Wednesday, April 30, 2008

MSM finally catches up

NEW YORK ( -- Crude oil prices and the value of the dollar have been marching in different directions for months. But that may shift if the Federal Reserve signals on Wednesday that its rate-cutting campaign has come to a close.

One factor that has sent the dollar down and oil up recently has been the Federal Reserve's months-long round of rate cuts. In an attempt to stimulate the ailing U.S. economy, the central bank has cut rates by three percentage points since September. But the rate cuts are also inflationary, weakening the dollar and sending oil prices higher.

Aww gee thanks MSM for coming to the party. This has been going on for a year or more and finally the brilliant minds in the MSM figure out what happened. Which has me really confused because CNN also had a story not too long ago on how 45% of the people thought Bush was deliberately controlling oil prices to help his EVIL OIL buddies. Come on CNN pick a side here. Both arguments can't be the cause of high oil. I know this phrase I am about to use may be a little above your pay grade understanding of things, yet the two arguments are mutually exclusive.

Anyway they go on to say that if Benny B "pauses" in his zest to annihilate the $US, oil another commodities will drop. I'm on the same page there and have put a little of my money where my mouth is. I sold my GLD a little early when gold was $900ish. Didn't ride it all the way up, but I'm happy I sold when I did. Now I have been buying up some puts on USO. I don't see oil going back to $50 any time soon. I do think $120 is just so out of whack with fundamentals it has to go down somewhat. Even with the devaluation of the dollar, China, India, etc, this price run-up is still partially due to speculation and that portion of it has to collapse sooner or later.
Plus with the recession here, it just makes no sense for oil to keep on climbing in 2008.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

In honor of Benny B

Tomorrow Benny "inflation, what inflation" Bernanke will lower interest rates again. Since there is no inflation according to the bogus Fed numbers, it's all good. If you've seen some recent outrageous jumps in prices, post them. And I'm not talking about gas prices which is a given. I'm talking about the things that supposedly are only up 4% year over year according to the Fed.

Here are mine that stand out:

Petsmart dog training classes used to cost $99. I know since I just signed up for a class last month. Same class is now $109. No biggie just a 10% increase.

Keeping with the canine theme...a 40 lb. bag of food I buy was $35. Now that 40lb no longer exists, at least I can't find it. Instead there is a new 30 lb. bag for $28. Great strategy. Lower the price by 20% and reduce the content by 25% and hope nobody notices. At the end of the day the price is up by 6.7%.

Rite Aid sells 2 Ben & Jerry's small containers for $6. Up until about 3 weeks ago, used to be $5. Only a 20% increase, what me worry?

WTG Charlotte!!

The Case-Shiller numbers came out today and to no body's surprise home prices fell again last quarter. 19 out of 20 cities followed by the index were down. Las Vegas led the way with a 23% plummet. Miami was not far behind at 22%. Tampa down 18%.

San Francisco, home of 'Silicon Valley money will keep prices up and so we can't possibly have a crash', was down 17%.

San Diego, home of 'the weather here is so great that prices can't possibly fall with all these new people moving in', was down 19%

Atlanta and Denver, both home of 'we had no bubble so we can't possibly have a crash' were both down 6%.

DC, home of 'we have all these govt jobs and so we can't possibly have a crash' was down 13%.

And on it goes. Every city where it is different turns out isn't so different after all.

Charlotte for some reason was actually up 1.5%. Exception that proves the rule I guess.

And just like clockwork the so-called experts come out and say the bottom is here and now is a great time to buy. Just like they did last month, last quarter, last year and 2 years ago. Listen to experts and lose money. Fact is homes are still overpriced and have plenty more to drop. Another 10-15% nationally is a given.

Friday, April 25, 2008

Stimulate this

The gubermint will start sending out 1200 worthless $US dollars starting in May. Fantastic news. The money will be sent out 4 days earlier in order to stimulate the economy. Or so the MSM headlines tell me.

NEW YORK ( -- The federal government, eager to boost the flagging economy, will start distributing special stimulus payments Monday - four days earlier than expected. "Beginning Monday, the effects of the stimulus will begin to reach households," President Bush said Friday. "This money is going to help Americans offset the high prices we're seeing at the gas pump and at the grocery store."

So now the government is printing money in order to offset the high prices at the pump and grocery store? Did I just read that correctly?

The government is devaluing the dollar by printing too much money. This devaluation is causing food and gas prices to soar. So the way to combat this problem is to print more money. Wow. Absolutely wow. Someone please get Paul Volker on the phone ASAP.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Can they lower the cost of a Wii while at it?

CNN's daily poll today is "Should the Govt step in to lower gas prices?" Shockingly, 61% (as of now anyway) say yes. This poll should be reworded to ask "Do you have any idea how the world works"?

If any of the illustrious 61% is reading this, lemme tell you why the government can't and shouldn't do a damn thing about it.

Indirectly the government can reduce the price of has by being financially responsible. Stop destroying the dollar and oil will fall in price. But if you are part of the 61% I'm guessing that's not what you meant. What you meant was price ceilings.

Price ceilings NEVER, EVER, EVER work. If you get 10 economists in a room and ask a question, you will usually get 10 different answers. Ask all 10 about price ceilings and all 10 will tell you the same thing. A ceiling causes a shortage of the product/service. This in turns creates a black market for which people pay even higher prices than before the shortage. Meaning for a consumer your options are don't buy the product because you can't find it, or buy it for more money than before from a guy down the street in a van. Read up on what happened in the 1970s when Jimmy "Hamas is Cool" Carter went down the price ceiling path. Wasn't pretty. And as I have mentioned before, the best example of how price ceilings do the exact opposite of lower prices, is NYC apartments. NYC has had rent control in effect for 50+ years. And yet which city has the most expensive rents in the country? You guessed it.

Gas is expensive now because the dollar is weak and there's a lot of speculation it will get even weaker. That may or may not happen. Traders think it will and traders around the world are the ones who set the price of oil. And there is nothing the MESSIAH OBAMA can do about it. Get it through your thick skulls people.

Subsidizing gas for people is also wrong because it rewards bad decisions. If the govt steps in and magically makes gas $2 again there is no incentive for drivers to switch to more fuel efficient cars. Take a look at any parking lot whether in an office complex, at the mall, or wherever. Even after a year of $3+ gas the majority of vehicles are still trucks and SUVs. So while people like to complain about the cost of gas, it's really not that much of a burden on them. If it were they would drive something smaller. At some point, be it $5 or $8 or $10 a gallon, people will be forced to change their behavior and drive smaller fuel efficient cars.

