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Wednesday, February 11th, 2009

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Subprime, Alt-A and Option ARM

Wednesday, December 17th, 2008

Apparently, Subprime is only the 1st wave of loan defaults to hit the US. There is a 2nd wave, consisting of Alt-A and Option ARM loans. Check out this video snippet from 60 minutes.

Now
Current “Subprime” defaults

Subprime = loans to least credit-worthy people

In a few years
Projected “Alt-A, Option ARM” defaults

Alt-A = Alt-A loans are primarily credit-score driven, as its borrowers don’t have proof of income from traditional employment.

Option ARM = Option adjustable rate mortgage ~ low initial annual interest which resets after 3-5 years

IMFresets
Combined Chart by Credit Suisse

If the above is true, it’s good news for property buyers down the road, bad news for people who bought other properties for investments.

Generally though, it’s bad news for the world (especially Singapore), as the US mess will affect the rest of the world. This might mean a higher rate of retrenchments, unemployment, but hopefully not too serious a domino effect.

Hopefully the Obama Administration is aware of this, and have plans to prevent the 2nd wave from happening.

Related Articles:
– “The Next Housing Catastrophe Waiting to Strike” by Kristin Graham (link)
– “Alt-A Loans Spiraling Downward” (link)
– “Fitch: Alt-A Mortgages Deteriorating More Rapidly than Expected” by Paul Jackson (link)

Those Bundles of Joy

Wednesday, September 10th, 2008

Was talking to a friend on msn last night, and I was just rambling about liking to earn more, and he asked whatever for. I said for future furniture, wedding, holidays, kids.

He has a kid, and they feel one kid is already a lot to handle. Then I found out his wife recently found a job. They both just moved back from China a few months ago. So if both of them are working, who’s looking after the baby? His in-laws of course. Though this story comes with a slight twist. Apparently his in-laws are still in China, and they have been taking care of their kid since day 1, 24/7!

He can’t do without them. He plans to bring his kid over her end of next year, and the in-laws with her.

Baby sitting on books

How to have kids in Singapore man, who’s goin to take care of the kid(s)? My future in-law won’t be able to handle a kid, and my mum doesn’t exactly want to handle babies the minute she retires. (She wants them to be born and be like 3 years olds, then she might take care of them.)

So what’s left? Infant-care centers? Maids? The necessary evils? I was pretty much brought up by my maid, and when I was younger, I swore that I’ll never let my kids be brought up by maids. Why have kids if you can’t afford to be a part of their growing up years?

That pretty much leaves staying at home. But the Marriage and Parenthood package the Government roles out favors working mums over stay at home mums. For example, the ‘working mother’ relief only applies to, well, working mothers.

So I guess it means finding a way to work from home. Maybe I should start blogging on something regularly, and maybe make a living of it one day? 😀 Now what can I write about. hmmmm.

Retirement

Monday, September 8th, 2008

I think my mum’s getting into the retirement ‘tai-tai’ mood. She’s been talking about retiring since I graduated, and it’s 4 in the afternoon, and she came home from work … to play mahjong.

Light Painting

Friday, August 1st, 2008

Meaning of Life

Thursday, July 17th, 2008

“Once people are trapped in the lifelong process
of bill paying, they become like those little hamsters
running around in those little metal wheels.

Their little furry legs are spinning furiously, the wheel
is turning furiously, but come tomorrow morning,
they’ll still be in the same cage: great job.”

I was very jaded while in JC. I didn’t see the purpose of going to school and studying things I would never use in real life. The above statement was exactly how I felt then, and I remember arguing with my mum over it. I think the term I used then was ‘zombies’, not ‘hamsters’ though.

I love Life, as a means of discovery: to learn more and more with each passing day. Knowledge seems like a kind of fuel in my life, because there’s so much out there to learn, to absorb. Not the kind of book knowledge from school, but relevant real life knowledge that enriches my everyday life.

I can’t know anything, and I don’t want to know everything (I’ll go mad), but I really wish that I will always have the chance, to pursue whatever interests me, and never be trapped in the zombie hamster lifestyle.

Ironically, and as predicted, I remember at best 10% of what I studied in JC. Integration/Statistics, Chemical Analysis, Biology … sad to say, all gone.

Think Different

Wednesday, July 16th, 2008

In 4 days time, it’ll be close to a month since I went for Lasik. Though Lasik has been around for years now, when I woke up the next morning and could see clearly, it really really really amazed me. Technology is so amazing.

It’s just like every time I board a plane, feeling the plane lift off just makes me go ‘wow’. I’ve flown countless times, but each time it lifts off, I still feel the same way. Who would have thought Man could fly?

And as I’m typing on this laptop with ‘millions of colours’, high speed internet. thumbdrives and crystal clear music, it reminds me of the days of DOS, of 386/486 computers, of 256 colours and 5.25″/3.5″ floppy disks. How far we’ve come in just over a decade.

It is sometimes true that we limit ourselves, just as how we too can sometimes be our worst enemies.

I’m currently embarking on a new career. It’s really true that money has the ability to make money, and truly, it is the rich that will get richer. I aim to be one of those people, and aim to be financially free in 10 years time.

Financially free meaning I no longer have to work because I’ve bills to pay, but rather I’m working then, because I don’t think I can be a idle ‘retiree’.

Life is short. We should be spending more time with our love ones, our kids, and exploring this unique thing we call Earth.

I may sound over-ambitious now, but it’s time to dream, and dream big. If not now, then when?

Something to ponder about

Wednesday, June 25th, 2008

BORCHGRAVE: So how do you see the future of capitalism?

MM Lee: As chairman of the equivalent of our Sovereign Wealth Fund, we examine and decide where to invest our money, in equities or bonds or what have you. Our fund managers are paid five times what I get. Why? Because they have had good track records in growing our fund and we know what they could command in the private sector. They are dealing with billions of dollars every day and must be compensated accordingly.

Unbridled capitalism, winner takes all like in America, does not work unless you can cope with an underclass. So here we also stay with the losers, make sure they have enough to live on, with healthcare, equal education opportunities for their children whose parents can no longer afford it. It’s very important they not feel abandoned. So we have workfare and ingenuous ways to keep them working as we don’t want layabouts doing nothing. We also subsidize homes which they would not be able to buy. A society can only survive if there is a sense of equity and fair play.

(via Middle Eastern Times, first seen on Singapore Election Watch)

I never quite understood the role of the government. I mean, we aren’t trying to overthrow the government (yet), nor are we holding protests like some of our neighbouring countries are.

But then again, does the government owe us a living?

I guess there’s no smoke without fire.