What a World, What a World

I say, hang ’em high.
When people in positions of trust decieve the public and defraud institutions out of our money (I know the banks think it’s their money, but stay with me here), the deserve the harshest punishment allowed by law. This guy might be facing 98 years, and already had to pony up 2.75 mil (so far) in compensation, but the chances he’ll be inside that long are slim (lay down your bets, the line: he’ll get five, out in three with good behavior); and 2.75 mil may be a lot for you and me, but I imagine it’s only skimming the surface of his trough of ill-gotten gains. I’ll be keeping my eye on his sentencing, curious to see just what sentence the court hands out (someone just said he’ll pay a fine and walk!).

Maybe we’ll see justice and he’ll pull a Ken Lay. Just desserts.

Ri-Goddamn-Diculous
The sheer massive amount of foreclosures predicted over the next few years is so staggering it’s hard to get my mind around: TWO MILLION.

Sit with that for minute, it’s a mind blower. As the guy mentioned in the article above illustrates, there was a lot fraud going around. As this article says “More than 2 million homeowners will face foreclosure in next two and a half years, due largely to loans written that shouldn’t have been.”

Seems like it was business as usual, involving legions of “professionals” all over the country. My question: where did they all meet and compare notes? In dens and covens of Red Lion Inn and Denny’s? With “investors” meeting pimps with “schweet deals” advertising for “straw men” in order to do their dirty deeds? Web sites?

This scamming of America has all the earmarks of some second rate noir caper film. “Johnson, you find us some suckers we can use as straw men. Hansen, there is nobody watching us, and you make damn sure it stays that way. Lopez, you line us up some crooked appraisers. I’ve got the lending institutions completely fooled and they don’t suspect a thing; I’m writing bad paper by the ream, and I’m the godfather of one bank president’s daughter , and treasurer of the local realtor’s association.”

Of course there were many single “investors” who took full advantage to find unjust enrichment on their own, taking full advantage of weak oversight, and being in a position to either influence the bubble, or take advantage of it.

I can overhear my neighbor saying “and can you blame them?”

Well, uh, yeah.

As it might have been said in Blazing Saddles, “Aw hell, fraud for everybody! ”

BTW, as any real estate noob surely knows, one must have an “exit strategy.” I wonder what the perpetrators of these systematic frauds had as theirs? “Nobody will notice,” “Real estate never goes down,” (the “professionals surely didn’t ever believe that?)  “It’s business as usual in the USA”?

You got a good one?

— 

It’s time to be chillin’ like a villan
This story (Boomberg) tells tales of good folk, like you and me- people who are upstanding citizens, not mania-driven flippers with “stated incomes-” who are finding it difficult, even impossible, to obtain a mortgage to buy that oh-so-important first home.

Sure, they make decent bread, have good jobs, and have some money in the bank… but these days, that doesn’t mean necessarily mean they’ll get a loan.

The housing bubble has driven up prices beyond their reach. Down payments of 10% aren’t a requirement yet, but lenders do want their borrowers to have at the equivalent of two months mortgage payments in the bank.

The message: if you find that difficult, maybe buying a house right now isn’t for you.

Hey, so your family might have to rent a little longer. Is this a bad thing? What’s so great about “owning” your own home anyway? At these prices, the mortgage income tax deduction isn’t offset by large monthly payments and property tax.

Don’t follow the example of your government and be a deficit spender. You gotta be smarter than that!

I’ve been thinking back to my own early attempts to attain home ownership.

When I started out, I saved at least 10% of my salary. I had a steady job, but because I wasn’t a college graduate, I didn’t get paid very much. So it took awhile. But also my timing could have been better. Over the ensuing twenty-odd years, just as I would get nearer the target- home prices would start to rise, the balance in my savings account (a requirement to get a decent APR, back in the day) was suddenly inadequate to pay down 10%.

Eventually, in the year 2000, I was able to take advantage of both low prices and low APR- and they still hadn’t reached their lowest point.

So to the families that aren’t able to make this work, all I can say is, boo-freaking-hoo. Buck up. It’s not tragedy. They’re doing you a favor! Just because the rest of the world doesn’t move on your time table, well, stop with the tantrums, get up off the floor, dust off your ego, and get real.

Stop moping and start acting like adults.

Retirement, schweemirement
it’s all too far off to contemplate, but when I’s near enough da age, it would be good to rememberz some factses. (sowwy about da grammar, 2much LOLKittah).

Holy Crap
It’s been an open secret for years, and as I’ve been told stories by WWII vets like Ernie, who was in the Navy, I have no reason to doubt it.

Six months after the war was over and they were preparing to head stateside, equipment and munitions landed at places like Midway, and the Phillipines were removed and just dumped into the Pacific Ocean. The “benefits” were two-fold: to create artificial barrier reefs, and, they couldn’t be bothered to take it all back, because we’re talking more- way more- than one trip.

So it seems the government has been continuing this policy ever since. Yikes!

“The Army now admits that it secretly dumped 64 million pounds of nerve and mustard agents into the sea, along with 400,000 chemical-filled bombs, land mines and rockets and more than 500 tons of radioactive waste – either tossed overboard or packed into the holds of scuttled vessels.”

Ocean going vessels regularly dump waste- human and industrial- into the oceans. Where do you think that gnarly shit you took from too much brunch on a Princess Cruise goes? Hmmm?

Senseless slaughter on the seas
I can’t begin to fathom the extent of human depravity when a whale that has lived as long as this one has, ~130 years, is taken for it’s “meat” and “by-products.”

The killers might not know his true age, it’s just a guess. But at over fifty feet long, it doesn’t take an Einstein to think, “wait, maybe this feller deserves to live to a ripe old age.”

This whale might have been a pup when a young Herman Melville composed his opus, Moby Dick. Perhaps not, but it’s not out of the realm of possibility, as some bowhead whales have known to live two hundred (!) years.

Man’s cruelty knows no bounds, as we see every day. But then, where else you gonna get baleen for your buggy whips?

Rest in Peace, dear friend.

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