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Comment Re:Take Control? (Score 1) 323

These links prove nothing. The Atlantic article's graphics in fact prove my point, but they go on to conjecture by saying that because the GSE's made money, they caused loose lending standards in banks, which is BS by any measure. Fannie and Freddie had nothing to do with other banks determining the risks that those institutions were willing to take on. The bump in origination's was due to the refi boom of 2001-2003, which of course was due directly to the Fed's policies. Those policies had their roots in the deep recession that followed the dot-com bust and 9/11.

Comment Re:Take Control? (Score 1) 323

It is incorrect to attribute the housing bubble to Fannie and Freddie. The loans they were allowed to purchase (remember, they don't originate any) were highly regulated and were substantially less risky. The GSE's saw significant erosion of market share in 2005-2008, due mostly to the securitization of Option ARM's, no-doc loans, etc. provided by companies like Countrywide, WAMU, Citi, and others which were being used to purchase ever more expensive homes.

If you are looking for organizational villians, look no further than the banks that went bankrupt (like Countrywide) and the survivors who had just enough strength and political influence to not fail (i.e., Citi) as well as ratings organizations who stamped anything that was an MBS with an A rating.

While the OFHEO response to changing market conditions for the GSE's was an increased allowance of low-doc loans, even so the market share owned by Fannie and Freddie was trending down until the markets broke and they became monopsony buyers of loans following the credit crunch. Then regulations were changed and we're back to the conditions of 2004 and before, where loans must be conforming, albeit with the revision of conforming loan limits for certain high cost markets. In a very real sense, Fannie and Freddie today are doing exactly what they were chartered to do. If there was no Fannie or Freddie today you couldn't get a refi, much less a new mortgage.


Astronomers Discover 33 Pairs of Waltzing Black Holes 101

Astronomers from UC Berkeley have identified 33 pairs of waltzing black holes, closing the gap somewhat between the observed population of super-massive black hole pairs and what had been predicted by theory. "Astronomical observations have shown that 1) nearly every galaxy has a central super-massive black hole (with a mass of a million to a billion times the mass of the Sun), and 2) galaxies commonly collide and merge to form new, more massive galaxies. As a consequence of these two observations, a merger between two galaxies should bring two super-massive black holes to the new, more massive galaxy formed from the merger. The two black holes gradually in-spiral toward the center of this galaxy, engaging in a gravitational tug-of-war with the surrounding stars. The result is a black hole dance, choreographed by Newton himself. Such a dance is expected to occur in our own Milky Way Galaxy in about 3 billion years, when it collides with the Andromeda Galaxy."

Apple Orders 10 Million Tablets? 221

Arvisp writes "According to a blog post by former Google China president Kai-Fu Lee, Apple plans to produce nearly 10 million tablets in the still-unannounced product's first year. If Lee's blog post is to be believed, Apple plans to sell nearly twice as many tablets as it did iPhones in the product's first year."

Comment Ther jobs were outsourced - end of story (Score 1) 922

The American team packed this stuff up and shipped it off to India, they (the American) teams were forced to transition the knowledge, and then they were given 90 days to find new jobs.

The Indian outsourcer initially provided packing foam, which didn't meet project specifications. They took a second pass with aluminum cans, which still didn't work. Then as they tried to correct the problem the whole team to which it was outsourced got better paying jobs and the IP was lost. The division VP claimed victory with a cost reduction and since there were no immediate orders for the foam that couldn't be filled nobody could or would bludgeon him with the reality, that they lost a competency that was mission critical. ;-)

Yes, I'm joking. Doesn't make it untrue.

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