TARP Criminal Charges Possible

Of the three monitors established by the legislation that created the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), only one has the authority to prosecute criminals.  read more »

Green Celebrity Hipocracy

Kudos to the Daily Beast for doing its homework and exposing the blatant hypocrisy behind green-tinged celebrity. People like Gore, Streisand, and Madonna have been filling airwaves with exhortations to pitch in and save the planet while living the good life that is supposedly destroying it.  read more »

HOPE for Only One Homeowner with a $300 billion Price Tag

The Housing & Economic Recovery Act of 2008 was passed last August. It created the HOPE for Homeowners Program, which the Congressional Budget Office estimated would help 400,000 homeowners to refinance their loans and stay in their homes. Here's a stunning revelation: According to the Federal Housing Authority (FHA), in the first six months since the law was passed, exactly one (1) homeowner refinanced under the program!  read more »

Local and State Tax Burden Maps

The Tax Foundation calculates the taxes paid per capita, including what is spent by people on average in neighboring states, including state and local fees. The two maps show, first, the tax burden, taxes paid as a percent of income, the second, the difference in the ranks of states in tax burden and in income.  read more »

Mapping Farmers Markets

New Geography contributor Richard Reep has written lately on the increasing activity of farmer's markets and how the financial crisis may boost local markets.

Here's a great interactive map at FortiusOne GeoCommons of a USDA database of national farmers markets.  read more »

Michigration Revisited

Only a few months ago, I admonished Michigan for its hysteria about brain drain. Given the recent news coverage concerning the exodus from the recession-plagued state, you might expect I’m ready to eat some crow. On the contrary, I’m here to report that Michigan has learned nothing from its past mistakes.  read more »

Mortgage-Backed Securities: 1/3 not backed!

On April 3, 2009, R. Glen Ayers spoke at the American Bankruptcy Institute in Washington, D.C. Mr. Ayers is a former bankruptcy judge, now with the law firm Langley & Banack in San Antonio, Texas. He spoke on a subject I covered here on March 4 – not all mortgage backed securities are actually backed by mortgages. The rush to write more mortgages and to issue more bonds meant that mistakes were made in the paperwork.  read more »


Catching on to Buffett

More of the so-called “mainstream press,” like the Sacramento Bee, are catching up to what we wrote here about Warren Buffett back on March 16. He supported the bailout because his investments benefited from the handouts.  read more »

Mayor Daley Offers Tips on Fighting Corruption

Is this a story from the Onion? No. Too Implausible. The Chicago Tribune reports:

Coming from as far away as Azerbaijan, dozens of corporate executives and government bureaucrats gathered at a downtown hotel Wednesday to hear Mayor Richard Daley share his tips for preventing corruption.  read more »

LA Tax

Residents in Los Angeles with home-based business received letters from the Office of Finance that said, “The following amounts are due and payable immediately: $4,363.81.”

People who work as independent contractors and had failed to register their businesses with the city’s tax and permit division by Feb. 28 received the letters in March.  read more »