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Old 06-21-2008, 09:11 AM   #1
sa meredith
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Default Tough times/ Bad Economy

Wrote a post here, and changed my mind. Was not able to simply delete it, which is why you are reading this now. Wiped out the whole thing, but the computer kept asking me for 10 letters.
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Old 06-21-2008, 08:02 PM   #2
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Changed your mind about posting about a bad economy,huh?.....must have been thinking about an Obama presidency
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Old 06-22-2008, 03:32 PM   #3
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Default doom and gloom

samiam...I changed my mind, because it was a lengthy, fact based post, about the current state of the economy, and specifically the lakes region. Mostly negative, and I just decided it really served no purpose.
My motive for it was reading all the posts on this board, saying things like "times really are not that bad", "the poor economy is just media perception", "the worst is behind us". And I just don't get it. So last Friday, I went out of my way to speak to every establishment I visit regularly, and just mention in passing, "hey, how's biz".
What I got???? Horror story after horror story. Marinas (I spoke with two), restaurants, butcher shop, campgroud, etc.,etc. Story after story of unpaid slip/valet fees, calls from people stating not to put their boat in this year, restaurants cutting way back on staff...it goes on and on. The original post was quite lengthy, giving specific examples and quotes...but posting them is probably not the right thing to do. I don't believe a business owner would want to read this board, and see something about one of his employees telling people how bad things are.
But, to anyone who says things are getting better, or were not that bad to begin with...just ask around a bit.
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Old 06-24-2008, 12:22 PM   #4
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I am in the Internet business, best year ever! Seems that the high cost of oil maybe causing business to incorporate more efficiencies into there company, thus driving the need for IP connectivity!

Most retail business can be hurt with a slow economy, but it goes up and down.. remember here folks that as the baby boomer's start to get planted, their large wealth will be passed down, this will create the largest economic growth our country will ever see!

Key is the hang in there, If you running a business you need access to capital, afford capital that helps you weather the difficult times. If they failed to plan or gain that access, it could be part of a bad business plan.
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Old 06-24-2008, 06:27 PM   #5
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There is no question that many folks are hurting economically and for some I really do feel sorry for. However I can't help but not really feel to bad for the majority of people out there as many suffer do to their own financial irresponsibility.

Sad thing is for somebody like myself who doesn't make a ton of money, yet manages to put away a substantial amount of savings instead of living beyond my means is going to get screwed paying for all the irresponsible ones.
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Old 06-24-2008, 09:46 PM   #6
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Default I agree

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There is no question that many folks are hurting economically and for some I really do feel sorry for. However I can't help but not really feel to bad for the majority of people out there as many suffer do to their own financial irresponsibility.

Sad thing is for somebody like myself who doesn't make a ton of money, yet manages to put away a substantial amount of savings instead of living beyond my means is going to get screwed paying for all the irresponsible ones.
One theme that seems to keep repeating itself is that I will be talking to someone, friends, family. associates, and they will tell me about some financial hardship they endured. I go "Oh my God, that's too bad". Then the conversation continues and I go "You did WHAT????" and I realize that a large part of their problem they brought upon themselves.

One friend got some stock options from a company and didn't know they were taxable. He used the money to buy his house.The IRS was all over him and he almost lost his house.

I know several people in construction that are wonderful at building things but are extremely poor at tracking their costs and billing appropriately. They went out of business.

My daughter's friend buys a motorcycle and doesn't realize what the monthly payment will be. Takes delivery and gets his payment book. Guess what, HE CAN'T AFFORD IT!!

How many conversations have we had on this forum about how property taxes work and how some could afford the property but are blown out of the water when the taxes go up.

I truly fell pain for all these people. I actually lent money to the friend with the IRS trouble so he could keep his house. But THEY WERE CARELESS AND FOOLISH. Occasionally circumstances will overwhelm even the best of planners but it doesn't happen that often.

I agree with Maxum in that I really get annoyed when people make foolish decisions and then the government pops in and wants to tax me to cover their mistakes. If you never have to cover your own bets why would ever stop gambling?
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Old 06-25-2008, 05:45 AM   #7
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Default Something To Think About...

Sa Meredith - the scenrio you highlight will, and has happened under all economic conditions. The free enterprise system is doing "it's thing" and happens to be working a bit harder right now. Typical economic cycle. Nothing to get over excited about. I love hearing that businesses are laying off people to "tighten their belts." Should they always try to operate with a tight belt? On another note, here are some facts to try and make any nay-sayers feel better as I ask: "What are we so unhappy about?'

A. Is it that we have electricity and running
water 24 hours a day, 7 Days a week?

B. Is our unhappiness the result of having
air conditioning in the summer and heating in the
winter?

C. Could it be that 95.4 percent of these
unhappy folks have a job?

D. Maybe it is the ability to walk into a
grocery store at any time and see more food in
moments than Darfur has seen in the last year?

E. Maybe it is the ability to drive our cars
and trucks from the Pacific Ocean to the Atlantic
Ocean without having to present identification papers
as we move through each state?

F. Or possibly the hundreds of clean and safe
motels we would find along the way that can provide
temporary shelter?

G. I guess having thousands of restaurants
with varying cuisine from around the world is just not good enough either.

H. Or could it be that when we wreck our car, emergency workers show up and provide services to help all and even send a helicopter to take you to the hospital.


I.. Perhaps you are one of the 70 percent of Americans who own a home.


J.. You may be upset with knowing that in the unfortunate case of a fire, a group of trained firefighters will appear in moments and use top notch
equipment to extinguish the flames, thus saving you, your family, and your belongings.


K. Or if, while at home watching one of your many flat screen TVs, a burglar or prowler intrudes, an officer equipped with a gun and a bullet-proof vest will come to defend you and your family against attack or loss.


L. This all in the backdrop of a neighborhood
free of bombs or militias rap ing and pillaging the
residents. Neighborhoods where 90% of teenagers own
cell phones and computers.


M.. How about the complete religious, social and
political freedoms we enjoy that are the envy of everyone in the
world?

Maybe that is what has 67% of you folks unhappy.
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Old 06-25-2008, 10:00 AM   #8
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...I really get annoyed when people make foolish decisions and then the government pops in and wants to tax me to cover their mistakes. If you never have to cover your own bets why would ever stop gambling?
Amen. And today a massive foreclosure "rescue bill" (I love the election-year labels) is on track for passage by the Senate. The plan would let the Federal Housing Administration back $300 billion in home loans for borrowers who otherwise would be considered too financially risky to qualify for government-insured, fixed-rate loans.

Translation: Too risky for seasoned lending professionals to loan them their money, but not too risky for our Senators to think it's a good idea to give them our money.
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Old 06-25-2008, 11:35 AM   #9
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Thumbs up another amen...

... to kjbathe. Let's not forget our economic stimulus checks which our children will be paying back to China long after those new monster TVs are choking up landfills. The government went from throwing good money at bad, to throwing bad money at bad.
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Old 06-26-2008, 07:02 AM   #10
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Unfortunately the sheeple in this country are too busy watching mtv or listening to their ipod to fully understand the ramifications of the two stimuli bills. One has passed (the tax break) and the housing rescue which will pass (hopefully Bush will veto). I do not want to pay for anothers mistake. Lets not even get into oil. The only good news about high oil prices is any talk of raising gasoline taxes is quickly shot down and maybe our extremely intelligent congress will open up our coast lines and mosquito factory in Alaska to oil drilling. Cudos to the Clinton administration for not allow us to explore these areas for domestic oil production.
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Old 06-26-2008, 11:17 AM   #11
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The only good news about high oil prices is any talk of raising gasoline taxes is quickly shot down and maybe our extremely intelligent congress will open up our coast lines and mosquito factory in Alaska to oil drilling.
Ugh. How many times does it have to be pointed out that opening up more areas to drilling will have NO SHORT TERM IMPACT on gasoline prices? Yes, if we open up ANWR, we may be able to realize enough production to curb the price of crude by about $0.50 per barrel... 15 YEARS from now!

Besides, oil companies don't even drill on land that has already been opened up. http://www.kentucky.com/589/story/443005.html

If you want energy independence, you don't look for ways to enable your habit... look for ways to break it.
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Old 06-26-2008, 01:39 PM   #12
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Besides, oil companies don't even drill on land that has already been opened up. http://www.kentucky.com/589/story/443005.html

If you want energy independence, you don't look for ways to enable your habit... look for ways to break it.
You do not have to teach me about supply of oil. It will take 10 years to see any supply from these areas, so does that mean we should not do it at all? What do you think will be the price of oil in ten years....200, 300 a barrel. Anything to increase supply is good. Get over it, we are dependent on oil. Do not patronize me or the thought that we should be doing more to supply our own oil. If we had started 10 years ago drilling in these places instead of bending over for the animal huggers, we would be reaping the benefits of an increase in domestic supply. So your "it will take 10 years" lingo does not hold water. We have to start somewhere.
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Old 06-26-2008, 01:56 PM   #13
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Ugh. How many times does it have to be pointed out that opening up more areas to drilling will have NO SHORT TERM IMPACT on gasoline prices?
But that's short-sighted: We should not pursue longer-term initiatives because they can't deliver near-immediate results? If we had started drilling 15 years ago, we'd be be done already. But we didn't then, because it would take too long.

