Monday, April 14, 2008

No Soliciting

Here we go. For the first time today, I received a direct mail piece for a home being auctioned in my city. I have never participated, signed up for, or requested info on a home auction. I don't know from what list my name was purchased. I do know beyond the telling details of "OBO" in the piece, that this is the beginning, not the end, of foreclosure armageddon. This isn't a yard sale. This is someone's house, albeit, a house they could never afford in the first place.

Another weekend article on MSN Money detailed the "poor lots" of 3 homeowners who suddenly couldn't afford their half-million dollar and up homes. Never mind that they didn't put any money down or didn't make $100K between them. The theme of the article was actually walking away from your house and a website that can help you do it. Sure, if you don't mind little things like a 300 point credit hit or maybe being turned down for a job because no one could actually think you're an adult after doing something like this.

Wachovia is bankrupt. Big surprise there. Guess that purchase of a California sub-prime lender 2 years ago didn't quite pay off. National City is floundering while it looks for a buyer, my puts have almost pulled even with my call loss with considerably more room to fall....COF was a bargain put at $53, waiting for another up day to short again. XHB has fallen into the $21 range, looking for another dollar or two more to go long. MSFT is back down to $28, need a few dollars more.

Oh, yeah. Retail. The market in its continued ignorance actually applauded a huge March increase of 0.2%, flat when you take out gas. Not so fast, smart guys. If you factor in inflation, which the government hates to do along with food and energy prices, sales look pretty bleak. Just ask Irwin Kellner,'s senior economist. I have attached his thoughts below. Didn't we just go over this Friday. No money means no sales. I like my Jan 09' 38s more everyday....

Tomorrow, maybe a little football and a an anti-Derek Jeter rant just to mix it up a little, TC, will continue to evaluate our combined lists....

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