Showing posts with label bail out. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bail out. Show all posts

Monday, January 9, 2012

Angry

The concept of student loan repayment forgiveness as a public program fills me with rage. I have talked about this before so there is no need to rehash it in full. It doesn’t bother me that for a year we put a huge amount (something like 1/3rd) of my wages toward paying off my loan. We decided that instead of making normal payments forever we would knock it out and of course I borrowed it so paying it back is only fair. However that some folks should get a pass because they borrowed a lot will have a hard time and (probably in part due to degrees in underwater basket weaving and gay transgender Eskimo studies) paying it back seems insane to me. We could debate the politics and economics of higher education all day long but if you borrow money you should pay it back. A guy who makes $25k a year and was stupid enough to borrow 40k for a big shiny truck shouldn’t get a pass anymore than someone who goes to an expensive private school and gets a degree which tends to pay poorly. Hint; don’t borrow a ton of money to go to a private school and study communications or education or sociology. If you want to go into those fields I recommend a much more reasonably priced public school.

Also the topic of mortgage write downs came up again somewhere. That might fill me with even more rage. The reason why is simple. I haven’t bought a house yet, dun dun dun, because I couldn’t afford it. Sure I could make the mortgage but I didn’t have any savings, let alone a down payment. Idiots and hopeful fools who made bad choices I was smart enough to avoid should not be rewarded. However if it is any conciliation to me I don’t see this one happening. It is clear to me that the trend is to hook up the banks at the expense of the people, not the other way around.

It pisses me off when we bail out individuals or companies who make stupid choices. Here is an n unavoidable truth, people learn from stupid choices by suffering their consequences. A person who makes stupid choices and feels the consequences stands (assuming he doesn’t blame everybody else) a good chance of learning a thing or two and just maybe making better decisions in the future. If we bail these idiots out they will not learn how to make good choices. Also there is significant risk that we are telling a whole other group of up and coming idiots to go ahead and be idiots as the government has got their stupid back.
Both of these things make we want to start a fire bombing campaign to show my displeasure. I don’t even know who I want to firebomb, I am just really angry.

On the bright side I had a really good talk with Wifey today which as always, helped turn down the burner under the boiling pot that is my rage. She pointed out that we can take a good amount of pride in knowing that we are doing the right thing. Also that in years to come (these programs come and go, woe is a person or a business who is only viable because of a government subsidy or tax deduction) we will be fine and able to take care of ourselves because that is the sort of people we are.

Note, this article is about a month old. I am trying to clean out my writing folder a bit.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Sunday Ramblings

People seem to hate bankers. As Commander Zero noted they do stop hating them when they need to buy a car or a house or whatever. After they get "their car" or "their house" then the banker goes back to being greedy scum for wanting their money back AND A PROFIT! The nerve they have.

I don't really have anything against bankers. No banker has ever cornered me in a dark alley and forced me to take a loan at terms I do not like. I have a student loan which I got because it seemed to be in my best interest. Seeing as my earning power went up significantly it seems like that was a fairly good choice.

I am not a fan of the whole capitalism on the way up socialism on the way down pattern of late. I blame our government and by default us for that more than bankers. It drives me just as nuts when people try to do the same thing. They are happy as can be when the value of their home goes up 30% and talk about how they made such good choices. Then the minute things go the other way they demand that the government do something to stabilize housing prices.

My observations of people is that everybody tries to get as much as they can. From "disability insurance" for a person who has earned little to nothing to "earned income credit" to "mortgage interest deductions" all the way up to pet tax loopholes for big businesses and bank bail outs everybody goes for as much as they can. I can't really blame individuals too much. If there was a 10K refundable tax credit for some niche group I fell into darn sure I would take it!  We deserve every dime we can grab but that other guy is a greedy SOB for trying to do the same.

I tried again to buy a beer brewing kit from Amazon but I can't find anyone who will ship one to us. There is a place that sells beer brewing stuff not too far from here so I will make the trip in the next few weeks. That town also has a pretty nice Chinese restaurant so the trip would be pretty decent anyway. Apparently my last book order didn't go through so I re ordered it.

