Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Beer Beauty and Her Busch

The wrongful death lawsuit against former beer baron August Busch IV ended today with a judge's approval of a $1.75 million settlement to family members of his former girlfriend Adrienne Martin, who died of an accidental drug overdose at his mansion in 2010.

No surprise there - that guy has been trippin' over his own dick, ego and drug / alcohol use going back to his university days listening to Huey Lewis and the News.  But the chicks keep lining up for it....wonder why?????

Chairman Ben: Sucking You Dry a Drop at a Time

What we know, or should know, from the past is that once inflation becomes anticipated and ingrained — as it eventually would — then the stimulating effects are lost. Once an independent central bank does not simply tolerate a low level of inflation as consistent with “stability,” but invokes inflation as a policy, it becomes very difficult to eliminate.

A little inflation can be a dangerous thing by Paul Volcker

Yup, once the unwashed masses begin to see the Chairman in much the same light as this guy:

it can even sway elections.

Holy Shit!!! I Went to Bed in the US But Woke Up in the Fucking U.S.S.R.!!!!!

From each according to his abilities, to each according to his needs.  - Karl Marx
"Inflation robs every holder of the currency and is effectively a form of government-sanctioned theft, or if you prefer, a hidden tax on productivity, as productive people and enterprises are taxed to support crony-capitalist, unproductive mal-investments and the rising interest on public debt ."
"In effect, inflation is a way of transferring wealth from the productive to the unproductive, which then leaves the productive with less capital to invest in innovation."

Say What?!?!?!?

(Oliver) "Stone said in 2008 that he backed Obama, but earlier this year said that he would support GOP Rep. Ron Paul over Obama if he could."

This is the content of a real e-mail that I sent to a former friend in December of 2010.  I've not spoken to him since nor he to me.  I called it "Ron Paul's positions suddenly *not* considered completely kooky and nuts - go figure?"

Well, our little housing bubble and bust in St. Louis has pretty well run its course.  There is still a little deflating to go here but for the most part, the fat lady is singing in St. Louis.  So, for my birthday gift to myself, I’m buying a house and getting a Brittany dog this month (or early January, depending upon how long the closing takes).  Things are moving along pretty well so with any luck, I’ll be “puppy shopping” for a Brittany bird dog by the first of the year.
Some markets (like New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, *chuckle*) have a little ways to go – they’ve probably got another two years of pain ahead of them to come back to reality but that guess and $3.75 will get you a Starbuck’s coffee.
You know John, anytime that you and/or your ex-girlfriend decided I was some sort of wacko or kook and didn’t want to hear from me anymore, all you had to do was say so.  In truth, I’d rather be told to “f*ck off” than to be snubbed – it isn’t as though I’d go slit my wrists or something (snicker, boo-hoo, snicker).  What an interesting 10 years this decade has been.
You won’t be hearing from me anymore (assuming you even read this).

Baltimore, MarylandHey, our old friend Ron Paul is in the news. The New York Times carried an article about him. Astonishingly, it wasn’t negative. Yes, it mentioned that Ron was regarded as a “crank.” But in context, that didn’t seem so bad.“I was with Ron just last week,” said colleague Addison Wiggin. “He was just coming up for the chairmanship of the House subcommittee that oversees the Fed. He said he thought he had a ‘snowball’s chance in Hell’ of getting the post.
“The last time he was in line for it, the Republican hierarchy blocked him. But that was then. This is now.”
A few years ago, everyone hated Ron. The left hated him because he wanted to withdraw funding for its pet projects. The right hated him because he wanted to rein in the US military.
Now, things have turned around. The left likes Ron because he wants to bring the troops home from Iraq and Afghanistan. The right likes Ron because he is a consistent opponent of deficit spending.
The young are fascinated by him. What sort of Congressman votes no on his colleagues’ boondoggles? What sort of conservative opposes the Pentagon and calls for an audit of the Fed? What sort of politician sticks to his principles, even when they are out of favor?
Most recently, the right-wingers have been howling for Julian Assange’s blood. They say he’s a “traitor” – despite the fact that as an Australian, he has no loyalty to the US. Sarah Palin says he should be pursued like an Al Qaeda operative (though he has committed no crime, as far as we know). Rep. Peter King asked the Attorney General to name WikiLeaks as a terrorist organization.
But good ol’ Ron keeps his head and his cool. He praises Assange for revealing the “delusional” nature of US foreign policy.
And poor Julian. Half the world wants to see him hang. And for what? He published some documents that US and foreign governments would rather keep secret. It may be a crime; politicians can make anything a crime. But since when was that a sin?
Even as to the crime, we have our doubts. If publishing is a crime, your editor is in trouble. If publishing “sensitive” documents that make US officials look like fools is a crime, we’re all in trouble.
Bill Bonner
for The Daily Reckoning

