The Economic Crisis – New York City Is Doing Just Fine….Thank All You Rubes Very, Very Much
For all of you living out there in the sticks, the forgotten lands called Anywhere in The US Except New York City…..you’ll be pleased to know that The Recession is OVER! In fact, in many ways, The Great Recession never even impacted Good Ole Gotham. The international center of finance and banking is doing just fine, thank you very much…..hotels are full, salaries on Wall Street are raging and the banks are all doing very, very well…..again, thank you all very much.
And really you all must be thanked because this city is dependent upon you and millions of Americans from Florida to California and everywhere in between. You all need to continue paying your mortgages and student loans and car payments….because all of those payments are what keeps the lights on for the banks and in fact for this entire island that doesn’t produce anything tangible, but which acts very much like a black hole that sucks billions of dollars into its vortex every single month. Oh sure, things may suck for you out there in the hinter lands, you may be suffering dramatic underemployment or under employment. But that’s just too bad…things are Great in Gotham!
And all you cities and counties and states out there that are bankrupt or who will be there soon…yeah it really sucks for you….but that’s your problem. Oh sure, a big part of the reason you’re in the state you’re in is the exotic and fraudulent complex financial products that were sold to you by Wall Street…like Pick A Pay Mortgages, but so much worse. Just like financially illiterate families that were aggressively marketed the subprime mortgages, unsophisticated local governments were pounced on, then sold complex financial packages that their taxpayers can never repay.
Oh, sure the local governments are guilty too…they didn’t have nearly enough money to build that high school or that gleaming new sewage plant and they certainly didn’t have the money to militarize the local police forces with sophisticated (and expensive) paramilitary gear…but never to worry, Wall Street steps in with a platinum credit card….at 24% interest. It’s not just that we’re all being suckered by these bad, bad bets….Wall Street is cheating and committing fraud as well….but they’re continuing to get away with the con that they’ve run for years.
The fact is, the banks worked their scams in such a way as to bankrupt cities. Matt Taibbi compares them to the Mafia, but I have far more respect for the Mafia:
In fact, stripped of all the camouflaging financial verbiage, the crimes the defendants and their co-conspirators committed were virtually indistinguishable from the kind of thuggery practiced for decades by the Mafia, which has long made manipulation of public bids for things like garbage collection and construction contracts a cornerstone of its business. What’s more, in the manner of old mob trials, Wall Street’s secret machinations were revealed during the Carollo trial through crackling wiretap recordings and the lurid testimony of cooperating witnesses, who came into court with bowed heads, pointing fingers at their accomplices. The new-age gangsters even invented an elaborate code to hide their crimes. Like Elizabethan highway robbers who spoke in thieves’ cant, or Italian mobsters who talked about “getting a button man to clip the capo,” on tape after tape these Wall Street crooks coughed up phrases like “pull a nickel out” or “get to the right level” or “you’re hanging out there” – all code words used to manipulate the interest rates on municipal bonds. The only thing that made this trial different from a typical mob trial was the scale of the crime.
But it doesn’t stop there. Think about the school teachers and firefighters and cops….the people that worked for 30 years serving their communities….and depositing part of every paycheck into the retirement accounts that they have been promised will be there for them. Where does all that money go? Wall Street of course. And what does it pay for? All the big buildings and the salaries of the vipers that slither around on Wall Street. They’re not holding on to all your retirement money for free you know. So what are they doing?
Well, let’s take one of my favorites, the Florida Retirement System. The black hole/ponzi scheme that tens of thousands of state employees have dumped a portion of each paycheck into. Just last year, the FRS was claiming a WHOPPING RETURN OF 22% ON INVESTMENT! Fast forward a year and they’re all in a panic because they’re not going to hit their estimates. Well, I think that even their most pessimistic projections are delusional. Why? Because so much of the investment is held in Mortgage Backed Securities….or as we in the foreclosure business like to call them, Nothing Backed Securities.
Whatever you call them, here’s how it works: The paychecks of Floridians are bundled up, delivered to Wall Street who works their black magic then turns around and invests that money in the mortgages of Florida homes….for sizable fees of course. Right now, today, and for the last several years, they’ve all been furiously pumping the spread sheets to show that the principle balances in the mortgage trusts still bear some relationship to the (over) inflated value of the real estate. Well, despite the recent reports of a healthy real estate market, it’s just not real. Just take a look in any courtroom or any neighborhood..step away from the spreadsheet Clifford.
But the larger point is this….all across this country cities and counties and municipalities and individuals are sending billions of dollars up into the black hole that is the Wall Street Ponzi Scheme. In our cities, we’re laying off cops and teachers and people are suffering like never before…..but Wall Street is doing just fine.
It’s all a monster crime spree and massive Ponzi that is completely supported and defended by the governments…local, state, federal, that are supposed to be representing the interests of people but which are instead working for the banks and the other criminal cartels that run the game….
Buckle up folks….this will not end well.