I know folks are sensitive to disrupting this gloriously-named "National Wildlife Refuge", but in reality we're talking about allowing drilling operations on a parcel of land less than size of Laconia, in a wildlife refuge the size of South Carolina tucked in the northern-most corner of Alaska that already bears a striking resemblance to the surface of another planet. We're not talking about doing this off the front porch of your lake house during Loon mating season.

Regarding the argument that oil companies aren't drilling on land they already have available is because there isn't a sufficient quantity or quality of oil under those leased parcels. Upwards of 60% of the wells drilled in those areas came up dry. DRY. How many dry wells do you expect them to drill? That's why they want to go offshore -- where the oil is.

Finally, China has the ability to drill off the coast of Cuba into a pocket of oil that also sits off our Florida coast. China can take that oil, but our Congress won't allow Florida the option of letting our own interests extract it. That just doesn't make much sense to me. And it sounds good to say it will take 15 years, but drillers in the Gulf with existing infrastructure note that they can get at that oil in as little as 6 months and no more than 16 months. Drillers without existing infrastructure in place note that there is no oil off our coasts that they can't get to in less than 6 years. Six. That doesn't really scream "too long" to me.

But you are correct, Oil is only one side of the equation. $4 gas is here to stay and will certainly spur a long-overdue drive to bring new technologies to the market. But we need to pursue both sides in parallel. Something that our designated representatives in Washington have been both unable and unwilling to grasp.

Last edited by kjbathe; 06-26-2008 at 03:55 PM. Reason: Changed to China can vs. China is. The point is the same.
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Old 06-26-2008, 02:17 PM   #14
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Ugh. How many times does it have to be pointed out that opening up more areas to drilling will have NO SHORT TERM IMPACT on gasoline prices? Yes, if we open up ANWR, we may be able to realize enough production to curb the price of crude by about $0.50 per barrel... 15 YEARS from now!

Besides, oil companies don't even drill on land that has already been opened up. http://www.kentucky.com/589/story/443005.html

If you want energy independence, you don't look for ways to enable your habit... look for ways to break it.
You're right, new drilling may not produce any gasoline for 10-15 years. So....if we had drilled 10-15 years ago we might not be in this crisis now. Who was President 10-15 years ago? Who completely ignored the growing energy needs of our growing economy?

The US now uses 20 million barrels of oil a day to meet our needs. HEAVY conservation may take that down to 15 million barrels a day but even that is doubtful. Do you have a replacement for that or should we just move back into the stone age?

I agree that we need to ween ourselves off of oil and develop alternatives. Oops, the Dems won't allow nuclear, hydroelectric, wind farms or more refineries. We might be able to look forward to plug-in electric cars but not without 40-50 nuclear plants to generate the power. Oops, can't do that. You see, the Dems have no comprehensive energy plan. They are now controlled by the extremists. Their answer to every proposal is NO.

If our economy and way of life is going to survive we need to do it ALL. Drill, build nuclear and hydroelectric plants, provide heavy incentives to develop alternatives and new technologies, and yes, develop and use our own vast oil and oil shale resources. Set a long-term goal for energy independence and then make it a national priority like the Manhattan Project or landing on the moon. If we don't do ALL those things we are facing some real suffering in the coming years as we are unable to heat our homes or transport our food supply.
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Old 06-26-2008, 02:37 PM   #15
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I recently read that in April the US drove xx million fewer miles than the previous month. Fewer miles driven=fewer gallons of gas used. I don't know what the exact number is, so I can't answer how many gallons of gas, but I would hazard a guess at over 100,000 gallons of gas were saved in one month. Now stay with me here. The "speculators" are the ones who indirectly determine the price we pay at the pump. They base their number on supply and demand. So I deduce that since we saved 100,000 gallons of gas, the demand dropped. I will hazard another guess and say that supply did not change in that month (just a guess). So if demand decreases and supply doesn't change, doesn't that mean prices should have gone down?
This is where I think we are getting hosed by someone, while that someone is making a massive chunk of $$. At least that is how it looks from here.

I would be willing to bet that May and June will show similar decreases in gas consumption. Where will gas prices go??
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Old 06-26-2008, 02:49 PM   #16
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I recently read that in April the US drove xx million fewer miles than the previous month. Fewer miles driven=fewer gallons of gas used. I don't know what the exact number is, so I can't answer how many gallons of gas, but I would hazard a guess at over 100,000 gallons of gas were saved in one month. Now stay with me here. The "speculators" are the ones who indirectly determine the price we pay at the pump. They base their number on supply and demand. So I deduce that since we saved 100,000 gallons of gas, the demand dropped. I will hazard another guess and say that supply did not change in that month (just a guess). So if demand decreases and supply doesn't change, doesn't that mean prices should have gone down?
This is where I think we are getting hosed by someone, while that someone is making a massive chunk of $$. At least that is how it looks from here.

I would be willing to bet that May and June will show similar decreases in gas consumption. Where will gas prices go??
You forget the effect the knat in Iran that has a case of the hiccups has...
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Old 06-26-2008, 02:58 PM   #17
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Who was President 10-15 years ago? Who completely ignored the growing energy needs of our growing economy?
Umm, hello, Republicans controlled the entire government for 6 YEARS under the Bush administration. Where were the sweeping reforms then? And you didn't even address the point that potential oil production from ANWR equates to a drop in the bucket compared to world supply... essentially, a nickel at the pump. So, if we could go back in time and force Clinton to open up exploration 15 years ago, guess what... you'd be paying $3.94/gal instead of 3.99 today. Good call.

The fact is, you, Puckster and the rest of the Democrat haters on here are itching to pin responsibility of high oil prices on them. The reality is, its a bipartisan problem and no one has a good answer, not the Dems, not the Repubs. Drilling in the US will not do ANYTHING to bring gas prices down any time soon. I agree with you that we should be exploring alternative energy more aggressively than we are. However, nuclear, hydro, wind etc are all great if you want to bring your electricity bill down, but its not going to help a lick at the pump.
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Old 06-26-2008, 03:06 PM   #18
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But that's short-sighted: We should not pursue longer-term initiatives because they can't deliver near-immediate results? If we had started drilling 15 years ago, we'd be be done already. But we didn't then, because it would take too long.
People are hurting now... they don't care if their kids are going to pay a nickel less for gas 15 years from now. They want relief today, and I think many (most?) are under the misconception that if we opened ANWR and the eastern Gulf immediately to exploration, we'd be paying much less at the pumps near term. That's simply not true.

I am optimistic, that with good leadership in Govt and a strong push from the public, we can ween ourselves off oil, and 15 years from now we won't be saying, "Thank God we opened up ANWR", we will be saying, "Thank God we kicked that nasty oil addiction!"
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Old 06-26-2008, 03:15 PM   #19
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Do not patronize me or the thought that we should be doing more to supply our own oil. If we had started 10 years ago drilling in these places instead of bending over for the animal huggers, we would be reaping the benefits of an increase in domestic supply.
First, I said 15, not 10. And that's a conservative estimate. Some estimates are closer to 25 years. All this to save a nickel at the pump.

Second, you did not address the linked story. In case you missed it, here is an excerpt:

Providing oil and gas companies with more land to drill is often seen as the cure-all for our energy problems. The fact is, however, oil and gas companies are choosing to drill on only about a quarter of the 68 million acres (bigger than the size of Kentucky, Tennessee and West Virginia combined) already leased to them by the federal government. Even though these companies have 81 percent of all the known reserves in the United States, they refuse to extract the oil and natural gas they already control.

Your anger is misdirected... why not ask these oil companies why they are sitting on so much oil now without tapping it? Because you're afraid of the answer, which is "because high oil prices are in our best interest."
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Old 06-26-2008, 03:30 PM   #20
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Finally, China is now drilling off the coast of Cuba into a pocket of oil that also sits off our Florida coast. China can take that oil, but our Congress won't allow Florida the option of letting our own interests extract it. (
Btw this is an urban legend, perpetrated by the "pro drilling" crowd. http://www.miamiherald.com/campaign08/story/567156.html
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Old 06-26-2008, 04:17 PM   #21
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Truth be told, I haven't actually witnessed a Chinese rig in Cuban waters and lack the ability to discern which one of the competing statements of Jorge, Mel, John or Dick is correct (although Boehner citing the NY Times didn't really bolster my confidence. ) Thus, I updated my post above to note that China has the ability to drill off our coast while the United States legally does not. Even if the Congress allowed it, that doesn't mean the individual states would permit it and we could speculate all day about what it would do to prices at the pump. I just think the states should have the option to open those fields to exploration.

