As Syndromes Go, I Have A Good One Today. Enjoy The Facts.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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There seems to be syndromes for just about anything these days/

Maybe that would make a good post on its own.

For today however you will have to be content with just one, mixed in with a lot of other facts too.

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syndrome

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Apparently in San Francisco

it is illegal to dry your car

with used underwear.

dry your car

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Since the Space Shuttle electronics were

so outdated and nobody made them anymore,

NASA actually resorted to buying spare parts

on websites like eBay

Space Shuttle electronics

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Only about 226,000 underwater marine species

have been identified and scientists estimate that

there could be up to 25 million marine species

living in the oceans.

This means less than 1% of all underwater

marine life has been discovered.

underwater marine species

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Machu Picchu, the Incan citadel set high

in the Andes Mountains in Peru,

was so high in the mountains that it

wasn’t discovered until 1911.

Machu Picchu

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If it were a country,

McDonald’s would be the 90th richest

country on Earth.

McDonald's country

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In the 80’s Romanian President Nicolae Ceausescu

had the game of scrabble banned and described it

as “overly intellectual” and a “subversive evil”.

scrabble help

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Discovered in 1852 and named after

the Greek mythological figure Psyche,

16 Psyche is a one of the largest metal asteroids

in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter.

Unlike most of other metal asteroids,

Psyche shows no sign of the presence of water

and is believed to have a purely iron-nickel composition.

16 Psyche

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After falling asleep in class and being awakened

by a teacher smacking her palm down on his desk,

a 16 year old’s parents decided to sue the

Connecticut Board of Education

for the hearing loss he suffered.

Connecticut Board of Education

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The thing that is always used

to measure your foot at the shoe store

is called a Brannock Device.

Brannock Device

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Heart attack guns exist.

According to disclosures by the CIA in 1975,

there is such a thing as a ‘heart attack gun’.

It fires a bullet made of ice, dipped in shellfish toxin

that immediately induces a heart attack.

heart attack gun

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The first solo person to circumnavigate the globe

using only human power

was Erden Eruc of Turkey who

walked and rowed right around the world!

Erden Eruc

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Paris Syndrome is a real psychological syndrome

that affects mostly Japanese people when they realize

that Paris isn’t as great a place as they thought it would be.

The Japanese embassy in France even has a

special hotline that tourists can call.

Symptoms include nausea and headaches.

 

Paris Syndrome

 

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Need To Spend A Penny? Find Out Where You Can’t In Today’s Fact File.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Spending a penny is becoming more and more difficult these days, especially if you are in the US military as you will see. But then they are trained to take the pressure.

More fabulous facts below.

Enjoy.

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US penny

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Stores on US military bases around the world

don’t accept pennies as currency because they are

“too heavy and are not cost-effective to ship”.

Stores on US military bases

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A person’s pupils will dilate if they are lying.

In fact, because this is an involuntary behavior

it is usually a good indication.

dilated pupil

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The world’s first female American self-made millionaire,

Madame C.J. Walker, made her fortune

in the early 20th century cosmetics industry.

A black man appeared to her in a dream

and told her the mixture which would help

her falling-out hair grow back in.

It worked, and she enjoyed a lengthy career

selling her cosmetics products.

Madame C.J. Walker

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Australia’s National Science Agency

claims to have basically invented wi-fi

and has even sued over it.

But sure we all know it was Al Gore,

or was that the internet he didn’t invent?

Australia's National Science Agency CSIRO_headquarters

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Still on the subject of the internet,

when Montenegro gained its independence

from Yugoslavia its top level internet

domain went from .yu to .me

Montenegro

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And yet more Internet goodies,

in 1993 there were only 623 websites.

Today, more than 100,000 domain names

are registered every single day

List-of-Internet-top-level-domains

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The Incas constructed buildings without mortar,

the huge stones they used fitting together

so perfectly and tightly that

nothing could get between them.

machu-picchu-masonry - Incas constructed buildings without mortar

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In China reincarnation is illegal.

Unless you have permission from the government.

(But how would they know if you came back

as an American or maybe a dog?)

China reincarnation is illegal

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The first submarine attack in history

took place in New York Harbor in 1776.

The colonists attempted to attach gunpowder

to the hull of the British ship HMS Eagle

using a submersible they called ‘The Turtle’.

