Humor

All posts tagged Humor

I’m cheap.

I like to buy stuff when its on sale. The same applies to stocks. I recently bought Johnson & Johnson, and Google. Both are trading at historically low P/E and Price/Free Cash Flow ratios.

But, the market for bubble stocks seems to be alive and kicking.

LinkedIn (LNKD) just went public at 1,000 times earnings. Yeah, its trailing P/E is 1,000!

Even some established companies are ridiculously expensive. Salesforce.com (CRM) is currently trading at a trailing P/E of 300 and a forward P/E of 75. I can’t imagine who’s buying the stock at this level.

The CEO and other insiders are dumping stock like its going out of style. In the past year, they’ve sold $234 million worth of stock. And they’re continuing to sell it. Reminds me of CountryWide insiders selling the stock before the real estate bubble burst in 2007.

Here’s a funny video by someone who shares my disbelief about investing in Salesforce.

Foreclosure is not a fun process.

Losing your house for any reason is a stressful, disheartening experience. And banks are notoriously difficult to deal with. Mainly because they’re not really interested in working out a deal with you. Especially if you have equity in your house.

That being said, I’m greatly amused by people who get the better end of the foreclosure process, especially when it comes to Bank of America. (I’m not a big fan of Bank of America – I have my reasons…)

Bank of America filed for foreclosure on a house in Florida, about six months ago. The strange thing was that the homeowners, Mr & Mrs. Nyergers, owned their home free and clear. They had bought their house with cash. They had never had a mortgage on it.

In court the judge found the bank wrongfully tried to foreclose on them. Basically he said BofA was trying to scam them out of their home, and ordered the bank to pay their legal fees.

So how did the couple end up foreclosing on the bank?

After more than 5 months of the judge’s ruling, the bank still hadn’t paid the legal fees, and the homeowner’s attorney did exactly what the bank tried to do to the homeowners. He seized the bank’s assets.

According to CBS, the attorney said, “They’ve ignored our calls, ignored our letters, legally this is the next step to get my clients compensated.”

Sheriff’s deputies, movers, and the Nyergers’ attorney went to the bank and foreclosed on it. The attorney gave instructions to to remove desks, computers, copiers, filing cabinets and any cash in the teller’s drawers.

After about an hour of being locked out of the bank, the bank manager handed the attorney a check for the legal fees.

“As a foreclosure defense attorney this is sweet justice” said Allen.

The unfortunate sad part is that bank errors like this are quite common.

The couple’s foreclosure attorney said he sees happen a lot in court, because banks didn’t investigate the foreclosure and it becomes a lengthy and expensive battle for the homeowner.

At least this story had a happy ending.

Just read this news article from the Associated Press:

Tue Feb 23, 8:17 am ET

MOSCOW, Ohio – An Ohio man says he bulldozed his $350,000 home to keep a bank from foreclosing on it.

Terry Hoskins says he has struggled with the RiverHills Bank over his home in Moscow for years and had problems with the Internal Revenue Service. He says the IRS placed liens on his carpet store and commercial property and the bank claimed his house as collateral.

Hoskins says he owes $160,000 on the house. He says he spent a lot of money on attorneys and finally had enough. About two weeks ago he bulldozed the home 25 miles southeast of Cincinnati.

bulldozed_foreclosed_house_moscow-ohio
Ok, there’s nothing really humorous about this. But I thought it was a great story about getting back at the bank. Banks are notoriously difficult to deal with and after accepting billions in bailout money from the taxpayers aren’t really modifying very many loans. If you think that people who default on their mortgages are scumbags and deserve to lose their homes and that banks are just faultless victims, check this link about a foreclosure attorney who tried to help a couple modify their loan. Actually, regardless of what you think about banks or borrowers  you should still read the article. It’s very interesting.

Here’s a funny video explaining the true unemployment numbers that the BLS just released.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) announced today that the unemployment rate for November fell to 10%. This figure represents 15.4 million officially unemployed people.

