Sonoma Housing Bubble

Pulling the cork out of Sonoma's bubbly housing foolishness

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Sonoma Housing Bubble 2! Electric Boogaloo


We regret to inform you that the bubble is here, the banking fraud is real, and we will be back shortly to tell you all about it.


Athena & MoonValley

Friday, October 03, 2008

Your Democracry is an Illusion

Update: The House has now passed a revised version of the bailout bill weighed down under 400+ pages of pork.

Your Democracy really is just an Illusion.

Earlier this week: House Rejected Wall St. Bailout Bill

Vote: 205 Yes 228 No

Vote was open for nearly 40 minutes

95 Democrats voted no

133 Republicans voted no

140 Democrats voted yes

65 Republicans voted yes

Vote Tally Here see how Congressional Reps voted

Congressional Representative for Sonoma County ~ Mike Thompson voted No

send him a little thank you note

remind him of what is important to you.

Congressional Representative ~ Lynn Woolsey also voted NO

send her a little thank you note

Thank you to all of you who took the time and energy to speak out and defeat this horrendous theft of the american public that amounted to rewarding the very people who caused this problem. This was an enormous victory for the power of participation.

The treasury secretary, the president, the speaker, and the chairman of the senate finance committee all supported the bill. This bill went down only because of a popular uprising.

There will be no Re-vote today. But there is talk about revising the bill again and putting it to another vote soon.

Please continue to check here, Stop The Bailout and Mish's site for updates, letters to reps etc.

Draft Version of the Bill (pdf warning)

Key elements of the plan follow:

- The $700 billion in buying power would be doled out by Congress in stages. After the first $250 billion is authorized, the President could request another $100 billion. The final $350 billion could be cleared by a further act of Congress.

- Eligible assets include residential or commercial mortgages and related instruments which were originated or issued on or before March 14, 2008. Other financial instruments can be included in consultation with the Federal Reserve if Congress is notified.

- Treasury secretary given broad discretion to determine the methods for buying assets.

- Foreign central banks, or institutions owned by a foreign government, cannot take part.

- The government will take a stake in companies that tap federal aid so that taxpayers can share in the profits if those companies get back on their feet. An exception applies to financial firms that offload less than $100 million of soured investments.

- A new congressional panel would have oversight power and the Treasury secretary would report regularly to lawmakers in two elements of a multi-level oversight apparatus.

- If the Treasury takes a stake in a company, the top five executives would be subject to limits on their compensation. Why only the top 5? Think of all the bonuses paid out to the investment bankers and traders selling toxic MBS and CDOs. Think of all the hairdressers and UPS clerks turned mortgage brokers... WTF? Only the top 5? ALL OF THEM NEED COMP LIMITS!

And... is it just me...? But shouldn't they be going after the assets and recouping the bonuses paid to the guys who ran these companies in the ground? THESE companies failed due to the actions of their employees and executives. Those very same people should be coughing up any bonuses or executive compensation they received while their companies melted down. They should be going after NAR and every realtor and mortgage broker that gave a loan, sold a house to anyone for over 4X their household income.

- Executives hired after a financial company offloads more than $300 million in assets via auction to the government will not be eligible for "golden parachutes."

This is beyond lame. It does nothing to hold those who committed this fraud and corporate irresponsibility accountable. There should be NO golden parachutes for ANY current or recent employee with the companies that have failed

- Would permit the Federal Reserve to begin paying interest on bank reserves from October 1, giving it another tool for easing credit strains.

- Mandates a study on the impact of mark-to-market accounting standards, that critics blame for a downward spiral in the valuation of assets on corporate balance sheets.

- The federal government may stall foreclosure proceedings on home loans purchased under the plan.

There should be NO stalling of foreclosure for anyone who has a loan on a house that does not conform to traditional income to debt ratio. Nobody who took out a mortgage for more than 4X their income (and this is being generous as I think it should be no more than 3X) should receive ANY kind of assistance.

- Alongside the plan to buy securities outright, the Treasury Department will conceive an alternative insurance program that would underwrite troubled loans and would be paid for by participating companies.

