The 8 Ball says yes.
Monday, June 30, 2008
Thursday, June 26, 2008
The Senate passed the Countrywide - Chris Dodd Bought and Paid For - Bailout bill. It will cost $300 billion dollars. And it is supposed to save 400,000 home "owners" from foreclosure. I ain't no mathematician or nuthin, but that comes out to $750,000 per house. And my question to the senate is HAVE YOU LOST YOUR FUCKING MIND? Even if all the 400,000 are in So. California that is still an insane amount of money to spend her house. But why let pesky details like that get in the way of a feel good story. Now the corrupt Chris Dodd and the 82 others worthless pieces of garbage that voted for this bill can go home and say they helped home "owners". But hey, what's another $300B in wasted tax dollars these days? Once the ink is dry on this bill they'll get right back to figuring out how to give me FREE health care which will cost $3 trillion.
At the end of the day it still won't do anything to end the housing crash. The result will be bank will only lose single digit billions instead of double digit billions. The deadbeats who would foreclose this year will foreclose next year or the year after. The only winners from this debacle are shareholders of countrywide and Bank of America. The other 99.9% of Americans are getting a big middle finger from the people supposedly elected to represent us.
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
McCain's lack of economic understanding is beyond belief. He's now proposing $300 million of taxpayer money as a prize to someone who comes up with a super duper neato battery operated car. The MSM screams with delight. Gee wiz how wonderful, look McCain cares about mother earth.
What nobody in the MSM - nor anyone on McCain's team - seems to understand is that the $300M is not needed. If someone can come up with that kind of car, he will make $300M many times over from selling the car all over the world. It is sad that the Republican nominee for president doesn't grasp such a simple capitalist concept. Nobody had to give Bill Gates government money for coming up with Windows. Nobody had to give Sergey Brin and Larry Page money to create Google and they now have more money than most countries. Pierre Omidyar wrote the code for eBay on a whim in his apartment and is now a multi-billionaire. The government had no role in making any of that happen.
McCain should not spend a cent on any of these foolish prizes. There is a necessity right now for cheap transportation alternatives. Someone will come up with it and make a shitload of money doing so. We don't need McCain or anyone else from the government throwing around hundreds of millions of dollars to make it happen.
The count is now at 23 and most likely growing. That is, 23 Senators who received special treatment when borrowing money to buy a house. That is, 23 Senators who are about to vote on a bill that will use taxpayer money to bail out mortgage lenders. That is 23 Republicans and Democrats who are corrupt.
I like this quote:
Many senators who did not provide mortgage information contend that the details are private. Elly Pickett, a spokeswoman for Sen. Michael B. Enzi (R-Wyo.), wrote in an e-mail to Politico: “Sen. Enzi’s mortgage isn’t with Countrywide, and since that company is at the center of this issue, I fail to see how having a loan with another company is at all relevant.”
Uhm Senator, unless you have been living on the moon for the past 100 years, you know very well that once you go into politics nothing about your finances is private. And it shouldn't be. And furthermore Senator, just because you got your loan at Wamu or Bank of America doesn't mean you didn't get a payoff. Nor does it mean you won't stand to directly benefit from the bailout bill.
Used to be politicans would get bribed and try to hide it. Now they don't even bother hiding it. They just take the bribe and then bribe the voters in return. See "stimulus" checks for further examples. Also see Hillary's $5000 per baby proposal. Also see Obaama's entire campaign.
Monday, June 23, 2008
Gotta love those immigrants. First they do the jobs Americans won't do. Now as if that weren't awesome enough, they will buy the houses Americans won't buy too. That is the new spin on the housing crash. After 2-3 years of saying all will be well, things aren't well. And the credibility of people who have been saying all will be well has vanished.
So now the so-called experts have a new card up their sleeves. It's those kick ass immigrants once again. They will buy up all the unwanted overpriced pieces of junk out there.. So Jose and Maria who make $8 an hour under the table will solve the housing crash and buy all those houses with $700K asking prices in California.
Uhm I ain't no expert with no fancy shamncy Harbard PhD or nuthin, but wasn't the bubble exacerbated by illegals buying homes they couldn't afford in the first place? Remember the $14K a year strawberry picker who bought a house for $720K? Obviously Mr. Restinas doesn't. But that makes since this this expert was saying there is no housing bubble back in 2006. You'd think after getting it so wrong he would be ignored by the MSM. Instead they go back to him for predictions on when the housing crash that he said would never come will end.
And on the game goes.
