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Mortgage fiasco worsens: Who's to blame?

Posted by billspaced | 1:12 PM | , , | 0 comments »

We always look for somebody other than ourselves to blame...

How Missed Signs Contributed to a Mortgage Meltdown - New York Times
But the cast of characters who missed signals like the rise of delinquencies and foreclosures is becoming easier to identify. They include investment banks happy to sell risky but lucrative mortgage debt to hedge funds hungry for high interest payments, bond rating agencies willing to hope for the best in the housing market and provide sterling credit appraisals to debt issuers, and subprime mortgage brokers addicted to high sales volumes.

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Great short story on money and small children

Posted by billspaced | 8:24 AM | | 0 comments »

The Simple Dollar » Five Money Lessons For Preschoolers - And Applying Them To My Own Child

Love this person's perspective and grounding. Live within your means, not like the Joneses.

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Countrywide facing serious issues, including bankruptcy

Posted by billspaced | 10:32 AM | , | 0 comments »

Credit crunch imperils lender - Los Angeles Times

This is worse than I had imagined it could get.
At some branches, managers would buy lunch every day for their staff to keep them at their desks working. One manager at a branch in Van Nuys was known to keep a case of Red Bull by his desk for employees to tap when their energy flagged.
Like in the dot-com boom and bust...
More than one-third of all mortgages sold to Fannie Mae comes from Countrywide.
Nothing like the government putting a lot of eggs in one basket!
A bailout of Countrywide would make the government's efforts to save automaker Chrysler in the 1970s look puny.
Especially since Chrysler is doing so well now (not). It seems to me that Countrywide should be allowed to fail...and Fannie Mae should have to carry the debt, at whatever terms they can negotiate with mortgage holders. It may mean that other mortgage companies could service the debt and be given appropriate (i.e., fair) compensation for doing so with zero risk.

Could be a windfall for banks like Washington Mutual, Bank of America, and Wells Fargo.

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Credit rating firms (S&P, Moody's) helped worsen 'sub prime' mortgage security debacle

Posted by billspaced | 2:15 PM | | 0 comments »

How Rating Firms' Calls Fueled Subprime Mess -

Nice. Even the big guns got this wrong. How many times does history have to repeat itself for people to figure out that the economy, and every market within it, ebbs and flows, goes up and down, has great returns and then not-so-great returns?

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Housing bubble? Nah! It's a baloon (that's about to burst -- oh, gosh, no!)

Posted by billspaced | 12:43 PM | | 0 comments »

Freakonomics Quorum: Is It Time to Believe in the Housing Bubble? - Freakonomics - Opinion - New York Times Blog
Bubble is the wrong imagery for today’s housing markets. Bubbles inevitably “pop.” A more useful image for the housing markets is a balloon. Balloons expand and deflate. It is clear that air has come out of a number of local balloons across the nation, particularly in California, Nevada, Arizona, Florida and some selected metropolitan areas in the Midwest and Northeast regions.
This is a great way to think of real estate and other so-called "local" market economies (I guess like ice in Phoenix AZ versus ice in Alaska).

The balloon can pop, but most likely it inflates or deflates. That is healthy. Bursting is unhealthy (and in the near-term is a zero-sum game, where there is a winner and a loser).

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zenhabits: a great site for learning to live within your means

Posted by billspaced | 5:25 AM | 0 comments »

zen habits | Simple Productivity

This is a newfound gem for me: zenhabits. I love it! I found it through Dumb Little Man. I am forever grateful.

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Dilbert's career advice

Posted by billspaced | 9:44 PM | 0 comments »

The Dilbert Blog: Career Advice

Sound advice from Scott Adams

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Setting -- and reaching -- net worth goals

Posted by billspaced | 9:43 PM | 0 comments »

The Simple Dollar » A Guide To Setting And Reaching A Net Worth Goal

One of my favorite personal finance sites brings out another winning article about achieving your net worth goals.
How can I do that $300 a week when I’m barely getting by? Learn about frugality. Start cooking at home. Cut out unnecessary monthly expenses. Get out of all of your debts and don’t get back into debt. You also may have to define a different goal - look at a crossover point that’s further out, or simply define another goal entirely - perhaps a net worth of a certain amount by a certain birthday.

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Bottled water is for the rich birds

Posted by billspaced | 11:45 AM | 0 comments »

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