Friday, 4 March 2011

obama is great, american mortgages are crazy, dimwitted cats

1. American football might not happen this year because of a labour dispute (no free market in American football, you see). It's all very stressful and there have been calls for Obama to step in and resolve it. He said this, brilliantly:
We’ve got owners, most of whom are worth close to $1 billion, you’ve got players who are making millions of dollars. My working assumption at a time when people are having to cut back, compromise, and worry about making the mortgage and, you know, paying for their kids’ college education, is that the two parties should be able to work it out without the President of the United States intervening.

I’m a big football fan, but I also think that for an industry that’s making $9 billion a year in revenue, they can figure out how to divide it up in a sensible way. And be true to their fans, who are the ones who, obviously, allow for all the money that they’re making. So my expectation and hope is that they’ll resolve it without me intervening, because it turns out I’ve got a lot of other stuff to do.

2. America's housing crisis is not like ours for three main reasons:
- There's a lot more of America to build houses on.
- The 'vanilla' mortgage has been a 30 year fixed-rate offered/insured by Freddie Mac and Fanny Mae. This is probably stopping because it is insane in how much it favours borrowers, especially when...
- US mostly can't chase borrowers for their other assets. Borrowers can just walk away. Not like Europe, etc.
(Thank you Planet Money for the second two of these. The first I worked out for myself.)

3. This is the neatest pro-iPad thing I've read. It says the obvious thing well (comparative specs are just not the point, whatever tech websites say):
People buy iPads because a 2-year-old human or a dimwitted cat can figure out how to use one.

1 comment:

galatea said...

"It turns out I’ve got a lot of other stuff to do."

Genius. If I were Obama, I would just say that whenever anyone asked me for an opinion about anything.