Speculators Be Hanged?

Speculators at megabanks or investment firms such as Goldman Sachs are not, in a strict sense, capitalists. They do not make money from the means of production. Rather, they ignore or rewrite the law—ostensibly put in place to protect the vulnerable from the powerful—to steal from everyone, including their shareholders. They are parasites. They feed off the carcass of industrial capitalism. They produce nothing. They make nothing. They just manipulate money. Speculation in the 17th century was a crime. Speculators were hanged. -Chris Hedges

Source: Truthdig

Hyperlink in quote from moi.

The First Casualty Of The War Of The Lie Of Your Mind On Steroids Times 65 Gazillion But Don’t Worry Your House Of Cards Is Still Standing

What is the first casualty of war, dear worst-reader? That’s right. The truth. Ever wonder how all those bankers, especially the pions that do all the work for banks and Wall Street, how they think about the lies they are telling? Obviously they justify what they do with the knowledge that they are, indeed, at war. Ever see traders trade on the floor of a stock exchange? Ever have trouble paying your mortgage? Ever wonder why you’re kids will have even less than you? It’s kinda like war. Am I wrong?

In order to get one of those jobs on either Wall Street or whatever surrogate Wall Street city around the world, you have to have the credential of an edumacation. If that’s the case, what are all those pions thinking based on that expensive edumacation as they  tell lies, make lies, lying, lying, lying? The answer? Nothing. They are either living the WAR dream or they are out to coffee. The only thing their edumacation taught them was to NOT think (for themselves) and then behave to the point of having a compulsive disorder. It’s called a career. A career at war for peace?

Orwell anyone? Nomatter.

There is one thing that gets under my gander when thinking about the mess I have to live in that is the byproduct of a financialized (speculative) world. At the end of 2007, as banks were on the verge of world-wide collapse and the US government decided to intervene in their demise and save them by further looting the US treasury (not unlike it had already been looted to make war mongers even richer by fighting empire protecting oil wars), what were these banks doing that got them into such trouble? The answer: debt. But I don’t want to get into that here. It’s a big can of worms to open, this thing called debt. What I want to get into is one of the minor details of the fail-upward world that is present day #americant, #eurowasteland, etc.

When the US government let Lehmann Brothers fail, it did so because, of all the banks that were complicit in the mess, Lehmann was the one with the most lies to be revealed. Those lies had to be protected at all costs. At least that’s my best guess as to why the US government bailed out Goldman Sachs instead. (Other than the fact that Lehmann didn’t have as many cronies working in revolving-door government.) But what are the lies that Lehmann Brothers told? My worst-guess is, they lied about everything. No. Seriously. EVERYTHING. Where Goldman & Co (and all other banks that were bailed out) lied about (let’s say) half of their business, Lehmann lied about everything. In fact, their business was the lie. If Lehmann would have failed under out-of-control circumstances, i.e. the economy would have crashed after dipshit Dubya left office and the funny man with the big ears took over, then the lies that made up so much of bank’s businesses would eventually have to be revealed. Indeed. The government bail out of fail-upward banks was literally a culling of the herd–to protect the rest–and to make sure there is no truth.

Which brings me to Wells Fargo. I follow this bank once-a-once by reading through my news feeds. I do so because this is the most interesting lie-bank that’s out there right now. The other week headlines appeared about WF but this time it wasn’t about just a few million fake accounts, which is the scandal they’ve been involved in for years. This time it was about how the first lie wasn’t enough. That is the lie wasn’t big enough. They needed a way to increase the lie. Only in #americant, eh baby.

But before I’m off topic.

The original number of fraudulent bank accounts at WF was X. Or was it? Actually the real number is Y. Y is at least double that of X. And now let me bring this worst-post back to Lehmann Brothers and the great recession/crash of 2007. To me, dear worst-reader, WF is not unlike LB (Lehmann Brothers). The difference is, the government can’t make WF collapse overnight and then just go away (which is exactly what it did with LB). The reason WF can’t collapse overnight is because, well, it’s actually a retail bank and there are a lot of people that have bank accounts with them and there are laws that protect those account holders. Which was not the case for the suckers at LB. Oh wait. Another reason WF can’t just be made to disappear. One of its largest stock holders is Warren Buffet.

