Apr 102011

A few nice new release movie images I found:

housing bubble..if i pop, you’re screwed!! …..item 3..US homes lost to foreclosure up 25 pct on year (September 2010) …..item 5…The financial fallout was an ‘Inside Job’……
new release movie

"If the people understood the rank injustice of the money and banking system, there would be a revolution by morning." – Andrew Jackson "

Our goal is gradually to absorb the wealth of the world." – Cecil Rhodes. "

The Federal Reserve is the most corrupt institution the world has ever seen." – US Congressman Luis McFadden. "

Banks loan money they DO NOT HAVE" – John Maynard Keynes. "

A "loan" made by a bank is a clear addition of money into the community." – Encyclopedia Britannica, 14th ed.
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…..item 1)…web-link……yahoo news…Housing Optimists Are "Not Paying Attention" to the Facts, Says Dean Baker

Posted May 12, 2010 10:02am EDT by Heesun Wee in Investing, Banking, Housing
Related: xhb, ^dji, ^gspc, xlf, tlt, tbt

finance.yahoo.com/tech-ticker/housing-bulls-are-"not…,^dji,^gspc,xlf,tlt,tbt

Among the crowded ranks of economists and market watchers, Dean Baker stands out. Baker presciently called the housing bubble when he published “The Run-up in Home Prices: Is It Real or Is It Another Bubble?” in 2002.

So does our guest Baker see the so-called housing recovery now? "No. I mean I think people that are saying that just aren’t paying attention to what’s in front of their eyes," says Baker, an American economist and co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research.

"I think we’re going to see a big fall-off in purchases for the rest of 2010 and even into 2011,” Baker says. “So the idea that somehow the market is stable, that housing prices will rise anytime soon – it’s really hard to make a case for that."

Baker lays out several reasons for his bearish case:

* Programs that lifted the market, including the tax credit for first-time buyers, have expired.
* The Federal Reserve is exiting the mortgage market, which will likely push rates to 5.5% to 6% by the end of the year.
* There’s still an inventory glut and rental rates are falling in many markets, notes Baker, author of "False Profits: Recovering from the Bubble Economy." He says the rental market doesn’t lie.

Naturally the housing bulls disagree. Hedge-fund manager John Paulson, for example, said housing prices in hard-hit California will begin to rise this year, setting the stage for a wider recovery, as the FT reports.

So what are the chances of, say, another tax credit or purchase of mortgage-backed securities? "I think they’d be reluctant to do that because of the signal it would send," Baker says in the accompanying clip. "I mean it would send this unambiguous signal things really are bad, worse than had been advertised."

Click on the player to learn about Baker’s idea to let struggling homeowners stay in their homes, and prevent home inventory from climbing even higher.
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…..item 2)…….housing bubble….flickr member…TheTruthAbout…

farm4.static.flickr.com/3078/2683703739_818b785616.jpg

Excess…

I took this photo while just north of Los Angeles in the city of Santa Maria. It’s been one of the harder-hit areas of California, despite being fairly close to pricey and always fashionable Santa Barbara. Perhaps too much building/supply and simply not enough demand was the problem here. This particular photo was taken right off the 101 freeway, and actually only captured a handful of the many, many real estate signs planted on the patch of growth by the on-ramp. I was immediately drawn to the scene, as I felt it summed up the housing bubble perfectly, which in my opinion, has been all about excess – photo courtesy The Truth About Mortgage
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…..item 3)…..Yahoo! News …bought to you by Yahoo! Finance….US homes lost to foreclosure up 25 pct on year

By ALEX VEIGA, AP Real Estate Writer

Thursday September 16, 2010

news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20100916/ap_on_bi_ge/us_foreclosure_r…

LOS ANGELES – Lenders took back more homes in August than in any month since the start of the U.S. mortgage crisis.

The increase in home repossessions came even as the number of properties entering the foreclosure process slowed for the seventh month in a row, foreclosure listing firm RealtyTrac Inc. said Thursday.

In all, banks repossessed 95,364 properties last month, up 3 percent from July and an increase of 25 percent from August 2009, RealtyTrac said.

August makes the ninth month in a row that the pace of homes lost to foreclosure has increased on an annual basis. The previous high was in May.

Banks have been stepping up repossessions to clear out their backlog of bad loans with an eye on eventually placing the foreclosed properties on the market, but they can’t afford to simply dump the properties on the market.

Concerns are growing that the housing market recovery could stumble amid stubbornly high unemployment, a sluggish economy and faltering consumer confidence. U.S. home sales have collapsed since federal homebuyer tax credits expired in April.