Anyway, the real reason for this reply... The Commerce Department reported today that the economy grew at a 1 percent annualized rate in the first quarter, an update to the previous estimate of 0.9 percent growth. The new reading was better than the 0.6 percent growth rate logged in the final three months of last year.

I know we continue to experience slowdowns in many aspects of the economy and that 1% growth doesn't warrant us bringing out the confetti cannon, but as I've written elsewhere, I don't think we should be all about the doom and gloom. Only the future will bear out if my current thoughts were appropriate, and with all due respect and empathy to the difficulties experienced by sa_meredith, I remain optimistic about our collective futures, higher gas prices and all.

My glass is half full and filling.
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Old 06-26-2008, 04:29 PM   #22
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I recently read that in April the US drove xx million fewer miles than the previous month. Fewer miles driven=fewer gallons of gas used. I don't know what the exact number is, so I can't answer how many gallons of gas, but I would hazard a guess at over 100,000 gallons of gas were saved in one month. Now stay with me here. The "speculators" are the ones who indirectly determine the price we pay at the pump. They base their number on supply and demand. So I deduce that since we saved 100,000 gallons of gas, the demand dropped. I will hazard another guess and say that supply did not change in that month (just a guess). So if demand decreases and supply doesn't change, doesn't that mean prices should have gone down?
This is where I think we are getting hosed by someone, while that someone is making a massive chunk of $$. At least that is how it looks from here.

I would be willing to bet that May and June will show similar decreases in gas consumption. Where will gas prices go??

I thought the esitmate was 2 Billion(that sounds like alot) less miles traveled


And don't forget the hundreds of flights that have been cancelled by the airlines and all that jet fuel that wasn't used.

It just doesn't seem to add up to what we were taught in Economics 101
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Old 06-26-2008, 04:32 PM   #23
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Default you're right...

Yeah, you're right. Turns out the whole economy thing was just a big mis-understanding. Things are great!!!!
KJbathe, my guess would be that you earn your keep thru some means other than retail...paid by the government, or health care (hospital work), perhaps in the field of education...something other than retail.
Anyone who is mid-class, blue collar type, grinding away each day or works in a industry that depends on those same blue collar types having the ability to spend (which is where I fit in) will tell you a very different story. State your facts about growth, and percentages, but in the end, if you look out the window, and it's raining, it does not matter that the weatherman just said it's sunny out. It is INDEED raining, you can plainly see it. So I encourage, look out the window. What do you see? I looked closely last Friday (post 3 I believe) and saw a terrible storm. Do you think thses people were not forth coming with me?
I wish I had not started this thread....
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Old 06-26-2008, 04:43 PM   #24
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However, nuclear, hydro, wind etc are all great if you want to bring your electricity bill down, but its not going to help a lick at the pump.
Nuclear, hydro, wind, etc... help at the pump because they supplement or replace our current electrical plants that are fired by gas or oil. It helps on the demand side.

But this is not about a quick fix, election-year reduction of prices at the pump even if we like the idea of that simplistic feel-good notion. Gasoline powered combustion engines are from the Henry Ford days. We are at or nearing peak oil -- oil is not our long-term future, but it is our reality until we get to the future.

Where we find ourselves today is analogous to the Wright Brother's taking their first flight and our technology evolution and commitment to take the Apollo missions to the Moon. Are we up to the challenge? That remains to be seen, but at least $4 gas seems to finally have us thinking it's an attractive pursuit.
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Old 06-26-2008, 04:45 PM   #25
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I thought the esitmate was 2 Billion(that sounds like alot) less miles traveled


And don't forget the hundreds of flights that have been cancelled by the airlines and all that jet fuel that wasn't used.

It just doesn't seem to add up to what we were taught in Economics 101
That is exactly my point. It just does not add up.
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Old 06-26-2008, 04:46 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by sa meredith View Post
Yeah, you're right. Turns out the whole economy thing was just a big mis-understanding. Things are great!!!!
KJbathe, my guess would be that you earn your keep thru some means other than retail...paid by the government, or health care (hospital work), perhaps in the field of education...something other than retail.
Anyone who is mid-class, blue collar type, grinding away each day or works in a industry that depends on those same blue collar types having the ability to spend (which is where I fit in) will tell you a very different story. State your facts about growth, and percentages, but in the end, if you look out the window, and it's raining, it does not matter that the weatherman just said it's sunny out. It is INDEED raining, you can plainly see it. So I encourage, look out the window. What do you see? I looked closely last Friday (post 3 I believe) and saw a terrible storm. Do you think thses people were not forth coming with me?
I wish I had not started this thread....
Yes, it's raining. But we have umbrellas and we don't need an arc. And I get paid by the hour.
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Old 06-26-2008, 05:01 PM   #27
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Default Oil drilling

I heard that if Barrack is elected President that an oil rig will start drilling in the No Wake Zones on the lake. Maybe that will bring the oil prices down.
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Old 06-26-2008, 05:18 PM   #28
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Interesting reading:

http://gatewaypundit.blogspot.com/20...-to-drill.html

http://www.washtimes.com/news/2006/j...-122242-7824r/

http://www.americanfreepress.net/htm..._drilling.html
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Old 06-26-2008, 08:29 PM   #29
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First, I said 15, not 10. And that's a conservative estimate. Some estimates are closer to 25 years. All this to save a nickel at the pump.
Okay, lets just sit around and do nothing.

We could lessen the number of different gasoline formulations to ease the pain. Refineries have to change formulations based on area of country and time of year. We should erase alot of these formulations and make it more efficient for the refiners to keep up with demand. Forget trying to get that through congress. Dump the ethanol mandate. The only good that is doing is driving up the cost of food. It takes more energy to make than it gives, the last report I read.

Get over it, we are an economy based on oil for at least this century. For the life of me I try to figure out why libs can not wrap their brains around that.
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Old 06-26-2008, 10:58 PM   #30
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Default A good time to watch weather

In times like this, many a layperson may find it useful to start following the weather and climate more. This will help alleviate expensive surprises.

The weather, and other natural events, have historically been one of the greatest drivers of prices, and also have been known to decide the course of human events including wars.

With this in mind, it always boggles me that weather and climate get such elementary-school treatment by the mainstream media. I've met people from the financial crowd who use private weather consultants to help them make decisions.

Anyway, main point is that it's a good time to start learning more about meteorology and climatology, following them each day, and applying that knowledge to each day's human happenings from around the world.

As a positive side effect, learning new stuff, like a science, language, or skill, has the effect of taking one's mind off of bad news elsewhere, perhaps even making a person start loving some "bad" stuff in the same way stormchasers and firefighters both run towards what everyone else is running from.
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Old 06-26-2008, 11:25 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by CanisLupusArctos View Post
In times like this, many a layperson may find it useful to start following the weather and climate more. This will help alleviate expensive surprises.

The weather, and other natural events, have historically been one of the greatest drivers of prices, and also have been known to decide the course of human events including wars.

With this in mind, it always boggles me that weather and climate get such elementary-school treatment by the mainstream media. I've met people from the financial crowd who use private weather consultants to help them make decisions.

Anyway, main point is that it's a good time to start learning more about meteorology and climatology, following them each day, and applying that knowledge to each day's human happenings from around the world.

As a positive side effect, learning new stuff, like a science, language, or skill, has the effect of taking one's mind off of bad news elsewhere, perhaps even making a person start loving some "bad" stuff in the same way stormchasers and firefighters both run towards what everyone else is running from.
I like your point. I do have one problem with your proposal, unfortunately climatology has been interwoven with geo politics. The man made global warming crowd has made sure of that.
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Old 06-27-2008, 08:02 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by CanisLupusArctos View Post
With this in mind, it always boggles me that weather and climate get such elementary-school treatment by the mainstream media. I've met people from the financial crowd who use private weather consultants to help them make decisions.

Anyway, main point is that it's a good time to start learning more about meteorology and climatology, following them each day, and applying that knowledge to each day's human happenings from around the world.

As a positive side effect, learning new stuff, like a science, language, or skill, has the effect of taking one's mind off of bad news elsewhere, perhaps even making a person start loving some "bad" stuff in the same way stormchasers and firefighters both run towards what everyone else is running from.
Because they can neither understand it, nor control it in anyway.
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Old 06-27-2008, 08:59 AM   #33
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Default A positive post

Here's something we can do if we believe that while alternative fuels are surely the future (why can't we have a nuclear-powered car or boat...) they are likely a decade or more from having widespread availability.

Drill Here. Drill Now. Pay Less.

Click here to join the nearly 1.2 million Americans who want to build a bridge to this future of alternative fuels.

http://www.americansolutions.com/actioncenter/petitions/?Guid=54ec6e43-75a8-445b-aa7b-346a1e096659

And, to those who say that we won't get any benefit from drilling here for many years...ask yourselves this...what would be gas and home heating oil prices be today had not President Clinton vetoed the proposed ANWR legislation? Yes, we'd be using that oil right now...supplies would be up...prices would be down.
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Old 06-28-2008, 01:46 PM   #34
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Default ...a double bubble?

Will the first decade of the 21st century become known as the double bubble decade?

