Sunday, January 6, 2008

SAR #8007

There are only two types of Americans: those who realize
we can't have an infinite consumption of a finite resource
and those who will soon realize it.
- Jeff Brown. TOD

Footsteps: Current population trends predict we will have another billion to feed, clothe and house in about 10 years. Another China. Every 10 years. Tell me about the rabbits, George.

Exit Plan: Bush's goal is to hide the financial pain of the next recession and then dump it on the new president, who will be blamed for all that's suddenly going wrong. Murdoch's got the "Democrat elected, Economy crashes!" headline set, just waiting. Bush, like Greenspan, will say he's not responsible. We already new that.

Caution, Curves Ahead: Borrowers with no equity in a house are not "homeowners." Beware of bail-out proposals by political demagogues that ignore this.

Choices have Consequences : Do those Americans who talk about bringing the troops home from the Middle East understand that for the last sixty years the American way of life has depended on wildly unequal international relationships that guarantee 5% of the human race access to more than 30% of the world’s energy? How enthusiastic will critics of empire be when their own standard of living drops by 80%?

Game Over: Climate activists lie. They continue to peddle the notion we can solve the climate problem and avoid serious consequences. We cannot. We have failed to meet nature's deadline. The world will experience progressively more ominous and destabilizing changes. We will be confronted by extreme weather events, water shortages, crop failures, collapsing infrastructure, and the breakdown of the democratic process. Who will tell the children?

London Calling: We are not alone. Some 9 million Brits are behind on about $60,000 each in credit card and mortgage debt. Allies.

Is It Warm In Here? California leads the way. CA Title 24 is being revised to call for a a "programmable communicating thermostat" (PCT) to be installed in every new home. Whenever the HVAC system in an existing home is changed, a PCT must be installed. PCT have "non-removable" devices to allow the power company regulate the temperature in your house. This is for the common good, of course.

Poor House Cities are now letting cash-strapped people work off their property taxes. More than a few property owners, especially the elderly, cannot afford to pay their increasing taxes. There's some debate as to if this is the embryonic stage of a new feudalism, or a step towards State-run slavery. Soon these modern Poor Farms will be run for profit. Probably by Halliburton.

Same old same old. Fannie Mae backs $2.6 trillion worth of single-family home loans but has only $42 billion of capital. If the value of mortgages backing Fannie's debt falls only 1.62% the company's capital would be wiped out. Fannie is exposed to about $950 'high risk loans'. If fewer than 5% of these are foreclosed, you, beloved taxpayer, would be on the hook for the debt Fannie couldn't cover. The money would go to the investor class.

Bad Moon rising : It is not just Florida and California and a few lots in downtown Detroit. Housing markets are crashing all over the US. But wait, foreclosures are also rampant in Great Britain, Spain, Newfoundland, and Australia . There's trouble up ahead.

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