That’s one reason fewer than one-third of homes repossessed by lenders are on the market, said Rick Sharga, a senior vice president at RealtyTrac.

"These (properties) are going to come to market, but very slowly because nobody wants to overwhelm a soft buyer’s market with too much distressed inventory for fear of what it would do for house prices," he said.

As a result, lenders are putting off initiating the foreclosure process on homeowners who have missed payments, letting borrowers stay in their homes longer.

The number of properties receiving an initial default notice — the first step in the foreclosure process — slipped 1 percent last month from July, but was down 30 percent versus August last year, RealtyTrac said.

Initial defaults have fallen on an annual basis the past seven months. They peaked in April 2009.

Still, the number of homes scheduled to be sold at auction for the first time increased 9 percent from July and rose 2 percent from August last year. If they don’t sell at auction, these homes typically end up going back to the lender.

More than 2.3 million homes have been repossessed by lenders since the recession began in December 2007, according to RealtyTrac. The firm estimates more than 1 million American households are likely to lose their homes to foreclosure this year.

In all, 338,836 properties received a foreclosure-related warning in August, up 4 percent from July, but down 5 percent from the same month last year, RealtyTrac said. That translates to one in 381 U.S. homes.

The firm tracks notices for defaults, scheduled home auctions and home repossessions — warnings that can lead up to a home eventually being lost to foreclosure.

Among states, Nevada posted the highest foreclosure rate last month, with one in every 84 households receiving a foreclosure notice. That’s 4.5 times the national average.

Rounding out the top 10 states with the highest foreclosure rate in August were: Florida, Arizona, California, Idaho, Utah, Georgia, Michigan, Illinois and Hawaii.

Economic woes, such as unemployment or reduced income, are now the main catalysts for foreclosures.

Lenders are offering a variety of programs to help homeowners modify their loans, but their success rates vary. Hundreds of thousands of homeowners can’t qualify or fall back into default.

The Obama administration has rolled out numerous attempts to tackle the foreclosure crisis but has made only a small dent in the problem. Nearly half of the 1.3 million homeowners who enrolled in the Obama administration’s flagship mortgage-relief program have fallen out.

The program, known as Making Home Affordable, has provided permanent help to about 390,000 homeowners since March 2009.

Regardless, many troubled borrowers have seen their efforts to get a loan modification stymied.

Larry Book of Winter Garden, Fla., was one packet away from a permanent loan modification from Chase under the Obama administration’s foreclosure prevention plan after more than a year of back and forth and one failed attempt.

But his modification never went through. Instead, his loan was transferred from Chase to IBM Lender Business Process Servicers in July and he was told he owed ,562.62 and must bring his mortgage current by Sept. 15 or foreclosure proceedings will begin.

"It just becomes too exhausting," Book said about the modification process. "That’s why some people walk away. But I’ve invested too much and given up too much to just let it go."
___

AP Real Estate Writer J.W. Elphinstone in New York contributed to this report.
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…..item 4)…..Yahoo! News…..6 Trillion Retirement Deficit…September 2010

CNBC EXCLUSIVE

news.yahoo.com/video/business-15749628/21910261#video=219…

There’s a .6 trillion gap between what Americans will need to retire and what they will actually have, according to a Retirement USA study. CNBC’s Scott Cohn has the details.
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…..item 5)….website….Marketplace……..The financial fallout was an ‘Inside Job’….with youtube video…

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Kai Ryssdal talks to Director Charles Ferguson about his new documentary "Inside Job," which explores the causes of the 2008 financial crisis.

photo of …..Director Charles Ferguson. (Ian Gavan/Getty Images)

images.publicradio.org/content/2010/09/15/20100915_charle…

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marketplace.publicradio.org/display/web/2010/09/15/pm-the…

TEXT OF INTERVIEW

KAI RYSSDAL: I know I said yesterday that I’m not a big fan of anniversary stories, but this is kind of a big week. Two years ago today, Lehman Brothers went broke, kicking off a stretch of a crazy couple of months that we’re still trying to recover from.

Documentary filmmaker Charles Ferguson has a new movie out — "Inside Job, it’s called — that tries to explain what happened that fall and to figure out who’s to blame.

So that’s where we started when we talked, with me asking whether it’s possible to blame individuals for the whole financial crisis, or whether the problems on Wall Street were more systemic?

CHARLES FERGUSON:What has happened is that a very substantial fraction of the financial services industry has come to be outside the law, and as it has become increasingly powerful, it has attracted increasingly amoral people. Its behavior has become more and more dangerous to the financial system and to the American economy.

