Friday, October 31, 2008

A Natural Alternative to Purell... seems that all the rage these days are Purell hand sanitizers. You don't need water and they supposedly kill all the nasty germs that make us sick.

Unfortunately, Purell and those type sanitizers also contain some pretty nasty chemicals that don't work well for other purposes.

That's why Daily Sprawl was excited to discover Clean Well hand sanitizers. They kill germs without the unhealthy chemicals. Yep, it almost sounds too good to be true but, in this case at least, the early data seems to indicate that Clean Well is a natural and healthy alternative to chemical hand sanitizers.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Healthy Living Products...

...each week, Daily Sprawl will highlight three products that it recommends for healthy and safe living. Many will be food products, household cleaners, and body care products like soap, shampoo, and toothpaste.

Our goal is to identify those products that replace the use of synthetic chemicals (whose long-term effects remain unclear) with natural ingredients and sources.

In addition, for everyone one of these, Daily Sprawl can guarantee that it has used the product before recommending it. No second-hand info here.

So--drum roll, please--here are Daily Sprawl's first three Healthy Living recommendations:

1. Food Product--Tired of terrible hydrogenated oils and high fructure corn syrup but still looking for something to satisfy your sweet tooth? If so, there's good news. Laura's Wholesome Junk Food is a fantastic and highly recommended option.

2. Household Cleaner: Need something cleaned but don't want to toxify your house with impossible to pronounce chemicals when doing so? Try Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps. Natural ingredients that aggressively wipe out stains, dirt, and other grime.

3. Body Care Product: Triclosan is a bad thing dressed up with good intentions. You see, it's a main ingredient in all the anti-bacterial suds and washes on the market today. Unfortunately, is also can have some pretty nasty side effects when used the wrong way. So, rather than risk it, try Triclosan-Free hand soaps from Method.

Monday, October 27, 2008

We the People... U.S. taxpayers apparently now own even more bank stock: Please welcome Capital One and Sun Trust to the taxpayer portfolio.

At this rate, We the People as U.S. Taxpayers will own a major chunk of the financial services industry. Talk about the bizarre becoming real...

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Upcoming Debate...

...I'll be moderating an upcoming debate between Sen. Obama's Alabama campaign head (Congressman Artur Davis) and Sen. McCain's state campaign chief (State Rep. Cam Ward).

The debate will be held next Wednesday at the Alabama State Archives. Click here for more details.

A Downturn That Lasts Until 2020?

That's what is suggested in this recent WSJ article that discusses how the Baby Boomer generation has been a major player in the present problems:
"This is like winter coming," adds Harry S. Dent, an author and consultant who says the U.S. is headed for a slump that will last until 2020. It will take that long for the financial wreckage from this boom-bust cycle to be cleared away, he says, and for the 79.4 million strong "Millennial Generation" -- most of whom are still in high school or college -- to enter adulthood and start buying homes, cars and gadgets of their own. "It happens once every 80 years," Mr. Dent says of this sort of demographics-driven economic cycle. "It's going to be difficult."
Meanwhile, remember the predictions that Daily Sprawl has made about the auto industry? Well, they are looking more and more likely everyday.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A Startling Report...

...that recently aired on PBS discussing what the commentators are suggesting may end up "worse than the Great Depression".

Click here to read the transcript or listen to the story itself.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Looking for a Good...

...article discussing the origins of the current economic woes?

If so, try this Financial Meltdown 101 article. It discusses the background and reasons in very plain, but accurate, terms.

Daily Sprawl recommends it.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

What are the Signals to Watch for that Predict a Worst Case Scenario situation?

That's what this blog entry outlines. Frankly, several seem quite accurate.

The Economic Crisis and Birmingham, Alabama

Here's an interesting article from CNN's business page discussing how Jefferson County--home to the City of Birmingham--is on the brink of financial collapse.

Indictments are certain. Economic devastation are is possible.

Hampstead Community Farm Festival...

...on Saturday, October 25th Hampstead--a DPZ designed community here in Montgomery--will host its first ever Community Farm Festival.

As part of the event, we'll be having a series of free Green Living Talks on topics such as green products, green home design, and green landscaping.

I'll be presenting the Green Living Talk on the best household and body care products available to detox your house and improve your family's health--without busting your budget. We'll also have a drawing for some free product giveaways.

Hope to see you there...

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


A good many readers have asked Daily Sprawl to predict where all things peak energy and peak credit are headed. Well, we love parlor games as much as the next blog, but we're also informed enough to know that nobody can reasonably predict results in the midst of chaos.

That said, since we spent hours every day researching these issues, we've been able to glean certain potential trends by compiling info from a variety of sources.

Along those lines, here are some general Daily Sprawl predictions:

1. Until mid-November or so, expect generally positive news out of the financial markets. Some downs but also some big ups.

2. As the holiday season kicks in and it becomes apparent (not long after Thanksgiving) that consumers are buying less than usual, expect the financial markets to begin contracting.

3. After the first of the year, a variety of well-known retailers will go ahead. The Christmas season was just that bad.

4. By February, we'll know whether the various bailout/rescue efforts will hold. If so, spring may bring some glimmers of hope. Otherwise, we'll quickly devolve into a winter of massive problems. Note: there will be no in between. Things will either dramatically improve or dramatically worsen.

Are these very general? Sure, but they do offer some guidance. Daily Sprawl's plan is to continue investing in tangible assets and avoid the financial markets at almost any cost.

Stay tuned..