Turtle_submarine_first submarine attack in history took place in New York Harbor in 1776

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NASA will send you a text message

whenever the International Space Station

passes over your location.

International Space Station

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Is there such a thing as a jinx?

Abraham Lincoln’s son Robert Todd Lincoln

was by his father’s side as he passed away.

He then went on to witness the assassination

of President James Garfield.

Twenty years later, in 1901,  President William McKinley

invited him to the Pan-American exposition in New York

and on that day President McKinley was also assassinated.

Robert decided to decline any presidential invitations

from that day forth.

Robert Todd Lincoln

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They Got Away With It AGAIN!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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banks admit forex manipulation

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Last week several of the ‘BIG’ banks – you remember, the ones that are too big to let go bust – were fined in the region of $5.7 billion for illegal manipulation of the currency markets.

The usual suspects were included, J P Morgan, Citibank, Barclays  and RBS all pleading guilty – but only after they were sure what the medicine they would be getting would be.

It’s a huge amount of money, there’s no denying that. And losing it will make the banksters hurt a bit. But only a bit.

And that’s the problem.

Yet again the United States government has failed to bring these criminals to justice after more of their deliberate fraud and theft.

In other words, they let them get away with it AGAIN!

Major Banks

Now, if I walk into a branch of, for example, Citibank and try to steal the money that their customers have deposited with them for safe-keeping, I would be videoed, photographed, and if I was lucky enough to get out of the premises, pursued by the police and even the FBI for as long as it took to capture me.

And I couldn’t have any complaints because that’s the way it should be. Thieves should be sought out, captured and after due process thrown into jail.

However, if I am a bankster, have good government contacts, and ply money and favors to those in government, then I am treated very differently.

big banks get out of jail free

I can embark on insider trading (which is essentially what the banksters were doing when they were illegally manipulating the currency markets), I can sell loans to people that clearly can’t afford them, then take their houses away or sell on their debt wrapped up in a ‘AAA’ bundle to my richer customers, and after all that steal even more of the money my customers have entrusted to me by awarding myself and my collaborators big bonuses that none of us have earned or are entitled to.

In this scenario am I pursued by the police and FBI?

Nope.

Am I thrown in jail to be the bitch of Skull-cracker Jones or Scarface Smith?

Nope.

Will I have to personally pay back the money I stole?

Nope, again.

So what will happen to me if I am a bankster?

At worst I will get a slap on the wrist and told not to do it again. Even though recent history has proved that this is no deterrent and I will do it again at the first opportunity I get.

And, of course, I don’t have to personally pay the government’s fine no matter how big it may be. Instead my company has to cough up on my behalf.

Not that the company is much bothered either because when it runs out of money it goes back to the government which hands it back at least the value of the fine and usually much, much more.

Think this system is fair?

Neither do I.

jail the banksters

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Would You Buy An Expensive Lock If Someone Else Had The Key?

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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encryption-lock

 

Apple and Google recently enabled full-device encryption by default on their mobile operating systems – and big brother doesn’t like it – not one bit. As always he talks about things like ‘National Security’, ‘terrorist threats’, etc., and that there will be total chaos in the streets if ordinary citizens are allowed their right to privacy.

Some of the stuff that has hit the media has been ridiculous and would be laughable except these idiots are actually intent on total control.

For example, the head of the FBI has issued dire warnings of children dying if ordinary people are allowed their privacy via encryption programs. The secretary of Homeland Security used the deaths of the 168 people killed in the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing as ‘proof’ that, while privacy was important, encryption should not be allowed to stymie US law enforcement.

Big Brother wants to stick his nose into EVERYTHING. Anything that makes that harder to do frustrates the hell out of him.

big brother is watching poster

 

So he continues with the stupid excuse that the necessity to snoop on law abiding people is because criminals and terrorists might use encryption tools as well.

It’s a bit like saying that no one should be allowed to drive a car because someone, somewhere, sometime, might get drunk and cause a fatal accident.

Then there’s the EnnEssEhh director who wants mandatory “front doors” to be built into all cryptographic technology used in the U.S., so that you can’t have secrets it can’t spy on. His idea is for all encrypted software and hardware used in the U.S. to have one encryption key for the user (you) and another that would be made available to the government bureaucrat spooks any time they wanted it.

This is complete nonsense. And they know it. But still they persist.

