Casino Ain’t Pay

Screenshot from the interwebnets

Time to go there again, eh, dear worst-reader? I mean, I’ve dabbled in banking and finance krapp on this blog before. You know, dabbled, as in, from my couch. At the least, I’ve tried to comprehend what ultimately has become a casino madhouse free-for-all that is the current (mis)banking world. And where best to begin with that sort of rigamarole? That’s right, baby. It all begins in the land of my beloved & missed #Americant. The greatest land of… FREEDOM TO BE STUPID. On the other hand, there is also this thing with Germania. You know. Germany. My host expat country. Where Huns and their dachshunds romp gayly through mountain forests of yore singing… Lass uns bumsen.

On the other hand, if you can stomach it, I’ve attempted to comprehend the world of freaky finance here, here or here. Good luck with that.

With this worst-post, though, things are gonna be a bit different. It’s time to focus solely on… z’Germans. Namely. Deutsche Bank is once again having a new arsehole ripped through its innards by regulators and I don’t know whether to laugh or tickle my fancy till I puke rainbows. With that in worst-mind, here’s an excerpt from the motivating article that I’ve linked to at the end of this post. This is from a Deutsche Welle article where they concisely list seven or so Deutsche Bank Scandals. Here’s the scandal that interests me the most. Footnotes are from me.

Subprime credits1 are considered to be what caused the global financial crisis2. It was above all Deutsche Bank that bought up the poorly secured mortgages from US home buyers, wrapped them up in highly complex financial products, slapped them with top ratings3, and sold them on to other banks as secure investment products4. When the market collapsed, the bonds5 became instantly worthless.
Meanwhile, internally, Deutsche Bank had long bet on a crash — and made a lot of money doing so6. In 2013, the bank was given a first penalty; it had to pay $1.9 billion to then-nationalised US construction financiers Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae7. The bank agreed on a settlement with US authorities in 2017. Initial talks were of $14 billion, equivalent to financial ruin for Deutsche Bank. In the end, the bank paid $7.2 billion8.

US Mortgage Transactions, source: see link below

I’ve been trying to understand this krapp for years. Quite an entertaining endeavour, don’t you know. Reason for my efforts? Well, get this. I think there’s a conspiracy afoot. And when I say conspiracy, I don’t mean conspiracy-theory. In fact, I sometimes stop what looks like a banker in the streets. I compliment him on his fancy snake leather shoes and matching belt and then reassure him I’m not a fag looking for a quickie. Then I ask:

Say, dude, is Deutsche Bank inherently evil?

-worstwriter on the streets

There’s a bit of here & there as the banker adjust his tie and belt and then begins to take a defensive posture against the Ausländer talking $hit about his number one national bank.

The thing is this, dear worst-reader. I’ve suspected for years that the reason Deutsche Bank is in so much trouble is due to 1) historical circumstance and, perhaps, 2) geographic location (which amounts to it not being in London or NYC). And so. There are powers-that-be who think the bank can be used as a patsy–in the middle of #Eurowasteland. The problem is, Germans don’t make good patsies. Or do they?

Again, because of its historical circumstance, DB would gladly be a player in the Anglo-casino game. But like any capitalist pig, it would be willing to lose only so much. That said, it participated in the casino free-for-all that took place in my beloved & missed post cold-war #Americant–with only its investment banking entity. As noted in the excerpt above, that entity won bigly. When the subprime crash hit in 2008, it was time to cash in its casino chips. Of course, the Anglo bankers didn’t like what they saw. Namely, when the casino bell ended all bets, the Germans were standing there with all the chips, or at least a lot of them. The losers, as mentioned in the excerpt above, where organisation like Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae and who knows how many more–to include, I’m guessing, a few large American banks. I suppose, under normal circumstances, things would have worked themselves out. But circumstances are/were not normal. Remember: Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae had to be taken-over by the US Government. In other words, the casino changed the rules. Instead of the US Government having to bail-out even more banks, it simply found a way to prevent all chips from being cashed.

Let me try to put that another worst-way. And keep in mind, this is purely worst-writer speculation and I ultimately have no idear what I’m writing about. #Nomatter.

There’s a reason that when you go into a casino you have to bet with chips. You go to the casino bank, give them your (real) money, they give you the chips. You then go around the casino and play whatever game you like, betting with your chips. You play blackjack, credit default swaps, craps, subprime mortgage blah, blah, etc., etc. When you’re done playing, you take all your chips, if you won, back to the casino bank and cash-in. In Deutsche Bank’s case, the casino (Wall Street) simply never let it cash-in its chips. And so. That makes me guess (speculate) that Deutsche Bank’s wrong-doing is a cover-up. It’s not a cover-up for the gambling, though. No. It’s all about covering-up, protecting, an insolvent American banking system–that no longer has enough money to cover gambling chips. It’s really that simple, dear worst-reader. DB won so much as the subprime casino crashed that it couldn’t get any money out of the casino bank–because there was/is no money there. Of course, the real joke is: all of these fines DB faces are literally taken out of the value of the chips that were never cashed in the first place.

Or maybe not.

Rant (and couch bank) on.


Link that motivated this post:

  1. Why would they use this terminology? Everyone knows that it was referred to as “Subprime Mortgages”. ↩︎
  2. Really? That was it. Subprime… and nothing else? ↩︎
  3. Deutsche Bank cannot and does not issue securities ratings. ↩︎
  4. Another sucker bought them, right? ↩︎
  5. Did they sell credits, bonds or mortgages, default swaps, etc.? ↩︎
  6. Oh really. ↩︎
  7. And what if these were the guys that sold the securities in the first place to Deutsche Bank with/at too much risk? ↩︎
  8. Again. If DB won the bet, how much did it make? ↩︎

My Name Is Bonds, Eurobonds

About the pics. A screenshot of a German news program showing how it can turn something un-understandable into something less-understandable…? A screenshot from the same German news program of… wait for it… aghast… Peter Gauweiler.

The thing that intrigued me while getting a rare dose of German TV news yesterday, albeit via its website (and not by traditional TV reception), was when ARD (or was it ZDF? Not that it matters, as they’re both the same nationalist newz $hit!) reported on a recent Eurobond scam and subsequent lawsuit by a bunch of right-wing German politicians suing the ECB. The lawsuit made it to the German high court, which just recently provided its ruling. In short, the ruling goes something like this: a bunch of $hitbag, smart-arse bankers took a bit of politics into their own hands and thereby forced public monetary policy in the form of so-called quantitative easing on various indebted EU countries and by doing so have possibly acted, according to the German Constitution, unconstitutionally.

Way to go bankers plus right-wingers which can only equal fascism. Or?

But here’s my thing with yet another Eurobond scam as it makes its way through the fake (or real) newz that seems to always avoid what real, aka reality could actually be. As bad as it is that high-finance has replaced all other industry as a driver of life, liberty and the FREEDOM TO BE STUPID (or as the French may call it: égalité) in the western world, aka Neoliberalism, why is it that this behaviour (high-finance behaviour) is only called-out by right-wing politicians? I mean, as I was watching the newz on this issue, trying with all my worst-might to intellectual grasp what the fcuk a bond actually is, Peter Gauweiler appeared on the screen (see pic of white guy above). Gauweiler is an obvious bright-star in the modern German political scene that is getting shit done (sarcasm off). Or?

