Berkeley CSUA MOTD:2008:March:17 Monday <Sunday, Tuesday>
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2008/3/17-21 [Finance/Investment] UID:49471 Activity:nil
3/17    BSC chart for last 5 days, making dot com bubble stocks proud!
        http://finance.yahoo.com/q/bc?s=BSC&t=5d
        \_ "Unless derivatives contracts are collateralized or
            guaranteed, their ultimate value also depends on the
            creditworthiness of the counter-parties to them. But
            before a contract is settled, the counter-parties record
            profits and losses--often huge in amount--in their current
            earnings statements without so much as a penny changing
            hands. Reported earnings on derivatives are often wildly
            overstated. That's because today's earnings are in a
            significant way based on estimates whose inaccuracy may
            not be exposed for many years.  The errors usually reflect
            the human tendency to take an optimistic view of one's
            commitments. But the parties to derivatives also have
            enormous incentives to cheat in accounting for them...The
            two parties to the contract might well use differing
            models allowing both to show substantial profits for many
            years.
            Another problem about derivatives is that they can
            exacerbate trouble that a corporation has run into for
            completely unrelated reasons. This pile-on effect occurs
            because many derivatives contracts require that a company
            suffering a credit downgrade immediately supply collateral
            to counter-parties...The need to meet this demand can then
            throw the company into a liquidity crisis that may, in
            some cases, trigger still more downgrades. It all becomes
            a spiral that can lead to a corporate meltdown.
            A participant may see himself as prudent, believing his
            large credit exposures to be diversified and therefore not
            dangerous. However under certain circumstances, an
            exogenous event that causes the receivable from Company A
            to go bad will also affect those from Companies B through
            Z.
            The derivatives genie is now well out of the bottle, and
            these instruments will almost certainly multiply in
            variety and number until some event makes their toxicity
            clear...In my view, derivatives are financial weapons of
            mass destruction, carrying dangers that, while now latent,
            are potentially lethal."  --Warren Buffett, 2002
      http://www.fintools.com/docs/Warren%20Buffet%20on%20Derivatives.pdf
         -tom
2008/3/17-21 [Reference/RealEstate] UID:49472 Activity:moderate
3/16    http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/23673100
        What does this ALL MEAN? Bear Stern + JP Morgan + government
        interventions. I mean, is the market going to crash or not?
        When will home prices be available? I have about $200K in CDs
        and I want to know WHEN is a good time to buy a home.
        \_ The way things are going, I would worry about my job and my
           health care before I'd worry about buying a home.
        \_ "The financial markets are as close to collapse as I've seen in my
           career" -Chris Rupkey, chief financial economist at Bank of Tokyo
           Mitsubishi (3/17/08)
           \_ Translation: my bonus is looking kind of thin this year, so
              I am begging for a government handout.
        \_ If you are trying to time the bottom of the housing market, give
           up, because that sort of thing is notoriously difficult. If you
           just want to play it safe, hold on until prices start to go back
           up again, which should be quite obvious. This might easily take
           five or six years, though, if the past is any indication. Are
           you ready to wait that long?
           \_ It took 7 years last time and that was with a run-up nothing
              like what occurred this time. I would guess it will be 10
              years at least.
              \_ So wait until the freefall stops, and then buy, so you don't go
                 underwater in the 1st year, which is quite depressing.
              \_ So wait until the freefall stops, and then buy, so you don't
                 go underwater in the 1st year, which is quite depressing.
                 \_ Buy when you can afford to and don't worry about paper
                    profits and losses. My neighbor bought her house in
                    the 1950s. She could care less that she can sell it
                    for 100X what she paid for it. It's still just her
                    house like it always was. People need to stop treating
                    their primary residence like investment property.
                    \_ How do you know when the end of the freefall is?
                    \_ In the 50s, people keep their jobs for a very long
                       time. In today's world, we don't stay in the same
                       job or location very long. The average length of
                       stay in a house in the US is ~7 years. I for one
                       have had to switch from the east bay to the
                       peninsula and back and finally ended up in Milpitas
                       throughout countless acquisitions, mergers, job
                       changes, and one lay-offs.
                       \_ No one is going to sell/buy a new house because their
                          \_ NO ONE? I know a few. Want to rephrase your
                             statement again? Crossing the bridge is a
                             total pain in the butt, but I suppose it's
                             still a lot better than any LA freeway.
                             \_ "No one who cares about their financial
                                health, because buying/selling a house every
                                year or two is very expensive if it is your
                                primary residence, therefore no one smart
                                would do such a thing, such a person, being
                                smart, would rent".  How is that?  I meet the
                                correct motd anal retentive standard?  I
                                commute to the peninsula from the far east bay
                                every day.  BFD.
