Weekend Open Thread (2011-11-18)

Here is your open thread for the weekend beginning Friday November 18th, 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.

39 comments:

  1. 1
    Blurtman says:

    RE: David Losh @ 33 – Buish, Cheney and Rice, for starters, should be tried for war crimes.

    Is Bush’s War Illegal? Let us Count the Ways:
    “The precedent again goes back to the Nuremberg Judgment of 1946 when the lawyers for the Nazi defendants argued that we, the Nazi government had a right to go to war in self-defense as we saw it, and no one could tell us any differently. Of course that preposterous argument was rejected by Nuremberg. It is very distressing to see some of the highest level of officials of our country making legal arguments that were rejected by the Nuremberg Tribunal.”

    “An objective observer would reach the conclusion that this Iraq war is a War of Aggression, and as such, that it amounts to a Crime against Peace of the sort for which surviving German leaders were indicted, prosecuted and punished at the Nuremberg trials conducted shortly after the Second World War.”

    “I have indicated it (the Iraq war) was not in conformity with the UN charter… from the charter point of view, it was illegal.”

    http://www.examiner.com/nonpartisan-in-national/open-proposal-for-us-revolution-end-unlawful-wars-all-from-known-lies-2-of-4

    It was reported that during the invasion of Iraq, 100,000 Iraqi women and children were killed by coalition air power. And then Bush jokes about not finding the WMD’s. The guy is a souless murderer and needs to stand before a war crimes tribunal.

    “Violent deaths were widespread,.., and were mainly attributed to coalition forces. Most individuals reportedly killed by coalition forces were women and children.”

    “Making conservative assumptions, we think that about 100 000 excess deaths, or more have happened since the 2003 invasion of Iraq. Violence accounted for most of the excess deaths and air strikes from coalition forces accounted for most violent deaths.”

    Mortality before and after the 2003 invasion of Iraq: cluster sample survey
    Les Roberts, Riyadh Lafta, Richard Garfield, Jamal Khudhairi, Gilbert Burnham
    Lancet 2004; 364: 1857–64

  2. 2
    David Losh says:

    RE: Blurtman @ 1

    I didn’t say war crimes.

    What I am saying is that if our intention was to invade Iraq it made no sense to bomb the heck out of infrastructure. Then we have Haliburton go in to rebuild on a no bid basis.

    The Iraq war makes sense from a financial stand point, but very little else.

    If you’re calling for criminal prosection of wrong doing in the financial markets, you would need to start with Bush, and most of all Cheney. My other contention is Bush was just following orders.

  3. 3

    Didn’t They Also Give Obama the Nobel Peace Prize?

    During the Iraq War and just before the administrations’ Afghanistan buildup and the Libya raid?

  4. 4
    David S says:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 3 – Yes. And Sir Elton was Knighted by HM.

  5. 5
    David Losh says:

    The war itself is another topic.

    There is no military strategy, going back to Roman times, that has an invader destroy roads, and utilities before invasion. Communications could make sense, but targeting utilities where the people of the country have no electricity was looked at as amateurish at best, but barbaric by those that have an ax to grind with the United States. So we created more enemies in that tactic, but Haliburton was handed a have to project that lead to the no bid requirement.

    Cheney has a lot of financial skeletons, this was just one of the low points.

    If the Obama administration starts prosecuting for financial crime, they would be forced to bring in Bush, and Cheney. I don’t see it as a coincidence that we had a global economic collapse when these two were leaving office.

    I’d love some one to prove me wrong.

  6. 6
    Scotsman says:

    The EU lowers the bar for stupidity again- U.S. surely to follow, since Europe is sooooo much cooler and smarter:

    “EU bans claim that water can prevent dehydration”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/eu/8897662/EU-bans-claim-that-water-can-prevent-dehydration.html

  7. 7
    Scotsman says:

    Fun, fun, fun! Who owes what to whom?

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-15748696

  8. 8
    Dweezil says:

    By Scotsman @ 7:

    Fun, fun, fun! Who owes what to whom?

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-15748696

    If Europe defaults on debts to US banks, maybe we will get the pleasure of paying for another another round of bailouts.

  9. 9
    Pegasus says:

    Freddie clamps down on short sale fraud

    Freddie Mac will force parties involved in a short sale to sign affidavits making them liable for their negligent or intentional misrepresentations in the deal, an effort to be sure it’s an arms-length transaction, according to guidance released Friday.

