Archive for August 25th, 2011
FedUpUSA – Bear Stearns Protest, April 25, 2008
FedUpUSA On Glenn Beck August 21, 2008
It is disappointing to me that the Tea Party has gone so far astray from what it was intended to be. It was always supposed to be about stopping the looting and starting the prosecuting. Today, as so eloquently put by the film, Inside Job, not a single person responsible for this catastrophe has gone to jail. To the contrary, the same people are still in charge of the same enormous financial institutions, and those same institutions continue to rob us blind by contributing large sums of money to the campaigns of those in our government who allow these institutions and their officers to remain un-prosecuted by writing laws that exempt them from the criminal penalties that would apply to the rest of us.
There’s a word for this: Kleptocracy
[klep-tok-ruh-see] noun, plural ‐cies.a government or state in which those in power exploit national resources and steal; rule by a thief or thieves.
There are times you just have to wonder.
A hurricane that appears to be taking dead aim at both Washington DC and Wall Street?
Gee, I wonder if there’s an embedded message in there somewhere? After all, insurance companies do call these sorts of events “acts of God”, right?
So….. as we all prepare if we’re in the to-be-impacted area, let’s remember a few things:
- Small changes in path matter. They’re also unpredictable. I was ready to “bug out” for Ivan, and decided to stay literally at 5:00 PM the night it came in. Why? Because had the path been about 40 miles east of where it was, I would have been a good 5′ underwater at my home. As it was the right decision was to stay; we had to battle rising water and succeeded in keeping it out of the house. Barely. But I live in a relatively-lightly-populated area. If you’re in a big city and it looks like Irene might get you, get out. There’s only one thing worse than getting stuck in a hurricane with your house disintegrating around you, and that’s being in a 2-million-car-long traffic jam with the water rising rapidly. In a hurricane it is not that the wind blows, it is what the wind blows, and sometimes the “what” includes objects like trees and Volvos.
- If you’re not prepared by now, you got trouble. You’ve either got 48 or 72 hours before it’s on top of you, and 12 hours less before the weather starts to seriously deteriorate. Oh yeah, all the plywood and other essentials will be sold out within 200 miles by now. If you’re not prepared now stop reading this Ticker and get off your ass or suffer the consequences. Time’s up.
- If you want to be a hero (or do something stupid) at a time like this, please make sure your next-of-kin’s phone number and name is written on your chest in permanent Sharpie marker first. It will make it possible to notify the person who has to come pick up your body. Seriously. There’s always someone who tries to do something “heroic” – or just plain stupid – during these storms and a good percentage of the time they die. Save the ME time in analyzing dental records and use the Sharpie.
While you get ready for the wind and rain, give some contemplation to whether this might be something other than just pure random chance. Lots of people don’t believe in God. That’s fine. Lots of people think there’s a God but he doesn’t really care what you do. That’s fine too. In fact we have even seen bank CEO’s talk about doing “God’s work”, which some people of faith would consider to be a direct insult – intentional and malicious blasphemy – over the last couple of years. Clearly such people do not actually believe in God or they would not make comments that seem awfully close to daring the Almighty to respond.
But then there are those who believe there is a God, he does know what man does, and occasionally he gets pissed off, especially when extreme and outrageous provocation is continually poked in his eye over the space of years, even decades. Maybe yes, maybe no, but gee, this is such a coincidence given the recent arm-twisting out of DC on the mortgage “indemnity” issue, the incessant cesspool of fraud on both Wall Street and Washington DC. Add to that the utter and rank hypocrisy out of both the Republicans and Democrats claiming they’d clean it up, when all they’ve done is screw the common man some more, especially those older people who truly did nothing wrong and have had their savings and retirement destroyed by all the “rescues” engendered with zero interest rate policies, commodity price ramps and their adjuncts.
Still think it’s random chance?
How certain are you?
