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Gender: Female
Current location: Florida
Member since: 2001
Number of posts: 15,811

Journal Archives

A Public Bank Option for Scotland by ELLEN BROWN

September 18, 2014

Can the Scots Blaze a Trail of Economic Sovereignty?

A Public Bank Option for Scotland

by Ellen Brown

Scottish voters will go to the polls on September 18th to decide whether Scotland should become an independent country. As video blogger Ian R. Crane colorfully puts the issues and possibilities:

he People of Scotland have an opportunity to extricate themselves from the socio-psychopathic global corporatists and the temple of outrageous and excessive abject materialism. However, it is not going to be an easy ride . . . .

If Alex Salmond and the SNP are serious about keeping the Pound Stirling as the Currency of Scotland, there will be no independence. Likewise if Scotland embraces the Euro, Scotland will rapidly become a vassel state of the Euro-Federalists, who will asset strip the nation in the same way that, Greece, Ireland, Portugal and Spain have been stripped of their entire national wealth and much of their national identity.

To achieve true independence, Crane suggests the following, among other mandates:


Scotland Vote

Dr. Housing Bubble 09/17/2014

The destruction of traditional mortgage demand: Applications for mortgages hits a 14 year low and affordability for housing continues to decline.

There is a fine line between using debt wisely and being a slave to crippling loans. Unfortunately most Americans have used debt as a meal replacement for actually saving and are now entering their older years with very little saved. Liquid asset anorexia. It should be telling that purchasing a car, an item that depreciates the instant you set your rear in the leather seat, has some of the easiest financing the world has ever seen. Zero percent loans are common but when you look at the underlying price tag, the cost is actually very high. College loans are given to students with zero income on the future prospect they will generate enough income to carry their loans. Not a big deal when you take on $5,000 a year but what about $40,000 a year? As we are seeing, many young adults are having to move back home with mom and dad as grown adults merely to pay their bills, many times in car loans and student debt. A similar phenomenon has occurred in housing where base cost is very high thanks to cheap financing. Low rate mortgages still cannot force demand if people are unable to service the debt. That is the problem we now confront today. It isnít a question of the raw number in population growth. If for every doctor or engineer we create 10 to 20 McJobs, then where will the housing growth be? Homes are unaffordable even in the face of record low mortgage rates.

Nationwide affordability in housing is not good


Low mortgage rates fail to overcome buyer reluctance

September 18, 2014

Irvine Renter 17 Astute Observations

Mortgage interest rates are lower than last year, but sales volumes are also lower than last year as low rates fail to entice additional homebuyer demand.

I would like to own a Lexus LS 460. Itís a beautiful and luxurious automobile; however, I am reluctant to buy one because the price is just too high. They could lower the interest rate to zero, and I would be unlikely to buy a car that costs that much. No matter how much people may want something, if the price is too high, they will be reluctant to buy it.

Most Americans want to own a house; study after study shows that. However, Americans arenít willing to overpay for a house and risk losing their equity and submerge beneath their debts, particularly since they know house prices can go down. This buyer reluctance is reducing demand.

Real estate demand has two components: purchasing power, and total number of qualified buyers. Low mortgage rates increases the buying power of the majority who use financing, so low rates tend to make prices rise; however, low rates do nothing to increase the size of the buyer pool to improve sales volumes. Our current economic environment, the weak job and wage growth hobbles housing; thus transaction volumes are very low, despite low mortgage rates.

Further, low rates are not likely to stimulate more demand due to buyer reluctance at higher prices. Potential buyers saw prices plummet for five years then rise rapidly for two years. The market looks anything but stable, and with the pain they witnessed many of their peers and parents get trapped in houses and struggle with large payments. Itís a natural and prudent reaction to be cautious about repeating the mistakes they just witnessed. Itís one of the many reasons buyers are boycotting the market right now.

Source: http://ochousingnews.com/blog/low-mortgage-rates-fail-overcome-buyer-reluctance/#ixzz3DieQPAKn

adding another cartoon :)

Boeing, SpaceX win Commercial Crew competition

September 16, 2014

CAPE CANAVERAL -- The next time astronauts launch to orbit from here, they'll be strapped into a capsule emblazoned with a Boeing or SpaceX logo next to an American flag.

NASA today named those two companies Ė one from the aerospace establishment, the other a rising "new space" phenomenon Ė the winners of a competition to launch crews to the International Space Station on private space taxis by 2017.

Worth up to $6.8 billion combined, the contracts include at least one crewed test flight to the station, then between two and six operational flights of four-person crews.

Those missions will end a gap in human spaceflight from U.S. soil that began with the shuttle's last flight in 2011. U.S. crews now rely on Russia for rides to orbit.

"The greatest nation on Earth should not be dependent on any other nation to get into space," NASA Administrator Charlie Bolden said during a 4 p.m. announcement at Kennedy Space Center. "Today we're one step closer to launching our astronauts from U.S. soil on American spacecraft and ending the nation's sole reliance on Russia by 2017."