As it turns out, the initial number of bank accounts that Wells Fargo lied about–that they created out of the blue in order to fraudulently increase their fees–has to be at least doubled. This is the same truth of, say, all banks on Wall Street–that the powers-that-be don’t want people to see. All of these banks who provide the lie of consumption and the reality of austerity, globalisation, etc., via credit and debt, especially those suckers in my beloved #americant, exist on a foundation that is a house of cards.

But I guess, since you probably have a college degree, you already knew that.

Now go buy something.

Rant on.

-T

Links that motivated this post:

Neofeudalism Defined For The Little Man? I Mean The Little Mind?

“Much as warlords seized land in the Norman Conquest and levied rent on subject populations (starting with the Domesday Book, the great land census of England and Wales ordered by William the Conqueror), so today’s financialized mode of warfare uses debt leverage and foreclosure to prey away land, natural resources and economic infrastructure. The commons are privatized by bondholders and bankers, gaining control of government and shifting taxes onto labor and small scale industry. Household accounts, corporate balance sheets and public budgets are earmarked increasingly to pay real estate rent, monopoly rent, interest and financial fees, and to bear the taxes shifted off rentier wealth. The rentier oligarchy makes itself into a hereditary aristocracy lording it over the population at large from gated communities that are the modern counterpart to medieval castles with their moats and parapets.

J Is For Junk Economics, Michael Hudson

Bold text worstwriter.

Rent on.

-t

News ECB German Real Estate Bubble

 

ecb-german-real-estate-bubble
This is a screenshot of google search.

Reason I googled it? Overheard my better-half’s morning news show while she was preparing for her day. She props her iPad on a shelf under the mirror in the hotel bathroom. She streams the news from Germany. Even though we’ve been away from Das Vaterland for just over a week, the saying holds tried & true: you can take her out of her country but you can’t take her country out of… Anywho. During the newscast the word Blase (bubble) was used several times in the context of the German real estate market. This woke me out of my drowsy state as I had a rough night of sleep, got up around 2:30am and tried to worst-write to compensate–but nothing helped. A big segment of the German newscast was the announcement by the ECB of lowered interest rates, which are now near zero, and the consequence that may have on real estate and the suckers who bought in the last few years. Of course, the real reason my eyes popped open was because the news report said only what I’ve been saying for the past three or so years. Vindication is a great source of wake-me-up. Not only am I worst-writer, dear worst-reader, but I’m also an arm-chair economist, a pseudo news debunker and an all-around wannabe polymath. That said, I love it when I’m proven RIGHT. §We started looking at real estate in Germany around seven years ago. Four years ago we moved from Wiesbaden to Cologne where the search continued. One thing held true the whole time we were searching to make the purchase of life-time. Etwas stimmt nicht im Land der über Optimismus. The whole time we were looking to buy a house or a flat it felt as though we were competing with others who purchased on the basis of now or never or panic. I kept getting the feeling, with every agent we spoke to, that something was wrong with the real estate market in Germany. My better half, of course, being the optimist that she is, would have none of my nonsense. She held that the over-priced market (at least she did admit to prices being very odd) was the way it was because Germany was a stable economy and there was Ordnung and the daffodils that bloom during the few days of sunshine in spring look the same in the dark-grey days of the rest of the Germanic year. She never believed me when I told her that the reason we couldn’t fulfil her dream of owning a home (which is still a pretty big deal for most Germans) was because, although we are well-to-do, the housing market in Germany is not. It is in fact inflated, over-valued and preoccupied by a bunch of wannabe real estate sharks name Manfred or Heiner or Bierschen. In order to buy a house in Germany for the past (my worst-estimate) 20 years, you not only had to over come all the ridiculous costs of the bureaucracy and the mafia-like state that made laws that guaranteed that they would also get a share of your dream, but you had to compete with the bubble–and don’t forget all the real estate sharks. No one believed me when I said that there is no justification for the prices of real estate in Germany today. With globalisation and down-sizing rampant in the country, with all inheritance value from the wirtschafwunder used up, where is the money supposed to come from to buy all the real estate? Heck, VW just announced, in the wake of its ridiculous smoke screen that is supposed to hide managements choice to over produce, it’s gonna lay-off over three thousand people by 2017–most of whom are office workers. “Office” workers are supposed to be the ones that can afford to buy real estate. Or? §But like I said, the real estate market hasn’t felt right in Germany for years. Stuff is being built like crazy. It not only felt like there was an over supply of new houses but there was also an over supply of old houses that were being sold for the same price as new houses. Hello! Are you fucking kidding me. And get this. We made an offer on a house two years ago just south of Cologne. After several meetings with the agent we met one last time where I made my offer. I mean, we considered our offer for a few days. We spoke with people about how to do it. We thought we offered a fair price where we hoped negotiations would begin. Yet. We got absolutely no response from the agent. When we finally called him back, although he was supposed to return our first offer, he just said that the owner had decided to rent the place. Rent the place? For real? Ok. Fine. I guess if the owner can’t sell it–because he’s priced it waaaaaaaay to high, he has to then, at the least, rent it–to stop the bleeding of cash he must pay to maintain the mortgage. I turned to my wife and said: this is bullshit, its all a bubble. As of our leaving Germany to move to India for a few years, the guy still hadn’t sold the house. With that in mind, I feel bad for anyone in Germany who bought a house within the last few years believing/thinking that low interest rates were the reason to fulfil the dream. This most recent lowering of ECB rates means buyers will never get any equity out of their house and the price paid was a lie. Good luck suckers. Rant on. -Tommi