First, there was the internet technology bubble at the start of the decade. And now as this decade closes, will we be seeing a real estate bubble as the financials and housing markets see their values slowly go down?

Did Shakespeare see this coming when he wrote in MacBeth:

"Double bubble, toil and trouble..."

...or something like that? Will look that Shakepeare quote up later on....it's time to hit the sailboat!
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Old 06-28-2008, 02:35 PM   #35
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Default What stimulus check

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Originally Posted by twoplustwo View Post
... to kjbathe. Let's not forget our economic stimulus checks which our children will be paying back to China long after those new monster TVs are choking up landfills. The government went from throwing good money at bad, to throwing bad money at bad.
I just got my stimulus check and it probably cost more to cut the check than it is worth...it won't even fill up my gas tank. I guess the economy is not bad for me! I still have a job and can meet my bills. In fact I get to work this weekend. The VOICE MUST GO THROUGH...
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Old 06-28-2008, 05:21 PM   #36
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I like your point. I do have one problem with your proposal, unfortunately climatology has been interwoven with geo politics. The man made global warming crowd has made sure of that.

I agree. My note was to the individual level. For example, when a couple of my fellow "weather geeks" and I saw the likelihood of the midwestern floods as they just beginning to develop, we said to each other, "There go the food prices... get ready." A couple days into the damage assessement came the "official" word from the national networks, "There go the food prices." The best time to prepare is before the news sounds its alarms.

By the same concept in the winter, if I need anything at the store before a big snowstorm, I track it and make my store trip when the storm is 2 days away rather than wait for the official warning to trigger a mad rush of panic-shoppers. Farther out, a forecast has a greater chance of being wrong and I've occasionally lost the bet, but most other times it's saved my sanity.

In this economic environment, a hurricane entering the Gulf of Mexico could trigger a swarm of panic-buying of crude oil (on Wall Street) and gasoline (at the pump.) I'm not saying it definitely would, but totally possible. In that situation, you'd want to be tracking the hurricane and using as much insider information as you can understand from Day 1, so you could decide how best to avoid the rat race and maybe save a little money in the process.

Things like that.
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Old 07-15-2008, 06:47 PM   #37
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Default A positive sign for the local economy...

There is alot of talk about a bad economy and how people are not travelling due to the high cost of gas...

We are coming up to the lake for our annual week of relaxation and just called around to rent a boat. We had a hard time finding a boat that was available!! We don't usually wait this long, but thought we wouldn't have a problem this year...

Hopefully this means business is good for those around the lake this year.
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Old 07-15-2008, 07:07 PM   #38
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Default Boat Rental

Try the Meredith Marina. www.meredithmarina.com
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Old 07-15-2008, 08:14 PM   #39
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My wife and I have been coming up to the lake for over a decade now. We always rent the same cabin at the same place and bring our boat. I got my "Boating Certification" this year and am ready to go.

I haven't got the boat out of the garage yet. We are still booked at the cabin and will still go. BUT: Taking the boat is still up in the air. All this stuff about MP.....random bording....docking at public docks...Yada Yada... has really put a krimp on our attitudes about Winni. We like to go out to dinner at lakeside restaurants by boat. Now, maybe I'd better not have a glass of wine at dinner. I don't want to go to jail while on vacation. NoBozo
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Old 07-16-2008, 12:07 AM   #40
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Default Things must be looking up.....

I have just a second to comment....I heard the President say just today that the economy is pretty good and his successor apparent, Sen. McCain, said the surge is a great success in Iraq and were winning that war, but I need to run.....gotta get some cash outa my IndyMac account before closing time....
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Old 07-16-2008, 08:28 AM   #41
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Originally Posted by NoBozo View Post
My wife and I have been coming up to the lake for over a decade now. We always rent the same cabin at the same place and bring our boat. I got my "Boating Certification" this year and am ready to go.

I haven't got the boat out of the garage yet. We are still booked at the cabin and will still go. BUT: Taking the boat is still up in the air. All this stuff about MP.....random bording....docking at public docks...Yada Yada... has really put a krimp on our attitudes about Winni. We like to go out to dinner at lakeside restaurants by boat. Now, maybe I'd better not have a glass of wine at dinner. I don't want to go to jail while on vacation. NoBozo
Come on up, bring your boat and enjoy yourself. I was on the lake Monday in my sailboat and went for almost an hour and a half before I saw another boat. It's not the wild west on the lake, don't let the fear mongers scare you, they just want the lake to themselves.
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Old 07-16-2008, 10:16 AM   #42
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Originally Posted by gtxrider View Post
I just got my stimulus check and it probably cost more to cut the check than it is worth...it won't even fill up my gas tank. I guess the economy is not bad for me! I still have a job and can meet my bills.
Well that means that you're earning too much according to the govt. Above$75K (single) or $150K (married) and you start getting it reduced $50 per $1000. The theory is that the people who need it most will immediately use it and put it back into the economy. I'm doing just what the government didn't want to see happen - whenever I get to a bank it's just going into a savings account and it won't alter my spending (like you, ours got reduced quite a bit but it will fill the boat up a couple times).
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Old 07-16-2008, 11:42 AM   #43
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Default Stimulus Checks

A colleague was walking around with his stimulus check yesterday. I said to him, "I didn't think you were a citizen." And he smiled and said, "I'm not!". He's here working on a visa, but paid more than $3k in taxes so he was eligible for the rebate. It struck me as a little odd, but if he spends it here and doesn't send it home, then I guess it meets the intent.
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Old 07-16-2008, 04:59 PM   #44
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Default

Back on the topic of the economy and impact to the lakes region, one of the Boston channels had a report on last night about this years Cape Cod tourism.

In summary, despite many fears to the contrary, they are on track to having one of the best years ever. It will be interesting to hear if the same is true at the lakes.
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Old 07-16-2008, 06:00 PM   #45
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Default Mt Washington

One thing I have noticed this year is reduced crowds during the mid-week at the Weirs. However, what really has caught my attention is the reduction in trips, usually through cruise cancellations, by the Mt Washington.

Tonight they have cancelled the 4:30 out of the Weirs and the 6:00 out of Wolfeboro. They are still planning on having the 7:30 out of the Weirs. Last week and early this week, I also saw the Mount at the dock a few times when it was scheduled to be out on the lake. High cost of fuel and low crowds seem to be having an impact here.

I really hope they are able to continue with a full schedule the rest of the summer. For those that are coming to the lake, this is the best way to really see and experience the lake, either during the day time or at night.

R2B

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Old 07-16-2008, 07:42 PM   #46
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Default Oh oh!

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Originally Posted by Resident 2B View Post
One thing I have noticed this year is reduced crowds during the mid-week at the Weirs. However, what really has caught my attention is the reduction in trips, usually through cruise cancellations, by the Mt Washington.

Tonight they have cancelled the 4:30 out of the Weirs and the 6:00 out of Wolfeboro. They are still planning on having the 7:30 out of the Weirs. Last week and early this week, I also saw the Mount at the dock a few times when it was scheduled to be out on the lake. High cost of fuel and low crowds seem to be having an impact here.

I really hope they are able to continue with a full schedule the rest of the summer. For those that are coming to the lake, this is the best way to really see and experience the lake, either during the day time or at night.

R2B
That's a little scary to me. I love The Mount, and it is--indeed--my way to get on the lake. I might not get up there until 2010, and I am already planning my ride! I'm not over the Old Man falling off Cannon Mt.; and (not learning what I should have from that!) I am planning for the Mt. Washington to be there forever! Please keep an eye on it!! Thanks!
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Old 07-16-2008, 08:14 PM   #47
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I presume everybody is thinking about the economy.... maybe as an observer....or maybe as a participent. My earlier post mentions the MPs apparent crack down on complience, which may deter boaters from coming out. It certainly deters me...especially when I think that every time I go out on the lake it will cost me $20 an hour for gas. That's at $5 per gallon..at 4 GPH.

I get to "Run The Gauntlet" with the MP....AND.. spend $20 an hour to do so. Why would any reasonable person want to do that?

Come summer, the marinas have got all their boats in the water. Now their income comes from "casual" maintenence, and GAS sales. Nobody comes out....no gas sales.

Does this combination of MP crack downs and high gas prices seem to be a good formula for the Local Economy? I don't think the marinas selling gas are going to be gouging anybody this summer. On the contrary, I think they may even sell gas at near cost....just to get people out on the lake.

This is not an attack on the rank and file in the MP...They have their orders. Just wondering. NoBozo
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Old 07-16-2008, 08:20 PM   #48
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Default Public Transportation?

