November 2007

While in a Marriott for Thanksgiving, I was quite surprised when I saw this name on my hotel’s complimentary conditioner…

(We might need a new topic for “waaaay off topic”…)

Here is a website listing all the REOs for Countrywide Financial in North Carolina.? REOs are the post-foreclosure properties where the owner has defaulted and the bank has collected the property as collateral on the unpaid loan.

CFC’s REOs in North Carolina

The official list is also available from Countrywide’s website.

So I’ve always had gripes about mediocre software… the latest is with Quicken 2008 and it’s constant flickering within the program. Intuit (the makers of Quicken) failed horribly with their GUI re-write, and it shows.

I actually contacted customer support at Intiut, and their responses were:

  • Use less data — the more stuff you keep in quicken, the slower it runs
  • Try downgrading your video driver
  • Try turning down your video card’s hardware acceleration

I’m not making this up — these were their suggestions. To be fair, I tried all three suggestions. No improvement with the flicker, so I wrote back to them.

Here is their verbatim response:

Jason, regarding screen flickering we face the issue on 2007 and 2008, we are not sure when the issue will be resolved but the issue has already been notified to our concern department.

Jason, I hope you understand that this is an issue with the Product and there is nothing further I could have done to resolve this for you.

Wow, bad technical support, and a completely defeatist attitude. Bravo! If only I could create a $10 billion company and run it so poorly.

The BigPicture has another book available for a free chapter or three…? this time it’s for The Panic of 1907.

The 1907 market panic tends to be forgotten with the great depression following 20 years later, but it was a time of great stories and great events.? From Mr. Big Picture’s intro:

I found the book, published exactly a century after the original event, to have some rather interesting parallels to today.

The significance of the 1907 Panic as an economic event went far beyond the mere crash and recovery.? It eventually led to the creation of the U.S. Federal Reserve.

Sorry about that random posting earlier today… Call it a technical oops.

For anyone who is interested, I’ve started using MS Word 2007 for writing some of my blog postings. It nicely handles uploading and resizing images, which is a killer feature… though I can’t get it to do the lightbox effect directly.

All together, Word does a good job… unless it accidentally posts to the wrong blog when you click on “publish as draft”.

I’ve been checking out a blog called Bespoke recently, and it’s a pretty good financial blog.? They have frequent, well informed, and fairly short tidbits about things they notice in the markets.

Today, they had an interesting tidbit…? Van Gogh: The Art World’s Sub Prime Paper?

Today, Sotheby’s (BID) is down nearly 30% after a weak auction last night where a Van Gogh that was estimated to sell for between $28-$35 million received no bids.

Here’s a 3 month chart of BID: