Two hours of Congressional grilling yielded no apology from Lehman Bros. CEO Richard S. Fuld. The fired exec earned over $350 million dollars in the last 7 years—a figure which he calls “appropriate”—and yet watched his company go down in flames, taking no direct responsibility during testimony. Why shouldn’t I be surprised? Apparently, he wants to know “Why Lehman didn’t get a federal rescue while others did.” A bit more business acumen might have not only kept his company afloat, it might have benefited from the recent bailout bill. Bur we’ll never know, and that’s probably a good thing.
But who will the bill bailout? That has yet to be seen, but Carolyn Said over at the SF Chronicle has an idea of some measures the government could make to help out you, me, and the economy: An interest rate cut to stimulate the economy [note: a key rate was cut this morning by .5%]; a stimulus package—think tax cuts, maybe another tax incentive to buy a house, and money to create jobs; further deposit insurance, beyond the $250,000 current limit; restructure mortgages to prop up housing and prevent further wholesale foreclosures; and, direct capital injections to keep companies afloat—in return for a share of the profits. This last idea is one I wrote about September 24th in the weekly news, in which Sweden stopped a similar crisis by participating as owners in companies they helped fund. It was win-win for the companies and the taxpayers.
As if it wasn’t enough that the Feds are bailing out what seems like everyone but those who read this blog, our illustrious Governator is asking the Feds for a $7 billion loan to help pay the bills for our fair state. After an 80+ day budget stalemate that he could not negotiate, he goes hat in hand to D.C. to make payroll. Not that I want state employees going without, that is not the point. The point is that we should be paying closer attention to local happenings. With the election, the credit crisis, mortgage meltdown, Wall Street taking a hit, we hardly have time to catch out breath. But if I were the federal government, I’d get the ruler out and slap his wrists. With Louisiana still trying to play catch-up and Texas in crisis due to recent natural disasters, why should we get money? There are countries that run on budgets smaller than ours….
So, what do you all think about Coldwell Banker’s 10 Day Sales Event (October 10th – 19th), where you can get 10% off Coldwell Banker listings nationwide? I’ve been hearing about it, but I have to say that trying to confirm the 10 day/10% was difficult. The main CB website doesn’t even make mention of it all. The CB event website (which I googled) came back with 2 sentences and no details. The Buy section of CB doesn’t mention it either. The CaliforniaMoves.com site that CB owns does have an ad for it in the sidebar. Clicking on it gives you a downloadable pdf, which makes no mention of the 10% off, only a vague reference to “specially reduced prices.” Blessings go to the San Francisco Real Estate Blog, which posted part of the press release. I read the fine print and it does say that the 10% is for “participating home sellers,” which could mean 1 or 1,000 or 10,000. That’s the kicker. You have to contact them to find out which homes are participating. A great marketing ploy, to be sure. It may also help to sell houses, which is an even bigger result. Although if they don’t do better getting their message out and available, no one is going to take advantage.