The View From The Golden Dome

Views on the week's events plus some of mine.

Les Berman Weekly 9-11 Scotland Yard, California jailbirds, other Birds and more


Ten years later.. recollections. I was not aware until a couple of days ago of the easy access that prisoners in California prisons have to cell phones. So what? And what is the deal with those people that appears everywhere asking for your signature on some petition or another. And Scotland Yard has come out with an astounding statement about the rioters that hit Great Britain a few weeks ago.

I hope your week was better than mine !

There has been a lot written and said about the events of 9/11. Living here in Los Angeles, I awoke to the radio alarm, and lay there as the voices were talking about a plane that hit o building in Manhattan. I turned on the TV, and watched the events of the day. I don’t remember the drive to my office but I do remember the woman in the hall pacing and crying that her daughter was alive. Her daughter had an appointment before going to work and was not in the World Trade Center when it went down. And I remember turning from Beverly Glen on to Ventura Blvd, and being greeted by honking cars, kids hanging out of car windows and through moon roofs, shouting “USA USA” and flags waving. I pulled over to the side of the street and walked a few blocks, seeing police cars pulled over to the curb, police standing and watching, the cars having flowers placed on the light bars, the police having flowers stuck in their pockets. I watched for an hour. And now I wonder, ten years later, if any of those people waving flags and demonstrating, enlisted in the fight against terrorism. Remember…

I was listening to Jill Stewart speak about politics in California. I was surprised, but not shocked, to learn that the California State legislature has an approval rating of 13%. Not really a surprise considering that the Feds approval rating is also at all time lows. If you think that the federal political scene is polarized, check out the California situation. There was a series of articles in the San Jose Mercury News about the legislature and how laws are passed in California. Fully 60% of the laws in California are written by special interest groups, and most of those laws are pushed through on one day, this last Friday, and are attached to totally unrelated bills. Legislators are applauded because they wrote 40 or 50 or 60 bills in a session… these are all of the special interest bills. It used to be that a legislator was considered successful if they sponsored and had two bills approved in a session. Not now…

One piece of legislation that has been proposed several times and shot down several times was the introduction of severe penalties for possession of cell phones – by prison inmates. Some people are purported to make huge profits by getting the phones into the prisons. California authorities said that phones were used in prisons to order hits, score drugs and co-ordinate other crimes. Last year, over 11,000 phones were confiscated in California prisons, including one taken from Charles Manson. hmmm…

You know those people who are standing outside supermarkets, at movie theaters etc and asking you to sign petitions for some thing or another. They are being paid to do that. If there was not a fee per signature, it is felt that all legislation would then be sponsored by unions or huge membership groups like Sierra Club. Whatever happened to legislators putting together legislation for the good of the state, or the country. Oh yeah… contributors, sponsors, lobbyists et al. Their money is needed to pay for the never ending campaigns.

Scotland Yard announced recently that more than 90% of the people involved in the riots throughout the UK a couple of weeks ago were known criminals. Let’s think about this for a minute. The police could make this pronouncement because they were able to compare some good quality photos with those in their databases. They could not identify people not in the database, ergo, the 90% figure. C’mon Scotland Yard.. you can do better than that. And you have the Olympics coming to London next year! Pip pip and all that…

And how about them ‘birds? Did you know that the humming sounds that hummingbirds make are not from the beating of their wings – and did you care? But hey… the sounds are made when the males are trying to impress the female (the males in every species are trying to impress the female) by dive bombing from 40 or 50 feet away and moving their tail feathers to make different sounds. There you have it… impress your kids now.

The mortgage rates are reaching new lows. The continuing pressure to resolve issues in Europe are bringing money into the bond markets. The US 10 year Treasury Bond hit all time lows last week. Real estate sales are very slow – realtors are saying two things – they have no listings, and the buyers are on the fence. Interesting statement about the lack of listings – this isn’t from one realtor – but from several. I’m hearing that sales in some real estate offices are down 50% from same time last year.

