Friday, October 16, 2009

So What Are You Dicks Smiling About?

This is an appropriately profanity-laden post, about a profane situation. I still don’t support the TARP. I’d like to tell President Obama that I don’t give a shit if it’s working.


Because of these greedy motherfuckers pictured right here.

Our jobless rate, being what it is, gives no cause for celebration.

Yahoo! Finance reported Wednesday that as of the close of the bell, the Dow has hit five figures again, a number not seen in over 12 months. They reported that “investors can start focusing on the next benchmark for the market's recovery.”


The Dow Jones Industrial Average has been the market’s most widely feared, revered and accepted barometer for decades. Like sedimentary layers that illustrate flush wet fertile years versus periods of rainless drought, trending the DJIA will show us the last century’s worst financial crises against its greatest stretches of prosperity... for some. It’s like the way counting tree rings won’t tell you a thing about disease in primates, only if they had more or less water to drink.

Joblessness is here to stay
. Many jobs shed across economic sectors may in fact be permanent in America. There is a consumer credit and loan crisis in the offing once the rate and total number of defaults on individual credit cards accounts hits a point of no return. -I’d say “tipping point” but I feel like Malcolm Gladwell has that term copyrighted, and in any case I always laugh when people repeatedly throw it in conversation as if they’re citing some great work in philosophy.

Everyone in government last year, from George W. Bush to Hank Paulson down to the lowliest Democratic junior Congressman managed to convince every poor schmuck, working-class schmendrick, and hapless debtor treading water in America to ignore the foreclosure sign on their lawn, but also that AIG’s, Bank of America’s and even Goldman Sach’s* pain was also somehow their own. Now that these monstrous financial institutions are repeatedly posting profits, their joy is strangely not changing the fortunes of the people who footed the bill for their massive rescues or supported their restructuring. Not one person’s immediate situation is changed by the Dow’s rise yesterday. If you lost your job, the 10,000 point Dow is not calling you on the phone to offer you a new one.

Quite the opposite:

I just got a letter from Bank of America two days ago; they are amending the agreement they made with me on a fixed rate loan that they repeatedly assured me would never change. I called them and asked: “The term fixed rate doesn’t mean anything when you say it, does it?” The woman on the other end of the phone actually laughed. I respected her not being able to hold in a chuckle at a sucker’s expense, just as she probably knows I would’ve choked the life out of her had she been standing in front of me.

I am paying tax dollars to stabilize financial institutions that are turning around and raising interest rates on me.

And where the fuck is Glenn Beck’s outrage now? -Oh that’s right, Glenn Beck passionately argued for AIG keeping their bonuses, -and why not? Glenn Beck is rich. He won’t be crying any of his theatrical tears on TV for you, or for me or for anybody that does the actual living and dying in America at the whims of banks. They’ll compare President Obama to Adolf Hitler, but neither he, nor anyone at Fox “News” Channel will ever go after the finance and banking corporations that make life miserable for working class Americans. They will never decry the subsidies and corporate welfare that keeps the downtrodden, stepped-upon.

So I ask again; to every smug jackass on the NYSE trading floor, sitting behind four screens watching indexes, I say again to every asshole in finance whose livelihood we saved with our tax dollars last fall who:

-won’t create a job;
-won’t pull a family out of foreclosure;
-won’t even pay their proportionate share of taxes:

Just what are you dicks smiling about?

-Oh right, you’re fucking us over again, and there’s nothing we can do about it.
That’s what you’re smiling about.

I said it last year and I’ll say it again, tax money should go to help the actual individual people in trouble who “owe” the money that “imperils” financial institutions, it should not go to the finance, insurance and investment entities who put Americans in the hole with variable APRs, sub prime loans, escalating mortgages. It’s their own money, Americans had to put it up, why can’t it go to helping them first? For once, I’d like to hear somebody admit, sincerely and without qualification, that deregulation was a bad idea. I’d like to hear it from all the politicians who supported it for the last 25 years.

For once I’d like to see an economic initiative trickle up, not down.

But financial institutions would never support anything that equitable and just, would they? It practically sounds like agreeing to be pissed upon from up high doesn’t it?

It sounds like what is always happening in America.


* Goldman Sachs is about to report a tripling in profits compared to one year ago according the Wall street Journal yesterday morning.


