“The federal government is moving to eliminate the jobs of nearly half of the lawyers at the Internal Revenue Service who audit tax returns of some of the wealthiest Americans,’ reports the New York Times – ‘specifically those who are subject to gift and estate taxes when they transfer parts of their fortunes to their children and others. …[S]ix I.R.S. estate tax lawyers whose jobs are likely to be eliminated said in interviews that the cuts were just the latest moves behind the scenes at the I.R.S. to shield people with political connections and complex tax-avoidance devices from thorough audits.


From the blog of sports columnist Peter King at SI.com:

Wherever you are, have you noticed the weird weather patterns in the last few months? Unending, intense rain. High winds. It was in the midst of a 12th day of measurable rain in a 14-day period that I saw An Inconvenient Truth, the Al Gore movie about global warming.

This is the most apolitical piece of advice I could ever give you, because I realize Al Gore is not popular with all of you. And I really don’t care very much about Gore weaving details of his personal life into the global-warming lecture. But you should see this movie and judge the facts for yourself. What’s happening out here is no isolated occurrence. It’s going to keep happening and it’s going to get worse. Facts are facts. And we all need to do something about this phenomenon of the Earth heating up and the polar ice caps melting. This is not exactly the venue to warn the world about global warming, but all you football junkies readying for your fantasy drafts should do one real-world thing in the next couple of weeks: take two hours to see this movie. I’m not saying you’ll be glad you did, because it’s going to slap you around mentally a bit. But it’s something you need to see. You don’t want to wake up in 15 years with the Earth permanently damaged and huge portions of the Earth’s surface under water, forever.

If they made a movie about YOUR HOUSE, would you go see it?
Well, they have.


Andrew Long: “You’ve understated the pain that flippers feel because you haven’t taken the leverage into account. Your hypothetical flipper (15.7% loss) is actually facing a 62.8% loss (assuming a 75% mortgage) Leverage is great when assets appreciate but sucks when their value declines.”

☞ Quite true.  If housing prices drop 20%, many speculators will be caught losing 100%, not 20%, of their investments.


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