame on you. Fool me twice shame on me.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Remember 12 months ago

when Realtors were saying now is a great time to buy? Remember 12 months ago when so-called experts said the housing crash had hit bottom? Here we are a year later and this is how accurate their "predictions" turned out:

Plummeting prices turning into an avalanche

The latest S&P/Case-Shiller home price index shows home prices in the nation's major metropolitan areas declined by 6.7 per cent in October from a year ago. That exceeded the previous record annual drop of 6.3 percent in April 1991, when the economy was in the throes of recession. October's prices were 1.4 percent below September's.

The home price index began showing annual declines in early 2007, but falling prices have accelerated in recent months as a malfunctioning mortgage market and rising foreclosures helped burst the housing bubble. The 10 cities that make up the composite index include some places most affected by the fast-growing home price bubble over the last few years. Miami home prices are now down 12.4 per cent from a year ago. Prices are down 11.1 per cent in San Diego and 10.7 per cent in Las Vegas.

An expanded index that encompasses 20 cities, for which data is available only back to 2001, fell 6.1percent. Eleven areas posted their single largest monthly declines on record in October.

Atlanta and Dallas joined the list of cities with price declines. Among the 20, only Charlotte, Portland, and Seattle stand out as areas where prices have risen over last year.

Oh what's this? Atlanta and Dallas is in the red? What? Huh? Realtors swore up and down Atlanta and Dallas were immune to price drops. It's different in Dallas and Atlanta, remember? Since there was no bubble they said, there would be no crash. Of course that is bullshit. The crash is everywhere thanks to an orgy of over lending and over spending, including Dallas and Atlanta. The Range Rovers and Hummers bought in Dallas and Atlanta with funny HELOC money will as devastating in Atlanta and Dallas and Las Vegas. Anyone who thinks their city is different is deluding themselves.

And now these very same people who a year ago straight out lied are spewing the exact same lies again. Now is a great time to buy. Real estate is a great investment. Buy now or be priced out forever. Uhm yeah, I'll get right on that.

As for Portland and Seattle: looking at this and this I think those number will be turning mighty fast. Maybe YOY comparing late 2006 to late 2007 prices rose. Compare early 2008 with early 2007 and you will see some nasty price declines there as well. Seattle, Portland and Charlotte just came to the party a little late. Their hangover started a little later, that's all. Just like Dallas and Atlanta aren't different, neither is Seattle or Portland or Charlotte. Someone making $75K in LA can't afford his $750K home. His counterpart in Charlotte making $45K can't afford his $450K home either. And the result will be the same, massive drops in prices.

Doesn't matter though. All the spin and lies won't change what is happening. Real estate is continuing to crash at a record pace. The boom was the biggest ever, the crash will be the biggest ever. We are still early on in the game and the avalanche is still gathering force. 6.7% declines will be yearned for in 2 years from now when news reports will be talking about 25% and 30% declines nationally with 50%+ declines in Las Vegas, Phoenix, Florida and California.

For anyone who thinks that it is impossible for prices to fall that much more, just remember in 2000 NASDAQ was at 5000. Today it is at 2700. The very same MSM industry shills who are downplaying the housing crash were saying buy in 1999. The very same lying whores were saying there is a new paradigm and talking about DOW 36,000 in 1999. The very same lying whores who in later 2005 said there was no housing bubble and prices could never fall.

Same lies told by the same liars over and over again. My only question is why do people still listen to anything they have to say? How many more times to they have to be discredited before the masses clue in and realize what is happening?

Sunday, December 23, 2007

On Vacation

I am out in the fly-over hinterland with limited access to the interWEBs this week. I'll be back posting next week. Until then, Merry Christmas and all that jazz.

Friday, December 21, 2007


Thanks to the ridiculously low dollar, caused by the excessive rate cuts from Benny B, the USA is on sale. Also thanks to the overspending in this country, particularly on oil and Made in China crap, the Arabs and Chinese have hundreds of billions of dollars that are burning a hole in their pocket. So they are on a shopping spree.

Citigroup got $7.5B from Arabs.
Goldman Sachs sold 10% of itself to the Chinese government.
Now Merrill Lynch just got $5B from Singapore.
Philips is buying Respironics for the low low price of $5B, which is about 12 Euros these days.

Anyone else see a problem with that?

Maybe the gubermint could get some badly needed money the same way. How about selling 20% of the CIA to Al Qaeda? I'm sure they'd be interested and willing to pay big bucks. If it's good enough for Citi, why not the federal government? Bush was this close to letting Arabs control the nation's ports, why not the CIA or NSA or INS? Business is business folks. It is a global economy remember? George W. Bush has an MBA from Harvard, he must know what he is doing after all. And since the Chinese are on a buying spree, maybe we could follow Morgan's lead and sell 10% of NASA to them. Think of all the S-CHIP programs we could start with that kind of cash.

But it's all good. American Idol starts in 2 weeks. No need to worry about pesky things like a weak dollar or the loss of control over the banking system to not so nice foreigners. That's like so boring you know? So what if Arabs and the Chinese have a stake in the largest banks in the country? It's not like they want to harm us or anything. And no way they could possibly use that influence for nefarious reasons. I guess I am just a crazy black helicopter conspiracy nut since we all know Arabs and communist Chinese are dedicated to peace and prosperity for one and all.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Today's "Dog Ate My Homework" award goes to...

Rite Aid Pharmacy.

Retailers use the dog ate my homework line all the time via the weather. Sales bad in November? Not to worry it was too cold and everyone was at home instead of shopping. Sales bad in July? Not to worry it was too hot and everyone was at the swimming pool instead of shopping.

But Rite Aid has set a new low in excuses. Not enough people got sick last quarter. No, really, that was the excuse they have for piss poor earnings.

NEW YORK, Dec 20 (Reuters) - Rite Aid Corp (RAD.N: Quote, Profile, Research) said on Thursday that a slow flu season and cautious consumers led it to post a wider-than-expected quarterly loss and cut its full-year forecast, sending shares down 27 percent to their lowest level in more than three years.
A slow flu season? OK so then I take it next quarter when the flu season speeds up Rite Aid should make up for it. Come on people, start getting sick will you, the CEO's $10M bonus is depending on it.

