"I have no particular regrets." Alan Greenspan
Lifetime Guarantee: Not only have you probably bought your last gas guzzler, you've bought your last car. Actually, you've probably bought the last of a lot of things.
Stress? What Stress? Citibank, BofA and others are not so much stressed as simply lopsided, lopsided because the cure for their stress is to put some of the money from their left hand pocket into the one on the right side. Converting preferred to common stock is accounting, it is not raising more capital.
Just In Time: Don't look for improvement in the flood of foreclosures; it will get worse. The surge of alternative mortgages, from interest-only to option pay adjustable rate mortgages dating from 2005 - 2006 will start failing in large numbers in 2010.
Optimism: Predicting an unemployment rate of only 10.5% come December is as optimistic as can be believed.
Shiller Shallying: The Case-Shiller index for February is down 18.8% y/y, but for the first time since January 2007 the index didn't set a new record. Prices are still falling and will probably decline for some time. As the housing decline enters the year of the “Prime-Bomb,” ever more homeowners will flounder causing damage which is very hard to
Wrong Question: Instead of "Is America's Transportation System Sustainable?” the question should be "Is America Sustainable?" Same answer.
Ray of Sunshine: Research in Greenland now suggests that huge quantities of methane locked up in frozen clathrates are less susceptible to global warming than was previously feared. While methane emissions from wetlands and peat bogs is increasing, the danger from a massive release from clathrates has been downgraded.
Before and After: Original headline: "TV can drive away feelings of loneliness". Improved version: "Watching TV drives away feelings."
Street Value: In California, a bank foreclosed on three nearly-completed new houses. Rather than spend any money to finish the homes and try to sell them, the bank simply had them bulldozed.
If a Train Traveling 50 mph leaves... Given: Consumer spending generates 70% of US GDP. For at least a decade, much discretionary spending was credit based. US customers are vastly in debt. US customers are generally not credit worthy because of low wages, high debts, growing unemployment and gigantic house payments. It will take many years for the debts to be paid. A sustainable economy must be based on earned income. Question: How far must US GDP fall to reach a sustainable level? Write your answer on your Citbank Visa bill and send it to Vikram Pandit.
Take-Home Test: What do the vast majority of commercial real estate backed loans of the 2003 - 2007 vintage have in common? (a) Negative equity, (b) More debt than value, (c) Many will default, (d) The borrowers will file for bankruptcy, or (e) The Tooth Fairy will save them.
Light Beer: One of the "benefits" of mandating the use of bike helmets is that fewer people will ride bikes, thus cutting the number of bicycle-related head injuries. The percent per rider is the same, but the overall total is less. Research indicates that helmet laws are counterproductive and interfere with evolution.
'Never': In a couple of years, house prices will stop falling. They will never ever recover - at least in inflation-adjusted terms. 'Never' here is defined as "within our lifetimes."
Porn O'Graph: Leveling off?