RYSSDAL: There was also a sort of trend of not talking about any of this stuff. There’s a great moment in the film when one of the few regulators you’ve got on camera was Christine Lagarde, the French finance minister. And you started asking her about Lehman Brothers, and when she found out that it was going under.

FERGUSON: When were you first told Lehman in fact was going to go bankrupt?

CHRISTINE LAGARDE:After the fact.

FERGUSON: After the fact? Wow, OK. And what was your reaction when you learned of it?

LAGARDE:Holy cow.

RYSSDAL: Clearly, we’re connected financially, but not so much along the lines of communication, huh?

FERGUSON: I was truly, truly dumbstruck when I learned the extent of the ignorance and disconnect in this, of the American regulatory system during the crisis. Paulson, Bernanke, were astonishingly ignorant of the consequences of their decision. They did not understand foreign bankruptcy laws, they did not understand that all transactions in London would be halted and then that would cause catastrophic financial results cascading throughout the financial system almost immediately.

RYSSDAL: I want to play something from the film. It’s Allan Sloan, he’s a senior editor at Fortune magazine. He’s a well-respected financial writer. He tells a little story.

ALLAN SLOAN: A friend of mine who’s involved in a company that has big financial presence said, "Well, it’s about time you learned about sub-prime mortgages." So he set up a session with his trading desk and me. And the techie who did all this gets very excited, runs to his computer, pulls up in about three seconds this Goldman Sachs issue of securities. It was a complete disaster. Borrowers had borrowed on average 99.3 percent of the price of the house, which means that they had no money in the house.

RYSSDAL: So for all the blame that Allan puts on Goldman Sachs — and certainly they deserve it — what about Americans looking in the mirror and saying, you know what, a little bit of this is our fault too.

FERGUSON: Well, certainly that’s true to some extent. There was a bubble, and it was a big bubble and many people bought houses that they couldn’t afford and were careless with regard to the loan documentation that they signed. But over half of people who received sub-prime mortgages actually would have qualified for a less expensive prime mortgage. They were steered into more expensive sub-prime mortgages by mortgage brokers who were paid extra money the more expensive the loan they made was. So it was something that was cultivated, and in many regards, forced upon the American people by the financial services industry.

RYSSDAL: How come nobody went to jail?

FERGUSON: Well, there’s a simple obvious answer and then there’s a deeper, more complicated answer, which I don’t fully understand. The simple obvious answer is that this has become an out-of-control industry; a very, very powerful industry.

RYSSDAL: What’s the more subtle reason that you haven’t quite figured out?

FERGUSON: For some reason that I truly don’t understand, this situation has not generated the level of popular outrage that similar or comparable things have generated at other times in American history. There have been other times in American history — some recent, some long ago — when our leaders, our business leaders, and/or our political leaders, have done something terribly wrong and more than once, the American people have risen up and said, "We simply will not permit this." And that hasn’t happened here, yet. I think that part of the reason that it hasn’t happened might be that people think that finance is too complicated for them to understand, and that the situation is too complicated for them to understand. And indeed one reason that I made the film is to make it clear that actually they can understand it.

RYSSDAL: Charles Ferguson, his new film is about the financial crisis and the events of fall two years ago and how it got there. It’s called "Inside Job." Mr. Ferguson, thanks so much for your time.

FERGUSON: Thank you.
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…..item 6)……website….DNAinfo….Manhattan Local News…..New York Film Festival Documentary Tackles Wall Street Greed

October 1, 2010 7:23am

Director Charles Ferguson explores the financial meltdown.

dnainfo.com/20101001/manhattan/new-york-film-festival-doc…

MIDTOWN — Academy Award-winning director Charles Ferguson has shifted his sights from the origins of the Iraq War to greed on Wall Street.

The director of "No End in Sight," which examined the Bush Administration’s actions leading up to the war in Iraq, traces the root causes of the financial meltdown in his latest film, "Inside Job," showing Friday and Monday at the New York Film Festival.

"It’s important that the American people understand what happened here," Ferguson said in an interview with DNAinfo. "I hope that people come away with an understanding…that is hasn’t been fixed yet, and that it’s up to us, the American people to fix it."

Ferguson said even he was taken aback by some of what he learned over the course of interviews with top economists, politicians, scholars and even a Wall Street psychotherapist, who detailed the cocaine habits of senior management level bankers.

Glenn Hubbard, dean at Columbia University’s business school, is taken to task in the film for his ties to leading financial services firms. Ferguson argues that big consulting fees corrupt economic scholarship.