                          job moved between the east bay and south bay or
                          peninsula.  The commute is not that hard.  If you
                          need to be that close to work and your work location
                          changes that quickly you should rent.
        \_ If we knew that we'd all be retired billionaires enjoying our
           islands, not posting on the motd.
           \_ The one is not contraindicitive of the other. If I was a retired
              billionaire with my own island, I might still post to the motd.
2008/3/17 [Politics/Domestic/RepublicanMedia] UID:49473 Activity:nil 90%like:49475
3/17    Oops, Obama was at the hate sermon
        http://newsmax.com/kessler/Obama_hate_America_sermon/2008/03/16/80870.html
        \_ Wait, I thought the newsmax line was that Obama was really
           a closet Muslim. Which one is it?
        \_ This story was already debunked.  Sorry.
           \_ link?
              \_ http://factcheck.barackobama.com/factcheck/2008/03/16/fact_obama_did_not_attend_serv.php
                 http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/17/opinion/17kristol.html?_r=2&ref=opinion&oref=slogin&oref=slogin
                 http://conwebwatch.tripod.com/blog/index.blog/1797602/did-kessler-make-false-claim-about-obama
                 \_ newsmax is a much more reliable source than the liberal
                    biased NYT.
                    \_ Teehee.  The newsmax story argues for something that
                       appears to have been physically impossible. But I guess
                       three separate cites debunking your precious fantasy
                       aren't enough, so please continue to stand by it.
                       Also, the NYT link is to a column by William Kristol,
                       not exactly a member of the vast left wing conspiracy.
                       He has retracted the "fact" at the top of his column,
                       you will note.
           \_ Kessler says he's standing by his story.
              \_ Apparently Davis, who is a freep poster, "lost his notes."
                 http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1986607/posts?page=334#334
                 This shit is laughable.  Are you really going to stand by
                 this?
2008/3/17-21 [Politics/Foreign/MiddleEast/Iraq] UID:49474 Activity:low
3/17    See, the Mission really was Accomplished:
        http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20080317/pl_nm/iraq_dc_37
        \_ Dick Cheney, last great Crowleyan magician: if I say it loud enough,
           it must be true!
           \_ Headline of the day:
              "Cheney praises 'phenomenal progress' as bomber kills 39"
              http://www.mcclatchydc.com/homepage/story/30645.html
              \_ The postmortems on this Administration will be amazing...
                 as will the hagiographies. I predict a GWB airport in 20
                 years.
                 \_ In Baghdad.
                    \_ If they named an airport after GWB in Baghdad it would
                       be because he was considered a local hero.  Think about
                       what you just said.
                       \_ He is just as likely to be considered a hero there
                          (by the rulers, at least, who decide these kinds
                           of things) as in America.
2008/3/17-21 [Politics/Domestic/Election] UID:49475 Activity:kinda low 90%like:49473
3/17    Oops, Obama was at the hate sermon
        http://preview.tinyurl.com/yumfcv [newsmax]
        \_ Yawn. All it takes is one Swift Boat to destroy him.
           \_ What an incisive analysis!
        \_ Wait, I thought the newsmax line was that Obama was really
           a closet Muslim. Which one is it?
           \_ Why can't a closet Muslim show at an extremist hate sermon?
              Apparently he wasn't there but being a Muslim or not has nothing
              to do with it.
              \_ It's pretty funny how a few youtube clips of this preacher,
                 whom Obama has repeatedly said he doesn't always agree with,
                 trump everything Obama has ever said or written throughout
                 his life.  That's a pretty amazing standard.  I guess by this
                 standard, McCain has always believed that the Catholic
                 Church is the "great whore?"
                 \_ URL to the youtube clips?
        \_ This story was already debunked.  Sorry.
           \_ link?
              \_ http://factcheck.barackobama.com/factcheck/2008/03/16/fact_obama_did_not_attend_serv.php
              \_ http://preview.tinyurl.com/39cpn7 [barackobama.com]
                 http://www.nytimes.com/2008/03/17/opinion/17kristol.html?_r=2&ref=opinion&oref=slogin&oref=slogin
                 http://conwebwatch.tripod.com/blog/index.blog/1797602/did-kessler-make-false-claim-about-obama
                 http://preview.tinyurl.com/26jw5f [nytimes]
                 http://preview.tinyurl.com/ytjtje [conwebwatch]
                 \_ newsmax is a much more reliable source than the liberal
                    biased NYT.