As it so happens there is a Rite Aid close to me. It is one of the most poorly run stores I have ever been it, pharmacy or otherwise. It has a dairy section that is always empty. On two occasions I have gone there to get eggs, only to find the egg shelf empty. The pharmacy must also set some kind of record for slowest prescription fills.

Hey Rite Aid, fix things like that and you will see your loss go away PDQ. Or you can pretend your problems are caused by a lack of sick people.

Thanks Benny B

Econ 101:

lower interest rates in US = less demand for $USD = lower value for $USD = higher dollar denominated commodity prices = INFLATION

Ben Bernake, PhD must have missed this lesson during his years of studying economics. That is one explanation as to why he is purposely creating inflation. That or he is beholden to Wall St and is screwing over the masses to help the elite. Which is more plausible I wonder.

Thanks to Benny B this is what we get:

Food prices soar in America

NEW YORK ( -- John Norris' family is drinking a lot less milk these days. He said he considers the higher prices and has cut back on his kids' milk consumption. But between work and family obligations, he still drives almost as much as he used to.

The Norrises aren't the only family getting pinched at the grocery store. Prices of food and non-alcoholic beverages rose 4.7 percent since the beginning of the year through November, outpacing the 4.3 percent increase in the overall cost-of-living, according to the federal government's Consumer Price Index.

Everyday foods like fruits and vegetables, beef, poultry and cereals are on the rise. The price of milk is the biggest culprit, with a staggering increase of 23.2 percent through November. And with basic foods like dairy and wheat driving up the cost of other groceries, almost everyone is feeling the squeeze.

Ahh but according to Benny B inflation is of no concern. According to Benny B and his bogus government statistics inflation is only 2% since the 100" LCD dropped in price form $3000 to $2000. If I bought a new LCD every month that would be wonderful. However I buy milk and bread and gas every month. And I heat my home with natural gas which is up double digits. Prices are going up for things I **NEED** and dropping on things I **WANT**. Not such a good trade off.

Using 2% according to the bogus numbers, more rate cuts will be coming. Rate cuts that will help Goldman Sachs and Merrill Lynch but hurt the other 99.9% of the population. So next year as you are filling up with $4 gas to go buy a $5 gallon of milk, remember to say thanks Benny.

And just in case you think having a Democrat in the White House will change any of this, here is the donor list to Hillary. The names are quite familiar; Goldman Sachs, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley, Citigroup, Lehman Brothers, Bear Sterns. All the usual suspects. But Democrats are out looking for the interests of the middle class, or so the MSM keeps telling me.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Time's Man of The Year

Hey they gave the honor to Hitler, Stalin and were seriously considering Osama. So why not this dictator? Maybe next year they can give Castro and Kim Jong Il joint honors.

And the MSM continues to wonder why nobody takes it seriously anymore.

The Shan is hitting the Fit

- November foreclosures up 68% Year over Year
What more can be said other than don't listen to anything a realtor tells you. Remember they were saying the bottom was here 1, 3, 6, 9 and 12 months ago. ARM resets are about peak now. But, there is another big wave coming in spring 2008. So expect foreclosures to decline a little month over month in the next couple of months. Don't buy the hype, it will be a slight pause. Look for a bottom in prices late 2008, maybe early 2009. Then I will start looking seriously at buying.

- Morgan Stanley reports another $9B in junk debt loss
Another day another few billion lost. Let's see if Bear Sterns can out do Morgan. Do I hear $10B?

- Palm reports a pretty nasty quarter

Now why care about Palm? To me Palm is one of those companies that does amazingly well in a rising economy but crashes and burns at the slightest slowdown. It is a luxury item.It is an item for the guy who needs to show off the latest and greatest gadget. The kind of expense that if first to go when one is unemployed or one's income drops.

Given the irrationality on Wall St, all this will be viewed as good news today. We are about at December 1999 right now. People so badly want to believe the cliff isn't in front of them. But as we all discovered in Feb 2000, the cliff was there and it was a big one.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007


Stop it. Unless you want 8 more years of Clinton get your act together and stop the suicide. I don't want my taxes to double in order for your to have a Jesus party on the campaign trail. It is pretty damn simple. If you elect Mike Huckabee as your GOP nominee, Hillary Clinton becomes president.

Get it now? Good. Now stop this insanity.

Thank you.

USA Today/Gallup

Clinton (D) 49, Giuliani (R) 48

Clinton (D) 53, Huckabee (R) 44

David Faber thanks you

I was watching CNBC this morning as I usually do. Same old cheer leading going on. Rah rah stocks.Gimme an R.Gimme an A. Gimme an L. Gimme an L. Gimme a Y. What;s that spell? RALLY!! Wooohoo. Nothing unusual there.

What did catch my eye (ear?) was what David Faber said. He was having a small orgasm about Goldman Sach's numbers. At the tail end he then said how great it was that GS had paid $20B in salaries which was what had sustained the NYC real estate market. And he personally thanked GS for doing so.

This is not journalism. Reporters are not supposed to thank companies for anything. Reporters are supposed to uhm like you know, report. This is the same MSM that didn't wear American flags on their suits because they wanted to be unbiased in the war. So you can't cheer for your country to win a war but you can cheer for Goldman Sachs and for NYC real estate. I see.

CNBC to me is the car accident I can't stay away from. They anger me, I want to throw something at them yet for some reason I keep going back. Damn you Erin Burnett.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Who are these people?

CNBC new, uhm, "scientific" poll is out.

The percentage of Americans homeowners expecting a decrease in their home price has grown to 16% from 9%. About a third still believe their home values will increase over the next year, down from 40% in March.

Americans are relatively downbeat on the economy. Nearly three-quarters rate the economy "only fair" or "poor."

