Monday, December 25, 2006

International Currency Discussion, Casey Serin Edition

Jamba Juice is a iamfacingforeclosure unit of currency. 1jj equals one rasberry banana with wheat germ shot beverage purchased at full retail on credit including transaction fees. While a prudent investor would save store coupons and wait for "free shots" specialsthat isn't 1jj. You see inplicit with 1jj are the assumptions that anything below a certain financial threshold aren't worth expending any intellectual capital upon. Better to consume, indulge, spend, and otherwise pamper oneself rather than sweat the small stuff. The actual convertibilty of 1jj to dollars, even our weakening pesobucks is subject to much debate. In this Casey is like his own country. Subject to GAAP 1jj would be about $80 because of the list price, the overdraft penalties, subsequent carrying charges, paperwork, time lost in the consumption and subsequent time lost dealing with the consequences and most important; opportunity costs. Opportunity costs is often misunderstood and is certainly something Casey never heard of before attending some advanced courses. In those course they teach you that opportunity is knocking and you cannot afford to not answer the door. This even works in a rapidly rising market. But as readers suspect by now in a rapidly declining market worse than the opposite is true. Casey has a burn rate. By investing what will eventually total hours to his 1jj indulgence he has foregone the opportunity to stop or at least slow the bleeding.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Pagans! Pagans! Pagans!

Celebratory Saturnalia. Supposedly part of the Winter Soltice but observed several days later. Hmmm, what else is observed a few days after the solstice?

Happy Holy-days!

For Our Druish Friends

Wishing everyone a solemn Alban Arthan as we honor the souls of the trees we sacrifice then deify in our living rooms. Hang the revered kerm-oak, drink the blessed wassail. "Yule" feel so much better. The Norse had the right idea taking 12 days for Jole. Oh and all the recent religion adherents that have since renamed these Christmas, Christmas Trees, holly, sacramental wine and the 12 days of Christmas as if changing the name makes a difference; Merry Christmas.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Casey Fix Dec 23rd Edition

Casey is on sabatatical. Sabatical, an interesting word; a period of paid leave granted to a college teacher for study or travel, traditionally every seventh year. Of course 7 minutes seems to be our Gen-Y Nega-Hero's max attn spn so in order to keep his faithful followers (stalkers?) in full cheer, presented for your amusement Casey Channeled:

Wow, sometimes the whole thing seems to be pressing in on me. I know that the best thing to do is push right back. When life give you lemons, make lemonade! And boy do I seem to have a lot of lemons! So that's today's new direction; squeezing my resources of every drop of value. I promise, this time for sure, I'll follow this strategy to completion. It is the least I can do to set things right. I feel better already knowing that my thinking about making an effort is already making a difference! Time for a reward. No, not Jamba Juice, I've learned my lesson. Introducing Serinade! Yes, I've monetized my faults and turned them into virtues. Serinade is my fantastic new product. And I have my haters to thank for it. Hah! Anyway, you can click on my links to order your own all chemical lifetime supply of Serinade on my -real- website. Or you can just whip some up yourself. Not only are all the ingredients ABSOLUTELY FREE! but with careful deal structuring you can get cash back on the purchase of the ingredients.

First off you'll need some prarie oysters. You see it takes some large huevos to make this work.

Then you'll need.....

Oh, sorry. More on this later my 7 minutes of max atn spn are up and so are my 15 minutes of fame. More later after a quick power nap and slug some Serinade! The drink that keeps on taking.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Latest Casey (for posterity)

BK -sooner- is in his readers’ interests and his as well. BK is a forgone event. The discussion is one of sooner and voluntary versus later and involuntary.

Things Casey is stuck with:

Liability due to -proven- and -prosecuted- fraud.
Damaged relationships.

Things Casey can dissipate:

CCard debt.
Future debt accrual.

So far in these three extraordinary months by Tim’s estimate his efforts have yielded $60-80 thousand in additional debt. Freakin’ tax late penalties from Dec 11th are $600 alone. I know, noise, just like the $37 (1jj) Jamba Juice overdraft. The Jetta Junker (1JJ) barely qualifies as worth tracking. He shoulda “bought” a “business car” and tried to claim it as part of livelyhood. That’s the stuff a good lawyer coulda tole him in SEPTEMBER. Too late now, the best he can hope is to squirrel cash. Not advise, just sumptin’ I herd on da street.