The Myth That Sold the Wall Street Bailouts

September 16, 2014

Financial Fear-Mongering

The Myth That Sold the Wall Street Bailouts

by Dean Baker

This week marks the sixth anniversary of the collapse of Lehman Brothers. The investment bankís bankruptcy accelerated the financial meltdown that began with the near collapse of the investment bank Bear Stearns in March 2008 (saved by the Federal Reserve and JPMorgan) and picked up steam with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac going under the week before Lehmanís demise. The day after Lehman failed, the giant insurer AIG was set to collapse, only to be rescued by the Fed.

With the other Wall Street behemoths also on shaky ground, thenĖTreasury Secretary Henry Paulson ran to Capitol Hill, accompanied by Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke and New York Fed President Timothy Geithner. Their message was clear: The apocalypse was nigh. They demanded Congress make an open-ended commitment to bail out the banks. In a message repeated endlessly by the punditocracy ever since, the failure to cough up the money would have led to a second Great Depression.

The claim was nonsense then, and itís even greater nonsense now.

To be sure, without the helping hand of the government, most of the major Wall Street banks would have quickly collapsed. There was a full-fledged run on the big five investment banks. With Bear Stearns and Lehman already having faced bankruptcy, Merrill Lynch, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs were certain to follow suit in the very near future. Citigroup and Bank of America were also bound to fail, by anyoneís calculations.


Hillary and Iowa

Robert Reich: Harvard Business School is ruining America

September 16, 2014

The former secretary of labor explains how the famed university is complicit in the country's widening inequality

No institution is more responsible for educating the CEOs of American corporations than Harvard Business School Ė inculcating in them a set of ideas and principles that have resulted in a pay gap between CEOs and ordinary workers thatís gone from 20-to-1 fifty years ago to almost 300-to-1 today.

A survey, released on September 6, of 1,947 Harvard Business School alumni showed them far more hopeful about the future competitiveness of American firms than about the future of American workers.

As the authors of the survey conclude, such a divergence is unsustainable. Without a large and growing middle class, Americans wonít have the purchasing power to keep U.S. corporations profitable, and global demand wonít fill the gap. Moreover, the widening gap eventually will lead to political and social instability. As the authors put it, ďany leader with a long view understands that business has a profound stake in the prosperity of the average American.Ē

Unfortunately, the authors neglected to include a discussion about how Harvard Business School should change what it teaches future CEOs with regard to this ďprofound stake.Ē HBS has made some changes over the years in response to earlier crises, but has not gone nearly far enough with courses that critically examine the goals of the modern corporation and the role that top executives play in achieving them.


Mortgage and foreclosure crisis 2.0

September 15, 2014
Larry Roberts 22 Astute Observations
The mortgage and foreclosure debacle of 2008 was cut short by government intervention. A second round of deferred distressed sales is yet to hit the market.

Is the mortgage and foreclosure crisis resolved or merely delayed? Most people believe the mortgage and foreclosure crisis of 2008 is behind us, a misperception fostered by a financial media eager to disseminate good news. The common perception is that an improving economy has put people back to work, and those hard-working Americans cured their loans of past-due payments: all is well.mortgage-foreclosure-crisis-2.0

Unfortunately, that isnít the reality. While the notion of the noble American borrower dutifully recovering from the perils of the Great Recession is appealing, most borrowers were overextended before the recession hit, and lenders made deals with these borrowers to preserve the bad debts polluting the balance sheets of both bankers and borrowers.

These loan modification deals merely postponed the final resolution until a day when the value of the collateral backing these bad loans was restored. The final resolution of these can-kicked loans will be mortgage and foreclosure crisis 2.0.

Source: http://ochousingnews.com/blog/mortgage-foreclosure-crisis-2-0/#ixzz3DVU6yeHZ

Dr. Housing Bubble 09/14/2014

SoCal housing market so hot, sellers finding the need to cut prices: One third of sellers in Orange County have found the need to cut asking price.

While the heat wave continues in SoCal drawing out the summer, there is little momentum from the 2013 real estate bonanza. Sellers with their awe inspiring wisdom are finding that no, they simply cannot ask for delusional prices on their stucco box crap shacks. As it turns out, a large number of sellers need to cut asking prices to get interest on their properties. New data shows that in Orange County, the most expensive SoCal county, one-third of sellers have chosen to drop their asking price. Some sellers of course are opting to pull their properties from the market with the hope that next spring, a new breed of sucker will be out in the market ready to plunk down $700,000 on a dumpy pad. In reality, many buyers just donít have the cash to support current prices even with historically low interest rates. Given the option, many would buy if they had the means to do so. Instead, you have a large number of adults living with parents enjoying meals of Fancy Feast with a glass of Kool-Aid since they donít even have the deposit for a rental, let alone a down payment for a home. The renting trend is moving along steadily. The market is so hot in SoCal that sellers are now having to lower their asking price.

Sales taking a big hit

601 E Rio Grande St, Pasadena, CA 91104

2 Beds, 1 Bath, 810 square feet

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