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Michael Clark

Michael Clark
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  • A Few Unhealthy Home Purchase Statistics [View article]
    It's nice to get some reality on occasion.
    Oct 26, 2009. 06:53 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Bubbles and Fixing the Financial System [View instapost]
    Excellent article by George Soros. Must read.
    Oct 26, 2009. 06:45 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Hong Kong Real Estate Requires 40% Down [View article]
    Most Asians tend not to borrow from the banks for housing purchases. They tend to pay cash, and borrow from family and friends. I think this is especially true for China and Vietnam (SE Asia).

    I'm living in Vietnam: this is still a housing bubble. One of the local newspapers is 28 pages long, 26 pages are houses listed for sale. Hotels are giving away rooms. And Vietnamese people just think everything is going to get better and better... Across West Lake, where they are building expensive homes, most of the houses are empty.
    Oct 26, 2009. 06:23 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Capitalism, Socialism and Fascism [View instapost]
    I'm not sure about your description, Moon. I'd argue that socialist states are the European and Swedish and Canadian systems of capitalism combined with social services that came about after World War II. I think the communist states of Russia, China, Cambodia....were all very idealistic, in their way, as is capitalism. Of course ideals are often polarized and come in to the world with enemies that need to be destroyed. Communism and capitalism are much the same this way.

    I believe that Jesus's view of a communistic society is MUCH different than Marx's. We got approximations to Marx, and they proved to be very rigid states in which Individuals served the State like feudal peasants served their lords.
    Oct 26, 2009. 05:42 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Murphy's Law of Economics and Health Care [View article]
    Interesting comment, Bob.

    On Oct 26 01:59 AM bob adamson wrote:

    > A number of persons commenting on this article have made reference
    > to rationing of health care under the public insurance plans in the
    > Provinces of Canada. Arguably it is a misnomer to suggest that these
    > plans “ration health care”. The more accurate description is that
    > they allocate resources to optimize utilization across the population
    > they serve. In other words, as an individual a person doesn’t receive
    > a limited benefit equal to the provision other individuals receive;
    > he or she draws on the pool of resources allocated in the Province
    > by the plan to treat the need the person requires. This is not to
    > say that these public plans always allocate sufficiently for a particular
    > service in a particular community annually to fully treat demand
    > that actually arises during the year. Patients may face delays or
    > may have to go to other communities at public expense for a service.
    > Certain specialized services may be in short supply or, rarely, not
    > available. In short, a particular service may be delayed but rarely
    > denied to an individual and, where delay is an issue, priority is
    > given to one individual over another on the basis of comparative
    > risk to life or future health.
    > In short, Canadian public plans limit globally and allocate individually
    > by need as assessed by the patient’s doctors, not bureaucrats. By
    > contrast, it is in the interest of insurance companies in the US
    > to deny treatment to the individual if the terms of the insurance
    > contract can arguably interpreted by plan administrators to support
    > such denial.
    Oct 26, 2009. 05:30 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Lessons from a Crisis: Stay the Course [View article]
    Thank you, Moon. There may be a time for a buy-and-hold strategy, but this certainly is not it. This is not the beginning of a many year bull market. This is a rally in a bear season -- and anyone with profits should be getting ready to sell.

    During Day-Cycles, buy-and-hold if you desire. Last Day Cycle: 1983-2001. Next Day-Cycle: 2019-2038.
    Oct 26, 2009. 03:33 AM | 4 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Fantasy Housing Numbers a Prelude to the Next U.S. Crash [View article]
    The current masters of the universe cult really wants housing to become a secondary stock market. This is what happens when we let the 'unbalanced' Inflationists run the world. We get the roller coaster of the natural economy vs the balloon-mechanism of the Inflationists. Do we really want people buying housing bottoms and selling housing tops, like they were stocks? Do we want to live in a speculative, gambling society, with government bailouts coming every half-decade or so?

    Overthrow the neo-classicists who understand the importance of expansion but not contraction.

    On Oct 26 01:46 AM Grumley wrote:

    > The scariest part to all of this, is the government's decision to
    > put housing front and center as the means for an economic recovery,
    > let alone their own salvation. What this underscores is that if housing
    > is touted as our white horse, and housing is directly reliant on
    > people having a job and paying their mortgage, unemployment is no
    > longer a trailing indicator.
    Oct 26, 2009. 03:29 AM | 5 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • The Crisis in Community Banks Continues [View article]
    I wonder if even the most conservative banks can withstand economy-related contraction. It depends how deep the deep-recession is. A lot of housing loans were based on two-income families; if one of those incomes is lost, the conservative loan begins to look toxic.