I’m frankly tired of Casey running up a bill on my tab. Begs the ethical question; you see a robbery. Is it your problem? Jean Valjean Casey ain’t.

Good Idea: Clip coupons.
Great Idea: Open mail.
Absolute necessity: 30 minute spreadsheet.

Bad Idea: Movies.
Really Bad Idea: Collige to get “riche.”
Fatal Mistake: Full speed ahead.

Which ones have your attention? Better yet, why are you reading my recreational musings? You need to be working Excel like a hedge manager.

Here, I’ll save you the trouble. The spreadsheet needs only a dozen datum in a 3×4 matrix. Ignore all else and track three months of 4 properties’ realistic sales price. You “bought” futures contracts on margin. I don’t expect you to understand that tech talk but even if you paid cash for all your “assets” you are ummmm, in a difficult place. You have to pay people to stop the bleeding. You don’t even have any bandages. This isn’t all that bad… yet. It just seems you can’t make a decision until things do get that bad.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Lost Kitty, Please Help!

Sputnick, the launch has been postponed. It is safe to post again.

Homey says those pimp shoes were last years anyway. AIN'T NO BIG.
We have fishy treats and have disconnected the scrotal electrodes.

Promise. [Everyone else talkabout Casey here.]
My latest Casy bashing here for posterity as I expect him to go down soon.

Mornin' Sunshine. So, Casey... what's this about putting your wife's credit cards ~$30k into bankruptcy? It ain't a cafeteria, it's a courthouse. You don't pick and choose and besides, you keep acting like it is a choice you can make. You may have had a choice in Sept. not now. You are worse than bankrupt. Bankruptcy means you cannot go forward under current obligations. You are far worse off, you need bankruptcy for protection. At this point almost any scheme you try without court supervision is going to look like an attempt to defraud your creditors.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Right On Schedule, Casey Goes Silent

As I predicted on his blog a while back the late December "quiet period" to build suspense or something. Really, I don't care. I invest nothing except a few minutes per day in a sick form of voyeurism.

Of note is the fact that it appears he has moderated my comments that use Chris Record and the Phoenix "college." I thought he'd let them slip through but now I suspect the import of his lifestyle is finally sinking in.

Growing Up Los Angeles

KB Homes is dropping out of the downtown hirise venture. Apparently it no longer fits their core model of suburban sfr construction. Amazing how a whiff of economic reality can wipe out years of urban cheerleading.

LA is the embarrassing end product of every FOAMER (Forces Of Anti-Mobility) and SmUGLER (Smart Urban Growth LovER) and NUTSO (New Urbanist Transit Supporter) and TROGlodyte (Transit Only Groupies) plan. It’s amazing to hear every single time: “We don’t want to become like LA” and hear the solutions attempt to replicate every urban feature of Los Angeles. I
particularly recommend the insight of Mr. Cox in recognizing VMT/sq mi as agreat QoL and congestion indicator.

The advocates of SmUG avoid substance. They liken sprawl to pornography, they know it when they see it. They call SUVs, gas-guzzlers, ignoring the fact that they generally replace vehicles with poorer mileage. They decry the paving over of America despite 5.2% or less of the nation is even developed. They ignore 9 decades of sociological data that speaks to density and degree of urbanization. They manufacture crises such as affordable housing or global climate change and then claim to be the
solution. They misallocate limited public resources to transit. They confiscate huge swaths of private property for use as public space.

If there exists a public imperitive for afforbable housing then th4e taxpayers should pay for it. Truth is the taxpayers won’t pay and there is no public policy interest so would be social engineers posing as planners impose unreasonable demands upon developers.

ChurchSignGenerator dot com

More fun than a stations of the cross marathon.