The truth of the matter is that when you look around at the "average voter" and have a 5 minute conversation with him or her, you start to realize that this country doesn't deserve to have leadership like Ron Paul.  It deserves to have "leadership" like "W" or "Barry" or "Nixon".

You can always count on Americans to do the right thing - after they've tried everything else.  - Winston Churchill

Monday, October 29, 2012

Puttin' on the Ritz

BILL MOYERS: What will it take to prevent the next one?

NEIL BAROFSKY: Got to break them up. I mean, it is not a simple thing to accomplish, necessarily. But it's a very simple solution. And what you see, I think, kind of amazingly, is how many more people have come to this view over the last year or so. It used to be a lonely perch that we sat on. Former special inspector generals, a couple of academics.

But now you have people like Sandy Weill, the architect of Citigroup. And sure, too little too late, after he made all of his money off creating these Frankenstein monsters.   But even he now recognizes that we have to break up the banks. You have senior officials at the Federal Reserve recently coming out in favor of this. The vice chair of the FDIC, a very strong advocate for breaking up the banks. And you hear it a lot more in members of Congress-- that are supporting this notion. So to me, on the one hand, it's absolutely essential. If we really want to get to the point where we don't have to bailout a bank, we have to make it so that no bank is so systemically significant and large that its failure could bring down the system.  From Jesse's Cafe' 

Franken-Finance Born Out of Incest

BILL MOYERS: I thought, at the time, this was an incestuous orgy going on there, between inside players at Washington and inside players at Wall Street. Is that too strong?

NEIL BAROFSKY: It's probably not too strong. It's the fact that their ideology matches up. And look, one of the reasons why their ideology matches up is they all come from the same small handful of institutions.

And the people I was dealing with on a daily basis came from the same financial institutions that helped cause the financial crisis and were the most generous recipients of bailouts, Goldman Sachs, Bear Sterns, which, of course, had been adopted by J.P. Morgan Chase. Goldman Sachs, Goldman Sachs, it seemed like every time I turned around, I bumped into someone from Goldman Sachs. 

Friday, October 26, 2012

Z.I.R.P. - Zombie Interest Rate Policy

"Lower rates drive up the cost of commodities: oil and food. And money that is spent on oil is sent out of the country to the Mideast and it doesn't help, and takes out income from people's pockets that could otherwise be spent on other goods. The second [ZH: and this is by far the biggest thing that the Fed refuses to acknowledge] is that not being able to earn a safe return on savings, is causing people to hoard savings rather than consume. In other words if I know I am going to earn 3% in the bank I can spend that income and I can have visibility towards that, but if I know I'm going to earn zero in the bank, in order to figure out how much I need to save for retirement I need to save a much bigger number. Which means I can't spend much now, I need to save more now, to build up those savings for retirement. If I am already retired and I am on fixed income, my income has now really gone down and I have to hoard money so I can spread it out thinner over a longer part of my life. So by denying individuals savings or interest on income on their savings, it is causing hoarding which is driving down consumption which is hurting the economy."

From Zero (not Zombie) Hedge

"In terms of the savings, I don't think it's a zero sum, because it's a multiplier on the behavior. It's not just the income I am not receiving now. It is the income I don't expect to receive in the future as well. Now we are years years into [ZIRP] with a promise of at least three more, so that's seven years, and you are getting a change in behavior on a multiplied basis."

Kenny Bing remarks:

I think that one thing that Ben "Fun Bucks" Bernanke is not factoring into his sophisticated thinking is how ZIRP is going to have blowback where future borrowers are concerned.  After he has left and when rates do begin to move back upward and your typical car loan goes for something like a more normal 5, 6 or 7% for sixty months (I can hear the gasps now), how are your typical borrowers going to initially react?  They have become accustomed to financing a set of wheels for 5 or 6 years at rates for conventional financing priced at 2 - 4% (we are currently writing five year notes at 1.99%).  My guess is that 5, 6, 7% is going to feel like highway robbery to them (even though it is not).  How are mortgage borrowers going to react when rates become more normal, market driven, and less manipulated?  What will that do to housing prices?  The fraud / sham / manipulation can only go on for so long.  My first house was financed at 10% for 30 years and that was a DEAL at the time, but the purchase price was about the price you would pay for today's large and well equipped SUV.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Son of Rambler

"Mitt Romney is the son of a famous and successful man, George Romney. The latter was successful in the old economy of the '50s and '60s. That is to say, he made real things and sold them to real people for real profit. He was the president of American Motors, manufacturers of the now defunct 'Rambler', among other things.

