My first and best economics "teacher", Henry Hazlitt, who wrote the classic "Economics in One Lesson" back in the 1940s graced the pages of the WSJ the other day with two very relevant paragraphs to explain bubbles. His entire book forms the foundation of how my brain perceives economic phenomena. The mind-numbing crap that passes for basic econ in high school and college textbooks and forms the popular conception of what economics is all about came across my eyes after I read Hazlitt.
I saw a story that Occupy protesters were picketing outside the home of the CEO of Wells Fargo today. Little did I know that after I read the story, I'd actually almost think that the CEO ought to be picketing one of the protesters!
What caught my eye was the fact that the protester interviewed for a story in the San Francisco Business Times was protesting because she had been foreclosed on her second home:
"How many years can a mountain exist,
before it is washed to the sea?
How many years can some people exist,
before they're allowed to be free?
And how many times can a man turn his head,
and pretend that he just doesn't see?
The answer my friend is blowing in the wind,
the answer is blowing in the wind."
Cross posted from The Right Counterpoints -- GoRight.
Things aren't looking good, folks.
Sounding the alarm about the country’s deep fiscal problems, Standard & Poor’s on Monday downgraded its outlook on the U.S. credit rating to “negative," raising the likelihood the U.S. will lose its coveted 'AAA' rating as Washington struggles to fix its beleaguered balance sheet.
R9GjJA Thanks again for the post.Really thank you! Keep writing.
I ran across Brooks at Economist Mom, http://economistmom.com/2010/02/why-paygo-isnt-enough-but-why-well-take-it/#comments , and started to get into a debate about Paul Krugman's writing. That's not the place for a debate, but we can continue it here.
Unfortunately, I did not click through on Brooks' initial comment or I would have seen that most of my points had already been covered here by knocienz.
Posted as an article on Source of Title . Not sure how much interest SC will have in the stuff I write nowadays as a part of my duties at my home site; much of it will be related to the title insurance industry, and the rest will probably be mostly related to real estate in some fashion. In this case, I think there could be some general interest because 1.) FHA's policy portfolio has exploded in the past 12-24 months as the agency has taken over the market for the "subprime" home buyer and the private market for no-money-down loans, option ARMs, NINJA loans and the like have evaporated, and 2.) FHA's financial position is in question as defaults on FHA insured mortgages have spiked, and there have been predictions of a bailout.
Lend America ceased operations earlier this week in the wake of a case brought against it documenting 40 cases of mortgage fraud involving FHA-backed loans, cases which likely only scratch the surface of the true scope of the fraud committed by the company. The situation prompts the question: how is such widespread fraud possible to maintain for such a long period of time, especially when dealing with a federal agency? A closer look at FHA's policies, and one might start to wonder why massive frauds like Lend America aren't more common.
Cross-posted from Source of Title
As I wrote about in my last post, "Debate over New York title insurance public option seems to miss the point ", a group of New York state legislators have proposed legislation to create a "public option" for title insurance. These legislators have pointed to Iowa's Title Guaranty Program, a system of public land title insurance established by Iowa state law.
Unfortunately, there seems to be some confusion on the part of the New York legislators as to the nature of Iowa's land title laws. In short, it appears that they have leaned too heavily on the vast online encyclopedia Wikipedia in their research of the issue.
No, not that one. This one : Fascism.
I know, I know... It's a bad, bad word to throw out there in serious discussion and a word that will surly get taken to mean something other than intended when talking about it in an economic context.
Greenwald's main point:
...there's absolutely nothing about Cramer that is unique when it comes to our press corps. The behavior that Jon Stewart so expertly dissected last night is exactly what our press corps in general does --
How to judge economic phenomena is often in the eye of the beholder. One man's problem is often another man's comfort. One country's helpful subsidies to a particular sector can be a bane to that same sector in another country.
I came across a pretty scary story this morning regarding the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC).
That's what I take from a couple of articles written by social democrats that I've read over the weekend. The pronounced and unmistakable willingness of some to justify having less as long as long as the better off have EVEN less in relation to the worse off is indeed troubling to me. The mental gymnastics that I see these people put themselves through with the full knowledge and implications of their wishes known to them is indeed cause for pause.
The New York Times has an article now about what's happening with the $25 Billion that were set aside for loans through the Energy Department for automobile companies and start-ups to hasten the arrival next-generation auto technology using batteries.
As of right now, the amount of money dispersed has been: $0.00.
But it's not for lack interest in companies looking for the loan money:
Obama has released his FY 2010 Budget , and there's a lot to digest in there. NPR has a helpful overview by department. My personal, overall impression is that there is some great stuff in there, but it is too big.