The court thus sided with several groups of plaintiffs including economist and former far-right AfD leader Bernd Lucke as well as Peter Gauweiler, a former senior member of Bavaria’s conservative CSU party. –Source

According to the above quote, the lawsuit was filed by right-wing politicians that are obviously against their beloved Germania financially propping up less fortunate EU countries because, well, Germania and its economic prowess shouldn’t be propping up less fortunate EU countries. I don’t know you about you, dear worst-reader, but this sounds a lot like that blowhard from the UK, Nigel Farage, and, perhaps not unlike what’s been going on in the EU anyway for sometime, is an indication of how other countries may or may not start their own version of Brexit-like political antics. I mean. Again. I’m not actually all that preoccupied with things like Brexit or EU quantitive easing, but when I do fall into it, as I did last night watching the newz with my better-half, somethings do get under my gander. For. Don’t you know. Keep in worst-mind, dear worst-reader. At best, high-finance is amusing (to me) because of how it elevates what otherwise would be very mediocre men to positions in life that can only resemble Icarus having found a way to subvert the sun melting wax wings1. At worst, this level of trickery, shenanigans and corpo-giggles, should scare people so much that, well, shouldn’t someone protest or something? But I die-gress.

And so. I’m torn, dear worst-reader. Where do I go with the diametric worst-thoughts this issue gives to my worst-brain? Worst thoughts such as: banks plus (right-wing) politicians equal fascism. So. Like. Or…

How come no left-wing organisation would sue the ECB for this krapp? Does this mean left-wingers are too stupid to grasp the ramifications of establishing a legal precedence and thereby, perhaps, hindering the EU’s ability to deal with so much financial chaos in the future? WTF, left-wingers!

The worst-thing about high-finance and a world run by compulsive behaviourists, is how the world they make and live in and thrive in is ultimately nothing but a $hitshow of greed. That worst-said, as bad as I am with all-things numbers, I’m even worse when it comes to understanding the world of high-finance. Nor am I all that interested in fully understanding what a Bond is. Then again, I would also never NEVER get lost in the slime, exotic world of gambling. And ain’t that actually what high-finance is these days? I mean, what the f is a bond? Isn’t it just money that someone prints and then lends out, someone else buys it and then spreads it out… like in a casino? And while I’m at it, what the f is a short or a put and why is that large breasted red-head woman staring at me just before I roll these dice down the craps-table while the dealer is winking at me?

Oh well.

Good luck German suckers as your right-wing politicians sue their way into power–or the hearts of your idiot voters while they’re being tickled at the craps table you’all call a country.

Or maybe not.

Rant on.



  1. Which means these men have only found a way to nullify an otherwise great ancient metaphor that provides wisdom to life, liberty and égalité. But die-gress. ↩︎

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.


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.


News 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.



What’s At Stake in Swaps Market | WSJ

E. Warren Rips Citigroup | HuffPost

House of (Discrepancy) Cards

What do you do, dear worst-reader, when the only choice you have is to not sneeze in a house of cards where the air is filled with feathers and pepper dust? Yeah, baby. With that in mind, let’s worst-write today–after such a long hiatus of nothingnesss–about discrepancy and derivative trading. What is discrepancy? How ’bout this: An illogical or surprising lack of compatibility or similarity between two or more facts. What is derivative trading? For that I’ll just point you here. Ok. But all rational thought aside. Elizabeth Warren is a maverick–as opposed to false mavericks from places that can see Russia from backyards. And I admire her efforts in trying to do something about the run-amok banking system in my grand united mistakes of #americant. But there is a discrepancy that I must make note of regarding her efforts. While her intentions should/could be considered noble when it comes to reigning-in-the-banks and their abuses, for sometime now I’ve been advocating almost the polar opposite. That is, as she blames the banks for #americant ills, I blame Das Volk. And not just any Das Volk. We’re worst-talking about Das Volk that have practically perfected the false living standard of consuming-to-survive and doing so purely on credit and debt. Consume-to-survive has permeated every aspect of #americant life in the past 30(+) years–this, btw, is the sole difference to previous generations. Credit, debt and consumption has provided Das Volk everything it has today, i.e. living in a house of cards. Indeed. Das Volk have lapped it up since Reaganomics and the demonization of The Left. So here’s the turd for your blossom. In a way, or at least in a way that I worst-understand the financial trickery stemming out of Wall Street, Das Volk should be thankful that there are so many–dare I say–masterminds in lower Manhattan who are able to cope, albeit through trickery and deviousness, with the financial mess of consuming-to-survive that coincides with living beyond means. That said, dear worst-reader, I’m not against what Warren is doing. I’m just entertained–as you should be–by the frivolity of it all. For the only way to derive some kind of lifeline out of the death-debt that #americant has gotten itself into, is to NOT hinder derivative trading. Only in derivatives can the truth be hidden and thereby protect Das Volk from reality. And #americant loves that sort of thing. You know. Avoiding reality. So I guess the question is NOT about how much banks will earn through this type of trading but how long will they be able to continue this regressive depression that is really the only way of holding up a house of cards. Or something like that. Rant on. -tgs-

Stop the Republicans’ Wall Street giveaway | Elizabeth Warren for Senate

Interview With The Maverick |Rachel Maddow MSNBC

Scavenger Econ

Oh, dear worst-reader, we are living in scavenger times. These are times where all that is left are scraps. You know, the scraps left over by the other half. You know, the haves and the have-mores. Oh, how they laugh and giggle as we jostle around, tinker to nowhere, continue on our beloved pathway of apathy, disdain, sweetened hatred. It is, dear worst-reader, the year AD twenty-fourteen and I’m no longer shocked that the other week my credit card was cancelled. When I asked the haves and the have-mores (the bank) why they cancelled my card, they said it was because there was a suspicious transaction on it from Canada and they were trying to protect me. Well thank you very much, powers-that-be. Except I was no where near Canada at the time and they knew that. And I have since cleared up the whole ordeal–except the embarrassing moment when that clerk yelled through the store that my card was cancelled. But I digress. In the meantime, I continue to try and understand credit card fraud–which has brought me to a few other conclusions–all of which I won’t bore you with here. Or maybe I will. From what I’ve read so far, see links below, the credit card industry isn’t the only one dealing in scavenger economics. But there is something that I’m NOT reading about in all this. Did you know, dear worst-reader, that most of the news serves only to produce fear which in turn is supposed to make certain people react to that fear? Fear drives the world’s economy now. Indeed. Spreading fear is really the only driver of “markets” in scavenger economics. Have I said that enough? Then there’s the idear that banks (the haves and the have-mores) know precisely how credit cards are used by their customers. They have a plethora of mine-able customer data that The Googles–and even the NSA–can only dream about. Stealing a credit card number, name and expiration date is one thing but claiming that there can be rampant fraud on that card because someone copied that data from a network is something else. Banks don’t have this under control by now? Which means that credit card fraud is really exactly that. The fraud is being perpetrated by the banks to protect what’s left of scavenger profits. I mean, come on. The way people are handed credit cards–like sweets to a baby–if that doesn’t have scavenger all over it I don’t know what does. With that in mind, here’s the thing that the “market” doesn’t want to discuss but is happy if you are afeared. In a scavenger economy, where money can’t flow anymore, corporations either protect their profits–because those profits are widely accepted as an entitlement–or they must find new profits. Which brings me to the scavenger tech world. Just have a look at what’s going on with USB, the Universal Serial Bus standard that has long since worn out its welcome where all hardware makers can question the entitlement of licensing fees. It’s been recently discovered that USB devices have all been built with programmable ROMS. Really? What a curious and most certainly convenient discovery. Convenient because it’s a way/excuse for hardware makers to make something obsolete and thereby introduce something new that will cost us all more money. And so. The part to make you afeared is simple. The firmware that drives USB devices and enables them to interact with PCs can be changed/modified. The tech world is scrambling right now over this. If it’s true you can literally steal a USB keyboard from a bank, modify the ROM of the keyboard’s USB connection, get it back into the bank where it’s hooked up to the banks computer and then rob the place. Are you afraid yet and willing to pay more for the next SAFE technology? But I say, just like credit card fraud, this is all Bullshit. Bullshit. Bullshit. These industries are suffering under the scourge of our scavenger economy. What corporations consider entitlements are being threatened. USB is dying. Banks don’t want profits infringed upon by having to pay more for secure cards. What to do, what to do? I know what I’m gonna do. It’s time for a cold one. And. Rant on.

