This House is a Steal

While we await the 10am Existing Home Sales, have a gander at this delightful article from this weekend’s Chicago Tribune. Its a bizarre tale of Housing excess, corruption, and fraud:

"The new buyers of a rundown graystone on the South Side showed up Jan. 9 to look at the house they won at a foreclosure auction. They took the plywood off the front door and went inside to make sure the utilities had been shut off. Then they called the police.

Sitting upright in the corner of a bedroom off the kitchen was a human skeleton in a red tracksuit. Next to him lay a dead dog. Neighbors told police the corpse was almost certainly Randy Johnson, a middle-age man who lived alone in the North Kenwood house.

The cause of Johnson’s death has not yet been determined, but it is just one of the mysteries about 4578 S. Oakenwald Ave. Somehow, Johnson’s house was transferred three times to new owners without anyone noticing he was inside. It’s a story involving forged deeds, a corrupt title company and a South Side family that has been under investigation for mortgage fraud."

How on earth is that possible? Three transfers, and not a single property appraisal or inspection?

Bizarre…

>

Source:
This house was a steal
Susan Chandler,
Chicago Tribune, February 24, 2008
http://www.chicagotribune.com/business/chi-sun_fraud_0224feb24,1,7543625.story

Category: Credit, Real Estate

Monoline Duoline Rescue Plan: 5th Time the Charm?

Category: Corporate Management, Credit, Derivatives, Finance

Monolines = Duolines

Category: Credit

UBS on a Trillion Dollar Meltdown

Interesting discussion from the FT (3 parts) with George Magnus, UBS senior economist advisor:

click for video
Ubs_magnus

Thanks, Dominique!

>

Source:
View from the Markets
FT, February 25, 2008
http://www.ft.com/cms/893ac9c8-757e-11dc-b7cb-0000779fd2ac.html

Category: Credit, Derivatives, Video

Oscar Night Linkfest

Category: Financial Press

Wicked Cool Info-Graphic: Box Office Revenue

Category: Digital Media, Film, Technical Analysis

The New Fiver

Category: Currency

Fed Cuts of a Different Variety

Category: Economy, Federal Reserve

Site of the Day: Rotten Neighbor.com

Category: Real Estate, Web/Tech

Friday Night Jazz: Open Thread

When it comes to music, I normally try to do the heavy lifting around here — writing about and recommending a new or beloved artist, or discussing whatever it is I happen to be listening to at the moment.

Tonite, something a little different.

I WANT TO HEAR FROM YOU GUYS — What’s new and interesting? What old favorites have been replaying? What are you listening to right now? What concerts are you going to — or hoping to see?

What say ye?

~~~

>

UPDATE: Februrary 22, 2008 9:42am

Wow, thats quite a list!

TBP readers are quite an eclectic bunch; 
All of the various FNJ recs readers made can be found here;

Most of the discs mentioned are linked to via Amazon or MySpace or some other site (after the jump):

>

Read More

Category: Digital Media, Friday Night Jazz, Music