Saturday, December 30, 2006

NY Giants @ Washington

Giants @ Redskins

The Redskins and Giants recently played the Saints just seven days apart. Washington controlled New Orleans in a road win in Week 15, while New York was humiliated in a home loss the following Sunday. But comparing results against common opponents is always problematic, since that method doesn't account for desire. And there should be little doubt that the Giants are the team that enters Saturday's matchup with a stronger will to win, not to mention the fact that the G-Men are simply more talented than Washington. For all the offense's faults, Manning and Barber should have little trouble out-producing Campbell and Betts, a couple of guys who started the month of November as backups. Now that the Giants' backs are truly up against the wall, they'll come out fighting.

NY Giants: 15-5 Under off BB games allowing 25+ points
Washington: 7-0 ATS revenging a road loss

JEDI THOUGHTS: This is a BIG game for my fellow friend Jeff Bonds. He'll be playing at 10dimer on this game. This will be the biggest play for him this year. I'll be glad to cash this in with him. I strongly agree that you play this game. I love that trend that says 7-0 revenging a road loss, no Strahan, no Shockey that sucks. Redskins win this game and knock off Giants in making the playoffs PERIOD!

JEDI PICK: Washington +3

Friday, December 29, 2006

Sports vs. Non-Sports Divestiture

I don't really like this development, because it appears to bifurcate capital and traders into separate, smaller universes at any given instance of time.

However, it makes sense to me, in that the sports side of things is at greater legal risk than the non-sports prediction markets. The conspiracy theorist in me thinks we've got the casino, horse racing, and state lottery interests trying to shutdown the sports trading.

I think that the sports contracts may not create the economic value that the non-sports contracts do. However, traders can hone their execution and risk management skills trading the sports, and bring this expertise to the non-sports, thereby improving the predictive power of the information markets.

Your comments, please!

UPDATE: My good friend in the Pit, Todd73NJ, has asked some really good questions and received good answers.

UPDATE: Cross-posted on Midas Oracle.

Trade Exchange Network has agreed to divest its sports related business


Trade Exchange Network Reorganizing

Thursday, Dec 21, 2006

Dublin, December 21, 2006: With effect from January 1st, 2007, Trade Exchange Network, owner and operator of TradeSports and Intrade, has agreed to divest its sports related business to a newly formed company, TradeSports Ltd., for an undisclosed sum.

The companies will cooperate fully to make sure there is no inconvenience to members and have agreed an initial two month timeframe to complete the transaction.

Commenting on the transaction, John Delaney, CEO of Trade Exchange Network said..."After growing our combined sports and non-sports markets aggressively for five years, this development represents a significant transaction for the company. We are very thankful to our loyal sports traders and assure them that the transition will be both painless and positive for them. We are certain that TradeSports Ltd. will build on our achievements and that sports traders will receive a peerless service."

Trade Exchange Network, through its platform, will continue to offer the broadest selection and deepest liquidity in real money prediction markets. Intrade will now look to aggressively extend the prediction markets and services it offers. The company will reorganize its trading and related services activities into two separate business units.

According to Delaney... "Non-sports prediction markets have amazing further potential, where we have a leading position and where we offer maximum value. We are convinced that traders and data users will see benefits very soon."

TradeSports Ltd., through the and platforms, will continue to offer all the sports markets currently available on TradeSports, and more besides. TradeSports will only offer sports related markets. Non-sports markets will only be available on the platform after 28th February 2007.

How will this change affect our members and affiliates?
As TradeSports and Intrade will be operated as separate independent platforms, members will need to have an account on each platform in order to continue trading both sports and non-sports contracts. Members will automatically get a second account if they have traded on both categories on or before February 28th.

We will publish a special edition of our customer newsletter during January, and it will include more specific details but for now, it is business as usual.

Equities trading closed Tue Jan 2, in honor of President Ford

WSJ reports that Nasdaq will be closed (subscription required). NYSE still hemming and hawing.