The article that spreads fear | MarketWatch

Credit Card Act 2009 | Wiki

Credit Card Fraud | Wiki

Chip based cards already available | Arstechnica

Oh no! Hackers Can Exploit USB Devices | Deutsche Welle

Evil USB, We’re Gonna Miss You | Arstechnica

Who's Your Sovereign

What astonishes you, dear worst-reader? I can tell you what astonishes moi. When words and meaning spoken connect. In other words, hypocrisy among the ruling classes is obvious. But when that hypocrisy is revealed and/or admitted to–especially by one of the rulers–well, it’s time to take a step back. Politics, international banking, high-stakes finance, etc., all have a treasure trove of hypocrisy. That’s why this is a moment to cherish. For hypocrisy has been blatantly revealed by the hypocrite(s).

President Cristina Fernández de Kirchener of Argentina: “It’s the first time in the history of the Paris Club that a country in our conditions has negotiated with a multilateral body without the intervention of the International Monetary Fund, and without giving up the autonomy that a sovereign country should have, and which reveals to us that when we’re allowed to grow, when we’re allowed to develop our own policies, that when we’re allowed to generate jobs and employment, the conditions exist to honor one’s commitments and take charge of its debt. We’re not, as the vultures say, serial debtors. They, the international financial capitalists, are serial predators not just on our economy but of many economies in the world.”

In case you missed the essence, here it is shortened and slightly paraphrased: “without giving up the autonomy of a sovereign country Argentina will now pay for its debt that was incurred because richer countries exploited us and that’s handy-dandy and Otto Kraus A-O-K.” Argentina’s leader is admitting that The World Bank, IMF and The Paris Club have been robbing sovereign nations of their sovereignty. Ok. Ok. I’m not (that) naive. Of course countries like Argentina have been treated poorly by richer nations. But that’s somehow not the point when words like the above are spoken in public. Any person who’s put a bit of effort into understanding world affairs knows that countries get dupped. That bigger, richer countries exploit smaller, poorer countries. But when was the last time one of the smaller, poorer countries actually called out and named the hypocrisy? When I heard the words from the newz clip below and that they were actually spoken by the head of a so-called nation-state I cringed, stood still, checked the ground beneath me. And. While streaming the broadcast to my KitchenAppleTV, cleaning my boots, washing the pots and pans, buttering the fish for tonights grill and hoping that my home-made vodka-cherry-sorbet would ripen enough for the festivities, I stopped dead and waited for my brain to reboot. I grabbed the AppleTV remote and hit the pause button. Outside my kitchen window a classic BMW R/75 parked in front of the village Brotchen café. Time for a stiff drink even if it is ten thirty in the A-M.


Relevant part of vid starts at 2:14.

Good luck to all debtors and debtor-nations.


Consume To Survive Paradox

debt vs income

What is your claim to fame, dear worst-reader? Everyone has one, right? Worst-writer’s claim to fame is having lived most of the last twenty years debt free. And if all goes well, I will live the rest of my life debt-free. Seriously. Before this grand achievement I had a loan to finance some fun in the form of an Italian motorcycle. Paid that off in less than three years. Then there were the years where I wasted life paying off college loans. But paid them I did. By the time I was thirty-five I was debt-free. Has that registered yet? Wait. There’s more. My favourite method of payment for this consume-to-survive life is via a credit card. Sound contradictory? Not quite. I pay off my credit cards at the end of every month. I haven’t had a revolving credit card since leaving American’t for other shores, which goes back to 1989. Now. Get this. Even though I applaud the efforts of Elizabeth Warren, I was always against Bill Clinton signing The Financial Services Modernization Act of 1999 in the first place. Which, btw, is what Warren should focus on. That republican/conservative driven legislation is what enabled big banks to consolidate their efforts and subsequently figure out how to finance a country lost in a spiral of debt. And we’re not just talking about credit card debt run-up by people who are clueless to the fact that when they charge a seven dollar cup of coffee and that amount only adds to their revolving account, which they never pay-off, someone, somewhere has to service the debt. Add that up with a population that truly believes it is entitled to credit in order to consume-to-survive… Well, the salad has been made and the salad days are longing. This mess, in my life time, has NEVER been addressed (even though I have addressed it). At the time, around 2000, I was very confused why Clinton did what he did. But since then it’s easy to see that he was a lost soul, not unlike the current Dem prez is a lost-er soul. The simple fact is, American’ts will never get it. We have fallen so far off the edge of reality and logic that there is no return–there is only the imaginary Phoenix that must some day rise from the ashes that is the inevitable crash and burn. Unless, of course, American’ts start politically growing some balls and get rid of all these dumb-ass conservatives that have been selling you/us all this grievance, belonging and sentiment which, according to the politicians elected into office, everyone seems to luv. So keep waving your flag and wearing red, white and blue and voting for these dumb-asses. That said. The reality is this: What banks have been doing other than paying out huge bonuses to useless purveyors of financial derivatives, credit default swaps and all other Wall Street trinkets, is keeping the country going. It’s true. And you should be thankful. Without the post 2007 radical consolidation of all banking assets, both from retail (your worthless deposits) and investment banks, the US economy would collapse in a matter of hours. There is and never was any other way of covering not just Wall Street’s ass but America’s ass than to use ALL retail banking deposits as collateral. The real joke, though, is that American’ts don’t even have enough deposits in banks to cover all the debt. That’s why Warrren’s effort doesn’t matter. The only solution is to pay off the debt and then figure out how the country can finally get back to generating income that has some real value. Good luck, suckers.

Newz Links:


Rant on.


When Banks Ain't Banks

Subtitle: Irony, Government and the consequence of certain sexual activities that might influence politics.

This article is NSFW.