In reality there are over 26 million Americans who are either jobless or underemployed. The “real” jobless rate takes into account part-time workers seeking full-time work, discouraged job seekers and persons furloughed from full-time to part-time status. The real rate of unemployment is 17.2% and is a more accurate indicator of the labor market.

cheap home for saleSource: Miz Duke

As everyone knows the only thing wrong with America right now, is the lagging economy. If we could only boost our economy and increase our GDP we’d be able to unleash prosperity on everyone.  So building on the resounding success of its “cash for clunkers” program, the Obama administration just announced a cash for junkers or “we buy ugly houses” program. Since the median home price is about 10 times that of a median priced car, the government will offer 10 times the rebate for the purchase of a new home.  Other than that, the “cash for junkers” program is identical to the preceding program:

  • If you “trade-in” your old home, you’ll get $35,000 towards the purchase of a brand new one
  • If you had a jumbo-mortgage or your house was over 5,000 square feet, you qualify for $45,000
  • You must have owned the home for at least 1 year to prevent misuse of these funds
  • The “trade-in” house must be bulldozed and the debris shipped off to China
  • If your house is worth more than the rebate amount, you’re out of luck!

The government has earmarked $20 billion for this program and it estimates that the sales of 500,000 homes will cannibalized this year from future sales numbers. Wait, did I say cannibalize? My apologies, I meant to say that the demand for 500,000 new homes would be created.  The total effect will be to boost the economy by $100 billion dollars or nearly 0.7%! Since the destruction of the existing houses doesn’t count in GDP numbers it’s a net positive result!

The GDP is a number that calculates the amount of services and goods produces without the effects of taxation, so the negative effect of an extra $20 Billion burden on the taxpayers (or their unborn grandchildren) isn’t a part of the calculation either. So you see, it’s a win-win situation for everyone!

What’s that? Who do I mean by everyone? I mean the administration and the small sub-section of the population who own sub-$35,000 homes who are able to go out and get $125,000 mortgages. Now I’m not sure whether these are low-income families or rich slumlords, but that discussion is merely an academic argument.

Not only that, but demolishing the existing homes would help reduce the old inventory thats casting a dark shadow over the entire real estate industry.  So this we buy ugly houses program would really help the economy’s green shoots sprout in to a young sapling.  What’s that you say? We need job and income growth to actually boost the economy. No, that was the old economy.  This time it’s different!

Finding A Job

Regular readers know that I’m a full-time MBA student. I haven’t had much time to post mainly because I was spending a lot of time looking for a summer job. With the economy being as bad as it is, it’s been quite hard to get a paid job this summer. Unpaid internships are a dime a dozen and I was able to procure a few of those, which I turned down.  Eventually, I was able to find three paid gigs. One was in the IT department of a large cruise line company which didn’t really excite me.  Another was an online marketing analytics job that was very tempting. However, I turned that down in order to research distressed commercial real estate at Marcus & Millichap. Finding any sort of paid real estate job is tough in this environment and I figured that spending 3 months over the summer was a good way to gain some experience in the field of commercial real estate.

But landing these jobs was very tough. It probably would have been easier if I had looked for product management jobs, since i have a programming background, but I really wanted to do something different over the summer. If I’m spending all this time and money getting an MBA, I might as well do something that doesn’t just slot me as another techie.  My first preference would have been a job in investment management but despite having several interviews that didn’t pan out.  I think if I had networked a lot more, that could’ve become a reality but that’s probably true of any field. If you network hard enough, you’re bound to land a job sooner or later.

One thing all students should do is contact alumni in their fields of interest and offer to buy them coffee to learn about the industry. It’s much easier to do as a student otherwise you’re just some weird random dude who wants to meet them! You never know who will be able to help you get a job. And it probably won’t be the friends you hang out with all the time. You’re all part of the same network and if there were an openings, you would have known about them already. So go out and expand your network!

Check out this funny video for more job finding tips.

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