The 'Rambler' was a junky car. But it was cheap and it got you where you were going. There was nothing subtle or underhanded about it. It was what it appeared to be – a set of wheels."

- Bill Bonner from the Daily Reckoning

The Rainmaker Could Use an Umbrella

"Rainmaker," reads Bosworth's title on a business card he had printed while working for Scottsdale's City Kitchen catering in 2010.

Hubris crumbles.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Uncle Shylock Targets Bank of America for Shakedown

The Justice Department is seeking $1 billion from Bank of America, alleging the bank committed fraud by selling defective mortgages from a program it says was known within the bank as "the Hustle."

From the "Pot Calls Kettle 'Black'" Folder

Watching these assclowns duke it out within the "Clusterfuck Arena" is more fun than a barrel full of monkeys.  Popcorn, popcorn.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Electoral College or Pure Democracy?

Hash Browns or Home Fries?

Sausage or Pepperoni?

Ginger or Mary Ann?

For anyone who suggests dumping the electoral college and going with a pure democracy...

The best argument against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter.
- Winston Churchill

All Good Things Must Come to An End

Bye, Bye, Bernanke

Bernanke To Retire At The End Of His Term

Steve Dibert, MFI-MiamiBernanke to retire
Yes, after nearly six tumultuous years after becoming Chairman of the Federal Reserve, Ben Bernanke is telling close friends that he will be stepping down when his term is up at the end of January 2014.
According to Reuters,
“I am very focused on my work, I don’t have any decision or any information to give you on my personal plans,” he told a news conference last month after the Fed announced a new and open-ended round of bond buying to support the U.S. economy.”
It has been no big secret in Washington that the Obama White House has been growing impatient with the slow pace in which the Fed is moving to help spur the economy.  Even Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney has stated he would not re-nominate Bernanke if elected when Bernanke’s term ends.  U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner has also said he will not be returning if President Obama wins a second term.

So... Ben "Fun Bucks Gimp" "The Bernank" "QE is my middle name" Bernanke and Tim "Money Elf that Lives in a Tree that he Forclosed Upon and Threw out that worthless Keebler Clan" Geithner are going to seek their fortunes elsewhere???  My, my what an interesting time we live in....

Don't let the screen door hit you in the ass as you leave, boys.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

See if You Can Spot The Guy With the $5 Foot Long T-Shirt

More Trouble in the Great State of Dysfunction (a.k.a. Obamaland)

"While foreclosures across the country are slowing, with filings increasing 1 percent in August from the previous month, they climbed 29 percent in Illinois. The national foreclosure rate was one in 681 households, less than half the rate in Illinois."

....frogs inside my socks....

Keep Your Powder Dry

"Further, with 1.1 million seriously delinquent mortgages looming on the foreclosure horizon FHFA's timely guidance on deficiency management process may help the Enterprises recoup future losses and protect taxpayers' investment in their financial health," the report states."

I love South Dakota.  When you are out on the prairie, you realize just how small you really are.  But since the landscape is so large and you are so small, you can see threats in the distance even when they are miles away... and prepare.
In 2011, the recovery rate for the GSEs stood at 0.22%, (my comment - pretty small) which is equal to $4.7 million in clawed back losses. This is out of a potential pool of 35,321 deficiency accounts worth $2.1 billion.  "The Enterprises have room for improvement in how they manage deficiencies," the report concludes.

Housing Wire

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Kicking The Afghan Can Down the Road

"We are leaving in 2014, period, and in the process, we're going to be saving over the next 10 years another $800 billion," Biden said. "We've been in this war for over a decade. The primary objective is almost completed. Now all we're doing is putting the Kabul government in a position to be able to maintain their own security. It's their responsibility, not America's."

Marc Grossman, the State Department's special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan, explained today that's not the whole story.