Something startled me recently. The other day I finally realized that I have been paying more and more attention to advertising. Not on TV, mind you. I don’t watch TV anymore. Instead, for more than two years, I’ve been watching nothing but podcasts and various other internet channels. It’s where I get my news and info about everything (because the Internets should also be synonymous with pick & choose). On top of that, over the past two years I’ve read a lot of books about the financial crisis. To me, this crisis was caused by a culmination of a few obvious factors: 1. a greed-mongering society; 2. combine that with a country that has an attention span of old man with full-blown dementia… And so, the advertisement that twisted my thoughts is from American Express. You know, that old cupcake of an American Corpo institution that you never leave home without. Or was that Diners Club? Nomatter. Since the Amex ad played several times during the podcast I was listening to (and since I was raised by that attention span deficit society) it took a while for me to finally catch-on to what it was saying. Here’s my catch-on reaction:

Wait. That’s an American Express ad for a new online retail banking service. Wait. American Express can’t be a retail bank. Oh, yes. Of course it can. Remember the Bush/Paulson TARP plan? Remember what a Bank Holding Company is as established by the Bank Holding Company Act of 1956? Wait. There’s something wrong here. Indeed, this is America, there is something tragically wrong when a loan shark institution like Amex can also be your friendly Internets neighborhood bank. On the other hand, I reckon that’s the progress the world must pay for to have the likes of fail upwards America running the show.

Afraid yet? Me either. So. Here a bit of worst-history to sweeten your doom. The Banking Act of 1933 (not the one of ’56 mentioned above) established what was considered to be a safe-guard against irresponsible bankers who had so easily caused the great depression of 1929. Out of this act came FDIC and Glass-Steagal. The first is a government backed insurance agency that most people are familiar with because of those big stickers on bank doors and drive-thru windows that complete the lie that your money is safe. Glass-Steagal was part of that same government trying to establish a wall between the irresponsible bankers and the common folk that were supposed to be holders of savings accounts, i.e. retail banks were separated from investment banks so that when banks fail, as is the case in 1929, depositors weren’t just left with shirts on their backs. Fairly easy to understand, eh? Wait. Hold a sec.

The Banking Act of 1933 worked fairly well up until 1999–even though there were a lot of banking acts in-between. One particular act stands out with gusto. I like to call it The Great Blowjob Act. This act was sponsored by a woman who doesn’t swallow in a hallway of The White House. But one more thing (or two) on acts before getting into blowjobs. Other than the FDIC, the most important part of The Banking Act of 1933 was Glass-Steagal. This act–post Blowjob Act–was repealed by the Gramm Leach Bliley Act of 1999. Got the chronology? Got the Acts?

Ok. The repeal of Glass-Steagal is probably the single most important banking act to occur since… Nomatter. It was fought over for years between conservatives (both Democrats and Republicans) and non-conservatives (mostly Democrats). With his questionable White House hallway behavior, the one Democrat that could maintain a non-conservative stance in the government regarding this very important law that would shape the near future, Clinton fell for the The Blowjob Act and then proceeded to brilliantly lie about it before a grand jury, subsequently compromising the only power he had to do one last worthwhile thing before his presidency ended. Literally caught in the act, he did not veto the bill that would allow 1929 to happen all over again. And that says a lot for two people getting it on in a hallway, she on her knees and he standing above as the commander and chief. I mean, other than running the free world and determining the financial future of countless useless-eaters, the image of Clinton blowing his goo on a blue dresses–an act among consenting adults, I might add–is a nice one. And since I’m being as honest as I can be here, the same image but with Hillary is nice, too. I mean, come on, the guy went from being a hick from Arkansas to the White House. There should be a door in that house to allow anyone in that wants to give… (See note at the end for more on blowjobs.)

Bill Clinton signed the Gramm Leach Bliley Act. With that, we have yet another government irony of epic proportions. From 1933 till 1999 banks were regulated so that they would, at least, separate securities and investments from simpleton depositors. This was a time in your consumer history where the only way for people to spend was if they used money they had on hand, of which there was none. The problem during that period was that the economy was at a stand still, it was stalled in post WW2 apathy. Since the men running the show were typically closeted conservatives, men who couldn’t imagine anything even if imagination pills were used to spike their highballs, there was nothing to be done. Of course, there was also the burden of things like the 1973 oil crisis, which practically choked the economy. But then something akin to a sucker-punch happened. Enter the era of political trickery, sodden ideology, the second face (as in two-face) of American’t conservatism. By 1982 Ronald Reagan and his beautiful lie of Reaganomics had arrived. For you see, the trickery that this man of a particular kind of imagination came up with was simple. It was basically this: let them eat cake… on credit. And with that, the floodgates opened wide. There was a way for rampent consumption to circumvent silly economic things like money supply, since at the time consumer credit wasn’t prevalent.

What Americans failed to realize every time they charged something or took an equity loan only to take on more debt was that banks, particularly the master-minds of Wall Street, were concocting limitless ways of manipulating outrageous profits from money that just wasn’t there. What was there, though, was an American population blinded by materialism and a willingness to live a life of debt, even though no one believed that that debt was directly connected to anything real. Hence America put a mediocre actor that played with Monkeys in his films and probably had Alzheimer’s since the age of 29 in the White House. Oh, the American way of life manifest in all things fictional and happy and shinny: ka-ching, baby, and put some mouse ears on that dream. Of course, if anyone thought that things were bad because of the flood doors opened up by Reagan, wait till the election year of 2000 rolls around.

Reaganomics lived on through presidents, that’s no secret. Then came Clinton who didn’t change things much but what he did change was enough to prevent most Americans from being able to wrap their limited attention spans around it. He would let consumers and the market do as they please but at the same time he would reduce the burden of debt of the government. Why conservatives who want small government don’t praise him for doing this is the best example yet proving how so many voters vote with bigotry and ignorance as their compass. Comparatively speaking, the amount of debt the US Government had when Clinton was finished with his second term, should go down in history as a miracle–especially compared to the free-for-all unleashed by Reaganomics. Yet, at best, such a miracle always seems to be nothing more than a footnote. Yeah, I reckon Americans are more obsessed with Clinton’s Blowjob Act, blue dresses and how much his wife was going to tolerate–or join–such behavior.

My guess is–and that’s really all this worst-post is, dear worst-reader–Bill Clinton, by giving in to the conservative politicians that were in the pockets of Wall Street, was a desperate man during the last year or two of his presidency. At the least, all he wanted was to find a way to save his House-impeached ass. And find a way Mr. Teflon did. Bill Clinton got away Scott-free with a Senate acquittal of a House impeachment for lying about his love of fellatio by interns, country-bumbkin cuties and potential centerfold playmates. And he did so by doing something that even the devil would think is an exaggeration above and beyond selling your soul.

