Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Bako bits: an explosion of swine flu cases locally and the local ties to Citizens Business Bank

* ... SWINE FLU CASES EXPLODE: Heard some alarming news regarding the swine flu Wednesday from Dr. Raj Patel, a co-owner of Preferred Family Care Physicians off Truxtun Extension and my personal doctor. Patel said his office has seen a virtual explosion of the swine flu (H1N1) in recent weeks, going from two to three diagnosed cases a day to 20 to 25 a day in just two weeks. These numbers far outstrip the  number of swine flu cases that the Kern County health department reported earlier this week, but Patel says the cases are real and frightening. "We've stopped counting," he said. "Every day it is more and more and more. We are swamped." Patel received his first shipment of the H1N1 vaccine but went through it in a couple days and is awaiting a new shipment. Now comes word that the U.S. health authorities are warning there will be shortage of the H1N1 vaccine (read the story here) and that there may not be sufficient quantities to cover everyone until December. Patel said the Centers for Disease Control estimates that 8 percent of all Americans have the swine flu now, and by the end of the year fully 60 percent of us will have some kind of flu: either a regular version of the flu or the H1N1.

 * ... THE LOCAL CONNECTION TO CITIZENS: Had a nice chat the other day with Ray Dezember, the retired banker who knows just about everybody in town. Ray reminded me that Citizens Business Bank, which took over the failed San Joaquin Bank, has a strong connection to Bakersfield. For you local history buffs, Ray was running the old American National Bank when it was absorbed by Wells Fargo Bank back in 1990. Working with Ray at American National was D. Linn Wiley, who shortly thereafter went to Ontario to become CEO of Citizens Business Bank. Linn has since retired but remains as vice chairman of the board at Citizens. Other American National alumni now working at Citizens Business Bank include Harold Hanson, John Ivy and John Tait. Ray said it was Linn Wiley who actually recruited Citizens CEO Christopher Myers.

 * ... WHERE'S MIKE OLAGUE? Speaking of local bankers, lots of folks are wondering what happened to Michael Olague, the longtime Bakersfield banker who has been replaced as head of the regional Rabobank office. Rabobank is a private, well diversified Dutch-held company that keeps a tight rein on public announcements, and it's not saying anything about what happened to Olague. All the office would say is that the new regional president is Anker Fanoe. Olague previously ran the regional Bank of America office and worked for a time at the old San Joaquin Bank.

 * ... THE MESS WITH LOCAL APPRAISALS: Readers of this blog know I am a big fan of local appraiser Gary Crabtree and his "Crabtree Report," which remains one of the single most authoritative sources on the local housing market. I'm always impressed by the depth and breadth of his reports, which in this day and age makes for a sobering read. His latest report shows Bakersfield remaining the seventh worst foreclosure market in the nation with a staggering 13.14 per 1,000 households. And the mess with out of town appraisers supplying incomplete or erroneous appraisals remains a big problem. From his report:

 "The HVCC (Home Valuation Code of Conduct) is continuing to cause problems with low appraisals performed by either lesser experienced and/or geographically incompetent appraisers ... Research of the MLS appraiser members indicates that 58 percent of the appraiser members are from out of the area as far north as San Francisco and as far south as San Diego, with one appraiser from Huntsville, Alabama. What is even more concerning is that according to the California Office of Real Estate Appraisers there are a total of 119 licensed appraisers in Bakersfield, yet only 50 are 'appraiser members' of the MLS. This begs the question: where and how are the other 69 members obtaining their market data information or do they possess a real estate license and are Realtor members?"


Anonymous said...

American National Bank was not "absorbed" into Wells Fargo like water into a towel, but rather, ANB board members/directors such as Ray Dezember made a killing in the sale of the bank. A killing! It made them filthy, fabulously rich! That would be more accurate.

Anonymous said...

You failed to mention that John Ivy was working at San Joaquin Bank until a few months ago and was involved in all those loans that went bad. Now he's back. What does that say about bankers taking care of their own?

Anonymous said...

What's wrong with getting rich? I didn't know that was a bad thing.

Anonymous said...

Didn't say it was a bad thing! To be filthy, fabulously rich, to make a killing, is a fantastic thing! It's totally American. Gotta love it!

Anonymous said...

Crabtree is unclear on what "begs the question" means. He really means "raises the question" or "makes me wonder" in this instance. "Begs the question" means that someone has made a statement that lacks support -- a logical fallacy. You could say Crabtree himself is begging the question by assuming that the 119 licensed appraisers to whom he refers are all in town making appraisals. Perhaps he has proof, but he is not providing it here. Therefore, he is begging the question.

Anonymous said...

Allowing the comment in your blog regarding John Ivy is disgraceful and unnecessarily criticizes an honest, hard-working, intelligent former employee of San Joaquin Bank. John Ivy served the bank and the community for many years in an outstanding fashion and has distinguished himself as a fair and competent banker. Permitting the re-publication of unconscionable remarks about Mr. Ivy without substantiation for the sheer entertainment value of your blog is uncalled for and appalling. Any bank would be proud to hire Mr. Ivy, as indicated by his being hired by Citizens Business Bank.

Anonymous said...

Re: Virtual explosion of swine flu

Please give your doctor and hospital the following information:

An over-reactive immune response (cytokine storm) in healthy people causes the dramatic and unexpected organ failure leading to death with this flu. Immediate use of natural anti-virals by the entire population (sick & well)will have a huge effect in your community but especially so in these high-risk groups. Antivirals lessen the amount of virus in the bloodstream thereby keeping the body's cytokine production down. This will take an enormous burden off your emergency facilities and SAVE LIVES.

Two readily-attainable supplements are easily tolerated, safe for children/ pregnant women with no toxicity. They also do not cause virus resistance, unlike Tamiflu:

--Resveratrol-- Resveratrol increased survival rates 40% in flu-infected mice, lowered the amount of virus in lungs by 98%. Liquid form is preferred. Hold a few tablespoons in the mouth for one minute then swallow. Repeat doses 2-3x daily (more often for serious cases) or take one 200 mg. capsule 2-3x daily. Use droppers for babies / young children.

--N-Acetyl Cysteine (NAC) Capsules can be opened on yogurt. Suggested doses:
• Adults--1200 mg, twice a day
• Children over 12-- 600 mg, twice a day
• Children 40 lbs & up-- 300-600 mg, twice a day
• Children under 40 lbs-- 150-300 mg, twice a day

The prescription-only inhalers MucoMyst or Mucosil contain NAC. Clinics and hospitals should stock up on these and administer preventively, before patients show lung involvement.

Anonymous said...

Instead of bemoaning the changes in appraisal rules (caused ultimately by the collusion of home-town appraisers with lenders doing their part in the real estate bubble), Gary Crabtree could do what the imported Bakersfield appraisers are doing and get himself up to San Jose or Fresno or down to San Diego to do appraisals. If they can do it, certainly an appraiser who is as experienced and highly praised as Crabtree can do it, too. Times change for everyone; everyone has to adjust.