Some Good Housing News
Economic Disconnect gets a bad rap as a "doom and gloom" site. I would characterize this blog as informative and entertaining. If the information is rough, I cannot control that, it speaks for itself. That said I feel I should report some good news on the housing front as to give some balance to my slanted coverage.
It seems there are some silver linings and rays of light coming from the housing bust. Here is a wonderful human interest tale sure to warm your hearts:
ECONOMY-US: Squatters See Silver Lining in Foreclosed Homes
By Matthew Cardinale
MIAMI, Florida, Feb 18 (IPS) - With foreclosures skyrocketing and U.S. families sinking deeper into poverty, a number of organisations are turning to a new strategy to end homelessness: moving families into vacant, foreclosed houses that are currently owned by banks or the government.
About 15 percent of the housing units in the United States in the fourth quarter 2008were vacant, representing 19 million units, according to a report from the U.S. Census Bureau. One advocacy group in Miami, Florida, Take Back the Land, has already moved seven families into foreclosed properties.
So far, city officials in Miami have declined to get involved, telling local newspapers that it is up to the property's owners - usually, the banks - to initiate any actions.
Four of the Miami families have already moved on to better situations, having been able to save up money during their months of squatting. Only once have police forced a family out of an abandoned property, but activists simply moved them to another one of thousands of vacant properties.
Meanwhile, one U.S. Congresswoman, Marcy Kaptur, an Ohio Democrat, is advising her constituents not to leave their homes if they are foreclosed on.
"So I say to the American people, be squatters in your own home! Don't you leave!" Kaptur said this month on the U.S. House floor.
See, I can report positive news as well. We need bumper stickers made up that say "Be Squatters in Your own Home!"
If you like horror movies or scary books I found two articles that might keep you up for two nights without sleep, which happens to me every single time I watch the film "The Exorcist". Advisory: After reading these articles I actually printed out a gun license application! Any readers have a suggestion on what kind of rifle and shotgun are most practical if you could only have 1 of each? I am not interested in handguns.
First up, a worldwide movement to make the dollar no longer the reserve currency of the world:
PUTIN: POST-US WORLD BLUEPRINT
Second, the terrible situation facing European banks:
The Looming Collapse of European Banking
You were warned!
Street Advice for the Treasury
What would hard men that live in brutal cities in gangs think of the current response to the banking crisis? Someone actually found out! Summary at end is pretty good:
"The unanimous opinion among The Thugz was that you must base your work around a time-tested law of ghetto capitalism: losers must die in full view. What? This doesn’t make sense. O.K., well, let me explain. Your first mistake (more accurately, your predecessor’s error) was to mix the bad apples (banks) with the good (banks). By doing so, you forgot what makes capitalism so much fun: winners win at the losers’ expense, and everyone gets to watch and laugh. Sort of like public hangings, except reported on the financial pages. Otherwise, why read The Wall Street Journal?
The moral is: don’t ever take the joy of death away from the public. Because if you don’t see losers in pain, you begin to think the game is rigged. And we all know the game is fair, open, and transparent … yes?"
Hard to argue with that!
Friday Night Blowoff Top
I find it hard to believe but it seems the White House, while ignoring any polls that show overwhelming opposition to bailouts and mortgage subsidies, found it necessary to comment on the now famous Rick Santelli rant shown here and everywhere on earth yesterday. From the Clusterstock article:
White House Blasts Rick Santelli Over "The Rant"
Ok, we just changed our mind again. After getting tired of Santelli's rant, we're now back on his side after learning that the White House blasted him.
CBSNews: “I also think that it’s tremendously important that for people who rant on cable television – to be responsible and understand what it is they’re talking about. I feel assured that Mr. Santelli doesn’t know what he’s talking about,” Gibbs said during the daily White House briefing for reporters, CBS News’ Mark Knoller reports.
The White House press secretary did not stop there. Knoller reports that Gibbs went on to criticize the objectivity of cable news reporting.
“If I hadn’t worked on the campaign but simply watched the cable news scorekeeping of the campaign – we lost virtually every day of the race....” he said.
Dear Robert Gibbs: Shove it. Telling reporters when they're "being responsible" or when they're being "objective" isn't cool. This has shades of the Bush administration calling out the NYT for its aggressive reporting, which wasn't cool then.
Excuse me, but all Mr. Santelli ranted about was that most people do not want to pay for other peoples mortgages. What's to know? Just who in the f#cking world does Press Secretary Gibbs think HE is to say anyone else has no idea what they are talking about? I mean Gibb's boss had his first primetime press conference on a Monday night a couple of weeks ago and said that his treasury secretary would "have his day in the sun" on Tuesday when he was to unveil the big bank rescue plan. During Monday night Geithner had second thoughts and scrapped the whole thing and then made a fool of himself, in the sun, on Tuesday. Rick Santelli does not know what he is talking about? The whole economic team of the administration doesn't either.
The market opened pretty bad and when no rally occurred before 12 noon I knew what was going to happen. There would be a rally late (after 2pm) to the close and all the talking heads would start the "double bottom" and "is this THE bottom" talk. Baloney. What happened was the markets were shelled big time and then everyone who was short closed positions before market close. Nobody wants to hold an open position over a weekend especially when you know the government is going to try something. There was your rally. Option expirations added to the volatility, but basically it was just flight from the market before the weekend. Your welcome.
Gold and Silver continued their grand performance. Love em both,
The Odyssey Marine Expedition show last night was another disappointment. Plenty of wrecked submarines, plenty of interesting historical tidbits, but no GOLD! I still own OMEX stock but these guys are not making it easy!
Barney Frank is working to legalize online poker. Once in my life I support Mr. Frank. The poker ban was snuck into the Port Security Bill from a few years back and banned US players from playing poker online. I stopped playing at that time. I do not know if I would play again, but it would be nice to have the option.
That is about everything that is running through my mind, well the sections not reserved for thinking about fishing and long romantic evenings alone with Danica Patrick that is! A speculative blowoff top of thought!
Friday Night Entertainment
With SO MANY suggestions in the comments section I may have a hard time fitting all of them in. NOT!
Bed and Breakfast
Ah, yes. The combination of a warm bed and then breakfast:
Because I Choose To
From last night's blog, here is the Agent Smith and Neo Exchange:
In honor of Rick Santelli I am posting the ultimate anger song from Drowning Pool called "Let the Bodies hit the Floor" as it should apply to the banks of course:
A song that is sad enough to even make Kevin upset, try out Garth Brooks and "What She's Doing Now". great song and it applies to our fading caplitalism, whats she doing now? (sorry for the stupid CSI video wiht the song, only clip available):
I heard the most terrible cover of the great song "Love Hurts" by Nazareth on the radio today. I have no idea who the band was that covered it, but they ruined it. Enjoy the original:
I have no idea in the whole wide world why I had the video for this song pop into my head today. Strange MTV flashbacks! Anyway, here is Joe Jackson with "Steppin' Out" and yes I know I have some serious issues!:
Have a good night.