Posts Tagged ‘loan’

Here’s One Problem, Just One Problem, With Tesla Motors’ Buyback Scheme: High Mercedes S Class Depreciation

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

Here’s the news of the day:

“Working with some of the largest and most respected banks in the country, Tesla has been able to create a financing product that combines the surety and comfort of ownership with all the advantages of a traditional lease.

US Bank and Wells Fargo will provide 10% down financing assuming a good credit rating, and the down payment is covered or more than covered by US Federal and state tax credits ranging from $7,500 to $15,000. New Jersey, Washington and DC also have no sales tax for electric vehicles. These advantages are not available when leasing.

After 36 months, you have the right, but not the obligation to sell your Model S to Tesla for the same residual value percentage as the iconic Mercedes S Class, one of the finest premium sedans in the world, made by Daimler (also a Tesla partner and investor).

Not only is Tesla guaranteeing that resale value, but Tesla CEO Elon Musk is personally standing behind that guarantee to give customers absolute peace of mind about the value of the asset they are purchasing.

We also encourage you to think about Model S ownership in terms of true out of pocket cost. When considering the savings from using electricity instead of gasoline, depreciation benefits, and other factors, buyers will save hundreds of dollars per month compared to owning a gasoline powered car.”

The problem with this, or rather, one of the problems with this, is that Mercedes Benz S-Class cars have horrible resale value.

Just horrible!

Check it.

So if Elon Musk really wants to put his money where his mouth is, why doesn’t he use cars more desirable and practical for the residual value percentage guarantee?

How about the Nissan Versa or Honda Fit?

Just askin’.

OMG, You Totally Need to Check Out an Electricity Meter from the SF Public Library – See How Much Juice You’re Using

Monday, January 28th, 2013

Well of course you know how much juice you’re using on a a monthly basis, but if you go to your local branch library you’ll be able to check out an electricity meter that’ll tell you how much each of your appliances is sucking down.

Like this:

Click to expand

The entire program is ably explained here by the San Francisco Chronicle’s Deb Wandelll. (And obviously, people, make sure you unplug you old analog 13″  CRT TVs that you don’t even use anymore…)

I’ll tell you, I haven’t borrowed anything from the lieberry in a good long time, but this thing I just checked out myself.

The big fridge is brand new and you can tell by looking at this meter, so that’s good. (I wish it didn’t have to be an expensive counter-depth model but this one was the biggest model available that would fit through some super-narrow Victorian doorways (after taking both fridge doors off, yish))

Now the mini fridge and the chest freezer, well, they’re just not built as well so they cost a pretty penny to run even though they’re newish. Oh well.

The 70″ Sharp is from 2011 – it’s fine. It’s LED after all.

Speaking of which, you can light up a whole room with a “25 watt” LED light on a desk lamp, as I do. The meter says that these bulbs burn 5 watts, which is about what I figured.

You can’t use the meter to see what your overhead room lights are using, but you can just look at the bulbs’ ratings for that. (2012 was probably the first year it made sense to convert to LED lighting  - Costco is now selling heavily-subsidized bulbs so you ought to get some yourself.)

Or if you want, you can just buy a meter from Amazon, I don’t care. But then what do you do with the meter when you’re done with it.

Congratulations to the SFPL for this program

OMG, Our San Francisco Public Library is Now Letting Your Check Out Electric Meters for Free – Save $$ at Home

Wednesday, January 16th, 2013

Soon you’ll be able to see how much juice each of your appliances is using by simply checking out a meter as if it were a book.

But act fast – these things should prove popular.

All the deets:

“San Francisco Public Library to Offer Home Metering Devices - To Measure Home Appliance Energy Use - Adds to list of services for city residents

SAN FRANCISCO, Jan 16, 2013 – The San Francisco Public Library today launched a new program to offer library patrons What’s Your Watt home electric metering devices as a tool to measure energy usage in home electronic appliances.

Sponsored by Wells Fargo and Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E), What’s Your Watt is a collaborative effort by the San Francisco Public Library’s Green Stacks program, the Department of the Environment (SF Environment), and the Business Council on Climate Change (BC3). Wells Fargo presented the idea for the program and a seed grant to purchase meters, which are now available for check out at all 28 San Francisco public libraries. PG&E provided the home metering devices. Borrowers may take the devices home to determine wattage, associated costs and C02 emissions information for all electrical appliances, including computers, refrigerators and hair dryers.