Links that motivated this post:

The Lie Of Things Flawed

Here’s the thing, dear worst-reader. Does Morgan Stanley actually have $3.2 billion to pay a fine? I mean, does it have that much cash? And if it does, would it use that cash for something as silly as paying a fine? Or would it use it to pay an exec another bonus? Which brings me to the question: where does this “news” come from about a bank paying a huge fine with money it probably doesn’t have? I mean, what’s the point of publishing this as “news”? Well, let’s go deeper, shall we? Morgan Stanley doesn’t have money in its bank account anymore for paying fines. Bet you didn’t know that, did you? No. And the reason for that is simple. Morgan Stanley has your cash to pay fines. So is that the “news” that should be reported? Probably not. And here’s why. While you were galavanting around your whole life buying all that krapp you don’t need on credit that keeps you a slave your government combined with a few private sector big-shots have been laughing their asses off watching the minions of the so-called “middle-class” have an orgy dance of ignorant bliss. These bankers and government stooges got you to vote for their ideals, they got you to hate liberals, they got you to believe the lies of taxation and representation, they got you hating each other because of race, migration, religion, etc., etc. Indeed. They got you. And now that they’ve are able to combine investment bank assets/liabilities with retail banking assets (i.e. your savings and personal investments) every greed mongering bank has enough money to pay fines. It’s just not the banks money. Now that’s worst-news! Of course, the other side of the coin is nothing more than the same type of bank across the Atlantic. So while Morgan Stanley pays its silly little fines–that amount to nothing more than a tax write-off–Deutsche Bank is doing the same thing but instead of fines it’s in über-debt because of Euro-greed. Yeah, baby. Rant on. -T

Links that motivated this post:

