Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Morning Topic and Schedule

No recession in my neck of the woods. Yet. Sorry the topics have been measly and slow. I have another busy few day. There is often a "flurry" of year-end j-o-b-s for me to attend. While I said no recession yet I am seeing a few unusual things. Lots of traffic on the roads and ongoing commercial and high end construction. High dollar home improvement is also strong. That's why I think 410 Avocado will actually sell within 4 months. I don't see a lot of buying except for videogame boxes. All told it looks like the economy is spending money with the prospect of it being a last gasp. We shall see.

Jim The Realtor raises a good topic at bubbleinfo. He was commenting on the movement to boycott Countrywide to "force" them to grant relief to FBs. An amoral hazard if ever I saw one. CalculatedRisk has cover the mechanics quite throughly. Here I thought a meta discussion would be appropos.

Concerning the Countrywide Bank actions I wrote: I'm all in favor of economic pressure; voting with your dollars . It is a fundamental lever in a capitalist economy. What if the City of Carlsbad managed to ram through a citywide Mello-Roos district assessing every property a few thousand per year? Would you vote with you feet and dollars and ballot? You bet. That said I don't see how to protect the good uses of boycott without being forced to accept the dumb, stupid, dangerous ones like a Countrywide boycott.

On a related note CFC is still in deep trouble. By funding its own loans with its related bank it has been going to the Fed window and the commercial paper markets for the cash AND is stuck with a hefty portfolio overly concentrated in the bubble zones and the more exposed products. Bubble zone because that's where CFC gas located. Concentrated because it has been forced to sell the better loans to keep capitalization margins and operating costs. It might be a good idea not to bank on the deposit side with Countrywide for those reasons. And before you raise deposit insurance, remember that is all it is, deposit insurance. Your $100k 5.7% 3 yr CD might just come back to you in 4 years as a FDIC check for $100k not $120k. $100k 2007 dollars versus $100k 2011 dollars anyone?

• Parts 2.0 and 2,1 of Density real soon now.
• Westwinds auction later today, I have to confirm some things with the City of Oxnard about a rumor.
• Be sure to read the BMIT follow up to the Union-Tribune story about Michael and Suzanne Hornbeek.
• Be sure to read Stag Marks Illusions of Prosperity observations on pennies and I-Bonds.
• Coming later in the week; "An Obituary for Global Warming, We hardly Knew Ye."
• And yes, another rant on immigration, migration, Westwinds and just about all the subjects mentioned above tying together. Note I said "immigration and migration" not illegal immigration. We take the difference here seriously.


wagga said...

We all enjoyed the First part of the density series.

Rob Dawg said...


Sweet Cashback said...

We Murst not confound clever with obvious!

w said...

When is Density part 2 coming Forth?

No Talent said...

Where can I read Stag Marks Illusions of Prosperity observations on pennies and I-Bonds?

No Talent said...

Found it:

I was looking for Stag Marks, instead of Stag Mark

w said...

As for the topic of the day...

The girl on the left can stay, the one in the straw hat has to go.

Northern Renter said...

'Scuse my acronym ignorance, but the Dawg wrote

"Be sure to read the BMIT follow up to the Union-Tribune story about Michael and Suzanne Hornbeek"

What is the BMIT? Big Man in Tampa?


PS In other news, a foot or more of snow landed on our city yesterday. Driving was real fun.

Rob Dawg said...

I am sorry. I told you I was real busy but that is no excuse for being cryptic. .

On the other subject you really don't want to get me started. Born in Framingham, MA, early years in Western MA, I have very strong and abrasive opinions about the fluffy white world. Don't get me wrong, I ski aggressively single black diamonds in California. I hike and even camp in the stuff. I enjoy snow. Do you know why I enjoy snow? Because I don't have to live in the crap. The very idea squeems me to this very day. I shovel snow more than once a year, I drive on it three times that. I may even try boarding this winter. Maybe someday you can get me to tell you why and when I ended up in California.

Northern Renter said...

Dear Dawg,
No apologies needed, although I'd still appreciate learning the words for which the acronym stands.
As for snow and California, I can well remember how much I enjoyed not getting snow when I lived there. But every Eden has its snake, and my sojourn there ended when the future Mrs. NR visited and encountered an earthquake that was about 5 on the Richter scale. That was her first and last experience with an earthquake, and it proved to be a limiting factor in the geography of our marriage (which sounds like a Michael Franks song).
And now I'd best get back to work. For anyone looking for some amusement, go to Youtube and look up clips from the BBC show QI, hosted by Stephen Fry. That should serve as sufficient inducement to check it out.


Akubi said...

No apologies needed, although I'd still appreciate learning the words for which the acronym stands.

It was covertly hidden in the link: Bubble Markets Inventory Tracking

Northern Renter said...

NR is blushing at his stupidity. No more comments required.


Lex said...

Not a fan of snow, eh? Me, I try to stay away from wildfires and places where the earth can open beneath my feet. However, for the northerners here, "The Snow Man" by Wallace Stevens

One must have a mind of winter
To regard the frost and the boughs
Of the pine-trees crusted with snow;

And have been cold a long time
To behold the junipers shagged with ice,
The spruces rough in the distant glitter

Of the January sun; and not to think
Of any misery in the sound of the wind,
In the sound of a few leaves,

Which is the sound of the land
Full of the same wind
That is blowing in the same bare place

For the listener, who listens in the snow,
And, nothing himself, beholds
Nothing that is not there and the nothing that is.