“Thanks to the generous support of Wells Fargo and PG&E, San Francisco library users can now check out a home energy metering device along with their books,” said Melanie Nutter, director of SF Environment. “We are delighted that our libraries and local businesses are so committed to helping San Franciscans reduce their energy use, save money and lower their carbon emissions.”
Standard library borrowing rules apply for the home metering devices, which can be checked out for three weeks. Each branch library and the SFPL Green Bookmobile will have two devices and the Main Library will have six devices.

The What’s Your Watt home metering devices are simple to use and come with instructions in English, Spanish, Chinese and Russian. Additional information can be found at: www.sfenvironment.org/whatsyourwatt.

“It is our hope that San Franciscans will take advantage of this program so they can reduce their energy consumption to lower their energy bills, while benefitting the environment as well—both great goals to start in the new year,” said Tracy Curtis, president of Wells Fargo’s San Francisco market.

About SFPL Green Stacks
San Francisco Public Library’s Green Stacks is dedicated to helping the City go green. Libraries have always been dedicated to free, renewable resources and this new, citywide program highlights the environmental initiatives, programs, exhibitions and information created and supported by today’s library system. In partnership with SF Environment and Friends of the San Francisco Public Library, Green Stacks empowers all library users to live a more eco-friendly life.

About SF Environment
The San Francisco Department of the Environment (SF Environment) creates visionary policies and innovative programs that promote social equity, protect human health, and lead the way toward a sustainable future. We put our mission into action by mobilizing communities and providing the resources needed to safeguard our homes, our city, and ultimately our planet. For more information on SF Environment, visit: www.sfenvironment.org

About the Business Council on Climate Change
The Business Council on Climate Change (BC3) is a public-private partnership between local government and the business community that works to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in San Francisco through collaboration and direct action. For more information on BC3, visit: www.bc3sfbay.org

About Wells Fargo
In April 2012, Wells Fargo released a set of environmental commitments to be achieved by 2020; including reducing the company’s environmental impact, financing the transition to a greener economy and encouraging stronger and more sustainable communities. A leader in reducing its own greenhouse gas emissions and building sustainably, Wells Fargo has been recognized by the Carbon Disclosure Project and the U.S. Green Building Council. Since 2006, Wells Fargo has provided more than $11.7 billion in environmental finance, supporting sustainable buildings and renewable energy projects nationwide. This includes investments in more than 260 solar projects and 34 wind projects that generate enough clean renewable energy to power hundreds of thousands of American homes each year. For more information, please visit: www.wellsfargo.com/environment.

Wells Fargo & Company is a nationwide, diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.4 trillion in assets. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, it provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through more than 9,000 stores, 12,000 ATMs, the Internet (wellsfargo.com), and has offices in more than 35 countries to support customers who conduct business in the global economy. With more than 265,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the US.

About PG&E
Pacific Gas and Electric Company is one of the largest combined natural gas and electric utilities in the US. Based in San Francisco, with 20,000 employees, the company delivers some of the nation’s cleanest energy to 15 million people in Northern and Central California.

Funding for What’s Your Watt was provided through a partnership with the City and County of San Francisco. Through the partnership, PG&E offers comprehensive energy efficiency services and technical assistance to residential, small commercial, large commercial and municipal customers. This program is funded in part by California utility customers and administered by PG&E under the auspices of the California Public Utilities Commission.

Mythbusters! Adam Savage Needs to Borrow a Large Aircraft in the Bay Area for a Few Days – Won’t You Help Him?

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

Adam Savage would like to borrow your airplane for a few days:

“ATTENTION! Anyone have a 200+ seat plane we can use (no flying) for 2-3 days in the Bay Area? We won’t blow it up. WRITE mb@beyond.com.au”

See? They won’t blow it up.

Now, I know what you’re thinking, you’re thinking, “What about the Getty Jet?”

Via All Valley Blogs 

But I think that old gas-guzzling Boeing 727* is too small.

But what about the big Google Jets? Either the 757 or wide-body 767 should work.

Now, what are the Mythbusters up to?

*There’s nothing wrong with The Jetty per se, it’s just that it’s old school so your chances of dying on it are one or two orders of magnitude greater that what they’d be on the JetBlue or something. And it’s not possible to upgrade all its low-bypass engines to a more modern design. Therefore it’s expensive to operate compared to jets that weren’t designed half a century ago.

Oh Snap! Senator Barbara Boxer Goes After Law Schools as If They Were Cooking Schools – “Luring Students In”

Friday, October 14th, 2011

Well this is different. (Actually, it reminds me of the fuss over the California Culinary Academy.)

