What I Learned: May 24

  • Iron Man 3 is everything a summer blockbuster should be. It wasn’t an incredibly deep movie (although they did try to paint Tony Stark as having anxiety attacks from the events from The Avengers movie…). It has top notch actors. It had fun special effects. It was just entertaining at its core. As much as you’d hate someone like Tony Stark in real life, Robert Downey Jr continues to make him cool on the big screen.
  • I’m super annoyed that wordpress.com blogs can’t embed anything or use frames. Only the wordpress.org sites allow it. You have no idea how many times I’ve tried to include a video or song, only to have it disappear when I preview the entry. I understand why they do it (security) but it’s still obnoxious. People don’t want to click links!
  • But speaking of links… if you only click one on my entry, please click this one. It’s a CBS News interview with one of the Oklahoma tornado survivors. She reminds you of your honesty-is-the-best-policy grandmother (“Are you able to comprehend yet what happened here?” “I know exactly what happened here. Exactly”). But the end is so emotionally charged. For real. Go watch.
  • Mortgage Servicing Rights are fun! Our lunch & learn this month was on MSRs. With every loan origination, there are two assets: the loan itself and the servicing rights to that loan. MSRs typically cost between 3 and 5 times the annual return and collect 25 points. So a mortgage with a 3.75% rate would yield 0.25% to the servicer and the remaining 3.5% to the investor/originator. On a $200,000 mortgage, that would be roughly $40 a month and the rights would cost between $1500 and $2000. The longer a servicer keeps the loan, the more likely they are to make a return on their investment. Theoretically, if you service a loan for less than three years, you lose money and more than three years, you make money. So basically, you’re looking for high LTV values with low rates since those loans are least likely to pay off or refinance. Now you know where your money’s going, homeowners!
  • Microsoft announced their new Xbox One on Tuesday. Part of me is disappointed because they’re marketing it more as an entertainment hub than as a gaming system. But part of me is completely geeking out over a new Xbox and technology. The Wired article does an excellent job detailing the system from behind the scenes. And their video on the new Kinect is insane! It’s a 1080p camera that can read details as close as the buttons on a shirt. It uses IR too, so technically, it can read you (and up to 5 other people!) in complete darkness or complete light. They claim it can read the pigmentation changes in your face to determine your heart rate. A little creepy, a lot amazing!

Today’s going to be a good day. Work is holding biometric screenings for our new health insurance, so our group is jokingly “competing” to see who’s going to win with the best numbers. On top of that, we’ve been able to wear jeans all week and they’re having a two hour “Burgers & Beer” lunch for us to kick off Memorial Day. The inter-department fighting has already begun for my drink tickets.

Have a safe and excellent holiday! Let summer begin!

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