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Pension Insurance Fund Losses Could Cost Taxpayers 100's of Billions More - 03/30/09 04:38 PM
Billions of dollars from pension insurance funds held by the Pension Benefits Guaranty Corporation (PBGC) have been invested in speculative investments in emerging foreign markets, real estate, and private equity funds according to the Boston Globe, Michael Kranish. The federal agency that insures the retirement funds of 44 million Americans is at risk of becoming insolvent leaving taxpayers the responsibility for its debts. The former Agency Director, Charles Millard, was appointed by President G. W. Bush and his appointment was approved by the Senate. After receiving his appointment, Millard embarked on a new investment policy which was approved by his board (6 comments)
Liquidation Value < Fair Market Value - 03/27/09 03:44 PM
The liquidation prices of REO properties and strong competition for buyers in markets with extraordinarily high numbers of REO properties is driving the 'fair market value' of homes to new lows and the liquidation of REO properties will probably cause an over-correction in the housing market. According to the Dictionary of Real Estate Appraisal 'liquidation value' is the likely price of an asset when there is insufficient time to sell on the open market thus reducing its exposure to potential buyers? Illiquid assets like real estate often require a period of several months in order to obtain their 'fair market value' (4 comments)
Roof Moss - Leaks & Loss of Your Homeowner's Ins Port Orford, OR 97465 - 03/27/09 12:52 PM
In the Pacific Northwest moss growing on your roof can affect the water tight integrity of your roof and if it gets too bad your insurance company may cancel your insurance policy or refuse to renew your homeowner's insurance until the moss is properly removed and the roof is inspected (FYI - Insurance companies will periodically check homes that they have insured). As in any home maintenance or repair project, if you have any questions consult a professional. For your information, I have provided some roof maintenance tips below. An ounce of prevention ... The best prevention for roof moss is (0 comments)
Northern Migration of Gray Whales It's Spring in Port Orford, OR 97465 - 03/26/09 09:42 PM
According to the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department approximately 18,000 Grey whales will pass by in the 4 weeks from mid-March through mid-April in their yearly 10,000 mile migration from the Baja Lagoons of Mexico to their summer feeding grounds in the Bering Sea. The main body of whales is about 3 miles off shore however; when feeding the whales can be seen closer to shore. During the peak period approximately 6 whales per hour will pass by specific viewing sites. The Northern migration starts in the spring during the week of March 21 - March 28. Trained volunteers will tell (2 comments)
Directory of Elected Officials in the State Govt. Port Orford, OR 97465 - 03/26/09 12:56 AM
It has never been more important for each and everyone of us to communicate to our elected officials about issues, priorities, programs, legislation, budget, and appointments. If you live in Port Orford I have provided the names, addresses, telephone numbers, fax numbers, and email addresses of your elected representatives in the State Govt. Governor Ted Kulongoski 160 State Capitol 900 Court St. Salem, OR 97301-4047 T | 503-378-4582 F | 503-378-6827 E | firstname.lastname@example.org E | www.governor.state.or.us
Secretary of State Kate Brown 136 State Capitol Salem, OR 97301-0722
T | 503-986-1523 F | 503-986-1616 E | email@example.com E | (2 comments)
Directory of Elected Officials in the Federal Govt. Port Orford, OR 97465 - 03/26/09 12:42 AM
It has never been more important for each and everyone of us to communicate to our elected officials about issues, priorities, programs, legislation, budget, and appointments. If you live in Port Orford I have provided the names, addresses, telephone numbers, fax numbers, and email addresses of your elected representatives in the Federal Govt.PresidentBarack ObamaThe White House1600 Pennsylvannia Ave NWWashington, DC 20500T | 202-456-1414F | 202-456-2461E | www.whitehouse.gov/contact Vice PresidentDr. Joe BidenThe White House1600 Pennsylvania Ave NWWashington, DC 20500T | 202-456-1414F | 202-456-2461E | www.whitehouse.gov/vice-presidentUS SenatorsJeff MerkleySDB-40B Dirksen Senate Office BldgWashington, DC 20510T | 202-224-3753F | 202-228-3997E | merkley.senate.gov/contactOregon OfficeOne World Trade (0 comments)