Americans want it both ways as usual. They want to drive the 11 MPG monster SUV to work every day. But they also want someone else to pay for it. Just like they want to live in the 6000 sq ft McMansion but have someone else pay for it. Just like they want "FREE" health care paid by someone else.

And also subsidizing gas will slow down the development of alternative fuels. Necessity is the mother of invention. If gas stays cheap there is no necessity for non-gas powered cars. Think of it this way: would you rather pay $2 or $3 for a govt subsidized gallon of gas for the next 50 years or pay $5 for the next 10 and then drive a car that runs on hydrogen or electric power for 40 years and never send another dime of oil money to Saudi Arabia? I take option B myself.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Wars, wars and more wars

Man talk about a roller coaster of emotions for me and McCain. He almost sold me on his conservative bona fieds when he told idiot home "owners" to take a hike. Maybe I was wrong about him and he really was a conservative I naively thought. Maybe he learned from his mistakes. How wrong I was.

Less than a week later he does the ultimate Kerry and flip flops like nobody's business. Now Mr. Amnesty wants to give idiot home "owners" tens if not hundreds of thousands of tax payer dollars so they can keep "their" home. This brilliant plan of his will of course include many of the 20-25 million illegals who "own" homes as well.

Now, not to be outdone, he announced a war on poverty. I'll give him credit for something. He does like endless wars. He wants to stay in Iraq for 100 years or more. The war on poverty was started by Lyndon Johnson in 1964. 44 years later we apparently need to keep it up. And let's not forget the war on drugs. How's that one doing for everyone? Nice to know we've spent trillions on dollars on both wars and have absolutely nothing concrete to show for it. Poverty rates are the same today as they were 40 years ago. Drug use is the same today as it was 30 years ago when this stupid war was started.

Senator, you want to know why there is poverty in Ohio? It's a 1 word answer. U-N-I-O-N. Unions destroyed the manufacturing industries in Ohio. Unions have almost killed the auto industry in Michigan next door. Unions killed electronic manufacturing. And they are well on their way to killing off a good slice of the airline industry. Not to mention they have utterly destroyed the US public education system. You want another war to fight? Fight unions and you may actually get somewhere.

And another two words you might try. BORDER ENFORCEMENT. Allowing 20-25 million uneducated, non-English speaking people into the country earning $5 an hour is not exactly the way to prosperity for the nations. And those $5 an hour earning illegals force the wages down of the very people you are trying to help. If Juan goes home, John will get a job that pays a decent wage and will get out of poverty. It ain't rocket science Senator.

For a supposed election about change this is turning into a 'who can go into the way back machine the furthest?'. McCain wants to relive the 60s by channeling LBJ. Clinton wants to relive the 90s. And Obama..I have no idea what he wants to do since he has yet to outline a damn thing other than hope and change / change and hope.

Only thing I know is that my taxes will increase and the world will be a worse place 4 years from now with any of these 3 jokers as the winner.

This is getting fun

As anyone could have expected the mortgage 'crisis' is starting to have some social affects as well. The latest one we learn about today is the marriage 'crisis'. And this, as well as every other 'crisis' will immediately require hundreds of billions of worthless $US spent ASAP.

Today's crisis is all about couples fighting because they bought an overpriced piece of shit they can't possible afford.

The home-mortgage crisis in the United States has spawned problems in the mortgage, real-estate and banking industries, and many consumers now face mortgage-payment increases in the coming months that could cause the number of foreclosures to climb even higher. And all of those financial woes, experts say, may be spawning another problem: an increase in divorces.

Everybody all together now.....AWWWWWWW.

Not to sounds a chauvinist pig, but I'll sound like a chauvinist pig. I am convinced 90% of these divorces are caused by the woman. The woman who watches the housing porn on HGTV the way the husband watches ESPN. The same HGTV that tells people (women that is) that they have to buy a house no matter what since renting is so uncool.

And when that house is bought, the house has to be decorated from top to bottom with designer furniture and the entire inventory of Pier One, Bed Bath & Beyond and Bombay Company. And as soon as the decoration is complete, a re-decoration needs to begin since you can't possibly have 2006 furniture in 2007. That is simply obscene. And don't worry if you can afford any of this. Real estate always goes up and you can always borrow and refinance.

Well guess what ladies, the clock has struck midnight. The coach is turning into a pumpkin. But unlike your fairy tales, prince charming isn't coming to save the day. Next time think for a second before acting like a sheep and following every useless trend because some bimbette on HGTV tells you it's a must have for the season.

A Democrat's Democrat

Does this map remind anyone of another map?

The MESSIAH OBAMA is the Kery/Gore to Hillary's Jorge W and this primary has turned into a red state/blue state kinda thing. Obama wins a handful heavily populated urban counties while Hillary wins the rest of the state.

The entire raison d'etre for the MESSIAH is that he can bridge the partisan divide and all that other bullshit. Reality says otherwise. He's only attracting votes from the bluest of blue Democrats in the inner city and college towns. Not much of a bridge if you ask me. If I were a Democrat super delegate I'd be worried about picking the guy who only wins big cities. We've seen how that game turns out twice, in 2000 and 2004.

Then again, what do I know, I'm so darned bitter these days and it's rather hard to type with that gun clutched so tightly.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Trapped By Our Mortgage

What may very well be the stupidest couple in Florida, shares its story of woe.

Sherry Kostenko: Starting over at 40

We bought a home in Orlando, Fla., in February 2005, the height of the boom here. At the time, we could afford the home, the taxes and the insurance. It would be tight but we kept planning on "the bonus" or "the raise."

Well that is because you probably listened to your worthless real estate agent. You know the line the so-called experts sell you. Don't worry about how much you can afford. Buy the most expensive house you can because your income will always grow.

We got all caught up in the "square footage" of the home. Well, what we didn't realize was that with our BIG HOUSE comes BIG EVERYTHING! Big taxes, big insurance, big water bills, big electric bills. The anxiety at the end of the month caused health problems for both my husband, Victor, and I.

Gee really? A big house costs a lot to Florida? No shit. Who could have possible figured out that puzzle? And you mean a more expensive house costs more in taxes than a cheaper house? Next thing you'll tell me is a big car uses more gas than a small car. And I'll bet nobody at the sales office/ real estate agent store bothered to tell you either. I'm not sure how a big house = big water bill though. You use the same water if you live in a 2000 sq ft home or a 4000 sq ft home.

No you weren't LITERALLY trapped. You were and still are trapped.

