Archive for October, 2009

Without Credit, and Clueless

October 3, 2009

j0309203“What do you mean I don’t qualify for a loan? I can easily make the monthly payments. My motor home was just repossessed a few weeks ago.”

Ever hear something like that?

David Damron, owner of Chaparral Motorsports in San Bernardino, Calif., has — many times. “People got some excess cash, so they think they can finance,” he told me in August. “And they seem to have somehow forgotten about the two repos. It’s unbelievable the amount of people that are coming in filling out credit apps that are in the high 400 scores and wanting to know why they couldn’t get financed because they’ve got the cash flow now because they’re obviously not having to make the payment on the boat or the car or the truck. They don’t understand.” (more…)

Ready for the Rebound?

October 1, 2009

Note: the following is the “From the Editor’s” column appearing in the October issue.

Here’s an exercise: Enter the words economy and rebound into Google’s News search function. You’ll get some interesting results.

The day I’m writing this column, I perform this very search. The first story to pop up by relevance is a Wall Street Journal article, the lead paragraph of which reads, “The U.S. economy and financial markets are improving, but are still shaky and are vulnerable to further shocks, Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta President Dennis Lockhart said.”

I’ve been curious what the policy wonks across the country are prognosticating for a very specific reason. In the course of researching and reporting a handful of stories recently, I’ve heard a phrase with a common theme running through that sounds something like this: “Making sure we’re doing everything we can to brace for when the economy turns around.”

The first time I heard talk about the economy turning around was last year, and it sounded a bit more like pie-in-the-sky hopefulness than what I’ve been hearing lately. And thank goodness for that doubt — this was before things really augured into the ground in September (more…)