Wow WinnDixie you bring back memories of how my great great grandparents used to "commute" from Boston to Center Harbor in the 1880's. They relied on a daily schedule. Bummer if the economy limits the Mount's schedule. I was dissapointed when it curtailed its daily visit to Center Harbor. The current economic malaise could last another 2 years. I would anticipate further "re-scheduling" of the Mount's schedule.
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Old 07-17-2008, 07:57 AM   #49
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They say that in bad economic times is the best time to make your fotune. Luckily I am having my best year to date this year. That of course can change in the blink of an eye.
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Old 07-17-2008, 10:27 AM   #50
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They say that in bad economic times is the best time to make your fotune. Luckily I am having my best year to date this year. That of course can change in the blink of an eye.
Chris Craft...are you the repo man??
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Old 07-17-2008, 10:45 AM   #51
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"Run the gauntlet" ???

Sounds as if you have a reason to be fearful.
Please share your bad experience(s), if any.
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Old 07-23-2008, 02:08 PM   #52
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Here's some excellent news for the local lakes region economy.

As of tomorrow, July 24, the minimum wage in the State of New Hampshire will be going up by five cents. From $6.50 to 6.55/hour, no fool'n!

The reason: Washington has increased the rate for the entire country even though both our NH Senators Sununu and Gregg voted against an increase because it would be bad for business.

Senator Gregg wins $850,000 Powerball money on 10/20/05, and then votes NO to a five cent minimum wage increase because it's bad for business......nice guy Senator Gregg!
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Old 09-26-2008, 03:33 PM   #53
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Washington Mutual actually has (or had) a Meredith office in the office building close to Energysavers. I definately expect to see it remain open and transition into a J P Morgan office. Meredith has at least five different mortgage provider offices so Meredith must be a good mortgage business town.

Say, maybe a town based, 1% mortgage sales tax to help pay for the new football field bleachers?
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Old 09-26-2008, 05:45 PM   #54
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The world is coming to an end... contact me and I'll buy your lake house and give you a good deal.
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Old 09-26-2008, 07:56 PM   #55
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Default Coolbreeze

Ok, I'm game. What will you give me for my Moultonborough valued lake front $1,095,000 home? It better be $1,095,000 or more, because the world is not coming to an end!
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Old 09-26-2008, 08:13 PM   #56
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Default Not bad for the CEOs

The economy is not bad for the CEOs that ran (into the ground) the financial institutions. I wish I could get a Golden Parachute for screwing up royally. I would just be shown the door. I think those CEOs should have to forfeit their Golden Parachutes and just do a free fall.
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Old 09-26-2008, 08:30 PM   #57
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The economy is not bad for the CEOs that ran (into the ground) the financial institutions. I wish I could get a Golden Parachute for screwing up royally. I would just be shown the door. I think those CEOs should have to forfeit their Golden Parachutes and just do a free fall.
I totally agree, must be nice
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Old 09-27-2008, 09:43 AM   #58
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Default where's my golden parachute?

I got laid off yesterday. No notice, no severance, no nothing, and via voicemail to boot. Very professional, don't you think? There's 9 years of my life I'll never get back.

Pineneedles, I may need to move into your garage. Hope it has lake views. And a wireless connection.
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Old 09-27-2008, 09:52 AM   #59
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Default gutless

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I got laid off yesterday. No notice, no severance, no nothing, and via voicemail to boot. Very professional, don't you think? There's 9 years of my life I'll never get back.

Pineneedles, I may need to move into your garage. Hope it has lake views. And a wireless connection.
I've had to lay off people for lack of work... its the worst part of the job. If one can't muster the intestinal fortitude to do that face-to-face than the person shouldn't be in management. To do that by voicemail is deplorable... in my opinion anyway.

Best of luck in finding new employment - often a bad situation like this opens up an opportunity you otherwise would have missed...
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Old 09-27-2008, 09:54 AM   #60
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Default The insanity continues

WaMu failed, the Fed took them over and their outgoing CEO, who was on the job for 3 weeks, gets 15 million in pay and severance. I can't even believe that can be justified. It's unreasonable to pay that and totally ridiculous. I wonder if he'll really get it all or somehow common sense will step in and make a huge adjustment. BTW, that's ~$30k per hour for his brief stint.
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Old 09-27-2008, 10:18 AM   #61
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Smile thanks Tom

They are replacing my telecommuting position with an in-house one. That translates into hiring an ITT kid at half of my salary to replace me. The best part? It's not my manager who left the voice mail, he had no idea they'd even done it when I spoke to him last night. It was the owner of the company, and it's par for the course for him.

I've been sitting in front of a computer in software development since 1986. Maybe something new is what I need, anyway. 22 years is a long time. Maybe I'll find my bliss. And eat a lot of Ramen noodles in the meantime.
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Old 09-27-2008, 11:00 AM   #62
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Default Lousy way to give you the news

I am one of the owners of a small company, and I too have had to lay people off for lack of work. It is painful for both of us. I have seen all of them though, find another job in a matter of weeks. I make it my personal mission to assist them by providing a personal leter of recomendation as well as talk to a potential employer if requested. Twoplustwo your welcome to the garage but neither it nor the house is winterized (no insulation, no furnace).

It will be tough for a lot of people as we head down the next path. This country has been living on too much credit and that is the fault of everyone. Yes, it galls me when I see CEOs who don't work any harder than their line assembly guys getting salaries from Boards of Directors that should be protecting the stockholders of a company rather than those in the ivory tower. Maybe this current crisis will open some eyes and get responsibility back in play.
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Old 09-27-2008, 01:06 PM   #63
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Boone Pickens said it best & straight to the point;

"We are not going to drill ourselves out of this crisis."

Period/paragraph.
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Old 09-27-2008, 01:13 PM   #64
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I want to put a windmill on the hill behind me.
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Old 09-27-2008, 02:34 PM   #65
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Maybe I'll find my bliss.
The mess mate on the schooner I sailed on last weekend was a 16 year old girl who experienced sailing on an Outward Bound expedition and that was it for her...she knew sailing on tall ships was where she was supposed to be. I was so envious of this girl who, nearly 30 years my junior, had found her bliss, while I'm still struggling on the path to mine. Hope you are successful in finding and following yours.
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Old 09-27-2008, 02:42 PM   #66
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Boone Pickens said it best & straight to the point;

"We are not going to drill ourselves out of this crisis."

Period/paragraph.
This country also isn't going to be using any less oil in the next 5-10 years so we better drill, drill and drill while we are searching for alternatives.
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Old 09-27-2008, 02:48 PM   #67
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WaMu failed, the Fed took them over and their outgoing CEO, who was on the job for 3 weeks, gets 15 million in pay and severance. I can't even believe that can be justified. It's unreasonable to pay that and totally ridiculous. I wonder if he'll really get it all or somehow common sense will step in and make a huge adjustment. BTW, that's ~$30k per hour for his brief stint.
The CEO's name is Alan Fishman and He actually got $19.1MM and it works out to over $40,000 an hour according to today's edition of Barrons. Perhaps he will refuse some of the pay as the interim CEO at AIG did.
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Old 09-27-2008, 03:37 PM   #68
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Wonder if the New Hampshire Employees Retirement pension plan, www.nher.org, pension fund got WaMu-ed when Washington Mutual was seized by Uncle Sam? Supposedly, the California teacher's pension fund had lots of WaMu.
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Old 09-27-2008, 08:36 PM   #69
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Default WaMu and so on...

I know the employees of that Meredith WaMu office, which was exclusively home loans. They closed that office years ago to 'consolidate'. Layoffs began about 2-3 years ago, as I recall. Funny thing is; one of the agents since went to work for a different agent, and as I recall, it was JP Morgan Chase! Funny how these things come around.

So sorry for those struggling with employment. NH has it a little better than some metro areas I think, but that's little consolation. I'm just glad that our banks are local people (who we know), and not Wall Street Fat Cats. So, even if my job evaporates, I can still feel confident that my savings will still be there. Small consolation, but still...

Does it possibly warrant an occasional mention of job listings on this forum? I understand that we don't know 'who does what' professionally, but I think if we get priveleged information, maybe it couldn't hurt. Just throwing it out there...
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Old 09-29-2008, 02:22 PM   #70
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It amazes me the lack of personal responsibility some homeowners seem to have. You know what you can afford, if you make 30k you should be suspicious at being prequalified at 450k with no money down.

And does no one read their loan terms??!? I had an 80/20 loan and it could not have worked out better.

I heard my hairdresser complaining that she didn't refinance in time and her rate was going up and they would have trouble paying their mortgage and had calls into a state agency to help her and her husband refinance at a lower rate and no closing costs, then in the next sentence she was talking about renting out her condo once the new loan was in place and buying a house? I was amazed she messed up once and was being helped out and was going right back in.
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Old 09-29-2008, 02:46 PM   #71
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Default I think that it is the brokers

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It amazes me the lack of personal responsibility some homeowners seem to have. You know what you can afford, if you make 30k you should be suspicious at being prequalified at 450k with no money down.

And does no one read their loan terms??!? I had an 80/20 loan and it could not have worked out better.