Oso said...

Absolutely right,every word.They screw us over and it drops off the radar screen of the corporate media.CNN will show the stupid balloon kid and ClusterFox will distract their viewers with Czars and ACORN and the SEIU,to fuel their rage and point it at convenient targets without lobbyists,who represent poor or working people.

I am so tired of trying to reason with-with idiots. I keep hearing reasonable people say the teabaggers aren't stupid-and many of them are well spoken and all,but come on.I'm thinking you gotta be a fucking idiot to swallow the crap they are given.I don't know man. what's the use.

-Sepp said...

SJ, you signed a contract that holds the bank to a fixed rate correct? They're bound to honor it just as much as you are. I have however heard of companies that pull the same shit as you dealt with in an attempt to scam you into agreeing to changing the contract.

As for Glenn Beck defending the bonuses, he wasn't defending the bonuses themselves, he was defending that part of the constitution which keeps the government out of meddling into private contracts. Congress had no constitutional provision to go after those people and it's actually illegal for them to create a tax in order to punish them! But, screw the constitution...just this once...let's go get em!

Beck's point wasn't to rush to the defense of the rich but, defending the rule of law. Everybody knew the execs didn't earn a bonus for their stunning performance, they recieved it because it was a part of the contract they entered into for executive compensation.

Can I assume that your outrage for Frank Raines, Barney Frank, Chris Dodd is being saved for another posting or, is this just targeted and selective outrage? All those guys also walked away with truckloads of money for dubious actions!

Oso, the tea partiers arguement is about the same crap SJ just posted. They've always been there but, now that their numbers have grown, you've finally noticed them and think this is some new thing. For some people it IS new. Many were apathetic before and simply couldn't sit idle anymore. And you won't hear this on mmsnbc but, a lot...not all...voted for Obama thinking that he was going to reel in the Bush spending. "We're going to cut the deficit by half" BEFORE he was elected turned into trippling it withing 90 days AFTER being elected and with even larger spending bills on the table!
The tea partiers were going nuts when Bush started handing out money to all those "too big to fail" types. You didn't hear them because they weren't critcizing Obama at the time and getting on the left's radar. Now he IS on the radar and he's spending us into oblivion too!
I watched the left media calling those folks everything from racists to tools of "big insurance".
However, I did notice something odd. The tea party folks...who were all being backed by the insurance industry's billions all had home made signs. Cardboard, and crayons. Meanwhile, all the leftists...who are sponsored by supposedly nobody...all showed up with manufactured signs...which kind of destroys the arguement of who's being sponsored by whom.
But, those people are just crazy to NOT want a bigger government thats constantly seeking to add more control over their lives right?
I know you hate Bush...everybody hates Bush but, while slamming Bush from one side of their mouths, I often hear liberals defending and justifying Obama's spending using the "logic" that "Bush did it too"!
So I'm left to assume that the left hated Bush on a personal level but agreed with his spending practices?

SJ said...

I still can't get an answer to the question: "If the banks were in trouble because of debts, why not pay off the debts the people owe with their own tax money (so that home values don't drop etc.) instead of giving the banks more money and hope that they'll lend the people who are broke more money... which is what started all of this?!"
Our Congressmen and Senators showed their true colors during that crisis and if anything strengthened the grip of the banks around all of our necks. TARP is a pitiful fucked up idea.

I have the paperwork, in plain english but they are "Amending it" just like that. I tranferred my balance, which is pretty small now anyway, this afternoon. I'll never do business with them again and I'm writing a letter to that effect. I'm sure they won't give a shit, there's a sucker born every minute. I believe I covered everybody in government, Senator Dodd, Frank, et al when I wrote from:
"George W. Bush to Hank Paulson down to the lowliest Democratic junior Congressman"
I started that recrimination out with the President and the then secretary of the treasury because it was their plan, their idea.
I wrote about it across several posts last year in September. I still think TARP starts at the wrong end of the economy.
Whereas I'll admit, I obviously can't know what's going on in Beck's head, I'll say it's ultimately not a Constitutional issue as he maintains, the financiers in question, particularly at AIG did not honor the contracts they were paid bonuses on, because they engaged in "reckless endangering of held assets." As far as I'm concerned whether or not bonuses are tied to performance is beside the point; they didn't hold up their agreement, so the bonuses or the salaries the contracts stipulate shouldn't be honored at the other end.
Pissed as I am, I don't want to drag bankers out into the streets, I just don't want them paid for a job they didn't do. If a banker doesn't keep money safe, what the fuck is he?
-Apparently someone who gets paid a bonus for violating a contract.
and now they're raising interest rates... wonderful.