    In August, the government-sponsored enterprise alerted real estate agents to the rise in shady short sale deals. The main concern is flopping. There is a growing trend of real estate agents on the buy-side of the deal failing to disclose other bids on the property, rigging the sale at a lower price.

    The fraudsters can then flip it, sometimes the same day, and pocket the difference.

    http://www.housingwire.com/2011/11/18/freddie-clamps-down-on-short-sale-fraud

  10. 10
    Blurtman says:

    Washington Attorney General sues ReconTrust for illegal foreclosures

    (ReconTrust is a unit of Bank of America)

    The Attorney General’s Office alleges the company:

    *Failed to maintain a physical office with telephone service in Washington.
    *Failed to identify the actual owner of the promissory notes being foreclosed.
    *Provided confusing information regarding how borrowers defaulted and how they can cure that default.
    *Failed to conduct foreclosures in a public place, instead holding them at private sites including an office park in Bellevue.
    *Created or permitted the use of documents that were improperly executed, notarized or sworn to. Sugarman said notices and agreements contained conflicting dates and improper notarizations and ReconTrust employees sometimes signed as officers of other entities.
    *Failed to exercise its duty of good faith toward the borrower by deferring solely to the lender when deciding whether to postpone a foreclosure.

    http://www.atg.wa.gov/pressrelease.aspx?&id=28750

  11. 11
    Howard says:

    They have the cash on hand and are deciding if they want to pay or not…

    “It’s a very expensive payment that we have,” Prusch said in an interview with the newspaper. “It would be a significant drain of our cash, so we have to evaluate everything in terms of our decision of where we’re going.”
    http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/businesstechnology/2016797237_apusclearwirestock.html

    So a business is OK strategically defaulting on $237 million, but a homeowner who is underwater should pay their $500k mortgage for ethical reasons???

  12. 12
    Pegasus says:

    RE: Howard @ 11 – The reason it is not OK is that the system of con men and rubes only works when there are more rubes to be skinned then there are con men to do the skinning. In an economic system based on fraud not everyone gets to be a skinner, hence the psychological warfare games played to make the rubes feel guilty if they try to cross the line.

  13. 13

    By Pegasus @ 9:

    The fraudsters can then flip it, sometimes the same day, and pocket the difference.

    Given the fact that all transactions are recorded, that’s a pretty naive form of fraud–too easily detected. Perhaps that’s the only type of transaction they want to disclose?

  14. 14
    Pegasus says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 13:

    By Pegasus @ 9:

    The fraudsters can then flip it, sometimes the same day, and pocket the difference.

    Given the fact that all transactions are recorded, that’s a pretty naive form of fraud–too easily detected. Perhaps that’s the only type of transaction they want to disclose?

    No one ever said a fraudster has to be smart. With a system of rarely looking for fraud the perp has an excellent chance of getting away it. Look how many straw home buyer cases that have surfaced around the country that finally only got detected because the whole system finally imploded and someone actually started looking and asking questions.

  15. 15
    Blurtman says:

    It is out of control, but still continuing. Can a revolution really be that far away?

    Pension funds sue JPMorgan, Goldman Sachs over MF Global ‘misstatements’

    JPMorgan Chase & Co and Goldman Sachs Group Inc units were sued by two pension funds over claims they made misleading statements about the exposure of MF Global Holdings Ltd securities to European sovereign debt.

    As a result of the misstatements, MF Global’s stock traded at “artificially inflated prices,” the funds said in the complaint filed on Friday in federal court in Manhattan.

    “While the extent of MF Global’s exposure to European sovereign debt was concealed
    http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/biz/archives/2011/11/20/2003518722

    From criminal enterprise Jefferies investment bank MF Global offering prospectus:

    “interest rate applicable to the notes will be subject to an increase of 1.00% upon the departure of Mr. Corzine as our full time chief executive officer due to his appointment to a federal position by the President of the United States and confirmation of that appointment by the United States Senate prior to July 1, 2013.”
    http://sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1401106/000119312511205645/d424b2.htm

    MF Global paid bonuses just hours before bankruptcy
    Bonuses were paid to MF Global’s UK staff just hours before the company filed for bankruptcy protection in New York
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/newsbysector/banksandfinance/8875239/MF-Global-paid-bonuses-just-hours-before-bankruptcy.html

  16. 16
    Blurtman says:

    Dumb goons will protect the corrupt status quo: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S5vV4zw-cus&feature=player_embedded

  17. 17

    RE: Pegasus @ 14 – But the one described can be easily determined from the public record, using the Internet in most locations. Very public. The one you describe you wouldn’t know without actually doing some investigation.