Sunday, December 17, 2006

All That IWas Old Is New Again

Someday, say about Jan 12th when the banks start getting keys in the mail instead of checks there's gonna be some confusion and running around. Hold off for a minute that you can't really mail the keys back, the people that will be doing this don't know that. So, the junior loan processor talks to the loans supervisor who gets the senond vp of consumer credit accounts to come down and look into this pile of keys where a stack of checks should be. After a minute of scratching his youthful full head of hair he says; "Hey, is old Smitherers still around? You know the guy that was with the company 7-9 mergers/takeovers/aquisitions ago from that company that used to lend their own money out to the community and the community would deposit their money with them? I think it was called something something b-a-n-k." "He is? Good, get him up here and see if he remembers." Crotchety old Smithers is actually an ancient 49, his hair has a funny whitish tone in places. The whole tableau resembles the final scene of Logan's Run. Smithers looks at the pile of keys, the upturned faces full of botox and worry and says... "Oh, 1991 except faster and deeper and longer. About time. Hmmmpf." Reaching over to the wall he scrapes away posters announcing in-house education classes for tapping 401ks, cash back at closing seminars in Maui, HELOC loans at the local Hummer dealership to reveal a door. Painted over and nearly invisible only the faintest outline of the name "Repos and Dispensations" is visible. As the seal is broken, like on an ancient tomb, a whiff of Aquanet and Grecian Formula curls the nose hairs of the onlookers. Smithers bursts in to a room full of sleepy 50 somethings and says "breakout the bong and disco ball fellas, it party time once again!"

Saturday, December 16, 2006

Starter Home Price Revealed

272 Grandview Circ
Camarillo, CA 93010
MLS ID#: 612689

Is it any wonder people think we are overpriced? $670/sf. What are people thinking?

Friday, December 15, 2006


New game folks. Guess the price. With Ventura County down 8.2% y-o-y time to see if the rest of the planet and my other readers who prefer to remain anon what this galactic gem is worth.

Single Family Property County: Ventura Year Built: 1956
2 total bedroom(s) 1 total bath(s) Approximately 821 sq. ft.
Approximately 0.17 acre(s)

No fair looking it up. Just guess and tell us where you are guessing from.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Rent v. Own

2780 Avenida De Autlan
Camarillo, CA 93010
MLS ID#: 614107

This baby rents for $3300. But what about buying?

2780 Avenida De Autlan
Camarillo, CA 93010
MLS ID#: 613868

5 Bed, 4.5 Bath
3,510 Sq. Ft.
0.18 Acres

So, a million dollar mortgage at 5.5% is $5677.89, taxes another $1200.
Cost to own is twice the cost to rent. Or the house is worth $600k if you prefer.

Megaopoli & Diaspora

California is sending forth its best and brightest. The unspoken subtext is that the most productive segment of society are the ones that are moving. Who can blame them?

What's to attract top talent when the cost of living is so out of sync with pay? Davis ain't Boston. We looked at buying a place for my daughter to live in while attending the school of her choice. For about 15 seconds. $350/sf for the most modest of houses in Davis? Our local CSUCI "solved" this by getting into the real estate business with extensive planned developments preferential to faculty and staff with speculative caps on purchases.

As to "The OC." Unless you bought in a decade or more ago its got nothing. I mean really, you can't tell OC from SFV and except for 15 degrees the IE for that matter. They don't even grow oranges anymore fergawdsake. The OC is just another part of the teeming LA megaopolis. Ventura County might escape that fate if the housing bubble pop is large enough. Still, the traffic is miserable and there's no will to stop it from getting worse.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Latest Bit O'Theater

Our subject thinks a quick comment about his latest debt laden scheme will fire up the page views. 36% interest only loan, 6 months with a 10% surcharge at 6 months; $4500.

ANALYSIS: 6 pmts $150, 1 pmt $4950. Effective rate 60%.

Now of course Casey didn't really do this.. A stunt to build traffic, nothing more. Odds on after "reading the comments" he'll claim to have reconsidered. Pretty lame.

Friday, December 08, 2006


I don't want to be a Shadow Earth to Casey's Amber but people have been asking for summary comments so they don't have to wade through and/or add to his click count so I'll up postings. Play nice. This means some scrolling as multiple threads will be active at the same time and really, nobody needs to know that he's an a$$hat or that it is all a scam, etc. That said, making fun of Jettas and other Gen Y epicaricacy is always welcome as is Baby Boomer Bitchin'. Jump in.

