It's 100 degrees in Memphis. A hot day. You can see the mirage on the asphalt on the avenue. Stray canines looking for a cool drink of water. Nobody walking down the street. All the car windows up and the air conditioners on. It's dog day July in the Delta, and the local daily newspapers and business journals are crammed with foreclosures and bankruptcies. I guess everything is local, huh?
I just helped a childhood pal move furniture, appliances clothes and other stuff into his new digs in this blistering heat, and up two flights of stairs at that (poor guy's a recent divorce victim after twenty years of bliss). Lost a beautiful home in the dissolution. She left him for a cowboy. He's a doctor. And can you believe it, I'm drinkng coffee???
Oh well, life goes on. And that brings me to the next thing which I just can't get out of my mind.
I remember something Dan Mudd, Fannie Mae's boss, said on Elvis' birthday early this year.
Danny Boy said that, "....the mortgage crisis and its effect on the housing market will be a drag on the entire U.S. economy until 2010. It is clear that there is no single magic bullet. The most effective steps, historically, are solutions that buy time to restore normal housing supply and demand."
Whew, is that an understatement ?
Dan made these comments at a conference of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce on January 8th.
Eight months later more serious thoughts are surfacing and the government is taking what he said seriously, in addition to an unprecedented opportunity to capitalize on a durn good bargain.
By the way, Danny took a fifteen percent pay cut in December of 2007. He received $12.2 million in total compensation last year, down 15 percent from 2006, the government-sponsored enterprise said on January 3 of this year. Mudd's pay included his $990,000 salary, a $2.23 million bonus and a $9 million "long-term incentive" award.
Anybody want to make a prediction?
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