2014? Is that what I said....??? Maybe I wrote the 9 and it came out looking like a 4 in my speech notes.....

Playing world asshole cop is a lot of fun.

Fargo, Missouri --- But Without the Murders and Wood Chipper

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
The former president of a southeast Missouri car dealership has pleaded guilty to bank fraud.
Federal prosecutors say Richard Galemore, 65, of Cape Girardeau admitted Monday that he sold more than 40 vehicles without paying a bank for the original loan.
The scheme cost the bank more than $500,000.
Galemore also closed Galemore Motors in Charleston without notifying bank in September 2008. KFVS reports that when a bank representative came to repossess the vehicles, they were not on the lot.
He is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 22.

We Want You to Drive This Bank Into the Ground... And We Will Pay You a Handsome Fee to Do So...

Vikram Pandit Bottom Line: Over $260 Million For A 90% Stock Drop

Down Goes Frazier!! Down Goes Frazier!!

Tin Foil Hat Meeting At Kenny Bing's Shack Tonight - Potluck So Bring a Dish But NO 3 Bean Dip This Time, Thomas

So, is this housing market rebound a Christ or a Zombie?...Time will Tell

Meanwhile, Back at the Housing Market "Resurrection"

"OK, it's official now: The housing market is recovering. Three out of the four biggest U.S. banks agree, so it must be true, right?
The latest ginormous U.S. bank to declare housing on the mend was Bank of America, personified by its CEO Brian Moynihan, who on Monday told Bloomberg TV, "The worst is over."

"You’re starting to see the home market heal around the country," he added."

Well, you know little ole me.... I always has to play contrarian when these folks offer their thoughts.  I think the good Lord put me here just to piss on people's parades...

When I see hubris, I just have to laugh....

"We believe the housing market has turned the corner," JPMorgan CEO Jamie Dimon said.

Those "few dead enders" in Iraq Cheney talked about sure have proven to be stubborn little bastards, huh?  Maybe they fuck and create replacement "dead enders" as fast as the Empire kills them.

"The first, non-cynical way to look at it is to say that Wells Fargo, JPMorgan and Bank of America are the three biggest mortgage lenders in the country. If anybody knows what's happening to housing, it's these guys."

This is a momentary lull in a long term trend.  Trends do not move in a linear fashion.  Locally, values are more or less treading water.  Illinois has a very long row to hoe (to use a Mississippi expression) because they have judicial foreclosure process that moves at a snail's pace and makes a lot of "makework" projects for judges and lawyers but the backlog of properties is starting to come on to the market.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Fuck You and the Ural You Rode In On Pal

..no his mind is not for rent, to any god or government..

"Amazingly, Kennedy tells the nation that the Patriots set a wonderful example for us all to follow at a time when we, in America, are engaged in a “war against the individual.” His words, not mine. Go plow through The Boston Globe on the Monday following that Super Bowl win to find out for yourself. Do it! You need the research practice."

Boortz also wrote the same thing in 2002 a few months after the Superbowl... which by the way - the fucked up and cheating Patriots stole from the Rams...

...by the way, let's review the footage of the Teddy Casket Cam, shall we?  Lion of the Senate...pffffftttttt......

“The main plank in the National Socialist program is to abolish the liberalistic concept of the individual and the Marxist concept of humanity and to substitute for them the folk community, rooted in the soil and bound together by the bond of its common blood.”
"The National Socialist bit should be your clue. Nazi was the acronym for Germany’s national socialist party. That quote is from Adolf Hitler. I’m reading The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich right now … you would not believe the hatred of individualism present in the Nazi regime."

We must abolish the cult of the individual decisively, once and for all.”
I left out the first word of this quote. That word is “Comrades!” This from the lips of none other than Nikita Khrushchev.
“We must stop thinking of the individual and start thinking about what is best for society.”
Ahh. The best for last. The person who uttered those words is none other than Hillary Clinton back in 2003 when she was pushing her version of government controlled medical care.

Dear Hillary,

Please take each member of your damned village and jam them back up your rotten cooze.

Hugs and Kisses,

Kenny Bing

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Coming Soon to an Intersection Near You

...holding a cardboard sign that reads "Will Ride Bike for Food, or Beer, or Drugs"

“Lance Armstrong and his handlers engaged in a massive and long-running scheme to use drugs, cover their tracks, intimidate witnesses, tarnish reputations, lie to hearing panels and the press and do whatever was ­necessary to conceal the truth,” said the report. Armstrong refused to co-operate with the investigation but in September, after losing a legal suit challenging USADA’s jurisdiction, he decided not to contest their case and was stripped of his seven Tour de France victories."