On the other hand, "There's No Ho like a Snow Ho" by Trade Martin...

Lou Minatti said...

What's snow? I saw something about it on King of the Hill once. It seems to be dangerous.

JohnDiddler said...

CONGRESS NEEDS TO SUPPORT THE "BRIDGE BILL" and continue expediting the immigration status of nurses and other skilled labor. Your Congressman telling you there's a nursing shortage? Or is your insurange premium telling you? Well there is, it's enormous, because it's worth more to take the job than teach the job. For years we've expedited the immigration status of nurses, but this "bridge bill" or "Schedule A" elapsed and efforts to renew it have been both broadsided by the larger debates about illegals and derailed in committee by THE CALIFORNIA NURSES UNION. Lemme get this straight: Industry wages keep going up, regulation standards keep going down, hospitals are short-staffed, PEOPLE DIE AS A RESULT, and it's NOT the time for skilled labor immigration? GIVE ME A BREAK. LET'S HAUL IN TRAINED AND STATE-CERTIFIED NURSES BY THE BOATLOAD. Or just hire the one I know, American-educated at an elite 4-year school, can't work in the USA. YER GONNA DRIVE HER TO CANADA YOU JINGOIST MORONS.

wagga said...

In Fresburg we have self-shovelling snow. Some call it rain.

H Simpson said...

If the illegals have enough time to protest, it is obvious that there are too many in this country.

So lock up the border please.

Nothing is going to get passed until W gets serious about that border. Maybe you folks in the SW only see local news, but illegal aliens have become the 3rd rail in the current Presidental race. With Iraq quieting down and the economy headed south, I expect it will become even more important soon.


Peripheral Visionary said...

Correction, nothing will happen until Congress gets serious about the border. W can't pull money out of thin air (Ben Bernanke can, but only if it's in Wall Street's best interest), he has to go with the budget he's given, and it's a tight one. Democrats want to keep immigration control spending limited because it's unpopular with their Hispanic constituency; Republicans want to keep immigration control spending limited because it's too good a political haymaker, it's the one issue that keeps their constituency going to the ballot box. The classic conspiracy of the right working with the left against the center.

wagga said...

Akubi is playing in the snow with a blue ball over at zillowbook.

Actually it's a red ball - that's good, I suppose.

Akubi said...

No blushing necessary. Everyone multi-tasks (don't they?).

I agree that we can certainly use more skilled labor.

Thanks for your support.
Sweet Yanna in fishnets for you.

TK said...

Looks like that bailout is coming after all. Hillary was at Nasdaq yelling at banks who wrote too many loans than they could possibly have ever hoped to be paid back for. Therefore we should all suck it up and let those POOR subprime borrowers that bought between 2005 and 2007(!) have good old fixed rates for the next five years! WHAT?

I stuck my head out the window yesterday morning and saw some flakes falling...Oh the smell of fresh snow as it falls reminds me why I hate the stinking Summer so much. You can all have California thank you very much - I think I might move to Vermont.

Bill said...

A _slight_ adjustment in housing prices predicted:


Akubi said...

Rob Dawg,
Slow day.
I posted some more hot babes on rail for you.

Lou Minatti said...

Has Rob been subpoenaed by the Feds to testify against our precious little Snowflake?

Jean ValJean said...

Oh, God, I hope so. Not holding my breath, though.

Now... for a little thread hijack, if you'll allow me:

I want to turn 1.5k of my own money into 10k over the course of 2008 using YOUR (y'alls?) advice. I was patently impressed with the way that you milked Countrywide for money... I figured I'd try and get on with what you guys know...

Before you ask, yes, I can afford to lose all of the 1.5k (though I'd rather not).

What do you say, you knowledgeable people here?

Old said...


Am changing hosting providers today, so everything is coming down for a bit. Drop me a line if you would like a subscription when happyfuntime returns.

Edgar said...

What do you say, you knowledgeable people here?

Leverage for all you're worth and short the crap out of GOOG in stages.

Warning: Not investment advice.

Ricardo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
serinitis said...


Trying for really high rates of return drastically increases your chance of losing it all. I was basically trying the same thing with options on countrywide. While the people who were shorting the company came close to doubling their money, I who was trying for a 600% increase (similar to what you are doing) lost mine. Its perfectly ok to try it, but expect to lose

Salt Lake Mortgage Guy said...

Jean - Casey Serin says:

Take a look at my sweet sub-penny stock:


Me? - I'd buy CFC long and hope it doesn't go out of business.

Old said...

Ok, so salt lake mortgage guy, and Casey, are the only chaps I have ever heard of taking a leap on penny stocks.


FlyingMonkeyWarrior said...

I love snow too. Whenever I want to see it, I just turn on The Weather Channel.
80 degrees here in Orlando today and warm and sunny every day, except one (40's Wednesday), since last winter!

Akubi said...

Thx for the happyfuntime heads up.

In other not so entertaining news, I'm feeling the potential financial/security pain of the mortgage meltdown. However, with pain comes freedom.

WeWantTheFunk said...


Casey bought GSPG. Saltlakemortgage guy did not; he was being sarcastic.

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