DON’T WORRY, PLENTY OF FORECLOSURES TO GO AROUND: Bloomberg has an article asking, where are the foreclosures? (H/T: Big Picture.) A foreclosure wave was supposed to hit now that banks have settled with regulators about
unethical and illegal irregular foreclosure tactics and the gears of the foreclosure process can once again turn. Yet there is no wave, thus the Bloomberg article. But Credit Slips points out that we have a foreclosure capacity issue, that our legal system can’t handle much more than it already is. Bottom line: we will have a lot of foreclosures on the market for years to come, so home prices aren’t going anywhere… Something else to think about that we haven’t seen covered anywhere: in the mid-2000s, a lot of home equity loans were written at the height of the real estate bubble. A lot of those loans are interest only for the first 10 years, meaning that the principal repayment chickens won’t come home to roost until–oh, about two years from now. That won’t help banks or the real estate market either.
‘TIS THE SEASON TO BE FRUGAL: Interesting article in the WSJ on the science of gift-giving. Key takeaway: more money spent on a gift does not provide greater gift appreciation, so tighten those purse strings!
CLUB CARLSON VISA FOLLOW-UP: Frequent Miler weighs in on the new Club Carlson card, and he is enthusiastic. He has the best exposition we’ve yet seen of the card’s benefits, and it would behoove you to read it. He estimates the points to be worth 0.3 cents each, which we think is a little on the low side, but fair. Given the 5 points per dollar spend bonus, plus the gold-level two-night redemption trick we mentioned yesterday, that would put the rewards on this card at three cents per point, AND you get a good sign-up bonus plus an annual renewal bonus.
CREDIT CARD MISCELLANY: Have you heard of Wallaby, the service that automatically determines which card will maximize your rewards at any given retailer and automatically picks the best one? Hack My Trip has an interview with the founders, and we were intrigued enough that we signed up for the beta trial… Meanwhile, here’s View From The Wing on why large credit card bonuses are here to stay.