Thursday, July 2, 2009

SAR #9183

The cavalry is not coming.

Blighted: Late Blight, the disease that caused theIrish Porato Famine and attacks both potatoes and tomatoes, has been found on Long Island and in other areas of the northeast. While not totally unkonwn in the area, it generally appears late in the season. It has never been detected this early nor been this widespread. There is no cure and little prevention available against the disease, which literally melts a tomato plant in a couple of days.

Chilling Out: Two pictures, no argument..

Crap Shoot: Listen carefully: Even thought the price of your house is plummeting, Fannie & Freddie will loan you 25% more than it's worth in the quaint hope that you won't take the money and run.

Great Expectations: Ford sales down 11%. Construction spending down 64.5%. Manufacturing has stalled. Mortgage refi applications are off 30%. Serious delinquencies make up 5% of all US mortgages. Delinquencies among prime loans are up 20%. Foreclosures are over 300,000 for three months in a row. The US is headed for a 'Jobless' recovery as another 473,000 jobs are shed. Meanwhile, the US consumer is choosing (?) not to spend.

Pot & Kettle: China feels the US has set a bad example for others to follow in reducing greenhouse emissions. To save face, it helps to have a straight one.

Mirror, Mirror: Despite all the nose from the Right, studies consistenly show that Americans are far mor liberal than the media and politicians portray them. The citizens are center-left on most issues, the politicians vote with the money, which isn't.

Zeroing In: Human rights groups are aghast that Rwanda - with a population density of 390 per sq km and an immense HIV infected population - may be considering mandatory HIV testing and forced sterilization of the infected. Seems that inflicting slow and painful deaths on children is a parent's right.

Relativity: While few countries are willing to cut their CO2 emissions by even 5% this year, the G8 has agreed to reduce their emissions by 80% by 2050, if civilization survives that long.

As Suspected: Testimony shows that health insurers basic business plan is to sell policies that appear to cover illnesses, without really doing so. According to Harvard's Elizabet Warren, "People donot realize they are one diagnosis away from financial collapse," evenif they have insurance. Having insurance is good, having lawyers is better.

Shame: Multiple reports claim the United States has tortured many prisoners to death, perhaps more than 100.

Quoted: "The answer is capitalism's dirty little secret: excessive lending was the only way to maintain the living standards of the vast bulk of the population (while) wealth was being concentrated in the hands of an elite. The inflation-adjusted income of the hightst-paid fifth of US earners has risen 60% since 1970, while it has fallen by more than 10% for the rest."

Porn O'Graph: Just in Case, Shiller updated.


Anonymous said...

The refinanced Fannie and Freddie mortgages are recourse vs the initial loans which are most likely non-recourse. This makes a difference.

CKMichaelson said...

Anony - I suspected as much. But that just makes it a less bad idea, not a good one. The premise - that the house is going to appreciate 25% in some foreseeable universe - is a far stretch. It's a giant "cash back" on the car - tacking anothr loan on top of the loan to buy the house - makes no sense to me except as a desperate attempt to get some customer spending going now, even if it will crash later due to non-payment.