We decided to "downsize" our life, our lifestyle and our home. It was a lot of soul searching but we both realized that it's not all about "square footage" or bedrooms or full baths. It's about being able to afford a mortgage (and all the add-ons) and still have money at the end of the month.

All the add-ones. I love how these people think. Add ons you mean like insurance, taxes, hoa fees. Nothing big, just little add-ons.

Now, our timing could not be worse of course, for putting the big house on the market. We built a much smaller house, ranch style and I love it! My first electric bill was a third of what it used to be. Yes, we still have the big house, but we were able to rent it out and cover expenses.

We are not making a dime on the rental, and when the market comes back, we will put it back up to sell. We wiped out Victor's 401(k) to pay off debt and put a down payment on the new house. We have established a savings account and there is actually money left over at the end of the month....whew!

Ha ha ha ha. When the market comes back. Oh man these people are so in denial. Flordia's market will come back about the time the MESSIAH OBAMA's getting ready to say farewell to his 2nd term. And just wait until 'the big house' need a new water heater. Or roof. And while they are right about not making a dime, they are losing money. No way rent is covering all their costs.

And yet still with all that has happened did they learn their lesson and not buy? Nope, they had to go out and build a new home. These people are excited there is money left over at the end of the month. So they are living paycheck to paycheck. This means they are still paying way too much for their house. In other words they have learned nothing from their stupidity. But as long as they get to live the American Dream of home ownership, who am I to question their wisdom.

Personally I'll keep on shoving 50% of my income into the bank and rent myself. Sure I have to suffer the indignities of a lowly renter. Maybe it's just me but not being able to pain the walls any color I want is worth not having to deplete my 401k and suffer health issues just so I can say I am a home "owner".

Mmmmm Food

Food shortages in California to go along with the food riots throughout the rest of the world. All that combined with oil at $117 and a mini rally on Wall St.

How is all this related? The MSM surely won't spell it out, so allow me.

About 6 months ago it started dawning on the powers that be in NY and DC that the economy was FOOKED and FOOKED hard. The cause was the easy lending of the past 5 -7 years. The lending that people making $20K a year took and bout $700K houses, $25K Harley Davidson bikes and $70K Hummer H2s, fully pimped with spinners and all.

Well the only way the government knows how to "fix" a problem is by making it Even worse. So the solution to solving an issue caused by lax lending was solved by making lending even more attractive. The Fed started printing money by lowering interest rates. It did that over and over and over. As any econ 101 student will tell you, when that happens, a country's currency is devalued. The US dollar is down 15% so far this year alone. In 2000 1 US dollar bought $1.60 Canadian. Today USD$1 will get you CAD$1. Same with the Euro. Today 1 Euro will get you $1.60. Less than 10years ago USD$1 would get you about 1.20 Euro.

But that doesn't matter to the Fed. Its only concern is satisfying Wall St. And Wall St loves a rate cut. And stocks are on a mini rally these days as the Fed is well on its way to cutting rates to 0%.

So what does all this have to do with food riots and oil at $117? Well oil as well as other commodities like wheat, rice, beans, etc are priced in dollars. Devalue the dollar the price of everything goes up. The Haitian - as well as most 3rd world - currency is tied to the $US directly or indirectly. So as the dollar as been flushed down the toilet everything bought with $USD or currencies linked to it is more expensive.

Now for the typical American, gas going from $2 to $4 is a bitch. But it's not life or death. However for a Haitian the price of wheat doubling is a life or death situation...literally.

Think about all this next time you hear some idiot on CNBC cheer another rate cut. Think of this next time you hear someone cheer the fact their VISA interst rate has been cut from 21.99% to 21.74%. While you save $1 a month in interest costs, your good buddy Mr. Hedge Fund manager makes an extra $100M a year and another couple of million people around the world go hungry.

But it's all worth it to keep the American consumer spending right Ben Bernanke?

Thursday, April 17, 2008

I thought Texas was different

I'm not sure how I got on this mailing list, but today I received spam from a home builder in Dallas encouraging be to BUY NOW! The subject of the email was HUGE DISCOUNTS!

These are the options I got:

CHRISTIE RANCH - Zero Move In Special
Frisco is one of the top 5 cities for growth in America. Beauty of the area, exceptional schools and the lowest tax base in DFW are part of Frisco's appeal.

Village of Fairview - Zero Move In
One of the wealthiest cities in the Dallas area as the appreciation rates for homes continue to rise. Just to the south will be the new “Village At Fairview” shopping mall, an open-air concept mall.

So I have a question or two for the builder.

If Frisco is one of the wealthiest cities in Dallas, what the hell are you offering Zero Move In specials for? You'd think these wealthy people could afford a couple of bucks to put down or at least closing costs. If I lived in Frisco I sure wouldn't want riff raff moving in next door that needs these no money down come ons. Sounds to me like a foreclosure just begging to take place sometime around October or November. If I were a Frsico resident - one of them rich types - I'd be quite concerned.

And if the appreciation continues to rise, why are you having a massive sale? Rising appreciation indicates a booming market. Builders don't have massive sales in booming markets. Something doesn't sound quite right here. Unless, maybe just maybe, this builder is full of shit and the only appreciation anyone foolish enough to buy right now will get is in the amount of money they owe and can't ever pay back.

Rich Man Poor Man Part 2

CHICAGO -- Campaigning for president has been very good for Sen. Barack Obama's pocketbook, with his household income jumping from $991,296 in 2006 to $4.2 million in 2007, tax records show. The Illinois Democrat had a net profit from book sales of $3.9 million, according to a copy of a 2007 tax return released Wednesday by Obama and his wife, Michelle. That total includes $169,706 in foreign income from overseas sales of his two best-selling books.

The Obamas' salaries totaled $260,735, which included his $157,102 salary as a U.S. senator and her part-time salary of $103,633 as a vice president at the University of Chicago Medical Center. The couple paid nearly $1.4 million in federal taxes last year, and made $240,370 in charitable contributions. Their largest gifts were to the United Negro College Fund ($50,000), the international relief organization CARE ($35,000) and Trinity United Church of Christ in Chicago ($26,270).
Charity as % of income 5.7%


The Bushes reported taxable income of $719,274 for 2007. George and Laura Bush paid a total of $221,635 in federal income taxes. The president's 2007 income included his salary and investment income from the trusts in which his and the first lady's assets are held. The tax return also reports a $150,000 advance received by Mrs. Bush for the children's book she co-authored with her daughter Jenna. Mrs. Bush donated all the net proceeds of the advance to the organizations Teach for America and the New Teacher's Project. The Bushes contributed a total of $165,660 to churches and charitable organizations, including the Crawford Volunteer Fire Department, Susan G.Komen For the Cure, Malaria No More Fund, Martha's Table and St. John's Church.