- If the government has taken losses five years into the program, the Treasury Department will draft a plan to tax the companies that took part to recoup taxpayer losses.

Congressional Budget Office's Review of the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008

Please continue to email, fax and call Congress.

(new letter - reposted from Mish's site)

Bailout Bill Is A Disgrace

Dear senator/congressional rep,

Nancy Pelosi and Barney Frank have agreed to the most preposterous taxpaper bailout in history. It is loaded with toothless provisions that are not worth a plug nickel when it comes to protecting the taxpayer.

Fox Oversees Henhouse

The bill sets up an oversight board, which is directed to “ensure that the policies implemented” by Mr. Paulson are proper. Mr. Paulson is to be one of the five members of the board watching over his own actions. He is joined by the chairman of the Federal Reserve, the chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission, the Housing Secretary and the director of the Federal Home Finance Agency.

This is supposed to be an oversight committee?

New Proposal Cedes Congressional Authority To The Administration

Paulson, or whoever the next Treasury Secretary is, can buy whatever he wants, at whatever price he wants. Why should Congress give such authority to anyone at any time? Note that the next Treasury Secretary is not even a known quantity!

The limit on any bailout should be no more than $250 billion flat out with no automatic escalations. If Congress thinks more money is needed it can vote to provide more money later. Ceding blank check power to the president and requiring super majorities to override would set a dangerous precedent.I am appalled that the administration would ask for such power and I am even more appalled that Congress would be willing to structure a bill this way.

No Insurance

Ceding power to the treasury on how to best implement the insurance provision is also a terrible idea. Congress, not the Treasury should stipulate how insurance should work. Leaving insurance to the discretion of the Treasury is tantamount to agreeing there should not be insurance.Broad New Powers For The SECA provision of the bill gives the S.E.C. permission to suspend the rule for any individual company if it thinks that is in the public’s interest. It is absurd that the SEC should be allowed to wave whatever rules it wants.

We got into trouble in the first place because of poor accounting principles!

Administrative Costs

Where are administrative costs hidden?

Recoupment mechanism

The recoupment mechanism does nothing except to require the President submit a proposal to offset such costs after five years.

How could this be so poorly worded?

Why should Congress require the president to submit a bill, any bill?

Bill Is A Disgrace

This bill is so full of holes and toothless provisions it is a disgrace to suggest it is close to being ready for a vote. Most importantly, the bill will not create a single job, nor will it solve the underlying economic problems. Over 190 major economists agree.

If you vote for this Bailout Bill I will vote against you. I will do more than that, I will work actively for your opponent, no matter who that person is, doing everything in my power to contribute to your defeat.If you vote for this bill I will contribute my time, energy and money to your opponent, whoever that may be.I will talk to my friends, my family and my co-workers and urge them to do the same. I have already contacted many friends and have asked them to do the same.

Phone Numbers

Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D)(202) 225-4965

Rep. Barney Frank (D)(202) 225-5931

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D) (202) 224-3841

Sen. Richard Shelby (R) (202) 224-5744

Sen. Harry Reid (D) 202-224-3542Sen.

Jim DeMint (R) 202-224-6121

Sen. John Ensign (R) (202) 224-6244

Sen. Jim Bunning (R) 202.224.4343

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R) (202) 224-3744

Sen. John McCain (R) 202-224-2235Sen.

Barack Obama (D) (202) 224-2854

Call them with this simple message "I have seen the revised bill, you will lose my vote if it passes".

Please fax everyone on this list.

