Louisville weather continues to go as planned. That means nice weather but no rain. We’ll warm up as we go on through the next few days. Saturday morning temperatures will not be quite so cool when the official low Friday morning was 45 in Louisville, Rough River Lake had 36 and Bradsfordville 35. Look for upper 70’s Saturday, low 80’s on Sunday and mid 80’s to start the week. Midweek a front will slip into the area and provide a chance for much needed rain. If you can’t get the rain you need, you may as well settle for a spectacular weekend, which we will have.
Housing foreclosures: After watching all of the goings on regarding the “financial crisis” I’ve been pondering how we got into this mess. It didn’t happen overnight. I posted a video that indicates members of Congress were indeed warned of a problem with Fannie Mae and Freddy Mac and they seemed to brush it off and leaders did react by calling the administration’s people incompetent, said that nothing was wrong with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and those in charge of the institutions were going a great job. SEE THE VIDEO HERE. But, I got to wondering about all of those homes that are either in arrears on
their mortgages or in default. In the debates, we’ve heard that homeowners were unsuspecting dupes to predatory lending practices. And I’m sure that was the case in some instances. But, what about the “flippers?” Those are people who bought homes with no intent of living in them at all but simply buying them and speculating that prices would rise rapidly and they could re-sell them at higher prices. I was thinking that perhaps many of those people might have gotten adjustable rate mortgages because of the low initial interest rate because they didn’t care if the rates went up since they were intending on selling them, taking the profit and getting out from under the mortgage before the rate ever went up. Then, the market prices of homes started falling and they couldn’t sell them and then not be able to make the mortgage payments, so they got foreclosed on.
I did some snooping and found an article (CLICK HERE) from August of 2007 that outlines that exact scenario. It says that, at that time, 29% of all mortgages in foreclosure in Nevada and Arizona were for homes not occupied by the owners. In Florida, nearly 1/3 of all mortgages in distress were for non-owner occupied homes. And that was just for mortgages written in the previous two years. Nationwide, it said that 13% of all mortgages in distress were from homes bought by investors, not actual people who resided in their homes. I believe that I saw a statistic that said its only about 4%-5% of mortgages are in foreclosure. With 13% of those nationwide in distress a year ago coming from those trying to turn a quick buck, I wonder how many actual homeowners…people who live in their homes…are really in distress? I would submit that part of the blame here goes to people who were trying to flip homes and turn a quick profit by outsmarting the market. They got burned and lost the gamble. So, the question is, should the Federal government come to their rescue? Would you feel comfortable with that? Here is a listing of homes (CLICK HERE) that somehow have been determined in the Sacramento area as having been owned by speculators. Look at the amount of devaluation and how long they’ve been on the market.
On This Date in History: On This date in 1861, President Abraham Lincoln observed a balloon demonstration near Washington DC showing the value of using balloons to gain military intelligence on the battlefield. Both sides tried them for awhile but abandoned the practice after a few years when it was decided that they were too dangerous and unreliable. An advocate was Thaddeus S C Lowe (CLICK HERE for more info)who was in charge of the Union balloon corps. But he resigned after his pay was cut 40% when Union Commanders Joe Hooker and Ambrose Burnside were convinced that balloons gave inaccurate information. Bright guys, those Union Commanders. In the 20th century, aerial reconnaissance became a staple of military intelligence information.
In an ironic twist…On This Date in 1957…the Soviet Union put the first satellite into orbit. It was called Sputnik I but also was known as a “baby moon.” This was because it was a small round sphere that orbited around the earth putting out a little beeping noise via radio waves. Americans being as they are turned it into a political football and Democrats charged the Republican Eisenhower administration with allowing the Soviets to get ahead in technology. It was fearsome because it showed that they had missle technology to deliver nuclear weapons or even build space platfoms from which they could drop bombs on the US! There also was the question of using a satellite as aerial reconnaissance…something Union generals Hooker and Burnside had tossed aside nearly 100 years before. So, President Eisenhower started leaning on the space program and by January 31,1958, the US successfully launched its own satellite, Explorer I and the space race was on.
This all really went back to 1952 when the International Council of Scientific Unions established July 31, 1957 to December 31, 1958 as the International Geophysical Year since scientists knew that solar activity would be at its height during that time. They used the opportunity to promote putting up artificial satellites around the earth. The Americans started off with their Vanguard program which was to put a 3.5 pound object into orbit. But the Soviets beat the Yanks to the punch with the beachball size, 184 pound Sputnik. Now I’m not sure what Sputnik did except scare people and get the Americans off their keesters. They turned to Werner Von Braun to develop the Explorer program. Unlike the Soviets and their mini radio station, the Americans included a small data collection system and Explorer I not only showed that “anything you can do, I can do better,” but also discovered the magnetic radiation belts around the earth, which took the name of its primary investigator, James Van Allen. The Van Allen Belt later was displayed prominently in “there’s a moon in the sky (called the moon)” by the B-52’s. Now that is progress…Sputnik to Explorer to the B-52’s.