While the film’s message is far from cheery, it features an upbeat soundtrack with songs from Peter Gabriel and Russell Ballard as well as narration from actor Matt Damon. In between interviews, the camera lingers on shots of the Manhattan skyline at dusk and dawn, and zooms down on Learjets, yachts and Long Island mansions.

"I wanted the film to look cool, but also I wanted to convey that New York is a big place, and there is a lot of money here," Ferguson said. "Certainly when we took film of the Hamptons, I wanted to convey to people where all that money was going."

The "Inside Job" will be released in theaters on Oct.8.
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…..item 7)….

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Letsatsi, the White lion. (Son of Temba)
new release movie

IMG01491 Highest position: 321 on Friday, September 4, 2009

The white lion is occasionally found in wildlife reserves in South Africa and is a rare color mutation of the Kruger subspecies of lion (Panthera leo krugeri). It has been perpetuated by selective breeding in zoos around the world. White lions are not a separate subspecies and they have never been common in the wild. Regarded as divine by locals, white lions first came to public attention in the 1970s in Chris McBride’s book The White Lions of Timbavati. The greatest population of white lions is in zoos where they are deliberately bred for color. The population of the white lion is unknown but the most recent count was in 2004 and 30 were alive. White lions are not albino lions. Instead, the white color is caused by a recessive gene known as chinchilla or color inhibitor. They vary from blonde through to near white, however some can also be red. This coloration gives white lions a distinct disadvantage in nature because they are highly visible. This gives them away to their prey and makes them an attractive target for hunters. According to Linda Tucker, in "Mystery of the White Lions – Children of the Sun God" they are bred in camps in South Africa as trophies for canned hunts.

White lions were first recorded in 1928 and in the early 1940s. In 1959, a pride with two white cubs was seen near Tshokwane in Kruger National Park, but later vanished. Albino lions had been recorded in the area according to David Alder ton’s book "Wild Cats Of The World". In 1974, a light Grey lion cub was born at Birmingham Zoo, Alabama.

In 1975, two white cubs were seen at Timberland Game Reserve, adjacent to Kruger National Park. Their story is detailed by Chris McBride in his book "The White Lions of Timbavati". The two cubs, Temba (Zulu for "hope") and Tombi ("girl") had a tawny brother called Vela (‘surprise’). In 1975, a white female cub called Phuma ("to be out of the ordinary") was sighted in the Timberland pride.

A few months later Temba, Tombi, and Vela (who carried the recessive white mutation) were taken to the National Zoo in Pretoria, South Africa. Temba sired several cubs. Tombi had a white cub in 1981, it was low in health but survived. Vela sired a litter, they grew up to be strong unusually one out of the 4 cubs was white while the rest were almost blond. The white lions in the Ouwehands Dierenpark (Netherlands) and a private South African Zoo appear to be from Temba, or possibly Vela, lines. A few other white or blond cubs were born in Timberland after Temba, Tombi, and Vela were removed. Another white lion bloodline, possibly part of the Timbavati bloodline, comes from a white male captured in the Timberland area in the late 1980s and kept by a private reserve.

Temba has left descendants in captivity. A heterozygous tawny lion at Pretoria Zoo carries the mutation and most likely pass this on to his offspring. Two heterozygous tawny males from the Cincinnati Zoo are now at a private reserve in Africa. A white female and a heterozygous tawny male were sent to the Zoological Animal Reproduction Center in Indiana, USA. A second female was put together with another but didn’t get along so they were separated for some time until they were comfortable in their surroundings.

In 2003, the Global White Lion Protection Trust (WLT) initiated the first ever reintroduction of white lions to their natural endemic range – the Greater Timbavati region in South Africa. Preliminary results have shown that the hunting success of the white lion pride was comparable to or higher than the wild prides (‘normal’ coloured / tawny) of the Timbavati itself (Turner 2005, Turner in prep.). This pride of "all" white lions has shattered the misperception that white lions cannot hunt successfully (within their natural endemic habitat) due to a perceived lack of camouflage. The long-term objective of the WLT is to restore the natural balance by reintroducing an integrated pride/s of white and tawny lions within their endemic range. White lions are a unique contribution to the biodiversity of the region and are revered by the local communities that hold them sacred.

10,722 Views

www.news24.com/Entertainment/SouthAfrica/Lion-movie-highl…

Michelle Faul
Broederstroom – Each year, lions are raised in captivity in South Africa and then set loose in enclosed areas where hunters, many from the United States, gun them down. The toll in what one filmmaker calls slaughter, not sport: About 1 000 lions each year.

Kevin Richardson hopes a new movie White Lion, which opens in a few US cities on Friday, will give people second-thoughts about participating in such hunts.