On what planet do these people live? Only 16% think their house will be worth less. Yikes. That means 84% of the people are in la-la land or never open a newspaper. The level of denial out there is incredible. I wonder if this ultra delusional third who thinks home prices are rising, are the same 1/3 that still approves of Jorge W. Arbusto.

I also wonder how 75% think the economy is in the shitter yet 84% thinks their house will increase in value. Once again proving that average Americans have no clue what is going on around them.

I would guess that 95% would answer correctly if asked what the name of Lindsay Lohan's new boyfriend is. Since like you know, that's really important stuff.

Desperation for Retailers

Using everyone's favorite scapegoat - the weather - retailers are making a fresh round of excuses as to why nobody is in the malls this year.

NEW YORK (AP) -- Following a lukewarm shopping weekend, the nation's stores are now focusing their attention on the final week leading to Christmas, as consumers seem to be postponing more of their buying to the last minute compared to a year ago. Just as malls and stores ushered the official start of the holiday season with expanded hours and generous discounts, they plan to do the same in the final stretch. Macy's plans to pull all-nighters at several of its stores, including its Manhattan flagship, starting Friday. Toys "R" Us plans to keep its doors open until midnight every day until Dec. 24.

Based on early reports from analysts and malls on Sunday, sales results were generally unimpressive this past weekend, as shoppers were held back by a snow storm that spread a mix of sleet, freezing rain and snow from the Great Lakes states to New England. Consumers, fretting about economic worries, were also delaying their shopping even more this year, knowing there's a full weekend before Christmas, when the bargains will be even better.

Oh dear. If this isn't a sign of a desperate sector I don't know what it. Pulling all nighters, you have to be kidding me. Weather? Hmm you mean in December it's cold and snowy in New England and the Great Lakes region? Wow, that never happens. I grew up on the shores of a Great Lake and spent 3 winters in New England. Guess what? It was rainy, snowy, icy cold and just generally miserable every winter. People don't put their lives on hold because the weather is crappy.

Had it been a really warm December, the excuse would be, it was too warm and people weren't shopping because they were out having picnics in the park. Blaming the weather is the equivalent of my dog ate my homework. To me any time an industry blames weather for poor performance it is time to short that industry like nobody's business. I guess there are exceptions like a Katrina or those crazy Cali fires. But blaming snow in winter for poor sales is ridiculous.

And what is this delaying their purchases? What like the week before Christmas the fretting consumers will stop fretting? On the 23rd the worrying will stop. The credit cards will un-max themselves and gas prices will drop 80%.

Consumers are not spending because consumers have no money. They have no money because inflation is out of control and consumers are spending 5-10% more on food and utilities. This won't change on the 23rd. Consumers have no money because the HELOC ATM is closed. This won't change on the 23rd either. Retailers are toast.

RTH was around $99 last week. It is trading close to $92 today. And the really bad news hasn't even hit yet. I own several RTH puts.

Oh No You Didn't Greenspan

Alan Greenspan has joined the bandwagon of those calling for an idiot bailout.

The former chairman of the US central bank Alan Greenspan has called for government to give financial help for homeowners hit by the credit crunch.

He said direct government help would be a better political solution than fixing house prices or cutting interest rates. Homeowners facing repossession might be helped directly through tax breaks or cash grants similar to those given to disaster victims, he said. "Cash is available," Mr Greenspan told ABC's This Week programme.

Un-effing believable. Cash is not available Alan. Unless you have been living under rock you would know that the federal government has a $10 TRILLION (that's 10 thousand billion for those of you who gradumalated from a publik skool recently).

And of course the one thing Alan doesn't mention is that he pretty much caused this to begin with. He lowered rates to 1% in 2003. And he was the man who in 2004 said "American consumers might benefit if lenders provided greater mortgage product alternatives to the traditional fixed-rate mortgage". How did that all turn out Mr. Greenspan? And his good friend also working at the Fed had this to pontificate:

Joseph McKenzie, deputy chief economist at the Federal Housing Finance Board, says buyers like the stability of fixed-rate mortgages, but there is increasing flexibility in products. "There are lots of innovative programs, especially targeting low-income and first-time buyers," he says.
Innovative programs eh? Like no money down, interest only, negative option programs? The kind of programs that are now causing millions of foreclosures? Is that the stuff you had in mind Joey? Unreal. These people caused the problem. Instead of taking responsibility and saying yep, I messed up, sorry, they are giving yet more advice. Alan, Joey, we don't need any more advice from you. One major economic fuck up per decade is all you get. Go away. Please.

So Alan is once again calling for a reward to those who lied, cheated and stole at the expense of those who played by the rules. This on top of the two bailouts already in the works thanks to the Worst President Ever and the even worser yet to come, Hillary Clinton.

This country is turning into a 3rd World banana republic right before my very eyes. As I mentioned a while ago I was in D.C. and did the whole tourist thing. While walking around seeing the monuments, absorbing the history, I kept thinking man what the hell happened. How did such a great concept of a country turn so bad in such a short time? Washington would be getting ready to lead a new war of independence if he saw what had happened.

Hey but as long as E! and MTV broadcasts the daily happenings of Brits and Paris, who cares right? As long as America's Next Top Model stays interesting, why worry? We live in an era where people will cast a vote for president based on who Oprah recommends. And Alan Greenspan is seen as a hero to most because the talking heads on CNBC say so.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

More Atlanta foolishness

I had to read this article twice to make sure I didn't miss something. But no, I didn't.

With more, higher-priced living quarters available, the average income of new downtown households is expected to increase from $61,000, the average in 2000, to $71,000 by 2012, the RCLCO report stated. The expected household income increase is key to attracting the “proper retail for the market audience,” said Ellen Mendelsohn, a project manager with CAP’s economic development department.

“In real estate, it’s hard to make money when you are buying at the top price right off the bat. … I was amazed at some of the prices we were able to get buildings for in Atlanta—there’s a desire to be downtown—not everyone can afford a $500,000 condo in Buckhead,”
Uhuh. So $71K household income justifies $400K condos downtown?. That is still 6:1 ratio of price to income. You're right, not many people can afford. That doesn't mean lots of people still didn't buy those $500K condos using ninja loans. Ahh but Atlanta didn't have a housing boom so there will be no crash. Keep saying that yourself developers if it makes you sleep better at night.