Charity as % of income 23%


The vice president's tax returns show that Dick and Lynn Cheney owed federal taxes of $602,651 on taxable income of $2,528,068 for 2007. During the course of the year, the Cheneys paid $466,165 in taxes through withholding and estimated tax payments. They will pay the remaining $136,486 upon the filing of their tax return. The couple donated $166,547 to charity in 2007, bringing their total charitable contributions during Cheney's vice presidency to $7,966,566.

Charity as % of income 6.5%

For a guy that talks about hope and helping people, he sure is one cheap sun'v'a bitch. Even mean old Dick Cheney gave more to charity than the MESSIAH OBAMA. I know, I am a horrible racist person for daring to suggest that the MESSIAH is not the most superest duperest man to have ever walked the earth.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Risky as hell

That is how the Barney Frank (D-MA) housing bailout plan is described by a Heritage Foundation report. Just because it is risky means it will be voted on and passed overwhelmingly. Stupid ideas always seems to rise to the top of the idea pile in Washington, DC.

If you have 5 mins, send your representative an email and tell him/her you think it's risky as hell too. It will most likely be ignored but what the hell, don't cost you nothing...for now.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

On April 15th, my tax dollars at work

Over the past 2 years it has been proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that poor people should not buy homes. Nobody with an IQ over 50 would want to encourage people to buy homes they cannot afford. Unless of course you are a city councilman with nothing to do.

As I was on my way to mail off my Q1 tax payments this evening I saw a sign for a "home ownership forum". Intrigued, I looked it up online and this is what I found:

Marietta Ward 5 City Councilman Anthony Coleman will sponsor a meeting April 17 to help first-time home buyers find affordable housing options throughout the city.
Representatives from the Marietta Housing Authority, the city's Housing and Community Development Division and Cobb Housing, Inc. will discuss programs that assist low and moderate-income families in obtaining home ownership. The organizations will accept individual initial applications for assistance at the meeting.
The eighth annual home ownership forum is free and open to all interested citizens.
It will be held at 6:30 p.m. in the Council chambers on the first floor of City Hall, 205 Lawrence Street.

Translation: If you are a deadbeat piece of shit who wants a house you can't afford, come on down to city hall and we'll show you how. And don't worry if you can't speak English, we'll have translators there for you. And most importantly don't f forget to vote - as a Democrat of course.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Me DEMOCRAT, me want money

A poll from Gallup sheds some not too earth shattering results

70% of Democrats favor a government bailout of IH"O"s - Idiot Home "Owners".

55% of so-called Independents (ie Democrats who don't want to call themselves Democrats) favor it

Only 40% of Republicans favor the bailout.

Given that the biggest housing crash is happening in the most liberal parts of the country like Los Angeles, S. Florida, Las Vegas, DC and Boston, these results make sense. While the Republican party has shifted to the left with Jorge W. and Juan McAmnesty both favoring a bailout, it's good to know the rank and file still believes in free markets.

Spend Spend Spend

The financial media has become about as worthless as the MSM at large. Month after month they report on inflation numbers that are simply made up. Inflation only rises 1.8% scream headlines. That is 1.8% if you exclude non-essential items like food and gas.
The same nonsense has started happening with retail sales. Retail sales soar scream the headlines today.

NEW YORK ( -- Retail sales were slightly better than expected in March, although high gas prices and a slowing economy continued to erode demand for products.The Commerce Department reported Monday that total retail sales rose 0.2%, compared to a revised 0.4% decrease in February. In February, overall sales were originally reported to have decreased 0.6%.Economists surveyed by expected a 0.1% gain in retail sales for the month.

Woo hoo. The recession is over! Everybody go out and buy a house or two and a BMW while you're at it. Except, like the bogus inflation numbers that come out, this retail number is bogus.

Stripping out volatile auto sales, sales rose 0.1% compared to a 0.2% gain in February, but the increase was boosted by a 1.1% jump in gasoline station purchases.

Just like when you strip out "volatile" food and gas prices, inflation is always steady. Why do they even bother with these reports?

I thought it was contained

I have heard lots of good stories about the housing crash recently. Most of them involve some kind of "we've bottomed" scenario. The others about how greedy Americans should learn from Europeans.

Americans are greedy. But so are Europeans. At least Americans don't hide the fact they're greedy and don't lecture anyone about it. European media can't quite accept this. Their deflating housing bubble is still blamed on the evil Yanks, as is everything else in the world. They can blame it on Santa Claus for all I care. Fact of the matter is, as I have stated numerous times before, this whole thing wasn't a housing issue. It was a global easy credit issue. Didn't matter if you were in Las Vegas or Miami or Barcelona or Dublin. The banks all over were handing out money to anyone with a pulse who said the world real estate. Kinda like in 1998 when all you had to do was say the words "dot com" and a check fro $5M would be written out to your name. Well, we all know how that turned out. And now the housing crash is happening worldwide, right on schedule.

Many in the media are still in the dark about the effects of this financial tsunami. So-called experts on CNBC are still talking about a mild recession and a housing bottom this summer. The same experts who said housing never falls.

So-called experts who are really real estate shills and charlatans like Dave Ramsey are telling their followers the economy is actually on an upswing now. The guy actually said he believes the economy bottomed 3 weeks ago. Never mind that it is impossible to pinpoint a bottom of a $13 trillion dollar economy to a specific day. Never mind that GE lost money for the first time in about 1000 years. None of that matters to Dave. His advice is always, go out and buy some real estate. And the fact he is in the real estate business is a moot point.

Maybe his listeners should read this from the International Herald Tribune:

The collapse of the housing bubble in the United States is mutating into a global phenomenon, with real estate prices down from the Irish countryside and the Spanish coast to Baltic seaports and even in parts of India.

This synchronized global slowdown, which has become increasingly stark in recent months, is hobbling economic growth worldwide, affecting not just homes, but also jobs. In Ireland, Spain, Britain and elsewhere, housing markets that soared over the past decade are falling back to earth. Experts predict that some countries, like Ireland, will face an even more wrenching adjustment than the United States, with the possibility that the downturn could turn into wholesale collapse.

To some extent, the world's problems are a result of American contagion. As home financing and credit tighten in response to the crisis that began in the U.S. subprime market, analysts worry that other countries could suffer the mortgage defaults and foreclosures that have afflicted California, Florida and other states.

