Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Is Corruption and Fraud Our New Normal?


I’ve read the Rachel Dollar Mortgage Fraud Blog for more than a few years now.  I invite you to read the archives…  The “playas” in the mortgage fraud arena come from all walks of life, all socioeconomic backgrounds, various ages, etc.  Some were scammers defrauding the banks, some were insiders within the banks scamming the buyers, some were developers ripping off their customers AND simultaneously ripping off gullible bankers, in some cases it was scammers doing the reverse double duty and ripping off both the banks that employed them and those who were their customers….

I did not vote.  I am a firm believer in the Churchill statement “The best case against democracy is a five minute conversation with the average voter”.  I am a believer in playing the cards that fate hands you and doing the best you can with what comes your way.  We have more than enough “voters” in the US of A to make it unclear that we will remain an actual Republic.  (see Benjamin Franklin’s quote “A Republic, if you can keep it” - seems to me that would require some self-restraint and self control - then look around at your fellow "citizen") I do hope the rickety, hulking contraption hangs in there for at least another 40 years or until I kick off but I’m not exactly optimistic.

"The American people will never knowingly adopt Socialism. But under the name of 'liberalism' they will adopt every fragment of the Socialist program, until one day America will be a Socialist nation, without knowing how it happened."
- Norman Thomas (a fucking Princeton educated Presbyterian theologian from the 1920’s and Socialist party candidate for President)

At his 80’th birthday – “Thomas' 80th birthday in 1964 was marked by a well-publicized gala at the Hotel Astor Manhattan. At the event Thomas called for a cease-fire in Vietnam and read birthday telegrams from Hubert Humphrey, Earl Warren, & MLK, Jr.  He also received a check for $17,500 in donations from supporters. "It won't last long," he said of the check, "because every organization I'm connected with is going bankrupt.”   Kenny Bing comment – so, after 80 years of strolling the planet, did you reach a moment of clarity about your Socialist positions when you uttered those words you ridiculous Kumbaya singing old fuck?

I have one “hopey/changey” where the second Obama administration is concerned.  Now that he no longer has to worry about re-election and/or burning those who helped him get elected / re-elected, I hope that the second term administration begins to seriously turn up the heat on prosecutions.  Whether that happens or not remains to be seen.

I don’t give a rat’s ass about:
  • abortion (so long as no one is picking my pocket to fund THEIR abortion procedure, good luck with that…or not….really do not care about YOUR offspring or lack thereof)
  • gun control (good luck with gun confiscation – the horse left that barn a long time ago – deep down, Uncle Sam already knows this to be true but puts on airs of concern because a certain segment of the citizenry is cool with living in one big Kumbaya singin’, Starbucks sippin’, skinny jeans wearin’ “gun free zone”)
  • equal rights (slavery ended more than 100 years ago, blacks represent what? 13% of the total population and we have a black president, attorney general, etc. – get over it, case closed, pull up your pants and grow up already)
  • gay rights (keep your business to yourself and I really do not care what you cram up your ass or down your throat while singing the national anthem under a rainbow flag)
  • taxes (overreach hard and long enough and every politician under the sun will become reacquainted with the phrase “When push comes to shove, Americans vote their pocketbook”)
  • the war on terror (pfffftttt….see the above statement about overreach)
  • democratizing/intervening in the middle-east (first – see overreach.  second – I have had it up to here with that region of the world – it is an area that is overwhelmed with people in love with suicide and war over idiotic feuds.  The next time they threaten to metaphorically “take a bunch of pills and down them with several shots of vodka and dramatically end it all”, I say we metaphorically “hand them a plastic bag to put over their heads just at the point that they are ready to pass out” so that this time, they finally do the job right and die the suicidal death that they seem to so desperately want.
…and many other features of the American landscape (war on drugs - pfftttt) that hold the attention of many….

Just go after the fraud, the corruption, the double dealing and start purging this society of the rottenness that has taken hold over the past 15 years or so and I will be a happy camper.  I am channeling the spirit of Robert Kennedy toward you Barry and Eric – just steer clear of any fellows named “Sirhan”.

Yours truly - Smug Bastard

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Aaaahhhhhhh!!!! *fart* Aaaaahhhhhhh!!!!

The sound of relief....

"The workers demanded the scrapping of the ridiculously strict requirements stipulating that workers only have two minutes to go to the toilet and workers will be fined 50 yuan ($8) if they are late once and fired if they are late twice," said the security guard, surnamed Feng. "The managers were later freed when police intervened and when they agreed to reconsider the rules." shit.....just two minutes to pinch a loaf, huh? Slavedrivers!!!