UPDATE: NYSE follows Nasdaq.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Obama's Hockey Stick

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I do like Barack more than Hillary, but have no idea who would govern better in the White House. But I do believe he is in a honeymoon period right now, and am not sure it will last until next November. My recommendation is to buy the dips, sell the rallies on this contract.

I enjoyed Obama's senatorial campaign (e.g. free trade advocate in an industrial region) and his DNC speech (One America, not Two), but find that he also (like almost every other serious candidate) must compromise to get along with the party machinery.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

My best memory of Gerald Ford?

This quote:
A government big enough to give you everything you want is a government big enough to take from you everything you have.

UPDATE: Greg Mankiw agrees.

Rest in Peace President Ford

While not yet living while he was in office, there is always something bittersweet about the passing of an ex-president. The passing away of a great man who rose to the highest pinnacle of the world's most powerful democracy mixed with healing and resolution that both sides of the aisle can appreciate. The most recent example besides Ford was the passing of Reagan (who never seemed to get his full due recognition until after he was gone). I was surprised to learn Ford actually survived two assasination attempts in a span of three weeks. Talk about not being hugely popular, especially after pardoning Nixon. But a nice, eloquent roundup of Ford can be found at RedState here. Rest In Peace Mr. President.

Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry XMAS; Jets @ Miami

NY Jets @ Miami

The Jets are 8-6 on the year (9-5 ATS) and in a wildcard battle with three other AFC clubs. Miami has lost two-of-three straight-up and ATS to fall out of the race at 6-8 (5-9 ATS). It can play spoiler versus the Jets though.

NY Jets: 9-2 Over off a win
Miami: 2-9 ATS vs. division opponents

JEDI THOUGHTS: This spread seems a little fishy. This game is just to important for the NY Jets, and I don't see them ruining their whole season losing to Dolphins. They are in Miami and it will be tough there. This game is just too IMPORTANT for the Jets. Jets come big with a win today, just like they have been doing just to get to the playoffs, and i'm sure they won't end it here. Philly comes up big against the Cowboys also. So it's the two underdogs tonight!


Monday, December 18, 2006

NFL Cincinnati @ Indianapolis

The last meeting of the Indianapolis Colts and Cincinnati Bengals wasn't that close with the Colts winning a season ago in Cincinnati 45-37 as a five-point choice. At the time the Colts were 9-0 and the Bengals 7-2. The Colts would eventually get to 13-0 before losing and then lost their lone playoff game at home to Pittsburgh. This year the Colts started 9-0 but now have lost three-of-four including a 44-17 blowout last week in Jacksonville. Cincinnati has won and covered four straight to climb out of a 4-5 hole and get back in the playoff hunt at 8-5. The Bengals won their last two on the road, beating New Orleans 31-16 and Cleveland 30-0. The Colts are 6-0 at home (4-2 ATS) with their last a 45-21 trouncing of Philadelphia as a 10.5-pt. chalk.

Cincinnati: 7-0 ATS away off a win
Indianapolis: 9-2 Under at home vs. conference opponents

JEDI THOUGHTS: 7-0 ATS away off a win...doesn't that just look too good? Hey what about them Colts? The only trend I see is the 9-2 UNDER and home. I've uncovered a bunch of angles and a couple of other trends to back e'm up. And using my system I'm still at the same team. Using my line movement technique I'm still on the same side, over and over and over again. Not only do I keep picking the same team over and over again, I've been backed up by alot of the great cappers at the forum, or should I say, "I'm following them, and can't find a reason that the Bengals are going to win this game." The only thing that I can come up with that Bengals will win this game is that Ronniedizel is on it.

JEDI PICK: Indianapolis Colts -3


From the Volokh Conspiracy:

"EU vs. USA on CO2:
European nations have assumed the mantle of global leadership on climate change while the United States sits on the sidelines. This standard narrative contains some truth, but it also grossly overstates Europe's demonstrated commitment to reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The reality is more complex."