If it makes you feel comfortable while sitting in Goldman’s office, or at The Fed, or in Congress and the White House reading this to believe that these events are just the roll of a set of dice, go ahead and believe that. You’re also free to believe that God would never wind up causing collateral damage and therefore you’re safe and sound, despite all the Biblical evidence to the contrary that not only does He on occasion, He doesn’t really seem to take much account of that at all. Perhaps that’s because He figures that those who surround themselves with fraud and even benefit directly and indirectly from it (even if they don’t commit fraud themselves) have little room to complain, or maybe He just wields very blunt instruments.
Then again, perhaps this storm – and what some could consider a “warning” in the form of that little shaker the other day – was in fact all just random chance…….
I don’t pretend to know the answer to this question, but I do think these events and the odds of simple random chance with the earthquake and now an apparent “in your face” hurricane strike happening back-to-back are something to think about while you board up, load up, and decide whether you’re going to try to ride it out or bug out.
Oh, and if you are or were in a position to do something about this cesspool and haven’t?
It would seem that you’ve got some thinking to do as well.
We saw it with homes, especially condos, now we see refusal of lenders to take possession of cars and boats following bankruptcy.
Please consider My lender refuses to repossess my car
Dear Bankruptcy Adviser,
I was forced to file Chapter 7 bankruptcy. I agreed to surrender my vehicle. After my Chapter 7 was discharged, I naturally expected my car to be picked up by the lender. It has now been three months. Is there a required amount of time in which they have to pick it up? I have made many calls about this to my lender. Not one call has been returned. Isn’t there something in the law that states they have a time limit to pick up the car, or else release the title to me?– Jim
The “Bankruptcy Adviser” responded that he is seeing this action more frequently because resale value is “so low that the lender doesn’t want to waste resources to repossess, refurbish and resell.”
The BA presented three options.
- “Keep the vehicle and use it.”
- “Park the vehicle in a secure, public location and send a copy of the keys via registered mail to the creditor”
- “Call the lender every 48 hours until you talk someone into picking up the vehicle.”
In regards to option number 2, the BA failed to mention there is a risk the vehicle is towed and storage charges assessed. That risk is so high and the consequences so great that #2 is not a good option at all.
To be fair, the BA does say “The risk for you here is that you will need to confirm that the car eventually was picked up by the proper entity”, but that warning is not emphatic enough.
My personal suggestion is keep the vehicle and use it, but please make sure it has legally required insurance.
If someone cannot afford the insurance or this was a second, now unneeded car, then option number 3 could be appealing.
I think that upon proper notification, a lender should lose rights to the property if the lender refuses possession.
In the case of cars and boats that would work. However, in the case of condos where homeowner fees, maintenance, insurance, and back taxes may easily total far more than the home is worth, such a law would still not entice banks to take possession.
By the way, are such loans written off as worthless on the balance sheets of banks? I suspect not.
Mike “Mish” Shedlock
I want to know when we’re going to get apologies and retractions of the claim that Bank of America did not need any new capital.
Remember, that was a mantra. Well, how about that deal then….
Bank of America Corp. (BAC), the biggest U.S. lender, said Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. will invest $5 billion to bolster the company after losses tied to subprime mortgages drained capital. Bank of America surged in New York trading.
Berkshire will get cumulative perpetual preferred stock paying a 6 percent dividend, the Charlotte, North Carolina-based bank said today in a statement. Omaha, Nebraska-based Berkshire also gets warrants to buy 700 million shares at $7.14 each.
Six percent eh? That’s damn expensive money – something like 30 times the official “overnight” rate to borrow. In addition he got warrants to buy 700 million shares at $7.14 each, which are (at this writing) about 75 cents each in the money. Oh, and there’s no lock-up period on those either.
Can I ask an inconvenient question on the latter? 447 million shares have traded hands on BAC this morning thus far. Were any of them shorted against the box by Berkshire, given that there are no apparent restrictions on his disposition of those warrants?
Buffett conceived of the investment while in the bathtub yesterday morning and had his assistant contact Moynihan’s to get the banker’s private number, CNBC reported, citing an interview with Buffett.