Also today we ordered a second computer which I am pretty psyched about. Really knocking off all of our significant economic goals inside of a week or so (in April!) makes me pretty happy.  No more real big financial goals, just stashing a few more euro's and some spare parts and mags. Now we can focus on whipping that darn student loan. After that we can save for a modest home with a wood stove and ideally a basement on a big lot.

I am psyched to get another computer. I will have my own puter so when out and about I'll be able to watch DVD's and save up scheduled posts more conveniently. Also while I don't play video games at home they are a good time killer for when I am away.

As a final thought Jericho looks real nice on the new TV.

Monday, September 21, 2009

A Year Ago This Season,

Last night I could not sleep for shit. Spent a lot of time thinking about life and blog junk and all sorts of stuff. I have been hearing all this stuff about recovery and lame duck recovery and jobless recovery. I got to thinking about a year ago. I am going to look at a lot of indicators and have some discussion. Doubt any huge conclusions will come from this but since it interested me you get to read about it.

First lets see what I was writing about roughly a year ago: I lived in an RV, This amused me,I was thinking about finances a lot with significant worry about institutional failures. I was also just beginning to really purchase precious metals. Too much more to list.

Second lets look at precious metals prices. Last year at about this time gold was in the $750-800 range and these days it is right around $1,000. Silver went from about $12 to about $16 but methinks that is going to drop a bit soon at least for awhile.

Thirdly the stock market has gone from around eleven thousand to a bit over nine thousand.

My last indicator is going to be unemployment. For this I will have to go with August numbers because Sep ain't over yet. Unemployment has increased by roughly 30% from the low 6 range to within spitting distance of that dreaded 10% mark.

For the unquantifiable I will go with what I remember which is fear. Banks folding left and right and the stock market dropping hundreds of points was a normal day. One day in particular I remember vividly. It seemed that the stock market dropped hundreds of points for the third or fourth day in a row. I slipped out for a few minutes to get as much cash as the ATM would allow me to because it seemed like a perfect storm for a banking holiday. Honestly I probably would have handicapped it at 1/4 one was going to happen.

Lets touch real quick on what has happened between then and now:

Barrack Obama won the presidential election. Who the heck saw that one coming!

For awhile it was darn near impossible to find Glocks, AR's, AK's, mags at any sane price or a bullet to go into anything. Eventually that situation got better though ammo prices still remain high.

Bail outs after bail outs after bail outs. Maybe we threw good money after bad and then used that good money to light our stack of really good money on fire. Maybe we will look back in 20 years and see the decisions made in those dark times as saving our financial system. I do not know and for a conclusive answer we will have to look to the history books in years to come.

Lots of people lost their jobs.

My memory isn't perfect but depending on the exact timeline I picked up a few guns or several over this period of time. Socked away a few hundred rounds of 30.06, about the same in shotgun ammo, a case of 9mm and a case of .38 with a few boxes of .357 mag for variety. Also we saved a good chunk of cash and got some precious metals.

Where are we going?

If I could predict this with significant accuracy I would be writing this from my 200 acre retreat in Idaho where I made a gazillion dollars a year playing the money game a few hours a day. That I don't have a 200 acre retreat in Idaho and today I worked a 12 hour day during which nobody asked (even once) what they should do with their money even once is a testiment to the fact that at best my great talents have not yet fully surfaced.

This seems like a good time to circle the wagons, munch on some leftover corn bread, sip a bit of water and watch vigilantly for rustlers, indians or desperadoes. While of course you will have to have a watch rotation so people can cook hot food, do chores, drink a little whisky by the campfire and get some sleep it is definitely NOT the time to have your cattle spread over the prairie, the Mrs at the creek washing clothes and your youngest off playing somewhere while you doze in the shade.

In slightly more practical terms this is a good time to suck up to your boss a bit more than usual, work extra hard and live very conservatively. Unless there is a very compelling reason otherwise every dollar you can get your greedy little hands on that doesn't go to basic living eexpenses should go under the mattress.

