The Garrett, Watts Report (March 26, 2008)

March 26th, 2008 · No Comments


To Our Clients, Colleagues and Friends:  

· A few weeks ago we quoted Ronald Reagan on taxes.  One attentive reader sent us these lines from the John Lennon song called The Taxman:  “If you drive a car, I’ll tax the street; If you try to sit, I’ll tax your seat; If you get too cold, I’ll tax the heat; If you take a walk, I’ll tax your feet.”  Thank you, Fred.

· When did the Mortgage Crisis of 2007 start?  If you’re looking for a set date to mark as an anniversary, December 28, 2006 is probably a good one. This Christmas surprise was the bankruptcy filing of Ownit Mortgage.  But if you missed that, there’s another one coming up.  You could set April 2, 2007 as Ground Zero and celebrate that date as when it all started.  That’s when New Century filed for bankruptcy.

· In our FOCIS Audits for warehouse lenders (and the occasional mortgage banker who wants to know his own weaknesses and areas to improve), we’ve noticed much less leverage than in the past.  Some of its due to reduced volume, but a lot of it is intentional. Less leverage = a higher FOCIS score.  Whereas everyone seemed to be at 15:1 a year ago, we see plenty in the single digits, as in 8:1 or 9:1.

· Today is the birthday (March 26, 1911) of one of America ’s greatest playwrights, Tennessee Williams. If you want to know what he was like as a kid, go watch To Kill A Mockingbird again.  The funny little boy, Dill, who lives next door to Scout, Jem and Atticus Finch was patterned after him. Mockingbird author Harper Lee grew up with Williams, and they were best friends as children, so she used his personality to describe the little boy in her book. 

How embarrassing.  It wasn’t Tennessee Williams who was the role model for the strange little kid in To Kill a Mockingbird.  It was Truman Capote.  We knew that, as we every so often see something from a group of fanatics who believe that Capote ghost wrote Mockingbird for his dear friend Harper Lee. Part of what fuels this theory is that she never wrote another book after publishing Mockingbird.

· Last week Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger dumped Clint Eastwood from the California Parks Commission.  This is one of those occasions you wish you were the guy who comes up with the headlines. It’s not that clever, but Dirty Harry Gets Terminated did come to mind.  For those of you under, say, 35, do you even know who Dirty Harry was?  

· Best name we’ve seen so far in the NCAA Tournament: Dionte Christmas of Temple University !  What a great name.

· Speaking of names, here are some famous people, as you know them, and their movie names:

Woody Allen

Alan Koenigsberg

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