Illinois - A Case Study in the Failure of the Quasi-Socialist Nanny State

Got kids?  Well, bully for you.  Fantastic for you.  I'm sure the little darlings are the apples of your eye and you love being a mommy/daddy or whatever....  That being said -
  • Raise them yourself or with the assistance of your close family members and stop relying upon your neighbors' tax dollars or your state's misguided notions about robbing Peter in order to pay Paul. 
  • Stop looking to the nanny state to help you warehouse your offspring while you work...or party.....or go into fantastic student loan debt so you can attend Le Cordon Bleu school of cooking with the dream of becoming a glorified fry "chef" working the all you can eat buffet at a local gambling casino.
From the Illinois DHS website where you can find info about subsidized babysitting for Socialists.

If Joe Stalin or Mao ran a daycare for toddlers, he would love this arrangement.

Monthly co-payments

What is a monthly co-payment?

The monthly "co-payment" is the portion of child care costs that the parent is responsible for paying to you, their provider. It is your responsibility to collect this amount directly from the parent.
How are co-payment amounts determined?
Monthly co-payment amounts are determined by IDHS and are based on the number of people in the family, the number of children receiving child care and the schedule of the children in care.
The monthly co-payment amount is listed on the parent's approval letter. Read each approval letter carefully-monthly co-payment amounts may change! Co-payment changes can occur each time a parent's case is renewed (redetermined) or if there is a change in the parent's income, the number of people in the family, the number of children in care, or the schedule of care provided. You will receive a new approval letter anytime a monthly co-payment changes so you know how much to collect.

And...what effect does that have on people and the state budget???????
Not to mention the attitude of the citizenry???
Waking up from a dream in which money grew on trees...there will be a great wail and a gnashing of teeth....

From Post Dispatch: Illinois...mile after magnificent mile (of people looking for a handout)  Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka says Illinois is running out of money for child welfare, workers' compensation and services for seniors and the disabled.  Topinka is the state's chief fiscal officer. In a statement Monday, she says state agencies need about $1 billion to carry them through the end of the fiscal year in June. (Kenny Bing comment - kicking cans down the alley)
Topinka, a Republican, says lawmakers need to "end the denial" and deal with the crisis before it jeopardizes critical services residents need. She's urging them to transfer money from more financially sound programs.

Friday, January 18, 2013

UBS is to LIBOR what Enron was for Electricity Consumption Trading

Good movie.  Saw it with a girlfriend and one of the Bing'ettes during a previous life when I was still a Daddy.  When Enron went bust, UBS acquired some of the bits and pieces .... and, apparently, some if not all of the ethics.

“UBS manipulated one of the cornerstone interest rates in our global financial system,”

UBS Japan LIBOR manipulation.

You Just Knew There Was Going to be A Trailer Park Somewhere in this Story

"Donna Lange, a 50-year-old Everett woman, was jailed Saturday after she allegedly smothered her boyfriend to death with her breasts."

Shoddy does not tell the reader if it was a single wide or a double wide. If it was a single wide, they were riff raff. Double wide - just run of the mill rednecks (like yours truly).

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Gay Helmet? Check. Tight & Funny Shorts? Check. Bike? Check. Steroids? Check.

"Lance chose to get into a terrible situation, and then he went so far beyond decency in defending it," Kathy LeMond said. "We spent more than 10 years living with it.
"So no matter what he says to Oprah, be skeptical. It is easy to say you want to forgive someone. But in this case, it's dangerous."

Lance Armstrong - proving that death by cancer is not always a bad thing...sort of a "colon cleanse" for humanity.

Uh-Oh! Sounds Like Another Job for Joe Biden to Tackle Right in Rahm's Backyard!

"Shortly before the shooting, an argument had broken out in a handshake line after the game between Simeon Career Academy and Morgan Park High School, police said. The argument spilled into the parking lot and someone pulled out a gun and shot Lawson, officials said.

Each team was held in the locker rooms longer than normal after the game as tensions ran high in the gym, witnesses said. "

"It was unclear what the fight was about. Nothing outside ordinary bumps and physical contact appeared to have happened during the game between the two school, which are located on Vincennes Avenue about 30 blocks apart."

Unclear on how this chaos breaks out, huh? 

Let your old Uncle Kenny explain.  Fights and talking smack have long been part of sport.  The difference is the current culture compared to the culture of the past, ass wipes.  If "bustin' a cap in yo' azz fo' dissin' me" was common practice, Conrad Dobler would have been in a grave a long time ago.