If your car is running reasonably well I would keep it and put off getting a new one. This is also not the time to go on that two week trip to Europe or buy a ski boat or do that big remodel on the kitchen. I would stick with whatever job you have now even if it is pretty lame unless something that is a serious step up comes along. You do not want to quit the job you hate to start a new dream carrear in X right now. Also since we don't have a clue what is going to happen to the stock market or the value of the dollar if I was seriously considering retirement hard thought would be put into potentially working for a couple more years to delay starting to draw from my savings and allow what I have in the market to bounce back.

I would also run full speed away from any debt that has a variable interest rate be it a home mortgage, a HELIC or just a maxed out AMEX card. Between the value of the dollar dropping and the increased defaults on all debt it is going to get ugly and painful for those holding variable interest debt.

Thoughts or observations on anything I said?

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Replying to Comments on My Last Post.

So I wrote my first rant in awhile and it got a lot of comments. Some folks agreed with me and others spoke about ancillary issues. I do want to talk about a couple comments on here though.

To Occdude: As for bankers getting money at 0% and loaning that money out at 20%. I do not think that is entirely true. TOM wrote a great post on banks these days back on Oct 12, 2008. Banks are loaning money to credit worthy businesses and individuals with reasonable debts and they are doing it at reasonable interest rates. Also on the specific topic of loans home mortgages have not been so cheap in years. People getting quoted or given ridiculous interest rates are probably not very credit worthy. In short I think that argument is pretty flawed. I do think the bailout was pretty crappy and if this humble guy would have done anything it would have been handled differently.

to 1:20: I do not have a ton of experience with credit cards (some would argue that is a good thing:) but I am under the impression that when you get a credit card you sign a bunch of stuff which basically means they can change whatever they want whenever they want to. Going back to my original post "If you don't like the terms a bank will offer you then don't borrow their money." I can see why some people choose to have credit cards and the Mrs. and I each have one. Once during the time I have had mine they informed me the interest rate was going up. Instead of being financial doomsday for me it was just another thing to throw away because I do not carry a balance and when I charge something I pay it off in full when the bill comes due. These rate adjustments should be a reminder to everyone not to carry credit card balances.

So I completely reject your argument that people who took unsecured adjustable rate loans (essentially what credit cards are) are victims when the interest rates adjust.

Medical care in general and private vs "public" plans is a whole other topic. I can not help but observe that sick people are not flocking from our evil greed based private for profit medical system to good fair public systems when they get very sick; in fact quite the opposite happens all the time.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Lazy Saturday

The weather down here is just plain nasty today. We ventured out all the way to the dumpster to toss the garbage but that is it. I had wanted to do a bit of shopping but decided against it. There isn't anything I need today and it is nasty outside. Having nights off at home next will will let me take care of a few little things.

Due to an odd eating situation yesterday I have bunches of leftovers. We went to the BBQ place and picked up chow to go and went home. Neither Wifey or her friend were at all digging the BBQ so we tossed it in the fridge and went to Buffalo Wild Wings. BBQ was cheap and between me being in the field (no cost of living) and general frugality it wasn't a big deal. We also wanted her friend to have a good dinner for her last night here. The end result is a lot of left overs for me to chow down on today.

Wifey had to wake up early to take her friend to the airport so she is sleeping. I'm just sitting around watching the Sopranos and playing with the treasure. I know the total amount but it was interesting to lay it all out and see how it broke down between one ounce rounds, one ounce bars, and 90% dimes/ quarters. Tonight will be a bit more TV (Saturday night Cops) and then sleepy time.

There has been talk about a new bailout to buy up the "toxic assets". I try to stay out of news stuff anymore because it just drags me down. I did however note that THIS WAS THE ORIGINAL PURPOSE OF THE TARP PROGRAM! So we give them money to help deal with this then buy the bad debt from them? Fuck me running. I also found myself needing to stop and thing about exactly which bailout they were talking about on the radio. There have been so darn many that it is now confusing.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Saturday Morning, Mortgages and Home Cooking

I went to bed pretty early (for a Friday night) last night. Don't remember if it was 10 or 11 but I got up a couple minutes before 10 this morning. Getting as much sleep as I did in the past two nights combined really helped me feel better. I am on the up side of this cold. Got a big pot of water boiling to make some tea which always helps. Tea with a big glob of honey is great for a sore throat.