Morally self-righteous and sexually repressed Americans had a political gabfest hating Bill Clinton–no matter what he had achieved. Practically speaking, he had done a pretty good job running a very corrupt government. Remember, presidents don’t make laws. The only thing presidents can do is veto a law. The rest is up to congress. The laws being made during the Clinton years were, especially those regarding the economy, all based on the lie that was Reaganomics. Obviously, Clinton had no friends among law makers. I’d like to think that, in some cases, he held out as long as he could and fought against reactionary law makers, but, in the end, again, the Pres. doesn’t make laws. And so, as only Clinton could, he faced up to the crazy, batshit, conservative congress–even while they were trying to crucify him. At times such persecution makes me wonder if Clinton signed Gramm Leach Bliley out of spite. Or, maybe, by the time it hit his desk, he just said: ah fuck it, if these dumb-ass voters keep voting in nutbag repubs to congress, what the hell am I supposed to do about nutbag laws! In the end, when everyone in the country could finally say fellatio at the dinner table, for which we should all be thankful, Billy-boy was left hangin’ naked and oiled–just the way he probably likes it. I mean, talk about leaving a man out in the cold–not that being in the cold would prevent him from having a raging hard-on the size of Florida.

But let me get back to epic government irony (and eventually to American Express’ advert that caught my eye). Enter Turdblossom Bush and his version of American fail upwardness. Bush, obviously, represented a culture that is obsessed with the past. He is his father’s son. He is, also, the embodiment of the baby-boomer generation that was incapable of understanding the tech boom (dot com boom). IMHO, dear worst-reader, it was the tech boom that could have carried the US economy into the future–which, it just so happens, was what The Great Blowjob Act president was all for. Instead, with Bush, that future would ride on war and oil just like the past. Way to go America. And so. Unable to fully liquidate the government surplus he inherited from Clinton, Bush received the greatest gift any president could wish for.

Bush’s gift came in the form of a green light to spend unabashedly to fight a new fictional enemy that would replace the one his generation and his kind was reared on. Ironically, the thing that ultimately brought down Soviet Communism wasn’t a better military or even a stronger economy. It was the fact that the Soviets could not take on the same amount of debt the US could. Literally, the Soviet Union crashed because the loan sharks didn’t give it enough credit. Try to get debt burdened Americans to think about that irony!

Ok. Obviously. 9-11 gave the paranoid and angst-filled boomer generation that Bush represented a new enemy that allowed it to continue with its addiction to debt in the form of massive government and military expansion, including fighting hellaciously expensive wars against people that barely have anything at all to fight with. Also, let’s not forget that a completely new bureaucratic government apparatus, establishment by the Patriot Act, executed by homeland security, needs to be financed. Of course, you are told that these acts are about protecting you. Here. I’ve got some great land just south of Key West to sell you…

Subsequently all this new law making was also a front to steal from and manipulate the American tax payer to be suppliers of endless debt. Bush and his cronies lapped it up–for they are the ones that don’t let the blue dress get stained. Bush saw to it that the government spent the entire surplus given him by his predecessor as though there was something inherently wrong with such a surplus. Since Bush probably gave more blow jobs than he received–has everyone forgotten that macho, chauvinistic, patriarchal America elected a blue-blood, silver-plate born, failed oil man and a Princeton (male!) cheerleader to the countries highest office?–it is only natural that he also provide the venue from which the largest redistribution of wealth in American history could take place. The redistribution included taking what remained of middle class wealth (most of which was already lost to consume-to-survive) and shifting it to the 1% so they don’t have to pay for the impending crash that feels as though it has to rival 1929.

I, for one, will never forget listening to Bush tell debt-choked Americans, enthralled with fear of a fictional terrorist act, to go shopping. What Bush was really saying was this: In order to maintain your measly middle-class lives and prop up the consume-to-survive bubble that keeps my family and my political base richer, when you go shopping, you measly suckers, make sure you don’t pay in cash. And just like The Dude in The Big Lebowski, America obliged.

Enter the last irony. Enter the crash. During Bill Clinton’s final days in office I cannot imagine what he was going through. I mean, this guy had faced the greatest of the great when it comes to American political bigotry, hypocrisy and downright ugliness. It was as though the American (political) Right was hell-bent on, hell, I don’t know, providing some payback for what “liberals” did to Nixon? The commission set up and paid for with taxpayer money to prosecute Bill Clinton for a minor personal transgression couldn’t have been full of more self-righteousness and fake morality. But, as the saying goes, they ripped Clinton a new one. Yet. Luckily. Almost a decade later, Clinton appears at the Democratic national convention and gives what might just be one of the greatest election speeches that’s ever been given. Ironically, a few months prior at the Republican national convention, Turdblossom is no where to be seen or heard and look at the pack of idiots that the angst-filled-boomers have given America as presidential candidates.

So. What was Turblossom Bush going through during his final days in office? Not only had he trained-wrecked the United States with his idiotic war on terror and government expansion, but he also was facing an economic meltdown comparable only to the intellect he projected to the world. And what did he do when facing the next great depression? He pulled all his cronies together and set up what could become the systematic bail out of history’s ultimate failed economy. With that, the repeal of certain laws over the years, laws that were intended to protect people from run-amok bankers, could come full circle. Since 1999 we now live once again in the days that would lead up to 1929. Hence, American Express, a credit card company, a financial services company, a lone shark, etc., can now take your savings, your pay, and according to the Gramm Leach Bliley Act, use that money to prop up all the toxic debt of voodoo economics.

I digress.

The really sad reality here is that it’s not just American Express that caught my eye with a recent online advertisement. TARP has done the same for basically all banks, whether retail or investment. Obviously, and in hind sight, I’m not sure Bush had an alternative to TARP. Subsequently Obama couldn’t just shut the plan down. The mega-problem is, these “banks” have now all merged to become bank-zillas and they are facilitators–not originators–of America’s financial turmoil. And so, all your savings, all your 401ks, your stocks portfolios, the value of your homes, etc., all wealth in America that is actually earned by work (as opposed to being inherited or capital gained), is nothing more than fodder to prop up a toxic, doomed economy and an already failed banking system. Wow. 1929 welcomes you to your future.



Rant on.



PS Here a little bit from a Wiki entry about American Express and it’s conversion to TARP bank that I thought of when I first realized what commercial I was watching:

“On November 10, 2008, during the financial crisis of 2008, Amex won Federal Reserve System approval to convert to a bank holding company, making it eligible for government help under the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP).”

PSS This is not a post where Tommi expresses his political affiliation. I could give a hoot about political parties. But the political process, that brilliant process encoded in the constitution of the United States… Now that means something to me!

Note. Here a bit more irony regarding White House blowjobs. Anybody remember the Jeff Gannon scandal from the Bush administration? I think it’s just as cute as buttons on puppies that during the Clinton years blowjobs were girl on guy but the ones given during Bush’s regime were guy on guy. Jeff Gannon was a $200/night gay prostitute when he was not softballing conservative-agenda questions posing as a White House correspondent for a press agency unbeknownst to anyone. Obviously sexually repressed conservative America has a long way to go before it comes to terms with all the closets its hiding in.

High Finance

Almost a review of three books. Well, not quite almost. Nomatter.

Informed about the world of high finance and rob-your-soul banking? Me neither. Every class I ever took that had anything to do with business, economics or numbers, I bagged as soon as I could and went about living life as it should be lived. (Without numbers!) Anywho.

Here are three worst-writer recommendations–I think. Well, maybe this isn’t really a recommendation.Whatever. Reading at least one of these books might help if you’ve ever wondered what a CDO is or what Subprime is or if you’d like some insight into the mechanics of what has facilitated the fail upwardness of the grand fiat world of finance we are all now slaves to. For me, the questions I’ve been asking are still open. These books only helped me ask a few other questions. Which is good enough. I mean, that is a form of progress. Or? So, like I said, this ain’t much of a recommendation. Nomatter. These books are great.