Saturday, December 16, 2006

NFL Dallas @ Atlanta

Bushwhacked Two teams that both lost their last home games to the New Orleans Saints meet this week in a Saturday night edition of NFL Football. The Atlanta Falcons, 7-6 on the year and winners of two straight on the road, play host to the Dallas Cowboys. The Cowboys were run over by Reggie Bush and the Saints Sunday night at home, losing 42-27 as a touchdown choice. That snapped the Cowboys four-game win streak and dropped them to 8-5 on the year. They have won two straight on the road, beating Arizona 27-10 and the N.Y. Giants 23-20. Atlanta's road wins came at the expense of Washington (21-14) and Tampa Bay (17-6) after it dropped four straight including home losses to Cleveland (17-13) and the Saints (31-13).

Dallas: 25-12 ATS off a loss by 14+ points
Atlanta: 6-18 ATS at home off a win by 10+ points

JEDI THOUGHTS: When Dallas loses a game, they come back the next week with a huge win. I don't want to name e'm all but you can look for yourself. Atlanta hasn't won more than 2 consecutive games this season. Alot of injuries on Atlanta, considering Warrick Dunn won't be in the back field with Vick. This is going to be a game that both teams need to win...but the better team will win. Atlanta won their last two games by two teams that won't even make the play offs, Tampa Bay and Washington, both teams are with losing records. JJ and TO will be helping Romo alot today. Dallas is avg 26 points in their last 3 games. Atlanta avg 18 points in their last 3 games...that should tell you a little something. Considering the fact that Atlanta overall avg yards out rushes Dallas by 60 yards. Some of it goes to Dunn, but most of it goes to Vick. If they can contain him, they will have no problem tonight, but even if they if they dont, how much more do you actually think they'll score over their total avg maybe three points more? 3? maybe 6? who knows.

JEDI PICK: Dallas -4

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Mother Russia

After reading this, it is becoming quite apparent that Russia is returning to her old ways. For those that have followed Russia's consolidation of once private energy companies into state-owned ones such as Yukos, this is nothing new. As mentioned in the article, Russia cut off supplies to the Ukraine in the past and has tried bullying western-leaning Georgia for a number of years now. I fear this is only going to continue to grow as a problem for the world as Russia and/or Iran will try to blackmail the world to meet its political objectives. Russia has long supplied countries such as Iran with nuclear expertise and conventional weapons and sells arms to the number 1 buyer of weapons today (Venezueala). Neither of these US friends. It should also be noted that Russia provided intelligence information to Iraq before the US invasion. This is disturbing to me especially as we try to stabilize the fragile Middle East (as best as we can).

An interesting read for people that are interested in the growing ties between Russia and the Middle East should read Joel Rosenberg's book Epicenter. I have read the book myself and it is a fascinating read (he looks at today's current events and analyzes them with Ezekiel 38-39) regardless of your spiritual preferences. He is a smart man: worked for the Heritage Foundation, Benjamin Netanyahu, and Steve Forbes' presidential campaign. Joel Rosenberg also was the one who originally wrote about terrorists using planes as weapons and the invasion of Iraq before they happened.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Weekly European Soccer Picks for 12/13/2006

As I said I will post once a week before big soccer days on games that I have money on to try to help increase liquidity and interest in European Soccer. Since posting I have fortunately gone 2-0 by taking the over for the Man U/Man City game (3-1 Man U) and taking the away Derby for the win at Leeds (1-0 Derby). Now tomorrow and Thursday comprise the last round of group play before going on to the knockout stage of the tournament. Now to educate, this is not the same as the Champions league. The Champions league has almost the same kind of format but the Champions league have higher caliber teams due to their final placement in their respective club leagues from the year before. However, in the knockout stage, the third place finishers from group play in the Champions league get to drop down to the knockout stage in the UEFA tourney which spices things up. Alas, here are my picks for tomorrow:

UEFA Group F
In the matchup of Zulte-Waregem v Ajax Amsterdam I have taken the over at 56.5. I like Espanyol to win in the same group but not for the mid-70s.

