The housing bubble was the last chance most middle-class families saw for grasping the brass ring. Working hard didn’t pay off. Investing in the stock market was a sucker’s bet. But the housing bubble allowed middle-class families to dream again and more importantly to keep spending as if they were getting a big fat raise every year. - How the Bubble Destroyed the Middle Class
Leaving office, President Bush claimed "that he took 'a deliberate and comprehensive approach' to preventing terrorism that combined military action overseas with strong defensive measures at home."
[As early as 2002] "We knew that the mortgage-brokerage industry was corrupt... Where we would have gotten a sense of what was really going on was the point where the mortgage was sold knowing that it was a piece of dung and it would be turned into a security. But the agents with the expertise had been diverted to counterterrorism."
[. . . . FBI Director Robert] "Mueller actually circumvented the Justice Department and the OMB to get resources. But he was shut down" by the [Bush A]dministration. [. . . . Testifying in October 2004, ] Chris Swecker, then assistant director of the criminal investigation division said ... "The potential impact of mortgage fraud on financial institutions in the stock market is clear. If fraudulent practices become systemic within the mortgage industry and mortgage fraud is allowed to become unrestrained, it will ultimately place financial institutions at risk and have adverse effects on the stock market."
Ladies And Gentlemen… Dow 25,000! A few years ago, some financial wizards thought the good times would go on and on and on. The mega-market could bring Dow 30,000 or Dow 36,000. Maybe the real estate boom will not bust.
The Subprime Primer. [via] An entertaining, lo-fi, comic-book style explanation of the complex Subprime Mortgage mess.
BubbleFilter: Real Estate Roller Coaster. [via] US Home prices adjusted for inflation plotted as a first-person ride on a roller coaster. Keep your eye on the bottom right-hand corner for the corresponding year. Don't worry about the dramatic ending. I mean really, how bad could bad get?
If you continue to wait, you may never be able to afford to get into the housing market. The National Association of Home Builders wants you to buy a home now. Should you wait? No, no, no, no! Via Housing Panic.
I know this has been on everyone's mind, but I just read this article today and was astounded at my lack of foresight. Silly me, here I was worrying about global warming when what I need to be fretting about is the decrease in fuel's impact on the structure of international banking! Will we run out of fossil fuel before it's too late to save the environment from pollution and greenhouse gasses? The abiotic nuts think we've got plenty more. Personally, I think we can kiss the marvel that is suburbia goodbye and start contemplating the fact that the focus on the post-post industrial revolution will not be information, but rather agriculture. And since solar panels and windmills and the like are made of materials that are extracted, transported, and fashioned by using oil-powered machinery, my money's on the folks who're stockpiling uranium for all those shiny new nuclear plants we're going to need. So, do we have a plan? You bet we do! Oh. Well, we'll just rely on the advancement of technology to allow us to weasel out of it! Me? I've actually always wanted a horse.
"We have a dysfunctional global currency and economic system, in which the whole world is set up to sell to the American consumer."
"We have a dysfunctional global currency and economic system, in which the whole world is set up to sell to the American consumer." As stocks collapse and banks take hits for their Enron complicity, market skeptics like Prudent Bear's David Tice are getting attention. Bears love ripping into herd euphoria and shady Wall Street practices, but deny any joy when businesses fail. Try the Credit Bubble Bulletin, which points out Enron-style vulnerabilities at institutions like J.P. Morgan, then move to the great 401(k) hoax, the myth of accounting reform and Thailand's so-far successful anti-IMF economic strategy. Things will soon get much worse, promise the investors who sneer at "a fascinating intellectual environment where weak analysis continues to dominate discourse."
Last of the dot-com playboys? Henry Blodget, who talked up the tech boom and failed to predict the bust, has taken up Merrill Lynch's general redundancy offer and walked away with a cool $2 million. (This after ML settled with a client who had his portfolio wiped out by following Blodget's recommendations.) Somehow, though, I suspect that many casualties of the shrinking Nasdaq who followed his recommendations might wish a different "lifestyle decision" for him... (NYT, blah etc blah)
I think they got a bargain. A company which was in financial trouble let a kid come in for two weeks as an intern. He took a look at their business, immediately set up a web site for them to sell their product, and they promptly received an order for 70,000 pounds through that web site. It appears it will save their company.
marchFirst circles the bowl... Too bad. I thought it would be cool to work for them but now analyst are predicting the demise of the company. I wonder if they will have a great deals on Macs when they go bankrupt?
IKON's Website Ranked Among Top 200 Business Sites By BtoB, Advertising Age's Marketing Newspaper Your stock's in the toilet, you're being slapped with a class action suit, and you've been put on CreditWatch with negative implications. But your web site shore is purty!
NBCi relaunches as probably the most boring, blase portal site I've ever seen and their stock goes up? Is it just me, or does it look like they bought the site from "Al's Do It Yourself Portals"?
The boo.com team is now available for hire. If anyone wants to blow through another US$120M, you can now hire the boo.com web team at postboo.com. Oh yeah, Flash 4 required.
Who says there's no money in Linux? With VA Linux's recent IPO, Eric Raymond just made a cool 35-40 million dollars.