    On Oct 26 02:57 AM Jasper M wrote:

    > "So far this year, every Friday has been met with an FDIC announcement
    > . . ."
    > Um, didn't they skip one, recently, right at the change of the quarter?
    > Also, I wonder how much of this is a generalization that is not geographically
    > justified. A recent map of bank failures since start of, I think
    > it was 2008 showed pretty profound concentration, and none at all
    > in big chunks of the country.
    > While I grant that things are apt to get Much worse before they get
    > better, and the fact that the FDIC keeps its "problem list" as something
    > of a secret compels prudent folk to err on the side of caution, I
    > imagine more conservatively run community banks are going to do relatively
    > well. And there appear to be whole regions of the country where such
    > conservative stewardship is the norm. I live in one - my state has
    > not had one failure yet.
    Oct 26, 2009. 03:24 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • We're Living Through the Best of Times [View article]
    Great article, as always. That capacity utilization chart shows that we've been downtrending in CU and still are.

    The good thing about the late 1970's with all the problems we had...we were closing in on a bottom, 1983. Today we are at 1973 in relative seventies terms. We still have quite a way to go before we hit out bottom: 2019.
    Oct 26, 2009. 02:32 AM | 3 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • "The Bankers Manifesto of 1892" [View instapost]
    Clearly, when the bankers own the government, the bankers can tell the government what to do.
    Oct 26, 2009. 02:23 AM | Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Murphy's Law of Economics and Health Care [View article]
    I had health-care insurance for thirty years at my workplace. I saw a doctor three times in thirty years. My wife's asthma medication was covered -- her medication, Pulmacort, costs $10 in Vietnam, and costs $160 in America. $160 x 12 = $1920/year. My understanding as to why I could not longer get a pay raise at work was that health insurance ran about $15,000 a year for my wife and I. Clearly, my wife and I would have been better off taking the pay raise and paying for our own insurance.

    I am grateful that my wife and I have good health. I always said that MOST Americans, if given a chance at a health rebate at the end of the year, would not be so inclined to have to go see their doctor every two weeks.

    Unspent money from a health-fund goes back 50-50 to the insured person and to the insurance fund (government?). You'd probably be amazed at how healthy Americans would keep themselves if it meant money back at the end of the year.

    The REAL reason our health-care system is broken is because we've INFLATED prices out of reach. If we deflate prices back to a reasonable level, then this issue becomes muted. The Inflationists (Greenspan-Bernanke) feel it is their duty to push up prices to the breaking point, so they can take credit for a booming GDP. Prices can't keep going up for ever. We need to discredit the Neo-Classical economics that have been suffocating us now for two decades.

    The best health-care reform would be a couple decades of real price deflation.
    Oct 26, 2009. 02:16 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • Rajaratnam Indictment: Wall Street Wrongdoing Remains Pervasive [View article]
    Tip of the iceberg, indeed!

    Boys will be boys! Everybody cheats, so why don't we! Here's a little something for you -- all you have to do is look the other way! Nobody gets hurt!

    Immorality sinks the ship! Cheating, stealing, lying become the standard operating procedure!

    Yes, and when a democracy cheats, steals and lies to its citizens, then it stops being a democracy. It becomes...state capitalism.
    Oct 26, 2009. 01:49 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Capitalism, Socialism and Fascism [View instapost]
    In my mind, socialism is the middle ground between communism and capitalism. So, in my mind, socialism is not a disease. More and more it is appearing that capitalism and communism are the two diseases.
    Oct 26, 2009. 01:34 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment
  • Capitalism, Socialism and Fascism [View instapost]
    Using tax payer money to shield corporate losses? State capitalism? Sounds like fascism to me. Does it matter? Does it matter what we call it, or does it matter than we've embraced a fascist solution to our problems? If we are comfortable with being fascist, then I'd say we'd better get ready for a major war and major societal repression -- because these are two side-effects of fascism.
    Oct 26, 2009. 01:33 AM | 2 Likes Like |Link to Comment
  • In his weekly radio address, President Obama said too many small businesses are still finding it difficult to get loans: "These are the very taxpayers who stood by America's banks in a crisis - and now it's time for our banks to stand by creditworthy small businesses, and make the loans they need to open their doors, grow their operations, and create new jobs."  [View news story]
    Why did the government give the banks money without strings attached? Because the banks OWN the government. We won't get our government back until we (1) castrate the big banks; (2) reform electoral laws that make it possible for someone who is not a lawyer and/or a millionaire to be elected. Campaigns cannot last for ever and cannot cost an arm and a leg. For a poor man to be elected, he has to sell his soul to Big Money just to get his face on the tv. That's why we have so many whores in our government.
    Oct 25, 2009. 06:40 AM | 1 Like Like |Link to Comment