Weekend Open Thread (2011-02-25)

Here is your open thread for the weekend beginning Friday February 25th, 2011. You may post random links and off-topic discussions here. Also, if you have an idea or a topic you’d like to see covered in an article, please make it known.

Be sure to also check out the forums, and get your word in the user-driven discussions there!

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About The Tim

Tim Ellis is the founder of Seattle Bubble. His background in engineering and computer / internet technology, a fondness of data-based analysis of problems, and an addiction to spreadsheets all influence his perspective on the Seattle-area real estate market. Tim also hosts the weekly improv comedy sci-fi podcast Dispatches from the Multiverse.

24 comments:

  1. 1
    One Eyed Man says:

    Get the garlic and the holy water. You’ll need ’em if you want to save your soul when you see this. Here’s the latest message from the lair of the undead attempting to attract new disciples. And if you want the promised pleasures, all it will cost is your soul. And they make it all seem so innocent. It’s like luring Pinocchio to Pleasure Island. The script starts like this:

    Business not as good as you’d like? Sales aren’t what they should be? Learn from the master in the video below.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yho857k5X9s

    The undead have a simple sermon and it boils down to this when reduced to its most generic form:

    Sincerity is the most important thing.
    And if you can fake that, you’ve got it made.

  2. 2

    RE: One Eyed Man @ 1 – Is that our local MH? I should probably recognize him from the signs, but I don’t.

  3. 3
    One Eyed Man says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 2

    I think one of the other links says its out of Bonney Lake so I think so. Could there be more than one?

  4. 4
    softwarengineer says:

    Russia Has Pravda and We Have Forbes

    Article in part:

    “….This month, after three years of record declines, the battered housing market has shown some signs of hope. Tuesday the S&P/Case-Shiller 20-city Home Price Index, which is a gauge of sale prices in the country’s major markets, showed a seasonally adjusted 0.3% increase between November and December.

    This, in addition to February news from the Department of Commerce that housing starts were up 2.8% in January, gives economists hope for a recovery. All of this portends good things for the national market in general–but in some particular areas there are very clear signs of life….”

    http://www.forbes.com/2010/02/24/home-prices-rising-lifestyle-real-estate-asking-prices.html

    Seeeeeeee…..the bottom has arrived. Who needs full employment when we have “clear signs of life”….is that like slight movements from some of the dead bodies after a megaton nuclear explosion?

  5. 5

    RE: One Eyed Man @ 3 – In case you don’t recognize the name:

    http://www.komonews.com/news/local/102511999.html

    They were able to undo the temporary suspension, but I haven’t heard anything further.

  6. 6
    One Eyed Man says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 5

    That’s what I’d heard too. I just didn’t know he’d become the new agent coaching guru. I guess even if you can’t play cause they might take your license, you can take money to coach.

  7. 7
    mukoh says:

    OMG One Eyed Man, that guy is such a duche. :)

  8. 8
    Blake says:

    !???!! The beginning of the mortgage cramdowns??
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703842004576162813248586844.html
    -snip- “Terms of the administration’s proposal include a commitment from mortgage servicers to reduce the loan balances of troubled borrowers who owe more than their homes are worth, people familiar with the matter said.”
    Of course… “The cost of those writedowns won’t be borne by investors who purchased mortgage-backed securities, these people said.”
    […just who do you think will pay for this??]

    “So far, most loan modifications have focused on shrinking monthly payments by lowering interest rates and extending loan terms. Banks, as well as mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, have been shy to embrace principal reductions, in part due to concerns that many borrowers who can afford their loans will stop paying in the hope of being rewarded with a smaller loan. But some economists warn that rising numbers of underwater borrowers will drag on housing markets and the economy for years unless more is done to help them.”

    [Agreed… it has to happen or these debts will crush consumers for years/decades]

  9. 9
  10. 10
    Scotsman says:

    This is great- I head to San Francisco for a few days out of the snow and what happens? Yup, the first real threat of snow in the city in 35 years. I’d rather be home, taking on “he who shall not be named” on the bubble.

  11. 11
    Blurtman says:

    RE: One Eyed Man @ 1 – Count the “And let me tell ya’s” . Over 10, I believe. And let me tell ya,…..

  12. 12
    The Tim says:

    I’m upgrading the site to the latest version of WordPress this weekend. Please have patience with the odd layout errors and other quirks as I iron out the kinks between my theme and this latest version of WordPress. Thanks.

  13. 13
    Pegasus says:

    Whaaa whaaa cry the banksters. Big banks: Foreclosure probes carry financial risk
    Bank of America, Citigroup, Wells Fargo say foreclosure probes may carry major financial tolls

    Hahahaha…..please don’t prosecute us say the banksters. It will destroy the economy. The hubris never ends…..This is why you lock crooks up or they will just keep on looting. Capiche?

    NEW YORK (AP) — Probes by state attorneys general and other government agencies into banks’ foreclosure practices carry the risk of fines and other major costs, according to regulatory filings from three of the country’s biggest banks.

    Revelations that major U.S. banks rammed through hundreds of foreclosures daily without giving many borrowers a fair shot at keeping their homes triggered investigations from all 50 states’ attorneys general and from state and federal regulators. They also sparked pressure from lawmakers and class-action lawsuits.

    Bank of America Corp., Citigroup Inc. and Wells Fargo & Co. called out possible financial repercussions in annual filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission Friday. None of them provided any details on how much was at risk.

