Stupid Is As Stupid Does

Apparently it's catching. The stupid gene, disease, virus, etc., is making the rounds to a degree that would make Mama Gump quiver with disgust. Yes, in an era that finds us in the worst real estate market in 30 years, we still have a mass worship at the alter of dumb and dumber. Locally, Indiana house leader Pat Bauer insisted on passing a tax relief bill that exempts two northern Indiana counties from a constitutional limit of a one percent cap on property taxes against the valuation of the home. Lake and St. Joseph's counties, prepare to get Ned Beaty in Deliverance style treatment. The only reason I care at all about this is because I'm originally from 'the region' and I hate the fact that Pat and his cronies can now stick it to the people that still live in those counties. The other teeny little issue could be the fact that it may make the whole amendment unconsitutional and we'll have to go through this entire damn charade again if that's the case....and why wouldn't it be?

Does anyone think the residents of Lake and St. Joseph counties won't fight this thing? If all of the work of the most recent general assembly becomes for naught, let's call for Pat's rug on a stick, shall we?

Next there's the genuises at Countrywide Mortgage. Terribly managed at the corporate level, they're now in the business of owning as much real estate as possible. Recently our brokerage had a home that had been listed for sale starting at $800,000 for over a year that had dropped to $675,000 with CW holding the mortgage. As it became a short sale (upside down) with NO offers on the home until it reached the $675K mark, it finally got an offer that was accepted by CW at $650K.

Their appraiser came to do a final appraisal on the home prior to the new buyer closing. The CW appraiser decided that even though the home had not sold at every price point from $800K on down to $675K where it finally got an offer, they would value it at $750,000 and subsequently blow the only offer to purchase they would have in over a year. Genius. That was the second such dealing we've had with Countrywide in the last six months that has ended like this. We all know what they say about fool me once....

Ahhh.....then there's the whole Bear Stearns fiasco that took a stock price of $80+- a share on 3/10/2008 and turned it into $2 a share 6 days later. This situation is much more complicated with liquidity and investment placement issues but the bottom line is that one of America's leading finiancial institutions has fallen faster than Humpty Dumpty. Thousands of employees are out of work, retirement portfolios are gone and massive uncertainly crowds the financial markets. Is there another Wall Steet shoe to drop along with Bear? Let's hope not. The fragile psyche of the consumer doesn't need any more bad news.

Let's switch gears to conclude with a little good news. Of a more pure and simple fun nature, I had the pleasure of watching, filming and nearly getting arrested participating in the Indy St. Patty's day parade with my step son Jack on 3/17. It was cold, blustery and no one cared. Many people that we know don't really understand Jack's interest in Irish Dance. Well here it is: I'm sure even at his age the 4-1 ratio of females to males isn't all bad. From our end it's physical, mental and social requiring discipline and a personal investment from him. Everyone's a specialist in this day and age and if that specialty helps you grow into a better person, I'm all for it. It's a long way from politics, home mortgage nightmares and Wall Street but right now, that's not all bad.

Questions....commments.....contact: Greg@GregCooper.com or 317-848-GREG (4734)