Secondly that increase works out to 1.5% a year. Yet these tools are celebrating this increase as some kind of proof that downtown households are upper end? A 1.5% annual increase in incomes is something to be worried about. Even using the bogus govt inflation numbers of 2% a year, downtown is getting poorer in real terms. But why let facts get in the way of a good real estate swindle?

Now hurry up and buy today before you get priced out. Today's $500K condo will be $5M in 5 years and you better get in now while you still have a chance at living the downtown condo American Dream.

Buy for $400K?

$400K mortgage at 6.5% is $2528
taxes at $350
HOA $300 a month

Total cost: $3178


rent the exact same thing for $2200

I dunno...$3178 or $2200 a month for the exact same thing.

Tough call.

Atlanta is Different

No housing bubble in Atlanta. Therefore no housing crash coming. Or so say the "experts" aka commissioned real estate agents and their bought and paid for shills in the local media.

But even the local media can't hide this:

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 12/10/07

Foreclosure notices for a 13-county area of metro Atlanta hit an all-time high of 58,076 in 2007. That's up 29 percent from the 2006 total. Many experts blame increasing payments of adjustable rate mortgages for sparking the national mortgage meltdown. But metro Atlanta properties facing public auction often involve high-rate mortgages that have not even experienced their first increase in payments, said Barry Bramlett, a vice president at Equity Depot.

or this

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Published on: 11/25/07

The white paint has barely dried on the cathedral ceilings. And some of the stacked-stone chimneys have yet to crackle with that first fire. Here, in a half-built neighborhood near Grayson, everything is freshly minted, down to the suburban dreams. Yet earlier this month, outside the Gwinnett County courthouse, nearly half the subdivision was auctioned off — the latest casualty of a foreclosure crisis that has pounded model-home sales offices around metro Atlanta.

So are homeowners like Mark Braswell, who moved into Chandler Woods Estates last July. From his cul-de-sac lot, he expected to see property values rise with each new home. But sales slowed. And construction nearly ground to a halt.

Last month, "Reduced" stickers joined the "For Sale" signs that lined Cattail Ives Road. Then, on a record-setting Tuesday for foreclosures in Georgia, the signs disappeared altogether. The properties went to the bank that issued the construction loans in the first place.

Darn it, and here I am renting and missing out on the American Dream of home ownership.

Oh but I know, NOW IS A GREAT TIME TO BUY. Or so the commissioned real estate and their bought and paid for media shills tell me. A great time to buy, like it was a great time to buy last month and 3 months ago and 6 months ago and a year ago. How's all that working out for you Mark? I bet your commissioned real estate agents told you the house would be worth 15% more by now right? And you like a foolish man believed those lies. The idea of renting repulsed you right Markie Mark? Only poor people rent. Renting is throwing your money away. You don't get tax breaks renting. What would your friends say if you rented? What would your wife's friends think? There go the invitations to the cocktail parties. And of course when you rent you can't borrow $50K from your house to buy that new Range Rover. And without the Range Rover how will you ever score a good valet spot at a Buckhead hotspot? It is simply unimaginable the horror you would face.

Well sorry Markie, you fucked up and fucked up big. Your greed got the better of you. And I have no sympathy for you. Quite the opposite actually. I hope your subdivision becomes a crack infested shithole as often happens in high foreclosure areas. Hey but you'll still have the privilege of being a home "owner" and that will all make it worthwhile.

And if you want a good example of the views commissioned real estate agents continue to hold, look here.

Don’t worry about housing prices collapsing if local industry is doing well. Pick up a copy of the AJC and you’ll get a sense of the economic environment. Most parts of Atlanta didn’t see a huge bubble, so there is nothing to pop. I don’t care what you’ve heard, good homes are still selling quickly and some buyers are getting great deals today.

This is what we’ve been waiting for folks. Homes are on sale right now. Once prices start going back up, there is no telling how long you’ll have to wait for an opportunity like this to come along again.

He doesn't care what I read. Of course why should I pay attention to hard data I read? I should ignore all that and instead listen to him. Buddy, I have news for you. Prices are not going to go up for a long, long time.

And why are homes on sale today? If there was no bubble and there is no crash happening, why is there a sale? Businesses put their products on sale when they aren't selling. According to you everything is A-OK. So why the need for a sale? You can't have homes selling quickly AND buyers getting good deals. It can't be a buyer's AND a seller's market simultaneously. Well I suppose it can be when you talk out of both ends of your mouth.

Homes are on sale now and they will be on sale tomorrow and in 6 months and 2 years from now.


The more I read about Mike Huckabee the more I start to get scared. Scared because if this man is the GOP nominee, Hillary will be president. Hell, if it came down to Huck vs. Hillary I would probably support Hillary as well. Yes you read that correctly.

Quaranty AIDS patients and make women submit to their husband, and this guy is surging in the polls with statements like that? I'm sorry did I just move to Iran without knowing it?

For many years I put up with the religious zealots in the GOP. My thinking was, as long as you cut my taxes, allow me to own a gun and at least pretend to fight terrorism, I'll look the other way on everything else. But I have to draw a line somewhere. Huckabee is the caricature Republican talked about on DailyKos. And they are right, he is a religious extremist.

In 1972 Democrats nominated McGovern. He was a far left liberal. He lost 49 states to Nixon. And he also made sure for a generation, Democrats were thought of as far left, anti-war, soft on crime, etc. It also allowed Ronald Reagan to do his thing.

If Huckabee is nominated in 2008, the exact will happen in reverse. A generation of people will look to Republicans as far right, religious crazies and vote for Democrats for many years to come.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Off Topic

Patriots are still unbeaten. Jets and Dolphins are the games I was worried about. It's always the easy games that blow up in your face.

Petrino did the right thing. I would have walked away too if I had to coach those thugs who support Vick. Free Vick my ass. He should be happy he only got 23 months. Had I been the judge it would have been a lot longer.

