Check out this article from Charles Hugh Smith. (Look for the blog entry with the title the same as mine) It’s good stuff. Tough action will be needed in our future if we’re going to fix this debt problem our whole country is in.
Our government should be ashamed of themselves for all the two faced talk they’ve been giving lately. Paulson says that institutions will need to fail, and then they bail out Fannie and Freddie (sort of, $15B doesn’t go far when a company has debt like they do) so that institutional investors (read, foreign governments, PIMCO, etc) can all get rich, or at least maintain what they have.
In a capitalist economy when a business fails it fails, and the investors lose money. What we have in this country is some kind of hybrid where the owners make money when times are good but when they are bad the downside is pushed onto taxpayers, if the business is deemed important to the greater good. The bad thing is that these businesses are historically reckless because of this potential bailout. There is also a sort of short term mentality with these large corporations. The managers know that they need to get their cash while they can, screw what happens 5 years after they leave their office. It’s a messed up incentive pool.
The article sums up a lot of the crap that’s gone on that no one hears about on CNN or ABC.
Chronicling Obama’s march to the right. I’ve been noticing that he gets progressively more centric and closer to the right every week. I wonder if he thinks no one will notice? Maybe no one will notice? So many people are in love with him that I don’t think many will notice. I liked the guy while he was campaigning for the Democratic ticket, but now that he’s starting to change and wear the same spots as all other politicians I might be through with him.
IndyMac bank blows up. 2nd biggest failure ever. Not counting Bear Sterns, etc of course.
The Greatest Transfer of Wealth in History. (Scroll down until you see this title in a post title)
The story of the Nigerian Delta, and it’s oil riches.
Interesting story of a soldier becoming a farmer.
Funny how I’m reading so much great stuff about peak oil and Americans’ changing their driving and spending habits from papers on the other side of the world. Is it not news here too?
Ideas on harvesting rainwater for use around your house. This guy does it in AZ, where it’s vitally important and it pays of for him with increased comfort and food production.
If you need some tactics on dealing with debt collectors check out this article from CNN.
Group in SF wants to rename their sewage disposal plant for George W Bush. I find this humorous, although the difference between the two is that a sewage plants takes in shit and puts out (relatively) clean water. Bush takes in good stuff in puts out shit. He’s like a bizarro sewage plant. That being said, he’s not the only one. We could have one named for Cheney, Rummy and a few others. (HT:Mish)
Expat Chef’s revolutionary health care plan. I like. I’ve heard it from other places too. Tax the things that are bad for us. The only way you can change behavior is to hit people in their pocket books. Tax fast food, and junk food, and sodas. Tax alcohol, and if you want people to drive less tax the hell out of gas. While we’re at it, let’s legalize some drugs, and tax the hell out of them too. Obviously the billions we’re spending aren’t making a dent so why not make them legal, track who buys them and tax their use?
This guy has an interesting idea on how to handle the banking crisis in America. (It’s the June 30th entry)
A story about how a group of people were taken to the cleaners on real estate loans in the past few years.
I don’t mention this much, but when I was investing in properties I was taken to the cleaners on one deal over the financing. The broker I used promised me a product that he ultimately wasn’t able to deliver. He got me into a loan for temporary construction financing to rehab a property, but then he couldn’t come through on the permanent financing he said was part of the deal. I was able to secure permanent financing because we have good credit histories, and I’m educated about the market. But, if I can be misled how does someone with little education handle it?
You want to know what retribution I was able to make against the broker? Nothing. I complained to the state regulatory agency and when they couldn’t get him to respond they said I could sue him for extra costs I incurred. It wasn’t worth it to do that though. I wasn’t seriously hurt by it, but I can imagine someone not in my position being hurt much more by it. When there are stories in the news about people being taken advantage of I don’t assume that it was just people not being educated, not anymore. It irritates me when people say that “it’s what they signed up for”. Well, if I have a vested interest in it I can explain almost anything to you in such a manner that you would think it was a good idea.
Some gardening ideas from John Jeavons.
A world with $200 a barrel oil.
Some ideas on $200 oil from the Oil Drum.
The End of the Oil Age. (Good point driven discussion, not just opinion like me…)