                    \_ Teehee.  The newsmax story argues for something that
                       appears to have been physically impossible. But I guess
                       three separate cites debunking your precious fantasy
                       aren't enough, so please continue to stand by it.
                       Also, the NYT link is to a column by William Kristol,
                       not exactly a member of the vast left wing conspiracy.
                       He has retracted the "fact" at the top of his column,
                       you will note.
           \_ Kessler says he's standing by his story.
              \_ Apparently Davis, who is a freep poster, "lost his notes."
                 http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1986607/posts?page=334#334
                 http://preview.tinyurl.com/2xlxox [freerepublic]
                 This shit is laughable.  Are you really going to stand by
                 this?
              \_ Kessler scrubbing his wiki page:
                 http://tpmelectioncentral.talkingpointsmemo.com/2008/03/newsmaxs_kessler_scrubs_refere.php
                 http://preview.tinyurl.com/32u723 [tpm]
2008/3/17-21 [Recreation/Dating] UID:49476 Activity:moderate
3/17    motd lying sack of shit guy here.  I still have the not getting me
        laid girlfriend.  A married McCain low level staffer wants to
        go to Vegas for me with a weekend.  What do people do in Vegas?
        What should I do?
        \_ i'm not lying!
        \_ They blow their money on gambling and strippers. I say go-fer-it.
           You have to experience the debauchery of Vegas at least once in
           your lifetime and this guy probably knows how to party.
        \_ I'm male.  she is female.  do you get it now?
           \_ Does she work for John McCain?
              \_ Yes.
           \_ What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. I still think you
              should go see some strippers with her.
                \_ wow so vegas is this 'safe zone'?  i need to follow
                   up on it.
              \_ Alternatively, what happens in Vegas, comes home as an STD.
        \_ i'm new to this breaking-up-a-happy-relationship-with-a-tryst-
           in vegas thing.  any pointers?
        \_ Do you even try to have sex with your girlfriend. What's the matter with
           you that she won't put out or you won't leave?
        \_ Do you even try to have sex with your girlfriend. What's the matter
           with you that she won't put out or you won't leave?
           \_ Women just don't like sex and guys put up with it.
              \_ If this sweeping generality were the case, op would not get
                 laid in Las Vegas anyway. Pass.
                 \_ Well, there are strippers, whores, and gold-diggers who
                    get paid to do it. Doesn't mean they enjoy it.
                    \_ Your blatant misogyny makes my head hurt.
                       \_ You can't handle the truth. There are plenty
                          of nice, normal women of course. But those don't
                          like sex unless they were molested and then they
                          usually become strippers/porn stars/etc.
                          although sometimes they become nymphomaniacs
                          who lead self-destructive lifestyles.
                          \_ And sometimes they marry some really lucky guy
                             who has a sex drive that matches theirs.
                          \_ Would you be so kind as to post your name and
                             address so's we'll know where to arrest you when
                             the pretty girls who wouldn't sleep with you
                             start showing up in refrigerators?
        \_ Do you really think she wants sex?  Maybe she just wants some
           cheap buffet food!  She's not fat though.  I'm going to hell.
           \_ If she's not fat then she's a golddigger, wants a baby,
              wants you to kill her husband, or has some similar motive.
2008/3/17-21 [Uncategorized] UID:49477 Activity:nil
3/17    Rates on super-conforming loans virtually the same as regular ol'
        jumbos:
        http://www.rpm-mortgage.com/julian
        \_ I thought only Countrywide was offering them right now.
        \_ nonono, "Super Jumbo" has ALWAYS meant > $650K
           the new conformings still are pending availability:  first comes
           FHA-backed, then Fannie/Freddie Mae several weeks later
2008/3/17-21 [Politics/Domestic/President/Bush] UID:49478 Activity:nil
3/17    So what's up with Bush's government intervention of the financial
        market (e.g. Bear Sterns)? I mean, I thought REPUBLICANS are pro
        FREE MARKET INVISIBLE HAND but clearly, the hand is very visible.
        \_ I supported the Iraq War                             -emarkp
        \_ Capitalism for the masses, socialism for the rich Wall Street guys!
           After all, deep executive talent is awfully hard to find in a
           competitive global marketplace.
           \_ "Privatize the profits, socialize the losses" -- the Republican
              mantra.  Get rid of any and all regulation to maximize risk and
              return, and when everything collapses (long after all the rich
              have gotten obscenely richer) bail the whole train wreck out
              using taxpayer money.
              \_ waiting for jblack and emarkp to counter these blatantly
                 false liberal statements.
              \_ is there supposed to be something wrong with that?
                 \_ yes.