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Those bitter slobs

"You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing's replaced them. And it's not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy to people who aren't like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations."

- the MESSIAH OBAMA this week

I can't say I disagree with him on this. Hillary and Juan McCain have been all over this with the usual hysterics when someone say something C-O-N-T-R-)-V-E-R-S-I-A-L.
The guns, religion and immigrant are your boilerplate liberal talking point. Juan McCain called anyone who disagreed with his amnesty for all plan a KKK grand wizard. And Hillary's stance on guns is pretty simple, take 'em all away. So they are full of shit in their outrage.

What I do agree with the MESSIAH on is the economic portion of this comment. He is right. People in small towns, and big towns too, are in dreamland. They think the factories that closed 10, 20, 30 years ago will magically re-open because a politician says (s)he will fight for jobs. Or as John Kerry said, he would take on the Benedict Arnold CEOs who move jobs overseas.

Imagine Hillary and Kerry campaigning circa 1900. They would be telling horse-buggy makers if only you elect me, I'll stop this whole automobile business and bring your jobs back. This is the new reality. Manufacturing jobs are gone from the US. Good or bad, right or wrong, they are gone and they are not coming back any time soon. Manufacturing jobs will eventually be gone from everywhere as improved automation means fewer and fewer humans will be needed.

I still disagree with 95% of what Obama says. But when he's right, I have to give him credit.

Friday, April 11, 2008

Saxby Chambliss (Socialist - Georgia)

Below is an email I got from my Senator, Saxby Chambliss of Georgia in regards to my email urging him not to vote for any bailouts for IH"O"s, Idiot Home "owners".

Hey Senator, I know I am just a lowly peon constituent of yours. But for crying out loud at least have the courtesy to you know, READ my email before sending the template reply back. I don't support your bullshit tax credit. And you support the efforts of the Federal Reserve huh? So you support the devaluation of the $US which has led to $110 oil and close to double digit inflation?

And Senator, please stop using the term homeowner. IHOs own nothing but a mortgage. A home owner is someone who owns a home. Someone who has negative equity and an unaffordable mortgage is not an owner.

This comes on top of the McCain flip flop regarding the bailout today. It is once again obvious that there is no difference between the parties. Hill-o-Bama wants to spend hundreds of billions of dollars. McCain wants to spend the same. Chambilss wants it. Bush wants it. The only difference now between the two parties is on Iraq. McCain and Bush want to be there for eternity. Hill-o-Bama only want to be there indefinitely. The choice when voting has come down to one kind of socialist vs. another kind of socialist. Either way the end result will be higher taxes, more regulation and another step towards 3rd world status for this country.

Oh I'm sure Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity will think this is just a wonderful idea. Had it come from Hill-a-Bama they would be spending 3 hours a day bashing it as wasteful spending. But now that it comes from a Republican, it will be the greatest idea since invading Iraq. When Hill-a-bama proposed spending $1M on the Woodstock museum, Rush Hannity had a heart attack and scolded her for wasteful spending. Yet when Chambliss proposes spending $300B - which will end up being $900B when all is said and done - it's wonderful. When Bush devalues the dollar so badly that even 3rd world peasants won't accept the currency , Rush Hannity praises him for sturdy leadership.

I used to scoff at people who said there was no difference. Sure there is I would say. Democrats want to grow governemnt and raise taxes. Gotta vote for Republicans to stop them. Yeah right. Chambliss is a supposed fiscal conservative Republican. Tells you all you need to know right there about where the Republican party stands on the issues, if this guy is on "the right".

We are beyond FOOKED.

On April 10, 2008, this housing package passed the Senate with my full support. In its current state, the package would provide various tax-exemptions, tax credits, and enhancements to Truth in Lending Act provisions that would bring much needed stability to the housing market. Specifically, the bill provides a $7,000 non-refundable tax credit to taxpayers who purchase, as their principal residence, homes where foreclosure has been filed pursuant to the laws of the state. This credit will help prevent declining property values for homeowners, and, hopefully, bring the market back to an even keel.

I appreciate your comments on this important matter. As our nation experiences the challenges you outlined, I will keep your views in mind as my colleagues and I weigh the various legislative proposals before the Senate. I have closely reviewed the decisions implemented by the Secretary of the Treasury and the Chairman of the Federal Reserve and, in general, support their efforts. As we move forward in the Senate, the state of the economy and the support of legislation that will enable the housing sector to improve is and will remain uppermost in my mind.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Hope Now For Idiots

Jorge W. has come up with a new plan to help home "owner" idiots. The plan is an expansion of a plan called Hope Now. As in we hope that idiots home "owners" will think that this plan will keep them from foreclosing. Of course it will do nothing, just like all the other proposals will do nothing. These IH"O"s are deadbeat, bottom feeding pieces of human filth. They are not homeowners. Calling someone an onwer implies they own a home. All these IH"O"s own is an unmanagble mortgage and nothing else.

But it's an election year and the masses have to be bribed with something. This time around the plan is to have lenders voluntarily write down the loans to 90% of current market value. Those loans will then be refinanced into an "affordable" FHA loan. Once again Jorge W. doesn't get it.

The IH"O"s still won't be able to afford the new mortgage. These mortgages were 1 or 2% teaser rates that reset to 12%. The new FHA loans will be in the 6% to 8% range. These IH"O"s are living at the very edge. If their payment goes up $10, they will foreclose. So reducing their rate fro 12% to 6% won't change anything for the vast majority. And for those that can afford, how long do you figure it will be before they foreclose anyway? These IH"O"s were subprime, worthless pieces of human filth long ago. They can't pay their $50 phone bill on time. And yet magically they will pay $1500 a month for the next 30 years in mortgage payments? U-huh, that'll work out just fine.

It's 2005 all over again

It is spring break for the youngens in the Atlanta area. And there is some law I didn't know about that mandates every parent with a child 12 and under shall depart the city with said child and head down I-75 to DisneyWorld. Rush hours have been like Sunday mornings this week. A drive that can take 45 minutes, is now a 20 minute cruise.

Yet it got me thinking, how are all these trips being financed. I hear on the MSM daily about how the price of gas is making people choose between eating and turning on the heat (soon it will be the A/C). Yet here we have tens if not hundreds of thousands of families packing up Griswold Family Truckster and heading out on vacation. And if you've ever been to DisneyWorld you know you can't escape that place without dropping $150 per day per person on top of the hotel room. Something doesn't add up.

And then a commercial from Regions Bank came on the radio. And I thought I had traveled back in time for a second. The ad went something like this;

Guy: I have a 3 car garage and only two cars. That spot is begging for a new car. But I have no money for it.