Sunday, June 22, 2008
I came across a neat little program the good citizens of Atlanta have going for them. It's quite simple. If you make under $71K ($81K if you have a kid) you get 14% off the cost of buying a house in the city of Atlanta. They take 10% off the price of the house and give you an extra 4% down payment. And on top if it, no matter how bad your credit is, you get a guaranteed 6.25% 30 year fixed mortgage. Only requirement is that the house being purchased has to be within the city limits and at the time of purchase you can't already own another property. Although it doesn't say anything about owning another property outside the city.
So on a house with a price tag of $500,000, you pay $450,000 and the city of ATL chips in the last $50K. And on top of that you get another $20K as a down payment. And there are no closing costs either, the city pays for that as well. All you need is $1500 and you're all set.
Here is the choice for someone today who lives in Atlanta. Earn $140K and pay $500K for a house. Or earn $70K and pay $430K for the same house. Hmmm, what do do. What to do indeed? Work twice as much and end up with the same. Or work 1/2 as much and end up with the same? Gawwwly I wonder what the better option is.
Unfortunately I am too rich to qualify for this giveaway at the present. However I will inquire as to how that $71K is calculated. If it's simply based on gross for the current year, I can predict right now with a 99% confidence level that my income for the year 2009 will be $70,850. If you can't beat 'em, might as well join 'em at the government trough. And by then Obama will have started his hope and change programs. Who knows I might even qualify for free gas, free food, free health care. I won't even need $70,999. I'll be just as well off making $8 an hour at WalMart and getting the rest from Uncle Barry.
I also found out that one of Georgia's two Republican corrupt senators, Johnny Isakson - the other corrupt Republican Senator is Saxby Chambliss - made his fortune in real estate in Atlanta. He ran the largest local real estate company for 20 years. And completely by coincidence he is one of the most ardent supporters of the Countrywide Bailout Bill currently being debated in Congress. No mention of this in the local media. Republican or Democrat, doesn't matter. The media protects those that feed it. And the largest source of revenue for newspapers is real estate ads. You do the math on whether or not a newspaper like the Atlanta Journal Constitution will be for or agaianst the Countrywide Bailout Bill and whether or not it will say a word about the corruption involved with it.
I have to give credit where credit is due. Bush has said he will veto this abomination of a bill. He said he will, we'll see if he follows through.
Saturday, June 21, 2008
I love articles like this.
Miller, 29, and his wife bought a fixer-upper on Melrose Drive in southwest Atlanta in December 2006, lured by ever-rising property values. They saw it as a long-term investment, buying it for around $90,000 — about $20,000 less than what other homes in the neighborhood were going for.
The Millers spent $75,000 and six months cleaning and refurbishing the home before hiring a property manager to find tenants. Potential renters, however, only wanted to pay about half of what the Millers needed to cover most of the mortgage. Quinon Miller refused to lower the rent, not wanting to attract bad renters that could lower the value of the property. It's been a year and a half and the home is still empty, forcing Miller and his wife to cover two mortgages.
"It broke us — without a doubt," Miller said. "It sucked us dry." Burglaries made it worse. They've had at least eight so far, he says. "Me and my wife will not ever, ever invest in real estate again," Miller said. "As far as we're concerned, we're done."
I can see the conversation that took place in 2006:
Dunbass buyer: I don't know about buying a house here.
Idiot realtor: But now is a great time to buy. You are getting this house well below market value. You have instant equity.
Dumbass buyer: I don't know man, it's pretty risky.
Idiot Realtor: If you don't buy now you will be priced out forever. And think of the investment income you will get. Investing in real estate is how people get rich. Real estate never goes down.
Dumbass buyer: But the housing market is slowing and it may be in a bubble that is about to pop
Idiot realtor: In Atlanta? No way Jose. Maybe in California or Phoenix. But Atlanta is different. Everyone in the world wants to live in Atlanta. It is the fastest growing city ever. You will have no problem renting your home out. All the projections say the city will boom in the next 15 years.
Dumbass buyer: But this is a crime infested part of town. I doubt anyone will pay the rent I will need to just break even.
Iidot realtor: It's a crime infested area now. But it is on the upswing. You are getting in on the bottom floor. Five years from now your house will be worth $500K. Trust me on this one. I've been doing this for a long time and I can tell this area will turn around fast.
Dumbass buyer: OK I suppose, but what if it doesn't, we're going to be broke.
Idiot realtor: Not at all. Just get an interest only negative option ARM. Then in 2 years refinance. Everyone's doing it and getting rich. You don't want to miss out on this do you?
Dumbass buyer: No I suppose not. OK so I get a negative whatever something loan and then I refinance in 2 years and so that means I won't lose any money right?
