Richmond Officially Approves Eminent Domain Plan

Sigh.

Last night, Richmond, California’s city council approved the plan to use eminent domain to help underwater borrowers by a vote of 4-3. The plan is pure fraud. Mortgage Resolution Partners (MRP), an advisory firm, rounded up investors to supply capital to Richmond so that it could purchase the mortgages of underwater borrowers in the area. The city would then right down the value of the loan so that the borrowers could refinance at a lower rate. However, MRP wasn’t just helping out the city. It was looking to make a profit. And how was it doing that? By paying investors well below fair market value for the loans.

I’ve said repeatedly that I have no idea how Richmond fell for this plan. These two tweets from Wonkblog’s Lydia DePillis, who was at the meeting, may explain it a bit:
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Eminent Domain Tweet.
A dysfunctional city council that doesn’t understand what they’re voting on is about the best explanation I’ve heard for why the city is implementing MRP’s plan. Still, I was hoping someone would talk some sense into the council members and explain to them why this is such a bad idea. Unfortunately, that hasn’t happened.

Daily Sports Roundup 12/31/07

Happy New Years Eve to all of my readers. This New Years Eve has also seen a fair amount of sports news, so let’s get to it:

Ravens Fire Billick:The Baltimore Ravens fired head coach Brian Billick today, after the Ravens finished the year at 5-11. After a 13-3 season last year, the Ravens underachieved this year and Billick has taken a lot of the blame. The team even lost nine consecutive games before finishing with a 27-21 victory over the Pittsburgh Steelers yesterday. Since the Ravens won the Super Bowl in 2000, they have won only one playoff game. Less than a year ago, Billick received a contract extension through the 2010 season and stated a couple weeks ago that he would be back for 2008. Owner Steve Bisciotti had other ideas. “I just changed my mind. I can’t explain it to you. It’s the toughest decision I’ve had to make” the owner said Monday. The Ravens were a disappointment this year and someone had to take the fall. Unfortunately, it was Billick’s turn.

McGrady Out For A Few Weeks:Though it looked like the injury would only need a couple days to heal, Tracy McGrady’s left knee has not gotten any better. The Houston Rockets are coming to a tough stretch in their schedule playing at both Boston and Orlando this week. It looks like McGrady will miss those games and more as he could be out as many as three weeks. Continue reading “Daily Sports Roundup 12/31/07”