Getting A Loan

I keep hearing that there is a “credit crunch” and that people and companies can’t get loans. That is not what is happening right now.
There is a TON of money out there to loan. If you can demonstrate an ability to pay it back you can get a loan. In fact there is so much money out there to loan, looking for a SAFE place to get a return that if you can show an ability to pay it back you can get a really good deal right now.
This is not a credit problem at all. It is a SOLVENCY problem. No one wants to loan money to a person or company that is about to go bankrupt.
Update – OK that was a bit too simple. If YOU want to buy a house and have the down payment and good credit and can afford to make the payments, you can get a loan. They’re dying to find you to loan money to you. If you are a solvent manufacturer with cash flow and a good credit history and you need a lot of cash to build a new plant the problem is that many of the banks that you would normally get a loan from are in trouble and THEY can’t borrow the money to then loan out to you.

A Tie — And A Choice

I think both John McCain and Barack Obama did well representing their positions and showing what they would be like as President. So on that I would score this as a tie. (I also want to say that McCain did well yesterday when I saw him in person at the Clinton Global Initiative. In fact it was the best I have seen him in a very long time, not the clown we have been seeing this year.)
But I think that by doing this they have offered the American people a clear choice. They contrasted their philosophies very well. For example, McCain argued his position of tax cuts for corporations while Obama argued his position of bottom-up economic growth.
I think there is on more factor here. They also both offered stories. McCain offers the past. Obama offers the future. That is the clear story that was told here.

Racism On RW Blogs

Wow. The RW blogs are over the edge, and it’s still, what, about 40 days till the election? Take a look at this one:

… Barack Obama Attacked White People! … Barack Obama was moved to tears when he heard his racist anti-American pastor blame whitey for all of the world’s pain and ills. … Here Barack Obama lashes out at the white man’s greed …

Sigh…

Huckabee Makes Sense

this is interesting, Huckabee Calls McCain Debate Ploy a ‘Huge Mistake’,

Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee said Thursday that Sen. John McCain made a “huge mistake” by even discussing canceling the presidential debate with Sen. Barack Obama.
. . . Huckabee said Thursday in Mobile that the people need to hear both candidates. He said that’s “far better than heading to Washington” to huddle with senators.
He said the candidates should level with the people about the financial crisis and say the “heart of this is greed.”
. . . Huckabee also was critical of President Bush’s handling of the crisis.
He said to lay the $700 billion obligation on the nation “in 24 hours” amounts to “holding the country hostage.”
“I just think the American people ought to be screaming their lungs out, saying to Congress, not so fast. That’s our money you’re giving away,” Huckabee said.

How Is Financial Crisis Affecting Philanthropy?

At the Clinton Global Initiative I have been asking around, trying to get a sense of how the Wall Street financial crisis is affecting the funding of non-profits/NGOs attending this conference.
What I am hearing is that the economic crisis — or at least fear of it — is affecting funding and in some cases significantly. But here’s the hitch: Almost every conversation I have had except one was about how the funders are afraid that the economy is getting worse and that is why they are cutting back. Only once was I told that the an organization’s primary funder had cut back because of necessity from actual financial difficulties. So it appears that fear that the economy is turning down is causing many funders to cut back. (Perhaps this is to preserve capital? — please discuss this in the comments.)
Of course, actual economic stress hits people at the lower end of the ladder or in poorer and less developed regions much harder than it hits the rest of the population. These are the people and organizations that the funding institutions and individuals are committed to serve. And it is the nature of philanthropy that even in the worst of downturns the funders will not suffer to the degree that to poorest will.
Since an economic downturn brings with it a much greater need on the part of the recipients of the world’s philanthropy, shouldn’t fears that this is coming trigger a greater committment of assistance rather than cutbacks? A metaphor might be helping purchase plywood and tape to cover store windows before a hurricane hits.
Please stop by the Social Edge blog to discuss this.