The Big Short, Michael Lewis

Too Big To Fail, Andrew Ross Sorkin

More Money Than God, Sebastian Mallaby

The Big Short is the second book I’ve read by Lewis, here a post on the first. Lewis is probably the best writer here. The others read more like text-books. I often refer to the index of Too Big To Fail when I need to look up specific terminology or acronyms. Which reminds me. A great website that goes in this direction, plus a bit of political incorrectness, is:

For those interested, the questions I’m still asking (about high finance) are:

Who and what are bond traders? How do they work? Are they any different than slimy car salesman? And for those that lose so much money on their trades, why aren’t their faces posted in all public places as a form of humiliation? Or better yet, in order to help cover their losses, why aren’t dart boards made with their eyeballs as bulls-eye.

If all money is privately held yet claims to be backed by governments (you know that whole “legal tender” thing) then how come I can’t get the same type of backing when I go to Vegas?

What is it that makes humans worship god and money equally subsequently voluntarily subjecting their lives to a new form of slavery and forgetting so quickly how to laugh at their own stupidity in the process?

This one isn’t quite a question but I’m gonna give it a whirl: The answer to the question regarding how to reign-in the wild-west, winner take-all mentality that is world finance is to address how the mechanics of all this high finance functions and then figure out how those who run the machine are compensated.

Or something like that.



Rant on.


Sharks Barracudas Banks

The other day during a somewhat intensified news scan to try and understand the 2012 JPMorgan bank scandal,  I got to thinking about sharks and barracudas. This was aided when I happened across an article about a German women that was attacked by a sharkwhile on vacation in Florida. Although it seems she will survive the attack, she has lost a large amount of flesh and tissue of the lower part of one of her legs and it will probably end up being amputated. Then I thought about how much experience I’ve had with these animals – and not just sharks. For example, I grew up near a beach and there were regular shark attacks. There was also a glorious moment where I swam near a four meter long white tip shark after interrupting it’s hunt for a yellow fin tuna while scuba diving in the red sea. And then there was the time, while fishing in the Florida Keys, my sister hooked an adolescent hammer head that was about a meter and half long. When we finally got the animal aboard we had the daunting task of getting the hook out of it, which it had swallowed. In the mean time another fisherman hooked a barracuda that was larger than the hammer head. Both fish were squirming around on the deck of a fairly small boat and there were feet and legs all dancing around trying not to get between sharp teeth and clapping jaws. Suddenly, with a quick lash, the barracuda just missed a leg and latched on to the mid section of the shark. The barracuda tasted blood and turned frantic, instantly killing the hammer head. At that point we gave up on getting our hooks back and decided to just throw them both overboard. The problem was the barracuda wouldn’t let go of the shark. We couldn’t lift both animals while they still had hooks, lines and fishing poles attached to them. The only way to get to them was to kill the barracuda. I will never forget the intensity of the moment where I knew that the barracuda lusted to devour that shark – and he seemed glad to give his life to do it. Then someone grabbed the trusty baseball bat. Even dead the barracuda didn’t want to let go. But we eventually did get our hooks back.

I’m upping the position of William Black’s book “The Best Way to Rob a Bank Is to Own One” on my reading list. Reason. Black seems to have a grasp of the intricacies, or perhaps better put, the mechanics of what’s actually behind the recent JPMorgan multi billion dollar derivative loss. But this makes me wonder if there’s something more, something so complex that it can’t be explained. Here’s what Black has to say:

JPMorgan had about $15 billion in distressed European debt. … Europe has been in just a ton of trouble. And so, those investments were losing all kinds of value. Now, the story, which, again, doesn’t make a whole lot of sense, is that they decided to hedge this position. A hedge is something where you invest in a second asset that is supposed to offset losses that you suffer in the first asset. In this case, the first asset was that distressed European debt, and the second asset, the supposed hedge, was a derivative of a derivative. In this case, it was an index of credit default swaps, which are a form of derivative that blew up AIG. Now then, the story gets even murkier, but it—the claim from out of JPMorgan is nobody was looking very carefully at the supposed hedge, and the hedge didn’t perform to offset losses, instead it increased the losses and increased the losses dramatically. And supposedly, no one was looking, and no one adjusted for this. And they woke up, and they had a $2 billion loss. (Source: DemocracyNow transcripts)

Here’s what’s important about this statement. The wild claim that the hedge JPMorgan was making to counter their distressed European debt investment using a derivative of a derivative leads to one question: What did JPMorgan do with their bail out money? Of course, with such a question, I’m making the wild assumption that the bail out money was for dealing with the huge amount of bad investments all the banks were stuck in. Hence this trade was JPMorgan’s attempt to find another way to get out of a mess riding on the back of someone else, i.e. the standard, status-quo Wall Street way of doing things. The problem is that no matter what trickery Wall Street comes up, these banks are gonna have to face reality eventually. That may also mean that the debt problem American’t has is approaching an unmanageable state and not even these monstrous banks (and their trickery) can handle it – with or without being bailed out. I wonder if it’s possible that banks and Wall Street have actually been lying to our government concerning reality (sarcasm off).

Now. What is a derivative of a derivative? A derivative can be a credit default swap. But a credit default swap isn’t good enough. All these really, really smart bankers like Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan must think anew. Remember, if they can’t get more carpet to sweep under then they will find something or some place else to sweep the krapp. And guess what they’ve come up with to help them do this? You guessed it. Credit default swap index. Things any clearer for you now?

A credit default swap is a form of insurance against a default on an investment. Adding “index” to it means that you’re basically just bundling a bunch of credit default swaps. Ok. Credit default swaps are used to insure investments like bonds. A bond subsequently can be a vehicle that can contain things like subprime mortgages. A bond can also contain the debt a country or state gets when it finances the building of a bridge or taking care of a city. But let’s focus on mortgages. As we all know, subprime mortgages played a major role in the economic meltdown that culminated in 2008 and surprisingly coincided with the glorious ending of Bush’s reign. As most are unaware, these tricky-dick investments are basically being used to prop up the American’t lie regarding life, liberty and the pursuit of being stupid. Hence, American’t can continue doing what it does best: finding the easiest way to make a buck off the back of others without actually working hard for it. Flash to the present and what we have are same-as-usual and too-big-to-fail banks that still haven’t really dealt with the main problem they facilitate and are unable to quit, namely, debt.

The truly amazing thing about JPMorgan and its recent loss is that it will probably be posting huge profits at the end of 2012 – regardless of how much it loses in these trades. The reason for that is it is literally experimenting with whether or not it can dump on a sucker nation or über-investor any of it’s junk debt made up of American’ts way of life. Is there a sucker in this world of trading nut jobs that is willing to take on this kind of stuff? My guess is that JPMorgan tried to get a country to take either its distressed European debt or – and this is what hedging is all about and what JPMorgan really wanted to do – its derivative of a derivative – a credit default swap index full of American’t mortgage debt that is part of all the housing foreclosures that is now the basis of American’ts economy.

