Some things I’m reading today and other thoughts, in no particular order (but numbered none-the-less). Enjoy!
1. Benzinga: “The Game of Mortgage Lending”
Written by a guy running a mortgage company at the epicenter of the housing crisis, Orange County, CA. My 1st reaction was “be on the lookout for typical bias” but I was surprised to find this is actually a well-balanced read. When you have someone whose incentive is to talk up the housing recovery saying things like
In short, we have serious long term problems in the real estate market in this country, which thus far, remain largely unacknowledged by the industry leadership, government officials and even the financial media. The prevailing opinion seems to be that the market will stabilize then begin to recover and within the next few years. In a press release by the National Association of Realtors, Ron Peltier, chairman and CEO of HomeServices of America, Inc., the second largest independent residential real estate brokerage firm in the country, is quoted as saying that the nation is in the seventh inning of the housing market correction and that that today’s real estate market resembles that in the year 2000. (REALTORS® Cautiously Optimistic about Future of Housing Market) In truth however, current conditions are grim and all market indicatorssuggest that we are in for a long hard slog, of six to eight years, before the market is to rid of all the toxic assets on bank books and the number of qualified borrowers comes close to matching the available inventory.
Lets get real: its 2000-freaking-8. If you’re over the age of 7 and don’t know that gorging on Big Macs will eventually lead to heart attacks, pounding Jack all day will get you cirrhosis, and sucking down a pack of Marlboros will cause emphysema, than you sir or Madame, have gone out of your way to deserve, nay, EARN, the consequences of your astounding ignorance. Period. End of story.
Of course, this is all really about a little thing called personal responsibility; about accepting the consequences of one’s actions. Unfortunately this is the sorry state of things in this country (and the World in general) where these ideas are so foreign to us they might as well be Martian.
The hypocrisy of the whole game though is that we whine about government intervention into all of our affairs, but at the same time cry for help whenever something happens for which we don’t want to accept responsibility. Legislators, eager to stay in office (read: power) are all-too-happy to appease our complaints, further strengthening the regulatory grip on our ability to conduct our lives as we see fit. On the grand scale, its a massive, dysfunctional game of shifting/assigning blame and actors avoiding responsibility for their decisions, a game which in the ultimate analysis, cannot possibly end well for any parties involved.
That is, of course, unless we step up to the plate and start accepting responsibility for our actions, both the good, and slightly less-than.
If 84% of parents take their kids to a fast food restaurant at least once/week (putting aside the fact that simply eating at a fast food restaurant is not necessarily in and of itself the or even a cause of obesity), then they have no one to blame but themselves. Not their “busy schedules,” “high food prices” or anything else. Take a look in the freaking mirror. If your 7 year old has more rolls than the Michellin Man its probably your fault as a parent for feeding your kid (too much) crappy food and not making sure he/she is sufficiently active. Ok, need to stop here before I repeat what I wrote on 1-2 Knockout back in 2008 (the above quote). Argh.
“A G6 is not a Gatorade flavor. It’s not a car, convertible, four-door. It’s not a watch,” Kev Nish explained to MTV News. “But Drake, Drake talks about having G4 pilots on deck, so we said, ‘What’s flyer than a G4?’ Of course, it would be a G6.”