Idiot realtor: Exactly. Now let me give you the number of my friend at Countrywide, she will set it all up for you. Don't bother reading any of the documents. It's just broing legal stuff, I don't even understand any of it. Just go in to her office, sign and this house will be yours in 2 weeks.
Dumbass buyer: Sweet I am now a home owner!
And this same kind of bullshit is still being spewed by idiotic realtors today. I went to look at an open house a couple of weeks ago not far from where I live. The asking price was $550K. I told the realtor there I would be interested at $350K. She started her usual "now is a great time to buy" crap. I told her for someone to afford $550K using the traditional mortgage approval process, they would need an income of $125K a year minimum. And only less than 10% of the population in the area makes that much. And of that less than 10%, 90% already owns a home. So the pool of people who can realistically afford that house is about oh, nobody. It was kind of funny because I think she clued in when I put it in those terms. But even then she went on with the "now is a great time to buy" gibberish. I',m not sure if she was truly that stupid or if she has been drinking the kool-aid for so long that she can't help herself from speaking in NAR (National Association of LYING Realtors) doublespeak.
The house has been for sale for 3 months in a subdivision where the last house to sell - not be listed, actually sold - was over a year ago. And yet she thinks that someone will pay an asking price of what the house last sold for 3 years ago.
But like I said at $350K I would be interested.
Friday, June 20, 2008
John McCain has once again shot himself in the foot. Earlier this week he came out and said he is all for drilling for domestic oil. Except that is in ANWR. So if I understand this, he's OK with drilling off the coast of Florida where 20 million people live. He's just fine with drilling off the coast of California where 30 million people live. But he's opposed to drilling in the middle of nowhere where the closest human is hundreds of miles away.
I'm not saying we shouldn't drill off the coasts. I just can't understand his logic on this one. If some shit goes down and there is an oil spill off the coast of Florida the state' tourist economy would grind to a halt while the cleanup takes place. Billions of dollars will be lost for Florida. If a spill happens in ANWR, exactly where is the risk? A caribou will die. It makes no sense. ANWR could not be a better place to drill for oil. Nobody would ever see it. Nobody would ever be affected by a spill. It would involve no land right battles since nobody owns any land there except the government. And unlike in Florida or California, there would be no local opposition. And yet McCain opposes this one perfect place to drill in order to placate the eco-nazis who will never vote for him, no matter what he says.
The liberal Democrat campaign theme is "McCain is Bush's 3rd Term". As idiotic as that sounds, it rings true in a different way. McCain is using the same play book Bush used. Try to make nice with liberals and hope they will like you. Bush gave them the Ted Kennedy no child left behind. He gave them the Medicare prescription bill. He gave them $50B of aid to Africa to fight AIDS. He gave them amnesty, or at least tried. He gave them all that and what did he end up with? A 20% approval rating. Liberals still hate him and now most conservatives - moi included - can't stand him either.
Republicans just don't get it. Liberals do not want to be friends. They have an agenda of taking this country down the path of socialism/communism. They don't want bi-partisanship co-operation. They don't want to work together. They want France. And they will fight, scratch, claw, kick and bite to get there. Meanwhile Republicans sit there grinning like morons and taking it day after day.
Come on Republicans, I know there has to be some backbone in that party. Go find it please.
Tuesday, June 17, 2008
When it comes to propaganda, liberals get an A+. Through the manipulation of mass media they have shaped the minds of generations. Movies, TV, newspapers, publishing and of course the Nightly News is dominated by the left and has been for decades. They shape the debate in their terms. In that debate liberals are "moderate" conservatives are "extreme". The right to have an abortion at 8.5 months is "reproductive rights". Anyone who stands up and says whoa, that's not cool is a right-wing fascist. Corporate profits are inherently evil. And on it goes.
Well "new media" was supposed to change the playing field. No longer constrained by the left's hold on traditional media, conservatives were supposed to go out and finally express themselves. Ideas would flow and the masses would be swayed. Or so the theory goes.
Yet today who is taking the most advantage of new media? Sure as hell ain't conservatives. The liberals may have lost the initial blog battle but they are winning the war and winning big. Google is run by leftists. YouTube has become an Obama love fest complete with vitriolic hate for all things conservative. The latest is the slickly produced "I'm Voting Republican", complete with every stereotype around about what it means to be a conservative. Compare McCain's website with Obama's. Not even close in quality. Try to find anything positive about conservatives on MySpace, if you do let me know, I'd love to see this beast.