As for Bush, there are specific things he let happen that go beyond economic pratice and policy and border on the criminal. The no-bid contracts for one.
As I've said before, spending in and of itself is not the problem I have with his eight years, it's what he spent things on, and the way he grew government when he said he wouldn't; it's the way he squandered the surplus with useles rebates and congratulated himself for doing it. It's a whole host of deregulatory policies that made derivatives possible on Wall Street starting in 2002, -even the bad ideas he failed at, like the attempt to get everybody invested in the stock market (which everybody has to admit was a stupid idea aimed at breaking social security).

-Sepp said...

SJ, they can't just amend a contract out of thin air. There are laws governing written contracts between partys. They need more than a whim to do it or, YOU could have "amended the contract" to say that your loan had no interest or payments. Contracts are a binding agreement between partys and can't just be amended without BOTH parties agreeing on it. Unless, you've agreed to an amendment (most often in writing), the binding contract is on your side and they'll have to just suck it.
TARP didn't start at the wrong end of the economy, it was wrong to begin with period! The economy does not "trickle up" either. Poverty can trickle up but, prosperity comes from higher and travels downward!
The government has been trying "trickle up" econonomics since the johnson administration by pumping billions into the inner cities and programs to pick the poor up to no avail.
The poor, don't create wealth nor do they create jobs that employ others!
And no, the financial institutions aren't interested in being right and just...they're interested in making money which is why they went into business in the first place!
I don't agree with their practices but, simply put, they are in it to make money and thats it.
Charity is in business to be right and just and help people banks never have been and never will be!
When doing business with a bank, just remember that even Satan won't try to screw you as bad as a bank will...and in your case, Satan would probably honor any contract you've agreed to...unlike some banks!

Oso said...

i'm sorry but you're wrong.the teapartiers WERE NOT there.They weren't at antiwar marches,they weren't out protesting anything.I don't know where they were, but you and I both know they weren't out demonstrating.

I'm glad you watch Democracy Now,it's a good program but it's very small.I'm assuming that's what you mean by left media? cause the rest of the MSM sure as hell doesn't take liberal positions on anything.

your inference that some sort of big $ group is behind leftists is pretty nonsensical.with what $ ? Whatever is contributed is 1 or 5 or 10 dollars-we're not the CEO's.get real.

I'd assume the teabaggers are out there with the homemade signs with misspelled words because like I keep trying to tell you-they are new to this.

You apparently have some sort of ESP that knows things about me that even I didn't know re:hating Bush.You said you know I hate him.

I hate war,and killing of innocent people.I hate terrorists.So, I hate what Bush I hate what Obama is doing, maintaining the military occupations and escalating warfare around the world.

I do not support Obama,I didn't vote for him.I oppose Bush's policies,I oppose them as they continue to be advanced by Obama.

A lot of liberals give Obama a pass, I don't.

In keeping with the right's inability to face reality,many insist there is no such thing as racism and when it's mentioned refer to it as the "race card" with the implication that it is never a valid issue.
much of the health care debate as well as opposition to Obama is race based.I know it,I'd like to think you are open minded enough to understand it too.

The right twists and trivializes these issues by claiming that liberals say anyone who disagrees with Obama is a racist. That's a cheap shot.

SJ said...

They can, they did, they do.
There's going to be a lot of this going on before the middle of next year, don't be surprised if it happens to you.
Bank of America claimed on the phone that this was not a "credit card account" but a fixed rate loan. No card was issued because of this, it's just a fixed rate loan they keep assuring me as I told them I didn't want anything with a variable or adjustable APR. BoA claims, that after the fact, serving me with a mailed notice to a change in terms that will go into effect at the end of the month is a legal way of amending our contract without my permission or agreement, because it gives me time to change my mind about whether or not to continue.
They broke the contract, the choice they said I have is whether or not to continue with a contract with terms I didn't agree to or pay everything off at once. All of that is fucked up, and yet it's perfectly legal.
They were "banking" on me not having the resources to pay it off, and they were wrong. It'll be a bit of a hardship, but their new APR will only affect me through December.
The power to set a rate of interest is one of the ultimate powers in our country and it gets used against us constantly.

