Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Obama made the Rams run aligned

Fiat is an Italian company, so they should be used to being an agency of the state, we suppose;
Fiat Chrysler must offer to buy back from customers more than 500,000 Ram pickup trucks and other vehicles in the biggest such action in U.S. history as part of a costly deal with safety regulators to settle legal problems in about two dozen recalls.
A deal whose financial burden will ultimately be borne by consumers in the form of higher prices for 'perfect' automobiles (as defined by some noble bureaucrats).
The Ram pickups, which are the company's top-selling vehicle, have defective steering parts that can cause drivers to lose control. Some previous repairs have been unsuccessful, so Fiat Chrysler agreed to the buyback, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Owners also have the option of getting them repaired, the agency said in documents released Sunday.
They also have the option of buying of those spiffy new Ford trucks too. Which is the way capitalists are punished in free societies. It's a brave new world.

Derivatives "R"nt Us

Or soon won't be, rules the marketplace;
Insurance companies are cutting back on their coverage of Toys “R” Us Inc. suppliers, bringing another headache to a retailer that has suffered more than two years of losses, people familiar with the matter said.
It could be a blue Christmas without T"R"U;
The credit insurers are pulling back at the same time sentiment sours among investors in the retailer’s $5 billion of debt.

The upfront cost to protect against a default by Toys “R” Us climbed to as high as 43.5 percent today, the highest level since October and up from 30 percent at the end of June, according to credit-derivatives data provider CMA. That means it would cost investors $4.35 million initially, in addition to $500,000 annually, to protect $10 million of the retailer’s obligations from default for five years.
Guess there isn't a Santa Claus after all.

California: 50% More Poverty Than Mississippi

As long as we're quoting Wendel Cox (New Geography), we should note this recent piece on California dreamin' become nightmare;
Urban containment [AKA, smart growth] has its roots in the British 1947 Town and Country Planning Act. This act created green belts around British cities and is a proximate cause of the present housing shortage and crisis. The general philosophy of the 1947 Act is evident throughout urban planning in the United States and has been implemented in Oregon, part of Washington and California.
1947 being shortly after UK voters cut off their noses to spite their faces. Which we've commented on before in this piece on 84 Charing Cross Road. The same dynamic rules today in California, according to Cox;
Today, California house prices are far higher than in the rest of the nation. This is taking a toll on the standard of living and increasing poverty. The Census Bureau's supplemental poverty measure, which adjusts for housing costs shows California's poverty rate to be the highest in the nation. It should be of concern that California's poverty rate is 50% above that of perennial poverty leader Mississippi....

Because so much poverty is concentrated among minority ethnic populations, California's urban containment policy is particularly disadvantaging Hispanics and African-Americans. The Thomas Rivera Institute at USC published a detailed examination of California's land-use regulations and found that "Far from helping, they are making it particularly difficult for Latino and African American households to own a home."
As goes California, so...
Between 1993 and 2010, there was net out-migration from California to 42 of the 50 states and the District of Columbia. Immigration to Los Angeles and Orange from abroad has also declined, as immigrants too look for more affordable alternatives. People seeking sun, glamour or a good time will continue to flourish in southern California, but it seems likely that more families, and middle class households, will continue to ebb out, seeking somewhere else the dream that was once so closely identified with Southern California.
 And, of course, the same can be said of Australia and New Zealand.

Crocodile Mel[anie?]

G'day to ya, Mate (Mr.Treasurer);
Are you aware of what the average Australian wage is?
Are you aware of what the average Australian mortgage in Sydney is?
Are you aware of the first-home buying process?
Just in case these facts and figures aren’t available to you, I thought you might be interested.
That's from Australian citizen Ms. Mel Wilson's open letter to Australia's Treasurer Joe Hockey. She goes on to point out that the average take home pay in the island continent/nation is about $900 per week--that's Aussie dollars, USD would be less than $700.
The median house price in Sydney, according to the Domain Group Housing Price Report, as of March 2015, was $914,056. [a little less than $700,000 USD]
Not sure if you know how first home buying works at the moment, but you normally need a deposit of about 20%. This is to pay for the Stamp Duty (which is a State Tax you must pay every time you buy a property), and also to assist in the approval process so that you don’t need to pay Lenders Mortgage Insurance.
So in this instance, the first home buyer would need about $182,811.00 saved to purchase a house that is the average price in Sydney.
Mel goes on to do the math, at $900 per week, an average Aussie would have to save every dime he/she made for 4 years (200 weeks) just to accumulate the down payment. Assuming that the price of the house doesn't escalate over that same time, which it surely will.

And what would the monthly mortgage payments be on the balance of the purchase price? About $1,100 per week Mel figures. So, she concludes her letter thus;
Just slightly confused as to what you were thinking when you said these words at the media conference in Sydney.
Looking forward to another one of your politically correct, direct and well thought out responses.
Regards,

Another baffled Australian
Mel didn't bother to ask why Australia has restricted the supply of land on which new houses can be built. As New Geography's Wendel Cox commented on the letter;
In a later statement, the Treasurer, to his credit, indicated the need for strong lobbying of the states to make more land available to increase supply
Well, that's old geography!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Mercer uber alles Mercedes

I'm a riding fool who is up to date
I know every trail in the Lone Star State
Cause I ride the range in a Ford V-8
Yippie yi yo kayah
-Johnny Mercer's I'm an Old Cowhand
A vehicle a Dallas, Texas Uber driver would love;
With features including “fiddleback eucalyptus” wood trim, massaging seats and panoramic roofs, the Dearborn, Mich., auto maker’s coming F-150 Limited model will start about $60,000, a larger starting price than a Porsche Cayenne sport-utility vehicle.

Industry experts say buyers for this class of uber-trucks tend to be blue-collar entrepreneurs who have the money and desire to flaunt their rides. Some have traded in German luxury cars and want the same leather, electronics and luxury appointments in a pickup, dealers say.

Overall, the share of $50,000 and up pickup trucks sold in the U.S. has more than doubled in the last five years, climbing from 9% in 2010 to 22% this year, according to automotive research firm Kelley Blue Book.
Yippie yi yo kayah for Obamanomics!

Free to cruise

Image result for pink moustache
 California's state employees can use Uber, or other ride-sharing services, while on official business and be reimbursed, if a new bill becomes law. And the votes appear to be there;
The Senate Governmental Organization Committee approved the measure earlier this month, 11-1 with one member not voting. The lone dissent: Sen. Ben Hueso, D-San Diego, whose family owns a taxi company.

Read more here: http://www.sacbee.com/news/politics-government/the-state-worker/article28457758.html#storylink=cpy

You pay for what you get

One way or another, as Canadians know from the sad experience of wasted time;
 Valuing only hours lost during the average work week, the estimated cost of waiting for care in Canada for patients who were in the queue in 2014 was $1.2 billion. This works out to an average of about $1,289 for each of the estimated 937,345 Canadians waiting for treatment in 2014.
And if you also value your leisure time (evenings and week-ends), that cost grows three-fold to $3.7 billion, or $3,929 per unhealthy Canadian, say Bacchus Barua and Feixue Ren of the Fraser Institute.

That's only the cost to the  patients, to which you can add the costs to their families and friends.