Sunday, March 29, 2009

Is California Going Bust?

Looks like the reverse of the 1930's dust bowl where people fled the heartland for California.

From Forbes magazine:

Is California Going Bust?
Matt Woolsey 04.13.09, 12:00 AM ET

There has been many a time in California's history when it seemed to outsiders to be barreling toward a cliff and to insiders as a place for unbounded optimism. A favorite Silicon Valley bumper sticker says, "Dear God, one more bubble before I die."

That optimism is being sorely tested. Statewide unemployment, at 10.1%, is well above the national average of 8%. Per capita income growth, which used to be above average, is now lagging. In the last year home prices fell 35% in San Francisco, 30% in San Jose and 27% in San Diego, according to Radar Logic, a New York real estate derivatives firm. Half of the home sales in Los Angeles are from banks dumping foreclosed properties at steep discounts.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

Have you noticed more Ponzi schemes in the news?

The king of the recent Ponzi schemes is of course Bernard Madoff ($50 billion). But I've noticed that many more mini-Madoffs are appearing in the news. Here are a few: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11. Out of these R. Allen Stanford ($8 billion) comes closest to Madoff. Have there been more than usual coming out of this latest bubble, or have these types always been there preying on the naive and/or greedy? Madoff's victims could hardly be called naive, but were they greedy or lazy?

And what about the mother of all Pozni schemes? This CNN piece doesn't think it's a Ponzi scheme. It's wrong