  18. 18
    Pegasus says:

    Was not saying you could not find the facts easily. My point was rarely do the injured parties look or seem to care about the fraud. If no one looks for fraud, purposely or not, chances are pretty good that that it won’t become exposed.

  19. 19
    pfft says:

    By Scotsman @ 6:

    The EU lowers the bar for stupidity again- U.S. surely to follow, since Europe is sooooo much cooler and smarter:

    “EU bans claim that water can prevent dehydration”

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/eu/8897662/EU-bans-claim-that-water-can-prevent-dehydration.html

    the US has it’s own currency and doesn’t need massive deflation.

    you wanted austerity and you got it. this is what happens. glad you admit you’re wrong.

  20. 20
    ricklind says:

    RE: pfft @ 19

    Wow!
    I talked with a friend tonight who is working towards a short sale of their home on land outside of Oroville, CA.
    Value at peak 360K.
    Amount on mortgage300K.
    Current value 140K!

    Bank doesn’t want to budge because they are still current on payments. They are thinking about just stopping payments and waiting. All I could do was offer understanding.

  21. 21
    pfft says:

    By ricklind @ 20:

    RE: pfft @ 19

    Wow!
    I talked with a friend tonight who is working towards a short sale of their home on land outside of Oroville, CA.
    Value at peak 360K.
    Amount on mortgage300K.
    Current value 140K!

    Bank doesn’t want to budge because they are still current on payments. They are thinking about just stopping payments and waiting. All I could do was offer understanding.

    not sure that has anything to do with what I said.

  22. 22
    Pegasus says:

    RE: pfft @ 19 – What does falsely declaring water does not hydrate have to do with:

    “the US has it’s own currency and doesn’t need massive deflation.
    you wanted austerity and you got it. this is what happens. glad you admit you’re wrong.”

    Absolutely nothing. Once again proving that you are a flaming idiot.

  23. 23
    ricklind says:

    By pfft @ 21:

    By ricklind @ 20:

    RE: pfft @ 19

    Wow!
    I talked with a friend tonight who is working towards a short sale of their home on land outside of Oroville, CA.
    Value at peak 360K.
    Amount on mortgage300K.
    Current value 140K!

    Bank doesn’t want to budge because they are still current on payments. They are thinking about just stopping payments and waiting. All I could do was offer understanding.

    not sure that has anything to do with what I said.

    There are 2 posting options: reply or quote. I hit reply rather than quote.

    This isn’t about you.

    It is an open thread.

  24. 24
    Scotsman says:

    RE: Pegasus @ 22

    “Once again proving that you are a flaming idiot.”

    Well that explains it. I was wondering what he (pfffffffT) was talking about. ;-) Of course, it’s possible I’m missing something about the relationship between currencies and hydration.

  25. 25
    Scotsman says:

    RE: ricklind @ 20

    Ouch- that’s pretty severe. I’d walk. My sense is that area isn’t coming back for a long, long time. And $160K financed is a lot of wasted cash and life energy.

  26. 26
    Natalia Orinko says:

    RE: Blurtman @ 1

    “Violent deaths were widespread.” War IS violence. What else can it be?? And why do you need to discuss the Iraq War at a real estate site? Isn’t there a bunch of peacenik sites for that?

  27. 27
    Pegasus says:

    By Natalia Orinko @ 26:

    RE: Blurtman @ 1

    â��Violent deaths were widespread.” War IS violence. What else can it be?? And why do you need to discuss the Iraq War at a real estate site? Isn’t there a bunch of peacenik sites for that?

    Why don’t you post about ballet again?

  28. 28
    Natalia Orinko says:

    RE: Pegasus @ 27

    Why yes, but of course. Here is a recent video from the Bolshoi. So beautiful.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XY7JGx1AMo4

  29. 29
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Natalia Orinko @ 26 – Yes, war is violence. And civilians are always killed, typically the most vulnerable, that is, women, children and elderly. 100,000 children and women killed by US airpower. The president laughs about the rationale for the war. This is the face of evil.

