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Messages - _BP_

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1.I can't believe this thread is still going either?
2. And hey,  julie, and jacy, and divide by zero..and everyone else

Black Law Students / Re: Black Law Student Discussion Board
« on: December 27, 2007, 08:54:45 AM »
Thanks for the sentiments everyone.  I'll check in more often to see how everyone's doing. Oh and I've been cracking up at some of the new names and avatars! haha ;)

Black Law Students / Re: Black Law Student Discussion Board
« on: December 25, 2007, 02:39:12 PM »
Merry christmas black people.

General Off-Topic Board / The GOP sexual hypocrite parade continues.
« on: August 09, 2007, 09:17:54 AM »

And another one, and another one....
Tuesday, August 07, 2007

The newly-elected president of the Young Republican National Federation, Glenn Murphy, has stepped down as the group's president less than a month after being elected to the post at the group's convention in Florida last month amid a sex scandal involving him, which may prove as embarrassing to the national Republican Party as the Mark Foley scandal did during last year's congressional elections.  He is fond of using divisive wedge issues, such as gay marriage, to promote his candidates.In a shocking police report filed by the Clark Co. Sheriff's office, Murphy is accused of sexually assaulting another man on July 29, 2007, while he lay sleeping in his bed.  The victim's sister had urged both men to spend the night at her home because of the amount of alcohol the two had consumed during the party. The victim awoke in the morning to find Murphy performing oral sex on him according to the report. The victim then pushed Murphy away, gathered his personal belongings and left. Murphy was later confronted with the charges by the victim's sister according to the report. The sister says Murphy admitted to her that he performed the sex act on her brother. Taking Down Words reports Murphy is being investigated for committing criminal deviate conduct, a Class B felony. The police report also notes that Murphy was accused of committing a very similar act on another man back in 1998. It is unclear why Murphy was not prosecuted for the 1998 incident.

General Off-Topic Board / The GOP Sexual hypocrite parade continues.
« on: August 07, 2007, 01:20:27 PM »

Worst. Excuse. Ever.
By: Steve Benen on Monday, August 6th, 2007 at 2:56 PM - PDT  

About a month ago, Florida State Rep. Bob Allen (R), a co-chairman of John McCain’s presidential campaign in the Sunshine State, ran into a little trouble with the law. He was arrested in a public park after allegedly offering to pay to perform oral sex on an undercover police officer. Not a good career move.
Josh Marshall notes today, however, that ol’ state Rep. Allen can explain everything.

It turns out that Allen revealed the true reason for the alleged park-john-offer in a tape recorded statement he made just after his arrest.
“This was a pretty stocky black guy, and there was nothing but other black guys around in the park,” said Allen, according to this article in the Orlando Sentinel. Allen went on to say he was afraid of becoming a “statistic.”

OK, let me get this straight. Allen was in a public park, late at night. For some reason, he’s afraid of black people. As a result of this irrational fear, he wanders into a bathroom, where he offers another man $20 to perform oral sex.
In other words, Allen thought he might be attacked by some “stocky” black men, and this is his first instinct? Josh added, “I guess this raises the question of whether if you thought you were about to get mugged by a group of stocky black guys, your first plan of escape would be to try to give one of them a blowjob.”
click here to listen to the police interview.

To the OP, this should help:

James Randi looks to debunk psychics, faith healers, mediums and others.  He has offered a $1 million prize for years, earmarked for anyone who can prove supernatural powers. It remains unclaimed.

Black Law Students / Re: Home Ownership and Wealth Building
« on: May 09, 2007, 09:14:25 AM »
Can't an argument be made that the downpayment reduction resulted in a one-time large increase in the number of people able to afford houses?  In other words, there was an anomolous demand increase that inflated returns.  Unless similar market anomalies occur (not likely, given the subprime backlash), then such returns are not likely to occur in the near future.

Yeah, I think that could be a solid argument. I agree too that the super-inflated returns we saw in the first half of the decade are unlikely to occur in the foreseeable future.  If we assume that the effects of low downpayments are no longer instrumental on the demand side because everyone that could afford has already jumped into the market then we're screwed. I am not sure this is the case though.  

The subprime backlash is definitely something to keep an eye on like you pointed out.  It's going to be a hard landing, but we have to factor in the influence and  positioning of Freddie and Fannie.  Together they control half the mortgage market. Freddie has already pledged $20 Billion to buy back a good chunk of those subprime mortgages that went out in the last 5 years and Fannie is cooking something up as we speak.   Many of these folks will be restructured into fixed term loans prior to defaulting.  No doubt the mortgage market is going to be stormy going forward but my focus was that the author of the article could have done a better job framing the renting vs owning debate.  I work in the mortgage market so this stuff really interests me.