UEFA Group G
In the matchup between last placed PSG v first place Panathinaikos I have taken the under at 41.5.

Those are my pics for tomorrow where I have money at stake. Let the matches begin!


English Premiership
I have taken Arsenal for the away win at Wigan for 54.6. Go Gunners!

Final Conclusion for Day's Events:
My posted pics today went 2-1 (posted pics are 4-1 overall). I sincerely apologize for getting the under so wrong, it was in fact my biggest position but a 4-0 win by PSG blew it out of the water. We got lucky with Arsenal's goal in the 88th minute to win and they now move up into 3rd in the standings. There is also another round of UEFA games tomorrow for you to look at.

Monday, December 11, 2006

NBA Dallas @ Utah

I've been hot at basketball all season. I haven't been posting here because I didn't want to jinx myself. (seems like everytime I post here with my plays, alot seems to go wrong) But I do have another blog which I update DAILY. I've posted the link here before. But if you don't have it i'll post it again after my pick (below) If I get a good read on tonights MNF i'll be sure to post that here also.

Dallas @ Utah

Dallas: 24-7 ATS away after scoring 105+ points
Utah: 14-4 Over after allowing 110+ points

JEDI THOUGHTS: Utah ran into a bump on the road against Minnesota losing by 7; 110-103. But now they're back home against a very hot Dallas team, they just came off a big win at Denver at home, and is now ready to play Utah on the road. Despite the fact that Dallas is 24-7 ATS away after scoring 105+ points is a great ATS record, Utah hasn't loss a game after coming from a 2 day's rest! I believe that Utah has a great advantage at home, and looking to come up big by testing their will to win this game against Dallas. Stackhouse will be out tonight, which is now more in the favor of UTAH! I'll also be playing Chicago Bears on a small play tonight. I won't post it here on caveatbettor till I get a more clear picture of the Bears tonight. But you can check out my other blog for other picks for today.

More bad news for bears, good news for Americans

Ed Prescott, the 2004 economics Nobelist, talks about five macroeconomic myths in today's WSJ (subscription required). I have excepted two of them for those readers looking at stock trends:

Myth No. 3: Americans don't save. This is a persistent misconception owing to a misunderstanding of what it means to save. To get a complete picture of savings we need to investigate economic wealth relative to income. Our traditional measures of savings and investment, the national accounts, do not include savings associated with tangible investments made by businesses and funded by retained earning, government investments (like roads and schools) and business intangible investments.

If we want to know how much people are saving, we need to look at how much wealth they have. People invest themselves in many and varied ways beyond their traditional savings accounts. Viewing the full picture -- economic wealth -- Americans save as much as they always have; otherwise, their wealth relative to income would fall. We're saving the right amount.

Myth No. 5: Government debt is a burden on our grandchildren. There's no better way to get people worked up about something than to call on their sympathies for their beloved grandkids. The last thing that I want to do is to burden my own grandchildren with the sins of profligacy. But we should stop feeling guilty -- at least about government debt -- because we are in better shape than conventional wisdom suggests.

Theory and practice tell us that the optimal amount of public debt that maximizes the welfare of new generations of entrants into the workforce is two times gross national income, or GDP. This assumes 1% population growth, 2% productivity growth, 4% real after-tax return on investments, and that people work to age 63 and live to age 85. Currently, privately held public debt is about 0.3 times GDP, and if we include our Social Security obligations, it is 1.6 times GDP. In either case, we could argue that we have too little debt.

What's going on here? There are not enough productive assets -- tangible and intangible assets alike -- to meet the investment needs of our forthcoming retirees. The problem is that the rate of return on investment -- creating more productive assets -- decreases as the stock of these assets increases. An excessive stock of these productive assets leads to inefficiencies.