Repeating History Because You Like How It Tickles

Time to celebrate. Break out the bubbly, the cheese & crackers, turn on the game, crack open that can of rice beer. And what is it we celebrate? Well. What is about to happen, dear worst-reader, is more than just a new year. To (y)our joy this is a year just like the last and the last before it and the last before it. And what ties every year together? 2016 will bring just as much truth that 2015 brought and 2014 before it and 2013 before it, and so on and so on and so on. Yes, the truth is here. But that’s not what we’re celebrating. No. We’re celebrating another year after another year after another year of avoiding truth. Some like to call it avoiding the mirror. But I’m not one for mincing words–at least like I mince meat. Indeed. And so. We are once again at the truth. It is right in front of us. And do we see it? Of course not. At the least, I, worst-writer, have tried to put it out there. Just have a look here. Yes. I’ve tried in vain to articulate in the worst-way possible anything akin to truth, albeit Tommi’s worst-truth. And what is that truth? Well, it goes something like this: you are fucked. I don’t mean that in a literal way, although for some it would be welcome. No. This form of being fucked has nothing to do with the tingling and pleasure grinding that remakes you, your parents and every other lost soul that has walked this jungle of consume to survive. No. This form of being fucked has more to do with payback, revenge, vengeance. Yet when worst-writing about such acts one can only wonder who is the one doing the payback? Well, the answer is easy because it is yet another part of the truth avoided. For you see, dear worst-reader, the truth is simple. The thing fucking you is the past. And not just any past. It is not an infinite past. It is a not-so distant past that has found a way to rear its head out of its smelly coffin. It’s still wearing jewelry, a necktie and even a pocket watch. It’s tophat no longer fits on its flaky skull, though. But tophats are neither here nor there. Eh? If you haven’t guessed who or what this past is, then I reckon I should just come out and tell you. It is the past of your great grandparents, the near past of your country, where tophats are common place amongst the grinding folk of Greed’s yesteryore. Indeed. For you must realize eventually, dear worst-reader, that the comings and goings of your country–that place you so mistakenly love without condition(s)–is ramping-up yet another assault on you. You know what assault I’m worst-writing of, don’t you? I know it’s hard for you. But you must (eventually) try (to look around). All it takes to wake-up from the dream that is your nightmare is to try (and look around). You will see how and who is fucking you so royally into oblivion. Your sweet-lie that is the middle class has been decimated. The poor have finally washed their last dish–there is no more chance to being a millionaire. (Boy, I particularly loved that lie we were fed: dishwasher to millionaire.) Or maybe not. Yeah. Forget all that. It’s end of year buying season. Go buy something. Or. Maybe. Have a look at the commencement speech above. It’s from the guy who “bet against America” because he was able to see the truth. Yes. He was able to see your truth. He was able to see how (y)our past reared its ugly Greed face and took over everything. Greed is a vindictive bastard, eh! That Greed face told you to buy and buy and buy–nomatter what–and you abided. You bought and you bought and bought more. And when there was no more money to buy with you borrowed and you borrowed and you financed and you financed. And now that the bottom has fallen out and your pants have been hanging at your ankles for so long you can’t tell anymore the difference between penetration, violation and procreation. Yeah. You are fucked. And with that in mind. Even though buying season is almost over, it doesn’t matter. The first thing you’ll do as the year changes to the next is what did previously and what you family did previously. All because you can’t see the truth. Or maybe not. Nomatter. Good luck suckers. Rant on. -Tommi

Swap Your En-Tities

debt freedomWorst-words of the day, dear worst-reader…

Prohibition Against Federal Government Bailout of Swap Entities

As stated here, Elizabeth Warren is a maverick. She is indeed doing her best to do something about something. But what is that something, dear worst-reader? Well, let’s give it a shot and try to tell what that something is. In short, it’s debt. #americant is awash–not unlike its awash in oil right now–in debt. It is the single most important thing that all #americants should be direly concerned about. I mean, it’s really, really, really kinda important. In fact, it’s so important that #americants should start thinking about who they are going to sell their children to when the debt-reaper comes calling. Have I made that clear? Hope so. Now. With that said, what the hell are “swap entities“? As you can tell from the links below, it’s pretty easy to say the words, but to explain what it is is a whole other story. But I’m going to try, only as worst-writer can, to do just that. A worst-simpler way. Ready? Here we go.

You are fucked!

How’s that? Simple enough? Does that about sum it up? I think it does. But incase you still don’t get it, I’ll just go ahead and worst-write about it a little more. Because I’m actually enjoying watching all this from 30k feet. Yeah, that’s about where I am. Way up there in the sky and there’s no clouds blocking this worst-view below me. And, dear worst-reader, it’s all quite entertaining–especially Elizabeth Warren. Now don’t get me wrong. I vote Democrat. I’m a liberal. I do not like the current iteration of Republicanism and I particularly despise political conservatism. Conservatism is the root of #americant. Also, to me, so-called libertarianism is just another word for coward. And as far as krapp like the tea-party is concerned… wow. Now. With that cleared up, why am I worst-laughing at Warren’s efforts?

