Negative equity

One in four mortgages shouldn’t be confused with one in four houses, but it’s still an awful lot of homes underwater:

CoreLogic reports that 10.8 million, or 22.5 percent, of all residential properties with mortgages were in negative equity at the end of the third quarter of 2010, down from 11.0 million and 23 percent in the second quarter. This is due primarily to foreclosures of severely negative equity properties rather than an increase in home values.

During this year the number of borrowers in negative equity has declined by over 500,000 borrowers. An additional 2.4 million borrowers had less than five percent equity in the third quarter. Together, negative equity and near-negative equity mortgages accounted for 27.5 percent of all residential properties with a mortgage nationwide.

This isn’t over. This isn’t even CLOSE to being over, no matter what the market enthusiasts would have you believe. They’re like starving sharks desperately shouting about how warm and wonderful the water is, hoping you’ll ignoring the billowing clouds of blood underneath them.

Cougar catching

I’m not sure which is more amusing, the fact that this dork finds it so easy to catch straying cougars or the way in which the female columnist is so predictably horrified… by the men who wish to verify the fact that their wives are unfaithful:

Ryan has been working as a honey trap for a top surveillance agency for two years and has caught out 145 cheating women – sleeping with 50 of them. His job is just like the female honey-trapper’s seductive services we reported on two weeks ago.

Ryan says: “Older ladies seem to find me attractive. My boyish good looks and cheeky sense of humour reel them in. Also, I have been thoroughly trained by the surveillance agency in how to be flirtatious and charming.

“My success rate is 100 per cent. I feel it’s my job to catch out cheating women for their husbands’ benefit.

In response to which, the female columnist writes: “[W]hat sort of sad, vindictive men set a trap for their wife instead of tackling the problems in the relationship, looking at why they are so bored and lonely, why all a man has to do to get them into bed is listen? These husbands seem more worried about their wallets than their love lives.”

Proving yet again that it doesn’t matter what a woman does to another woman who can imagine herself in the first woman’s shoes, it must be a man’s fault. Needless to say, the almost identical article about the female honey-trapper was accompanied by no such finger-wagging commentary. But either way, the fact that there is a honey-trap industry – not unlike the old faux adultery divorce service from days before no-fault divorce – shows how foolish it is to believe you are likely to get away with adulterous behavior now that we’re living in a technological service economy. Once your husband or wife begins to have enough doubts about you to hire a hacker to go through your hard drive, a private investigator to follow you, or a honey-trapper to tempt you, you will almost certainly be caught.

When society is silent

Vigilantes have little choice but to act if they are to do anything other than accept what they deem unacceptable:

An enraged father who disapproved of his daughter’s older boyfriend went to his home and castrated him with a bread knife…. He told police: “I received a phone call anonymously that my daughter was involved with a guy 40 years older than her. You said you couldn’t stop him – so I did.

Those who would condemn his actions as the behavior of a prehistoric father should probably keep in mind that the actions of the overly affectionate Prof. Epstein are the behavior of a post-modern one. If the law is not reasonable, the behavior of those who reject it often will not be either. And neither “the law” nor “the police” are some sort of state deity possessing magical power to dictate human behavior. Their ability to exert control over human behavior is entirely retroactive, so they can do nothing to stop one who has determined that the likely punishment is not as bad as permitting the status quo to remain. This is why the elimination of social stigma in favor of legal criminalization has been so disastrous for civilization.

Of course, one does have to wonder why the young woman would have been so attracted to a man 40 years older as well as why Herr Siefert was inspired to respond in so drastic a manner. It is not impossible to imagine that the pre-modern and the post-modern father have more in common than might ordinarily be supposed.

Monday column

Audit Bernanke

Not all of the news out of Washington, D.C., is bad. Despite the Republican flirtation with earmarks, the tax deal that increases the federal deficit and the speedy betrayal of the tea party by new South Dakota Sen. Kristi Noem (she’s already endorsed ethanol subsidies), the indefatigable Ron Paul, sound money champion and author of “End the Fed,” has been named chairman of the House subcommittee for monetary policy.

Note to Paul: I am your biggest fan at WorldNetDaily, but put up or shut up time has now officially arrived. There is no time for meandering lectures on the theoretical advantages of a gold standard or esoteric soliloquies regarding the correct definition of money. The American people just want the facts about their money and where it has gone. They need the facts. And then they need action.