And the recent spewing from the White House is not going to help the people who are stuck with high rates and negative equity. Until the real estate markets recover, employment will not recover. If there is going to be a mortgage solution, it has to be available to everyone. And then the question is… who is going to take the hit? The Banks – nope. The investment banks – nope. Who is going to be thrown under the bus. And I don’t have the answer for this – yet. In the meantime, YOU must do something and your first step is to call me at 818.305.4695 and discuss your situation. The consultation is free. I’ll need about 30 minutes of your time. You could save thousands of dollars. But you need to call first.

So what to do ? If you jumped off the bridge in Paris , you’d be in Seine. But that isn’t the solution now 🙂

And here’s some news – I can now look after your commercial mortgage needs and bridge loans as well as your residential loans.

Have a better week !

 

Les

Berman’s Factoids of the Week:

Did you hear about the Buddhist who refused Novocain during a root canal? His goal: transcend dental medication.

What is ‘lethologica”? hmmm.. don’t know. Dictionary…  oh yeah – lethologica is the inability to remember a word.

 

First California Mortgage
Provided to you Exclusively
By
Les Berman CMC
Les Berman CMC
Senior Mortgage Advisor
NMLS ID # 227675
First California Mortgage
Office: 310-271-1588
Cell: 818-305-4695
Fax: 877-707-8823
E-Mail: lberman@firstcal.net
Website: www.firstcal.net/berman
Les Berman CMC

Forecast for the Week sym_arrow.gif

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This week’s economic data is chock full of important reports that could give us hints on whether the economy is slipping into a recession or starting to turn the corner…and the action really heats up in the second half of the week:

  • There will be a double dose of inflation news, beginning Wednesday with the Producer Price Index (which measures inflation at the wholesale level) and then Thursday with the Consumer Price Index. CPI measures changes in the price level of consumer goods and services purchased by households, and this report will tell us if there has been a pick up in prices. If any inflationary signs appear, it could put a dent in Bond prices and home loan rates.
  • Retail Sales for August will also be reported on Wednesday. This gives the investor a gauge on how consumer spending is holding up in these tough times.
  • Thursday brings a double dose of news about the manufacturing sector, with Industrial Production and Capacity Utilization and the Philadelphia Fed Index.
  • Also on Thursday, we’ll see another Weekly Initial Jobless Claims Report. Last week’s claims equaled 414,000, above that important 400,000 level which indicates real improvement in the labor market.
  • Ending the week, Consumer Sentiment will be delivered on Friday-and after the previous reading, any gain will be met with open arms.

Remember: Weak economic news normally causes money to flow out of Stocks and into Bonds, helping Bonds and home loan rates improve, while strong economic news normally has the opposite result.

As you can see in the chart below, Bonds and Home loan rates were able to end the week above an important technical level due to continued problems in Europe. If you’re wondering if you can take advantage of this situation, now is a great time to call or email me and learn more.

Chart: Fannie Mae 3.5% Mortgage Bond (Friday Sep 09, 2011)
Japanese Candlestick Chart
The Les Berman Weekly View… sym_arrow.gif
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Stop Kidding Yourself…
And Start Managing Your Stress

Just about everyone experiences stress and anxiety on some level. High-pressure jobs, relationship issues, and financial worries are just some of the causes of chronic stress. But the real issue is whether you’re managing it correctly. The following information can help you do just that!

What Is Stress?

First, let’s define what we’re talking about. Stress is the body’s way of coping with immediate danger. When confronted by immediate danger, nearly every system in our body modifies itself for the sake of survival. The brain releases hormones that have control over organs, including the heart and lungs, as well as functions such as circulation and digestion.

Why Does it Matter?