I think the market value of those little yellow rubber bracelet thingys is going down.

Wells Fargo, Chase, Etc. & The Butterfly Effect

The butterfly effect is a term related to meteorology (the study of weather phenomena) and to chaos theory (a branch of mathematical and physical theory). A meteorologist named Edward Lorenz is credited with having given the concept its name. Basically the butterfly effect is the observation that an event as seemingly insignificant as the flapping of a butterfly's wings might create a minuscule disturbance that, in the chaotic motion of the atmosphere, may eventually become sufficiently amplified to change the large-scale atmospheric motion, possibly even leading to a huge storm in a distant place. The immense number of tiny variables is one reason why long-term weather is so difficult to forecast. The term "butterfly effect" is sometimes applied to areas outside meteorology, making reference to the fact that small, almost imperceptible things can have large and momentous consequences.

"The U.S. Attorney in the Southern District of New York, Preet Bharara, yesterday brought a case against WF seeking "hundreds of millions of dollars" in damages for what it says is a decade of fraudulent behavior, in which WF wrongfully certified more than 100,000 mortgages as being eligible for federal mortgage insurance. Basically, Wells Fargo screwed the FHA and HUD by mass-approving loans without regard for whether they were defective or not."
Wells Fargo is not big enough (yet - let Uncle Sam stupidly hand out a few more bailouts and they might attain enough size) in and of itself to bring down the entire mortgage market.  But, given the way that banks in general operate, when a bank large enough to act as a "butterfly" starts making dodgy loans, it can influence the operations of competitors.  Values tend to be interconnected within real estate since comparable sales are used to determine current values for surrounding properties.  Those "values" (whatever the fuck that word means anymore) influence tax rates and revenues for the state.  If a collective of Wells Fargo, Chase, Citi, Wachovia, Golden West, Countrywide begin on a decade long period of originating bullshit mortgages for fun and profit, it serves as the butterfly flapping its wings to create a hurricane over time.  There were people voicing concern.  They were spread out and could be found mostly on blogs like HousingPANIC (I used to post comments under "Smug Bastard" there).  In my case, I would talk about this in meetings with my superiors and co-workers but no one listened.  When people benefit from a fraud, they tend to poo-poo those who point out the obvious as being tinfoil-hat wearing Chicken Littles.  One of my buddies said she was given the nickname "Cassandra - the Muse of Bad News" (lookin' at you Fraud Diva 2).  From 2002-2007, people from within my own social, work and family circles (including my own adult children) would look at me like my hair was on fire when I would suggest that we were seeing a fraudulent credit bubble chasing real estate assets that would ultimately end badly.  They also took a condescending view of me as not being well off enough to buy property at the time.  It did not help that I was in the middle of a costly divorce at the time.  My thoughts about the emperor not having any clothes turned out to be true but it is tough to stick to your convictions when not very many people share them and when your own adult daughter tells you that you are a fucking failure and borderline insane (who knows – maybe I am – I am writing this ridiculous blog, right?).  It wasn't the asset bubble that troubled me.  People are greedy by nature and we will always have asset bubbles.  What bothered me most was the effect that this dysfunctional, systemic fraud had on the value structure of everyday people.  To re-use a phrase in Kunstler's blog "Anything goes and nothing matters", including the truth.

From James Kunstler's blog: The poet W.H. Auden called his time "a low, dishonest decade." Bad as the 1930s were, the stakes are even higher now, and our clownish inattention conceals darker falsities that could make that terrible era seem quaint.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

The Bernank

Each time I see the words "The Bernank", I have a mental image of Liam Neeson from Clash of the Titans saying "Release The Bernank" and some sea monster with bald head and nappy beard appears...

so I looked to see if it has already been done on YouTube.  Not that I could see but I did find this little amusing deal....

One Foot in the Grave & Debts Up to the Eyeballs

“I have seen a consistently high rate of serious mortgage delinquency and foreclosure filings for clients 60 and older,” says Berbeth Foster, an attorney who has worked in the Senior Citizen Law Project of Coast to Coast Legal Aid of South Florida since 2010."