A.I.G. Lawsuit...The Trampy Pig Turns Into A Black Swan for Uncle Sam?

When Uncle Sam bailed out AIG, I am pretty sure that I was not the only one who thought that it wasn’t anything more than a stealthy way of making whole much of the banking system that would have collapsed without some back door money coming into the vaults.  AIG should have defaulted on its guarantees which should have caused the other dominoes to start falling and the whole fraudulent mess should have collapsed.

So I ask myself, “Why would Uncle Sam give two shits about the collapse of some banks and an insurance company so much?”  Who gives a rat’s ass?  They would just be replaced by another group of douche bags running an insurance company or bank.  It would be normal Joseph Schumpter “Creative Destruction” at work.  The douche bags running those places got ahead of themselves and deserved to have their asses handed to them by Mr. Market.  Case close.  Next!

Recently I went and saw 0 Dark 30 and it was a movie you had to labor at to get through.  It was not fun to watch but it was like having “ah ha” moments throughout.  When something of note would happen, I would think “Yes, I remember that being in the headlines of newspapers in 2004…or 2006….or 2009, etc.”

November 1, 2004
“He said the mujahedeen fighters did the same thing to the Soviet Union in Afghanistan in the 1980s, "using guerrilla warfare and the war of attrition to fight tyrannical superpowers."
"We, alongside the mujahedeen, bled Russia for 10 years until it went bankrupt and was forced to withdraw in defeat," bin Laden said.  He also said al Qaeda has found it "easy for us to provoke and bait this administration."  "All that we have to do is to send two mujahedeen to the furthest point east to raise a piece of cloth on which is written al Qaeda, in order to make generals race there to cause America to suffer human, economic and political losses without their achieving anything of note other than some benefits for their private corporations," bin Laden said.”

Again, why would Uncle Sam intervene in a normal business cycle to the extent that he did in 2008 and thereafter?  Our system is riddled with frauds at ridiculous levels and they are allowed to go on (and even encouraged in some cases) without much opposition.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

Will Corzine Ever Share a Cell with Madoff???

Still walking the streets of Long Island...

"The 65-year-old millionaire had his hands in his jeans pockets and wore a Colorado Rockies baseball cap during a walk around the tony town. He’s kept a rather low profile since his $40 billion brokerage firm, MF Global, went bust in October 2011, and isn't the Democratic power player he once was."

Corzine and Madoff in a cell together - nice Odd Couple.

A few weeks before Corzine was out strolling Long Island, Madoff penned a novela from his prison cell. 
You can read the article here.  Madoff has lots of time to write.  Corzine has lots of time to stroll streets looking like a pedophile.

His Mind Is Not for Rent, To Any God or Government...

'Stand closer to the rhino' results in grave wound

"When do you not listen to the African wildlife expert? When he tells you to stand closer to the rhino."

Death to America But, Before you Die, Will You Please Leave Me Some of that Wonderful American Money in Your Will?

"Regardless of its official statements on trade, euros and dollars are hoarded by Iranian consumers in the black market."
"On Wednesday, the Tehran bazaar closed in turmoil and police used teargas and batons on demonstrators protesting the currency crisis."
"Steve Hanke, Professor of Applied Economics at Johns Hopkins University, has also been following the Iranian currency crisis. He pinged me with these thoughts yesterday.
Hello Mish

For months, I have been following the collapse of the Iranian rial, tracking black-market exchange-rate data from foreign-exchange bazaars in Tehran. Using the most recent data, I now estimate that Iran is experiencing a monthly inflation rate of nearly 70%, indicating that hyperinflation has struck in Iran.

70%!!!!  PER MONTH!!!!!!  SHIT!!!!!!!

not related, just like the song and band, been in my head

Friday, January 11, 2013

Honey, I Shrunk the Kids' Paychecks

"Many Americans received their first paycheck of 2013 today. That sound you hear is the collective “What the . .. “ they have emitted upon looking at their pay stub."

Hope and change....hope and change....

Join the Petition: Ban the Jaw Bones of Asses

Judges 15:15
"And he found a new jawbone of an ass, and put forth his hand, and took it, and slew a thousand men therewith."

I don't know how Cain killed his brother Abel in a jealous rage but I'm guessing he had a sharp stick, a "caveman AR 15" (assault rock) or something of the sort....

From Huffington Post
"The group was Jihad. All Hamid knew is that they had answers to the religious questions no one else had ever been able to answer for him.
"And I joined," says Hamid. "Within six months Jihad had changed a very innocent child who wanted to play soccer and listen to music into someone who was ready to kill anyone."
According to Hamid, the brainwashing begins immediately and within the religious context of the prayer service. "

We are quick to call others brainwashed by their cultures into committing senseless murder but we don't take a hard look at our own culture to see how it might be brainwashing our own youth into committing senseless murder... instead we look at the weaponry used and figure we can make a difference there.  Good luck with that.

