Resist Temptation

I cannot for the life of me figure out this banking quagmire we seem to be mired in deeply.  Is this Ponzi scheme any different if it is being run by the government or the guy in New York that bilked everyone of his clients out of $50 billion and some change.

Here is a novel concept, “Try borrowing money, a large sum of money from a bank, but don’t tell them what it is that you want the money for.  Or let them know in which manner you are going to spend it.”

Think that will work?

Well apparently, that is how the banks in this country think about it, when it comes to telling us where it is that they have spent all the taxpayers dollars.  They don’t feel the same need to say how the money is spent when it comes to them.  After receiving billions in aid from U.S. Taxpayers the nation’s largest banks say they can’t track exactly how they’re spending it and some won’t even talk about it.

When asked the reply is “We are choosing not to disclose that” a spokesman for the New York Mellon bank which received some $3 billion was quoted recently.  JP Morgan Chase which received $25 billion said that while some of the money was lent, some was not and the bank has not given an accounting of exactly how the money is being used.

The Associated Press contacted 21 banks that received at least $1 billion in government money and asked them four simple questions:

  1. How much has been spent?
  2. What was it spent on?
  3. How much is being held in savings?
  4. And what is the plan for the rest of the money left over?

None of the banks contacted bothered to respond with an answer, looks like the Fox is watching the Chicken Coop and guess who the eventual losers will be …… Look in the mirror.  One ray of sunshine in all this, what goes round comes round, it is called in some circles, Karma.  They might be cutting a fat hog right now, but they will pay in the end.

Margaret & Helen do not have the market cornered on “groovy or cool grandma’s.”  Consider, if you will, Billie Watts, 75 years old of Tennessee.

If the titans of Wall Street need a role model (and there is surely no argument that they certainly need something), they might try grandmother Billie Watts, 75, of Murfreesboro, Tenn. She discovered a fortune – $97,000 in crisp, thousand-dollar bills – stuffed into a tapestry purse hanging on a hook in a bathroom stall at a Cracker Barrel restaurant.

Watts could have made good use of that money. She lives off Social Security and can’t scrape together the money for needed dental work. (Most of us didn’t even know that there was a thing such as a “thousand dollar bill” to begin with).

So what did she do?

Just what came naturally to her. She devised a plan to return the money to the rightful owner. From her home, she phoned the store, said she had found “something” in the bathroom and left her number.

Before long, after making sure she had the right claimant, she was able to return the money. It belonged to a woman who had just sold her house and was on the way to Florida to start a new life with her son.  Watts refused a $1,000 reward because the woman “told me she needed every penny she could to start over.”

Watts also didn’t want publicity. One of her 12 grandchildren persuaded her to tell her story. It’s an uplifting reminder that some people do live by the definition of character – it’s how you behave when no one else is looking.

I don’t know about you, but this sounds like someone I would like to spend a day with, take to lunch, get to know, she sure sounds special to me.

If, like me, you still find yourself perplexed and confused about this banking scheme and cannot make up your mind.  Read this well written piece from Sandee, it is another perspective, and it hits fairly close to the house.  Here is the link.

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Also Related:

Old Geezers (video)

old-manMy grandchildren think that I am old geezer.  And I suppose to a certain degree, they  are right.  I am older than dirt on most days, I can still remember an episode of Saturday Night Live that was actually funny, I did vote for Nixon.  The weekend of Woodstock is still ever present and fresh in my mind.

Since I am pretty sure none of you receiving this are even close to being a certified “Old Geezer” (we do not have any documentation on our reader base … maybe we ought to do a survey?) so as we assume that none of you are card carrying Old Geezers, we are sending this on to you so that you might be able to spot them in your midst.

Geezers (slang for an old man) are easy to spot.  At sporting events, when the National Anthem is played, Old Geezers hold their caps over their hearts and sing without embarrassment.  They know the words and believe in them, they do NOT have to be told to remove their ball-caps, they already have done same before the music started.