I heard my hairdresser complaining that she didn't refinance in time and her rate was going up and they would have trouble paying their mortgage and had calls into a state agency to help her and her husband refinance at a lower rate and no closing costs, then in the next sentence she was talking about renting out her condo once the new loan was in place and buying a house? I was amazed she messed up once and was being helped out and was going right back in.
My sense is that it was really more about the brokers and regulators. There were a number of investment vehicles that were clearly targeting buyers that were not qualified for a particular mortgage. Some of the vehicles actually required payments that did not even meet the intrest rate for the loan and the principle increased over time.

I am sure that the brokers would convince the buyers that the value of the property would go up and that they needed to own to create personal wealth.

I think that there are a number of uninformed buyers who don't know what they are doing in this world. But, IMHO it is the fault of the banks and regulators in allowing investment vehicles that target unqualified borrowers. Years ago, when we bought our house, there were strict income requirements, debt caps and limits on mortgage affordability. This was done as a basic requirement to sell the loans to Freddie Mac and Fanny Mae...not an issue these days; my cat can probably qualify for a mortgage.

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Old 09-29-2008, 04:01 PM   #72
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Let's not forget our government's role in this debacle. I remember 5 to 10 years ago, many prominent mayors, congressmen and senators jumping up and down because banks were not writing low income people loans. They were threatening legislation and lawsuits. Well, they got their way and look what happened......
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Old 09-29-2008, 06:19 PM   #73
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I think that there are a number of uninformed buyers who don't know what they are doing in this world. But, IMHO it is the fault of the banks and regulators in allowing investment vehicles that target unqualified borrowers. Years ago, when we bought our house, there were strict income requirements, debt caps and limits on mortgage affordability. This was done as a basic requirement to sell the loans to Freddie Mac and Fanny Mae...not an issue these days; my cat can probably qualify for a mortgage.

Jetskier
Same here, people used to practically have to jump through hoops to get a mortgage. I bought my house 20 years ago and it was that way, income requirements and ratios, etc. etc. etc. Then, of course, government deregulated the banking industry, and look what happened. Greed set in, the bigwigs are getting their million-dollar parachutes and the rest of us get the parachutes full of rips.
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Old 09-29-2008, 06:41 PM   #74
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Default Ugly ugly ugly

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Let's not forget our government's role in this debacle. I remember 5 to 10 years ago, many prominent mayors, congressmen and senators jumping up and down because banks were not writing low income people loans. They were threatening legislation and lawsuits. Well, they got their way and look what happened......
The house vote on the bailout bill failed and the market closed off 7%. It is continuing to fall in after hours trading. Let's see, we have a war, energy crisis, inflation and economic meltdown. Bet the development at the lake slows way way down.

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Old 09-29-2008, 07:26 PM   #75
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Its going to be fun watching the 401K evaporate... If this isnt somehow rectified and quickly the Great Depression II will be here shortly

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Old 09-29-2008, 07:53 PM   #76
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Default Think on the bright side......

the flood of annoying unsollicited credit card applications has just about dried up!

Let's keep the faith, folks. I somehow doubt that even the "idjits" in Washington will let us slip into another Great Depression.

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Old 09-29-2008, 08:13 PM   #77
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Default Thank Barney Frank and Friends

In the 90's the liberals thought that everyone should own a home and encouraged the relaxation of lending standards. They loved things like 100% financing, seller concessions and reduced initial payments. Certainly not the loans that us "older folks" were offered when we bought our first house. However, those easy loans sounded real good to the low income, poor credit crowd.

Now you have the liberals blaming the lack of regulation for the problems we face. If the liberals never pushed for the reduced qualifications and no down payment loans we wouldn't have this problem. The whole housing crisis wouldn't exist, and all of us that enjoy working for a living would continue to grow and prosper. Hey, some people just weren't meant to own a home. I, for one, am sick of my tax dollars going to support those who don't make it on their own because they aren't willing to put the effort in.

As has been said before "the safety net has become a hammock".
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Old 09-29-2008, 10:59 PM   #78
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Red face The Ugly Truth..

Here is way brokers and RE lenders were pushing unqualified buyers into houses they could not afford....the perfect storm....6 consecutive years of home appreciation in the 10% + per year. Wall street investment bankers came up with a new investment vehicle that was paying 10% and more for mid term investments. It was labeled mortgage backed securities and since the housing market was so strong investors couldn't loose since there was more supply than demand! Now lenders like Countrywide could make all the loans they wanted and package up the loans and sell them to investors (usually like Fannie or Freddie who then repackaged and resold the loans to smaller investors and investment banks to resell to their investors including some public retirement funds.. As long as banks like Countrywide, WaMU and World Savings had buyers for their mortgages is was like the goose laying the golden egg. More commissions for the RE agents and the loan agents and the banks. Everyone from wall street to the loan officers were rolling in the money and never thought about the market not being able to sustain the growth rate or what would happen to people when their rates adjusted. Sadly most of the players that made millions (wallstreet bankers) and mortgage industry executives pulled out 18 months ago when things started to slow so they are long gone. The only ones left holding the tab are the taxpayers.
Without the bailout bill to get the system moving again I fear what the outcome may be.
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Old 09-29-2008, 11:33 PM   #79
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I was just informed that a new sub-division in Laconia slashed close to fifty thousand dollars off of two homes that are sitting there completed. The builder still has over 30 empty lots to fill up with homes in that sub-division.....something tells me that's not going to happen.
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Old 09-30-2008, 08:48 AM   #80
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Its not just the real estate meltdown that is causing this.... and it certainly doesnt fall with the liberals either! Its a perfect financial storm... The 600 BILLION dollar war in Iraq, sub-prime lending, speculators driving up the price of oil, huge corporate mergers, etc... The list goes on!

The easy fix for the real estate crisis was for the banks & mortgage companies to work with the property owners and rewrite the notes to make them affordable. Who cares if they blow the note out from 30 years to 40 or 50? Some cash flow is better than no cash flow especially when your talking
physical property!

Make no mistake... you and I are going to pay for this mess. The estimate I heard this morning was that 1 TRILLION dollars evaporated yesterday... another TRILLION was expected to evaporate today! This our money, mom & dads retirement funds, college funds, savings! all gone!

Its going to be very interesting to watch what the govt decides to do next....

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Old 09-30-2008, 09:16 AM   #81
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Its not just the real estate meltdown that is causing this.... and it certainly doesnt fall with the liberals either! Its a perfect financial storm... The 600 BILLION dollar war in Iraq, sub-prime lending, speculators driving up the price of oil, huge corporate mergers, etc... The list goes on!

The easy fix for the real estate crisis was for the banks & mortgage companies to work with the property owners and rewrite the notes to make them affordable. Who cares if they blow the note out from 30 years to 40 or 50? Some cash flow is better than no cash flow especially when your talking
physical property!

Make no mistake... you and I are going to pay for this mess. The estimate I heard this morning was that 1 TRILLION dollars evaporated yesterday... another TRILLION was expected to evaporate today! This our money, mom & dads retirement funds, college funds, savings! all gone!

Its going to be very interesting to watch what the govt decides to do next....

Woodsy
I heard the same figures yesterday. $1 trillion. But then I thought...where does the money go? I know it sounds dumb, but that is a serious question. Did it ever exist in the first place, since it was loans?
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Old 09-30-2008, 09:58 AM   #82
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I heard the same figures yesterday. $1 trillion. But then I thought...where does the money go? I know it sounds dumb, but that is a serious question. Did it ever exist in the first place, since it was loans?
The money existed in the form of investments that could be sold for cash....

Hypothetical (not really) situation... (this is happening all over as we speak)


Your have been saving money since your kid was born... you saved $100K for your kids college. What you really saved was $50K, but because you INVESTED the money in a fund, and Wall St. was doing good your savings grew to 100K!

Your kid started college this month....

So you decide to cash out and get some $$$ to pay the tuition.... and lo and behold your $100K has been vaporized overnight into $70K so now you can only afford to pay for 3 years of college instead of 4! and the fund is continously dropping precipitously in value by the day...

So you and (everybody else) yank whats left of your money out... enough people do that and the institution fails....

Go watch "It's A Wonderful Life".... its a pretty simple explanation of whats going on.... except on a much much larger scale....

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Old 09-30-2008, 10:21 AM   #83
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Thanks for the explanation Woodsy, makes perfect sense, and that is more or less what I was thinking.
However...if I had $100k, and now I only have $70k, where did my $30k go? If I had made the $30k instead of losing it, someone would have had to give it to me....
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Old 09-30-2008, 10:34 AM   #84
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Default A house of cards

This economy has been a house of cards for some time now.It's very easy to blame the big guy lending institutions and Wall street traders and they should have their share but look in the mirror people.The reason we are in this situation is because most Americans have credit WAY beyond where they should.The bubble is about to bust and those us who knew better and did not over extend themselves are not in too bad of position.The problem is the rest of the over extended world will be taking us down with them like my retirement accounts.Boy Dad was soo right about staying out of high debt because when things go south you will be in a much better position.It's been hard to do when property looks like it will increase at a never ending rate and there is plenty of money to be made through speculation of higher property values.That's not reality and we now have deflation and lots of property owned upside down.Most of the people on this board are old enough to have seen the big deflation of the early 90's and what it did to the s&l's.This is now a much worse version and the stakes are higher.Bottom line.Don't buy what you can't afford to pay for if the economy goes in the crapper.
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Old 09-30-2008, 11:11 AM   #85
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Chip...

