Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas

Horse farm 20071, originally uploaded by joefromla.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Forbes bites the Unseen Hand.

Bush's Bad Mortgage Medicine -
The Bush Administration's plan to rescue the housing market and keep the economy from slipping into recession took flak yesterday for freezing interest rate hikes for a mere fraction of subprime, adjustable-rate borrowers. But there's a bigger risk: It could deepen and lengthen the credit crisis.

According to analysis by Barclays Capital, the "freezer-teaser" plan applies to just 240,000 subprime loans. The Mortgage Bankers Association reports the number of subprime adjustable rate mortgages at 2.9 million.

Summary: It won't help, punishes responsible home-buyers, and pisses off the free-marketeers.

Naomi Klein explains it all in Shock Doctrine.
The neo-liberal economic policies—privatization, free trade, slashed social spending—that the Chicago School and the economist Milton Friedman have foisted on the world are catastrophic in two senses, argues this vigorous polemic. Because their results are disastrous—depressions, mass poverty, private corporations looting public wealth, by the author's accounting—their means must be cataclysmic, dependent on political upheavals and natural disasters as coercive pretexts for free-market reforms the public would normally reject.

Update: Thanks to Muggins for the correction. It's Naomi Klein, not Wolf, -- sometimes my fingers do the thinking on the keyboard.

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The Unseen Hand of the Market straightens out the housing mortgage crisis

Bush imposes curb on mortgage rises | Business | The Guardian
President Bush announced a package imposing a five-year freeze on mortgage rates, which are scheduled to jump to often unaffordable levels as short-term "teaser" discounts expire.

Seems that Deity has feet of clay -- for 30 years the Republicans have been destroying economies around the world in the name of "free markets." Now Bush, dimly aware that a full scale crash in housing prices could destroy the world economy, becomes a dreaded socialist. Remember, George, that the government is not the problem, it . . . something . . . fool me once . . .. can't be fooled again.

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Monday, December 03, 2007

What to make of this headline?

New Orleans CityBusiness -- Jindal stacks committees with BR residents

Has Jindal ticked off Citybusiness already?

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Plans for the houses in Brad Pitt's development.

Brad Pitt - New Orleans - Architecture - New York Times

With elevations, very nice. I wouldn't mind trying out one of these.

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How about a little consideration here?

Brad Pitt busy making it right in the Lower 9 -

It would be terrific if someone on the staff had thought about telling us how long the installation would be up.

No, really? They think I don't need to know? You're kidding? Right?

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New Orleans Didn’t Meet the Test for a Debate - New York Times
I would have loved for New Orleans to have been ready to meet that test. I would have also wished for greater geographic diversity. But as a member of the commission, I would not have voted for a site that would not have met the basic tests, despite any sentimental or business-oriented overtones.

This is silly, and no real defense of the presidential debate rejection of New Orleans. What exactly were the "basic tests" and how did N. O. miss them? Ms Ridings, surveying us with eagle's eye from her Olympian perch, doesn't say.

And she doesn't begin to answer the editorial she purports to refute.
Committee members said the city’s sponsors — four local universities and a leading post-hurricane recovery group — failed to guarantee adequate security, finances and logistics. Small wonder residents and boosters find that hard to believe, considering the feisty city already has been handling everything from presidential drop-ins to mega-conventions, with the national football championship game and its hordes of visitors on the winter schedule.

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