Archive for the ‘banking’ Category

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

.

We had it with the real estate market. Billions of dollars being lent to people who obviously couldn’t afford it.

We saw the trouble, hardship, misery and financial woes that were caused as credit dried up, real estate prices began to tumble, and bankruptcies and foreclosures increased.

And we know the damage it did to the economy when irresponsible banks and other lenders went bust and almost brought down the entire financial system. 

Smart people would learn from such a situation.

Smart people would never contemplate doing such a thing again.

But despite what they would like to have you believe, bankers are not smart people. They’re dumb and they are greedy, a deadly combination.

bad credit 100 percent financing

As a result of the financial crisis millions of Americans (and people in other countries too) have been left with poor credit scores. Yet remarkably they are now able to easily obtain auto loans from used-car dealers, including some who fabricate or ignore borrowers’ abilities to repay. Even if you are bankrupt or living only on social security, banks like Wells Fargo will lend you thousands of dollars to buy a used car.

It’s called the new sub-prime boom, because the lack of caution resembles the frenzied sub-prime mortgage market before its collapse. And it is already bringing misery to many people who have been suckered into taking out loans that they clearly could not afford.

Worse than that, these sub-prime auto loans often come with terms that take advantage of the most desperate, least financially sophisticated customers, with interest rates that can exceed 20 percent. And many of the loans can be at least twice the value of the second hand cars they are being used to purchase!

wall street car crash

This creates a vicious circle for some borrowers, who still owe money on a car that they are trading in when they purchase another one, meaning that the former debt is rolled over into the new loan and they end up, not just paying too much for their current car, but also continue to pay off the loan on their previous car that they don’t even have!

This is the way loan sharks operate. Eventually you end up borrowing your own money and paying them interest for the privilege!

This surge in sub-prime auto lending is being driven by some of the same dynamics that were at work in sub-prime mortgages. There is a veritable deluge of money pouring into sub-prime autos, as the high rates and steady profits of the loans attract investors.

And just as Wall Street stoked the boom in mortgages, some of the nation’s biggest banks and private equity firms are now feeding the growth in sub-prime auto loans by investing in lenders and making money available for loans.

To quote some of the figures, auto loans to people with bad credit have risen more than 130 percent in the five years since the immediate aftermath of the financial crisis, with roughly one in four new auto loans last year going to borrowers considered sub-prime, that is, people with credit scores at or below 640. Wells Fargo, mentioned earlier, made $7.8 billion in auto loans in the second quarter of this year, up 9 percent from a year earlier, and has at least $50 billion in auto loans on its books.

greedy bankers

Even worse, as was the case with sub-prime mortgages before the financial crisis, many sub-prime auto loans are being bundled up into complex bonds and sold as securities by banks to insurance companies, mutual funds and public pension funds. They are all scrambling for these, which in turn creates ever-greater demand for loans, and leads to the banks issuing more and more sub-prime credit.

Unbelievably it’s the same crooks doing exactly the same thing, including using incorrect information about borrowers’ income and employment, so that people who had lost their jobs, or were bankrupt, or living on Social Security, could qualify for loans that they could never afford.

carbuying credit report

Admittedly, the size of the sub-prime auto loan market is only a tiny fraction of the sub-prime mortgage market at its peak, and its implosion would not have the same far-reaching consequences.

For the banks the investors silly enough to buy their bonds, that is.

But the misery is just as great for the people who are suckered into accepting credit they cannot afford.

Illegal it may not be, but immoral it certainly is.

Political leaders who sit astride high horses and purport to be working on behalf of the ordinary people should be doing something about it.

But, as I’ve said before, don’t hold your breath!

obama used car salesman

.

====================================================

.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

.

It’s Sunday so time for another Sunday Sermon.

There’s a famous quote from US President Abraham Lincoln that goes something like, “you can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but not all of the people all of the time”.

On the face of it Lincoln’s words seem rather clever and profound – and true. And so they are.

Up to a point.

But what Lincoln didn’t say (and he was a politician after all) is that you don’t have to fool ALL of the people ALL of the time.

What you have to do is fool them long enough to do what you need to do – for example, in the case of a politician, to get yourself elected.  

 

graph Miss Universe

Which brings me to statistics.

Because the best people in the world at playing with statistics are politicians and governments.

Some people believe everything they are told. Others call the figures governments produce ‘disingenuous’ which is being very kind. And some don’t believe a word or a number that they produce. (Take a wild guess at which camp I am in.)

Government statistical results are in effect lies. You can’t call them that – although I just did – because they can find figures to back up what they say, it’s just that they choose the figures that tell the story they want to promote and ignore all the rest that tell a different story.

For example, to get on to one of my favorite rant subjects, there is a thing which I am sure most of you have never heard of called the ‘Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program’ or ‘SIGTARP’ for short.

When the government is challenged about what is has been doing to bring to justice the banksters, who stole and recklessly gambled away our money, they can quote you a statistic or two saying that over the last few years, SIGTARP has put over 100 senior bank executives in jail, each of whom was convicted of stealing from taxpayers.