No hope

"I just can’t understand how anyone would want to shoot a lion that is clearly confined to a finite space with absolutely no hope in hell of ever escaping the so-called hunter," said Richardson, a self-taught "Lion Whisperer" and first-time film producer. "Canned lion hunting, in my opinion, is likened to fishing with dynamite in a pond and then calling yourself a fisherman."

White Lion is about a rare white lion, who as a cub is cast out of his pride because of his colour. He is near starvation when he befriends an older lion who teaches him the ways of the wild. John Kani, a Tony Award-winning actor and playwright, is the storyteller. A young man helps the lion, whose name is Letsatsi, because his Shangaan tribal tradition says a white lion is God’s messenger and must be protected. Tension builds as Gisani becomes a tracker on a game farm where he and a foreign hunter encounter Letsatsi.

Revenue source

Trophy hunting is big business in South Africa, worth .2m a year, according to the Professional Hunters Association of South Africa. Foreign tourists pay up to 000 to shoot a lion.

The government promotes hunting as a revenue source and calls it a "sustainable utilisation of natural resources". Provincial governments sell permits allowing hunters to kill rhinos, elephants – even giraffes. Hunters killed 1 050 lions in 2008, the last year for which figures are available, according to the South African Predator Breeders Association.

The hunters’ association says 16,394 foreign hunters – more than half from the United States – killed more than 46,000 animals in the year ending September 2007.

Bred in captivity

Almost all lions hunted under permit in South Africa are bred in captivity. But a new report by Animal Rights Africa says animals that wander out of the huge Kruger National Park into neighbouring private reserves have become fair game.

About 3 600 lions were kept in breeding facilities in 2009, to be sold to zoos, safari farms and for hunting on game farms, said Albi Modise, spokesperson for South Africa’s Department of Environment.

Animal Rights Africa says trophy hunting is incompatible with South Africa’s push into ecotourism, noting that ad campaigns promoting tourism and game viewing showcase the same species that are offered up to be hunted. The government in 2007 introduced legislation that would reduce the financial incentive to breed lions for the hunt but the Predator Breeders Association challenged the laws and earlier this year won an appeal.

Filming limited

Richardson, the movie’s producer, first befriended a pair of lion cubs at the Lion Park outside Johannesburg 12 years ago, when the cubs were 6 months and he was 23. He began shortening his hours as a therapist in postoperative rehabilitation to play with his new friends. Soon, park owner Rodney Fuhr offered him a part-time job which became full time.

Today, Richardson cares for 39 lions at his 800-hectare Kingdom of the White Lion in Broederstroom, an hour and a half drive from Johannesburg, where the film was shot to include tawny gold lions as well as those born white because of a recessive gene.

Lions are nocturnal and spend most of the day sleeping, so filming was limited to a couple of hours in the morning and perhaps another couple in the afternoon – if the cats were willing. Letsatsi was portrayed by several different lions over the four years it took to make the movie. A cuddly cub filmed in the summer of 2006 might be sprouting a mohawk-style tuft of hair the following year, the precursor to a mane.

Richardson said he breaks every rule in the book in handling lions. On a recent morning, the lions welcomed Richardson with rumbling purrs. One shut his eyes in ecstasy and rolled onto his back as Richardson scratched his chin. Another licked Richardson’s hand, the tongue as rough as sandpaper. Too many licks can cause bleeding.

Attacked twice

Two 180kg lions wrestled him to the ground and a lioness jumped on his back, covering Richardson for a tense minute. He emerged from a tangle of furry blond limbs, face red. One lion threw a casual paw on Richardson’s shoulder.

"Ugh, no claws you naughty boy!" he admonished, slapping away a paw larger than his face.

He’s been attacked by his lions twice. Once during filming, a lion named Thor grabbed Richardson’s arm and pinned him against the cage holding the camera crews, who looked on terrified and unable to help.

"I thought: There goes my arm, and it’s my own fault. I was provoking him to get a fight sequence that we needed," Richardson said. The lion stared him in the eyes for what seemed five minutes but couldn’t have lasted more than a few seconds, before releasing him, he recalled.

"Lions are 99% chill and & lethal," Richardson said.

- SAPA

NYTimes: Superheroes
new release movie

This is a visualization of the frequency of the words ‘Superman’, ‘Batman’ and ‘Spider-man’ in New York Times articles since 1981.

The big spikes are all surrounding the release of movies. It’s interesting to see two things: the climb of Spider-Man from obscurity to household name, and the general increase of mentions of superheroes as a whole.

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