I give you... the Vietnamese stock market index.
This is pretty funny. [more]
Ask folks in the know about the entire mortgage backed securities Ponzi scheme, and they'll tell you that a prime cause was the bogus ratings applied to these un-knowable, unfamiliar securities by the ratings agencies. The mirage that fooled investors the world over into buying these things ("triple-A = safe") not only spawned the industry, it made instant riches for banks, ratings agencies, monoline insures, lenders, hedge fund managers and HELOC-dependent U.S. consumers. [more]
I just sent this to one of the Times business writers, the guy who typically reports on housing numbers from the government without putting them into the right context, or bothering to mention their relative reliability. (Something we discussed here.) [more]
Great discussion at Calculated Risk of a recent ruling that sets a disturbing precedent (at least if you hold HELOCs or MBSs based on them.) [more]
So pay no attention to stuff like this: [more]
Pretty familiar story: pour $30 more billion into other people's bad financial decisions. Either don't pay for it at all, or tax the people who didn't make the stupid decisions (what, 98% of the rest of us?) [more]
No big deal by California standards. She only defaulted on a measly three homes. [more]
Think the housing bubble only happened in places where they "ain't making more land?" [more]
Here's another one of those stories that suggests even the rapidly dropping home prices are overstated. As at the height of the bubble, people are offering big incentives, like these folks who offered their car (not so original, and in this case, not so great... a 2000 Mustang?). Of course, the price of these givebacks doesn't appear in he home price, but they're certainly a factor, meaning wherever they're used and not netted out, the home price is inflated. [more]
Here are some interesting numbers I get once a month.
This story is all too familiar. "Investment managers" who can talk the talk extracting large sums from groups of faithful, pay out some of the later takings to early "investors" a la Ponzi, then, well, you know the rest. [more]
because the housing ATM is not only out of money, it's getting unplugged, machine by machine.
Chase Wholesale Eliminates 2nd Mortgages [more]
Put on the hip waders today, folks, because the ignorant and/or intentionally untruthful (is it possible to be this dense?) are going to be saying this all day: "Surprising increase in housing starts." [more]
This is a pretty smart blog item about the ridiculous position taken by outfits like Amazon.com regarding sales tax: that it's too tough to figure out what to charge, and how. [more]
The FHA is the agency -- originally created to guarantee loans for low-income earner housing -- that the boneheaded Barney Franks (and Ben Bernankes) of the world want to bail out bubble-blowers by forcing taxpayers to back billions of extra dollars worth of lousy mortgage loans and bankrolling overpriced housing. (What this would actually represent is a major, publicly-funded gift to banks, who would get more for their lousy CDOs than they'd otherwise receive, while locking homedebtors into mortgages they'd be better of ditching...) [more]
Hey! Is that a cow's butt down yonder? Waaaay down there, about 2 miles out? Huh, looks like the whole herd, maybe.
Well, then I'd better shut this door right now!
Bernanke: Banks need to bolster risk-management- AP
Thanks a ton, Benny and the Inkjets. [more]
Convince yourself that your leveraged beta is great "alpha" and continue making overly risky bets with only a sliver of equity to absorb the losses. Oh yeah, and pass the blame when the bankers finally wise up and pull the plug on your margin. [more]
just testing the capabilities of a new beta browser for windows mobile smartphone. works Way better than IE for smartphone, displays pages in original form and everything.
Don't make me come out there and smack your round head, Steve. [more]
President Bush is doing something somewhat courageous, and quite right: telling bleeding-heart political opportunists like Barney Frank and Chuck Schumer where they can stuff their latest, short-sighted bailout plans. [more]
Lawrence Yun, the discredited but still vocal mouthpiece for the National Association of Realtors, demands that congress provide yet more market-warping tax-giveaways so that he and his audience of six-percenters at the NAR can get their commission checks. [more]
Pending Home Sales Hit Record Low in March- CNNMoney.com
The number of homes under contract for sale fell in March, hitting a record low for the second consecutive month, according to a report released Wednesday.
So, first this guy talks millions of people into buying far more home than they can afford. Then, when that scam falls apart, he leaves the National Association of Realtors and skedaddles for some Web outfit. Now he's advising Wall Street on how to clean up investing in the wreckage of the disaster he created. [more]
Owner Of Multimillion-Dollar Home In Northwest EvictedWRC-TVupdated 10:25 a.m. ET, Tues., May. 6, 2008
WASHINGTON - The owner of a multimillion-dollar home on Foxhall Road in northwest D.C. was evicted on Monday. [more]
Rather than try to eat its prey while it's warm and tough, (Microsoft is) dragging it down to the bottom of the river, sticking it under a rock and eating it later when it's cold and soft...
--Todd Dagres of Spark Capital...
Stocks Lift Even as Oil Prices Soar- AP
Stocks reversed early losses to trade modestly higher Tuesday, as investors monitored the movements of record-high oil prices but still laid bets that the economy and companies are in recovery mode. [more]
Simplicity itself. [more]
Just when you think he can't get any more conflicted, NAR chief economic stooge, Lawrence Yun, cries about what the numbers are saying about home price declines. [more]
Mortgage loan calculator
Found this morgage calculating widget via BlownMortgage. Pretty cool.
I asked someone in the lobbying game who it is that's pushing congress for all these mortgage workouts and bailouts. I got a two-word answer: hedge funds.
Raise your hand if you think you know why.
Might as well start the rumors here.
Let me just say (and Bill Mann agrees) that this lady is truly stunning.
Spending some quality time in Omaha, so I might have to blog about something other than the sorry state of housing, or total scams. Maybe the story of the dude on the plane who asked for "bloody Mary mix, and milk." Or shall we, no, let's not discuss the cattle-like stench that permeated the airplane. I blame the vinyl seats, and I'll say no more. [more]
LR-20550May 1, 2008GlobeTel Communications Corp., Timothy J. Huff, Thomas Y. Jimenez and Lawrence E. Lynch
See also: Complaint in this matter
Who would have thought this? Oh yeah, this guy. [more]
Back in March, Pat Jordan hilariously wrote of his attempt to interview infamous ballplayer Jose Canseco. As noted above, Mr. Canseco seemed to be having some money problems. Today, Reuters reported that Mr. Canseco is walking away from one problem. The former baseball star and author of “Juiced,” the controversial 2005 expose of steroid use in Major League Baseball, said Thursday that he lost his California mansion to foreclosure. [more]
Great post at Blown Mortgage on the slippery slope of principal reductions at Bagholders of America, and what it means industry wide. [more]