The Great “Entitled To Ownership” Society

Japan had their inflated Real Estate bubble in the 90s. Remember when the on-the-books value of their land’s country was priced higher than all of our land east of the Mississippi? Their big mistake, which their economy has never recovered from with zero growth that even 0% interest rates couldn’t jump start it was they never had an RTC. We blew out all of the bad Savings and Loans paper and our economy recovered. A lot of people got rich on those holdings when Real Estate recovered. The Japanese Banks never wanted to admit their losses and “lose face”, which is a big deal in their culture.

The problem this time is that the good and bad loans have been bundled together. The “Mark to Market” change in Nov. of 2007 was a huge SEC and Financial Board mistake. It allowed the current credit swap default market to explode to 70 Trillion dollars world-wide. The only way to value these toxic securities is not mark-to-market but by discounted cash flow. In other words if 10% of the bundle isn’t paying on their mortgage than value the paper by the remaining income stream and years left to maturity.

The Faustian bargain that started all of this was when the Banks wanted permission to roll-back post-depression regulations, such as banking across State lines, selling insurance, etc. In return, Congress forced lenders to agree to stop red-lining poor neighborhoods. Now everyone wants to encourage home ownership, but the problem started when, under congressional pressure, the highly politicized, bastardized Public/Private Mortgage behemoth Fannie and Freddie lowered standards. Read Wikipedia the history of the CRA legislation that promoted this activity.  As a result, other Lenders had to drop their standards to be able to compete in the lucrative home loan business. We are now reaping the results of that race to the bottom. An ex-Miami Mortgage broker, told me how he was coached by the lenders not only what they wanted to hear but also what they didn’t want to know about. The lenders just wanted to look the other way. As long as property values kept going up their Ponzi scheme worked.

Here is a video, edited by Republicans, from a 2004 House hearing; convened to receive a report on Fannie Mae by the Office of Federal Housing Oversight that was trying to warn the Congress about “safety and soundness issues”. It became “kill the messenger”. 

Video – In a Gale Crashing Through 40′ Seas

Here’s a peek to see what it’s like in the middle of a raging storm, courtesy of the aircraft carrier USS Kitty Hawk in the Western Pacific. To put in perspective, the Kitty Hawk is more than 1,000 feet long and the deck is about 70 feet above the ocean surface. Her cruising speed is 30 knots (34.5 MPH) and she’s probably going about 20 knots in this video. I’m sure they wished they moved that helicopter farther back off the deck before those seas hit.

Winds: 40-50 knots. Seas: 35-45 feet.

What kind of surf would this storm send us? After significant swell decay within the first 1000 miles and a slower rate of decay after 2000 miles from the storm fetch. For most surf spots:

Estimated Surf 1000 miles away: 15-30 foot+ faces
Estimated Surf 2000 miles away: 12-20 foot faces
Estimated Surf 4000 miles away: 8-12 foot faces
Estimated Surf 5000 miles away: 6-10 foot faces

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more about “Video of USS Kitty Hawk Encountering …“, posted with vodpod
Click on this Surfline link for more. Thanks Randy Marks for the link.

How Florida Could Screw Up The Election Again

Back in 2002, Congress passed something called the Help America Vote Act, which was supposed to prevent eligible voters from being turned away at the polls because of unresolved paperwork issues. Under the act, these voters are entitled to cast a provisional ballot on Election Day, and their status is later investigated to determine whether their votes should be counted.

Sounds voter friendly. But a lot of things can go wrong with a provisional ballot, especially in Florida. Continue reading “How Florida Could Screw Up The Election Again”

Extinct May Not Be Forever

Efforts to restore populations of the giant tortoises of the Galápagos Islands have been among the world’s most visible and successful conservation programs. But the work came too late for several of the 15 generally recognized Galápagos species.

Or did it? Extensive DNA research on museum specimens and existing tortoise populations suggests there is the potential to restore Geochelone elephantopus, which lived on the island of Floreana.

Observatory – A Tortoise May Be Bred Back Into Being –

Buffett’s time bomb goes off on Wall Street

Buffett’s time bomb goes off on Wall Street | U.S. | Reuters
When historians write about the current crisis, much of the blame will go to the slump in the housing and mortgage markets, which triggered the losses, layoffs and liquidations sweeping the financial industry.

But credit default swaps — complex derivatives originally designed to protect banks from deadbeat borrowers — are adding to the turmoil.

Five years ago, billionaire investor Warren Buffett called them a “time bomb” and “financial weapons of mass destruction” and directed the insurance arm of his Berkshire Hathaway Inc to exit the business. Continue reading “Buffett’s time bomb goes off on Wall Street”

Are We Born Conservative Or Liberal?

The participants with traditional conservative views — supportive of the Iraq war, death penalty, immigration reform and The Patriot Act — had strong physical reactions to the threatening images of spiders and calm reactions to the non-threatening images of bunnies and happy children.

Those with more liberal views — low support of Iraq war and higher support of gay marriage, gun control and abortion rights — showed no differences in reaction when viewing the threatening and non-threatening images. They appeared to physically react to the same to an image of a bowl of fruit and one of an open war wound.

Fascinated by the clear differences in the results, Rice University researchers believe this study, while small, is proof that our political views, in part, are genetically instilled in us.

“We estimate your biological makeup has a 30 to 40 percent role in how you will vote,” says Alford. “The other portion is how and where you were raised as well as environmental factors” Paging Dr. Gupta: – Blogs from

Totally Insane Skateboard Downhill

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It is worth the wait to go through the credits and foreplay to ride along with these 2 daredevils screaming down a California mountain on skateboards for 10 minutes, just wearing powder blue suits and a helmet.

more about “Adam Kimmel presents: Claremont HD on…“, posted with vodpod
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