And Old Geezer will get up on the bus and offer his seat to you.  And Old Geezer will stop and wait patiently for you to back up out of your space, he will not roar down on you and then lay down a generous amount of horn.  An Old Geezer will sit down with a small child and really listen to him/her, hold their hand, and give them a hug.

Real Old Geezers remember World War I, that would be an ancient Old Geezer, or perhaps a charter member.  Plain Old Geezer’s remember the Depression, World War II, Pearl Harbor, Guadalcanal, Normandy and a dude named Hitler.

The new baby Geezers remember the Atomic Age, the Korean War, the Cold War, the Jet Age and the Moon Landing, not to mention Viet Nam.

If you bump into an Old Geezer on the sidewalk, he will apologize.  An Old Geezer will call a cop “sir” even though the kid is only 23 or at best 24.  An Old Geezer will always tip his cap to a lady, and get the door for her, regardless.  Old Geezers tend to trust strangers, and are courtly to women.

Most Old Geezers take off the ball-cap or their Cowboy Hat when they sit down in a cafe or restaurant to eat a meal.  Most Old Geezers are not ashamed to dip their head and pray over their food before they eat it.

Old Geezers hold the door for the next person, and always, when walking, make certain the lady is on the inside for protection.  Old Geezers get embarrassed if someone curses in front of women and children and they don’t like violence and filth on TV or in movies.  Old Geezers I guess you would say, have moral courage.  We do not suffer from jet lag, job burnout, dishpan hands, wrestle-mania withdrawal.

Most Old Geezers seldom brag unless it’s about their grandchildren.  It’s the Old Geezers who know our great country is protected, not by politicians or the judicial system, but by the young men and women in the military  serving their country.

This country needs Old Geezers with their decent values.  We need them now more than ever.  Thank God for Old Geezers, of which I believe, I will be a charter member of too soon.

Have A Great Weekend.

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Credit Crunch

121908

Have noticed more people paying with cash for their purchases here lately, could it be the American Love Affair with the Credit Card is over?  Aggressive rate increases on credit cards are threatening to pushing struggling consumers into financial ruin, accelerating home foreclosures and the nations’ decent into recession.

Keeping up with the Jones’es isn’t as easy as it used to be.

Routinely I see people open up their wallets and there will be anywhere from 4 to 8 credit cards clearly visible and I just cannot for the life of me see how they can justify that.  With interest rates where they are and payments on just the minimum balance regularly exceeding a thousand dollars a month, how does one do it?

Let’s run this one up the flagpole and see if we can find someone to salute it.  Where else could you enter into a business agreement with someone and then as you get into it, the rules are suddenly tossed out the window, and you are operating in a system that is vastly different from the system you started out with.

Credit Card issuers do it all the time.

It is done everyday in this country, the credit card folks just take and they take and it appears there is nothing the consumer can do but pay.  Now it has reached a point where if you owe too much money they raise your rate, if you don’t owe a lot of money, then they lower your credit score, there is no way you can win, it all goes to them.

Stopping excess spending and borrowing, and then standing in the middle of the road will not work either.  You are going to get run over by either one or both sides on this issue.  The credit card people and the government are putting the screws to you simultaneously.

They beat you down.  And the government helps them do it, the people you elected to protect you, are now giving the banks/credit card issuers over a year and one-half to clean up their act.  Seeing absolutely no way to hide it any more, they have been forced to do something about it, simply because of its egregious nature.  The politicians cannot sweep it under the rug anymore.  So they issue new standards for these robbing thieves, and give them a couple of years to keep on robbing you.

It is tantamount to a license to steal, and it was issued on you, by YOUR government.  Think about that one the next time you decide to sit it out and not vote.  Maybe we will all get lucky and they will decide, one by one, to take a long walk in the snow and do the rest of us a favor.

walk-in-the-snow

The bankers took our money and then refused to tell us what they did with it, and now they want us to believe they are our new friends.  America’s banks have a totally new image.  Now you have “a friend in the banking industry.”  If the banks are so friendly, how come they still chain down the pens?

Why is it that all of this happens?

Simple.

We have a lot of friends in low places that’s why.

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“The cartoon courtesy of Center for American Progress” (online)