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Aug. 13th, 2008

end fed

А как поступил бы ты?

На вопрос типа ".. а сколько ты сейчас получаешь?" заданный рекрутером отвечаю посланием на три буквы. Не его собачье дело. Да и возможное предложение от потенциального работодателя должно базироваться на рыночной стоимости моих возможностей, а не на том сколько это стоило вчера. Сколько я хочу зарабатывать то я конечно знаю и легко называю, но не сколько получаю сейчас.

Но что делать если такой вопрос прозвучал из уст главного в компании (CEO) после того как были пройдены несколько этапов собеседований с ниже стоящими сотрудниками. Да и к тому же если она приятная собой женщина, хоть далеко не первой молодости.

Я ответил улыбкой и потупленным взглядом. Она настояла, что мол она  должна будет принять решение основываясь на чём то. Продолжать эскалацию противостояния выкладками за рыночную суть трудоустройства я не стал и сдался. Причём даже не приврал как обычно делается в таких случаях.

Стоило ли проявить большую дипломатичность и увильнуть от ответа или такой ход адекватен?

По большому счёту сколько мне надо я знаю чётко и на меньшее не здвинусь. Так что флирт здесь ни к чему, можно сразу в постель или за дверь.
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Aug. 5th, 2008

end fed

Сынуля выдал

К перлам вроде "не морочь мне спину" и "папа ты сошёл с ума" вроде как привыкли.
Но сегодня в порыве словесного угара Давид выдал "папа ты нюх потерял".

Мы все упали.
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Jul. 25th, 2008

end fed

The Housing Bill

So a few days ago The House finally passed housing bill. I guess disappearance of Presidential veto (taken out at the very last minute) encouraged Congressmen  to rush forward to  "the most important piece of housing legislation in a generation". Since bill is expected to sail through Senate without any headwinds we can safely assume this piece of paper will become law very soon.

Personally I'm very disappointed to say the least. The whole idea of government putting a floor under collapsing GSEs and real estate (RE) speculators by using my tax dollars makes me so sick it's not even funny.  Yes, I know they told us GSEs are too important for national housing market (read: jobs and economy) and their failure would wreck havoc, destabilization, blah blah blah. But would it? We're not in  the 30's any more when these monsters were created. Financial markets are deeper (despite the current crunch), global and more advanced. Special types of securities are traded on open markets, which among other things provide capital and risk hedging for parties involved. Other innovations are too numerous to list. Though markets are largely chaotic and swing from one extreme to the next as a pendulum, I believe they'll provide needed capital and keep a check on prices, but they won't work their magic overnight. If shareholders are displeased with management's performance they show them to the door, so why are Freddie and Fannie, despite their extremely poor track record, given unlimited support from US government? It is unlikely that this assistance can be financed (depending on how bad things will keep going) by means of taxation alone. We're already running large budget deficit and trade imbalance, not to mention ever increasing explicit and implied liabilities for various entitlement programs. Thus if housing keeps going down the tubes I suspect "strong" dollar policy will largely remain a rhetoric and government will resort to printing press a.k.a FED. Inflation is a great way out of many problems, eh...

So all over sudden our elected officials rush to "stabilize the housing and credit markets". I hardly recall anybody trying to do anything when  many risk averse, potential home buyers (including myself) were sitting on the side lines being priced out. Nobody cared. Bankers and Wall Streeters were too busy counting profits. Local politicians credited massive wealth (on paper) creation to themselves and tax revenues were through the roof. Federal government was eagerly selling "American Dream" (home ownership) to its electorate. GSEs were instrumental in that. Speculation and even fraud in some places was rampant. Everybody, and your neighbor's mother were "certain" that RE never goes down, hence it's a good investment. Many were brainwashed by numerous "experts" and books. Some couldn't do a basic arithmetic, let alone read the fine print on those contracts. Financially literate ones, those who understood power of leverage via 5%(0%) down payment, were too busy taking money out of their 401Ks to load up on as many properties as they can get their hands on. Times were good I tell you.

