In times of tight credit it is hard to find a loan for even simple things. Credit cards are increasingly hard to get, and credit limits are maxed out or the bank issuing them may have lowered the credit line. Mortgage banks have never applied more stringent requirements for loans.
There are other lending sources, but you might not have a high degree of trust in them. These include title loan companies, as well as the “personal loan guy.” He is the friend of a friend, the guy who will lend you $500 and charge you $150 for the privilege. He finds customers, regardless – access to cash is pretty important to a lot of people under challenging circumstances.
Here’s a very interesting article by Dereck DeCloet on ReportOnBusiness.com. Some very good reasons on why you should be investing in Canada right now.
Heed the advice of The Smartest Man
Crackpot. Crank. Scaremonger. Alarmist.
The Smartest Man We Know has heard the slurs. When you make your living on Wall Street, yet hold the opinion that Wall Street is populated by incompetent fools, you’re not going to win a lot of friends at dinner parties, are you?
According to Jim Rogers, the increasing foreign debt of the United States has created fundamental problems for its economy and the US dollar will lose its position as the world’s reserve currency.
“The US dollar is and has always been the world’s reserve currency; that is in the process of changing.” Rogers said during a presentation at the IFSA annual conference at the Gold Coast on Wednesday.
“America is out of control,” he said. “The US is now the world’s largest creditor, having US $13 trillion in outstanding foreign debt.
But what is even worse is that our foreign debts are increasing at the rate of US $1 trillion every 15 months.”
What a day for financial stocks! Regional banks got slaughtered and even large national banks sank like bricks. Washington Mutual (WM) was down 35% and Wachovia (WB) dropped 15%. I guess the market didn’t care for the Federal Reserve’s bailout of Fannie Mae (FNM) and Freddie Mac (FRE).
So should the Federal Reserve have offered to bailout FNM and FRE in the first place?
I read two very interesting news reports today. One was about the spread of global inflation.
Last week came word that the Gulf States were piling up $1.5 billion net per day in oil revenues. In China, not an oil exporter, the rate of growth of foreign currency reserves has slowed down recently, but the country still nets about $1 billion per day. Overseas central banks accumulate Everests of these dollars, and lend many of them back to the United States – by buying U.S. Treasury bonds. To give you an idea of how fast this mountain of money is growing, foreign central bank holdings of U.S. treasury bonds, held in custody at the Fed, are increasing at a 37% annual rate.
A recent articl,e Is $1 Million Enough to Retire On?, got me thinking. According to the article, the average American thinks that retiring on $1 million is more than enough.
However, living on a $1 million isn’t what it was a few decades ago. It will only generate between $40,000 and $50,000 a year in income. Assuming that your house is paid off and your kids are independent, that sounds like a decent amount to live on.
According to Peter Schiff, Gold should be back at $1,200 by year end. He also thinks that it’s impossible for the US dollar to make a comeback because the Fed will not raise interest rates for fear of pushing the economy into recession.
He states that Gold should hit $2,000 per ounce in 2009 and within 4-5 it might even hit $5,000!!!. He also thinks that Silver’s rise will be even larger than that of Gold!
I’ve been under the impression that after the collapse of the residential real estate market, the commercial real estate market will follow.
My assumption is three fold: 1. Unemployment is much higher than is being reported.
2. Consumer spending will drastically slow down.
3. There will be a credit crunch regarding mortgages for commercial lending
I spent the day at the office of a rich hotel owner. He was accepting bids for the construction of a new $10 million, 100 room Hampton Inn, and was kind enough to let me watch the process. I saw two different companies present their bids and both of them had extremely different operating styles. However, the owner and his team had a consistent approach in both cases. They had a rough idea of how much money they were willing to spend on a per foot basis and tried to negotiate on costs that they knew the contractors had some flexibility with. I also saw them put an offer on an adjoining piece of land and I realized what terrific negotiators they were. Just because he was rich didn’t mean he was generous with his money!
Warren Buffett was recently featured on CNBC where he discussed oil depletion and the fact that we could be close to peak oil production.
He says that we’ve been “sticking straws in the ground” since the 1850s and all of the easy to reach oil has been tapped. We’re consuming 85 million barrels of oil every day and the demand from countries like India and China is just increased. Existing production is maxed out and the fields seem to be in sharp decline.