Wifey said something that really surprised me yesterday. She is really pissed about all of this bail out/ stimulus crap. She is a self described liberal but still really pissed. She put it in an interesting way. We do not own a home because we aren't ready to buy yet. We could get a loan but it would be tighter then is comfortable and not a great call. We are now subsidizing the people who messed up and bought a home they couldn't really afford. We are paying becasuse someone chose to get an extra bedroom and bathroom that put the home beyond their means. Some of these folks had a job loss or some other sort of rough circumstances but lots of others were asshats and just plain bought a home that there was no way they could pay for (usually once the mortgage adjusted up).

Wifey is a big fan of helping people. She believes everyone should be fed and have some sort of a reasonably decent place to pay their head. That doesn't mean a home they own. She is just tired of all this crap.

I personally think we need to take a deep breath and realize that everyone can't own a home. Some people aren't at the right place to buy now and some of them will never be in the right place. The latter part is sad but true. Some folks don't make enough money to pay a mortgage (in places with higher housing costs).

While I was in the field this week Wifey decided she needed to cook everything from scratch. Since she isn't working now she sees no reason to buy pre made and somewhat pre made stufff at far higher costs. So far this week we had tacos where she made the taco seasoning, beans from dry stored ones and tortillas. They were pretty good. Last night she made some darn good pizza. I am going to nuke some of the leftover stuff for breakfast in a bit. Tonight we are going out for date night, checking out a German resturant in town.

We have not abandoned the whole keeping track of our finances thing. Things got sorta side tracked when it came to going over the info, the keeping track of stuff continued. Wifey ended up going over 2 weeks of stuff a couple days after the second week ended. Aside from the car repair bill our spending was pretty normal. Wifey isn't so sure about the tracking method we have been using, might switch to quicken or something. This week was pretty cheap I think, me being in the field eating Army chow and not buying anything probably helps.

There was a comment on the Suarez International letter I threw up here. Basically an anonymous fellow said something about how Gabe Suarez was not the nicest guy. I figured since my reply will speak to a bigger issue I will throw it up here publicly. I don't have the time or inclination to vet the past or present of the writers of every little bit of stuff that goes up here. If I see something readers will benefit from I put it up here. If I post an article I am saying that I believe the article has value to myself and readers, not that I am prepared to defend every single word in said article or that the writer is a super duper great guy. If it is useful I post it. Not saying the author is a candidate for Sainthood or survivalist of the year. Maybe someone who writes a great article about bugging out for hurricanes likes to kick cats or a guy who writes an awesome article about emergency vehicle repair is a communist. The point is that unless I say "So and So is really nice/ a good gal/ a great person/ etc" I am just saying that I like something they said.

The first cup of tea is pretty good. I am going to catch up on my reading and sit around for a couple hours.

Monday, January 26, 2009

A Little Steve For You

Another round of layoffs-GM 2000-ING 7000-Sprint 8000-Home Depot 7000-Caterpillar. I wonder if the gov't geniuses will ever wake up? Steve

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Odds and Ends

Timothy Geithner's nomination as the Secretary of the Fed is about to be voted on. I think this guy is scumbageriffic. He is either too stupid to do his taxes or is a crook. Either way is that the guy who should be running our monetary policy and the IRS? That he is not honest or CAN'T FILL OUT HIS OWN FUCKING TAXES is a serious concern for me. His nannies immigration status is less of a concern to me. It seems like when he hired her she was legal to work in the states. I don't know an employer who regularly checks up on peoples status after hiring them but maybe it is standard practice. I don't know as I am from here. Also he designed TARP which to me is akin to being the guy who designed the Titanic. But only he can save us from this mess so he must be confirmed even if there is a video of him killing a homeless guy last night on his way home from a nice dinner.

Apparently Georgia's unemployment is hovering above 8%. Jobs of any kind are very hard to find down here.

Deflation?