"According to report released by AARP in July, “millions of older Americans are carrying more mortgage debt than ever before, and more than three million are at risk of losing their homes.”
"Primarily, we see elderly clients refinancing their homes to get cash out in order to pay credit card debt, medical bills and/or to give money to their children and grandchildren,” she explains. “Older Americans need to understand that it is a bad idea to take out more debt on their homes at the stage in their lives where their incomes are decreasing.”
Put that into the "No Shit, Sherlock" file.  And for God's sake, stop giving money to your already spoiled rotten children and grandchildren.  Part of the reason that so many people in this country are now bullshitting, whiney bitches and assclowns is that you run in everytime Junior or Buffy falls down and puts a boo-boo on their ass.  Stop kissing the boo-boo on their asses and maybe the little darlings will figure out how to live their lives independently of your helicopter parenting techniques.

Fair Lending and Age Discrimination

The Fair Housing Act (FHA) and Equal Credit Opportunity Act (ECOA) protect consumers by prohibiting unfair and discriminatory practices.
The FHA prohibits discrimination in residential real estate–related transactions based on...
  • Race or color
  • National origin
  • Religion
  • Sex
  • Familial status
  • Handicap
The ECOA prohibits discrimination in credit transactions based on
  • Race or color
  • National origin
  • Religion
  • Sex
  • Marital status
  • Age*
  • Applicant’s receipt of income from a pubic assistance program
  • Applicant’s exercise, in good faith, of any right under the Consumer Credit Protection Act
*Age is a prohibited factor provided the applicant has the capacity to enter into a contract.

No shit - when I first started in this business, we used to figure out the age of the applicant relative to the term of the contract and see if it passed the first "smell test" when deciding if we wanted to proceed with the rest of the loan underwriting.  In other words, it made NO SENSE to make a 30 year loan to some fucker who was already old as dirt because it was doubtful that Yoda was going to live long enough to pay all the payments.

Down and Out in Obamaland

Illinois leads US in home foreclosures

Daren Blomquist, vice president of RealtyTrac, told Bloomberg’s Businessweek that foreclosure filings in Illinois will likely increase every month for the rest of 2012 and exceed the previous high set in 2009. “More Illinois homeowners are entering the foreclosure process, and more are losing their homes,” he said. “It’s going to get worse before it gets better.”

The region of Southern Illinois that I once lived in outside of St. Louis became chock full of what I came to call "Beanfield Subdivisions".  And there was no shortage of the the above types to gobble up the housing produced along with all the trappings of debt serfdom homeownership.

Friday, October 5, 2012

New Criminal Muscles in on Hamburglar Turf

A burglar who was frying bacon when a University City woman returned home and caught him in her kitchen has been sentenced to 7 years in prison.

It takes a thief.

Germany, Do Yourself a Favor

From Of Two Minds  It might be Greece, it might be Germany, it might be Spain, it might be Italy: all that matters is that somebody steps up and exits the euro and renounces all its debts, or in the case of Germany, renounces its promises to cover all the impaired private-bank debt that is crushing Europe.
Once people wake up and find the sun is shining despite the "disaster," they will realize the real disaster was trying to pay unpayable debts and promises and staying in the euro. Life will quickly get better once one brave and resolute set of leaders renounces unpayable debts and exits the euro. Other nations will quickly follow and the owners of bad debt will finally be handed the losses that are well and truly theirs to absorb.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Ben "Fun Bucks" Bernanke Starts Each F.O.M.C. Meeting w/Clash C-R-A-N-K-E-D

My Mental Picture of the "Middle Class"

I wish it were not so but it is what it is...

Rise of the Serfs???

When guards beat up workers from Shandong province, others from the same region fought back, igniting a full-fledged riot, according to the news agency’s (China News Service) account.  

The young migrant workers whose labor has fueled much of the growth of China’s economy and the global manufacturing sector have begun to change in demographics and desires. That labor pool is shrinking, according to experts, as workers from China’s provinces have become better educated and hold higher expectations for their lives.

Foxconn, in particular, has drawn attention in recent years because of its connection to Apple and the increasingly visible signs of unhappiness among its workers. A string of employee suicides in 2010 pushed the company to install netting to catch jumpers and take other steps.

When your "employer" installs suicide nets around the i-Gadget plant, it is time to seek your fortunes elsewhere.

"All the suckers that voted for him will be up in arms and the only ones that will be protected, as usual, will be the crony capitalists that own him."

