Archive for August, 2007

Countrywide: Is it on Your Side?

Thursday, August 16, 2007 20:15 Comments Off

If you are really looking for a blood-on-the- scene train wreck, browse the Countrywide 2006 Annual Report – Consolidated Statement of Earnings. Its Balance Sheet will make the “confidence” hucksters proud. Then look at the top of page 179 (Gains on sale of loans and securities), and tell me that business model can survive without [...]

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The Plunge Protection Team is “Watching the Markets Closely”

Thursday, August 16, 2007 20:09 Comments Off

There are “Rothbardian Conspiratorial Nuts” who believe the Plunge Protetion Team (PPT) is heavily involved in managing the markets. Fannie Mae gained almost 10% in one day last week. (For the pessimistic Bears, this only means more upside for the short.) The PPT strategy is to offset weakness in the US housing market, but the [...]

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Intellectual Bankruptcy All Around Us

Friday, August 10, 2007 19:25 Comments Off

The mortgage company HomeBanc is biting the dirt. It had just taken a first quarter net loss of $22.6 million on $24.1 million in revenue. Remember the quoted experts saying that the subprime problems would be “contained” and thus it really wasn’t a problem at all? Quote 1: “The subprime mortgage market is “little more [...]

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A Stupid Move on an Even Stupider Day

Friday, August 10, 2007 19:11 Comments Off

Wired reports that has filed with the SEC today for an IPO. The Fed has just injected more cash into the veins of credit addicts today in the hopes of propping up investor “confidence.” So at a time when the “have-pulse-will-loan” mentality is meeting reality head-on, we have a website business whose business model [...]

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“Girl on a Motorcycle” Article

Friday, August 10, 2007 18:44 Comments Off

My new article is up on A Girl on a Motorcycle. Why write this? Well, as is usual, I had an idea a long time ago, threw some notes in Word, and promised I’d get around to writing about it. I never did. Then not too long ago, I was approached by a guy [...]

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The Stupid Award for Economics Goes to…..

Tuesday, August 7, 2007 10:55 Comments Off

Don’t yell fire if the place is smoking. Just stay calm and have a cigarette. Ben Stein’s use of 1st-grade mathematics in arriving at the overall impact of both the subprime implosion and housing bust are laughable. Even Oppenheimer, yesterday, downgraded approximately 22 energy stocks on the basis of, among other things, the sinking dollar [...]

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Doom & Gloom & Things Go Boom

Tuesday, August 7, 2007 10:04 Comments Off

Today is yet another morning where the financial markets news just jumps out at you. Events of the last few days include: Bear Stearns (co)President Warren Spector announced his resignation. Bear Stearns stock closed at about $106 yesterday, and it traded at about $172 early this year. American Home Mortgage – which is not even [...]

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The Government Consolidators

Sunday, August 5, 2007 5:06 Comments Off

At a time when decentralization (or even secession) has been widely discussed, and even seriously contemplated by some, the Detroit area suburbs and its official “officials” are talking further centralization, or, the consolidation of suburban governments. Increasingly, officials are asking whether the quilt of 130 cities, townships and villages that surround Detroit is an outmoded [...]

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Economists for Free Trade with China

Thursday, August 2, 2007 4:59 Comments Off

Here’s the petition signed by over 1,000 economists that is in opposition to protectionist policies concerning China. I’ve picked out a few Austrians like Holcombe, DW MacKenzie, Reisman, Higgs, etc.

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Infrastructure Collapse

Wednesday, August 1, 2007 22:34 Comments Off

This is truly a frightening scenario. The Interstate 35W bridge that crosses the Mississippi River in Minnesota has collapsed. My family lives right over there, so I called home to make sure that no one was crossing any bridges today. My family tells me that it happened at the heaviest part of rush hour, when [...]

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