Archive for February, 2009

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“Falling Home Prices Don’t Help Anyone”

February 23, 2009

I heard someone say that today.  I just felt like yelling at them.  Falling home prices do help some people, people like me.  Right now I can afford to make a good-sized house payment, but I don not own a house.  I do not own one because I am still saving up to make a large downpayment.

The other day I also heard someone ask, “What will it take to get the buyers on the sidelines to buy?’  They were wondering if it was things like lower interest payments.  It is not.  Lower home prices are what are going to bring more buyers to the table.  No one wants to admit that, though.  They want to keep believing their home prices should not be falling.

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Maybe The Market Needs A Bank Nationalization

February 23, 2009

I keep hearing that the bottom of a bear market is when everyone just gives up and sells off. However, the market has been vacillating up and down with a downward trend, but we have not seen a huge sell-off.  We just keep on sinking.

Maybe what the market needs to capitulate is a major bank or two to be taken over by the government. Maybe that is the straw that will break the camel’s back and plunge the market to its lowest point. Then we can start to recover.

Just at thought, not an edorsment. (Or a sermon for those of you familiar with a certain mega-church.)

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Movie Review: Push

February 23, 2009

I saw Push tonight. It was okay. The plot is basically: Telekinetic guy teams up with girl that can draw the future to find his lost love that can put thoughts and memories into people’s minds. Wackiness ensues.

Overall, it was good. Dakota Fanning did a great job acting, and Camilla Belle did a great job of looking great. The bit characters did a good job being interesting. The ending was a little unsatisfying, but I think they were leaving it open for a sequel. I do not know if it will earn enough money to justify a sequel, though.

My recommendation is to rent it. I do not think it is worth $10 a seat at the theater.

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Happy Anniversary!!!

February 22, 2009

Today is the one year anniversary of this blog.  My first post was February 22, 2008, and it is now February 22, 2009.  In celebration, I thought I would delve into some of the statistics WordPress compiles for the blog.  (I know, it is kind of nerdy, but I am such a stats geek.)

First up is Busiest Day.  That would be November 18, 2008 with 28 views.  That is the day after I posted my Should We Bailout The Car Companies post.

Next is Busiest Month.  That distinction goes to January 2009 with 259 views.  I think that is because I had pretty much taken December off, and people were obviously excited to see my return.  That is the only possible explanation.  Really.

Now, for some more interesting stuff:  Most Popular Post.  This one has always surprised me.  Care to take a guess?  I’ll bet you did not guess, “White People Don’t Use Hair Oil” did you?  Well, that is, in fact, the number one post on this blog with 110 views, 10 more than Obama Is A Cylon.

Most Popular Search Term is the search that brought people most often to my blog.  It is “Obama is a Cylon.”  Number two is “how to use hair oil.”

Some other random information is that this will be the 85th post to my blog.  So, I have been averaging one post every 4.3 days.  I also have 33 comments made on my blog.  So, I seem not to garner a lot of discussion.  Oh well, I do not usually try to be controversial.

So, there you have it, one year under my belt, and I managed to top 2,000 page views.  I am not primetime, or even small time, but I am happy with that.

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Trying More Social Networking

February 21, 2009

Well, since I’m over Facebook, I have decided to try something else, Twitter.  You can follow me here.  So, if you ever want to know what random thoughts pop into my head, look there.

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The Economics of Micro-Finance

February 16, 2009

In its simplest form, micro-finance is the loaning of small amounts of money to people.  It is usually done in developing countries in order to help fund and fuel development.  Small amounts of money are loaned to entrepreneurs and paid back within a year or two, usually.  Repayment rates are usually high and highest among female borrowers.

Now I will start to speculate.  I think micro-finance works better than just a hand-out because the need to repay the loan pushes people to succeed.  If you give someone $500, they take it and do what they will with it.  If you give them $500 and require it to be repaid, they need to make sure that $500 helps them to earn at least enough money to cover the principal plus interest.  Then, after the loan is repaid, they can continue to earn that money.

So, how does one get involved in micro-finance?  Well, I have two suggestions:

The first is Kiva.org.  It is a charity, and it accepts $25 donations and gives them to micro-finance organizations in various companies.  You get to choose the loan to fund.  The drawback, as far as I am concerned, is that you do not get a return on your money.  You get your money back if and when the loan is repaid, but you do not earn any interest on your money.  You also cannot claim your donation as a tax-deduction.

The second website is microplace.com.  It is a for-profit site, and allows you to give money to support micro-finance loans.  The difference from Kiva is that you do earn a return.  The highest return I have seen is 5%, which is pretty low considering there is a fair amount of risk involved.

So, until micro-finance starts providing returns commesurate to its risk, it will mostly be the domain of charities.  I am waiting for the day it does start returning the proper rate.

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Life Update

February 9, 2009

I do not have anything too deep to post about today, so I will give you a rundown of some of the random things that have been happening:

  • Had my Facebook profile disabled for some yet-unstated reason.  I am still trying to get some kind of response from Facebook other than the initial auto-response message.
  • Kept up on all my homework and most of my reading.  (Business Law is an interesting course but REALLY dry reading.)
  • Watched some Hulu on my 22″ LCD monitor (Christmas gift from my wife) on my Ubuntu box using Boxee.  Now I just need Netflix to get their act together and support Linux.
  • Got a new general manager at work.  I think he will work out better than if the interim general manager had stayed.
  • Nursed my wife through her bout of flu.  Now I just hope I do not get sick.
  • I think we are cancelling a trip to New Jersey because my wife missed two days of work this week.  It is kind of a bummer, but I get another Dungeons & Dragons game in this way.
  • I have not been able to have lunch with my friend Chris, but due to the pending trip cancellation, I might be able to this week.