But what sucker could or would take on such a trade as what JPMorgan was offering? Here we have a game where sharks and barracudas are gonna get it on. In the second segment of the interview with William Black at, he blatantly blames “The Germans” for Europe’s problems and he does it in a way that got me thinking. He claims that the Germans are holding too tightly to austerity for the Eurowasteland countries that are failing. Such a statement makes my head spin. The reality is all those countries agreed that they would hold their deficits to a set percentage of GDP. It’s now common knowledge that the failing countries systematically lied about their debt the whole time. What he doesn’t mention is the fact that if Germany doesn’t hold to austerity then it will have to be the one, by default, to pay for all those failing countries. And the reason for that is simple: Germany, relatively speaking, has a functioning economy that isn’t completely dependent on debt.

Now. This might come as a surprise but I have to speculate here. Obviously all Eurowasteland countries have serious debt problems. Some more than others. Is it possible that JPMorgan has finally run into a wall regarding its tricky-dick antics? Also, is it possible that JPMorgan has literally run out of betting partners? Remember, it was trying to dump its “distressed European debt” and if that wouldn’t work it was then gonna cover it’s ass (hedge) with dumping its derivative of a derivative – which didn’t work either. Isn’t this a blatant example of trying to negatively manipulate the Euro? In the one hand it had Eurowasteland debt that it couldn’t sell and in the other hand it had American’t debt. What? No buyers?

To go even further, as bad as things are in Eurowasteland, there are parts of it that are relatively thriving, especially if you speak German. It is common knowledge that what JPMorgan and other investment banks are doing is nothing but gambling. The thing that people forget is that, unlike Vegas, tricky-dick investment banking requires that two parties participate in each bet. In other words, you’re not betting against cards or dice or a small ball finding its number on a spinning wheel. Two entities have to stand across from each other and gamble. In this case, no one was willing to stand across from JPMorgan and so it lost in excess of $2billion dollars. So I have to ask: who was on the other side of this bet? Who kept turning down the trader that was begging to dump all this junk? Ultimately, the answer to that question probably doesn’t matter. This is all just no big deal because the apathetic American’t voting constituency is more than willing to support its oppressor, the JPMorgans and other wall street institutions that got us all in their jaws.

Personally, I’d rather go hang out with sharks and barracudas.



Rant on.


Grifter Nation

Griftopia by Matt Taibbi

In The Beginning

There are two scams in the 1990 movie The Grifters that reveal everything there is to know about how things work–and not just in America but in the whole western world. The first scam I want to worst-write about this day, dear worst-reader, is actually shown twice in this film. I reckon the producers wanted to make sure that this scam was very clear to the audience. The second scam, though, is a bit more complicated and you have to put some effort into the movie if you really want to get what it’s about. With that in mind, let’s start, dear worst-reader, with the first scam.

It all begins at a typical corporate restaurant in what looks to be 1980s LA. In this scene Roy, played by the brilliant John Cusak, shows the audience how to trick a bartender. Using honed eye contact and taking advantage of the busy environment, Roy presents to the bartender a twenty dollar bill and at the same time requests a beer. The twenty dollar bill is lodged but clearly visible between Roy’s fingers. The bartender turns to get Roy his drink. Roy quickly, almost like a magician, switches the twenty dollar bill for a ten dollar bill that was lodged/hidden in the palm of the same hand. When the bartender delivers the drink, Roy maintains eye contact and pushing the ten dollar bill to the bartender who then grabs it and immediately goes to the register to make change. The bartender returns to Roy with change for a twenty.

The second iteration of the same scam happens a few moments later when Roy has gone to another bar. This time it’s not a corporate restaurant but a real dive where the lights are dim and the clientele isn’t so yuppie. Immediately Roy tries to employ the same scam on the bartender. Clearly Roy has lost the edge on this one as he doesn’t maintain the same eye contact as with the previous bartender. Still, he orders the drink and does the switch with the bills. The bartender delivers the drink, pauses and the camera shows us that Roy has been caught in the act. The bartender proceeds to immobilize Roy’s hand, thereby turning it over and revealing the second bill lodged in his palm. Panicking, Roy cannot free himself from the burly bartender’s grasp even though he has let go of both the ten and twenty dollar bills, as if to indicate: here, take it, I’m finished. Then we see the baseball bat and hear a thud as it violently rams into Roy’s sternum.

Matt Taibbi

Before I get to the second scam, allow me to address the fellow that has helped motivate all this worst-writing today. Matt Taibbi got me thinking about my life, the things I’ve seen and experienced and about all the bullshit that I’ve had to consume-to-survive. That, in turn, reminded me of The Grifters. Hence, to me, Matt Taibbi picked the perfect title for his book “Griftopia”. For one thing, the title is like displaying a mirror in front of America. The only problem is, like most things political, social and demographic in my grand united mistakes, actually getting American’s to look in that mirror will require more than a book title. And while I’m picking at the title (which I also tended to do in another post here), I think most American’s have had enough with the “opia” stuff. In fact, I’ll bet a coin that since at least two if not three American generations, having been bombarded with the ignorance of talk radio, infotainment news, and pharmaceutical addiction, they cannot tell the difference between the words utopia and opiate, no matter how you prefix it.

So. I finished Griftopia last night and after a few hours of post-read contemplation, including glasses of red wine, studying all the notes and highlighted text (I read it on my Kindle), I realized that I had just read something unique.  And that says a lot since this is the fifth book on the financial crisis I’ve read in less than two years. Indeed. The difference this book has to all the others is the simple fact that it was written by a badass. In fact, it’s written by not just any badass, this is the work of a rock-n-roll badass journalist that America needs more of. Heck, the guy even writes for Rolling Stone magazine. With that in mind, baby, praise be to thumbs-up-yahweh, Marshall and Fender, and music lovin’ motherfuckers! Or. Thank goodness Rolling Stone was able to elevate this dude to where he belongs—especially when one considers where most news comes from these days. Put that together with the frank and no-holds barred way Taibbi writes, and you’re off to the informed races, baby. With that in mind, America, stop being afraid of all the mirrors it’s time to face. Taibbi can help you.


As I said, this book got me thinking—especially about the world I grew up in. For it was indeed a world full of … . So as I was reading this book I got to thinking about those that raised me—or perhaps those I wished raised me. Nomatter. Where are they now? What have they been doing? Are they all still the fun and happy-go-lucky guys that they were then? Are they all still obsessed with coke? Pussy? Making fun of those who are less fortunate? Oh, wait. A grifter is different than a con-man.

According to Taibbi, grifters are now a class of their own. Somehow that doesn’t surprise me. Grifting is considered, by its perpetrators, a calling. And it is a calling that is above most thievery conventions. Luckily, my heart never beat at the sight of a dollar and so early on the grifters (and con-men) that I met, saw through me. I guess, in a way, I was lucky. Seeing through me meant that I was something like a court jester or a clown. That gave way to me being able, at times, to be tolerated and when I was on a lucky streak, some of the grifters even hired me. (Yes, the new class(es) of grifters also includes employer and employee relations.) Anywho. Out of my experience with grifters I offer the following explanation and/or definition. Please hold your salt shaker near.