Although that fact is ‘technically’ or ‘statistically’ true, what they don’t tell you is that the people they have gone after and convicted are all small time crooks, guilty of small time frauds that are seldom above $1m or $1.5 million in value.

All the super crooks who embezzled hundreds of $ billions and almost brought down the entire financial system aren’t even being seriously pursued. More than six years into the SIGTARP investigations there are literally still hundreds of billions of outstanding ‘loans’, from banks including Citi, JP Morgan, Wells Fargo, and Bank of America.

They can quote figures all day long to try to mislead the people and make themselves look good, but a few small time crooks thrown in jail for stealing a million or two dollars here and there isn’t ever going to make much of a dent in the $ billions that were stolen. The politicians know that as well as anyone.

Perhaps Mark Twain’s “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics,” might have been a better quote!

.

.

================================================

.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

.

The Sunday Sermon

Bankster pyramid of greed and corruption

They say rats squeal when they are being hunted and nearing capture and they’re right.

None more so at present than the rat banksters and nowhere more so than on Wall Street. If you listen carefully you can hear them squeal even above the noise of the New York traffic.

And the reason for the squealing?

Only that federal authorities are at long last closing in on some of the worst culprits whose greed and contempt for their clients caused the financial crisis we have all be suffering from during the past decade and more.

But before you start clapping the feds on the back, let me say it is too little and too late. None of the banksters are likely to face jail sentences which is what they deserve for their crimes against the people.

Foreclosure-Homes

However, it is something and these days that’s about the best you can hope for.

In terms of the numbers, the banksters are facing fines of something in the region of $63 billion.

Wow, listen to them squeal!

It seems like a lot of money – and it is a lot of money, it could keep all of us blogging away happily for the rest of our lives and then some. But put in the context of what the banksters defrauded their clients out of and what they lost it is just a pittance.

Putting the figures into context, J P Morgan Chase’s $13 billion mortgage settlement in November was probably some kind of record, but they issued more than $460 billion in mortgage securities.

To illustrate it in numbers people can relate to better, that’s like a thief stealing a thousand dollars from you and getting away with it if he paid you back $28.

I bet the amount of the settlement doesn’t seem so big now. Nor is it commensurate with the size of the crime. But that’s what they’ll probably get away with. And they’re not even grateful for this small smack on the wrist, hence all the squealing.

.

=================================

.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

.

Time for another Sunday Sermon, otherwise known as a rant!

 Foreclosure Notice Yellow Photo

.

First it was Cyprus where the bankrupt government tried to steal money right out of people’s bank accounts. If you want to read that again click here and here.)

Then it was the turn of the greedy bureaucrats in Australia who decided to tax pensions TWICE, once when you put the money in and again when you tried to take it out! (For the original post click here.) 

Now in bankrupt Spain the politicians are at it, however, this time they aren’t proposing to steal some of the money in your bank account  –  oh no, this time they want to steal your entire home!

Yes, you read it right, the Spanish government has announced this past week that they want to seize homes that have been foreclosed on by banks and developers.

Not that I have any sympathy with the banksters, not by a long chalk! But theft is theft, and theft by governments is perhaps the most evil of all simply because the victims have little or no remedies available – other than pack up and go somewhere else.

se vende

.

As usual the politicians and bureaucrats are trying to dress this theft up as something helpful. They say they will rent the confiscated foreclosed homes to Spanish families who will be allowed to live there rent-free for up to three years.

Sounds great, but as usual what these political morons have failed to do is think their policy through.

If they go ahead with this plan to steal homes the consequences will not be what they think.

First of all it will destroy what is left of the mortgage market in Spain because no one will want to make home loans on Spanish real estate if there is no viable foreclosure mechanism should things go wrong for the mortgagee.

Second, it will go a long way to killing off the buy-to-let sector, which is the thing that has been keeping the real estate market afloat in these financially strained times. Home sales, not just in Spain, but in many countries have been boosted considerably by cash rich investors picking up what they consider to be ‘bargain’ properties at a level that yields a decent return on their capital. Where will they get that return if the government kills the rental sector by renting out homes for free?

And third, it will also kill off the recent Spanish drive to attract foreign investors by offering residency to anyone who spends around $200,000 buying up the glut of Spanish property currently on its real estate market.   

If these things were happening in Zimbabwe or even Venezuela everyone would be calling it a disgrace. But it is happening in Europe and Australia and America. And it will get worse the more desperate the politicians and the bureaucrats become as they make the mess they created worse, not better.

Who on earth put idiots like these in charge?

It wasn’t you was it?

pointing_finger_clip_art_23483

.

==================================

.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

.

origin of banksters

Time for another rant about the slime of creation, also known as the banksters.

This blog is about highlighting and fighting against stupidity and bureaucracy and there is no better example of this than the banking industry.

Their stupidity is only matched by their arrogance and their greed.