It is quickly becoming clear the new media will be like the old media. Controlled by the left with the right constantly playing defence and playing by the left's rules. For all the supposed business savvy in Republican circles they sure are thick when it comes to this area. They ignore the web and nominate a 72 year old for president who probably wouldn't know a YouTube video if it came and bit him on the ass. I do have to hand it to the left. It saw the opportunity for using the web and pounced on it.
About the only thing the right still has going for it is talk radio. But that too is a dying medium. And how many 20 year olds listen to talk radio compared to YouTube watchers? That is new generation that the left is brilliantly cultivating. And once indoctrinated with the left's rhetoric, there's no coming back for the generation raised on MySpace, YouTube, MTV with a healthy dose of "Johnie Has Two Daddies" books read to them in school. The foundation for a lifetime of socialist/liberal activism was laid during 12 years of public school indoctrination. The new media is simply building on top of that.
The Obama phenomenon is just the beginning and as this generation gets older and the older generation dies off....look out below.
Monday, June 16, 2008
The MSM is having a month long requiem for Tim Russert. It is still on the Obama high. And Tiger Woods is playing golf. Plus there is a flood in the midwest. So it is not surprising that the Countrywide Pay for Play story is being widely ignored.
In a nutshell: Democrat senators Chris Dodd and Kent Conrad both got sweetheart deals from Countrywide on their mortgages. The CEO of Countrywide set the deals up himself. Completely coincidental is the fact that both Dodd and Conrad are leading the fight for a mortgage bailout, which stands to help Countrywide more than any other company. Both Dodd and Conrad are playing stupid claiming they didn't know their mortgages were anything un-kosher.
So of course the media is ignoring this story. Just like it ignored the fact that Obama's hand picked guy to search for his VP was also involved in some mortgage fraud. But Obama, Dodd and Conrad are all Democrats. And of course Democrats do no wrong and therefore and never asked the tough questions. Had McCain driven within 200 yards of a Countrywide office the media would be swarming all over him asking questions. But there is no double standard in the media, no sir.
And I suppose in the week long mourning over a leftist journalist who has time to report on actual news. After all now that Tim Russert is dead, how will the world move on? Yeah the guy was a good interviewer, get the fuck over it already. He wasn't the Pope for crying out loud. He was a newsman from Buffalo who liked - no really liked - the Bills. Who cares that US Senators are being bribed with cheap mortgages in exchange for a $300B bailout? Tim Russert is dead after all and we can't possibly talk about anything else.
Correct me if I'm wrong but I thought it was illegal to bribe voters. But that is exactly what Obama is doing. His latest plan will literally give everyone making under $75K a year a $500 freebie every year. No questions asked. Just sign up for the plan and the $500 is yours.And this of course will be the starting point. Soon enough that $500 will be $1000. And then $2000 and soon enough $10,000. This is how all government plans work. Start out small and snowball into a trillion dollar cluster fuck. If you doubt it, see the income tax, social security and Medicare as exhibits A, B and C.
In addition to that free money, Obama will also give the "poor" free health care. And if the "poor" can't afford to make the mortgage payment of the house they overpaid for, no worries he will make your mortgage payment too. And what's this, you can't afford your gas? No worries once more as Obama will make it so that gas is free too.
And where will all this money come from? By taxing the "rich" of course. Used to be anyone making over $250K was considered "rich" in Obamaland. Now I see the threshold has dropped to $75K.
Oh the pain this man will bring.
I was away for the weekend sans TV or web access and didn't have a chance to see much of anything. This morning I watched a bit of CNN and on cue, discovered that global warming (or is it climate change?) has destroyed Iowa. As I understand it, given CNN's coverage, up until Jan 20, 2001, Iowa had never seen a flood. Then Bush and his BIG OIL pals in evil Texas started making the earth warm up (or cool, or change, still not sure which one). And ever since that awful day 8 years ago, rivers have been flooding. And a couple of new phenomenons have started too. Tornadoes and hurricanes. Those too had never happened pre-2001.
As I posted before, I noticed everyone is still driving 75 and faster. They scream about $4 gas and claim poverty due to it. Then they jump into the V8 holding their $5 cup of coffee and gun it from 0 to 80. And as they get to the Best Buy store credit card in hand ready to spend a record amount of money on video games, they bitch some more. To paraphrase that Ditech commercial...People are idiots. Although the fact a communist will be elected president should have tipped everyone off by now.
