I'm like Chairman Mao. I win hearts and minds and I live off the land in my little hovel. I devote myself to providing good blog posts for the community so they can have something to share with each over the dinner table.
During my first year in Los Angeles, I lived in my car for six months. I crashed with friends. Finally, I found a Holocaust survivor with about 25 cats. I lived with him for $200 a month in exchange for cleaning up after the cats twice a day.
He was crazy and set the place on fire. It did not endear us to the other tenants.
In the summer of 1980, my father lost his employment with the Seventh-Day Adventist church. My family moved from Pacific Union College in the Napa Valley, where we were renting, to the Auburn area, in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountain range 45 minutes drive north of Sacramento.
My father set up his own non-denominational evangelical Christian foundation Good News Unlimited.
I'm reading this new book by economist Thomas Sowell — The Housing Boom and Bust.
From 2000 to 2005, the average home price in the United States increased by one-third. Millions of Americans began using their homes as ATMs, getting credit lines from numerous banks to pay off their other debts (whose interest was not tax deductible, only mortgage interest payments are deductible). Then in 2007, it all crashed.
* One of the consequences of reselling mortgages — almost all mortgages banks make are sold to such institutions as Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac — is that banks have little incentive to be careful about the financial qualifications of people it loans money to.
For more than a decade, US newspapers have editorialized that banks are more conservative than they should be about lending money to blacks. The current foreclosure debacle suggests otherwise.
A 1991 Federal Reserve study found that blacks and whites with the same income had different mortgage loan acceptance rates. Is this racism? It's not clear. Income is only one factor in determining whether someone is a good bet to repay a mortgage loan. Blacks and whites with the same income tend to have very different levels of wealth.
The same Federal Reserve study found that whites were denied conventional home loans more often than Asians and resorted to subprime loans more. This fact did not make it to most news reports.