More than five years on from plunging the world into a financial catastrophe, and all of us into debt that will take generations to sort out, they are still at it!

And the governments are still faffing about, afraid to take on those who bribe them with “contributions” to their election campaigns.

banksters table

For example, the European parliament only reached a “tentative deal” last Wednesday evening to limit bankers’ bonuses at twice the value of their fixed pay. They call it “imposing the toughest limits on pay since the financial crisis”. Gimme strength!!! Of course, the deal, still has to be endorsed formally by governments and lawmakers (i.e., the bureaucrats), and is the result of 18 months of farting around (they call it negotiating).

It’s a start, but a poor and a slow one.

It shows how long it takes for a no-brainer to happen in heads that have no brains!

In timely manner, latest results last week came from Europe, namely the grandly named basket-case Royal Bank of Scotland Group, Lloyds Group, and Spain’s lesser sounding Bankia.

Already more than 80% owned by the British Government (i.e., taxpayers) who stupidly bailed out these idiots to the tune of almost $70 billion, RBoS have announced further losses of around $9 billion!

To make matters worse, $1.6 billion of that was to compensate clients wrongly sold insurance and interest-rate hedging products – which is a nice way of saying they have been caught fleecing their customers and now have to pay back money they cheated their clients out of in the first place.

They called it a “chastening year”.  

Meatime Lloyds chalked up further losses to the tune of more than $2 billion!

And the banksters aren’t any smarter in Spain either. Bankia also this week reported a net loss of €19.06 billion ($25.04 billion) for 2012, by far the largest in Spanish corporate history.

And you know what? Let’s add insult to injury.

These dumb-asses are looking for bonuses for their efforts.

Can you believe it?

banksters bonuses

If someone starts a business and it fails, no one gives them a bonus – they lose their business (usually because the banksters force them to close down).

Just how on earth have we allowed the banking industry to create a culture of stupidity to take hold and remain in place after such clear evidence that it is not working. It is completely absurd.

Hit your sales targets, make money for the company and yes sir you can have a bonus and well deserved. Cost the company $ billions and drive it to bankruptcy because of your incompetence and the only bonus you should get is early parole for good behavior.

.

That’s Europe taken care of, can’t go without a word about the American banksters too.

Latest news is that they “have discovered” that they wrongfully foreclosed on more than 700 members of the military during the housing crisis and seized homes from about two dozen other borrowers who were current on their mortgage payments,

The banks, namely Bank of America, Citigroup, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo, only found the foreclosures after regulators ordered them to examine mortgages as part of a multibillion-dollar federal settlement. Each bank “discovered” around 200 members of the military whose homes were wrongly foreclosed in 2009 and 2010.

So while military personnel are putting themselves in harm’s way to protect and defend the country, the slime in the banks are busy trying to illegally foreclose on their homes.

Incredible!

Not only do these foreclosures violate the Servicemembers Civil Relief Act, a federal law requiring banks to obtain court orders before foreclosing on active-duty members, but they violate every common law of decency.

The sooner governments come to their senses and put these banksters out of business the better and cleaner the country will be.

banksters wrecked the economy

***end rant***

======================

.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

. 

****A Saturday rant****

One day this week, according to all reliable financial sources, the United States of America’s debt burden reaches the $16 trillion mark, or as close to it as makes no difference.

That’s $16,000,000,000,000.00

The richest nation the world has ever known has now become the greatest debtor the world has ever known.

And the problem which began to get seriously out of control under the Bush Presidency is still spiraling out of control under Obama’s regime.

go bananas

go bananas

To add a little perspective to the huge numbers, it took the United States government more than two hundred years to accumulate its first trillion dollars of debt, BUT it took only two hundred and eighty-six days for the most recent trillion dollars of debt to be added. And that was under the  “Yes We Can” and “Change” administration.

So what has changed?

Nothing much.

Yes we can what?

  • Borrow and borrow and borrow again?
  • Let the horrific bankster’s mess run on for a few more decades?
  • Dream up more and more new government programs that we cannot afford?
  • Leave future generations in so much debt that they will never and can never get out from under it, (because there won’t be enough money to pay the interest on the debt let alone repay it)?
  • Continue to stick our heads in the sand while other nations kick our ass?

As I write this I can hear the Fed’s printing presses clunking away producing more new dollars out of thin air, which they will distribute through the banks  –  who will keep most of the money instead of releasing it to individuals and businesses to stimulate the economy and create employment.

Sadly, not only is the nation bankrupt, but the politicians who govern it are too  –  bankrupt of good ideas, intelligence and common sense. Their mentality is, ‘if something isn’t working, don’t change it, just do more of it’.  (Aaaarrrrrrggggghhhhhhh!!!)

Their ultimate solution will be, as it inevitably always is – more taxes and more control! Just wait for those shoes to drop.

In the US, Hawaii and Florida are the only states that grow bananas. I suggest that they start looking for ways to up production because that is the type of republic the politicians seem hell bent turning us into!

****End rant****

naked banana

naked banana