Announcer: Have you thought of a Regions Bank HELOC. Why not use your equity to fulfill that dream

Guy: Gee wiz that's a neato idea.

Announcer: Indeed, with a $25K HELOC you can add something really nice to your garage collection

Guy: I did just that and now I have a brand new shiny silver convertible ready for summer fun

I'm paraphrasing, but the ad was touting the fact that with a $25K heloc, he could bu himself that new silver convertible and fill up his garage. Buying a rapidly depreciating car with money borrowed from a rapidly depreciating house. Brilliant. But not as brilliant as using heloc money for a DisneyWorld vacation. That's Einsteinian in brilliance.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Learning nothing from history.......once again

A little while ago down at the cube farm where I am spending a few months, a few of the Mensa members around me were discussing Chamberlain. No, not the guy who had sex with 20,000 women. The other one, with the funny English accent. The one who went to Munich in 1938, came back with a piece of paper that had Hitler's signature on it and declared "peace in our time". This was a about a year before the German tanks rolled into Poland. I say Mensa members because one of them had no clue who Chamberlain was. And hence I assume he as no clue of what happened in the 1930s. No clue about the events that led to Hitler's rise and the ultimate carnage of WW2.

Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama on Tuesday called for a "diplomatic surge" including talks with US foe Iran, to help stabilize the situation in Iraq.

"We should be talking to them as well," Obama told the top US General in Iraq David Petraeus and US ambassador to Baghdad Ryan Crocker. "I do not believe we are going to be able to stabilize the situation without that" said Obama, adding that a plan for US troop withdrawals was needed to force Iraqi factions to work together.

Well I guess the MESSIAH OBAMA falls into that camp as well. Just as Neville Chamberlain thought talking to Hitler was the way to go 70 years ago, the MESSIAH OBAMA thinks talking to min-Hitler in Tehran is also the way to go. And the Mensa members rotting away in their cubes are going to vote for this man. This is one more consequence of allowing children to be educated by socialist unionized teachers in publik skools.

Talking implies negotiating. And negotiating means give and take between two parties. So I ask the MESSIAH OBAMA what do we have to give? Iran has three goals right now. Getting nukes. Taking over Iraq and blowing up Israel. So how exactly do we negotiate that? Do we give them 1/2 of Iraq? Do we allow them to blow up 1/2 of Tel Aviv? Do we say OK you can have 2 nukes?

I don't expect any of the mindless robots in the MSM to ask any of these questions.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008


WASHINGTON (AP) -- The National Association of Realtors says pending U.S. home sales fell to the lowest reading on record in February, signaling the housing market distress is not yet over.

The Chicago-based group's seasonally adjusted index of pending sales for existing homes fell to 84.6, which was 21 percent below year-ago levels.

Wall Street economists surveyed by Thomson/IFR had predicted the index would inch higher.

An index reading of 100 is equal to the average level of sales activity in 2001, when the index started.

Once again proving that whenever you hear an "expert" tell you anything, make sure you do the exact opposite.

And as expected the MSM is chocked, shocked I tell you once again that the housing crash is not about to end any time soon. Note to MSM: the crash is just starting in earnest now. Last year was the appetizer. This year is the main course followed by desert and coffee in 2009. Of course tehre will be many more predictions that the bottom is here and now is a great time to buy. Believe the experts and the media at your peril.

Rich Man Poor Man

I know it's a little late but I'll comment on the Clintons' newfound wealth.

I found the commentary from the usual suspects odd. The right is up in arms that a liberal couple would dare make money. See, see they are hypocrites screams talk radio. Well I disagree. They aren't hypocrites, they are...well...liberals. Liberals, as much as I disagree with them, never say making money is inherently wrong. Their argument is make money, but send a whole shitload of it to the IRS when you're done. And in that aspect the Clintons did just what they preach. They made $110M and paid $35M in federal taxes. Had they they only paid $500,000 in taxes and used all sorts of loopholes and offshore accounts to avoid taxes, then that would have been hypocritical.

Yet the very people who champion capitalism and champion wealth creation are up in arms that Bill and Hill took part in the game. They broke now laws to make this money. If someone is stupid enough to pay $35 to read Bill's memoirs or if a company wants to pay him $250K for a 20 minute speech...who am I to criticize? That's American capitalism at its best. Find a sucker or two to give you money for doing absolutely nothing and have him walk away a happy customer. Bravo Bill and Hill, I salute you both.

What is very hypocritical is the way the MSM is treating this story. When Reagan and Bush gave a couple of speeches after leaving office the MSM went nuts. When Cheney made a couple of bucks at Haliburton, well you know. But Hill and Bill make $100 cool million and it's hey isn't that great in the NY Times.

Monday, April 7, 2008

WTF is in the water down there?

In 2000 they can't figure out how to use a ballot.

Now this from Florida

and this

and this.


The fucked up little precious darlings in the Florida beating were named Mercades Nichols, Brittini Hardcastle, April Cooper, Cara Murphy, 17-year-old Britney Mayes and 15-year-old Kayla Hassell.

Mercedes? Brittini? Britney? I have nothing to back this up but I am convinced you can trace the decline of our civilization directly back to the fad of naming girls Britney or Mercedes or Dakota or any of these types of names.


My theory is starting to look more and more viable. News now comes out that a similar fight took place in Connecticut where some high school girls beat up a high school girl. And what was the name of one of the fighters you may ask?

Police identified one of the attackers as Brittany Nazario, 18, of 83 Virginia Drive"

Your honor, I rest my case.

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Fox Business....We spin, we hope you buy

I was watching one of those round table 'expert' shows on Fox Business yesterday evening. The topics were a mixture of will this be a short or long recession, have the markets bottomed and wuz up with housing.

There were 5 'experts' on the panel, and each one said the same thing. Short recession, buy stocks and housing has bottomed. For all I know this was a show from April 2007 since these very same people were saying the same thing.

Now the discussion has moved on from will there be a recession to how bad will the recession be. And the Fox Business/CNBC mantra has gone from 'recession, what recession' to 'it will be a mild recession that we'll barely notice'. One of the boobs on Fox actually - with a straight face - said that as soon as the $160B worth of stimulus checks are sent this recession would be over. Where do they find these people? Poll after poll indicates that 70% or so of the recipients will not spend the money but pay off debt or bills. That leaves about $50B to stimulate a $12 T economy.