Marty McFly - Payroll Manager and Human Resources

Did your paycheck just do a "back to the future" on you?
Tweet from some cute little blondie named Amy Brachmann...
"Did new taxes go info effect today? Something I don't understand about the fiscal cliff? I got a raise, and yet my paycheck got smaller"

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Platinum Pennies From Heaven...or the Treasury Secretary's Colon

To summarize the concept, the Treasury creates one special platinum coin, with a stated face value of $500 billion or so.

They trot down to the Fed and deposit the special coin(s), redeeming that amount of US notes and voila. It is a overt monetization, but the platinum coin adds a novel touch, and a bit of shiny misdirection.

Jesse explains here....

Now it's your old Uncle Kenny's turn... it is like this kids - let's say that you have a serious shortfall in your paycheck and really, really need some extra cash - like yesterday - to cover bills that are coming up SOON.  Now, your old Uncle Kenny who moonlights as a magician doing kid's birthday parties and Bar/Bat Mitzvah's comes up to you and says "No problem kid.  Last night while you were sleeping, I crept into your room and magically shoved up your ass a platinum coin worth one TRILLION dollars.  It's in there RIGHT NOW.  All you gotta do is shove your own fist up your own ass and retrieve the coin and all your problems are solved!  You want a glove and lube for the job or you just gonna "go commando" on this one?"

Meanwhile, Back at Euro Disney

The following are 20 facts about the collapse of Europe that everyone should know...
#1 10 Months: Manufacturing activity in both France and Germany has contracted for 10 months in a row.
#2 11.8 Percent: The unemployment rate in the eurozone has now risen to 11.8 percent – a brand new all-time high.
#3 17 Months: In November, Italy experienced the sharpest decline in retail sales that it had experienced in 17 months.
#4 20 Months: Manufacturing activity in Spain has contracted for 20 months in a row.
#5 20 Percent: It is estimated that bad loans now make up approximately 20 percent of all domestic loans in the Greek banking system at this point.
#6 22 Percent: A whopping 22 percent of the entire population of Ireland lives in jobless households.
#7 26 Percent: The unemployment rate in Greece is now 26 percent. A year ago it was only 18.9 percent.
#8 26.6 Percent: The unemployment rate in Spain has risen to an astounding 26.6 percent.
#9 27.0 Percent: The unemployment rate for workers under the age of 25 in Cyprus. Back in 2008, this number was well below 10 percent.
#10 28 Percent: Sales of French-made vehicles in November were down 28 percent compared to a year earlier.
#11 36 Percent: Today, the poverty rate in Greece is 36 percent. Back in 2009 it was only about 20 percent.
#12 37.1 Percent: The unemployment rate for workers under the age of 25 in Italy – a brand new all-time high.
#13 44 Percent: An astounding 44 percent of the entire population of Bulgaria is facing “severe material deprivation”.
#14 56.5 Percent: The unemployment rate for workers under the age of 25 in Spain – a brand new all-time high.
#15 57.6 Percent: The unemployment rate for workers under the age of 25 in Greece – a brand new all-time high.
#16 60 Percent: Citigroup is projecting that there is a 60 percent probability that Greece will leave the eurozone within the next 12 to 18 months.
#17 70 Percent: It has been reported that some homes in Spain are being sold at a 70% discount from where they were at during the peak of the housing bubble back in 2006. At this point there areapproximately 2 million unsold homes in Spain.
#18 200 Percent: The debt to GDP ratio in Greece is rapidly approaching 200 percent.
#19 1997: According to the Committee of French Automobile Producers, 2012 was the worst year for the French automobile industry since 1997.
#20 2 Million: Back in 2005, the French auto industry produced about 3.5 million vehicles. In 2012, that number dropped to about 2 million vehicles.

See my post below about the "real for the moment" but "vapor-like and vanishing like a fog in the breaking morning sunshine" profits earned by American corporations that depend upon favorable currency exchanges - what happens across the pond will have an effect within the US.

61 More Days, But Who's Counting

"You will do what I decide regardless of what is fair"
    - Staceburger

"You can't separate peace from freedom because no one can be at peace unless he has his freedom."
    - Malcolm X

So happy, I think I'm gonna bust out a pair of parachute pants....