Sen. Richard Shelby (R) 202-224-3416 or 202-224-5137 (try both not sure which is correct)

Sen. Harry Reid (D) 202-224-7327

Sen. Jim DeMint (R) 202-228-5143

Sen. John Ensign (R) 202-228-2193

Sen. Jim Bunning (R) 202-228-1373

Sen. Chuck Grassley (R) 202-224-6020

Sen John McCain (R) 202-228-2862

Sen. Barack Obama 202-228-4260

Sen. John D. Rockefeller 202-224-7665

Sen. Dianne Feinstein 202-228-3954

Sen. Ron Wyden 202-228-2717

Sen. Evan Bayh 202-228-1377

Sen. Barbara Mikulski 202-224-8858

Sen. Bill Nelson 202-228-2183

Sen. John Kerry 202-224-8525

Sen. Daniel Inouye 202-224-6747

Sen. Hillary Clinton 202-228-0282

Rep. Barney Frank 202-225-0182

Rep. Nancy Pelosi 202-225-4188

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Fill Up Their Voice Mail!!!

(reposted from Mish's site)

Let's Fill Every Congressional Voice Mail Box In The Country
Many of you have written that congressional voice mail boxes are full. Unfortunately there is not much I can do if no one is answering the phones. I suspect that is because we have concentrated on too few.

We need to man the phones and start targeting EVERYONE in Congress.

Phone every legislative representative in your state. If those fill up, pick another state, even a small one.

Tell them it is still no deal, Leave a short message so others can leave one.

Fill every in box in the country.

Congressional Switchboad #

Use these points in your message. Don't stop calling, emailing or faxing. You are being heard. Keep Shouting!

(use your own twist, but make sure they get it!)

"If you vote for this Bailout Bill I will vote against you. I will do more than that, I will work actively for your opponent, no matter who that person is, doing everything in my power to contribute to your defeat.

I will contributing my time, energy and money to your opponent, whoever that may be. I will talk to my friends, my family and my co-workers and urge them to do the same. I have contacted my friends already and asked them to do the same."

Take Action

Many Representatives are claiming the backlash was for just Paulson's bill. The revised bill still doesn't cap salaries and stock options deep enough. There is still no call for accountability or prosecution, or any accountability whatsoever for those responsible for this mess.

Paulson, Bernanke, Greenspan and the lot of them... Their JOBS are/were to be watch dogs for US! Their JOBS were to be the EXPERTS? WTF???

also... I can't believe it has come to this, but it is virtually impossible to not respect Newt's take on this whole debacle.

Did you know that Senator Dodd was the largest recipient of campaign dollars from Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae?

Did you know tha Obama was number two? This is appalling. I am a registered Democrat and am just horrified that nothing that comes out of a Democratic representative is passing the smell test and that this rush to pass this is more of an effort to cover up their own complicity.

Newt's Take On Things

Please click and listen for yourself.

Bailout = Private Profits, Socialized Losses.

"A month of historic government interventions shows signs of triggering a political version of climate change - unleashing a new era of class fury that could hurt U.S. companies, business leaders, and wealthy investors for years."

"Resentment toward financial profiteers is reaching a fever pitch. Leave aside for a moment the fact that homeowners living beyond their means - not just greedy Wall Streeters - contributed to the economic crisis. And Hank Paulson can talk all he wants about his program to help millions of struggling mortgage holders move into comfortable payment schedules."

That will only fuel more resentment and backlash.

"Compared to this, Enron was a warm-up exercise. "

"Even before this populist eruption over the Wall Street rescue, Middle America was souring on the privileged class. There has been a growing sense in the U.S. that a stagnant tide has kept the 80-foot yachts afloat while beaching the family outboard."

"There's much evidence to support the contention that Americans are disgusted with government officials as much as they are with business leaders."


"Only last November, Dick Cheney told Fortune his main concern about the mortgage crisis was an overreaction by the government. "The fact is, the markets work, and they are working," he said. "We have to be careful not to have this set of developments lead us to significantly expand the role of government in ways that may do damage long-term for the economy."

"Ten months later the Vice President was forced to peddle the biggest government bailout in history to conservative friends on Capitol Hill."

"AFL-CIO's John Sweeney suddenly sound as if they're in the mainstream of public opinion with statements like this: "One thing is certain. No one - no politician, no investment banker, no television commentator, no economist - should be able to say again with a straight face that here in the United States we just let markets do whatever markets do and everything works out for the best."

"Washington hath no fury like Middle America scorned - and there's reason to think it will only get uglier."

From Roubini's site...

