Carpe Diem

Tuesday morning links

1. 2012 Rail traffic reflects more oil production (rail shipments up +46%), and less coal (rail shipments -11%.).

2. VIDEO: “The Pessimists Are Losing” featuring Brian Wesbury.

3. Markets in Everything: The golf bike, an alternative to walking and carts.

4. Worth $182,000 on international markets, some dinosaur eggs are selling for only $9 in fossil-rich belts of India.

5. The Growing Case Against E15 and the Renewable Fuel Standard.

6. The 10 Most Useless, Pointless and Funniest Kitchen Utensils Available on the Web Now.

7. Ed Pinto: Dodd-Frank Creates a Bizarro World Of Housing Finance Where “Prime” Loans Have a 30% Chance of Foreclosure.

12 thoughts on “Tuesday morning links

  1. regarding frank dodd, this is just another shot at the same failed policies from last time.

    they need a wildly loose definition of prime because they want to redistribute wealth. with the mortgage industry all but nationalized through freddy, fannie, and the FHA the government is setting up rules about investment and one is that it has to be x% prime. they then skew the definition of “prime” so badly that damn near anyone who can fog a mirror qualifies.

    “a loan with little or no money down, FICO credit score of 580, and a total debt-to-income-ratio of over 50% is defined as a prime loan, even though it has a nearly 30% likelihood of ending in foreclosure”

    note that the conventional private definition of prime is 20% down, 720 fico and sub 40% debt ratio implying a sub 1.5% default risk.

    they are setting up the banks again.

    if you are wells fargo you can lend to joe 580 fico with confidence if you know that freddy will buy the loan from you 2 weeks later. that’s what this bill is about.

    it’s the CRA all over again.

    then, when this inevitably blows up as lending at prime to 30% default risks is not a good business, taxpayers wind up on the hook and wells gets blamed for bad loan origination.

    but that was not the actual problem, was it? wells acted rationally. they knew they had a buyer int he wings. it is that buyer who can now call such a loan prime (which affects what they can pay for it or even if they are allowed to buy it at all) that causes the problem. it’s a perverse incentive.

    if i offer you $100 per mud pie, well, you’ll scoop up all sorts of dirt and happily sell it to me. that’s just basic business incentives.

    it is not your fault for responding to my foolish demand, it’s my fault for demanding somehting ridiculous and uneconomic.

    the wrong lessons have been learned here.

  2. The golf bike is interesting, but I cannot imagine it will be successful. What is the customer base? The golfers who desire exercise are already walking. The impact of these bikes is not going to be minimal. Push carts are low impact because the three tires only support the weight of the cart and the weight of a golf bag. Adding the weight of a golfer will almost certainly result in deeper tire tracks.

    • John, it’s for suckers like me (the person who bought that banana slicer). I’m a sucker for gadgets. Although, I can see some use of the bike. Riding a bike may be easier if you want some exercise but have arthritis or some other condition that makes weight-bearing exercise difficult.

      • Methinks

        Did you get the optional adjustable stop that ensured that each banana slice is exactly the same thickness, or do you rely on eyeballing them?

        I now absolutely need a set of those powered spaghetti forks. No more somber spaghetti dinners for us. It’s laughter all the way.

        • I got that stupid slicer at the top of the list. Why? Because I am rarely away from the office and my banks of computers and I was accidentally let loose in a Bed Bath and Beyond one night after a particularly grueling couple of weeks. Two carts worth of crap later……

          • LOL

            Oh you poor dear! That should never happen to anyone – the couple of particularly grueling weeks I mean.

            Small forays into a BB&B are Ok, from what I hear from others.

            By the way, if Larry is right, and you find you need a new career some day when you wake up, that slicer may be something you can use to cut PVC sprinkler pipe if you should choose to embark on a brand new life as a lawn sprinkler installer, so don’t lose it.

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