I hope you LOOOOVED the 70’s!

Tis dangerous times.

The dollar and the loony haven’t seen parity since 19 friggin’ 76. Think about that. The English pound is holding steady at over $2. The Euro is at it’s highest ever. Gold is heading to 800, maybe 900, and oil… well, $100/bbl doesn’t seem so far-fetched now, does it?

We could see a return of the 70’s style economy. What do you think about that? Stagflation! WIN! 15% inflation! Afro’s! Bell bottoms! Gabardine! Pantsuits! Sideburns! Chevy Vega! Ford Pinto!

What’s different this time? Besides China’s major role?

How about the people in charge are frickin’ fucktards meticulously carving their particular pieces of eight, insuring their nests are generously feathered, that their (and their buds) options are covered, and they’ve purchased 1,000’s of acres in Paraguay (Bush bought up a heckuva lot of land near the planet’s largest underground aquifer) to retire to when this all blows up.

Is bringing this nation down to it’s knees intentional? Is it intentional that the chief doofus, a no-nothing of supreme incompetence, was allowed to fuck it all up royally? Whose orders was as he following anyway?

And Americans just rolled over and took it up the love canal with nary a peep. Jesus Christ.

Looky here, we have had downturn’s before- but there was always confidence underlying the hope that some unknown hand of competence surely must exist in the government somewhere that would see us right. It’s starting to look like those “people” are retired, dead, or killed off and replaced by mannequins. And the attitude that we were the once great nation was possibly recognized as unsustainable, and the people in charge (differentiated from the people we elect) decided it was best to cut out the best parts for themselves and leave the rest of us holding the (empty) bag.

How paranoid is that!

The Legally Mandated Protection Racket
Here’s an interesting expose on the corruption rampant in the title insurance racket. I guess along with buggy whips, lanterns, and distributing software on cd’s, it is nice we can still do business the old fashioned way-  nostalgia isn’t what is used to be!

It is good to see something arcance still thriving in this byte-sized world.

Not!

Try out this little tidbit: if you obtained a home mortgage you paid for title insurance. If you refinanced that same home a few years (or, in some cases, a few months!) down the road- you paid for it again!

Did anything change? No!

The title industry’s perennial protectionism has had a predictable side effect: corruption. Shielded by law from having to compete on price, insurers resort to bribes and gifts to real estate agents and mortgage brokers for steering business their way, deceptive front companies, phony “reinsurance” deals and other creative chicanery.

Sweet passive income baby!

“First American offers a prime example of how illegal inducements can help a company attain superior market share.”

Only in Russia America!

Net Loss Gain
Seems like many things are reversing for the adminstration of the current Occupant, and let us add to this list the highly touted (by him) level of “homedebtorownership”:

For the first time since the Carter administration, homeownership in the United States is set to decline over a president’s tenure. When President Bush took office in 2001, homeownership stood at 67.6 percent. It rose as the mortgage bubble inflated but is projected to fall to 67 percent by early 2009, which would come to 700,000 fewer homeowners than when Mr. Bush started. The decline, calculated by Moody’s Economy.com, is inexorable unless the government launches a heroic effort to help hundreds of thousands of defaulting borrowers stay in their homes.

Yes, Virginia, yet more evidence we are reverting to the 1970’s. Disco!

Bush may giveth, but in the end he taketh backeth like the Indian giver he is. <cough>

Paco’s Video o da day

More Comcast exploits.

The Fantasy World of Goldman Sachs
They reported a bangin’ quarter, but is it realistic or make-believe?

Some observers think not:

But that view could get revised, now that it can be seen in the numbers that a large proportion of its third quarter profits were ‘unrealized’ – i.e. paper gains, and not hard cash payments from fully closed out trades – and came from financial instruments that Goldman values largely according to its own estimates.

“The opaqueness of Goldman’s balance sheet makes us immediately question how they made money in the quarter,” says Charles Peabody, analyst with Portales Partners.”

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