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Archive for the ‘Financial’ Category

Liberal Moron - Image from http://www.lookupalliance.com/

Liberal Moron - Image from http://www.lookupalliance.com/

Speaking of Morons, didn’t we all agree that this is what caused the problem in the FIRST PLACE???

(Reuters) – Two U.S. Democratic lawmakers want Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to relax recently tightened standards for mortgages on new condominiums, saying they could threaten the viability of some developments and slow the housing-market recovery, the Wall Street Journal said.

In a letter to the CEO’s of both companies, Representatives Barney Frank, the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee, and Anthony Weiner warned that a 70 percent sales threshold “may be too onerous” and could lead condo buyers to shun new developments, according to the paper.

Barney Frank was one of the ones that orchestrated this whole mess in the first place!  We had banks giving loans to people who could not afford the loans.

Now his rationale is different but the end result is still the same.

DAMN, will you schmucks stop messing with capitalism and the private sector already?

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Great Horny Toadies!  $100,000 to breed toads.  Sheesh, paying someone $100K to engage in bestiality?  Oops, no, toad husbandry… my bad.

The US Fish and Wildlife Service, Wyoming Ecological Services Field Office, has regulatory authority for the recovery of the endangered Wyoming Toad (Bufo baxteri). The Wyoming Toad is endemic to the Laramie Basin of Wyoming.

humpin lizards

No, Wyoming Toads are not Horned Toads. Don't write to me about the differences. I took license for the sake of artistry.

One of the new needs, therefore, of the recovery program is the ability to breed sufficient numbers of healthy toads for release at release sites. The University of Wyoming Department of Zoology and Physiology Red Buttes Environmental Biology Laboratory, provides a world-renowned aquatic laboratory to help ensure the Wyoming toad recovery program meets this need. The result of such captive breeding is expected to benefit …

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Why should money be spent on something that ought to be expected anyway?  Let’s start paying murderers and rapists for every day they don’t victimize someone.  I should get paid for every day I drive to work and don’t speed.  Hey, we even ought to pay folks to raise their kids.  Oops, I guess they are doing that in California.

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I trust Buffet about as far as as I could throw him if I didn’t have an aversion to handling feces.

Contrary views are that the economy will only get rosy from here on out.

Me, I think we’re headed for double-digit inflation.

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The news headlines are in.   The panic presses have been smoking with ill tidings.

Apparently in luxury items we did not buy like we should have.  Supposedly in this day of deflating stock portfolios, home values taking on water rapidly, and a wee bit o’ uncertainty about our jobs … well, we failed people.

Drops in revenue relative to last year’s period:

  • Luxury item sales down 35%.
  • Electronics and appliances down 27%
  • Women’s apparel down 23%
  • Furniture down 20%
  • Men’s apparel and footware tied for 14%
  • Online sales down 2%

But is it truly truly true-ish to say that we’ve ridden over a cliff?  Perhaps not.  In fact it’s pretty likely that the patient is lethargic, not dying of systemic infection.

It isn’t the Great Depression, folks.  Far from it.  Amazon did wonderfully.  The stores I visited were bustling with activity.  Rather, they bustled with people that were thoughtful about purchases rather than throwing stuff in their carts w/o a second’s thought (like the last few obscene displays of hedonistic credit-frenzy).

But lets take a step back here and ask:  Did we have any right to expect gains over last year?

Not really, no.  Consumer credit reliance for all sectors has been at all-time highs.  Given the average personal debt, loss in stock portfolios, dramatic decrease in home values, and increasing unemployment… it is nothing short of amazing that this year was not a bloodbath.

But not everybody is out of work.  Not everybody is in danger of losing their job tomorrow.  We still buy food, toilet paper, pizza, and gifts.  I’m not downplaying those who are jobless, as I went 8 months without work during a round of layoffs years ago – I do understand the stress and loss of self-respect that comes with the territory.

Now, that said – can we please see a listing of retailer profits v. years going back to the 70’s?    In adjusted dollars, please.  Percentages tell us nothing other than trends in a relative sense.

About the only thing I could point to that is a useful benchmark is the MarketWatch S&P Retail Index.  If you take out the ridiculous dot-com period and the Fannie/Freddie years of stupidity, our current level puts us back into an area that seems supported by the trend up to the mid 90’s.   I could be totally full of shite.  Often am.  I’d welcome some interesting dialogue along these lines, frankly (without being asses about it, thank you).

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