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
John McCain has gone off the deep end once again. Not content with banning free speech he now wants to ban profits too. Or at least ban what he thinks are excessive profits. First he will start with the big bad evil OIL companies. They make so much money you see that they need to have some of it taken away. How much money do they make? Must be something outrageous likie a 75% profit margin. Or at least a 50% profit margin. In reality it's about 9%. For every dollar an oil company spends, it makes $1.09 back.
But in the eyes of John McCain making nine cents on the dollar in profit is too much. So I ask the Senator, what percentage does he consider non-excessive? 8? 7? 2? And how does he come up with that number? What criteria, if any does he use? Or does he just pick a number out of his ass? Who the hell is John McCain to decide that it's too much. Last I checked this was a supposedly capitalist country where a company's sole existence is to maximize profits. A company is not in existence to make OK profit.
And while he's in kill the oil company mode, he might want to look at this list of industries and the profit margin for each of them. Oil's 9% profit margin is quite average compared to other industries. Google has higher profit margins than Exxon. But Google contributes lots of money to McCain's party (the Democrat party) and so they get a pass. Evil oil on the other hand contributes money to McCain's opposition so they get the hammer thrown down.
And while he is bashing the 9% profit margin on oil, he is very silent on the profits of beer makers. Anheuser Bush has a profit margin of 18.7%. Twice that of the evil oil. Yet McCain is strangely silent about those excessive profits. I wonder why that is. Hmmm could it be because his wife Cindy McCain is an heiress to a beer company?
And yes I know, Obama would be even worse. On a scale of 1-10 of economic policy disaster potential, Obama is a 12, McCain is a 9. Either way we will pay higher prices for everything and pay more income tax, while earning less money.
Today I downloaded the application for a Euro passport. I keep hoping I won't have to move but every day McBama says something so idiotic and scary that that hope is fading fast.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
It's not often I get involved in the Hollywood nonsense of moron starts arguing with other moron stars. But in this case it is a moron star arguing like a moron against one awesome old dude who knows WTF he's talking about. Spike Lee bitched like a little girl that there were no black actors in the movie about the 5 ***WHITE*** soliders who raised the flag at Iwo Jima. Eastwood countered that Spike Lee should shut his mouth since he has no effing idea what he's talking about. Yes there were blacks in the military during WW2. But this particular battle and more to the point, these particular 5 soldiers that raised the flag were white. I mean holy shit Spike, get a grip man. Sometimes white people do good things and are to be admired for. Sometimes, black people aren't involved. Not every critical moment in history has a part for Denzel Washington to play.
Monday, June 9, 2008
The Democrats have decided to privatize the Senate restaurants. It appears that the joints are run so poorly that they may be about to close down, due to so colosal piss poor management. The restaurants are losing $250K. Given that a Democrat Senator is mich too important to eat a bagged lunch or at Subway, the Demos have decided to allow - GHASP - a private operator to come in and save the day.
The Federal government is not competent enough to run a Senate cafeteria. Yet we are told over and over by the likes of Hillary and Obama and Diane Feinstein and Ted Kennedy and John Kerry that we should allow the federal government to run the country's health care.
If it weren't so sad, it would be funny.
After a 5 days of nothing but fawning, front page publicity, I see that Obama leads McCain by a couple of points in national polls. Pretty much the same lead he had a week ago. You'd think after all the non-stop coverage in the MSM, his lead would have increased over that time. I'm guessing this is not a good sign for him and shows that he may have reached a ceiling of support.
It is also worth nothing that Dukakis at one point had a 17% lead over Bush I in 1988 and went on to lose 40 states to Bush. It is also worth noting that Ross Perot at one point was leading both Bush I and Clinton I during the summer of 1992. Gore and Kerry also led by fairly big margins in 2000 and 2004 before losing. So the fact that Obama is now only a little ahead, at a time where he should be well ahead in the polls, might be an ominous sign for the fall.
Usually I would be happy about this. But then I remind myself that oh shit, McCain will be the winner if Obama flops. And my joy vanishes.
Friday, June 6, 2008
The death of the SUV is here so says US News. I disagree.
Gas is $4 a gallon. Ouch indeed. But that is ouch compared to 2006. Compared to 1980 or 1960 or 1940 it's about the same adjusted for inflation. For example in 1980 - the last time oil prices went bonkers - the average price of gas was $1.35. Today gas is 3X higher at $4. But median income in 1980 was $17,700. Today it is $49,000, just under 3X 1980 levels. So as a % of income gas costs the same now as it did 28 years ago. Not that the MSM would ever bother telling you that.