  30. 30
    Scotsman says:

    Now that’s funny. A Russian, who probably has some real experience with repression, etc. takes on an American, who feels repressed when others half a world away are again caught up in a 2,000 year old struggle. I sense a reality show in there somewhere. . .

    Ballet as a counter-point to the dark soviet soul? Ok, kids- let’s wander into the deep end of the pool. . . ;-)

  31. 31

    By Scotsman @ 30:

    Now that’s funny. A Russian, who probably has some real experience with repression, etc. takes on an American, who feels repressed when others half a world away are again caught up in a 2,000 year old struggle. I sense a reality show in there somewhere. . .

    Ballet as a counter-point to the dark soviet soul? Ok, kids- let’s wander into the deep end of the pool. . . ;-)

    Reality show I’m not sure. But it’s prime sitcom material.

  32. 32
    Gunnar says:

    Is this a record for the smallest price drop: 0.000125%? From $800,000 to $799,000.

    http://www.redfin.com/WA/Seattle/1636-34th-Ave-98122/home/140865

  33. 33
    Howard says:

    By Gunnar @ 32:

    Is this a record for the smallest price drop: 0.000125%? From $800,000 to $799,000.

    http://www.redfin.com/WA/Seattle/1636-34th-Ave-98122/home/140865

    I didn’t check your math, but it only went down $1.00 to $799,999.00
    What a smart broker, those searching for under $800k will finally see this listing [/sarcasm]

    Brilliant!

  34. 34
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 31 – Fantasy might be more appropos. There is no dilaogue on this website regarding repression. 2.000 years ago, the USA did not exist, so perhaps the show might be called “Sunday Morning Schnapps with the Scotsman.”

  35. 35
    Macro Investor says:

    By Ira Sacharoff @ 31:

    By Scotsman @ 30:

    Now that’s funny. A Russian, who probably has some real experience with repression, etc. takes on an American, who feels repressed when others half a world away are again caught up in a 2,000 year old struggle. I sense a reality show in there somewhere. . .

    Ballet as a counter-point to the dark soviet soul? Ok, kids- let’s wander into the deep end of the pool. . . ;-)

    Reality show I’m not sure. But it’s prime sitcom material.

    Reality would be self satirizing and therefore very funny. We have the whining westerners complaining their welfare/unemployement/medicade/etc isn’t enough to have steak and lobster every meal, or the latest apple gadget. Next to them people living happily on $2 a day. Next to them people who really live under repression — say Syria right now. I imagine the ignorant fools around here would still complain they have it rough.

  36. 36
    whatsmyname says:

    By Macro Investor @ 35:

    “Reality would be self satirizing and therefore very funny. We have the whining westerners complaining their welfare/unemployement/medicade/etc isn’t enough to have steak and lobster every meal, or the latest apple gadget. Next to them people living happily on $2 a day. Next to them people who really live under repression — say Syria right now. I imagine the ignorant fools around here would still complain they have it rough.”

    Talk about self satirizing. I wonder how long you would live, let alone happily, on $2/day? You’ve heard the indigent complaining about not getting steak and lobster with every meal? Really? Is it a bigger stretch to say that the above post may be the single biggest piece of jackass narcissism ever posted to this site?

  37. 37
    Scotsman says:

    RE: whatsmyname @ 36RE: Blurtman @ 34

    Nope- reality show. You guys share a house in L.A. with a bunch of “bad girls” from Compton. The only entertainment in the house is a radio- a radio that only gets three stations- NPR, Some rap/hip-hop, and a Rush Limbaugh/Dr. Laura loop. Most of the action focuses on what to listen to, where to eat, and the hot tub. Ira does occassional voice overs. America is divided on whether it’s crap or deep social commentary. What say you?

  38. 38
  39. 39
    Scotsman says:

    Real repression:

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2063874/Mohammed-Mulla-Eissa-murder-Boy-15-refused-join-march-Syrias-President-Assad.html?ITO=1490

    And in the U.S?

    http://articles.nydailynews.com/2011-04-21/news/29476746_1_fire-pit-text-message-paint-cans

    Who are the real savages? The first article has been all over the web for a couple days. I only found the second by searching google- despite its sensationalist nature it’s likely very few even heard of it. What does THAT say? Thirty words or less, please- Judge Judy re-runs are about to start.

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