There's steroid use in baseball? And by lots of big stars? Get the hell out. I never would have suspected. Good thing a multi million dollar investigation was undertaken. I can sleep better at night.

I hadn't noticed but the NHL is very even this year. 23 of the 30 teams have a .500 or better record. Now that is league parity. Also nice to see cities that should have a team (Detroit, Ottawa) at the top and those that should not (Phoenix, Los Angeles) at the bottom. Phoenix? Hockey? Come on.

Another failure waiting to happen

A week after Bailout round 1 was finished, bailout round 2 is complete. First we freeze rates for idiot home "owners". Except within 2 days everyone knew it was hopeless as well as pointless.

So now the Senate passed a new bailout proposal which will also be useless. They will raise the FHA limits to $417K allowing FHA to back mortgages up to $417K. They can raise the limit to $4.7M if they want and it won't change anything. Foreclosures are still climbing and home prices are still dropping. At the end of the day it comes back to that pesky equation of income to debt. And in that pesky equation someone making $40K cannot afford a $680K home now matter what FHA's limit becomes.

I have to applaud Sen. Jon Kyl from Arizona. He was the only Senator to vote against this bill. And he's from AZ too, where the housing crash is in full swing and has been for quite some time. I can see the ads now,Senator Kyl how could you vote against America's Families? You meanie. And so close to Christmas too.

My advice to all the home "owners" out there who need these bailouts is just walk away. Your credit is trashed already so that isn't a worry anymore. But why continue making payments on a depreciating asset? Stop listening to the lies of the MSM and NAR. The market is not rebounding. Every month you stay in your house, you lose money and you will continue to lose money for years to come. It may very well take a decade for you not to be upside down in your house.

You could rent the exact same house for less money, a lot less than your albatross of a mortgage and put the money away. Go to craigslist and see what your house rents for. It's a hell of a lot less than your mortgage payment. In some areas, like SoCal, Las Vegas, Tampa it is less than 50% of your mortgage. You would have to be an outright fool to not walk away.


From Drudge:


Huckabee 24%

Thompson 17%

Giuliani 16%

Romney 16%

McCain 13%

Paul 11%

Paging Dr. Volker, Paging Dr. Volker, we have a code blue

Consumer Inflation Posts Biggest Gain in Two Years

And Ben Bernake has said the Fed is open to more interest rate cuts. If an engineer were this reckless when designing bridges, he would not only be fired he would be arrested for putting people's lives in danger.

Hey Jorge W. Arbusto, here is a chance to somewhat redeem yourself. Fire his ass and replace him with someone like Paul Volker. The economy is sick and it needs real medicine. That real medicine is high interest rates and a good recession. Just like the body needs a fever to kill the virus, we need a recession to kill the virus that is too much deficit spending. Instead Benny B gives us rate cuts and central bank shell games in a desperate attempt to prop up Goldman Sachs (Treasury Secretary Hank Paulson's old employer) .

Come on Jorge, you've done nothing but fuck things up for the past 5 years. Throw us a bone here.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

The new version of the $20K strawberry picker

The $40K Togo worker who bought a $680K home. I can't even begin to comprehend how any sane lender looked at that application and thought, yep, this one is getting approved. And it is examples like this which demonstrate why housing prices will have to fall by another 20, 30, 40 even 50% in some areas.

Christmas Gifts

I've noticed this year all the car companies are encouraging us to give cars as gifts. Lexus, Mercedes, Acura, etc all have the same commercials. Buy a car as a gift. When exactly did this phenomenon occur? Exactly when did a $50K car become a Christmas present? Look dear I just went a further $50K into debt, Merry Christmas! This almost makes the Kay campaign (your wife is a whore who will only kiss you if you give her shiny trinkets) tame by comparison.

Damn I swear this addiction to debt is going to tough to give up. And when it's over man is it going to be a tough detox.


The boyz in the stats department said wholesale inflation rose at the highest rate in 34 years. That is worse than the late 70s folks. Today's inflation is worse than the Jimmy Carter era.

WASHINGTON (AP) -- A record jump in gasoline prices pushed wholesale inflation
up by the largest amount in 34 years. Still, shoppers stormed the malls in
November, giving retail sales their biggest gain in six months. The Labor
Department said Thursday that wholesale prices soared by 3.2 percent last month,
propelled by a record 34.8 percent rise in gasoline costs.

This is what happens when Ben Bernake keeps lowering interest rates. Inflation happens. And lots of it. I learned this on day 4 of my intro to econ class. I would hope Ben Bernake, with a PhD in Economics and all, would also know this kind of stuff. So for all of you out there who are now paying 1% less on your VISA interest rate, you are paying 3 or 4 times that much in
higher costs of every day things. How's all that working out for you?

As for the surge in spending, uhm do these buffoons the MSM not read what they write? If rices are higher of course retail sales will be higher too.

Meanwhile, the Commerce Department reported that retail sales jumped by 1.2
percent last month, double the gain economists had expected. It was the biggest
increase in six months and followed a much weaker 0.2 percent rise in retail
sales in October.

Hello? McFly? Anyone home? Retail sales jumped by 1.2%. But prices rose by 3.2%. So the dollar value went up but doing simple math would show that the number of items bought fell. In other words we are spending more money and getting less stuff. Again, how's that all working ou for everyone?

Are reporters really this stupid?

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Poor Little Rich Boy

As I have been saying all along the subprime "crisis" is not subprime at all. It is a borrowing too much crisis. The MSM, always about 18 months behind the curve is starting to see the light as well.

NEW YORK ( -- Cleveland's foreclosure crisis is no longer a problem that's just for the poor. In the city's central neighborhoods, it's been common for years: Low-income homeowners living on a financial edge were also preyed on by abusive lenders during the nation's recent housing bubble. But now the mess has spread to Cleveland's wealthy suburbs, where delinquency filings have
exploded over the past year despite residents' relative prosperity and supposedly
higher education levels.