Well everything comes to the end eventually. I say let those prices correct, the faster the better. Those who cannot afford to own should rent. End of story. Affordability will ultimately restore housing market and bring order. Trying to artificially maintain overvalued assets will only prolong the pain. Why should I care or feel sorry for Joe Shmoe who has to return keys for recently "purchased" home and move back to that place he rented not that long ago, while I wasn't looking for a flier and stayed in my rented apartment? Turns out Joe will actually be better off with such move. No wonder many do walk away. Let them go Uncle Sam. Better spend our tax money on educating those poor souls who has trouble reading financial contracts and difficulty understanding ARMs. Increase punishment for fraud by brokers, appraisers and others, up to permanent license revocation. Make the whole system more transparent and data easily available to consumers. Let those greedy individuals and institutions learn a lesson via their loses. Bankers will know not to lend 100% of inflated home price next time. Investors who buy those mortgages on open markets, as bonds, will learn to demand better guarantees and will greatly discount future cash flows otherwise. System will heal itself eventually. It won't occur over night, but it would be a positive systemic shift. Bailing out GSEs will further encourage wild speculation and mismanagement a.k.a moral hazard. It will further decrease faith in our financial markets and possibly put more pressure on devaluation of a dollar.

Additionally they increased "so-called conforming-loan limit, which typically qualifies mortgages for discounted rates, to $625,000 in the nation's most expensive housing markets". Give me a break. Why not make it a million? How this number came to exist? Is there some sort of coefficient which determines by how much prices in NYC should measure up to those in Ohio? And why nobody gives me a tax break for living in "most expensive housing market". Jumbo rates are at least 100 basis points higher and for a good reason. Market demands higher premium for riskier loans, but congressmen don't seem to care. It's your tax dollars after all, which will now go towards supporting astronomical prices in NYC, LA and such.

Being a believer of free markets and capitalism with minimal governmental oversight (yes we need some as pure capitalism won't work either) I say let those GSEs fail if they're insolvent. There are better usages for our tax dollars. US economic might will prevail and "bad" times will remain in rear view mirror. Be patient.

P.S.
"US Housing Crash Continues It's Still A Terrible Time To Buy"  is a great article providing some common sense for those who can't face reality.

Jan. 22nd, 2008

end fed

Eh... Real Estate agin

My beautiful wife just emailed me this link from WSJ. Its title says "Why Baby Boomers May Bust the Housing Market"

Article itself is referencing original report, so all comments will go towards it.

What's funny we knew about baby boomers retirement for a while, but nobody complained during hey days when RE was growing double digits in the past 5 years. So to me timing of this piece is poor, which decreases its credibility and only tries to magnify RE downturn fears in general public.

Overall this is a very generalized report, where as RE is a niche market in specific location. If one is thinking of purchasing a property in say New York, local trends come to immediate value. National averages provide vague and likely poor estimates. That being said report doesn't take into account dynamics of job markets. People migrate with jobs from state to state and to lower tax/higher growth jurisdictions. Also foreigners have impact on pricing. Especially in key cities along the costs and even more so with falling dollar. There are probably dozen other variables I can think of that sets the pricing. Hence looking at future trends in RE markets only via prism of demographics is a dangerous and risky proposition. Yes demographic shifts are very important, but they're not the only factor.

Also as baby boomers sell their homes and move elsewhere it should create a net neutral effect for RE market on the national level. Yes some of them move to nursing homes, but many simply relocate to states with better tax climates. This stimulates demands for properties and rentals(rise in rental prices over time will push property prices as well) in those localities, which likely to offset drop in prices at their home states.

It's hard to say where prices will be 20 years from now even for a short term bear like myself. Some localities will definitely experience sustained downward pressure on prices due to shortage of new buyers. Some will enjoy influx of new buyers running after new jobs and cheaper cost of living. So I bet my money on "normal" price apreciation on a national scale once current down turn is over, which should come to an end in 1-2 years. By "normal" I mean 1-3% over inflation rate.

