Weekend Open Thread (2011-12-09)

Here is your open thread for the weekend beginning Friday December 9th, 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.

46 comments:

  1. 1
    tony clifton says:

    “Focus, David. The topic is world politics, which pretty much means the middle east, as your list of “achievments” shows. And what is the result of Obama’s reign? In just a couple of years we have lost much of the middle east to the least friendly factions out there, serious steps backward for democracy, women’s rights, energy security, you name it. Those who hate us most are now in line for power, to get the oil money they didn’t control before, and use it to fund who knows what. How anyone sees that as success completely escapes most of us. ”

    Scottsman stepped up and proclaimed his hate for freedom on December 7th.

    The Middle East! This place belongs to America! A bunch of Muslims sitting on Americas oil. Dictators Galore. Hosni Mubarak, Col. Gahdaffi, Etc. Men that Scottsman can identify with. Torture galore! Those dirty brown people have the temerity to choose their own leaders. Not what Scottsman’s freedom hating wingnuts beleive! This area belongs to America. Can we all say Energy Security! That is our oil.

    America’s energy policy is the 1st Infantry Division! Scottsman sounds a whole lot like Mitt Romney. Old Mitt sat out his war fighting the commies back in the 60’s. Old Mitt sat out his war in France. France! HaHaHa! Now old Mitt is calling Obama an appeaser! Too funny. Wonder when old Mitt grew himself a pair? Certainly wasn’t when Mitt had a chance to go fight the commies? When do conservatives ever grow a real pair? It just don’t happen!

    Anyone think that Scottsman has a pair? Scottsman says he is a foul tempered conservative. Easy to cure his foul temper, send him out to fight the dirty brown people sitting on his oil. Aint gonna happen.

  2. 2
    David Losh says:

    RE: tony clifton @ 1

    The Middle East was caught up in the Second World War. The thought was, and the saying was, that who ever controlled the oil would win the war. Then we had the nuclear holocaust in Japan, and even that term was transferred to Israel.

    World War Two was a dirty stinky little war that I think most countries agree can never happen again. We have fought the nuclear aspects of that war ever since, and are fighting it now with Russia, and Iran.

    The oil was kind of forgotten because we carved up Northern Africa with our Allies. We put dictators in place, we support the Saudi Royal Family, and spend billions on the defense of Israel which was plopped down without Treaty, or Accord.

    It’s sixty years later.

    Oil is a stupid commodity that is tied back to the “industrial revolution.” We have never addressed energy, except for nuclear, and including nuclear, because we have powerful generational, global, wealth tied to maintaining this tight control we have in Northern Africa.

    The Republican candidates are now trying to scare Israel, and the world, into another war so we can have more military presence in Northern Africa. We just saw what happens when we put troops on the ground, and we could have doubled, tripled, and quadrupled the troop strength with no advantage. We tried bombing Iraq back to the Stone Age, and hey, they didn’t need all that stuff.

    Persia responds to treaty. All Islamics respond to treaty. It’s the law, and the religion.

  3. 3

    WOW

    I read the first two blogs [especially the first one] and yes, the bloggers like Scotsman better wear tin hats.

    The trouble with blaming everything on Republican racism or Democrat military complex conservatives [we’re still in Afghanistan folks and Obama’s at the helm] is we aren’t thinking pragmatically IMO and turning this distraction away from the real problem, putting hamburgers on our plates at home.

    Its jobs folks, I’ll spell it out: J O B S…..

    The harsh economic facts are yes its a quagmire, the wars we fight then and now [BTW, the 40,000 troops are coming home this month from Iraq, because Iraq kicked us out….sound a bit like Viet nam?] are costing too much, but they have done one good thing, provided tens of thousands of jobs the private sector can’t provide anymore.

    The Democrats want more amnesty [i.e., overpopulation] competing for scarce jobs and the Republicans want mass slave labor for their corporate lords; the returning vets are shafted by either party. Its no conundrum, its the harsh facts.

  4. 4
    Blurtman says:

    I think the Internet has made it abundantly clear that we have met the enemy, and he is us.

  5. 5

    RE: David Losh @ 2
    I’m not sure its the Republican candidates scaring Israel into another war. The current regime in Israel, the Netanyahu regime, seems inclined to want to drop bombs on Iran. The Republican candidates seem to be giving Israel permission to do this. AIPAC is a pretty powerful lobby in this country, despite the fact that most American Jews disagree with their positions and plenty of Israeli Jews do too. Every candidate running for President appears before AIPAC and kisses their butts, talking about how they’re a friend of Israel. It’s fine to be a friend of Israel, but AIPAC is simply a mouthpiece for the current right wing government of Israel. They are not truly friends of Israel. True friends get in their friend’s faces when they’re going down the wrong path, they don’t just say ” I’m your friend so go ahead and do whatever you want.”