"...the claim by the Fed and Treasury that spending $700 billion of public money is the best way to recapitalize banks has absolutely no factual basis or justification. This way of recapitalizing financial institutions is a total rip-off that will mostly benefit – at a huge expense for the US taxpayer - the common and preferred shareholders and even unsecured creditors of the banks. Even the late addition of some warrants that the government will get in exchange of this massive injection of public money is only a cosmetic fig leaf of dubious value as the form and size of such warrants is totally vague and fuzzy."

"So this rescue plan is a huge and massive bailout of the shareholders and the unsecured creditors of the financial firms (not just banks but also other non bank financial institutions); with $700 billion of taxpayer money the pockets of reckless bankers and investors have been made fatter under the fake argument that bailing out Wall Street was necessary to rescue Main Street from a severe recession."

"...the Treasury plan is a disgrace: a bailout of reckless bankers, lenders and investors that provides little direct debt relief to borrowers and financially stressed households and that will come at a very high cost to the US taxpayer. And the plan does nothing to resolve the severe stress in money markets and interbank markets that are now close to a systemic meltdown. It is pathetic that Congress did not consult any of the many professional economists that have presented - many on the RGE Monitor Finance blog forum - alternative plans that were more fair and efficient and less costly ways to resolve this crisis."

"This is again a case of privatizing the gains and socializing the losses; a bailout and socialism for the rich, the well-connected and Wall Street. And it is a scandal that even Congressional Democrats have fallen for this Treasury scam that does little to resolve the debt burden of millions of distressed home owners."

Saturday, September 27, 2008

When Uncle Sam Gives You The Finger....


Don't be afraid to give it right back to him!!!

"The more voters learn about the proposed $700-billion taxpayer-backed Wall Street rescue plan, the less they like it."

(PDF warning click --->) Highlights of the Discussion Draft Bill Currently being considered by Congress

"Just 24% of U.S. voters now favor the plan first proposed by Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson a week ago and the subject of very public negotiations on Capitol Hill ever since, according to a Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey taken Friday night."

"Fifty percent (50%) oppose it, and 25% are undecided."

"Opposition to the bailout plan has grown even after federal regulators seized Washington Mutual late Thursday in the biggest bank failure in U.S. history. Seventy-two percent (72%) say they have followed stories on Washington Mutual, including 37% who say they have been following the news Very Closely."

"Texas Congressman Dr. Ron Paul is against the current Wall Street Bailout being proposed by the Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson and the Bush Administration."

"In a speech to the Joint Economic Committee earlier this week, conservative Republican Ron Paul stated that government intervention was the primary cause for the economic meltdown in the first place and that Congress should not allow the administration to bail out the banks with the Paulson Plan."

'“This bailout is a slipshod proposal, slapped together haphazardly and forced on an unwilling Congress with the threat that not passing it will lead to the collapse of the financial system.

Some of the proposed alternatives are no better, for instance those which propose a government equity share in bailed-out companies.

That we have come to a point where outright purchases of private sector companies is not only proposed but accepted by many who claim to be defenders of free markets bodes ill for the future of American society.”'

"The Unites States Congress, which could adjourn for the year as early as this week, is now deciding the unthinkable: How to take 700 Billion dollars from the American people and give it to those on Wall Street who lied and cheated us into this financial mess. This is a discussion that shouldn’t even be on the table."

"According to the New York Times, many Americans are writing their elected representatives in the nation’s capital to voice their concerns."

"Over the last year, Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson repeatedly assured the American people that the United States economy was sound. While many suspected that the United States was facing a recession, those like Henry Paulson, President Bush, and Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke explained the downturn as our nation facing “tough times” or “difficult challenges”.

"Now, they ask the American People to believe that catastrophic danger awaits them around every corner if action is not taken now. That they did not notice this as being possible until days ago - requiring quickly written three page legislation that would put taxpayers on the hook for purchasing troubled assets - mainly mortgage-backed securities, to be signed and passed immediately."

