Originally published June 19, 2001, updated in November 2014

Just as the convictions of the Enron executives were being handed down, the next accounting scandal may be looming. The exact same macroeconomic dynamics that are being repeated today. Oil has shot to over $70 per barrel with no end in sight, and America has been gripped by real estate hysteria the past few years. America’s financial institutions have been inventing the high-risk loans that have fueled the latest real estate craze, particularly in California. No down payment, no principal payments for several years, variable interest rates, forty-year and even fifty-year mortgage terms and other innovations have put many millions of American homeowners in vulnerable situations. Once again, the prudent principles of the real estate/banking business are being abandoned. As energy prices skyrocket, inflation and interest rates will not be far behind. It is already beginning to turn around in the spring of 2006, with housing inventories growing rapidly.

Sales proceeds from foreclosed property

Second MAI “appraisal” and sale price to second developer

Gain on phony sale to second developer

My day job has given me a front-row seat to the unfolding collapse. I was given the task of accounting for tens of millions of dollars of “good as cash” investments we were sold by our now defunct investment manager, which we can’t sell and are worth a small fraction of what we paid for them. The is turning into a crash, with several large projects delayed/canceled, and skyscraper projects heading for foreclosure before they are finished. If Microsoft and Boeing have layoffs in 2009, the Seattle economy will take a steep dive that will further impact the real estate crisis.

Controversial Essay Topics - Great Selection of Topics …

I believe that we are in the early innings of the turmoil that will likely see the American Empire go the way of other empires. Of course, it , but unless there is a mass awakening in the USA, this nightmare will only get worse.

Not all scientific explanations work by describing causal connections between events or the world's overall causal structure. Some mathematical proofs expl

Laplace’s … Essay on Probabilities

Egypt eventually declined, and from Assyria to Babylonia, from Hittites to Minoans to Phoenicians and Carthaginians, from Persia to Greece, empires continually rose and fell in that region. Gold was a central concern of all of them, and was the universal measure of wealth. As an empire rose, it plundered all the gold it could from its neighbors. The same piece of gold could pass through many incarnations over the millennia, perhaps starting as a work of art after being gleaned from the earth. Then it was buried with its owner, then the grave was robbed and it was sold for food. Then it was melted down into bullion, then made into a coin, then melted down into a new coin of a new empire, then becoming part of a temple’s artwork, then stripped during the sack of a city and eventually made into an ornament, then getting buried again, to be discovered by 19th-century grave robbers, and it sits in a museum today. Mining took place across that part of the world, usually in or near mountains. From Central Europe to the Caucasus Mountains, from Ireland to Africa and Persia, gold was being mined, usually by slaves.

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My role model is my parents, Essay Sample/Example

In economics parlance and governmental regulation, the concept of “regulator capture” is well known. In essence, the industry being regulated corrupts the organizations that regulate them. That capture works both ways. The industry wants to capture its regulators, and the regulators themselves desire capture, . In government agencies, many laws and rules attempt to prevent regulator capture, but greedy and corrupt regulators and industries ingeniously circumvent the safeguards. Instead of being public servants, regulators become corporate servants and looked out for their patrons’ interests, not the public’s. It has happened in every regulated industry, to one degree or another, from the to the , from the to . Regarding public accounting and corporate audits, how hard is it to capture the regulator that corporations literally hire? It is the world’s easiest capture, yet that relationship has been obscured by plenty of secrecy and propaganda. Until the scandals of the 21st century, the largest financial scandal in the USA's history was the Savings and Loan Scandal of the 1980s, and I watched it happen.

Because Without Cause: Non-Causal Explanations in …

Even though the stock market is up about sixty percent since its March low, corporate insiders are selling their shares . We are most likely in a “bear market rally.” Wall Street’s most dramatic rallies happened during the Great Depression and other bear markets, and comparing this market rally to the Great Depression’s is common these days (, ).