Any comments?

Dec. 5th, 2007

end fed

Не моё но ОЧЕНЬ ПРИКОЛЬНО

Вчера я ехал на работу
в метель, туман и гололёд,
вдруг мимо пронеслась Тойота,
взяла опасный поворот.

Пересекая автостраду
там, где сплошная полоса,
водитель мазалась помадой
и тушью красила глаза!

Как тут от злости не беситься?
Я в гневе бритву уронил
(я дома не успел побриться
и по дороге щёки брил).
 
Упала бритва в кофе прямо
(между колен стоял стакан -
мне вкусный кофе варит мама -
его я пью в такой туман).

Когда предмет тяжёлый падал,
крутой горячий кипяток
плеснул туда, куда не надо -
там третьей степени ожог.
 
И вот от боли я подпрыгнул,
и из моей руки другой
вдруг выпал телефон мобильный -
и снова - в кофе по прямой.
 
Не помню, что там дальше было...
Открыл глаза: больница? морг?
Теперь ни тачки, ни мобилы...
Зато повязка между ног.

Весь загипсован под завязку,
без гипса только голова.
А вот мораль у этой сказки -
У ВСЕХ БЫ БАБ ЗАБРАТЬ ПРАВА

Nov. 25th, 2007

end fed

И еще за программистов

Лёгкая переделка мастера......


Если глюк оказался вдруг

И не друг и не враг, а bug.

Если сразу не разберёшь,

Плох он или хорош,

То debugger включай давай,

И программу в него впускай -

Там в отладке одной простой

Сам поймёшь кто такой.

 

Если bug на глаза – не ах,

Если ты вдруг раскис и вниз,

Шаг прошёл и его не нашёл

Оступился – и в крик,

Значит code для тебя чужой,

Ты себя не брани – беги:

Программистом тебе не быть,

Нам с тобой не дружить.

 

Если ж ты не скулил, не ныл,

Шаг за шагом его нашёл,

А когда ты его давил -

Он стонал и визжал;

Починить ты его моги

И к начальнику сразу беги,

В схватке с ним небольшой –

Сам поймёшь кто такой.


Из старого репертуара.

Oct. 23rd, 2007

end fed

Про программиста - шуточное

Я работник ножа и keyboard-а
Целый день я на стуле сижу
Прихожу Я с заспавшейся мордой
И поддатый домой ухожу.

Между молотом и наковальней
Протекают всегда мои дни
То начальник к себе вызывает
То клиенты, будь не ладны они.

И зачем это в детстве далёком
На стезю программиста я встал?
Лучше рос бы себе бизнесменом
Или просто бы в карты катал.

А теперь вот debugger мне снится,
На C#-пе с женой говорю.
Я не знаю что дальше случится
Может быть Я на Lisp перейду.

Oct. 11th, 2007

end fed

Bullshit

Вот подкинули классный ролик
Penn & Tеller

около 30 мин.
Особенно рекомендую вторую часть для молодых или будуйщих родителей.

Oct. 10th, 2007

end fed

Про инфляцию

Вот вчера навеяло не знаю от куда.

Когда идёт инфляция и нету индексации
То пахнет девольвацией в пределах федерации.
Но если ассигнации доверить инкасации
И шаг капитализации удвоить от инфляции
То эти провокации нам будут не страшны.

Возможны вариации по хеджу от инфляции
И в рамках деверсификации заполучите акции
Другие инновации приводят к регистрации
И скорой ликвидации следов приватизации
Но главноe ребята не троньте облигации

В офшоре корпорации притянут ассигнации
Для полной изоляции от служб экспроприации
Налоговой касации и прочей маструбации
Если у вас прострации от сей рекомендации
То закупите водки для пущей деградации.


Пишите замечания, поправки и редакции.

Jul. 13th, 2007

end fed

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