A grifter is a person that takes advantage of another person by gaining trust. It’s that simple. In that definition also lies the difference to being just a con-man. Surprisingly (or maybe not) when I looked up grifter in the book of knowledge (wiki) I was re-routed to “confidence trick”, which might be a bit confusing because that can also include the term con-man. A grifter is not just a con-man. Let me try to clarify more.

For one thing, a con-man can either steal directly from you (your wallet) or sell you something you don’t need. (Say, I have a this great piece of land in southern Florida). A con-man can also indirectly steal from you. (Praise the lord! Would you like to join my church?) The thing to remember about a con-man is that he usually ends up poor, in jail, lynched or shot. A grifter, on the other hand, will always get away with what ever it is he steals. A grifter fears nothing because the thing he’s after is ultimately not just the act of stealing but also the process of getting in your soul. So keep in mind, modern humanity, the world you and I live in, is the result of the work of a few very special grifters. And this worst-definition… ain’t done just yet.

One of the ways grifters are able to survive as they do is because they have a unique gift. On the one hand, they are really smart. On the other, they do most of their work on the backs of others. Hence, con-men. Now get this. Grifters can see through the bipolar quilt that western society has comfortably wrapped itself in. (Remember, metaphors are smart.) This quilt is made up of two basic peoples. One is the con-man—who we covered already. The other is a bit more complicated to explain, and I’ll try to touch on the issue more in the next section titled “History”. The thing to remember is this: a grifter cannot make it if it can’t get to the soul of its victim. A con-man cannot lick a grifter but a grifter can own a con-man. A con-man is only in it for the doe! Grifters are after something completely different. That secret is basically this: human beings will fill their souls with anything when they are forced to do so. To that there are no exceptions. Grifters know this more than any other because grifters have no soul.


I’ll get back to Taibbi’s book in a sec. I’m kinda on a roll, so how ‘bout this for a bit of worst-history on grifters. Let’s check out exactly where this whole grifter thing started. Grifting was perfected in Eurowasteland during the age of enlightenment. In fact, grifting culminated in the over-throw of things like monarchies, aristocratic rule, incestuous hereditary privilege, etc. Because of this, the kings and queens and the ruling inbreds of Eurowasteland quickly caught wind of how power and wealth were shifting—without them. Subsequently the kings and queens faced for the first time existential questions they never faced before. For these questions they had no answers. They tried to fight back but there was something in the souls of the masses that they couldn’t defeat. Every time a king or queen thought they had captured one of the leaders of this new-soul movement, it turns out that all they got were one of the many con-men. Hence, we can thank grifters for the term: throw them to the wolves.

After a few monarchies fell and others were weakened in Europe, the remaining inbred filth turned to compromise to save their asses. Since grifters aren’t about governing, politics and status, when word got to them that they would be granted privileges and support for taking their business to new shores, they laughed. I guess the idear among those same kings and queens was that maybe, if they got grifters out of the way for a while, it would buy the monarchies some time to recuperate from all the revolutionary damage. Of course, the grifters, being somewhat bored with having brought down so much power, were already on their way to new horizons. And so. America was founded by turning the British monarchy into an invalid and ugly step sister. The French Revolution rid Eurowasteland of the rule of useless eating blue bloods. Others followed. The grifter classes came to be. Welcome to your future, souls. Democracy awaits you! Freedom wraps around you–like a comfy quilt!

The Book

Griftopia is another seething exposé that breaks down the impending doom of American’t and its willingness to rely on financial speculation—as opposed to actual productivity—to maintain its status in the world. Of all the books I’ve read while trying to figure out what a CDO is or what a subprime mortgage is or how it came to be that with all its power and wealth, America suddenly had to rely on the whims of idiot politicians and krapp-eating bureaucrats to literally save its ass from a financial meltdown that would have made the great depression look like a picnic, this one takes the cake. Taibbi has figured it out and he’s even provided a bit of insight into to what a grifter nation is. The real shocker of this book is its subtext—which deals with the souls the grifters prey on with so much success. These souls are just like the doomed and defeated monarchists who once could never see the future. Indeed, Taibbi manages to put what must have been a huge amount of research in a few hundred pages and for that alone this book should be read. Taibbi’s style is a winded and he could learn a from the likes of Michael Lewis when it comes to story telling, but perhaps that’s not what Taibbi should be doing at all. What he should be doing is writing more rock-n-roll, kick-ass books about impending doom. I especially enjoyed Taibbi’s explanation of AIG and how they insured mortgage securities and derivatives. The details revealed about AIG are even more intriguing as they involve so much of  Goldman Sachs’ everyday business, a company that is so intertwined with the US govt. And Taibbi, in this book, comes through loud and clear about how much contempt he has for the likes of Goldman Sachs, rich-shit bankers and useless, drone bureaucrats. The end of the book did kind of disappoint me though, almost as though Taibbi ran out of gas or something. He tries to end it all by talking about a congressional meeting that took place where grifter bankers were accusing the American poor of facilitating the mortgage crisis. In my opinion, the behavior of Americans and their belief that credit and borrowing is a right, is something that has not been addressed much in any book (I’ve read). Taibbi just wants to bat that issue away. Shame really. And with that, I digress.

The Second Scam

Oh, before I forget. I should probably get back to the second of the two scams from the movie The Grifters (1990) that I mentioned at the beginning. As I said, this second scam is a bit more complicated than hiding and switching dollar notes in the palm of your hand— which does not deserve to be belittled, btw, for it too is part of the making of American’t. No, this second scam has more in common with what the bankers of the too-big-to-fail banks have done to the oh-so willing souls that think they are, even today, still part of the American dream.

In the film, Roy’s mother, Lilly, played by the beautiful and lovely Angelica Huston, is not a grifter. Lilly is a con-man. Since I’m not really into gambling (and my eyes never lit up at the sight of a dollar), I’ll let wiki provide the explanation of what Lilly does as a con-man in the movie The Grifters. “Lilly works for a bookmaker handling playback at horse racing tracks — that is, she makes large cash bets to lower the odds of longshots.” When she’s supposed to be placing those cash bets to lower odds, she gets caught up with her son Roy. Remember the baseball bat incident? Well that incident has caused Roy to require medical attention for internal bleeding. Helping Roy causes her to miss a race. To cover up for not placing the bets at the race, Lilly goes to the track and collects the stubs of those who did place such bets. In short, she tries to cover her ass. The problem is, the odds of longshots were not lowered. Oh, the way she tries to worm her way out of it. Oh, the voices of whining individuals all raised to believe the lie that achievement can be yours, that you can be anything you want, that freedom reigns. And if that doesn’t work, there’s always the cry of the wild in the form of demanding (and getting) a society of entitlements which amount to nothing more than the right to gamble on the backs of others and welfare for the rich only.

The thing to keep in mind here isn’t the mechanics of what Lilly does or the selfishness she considers her right, thereby using her child as her crutch. What one should consider is the truth and how never facing the truth gets people in this kind of a mess. Lilly and Roy represent a large part of the baby-boomers and their children. Neither parent or child can see the truth in anything they do. These are not complicated people, they do not live in complicated places, glamor is their enemy and not their friend and yet they live on the backs of others in a comfort unseen elsewhere on this earth. And I suppose there lies the truth that only a few worst-readers can face. The truth is Roy and Lilly are our own sad ending. We are a grifter nation.

Other links:


Rant on.