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

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.

Links:

Relevant part of vid starts at 2:14.

Good luck to all debtors and debtor-nations.

-Tommi