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Subprime Mess (Explicitly) Explained And Your Emails

Here is a link to a stick figure slideshow I received from Heather H. which explains the housing debacle better than anything I've seen to date. WARNING: the language gets increasingly "adult" as the story unfolds. Just click on the image in the middle of the page to start the slide show.

Regarding Tuesday's poston how an appraiser I know in Southern California is seeing work skyrocket after a long drought--perhaps signaling the beginnings of a turnaround:

Jim G. writes:
"Mr. Piscitelli indicated that most of the loans were refi's, with some sales...He didn't note that the sales taking place are at lower than what the market value was a year ago. That translates into depressed comp prices which further depresses the market. As an example, there was a home near us that was listed at $330,000 a year ago. It was just sold as a bank REO for $162,500. That's a 50 percent reduction, and it is now a comp for the neighborhood.

In addition, the banks have not had fire sales on their REO properties yet. When they do, it will not be pretty."

From Erik G:
"Can you explain more about why you saw fit to weigh in on an issue of huge economic importance on the basis of gossip from a friend? This is like the society lady who predicted that Nixon would lose the 1972 election because "none of her friends voted for him."

There is tremendous uncertainty out there. The best survey and econometric techniques are being used and debated, but you tell us everything is going to be fine because you know a guy who got some business. OK, I guess I will rush out and buy a house. Oh, wait, I know a realtor who has not had a listing in six months. Maybe all the houses burned down in the fires. Lets get nationwide news based on something a tiny bit more solid, please."

From Yevgeni K:
"What a misleading title for this story on CNBC...Just because your friend calls you and tells you he is getting more business, doesn’t mean you automatically whip out the “Golden” title to your story. How about some numbers??? How about stating that rates hit their lowest at around 5.25% about a week or two ago, maybe that’s the fact that drove people to put some bids in??? Now that rates are climbing back again, are you going to post a story with the following title, “Is Calif. Real Estate back to the doldrums?”. I bet you won’t."

Regarding my post on Americans crossing the border to Mexico for dental work, Brad writes:
"Don't forget the optometry business. I have dental insurance and don't need to go to Mexico for dental work (that would be a little scary for me as a dental coward anyway). However, 2 years ago in Algodonez I got an eye exam, 2 pair of tri-focals (one transition lens and one sunglass) and 2 frames (one made in China like most purchased in the USA and one made in France). Total cost: $180...By the way, it took about 2-1/2 hours between walking into the shop and picking up my completed glasses."

And on my last post talking about my horrific dietary choices when on the road, Dave writes:
"Jane--Booze before noon…shame on you. Fake Jane made you do it, right? Really, it's OK because someplace it's already noon. Keep up the great work. Hopefully you get hazardous duty pay for that travel schedule!"

Comments? Funny Stories? Email funnybusiness@cnbc.com

  • Based in Los Angeles, Jane Wells is a CNBC business news reporter and also writes the Funny Business blog for CNBC.com.

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