The Sinking Appeal of a Gourmet Burger - 03/25/09 02:06 AM
The misadventures of Nana Jan, Nana Jan was inspired by her cooking muse and was carefully crafting a gourmet burger from some locally grown organic beef. She added garlic, basil, and goat cheese to the beef and methodically worked the ingredients until they were evenly blended. She carefully pressed these gourmet fixings into 3 thick patties while she seasoned the foreman grill with olive oil spray and sliced sweet onions. Nana removed the onions when they were golden brown and then placed the burgers evenly across the foreman grill. As the burgers cooked Nana sliced 2 vine ripened tomatoes and moved (2 comments)
Geithner's TAP - Taxpayer's Losses - 03/23/09 01:39 PM
Suppose we segregate the MBS and CDO assets currently held by banks into 3 separate tranches: Assets backed by Prime Mortgages; Assets backed by a blend of Prime and Sub-prime Mortgages; and Assets backed by Sub-prime and Alt-A Mortgages. Assets backed by Prime Mortgages were properly rated as AAA investments and are performing well. The Banks will not want to sell these assets and they wont be offered to the FDIC to liquidate via the TAP sanctioned auctions. Assets backed by a blend of Prime and Sub-prime Mortgages are underperforming at present and the current market price for these assets is (4 comments)
The First Day of Spring Was Not Disappointing - 03/22/09 01:38 PM
We had a spectacularly weatherful day here in Port Orford. Mother Nature appeared to be conflicted by Winter and Spring atmospherics. Consequently, we received intermittent rain, hail, and blue skies with beautiful long arching rainbows, loud surf, and greening pastures. The air was clean and enlivening, the baby lambs would run and play chase then rest beside their mothers and baby calves would stray then go chasing after their mothers trying to stay close as they grazed on the newly grown grasses. It was a joyful day that my wife and I shared with each other. Then later, during the early (3 comments)
Is It Any Wonder? - 03/22/09 01:03 PM
Historically huge amounts of public funds measured in trillions of dollars are being allocated to private corporations who are then using the taxpayers money for protecting and preserving the status quo, rewarding wrong doers, and buying influence with politicians in office. Here is a quick review of their actions to date. Congress approves 700 Billion in TARP funds without enacting adequate constraints on the use of these funds, sufficient regulatory oversight, auditor insight, or any legal means to seek corrective actions. The taxpayers money in TARP has been used to: Pay 78 billion over market price for shares of stock and (0 comments)
There Will Be Fewer Buyers from the Boomer Generation - 03/21/09 04:34 PM
Many Baby Boomers will not be buying another home anytime soon according to the Center for Economic Policy and Research report “The Wealth of the Baby Boom Cohorts after the Collapse of the Housing Bubble” dated February 2009 and written by David Rosnick and Dean Baker. For precision, the Boomer generation was divided into Late Boomers between the ages of 45 to 54 and Early Boomers between the ages of 55 and 64 (the findings of the report exclude any benefits from defined benefit pensions). The findings of the report indicated: Late Boomers Median household wealth fell by more than 45 (22 comments)
The Outlook for any return of Consumer Spending is Black - Pitch Black - 03/21/09 04:24 PM
The Financial Times Lex column on the: US Economy, dated 17 March 09, stated that the outlook for consumers and for any increase in consumer spending is pitch black and in need of serious deleveraging. According to the Federal Reserve data on the 4th quarter ’08, the consumer’s household balance sheet is bloated by a ratio of total gross debt to personal income of 133%. Compare that to an average of 90% during the 1990’s and you’ll appreciate the magnitude of the problem. The Lex article states: Assuming no changes in household income, returning to the 90% ratio requires consumer liabilities (2 comments)
Public Funds on TAP or Geithner’s Toxic Asset Plan (TAP) - 03/18/09 01:15 AM
Treasury Secretary Geithner is proposing the use public funds to provide financing and guarantees to private investors (hedge funds) to buy mortgage backed Toxic Assets. The problem is how to set a fair market price for these assets. The Banks are lobbying for relief from mark-to-market accounting practices because the market conditions are driving the market price of these assets to a mere fraction of their purchase price. However you establish the market value of these assets, the investors want to buy them at a price low enough to ensure that they can sell them at a profit. If the price (4 comments)