This lemming like rush to small cars by people is somewhat understandable. When every day you are bombarded by "news" reports of how the world will end when gas hits $4, you start thinking hmmm maybe driving a Hyundai isn't such a bad idea after all. Multiply that by millions of people, and there you go. Same thing happened in the 70s when the original oil spike occured after the 1973 Israel Arab war. Lots of people went out and bought Hondas and Toyotas which at the time were dirt cheap and about the only option for small cars. But then eventually oil came down in price. And people demanded bigger cars again. Honda and Toyota started making bigger sedans and SUVs and trucks.
And the same will happen this time around. Oil is in the bubbliest bubble there ever was. It may not ever go back to $10 a bbl. But it will fall back to the infation adjusted price we're used to. And that will mean $2 to $3 gas eventually. Which adjusted for inflation is right around where it's been over the past 50 years. And people who like big cars will go back to driving big cars. People who like trucks will go back to trucks. People who like small cars, were probably already driving small cars to begin with before the spike in oil and will continue to do so.
What I do predict is that there will be a glut of used Civics, Sentras, Versas, etc in about 2 years time from now and a big demand for SUVs that won't exist.
Disclaimer: I own an SUV but not a super gas guzzler, along with 2 other cars that get middle of the road gas mileage.
181 Nations Agree to Lower Food Prices says the headline today. And no this was not an Onion article. There was a UN conference in Rome where well fed bureaucrats hung out in luxury hotels, ate 5 star quality food, drank $5000 a bottle wine and in between threw around ideas about how to make food cheaper. Kinda like Al Gore flying around in his private jet and thinking about ways to reduce polution.
After a week of brainstorming and crunching numbers, this is what they came up with:
- tariffs are bad for food prices
- using farmland to grow corn used in biodiesel is bad for food prices
- growing more food will lower food prices
The only real shocker for me out of this meeting was that somehow Bush wasn't directly responsible for high food prices. Or maybe it is his fault but that is so obvious to everyone, no need to actually say it.
So now what do we do? On one side we have the Global Warming alarmists screaming about bio-diesel. But now the UN has finally clued in that when you use farmland as a substutute for oil fields, that lost food production doesn't magically appear out of nowhere and people go hungry. What to do? Save an endagered molusc which will die if the temperature rises 0.01 degrees or feed a hundred million people? And no this in not a rhetorical question, this is the real world situation that we are facing right now.
And it is also a preview of things to come. Every insane proposal from Kyoto to the Lieberman-Warner bill will have the same sort of unintended consequences. This cult like following of Global Warming is going to cost untold amounts of money and even lives. Yet the vast majority of media outlets and politcians - from both parties - are still on board with this madness.
Thursday, June 5, 2008
Right on schedule the clueless MSM reports on the 'unexpected' rise in retail sales for May. Gee I wonder what could have caused that to happen. Hmm what even occured in May this year that didn't happen last year? Oh I know. The government sent people $1200 checks, that's what. And what do you know? Retailers saw higher sales in May. Absolutely shcoking!
And right on cue stocks are up in a frenzy over the news. However as any 1st year econ student will tell you a one time shot like this does not matter in the long run. And the present value of stocks is the discounted future value. So since this one time shot will have no effect on the future value, it is silly to bid up the price of a share today. Not that the MSM would even try to provide this kind of analysis. Just go on autopilot and report what the government feeds you. Good times are here once again.
On a completely unrelated note, foreclosures set yet a new record. Continental is laying off 3000 employees. And all this as the 4 week moving average for 1st time unemployment benefits continues a downward trend.
But why let pesky facts like that get in the way of an uplifting day on Wall St?
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Last night I watched an episode of Law & Order, Special Victims Unit. It was on DVR so I don't know how old it was. The story included a jury member who was paid off by the bad guy to vote not guilty. Why was the juror so morally deficient as to accept the bribe and risk going to jail you ask? Well she an interest only mortgage and was desperate for money. Oh and she also had a kid with a disease. Sad indeed.
The line the character said was "if I lose this place, we have nowhere else to go and Billy (or Bobby or Timmie or whatever) will be taken away from me." My reaction was of course, hey lady how about renting an apartment instead? I mean hell this is New York City after all where most people rent. It's not the end of the world to be a renter there, you're in the majority. Yet in the MSM, "owning" a home is so important that people justify breaking the law to keep "their" home. The character was portrayed sympathetically. After all she couldn't possibly let her son live in a rental, that would be like child abuse or something. And although we learn the punishment for doing what she did is 4.5 years of jail time, she ends up getting no jail time since her situation was justified.
Not to worry though. In about 8 months time nobody will have a mortgage payment to worry about anymore. As soon as Barry Obama gets in, we will all have our mortgages paid for. Along with car payments, credit card payments, gas costs and of course "FREE" health care for one and all.
