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Rambling, semi OT weekend thoughts

Good infrastructure is a key to good, well-valued dirt.

I am starting to think we need an Eisenhower-era level project to fix infrastructure problems, be it publicly or privately financed. Can our ridiculously school taxes go to roads instead? At least I use the roads.

Where I live roads are literally crumbling. One main artery, US 45/52 from the Will County line north, is almost impassible. Yes, it is THAT bad, so much so that some have called for its closure. I found similar problems near O'Hare yesterday.

The one good thing our current governor has done? Open road tolling.

Are the rumors of an increase in residential refinancings true? Or are a lot banks just really messed up in underwriting? I was happy to see National City staying independent for the time being. (But they certainly not out of the woods, as this story reminds us. And other banks, too, are not immune.)

And what's up with RBS? Would buying LaSalle along with ABN/AMRO have made a difference?

River West
is happily taking orders, which I hope means there's life in this market yet. I guess we have to face that deals will be done, whether with willing sellers, distressed sellers or banks dumping properties handed to them by borrowers. A title company colleague told me the other day that 30% of his/her company's business was "touched" in one way or the other by the foreclosure process.

I really like the idea of creating a NYBOR rate tracking the borrowing costs of US banks as a benchmark instead of LIBOR. Fine, call me a xenophobe.