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Patty Salkin's well-read Law of the Land Blog has a good review of the land planning and development book to which I recently contributed a chapter.

Friday, October 10, 2008

This is bad--grain piling up in ports because the needed credit cannot be freed up to ship it.

Daily Sprawl is trying to get a better feel for what's transpiring. We'll hopefully post a couple of good summary articles this afternoon. Stay tuned.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

According to JD Powers...

More on the auto market:
The global auto market may experience an "outright collapse" in 2009 amid growing concerns around credit availability of credit and general economic stress, an influential industry tracking firm said on Thursday.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Today's Important Article to Read...

Sound overly dramatic? Well, just think how what is happening right now would have sounded only one year ago...

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Shopping Malls are...

...looking at major financial problems.

Plus, the auto industry just gets bleaker at the dealerships. And the actual car manufacturers.

Odd how these two pillars of sprawl are simultaneously suffering serious fissures...

UPDATE: Oh yeah, airports are cratering, too.
The Washington Post has this good rundown of how the financial meltdown is going international. We're beginning to wonder if things are close to a serious loss of control. Stay tuned.

Monday, October 6, 2008

To our readers, Daily Sprawl now considers the economy to be in crash state. The question is no longer "if" but "to what extent". We'll post the most information articles here at Daily Sprawl to keep our readers informed.

Needless to say, if you are in the stock market--whether through your mutual funds, 401k, or other investment routes--you need to move that money into more conservative investments immediately. It is losing large amounts of value on a daily basis.

Here's a good article to get started with:
The movements in the FX market are incredible. One friend just read me something which he has received from an fx trader which said that the only things that anyone desires to own are the US dollar,the Japanese Yen, gold, bottled water and bullets”

Sunday, October 5, 2008

This article from MacLeans on the current financial challenges is a very important one. Daily Sprawl puts this in the category of "Must Read" for our readers.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Gov. Palin and Boone Pickens recently met to discuss the Pickens Plan. Sounds like it went well and Palin really does understand the important details of energy issues.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Startling if accurate:
This from a friend in Atlanta with strong banking connections: "Reliable word that Bank of America branch managers just received a letter or memo from the USFed instructing them to perhaps be ready for a one-week universal shut-down of the banking system, including access to checking accounts, savings accounts and credit cards. Reliable word has it that BofA bank branches received a shipment of signs last week, reading "WE'RE SORRY, BUT DUE TO CIRCUMSTANCES BEYOND OUR CONTROL, WE CANNOT BE OPEN AT THIS TIME."

So the banks are in need of a respite, a break, a holiday. They need to shore up their positions. Economists and bankers avoid revealing the consequences of extended absence of short-term credit supply. Imagine all the supply chain DELIVERY routes being interrupted for lack of short-term credit, certain to interrupt the supply of food, gasoline, building materials, basic household wares, simple hardware, and more. The short-term credit would certainly also disrupt payroll streams for companies, inventory supply for retail chains, durable goods purchases by consumers (like washing machines & refrigerators), the maintenance of basic machinery (like cars, trucks, computer, communications), even cash dispensed at ATMachines.

The Town of Hampstead...

...Montgomery, Alabama's only DPZ-designed sustainable community has announced its first restaurant (a farm to table model) and several exciting October events.

Click here to learn more.

And, coming in November and January, two of the country's brightest minds will be visiting Hampstead as part of The Hampstead Institute Speaker Series. Exciting details to follow soon...
Another blog that Daily Sprawl recommends: Naked Capitalism (and, yes, its a perfectly clean, family-friendly site).

They've been doing a nice job following the financial crisis.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

"This is a Disaster on a Grand Scale".

Daily Sprawl highly recommends watching this recent news video chronicling the wreckage created by the sprawl growth housing market.

Powerfully sad but still a good measure of the current reality.

More Sprawl-Busting...

...from the credit crisis:
After enduring a brutal sales slump caused by high gas prices and a faltering economy, the last thing the American auto industry needed was a credit crisis.

Larry Kelly, general manager at the Ritchey dealership in Daytona Beach, Fla., said car buyers — even those with good credit — were paying higher rates for loans. But with banks tightening up their lending, any hope for a recovery in vehicle sales this year has been dashed.

The virtual lockdown on credit is hurting Detroit’s Big Three and other automakers at every level. More consumers cannot get auto loans. Dealers are hard-pressed to secure financing for new inventories. The auto companies themselves are running short of cash and can hardly afford to borrow more at interest rates as high as 20 percent.
This NYT article discusses how more and more municipalities are finding that the bond market is increasingly uneconomical.

While some important projects like hospital expansions get caught in this problem, it also means that new road-building and other sprawl-supporting projects won't have funding.

A silver-lining in dark fiscal cloud.

What in the World... going on if this is accurate:
Larry you have to read the bill. It's very clear. The Bank of Shanghai can transfer all of its toxic assets to the Bank of Shanghai of Los Angeles which can then sell them the next day to the Treasury. I had a provision to say if it wasn't owned by an American entity even a subsidiary, but at least an entity in the US, the Treasury can't buy it. It was rejected.

The bill is very clear. Assets now held in China and London can be sold to US entities on Monday and then sold to the Treasury on Tuesday. Paulson has made it clear he will recommend a veto of any bill that contained a clear provision that said if Americans did not own the asset on September 20th that it can't be sold to the Treasury.

Hundreds of billions of dollars are going to bail out foreign investors. They know it, they demanded it and the bill has been carefully written to make sure that can happen.
The linked article also includes the relevant language backing this claim. This is simply outrageous if it bears out.