Sunday, August 15, 2010

Good Sunday to everyone out there. It is a bit cloudy today but I don't think we got any rain overnight on top of damned little yesterday. Go figure--flooding in Iowa and dry as a bone here. I will get out a little later and water everything. We are getting a bumper crop of eggplant--much more than we normally use. I guess we will use a lot in soups and casseroles over the winter. It is a bit of a surprise since the eggplants I planted last year did squat.

I found this article about Rep. Brad Miller (D-SC) who is trying to get some regulation on the big banks that might cure a pernicious case of conflict of interest. Those banks often service mortgages for other entities that own the mortgages--collecting payments and distributing them to the mortgage owners. But those servicing banks often hold seconds and home equity lines of credit on those accounts they are servicing. When homeowners have trouble paying they are more interested in making sure their own loans are paid whether the loans they are servicing for others are paid or not. And if the matter goes into foreclosure they are not interested in any settlement which would reduce the loans they hold even if it would keep the homeowner in the home and pay the first mortgage. That is a major reason the Federal programs to refinance troubled loans hasn't helped very many homeowners. This reminds me very much of the Goldman situation with derivatives--they created the derivatives to specifications of one customer and then marketed them to other customers without disclosing that relationship or the fact that they were shorting those same derivatives (betting against them). In both cases we are dealing with ethically challenged entities that have way too much power in the economy all of depend on.

As I logged onto my blogger account to moderate comments I was pleasantly surprised. I found three big buttons--publish, spam, delete. Previously I could only publish or delete at the small underlined buttons at the bottom. I really lie the spam designation. As I noted some time ago I have a couple of simple rules for comments--no advertising and nothing anonymous. Otherwise, I publish almost any comments. Now I will be able to designate all those anonymous posts that pretend to comment hoping I will publish their links to 'penis enhancement' products, adult sites, or even worthwhile commercial products as the spam they are. This is a non-commercial blog and I want to keep it that way.

I LOVE the title of this Robert Reich post: "Forget a Double Dip: We're In One Long, Big Dipper." That has been my response whenever I hear the financial talking heads pontificate on the possibilities of a double dip recession. For me it has been one long recession that began about 10 years ago. It became acute three years ago. You have to have a recovery before you can have a double dip. The rest of what he writes is pretty well on the mark also.

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