Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Want some light reading?

Here's the new Economic Stimulus bill! And with such a friendly title like the "American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009", how can anything go wrong? Most likely something evil is buried in the 258 pages of the bill!!! Yikes! And you think you're afraid to read Atlas Shrugged? Reading all of this sounds horrid!

BTW-the Dow closed down 330 points today... No 'bump' from Obama I guess. Hopefully something positive will come out in the news and give Wall Street some 'comfort' or something...

Monday, January 12, 2009

Broken Record alert: more Atlas Shrugged 'stuff' (an important read!!!)

I received the following story from the Wall Street Journal opinion page in my in-box today and was not surprised to see that it more or less echoed what I've been saying for months and months--we are entering a scary period in history where fiction is turning into fact! No, I am not bashing Obama at all because he's not in control... yet. I really hate the fact that our government is such a mess. Why can't we have term limits? (for fun, read Vince Flynn's first book of the same name) I really think people get elected and forget what they were doing to begin with. Would I get used to corporate jets and executive privilege? You betcha! Every single member of Congress needs to remember that they are accountable to us. But if we have to remain tied to 'entrenched' interests, we have an uphill battle. Do you think we could outspend someone who's been attached to a Senate "lifer" like Teddy Kennedy or Robert Byrd?

Okay, off on another tangent, sorry. Bottom line-what's the balance between greed and capitalism? Self-interest vs. 'the good of the country'? Is YOUR self-interest best for someone else? That's the key issue (and why I'd say I'm philosophically a Libertarian) and one that's not readily discussed when you're playing the OPM game (Other People's Money). Please: go buy Atlas Shrugged and READ IT. If you don't have the stomach for a 1000 page novel at least read this. I assure you that it's worth the read. No, it's not always a 'page turner' but it's important stuff--then and NOW

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Of "sightings" and spending...

It's odd, we are definitely in a recession and spending has dropped off considerably... wait a minute, is that true? Yes, I know statistics show that, but all I can say is that it's not what I SEE out there! We went to the Dawsonville outlets the weekend after Christmas (Brooks Brothers gift cards were PERFECT gifts for me this year : ) and the place was PACKED. We burned an Ann Taylor card for Susie at Lenox and the mall was very busy too. Likewise, we celebrated our 9-year old's birthday at "American Girl" at North Point Mall last weekend and THAT place was packed--and if you have daughters in that age group, you know how expensive those dolls are! Ditto for Costco and Sam's, where I've had to pick up supplies for the home or office; still busy. So people are spending, at least in ATL metro!

On top of that, living in Atlanta, we are somewhat jaded by monster homes and exotic cars. In the past few weeks, here's a small list of 'toys' I've seen around (DRIVEN, not garage queens): Rolls Royce Phantom ($325K+), Porsche 911 Turbo (S190K?), Bentley Flying Spur ($200+?), Bentley coupe (ditto), Ferrari F430 ($200+), Maybach 57S (if you have to ask ; ) Likewise, there are tons of other precious metals cruising around. While they may be mortgaged to the hilt, I still say BRAVO to them, as they have done SOMETHING to earn those toys. God Bless America, the land of the free, home of the brave and all that... I hope that we can hold on through Spring (hopefully the Feds' recently released minutes are correct that we will be out of the woods by that time). All I can say is if you have good credit and your home's value is still pretty good, REFI NOW as rates are UNDER 5% today! When you do refi, you know where to close it : )

Friday, January 2, 2009

Shhhh.... Good news!

Don't tell the media, but there was a bit of good news today--the Dow closed over 9,000 for the 1st time in 2 months! Can you believe how low it's dropped over the last few years? But what about falling gas prices? Ditto! $4 no more and we're loving it. More bad news in the media today (manufacturing activity dropped quite a bit) and as always, home prices, well, how should I say this... they still SUCK. In any event, the "Metro Mike" billboards here in metro-ATL show a positive trend as well--remember when it rose to over 113,000 unsold homes? That's about when they STOPPED showing the actual number and put up pithy 'BUY NOW' messages. Well, it's now back down to the low 80's (look here; lower left of screen) and I see that as positive. Final shot--I just closed a new home purchase for a couple with a 1st mortgage of $417K (with a 2nd mortgage HELOC-remember those??). The interest rate was a mind-boggling 4.875%. WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR??? GO BUY NOW!