Haitan Strongman and the housing crisis

According to CNN, Emmanuel “Toto” Constant, a former Haitian strongman accused of being responsible for deaths of thousands of Haitians that supported his political rivals, has just been convicted for participating in fraudulent mortgage practices. Prosecutors have alleged that Constant, in his position as the Suffolk Country branch manager for a New-Jersey based mortgage bank D&M, profited by arranging false high appraisals of homes. Most people including myself believe the United States is a country of law and order. Yet, I can’t help but wonder why isn’t anyone checking out who becomes a mortgage broker. Recently the Miami Herald broke a story, that uncovered more than 10,000 individuals with criminal histories were allowed to work in the mortgage business in Florida. The Miami Herald report has found that racketeers, bank robbers and cocaine traffickers were able to get into the mortgage business. If you had any doubts about why our country is in a housing crisis, your questions should be partly answered.

The Miami Herald

Scams

Every semester at the University of Illinois, I read alot of advertisements claiming that you will make thousands of dollars over the summer if you do certain things. These scams are commonly known as pyramid schemes or multi-level marketing firms that skirt the legal definition of a pyramid scheme.

You can read up on pyramid schemes here:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyramid_scheme

Some of the best known scams that I know of are companies that advertise selling knives sets, and painting companies offering work to college students. Most of the time they advertise that you can make 10,000 or 12,000 dollars in one summer. I can’t believe the amount of people that fall prey to these scams, that end up leaving you worst than you started off.

My personal way of investing money is to just put it in the bank and not touch it. Sure there are good investments out there like stocks and bonds and 401k’s, but I’m too young to be worried about making serious investments. If something sounds too good it usually is. But hey what do I know I’m a 19 year old, so if you want to invest in the painting company go right ahead. Most of you know my number I’ll be waiting to comfort you for your losses.

Gas Prices

So I’m spending downtime at home in Miami. My first week at Motorola is finished 11 more to go. I guess the first thing that’s been frustrating me lately is gas prices. I drive a long way back and forth between my internship. Its so disheartening when I put 40 dollars into my Honda Accord (Letting my dad drive the truck for a few months) and it only reaches half tank. I want to know why oil companies are making record profits while everyone is a getting a raw deal. I was listening to NPR and they said that most of the land that US oil companies have to permission drill in the United States have been untouched. Yet they still argue that they need more land. They complain that Alaska needs to be open to more drilling. Its all BS, if you can’t see through greed then you a very stupid. The thing I don’t understand is why we don’t get a better deal on oil when Cheney and Bush have both been in the oil business. Cheney clearly gives preference to Halliburton which he was the CEO of which controls many US contracts in Iraq. Google Cheney and Halliburton, and see what you get. To slap us in the face Halliburton moved its headquarters to Dubai to avoid paying US taxes.

If you read this weeks article in the NY times, Teeth Gritted, Drivers Adjust to $4 Gasoline. You’ll see that more people are getting rid of their gas guzzling cars and turning to small cars. I really believe a lot of low-middle income Americans are going to suffer to fill up their tanks. I was talking to my friend Mohamed we both agreed when I get a sports car someday when I’m working at Microsoft or Google, I’ll need a Prius to drive around town, and the use the sports car sparingly. Such is the life we live in the US now.

Article:

Nytime Article

If you can’t read this everyone can register for a free nytimes full access account with their illinois.edu email, or whatever university you go to, like Jeff, and Luciana. gatech.edu etc..