The Fox (Hedge Funds) Will Save the Chickens (Public Funds) - 03/15/09 02:43 PM
Secretary Geithner’s plan for a public/private investment partnership to address the greatest economic challenge of our time, toxic assets (measured in the trillions of dollars), is like asking the fox to save the chickens. Geithner's public/private fund will invite hedge fund managers to leverage public funds, borrow public funds at the ‘most favorable rates,’ and use the government’s line of credit to buy up toxic assets, clean them up, and resell them. To state it simply the hedge fund managers are not doing this out of a sense of patriotic duty they are doing it for a profit. Why is it (0 comments)
Major Banks & Their Lawmakers don't like FASB mark-to-market Accounting Std - 03/12/09 04:11 PM
Investors, on the other hand do, stating that it gives them greater insight into the true present market value of a Banks' assets. Now top U.S. lawmakers acting on behalf of their constituents, the Banks, are threatening to take action themselves if the Financial Accounting Standards Board (FASB) doesn't revise their standards. According to Banks and their lawmakers the current standards have forced Banks to record billions of dollars in asset write-downs in order to reflect the current market value of these assets. However, when the market values of assets were rocketing up to irrational highs the Bankers were more than (2 comments)
The Govt. Can’t Fix the Economy - 03/12/09 12:45 AM
Government actions to date have not and will not make the banks solvent, restore liquidity, or stabilize the economy. Government actions have not been bold enough or strategically effective and they have done nothing to restore the confidence of entrepreneurs, investors, and consumers. Secretary Geithner’s failure to produce a comprehensive plan with specific details that lay out the steps necessary to accomplish tactical objectives in a manner that will incrementally lead to the accomplishment of strategic goals with clear measures of effectiveness has support for the new administration flagging. The lack of transparency and the lack of responsible use and supervision of (2 comments)
Masked Cat Food Bandits Port Orford, OR 97465 - 03/05/09 12:36 AM
Every winter these adorable critters come around scavaging for food in our neighborhood in the coastal forest. This photo was taken only moments after these two masked bandits made a raid on our cats' Whiskas bowl. I don't know who was more startled, these hungry adolescent critters or my wife who went out to take the bowl inside. We don't make a practice of feeding them and we don't encourage others to feed them but we do enjoy their visits. Racoons are playful and rolly-polly. We love to watch them play and listen to their churring sounds. If you haven't heard (6 comments)
Federal Negotiators Accept Greater Taxpayer Exposure - 03/01/09 03:36 PM
I accept the fact that our government has to take bold action to stabilize the financial markets. However, my confidence in the government's actions is repeatedly shaken and continually eroded by the lack of a structured plan that produces predictable behavior and repeatable successful outcomes by government agents who are responsible for representing taxpayer’s interest. Federal negotiators are ready to provide American International Group, Inc (AIG) $30 billion in additional federal assistance and revamp the AIG bailout with terms that increase taxpayers’ exposure to losses. Repayment of the original $ 40 billion was supposed to be in cash with interest. Additional (3 comments)
How Will it Work - Term Asset-Backed Securities Loan Facility (TALF) - 03/01/09 02:01 AM
TALF is a Federal Reserve credit facility that was created to assist credit markets meet the needs of consumers and small businesses by facilitating the issuance of asset-backed securities (ABS) and improving market conditions for ABS. TALF was rolled out by the U.S. Department of the Treasury and the Federal Reserve on 19 February 2009 as one part of the Financial Recovery Plan announced by Secretary Geithner on February 10, 2009. The Federal Reserve Bank of New York (FRBNY) will make up to 1 trillion dollars of loans under the TALF. TALF loans will be non-recourse to the borrower, and will (0 comments)
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