The answer is simple. #americants are stupid. And the best thing about being stupid, you don’t even know it. #americants are so stupid that we can’t see through the bullshit a good-meaning senator spews forth. (And bless her humble soul for trying.) But I guess that’s all a-given–because #americants are destined to live out the remaining days of a waning empire in that grand old saying: ignorance is bliss. For you see, a swap entity is nothing more than debt. It could, under other circumstances, be somethings else. But right now, it’s just good old fashioned debt. The reason Wall Street and Jamie Dimon have pushed this new poison-pill–i.e. Prohibition Against Federal Government Bailout of Swap Entities–into the current spending bill, which basically finances the military for 2015, is that if it doesn’t, the stupid people that are just as much the cause of all problems as the banks, will go bust. It’s really that simple. But let me try and put it another way.

When the US government was called by Wall Street to bail out the entire system that crashed in 2007, basically what it did was cover all the debt-bets Wall Street had been doing for umpteen years. 2007 was just the culmination of #americants voting their idiocy since, gee, Ronald Reagan–the actor!–sold the country for a peanut to the elites–which of course the idiots loved him for. Of course, the grand savior, Bill Clinton, didn’t help the situation by NOT vetoing the conservative agenda that lead to the repeal of Glass-Steagall. But that’s neither here nor there. The point is, Wall Street, along with #americants, especially those who are perpetually in debt in order to consume-to-survive, are in this boat together. The question then is, when will it sink?

No. It won’t sink. Well. At least it won’t sink if Jamie Dimon gets his way. And this is where I have to go against Dems and Warren. Again, what is a swap entity? Yes, it is debt. But what kind of debt? Here’s where things get complicated. Let me try to put it this way. You have a container, something like a purse or bag or a box. This container is capable of holding parts of a financial balance sheet, you know, the asset and liability sides of doing business. Now. The business we’re worst-writing about here is the business of running a country. A country, for reasons well documented, that has lost most of what it used to be, i.e. manufacturing, productivity, innovation, etc. Since it lost so much it had to find other things to replace those losses. Since we already know that #americant is full of really, really stupid people, it’s then not difficult to understand that in order for #americant to replace its losses with something else, it would choose replacements not out of innovation but out of the past. Specifically, #americant has chosen to repeat history. More specifically, as of 2007, #americant is basically–financially speaking–where it was just prior to the Great Depression. Ironically this is where Glass-Steagall came from, which has since been repealed because of that which makes #americants so stupid: political conservatism. But I digress.

If your business is running a country that is based on financial speculation (real estate, stock market, interest rates, etc.) and everybody–EVERYBODY– has bought into the game, well, it’s then no wonder that when the debt-reaper comes calling, like it did in 2007, someone has to pay. Elizabeth Warren & Friends seem to think that Wall Street and the likes of Jamie Dimon should be the ones to pay. But the problem is, other than the amount of money they have, Wall Streeters are no different than Joe-Blow who owes on his second or third house and the yacht he bought with an equity loan or the numerous credit cards he has that are tapped out in revolving accounts s/he never pays off. Indeed, dear worst-reader. Everybody has to pay their debts. Now. Back to swap entities.

Most of #americants debt problems come from the fact that the only part of the balance sheet that is used today is the liability side. Hence, using some tricky-dicky-trickery, banks have been breaking up those liabilities and putting them into fancy containers, i.e. purses, boxes or “entities”. These containers are then bought and sold, traded and “swapped” among the financial go-getters–you know, all the fancy-pants nut-jobs that work for Wall Street who should really be used-car salesmen. For umpteen years now this level of debt trickery is what has held #americant together. It is the basis on which everything–EVERYTHING–functions. All the productivity that remains in the country functions because of debt trickery. For example. The only way big-budget, $100+m movies can get made is if a bond (another word for debt) is sold. The only way GM can pay its employees and suppliers is if it takes a loan, i.e. debt, to do so. And the list goes on. Of course, the saddest part about all this debt trickery, which Wall Street maintains, is that the debt #americants have accumulated for fighting wars of lies isn’t even on the debt charts yet. Go figure.

With all that in worst-mind. Good luck suckers.

Rant on.

-Tommi

Links:

What’s At Stake in Swaps Market | WSJ

E. Warren Rips Citigroup | HuffPost