Wednesday, October 29, 2008

NYT: Government Said to Be Discussing Plan to Aid Homeowners

Chairwoman Bair has been the lone voice in the administration advocating for increased focus on the homeowner and consumer. If memory serves, I think her first public criticism of TARP's lack of treatment for homeowners was about two weeks back.

The proposal is a little fuzzy to me, but the focus is brilliant: deleverage the consumer.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/30/business/30homes.html?scp=1&sq=Government%20Said%20to%20Be%20Discussing&st=cse

Monday, October 27, 2008

 Open Source Hardware reported by wired. Really interesting - the online ECB manufacturers mentioned in the howto section are even more amazing, if you ask me. Someone should build an opensource gaming system. That'd get some traction guaranteed.
Johnny Chung Lee is my hero. 

NYT: To Survive, Net Start-Ups Slow Their Metabolism

Hmm. Seems like everyone is on the hunker down bandwagon. I'm not positive, but couldn't investors shut down a startup and distribute the cash? Personally, I wouldn't expect an online music retail play to work, even with 3 years and $20 million. How many online music players does the world actually need?

Seems to me the healthy advice of "cut costs" is obfuscating the permanent necessicities of growing a business: solve a real problem for customers who will pay you, and do it as efficiently as you can.

The "hall pass" comment just ticks me off.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/27/technology/companies/27dotbomb.html?scp=1&sq=To%20Survive,%20Net%20Start-Ups%20Slow&st=cse

Integration Watch: So, you want to write a little language? - SD Times On The Web

Oh, so very tempting. I'd design a language that was optimized for coding on a blackberry - limited character accessibility and a tiny screen. That way I could code while commuting.

http://www.sdtimes.com/content/article.aspx?ArticleID=32964

The Age of Prosperity Is Over - WSJ.com

In case you wanted to believe swift action would save us from total ruin, read this editorial in the journal. You'll want to sit down first.

http://www.wsj.com/article/SB122506830024970697.html

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Bloomberg.com: foreclosures jump

The article says Americans living paycheck to paycheck could be at greater risk. Who in America isn't living paycheck to paycheck?

States passed legislation to lengthen the notice required to homeowners who default on their mortgages. So, actual foreclosures fell while the pipeline filled with notices. This month the first foreclosures affected by the laws are being processed. As a result, there is a big jump, and more to come. At least the states have more visibility into impending foreclosure rates.

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=2065100&sid=aR9OGpC4jjao

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Jack started move around more this fall, and find his way into more fun.
Sequoia Capital provided a grim presentation to investors earlier in October. The preso found its way onto the internet, and is embedded below. The WSJ BizTech blog noted the preso in a short posting about Sequoia's $15M third round for AdMob. Note that the first slide isn't the scariest. Only the stoutest readers should proceed. I recommend full screen mode so you can read the charts carefully.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Boomer Bust: How Will the Economy Rebound Without Post-War Babies Financing Their Harleys? - WSJ.com

This article makes an almost philosophical or ethnographic argument about boomers and their spending habits. It seems simpler to say boomers brought unprecedented demand to the housing market when they started buying, and they are bringing unprecedented pressure now that they are selling.

http://www.wsj.com/article/SB122455140262652669.html

Monday, October 20, 2008

NYT: Taking a Peek at the Experts' DNA

The story below announces a remarkable social experiment. I can't imagine this information creating more bias than something far simpler and probably more telling like your age, your parents life span, or whether you smoke.

http://www.nytimes.com/2008/10/20/us/20gene.html?scp=1&sq=taking%20a%20peek%20at%20experts%20dna&st=cse

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

In the debate tonight, McCain essentially proposed my plan for the credit crisis:
“I would order the Secretary of the Treasury to immediately buy up the bad home loan mortgages in America and renegotiate at the new value of those homes, at the diminished value of those homes and let people make those, be able to make those payments and stay in their homes. Is it expensive? Yes.”
(quote taken from the ny times)
while I think Obama heeded my advice: to explain the situation to Americans:
"OBAMA: Well, Oliver, first, let me tell you what's in the rescue package for you. Right now, the credit markets are frozen up and what that means, as a practical matter, is that small businesses and some large businesses just can't get loans. If they can't get a loan, that means that they can't make payroll. If they can't make payroll, then they may end up having to shut their doors and lay people off. And if you imagine just one company trying to deal with that, now imagine a million companies all across the country. So it could end up having an adverse effect on everybody, and that's why we had to take action. But we shouldn't have been there in the first place."
(quote taken from cnn)
In the debate of regulate versus free market, I believe there is a pretty simple rule. The larger the institutions and markets, the greater risk they pose to the economy as a whole, the graver the need for regulation. The trillion dollar size of the credit default swap market is a simple, clear, unequivocal signal that the CDS market needs regulating. 
Bill O'Reilly launched into a withering diatribe against Barney Frank, while Frank was a guest on the show. Virtually every member of congress was influenced by Fannie and Feddie's lobbying machine; Mr. Frank was  almost certainly depending on company management for information and insight. But, does Mr. O'Reilly need to shout like a Boston commuter on the pike at 5.40pm? 

Wednesday, October 01, 2008