Total savings by everyone is equal to the sum of productive assets and government debt, and if there is an imbalance in this equation it does not mean we have too little or too many productive assets. The fix comes from getting the proper amount of government debt. When people did not enjoy long retirements and population growth was rapid, the optimal amount of government debt was zero. However, the world has changed, and we in fact require some government debt if we care about our grandchildren and their grandchildren.

If we should worry about our grandchildren, we shouldn't about the amount of debt we are leaving them. We may even have to increase that debt a bit to ensure that we are adequately prepared for our own retirements.

Friday, December 08, 2006

English Soccer Picks for 12/9/06

In an effort to build liquidity and interest in soccer I will attempt to post soccer picks for each Saturday that I have money on. They are as follows (I could take another game tomorrow depending on how Phoenix does tonight against Boston):

English Premiership
I went with the early, early game of Manchester United vs Manchester City. I took the +2.5 over at 52.1.

English League Championship (the lower class of English soccer)
I went with current 4th place Derby for the win at lowly Leeds at 34.1.

I don't explain my pics I just make'em. Let the good teams' strikers be high-flying!

Those picks went 2-0, unfortunately someone needs to remind me to stay away from orange balls that bounce.

Hearings for the Secretary of Deference

A blessed blogging bonanza today, with Diem and bmili each weighing in. On the heels of bmili's post, I provide a snapshot of an Iran airstrike contract

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followed with this Lileks post. He is just amazing.

Thanks to Captain Ed, who provided the following excerpt:

Syria’s full adherence to UN Security Council Resolution 1701 of August 2006, which provides the framework for
Lebanon to regain sovereign control over its territory.

• Syria’s full cooperation with all investigations into political assassinations in Lebanon, especially those of Rafik
Hariri and Pierre Gemayel.

• A verifiable cessation of Syrian aid to Hezbollah and the use of Syrian territory for transshipment of Iranian weapons and aid to Hezbollah. (This step would do much to solve Israel’s problem with Hezbollah.)

• Syria’s use of its influence with Hamas and Hezbollah for the release of the captured Israeli Defense Force

• A verifiable cessation of Syrian efforts to undermine the democratically elected government of Lebanon.

All conducted under the watchful eyes of Unicorns, of course. Imagine a government report on organized crime, demanding the following:

* The Mafia’s full adherance to the RICO and IRS statutes concerning independent contractors, including but not limited to Social Security contributions, FICA regulations, as well as compliance with state and federal laws concerning murder, extortion and kidnapping

* The Mafia’s full cooperation with all investigations into the deaths of Artie “Two Sheds” Palini, Ricky “The Squid” Piscatori, Jackie the Gaspipe, Tommy Shoes, and 16,302 others

* A verifiable cessation of Mafia contributions to local law enforcement officials

* The Mafia should use its influence with the Russian and Irish mobs to find out what the hell happened to that poor guy who wandered into the back room when they were all having a sit-down

* A verifiable cessation of Mafia efforts to undermine and circumvent the laws in the states of New Jersey, New York, Ohio and Chicago, as well as Nevada and portions of Kansas City which Johnny Mook swears he has no control over, but some of those hits just have his style written all over them

If those things are done, well, the price of garbage hauling in selected municipalities might decrease. But I wouldn’t count on them happening, and I certainly wouldn’t argue that we should give the Mafia Staten Island in the hopes some age-old territorial grievance will be settled for good.

Happy infamy day, by the way.

History Repeating Itself? Iran vs US

This an absolutely MUST READ provided by Jim Geraghty on his blog TKS over at National Review Online. I never knew this, but in 1987-1988 the US and Iran were in an undeclared naval/air war in the Persian Gulf. The link provided has each account in detail. Absolutely fascinating. Anyone that thinks the Iran situation can be solved through talks is naive. Including those on the panel of the ISG report (Bringing in Syria/Iran for talks!??). And in no way will a Palestinian/Israel peace deal amount to anything. The Palestinian people have been hijacked by their Arab neighbors for political purposes and I know of at least one of those countries kept the original Palestinian land for their own (cough...Jordan...cough) after one of the first Israeli/Arab wars. Bottom line: Look for Russia to continue to expand its influence in the region and try to undermine the United States.

