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Thursday, December 14, 2006

More Good Economic News

More good news: Continuing unemployment claims fell 33,000; initial unemployment claims fell 20,000; the four-week average for initial claims fell slightly from 328,750 to 327,250.

These numbers tend to support yesterday's retail sales, IMO. Mortgage rates are up, though.

In other news, I have been informed that I am an exponent of "the bubbling looniness simmering beneath the thin shell of rationality in this country" for this post. Unfortunately I am too busy to have time to enjoy the attention.


"The insults of an enemy are a tribute to the brave"

--old Afghan saying (according to the illustrious Harry Flashman)

It would seem the folks that posted on that fellows site could not be troubled to refute what you wrote. Instead they deemed it necessary to insult you. I have often noted that some folks, if threatened by an argument respond by insulting the other side. Much easier I suppose than answering the changes. It seems these folks feel that if you are able to make fun of your opponent you do not have to go head to head with the person in a rational manner.

Seems a shame the fellow who posted this was a professor. He took a small portion of what you wrote and used to out of context to impugn your character. He really should have taken the time to refute your arguments, if he was able to do so.
Maybe he wasn't, or maybe he didn't have time, or maybe I didn't explain myself very well. I found the physicist quote left on the original post almost a confirmation of what I was trying to say:
"Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it, you'd have good people doing good things and evil people doing bad things, but for good people to do bad things, it takes religion."

- Steven Weinberg, Nobel Laureate in physics

How did Weinberg define "good"? I define "good" as being behavioral. That, after all, is the central idea of "original sin" - that human beings are all flawed, and that even the world is flawed. The Judaic tradition insists that we simply must try to do what's right, even if it is personally disadvantageous and causes us pain in order.

I don't believe in "good" people. I believe in people who do good, but I don't believe that some of us just have a "good" nature.

David - Flashman, in his new incarnation, is hilarious.
The U.S. T Bond for Dec. is falling. The rates for Dec 07 ditto. 30 year bond is the best indicator of RE Mortgage rates.
Howard - Sometimes risks outweigh even the future expectations. What I see is that the rates for traditional prime mortgages, now quite rare, (20% down, hard appraisal, good FICO, stable work history, documented savings, low DTI) are rock-bottom low. They have inched up slightly, but only slightly.

But rates for all the rest (high DTIs, low downpayments, non-amortizing) are going up, and these loans now dominate many markets. We are trending towards risk recognition, and it is well overdue.

I think the selling opportunities for lower-priced housing are excellent, but that the pain of the inflated areas is just beginning.
I like that "thin shell" irony - for which one needs something of a thick skin.
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