Category Archives: Uncategorized

Merry Christmas 2013

Christmas 2013

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Happy Labor Day

Labor paintingHave a safe and happy Labor Day weekend, while DB takes a brief vacation.

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What can you get for under 6.8%?

What can you get for 6.8%?  That would be the rate for a student loan as of July 1, 2013.

As of July 7, 2013 rates for other kinds of loans are:

30 year fixed rate mortgage     4.40%

15  year fixed rate mortgage     3.45%

5/1 ARM                                             3.55%

30K FICO based home equity loan     5.19%

48 month new car loan                              2.57%

In fact the only thing worse than the student loan rate is the average rate for credit cards, at 15.27%.

Now, here’s some information from the Federal Reserve about what it costs for banks to use the “discount window:”

“Federal Reserve Banks have three main lending programs for depository institutions — primary credit, secondary credit and seasonal credit. Under the program enacted in 2003, Reserve Banks establish the primary credit rate at least every 14 days, subject to review and determination of the Board of Governors.

Primary Credit Rate: 0.75%Primary credit is available to generally sound depository institutions on a very short-term basis as a backup rather than a regular source of funding. Depository institutions are not required to seek alternative sources of funds before requesting advances of primary credit.

Secondary Credit Rate: 1.25%Secondary credit is extended on a very short-term basis to depository institutions not eligible for primary credit. It is available to meet backup liquidity needs when its use is consistent with a timely return to market sources of funding or the orderly resolution of a troubled institution.”

Now, what bank wouldn’t want to borrow at 0.75% to make student loans available at 6.8%?

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Filed under Economy, education, Uncategorized

Staycation Time

Is that even a word? However, the schedule around here is getting a bit hectic, and therefore posting will be sporadic, episodic, or only when the Spirit is Really Moved!  For the rest of the time, please enjoy some of the excellent blogs listed in the sidebar!

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One Map of American Communities Says It All?

Aurora Santa Monica Newtown

Maps from Google … Mayhem from the NRA.

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Filed under Gun Issues, Uncategorized

Quick Hits

hammer** Good news and Bad news: Nevada’s Governor is good at finding money for state programs — on the other hand the money is flowing in because our economy is lagging. [LVSun]  Unfortunately, this comes with an ideological framework, which a person could suppose is meant to sound moderate: “We cannot cut our way out, we cannot tax our way out, we can only grow our way out.”   The phrasing sets up a false choice in which “C” is the sole useful option.  It’s commendable that the Governor acknowledges growth based solutions as the proper course for economic development; it’s not so commendable to see that increasing taxation on economic elements in Nevada who have not been paying their way isn’t part of the total package.

** The Nevada Legislature is looking at the issues related to severe mental illness and gun possession in two bills.  SB 221, which cleared the Senate Health and Human Services Committee with a Do Pass as Amended recommendation, upgrades the background checks required by Nevada law to include private sales, and specifically prohibits a person who, in the estimation of a psychiatrist or a licensed psychologist is likely to be a danger to self or others from “possession, custody, or control” of a firearm.  Once more with urgency:  The only people who would be “inconvenienced” by background checks under Nevada law are (1) felons (2) fugitives (3) minor children (4) domestic abusers, and (5) undocumented aliens.  Surely, it’s not too much to ask that those seeking to transfer “possession, custody, or control” of a firearm would want the recipient to pass a quick background check before selling a weapon to anyone in those categories?

** Those who managed to find a bit of time to keep up with economic news during the Week from Hell, have benefited from “Pete Peterson’s Fingerprints…” at Crooks and Liars.   The Austerians are, indeed, losing the narrative in the national economic debate, and this short article explains who is still promoting  illogical austerity pontification which passes for economic theorizing in Dante’s Fourth Circle of Hell.   For those inclined to get into the mathematical weeds of the R&R mess, Angry Bear has a handy post.  A more general critique is available from the EPI.   As for the prospective denizens of the Fourth Circle, see Naked Capitalism’s post in which Robert Johnson opines of the oligarchs, “they are all standing on the deck of the Titanic looking in each other’s eyes.”

** Republicans behaving badly: Second Amendment Solutions?  One GOP lawmaker in Arkansas would like to activate them in terms of the expansion of Medicaid under the terms of the Affordable Care Act. [Think Progress] Ohio legislators would like to prohibit instruction in health education classes about “gateway sexual activity.” [TP]  As if the kids haven’t  just about figured out the “gateways” already?  Texas state legislators dislike the meddling old EPA — and they have a blasted out neighborhood in West, Texas to prove it. [Politicususa] In the mean time, would someone explain to me how any Planning and Zoning Commission could possibly approve plans to build residential developments next to a fertilizer plant — or a fertilizer plant near a residential neighborhood? Much less in proximity to a junior high, a high school, and a nursing home?!

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Filed under Economy, Gun Issues, Nevada legislature, Nevada politics, Uncategorized

Vacation Time

T’is the season for DB’s annual break from blogging action.  The blog will be back in action on April 11th.  In the mean time, please check out some of the fine Nevada and national blogs on the sidebar for excellent news, views, and analysis! Thanks!

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