Hillary vs. Barack

From the Washington Post (hat tip to Drudge):

Colleagues say Clinton and Obama appear to genuinely admire each other. So far, they claim to see zero evidence of public rancor. "Everybody gets along just fine," Harkin said. Kennedy described the pair as "extra-dimensional individuals" and asserted in an interview: "There's no sort of pettiness or jealousy that I see. They understand the momentous nature of what the search for the presidency is all about."

Behind the scenes, of course, it's a slightly different story. "Don't tell Mama, I'm for Obama" has become the Obama campaign's unofficial motto. It's a reference to Clinton's nickname as first lady and an example of the conflicted loyalties of many Democratic political aides. Some are talking to both camps about possible jobs in the presidential campaigns. Meanwhile, Democratic senators who are not considering presidential bids of their own are remaining neutral.

Hillary's chart:

Price for 2008 Democratic Pres Nominee(Others on Request) at

And Barack's:

Price for 2008 Democratic Pres Nominee(Others on Request) at

Merry Christmas: households still getting wealthier in aggregate

I take the Fed's quarterly Flow of Funds report to be one of the best measures of household economic health. It indicates real estate vs. financial assets, as well as various forms of debt. Household net worth has increased from $40 trillion to $54 trillion in the last 5 years, which averages $5,000 per year per household. Of course, the richer households' net worth would intuitively be rising faster than the poorer ones. But today's WSJ talks about the rising tide lifting most all of the boats:
The competitive labor market is boosting wages, and the stock market has produced big gains for many investors so far this year. After declining slightly in the second quarter, the value of household financial assets rose nearly 2% in the third quarter to $40.5 trillion, the Fed said. That combination helped lift household net worth, which was flat in the second quarter, by 1.5% in the third quarter to $54.06 trillion.

It looks like households are still in pretty good shape," said Robert Mellman, senior economist at J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. "The fundamentals for consumer spending are really quite good."

That may be true, but they also appear to be turning cautious. In a separate report yesterday, the Fed said consumer borrowing decreased by 0.6% in October, the largest monthly drop in 14 years. "In the grand scheme of things, households are stepping back a bit and being more conservative," said Daniel Jester, an economist at Moody's

I hope that you can find solid reasons to celebrate this holiday season. If you need a little help, here is a nice piece from Greg Mankiw's blog, and that is just about temporal blessings. Add in some love and respect--of self and others, from self and others--and life is beautiful. I wish all our generation peace and goodwill towards one another.

UPDATE: Tyler Cowen notes the rise in buying power for non-management workers on his blog today.

UPDATE: Greg Mankiw, too. I don't know what to shudder harder at: 2 of my favorite economists linking to the NYTimes, or that I might get busted for reading Tyler before Greg.

Paying Taxes to the Government That Robs You

I have been very busy lately, but I really wanted to get this post out there. For starters, Friends to Tradesports Steven Levitt was on the Colbert Report the other night. If you have never seen him you may want to check it out.

In darker news a startling court ruling came down yesterday in New Jersey. This one involves eminent domain powers by the state. A few years ago many of you may remember the ruling that essentially made state sanctioned stealing private property legal so long as it was cloaked under the banner of “economic development”. This ruling is by a lower court, but if the ruling stands it would increase the powers the state has to take your property. In this case the court ruled it was OK to take land (that was already approved for other development!) simply for the reason of “preserving open space” (a more vague reason I cant imagine). Kudos to Justice Roberto A. Rivera-Soto for being the only dissenter (at least mentioned in this article). Shame on everyone else involved.

I always find life a little sadder when I am reminded that the Government controls us, not the other way around.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

My Random Musings...