Hmmm, rich people falling behind on their mortgage payments? Why how could that possibly be? Jesse Jackson and Hillary along with the Idiot-in-Chief have been telling us this was all due to poor, uneducated people getting taken by evil bankers. How is it possible wealthy sophistimacated well edumacated people are in trouble?

Answer is easy. Everyone got greedy. Rich, poor, black, white, Republican, Democrat. Everyone saw easy money and the lure of a never ending housing boom and jumped in on it. The poor got the subprime loans they couldn't afford. The rich got prime loans they couldn't afford. It doesn't matter at the end of the day, it's all relative. If you make $30K a year and get a loan for $300K it is the same as if you make $100K a year and get a loan for $1M. In both cases you cannot possibly afford to pay the loan back. Calling it subprime or prime or calling it Fred is meaningless. It all amounts to the same thing.

And what the hell does education have to do with it? Is the reporter somehow implying that a college education makes one immune from acting like an idiot? Greedy people come in all shapes and sizes and all education levels.

The college educated guy making $80K a year was the one HELOCing the shit out of his house to buy the Hummer, not the $20K a year strawberry picker. The $20K a year strawberry picker was hoodwinked into buying the "American Dream" of home ownership. That was stupid, but it was different and I have some (very little) sympathy for him. The $80K guy was just plain old greedy and had to keep up with the Joneses. He had to buy the hummer, take the trip to Fiji, buy his Brittany, his precious daughter a $2000 doll house so Dakota next door would feel jealous. And he was also the guy at the office telling everyone what a genius he was for doing all that and how foolish people who didn't "tap their equity" were. God knows I met enough of those douche bags to last me a lifetime. And I have absolutely zero sympathy for them.

Obama, don't wanna

I was watching CNBC this morningt. Obama's economic advisor was on and his solution to the housing crisis is lower tax rates for poor people in order to make housing more affordable for them. This is from an econmics professor and I honestly cannot believe the stupidity coming from a man who should know better.

1. The bottom 50% of income earners pay 3% of all federal taxes. The top 10% pays 70% of all federal taxes. Poor people pay no tax. Rich people pay almost all taxes. Despite what you may read in the NY Times or hear in a Hillary speech, there is no such thing as a tax cut for low income workers.

2. How about letting house prices fall to their natural level. That is what makes an asset more affordable....a lower price. The reason for the crisis is that houses are too expensive for people to afford. Lower interest rates, lower tax rates, interest rate freezes are nothing but shell games. When you make $30K a year and buy a house for $500K it is a recipe for disaster.

This is an economic advisor for a possible president?

Hope Springs Eternal

After Wall St had a freak out yesterday over **only** a 1/4 point, the spin this morning is a different story. Well it was only 1/4 but more is coming and the Fed has other tricks up its sleeve.

Huh? Tricks? This is the the future of hundreds of millions of people and these idiots are treating the situation like a parlor game? WTF.

Wall St. right now is like a crack addict with Ben Bernake as the local dealer. He as been giving them a nice steady set of rate cuts. Yesterday he only gave Goldman Sachs 1/2 of the regular supply. Goldman went crazy. This morning as every drug addict does, Goldman starts justifying things. Things are OK after all. I know my dealer will come through with something else for me.

I was a little premature in singing Benny B's praises yesterday. Looks like he will still supply the crack just not so out in the open. Shame on you Benny. Shame on you.

But as I have said before it will do nothing in the long run. Housing is and will continue to crash in 2008. Consumers are broke. Cutting interest rates by 1 or 2 or 3% won't change that. If you have a $4000 mortgage on a $5000 a month salary a rate cut won't do anything. Why in the hell is it so hard for these people to understand such a simple concept.

And all that aside, the reason we are in the mess we're in was TOO MUCH easy credit. So how is Benny B going to fix the problem? By adding more easy credit.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007








The fed actually did the right thing. Well sort of. The right thing would have been to raise rates. But at least they didn't cut by 50. I give Ben Bernake a B-. I was honestly expecting a full 50 cut.I guess even Benny B wasn't about to let the dollar die. As much as he is the water boy for Goldman Sachs he isn't about to go down in history as the man who destroyed the US Dollar.

Good for you Benny. Now that you've discovered you have a pair of testicles, how about going one step further next time and raising rates back to 4.50%? Too much too soon?

I want to post about this but I am in a state of shock. I'm probably dreaming it all anyway. No way a government entity actually did the right thing.

When I wake up I will write about it.

Back to sleepyland now.

Wake me up when sanity comes back please

Yesterday UBS, a huge Swiss bank announced a $10B loss in - you guessed it - junk mortgages.

Also yesterday WaMu announced massive layoffs and further write downs because of - your guessed - junk mortgages.

Also yesterday B of A announced it was in deep doo-doo with some of its money market (supposedly safe) funds because of - your guessed it - junk mortgages.

Today H&R announces some pretty hefty losses because of - you guessed it - junk mortgages.

All that was going on and yet the Dow Jones was up 100 and it is up again a little today. And the headline news of the day was that housing is back baby.

It's funny to me that the wizards of Wall St are so easily manipulated. They are like Pavlov's dog. They hear the words "Fed Rate Cut" and the salivating begins. What is often missed is that these wizards with MBAs and PhDs from the finest schools around were taken by high school dropouts mortgage brokers who initiated all the junk loans. They bought trillions of worthless debt from guys whose previous job was used car salesman or Best Buy clerk.

Now they are being taken by the likes of Lawrence Yun, head of the NAR who is laughbaly calling for home prices to rise in 2008. This is the same guy who has been revising his predictions every month for the past 13 months. He'll predict prices will be $X in January. Then on Jan 31st he'll quietky revise that prediction to $X less 3%. And then in February when the number comes in at $X less 3% he puts out a press release saying the market is stable and predicatble. He has been doing this for over a year and yet the tools on Wall St. still haven't caught on to the charade. Goes to show, you can have all the degrees in the world but if you don't have any common sense it means nothing.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Lying NAR Stats Monday

The NAR says all is well with housing after all. Turns out this whole housing crash thing was overblown. All is well now, go out and buy 8 homes. Except..

