Speculators Be Hanged?

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

Source: Truthdig

Hyperlink in quote from moi.

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

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

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

Orwell anyone? Nomatter.

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

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

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

But before I’m off topic.

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

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

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

Now go buy something.

Rant on.

-T

Links that motivated this post:

Article About The Big Short Is Short

credit cards

The good thing is, I read the book. The bad thing is, I’m still waiting for someone to address the unspoken reality of where the world is today regarding banking and finance and, of course, the (unending) great recession. The thing that gets me is that every time I read something about The Big Short (movie) or the problems of the banking industry I have to smirk and giggle. I cannot believe that no one has written about what’s really going on. Ok. Ok. I’m sure the book as been written. Hopefully someday I’ll find it. Until then I can only go with what I’ve got–as pretentious as that may be. With that in mind, I’ll assume the movie version of The Big Short is at least as accurate as the book. Based on that, here’s a summary of the ship we’re all aboard.

  • Banking is in full collusion with government.
  • Compensation of bankers is no different than hush-money.
  • What’s behind the revolving door between the SEC and bank board rooms should be as scary as the threat of nuclear war or terrorism.

The lack of action on the part of politicians should be an indication of how deeply embedded the problem really is. But, I suppose, in the end it doesn’t matter if someone writes the right book which then can be made into a movie by bored, rich actors so as to give them (and their lives) a feeling of worth and value. (Just have a look at who produced The Big Short.) The simple fact remains: the ship has sailed and the only destination available for it is tragedy. Some might even say that we’ve long since landed on tragedy. But I don’t think that’s the case. Tragedy is out there but it’s still far off as the world enjoys its love-boat. Indeed. The world and the crisis we are in is simply not bad enough to make anything happen that could force a correction. The idear of a forced correction alone is worth writing a book about. Seriously. A phoenix can’t rise if the whole shebang hasn’t burnt to ash. Or? Oh well. As usual, I’m off subject.

The article below is a winded one. I mean, it’s really, really long. And you know what it says? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. But it also says a lot of nothing. And as I read through it I couldn’t help–between all the snickers and giggles–to keep whispering out loud: boy am I happy that I don’t have a thing vested in this system. I also would whisper: man, all those people vested in this system are fucked. Because of the carnal aspect of what’s going on these days, it’s not possible for something to come about that could/would correct the dead ship to tragedy we’re riding. The reality is this: everything being done by government and banks is for the sole purpose of keeping the ship afloat–not changing its direction. And get this: a change in direction would mean a change in those aboard. And so. When ever I come across an article like the one below I hope to come across at least a minor mention of where change could begin. But, as usual, I’m always disappointed.

Rant on. -Tommi

Link 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

Buffoons Ticking On And On And On

What’s to be done when everything is leveraged? Where does one go when margins are so thin? How do you get credit when all there is is debt? How do you get water from a rock? The answer to these and many other questions, dear worst-reader, is simple. You mis-manage your company like no other. You mis-manage everything and blame someone else (for it). You hire college grads who have been trained to the highest levels of mis-management. You are a crony organisation, you are a cancer–but so is everything else. And. You are General Motors. GM has to be one of the worst run companies in human history–yet it ticks on and on and on. A company that was bailed out in 2008/9 to the tune of (insert # here) billion dollars. Ralf Nader says GM was given $50billion from the US government. The money was part of TARP. Most of that money, btw, was not used to help the factories of GM, which are practically non existent in the US anyway. Nor was it used to prop up worker salaries or even management salaries. No. The money was used–and is still being used–to maintain the financial-isation of GM which emulates the financial-isation of #americant post Ronald Reagan. That financial-isation, basically, is one thing and one thing only: Debt. Which means, even though GM sells millions and millions of cars every year, it cannot manage its way out of the mess it’s gotten itself into by following and wallowing in the greed culture that is Reagan’s #americant. As bad as that sounds, GM is in the news now for having to pay a fine of $900 million to the US government because it built cars, knowingly, with faulty parts that supposedly lead to the deaths of hundreds of customers. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Ha. Pause. Swallow. Clear throat. Now don’t get me wrong. I’m not laughing at the death of anyone. But I am laughing at the idear that GM cannot die. On top of that, where do you think the fine-money GM is paying is gonna go? As Ralph Nader nails it, the money is nothing but…

“The government gets the $900 million, which is like a drop in the bucket for GM. By the way, that money really is tax money recycled. GM, from the bailout, still has billions of dollars of taxpayer money in its treasury.” -Ralph Nader

Wow. This is one of the world’s largest companies and it’s managed by buffoons. Yet it ticks on and on and on. I guess part of all that ticking is the reality that buffoons feed off of buffoons. This is how the world ticks, baby.

Rant on. -t

Links that motivated/helped with this post:

Continue reading “Buffoons Ticking On And On And On”

Deregulate That Fraud Baby!

Once again, just like here, Michael Hudson nails it–and his book, Killing the Host, is going on my to-read list. Allow me to quote (or is this called transcribe?) the part from the interview in the above vid that really struck me.

“They make their money for the same reason they’ve paid billions in civil fines–not criminal fines for the fraud. It used to be that Chase (Bank) made money by getting deposits at a low rate and lending them out a higher rate. But now what they do is they create credit for junk mortgages and they don’t even hold the mortgages. They find suckers to sell (the junk mortgages) to, like the German Landesbanks, pension funds, and anyone who will buy these junk mortgages. And it turns out that all of these (junk mortgages) are a fraud and  that Alan Greenspan came in to deregulated fraud. So now, essentially, the fraud sector is part of the financial sector.”

But there is one worst-thought that I wish to add to this (mess). Obviously Michael Hudson is telling the truth here. But I have the following question regarding financial fraud and debt deflation. It’s one thing to remind us that a German Landesbank could be the sucker of whatever side of the trade wall-street put together before and after the subprime crisis and the great recession that started in 2007. This type of financial activity goes on everyday and it looks like the near and far future will only expand upon this activity. Yet, someone has to be sold these mortgages that are ultimately bundled together into what are known as derivatives. Who is that “someone”? Well, if you think you can tolerate my skeptic, cynical mindset, here’s an answer–and I think I may have tried to allude to this in other worst-posts (see tags). As bad as wall-street is, I’m not sure it’s the one to blame–which is so much of what the interviewer alludes to in the video. I mean, as much as I admired the occupy movement, there was one thing that held me back from supporting it fully. And it goes something like this. Any citizen of the US that can’t pay off his/her consumer debt (that is, debt that excludes a car or a mortgage–because these things are part of necessity and not want) within thirty days is complicit and is also practically aiding & abetting the banks by supplying endless amounts of debt. I mean, who is to say that all of these derivatives, with their credit default swap tranches, subprime technicalities, junk this or that, etc., aren’t really just a way for the powers-that-be to hide the fact that #americant screwed the pooch after it won the cold war? There was obviously a choice of direction #americant could have taken once the soviet union fell. We chose the wrong one. On top of that Americans, post the lie of Reaganomics, exist because of debt–we all know that. No one would have their house, the jewelry, their cars, EVERYTHING, without being indebted to it all. Hence, maybe someone should be thanking the banks for preventing a crash similar to the great depression (at the end of the dipshit dubya bush administration). Or maybe not. What the fuck do I care. All I know is that I’ve been debt-free my entire adult life. Proud of it, too. Good luck (debtor) suckers. And. Rant on. -t

Swap Your En-Tities

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

Prohibition Against Federal Government Bailout of Swap Entities

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

You are fucked!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Rant on.

-Tommi

Links:

What’s At Stake in Swaps Market | WSJ

E. Warren Rips Citigroup | HuffPost