First lets start with a definition of deflation. Investor words says deflation is: A decline in general price levels, often caused by a reduction in the supply of money or credit. Deflation can also be brought about by direct contractions in spending, either in the form of a reduction in government spending, personal spending or investment spending. Deflation has often had the side effect of increasing unemployment in an economy, since the process often leads to a lower level of demand in the economy. opposite of inflation.

I don't think that we are in deflationary times. To me the key phrase in the above definition is "general price levels". While neither deflation or inflation would happen evenly in all sectors at the same time (this is why they hurt people) I don't see that trend. Some stuff is up, some stuff is down and other stuff is staying pretty level. I would say that the less essential an item is the more its prices have gone down. This is a great time to buy a new car or a big flat screen TV but broadly speaking I do not see deflation. Wages stagnating while unemployment rises and the prices of goods goes a bit haywire is probably realistic.

Personally since my wages are as fixed as wages can be can be deflation would be great for me. The debt we have would not change in proportion to my wages and our dollars would buy more stuff. I just don't see it now and have a hard time seeing it happening unless some major factors change.

South Carolina is out of money to pay for unemployment. Unlike California I think they are stating what is going to happen instead of begging for a bailout. States are going to have it hard for awhile. They have very comparable obligations to the federal government but they can't just print more money, they can borrow it but states tolerance for a bloated long term deficit is relatively low. Watch for what happens in California in the next 2-3 months.

It looks like GITMO is going to be closed. Where the detainees should go (politicians playing "not in my backyard" is fun to watch) is a concern. The far more complicated issue would be where and how to prosecute these detainees. Evidence and all sorts of stuff gathered in the boonies of Afghanistan isn't like that of a liquor store robbery in Omaha.

I heard a great thing on the radio today. Do not write/ post/ send anything on a computer that you would not want read in front of your family (read spouse) or in open court. I think that is a good way to look at the significant lack of security of anything online and more importantly of these electronic media's permanence. I already thought along similar lines but will be extra vigilant to do so in the future.

Be careful

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Great Article On The Housing Meltdown and Subsequent Bailout

If forced to suggest one article to explain the sub prime melt down and bailout it would absolutely be this great article by John Silveira.

quote of the day

"The bailout is not bailing out the American public; it's bailing out the people who caused this mess, including the politicians who had a hand in it. It isn't to save poor people with mortgages, but to save the investors who made bad choices and bought those mortgages. It is to save the stock holders who made bad investments. Half the actual bailout money goes to foreigners, most notably Arabs and the Chinese who made bad investments."
-John Silveira

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Car Tzar- Give Me A Break

There is now talk of the government appointing a Car Tzar. All I can say is what the fuck are they thinking. I know we are talking about giving them a lot of money but by any reasonable estimates it is enough for them to continue operating for a few months at most. Will this position disappear when that money has been spent? I doubt it. The Car Tzar would potentially have ability to make future loans......does that scare you as much as it scares me? The last thing the big three needs is some egg head economist telling them what to do. If they haven't figured it out by now state control of industry doesn't work very well.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Poor Car Dealers!

Surprisingly, the fact that there hasn't been an American made car worth buying for years, and the collapse of the Big Three American car companies, is hurting car dealerships. Who saw this one coming? The fact that a child could tell you that when people don't have any money, because they have been living far beyond their means, using credit to buy things they don't need, including a new car every two years, and the car companies are not making cars worth buying, people will stop buying them, tells us something. Now the CNN article hyperlinked to above points out that closing car dealerships will hurt local economises, and tax bases. No shit. Again a child could have made that statement. The article finishes with the fact that the way to get the economy back on track is to get people buying cars again... WHAT?!? Buying shit that we don't need, from companies which make crap products, is what got us into this mess. If failing car dealerships will hurt the tax base, it makes no sense to use tax money to prop them up, so they can collapse later. Our economy has been artificially inflated for years, and is now self-correcting. Its not fun, but doing the same shit that caused this to happen is not a solution.

Friday, November 14, 2008

quote of the day

"Wheres my taste of that trillion (in bailout money)."
-Steve Colbert
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