They have already got the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which removed the right of a purchaser to use their goods as they see fit. This legislation means that digital products continue to be the property of the seller – not (you) the buyer who paid for them. And it makes it illegal for buyers of digital goods to circumvent any features that allow snooping.

Going back to my car analogy, that is like a car dealer selling you a car on the condition that you never open the hood to see how it works, or perform your own modifications.

In practical terms this means that if you buy a new phone or computer, the manufacturer can have a spy device pre-installed in its hard components or its software and you would be forbidden by law from finding out about it or fixing it.

If Big Brother thinks he can enforce stupidity like this then he is even crazier than I think he is – and I think he is completely crazy already!

Big Brother can legislate all he wants, but we all know that the only people who will abide by these new laws will be the law abiding people. The criminals and terrorists will find ways round it, through it, over it, or under it.

It’s the same flawed logic as in the continued cry from liberals to take legally registered guns away from law abiding people so that only the criminals are armed.

Neighbor Wants Guns Banned

 

Then there is, not the probability – but the FACT – that if a government spook friendly encryption system was created, it would immediately be attacked by hackers – including hackers employed by foreign governments, some of them friends of the terrorists that the legislation is supposed to be there to defeat.

And what about the practical commercial aspect to it all? When you think about it, who in their right mind is going to pay good money for an encryptiuon system that they know can be broken?

Would you buy an expensive lock if someone else had the key?

I think not.

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Chain Stores, Axes And Earthquakes Are Just Some Of Today’s Facts.

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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Yes, chain stores, axes and earthquakes are just some of today’s random selection of fabulous facts here at the fasab blog.

Hope find a few things new and interesting.

Enjoy.

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did you know5

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NASA’s New Horizons mission will

be the first probe to study Pluto.

It was launched on January 2006,

and will be near Pluto on July 2015.

New Horizons mission

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The world’s largest Axe is located

in Nackawic, New Brunswick, Canada.

It stands 15 metres (49 ft) tall,

weighs over 55 tons and the

axe-head is 7 metres (23 ft) wide and

has a time capsule embedded within it.

It sits on a concrete stump 10 metres (33 ft) in diameter.

The axe was commissioned, designed and

built in 1991 by a company in Woodstock and it

symbolizes the importance of the forest industry in the region.

world's largest Axe Nackawic, New Brunswick, Canada

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There is a small town in Estonia (actual name ‘Tartu’)

that has been nicknamed of ‘Souptown’ because most

of its streets are named after various vegetables,

such as Kartuli (Potato), Herne (Pea), Oa (Bean),

Marja (Berry) and Meloni (Melon).

Souptown Estonia

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The town of ‘Superior’ in Wisconsin in the USA

is also known as ‘Soup Town’

but this is simply because the name was shortened

to ‘Soup’ and then ‘Town’ added later.

Superior Wisconsin

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The first recorded chain store was British-owned W H Smith,

founded in London in 1792 by Henry Walton Smith and his wife.

The store sells books, stationery, magazines, newspapers,

and entertainment products.

W H Smiths

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In the U.S., chain stores began with the founding of

The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company (A&P) in 1859.

By the early 1920s, the U.S. boasted three national chains:

A&P, Woolworth’s, and United Cigar Stores.

The Great Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company

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Ants are known to be able to lift and carry

about 50 times their own bodyweight,

but a recent scientific research study by

Ohio State University suggests it can be up

to an incredible 5000 times their bodyweight.

cartoon ant carrying heavy load

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It was during the stupid ‘Prohibition’ period

in the Unites States (1920-1933),

when there was a nationwide Constitutional ban

on the sale, production, importation, and

transportation of alcoholic beverages,

that  ‘cocktails’ gained popularity.

They were offered to mask the flavor of poorly made

alcohol and popular versions included

‘Mary Pickford’, ‘French 75’, ‘Barbary Coast’,

‘Bee’s Knees’, and the ‘Sidecar’.

cocktails

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And, by the way,

it is still illegal in Ohio to get a fish drunk.

drunk-fish

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Barack Obama is the USA’s 44th President,

but there actually have only been 43 presidents:

Grover Cleveland was elected for two non-consecutive terms

and is counted twice, as the 22nd and 24th President.

President Grover Cleveland 22nd and 24th POTUS

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Although the Great Wall of China has

existed for more than two thousand years,

most of the rest of the world didn’t know

about it until after the first European,

a Portuguese explorer named Bento de Gois,

discovered it in 1605.