So, his illegal attempt to wrap the Utah house unwrapped. My take:

Robert Coté
December 8th, 2006 at 8:05 am
Wow, who saw this coming? [raises hand]

What would my morning be without my daily Sputnik? That damn cat owes me a few keyboards; coffee, beer sprayed all over the place. Thhhhpft. Hey, I think is available.

Anyway, let’s play good news/bad news. Good news, your conveyance wasn’t probably legal. Bad news, lawyers cost money. Good news, the agent isn’t owed the comission. Bad news, good luck getting it back. Good news, Utah isn’t too far to drive. Bad news; uhhh Jetta. Good news; the blog has an interesting topic. Bad news, not all attention is good attention. Good news, with so many actors the pentultimate courtroom scene is liable to resemble “What’s Up Doc?” Bad news, you’ll be playing the Striesand character and the judge won’t be your daddy.

Well enough, off to “work.” Got my tea (40 bags, 99 cents Trader Joes 2 for1), got my cup (free, some healthcare client promo), got my thumbdrive ($9.99 1Gb Frys), got my new office (TuffSheds $40/sf including granite countertops), got my laughs for the day and a new story to follow. I smell a roadtrip!

December 8th, 2006 at 8:51 am
It was so obvious I didn’t even bother to explain previously. The Utah “buyers” were in with the agent. The agent got a few percent and the “buyers” got the rest as cash back at closing. Sweeeet. Best part is they knew the wrap wasn’t binding. They got their money, got to live there for a few months and left Casey holding a bigger bag. Hey Casey, wanna buy some sweeeet tranches from Ownit?

Everyone understand about Ownit? The mortgage broker industry is bening killed. No, not dying, murdered. The secondary market is cramming back "bad" loans they know the originators a cannot cover. It's like forcing someone out of a poker game because they cannot match the raise. No split pots, just cover the bill or die. Good for the secondaries, bad for the brokers.

At the very least, if you laughed at the "What's Up Doc?" comment, tell me. Feedback will help determine future post content.

Mortgage & Housing Worksheet:

Robert’s Way Too Complicated Mortgage & Housing Worksheet:

1. How much do you make? $_ _,_ _ _.00

2. How much do you really make? $_ _,_ _ _.00

3. Is the difference between 1 & 2 greater than 10%? [y/n]
3a. If yes; forget it, rent.
3b. If no proceed to step 4.

4. Multiply #2 by 3.5 (4.0 in California). @2×3.5= $_ _ _,_ _ _.00
4a. This is the most home you can afford.

5. Is the median in your area 50% more than #4? [y/n]
5a. If yes; forget it, rent.
5b. If no proceed.

6. Pay off at least one car.

7. Pay off ccards and student loans.

8. Collect 3yrs of tax and employment records.

Congratulations you can now apply for a 30 year fixed rate conventional mortgage.

9. Any interst or questions about other types of mortgages? [y/n]
9a. If yes; forget it, rent.
9b. If no; continue.

10. Shop for the lowest fees and rates.

11. Go house hunting with your prequal letter in hand. Be careful to keep the sellers agents from smearing the document with drool.

12. Is there any doubt whatsoever in your mind that the sellers agent is not your friend? [y/n]
12a. If yes; bend over and pray they at least use vaseline.
12b. If no; continue.

Congratulations, you are a homeowner.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Oh, Alright Let's Talk About Casey

That silly performance artist seems to have our attention. As we all know for these types of personalities it isn't about good attention just any attention. Unfortunately that makes us enablers and his blog also gets so edited that any useful information is expunged. I also don't want him distracted from rescuing my money so let's talk about the whole thing here where there are no adds or agenda.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

Save the Electrons

[_] Excellent post
[_] Whatinthehell are you blabbering about?
[_] I agree [_] Think you are drinking the koolaid.
[_] Unfortunately you cheerypick your anecdotes
[_] The volume of data precludes usefulness going forward.
[_] Too much data not enough analysis
[_] Your conclusions are leap from what you demonstrate.
[_] The plunge protection team will save their sorry butts
[_] The greatest story never told contnies to confound the nattering nabobs of negativity.
[_] Keep up the good work
[_] crawl back under whatever rock ...

Personally I'll wait for the posted data to be revised before believing anything.