They are doing the usual statistical technique of mixing up year over year and month over month. Hooray the index is up from August. But oopsie it is 18% lower than same time period last year, which was itself much worse than the year before. You cannot do that. You cannot compare month to month. It would be like saying the temperature between March and April shot up 15% therefore it proves the earth is warming up. You compare March to March, April to April. You don't compare March to April. Yet this is what the NAR does all the time and for some reason the MSM plays right along.

They are saying August was the worst ever. And October was just a little better than the worst over, and this is good news? Using a weather analogy Georgia there is the drought. If it rains 1/16 of an inch more in December than in November, but 4" less than Dec '06 will the drought be declared over? Of course not. That would be beyond retarded. Yet that is exactly what the NAR is doing.

October was awful. But it was just a teenie bit better than the worst ever. I'm convinced. I'll go spend $750K on a home tomorrow.

How To Piss Off Foreigners

Step 1: Sign a contract with foreign entity promising to pay $x over y period of time at z interest rate.

Step 2: Have the WORST president ever void that contract during election year.

Step 3: Repeat with millions of contracts and thousands of foreign entities all over the globe.

Nice to see the so-called experts finally catching on to the minefield Jorge W. Arbusto has created with his mortgage bailout for the idiots plan.

There is $350 billion worth of adjustable-rate mortgages scheduled to reset to higher rates in 2008, Gerald J. Swanson, UA professor of economics, told the crowd at the 27th annual forecasting luncheon. "About 600,000 of these 1.2 million mortgage holders will not be able to handle the reset," Swanson said. Many of those mortgages are held by foreign companies, so the implications for growing economic problems are international, he said. Efforts to freeze interest rates on the mortgages could sour foreign nations and firms on U.S. investments, Swanson said.

Sour relations because the United States of America federal government has just broken millions of contracts signed by private parties? Ya think?

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Real Estate Always Goes Up

Except when it doesn't.

The bottom line: Most homeowners won't be able to sell for what they might have at the peak in 2005 when median prices were 30 percent higher than they are now. "People need to understand that the market has gone back to 2004 and 2003 prices," says Bob Memoli, a Pasco County real estate agent. "If you don't price that way, it's just not going to move."

Soon enough pricing will be back to 2002 levels Bob. Just you wait and see. My question to Bob and all the other realtors is why did they lie in 2005 and say buy now or be priced out forever? Remember 2005 and the frenzy. People lining up overnight to get 1st crack at a housing development. Realtors and mortgage brokers making $250K a year (and spending $260K of that). Good times right Bobby?

Just to get the magnitude of the destruction Bob caused, imagine a young couple circa 2005 going to Bob. He tells them they have to buy something, anything, even if they can't afford it. Otherwise they will be priced out forever. So the couple puts down $5K, their whole savings. They buy a $300K house. They get a ninja loan of some sort. Bob gets his $9K commission as their buying agent. Now 2 years later their house is worth $230K. Their loan is resetting. They can't afford it. They also can't afford to maintain their house or do any repairs. Their $5K is long gone. They owe $70K more than their house is worth. They are constantly arguing with each other about money. Their choice is keep doing this until they no longer can or walk away and destroy their credit.

Ahhh yes living the "American Dream" of home ownership.

Thanks Bob. You're a champ.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Just Say NO to Mike Huckabee

He raised taxes several times while governor of Arkansas.

He was for amnesty.

He gave illegals in-state tuition.

He is a protectionist and speaks like a labor union boss when it comes to free trade.

All that and he is a Baptist minister. Nothing against Baptists. I would feel the same if he were a priest or a rabbi. Religion has no place in politics.

He is Hillary Clinton on the issues with religion on top it. The worst possible combination. A socialist bible thumper.

I cannot for the life of me understand how the pundits are comparing him to Ronald Reagan. He is nothing of the sort. Ronald Reagan believed government was the problem. Huckabee believes government is there to help. Comparing the two is laughable.

I am hoping this sudden surge in the polls is happening because people just don't know his positions all that well. He is a an eloquent speaker and looks like people are buying the sizzle. But people, please, notice there is no steak underneath.

Come on GOP, get your shit together already. You cannot possibly want another version of George Bush do you? A big government supposed conservative who has a personal relationship with Jesus. How's that working out for you so far? Love for Jesus should not be a campaign issue. If you want to love Jesus, love him all you want. Pray 24/7 for all I care. Go to church 10 times a week for all I care. But Jesus does not belong in the White House. This is not Iran for crying out loud. I don't want to hear the word Jesus from a president. I don't want to know when or if he prays. I don't want a president getting advice from Jesus or wondering WWJD. I'm pretty sure Jesus doesn't care one way or another about capital gains taxes or the AMT or Social Security or Medicare or how we should deal with China on trade issues. I just don't think those kinds of things are Jesus' areas of expertise. And a president should not be looking to JC for advice on those issues.

How to scam govt money

Step by step instructions on how to benefit from the Bush/Hillary bailout plan now available.

Less than a day after the announcement and already it is falling apart.

Lower your FICO below 660 and you too can qualify for free government money. Only in Bush/Clinton America. Step right up folks. Purposely fall behind on your bills and Bush/Clinton will send you a check. This on top of the $5K Clinton will send you for having a kid.

What a county!!



Friday, December 7, 2007

No recession eh?

Let's see:

- foreclosures at all time high

- consumer confidence at 2 year low this morning

- new jobs drop from166K in Oct to 94K in Nov (it takes 150K a month just to keep up with
population increase)

- GM, Chrysler and Ford are cutting back on production in January due to lack of sales

- Palm's profits fall due to slowing sales

And yet the news today is that a recession will most likely be averted.

Ahhhh haaa.

Bush: Idiot or Political Master?

I often wonder about that. On the surface the man almost single handedly proves evolution occurred. There are apes who appear more coherent than him.

Yet on other occasions I have to wonder. Take the mortgage bailout he announced. Gotta give it to that asshole, he had me going. He had me thinking he would bail out the idiots who took out more loan than they could afford. And Wall St. had yet another collective orgasm led by CNBC.

