Oct 01 2011
If there is one thing that is certain the former Governator was all braun and no brains. Holding the office of the eighth largest economy in the world and treating it as an action movie. In his life it was a two hour thrill ride yet for the rest of us it was seven years of endless destruction and counting.
Sep 22 2011
When you look out at the bay and notice all the water has been drained its usually a sign there is a large wave coming.
Last week BofA, one of the many TBTF, increased their NOD’s (Notice of Default) filings by 33% m-2-m. After several months since the robo-signing scandal the banks appear now poised to start moving on many of these non-performing assets. Some of which have not had a mortgage payment made in one to over two years.
Sep 11 2011
Turn on the TV today and you will see many reminders of the tenth anniversary of the September 11th attacks. The images and stories are all present, while the MSM are all very compliant with selling the fear.
Politicians will pose for the cameras with their hooks of “God bless America” and thanking the troops for their service …
But it occurred to me …. what is missing?
Aug 18 2011
The old saying is No Good Deed Ever Goes Unpunished.
The worlds largest credit rating agency probably thought it was doing a good deed, doing its job for investors, in the wake of the tumultuous spending debate, by downgrading US Treasury debt for the first time ever from AAA to AA+.
[..]The U.S. lost its esteemed AAA credit rating after being downgraded by Standard & Poor’s Friday, eroding the elite standing it has held in global markets for more than 70 years.
Aug 02 2011
Are you out of work?
Out of unemployment?
Maybe you live off SS thats about to be cut?
Are you sick but cant afford insurance or doctor visits?
Is your Medicaid going to be slashed?
Well too F’n bad. There is no money for your “entitlements” even though you paid into them for your entire working life.
But … we got plenty of money for hospitals and other facilites, just not in the USA. Think we wont have a presence in these countries for years to come?
We have always been at war with EastAsia – Winston Smith
Jun 14 2011
I have been writing about housings downturn for sometime and housing has been trending downward for the last 57 months straight. Even with all the government support, various moratoriums, delays, refinances, loan reworks and a plethora of other gadgetry the trend still remains.
Now I am ready to call a crash. But before I get to that specific information lets look at some recent data.
Jun 09 2011
Well, you’ve got your diamonds and you’ve got your pretty clothes And the chauffeur drives your car/ You let everybody know/ But don’t play with me, ’cause you’re playing with fire
(I wrote about this two days ago posted on another board and today its making headlines. Just goes to show that the bloggers are way ahead of the game.)
May 06 2011
If you only listen to the talking heads you may find it surprising that the housing correction is still ongoing. Quite simply put, with all the efforts of the US government, the Federal Reserve, and various agencies the best they have accomplished is to delay the decline. Now that all the capital is spent, all the programs finished, the decline ensues. The only thing left in the bag is MOPE (Management of Perspective Economics).
What is MOPE? In a nutshell its a pathetic attempt to ‘talk’ people into an action. The theory goes that if you say its sunny outside, and its a torrential downpour, yet everyone leaves the house without an umbrella then the concept works.
For housing the concept is the same. Is everyone telling you that its sunny and “now is a great time to buy” and the justification they use is “look how much prices have come down” as evidence? The first thing I always ask these people is “Can you tell me when when would be a bad time to buy?”. In hindsight they will all mention a few years ago … but when the mania was at hand they were the very same touting the “housing never goes down in price” mantra.
What is left is wishful thinking and its pretty pathetic.
D.R. Horton’s Donald Horton:
“Market conditions in the homebuilding industry are still challenging, with high foreclosures, significant existing home inventory, high unemployment, tight mortgage lending standards and weak consumer confidence. However, housing affordability remains near record highs, interest rates are favorable and new home inventory is still very low,” Horton said. “We continue to focus on providing affordable homes for the first-time buyer while having product available for move-up buyers, further adjusting our cost structure relative to our current sales pace.”
Translation: We’re still in the dumps, but we’re lowering prices, so come on and buy.
Pulte’s Richard Dugas: “Over the near term, we expect the industry will continue to face low levels of demand and that overall operating conditions will remain highly competitive.” Dugas then said he expects a return to profitability in the “back half of the year.”
Translation: Still bad, but it has to get better, right?
Meritage‘s Steven Hilton:
“The market has obviously softened since the federal home buyer tax credit expired in April last year, as reflected in total U.S. home sales as well as our own sales and closings. As a result, we have offered larger incentives in some of our communities, resulting in lower margins that offset the improvements we are achieving in our new higher-margin communities…the spring selling season for the last few months is off to a tepid start, and we have not produced sales at the pace we would have hoped this far into the 2011 selling season. We believe the housing market in general is still bouncing along the bottom, with pockets of strength in certain of our markets.”
Translation: We’re lowering prices, throwing in upgrades, and it’s not really working.
News that serious delinquencies are on the decline suggesting that those left standing in their homes will remain. Kyle Lundstedt of LPS Applied Analytics aka Dr. Doom reports that mortgage delinquencies, down more than 11 percent month-over month, are at the lowest level since 2008.
Apr 23 2011
For all those who had been hoping for swift but fair judicial treatment for criminal bank actions … dont hold your breath. “The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency, the Federal Reserve and the Office of Thrift Supervision have spent the past few days completing the settlements with some of the largest U.S. banks, including Bank of America Corp, Wells Fargo & Co, JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup Inc. The pacts would resolve only part of a large probe involving a group of 50 state attorneys general and about a dozen federal agencies.” But don’t worry, banks won’t actually have to part with even one dollar:
For all the “investigations” into criminal behavior by the largest Wall Street banks it is Main Street that has felt the pain. According to the NYT some 6.7 million homes have already been lost in the housing bust, and another 3.3 million will be lost through 2012. According to Zillow a staggering $9 trillion in home equity has been lost since the real estate market peaked in June 2006.
Caused in large part by reckless lending and excessive risk taking by major financial institutions, no senior executives have been charged or imprisoned, and a collective government effort has not emerged. This stands in stark contrast to the savings and loan crises in the late 1980s. In the wake of that debacle, special government task forces referred 1,100 cases to prosecutors, resulting in more than 800 bank officials going to jail.
A lawsuit filed against the SEC over the Madoff ponzi scheme was ruled on Tuesday. The suit alleged that the SEC had been repeatedly tipped off to the Madoff situation and flat-out failed to address it.
In any event, a federal judge on Tuesday dismissed the suit, which alleged the SEC had acted with “gross negligence.” U.S. District Judge Laura Swain ruled that the plaintiffs had failed to “identify any specific, mandatory duty that the SEC violated.”
Nevertheless, Swain excoriated the SEC, calling its behavior “sloppy,” “uninformed,” and “irresponsible.” That said, continued Swain, “that the conduct in question defied common sense and reeked of incompetency does not indicate that any formal, specific, mandatory policy was ‘likely’ violated.”
It has become all to apparent that in todays Washington, Wall Street environment that being a bumbling idiot, even to the point of criminal will only get you a “strongly” worded reprimand and, quite possibly, a promotion.