It's been a while since I have posted, been quite busy but there is quite a bit of info I wanted to touch on and articles/news I have read that are of interest to me.

Consumer borrowing dropped big in Oct-
Attack of the Wal-Martyrs (can't they go do something better with their lives?)

side note to that: the anti-walmart crowd was going to try to attract faith based folk to spread their message. When are people going to stop treating the religious crowd as a niche and start treating them as people that believe something? I haven't seen or read anything about the movie yet, but I feel like the Nativity Story movie is running along the same lines.

Along a similar note:

Who gives more? Conservatives or Liberals? Regardless, Sioux Falls, SD puts me to shame

My boy Jeb Hensarling won the head post in the Republican Study Committee (a big caucus of conservatives in the GOP). Hopefully we will see more of the younger, idealogical conservatives lead more instead of those that have gotten too accustomed to the Beltway.

Bush/Blair Press Conference Transcript from today

The last group stage of the UEFA Champions League pool play finished yesterday and the top 16 advance to tourney play. We need much more liquidity, bids/asks, etc on the champion over at TS but I have Liverpool (a whopping 2 contracts) to win. Real Madrid is a player and can turn it on instantly when they need to. I don't give Barcelona a chance of repeating. Read up on it yourself if you are unfamiliar:

I don't have an article for this but I believe this year is truly the year of the mid-major. Last year was a break-through for them with the Missouri Valley Conference but they are taking down the big boys early (UNC, LSU, Tenn- just to name a few). But besides Gonzaga, you got Wichita State and Butler cracking the top 25 early.

Morons can appear to be geniuses

Yes, I am in a Scott Adams phase. Maybe if there was some more action in the NCAA.BK space, I could blog about that. But I think this post has univeral appeal:

A) For everyone who wants others to think they are smarter than they really are

B) For everyone who wants to know who the poseurs are

C) Both A and B (this would include me)

Adams says, in four managable steps: need to wear corrective lenses even if your eyesight is perfect must learn to stop talking so much

It’s also good to know a few brainy words that only appear in high-end publications...

...round out your artificial sense of smartness by becoming a fake wine expert

I do recall some ancient wise guy once saying "Even a fool is thought wise if he keeps silent, and discerning if he holds his tongue." He was an antediluvian fellow.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Mortgage delinquencies upticking

In today's WSJ (subscription required):
Based on current performance, 2006 is on track to be one of the worst ever for subprime loans, according to UBS AG. "We are a bit surprised by how fast this has unraveled," says Thomas Zimmerman, head of asset-backed securities research at UBS. Roughly 80,000 subprime borrowers who took out mortgages packaged into securities this year are behind on their payments, the bank says.
80,000 is not a big number, given that roughly 50 million households (about half the households in the U.S.) own 20% or more of their homes. Even if the deliquency incidence rises to 500,000 households, I don't think it will materially impact the economy. If it gets up to 2.5 million households, yes I think it's a real problem at that point, because that will exceed the unemployment rate, which suggests that even people earning regular income are in way, way over their heads.

The few bears that are left over in this post-2002 tax cut expansion will tell you that the sky is falling with this rise in delinquencies. I say, not yet.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Kobe Bryant Goes NUTS!

Once again the great Kobe Bryant scores a whopping 52 Points! With a great start with 10 points coming from the 1st quarter, 12 points in the second and dominating 30 points in the 3rd quarter (tying his own franchise record in the third) 9/9 from the floor in the third. Scoring 52 for his highest scoring this season. The most points he's had since the 81 points against Toronto. After the great thrilling performance at the Staples center on TNT, Kobe Bryant led his team to a easy 30 point win; 132-102 over Utah Thursday night. Which pushed his team to a 10-5 record and standing strong with a 2 game lead over Sacramento in their division.

After a great Central Michigan win, goes 8-1. Be sure to follow up on the consensus at my other blog they're smoking HOT! (there's a USA Championship play in the daily picks page)