If the writer on Zero Hedge is to be taken seriously, the thinking is that we have a more subtle con game going on here.

"Even if he doesn’t do this, his other option is merely to keep spending and force The Bernank to print more money.  The cost of living will surge and the poor and middle class will get crushed no matter what."

"We need to grow up as a species and take charge of our destiny.  We need to stop falling for their tricks and fighting their stupid wars while they hide in their castles, parliaments and skyscrapers. "

Oh my, pal.... you are expecting an awful lot from the unwashed masses....  Don't get me wrong - your Old Uncle Kenny would LOVE to see that come to fruition but I would not hold my breath waiting for that to happen.  Taking control of your own destiny requires a certain amount of confidence (and intelligence) and many within the ranks of the poor and "middle class" (whatever the fuck that means) are lacking in both areas.  Why do you think they live clustered into little hives of perfect blue buildings with perfect green lawns and flash perfect white smiles?

Most Grifters Skip Town After the Con is Over, But Not JPM

"The firms made material misrepresentations about the quality of the loans in the securities, the lawsuit said, and ignored evidence of broad defects among the loans that they pooled and sold to investors. "

“The government’s action represents a complete validation of the cases brought by investors who were duped by the fraudulent sale of mortgage-backed securities by JPMorgan, WaMu and Bear Stearns.”

Just in time for the Fall political season, huh?

Monday, October 1, 2012

Monday Morning Fun with Amortization Schedules

In keeping with the Zero Hedge link about student loans, let’s post about Federal Plus loans this morning.

Parents and students alike enjoy kicking the can of higher education tuition costs down the road and Uncle (Shylock) Sam has no problem with enabling the behavior/desire of his (debt serfs) citizens of the Republic…so long as the borrowers jump through the appropriate hoops necessary for payment deferment.  Why?  Cui Bono.

You can take out a PLUS loan for education costs at 7.9% after paying 4% in up front fees AND take up to TEN years to repay AND not make your first payment for 4 years IF you jump through all the bureaucratic hoops.  What a DEAL!!!??

Within your own noggin’, does anyone else out there have the story of Tom Sawyer conning all his buddies into whitewashing his Aunt’s fence under the pretense that it is great fun to do so????

So, let’s see how that scenario looks on an amortization schedule, shall we?

If you borrow $10,000 at 7.5% for ten years on August 1, 2012 and you get your forms filled out correctly and do not have to make your first payment until June of 2016, you will repay $17,863 over ten years.  You will pay $148 per month starting June of 2016.  You will pay nothing but accrued interest through 2016, 2017, 2018 and January of 2019.  You will start to hit the original borrowed amount beginning February of 2019. 

Why are tuition costs skyrocketing (and the pay/perks of those working within the White Ivory Towers)?  Because of the seemingly endless supply of (lemmings) voters who are willing to sign up for debt servitude and an Uncle who likes giving the (lemmings) voters what they want – good and hard.

Best quote within the story: “I’m not an expert in finance, so I don’t know this stuff,” said Ruland, an electrical engineer who lives in Farmington Hills, Michigan.

7.9% AND an upfront 4% fee AND $7,863 interest on a 10k note…??? Uncle Sam calling free market lenders usurious in their lending practices is akin to a pot calling a kettle black.  He should become familiar with the Biblical phrase “Physician, heal thyself”.

Cui Bono

"Curious why distinguished, Nobel-prize winning economics professors (most of whom have their own Op-Ed columns and blogs to fill all that free time they have when they are not actually filling impressionable minds with "this time the model will work" ideas, keeping Solitaireoffice hours or coming up with arcane, meaningless equations to explain human behavior) have gone "all in" to defend a system which promotes the ubiquity of cheap credit, and the creation of a generation of nondischargeable debt slaves? Because if it wasn't for said cheap, ubiquitous debt, their salaries would be utterly unsustainable (and for once austerity would hit the academic ivory tower headquarters of Keynesianism located in Cambridge, New Haven and West Philadelphia). "

Zero Hedge laying it on the line about the inhabitants of the White Ivory Towers of academia.

"Mao blamed many of China’s problems on weakness, conservatism, bureaucracy and elitist nature of academicians. Throughout the early 1950s, the Party moved to purge counter-revolutionaries: nearly 800,000 deaths, included in the purge were many academicians. By 1956, the intellectual class had been effectively reined in. Mao liked to assault on the intellectual class."