China To Halt US Lending?

From Reuters:

Chinese regulators have told domestic banks to stop interbank lending to U.S. financial institutions to prevent possible losses during the financial crisis, the South China Morning Post reported on Thursday.

As a half-full guy, I’m going to read this as “US Will Stop Borrowing Money From China” and be happy. Ok, I’m not really a half-full guy. I’m more of a “you’re an idiot for using such a big glass if that’s all the water you’re going to put in it” guy.  But still.

The real question is this…what’s Congress/Bush/Obama/McCain going to do about that?

I crack me up sometimes.

HT Newscoma

Two Things I Don’t Discuss Here

Religion and abortion.  I hesitate to even bring either of them up.  There’s not much anyone can say to change anyone else’s mind about either, and I’d rather just avoid those topics altogether.

Knowing that I’m not trying to persuade anyone to believe anything, please enjoy this excerpt based purely on its cleverness.  You can argue with LissaKay at her place if you’d like, or you can argue in the comments here, but I won’t be piping in with an opinion:

I then went on to propose that if women wanted to have abortion as a birth control option, then men should too. If a couple gets pregnant unexpectedly, if the man doesn’t want the burden or inconvenience of raising a child, or even just being financially responsible for it for 18 years or more, then he should be able to force the woman to have an abortion. Equal rights and all, you know. Her reply to that was so very predictable … if a man doesn’t want to be making babies, he shouldn’t be sleeping around. 

Right. Exactly. Neither should a woman. With equal rights comes equal responsibility, and it goes both ways. 

A Possible Bailout Alternative?

It’s at least worth looking at.  I was listening to Dave Ramsey this afternoon, and he mentioned the possibility of suspending the mark-to-market rules for the subprime industry temporarily.  After all, there isn’t actually a 78% default rate on mortgages is there?

In other words, mark-to-market accounting–not the reality of the economy or the actual credits–has created much of the financial turmoil that has shaken the world. Imagine if you had a $200,000 mortgage on a $300,000 house that you planned on living in for 20 years. But a neighbor, because of very special circumstances, had to sell his house for $150,000. Then, imagine if your banker said you had to mark to this “new market” and give the bank $80,000 in cash immediately (so you would have 20% down) or lose your home. Would this reflect reality? Not at all. Would this create chaos? Absolutely.

And it is happening all over Wall Street.

If you’re as disturbed as I am about having this bailout crammed down your throat based on fear, contact your representatives and mention the possible alternative of suspending mark-to-market rules temporarily.  While that may not be the ideal situation, it’s better than every man, woman, and child in the US ponying up $2,500 of debt to bail these guys out.

I’ll update this post later with a link to a podcast that explains how this would work.  Here’s the Dave Ramsey Podcast

Real Estate Woes and An ALMOST Good Idea

We have a property that has been on the market for nearly six months now. It is sitting empty because we would really rather sell it than rent it. But we don’t want to give it away either, and in this tough market that puts us in a little bit of a rough spot. We’re not the only ones in this situation, and there are numbers to back this up.

Our contract with our realtor expires in a couple of weeks, and we’ve been discussing what to do next–rent the property until the market improves, drop the price, wait it out, try another realtor, try to sell it ourselves, etc.  We know the market is tough right now, so I think we are being pretty realistic about our options.  We’re also lucky that we have options–we don’t have to give it away.  We received a piece of mail Friday that may have helped us in this decision.

The company we have the property listed with is running a sale October 10-19. Their plan is to draw attention to the great buys available in the market with a national campaign. Sounds like a great and innovative idea! In order to participate, they’re asking homeowners to drop their price by at least 5%. And for the duration of the sale they are reducing their commission percentage by…

Zero.

I realize this is a tough market for agents as well, but this company missed a great opportunity to show their clients that “we’re all in this together”. Yeah, I know their commission would also be reduced by the same 5%, but on a $200k listing they are asking the owners to give up $10k while they are only giving up $600. Why not give up a full percentage point, you know, just to show you are REALLY serious about moving these properties? Why not show you also have a stake in making deals happen?  Why not use this as an opportunity to build relationships and a reputation with clients that will pay off for years to come?

Why not view this as an investment in your business?

In this case, they may have been better off doing nothing.  Someone at the top of this company should check out Seth Godin some time.  This really puts the agents in a bad spot as well, since they have not control over the situation.

It’s Halftime. Can Fulmer be Fired Midgame?

I’m admittedly only halfway watching the Tennessee/Florida game, but what I’ve seen is atrocious. It looks like I stopped caring about college football a few years too early. I should have waited until this year to jump off the bandwagon. Every fan deserves at least one season of pure agony, right? I’m not talking about the agony of losing close games either…I’m talking about going out and getting abused by good teams and squeaking out wins (or losses) against bad ones.

If I were UT Athletic Director Mike Hamilton, I’d be worried about my own job if I don’t get a football coach that can meet the expectation of fans who are being charged more and more for tickets.

Beat the rush…fire Phil Fulmer at halftime. Of course, sports talk radio isn’t nearly as entertaining when the Vols or winning, so for personal reasons I hope he stays around.

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Ron Paul on Glenn Beck Regarding Bailouts and Monetary Policy

Key points in this interview:

  • Bailouts and continued printing of money means your currency is devalued, prices go up, and you are effectively taxed to fund these bailouts.
  • The Treasury Secretary and Federal Reserve have no powers to spend money according to the Constitution.
  • These actions only delay the inevitable.  The market will eventually correct this.  As someone pointed out on Twitter last night, it’s only a question of how high up the cliff we want to climb before we jump get thrown off.

How AYSO Is Destroying This Country

 

Hooray!!!  Everyone Loses!!!
Hooray!!! Everyone Loses!!!

Ever been to a youth soccer match and watched the cute little 5 year olds running around randomly kicking the ball towards an unattended goal?  Did you think it was great that they weren’t keeping score in the game, letting everyone come out feeling like a winner and basking in the experience of the thrill of competition exhibition?

 

Unfortunately these kids grow up to work on Wall Street, where apparently no one loses anymore.  Wall Street is loaded with winners this week, well at least in the last two days.  Meanwhile, taxpayers are gobbling up businesses as if we’re a collective Warren Buffet.  Well, except for the fact that Warren Buffet buys businesses that make money and have strong management.  All the businesses we’re buying suck.

When you and I make bad decisions, we’re forced to deal with the consequences.  The only exception is if that bad decision somehow affects Wall Street.

My New Favorite Commercial

LL Cool J is hard as hell.  But apparently he didn’t start off that way.  Rumor has it when he’s alone in his room sometimes he stares at the wall and in the back of his mind he hears his conscience call.

Sarah Palin, Bears, and Alcoholics

If you still don’t think Sarah Palin is qualified to lead, think again.  She’s dealt with two issues specifically that make her uniquely qualified to handle any challenge Washington can present…

When I did the researched it I found out two things about Alaska that there are a ton of bears up there.  Name one other governor who has to deal with that on a daily basis.  Even though we don’t have them in the United States as many, it is a unique problem.

Also, alcoholism is big in Alaska according to my research.  So when McCain always talks about the drunk sailors in Washington D.C. I bet she is used to dealing with drunks from being governer of Alaska.

Read the whole thing.

Christmas in September

Via Michael Silence, gas in Knoxville is at $3.99:

That would be a $1 drop in 24 hours.

Think stations were gouging yesterday?  Did it make you mad?  If so, logic dictates that you must now sing their praises for the generous gesture of dropping their prices.

Or it could be that everyone got scared, filled their tanks, and now there aren’t any lines.