The reality is, when you’re facing a short-term crisis, acute stress can actually benefit you. By having a heart that’s capable of beating faster and lungs that can take in more oxygen, the human body is able to react in a fight or flight manner during an emergency. Problems occur, however, when stress is experienced over a long duration—which can wreak havoc on your mind and body.

5 Tips for Reducing Stress

If you find yourself experiencing chronic stress, it is important that you make a commitment to changing certain aspects of your life. Here are five tips to help you get started:

1. Identify the Source – Identify your daily sources of stress along with your sources of comfort. If they don’t readily come to mind, keeping a journal may help. Take special note of any events that consistently put a strain on your energy and time, especially those that elicit a negative physical response like a headache. After several weeks, you should have a pretty good idea of what’s causing your stress.

2. Watch What You Eat – It may sound silly, but a diet that consists of lean proteins, whole grains, fresh fruits, and vegetables has been shown to help reduce stress. It’s a good idea to limit foods containing high amounts of caffeine, sugar, and fat, as well as your consumption of alcohol. You should also reduce your intake of overly processed meals and fast foods.

3. Increase Daily Exercise – Exercise strengthens the heart and circulatory system as well as muscles and joints, all of which are negatively affected by chronic stress.

4. Learn to Relax – Relaxation techniques can be as simple as deep breathing and as complex as transcendental meditation. Seek out whatever interests you and learn how to relax. Maybe Yoga or Tai Chi works for you. Maybe it’s just a brisk walk, a short nap, or reading a book during a short break in the day. Or maybe, if your budget permits, you’ll want to try an occasional therapeutic massage.

5. Find Support – If the tips above don’t seem to help, it may be time to seek some help and support. Consult your health plan to see if it covers therapy of this nature. If not, use the Internet to find a support group in your area. Sometimes, just knowing you’re not the only one with stress is enough to create a positive change.

As we work through challenges in the markets and the financial sector, make sure you’re taking time to take care of yourself. Use the tips above to find a healthy balance of work and play in your life!

Economic Calendar for the Week of September 12 – September 16

Date
ET
Economic Report
For
Estimate
Actual
Prior
Impact
Wed. September 14
08:30
Producer Price Index (PPI)
Aug
0.0%
0.2%
Moderate
Wed. September 14
08:30
Core Producer Price Index (PPI)
Aug
0.2%
0.4%
Moderate
Wed. September 14
08:30
Retail Sales
Aug
0.2%
0.5%
HIGH
Wed. September 14
08:30
Retail Sales ex-auto
Aug
0.3%
0.5%
HIGH
Thu. September 15
08:30
Empire State Index
Sept
-4.0
-7.7
HIGH
Thu. September 15
08:30
Consumer Price Index (CPI)
Aug
0.2%
0.5%
HIGH
Thu. September 15
08:30
Core Consumer Price Index (CPI)
Aug
0.2%
0.2%
HIGH
Thu. September 15
08:30
Jobless Claims (Initial)
9/10
410K
414K
Moderate
Thu. September 15
09:15
Industrial Production
Aug
0.0%
0.9%
Moderate
Thu. September 15
09:15
Capacity Utilization
Aug
77.4%
77.5%
Moderate
Thu. September 15
10:00
Philadelphia Fed Index
Sept
-10.0
-30.7
HIGH
Fri. September 16
10:00
Consumer Sentiment Index (UoM)
Sept
56.3
55.7
Moderate

 

The material contained in this newsletter is provided by a third party to real estate, financial services and other professionals only for their use and the use of their clients. The material provided is for informational and educational purposes only and should not be construed as investment and/or mortgage advice. Although the material is deemed to be accurate and reliable, we do not make any representations as to its accuracy or completeness and as a result, there is no guarantee it is without errors.

 

As your mortgage professional, I am sending you the LES BERMAN WEEKLY because I am committed to keeping you updated on the economic events that impact interest rates and how they may affect you. Call me today at 818.305.4695 for a complimentary mortgage check-up. Have a great week
Les
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September 11, 2011 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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