Great Wall of China

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Not quite as old as the Great Wall of China,

but nonetheless impressive, was Brazilian woman

Maria do Carmo Jeronimo who for a while

was the oldest living person on earth.

She was the last Brazilian slave,

and one of very few people in history who

managed to live during three different centuries;

she was born in Brazil in 1871 and

she died on June 14, 2000,

at the incredible age of 129 years and 102 days.

Unfortunately lack of a birth certificate,

which were not often issued in those days especially for slaves,

prevented her official recognition as the world’s oldest woman.

Maria do Carmo Jeronimo

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If you ever wondered what it would be like

trying to eat your dinner during an earthquake

then you should book a table at

Disaster Café, in Lloret de Mar, Spain.

At the “disastrous” dinners customers experience

an artificial 7.8 magnitude earthquake

so don’t wear your best gear as there are likely

to be spilled food and drinks during the meal.

Disaster-Cafe

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When James Wan agreed to direct the horror movie ‘Saw’

he also agreed not to receive an “up front” salary

but instead opted for a generous percentage

of the movie’s box office earnings.

‘Saw’ made over $100 million globally and it is

considered one of the most profitable horror movies of all time.

Wan’s risk also enabled him to become one of the youngest

and highest-earning directors in movie history.

James_Wan

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The world’s shortest commercial flight takes place

between the two Orkney Islands, Westray and

Papa Westray, north of Scotland.

Operated by Loganair,

the flight covers a distance of only 1.7 miles (2.7 km)

and if the weather conditions are favorable,

it can be completed in just 47 seconds.

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It’s Hard To Love Your Country When It’s Government Doesn’t Love you Back!

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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A few weeks ago I wrote a post that I called “Why are the bureaucrats destroying what made America great?” (if you want to refer to it please click here

In it I posed the question as to why a self-defeating wealth-distributing philosophy is taking the place of the business-friendly environment that America is famed for and that made it the wealthiest nation on Earth. And why the bureaucrats are trying to make it increasingly more difficult and expensive for businesses to operate in the US rather than offering more incentives and encouragement.

drop business incentive programs

The example I gave in the previous post was the huge pharmaceutical corporation called AbbVie, which was relocating from Chicago, Illinois, to Europe and thereby effectively cutting its tax bill in half – a significant saving when you are generating billions of dollars in revenue each year.

Now the latest corporation to show its frustration with the way things are deteriorating in America is the Miami based fast food giant Burger King. It is currently in merger talks with Canadian coffee chain Tim Hortons, in a deal that would allow Burger King to relocate out of the US with a view to trying to cut its “big whopper”  of a tax bill too.

Since the new company would be headquartered in Canada, Burger King would no longer be liable for punitive US taxes which are now regarded as the highest among developed economies.

It’s another high profile example of what is called an ‘inversion’ deal, a strategy that allows US firms to lower their tax bills by merging with a foreign company, and then relocating to the new country.

tim hortons logo

The Obama administration’s response has been predictable  –  cry foul, say it’s not fair, and tell these corporations to forget about the best strategy for their business and just wrap themselves in the Star Spangled Banner.

“My attitude,” the President declared in July, “is I don’t care if it’s legal — it’s wrong.”

It’s great to love your country, but it’s tough when the government of your country doesn’t love you back! And it will take more than bogus emotional claptrap to change the minds of hard-headed businessmen.

What Obama and his henchmen should be doing is asking themselves why it is happening and what THEY are doing wrong that makes these giant wealth creating corporations want to get out of America as fast as they can.

But they won’t do that.

That would make sense –  and sense is the last thing that the bureaucrats want to apply to any situation.

So they’ll continue to spend money they don’t have, on things the country can’t afford and probably doesn’t need, and then pass the bill on to the tax payers.

Their short term solution to these corporate inversion deals will be to try to legislate to make them illegal. Good luck with that, I have never seen legislation drafted by an idiot bureaucrat that a team of top corporate lawyers couldn’t drive a coach and horses through.

So rather than stopping the exodus, it’s more of a question of what will be the next corporation to leave???

drive a coach and horses through

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“No Credit. Bad Credit. All Credit. 100 Percent Approval.”

“Fight Against Stupidity And Bureaucracy”

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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

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