  6. 6
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 5 – I think the long term solution is intercultural assimilation, i.e., let’s intermarry and become one tribe. The implication of the population dynamics of the non-Jewish Palestinians is undeniable.

  7. 7
    David Losh says:

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 5

    I look at it from the stand point of who should be in charge of the Holy Land. It’s that simple.

    It’s that simple for Islamics also. There is no war to be fought. Persia has to answer to Allah for it’s actions. Do the Israelis? That’s the problem. The Israelis have a political agenda that is contrary, to this day, to that of a religious State.

    It’s God’s country, literally.

    The sooner people stop talking to Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and start dealing with the religious resolution to who has God’s ear the better.

    Anyway I look at Israel as a Holy Land. It is sacred, and i have absolutely no problem having religious stewardship. It’s as it should be.

    Oil on the other hand is a separate issue, of greed, and politics. I think Israel has been put into a position of being an issue in the middle of that.

    I just watched some of the highlights of Republican ass kissing last night. Hey, where was Ron Paul?

  8. 8
    David Losh says:

    RE: Blurtman @ 6RE: Blurtman @ 4

    I’m sure you are trying to make a point.

  9. 9
    No Name Guy says:

    On a completely different note:

    http://finance.yahoo.com/news/residential-housing-ready-awaken-180608056.html

    Ha ha ha at that headline.

  10. 10
    Blurtman says:

    RE: David Losh @ 8 – Sure. I benefit by a rising stock market. I don’t want to work until I am 80. In fact, I don’t want to work beyond 60. I should say, I don’t want to have to work. So policies that benefit a rising stock market benefit me. I like cheap gas. So policies that benefit cheap gas benefit me. I wan to collect SS benefits,…..

    Perhaps the USA should be more blunt and say, we got the guns, give us your resources. Badges, we don’t need no….

  11. 11

    RE: No Name Guy @ 9

    The Price Went Up for About Two Decades

    Your article asserts that 5 years of price declines is enough….I’m not saying I know the future [no one knows the future]….but I’ll stick to my economic analyses in 1999, “as long as population density keeps increasing prices will pop and go down”. Wake me up when we start depopulation.

  12. 12
    No Name Guy says:

    RE: softwarengineer @ 11

    Note there SWE that I’m LAUGHING at the article and the premise that housing is “ready to awaken”. Gut feel (and that’s all I have) tells me it’ll be quite some time before housing (at least for an owner / occupant) will be making any money a la mid late 90’s through 2007. The gut feel is that prices have a fair amount still to retrace.

    Yeah – nothing ground breaking in the above. Nothing a Bubble person doesn’t already know.

  13. 13

    RE: No Name Guy @ 12

    Ahhhh….Its Friday

    Perfect for sarcastic humor, check out this liberal joke website making fun of Obama:

    http://www.theonion.com/articles/in-major-gaffe-obama-forgets-to-dumb-it-down,26820/

  14. 14
    Scotsman says:

    RE: tony clifton @ 1

    Feel better now? That had to hurt, keeping all of that bottled up inside.

    Or was it projection, and the hate’s still there?

  15. 15
    David Losh says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 14RE: Blurtman @ 10

    Free market means free market. We have guns that have proved to be ineffective.

    The Arabs will sell oil for as much as they can for as long as they can, at prices they choose. I don’t see OPEC holding it together.

    We will be allowed cheaper oil from a broader base of needs. All of Northern Africa, including Saudi Arabia, needs everything. They need food, water, clothes, electricity. Pay attention, they need electricity, that they don’t have. They need water, that they don’t have. They need food, that they don’t have.

    While oil comapnies have pocketed trillions of dollars in profits they have kept dictators in place. Without the dictators, in a democracy, my bet is that oil fields will be nationalized, and the oil sold direct to the highest bidder, which won’t be us, because we already have more oil than we know what to do with.

  16. 16

    By David Losh @ 15:

    The Arabs will sell oil for as much as they can for as long as they can, at prices they choose. I don’t see OPEC holding it together.

    Standard economy theory predicts certain things. Thus, for example when California put price controls on electricity produced in their state, it wasn’t surprising that some companies would try to route it out of state and then back in again.

    As to OPEC, reduced production means higher prices, but higher prices mean each country wants to sell more. What that means is that they cheat, selling more than their limit, which is something also predicted by standard economy theory. Some countries selling more than allowed has been happening for over 20 years, but OPEC has managed to hold it together.

  17. 17
    David Losh says:

    RE: Kary L. Krismer @ 16

    You’re just talking Libya sanctions.