Bailout Comment

If this story, Deal said near on big financial bailout is correct I think I feel a bit better about the bailout. Not completely better, but a bit.
1) If executives are really limited in pay (and stock) by this deal they won’t be involving their firms unless it is really necessary. They won’t be in it for themselves.
2) If we get equity in the companies that get bailout money then WE profit if they do.
3) It is phased in, so we don’t just dump all the rest of our money onto a few companies at once. Instead we can see if it is working – and a new President can change what is being done.
If we get these things, it’s a start. I think we should get rid of many of the executives responsible. I also think we need to redesign the system from scratch, insist that ALL corporate money be removed from politics immediately, impost a 90% or higher top tax rate and several other things.
And about this meeting with McCain and Obama at the White house today… is it possible they’re going to be injected with something, and then replaced by pod-people?
Update – Through Atrios, here is an example of what we are paying to bail out:

When we the taxpayers foot the bill for the excesses of the bubble, we are bailing out the lenders who enabled the behavior below:
* The house was purchased on 2/6/1998 for $183,000. There was a $173,500 first mortgage and a $9,500 downpayment.
* On 8/21/2002 they refinanced the first mortgage for $165,500. They actually paid down their debt.
* On 3/12/2003 they opened a HELOC for $50,000, just in case… Their first taste of kool aid.
* On 2/13/2004 they opened a HELOC for $226,000. The kool aid is flowing now.
* On 10/22/2004 they opened an Option ARM for $492,000.
* On 5/2/2005 they opened a HELOC for $75,100.
* On 10/21/2005 they opened a HELOC for $126,000.
* On 9/28/2006 they opened a HELOC for $150,000.
* Total debt on the property, $642,000 plus accumulated negative amortization.
* Total mortgage equity withdrawal, $468,500 including their tiny downpayment.
Basically, these people put $9,500 into the property and made $459,000 in 8 years.
. . . If this property sells for its asking price, and if a 6% commission is paid, the US taxpayer is going to lose $209,694.

Note - at the asking price we ONLY lose $209K. But at the asking price the buyer has to come up with $90K AND have an income of $115K for a CONDOMINIUM.
The bailout’s success depends on housing prices not dropping any more.

Let’s See If We Can Get The Rest

Picture an evening drinking session a couple of months ago (2008), four or five top Bushies around a table.
“Hey, I’ve got an idea.”
“What is it?”
“Oh, you’re going to like this one.”
“So OK, what is it?”
“Let’s see if we can get the rest.”
“What?”
“The rest. Let’s get the rest of it before we go.”
“Really? The rest? We already have about $4 trillion stashed. Why bother.”
“Because it would be cool. Then we can say we got it all. No one has done that before. We’ve still got a few months. What the heck, let’s give it a try.”
“Huh. How much is left?”
Calculator noises. … “I figure we could borrow another $700 billion if we do it right.”
“What? That’s all that’s left?”
“Yeah. We were pretty thorough.”
“Wow. That’s it? Pretty cool.”
“So OK. OK. I like it. Let’s go with this. What’s the cover story? What do we say?”
…Silence. Fingers drumming on the table.
“Hey, I have an idea. Let’s tell them we really, really screwed up the economy. They’ll buy that for sure. And we need $700 billion immediately to fix it.”
“Why do we need $700 billion to fix it?”
… “uh. No, never mind.”
… “How about … no, that won’t work.”
“Wait. Look, if we’re going to go for it, let’s do it right. We tell them that WE JUST DO! Tell them to just shut up and give it to us. We need $700 billion, and we need it in 48 hours, and no one is allowed to know what we’re going to do with it and no court can review it or anything. In fact, we could throw in something about it being “non-reviewable by any court or any agency.”
“Wow. That’s harsh. But you know, that might actually work. A lot of our guys love that kind of stuff.”
“Yeah, they’ll eat that up. The more we make them look like absolute woosies, the more they like to give us.”
“Hey, this is cooking. Heck I was wondering what I was going to do with myself until January. This will really put us in the history books for sure. … Wow. … The rest. All of it. We could actually get all of it. They’ll be writing about that for a thousand years. No one will ever top this.”