austindefender

Criminal defense in Austin Texas.

Austin Housing Market – Is Austin Different?

| February 28, 2009

Housing sales are seasonal.  Most houses are bought and sold in the summer, and prices tend to follow sales, rising in the spring, and falling in fall.  So you can’t really look at month-to-month changes.  You have to go back to the same time of year, at least one year before. As you can see […]

Republicans… fiscal conservatives?

| February 28, 2009

Under Reagan & Bush 1 government increased from about 29% of the economy to about 34%. Under Clinton, it shrank from 34% to about 29%. Under Bush 2, it rose again to almost 34%.

More Welfare For Bankers

| February 27, 2009

“In its most daring bid yet,” says the NYT, the government will “vastly increase” its ownership stake in Citigroup. “After two multibillion-dollar lifelines failed to shore up Citigroup, the government will increase its stake to 36 percent from 8 percent.” “Under the deal, the Treasury Department agreed to convert up to $25 billion of its […]

Citi Rapes Taxpayers; Nobody Seems to Mind

| February 27, 2009

In the continuing saga of America’s biggest too-big-to-fail Fail Boat – Citibank – it appears the US is about to give up the only value it’s gotten out of the billions it’s shipped to Citi so far – the “preferred” part of the preferred shares it got a few months ago. The plan is to […]

Another Day, Another Crappy Austin American Statesman Article

| February 26, 2009

The Statesman’s Steven Kretak has diligently uncovered the fact that local embarrassment-to-the-defense-bar former attorney Bruce Garrison once donated $250 to Judge Baird’s election committee. News flash: pretty much all local attorneys donate in pretty much all local judges’ races, which has been the case since, well, since Texas began electing judges.  In other words, since […]

Davis v. State

| February 25, 2009

947 S.W.2d 240 Martin DAVIS, Appellant, v. The STATE of Texas. (Tex. Crim. App.) 240 Martin DAVIS, Appellant, v. The STATE of Texas.No. 918–96. Court of Criminal Appeals of Texas, En Banc. June 4, 1997. 241 Ray Bass, Austin, for appellant. David V. Wilson II, Assist. District Attorney, Lufkin, Matthew Paul, State’s Atty., Austin, for […]

Today’s WSJ

| February 20, 2009

Today’s Wall Street Journal’s headline: “Market Hits New Crisis Low.” “Money managers and analysts,” WSJ reports, “are warning clients that they aren’t yet seeing the signals they would expect to see at a true market bottom… The classic sign that many analysts are looking for is a period of frantic selling, followed by a sudden […]

Who Benefits From Propping Up Home Prices?

| February 19, 2009

“Does it benefit anyone to force another family into foreclosure, out of their house, put another home on a housing inventory that is overburdened with excess supply?” –Sheila Bair, FDIC Chair Yes.  It does. It benefits every single person who’s looking to buy a home. It may also benefit the folks who’re getting foreclosed. And […]

Banking for Dummies

| February 14, 2009

Banks are run according to the following simple equation: Assets (including reserves) = liabilities + equity. Assets are anything that has value.  In the case of banks, it’s mainly the money they’ve lent out, plus the interest they hope to collect on it.  It also includes reserves, the bit of cash they keep on hand […]

Two Judges Plead Guilty…

| February 13, 2009

From today’s WSJ: SCRANTON, Pa. —  Two Pennsylvania judges charged with taking kickbacks to send youth offenders to privately run detention centers have pleaded guilty to fraud. Prosecutors say Luzerne County Judges Mark Ciavarella and Michael Conahan took $2.6 million in payoffs to put juvenile offenders in lockups run by PA Child Care LLC and a […]