Riiiiiight. The phone call that was reported with Obama and the incessant pumping yesterday of exactly this “idea” in the corporate media (CNBS, again) didn’t have anything to do with it I’m sure. I’m also sure there’s no sort of backdoor deal in the wings from the government; after there there’s no record that the 2008 “investments” were ultimately backstopped by the government, right?
Oh wait… there was and they were. Oh darn.
The market didn’t believe a word of it in the general sense, although BAC is still trading 12% higher as I write this. We’ll see how long it lasts, or whether this simply provides incentives for the Bears to look at the facts and say “you lied about not needing capital – now we’re really going to lean into you.”
Middle class retirement now largely a postcard fantasy – How Wall Street fabricated a buy and hold fairytale and jumped ship with taxpayer golden parachutes. Did baby boomers think about who they would be selling those 401k and pension stocks to?
The days of dreaming about long days playing golf on a green course and taking luxurious cruises around the world are appearing more and more like a foggy memory for those in the middle class planning for retirement. As Wall Street bankers and hedge fund managers rob the public blind, the mission statement sold to baby boomers is starting to become a large bait and switch catchy enough to make it on a Hallmark card. For decades Wall Street begged and lured the public in either directly or through pension funds into their web of easy money. Save $100 a month and you’ll retire a millionaire! As it turns out, the golden parachute was only available to a tiny fraction of the population while the oligarchy in the financial sector offloads their toxic bets onto the taxpayers struggling balance sheet. The end game? No retirement. At least no retirement like those plastered on glossy mutual fund brochures. What the Wall Street banking charlatans failed to tell you is that you eventually need to sell those stocks to use the money for real world spending. What they also failed to mention is that the baby boomer generation is now going to sell into unrelenting headwinds of demographics bringing on a younger and poorer generation to purchase their stocks. Of course Social Security is in the crosshairs of the financial elite since they already secured their financial piece of the pie. You know things are bad when the Federal Reserve is stating that stocks are not exactly a winners bet in the years going forward.
Retirement becoming more of a postcard fantasy
The middle class has been pillaged and ransacked by financial thievery for decades. The debt bubble and mass delusion is now imploding. The graft and con games taking place in the financial sector would be comical if they weren’t so real and economically tragic. The Federal Reserve has given covert loans to big banks while big banks publicly stating all was well. The Federal Reserve has grown their balance sheet to a stunning $2.8+ trillion of questionable assets and other junk with little redeemable market value. It would have a hard time selling these items on eBay let alone the natural marketplace. There is no easier way to make a profit than stealing from the taxpayer. Of course the problems in the system are coming at the expense of the working and middle class. For those who bought into the Wall Street mantra of buy and hold, making a profit has gotten much harder:
This is fascinating data to look at. This decade has been horrible for stocks. The S&P 500 stands today where it did in 1998. The massive stock volatility is simply a reflection of the problems deep in our financial system. The above chart examines P/E ratios over time. Really fascinating information but the Fed study finds that P/E ratios are likely to go lower because of demographic shifts and also the reality that we have a lower wage employment force dominating our economy. The latest decade is a reflection of the bubble era machinery that has hoisted up the financial sector into an untouchable corner yet middle class Americans have taken it squarely in their stock portfolios. Why? Because Wall Street has been preaching buy and hold as if it were some patriotic mission but many of these hedge funds and banking managers have placed bets that openly aim against American middle class success. In fact, some have made bets on flat out American failure and have made billions of dollars with lower tax rates that are given to hedge funds.
The stock market casino
The stock market has been on a wild ride for well over a decade:
Read the rest at My Budget 360
This is so predictable, it’s ridiculous, and apparently, the market is not fooled this time round. It was announced on the major media networks that Warren Buffet was ‘investing’ $5 Billion in Bank of America.
Such was the claim on CNBS just a few minutes ago.
Anyone care to argue with the tape?
Buffett sticksaves during the 2008 time period used to last a day or two.
This one lasted less than 30 minutes.