Fraud, fraud, everywhere

October 31, 2008

… and not a cop around to put ’em in the klink. (Hmmm, thinks.)

I’ve been doing this wrong since day one.

What?

Life. Living within my means. Borrowing only when I knew I could pay it back.  Working hard at, you know, a job.

While everyone around me has been, apparently, partying heartily. And now that the party is over, they want a do-over. WTF? I never imagined that if I acted irresponsibly, such as lie on a ninja loan, or accumulate more credit card debt than make in one year in salary, that I would be bailed out. Who knew?

Not me.

Usurers Pushers Issuers of V and MA want help too:

Banks asking for credit card debt forgiveness
Thursday October 30, 5:31 pm ET
By Marcy Gordon, AP Business Writer

Banks losing billions in unpaid credit card bills urge government to forgive consumer debt

[biz.yahoo]

OK, so here’s the deal… dot.gov has ordered banks to loosen lendings standards on everything from unsecured loans (credit card) to home mortgages.

If you are not in a no-doc int-only pick-apay ARM loan and have maxed out AT LEAST six credit cards, you are no patriot, sir (or madam).

& like me, you are such a sucker for playing by the rules, and never borrowing more than you can pay back.

So this weekend, I are buying a McMansion. I also just bought a M-B S500- on my credit card.

I now be stylin’, beyotch. & oh yeah, you know what? I deserve it. It’s my dream.

No job, no assets, no problem!

& IF I ever have to pay anything back, it’ll be at $0.0625 on the dollar baybay!

I’ll even borrow to pay that back.

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Related: [tickerforum]

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“Too bad they didn’t aim the bazooka in a different direction.” -Rick Santelli

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Buffoonery

October 30, 2008

On the eating of shorts

October 30, 2008

VW-Porsche short squeezes $18B of juice.

There is no telling who was on the short end of the stick, but rumor has it GS, Greenlight Capital, SAC Capital, Glenview Capital, Marshall Wace, Tiger Asia, Perry Capital and Highside Capital.

What is upsetting the hedge funds is that if between 10% and 15% of VW shares were on loan to be shorted and only just over 5% were available in the market, it is likely that many of the funds that shorted VW had borrowed the shares from Porsche.

It meant that because Porsche had not declared the proportion of VW shares it controlled, traders may have been indirectly and inadvertently borrowing shares from Porsche, selling them to Porsche, buying them back from Porsche and then returning them to Porsche.

[BBC]

Payback is a bitch.

Don’t mess with the Piech!


“A [so-called] “green” Prius uses hundreds of gallons of oil to manufacture, extract the iron, make the steel and plastic, etc. It takes more oil to manufacture a Prius than the vehicle will ever consume. If you want a Prius, buy a used one.” -Chas Hugh Smith


Manufactured Aspirations

October 28, 2008

Truth shall set you free.

So pernicious is this marketing that we as a nation have succumbed on a national scale. Rather than save or sacrifice, we now run staggering Federal deficits as standard operating procedure, lest we be denied anything we “need”: MRI tests for every headache (as long as Medicare is paying), a world-class Armed Forces, entitlements galore for everyone, etc.

The surest way to lose an election is to issue a call for sacrifice. Only a self-destructive politico would be insane enough to suggest that guaranteeing poverty for our children is a poor choice compared to “borrow and spend lavishly now.”

Politicos, like everyday citizens, deploy a host of self-deceptions: this isn’t debt, it’s an “investment in our future.” Just how devilishly Doublespeak is this, when we’re actually burdening future generations with massive debt because we’re too spoiled, lazy and morally shiftless to make any sacrifices in the present?

But the Empire of Debt is integral to standard marketing and Manufactured Aspirations; saving up means you will appear “poor” and that is a fate no one would tolerate if there was any possible way to acquire the “look and feel” of “wealth” and “membership.”

You see the terrible irony, don’t you? That we have impoverished ourselves to purchase the simulacrum of wealth. There is one way to cleanse ourselves of Manufactured Aspirations: choose poverty, choose self-reliance, choose real wealth (i.e. sustainable incomes, control of capital) over the bogus simulacrums of wealth (luxury vehicles, maid service, golden retriever or other “name brand” dog, season tickets to the local “sport dynasty,” title of second vice-president of global penury, etc.)

To reject the ideology that poverty is fundamentally a judgment of your self-worth– i.e. if you are poor you are worthless–is to free yourself of both Manufactured Aspirations and the Empire of Debt.

It is a sad thing, really, to see an entire people, if not an entire species, fall for the scam that personal transformation can be had as cheaply as a fake Rolex, or that succumbing to a lifetime of poverty via crushing debts to acquire “the real thing,” whatever that may be for membership in your selected Manufactured Aspirations tribe, is actual “wealth” or “self-worth.”

Empty Dreams, Manufactured Aspirations, Marketing Poverty: the Positives of Poor [Oftwominds]


“80% of all “communication” is distraction.” -Chas Hugh Smith


Why Are The Screw-Ups Still in Charge?

October 27, 2008

If there is one thing that has become abundantly clear over the past year-and-a-half or so, it is how badly so many financial institutions — effectively, their senior executives — managed risk in the pursuit of short-term, turbo-charged profits.

Not only did they hand out loans like candy to a wide range of high-risk borrowers, they relied on all sorts of accounting chicanery and derivative machinations to further augment their returns in ways that seemingly did not make any allowances for the possibility that things could go even a little bit wrong.

Given all the red ink that has flowed through the financial industry in the wake of this far-reaching stupidity, grotesque incompetence and criminal negligence, why is it that so many of the managers responsible are still in charge of those firms?

In fact, incredible as it seems, the screw-ups are in many cases being allowed to preside over the allocation and deployment of myriad capital injections, cheap loans, and taxpayer handouts as if they were the innocent bystanders of a totally unexpected natural disaster.

[financialarmageddon]


Oh such a tale of woe

October 26, 2008

T. Boone Pickens makes a donation to Oklahoma State of $165 M. Very generous.

Funds are kept in TBP’s hedge fund. TBP is an oil man, and BP Capital Management has heavily bet on oil.

Donation swells to $300 M.  Woo-hoo!

School borrows against ‘gift’ to make improvements to stadiuum using ‘gift’ as collateral.

Oil takes a dump.

“Officials were told that actually, the entire $ 165 million donation, and the earnings, which once inflated the gift to over $300 million, had recently been eliminated by margin calls due to drastically falling oil prices.”

Looks like tuition might have to be raised. A bit.

It would appear that T. Boone needs a massive capital injection to maintain the lifestyle to which he is accustomed to living. Maybe he can borrow some ‘fluids’ from his geriatric pal Kerkorian Ross Icahn Buffett.

[Oklahoma State Is Officially Screwed]


A housing metaphor

October 25, 2008

Question: Which do you think is the buyer, and which is the seller?