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Something For Nothing

I have a Stanley Thermos that I use for bringing coffee to work each day.  On it, there is an emblem that says "STANLEY since 1913".  Green and chrome color, you know the one.  When you turn it over, on the bottom is stamped "Aladdin - a division of PMI Brentwood, TN".  Also stamped on the bottom is "MADE IN CHINA". 

"Many U.S. corporations derive 50%-65% of their revenues overseas."

"As the dollar weakened, global corporate profits skyrocketed as earnings in euros, yen, etc. rose when stated in dollars.  In other words, overseas profits expand as if by magic when stated in dollars.
When the euro and the dollar were 1-to-1 back in the early 2000s, then 100 euros of profit converted to $100 when stated in dollars. When the euro rose to $1.60, then the same 100 euros of profit earned by the U.S. corporation in Europe converted to a stupendous $160 in profit when stated in dollars.  This explains why the Fed has been so keen to trash the dollar: it magically increases corporate profits and thus drives stocks higher. The mainstream financial media's explanation for the weak-dollar policy is that the Fed is anxious to increase exports, but this is a sideshow; exports make up less than 9% of the U.S. GDP. The real action is in corporate profits, which thanks to the weak dollar are near all-time highs of $2 trillion, about 14% of the nation's entire GDP."  

hmmm....US corporations have long enjoyed
  • the stability and protections of locating within the US
  • the cheap and abundant labor force of "brown/yellow countries"
  • and the manipulation/mushrooming of profits by way of the US dollar being the reserve currency of planet earth
But, we still have to float asinine ideas like the "magic trillion dollar platinum coin" to balance our budgets...

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The Amazing Shrinking Middle Class

"When I go into the supermarket, I marvel at the price of things: a single onion for a dollar, four bucks for a jar of jam, five bucks for a box of Cheerios, four bucks for a wedge of cheese. Is everybody except Jamie Dimon, Lloyd Blankfein, and Mark Zuckerberg living on store-brand macaroni and ketchup? It's hard to measure the desperation of households in this culture of rugged individualism. At social gatherings friends rarely tell you that they are two months behind in their mortgage payment and maxed out on their credit cards. And that's the supposed middle class, at least the remnants of it. I can't tell you what the tattoo-and-falling-down-pants crowd talks about in the parking lot outside the 7-Eleven store. Perhaps they swap meth recipes."

By my definition, I suspect that the "middle class" is smaller than most people think.  I think that if you total up the credits and debits of many families thought to be "middle class" you would find that they are in fact "workin' for the man" (more or less).  Sure, they have many of the trappings of modern suburban life and by most worldly standards lead a pretty cushy life where material things are concerned.  But in return, they must resolve themselves to climbing upon "the giant hamster wheel" to maintain their "social place" and belongings.  I would imagine it would become quite mind numbing over time.  Each day, they become another day older and deeper in debt...mostly by their own action or inaction or inability to say "no" to themselves or marketing firms or advertisements or peer pressure or all of the aforementioned.

I have to confess being a long time reader of grouchy old "get off my lawn" doom and gloomer, James Howard Kunstler...  but you have to admit that he makes some valid points.

Friday, January 4, 2013

Dysfunction Junction

We have a Federal Reserve that is presently worried about the side effects of having dumped a LOT of rum in the punch bowl known as the U.S. economy AND a bunch of Hollywood actors demanding a plan to curb gun violence after having made some pretty graphic films over a LOT of years that contain TONS AND TONS of explicit violence using .... wait for it .... guns.

Trouble...Right Here in River City

"Minutes from the Fed's December policy meeting showed a growing reticence about further increases in the central bank's $2.9 trillion balance sheet, which it expanded sharply in response to the financial crisis and recession of 2007-2009."

What, Me Worry?

...just got my paycheck
I'm gonna paint the whole town gray
...whether it's a night in Paris
or a Fresno matinee'

"The minutes of the Federal Reserve's December monetary policy meeting revealed a somewhat surprising level of concern among the ranks of central bankers regarding the long-term impact of the bank's asset purchase program, or quantitative easing," said Omer Esiner, chief market analyst at Commonwealth Foreign Exchange in Washington D.C."

What, me worry?

Dysfunction - American Style

"Again, the myth is that Washington gave its citizens a deal. The reality is that it was a desperate 11th-hour deal devoid of resolving many crucial long-term fiscal issues."

from Zero Hedge

Yep, I know that there was a 300 point rally in the stock market, Barry went back to Christmas vacation in Hawaii and all sides breathed a sigh of relief to have averted the "fiscal cliff" but count on your old Uncle Kenny to piss on your parade...if you are going to come here, wear a rain jacket.