SI SE PUEDE
Tuesday, June 3, 2008
It all translates to this: vote for Obama and the USA is no longer. The ultimate suicide pact between voters. It is times like these when I'm glad I have citizenship in 2 other countries and have an escape. I used to joke that I would pull an Alec Baldwin and leave if he were elected. After watching his speech tonight, 'tis no joke any longer. Only question now is will it be Canada or will it be Europe. I never thought I'd see the day when I would leave the US to escape and oppressive taxation regime....and go to Canada or Europe for crying out loud. Under an Obama regime I will be paying over 50% of my income in taxes. Fuck that and fuck him.
It never ceases to amaze the stupidity people exhibit regarding money these days. Here is the latest example.
Question: I have two home loans totaling 100% financing. Both are variable rate, interest-only loans. The 80% loan is a 5-year ARM; the 20% loan is a home-equity loan in which the rate changes monthly. I have been in my $389,000 home since July 2004 and I am starting to have trouble making the payments, but I have not missed one yet.
The present value of my home is probably less than what I owe on it, but not greatly so. The only money I have available to continue to make the payments is my 401(k). Should I withdraw funds to stay in the house and sell it when the market turns around? Also, if I do, would the withdrawal be considered a hardship withdrawal in IRS terms?
Hmm where to begin with this one. First off amigo, your house is nowhere near $389K if you bought in July 2004. $350K is you're lucky. But that $350K is really $325K after you've paid all selling expenses which run about 7%. So your question is should I blow my retirement money on a house that is depreciating in value daily and in which I have $0 equity? My response back would be, is your IQ less than 45? Because only someone with such limited mental capacity would even think of asking such a question. The answer of course is send the lender your keys and walk away. You have nothing to lose. You've put $0 into your house, you walk away with $0. No harm no foul. Why on earth would you want to keep feeding this alligator month after month? Have you had drunk much NAR Kool-Aid that you still believe owning a house at any cost is a good idea? Are you so brainwashed into thinking that being a home "owner" means destroying your financial future?
And you gotta love the so-called exert's response. A bunch of nonsense about selling the sports car. As if that option is available to everyone. Oh shit why didn't I think of that. Instead of dipping into my 401k, I'll sell that Ferrari just sitting in the driveway collecting dust. No mention that perhaps this home "owner" shouldn't own anything more expensive than a Cappuccino maker since he obviously is not responsible enough to handle it.
Where do they get these financial writers from?
Numbers for sales in Japan came out today and it was bleak. The so-called experts are predicting numbers for the US to be as bleak. $4 gas, blah blah blah, you know the rest. However what the so-called experts are missing is a key ingredient. And that is the $1200 tax rebate check.
Maybe it's localized to my neck of the woods, but holy shit I have never seen so many new cars grouped together outside of a car dealer. The office where I'm hanging out these days has 10-15 new cars in the parking lot. This is for a parking lot that holds maybe 200 cars. I know they are new because they have dealer tags. At first I couldn't figure it out. Was there some huge bonus that the company gave out I though. Nope. It was the bonus courtesy of Uncle Sam in the form of a $1200 bribe to get out and spend spend spend some more. And man oh man did the masses spend it. The checks started going out the 2nd week of May. And coincidentally enough that is when the new cars starting popping up as well. So much for the "I will pay down debt with my bribe check" theories out there. And also so much for the $4 gas hurts theories. There is a new Range Rover, a BMW 5 and a Land Cruiser among the new toys on the lot. Which makes me think oh boy, you bought an $80K car with a $1200 downpayment. Yeah, that's gonna get really ugly really soon. Not unlike the 0% down, $800K house.
So all this means there should be a slight pop when new car sales come out for May. I want to buy some calls, but not sure which ones. The BIg 3 are hurting due to truck sales, but they could surprise by not hurting as much as everyone expects them to hurt. The Japanese are hurting in Japan, but if they have a blowout May in the US, investors will overlook the bad news. They always seem to. In a conflict of good vs. bad news, good usually wins. Or all this could be a fluke localized to one zip code. I doubt it but you never know.
Whatever pop there is will be short lived. About the length of the stimulus check bribe-athon. As soon as those stop coming, it's bye bye auto industry for the rest of 2008 and 2009.
Monday, June 2, 2008
Sometimes you see something that looks somewhat odd and think, nah gotta be missing part of the story somewhere. Then the more you look the more you realize that yes it is as absurd as you first imagined.