“Coburn, Boxer Call for Department of Education to Examine Questions of Law School Transparency - In Light of Concerns About Misleading Information, Senators Request Statistics on Six Key Metrics

Washington, D.C. – U.S. Senators Tom Coburn (R-OK) and Barbara Boxer (D-CA) yesterday asked the Department of Education’s Inspector General to provide information about key law school job placement, bar passage and loan debt metrics in light of serious concerns that have been raised about the accuracy and transparency of information being provided to prospective law school students.

This letter follows repeated calls from Senator Boxer to the American Bar Association to provide stronger oversight of reporting by law schools and better access to information for students.

In their letter, the Senators pointed to media reports that raise questions about whether the claims law schools use to lure prospective students are, in fact, accurate. They also cited reporting that questions whether law school tuition and fees are used for legal education or for unrelated purposes.”

Enjoy the whole thing, after the jump

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OMG! Pearl’s Deluxe Burgers Coming to Sixth and Market – Is the Mid-Market Rebirth Finally Happening?

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

Do you feel that what the Mid-Market needs is a really good five-cent cigar $14 hamburger sandwich / french-fried potatoes meal deal?

We’ll find out soon enough, when four-star Yelp-rated Pearl’s Deluxe Burgers opens its doors at 1001 Market Street at the intersection with 6th Street.

Bon Courage, PDB!

MAYOR NEWSOM ANNOUNCES PEARL’S DELUXE BURGERS TO OPEN AT VACANT SIXTH AND MARKET LOCATION
City financing and small business assistance enable award-winning burger restaurant to become a cornerstone in the ongoing revitalization of Central Market

San Francisco, CA—Mayor Gavin Newsom announced today that Pearl’s Deluxe Burgers, an award-winning burger restaurant, will open their fourth venue at 1001 Market Street at the corner of Sixth Street.  Pearl’s is receiving financing from the Central Market Cultural District Loan Fund, an $11.5 million fund to encourage retail and arts businesses to locate on Market Street, and from the San Francisco Redevelopment Agency’s “Six on Sixth” revitalization program.  Pearl’s on Market and Sixth Streets will add 22 – 33 construction jobs and 16 permanent jobs.  

“Pearl’s Deluxe Burgers’ decision to sign a long-term lease at this challenging corner is another major step in the turnaround of Central Market,” said Mayor Newsom.  “Through targeted financing programs, redevelopment resources and small business permitting and technical support, San Francisco is helping startups and small businesses grow while bringing new investment and jobs where they’re needed most.”

Pearl’s joins Blick Art Supply and a handful of other high-quality, small businesses such as Show Dogs, Archetype Boutique on Market Street and Passion Café and Miss Saigon on Sixth Street in a growing cluster of what is becoming the Central Market arts and cultural district and Sixth Street neighborhood shopping district.

Pearl’s received extensive assistance from City-funded Urban Solutions, a nonprofit organization providing small business assistance free of charge.  Additionally, the building owners at 1001 Market Street helped facilitate the deal by providing collateral for the financing.  

Sylvia Yi, co-owner of Pearl’s, said their decision to open at this location was largely due to the City’s assistance.  She commented, “We see this as an opportunity to give back to the community by creating jobs, increasing commerce in this challenging area, and perhaps enticing other merchants to invest as well.  Working withthe Office of Economic and Workforce Development, the Redevelopment Agency, and Urban Solutions has been instrumental in making this project happen.  As a native San Franciscan, it makes me proud to see our city officials reinvesting in our neighborhoods and working together withlocal merchants to create positive change.  With this kind of effort and partnership, I envision the revitalization of Central Market and Sixth Street is well underway and Pearl’s is honored to be a small part of it.”

Pearl’s Deluxe Burgers was established in 2003 and is run by partners Sylvia and Young Yi.  Pearl’s currently has three locations throughout the Bay Area, including on Post Street in the Theater District.  Pearl’s has received numerous awards including “Best Burger in San Francisco” by SFWeekly and AOL Cityguide.com.  Pearl’s has also been featured in the Food Network’s The Best Thing I Ever Ate and recently appeared on Channel 5’s Eye On The Bay

Jerry Brown Throws Down – Foreclosure Consultants to Register With AG’s Office

Monday, June 1st, 2009

It just came over the Twitter - foreclosure consultants, you know, these people, must now:

1. Submit detailed information about their operations, including copies of the contracts signed by their clients, to the California Attorney General’s Office; und

2. Post a $100,000 bond if they want to continue their operations in the Golden State

Read all about the new rules here and below.

