Thursday, July 8, 2010

Laissez les bon temps rouler

I remember on one occasion during my childhood a lady from Louisiana attempting to teach me how to Cajun dance one night while my parents were out drinking at a folk club. For an eleven year old, it was excruciating. Through the haze of tween-age embarassment, though, I do remember learning the Cajun maxim of "Laissez les bon temps rouler", or "Let the good times roll". Keep this in mind while you read the following.
I haven't been posting as much as usual because to be honest its a slow news month for my usual climate change related ranting, I think the globe has largely started to lose interest in climate hysteria, and I will have to branch out more in my topic matter if this keeps up. Added to which I have been going through the "just-shoot-me-now-and-be-done-with-it" agony of having to find a rental property in today's ghastly, overinflated Australian property market. For those of you who havent had to find a 3+ bedroom house in an Australian capital city lately, they actually bid on rental properties now. Which has led me to really, really dislike real estate agents. More than I usually do. In fact, I can honestly say there is only one real estate agent I've met that I haven't wanted to hand a photograph of and a sum of cash to a large tattooed Polynesian named "Sione", and mention that I don't want the agent's legs to look that way anymore. The real estate agent I liked rented me a commercial property some years ago, was a raging alcoholic named Kevin, and would conduct business in thongs (the footwear) when his gout played up. I liked Kevin.
The Australian housing bubble is running at the level of property values up to 8 times the annual family income. The global standard is from 2 to 3 times the average family income. This bubble is going to burst, and how. Although the vast majority of people here refuse to believe its possible, in fact, even with property analysts finally being forced to admit the bubble can't always keep getting bigger, they still would prefer to believe that the outcome of all of this is that property prices may just stay on hold for a decade until they readjust, like they did in Japan a while ago. Excuse me while I laugh bitterly and take a swig from a port bottle in a brown paper bag. Forgetting for a moment that Japanese interest rates for housing loans are set at something like 1%, I could list you a host of reasons why this is unlikely here, from variable interest rate hikes, the Chinese commodity market problem, to where Australian banks source their finance from (i.e. Overseas). For my US readers ,its also worth pointing out that when you default on a mortgage in this country, you continue to owe the bank the money into posterity, even while they sell the property at the market value. The only way out is bankruptcy, and that isn't so easy to do, here.
Meanwhile, in Europe.....Oh, never mind. Too depressing. Well, in the States.....Oh, don't worry. In short, things aren't looking too rosy in the global financial sphere at the moment, and in other news, Japan let Pete Bethune off on a suspended sentence which allowed him to immediately run back to the welcoming arms of that idiot with the white beard and the black boat.
Then, just to top off my sorry news week, the Climategate whitewash review finally replied to allegations of fudging data. "Shut up." They explained.
Finally, I discovered that even brothels have been forced to close due to an economic slump. When the world's oldest professional, traditionally considered recession-proof, becomes insolvent, then surely the end-times are upon us.
It could be worse, though. I could own a large dog. Or live in California. Which is why, while the world seems to get closer to teetering on an economic precipice, I am reminded of the Cajun directive to Let the good times roll. For instructions on how its done, I refer you to Louis Jordan:

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