Black Law Students / Re: Home Ownership and Wealth Building
« on: May 09, 2007, 07:42:07 AM »
Well, your analysis ignores the (not inconsiderable) interest on the mortgage.  And the fact that you can't capitalize on the 100% "return" on your invested funds without selling the house.  And the "return" isn't even real, because it's pretty much just inflation.  And I'm not sure if the incidentals include property tax and other non-routine expenditures.

-Actually my analysis does not ignore the interest on the mortgage, it's factored into the $2,000 per month mortgage payment. The $2,000 per month mortgage payment includes principal, interest, PMI, AND property tax.  This is what I pay on a $300,000 mortgage which is coincidentally the same number the author used in his example.

-Also, you can capitalize on the 100% return by refinancing without selling the house, which incidentally is not something that you can do with equities.  You have to outright sell your shares to get capital gains.

-The "return" is absolutely real.  The total return is inflation PLUS the valuation premium that the author categories as "artificial boosts to demand". The valuation premium portion of it is real.  Your returns revert to "inflation only" if these boosts to demand are not present.  The author's argument breaks down because he did not make a case for why or even if he thinks these boosts to demand are going away. This was probably for good reason because I can't see how a case can be made that in the near future homebuyers will be required to make a 40% downpayment on a home rather than the 3% of today.

Black Law Students / Re: Home Ownership and Wealth Building
« on: May 08, 2007, 01:53:28 PM »
Great article until you take a closer look.  
-House prices and rents have been closely linked throughout history, with both increasing at the rate of inflation, or about 3% a year since 1900. A house, after all, is an ordinary good. It can't think up ways to drive profits like a company's managers can. Absent artificial boosts to demand, house prices will increase over long periods at the rate of inflation, for a real return of zero-

The author then goes on to list the two reasons for recent artificial boosts

1)Government subsidized housing that relaxed borrowing standards where downpayments are as low as 3%
2)A reduction in the Fed Funds rate and thus an overall reduction in interest rates.

While classifying these as "artificial boosts" maybe somewhat accurate, the author does not address the fact that these factors are likely here to stay i.e that there has been a fundamental change in the mortgage market.  The days of a 40% downpayment for a home are over. Imagine what the difference in demand (and thus mkt value returns)would have been if downpayment were always 3% or lower rather than 40% up until the mid 1900's.  We can no longer classify these factors as demand-driven artificial factors when in fact they now make up part of the structure of the mortgage market.

Now for the author's example:
-If you have $300,000 and a choice between spending it on a house or shares, you'll pay $6,000 a year in incidentals if you buy the house or about $15,000 a year ($1,250 a month) in rent if you buy the shares. But the shares will return $21,000 a year after inflation while the house will return zero. (My numbers work out even better than these. I pay a smidgen less than $1,250 a month for rent, while house prices in my neighborhood are far higher than $300,000.)

Accurate, yet misleading.  The author is leaving out the biggest driver of the returns on real property, LEVERAGE!

Here is a more representative example:
If you want to purchase a $300,000 home you are not going to pay cash, you're going to pay a 3% downpayment of $9,000. You'll pay $6,000 a year in incidentals (per the author's example) plus $2,000 in mortage (24,000 per an) for a total of $30,000 a year.  Subtract from this what you WOULD be paying in rent, ($1,250 per month per author) $15,000 per year, and that leaves a $15,000 higher payment for mortgage vs rent.  But wait, if we assume a 3% appreciation (see author above) then the house will return $9,000.  Remember your initial investment was only $9,000, so rather than a 3% return your actual return is 100% on your invested funds.    

Also, we now only have a net annual outlay of 4,000 ($15,000 mortgage/rent differential minus $9,000 return on investment). But wait again, the author assumed we had $300,000 in cash, but we only paid out $9,000 for downpayment, we still have $291,000 that we can invest.  We get to own equities AND own a home and provided we stay away from homebuilding stocks we end up with a much more diversified portfolio with comparable returns and a lot less overall risk.

Black Law Students / Re: Right-Handed Law Student Discussion Board
« on: April 26, 2007, 08:16:57 AM »

Great thread, if the left-handers can have one, I don’t see why we can’t.  Matter of fact, I say we start an Association for the Advancement of Right Handers and have a March like this one too.

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