Investing is not like a savings account that will pay a fixed rate... Investing is more like gambling, but with better odds! (usually)

Lets say you put $25 week/$100 a month into the US College Mutual Fund managed by CheezWhiz Brothers Financial. You did the research and at the time you started investing 18 years ago, it was a good fund returning 15% average on your investment... essentially the share value of the fund increased by 15% on average... over 18 years your cash contribution was $21,600... but because the fund has performed well you have more than doubled your money. What your really doing is buying shares of a fund...

Over the 18 years you have been investing you have accumulated 1000 shares of stock and its currently @ $100 share on NYSE

But what you don't know is the CheezWhiz made some questionable investing decisions with the fund money, investing the fund money in other companies who were buying and selling questionable loans... and for awhile this was a good idea, as the values of the companies the fund invested in rose! SO did the stock price of the US College Fund to its current $100 per share price...

But then the bubble popped. The value of the companies the fund invested in starts to plummet because those companies made bad investments themselves! The US College Mutual fund value (that you invested in) was trading at $100 a share starts to plummett as well. So the share price drops from $100 to $70 overnight... so your money vaporizes.... POOF!

Now have that scenario occur to millions of people and then you get why the bailout is a bitter but necessary evil....

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Old 09-30-2008, 11:13 AM   #86
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Tilton BB and SIKSUKR have it right, IMO. It's convenient for folks to want to point fingers and assess blame, but those two actions fail to address a lack of personal responsibility.

Just because I "qualify" for a ridiculous loan, mortgage or credit card limit doesn't mean I should take it. And I don't think it's the bank's fault for offering it. They take the risk of not getting their money back when they offer those absurd instruments. And to date, I haven't heard of one single case where the borrower was forced, against their will, under duress, at gun point... to take on those debts! THAT IS THE ROOT CAUSE OF THIS WHOLE MESS.

It sounded great when Frank & Co. wanted everyone to have their own home. But as noted above, not everyone can afford to or should have their own home. But that's not a de-regulation issue. It's not a bank issue. It's a personal issue to take on a loan you can't afford to pay. Sure, it's a little sketchy for a bank to offer an interest-only mortgage payment. But if you don't understand what that means and are foolish enough to think it's the right lending instrument for your needs, well, that's your issue, not the lender's.

"Bailout" has a nice ring to it, but it's not really what DC is trying to do right now. It's more of a giant loan backed by every taxpayer in the US. We, as a whole, have much more financial capacity working together to buy these bad loans, get them off the books of the financial institutions, hold on to them for 5, 10 or 15+ years, then sell them off when they are worth the paper they are printed on. For example, we, the US taxpayers, buy the $250k mortgage from Bank A on the property currently worth only $150k due to the declining market, hold it, and some day down the road when it's worth $240k, $250, or maybe even $260k, we sell it. So we're not throwing our money away, but we -- the taxpayers -- are putting our skin in the game to help everyone involved until everyone settles down, stops panicking, and we get some stability back into the market.

So here we are today waiting on DC to solve all our ills. Never a comfortable spot to be when we're looking for Washington to employ the common sense and fiscal prudence we need right now. It's ugly. And I'm not sure what the solution is. Personally, I'd like to see some banks fail. If you invested heavily on risky loans and bought a book of business that included mortgage instruments that the lenders couldn't afford to pay, well, that's business. I just personally don't think our government should be in the mortgage business, but that ship sailed long ago. And the best idea I've heard to date is to offer a form of insurance to help companies, but not put cash on the table right now. Increase the FDIC of $100k to $1M, stop folks from running on the banks, and not force through some legislation that we really haven't thought through completely. After all, the "houses for everyone" legislation took a long time to pass. Can you image the ramifications 10 years from now of something we threw together in 10 days?

Keep doing what you're doing. Keep working. Keep saving what you can. And if you can afford it, now is a great time to be getting IN, not OUT, of the market. Buy low, after all. But probably best to stay away from bank stocks at the moment.
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Old 09-30-2008, 11:43 AM   #87
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Oh yes a bad economy...I dropped 10 K last night alone in my 401K doesn't get any better than that.
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Old 09-30-2008, 11:58 AM   #88
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Default Unbelievable

I am posting this story from 1999 (that's right, 1999) from the New York post.
Although it may seem like a tedious read, you have to read down to the part where the finacial expert states what will have to happen if the sub-prime mortgages go bad...talk about seeing the future.
This was written 9 years ago.


Quote:
Fannie Mae Eases Credit To Aid Mortgage Lending
By STEVEN A. HOLMES
Published: September 30, 1999
In a move that could help increase home ownership rates among minorities and low-income consumers, the Fannie Mae Corporation is easing the credit requirements on loans that it will purchase from banks and other lenders.

The action, which will begin as a pilot program involving 24 banks in 15 markets -- including the New York metropolitan region -- will encourage those banks to extend home mortgages to individuals whose credit is generally not good enough to qualify for conventional loans. Fannie Mae officials say they hope to make it a nationwide program by next spring.

Fannie Mae, the nation's biggest underwriter of home mortgages, has been under increasing pressure from the Clinton Administration to expand mortgage loans among low and moderate income people and felt pressure from stock holders to maintain its phenomenal growth in profits.

In addition, banks, thrift institutions and mortgage companies have been pressing Fannie Mae to help them make more loans to so-called subprime borrowers. These borrowers whose incomes, credit ratings and savings are not good enough to qualify for conventional loans, can only get loans from finance companies that charge much higher interest rates -- anywhere from three to four percentage points higher than conventional loans.

''Fannie Mae has expanded home ownership for millions of families in the 1990's by reducing down payment requirements,'' said Franklin D. Raines, Fannie Mae's chairman and chief executive officer. ''Yet there remain too many borrowers whose credit is just a notch below what our underwriting has required who have been relegated to paying significantly higher mortgage rates in the so-called subprime market.''

Demographic information on these borrowers is sketchy. But at least one study indicates that 18 percent of the loans in the subprime market went to black borrowers, compared to 5 per cent of loans in the conventional loan market.

In moving, even tentatively, into this new area of lending, Fannie Mae is taking on significantly more risk, which may not pose any difficulties during flush economic times. But the government-subsidized corporation may run into trouble in an economic downturn, prompting a government rescue similar to that of the savings and loan industry in the 1980's.

''From the perspective of many people, including me, this is another thrift industry growing up around us,'' said Peter Wallison a resident fellow at the American Enterprise Institute. ''If they fail, the government will have to step up and bail them out the way it stepped up and bailed out the thrift industry.''
Under Fannie Mae's pilot program, consumers who qualify can secure a mortgage with an interest rate one percentage point above that of a conventional, 30-year fixed rate mortgage of less than $240,000 -- a rate that currently averages about 7.76 per cent. If the borrower makes his or her monthly payments on time for two years, the one percentage point premium is dropped.

Fannie Mae, the nation's biggest underwriter of home mortgages, does not lend money directly to consumers. Instead, it purchases loans that banks make on what is called the secondary market. By expanding the type of loans that it will buy, Fannie Mae is hoping to spur banks to make more loans to people with less-than-stellar credit ratings.

Fannie Mae officials stress that the new mortgages will be extended to all potential borrowers who can qualify for a mortgage. But they add that the move is intended in part to increase the number of minority and low income home owners who tend to have worse credit ratings than non-Hispanic whites.

Home ownership has, in fact, exploded among minorities during the economic boom of the 1990's. The number of mortgages extended to Hispanic applicants jumped by 87.2 per cent from 1993 to 1998, according to Harvard University's Joint Center for Housing Studies. During that same period the number of African Americans who got mortgages to buy a home increased by 71.9 per cent and the number of Asian Americans by 46.3
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Old 09-30-2008, 12:03 PM   #89
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Thanks Woodsy.
I know I am asking dumb questions, and I accept it for what it is. I am an educated guy, and actually am kinda smart. I am just lacking the skills pertaining to investments and the economy etc. Never been a strong suit of mine. I do follow my 401k, and have it spread out over 5 funds, plus my company stock. Fortunately most of my nest egg is not controlled by me, and is strictly in municipal bonds, so I don't have to worry about my 401k so much.
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Old 09-30-2008, 12:17 PM   #90
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I remember 5 to 10 years ago, many prominent mayors, congressmen and senators jumping up and down because banks were not writing low income people loans. They were threatening legislation and lawsuits. Well, they got their way and look what happened......
Incredibly, there was not one word in the bailout bill that failed yesterday about stopping those insane lending practices. Barney Frank and other Democrats want them to continue.