And let's suppose 100% of the $160B were spent, wouldn't do a hell of a lot. Retailers won't hire anyone since they know it's temporary. What you might experience in May and June are longer lines at Target and Best Buy. But Target and Best Buy won't rush out and hire new employees since they know that in July these new employees will be sitting idle. This is what politicians don't ever get. Businesses and to some extent individuals, make plans long term, and hence short term temporary tax cuts or tax rebates don't have long lasting effects.

One other 'expert' was asked about the effects of dropping home prices. He - again with a straight face - said that he didn't expect that to have a negative effect since people only lose money when they sell and so unless you sell, you haven't really lost anything. At that point I changed the channel. You can only torture yourself for so long.

I think following that brilliant showcase of financial wizardry, Fox Business has the Dave Ramsey show on where Dave will tell you that now is a great time to buy since homes are on sale. The logic here of course being that if a Honda Civic cost $80K at one point and was down to $60K, it would be a great buy since it's on sale. Scary thing is Dave has turned into somewhat of a cult leader / guru. People pay insane amounts of money to attend his seminars where they are given advice on how not to better manage their money.

For anyone reading who is considering sending money to that scam artists here is my free lesson:

Step 1. Don't send money to Dave or any other charlatan like Dave.
Step 2. Don't spend more than you make.

End of seminar.

Saturday, April 5, 2008


More and more I am convinced our society is truly fooked. People just don't give a shit, are incompetent and the whole thing is falling down.

Last night I went to a movie. Three people in the row in front of me were texting throughout the movie. Not so big a deal, except the CHIRP CHIRP when the reply came in. Or the nice shiny big BRIGHT screen in a dark theater. Or the comments made to the people next to them about the text. And these weren't punk ass 15 year olds. These were grown men and women in their 30s or 40s.

Today went to a restaurant for lunch. Ordered a special. Special should have been $9. Instead I was charged $11. Again not a huge deal but I told the guy no it should be $9, you charged me the wrong set of things. It was like talking to a wall. Luckily his manager was right there and she figured it out.

Then to top it off I went to my bank. I won't mention the name but it starts with Bank and end in America. I deposited a check at the ATM. I got no receipt although it said transaction was completed. OK so I went inside, explained what happened to a tell and asked if I could get a receipt from her. Again talking to a wall. Her reply was well do you have online banking, you can check online? I was about to lunge over the counter and punch her. Finally another clerk came by and said she'll try to print a receipt. Turn out that is not possible since they cannot print out receipts for customers. They can print it out internally but not for customers. So I said, OK can you give me a written receipt. Again talking to a wall. Finally a manager came by and he wrote me up a receipt. And at home I checked my online banking and surprise surprise there is no hint of any transactions. So my check is who knows where and will take who knows how long to track down.

This is the product of 40 years of a dumbed down society that teaches its kids about Johnie having 3 daddies instead of the 3 Rs. People are fucking clueless about the environment around them. They don't give a damn about anyone but themselves and to hell with everyone else. I can't wait until these imbeciles take care of me when I'm old.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Death to the rich

Thanks to Zach for sending me this....

Illinois will ask voters whether they would like to double the state income tax for the evil rich people making over $250K. As the article says, this will affect only 5% of the population and so should pass easily.

Here's what will happen when this passes

1. Many people making $250K will leave Illinois and go to places where they are more welcome...Texas, Nevada, New Hampshire, Tennessee come to mind, each of these states has 0% income tax. Then instead of getting an extra 3% from the $250K, they lose the original 3%. Not only that, the state loses hard working, productive people who most likely run businesses and employ other Illinois citizens who will no longer pay any income tax themselves and have to go on the public dole instead.

2. The rich will figure out ways to shelter more of their income to avoid the new income tax. Either shelter or not declare in which case even the original 3% is not paid once again. And neither is federal income tax since if the income is hidden from Illinois it is hidden from Uncle Same as well.

3. About a year or two from now, the threshold for "rich" will be dropped to $200K and those making over $200K will behave in the same way as the $250K+ crowd (see #1 and #2).

Illinois is the Land of Lincoln. Unfortunately it is also the land of Hillary Clinton, the land of Barack Obama and the land of Dick Durbin. It is also the land of the most corrupt city government in the country.

So expect this plan to pass with about 93% of the vote.

This woman can't stop lying

She was under sniper fire....and then wasn't.

She said Obama can't win then she didn't.

Richardson said he would endorse her, then well maybe he didn't really not say he wouldn't not endorse the absolute value of a negative Obama.

Now the whopper of them all, Hillary Clinton wanted to join the military but she wasn't admitted because of her eyesight. I used to think she was just a typical politician who would lie. Now I think she is pathological. She could tell me she went to the moon over the weekend and that would be more believable than a story about wanting to join the military.

Now I know the DailyKooks of the world will be fuming at this story as will Gloria Steinem (although I repeat myself). They'll inevitably bring up Bush and the Texas Air National Guard and probably mumble something about Haliburton too. Of course it is all irrelevant since Bush was in the Texas Air National Guard. Whether he did anything while there is debatable. But to just outright make shit up like Hillary does is incomprehensible to me. Doesn't she realize that there is this thing called the INTERWEB? On this INTERWEB 3 nanoseconds after she or any politicians says something, the story is googled. And at the slightest hint of a lie about 10,000 bloggers are out investigating. If nothing else the new media has become a politician bullshit detector. The fact that the supposedly smartest woman in America can't figure this out is fascinating.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Alice in Wonderland

The money quote regarding the idiotic, stupid, irresponsible and idiotic (yes I know I already said it but it is so idiotic it needs to be said again) plan.

"Basically, you're giving money to builders that overbuilt and banks that issued bad loans," said Dean Baker, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research. "It's giving money to the villains in this story."
It's not often I agree with the likes of the CEPR but hell, even a broken clock is right twice a day.

The bipartisan** plan basically does just that. Allows homebuilders to use their current losses to offset taxes paid during the boom years. Another provision by my very own Sen. Isakson (R-GA) allows a $7K tax credit to morons, err I mean home buyers, err I mean future homedebtors, who buy a foreclosed home. I posted about this colossally bad idea before, when it was initially a $15K tax credit.

Another brilliant bipartisan** idea is to allow local governments to buy up homes. So what this means is that I as a consumer will now be competing with my city and county to buy homes. Putting aside the economic retardation of this plan, that is just plain wrong. I should never compete with a government. The government will always have an upper hand against me in any situation like that. The government has an unlimited source of income. In theory the government could always outbid me for the same house. It is fucking with the free market system at its very core. It's one thing for the government to provide subsidies available to all. That way if I compete against you, we both have access to the subsidies and it is a wash. It is another thing altogether for the government to use my tax dollars in order to compete directly against me.