Today I had a similar experience. In the parking lot of a shopping plaza in one of the "Change and Hope, Hope and Change" kind of neighborhood. Parked next to me was a Volvo XC90. No surprise there. On this XC90 there were several bumper stickers expressing a plethora of anti-Bush, Obama and most prominently, green themes. No surprise there again.
Forget a second about the irony that a supposed environmentalist drives an SUV with an EPA rating of 15 MPG in the city. That is a standard far-left do as I say not as I doism. Again no surprise there. The surprise however came when I noticed the engine was on but there was nobody in the car. Yessir, the owner left the car running in the parking lot while he/she went shopping. I'm guessing this was so the car would stay cool while she/he was in the store. And this was in the parking lot itself, the car wasn't parked on the curb where someone went in to drop off a letter in a mailbox or anything. It was running when I got there, it was running 10 minutes later when I returned to my car. All that emission sent into the atmosphere killing tens if not hundreds of baby seals so the owner could be cool for the 45 seconds it takes a car's A/C to kick in and cool a car down.
For shame liberal, for shame.
In its seemingly never end series on the woes of the middle class, CNN is now throwing out high gas sob stories. It used to be sob stories about IHOs (Idiot Home Owners) who bought $500K homes on $40K salaries and surpise, surprise couldn't afford to keep the house. Now high gas prices are the storu du jour and we get gems like this:
Credit analyst, 29, Arlington Heights, Ill.
Fortunately for 9-1/2 month old Mikey, he has two grandmas that love him more than anything. Unfortunately one lives in suburban Atlanta and the other lives in Ames, Iowa. It used to be that we could pack up the SUV and surely not forget a thing while traveling at an affordable fare that barely hurt the bank account. Now, after downsizing vehicles to save gas, we can't bring everything -- and mommy is cramped in the back seat with Mikey while our dog Chopper rides shotgun.
My God! The horror of it. Mommy is cramped in the back sea. Someone call Amnesty International ASAP. This simply cannot be allowed to happen. I mean come on people, this is supposed to be evidence of the assault on the middle class? Mommy can't stretch her legs out in the Escalade anymore and has to ride in the back seat of an Accord while on the way to visit Grandma?
Arlington Heights, IL to Atlanta is 1500 miles round trip. This yahoo is saying he can't make the drive because of $4 gas. Bull - SHIT! The SUV that they downsized from and could fit the kitchen sink got 15 MPG highway. That was 100 gallons. At $2 the cost was $200. Now they downsized. I'm assuming an Accord or something like that, which gets 25 MPG on the highway. That's 60 gallons at $4 per gallon equals $240. WOW!! A whole extra $40 for the trip. Double WOW!!
Once again this myth about gas prices is exposed. If this guy can't afford an extra $40 for the trip, he's either lying or is so stretched out, he's got bigger issues than gas costs. And if you are that stretched as to not afford $40 more, here's a thought to mommy: GET A JOB. Work 20 hours a month at $10 an hour serving coffee and you will be able to go visit grandma every month. Much easier to just bitch and whine about how tough life is instead of getting off your ass and changing your life.
But I won't let pesky facts stand in the way of a good "see how bad things are, if we only elect Obama everything will be better, I promise" story courtesy of the MSM. And yet the gullible fools out there salivating at the prospect of an Obama presidency buy every word of it. Since as we all know as soon as Obama gets in, he will give us** all a free house, free gas, free health care and we won't have to work more than 25 hours a week for any of it.
** Anyone making under $50K and considered poor. Anyone making over $50K and considered rich will have their taxes doubled.
In 2000 when Bush lost the popular vote, all I heard from the yahoos on the left was popular vote, popular vote, popular vote. California even has some ballot measure in progress that would allocate it's electoral votes to the candidate with the highest popular vote, or something silly like that. So popular vote is the end all and be all of elections. Except when it means the MESSIAH OBAMA might lose the popular vote. Then it's all about delegates and super delegates. Play by my rules unless my rules cause me to lose the game and then I will change the rules but only if the new rules means I win. In case I lose both ways, it must be because my opponent is cheating....and racist, homophobic, sexist, ageist and every other ist I can come up with.
Hillary is still staying in and good for her. She is the only hope left for this country. Obama as president is a communist nightmare I can't even begin to fathom. McCain as president will mean the erasure of the southern border which will lead to communism long term. Hillary has been spat on, beaten down, kicked, punched and left for dead by the far left. She owes them nothing and will give them the finger if elected president. She'll be no cup of tea for conservatives, but she'll govern like Bill did and be tolerable for a couple of years until the GOP can get its shit together, get back to its conservative roots and take back Congress.