  18. 18
    Macro Investor says:

    By tony clifton @ 1:

    Anyone think that Scottsman has a pair? Scottsman says he is a foul tempered conservative. Easy to cure his foul temper, send him out to fight the dirty brown people sitting on his oil. Aint gonna happen.

    Clearly putting computers in the psych ward was a bad idea.

  19. 19
    Scotsman says:

    RE: tony clifton @ 1

    “Anyone think that Scottsman has a pair?”

    If I was wearing a kilt you could check. Then you’d know. ;-)

  20. 20

    Totally off the topic of real estate, I can understand how Rick Perry might not remember a name, but how in the world could he possibly think there are an even number of Supreme Court Justices? I could maybe see him saying 7 or 11, but 8? That shows an incredible level of ignorance, if not outright stupidity.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/rick-perry-flubs-supreme-court-justice-sonia-sotomayor-missates-number-justices-article-1.989666?localLinksEnabled=false

  21. 21
    Blurtman says:

    Beat The Dealer Lesson 203 – Re-Hypothecation (Or why the UK prefers lax financial regulation)

    Re-hypothecation occurs when banks or broker-dealers re-use the collateral posted by clients such as hedge funds to back the broker’s own trades and borrowings.

    In the UK, there is no limit on the amount of a clients assets that can be rehypothecated,[3] except if the client has negotiated an agreement with their broker that includes a limit or prohibition. In the US, re-hypothecation is capped at 140% of a client’s debit balance.[4][5][6]

    In 2007, rehypothecation accounted for half the activity in the Shadow banking system. Because the collateral is not cash it does not show up on conventional balance sheet accounting. Prior to the Lehman collapse, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) calculated that US banks were receiving over $4 trillion worth of funding by rehypothecation, much of it sourced from the UK where there are no statutory limits governing the reuse of a client’s collateral. It is estimated that only $1 trillion of original collateral was being used, meaning that collateral was being rehypothecated several times over, with an estimated churn factor of 4.[5]

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hypothecation

  22. 22
    Macro Investor says:

    By Kary L. Krismer @ 20:

    Totally off the topic of real estate, I can understand how Rick Perry might not remember a name, but how in the world could he possibly think there are an even number of Supreme Court Justices? I could maybe see him saying 7 or 11, but 8? That shows an incredible level of ignorance, if not outright stupidity.

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/politics/rick-perry-flubs-supreme-court-justice-sonia-sotomayor-missates-number-justices-article-1.989666?localLinksEnabled=false

    So you’re saying he’s perfectly qualified for the job.

  23. 23
    Macro Investor says:

    By Scotsman @ 19:

    RE: tony clifton @ 1

    “Anyone think that Scottsman has a pair?”

    If I was wearing a kilt you could check. Then you’d know. ;-)

    Watch out, Scottsman . The man is obsessed with your goodies.

  24. 24
    Scotsman says:

    RE: Blurtman @ 21

    This has the potential to be a huge mess but will probably go nowhere like all of the other banking issues. Like most of the related issues, its legal. At some point though you’d think a majority or at least a significant number of investors will say screw it, the system can’t be trusted. Every day we go deeper down the rabbit hole.

  25. 25
    Scotsman says:

    Bye, bye Barrack. Is Newt worse than Sarah Palin?

    “Just 41 percent of Americans think Mr. Obama has performed his job well enough to be elected to a second term, whereas 54 percent don’t think so.
    The president’s overall approval rating remains in the mid-40′s, according to a CBS News poll – lower than the approval ratings of Mr. Obama’s four presidential predecessors at this point in their first terms. ”

    http://www.cbsnews.com/8301-503544_162-57340576-503544/grim-economic-outlook-weighs-down-obama-approval-rating/

  26. 26
    Macro Investor says:

    Democrat, republican — who cares? They’re both the “wall street lobbyist vote for sale” party. Nothing will change until the military decides they’ve had enough. They’re not supporting the constitution they swore to protect. They’re supporting the s&p 100 turned mafia.

  27. 27
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 24 – It is an interesting mechanism to create a house of cards with no foundation. Can I pledge an asset that I no longer own to threee additonal institutions? No. Can I get a zero interest loan from the Fed? No. Can I please be the bagholder when the huge scam can no longer be supported? Why, yes, of course.

  28. 28
    David Losh says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 25

    No one likes Obama. That’s a fact. You don’t appreciate his accomplishments, as millions of Americans don’t.

    It’s funny though that we have a marijuana shop on very corner, a black President, and protesters still in the street.

    In the mean time, the banking system has proved to be a big scam, big corporations are proved to be clubbing baby seals, and Newt, the traitor to his own party, is the Republican front runner.