The only encouraging sign about this abomination of a bill, is that nobody seems happy with it. Bush says he doesn't like it. Dodd doesn't like it. The liberal groups like ACORN and CEPR don't like it. So it will probably be months of debates, amendments, etc before anything gets passed. And the House will come up with its own brilliant version which will have to be debated. While some bailout bill will come, the more haggling there is the more watered down it will be.

It's funny. I saw an interview with Chris Dodd where he accused Bush of not being clued in. I have news for you Sen. Dodd. You have even less of a clue. This whole mess was caused by people who should not have been given a loan for an iPod being given a $500K loan for a house. No matter how you slice and dice it, it boils down to that. You can restructure their loan. You can give money to the cities to help. You can do whatever you want. At the end of the day, the deadbeat will always be a deadbeat. If he doesn't foreclose now, he will in 6 months or a year. Remember why he got a subprime loan in the first place? BECAUSE HE IS A FUCKING DEADBEAT AND DOESN'T BAY HIS BILLS ON TIME! Had he been responsible, he wouldn't have needed a subprime loan. What makes you think he will pay his bills on time all of a sudden because you write another 500 lines in the 17,000 page tax code? Talk about being clueless.
- bipartisan; from the Latin PUSSY as in Republicans are pussies and will always cave in to the demands of Democrats, especially in an election year

Example : Any tax bill proposed will be championed by the media as bipartisan when 1 or 2 Republicans (usually McCain) agree to raise taxes. The Republicans with a backbones will be portrayed by the media as puppy eating, old people beating meanies

Wednesday, April 2, 2008



We interrupt this regularly scheduled broadcast for a special announcement

Ben Bernanke says a recession is coming.
I repeat Ben Bernanke says a recession is coming.

In other news, scientists have discovered that grass is green, the sky is blue and puppies are cute.



Got this youtube video sent to me by a loyal reader...Benny B at his best.


Cue the scary sounding music....oil execs are in the house.

No this is no longer April Fool's. What I am about to say is real, this is not a test. I actually am in agreement with Democrats in Congress. Kinda. The socialists grilling oil execs about daring to make a profit was scary yesterday. Essentially it came down to asking how dare you make a profit?

But, they are right that the tax breaks enacted in the 90s - when oil was at $10- need to be scrapped ASAP. Those tax breaks were enacted to incentive drilling when drilling was not cost-effective. It was a stupid idea to begin with. Oil companies should not get tax breaks just like GM shouldn't just like Microsoft shouldn't. But even more so, now that oil is $100+ and the B-I-G O-I-L (cue evil sounding music) companies are making more money than they know what to do with. So yeah those tax breaks should be history.

Now of course as soon as the gubemint does something not entirely stupid, it has to turn around and do something very stupid. The $18B in additional taxes that would be paid by B-I-G O-I-L (cue evil music) would also be put in a fund for development of "alternative energy". How much does anyone want to bed that $15 of that $18B will go into the hands of the biggest "alt en" contributors to Nancy, Harry and Hillary? Here's a better idea. Give that $18B to consumers in the form of a tax credit for installing solar panels, or buying a hybrid car or replacing grass with desert landscaping. In other words, use the $18B towards green things, but put the choice in the hands of the public. Let the public through the marketplace decide how to best spend the money.

And getting back to the 2008 DC OIL WITCH TRIALS. Two days ago I paid $3.79 for gas. I drive one of them there fancy European cars which needs 93 Octane, so it would have been $3.45 for regular. Still pretty high. And sure I would love for it to be $2.45 or $1.45. Yet unlike the vast majority of clueless Americans I don't blame Exxon or Shell. It would be like blaming McDonald's because the price of potatoes and beef tripled and therefore the price of a Big Mac meal went up. Oil, like beef is a worldwide traded commodity whose price is set by nobody and everybody. The price of oil is at $100 because the dollar has been recklessly devalued by Bernanke in order to pay for all the shit that congress gives away. And on topof it all, a $750B to $1T housing bailout is coming which will erode the dollar even more. But that concept is obviously a little too advanced for Congress to comprehend. Much easier to scream B-I-G O-I-L, B-I-G O-I-L, mumble something about Haliburton and go on your merry way.

And even at $3.79, I filled up 11 gallons. I fill up a little less than once a week, usually 8 or 9 days in between fill ups. So I spend less than $40 a week. I drive a small, 4 cylinder fuel efficient car that gets 30+ MPG on the highway and even in stop and go traffic gets 22/23. My advice to all the whiners out there sitting in their 6L V8 truck/suv as they go 15MPH to their suburban office park. and crying about the price of gas is this: get a smaller car or shut the fuck up.

Groundhog Day

Here we go once again. For the umpteenth time in the past 6 months, huge rally in stocks based on news that a financial company (2 in this case, UBS and Lehman) aren't going under. Never mind that on the same day UBS said it will lose $19B. It's as if magically the housing/credit crash was over instantly.

On the same glorious day GM and Chrysler announced sales were 19%. Lexus was down 7%. Even Honda was down 3%. MB was down 4%. Further proof the recession is here. This is what I look to when making decisions on investing, not whether or not Lehman can raise a couple of bucks. Lehman will raise money no matter what. It is in the best interest of every financial institution to lend Lehman money. It's a lend Lehman $200M and maybe lose it, or don't lend Lehman any money and lose $2B in equity because everyone freaks out Lehman can't raise money and sells financials including yours. I'm not saying it's a conspiracy, just the way things work. However, in a recession, I don't care how much money Lehman raises, earnings will be poor. And that's what it all comes down to. A stock's value is nothing more than future earnings. And when future earnings are almost guaranteed to be piss poor, it makes no sense to hold that stock.

Throughout 2000 and 2001 there were many 3%, even 4 or 5% rallies in the midst of the 2000-2000 bear market. They are called sucker rallies for a reason, and I'm quite certain this is another one. Time to go shopping for my new favorite toy, homebuilder puts.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

I'm jumping in

I've done it. I've taken the plunge. I am growing up and finally buying a house. Finally, I will be able to paint my walls any color I want. I found a great deal too. The house I made an offer on used to sell for $599K. It is now for sale at $559K and I made a super lowball offer of $539K. I hope they accept.

The house has granite countertops, stainless steel appliances and my real estate agent said the community was poised for some great appreciation in the coming years. I am on pins and needles today waiting for the sellers to accept my offer.

Wish me luck everyone.