In 2004 many Republicans and regulators were begging to reform Freddie and Fannie but were repeatedly blocked by the Democrats. They wouldn't even allow a vote on the proposed reforms. Watch this closely before you blame Republicans for this mess. Watch it all:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_MGT_cSi7Rs&e
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Old 09-30-2008, 03:00 PM   #91
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Default Bailout

Why would we bailout lending institutions for their mismanagement. Years of no doc and low doc loans, not to mention credit cards have allowed people to borrow way beyond their means. I say let the house of cards tumble.
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Old 09-30-2008, 04:15 PM   #92
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Default usury

I'm old enough to remember the "usury laws". The usury laws were taken off of the books im 1980. They need to be applied again. It's at best amoral to unleash the wealthy to prey on the middle, and lower-middle class with 22% interest rates. Usury laws have been with us since biblical times, and a moral society should never allow these credit goons to gain money from citizens that the local mafia vig guy could only dream of getting !
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Old 09-30-2008, 05:05 PM   #93
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This mess was caused by greedy crooks lending money to people who did not have the means to pay the loan back, it's really that simple. No doc loans, no credit check, no employment verification, all these schemes caused an implosion when the people who got the loans could not make the payments. Wall street bundled them up into bonds, twisted arms to get them rated AAA and sold them, many to oversea investors who didn't know any better. People should be going to jail for this.

Most of these people who got the loans knew what they were doing also but did it anyway. I'm still on the fence about this bailout, I think it needs to be done to prevent a run on the banks and a full blown depression, but on the other hand these banks and lending institutions really do need to die.
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Old 09-30-2008, 05:58 PM   #94
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Default Globe story

I think there are a lot of people to blame on both sides of the aisle. Unfortunately, sometimes political correctness goes awry- and the middle class pays. Interesting story in the Globe http://www.boston.com/bostonglobe/ed...stPop_Emailed2
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Old 09-30-2008, 06:00 PM   #95
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Default Investments are not "real" money

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Thanks Woodsy.
I know I am asking dumb questions, and I accept it for what it is. I am an educated guy, and actually am kinda smart. I am just lacking the skills pertaining to investments and the economy etc. Never been a strong suit of mine. I do follow my 401k, and have it spread out over 5 funds, plus my company stock. Fortunately most of my nest egg is not controlled by me, and is strictly in municipal bonds, so I don't have to worry about my 401k so much.
Many years ago my great Uncle made quite a bit of money on stock investments. He told me a little then about investing in stocks and I have learned a bit more on my own. Back in his day most stocks were in companies that manufactured things. The people that bought those stocks carefully looked at the company and it's business. If a company made farm equipment it was possible to estimate the market needs for new farm equipment and the likelihood that a particular company would prosper or not. The people that invested were interested in the real ability of a company to do business, essentially to sell its products, make a profit, and grow.

That is no longer true.

Value of a company's stock today is largely based on opinion of the stock's glamor. Since the stock (or really any type of investment) value is opinion based the value can shift very rapidly. To add to the power of this opinion is the fact that a lot of stock is managed by large investment firms. When they decide a stock has lost its glamor they start to unload it and that drives the price down, almost a self fulfilling prophecy.

The practical reality is this. I own a piece of paper that says I have rights to shares of XYZ company. Although it actually is a "piece" of the company, its value may have little to do with the actual physical value of the real company. So today, with everyone's good opinion of XYZ those shares are worth $10,000. Tomorrow, people hear something they don't like about XYZ company, perhaps that one of their biggest customers has cut their order by 50%. The glamor of the stock fades, some institutional investors dump the stock, and presto-chango the shares are now only worth $6,000. $4,000 in value has been "lost"! Where did it go? It wasn't real to begin with, it was based on an opinion of value which can vanish overnight.

However, what has really changed? XYZ company still exists. It is still doing business. It is likely that the company will make up the lost sales by finding new customers or selling more to existing customers, companies do this all the time. The real value of the company has changed little however the glamor of the company is in someone else's perception and subject to the whims of the investment community. Companies have become like celebrities, popular one day, ignored the next.

The same applies to housing value which is at the center of this crisis. When people who can afford their housing own property they aren't forced into selling it at bad prices. Prices go up or down but they float through the changes because they don't need to sell.

People who couldn't afford the house they bought get forced out. Since they can't be picky about the price they get, or the bank forecloses on them the house is sold for less than it's original value. When this happens rarely, someone gets a good deal on a house and that's it. When it happens frequently because poor lending practices have been institutionalized by the federal government it starts to depress all house prices. People that are buying see that many houses that used to sell for $400,000 are now selling for $340,000 and that is all they will pay. Now everyone's $400,000 house is only worth $340,000. If you need to sell you have "lost" $60,000. What changed? Your house is still the same, same rooms, same location, same climate. The only thing that has changed is the buyer's opinion of your house's value.

So where did the money go? It wasn't real to begin with. Until the money makes your fingers green it isn't real.

This is the "risk" in investments today. Hoping you call sell before the glamor fades. Hollywood investments.
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Old 09-30-2008, 06:17 PM   #96
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I don't pretend to even begin to understand this mess, but I think this is what the goverment should have explained. The bailout plan was designed to keep the economy from crashing by buying the assets of the failing companies. When the economy turns around, then the government sells the assets. In the end, it would probably not cost the taxpayers anything or only very little. So, the government isn't pouring money into Wall Street or Main Street. People who ask why the government isn't paying their bills rather than saving the corporate hot shots just don't get it.

By the by, the $750 million bailout is far less money than the $1.2 trillion that simply vanished when the stock market lost those 700 plus points yesterday. Makes you think.

Remember, though, I don't follow this too closely although I probably should. Too depressing.

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Old 09-30-2008, 06:35 PM   #97
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Default try this

Stock market is (on a very basic level) made up of two parts.
Expectation (speculation) and earnings (a stocks true value).
The stock price rises as people expect (speculate) the stocks earnings (the stocks actual value) to rise. AAAAhhhhhh, but when expectation does not equal earnings, you have a fault, that eventually needs to be corrected...which, of course, is why it is called a "market correction".
And this time the market is correcting, and correcting, and correcting, and correcting, and correcting.....get it?
Most of these stocks were never valued at the price people speculated they would one day be worth. Never. Never even close. Why, then, would people but the stocks. They didn't know they were. You see, most American workers contribute each week to this magical thing called a 401K. They don't really know were the money is going...they just know that 7 or 8 or 9 or 10 percent disappears each week from their check (gross, not net, so pre tax) and goes into some pool (for lack of a better word), and then once a quarter they get a statement from some faceless money management company, and for many many years the return on these investments was effortlessly huge (or at least very good) so, why question it. Keep on going, keep on giving...
Well, those real dollars we all contributed, were not treated as real dollars by brokers, and market speculators who produced fake balance sheets (see: Enron et all) who continue to trade with our dollars, and buy into false expectations, with our real dollars....and now, well, thanks for playing. Please see the man at the door to settle all accounts. You're money???Well, uummm...about that....
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Old 09-30-2008, 06:53 PM   #98
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Default getting worse

Even the most optimistic person has to recognize the significance of what is happening around us. I mean, real estate, the market crash, Wachovia Bank actaully failing. The only safe investment right now is probably a Treasury Note...currently returning 1 to 1.25 percent (so $10 on every 1000). It is probably the equivalent of putting your money under the mattress, but it's safe.
Don't want to be the voice of gloom and doom...but I would say things are going to continue to get worse, very much so, before they get better.
I know I can't hold out much longer...my reserve cash supply continues to take a hit month after month, as I try to maintain some type of quality of life...but give it another year or so...and man, I've got to start all over. Sounds fun!
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Old 09-30-2008, 07:18 PM   #99
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Default I give up!

The "experts" have given you all their perspective of what this recent market flucuation is all about. If you are 5 years or less away from retirement and you have lost more than 20% of the value of your portfolio it is unbalanced! See your broker! Rebalace it, you have too much risk as you near retirement. BTW, it may not be your brokers fault, you may have told him that you are very risk/reward tolerant. If any other situation exists, don't look at your portflio, just watch the sunup and sunset, you will be fine. BTW, I am not connected to the Financial Services business in any way.

Just a semi-educated guy who is 13 years away from retirement and he will be adding bonds to his portfolio in 5 years. But not before!
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Old 09-30-2008, 08:26 PM   #100
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Default No Dumb Questions, Chip...........

Quote:
Originally Posted by chipj29 View Post
Thanks Woodsy.
I know I am asking dumb questions, and I accept it for what it is. I am an educated guy, and actually am kinda smart. I am just lacking the skills pertaining to investments and the economy etc. Never been a strong suit of mine. I do follow my 401k, and have it spread out over 5 funds, plus my company stock. Fortunately most of my nest egg is not controlled by me, and is strictly in municipal bonds, so I don't have to worry about my 401k so much.
Only dumb answers, as the old adage goes. Keep asking your questions, it never hurts to learn something new. I understand a lot of this stuff intuitively, but would totally be unable to answer some of the questions cause it's kind of hard to do that when I understand it "in my head" but can't get the words right to have someone understand it, if that makes any sense. You're getting some good, very clear answers here!
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