But wait as they say at the end of the infomercial. There's more.

If you read the details closely you realize that this is nothing but an election year stunt that does almost nothing concrete. It only applies to homedebtors who are current on their payments. That takes out about 5% of them. Then you need to have no more than 3% equity in your home. Given the amount of people who got $0 down loans there goes another 20%. Then your mortgage needs to be less than the value of your home. Goodbye anyone who bought a house 2005-2006 in Phoenix, Las Vegas, Florida, Miami, DC and much of SoCal. And it doesn't apply to investors, only owner occupied (although given how easy it was to lie there are thousands of "owner occupied" rentals out there).

Which in essence means nobody will qualify. It will help a few inner city families in Cleveland and Detroit. Then Bush will prop them up on the TeeVee and show how much he cares about minorities. Dat dere parsdent really done do care 'bout poor folk. And in the next election the GOP nominee will still get 8% of the vote.

Yet he had Wall St, me, the MSM and the poor slobs about to foreclose thinking this would actually be something. And more importantly he stole the thunder from the Democrats on the issue. From a political point of view he kicked ass. Almost as is Rove were still working in the background.

Well played Senor Arbusto, well played sir.

Yet this is one more in a series of stupid moves on the part of Bush and Republicans in general. Election after election they get votes mainly from white, middle class voters. Yet who do they reward once elected? Anyone who is not a white middle class voter. They give amnesty to illegals. They fight for affirmative action. They do shit like subprime bailouts (and let's all be honest here, subprime is not white middle class voter). And after doing all that, the very people they tell to fuck off are the ones who come back and vote for them again. And the ones whose ass they kiss don't.

Here is my piece of advice for Rudy or Romney.

Cut taxes. When Democrats complain tell them too fucking bad.
Build a wall on the border. When La Raza complains tell them too fucking bad.
Tell anyone who is foreclosed on too fucking bad. Next time be responsible.
End affirmative action. When Jesse Jackson complains tell him too fucking bad.
When you find a terrorist, kill him. When the ACLU whines and bitches about human rights, tell them too fucking bad.

Promise to do those 5 things and you will win a landslide.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Will Jorge W.Arbusto bail these ones out too?

According to the Wall St Journal delinquencies for auto loans are surging.

Just like we can't let anyone possibly foreclose we must step in and take action. Imagine the human toll that will take place if millions of people lose their Hummers and Escalades. What will those poor souls do? Drive a Honda? Drive a Chevy? Why that is just plain mean. And so close to Christmas time too. No, no, no. We must act and we must act now. It is a God given right that every American shall drive a luxury car or better yet an 8 cylinder 11 MPG monster SUV. Damn it, that is what 1776 was all about.

My proposal is a loan freeze for 5 years. No payments for 5 years and 5 year freeze of repos as well.

Question for Mortgage owners

Suppose you have a 750 FICO. You're been prudent with your money all you life. You have never had a late bill. You live within your means. When you bought a house , you got a fixed rate mortgage at say, 6.15%. You also bought a house you could comfortably afford. You could have afforded more, but you bought wih an eye on not spending every penny you make on a house.

Your neighbor has a 550 FICO. He has been a deadbeat all his life, never pays bills on time. Collection agencies know him quite well. He got an adjustable mortgage with an intro at 2.9% which will reset to 9% in 2 years. He bought a better nicer house than you since at 2.9% he can afford more. He knew fully well he could never afford the 9% reset but didn't care. Remember, for him not paying his bills comes as second nature. And during those two years with the extra money, he went out and bought a new boat and a new Hummer.

Now thanks to the Worst President Ever, your neighbor gets a better mortgage rate than you for the life of the loan. Jorge's bailout (which he swore up and down would not take place in August) now sets the 2.9% rate for life. And yes it is for the life. This 5 year freeze is a load of shit. What does Jorge think will happen in 5 years from now? The deadbeats that can't afford the payment today will magically be able to afford it? Yeah right. Try again Jorge. In 5 years President Hillary will extend the 5 years for another 5 years. And 10 years from now President Hillary will extend it again. No I didn't do the math wrong, President Hillary will be around for a looooong time. Why should she worry about a pesky think like the 22nd Amendment. Remember in the view of leftists the constitution is evolving all the time and obviously it will need to evolve so she can reign for decades. But I digress....

The Worst President Ever has just rewarded your neighbor for being a deadbeat with a lower mortgage rate than yours. This is new America. An American where being considered subprime is now a good thing. An America where a subprime bailout is cheered as compassionate conservatism.

The new America where:

white is black,

up is down,

illegal alien is undocumented victim,

and now,

deadbeats get lower mortgage rates than those with stellar credit.

So my question to those of you who fall into the non-deadbeat category is this: does it hurt in the morning? If you aren't angry you aren't paying attention.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Here we go again

Fed will cut by 1/2 a point. Wall St, led by Larry Kudlow and CNBC has a collective orgasm. Wall St also forgets about the trillions, yes trillions, of junk debt out there. The fed will save us, the fed will save us is the new rallying cry. Before you do something silly like believe the nonsense here are some charts to consider:

1st off we have the NASDAQ Jan 2001 to Dec 2002. During this time the Fed cut rates from 6.5% to 1.25%. This was the result in the stock markets. Every one of those spikes up was due to a fed cut. And it didn't last.

More recently here is the chart for the past 3 months.

The fed cut on Sept 18th and Oct. 31st. And where is the index now? Below Sept 18th and below Oct 31st.

The fed can cut to 0% and it won't change the fundamental problems with this economy which are we spend more than we make. This goes for individuals and government. Granted the cheaper that borrowed money is the better, but you do have to pay it back at some point.

As for this productivity report that says we as a nation are 6.3% more productive and hence inflation is not a concern. If you truly believe that in one quarter you have magically increased your output by 6.3% I have a bridge to sell you. If you also think inflation is 2% as the govt claims I have some Kansas oceanfront property to discuss with you.

The MSM is being given a run for its money in terms of outright lies.