You wrote:
"The economy does not "trickle up" either. Poverty can trickle up but, prosperity comes from higher and travels downward!"

You're making me laugh very hard.

I grew up in one of the poorest Congressional districts in the US, the South Bronx. My colleagues and I frequently employ people, after climbing out of the poverty of my origins without so much as a small business loan for my company, we had to rely on friends to get us started. I've had to work no less than three jobs for all of the 1990s. Only now am I making enough in New York to stick with one company.

Conversely "Trickle Down" is just a nice way of saying "Wait until we feel like it."
Nothing trickles down except the rain. That's just Reagan-era hype that destroyed places like Flint Michigan. Nothing ever "trickles up" in America. The billions you are talking about were barely stop gaps for the financial redlining and decades of municipalities and banks and discriminating against neighborhoods after White Americans left to the suburbs in my area.

You said, "The poor, don't create wealth nor do they create jobs that employ others!" and I'm afraid you just don't know what you're talking about. Nothing personal, but my lifetime of first hand experience goes counter to what you are saying.

Lastly, making money by manipulating agreements, and ripping people off are not the same thing as doing busines, at least it shouldn't be. That's what laws are for.


Jack Jodell said...

I'm with you, pal. Let's face it: Wall Street in general is a bunch of anti-labor parasites who favor the rich and despise the poor, and who want to exploit workers every step of the way. Their banks and their executives are wholly self-serving and corrupt; rotten to the core. The tale of people investing steadily all their lives is to realize a nice lump sum for retirement at the end is a myth. The only people who profit immensely from Wall Street are its bankers and huge investors. Small investors, by and large, would be better off just shootimg craps. The system is rigged and manipulated by and for the rich, and it is so screwed up it even blows up in their faces every so often. What an utter waste of time. Those laughing, gloating birdbrains in your photo should get 20 years hard labor, no parole. I'm sure there will be a rash of hostile reaction to this comment, but I don't care. I've had it with these greedy pigs who steal legally every day and screw up billions of lives in the process!

MadMike said...

I agree with every word and love Jack's final line:

"I've had it with these greedy pigs who steal legally every day and screw up billions of lives in the process!"

SJ said...

@Jack, Mad Mike,
Yes. Debt is the problem, but assisting the bastards who put people there, and the others who profited from it all was the worst thing the Government could have done.

Use people's taxes (their own money) to get them back on their own feet, not to stabilize the lenders who prey on them...

or you know Jack, that great quote from Vigilante you always use.


Jack Jodell said...

Right on, SJ! For the benefit of those visiting here who are unfamiliar with that line, it's "tax the very wealthy to make everyone healthy." Only problem is, the very wealthy have brainwashed a lot of people into thinking any new taxes levied on the wealthy will be a tax on THEM as well, which is utter nonsense. It's come to the point where the very mention of a new tax of any kind is like screaming out the "f" word in a crowded church during a solemn service. But these ultra-wealthy bastards continually rape everybody's pocketbook and then rub it in further by stealing people's tax money for their own wealth-building on top of it all. Were it up to me, heads would roll on Wall Street---literally...

SJ said...

That's the one Jack.

Will "take no prisoners" Hart said...

I guess that I'm a "trickle up" kind of guy, too. This, in that MY stimulus package would have included a 2 year payroll tax holiday, a permanent middle class tax-cut, and a shit-load (since we're frigging swearing here) of shovel-ready infrastructure projects. Oh, and, yes, I would have put some money into fixing the energy grid, too.

SJ said...

---the energy grid... exactly Will, that's right on target as far as I'm concerned, -create new jobs and get the United States some much needed independence from all foreign oil.
What a great idea with many dividends for future generations.

MadMike said...

SJ where did you go? I hope all is OK.

SJ said...

@Mad Mike,
just behind the eightball on a few deadlines... Everything's cool other than a wish for a 28-hour day to get things done in etc.