George Washington Taxpayer owns 10 acres of land, four miles from the South Carolina coast, just a driver or two from the renowned Kiawah Golf Resort. Recent assessments (even in this dismal housing market) are solid seven figures, and the 25% or so of value mortgage has been overpaid every month for around ten years.

George and Martha have a totally clean credit rating, more than enough visible reported income, plenty of liquid, unencumbered assets, and a second building on their property that is used as an office for their very own, very private, very small business corporation.

The business has been “in the family” for more than thirty years, directly and indirectly employs about twenty other individuals and small businesses, and produces substantial, taxable income. It also pays rent and salaries to the Taxpayers.

George called Notquitesoquick Mortgage, LLC to re-finance his still barely “jumbo” loan — thinking, with a solid credit score, pretty impressive total documented income from all sources, a history of over paying, what could possibly go wrong?

Read (more…)

11795149013dpolwWell the stimulus package is finally finished. A tough new bank-rescue plan to boost lending and limit outrageous pay are part of President Obama.. Even troubled homeowners may even get some relief. All said and done, the government could spend more than $3 trillion to help end the recession.

All we have to do now is sit back and watch the economy grow, am I correct?

One risk of the unprecedented government intervention is that it won’t do all that much to speed up the end of the recession. Another risk is that consumers, expecting a magic fix, could fail to prepare for tough times that still lie ahead. Obama himself said at his first press conference. “This is going to be a difficult year, If we get things right, then starting next year we can start seeing some significant improvement.”

Next year? I’m afraid not. A large number of economists agree that it will take that long, at least, before the biggest problems – mounting layoffs, the housing bust, the banking crisis, and plunging confidence – start to turn around. Whether the stimulus package is actually working, and when the economy might start to mend, here are a few things to watch.

Improvement In The Unemployment Rate. Of all the economic indicators, this is probably the single most important. But you might want to avert your eyes for awhile.

If the stimulus plan works it might come close to creating 3 to 4 million jobs which Obama has talked about.. And that – over several years, combined. But it’s almost certain that through this summer and into the fall, there will be a net job loss, not a gain. Most economists expect the unemployment rate, now 7.6 percent, to hit at least 9 percent by the end of this year. That represents up to 2 million more lost jobs.But the pink slips haven’t all gone out yet, so the layoffs haven’t shows up in the official numbers.
Read (more…)

Oil was unlikely to fall below $100 per barrel as strong demand from emerging economies such as China and India put a floor under prices, a member of Kuwait’s top oil council said in remarks published on Sunday.


Crude prices on the international market are unlikely to drop below $100 a barrel in the near term despite shedding almost $33 per barrel in a month, oil market experts said on Monday.

They say they don’t anticipate a full-blown collapse in crude prices despite a slowdown of the US economy, the world’s biggest oil importer. Neither do they see a major spike in crude prices due to the latest geopolitical tensions erupting between Russia and Georgia, which has led to Russia resorting to airstrikes and pounding Georgia’s capital, Tbilisi.

“The oil market doesn’t seem to be very perturbed by the happenings in Georgia. There is a downward bias in the oil market that will continue for a little while,” said Dalton Garis, associate professor of Economics at the Petroleum Institute in Abu Dhabi.

On Monday, in early trade, Brent crude futures on the ICE in London were trading a shade above $114 a barrel. In contrast, on the New York Mercantile Exchange, the Nymex crude oil futures for September delivery in the US were trading close to $116.50 per barrel.

“The crude prices in the near-term look like trading in a range of $100-$120 a barrel,” said an oil analyst, who didn’t want to be identified.

Read (more…)