  29. 29

    RE: Scotsman @ 25
    I’ll wager a beer that Obama gets re-elected. So what if he only has an approval rating in the mid forties? Most people vote not on who they like, but on who they dislike more. I just can’t imagine people warming up to Romney, and Newt only has limited appeal.

  30. 30
    Scotsman says:

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 29RE: David Losh @ 28

    You pretty much nail it David- it’s a wild world out there!

    Ira- you’re probably right. The republicans inability to come up with a decent candidate in what should be a slam dunk election just shows how hosed up the system is. Party doesn’t really matter- we’ll just be getting more of the same. Until the checks bounce.

  31. 31
    Tatiana Kalashnikov says:

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 29

    Obama makes me sick. He’a not a man’s man, and I expect a leader to be a real man. But Newt is a fat old man. So he’s no better. By the way gentlemen (I still think myself and my cousin Natalia are the only women here), I am now a citizen of the USA!! i can vote!!!

  32. 32
    2kt says:

    RE: David Losh @ 2

    Wow, Dave, Another whopper.

  33. 33
    2kt says:

    RE: David Losh @ 15

    This was the most amazing piece I ever read. Dave, you make no sense!

  34. 34
    2kt says:

    RE: Scotsman @ 25

    Newt will not make it. He will talk his way out of it somehow.

  35. 35
    David Losh says:

    RE: 2kt @ 33RE: 2kt @ 32

    Wow!

    Prove me wrong, but you are in way over your head on this one.

  36. 36
    Scotsman says:

    RE: Tatiana Kalashnikov @ 31

    Congradulations on your citizenship. Vote wisely!

  37. 37

    RE: Tatiana Kalashnikov @ 31
    Ardell, Rhonda, Jillayne and a few others here might not be so happy not to be recognized as women.

  38. 38
    Pegasus says:

    RE: Tatiana Kalashnikov @ 31 – You sound like you would vote for a guy like Putin? He is in pretty good shape and makes a point of appearing in public with his shirt off. A real macho man.

  39. 39
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 29 – The Guns, God, Gays and Racism bombs are revving up. Newt’s let loose that poor minority high school kids are only capable of toilet bowl cleaning work study. Perry is already beating the gay and religion drums.

    Television will be even more unwatchable in the very near future. The result hinges on how reactionary the average lizard brain American citizen is and how gullible (change, change, change,..) as well.

    We need a constitutional ammendment covering a none-of-the-above candidate.

  40. 40
    Blurtman says:

    RE: Pegasus @ 38 – He can wrestle a bear, and bite the heads off of girly men.

  41. 41

    By Ira Sacharoff @ 29:

    RE: Scotsman @ 25
    I’ll wager a beer that Obama gets re-elected. So what if he only has an approval rating in the mid forties? Most people vote not on who they like, but on who they dislike more. I just can’t imagine people warming up to Romney, and Newt only has limited appeal.

    Of Romney or Newt, I would think Romney would have the better chance of winning. But like all presidential elections since 1996 I would like to see better choices. So I’m still holding out hope that their will be some new candidate announcing they are running on both sides!

  42. 42

    By Blurtman @ 39:

    Television will be even more unwatchable in the very near future. .

    I would highly recommend getting a DVR, and not watching any live TV for about 11 months.

  43. 43
    Dirty Renter says:

    I’m thinking of buying this horse and giving it a go @ Emerald Downs this Spring.
    What do you think?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l3HxQKAeF3k&feature=related

  44. 44
    Tatiana Kalashnikov says:

    RE: Ira Sacharoff @ 37

    “Ardell, Rhonda, Jillayne and a few others here might not be so happy not to be recognized as women. ”
    My deepest apologies female comrades! I don’t know Rhonda and Jillayne yet. I have seen Ardell’s photo. She is so pretty!

  45. 45
    Tatiana Kalashnikov says:

    RE: Pegasus @ 38

    “You sound like you would vote for a guy like Putin?”

    My family did vote for Putin once. Russia was so desperate for a strong leader that could make us look powerful in the eyes of the world. But he turned out to be corrupt. That is all behind me know as anew citizen of the US. But I am still a traditionalist. I want a strong man (or strong woman) to lead my country. Obama appears weak to me. But I am wide open and still learning. I appreciate all opinions including everyone on this bubble site.

  46. 46
    2kt says:

    RE: David Losh @ 35

    Dave, I think you simply forget what you wrote at the start of the sentence since you ending frequently has little or no connection to the start. Most of the accords signed in the Middle East are broken by all parties shortly after. Your ramblings about the oil prices make little sense, if any. Outside of that, it’s all good. Merry Christmas!

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