While FE car sales may not matter, I bet FE cars (including those old ones) are getting utilized for far more of the miles driven.
I think you're right since gas hit $3.50-$4.00 a gallon I've saw more older (80's-90's) FE cars on the road in my area. I think some people just had them parked and have put them back on the road to save money on gas.
I never said it was lending to minorities. It doesn't matter where someone's family came from, or the color of their skin. If they don't have enough income to make the payments once the interest rate and payments jacked up, they should have never qualified for those loans.
I find it interesting that you hold the home owners innocent, and suggest that they're "uneducated".
The fact is, most of these sub-prime buyers went in knowing exactly what they were getting into. It is so human nature to blame someone else once trouble appears.
I really think it unwise to "victimize" most of the subprime idiots that went for those type of loans...sure the loan brokers are often crooked, but lets not place 100% of the blame on them. It's an insult to the millions that were careful enough NOT to take the bate of low ball adjustable loans....
4 dollar gas was our breaking point, some thought it would be closer to 5, but after 4 America started driving less, it still hasn't returned to what it was. Gas in Baltimore finally broke at $2.99, I have 3/4 of a tank left and I wanted to fill up like gas was free. I can say that since I drive for a iving, at my most busiest time, I paid the most, but also completely reinvented my business driving strategy to only leave the house when I have a full list of clients to visit. Trips to Philladelphia are planed much more cautiously than before. I managed to trim over 100 dollars a month off my expenses by just planning my commutes. My choice of cars has also changed, I'm shopping for a Prius now, the cost of the car payment would be less than the gas I pay for a car that get's 18 city versus 52 city. I don't go to the grocery store unless Im passing by or planning to buy a number of items and with that I include gas, food, and shopping.
As far as big company's go, some trucks and SUV's havent sold a single unit in over 4 months, i.e. Nissan and Toyota. Were looking at GM-Dodge-Chrysler a new merged company and Hummer and Viper are being sold off. All of the manufacturers were so geared for SUV's, they can't get us new economy cars until 2010.
I used to work for 3 loan companies in 05 and 06, we had thousands of leads and many applications filled out, but when it came down to it, no one qualified. One of the companies I worked for literally locked the doors one morning. Now the aftermath to this is some company took the risk, I remember all the true qualified customers were farmed out, getting a loan approved took months.
I bought my house in 07 and after 4 months of paperwork, we were approved. Right after that in July of 07, my credit rating was no longer of a high enough number to be approved for getting a loan. I had perfect credit, so after July of 07, I don't think anyone could get a loan and if no one is getting loans, banks are not making money, hense launching us into this current mess.
The simple price of gas is a major influence in the American life and with the latest stock market plunge, America effects the rest of the world too. But don't worry, enjoy the party now and pack up the family and take one last drive, reguardless of the stock market, someone out there is buying a little more gas, because now OPEC is cutting production to drive our price up again.
Osama Binladen wanted oil to go to 100 dollars a barrell, it peaked at 140+ and is now below 100, it will spring back. This is not to say Binladen is solely to blame, but I think is a reflection of the opinion of the Middle East's desire for profit. Also don't forget, the American dollar was at an all time low, that's what drove the barrell price over 100.
Now diffuse the future into gas prices, China is on the rise to equall our consumption of goods and oil in less than 10 years. Russia is strangly rattling their sabre's, they have a differnt problem from China, Russia has few exports. Russia does export oil and alcohol, but what else? Do we have any cars from Russia? Are our plastic toys, a pair of shoes, a pair of jeans, or any kind of food coming out of Russia, no.
The future will have a reduction in available oil, now in the less than 10 years we have left, we have to take the internal combustion engine to it's most efficient, make hybrid everything, get houses off heating oil and get them into natural gas, insulate, etc.
Just to give you another jolt, the world has a 20 year supply of lead and tin left. Time to develpoe better batteries and figure out how to put computers together without solder.
Doom and gloom, hell no, adaptation, preparation for change, chance favors the prepared. So enjoy sub 3 dollar gas while it lasts. I don't want to upset anyone, I try to look hard into the future and calculate the best I can on the way the world will change.