Monday, April 28, 2008

Stumbling Through the Forest With Tiki

For a couple of years now,our all-time favorite web-surfing tool has been Whatever your interests on the web, stumblers can help expand your Favorites list.
Every day millions of StumbleUpon users discover great web sites and give them a "Thumbs-up". Starting this Earth Day, they want to harness the power of their community and the "Thumbs-up" to plant trees for the National Forest Foundation.
Just as we recently found with, these sites make it easy to have fun for a good cause.

Simply use the StumbleUpon toolbar to thumbs-up this page and, from now through May 2, with every thumbs-up StumbleUpon will plant a tree with help from the National Forest Foundation. Your thumbs-up means more trees for America's National Forests and more visibility for this cause. Give a "Thumbs-Up for Trees" and spread the word!
Want to do more? Spend a weekend with Tiki Barber.

Friday, April 25, 2008

30-Year Rates Jump to 6.0

Freddie Mac reports a bump in the 30-year fixed mortgage rate to 6.03 percent during the week ended April 24, up from 5.88 percent from last week. This is the first time in six weeks that mortgage rates have gone above 6 percent. The 15-year fixed mortgage rate also moved up during the same period to 5.62 percent from 5.40 percent.
Economists attribute the gains to heightened inflationary concerns

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Far Closure

Today's NY Times ran an interesting piece on the outsourcing of collection agents to India:
Collection veterans are seeing an unusual phenomena in this economic downturn. “People are walking away from their homes and hanging on to their credit cards, because that is their lifeline,” said Rajinder Singh, the head of global analytic services for Genpact.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Bloomfield Celebrates Earth Day April 19th

The Township of Bloomfield Recycling Committee is sponsoring a
town-wide cleanup as part of Earth Day activities around the nation
and the world - to call attention to the need to care for and save the

It will be headquartered in Brookside Park at the corner
of Broad St. and Bay Ave from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday, April
19th. Participants will be given gloves, green vests and plastic
bags to collect trash and recyclables not only in Brookside Park but
in other parts of Bloomfield as well.

Families are encouraged to join in this effort with their

Bloomfield High School students will focus on cleaning up
the JFK Drive area by Foley Field. All volunteers will go out in
teams to places of their choice to collect trash, newspapers and
commingled items (bottles and cans) in separate bags so that much of
what is collected can be recycled.

The Department of Public Works will have trucks available
to cart the material away. Used batteries can be brought to the park.

Earth Week will wind up upstream at Clark's Pond with a cleanup sponsored by Friends of Clark's Pond & Third River on Sunday the 27th from 11 a.m to 2 p.m.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Another Boring Lawsuit for Google

Those new street view maps have caught both people and property in their "net" that oppose the invasion of privacy.
A call to Google can usually get the individual photoshopped out or the property deleted. Some have chosen to sue the deep- pocketed pants off Google. The Aaron Boring family has put the Pittsburg's Oakridge Lane on the map by refusing to accept Google's apology. They may have a case, since Google's camera people seem to have inadvertantly crossed the line between public street and wide driveway. But the Boring's suit has made their home one of the most widely publicized properties on the web.

Meanwhile, down under, the Aussies are defending their turf from Google by turning the tables and digging up dirt in Google's yard.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Confidence Down? Call Aunt Fannie

The Fed has allowed Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to ease capital requirements, allowing them to pump up to $200 billion into the distressed US mortgage market.

This was done by lowering to 20 percent from 30 percent the amount of extra capital the companies are required to hold.
The extra $200 billion would allow Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to purchase both existing mortgage-backed securities and new home loans originated by banks. It could also enable them to increase their business of guaranteeing mortgages, a key to helping pull the US housing market out of its fall.

Our mortgage guru, Freddie Torres, notes that Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac have morphed into the backbone of the mortgage market, as most private sources of financing have evaporated. Fannie, Freddie and the Federal Home Loan Banks, a network of bank co-operatives founded during the Great Depression, provided 90% of the financing for new mortgages at the end of 2007.