Whether it is in his original form, or the pitiful alternatives proposed by partisans already in Wall Street's pockets makes no nevermind to me. NO BAILOUT FOR WALL ST. or loan owners who took out loans for more than traditional conforming income to debt standards.

These very fear mongers have been lying for years now, and they pull the fire alarm in the last week? Really? I am pulling the CRAP ALARM!!!

"Government intervention in the free market has artificially inflated prices for years. This has made money too easy to come by, and let banks lend to previously overly risky buyers."

"These governmental measures, combined with the Federal Reserve’s loose monetary policy, led to an unsustainable housing boom. The key measure by which the Fed caused this boom was through the manipulation of interest rates, and the open market operations that accompany this lowering."

"This lowering of prices which we are experiencing today actually brings the economy back into balance, equalizing supply and demand. However. the government doesn’t like this, and is willing to put the tax payers money on the line to keep prices artificially inflated.
We must restore the checks and balences of our financial system by saying no to another Wall Street Bailout."

Email, Fax and Call your representatives!!! (new letters from Stop The Housing Bailout)

(letter 1)


This Is A Mad Rush To Financial Judgment

On Friday we heard president Bush and Paulson, preach the same set of lies they have preached before:
* There can be no delay.
* Sweeping new Powers for the Fed are needed.
* The Treasury needs $700 billion dollars.
* There is no time to study alternatives.

Robbing taxpayers to pay failed banks cannot possibly work!

Printing money and giving it away cannot work either. If it did work, Zimbabwe would be the most prosperous nation in the world.

190+ Economists Slam Bailout

Over 190 top economists in the country have slammed this bailout on grounds of fairness, ambiguity, and long term effects.

Paul O'Neil Is Against The Plan

Former Treasury Secretary Paul O'Neill said today that our nation's leaders -- especially President Bush -- are "in a panic" and haven't thought through the $700 billion bailout plan in a rush to pass it by the end of the week.

"I don't think he understands or knows much about any of this and it shows. It is possible to re-liquefy the credit system without 'We the People' owning $700 billion worth of homes," he said.

BB&T Corp. Chief Executive Officer John Allison critiques the plan

Treasury "is totally dominated by Wall Street investment bankers" and "cannot be relied on to objectively assess" the impact of government policy on the financial industry, Allison wrote in a Sept. 23 letter to Congress.

Block This Bill

Please have the courage to stand up do what you know you must do: Block This Bill.

I cannot and will not vote for any member of Congress who votes for this bill in its current form or anything remotely close to the current form.

This insane rush to push something through, is wrong. If you vote for this bill, you will not get my vote in the next election. It is as simple as that.


(letter 2)


This bailout plan is fundamentally unfair to taxpayers.

You know, because we have expressed our outrage loud and clear.

And yet you Politicians move forward with an ill-conceived, fundamentally flawed bill!

Just know that there are consequences for your actions!

We will be posting the names of every Senator who votes for this bailout.



If you do not have internet faxing get MetroFax. 1000 pages at a very cheap price. You can afford $12.

Please fax everyone on this list.

If you do not have internet faxing get MetroFax. 1000 pages at a very cheap price. You can afford $12.
Sign up today and fax these bums your middle finger!

Sen. Richard Shelby (R) 202-224-3416 or 202-224-5137 (try both not sure which is correct)
Sen. Harry Reid (D) 202-224-7327
Sen. Jim DeMint (R) 202-228-5143
Sen. John Ensign (R) 202-228-2193
Sen. Jim Bunning (R) 202-228-1373
Sen. Chuck Grassley (R) 202-224-6020
Sen John McCain (R) 202-228-2862
Sen. Barack Obama 202-228-4260
Sen. John D. Rockefeller 202-224-7665
Sen. Dianne Feinstein 202-228-3954
Sen. Ron Wyden 202-228-2717
Sen. Evan Bayh 202-228-1377
Sen. Barbara Mikulski 202-224-8858
Sen. Bill Nelson 202-228-2183
Sen. John Kerry 202-224-8525
Sen. Daniel Inouye 202-224-6747
Sen. Hillary Clinton 202-228-0282

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