    “Those investigations and any irregularities that might be found in our foreclosure processes, along with any remedial steps taken in response to governmental investigations or to our own internal assessment, could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations,” Bank of America said.

    The Charlotte, N.C.-based bank said it is dedicating significant resources to comply with investigations, and warned that the probes could result in “material fines, penalties” and expose the company to new lawsuits and more legal costs.

    “Our costs increased in the fourth quarter of 2010 and we expect that additional costs incurred in connection with our foreclosure process assessment will continue into 2011 due to the additional resources necessary to perform the foreclosure process assessment, to revise affidavit filings and to implement other operational changes,” Bank of America said in the filing.

    New York-based Citigroup said investigations and scrutiny of its own foreclosure processes have “resulted in, and may continue to result in, the diversion of management’s attention and increased expense, and could result in fines, penalties, other equitable remedies, such as principal reduction programs, and significant legal, negative reputational and other costs.”

    Wells Fargo also said it is being investigated by several government agencies for its foreclosure practices.

    “It is likely that one or more of the government agencies will initiate some type of enforcement action against Wells Fargo, which may include civil money penalties,” the company said in its filing. “Wells Fargo continues to provide information requested by the various agencies.”

    The bank also said several lawsuits have been filed against it, claiming that Wells Fargo submitted fraudulent affidavits or other documents to foreclose on homes.

    “Specifically, plaintiffs allege that Wells Fargo signers did not have personal knowledge of the facts alleged in the documents and did not verify the information in the documents ultimately filed with courts to foreclose,” the San Francisco-based bank said in the filing.

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/Big-banks-Foreclosure-probes-apf-2084398955.html?x=0

  14. 14
    Pegasus says:

    WASHINGTON STATE LEGISLATURE TRIES END RUN AROUND PROPERTY LAW AND CHAIN OF TITLE

    EDITOR’S COMMENT: This bill trys to give the mega banks what they want — a FULL PARDON and reversal of hundreds of years of property law and civil procedure. They still use the word beneficiary, and they try to paper over the fact that even though ANYONE AT ANY BANK COULD SUBMIT THE SAME AFFIDAVIT (leaving us with the same problem we have now with corrupted title) that this will be sufficient “evidence.” Well maybe it is some sort of evidence — if signed by a person with personal knowledge and is otherwise competent to testify, but it isn’t PROOF.
    THIS IS AN EXAMPLE OF MEGA BANKS USING THEIR LOBBYING STRENGTH TO SCREW THE NATION’S ECONOMY AND TITLE SYSTEM.

    http://livinglies.wordpress.com/2011/02/24/washington-state-legislature-tries-end-run-around-property-law-and-chain-of-title/

  15. 15
    The Tim says:

    RE: The Tim @ 12 – Okay, I think I’ve got all the major stuff working and looking as it should. As an added bonus, for the first time in probably over a year, the Archives dropdown on the front page actually works! Hooray!

    Let me know if you find something missing or working strangely. Thanks!

  16. 16
    Blake says:

    RE: Pegasus @ 13
    “Those investigations and any irregularities that might be found in our foreclosure processes, along with any remedial steps taken in response to governmental investigations or to our own internal assessment, could have a material adverse effect on our financial condition and results of operations,” Bank of America said.”

    You’re damn right they may! Sheesh!??
    It’s like Tony Soprano complaining that FBI inquiries might adversely affect his family’s activities!
    Incredible…
    (I recall a similar comment about a year ago from Jamie Dimon – capo of the JP Morgan syndicate – warning the German government about long term financial repercussions from the German inquiries to how all that AAA crap got marketed to the German land banks…)

  17. 18
    Kary L. Krismer says:

    Name and email also not sticking in Chrome, and the edit post feature isn’t working in FF or Chrome.

  18. 19
    Kary L. Krismer says:

    Tim, I do get the edit button in IE9 RC, but it doesn’t work (it just gets a grey screen). IE9 RC also does not have the name/email stick.

  19. 20
    Snigliastic says:

    RE: The Tim @ 12
    I don’t like how you have to scroll all the way down for the comments now.

  20. 21
    The Tim says:

    RE: Snigliastic @ 20 – I’m not certain what you mean. Are you talking about the comments link that was just under the headline before? I should be able to add that back fairly easily.

  21. 22
    Snigliastic says:

    RE: The Tim @ 21 – yes. I liked that.

  22. 23
    The Tim says:

    Site Upgrade Update:All right, I’ve added back the comments link at the top of each post. I’ve also fixed the comment form so it should remember your info when you come back. I’ve also upgraded the edit comment plugin to the latest version, which seems to work with this version of WordPress in Firefox and Internet Explorer, but not in Chrome. I have not tested in Safari or any other browsers. I’ll see what I can do to get it working in Chrome.

    Update Update: Argh, in trying to fix other things I seem to have broken the reply and quote buttons (in Chrome only?)… working on it…

    Update Update Update: Okay! I think I’ve figured out what was breaking all that stuff in Chrome and I believe I now have it all working. Let me know if you run into any problems!

  23. 24
    The Tim says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 17 – I believe I have fixed this problem.

    Also, I now have the ability to easily “feature” comments by other users. Note the green background and thick border on Kary’s comment at 17. I can also “bury” comments, which makes them a light grey.

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