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Archive for November 30th, 2009

No Danica for NASCAR


Aww, ain’t that too bad?

Whatever will NASCAR do for drama now? Stiff the city of Charlotte on the $160m. Hall of Fame deal?

Nah, that could never happen. I mean, that city-subsidized office building must be chock full of tenants by now and there are plenty of Hall of Fame corporate sponsors and…. I’ll shut up and let you look at the pictures.

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Occam’s Razor and Tiger Woods

I really don’t have it out for the guy, but two things jump out at you. One, you know what happened, you just know his wife went ape over the National Enquirer story and wound up with a golf club doing a number on Tiger’s SUV at 2:30 in the morning as Tiger tried to get the hell away.

But more important is Big Media’s odd reluctance to speak plainly about the incident while still remaining oddly fascinated by the celebrity train-wreck of it all. Reminds me of the balloon boy crossed with Britney Spears or something.

Update: Look, it wasn’t even me who mentioned the Breck Girl when talking Tiger.

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Psst. Want to Know Why Tony Rand is Quitting?

Might it have something to do with the odd beach-front land deal Don Carrington uncovered? All the familiar pieces are in place: Mike Easley, developers, sweetheart deals, and raw, brute power.

There is no rule of law in North Carolina.

Update: You can hear first hand from Carrington and Carolina Journal managing editor Rick Henderson on the Easley scandals tomorrow at the Marriott Charlotte Southpark. Details here.

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Scary Headline of the Day

Hey, how do you think this will work? U.S. Treasury to Push Lenders to Finish More Home Modifications.

And Bloomberg’s account of what regulators and bankers are doing has even more little terrors hiding in it. Things like of 651,000 “trial modifications” — essentially a reversion to “teaser rates” that helped get us into this mess — exactly zero of them have been made permanent. Zero.

You want to know why? Because the borrowers cannot afford the loans long-term at any rate and a permanent conversation guarantees the bank cannot unload the loan, even if they do get a slice of the $75b. federal bailout modification program. Oh, but it gets better. Guess who the feds say is sitting on almost 1 million modification-eligible loans? Bank of America.

But BAC says it cannot possibly modify that many loans because: 1) the borrower has already bailed on the loan and the home is empty 2) the borrower never made enough money to qualify for such a large loan given sane lending standards 3) the borrower is unemployed.

What to do then, BAC? Guess you better take write downs on, oh, 500K of those loans ASAP. You can see the rock and hard place banks have themselves in right now.

Bonus Observation: Kudos to Mark Johnson of the UPoR writing from Raleigh on Charlotte’s real estate meltdown. Johnson ignored Rent Seekers Guild happy talk and pointed out that Mecklenburg’s foreclosure rate far outpaces that of the Triangle or Triad. Local foreclosures were up 44 percent through October. Expect the trend to continue at least through the middle of next year.

Charlotte sat the very top of a financial Ponzi scheme and the collapse is going to be long, hard, and painful.

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ACC Commish John Swofford must’ve had fun watching two SEC also-rans dismantle his two ACC title game teams. By rights, the ACC should not have a team in a BCS bowl. They are just not good enough.

Here’s what I wonder about, though. Does the on-the-field reality along with the SEC’s huge — and growing — TV footprint help prod Swofford and Greensboro mafia to think really hard about expanding the ACC? Laugh if you want, but Penn State continues to agitate for another “Eastern” school for the Big Ten. The only place to get one of those is the Big East. Pluck a name from the Big East, all kinds of dominoes start falling. The ACC couldn’t afford to stand pat.

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Great Job, Mike Huckabee

This guy has been a joke for a decade. No wonder so many GOPers are excited about him for 2012.

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November 2009
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