JB only has a quarter million followers on Twitter these days - that’s not much compared with Oprah, she has like a million:

jb-copy

Brown Directs Foreclosure Consultants to Register with his Office and Post $100,000 Bond

Oakland — Continuing his fight against scam artists who “prey on” vulnerable Californians, Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. today issued a directive forcing foreclosure consultants to register with his office and post a $100,000 bond by July 1, 2009.

Those who fail to do so will be in violation of state law, subject to criminal penalties of up to a year in jail and fines ranging from $1,000 to $25,000 per violation.

“California is awash with con artists who prey on vulnerable families facing foreclosure,” Brown said. “By forcing foreclosure consultants to submit detailed information to my office and post a $100,000 bond, this registry will help bring long-overdue transparency to this shadowy world.”

Up and down the state, scam artists pose as legitimate foreclosure consultants, promising homeowners they will prevent foreclosure. In reality, these scam artists charge huge up-front costs, but don’t provide an ounce of help.

Earlier this month, Brown’s office prosecuted a scam artist who provided hundreds of homeowners with forged bank documents and directed them to send their mortgage payments to accounts she had created, instead of the homeowners’ lender.

Additionally, Brown’s office has seen a significant increase in the number of complaints from homeowners regarding foreclosure consultants.

The registry unveiled today will provide Californians with information about potential consultants and recourse in the event that a consultant violates the law.

More deets after the jump

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Jerry Brown Prohibits H&R Block From Marketing “Early Tax Refunds”

Friday, January 2nd, 2009

Oh snap! Just in time for tax season, California Attorney General Jerry Brown’s 2006 lawsuit against H&R Block has borne some fruit. He just reached agreement prohibiting deceptive marketing of tax refund loans:

“The settlement provides for up to $2.45 million in restitution for consumers who purchased a “Refund Anticipation Loan” or a “Refund Anticipation Check” through H&R Block between January 1, 2001 and December 31, 2008. In addition, H&R Block will pay $500,000 in penalties and $1.9 million in fees and costs.”

Will the “settlement administrator” be contacting you about getting some money from H&R? Read on for details.

California’s dogged AG:

via “Thomas Hawk’s” Photostream

Attorney General Brown Reaches Agreement with H&R Block Prohibiting Deceptive Marketing of Tax Refund Loans

Sacramento—Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. today reached a $4.85 million settlement with H&R Block, which prohibits the company from marketing refund anticipation loans as early tax refunds.

This settlement prevents H&R Block from marketing high-cost loans as early tax refunds,” Attorney General Brown said. “This is especially important because often these loans go to those who can least afford them.”

Attorney General Brown filed suit against H&R Block in early 2006 regarding its marketing and sale of income tax refund anticipation loans and a related product called refund anticipation checks.

H&R Block continues to deny any wrongdoing. During the course of the investigation, Block has worked with the Attorney General to improve its practices.

A refund anticipation loan is a short-term loan secured by a taxpayer’s anticipated income tax refund. The complaint alleged a variety of deceptive practices by H&R Block including:

Deceptive advertising designed to disguise refund anticipation loans, which carry fees and other costs, as tax refunds, which the IRS provides without charge; and

Unfair debt collection practices by which customers’ refund proceeds were garnished to pay off debts they supposedly owed.

The settlement provides for up to $2.45 million in restitution for consumers who purchased a
“Refund Anticipation Loan” or a “Refund Anticipation Check” through H&R Block between
January 1, 2001 and December 31, 2008. In addition, H&R Block will pay $500,000 in penalties and $1.9 million in fees and costs.

In addition. H&R Block will be prohibited from marketing these loans and related products in a deceptive or misleading manner and will be required to make clear and conspicuous disclosures to consumers prior to their purchase of these products. Terms of the settlement are limited to three years.

A settlement administrator will be contacting eligible consumers directly. Eligible consumers may also write to the Attorney General’s Public Inquiry Unit at P.O. Box 944255, Sacramento, CA 94244-2550, or may send an e-mail at http://ag.ca.gov/contact/.

Attorney General Brown previously settled claims against Jackson Hewitt and recently concluded a trial against Liberty Tax Service, the second and third largest tax preparation companies in the country, respectively. All three lawsuits involved refund anticipation loans and related products.