Tuesday, February 27, 2007

We Saw This Coming Right?

A sad tale of a mortgage company going out of business from the Las Vegas Business Press, but my question is--looking back at the housing market in the 1980s and the 1990s--didn't banks know that when you have the subprime market go hot that has got to mean you're getting to the end of a housing boom?

When the subprime becomes a major demographic for home loans you've run out of buyers, and you're now basically placing a bet and hoping that these long shot buyers (bad credit history, foreclosures, etc.) to come through as winners (irony of Silver State being based in Vegas is too much to believe).

Maybe I've been around too long and things looks like they're constantly repeating. However, I could have saved Washington Mutual a lot of money if they had just called me up and said, "Steve what happened in Denver during the oil boom or could you tell us about that 1992 recession?"

Friday, February 16, 2007

Hello Old Friend

Like your first date you never forget your first computer, if you're a nerd like me.

I came across pictures of my first home computer an Amstrad PCW8256. It had the CPU and single disk drive in the monitor--who says Apple is cutting edge?--and came with software (CP/M Plus [an early version of the disk operating system: MS-DOS or DR-DOS, word processing, and programming) and a dot matrix printer.

The word processing program had a user interface similar to Wang's Wordstar--Look! Ma! no mouse. The spell verifier program was fun to run. I'd load the document, load the spelling program, and then on request, pop out the spelling program and load the dictionary disk.

Amstrad is one of those computers that should have done better, but never seemed to catch fire in the US market. I'll always remember it as the computer that got me started as a true geek.