2008/3/17-21 [Finance, Finance/Investment] UID:49479 Activity:nil
3/17    So, are we or are we not in a recession?
        \_ A rule of thumb is "two consecutive quarters of declining GDP."
           We may not have actually hit that yet, but it seems obvious we
           will.  -tom
           \_ it's not a rule of thumb, it's the definition used in the field.
              \_ there are two definitions:
                 (a) what you guys said
                 (b) NBER defined, to summarize:  significant economic slowdown
                     as measured by a combination of factors, including (a)
              \- on a local note, of these people:
                 http://www.nber.org/cycles/recessions.html
                 frankel is ex-ucb dept econ, c. romer and d. romer are
                 ucb dept econ.
2008/3/17-21 [Computer/SW/OS/OsX] UID:49480 Activity:nil
3/17    Anyone using a Windows Mobile based phone and is using a mac to sync/
        backup?  I don't want the current iPhone, but my phone's on its last
        leg, so can't wait for the next iPhone to come out.  I'm considering
        the Moto Q (9h.)  Thanks.
        \_ I think the default iSync for Windows Mobile is not very good.
           Most people I know with a Mac and Windows Mobile use Missing
           Sync:
           http://www.markspace.com/missingsync_windowsmobile.php
2008/3/17-21 [Computer/SW/Apps] UID:49481 Activity:kinda low
3/17    Is there a way to compare differences between two substantially
        similar Excel and/or Powerpoint documents other than going through
        them manually?
        \_ In Excel 2003, there is a "Compare and Merge Workbooks..." option
           under the Tools menu.  (But for some reason it is greyed out in my
           Excel 2003.)  In PowerPoint 2003 there is "Compare and Merge
           Presentations...".  I've never used either, though.
           \_ Sounds great, but I cannot find this in Office 2004 for Mac.
              \_ Search for "merge workbooks" in Excel help, it explains
                 what you need to do to merge two workbooks. I think you
                 will need to share one of your workbooks and then make
                 a copy of it. In the copy you need to paste in the other
                 workbook. Then you can use the merge feature to merge the
                 two together and see the changes.
        \_ Save them in the office XML format and compare those with diff.
           \_ How do I save in XML? I don't see that as an option.
              \_ AFAIK, you need Office 2007/2008 to export to XML. Earlier
                 versions don't support XML.
                 \_ I thought you could always save in some sort of text
                    format (tab delimited or whatever). I'd look for that.
                    \_ For Excel you can but it is primitive. For Powerpoint,
                       I dunno.
                    \_ I think all versions of Excel can export to comma
                       separated and tab delimited text files, but it can
                       be pretty hard to compare these files.
        \_ My wife who's an accountant asked me the same question back when
           Excel 2000 was the latest version, and here's the solution I
           figured:
           1. Open the two files in Excel, say foo.xls and bar.xls.
           2. Find out how many rows and columns there are in Sheet 1 in
              foo.xls and bar.xls.
           3. Create a new file.
           4. For Sheet 1, Cell A1 in the new file, enter
                =EXACT([foo.xls]Sheet1!A1,[bar.xls]Sheet1!A1)
           5. Highlight Cell A1, click Edit -> Copy.
           6. Highlight the same number of rows and columns as in foo.xls and
              bar.xls.
           7. Click Edit -> Paste.
           8. Click Edit -> Find.  Under "Look in:", choose "Values".
           9. Under "Find what:", enter "false", click "Find All".
           You'll have to repeat this if there are multiple sheets in foo.xls
           and bar.xls.  You'll have to replace EXACT() with another function
           if you want case-insensitive comarison or if you want to find
           formatting differences.
           --- yuen
2008/3/17-21 [Industry/Jobs, Computer/SW/Unix, Computer/SW/Security] UID:49482 Activity:nil
3/17    http://market-ticker.denninger.net
        Former sysadmin says Fed measures not addressing root of problem,
        IBs/banks will eventually be taken to woodshed
        \_ Once again, who cares if he is a sysadmin?
           \_ It dovetails nicely with the background of most of the
              pontificators on the motd.  What's not to like?  We really
              need to get this guy a soda account!
              \_ If sysadmins had run Bear Sterns the company would still
                 be solvent right now.
              \_ He's got tech skills.  I've got tech skills.  Therefore I
                 care what he says about the economy...?  Huh?
                 He may be 100% on the mark but having tech skills does not
                 make his writing on the economy any more interesting.
2017/09/19 [General] UID:1000 Activity:popular
9/19    
Berkeley CSUA MOTD:2008:March:17 Monday <Sunday, Tuesday>